Friday, August 31, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes--August

8/7 The first two entries actually reveal more about me as a mom than about my kids. We were in Sam's club this morning and walked by bulk-sized packages of ground beef. Brandon asked, "Mom, what's this stuff?" Oh my gosh--my six year old doesn't even know what hamburger looks like. I'm more of a vegetarian than I'd realized.

This afternoon, I was reading to Whitney. It was one of those alphabet books with a page dedicated to every letter. On the "I" page there was a picture of an iron. I pointed to it and asked Whitney, "What's that?" Her answer: "I don't know." She has never seen me iron. Interesting.

8/9 While snacking on a yummy treat today, Whit observed, "Chocolate is so delicious. It's so chocolatey."

8/11--Here's a glimpse of what's going on in that amazing mind of Brandon's: "OK, so if Heavenly Father made us, who made Him? Where did it all start?" WHOA--mind boggling. I remember having those exact same questions when I was in fourth grade--he's four years ahead of me, I guess. It would kind of make me dizzy to think about it. Actually, it still kind of does.

8/12 In sacrament meeting today, Brandon drew a picture for Whitney. At the end, he gave it to her and said, "You can keep this picture forever....unless you die...or lose it."

And Brandon, you can keep this water balloon forever!

8/14--Whitney has a new favorite line in her prayers, "Thank you that our daddy is handsome." Andrew and I both cracked up laughing the first time we heard it. We couldn't help it. Now she knows we think it's funny so she says it in almost every prayer.

8/15 We're still working our way through the Old Testament stories with Whit and we read about Solomon and how he's wise. We talked about what it meant to be wise and I guess it really stuck with Whit because that was a few days ago and this was part of our conversation today:
Me: "Oooh, girl. You are so smart!"
Whit: "And a little bit wise."

My two wise children

8/17 Whitney is so musical. She almost always has a song going through her head and often they are original compositions. Here's an example of what she was singing today while Andrew was pushing her on the swing, "I can touch the sky by myself. I can touch the sky by myself." This same line is sung over and over and over....

8/21 We were at the library today and participated in a little scavenger hunt. One thing we were supposed to do is to find our favorite artist from the locals who have work displayed there. When I asked Whit who her favorite artist was she said, "My favorite painter is myself." I guess she technically is a local artist, right?

8/22 This morning Whitney walked up to me and said, "Hi. I'm One Eye." It was early (before I had put in my contacts), so I replied, "Hi, there. I'm Four Eyes." Neither of us could just have two good eyes.

Four eyes and One Eye

8/22 We have a CD of VeggieTales songs and one of them talks about how the promised land is "flowing with milk and honey." B-train must've had that song in his head because in the car today, he randomly said, "Wouldn't that be cool if the promised land was flowing with milk and COOKIES?" Yes, buddy, that would be VERY cool.

During that same drive Whitney made this observation about the differences between boys and girls: "Mom, we like flowers and boys like football practice." Being a female athlete, I informed her that some girls like football practice, too. I don't think she believed me.

8/23 With school about to start, we were talking about which friends would be at Brandon's school. Brandon asked about Lauren, a friend who lives in our same neighborhood.
I told them, "No. Lauren goes to private school."
Whitney very excitedly asked, "PIRATE school?"
I think she was ready to enroll.

Wannabe Pirate
(already has the patch!)

8/24 Back to the unique smells my kids always come up with... We were walking by someone mowing their lawn today. Brandon said, "It smells like carrots." Whitney decided, "It smells like a giant bunny."

8/28--Usually when our kids wake up, we ask them if they had dreams and what they dreamed about. When I asked Whitney after her nap today she said, "I dreamed about being two." I said, "Oh, what was that like?" She answered, "Like being three. Except there was a line."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Big First Grader

Hooray for Brandon!
Our big boy started first grade yesterday and he rocked.

Doesn't he look handsome and mature?

With our move this summer, he is attending a different school. We know a few friends there and he was excited about the change. He's such a flexible kid. He didn't complain at all about leaving his comfort zone or the friends he already had from kindergarten. There are times that he can make my life really easy. What a blessing.

Gotta love the NASCAR lunchbox.

He gets to ride the bus again this year, which I also LOVE. We had some confusion because two different buses drive by our stop, but apparently one of them is overcrowded, so he's supposed to get on the second one, not the first. That could get tricky. Thankfully, they're both going to the same school, so he'll get there one way or the other.

