Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Luke's Room

This vibrant, happy room has housed all my kiddos at some point. 10 years ago we painted it green for our chubby baby Bean and it was our very first painting project! These days Luke has decided he likes to climb right out of his crib and march out of his room at will so we figured it was time to upgrade him to a big boy bed. But before moving our little dude into a big bed we wanted to update the green room for him with a new color and some fresh, clean walls.

This guy is such a good worker. I usually do all the trim and he fills in the major parts of the walls. But see, I do help (even though I have crazy eyes in this pic):

 Another after shot with the outdoor light coming in

The trundle bed used to be Caroline's and Olivia's and is maybe a little bit girly but it'll have to work for now (white is gender neutral though right?)

The rocking chair is (still) just covered with some great upholstery fabric I had around so I could test it out on the chair and in the space. I love the green floral that's on it for real, but I love this gray chevron in this room. I guess I'll have to figure that out. And a close up of the watercolor Joseph painted of Luke's Hawaiian koi (the polka dots are from my PJs reflected in the picture :)

Luke's goals for the year hanging up on his closet

 FYI the room has been done for many weeks now and all of Luke's things are in it and he plays in it every day. But, he still sleeps in his crib in the nursery :) I just don't have the heart to really, officially move my last baby into a big boy bed. Soon, it will happen soon, I just need a little time to feel ready instead of rushed by Luke's new found crib climbing freedom! Who is this little man who is determined to grow up so dang fast anyway?! He is my first to ever even try climbing out of the crib! I would have been content to leave him in it until he was 5 (except that he's so tall he mostly fills it all the way up already :) Oh how I love my huge toddler baby!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Way Back in January

A few highlights from January that weren't in Hawaii :)
 Rec center swim day. Don't be fooled, it was like 37 degrees that day but with the sun out my kids didn't think they needed pants!

The kids had a whole week off after Christmas so we had to plan some outings (aka the pool above). We also hit Cabella's one morning and roamed around looking at the cool animals and fish. Perfect activity in the dead of winter (and it's free!)

Bentley got to bring home the new class pets—a pair of fire bellied toads. The class actually had a cute little toad, Katniss, earlier in the year and Bean brought her home the first weekend of January. She hardly moved a muscle and did not eat anything while she was with us. Oh I was so stressed out about her and what do you know, Sunday morning she was officially dead. It was the saddest! I felt horrible thinking we had done something or hurt her somehow but Miss Leiney assured me she was on the way out and had been like that for a few weeks before we even got her. Miss L is just the cutest teacher and felt so bad that Katniss had died at our house and was worried about my cute Bean feeling bad about it. It was a good lesson  for out little family (Beans and Cares shed a lot of tears) but Joseph reassured them that Katniss was so lucky to have died in our house where we had paid a lot of attention to her and she had just been held by B & C and Joseph right before she died. So sweet—but what a hard thing for a 4th grader! The whole class wrote the cutest notes to Katniss (telling her she was a best friend and they loved her so so tender) for us to bury along with her tiny body. And by the end of the month the class had these new crazy toads who were jumpy and wild and ate like crazy (phew!)

 Hello orthodontia! Bentley got his expander to widen his upper palette. He'll have this for a few months and then once his top teeth have moved he'll have braces added to the top 4 teeth only to straighten them out. Overall only about a  9-12 month process but most likely he'll have braces again when he's a teenager and all his permanent teeth are in. Good times!

This picture makes me cold! But I have been trying my best to stay active during the winter and get my heart pumping in the beautiful wintery world. This is up at the Herriman reservoir which is just about 2 miles from my house but straight uphill. I like to trudge up (maybe I run sometimes but it's brief) and then run around the lake a few times and then run the nice downhill route home.

Another Jr. Jazz season and this was the best one of all! It took a few games for Bentley to build up the courage to take some shots so Joseph promised he'd do a push-up for every shot Bean took during a game. None of the trying paid off until his last game when he scored 11 points!! I think he could hardly believe it but we were so proud of him and it totally boosted his confidence in b-ball. He's such a fast little dude with crazy endurance and a very good defender that he's great out on the court regardless. I'm hoping he'll be eager to play again next year.

Monday, February 24, 2014

SG in February

Running away to SG in February has become a pretty regular thing for us the past 5 years or so. It's the perfect escape being close enough we can drive and somewhere we can always find some sunshine and warmth when it's still pretty much winter up north.

I thought we might be vacationed out after our long trip to Hawaii in January but I should have known how easily I get cabin fever and just want to be outside and enjoying the beautiful world. We did all the usual things like hunting for golf balls, swimming and hot-tubbing, hiking, biking, lunching at yummy spots and enjoying all the fun of rediscovering the SG house. This year we had extra fun with Tye and Stacey joining us with cute Mason and their brand new little Stanford—dreamy newborn heaven with him there! The Sochi Olympics were also going in full force so we had a lot of nightly viewing and cheering (Bode! Noelle! Ted!) along with games like Canasta and Nines.

