Thursday, 25 July 2013


One good thing about being apart from PC, is that I have e-mails to him that say everything we've done.  This is from my e-mail to him on the 12th.
"Yesterday was crazy, but fun. We went over to your parents house in the morning to say bye to mike and Colette. Then had swim lessons. I tried weaning Lydia off of her medicine so she had missed two doses. She woke up choking at the pool. You could tell she was hurting really badly so we came home and gave her med. She can miss one but not two apparently. We got some school supplies in the afternoon. Made dinner and had Steve and Sam over. They watched the kids while I went to my RS thing. I was going to take Lydia but they wanted her and she fell asleep as I was leaving so I hoped she would be ok. They had to call me at 8 cuz she had been screaming for a half hour. Shed calm down for a little but she is a mommas girl. She was so angry but stopped as soon as she saw me. She's crying now. I don't think she's ready to cry it out. She gets really scared an mad when I'm not there."
And here is from another later on that same day:
"To: Daddy From: Thomas
Thank you so much for being my dad. You are the best dad anyone could ever imagine. I love you ;)
So that letter from Thomas was his last thing he needed to do for his bear achievements!  He had to write two letters so he wrote to you and Kaela. I'm proud of him and he's pretty happy about it! Ran this afternoon and mowed the lawn. Lydia has been taking a nice long nap but I need to go bring your parents trash in so I hope she wakes up soon!  She is just so sweet. I think I felt a tooth popping through today. That would explain why she has been so attached to me lately. Of course you being gone and Kaela too this week that might have her worried. I have never seen a baby get so mad/scared. I'm not sure what it is but she does not stop lately unless I get her. Poor baby. Sure love that little butterball. Can't believe she will be five months old tomorrow! CrAzY!"

Uncle Mike's Visit

The second week in July brought Uncle Mike home for a visit with his friend, Colette. We were all so excited to see him and meet Colette.  We had a great time while they were in visiting.  They went swimming with us on Monday, the 8th.  The kids loved having them in the water. 
We came back to the house for lunch of homemade Panini's and strawberries.  I had just bought one of those mesh baby food things for Baby Girl, so we put a few strawberries in there and Uncle Mike helped her out. She loved it! If he didn't hold it in her mouth, she would yell at him until he stuck it back in. So cute! I didn't get a picture of the first time, but for dinner we went over to Dan and Shar's for a barbeque and Baby Girl got to have some watermelon that time.  She started holding it in herself too.
Tink left for girls camp on Tuesday. It was a much harder week without having her around!  I had two loves to miss. And two helpers as well.  We tried to have fun though and did stay busy.  We went with the crew (Dan/Shar fam, Mike/Colette/Johnny) to see Despicable Me 2 in the theater.  Good movie.  Baby Girl and her cousin had to be walked a bit near the end, but we survived. That afternoon I made Baby Girl a pair of barefoot sandals.  I thought they were cute, especially on her chubby little feet.  We went over to Nana and Papa's for s'mores that evening. 

Friday, 5 July 2013

Water Slide

Goofy and Minnie got to go down the water slide at the pool during lessons today.  Goofy has been so excited about this!  Luckily, I had my camera with me again today, so I got a few good pictures.  They have improved SO much in just one week! I look forward to next week to see how much farther they will go! 
After Goofy went down (he was the first one in his class), I overheard him telling his friends in his class that "It was awesome! And you might want to plug your nose.  And your eyes!"  So cute!

