Monday, June 29, 2009

More fun with Dylan

We have been busy busy playing, and there is still more to come! Isn't summer grand? Friday we had the twin club playgroup planned for Cascade Springs. Unfortunately it was rainy rainy so we opted for the indoor activity of the dinosaur museum. How often do you have to cancel activities in JUNE because of weather? Sheesh. It was 90 today though and will be the rest of the week so perhaps my extended Spring is over. Anywho the dino museum was fun except that my children were being naughty. They know the dino museum very very well and weren't as interested in going as I had hoped. In addition it was crazy busy which was surprising to me. The combo was not good and one moment Davis was next to me and the next gone. Carter was distracted by a game and the friends I was with were nice enough to keep an eye on him (though they also had 2 children each to tend) while I ran around the place trying to find the offending child. They have both been acting up lately and it's driving me nuts! I don't know if it is having their cousin here so they are showing off (not that we aren't loving having them here, seriously Becky if I could hide your plane tickets and you would stay forever, I would) or they're not feeling or sleeping well or they just hate me. Who know!? They are having potty issues again too--I can't handle this again! It was SO long to get them trained and the accidents are springing up again. I'm upping the trips to the potty and brought back the rewards chart as well as removing some rewards for accidents. I'm hoping that will work . . .and quickly. Anywho, back to the story, I chased all over the museum and returned to the original spot to find my child with a toy from the gift shop. That means he ran all the way out, stole a toy, and ran back in. Maybe stole is a strong word, he brought it to me to buy for him. Argh! It was still nice to visit with friends. Friday night we took the boys and Dylan to Jungle Jim's (a little kid's ride place in Midvale). They had loads of fun and Lowell was nice enough to get them a bunch of tokens--he said getting to trade the tickets you won with them was the best part. We got 135 tickets which would get each child 2 small toys and a little candy. The employee carefully totaled them up while the boys asked for a pirate ball and I said no because we didn't have enough tickets. He turned around and said, you have 600 tickets. I just looked at him and he said, I gave you a few extra. What a nice guy!! The kids got their balls and more than they could even think of wanting. Sure they were just lame little toys, but the kids were in heaven and I was so surprised. Riding the Jeeps--my poor abused camera died shortly after we got there, so not many pics to share. One funny thing to share, on the way home I smelled a stink and was concerned someone had pooped their pants--so I asked and Davis answered, Dylan did! Poor Dylan (6) was like no way, I poop in the potty. So quick to sell out their friends.

Saturday was the Penrod family reunion. I was able to sneak out of work early and join everyone for a BBQ up the canyon. It was a nice place to play, I was a little worried with my kiddos so close to the river, but they ended up listening to my warnings. Only a couple of family members (beyond Lowell's immediate family) were able to come, but it was still nice to meet them and spend some time with the cousins. The boys met a family playing frisbee and decided that could be their family. I tried to drag them away but they kept going back and the family said they were okay so I just watched them play. Such nice people.

By the end it was almost 4 o' clock and the boys fell asleep as soon as they got in the car. We drove around a while to keep them that way and I got to check out Sunflower Market in Orem. Fun store, lots of cool little things you don't find other places like Dutch cheese and my fav gummy bears, oh and 59 cents/lb for nectarines (my fav!!). When we got home Lowell wanted to mow the lawn which is not easy with 2 boys who want to ride the mower and chase it around so my mom and dad were kind enough to go to the gardens with us. We had one issue when Davis jumped into a golf cart and drove it into the building(!) but luckily it was only 6 inches away so no damage done. Seriously this kid is trying to kill me this week. A good run and dinner with a playplace later, we were all ready for bed.

So, today we drove up to Cascade Springs having been thwarted in the previous attempt. It wasn't as long a drive as I remembered and I even drove it fine myself so that was good. The boys weren't in the best moods (tired I think) but they managed. Here's some shots.


Thank you for cheesing for mama, even if I had to bribe you.

All 3 boys getting a drink

The boys checking out a caterpillar the park guide showed them, you can just see it between them on a leaf, it is black and orange and luckily they didn't want to take it home, certainly a death sentence I did not want to fulfill.

