Monday, April 29, 2019

Easter & More Rain

This has been the rainiest spring in the whole world! Ever! Ok, maybe just the rainiest Taylorsville spring for the past 10 years. We play outside as much as we can but I'm a rain wimp. For the first year ever all the kids have rain coats so that's helped a little. The boys were given them and I bought one for Broonlyn since we'll be in rainy Oregon this summer. So they've been out dancing in the rain and jumping on the Trampoline in the rain (which still gets their bums wet).

Dave got this hammock for his birthday in February for camping. The kids love it and play in it all the time. I'm not sure why but they're convinced it works best when you are only in your underwear. I know where they are if I see a pile of clothes under the hammock.

We visited Grandma Linda & Papa Bill last week and Papa busted out his balloon making stuff and made swords, flowers, and crowns for the kids. They had a blast!  And were pretty sad when the balloons popped.

The Saturday before Easter was busy! We had a church egg hunt in the morning followed by a friend birthday party in the afternoon. Between that and trying to mow the lawn between rain storms, it was a wet, busy Saturday.

Easter Sunday we got baskets from the Easter bunny!!! Brooklyn was shocked and very happy such a little guy could bring so much candy. Dave decided next year we are going to ask the Easter bunny to bring no candy at all. Logan wasn't sure there was an Easter bunny but decided he must be real. We had our traditional funeral potatoes and ham for dinner with corn on the cob and apple pie for dessert. Brooklyn ate 3 ears of corn! The boys decided they would rather have banana cream pie next year.

The kids got a job this week! A neighbor asked we they could take their dog for a walk in the middle of the day while they're at work. They each get paid $1 per walk. They decided it's the best job ever!!!

For Activity Days this week we made a quilt top to donate to our Young Women's girls camp fund raiser auction! The girls were so proud of their sewing! I have until the 10th to pin it (tomorrow), quilt it, and bind it! Better get to work...

Dave and I got to go on a date to Avenger's Endgames this week. Dave got free tickets through a work event and Linda came to watch the kids. I was glad the movie didn't leave any cliff hangers this time you get all the closure you need! Dave loves the super hero movies so he was excited to see it.

Logan had his school fun run last Friday! He had a blast running with his friend Tyson. Logan got 6th place in his grade (he says there are 3 classes with 20ish kids each). He is so proud and got a blue ribbon!

Brooklyn has been doing a lot better with potty training and only had 1 accident all weekend! I put her back in diapers during night time last Monday and I think that shocked her into not being lazy. She has woken up dry ever since so last night I let her sleep in undies again.

Dustin has been a champ at his internet preschool this week! He can sound out words that are 5 letters long and can read a lot of smaller words. He's been fighting me on playing his game all year so it's nice to finally not have to battle with him 5 days a week.

Saturday we tore out all the grass in our front parking strips and are in the process of filling them with rocks. It will be more water efficient even with the desert plants Dave wants to add to make it look nicer. It was a TON of work and we are both still sore from all the work. Hopefully this will be our only big project this summer and hopefully we will be done after a few weekends.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

April Showers Brings Painting & Flowers

It's finally spring!!! We had a ton of rain over the past few weeks. It's good but hard to keep the kids inside (it's warm so they want to be outside). Our flowers are finally blooming which means it's spring photo shoot time! The kids have been less than co-operative this year and every time I took pictures it's ended in tears. I'm afraid this is the best I'll be able to do this year.

Logan's looking at the camera but everyone's smiling! So this is probably the best picture. Last year I bought Easter clothes a size bigger then I hemmed up the boys pants. This year everyone still fits (now that the pants are un-hemmed). So I'll call this a win in the fancy clothing category.

This is a pretty decent picture too. So I have at least one to hang on the wall.

Here's Dustin's best shot! He hams it up in a lot of them, but this one turned out pretty sweet

And here's Logan's. He went down hill fast and ended up crying because pictures suck.

This little girl has given us a run for our money lately. She's so stinking cute but so stubborn! She wants what she wants and knows it!

