Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Multiple Months in Review...Yet Again!

Well, now that I got all the chick drama off my chest, I can catch up on the last few months. Today in between my chick exploits and my April fools day pranks, I realized. It’s April 1st and I haven’t blogged since January. I find myself wanting to blame it on being busy, but I believe I have used that as the excuse for at least half of my blog posts over the past few years. So, I guess rather then saying, "life is busy", I should just say, "life is normal".  Normal is good, and I enjoy being busy…most of the time.

I will let the pictures I managed to remember to take explain the past few months.

To survive the cold months...

We also took a trip to St George for some much needed sunshine.

 There is a story to go along with this very unflattering photo of my behind. Hudson had been asking for a very long time to hike to the top of one of the old volcanoe in the St George area he happened to noticed off the road on a drive one day. Since we all thought it would be fun we made a trip out of it.  Our family and Ross and Jenny headed out on a well beaten path that leads in a slow climbing spiral up and around to the top of the Volcano.  It was quite a long walk so, when we got to to the top and looked off into the view below, we thought, "Why not take the short cut down, by just climbing straight down the side of the volcano and skipping the long winding trail?" Great idea right?!? Well...not so much.  It was much steeper and much more slippery then it appeared sharp cinders covering the terrain.   We ended up sitting on our butts and sliding straight down with the two little girls on our laps...oddly enough, laughing the whole way.  Below is the result of our wonderful ideal.  I got away lucky however, as Ross was left with a substantial gash on his arm. At least it was memorable for sure.

At the top of the cinder cone.
Maybe the elevation clouded our judgement.

Our traditional photo for Presidents Day in St George.  It gets a little harder to achieve each year.
Back in the arctic north...
Monkey, Jake and Ross sluffin school and work to enjoy a day of skiing at the Canyons.

Thanks to a baby sitting swap for free ski passes and Uncle Ross being sweet enough to lend me his ski gear.  Jake even took me
for a fun day of Skiing at Deer Valley.  Also, a big thank you to Gram Wendy for babysitting! It was so amazing!

Even little Melly Girl got her first try at skiing on a special date with Daddy up at Park City.  

We had some other big firsts in our family....

                                        Autumns CRAZY hair finally got long enough to put it into Piggy's. THANK GOODNESS!!!

Hudson lost his first tooth.  I thought I might cry, but I managed to keep it together.
He was pretty excited that the tooth fairy came and brought him "one quarter and one dollar bill, even though I  was just hoping for the dollar bill."
Baby Boe Boe started nursery.
 I definitely didn't cry. It breaks my heart she is growing up so fast, but WOW! She is so DIFFICULT at church! Love her to bits, but WOW really really difficult! You would not believe how one little girl can disrupt an entire primary. You might think,"Whhaatt"? "That sweet thing?" "I'm sure its just bad parenting." That's what I would have said! Well, I would gladly give anyone who thinks they could do better a job at managing this little thing when she gets her mind set on something she can't have.  Fortunately, she is loving nursery. We are loving having her there!
We started working on the back yard. Hooray! 

Everybody has been pitching in :).
Actually Hudson has been almost as obsessed with working on it as Jake.  He has abandoned all of his old favorite activities for filling wheel barrels full of rocks.  After one Sunday of listening to him beg and beg to get out and work on it, we had to have some lengthy sit down discussions about why we don't work on Sunday.  He is a funny boy, with a lot of focus. 


On the hunt for treats at the Heber City Egg hunt.

Easter Dresses.
How can such beautiful things be so difficult to photograph!?!

Delicous and Educational.
Jake taught us the story of Easter by making us
  "empty tomb" rolls he learned how to make in Home Ec..
(Only in Utah ha ha. Am I right ?!?)

