Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Simple Gratitude

So I heard the thing I hear once a day from Christian and several times a day from Jessica: "Mom, come wipe my bum." Christian had finished his business and yelled for me. I did the job and as we were washing our hands he said, "Mom, I am lucky." I asked what makes him feel lucky. He replied, "Cause you always come wipe my bum." (Can you see why this kid has me wrapped around his little finger?)

It is the little things like this that make me so happy to be right where I am, doing what I am doing. So for those of you who wipe bums (either figuratively or literally) in your job everyday, I hope, every once in a while, that someone gives you a little gratitude like I got today.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Birthday Girl

Our kids tend to get around two weeks worth of celebrations. They have a party with each side of the family. Last night was the second party. Thanks Sean and Julie for hosting us.

We are into unusual cakes. Bev wanted ice cream sandwiches for her birthday, so I just piled them up and we put sprinkles on top. We did this for both parties. The kids seemed to love it.

The Jones cousins (we missed you Tyler.) They always have so much fun when we get together.
On their birthday, we let the kids pick where they want to go for dinner. They can choose anywere they want. Bev chose Del Taco. Such simple tastes at this age. She actually loves Geckos (mexican food) but changed it up at the last minute and asked for Del Taco.
Every year seems to go by faster than the last. It seems like just yesterday that she was a baby. I just did her birthday interview last night. Here are just a few of the answers:
favorite activity: crafts, swimming
3 wishes: guinea pig, fish, turtle
favorite color: orange
favorite treat: chocolate (shocker for our family!)
favorite food: burritos
wants to be: dentist
when happy: when we go on bike rides
when sad: when Kiki is mean to me
when scared: when there's a rat in the house (it was really a mouse)
favorite toy: girl legos
talents: dance, tumbling, ballet, karate
favorite thing about church: when we get to go home
about school: math, reading, recess
about home: toys, clothes, vanity in my room

Saturday, April 26, 2008

We have a Black Belt in the house!

Yesterday was a big day for Andrew. He tested for his black belt. He did a great job and passed. This is him with his instructor, Mr. Banford. We just love Mr. and Mrs. Banford. They are so good with the kids and create such a positive environment for them. Andrew is now called Mr. Jones at karate. (He told me that if I want to I can call him Mr. Jones too. Yeah right!)

Thanks to all who came to support him--Claudia, Julie, Tyler, Katie, Mom, Dad and Ryan. It meant the world to him to have you all there.

Bev doing her board break. She earned her Second Degree Brown Belt.
Christian earned his Second Degree Yellow Belt and got his Cheetah patch.

Taekwondo has been such a great thing for the kids. Not that we have perfected these things, but it helps teach them respect, teamwork, endurance, work, focus, patience.

So Proud!

Yesterday we got to attend two graduation ceremonies at BYU. My mom earned her Ed.D in Educational Leadership. She has been working on this (while working full-time) for 10 years. She is a principal in Santaquin and also does educational consulting. My brother Ryan graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

I told the kids that we can now call her Dr. Huff. Christian got a little concerned and asked if she was going to give us our shots.

Grandma with some of the grandkids. There was a more perfect picture of Kiki, but I just had to put this one on. Trying to get a "good" group picture with him is always an adventure. I either end up laughing or yelling at him to hold still. I am starting to think that those perfectly arranged photos are overrated. I like a little reality in them. This one definitely conveys our reality with him.

Andrew got mad that he had to wear "fancy clothes." Um, pal, that is a polo shirt. If that is fancy then we have become more casual than I thought we had.

It was fun being on campus again. Andrew really likes BYU and says he wants to go there. Even though I went to school there, we are a non-partisan family when it comes to universities. My parents both graduated from the Y. All of my siblings have gone there. My youngest sister, Natalie, is studying there now. Three of us have graduated from BYU. Then there is Camille. She started at the Y and then, as she tells it, saw the light and transferred to the U.

My mom has been the best example to me. She worked really hard, and I am so happy she accomplished this goal. We are proud of Ryan too. He is a smart one (and really cute and single too.)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Funny quote from Andrew:
Last night Andrew and I were snuggling before bed and talking about the "Savior of the World" play we did a few weeks ago. We were discussing Jesus and how he was the only perfect person to live on earth. Andrew replied, "Well, him and Benjamin Franklin--that guy invented electricity."

