Friday, April 24, 2015

The Monthly Asher: 53

One day, we accidentally put the wrong lid on Asher's water bottle. He and Reed have matching water bottles that have different colored lids, and I didn't notice that I put the wrong lid on. Anyway, when Asher noticed, he started singing, "Choose the right...lid" 

One day Asher came up with a joke. The origin of the joke has since come into question. But Asher insists it's his own. Anyway, here is his joke: How did the frog cross the road? He tied himself to a chicken!

I don't know where he came up with this, but Asher started yelling, "Da goo da gee!" all the time, totally out of the blue. Da goo da gee has since developed into the phrase the boys use when they don't know something. And then, of course, Lila joins in yelling da goo, too. Asher never says this phrase in a normal tone, it must be yelled. 

According to Reed, Asher talks a lot in his sleep. Usually Reed can't really understand Asher, but the other day he heard, understood, and remembered what Asher said in his sleep: "I don't want blue hair because it's not the real kind of hair!"

One night, while we were in Lila's room to do scriptures and prayer, Asher put a dangly clip on earring on his ear. He told me, "I'm a Padawan learner and this is my Padawan braid! I'm Obi Wan when he was a Padawan!" 

For Mommy and Ashie time one day, Asher thought we should make an Easter basket for Ryan. We'd make the basket out of paper. I wasn't too sure this would work, but he came up with the design and wanted to try it! I constructed the basket according to his design while he made and cut out all the decorations. His basket turned out quite cute and was even functional.

One day, totally out of the blue Asher said, "Mom do you know if Mickey wears bigs?" Bigs are underwear. Hahahaha.

We read a Friend magazine story that suggested starting a wall of kindness. When we do something nice for others or someone does something kind for us, we write the act on a paper and put the paper up on our wall! After doing our wall for about a week we noticed that almost every paper was about Asher! He is always doing something sweet for others and is always willing to help.

One day, the kids were out playing chalk while I started working on dinner. Asher ran in to show me his hands. His hands--and forearms--were completely covered in chalk! Apparently, he drew a big circle with lots of layers of chalk, then rubbed his arms all over the circle of chalk. Lila and Reed followed suit.

Asher loves to take selfies, but her never makes any facial expression in them! I think he's super cute and contemplative looking.

Asher is super goofy and fun and when we take pictures, he is often the one who spurs the silliness :)

Asher is starting to move into reading pre-primer books! He had been reading the first few levels of BOB books, which are basically only short vowel words. Now he is starting to read books that have short and long vowels. He wants to read chapter books like Bub and is having a hard time being patient with the learning process. I have to remind him often that he is doing so great and that to be reading at all at age four is awesome, but he just gets frustrated when he can't read everything he wants to! I am impressed with his progress, though!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Monthly Lila: 27

Lila's favorite thing to say right now is "happy birthday to you!" Her phrase sounds more like "happy bur-bay to lou!" She generally says this phrase quite exuberantly and, once started, she repeats it ten or twelve times in a row! 
Playing with goo goo. And matching jammies, which made her whole day.
Lila has always been a fan of nursery, thankfully. I started asking her about what they did after nursery a few months ago, and the first thing she always told me was, "SNACK!" Then she'd usually come up with a few other things, including telling me what the snack was. Lately, as soon as she sees me after church she yells, "SNACK!" And I ask her if she had a snack in nursery. She excitedly yells, "YEAH!" then goes on to tell me what else happened. She's started doing the same thing with Reed when we see him after school. Before he even asks, she starts listing all the things we did while he was gone.
I took this picture to illustrate how awesome Lila's bedhead is--post-nap or post-night, it's always crazy!
Since she was sick in Idaho, Lila has decided that she really loves being carried. She's constantly asking, "Mommy terry" (Mommy carry) or "Hold lou?" (hold you...meaning hold her). I can't refuse her--unless my hands are legitimately full--and have been carrying her, especially on the stairs, quite often. Soon she won't want me to carry her, so I'm going to enjoy her want to be near me even if she is getting quite heavy.

