Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Emmy Lately

Some days she dresses up, and some days (like today) she spends a lot of time in just a diaper. She started out in real clothes this morning, but spending time in the sandbox and painting rocks with water resulted in clothes that needed to be removed. As of late, Emmy has been stealing my heart, making me laugh, and making me want to scream. Equal parts of each. As I whisked her up the stairs for her nap today she called to Natalie, "I will be back with you when I'm done with my nap. I love you Natalie!" That's a heart melter. Yesterday she told me she had a dirty diaper. I said, "Yeah, I can smell it." She replied, "Yeah, me too." Laughs. Then there's me wanting to scream because she wants to do everything by herself. This is fine, except that she usually doesn't tell me until AFTER I have done it for her. I open the car door. "IIIIII was going to open the door!!!" I close the book we have been reading. "IIIIII was going to close the book!!!" Natalie and Jansen have been using the words "dumb" and "stupid" a little too much lately (not at each other luckily), and she has started to pick up on those choice words as well. Bedtime is a fragile orchestration of blankets in the right position, certain stuffed animals in attendance, climbing into her crib on her own, and many other details that leave me shaking my head. But I love her soooo much.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

More February Happenings

February can be such a long, dreary month, but this year that has not been the case! There has been a lot going on this month and lots of fun visitors. Christian and Julie and their kids were here last weekend.
Jansen and Kyle are just a couple weeks apart in age. I still remember announcing that Julie and I were pregnant and also blessing these little guys together.

And now look at them! And such great friends too. This was on the way home from a fun morning at the park.

Saturday night we ate at one of Julie's favorites - Dima's. I've been there twice with her now and love it too!

 I had to throw in a then and now picture of these two girls as well.

I loved watching them giggle and run off together all weekend.

I'm so lucky to have such a great sister in law!

On President's Day we went on a hike at Red Rock. Everybody did great.

We took a little nap break in the afternoon and then headed to the Strip. Christian and Julie brought their exchange student to Vegas, and we wanted to show him the sights, sounds, and lights of this crazy city. We mostly hung around the Bellagio and watched the fountain show.

Julie asked me at some point if I was happy to have a little break from so many visitors when we move to D.C. I said NO WAY! We love having people come. It was a great weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pinewood Derrrrrrrrby

As part of our calling at church (we are the representatives for the 30 and older single adults), we were asked to help orchestrate a pinewood derby for a regional singles conference. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. When it really comes down to it, I do love assignments that make me learn about something I was unfamiliar with before. I like acquiring little bits of knowledge that will come in handy again someday. Like where to buy helium balloons in Las Vegas and what's the best method to add weight to a pinewood derby car.

 I was in charge of decorating for the event. I've never really decorated for anything like this before, so I was unsure of myself the whole time. Luckily, everything worked out the way I had imagined. I could not have done it without the help of some awesome even brought her 4 kids along, and they were so well behaved. It took us about 3 hours. This awesome blow up car was a sweet find I came across at a party store that was going out of business. I think it was $3.50.

After setting up and decorating, I headed home to be with the kids. Nate ran the show for the rest of the evening and the following afternoon. Here are some of the participants at the derby:

Cars all ready to be raced...

Some of the awards given...

I love this shot of the blurred cars racing down the track. Extremely glad this whole thing is over, but it was a great experience.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Weekend With the Girls

I am so glad we made this girls' weekend happen even though it's hard to coordinate schedules and make all the arrangements. A big thank you to all the husbands who cared for the kids while we spent their hard earned money. It was like Christmas morning for me on the day that I picked everyone up from the airport. Our first stop was a bite to eat at Panera, a memories-of-Ohio choice. We needed to book a hotel for that night, so this is Annie about to submit our Priceline bid. Can you believe we didn't get a 5 star hotel for $50? Those cheapskates. Oh well, we got Treasure Island for $60, and it was a 4 star.

We were not complete yet...we had to go pick up Kiki for that to happen. After we snagged her we went down to the strip and saw some sights at the Bellagio.

World's largest chocolate fountain and the world's greatest pose with a chocolate fountain.

Practically had to pry this girl away from the slots. 

