Friday, September 23, 2011

Front


I enjoy taking pictures in our front yard. Although this old gas lamp does not work and is no longer connected to a gas line, it makes for a great photo opportunity.


The other day I took Bee with me a MOPS meeting. While we were setting up the kids ran around and played. I had brought the DVD player with me and set it up for the kids to watch. Mine was the only one interested. She sat calmly on the chair with her hands in her lap and was oblivious to the craziness around her. All the other moms thought that it was so funny they recommended I grab the camera to document it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I found this craft/activity somewhere in blogland (I can't remebmer where now) and was excited to try it. I placed a ball of play clay in front of each child and then I stuck a piece of raw spaghetti into each one. I imagine that a thicker pasta would have been sturdier, but all I had was spaghetti. Then I gave each child a handful of fruit loops. N. is in the high chair, all he got were fruit loops, but he did not complain. Bee was so methodical and perfectionistic about how she stacked her loops. She would not even eat them. She took this very seriously. C., on the other hand, ate one or two and then put two on his spaghetti. Then he ate those two and a few more before repeating. Bee would get mad at him for eating and I had to keep reminding her that this was our snack.



Once her first spaghetti was full, she grabbed more. We used short ones and tall ones. By the end hers was a methusela looking blob with fruit loops coming out of all angles. I do not think that C.'s was ever stacked more than five loops high. Guess who was hungry later.

This is a great activity to work on counting and colors.

I tried the same activity a few days later and she was already bored of it. This time she quickly tired of the stacking and started poking holes in the play clay. Then she filled the holes with fruit loops and then covered them up. Needless to say, we threw the play clay away that time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Three is Stabler Than Two

Bee is finally tall enough to tricycle. Before now her legs were always too short and she couldn't push hard enough to turn the pedals. Now she's flying solo and loving it. She does not like the blue handle on the back and asks me to take it off all of the time. I usually leave it on because she's horrible at steering and sometimes goes too fast down hills.

She is in an independent stage and wants to do everything by herself until she can't and then she asks for help. In public restrooms, she will now go into the stall and lock me out and say "I don't need help." Then two seconds later she will cry "ayudame' (help me) and will unlock the stall so that I can come in and help her with her buttoned or snapped pants. Every time. She must forget that she still can't quite do everything by herself.

We had such a warm summer. The sunlight looks so bright and happy. Fast forward one week and it rained every single dark and dreary day.




These photos were all taken by Poppa. We miss him and his camera.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hooray for Daddies

My dad came to visit recently. He was only here for a day or two, so we tried to live it up. I love my daddy and was so glad to see him. He recently graduated with his PhD and is currently on the job market. He had a job interview in Ohio and took a few extra days to come visit us while he was near. If you know him, then you know that he is always taking pictures and can rarely be found in front of the camera. Hence you will see lots of pictures of us and few of him.
We met Benjamin up on campus and ate lunch there.

Dad snapped some family pictures of us with a very squirmy girl.

Bee and I went off to play while dad got the royal tour. Squirmy would not have lasted very long on the tour so I let her wander to her hearts content.

Here she is singing and dancing and walking in circles.

She was fascinated by Poppa's earbuds.

We had a nice dinner at a local restaurant and entertained Bee with a preschool coloring book. Genius. I bought the book five months ago and tore all the pages out. Then I place them in plastic scrapbooking sleeves. I let her use a dry erase marker to color in the book. This book has provided her hours of entertainment and she is also getting pretty good at writing her letters. She can make a very recognizable 'A.' With the help of this book and starfall.com, her literary skills are growing exponentially.

We tried to keep her out of the fountain, but eventually gave up.


Posing in front of the old wagon and the modern swimming pool.

Dad and I were excited for a fun game night. We sent Ben up to put Bee to bed and we played a quick game while we waited for him. He never came. We eventually went upstairs and found them both sound asleep.

My father is one of the most hardworking people that I have ever met. He is kind, generous, and always serving those around him. He has taught me so much about life and I love him and look up to him. I am bummed that they did not get the job in Ohio, I would have loved to have them so close. Good luck dad in your job hunt.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Water Balloons

I filled two hundred water balloons for my Seminary opening social activity with the church youth. Bee saw the balloons ahead of time and wanted to play with them. I let her play with a few before I redirected her to another activity. Then I took them to my social and the youth had so much fun playing volleyball, tag, splash the teacher, etc. I ended up pretty wet by the end. They even helped pick up all the little balloon pieces which I then had them put back into the laundry baskets that the balloons had been in.