"You" is a new word for Lila--she's always only referred to herself as "Lila"--and it's one of my favorites because she pronounces it "lou." She often uses it to ask me to "hold lou" (hold you, i.e. hold Lila) but will also use it when searching for things. For example, "Daddy? Are louuuuuuuu?" (Daddy? Where are you?) or "Mi-me drive drive, are louuuuuuuu?" (Minnie drive drive [car], where are you?) I love it. She has also started referring to herself very occasionally as "me."
One of Lila's most random pronunciations is "sub bub." What is sub bub? Cinnamon, of course. She is becoming clearer in her speech and her vocabulary is exploding right now. She is putting words together and making us all kinds of happy with her improvement.
When you ask Lila to give you a kiss, she often (softly) pinches your lips together, then comes in for the smooch. I don't know why, but I love it.
Lila loves wooden puzzles and has gotten pretty good at putting them together! It seems like she went from not being able to do them at all to getting all the pieces in by herself over night. Her favorite wooden puzzles are the puzzles that have sounds--when you get the right piece into it's spot, you're rewarded with the sound of whatever the item in the picture makes.
One day while the boys were both gone, Lila and I put together every puzzle in this stack!
Lila also really loves ladders. When we go to the park, she generally avoids the stairs in favor of climbing the ladders. She is actually quite proficient at climbing most ladders, especially the ladders that have a small gap between the ladder and the actual play ground. The ladders that have a larger gap that needs to be stepped across make me nervous, because she can't step across them without assistance. I'm pretty diligent about watching and helping her, but I'm sure at some point she's going to try when I'm not there to help! Anyway, at the kindergarten playground in the mornings, she'll climb a ladder, yell, "MORE!" then slide down the slide as a means to get back to the ladder. She's at the playground for the ladders, not the slides.

Monday, April 20, 2015

On Being Needed

While we were in Idaho, I experienced one of the sweetest moments of my life so far. Lila woke up in the middle of the night, screaming (that's not the sweet moment part). She was sleeping in bed with me since she'd been so sick and wouldn't sleep anywhere else. I reached out and put my hand on her back and said simply, "Lila..." she immediately turned toward me, threw her arms around my neck, squeezed as tight as she could, and stopped crying basically immediately. She was soon back asleep, arms still wrapped around my neck. She just needed me.

On her sickest day, she needed me. She wanted me to hold her. She wasn't okay with anyone else doing the holding. If I tried to get up, just for a minute, to get a drink (always within her line of sight), she'd be off the couch and following me before I made it five steps, even though she wasn't willing to walk at any other point in the day. I wasn't doing anything special for her--just holding her, occasionally rubbing her back or her head--but she felt at least marginally better or perhaps just comforted by the simple act of touching me.

Asher likes to share everything with me. If we're going to watch a movie, he scoots over on the couch and says, "You can come share my blankie, Mommy." If he's built something cool, he says, "Mom, I'll show you how this works!" Whenever he draws a new picture, he comes to show it off to me, seeking my approval. He offers to help me on projects and with dinner. He lets me have a turn playing with his favorite toys.

And Reed? Well, honestly, Reed is more of a Daddy's boy and is quite independent; he is six years old, after all. But he is always the one who asks me if I can cuddle in bed with them at the end of the day, then wants to talk about our most favorite and least favorite parts of the day and make plans for the day to come. He loves to snuggle up together and read a book just the two of us, trading pages. And he loves to have our daily mommy and buddy time.

Motherhood is amazing, really--to be the one person someone else needs so completely. I know that as my kids get older, they will need me less. There will likely be times when they are sure they don't need me at all. But now, I am needed. And I hope that my children will know that whenever they need me, I am here.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dadvent Calendar: Week 3

The kids and I were going to be out of town for the third week of the Dadvent, so Ryan and I prepped a full week's worth of Dadvent activities before I left! Here is what we came up with: 

Day 14, 3.30.15: Surprises for the drive.
"Red, green, black and blue
These have them all for you."
The boys got new pens with eight different colors of ink. Yes, eight. They loved the pens even more than I thought possible and spent large portions of the drive using their new pens to draw pictures in their binders. Lila got a new pack of crayons that she spilled everywhere within about 15 minutes of leaving home!

Day 15, 3.31.15: More surprises for our second drive.
"Busy bees make a hive.
Busy kids make a better car drive."