So, busy days. Tomorrow we are going to the zoo, then I hope to meet up with my bro for his b-day lunch (Tucano's!), then my best friend and fam who have a layover at the airport, and then go to the Oquirrh Mountain open house. Now that's a full day. Wednesday we'll be going to Sadie's funeral :( and then have a very fun surprise for the kiddos. Stay tuned. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Better late than never--we had a great Father's Day! My family came up and we had an abundance of grilled beef and some nice time to visit. Lowell got the TempurPedic pillow he's been wanting, a fishing pole, and a flashlight. He is the best daddy ever! I'm sure everyone says that, but I swear, Lowell is something else. From the moment he knew the kiddos were on their way he transformed. He was good to begin with but he just got better and better. I remember well the first kick he felt, his boys saying hello. He was attached from day 1, running between hospitals to bring me videos of my little Carter and refusing the nurse's suggestions that he not touch the little man ("He's my son, I'm going to touch him!"). He took turns getting up with the kiddos to feed and change them at night and amazingly learned to live on very little sleep, a feat for Lowell. He was a very active father from the beginning, always loving on his little men. Shortly after I went back to work Lowell changed jobs so that he could be home at night with the boys. This has allowed him a LOT of time with his kids and he loves, almost, all of it.

And oh my goodness do they love their dad! The boys are crazy about Lowell--they look just like him and have picked up quite a few of his mannerisms as well.

I know it isn't always easy with the boys but Lowell is always trying to be better and to be the best dad that he can be.

He also loves me and is the best hubby which is part of being a good daddy too.

He is a wonderful leader and example in our home.

We love you honey!

We have been so excited to have Lowell's sister Becky and my nephew Dylan up to visit. Saturday we all went to the Fugal reunion and had some fun. It was great to see Lowell's grandma, she is such a sweet little lady and I love that the boys are getting to know her. She had twin girls, so we relate on that level. The boys got together with their cousins and second cousins and threw rocks, climbed on old cars, played on the amazing swings Lowell's talented grandpa made, and generally got dirty. They are old enough to tag along with the big kids now and just love it. Lowell enjoyed watching them do the same things he used to do as a kid. The boys adore Dylan, he is 6 and has been great to let them follow him around. He's the best babysitter ever! He'll jump with them and play for hours. It will be a sad day when they go home.
Yesterday I had the Biggest Loser group from my ward over for a cook off challenge. And surprise--I won! Here's a link to the winning recipe if you're interested, only 110 calories, but you'd never know! I swapped out the vanilla pudding for cheesecake (pudding), yum! http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/low-fat-raspberry-summer-sensation-74024.aspx Then Becky and I took the kids to play at the gardens. Such fun! I've been a slacker with my camera, but Becky took lots of pics, so I will post them on here eventually. Last night she spoiled us by letting us go out to dinner and the midnight showing of Transformers. I got to use my Mimi's coupon :) :) and I stayed awake for the movie, that has to count for something! I did enjoy it, though the theater was crazy! I felt the movie was overly-written for teenage boys, lots of crude humor, language, and sensuality--more than the previous movie anyway. I thought the plot was well done, though it was long and intense. And it was more funny than the first, I laughed, but sometimes it seemed a little forced. Today we caught up with Anthony and Andrew to go see Space Chimps. It was cute, not great, but good. Then time to play at the park--life is grand!

I did finish Harry Potter 6 and watching the preview for it last night I was glad. It's amazing how little I remembered of my first reading. My thyroid condition causes memory issues, and mine are bad! But it makes rereading books fun, almost like the first time. I am now reading Jules Verne "Around the World in 80 days". So far I like it, though I enjoyed some of his more sci-fi tales (Journey to the Center of the Earth, Mysterious Island) more than this more realistic book. Of course I have a ways to go, there may be surprises yet! Plus I'll fill that need with the next book I'm reading, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea".

Oh and I almost forgot some fun news--I was released from nursery and as a VT supervisor and called to be the magazine rep (score!).

