Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 23, 2014

I can't believe February is almost over.  This month seemed to fly by - in a good way.  We all managed to stay healthy through the worst of winter.  We didn't get as much snow as usual for this time of year.  The kids have been happy and growing and busy...busy...busy.

Tommy has had extremely dry skin on his head and cheeks this winter.  After bath one night I slathered his head with lotion.  It made his hair stand straight up, so we styled a fauxhawk.  His sisters were laughing so he knew he looked funny and made some cute faces for us.

Tommy took his first solo steps this week.  It must have been scary for him because he hasn't attempted it again.  It was fun to have Uncle Brady here to witness the steps.

Jeremy bought us a red velvet pancake mix to try for Valentine's day.  I am not a huge fan of red velvet.  I just think it doesn't have much flavor.  But after trying these pancakes, I think the previous red velvet cakes I've tried just weren't from a good recipe.  These pancakes were awesome.  It probably helps that we covered them in fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  But there was a great flavor to the pancakes which has made me want to try more red velvet cake recipes.  Now I understand why people like red velvet so much.  So does Bubba.  Just look at that face.  He was stained red on his cheeks and fingers that whole day.

Puna and Papa came to visit us this week.  They stayed with us until Thursday morning.  All day Monday, Jeremy and Papa worked in the big play room putting up drywall.  By the end of the day their arms were shaking as they hefted each sheet up to the ceiling.  It was hard and dusty work.  But now we have walls and ceilings in almost the entire basement.  Papa kept working on the drywall Tuesday and Wednesday while Jeremy was at work.  And Jeremy spent most of Saturday doing more drywall.  It is nice to have walls instead of plastic covered insulation.  We are putting a little play area under the stairs for the kids.  The girls love the little doorway and window.

We'd like to style the exterior of the play area like a house.  Not exactly like the pictures above but along the same idea.  We'll be sure to put up pictures of the finished project.

After Puna and Papa left on Thursday morning, the kids needed a rest day.  Lots of grumps and crying filled the morning.  Thankfully all the kids took a nap and Mommy got caught up on housework.  Friday was just a normal day of preschool and errands.  Saturday was the big day for us this week.  Lily had her first dance performance of the year.  And Annie attended her first party at a friend's house.

We spent about a half hour Saturday morning curling Lily's hair.  All the girls in her class were supposed to have spiral curls in their hair.  I let Lily choose a movie and we sat down on the couch (next to the mountain of laundry that needed to be folded) and curled away.  As you can see, Tommy was a big help with the hair styling.

Lily was so excited to perform.  She loves to hear applause and she loves to dance.  She looks so much more grown up this year compared to last year.  Where is the time going?  Who told our beautiful girl she could grow so quickly?

Annie was such a supportive sister.  She waited patiently all through the performance and clapped loudly for Lily.  Annie can't wait until next year when it will be her turn for dance classes too.

After the recital we sent Annie and Lily off to the birthday party for their friend Preston.  Annie was so excited I thought she might explode.  It was a monsters themed party.  Annie designed and made her own monster mask.

That is one adorable monster if you ask me!  And notice she is wearing her Princess Anna dress?  She wears that dress everywhere we go, every single day - except for Sundays.  Mommy will not allow the dress to be worn at church.  The girls are still so in love with Frozen that we preordered the movie on amazon just to be sure we'll have a copy when it is released onto dvd next month.  Mommy might need to buy ear plugs to survive the first few weeks of constant Frozen watching.

Thank you again Puna and Papa for making the long drive to visit us and help with the basement work.

Annie's artwork has come a long way recently.  She drew this picture of our family on the back of a Valentine for Uncle Brady.  I love how little Tommy is crawling in the corner.  Great job Annie-Bananie! 

And here's one she did in Primary on Sunday.  She was supposed to draw a creation on the earth that shows Heavenly Father's love for her.  Annie drew Anna and Elsa from Frozen.  I suppose Heavenly Father must know how much this little girl loves princesses and fairy tales - and she is confident He made this movie just for her.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 16, 2014

Our house was all about Valentine's Day this week.  We were baking, decorating, celebrating, you name it - all week long.  It seemed like every day there was something fun to do for this holiday.  Last Sunday night some friends brought us heart shaped cookies.  The kids were thrilled.

Tuesday we got a fun surprise in the mail - Valentines from Grammy and Grampy Hall.  The girls were so excited to open their own mail, get a card, and get money for a treat.  Tommy was excited to get yet another thing to use as a teething toy.

Lily spent Tuesday night carefully filling out valentine cards for her class at school.  She was so excited to go to the store and pick out cards.  She spent a long time carefully writing every name and sticking the suckers to the cards.

Wednesday they had their class party.  Lily came home with an armload of treats and cards.  She couldn't wait to show us all the fun stuff and she generously shared all the candy with the whole family.  Her first Valentine class party was a complete success.  Although she did say the boys didn't like the princess valentines she gave away - they wanted something more "manly".

