Sunday, September 30, 2012
These kids crack me up. I am so thankful to be their mama. Don't get me wrong, there are times I am frustrated and get short with them. I am human. But right now I could slip into their rooms where they are sleeping and watch them for hours. They are so amazing. And I am so blessed to have them.
Yesterday I ran into Walmart while everyone waiting in the car with Wade. Sometimes this world just makes me so sad. People don't have time. People rush and get angry. Have you ever just smiled at people, helped someone get something off the shelf, or actually taken time to talk to the checker at the store, just to see how it makes people react?
We've all been there. I know I have. In a crowded store, when we are hungry, tried or just having a bad day. But yesterday I just wanted to take a couple extra kids home with me. When I got back in the van I told Wade is was a good thing we already (almost) have every seat taken in the van. Or else I'd be taking those kids home with us.
I just wish I could hug them, read them a book, make them some cookies and tell them how amazing they are. All of us are amazing. We all deserve to know that we are a Child of God and how important that really is.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I'm now right in between 31 and 32 weeks. I had Wade take this picture of me at 30 weeks.
I am so ready to be done and have this baby.
And not ready to have this baby at the same time.
I have so many more things to do on my to-do list before she comes.
Like name her.
Oh, and probably buy some diapers.
I feel huge. Wade assures me that I get bigger. Thanks, hon. I'm pretty sure he meant it in a nice way.
At my appointment this week my OB and I discussed my blood pressure. He said it was in fact on the rise. And he assured me that no matter what I do, change my diet, exercise, rest, it just happens to some women with every pregnancy. He said I am healthy otherwise so we will just continue to monitor it. I've at least made it to almost 37 weeks (36 weeks 5 or 6 days) with all four other pregnancies, all of which have been born healthy and with a healthy weight. So I only have to make it that far.
Because I had the false positive to the down syndrome test I also get to now have stress tests every two weeks to monitor the baby. Apparently a false positive can mean that there might be other complications during the third trimester.
Geez. Pregnancy after 30 sure is fun! Good thing we are done!
Other than all that fun news, baby girl is growing and kicking and sitting right on my bladder like she should be. She is in the same position that all 4 other babies were in...sticking her feet out on my right side and kicking my ribs.
I have to admit, we are excited to meet this little girl.
And see what she looks like.
(Wade still thinks it would be fun to have a blond hair, blue eyed baby...good luck with that!)
What her personality is like.
(Are we in serious trouble with another princess girl like Avery?)
And have her join our family.
Aren't kids and families the best?
Just for fun. 30 weeks baby bump each time around.
Monday, September 24, 2012
We had a free day Saturday and decided since it was the first day of fall we should celebrate by taking a drive though American Fork Canyon to check out all the leaves changing colors. After stopping by and picking up Wade's Mom (because everything is more fun when a Grandma and Grandpa comes along), we headed up.
I honestly thought we were a little bit early for any great colors.
But I was totally wrong.
The mountains were beautiful.
The boys really wanted to hike to Timpanogos Caves. But every time Wade has called the tickets are sold out. Hopefully they can make it sometime in the next couple weeks before it closes.
They were totally happy when we got out and just walked along some of the pathways at a little picnic ground. The water level was low enough everyone could play in the cold water if they wanted, throw rocks and collect leaves.
I think these are my new favorite pictures of Avery Ann.
Noah told us that his shoes were "waterproof" Uh. Okay, buddy.
He had a fun time walking around and around in the water.
And if someone else was doing it. Eli had to do it too.
Good thing I brought extra shoes for everyone.
Wade tried to pay off our "beach-house-medical-school-loans" by trying his luck panning for some gold.
I think he watches the show Gold Rush too much.
But Gage and him stood there and panned for a long time.
I'm pretty sure they could have stayed all day.
But sometimes standing around panning through rocks is just the therapy you need.
In the end he didn't come up with enough to make a loan payment.
Or enough to pay for Avery's wedding.
He was really hoping for one or the other.
The colors were just simply amazing.
