Sunday, April 28, 2013

w17: A colorful life

April 21-27, 2013

After an incident that happened this week I realized that I live a colorful life. Sometimes it can be easy to see things in black or grey as life gets busy, hard or mundane. If we LOOK for it we can always find the color. And it sure brightens the day.
               
I'm sharing with you the color of our week.

I was getting dinner ready when I realized Lucy was quiet and missing. Time to investigate. I found her  and the Ariel barbie like this:



She wasn't the least bit sorry and when asked why her response was, "Tryin' be Ariel."

How does she think up this stuff? I had to turn my head so she wouldn't see me laugh. After the ever important lesson that our body is a temple and we don't write on it she went straight into the bath. 


                                                     
On Thursday Ruth had her dance recital. This was a highly anticipated event. We packed her bag with all the supplies we would need {makeup, hair ties, gel and spray.} Bathed and sprayed perfume, lathered and lotioned. Its a lot of work to get these girls ready for the stage. We went to Rite Aid looking for glitter spray for her hair {a must} and couldn't find it. But...we did come across these super cute and fun stick on nails. There was enough for Emma to do it too.

 "I just love my nails so much! My hands are happy now."

The thing I love the most about this particular dance experience is that three cousins got to do it together. Seriously, how fun is that?!! And they are sooo cute together. 
While they were a little timid they did their dances perfectly. They danced to "Rockin Robin" and " " with a white umbrella prop. I love seeing Ruth's smiling face when she dances. They did two songs and then the teacher gave our awards for all the toddler age groups {I've never seen that before.} We all snuck out after that to celebrate Brooke's 5th Birthday with pizza and pop in the park. The weather was so gorgeous. You could not have asked for a more beautiful day. So proud of these dancin cousins. LOVES!



Ruth's recital present was a pink umbrella :) and a dress that has 3 ballerinas on it {it reminded me of the 3 dancing cousins.} She has tried to wear it every day since the recital and you know there is plenty of dancin under the umbrella going on around this house. 

               

We made 72 hour kits with the Cub Scouts on Tuesday. I decided this would be a GREAT time to cross this off my {life-long} to-do list while teaching the cubs about being prepared for an emergency. It was slightly crazy trying to put together my 8 kits while helping the cubs but I am blessed with a uBer patient co-leader {Sheryl Johnson.} My own kids were very excited about the kits. We still have a few items to put inside our buckets {clothing and I'd like to do some more food.} BUT it feels lovely to have put a good dent in something I've wanted to get done for a LONG time.

I have no words for Spencer's current smile. I can only hope its a very short phase.
                                           
Since spring is in full force my little hill has become one large weed mountain. I feel like we live on a dump. It has really overwhelmed me the past two weeks. While I have never sprayed weeds before I am confident that Austin and I could learn how. But it hasn't been calm enough {windy wise} to spray. So I decided that there was one little patch along side of the house that I could tackle and beautify. The kids and I set to work. We completely weeded and removed rocks one week. The following week we made a trip to Home Depot and purchased items to make our beautify vision come true. And we finished it up the end of this week. I'm so happy with how it looks!

This is the side walk leading to our front door. You can see the "before" amount of weeds by looking at the other side of the side walk. Naturally we picked the windiest day to work, it was very cold. 
And the finished. There is another pot on the other side of the beginning of the sidewalk. It feels great to have something pretty and hopefully low maintenance.  The girls have been super great about watering the flowers. Hopefully that will continue into July...This bit of color makes me smile every time I drive up to the house. Maybe I CAN tackle other outside projects ;)

                
Spencer was working on back flips at gymnastics this week and making pretty good progress. I asked him if he was still interested in doing team, "Ya. It's always been my dream." Maybe after soccer is over in 2 weeks we can start working on that dream. I was impressed with Austin's attempts also. We definitely need to get another trampoline. 

