Friday, May 29, 2009

Many Updates

I haven't had many news worthy updates lately, but just lots of small ones that I will incorporate into one post.
First of all, we finally got a new couch! YAY! We've never bought a new couch-always used ones given to us that were already pretty used. Our couch we've been using for the last 5+ years was getting really bad- animal hair, ripped up arm rest and back from the gosh darn cats... So it was time for a new one!
We didn't intend on getting a leather couch (actually it's a leather by-product, supposedly easier to care for then leather) and we definitely didn't intend on getting an off-white couch. BUT the leather is SO much easier to clean! Little hand prints...wipe 'em off. Cat hair - wipe it off. It's great. The only problem I see already though is the cats, and their claws. AAACK We have a few little claw marks in one of the pieces already when the first two nights we had the couch we left our two indoor/outdoor kitties in the house for the night as we usually do. Well apparently, that's the time frequently sharpen their claws! aaack! We've been putting them outside at night, now that it's warm enough, and haven't had any more problems. Phew.
Anyway, so the new couch is a sectional, and each piece is separate so that it can be moved around how we want it. Awesome! Two more pieces are not in this picture because they didn't fit in that corner of the living room. We'll be using the other two pieces - a chair piece and ottoman - in the other side of the living room as additional seating.

Other updates - planning continues on with our vacation in July. We're getting very excited. Thanks to a good friend (thanks Jesse!) we got a tip on a temple open house that will be going on near where we are staying during our vacation. A temple open house is when a temple is newly built and hasn't been dedicated yet. The temple is open to the general public, members and non-members of the Church, to go through and look at for a couple weeks. This will be awesome, especially since the kids can come too (usually kids under 12 can't go through the temple - right? someone correct me if I'm wrong! haha). So this will be a chance for the boys to get to see everything that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to for a few years.

More updates - the boys get out of school next week! aack! We hope to start swimming lessons on Monday if all goes well. The boys are excited right now, but I KNOW that Owen and probably Brayden too will have big issues with it. They are a bit scared of water. aack

Owen had a kindergarten orientation last night. I can't believe he's almost in kindergarten! I am worried about his first day of school now though, because children were playing in the gym while the parents had the orientation meeting and Owen REFUSED to go play in the gym with the other kids. He clung to my leg and as I walked into the gym and tried to push him a little through the doors - he RAN out as fast as he could and hid down the hallway, crying. :( Kindergarten is full day now, so we'll see how he does his first day. yikes

Things are getting crazy busy right now, but I hope with school getting out and Billy's classes ending for the summer soon, things should get a bit easier. hah!

I'm sure I have more updates but the baby is crying! Gotta run..

Monday, May 25, 2009

Time for another blast from the past....

I love this photo! haha I found it while going through all my old digital pictures recently. It's sad how they just stay buried in the digital world. I need to print them out and organize them in photo albums!

This photo is of Alex when he had shaved a couple large chunks out of his eyebrows. I actually can't remember if he shaved them or took scissors to them. However, I didn't notice it until he was getting ready for kindergarten and I saw that his eyebrows looked funny. It was only then, when I asked what happened, that I got the story. Sheesh!

He looked proud of himself though, didn't he?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kids cost a lot of money...

I'm planning out this year's activities and am realizing how much these boys are going to cost us! haha
First there is swimming lessons - $20 a child to start with if we do the family YMCA membership (which is another $60/month).
Then there is piano lessons for Brayden which haven't started yet and I'm not sure how much those will cost.
Next is the instrument rental that Alex wants to do for middle school on the fall - $30/month on average.
Don't forget soccer either! $60 a child (just the oldest two) for the season.
OH and Alex's orthodontic work which will start very very soon. That will start incurring a monthly bill as well, probably another couple hundred a month. *sigh*
I feel like I'm forgetting something...

To help off-set these costs requires some more sacrifices on our end. For example, we're canceling our monthly rental membership at Hollywood Video (like Netflix) - that saves $26/month.
Then comes our satellite cable. Right now we have the $56/month package but we don't even watch half of those channels. The next package down is $30/month but doesn't include some of our favorite channels like Animal Planet, ESPN (for Billy), and the TNT/USA/TBS channels. gotta cut where you can cut! We don't need all those channels. I would actually be happy with just the basic local channels,but they don't make a package for that..and I would miss my DVR too much to cut satellite totally. haha
Additionally-I talked Billy into selling all of his rated R movies that we don't watch anymore anyway! Ebay is a great way to make some extra money.

