Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Harvest Time

Mike brought this in from the garden last night.
It looks like we will be eating zucchini (I'm not sick of it yet, but my family is) fajitas (I finally got a red bell pepper!) four peaches (only four, but we only planted the tree last year) and Cafe Rio salads (we finally got tomatillos for the dressing.) I need to figure out something to make with the tomatoes--either salsa or pasta sauce.

I love having a garden. Maintaining a garden--not so much. I'm glad Mike doesn't mind taking care of what I planted.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Marathon

No, this is not a running marathon I speak of. It is the marathon of life I ran today.

The kids have been off track for the last three weeks, so we have tried to fit in as much fun as possible. We have also had the regular stuff going on as well. I want to document this day because I want to have perspective on this craziness and remember to be grateful for my ability to do it--one day I know I will be too tired to do what I did today.

Before having children, Mike and I talked a lot (okay, I talked a lot and he listened) about having children. My uterus had already been through a lot, so we knew we couldn't necessarily rely on it to get us our children. We talked about how many we might have, how far apart they might be, how we might need to/want to adopt. Mike wanted to have the kids close together. He wanted them to grow up knowing each other--to be friends with each other. Close together they are!

There are five years and four months between Andrew and Jessica, with Bev and Kiki in between. There are many blessings to having them so close together. We did all the diapers and baby stuff over the course of just a few years. We can do activities that they all enjoy together. They always have a playmate. They get to experience things together.

The biggest drawback for me is trying to meet all of their needs. They all need/want so much from me, it is hard to give it. We do stories/snuggle time before bed most nights. There will be times when all four kids want to have snuggles. I only have two arms to snuggle them with, so they have resorted to taking turns snuggling my legs. I suppose that is why we have four children--I only have four limbs.

The other big challenge is helping them each have their activities. We really want to give them each the opportunity to try different things, to explore their interests and find out what they are good at and what they like. Sometimes this presents challenges in getting them to their various activities.

This is what our Thursday looked like:

The kids are off track, so Mike got up and woke up Bev. I got up and helped get her ready. He took her to work for the morning. (The kids have expressed an interest in what Dad does at work, so he has taken them in for some exposure to the harsh reality of work.)

I got up and did a load of laundry--sports attire for the day. The kids watched iCarly.

We had cereal for breakfast--my own little secret mix of regular Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios--less sugar. Christian shook the orange juice box and the lid wasn't tight, so then I cleaned up an oj splatter.

I took out the garbage and Jessi waited for me on the porch. She left the door open, so Tiger escaped. I then went on the hunt for our naughty kitty. She loves being outside, and we know that she is looking for love, so she is under house arrest. I found her in the bushes and got her inside.

Then I got a call for a political poll--I am a sucker and can't say no to those. The guy was asking a lot of questions about the Tea Party.

We left at 10:00 and the kids waited for me while I had my blood drawn. Then we went to Mike's work to pick up Bev.

Headed to Hogle Zoo. We let our membership lapse because we were trying different places, but ever since Jessi and I went with Christian on his field trip to the zoo, Andrew and Bev have been wanting to go back. We are members again. It was going to be $37 for that day or $60 for me and the kids for a year. We watched baby Zuri and the kids got to see the wildcat that looks a lot like Tiger.

I went to buy Bev a piano book that she needs. When I called, they said they had it. When I got there I found out that they did not have it after all.

As we got back in the car, Christian announced, "Mom you have a hoarders car." Um, yeah, I think it did qualify as such. In the front passenger seat and floor were the following: a bag of snacks and water bottles, gear and outfits for football, soccer and dance, a pile of mail to go through, Christian and Jessica's activity books, a Target garbage sack that was full of garbage, a pile of DS and phone chargers, a pile of DVD's for the kids to watch, several pairs of sunglasses, sunscreen, a bag of returns, a stack of gas station soda cups for refills, a bag of donations to drop at the school and on top of it all a pile of sleeping bags to take to the dry cleaners. Yes, indeed, it looked like a hoarder car.

We took Jessi to tumbling and then stopped by our new favorite place, The Sweet Tooth Fairy bakery, for cupcakes.

Dropped Andrew and Bev off for piano and then drove across the valley for Christian's karate testing. He did a great job and earned his brown belt. It always amazes me that this kid that, in the true words of his Aunt Mimi, doesn't walk--runs--everywhere, sits up straight and shows such respect and restraint during karate.