Independence Day

We had a nice holiday for the 4th.  I worried about keeping the kids busy and happy since most families were celebrating with their families.  All our extended family are out of town and PC is gone for work, so I wasn't sure how they would feel.  Swim lessons were rescheduled, so we didn't even have that!  We did go down to the rec center here in our subdivision for some games and face painting.  We arrived just at the beginning and there was no one there! (We heard it was packed later in the day!)  It was nice to have it all to ourselves, though!  No lines!  Bucko ended up with face painting and "tattoos" on his arms.  And of course, because Bucko did it, Goofy had to as well.  And because there weren't any lines, I ended up getting mine and Baby Girl's face painted too! 
The games were just easy, fun games, and then they gave the kids candy for participating in each. They all rocked the hula hoop.  Bucko beat everyone for endurance in hula hoop. When another few families came, he competed against them and he was still the reigning champion.  Tink is fun to watch hula hoop, because she barely moves her body, but keeps it going for a long time as well. Actually, all my kids are really good hula hoopers!  (I think I just made that word up!)  They also did water balloon toss, bean bag toss, and ring toss.  To get more people to show up, they even put up the bouncy castle, so my kids jumped on that last and still had the whole castle to themselves! 
One of the candies they got were Starburst. They had special flavors and one that Tink got was pina colada.  (She asked, "What is 'pine-a colda'?")  So to introduce my kids to pina coladas, we then went to Wal-Mart and picked up some pina colada Bicardi mix.  They all loved them! I don't think I have made those since I was a teenager at the beach.  We also picked up a shaved ice machine, but that didn't turn out as good or as fun as we had hoped.  A bit disappointed with that one.
Baby Girl and I took a nap and then when I woke up, we got a call from friends inviting us to a barbecue.  That was so nice of them, so we walked down there and had dinner with them.  It rained just a little on us on the walk home, and Minnie fell off of her scooter and got a bit scraped up, but we had a good day.   

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Swim Lessons Begin

This week, Goofy and Minnie started swim lessons.  This is how the rest of our month will be!  They have lessons next week as well, and then Tink and Bucko have the last two weeks of July.  It has been fun and they have taken off!  Goofy is all over the place! He is swimming great with the belt on and then if we stay and play afterwards, he is diving down for the torpedoes and having a blast.  Minnie is a bit more cautious, but her confidence is growing and she is loving it! I am so glad we did it and they are pretty cheap at our rec center, so I hope we can do them next summer as well!
Luckily, our friends have been meeting us there most mornings as well, so Tink and Bucko have someone to play with as well.

4 Months Old

I cannot believe how big this little girl has grown. She is so long and chubby. We love it!  She weighed in at 17.10 pounds at her well child check, and 26.25 inches long. But here's what has me grabbing at a slow down button:  she is sitting by herself!  She pulled herself up to a sitting position by herself when we were at grandma's house, but now she can sit all by herself. What a little stinker!  So stinking cute, I mean!
We went to a cousin's birthday party this past weekend, so she was able to see her cousin who is exactly two months older.  Baby Girl is so big, they look like they are closer in age!
And here is one more.  She is wearing size 18 months pajamas!! Holy moly!

Oz Museum

For the drive back home, we decided to take it a little easier and do it in three days instead of two.  So when we stopped in Kansas, we detoured to the little town that built a museum in tribute to the Wizard of Oz.  It had tons of memorabilia and original things from the movie.  Tink was in heaven!  She has loved the Wizard of Oz since before she turned 2!  PC used to tell her the story as a bedtime story and when she was a little older, it was one of the first movies she ever watched.  (Wizard of Oz and Cinderella were the only movies she watched for a long time!)  When we moved to TX when she was two-years-old, she would dress up in the Dorothy dress I made her with her ruby slippers, hang a basket with her stuffed puppy who became known to us as Toto and she named different pieces of furniture the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man.  She has an amazing imagination, and the fascination for Wizard of Oz has never left her.  Ever since she was able to see the play Wicked in London, she has been gaga for the Wicked Witch.  Her favorite color is green!  Anyway, it wasn't huge, but she loved it.  We thought it was pretty cool too.
Outside of the museum (and one spot inside as well), they had some of the original Munchkin actors and actresses put their hands in the concrete as tribute to them.  The kids loved comparing their hand sizes with the real Munchkins! 
Another nice thing about making the trip in three days was that we could relax at the hotel!  We went swimming and then ordered Pizza from Papa Johns.  Yum!  We had the whole pool to ourselves too because we were there early enough. The only bad thing was that the entire pool area was tile!  It was so easy to slip! I didn't stay long with Baby Girl because it was too slick to even walk around.

