Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jane is 3!

 Tuesday was Jane's third birthday, though we celebrated it on Monday because Tuesday evening we had soccer practice, pack meeting for scouts and I had another meeting afterward. Scott and I put up our Birthday banner Sunday evening after the kids had gone to bed and got her gifts out for her to open Monday morning.
 Elisabeth got Jane some chalk for the chalk board that's in Jane's room, and a new pack of crayons that Jane can put in her scripture bag for church.
 Jane got several things in the mail from family which was very exciting. She would watch for the mailman and check it several times a day.

 Here she is wearing her new Birthday dress and singing in her new microphone. She sang with that microphone ALL day :).

 She made a special request for her birthday cake: pink or purple sparkly flowers. So I did a purple cake with pink sparkly flowers (This frosting was all left over from Annabelle's rockstar cake last month so I didn't have to make any new frosting! Score!)

 I'm jumping ahead of myself. Before cake we had dinner and she requested pizza so I made our spelt and whole wheat pizza and we had salad and Izze drinks.
 Since Jane is three and likes to do everything by herself, she insisted on putting the candles in the cake.
 And she did a pretty good job.
 Can you tell she's just loving this! Soaking up all the special birthday fun!

 But that one candle was a little far away so she had to get up to blow it out once the other two were out.

 Scott brought Jane the pretty balloon that's on her chair.
 And the night before was Jane's first night sleeping in panties and being dry and she's done it every night since, so here is Jane throwing away her night-time diapers. Happy Birthday to us! Way to go Jane!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Piano Videos of Lis and Char

Elisabeth has been playing piano for over 2 years now and she has come so far! She can play so many songs and is doing really well at sight reading. She can sight read any of the songs from the Children's Songbook (church music for children).

Here is a short video of Elisabeth playing, "I Am A Child of God"

And here is Elisabeth playing another piece. She's always so serious when I record her and never smiles even when I'm done, but I caught a smile at the end of this one so I wanted to post it!

Our goal for the children is to have them be able to open the hymnbook and play any song without too many mistakes so they can be of service to the church in the future. And this way, when they are old enough to serve missions, if they're called somewhere where pianists are scarce, they'll be able to bless the churches in those areas as well. These goals are good motivators for the children to keep practicing.

 Charles has been playing for about a year and he has come so far as well! Here is a song that he loves called Indian Dance.

And another video of Char playing a song he's working on now....we usually do it with the metronome to help him with his timing. He didn't want to use it for the video but you'll notice how he'll occasionally keep time with his head or body :).

Annabelle will be our next pianist. We allow the kids to start lessons when they turn 6 and she is SO excited for her next birthday so she can learn to play the piano. We have a rule that if the kids want to play a sport they have to be taking private music lessons as well....which is another good motivator to practice :). Since we own a piano, that's what we're having them start with. We have them do piano for several reasons: service in church, reading music is like learning another language and is good for your brain, and it teaches kids so many good lessons in things like 'responsibility', 'work before play', 'practice makes permanent' or at the very least 'practice improves', 'persistence', 'diligence', 'work pays off', 'sharing talents' and the list really does go on and on.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Angels Among Us

Today we went to church early, as is our routine, to get the Primary room all ready (set up chairs, posters out etc). We usually have a few other people come to help which is nice. I had stepped out of the room to take care of something and came back to find a crying Jane in Scott's arms as another adult passed me and apologized. I learned from Scott that he had been swinging her by her hands (they were having a good time and laughing and this was a total accident) and when he set her down she started to cry. I tried to see if Jane would come to me but she would not.We tried to have her move her arm but she would not. She wouldn't even reach out for a sucker that I had pulled out of the closet. It didn't take us long to recognize she had dislocated her elbow or in other words, 'a nursemaids elbow'. This is now the third dislocation in our family: 1st, Annabelle when she was about 2 years old because I had picked her up by her hands, 2nd Scott a couple of months ago while playing basketball and now Jane. Fortunately for us there are a few nurses in our ward and I found one, Julia, who knew how to fix it--our first dislocation that didn't require a hospital visit! Julia was sitting in the chapel (thank goodness she was there early!) and I went in and quietly told her what had happened and asked if she could help. She followed me back into the Primary room where Jane sat unmoving, did a quick assessment and then in one quick motion popped it back into place. Jane stopped crying and reached out for her sucker. I was so overcome with feelings of gratitude and happiness for this lovely woman who just took away all this pain from our little girl that I cried and gave her a huge hug. She was literally our angel that day who swooped in and saved the day :). Here is Jane, happy as can be with a lovely blue mouth from her very blue sucker :).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Knight of Multiplication Tables

