Thursday, May 30, 2013

Palmer's Primary Talk

Palmer gave his first talk in Primary last Sunday.  I had what I thought was a great idea to have him give a talk on the creation and draw pictures to show of what Jesus created on each day.  He often makes reference to the creation of the earth and everything on it and loves to color, so I thought the talk would be a win.  I pitched the idea to him; he was not impressed.  We then decided to do a talk on the Word of Wisdom and what is healthy for a person's body, another of his interests lately.  I suggested he draw pictures of the healthy food he would mention in his talk.  Once again, he said no.  Odd.  But we went with what he wanted to do and that was give a talk, plain and simple.  He helped me write it and this is what we came up with.

"God gave me my body and he wants me to take good care of it.  He told us how to keep our bodies healthy in The Word of Wisdom.  The Word of Wisdom tells us to eat healthy foods.  Healthy foods I like to eat are: cherries, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, carrots and bread.  Heavenly Father also wants us to exercise.  I exercise a lot.  I like to run and do cartwheels.  The Word of Wisdom also says we should get a lot of sleep.  When it is bedtime I try to get ready for bed quickly.  I brush my teeth, put on comfy pajamas and get in bed.  These things help me to sleep good every night.  I want to keep my body healthy so that I can live a long happy life.  I am thankful Heavenly Father gave me my body.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

On Sunday he gave his talk well, and even remembered parts of it on his own without prompting from me.  He was very excited and happy about the experience.  I think mostly because he liked talking into the microphone and being the center of attention.

Ten Month Photo Shoot

The babies were not happy during this photo shoot.  However, the photographer was pretty gifted and took a decent amount of shots during the few moments here and there when they weren't fussing.  I decided to include a couple of the photos of the twins crying this time along with the happy ones.  Lately Archer has been squishing up his face in a funny manner when he cries.  And I just have to document everything!  Don't want to ever forget these sweet baby moments.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ten Month Old Twins

The twins turned ten months this month.  They are getting so big.  They finally started sitting (on the same day) and from the looks of it crawling won't be far behind.  They are full of personality these days.  We have a lot of fun with them.  This is what is going on with Archer and Avonlea at ten months old.

Archer is one active little boy.  He is always moving, whether that be rolling around, kicking his feet, clapping/slapping or just wiggling.  He is a good natured baby.  He hardly ever complains and is often chirping loudly and happily.  He has the biggest, goofiest smile.  It shows off his eight gappy teeth.  We love it, and we love him!   Here is what Archer is all about at ten months of age.

he has learned: to sit, to eat table foods, and a little stranger danger
he likes: eating, especially table food, rolling around on the floor, toys, baths, peek a boo, lullabies, his siblings
he dislikes: being held or contained for a long period of time
things he does/about him that makes us laugh: funny faces, very loud screams (both happy and sad), love pats he gives Mom and Dad, giggles and huge goofy smiles

Avonlea is still little miss diva.  This past month she has decided she doesn't want to sleep in the middle of the night.  Almost every night she wakes and either plays (loudly) or cries for a couple hours.  Initially I thought she was doing this because she was teething but now I think it is just habit.  Of course she is happy and content if held during this time, as she always is if she is held.  She is very dramatic, whether she is sad, mad or happy.  The happy times make up for the rest of the drama for sure.  She is a charmer.  We always get comments from others on how beautiful her eyes and smile are.  And we are suckers for them as well.  Here is what Avonlea is about at ten months of age.

she has learned: to sit, and to army crawl a little
she likes: being held, getting attention, eating table food, baths, peek a boo, lullabies, her brothers, and she has always loved Mom but is now becoming a bit of a Daddy's girl
she dislikes: being alone, being put down
things she does/about her that makes us laugh: cute baby babbles, she doesn't just cuddle up to you but smothers you, sweet giggles and smiles

Preschool Party and Wreck It Ralph Party

Palmer made this poster for his birthday celebration at preschool.  He colored it and wrote all the words himself, pretty cute.  For his birthday treat he brought hostess cupcakes to share with the class.

Palmer had his fifth birthday party on May 4th.  He wanted a Wreck It Ralph themed birthday.  We invited both sides of the family, his preschool class, the Edwards and a few neighbors to join us.  We played pin the medal on Ralph.  Then all the kids made Sugar Rush race cars out of graham crackers, icing and candy.  Aunt Andrea made an awesome Wreck It Ralph cake (carrot cake as per Palmer's request) that we served with ice cream.  Palmer opened his gifts and he and the rest of the kids ended the party by watching Wreck It Ralph.  It was a lot of fun and Palmer had a great time.

