Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lately

Well, I am incredibly behind on this blog of mine.  This just in, four kids is exhausting!  Whoever said that "once you have three it doesn't really matter how many you have" lied.  So, I have been finding it hard to sit down and write about our busy little lives.  But they have been busy!  And good!  I'll play catch up from before the family vacation some other time, but here's what we've been up to lately.

We're embracing summer around here, and I'm trying to get the kids out doing fun things.  So far we've gone to a splash pad, a pool, checked out 17 books from the library, had a lemonade stand, played in the sprinklers, gone to the park, played with friends and cousins, gone to the beach, and by the end of the week we will have also gone to a parade and (hopefully) the zoo.  Whew!  The kids have been loving it, and Hannah has just pretty much been along for the ride!  She's a pretty easygoing baby.

The kids have been good little helpers, and we've started re-vamping our chore assignments around here, which has been great!  We were paying them for completing their chores each day, but it feels wrong to pay kids to do their chores.  They should just do them because they are a part of the family.  So I'm working on a different solution, but so far they are still doing their chores even without getting paid, so I call that a success.

The kids are doing great.  Ryan is having a blast being home with us, but misses seeing his friends from school.  He is a great helper, as usual.  Sometimes it surprises me how capable Ryan is.  He now takes out all the trash and the recycling, does laundry, can feed and burp Hannah, makes lunch when I ask him to, and is really sweet about bringing me my gigantic mug of water, all filled up with fresh cool water, without me even asking!  What a champ.  He's a good boy.

Summer seems to have hit Calvin hard.  I think he prefers winter, anyways.  But he's been staying up much later, getting fewer naps, and the whole Sophie-Calvin dynamic has changed now that Ryan is around all the time.  Basically, I think Calvin really loved being the oldest while Ryan was at school and now he's back to not ever being the oldest.  I think it's kind of hard for the little guy.  But he's still been having lots of fun with our different activities.  He and Ryan are each in a soccer class at the YMCA, and Calvin especially loves it.

Sophie is a funny girl.  She is in a gymnastics/dance combination class at the YMCA this summer and thinks it is the greatest thing ever.  She has really started loving talking to Hannah and trying to play with her.  She loves the fact that she has a sister, even if her sister can't really do anything.  Sophie also LOVES to play with her cousins, so I think it's been a good summer so far in her book.

Hannah is pretty much just in to eating.  Also, she is getting strong enough to sit in the bumbo, which is pretty much my favorite.  I can plunk her in front of the mirror and she can make inquisitive faces at her "baby friend".  She also still loves the ladybug mobile in her crib.  She has a hard time falling asleep if she's not swaddled, and she's getting better at doing some 6 hour stretches of sleep .  So she's been a busy gal.  Oh, also she went from just over 7 lbs to 13.5 lbs in the course of about 5 weeks.  Go, baby, go!

And I have been trying to keep up with these kids!  I feel like that's all I do.  Maybe that's just this season of life!  I've started my piano lessons again, though, and that's been nice (my last lesson was on the day I went into labor with Hannah...).  And I've been mulling over doing something intellectual like contacting the Marriott School Alumni chapter in my area to see if they have any volunteer opportunities where I could put my MBA skillz to use a few hours a month or something.  Like a real live case I could work on pro bono.  I don't know if that's even possible, but something like that would be nice.  We'll see.

Michael has been working hard.  In fact, right now he is spending his only free time of the day tearing apart and fixing our broken couch (side note, how can something so expensive be so shoddily made???).  Lest you think this is an easy fix, it involves four 7 foot long 2x4's from home depot, a saw, some pliers, a power drill and lots of screws.  He is always doing stuff like that. What a guy, what a guy!

So that's our life lately.  Here are a couple of pictures!

Ryan sure loves this little lady.  He calls her Baby Banana.


Sophie on a particularly awesome hair day.


Calvin begged me to come take a picture of his bubble beard.