The boys got cool new army guys that came with several guns each. I loved listening to the conversations their guys had together. Lila got a flexible bunny to play with.

Day 16, 4.1.15: Mad Lib
"You describe the words: 
action and describing.
Perhaps super hairy
helicopter flying."
We've fallen hard and fast for Mad Libs. This was our third in three weeks!

Day 17, 4.2.15: Video of Dad
"Hiking, camping, canoeing in all it's glory
How about a video of Dad telling a scout story?"
Ryan sent the kids a video of him telling a "scout story." The boys love to hear about Ryan's antics as a boy scout and are always requesting he tell them stories. The video was a fun way to have a story even when we weren't together.

Day 18, 4.3.15: New CD
"Green eyes and a heart of gold...
Is the next line cold or sold?"
One of our new favorite songs is "Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold" by the Lone Bellow. Ryan got the kids their very own copy of the full CD to listen to in the car!

Day 19, 4.4.15: Video of Dad
"I hope that you will be glad
to watch a video of Dad."
Since we weren't going to see Ryan at all for a few days, we thought it would be fun to have a couple videos of him. This video told of story of Mom and Dad during their dating days! The story ended with a promise to get Ben and Jerry's ice cream (preferably Oatmeal Cookie Chunk if we could find it) after busy season. Promise fulfilled 4/15/15!

Day 20, 4.5.15: More surprises for yet another drive.
*Poem MIA*
This time, Daddy got flexible bunnies for everyone and a new movie: Epic! The boys have loved Epic for a long, long time and were so excited to have their own copy of the movie.

Day 21, 4.6.15: More surprises again for yet another drive.
"A know you got one yesterday,
But here's another.
Just press play."
Daddy got the kids the movie Epic! The boys have loved Epic for a long, long time and were so excited to have their own copy of the movie.
(not a picture of Epic, but a picture of us safely home!)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Idaho: Easter Morning

I loaded all the pictures onto this post, then saved it as a draft. When I went back to add the text, I noticed the title read, "eater morning." This title was hilarious and appropriate, but the editor in me couldn't leave a typo in the title. Now there is going to be a much more obvious typo somewhere in this post that I am sure to miss (and I totally made at least five typos while typing this sentence. Geesh!).

The night before Easter, I told all the kids they had to wait in their shared room after waking up because Grandma and Grandpa were coming over and didn't want to miss the hunt. THAT WORKED. Miracles abound. When Grandma and Grandpa did arrive, the kids were super ready. Asher was so pumped that he fell coming out of the starting gate!

Luckily, he quickly righted himself and was off on the hunt!

The eggs were found in record time, I think. We were all impressed. 

Soon, the search for baskets commenced.

Some found their baskets more easily than others.

Lila slept through the hunt (she had been so miserable the night before I wasn't about to wake her up) and through the baskets, but she woke not too long thereafter and was very happy when she found fruit snacks...

and a Minnie Puzzle, along with a princess coloring book, bubbles, and a dollar in her basket!

Reed got orbeez (growing water beads), a water balloon sling shot, an egg full of coins, bubbles, and a dollar in his basket. He was acting a little disappointed and kind of weird Easter morning. I asked him what was wrong and he started crying and told me he didn't know. I asked him if he missed Daddy (I think this is what "they" call a "leading question"...oops) and he said yes. Poor boy.

Ashie got Big Hero 6, a hidden picture coloring/sticker activity thing, a coin full of eggs, bubbles, and a dollar. Woot woot.

We finished the morning festivities with time to spare, so enjoyed a slew of Mormon Messages videos before General Conference. Finally, it was time! I must admit that we did not watch either of the Conference broadcasts on Saturday (which I felt bad about--usually I watch them with the kids, but there were so many people and so much noise we just knew it wouldn't happen), so watching on Sunday was very nice. The kids were distracting in part but overall did really good quietly playing or working on their conference packets.

