Monday, March 31, 2014

Kate's massive bed head

Kate woke up yesterday with the most awesome, amazing bed head I think I have ever seen.  These pictures don't do it justice.

I'm pretty sure she's my favorite side kick so far in my mothering years.  I genuinely enjoy having her by my side all day, every day.  She is so sweet, thoughtful, soft spoken, and helpful.

A few weeks ago, after a family movie night with Frozen, Kate came to me, snuggled up to me, and said, "mom, I will never, ever shut you out".  At first I wasn't sure what she was referring to or talking about.  She repeated it again, with a lot of emotion and more tight hugs.  I told her that I would never shut her out either, then asked where she had heard that.  From Frozen, of course.  The little sister says it to the older sister at one point in the movie.  Then she continued to hug me tight and tell me she loved me soooooo much.  So sweet.

Another Kate funny:  yesterday on our way home from church, Mason commented on how dry EmmaClaire's hands were, how her skin was cracking and flaky.  I said, "I'm pretty sure EmmaClaire is half lizard or maybe crocodile".  

That comment was followed my Abby saying, "we'll, Andersen is half dinosaur" (because he has a massive ridge of bone down the center of how head. . . Very noticeable with his summer buz haircuts").  Then Andersen agreed, and added that he might be half monkey too because he loves to climb trees. 

The conversation went on for a little while like that, then kind of died down.  After a quiet moment, Kate, as serious as could be, said "I'm pretty sure I am half princess".  And of course, we all had to agree with that.  She is our little princess. Sweet as ever.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Break

All but Taylor had one week off from school this year, and Taylor had 2 weeks off.  He stayed busy with tennis practice, lots of fun social activities, and a good amount of work.  He also had to read and annotate a big fat novel for AP English.  I was grateful he stayed busy and focused, because its no fun when teenagers get bored around here.

With the rest of the kids, we planned a fun activity every day after work and cleaning was finished.  Monday, we rode horses at Mima and Papa's house all afternoon.  Papa hired Mason and Taylor for the day to help paint, do yard work, and saddle horses for us.  

Tuesday, I took the kids to a new park in Mesa with about 6 other families in our neighborhood/ ward.  Everyone had a buddy, and the park provided fun for all ages.  Then a quick trip to check on the rental house, then hair cuts with all the girls, then a party for Taylor's friends at our house in the evening.  He invited about 6 kids to come over and play games.  22 kids shows up.  I spent about $50 on treats, candy, ice cream and toppings, chips and salsa, popcorn, etc.  within an hour, all the snacks and treats were gone.  The kids seemed to have a good time playing board games, visiting, jumping on the tramp, eating, basketball in the front, frisbee, etc. . . 

Wednesday, we recovered our house from the teenage disaster in the morning, then went swimming with some good friends in their heated pool all afternoon and into the early evening.  It was a perfect, warm but not too hot, kind of day.  Then we headed home and quickly packed the car for a cabin trip and left for the mountains as soon as John got home from work.

All Thursday and Friday, John took all but Kate to the ski resort.  It was the first time for EmmaClaire and Andersen, and John spent the bulk of the first day with them, teaching, coaching, helping, and encouraging them.  Andersen picked it up really well and seemed to enjoy it a lot.  EmmaClaire did well also but got scared and nervous a few times, which turned into drama, tears, and an "I can't" attitude. John is so loving and patient with that kind of thing.  Mason and Taylor tried snow boarding both days and continue competing about who is a better snow boarder.  They loved it.  Abby did well also, but didn't ever want to challenge herself and improve, but enjoyed staying within her comfort zone and taking things slow. . . Reminded of me as a snow skier.

I really, really wanted to ski with the kids.  But with being 7 months pregnant with #7, John wouldn't let me.  Way too protective.  So what did I do while everyone was having fun?  I took Kate sledding a few times, put together and served snacks and lunch to all the skiers throughout the day, cleaned the cabin, and read lots of books with Kate.  I kind of felt like a mommy-slave.  Was it a vacation?  No, not at all.  Was it "fun" for me?  Not in the least.  But it was rewarding and fulfilling to watch my kids grasp a skill/ hobby that they'll be able to enjoy for the rest of their lives, and to see them gain confidence and enjoy their time together up on the slopes.  All worth it!  On our drive home,  I asked John if he had "fun".  He hesitated ( he didn't get to ski at his level much because of working with the kids the majority of the time).  Then he said, " I'd consider it an investment in the future.  You teach them now, and we'll all get to enjoy it together for years to come".  So true.  

We got home Saturday in time to unpack, clean up, and enjoy a neighborhood BBQ.  

Fun, busy, enjoyable week.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

As goes with tradition, we heart attacked ourselves towards the beginning of February for a family home evening activity.  It's been fun to read, then reread all the love notes throughout the past few weeks.  

Here are a few close-ups.

We also received a Valentine in the mail from my mom and from her mom, my Grandma Bennion, who stayed with us over the weekend.  I laughed at how similar they are.  Like mother, like daughter.

 From my parents. . . 

And from my grandparents. . . 

Lots of love in our house this past month.