Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lily!

Our Lily turned 6 yesterday! She had a fun celebration. Grandma Jane came over and picked her up from school and took her and Joe to the park for a bit. After Alexis and David were out of school, we headed to the movie theater and got to see Monsters vs. Aliens. It was especially fun because it came out yesterday and the kids have always wanted to see a movie on the very first day it is in theaters. After the movie we headed to Wendy's (Lily's choice) for dinner. At home she opened presents, had cake and ice cream and played!

Lily wanted a Webkinz cake, so we made a pig since her very first one was a pig which she named Oinky. I had a great time frosting it. I had never piped an entire cake, so it was an adventure. The hardest part was that Evie wasn't feeling well and wanted to be held the whole day, so about 60% of the cake was frosted with Evie on mom's hip. We will use that as the reason for any errors, not due to my lack of experience in the piping department! It was a delicious cake in the end.

Happy Birthday, dear, sweet Lily! We love you and are so glad you are part of our family.

Loving her gifts!

Lily and Oinky with her cake

Mario Kart

We got a new game for our Wii a few weeks ago, and it has quickly become the family favorite. We got Mario Kart, and it is great fun for everyone to play. The kids love to play on teams, which mom likes because there is far less competition and more cheering each other on. I like to play with Lily and Joe, because then I feel like I have a chance of not always coming in at the very end! Even Evelyn loves to sit and play along. Okay. She is at least happy holding the wheel so that she believes she is playing!

David is playing and exercising--what a multi-tasker!

Evie is concentrating very hard on this race!

Pancakes and Broccoli

Alexis made us pancakes for dinner the other night--she did a pretty good job! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed them, but of course Joe still requested his current favorite vegetable...broccoli!

He is so funny when we have it in the house, he will ask for it at every meal. Some of the most recent requests were for a broccoli taco and a broccoli sandwich. I guess broccoli and pancakes had to work this time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Family Night

It has been a crazy few days around here, and Ez has a rather busy work week ahead. We decided to make tonight a fun, relaxing evening with the kids. Ez brought home pizza for dinner, which is always yum. We had our family night lesson and cookies for dessert. We then shuffled all the kids in and out of showers and baths as quickly as we could, and all piled into mom and dad's room to watch a movie together.

We had rented Bolt and wanted to watch it one more time before returning it. The kids were so excited and all found a spot on the floor, nice and cozy. The excitement didn't last forever with Evie and Joe. Since we've already seen the movie, it held less interest for the younger two, plus movies don't really do anything for Evelyn, let's face it!

The movie was fun, no matter how much background noise we added to it! The movie ended and I shuffled everyone off to bed, including Ez, who gets up at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning to start a busy few days!

All set to watch the movie, wet hair and all!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting organized

Getting and staying organized is a constant process, especially with little children always around. There are times when I seriously wonder if they unorganize faster than I organize. And lets face it, they pretty much do!

In our last house I was spoiled with more bedrooms than I needed and so I had a space to keep all of my craft and sewing supplies fairly easily. When we moved here to Vacaville, we moved into a home with just enough space for the family, and so I lost that lovely extra space that I was used to! In all truth, I don't miss the extra space too much, we all fit perfectly and I think we all spend a bit more time together because there are less places to hide!

Having less space has meant that we have had to be creative about where and how we store our things. Our garage has become an extension of our home and stores a ton of stuff, including all the shared toys. This actually works pretty well since the weather here is never too hot or too cold. Figuring out how to get and keep the garage organized the way I like it is a very long and constant process, it seems!

I did get one step closer, however, yesterday. My crafting things are kept in a corner of the garage. I had great plans forever ago to get a table out there for my sewing, etc. I got the table, but it typically has been used as a catch all for any and all projects we are working on. It gets pretty scary looking!

Yesterday I cleaned out a bunch of supplies I know I don't need any more, cleaned up the shelves and drawers, and got a bit organized. I even hung 2 shelves by myself to add a bit more useable space! I would have added one or two more, but I ran out of toggle bolts, so I was out of luck. Anyway, I have made progress, which in and of itself is remarkable to me! I can almost see the end in sight...almost.

