Sunday, January 30, 2011

Micah's Baptism Preview

Tonight Chad and I were able to go to Micah's Baptism Preview. This is where all the children who will be turning eight this year meet, along with their parents and the Primary Presidency to go over what baptism entails. Helping them understand the logistics with the program, going into the font, etc. And overcoming any fears the kids might have.

What a wonderful program! It was so organized and geared right at the children. As I sat there, listening, Micah reached over Chad to me and looked right in my eyes and told me he loved me. Then he told me again. And he reached out for my hand. At that moment I felt how much I love this boy I have the privilege of raising and teaching and loving. He changed seats so he was right in between Chad and me. We sang, "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus" and I heard his sweet voice singing those words. It came to me how, in my Patriarchal Blessing, I am told of strengthening my family through the singing of hymns, prayers on bended knee. I felt at that moment that the commitment Chad and I had had gotten us to this point. Our commitment to the gospel, to each other, and to our children. I thought of all the Family Home Evenings we've held, the songs we've sung together, the prayers we've said. And I felt like this is the reason we do it all. So Heavenly Father's child is taught what is necessary for him to return to Him. It is hard to put into words.

It occurred to me, as it does frequently, that having my children be this small is as a blink in time. It goes so quickly. Micah will be baptized. Next he'll receive the Aaronic Preisthood. Then, before I know it he'll be leaving for a mission (sob!). And by that time he's all grown up and moving on with a life separate from us. It's almost painful to think of. I just hope we're teaching him now everything he needs to make good choices, be strong against temptation, and be kind. He is such a good boy and a real joy.

Ella's 6th Birthday Party

Ella's little friends started arriving at 4:30. A small crowd soon gathered around Matthew. So cute! That kept him interested for a few mintues.
After we ate hot dogs, tater tots, and oranges (well, I don't think anyone touched the oranges, actually), we went downstairs and I attempted to explain a game to them. There was so much squealing and running around, I could see this was getting us nowhere. So on goes the Wii and we did 3 "Just Dance Kids" songs. Almost all the girls were up and bogeying, myself included. That was perfect for the moment: it was organized, but they could spend some of their energy here.
We did "The Hamster Dance," "The Birthday Song," and "Celebration."

This whole shindig could not have been pulled off but for the help of my mom. (You see her in the bottom left-hand corner of the above picture.) With Matthew, we're down a pair of hands. And serving up food and beverages to 12 energetic little girls takes some doing. Thanks, Mom!!
Since the party was Hello Kitty themed, we had a milk lapping game. Each person gets a bowl of water and using only their mouths, they try to be the fastest one drinking it up. Micah and Colin got right in there, too.
Getting ready to slurp it up:
Lily, Ashley, Ella, Sophia, Madelyn, Mira, Kaili, Paige, Ella W., Ashlynn, McKenna, Natalie.
And you remember what it's like when it's gift-opening time? Everyone has to have a seat front and center.
Ella made out like a bandit. Oh, the excitement!

Our sweet little six year-old. Time flies!
Serving up yummy beverages of ice cream, cherry 7-UP, whipped topping, and a cherry on top. Mom and I are trying to crank these babies out as fast as we can amidst cries of, "I only like the soda." "Can I just have plain ice cream?" "I don't want a cherry." "Can I have another cherry?" and so on. Whew!
I'd made Ella a little personal cake out of the extra I had. And we all sang to her.
The darlings!
Micah didn't mind at all getting in with the girls. This boy cracks me up. We jokingly said, "Hey, how about we keep up all the pink streamers and balloons for your birthday? That will be easy for us!" And in all seriousness he said, "Yes, you can. I like them." Colin was just disgusted and told him his friends would think that's so weird. Micah said that it's okay for boys to like pink. I love it when I see that confidence!
My ultra-dork expression. "A-Okay!"
Chad and the babe hung out. Matthew was okay until he caught a glimpse of me. Then it's all tears and wanting no one but me.

Ella, Dad and I love you so much! We want to remember you as you were at 5 years. Here are some things about you:

*Love to play Polly Pockets alone. Will shout out, "Leave me alone! I want to play by myself!"

*Really like scripture study. Especially if there's a Gospel Art Kit picture involved.

*When Dad teases you, you say, "Da-ad!" pout, and give Dad a playful sock in the arm.