More Family

Our last day in West Virginia, PC's sister was able to come and see us.  She lives in VA, so doesn't really get to see much family very often. It was great to see them. The kids have grown so much in the year and a half since we had seen them. 
We pulled out the huge tarps for a soapy slip and slide. It was fun, but it is so hot and humid there!  The kids were scared of all the bugs too. I guess we've gotten used to living where there really aren't many bugs. 
Baby Girl got her first taste of cereal there too!  She loved it! Can you see her in PC's arms just gobbling it down?  And the picture in the middle, on the right?  She wanted every drop, so he was letting her drink it from the bowl!  Priceless!
On our first Friday there, I forgot to mention that we went down the road to visit Nana Jean.  She is getting very old and nearing the end of her life here on earth.  She loved meeting Lydia. We call her Nana Jean because she was like a grandmother to us growing up.  She made us some kind of treat for every single one of our birthdays!  Amazing woman!  I remember when her husband passed away, but I was probably younger than ten. She is a very independent woman who is just so loving.  And we sure love her!  PC and Dan took the kids fishing in her pond while we all chatted. It was a gorgeous time.
The morning we left, my mom held Baby Girl for me while we packed the van.  She "rocky-byed" her right to sleep.  She was loving every minute of it too!

Family Reunion

So we made it to my parent's house in 2 days. It's a 24 hour trip.  We did 14 hours the first day, and 10 the second.  Baby Girl did really well.  She took a bottle great and the kids got along well for the most part.  Baby Girl started making this face on the second day.  It was cracking me up!
We figured out later that she has a blister in her mouth. It's on her cheek, right where her gums hit it.  She must have bit her cheek and now she keeps biting it. It still hasn't gone away, but the doctor said it should go away on its own. (It's been over 3 weeks now, though, so I don't know when!)
Our official family reunion was only Friday evening and Saturday.  With everyone's schedules, that was all we could get in where everyone would be there.  Friday night we had taco salad and a talent show.  We also got some great family pictures.


Saturday morning, we did yoga with Kieri and played some outdoor games, like "red light, green light" and "drop the hankie."  Then we had hot dogs for lunch and headed over to Jeff's for a pool party and hamburgers.  We did a campfire over there with S'mores as well.  It was a good time, though it went too fast.
Sunday was Father's Day.  It was nice to go to church with Mom and Dad and see all the friends from church. My good friend, Angie, was able to stop by in the afternoon and visit.  Her father passed away a couple weeks ago, so it was a rough day for them.  She grew up with me like a sister, though, and my dad was a like a dad to her, so I know it was nice for her to come over.  Jimi had us over for yummy, yummy pizza for dinner.
Tuckered out after church
On Monday, we all did laundry as my sister was leaving the next morning.  My brother and PC went on a canoeing trip with some other guys too.  They camped out and came home Tuesday.
After lunch on Monday, we decided to go to the park and play some baseball.  Grandma took the kids into the river too.  It was hot and they loved cooling off a bit. We stopped at McDonald's after for ice cream cones.  That evening we had a fun FHE, where Tink gave the lesson about Abinidi and we played Sharks and Minnows.


