Monday, September 29, 2008

Very Busy Saturday!

You know that relaxing Saturday that you long for each week- the one where you even get to relax in a bubblebath. Yeah that one, can you envision it! . . . . . I long for one of those in my near future. Last Saturday was so jammed packed that we split up as a family to accomplish it all. 1st off my cousin Stacey was married, it was up in Utah and so I was unable to attend. It sounded wonderful and judging by the pictures it was beautiful. Congratulations Stacey!!
My other cousin, Brittney, was having a babyshower down in Scottsdale, and so I took Emma and we went shopping then went to the shower. Afterwards we went to Olive Garden to relax before we drove 2 more hours home. Here is a pic of Emma standing next to a cute onsie she painted for baby Eli who is going to join the world around October 26th. I have a pic of my prego cousin, but am waiting for the pic to be emailed to me it will be added to this post at a later time.
It was Verde River Days in Cottonwood, and I had to make four dozen cupcakes for our booth (American Heritage Academy Parent Council- did you know I was Secretary?) they needed to be there by about 9am. I raced them over and then became jealous that my "boys" all were going to be able to go. Here are pictures of Verde River Days which was a blast!
I got Emma home just in time for me to race over to the church to watch the Relief Society Broadcast, which I nearly slept through because the day was so exhausting. It was nice though, and I slept very well that night!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dead Horse Ranch State Park (Sep 20)

I would love to know the story behind the name of this national park! Anyways two weekends ago we got together with a whole bunch of other families and had a park day, we reserved a pavilion, and people brought canoes. We started at 11:00 (Shiloh had just returned from camping with the scouts) and we ate lunch and desserts, we went out on the water, went fishing, with a lot of visiting and playing. Unfortunately we had to leave around 1:30 because Ryan was so tired he was just miserable. It was a lot of fun, and we were really glad to go. Here are some photos thanks to Shiloh and to Sarah.
Sean playing in the water when he was suppose to be eating!
My first trip around the lake- Emma trying out rowing. The Bishop and I were praying we didn't tip over because we were going to have to calm down five nervous kids!
One of the times I canoed around the lake with only 4 kids this time!
This is what Ryan looked like most of the time, tired.
Emma's first attempt at fishing- go Emma!
Sean's first attempt at fishing- go Sean!
They didn't want to stop- fortunately they didn't catch anything. It sure was a fun day! Thanks to the Bliss' and the Trujillo families for the organization!
***The story behind the name: Calvin “Cap” Ireys purchased Dead Horse Ranch in 1950. “Cap” told State Parks Director Dennis McCarthy that his children named the ranch. The first time the family looked at the property, they saw a dead horse lying in the field, and after looking at a number of properties “Cap” asked them which one they liked the best. The answer was the one with the dead horse. After they acquired the property, they named it Dead Horse Ranch. THANKS FOR FINDING THE INFO MOM!!

Cool Caterpillar

Today I dropped Emma off at school and then had to go to the office to sign her up for girl scouts. Afterwards Ryan, Sean and I were walking off of campus when I noticed something moving on the wall in a very high traffic area. I stopped and showed the boys what I think is a huge cool looking caterpillar. It was about 4-5 inches long and about the width of your thumb. It was smooth except for the black fuzzy ring around the middle. It had mimicry in the fact that it had the fake eye markings on the body. When we touched it, the front part puffed up and it looked like a head. (See second photo) It was so fascinating, I actually would have kept it but was scarred it might be a little dangerous. I loved being able to show my boys the different parts of the caterpillar because you could see the legs, antennae, and face with much detail. I believe this is the first blog I have written positively about bugs. UPDATE: My mother did some research today, and sent my picture to a bug website and they told her that we found a Two-tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar. He is brown here because he is getting ready to turn into a cacoon. There are some wild varieties, and here is an example of what the butterfly will look like. Thanks mom!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Home Evening

For Family Home Evening last night I piled the kids bikes into the van and we went to the church to ride around for a little while. Emma is starting to get the hang of it, but has two things against her. 1) Long legs and 2) being a mega girly girl. I am persistent and she will eventually get the hang of it. Sean is way too big for his bike and just barely too small for Emma's. He's catching on very quick and was a yell leader for Emma until he started to call her a "slow looser." Ryan was just happy to be there, although he fell off the sidewalk and scrapped up his knee and got blood all over me. Then he was pretending to drive and slipped off the seat and smashed his face into the dashboard, more blood! Bloody nose and lip and a slightly swollen eye, poor kid looks beaten up. After riding for awhile we went and picked up Shiloh and went to A Scoop Above - which is a great new place for Gelato here in Cottonwood. Yummy- what a great night!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sean's Special Day

