Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's Really Late (And Randomness At Its Finest) (Also, Parentheses)

I really shouldn't blog when it's late. I get pretty loopy and start making no sense whatsoever, and then people might start thinking I'm kinda crazy.... but that's nothing new, so here I am anyway. I got on the computer to write Jonah's talk for primary tomorrow (that should have been written a week ago, so he could have it memorized, but I am slowly starting to accept that I am just not one of those moms...), and instead I have been sitting here looking at other blogs and facebook and pinterest. Silly me. Also, I have already made about 7 typos because I am so tired. But I went back and fixed them, so you will never even know, except that I told you, so now you do.

We have church at 9 AM for 1 more week. I am super excited about this.... can't you tell? No? Okay..... I AM SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!!!! Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get 6 people (myself, and 5 little children) ready to go to church in their Sunday Best including ironed, showered, blowdryed, perfectly coiffed hair, polished shoes (not really) and the like? It is pretty stinking hard. Andy then rolls out of bed at about ten to 9, showers, dresses, and we are ready to go (because he has no hair, lucky duck) (I am joking for the most part, by the way, (but not about the hair, he really doesn't have any) he helps me get the kids ready most of the time ;)

We went sledding tonight.... as you can see by that little gem of a picture of me up top there (frozen, red nose and all) (I really like parantheses apparently, btw). I was pretty excited, obviously. I absolutely LOVE the week between Christmas and New Year's. Especially now that we are back in Utah, it is just non-stop play, all the time. My sister is visiting, Andy's sisters are visitng, and we just don't stop going for a second. I guess that's why I fell asleep sitting up last night while I was folding laundry at midnight. You guys, that takes some real talent.

Also, I don't really want school to start up again.... and on that note, didn't the school year just start? Is it just me, or can you believe that the year is already half over?! I mean, I enjoy quiet time during the day and all when my kids are gone, but I really don't like homework. My kids have too much. Which means I have too much. And I am about to add to my load, because I don't think I have mentioned on here that I am going back to school... Yup, it's true. Me. Hitting the books again after a 10 1/2 year hiatus. It is going to be really weird. I am a tiny bit excited, but mostly nervous. What if I don't know anything and look like a totally old weirdo sitting down at SLCC? We shall se how it goes. I start in 2 weeks. Yikes.

Christmas was a blast. I will post more about that later. I just wanted to say that I loved it. Because it was rad.

Another thing.... I am debating just starting fresh and not going back to post all of the stuff I missed between the time we moved until now. It was pretty depressing there for awhile, and I didn't take a whole lot of pictures.... and I think I may have blocked certain things from my memory. Do you ever do that? At hard times in your life, do you try to erase memories of it so you don't have to think about certain trials and things? I noticed that I totally do that. Except there were a few really great things, like Jonah's awesome camp-out birthday party, and his wonderful baptism. And our fun trip to Lake Powell, and all the fun stuff we did with our families this summer. Thanks to our parents, we did have quite a great summer. Anyway, I'm still debating. Maybe I'll just do a huge post of the highlights. Hmmmm, we'll see.

Once again, I can hardly believe this year is over. It's been a looooong one. And at the same time, it has flown by.

Life is pretty good. I have a good feeling about 2013. I know, I know, I said that last year and cursed myself, but I know this year will be different. Lots of stuff happening. Good, good stuff.

I so need to go to bed.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Guess What?!?!

I know that title makes it sound like I have a totally awesome announcement, but I don't. In fact, it's really just exciting to me.

Anyway, I have the internet finally!! Do you understand how difficult it is to live without the internet? I mean, you get used to it, but sometimes it is really frustrating when you just need to check one little thing, or your kids need to use it for homework (hey, at least I got them out of homeowork a couple of times, yeah?), or I just want to look at my email to make sure I remember that one thing I was supposed to do....

So yes, it is BACK! I can finally start to write again, which I have really missed. I have a lot of catching up to do. With this busy holiday season, I probably won't get started on that until Boring January hits. Which is fine, I'm already 7.... or 8... or 9 months behind, what's one more, am I right?

