Monday, September 29, 2008

A Few Pics

This is Colin making good use of a broken ironing board. You see, it doubles as a machine gun, airplane, boat, whatever strikes his fancy. He and Micah were out in the backyard the other day playing with that for a looong time. Who knew an ironing board could initiate such creativity?
Mira Catherine being silly.
Here's Micah singing "Latter-Day Prophets". I love his voice. He's just trying his best to say all the names correctly. We always sing it together, and I've only just realized I need to teach him the names again. And that's Ella in the background, talking and waving the snake in the camera.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Procrastination

All around me I'm seeing signs of autumn. It's gorgeous. My neighbors are beginning to put out their pumpkins, fall wreaths, and other sundry fall decor. I really don't have a lot in the way of decorations (and I like it that way!), but the few things I do have for fall are easily accessible. The problem is getting myself to put them out. Alright, I'm finding talking about this healing, actually. I'm still a good person if I choose not to decorate. But now I'm feeling a little more motivated. I think I'll go get my leafy wreath and put it out on my front door. And I'll grab that handful of silk leaves and put them in a vase over my entertainment center. And, voila! Autumn decorating complete!

Oh, except that we need to take the kids to the nursery in Layton. They have a humongous pumpkin patch. You can take a hay ride and each child can pick his own pumpkin. Free of charge! And then (last year, anyway) you get a gift certificate for a free child's meal at Mimi's Cafe. That was fun. We'll have to do it again this year.

Other than carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating, does anyone have any neat fall/Halloween traditions they do? I'm interested in hearing them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Volunteers Needed

Today was Chad's day off. We split the day so that one of us gets to be in Micah's classroom in the morning, and the other does Colin's in the afternoon. It's really a great way to see how they interact with their peers, follow directions, etc. I was in Micah's class today. I know I'm there for Micah, but today he was a little clingy. I had to pry him from my leg several times so I wouldn't be a distraction to the rest of the class! This volunteering stuff is a lot of fun. All the kids think you're awesome. Especially if you're a dad.

We had stake conference this weekend. Saturday evening was the adult session. Chad stayed home with the kids and I went. Wow, it was amazing how much I got out of that meeting! Is it possible for your kids to be a hindrance to spiritual growth? I'm kidding, I'm kidding! But it was inspirational. I don't think I've been able to ever focus on a meeting like that in a long time. They talked a lot about temple work. Can I be completely honest? I've never caught the vision of family history. Chad's done tons of research for my side of the family. I'll take these names and the ladies will comment how wonderful it is that I've done all this work. I cannot take the credit! But I digress...my point is, Saturday evening, I think I caught a vision of it. Our stake has a goal to index a certain number of names. For those of you who don't know what indexing is (like me up until a few days ago), it's where you get a page from, say a 1870 census in New York. You look at the handwritten info and type it into a form. It's really simple and interesting. Unless you get a funky old-style written name. They can be tough to decipher. So I'm doing indexing! And I love it. It's addicting. And I feel it's a way I can contribute. From the comfort of my own home. If any one's interested in indexing and needs direction, just ask. We can help get you started.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Sweetest Sounds

One of my favorite things to hear is the kids giggling in the other room with Chad. I was getting ready this morning and heard this going on. When Chad came back in I told him that it's the best sound to hear the kids laughing and being good-natured, especially when he's with them. Of course, I love to hear them laugh when I'm in the same room. But there's something unique about being distanced from it and appreciating it. I don't know what exactly tickled their funny bones, but it just fills me with joy.

Chad is such a jokester. And he doesn't always give up easily. It can be something goofy (well, it usually is, actually!). I'll give you an example. I'm in the bathroom, applying makeup. He comes in to brush his teeth and opens all our medicine door mirrors (one of which I'm using) repeatedly--unnecessarily. Then he comes back from brushing his teeth--repeat scenario.

For the interest of women only:
I'm trying to learn some different hairstyles. There are some really cool training videos on youtube. That's where I really learned the basic french braid. The Ford modeling company has some hairstylists that put out some quality videos on different techniques. My biggest problem is that my hair loves being straight! And I like my straight hair, but sometimes I want some variety, you know? You just get sick of seeing the same thing day in and day out. I need some change to spice it up. So I've tried hot rollers (those seem the best option so far for holding a curl), curling irons, and flat rollers. I use a good hair spray. But no matter what, after a few hours, my hair's got some good body, but virtually no curl left. I guess what I'm looking for is advice. Any tips you know of for getting hair to keep it's curl?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Autumn Days

Chad coaches Micah's soccer team. I think it's been a lesson in patience for Chad. Micah's just not really enthusiastic about soccer right now. He runs around on the outskirts of the action (where all the little boys are huddled in a mass around the ball). But he actually kicked the ball (sort of ) at today's game! So that was an improvement.
Proud Colin with his new watch. He's been saving up his commission to buy this. He uses the stopwatch to constantly time himself on the jungle gym, running around the backyard, and whatnot.
Waaah. I'm grumpy about something, Mom. And you'd better fix it or I won't let you hear the end of it. (And that's the truth!!)
Okay, here's my second attempt at french-braiding. Not too bad, huh? I didn't think I'd ever figure this out. It felt like I didn't have enough hands. But I think I'm getting it!