An example? These are Brooklyn's first piggy tails. She refused to let me do her hair before this. Even as a baby she would immediately pull everything out of her hair.

And her hair is starting to be curly like Dustin's! When we bathe her if we do nothing to it she looks like this. But we usually brush it down after bath so she doesn't end up with wild hair the next morning. I think when it gets longer the curls will be subtle and cute. Or at least wavy.

One project that has been such a slow process is the fireplace. When we moved in we removed the wood paneling and painted. A few years ago Dave made a mantle for me. Now I've painted the gold a black which I like a lot better! 

The last thing I need to do in the house is paint the hallway/entryway/stairs. The woman that owned the house before us LOVED yellow. I hate yellow walls so we've been slowly painting everything. The hallway is the last yellow and I'm ready for a change. Although I don't know what color yet (maybe a grey, blue, or green shade). I've recently moved the kids bedroom laundry baskets to one big one in the hallway. I would prefer them have ones in their rooms but this one actually gets used so less cleaning up/nagging for me. 

Sadly Dave wants to replace the light in the hallway, patch up  and paint the ceiling before we tackle the walls. Which probably means we should replace the front entry light as well and redo the hallway wiring while we're at it. So it's going to be a little more work than me grabbing a can of paint at Lowe's.

We've decided to be scared of bugs lately. Brooklyn is now terrified of ants. It's pretty tough going outside when everything little and black makes her scream. Once she discovers it's not an ant she's fine but until then even a black fuzzy is pretty much the end of the world. Dustin read one of Logan's school library books on Spiders and has decided he is now terrified of spiders. The saddest thing is the book was supposed to help kids overcome fears of spiders. But Dustin didn't know there were poisonous spiders that could kill you until we read the book. Now he knows and is scared every spider is the poisonous kind. So one of our spring goals is to get over this. We've been collecting bugs in a bug box and observing them so maybe this will help.

Other than this I've been re-organizing all our photos. I took them all out and have gotten rid of quite a few (almost done sorting). Next I will put them all back in and print out the last year so we are up to date. The kids love looking at our pictures and it will be good to have this project done so they can enjoy them again.

Monday, March 11, 2019

In which we sleep, create things and use the potty

I'm starting with the fun parts of the last few weeks because it's far more entertaining to write about. 3 weeks ago I was asked to help plan activities for the 8-11 year old girls at church. My friend Lori is the other leader and we've had so much fun brainstorming 2 activities a month for the rest of the year. The big one I'm working on right now is an Easter Peg Doll scene for Easter. Dave helped me cut out and sand all the wooden caves and boulders so we are ready to paint peg dolls for the activity! We have all kinds of fun stuff planned and I'm excited to really get to know the girls better.

I also crocheted my first cable beanie! I just grabbed a ball of old acrylic yarn from my closet to learn on and made a million mistakes. But the end results are wearable and I learned a lot. I started a second one with a soft grey yarn that was my original plan for this pattern.
throughout sick I kept finding kids asleep all over the house
I was catching up with a neighbor yesterday and realized the last 4 weeks has just been exhausting! 4 weeks ago Logan got sick with either a really really bad cold or a really mild flu. For the next two weeks we all got sick and got over it. It was pretty rough and my appetite still hasn't fully recovered. And we all still have what Brooklyn calls a "lingering cough". I didn't even know she knew the word lingering until she kept telling me about her cough! She's such an intelligent 2 year old.

Dustin fell asleep at the table he was so sick!
But we have had fun along the way. the kids all made robot hats and wore them around for about 2 weeks. Their favorite part was on the back they tied plastic tubs that could be filled with toys. Because robots always have to have their toys handy.

The week before we all got sick I told Dustin I would sew him a Charmander hoodie. He has been begging for weeks.  So I had the pattern and the material all pulled out and ready to go. In the middle of me being sick he reminded me that I PROMISED I would make it. So one sick day was spent sewing this hoodie. It turned out well although I really wasn't loving sewing it at the time.

