Sunday, April 29, 2012

Perfection Around the Corner

We are getting excited about this event coming up soon:

p.s. Did you find the special 'R'?

p.p.s. Also I feel my brain is on overload. If you haven't received an invitation and you would like one, please let me know. We would love for all our friends and family to be there.

Guess who turned...

Robyn had a great birthday. Actually, I think I enjoyed it quite a bit too. Sometimes I get stressed making sure presents are wrapped, cakes are made, and things are planned. The day held all those things, but they seemed to slide by. Have I possibly gotten a system that works? Am I ultra systematic and organized now? Probably not. It was most likely a fluke. But a good one.

There is so much to tell, but we may as well start at the top of the day. Robyn woke up to her first present. I was so excited to give her this present. She has been amassing Little Pet Shops. They have outgrown every container Robyn has and they are always within easy access of Pearl. (Luckily LPS' are very resilient, unlike the other three things Pearl broke this week, not to mention the plethora of furniture that Pearl colored all over. Okay, but let's not let this post dissolve into a rant about my current nemesis--the two year old.) I looked all over trying to find something to display her little figurines, but no dice. So, what do you do when you can't find what you want? Well, you make it of course. (Naturally this does not apply to everything. I think you are best off purchasing shoes at a store, unless of course you are great with leather and nails and whatever else goes into shoe-making. I confess to knowing nothing about it.) Tyler and I visited the local home improvement store and picked up some lumber, also known as thin boards. I should have taken a cool before picture, but we assembled most of it before I thought to snap a photo. But here I am working on it.

And behold the finished product.

Genius huh? I love it. Those picture were from before her birthday. I set the entire thing up and took pictures and then took it all down so that I could set it up again while she was sleeping the night before her birthday. I admit that I get really excited about surprises. But cool huh?

She woke up and was pretty happy with it and has been organizing it since. Sometimes by type of animal and currently alphabetically by name. (That is quite a feat considering she has over 60 pet shops. I would have trouble remembering all their names.)

Off to school she went and I was scheduled to come in as the guest reader that day. Every Friday her class has a mom come in and read stories. I LOVE to do it and when I realized Robyn's birthday was on a Friday, I signed right up. And even though I am a very good story teller, the kids are going to love you regardless when you bring treats.

I brought balloons too, but I took them home with me, since it was a SUPER windy day and I was having trouble managing them myself. Robyn would have been swept away. Plus, they were pretty temperamental balloons. Two popped in the car minutes after I left the store. (I went back in and got two more.) And then another popped at home. All these instances were completely unprovoked and no sharp objects were involved. I think these balloons just couldn't take the pressure.

Robyn comes home on the bus everyday and plays with her friend in what they call 'Dream Club'. I thought I would photograph her in her natural habitat. Here she is getting off the bus. (I need to remind her not to cut through people's lawns.)

She thought I came out to drag her home, but I told her she could still go to 'Dream Club'. She was so happy, she skipped away without touching the ground. She is such a hoot.

The afternoon was pretty low key once she came home. Robyn waited for the whole family to arrive so she could open presents. She visited on the phone with relatives and managed to keep herself busy.

And then suddenly everyone was there and it was time to open presents. This year, I think we got her exactly what she wanted and I was happy that she is still at an age that everything she wants doesn't break the bank. (Unless you count a puppy...I didn't get her that.) But, the five dollar Hoola Hoop might be her favorite. (And she's really good at it.)

I also love seeing the girls' little heads clustered together looking at stuff. I think Pearl is feeling left out here, or perhaps she is just practicing her normal routine of crying 3/4ths of the day. (Okay, that isn't fair. It's probably only 1/2 the day.)

And then we all ate cake right before dinner. It's just the mom I am turning into apparently. And I really wanted to try the Caramel cake that Robyn requested.

We took a bazillion pictures of her blowing out candles because she managed to blow them out one-by-one, but this is my favorite by far.

(Oh, and if you were wondering, the cake was okay. It was a little rich and tasty, but nothing to write home about. You win some, you lose some, and with some you get....meh.)

