Sunday, September 25, 2011

Special Saturdays: Come to Zion

Oh, how we love free day at the National Parks. I'm pretty sure that the only time we go to National Parks is on free day. We went to Zion National Park on free day last year in September, and decided to go again this year. A lot has changed in our little family in one year:
Most notably, Asher being in my belly at 37 weeks and Asher being outside of my belly (now on my back, haha), at 11 months.

We went with Kayla and the Noahs and hiked Upper Emerald Falls. Reed and Tylee had so much fun playing in the dirt:


Tylee even made dirt angels, which was awesome.

They had kind of a hard time on the last part of the hike--it was hot and steep--but we made it to the pools and had fun playing by the water. Asher even woke up in time to enjoy the pools.
Don't mind Asher's "dork hat." It's the only one that will stay on because it straps under his chin.

We made it home in time for me to get a new calling at church--I get to work with the young women and I am super pumped--and then for me to go to the General Relief Society Broadcast. The Broadcast was amazing. I loved all the speakers, but I was especially touched by President Uchtdorf's talk. This was one of my favorite parts of his talk:

 
I came home to sleeping babies and football games to watch with Ryan. A fantastic day, all in all.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A little dose of Reed

Me: Do you want some vanilla yogurt?
Reed: Vanilla??? (You'd think he'd never heard of it.)
Me: Yeah, vanilla. The white kind?
Reed: Oh, just like Daddy is white?

Perhaps a commentary on the state of Ryan's tan?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pinterest Love

Want to know why I love Pinterest? Because I have found so many great ideas for activities to do with the boys. Here is our latest...can you guess what we did?



 Hint: It involved glow sticks...


...and water...


...and two bare naked boys.


Give up? Glow sticks in the bathtub. Who knew that fifty cents worth of glow sticks could provide such entertainment?

The Monthly Asher: 11

Asher has learned so much this month. It feels like he's starting to be less of a baby and more of a toddler! One of my favorite tricks that he has learned this month is clapping. Asher claps for everything--and anytime you say, "Yay!" he starts clapping with gusto. Last night, he started clapping for me while I sang to him. It was so cute!

Asher loves to eat--he has started eating more than Reed! He loves real food so much more than bottles or baby foods. I think he likes being in charge. He is getting quite proficient, too--he doesn't drop nearly as much food as he used to! He isn't picky about what he eats, but is picky about the order he eats it in. He eats from favorite item on his tray to least favorite (logical, right?), but generally eats everything eventually.
Just playing basketball next to Reed's fort.

Asher learned how to play catch! We roll a ball to him, then he grabs it and manages to throw it somewhere in our direction. He loves playing catch and will play it for fifteen solid minutes, which is kind of amazing.

Asher also started giving high fives this month. Sometimes when you ask him to go you five, though, he just starts laughing because he thinks it is so funny.

When you ask Asher to dance, he starts bobbing his head and waving his arms. If he hears music, he starts dancing without the request.

 Asher loves playing with cabinets--real or the cupboards in Reed's kitchen.

Asher has three words: "Mom," "Dada," and "ba" (bottle). "Mom" was his first word, but he only says it when he really, really needs something. He requests "ba" when he wakes up, and he says "Dada" most times he sees Ryan.

Asher is such a happy baby. He laughs so easily and is such a good tempered baby. His laugh is so cute, you can't help but laughing along with him.

 Tooth-brushing joy.

We finally started brushing Asher's teeth (I've been meaning to buy baby toothpaste for at least a month). He loves it so much.I'm pretty sure he would just eat the toothpaste if I let him.

Asher will occasionally let go of what he is holding on to so that he can stand up by himself, but he only lasts for a second or two before he sits down. He hasn't started taking steps yet, but I'm not sure I'm ready for him to walk anyway :)
We just love this sweet face.

Asher learned to wave "hi" and "bye" last month, but lately he loves doing it and does it all the time.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I take a lot of pictures.

Our Nikon has been out of commission for a while (I may or may not have dropped it...), and I have missed it dearly. I knew I needed to send it in to get fixed, but I stalled because I was a little worried that the quote we'd get back for the repair would be more than I could part with, being the tight-wad that I am.