I've never understood how people can not believe there is a God
This world is just too amazing for there not to be.
My camera phone just doesn't do it justice.
It was a perfect lazy afternoon. We should have brought chairs and sat there for hours.
It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
"We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, and truly see the things that matter most."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Sunday, September 23, 2012
(picture from yesterday when we drove up American Fork Canyon)
We made it through our first "off-track" break. School starts again tomorrow. It's bitter sweet to set that morning alarm again. I have to admit there are things I like about the off-track business...like not setting my alarm. Not running to school 3 times a day. Not trudging through those headache-homework-dinner-witching hours from 3:30-6.
But I have a Dr. Appointment tomorrow, and I am so glad I don't have to drag all 4 along for a fun glucose test. And I can return to grocery shopping with just two crazy kids, not 4.
The next time they go off track I'll have a newborn!
This week we played the musical room game. Avery got a new (to her) twin bed. She pretty much thinks she is the queen of the place now. (Who are we kidding? When has she not thought that?) Now (when I get brave enough) Eli can move from the crib to the toddler bed. I moved the furniture around in the big boys room. I still am searching for 3 more dressers I can refinish for their rooms. Hopefully I can find something before I'm too big to get it all done. I should move Eli in with Noah, give Gage his own room and put the girls together. But I just can't give up having a designated toy room. I think baby girl will sleep in our room for a while. That solves all the room problems.
Today was the Brigham City Temple Dedication. Gage got his very own first temple recommend for this occasion. He and Wade went to a session this morning and I went by myself at noon. They also helped clean the church Saturday morning so it would be extra clean. Sometimes I have to catch my breath when I realize Gage is old enough for this. Hardly seems possible. He's a pretty good kid.
We've decided Eli has Gage's looks and Noah's goofy personality. Not sure this is a good thing or not. Pretty dangerous combination if you ask me. He is as tough as nails, but loves to cuddle. He also will lift his shirt and show anyone interested the "baby" in his belly button.
Noah wrote a letter to Santa today. Do you think that's early enough? Geez. He wants a remote control Newt. Sure thing. He also wants a real live tortoise. And he says he will get it no matter what because Santa can do that kind of thing.
We still haven't decided on a name for baby girl. We have lots of ideas, we just can't agree on anything. Hopefully some inspiration comes soon.
Here's to another week.
Friday, September 21, 2012
An apple a day keeps the Dr. away.
But in our case we hope it brings him home to us.
Sunday night when we were at Wade's parents house the kids decided to pick apples. They picked a "few" and it's safe to say we've had more than our fair share of an apple a day this week.
Monday I made 2 apple pies. My favorite recipe comes from this vintage (1969) Better Homes and Garden Pies and Cakes cookbook I bought at a library book sale 10 something years ago.
The recipes have never failed me.
My pie crust ability always fails me though. I broke down and bought store crust. Wade came home, took one bite and said, "This is NOT your crust. What is wrong with this?" I guess it's safe to say he likes my homemade pie crust recipe. Either way, store bought or homemade, I can never make a pretty pie. I've even taken classes. Geez.
World's Greatest Apple Pie
Better Homes and Garden
Pastry for 9-inch lattice top pie
6 or 7 tart apples, pared, cored and thinly sliced (6 cups)
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash each nutmeg and salt
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
If apples lack tartness, sprinkle with tablespoons lemon juice. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; mix with sliced apples. Line 9 inch pie plate with pastry; fill with apple mixture. Dot with butter or margarine.
Top pie with lattice top and sprinkle with sugar. Trim and seal edges. Fold strip of oil or pie tape around rim of crust, covering fluted edge. Bake in hot oven (400) 55-60 minutes or till apples are done.
I like mine warm, with vanilla ice cream.
Wade likes his cold.
Either way, enjoy!
Apple Puff Pancake
Another morning this week we tried out an Apple Puff Pancake. Obviously, I lack in the ability to take good pictures of food with my iphone, but Avery and I decided it tasted delicious!
