Monday, April 21, 2014

Hollyn suffers from near constant tummy aches.  Apparently.  Any time shes doesn't want to do something, she calls tummy ache.  Any time she DOES want something, she needs it because her tummy aches.

Hollyn, it's nap time. "No! My tummy hurts!"

Hollyn, hold my hand in the street. "No, my tummy hurts!"

"My tummy hurts.  I need some goldfish crackers!"

Hollyn, share the toy with Kieran. "I can't! My tummy hurts!"

"I need to take a bath.  My tummy hurts!"

It's always stated (wailed) with the tone of impending death.  Poor little girl and her "tummy aches"

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Birthster Week… Eastday?

The week of birthdays and Easter has drawn to a close.  Whew!  Busy week.
Brennan turned 9 last Sunday!  As a special treat his Richardson cousins happened to be in town.  Woot woot!  He had a minecraft cake and received some clothes, a fun game/activity book, dollar coins and our old MP3 player that Brian and I haven’t used in years personalized with tunes he likes. 


Dear sweet Brennan.  Our first-born in the wilderness!  Brennan, your wonderful tender heart and desire to be good touch our hearts and those you associate with.  You have such a sweet testimony.  You care deeply about others, particularly those in unfortunate circumstances.  You worry about a lot of things, both for yourself and for others in general.  But this sensitivity and tenderness is also a blessing that allows you to sympathize with others and gives you a great desire to help and show compassion.  Brennan, Dad and I love you so much.  We’re so thankful to have you as part of our family!

No teeth…

Banana teeth!  
He LOVES bananas by the way.  He’d probably go on to eat more than one at a sitting (besides the cheerios, etc) if I let him!
My first ever french braid attempt on anyone.  I’m not sure I did it right.  It looks awkward.

Kieran photo-bomb.  Nice.


On Friday, to celebrate the two birthdays, we went to a waterpark in Eugene.  It’s a modest place – similar to what the Corvallis pool offers except this place in Eugene in indoors.  And their main attraction is the wave pool.  I didn’t take a single picture because even with Brian and I there,  Hollyn and Kieran were each their own full-time job and then some.  The boys had to fend for themselves, lol.  They entered, put on life-jackets and were bobbing in the middle of the waves before I’d even looked up from Hollyn!  And Asher, since last time he swam with a lifejacket, learned how to actually get places.  Last I knew he would be stuck floating wherever the water sent him.  So they had a great time!  We all did.  Hollyn wouldn’t listen/come/stay or do anything remotely obedient.  Naturally.  But since the older boys could be self sufficient that meant Brian could take her into the wave pool and (most importantly to her) down the slide a million times.  She sure loved that slide!  Oh brother.  She’s jump out of the pool and rush up those stairs before a lifeguard had a chance to yell “NO RUNNING!”  In the mean time Kieran and I hung out in the very shallow baby pool where he enjoyed cruising along the edge and meeting the other babies.

Going there after work meant missing dinner so by the time we left at almost 9pm were starving.  So we found an open restaurant and had an enjoyable if late meal where Brennan finally got to open his “real” birthday presents from us 6 days later and we officially wrapped up the celebrating of his birthday.


The next day our little turkey turned 3!  Amidst the Easter prep and celebrating she got her due attention.  As gifts she received a book, clothes, a princess costume, clothes, and more clothes.  Hahaha.  Girls are so fun to buy clothes for!  No, it was mostly because she needs them.  The hand-me-down situation gets tricky with a cousin only 6 months older than her.


Hollyn, oh Hollyn.  You are amazing.  You are so full of LIFE.  Of energy and spirit and busyness.  And yet around most others you’re so quiet and still.  The complexity of your personality is so fun.  You keep Dad and I very busy and I suspect you always will.  You’re loving and very cute!  We love you so very much.  Thank you for the spice you bring to our family and our lives.

Oh the awkward face!



