Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Farm

Andrea and Mike came to visit during UEA this year. The weather was great and we got to do some fun things with them. Actually, the weather was so good that we even went swimming at Green Valley one day! We spent Saturday afternoon at the farm- it was a lot of fun, but so hot! I was glad to get in our air conditioned car when we left! And, you'll be able to tell by the pictures that towards the end, everyone was worn out. Above is a group shot just before we went it. You can see that the sun was too bright and we had a hard time getting everyone with their eyes open.

Alexa is the driver, Breanna is the pig (or hog, I suppose is more appropriate :)), Callie is the pumpkin and Leah is poking around the side. I'm not sure where Amber was for this shot...

Quinten's turn- this was the only hole he could reach on his own.

Leah as the pumpkin.

There was a small pen for petting animals. The kids all loved it.

Quin wanted to ride this little pony. It was just his size. He wasn't afraid like I thought he would be!

This witch was wandering around. She was nice enough to stop and take a picture with us.

I can't remember what they called this thing, but it was shaped like a huge pillow, filled with air. The kids had a great time jumping on it, except for Breanna who thought it wasn't worth it to have to untie her shoes to get on. Quin didn't want to get off, but then a couple bigger boys got on and he got scared. They would jump and he would fall and bounce his way around. I had to grab his legs to get him off. (Because I wasn't about to get on the thing either).

I guess if you're in to John Deere, you can find the stuff anywhere. There were Little John Deere trikes and ride ons, stick horses, etc. And this thing, which Quinten loved. It was actually Lex's idea to get all four of them on it for a picture. Doesn't Quin look happy?

I'm not sure how this picture didn't get flipped, but I wasn't willing to go back and fix it. :) There was a toy kind of like a merry-go-round where the horses were made of tires, that you had to spin around with the use of ropes (which Mike ended up doing.... a lot... we were glad he came with us). Amber loved it, in particular. She didn't want to get off.

The girls, minus Amber, all took turns riding horses. This is Breanna and Alexa.

Callie and Leah.

More of the spinning horse toy.

There was a big playhouse that Quin played in. It had stairs up to an overlook tower that he really liked.

Group shot in front of the scarecrow sign.

This picture was the last picture I took and really should have gone at the end. You can see that everyone looks hot and slightly irritated. It was on the ride back from the corn maze. It was time to go, I think.

This was on the way to the corn maze. Everyone was in better spirits here and excited for what we were about to do. Maybe we should have done the corn maze first and then they would have enjoyed it more.

Entering the corn maze. Quinted made me carry him most of the way, which I hated. Mike was in charge of getting us to the middle in the shortest amount of time. He took a few wrong turns, but we eventually made it. And the way out seemed much, much quicker.

Here is the flag to prove that we did it. They had fun, but 10 degrees cooler really would have help us out!

We were glad we got to spend some time with Andrea and Mike. We love when they come to visit!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

More Leah-isms

When I said there were funny things my kids say that I didn't want to forget, maybe it would have been more accurate to say that Leah says funny things that I don't want to forget. Here's a couple more:

Yesterday we have two soccer games. When we got home from Callie's in the afternoon, Andrew cut the lawn, so the kids played outside. It was a beautiful day and the sun felt great. When it was time to come in, Leah's entire backside was soaked. My first assumption was that she had peed her pants because she was too busy to come in and go to the bathroom. She denied this, of course, but couldn't tell us why she was all wet. Andrew and I were both trying to get her to tell us exactly how it happened. Finally, after she had changed her clothes and was back in the living room she said, "You really want to know the truth? My butt was hot, so I had to pour water from a water bottle on it." That girl is crazy.

We went to the High School football game on Friday night because Callie was doing cheer during the halftime show. It was late when we left for home and we kept trying to convince everyone that they needed to sleep in on Saturday morning, except for Alexa, who had a 9AM soccer game. So, Leah's solution to that was, "You have to sleep out, Lex, not sleep in." It makes perfect sense, I suppose- the opposite of in is out. It just sounded so funny when she said it.

Quinten couldn't get enough of the football game. He was upset we left before he could properly say goodbye to the team. All through the parking lot to the car he was near tears saying, "I didn't say goodbye to the Panthers." I guess we need to make it a point to take him to more games if that is all it takes to make him happy.

Scripture Cookies

So, Alexa has been asking for the last couple weeks to make scripture cookies from a recipe her Grandma Louisa gave her. You know the ones- you look up the scripture and it has an ingredient to add to the bowl to make the cookies. We finally did it today. She looked up the scriptures and read them, got the ingredient, then I would add it to the bowl. I'm ashamed to say that I am a pathetic excuse for a mother when it comes to making cookies. I know this for the sheer fact that while the cookies were in the oven all three of my girls were saying things like, "Wow. This is so fun. We haven't done this in a really long time." OR, "All we usually do is make cookies from a mix. This is way better!" Yikes. I was totally called out without them even realizing it.

