Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter 2017

I will now take this moment to put up glorious Easter pictures in which we celebrated a glorious Easter.  In which pictures we try really hard to look like we've got it together.  I'll let you in on a few realities of life as we go.  Heaven forbid we actually fooled anyone with our matching clothing.    
If you follow me at all on Facebook or Instagram, you have heard more than enough about this little dude lately.  More fun than a barrel of monkeys.  Screaming, crying, tantrum throwing monkeys.  But we love him like crazy and pray he'll grow out of it.  If not, there is medication.
Master George is almost exactly four years older than Peter.  They play marvelously well together... until they don't.  Until Peter demands and George pesters and Peter screams.  Until Peter commands too much attention and George has to fight a little harder for his piece of the attention pie.  Bless George's heart, he's only six and Peter is challenging.  Siblings and parents further removed than George have a hard time keeping peace with Pete, so perhaps we expect a little too much from George.  Everyone has their limit.
Dressing children in matching clothes is one of the chief joys of motherhood.  And you better believe if Costco had had an outfit in Cannon's size, he'd be right there with them.  Oh, heck... if I could have found one for Clark, I'd probably have gone there too!  Shameless.
Can you believe how dark Cannon's hair has gotten?  Do you remember when he was a little blondie with curls?  Still curly, but not even close to blonde anymore.  And I am happy to see that he is learning how to smile for pictures.  He's been in a rather unnatural "smiling" phase for pictures for about 3 years.  I am liking this big smile a lot better.  
Listen to me... so judgmental.  
Kids really change so much from age 8 to 9.
The Peter photobomb was quite intentional on his part.  He would hide behind the tree and then pop out. 
 Faith and Greta have matching dresses as well.  I couldn't help myself.
This is one hardworking, determined, dedicated little gal.  She did, however, steal some chocolate chips I was hiding in the freezer for when I needed them.  Like this evening.  I really needed some chocolate and my blessed chocolate chips were gone.  I will forgive, but I can't forget.
 What a little princess!  We are so grateful to have her here and I have nothing bad to say and nothing to tease about.  She is lovely and delightful in every way.  The end.
Glasses and braces never looked so good on a 14 year old.  This girl is so, so clever-funny.  This evening, in my distress over my missing chocolate, she emailed me a haiku (Japanese poetry form) she wrote.  With her permission I will share.
It varies in size
It smells and tastes like heaven
It rules us all
True... so true.  So young and yet so wise.
I'm in love with her dress.
Even as I type Bethany is working her little fingers to the bone practicing her violin.  Her music is the soundtrack to my life.  Sometime I think my life is just a giant montage of me taking care of kids with her violin music in the background.  
She is often up late doing her practicing and sometimes I even fall asleep to the sound of her practicing.  Talk about dedication.  I do feel guilty in those moments.  Guilty of what?  I don't know... it just seems like if she can stay up late practicing, I really ought to be able to stay up and do the dishes or something.  You know, I'm not one of those people who has to have a clean sink before going to bed.  I sort of wish I was, but I also sort of feel sorry for those people.   
He's off in Houston, TX this week with friends.  They are completely geeking out on robots and figuring out how to get themselves around in a strange city.  He's having the time of his life.  We miss him, but are surprised at how many leftovers there are at every meal in his absence.
He taught his Sunday School lesson about the last week of Christ's life.  I wasn't there to hear it, but he told me about it and it sounds like it went pretty well.
Church on Easter Sunday is my favorite.  I love celebrating the resurrection and Christ's victory over death and sin.  While it is in no way a matter of eternal significance, I also love seeing all the Easter outfits and springtime colors.  
What charming, demented children you have!  Why, thank you.
Can you believe we still make them line up before we go downstairs to see what the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus brought them?  Yes, it's all part of our master plan to get them to want to move out someday. 
For many years the Easter Bunny has brought books for Easter, but I guess he was feeling restless this year and he brought Legos instead.
It would seem Bethany did not wish to be photographed.  Oh well.
We see in this picture that George does not care at all about matching pajamas-- frankly, neither do I.  And Cannon clearly has slept in his clothes.  Whatever.
You'll never steal my chocolate out of the freezer, will you, Greta?
Before heading over to my brother's house for an Easter dinner and Easter egg hunt we stopped by the cemetery to visit the graves of Tessa and my mom.  I know some people find cemeteries rather depressing places and they certainly can be somber, but it's my favorite place to go on Easter.  It makes Easter so meaningful because it means death and separation from loved ones is not permanent.  It is a temporary separation and we will all live again and we can be with our families forever.  
The kiddos with their stashes of eggs.  
The cutie little ones.  I love that the girls have adorable little Easter buckets.  I tossed Peter a plastic Walmart bag and Bethany and Elinor encouraged him to show no mercy.  
It was very wrong...very wrong, indeed.  
Cannon is in red dashing off the stairs.  Bethany and Elinor are up on the deck in blue and yellow cheering their siblings on.  Sometimes my people are clannish.  I am a big believer in having no parental intervention in Easter egg hunts.  If the kids can't find the eggs themselves, then they really don't care that much how many eggs they get.  
And on that kind, caring, considerate note, I'm off to bed.  I'm pretty sure I've said more than enough for one evening.    

