Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mira's 5th Birthday Party

Friday night Chad and I put up streamers and balloons for Mira's birthday. She and Ella kept peeking their heads out of their room, so excited over it all. Finally Mira came out and as I shooed her back to bed she said, "But Mom, you don't know how hard it is to go to bed when it's your birthday tomorrow." Adorable thing she is.

The next morning she walked out of her room, hair tousled, sleepy-eyed, saw the decorations and exclaimed, "Omigosh! I totally forgot about all of this!" When I opened the fridge and showed her the Barbie cake, she was delighted.
The party started off with beading necklaces. Some of the kids could've spent an hour on this, others strung one bead, tossed it down and said, "Can I go outside and play?" (Pictured below: Ella, Paige Harris, Katarina Aguero, Nicole, Ailie)

(Below: Josh Sutton, Ella, Paige Harris)

(Below: Katarina Aguero, Nicole, Mira, Beau Bennett)

Mira's bed friend, Ailie. She's the cutest thing.

Ella with her sweet dimple. As per Mira's request, we did "Freeze Dance" and "Charades."

Thankfully we kept the party to 1 1/2 hours. Here are the guests: Katarine Aguero, Ailie Skowronek, Lillian Smith, Mira and Ella, Paige Harris, Ashley Lesh, Kayden Mieure, Beau Bennett, Phoenix Badger, Josh Sutton.

Opening gifts:

Oooh la la!

I don't even want to say how long it took me to put this girl together.

When Mira found out her real birthday was on a Sunday, she was so upset! She didn't want it interruped by church. But we made time before our rush out the door to do a little gift scavenger hunt. Now, I'd already bought a few items for her, but as her birthday neared, she made it crystal clear that what she wanted more than anything was makeup. And she got a little pink and purple eyeshadow, bright pink lipstick, and some colorful nail polish. She was a very happy little girl. (Hopefully I can convince her to share her nail polish with me.)

I think I'm going to have to find a little preschool around our neighborhood. Mira gets bored during the day and asks when she finally gets to go to school. We'll have to do something about that...
What is Mira like right now?
Always helpful with Matthew.
Good athlete: basketball, soccer, cartwheels, etc.
Loves...absolutely loves to be in a dress. The frillier the better.
Great eater. She doesn't complain about food much and happily eats what I've prepared.
She's usually willing to help out when asked.
Mommy's sidekick. Mom's #1 in her book right now. (I'll take it!)
Loves having books read to her. She wants to be able to read herself.
Loves the purple blankie still.
Very capable of doing chores: cleaning bathroom, taking out small garbage cans, picking up room, etc.
Doesn't mind getting a little rough-and-tumble with the boys.
Wants to follow the older kids out into the field behind our house and go exploring.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Day 2011

Thanksgiving morning, I brought Matthew upstairs for some breakfast. He sat down at the table with Aunt Amber, his chocolate milk, and some cereal. I left to do some other things and every time I came back up, he was still sitting there with Amber, just "visiting" and eating. He must've been there for over 1/2 hour. Amber was so cute with him, just talking to him and giving him her full attention. He loved it.
And the boys loved Amber's iPad.

Ella Bella.

Chad and Dad Barnett worked with the boys on their pinewood derbies. We're so thankful to have handy dads who can give us direction and help. Colin is really keeping his fingers crossed he comes in one of the top three this year.

We headed over to Layton for the Barnett Thanksgiving dinner. It was strange not meeting at Great-Grandma and Grandpa's church in Ogden like we've always done. But it was great to see all the aunts, uncles, cousins, and kids. They change so much in one year.
Picky Matthew had no interest in turkey, rolls, yams, or any of the good stuff. The tables were decorated with waffle cones and candy corn and pumpkins (think cornucopia). Once he saw those, that's all he wanted. When he wasn't getting any at our table, he waltzed on over to Preston and Melissa's table, sat down, and helped himself. And Preston helped him to some more. There he was, just his head poking over the table, cheeks stuffed full of candy. He was happy.

I had the best turkey ever. Uncle Dale had brined and smoked his turkey. It was so wonderfully delicious. I'd planned on brining mine this weekend. Although I don't know how to smoke a turkey (I'll be learning!), I'm excited about the end product.

Mira's Birthday Celebration at Grandma and Grandpa's

We decided to go up to Mom and Dad Barnett's the day before Thanksgiving, one reason being to celebrate Mira's 5th birthday! Grandma had talked to Mira on the phone earlier in the week to ask what she'd like for her birthday dinner. Mira's response? "Peas." After more discussion, Mira said she'd like some pizza.
When we arrived, there was a pizza dinner, no peas. Mira was a upset that her request was ignored. Grandma was surprised that she'd truly wanted peas. I guess they're her favorite? But she ended up being happy with pizza.
Mira spotted a princess-wrapped package in the corner and wanted to get things moving along.

Sisters need help opening gifts...

Mira was thrilled with a Snow White Polly Pocket.

If you look closely, you'll see Mira's sporting a Minnie Pearl style headband.
Aunt Amber and Ella

Grandma had fun and even donned the fairy crown for the picture at Mira's request.

Cake roll was served up, which seems to be a favorite of Grandma and Grandpa's.

Micah enjoyed it.