If you get a chance, will you all say a quick prayer for some friends/old neighbors of ours? Their little daughter Sadie is at the end of her battle with a brain tumor. She is only 6. http://sadiehuish.blogspot.com/. Just another reminder to cherish your little ones. Loves!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Splish Splash

The weather has warmed up enough (at least a couple of days this week) that we have gotten some water play in, hooray! Tuesday my darling Hillary joined me for a visit to the children's museum. It was fun but quite busy, not only all the craziness of little kids running around but also a school group. Plus you always meet that mom, you know the one that yells at your kid and basically pushes them out of the way for her kid. And then I have to be "that" mom, the one who informs said mom that those actually were my kid's balls and she can just bug off. I don't know why, but almost every time we play with the balls at the museum another mom and I get into it. It's probably me, but don't tell my kid what to do when he isn't doing anything wrong!
Anywho, they had a coupon for a free kiddie cone with each adult cone at none other than Haggen Daz, so yes, we took advantage of the offer. I didn't realize that the ice cream shop was all the way across the Gateway mall and we were all on foot--most notably the kids were free. But my darling little gentleman did awesome! I didn't even have to hold their hands the whole time, they paid attention, stayed close, and stayed on task. Wow! We did a quick maneuver before they saw the arcade but certainly a success. Davey was nervous on the escalator and I realized they have probably never been allowed on one on their own feet. Being carried or on the stroller (in the elevator of course) but it just shows how they are growing that they were behaved enough to walk the mall on their own. Davis chose "black" ice cream, which turned out to be chocolate and a last minute change had Carter with the same. A little lady in the shop saw them and said they should make a video--identical (??) twins with identical ice creams. I figured I could at least take a picture.

And no of course I didn't deviate from my diet for a single scoop cookie dough cone. Never. We then walked a l l the way back, past the museum to the fountains. The boys did great again, dripping ice cream as they went but just content to follow and enjoy the scenery. I love those monkeys! They were timid with the fountains at first but once they saw the other kids playing (and taking their shirts off, didn't want them to get wet) they were off and running.
Cool steam would come up from time to time--this was their favorite
So cool in their sunglasses and chocolate faces--Carter managed to wash his off

Who knows what Davis is doing? Having fun I guess First timers warming up their tummies on the cement, childhood flash backs here I come Silly boys, such a good day! Thanks again Hillary! Tuesday night I had the crazy idea of rearranging Carter's closet. See, the cribs had built in drawers, and since switching to the big boy beds we have been short storage space. I decided I really had to pack the fall stuff away and only have summer in their chest of drawers and then I'll switch again in the fall. This had to be tackled pronto as there was 3 weeks of laundry folded and waiting with no where to go. Here was the before pile(s): Note: 1) My children as always have toooo many clothes (bad mommy addicted to sales and dressing her doll babies. 2) Who knew 6 month clothes on up were squished down in the bottom of the closet? 3) Curse me when I found a lovely pair of church pants still with tags on, size 24 months :(. 4) Yeah, said pants were just as long as the 3Ts thanks to Osh Kosh running so big. They are on the rack now ready for Sunday. 5) My kids fit in clothes for 2 seasons, so sorting is an adventure 6) I shop a season in advance so I have lots of 4T stuff to sort out also Final product, 1 box 6-18 months odds and ends, one box 24 mos/2T, and 2 crates 3T/4T, yeah for me! This project resumed Wednesday night when I cleaned out the rest of the closet. Wow, that was overdue. So happy to have it done though. It's hard to get to the boys' closets as I clean when they are sleeping, and obviously they sleep where their closets are. We tried to make a visit to my mom's that night but Carter was snoozing before we hit the freeway. One silly little boy needs to realize he still needs his nap. He's still my sweetie though. He drew this pic for me: He says it's Mommy and Tarter and Dadis. Maybe all our time together is paying off. I've been getting a lot of hugs and "I loves you Mommy", and request for snuggles. Sweetie Peties. Wednesday during the day we enjoyed another summer movie with Anthony and Andrew and then some play time at the park. It is so fun to watch their little friendships budding. Davis insisted on sitting in the same seat as Andrew during the movie. So cute sitting together munching on popcorn. Then between the theater and the park they freaked out any time they couldn't see their car. So funny--fun for me too, I rather enjoy visiting with their mommy. :)

Today was another rare warm day and while I had lots more cleaning to do (preparing for Lowell's sister and my nephew who came today and will be staying for a couple of weeks) we still managed to get outside and try out the new slip and slide. This is trickier than I thought--I think they don't have the weight to keep the motion going Just jump and slide at the end, that's the fun part anyway :)
video

And a video which again illustrates just how bad a mommy I am. Yes that's me, laughing :)

They did get the hang of it eventually or at least enough to play. Plus no one ever said the only way to enjoy it was to use it the proper way. Just splashing at the end held plenty of entertaining value.