Lunch at 25 Main and pink cookies from Swig (a Valentine's special)

 The perfect Valentine's date! How I missed my fiesty Amira—3 long months without a ride...

Exploring over at Gunlock 
(my parents brought Maddie down with them to help even out our girl to boy ratio—oh and to entertain Cares and Livs perfectly :)

 Adoring the baby boy. Cares and Maddie were totally obsessed and just could not get enough of this tiny man. I actually think I may need to add my name to that list too (but I do feel "slightly" more capable with him than those little ladies :)

 Twinnies for church on Sunday
 A successful golf ball hunt!

 Gifts from Grandma and Grandpa the day before Olivia's official birthday

 My cute golfing boys. How fun for them to have each other—they are seriously best buddies and Bentley wants to be exactly like his dad. I wholeheartedly approve :)

Another amazing SG visit—getting us excited for spring break!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Olivia's 5th Birthday

My sweet girl had quite a full day and she loved it. I told her she could skip preschool and we could just play instead but she said she really wanted to go and see her friends and Miss Angie (and I'm sure feel very special and spoiled :)
 We started the morning with breakfast in bed and some presents for our girly. We had just had Tahitian pancakes (her other favorite) the day before so she wanted McDs pancakes. I love how all the family is super excited for any and all birthdays in our house!

 We met up with these guys for lunch at Chick Fil-A and then popped over to preschool

 After school Bentley was all too happy to help build Livs' girl Lego sets. We also had the big cub scout Blue & Gold Banquet which I felt kind of bad about for Livs—not an ideal birthday dinner but we wanted to support Bean and be together as a family so I promised her dessert of her choice when it was done. She chose frozen yogurt and we all had a lovely little treat to celebrate our Olivia.

I sure love this cutie and feel so blessed that she came into our lives 5 years ago all fresh and tiny with her stripe of bright blonde hair. She loves that she was the only baby we didn't find out the gender of until the minute we got to hold her in our arms—our little surprise darling who still keeps us on our toes! Such a good girl though with big blue eyes and delicate features which have enamored us since she was brand new. Happy Birthday Olivia!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

To My Five Year Old Livs

Dearest Olivia Ann--

Happy Birthday pretty girl! You are 5 and I keep wondering how that even happened—time flies way too fast for me. You are such a smiley, happy, silly, girl who loves to giggle and laugh (especially at bedtime ;) play make-believe with Luke and Cares, swim like a true fish, wear pink for proclaimed "pinkalicious" days, help me bake any and everything, and read, read, read. You are such a smart little lady learning to read several months before turning 5—how did you do that?! It's so fun to see how much you love adding and coloring and everything about preschool which is probably why you learn so quickly.

This has been a fantastic year and you are becoming such a grown-up girl. I have really appreciated how you are trying to calm down when the kids make you crazy and handle life with so many siblings. It's tricky to be the 3rd child huh? You are such an important piece of our family and I hope you know that. You make Bentley feel like he's full of the best ideas, make Cares the luckiest girl to have a sister who adores her, and you make all of Luke's dreams come true :) He really loves it when you snuggle him (briefly) and dote on him but he also loves playing with you which he's getting better and better at. Just this morning you two played with the Mickey Mouse house and Pollys and action figures for over an hour. You are such a pro at knowing how to keep him happy!

You will begin Kindergarten this year which will be so much fun for you. I am excited for you! I am also happy it will only last half-day because I'm not ready to have you gone all day. It will be so lucky for you to have Bentley and Caroline at school with you too and walk home with you each day—my little elementary entourage :) I'm also excited for your first ballet recital in a few months, a summer full of pool time and family adventures and Lake Powell, and soaking up my 5 year old Livs as much as I can.

 Thank you for being such an obedient girl at school and church—your teachers adore you to no end, for being such a sweet friend and cousin on playdates, for giving lots of hugs and kisses and never, ever missing sending daddy off to work without his hug and kiss from you, for being patient with Luke, and for being adorable, cuddly, funny, helpful, creative and beautiful!

I love you forever!!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Hawaii

Our last days were the perfect end to our vacation: laid back, easy, full of lounging and playing and of course soaking up sunshine and heat and endless hours to be together. I hope my kids realize how amazing their daddy is—he played in the water with them every single day and just hung out with them helping them learn to jump and dive and swim, dive for rockets and hold their breath longer. He always had at least 2 kiddos clinging to his arms while he was playing hide and seek or marco polo with the others. I am just not that fun but he certainly is! I had lots of time to take pictures of my family, read here and there, watch all the commotion, chat with my mom, and snuggle bodies who wanted to rest from all the crazy times in the water.

Photo bombing cute Cares. She was not happy they did that once she turned around and saw them :)
 Crazy, brave Luke. He is such a fish! And he cried every time we had to leave the pool. 
Shave ice was usually an acceptable consolation prize!