Even though I just called January boring, I am actually looking forward to it. I love the beginning of a new year, a fresh start, and some new goals to accompany it. I feel like I kind of got lost in this last year of 2012. I had such high hopes for it, and it didn't quite (read: NOT AT ALL) turn out the way I had planned. We had so many changes, some good, some not-so-good. I can truly say that it was the hardest year of my life. If it stays that way, I will feel truly blessed, but I would like to have a bit of a break between trials, if you know what I mean. I feel like I have grown a lot, and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned. Mostly, I am grateful for the people in my life. There are so many thoughtful and unselfish and wonderful people. Christlike is a good word to describe the people in my life. I hope I can always remember and keep close to my heart the things I have learned over this past year. I hope someday I can pay it forward, as I would love nothing more. For now, I hope to record my life..... the good, and the bad.

I love this time of year. It is so wonderful to remember our Savior. A humble, tiny baby; the light of the world. I am so happy. My life is full of joy. I couldn't adore my children more, and my husband is the greatest. That picture at the top is on our Christmas {post}card, and it makes me smile.

If you have stuck around and still check my blog, I appreciate it! Thanks for caring :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I Am Alive

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but all of the sudden, it's November. Time just continues to fly by at a crazy rate of speed for me and my little (okay, let's be honest.... BIG) family. School, projects, soccer practice, football games, birthdays, choir performances, piano practice, preschool, and all such manner of wonderfulness continue to take up my every waking hour. And you know what I keep thinking through everything?

"My blog is never going to be caught up...."

Isn't it hilarious? I miss blogging. But, we still don't have the internet, and until we do, it's a minute here and there at my mom's or my in-laws house to use their's. Life goes on..... and someday, just maybe, I'll catch up with mine.

But, probably not.

PS It is my BABY'S birthday today! Remember, I had a baby TWO years ago? Once again with the flying rate of time..... it should stop it once in awhile, don't ya think?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Well Heeeeeeey There!

Let's see.... it's been over two months since I even looked at my blog. Long, long time! And I still can't really get back into it yet because we currently have no internet. Life's been a bit ca-razy and unpredictable as of late. What has been predicatable is this:

-The move went great, and life has pretty much resumed back to normal. Of course, it's summer still, so the lack of a real schedule is starting to get to me. 5 weeks to go folks, and then it's Back to School! Not that I'm looking forward to it especially, but the normalcy will be nice and I won't feel like I'm visiting Utah instead of living here again :)

-We have had lots of fun family get-togethers and I, along with my kids, have loved every second! We had a huge Collette family reunion when Andy's youngest brother left on his mission to (get this)... North Carolina. AND, part of his mission is actually in Virginia. Funny, huh? We've also had lots of barbeques, trips to the mountains for wienie roasts, bike rides with grandma and grandpa, a trip to Kennecott, and a sister's lunch and shopping in the new City Creek Mall.... that's just to name a few of the family things we've been doing.

-Lots and lots of swimming going on up in here. We love that my grandma has a pool at her house.

-A fun visit from Rachel and her family. Cousins, cousins everywhere! I love it.

-Lots of new friends which equals lots of playdates. Our kids are loving the neighborhood. There are tons of kids. We feel very blessed to live where we do. It's a great ward.

-Speaking of that.... we've already spoken in church. They even asked the kids to speak and they did a fabulous job. It was a great experience.

-Lake Powell. Need I say more? I know, not really, but I will. We spent a fabulous week in the hot sun and perfect waters on the comfy houseboat with my whole family. It was a blast.

-Unpacking. UGH. I hate moving.

-Celebrating 2 amazing kids' birthdays. Laylah turned 9 a few days after we arrived in Utah and Jonah just had his 8th birthday last week. Now I'm busy planning his 8th birthday bash, as well as his baptism day/brunch. The fun never ends around here :) (In case you couldn't tell, that's one of his baptism photos there at the top. My aunt took them, and I love them. Isn't he just so cute?)

-Laylah recieved a sewing machine for her birthday. Like, a real one. She's been busy with sewing lessons once a week at her ever-so-talented grandmother's house. She also made a competition soccer team right after we moved in and is busy with practice and scrimmages twice a week. That girl loves to do it all (hmmmm, that seems very familiar... :)

-And the last thing I'll mention is that Andy and I celebrated 10 years of married bliss. And what a crazy ride it's been. Life is not at all how I pictured it at this time in my life, and yet, I am happy. Happy and blessed.

Well, there's a mini update. Maybe someday I'll get around to posting pictures. We've still got many things planned for the last few weeks of summer, so the fun will continue. Fun in the sun.


Friday, May 18, 2012

I Am Tired

Whew, have the last couple weeks been crazy, or is it just me?

Just me?

Okay, that's what I thought.