The longer I have kids, the more I like holidays. Its just an excuse to do silly things to make the day as fun and special as possible.  As long as they are little and enjoy it, I will probably continue with this.  Recently for St Patrick's day, in addition to all the not so visually appetizing green foods I served up for them, I spent a ridiculous amount of time searching for chocolate gold coins to use for the pot of gold at the end of the far too elaborate treasure hunt the "Leprechauns" had left for my kids to find when they awoke. It was so long Ellie lost interest half way through. The same Leprechauns, also thought it would be funny to stick shamrock shaped stickers all over the kids in their sleep, which may or may not have left Ellie with a pretty severe rash the next morning.
For April fools day, I decided to leave it pretty simple with just a few silly pranks.  I have at times in my past taken pranks a little too far.  You know where you just get a little too excited and it crosses the line from funny to destructive and police may or may not end up being involved. Well, I thought I was being cute. I thought I was being fun. I guess there are some things you just do NOT do.  
Like telling Ellie she gets to eat cupcakes for dinner when they are really just meatloaf with blue mashed potato frosting. I'm not sure I have ever seen the kids so mad at me. 
I guess there are just some lines you don't cross.
(Getting to wear PJ's during the day and clothes at night was also part of the April Fools fun.)
(I'm not that lazy....yet!)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Confessions of a Guilty Conscience.

Not sure if I should share this story or not. I wonder if my children will one day laugh as they read it or think I’m a terrible person…either way it’s the truth, and my conscience is screaming at me so I’m hoping that a written confession might settle my still shaking hands and pounding hart. 

My plight began Saturday morning, when my ever increasing baby hunger, transformed a quick trip to the hard ware store for sprinkler parts; into our dabbling with chicken farming.  I can see Jake and I driving home in my mind; me with an expression of pure joy as I cradled the soft fuzzy chicks in my lap and Jake shaking his head and sighing periodically for show. After spotting them at the store it had taken me only moments to come up with a plan for them to come live at our house for a week before taking them to Blanding to have a permanent home at my Dad’s field.

My plan was to have a fun Easter surprise for the kids the next morning when they awoke. It was a win a win, I got something I wanted and I knew they would love it as well.  I snuck my little friends inside and set them up a cozy home hidden in the basement. They peeped happily and I was pretty pleased with myself.  Jake and I periodically snuck down throughout the day to check on our new little friends.  We noticed right away that one of them was a little more docile then the others.  I thought maybe it was a little younger or just more tired.  I didn’t worry about it a whole lot.  The next morning the kids awoke to find the Easter Bunny had left them a treasure hunt with clues.  They were elated to find the chicks at the end, and since Ellie called them “Ducks” when she found them, I figured it was probably a good educational experience as well. 

The kids each picked a chick and quickly gave them names. A yellow one named Sunshine, and Red one named Red, and a striped one named Stripey. We are quite a creative lot. The kids enjoyed them even more then I expected. We spent the day lying in the grass, enjoying the sunshine and watching them explore their surroundings.

Autumn was a little terrifying, with hands that excitedly squeeze a little too tight and feet that don’t look where they are going. She sure loved them though, and we managed to help her enjoy them without letting her crush a single one.

 Throughout the day we noticed that while Stipey and Red would run around, Sunshine would sleep every chance she got. She also didn’t seem to eat and drink like the other two.  Ellie loved her tenderly and would give her sweet little kisses. I started feeding her with a dropper, and getting really worried. I checked on her a few times during the night and all three chicks seemed fine.  The next morning she had taken a turn for the worse.  She wouldn’t stand any more, and the other chicks had started to peck at her.  I went into full stress mode. I fed her a little with the dropper and she seemed to get a little more alert, but she didn’t seem right.  She stood still peeping incessantly as the other two continued to peck at her so I separated her from them, and told the kids she was a little sick and we needed to leave her alone. Ellie was sad that her chickey didn’t feel good, and I was getting really upset.  I just really didn’t want to deal with watching it slowly deteriorate and die.  I know that is a life lesson that all kids have to learn, but I didn’t feel up for it quite yet.  I loved growing up and having animals that my Dad raised on his hobby farm, but I also had my heart broken a lot.  Every year you lose some of the animals when they get sick or just aren’t born right. I never quite managed to get tough enough for the whole thing, which is the same reason I never caught the love of hunting.

