Thursday, October 8, 2015


Well, life is busily rolling along, as usual!  I just finished our blog book for 2012 (I am a little bit behind!) and I am reminded once again of how glad I am when I keep track of the things we are up to and how adorable my children are.  And then I am reminded that I really stunk at that this summer...and fall...

I'm overdue for a little update on what we are all up to anyways.  Not much is new with Michael or myself.  He is really enjoying his new job (is it still new if he started in June?) and we are enjoying having him home a lot more often!  His commute now is like .8 miles.  It's pretty sweet!  I am toying with doing a little bit of part-time work, we'll see if I actually end up doing that.  But I am thinking about it and working on my resume.  My last one was a class assignment in MBA school about 9 years ago...Sure, we are exciting and witty and adorable, but our kids are even more exciting and witty and adorable, so we'll move along.

Ryan is a champ, through and through.  I am so proud of the little man that he is.  He is such a big help.  He almost never complains if I ask for his help, and he will often offer help without being asked.  He is honing his ability to see what needs to be done and helping me with it, instead of the occasional "Is there anything I can help with?", which is also nice, but he is taking it to a new level.  This morning Michael was gone and I was bathing kids and trying to get everyone ready to go, and he offered to make breakfast.  He made some awesome scrambled eggs and toast, and it was such a sweet thing for him to do.  It really made our morning so much better.

Ryan is doing great in school.  He has some really good friends in his class and it shows when he comes home.  Last year he had some struggles with a few kids in his class, but this year I think he has so many good friends around him that he is insulated from that stuff, and I'm happy for him.  He is loving school and having great ideas and a great attitude.  It's funny, or maybe a bit sad, that in the past I have often overlooked comments he makes or ideas he has, because they weren't what I thought, and because he is a kid.  But the other day I said to Michael, "We have really got to stop overlooking the things he says, because he is almost always right these days!" Case in point, I was assembling a bunk bed and had him help hold up part of it as I screwed things in.  He looked thoughtfully at some of the screw holes and the placement of the pieces and wondered out loud what certain holes were for and where certain things would end up going.  I brushed him off, but sure enough, an hour later I realized that he had been right, and I had to un-do that last hour of work and re-do it the Ryan way.  He is a smart kid!

Lately he loves to read, still loves to point out and talk about cars, loves to be helpful, loves to ride his bike, and always Always ALWAYS wants to have a friend over to play.  He still loves all things minty, is always talking about what to spend his chore money on (current favorites are saving up for a real go-kart, buying a drone r/c plane, and getting a motorized scooter) prefers water at meal time instead of milk (I think he does this because he thinks it is the grown-up thing to do, not because he likes it more), and really and truly thinks he is a grownup.   And what can I say, he pretty much is, for all intents and purposes!  He is our Reliable Ryan.

Calvin is also having a great year at school.  Second grade is so far oh so much better than first grade.  He lately often says in his prayers that he is thankful that he is making new friends that he didn't even know about.  It is the sweetest thing.  Calvin is still my snuggle buddy, although he makes it very clear that kisses are not allowed.  I can occasionally get him to agree to let me smooch his cheek at home, but if we are dropping of at school, forget about it.  He often tries to escape any affection from me at drop off by running away before I can hug him, and then I insist in my hurt feelings voice that it is a rule that he must hug his mom before school.  And then he comes back for a hug, but always reminds me not to kiss him.

Calvin's sweet hamster buddy Chippy died last week, and while he has been sad about it, he has done very well with it overall.  He has been brave.  He still loves art and can almost always be found drawing and coloring if he has some free time.  He also has a deep and abiding love for Calvin and Hobbes.  He likes to imitate Calvin and his silly ideas frequently.  Often I will think to myself that what he is doing is so clever and funny, and then I will find out that it is straight out of a comic strip!  Still cute, though. Calvin's favorite thing, by far, right now is rocks.  He LOVES rocks.  He has a gigantic collection and loves to tell people about them.  Uncle James studies geology and is a personal hero :)  Calvin is also very tenderhearted and compassionate, and is still great at sharing.  He is not an immediate helper like Ryan, but he observes things about people and gives sweet service in other ways that most people don't notice.  I like that about him.  He and Sophie still make up great games together.  It is fun to watch them.  He and Hannah often have a tough time together, as he takes her two-ness very personally.

Calvin has (thankfully) changed his tune about PBJs over the summer.  Last year the only thing I could get him to take in his lunch for a main course was a baked potato.  Mmmmm, cold baked poatatoes!  But this year he takes a PBJ.   He also has changed from being a little thundercloud a lot of the time.  He is no longer usually grumpy, but he does probably have his feelings hurt more often than our other kids.  Baby steps!  Calvin will eat whatever we have for dinner, but I have a hard time finding dishes he is super excited about.  However, the other night I made a sort of hodge podge dinner with stuff we had around and it ended up being sort of like manicotti except instead of being stuffed, all the ingredients were just mixed up with bowtie pasta.  He had thirds.  And took leftovers in his lunch the next day!   He loves yogurt, oranges, riding his bike, and playing with friends.  He is a sweet little guy.

