Thursday, August 28, 2008

Not much news...

This is the first full week of school. There's just not a lot going on that is very interesting right now! We are simply all getting back into the swing of things, getting our routine down, getting used to earlier bedtimes and homework. Fun stuff.

Yesterday was the Raingutter Regatta for David at scouts. He had fun making his boat and fully expected to win and, quite literally, blow away the competition. Well, you have to blow a bit more gentler than most kids would like when they are racing, so David didn't win all his races, but he had a good time.

David is just blowing away...

Evie is blowing you a kiss!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A special baptism

Lily's best friend at preschool last year was Annabel. Throughout the year I got to know Annabel's mom, Windy, too. When preschool ended, I figured we would still see Annabel, but not too much since the girls would not be going to the same school. Through conversations during the year, Windy learned that we are LDS, and a few other friends her kids go to school with are as well. In fact, it turns out that Windy's husband is an inactive member of the church!

Perhaps it was the 2nd Sunday of summer vacation when we walked into church and saw Windy, Annabel, and the rest of their family sitting in church next to another family they have gotten to become friends with! Their family started to take the missionary discussions, and we were privileged to have the last 3 in our home. I have never had the opportunity to watch a friend come into the church, so it was something rather special.

Windy and her oldest daughter Bethany were baptized last night. It was really special to watch Greg (Windy's husband) have the opportunity to baptize part of his family. We are so excited for them and look forward to watching them continue to progress and grow in the gospel. Doesn't Windy look so happy in the photo?!

A sister's love

Evie and Lily are good little friends already. They not only share a room, but they spend a lot of time together. Friday morning Evie and I went to wake up Lily to get ready for school. Lily is on the top bunk of the bed in their room, so Evie loves for me to hold her up high and let her lean in and get her sister. Well, as I was saying good morning to Lily, Evie started saying Lily's name! Of course, it is not 100% clear, but you can tell what she is trying to say because she is making the "L" sound! Lily, of course, is thrilled to pieces that hers was the first out of the siblings to have her name figured out by Evelyn.

Awesome stock up!

It might be the lazier approach to filling my pantry, but I tend to only buy the things that are on sale when grocery shopping. There was a fantastic sale going on at Safeway that I simply couldn't miss.

So, this was the deal: Buy 5 Kellogg's cereals and they are only $2 a box. Buy 5 Safeway brand cereals and they are only $1 a box. Fantastic, right? SO, I was able to buy 10 boxes of Kellogg's and 10 boxes of Safeway cereals for only $30! That's right, 20 boxes of cereal for $30. Yes, it was a truly thrilling cereal purchase for me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

11 Years!

Today Ez and I celebrate our 11th year of marriage! We have come a long way in that time! We have moved 7 times, had 5 children, and made many, many memories.

As I look back on our marriage and how we have grown, I can't imagine a better choice in my life. Ez is thoughtful, sweet, loving, and caring. He is a fantastic husband and father. Ez works hard so that I am able to stay home and raise our children. He is my dearest friend.

I love you, Ez!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to School

We have officially made it through our first day of the new year, and successfully at that! We had a pretty good morning--everyone got up and got ready just fine. David was excited to sport his cool new Vans from Grandma Jane and his new backpack. The girls were more than excited to be sporting cute new outfits from Justice for Girls, which they have been hoping for for quite a while! When Ez got home from work he made a yummy breakfast of french toast and bacon. Of course there was a bit too much excitement and nervousness going around, so not as much got eaten as could have!

We took the first day of school photos and hopped into the van to realize that we were suddenly running late! We made it to school in the nick of time and got everyone where they needed to be.

As for the report on their first day:
LILY--when I picked her up and she saw the kids were in the stroller, she was terrified I had walked to school and that she would have to walk home! She was exhausted, but said Mrs. Williams is nice and that she had a lot of fun.

DAVID--enjoys his teacher, Mrs. Smith. It will be easy to remember her name since last year he had Ms. Smith! David enjoyed doing some artwork today and looks forward to doing it each week. There were a couple of kids he really was hoping were not in his class this year, and he was glad to report that they were not--hooray! He was terribly sad to report that his two best buddies were not in his class, nor anyone he really knows. At least he gets the chance to make new friends!

ALEXIS--is excited for another fun year. This is our first year with a male teacher, so that will be a change. Alexis was glad to see a few friends from last year's class and is excited that once everyone is comfortable with the whole school and drop off thing, she will get to be the one to take Lily to her class!

First day of Kindergarten

First day of 3rd grade

First day of 5th grade

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Night Before School...