The week after sick was tax weekend. I have been dreading doing taxes because a few credits had changed and I was worried we would have to pay money. But we ended up getting money back! Which is great because now we have replenished our emergency fund from having to buy the van. I've been stressing about the low funds for 6 months because you never know when you'll need an emergency fund.

This past weekend was potty training weekend for Brooklyn! She's done really well. Friday we had tons of accidents and 1 success. Saturday we had 1 accident and lots of success. It was her first day telling us "I have to pee", running to the potty and actually going. Sunday I stopped reminding her we needed to go and she only had 1 accident and she even pooped in the potty!!! She was so proud that when we walked down the street to visit our neighbor Maurine she told her "I pooed in the potty". I sure our 70ish year old neighbor was very excited for Brooklyn (she received the news well anyway).

Sunday, February 17, 2019

February Begins

Febuary has been a fun month for us! We started off the first weekend with a dinner party at the Vite's house. They provided tamales, chips and salsa and we made some cookies with baby Jesus baked inside. The boys thought it would be hilarious to save the babies that were baked into the Rosca De Reyes they brought us in January and bake them into our treats. I forewarned the Vites but Amanda forgot so she took a hearty bite of cookie decapitating Jesus. Everyone got a good laugh out of that!

The weather had been so nice that we took the opportunity to go on a walk along the Jordan River trail and visit the Cultural Center. The kids were tough hikers and were happy to see many ducks and Canadian geese along the path.

The boys insisted on some tree climbing although they never get very far.

 Brooklyn started a collection as we were walking. She collected sticks, bark, leaves and anything she could carry.

In all my organizing Dustin discovered my paints and asked if he could make something. He painted me a "spring decoration" I'm the one on the left, Brooklyn is on the right and the flowers are so you know it's spring.

Brooklyn insisted on painting one too! She picked out the colors herself and insisted hers is a Valentine's decoration.

I've completed the top of the Wedding Ring quilt my Grandma gave me! I love how it turned out and can't wait to quilt and bind it. I switched up some of the colors and can't wait to hang it up on the wall!

The 8th was Logan's half birthday! At his school if you have a birthday in the summer you get to celebrate on your half birthday. So we made these stuffed cupcakes to celebrate. 

I started watching Marie Kondo's the Art of Tidying Up on Netflix. Probably should have watched this before my 4 month cleaning frenzy, but I think it only hit Netflix this year. Oh well. I decided to try out her folding method on my pants and was surprised to find out I like it better. Instead of my pants taking up two drawers they now take up 1.5 drawers. Dave was impressed and lamented his exercise drawer being a mess. So I Kondoed his entire dresser for a Valentine's gift. Now I just need to find the time to do the rest of mine.

I've been working on my mending/alteration pile this week. It's been a lot of work but I'm 90% done. Which is good because I wasn't supposed to work on any fun sewing until I completed it... but I couldn't help myself! I had to work on Grandma's Double Wedding Ring Quilt and I had to sew a baby quilt!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Lizards & Fish & Asians (Oh My!)

It's been a busy two weeks. I'm still trying to get the house deep cleaned from top to bottom. I discovered a Face Book group called Mother's Helping Mothers. It's primary goal is to give or trade unwanted items to/with other moms.

So now I make 3 piles when I'm going through a room: (1) items that will quickly sell online (2) items that someone might be willing to come pick up from my house if it was free (3) little stuff to go to the thrift store. I've sold some stuff, given away, traded a few items (received in return jam for one trade and a new Ikea Poang Chair cover that will better match the room I am moving it into).

We moved Brooklyn into a twin bed two weeks ago. The first week was pretty rough! She didn't want to lay down in her big bed alone and woke up at 4am a few nights but we've got it down pretty well now. This week has been difficult during nap time but night time has gone just fine.

With her bed out of the office I've been re-arranging the whole house. I gave away the crib (which caused major tears). Dave was given a large book shelf and dresser at work (a company they helped do renovations for just gave away their old furniture since they got new stuff). So we put those in the boys room, sold their old dresser (which caused more tears), traded their old book shelf for one in the exercise room, sold the exercise room book shelf (again cue the tears... we're pretty attached to our furniture), and generally switched and moved all kinds of items. I'm not done yet, but pretty close.

