Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Computer Troubles

Our computer has been having issues for a while now.  It is running so slow and is too old for some software to work.  Plus we don't have enough storage to add more pictures.  I won't be able to add anything to the blog until we buy a new computer or more storage.  Just want everyone to know we're doing well, we just can't post right now.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ferbuary Catch Up...Plus a Little Bit of March

Jeremy had President's Day off from work.  He spent the morning cleaning the bathrooms and teaching Lily how to really get a tub clean.  They were so cute together.  She asked to help him and was eager to learn.  It might be time to let her start doing more cleaning chores.
 Monday evening we took the kids to the Museum of Idaho for Family Night.  There is a new dinosaur exhibit and the kids wanted to experience it.  It was a great way to spend the night.  We got to dig for eggs and bones, dress up like mommy dinosaurs and guard our nests, put together puzzles, touch life size replicas of smaller dinosaurs, watch movies about dinosaurs, and much more.
 Annie giving us her best fierce dino face.
 Daddy really had fun with the kids.  We don't get to share adventures with him often so this was a real treat for all of us.
Tommy loved all the bones.  He kept touching them and calling them "pretty". He must have understood how special they are and "pretty" was the best word he could think of to show that he appreciated them. He is fascinated by dinosaurs right now.  This was a great experience for him.
 Lily liked the dinosaur eggs.  They had a few pods like this blue one set up and kids could climb in and hatch like a baby dinosaur. But as fun as the dinosaurs are, we loved the Explore Idaho section of the museum the best. There are tree houses, caves, a pioneer cabin, a tee pee, and so much more to play in.  The kids love this permanent feature of the museum.
 Joey was so happy he even smiled for the camera!
Tommy wouldn't slow down for a picture.  He was in and out of everything while we played there.  We couldn't catch him. After the museum, we treated the kids to some fries and frosties from Wendy's.  The kids decided we needed to do this for every family night from now on.
 Look at these cuties with their whole wheat bread.  The girls have been asking for a lot of things lately.  We decided to give them a chance to earn money for what they want to buy.  I advertised on Facebook that the girls wanted to make bread and sell it to pay for skiing and other activities.  I thought maybe 5 or 6 people would buy a loaf or two.  Well, we had over 20 orders and ended up making 86 loaves of bread.  The girls made over $100 and they were thrilled.  It was a good lesson for them to learn.  It was hard work and they had to sacrifice some time with friends in order to meet the demand.  Lily had to do a few batches in the mornings before school.  If they decided to not make the bread for an order, Mommy would do it and I got to keep the money.  That only happened once. 
They had to do most of the work while Mommy supervised. Some of the loaves ended up lopsided, but they still tasted great. They even had to package the breads and help deliver them.  They were worn out by the time we filled all the orders.  We still have people who want to order, but the girls are burned out.  We're going to take a break for a little while.  It was gratifying to see them pay tithing for the first time.  The bishop knew they had been making bread and he asked them about their business when they turned in their money.  The smiles on their faces were a huge reward to me.  So far they have bought some candy, bought books at a school book fair, and paid for a lunch at a fast food restaurant. They love the freedom to choose how to spend their money.  We love that they are learning really important life lessons and skills at a young age.  Win-Win for everyone!

