Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013 - Our Modern Day Fairy Tale

I have never been one to put a lot of money into Halloween costumes.  Greg and I have worn many a makeshift costumes (i.e. crayons made out of colored cardstock, Juno and Bleeker from Juno, three hole punch versions of ourselves at an Office party, etc.).  But, this year I just couldn’t help myself from buying our kids some cute matching costumes, especially when I realized the potential after discovering that we already had a Knight and a dragon costume that half of our children fit into.  So with a little help from eBay, I was able to complete the dressing of our modern day fairy tale, a.k.a. our kids.  Palmer was a king.  Brody was a knight.  Archer was a dragon, and Avonlea was a princess.  Everyone loved their costume except for Avonlea, which is funny because I thought hers was the least uncomfortable.  She cried everytime we put her in it.  All the boys thought dressing up was great fun!

This year the kids wore their costumes to: our ward Chili Cookoff and Trick or Treating party, our previous ward’s Halloween Carnival, Halloween storytime at the Library and trick or treating around the neighborhood.  The babies only trick or treated around the block, but the boys made it for quite a long stretch this year and returned with a lot of candy.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Things Our Boys Say...

"When I grow up, I want to be a dentist.  But if that doesn't work, I want to be a rock star."

Palmer: "Dad, who did you marry?"
Greg: "I married Mom."
Palmer, while laughing: "But Dad, you can't marry someone in your family!"

Palmer had a speaking part in our ward's sacrament meeting primary program.  The Primary Presidency had interviewed all the kids in the Primary and chose some of the children's answers to be included in the program.  Palmer said, "I know Heavenly Father loves me because I have a cat, and I'm thankful he created that cat."  He recited his quote well and from memory.  His part was met with a good chuckle from the congregation.

Brody :
After getting in trouble with Dad, comes to me sobbing and cries, "Will you help me do the right things!?"

Starts almost every conversation with "Guess what?" and will not continue what he is saying or stop asking, "Guess what?" until you respond with a, "What?"

While walking home from church on a blustery day, "The wind is mean.  It takes everything."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Star Wars Build a Bear Party

We celebrated Brody's fourth birthday at Build a Bear.  It was Star Wars themed.  I know, kind of a stretch to relate the two, but he loves Star Wars and he loves Teddy Bears, and we are currently without a home to throw a party in, so we made it work.  Here are the invitations I made (I am loving the MemoryMixer software).

All the kids in attendance we able to choose, name, stuff and bathe their bears.  The store had party host who also played games with the kids through out the process, always making sure Brody was the center of attention.  She was great.  Brody was able to pick out an outfit for his bear as his birthday gift from us.  He choose the Star Wars music button, a red light up lightsaber and a Darth Vader costume.

We served cake in the food court and Brody opened his gifts there.  Everyone was very generous and got him a lot of very cool Star Wars toys.  He has been in heaven playing with them all ever since.

All in all, it was a great experience for Brody and us.  I would highly suggest doing a birthday party at Build a Bear.  It was so much fun.  All the kids were grateful.  There was no preparation or clean up on my part.  It cost as much as it usually does for us to just provide dinner for our family at our past
parties.  And Brody loved every minute of it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Brody's Four Year Photo Shoot

Brody had his four year photo shoot a week after his birthday.  We were late, like always, because Brody wouldn’t get ready, like always, because he was fixating on a toy, like always!  However, once we arrived and got down to business he behaved like a pro.  I had such a hard time picking out which photos to order because they all came out so great.  We just adore this cute, handsome little boy, even if it takes him forever to get ready!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Carving Pumpkins

Grandma Nancy brought home some pumpkins from her last trip to Laketown to visit her sister.  We made sure to put them to good use.  This is the first year we actually carved pumpkins with the boys; in the past we’ve always painted them.  And they proved that they were ready and responsible enough to handle the mess and the sharp blades.  They did great and had a great time.  Palmer, with my help, made a fun jack o lantern face.  And Brody, with Greg’s help, made a Darth Vader pumpkin.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sleepover Weekend with Cousins

My sister London and brother-in-law Monte ran their first marathon last weekend.  They did amazingly!  We are all very impressed and proud what they have accomplished.

We watched their boys while they were away for the weekend.  That meant we had seven kids (six boys and one girl) in the tiny townhome we are currently living in.  It was wild, crazy and fun.  And when it was over, we were all exhausted.

The boys arrived after school on Friday.  We ate tacos for dinner and fruit with vanilla fruit dip, which they all gobbled up.  My oldest nephew has a glutton allergy, so I tried my best to plan glutton free meals that were kid friendly.  We all cuddled up in the livingroom and watched The Croods with pop, popcorn and cookies.  It was great fun.  The babies even really enjoyed the evening.  Avonlea snuggled up against Greg with a big bowl of popcorn next to her, and Archer crawled amongst the boys getting treats wherever he could.  All the kids, except for the twins, slept in the basement downstairs.  Grandma Nancy was out of town for the weekend, so they happily took over her sleeping quarters.

Sariah came over on Saturday to spend the day with us.  She brought pizza for everyone.  We took the younger kids to the park.  Braedon left in the evening to go to the priesthood session of General Conference and sleepover with his friend.  We had hot dogs and tator tots for dinner.  Greg, Sariah and I took the rest of the kids to Gardener Village to see the witches on display.  It was a lot of fun!  The babies were pretty miserable all week because of teething and colds, but they were happy being out and about.  We bought everyone hot chocolate and Sariah bought all the kids a glow in the dark toy.  The boys again spent the night sleeping together in the basement.


