Monday, June 12, 2017

School's out for Summer!


I don't know where the past month has gone! We have been so busy with school being out. I started a chore chart that the boys have to get done if they want any electron entertainment. They're relatively easy jobs, but it keeps them busy for most of the morning. 


A few weeks ago some friends of ours had a yard sale before moving. Dustin purchased this oversized stuffed animal for a dollar. We bring it outside with us, snuggle at night and read books while leaning against him. His name is Peachy.


Before school ended he had a FIELD DAY! Dustin, Brooklyn and I volunteered to help. It was fun to work with all the classes, but especially to be able to see Logan's class and how he interacted with them. He's grown so much socially (as well as intellectually) this year.


One of the boy's jobs is to learn something every day. So I asked if there was anything specifically they wanted to learn about. Logan said he wanted to have sewing classes. I let the boys pick out a few materials from JoAnn's, then I mixed material from my scraps/stash and we are working on  making a quilt. Both boys helped me lay it out, but Logan is the only one interested in helping me sew.


A few weeks ago we also got to go on a field trip to the Fire Station. Logan insisted on dressing as a fire man, and Dustin dressed as a Lion. It was neat to see where everything happens. The station is pretty new and very well designed. The boys loved asking questions as well as getting to climb inside the fire trucks.


We also got to go to a Beez game! Papa Bill got free tickets through work and we had fun watching the game, buying treats and watching the fireworks after the game. We usually keep the kids up for one firework event a summer. We usually do the Taylorsville Days show, but since we had front row seats to this one, we figured why not? Also, the show started at 9:30 so earlier home and to bed than the 4th of July ones.


Every game we chase down the Bee. The boys play iSpy until they find him then we run around until we can meet him and take a picture (Logan refused to get close enough for a picture).


The boys recently rediscovered Grandpa Yoder's clickers. They chase me around the house tormenting me. Little do they know I actually enjoy the reminder of my Grandpa.


Brooklyn's been thinning out. Don't worry, she still has her double chin, wrist rolls and thunder thighs. But she's been crawling all over the place and as a result is loosing some of her baby fat. She also has been speaking more. She says Dada, No, BooBoo (the boys nickname for her). She also started saying Mama but only in a monster voice (as the boys call it, super deep and guttural). She's still a Daddy's girl except when she doesn't feel well or is super sleepy.


Last weekend we hiked around a lake! It was the perfect temperature; in the 70's in the mountains (90's in the valley). There was still snow in the mountains, so we had to navigate the stroller around that and the mud puddles. But the boys loved having snowball fights and splashing in the runoff.


The boys are loving the casual nature of summer. We picked up sunglasses at Target for the summer, and the boys are loving their shades. 

 

Logan has had swimming classes last week and this week and I'm so proud of the progress he has made! On class 4 of 8 he was swimming on his own! This is HUGE for Logan (he's usually a little scared of water). He is no longer afraid to put his head under and he chooses to try the different strokes on his own.


Friday Dave's work had it's annual Lagoon day. The boys had a BLAST! They rode every ride they came to. Even the scary ones. Logan's favorite was the Bat, and Dustin's was the Bombara. They rode every ride they were tall enough for, some more than once.


Brooklyn had her first ride on the Merry go Round as well as the Ferris Wheel. She enjoyed them and was a great sport, especially considering she missed a nap and got home for bed way after bed time.


Around 7pm both Brooklyn and Dustin had fallen asleep. So Dave and Logan rode some of the bigger rides until I insisted it was time to go home. Somewhere in there we also enjoyed Lagoona Beach. It was fun to see Logan use his new swimming skills.


This weekend we also had a visit from my friend Tenille. She helped us pick out some plants for our yard (she loves gardening). I helped her with a quilt. And we went on a Treasure Hunt (ie. went Geo Cashing). The treasure is located at Wheeler Farm. You bring a prize to leave, and you get to pick a prize from their treasure chest. Logan had been before, so he showed us which way to go. They had so much fun doing that as well as seeing the animals.



