Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nora is crawling

 Nora started crawling a couple of weeks ago, around 8 and 1/2 months of age.
 She's getting faster and going farther every day. We've been talking about putting up some sort of gate at the top of our stairs for years...both Annabelle and Jane fell down all 14 carpeted stairs, twice each(Amazingly, neither one was seriously injured and I'm sure they must have had angels protecting them). We decided not to just push the couch up against the top of the stairs like we'd done in years past, and which obviously wasn't good enough. We've tried to put up the metal gate we bought but with the shape of the railing post, it is not steady.

Scott had some scrap wood in the shed and decided to make one. He bought a hinge and a hook so we can lock it closed. It was sort of an eye-sore what with the one piece of wood being unfinished and the other piece of wood painted an auburn color. Since the kids are out of school right now,  the kids and I took it upon ourselves to fix it up. One day we sanded it and went out and bought paints for the design we had in mind.

That evening Scott and I painted the front of the wood white and let it dry over night. The next morning I painted the back side blue and we let it dry until after lunch which is when I let the three oldest (the younger two were sleeping) paint their ocean mural. I penciled in a few dolphins for the kids to paint in, but besides that they pretty much did it all on their own.

 The front of the gate is all white with all the kids handprints on there, even baby Nora. She was really hard to get on there but all the other kids did great. I saved Nora for last and when I put the paint on her hand she immediately made a fist and would not open it. I grabbed a toy she likes and put it near the spot where I wanted her hand to go and sure enough she opened her hand to grab the toy for just long enough that I was able to quickly get her hand down and marked. Unfortunately, as soon as her hand was pressed against the board she fisted it again making a rainbow type shape on the board...but it was the size of her hand and I could see where the original hand print was so I felt like that was good enough for now and I could probably touch it up with a wet rag and a brush once I got her other hand done. I washed her hand off and we went through that whole scenario again with hand number too.

The kids laughed and thought Nora's reaction to the paint on her hand was hilarious. They were also so surprised when they saw that I was able to save her print and make it look nice. I just wiped between the fingers with a clean damp cloth and then added some paint to where she first placed her hand down. I think it turned out really cute!

 And here is their ocean mural! They absolutely loved being able to do this and I thought it was pretty fun too. The ocean mural was Elisabeth's idea, and a good one! And now we should have a pretty safe long as we can be sure we're always locking up the gate after we've opened it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Scott is 32!

 Scott turned 32 last week. With my help, the kids each got Scott a snack/food item that he could take to work and which we wrote fun messages on and then placed in spots around the house where he'd easily find them in the morning like in his sock drawer, in the bathroom on the counter, near his lunch box etc. They said things like, "I am nuts over you dad" and then we attached it to the jar of nuts, and "I think you're 'grand'" to the 100 grand candy bar. He thought it was fun to find these all over the place :).
 For breakfast all he wanted was a healthy-ish cereal. Cereal is something I rarely buy but if they special request it on their birthday, how could I say no. And the picture above he's opening his gift from me which was a game he really liked that we played with his parents while we were in NC. It's called Double Bananagrams (we got the 'double' version, which just means it's for more players, because all of our kids love to play games and we knew we'd some day need it. Elisabeth and Charles can already play it with us with a little bit of assistance) .
 Scott also special requested these cookies. They are nutella sandwich cookies. He loves nutella so when we came across this recipe a few weeks ago he knew that's what he wanted for his birthday treat.
 And I had a buy 1 get 1 free cupcake coupon from a bakery so I got 2 cupcakes so that he had something to hold his birthday candle in since the cookies were too crunchy on the outside to hold a candle.
Going backwards, we had lasagna, home-made bread sticks(made with half whole wheat flour), and salad for dinner. The lasagna was made with a particular home-made red meat sauce and a home-made white sauce. Everything was amazing! Happy Birthday Scott!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Year

Well, it's Sunday night and I just signed onto my blog to write a post for Monday and I noticed that the post I wrote and posted for this past Wednesday, didn't ever work. So I went into my account to find the post and I found the title of the post, "New Year" with not even 1/4 of what I wrote and the pictures I posted..needless to say, I was disappointed to have lost that post and the time I spent writing that post, and I'm not going to rewrite it because I already did it once and it took awhile. Instead I'll give a summary and try and find the same pictures I used for that post.

I had the books I read in 2012 and then talked about some New Years resolutions for myself which are pretty much to do what I'm doing already but get even better at it like to be a better mom and wife, to continue to keep a clean and organized house (see picture with a pile of clothes on the floor. Several times a year we go through our closets and give away things we don't use anymore), learn lots and do well in my calling, continue eating well and exercising...that sort of thing. Oh, and I do have an all around new goal and that's to stop biting my nails! I've been doing it since kindergarten and I've finally decided this year that it's really got to stop.

