Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lincoln's 3rd Birthday

Lincoln came to our family in the middle of a snow storm so I suppose it's only appropriate that his 3rd birthday started at 20 degrees below zero! BRRRRR!! You can see the cold...
We had a really fun day celebrating Lincoln. This little is boy is so full of LIFE! Everything is exciting, everything is an adventure, everything deserves full energy, and everything great gets a "THWEET!" (sweet) from Lincoln.
Yep- the horse cake got a great big "THWEET!"
His horse obsession continues, but he is also branching out to a new fixation with Buzz Lightyear- and actually if you just put Buzz on a horse then you have the happiest 3 year old on the planet.

Most days I'm pretty sure that Lincoln could raise himself. He is the most independent, determined little boy. He potty trained himself-let me know when he was ready. He's been dressing himself for months and can have a full conversation with anyone who will stop to listen. He keeps up with us all and always has a smile or giggle to stop us in our tracks for a hug.
The older he gets the more sure I am that he came because we need him- he is so loved by us all. Happy Birthday buddy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

2 Yellow Belts

For those unfamiliar with Tae Kwon Do, the advancement to Yellow Belt...is a good thing! (something I just learned this last month too!)
Clayton and Jamison have been taking TKD for a couple of months now and taking to it very well. They really enjoy it and have surprised me at how hard they are working at this. I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised that they love the kicking, punching, running and yelling that is TKD- but still...

So last week their "Master" tested them in front of the class to advance from white to yellow belt- and they did great. They're kind of like little robots doing their drills up and down the floor but it was really fun to watch and see them having such a great time.

I especially love to see them do it together. Congrats boys!

Halloween blur

Halloween this year seems a bit of a blur- it came so fast and was over before I felt like I even got the last costume fixed right. Plus Ben was out of town so I felt like I was just in survival mode.
And to top it off, Ben and I officially entered the history books as the "meanest parents in the world" because we didn't let the kids go trick or treating on Sunday night (in a town where they really do trick or treat on Sunday)... so we were trying extra hard to help the kids enjoy the village, school, and friend parties.

In the end-the parties ended up being just the right amount of "fun" and the kids had a great weekend. Sunday night we locked our doors, shut off all the lights, and gathered in our bedroom with candles, board games, and caramel popcorn. It was a great night- and the kids have let us know that the "meanest parents" thing may be dropped by Thanksgiving.

(Emmy aka Athena, Jamison aka Race Car Driver, Clayton aka Master Ninja, and Lincoln aka Superman!) Whew!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

StudentS of the month!

Don't you love it when other people say nice things about your kids?!

Clayton and Jamison were both chosen as "student of the month" for their classes. They were highlighted for their Respect and Responsibility.

Way to go boys!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Emmy's 10th

Emmalyn turned 10 this week and took 2 giant steps into growing up.
She came to us months ago asking for only "2 things"... 2 things that she wanted more than anything else in the whole wide world. Sounded like a pretty good deal to Ben and I...then we got the full story.

"I just want a room that isn't pink (said dripping with icky-ness), and my ears pierced."

Ok Em- that is one tall order.

We honestly had been talking about doing the room switch for a while and planned on doing it sometime soon because we need to move poor Lincoln out of a crib and into a real bed (good grief, that poor neglected last child).
So we were on board with #1. But, pierce your ears? What? For some reason this one knocked us off our feet. I suppose part of it is because I was so embarrassingly old (21!- ugh) when I finally got over my fear and pierced my ears. And also because she is our first and this whole pre-teen/tween stuff is coming as us very fast.

So, like the good push-over parents that we are, we agreed. All the while, having a "Holy Cow-when did she get so old, when did I get so old?" dialogue in our heads.

The room project was a blast and turned out just like she wanted it; i.e. a move into the other room, lots of color-lots of turquoise, and the smallest amount of pink we could manage. She is loving it.

And the ears...again a blast! We made a night of it at the mall with her two friends and I actually did NOT cry watching her sit and get her ears shot with a small gun. A success. And she looks darling...a little more grown up even.

So, the big double digit year came in with a bang for Emmy. I may seem to be dragging my feet on this whole "growing up" think, but I really am having a great time with it too. Emmy is such a great girl. I often just feel it a pleasure to be a part of her life. She is uber-smart, driven, and a perfectionist- I'm often running to keep up. But she is also so kind and sensative and aware and concerned for others-she has wonderful friends and makes them easily. She is always sticking up for the under-dog and making sure that life is as fair as it can be. I probably depend on her too much, but she is a great help and support to me often.
Watching her grow is truly a joy.
Love you Em!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Going NUTS!