My Favorite Easter to Date

Typical Easter Sundays: Waking early - when it's still dark even - to do Easter baskets and egg hunts.  Rushing the kids to get ready for church while I myself super-turbo rush to get ready as well plus start several dishes for a meal later and help the kids get ready.  After church I finish food, we take it to and eat it at Mom & Dad's and we get home tired and hurrying to get the kids to bed being a school-night and all.  I always want to make the holiday more religious and spiritual, but it's so hard to squeeze it in!

This year my Mom had a stroke of brilliance.  Absolute genius!  We ate our Easter meal Saturday night instead of Sunday.  And that one decision totally changed my whole Easter Sunday.  I spent all yesterday in the kitchen - but I could because I had nothing else to do all day, particularly not all those hours spent getting ready for, attending, and getting home from church.  We had a perfectly lovely evening with my parents and the local Aunts.  We dyed our eggs there.  We celebrated Hollyn's birthday which was also yesterday.  And when the kids had a late bedtime it was no biggie.

This morning - thanks to afternoon church - the kids enjoyed searching for the hidden eggs and checking out their baskets.  They each received a church outfit, a church book or quiet (sacrament meeting) toy, and one small other gift.  (The latter was mainly because I coincidentally and at different times in the last week bought each of them something they needed or could use)  After taking our time with all that I did a devotional with the kids of the Resurrection Rolls.  It was very successful and felt good to finally incorporate something like that into our Easter day.

I know other people often choose to do the baskets and/or egg hunt on Saturday.  I always thought that would help with the Sunday schedule, but ultimately just doesn't work well for us.  For example, our evenings are too jam-packed to dye the eggs on a weeknight. which would mean for a Saturday a.m. hunt we'd have to dye them the weekend before Easter.  And as of yet I've never been prepared that far enough ahead to have bought the eggs, let alone prepared them!

No, this year's plan was the best.  A busy cooking, activity, and family filled Saturday followed by a low key, cozy Easter Sunday.  If only I could have afternoon church EVERY year - that would truly be heaven :-)

*Bonus Material: While doing the Resurrection Rolls object lesson, which involves wrapping a marshmallow (= Christ) into a crescent roll (= the tomb), then baking during which the marshmallow disappears, I opened the roll and asked "where did Jesus go?"  Asher exclaimed, "He burned!"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Never Slowin’ Down

Sometimes I can’t get over how busy life can get – and I don’t even have my kids involved in a bunch of things (or any, save piano lessons for one person).  I like being busy though.  Except for when the activities all running through my brain at once cause me to forget that I’m cat-sitting and accidentally leave the poor thing out overnight.  And consequentially find her looking a little worse for the wear and have to take her to the vet to be checked out. Sad smile  The pinewood derby last week was fun, but apparently a little too distracting.

So let’s see, Wednesday was that derby, the following night was mutual.  I’m not usually in charge of those (I do the majority of the lessons while the mia maid YW councilor takes care of the planning and implementation of the mutual activities), but I was in charge this week since said councilor was gone.  Not a big deal, but another item that took my attention and planning time amid a million other things competing for those things.

Friday a.m. Asher and I had Dr. appointments so I got the littles and myself ready, swung by to check on the cat, arrived at the Dr’s office where I called back and forth with Mom about what to do with the cat, and squeezed in the appointments themselves.  Later that afternoon I arranged babysitting and took the kitty to the vet.  She’s fine.  In fact she looked fine again by the time it was her appointment, but since I’d gone to all that trouble I figured I’d better just take her.  Hahaha.  She did get in some sort of a fight or have an accident, but nothing too serious that a couple of days couldn’t fix.