Backpacks and Peek-a-Boo

I took Joe and Evie to the library the other day. I like taking all the kids, but there are times when it is just nice to sit and relax with just the two little ones.

The kids had fun picking out a few books, movies, and CDs. Evie's very favorite thing to get at the library is a backpack. Our library has put together these great themed packpacks for toddlers with 4 board books and a music CD. They are the perfect size for their little bodies and Evie always feels so cool whenever she carries one out of the library.

The backpack we got this time is the Peek-a-Boo themed one, which is perfect for a little girl who loves to play peek-a-boo! Needless to say, we've been reading these 4 books and playing peek-a-boo a lot lately!

Getting out the books


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Smoothies aren't ever very popular in our house in the winter time, perhaps because it is already chilly, or maybe it's just more of a Spring/Summer kind of food item. No matter what the reason, since winter is nearly over, the kids have been starting to request smoothies.

While at Costco today, we bought our favorite bag of mixed frozen berries and now we are in business! Upon getting home, I made smoothies for Joe and Evie. Then for Lily when she came home from school, and one more for David a few hours later. Alexis is not a fan of smoothies, she prefers her fruit not blended.

Everyone enjoyed the smoothies immensely, especially little miss Evelyn! Oh yeah, and I love my friend the Magic Bullet for making it so simple to make the smoothies to begin with!

The cup almost looks bigger than Evelyn's face!


Sneaky Leprechaun

When we got home from picking up the kids from school, we found this on out table!

The leprechaun must have known our family well because he didn't leave us pots of "gold" candies, which the Beauchamp children tend to not really like--Rolos, mini Reese's cups, little chocolate easter eggs. He was smart and gave us Andes mints and Hershey's kisses. I suppose we got pots of "silver" instead!

The kids had fun with it and only David came up to me after and said, "now really mom, how did you do it? How did you get that on the table while you were picking us up?" David is a must know kind of kid. He doesn't believe in any of the little fun holiday characters. He promised to keep my secret of how I managed it, however. The rest of the kids simply enjoyed the magic of it all.

One Cool Potato!

One of Lily's homework assignments this week was to decorate a potato. I am not sure what they are going to do with it, but apparently it will be used throughout the rest of the week. Lily is certain they will be making a movie with them.

Decorating a potato is the kind of homework I love. If it fun, relaxing, creative. Plus we get to dig through our crafts and use some fun things. Lily and I picked some cute fabric and ribbon that is very "Lily". We cut the bottom off of a cup and glued our potato into the cup so she would stand up and then gave her a cute little skirt. Lily wanted to give her a top too, but it just didn't look right, so we opted to leave it off. The big flower "clip" on the hair reminds me of Lily too.

The assignment mentioned that these potatoes would be handled over the next few days and to make sure everything would stay on. We used the hot glue gun, but apparently is wasn't quite enough because Lily said that when she got to school one of the arms had fallen off and so had the flower in her hair. How sad. Hopefully the teacher will tape it on for her or something.

It was a fun homework project for Lily and me!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


It seems there are never any posts or pictures with Alexis in them. Perhaps because I tend to take the photos more often when she is gone at school, or she is busy with homework...I don't really know the reason, but I thought I would focus on her a little!

Alexis is a great girl. She is helpful and reliable and sweet. She is having a fairly good school year and is making good progress in many areas. She has really enjoyed all the reading challenges put out in class, especially because there has been a lot more freedom of choice in our reading this year.

Alexis has been involved in Girl Scouts throughout the year and has really enjoyed it. We just finished up with our selling of the beloved Girl Scout cookies. Alexis worked hard to sell cookies, visiting friends, knocking on doors in the neighborhood. She had a lot of fun. On Saturday she helped her troop sell cookies at a local grocery store for a couple of hours and had a great time. She sold a total of 190 boxes!