After conference, we enjoyed a tasty Easter lunch (thanks to Grace!), then the kids and I hopped into the car for our first leg of our drive home. The drive went by crazy quickly and the kids were SO good. It was amazing. We again stayed at Mandi's house. The next day, lulled into a false sense of security by our amazing drive the day before, I was sure the drive home (which was shorter than the drive on Sunday) would be a breeze. I was wrong. Something happened to one of my contacts, so I had to wear glasses, which meant no sunglasses. My eyes are ridiculously sensitive, so this was an issue. I'd caught a cold, so was super groggy the whole drive and basically had to eat or drink something the entire way to stay awake. It was so windy all the way from Provo to Vegas that the car was blowing all over the place. And Lila. Oh, Lila. She was a nightmare. Only napped for 45 minutes, and spent the rest of the drive crying or screaming for items she'd thrown and no one could reach. AHHHHHHH. I know it could have been much, much worse...but it was a hard one for me. When we got back to Vegas, we did get to meet up with Ryan for a late lunch, which was a lot of fun, then went home where Lila mercifully took a nap. Phew!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Day in Our Life

I’ve read a few “day in the life” blog posts lately, which has, of course, spurred me to write my own! Fun fact: I started a post like this when Lila was tiny—but the day went totally off the rails ( she wouldn’t sleep, spent most of the day crying, all kinds of havoc was wreaked by the boys) so I gave up and promptly forgot about it! Now, though, I wish I had documented the day in all it’s crazy madness. I think I will love looking back on this day in my life with kids ages 6, 4, and 2 when I have kids ages 16, 14, and 12. So here goes!

April 14, 2015
6:25 a.m.: My alarm goes off and I quickly turn it off because Ryan is still sleeping, which is weird for him during busy season! I slip out of bed, trying not to wake him up, and go sit on the edge of the tub to read my scriptures. Writing about this seating arrangement now makes me question my choice of comfortable places to read. Anyway, I’ve been following this Instagram account this year (@newtestament365) that posts a daily reading selection and a question to ponder. I’ve loved studying the scriptures this way and have learned so much from others’ comments and as I’ve pondered to be able to write my own comment. After I’m done studying, I get up to go get ready to exercise—and hear Lila yelling, “MOMMMMMMMMYYYYY!” It’s early for her, and sometimes she’ll go back to sleep if I go in and tell her to (or at least lay quietly for another 20 or so minutes), so I go into her room. She’s totally wide awake, so I carry her back to our room. She lays with us (Ryan has woken up now, too) for approximately 3 minutes and 11 seconds before remembering she got a new Minnie Mouse ball yesterday and needs it—now.

6:50 a.m.: We are joined minutes later by Asher, who asks if he and Bub can “wake up now.” I ask where Reed is. “Well, he’s still asleep.” Sure, you can wake up. 1 minute and 29 seconds later, Reed comes in, too. We are all snuggling in bed together and I love it.

7:05 a.m.: Ryan needs to get up to get ready for work, so I send the boys to go work on their room (it’s a disaster and they ran out of time to clean it yesterday) and head downstairs to attempt yoga. Lila, of course, accompanies me. I love yoga but, because of a random knee injury (pulled ligament), I haven’t been able to do any exercises involving my knees for about 6 weeks. No, that doesn’t leave a lot of exercises I can do. This yoga attempt is my first since the injury, which is still in recovery mode. Anyway, the first 15 minutes go well, then I take a brief break to pray with Ryan and the kids before he leaves to work. I’m back at it quickly, but have to end early when I feel my knee starting to complain. Last time I pushed too hard I couldn’t walk the next day!

7:25 a.m.: I put together some breakfast with my ever diligent sidekick, Lila. We make our new favorite, fruit and yogurt parfaits, accompanied by cinnamon toast. While we were in Idaho, the boys were introduced to granola and LOVED it. Then, on our drive home, I introduced them to McDonald’s fruit and yogurt parfaits. More love. We call the boys down and we all eat. When I’m finished, I work on cleaning up the kitchen while the kids finish. (Side note: if the dishwasher were full of clean dishes, it would be the boys’ job to unload it after they finished breakfast.)