The day of the party just happened to be Grandpa Kelly's birthday.  He kindly spent his birthday driving here from Ely, Nevada.  So we made sure to commemorate his special day too and got him a cake and sang to him as well.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Palmer at Five Years

Palmer turned five on May 2.  In some ways I can't believe he is getting so big.  The time just flew by.  In other ways I can't believe he is only five.  He has had to grow up quickly from a very young age.  I don't know many five year olds who are not only used to but happy to help take care of three younger sibling, two being babies.  Greg and I were reflecting on how Palmer was sent to our family first because for a reason.  He is a wonderful big brother!  He had to grow up fast with so many children coming into our family shortly after him, and he was definitely up to that challenge. 

Palmer is still very active but he has learned to sit still when needed.  He is a very smart boy.  He has learned to how to write all numbers, how to add, how to write his name and write all the letters in the alphabet this year.  He makes friends easily and is never shy when meeting people.  He likes to talk, a lot.  He loves art and is very artistic.  We are so very grateful to have our fun, friendly, outgoing, active, artistic, animated, helpful, smart, and silly boy around.  I asked him a few questions today and here are his answers.

What is your favorite color?  -Green
What is your favorite food?  -Ramen and blueberries
Where is your favorite place to go?  -Jungle Jims
What is your favorite T.V. show?  -My Big, Big Friend
What is your favorite movie?  -Wreck It Ralph
What is your favorite book?  -Llama Llama Red Pajama
What is your favorite thing to do?  -Scrapbook and play the Wii U
Who is your best friend?  -preschool friends and Chloe

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Digi Scrapbooking

I've had my first dabble into the world of digital scrapbooking.  I love paper scrapbooking, and have no plans to switch over.  I had just always wanted to skills of digital crafting, mostly for projects other than scrapbooking.  Greg bought me Memory Mixer for Christmas and it has proven to be very user friendly and easy to navigate as my digi scrapbooking friend said it would be.  I love making invitations digitally!  It is so much quicker as I only spend the time putting together the card once, instead of mass producing and it is so much cheaper.  I printed invitations to a baby shower I threw and Palmer's birthday party for only a couple dollars.  You can't beat that.  I also made posters for a Relief Society activity, which worked well for the same reasons.  I look forward to refining my skills and producing even cuter, craftier projects in the future, but for my first attempt and only using freebies I found online, I thought these turned out pretty good.

These are the items I put together for a Go Baby Go (cars/trucks/planes) baby shower:

Printables I framed as decor

I also printed place cards for the menu items - "red light" (meatball subs), "vroom veggies" (vegetable tray), "speed bumps" (Ruffles potato chips), "spare tires" (chocolate covered cake donuts), "sweet ride" (car, train and plane shaped sugar cookies) and "fuel up" (punch). 

These are the items I put together for Palmer's Wreck It Ralph birthday party:

Large printed poster for a pin the medal on Ralph game

And last but not least I put this poster together for our past Relief Society Service Auction, themed "Service Hours bring May Flowers."

It's been fun trying something new and I'm sure I'll continue to use digital scrapbooking for invitations, posters and party decor.  It's also been very convenient to have around during last couple months since some of my scrapbooking tools are already boxed up and ready to move.  I have missed having my Silhouette available and ready to cut whatever I desire, but digital scrapbooking has proven to be a good stand in.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Home Improvement and Upcoming Movement

We put our house up for sale a few weeks ago.  It's been a very exhausting and busy experience so far.  We spend the month before listing doing some home repairs.

We repainted our orange kitchen to a more neutral color and painted our kitchen cabinets.

We recarpeted our three bedrooms upstairs.

We painted the exterior of our home and treated our deck.

We replaced windows and our front door.

We added a second very basic kitchen downstairs (to make our downstairs fully handicapped accessible and a mother in law apartment).

We also planted a flower bed in front of the house, changed out light fixtures, did a lot of touch up painting, added a door to our crawlspace under the stairs, rebuilt a garage wall, had our roof repaired - twice, many other small repairs, weeded, and dejunked.  It was a lot of work to say the least.  But I think it has definitely been worth the effort.  The house has never looked better.