Sophie all dolled up for dance class!



Note my valiant attempt at a bun.


Thumbs up!  She had such a  great time.


Jumping!


Rolling!


Balancing:


I got to hang out with my cousin, Stephanie, who is an oboist with the orchestra that plays for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, who were here on tour last week.  It was so fun to see her!  


Ryan made what I assumed to be a paper snowflake, but then taped it to his head, and taped some other paper to his body and said, " Look, Mom!  It's a skeleton costume!"  Nice.


Sisters!




Michael taking the kids on a canoe adventure in the back yard:


Chubby.


Flying baby!


I came in to the living room to find this the other day.  It was sweet.  And even though I cringed because Sophie had been throwing up all day, I still had to take a picture before asking her nicely to please stay away from the baby while she was sick.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Moore Family Vacation!


Best week ever!  We just got back from 7 fun-filled days with the entire (minus Benjamin--we missed him!) Moore family, and let me just say, it was amazing!  AnnaMarie planned the entire thing, and she did such a great job!  She and Dad found this awesome cabin 2 hours north of the cities, and it was perfect!  Enough space for everybody and lots of fun things to do!  It was so great to leave everything behind and just have fun together.  At one point, I remember just swinging in the hammock with Hannah, looking around at everyone having so much fun together, and thinking that it really didn't get any better than this.  I am so blessed with such a wonderful family, both mine and Michael's, and I love them all so, so much!  It was just such a great week!

AnnaMarie is definitely the one to have around if you want to tackle the tough job of planning a week long vacation for 22 people.  She was seriously incredible!  Each couple (plus Dad one day and Christy and Lubiana one day) took a day and made lunch, dinner and did the dishes on that day, and I have to say, it worked like clockwork and it was all so yummy!  I think Abbey and Spencer's Chicken Tikka Masala with homemade Naan was the best thing I have ever had in my life.  So amazing.

And our family had our own separate apartment, which was so perfect for getting our kids to sleep away from the crowd.  It had a bedroom, a sofa bed in the living room, and a loft, so there was plenty of space for all of our kids.  It was awesome!  The house also had a sauna and a hot tub, plus a little sandy beach, huge deck, fire pit, you name it!

The entire vacation was pretty much a dream come true for Michael, who got to fish his heart out and showed everybody else the fishing ropes, making sure everybody who wanted to had a chance to catch some fish, which were pretty darn plentiful!  We had a friendly competition going for who could catch the most fish.  It came down to Ryan, Tyler and Spencer.  I'm pretty sure Tyler and Spencer both ended up out-fishing Ryan, but they kept it on the low down, and Ryan was crowned the champion!  He is so, SO proud of himself.  I think he caught like 17 fish.  It was pretty amazing.

So, the fishing was pretty popular.  In addition, we all hot tubbed, played games, sat around the fire and chatted, watched a couple of movies, played with the kids, had a water balloon fight, shot BB guns, helped the kids do some crafts, made food, napped on the hammocks Michael set up, played catch and 500, and had just such a fun time.  I loved watching everybody take turns snuggling Hannah.  And I loved watching Jack, Aiden and William all play together.  3 one year olds is pretty crazy, but such a fun memory.  It was just so much fun.  I loved pretty much every second!

In addition to all of the fun times, there were also a couple of scary times.  Hannah had a fever in the middle of the night and I called my pediatrician's on call number, and they said to pretty much get her to urgent care asap.  James helped Michael giver her a priesthood blessing in the middle of the night, and in the morning when I took her in, she didn't have a fever and was feeling much better.  That one was only a little scary, but one of the days Michael and I had our kids on the canoe and James and Tyler had Katie and Jane out on the paddle boat, and all of a sudden we heard someone yelling for Tyler.  We were both pretty far away from shore, but we started booking it home.  Finally we realized that it was Spencer yelling for Tyler that William was having a seizure.  We all got back as fast as we could, and I brought all of the kids up to our apartment to keep them occupied, while Dr. Tyler checked William out, and William got a priesthood blessing from his Daddy and uncles.  William turned out to be fine, and the seizure was because of a high fever he had been running.  He was able to get back to playing and running around in almost no time.  These experiences made me so grateful for the loving and worthy priesthood holders in our family, and for Heavenly Father's protection in our lives.  They were special experiences, and we were all so relieved that everyone turned out to be fine.