Jake called and said he would stop and get me a new one on his way home if it died before then.  I really didn't want to have to watch it die. Suddenly I got very desperate.  I called the hardware store hoping they would let me come exchange it for a new chick. They told me no, saying all sales were “as is” and final.  My mind started racing searching for an out, that didn’t involve me watching it slowly die or putting it out of its misery.  

I quickly devised a plan. I felt like I was functioning in fast forward. I dropped the kids off at my friends and told them Sunshine was sick, and I needed to take her to the Dr to get a shot so she could get better. I drove to the hardware store and went in and purchased a new yellow chick.  This time making sure the one I got was plenty lively.  My hands were trembling as I handed the cashier the money.  As quickly as I could, I ran back to my car and switched the chicks. Guiltily looking around to make sure I was unseen I placed Sunshine in the box that Sunshine 2.0 had just been purchased in and like a mother abandoning her child, I left the box at the front doorstep of the store.  My heart pounded and I shook all over as I watched the front of the store from the inside of my car across the street.  I hoped someone would find the box and return it to the store, maybe Sunshine would end up pulling through and maybe she wouldn’t but at least I wouldn’t have to watch anymore. I watched three different people enter the store and no one seemed to notice the chicken box.  My mind raced. I didn’t want the poor thing to have to lay out there in the cold all day.  I dialed the store and gave them a lie. In a disguised voice, which for some reason I felt was necessary, I explained that I had been walking by and noticed someone had left a chick out front.  The lady who spoke to sounded confused and thanked me for telling her.  I watched as she came out and carried the box inside.  

I drove home with the sound of peep peeping from Sunshine 2.0 on the seat next to me.  I was flooded with a mixture of relief, guilt, and adrenaline.  What kind of crazy person leaves a baby chick on the door step of a store because she can’t deal with it being sick!?!  I must be at least a little chemically imbalanced!!!

One last note, all three kids were sure excited to see how much the shot has helped Sunshine.  Ellie even said a little prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for helping her chick get better.  I’m pretty sure there is a warm seat in hell with my name on it waiting for me. J

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Year and New Fun.

We started our new year off celebrating with the Powell's   We enjoyed a fire work show and a fake count down at 8pm.  We all went around and said what our resolutions were going to be and the kids had really cute ideas.  However, its only been a month and I can not for the life of me remember what anyone said so I'm pretty sure they are going about as well as everyone else's new year resolutions.

I was really excited to be able to sign the kids up for gymnastics lessons this month.  They have been asking for it for almost a year, so when I had the opportunity to start watching another kid during the week, I decided that since they were good about sharing their mom with other kids, I would share part of the money I was making to let them do something they really wanted to do. They have loved it.  There are now a lot of days that all the mattresses get drug into the living room so they can practice their tumbling. They even take turns pretending to be Coach Steve(their gymnastics coach) and offer each other encouragement. It has been one of the best gifts I ever gave them, and has given us something fun to do this winter.

 Hudson discovered another fun thing to do in the winter. 
Ever since Hudson was born Jake has been telling me he couldn't wait to teach him to ski.  Well, five years later he finally got to do it.  Hudson has only been out on them a few times, but he is in love with it.  He asks me everyday if he can go skiing. I'm sure he will have a lot of fun days hitting the slopes with Dad in the future.  He sure looks cute doing it!

We took a trip up to Logan to go see the Elk at Hardware Ranch.  Autumn was especially excited to get to see the elk up close on the sleigh ride. That night the girls had a movie party and the boys got to go to an Aggie basket ball game.  Hudson has been showing off his moves to the Scotsman ever since.