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

Power outage selfie.
 A few evenings ago I went out with Elinor and Faith to run a couple of errands in preparation for Easter.  As I left home I requested of Abe that the little boys not just watch TV while I was gone.
A little while later I received a text message from Abe that the power was out.
My request was granted!  They did not watch TV.  We arrived home to Abe and the boys having a seance.
Not really, but they did have about 12 candles lit, which was quite cozy.  And we stayed up late reading Harry Potter by flashlight, which was quite lovely.  We have just finished the third book and started the 4th.
Elinor and couple of friends from her FIRST Lego League team entered a student innovator competition down at BYU with their FLL project they came up with a couple of years ago.
It is an emergency preparedness vest, similar to a 72 hour kit.  It has pockets and distributes weight better than a back pack.
Lo and behold!  They won 2nd place in the Jr. High division!  They won $600!  They each get $200 which they plan to put back into making a better prototype and then they've had an offer from a bigwig at BYU who would like to help them market their product.
So basically, our retirement plan just changed to, "mooch off our rich inventor daughter"!
Well, she is now an award winning inventor!
On Saturday, while the rest of everyone I knew had some fun Easter egg hunt, I took my peeps on a nature walk along the Jordan River Parkway.  To be honest, it is not the most pristine scenery, but it was sunny and I'm craving me some vitamin D.
Not too much to report from this little walk-about other than Bethany helped Peter pick a couple of wildflowers and then he melted my heart by giving one of them to me.  But then he realized he had inadvertently given me the larger of the two, and he quickly demanded we trade so he had the bigger one.  It was a lovely gesture nonetheless.
And is it just me, or do I totally have Princess Diana hair in this picture?  I tell you, the 80's will rise again.
Also, Team Middle Kids on their scooters got way too far ahead of the walkers.  I thought they'd be fine, but Elinor was very concerned so she ran ahead to try to find them and bring them back to us.  Then Elinor informed me that Abe and I are not strict enough with the little kids.  We let them get away with too much and we should be firmer.
Opinion noted.
Saturday evening Abe, Elinor, and Faith went to hear cousin Emmalyn sing in a performance of Lamb of God.  They said it was lovely.  Since I wasn't there I don't have a whole lot more to say about their experience except Emma is super talented and I like being related to talented people.
Oh, Pete, Pete, Pete, Pete, Pete, Pete!  He is quite the determined little fellow these days.  I've started a new series of posts on Facebook entitled, "Why Peter is Melting Down".
In this picture Peter is very happy to get his baby food jar of bugs and worms back after a nap.  Before his nap he completely lost it because he couldn't take the jar to bed with him.
A few days before that it was because he couldn't hold Elinor's goldfish and then because he couldn't take the whole bag of carrots to bed with him.  Sometimes it's hard to be 2.
Looking Out the Window on a Rainy Day.
She cut her first tooth on her 9 month birthday.  She is the most delightful thing ever!
I love her big beautiful smile-- it reminds me so much of Bethany's smile as a baby.
Clark headed off on his "senior trip" this morning.  He and Jakob and Tanner drove to Las Vegas and then flew to Houston, TX for the the FIRST Robotics World Championship.  They were disappointed their team didn't get an invite to compete in it themselves, so they decided to go anyway and volunteer there.  Clark was so very excited for this adventure.
Faith has been working extra hard on her gymnastics lately.  We liked her messy hair after a good workout.
Faith and George are doing a good job with their violin practice.  Cannon... not so much.   It's not looking like he will have much of a future with the violin.  Bethany is doing a great job teaching them.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tulip Festival 2017

