Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer Days Drifting Away

The summer has been crazy! Keeping 3 kids fed, entertained and from killing eachother is a lot of work. Especially since it's been over 100 degrees almost every day since June started. I am exagerating a little, but not too much. It's been in the mid to high 90s. Even at night! I can't ever open the windows and get a cool breeze. 


The first week of Summer we signed Logan up for Swim Lessons and he completed his two weeks with so much more confidence! He can do two body lengths of the breast stroke, back stroke, and is happy to dive for our Pirate Jewels. This was a huge step for him since he was scared to put his face in the water before. We bought he and Dustin and it's like night and day with these boys the difference it made. Even Dustin is happy to put his head under water now (although he is less confident in the water than Logan).


 Brooklyn has become mobile and we better watch out for that one! She's found the toilet paper and toilet (although she doesn't know how to open the lid yet). She has what the boys call her super fast crawl. She can get anywhere and into all kinds of trouble. But she's so dang cute we don't mind too much. She also knows how to climb a full flight of stairs which scared me to death. She's fine as long as she isn't distracted mid climb.


We have spent a lot of mornings playing outside since by about 11 it's too hot! She loves the sand box and tolerates the kiddy pool. The boys on the other hand LOVE playing in the pool especially with their Dollar Tree water squirters.


We got a new park in the neighborhood!!! It's right by our church and about .8 miles from our house. We've enjoyed it about once a week. We try also to do the splash pad twice a week to switch things up a bit. It has more play structures that I expected, and we've loved it.


 This summer we also purchased a new tent since the demise of our one day old tent at last year's Yoder reunion. We've slept in it in the Living Room twice and look forward to trying it out in the Mountains for the 24th of July weekend.


She is so stinking cute! Can't help but take pictures of her. After this week Brooklyn decided she hates hair bows and I can't get her to wear them any more. Whenever I try we all fawn over her cuteness. Maybe it's not the bow but the attention she hates.


In June the kids and I went down to Zions for 3 days at the Yoder Reunion. I think we ate Dairy Queen every day we were there. It was hot, but the boys sure had fun playing with their cousins the entire time. There was always something fun to do and delicious to eat.


My little explorers loved hiking to the Narrows! And they were champs at keeping up with everyone else since Mom had the Baby in her backpack.


Dustin loved exploring the water with  Papa and his cousins! He was so brave, even with the strong currents


Logan had tons of fun with Max and Rea exploring all the rock islands and logs.


The kids were so proud to make it out to this rock! It was a difficult climb to the top! When I was taking pictures of this, Logan slipped down the rock and fell in. But he was so brave! His head popped right out of the water and he started swimming to Papa Mike! And the water was COLD. That right there made me glad to pay for his swimming classes.


There were crazy chipmunks where Grandma Sheila, Alison, and I were sitting with the babies. They fearlessly tried to steal our food. Dustin was the best at squirting them "in the eye" with a water bottle to get them to go away. We would point one out to him and he would chase it down, squirt it, and continue squirting until the thing was MILES away.


For the 4th of July we had a BBQ with burgers, shrimp, grilled pineapple and all kinds of delicious foods! Dave and I were in food heaven. We lit off some fireworks, and Dave taught the boys to light the saw dust from packs of pop-its on fire. They had fun in the 100 degree weather.


The boys were excited to pick out their own fireworks this year. They noticed the fire work stands while we were grocery shopping and when Dave got home we went back to get what they wanted.

 
Logan and Dustin are the best of friends and it's fun to watch. They'll be playing and Dustin will just say "I sure love you Logan!" They'll hold hands on most of our walks, and they are pretty good at helping each other (even helping each other get into trouble). They still fight, but mostly they're happy to have a brother.

Dustin is hilarious! Some of the things that comes out of his mouth just cracks me up. Last week he put on some Chapstick and turns to me and exclaims "I look GORGEOUS!" He has been going through clothes like candy lately. Summers are messy. So yesterday he decided to save some time and put on all his shorts and undies on. "That way when I get this pair messy I'll just take them off, and I've already got my next pair on." Needless to say I'm doing a ton of laundry.


This little girl loves to swing! She laughs almost the whole time she's swinging and more than once she has happily swung until she started falling asleep. Oops! But she loves it, so what can you do?


Yesterday Logan told me "Summer is fun, but I think I'm ready for school to start. I like school." Which is good! It took him 6 months to tolerate school, so I'm glad to hear he actually enjoys it sometimes.

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.