Sunday, March 24, 2013

w12: Cookie Mountain

March 17-23, 2013

True or False: Ruth hates to go shopping.


She could go shopping everyday especially if it involved clothes. We went on an impromptu shopping trip to the Children's Place on Tuesday when Brooke was with us. We found matching pink sparkly dresses. Ruth was in heaven. She was beyond excited to pick out matching clothes with her cousin! How can you help but smile as her bounces in anticipation of getting dressed in her new clothes. "I just love all the sparkles. Brooke we are going to match!"

- True or False: Austin does not know how to use a hammer and nails.


This week in Cub Scouts they made a very cool tool box. The leader made the go slow and take their time so it would turn out properly. ;) They turned out amazing! Austin was very proud, and rightly so. He found a hammer to put inside it. Along with his collection of rock crystals. Perfect.

- True or False: Girl Scout cookies arrived on Wednesday and our life has been turned upside down with Emma's cookie mountain.


Her total sale was 361 boxes. While I am so proud of her and her great accomplishment and motivation my head is pounding with the work of it all. Not that I don't like work...but there are a lot of people to deliver to! I was at the school all day Wednesday sorting and stacking so the girls could take their cookies home. There began our own cookie madness. Stacking, sorting, picture taking, ribbon tieing, sticky note making, boxing and driving, driving, driving! Kurt said she can sell 10 boxes next year and then he will buy the rest! ;)

- True or False: My thoughtful daughters Emma Lynn and Ruth made Easter baskets for their father because he will not be coming down to Overton/Grand Canyon with us.


First of all they CAN NOT stop talking about the Grand Canyon. So just about everyone we know and a few of their cattle and farm dogs too know we are going to the Grand Canyon. Can we say, Excited?!! Kurt isn't coming due to the time of year {gotta love spring.} I just love their thoughtfulness. Emma Lynn painted wooden eggs in her art class and used that plus a very sweet card to build her basket. Ruth's had a barbie, bits of paper and some drawings. Typical Ruth stuff. :) Luv These Girls.

- True or False: Ruth could care less that her preschool Easter party and Family Dying for Eggs Party was this week.

This girl loves all things party! Plus the holidays are super fun and important as kids. Even better. After last weekend with Margo I decided to make the preschooler's Easter bags for their Easter egg hunt. I bought 13 canvas bags, blue painter tape, and fabric paint and spent 2 nights channeling my inner Margo. Some turned out better than others but honestly it was enjoyable to do something "crafty."

Christy taught the party so I got all the eggs gathered and hid. I made it too confusing for them and it was kind of an epic fail until they realized there was lots of candy inside their eggs. Phew.

That night they were invited to come with their families to dye Easter eggs. Naturally this was a perfect time for us to dye eggs also. Besides dying eggs I had a few "organic" {as Kurt called them} methods of decorating. It is fun to try new things. Plus cupcakes to decorate in the traditional Easter fashion. Just a few kids came and honestly that was nice because you can visit and enjoy {plus help your own kids} those that are there more.

True or False: Lucy will spends countless hours pampering herself with all products found in the bathroom.

If it is quiet OR you do not know where Lucy is RUN to the master bathroom! You will find her massaging toothpaste into her arms and face, smearing gel into her eyebrows, and mascara onto her finger nails. She is obsessed with hair and all kind of unique forms of pampering. I hope we can afford the supplies she requires for this beauty regimen.

So this next part is something I've wanted to start doing to help remember the every day cute, silly or ridiculous things the kids do. As individuals. I feel like there are weeks when some kids aren't even mentioned. Not fair. I want to remember the specifics about my individuals.
Austin: Found out he earned 11th grade math test scores on his state testing. He also has been practicing responsibility with turning in his assignments and brought up his grade in this area.

After picking up Emma from ballet on Friday she excitedly told us that she got a dictionary at school. She showed it to Austin who smiled and said, "Oh wow! Yours looks cooler than mine!"

Emma: Continues to practice the piano before school without asking. She moved to the next level of piano books this week.

Spencer: Continues to work on his reading fluency. He has shown such an interest in reading from The Book of Mormon. I know that this will help his reading. Tonight I was touched as I heard him read a long verse with greater ease and almost no help. I know it will continue as we study each night.