So, it's really happening. The move, that is. I've been running on about 4 hours of sleep a night for the last couple weeks, and I'm officially a zombie. Call me when the apocalypse comes.

But really, I'm glad it's almost over. The truck is loaded and packed with our Nissan being towed behind it, and it's on its way (along with my hubs and two baby boys) to Utah. They are driving through Iowa right about now.

Our house is cleaned, polished, and scrubbed to the max (we do want that deposit back after all!) and the keys have been turned in. In fact, new tenants will be moving in tomorrow. Crazy?! Yes... Yes, it is.

The three older children and I have been staying with some dear friends this week. We finished up piano lessons, girl scouts, soccer, and tomorrow, school. It has really been a whirlwind. I'm almost relieved that it's close to being over, but it's still not quite real yet. We have spent the week saying goodbye to wonderful friends, and I was able to squeeze in several last minute clients (I did 9 people today alone. Sheesh!)

It's really happening. And I am very excited. But also very sad. The term bittersweet puts it perfectly. I'll be running some last minute errands in the morning, packing up our car, picking up the kids from school, and we will be off. Off to the mothership.

I will always hold a special place in my heart for VA and the truly wonderful people here whom I will miss dearly. I have grown immensely, but I now feel prepared and ready to face whatever the future may hold for us. Bring it on.

Utah.... Watch out. We're coming back.

Friday, May 4, 2012

See You Later Alligator

Well well well.... it's unusual for me to be at a loss for words, but here I am again. I have no words (well, that's not entirely true... as shown by my long, rambling, and a little bit crazy post which is below). Now, when I wrote about 2011 being a terrible year (was that really 4 months ago?!) and what I wished for 2012 was that it would just be better, I guess I somehow cursed myself. This year has already been trial-filled, tear-filled, and just plain hard. Apparently I need a lot more refining because Heavenly Father seems anxious to put me through the fire over and over again.

We have reached a point where it is no longer feasable for us to be living in Virginia. We are moving, back to our "home" in Utah. This is such a bitter sweet time for us. We are, of course, happy to be going back to the familiar, welcoming peaks of our Rocky Mountains (and family! Yay for family!), but at the same time, I am very much in denial that we are leaving our lovely Virginia that I have grown to love and cherish as if I were born and raised here.

I have had the hardest time writing this post. It's been sitting, saved in my files, and I've tried to work on it every day for the last week. Most of the time, I just can't do it, and after staring at it for 10 minutes, I log out of my account, defeated. I'm not quite sure what it is, but I am not anxious to leave, not one bit.

The first reason just might be my family away from my family. My friends here that I have grown to love as dear and true to my heart as my own flesh and blood. People who have been here for me when my own family was 2600 miles away. People who have served me, listened to me, been there for me, given themselves selflessly to me. Because I will be so far away, and have no immediate reason to return, I fear I may never see some of them again. It makes me so very sad.

The next reason may be my children. They are just so settled here. They love their lives, they are happy and very well adjusted. They are all doing incredibly well in school, each of them achieving straight A's and filling their heads with knowledge and learning from their amazing teachers, whom I will miss dearly. Also, I just found out that Jonah and possibly Daphne were accepted into the gifted program! I am definitely a proud mama. We have a fabulous neighborhood, bursting at the seams with sweaty faced, busy, smiling children. There is never a lonely soul, everyone has a friend to keep them company and ride a bike with. Laylah and Daphne have adored their girl scout leaders and will miss their fellow girl scout friends, and I really am not looking forward to finding a new piano teacher for Laylah and Jonah. Baron is disappointed that he will not get to attend "Daphne's preschool with the guinea pig" as we had previously planned. They each have a "BFF" that they will all miss oh-so-much.

Along these lines, I'm just disappointed that we didn't get to do everything we wanted to while we were here. I wanted to go up to New York for a weekend! Drive along the coast! Take my children camping with wild ponies on Assateague Island! Lounge at the beach over spring break! Nope.... we definitely did not check off everything on our list that I thought we would have all the time in the world for while we lived here.

I'm sad about my house. I really like my house here. I know, I know.... I've complained about it before (that darn laundry room in the basement! Who in the world would put the laundry room so far away from the bedrooms?! Not a smart person, that's for sure), but as I started packing today, it made me sad to see my walls become bare. And along with the house, I adore my neighborhood. I already mentioned my lovely neighbors and that it's filled with children, but I love our community pool and that every time we go there, it just makes my kids' day. I will be sad to not drive down our long, horseshoe shaped road and pull up to our tall white house with the black door and big brass knocker.