So the next week, the week of June 11th, we were packing and getting ready for our trip to visit my family back east.  PC was working nights and we were going to leave on Wednesday, the 12th.  On the 11th, PC left for work and I flipped on the TV to watch something while I nursed Baby Girl.  There were breaking news alerts on all the local channels about a fire in the forest near our home.  They were telling everyone to be aware and to know if you were on evacuation or pre-evacuation orders. I didn't know how to find out, so called my MIL to see if she knew. She said not to worry, that they were far enough away that we would be fine.  Well, we could see the smoke and smell it from our house and the kids were starting to worry.  PC called from work and said he would be watching the news as well, but we would be fine.  I am scrambling to pack our van for our trip, get all the food ready for our trip (I made pepperoni rolls, banana bread, and egg salad, so I was busy!), and watching the news at the same time.  The kids start to worry and Bucko starts packing all of his stuff in his bags, including all his stuffed animals, his piggy bank, and every DS game he owns.  I took him to violin lessons and on the way home, we drove out a little farther to see it better. (In the collage, it is the top right picture.)  Around the time the kids went to bed, the moved the evacuation line to about a half-mile from our house and we were one pre-evacuation orders.  PC wasn't getting home until after midnight, so I just kept checking all the updates on Facebook to see if we changed to evac, especially since the area close to us had gone from pre-evac to evac in a half an hour.  The winds had been blowing our way and the sheriff had warned us to really be ready to go if needed.  Luckily, we never did get to evacuation orders, but we really didn't get much sleep that night either. We woke up early and headed east.  We kept checking the news while we were gone as well. It really was a devastating fire--the worst for home damages in the state, with over 500 homes completely lost. 
After we got home, we drove through and saw the devastation. Some places were just all black, bare trunks of trees.  Homes with nothing left but the chimney. I got a couple pictures, but was in such awe of all the destruction that I didn't get ones that showed the worst of it. 
One story that came out of all this was one of our church's ward buildings that was right in the heart of it all.  The week before the fire started, they had been inspired to have a clean-up day where they cleared 15 truckloads of dead pine needles and debris.  The building sustained some smoke damage, but that was all.  It truly was a testament to following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  (The bottom right picture shows the edge of the church property.)

Summer Fun

Cousins were able to come down and visit after the camping trip.  We had lots of fun.  One day we made a 4th of July craft. Another day we went swimming.  And one day we went to the park for a picnic and playing.  PC had the day off, so he was able to go with us.  He took some of the kids (all the boys and a couple girls) for a short hike.  This is one of our favorite parks, and I am so glad we were able to go before the fire started--more on that later.


The first weekend in June, we went camping with two of PC's brothers and their families, along with Nana and Johnny, up in the mountains at the Golden Gate Canyon State Park.  Boy was it cold!!  It was a beautiful drive up there.  One of PC's brothers was already there and setting up camp by the time we got there.  I saw his wife and kids all bundled up and thought, "Is it really that cold out there?"  Yes, yes it was.  It was so windy, probably up to 50 mph winds, and they were cold winds!  When PC's other brother and his family arrived, however, most of them were in shorts and t-shirts.  And they didn't have jackets.  Luckily, I had made all of us pack 2 hoodies/jackets, so we could share with them.  I had wanted them to have 2 in case it was cold and they needed to double them up.  It was cold and they sure could have used both, but their cousins would have been frozen.  So we used blankets to huddle in and tried to stay warm around the campfire.  We worried about Baby Girl staying warm, of course, but I'm sure she was the warmest.  She had a full body coat we had received at the baby shower, and it was put to good use that weekend.  She slept with me at night inside my sleeping bag and was my heater!  The kids stayed in the vehicles to play and in the tents.  The wind was just too cold. We did go on a short hike.  On that side of the mountain, the trees blocked the wind a lot more, so it was warmer.  The aspens were all blooming then, and they were so pretty. 
The whole crew

We did hot dogs and all the sides for dinner, with s'mores for dessert.  Nana did a nice devotional for us around the fire.  She talked about Amalakiah in the book of Alma and how Satan uses the same tactics on us.  He promises one thing and gets us to move just a little bit in our conviction, and then a little more until we meet our downfall. 
Yes, Minnie fell asleep in that chair!
In the morning, we made pancakes, scrambled eggs, hot chocolate, and sausage. We also had strawberries and juice.  It was all so yummy.  I love camping!  Before we left, we stopped over by the panoramic overview.  It was really pretty and we got some good pictures.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Silly Boys

Tink and I had our eye appointments in May as well.  We decided to try a different eye doctor than the one we took Minnie to last year that made a mess of things with her.  I didn't know that some Target's have eye centers, but one near us does, and we have really liked the eye doctor there.  My boys, however, love the big balls in front of Target.  I don't know why, but Goofy always wants his picture taken on top of the big ball.  So I finally did it, and Bucko had do it as well.  So silly. 
Goodnight and Big Balls.  (Maybe he likes them because of Wipeout, who knows? lol)