Sunday morning we watched the morning session on Conference all together with some packets (Bingo, coloring and cut outs, games, etc.) for the kids to work on.  Palmer and Brody enjoyed the packets; Trevor and Davis did not.  I had a candy game planned for the afternoon session (the kids listen for a word and get a corresponding candy for each time they hear it, ex. Jesus Christ = Skittles, testimony = peanut butter cups), but Trevor and Davis were done.  A friend picked them up for the rest of the day, so it ended up just being our little family for the last session.

The kids all had a lot of fun with the cousins over the weekend.  I promised them all we would do it again in the new house and they were very excited about the prospect.

Monday, October 7, 2013

First Words and Twin Talk

The babies have started talking.  It's adorable.  We all get a kick out of their baby talk.  They babble a lot, but do say a few actual words and I think those words say a lot about their personalities and what they are all about.

Avonlea's first words:
  1. "Mom/Momma" - She almost always says this in a whiny/crying voice, and once in a while a yelling angry voice.  On many occasions Greg has said she is all emotion.  She is by far the most sensitive and dramatic child we have, and when all those emotions come to a head, she wants momma.  Or if she's hungry, tired, sad, playful, excited, or simply just sees me, she wants momma.  She loves to be loved, and apparently momma does it the best.
  2. "Archer" - Avonlea is very aware of Archer.  She is concerned about him when he is hurt or upset.  She looks for him if he is not nearby.  She wants to be with him and follows him throughout the house.  We joke that we had the twins because Avonlea didn't want to come to earth alone.
  3. "No no" - Avonlea says this very matter-of-factly, while wagging her index finger back and forth (wonder who she got that from?), and usually says it to Archer.  She is his second Mom and feels the need to tell him off and keep him in line. 
Archer's first three words:
  1. "Thank You" - He is a charming fellow, there is no doubt about it.  He has a smile that will warm and cheer anyone's heart.  He is mischievous and playful and loves to play fetch with us.  In other words, he loves to drop things, anything, and have us pick it up for him, just to drop it again moments later.  And so every time we took something from him in the nick of time just before it plummeted to the floor we would say, "Thank you," in attempts to encourage him to give us the unwanted item instead of chucking it next time.  He now says thank you whenever someone gives him an item or he gives someone else an item.
  2. "Archer" - While Avonlea is very aware of Archer, he couldn't care less about her.  It's not that he dislikes her or doesn't want to be with her.  He is just indifferent.  He doesn't need her like she needs him.  He will go on without her.  If she has something he wants, he takes it.  If he wants to go somewhere and she is in the way, he doesn't go around her, he actually plows over her.
  3. "Uh oh" - Once again, this word was learned thanks to the drop it/pick it up game that Archer loves to play with us.  Except this is what we hear when we fail to catch his sippy/food/toy in midair and it plummets to the ground making a loud noise or a big mess.
They also have recently started saying "hi," Avonlea now too says "thank you," and they both have uttered Dad/Dada a few times. 

Even though they don't have a huge vocabulary yet, they sure are good little talkers.  They talk to themselves, to each other and to any one who will listen.  Avonlea babbles in quite a unique way that involves a lot of fast, high pitched, tongue wagging.  It's hard to explain; you just have to hear it yourself.  Archer has begun to follow suite in the strange alien-like vernacular.  I have heard that many twins have their own language; I think that just might be the case with Avonlea and Archer.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Four Year Old Brody

Brody turned four this month.  To me, the time has flown by.  To Brody, it could not come fast enough.  He's insisted that he is four for about the last six months.  And on his actual birthday he decided he is now five.  He wants to be big like Palmer.  When he grows up he still wants to be a firefighter.  Brody is all about Star Wars right now; the kid is obsessed.  Everything he comes in contact with is transformed into a lightsaber or a space gun.  He likes to call himself "Brody Wan Kenobi."  And a couple weeks ago started asking what other family members' Star Wars nicknames were.  So now our family is made up of, "General Gregous, Padme Mamadala, Palm Solo, Brody Wan Kenobi, Arch2D2, and Princess Avonleia."  Brody has a great imagination.  He is also very hands on and likes to tinker with electronics and tools.  He can be a bit timid and shy around others, but talks his family's ears off.  He is a very determined child (I think all our children are!) and has a temper.  But he can also be very loving and has the cutest smile and gives the best hugs.  This is what is going on with Brody at four years old.

Stats: Height - 43.6 inches (96 %), Weight - 38 lb. (66 %), BMI - (5%)

 He has learned: to tell and create stories, to read a couple sight words, to write some letters and numbers, to recognize his name, to count to 30, to unbuckle himself from the car, to climb, to draw some items, to get dressed, and to play games on the computer and Wii.

He likes: Star Wars, weapons of any sort, super heroes, comfy clothes, stuffed animals, candy, cereal, Kool Aid, crackers, play fighting, Legos and Lego shows, tools, flashlights, the park, playplaces, swimming, blankets, Chuck E Cheese, and rides (especially roller coasters).

He dislikes: eating dinner, waiting for his turn to talk, being misunderstood, and being rushed.

Things he does that makes us laugh: a funny giggle he has started doing with he inhales while squeaking repeatedly, turns everything into a weapon and pretends to fight with it, says funny things daily and cheesy smiles