We've been planning on decorating Alexis's room for a while now, but like with many things, it is taking a while. It is just one of those things that gets pushed aside so easily. We had plans to use this really cool paper we found and make some wall art with it, but it has been a few months and nothing really has finally on Friday evening we decided to make the project as easy as possible. We went and picked up a few inexpensive frames, cut the paper, put it in, and hung them up! We think it looks pretty cute. I guess step #1 is finally done. A few more little projects, and her room will be looking super cute for a super cute young lady!

With the bedspread

A bit closer up

This evening Alexis pulled out her Crayola Cutter and had a fun time designing boxes for the kids. Although she doesn't do it as much as she used to, Alexis is quite the crafter and loves her little projects!

Magazine Basket

Does every family have a magazine basket? Probably. If not, they should, right? I love our basket because it is one we got as a wedding gift. Of course, it was filled with towels when we got it and it has housed many things in the past, but it has been our magazine basket for the past few years.

I realized it was time to clean out the basket the other day when things were almost sliding off the top. I pulled everything out and got busy figuring out what magazines were worth keeping, tearing out articles from ones I was willing to get rid out, and I noticed that the basket was missing! I found it in the kitchen, with Evie sitting in it and playing David's old GameBoy (or Boy's game, as Joe would call it). Evie decided the basket is far more useful to her with nothing in it!

Mostly Evie just likes to turn it on and off and on and off and on...

I love this picture because I never catch Evie when you can see her teeth!

Meatballs and more

Last week for dinner on Sunday, we made spaghetti and meatballs. That might sound like some fancy, takes-a-lot-of-time meals to some, but in this house that is most definitely not the case! The sauce comes from a beautiful plastic jar (from Costco, of course). Just pour in the pot and heat. The meatballs? Yup, they're from Costco too. The frozen kind that you can place on a plate in the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes and they are hot and yummy and you'd never guess they only took you 3 minutes to make. That is my kind of easy meal!

The fun thing about eating meatballs in this house is that Joe has a passion for meatballs like you wouldn't believe. Forget the pasta or anything else we are having. If meatballs are on the menu, that is about all Joe will eat. I think he ate about 10 last Sunday. He is a meatball nut!

One of his sillier moments--he likes to put one meatball on each end of the fork

Evie decided that night that she wanted to sit with the girls on the bench. Sometimes this works out, and sometimes not. Well, this turned into one of those "not" nights when Evie slipped while reaching for something and fell off the bench and onto the tile floor. Luckily she didn't hit her head, but she was pretty scared. The fact that she had barely napped at all didn't help either. Luckily daddy was there to pick her up and help her calm down!

Evie slept the rest of the night peacefully!

A few more photos from the evening:

David and Joe are frieking out because they lost their arms! Oh no!

Our pretty Lily

Alexis and her robe--she loves it!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


The kids have had a number of important milestones over the past few months. They might seem small to others, but to us it is pretty exciting! Just a few more signs that this family is growing up!

#1: Evie stopped nursing at the end of January.

It's something I kept talking about doing for a long time, but just never did. It finally came down to the fact that if I wanted to go to Monterey with Ez in March, I'd have to stop nursing Evie.

She's so attached to mom that I thought it would be hard on her. I got lucky, because it was actually relatively simple. She didn't have any sort of meltdown--unless I sat on the couch with her when she was tired. No, Evie handled it just fine. Turns out it was mom that was probably more attached than she realized! I think it was harder for me emotionally than for her. But she's my baby, so it's hard to let it go, I suppose.

#2: Joe officially goes to sleep in his own bed, every night (and stays there, too!)

When it was time to give Joe's crib to Evelyn, Joe moved to the bottom bunk in the boy's room. Suddenly Joe had the freedom to not stay in bed if he didn't want to! Since Ez worked nights and I had to get all the kids down to bed, I found the easiest (and I know, laziest) way for me to deal with having to take care of Joe and Evie--I would let Joe lay on mom and dad's bed to watch TV and fall asleep.

Well, it continued far too long and into a bad habit. It has finally ended, however, and Joe has officially been going to bed each night on his own, in his own bed for nearly 2 weeks now! Hooray!