It was great to see Tenille and eat ourselves silly! We got milkshakes, slushies, Penguinos (Mexican Bakery treats), Pizza... all the good stuff. We also rented Beauty and the Beast from Redbox and finally got to watch it. It was well done.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day and Kindergarden Testing Week

"Mom keeps telling me to eat. Teething is so hard!~"

I look back on the past two weeks and it's really been a blur. I can't remember what days we did what, so I'll just spit out what we did as it comes to mind. First, why I'm a zombie. Brooklyn is teething. If we compare her teething experience to the boys, she's is substantially better (as I recall Logan didn't  sleep through the night for two weeks leading up to each tooth). Brooklyn has only lost a night or two of sleep per tooth, but she happened to decide to get all 4 front teeth in the same 2 week period. She has cut three and we are on our fourth right now. It's killing me!

Last week my parents were in town for my brother Dan's graduation and they stayed with us! The boys were ecstatic to show Grandma & Papa our new bathroom and make their bedroom "fancy". We loved getting to visit with them while they weren't out with Dan.

Friday we had a family dinner at our house. It was warm, but it sure was great to see the kids playing and to talk to Dan and congratulate him. We spent the evening chatting and eating pizza & ice cream.

The rest of the weekend was spent getting the garden ready to plant. It was busy and a lot of work (mostly for Dave), but we're glad it's done!


Logan also had a week off of school! He had to go in for a half hour for Kindergarden end of school testing, and the rest of the week was free! We went to the park, made slime, and visited my friend DeLenna out in Payson. We met up in Provo at the Rec Center and swam for 2 hours, then followed her home for lunch and all kinds of fun. It was exhausting but a great visit! We'll have to do it again.

The boys had so much fun that I decided to sign Logan up for Swimming Lessons. He's so close to swimming. I think a class is just what he needs to get it. He's not convinced, so I've bribed him with a treasure chest upon completion of the class. Hope it works! We'll also swim at the pool after his class is over, so it will be a fun way to end the class (hopefully).


This weekend I was smothered with love all weekend. Saturday Logan and Dave picked me two bouquets of flowers from our garden (one roses and one irises). Logan was so proud and we have smelled the flowers every day.


Dustin drew me a picture of me holding a rose. "See the thorns? You are being so careful not to get poked. And see your hair? You just jumped on the trampoline so it's sticking up." I LOVE it! I didn't know he could draw this detailed (he usually just scribbles).


For dinner I used a $50 off coupon code and ordered a box from Gobble. It's a meal subscription where you select two weeks in advance what you want, they send you the ingredients and it takes you 10 minutes to cook. We got three meals for 2 people and it cost us $20. The food was FABULOUS! My favorite we had for Friday night date. It was a mint and pea ravioli with a creamy sauce and pea sprouts. I will try to re-create it because man it was so good! For Mother's Day Dave made us Thai Chili shrimp with coconut rice and a salad with Thai spices and vinaigrette. It was also fabulous. Would I do it again? Probably for Mother's Day next year and maybe for our anniversary or something fancy if we don't have time for a real date. Cooking was super easy and clean up was one, maybe two dishes per meal. Perfect for a special occasion at home.

After dinner was rough. I think it's hard to know a whole day is for someone else and be good all day long. But we survived.

With summer coming in two weeks it has me thinking of what I can do to make things go smoother. We're going to have to make a schedule and some activities (maybe library, park, pool and play dates). We'll see what I can come up with. I also want to do some home schooling over the summer so Logan doesn't forget everything he's learned. We'll see.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Easter & Playing Outside

Easter was great! We had a busy day full of Egg Hunts and Church. We did our Easter FHE the week before, so we could have conversations every day about what happened the week leading up to the Resurrection. I think some of it got through to them because as I was washing dishes Monday morning I overheard this conversation from the other room (while playing with their Easter scene):

Dustin: they shot Jesus with arrows
Logan: no, they stabbed him with spearsDustin: and he died in a tombLogan: and 3 days later he was resurrected!Dustin: no he wasn't!L0gan: yes he was! (repeat)Me: he was resurrected and walked with the apostles and ate fish and honeyBoys: GROSS!

