After 4+ years, we finally finished reading the Book of Mormon as a family!! So we asked the boys what they wanted to do to celebrate. Tyler wanted to go to Disneyland; Spencer voted for Baskin Robbins. We finally settled on bowling, but as you can see from the pictures, that didn't work out. Apparently there was a handicapped league tournament going on, so we got ice cream sundays and headed over to the airport museum instead. We'll try to go bowling another time, but we'll call first to make sure there's a lane open.Brennan kept saying "Wearr-wearr (airplane noise) up high!!"
We've gone there before, but it's been a few years and there's been lots of changes. Dallin is into action poses these days. He has to be moving when I take the picture, which doesn't always work out.
They even have a brand new facility for all their exhibits. I guess that's why it cost money this time. I seem to remember it was free before, but I could be wrong.
The boys love climbing in the helicopters and walking around all the planes. Here's another action pose from Dallin. Not sure what he was trying to do, but it was very deliberate. I don't remember being able to explore inside the tanks last time, and that was their favorite thing. They even found a "secret compartment" in one tank with all the machinery, but they were eventually told they had to get out because it was under construction. Here's Brennan burning up in a tank. It was a beautiful day - around 80 degrees, but it was much hotter in the metal tanks. I kept thinking of those poor soldiers in the middle east during the summer!
Dave knows the director of the museum, who let Spencer shoot the machine gun. That was a huge hit! But it was really loud and freaked Brennan out.
We had a successful first Pinewood Derby. Dave and Spencer worked on this car for several days, and the excitement was palpable. It turned out to be a very fast car. He lost a photo finish race with his cousin Alec, who ended up being undefeated. One car down - at least 11 more to go. I have to mention something that really impresses me about my kids. Whenever they get any kind of treat at school or church, they always save some to share with the family. It's almost comical, like when Tyler gets a little Tootsie Roll from school and tries to split it 4 ways. All the cub scouts got a bag of 4 car-shaped chocolates after the race. Spencer offered me one, and I said, "Spencer, you did all that work. You should eat them." And he told me he already had 2 of them, which was plenty. Then yesterday his class had an Easter egg hunt and he came home with a bunch of candy-filled plastic eggs. He shared them equally with everyone, saving some for Brennan to eat after his nap. When I thanked him for sharing, he said, "I think about if I had an older brother coming home with candy; I would want him to share with me." What a sweetheart.
Today the Performing Arts Club presented The Wizard of Oz, which the kids have been working on for the past couple of months. Braden was the Wizard, Spencer was a narrator, and Jacob and Tyler were Munchkins (Jacob was the coroner). They performed for the school this morning (my parents came up to watch it), and the evening show will be tomorrow night at 6:30. It's free of charge, and everyone is welcome to attend.
Spencer had lots of lines, and he did a great job remembering them, using expression and projecting his voice.
The Munchkins were so stinkin' cute! Tyler's line: "We thank-you very sweetly!" My friend Nancy directed the play and pretty much did everything. She's so amazing. The sets and costumes were awesome, and it all ran very smoothly. But most of all, my kids had a blast! They were up at 6:00 and ready for school by 6:30 this morning, totally excited and repeatedly telling me how much I was going to love it! It's so fun to watch them enjoy something this much.
I got to babysit that sweet baby Luke this morning while Kristen went to the dentist. And what better way is there to enjoy a baby than to set up a little photo shoot and capture the cuteness? None that I can think of.
It's officially spring, and we've been enjoying the warm weather and budding trees. This week it was in the upper 70's, so I called Kristen and my friend Monica, and we all met at the dragon park. Eric and Brennan had both been cranky all morning, but they perked up once they got there and had a fun time. Sometimes we need a change of scenery to get us out of a funk. Dallin and Preston (in the orange shirts) have a funny friendship. They are always SO excited to play together and never want to leave each other, but they spend most of their time together fighting. They are both stubborn and always have to win. We get them together to play once or twice a week, but their relationship is almost comical. It will be interesting to see how they like being in Kindergarten together next year.
Naturally the kids all ended up down by the creek, throwing rocks in the water. It is just such a fun activity, and it never gets old. It's supposed to cool down today and tomorrow with possible rain, which is good. But it's been nice to have a taste of perfect weather.
Yesterday was cub scouts, and we were all a bit surprised to find the church parking lot almost full when we got there. Apparently an older lady from the other ward died recently, and they were right in the middle of her funeral. Quite the scheduling conflict. It was a beautiful day, so we thought about staying outside. But we had a guest coming (the police officer), and we figured it would be hard for the boys to pay attention with all the distractions of nature. So we decided to go in the primary room instead, which is a safe distance away from the chapel. Before we ventured into the church, we explained to the boys the need to walk quietly down the hall - no running, no yelling, and definitely no Sharks and Minnows (the game they usually play in the gym upon arrival that involves both running and yelling). The next thing I know, there are boys chasing a basketball down the hall! Right next to the open chapel door!!! I wanted to smack them, but that would have created more attention, I'm sure. It all worked out in the end - we corralled them into the primary room, where they were contained and fairly respectful to the policeman. They especially liked the taser demonstration and getting hand-cuffed. Then we went outside to check out the police car and eat the shamrock-shaped sugar cookies I made. Disaster narrowly averted. Stay tuned: next week is the Pinewood Derby!
