Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kate's First Day of Kindergarten

Kate was soooo excited for Kindergarten. It was sheer torture for her to drop her brothers off at school last week. She had to wait a whole long week due to kindergarten assessment tests. Kate had her testing last Monday and she knew just about everything. Ms. Smartypants! She even read a sentence that the teacher gave her to read. We are so proud of her! She will love kindergarten!

As Kate walked in she was assigned a sixth grade helper. He was really cute with her. She was also fortunate to be placed next to Bo from church. She already knew three kids in her class. This is going to be a great year!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Our China Doll

We brought home this dress from San Francisco's Chinatown. I put her hair in a bun with chopsticks. Kate looked darling. She got so many comments at church. It is so fun to have a girl to dress up.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Children's Artwork Makes Me Happy

I just love all of Kate's artwork from preschool. It just makes me happy! Maybe it is refreshing to have a child who actually spends more than 30 seconds on an art project.
Artist: Kate
Location: Preschool

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I can't wait until school is out!!!

I am so tired of school. Josh's last term has been a killer for both of us. I don't know why a busy kid translates into a busy and stressed mom. The biggest stress has been Josh's Honor's English 50 hour project. He has actually exceeded his 50 hours but you can't turn in an incomplete project. By the time it is all done it will be more like 65-70 hours. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for soccer, scouts, marching band, and various other things that pop up for him this time of year. I am really happy about his project though. The have to do a writing project that will take 50 hours. They could chose just about anything. Originally Josh wanted to write short stories. But that would have been torture for the both of us. Josh does not like to do creative writing. His next and best idea was to interview his grandma and write a personal history for both his Grandma Judy and Grandpa Tim (who passed away 2 1/2 years ago). I am just thrilled with the results. After video taping Grandma, Josh transcribed the tapes into a book form. Over the weekend we sent the transcript to Grandma to verify accuracy and fill in some blanks. I have really enjoyed learning more about my in-laws. I loved this story:
"When I was 4 or 5, a friend and I were watching TV and had it on really loud. My brother knocked on the door but the TV was too loud and we didn’t hear him. They looked all over for me. They worried that I might have gone to the dam. My parents called the police, the fire department, and the Boy Scout troop. When we were done with the show we were watching I went outside to my mom and said, “What’s happening Mom?”. She didn’t know whether to spank me or hug me. "

Isn't she darling?! How could anyone get mad at her?

I feel fortunate that I really like my in-laws. I have been blessed to have had 12 years with my father-in-law. It was by the grace of God that he lived 6 more years after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was in those last 6 years of his life I really got to know and admire him.

We were fortunate enough to get this sweet picture just a few month's before dad's death. Thanks to my sister Lindsay who took it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

San Francisco

Bruce had a convention in San Francisco, one of my all time favorite cities. I decided it was time for me to escort him on one of his trips. We talked my kind parents into babysitting our four kids. This was the first time in nearly 15 years of marriage that we have taken a trip without kids or being pregnant. Bruce is on a National Young Architects committee and they paid for his flight, hotel, food and convention fees. All I had to cover was my flight and food. Since we went early, Bruce and I were able to spend the whole day together. We were total tourists (a luxury we have never had). We began at Yorba Buena Gardens. This waterfall was so mesmerizing. Behind the water were quotes from speeches from Martin Luther King, Jr. Very inspiring! Next we caught the cable car down to Fisherman's Warf. With a stop on the way on Lombard Street (the curviest road in the world). We also walked to Pier 39 for lunch at Boudin's with to-die-for sourdough bread. (A blessed memory from childhood with my grandparents)
While we were eating lunch and planning our next adventure for the day we found out that Wicked was playing in town at the Orpheum and they had a 2pm matinee. We absolutely love the music but have never had the opportunity to see the show, so we decided to try to get tickets. If we were lucky we might be able to get $30 seats in the the balcony. While standing in line a man approached us. He had a group of about 50 people and 2 people couldn't make it. He was selling us $75 center orchestra seats for $50 each. We only had $70 cash on us and he took it. We had fantastic seats for a mere $35 a seat. Woohoo! The show was amazing! The highlight of our trip. If you get a chance to go and see Wicked, I would highly recommend it!
The next day Bruce was in meetings all day so my Aunt Cheryl came up from Los Gatos for the day. We drove all over San Francisco and had lunch at Scoma's in Salsaulito. Then we spent the rest of the day in Chinatown buying loot for the kids. And, of course I HAD to buy a Kimono for Kate. She wore it last Sunday with her hair in a bun with chopsticks. She was too cute. I will post a pic sometime.