                         
Friday after school, dance and a birthday party we had a dessert social at the church. Again the weather was beautiful. The attendance was small but everyone there had a great time visiting. The sprinklers were on at the church and at the end our kids started running through them. I love the simple joys of childhood. And summer. In my mind they are intertwined. Emma chatting with a friend like they haven't seen each other in years. Lucy running around the outside circle of sitting adults so she can play "Ashes." Spencer losing yet another pair of shoes. Austin being leader of the pack. Ruth making a fort with two boys in the bushes.




Saturday, like every other day of the week, was busy with activity. Early morning soccer, singing at a funeral, temple and a stake dance for me {and endless work for Kurt} to finish it off. Some life lessons need to be relearned over and over. Communicate is Key. Going to the temple is never convenient but it is always worth it. We did a great sealing sessions. I know we are blessed for our temple service. Other noteworthy things, we finished up the last ward conference today. I do enjoy the opportunity to get to know so many inspiring leaders and valiant youth.

I am amazed at the beauty of the tulips at the temple. Each week I think they are the prettiest I've ever seen them. And the following week they manage to be even more gorgeous. I truly think the love of the temple and its sacred work brings a heavenly beauty that cannot be compared.

                                   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Romans Reflections
- Ruth is still allergic to the sun. I was so grateful to find a "Sun Skin" at Costco. It is a light weight jacket made of the swim suit material. It is perfect because it zips up like a jacket, has a hood and is like weight so she doesn't have to sweat in long sleeves all summer long. So grateful to find things that make life easier. Meanwhile the tiny smattering of freckles found on her cheeks are precious.


- Spencer is such a cute missionary. For one of his homework assignments he had to write what his favorite song was and the words of it. Check out what he {and his teacher} wrote:


- Speaking of this song Lucy has just realized its existence. Before now it has been purely "Popcorn" or the song I sing at bedtime "We love Lucy...we are a happy family." She is now learning the words of "I am a child of God." Our favorite is that I am a child of God comes out as "I am a choco-late." Adorable.
- I think my nesting is rubbing off on Emma Lynn. I want to get the bedrooms decorated and she is thrilled with this idea. We went to Jo-Anns this week and she bought a large canvas. She is sketching a landscape to paint. She is overwhelmed with the possibilities, "There is just so much I could paint." Not to mention planning mommy dates completely around shopping for bedroom decor.
- Lucy wanted to see dad. So she went to the photo album and found a picture, "Hi dad."
- Austin had a field trip this week. They toured BSU campus. His first comment was, "there were a lot of people in really short shorts." I guess he is old enough to start noticing those things. Seems big to me. Like real issues to worry/teach. But after we got past that there was lots of positive, fact filled info in true Austin form.
- Lucy's hair was very static-y and it was really bugging her, "Ahhh my hair's TOO big."









Monday, April 22, 2013

w16: All About Austin

April 14-20, 2013

Wednesday we celebrated my first born. He turned TEN. You know I always get super sentimental about birthdays. I feel honored and privileged to have been a mother for a decade. It has been an emotional, rewarding, stressful, exhausting and joyful journey. How grateful I am that it will not end.

I am about done by 9 pm. Exhausted. The body will not move. Get the kids tucked and then I'm about good for nothing after. So for the first time ever I went to bed the night before a child's birthday without the house decorated. I set the alarm for 4 am {and happy to report I DID wake up and get it all finished before I woke him up at 5:50 am. He wanted to wake up exactly when he was born. ;) }


                                                  Ten written in Ten different languages.

Sadly enough 6 am was the only time all of us would be together that day so we had a Birthday Breakfast Bar with all kinds of breakfast choices {naturally all nutritional.} 


Then we rushed to get ready for the day. We dropped off the girls at a friend's house and the school kids at school. 

Side note: The Stake Recognition Dinner for Personal Progress and Duty to God was scheduled that night. I knew I wouldn't be home to do our normal family party so that's why I pulled Austin out of school so we could spend the day together. I had a ton of errands to run for the Stake event so I tried to think of a fun and creative way to spend time together without him feeling like we were just running errands. He is not his sisters who like to shop after all.