I do have a fairly legitimate excuse for not being a "cookie baking mom"... so let me fill you in. Andrew and I got married 11 years ago. For the first two and a half years it was just us. And when Alexa was born, she obviously couldn't eat cookies or cake or pie for at least nine months. So, it was over three years where if I made anything sweet, it was just Andrew and I to eat it. I learned very quickly that if I made anything that resembled dessert, Andrew would typically eat a token piece of whatever it was as soon as it was done, then he wouldn't touch it after that. At first I think I was offended, until I realized that he'd rather sit down with a bag of chips or a bowl of popcorn before he'd sit with anything that contained sugar. So, if I made anything he'd have a piece and I'd finish it off over the course of the next few days. Eating a whole raspberry pie (minus one piece) isn't good for anyone. Sometimes I couldn't eat whatever it was before it would go bad or stale and then I was just throwing food away. So, I just stopped making stuff. If I wanted it, I'd buy a cookie mix that only made two dozen cookies instead of six dozen. If I wanted brownies, I'd buy the Betty Crocker single mix that goes in the microwave (I'm not picky :)) and eat it when I wanted it. And even now I frequent the cupcake store if I'm really in the mood for a cakebite or a cupcake. I guess over the years I've forgotten that maybe my kids need and want the experience of having homemade treats in the house. The funny thing is, I'm actually a fairly good cook. I may not like it much, but I'm completely capable of doing it. And sometimes I wonder if I don't really enjoy it because I've always got a baby competing for my time, so I feel rushed in the kitchen. I'm always looking for the fast, easy out so I can get to everything and everyone that needs my time. Maybe as my kids get older I will change my mind.

I have sisters who are incredibly talented when it comes to homemaking... even when they have babies. I didn't get that gene- I'm too much like my mom. I actually think that is a good thing. My mom is the best and I have no problems with being just like her. I hope that someday my kids will recognize I taught them the importance of learning and reading, music, exercise, service, self-reliance and a million other things. I figure if it really means that much to my kids to learn the "crafty" side of motherhood, they can hang out with my sisters every summer and learn all there is to know. :)

My new resolve is to make something homemade once a month for the sake of my kids. Once a month, you say? That's not much to some of you, but for me it's a step in the right direction.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Funny Little Things...

Sometimes my kids just make me laugh. They say things that I always think to myself, "I need to remember that and write it down so I don't forget." And then life happens, I don't write it down and I forget. So, here are a few of them so I will remember them with fondness in years to come... and possibly torture them with the memories. :)

Leah slept in footed pajamas last night even though I thought she was going to be too hot. As it turned out, it was a cool night and we woke up to a chilly 73 degrees in our house. (That's the lowest it's been since probably March, so to us it was cold.) She came out of her room this morning and the pajamas were unzipped to her belly button. She laughed and said, "Look, I slept like this." I said, "Well, I'm sure you were still warm enough," to which she replied, "Indeed, I was." Truly. She even used it in the right context... I was so proud. :)

Quinten came running out of his room the other night with a fistful of money from someone's piggy bank. He said, "Look Mom! Look at all my money." I, of course responded with, "Wow. Where did you get all that?" He said, "In my room. Except the rest of it fell down the butt crack of my bed." The girls were in hysterics and I had a hard time keeping a straight face.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Leah Jayne

Leah started preschool about a month ago. I can hardly believe that this is her last year and next year she will be in Kindergarten! Wow. I am trying to decide if she's ready for that... or better yet, if I'm ready for that. Three kids in elementary school?! Yikes. Last year I signed up to help on the first day of school for her. I knew she would be nervous and it would help the transition if I was there. I decided to do the same thing this year. Leah's class hadn't changed much- a couple kids gone with a few new additions. I think that helped make her feel better about it. The biggest thing I was worried about was that her friend, Shane, wasn't going to be there. She took it better than I thought she would and we've moved on to playing with other kids at school. Every day when I pick her up I ask her who she played with at recess. Typically, it's a girl named Callista. I'm just glad she's playing with the girls this year! :)

Leah had her first day of school outfit picked out a month before school started. She was so excited to get dressed the morning of the first day. She was awake before 7:00, which is SO unlike her. I don't know if it was nerves or excitement. We got her ready, dropped the big girls off at school and headed to her school. I know helping on the first day was the right thing. She sat next to me the whole time, only wanted to play with me and was terribly quiet. But, she had fun and I knew she'd be OK the next day.

Now I just drop her off at the curb, she runs in and doesn't look back. She is extremely excited when she brings homework home. She sits at the counter and works hard to make all her letters look just right. I know she is taking notes from her sisters and it makes me grateful they don't fight me too badly on their homework.

Quinten is now a loner on the mornings Leah is at school. The first day of school he spent with Andrew while I was helping with Leah. He was still asleep when I left, but Andrew said he woke up shortly after we had gone. He ate breakfast and ran some errands with Andrew. When I got home, he was watching TV, eating donuts on the floor and hardly talked to us. He looked up just long enough to say, "Mom, we got donuts!" Apparently he enjoyed his alone time with Dad. And he seems to be enjoying his alone time with me, as well. I thought he would protest a bit to having Leah gone, but he really only protests the fact that he can't go to his school. I always tell him his school is with me... he's not convinced it's a legitimate school. :) We run errands, clean the house, hang out with Dad, (who is always trying to work while we "hang out with him"... he humors us, I think, even though he's busy...). And, occasionally we buy tasty treats for ourselves and we don't share with anyone. Now, that alone should be enough to make Mom's school legitimate!

I'm not sure what I will do with Quinten next year. He will be old enough for preschool, but I really don't anticipate sending him to Kindergarten till he's six. His birthday is so late in May, I just think he will be better off if I wait. So, really he doesn't need to start Preschool for two more years. However, maybe next year I will change my mind. He will really be sick of Mom's school by then. You never know what could happen between now and then!