The picture of Jane and I eating food with candlelight was to show that Scott and I still do dates several times a month but that usually they are in-home dates where we'll get take-out or watch a movie or play games after the kids have gone to bed. On this particular evening, both Jane and Nora decided they wanted to join us and so we let them...but just for the record, normally our in-home date nights are kid-free; this was the first time any of the kids have joined us. And that's all for now folks! I'll post again real soon. I've got pictures from Scott's birthday last week and of Nora crawling! She is so, so sweet and dainty! I just want to have her glued to my side all day...oh wait, she is! I am so lucky!! Seriously love that baby!

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Friend

 A single mom in our neighborhood has gone back to school and needed someone to watch her daughter a few days a week. It worked out with our schedule to have her over during this semester so every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9-3 we have Madison over to play. Madison is about the same age as Annabelle and because of all the time they spend together they've become like sisters. We still keep to our regular schedule of snack and lunch time, and school and quiet time and they still have lots of time for dress-ups and barbies etc. Here they are quietly coloring while Jane and Nora nap.
 One afternoon they were trying to decide what to do and I suggested barbies and they turned me down flat! Then I saw the state of our barbies hair and couldn't blame the girls for wanting to do something else. By the way, there was a pinterest project I saw to put liquid fabric softener in barbies hair and it would make taking tangles out easy; uh-uh, no, no my friend. The tangles were still awful and on top of that they wreaked of fabric softener! I had to keep them outside for 2 weeks and they still smell...but at least it's not so strong that it's giving me a headache anymore.
 So I decided to play hair dresser and I combed and trimmed all the barbies hair and got everyone looking very lovely :). I even thinned several of the barbies manes out with my thinning sheers and I gave Ariel some long layers :). Tangled or Rapunzel needed a serious chop. I literally had to cut my way through her braid to get it undone.  I  ended up giving her the "after Flynn chopped her hair" look which the girls were okay with because it was in the movie. The girls were SO excited to play with the barbies again...and I may or may not have played barbies along with them for awhile.

Friday, January 18, 2013


I know it's not Monday or Wednesday, but honestly, I think I'm going to need to post Fridays too because there is just too much going on around here all the time for me to cover it in two posts a week. That being said, no judging if I miss a Friday here and there :).

Elisabeth started playing the cello a couple of weeks ago! Her school provides an orchestra class per semester for a small fee once you reach third grade and she really wanted to do it and so we're giving it a try. She could have started last semester in the Fall but when I told her she would have to wake up early for orchestra practice twice a week, plus wake up early every day to practice cello before school so she'd have time to practice piano after school and do homework she decided to pass. But now she's determined. And I'm glad we waited because now she really knows what she wants and she's very responsible about it. I don't even have to wake her up or ask her to practice. She sets her alarm, gets up and ready and practices on her own. I know it's only been a couple of weeks but I think it'll keep because she's been responsible about piano for the past two years. Many times Charles and Elisabeth practice an instrument at the same time.

Having a piano background has helped her pick up cello pretty quick. She knows all the notes and so reading the bass clef for cello has been easy. We started her with a 1/4 size cello(we rent it) but last week we moved her up to the 1/2 size because she was in between sizes when they sized her and this just seemed like a better fit...and Scott and I can practice more comfortably on the 1/2 :)...and I'm not even kidding. Scott played viola for a little while so he knows some and I've just always wanted to and can read notes somewhat so Elisabeth comes home from her lesson and teaches me what she knows. It's so fun! Right now she can play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Jingle Bells :). Can't wait to hear what she'll be playing a year from now. Soon we'll have a Jon Schmidt and a Steven Sharp Nelson in our home :). If you have no idea who I'm referring to, watch these videos. And better yet, have your kids watch them and they too will want to learn to play. They have tons of videos on their website and you can search them on youtube. Here are a couple popular ones:

Cello Wars (star wars parody)

Coldplay - Paradise(Peponi)

Love Story meets Viva la Vida (this is an older one so the video isn't as fancy as the newer ones)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bear Hug, Eskimo, Butterfly, Fishy Kiss

It is FREEZING cold outside! FREEZING!!! I don't think I have ever been in weather this cold. The other night it got down to -1 degree. Below zero!!! Ah!  Being born and raised in the Seattle area of Washington, the coldest of the cold winters would get down to maybe 30 degrees and those were more rare days. Usually it was in the 50's during the winter. Thank goodness we live in a day and age where we have furnaces in our homes that keep us toasty and warm while inside.  And thank goodness we have these cute little kids to snuggle with on these very cold days(and all year!). Here are a few pictures I took of Annabelle and Jane recently, giving each other their daily dose of love :).

Bear Hug

 Eskimo Kiss
 Fishy Kiss
 Butterfly (Annabelle always looks hilarious when she does this one. She's trying to brush her eyelashes onto Jane's cheek by repeatedly blinking)
*As a side note, this is the time of year when I regularly wear my rubber gloves while I wash dishes and lather on the coconut oil because otherwise my hands will dry up so much they'll crack and bleed and that's no fun at all.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dislocated Elbow From Church Ball

Saturday night Charles wanted to redeem his 'bedtime pass' and watch a movie with Mom and Dad. Scott had 2 back-to-back basketball games at the church, 8 and 9pm, so Charles and I started our movie night without him.

