Thursday, February 18, 2016

She's 3

For her birthday we played her favorite game, pretend you are an animal.  She has given herself a name for each type of animal game we play-- "Pillow" the cat, "Emily" the dog, "Squeak" the dolphin, and "Snip Snap" the turtle.   I love that she is so consistent with these names.  If she comes up to me and "meows" I know she is Pillow.  She never wavers from these self imposed names.

Her neighbor and buddy came over with a gift of bubbles and stickers.  Immediate joy and entertainment.  I love the simple pleasures of kids.  The best part was that Lily said thank you, unprompted, 10 or more times.

 About 5 minutes before making her cake I luckily figured out that the kitty cake she had been talking about for months was actually a Unikitty cake.  Glad I figured that out when I did.  The unfortunate part was that Unikitty is way harder than plan old kitty, but she was so happy when it was done - all worth it.
Lily loves to be on the counter and we had a bit of a run around night so in the midst of dinner, presents and cake she settled into her favorite spot and opened all her presents right on top of the counter.

For her birthday Kate and I sewed her some new bedding.  I tried hard to copy the feel of her favorite blanky in an attempt to make one long enough to cover her growing body since she won't use any other blanket.  Miracle of Miracles she actually likes it and uses it every night.  It made me so happy.  
Here she is with her new bedding and all her "guys" as she likes to call her beanie boo stuffed animals.  She has a growing herd of them since that is all her siblings can think to give her for every holiday or generous moment.

I love this beautiful brown eyed girl.  She makes me so happy everyday. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

To Disneyland We Go

Emily has been begging to go to Disneyland but that is not high on our family destination list.  All the older kids have been and she wanted her turn so for Christmas we gave her a trip to Disneyland.  She and I flew down to San Diego the end of January where Greg's sister hosted us.  Emily and her cousin spent an entire day at Disneyland.  We got there at 9am and left the parking lot at 10:30pm.  We had such a blast.
 The pictures aren't great but they will help her remember...
 I'm loving the Dole Whip and she preferred her Milk Duds (they were our waiting in line distraction and worked like a charm)
 One of our favorite parts was stumbling onto this Frozen show just as it was starting.  It made us both laugh.

 Our longest line of the day was to see Minnie's House.  The girls didn't even want to see Minnie - just the house, but we stood in line for 40 minutes.  But it was worth it to them because they loved Minnie's place.

 Her cousin was not so sure about this ride so we skipped it but Emmy still wanted to pose on the car.
 Half way through the day the girls got brave enough to ride next to each other instead of by their mamas- so fun.
 Waiting for the night parade...
 I had never stayed for the night parade before - so amazing.  We both loved it.

 They were asleep before we left the parking lot.  A long fun day.  Her favorite rides were Tea Cups, Star Tours, Pirates of the Caribbean,  Buzz Lightyear and Nemo's Submarine - in that order.  She strongly disliked Thunder Mountain Railroad but loved everything else we tried.  

The next morning the girls just played for awhile before heading to the annual celebration of the Mormon Battalion reaching San Diego.  They had several different booths set up where the kids could do pioneer things.  Her cousin lent her a pioneer dress and they had such a blast doing things like...
 Making rag dolls,
 Writing with ink and quill,
 Cooking biscuits over coals (she did this twice- they were quite yummy),
 Washing socks,
and going for a wagon ride with some other cousins that met us there.  

From there we headed to the airport, endured a two hour delay and arrive home at 12:30pm.  We were both exhausted but it was such a wonderful trip.  I loved being able to spend time with my sister-in-law's and just hang out with my Emmy.  She is such a cheerful girl, I love making her smile- and she smiled a lot on this trip!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Letter 2015

Family and Friends,

2015 started off with a bang, or maybe more appropriately said, a clog.  After unsuccessfully using the snake to clear the boys’ toilet Lisa tried Siri’s help but she didn’t respond under water (the editor says that was an entirely different incident, but the iPhone ended up in a bag of rice and then at the repair shop).  Eventually we called in a professional who found a Hans figurine (from Frozen) playing with Pokemon cards.  As reward for their creativity the boys split the plumber’s bill. 

The Easton Life can pretty well be summed up by a recent episode at Taco Bell…
But first a little background.  Having just enjoyed Thanksgiving in semi-camping mode with my parents on their mission to an LDS church camp near the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, we were in the midst of an 11 hour trek home.  The temperature outside was well below freezing but my temperature was rising as the road conditions worsened and the bickering picked up.  Nearing the metropolis of Pendleton, OR, Lisa and I covertly discussed our dining options: KFC, Taco Bell, and…that’s about it.  Lisa wanted Taco Bell but didn’t want to stop at two places as we had done at lunch time, and didn’t want to tell the kids until we arrived so as to minimize the opportunity for complaint.  11 months into the year it was time for her to finally get her way.  In typical fashion I only heard part of what she said (due to the noise in the car…) and quickly announced to the kids we would be eating at Taco Bell in about 7 minutes.  You’d have thought I had ordered them to skip dinner and walk the remaining 200 miles home barefoot through the snow.  I marched the kids into the restaurant after forcing them to put shoes on. 