Later that evening we went to a Jazz Bistro for dinner. It was fun to have a live Jazz band playing while we ate. We wished Josh was with us to hear it too. The rest of the trip wasn't too remarkable but very enjoyable. However one of our favorite meals was lunch on Saturday at The Irish Bank. We just happened on this Irish Pub in a very small alley. The outdoor seating was so quaint and the food was yummy. Bruce had fish n' chips and I had an Irish stew. Yum!
I am so glad I went on this trip with Bruce. We had a fantastic time. It was so great for me to have quiet time away from kids. I loved spending time with my dear husband without all the distractions at home. I hope we can do it more often than once every 15 years.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


As I am sitting at the computer Micah is standing on my chair behind me pulling on my pony tail. Though I don't like my hair pulled he is being really being sweet. Every couple minutes he pulls my head back so he can kiss me. It's amazing how one minute he can be so tender and sweet and the next minute pulling Kate's hair and torturing the cat or dog. The good news is that it has been over a week since I have put him in time out for hitting or throwing things at the animals or us. Yea! He is progressing.
So much has happened over the last month that I need to blog about. I will catch up next week when I take a trip to San Francisco with the love of my life. This is one of the many things I am feeling extremely grateful for. My sweet parents (bless their heart) are kind enough to watch our 4 kids while Bruce and I escape. It won't be a full fledged getaway trip as Bruce has to go for the National Architecture Convention, but I am looking forward to having time with my husband and alone time without the distraction of kids. I get to sleep, read, watch TV, wander the city, and eat without kids demanding, whining, crying, etc! I can't wait for some solitude and then miss them terribly!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Josh's Science Project

Josh had his school Science Fair in February. Since he is in Honors Science he is required to go to the District Science Fair. Then he was selected to go on to the Regional Science Fair at BYU last week. Though he wasn't selected to go on to State he had a great project. He tested the thermal qualities of fabrics for winter campouts. Being a scout in Utah takes him on many cold/freezing campouts. So, it was only natural for him to chose this project. He selected 5 fabrics and tested them by heating a potato in the microwave. Then he wrapped each potato in the fabric and took the temperature of the potato with a thermal cuppler every 15 mins. It was determined that Thinsulate held the warmest temp for the longest period of time. We are proud of Josh.

A President, a Scientist, and a Travel Agent

Seth has had many major projects lately. First was his Presidents Report. His president was Gerald Ford. He had to research and give a 3 minute speech as that president. He learned that that Gerald Ford was born Leslie Lynch King Jr. and he was the only vice president to be an eagle scout. He did a great job and seems to enjoy the stage. Do we have politician on our hands?
In February Seth had his Science Fair. Since he had been learning about drugs in the DARE program he decided to do research on The effects of smoking On Our Lungs. It is scary all the things that are in cigarettes (among others; formaldehyde, tar and rat poison). I am surprised anyone who knows what is in them will smoke and live to tell about it. Then last week he had the State Fair. His state was South Dakota. He researched his state and made a informational brochure.
Hopefully this is the last of the major projects for Seth this year. The great thing about Seth is that he doesn't need to be watched over when he has papers or projects to do. He is a great writer and enjoys research.

Mothers - we have good days and we have...other days!

Sunday was one of those "good days". After church (we have the dreaded late schedule) Micah was a gem while Seth and I made dinner. He enjoyed playing with these balloons, and yes, he IS flossing his teeth with the ribbons.

Next I found him in the play box. Dinner was on the table before I even heard him complain.

Then we have those...other days
Micah was exhausting on Friday. It was one of those days a mother considers selling the kids to a traveling band of gypsies. I'm not saying I don't love the whining, throwing and hitting; it's just that I hat hit my limit. I think he had 8 time-outs that day. Bruce rescued my sanity with a date later that night. This is a pic of one of his tantrums. Isn't he cute? You gotta love the drool!
Then shortly after I took the pic of Micah; Kate had a meltdown and I sent her to her room. Being such a compassionate and caring mom, I snapped this pic before I talked to her and set her free.
It seems to me that our time-out chair doesn't work. So I have found a new time-out spot. The bonus to this location is that I can get so much more done while he is "serving his time". Okay, before someone calls child protection services I should mention he enjoys playing in the dog kennel and it wasn't even locked.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I generally like surprises but I am not a fan of the kind of surprise I got this week. On Monday, my smart and responsible first child came home from school and casually announced (not the first time),"Oh by the way, I need to build a catapult and it is due tomorrow." Surprise! This is the kind of announcement makes mothers cringe because it is loosely translated as, "I need you to stay up late to design, purchase material, and build my homework while I hang about and annoy, argue, and take credit for the final product because I procrastinated until last minute or I promise 'I just forgot' when I played video games all day on Saturday." Ugh!