For Easter Sunday we had the best ham I've ever cooked! It was also the cheapest ham too ($1 a lb), so maybe the secret to a good ham is to spend less. We also had fresh green beans, garlic mashed potatoes and rolls. And blackberry pie for dessert!



I swear time has flown by lately! Dave ran a half marathon a few weeks ago. His time was 2 hours 10 minutes. Which was pretty decent considering he had an injury and had taken three weeks off training about a month prior to running. He hopes to do better in his next race.


We have some ducks living on our street! It's been raining like crazy this year, so they love to bathe in the gutter in front of our house where water backs up. Sometimes they even sleep in our front yard. The boys love them and run outside whenever they see them out the window. Which can be problematic since they don't always ask first.


One morning I was washing dishes and see Dustin run across the front yard, chasing the ducks. We have had talks about not going in the front yard without permission and not to chase the poor ducks.

Last week we had a park play date with the Tappanna girls (the same ages as our boys). It was only raining a little, and the play structure is mostly covered. We lasted an hour before getting too cold and needing to go home. It's been so hard for these boys to get their energy out around the house! And Dave's been working really late lately (he did 20 hours of over time last week and expects to have to do more next week to meet his deadlines). He's better at wearing the boys out than I am, so his love and attention has really been missed.

Monday night we had a fun FHE on our family tree. Logan had been asking a lot of questions about Grandma's Grandma or Papa's Papa so we thought we would talk about our relatives. I drew a big tree with our family names and some of our ancestors. Then the boys pointed to a name and we told a story about each.

I called my Mom and Grandma to ask for ideas of stories to share so I ended up learning a few things too. My mom remembers going to her grandma's house (Katherine Bloom) and they had ice cream for dessert. The next morning Grandma Bloom told them she needed them to eat all the ice cream for breakfast so it didn't go bad. They thought it was the coolest breakfast ever! Grandma Yoder also said she remembers every Sunday her parents (John Steinhauer and Katherine Bloom) would take them either on a walk or they would go on a scenic drive. Sometimes they would even go on a day trip to somewhere fun too. John loved to grow things and always had a beautiful garden. Katherine sewed all her kids clothes and quilted too. Dave's parents came by for the lesson and shared their stories about their ancestors too. I forgot to write down who did what, so I'll have to ask for the names of who loved to make pies for our records. We also looked at pictures of some of the relatives that died before we were born.

After weeks and weeks of rain (which Utah did need), we've had such a beautiful, sunny week! We met our friends the Fullmers, Mataeles, Bowers, Fairbrothers, and Talakais at the the park on Wednesday. We all needed some play time and it was so much fun to get out of the house with friends! I started a Taylorsville play group on Face Book so whenever anyone is planning a park trip and wants company, we post. Then the kids have friends to play with and the moms can sit and relax a little. It's a nice break for us all.

Wednesday night Grandma Sheila and Papa Mike also came to spend the night and be in town for my brother Dan's college graduation. It's been great to see them! Yesterday they spent all day with Dan seeing his graduation, helping him buy a car, and going out to lunch and dinner. Today we'll see them in the afternoon and they'll leave tonight.

Dave and I also went on a work sponsored date this week. They paid for movie tickets, popcorn and drinks. The movie was ok (Guardians of the Galaxy 2). I'm glad we didn't pay for it, but it was nice to get out. Maybe Dave enjoyed it more (he's far more into the super hero stuff than I am.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Easter Fun!


I try to take fancy pictures every Spring and Fall. In the Spring I focus on the kids, in the Fall we try to get a great family shot. Well, this year the kids gave me such a rough time and I'm still not satisfied with what I got. I might try yet again, but after taking over 100 pictures already I might just call it a year.

 

The funny thing is Brooklyn was smiling in almost every picture! She looked great (my little model). Logan was throwing a fit because he didn't want to wear shoes. I let him take them off but then his toes were cold so he wanted to wrap them in a blanket. It went on and on with him.