End of Busy Boys

Oh, how much fun I have had teaching Goofy and his friends in our Busy Boys Preschool this year.  I have been so impressed with how well four and five-year-old boys play together!  At least these four cute boys did!  It was so neat to see them grow throughout the year. I can understand how proud teachers can be of their students now.  For our final hurrah, we all met at the park.  Funny story about getting there.  I had never been to this particular park, though it is pretty close to us.  My friends had told me what road to turn on and how to get there, so I figured I wouldn't have any problems.  Unfortunately, I was thinking that this particular road was off of a different road than it really was, so I was driving all over this road looking for this other road and could not find it!  So I cross the main road and pull over to the side, out of the way.  (I had just passed a cop, so I made sure I wasn't too close to a fire hydrant or stop sign.)  I get out my GPS and start to plug in the road, when I look in my rearview mirror and see that the cop has turned around and is parked behind me now.  He comes up to me and asks if this is my vehicle.  I confirm that it is and he says that is interesting since they had an incident a few days earlier that involved the exact make, model and color as my vehicle very close to this very area where I had decided to pull over.  I am thinking, "Oh, good grief."  So I explained that I was lost and looking for this park. He hadn't heard of the park, so goes back to see if dispatch knows where it is.  Oh and by the way, can I just see your driver's license.  So I know he went and did a check, which was fine because, obviously, it wasn't me that was involved in whatever this incident was that had taken place!  Anyway, I found the park, and when I was relating the story to my friends, they said they had heard about some teenagers going around and knocking on doors. If someone answered, they would say they lost their dog or cat and ask if they had seen it, but if no one answered, they would break in and steal things.  Apparently, they were driving around in a minivan, so that is probably what was going on.  Anyway, it was definitely an odd experience.
Back to our picnic at the park.  We had a lot of fun and the boys probably could have stayed and played all day.  It was bittersweet, as one family was moving that week.  Goodbyes are always hard, so we always say they are just "See ya laters" because you never know when we will see them again.  And I know we will.
At one point, we look over and see all the boys climbing up the outside of the slide.  Of course, once one of them was brave enough to make it over, they all had to do it. 
I can't believe my "little boy" will start kindergarten soon.  He's just not so little anymore. 

Sky Sox

The night before Mother's Day, I took the girls to a Sky Sox game.  It was Military Appreciation night.  Dan and Shar had picked up tickets for all of us, just like last year.  We got there early and found our seats.  I picked up a pizza from the Domino's booth for us for dinner.  The weather was a bit chilly, but the sun was shining when we got there, so it wasn't too bad.  Over halfway through, though, it started to downpour.  We quickly got our blanket that we were sitting on over top of us.  Dan had an umbrella, but of course we couldn't all get under it.  We were trying to keep the babies dry mostly.  Then Jeff gave us an extra towel they had, so I just put that over me and Baby Girl.  Luckily at this point, she was asleep for the night and slept right through it all.  We stuck it out and it stopped.  Then it started again for just a bit and then cleared up.  We sent Dan with some of the kids to go buy hot chocolate.  That helped warm us up a bit.  It all ended with the fireworks!  Apparently Minnie doesn't like fireworks.  Tink said she had been even more scared last year. I do remember her sitting in PC's lap, but had forgotten until Tink mentioned it.  She did pretty well this year, but her eyes were as big as saucers.  I was glad we got to see fireworks, though, since we probably won't get to see them for the 4th of July.  They just lifted the ban last night for commercial fireworks in town because we have had a lot of rain this past week, but I doubt we will go anywhere to see them.  They cancelled the ones they had planned to do at our neighborhood community celebration. 

Violin Recital

On June 3, Bucko had his violin recital.  He was a bit nervous, but did very well.  I have been proud of him.  We rushed off during intermission to make it back to Papa's retirement party.