However, in the end it all works out...
Braces $200/month...
Piano $50/month....
Trombone $30/month...
Swimming lessons $60...
YMCA $60/month...
Soccer $120...

Healthy, happy kids with nice smiles....priceless.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My little helper...

Brayden, my 7 yr old, is majorly the early bird of the house. He loves to get up bright and early.

Well this morning I kept hearing banging around sounds from upstairs (our room is downstairs). Finally I get up at 7am and notice a strong smell -like cleaning products.

There was Brayden, already fully dressed and had eaten breakfast...AND the sliding door had an interesting foggy sheen to it. "What in the world happened?!" I exclaimed. Brayden says, "I cleaned for you mommy! I want to make you happy with me." He has had a kind of rough week at school with back to back Principal/parent meetings so I think that's what he meant.

He had taken an all purpose cleaning product and wiped all the kitchen counters down. Then he had taken bleach and washed the windows. My cleaning products ARE up high and behind child proofed cabinets...but he's a monkey-he's always been my little Houdini.

He was very careful to get after his brothers while they ate breakfast as to not mess up "his" clean counters. haha

So here's the sliding glass door that my little helper "cleaned".

Awww such good intentions!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Funny kid memory story

As I was looking through old pictures last night for a particularly bad cake we had for Owen's birthday party one year (I was going to submit the picture to the blog Cake Wrecks...a hilarious blog if you haven't seen it yet!!) - anyway I found an old picture that still makes me laugh.

It was a couple years ago, when I was changing baby Billy's diaper - who had to be no more then 6 months old - when I noticed odd marks on the bottoms of his feet. Apparently Brayden, who was learning his numbers at the time, decided to practice on the bottom of his baby brother's feet. Perfect place to practice writing numbers, right? haha

Here's the pic I got:

I have so many more great pix like that, that I'd love to share (before blog days!) - so I think I'll start posting them here and there when I have nothing else to talk about. haha

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

I think Mother's Day is one of my favorite holidays! haha
So to start off the day, I got to sleep in. YAY! Then Billy made me breakfast and the boys and he all brought the breakfast to me in bed. Brayden gave me a little purse he made at school for me. :)
After breakfast I got my hair cut again! I wanted it a tad shorter, in a "bob" cut but A-line, or inverted, or stacked or whatever you want to call it. I like it, but I can't get one side to do anything. It's like one side looks great but the other is totally different. I don't know if it's cut wrong and if I should go back to have it fixed or if I just blow dried it wrong, using the less coordinated hand on that side of my head. haha

After my hair cut, I had the grand idea to take the family up into the mountains for dinner and dessert. We brought hot dogs for dinner to cook over a campfire and roasted marshmallows for dessert. I thought it would be a great idea and fun for the boys.
However almost everything that could go wrong least we didn't have car trouble I guess and there wasn't a trip to the emergency room-although that was a close call as well. *sigh*

So we debated on whether to go up to the mountains or not but the boys were so decided that we finally decided to go. Half-way up there Billy realizes he forgot paper to start a fire with. Thankfully though our car is messy enough that we could scrape together enough scrap pieces of paper and junk mail in the car!! haha
Then the campsite we wanted to go to was closed for the season and there was still snow all over the road. Billy wanted to try going up higher and see if the other campsites were open but the snow on the road was freaking me out and I wasn't getting a good vibe about going up further into the mountains. This was the same mountain we almost got stuck on a few years ago when Billy decided to take us up a dirt road along side the mountain. It had beautiful views but it was early enough in the year that the dirt road was muddy in spots from snow melt and we got stuck. Way up high, and I had to get out to help direct Billy out. Thank goodness we did get out but I was panicking big time. That was a couple years ago though, not this time. However I still have issues from that experience though I think. haha So I didn't want to chance going up higher on the mountain (even though we were on paved roads this time) looking for another campsite.

We went back down the mountain to one of the open campsites we had passed earlier. We found one, and it seemed great until we noticed all of the large rocks sticking out of the ground.

After several kids had already tripped over them, we enforced a no running rule and watched them like a hawk around these rocks.