 It was a great experience to have together.  It gave the girls and I a lot of time together in the kitchen to talk and laugh.  It helped me to have more patience and the girls to have more confidence.  And we only had one accident.  My favorite Pyrex measuring cup was knocked off the counter and shattered on the tile floor.  Not bad considering how many hours we were cooking.  I am so proud of the girls and look forward to doing this again.
A moment of silence for my 4 cup measuring tool.
We figured out how to get Joey to smile for the camera - use selfie mode.  He likes being able to see himself and there's no flash to scare him.  What a cute little chunk!
Tommy and the girls were invited to a birthday party for their friends Preston and Hunter. It was Ninja Turtle themed.  Each kid got a turtle shell and eye mask to wear.  Tommy was afraid to wear his so Daddy volunteered to model it.  It was an amazing party. The kids talked about it for days.
 I did a sharing time that involved dressing up like heroes from the scriptures.  It was a smashing success.  The kids found my phone and took pictures while I was setting things up.  It was a crack up to see the pictures they took.  I love serving in Primary.  These faces bring joy to my soul.
 Lily and Annie doing a favorite Sunday night activity - coloring.  The kids finally seem to have adjusted to the no t.v. on Sundays rule.  We are noticing a difference in how well they get along and how much more peaceful the house is on Sundays. Minus the craziness of trying to get everyone out the door by 8:40 a.m. before church.
 The kids had Target gift cards from Christmas and Valentine's Day.  We finally had a free afternoon to let them go shopping.  Annie (our little romantic) chose a Barbie wedding set.  Lily chose two LEGO sets.  She even built them entirely on her own once we got home.  Tommy chose two Dino Trucks.  He loves machines and dinosaurs - what could be better than a dinosaur made of machine parts? He takes those Dino Trucks everywhere now.
 For Dr. Seuss's birthday, Lily's school had a dress up day - pick any Dr. Seuss character and dress like them.  Lily wanted to be the Cat in the Hat but we didn't have much notice and I couldn't figure out how to make a hat like his.  So we settled for Cindy Lou Who.  I put a large plastic cup inside her hair to give her crazy, stand up, who hair.  She loved it.  It was pretty easy to do and she said it was comfortable all day too. 
Here she is with her teachers and some friends from her class too.  We almost did a Thing 1 costume before we settled on Cindy Lou Who.  I guess everyone else had that idea this year - even the teachers. So fun!
 Annie had a terrible crash outside with her friends.  She was pretty shaken and hurt.  Her two little buddies, Preston and Collins walked her to the door of our house, helped her inside, and helped her onto the couch.  They were so worried about her.  It was just an accident - kids riding bikes and not looking where they were going.  Annie is healing quickly but I promised her we would put the pictures on the blog so her grandmas could see her big owie.
As part of the Dr. Seuss birthday week, the school put on a Dr. Seuss night. Daddy had to work late since this is his busy time of the year.  So Mommy braved the event alone with all four kids.  We listened to stories, did some science experiments, and had cupcakes in the cafeteria.  It was a fun night but Mommy was glad when it was time to go home.

Tommy and Mommy had our first date night.  After all the time I had invested in the girls making bread, I wanted Tommy do get some special time all alone with me. It was wonderful.  Chick-fil-A put the event on.  It was called "Mother-Son Date Knight". Half of the restaurant was closed to the public. There were tablecloths and fresh flowers on the tables. As we entered, we walked a red carpet.  The staff presented Tommy with a flower to give to me.  Then we sat down in a photo booth for a picture.  After taking our picture we were escorted to our tables and Tommy was given a sword.  Oh boy!  He was on Cloud 9 the rest of the evening.  We did a group date with Tommy's buddies and their mommies.  It was fun to sit together and try to visit and eat while the little knights kept battling each other with their swords.
 Look at those smiles!  The boys adored their swords!  From left to right: Preston Noel, Kamden Huffaker, Hunter Noel, Tommy Hall, and Jack Stark.  It was hard to get a good picture.  Those swords, and the boys, were in constant motion.
 Tommy loved having Mommy all to himself.  He didn't even want to leave me to go play on the toys with his friends.  He stayed right by me and wanted to talk about his french fries, juice box, and sword.  I got up at one point to go get him some ketchup for his fries and he started to cry - he was glued to my side all night. We sang songs and colored a paper knight's shield while we ate dinner. It was a perfect night together. Bubba sure loves his Mommy.
After dinner, there was a gigantic stretch Hummer limo to ride in.  We lined up with our friends to ride but when it was time to get on, Tommy was spooked.  It was dark and crowded in there.  Tommy started to cry and insist that we needed to ride in our car rather than the limo.  I didn't want to stress him out so we said goodnight to our friends and walked hand in hand back to our car.  Tommy even gave me a kiss as I helped him get into the van. He talked the whole way home about his new sword and how he couldn't wait to show it to Daddy.  I think this night will be a tough one to beat. I love you Tommy!
 Lily had her first dance performance of the year this past weekend.  Half of her class was missing.  They have a lot of formations and partner moments in their dances. It was stressful for the kids to have so many missing - it caused a lot of last minute changes that affected the performance.  The kids were a little lost.  But Lily said she had a great time.  She looked so small in her giant cowboy hat.  Next performance I will bring something to stuff the hat with so it will stay off of her face.
 Isn't she a cutie? She loves clogging.  It takes a lot of practice but if she sticks with it, she will be really great.
 Grammy and Grampy came to see us so they could watch Lily dance.  It was fun having them here with us. 
We love our little cowgirl/minion/clogger.  Great job Lily! We can't wait to see you dance again next week.

And that's what we've been up to. See you next week.