All snuggled up and warm--good times!

So busy week ahead, tomorrow is the Fugal (Lowell's mom's side) family reunion in Redmond, UT. Sunday Father's Day festivities, Tuesday the Biggest Loser group will be at my house, Wednesday more movies!, Friday UVMOM playgroup at Cascade Springs and my SIL's baby shower, and Saturday the Penrod family reunion. Should be crazy, I mean fun. :/

Monday, June 15, 2009

Firebooms!

It will sound ridiculous, but I have been totally patting myself on the back for getting out with the munchkins. It seems like the simplest thing to simply take your own children somewhere but until very recently it has just been beyond me. I was too scared of them taking off or not staying together or getting stolen but once we set down some ground rules (i.e. the moment you 2 do not stay right with me we are going home) things have gone surprisingly well. Cyndel wasn't able to go to the zoo and the boys were planning on it so I took them myself! 2.5 hours and a bird show all by my lonesome. Again, probably not something to really cheer about, but for me--hip hip hooray! We are actually bonding more this way too, not sure why, it's like the boys are thankful (shock, gasp!). We did the first summer movie on Wednesday and met up with their best buddies--twins only a month older than they are. And another shock, all 4 boys did great and made it through the whole movie. It's almost like they are growing up! Friday I enjoyed my cousin Mike's wedding (sealings are always so fun), visiting with the fam, and most of all free breakfast at Mimi's. Thanks Kari for the tip--if you register on http://www.mimiscafe.com/, they will email you a free breakfast. Yup, totally free--I had amazing cream cheese stuffed french toast (diet, what diet??) with bacon, eggs, hash browns, a huge muffin, and OJ for FREE. My mom did too, fabulous time! They also sent me a belated b-day $10 off coupon (I don't know anyone that does that) and I just checked the website and they have a free dessert coupon up. I have a sneaking suspicion I will be eating at Mimi's more often. A few people have asked me for my list of b-day freebies and I found one better than mine to pass along. http://www.savvyshopperdeals.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,2/topic,70.0 This had some I hadn't registered for yet, but now I have! Sign up for your kids too. Never pay full price to eat out. (Make sure to scroll through all the posts)
Anywho, Saturday was Orem's summerfest so we followed up on our plans to go see the "firebooms" with Lowell's family. Can you believe we were trying on this fall's rain coats to go see fireworks?? This has been the oddest June for me. Not complaining though, I love the cooler weather. Except for the wet, it could stay this way forever. The wet is a bummer for carnivals, camping, swimming, going to the park . . .all our summer mainstays. Osh Kosh coats (bought them this spring for $6)

Best friends--I have a million of these shots, but I'll keep taking them! Their eye colds(allergies, sinus infection????) are finally clearing up though some tummy issues were starting today (ugh!). Whatever it is, they are sleeping great so I'm not going to complain.


Watching from Daddy's shoulders


Too distracted by his cool new glasses. Oh well.

The rain stopped just in time, very cool. And yesterday, well, yesterday I spent the entire day working on a photo book. I have some free ones that will expire soon and I was determined to get some done. Usually I just take their premade books, throw in some pics, and fire it off. But now artscow has added designer scrapbook kits. Oh my, way too much fun. I couldn't just go the easy route, I had to spend hours. I still used some premade pages, but as I made it an ABC book each one had to modified and then some I created. I couldn't be more proud of the finished product, check it out!

http://www.artscow.com/share/hnykbvhv594l

A fun quirk to artscow is that they will let you copy other books exactly. Like my book minus pics and text and all you have to do is throw in the pics. Except of course I couldn't find one I liked. But if anyone wants to use mine, feel free. One caution--some of the kits are free, but only for a week, that week expires on Sunday at which point you would have to pay to use those kits (between .99 and 2.99). Also some I did pay for, either for this book or a previous project so there is some cost tacked on to the free plus $7.99 shipping charge. I ended up spending $12 per book. Oh and if you need any free book codes--I have 3 left so let me know.