8:00 a.m.: Lila has decided she’s done, which has been her debate with herself for the past 10 minutes or so. The boys have realized they never did their Dadvent (what?!), so they go find what Ryan has left for them (a book and stickers), then they are back to cleaning their room. I start my Tuesday job: bathrooms. Lila wants to help “teen teen” (clean clean), so I give her the clean scrub brush and spray bottle of water I’ve reserved just for her and let her go to town on the bathtub. We work our way through the boys’ bathroom and part of my bathroom before I glance at the clock and realize it’s time to get ready to go. I call to the boys to get dressed, then dress Lila and myself. Well, I kind of dress myself. I change from my baggy gym shorts and tattered t-shirt into more presentable looking exercise attire. Yes, I drop him off at school in exercise clothes for the first time, ever. I still had so much cleaning to do and I didn’t want to get dressed only to come home, change, clean, and shower, so I sucked it up and went in workout clothes. Cute-ish workout clothes. We all brush teeth, gather shoes, and hop into the car. We pull up to Reed’s school 10 minutes before the bell rings, but it’s so ridiculously windy outside that we take refuge in the car until we absolutely have to walk up to the school.

9:10 a.m.: Asher, Lila, and I are back at home. I resume my cleaning and finish off my bathroom.

9:25 a.m.: Time to take Asher to school. No, the timing between their two drop-offs isn’t ideal. We could take Asher to school directly after we take Reed, but then we’d be sitting in the car for 20 minutes waiting for school to start. Anyway, we drop Asher off then come home, where I finally finish cleaning the bathrooms. Hallelujah. Next, I cut the box tops off the 20 boxes of cereal and 5 bags of granola I found at the dollar store (5 cents an ounce for cereal. This is crazy talk!). Lila bags the box tops for me, then decides she NEEDS to taste the granola. I give her a little cup of granola, then “putter”—I bag and freeze three brown bananas to be used later, then on a whim slice the two remaining almost brown bananas and freeze the slices—I’ve heard frozen bananas make a tasty snack. I put a few random misplaced items away. Lila still isn’t done, so I decide to organize the drawer where Ryan keeps his keys and I keep random things that don’t have a good home. In the drawer, I find three visa gift cards! I call and they’re all unused. $250 total. Woot woot!

She stole a banana and was seized by the desire to show me.
10:10 a.m.: Lila comes over to tell me she’s done. By done she means she’s spilled the rest of her granola all over the counter and floor. Sweeping commences. Lila grabs a towel and says, “Lila teen up!” She lays the towel on the floor, then uses her feet to push the towel around while saying, “Dry dry!” When “we” finish cleaning up, we head to Lila’s room to put her laundry away. Putting laundry into drawer’s is Lila’s favorite helper job. After we finish, I finally get the chance to take a shower! I don’t plan on having Lila come in with me, but she is SO pumped at even the mention of the word shower that I cave.

11:00 a.m.: After we are showered and dressed, Lila decides we should play in Asher’s room. I’m not sure what the draw is, but we do find her Minnie puzzle in there and pass a companionable 20 minutes or so playing until it’s time to leave to pick the boys up. 

11:30 a.m.: We pick the boys up. First is Asher, then Reed. The school report: they both had good days. Asher got to do a baking soda volcano three different times with three different colors of lava. They had carrots for their snack and he actually ate them. Hashtag miracle. Reed got to read a math book with his friend Anthony for their center today. They've been reading this big math book together every day for almost two weeks now--super cute. 

12:30 p.m.: We've made it home and are eating lunch--once again prepared with help from Lila. I generally let them choose what they want for the main portion of their lunch, then give them an option or two to go with whatever they've chosen. Today, the boys are having quesadillas and Lila is having oatmeal. They are all having grapes to go along with their lunch. I'm having mashed potatoes and broccoli with my lunch. After we finish and clean up, I quickly re-pot Asher's seedling that has gotten too big for it's current pot.

Why won't they take a smiling picture?
1:00 p.m.: Lila's nap time. We read books, then cuddle in her bed. She, as always, requests, "Drinkie wa wa? Sit up? Two hands?" multiple times. I give her a few drinks from her water bottle, then cut her off. Surprisingly, after a few minutes of cuddles, she tells me, "Mommy out." Usually she begs me, "Mommy stay cuddle" when I get up to leave! Anyway, I go out, ask the boys to finish up cleaning their room then play together, and call my sister Kayla. We've been playing phone tag all day. She has a random grammar question for me, which we discuss for a few minutes, then we end up talking about her wedding plans and life and having kids for the next half hour or so. 