*Love listening to stories: Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House

*Have to have hot chocolate and your blanket as soon as you wake up

*Sometimes you have a lot of volume when you are talking

*You are competent in the chores you have: bathroom, cleaning room, emptying garbages, etc.

*Love having books read to you.

*Like to do Daisy Scouts with Dad, since the boys do Cub Scouts

*Like to dress up in dance clothes, dresses, anything girlie

*You can be shy around others, but not so at home

*You'll gladly share your primary lesson with our family during Family Home Evening

*When you have your picture taken, you're very photogenic and almost always tip your head to one side and really pose for the camera.

*Not afraid to get in and wrestle with Dad, Colin, and Micah

*Like to write sweet notes and leave them for Mom and Dad

*Your favorite meal is spaghetti. You are thrilled when you hear we're having this for dinner. You wear an apron when eating this! But you're getting better at keeping your food on your plate.

*You are learning to read (and are learning so much!), but tire quickly and would rather have us just read to you.

ESA Tour

Saturday we met up with Amber at the Energy Solutions Arena for a tour. Exclusive to season ticket holders, heyyyyy. If you bother to look closely, you'll notice a theme for our group in the pictures: eyes mid-blink. I think we picked the near-sighted amateur photographer for this shot:
Little Mira. Already wanting to be picked up.
Sweetie-pie Matthew with my sweetie pie.
Our brown-eyed Miss Dimples.
"Get a silly one of us, Mom!"
Then we sat through a pitch to season ticket holders. Only $5,000 a year for amazing seats and sweet perks? Wowie, wow! Sign me up, and only 10 easy payment of $500 a month. No prob.
Chillin' on the floor. Once we got down there, I thought, "This place looks so much larger on television." Even from the second row from the top it seems so large. But down here, it's like a high school court.
Colin by the hoop. Too cool.
Too bad this didn't turn out. Micah was all smiles.
Ella wanted to get one of her "shooting".
So, of course, Mira did, too.
Colin and Micah inside the actual locker room.
And the girls by C.J. Miles' and Deron Williams'.
I don't know who took this or why I look like that. It looks like one of the following: a) I'm in pain, b) I'm singing a heartfelt ballad, or c) I want whoever it is taking my picture to go away. Probably c.
Amber! One true Jazz fan.
So, it was neat to walk the floors and see it all up close and personal. This was one busy day. Micah had his game in the morning and we dashed over here for this. After the tour Chad took Colin to his game while I got the house ready for Ella's party.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Creation

Thanks to the talent and patience of my friend, Kim Brown, I made this today! Ella wanted a Hello Kitty themed party. You may or may not remember the Barbie cake I made for her (was it?) last year. She loved it, anyway. This year I am actually proud to display my work! With tremulous hands I worked the icing. I feel like this is a jumping-off point for me and I can branch out and look for other (simple!) cakes to make for future birthdays. Hooray for me!
The talented Kim. I told her, "I want to be hands on so I am actually doing it, but I want you to talk me through it." She was a great teacher. I know that on the inside she must have been itching to grab the bag away from me and make it perfection, but she didn't let on.
Speaking of creations, here's another one. My lovely Ella. She's holding up a page of homework. We were working on her making the letters of her name properly. I think she's got the hang of the 'r' and 'n' now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January Videos

Micah grabbed the Flip camera as I was getting ready to get Matthew in the tub. So here I am, in all my glory. It was morning and I hadn't showered. Whenever I bathe Matthew, the kids give me no personal space. So if I seem a little grumpy (yeah, seem), it's because of that. But it really is darling. Our favorite part is Matthew's little tush.

video
The last couple of times we've been on the phone with a grandma, we've put the phone up to Matthew's ear. I love watching his reaction. A smile and intent listening. For a minute, anyway.
video
I just finished decorating for Ella's birthday. In fact, it's almost 11pm and I'm exhausted. But it sure looks pretty, doesn't it? I can't wait to see Ella's face in the morning.
video

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Relating to Matthew

Here are examples of how each child interacts with Matthew.

