Monday, August 31, 2015

First Days of School

All four of the kids are going to school this year.  Avonlea and Archer started preschool first.  This was the first time I have sent a child to preschool without a younger one at home to take care of; it was a strange feeling.  I was very excited for them, but a little sad to see them growing up so quickly.  They have been going to school for two weeks now and are loving it!  They are attending two hours twice a week, but want to go everyday.

Palmer went to second grade the day after the twins started.  He was super excited as well.  He loves school and is always excited about learning.  He doesn't know many kids in his class this year, but he is very social and is happy to make new friends.

Brody started Kindergarten a week later.  He was so impatient to go since all his siblings had already begun.  He is very excited to be going to the same school as his big brother.  I was also a little sad on his first day.  I smiled big and made sure to share in his enthusiasm and excitement, but once he was in the building, I teared up a bit.

As a mom of four, I daily feel overwhelmed and wish for breaks!  Yet I am always a little sad to see them go off to school.  I really do love being with them.  Raising my children is what I've always wanted and dreamed about.  I just love these kids so much!

Here's to a good 2015 school year.  Learn, explore, grow, be kind, make friends, respect your teachers and have fun kiddos!  I'll be here at the end of each school day, ready and eager to hear all about it.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Bees Game

Greg's company took all it's employees and their families to a Bees game.  It happened to be Superhero night at the stadium, so all the kids got capes to take home.  They also were able to ride a train that circles the stadium.  His company fed us dinner.  They held drawings, which to Brody's delight, he won early in the night and picked out a big Lego set he had been eyeing.  Palmer won the last prize of the night, which was headphones and an MP4 player; he was so excited!  We all had a great time!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Recipe - Graham Cracker Brickle Bars

I tried a new recipe from, graham cracker brickle bars.  They were super easy, fast to prepare and cook and super yummy!  I made them from an FHE treat and the we took a family bike ride and took some to a friend who's been going through some rough stuff.

Graham Cracker Brickle Bars

12 full size graham cracker, broken into fourths
1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet morsels, melted

Break grahams into fourths. Line a cookie sheet with crackers.  Pan melt butter and sugar.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, remove immediately and pour over crackers. Sprinkle with nuts.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to parchment paper.  The best way to do this is using two butter knives.  Scoop each graham cracker individually and transfer to parchment.  Repeat until all grahams are moved to paper.  Drizzle bars with melted chocolate.  Allow to set.  Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Last Days of Summer

Last summer, I had a huge bucket list that kept us very busy.  This year, I felt just as busy, yet I know we didn't do as many activities.  We did however, go on a few road trips, spent many afternoons at the fitness center/free lunch at the park and had the older boys participate in soccer and swimming lessons.  And between those things, the summer flew by!

I did make sure to pack as much fun as possible into our last week of summer vacation.  We went to the farm with London, Trevor and Davis.  We pet and fed animals, went on a wagon ride and rode ponies.

We spent the weekend at Bear Lake with Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Randall.  We spent a lot of time at the lake.  We rode jet skis for a few hours, played on the water trampoline for an hour, swam, and played in the sand.  It was so much fun!  We also had a BBQ at the house, played games and attended church in Garden City Sunday morning.  Sadly, I didn't take one picture!

Monday I took the kids and cousin Davis to a splash pad.  They ran and ran, giggling the whole time!  I could help but smile widely as I watched them, sitting back and soaking up the rays of the sun.  Summer life is good!

I love spending the summer with my kids!  I am always happy to get back to a more scheduled life with school starting, but I will miss having my kids around and planning outings with them.  This summer went by too fast; I'm not quite ready to send them all off to school yet.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer Adventures of Palmer and Brody

Palmer and Brody had a couple summer trips without Mom and Dad this year.  The first time they were invited to Grandma Nancy's and Grandpa Randall's house in Bear Lake for "Cousins Camp."  They stayed two night and were able to meet and play with Randall's grandchildren as well as play with their cousins Amaya and Alyssa.  They hiked into a cave, played at the lake and stayed up late talking.  They came back very tired, but very happy.

The second trip they had they went to Winnemucca with Grandpa Kelly and Grandma Kerri for a whole week!  That one was a little hard on me.  I missed them like crazy!  I don't know how I'll deal with them going on a mission for two years, yikes!  There they were spoiled like crazy, going out for happy meals every day, buying crafts at the store, going swimming, riding four wheelers, and enjoyed a bubble bath every night in their jetted garden bathtub.  They had a blast!

Kerri sent me this picture of the boys at monster rock, where they took a quick stop, on their way to Winnemucca.  Greg also has picture of himself there as a little boy.

I'm glad these boys are getting to go out into the world, experience and explore.  And I'm so grateful they have extended family who loves them and wants to spend quality time with them.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Three Year Old Twin Photo Shoot

I could not be more thrilled with how the twins' three year photo shoot turned out.  The photographer even got Archer to smile, on numerous occasions.  This is something I struggle with all the time.  We all just adore these two and are so grateful to have their fun, spunky, sweet spirits in our family!


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Potty Training Twins

Ai, yi, yi!  Potty training the twins turned out to be as hard as I had hyped it up in my head to be. 

As I did with the older boys, I followed the program found in Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, which I have found to be very successful.  Like everything, I modify it a bit to fit my children, but I do believe it to be a positive program that yields fast results.

I knew I needed to give myself more time to get the twins potty sufficient than I have given myself with when potty training in the past.  I planned a whole week to really focus on the task because, first of all, there are two of them and I am outnumbered, and second of all, our lives are more busy and we have more commitments; I knew I could not devote three days straight to stay at home.  The week started very rough, but by the end of it, the twins were rocking the potty business!  Sweet success, right!?

Wrong.  What I didn't think about was that we were going to Legoland just two weeks later.  A place of such excitement and distraction, and long lines, is not ideal for newly toilet trained twins.  After a couple of days, Greg and I gave it and purchased a package of Pull Ups, something I try greatly to avoid when potty training.

Not only did I not take into account that setback, I also didn't see us all getting infected with Cryptosporidium, thanks to the Legoland waterpark.  Ugh!  Thanks to those nasty little parasites, and the round the clock diarrhea, the twins were in pull ups for another two weeks after the trip.

So now I find myself, a couple months after beginning Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, still toilet training.  The twins have gotten to the point that they mostly have it down.  They are peeing on the potty 99% of the time, but the pooping on the potty has been a struggle since they got sick.  As a friend of my said when I posted the picture above on Instagram, asking for luck as I began this venture, "Potty training is the worst part of parenting!"  I'm sure there will be bigger, scarier, more life-threatening hurtles to get through down the road as I parent, but I have to say, I really am not a fan of teaching toilet skills!