Sunday on the blog

Okay, so Sunday ended 3.75 hrs ago, but since I am here (insert tired laugh here--a family emergency for the person on call has necessitated [is that a word? it is 3 am after all] me be on call tonight even though I was here a l l day and oh yeah will be here a l l the rest of today . . .) I thought I would share from this month's home teaching lesson--which I did read before they came, but ours our so wonderful and did a great job sharing it with the kiddos. Anywho--here you go (don't you love Elder Uchtdorf?)

Lift
In order to get an airplane off the ground, you must create lift. In aerodynamics, lift happens when air passes over the wings of an airplane in such a way that the pressure underneath the wing is greater than the pressure above the wing. When the upward lift exceeds the downward pull of gravity, the plane rises from the ground and achieves flight.
In a similar way, we can create lift in our spiritual life. When the force that is pushing us heavenward is greater than the temptations and distress that drag us downward, we can ascend and soar into the realm of the Spirit.

Dictionaries describe lift as carrying or directing from a lower to a higher position; the power or force available for raising to a new level or altitude; a force acting in an upward direction, opposing the pull of gravity.1
The Psalmist sets the goals even higher: “Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul” (Psalm 25:1) and “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord” (Psalm 121:1–2).
We lift our eyes toward the God of heaven by cultivating our own personal spirituality. We do it by living in harmony with the Father; the Son, our Savior; and the Holy Ghost. We do it by striving to be truly “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19).

P.S. Reservations are available for the Oquirrh mountain temple open house (Daybreak).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Introducing Fish and Fishy

First off I need to give a little shout out to my hubby Lowell's blog. He'll grumble because he is a pretty private person, but his last blog post was so eloquent, I want to share! It's http://spazmatic-lowell.blogspot.com/. Amazing to have a husband that is better than me in nearly every way. I love you hon!

This past Friday I took the munchkins to the Pony Express Days (Eagle Mountain) carnival. They had discount unlimited ride wristbands sold in advance, so we could ride all we wanted for 3 days for $18 (each). We only went 2 days but we certainly got our money's worth, riding every ride several times. The boats

The fun house--they did this one over and over and over. It was nice to not have to say no because I didn't have enough tickets.

"Why does my mom have to be the weirdo who keeps taking pictures?"

The motorcycles

And the highlight of the day--fishies. Just for kicks I let the boys play the ball in the bowl wins a fish in a bag game. I really didn't think they'd win, but part of going to a carnival right? Carter got one in on his first try! 23 balls later we hadn't gotten another one but the worker was very kind in letting Davis have a fish any way. They couldn't be more proud. They told everyone how they had won a fishy. Shortly thereafter it started to rain (pour) so we hurried off only to get drenched going to WalMart to get Fish and Fishy (they are creative with the names aren't they?) proper bowls. Oh well, my happy kids were worth it.

Here's an up close shot of one of the fish, as taken by Carter with my stolen camera. There are many more like this and some shots of the counter if you are interested.

Fish and Fishy settled in their new homes--they have lived 3 days, Lowell says that means they just might make it! I am prepping myself for the heartbreak if they go the way of most carnival fish, however.

The next best part of the "carnibal" for Davis was the cotton candy. Here he is in a sugar-laced stupor brought on by the pink stuff.

And Carter has unfortunately been battling eye allergies. He's a happy boy, but it still makes me sad. Lowell got it as a boy as well--eye gooing shut each night. :(
Sunday I'm pleased to announce Davis stayed in sharing time for the first time ever and Carter stayed through class for the first time. They each spent the other half with me in nursery, but still it's progress! Someday they just may do an entire tour in sunbeams, I can't imagine. Then if I were released from nursery, oh the possibilities are endless!
I'll end with a fun shot I took just before leaving for work today. Lowell had trimmed all the dead out of one of our trees and the boys thought the left over branches were just ever so fun. They assembled them all and told me it was "Madagascar". Then it was "Finding Nemo". Such great imaginations, I love it!