Two weekends we were supposed to go swimming but Dave was feeling under the weather so I took the boys to the Natural History Museum of Utah for an exhibit called Utah's Animals. They get out snakes, lizards, frogs, salamanders, etc. native to Utah and we got to see and touch some. One big frog secretes a poison goo all over his body which the boys were fascinated to learn about. We found out they put the container into his exhibit and they hope he hops into it before it's time to have the event. If he doesn't hop in then he doesn't make an appearance. Then we spent an hour hitting up "our favorite parts" of the museum before heading home to Dave and napping Brooklyn. The boys had a blast on their Mom date!

Brooklyn has been extra grumpy and throwing major fits over the past two weeks. She was complaining almost daily of headaches this week so I called the Dr and got her in for an exam. Turns out she had Strep Throat. No other symptoms but a headache! No fever, no runny nose, no sore throat, no coughing... just an ornery baby that I thought just had a BAD case of the terrible twos and "head hurts" while pointing to her forehead. So we have her on antibiotics and she should feel better soon. And I now feel, bad I've been so harsh with her during tough nap times.

grumpy girl
this is where Strep Throat hurts
Last Saturday we made our annual pilgrimage to Crystal Hot Springs. It's a place you pay to get into but has something like 10 different pools that are pumped full of the natural mineral water. It brags the highest mineral content of any hot spring in the world. Each pool is a different temperature so you can alternate from cold (they have a cold spring too) to burning hot (surrounded with warning signs and always full of Asian tourists). It's a little more than an hour drive which isn't too bad. Everyone slept on the ride home.

There was snow on the ground and it was about 30 degrees which is the perfect temperature to me! We were there about 4 hours. They have on site picnic tables so we arrived early, ate lunch and swam until everyone was exhausted. The boys LOVE our trips and beg to go more than once a year. The minerals in the water make you float extra easy so even Brooklyn can get around really well by herself. They also have two water slides which Dave and the boys took full advantage of.

enjoying a homemade cookie!
Thursday we had our first baking day of the year! I usually do weekly baking days but cleaning had consumed my life!!! We baked bread, 48 crescent rolls, and two dozen cookies. We also made 8 packets of dry bread ingredients. While the rolls were cooling Brooklyn decided our fish looked hungry. So she shredded about a dozen rolls and put them in the fish tank. I frantically scooped out roll mush in hopes that the fish wouldn't die of roll inhalation and by the time I scooped the last piece out of the murky water couldn't find Snowy (the white fish). The boys scoured the fish tank while I dug around the trash can looking for a dead body. Eventually we found Snowy hiding under the turtle arch. So we still have two fish that aren't so hungry anymore.

Logan has been obsessed with Imagine Dragons lately! He had a dance party with a friend from school a few weeks ago and BEGGED for us to get some of their songs. Before our trip to Crystal Hot Springs I downloaded 7 songs and we've been listening to them non stop ever since! I'm sick of them but the kids love it! Brooklyn even knows the words to some of the songs.

With Dave's Christmas Bonus he purchased a drawing tablet. So he's been spending his free time at night figuring out how to use it and designing things. Since I completely reorganized my sewing room I have been working on a box full of unfinished projects and mending. Grandma Yoder also gave me some sewing stuff she was downsizing so I've been distracted with a partly completed Double Wedding Band quilt! It was enough probably to make a queen size, but I am currently working on a lap quilt out of it. Later I'll probably use the leftovers to make a baby blanket. The pattern has been on my bucket list and I'm excited I can make one without having to cut out all the little pieces! All I've had to cut out is the white material for the centers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Out With the Old: In With the New

As a family we were invited to a new years party at a friends house. The kids thought they were hot stuff since it started at 8 (bedtime). They ended up being the only kids there, but had a blast! Might have had something to do with the chocolate fountain, and plethora of food that they were free to eat as much as they wanted to. They played games, visited with the adults and enjoyed themselves. Dave and I had fun too but were happy to get them in bed when we left at 10:30. We ended the night watching a movie until midnight.