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I made a chocolate cake for the heck of it (okay, because I reeeeeeally wanted some chocolate!!). Check out how covered in chocolate this girl is. I think these girls like chocolate, too, whaddya think?

School

Micah and Ella are watching Shirley Temple in "The Little Colonel". I just love Shirley Temple movies. This one has Bojangles in it, which makes it even that much better. I love the little tap number they do going up the stairs! This isn't a movie the kids usually pick out, but once I put it on, they're glued. We borrowed The 3 Stooges from my parents. I might have to test that out on them (the boys in particular). I remember my brothers, as kids, busting a gut over their antics. I never found them that hilarious. Maybe it's a boy-thing with the slapstick humor. Anyway, I have a feeling it might be the right time to introduce them.

From what Micah tells me, his teacher moved him to a different seat because he was talking too much. Not surprising. Chad went to volunteer at his kindergarten classroom today and I asked how Micah did. We're not sure if it's because Chad was there, but Micah was the most...uh...active child in the class. Being in the classroom has been good for him, though. He's learning to sit and attend to tasks better. And his reading! Oh, it's so exciting to watch him learn to read! He's bringing little books home and reading them to us. Amazing how ready they are to learn.

Colin has longer days. As soon as he comes home, he gets a good snack. Then it's on to homework and piano. Somedays, though, he's just wiped out and tells me he's going to quit piano. (Not an option!) I sympathize with him and he asks why he has to take piano. I explained to him how amazing his brain is right now, and that he's learning things so quickly. That seemed to satisfy him for the time being. He talks about wanting to learn guitar. I think we can thank 'Guitar Hero 3' for that.

Mira's got croup. She's had it for a few days, now. She'll be better soon. Ella loves preschool. Her favorite part is the tumbling/dance she does. I've got a wicked case of plantar fasciitis. I get it every so often. I've discovered I cannot do step aerobics anymore. That always starts it off. I've only exacerbated the problem by not resting it. Now I've got to really baby it. I should've taken a few days off immediately. Now I walk like a cripple. It'll get better.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Poopy Days

Everyone's writing about fairs, peach days, onion days, etc. Well, the festival we most enjoy in our home, as you can imagine, are our poopy days. Micah is almost taking care of business on his own. He usually needs a once-over by Mom or Dad to be sure everything is copasetic, if you know what I mean. Ella insists Mom is in the bathroom with her whenever it's time. And Mira...Oh, Mira. That girl. Lately, she's taken to pulling off her diaper. Sure, it's been cute when I walk in to check on her in bed after she's fallen asleep just to see she's nude from the waist down. We get a good laugh and redress her. And she's really interested in her box of wipes. She's always trying to get into them to imitate wiping herself while fully-clothed. But a few days ago, I go in to wake her from her afternoon nap. She'd pulled off her diaper and was saying, "Eeeew! Eeeew!" Upon closer inspection, I find that she's done #2 and scooted herself over so that her foot was in it. Oh, man. Not a fun thing to run into. Got that cleaned up. Then, yesterday, we're having dinner. She finished, got cleaned up, and went on to play. I'm sitting there, enjoying my lasagne, when she waltzes back into the living room sans clothes and diaper, wiping herself. Well, she had IT all over her legs, hands... it was so disgusting. I'm sure most parents deal with this and more, but I was telling her what's-what. We want to be sure that never happens again!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Happy Little Song

Okay, this looks horrible, but I was messing around with my fun effects, and this is what we got. No, I did not mark up myself with black pen or anyting. My face was really shiny, and so this is what happened. But Mira Catherine is adorable. I caught Ella unawares for a minute while she was singing a made-up song about her Barbie and Batman. I thought she'd quit once she saw me, but it didn't phase her. I love it when she goes around singing songs. If you've seen 'Enchanted' (thanks for letting us borrow it, Aunt Amber! The kids are watching it as I type this), there's a part where Giselle calls out the window in a singing voice "Ahhhh...." to summon all the animals in the city to come help "clean up". All the pigeons, cockroaches, and rats come to her aid. It's pretty funny. Anyway, Ella opened up our window and was singing the "Ahhhahhhahhh-ahhhahhahhh" out to the nieghborhood. It was so funny.
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Monday, September 8, 2008

Bedtime Stories

We did our Family Home Evening tonight. Mira Catherine started us out with some songs (Book of Mormon Stories; Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes; etc.). Colin read a few different entries from the Friend magazine about baptism, missions, and temples. Somehow he managed to tie all these points together and close with his testimony. It amazes me to watch him grow and learn. In seven short years he's reading, thinking independently, and creating. I'd made chocolate and banana puddings for the treat, which the kids were not pleased with. But they all ended up eating it happily. So FHE was successful tonight.