I arrived home late and left the laundry basket full of popped balloons in the garage. Bee was so sad when she saw them. She asked over and over again to play with balloons. I had another package and waited for the right time to fill up a few more. Water balloons take a lot longer to fill than they do to pop. These two seemed to be in a contest to see how fast they could pop all of the balloons. The funny thing was that the balloons popped when the hit the grass, but that they would sometimes bounce when they hit the uneven stone sidewalk. Bee's balloons almost always popped. C. had a special technique that resulted in bouncing balloons. Several of his balloons made it to the bottom of the stone staircase before they popped. I do not understand how that worked.



At the very end, N. took the last water balloon and popped it in his lap, soaking himself and his mommy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Little Momma

I was watching little N. the other day and was feeding him some baby food. Bee quickly indicated that she wanted to feed him. I was hesitant at first, but then decided to see what would happen. She was so careful to not make a mess and it was obvious that she had watched me carefully. She cleaned off the bottom of the spoon before directing it to N.'s mouth. She fed him most of the jar. If only we had a second child. I think she's in a great stage right now where she would be a wonderful mommy's helper. I'll just have to keep babysitting other people's babies for now.


It looks to me like her mouth is open in this one. I so do that when I am feeding a baby. Maybe I am hoping that if my mouth is open, then theirs will too.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Horsing Around

We had the fun privilege of hanging out with these beautiful girls one Sunday after church while their mom was recovering from a nasty cold. The played so well together and taught my little girl how fun her L.ittle P.eople toys are. She now plays with them all of the time. The play room is not nearly this organized now. Toys are strewn about everywhere.


The real fun started when they found some blue yarn. They wrapped themselves up in it and pretended to be horses and/or reindeer. Our new house is a maze and has lots of places you can run in and around. They ran themselves in circles, screaming as they went, for at least half an hour. The oldest, A., is an intelligent girl and is so good with the younger ones. She is so creative when it comes to pacifying qualms and inventing games for everyone to play. At one point little S. got out of the 'harness' and then it turned into a game of chase.




I had a hard time catching good photographs or video because they were moving so fast. I loved watching them smile and play. It was a great afternoon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Letter Recognition

The other day Benjamin was busy readying himself for the day. He was also supposed to be keeping tabs on our creative little genius. She is usually not allowed to play in the master bathroom and is ESPECIALLY not allowed to play in the bathroom shelves. There are lots of off limits items in the bathroom that mommy does not want disturbed. Daddy, however, is not as strict as mommy when it comes to this rule.

Left to her own devices on this day, she found the Q-tips. Instead of causing mayhem and general disorder, which is often her custom, she took them and cleverly formed the letters 'T,' 'T,' and 'H.' I've never seen her father so proud. Her mother was proud too until she saw the picture of her playing with the Physician's Formula eye shadow. Her father would not have let her touch that if he had any understanding of how much it cost.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cake Batter


Notice all the yellow squash in the background. Yum. I shared a garden at a friend's house this year and our squash did really well. I made lots of zucchini bread, zucchini pancakes, fried squash, zucchini muffins and then blanched and froze the rest.
Bee is still too young to be of much use in the kitchen, but we try. She does enjoy licking the bowl. Benjamin has been making a yummy chocolate cake lately that is a favorite at church. It has already been requested for the next get potluck.

One morning I was making two chocolate cakes for one of Ben's responsibilities at school. I let the little sweet girl help me mix and stir and she did really well. We got the first cake in the pan and started working on the second. Bee was mixing the flour mixture with the water while I was grabbing eggs and oil. Somehow the bowl got away from her and it slid of the counter and dumped its contents onto the floor. She was devastated. She said something to the effect of 'I ruined the cake.' This was the first time that we noticed her understanding that her actions had consequences and that the cake was no longer edible. She was so sad and needed to be held and comforted for quite awhile (luckily Poppa was in town). She wasn't aware that I would make more and that we would still get to eat cake. A minute later as she stood there dejectedly and watched as I cleaned chocolate off of the floor, the counters, the cupboards, my feet, my skirt, and herself. At one point she sadly noted that "Making cakes is hard." That is my favorite phrase ever. So sweet and cute.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Have You Hugged Your Child Today?

I recently was introduced to this beautiful poem about how meaningful and purposeful motherhood is. I could not read through it without crying. Enjoy!



I started my day early,
Before the room was light.
I lifted my son from his crib
And wished it was still night.

