Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Elisabeth...

...Happy Birthday to you! Wow, I can't believe Elisabeth is already 5, and going to start Kindergarten soon!

Elisabeth's birthday went as follows:
730am Elisabeth woke up and ate home-made cinnamon rolls for breakfast(this was a very specific request on her behalf). She also got to open one present this morning. She picked to open the one she choose for Charlie to give her so that she could wear her new headband on her birthday.
930am swim lessons
1130 Doctor's appointment:
  • she only had to get one shot(and she didn't even cry. Brave girl!) and she did her first vision screening she's all ready for Kindergarten to start!!! Only about a month and a half away!
  • Currently weighs 35.27lbs; 19%
  • Is currently 40.94 in tall; 22%
1215pm Carl's Jr. for lunch(the kids get to choose a place to eat out for lunch on their birthdays; as long as it's within the right price range)

130pm big kids watched The Little Mermaid while I finished decorating the cake and setting up for her splash party(I've only been allowing them to watch one show/movie a week lately on either Thursday or Friday, so this was a treat to get to be able to watch an extra movie this week). By the way, I covered Barbie Cinderella in all buttercream.

330-5 Elisabeth invited over all the girls from her CTR 5 class, her aunt Krissy and her friend Sara and her family that live in SLC, for a splash party. They had fun on the slip and slide and sprinkler and we also played, pin-the-sparkly-slipper-on-Cinderella's-foot.

5-8 BBQ and FHE

9pm Kids went to bed, but shortly after Elisabeth had a surprise visitor bring her a rose so she was able to get out of bed to thank him

In honor of Elisabeth, here are a couple of my all time favorite Elisabeth videos. And interestingly enough, they are all of her singing:
This one was taken when she was about 2 and 1/2 years old, she's singing a song from High School Musical:

This was was just before the last one; she's singing Latter-Day Prophets:

This one was just under a year ago, she was a soloist singing I am a Child of God and then the rest of the primary came in for the chorus:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fire pit

We got a fire pit this week and have put it to good use. We did smores one night, and another night we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. I know we'll be using it a lot this summer.We were wanting to build one right into the ground, but we read that if it's in the ground, it's supposed to be 25 feet away from everything(house, shed, fence etc), and that would have been right smack in the middle of the yard which I think would've been inconvenient at times...we like to play soccer, run through the sprinkler and do other things in the yard so it wouldn't have worked well for us. If we had a bigger yard, we would have been all for it. But anyways, I did some research and we decided on this one. We like how sturdy it is, and how deep the inside is, and it's nice that it comes with a poker, an ash cover and a large grill(we fit 5 hamburgers, 6 hot dogs, a steak and 2 pork chops on there all at the same time) It also has an outer rim that doesn't get hot which is nice just in case one of the kids accidentally get a little to close and bump into it. And it's not super heavy so we can move it around fairly easily, which will especially be nice in the winter; we can move it inside the shed. And, the price was right(we got it on and then used the free site to store shipping).The kids like it, they like cooking marshmallows on it, though they don't really like eating the sticky warm marshmallows....they prefer them fresh out of the bag. Maybe that will be an acquired taste. Elisabeth and Annabelle each ate a smore, but they didn't like the stickiness of it. Annabelle stayed away from the fire for the most part, and she'd occasionally blow on it from a distance. I'm glad she understands that it's hot.
See the way Elisabeth holds her smore. Very delicately, and carefully, trying very hard not to get any of the stickiness on her.

Charles likes to hold the marshmallow forks/skewers, and the poker.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A day in the life of our 17month old

almost 17 month a couple of weeks:

