Monday, January 25, 2010

(New post just below this)

This morning Ella's preschool had a field trip to the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy. It was no Monterrey Bay Aquarium, but it was great! They had jellyfish, sea stars, an octopus, anaconda, and fish galore. I think the kids most enjoyed the touching pools. We spent most of our time around the sting ray's pool.
Aren't they adorable??
Ella was brave and reached right in to feel the sting rays.
Mira was a little more cautious, sticking her hand in the water with these unknown creatures, but eventually did and loved it.
Colin and Micah touched sea urchins, sea stars, horseshoe crabs...
It's just cool that we can get this close.
Ella posed a couple of different times and wanted me to get a shot of her. She's just a pretty little thing. She's wearing the blue skirt I got when I was in dance at her age.
Why is Micah's shirt off, you ask? Well, what 6 year-old boy cares about running around half-naked anyway? He got his shirt soaked at the touching pool.
The boys saw a few people they knew from school, which made the time there even more fun. Colin met a fellow classmate by the same name and we invited him over to play today. Finally we start making a few friends!!

Visit with Friends

Sunday evening we were invited to the Gundersen's for dinner. I was so looking forward to this. Kathleen and I served as missionary companions in Bangor, Northern Ireland for one month. It was a busy month and she was a wonderful companion. They also invited over the Hincks family, which was awesome. Emily and I were also companions. She was with me my last 4 months and just terrific. I enjoyed serving with both of them. (They also served together.) Their husbands, Bret and Mike, were missionaries in the IDM with us as well.
The 2 lovely and talented women I have the pleasure of knowing: Emily and Kathleen.
And one of the 3 of us (with little Baily attached to Emily's hip).
Chad and the guys kicking back.
Colin and Kathleen's eldest, Truman, had just the best time together.
Mira shaking it with Graham and Dexter (I've already forgotten which is which!).
Ella and Mira in a vice-like hug next to Eve, Micah, and Truman. There was so much fun going on in that house.
And Bailey (just barely) lets me snap a shot of her.
Bret and little Laura.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Cat

(Another new post below this)

I thought the day would never come. But the kids have been asking and asking and asking since before we moved for a new pet. We kept putting them off and saying we'd talk about it after we got settled. Well, that day has come.

Micah was making a birthday list and had on there 'Pet'. Which means we have to make a decision! I took the kids to the pet store. We looked at the bearded dragon, guinea pigs, rats, fish...and then we noticed the Humane Society was bringing in cats and dogs for adoption. We made our way over there. They were so pathetic in those cages! The dogs were going nuts and I knew a dog was not going to be a part of this household for at least a decade! But the cats were so adorable and sweet. We immediately spotted this orange tabby who was one of the biggest of the lot with a strong face. He was anxious to be held and just loved the attention we all lavished on him. The kids started begging.

Of course we had to have Dad in on this huge decision. We talked about it. I was not going to push the issue. I really think an animal changes family dynamics and I didn't want to do this unless we were all on board. He was hesitant (to say the least!) at first, but came to a decision...while out shoveling snow. He waltzed into the house and said, "I've made a decision. I think we should get the cat. I know you and the kids really would like it and I think it's good for them to have a pet. I like the idea and I will like the cat." Was I surprised!

So off we trooped to the pet store (with Amber in tow) and bought our furry little friend. The kids decided to name him Tiger. Very appropriate. He's 8 months old and very sweet. Still a little terrified of all the noise and commotion. He gets chased around the house. The kids trying to catch him, he trying to escape!
For now, we've kept all doors closed to bedrooms and downstairs until he gets really comfortable with this part of the house. My biggest concern was the house smelling like a cat. Cat pee to be more exact. There's almost nothing more potent and off-putting than a house that smells like that! So if you ever come to our house and it smells like that, I've entered my nightmare! But he's got the litter box thing down and I'm not worried about that. I hope ever!
Sweet thing.
This cat is going to have to get used to volume! It's always going on. We're a lively place, here. But this cat will never want for love and attention, that's for sure.

Junior Jazz Perks

All the Junior Jazz players in the area were invited to the Energy Solutions Arena to meet a Jazz player. Chad and Colin went and got to see Paul Milsap. Chad said there had to be 3-4,000 people there-Junior Jazz players and family members. So no hankshaking or anything personal, but the kids were invited to the floor to participate in some fun. Here's Colin (dark shirt, green pants) doing some pushups because Milsap missed a shot from mid-court.
And the walk-by (he just passed Colin. Colin has his head turned back to Paul Milsap).
Some fun games he really enjoyed. When he got home I got the detailed play-by-play of all the things they did.
The man himself. Colin was so excited to be there. Any chance to get the the ESA for the Jazz!

Friday, January 22, 2010

And More

This is in addition to the post below. Ella requested that I add these pictures. She was playing in the snow, gathering all the snow into a big ball, trying to make a snow fort. It was hard to break the news that there wasn't quite enough snow for that. Even if there was, I don't know if I was up to making one! But she still had a great time.

