Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sailing Around The World

My friend wrote on my facebook wall yesterday, saying "Are you sailing around the world, is that why you haven't updated your blog?" I desperately wish that were the reason for my lack of updates! I would be thrilled to tell you about my travels to distant lands and all the cheer I was spreading there! However, it's not the case.

I've been in the trenches of life lately. I haven't been depressed, that's not my style (not that there's anything WRONG with that!). I've just been cleaning up spills, disciplining rambunctious boys, and doing homework until I'm ready to throw it out the window....you know, the trenches.

However, this evening I became very grateful, out of the blue.

I'm so thankful I have the most amazing husband. He is so supportive of whatever I am doing, even if it's laying on the couch vegging! He doesn't freak out when I spend a small fortune on hair products, nor does he freak out when he comes home to an empty dinner table (I have "what should we have for dinner" disease a lot!). He is funny all the time and doesn't get discouraged when I don't laugh at every joke, it just makes him try harder! He works so hard at his job, in his calling, and at being a father and husband. He's just fabulous!

I'm thankful for my kids.

Carson is teaching me how to be a mom to a tween. Overall, he's a great kid, but lately I've been getting glimpses of what he'll be like as a teenager. It's taught me great patience! I like the changes, he is acting more and more grown up and we have some pretty funny conversations! Here he is with my new niece (more on that in a second):

Parker is soooooo funny! I would love to be a fly on the wall and watch him for an entire day, just to find out what I miss when he's at school! For reals, he is mini-Sam in personality. A few weeks ago the Primary kids sang in church. After the song, when all the kids were going back to sit with their parents, Parker waited until almost everyone had sat down, and then he proceeded to walk BACKWARDS off the stand and to where I was sitting, towards the back of the chapel! He seriously went down the steps backwards and kept going until he reached my bench. On the outside I had a pleasant, yet stern look. On the inside I was laughing my brains out! But the best part? Once he sat down he did not look at me to see if I was laughing. He just sat down and stared straight ahead as if nothing unusual had just occurred. Who does that?? A few days ago I was at my cousins house and Parker ran into the room, sat in front of her fireplace and started to meditate. Have I ever seen him do anything like that before? Uh, NO! His little cousin Sloan even tried getting in on that action!

Cameron finished up preschool for the year. I got to help in the classroom on the 2nd to last day. The teacher had the kids washing their cubbies and toys...brilliant!

Because Cameron is mostly with me during the day, I get to hear the great things he says. The other day he was jumping up and down and listening to the liquid slosh around in his belly. Then he said "That's just the duck. My stomach is going to hurt in 2 minutes. I need to go get my blanket!". I just stared at him, not really understanding what the crap he was talking about, so he repeated himself like 3 times until I said "oh, okaaaaayyyyyy.....". Love him, Love him, Love him!
He discovered the headlamp we use for camping the other day and has been wearing it all over:

Tonight I asked him to put dad's shoes and backpack away. He was eager to please!

He got his first pair of flip flops (don't try to call them shoes, he gets very defiant until you call them flip flops) and after a day of throwing tantrums he finally learned how to walk in them.

I'm thankful the sun was shining today! We have had the wettest May in over 150 years here in the Salt Lake valley. It's been pure craziness! It was like living in Seattle all over again! I finally got my summer flowers planted during a break in the rain last week and my zinnia seeds have already started to sprout! Yay for wet weather! I took the boys to a local nursery and let them each pick out flowers they wanted to plant. Carson picked out some crazy striped petunias, Parker picked out some hot pink petunias, and Cameron picked out some little paintbrush type flowers, I can't remember what they are called. They look like little pink, orange, and yellow paintbrushes....Fern, what are they called? Anyway, it's pretty cute because every time they walk past THEIR flowers they get so excited and tell anyone within earshot how they picked them out all by themselves!

I'm thankful I live so close to my parents. Not only do we get a gourmet meal every Sunday, we get to hang out with them quite often and they are FABULOUS grandparents to my boys. They have an endless supply of fruit snacks and dum dum suckers, which make my boys swoon! My mom had knee surgery over a month ago and she is doing very well this time around. It's so great to see her make more progress with her knee over this past month, than the past 2 1/2 years combined! She is such a trooper to deal with all the pain, I am amazed at her attitude. My dad has been extremely patient with Carson over the past 3 weeks as we've been teaching him to mow their lawn. He's even had the edges already mowed before we get there so Carson can understand where to start! What a good grandpa! They are so nice to babysit for me at the drop of a hat, I'm seriously blessed to have them in my life!

