Wednesday, August 31, 2011

he's twelve . . .

. . . and that means we are getting up early.

He has been so excited to go to the temple, and has decided that we are going every week. We go early--Andrew is an early-riser. Mike and I are not, but I have to say that it is actually nice getting up early and going--just the three of us.

This morning when he came out of the dressing room, his tie was a bit of a mess. He said that he had a "wresting match with it" in the dressing room. Mike then commented that it was okay--he looked like a Deacon.

He was ordained a few weeks ago. He is excited to have some new responsibilities, and he is taking them very seriously. He is such a good kid. We are lucky to be his parents.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

rainbow cake

They are all the rage, and I have been waiting for the chance to make one myself, so I did it for our August birthdays celebration.

I used the recipe on this site.

I doubled it because I wanted more cake and less frosting. I ended up having to make 3 batches of frosting anyway.

It was a lot of work, and a lot of cake.

Friday, August 26, 2011

one with nature

This morning while I was fixing his breakfast, Kiki opened the back door and went out. I was curious why he needed to go outside, so I peeked through the window. This is what I caught. I asked him why, when the bathroom is actually closer--and indoors. He said, "I just like being out in nature." I get the feeling this "enjoying nature" is becoming a bit of a habit.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

what every Harry Potter-obsessed family needs . . .

Back when we were doing our Harry Potter marathon, Christian went down to the basement and dug through my big box of animal puppets to find the snowy owl. Then, he remembered this decorative birdcage, and voila, we had ourselves a pet Hedwig. He kept Hedwig in his room for a while, but Hedwig now hangs out in the family room next to our scriptures and the pile of National Geographic.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

one lone peach

Two of the first things we planted in the yard 2.5 years ago were peach trees. Last year we got a few small peaches. This beauty might be the only one we get this year. I think we left it on a little too long--it was mushy on the outside and hard on the inside. I dream of the day we get a whole bunch, and they are yummy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

off-track girl time

When the boys went back to school, we had some girl fun.

Bev did some baking.

They did their chores together.

We went to our favorite bakery--Sweet Tooth Fairy. Jessi picked a cookie. Bev picked one of those huge jaw breakers.

We took a trip to BYU. (We do a yearly visit for indoctrination purposes.) We saw the museum, the bookstore and the library. We saw students studying and Jessi asked if their books have pictures. Bev noticed all of the iPods and bikes being used. Bev is sold. Jessi still doesn't want a BYU t-shirt. I guess they aren't fancy enough.

We spent an afternoon at Trafalga.

When she got off the bumper boats, Jessi said, "I don't know why you guys think that is fun." (Sometimes, even though we have had her longer than she spent in Liberia, she looks at us like we are nuts for doing certain things that are, to us, just "normal." She joins right in, but doesn't really get why they are fun.)

Whenever Bev practices piano, she brings a folding chair over and Tiger sits with her. This is an improvement from where Tiger used to sit--on the strings inside the piano.

They made a very elaborate triangle fort in the front room. It had a DVD player, a fan and a box of snacks.

Bev tried teaching me how to play chess. We got up to make lunch and Tiger destroyed the board. The hamster provided some entertainment for her.

There were many makeovers to be done. I had curlers put in my hair and my nails done. Jessi loves doing makeup. I let her do mine. When she finished she said, "Mom, you look like a pretty clown." I almost took a picture of myself, but it wasn't pretty. Clown? Yes. Pretty? Not so much.

Jessi has a cowlick in her eyebrow. She has sort of been obsessing about it, so I taught her about tweezing. I think she is now okay with keeping her cowlick right where it is.

Jessi is a Barbie Girl. She plays them everyday and playing "kitchen" and "food" are her favorites. I have had a hard time finding Barbie food, so I got on ebay and bought some. We washed it and the girls sorted it. She is in Barbie heaven.

It's a good thing the girls have gone back to school, because we have had too many baked goods around here. Bev is such a great kitchen helper.

I have had four days with them back to school. I miss them, but then I remember it's only two more weeks and I get the boys home for a spell.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

if you sell a cat t-shirt, I will buy it.