1:45 p.m.: I'm off the phone with Kayla, so it's time for Mommy + Buddy time. Asher has a meltdown when he realizes it's not his turn to go first. Reed and I get him calmed down by giving him a few fun ideas for his quiet time, then head downstairs and peruse pinterest forever because he really wants to make a craft but just cannot decide what would be best to make. Eventually, he decides on playing with pipe cleaners and straws. I must say that this activity is surprisingly awesome. And kind of therapeutic. We both have a great time.

2:40 p.m.: Mommy + Ashie time commences. We decide to make a flextangle. We had fun coloring together and the project actually worked, so I'm calling that a win. After we are done, we play with the straws and pipe cleaners for a while (my idea :). Reed comes downstairs for help with his flextangle--we'd sent him up with his own to color--and we help him put it together. Next we clean up, then Asher and I start to make a dinner plan. I generally decide what we are having for dinner in the morning (I have a list of all the meals I've grocery shopped for and choose whatever sounds best/works with our time schedule that day), but I've been off my game the past few days. Anyway, I'm leaning toward making Honey Glazed Chicken, but Asher talks me into pancakes. It's the last day of busy season and I'm exhausted, so easily swayed. We do decide to try something new by making apple cinnamon pancakes instead of our regular standby.

4:00 p.m.: "MOMMMMMMMMMYYYYY!!" There's Lila. This was an abnormally long nap for her, which was a nice surprise. Usually she naps 1.5-2 hours. Anyway, Asher runs up to "get her"--meaning tell her I'm on my way--and when I make it upstairs we all pile into her bed to cuddle for a little bit. She is a very grumpy, very groggy waker upper, so we usually try to chill for a little bit together to let her warm up to life again. When she is ready to go out, we all go down and do teamwork to put away the tent set up in the living room (one of our Dadvents), then pick up the toys in the living room. On a trip upstairs, I decide to quickly laminate flash cards Reed's teacher emailed. The problems are so ridiculously easy for Reed (addition and subtraction with numbers 0-5), that I add harder problems to the back. I assign the boys to cut the cards out, which they do. Then the boys settle into Phineas and Ferb while I--and, you guessed it, Lila--start to work on dinner.

Before we went downstairs post nap, Lila grabbed the essentials: princess wand, bracelet, and a Little People chair. She decided the chair was a potty...
Then said, "Lila pee pee out!" and pretended to get her pee pee out on the potty. Awesome.
5:15 p.m.: Phineas and Ferb is over and dinner is ready. Lila and Asher have cottage cheese with their pancakes; Reed has applesauce. The pancakes are super yummy--the recipe didn't lie, they were *quite* fluffy. I like the cooked apples on top, but next time I'd make our favorite cinnamon syrup instead of the syrup in the recipe. The kids decide to try mixing their apples into their "side dishes" and joy abounds. When we're finished, the boys load the dishes into the dishwasher while I wash the things I don't run through the dishwasher (pots/pans, anything wooden, our nice knives, cutting boards...) 

5:45 p.m.: Bath time. Now, I must admit that while the children love bath time, it's not my favorite. There are always fights about who gets to go into the shower--we've implemented a rotating system where one boy is in the shower and one is in the bath with Lila, then we trade--power struggles over the more prized toys--they all love the empty shampoo bottles--and so. Much. Water. Everywhere. But we make it through, then I slather them in lotion (eczema watch out), we brush teeth, and put on jammies. Asher and Lila decide to match. Reed, per usual, just wears underwear. 

