Monday, May 28, 2012

A Lot of Chalk and A Few Other Things

Emmy got some sidewalk chalk for her birthday.  She loved scribbling on the driveway but Andrew needed more excitement and started dipping the chalk in water from the gutter.  Proud of his discovery of how to make paint, he quickly attracted several neighbor kids.  When I finally forced them to come in for baths, the chalk was mostly running down the gutter and covering the kids bodies.  The bath tub was very colorful when we were done.


This is a picture from Kate's preschool graduation.  She really loved going to school and love singing all her songs for me at graduation.  I think her favorite part was the gift bag her teacher gave her afterwards, complete with a blowup guitar (that has been the center of many fights since) and a princess blanket (that luckily no one wants but Kate).
I take a nap almost everyday.  My kids know that that is their chance to watch TV.  So they have learned to leave me alone for an hour in order to enjoy their movie and a happier mom when she wakes up.  Now and then I let Emily put off her nap to watch a show. This photo doesn't capture it very well, but sometimes when I come down from napping I find Kate holding Emmy.  Kate told me she does it when movies are scary.  Emmy has grown tired of Kate picking her up and forcing her to obey but still lets her hold her while watching TV.  I love it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soccer

Mack and Andrew played spring soccer this year and loved it.  Mack was able to play with a friend from school and had a really great team.  He was able to score almost every game and learned to play goalie.  I love watching his team play.
 I've decided that I really need to start training Andrew for track. When he turns it on he can fly; it just doesn't last long.  His speed helped him this year and he really had fun out there and scored his share of goals.
It was such fun, but I can't say I'm sorry to be done with three different nights of practice and spending all day Saturday at the soccer fields.  Yet, I'm sure we'll be back next spring...

The Animal Lover is 7

Sadly, Andrew's birthday fell on the same night as Mack and Natali's choir concert.  After their concert my sister had her concert and I really wanted to go.  So Andrew kindly agreed to wait to open his presents till the next morning.  Greg took the kids home and Andrew got to watch some animal videos before bed, which made him pretty happy.  8:00 the next morning he was in our bed with all his presents. 

We got him a camelbak and his own binoculars to aid him in his search for wild life.  He got an awesome tiger shirt, animal book, and animal tracing patterns from his Grandma.  The syblings gave him a river otter and Val added to the animal collection.  Then he got some money from his other Grandma which he plans to use to buy more animals.
He wanted cinnamon rolls instead of cake (yea!).  So after soccer games and his favorite dinner (chili), some of his cousins came over for the blowing out of the candles. He took his favorite spot, kneeling on the table and put sour skittles on his cinnamon roll.  I can't believe he's 7!

Can't get enough Yellowstone

Winter was finally leaving Yellowstone so that meant it was time for us to head back.  I'd never been to Yellowstone so early in the spring.  We caught a bit of snow and it was quite nippy at times, but it was so green, there were hardly any people, and the baby bison were so cute.

We actually stopped in Rexburg on the way there to attend the temple and see my brother.  It was fun to hang out with my brother for a few hours and my kids loved having him baby sit while we were at the temple.

We spent three days in Yellowstone and saw more Elk than ever and the best wolf sighting we've had, not to mention so many bears we stopped counting.  Natali actually spotted a bear and a wolf.  Kate seriously shocked us all by spotting and correctly identifying a fox.  I guess shes been paying attention after all.  Emily learned to howl like a wolf and now knows what bison are. 
This is Kate while hiking - she loves it, as you can tell.  However, as we were getting ready for one of our hikes she spotted a fox (not the one below, but you get the idea).  She was so happy with herself that she forgot how much she dislikes hiking and she had a great time.  Thank you Mr. Fox!
We all enjoyed attending church in Gardiner, Montana. There were only 30 or so people but I think the congregation sang with more enthusiasm than my ward with 300.  Our kids doubled the size of the primary and nursery consisted of a small room full of toys that kids wandered in and out of all through Sunday School.  Emmy befriended a sweet older woman who read her stories for the bulk of the time.    It was a neat experience for all of us.
Our hikers braving the cold. 
Each of the kids earned their Junior Ranger badge, spent hours in the van, got really good at stealing my binoculars, went on numerous hikes, and had a great time.
Here we are in front of Old Faithful - do you see their badges?
Two of our many bear sightings. 
There are wolves in the next three pictures.  Can you find them?  The first one is the one Natali actually spotted all on her own. 
In this one the wolves were howling.  It was so cool to hear them and be able to see them with our own eyes.  There are four wolves in this picture.
I loved seeing snow and ice in one area of the park then drive for an hour and find beautiful green grass with a few early spring flowers.
Big Horn Sheep - we saw a bunch.

