Monday, March 30, 2015

March 29, 2015

Lily and Annie found the movie "Annie" in a storage box in the basement on Monday and asked if we could watch it.  All the kids loved it for about the first 40 minutes and then it got too long and complicated for them.  The more I watched it, the more I was convinced it is really not appropriate for children.  Miss Hannigan is always drinking and throwing herself at men, our kids were confused about what orphans are and why no one would want little children, and the scene where Annie is taken away from Daddy Warbucks and has to be chased down and rescued  by helicopter was a little scary for the girls.  I think we'll pack that one away again until the kids are a little older.  But their smiles during the first few songs and the scene where Annie gets to go to the movies were so precious.  Tommy was really digging it.

Monday night we had a Family Home Evening about being a "builder".  The girls have some playmates on our street who are a few years older and we've noticed some negative effects from those relationships.  The older girls like to create" drama" and compete for Lily's friendship by gossiping about each other in order to look better than the other.  It has been very confusing to see these girls bad mouth each other and then turn around and play happily together in the same day.  We've been talking a lot about how to avoid the negative and be a builder of positive relationships.

As I thought about this and prayed about it.  I was prompted by the Spirit that there is still a lot of work to do within our own family to avoid negative communication.  We've started learning the Primary song "I am a Builder" and talking about how to build up and sometimes just plain avoid negative influences.  Each of us wrote down ways we can build within out family and friendships.  The kids told Mommy and Daddy they want more play time and dates with us.  Mommy wants to work on being happy and not yelling when the kids misbehave.  Daddy set goals to read more often to the kids, speak more Spanish, and clean up his projects and messes.  Lily wants to work on helping clean up, making her bed every day, and using kind words.  Annie wants to work on not yelling, not hitting, and obeying.  We decided Tommy needs to use his words more so he won't get so frustrated, so we're all going to help him have opportunities to speak rather than grunt and point.  We're one week in and all of us are noticing a difference.  When friends and neighbors come over, they ask us about what the house represents.  It gives us an opportunity to remind everyone who visits our home that this is a place where we want to build each other up.

 I had to run errands this week and decided to make a date of it with the kids.  I am not a fan of McDonald's so the kids get super excited when I let them have lunch there.  After lunch we bought all the kids some sandals for church and a few other household things.  It was one of the best shopping trips we've ever had.

Lily is progressing quickly with her reading.  She is big enough now to read books to Tommy.  One afternoon, I caught them snuggled up in the living room reading Bubba's  favorite book "Five Little Pumpkins".  Tommy loved the attention from big sister!

Annie has been getting creative with  building blocks this week.  This is one of many creations she made.  It doesn't look like much in the picture, but it was actually a pretty complicated structure filled with different rooms and walls and levels.  She was super proud of it and wanted photographic evidence.

Annie was feeling a little lonely one afternoon when Lily left to play with friends.  She asked if we could make cookies.  How can I say no to that?  We had a great time. I let her do almost all the work.  The cookies were delicious but turned out totally flat.  Annie was still very proud of them and shared them with all the friends who came over later in the day.

Tommy is addicted to screens.  He loves the computer, the television, the Kindle, Mommy's smartphone name it .....he wants to look at it and play with it.  I started keeping the remotes for the t.v. up high were he can't see or reach them in order to limit his t.v. time.  This week, he figured out how to drag a step stool over to the ledge and get the "goods" on his own.  Some days I don't think I am smart enough to parent toddlers.

Annie's dance class had picture day on Thursday.  This is not her official photo.  I just snapped these while we waited for her turn with her class.  She is such a doll!  Her red hair and long lashes still stop traffic when we're out together.

We're definitely well into Idaho springtime.  We've had below freezing temps, snow, wind, rain, and 70 degree weather all in the same week.  I love seeing the kids out on the trampoline.  Annie gets nervous when other kids besides Lily are on there too, but she is getting braver after her accident last fall with Daddy and Uncle Brady. I love the huge smile on her face as she crashes down in the above photo.  And I love how Lily looks like a flying fairy in the picture below - all that's missing are the wings on her back.

On the last day of school before Spring Break, Lily's class adopted little marshmallow Peeps as pets.  Lily named her Peep "Anna".  Her Peep is 1 year old and is a girl (the pink gave that away).  Her Peep likes to cuddle.  Most of the kids in Lily's class had eaten their Peep before leaving school that day, but Lily was very attached to her Peep.  She came home and built a nest for her.  She also made other Peeps out of paper for her so the bird wouldn't get lonely.  She would hold the Peep and sing to it.  All the while feeling totally conflicted because she really wanted to eat it!  Our little "Anna" survived until Saturday afternoon when Lily and Annie decided to eat her.  Mommy promised them that the Easter Bunny would deliver more Peeps the day before Easter.