Twas the night before school, and all through the house
SOME children were resting--as snug as a mouse!
While visions of school and friends danced in their heads,
Three other children had their own plans instead!

Mom was sitting and resting, recovering from the day
Thinking tomorrow she would have much more time for free play.
When from somewhere in the hall there arose such a noise
That she jumped up from the couch to go confiscate some toys!

The noise was from Evie--but MORE were awake!
So mom asked them the reason for the choice they did make.
It is only 9, they said, why should we rest?
It's playing and reading that we love the best!

Reminded once more of their big day ahead
They agreed that soon they'd be willing to lay down in bed.
It was hard but they were tired, so they finally gave in
Mom felt like a champion, at last she did win!

So good night my dear children, sleep all the night long
For tomorrow is school and you will be gone.
I will miss you, but listen, learn, play and have fun
For too soon you'll grow up and all this will be done...

Evie is checking to make sure we have all the school supplies on the list

Lily coloring away

David explaining all about the automata and its drawing in The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My "School Year" Resolutions

I have a hard time making and keeping those darned New Year's Resolutions. I always feel like right after the holidays things are so busy that I never really ponder what goals I might like to set for myself.

Well, the kids start school on Thursday and so for the past few weeks I have had all sorts of plans and lists running through my head--things I would like to see happen for the kids, things I would like to try to get done, things I would like to try to do. It hit me that as a mom of school-aged children, my life really revolves around the school year much more than the calendar year.

Come the end of August, we gear up for all sorts of "newness"--new grades, new teachers, new clothes and shoes, new supplies, new friends. Why not take the beginning of the school year as my opportunity to make some good plans and goals for myself? Perhaps it might work better!

I haven't come up with a complete list, it is still floating around in my head and slowly formulating into a written version, but here's a few I have started with:
1. Finish up the crafts and projects that I have started and have not finished. (That could take a while!)
2. Spend more time reading in the evenings.
3. Make plans for dinner after breakfast so that I don't end up thinking of it once the kids are home from school and we have no time for making a good dinner!
4. Wash at least one load of laundry each day. (that is not the hard part) Fold and put away all laundry that was laundered that day (that is the goal part).
5. Exercise more.
6. Work on our family history.
7. Go to bed earlier.

We shall see how I do...

Joe's Hair

We always get comments on Joe's hair. People are always saying his curls are so cute, etc. It is funny because Joe has now become aware of his hair. When people talk about his hair he gets embarrased and covers as much of his head and face into his arms as possible. He is also aware that there are less people out there with curly hair than straight, and so when he sees another kid with curls, he is quick to point them out. I find it all very funny.

Due to the fact that we all love his locks, they haven't been cut in forever! Joe's Aunt Meagan gave him a trim in January, and then Grandma Jane gave him an even smaller trim about 2 months ago. That has been it, but now it is getting to this length where it is always in Joe's eyes and it looks sort of bushy. I have to tame it with hair products, and Joe really doesn't like that!

SO, we took Joe to his first visit to the hairdresser (other than his Aunt Meagan) on Saturday and we gave him a little trim--actually about 1 inch! I love it and think it looks better, but we already have gotten the comments at church about how sad it is that his hair got cut! He's still got plenty, however!

The Before and After shots (which are hard to get of Joe because he never will stand still when the camera appears)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My last class

Tonight was my last cake decorating class. Tonight we finished learning how to make a rose, learned to make the sweet pea flower, and use the leaf tips.

Let me tell you, when you watch those ladies at Costco whipping out roses like it is nothing, do not for one moment think that it is all that simple! My first attempt happened to be my best--it was a fluke, I am sure. I think the more I thought about doing it the right way, the harder it got. Anyway, they turned out not too bad, but they are FAR from what they are supposed to be!

No matter what, I had fun and learned a few new skills, which was the whole point of the class!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Activity Days

Alexis really enjoys going to Activity Days, and tonight was no exception. This evening they held a stake activity that the moms were invited to as well--a modesty fashion show and workshop. It was really well done and fun. The leaders had some young women come and model their cute modest attire and then learned a few fun tricks about trying on clothing and where to buy a few fun things that work nicely as fun undershirts, etc. Then the girls got to make a cute little necklace with a wooden "bead" of the Sacramento temple that one of the men in the stake had designed for the girls. Dessert was delicious and beautiul little angel sugar cookies. It was a fun night for Alexis and I to share together.

