Saturday, August 28, 2010

peppermint indiscretion

Thursday Grandpa and Grandma invited the big kids to spend the night at their house so they could leave early Friday morning to go fishing.  Thursday seemed like a blur of breakfast, lunch, and dinner to me. Maybe because Grant can seriously sit at the table from breakfast, till noon, till night eating bowels of dry "ceedee'al" or cereal as others call it. Thank goodness we had hot dogs in the freezer when dinnertime for the rest of the kids snuck up on me.

 Here was a nice moment...Grant and William having a snack together on the back porch (probably cereal.)

Friday the kids returned. Only Bethany caught a fish this time. I felt pretty lethargic all day, but by evening I found the courage to go school supply shopping. Sam was so excited to get out of the house he gathered everyone into the van on his own. We had a nice time out together. I stopped at Five Buck Pizza on the way home.  The kids were very appreciative. Friday turned out better than I thought it would.

Saturday, found more courage... for bike shopping this time.  And did I need it.  With school starting at the universities, Walmart was busier than Black Friday. Sam and Ben intended to ride their bikes to school. I felt bad for the boys when after their first trial run they called from a gas station to say it was just too far. I hate dashed hopes, but who wants to go to Middle School drenched in sweat?  I felt bad... but I'll admit also a bit relieved not to have to worry each morning. They'll use their bikes to ride to the library and the mall nearby.

Sunday evening we got a surprise visit from our friends Jackie and Isako.  They have a friend who works for Stouffers and gives them free frozen foods every week.  I've been grateful for their sharing the wealth in our direction.  Sunday night it was an enormous container of peppermint ice cream. William was the first to discover it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

seven with chuck e.

Already starting in to our third week in our new home.  Monday I went to the schools to get everyone registered, came home with schedules and teachers' names, supply lists, could smell the crayon wax.
In the afternoon I went to see the midwives. 

Tuesday afternoon I had to drive up to Primary Children's Hospital, passed the meeting house where Kyle was blessed, our old married student housing complex, not really for old students. Those were more humble days and wouldn't I go back there in a heart beat.  And speaking of heart beats, took baby sister for her first visit to a cardiologist, such a young age.  They confirmed what the first doctor told me, she has a little bright spot on her heart, that looks like a benign tumor.  The good news is her heart is beating regularly and strong, so I don't need to deliver at the University of Utah.  They will know more after she is born.  Drove home in five o'clock traffic. Crept home.

Wednesday was the big day.  Olivia's big seven.  And just to prove that nothing is too commercial, sugar-coated, deep fried,  or overstimulating for the ten of us, we went to our favorite birthday spot, Chuck E. Cheese's. We have been going there for years now for birthdays.

 In fact, when Bethany was about two, she gave me a little scare when she told me she was going to "go see Jesus."

 "What do you mean your going to go see Jesus?" I asked, slightly alarmed.

 She gave me her still Bethany-typical impatient glare and said "not Jesus! Chuck E. Cheese's."  To which I was quite relieved.

So here are the pictures of our first birthday cereal buffet in our new home. (We call it home, even though we're renting.)
Caitlin looks less like a refugee in this one.  It's still fun to play Where's William, even though he sits at the table now.

Olivia is my most active child, so I got her a new bike to keep her busy.

That was the first of her presents, necessarily so, since it was hiding in the van.

I have a picture that I love of Olivia in this car when she was about four. Wish I could put it here. It's in storage land.

William's first trip to Chuck E. Cheese.  He's family now.

Don't ask about the outfit change, wasn't pretty.

Look at how Sam is still a kid at heart. We took him to Chuck E.'s in Portland, Maine when he turned seven. That was where and when Rob first told me he had passed the foreign service exam. Maybe that was a bad omen...

Such an important place to our family... when I pointed out the stage to Grant he said, "There's my brother, Chuck E. Cheese." What is it about Chuck E.?

It's a little disconcerting when his eyes follow you.

It's vehicle lovers' paradise.

Granddad made an appearance.

Kyle told me thank you about a hundred times.  He's always been that way.

That's Ben.

I like this place even more since Sam started to manage negotiations at the prize counter.

Grant got this little bug that he called "his cavity."

I heard a Dad at a Virginia Chuck E.'s say he'd rather be back in Iraq than at Chuck E.'s on a Saturday, but Wednesday wasn't bad at all. As stressful goes it doesn't have anything on sacrament meeting. Now that the kids are bigger, and help with the little ones, all I have to do is sit and guard the token cups and prize coupons, while I drink too much soda and eat croutons soaked in ranch dressing. Not a bad way to spend two hours.

And since the kids hadn't eaten two hours worth of salad bar, they were actually hungry for dinner when we left. Olivia said she wanted "Polar express" for chicken and the broccoli stuff.

There were beautiful clouds when we got home.

Opened presents from me while the rice cooker cooked.

A big bag of school clothing...multi tasking...

Later on she opened her package from Grandma Martha.  Not sure what Ben was thinking about.

Olivia chose an Ariel candle.

Happy Birthday Olivia.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

garden party

So after our first busy week and weekend in our new home, the refrigerator was bare. Sam was convinced that it was because we were destitute. I reminded him that we had been a bit busy over the weekend. We intended to leave the house Monday morning and go shopping before breakfast. Our outing turned in to brunch at the park. I bought some pastries, juice, and fruit at Smith's. We were too late for the sausage biscuits at McDonald's, so I got little hamburgers instead. Grant was mad because he couldn't tell what meal we were having.

Next we made our first trip back to the kids' favorite library.  They love the movie section, with their amazing collection of oldies on VHS, you know from the eighties...

Later in the week, when we were more prepared at breakfast time, Sam got back to cooking. I'm going to miss this when school starts soon.
Here's a close-up.

I mentioned to Granddad that I was excited about doing something with the backyard. There are some rose bushes back there, but not much else.

 There's an overgrown volunteer from the tree above.

The ground that you see is some dry sod. 

Thursday morning Granddad arrived with some plants and soil for our garden.
The kids came out to help clean up the dry leaves.  I think they found a bug here.
Here's another, a praying mantis that they enjoyed.
Granddad worked for several hours in our garden, alongside his helpers.  The next day we went to Lindon nursery to buy some more plants.  I'll get a better "after" picture when we're done.
We went to the pool for the first time Thursday afternoon.  Here's the kiddie pool.
I love looking at the mountains while we're swimming.

I was trying to get a picture of William's first happy swim. He was bouncing around with his floaties on, smiling. I was afraid he would never enjoy the water. That's when I dropped my camera in the pool. This was the last mysterious picture of its lifetime.

As I said before, Friday we did errands, to the camera shop to retrieve my fifteen hundred pictures from my dead camera,to Carl's Jr for lunch (I'll admit it was breakfast too), to Lindon Nursery where we bought more plants for the garden and found a new pet..a fat tomato bug named Willow, then to the library for the big boys, while the rest of us went to Smith's to choose a desert to take to Granddad and Judith's house. They invited us for a barbecue. The kids always love playing in their garden. Sadly, no pictures.

Saturday we went to Target. I bought a new camera, started birthday shopping for Olivia,evacuated the store in shame as Grant and William screamed at decibels previously unknown to human ears, ran Bethany back for an activity day event about Ghana that she attended with Granddad, slept on the sofa.

Sunday the little kids terrorized the foyer during sacrament meeting. Olivia and Bethany spoke in primary. Both did a wonderful job.

Friday, August 20, 2010

water, cousins, tacos

Here are a few more pictures for Ben's portfolio of creations. The homemade Nerf Gun with popsicle sticks and rubber band.
Tape and wire figure men, even the swords are his own creation.

Saturday August 11, we were on our way north again. Aunt Judy arranged for all of us to attend the Water, Fire, and Ice Festival at the Kearns Rec center.  Maybe you can see the signs it the background, it was one of the venues from the 2002 Olympics. It appeared to be speed skating.  Not surprisingly, we didn't do any of that.
Here are the boys contemplating the diving board though. Yes,they reported, it was painful.

Grant wasn't feeling well, but he was pretty content to spectate, all wrapped up in a Spider man towel.

William was a happier spectator too, but Sam gave it an earnest effort.

It was surprisingly cold and windy.  See Zoe's teeth chattering.

This bucket that drops water when the chimes ring was Sam's favorite thing. He tried to convince WIlliam to enjoy it too.

There is Mr Intensity and his younger siblings waiting to be at ground zero when the water falls.

An afternoon rain made for a quick and exciting exit. We met the Aunts and Uncles and cousins at the traditional Del Taco with the little indoor playground. I think they must shudder when we enter the building. I was grateful to Judy for organizing such a fun day for all of us.