At Seans preschool the parents have the opportunity to go to the school once every other month and spend time with their child. Actually it's mandatory, but I don't look at it that way because it's too much fun! On Tuesday -Sep 16- it was Sean's special day. I sent Ryan over to a friends house and Emma was at school. It was just Sean and I hanging out for 3 solid hours. HOW EXTREMELY FUN!
As you can see from the picture there is a sign telling everyone who's day it is. He recognized his name and was so excited that I was able to stay. After playing with the toys and other friends for the first 30 minutes, Sean got the opportunity to ring the clean up bell and tell everyone to clean up. He truly enjoyed telling everyone else what to do, and felt special ringing the bell.Next was circle time, where we sang some songs and talked about what day it was. Sean got to be Mrs. Patti's helper with the calendar and other business. He was a bit on the shy side and didn't really want to talk. Did you notice the shorts and cowboy boots? We then split up into stations, and they are currently "studying" bugs. I was in charge of the insect lotto game that had pictures of all sorts of ugly bugs. After about 20 minutes the Lincoln logs were pulled out- but it's a laid back preschool so it was ok. They also stamped bugs and painted butterfly wings at the other stations.
Sean then had story time, while I set up the snacks that I brought. The grapes and cheese chunks with milk were a huge success.
The last item of business before they are allowed outside to play is to journal. Here is Sean and Brandon faithfully writing (scribbling) in their journals. The last half an hour they get to go outside and play on the swings or playground or bikes. I really enjoy the school as well as the teachers. I just loved Seans special day- because it's just the two of us playing for three hours.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Story of Dory

When we moved to Cottonwood, a little over 3 years ago we decided to buy Emma a pet fish. She wanted a pet, and that was about all I would allow. After about 6 months a friend of Emma's reached into the tank and squeezed the life out of the fish, completely devastating Emma. So we went and bought another fish. This one was named Dory and was in her bedroom for the past two years- pretty remarkable b/c it didn't get fed on a regular basis nor did it get cleaned regularly or even loved (so I thought.) It passed away on Monday evening, and when Emma came home I casually mentioned it to her (thinking she wouldn't care.) WOW! she apparently loved the fish, and morned it for a couple of hours- lots of crying. Poor Dory! Anyways, after putting the 1 inch tetra into a small Nerds box we buried him in the backyard and Emma made a "gravespoon" for her. Here are some pictures she wanted me to take and show you all. Goodbye Dory.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Phoenix Fun

Last week Shiloh had to attend an Education Law Seminar down in Phoenix on Thur, Fri, and Sat. He was staying at a Residence Inn by Marriott next to the new Cardinals Stadium in Glendale. We decided that we would go and join him, although we had a lot more fun than he did. When Emma got out of school of Thur. we drove down to Anthem and did a little shopping then went and picked up Shiloh and we went to the FOX SPORTS GRILL . It is located in a huge awesome sports area called the Westgate next to the Cardinals stadium, complete with a water fountain show. It almost has a Las Vegas/Sporty feel. It was so cool, we walked around for awhile afterwards and then went back to our room and played with glowsticks in the dark.
On Friday Shiloh left before 8:00, and we headed off to the Phoenix Zoo where we sweated in 107 degree heat for a few hours. Afterwards we went to the Southwest Mesa Museum of Natural History and looked at a huge dinosaur exhibit, and got to pan for some gold. The part the kids were most excited about was the PSI or Poop Scene Investigation. It was a whole floor dedicated to poop, dino poop, animal poop, and our poop. There were toilet seats on the walls with questions on the lids, then you lifted the seat to see the answer. I learned all sorts of fasinating stuff about poo. Why it sometimes floats, why ours is dark and birds is white, who makes the most, the biggest, the smelliest. We even got to play with fake crap. Unbelievable! The kids loved it, and I was excited to in an air conditioned building. We then went back to our room where we met up with Shiloh and went swimming, before we hit the hay.
On Saturday Shiloh and the boys left to go home to watch the BYU game, while Emma and I did a little more shopping. I had a few gift cards to use up (one I have had since Christmas.) We also ate at Olive Garden, it was a fun time together as the girls. One that Emma and I will both remember. I am sad that I missed the first 3 quarters of the game, but it was worth it to me.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Quick Update (sort of)