I think what it boils down to is that I just don't like change. I never have, and I'm pretty darn positive that I never will. I can't get over that my life just won't be the same, and when I feel forced into something, I kick and scream all the way. I always think about what I'll be missing out on, and how I am just not ready for what is to come. I know, it's really just my bad attitude, and I also know I need to work on it.... I'm trying, I promise :)

So, after we had to make a quick decision, and felt very sure that we were making the right one, I started dragging my feet, throwing my mini temper tantrums, and sulking around. I tried to think of any way possible that we had actually made the wrong decision, and tried to convince Andy of my way of thinking. Of course, I knew what we were doing was actually right, our prayers had confirmed that to us, but I still begged for it to not be so. Finally, I had a big break down, balled my eyes out for a good 20 minutes into my pillow (you know, the sobbing, soak the pillow, crying so hard that you gag, kind of cry? Yeah, that was it) and then I calmed myself down, said a prayer in my heart to accept what was to be, blew my nose, and got to work. And now it's here. We're leaving in a little over 2 weeks.

After reading through this post, I realize I am being very dramatic. Believe me, I do. But it's just so hard when it's not just me and my husband, but also 5 little people that I'm in charge of. I just want them to be happy. I just want our family to be happy. I know that is a conscience decision that one can make, and I am trying really hard to do just that, with my pessimistic attitude and all. I realize life is hard sometimes. But, I can do hard things. And I will continue to try and do just that.

More info on our new adventure later.... I really need to go to bed. Later.... alligators :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Need To Clean Out My Purse

I went to the doctor last week. I've been having a lot of pain lately and I've been thinking it's time I try some new meds. I'm just so hesitant because all of the medications used to manage pain for my condition have major side effects. My doctor has been telling me I should try the back injections, but for me, the side effects are a huge turn off, and I'd honestly rather live with the pain.

The biggest problem I face is the fatigue. I wake up multiple times a night, because I'm in so much pain and I'm so stiff that I need to get up and walk around for a bit so I can loosen up enough to fall back to sleep. Anyway, I'm getting some tests done and trying a new medication with a sleep aid in it, so hopefully I'll be able to see some results and feel a little less like a zombie during the day.

Anywho, I had to take my little boys to my appointment because my sitter fell through. When I got to the doctor, Magnus had fallen asleep. I got him out and carried him, while juggling my water bottle and purse as well. I stuck my car key in my pocket. I always, always put my key in a little pocket on the back of my purse, so I made a mental note to remember it was in my pocket, so I wasn't searching my purse looking for my key when it was time to go.

After my appointment, I was walking back to the car and rummaging through my purse looking for my car key. It wasn't in there. Ahhhh, I put it in my pocket, right?! I felt around in my pocket. No key. I got the kids in the car (I had left it unlocked because of the juggling act I'd been performing when I arrived, remember? :) and sat in the front and started digging through and emptying out my giant purse that also doubles as my diaper bag. I figured I must have put the key in there while I was in the office waiting. I emptied and emptied and realized it had been quit awhile since I'd cleaned my purse out. It was such a mess. Receipts, papers, pamphlets. Dispers, wipes, snacks, toys. Not to mention 3 pairs of sunglasses?! Really?? 4 bottles of lotion, 2 hand sanitizers, 6 lipglosses?! This was getting ridiculous.

I finally called back up to the office to see if I'd left it up there somewhere. Nope. Not in the waiting room or the exam room.

It had been about 15 minutes and I decided to get out of the car and check my pocket again. The boys were getting hungry and restless. I got out, checked my pocket, no key. Checked my other pocket, even though I knew I hadn't put it in that one. No ke.... Wait a second. My key! And that, my friends, is why I need new medication. Pure foggy exhaustion is what I live with. Basically, no brain power. Add that to "mommy brain" and I'm in trouble.

I got back in the car, stared at the mess on the passenger seat for a second (contemplating going through it all right then), shoved every little thing, including gum wrappers and scraps of paper back into my purse, promising myself to clean it out when I got home.

I haven't cleaned it yet.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Little Daredevil

My little Magnus constantly has owies all over his face, arms, legs, and head. I recently posted some photos of him climbing on anything and everything. I can't keep up with that boy.

