Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Carson sends his Easter greetings.

Happy Easter!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

a project COMPLETED!

I finally sat down and decorated the letters purchased for Carson's room many moons ago. Like most crafty projects I've done, it took wayyy longer than anticipated. But I stuck to it! Rick questioned the manliness of the pattern I chose, but I quite like how they turned out.

*I just took a closer look at that first picture and realized that I neglected to do the inside of the letter "O." Guess I'm not finished yet!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Family Fun in SLC

Grandpa's funeral spurred an impromptu Dickson family reunion... everyone was together for the first time since the babies arrived! Group shots will have to be shared by others, but here are the 3 babies, born within 2 months of each other. Brooklee, Carson, and Dallyn.

We realized that the 4 grandchildren's names coincide with the first 4 letters of the alphabet! Here, Adriel joins the crew. Guess the next grandchild will have to be named Eleanor. Or Egbert.

So, for our little family vacation, we toured Salt Lake City. We 8 adults plus 4 babies stayed in a cute little rental house normally used by skiers, touring by day and playing by night. Rick and I are now converted to the game Ticket to Ride. The touring part of this vacation resolved one of those very typical you-live-right-next-to-a-cool-city-but-have-never- done-any-of-the-cool-stuff-there situations for me. We each had a Connect Pass, which allowed us to visit various museums and other attractions. (It was a great deal... 18 bucks gets you a nice lunch at the Lion House, tickets to the Hogle Zoo, Museum of Natural History, Discovery Gateway, Thanksgiving Point, etc.)

Here we are at the "This is the Place" monument.

Here, Carson is being eaten by a shark.

Carson also enjoyed playing with his grandparents.

The 4 sisters, together again.
(Ashley, Reagan, Page, Mackenzie.)
After the babysitting week, and then last week's family vacation, I am happy to finally have some time at home again! Too bad it's almost time to start packing...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Goodbye Grandpa

On March 4th, nearly 2 weeks ago, Grandpa Huff passed away. I was grateful for our last good visit with him, and that we got a picture of Carson with his great-grandpa. My favorite memories with grandpa include: his "magic pocket:" as little kids, he would surprise us by making black jelly beans magically appear in his pants pockets; his sharing his life stories with us about World War II and his participating in a national bowling championship; his funny comments; and watching the last couple years of Jazz games with him. We will miss our visits with Grandpa, but we are SO happy that he is finally free of his many illnesses!! It is such a peaceful feeling to think of he and Grandma finally together again. It is not a coincidence that he died ten years to the day of her passing.

Whoops, almost left Carson at the cemetery. (Just kidding.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Report!

So, we survived the ultimate babysitting adventure! Meet the kiddos:

Wilson. We enjoyed numerous checkers games, dancing, searching for Show-and-Tell items, and his superb accomplishment of setting the table for dinner every day. Every evening at dinner, Wil wasn't shy about fishing for compliments. He would always ask, "Who set the table today?? It looks GREAT!!"

Alison. She wins the prize for the most creative and loud methods of making Carson laugh and smile (jumping, shrieking, dancing, singing, etc.). Ali also adopted Carson's preferred method of sleeping at night: swaddled very tightly. She seriously slept every night stiff as a board, arms by her sides, wrapped tightly in a blanket. Ali braved the cold to walk the dog every morning, and also favored us with Beverley Cleary readings, often to the tune of her sister's piano practicing.

Sadie. At first, I was apprehensive about letting the kids hold and carry Carson, but by the end of the week, Sadie was a pro. She would hold, rock and change Carson as much as I would let her! Sadie stayed up late one Friday night because I had said everyone had to either go to bed or help Rick and I clean up. She worked so hard doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, etc. Sadie left us cute notes that we will treasure forever.

Sam. This social butterfly was sometimes difficult to track down due to his daily rendezvous with neighborhood friends. Sam woke up early most days we were there to participate in his school's Knowledge Bowl, and was a dedicated member of their team. He also did a great job on trash duty!

Spencer. Our go-to man! Spencer helped me out so many times to locate things in the house (I'm accustomed to a 650 square foot apartment!), get the kids the things they needed, clean up dinner, etc. etc. etc.! Anytime we were stuck, we could count on Spencer to help out. I also loved helping Spencer with math homework (which he usually figured out anyway).

Mike. This almost-high-school-graduate kept us up late at night for some fun conversation over ice cream (although he claims we kept him up). It was fun to share his moment of getting asked to a school dance with a decorated, candy and balloon filled car! Those were fun days!!

What a learning experience! Rick and I have a lot to talk about concerning how we want to discipline our children, what kind of family traditions/habits we want to establish, how many children we want to have and how far apart to space them, etc.
We love our nieces and nephews and had a great week, but I'll be honest: the number of children I think I can handle has significantly decreased. I like having time to just play with my baby!

Here are some extra pictures from the week, just for fun:

Ali's swaddle, or "burrito."

Wrestling with Wil.

Friday night movie theater in the basement, complete with a snack bar.

Celebration of the end of the week with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese.

Sharing family photos.

Carson's precarious perch.

One of those endless checkers games.

Pizza for lunch. The rule: each slice of pizza must be accompanied by 1 serving of fresh fruit or veggies. :)

Girls' night! The kids were so good to play with Rick in the basement for the event.

Our attempt at Family Home Evening. Wow, it's not as easy as we thought.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

7 kids and a dog

We are currently at the halfway point of our babysitting gig here at my SIL's house (5 days down; 5 to go). She and her husband are off snorkeling, sight-seeing, and beaching in the Dominican Republic while we have an equally exciting adventure back at the homestead. My SIL has things so well planned out with frozen meals and rides for all that I think she's made it too easy for us! Well, not too easy...keeping up with 7 kids is quite exhausting!
So far, the 5 biggest challenges are:
  • figuring out how to encourage chores and piano practicing with successful results
  • picking up, cleaning, laundry, etc. and still feeling like the house is a mess
  • prepping/putting away dinner to enjoy a whopping 15 minutes of family dinner time
  • missing alone time with Carson
  • missing alone time with Rick
So far, the 5 most fun parts are:
  • Seeing Carson smile and laugh more than ever with so many little people around to entertain
  • Helping kids with homework to re-live my school days
  • playing checkers with & reading books to Wilson
  • going to the park and running around with the whole family
  • telling Rick all the funny things the kids said/did before we go to sleep
Welp, dishes, laundry, and baby are calling! Will post with pictures next week!