Annabelle has a big appetite. She'll eat just about anything. Here she's just finished eating out the middle of the garlic bread on one piece(after she's eaten a plate of lasagna), and starting on her second piece. She eats more than both of her older siblings.
Annabelle likes to spend a lot of time outside. I'm sure she would spend all day outside, if she had her way. But when she's outside, I have to be outside too, because she is constantly trying to put dirt in her mouth and she's done a couple other surprising and gross things; so I don't trust her. Today I had to run inside to get something, and when I went in the back again, she was holding a live beetle, about the size of a dime. It was just wiggling in between her little fingers, and she was looking at it, very curiously, and pulling at it's legs. Who knows, maybe she'll grow up to be a scientist or something. The grossest thing I found was a worm in her mouth, ugh! It gives me the heebie-jeebies, all over my body just thinking about it. It was dead, but still. Sick!Annabelle is very curious by nature. She likes to do things for herself. Twice now, I've found her sitting very quietly on the floor in her bedroom, scooping out globs of vaseline and smearing it all over her body, clothes and the carpet. Vaseline is not the easiest thing to clean up because it's kind of water resistant. Just like cleaning butter out of measuring cups isn't the easiest thing to clean either.
caught red handed
Annabelle is constantly learning, and watching and catching onto things. Whenever anyone says the word, 'prayer' or 'blessing' or if you sit down at the table and pull out food, she immediately will fold her arms for a prayer.Annabelle wants to do everything her older siblings are doing. When they color, she colors(and eats crayons, which the older ones don't do, thank goodness), when they eat, she eats, when they bathe, she bathes, when they get up on the couch to read, she wants up on the couch to read. But she's not quite big enough to get on the couch by herself. Lucky for her, she has a very helpful older 3-year-old brother who can pick her up and put her on the couch. She doesn't love the process of him picking her up, but she's happy once she's on. We're teaching Charlie now, to pick her up around her waist, and not around her neck. For awhile we had a rule, never to pick her up, but that was extremely hard to enforce, so we're just trying to take a safer approach.Annabelle likes to read; well look at books. We always have board books handy for baby, but we also have normal children's books very handy for everyone, and she prefers those. But this means we always have to keep a good supply of scotch tape on hand, because we're having to repair pages every few days. But all the kids went through this stage. I don't want to take their books away just because they get ripped, that happens, and they learn. And I always want them to love to read and have books available. So that's why we generally buy our books at DI for a quarter a piece.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day interview

A ten question interview with Elisabeth and Charles, about Daddy:
(I asked each question, and always had Charles answer first so that his response was original and one that wasn't swayed by Elisabeth's answer.)

If I didn't mark which answer was correct/incorrect, it means their responses were both fairly accurate.

1. How old is Daddy?
2.What color are Daddy's eyes?
3.How tall is Daddy?
C-He put his hands just a little above his head and said, "This tall. And you're(referring to me) this tall." He put the hand representing me, just a little lower than the other hand.
E-"Probably, this kind of tall." She raised her hand high above her head.
4. What is Daddy's favorite food?
E-"Chocolate chip cookies"(correct!)
5. What does Daddy like to do for fun?
C- "pick peas", and I'll add, from our garden.
E- "He likes to play Candyland, because he likes to win and get the ice cream picture."
6. What is Daddy's favorite drink?
C-"hot chocolate"
E- "orange juice"
7. Who is Daddy's favorite person?
C-"Mommy" (correct!)
E- "Probably Brian"; (eh, wrong! j/k, he is one of Scott's favorite people, but let's hope he prefers me a little more)
8. What does Daddy like to eat for breakfast?
C- "Cheerios"(in general, wrong)
9. What is Daddy's favorite sport?
10. What does Daddy like to do at night after you go to bed?
C- "Go running"; this is actually what Daddy does in the morning, before they wake up.
E-"Cleans, and watches basketball."

Here is a picture of Daddy, Father's Day morning, eating his Father's Day breakfast: egg, cheese and bacon on an english muffin, and a rasberry and cream cheese toaster strudel. Happy Father's Day to all men, but especially to my Scott, Grandpa Garnica and Grandpa Smith! We love you!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


This is Scott. It says it at the bottom of the post, but does anyone really check that?

It is a rare day for me if I do not eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If I don't eat one at lunch, then I will find some other time of the day to enjoy this most perfect food. I will often eat one right before bed, sometimes with a glass of milk, and I sleep so well on those nights. It is also rare for me to eat the pb&j without thinking about Dad. You see, when I talk of all the important skills I learned from Dad, how can I exclude making, eating, and enjoying the pb&j? I remember watching in amazement as he finished the sandwich in 4 bites (I'm still working on that one). There are three important things to remember about the pb&j: 1. Lots of peanut butter, 2. Lots of jelly, and 3. Take a big bite immediately after the sandwich is built and it gives you time to put everything away while you are chewing. Dad taught me a myriad of important life skills, for which I will always be grateful. The pb&j in this story is an example of enjoying life's little pleasures, which is very important to our well-being. Thanks Dad, and happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Random pix

Here are a few random pictures that I wanted to include in our family photo journal(aka blog).