6:40 p.m.: We read a few stories and scriptures in the Friend magazine for our scripture study. We try to call Ryan, but he's not answering. And it's time for Lila to go to bed! She wants Asher to read to her, so he does, then she climbs up to cuddle with me. We lay together for a while--well, I lay while she rolls all over the place and tries to decide if I'm more comfortable than her pillow--then I kiss her, tuck her in, and go to the boys. They take turns reading their books: Reed reads us a chapter of Mummies in the Morning (Magic Treehouse #3), then Asher tries to read the new chapter book Ryan gave them for the Dadvent. It's too tricky, so he decides to switch off reading pages of Bones with me instead (a beginner chapter book). Really, Bones is too hard, too, and he gets frustrated, but I keep encouraging him and letting him read a few sentences at a time. He expects to be as good at reading as Reed is and gets frustrated quickly. He is GREAT at Bob books and getting really good at pre-primers, too, but just wants to move ahead too quickly! Anyway, after we read, the boys say their prayers, then we all climb into Reed's bed to cuddle. We talk about the best parts of their days (they both decide that school was their favorite thing of the day), then Asher asks me to go out. He, unlike Lila, always asks me to go out. He only likes to cuddle for about the length of one song.

7:40 p.m.: Everyone is in bed! I pull out the ironing board for my weekly ironing pile and fire up a conference talk. I've been working my way through the Saturday sessions of conference, listening to all I missed. The ironing is completed in record time, so I finish the talk then go downstairs to write my weekly notes. I try to choose a primary child each week to write a note to--usually someone I've talked to at church or who was being particularly reverent during sharing time. I also write a birthday note to a less-active boy, and my monthly visiting teaching card (I have one sister I'm assigned to who I'm not able to visit). I used to never send anything in the mail and now I do all the time. I kind of love it. 

8:40 p.m.: My phone keeps vibrating with texts while I write my notes and, when I'm finished, I open my phone to find 12 missed texts. No joke. A group text party from my family, discussing the temple to help my sister on an upcoming lesson she's preparing. I add my two cents and am surprised when an incoming call comes in. I'm even more surprised when it's Ryan! And he's on his way home!!!!! What?! I seriously can't remember the last time he was coming home so early on a weeknight. It's our routine to talk on his way home, generally no matter how late, so we talk we he drives. He decides to stop at the store to pick up a really cool surprise for his last dadvent. Since I know he's on his way home now, I sit down to start writing this blog post.

9:45 p.m.: Ryan is home! Craziness. We put together the scavenger hunt for his last Dadvent, then go to our room and watch hilarious Jimmy Fallon clips for a while. I'm falling asleep and realize it's already 11:00 p.m. We pray, I set my alarm clock, and fall asleep within minutes to the show Ryan has started...

Phew! If anyone (including my future self) read this entire post, I'm impressed. This day was a pretty average one for us, with just a few exceptions: when it's not busy season, Ryan is home between 4:45-5:30, depending on when he gets into his office in the morning; and if I'm running errands, they generally happen while Reed is at school or, if I'm desperate, between Lila's nap and dinner. The end!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Idaho: Eggs and Cookies

That beast of a post (times two!) couldn't go on forever, so here is the third installment of our Idaho adventures! This post back tracks a little, which you'll just have to deal with. 

On Friday (which was the day of Lila's fever), we planned to dye Easter eggs. Luckily, Lila had just had a power nap and a dose of ibuprofen, so she was energized enough for 20 minutes of egg dyeing. We had a lot of kids and not a lot of eggs, but everyone had fun, I think!

The preferred egg dyeing method was the egg spinners. You add an egg, some color, then get to push a button over and over that spins the egg all around a little enclosed bowl. Awesome, yes.

After their go with the spinners, the boys both decided to try drawing on the eggs with "magic" crayons. Neither really knew what they were drawing, since you can't see the design on the egg, so were pretty pumped when the egg dye revealed their pictures.

At the end, Kenny and Grace's table was tye-died, but thankfully it all washed off!

On Thursday (nope, I'm not even going to try to change the picture order), we decorated sugar cookies! For some reason--I think to avoid another trip to the store--we decided to make frosting. I made the frosting and immediately knew that while it was quite tasty, the frosting was definitely not going to look beautiful spread onto cookies. We'd chosen the wrong frosting (the horror!).

Despite the frosting snafu, the kids all had a really fun time decorating and eating their cookies. 

When they were done decorating, Lynnie and I decorated all the cookies that were left. There were a lot, but I kind of love decorating cookies so I was cool with it. Once we decorated them all, we piled the non-kid-decorated cookies onto plates and sent the kids around to neighbors houses to deliver the cookies!

Reed took his time on all his cookies, but I was especially impressed by his bunny: