Days 2017

Days 2017

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Barrel of Monkeys

Guess who just turned 8?
He looks a little shell shocked here, but he did have a great birthday.
Here he is with some of his buddies.  Cooper wanted to have monkey bread and some of those boys were pretty curious as to what that might be.  I made a double batch because last year Cooper complained of only getting one helping.  It turned out great but I forgot that you aren't supposed to put candles into a hot dessert and they melted super fast, so this was a rushed blowing out of the candles, after which we tried to scrape some of the wax out of the carmel. 

The skies stayed clear long enough for us to play Mexican Jumping Beans, where you stack cans of beans and try to see who can jump the highest.

Boston's got hops.

He asked for a new football, a football kicking tee, and orange cones to make and end zone.  One of his friends also gave him new football gloves.  The new green Wilson football went back to the store, Mark said it was way too hard and pointy on the ends and he would give someone a black eye with it.  So, I need to track down the same kind he already got for Christmas and has plumb worn out--the sides are splitting.  (He also got a scout shirt and his own set of scriptures, which he has also been asking for.)

Cooper also had an end of year presentation with his class.  This is his best friend Benjamin.  Cooper's teacher gave all the children a word picture with their name in the middle and a bunch of words that described them, and presented them in front of the whole class.  It was really sweet.  When the teacher was presenting Benjamin's, she said, "And Benjamin is such a loyal friend."  Benjamin, who was standing in front of the class, craned his neck and I could hear him say, "Where's Cooper?" and gave him a big old smile.  SO cute.  You can see the video of Cooper's presentation at this link below.  I was a little exasperated that his main quality was "Hilarious" but also very proud that the teacher pointed out his integrity, and I think he was the only kid she said that about. 

I apologize that I turned the camera halfway through.  Mostly just listen. 
Luke enjoyed wearing a prop from the class presentation.  Cooper's not the only one who is hilarious around here.
This year the school had an end of the year dance festival, with the different classes learning dances from around the world.  It was pretty fun to watch and not so crowded since it was outside.  Macy's class did Mexico and danced the Mexican Hat Dance and the Macarena.  They were supposed to wear bright skirts and were given flowers for their hair.  Macy's good friend Madison is the girl on the right end.  Cooper's class did a pretty involved dance from India, and Cooper wore an oversized white shirt and jeans, the girls had bright scarves.  So handsome, and his dance was pretty involved.  I was on the other side of the field so I didn't get a picture of his, and Boston's class was moving too fast, running around, etc.  Boston's class wore green and did some Irish riverdance type stuff.  I also enjoyed watching some of my primary kids in the older grades.  The sixth graders were super impressive and did the West Coast Swing to "Footloose" (Lehi's favorite song since the movie was filmed here.)  They paired them up and everything.  Luke and I had a great time watching the whole show.
They were kind enough to hold the Kindergarten award ceremony right after the festival, since the parents were already there.  Isn't she cute, looking all bashful?
 For Memorial Day we took our traditional trip to Fillmore for Mark's family reunion.  The kids had a lot of fun playing with cousins, swimming (except for Boston, who was recovering from stitches on his arm--he hopped out of a tree and was impaled pretty good by a branch stub--we had to go to the ER) and eating yummy stuff.  Here are some family pictures.
Three of the cousins are missing because they are on missions in Kiribati, South Korea, and Brazil.  Blake in the grey suit and red tie, just got home from Oregon, and Kelsey (next to Leslie) is about to leave to North Carolina.
Mark with his siblings and the folks.
For Mother's Day I did a fun photo shoot for my inlaws. (Also because I want a nice new picture of them for our new house.)  They were good sports to do it in the rain, and I think the pictures actually turned out better because we had to use an umbrella.
This one is my favorite.  Grandma Frances and Grandpa Day.
Leslie has had a very fun month with Youth Conference and field trips, and next week she has EFY summer camp at BYU and TWO separate girls camps.  Here she is with some of her friends.

We pulled the kids out of school one day last week to take them to the Payson Temple Open House.  (It was a bit bright for pictures, so we're all squinting in these.)  This temple will be our temple when we move, only about ten-fifteen minutes from our home.  It's very beautiful and large and light, and Leslie and I loved noticing all the pioneer type details--lots of quilt block motif, antique style furniture, needlepoint and bright colors.  So beautiful for such a special place.  Maybe my kids will get married here?  In a long, long time. 

On the way to the temple I was telling the kids about our nephew, Spencer, who has almost completed his mission in the very isolated, very third-world Kiribati islands.  I had just read a letter his parents had posted online, where he described his incredible meal, as good as the comedian Brian Regan's "Thousand Dollar Plate" bit.  His mission president had come to visit their island and brought them some apples and a loaf of bread.  Spencer said it was the most awesome thing he had ever eaten in his life.  Anyway, while the kids were mulling this concept of gratitude over, one of them pipes up, "I don't get it.  Why was he so excited about eating an apple?"  Boston answered with more than a little scorn in his voice, "Wouldn't YOU be glad?  If you'd just been eating monkeys and stuff?"

Monkeys, no.  But in another recent letter he said that they were living off of fish jerky and coconuts until the boat came in with supplies.  But what do you do?  The Gospel's true, so they are there to share it.

Luke overheard us talking about monkeys.  The last month or so the kids have been motivating him to do things or go places by scaring him with imaginary threats, like, "Quick!  A big doggie is coming!"   I've tried to put a stop to it, but at some point they told him that monkeys were scary.  Of course, with us about to enter a sacred place, he was starting to get very loud and wound up in the car.  He put on his best tough guy voice and growled/yelled, "I puncha monkeys inna face!"  over and over.  Finally, trying to get him in a calmer mood so he wouldn't be loud and rowdy once we were in the temple, I told him, "Luke, no.  We don't punch.  We be nice."

He thought about that for a second, and in the same gruff voice he asked, "I puncha monkeys inna face........pleeeease?"

Amidst all that rough and tumble, he is super lovey.  Yesterday all three boys climbed onto my bed as we were waking up, and were wrestling a bit.  Luke, laughing hysterically, tucked one boy's head under each arm in a headlock and with a big smile declared, "I love you guys!!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Great Day in Mudville

Baseball season has begun.  Sometimes we take the little ones, sometimes just Cooper to watch Boston play.  The games can get started kind of late for a schoolnight, sometimes not until 8:45 PM or so if the previous game goes over, which seems to happen almost always.  The earlier games we have had family picnics because Mark comes straight from work. 

Luke is a bit of a handful because although he sort of likes to peek through the chain link fence at the action (usually right behind the catcher with his vulnerable little fingers poking through the fence), he mostly wants to run around or climb on the grandstands (the kind you can fall through if you're a little guy.)  So, we've been letting Macy (who is also bored) take him on short walks around the light posts, etc.  He likes to race ahead and when he passes whoever he is walking with, he turns his head and yells over his shoulder, "SUCKER!"  You can totally tell he has brothers.

Here's what happens when Mom is watching son numero uno instead of the baby, and the baby is not looking where he is running.  (I've tried this week to get Luke to say that he is a big boy and he won't.  He insists that he's is Lukey Baby.  Fine.)

At Monday's game Boston hit a double (sort of, he forced the runner off of second and we're not convinced that the base coach told him to run.  Boston interpreted whatever the coach said as, "Hit the Road!" but we kind of think he just decided to keep on truckin' of his own accord.  Anyway, he was right, they weren't anywhere close to getting the ball where it needed to go.)  Another teammate batted him home, and he had his first slide into home plate.  I grabbed the camera right after he slid and was going to take a picture of his first "dirt" but he'd already brushed it off and you can't really see it in this picture.  
Last week we went to check on the progress of our house.  We took the kids and let them climb into the basement.  It was pretty exciting.  On the way back to the van things got even more exciting because Luke slipped in the mud--again!  His shoes were just barely dry from earlier that week.

Doesn't he just look thrilled to be, well, a 2-year old boy?

Leslie in the garage.
I though it was pretty chilly that evening, but you can see how excited the boys are for their rockin' basement.
Macy has been busy all week catching ladybugs in our backyard with friends.  They catch them, I let them go later, they catch them again.  Hardy little bugs!  I don't know why we have SOOO many this year, maybe one of the neighbors bought some for their garden or something.
I have been busy going to dentists.  I figure that over the last two months I have taken children or gone myself to dentist, orthodontist, cleft palate specialist, x-ray tech at Primary's, endodontist, oral surgeon, and hygenist, for a total of about TWENTY visits. (Luke doesn't even go yet.  And Mark took himself.) That's a lot of mom hours. Thank goodness for my babysitting co-op here that I will greatly miss.  Macy and I are the biggest culprits.  I had oral surgery that didn't really help and then I decided to have the tooth pulled.  Not fun.  Sounded like tree branches breaking as it was getting yanked.  Macy had six cavities, and they couldn't all get filled at once.  Still have three-four visits to go before we move (as far as I know!) because Boston needs a filling and Leslie needs a cleaning and orthodontist stuff.  We're thinking she is almost done and hopefully gets them off next month.

At least I get some credit.  Mother's Day was nice.  Boston handed me the little card he made at church along with a candy necklace.  I was a little mystified why the necklace wasn't all just chocolate candies since I knew they could choose and my motto is, "If it's not chocolate, it's not worth it!"  Then I read the card.  "Happy Mother's Day!  You are the best cook in the whole world.  PS. Can I have your Hi-Chews?"  I thought that was pretty funny and typical of Boston (always thinking ahead).  Then Macy sat down next to me, handed me her version of the candy necklace and a card.  "Mom", she whispered, "Can I have your Hi-Chews?"  Cooper was home sick so I don't know if his mind would have been on the same track or not.

The reason I was at church when Cooper and Luke were home with colds (Leslie took a shift) was because Mark got released from the Bishopric since we will be moving next month.  Bittersweet.  I know he has really really loved serving and helping the people with their needs and especially his brotherhood with Bishop Peterson and Bro. Erich Seal.  They were all teary.  I was teary, especially when he got to come off the stand to sit with us and Boston about dived into his arms.  Those boys need their dad to sit with for awhile to straighten them back up!

Apparently Daddy's influence carries a lot of weight around here.  Luke has taken to arguing with us with, "'Daddy SAID!"  (or sometimes, "Cause Mommy SAID" if Mark is the one asking the questions.  Example.  I'll say, "Luke, no more shows.  Turn off the TV." 
He'll respond.  "No!  Daddy SAID!"  (Of course, if I threated to turn it off myself, he hops right up because pushing buttons is an important event.  Buttons=Power.)

He also has picked up this endearing apology.  If, for example, he punches Macy in the back as hard as he can (this happens every day.  Kind of a physical kid), I tell him "No-no, tell Macy you are SORRY!"  Sometimes he'll say sorry but usually he registers that she is crying, goes up to her, and tickles her under the chin or on the tummy, "Tickletickletickle!"  And makes silly faces trying to cheer her up.  SUCH a fifth child!  The only reason he does this is because that is what all the kids do to him to try to get him to stop crying when he is mad. They learn by example FOR SURE.

Here's a shoutout to my nephew Jaxon, up in Montana.  Jaxon, this is what Cooper said, out of the blue, at the dinner table the other night, kind of in a grumpy voice.

"Mom, why don't we ever get to listen to Neil Diamond?"