All three kids love to read. But Elisabeth can really read some books now, so she'll sometimes read a book to the younger two.
This is our little friend Brigham. He lives across the street and the kids love playing together, so we get together often.
And here are the kids sitting on a bench in front of our neighbors tree.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain temple

Saturday we went to the Oquirrh Mountain temple open house. Just before we got ready to leave, the power went out. The weather was really stormy: a lot of rain, thunder and lightning. When we got to the temple and parked our car, me and the kids got together for a picture. One of the ushers came over and asked if Scott wanted to be in it too, and then he took our picture. Afterwords, he told us that Angel Moroni had been struck by lightning a little while before, which explained his black arm. I tried to get a good picture of it, but this was the best I was able to get. Moroni is, by far, the tallest thing around so it's not too was just intersting to see thd dark arm. The kids all did really well while inside the temple. And the temple was beautiful. We've been really lucky this year because there have been three temple open houses(Twin Falls, ID, Draper, UT, and Oquirrh) close enough that we have been able to attend.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New sleeping arrangements

Elisabeth has moved upstairs. She was sleeping down in the basement, in her princess room, but a couple of months ago, she started complaining a lot about having to sleep downstairs by herself. Awhile ago I told her that Annabelle could move down with her when she turned one and was sleeping through the night, but then when that time came, I really didn't want her so far away from us. So Elisabeth moved up to Annabelle's room for about a week, but that room is probably the smallest in the house and we didn't have enough room for Elisabeth and her clothes. So a couple of weeks ago, we moved Elisabeth's bed into Charlie's room and they've been rooming together since. It's gone okay; sometimes they'll stay up later than usual talking or reading books, but they're usually pretty good about staying in their room.We've also put drapes up in both of the kids rooms. We had a blackout pull-down shade in both rooms, but there was a little space at the top, bottom and sides of the window that continued to let in light. And now that the sun is coming up earlier in the morning, the kids are getting up with it, which has not been pleasant. Charles was waking up at about 6am, and sometimes around 545am, and he doesn't take naps so he was kind of crazy for a few days. I went to Walmart and bought some blackout drapes to go over our blackout shades in the kids rooms, and I really like them. We've been using them for a couple of weeks now, and they help out a lot! The kids have been sleeping in past seven, which is wonderful!

Annabelle's roomCharles and Elisabeth's room
Notice the ties that pull the drapes together in the middle, so light can get in during the day. I made those! Okay, not really made, but I found this scrap of fabric lying around(it originally held a fleece blanket together with a piece of velcro), cut it in half, and added two more pieces of sticky-back velcro(that I already had with my craft stuff) to it and it works perfectly! I was happy I found a way to problem-solve without spending more money. I need to learn to do this more often. It's nice that I have a lot of creative and talented neighbors and friends(I get a lot of fun ideas from blogs) that inspire and motivate me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Forever Strong

Scott and I watched a movie this weekend called, Forever Strong. This movie is based on a true story. It's about a high school rugby player from Arizona who is off track with his life and has to go to a juvenile detention center in Utah for about a year. The court agrees to shorten his term if he goes and plays with the Highland high school rugby team in Utah... because the coach at Highland is known for helping boys find a better way of life. The coach says he's more interested in turning out champion boys than champion teams(though they always are), and that he wants them to be forever strong on the field, so they'll be forever strong off it. So anyways, Scott and I both really liked this movie and the messages that it taught. It's not at the Red Box so you'll have to pay the big bucks to rent it at Hollywood or Blockbuster, but it's definitely worth it.

We watched the special features at the end, and they had an interview with Larry Gelwix, who is the coach of 31 or so years at Highland high school. I have to say, he inspired me. I ended up grabbing a piece of paper and a pen and taking some notes.