 Last week we got a paper home from school saying that Elisabeth would be knighted on a particular day that week for slaying the multiplication tables and that our family was invited to attend the ceremony. All of the third grade classes would be there to show-off something they'd been working on, but there were only a few other children in the third grade that were knighted and only the parents of the knights were invited to attend. This was a big deal to Elisabeth, so I promised I would come. Then the day came and before we went to the school I thought I'd run a couple of errands. Well, it turns out I tried to cram too much into my schedule. Also, the line at the grocery store was unusually long AND the person in front of me had the cashier call in a question and also write her out a rain check for something. I was unusually short and impatient because of this. I mean, I don't think it showed on the outside, well except maybe for my very short response to the cashier when she asked me how my weekend had been, "fine," was my reply, and I don't think I even smiled which is very unusual for me.  But inside my stomach was twisting and turning and I couldn't think straight. My only thoughts at that time were, "maybe I should just take the girls, leave my full cart here and we'll come back later and get it" and "No, it's too late. Elisabeth is going to be so disappointed." Anyway, I missed Elisabeth being knighted as she knelt and the secretary of the school, who dressed up as a queen, touched both her shoulders with a fake sword. I felt terrible. But, I did get there in time to watch all the third grade classes show off something they had been working on. Elisabeth's class had all drawn pictures and then recited a poem aloud and all together which is in the picture above of her class.
 Here she is with her award and then afterward they took a picture of each of the third grade children who were knighted (4, I think?) in this knight costume. And just for the record, she did note my absence and once she was home from school she somberly asked me why I had missed it. I gave her my sincerest apologies, but I guess you live and learn. Next time there is something big and important (to my kids), I won't try and squeeze in too many things before hand. Love you Lis!

And here's just a fun, random picture of Elisabeth...she wanted me to take one of a toothpick in her mouth :).

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

 I'm posting this a day earlier than the normal day I post because it's a holiday and I just felt like sharing some green festive stuff today :).

We don't do a whole lot around here for St. Patrick's Day besides wearing green and sometimes making green food. See here we are in our green attire, I even painted my fingernails green which was fun, and we made some green caramel corn for dessert (a healthier version than most with brown rice syrup, but still super yummy).

 St. Patrick's Day fell on a Sunday this year and our church leader had talked a little bit about the origin of St Patrick's Day so when we got home we did a little research and found out some more information and shared it with the children. Here is my short summary with the main points:

File:Irish clover.jpgSt. Patrick is the most commonly recognized Saint of Ireland. He was born in Roman-Britian in the fourth century(385), his father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest. At the age of 16 he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. He stayed there for 6 years before he escaped back to Britian. Once back he studied to be a priest and in 432, when about 47 years old, he said he was called of God to return to Ireland and teach the people there as a bishop. So that's what he did. Apparently he used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish Pagans. And so we celebrate him who brought Christianity to Ireland. 

 See Scott in his green Ireland shirt that we did in fact purchase in Ireland some 9 and 1/2 years ago (can't believe we'll have been married for 10 years this summer!).