Not today! I told him I was too busy to help him but if he designed it and determined what materials were needed I would take him to the store and finance the supplies. But that was all I was going to do to help. I admit that I did help "tweek" the design a bit but that was all I would do. He was going to use the hand saw and cut all the pieces (I was not about to allow a 13 yr old to use power tools, plus I figured it would build character), nail, and assemble everything himself. Fortunately for him, as we drove home we saw one of our neighbors in his garage using a table saw for some finish work. After some pleading and a pouty face he had compassion and cut the wood for him. I'm sure that saved him at least 2 hours. Now all he had to do was nail the pieces together.

As I was making dinner I heard whining from the garage. I resisted peeking in on him until after I was nearly done with preparing dinner. When I looked in on him, he was nearly in tears as the wood was splitting and he feared he would have to start over. Frankly, I had the same fear. Gratefully dad came home in time to rescue him. They glued and drilled and did whatever men do in the garage and ended up with a fine looking machine.
I have to admit I am proud of my son for pulling it off. He has a great mind if he would just apply a timely manner, instead of waiting until last minute. It will be fun to watch him grow up and make mistakes and have many successes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My dwindling plastic dish supply

We have assorted plastic dishes for our young kids to use so that the breakable dishes don't get...well...broken. These plastic dishes have been dropped and thrown hundreds of times until child #4. He must have superhuman strength because many of these dishes have survived nearly 13 years and 4 kids. I am definitely frustrated as I really don't want to replace these dishes since he is our last child. This one is still usable but when his sister finds out...

Brunette Shirley Temple

Stand aside Shirley Temple. This brunnette has taken over. Our family has stick straight hair and does not hold curl longer than it takes to walk out of the bathroom. So when we decided to put curlers in Kate's hair we used the smallest rollers. We were very surprised to see the results. The amazing thing is that this was the end of the day. How did the curls remain? It was fun to see curls on her for a day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Perfect Mother Has Fallen

I have been the perfect mother to Micah who is now 22 months. I mean really, I should be. He is my fourth child. All that experience should make parenting a breeze, right? Micah has been one of those children that other parents have been secretly envious of. He is happy, quiet (speech delay - a blog for another day), peaceful, and plays calming by himself. Who wouldn't want a child like this.
Over the last few weeks I have felt my angelic halo has been slipping. No, I take that back. It has fallen off and completely shattered. Micah has decided that throwing is his new favorite pastime. It would be fine with me if he just threw a ball across the room. Or used soft, fluffy stuffed animals as a weapon. But, nooooo! He enjoys throwing heavy and hard things directly at people and animals. He will seek someone out (usually the cat or dog) just to throw something at them. I think he particularly enjoys throwing his sippy cup at me when I am asleep on the couch. What a sweet kid!
Just to spice things up he also enjoys hitting. Usually an open handed slap right across my face. Yesterday I put him in time-out for slapping me. After his mandatory 60 second time-out I talked to him about using nice hands. I get the impression it didn't click because he slapped me again while still sitting in time-out.
What is a perfect mom to do? Time-out (he was in time-out about 8 times yesterday) and showing him how to be gentle just isn't working. I've heard some people having success by hitting them back with a toy but I am not a fan of abuse. Do any of you have any suggestions? I am at my wits end.

Friday, March 13, 2009

This can mean only one thing...

I'm not sure who took this pic but it must be a sign.
Spring soccer is about to begin. Yea!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blast Off!

My cub scout just completed his last cub scout derby. I'm a little sad to close this chapter.
The following are pics from previous years. I don't know why Seth looks younger in 2008 than he did in 2007.
The year of the "Raingutter Regatta". As this ship requires no parental help to assemble Seth was free to creativity decorate his vessel. Glitter glue was an exciting addition.
Results: The ship did not seem to be sea worthy as the sail did not want to stay up and the boat flipped.


The Pinewood Derby. Bruce (patiently) helped him with this awesome creation. Seth was sure this car was worthy of first place.

Results: He finished 4th. Not too bad!