About a week ago, I noticed a few blisters on his chubby little fingers. I have absolutely no idea how they got there or what they're from. I don't remember him crying for any length of time, or anything happening to him, or whatever. After a few days, I wondered if the big one was infected. It looked so awful, and red, and crusty with pus. I almost took him to the doctor, but then it finally started to scab over and heal. It's almost better, but I hope we don't have any more of these mystery owies.

Then yesterday morning, he was climbing once again on his favorite thing-the piano. I'm not sure what he did exactly, I just heard a big bang and then screams and shrieks and crying. I ran into see him bleeding profusely from a gash next to his eye. He was only wearing a diaper and the blood had run down his face, was all over his belly, diaper, and legs. It looked like a murder scene. I know head wounds bleed a lot, but sheesh. I freaked out a little and yelled for Andy (who was working from home, thankfully) who came running and took over. We got him cleaned up, and found that it was just a tiny little cut, but it wouldn't stop bleeding because it was pretty deep, and a chunk of skin was missing. We headed to the urgent care so they could glue it or stitch it or something, but they wouldn't do it because it was too close to his eye. So off I went to the ER again (the third time in 6 months) where M received 2 little stitches.

They numbed it with some topical cream, and then we waited... and waited

The worst part was holding him down for the stitches. He didn't like that one bit. But, it was quick and (hopefully) painless, and then the nurse brought him juice and crackers, so he was happy as can be. It's pretty bruised today, but in a few days, he'll get the stitches out and be good as new. Just in time for his little daredevil self to return.

Baron's Happy Birthday

My Bear is a 4 year old! I can hardly believe it. I think it is more weird for me to have my younger kids getting older than my older kids. Does that make sense?

Anyway, we had a great day. He chose sugary crepes, sausage, and bananas for breakfast. My sweet mom-in-law made it while I wrapped his birthday gifts. Because of our plan to go to the beach, we decided to do gifts in the morning, much to Baron's happiness. (I usually let them open one gift in the morning and then make them wait until that evening to open the rest.)

After breakfast, he got right to opening.He receievd a new swimsuit, a card game, pokemon, angry bird, and super mario brothers toys, and beach toys from Andy and me and his siblings. My parents got him a racetrack (oh the excitement!) and he received many cards in the mail with money from great grandparents, aunts, and uncles. He was a lucky lucky boy.

Laylah and I decorated for his party and then we got ready to head to the beach. After we got home,

we had dinner, Bear's pick of pizza (bacon topped) and soda (orange Fanta, naturally)

While we all showered, grandma put the finishing touches on Bear's haunted house birthday cake. He has been asking for a haunted house birthday cake for months, ever since my mom gave the kids a spooky haunted house wii game for Valentine's Day. I was a little worried how I was going to accomplish this, and then we found out Andy's parents would be here. His mom is an extremely talented cake decorator, so it immedietly put my mind at ease. I figured I would bake a regular cake, and she would be able to come up with a way to decorate it.

Well, let me tell you how above and beyond she went. She brought her special pan and decorating stuff with her, baked the cake, and assembled it (yes, she made a 3D cake. Awesome!) and then did a fabulous job decorating it, including spooky trees and a graveyard. Bear couldn't have been happier. I hope next year's request isn't quite so complicated!

He also got to open one more gift from Andy's parents, and his day of celebration was complete.

He was a happy happy 4 year old boy (except in this last picture.... he was DONE with pictures for the day, ha!)

Baron at 4:

Baron is a big boy. He always has been, and I'm sure he always will be. People always think he's at least 2 years older than he is, just based on his size. He has outweighed Daphne for a couple years now. He hasn't passed her in height, but he's close, within a couple inches. Along with his big size, comes a big appetite. He loves food and loves to eat. He's a terrific eater, and will basically eat anything I place in front of him. His favorites are bananas, apples, oatmeal, cereal, eggs, pancakes, crepes, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, turkey sandwiches, yogurt, cheese, raisins, pasta, and any meat. He takes after his mama and loves sweets. Cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy-he loves it all. I'm taking him in this week for his well child check-up. I'm interested to see how much he's grown since last year. He has only gained a few pounds in the last year, but he has shot up and is getting so tall. He's finally started to thin out, but he is still a solid kid. I have a really hard time lifting him anymore.

