Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Call of The Ice Cream Truck

Q has been so so very sweet and rule-following and helpful and mature and grown up that I nearly forgot about his youthful antics...until the other day.

You see, the boys love, LOVE the ice cream truck.  They can hear it's siren call ten miles away.  It's uncanny, especially because they can't seem to hear me calling from the next room...

There we were one afternoon.  It was a typical afternoon fraught with chaos.  I was helping a couple of kids with homework, trying to get others to practice piano and do their chores, make dinner and hold a crying baby.  It was hectic, loud, and crazy as per usual.  Q offered to pet the dog and play with him outside.  I was thrilled because the dog has been neglected a bit lately.  I sent him outside, thinking to myself all sorts of virtuous thoughts about the helpful boy.  In fact I couldn't believe he was so determined in his chore.  He stayed outside for a good 45 minutes.  Finally I looked for him out the window and couldn't see him, so I figured he was on the side of the house.  I called to him here and there in between the twelve things I was doing at once.  He eventually came inside, saying he didn't hear me call for awhile.  Then Dennis proceeds to ask him why he has a blue mouth.  At this point I am half listening because I'm trying to figure out how to put the now angry babe into a wrap so I can hold him and continue working at the same time.  I am sweaty, flustered and still trying to make dinner and "encourage" kids to do piano, homework and chores.  The conversation between the boys continues for quite awhile until I finally give it my full attention and realize Q's face is blue because he had an ice cream.  It takes my frazzled brain a few seconds to catch up and put the pieces together and start asking "Wait, a minute...WHERE did you get the ice cream???"  Q tells me he heard the ice cream truck, ran to get his wallet, sneakily went back outside and scaled the six foot block wall using a pallet as a ladder.  He then found the truck, bought his treat and came back.  Incredulous (sort of), I asked how he got back in.  He said he used the stacked bricks against the wall and then the water spout to climb on.  Then he walked across the top of the wall back to where the pallet-ladder was and climbed back in to enjoy his spoils.  Sheeeeeeeeeeeeesh!  I was pretty speechless.

He still is a sweetheart even if he is an escape artist.  Since having the baby, he has taken extra care of me.  He prays every night that his new brother will sleep well so that I can sleep.  He prays that the baby will get lots of exercise in the day so he will be tired at night.  He has climbed into my bed ahead of me to make sure and find the most comfy spot for me.  He has left me love notes on my bed, on my desk and all over the house.  He makes his lunch for the next day every night on his own.  So I can't really get too mad at him.  Although we have now had VERY serious conversations about running off without an adult to catch the ice cream truck...and climbing block walls.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Travel Valentine's Party

We had an another fun weekend filled with parties and family!  It's been lots of fun getting so many visitors...they all wanna see the babe.  For our Valentine's Day breakfast, I cut out hearts from an old atlas of all of our favorite places including states we've lived in and our best vacations.  I strung them together to make a quick garland for our travel party.  I also found the cutest 3D airplane bunting from a sweet lady in the Netherlands.  My dad served a mission for the LDS church for two years there and so I knew he would appreciate them! I plan on hanging them in the baby's room after. Oh they make me smile. :)

We had a simple breakfast of muffins and berries because everyone had places to go very early that morning.  I wrote my yearly love notes to everyone too.

For our cards this year, Q decided he wanted a suitcase valentine (not exactly sure why, but I aim to please) I made a little suitcase printable that we wrapped around Hershey's miniatures and then added a cardstock handle.  I made a postcard-type card to attach it to.  Dennis is really getting into reading, so we decided on a book-themed card. We patterned his after an old library checkout you remember those?!  It was so fun to see who had checked out the book before you.  Good times!  Anyway...we put Dennis' name under Author and the recipient's name under Issued To and stamped the Date with Feb 14.  It was such a riot for me to make!  I am sure the kids won't get it, but I do and it cracks me up.  :)  He and I made a bunch of chocolate books patterned after these with two Hershey's nuggets, some brown cardstock and a piece of paper made to look like a chapter in a book.  The boys and I sat down one afternoon and had a huge assembly line of cutting, gluing, taping, filling out names, etc.  It was a grand (and only slightly tedious) process.

Q and I made a suitcase Valentine box for his card exchange at school to go along with his travel cards. We just covered a photo box and lid in brown paper and added brown duct tape straps and a handle.  He wrote his name on the "luggage tag" and was so proud of his box.  

I ordered some lovely, delightfully beautiful and tasty cupcakes from my friend and we took them up on the mountain for a hike and BBQ for our Valentine's dinner.  We had fantastic weather and a fine time, even though we forgot mayo, a lighter (we borrowed one) and a grill seems like I always forget something!  But we improvised and the sunset was breathtaking!