At one point, he talked about how many coaches yell and berate their players on the field, hoping to motivate them. But what Larry Gelwix said is that there is no such thing as negative motivation. He said, "you can't do the Lord's work in the devil's way." He says you can get a short term behavior change(w/yelling and berating), but they won't be committed to you. This struck me as something that's also true in parenting. Some parents yell, hit, or just talk in disrespectful language to their children, because they feel like that's the only way they can get through to them. But I completely disagree. I think the only thing you're teaching your children, when you act in that manner, is that when you're frustrated, angry, or upset, that it's okay and acceptable to hit, yell, and berate others. But it's not. I don't know about others, but I know I feel really uncomfortable when I see an adult acting in this's very childish. It demonstrates a quick temper and a tendency for anger and aggression. I love this quote that, 'you can't do the lord's work in the devil's way,' because it's true in all aspects of life. How did the Lord teach his disciples, the poor, the sinners, the sick and afflicted? He taught them all in the same way: with love, kindness, patience and respect.

I think I'm doing okay at remaining in control of myself and keeping my actions in check, even when one of the kids is being exceptionally naughty. But I need to work on not having negative feelings at all, and learning to be peaceful inside, even when times are really trying. I'm hoping I can learn to master this before my kids are grown up, because I want them to have this kind of mom while they're young. I'm sure they can tell when I'm getting frustrated, because I probably let out a sigh of exasperation or roll my eyes, or do something of that sort. I think in order to do this I need to be more understanding and look at situations from different perspectives. Something that's interesting to me is that before I had kids, I thought I was a really patient person; I didn't ever think that was an attribute in me that needed improvement. But I was wrong and I've learned(the children have taught me) there are SO many different areas that I need to improve in. I'm grateful we have the Lord's example to follow and that He continues to enlighten us and give us guidance and direction when we seek for it.

Here are a few more of my favorite quotes from the movie/interview:
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice makes permanent."
"Attitude and effort are everything. They're more important than natural talent, ability and smarts."
"It doesn't matter what you want to be, but who you want to be."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kevin, Chelsey and family

Wednesday evening this week, we were able to have some long-time friends over for dinner. Scott and Kevin have been good friends since Scott moved to NC, and they were roomies in college as well. Kevin's family was in Utah this week for a family reunion, and they were able to stop by for a few hours. We loved being able to visit with them again, and to have our kids meet. The kids loved each other! Elisabeth and Charles were so excited to play dress-up with Jillian. Annabelle loved baby Peter; well mostly she liked having someone around closer to her size, that she could touch and manhandle, like her older brother does to her. I made sure to put myself in between them, once I saw how much she 'loved' Peter, so no harm would be done. Mostly, she just wanted to touch his face. I suppose this is what happens to children who have older siblings who are not very old themselves: their siblings begin to roughhouse and mess with them at an early age, therefore teaching them to do the same. The good thing is that she has learned some self-defense skills which have helped her out many times. I've gotten off track now. Anyways, we had a great time together and we hope that more friends and family will visit in the future!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Swimming lessons

We started swimming lessons this week! Elisabeth and Charles are taking them together at a private pool in our neighborhood. I preferred doing it this way because one, it's super close, and two, the instructor only allows a max of 4 kids in each class so the kids get more one on one time, compared to our city pools. And in fact, my two are the only ones during their time slot and day, which is even better. Both Lis and Char are a little afraid to be in the pool, but they've done really good so far. The first class they were mostly adjusting to the pool. They blew bubbles and dunked their heads under, which I was excited about. Charles was very hesitant about putting his head under, but he did. And then their second class this week, they practiced kicking and floating and swimming with the help of their teacher and/or a kickboard.

They'll take lessons two times a week, throughout the month of June, and then I think I'll sign them up again for August. July we'll be traveling so we won't be able to do it then. My goal is to bring them to the pool and allow them to practice as often as I can(w/Scott there to help, too, because I can't handle all three, near deep water, on my own).
Here's a picture of Annabelle sporting Elisabeth's goggles. The goggles didn't work well for the kids. I tried to get them on nice and snug before they got in the water, but still, water leaked in and made things worse, so they both ended up chucking them off to the side of the pool. Does anyone know any tricks to making kids goggles work a little better? Or a certain brand that's more efficient for children?