Sophie is really loving kindergarten.  She has some good little friends and loves to play with them at school and talk about them when she comes home.  She is happy at drop off, and at pick up she is usually super happy, and occasionally she is a big puddle of tears!  The thing is, Sophie still could use a nap every day.  The poor kid is utterly exhausted after a full day of school!  Once I get a snack in her, she is better and we have a happy afternoon.  But if things don't go her way, she has no energy left to deal with it in a constructive way :)  I could say the same thing about myself sometimes, too, I guess!  Anyways, Sophie is learning some Spanish, learning a lot about making friends and interacting with others, and overall feeling very happy and grown up!

Sophie is generally happy to do work around the house if she has a grown up helper.  She gets overwhelmed easily, though, if she has to do it alone.  Especially if it is in the basement.  She won't even go to the bathroom down there alone.  Seriously, if the one upstairs is in use, she would rather go in her pants, though it hasn't come to that yet, luckily.  Calvin also shares this fear of the basement, but I think his is related to a story a friend told him about monsters.  Wouldn't be surprised if that's where Sophie's fears are coming from, too!  Sophie loves to make things out of paper.  She makes snowflakes out of paper, makes paper airplanes, makes "bird masks", and all kinds of other things.  Then she puts them on her dresser.  Then she goes to school.  Then Hannah goes in for a nap.  Then she destroys everything in her reach.  Then Sophie gets very sad.  Rinse and repeat!  We have a talk almost every day about keeping important things in a place where Hannah can't reach them!  Poor Sophie.  Little sisters are hard.

Sophie also loves picking raspberries off of the bushes in the back yard, playing pretty much anything with Calvin, loves eating yogurt, will now tolerate chocolate (but not in chocolate chip form), loves BLTs (actually it's probably safe to say that she just loves bacon), loves dolphins and loves talking about what she wants to be when she grows up.  I think she switches between a spy and a pediatrician and working for Ryan's car company, Star Car.  I love that she is certain that she will be any and all of these things while simultaneously being a mom.  She is a little pint sized inspiration!

Hannah is a sweet little spitfire.  That is, she is either sweet or being a spitfire.  I was reading an entry I wrote while in my first trimester when I was pregnant with her.  I was bemoaning feeling yucky and not being able to accomplish anything and I said, "This had better be one awesome kid!" I am glad to report that she is definitely one awesome kid!  However, she is also currently two years old!  Hannah is my buddy.  She goes everywhere with me, and often exclaims while we are out, "Mom!  It's just you and me!"  She loves Jack and Aiden, loves Cora, loves playing duckies/puppies with her Daddy, or with me, if he's not around, and is really into Frozen characters right now.  When Hannah is being awesome, she is pretty much the best thing ever!  A true ray of sunshine everywhere she goes, saying hello to everyone, giving out hugs left and right, being generally hilarious, and minding her manners in the sweetest ways ever.  When she is being two, well, she pulls hair, whacks undeserving people with whatever she can get her hands on, refuses to nap, scales dressers, dumps out make up, draws on the walls, tosses entire pitchers of kool aid off the table, you name it!  Whatever Hannah does, she does it big!

Hannah loves doggies, her stuffed animals, being a "backpack" (like a piggy back ride), hiding under the blankets on our bed and having people "find" her there, doing things by herself (not fun things, but things like putting on shoes and brushing her teeth and washing her hands), she loves to eat cheese, turkey, yogurt, bananas, any and all treats, tomatoes, noodles and above all, loves drinking milk.  I can still get her to do almost anything for a cup of milk.  She is great, and I'm glad she is my buddy each day.

So that's us right now!  And now here are a few pictures!

Me and Michael

Me and Calvin

Calvin hunting for cool rocks by the river:

Everyone looking for cool rocks:

Hannah and Ryan, being cute:

Ryan teaching Hannah how to make paper airplanes:

Sophie learning how to fly paper airplanes:

Grandpa eating goldfish crackers with Cora:

And cuddling his two little buddies:

Showing Hannah a good time :)

Hannah and her little cousin buddies:

An afternoon at the zoo!

Watching general conference:

Family selfie!  My phone is not great in low light...

Calvin checking out his rock collection:

Sophie with a picture she drew of her wedding day :)

Calvin and a red tongue!

Calvin and Michael coming back form a father/son date to the State Fair:

Hannah and me out for a bike ride:

Riding a tricycle!

Getting hugs from Jack:

Hannah playing with her snuggle friends:

Giggling with her hand on her mouth is a favorite passtime:

Apple pie made with apples from our own tree!

A sweet note Ryan packed in Calvin's lunch one day "Thanks for being my bro. Love Ryan.  You rock.  I love you."

Michael did this:

And then Hannah did this:

And then Ryan did this!

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