He had a wonderful day yesterday. He was very excited when he came home. I was so happy for him. Here's what he had to say about it:

Me: How was your teacher?
B: She's really nice. She's not even one bit strict. If we don't listen, we have to pull a card from green to yellow, but that only happened a couple of times.
Me: Did you have to pull a card?
B: No way.

Me: What was the best part of the day?
B: Going to computer lab. I made a daredevil rider on the computer. It was awesome.
[Times have changed since we were in school, huh?]

Me: What was the worst part?
B: Nothing.

Me: What was the hardest part?
B: We had a teacher test. It was so hard. She asked us questions about her, like "Do I have two daughters? Do I drive a red car? Did I grow up in California?" And I only got two wrong. Isn't that amazing?

Me: What was the funniest part?
B: (silence for a while) I don't know. But the weirdest part was that the car line to pick up the kids filled the whole entire parking lot and went to the end of the neighborhood.
[This comment made me even MORE grateful for the bus.]

Me: How was recess?
B: Good. We got to play on the fifth grade playground, but it was, like, for babies. There was nothing big or scary on it.

As much as I was in denial that summer was over, I am happy to be back in the routine of school. There is something comforting about the rhythm of starting a new school year. His teacher seems wonderful--very organized, communicates well with the parents, seems to be very in control of her classroom. He has one good friend from church(Bailee) in his class and knows one other boy, too. There are SIX first grade classes, so the chances of this happening were slim. Glad it worked out that way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One last getaway

So, while I was typing my last blog post about bidding farewell to summer, I was actually planning out one last little getaway before Brandon started school. Hee hee. I feel like I got away with something.

I talked Andrew into taking Monday off of work and we took a little trip to...

Isn't it beautiful?

Ok, so we actually went to Georgia to visit my brother, Paul, and his family. But we went to a little tourist town called Helen that is built just like an Alpine Village. It was fun to look around. They had a bazillion little shops selling everything under the sun.

Like suits of armor.
(Just what every little boy needs.)

My favorite shop was a little candy store that
sold chocolate covered rice krispy treats.
Mmmmm.....I wish I was eating one right now.

They had a Christmas store where the kids
could practice stabbing Santa with their
balloon swords. Fun, fun.
(Correction: Balloon LIGHT SABERS)

It was SUPER hot while we were walking around, but they have a little stream running right through the village. I really wanted to just wade around in it to cool off, but when we hiked down there it was infested with water snakes and I was too scared to get in. Boo on that.

Instead, we got pizza and had a picnic in the park. I learned that Carson can throw a frisbee better than me. But I'm pretty good at catching. Even so, Paul, Daneen, and Andrew were all MUCH better than me when we played "Three flies up" with the frisbee. I gave up and played baseball with the kids instead.

These three are SOOO cute together.
It's so fun that Carson's age is right in between Whit
and B. He plays well with both of them.

Here are the three munchkins
all spiffied up for church.
That was such a fiasco. I was SO excited to actually be able to sit with Andrew in sacrament meeting. That never happens. But both kids were little buggers. The lack of sleep from staying up late playing with their cousins really took effect. (Probably our lack of sleep from playing Tetris into all hours of the night didn't help matters any!) Andrew and I spent 90% of the mtg out of the chapel resolving reverence-related issues.

On our way home, we stopped at the Fun Depot in Asheville.
The kids and I had been there once before.
It's kind of pricey, but we had so much fun.
Brandon played laser tag with Andrew and loved this
NASCAR-style race car game.

Andrew and I LOVED the batting cages.
(I miss playing softball!)

Whit and I had fun on a go kart. Weee!

And now summer really is gone because Brandon started school this morning. More details to follow.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Farewell, summer

As with most good things, summer has come to an end. I guess I'm lucky because mine has lasted longer than most every one else I know. (We have three more days until it's back to the grind.) Time to wish good-bye to lazy mornings, flexible bedtimes, and complete freedom from schedules.

This summer, we had so many little events that weren't blog-worthy on their own, but were really what made up the bulk of the season. So I've thrown them all together and here's my ode to summer:

Whit singing and dancing to her own music.

A couple of trips to Artquest where the kids
built cool towers with Kapla blocks,

painted pictures of Legos,

painted themselves,

and wore fancy dress-ups.

Lazy Sunday afternoons spent
blowing bubbles in the backyard
with cool gadgets

and the good old fashioned way.