#3: Lily lost her first tooth!

Lily has been wanting to lose a tooth for a really long time. Alexis and David have been in the tooth business for quite a while now, and she is really jealous that she hasn't been able to join in. Then there are the other kids in kindergarten who have lost teeth.

Well, Lily finally got her first loose tooth a few weeks ago. She has had so much fun wiggling it and trying to make it looser. On Thursday evening, Lily came to the table all freaked out--her tooth was suddenly extremely wiggly. She wouldn't let anyone look at it or touch it, but I knew it would come out with just the tiniest nudge. After much convincing, Lily ate some bread. Since she was eating later than everyone else because of all the drama with her tooth, the rest of the family was busy cleaning up while she was eating her bread. A few moments later she came to me and told me she was scared. I looked in her mouth and her tooth was all bloody and a good 1/8 inch above the others. I took it right out and then she started laughing at how easy it had actually been.

Lily is proudly showing everyone and anyone her new hole in her face.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Aren't donuts delicious? I remember thinking getting donuts was a huge treat as a kid. I remember loving Munchkins at Dunkin' Donuts; I also remember a little store not too far from our house that sold the yummiest Boston Cream Donuts. Those were my very favorite.

When Ez and I moved to Woodland just after Alexis was born, there was a donut shop we went to a few times that had the best crumb donuts. Then came the introduction of Krispy Kreme, and we found those to be delicious too, but after a bit the idea of them was tastier than they actually were.

The kids have always enjoyed getting a donut now and then, but it has always been the biggest treat for Lily. If Ez or I took her on a date and asked her what she wanted to do, it was always the same answer--get a donut. I love that something so simple can be so important to her.

After moving to Vacaville, we had to find a place to get donuts. There is no Krisy Kreme here, just some mom and pop-type donut shops. The very first one we went to, The Donut Wheel, immediately became our favorite. The guy that runs the shop is really nice. The donuts are really good. I love that if you go there in the morning there is always a group of older guys (and gals sometimes) just hanging out and chatting. The donut shop also happens to be a short walk from where we get the oil changed, so when I've got the kids with me it is the perfect way to wait for the van.

Our very favorite thing about The Donut Wheel is the donut holes. You get a dozen for just $.99, and the guy always throws in a few extras! On Wednesday Joe, Evie and I went to the post office and then walked over to get some donut holes. They were yum and fun and a great little treat!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Monterey Get Away

Ez travels for work to different parts of the state throughout the year to help teach a class. Typically he just goes by himself, but if the opportunity presents itself, the family will tag along. Last summer Ez had to go to San Diego, so the kids and I went with him, which was great fun.

Last week Ez headed to Monterey, and I went with him--without children!!! Thanks goes out to Grandma Jane for coming and taking care of the kids while we were gone. The trip was short--we left Wednesday at 9 a.m. and got home around noon on Friday, but it was just enough time to refresh.

Ez taught for about 4 hours on Wednesday and 7 hours on Thursday, which left plenty of time for us to enjoy each other's company. We ate a very fantastic dinner at the Chart House, breakfast in Carmel at the Tuck Box, lunch with a coworker...we ate so much food, but it was all delicious! We took a really lovely walk near the beach along 17-mile Drive, and another along the coast in Pacific Grove. It was just a really nice, relaxing time.

We briefly visited the Carmel Mission. We drove around (and fell in love with) Carmel. What a great little town! It reminded me of being a little girl and imagining myself in some of the great stories we would read--Carmel looks like you step right into a story book. Can you believe there are no street numbers on houses or stores? Everything is quaint and charming and full of neat little spots to discover. I loved it. Unfortunately it was rainy while we were there, so I didn't really get to walk around as much as I would have liked, but we'll definitely have to visit again. My Aunt Merrill recommended we eat breakfast at the Tuck Box. The food was so good, but the building was almost better. Honestly, I felt like I was in the White Rabbit's house from Alice in Wonderland. It was so neat.