(My boys wouldn't even try this. But they did enjoy watching it puff up in the oven.)
Apple Puff Pancake
(an awesome cook book I found at the library)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
5 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
dash of salt
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a 9 inch glass pie plate. Heat in the oven until the butter is melted and bubbly - about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir well and mix in the apples slices. Return to the oven and bake for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, combine eggs, milk flour and salt in a blender or food processor and process until frothy - 1 minute. Pour over apple mixture. Bake until the cake is puffed and the center is set, 18-20 minutes. Serve warm with maple syrup or sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.
This is one of the easiest (but can be time consuming) things I love to make with apples. You can google, or search Pinterest all you want, but most of the recipes are all the same. Someday I am going to make my life easy and buy the right equipment for this project, then I can get serious and make a whole bunch. If you have an apple peeler and/or a sieve this project is a sinch. If not, you do it the longer way, like me.
I planned on taking pictures of making applesauce. Then the kids ran off with the camera. And my hands got messy. And the kids took a bazillion and one pictures of the floor, my bum, crazy toys.
Back to the applesauce:
Here are the basic steps:
1. Peel, core and slice all the apples. (If you have a sieve you don't have to peel).
2. Cook the apples. You need some water or apple juice in the pan with the apples so they don't burn. Turn up the heat and stir them until they are soft. If you don't have a sieve or want chunkier sauce, then just keep stirring and cooking until they are almost the consistency you want.
3. Mash the apples. Either do this with a potato masher (for chunkier applesauce) or sieve. Pretty easy stuff.
4. Return to pot on stove and season. You don't have to add anything. I added about a cup of sugar, a dash of nutmeg and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
5. You can eat and enjoy at this point or process the jars of applesauce!
I like to use this website when I am canning things. It's not a fancy-smancy looking site, but it always has lots of pictures and very good step by step instructions. I didn't remember to buy new lids for quart size jars this week, so when I processed the applesauce I did pints. I had brand new bottles and lids on hand. I think they will only last our family about one meal each. But add a label and some ribbon and I think they'll make cute gifts!
We still have a few more apples from our picking. I'm planning on making a delicious apple cake my sister made for us last weekend. And I'm sure a few more apples will get carried off by the kids and eaten to the core.
We sure love our apples around here.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Before going off-track this month I sat down with the kids and we came up with a "bucket list" of sorts full of activities we wanted to do during the break. I tried to round out the list by making sure it had a little bit of everything. Some were fun: go swimming, go to the park, hike to the caves with Dad. Some were educational: read 20 minutes a day, go to story time each week, visit museum, flashcards. And some were just necessary: buy new shoes, jeans/school clothes, everyone get a flu shot. And some - some were just random items that we came up with. I wrote out our listed on a big poster board and then hung it up on the door leading to the garage. We see it every day and it's been fun for the kids to cross items off the list.
Today we managed to cross off 3 items on the list.
Toilet paper roll craft (more on that later)
I told everyone when they woke up that we would be going to get our flu shots today. They all booed. Then I told them AFTER they would all get to go visit the Air Force Museum...and that it was full of big huge airplanes! They all cheered! Thank goodness for distractions.
An hour at the Dr. office later (takes quadruple the amount of time to check in all of them as it does to actually get the shot) we were on our way.
I've never been to the Hill Air Force Base Museum before. Honestly, I was hoping to take them to the Bean Museum at BYU during this break, but then I found out it was closed for renovations. All I knew it was FREE! and not too far from our house. So we had to check it out.
The kids were all super excited when they saw all the airplanes! They really are SO huge in person.
I loved that it was free. We tend to usually move warp speed through museums and zoos. Sometimes I feel like we waste our money. Not today! If I would have packed a lunch we could have stayed all day!
The boys loved looking at all the bombs and engines.
This is Noah's favorite.
And Avery had to have a picture by the Jeep Willy, just like Daddy's.