Today is my mom's birthday! Here are some things you may not know about her : 1. She only likes chocolate with nuts in it. 2. Her favorite Easter candy is chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs (wait a minute - those don't have any nuts) 3. Her favorite birthday cake is coconut cake (the small square ones you buy frozen). 4. She loves Star Trek. 5. She's been with me for the birth of all my babies, and she is so good at calming me down. 6. She had 9 children and would have had more if she could. 7. She has "become the most patient of women." 8. She makes up statistics if she can't remember the exact #'s, and we all believe her because she says it like it's fact. 9. She loves funny cards. 10. She wouldn't go anywhere without being prepared with a book in her purse. 11. She makes her own soda. 12. She has taught me to be confident and stand up for myself. 13. She has been hard of hearing forever; sometimes I wonder how much of it is selective hearing, since she never seems to notice critical comments. 14. She used to try to talk me into staying home from school when she thought I was getting too stressed. She had no problem writing me a sick note. 15. She loves sparkley things. 16. Her most dreaded chore around the house is vacuuming, so she bought one of those automatic ones. 17. The way my dad gets her to the temple is by tempting her with fine dining and a nice hotel. 18. Her favorite getaway back East was Williamsburg. Her favorite getaway in CA is Morro Bay, and she spent 3 days there by herself for her 60th birthday. 19. She loves movies; she goes to the movies once a week (if there's a movie my dad doesn't want to see she just goes by herself), and rents 5 videos at a time from the video store. 20. She is the best mom I could imagine. Happy birthday mom! I love you!!
As a member of the stake high council, Dave has speaking assignments in the different congregations throughout the stake every couple of months. This past Sunday he spoke in all three wards that meet in one building, and the boys and I went to the 11:00 one (what a perfect time to go to church). That's the ward that split off of ours 18 months ago, and it was fun to see all our old friends. Anyway, his topic to speak on was faith, and he opened it with a story about Spencer and the giant cabbage, comparing it to Alma 32. A couple years ago Spencer came home all excited about a giant cabbage seed his 1st grade teacher had given him. Dave said he was skeptical it would actually grow, because it was the middle of winter, our garden hadn't been prepped yet and the irrigation system wasn't set up. But he hoped it would grow for Spencer's sake (even if ye can no more than desire to believe), so we told him to plant it in the garden and water it. Sure enough, the thing grew (I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow), and Spencer continued to water it, weed around it and pick the caterpillars off the leaves (let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit). Several months later we harvested the largest cabbage we'd ever seen, and we ate cabbage for a week straight: cabbage soup, Chinese cabbage salad, and stuffed cabbage (ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not). I thought it was a great analogy.
We had a fun trip to Fresno this weekend. We dicovered recently that our annual zoo pass expires at the end of March, and we've been wanting to go to the Fresno Zoo before it gets too hot. So we headed up Friday evening, bringing my nephew Jonathan with us to watch our kids while we went to the temple. First we dropped everyone off at the hotel, then we hurried over to the temple, getting to the last session with 5 minutes to spare.
The next morning Kristen's family drove up, dropped their kids off with us at the hotel, and went to do a session. We had a fun time playing with Luke. My kids just can't get over how cute he is. Spencer says, "I haven't seen a baby that cute in a long time!"
Then we met Kristen and Nathan after their session and had a picnic lunch by the temple before going to the zoo.
The weather could not have been more perfect - sunny and warm but not too hot. Spencer is soaked from petting the sting rays. One great thing about that zoo is that all the exhibits are nice and close together, so it requires a lot less walking than other zoos we know. In case you're wondering, the San Diego Zoo is not made for kids.We knew Brennan would love the zoo! He spent very little time in the stroller this time and had to get picked up to see all the animals better. His favorites were probably the elephants and tiger. He could have watched them all day.
Luke cooperated very nicely and slept in the stroller almost the whole time. He did wake up a bit at the end, and Kristen put him in her cute Moby wrap Marrisse made her. Afterwards we picked up pizza and headed home. There was some frustration with the van when it did that annoying transmission thing, but we turned it off and on a few times, and it worked fine after that. It was a fun weekend.
I got my hair cut and colored this week, and my head feels pounds lighter. My hair is so dang thick - my hairdresser has to thin it out a ton and can never get over how much hair is on the floor when we're done. She just has to point it out to everyone there. I ran into an older lady from church getting her hair colored also, and when she saw me she said, "Now you know my secret!" Heck, I'm getting grey hair too, and I'm only 32. That's why I have to highlight it - to cover up the yucky grey. That night at enrichment my friends were complimenting me and asking about my hairdresser. I told them I like her because she knows how to handle my crazy thick hair and because she's so cheap - $50 for a cut and color. They were shocked - one girl just spent $120 for the same thing, and she said her husband was ticked. Dave loves my hair and said I should go as often as I want to.