In the evening, Tyler took Robyn and a few of the girls out to skate. Robyn brought her best friend along and they spent the evening trying to stay off their keisters. I think they all had a good time, but the majority went home with a sore heiny. I stayed at home and watched Pearl, because I was sure that I would be chasing her all over the place and it seemed easier to skip it altogether, so no pictures. Actually, Tyler might have some on his phone. I'll have to check with him.

Robyn had a great birthday. She is such a funny, loving girl and we love having her in our family. I'm not sure where this picture came from, but I love it, so we'll throw it in here at the end.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Bug in the Works

Sheesh, I hate getting onto Blogger and finding that they have changed EVERYTHING to help me. Annoying. Of course I will get over it, but it has been a long day and I wasn't thinking I would have to navigate a new system.

Okay, I am done complaining. Let's talk about another bug. The butterfly.

I was leaving somewhere (back during Spring Break) and I saw a little butterfly just sitting there in the driveway. So, I yelled to Tyler that he should show it to the kids. Not only did he let them see it, but he took pictures to boot. (I should really learn to think like him.)

Here are all the girls gathered around the strange phenomenon.

Tyler moved it to a stick and each took a turn holding it. (Except Pearl—thank goodness.)

This particular butterfly must rely on camouflage because it is really good at it. See if you can find the butterfly?

Although one would wonder why it was in the driveway and not the woodchips to begin with? Well, butterflies are meant to be pretty...not smart. If you still can't find the butterfly, maybe this will help.

I love watching my children discover and explore, even if it is vicariously through pictures.

p.s. So far the new blogger layout does not seem much different. I guess I should not whine so much. Where do my kids get it?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Not Always Perfect

Although I tend to show the better side of my kids on here, they are kids nonetheless. Just last night we were headed out to run some errands. The usual banter begins from the back of the car where Ivory, June, and Robyn sit next to each other.

Robyn: Mom! June is singing this song and I asked her lots of times to stop and she didn't.

Mom: June, if Robyn asked nicely, it is polite to stop singing. Since we are in a small space, let's try to get along.

June: She didn't ask me lots of times.

Dad: Should Robyn even have to ask more than one time?

June: Lots is FIVE!!

There you have it. In case you were wondering;

Once = 1
A couple = 2
Few =3
Several = 4
Lots = 5

Unfortunately, I usually have to ask lots of times around here to get things done or quell arguments. But that is just the way it is.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pressed to the Screen...

Who wouldn't want to come home to this??

One More Egg Hunt

We were going to have our family egg hunt on the Saturday before Easter as usual, but when I suddenly realized that we would be headed to Idaho and Grandma's huge backyard just a few days hence, I thought it would be worth waiting.

And I'm glad we did. We got to get all the cousins involved and it was a blast. I hid over 200 eggs plus some extra items. And then I sat back and forgot to take pictures for most of it. There are a few children who are blatantly absent, but let's at least showcase the ones I caught.

Pearl is always easiest to catch since she is predominantly underfoot. I thought at first that I would have every child collect 20 eggs, but I realized the younger ones didn't need that many and it would be annoying for the older kids to keep track. And sure enough, Pearl not only didn't need twenty, but she wasn't that interested in hunting when there was candy to be had in easy reach. Aunt Kathryn was nice enough to help her out.

Here are some other hunters: (I promise there are no favorites, just the ones I happened to catch a shot of.)

The boys hunted as a pack. It was pretty cute intimidating. :)

June, Kaysen, KJ, and Hinckley

And they were so nice. They shared candy and money with each other and their cousins. They are pretty stand-up guys.

The camo eggs were a hit. The boys and June were mainly out to find those, although almost everyone found at least one. Our big winner was Kaysen. The five dollar bill was one of the last found. Truthfully, there are probably still a few there. Every year we seem to lose some Camo eggs. Tricky little buggers.

I wasn't very strict about candy consumption up there, because at Grandma's I know they are bound for a higher sugar intake. That and I couldn't seem to keep candy away from Pearl. Every time I turned around, she had another piece. I'm sure she was grabbing from anyone in reach.