A cute "story book" home

The Tuck Box

When Ez was teaching, I was left to entertain myself! Now, this is the first time in nearly 11 years that I have had time to myself (outside of after bedtime), without kids, for more than a couple of hours... or maybe even at all! Honestly. I was afraid I wouldn't know what to do with myself--but it turned out to be far easier than I expected. I walked around the mall in Pacific Grove. While walking through Macy's, I let a guy working at one of the make up counters do my make up, which was a first. It actually was rather fun--and he must have been pretty convincing, because I spoiled myself and bought some of the products. I wandered Cannery Row and had a great time finding the perfect little souvenirs for the kids. I drove out to the Point Pinos lighthouse, but got there after it closed, so I just viewed it from the gate. I visited the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. My very favorite activity, however, was sitting in front of the fireplace in our hotel room and reading. It was so peaceful and quiet, and warm!

Thanks, Ez for the GREAT vacation! Thank you, thank you, Jane, for taking care of our kids!

A few of the fun photos from the trip:

Along 17-Mile Drive

How cool is this?

Point Pinos Lighthouse

At the Monarch Sanctuary

Striking a pose

Us--taken with the timer on a crooked bench!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Trip to San Francisco

Keri's Aunt Merrill and Uncle Burgess were visiting some of Burgess's family in San Francisco a few weekends ago, and we got to head out for a visit! Ez unfortunately couldn't go because he had a prior commitment with a temple trip for the youth at church, and Alexis was spending the weekend at Grandma Jane's in Sacramento.

The drive to San Francisco was fine, then we got off the freeway. Somehow we took a wrong turn and ended up in the heart of downtown on a rather vertical street. After getting stuck in the middle of the road at a few red lights, we found our way off the scary street and back down to more level terrain. We finally found where we needed to be, by some stroke of magic and got to the house all in one piece.

The house is one of those very lovely homes built in 1892 that survived the San Francisco earthquake. The basement (or at least that is what I would call it), is just a large room with a little stage. It's the kids play room now, but I guess back in the day it was a ballroom of sorts. How cool is that? The view out the master bedroom is amazing--a perfect view of Alcatraz. Again, how cool is that? It was neat to experience such a home.

We all had a nice time visiting. Burgess's son and daughter in law have kids almost the same age as David, Lily, Joe, and Evie, so everyone had a friend to play with. His daughter, her husband, and their twin girls were there as well. We had yummy pizza for lunch and Merrill made Beignets for dessert--they were delicious! I didn't end up taking too many photos, unfortunately, but we all had a great time! We were so glad they thought to call and have us over to visit.

Evie LOVED the little roller coaster ride

The slide was pretty fun too

Joe played air hockey and was convinced he needed Aunt Merrill's assistance, although she didn't need to do much more that cheer him on!

David, Joe, Lily, Evie, and Uncle Burgess


I love this picture of Joe. He is winking at the camera, and his efforts just make me smile (note the tongue working hard to make only one eye closes). Joe is a funny boy. He has got so much personality. He is the kind of kid that people remember in the stores because he will just talk to anyone about anything.

He knows how to spell his name J-O-E, and is very aware of each of those letters in the world around him. He loves to point out when he notices them. One of his favorite things when he is in a store is to look at people's name tags. There is one cashier at Costco who is also named Joe. Joe LOVES to get in his line and chat with him. It's funny because the cashier always remembers him. The conversations at Costco are always funny because our Joe always asks the Costco Joe how come he has the same letters. Where did he get the name Joe, and why is it the same? I guess he needs to meet a few more people named Joe!

We love you, Joe!

Chef David

David has been working hard on fulfilling his requirements to earn his Bear in Scouts. One requirement was to make Oatmeal Cookies. David enjoys helping out with the cooking of food a lot, but mostly when it involves grilling or barbecuing outside with Ez, so cookies were a bit out of the ordinary for him.

It was fun to watch him make the cookies. He followed the recipe very carefully and did a great job. The cookies were delicious! The only thing mom did was put them in and out of the oven.

Job well done, David.