Mira
*"How's the Matthew-boy?"
*Picks him up out of his Jumperoo or from the floor (that's as much weight as she can possibly carry, and it's a little precarious at that) and brings him to me.
*"Let me hold him, Mom."
*"Oh, baby, do you need a toy? Do you? Do you?"
*Tries to feed him. Tries. Without shoving the spoon into the back of his mouth and getting food all over.
*Begs to change his diaper (as long as it's not messy)
* Loves to pick out his outfits
*Styles his hair. Even if it's just her spit and hands! Lol.

Ella
*Picks him up out of his crib when he wakes. Brings him to me.
*Brings him toys
*Puts blankets out on the kitchen floor for him to sit/lay on so he can be near me while I work in the kitchen
*Tickles him
*The first one to smell if there's a stinky diaper
*Holds him and walks around with him to calm him down

Micah
*"Mom, you are so lucky because you get to be with him all day long. I wish I could stay home all day with him. When I grow up, the mom is going to work so I can stay home with the baby." Aw!
*Picks him up out of bed.
*Carries him around, trying to soothe him when he's upset
*Is very aware of any distress Matthew is in
*Shows him off to any friends

Colin
*Will stay home and babysit (while Matthew's sleeping) if I have to run somewhere quickly
*Can't stand to hear Matthew cry. Picks him up and brings him right over.
*Likes to blow gently in his face to elicit that funny look babies get.

They all want to be up close and personal when I'm bathing him or changing his diaper. I have no personal space whatsoever when it comes to feeding him, either. Matthew loves having all these people to entertain him.

These days Matthew is sitting up really well. When on his belly, he can turn in circles to get to something. He's starting to scoot a little. I think he understands the word "kitty," because whenever I say it to him, he looks around for Tiger. He's still exclusively attached to me. No one takes the place of Mom (makes me feel great!). He's getting more used to baby food. Still just once a day. I mixed rice cereal with a little squash today and he ate it well.

His eyes still look blue. Two bottom teeth rein. Hair and lashes are turning blonde. Drools, but not excessively. Loves bathtime. Doesn't love the jumparoo or high chair so much. Goes to bed best when static is on the radio. Chews, doesn't suck his paci.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jazz Clinic

Because Chad and Amber share season tickets (in the nosebleed section, mind you!), we get occassional perks: one being the children's Jazz clinic. Chad took the boys to learn from a couple of the Jazz rookies, Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans.
You can see Colin (the back of him, anyway, #8) working a drill with Gordon Hayward.
And Micah (#24, his Junior Jazz jersey) getting ready to pass the ball around his middle and overhead to the person behind him.
Colin drilling.
Micah putting it overhead.
Jeremy Evans and Gordon Hayward.
Colin (trying not to look) excited about getting their pictures autographed.
Micah (obviously) excited! dleat (that was Micah typing "delete" because he wants me to delete this picture.)

Vacation Day-Utah State Capitol

Chad had three vacation days this week. Initially, he was supposed to go up to Montana for a few days to work. Since it's not happening until February, we decided to use those vacation days and do a little local sightseeing.

Before taking off, Matthew's getting a little rice cereal. He's now starting to get more in his belly than all over us when he spits it out!
We had a docent take us through the capitol. Although I've driven past it many times, I've never actually been inside. We had a watered-down version, but still learned some things. This is the Senate Room. We learned that this room depicted the sky with the color scheme and murals. The House of Representatives room had earth tones and mural. This is to signify that the Senate is above the House of Representatives.
Here we are sitting in the Supreme Court. Here we learned that when you say a student has "passed the bar", it's because they are then allowed to literally pass by the bar (or gate behind which spectators sit) to argue the case.
And the rotunda was my favorite. It's so spacious. The murals depict significant explorers/settlers in Utah's history: Father Escalante, John Fremont, Brigham Young, and Peter Skene Ogden.
One of the four statues that represent the older generation passing down their knowledge to the younger generation. And our cute girls!
Way up in the dome is the sky with seagulls (California gull is the state bird).
Taking the tour (before Matthew gets tired and grumpy).
In the Gold Room, we learned that the doors look like wood, but are actually metal. They have meetings, meals, conferences here. (Ella is telling me this.) There was actual gold leaf in the room. The pieces of furniture are from different countries around the world: Scotland, Russia, Ireland, etc. Colin says he missed some information our docent shared, because we were with a rowdy group of middle school students.
I am so glad we went, and I would love to go back sometime with Chad to get the full-fledged tour.