Mike was supposed to meet us, but got tied up at work, so I busted out as soon as testing was complete to get Andrew to his football practice which was a scrimmage (that I called a scuffle--learning all of this football lingo is a process.) As I left karate, I realized that I only had 3 miles worth of gas left. So, I stopped at the gas station to fill up.

Andrew got home from piano and got himself ready. We picked him up and drove around the block to get Bev for the "scuffle."

Mike met us at football. I never thought I would be the type to sit and enjoy watching football practice, but I am finding it relaxing and educational (I pretty much understand the whole point of it now.)

As we were watching practice, I turned to him and asked him to ask us out to dinner. I couldn't even think about thinking about fixing dinner. We went to Red Robin (which, let's be honest, always sounds better than it really is.)

We got home around 9. Got the kids bathed and then enjoyed Pace bars while watching the Brady Bunch.

I watched, like a zombie, as the Brady kids learned important life lessons about working together. We tucked the kids in bed and I tucked Mike in bed and then I headed to the computer to finish the last 20 minutes of my online traffic school.

I went to bed at midnight and I don't think I was even in bed for 30 seconds before I was asleep.

Not all days are like yesterday. It just happened to be one of the more crazy ones. I like that I am with the kids and that we are able to do some fun stuff. I am also glad that they go back to school on Monday. Mama is tuckered out, and the house needs to be put back together from these three weeks of partying.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Splash Pad

After our trip to BYU, the kids and I headed to Spanish Fork to meet up with my parents at the new North Park. The kids played in the great new splash pad.
Yes, my kids wear their goggles for any water-type events.
Then they made a slide out of an edging by the stairs. It's a good thing swimsuit season is almost over because their swimsuits got a little worked on that slide.

After playing at the park, we had dinner at "Mexican." We have never called it by it's real name, Mi Rancherito. It has always been "Mexican." It was great to slip in one more water event while the weather cooperated.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

We decided to extend the Summer one more weekend and go camping. It was a great trip--great friends, great food and lots and lots of dirt.

The moms.

The kids.

The dads.

There were no DVDs or showers, but there were woods for exploring and sticks for sharpening. I loved hearing all the imaginations at work--there were forts and wars and bad guys and rescues. (I realized that my number three always wants to be the bad guy.)

Jeff brought horse shoes. It ended up being quite a hit.

The campground had a huge grassy area where we played football and baseball.

The kids played in a stream and then enjoyed sliding down this concrete slab to the river. They used garbage and Target bags.

We packed eight adults and thirteen wet kids in the truck to head back to camp.
Brittany brought tons of games--my kids fell in love with Pass the Pigs.

We had dutch oven and tin foil dinners. The guys made yummy breakfasts. We like to eat well.

Jessi and Allie spent much of the time collecting berries and leaves for "stew."

Brittany sent them on a scavenger hunt. They loved the dice game where they won lots and lots of candy.

Christian, Luke and Dillon.

Bev and Kasi.

Jessi loves Allie. This picture just screams, "I love you, so I will squeeze your neck."

Kiki was in his element. He loves being able to use a pocket knife and find sticks and get filthy and fake tatoos. He has three days worth of dirt on him, his shirt is inside-out and he is so happy. I asked him to smile really big to show me his missing teeth.

Andrew loves spending time with Payton--he misses him so.
Everytime I think about planning a camping trip, I get a little overwhelmed--there is a lot of packing and then the laundry. But, seeing the kids enjoying the great outdoors makes all the work worth it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Courtroom Drama

Last week I got my first speeding ticket in about a decade. It was on 11400 South in the construction area. It was a few blocks from our house. Several people I know passed me. I told the officer that the public humiliation of all my neighbors (and even a friend that lives miles away) should be sufficient punishment. He disagreed and gave me a $90 ticket.

Yesterday, Jessi and I went to the city court to pay the fine and get set up for traffic school. We went in the courtroom--I actually had to appear before the judge. I told Jessi that I had to talk to him and pay the fine. She then asked, in a loud voice, "If you go to jail, will Daddy come and get me?" Several people in the courtroom, including the bailiff, overheard her. The way she said it made it sound like the poor girl has been through this before--showing up to court with her mother who then gets put in the slammer. When she said it, I chuckled a little. The other people just looked at us with pity.