Tuesday, August 26, 2014

end of summer iphone

One day our fire department was doing some sort of event at the park next to it, and we went even though it was blaaaaazing hot.
We got to climb inside a fire truck...

And a helicopter!

There was more to do, but honestly we just couldn't take the heat anymore.  Poor little Gabe was as red as a beet and could not stop sweating, even after we got him home and were pumping liquids into him like crazy.

This beauty was taken as Gabe was potty training.  Gabe got super confused and thought these particular undies were specifically for the head.

While we were doing said potty training, those three days are pretty intense and I asked Marty to take the kids somewhere for fun since I was beyond unavailable to them.  Often when I ask (or beg) that of Marty he will take the kids to Superstition Springs Mall for a dollar movie and either a ride on a dinosaur or the carousel.

Brynn posing, and my April babies together (I call them that sometimes since their birthdays are only two days apart and they get along so well, but Bryce HATES it!).

Marty met up with the Mather cousins there.

I remember he texted me this picture and I totally squealed when I opened it.

We didn't have a kiddie pool the last year or two and I was totally determined to get one this year.  But after the first five or so times, the older kids didn't have any interest in it anymore.  So we have had a lot of play dates and suddenly when the other kids start hopping in the pool my kids think it's the greatest thing ever.

This.  This is my life right now.  It wasn't when the pictures was taken, but it is now that BandB are in school and I love it.  Have I mentioned how much I love having just the babies for awhile each day?  Because I totally love it.

Marty went on a hike with the new teacher coming on board at the ALA seminary.  Pretty cool selfie, Johnson.

This is one of the times BandB missed each other just too much after I split up their rooms, and I found them asleep together.

Ok.  Sad to say, but this is the only picture I have from our S&I Husband and Wife retreat in Flagstaff. We just couldn't stop laughing about the bathrooms in this place, but I felt a lot better after I found out our friends took a picture of it, too!

Anyway, the retreat was amazing and it was so nice that I could leave the kids with my mom, who flew out just for the occasion, and not have to worry about them at all.  There were some incredible talks/discussions/hikes and nature trails.  It was slow-paced.  Marty and I felt like we were really able to receive some strong impressions about our family and marriage at this time and we were excited to put those into action as soon as we got home. (Is it hard to take that paragraph seriously with the toilet phone above??)

One day on pretty short notice we found out that Kris Anne had a flight that would be stopping for an hour or two in Phoenix and there was really no question - Marty was GOING.  He took Brynn and even got Bryce out of bed, and it was totally worth the late night for them!  She is such an awesome Aunt (and sister-in-law).  I guess...they saw a cool car...?

Here is Gabby on one of her first driving lessons!  It was even more special that she got to learn in our Grandpa's old car, the one that was his baby and that we got to ride in to Boulder sometimes.  That parrot was always hanging from the rear-view mirror, so Marty dug it out of the glovebox because he is sentimental like that (or at least understands women are).  There have been a couple of occasions when I have popped in the Johnny Cash tape and held the parrot in my hands and it just felt so good to think about him.

Speaking of which, we sold the Marshmallow!  This is the car that Marty picked me up on for our very first date!  It moved us to Arizona.  We brought Brynn and Bryce home from the hospital in it.  We have had VERY few issues with it.  It has been a good, good car to us.  But actually it was starting to have a few issues, it looks fine in the picture but the interior was USED, and it was just time to part ways after we inherited my Grandpa's car.

Lots of road-trips and hand-holding in these two seats. :)

Tacky day for Spirit Week.  I love that the time is posted on the TV back there.  It will always remind me of how crazy we were for picking a schedule which had the kids heading out the door at 6:50!
Ha!  Bryce doesn't seem so amused about Tacky day.  He actually really likes to look good....

And this is typical - Gabe still in his jammies milling around with a couple of basketballs.

Oh Bryce, Bryce, Bryce.  WHAT are we going to do with you?  He works and plays hard, he naps hard!  He still naps just about every day, just never in his bed!  Here he is, like, upside-down...

And later that night he fell asleep again...on the TOILET!

Marty was calling for me downstairs and he told me to hurry, so I flew downstairs and ran into the bathroom to hear Bryce snoring away on the toilet.  I'm not sure how long he had been there, but there were some pretty intense impressions left on his face. :)

(Teenage Bryce, please forgive me for posting this picture)

missed pics from UT Summer 2014

Here are some pictures that I think I missed from our trip to UT this summer.  