And Q made me the sweetest valentine!  It was completely his own idea, work and pun.  He totally takes after me. :)  He only needed a little help with spelling from dad.  What a sweetheart he is these days.  He loves to leave me notes and letters and it totally melts my heart and makes up for all those years of ransacking the house and giving me a heart attack on a daily basis.

My nephew and dad both have birthdays this month, so we kept up the decorations (I planned it that way- two birds with one stone) for a combined birthday party the next day.  We set out a cheese plate with smoked Gouda and Brie topped with tiny Netherlands map flags.  We set out some tulips as well as some cupcakes with pale blue frosting and sweet origami airplane toppers that my brother made.  They were seriously amazing!  My dad was in the Air Force, so the planes were very fitting as well.

I also ordered box airplane stickers and let the boys go crazy making personal airplanes.  'Twas a hoot and a half and we so enjoyed the visits and company!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Baby Blessing

We blessed The Cuteness a couple of weeks ago.  He is so sweet and snuggly and I could just eat him up!  I loved his outfit and little crocheted loafers...and I was so relieved he still fit in it as he has grown so much!  At his 2 month appointment he was 25.4 in and 97% for height and 13.8 lbs and 85% for weight.  He is growing some very nice rolls and they are delectable!  He is cooing and smiling and it is intoxicating, I seriously can't get enough of him. My mom gave me a sweet white and turquoise crocheted blanket to wrap him up in (which is a good thing because it was a balmy 83*-sheesh February!). 

We had a lot of family visit and had a grand whirlwind of a time visiting, keeping people fed, making beds all over the house, visiting the Phoenix Temple and holding babies (there were three sweeties to pass around).  Mr. C also gave his first talk on Sunday and did a fabulous job...he even used the word "aforementioned".  He has quite the extensive vocab and cracks us up!  Dad gave a superb blessing and we had a lovely time.

I still feel like a very lucky momma.  I get to be the mother of five excellent children.  Don't get me wrong, they are not perfect and neither am I and we are all still trying to figure it out, but more and more I am just feeling pleased as punch that they are mine.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Baby's First Outings

My sisters and nieces came to visit and we had so much fun.  It was a quick visit, but we got in a hike, a fancy lunch, a BBQ and lots of laughing...the kind where your cheeks ache and your abs are sore. And all the boys came with us on our hike, but we were slow with the babes, so they were far ahead.

We also had a picnic at the park and dined on sushi and donut holes...which is surprisingly an excellent combination.  We snapped a few photos of my sweet nieces whilst we were out.  It was such fun to have some little girls around!  Baby boy snoozed in the orchard while we played.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Phoenix Temple Dedication

The Phoenix Temple was dedicated in November.  We have been waiting so long for it to be built, so we were thrilled beyond belief when it was completed.  It is much closer to us than the Mesa Temple, and we are super excited for a shorter drive and our own special temple.

The temple was open to the public for tours in October and we took our family on October 14th. The kids loved it and it was so special to share that moment with them.  We loved all of the beautiful art work and gorgeous rooms.  After that, my hubby and I worked as volunteers taking groups through.  We both worked one night together for about four hours.  It was AMAZING and we had the most beautiful sunset to match!  I loved every minute of it, but I was about 7 months pregnant at the time and I was quite tired after. :)  However, my hubby went back a few more times to help. 

(thank you to smartphones and friends for all photos) 

I took Miss B and two of her friends to tour the temple on the very last day.  It was really busy but the girls enjoyed it and we had a great time.

For about 2.5 months leading up to the dedication, 4,000+ youth practiced and practiced for a cultural celebration in honor of the new temple.  Our ward was in the Talent and Testimony section of the celebration.  They were chefs and danced with the rest of Region 5's different talents, such as basketball, art, karate, and singing.  They did such a wonderful job and it was so amazing to see all of their hard work come together.  I kept crying the whole was so touching and beautiful. 

My hubby and I helped prepare and serve dinner to all of those kids and leaders!  I was so glad I was able to participate and watch the youth perform the songs I had watched them learn even though it was a long day for me at about 36 weeks pregnant.

The kids practiced for two entire Saturdays, not including the many Wednesday night practices they had already been to.  They were long, hot days and I am so proud of them for sticking it out and doing a wonderful job.

*a mini replica facade of the temple was used at the performance*

The prophet came to watch their performance and Pres. Uchtdorf spoke to them.  Both of my kids said it was a surreal experience.  They couldn't believe they were actually performing for the prophet and apostles!  The temple was dedicated the next day and it was beautiful of course.  Even my in-laws who came to help with kids during the celebration were able to attend.  We were so grateful they could come and stay with the little boys and watch the event on television.

I feel so blessed to have been able to be a part of this wonderful experience with my family and the youth.  I have such a strong testimony of temples and that families can be forever.  I can't wait to photograph the new temple properly.  Hopefully it will be soon, now that the baby is getting a little older!

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