Thursday we took our friend Nathan to the library with us for story time.  At the end of story time they let each of the kids make a valentine poster.  They had fun putting on all the stickers.  Lily and Annie decided to give their posters to Daddy.  The girls also insisted on wearing their Frozen dresses to the library.  Everyone we saw complimented them on their dresses.

Thursday night we had a dance party in the kitchen.  I put on some Michael Buble while doing dishes and all the kids came in to show me their moves.

Friday there was no school.  We enjoyed a relaxed day together at home getting ready for our valentine party that night.  All the kids on our street were invited over for a pizza and pajama party while the parents went to a social at the church.  Jeremy and I were in charge of the entertainment for the social.  We decided on the "Not-So-Newlywed" game.  It was so much work trying to find questions that were funny but still appropriate for a church audience.  The game went over really well so I guess we did a good job.  I'm honestly just glad it's over.

The kids party was a success.  We ordered pizza and split the cost of babysitters with the other parents.  Our house was a complete disaster when we got home, but all the kids were safe and happy and said it was fun.  Our girls partied so hard they were total grumps the next day.  They need more sleep to recover from the late and silly night.

I remembered to snap a few quick photos of the decor with my cell phone but forgot to get a picture of me and Jeremy.  This Valentine's Day was special for us because 15 years ago this very holiday weekend we had our first date.  The food and decorations for the ward social were lovely.  Some friends we sat with said their cheeks hurt from all the laughing and smiling they did that night.  It was a great way to spend the evening.  And it was even more great to sleep in the next morning and rest from all the prep work we did the night before.

Saturday morning Annie wanted to splash in the huge puddle at the end of our driveway with her friend Preston.  They splashed for a long time and came back totally soaked and very cold.  Every kids needs a good muddy splash before they grow too big.

Saturday night Puna and Papa arrived to visit for a few days.  The kids were bursting with excitement to see them and talked their ears off for the first half hour or more.  Then they sang and danced to all the Frozen songs for Puna and Papa.  We exchanged our family valentines on Sunday morning before church.  Lily and Annie were most thrilled about their balloons from Daddy and their ring pops.  After church, Puna helped the girls make some valentine cupcakes. 

After all this love and celebrating, Mommy is ready for a nap!  See you next week.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 9, 2014

Looks like Lily figured out how to do "selfies" on my camera phone.  I found these pictures Sunday morning.  Love these cutie pies.  Just wish they'd ask before using the phone!

 Lily is dong great in her dance class.  It was so cold this week, I asked the teacher permission to sit in on class because it was just too long for me to be out in the car with Annie and Tommy.  Thankfully Annie and Tommy were very well behaved.  Lily was a little distracted having me in there at first, she kept waving and looking to me for approval.  But she finally got back to concentrating on teacher and was a delight to watch.  She has her first performance coming up on February 22nd if any grandparents want to come and see it.

I love how Annie looks in the picture.  It seems like everything a three year old should be - messy face, messy hair, sweet smile, adorable clothes.  She takes my breath away for all the right reasons and all the wrong reasons.....sometimes in the same moment.  How I love our little "Anne Girl"!

Saturday afternoon we had some friends over to play.  Unfortunately we had three girls and only one boy.  After trying to get the girls to play secret agent spies.....poor Colton finally caved to his older sister and put on a dress to play princesses.  I caught him leaving the bathroom after putting a bow in his hair, snapped the picture, and then made him change. 

Tommy was in a silly mood before his nap Friday afternoon.  All giggles and smiles before falling asleep.  That is unusual for him.  He generally gets cranky and fussy when he's tired.  This moment was just too precious.

I do Zumba three or four times a week.  I LOVE IT!  I have been going to a new studio since the beginning of January.  The atmosphere is really fun.  And I love that it is dark so no one can see me dancing.  Lily asked to go with me Saturday morning.  She danced her heart out for the first three songs and then was so tired she ended up cuddled inside my coat and her coat on the floor until the last three songs.  She had fun watching me and cheering me on, but said she was really cold when she wasn't dancing.

With all the baseboards put in and painted, we were ready to start moving furniture and books....lots of books.....into Jeremy's library/office/man cave.  It feels good to get even more done on the basement.  Jeremy is so happy to have our books out of their boxes again.  And he's really happy to have his own quiet place to read and study.

My favorite baking supply store had a free cupcake making lab on Saturday.  Jeremy took the girls there for a daddy-daughter date.  Lily had chocolate cake with vanilla custard filling and chocolate frosting.  Annie had vanilla cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting.  They had fun getting a treat with Daddy.

Tommy tried a lime for the first time this week.  The look on his face might seem like he didn't like it, but he kept going back for more.  He sucked his little wedge dry.  Another lime lover in the Hall family!

A little Sunday after-church-cuteness.  I made rice krispie treats drizzled with chocolate for choir practice.  The kids devoured the leftovers.  And as you can see, they were really happy to get a treat.

Tommy is branching out and wanting more table food rather than baby food.  We just wish he'd get some more teeth so he could chew all the things he wants to try.  He is our dinner show every night. What would we do without our Bubba?