It had to include a trip to my mom's library.  Gabe was a little bookworm from the time he was teeny tiny.  Camille is just now catching on to books better and it's making me so happy.

You can't see from the picture, but I love the top shelves in her library.  They are packed with cute stuffed animals from various books with the book next to it.  The kids had fun with those.

We went to Saratoga Springs' parade - it was...funny.  It's the Canada Days Parade and it's not meant to be taken to seriously.  As small and short as it was, I think my kids got more candy from that parade than any parade ever!

Millie May looooved the Johnson's little dog, Wicket.  That was a relief since usually our kids are running and screaming in terror - from that TINY thing.  She had no fear, even when she would clench his skin and fur and get nipped at.  We had to watch her to keep her from trying to eat his tail.  I tell you, the things babies DO.

American Fork Canyon

Marty had a goatee for a day and then a mustache for a day.  He just isn't the facial hair type. :)

Here is Kelly at Greg and Nickelle's baby blessing holding both his baby and ours...
While I appear to be chillin.'  Thanks Kelly!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

July/August phone pics

So tonight I am feeling a little overwhelmed about all of my records.  I was feeling pretty good thinking I was mostly caught up on the blog, just a few pictures to post from my phone.  I thought I had just a few on Marty's phone as well, but as I imported them it was more like 600!  Then I made this goal that I would find one name - just one name - from FamilySearch to bring to the temple before I finish up the Family History Sunday School class that Marty and I are taking.  It's a blessing that I have an amazing family who has done so much family history work, but there's got to be someone waiting for me to find him or her, right?

Anyway, On Sundays I have a couple of precious hours after I put the kids down for the night to spend on this kind of stuff, so here I go eating my elephant; one bite at a time.  The first bite is just these few pictures....

The pioneer ward activity:

I guess this would be a good time to explain the pairs.  I know of at least four big families who use some sort of "team" or "buddy system" in helping to get all of those kiddos raised.  And they happen to be families I look up to about as much as anyone in the world.  I have thought about doing it before, but thought I'd hold off.  Then I realized I'm not sure why I was holding off, I need help now!  BandB have always been great to help with the babies, but I decided it was time to make it a bit more official.  So I have put Brynn "in charge" of Gabe, and Bryce with Camille.  If we are headed out the door somewhere, I'm hoping to get to the point where they can mostly get their buddies ready and loaded if I ask them to.  Right now we are still training, but I'm loving it.  It's important to me that the older kids still get a childhood, I'm not asking them to parent the babies.  I've made it clear that it's not their job to discipline or anything like that.  But hopefully if I'm unavailable they know they've got a helper.

I'm waiting for the older kids to grumble about it, but so far they just seem really excited and proud I think they feel special.  If Gabe comes to me with something and asks for help and I have raw chicken on my hands or something and tell him to go ask his buddy, Brynn hears it and jumps up, "Gabe!  I'm over here!  What do you need?"  I've had them help me with getting buddies in and out of the car, snacks, church, getting ready for bed, reaching things, answering questions, etc.  BandB seem genuinely excited to help most of the time.

I'm waiting for this grand idea to fizzle.  We started it up "officially" when we went to UT over the summer and I was feeling overwhelmed with the packing.  So far they are still into it, though.  It's a bit more exciting for Brynn, just because she's such a mommy, she's older, Gabe's older, and he has latched onto her like glue.  There is less I can ask for help with regarding Camille, but there are still things and Bryce takes it as seriously as a five year old boy can, I suppose (he always has been Camille's little protector).  Oh, one of my favorites is to ask the kids to go get the buddies from their naps after homework time.  That took a bit of training as well, after a couple major incidents where BandB bounded in to see the babies with loud shouts and I-don't-even-know-what, but the babies did NOT want to be awakened that way.  But now it's cute to see Brynn  walk down the stairs holding Gabe's hand and it's funny to see Bryce hefting Camille (who is usually being dragged more then held at the bottom of the stairs).  But again, I'm still waiting for a complaint over that particular job and I haven't heard one yet.

ANYWAY.  One Saturday Brynn came to me with her Disney Princess Cookbook and asked if she could make a treat "with her buddy."  So I told her Sunday would be a great day for it and we went out and got all the ingredients.  I thought it was really sweet of her, and Gabe thought he was the biggest boy in the world helping her in the kitchen.
Mostly it was cute, but at a point Brynn was getting pretty frustrated trying to keep Gabe's hands out of things and what-not.  She hasn't asked to do it again since then. :)
But it was very special (and yummy!).