Especially if that cat wears glasses.

Friday, August 19, 2011

the proper care and feeding of hamsters

Bev got a few books from the library about hamsters. We learned all about them--what treats they can have, what health issues they can develop, and how to help them with hygiene.

Apparently, according to this book, it is a good idea to brush your hamster once a week. The book suggested using a soft toothbrush. Nibbles/Hammy was very wiggly, but Bev insisted that he get a good brushing. His fur is now in good shape.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the dog days are over . . .

Real life is back in full swing. We are back to homework and football and soccer. We are back to scheduled routine and early(er) bedtimes. I love the kids' activities, but I am missing our evenings to just hang out on the patio or go for a bike ride or head over to the pool.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

more first days of school . . .

The kids are slowly making their way back to school. The boys have been in for three weeks and Bev went back on Monday. Last week she reported that she loves school and was ready to go back. Fifth grade, here she comes.

When the kids all piled in the van after school, I noticed that they had all chosen to wear their college t-shirts. As you can see, the lines have been drawn.

Today was Jessi's turn. Oh, man I have been worrying about her. Will she just sit and talk during lunchtime and not get any nutrition? Will she wander off the playground and get lost? Will she have a patient teacher? Will the full-day thing be too much for her?

Well, she was the first of the four up this morning. She had picked out her clothes the night before and was dressed and ready to go. She even set out everyone's backpacks.

The poor kids--every year I make them smile into the bright morning sun for these first-day-of-school pictures.

I volunteered at the school in the morning (convenient so I can do my traditional first-day-of-school stalking.) I got a little teary-eyed when I left the school, but no major breakdowns. And, good news--I'm not feeling the need to go get another cat to fill my empty arms.

The report from the girls' first day of school was that they loved it. They loved their teachers and they both had good first days. That makes them growing up a little easier to bear.

Monday, August 15, 2011

dapper little man . . .

Two years ago, Christian got his first suit for my brother's wedding, and he loved wearing it. I snapped this picture of how he hung it in his closet.

The whole suit is put perfectly together with the tie on and the buttons done up. Also, the church socks were placed in the suit coat pockets.

Well, over the last 6 months he has grown out of the suit. But, he insisted on wearing it. A few weeks ago I made the suit disappear. Every Sunday morning, he complained about the polo shirts and shorts and cords I had for him to wear. All he wanted was his suit.

So, we got him one that fits. My boy is such a little man--wearing suits, tying his own ties.

While taking his picture, he said, 'Can I go in the flowers?" I told him, "Sure," thinking he meant take a picture in the flowers. He meant "go" in the flowers.

My little man is such a boy.

Monday, August 1, 2011

another mouth to feed . . .

Introducing: Hamilton, but then he bit her, so it might be Nibbles, or Hamilton Nibbles. She's still deciding.

Bev has been saving her money for months to buy a hamster. At first we said "no" because of the kittens. Then Mike said "no" until Mama Cat was gone. Well, Mama is still here. (I don't know what we are going to do with her.) I have not wanted another critter in the house, but I am a sucker for this kid--a sucker that is allowing her children to wear her down.

We finally decided that we needed to take her to look for a hamster. We went to two different pet stores--both with limited selections. At the second store I noticed a disturbing issue with several of the hamsters. It turns out this issue is the fact that they are boys.

We asked for girls--there was only one girl, and lots of boys. She was set on purchasing her new pet, so she found one and decided that she could overlook his maleness. I am having a hard time overlooking it--maybe a little pair of pants would help.

She wants to keep him in her room. That would be fine except that Hammy is nocturnal and plays in his wheel all night long. Bev sleeps right through it. Jessi does not.

He is a cute little guy (when you see him from the front.) The kids are having a great time with him. I was worried about Tiger. It turns out that she is scared of him, so hopefully she just keeps her distance.

Growing up, Mike and I both had hamsters. I guess it's time for the next generation to experience the joy. (However, I have begged him not to tell the kids his hamster stories. He and his brothers made parachutes for their hamsters and dropped them off of the roof. I don't need my kids Christian knowing that.)