Around 930pm I got a phone call from my neighbor saying that Scott had gotten hurt and her kids had just run home to tell her with instructions to call me. I called Scott's cell and he answered after several rings. He said the paramedics were coming over to help. I quickly got off, called my neighbor back to fill her in and then she asked if she could come over and stay with the kids(all of who were sleeping, minus Charles) so I could be with Scott. I threw on some jeans and a jacket, grabbed my purse and jogged over to the church(as a side note, it was 5 degrees outside). When I got to the gym, Scott was still lying on the floor, the paramedics surrounding him. His elbow looked funny and was hurting a lot so they gave him some morphine and then put him in their ambulance and brought him over to a hospital near by. The story is that he was going for the ball, fell, and caught himself wrong.

I followed the ambulance over in Scott's truck since it was parked at the church. Once there, we were put in a room and had to wait for someone to come in and take an X-ray. Then we waited for them to read it and get back to us. They confirmed the dislocation and to our relief, nothing was broken.

As the doctor put it, " it looks like the ice cream fell out of it's cone". They sedated him (because the doctor said he didn't want Scott to punch him in the face :)) and then in about 10 seconds it was fixed. I watched as the doctor held the upper arm and manipulated/turned/pushed the lower part in such a way that everything locked back together again. Kind of interesting to see and it reminded me of when Annabelle dislocated her elbow and our pediatric doctor twisted it back into place. After that, the pain in Scott's arm was much better. We waited again and then they took another X-ray and found everything to be in order. They wrapped Scott's arm, put it in a sling and sent us on our way, about 3 and 1/2 hours after we had arrived. There was a lot of waiting time. I'm grateful to our neighbor Sheryl, who stayed with our kids early into the morning. Scott is not supposed to lift anything heavy (including baby Nora) for a week or so and he's supposed to go in to see an orthopedic surgeon at the end of this week just to make sure everything is still good and that there was no ligament damage. Doc also commented (kind of jokingly, but kind of not) that he thought men should be done with church ball once they reach the age of 30. I think I'm going to have to take his side on this one. We'll be praying for a speedy recovery. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday Charles!

 Charles turned seven on Sunday! He got a bike from Scott and I and money and books from grandparents. We have a few birthday traditions. One of which is that we open family presents at breakfast. So we did that while breakfast was cooking. Another tradition is that the birthday person gets to plan the menu for the day. We had pancakes and sausage for breakfast, Mr. Pings Secret Ingredient Noodle Soup for dinner and an ice cream cake (all ice cream and toppings, no actual cake) for dessert.
 Charles even offered to help make dinner.

 And the last birthday tradition is that during dinner, we go around the table and each person says something nice about Charles (or whoever's birthday it is that we're celebrating).

Monday, January 7, 2013

NC Part 3 of 3

New Years Eve we played games together and watched a movie. Scott and I were also able to go on a date out to dinner that night which was fun. We ate at Chipotle which was a place I had been wanting to try for awhile. Yummy, yummy! Elisabeth, Scott and I stayed up until midnight. The next day we had Kevin and Chelsey and Alisa and Jason and all their children over for a visit. Kevin, Scott, Jason and Alisa all went to school together in Raleigh. It was fun seeing them again and meeting their children. 11 children total between the three couples!
Nora and Jane got sick last. So they laid around the last couple of days. Nora didn't sleep through the night while we were there and toward the end she was coughing so much at night she'd wake up several times and a couple times she'd cough so much it'd made her throw up. I'm SO glad that is over now.
Grandpa and Jane having a little siesta.
Scott and Kelley, his younger sister.
Charlie's birthday was coming up and he asked if we could do a little birthday celebration with the family while we were there since he normally doesn't get to celebrate with grandparents or cousins. Since we all had colds we got rice dream ice cream sandwiches and rice dream vanilla ice cream with cones. The kids can't even tell the difference and I love them so it was all good.

And of course there was lots of time to play games. Grandpa played UNO with the kids.

Jane is two. Jane won. She is so cute!

Nora loves to play with faces: poke eyes, grab lips, pat cheeks. I love it!
Man, Elisabeth is flexible!
Nora also loves to grab onto the strings of sweatshirts while sucking her thumb :).
Charles got a little hot while playing UNO (just like his dad!) and rolled up his pajama shirt and pants.
And Thursday, about 10 days after arrival, we were back at the Raleigh airport, flying home to Utah. This time we had a layover in Washington DC. This layover was two hours which gave us enough time to grab dinner, play with toys, and Nora got to take a nap.

And now we're back again! In NC it was about 50 degrees most days so we just brought long sleeves and sweatshirts. When we arrived in SLC, the flight attendant got over the intercom and said, 'welcome to SLC, it is currently 9 degrees outside'. A shockingly cold welcome, but welcome none the less.