I'm thankful for my extended family as well. I love hanging out with each and every one of them! This past week has been crazy eventful for my little brother Curtis. He and his wife have been trying to adopt a child from the Navajo reservation in Arizona for the past few years. They assumed they would receive a toddler, which was just fine with them. Biologically, they have Dexter, who is 4 years old, and Lucy who just turned 1. Last week my sister-in-law, Shandy, received a call from her social worker who told her they have a baby girl who was born on May 17th that they would like Curtis and Shandy to adopt. It's a VERY spiritual story told by Shandy, and the end result is this baby was MEANT to be with their family. She truly belongs to Curtis and Shandy and we all know she was meant to be with them since before the beginning of time. To hear them tell the story brought tears to all our eyes. Even though they have only had her for 5 days, I feel like she has been in the family forever. Her name is Phoebe Patricia Clark. My mom's name is Patricia, so you know she's elated about that choice! :) This experience has reminded me, once again, that Heavenly Father is in charge. He has a specific timeline for each and every one of us. Sometimes we question it and get frustrated, but as events unfold in front of us, we can truly say "Now I understand why things worked out this way!!"

From the reservation, Shandy texted me this picture. I fell in love instantly!

On Sunday we got to hold her and love on her! This picture make me laugh. This is Lorraine, Shandy's mom, holding Phoebe. No, she isn't crying (she never cries, just whimpers when she's hungry!), she is yawning. Look at those long skinny fingers!

Here is my mom, holding her namesake!

Here's me!

A gorgeous picture Shandy just posted on facebook:

And, just for fun, here's their one-year old Lucy. ha ha! See that dart on her forehead? She was eating the foam from those darts without us knowing. See the box she is holding? She was eating that too, without us knowing. Guess how we found out? 5 minutes after this picture she HORKED all over the dining room. It was AWESOME! In true mom-instincts, Shandy grabbed her and said "Curtis, do you want to clean up Lucy or the floor?" Curtis quickly said "floor" and Shandy raced down the hall to Lucy's room. About 1.4 minutes later, Lucy was cleaned up and so was the floor. I'd like to think Carson helped them deal with unpleasant puke. Once when Carson was about 4 we were at their house. Carson suddenly puked in their hallway. When we asked him whassupwithdat, he said "I was just looking at the dog's bum and all of a sudden I threw up". Um.....okay..... good times!

I could go on and on, I already did, but I want you to know that I'm thankful for my day to day life. It's not fancy or filled with exotic adventures, but that's okay, I'm a homebody! Life really is good! Now.....I must go clean the toilet...living in a house with 4 boys is like a box of chocolates, I never know what I'm going to see when entering the bathroom!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mothers Day 2011

I had a very nice Mother's Day. Do you want to know what Carson gave me? Remember, it was "the perfect gift and it only cost 50 cents!" (see post below).

First of all, he gave me this lovely card. Here's the front, a nice bouquet of roses:

But the real tear-jerker was the inside of the card. How poetic can you get??? The word "here" just really speaks to me! :)

Of course, I should be happy with "here" because at church they filled out this cute paper on Mother's. They were supposed to fill in the blank for "She is so good at _______________________". Carson wrote "telling me to hurry up!" Ya win some, ya lose some.

Back to the gift......Ta-Da! Here is what Carson scored at the Garage Sale.

Watch out neighbors, I foresee a lot of Hershey's circa 1980's baking in the future! It's detrimental to my health to keep goodies like this around here so you will probably be a good home for them! All joking aside, it was very thoughtful of Carson to find a Mother's Day gift for me. He was so proud when he gave it to me first thing Sunday morning. He's a good kid and I'm glad he's mine!

For Mother's Day, Sam gave me a cool walking stick for all our day hikes this summer, and this awesome necklace that I hinted to him that I wanted (I emailed him the link a month ago and said "THIS is what I want for Mother's Day.).

It's from The Vintage Pearl. I absolutely love it. The 3 peas in the pod represent my three children and their names are engraved on the little disc. So fun!

For Mother's Day dinner, we spent it with my parents. My mom had knee surgery a few weeks ago and can't travel too much right now so we made an afternoon of hanging out while the men cooked dinner. It was very nice! We had grilled marinated turkey (delicious!), roasted veggies, a scrumptious watermelon, and some rustic artisan bread. It was divine! Check out the veggies before they went in the oven! By the way, I really liked roasted radishes. They were super good! The only kind of veggie I didn't care for was the broccoli. I keep waiting for my taste buds to grow up in the broccoli department, but they never do! The veggies that were in the pan: asparagus, carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, sweet potato, yukon potato, mushrooms, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli...that may have been it. Pour some garlic butter over the top and add some parmesan cheese and you have a meal fit for a king!

While dinner was cooking, Parker and Cameron were wrestling around. A little while later, Cameron approached my mom and said "Parker has a bloody nose!". I didn't know if he was serious or not, because he's a total prankster, but sure enough, I found Parker in the bathroom with blood all over his face.

when I asked him what happened, he said "Cameron had his finger up my nose and then he scratched". I honestly didn't ask him any follow up questions, I just gave him a confused look and said "Sam, can you help Parker?" and then I went and read the newspaper. Don't judge me, it's Mother's Day. Some days I need a break from bizarre behaviors of 3 boys! Later in the day, Cameron fell off my parents bar stool and scratched up his tailbone. Poor buddy. I said "did you hurt your bum?". His reply: "No, I hurt my bottom!". Um, okay.

