Monday, May 12, 2014

April 2014.

Bringing a birthday treat in for Everett's Pre-K class. He wanted to bring s'mores, so we came up with some rice crispy treats made with broken up graham crackers and dipped in chocolate to mimic the s'mores taste. They were pretty good!
Everett's class/Faye's bun.
The big boy with his five-year-old T shirt and birthday ribbon!
Most Saturdays there are some pretty good garage sales around here. I used to drive by and leave the kids in the car while I ran in and looked at the ones that looked promising. Now I let everybody jump out of the van to peruse the sales. Turns out cute kids asking how much an item is usually receive a good discount! People are always giving Faye little plastic jewelry and things. Carson totally scored with this state quarters map for fifty cents! He's been wanting one for a couple of years! (And now it's almost full. Please let us know if you find a Hawaii or Minnesota quarter!)
Oh my agile little girl. She just loves to be swung around, to play in the van like it's her jungle gym, to grab and swing on any bars she can find, and to CLIMB. (And yes, I let her go diaperless a lot of the time at home! She has actually been quite successful at going in her little potty, but only when she's nude!)
Usually I let my kids climb and explore as much as they want, but Isla, this hangout spot is NOT OK.

She also likes to hang out on the trampoline...outside of the safety net!
Lots of little girls!
Same day, some different girls are over!
I started oil pulling. I can't claim and miraculous changes in my dental health, but I do like the way it feels. I can recommend using coconut oil as a face wash, though. I have never had very good skin, but it seems to be a little better since using the oil.
Some people may think it's a pain, but I actually like taking my kids to places like the doctor's office! (As long as it's not a super long appointment.) This was just a quick drug test, and these four were really cute in the waiting room. The boys with their Sports Illustrated/whatever hunting and fishing magazines and the girls taking "notes."

One night, Carson stayed up nice and late with me while we made a handout to give to the kids at church. I love letting one kid stay up with me while Rick works late! I asked Carson if we should put some music on or something, and he suggested we listed to a talk from the recent LDS General Conference. He brought it up on an app on my phone and found the particular talk he wanted to hear. (Spiritual Whirlwinds, by Elder Neil L. Andersen.) This child is not your typical six-year-old!! I'm glad he keeps me doing good things.

The poem that went with the jelly beans.

Are we convinced yet that she should be a gymnast?? She and Faye both have strong, agile little bodies. Now we just need affordable gymnastics classes!!

She likes to let go with her hands and try to balance. It might seem like she's a daredevil, but I would actually describe Isla as careful. She does lots of daring tricks, just really carefully!

Grandma GJ sent a really fun package for Everett's birthday, including some fun coloring pages.

Everett showing his artwork. Behind him is our family's first PET! Everett received some birthday money and a gift card, so after much thought he decided to buy a fish. We went and he chose the fish, the bowl, one little piece of fake coral, and we got the necessary food and such. He paid for it all himself, and I'm a little shocked that a month later the thing is still alive! Everett named the fish Little Swimmer. 

Carson, still in March Madness/bracket obsession mode. His idea was to paint the symbols for each team on the bracket. He didn't stick with it for too long. Now Carson checks the scores for the NBA playoffs daily and is closely following the Spurs!

My sweet little girl is 19 months! I have never had a baby as affectionate as Isla is. Sometimes when I'm holding her right before I put her to bed, she'll take out her pacifier and plant a nice big kiss right on my lips. She loves to go around and hug each of her siblings before heading to bed as well. Isla is usually trying to be helpful. Once I was upset about the house being a mess, and this sweet little thing started picking up shoes and putting them on the appropriate shelf! If she has a toy or something that other people want, as long as she's asked nicely, she'll give it right up. (Now, Faye coming up and grabbing the coveted toy is a different story!) She'll even share with me half of a treat that she's just been given. For a while, when I would be trying to put Isla to bed, she'd lean towards the door and cry. I kept telling her that no, it was time for bed. Once, I put her down, and instead of running out the door like I thought she'd do, she closed it tight and ran back to her bed. That whole time she had just wanted the door closed! Isla is talking quite a bit now and can repeat most words we ask her to say. If I yell for someone out the back door she runs to get right by me and join me yelling, "FAYE! EVITT!" The kids get a kick out of asking her what her name is. Sometimes she shouts "Isla!" and other times repeats, "name!" She still loves our next-door-neighbor and will do anything to go over and visit "Miss Che" (Cheryl). Isla surprised me the other day while I was sorting laundry. I would hold up an item of clothing, and she would (usually correctly) identify it as "Daddy's! Evitt's! I-ya's!" She is such a joy.