Well as usual we had a great time and will surely be back to enjoy the beauty of that wonderful place.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Emmy Girl Isn't A Baby Anymore

Our little girl is getting so big.  After watching Kate and Natali's birthday's she knew exactly what was going on and dug into her presents.  Her syblings bought her the baby Cinderella.  As she opened it she was screaming and oohing.  She was so thrilled she was ready to be done opening presents.
She was finally drawn back into the presents and insisted on trying everything on.  Cute new suit, which I have had to hide or she would wear it everyday.
I made her an ice cream cake becasue she loves ice cream.  We all love our little Emmy.  Everyone races to get her out of her room every morning.  She is talking like crazy and is trying to get her way all the time.  It is so hard to say no when they are so sweet and cute.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

She's 10!

Note to readers: spell check says there are no spelling errors, which I find impossible to beleive.  So please over look the spelling mistakes as I can't recognize them and my computer isn't cooperating.

Natali was so excited to find out that her birthday was the same day the the Fourth Grade Wagons Ho event.  What is Wagons Ho?  Well the Fourth graders get to spend all day outside learning about and trying things the pioneers would have done - washing clothes by hand,  getting a stick and rope to make smoke, using a hand saw, stamping leather, making butter, branding cardboard, lassoing an iron cow - you get the idea.  I went to help for part of the day and it was such fun.  The kids really enjoyed all the hands on stuff.  Another mom took a bunch of pictures so hopefully you can see them soon.  That was a great start to her day.

Then she came home and was raving about the butter they had made.  We had some cream in the fridge so she decided to show the other kids how to make butter.  The jar passed from child to child but eventually they had a little ball of butter.  They just dipped crackers in it for a snack - yuck.  But they were thrilled with themselves.
Natali wanted to bring muddy buddies to school the next day for her birthday treat, but I was trying to make dinner.  She excitedly made the muddy buddies all by herself without complaint.  It was wonderful to watch her just take care of it and let Kate and Emily help to boot.  I count my blessings that she is my oldest child.

Grandma and Grandpa Dame came for dinner and since Natali and my dad share the same birthday we invited all the cousins and had quite a party.  I made Texas Sheet cake for my dad and Natali had an Almond Poppyseed Cake - yummy! 

Natali got a bunch of cake decorating stuff and I signed her up for a decorating class at the craft store.  She is so excited to try it all out.  She also got her new favorite hair clip, some girl legos, her very own itunes card and some new clothes.  She loved everything.

I am not sure I am ready for a 10 year old but she is ready to take on anything. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kater Tot is 5

It seams incredible that Kate is 5.  This year her birthday fell the day after Easter, which happened to be the same as the year she was born.  I remember eating Easter dinner at my sisters house 5 years ago feeling huge, exhausted, and ready to have my little girl.  I'm so glad to have her. 

She had a party with the extended family on Easter, because we were all together.  Then we had just a family party the day of her birthday.
Here she is with all of her loot.  Her present this year was that we moved her into a twin bed and bought she and Natali matching comforters.  I managed to find a few little things so she would have something to open.  Our major goal was to avoid Disney Princess paraphernalia.  She'll out grow that someday - right? 
For her Easter party we made cute little Easter basket cupcakes.  I was still planning to make her an actual birthday cake but the morning of her birthday she said, "I really don't like cake.  Is there something else we could have?  I just want to use that special tube of frosting."  I was thrilled not to have to make a cake that was trying to be a ballerina.  So she decided on sugar cookies instead; way easier and we had fun making them together.  

Everyone decorated their cookies and we got ready to blow out the candles - total fear.  She wouldn't even get close.  She had done something similar on Easter, but this time it was even more dramatic.  We eventually convinced her. 
I am getting sad to think of sending my little Kater Tot to Kindergarten next year.  Although, we definitely have our moments when she drives me batty, she is usually such a joy.  She keeps me company, plays with Emily, would read books with me all day, loves to dance, pretend, help with dishes and cooking, and is such a great snuggler.  I'm blessed to have my Kate.

Christmas at the Zoo - In March

For Christmas we gave Andrew a ticket for Big Cat Saturday at the Zoo.  Greg was teaching his class, so that meant I had the privilege of taking Andrew.  We got to learn about big cats (Andrew was pretty sure he already knew everything).  Then we decorated these big tubes with markers and scents, like lemon, maple, and butter extracts, then took them to the tigers and lions for enrichment (the animals need some kind of excitement right?).  Well the tigers had no interest at all in the tubes.  Apparently they are pretty old and don't care to be enriched.  The lions were a different story, and thankfully Andrew's tube was in the lions den.

He was thrilled when the lion picked up his tube and eventually ripped it in half. Then we went back to the classroom and got to feel the fur of a bunch of different cats and talk about their differences.  My favorite part was the hedgehog.  Yes, it was big cat day but they had to offer some hands on animal experience.  I loved feeling the hedgehog, but the best part was watching it chow down.  Who knew such a tiny thing could be so vicious?
Andrew loved spending the rest of the day wandering the zoo and just hanging out.  We ended the day by going to lunch together.  He couldn't have been happier.