January has been the start of a great new year for us! I tried to keep it simple and set only 5 goals this year. One of those goals didn't even last a full day. A few of them have stuck well. Like drinking 60 oz of water daily. I don't always do it, but I constantly try. Also I've been waking up early and reading my scriptures daily as well as committed to get to the temple once a month (even if Dave and I have to go separate). I haven't missed a day of scripture study yet and I can tell a difference in my attitude when I read. It's something I hope to keep up all year.

Finding a sitter for the temple has been challenging lately, so to facilitate the temple goal I woke up at 5:40 the first Saturday of the month and squeezed in a session by myself. It was a great experience and I plan to get up early on a Saturday more often. Dave and I also got to go together as a date night on the 18th followed by dinner and it was wonderful to go with him as well. Two temple trips in two weeks has to be a record for me for the past few years!

In the two temple trips I felt the spirit strongly each time. Not answering a specific prayer but just confirming that I'm where I need to be and what I'm doing (attending) is right. With the chaos of kids and the turmoil of the end of last year it seems like having strong spiritual experiences like this have been few and far between.

We re-comitted to reading the scriptures as a family as well. Yesterday we got the kids to bed really late and I was just going to say prayers and skip scripture study. I told everyone it was prayer time and Brooklyn ran over, grabbed a Book of Mormon and brought it to me. So we read a few verses before calling it a night.

Our neighbors the Vites shared their Kings Day celebration with us! It's a celebration of the day the Wisemen visited Jesus. They came by with a Rosca De Reyes (Cake of the Kings). Inside if are little plastic baby Jesuses. In the Mexican culture you don't want to get the babies, if you do you have to buy everyone tamales on February 8th. But we weren't upset (like you are supposed to be. We were pretty excited to find babies in our cakes!

Dustin found TWO babies so he has to buy double the tamales.

Brooklyn was devastated her cake didn't have any babies in it! So the boys shared their babies with her. It was a fun tradition and we look forward to providing something for our neighbors in February (although it probably won't be tamales... maybe a dessert).

The boys begged me to make their bears some clothes so I made them shirts and pants. Logan wanted a red shirt and jeans but Dustin wanted these fancy duds. Reminds me of the 90s or something. The shorts especially kill me with brightness, but he loves them.

I've been busy for about 2 weeks organizing and purging the stuff in the house we don't actually need. I've been slowly going through the house for months but this month has been times 100. Dave got a free bookshelf and dresser for the boys room so I HAD to go though their closet, books and toys before putting everything in its new home. I also have gone though all my sewing and crafting supplies. I'm glad those are done too. It's easier to create if my stuff is organized.


I love Christmas time! I love remembering the birth of our Savior and teaching it to my kids. I love pulling out the nativities and Christmas movies. I love the food. I love making gifts for those I love. I love the snow in December and sledding. I love visiting the temple and seeing the lights. I do not love all the extra stuff that always gets added to the season. The white elephant gifts. The obligatory events. The last minute gifts you are required to give to people you don't know. But I guess you have to have the bad to appreciate the good.

The year started out with a trip to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights with my friend Tenille. Our family friend was performing in a concert in the Tabernacle and it coincided with Tenille's visit so she was gracious enough to join us. We listened to most of the concert, walked the grounds, drank hot chocolate and of course rode the train downtown (one of the kid's favorite parts of downtown Salt Lake). It was great! Tenille and I were also able to work on some Christmas gifts while she was in town and we introduced her to Sumorrito.

This year Dave and I were put in charge of the Ward Christmas Party. It was a breakfast and super casual. The most work was the shopping and food prep (even though we didn't bake anything ourselves). I think we did a good job and were able to stay under budget while having many options so everyone's dietary restrictions were met.

Every year I put together some type of service project as a way to remember and give back to the Savior. This year we collected clothing, blankets and towels to give the Road Home homeless shelter. We went through our clothes and home and were able to give a few trash bags full but we also collected from neighbors and friends in the area and were able to fill up the van completely one time and the car three times with items to help. It's always exciting to see how much good we can do!