He loves to write stories. He handed me a note in sacrament meeting, "I am a child of God and he has sent me here." Perfect spelling and perfect understanding.

Ruth: Ruth wore a dance leotard all week when we were at home. She would change them up with different leggings, tights and other accessories. After getting home from delivering cookies one day she asked me, "Can I up my leotard back on?" "Yes." "Oh good." I find her using the window to stretch out her legs.

Lucy: Has learned my "real" name. After a preschool field trip to the dentist we played at the park. I was talking with another mom and not responding to her fast enough so she calls out, "Rachel. Rachel." She has been using this "trick" all week.

At the park she also ran up to me "This is fun!" and ran back to the play ground to go down the slide. After sliding once she would run over to me again, "This is fun!" and on and on.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

w11: Female Domination!

March 10 - 16, 2013

The week was all about the BIG events. 

Gender REVEAL! {Monday, March 11th}

I had waited for this ultrasound for what seemed like f.O.R.e.V.e.R. I was starting my 22 week, yikes. Whatever just glad to know now that's its past. So Kurt and I dropped off the kids at school and continued on to Boise for the appointment. The ultrasound was first. Great tech that took ample time to check each part of the baby's growing anatomy to measure and make sure it looked right. No hesitation everything looks perfect. {sigh of relief} Then time to figure out the gender...there was definitely nothing to see in between the legs. Its' a GIRL!! 

It was such a relief to find out it was a girl. Here is a little back log info:

Before I had Lucy I did all of the temple work for our ancestor Jane Thomlson. Each step was a sweet experience. After completing the last step, and the sealing was complete I told Kurt that if we ever had another girl we should name her Jane. 

Some time later we got pregnant with Lucy and found out it was a girl. Kurt didn't like the name Jane or didn't think it fit and so Lucy became Lucy.

Nearly immediately after Lucy was born I continued to feel like another spirit was anxious to join our family. Kurt and I both felt like it was Jane. I was so relived to find out we were having a girl and that Jane could come to our family. With it came {for both of us} a sense of peace and completion. It is a beautiful feeling! I am still basking in that glow! And just so grateful that she is coming to our family this summer.

The plan was to tell the kids when they were finally all together that night for FHE. I had our reveal prepared and had to stay strong not to tell throughout volunteering at the school and Girl Scouts. The kids were the worst! haha They kept trying to get it out of me or get clues. When Kurt got home we got everything set up and did that part of FHE first!

I had a Red Chili Pepper Pinata with a tag attached, "You guys are a HOT mess without me. I can't wait to complete our family." 

Each kid took a turn hitting the pinata to reveal clues of what our baby was. At Emma's turn she knocked out 2 pink pieces of confetti, "It's A GIRL!!" We quickly turned it over to Austin so he could take his turn and bust out the candy, confetti and pink oneies. Emma was the only one who really wanted a girl so it was good she figured it out first. And it was also good that a lot of candy was involved to bring up the excitement level for the boys.

Spencer was still in shock &/or denial the following 24 hours. "It's a boy. I know they are wrong. I'm telling my teacher its a boy." The boys may have been "disappointed" at first but they have been the most affectionate by talking to Jane and giving hugs/kisses to my belly {especially Spencer.} Their true feelings are being shown in their actions :)

Romans' Ranches Bull Sale {Tuesday, March 12th}

This is what my bull sale prep looks like Tuesday morning

 making 6 dozen cookies and laminating lot numbers for bull pens.

Kelli didn't want to clerk this year so I volunteered to help. So that changed the bull sale a lot for me this year. I sat next to the auctioneer and wrote down what lot number, the price it was sold for and who bought it. Auctioneers talk fast. I knew it would be very important for me to concentrate and not worry about what the kids were doing/not doing. I didn't even help serve food {first time ever.} I know I made mistakes clerking but I enjoyed doing something different and being able to follow the sale. Kurt worked the pens like always plus he served meat which was a first for him. 

It went well and it is always a relief to have it over.

Wednesday I taught preschool {to make up for the bull sale Tuesday.} And got ready for my trip. 

30 is a Girls Weekend Getaway! {Maren's Birthday getaway Thursday - Saturday in San Francisco} 

- Left Vale at 7 am.
- Flew out at 9:50 to Portland. Portland to San Fran arriving around 2. Took BART {metro} to Fruitvale station where Margo and Maren picked me up. 
- Hugged and reconnected with wonderful ladies and friends {Margo, Megan, Mona, Maren and me.}
- Enjoyed the tour of Margo's perfectly decorated apartment. 