We had dinner at Hash House a Go Go. Do you see the size of my pancake?! This was the perfect place to grab dinner because it was in the same hotel as the show we were going to see that night. I had gotten us last minute free tickets to Recycled Percussion.

We were all extremely worried as we stood in line for the show. They were handing out pots and pans for everyone to use and bang on. Kids were grabbing them and making awful noises. I think we all considered turning back. Luckily, the show was actually really fun, and all the crazy banging just blended in with the real music. We had drumsticks and were told to make lots of noise at certain times.

Annie got to go on stage and wear a monkey mask. LUUUCKY! She had to dance up there too, and she OWNED it! It was so funny. I love the memory I have of her coming and sitting back down and smothering her face with hand sanitizer.

Sporting some ear plugs...

Like I mentioned, we spent the night at Treasure Island. It's so fun to stay at a hotel and just chat with friends. We missed Kiki who headed home to sleep in her own comfy bed that night.

We had breakfast Friday morning at the Cracked Egg. We love our breakfast food.

Friday was our shopping day. We just hopped around hitting every store we could that day. 

Another Ohio memories choice: Rita's. I'm craving it as we speak. Mango Italian Ice with Vanilla Custard...

After our first choice for dinner was too packed, we decided to eat at BJs. You cannot go wrong with pizza. That night Annie and Kara spent the night at my house.

We were quite indecisive about what to do on Saturday, but it turned out to be a great day. We visited at Kiki's for awhile and then took Annie to have her first In n Out burger. We stopped at the Discount Shoe Factory for a minute after that.

Last memory before airport drop offs...drinks at Starbucks and laughing laughing laughing at Jansen's and Aiden's blogs. Both are much more entertaining than this one. I've missed these girls so much, and a weekend with them was more fun than I can put into words. Not sure when the next one will be, but there WILL be a next one. :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week With Grandma

We'd been looking forward to Grandma Kim's visit for awhile, and now I can't believe she's already come and gone! She arrived late last Monday night. I had some friends coming to town Thursday, so it was great to have a couple days to spend with her before things got busy. We had lots of McDonald's smoothies, sunshine, and fun afternoons spent in the backyard. One morning we visited Jansen during his lunch at school.

We also had to take her to U-Swirl.

After my friends arrived in town, I was off duty. Nate and his mom took care of the kids for a couple days while I had a little girls' weekend. We let the kids stay home from school on Thursday, and they had a fun-filled day. They made a stop at Bass Pro Shop in the morning (and each kid got a tackle box) and then headed to Red Rock State Park. It's beautiful there.

I don't have much commentary for these pictures since I wasn't there, but I think they speak pretty well for themselves.

Ben was flying solo with his kids because Kiki was with me. They live near Red Rock, so Nate stopped by after hiking and they had pizza together.

Friday was a little more low key, and Nate and Kim got the kids up and off to school without a hitch. They went to Flip N Out that night. Nothing makes me love my husband more than when he sends me a video (while I'm out to dinner with friends) of him going down a huge blow up slide with his daughters. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. We dropped my friends off at the airport Saturday afternoon and then had a quick dinner at Town Square with Kim before taking her to the airport. It's always hard to wake up the next morning after a visitor has left. We're so glad Grandma Kim could come to Vegas. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Making Lemonade, etc.

Bowls of water + lemons + sugar were sitting around the kitchen for a few days when Jansen and Natalie experimented with making lemonade. What a mess. I couldn't tell them no though. I did tell Natalie I would not drink it...except about a teaspoon size sip.

Sure was sweet when I found Jansen asleep with his hand still on his scripture stories.

Just a fun picture of my crazy Natalie girl.

And another...

Natalie and Jansen really like to play school right now. This is a worksheet Jansen created for Natalie that made me laugh out loud.

My friend Candy was baptized today. I haven't known her long, but she always calls me "sister" and I love it. I sat by her one Sunday in Relief Society, and we got talking and the rest is history. She will be such a great addition to our ward. Her teenage daughter was also baptized.

I just love the missionaries. We all take turns having them over for dinner, and I always just want to pour my heart out and tell them how wonderful I think they are.