A fun friendship

We have had a really neat family move in our ward recently. They have 5 kids too, so it is fun to get together and have complete pandamonium! The Shahs are a fun family, and my kids really enjoy playing with their kids. Alexis and Lily were playing over at Emma's house yesterday having great fun and pulling out some dress up clothes. Emma asked her mom, Sarah, to pull out the special clothes from the garage, and when that came out, Lily's eyes just lit up with excitement!

Sarah's husband, Alok, is from India, so whenever they attend any sort of Indian function, they need to wear the appropriate clothing. Sarah has beautiful outfits that her kids have worn over the past years, beautiful bangles and necklaces and beautiful little bindis. Sarah helped the girls get all fancy, and then let Lily take her outfit home for a while!

Lily was simply in heaven. On the way home, I was informed that Sarah was the neatest mom Lily has ever met. I said, "what about me?", and she shrugged the question off with a kind of "whatever, sure you are too" sort of response. I thought it was funny. The rest of the evening Lily spent carefully imagining she was doing everything a little girl from India would do. She was making up dances and asking about if it was okay for her to eat a burger for dinner, if little girls from India knelt on the ground, she tried to not miss a detail. (Of course, I don't know the answers!)

I tried to catch a few photos of her, but she wouldn't smile (because she was smiling like an Indian girl), and she wouldn't stop dancing!

Isn't it great to have good, fun friends?

Cousin's sleepover

My kids don't get to see too much of their extended family very often. Ez's mom lives in Sacramento, so we get to see Grandma Jane lots, but my family is spread out through New Mexico and Colorado.

This last weekend my older sister, Jolie, and her three kids-Sarah, Jake, and Anders-were able to stop in for a short visit on their way home from a family reunion for the Griffin side of the family.

Jolie and I had lots of fun visiting, and the kids enjoyed each other's company. We visited the Jelly Belly Factory, went swimming, and simply hung out. We pulled out our fabric markers and let the kids decorate t-shirts and then sign them on the back. They really enjoyed that. On Saturday night we went to Fenton's for ice cream and then Jolie and I decided to try to "repair" Anders' favorite baby blanket so that it would last a few more years. It was fun, but much more than we had bargained for! The blanket now has new batting and a new backing and is nicely tied. Anders noticed the differences immediately, let's hope in the long run he is willing to accept it!

The trip wasn't long enough, unfortunately, but it was so good to see them and visit no matter how long we get!

Lily, Sarah, and Alexis--waiting in line at the Jelly Belly Factory

Jake and Joe playing in the mirrors at the Jelly Belly Factory

Jake and David--giving each other's game systems a try

Evie enjoying a yummy bagel from Panera


Alexis, Sarah, and Lily

Jolie and Anders-decorating the shirt

Signing the shirts

Our artful creations

Showing off our backsides (and the back of the shirts too!)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cute kids

We got a new camera recently and I have been having fun taking lots of photos of the kids. When going through and editing them, I often find I have more photos of Lily, Joe, and Evie than of David and Alexis. I feel bad, but I think it is because the younger kids tend to hang around me more. They are also more prone to running and jumping around the house, where Alexis is typically hiding out somewhere or playing Yahtzee or Farkle with me, and David is usually outside with his friends. I need to try to do a better job!

These are some random photos I have thought were cute lately.

After 7 trips through White Water Safari, Ez and the kids were literally soaked to the core!

Hula hooping it up

Lily was painting the other night--she was telling David she was painting the Jonas Brothers, but they might look different because it is in Chinese!

Lily is a Camp Rock addict--doing part of the "Too Cool for you" dance (she loves the little shoulder dance)

Joe being still for a moment--very rare

David hoping for a ball at the game

My handsome young man

River Cats Game

We went to a Sacramento River Cats game last week--we went with two other families Ez knows from work. We all got spots on Home Run hill, which is the large grassy area you can lay your blanket out on. It was such fun! Having a place for the kids to run around and be themselves for such a long period of time was great. Can you imagine trying to get them all to sit in seats? Ha ha.

We got there about 45 minutes before the game and had plenty of time to run and play on the hill. Ez and David played catch before it got too crowded. Alexis and Lily had fun rolling down the hill--until Alexis had an allergic reaction to the grass and was itching and terribly uncomfortable--poor girl! She was much better after a soapy scrub of the arms in the bathroom. Evie had a great time just walking up and down the hill over and over again. Joe? He stayed busy being Joe--being slightly crazy, really friendly, and tiring us all out.

We spent most of the evening chatting, eating, and playing with the kids--not much watching of the game went on. That was okay though! The River Cats lost in the end, but we had a great time!

Sad after getting in trouble for throwing the ball toward people instead of away from!

He has got his daddy's chin!

My favorite picture of the night--Ez handing his glove to Evie