Dustin's problem came when he smashed his finger. There were tears and then he didn't want to take any more pictures. And nobody wanted to take pictures with the flowers in the front yard! Cars would drive by and look at us! Clearly that's not a good idea.


But even if the pictures didn't turn out perfect, I've gotta admit they sure look fancy in their Easter clothes! Grandma Sheila made Brooklyn's dress. I made the boy's ties, and the both already had everything else in their closet.


I was complaining that nobody was smiling in the pictures so Logan made sure Brooklyn was smiling in the next one. Little stinker!


Well, we tried! I sure do love these little people. Even if they give me a rough time!


The past week has been busy for us. Logan has a summer birthday, but REALLY wanted to celebrate his birthday with his class. So we just picked a random day this week to bring in treats and have a party. His teacher was very understanding and he was happy to finally get a party too. Although he did also ask if we could do a splash pad day with friends on his actual birthday.


Logan wanted to bring in Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes for his birthday because "I've never had one and they LOOK so good!" Who could say no to that? Especially since the school insists on store bought treats rather than home made. I don't know if my kids are spoiled or deprived since they've never tried most of the store bought stuff.


The boys have been playing dress up a lot lately and they realized Brooklyn might want to play too. So whenever they dress up they now insist she has to wear the Unicorn costume (the only costume we have that fits her currently). So she'll be in this get up regularly at our house.


We've been getting ready for Easter around here! The boys decorated picture frames Sunday to give to Grandparents, and had a blast with the stickers and trash. We are easily entertained.


I spent my free time last week sewing a few dresses for Brooklyn. I got the material from a lady that lives down the street. She was cleaning out her garage and realized she doesn't sew any more, so hoped I could put it to good use. The patterns were free from the internet. Which mostly worked out well. The first one I sewed (a pink one) ended up probably big enough for a 2 year old. So we'll have to wait for her to fit into that.


Brooklyn is such a happy little girl! She LOVES Dave and her brothers and me too. And we just love her. I mean, come on, do you see that face?

Last Saturday there was an Easter brunch and egg hunt at the church. The boys had a blast playing with their friends! We really need to do play dates more often.

Monday we had our Resurrection FHE and it went well. We also discussed Holy Week and what happened each day. This spawned a need to build several buildings to reenact holy week and the request for more figures. They built out of Duplos a jail for the soldiers to take Jesus to, Mary and Martha's house, and a more fancy tomb for Jesus. They wanted me to paint Martha, Lazarus, and more soldiers. Because they're pretty fancy and Brooklyn will probably want one next year.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Break & Home


I've written this post 3 times and for some reason it's not publishing... So it's getting more condensed every time. These three kids love each other so much! It has nothing to do with the post, but I found this picture with the trip pictures, and just had to include it.


A few weeks ago we went on a long weekend vacation to visit my Grandma Yoder in Hurricane! The weather was in the high 70 to low 80s, so before we left we made sure we had great bathing suits for everyone.


On our way south we always stop in Bever and visit the cheese factory, but this trip we also added a hike in Kolob to the list of things to do. It was not crowded and the perfect weather for a hike.


About .02 miles into the hike we ran into a river! And there, our hiking ended. The boys played in the water for about an hour (starting out in their clothes, finishing in their underwear since we forgot to bring their suits on the hike). It was beautiful, and they had a blast exploring.


While visiting Grandma, she took us to the Dinosaur Muesum. It consisted of tons of dinosaur footprints and some bones. The boys were fascinated! The favorite was the dinosaur bum prints. If the sign didn't tell us it was a butt mark, we wouldn't have known. That's what we get for reading the signs.


They also had a play area outside where you can dig up bones and these head signs. The kids thought it was hilarious to see Brooklyn peeking out of one!


Dustin and Grandma Yoder "went on a hike" while I fead Brooklyn some baby food and they found a Dinosaur Egg (small rock that is egg shaped). Logan was so impressed he requested Papa Mike find a dino egg for him as well. Papa mailed a dino egg and rino egg for Logan and Dustin this week, so now everyone is happy.