- Went to The Nail Shop for Mani/Pedis. I even got a pedicure! I know, shocking. I texted Kurt and he asked if I was drunk. HAHA Seriously, though. When they were scrubbing my feet I was sweating and trying not to run out of the joint! {deep breath!} I got a Shelliac done on my hands and feet {it is suppose to last quite a while.} I'm super excited about it! In all it was very relaxing and a great start.
- Back to Margo's for delicious dinner of fresh salad and bread dipped in oil. It was tasty! 
- We finished the night by 30 is crafty...we painted canvas totes. They turned out super cute. I foresee a project with the girls in the future. Great idea Margo.

- After getting ready for the day we drove into San Fran and stood in line for an hour at Mama's. Luckily the weather was decent, Maren bought some bread to hold us over and the time went fairly quick. The wait was 100% worth it. I would do it again. The most amazing Cran-Orange french toast. {heart happy sigh}

- Checking boutiques, 2nd hand and the over priced Alice & Oliva
- Driving around the crazy steep roads, admiring the gorgeous architecture of the town houses.
- Walking at Crissy Field so we could take pictures of the Golden Gate. Crazy sea gulls and tame sea lions. 30 year olds looking like grandmas with their scarves and trying not to get blown away.
- Gorgeous famous red bridge

- late "lunch" at Pizzeria Delfina and Margo pulled out more stops with her party in a bag. Adorable  mini party hats, balloon and confetti. While we ate our shared cake from Torten Bakery. Definitely the cutest party planner I've ever met.

- Another shop and walk to the "Painted Sisters" before our dinner reservation at Nopa. Super delicious dinner. This was definitely a foodie trip.
- Home

- BART into San Fran. Start at Ferry Building to check out Farmer's market. Overload of delicious samples including the purchase of amazing chocolate sauce for Kurt. Settled on yummy open faced cheese sandwich. Ate in the sunshine at the pier.

- Walked up to Union Square and did more shopping {Gap for me.} Finally headed back to home on BART {weary prego body} and ordered our dinner from Burma Superstar.
- Short stop at Margo's before heading to her surprise pop up party at a friends' house. Death by chocolate with the most amazing cake. 
- Off to the airport for me. 

Feeling so grateful to have gone. Feeling so grateful to Margo for hosting such a thoughtful and well planned event. Thank you for being such a delightful hostess. Feeling so grateful to have Maren in our family. I am grateful Joseph married her. Feeling so grateful to all those in Vale that help make it possible for me to get away and recharge with friends and family. Love you all. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

w10: All about Spencer

March 3-9, 2013

On Friday {March 8th} we celebrated Spencer Gene. S.E.V.E.N. Man these kids are growing up. It seems like Spencer's birthday always sneaks up on me. I focus and plan for Ruth's and then all of sudden its Spencer's too. I have the new mentality that plan for Ruth's, plan for Spencer's too. It helped a little this year...

He wanted a Wild Kratts birthday {it is a show about animals on PBS.} That threw me for a long time, what do I do with that? Using the animal explorer theme I found a board game called, "Explorer Photo Safari" that gave me lots of inspiration and was able to move forward.

Thursday night Kurt and I went to the 7:30 session so we got home late. Kurt helped me decorate so I could actually get to bed {much appreciated and it was fun to see his additions to the birthday decorations.}

My favorite was the 7 he made out of crepe paper and the 4 doorways into the kitchen. A engineering mind can be creative.

He also used items from the pantry to make the number seven all over the kitchen table {potatoes, lasagnas noodles, and hot chocolate packets.}

 Good Morning Birthday Boy!

Again since I got home late the night before I spent the morning making the cake and getting the party ready. I dropped the girls off at Jessica's and then headed to Ontario. I was able to volunteer for a little bit in his class room before I snuck him away for lunch. He choose McDonalds. He was super silly {dancing all over the place and grinning like a silly goon.} We also went and picked out some new shoes {he has been wearing his snow boots to school for months. Its a slight fashion disaster.}

After school and ballet was over we picked up the girls and Kurt came home so we could get the last elements in place for our party. While he was finishing Spence and I went to go get Braxton. NOW we are ready for the party.