The space derby. Seth carved and painted this rocket himself. Doesn't it look cool. Green is his favorite color. I love this pic. Seth can't resist posing. Seth had high hopes for this derby as previous races failed to meet expectations.

Results: The first race ended disappointingly at take off. The rocket did not even move forward. Time for hero intervention. Hero dad used a cordless drill to wind the propeller. Now the planets have aligned, the tears have dried up, and the hope of an amazing take-off resumes. Ten, nine, eight...two, one. Blast off. The propeller spun furiously as it should but once again the rocket went nowhere. Finally the light bulb comes on. We were winding the propeller the wrong direction. Once we figured that out the rocket propelled itself forward but the race was pretty much done. So all-in-all Seth had a disappointing cub scout derby career. Maybe we will get it all figured out by the time Micah becomes a boy scout in 6 years.

Seth, we enjoy having you in our family. You are so much fun. You have just earned your Webelos rank. We are proud of you.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Draper Temple Open House

Our church has completed another beautiful temple in Draper, UT. We were fortunate enough to be able to take our three oldest children to the open house. The temple was majestic and beautiful! Kate was so excited. I seriously think that she was as excited about going to the temple as she would be to go to Disneyland. She was just giddy. Bruce couldn't wait to show her the bride's room. This is the room where the bride's get ready before they get married. There are a lot of mirrors, a beautiful ornate chandelier, and a gorgeous flowery rug. Simplistic beauty!
We are grateful for our marriage in the temple. We believe this binds our family together not just for this life but for eternity as well. I can't imagine a heaven without my dear husband and wonderful children. The following is a YouTube video tour and commentary about the temple.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My inheritance from dear ol' dad

My father has many wonderful traits I could have inherited. So why is it that I have to be the recipient of the less favorable trait of insomnia. I don't have it everynight but I still have to deal with it more often than I would like. Last night was a typical insomnia night. This was the schedule of events:

10:30 - 11:00 Go to bed with dreams of a great night sleep. Fall asleep immediately.
3:15 am: toss and turn for 45 minutes pretending that you are going to fall asleep any minute.
4:00 am: Storm down stairs in hopes that doing something totally boring will induce sleepiness.
4:10 am: Update your facebook status to "having insomnia again" and wonder why zero of your 159 friends are not up too so you can chat with them. Not even they guy from your ward in H.S. who now lives in China.
4:15 am: Get bored and start reading mommy blogs that make you feel better about youself because "at least I don't do that". Read posted comments too.
5:30 am: Return to bed because certainly you must be tired now. Toss and turn and finally fall asleep ten minutes before the alarm goes off. Sigh! Another unproductive, tired, zombie-like day. There is always tomorrow night.
Thank you dad. I think of you every night I am up for no apparent reason. The only consulation? I know you are up too. I love you dad!

My dad and his dad.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What happened to spring?

I could have sworn that spring started just last week. We have been enjoying beautiful warm weather until last night. This is what we woke up to:

We received 4-6 inches of snow. By 9 am the sun came out and it was beautiful! Kate and Micah couldn't wait to play outside.

Micah fell and couldn't get up. Gotta love those snowsuits.

Kate was trying to figure out how to swing.

Lady loves the snow. She was frolicking in the snow all morning.

Lets start the bidding at $1. Do I hear $1?

While I was on the phone I heard the lovely trickling sound of water. No it wasn't a peaceful zen waterfall but a toddler pouring his sisters water onto the floor. Kate came to me rather upset about the whole incident. This was our conversation

Me: "I know, what are we going to do with that boy?"

Kate: Without hesitation, "We could sell him."

Me: "Hmmm. How much do you think we could get for him?"

Kate: "One dollar?"

Me: "Why just one dollar?"

Kate: "Because he is one year old."

Me: "But he will be two soon."

Kate: "Well, okay, maybe two dollars. Or five. Okay, ten dollars. But that's all."

Clearance sale on an almost two year old boy.
Cheap! Only $10.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The boy and his dog

Micah loves our new dog. He enjoys climbing all over the dog until she gets tired of him and gets up and moves to another spot. He has an annoying obsession with the dog's food and water. He especially loves to play with the dog food while she eats. It doesn't seem to bother Lady at all. Earlier today I caught Micah sitting next to the dog while she was eating with the empty water bowl on his head like a hat. I'm not sure where all the water ended up. It's too bad I didn't have the camera ready. It was pretty funny.