Through the happy, fun times, and through the couple of scary times, too, I just really felt such a closeness and happiness being there together with our family.  Family gives us an underlying sense of peace and satisfaction that nothing else gives.  I didn't realize I could love our family more than I did, but somehow, after this week, I do!  It was such an awesome family vacation, and I am so glad everyone was able to be there. 

So, since I loved our vacation so much, I naturally took a bunch of pictures.  And so did everybody else!  I got the pictures off of everyone's cards except AnnaMarie's, and I have whittled it down to 153 finalists.  I'm not even kidding.  So stop now if you don't want to spend like an hour looking at these pictures!  But first, here are some of my favorite sound bytes from the vacation:

Katie: Let's stand back here so uncle Michael doesn't shoot us.

Ryan: Hey, Katie!  I got a FOURTH freezie pop because my mom had to get puss out of my nose!

Sophie: Nobody's making me have any fun!

Jane, after Grandpa fell into the lake: Grandpa fell right in!  Grandpa, get in the hot tub! (Jane got put in the hot tub with all of her clothes on after she fell in)

Calvin:  I can either find my swimsuit or I can just go naked.  I don't think I should just go naked.

AnnaMarie: Let's show Grandpa your fish, he'll be so excited.  Calvin: Yeah, maybe he'll cry!

Ryan: This is the best day EVER!  I caught 5 fish, and I lost a tooth, and I drank mountain dew and I've never ever drank that before!  It's like Christmas, but without the snow!

Marianne: Calvin, what's wrong? Calvin, crying like there's no tomorrow: I CAN'T BE A SECRET AGENT!

So, here are the pictures, in whatever order my computer decided to upload them:

The whole gang!



The cabin!


View of the cabin from the fire pit:


Out on the paddle boat:


 Someone looks excited to be an official Moore in a few months!  We're excited, too!


Christy and Ryan:


Abbey and Spencer, fishing from the paddle boat:


Success!




Jane, doing her darndest:



Out for a canoe ride:



Ryan in some goggles.  Love this picture!


Miranda and Hannah:


Everyone needs a good jump now and then.




And I do mean everyone.


Cute little Christy!


Cute little Tyler!


Cute little Abbey and Spencer!


And cute little James and Miranda.  But in all seriousness, I love these pictures:


Such a great couple!


Christy and Aiden in the hammock:


Tyler  and AnnaMarie on the swing:



Aiden is such a sweetie:


AnnaMarie and Jane:


William with Uncle James:



Sophie, getting her first photography lesson from yours truly:


Abbey and another fish:




Grandpa and Jane playing baseball:




AnnaMarie and the boysies in the hammock:


Ryan whittling, of course!


AnnaMarie and a whole bunch of kiddos in the hammock:


Ryan caught the first fish of the vacation--he woke up at 5 AM with Michael to go fishing and was back within a half hour with these guys:


More of Ryan's haul:



Hanging out in the living room:


Dad and Christy fishing on the dock:


Lubiana snuggling Hannah:


Ryan right after losing a tooth:


Cute little William:


Sophie and AnnaMarie in the hot tub:


Marianne and William out for a stroll:


Aiden on the trike:


Jack loved climbing around on the picnic table:


Tyler chasing the boys:


3 boys in a wagon!  I love that Jack and Aiden are waving, but William looks concerned:


Love these boys!


Ryan celebrating being in the lead of the fishing championship:


Michael had to go diving to find this teeny, tiny screw to a fishing reel.  nice work, Michael!