I don't know where to begin. . . Emma started Kindergarten, and Shiloh and I took her to dinner in Sedona to celebrate. These pictures show how much fun we had there! She loves school for the most part. We just need to send her to school with duct tape over her mouth, but I guess we knew this would be a problem since her mother and father both had/have the "chatterbox syndrome." She has already had her name on the board a couple times, sat on the benches during recess a few times, and been moved right next to the teacher. BUT she does get her work done and is excelling in her writing. Woohoo! If only I could get her to eat her lunch hummmmmmmmm. So far I am enjoying American Heritage Academy. She only goes Monday through Thursday 8-2 and when I drop her off and pick her up a teacher is always there to assist. I know that she is safe! I know she is learning by the amount of knowledge she brings home each day. I enjoy staying for the first 5 minutes of school to say the pledge of allegiance and say the preamble to the constitution, but I could pass on the occasional singing of the national anthem- yet I love it! Emma loves having girl time now, and has decided that little brothers can be a "pain in the bum." She is thankful for her own room where she can lock out everyone and have her own space. She is a master at the computer both kids websites as well as looking at all my friends (and her friends) blogs! She is an amazing girl!
Sean started preschool and is attending Mountain View Preschool at the local Methodist church. He goes for 3 hours on Tuesday and Thursday- and loves it. He is more reserved than his sister in that when I come to pick him up he yells "mommy" and runs straight into my arms. He has continued to wear his cowboy boots almost every day and has already started his own routine. Sean struggles with wanting to be a big boy or a baby, which has made potty training hard, but I can see the success at the end of the tunnel He has a huge imagination! He loves to play dress up and I am constantly building him boats, castles, spaceships, etc. Now that Emma is at school most of the day he has become my little snugly bear. He hates it when he makes a mistake and needs to be told repeatedly that it's OK. I just love my little cowboy! Sean has made Ryan his partner in crime and loves to get him in trouble, they are becoming the best of friends and playmates. I love hearing them giggling in the other room.
Ryan has entered a whole new realm. He can walk, climb, communicate, and has a need for discovery and conquest. I have not seen another child with as much independence and desire for the unknown. If you think "he couldn't do that" you better think again, because this kid is capable of accomplishing anything he puts his mind too. Weather it's unlocking the front door, climbing into the oven, taking his own bath, eating an entire bag of oreos, climbing onto the cupboards for some candy, you name it- he will find a way. He's got it in his mind that sippy cups are not for him and all he wants are real cups like his big brother and sister, he has also decided that he has to feed himself and if anyone wants to help you'll end up with more on you then in his mouth. I have had a million heart attacks in the past few weeks. The thing is - he is not mischievous at all and won't do it to see how you will react. He is so dog gone curious it kills him! He loves to make us all laugh and will dance to any music with a huge smile on his face. He is the hardest kid to get mad at- and everywhere we got people fall in love with him immediately. What a great kid-o.
We decided to take a trip to Cold Stone in Sedona and we took a picture of the kids with a modern bear sculpture! What's funny is there was a lady right behind me lighting up some weed right in front of a couple dozen people. What a liberal city!
I am involved with a giant group of people who get together once a month for either a couples date night or a family get-together. A friend and I were in charge of planning August and we made it really simple by having the families gather at a park and bring their favorite summer dessert. I made some homemade root beer and we had some really yummy treats and played until the sun went down. It was a more relaxing and fun evening. Shiloh had to stay home with Ryan who wasn't feeling so good. Here are a couple of pictures from the evening. The other day I went walking at 5:30 in the morning with a friend, after we were finished I was pulling into the driveway when I noticed something in the window. I got out to examine the big black spot and the picture below is what I found. Shiloh and I debated between a giant spider or a baby tarantula- we decided a gross large spider. He was stuck between our window and the screen, so I decided that I would make "PITA" happy and I took the screen off and let the spider go free. Well the next morning I went walking at 5:30 in the morning and noticed the same spider in my garage as I was pulling out. I quickly stopped the car and watched the spider run into my house. I jumped out of the car and ran into my laundry room, I couldn't see it and so I immediately enlisted the help of my husband (not too willingly.) Suddenly we saw it start running across the room at supersonic speeds, with a yelp and a jump from me I was in the air. Shiloh was falling out of the way as I came down and ended the life of a very big spider. It made the most disgusting mess and upon my exit of the house I told my husband to clean it up! I had no intention of ever touching that disgusting thing. Moral of the story: I only forgive animals once- sorry PITA!