After everyone was finished getting injured, we had dessert. Sam made Lava cakes. Amazing!

The cake was so rich it made me sweat! It was freakin-fantastic!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day! I am so blessed to live so close to my own Mom. She is a great example to me and I love her very much!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

I'm Struggling...

I'm struggling to keep this ol' blog updated! Can I just hire somebody? I think my niece Liz could use a summer job, in addition to her internship. Liz, you wanna pretend you are me? ha ha ha! I am laughing just imagining what you would write!

Okay, let me break it down for you:

Cameron had a "Mother's Tea" program at his school last week. It was seriously so cute. I loved every second of it! The mothers sat at tables all decorated and with plates of cookies and fruit slush. We snacked while the kids sang songs. Cameron made a bee bracelet for one of his songs and he proudly wore it the rest of the day. It's hard to tell in this picture, but there are clear wings, I guess made of transparency films, glued to the yellow band.

For Mother's Day, the moms received a card that spelled "Mom" with our child's picture, a homemade flower that was water colored, a pencil with a tag that read "Thank you for being the write kind of helper this year", and some M&M's with a note, Marvelous Mom. It was the Mother-Load. ha ha. Hey, who's grubby chubby hands are those trying to swipe my M&M's??

Guess what Parker gets to do on a daily basis? When he's at school, for some reason he likes to ROLL around on the playground, in the wood chips. His jacket is a magnet for wood chips. They get stuck on the inside lining and will not fall off unless hand picked. So, every day he walks home from school, and then sits on the front steps and hand picks off the wood chips. It drives me crazy, not just because he has to throw wood chips all over my front steps....think about how many kids have peed on those wood chips! EwwwWWWwww!

As you may or may not know, our Spring weather hasn't exactly been warm. We've had tons of rain and tons of snow. Last week I couldn't stand it any longer, I had to go outside and recreate instead of sitting around in the house. So, we found this cute little park called "Winchester Park". It had a pond, a playground, and it's right along the Jordan River Parkway. It was super fun! We saw two pelicans fly over the pond and then swoop down and land in the water. Also, as I was racing Parker down the Jordan River Parkway, it may or may not have resulted in an embarrassing situation that is caused by having 3 babies in the past. Note to self, running is lame. ha ha!

Today we finally had a gorgeous spring-like day. 70 degrees, not much wind. It was perfect for a little hike up Ensign Peak. I've never hiked Ensign Peak before. It was much different than I expected. I thought it would still feel like you were in the city, but I was pleasantly surprised by the surrounding nature. :)
About half way up:

Taking a rest. It was pretty steep. The kids did awesome! Even 3-year old Cameron hiked the whole thing without any help.

Almost to the top!

We made it! We celebrated by eating fruit snacks and Teddy Grahams. The view from the top!

On the way down: The kids learned a valuable lesson...going down is harder than going up! It was pretty funny. I think each of my boys slipped and fell at least once. I'll admit, my legs were a little shaky by the time we reached level ground again. It was fun though, I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

After our hike we went to my parents house to teach Carson how to mow their lawn. This will be Carson's summer job. It wasn't easy for him, but I'm so proud of him. I don't think I ever mowed lawns when I was 10 years old! He shed a few frustrated tears, but he sure loved the money he received as payment! He promptly spent it tonight on a pocket watch that he's been saving up for in the past several months. Seriously? A pocket watch? I don't get it. Whatever floats his boat I suppose.

Cameron fell yesterday and skinned his knee. I didn't see it happen so he came limping over to me and I could see the bright red spot on his knee. I said "what happened buddy?" and he replied: Well, I was just trippin' over there....and then I fell! I laughed inside my head for the next hour. The way he said it was so gangsta too! Maybe it's not funny to read....but it was funny to hear!

Today Cameron was eating a frozen refreshing treat. Holy Moly, it was serious bath time after this! For reals!

This morning our neighbors across the street were having a garage sale. They are fairly new to the 'hood. We've met them and exchanged pleasantries, but that's about it. Carson was eating breakfast and said "I'm going to go see if the neighbors need help!" and with that, he bolted out the door and across the street. Pretty random, but they didn't seem to mind. About an hour later he came storming in the front door and yelled "I found the perfect Mother's Day gift for you and it only will cost me fifty cents!!!!!". He raced downstairs, grabbed his piggy bank, and ran back over to the neighbor's house. Later I sheepishly walked over to save my neighbors from chatty Carson and they were laughing so hard about how he's been very helpful and acting like a true salesman to people who were browsing the sale. They said he was very cute and thoughtful when he found the perfect Mother's Day gift for me....but they were kind of laughing when they said it. I'm a little nervous. Stay tuned tomorrow when I find out what it is!!

Happy Mothers Day tomorrow to all the women I know and love, especially my own Mom!!!!