Tommy turned 2 on Friday.  He has been working up to the terrible twos for a couple of weeks now.  He's been practicing his tantrums and tears.  On his birthday he added master troublemaker to his list.  First he got into my drawer with nail polish while I was trimming Annie's nails.  He took two bottles of polish into the living room and hit them against each other.  The force caused the bottles to break, sending  tiny pieces of glass and two shades of hot pink polish all over the area rug.  Annie and I worked hard to get up as much polish as we could.  Then while I was showering, Tommy got into our closet and my make up.  He pulled all of Daddy's ties off their hooks.  He spilled two jars of my make up on my bedroom carpet and used my new mascara to give himself a serious uni-brow.  Annie discovered his mess and came into the bathroom to tell me.  I got out of the shower and found Tommy hiding in my closed under all my dresses.....smearing the make up into my decorative bed pillows and my gorgeous dress from Brady's wedding.  Tommy's whirlwind like ability to spread destruction is beyond me.  At this point in the day we were only at 10:00 a.m.!  The rest of the day passed without serious incident.  And luckily, Mommy had a date with Daddy and some friends that night to get a reprieve from the mayhem.  After a few hours of playing games and socializing with adults, we came home and decided to allow Tommy to live another day.....since it was his birthday, after all.

We didn't do presents or birthday cake yet because Puna and Papa are coming next week to celebrate Easter and all of our family springtime birthdays together.  So we'll have pictures of Tommy with his cake and presents soon.

 To celebrate Mommy and Tommy's birthdays we had a family breakfast date to Smitty's restaurant in Idaho Falls.  We heard they make the best breakfasts.  We were not disappointed.  Jeremy and I ordered Swedish thin pancakes - they were amazing - and big.  I couldn't finish mine.  The girls wanted silver dollar pancakes.  They were really tasty too.  Tommy woke up with a cold and didn't have much of an appetite, but he did drink a lot of apple juice. Smitty's is an old restaurant.  The interior looks like it hasn't changed in forty or more years.  The girls loved the old colored glass display at the entry.  Mommy loved having all of us together.  After breakfast, Jeremy took me shopping for carpet for the basement.  It was a lot harder to decide what we wanted than we thought it would be.  We took home about nine samples and we still don't think we found the one we like.  It's a hard balance between getting something dark enough to cover kids traffic and dirt and light enough to keep the basement feeling light and happy.

Jeremy asked what I wanted for my birthday and I told him: a finished basement, a break from cooking, and a date with the girls to see Cinderella.  He came through on all three wishes.  Although until I can decide on carpet for the basement, we're at a stand still downstairs.  The break from cooking was so nice and we loved trying a new place.  I'll cash in my restaurant gift card for dinner on another day.

Cinderella was my favorite part of the day.  The girls both wanted to wear their dress up dresses.  Lily has grown so much that she's too tall for most of our dresses.  I let each girl get her own drink and treat at the movie.  Annie spent most of the movie in my lap because she's too small to keep the seat down and it kept folding up on her.  Lily cried a few times when Cinderella lost her parents and when she was mistreated by her step mother.  Annie was captivated by the magic and romance.  I was emotional through the whole movie.  Not because it was a great show, but because I couldn't believe I was sitting there with my two little girls.  Not that long ago we weren't sure we'd be able to have our own children.  Sitting there sharing the magic of the movie with my daughters was an amazing feeling.  It hit me hard just how blessed our family has been over the past six years.  And watching my girls get lost in the fantasy of a fairy tale helped me realize what a great story our family is living right now.

By the end of a day of breakfast, shopping, and a movie, the girls were exhausted and both fell asleep in the car on the way home.  I made it home with them in time to get dinner on the table, get changed for the Womens' Broadcast, and get to the stake center to watch it.  I loved how family centered the talks were - especially since this year is the 20th anniversary of the Family proclamation.  One of my favorite moments from the session was the video music presentation of "The Family is of God".

"God gave us families, to help us become what He wants us to be.  This is how He shares His love.  For the family is of God."