Baron is pretty challenging right now. He throws a lot of tantrums and spends some time almost every day in time out. It is almost impossible to negotiate with him. When he makes up his mind, he will cry and cry and cry to get his way. Even when he knows I will not give in, he will still whine about it hours later. He is very picky about his clothes. Certain things will "bug" him. In fact, he probably says that phrase about 10 times a day, "But it's bugging me!" and I just respond, "I know, I'm sorry." He also has a few little chores every day and sometimes it is the hugest challenge just to get him to do them. Other days, it's not a problem at all. He is a pretty moody kid, either very happy, or very grumpy. There's really no in between. I am still hoping he will grow out of this tricky and often frustrating phase.

Even with the frustrations though, we still have fun days together at home. His favorite things to do are play the wii, play computer games, and watch tv. Because of his passion for these things, we make deals (if he reads 3 books with me, he can watch 1 show on tv). He gets a 30 minute time limit on video games, and he only gets to choose either wii or computer for the day, not both. He loves to jump on the tramp and play outside, especially with Jonah, whom he idolizes. Baron will copy any and everything Jonah does. Bear loves to ride his bike and scooter, and play at the park. He likes to look for bugs outside, and he recently started soccer and he likes it okay, but he doesn't love it. He has really enjoyed his playgroup this year, and is finally looking forward to starting preschool in the fall. He and Magnus play together once in awhile, but I think Magnus is just a little too young for him still. He mostly gets frustrated that M is touching his stuff or "wrecking" his games when he's playing with toys. He loves to listen to his ipod, especially during his naps (which he still takes nearly every day) and he loves to be read to.

Bear is hilarious and has an amazing knack for memorizing. He is constantly cracking us up with his funny one-liners. One day we were at Costco and he saw a really hairy man with a long beard. He stared at him for a minute and then looked at me and said, "I feel bad for that man." I asked him why and he said, "Well, I don't think he has enough money for a shaver (razor). Look at his beard!" Another time, I made his sandwich on my whole grain bread (you know, the kind with seeds and grains baked into the bread) because I was out of the smooth wheat that I usually use for the kids. I noticed him picking at it before eating it, and I went over to see him trying to pick out every little grain and seed off the bread. When I asked what he was doing, he replied, "Oh, I'm just picking these boogers off of the bread before I eat it." Funny boy.

Bear is so much fun, and I love seeing him grow and learn every day. I can hardly believe in a little over a year he'll be going off to kindergarten and leaving me all day long. He's grown up so much and he is such a perfect addition to our family. We love you Bear, happy 4th birthday!

Grandma And Grandpa For Spring Break

We had some fun visitors for Spring Break last week. Andy's parents came to visit, and we were so happy to have them! The last time they had visited was when Magnus was blessed at 6 weeks old. I'm a bit annoyed at myself because I went through my pictures after they left and realized I didn't take any for the first 3 days they were here. A quick recap of those days: We went out to eat, played at the park, cooked and baked, did haircuts, got ice cream, went shopping, relaxed, watched movies, went for walks, played on the tramp, played a lot of freeze tag and frisbee, and just spent time together.

The day before they had to go home was Baron's birthday, which was such a treat for him to have his grandparents here for his special day. We had planned on going to the beach, but of course, the 85 degree weather decided to leave us for the week, and it was a little chilly. We decided to stay a little closer to home and spent the day at Lake Anna. There is a great beach there, the water was bearable, and the best part? Barely anyone was there. We basically had the beach to ourselves.

We had a fabulous day playing, relaxing, burying people, playing games, eating, and talking. It was a perfect day, which was especially great because Baron couldn't have been happier on his 4th birthday.

Jonah found a fuzzy friend hitching a ride

Magnus did NOT want to leave. I basically dragged him kicking and screaming out of the water, off the beach, and up the hill to the parking lot. People were staring at me and telling me, "Uh, I don't think he wants to go!" Hmmmm, ya think?!?

We spent Saturday morning going to soccer games, and then it was time for them to go. It was sad. By that evening, a couple of the kids started crying saying that they missed grandma and grandpa already. Although living in Virginia is great and we love it, the hardest thing is living away from family. Good thing we are making our yearly trek to Utah in a mere 10 weeks. Can't wait!

And So We Cut It

Laylah had really long hair. I used to cut it pretty short every year or so because it grew so fast and the snarls would get out of control. The last time I cut off a substantial amount was around the time she started kindergarten. She cried a lot because she didn't want me to cut it, and I felt really bad. I promised her that I wouldn't cut it again until she made the choice. But, I made her promise to help take better care of it, and not cry every time I brushed it. She agreed, so it grew. And grew. And grew. We did a trim every few months, put in a few layers here and there, but for the most part, it grew for about 3 1/2 years straight.