Saturday morning we headed out for a day in Portland.  We intended to meet Mom at the zoo – her last day to kill while Dad was attending Dental conferences all weekend.  After errands that took longer than they should have and traffic and all that, we stopped in Albany to grab some lunch at a drive-through.  As I tried to carefully pick-up a cup of fruit punch where the lid looked questionable, my skills let me down and the cup spilled its entire contents right between the legs!  It was f.r.e.e.z.i.n.g. cold.  We happened to be sharing the parking lot with a Kohl's, and I thankfully have a gift card for them. so I got dropped off and waded inside to grab a new pair of pants.  It was the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen.  The bright punch-red color didn’t really show, so it looked like I had had a MAJOR “accident” if you know what I mean.  It was SO embarrassing.  I walked straight to the clearance rack, found a pair of pants in my size - that look almost identical to the messy ones I had on - within seconds (weird, that, actually), and wore the new ones out of the store.

At that point we were supposed to test drive a vehicle on the way to Portland, but the people had to cancel.  So Brian dropped the rest of us off at the zoo to meet up with Mom there while he went to test drive some other vehicles in Portland.  Mom had to leave about 45 min or so later so I was left alone with all 4 kids and no vehicle.  And then we heard that the zoo was closing in 15 minutes.  Woops.  Guess we REALLY got a late start. *Sigh*  Thankfully Brian was able to finish up and come back for us without us having to wait too long.  He even gave me time to find a bathroom for a kid AFTER exiting the zoo.

Zoo 4-20142 Zoo 4-20143 zoo 4-20144 zoo 4-2014

And he arrived to tell me he’d “bought a car”.  We drove back to make the transaction and drive it home.  We’re now the proud parents, I mean owners, of a 2003 Toyota Matrix.  It has some things that need fixing, but Brian can take care of that himself on the cheap.  And we got the car for under our (already low) budget, which we’re pleased about.  I have trouble staying under budget with cars because it always seems like you get SO much more, for just a “LITTLE” more money.  But then you get even MORE for just a LITTLE more money than that, and the cycle continues as I “window shop” cars increasingly out of our intended price range.  And we really like Matrix’s, and the others I’d seen for sale were on that other side of the budget line (even branded/salvaged titles). This one has a clean title, just needs a little TLC.  So for the price, we can give it that. Smile

2014-04-05 23.23.02 

Anyway, we’re very excited!  We gave away the 24 year old truck with the flat tire from October we never fixed, and we sold the Pacifica (finally!).  After borrowing Dad’s truck for a week or two, and making other arrangements, it’s just nice for Brian to have a commuter vehicle to get to work.

Unfortunately the timing of this meant missing Saturday’s General Conference.  But we enjoyed watching the Sunday sessions.  When that ended I claimed “ox in the mire” and went outside and carpet-cleaned the upholstery in the Matrix.  The previous owner clearly had a dog or something that rode in the car, and it smelled bad.  Not just like dog.  But b.a.d.  It needed to be done before Brian stank things up at work, hahaha.

Monday morning would have been nice to catch up on laundry and chores after a busy weekend, but instead I was back to Portland first thing for an eye appt with Hollyn.  I rushed home to pick up Asher and Kieran at their different locations and made it home to find Brennan walking up the front porch just coming home from school.  Whew! 

Hollyn 4-2014

I think most of the unusually-crazy-stuff is out of the way for a few days.  Now just back to the regular community band, guys game night, mutual, cubscouts, and the like before the birthdays and Easter season is upon us starting, ummmm, this Sunday.  Oh sheesh.  Better get on that.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

First Cubscout Pinewood Derby

Brenny didn’t do as well as he’d hoped.  Even after talking to him about how he’d feel and behave if he didn’t win, there may or may not have been some tears.  It kinda stinks to come in last at almost every race, so I get it.  Thankfully (I guess this is technically not nice to think), his two BFFs didn’t do any better.  All three of them got mostly 4th places and a few 3rd places.  I think that helped Brenny feel a little better.

Regardless, it was a fun time by all.  Hollyn LOVES running around the gym and stage and Asher was enthralled (and super jealous) by the whole thing.  Fun times!

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The m&m car, #18

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And yes, he isn’t wearing his cubscout shirt.  He managed to lose it the previous day.  Of course.