Not quite big enough, but she really is getting so big!

Faye painting with a friend. Faye is a bit of a bully with girls her own age, but she adores playing with girls who are a year or two older than her! (She asks me why her three-year-old friends "talk like such babies." Oh goodness, Faye.)
She decided to wear all purple one day! And in the background is the DIY disaster of my life. A friend is helping us to fix my poor, poor job at grouting the tile. I think I'm cured of any desire to do big home improvement projects myself anymore. 
The tire swing and tree branch are proving to be stronger than we predicted!
I feel like I'm being repetitive... but again, Carson making a bracket. This time on a napkin, with pasta.
The neighborhood Easter egg hunt. Super hard to believe that we had jackets on a couple of weeks ago. We've got muggy 90 degree temps these days!
Everett was sweet to help Isla find the eggs. Oh yes, and in April the boys started soccer at the Y. Their first official sport! I can't believe I haven't taken a single picture of them playing. (Oh, maybe it's because I'm chasing two little girls on the sidelines!) They are having a great time with it, though.
Happy with her full basket.

So, with April over and being halfway into May, we are counting down the days until the neighborhood pool opens and school lets out. We also can't wait until the end of June when Rick is finished with his rotation at the VA. Maybe he will have more than five minutes a day when he isn't either at work or writing notes on his patients! Although his sleep deprivation does provide some comic relief: he has a pretty good story about falling asleep while performing a procedure on a patient. And I worked really hard to keep him awake during church today. I am grateful for a hard working, selfless husband and four fun kids!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Easter 2014.

One of my very favorite things is dressing up my kids on Easter Sunday. Most of the time they walk around with dirt on their faces and wearing who knows what (Everett usually in a Spiderman costume or something), but on Sundays, specifically Easter, they are scrubbed clean and put in fresh, special outfits.

This year I attempted to take one of my old dresses and make it fit Faye, but unfortunately with my limited sewing "skills," that project was a bust. So I made simple skirts for  the girls and found cute shirts to match. (Thank you Target clearance.) The boys were looking forward to their new ties as well, although Carson ended up clothing from when Rick was young, necessitating a different tie. I had purchased fabric at a store that was closing in NC, planning on using it in our new home's decor. That didn't work out, so I was glad to use it for something else.

Their baskets were really fun to put together. Each child gets a special new book with a message written inside. Everett, our strong defender against evil, received a superhero book, and he reads it every day. Carson got The Indian in the Cupboard, which we've been reading together. Finally, something challenging for him! Faye got a collection of Richard Scarry stories, and Isla has a little Spot book. The boys got kitchen timers to time how long it takes them to clean a room, do an obstacle course, or even sit in time-out occasionally. :) They also got cool rubber band shooters! Spill proof bubbles for the girls, gum for Faye, markers, and a few little treats. We hide the baskets around the house and then they sneakily run around until they find the right one. Then we all gather to look at the goods and take pictures!

This year, for the first time we also did a little devotional each day the week before Easter. It started with a scripture and a song about Jesus' birth, then about different parts of his life, ending with his death and resurrection.

I hope our children remember that wonderful, fresh feeling they have on Easter morning. I'm grateful that, because of Jesus Christ, we can lead clean, pure lives and be freed from guilt and sorrow. He is risen!