Time Well Spent

Yesterday the kids slept in. We weren't in a rush to go anywhere. But I wanted to do something productive with them. My parents had given them several do-it-yourself 'stained glass' window hangings. They all loved helping pour in the beads and deciding what colors to make their decorations. Here's Micah working on his.
One of the kids' favorite activities is playing Webkinz on the computer together. It's a collaborative effort in this household. I pull over a couple of barstools so each one can participate.
Here is the reader! Colin got through the first Harry Potter book in 4 days. He's been reading voraciously over his break. The school wants me to keep track of how much he's read and what books. How can I even keep up? This kid has logged dozens of hours!
Too sweet! Micah and Mira.
Ella is being a big helper, setting the dinner table. She is wearing a little German dress I wore as a little girl. It's meant to be worn with a blouse underneath (which she did wear to church on Sunday). I loved seeing her in it!
I took the kids sledding yesterday. They've been begging to go for some time. Since we got some more snowfall and it was a perfect day. There's a great little hill not far from our house. In the past, taking the kids sledding has been quite a chore for Mom and Dad. A lot of dragging the sled back up the hill for people, carrying little ones around and such. But this time, the boys were completely self-sufficient! They had an absolute ball. Here's Micah finishing up his ride.
Colin was being creative going down backwards, riding it like a snowboard...
I tried to get one of the 4 kids together, but Ella was too busy having fun. There she is on the side, going down on her belly.
Ella requested a snow chair. Once it was completed, she hung out on it for at least 1/2 hour.
Colin and Micah were so good to Mira. They each took turns sledding down with her. She had so much fun!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Barnett #5

I felt the first flutterings of the baby move last night. Strange how it happened. Chad and I were kicked back, watching '24' and I thought to myself, "I wonder when I'll first feel movements." So I concentrated on relaxing and noticing any movement. And there it was. Tiny and sporadic for a short couple of minutes. Awesome.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day in January

Today I felt like a good, productive mother. I love those days! And they don't come every day, that's for dang sure. I didn't make them get up and out of the house early for anything. They all got up when they wanted to (lazy off-track days!) and stayed in their pjs for a good portion of the morning. I pulled out the play-doh and all four of them went to town creating all sorts of things.

They helped/watched me make some Lion House rolls (mmmm!) We listened to kids' songs, which made everything just that much more fun.

The boys went around and did a few chores. They practiced piano...I mean, we got some good stuff done!

This afternoon my friend from childhood, Amy (Baldree) Davis came up for a visit. It was so great to kick back and catch up! It's been nearly three years since we've seen each other, all while living within 20 minutes of each other. Pathetic! But how nice it was to relax with a friend. I need to do that more often!

Tonight, after the girls' bath, they were shivering and I pulled out the hair dryer. Chad got them all toasty warm and they were giggling and so happy to be warm. How cute are they?!

**Okay, I had the picture of the girls here, but Micah saw it with their naked bottoms and insisted I take it off. Maybe he's right. So it's gone.**

And the boys are embarrassed I came in to take a picture. But I promised it would be a clean shot. Here they are, wanting to hide.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What Good Little Boys They Are

Today Colin amazed me. He's 8 (and 1/2 he insists I inform people) and just finished the first book in the Harry Potter series. He started about 4 days ago, staying up til past 10pm, reading at bedtime. Today, with half the book left, he finished it. I mean, devoured it. Food held no interest, computer games and play were far from his mind. I am sure I never read anything as meaty as that book at his age. It blew me away! He needed help with definitions here and there, but not as much as I might have expected. Whatta boy!

And as for my Micah, he woke up this morning and brought his Book of Mormon upstairs and began reading an entire page by himself. After reading, he requested a bookmark to keep track of where he was. He told me something along the lines of, "Mom, I think if we read the scriptures every morning we will have a better day." From the mouths of babes! Later in the day, without being prompted, he went into Ella's room (while she was paying no attention to him) and totally organized her room: made her bed, straightened her shoes, books, toys. I was so proud!

Free Time

One of the gifts the kids got for Christmas was a box of hand puppets you create yourself. So Micah, Ella, Mira, and I went to town being creative. Well, I mostly just did what they told me to--they were using their imaginations! It was easy and fun.
Ella and Mira Catherine stop for a happy hug.
The kids wanted to put on a puppet show for Chad and me. It was more shouting and craziness than show, but they had fun!
Colin showing off his mad basketball skills. Doesn't he look older?!

And the girls both just started honest-to-goodness ballet (and tap for Mira). Mira has just been waiting and asking to do it since she turned three. They loved wearing their new outfits. The boys and I stood at the one-way glass windows, watching each girl in her respective class. Mira was so stinking cute to watch! She really gave it her all and does the most darling sashays! The boys were cracking up just because she was doing the cutest things. I couldn't help myself...I did too. Ella was in a class with quite a few other girls and participated less than wholeheartedly, but I think that may have to do with being brand new and not familiar with everything they were doing. I'm confident it will get better. They both enjoyed class. Mira came out at the end and just said, "I'm tired!"