I have been bugging her the last 6 months or so to let me cut it. Don't get me wrong, her hair is gorgeous. But, it is incredibly thick and heavy. I was running out of ways to style it because by the time she would get home from school, it would have fallen out of whatever style I had done that morning, and was usually a snarly mess. We were getting to the point where we did a lot of pigtails, ponytails, braids, and buns.

About a week ago, she approached me about cutting it and donating it to Locks of Love. I was all of the sudden unsure if I really wanted her to cut it, funny enough! It is so pretty, and she gets so many compliments on her fun hair-do's, and I really enjoy doing it, playing with it, and styling it. I made her wait a few days and think about it to make sure she was really sure. She decided she was, and voila!

We did a slight A-line and cut-off about 12 inches. So far she loves it, and she thinks it's fun to see everyone's shocked faces when she sees them for the first time. I'm hoping she doesn't regret it, and she thinks it's funny to think that by the time she's 12, it just might be as long as it was when we cut it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter 2012

Easter happened this year, but only just. I didn't make it to the store until Saturday, and there were no egg-dying kits left. Luckily I was able to make some dye from food color.

Also, there was nothing left to fill the Easter baskets. I was mortified, and almost in tears wondering what to do. Andy made it to another store at 11:30 PM Saturday night and was able to get enough to fill the kids' baskets.

Sunday morning we were late to church (and I mean really late) and missed nearly all of sacrament meeting, the whole reason for church in the first place.

I wasn't in a very happy mood, and came home and took a 4 hour nap. Instead of our usual Easter feast, we had cereal and apples for dinner.

All in all, it turned out fine. We dyed eggs, the kids found their (barely) filled baskets that the Easter Bunny had hidden, and we watched an Easter show on Sunday to remember why we even celebrate Easter in the first place... Our Saviour Jesus Christ, with which whom we would be lost without.

I wasn't even going to blog about Easter because I felt it was such an awful day. And then I remembered what it's really about and why we celebrate it. Plus, don't you think I'll laugh about it in 10 years?

Well, maybe 20.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

No Wonder I Never Make It To The Gym...

We've had a lot of stuff, random and otherwise, going on here in our house. And after going through these pictures, I'm like, holy moly, no wonder I never have time to go to the gym. We are busy busy. I mashed all of our going on's into one post here, because I'm lazy like that. Yeah, I said it. Oh wait, maybe that's why I never make it to the gym. Moving on...

This boy kills me. He is such a busy body. And a stinker. Here is his first time-out:

He actually stayed there for a whole minute, and even showed me his "soft hands" afterwards (he was there for hitting me in the face).

And here is Magnus learning to play the piano. Not really, but for some reason, he is in love with the piano. At least once a day, he makes his way into the living room, climbs up on the piano bench, opens the piano up, and plays and plays. It's pretty cute.

We made our way to the kids' dentist appointments a month ago. For some reason, that I cannot remember, I made an appointment for all 5 kids at the same time?! It was a little crazy, but thanks to our old school dentist office with ancient arcade games, they were plenty entertained while they each had a turn back in the chair. Vintage fabulous.
Pac Man. Enough said.

Yeah, new tooth brushes! We made it through, and without one cavity. I have to say, I think my kids are awesome. None of them have ever had a cavity. Good teeth? Or good brushing habits? Not sure, but I'm glad either way! We'll be back in 6 months Mr. Dentist.

Magnus can dis-assemble my kitchen (and entire house, for that matter) in about 5 minutes. This is the aftermath of me ignoring him for 20 minutes so I could make dinner. What he does in 5 minutes usually takes me at least 30 to clean up. Sigh.

We had a fun day at the library on Dr. Suess' Birthday. They had a party, complete with story times, games, crafts, cupcakes, and juice.

Laylah had a performance with her Spanish club, Tres Amigos, at a culture fair. They sang songs and danced. It was pretty cute, and fun to watch.

Can you see her back there with her hand up by her mouth?

Los Tres Amigos

After her performance, we were able to check out all the fair had to offer. We ate crepes from France, sausage from Germany, and sugary chips from Mexico. We watched lots of performances, dressed up in some cultural clothing, did some arts and crafts, and were able to try out some instruments in the play room. It was a really fun day.

(In case you may be wondering where the other half of my family is (aka, the boys) just know that I try. They literally run from the camera these days. They were off doing who knows what...)