$180 and a few weeks later, our Nikon came back, as good as new. Luckily, the boys happened to be awake when I found it on our doorstep, and it was overcast (meaning not too bright or ridiculously hot) outside, so I dragged them out to our little grassy patch and snapped pictures to my heart's content.








As I was looking through the pictures after our photo-sesh, I remembered how much better pictures look when I take them on our Nikon as compared to our six-year-old Kodak (due to no extra effort or skill of my own). And I thought, Maybe I should actually learn how to use this thing, like I planned to when we bought it two years ago. Because imagine the possibilities if I knew more than how to set it on "auto," then point and shoot.

One day.

 "Peace, Mommy."

"Let's take pictures of my guys!"

And, by the way, Blogger is not currently my friend. These photos are rotated to the proper orientation, but Blogger keeps turning them sideways. Sigh. Am I posting them anyway? Of course.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cannibalism

Before I had kids, I always thought it was weird when people said things like, "I just want to eat him." Eat him? Odd.

Seriously, though--I really do want to eat them. How yummy do they look in their Sunday best?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

Lynnie and Nick came to town for Labor Day Weekend, so of course we sent the time partying. On Friday night, we went to the Splash Pad and rode the carousel. Saturday the boys golfed, then parked it in front of the TVs to watch football. Lynnie and I took Cole and Reed to a Home Depot kids' workshop, then the girls and babies shopped and made a ton of fantastic food, including a Hambly favorite: hot dip in a loaf. That night, we went to the SHAC, where Reed convinced everyone to take a turn taking him down the water slide. After church on Sunday, we spent the day relaxing, playing games, and eating "Christmas Dinner." We wrapped the weekend up on Monday with a hike in Pine Valley (accompanied by an amazing light rain that cooled the weather down fantastically), a coupon-shopping trip (free deodorant!), more food and football, and a little crafting time. If that sounds like a lot of activity--it was! But it was also a lot of fun!
Reed playing at the SHAC

 Asher having fun at the SHAC. (How funny is his face in the bottom right corner?)

 Everyone having fun at the SHAC. (Lynnie and Nick, how did I not get any pictures of you there?)

 A sampling of treats, including not the world's prettiest football cake balls. They were tasty, though!

Grandma and babies. In a few months and in the coming years, they'll have a lot more fun actually playing together, rather than just near each other :)

 PV hike. We weren't exactly prepared for rain, but luckily we found an old sweater of Kayla's for Reed to borrow. I love the picture of Reed and his BFF Kayla.

 More hike action. It was such a beautiful hike!
Cole, Reed, and I post-workshop. They are so cute in their aprons!

Happy Labor Day!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Zafety Za-zas

On Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, scissors are exclusively referred to as "safety scissors." So, naturally, Reed refers to scissors exclusively as "safety scissors," as well. And somehow "safety scissors" mutated to "zafety za-zas."

Reed loves zafety za-zas. He pretends his fingers are zafety za-zas. He pretends the kitchen tongs are zafety za-zas. He pretends the tongs in his kitchen are zafety za-zas. He pretends chopsticks are zafety za-zas. We have a lot of "zafe-ing" (cutting) going on at our house.

Today, we went to the dollar store, and guess what we found? If you didn't guess zafety za-zas, I encourage you to re-read the first two paragraphs of this post. Reed was so pumped about them--so we decided to get them.

When we got home, he started cutting straightaway. And, after a little practice, he could cut a paper in half all by himself. We soon had quite a large pile of scraps. It appears that I may need to find a good source of scrap paper for Reed to cut his way through.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Climbing Kind of Day

Asher has not yet made many forays into the world of climbing. One day a few weeks ago, he climbed the bottom stair, promptly fell off, and hasn't even looked at the stairs since. He climbs over very small obstacles, but does not really seem to care to attempt anything too large.

Until today.
Asher really wanted something on the couch. So he climbed into the laundry basket to get it. Like it was no big deal--it only took one try. You would think he'd done it hundreds of times.

(On a side note, I ran to get the camera like any responsible mother should and came back to find Reed had joined Asher in the basket.)
Approximately five minutes later, as I was unloading the dishwasher, Asher decided he needed to sit on the dishwasher door. Again, he climbed up like a pro.