We only spent a few days up in Idaho, but we had a good time. One of the days we went to the Idaho Falls Museum. They has a hands-on dinosaur exhibit there and a play area that kept the kids entertained for quite a while. Some loser forgot her camera. (Hey, give me a break...I was on vacation too.)

I was solo on this trip, meaning no handsome husband to help out with the kids. I think it went pretty well, all things considered. Pearl survived the car trip, or should I say, I survived the car trip.

Everyone slept okay, except the first night in which Pearl did not really sleep and consequently neither did I. But the great thing about a vacation is that we both got a nap the next day.

Robyn seemed to be up very early one morning. Long enough to organize an entire box of crayons.

I have to admit...I like it when they get older and can amuse themselves in the wee hours.

It was great to see family and I apologize for my lack of pictures of them. Robyn's baptism is right around the corner and I promise to be more diligent. I love my extended family. It is always great to see them.

And so Spring Break came to a close. It wasn't long, but it was just enough time for me to know that I probably need to be a little more organized come Summer. I like that Summer is a time to relax, but I have to have a little structure to keep me sane.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tea Party

I have been cleaning out the garage recently. (When am I NOT cleaning out the garage? sigh) My parents are often bringing over my old school stuff and random items that are incorporated into our perpetual garage renovation. I ran across some boxes brought over a year ago. (See how prompt I am about taking care of things in there?) My mother had mentioned a tea set painted by my Great Grandmother, Dorothy Haire, but I had never taken all the pieces out.

Well, as I pulled the pieces out, I realized that there were just lovely. There is a cup, saucer, small plate, and dessert plate for each unique flower; eight in all, handpainted.

I was very impressed, but not nearly as excited as the house full of girls I own. Naturally, they decided on the spot that they were going to have a tea party. They planned the whole thing and made invitations for their friends. My favorite part of the invitation read: We have real tea stuff, but no bad tea. (ha)

They scheduled it for Spring Break, which was great so we could have a little brunch. The girls danced and I finished the last preparations and then we all sat down to test mom's nerves and see if she would be able to handle so many little fingers handling a precious tea set that was being used for the first time. 

I honestly believe that if you have something, you should use it and it shouldn't just gather dust on a shelf. However, if you break something the first time you use it, that is just a pity.

Luckily (and probably helped by multiple prayers) nothing was broken. All the girls were very careful. They even practiced putting out pinkies and acting proper.

As mentioned before, we did not have any bad tea. Even though we don't drink tea for religious purposes, I don't think the girls would have enjoyed tea very much in the first place, so we made our own Fairy Berry Tea. It was just warm jello, before it sets up. But it was a hit! Once again, there is always room for Jell-o.

The girls picked other fun snacky foods: cupcakes, mini sausages, cheese, and these fun little ladybugs. They are strawberries with grape heads and chocolate chip spots.

I admit that I took less pictures and spent more time serving and watching everyone closely. But they all had a good time and ended with coloring and a movie. It was a good way to start off Spring Break.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kung Fu Crackin'

Our neighborhood Crack-Off was a blast this year. I forgot to get a group photo, but thanks to all that attended. (Jett's, Moses', Neilsen's, Schapper's, Scoresby's)

Here are all our eggs ready to be voted on.

And here are most of them close up.

 Keep it clean...this is a bullet.

I would love to hear which was your favorite in the comments, but the winner of the evening was Tyler's Hunger Games egg, followed closely by Jamie's Tigress.

After voting, we then smash all our eggs, but we do it with style. One. by. one.

There was much debate to which Angry bird would win.

Dane crushed me. (Blue beat red.)

In fact, when Darin beat me later, I was the first official loser. Awesome.

We had a great time.

And our champion was Jamie. Her Kung Fu Panda rocked the evening. Hopefully she will return next year and take on our champion from 2011 who couldn't make it this year. Should be exciting.

And more guilt about the Crack-Off. This bird is over and out.