Water-gun fights

The obligatory visits to Chuck E Cheese

Swimming with friends

and more friends

and Brandon learning how to jump off the diving board.
I guess he somehow figured out how to swim this
summer without formal lessons.

Picnics in the park

Swinging at the playground

Feeding the ducks

and taking lots and lots of trips to the water park
(I'm too worried my camera will get stolen,
so I never take it with. This is the "before" pic.)

So, until next year, farewell summer freedom. Hello "Back to School."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

(Some of) Your patch requests

Thanks to everyone who entered requests for patches. It can be hard to come up with new things on my own. I took you up on some of your ideas and others were beyond me (namely Dr. Buckley, Hot Rod, and the glammed up Whit).

Here are my attempts at...
(He was harder than I thought he should've been!)

(I thought this one turned out pretty darn good.)


(Which Whitney loved)

Sally Brown
(didn't think she'd care for Charlie much)

And here are a couple new ones I came up with:
Hello Kitty
(gotta love the simplicity here)

and Ariel
(didn't turn out too bad, for a princess)

And just to show you that not all of my patches turn
out to be works of art:
This was my first attempt at Tinkerbell
before the cute one that I posted last week.
Doesn't she look creepy?

Thanks, again for your input.
I'm always open for suggestions.
We have at least 2 more weeks to go
with the patching and we'll see
what happens after that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The all new bonus room

When we got this house, we were really happy with the paint colors in all of the rooms...except one. The bubble gum pink in the bonus room HAD to go.

See what I mean?
It just didn't work for me.

Andrew was gone for work last week. So, I decided this would be my little project to make the time go by faster--painting the bonus room. I would mostly work at night after I put the kids to bed. It became a mission. I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning the last night of his trip so it would be done before he came home. And I did it!
What do you think?

I am THRILLED with the way it turned out.
But now I need to throw some pictures on the walls.

The color is kind of a greenish-beige. It is very inviting. Andrew thinks this room is just the kids playroom. But I have a different vision. When we find a new sofa and loveseat for the family room downstairs, we're bringing the old sofa up here and I can see me just lazily reading on the couch while the kids quietly entertain themselves. (Ha--keep dreaming!) And this is where we read bedtime stories and scriptures. I could see some mean games of Scrabble happening here, too. The change in color is a great first step toward my dream, don'tcha think?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Another fun date

This weekend we had another really fun date that may have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We went to a professional golf tournament with our friends. Cool, huh?

It was the Wyndham Championship.

It was on a beautiful course. And it was hot, of course,
but not as hot as it has been lately, so it was bearable.

What I learned from my first PGA tournament:

*When the volunteers in the blue shirts raise both of their arms straight up into the air, you can't talk or even walk because one of the golfers is about to hit the ball. You need to hold still and be silent. Is this crazy? It seems like other athletes get taunted and/or cheered during crucial moments. Not golf. It is a very quiet game. (Pansies.)

*People don't really do the golf clap. I was all excited to use the delicate little golf clap after a big shot. Oh, no. People just regular clap. And some of them do it very boisterously. And some people even cheer out loud when a big putt is sunk.

*Golfing isn't as easy as those pros make it look. Andrew was in awe by the shots the players were making. I thought it looked like a piece of cake. They had a little fan appreciation booth set up where you could putt for prizes. I convinced Andrew to go try it with me. You got three tries and needed to sink two of the three balls. I wasn't even CLOSE. Not on a single one. It was humbling. Andrew was actually really close on all of them, but didn't make any of his either.

*There aren't many sports that have such beautiful backgrounds as golf.

*Watching golf makes me want to play golf. Andrew already has a date picked out for him to get out on a golf course. I settled for playing the Waialae Country Club Golf game that we have for the Nintendo. I wasn't very good at that, either. Andrew kicked my tail. Now I'm itching to go to a driving range, too.

Big thanks to Michael and Shelley for making this date possible. And to our babysitter for watching the kids for FIVE hours so we didn't have to stress over whether or not they'd obey the volunteers raising their hands and shooshing us.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Safety Town

Brandon just finished his first summer camp ever. I've never enrolled him in one because:

A. I'm a cheapskate.

B. We travel a lot during the summer and our trips are often spontaneous, so I don't always know when we'll be in town.

But this summer it worked out perfectly for us because

A. Safety Town is FREE.

B. We haven't traveled much.

Safety Town is a two week camp that is sponsored by the police department and other local service organizations. I guess there are lots of cities across the country that host Safety Town camps, but I had never heard of it until this year. It is only for five and six-year-olds, so they have a curriculum geared strictly for those kids and covered just about every danger that I could think of: guns, drugs, poisons, fire, and strangers; as well as how to be safe around animals, on the playground, crossing the street, with seat belts, around water, and on bikes. Wow--that's a lot to learn in two weeks! Brandon had a REALLY good time and it was fun for me to have Whitney to myself for a couple of hours a day.