Prettiest Livs! And those classic Ko Olina waterfalls.

Thursday afternoon while Luke napped Joseph and my dad ventured into Honolulu to visit the Bishop Museum. The kids loved it and had fun learning about Polynesian culture and even a lot about stars. My mom and I hung out together and then went for a walk to the ABC store when Luke woke up. It is always so fun fun to walk anywhere in HI because it is so beautiful! Loved hearing the waves and seeing the ocean and taking in all the vivid greens and colors and gorgeous air. Paradise for sure.

 Random collection of pics from our stay. Grandparents just make everything so much fun!

Feeding the koi in the resort ponds. I adore all those colors and lovely orange tones and Luke is a huge fan of "goldpish" so this event was really fun for him. It inspired the colors for his new bedroom and a special watercolor Joseph painted of Luke's Hawaiian koi.
Cutest group of boys! These dudes (minus Luke) were snorkeling adventurers and had some great discoveries out in the ocean. As the waves got huge on the north shore, they also picked up a ton down by us on the opposite side of the island. It stirred up the water so the clarity got pretty bad and the last few days weren't good for snorkeling. Earlier in the week they did snorkel with turtles over at Paradise Cove:
 A shot from their hike over to "turtle town." 

Cares became quite the pro at posing with the hang loose sign :)

On our last day we lucked out with the weekly mermaid visit! We saw her the day we checked in just as she was leaving and she told us she'd be back. When she arrived on Friday the kids were way mesmerized. Luke was obviously very curious too but also pretty shy. He wanted to see her but not be very close. She was driven around on a little golf cart bed gathering kids up and then she brought the to the water's edge, read the kids a story and then swam with them for a bit. It was fun but waaaay too long and drawn out (I think her story telling lasted like 20 minutes and my kids were getting cold just sitting there in the water listening!) Her mermaid costume was awesome though—so pretty and intricate. What a cool/random job right? Resort mermaid in Hawaii...someone's gotta do it :)

Sometimes I play in the water too :)

  This picture. One of my very favorites.

All too soon it was time for our last dinner and last sunset and last view of the ocean. 

 Saw this gorgeous plant at dinner (oyster plant). So vibrant and one of my favorite colors!

Joseph and I packed up while the kids hung out with my parents—total life saver (they flew home the following day). We worked so quickly that way! Luke had napped at his normal time in the day and when we left for the airport he was getting really sleepy but I kept him awake by tickling him and entertaining him the best I could. Once we checked in Joseph had to return our rental car so I kept the kids in the empty check-in area (it was nearly 10 pm and no one was around) and let them run and run and play tag and get all worn out while we waited. Once we were on the plane everyone settled in for a long slumber and miracle or miracles we actually slept! Of course sleeping on a plane is hardly comfortable but we packed in some hours and I was so relieved. Luke slept for 2 hours in his car seat but then woke up fussing until I unbuckled him and let him lay like a koala on me and we both fell asleep for the rest of the flight—nearly 4 more hours. We landed in Seattle, had an easy connection one gate away, and made our way home (during which most of us slept again—thankfully Luke was out once we put him back in his car seat for the last leg home). Sweetest travelers!! Now I should just take them to Europe since they are such rock stars on planes ;)

Joseph took great care of the girls on our flight home. After our red-eye and connection home we were all surprisingly spry. We landed in UT about 11:00 am and once we were home only the baby napped and the rest of us got back to everyday life. At 6:30 pm though, the crazy night caught up with these girls and they crashed during scripture reading :)

Such an amazing trip all around. We feel so blessed and grateful to have had that experience with my parents. They are so generous and good to us! I hope my littles will forever remember those good times with their grandparents and keep them as a special bond and closeness that will always tie them together. I love and adore my family with all my heart and just felt so much happiness and joy being together in our beautiful Hawaii. Caroline and Livs  love to request "I Miss You, My Hawaii" as one of their bedtime songs and I often just play it on my phone while we listen together and think back to our incredible time on Oahu. Thank you mom and dad for such an awesome adventure and all the fun and laughter and beauty we enjoyed together!!

Random/silly highlights:

* "Drive with Aloha" on the street Aloha can mean just about whatever they want it to over there, huh?
* Seeing Elizabeth Williams and her hubby Jessie while playing on the Ko'Olina beach. Small world!
* My dad running into a Kahuka High alumni at Matsumoto's who was in his grade and remembered him from 50 years ago! He ages so well :)
* Kids' song about pee and poo on the long drive home from the north shore
* Luke exclaiming "dolphins!" every time we went out to the pool (the carpet at the door to exit the building had dolphins on it)
* Going to Target with Luke and he said "Yay! Target!" when we pulled in. And then added "find Ceccie?"
* Dipping bananas in the coconut PB

Any more that I should add mom? Joseph?