I know my family is the result of God's fulfilled promise to me years ago when I cried out to Him, alone in a closet.  Even when I have nail polish in my carpet, popsicles melting on the kitchen floor, potty accidents, missed bus mornings, and red haired girls causing "girl drama", I know that those small challenges are helping us all to become what He wants us to be.  We need families to stretch us and support us.  I know our family is of God and I am thankful every day for our little growing family.

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 22, 2015

The beginning of this week was all about St. Patrick's Day.  Lily finished her leprechaun trap from the week before and took it to school.  She was so disappointed that she didn't catch anything, but there was a trail of green glitter on the trail of her trap, so she knows the leprechaun came and looked at it.  He must have been smart enough to realize it was really a trap so he stayed safe.  Lily and Annie were disappointed that we don't own any St. Patrick's decorations so they made their own.  Lily made a shamrock garland which we taped to our clock and Annie made three signs that said "leprechaun".  Annie was so pleased with herself that she could write such a long word!

The kids were excited to find a box of Lucky Charms cereal, some gold foil wrapped chocolates, green bubbles, and green bubble gum waiting for them the morning of St. Patrick's Day.

 Annie's dance class played dress up and did the hokey pokey this week in class.  The girls needed a breather after working so hard to prepare their dance for their performances.

The weather has been so nice.  Sunny and 60+ degrees for the past week and a half.  One afternoon we went out and blew our leprechaun bubbles.  Tommy is actually good at blowing bubbles, but he is so forceful with his air blowing that I was afraid he might make himself pass out.  Just look at those sweet cheeks filled with air.  Lily won the prize for biggest bubbles.

Annie had another dance performance this week.  It was in Rexburg at the high school.  The coordinator scheduled the three youngest classes last on the program - obviously not a mom who wrote up this program.  We had to be there at 6:30 p.m.  Annie didn't dance until 8:15 p.m.  Some of the girls in her class were falling asleep or crying by 7:30 p.m.  In spite of the late night, Annie did an amazing job.  She got so many compliments on her hair cut and how cute it looks with the hat and costume.  After dancing, Mommy and Annie got some hot french fries to keep us warm on the drive home.  Annie loved having Mommy all to herself for one night.  She kept telling me how much she loves me.  Unfortunately, we paid dearly for the late night the next day.  Annie was super moody and cranky with everyone.  She was sent to her room to cool off four times in one day.  She had three potty accidents, and she got in a fight with one of her little buddies.  It was a long and rough day for all of us.

Lily made paper drowns for Mommy and Daddy.  She really wanted her grandmas to see them - so in spite of the really unflattering picture and all the laundry behind are the crowns!

 Somehow Annie gave herself a blue mustache while coloring one morning.  She had marker on her fingers.  I still can't tell if she drew it on or just had ink transfer from her fingers.  She didn't know it was there.  When I showed her the picture, she laughed to hard she almost fell out of her chair.

I went with some girlfriends to Time Out for Women in Idaho Falls this weekend.  I heard some LDS musicians for the first time that I just love - Josh Wright the pianist and the singing group Mercy River.  I can't wait to buy some of their music.  The speakers were so great.  I was inspired to be a better wife and mom.  I was lifted and refreshed - and exhausted.  I came home Saturday night pretty wiped out from all the laughing and crying.  Thanks to Jeremy for paying for it, watching the kids, and helping with laundry and house work while I was gone!

I can't believe we are almost at the end of our first school year.  Lily has almost exactly two months left of school this year.  We got her class picture on Friday.  Lily is at the top left in the back row, next to her amazing teacher.  Lily is already starting to worry about 1st grade.  She isn't looking forward to being away from Mommy all day long, eating lunch at school, and coming home so late in the afternoon.  Hopefully she will get used to the idea and the schedule quickly next year.  Until then, we're going to enjoy every last bit of Kindergarten.

And just for's a little story about me and Annie I posted to Facebook this week:

And the compliments from my four-year old continue.....
Annie:  "Mommy what's a genius?"
Me:  Someone who is very smart or has a lot of talent in a certain area or subject.
Annie"  "Oh, like me and Lily! And sometimes you're a genius too mom. But not every day."

Thanks a lot Annie. For those who are keeping track, I have a huge bum, I am doing a good job growing our baby in my belly, and I am sometimes a genius. Our little girl says the funniest things.

She really does keep my humble and on my toes.  Sometimes I regret naming her after my favorite fiction heroine Anne Shirley because Annie is truly living up to the name and reputation of that character!