I adore my peeps.  I adore spring break.  I adore tulips.  I adore a sunny day.  Can I just do today over and over and over again.
I know it doesn't work that way.  And I know that with out the hard times, you can't appreciate days like today.
I used to be afraid to fully enjoy a good, beautiful, practically perfect day like today, for fear that tomorrow everything might go wrong.  I finally understood that with that attitude, I would never get to be happy.  I would suffer through the hard times and I would suffer through the good times.  So, I am celebrating what today was-- a really, truly, lovely, enjoyable day with the people I love the very most in the world.  That way, when the hard times come, I'll have happy memories to look back on.
We went to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point, which is one of my most favorite annual activities we do.  It just makes me feel so happy.
 We decided to go today rather spur of the moment.  I'd been out doing my morning walk and it was so, so beautiful outside that I knew I needed more sunshine.  We might have been able to go later, but we couldn't have better weather than today.
Yes, Abe does need a pair of sunglasses.
The Italian Garden is one of the most impressive and one of our favorites.  Cannon and Clark.  Did you know I have Clark grandparent's (maternal) and Cannon grandparent's (paternal)?  Sometimes I'm still amazed that my idea to have sons named Cannon and Clark actually worked.
I feel quite blessed to have experienced three little girls together, and now three little boys.  They are equally delightful.
I have yet to have my romantic date to the Tulip Festival with just my husband.  Maybe this will be the year.  Fingers crossed.
Abe is a good, good daddy.
Speaking of my girls...I am in heaven.
The Living Christ garden is beyond magnificent.  Paying a visit to Thanksgiving Point Gardens is worth it for this garden alone.  Today, for the first time, we saw the First Vision sculptures.  They were breathtaking.  It was very special to go here the week of Easter.
My joys.
Well... the kids and the Slurpees.

Sweet and Silly

A happy moment with Peter behind the wheel.
He said a five word sentence this week!!!  "Mom said no show on!"  He repeated it over and over again.  His favorite show is Octonauts on Netflix.  He watches it and then assigns family members to be certain characters.  He is always Captain Barnacles-- the Polar Bear.  He decided Elinor was the bunny and Bethany was the doggy.
Bethany derives too much teasing pleasure from telling Peter she wants to be the Bunny.
Peter yells, "NO! Elinor bunny!"  This goes on for quite some time.
Why did I tell you all of that?  I don't know.
George clipped the string of this old cassette tape.  Cannon sniffed it and said it smelled like the 80's.  What do the 80's even smell like?  And how would he know?  He's 8.
Peter loves to play hide and seek with his siblings.  He always hides in the same place and when he is found he yells, "SEEK AGAIN!"  This means he stays right where he is and the seeker pretends to look for him again.  And when found he yells, "SEEK AGAIN!"
You get the idea.  It is surprisingly entertaining on both sides.  This goes on for quite some time.
Bethany plays a character she calls "Grandma Lou".  She is hysterical.  And actually, she's quite good.
We recently acquired this magnificent baby play area for Greta.  She is rather content to play in it, but the important thing is keeping her safe from little Lego pieces on the floor.  I can keep a small area safe and clean... the whole floor of the family room is much more daunting.
The oldest and youngest.  There are some very real challenges to having such a spread in ages of children.  0-17.  But this picture shows the advantages.  These two adore one another.  I've never seen Clark so taken with a baby and I've never seen Greta so happy with a man holding her.  She will actually willingly leave my arms to go to his.
Both of their faces light up when they see each other.
And speaking of love of the baby... Cannon sacrificed his shirt to baby snot.  It didn't light up his face, but it did move him to quickly change his shirt.
Sometimes Peter likes to a big boy, but he's still a pretty cute baby sometimes as well.
These three were first in line for dinner the other night.
What...?  Doesn't everyone have their kids get in line for dishing up dinner?  Sometimes its just too hard to set the table.
George building spaceships and living the Lego Life!
George building a robot out of trash.  Please note the one-handed glove.  This fashion statement has been going on for over a year.  I don't think it's just a phase.  But why?  I don't know.
A recent picture of Peter (in green sweater) in nursery singing "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam".  Well now, that's just cute.