 Yeah, he had been resting peacefully when I uncovered him from his blanket to take that picture. Glad he's so nice and didn't mind too much :).
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


 My sister Becca flew out from Washington for a quick weekend visit last week. We were so happy to have her here with us! Even though she was only here for two nights, we got a lot of things in and spent a lot of quality time together. The three youngest girls and I picked her up from the airport Friday afternoon and we went straight to temple square. We stopped at the visitors center so she could see the temple model display and then we walked around the church art museum and let the girls play in children's area for a bit. Becca is gluten free and vegan right now and so I took her to City Cakes which is about 5 minutes away from temple square and we got lunch to go: black bean burger and a tempeh chikin salad sandwich. And the girls each got got gluten free, vegan sugar cookies and I got a Sandie cookie (shortbread pecan type). We ate lunch in the car on our way to pick up Elisabeth and Charles from piano lessons.

 When we got home we walked (the kids biked) to the school and let the kids play on the playground for awhile. We came home and made Indian food for dinner; we made brown basmati rice with lots of yummy spices and a Masaman curry with lots of veggies. And my family had Naan bread. Sorry we all ate that delicious bread in front of you Bec :)! I'll need to see if I can come up with a gluten-free Naan recipe someday.

 Saturday morning Becca, Elisabeth, Maren and I went to Zumba. Later that day Charles had a birthday party at a skate deck so Elisabeth and Scott took him to that and than ran a few errands together and ate lunch at Costco while the rest of us went to Cafe Rio and also ran a couple of errands. That night Becca and I went to stake conference together and afterward the three adults watched The Amazing Spiderman. It was okay. My favorite super hero movies are Captain American and Thor. Why? Because to me, they're what a true hero should be: honest, virtuous, and moral. Some of those other super heros are so not good role models.

 Sunday morning was stake conference for the family so we went to that, then we went for a walk and made fajitas for dinner. Thanks for coming Sis! I love you!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rough on Clothes

Each of the kids rooms has a laundry basket and I wash each laundry basket separately. A few weeks ago Charlie's load of laundry came out of the dryer with red marks all over everything. I was SO grateful that day that I wash our loads separately because otherwise my clothes would have been colored as well. I'm still not certain what was in one of his pockets...a red crayon perhaps?  Several washes later, a lot of the red has come out but not out of everything. That kid is so hard on his clothes. I mean really. He gets more stains and holes in his clothes than all the 4 girls combined. And that is not an exaggeration. It's probably a good thing he doesn't have a younger sibling to pass down clothes to because that little brother wouldn't get much and what he did get would have stains and holes in everything. Most of Charlie's pants get holes in the knees and once they get pretty big, I cut them off and he wears them as shorts...only problem now is that he has too many shorts and never quite enough pants.

Friday, March 8, 2013

2012 Blog Book Here!

 My 2012 blog book arrived last week!!! I LOVE getting these books and putting them up on our bookshelf in the living room. I think this year the kids were equally excited. Probably because as they've gotten older they've become frequent readers of the blog books. It is so fun to go back and look through what the family did during the year, how we grew, birthdays, holidays, vacations, traditions, the every day etc. It's really the reason why I blog, so I can have this record of our family life. Here's what the cover and back look like and a few pages:

A total of 6 blog books now!

Back of book

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nora: Wet Kisses & Kitchen Cleanup

Nora gives the best kisses!!! Slobbery but sweet :).

 Can you guess where Nora's favorite spot in the house is? In the kitchen, preferably under the table. Why? Because she can always find oats from granola that has fallen onto the floor, amongst many other things. I sweep a couple of times a day to try and decrease the amount of things she finds on the floor and puts in her mouth but with how many youngsters we have in the home she's bound to find something, somewhere. She's like a petite and pretty vacuum.
I can just hear her saying these words in her little head.  "Oh look what I found! "
 "An oat. Yummy! "
"They are so small that Mom can't even see them. But I can! Mwah, ha, ha, ha, ha (evil laugh)!!"

 "See, I found another one! I'm too fast for you mom! "

"Hum. That didn't taste very good. Must not have been oats. It was probably a bit of dirt that big brother Charlie tracked in from his shoes. Eh, it's not that bad. "

"Or at least it's not as bad as dishwasher soap. Trust me, I know from experience."