First we met Captain Jack. He introduced himself as Spencer's birthday guide {he was a cross between a Duck Dynasty pirate. Comical}

                              and gave him 3 presents to open to understand his birthday quest.

The were the board game {my inspiration} and his map for his animal exploration quest, a safari vest, and a GeoSafari Tuff Cam {digital video and picture camera.}

 Using his map Spencer was to go exploring around the world and see what animals he could find and capture them on his video camera.

Captain Jack might also have brought some BB guns to keep us "safe" from wild critters. Everyone had to have gun safety before getting aboard "Spencer's Super Safari Jeep."

Spencer had to explore the world across all the Continents to find seven different animals. It was such a FUN exploration! We found a frilled lizard {from Australia}, a panda {from Asia}, a tarantula {or a tran-U-chilla as Captain Jack would say from South America}, a lemur {from Madagascar}, a hippo {from Africa}, a puffin {from Europe} and an armadillo {from North America.}

Explorer Spence was very dedicated to documenting all his finds with his video cam. Captain Jack might have encouraged a little bit of target practice. While it seemed twisted to me everyone had fun with it. As we drove in the ranger exploring the kids were exclaiming, "This is the best birthday ever!"

 Videoing a lemur in the trees of Madagascar. 
  Spencer with all the animals.

HUGE Thank You to Captain Jack for making my ideas a reality and being such a FUN guide. We came inside to open a few more present and have cake and ice cream
{for which Bill & Cindy joined us.} 

The rest of the night was spent playing the explorer board game, doing Legos from Grandma Cindy and watching an epsicode of Wild Kratts {new DVD from mom & dad.} It was definitely a success. I feel grateful that the "best birthday ever" consists of poorly drawn animals on cardboard, a BB gun, silly dad and time together in the ranger. Does it get more simple or better? So grateful that these are the good things at SEVEN. Birthdays always make me super sentimental. I can't stop them from aging and if I'm truthful I probably wouldn't if I could because I would miss the journey of growing together. But there is that element of sadness as we say good-bye to another year, another stage and season. My boy is growing up. But he is a GOOD kid. I love him to the point of bursting. What a joy he has been to raise. I am privileged to be his mother. I know his seventh year will bring many more exploration moments, can't wait! Happy, Happy Birthday Super Spence!

Other Notable Moments of the Week:

* Ruth threw up at the end of Spencer's birthday night and was not well all day Saturday. So happy to report she is in full spirits today.

* Tuesday night Ruth, Emma and I took Kerri to "Swan Lake" which was performing in Ontario. The ballet is 2 1/2 hours long. But so elegant and impressive. Apparently we have the Barbie Movie of Swan Lake and as we were driving over I was explaining the story and Ruth had a better understanding of it than I did! Who knew that Barbie was so educational? Chelle had bought tickets for all the ballet students so that was very fun for Emma and she sat with her friends. While Ruth continues to be my buddy and sat on my lap constantly asking questions and talking. Hey, at least she didn't fall asleep. I love that the ballet has come to Ontario twice now. I hope it continues!

* Thursday Kurt had a customer appreciation day at the store. In which he fed about 200 people in the community. Lucy and I helped serve the food. She was all over the place loving the attention. She even agreed to leave with Doug Maag {I know he was not expecting her to agree, take his hand or walk away with him. When I tried to help the poor guy out she was started crying. Oh brother.}

The business partner's wives and their 20 month olds.

Lucy ate Cheetos the entire time. She was sooo dirty! Love grandpa's booster seat ;)

* Saturday Spencer had his gymnastic meet. This is the third year he has participated in the meet. I think it is great practice and he has been asking {a lot} to join the Boy's Gymnastics Team. Oh dear, can we commit to that level of practice? He did great in his events. Although when they presented the awards he had received one red so he was surprised/mad/sad about that. I told him that all it means is that he needs to keep practicing in that event. I'm proud of him and love to watch him.

* Saturday evening was also the famous Donkey Basketball. I stayed home with the 2 little girls to make sure Ruth was completely well. Team RPM won, they are bringing it back! Way to go! Apparently the donkeys were wild and crazy last night. People falling off all over the place and Emma said she laughed all night.

The world is a stage

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