Gage was amazed at the size of the planes. He said that our Uncle would really like to visit this museum. I couldn't figure out who he was talking about until I realized he was talking about his (20 something year old) cousin (not uncle), Tyler, who loves to fly and is an air plane mechanic.
Inside a helicopter. Avery thought this one was "pretty" because it had Christmas lights in it!
(Just so you could see what was in it!)
And they had a great time at the end of our visit playing and spending time at the learning center in the museum.
It was a perfect morning. (Even including the shots. Avery said that they shots just "tickled")
We all agreed we would have to go back with Daddy, or anyone else that wants to go.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
5 little monkeys jumping on the bed.
Okay, they are riding in the car.
And one little monkey is our cousin Keegan.
But it's true.
5 little monkeys. What a car full.
I'm 30 weeks today. So that car full of monkeys is coming sooner than later.
The Holy War game was yesterday. Of course we had to host a party. Wade smoked brisket. I provided all kinds of other snacks and goodies. Wade's Dad, brother and nephew came up. My sister and her family came and brought a yummy cake. Despite the longest and crazy final minute of a football game, it was good times. To me, it's not about who wins the game it's more about the food, family and friends you watch it with.
Our cousin Keegan feel asleep during the game and so the kids had their fist sleepover! I thought for sure we were doomed, 5 very tired kids 8 and under sitting in between us at church today. But they were all amazingly good.
Wade asked me if this is what having 5 will be like. Doubt it. But we can dream.
5 little monkeys.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
Wade's been wanting to get the kids a giant bean bag ever since we stayed in Sequim. It's on our list for Christmas gifts we are considering for the kids. Well, forget waiting until Christmas! This weekend we totally scored one on a facebook swap page for a steal of a deal.
We couldn't really tell the size of the bag from the picture, but when Wade went to pick it up last night, the girl said her husband would come back to our house and help us get it in our door. That should have been the first clue.
The thing is HUGE. Like longer than our couch huge. Probably 7 ft since Wade can lay down on it and still has room leftover. We picked it up last night after the kids were in bed.
And it was almost as good as Christmas morning when they woke up and found this downstairs!
They are so crazy and happy! They haven't stopped jumping, flipping and running into this thing all day long! Even Wade has done a flip or two off the couch onto it.
Got to love a good deal.
Friday, September 07, 2012
Wade finally (after 10+) months got around to fixing my sewing machine for me 2 weeks ago.
I am far from a talented seamstress, but I do like to occasionally do a fun project. Since he's fixed it I've done a maxi dress for me, a baby blanket for baby girl and the last project I just finished today was a new car seat canopy. I made one a few years ago for Eli and it was pretty easy, so I thought I would try again, this time making a girly one.
Our car seat is silver and red, and I know it doesn't matter, but for some reason, I think the blanket needs red in it.
I found this cute pink and red fabric that worked great!
Last time I made bows first, and Wade totally objected. So I did velcro straps. This time I think the bows are perfect!
I had some leftover fabric, so I made up a few hair bows too.
And I still have enough for maybe a burp cloth or two.
We have so much blue and green around here, it's strange (and fun!) to see pink again!
Update: Wade just got home from work. I showed him the car seat cover and he said the bows were "very cute"
Glad it ended up being Daddy approved this time around.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Instagram is one of my very favorite apps on my phone. If you can have apps on your phone, you should totally check it out! LOVE IT!
(For those who might not know what it is (mom and dad) it's an app you can put on your phone, then take pictures, edit them and share them... similar to facebook. You can also share them on facebook, but I don't always do that).
Great thing is, I take pictures a lot with my phone. Not so great thing is that they don't always make it to the blog.
I started to upload some of my favorite pictures to a post and realized I had way too many and needed a collage. You can click to enlarge the picture if you want. Here are a few of my favorites.