The theme in cub scouts this month is When I Grow Up. So for our den meeting today we took a little field trip to the fire station downtown. I ended up bringing Brennan with me because he woke up from his nap clingy with a slight fever - I didn't want to leave him with someone like that. But as soon as we got there he totally perked up and loved it.We had 7 cub scouts and 4 adults, and the boys did a really good job listening, being respectful, and asking/answering questions. Shwew! It could have gone either way - you know how 8-10 year old boys can be. There was some excitement when they got a call during the tour, and it was fun to watch them rush off.
But there were more firemen around to finish the tour. They gave us a ton of free stuff at the end - frisbees, magnets, wooden airplanes, coloring books, tattoos and stickers. They even gave Brennan a little stuffed dalmatian. Next week we are going to have a policeman come to our den meeting.
Dave and I are overly-informed consumers. We just have to research a product to death before we can actually choose one. Our printer broke a few weeks ago, but we couldn't seem to replace it because we had to read all the reviews first to get the right one. We recently discovered a good product research site, but the thing about research is that you'll find problems with everything. I kept copying down model numbers I saw at the stores then looking them up online. People hated them all. The ones that did get good reviews cost several hundred dollars - more than we wanted to pay. Finally on Saturday we decided we just had to choose one - I needed to print out my lesson for Sunday and Dave has to print out his talk for next week. I mean seriously - this is not a major purchase. We just need it to print. Plus my scanner broke awhile ago, so I wanted an all-in-one. We ended up with a Canon MP480 for $80, which got decent reviews and had a good resolution scanner. It works great so far - printers have really come a long way since the last time we bought one. Mostly it just feels good to have the thing decided. I had no idea how much we print around here. Spencer scanned this picture to put in his ocean book. He painted it in 1st grade, and it's hanging up in his ocean bedroom.
Tyler received an award at school today for being dependable. He is also the first one in his class to earn his Self-Manager award. It's a program they have at school in which the kids are rewarded for good behavior and get extra privileges. Like when it's time for lunch or recess and the class is lining up, the self-managers can just go and don't have to wait in line.
I've started taking Brennan to story time at the library every Friday morning. It's so cute to watch him sit still, listen to the books, and do the motions to the songs.
I went to the Scouting Round Table last night and won a free haircut at a barbershop, men only. What the heck am I going to do with that? Other people won fun things like free pizzas and gift certificates for a local steakhouse.
Brennan learned how to climb out of his crib! I never look forward to this milestone. He ended up sleeping on his floor at nap time. This could be a problem at bedtime, though, since Dallin likes to keep the door open
Dallin has decided to change his name to Mr. Dude.
Dave & I went out to lunch twice this week. I love having him work closer.
Spencer scored the most points when his class played basketball. Not bad for the shortest kid in the class.
I finally got around to doing our taxes, and we're getting much less back this year. Dang those tax brackets. Plus we were getting so much back the past few years that we reduced our withholdings. At least we don't owe money - I was sweating it there for awhile.
Today was exciting - we registered Dallin for Kindergarten! He is so excited about going. But I think that when I register Brennan in a few years, I will pick up the forms, fill them all out at home and just drop them off at the office later. It took me 45 minutes, and the whole time Dallin and Brennan were running around the office like crazy people. The office staff is super nice there (can you imagine if that happened in Maryland??) and just smiled at them, but it drove me nuts. It was fun to see all the teachers come and go while we were there; everyone was happy to see we'll be having another student attending next year. Tyler's teacher came up to me and told me some of the cute things he's said in class recently. She's right - he is a sweetheart. I wonder what kind of student Dallin will be. One thing is for sure - he'll finally be kept busy enough. We made play dough today. He wanted to bake something, but we already have cheesecake in the fridge, and I don't like to have more than 1 perishable dessert in the house at one time. There's nothing more depressing than throwing away moldy sweets.
After Saturday morning chores, Spencer and Tyler asked if we could go to the bay so they could spend allowance money on shells. We had spent the last few Saturdays doing projects around the house, so we agreed it would be fun to go somewhere.First we ate lunch at our favorite fish and chips/french dip restaurant on the embarcadero. It was so warm we decided to eat outside. In fact the boys complained they were too hot, the crazies.
Then we walked down to the Shell Shop where Spencer and Tyler spent a very long time deciding what to buy. Tyler ended up getting a huge sand dollar (upper right) and Spencer got choral and a shell. And we made it out of there without breaking anything, which is always an accomplishment. After Tyler bought this shell, he went around showing us all the money the cashier gave back to him "because she's so nice!"
Then we drove to the bike path down by the rock and road scooters and such. We ended up at a little beach on the bay side, where the kids explored, climbed on rocks and found lizards, hermit crabs, sea anemone and of course more shells. And no one got too wet, which is amazing.