As did Colin.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shopping Spree

Mira got to go out with Grandma for lunch and some shopping as a way to celebrate turning 5 next week. Mira is a shopper, too! Mom says she ran from one thing to another, ready to spend Mom's money for her. She got to choose where to go out to eat...Chick-Fil-A, but when she realized they didn't sell cheeseburgers they made their way to In-N-Out. She felt very special. Thanks, Grandma!

Kids Kids Kids

The thing to do these days is tie a scarf to your ponytail (think Rapunzel), then tie to that another scarf, then a shoelace, then a necklace so as to make it as long as possible. Heaven forbid your sister's is longer than yours! Mira demonstrates:
Matthew's so stinking busy now. He's climbing on counters to get to the phone, or to suck on a glue stick, or to dump out the contents of the pencil box. The toothpaste is the next best thing. And what's better than sucking on one tube of toothpaste?

Sucking on two, of course! We are constantly taking him down from counters, and shutting all bathroom doors. And he does not appreciate it.

Mom and Dad Miller just got back from their big trip and brought home some special things for the kids. They brought the girls these huge soft dolls. They are in love. (And now I don't have to worry about the "My Size Barbie" on the Christmas lists!)

Ella modeling this adorable hat before school:

Mira with hers:

Lately Colin is waaaay into card tricks. He's been getting books from the library, watching how-to videos online, and doing lots of practicing. He's tried out lots of tricks on family.

I tried sneaking in a picture of Micah, but you can see how far I got:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Big Goal

This has been a while in coming. It's something that's been nagging me at the back of my mind. When I've considered doing it, I get that queasy feeling in my gut. But I've finally come to the decision that I'm going to run a half-marathon in May.

I'm close to a couple of overachievers. Chad has run a half-marathon and a full. My sis-in-law, Maren, has done both as well. In fact, she's been a big source of encouragement. She keeps asking when I'm going to do it. There are some ladies at the gym who've done it and say I should, too.

I've felt overwhelmed at the thought of going for 13.1 miles. It's terribly far! The most I've ever run at once was about 8 or 9 miles, which was a few years ago. Right now, after some concerted effort, I'm at 4 miles. And getting that 4 miles out today was not easy. My original thinking was I wanted to run the whole 13 miles. But after this morning, I'm wondering if that isn't a bit lofty?

I'm reading a great little book, "Marathoning for Mortals" which leads me to believe this goal I have is actually achievable. The hardest part will not be running the 13 miles, but the training. It's not something I can decide a month beforehand to do. I've got to have a training schedule and put in the time each week.

I look at other people who have accomplished this and realize that they are not more capable than I am. They just decided they were going to do it dedicated themselves to it.

And that's where this journey begins. May, in Ogden is where it plays out.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Little Talky-Talky

Matthew is starting to discover his voice. Just in the past few days he's started purposefully vocalizing more, which thrills me. He'll repeat after me if I say, "Say Dada," or "Say Mama." His new love is talking on the phone, especially to grandmas, grandpas and Daddy.
If he can get his hands on the phone and I say, "Do you want to call so-and-so?" he gets really excited. He'll hold that phone up to his ear and, while it's on speakerphone, will wait while it rings. If you are the person being called, expect to do most of the work. You can talk to him and sing to him. But really, the best time to get a reaction is when you ask him questions. He'll answer back (in his own way) with babbling and sometimes excited yells.

In these pictures, he's talking to Grandpa Miller, who, with Grandma, has been on a several-weeks trip to Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and states in between. We've missed them. And Matthew's enjoyed keeping in touch this way.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Although we have a bunk bed in the girls' room, the top bunk hasn't been utilized for a couple of months. I think this started due to the fact that someone (we're not naming names here) pushed against the railing and broke a section of the wood. So I nixed anyone up there until we got it repaired. Well, Grandpa Barnett fixed it up for us, but still no one sleeps up there.
For these past weeks, the girls would take turns: one would sleep on the bottom bunk and the other would sleep on the pallet of blankets on the floor. Although I'm sick of seeing blankets all over the floor all the time, they were content and I didn't really mind.
The other day Ella brings this little child-size wooden bench from the backyard into her room. She decides it would make a nifty little bed...just her size. So here she is on her third night sleeping on it. I don't know how she doesn't end up with a horrendous kink in her neck, but she thinks it's just the cutest little bed.
Of course, she does end up on the floor of our room almost every night. But that's nothing new. Someone's always on the floor of our bedroom partway through the night.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Here is the group of our kids plus the Badger's. Phoenix, Natalie, Coln, Micah, Mira, Alyssa, and Ella. All ready for candy!
Natalie, Orion, Colin, and Micah went out on their own this year trick-or-treating. They'd had this planned for quite some time. In fact, Colin made up a map of the neighborhood and which route they would take. They were determined to hit every house and get all the goodies they could.

Chad, the three youngest, and I went out. I only made it to one house before stopping to chat. Chad and the girls headed off on their own. Matthew and I came back to hand out candy. He really enjoyed getting into the bowl. Wasn't so into the dress up this year.

When the girls made it back, they sat outside and took over candy duty. Mira stayed out the longest and when we'd have a dry spell, she'd yell out, "Who wants candy?!"

In preparation for Halloween, Micah made Rice Krispy Treats for us for FHE Sunday night. He was so proud that he knew exactly how to do it since they'd made them at scouts recently.