Baron continues to be bored at home during the day (only 2 more months until summer, yay!) Sometimes we make blanket forts. He will set it up just the way he likes it, and then hang out in there all day.
Daphne had a mother/daughter girl scout activity at Pinkadilly Tea. We had so much fun. We had High Tea, and we were able to try cute little tea sandwhiches, lots of petite desserts, scones, fresh fruit, and delicious fruity herbal teas with lots of cream and sugar. Yum :)

Daphne opted out of tea, and instead had pink lemonade.

The tea shop was darling and had a whole slew of hats for the girls to try on. And try on they did.
These three little gals went to preschool together and I'm glad they get to stay close through girl scouts.

Once again, we have little Magnus. This baby has been so different than all of my other babies. He is into and onto everything. Literally.

He doesn't just like to play the piano, he likes to be on the piano too.

I don't even know how he got onto our counter height table. It's pretty high, and I came down the stairs to see him proud as can be, sitting up there, eating crumbs off the table.

This one kills me, because he pushed his ottoman over to his dresser, emptied out his drawer, climbed onto the ottoman, and then climbed into the drawer. As always, he was so proud. I was just relieved the whole dresser didn't tip over onto him. If you've noticed, he is not a tiny baby...

We did happen to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, even though I feel it is one of the lamer holidays. I made these awesome pancakes. The idea came from (I would link, but for some reason my link button is not working, sorry!)

The gold coins at one end and the cloud at the other. Pretty clever :)

And I think I have mentioned this before, but I am definitely not a fan of having the leprechauns come and destroy our house and make messes, much to the disappointment of my kids. Oh well, at least I allow them (the leprechauns) to drop off green treats.

Here we are, back to Magnus (can you tell that this kid alone keeps me very busy? He does.) He absolutely loves to be outside. The problem is, of course I have to be out there with him, and I'm not always able to do that. I am usually dragging him into the house kicking and screaming because he just wants to run into the street and in general, away from our front door and anything that has to do with being inside.

One day, I decided I would just let him go where he wanted to go and see what happened. I followed him and he ran down the driveway, into the street, and over to the neighbor's yard where he stood for about a half an hour. It was kind of weird. He walked back and forth around the yard, sat down for awhile, tried to open their car door, and finally, I picked him up and we headed home (kicking and screaming, of course) Funny boy.

A few weeks ago, I was running through our neighborhood at nighttime and caught this awesome picture of the gorgeous cherry blossoms that line our street. They're all gone now, but it was lovely while it lasted.

We were able to go to a neighborhood Easter party at our clubhouse. They served breakfast, had crafts and an Easter egg hunt, and the Easter Bunny even showed up. Good times.

Magnus wasn't a fan.

The kids had a day off of school, so we biked over to the park and spent a few hours playing. We had a picnic, and I even got my first sunburn of the year.

We've been able to admire and enjoy our own lovely blossoms in our tree. I love Virginia in the spring. It is breathtaking.

Jonah had a few weeks where he decided that following the rules wasn't his favorite thing to do. My mom suggested I put him to work so that he was too tired to make mischief anymore (thanks for the great idea mom!) I supervised while he weeded my entire front yard. It took him 4 days (after school, of course) for a total of about 9 hours, and it sure looks nice in my front yard now!

I think it worked. He's been mischief free since, and quite a good listener as well.

We had a little scare with Laylah a couple weeks ago. She had been having pain in her right side for a couple days. Finally, when she was in tears and couldn't get out of bed one morning, it convinced me that she needed to be seen by a doctor. I took her to the ER because I feared it might be appendicitis. They got her right in, because they thought so too.

Experiencing her first x-ray

Laylah has always been terrified of needles and was practically hysterical when they were putting her IV in. They also took a urine sample, and were about to take her for a CT scan when the doctor rushed in telling us they found out it was a UTI with inflammation of the kidneys.

We were relieved to be discharged with a prescription instead of surgery, and on our way home.

General Conference is so wonderful, but it sure is hard to stay awake while listening to those soothing voices of our modern day prophets :)

And lastly, we have the one picture I was able to snag of my little group I was in charge of when I went with Jonah on his field trip last week to the Children's Museum of Richmond. We had a blast, but it sure was a long exhausting day with a bunch of 2nd graders.

And now, you are caught up on our happy, crazy little lives. It continues with soccer season, of which 4 of my 5 kids are participants in this spring. The busy busy continues...