This is Chester, Grandma's neigbor's cat. Every time we visit Grandma we hope we will get a visit from Chester. He's the nicest cat in the world and the boys just LOVE him. They pray for him and have been playing Chester and Shadow (Grandma's cat) since we got home.


Since the weather was so nice we made a few trips to the park. It was beautiful and the kids all loved swinging, sliding and playing!


On the way home we stopped by Kolob again and did the Overlook hike. It's only 1 mile round trip, which was perfect for our little legs.


The boys climbed up anything they could get their hands on and had so much fun exploring together!



The mountain range was beautiful and the weather was again perfect for a hike! We ate some fruit snacks at the top.


Dustin has become camera shy of anyone other than family taking his picture. So this is the best family picture we could get (you can see his feet behind Dave).


But he's always such a happy, goofy boy! We just love him. He never was a hard 2 year old, but over the past 6 months (since he turned 3) he has become pretty obstinate. He won't do what I ask until the last possible moment before negative consequences take place. But eventually we can get him to do what has to get done. And he grins at you like he knows he's going to get in trouble but just watch this!


Brooklyn has been growing like a weed lately. She's so big and has such an opinion! A few days ago I introduced her to avocado and she refused to eat anything else for the rest of the day. She would cry and refuse to open her mouth until I got out the good stuff. Oh we're in for some trouble when she's a teenager.


Logan is just the best big brother! He loves his siblings so much! When he comes home from school with candy, cookies or cupcakes he always shares with Dustin. Even if he only gets one of something he breaks it in half because "Dustin doesn't go to school so he doesn't get treats."


We are working on expressing our negative feelings and accepting that sometimes you might want something but the answer is no. It's been rough, but he's getting the hang of things and if he gets really upset he chooses to go into his room and have some quiet time until he can calm down. He's not in time out, he just needs to decompress and realizes that. 


Last week Dave worked late every night! He was at work by 8am and wouldn't get home until 9 or 10pm. On Thursday Logan was in bed trying to stay up until Dad got home so he could be awake for his goodnight kiss and he just started crying "I haven't seen my Dad in 4 days! I miss him so bad!" So I made sure Dave woke up Logan for kisses that night. But the deadline was Friday, so I'm really hoping things will slow down at work again.



Friday we went on a walk and visited our neighbor down the street Maurine. She was asking what Dave did for work, and I explained. Logan must have heard because when we got home, he insisted on drawing. He said he was drawing a house. He would show Dad how to draw buildings faster so he didn't have to spend so much time drawing at work and could come home on time.



Since Dave was working late, I got to work on some of my projects when the kids were sleeping. I finished our Easter scene! I thought since the boys love our Nativities at Christmas, I would put up Easter scenes at Easter time to remind us of the Resurrection. They have loved playing with this one so far, and I can't wait to use it in our Resurrection FHE the week before Easter. I think I'll make a few more kid friendly scenes in future years. Maybe something sewn.



I also was able to start and finish a quilt for a nephew to be born soon. The boys helped me lay out the colors and pin them together. I guess Dustin didn't understand this wasn't for US and when I finished and started wrapping it up he was pretty upset! "The green and white match my jammies! And the black and blue ones match Logan's jammies! This is for our family!" I guess this summer we'll need to make a quilt together for our family to keep.


These ties for the boys for Easter have been cut out for a few weeks but I was a little intimidated by the idea of finishing them. But with so much extra time on my hands, I couldn't help but complete them (come on, sewing, or cleaning the house? no contest). My mom sewed a dress for Brooklyn, so hopefully we can get some cute pictures of the three of them soon. Everyone has to be in the right mood for that to happen. But the ties turned out well and we're looking forward to wearing our cool new clothes soon.


For Logan, this will be the year of the bike! Last year he tried so hard to learn, but really couldn't figure out how to even peddle. This year we got him a new bike off KSL and he has really picked it up! Our goal is to take him on a bike ride once a week and hopefully have him riding without training wheels by the end of the summer. We'll see how that goes though. He's so proud of himself though!