Today was his graduation.
He passed with flying colors and has become the safety
enforcer around the house and at the water park.
(I overheard him telling another kid "No running!" yesterday)

After the little ceremony, they had Radio Disney put together an after party. It was the cutest thing and the kids LOVED it.

Brandon must be a little flirt because I
caught him dancing with TWO of his
instructors. I know the pic is kind of blurry,
but his smile was priceless.

Whit got in on the fun, too.
She was thrilled when they started playing
"Shake Your Tailfeather" from Chicken Little.
Get down, girl!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Here we go again

I had a lot of fun last time one of these survey-type things went around my circle of blogs, so here's another one. Join in the fun!

Jobs I've had:
1. Carhop at the Root Beer Stand
2. Dental Assistant
3. Janitor at the BYU Health Center
4. Dental Hygienist

(I've had many, many more jobs. I went through a phase of quitting my job every month while we were still in college. But I'll spare you all the details.)

Movies I could watch over and over:
1. Napoleon Dynamite
2. Notting Hill
3. Tommy Boy
4. Anne of Green Gables

Places I've Lived:
1. UT
2. NM
3. MT
4. AZ
5. NV
6. NC

Favorite TV shows:
2. American Idol
3. Survivor
4. Jeopardy

Favorite Foods:
1. Homemade rice, beans, and tortillas
2. Cheesecake
3. Lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang's
4. Homemade rolls (or Rhoade's will do, too)

Websites I visit:(other than my friend's blogs)
1. The official website of Eric D. Snider
(This guy wrote for the Daily Universe while we were at BYU. Pretty funny.)
2. Stephenie Meyer's website
(Yes, I am obsessed with her books right now. I stayed up until 1 am today to finish reading the third one, Eclipse. I didn't like it as well as Twilight, but it was still a great read.)
3. craigslist
(I have sold a couple things and love to browse at what's for sale but have yet to make a purchase.)
4. Family Search Indexing
(After that article in the Ensign this month, I have started doing indexing. Very cool. Click on "volunteer" if you're interested.)

Four places I'd rather be:
1. The Bahamas
2. On a road trip
3. Carolina Beach
4. New Zealand

1. Amy
2. Shelley
3. Paul
4. Marianne

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The latest Patch Gallery

I'm taking Whit's vision care into my own hands. We were supposed to have an appt with her boyfriend, Dr. Buckley, tomorrow afternoon. But all they are going to do is test her vision and if it's not equal, they'll tell us to patch for another 4-6 weeks. I know the drill. We've been there and done that. So, I decided to try to test her vision here at home. I couldn't find the little black and white "Allen figures" that they use at Duke in a printable version, but I found another vision test that worked like a charm. Andrew was my assistant last night as I pretended I was a pediatric ophthalmologist and it was very obvious that her right eye is still weaker than her left. At least it was not off the charts like it was when we first started patching. There has definitely been improvement. So, the patching is working, but we're not done yet. So I called and rescheduled for next month. We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, last year at about this time, I posted a patch gallery of some of the fun ways I'd decorated Whit's patches. Here is this year's version.

Winnie the Pooh

and Tigger, too!

She wasn't into the Little Einsteins last year,
so these characters were new for me.
This one is Annie.

And this is June.
(When Whit is wearing this patch,
people think it's Betty Boop.)

And then one day Whit asked me to draw "Whitney"
on her patch. Talk about pressure! I tried to
draw her as if she were a Little Einsteins character.
Pretty cute, huh? I like her curly cues.
(Sorry the pic turned out a little blurry.)

Good ol' classic Dora

Here's Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Princess are hard to draw!

This was supposed to be Boo from Monster's Inc.

And my favorite so far this summer:

What do you think? Which is YOUR favorite? Any requests that you think Whit might enjoy? I'm running out of ideas and have at least another month to go. But Miss Whit has been amazingly cooperative with wearing that darn thing every other day. I'm so grateful for that. And it was nice to see (through our amateur testing) that at least it's doing some good.