Up this week, tomorrow, zoo with Cyndel, Wednesday the Summer movie club with Anthony and Andrew, and Friday my cousin's wedding. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer Fun

Same old same old here. I always say that but the same old is actually pretty fun I think. Sunday night we finally managed S'mores with the fire pit. It was short lived, but fun nonetheless. I can't wait to get out and do the real thing. We've been scouting out Willow Park, it is a campground like 7 minutes from our house, so easy to escape if necessary. Hmmm . . .nothing beats the smell of the pine trees though. Soon. Davis loves the gooey goodness. And fire.

The boys and I ran around a lot of my days off this week--it is finally getting to where I can take them places on my own. I probably could have all along, but just now I feel safe enough that they will stay with me and kind of obey. Tuesday we did a grand tour of Thanksgiving Point, the children's garden to swim and then a jog for me around the main gardens. Then to the dino museum and McDonald's to check out Lehi's new PlayPlace--pretty cool similar to the nice one in East Bay, but now closer. :)

Wednesday we braved the Aquarium for the first time, patting myself on the back for that one. And it went well, we spent a whole hour exploring and then caught the Rainforest show with talking birds and a giant boa constrictor they got to pet. I've only gone in the evening with Lowell, who knew there were live shows? Yeah! That afternoon after redeeming my Red Robin birthday lunch (thanks for joining Robbie!) and feeling entirely out of place at the fabric store looking for WallE and Mickey Mouse fabric for some projects in the boys' rooms (they didn't have it and yeah, that's just not my thing--good thing I have a mom) we decided to scout out some new hiking trails. I researched kid friendly trails in Utah and Battle Creek Falls was a top one. Plus it was just off 200 So in PG (could have been North, don't ever use me for directions!). Lowell has lived here his whole life and had never seen this trail.The first half we were concerned because there was no water and no one else on the trail. But the kids were plugging along fine and it is always nice just being outside. Then we passed this:


A holding pool that drained into irrigation piping, so that's where the water went! The trail got a little tougher from here out but also more scenic with the rushing water.

Here's a fun little bridge we crossed


And a mini cave the boys were fascinated by

Davis couldn't be hiking unless he was carrying a pile of rocks--you have to be ready to throw them in the river at all times!

Up and down again we found this:

Sideways me and the boys at the falls

And a straight view. Wow, who knew this was back there? It was gorgeous! I stood and just let the spray blow my hair back, delightful. Ahhh . . .and just 1.2 miles round trip. We'll be back!

We then went to redeem my free birthday cone from Baskin Robbins, here's Carter's

And Davis's

And mine. I took a pic as it is my last extravagant treat for while, sigh (though I only ate half--my eyes are bigger than my stomach). Today I joined a Biggest Loser group with my ward so the diet commences. I am really hoping to double my output while limiting my input and praying it finally makes a difference. I run 9 miles a week at the gym but in 18 months have barely lost 5 lbs. Darn thyroid! Well, this time around I am throwing in some supplements my doctor recommended and really stepping up the plan, so here's hoping it works. No loss if not, I still get to hang out with some sweet gals from my ward who I really truly don't know at all since they put me in nursery as soon as we moved in and nearly 2 years later I am still there.

I finished Michael Crichton's Next and while I enjoyed it, it isn't my favorite. It follows the same line as State of Fear, except with genetic engineering concerns instead of global warming (by the way, read State of Fear, such an awesome book!). It was rather technical at times, but good for me since I am in the field and such concerns come up now and again--I'm tempted to count some of it for continuing education! Coming from reading 2 character driven novels (Gone with the Wind and New Moon) Next felt especially lacking in character development and plot. It was very choppy and jumpy as Crichton often is but I didn't feel enough resolution in the end. Some story lines were very interested to me though, Dave and Gerard being the top. On to Harry Potter 6--preparing for the movie, and wow I have forgotten everything in the years since I read it--and trying to get through Parenting the Strong-Willed Child which has been put off long enough.

P.S. I almost forgot! For those wondering about "Caterpillar's" fate, he was dead by morning, then Carter broke him in half and told Lowell he was "broken". So to a watery grave he went. Yesterday he had a new Rolly Polly until he stopped "working". I think those 2 will annihilate the entire Rolly Polly population in our neighborhood!