I presented a gift bag to Austin. Inside was a disposable camera, pen, 10 envelops and a clipboard with the following information:

The TEN Challenge


Using the camera provided to document your day complete the following challenges. Each challenge must be completed at a DIFFERENT location and in any order. Have fun!

After each challenge was completed Austin opened the corresponding envelop. On the outside of each envelop was a math problem {thanks Kurt} that he had to answer before he could open it. {The answer was always TEN.} 

Here is how Austin completed his TEN challenge:

#1.  
Do 10 sit ups, Slide 10 times, Do 10 jumping jacks, Swing 10 times, Do 10 push ups, Go around the merry go round 10 times, Do 10 high knees,  Go across 10 monkey bars, Run in place 10 times and Touch your toes 10 times.


{Great way to get started. Our hearts were pumping and we were excited. I won't lie, I did skip the sit ups ;) }

Envelop said: Top Ten Reasons why we LOVE {and celebrate} Austin
He has a testimony of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

#2.
Go to aisle 10 and pick out something for your party on Saturday.

At a party store in Boise. He got lucky. Aisle 10 was the BOY party aisle. He picked out water guns for his friends.

Envelop said: Top Ten Reasons why we LOVE {and celebrate} Austin
He has been given the gift of knowledge. He is smart and witty.


#3.
After you pass 10 fast food places stop for a milkshake.
He made sure to keep track of this! ;) It was also at this point that he received a special phone call from Madagascar. His face lit up talking to Grandma and Grandpa Richards. Thanks for calling!

Envelop said: Top Ten Reasons why we LOVE {and celebrate} Austin
He has a desire to be obedient and honest.

#4.
At 10:10 give your mom a combination of 10 hugs and kisses.


                        Envelop said: Top Ten Reasons why we LOVE {and celebrate} Austin
He has a contagious laugh that makes me smile.

#5.
Find a $10 book.


At Deseret Book Austin used his $10 to pick out a discounted book and had money left over to buy the watch he really wanted. This conversation cracked me up:

A: I love this store. I could live here.
a few minutes later
A: Wow. There is a lot of church stuff here.
M: It's a church store.
A: No wonder I could live here!

                        Envelop said: Top Ten Reasons why we LOVE {and celebrate} Austin
He is good and kind with his animals.

#6. 
Find 10 places to hide {and come back in 10 minutes!}


                        Envelop said: Top Ten Reasons why we LOVE {and celebrate} Austin
He has a fun and vivid imagination. This allows him to write creative, descriptive stories and draw impressive pictures.

#7.
Buy 10 flowers to give away to 10 people.

 This was my favorite challenge. He gave the first tulip to the lady that checked us out. When we got to the car he started to get nervous about giving away the rest. We decided to give the rest away together as a bouquet. I found the perfect cute elderly couple. We walked over and gave them away. They were so surprised and gave Austin a hug. His smile was priceless. Love these moments.      
                       
                        Envelop said: Top Ten Reasons why we LOVE {and celebrate} Austin
He has a quick mind that memorizes easily including lots of fun facts.

#8.
Take 10 steps in the Dollar Section and pick out something for your siblings.

For Spencer: bug catcher, Ruth: sunglasses, Lucy: barbie 4 wheeler, 
Emma: set of scented erasers.

                        Envelop said: Top Ten Reasons why we LOVE {and celebrate} Austin
He is kind and compassionate to little children. For example his sister Lucy adores him. 

#9.
Order the 10th item on the menu {hope its yummy!}


He chose Carl's Jr. The 10th item was a quesadilla.

#10.
Download the 10th Free {and clean} game app



                     Envelop said: Top Ten Reasons why we LOVE {and celebrate} Austin
He has a love of reading that brings him great joy and knowledge.


We had a little bit of time left before he had piano lessons so we went to the arcade in Ontario and played a few games. I'm happy to report that we are both terrible gamers! This makes me happy :)

After piano Kurt took all the kids to gymnastics and raced over to get ready for the recognition dinner. I really enjoyed our simple day together. It was priceless just to spend time one-on-one. Austin is a great kid and I love him.