On Sunday morning we all got up and found the sun shining, so we grabbed our jackets and headed outside for a walk in the woods before conference started. It was beautiful- the leaves are gorgeous. It was a whole lot more chilly than we expected but a great start to the day.

As we were walking, the boys began noticing that the trail was covered in acorns being dropped by the oak trees. Being perpetual collectors- bugs, rocks, sticks- they began filling their pockets with the acorns. They collected till every pocket was bulging. Meanwhile, I was wrapped up in figuring out a new "fun place outside" for the acorn collection. Ben, on the other hand, couldn't miss this opportunity to throw a little "learning" into the mix. Thus commenced the discourse on Native Americans and their resourcefulness with acorns- crack them, mash them, grind them, make a flour substance, and then pancakes and various other yummy acorn treats! Emmy even had "acorn knowledge" from a book she's been reading as school. What?!
And my boys, not being ones to throw away new treasures of knowledge were soon begging to go home and try it! What?!
Apparently I'm the one out of the loop.

After I finally convinced them that mashing and grinding acorns was probably not an appropriate Sunday activity we found a bucket for the acorns and moved on with the rest of the day. I honestly thought (and secretly hoped) that all would be forgotten by morning and that would be the last of acorn pancakes.
Silly, silly mommy.
Monday morning came and my boys were up early! They flew through their chores and were begging me for mashing tools by 7:30 am. What?!
But, honestly, how can you say no? So... I found my kitchen hammer and helped them bundle (even the cold couldn't stop them) and, much to our neighbors delight, I sent them out to mash acorns!

The result: a LOT of mashed acorns!
Turns out it's a lot harder than it looks. But it's official now: We've all CRACKED! We're NUTS! (ok, I'll stop now, but I bet none of you are arguing!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Locks of Love

Emmy started 5th grade this year which has meant all kinds of changes for her. First of all, 5th grade is Middle School here- lockers, changing teachers, after-school clubs... It has also meant that she goes to school an hour earlier than the boys, but she's been great about getting up and getting ready. She's been so excited about it all and seems to be holding it together well.

Then on top of all that Emmy decided she wanted to finally cut her hair. She's been "thinking about it" for a long time and she felt like with all these other new things she might as well change her look too. Even minutes before the haircut she still wasn't sure how much to cut off- she has loved her hair for a long time (and rightfully so-her hair is thick and soft and BLONDE-it's beautiful hair). Right at the very last minute she closed her eyes and said: "OK- let's cut enough so that I can donate it."

So she did it! 14 inches came off.

She looks absolutely adorable, and maybe even a little more grown-up too (but I'll be the last to admit it).
She's loving it. And she loved being able to donate her hair. Somehow knowing that someone else might get to enjoy it made it seem even better. I agree.
Just one question: Why does all this growing up have to happen all at once? Love you Emmy.

Summer's Last Hurrah

A few days before school started we were able to spend one last (beautiful) day together and with our friends the Francoms. We took the Francom's sail boat up onto the St. Lawrence River and sailed across the channel into Canada. It was a gorgeous sail and the kids all took turns not only learning to sail but swimming behind the boat. So fun!

Once we were there we spent the rest of the day at Upper Canada Village which is a complete town restored to the 1800's with workers re-enacting and working the village. (It's actually the place where the church films many of their historic movies now.)
It was such a great day. The kids loved it-we all loved it!
Thanks Jeff and Kelly!

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Day of School

School finally started here and the kids were SHAKING with excitement... up at 6:00 am, dressed by 6:10 and READY for the day. It was a long wait till 8:30.

(Can you tell it was a bit of a rough day for Lincoln. Everybody gone, all day- Mom was not nearly exciting enough, but we'll get through.)

Clayton's off to 2nd grade in Mrs. Livernois.

And Jamison into Kindergarten with Mrs. Varney. Incidentally, he informed me after the 1st day that he was "totally NOT excited about nap time" but he would do it because "Kindergarten was pretty cool."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Whirlwind

We're slowly getting settled back into home after our 5 weeks of travel out west.
It feels GREAT to be home.
Looking back, I'm not sure we could have packed anything else into our visit. And if you looked up "spoiled" in the dictionary right now you would find a cute, shiny picture of my 4 children- smiling with all their might! (We're currently undergoing some serious vacation-detox.) It seems we went from one party to the next, saw all the family and friends we could cram in, and hit a couple of amusement parks just for good measure. It was great - completely exhausting, but absolutely FUN! We're so grateful for the time we had with family and the wonderful memories. Thank you to everyone who fed us, housed us, entertained us, put up with us- we're so thankful and anxious to return the favor (since Potsdam is high on everyone's travel list)...so come visit!
OH! (ha, the reason we went in the first place) AND, Ben's dig went well. He survived the drama of some very interesting students and got a little further along in the research they're working on so I think he's pleased. He also had some good publicity that you can check out at www.ksl.com/?sid=11612499&nid=148 and the www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/50008651-78/iosepa-pykles-desert-lake.html.csp. And we were all super glad NOT to be living in a trailer in Tooele- much better living arrangements this time around.