I guess I'll write a little update on the bedroom situation.  (By the way, I guess it would make more sense to pair off the boys and the girls as buddies, but they will already be bonding while sharing a room so I thought switching it up would give them a good chance to bond with a different sibling.  Also, it's a little hard to tell with Camille being so young, but Gabe's and Brynn's personalities seem so perfectly matched.  They are quite different, but seem to complement each other so well.) Bryce and Gabe are still doing pretty well together sharing a room.  There are still quite a few fireworks, but only a few nights where we couldn't take it and had to split them up for the night.  I hope they can be great friends.  I had to take a picture when they were playing with the train set because it just felt so good to see them playing together without any big eruptions.  It will be interesting to see them grow up together.  Bryce has such an intense personality and Gabe just wants his environment to be so mellow, and that's where most of their issues come from.  I love these boys of mine.

And an update on the Destroying Angel - she's still doing her thing.  It's so funny to me how quiet she is about her messes.  I can't figure out if she really is just mellow about them, or if she is trying to outsmart me and be sneaky.  I knew Gabe was an easy baby, but I don't think I realized just how little he was into "stuff."  I feel like my whole day revolves around disasters.  I am having to totally re-babyproof.  I am having to check her fingers for cuts (I had no idea she could climb back far enough in the cupboard to disassemble the food processor, or to climb high enough in the bathroom to get to Marty's razor).  I am having to check her mouth all the time for foreign objects.  Her favorite thing to eat is - no kidding - her diaper.  I've had to completely stop putting dresses on her, even onesies don't cut it.  She just grabs a section of diaper, pulls hard, and puts it in her mouth.  At first it's just a bit of lint, but eventually...you get the idea.  I mentioned what church was like last week on my blog.  Each week she gets a little harder.  Today she, as she so often does, ran way faster than she had any business doing on those weak, chubby legs and face-planted on the tile right as choir was about to start.  I didn't think it would be that bad, but I could NOT get the bleeding to stop so Marty just gathered everyone up and went home.  And STILL.  She is hilarious and adorable and entertaining.  She is happy as can be, she is so rarely fussy.  She is just a busy little bee.

This is from when she was covered in grease (just don't ask).  I gave her a bubble bath, scrubbed her with baby soap, then dish soap, and then finally the miracle that took it right off...drum roll please...my facewash.  Since then, I don't even want to KNOW what is in my makeup. 

Queen Creek got a splash pad!!
 These things are so perfect for toddlers, we have already a few fun days there.  It's close to everything I love to go to...
Like the library!  I just have to make sure that we go to the library during story time so that my toddlers blend in with everyone else's!  (<--grammar nbsp="" p="">

Here's another example of when I just can't cut it.  Hopefully one of my kids can.  I'm not sure what was going on this particular night.  I just remember that the kids hadn't read at all that day, and Bryce really wants to get to the 300 hour party with Brynn.  It's not too hard for her since she can read easily on her own.  But for Bryce it's going to be really hard since he needs us to help him, plus he's not a total bookworm so if we forget, he usually does too.  One night he came to me asking to read "Oh the Places You'll Go" (which happens to be a favorite of mine).  I couldn't do it and was feeling guilty and asked Brynn to go read the book to the boys and then put them down.  She was totally up for it.  So I came in later to check on them and had to take this picture:

I seriously feel so lucky that Brynn was our first child, I don't know what I would do without her.

Here is one of my quirky Oldham things.  I think play places are kind of really gross.  I never go there during cold and flu season.  I like to find out when they clean and then go right after that.  I hate the crowds and seeing fifth grade boys plow into my toddlers.  Having said all that, they do help to keep the sanity in the summer when it's just too hot step outside.  So here it is:  from time to time I love to go to Chick-fil-a at like, 7:00 on Saturday morning.  I think we must be the only people that know they even have a breakfast menu, because we always have the entire establishment to ourselves.  And it's a lovely play place, small enough to actually be able to keep clean. :)  Often when Marty is on a scout camp or something on a Saturday, that's where we'll head. 

Oh Millie.  Why do you have to be SO adorable?

Welp.  Here it is, bedtime.  I only ate one bite of the elephant tonight when I was hoping for more.  Blast my long-windedness yet again.  The 600 iphone pics will just have to wait!  G'night...