A few other things not related to the birthday happened this week:

Friday we may have all played hooky from school and life to enjoy a pajama day together. It was MUCH needed. I felt like I had been run over by a semi truck. Honestly the kids play so well together and I was able to take two naps in between reading books, weeding, laundry, and making cookies. Again I say it was much needed.


That evening we drove to Adrian to see Jillian and Kurt Nielsen in their school play of Aladdin. They did such a great job! My kids loved it. The boy especially were super inspired by Kurt as the Genie. "He's so hilarious !" Spencer was quoting everything he said. And I just like them having a good role model. Afterwards we went out to Jen's for ice cream and brownies. We didn't get home till 11:30 pm but we sure had fun!


Saturday morning both boys played their soccer games at 8:45. Other than disliking the fact that we have to get going to early I do like getting a good parking spot AND we were done at a decent time. Unfortunately both boys lost but fortunately its not all about winning. Huge bonus the weather was actually really nice {shocker!} 


Emma had definitely entered the world of hand games {i.e. Miss Merry Mac, etc...} She is even teaching Lucy! Their current game of choice is "Tic Tac Toe, 3 in a row, Row Sham Bow...."

Back home to do some chores and get ready for the rest of the day. Austin had a piano recital at 1 pm. We were late and just barely made it in time! Phew that was close. It was not not his best playing but considering he had to jump up there just about a minute after he arrived he did well. I hope he continues to put forth effort because he has natural ability.



Then it was time to party! Austin had invited 2 friends {Daniel and Kasen} plus Spencer and Emma to Wahooz to celebrate his birthday. It was loud, full of giggles and potty humor. I was personally grateful I keep Tylenol stocked in the car.  

We had a great time and the kids were well behaved. We did 3 events and then spent the rest of the time at the arcade. We all had lots of fun. And again I will say that I'm SO glad we are not gamers!

First Event: Bumper Boats {we got soaked!!}


Second Event: Go Karts


Third Event was Laser Tag {my first time, so much fun!}

Then an overload of arcade games. Both moms had sent the boys with $20 and so they put that on their arcade card since I was obviously paying for everything else. Daniel was great and shared his card with Austin

To my pleasure they spent the most time playing air hockey.

If possible they were even MORE silly on the way home than the drive there. We stopped in New Plymouth to pick up the girls from Kerri. She volunteered to take them to lunch and shopping so they could have something fun to do too. After we picked them up Lucy really wanted to call her dad. "Ah Kerri Kerri Kerri go shopping shopping shopping." Puts the phone down and says to everyone, "Stop guys talking dad." Then back to Kurt, "Shopping, shopping, shopping." It was hilarious.


They came home with cute outfits and were all shopped out. Thanks Kerri!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Romans Reflections

- This really warmed my heart: During the sacrament Emma Lynn was reading the scriptures about her baptismal covenant. After finishing that she pulled out her Faith in God book and was working on it. As soon as we got home from church she got on the computer and pulled up Elder Holland's talk from conference. I gave her a CD and picture from the mutual theme this year, "Stand in Holy Places." She promptly hung up the picture and turned on the music in her room telling Ruth, "Let's listen to this every day so we can memorize it." Its in these moments I can SEE her testimony growing and can envision her as a YW reciting the theme and doing her personal progress. Its sweet.

~ Lucy's new phase is "Cool Awesome." Not just "cool" or "awesome" but the combination of both. After I finished her hair one morning, "My hair is cool awesome." 

~ Spencer's was to write about the most important people in his life. How can you not smile about this?

~ Lucy is going through the "My Do It" stage. Gotta love independence.

~ Ruth goes through about 6 outfits a day. She is quite the fashionista.



The Plan includes Death

November 26 - December 2, 2017 Sunday, 11.26 Monday, 11.27 Tuesday, 11.28 Wednesday, 11.29 Thursday, 11.30 ...