I'm thinking Reed has secretly been giving Asher climbing lessons during nap time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Trip to P-town

Ryan's brother is the Head Women's Volleyball Coach at the University of Illinois (cool, right?). Last week, the Illini played in an invitational at BYU--so, being only a few hours away, we decided to go watch the games and see Ryan's brother, parents, and sister.

The kids were great for the duration of the drive to Provo. I glanced back at one point and had to laugh at how intently Reed was watching his movie:
 Our first stop in Provo was J-Dawgs. We were surprised to find that J-Dawgs now has its own store front, conveniently located adjacent to the shack. I was not surprised that J-Dawgs tasted even better than I remembered. Reed got to enjoy his first dawg from J-Dawgs:


Asher got his first taste of J-Dawgs bun--he loved it and ended up eating the majority of Reed's bun and part of mine:

And we scored big time when one of our Provo faves, Bee-Money, sat at the table next to us. Was it weird of us to take a fake picture so we could get him in the background? I'm going with maybe. (Just for reference, he's the guy in the middle with the "money" bandana. The other guys are his agents. No joke.)

After feasting, we went to the BYU bookstore, where we got a ridiculously cute toddler-sized BYU camp chair and, of course, BYU truffles. Yum.  Finally, we headed to the SFH and met up with Ryan's parents and Janelle.

Reed and I had a pre-game wiggles release. Reed was super pumped to pose with the game program.

Seriously, he was being such a cheeser. It was awesome.

Then, in what was perhaps Reed's favorite moment of the trip, we saw Cosmo...and chased him down so Reed could say hi. After overcoming an initial shell-shock, Reed even gave Cosmo a high five. Reed has a BYU book that has Cosmo in it, and all he had been talking about since we told him we were going to BYU was seeing Cosmo--so I was quite relieved when Cosmo showed up at the game.

Reed and I spent the majority of the game after that looking for Cosmo. And Ryan scored this cute picture of Reed giving Cosmo a five when Reed said hi to Cosmo for the second (of three) times.
Despite a severe lack of naptime, both boys were fantastic during the game.




One funny thing: every time the crowd chanted "BYU," Reed said, "What?!" The drawn out "Beeeee" sounded like "Reed" and he thought they were calling his name.
Best of all, the Illini won all three matches that weekend, taking down BYU, St. Mary's, and UCSB.

After the first game, my camera sadly died--and I had neglected to pack my battery charger or any extra batteries. Other notable items of the weekend included going to dinner at Sundance (the food was fantastic), seeing the Fongs, and driving up the canyon.

And, in other good news, we are finally getting our Nikon fixed!

Also, if you are interested in joining the FHE packet exchange, let me know. We have 7 girls participating so far, and I'd love to get a few more :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Family Home Evening Packet Exchange

A few years ago, my friend Kim hosted a Family Home Evening Packet Exchange. At the time, Reed was only a few months old--but I knew I would want the packets in the future, so I decided to do it. I ended up making about 10 of the same packet, then traded them for 10 different packets. The packets each have a simple lesson and most of them include a game or activity of some kind.

I'm not going to lie, the packets sat in a box for a long, long time. Once Reed got a little bigger, I pulled them out. And now they are his favorite thing, ever. Every day he wants to do "lessons" and we generally do four or five in a row. But there are only so many times you can go through ten packets before they get a little repetitive, so I've decided it's time to make more FHE packets.

Would anyone like to join me? Each person will make a certain number of the same family home evening lesson (so if 10 people decide to participate, we will each make 10 of the one FHE packet). The lessons should be geared toward younger children. You will send/bring/somehow get them to me, then I will coordinate distribution of the packets to everyone. In the end, you will receive __ (depending on how many people participate) different FHE lessons. The packets should be completely finished by you: colored, cut, glued, laminated, etc. so that when you receive the other packets, you don't have to do any work on them.  (And feel free to ask me for examples--I do have ten good ones!)

(Kim, I hope you don't care that I basically stole the instructions right off your blog!)

If you want in, leave a comment!