Somebody asked me why my blog is titled Just Another Fine Day in Paradise. I should have explained it at the beginning. This statement has been a very familiar response I get to the question to Mike, "How was your day?" He responds, "Just another fine day in paradise."

I am running off to Sears to buy a serger. I have some headbands to make and it is getting really tedious without a serger. I don't sew a lot, but when I do having a serger will be FABULOUS.

Sorry, no pics today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hair Disaster

We've been through this with Bev when she was 3. That ended well--she got a really cute bob cut. This, however, is a disaster. As you can see, she cut off the entire braid. She cut under the elastic band next to her scalp. It is right in the front of her head.

I tried different hair comb-over options, none of which will work. I think my only option is to get a bunch of those thick headbands (they need to be really thick) that tie in the back at the neck. I got one at Target and they don't come in great colors for tiny-sized girl rascals, so I will be heading to the fabric store and sewing some.

She really likes scissors, and she really likes sneaking things under her covers in her bed to play with at naptime. I did the usual bed check, but she got up to potty and must have gotten the scissors at that time. I went in to find that she had given one of Bev's Cabbage Patch babies a serious mohawk. I didn't even notice her hair until she woke up and I went to do it and well, wow! Her hair grows really slowly, so this will be a long process. She will be wearing headbands for quite a while. Ah, the joys of motherhood!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wonderful, Exhausted

It's good to be home--so good to be home! We had a great time in the Happiest Place on Earth, but we are Disneyed out! I missed Mike, Kiki and Jess SO much. On the last day there I asked the kids to give me two words to describe the trip. Andrew said, "Wonderful, exhausted." I think that summed up my feelings as well. Bev said, "Fun swimming." Swimming was actually their favorite part. Everyday after we were done in the parks we went back to the hotel and the kids swam for hours.

Bev had a fun time with her dance friends, and performing in California Adventure was really cool. Because it was just the three of us, we headed into the parks early. We hit all the major rides early and we were done every day by about 3 p.m. Then we headed back to the hotel and the kids played in the pool for the rest of the evening. I read a great book on the trip--A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. (He wrote The Kite Runner too--also really good.)

Funny Andrew Anecdote: Every night after the pool, we came back to the room and the kids watched t.v. The only things on that they were interested in were The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and America's Funniest Videos. While at lunch yesterday Andrew said that he really wanted us to all go to AFV so that we could be in the audience and vote on the winner. We said that would be fun. Then he said, "No, let's wait until I have a girlfriend--that would be a really cool date." Followed by, "Actually, that would be a cool place to go on my honeymoon." He is just like his father--likes to plan way ahead, and is so romantic.

Seriously though, I do have me a good man. Mike had a fun weekend with the little ones. Every time I called they were off doing something fun. They went to the Jordan Parkway on a bike ride, to the Jazz game, had Courtney sleep over, went to eat with Sean and Julie, visited Grandma and Grandpa Peel. Now it's back to them being home with what probably seems like "Boring Mom."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

More Moab

Jessica did a lot of hiking for such a little one. Mike only carried her once and I never used my carrier wrap. So, Jess wanted to be carried around when we got home from Moab. She likes being carried like this--it's how they do it in Africa. She will sometimes have me wrap one of her dolls on her back and walk around the house with it.

Delicate Arch in the background.

Looking out North Window.

More in the sand at Sand Dune Arch--this is my favorite picture of the trip.

When we got to Vernal, Mike discovered that Christian's carseat had not been strapped to the seat of the car after it had been taken out and cleaned of sand. He strapped it back in and we were all discussing how lucky we were that we had not been in an accident when Christian said, "If I died I would miss you Mom." I just told him that I would miss him too and then I turned around and wiped the tears out of my eyes.

Aside from the carseat incident, a great time was had by all. Now I am back to reality--laundry, cleaning, and Mike and I are finishing the bathroom in the basement. I have a lot to do before Wednesday. I am taking Bev and Andrew to California--her dance group is performing at Disneyland. This will be a first for us. Normally we all go on vacation together, but I am actually looking forward to spending time with the two of them.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Great Weekend

It has been years--okay, over a decade--maybe over two decades since I have been to Arches. The time I remember was when I was a kid and I went with my mom, my sisters Melanie and Camille, my aunts Barb and Pat and my Grandma B. It was a girls trip. We did the hike to Delicate Arch. I can't believe I have not been back since then. Mike has never been. We loved it. It was a beautiful place, fabulous weather, wonderful friends, and happy, dirty kids. I'll post more tomorrow.