But as I held him close and said,
"Hi, Kenneth, precious one,"
I knew that as I greeted him,
I greeted too God's Son.

When my daughter woke up later,
Calling, "Mommy! Mommy! Down!"
I picked her up and hugged her
In her worn Elmo nightgown.

I know she felt the closeness
That a mother's touch affords.
I welcomed not just Ellie,
But so, too, the Lord of Lords.

That day, I mixed some formula
And opened jars of peas.
I fixed some "pizza butter" bread
When she grinned and said, "Pleeeeease."

I heated up some leftovers;
I had to nuke them twice.
And when I fed my children,
I was feeding Jesus Christ.

I made some funny faces,
And "played puzzles" on the floor.
I dressed kitties, ran around outside,
And played with them some more.

We laughed and jumped and tickled,
Making memories to be stored.
When I spent time with my children,
I spent time with my Lord.

I wiped up sticky cereal
And washed the dishes clean.
I straightened, picked up, put away,
And dusted in between.

I did six loads of laundry
And folded it like new.
When I cleaned for my children,
I cleaned for my Savior, too.

When my children were both crying,
I held them in my arms.
I cuddled them and whispered
That I'd keep them safe from harm.

I told them how their Father saved them
With His perfect Lamb.
When I comforted my children,
I comforted I AM.

Later on that evening,
I put them in the bath.
I washed their little bodies
As they kicked around and splashed.

I dried them in soft towels
And put their jammies on.
When I had washed my children's feet,
I'd washed the Holy One.

I cooked and cleaned and rearranged,
Made beds and taught and played.
I made sure that we had food to eat
And that we often prayed.

I died to self. I made a home
From ordinary things.
But when I served my children,
I served the King of Kings.

To some, I have done nothing,
But to two, I've done the world.
I made eternal difference
To my precious boy and girl,

And to the One who watches over
Every pathway that I've trod.
For when I've loved my precious children,
I've loved Almighty God.


- Megan Breedlove (www.MannaForMoms.com)



Friday, September 9, 2011

Travels

On our way to Dallas we stayed with my cousin, Julia and her family. She was so kind to us and we loved seeing all her girls. We were impressed by all the work they’ve done on their house, on their ambitious master bedroom addition, and on their large selection of outdoor playground equipment. Bee was in heaven. We slept in the playroom and we had a hard time getting the little one to sleep instead of play. Somehow I did not manage to snap a single picture.

On our drive back we visited Ben’s Step-Grandfather, Great Grandpa Larry. Bee took to him immediately. He graciously took us out to dinner, showed us around his beautiful home and workshop, called over his horse so that Bee could meet her, and woke up early to feed us bacon and waffles.  We enjoyed our short visit and were promised fun times fishing if we came back for a longer one next time. He also sent us home with a teddy bear larger than our child.

Since it was a Sunday, we found a meeting house for the Latter-day Saints and attended their Sacrament Meeting. There was a large congregation and people were very nice to us, even when they found out that we were just passing through. The messages were inspiring and we left edified. My biggest surprise was when they announced that Seminary would start that week for them and that they would be meeting at 5:30 a.m. WOW! My students cannot complain at all, we meet at 6:45 a.m.

We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and arrived home with a little time to relax and unwind before we were back to work on Monday. By work for me, I mean non-vacation activities such as shopping, cleaning, seminary teaching, couponing, games on facebook, MOPS planning, Montessori Spanish lesson planning, child rearing, etc. and so forth. It never ends.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On The Way Home

On our way home we took a break in Little Rock to visit the Clinton birth home and his presidential museum. This was a great way to give our legs a break from all of the driving. Bee loved to run up and down the sidewalks. At one point she stopped and sat on a monument, then she requested we take a photograph of her there. Silly girl.





Look at the size of this ant. Whoa!

The presidential museum was very large.

Bee only came for the fountains.

Somehow we managed to arrive on the weekend they were celebrating Clinton's birthday. Not only did we snag free admission (Best ever. I'm not much for paying big bucks for this kind of thing), but we also got cupcakes and a face painting for Bee.


Here Bee is being a little irreverent in the cabient chairs.

Two year olds and historical museums do not a perfect match make.

Oval office.

Let me out of here! This picture pretty much sums up her opinion of the museum.

Whether you are a Clinton supporter or not, the museum was a great opportunity to celebrate democracy and to learn about the years of his presidency. Careful care was taken to preserve the letters, gifts, and documents he received during his term as president of our great country. We enjoyed reading and seeing some of these things and imagining what life might be like as the president.