From left to right:
1. Playtime in the playroom (LOVE we have a playroom!)
2. Boys got their very own library cards
3. Checking out redbox selections on Daddy's phone
4. Playing trains at Grandmas
6. Riding bikes and seeing who can make the longest skid mark?!?
7. Showing me her dance moves
8. Flavored medicine from Target makes Noah happy. Cobra Insurance makes me unhappy.
9. Pretending to take naps in the crib together.
10. Avery's chalk drawing of her and me.
11. Gage reading! Secrets of Droon, a chapter book easy enough he reads it out loud to us and interesting enough he loves it!
12. Desert Star Play House. A fun girl's night out with my sister and sister in law.
13. Noah's sunflower from preschool is blooming!
14. Kindness tickets. Be nice, get tickets. Turn them in at the end of the week for toys or treats. A little bribery never hurt anyone.
15. Happy Birthday Eli!
16. Gage's beltloops he earned at Scout Summer Camp!
17. Sewing project one - maxi dress.
18. It's a baby? It's a basketball.
19. Sewing project number two - baby blanket for baby girl.
20. Wade worked late and missed dinner. But he brought me Cafe Rio Take Out!
21. Homemade granola bars.
22. Afternoon checkers with Noah
23. Van was making a noise. I pulled over to find out 4 of 5 of my lug nuts I could MOVE with my fingers! EIK! Wade came to my rescue and I didn't even have to get out in the 100 degree heat. (Les Shabb changed a tire for me that week (but not that one?), and Walmart changed the oil and checked the breaks. I'm totally leaning towards someone at Walmart not tightening them up. Glad we didn't get hurt!)
24. Anyone want to write an owners manual for 3 year olds? We need one for this one. She won't sleep.
25. Football season. Go BYU! Go UTES!
26. Homemade granola packets.
27. Kids read 100 minutes a week they get entered into drawings at school. Lucky Noah has won 3 drawings for free kids meals so far!
28. Watching the rain.
29. Out to eat (thanks to #27). No table for 6, so Avery decided she needed a Daddy date.
30. Someone got caught with my make-up.
31. Little fish
32. Who knows. She is always dressing up and wearing something!
33. Splash Pad
34. Measuring items around the house with lego bricks
35. Story Time
36. Brigham City Temple Open House
This post is way behind and out of order. But I just saw the pictures on my computer and thought I better blog them.
Christiansen Summer Olympics
Thanks to Gage reminding us every single night we finally got around to holding our Christiansen Summer Olympics. I think the real Summer Olympics were almost over at this point, but we didn't care. We are always up for playing games together.
Summer Olympics are so fun. I had such a hard time narrowing down the events we wanted to hold. We started off inside. (It totally helped that we still have completely empty rooms in this house:) Gage had made a family flag for us and we all walked around for the opening ceremonies and had a little family parade.
Then onto the events.
We had gymnastic floor exercises.
And some cute judges.
We had weight lifting,
Then we headed outdoors for some track and field events.
and then everyone competed in the long jump.
Then back inside for cold smoothie drinks and the medal ceremony.
Noah won gold the long jump.
Avery won a gold medal for gymnastics.
Eli won a gold medal for dart gun shooting.
(sine he wouldn't let anyone else hold the Nerf Gun)
And Gage won a gold medal for the running dash race outside.
(But he did not win a sportsmanship award. He was super grumpy that he didn't win EVERY single competition. He said it was totally unfair that every one got a gold medal.)
Wade and I even competed in a few events. I just didn't manage to take pictures of every single event.
I won a gold medal for fencing.
And Wade won a medal in the weight lifting competition.
I felt bad we didn't do as much as we could have done. I could always do a better job taking pictures. The whole night was a little rushed because it was a school night and there just are never enough hours between homework, dinner and bedtime. In my mind we would have played soccer at the park and gone to the pool for some events, but Wade was working late a lot during July and it was so hot I just didn't have energy to do much more than sit in the air conditioning. There's always next time.
The kids had fun though.
And we still made some memories.
We did a medal count board that they loved keeping up with every other day or so. We picked a country from every continent (besides Antarctica) and then of course put England on the board too.
We had a great time during the Olympics watching the different sports and events.
We are already looking forward to the next winter Olympics!