Happy Hannah:



Calvin and Katie, playing army men:


Hannah, Abbey, James, and a BB gun, of course!


Jack and AnnaMarie in the hot tub:


Sophie, pretending to be a mermaid:


Happy little Jack:


Katie and Calvin checking out the BBs in the tree and the holes in the cans:



Michael and Sophie, fishing on the dock:


James, AnnaMarie and Aiden, out on the paddle boat:


Miranda and Jane:


Miranda and the kids, fishing!  Our kids love Miranda to death, by the way!


Jane playing with chubby little Hannah:


Out by the fire:


These crazies opted for ice cream over s'mores:


Hannah with Uncle James:


Sophie and Uncle Spencer:


Me and Michael:


Michael and Tyler and a whole bunch of fish!


Sassy little Sophie:



Sophie heading out to the dock:


Calvin holding a fish!


Sophie heading off for a stroll with Miranda:


Abbey, loving the freezie:



Jack, also loving the freezie:




Spencer and a big old fish:



All 9 Moore grandchildren:


I thought this one was funny.


And I thought this one was even funnier.  Love these kids.


Ryan and Tyler step up their game and take the fishing off the dock:



Jane, being cute:


Sophie, scrubbing the deck of course:


Abbey and AnnaMarie and the boys:


Love this one of Sophie and Jane:


Love this sequence even more!


William and his wheels!  That kid LOVES spinning wheels.


More of Sophie and Jane:





The boys got SO mad at AnnaMarie when she took this broken lawn chair to the trash.


Me, Abbey, Marianne and Hannah:


Spencer playing games with Jane and Sophie:


Abbey reading stories to the girls:


Abbey and Aiden:


Calvin and Miranda.  These kids are seriously just so excited for her to be their Aunt!


Calvin, checking out the fire:


Spencer and Calvin, having some deep conversation about the fire, no doubt:



Christy playing baseball with Calvin:



High five for fish!


Me and Tyler and some kiddos in the canoe:


Christy on the swing with some boys:


Abbey and a lot of fish!


Michael, Sophie, Jane and Hannah on the hammock:


Just hanging out!


James and Miranda on the hammock:


Michael showing the boys some fish:


More fish!  With everyone showing with their fingers how many they caught.  Afterwards, Ryan was hollering for a re-do since he didn't hold up the right number of fingers.



Me, Michael and Hannah:


Ryan and even more fish!  Seriously, so much fish. 


Lubiana and some fish!


Sophie and some fish!


Me and some fish!  Did I mention I hate fish? 


Miranda, on the other hand, apparently loves fish!


But not gutting fish.  She was very brave.


It looked stressful.


Haha!  I love this one.  Welcome to the family, Miranda!  Your hazing ritual is now complete.




Grandpa, cooking up some yummy food!


Katie and Jane peeking out of the hammock:


Christy, Marianne, William and Aiden, playing baseball:


William and Seth:


Sophie with some seriously crazy hair:


Me and my Hannah girl:


Christy and Abbey all dolled up for church:


James and William:


Getting ready for the water balloon fight!


Abbey and Sophie were partners in the water balloon toss.  That was pretty much Sophie's favorite thing!


Water balloon fight!




We interrupt this water balloon fight to bring you a frisbee:


More water balloons!





Calvin thinks he's pretty awesome. And he is.


Tyler, relaxing with a book!


The kids playing tug of war against Tyler:


The Pease family!


William, cutting the pickle.


Ryan and Calvin playing with William:


One of my favorite pictures.  Ryan is pretending to be a bull, and William is running away frantically/happily:


These boys love William!



Sophie got to get out of bed one night to see the pink sky at sunset and sit by the fire.  She was so happy!


Marianne and Sophie and the pink sky!



Spencer approves of this s'more.



And that's all folks!  I know that was a ridiculous amount of pictures.  Thanks for sticking with me.  Now I'm going to bed, so I can drive people to the airport in 4 and a half hours!