After finding refried beans on his nachos (that weren’t visible in the picture on the menu so he claims), Andrew declared, “Goodbye. I'm never coming back again,” and walked out the restaurant door in his short sleeves.  Let the rest of us eat in peace.  Natali’s taco didn’t have tomatoes on it like she expected (menu pictures be darned) and tasted like it had beans.  Mack confirmed that it was just taco meat but she wasn’t convinced—later I learned she had hoarded the leftover rolls sent home by Grandma but I foiled her plan by forcing her to share the remaining rolls.  Mack just wanted a slushy but I was in “absolutely not” mode by then.  Where do we turn for peace?  Emily.  When I turned to her she started singing, “Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows!”  I have no idea where she learned that, but it was most definitely the appropriate time to sing it. Kate has matured to the point where she ate quietly without complaint, knowing that good behavior increased the odds of being promoted from the back row to the middle when the drive continued.  Apparently I forgot to order anything for Lily but she happily cleaned up the left-overs. Picking a restaurant is almost as traumatic for a family of 8 as picking which movie to watch in the car.  Definitely 1st world problems we tell our kids.

Natali (13) loves telling everyone that she is now taller than her mother, learned not to put her contacts in at the kitchen table when she lost one the first day as the cat rubbed up against her, earned awards for Spanish and Language Arts, ended the cross country season with a personal best in the mile and a half and is getting excited to have her braces removed in a few weeks. 

Mack (12) missed 23 days of school and still managed to get a single A (the rest were A+), came home early from a scout camp out when we learned he was allergic to amoxicillin—the rash covered nearly his entire body, went with me to the BYU vs. Michigan game at the Big House, ran cross country, played soccer & basketball.

Andrew’s (10) feud with the bus driver ended when the driver was transferred to a different route, but not before things escalated to the point where we fielded a call from the principal about a comment Andrew reportedly made on the bus—the note sent home with Andrew from the principal may have been found ripped in shreds and buried in our neighborhood…continues to complain about only going to Yellowstone once this year, likes to play MASH with Lisa.

Kate (8) was baptized in June, got lost one evening after school and had Greg combing the neighborhood only to find her 30 minutes later asleep on the floor between the couch and foot rest…saved her best for last by scoring her only goals of the soccer season in the final game (she may or may not have been bribed to actually kick the ball—maybe we should have tried that sooner). 

Emily (5) misses her quiet time with Lisa when she goes to Kindergarten but loves learning to read.  Saw another moose on Uncle Tom’s property.  Absolutely refuses to eat fruits or vegetables other than dried coconut, but when that’s the worst thing you can say about a child she must be a gem. 

Lily (2) told Lisa the Monday after Halloween, “Let’s go trick or treating again now.”  After a single exhausting day of tears, frustration, and puddles, Lily was officially potty-trained and our home is diaper free!  Got so tired of insisting “I not Bob” when Mack nicknamed her after the Minion that she decided it was fun to be called Bob and began calling her brothers Kevin and Stewart (I probably need to watch The Minions to understand my kids, but I’m afraid it would be obvious that I’m the Evil Master).  It is easy to forget that she is supposedly in the Terrible Twos!

Lisa (35) learned how to bottle pickles after discovering that it doesn’t take a green thumb to grow a bazillion cucumbers.  In discussion with the kids about dating standards she misread a phrase as “compassionate kissing” which explains a lot of things. She will miss her parents greatly as they spend the next 18 months on a mission to England but is excited for them.  Ultimately she enjoyed her involuntary alone (without the kids at least) time while serving on a jury while I was out of town for work.

Greg (37) let an entire year slip by with no new mammal sightings or countries (unless you count living with a teenager on either account). It really isn’t that bad, yet…Swam across the Owhyee River in March looking for Oregonian Crocodiles, failed to rent a car with an expired driver’s license on a business trip, and had a father’s compensation claim from picking a sleeping child off the floor—must be getting old. 

Best books of the year—Happiness is a Serious Problem, The Boys in the Boat, Lying

It is a sad irony that during a season meant to turn our hearts to the Savior, the world pushes our focus to material things.  The difference between holidays and Holy Days has never been greater.  We are too busy to feel the Spirit.  Truly as prophesied in Daniel 7:25, Satan seeks, “to wear out the saints of the most high.”  Like those in the time of the prophet Ether, we “fight all day and conquer not.”  We cannot conquer on our own. But fortunately as Isaiah wrote, “unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  He, the only one who can save us, will not cease to call after each of us.  I feel a greater need for a Savior, perhaps you feel the same.  

Merry Christmas, The Eastons (Greg, Lisa, Natali, Mack, Andrew, Kate, Emily, and Lily)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving in Washington

For Thanksgiving we drove up to Zion's Camp in Washington where Greg's parents are serving as missionaries.  We got caught in holiday traffic and the drive was a few hours longer than expected.  We were grateful we had Lily's little red toilet- it saved us from trying to teach a two year old how to pee on the side of the road while stuck in traffic.  We did discover that some of our other kids needed some lessons though...but we eventually arrived and enjoyed our weekend in the forest.

 We managed not to get rained on too much.  It was a little cold but it was so beautiful.  We loved going for walks and enjoying the beauty around us.

 The kids had fun playing with cousins and grandparents.  And Papa put the boys to work hauling logs.  We slept in a huge cabin with thirty some beds.  It was a fun weekend but I was glad to get back to our home where I could walk around without a coat and hat on. 
My mother-in-law managed to make an incredible Thanksgiving Feast in spite of not having a real kitchen to cook in.  She never ceases to amaze me.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015

 My candy hunting crew.   
 Cute Caterpiller and Einstien
 50's Girl and Scott Sterling (from Studio C)  We had a lot of fun with the make-up job.
My happy little frog.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Family Pictures 2015

 This shot is kind of how things work at our house - give Lily what she wants and everyone is happy.

 Can you tell this was our last shot?  By this point Lily was striping down, Kate refused to smile or look at the camera and everyone was being eaten alive by mosquitoes.  However, this is still one of my favorites- That look of Lily's kills me.

 Too much glare - having four pairs of glasses makes the photographers job pretty hard.