However, a dog and a toddler create a great challenge. Here are a list of things I said before 9 am this morning.

1. Don't put your sister's shoe in the dog's water bowl.
2. Don't sit on the dog, she is not a horse.
3. Don't pull the doggie's ears.
4. Don't try to feed the dog Mr. Potato Head's ear.
5. Don't drive your cars in the dog's water bowl.
6. No, the doggies does not need a pacifier.
7. Stop throwing your cereal on the floor for the doggie to eat.
8. Don't put your shoe in the dog's water bowl.
9. No, the doggie doesn't need a milk bath.
10. Stop throwing dog food all over the kitchen floor. (I left the room for only 5 minutes only to return to find an entire bowl of food scattered all
over the kitchen floor. It was like walking through a land mine.)

I can't remember how Micah entertained himself before we got the dog but I'm sure there weren't so many ways to get into trouble.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

(Gasp!) Freshman Registration

This week Josh came home with registration for 9th grade. How could my baby be registering for his freshman year so soon? Wasn't it only a couple of years ago that I gave birth to him?

9th grade is still in junior high in Utah, but it still seems crazy that his grades will now go on his permanent record. He is already talking about colleges and scholarships. We have been fortunate that he has self been motivated to get very good grades. The last two terms he has earned a 4.0 GPA. This is especially impressive since he has four advanced classes including honors science and honors english. The two previous years he earned no less than a 3.97 GPA. We really hope that he will continue to be motivated.

He will have released time seminary (a blessing of living in Utah - no early morning seminary) but he wants to do marching band at the high school. This means getting a ride to the High School by 7 am everyday and then catch a school bus back to the Jr High. If he does that he would drop Jazz band. It will be interesting to see what he decides.
Josh we are proud of you. You are an amazing young man. It will be fun to watch you over the next four years. We love you!

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Lesson Learned

Several women and their kids from church came over today for lunch. After everyone but one friend had left, Kate and a 4 yr old boy were playing outside for a little longer. They didn't stay too much longer before they left. Later that day I stopped at my friends house where I learned that Kate told the boy it was time for him to go home because she was going to have another friend come over to play. (This was not part of the plan). She even told his mom they should go home. Back in the car I had a discussion with Kate. This is how it went:

Me: Kate, I am sad. You were not nice to "boy" telling him he needed to go home. If you have a problem with him or you are tired of playing with him you need to quietly tell me. It's not nice to tell "boy" or his mom that he needs to go home.

Kate: (Pause) My eyes have water in them.

(Looking in the rearview mirror seeing tears well up.)

Me: Oh honey, it's okay. It's just a lesson that you need to learn.

Kate: (still tearing up) Oh mom, I learn a lot of lessons at preschool but I have never learned that one.

Me: Well, now you know and I know you will be nice.

My heart just melted listening to her. She was so sincere in her remorse. If only all lessons could be learned so quickly.
I love you Kate, thank you for being such a sweet girl!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Zoo, Dog, and Hair

Zoo Trip

Kate, Micah, and I dropped off Bruce at the airport for his Washington D.C. trip bright and early (6:30 am). Since we were already up in Salt Lake I wanted to make it a day trip. We stopped at Paradise Bakery for breakfast then off to the zoo. We were the very first and only people at the zoo for at least 15 minutes. We had a great time. These two turkeys were guarding the ramp to the elephants. It was pretty funny. They seriously wouldn't let us pass.

Our New Dog

On the way home from the zoo we stopped to look at this cute little puppy. I had been considering getting a dog since Bruce is traveling more. We weren't planning on taking her home but I felt a little pressured (there were two other families that would take her today if we didn't). Her name was Fanny. I really didn't want to name my dog after someones backside, so the kids and I re-named her Lady.

So, Bruce came home from our nations capital to a new family member. I was a little worried that Lady would bark at him. But, she came to him like he had been here all along.

She has been fun to have. She is only 5 mos so she still has some training. Sometimes I love having her, other times I question my decision. For example, she loves to chase the cat. I know, cats and dogs, blah blah blah. But we have the sweetest kitty who loves to be with the family and cuddle with you on the couch. Now she is stuck in my bedroom all the time. It makes me kind of sad. Oh well, we will see how it goes.

Valentine Hair

I found a fun blog that shows you how to do very cute hairstyles for girls called So I did this heart in Kate's hair for Valentines day. We tied a red ribbon at the bottom but I forgot to take a pic of the completed style. It is too much fun to have a girl.