Now that it is on the market, life is still quite busy.  In the last couple weeks, we have been showing the house almost daily.  I have turned into a cleaning maniac.  I pretty much spend my entire day cleaning, doing laundry and, as always, feeding babies.  It's been quite tiring.

We are thinking we will be building our next home.  That is the current plan.  We love our neighborhood and don't want to move too far.  In fact, we love the neighborhood so much that putting the house up for sale was a very hard decision.  I get close to tears every time I think about moving out of our ward.

I've also become emotional about leaving the house itself.  The layout doesn't work great for our family, which is why we want to sell.  Yet, it has been a wonderful house for us!  I have lived here since I was nine, excluding only the year after Greg and I married.  I grew up in this house.  I made long lasting friendships in this house.  I met my husband at this house and fell in love with him here.  I cared for and said goodbye to my mom in this house.  I brought home four beautiful babies to the house.  It has been home, and it will be very difficult to say goodbye.

Recipe - Slow Cooker Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

A friend of mine has started hosting Pinterest Pig Outs, which is basically a party where women get together to sample new recipes they try from Pinterest.  I love to party anytime, but this kind of party is definitely up my alley.  I made cinnamon sugar almonds for the evening.  I love the candied almonds at the mall during the holidays, but don't love their sticker price, so I was excited when I saw this recipe on Pinterest.  It was very easy to prepare.  The first day I thought they tasted okay.  Everyone at the party was more impressed with them than I was.  The second day I thought they tasted awesome.  I think they need a little time after cooking to properly dry out.  By then, I thought they were just as good as the candied almonds at the mall.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoons salt
1 egg white
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups almonds
1/4 C. water

Mix together in a large bowl sugars, cinnamon, and salt.  In another bowl with a whisk, mix together the egg white and vanilla until it is frothy.  Add the almonds and coat thoroughly.  This will help the mixture stick to the almonds during the cooking process.    I used a 4 quart slow cooker.  Add the cinnamon almond mixture to the almonds and turn it to low.  Stir until the cinnamon sugar mixture is coated well on the almonds. Cook for 3-4 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.  In the very last hour, add 1/4 cup water and stir well.  This will ensure a crunchy coating and help the mixture to harden.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the almonds onto the sheet to cool.  The almonds should be sticky.  Spread them out and separate them the best that you can.  Let cool and enjoy.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hernia Repair and Meatotomy

On April 10 Brody had outpatient surgery at Primary Children's Hospital.  We've suspected for a few months that he had a hernia, and after a lot of frustrating doctor appointments (his pediatrician is on leave and it was like pulling teeth trying to get another pediatrician to write a referral to the Urologist... then the Urologist and his two colleagues saw no sign of the hernia during the visit, so I later took of picture of the hernia when it was very apparent and sent it in) that turned out to be true.  He has also had trouble aiming into the toilet when using the restroom, so the Urologist also suggested a meatotomy along with the hernia repair.

Before the operation went very well.  Primary Children's makes sure to provide lots of toys and activities to keep children happy.  Brody played with tools in the first waiting room before we registered.  As I was registering I noticed they had his hernia recorded as being on the left side, when it was really on the right.  I made sure to inform every doctor and nurse from there on out so that they weren't cutting him unnecessarily.  In the pre-op waiting room he had a great time playing in a toy car, coloring a surgery buddy and picked out cotton candy to be the scent of his gas mask.  He walked back to the operating room with the nurse happily while I had to stay behind.  He was a very brave boy.  I tried my hardest to follow his example and didn't cry until after he turned the corner with the nurse.

The surgeon reported that the operation went well and everything was repaired easily.

Post-op was rough.  Really rough.  He awoke in intense pain.  The nurse gave him dose after dose of pain medication, each time having to wait for permission from his doctor while Brody cried in pain.  After the fourth dose of pain killers, Brody felt comfortable, but was having trouble breathing from all the medication.  Once they stabilized his breathing we were moved to another room where he ate some treats and began acting more like himself.  Just as we were being discharged, the pain came on again and he had to stay for another hour while they monitored him with the addition pain medication.  It was a very long, emotional day.

Brody was in a lot of pain the first day.  He woke up feeling well the second day.  And by day three he was back to playing normally.  It's so amazing how quickly children heal!