It's funny how sometimes you can put in so much effort to make things nice (like dinner or FHE), just to see it blow up in your face. Dinner's almost always a fiasco in our house. It is truly the 'witching hour' for us. The kids (and I, in fact!) are cranky and hungry. I'm trying to get everything out on the table. Mira Catherine's pulling on my clothes trying to get me to pick her up. The others just keep on me about being so hungry, this being the most disgusting thing I've ever made-"Why do you make this all the time, Mom?", and wanting to read a book. By the time we sit down to eat I could really use a good massage and ibuprofen. The eating part of dinner lasts under 10 minutes usually. We can't keep them at the table any longer! Then it's clean-up time. So all this prep-work for under 10 minutes of possible enjoyment. But we do try to make the time fun. We talk about school, joke around (I know we're a little too sarcastic for our own good!), and laugh. We sit down together each night because it's the right thing to do. A lot of work's involved. I know all you more experienced mothers out there have stories about that. But I'm just learning. I try to keep a positive attitude. I know by doing this we're creating our family tradition and building strong bonds between members of the family.

After a brief FHE, it was straight off to the baths for kids. Chad and I have fine-tuned bedtime. He takes care of the boys, and I'm on the girls. It works out very well. Ella gets a book read, or a bedtime story. The story almost always involves princesses, fairies, something sparkly, or flying. Chad's stories are generally Star Wars-related. The kids and Chad have watched together 'Star Wars', 'The Empire Strikes Back', and 'The Return of the Jedi' over the past couple of weeks. I think the boys insist on these bedtime stories. Then Colin will ask obscure questions about how old Yoda was when he died (luckily Chad knew the answer to that one), and questions I have no answer for. It's funny how 'into' it they are!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Private Blog

To all my friends and family:

I have been meaning to make my blog private for a while, now. If you are interested in viewing/commenting, please leave your email address under 'comments' in my most recent post. I have already received feedback from several people. I will be making this change in the next week or two. We love to share our pictures and stories with you.

Thanks for visiting,
Nicole

Out-of-Office Responses

My dad sent this to me a while ago. I found it again and had to share it. It's just too funny.

Just in case you need a new out-of-office reply when you go on vacation:

Some of the best "out of office" automatic email replies.

1. I am currently out of the office on a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Please be prepared for my mood.

2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.

3. Sorry to have missed you, but I'm at the doctor's having my brain and heart removed so I can be promoted to our management team.

4. I will be unable to delete all the emails you send me until I am back from vacation. Please be patient, and your emails will be deleted in the order they were received.

5. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first 10 words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.

6. The email server is unable to identify your server connection. Your email has not been delivered. Please restart your computer and try sending again.

7. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.

8. Hi, I'm thinking about what you just sent me. Please wait by your PC for my response.

9. I've run away to join a different circus.

10. I will be out of the office for the next 2 weeks for medical reasons. When I return, please refer to me as 'Kate' instead of Dave.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pose, Kindergartener, More

Check out our guns. Well, an attempt, anyway. Ella looking like she's holding an invisible fishing pole. It's a flex. A three-year old flex.
His look says, "Now, are we sure about this?". But he was so excited. He couldn't wait for this day." I get to ride the bus!!" Even got to sit with brother. Awesome. Colin does a really good job helping his little brother with everything. Micah came home after school and said someone said a bad word to him. I asked what happened, and he told me one of Colin's friends saw him at the playground and said, "Look! It's Colin's little brother!" I guess when you're 5, little just isn't that cool.
Ella ready for preschool. She picked out what she wanted to wear. Of course it's a dress. What a girl. Mira Catherine proceeded to go to her own room and pick out a denim skirt to be like sis. I just love these days. I've got my 2 boys, my 2 girls, and they are such fun. And cute.
Just being silly. Ella says, "Wait, Mom!" Puts the basket on her head. "Okay, take the picture now. Are you going to put this on the blog?" So I guess I have to.
Just playing around before leaving for the morning. Take note of Mira Catherine and her beloved 'Ninny' or blankie.
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