Then, however, Billy and the boys wanted to give me my Mother's Day gift. It was a beautiful white gold and diamond cross with a heart in the middle. It's hard to describe, so I'll post a stock photo of it. (I haven't taken a pic of it yet)

As Billy was trying to put the necklace on me, he handed the baby (Gabriel) to Alex and told him to be very careful for the rocks and not move but just stand and hold the baby for a second. Of course can you guess what happened? Alex turned around to walk away with the baby and tripped over a large rock (I'll call it a boulder haha) and fell with the baby. I saw them both on the ground so I jumped up and ran over there. At the time I was in panic mode and thought for sure the baby had been seriously hurt, or hit his head, etc. etc. You know how it is! But really looking back now, all that happened is that Alex fell down with the baby in his arms. They didn't even hit any rocks on the way down and landed on (semi) soft dirt and pine needles. The baby looked a little scraped up but that was mostly from just irritation- you know how you scratch yourself and it looks red and puffy right away but after the redness goes away there isn't even a mark. So it looked worse then it was.
Of course in the mean time we realized that my necklace wasn't on yet and now it was gone off my neck! After we saw the baby was okay we all started looking around the ground for my necklace. It was no where to be found. With a sinking feeling we looked into the campfire but thankfully we didn't see it there. I thought it was gone forever but then thankfully...I found it! Still there on the ground where I had picked up the baby from.

So there was a happy ending, and the rest of the time at the campsite was uneventful and fun. Phew. I think we've decided to not go camping this year though while Gabriel is still so small. haha
The next morning you couldn't even tell that Gabriel had fallen with Alex at all. There were just two very small scratches that look like he could have done it himself with his fingernails. (You know those little baby fingernail scratches they get if their nails aren't trimmed down enough)

Okay, speaking of the baby - he's awake now so I must cut this short!! It was a great mother's day though, despite the "great" camping trip idea I had. haha

Pictures now...

The boys giving me the necklace:

Daddy helping the boys cook hot dogs:
Alex eating a marshmallow:
Brayden making another hot dog:

Owen chowing down on his hot dog:

Baby Billy looked like he had been eating dirt!

One of the many deer we saw on the way back home - sorry about the picture quality, it was taken out of a moving window. haha

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Apple Blossom is over - phew!

No more begging to go to the carnival, again...or begging to go the the food in the park. Actually this year we managed to avoid the food in the park entirely! YAY!
Usually our habit is to head to the park and get lunch half-way through the grand parade. Little tummies get rumbly with all those yummy food smells. However THIS year we sat near the end of the parade route, no where near the food and food smells, and we stopped first at McDonald's (ugg not much healthier though!) and got a bunch of breakfast burritos and a bunch of apple dippers (bags of cut up apples and caramel sauce to dip them in). I was proud to see though that the apples were a bigger hit then the burritos or the caramel. I am not proud, however, to say that the cotton candy and krispy kremes were an even bigger hit (darn fundraisers!).
This year we even made it through the ENTIRE parade, all two hours of it. Usually we tire out after an hour and head to the food park or home. The boys did great watching the parade, and even bought themselves a little toy from the vendors that walk up and down the parade route. They brought their own allowance money and picked ONE item from the toy cart. Can you guess what they picked?
Swords. They all picked swords. Those swords were quickly confiscated after several passer-by's narrowly escape with their lives. Not really. haha They were PLASTIC swords. But the were confiscated due to an impromptu duel in the middle of the sidewalk between the three musketeers.

Once we got home, dad bribed the boys with video games if they did yard work for him. It started to drizzle, but gosh darn it that yard work HAD to get done! Billy and I thought it was time for Alex to learn to mow a low so he finally taught Alex how to mow the lawn. Alex thinks it's fun now...but just wait. He did pretty good actually, and Billy got to move on to other things (like the weed whacking) while Alex mowed. Brayden and Owen tried to pull weeds in the flower beds. Notice I said TRIED. Oh well, at least there was some effort there.
I avoid yard work like the plague. I just don't think I'm suited for it. Never have I mowed a lawn, tended a garden or pulled more then a few handfuls of weeds. I don't have a green thumb. You should see my two pitiful indoor plants I have. Just ask my mom, she'll tell you. haha
So I'm SOOO thankful that I have FIVE boys to do all this outdoor yard work stuff for me. Now if I can just teach them how to seed and tend a garden...I'd love all the fruits of the garden, just without the labor. HAHA!

I don't have any fun or exciting pictures to share. I wasn't quick enough with the camera this time. However I'm going to try to plan some fun family time photo op's here soon so that I can spruce up my blog a little. ;)

Until next time....