Also along the lines of service I was able to make 5 little doll dresses for a little girl from the Angel Tree. I also purchased some doll accessories that she requested (bottles, pacifier, eating implements) but these were so much fun to make! Makes me wish my little girl liked dolls.

Some time in the middle of preparing Christmas gifts for neighbors all my food coloring disappeared. Well, all but the black. I still haven't found it. I had to break down and buy more because what are sugar cookies without colored frosting? I have suspicions of who made it disappear but have no proof.

While my family was in town for Christmas we all went to the Natural History Museum of Utah. My parents got us a year long pass for Christmas and it was fun to check it all out with our cousins. We were there for about 2.5 hours before Brooklyn, Grandma Sheila and I headed home for nap time. The boys and Papa Mike stayed an extra hour or more to see the Bug Brigade (where you get to see and handle different bugs). It's a really fun museum with so much to see! I've been several times and each time I think I've seen it all but I always find something new that I haven't seen before.

Christmas itself was an exciting event! We got all kinds of fun toys and played and played all morning. We stopped by to visit Grandma Linda and Papa Bill as well. We actually made it out of jammies (which we usually don't do on Christmas). We had our traditional ham dinner with pie for dessert. I was going to do homemade pies, but while leaving the pie crusts out to cool some little boys decided it would be fun to crush and eat them. So we had store bought pies this year. Punks.

The boys love legos so they of course got a few different sets of Legos. They also discovered Minecraft this year and were excited to find there is such thing as Minecraft Legos. Logan's set is still put together from Christmas (it's almost the end of January). They love building!

Brooklyn got some girl toys for Christmas. Princesses and dress ups. She loved them on Christmas and played with them in her Little People house. The game went something like this:

P1: What you want to do?
P2: Go on a hike!
P3: Ok
*Princesses climb on the roof, where all good hikes take place*
P4: Help! I'm falling! Save me!
*Princesses save each other from falling off the roof and all go to the ground to start conversation over

This went on for hours. She hasn't played with them much since Christmas but sure got a day's enjoyment out of them.

Between Christmas and New Years we headed down to Hurricane to visit Great-Grandma Yoder. On our way down we swung by the Cedar City Temple. Since they started I wanted to see it, but haven't had the chance. So we walked around and checked it out. It's a lot smaller than I expected it to be but like all temples is beautiful. It was frigid cold when we stopped by so we didn't linger long (Logan didn't want to get out of the car it was so cold).

While in the area we also swung by St. George to visit Great-Aunt Kathryn. She and my cousin Noah took us on a hike. The weather was in the 40's and perfect for a hike! Unfortunately we got lost and never made it to Elephant Arch. But it's always good to get out and enjoy nature. The boys were absolutely enamored with Noah! Her was so good and patient with them. He answered their questions and made up Choose Your Own Adventure stories for them while we hiked.

Afterwards we went back to Kathryn's for a trip to the Hot Tub, played video games with Noah, checked out the one site play house, and had a pizza lunch. Dave got to talk running and health with Kathryn and Dustin decided Kathryn is pretty cute (better watch out Emil). It was great to visit with them and spend some time outside.

We had a great time visiting with Great-Grandma! She was so sweet with the boys. The boys drew her many pictures which completely covered her fridge. We visited the park with her and she taught the boys how to play Mahjong. I have had to install it on both boys tablets so they can play. They're pretty proud of how fast they can match all the tiles. We also completed a 500 piece puzzle of animals in the Savanna. It was great to get to see her but we were also glad to be home in our own beds. 

Great-Grandma made each of our kids a cross stitch of their names. All the kids LOVE them! They carry them around the house. I've found them on the book shelves in the living room, on the kitchen table, and even in the bathroom. Brooklyn especially loves that her cross stitch has not one but TWO owls on it! When she sees her picture she asks me to sing her name song (because she knows that's what is in the picture).

Overall 2018 was a tough year. But by the end things were looking up for a great 2019!