And because I love lists, I thought I'd record this summer-o-fun with a list of all that we actually did. Brace yourselves- it will make you tired just reading it!

4 wheeling, horseback riding, backyard camping and cookouts, fireworks, swimming, swimming, swimming, fishing, movies, "Grandpa basement" movies, baseball games, exploring yummy restaurants (which we have none of in NY), shopping, Opera Festival-wonderful!, Lagoon, Gateway fountains, AMAZING family reunion, ice cream trips, temple trips, zoo, duck feeding, hiking, boating, tubing, sprinklers, seeing our good friends the Knights, cheese factory (ha-only in Logan, Ut), great visit with Grandpa and Grandma Godfrey, SLC Temple Square, SLC cemetary hunting, raceway in Tooele, 24th of July parade, Bingham Copper Mine, Cove Fort, dinosaur museum, Zion National Park, more swimming, and Tarzan at Tuacan- Awesome!!

...tired yet?

Visit with our good friends from Philly- the Judkins (love their new house), tidepools, San Diego Zoo, beach day, Legoland, sand castle competition (incidentally the kids and their cousins took 1st and 2nd in this competition-they were awesome- who knew!?), Mormon Battalion center, Science and Dinosaur Museums, and Rock Band with the cousins.
Yep, we did it all.

Thanks again! We love you all.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Clayton and Dad campout

Clayton and Ben took a camping trip this past weekend with the Boy Scouts. They had to canoe and kayak into their camping spot, which was "totally awesome" according to Clayton.

They spent the next day canoeing down river about 6 miles and had a wonderful day. It was a great Dad/Clayton weekend.

Jamison PreK graduation

Jamison finished Pre-K this week and they had a fun graduation ceremony. Isn't he just so handsome?!

I don't know if you can be an archeaologist if you can't say "archeaologist" (it's a mouthful-try it!)...but he'd do just about anything to be just like his dad.

Emmys 4th grade graduation

It's been a big week around here- a lot of "lasts".
Last mornings to drag the kids out bed, last days of school (finally), and for Emmy, last days of Elementary school.
In our district the 5th graders go to the middle school so they have a big graduation and moving up ceremony for the 4th graders. I've been dying just a little that my little girl will be starting middle school- but it's been so exciting and fun for her. Following the graduation ceremony all the 4th graders follow their new principal in a procession line down the halls of the elementary school into the middle school for the official "moving up". It was a great thing to watch the excitement on Emmy's face and she looked so grown-up and beautiful. It's moments like these that the growing up seems to have happened overnight.
Congrats Emmalyn-we love you!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jamison's 5th Birthday

Happy 5th Jamison!
We had a fun day celebrating Jamison. He was most excited about this awesome squirt gun that he wanted SO bad. (I love that this was so entertaining to him.)

What we love about Jamison....
  • his absolutely contagious laugh
  • his mischievious side (except when we don't)
  • he wants to be just like his older brother
  • self-appointed body guard and translator for Lincoln
  • loves a good book and a belly rub
  • meticulous colorer- and when he draws he always has to have complete symmetry (we've got some cool Jamison art)
  • his first love is candy, followed closely by his 2nd and 3rd loves-candy, candy, and more candy! (He was totally excited about the candy on his birthday cake- which incidentally was a complete disaster- but he was thrilled cause of the licorice! Whew.)
  • there is nothing small, quiet, or timid about Jamison! Cha-Cha-Cha!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Emmy goes to Battle

Last weekend Emmy competed in the Battle of the Books! It sounds much more fierce than it was but she and her team put up a great "fight". Emmy and her teammates-the Rockin' Readers :)- each had to read 20 books and then go through rounds of questions while competing with other teams. Asking Emmy to read is like asking me if I'd like a piece of chocolate. No convincing needed. In fact I'm usually chasing her out of a book to go to bed, so she had the time of her life preparing. There was some stiff competition but they had a great time and are already planning for next year. Way to go girls! You were awesome!