Jan 31, 2012

Enter Ninjago!!

My kids are suddenly obsessed with lego Ninjagos.  It's all the rage in this household.  In fact, Ellie and I have been talking about her birthday party and she all but convinced me that she truly, honestly, undeniably wants a ninjago party.  I would have been fine with that... but when we started looking up ideas online, she quickly changed her mind to a sparkly party!! She assured me that she would DEFINITELY have a ninjago party next year.

Jense is considering changing his name to ninjago.  He cannot be found without a ninjago item in his hand... or pocket... or backpack.  Whenever he goes... they go.

The second grade program was a few weeks back.  It was all about reading.  The children were assigned parts according to their favorite book.  Jensen decided he wanted to be a ninjago.  I had one day warning because he could not decide so my mom and I (yes yes... I helped) made him this little ninja costume.  After the initial sewing I fell fast asleep while my mom finished up.  These pictures were taken after the program and he was fidgeting with his mask the entire time so it doesn't look as official as it did. 

His part was "I am Kai the ninjago and I fight bad guys with my awesome ninja skills."  He is so endearing when he gets in the spot light.  His shyness surfaces, and he will participate, but I know it is difficult for him.  After the program he came and gave me a hug and proclaimed, "Mom! That was easy!"  This is a phrase that I have ingrained in that boy.  When I was trying to train him out of the sidelines and into the action he would always refuse and I focused a lot on giving him a lot of praise when he would try something new.  The phrase, "Mom, that was easy" has been in existence for years... and we re-visit it now and again.  I'm proud of you Jense! 

This guy shows you how to turn a regular old T-shirt into a ninja mask.  We have had fun with this.  We are now a family of ninjas!  Pardon his language... there are also videos out there if you'd rather watch the instruction.  Go get your ninja on.  I don't think i will be getting my red t-shirt back... any time soon.  Jense has labeled it his ninja mask, soooo I won't hold my breath.

The person that came up with ninja legos is a genius...
and I am paying them handsomely for their ingenuity! 

Jan 30, 2012

What I love about small towns

- Today I took Mia into the local publishing office and as we were standing there waiting for our printing order when an older gentleman walked in the door.  He made a bee-line over to Mia and hit her on the head with a small book he was holding.  She of course thought this was hilarious. I was caught off guard, but I have an affinity for elderly people so just thought he was cute.  He asked Mia where the Christmas present she bought for him was.  She immediately replied, "I'm six!... I'm six too."  The man laughed at her but continued to question her about where his gift was.  Mia just kept telling him, "yep yep yep!"  It was adorable.  He asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she said, "Christmas present!"  He said, "Well, she seems easy to please."  After a few minutes, two more people walked into the building and quickly struck up a conversation with Mia.  She felt like a little celebrity with so many people wanting her attention.  When the one gentlemen said that he couldn't hear her she quickly ran to him and touched his leg while she repeated herself that "I go to preschool too!" There just seems to be a lot of friendly people here.

- Without fail you see someone you know at the grocery store... sometimes you run into two or three people.  It's fool proof- grocery stores+small towns= a lot of chit chat.

- You are never stuck in traffic... EVER! It takes the same amount of time to get anywhere... at any time of day.  So lovely.

- You can go ice skating a few blocks from where you live. Okay, this isn't really small town specific, but it is something I love about this small town!

- I have yet to wait in line at the post office... no lie.  You walk in, you send off your packages or what have you... and you get on with it.

- Everyone seems to be related to someone that you know.

- The local newspaper highlights births/weddings/first birthdays/high school sports.  The paper is all about people who live in the community.  Love it.

- Seeing deer grazing in someone's front yard is commonplace. Again, more location of this small town, but it's still unique.

- No traffic lights.

- Life is just slower here.

* You probably guessed that this post is old.  It is.  Like I said... life is just slower here- and my blogging is no exception. 

Jan 24, 2012

It was a spooky night

Mia says the most adorable things.  One of my favorite things that she refers to often is "spooky night."  Spooky night basically means anything dark or barely lit.  When we turn off the lights she announces, "it's a spooky night."  I always want her to say spooky night... always.

It's finally HERE!

It's a little late, but the snow finally decided to show up.  Sam loves the snow and will barely hold still long enough to get his snow gear on.  Sorry about the pink pants buddy!  I have no idea where the snow pants your size (that aren't pink) are.  I loved watching him try to navigate through the snow... in his boots.  He kept looking back at me yelling, "SNOW! SNOW!"  I feel the same way!

Mia stood in one spot for quite awhile. I don't know if she knew what to do.  
"Mom, you stuck me out here in the cold, now what?"  

Once she started walking around making foot prints she really started to enjoy herself.  

The snow is so beautiful!  As I was shoveling the drive way (I only shoveled for about one minute) I had flashbacks to when the snow was so high we could jump from the roof into the snow.  We're going to need a lot more snow fall if my kids are going to re-peat that adventure.  It's time to take these crazies sledding. 

Jan 17, 2012

Happy New Year ala Ice Skating

We had nothing to do after Christmas so we headed up to the skating rink a few blocks away.  The sun was shining, and not a single cloud was in the sky.  It is so strange to be hot... outside... a few days after Christmas!!  This has been the warmest/ non wintery winter of my life.  Where is the SNOW??  I got the kids all bundled up, and we all immediately took off the layers because it was crazy hot.  We were skating comfortably with short sleeves on.   This is what Christmas in Arizona must fee like.  

Mia tried a few laps, then we benched her.  Not really... she liked it alright, but asked to sit down.  

She had a much better time in the stroller!  Safe and Sound in the stroller!

We tried to get her to smile, but she was being grouchy that day.  This is the face she makes often... it is the "I don't want to, but I want to" face. 

The "snellers" joined us.  

Still not wanting to smile- little goofball

Sammers was supposed to be napping, so he was pretty chill the entire time.  We rarely see him in this state.  He is either rapidly destroying the place, or sleeping.  I loved him just chill and sleepy.

Jense took to the ice quickly and probably enjoyed it the most out of everyone.  

John actually put on some skates and took a few laps around the rink....then he decided it wasn't for him.  If there is a sport where he could potentially "break his tailbone" he is out.  He stayed with Ellie, and took a majority of the pics. 

Ellie got into it there at the end.  She kept asking me where her "figure skates" were.  I laughed it off, but realized after the fact that we did in fact own a pair of white figure skates.  
Hmmmm... I wonder what happened to those?

Ultra Concentration.  She made it quite a ways by herself, but discovered that the other kids were off eating treats... so she abandoned the rink for some snacks.

My mini moma loved pushing the stroller... and got a good feel for the ice with some assistance before trying it out solo. 

Kye has some skating skills... he must get them from his dad! His dad, i am told, played hockey.  
Go Hawks! (his fake team that I  just made up) :-)

The music was perfect for a couples skate
John and I were getting a kick out of the song choices!

1 boy + 1 bag of Doritos's = best afternoon EVER!

Ellie was cracking me up because she kept skating against the grain.  It didn't really matter, but it just goes to show that this girl is a free spirit and DOES HER OWN THING!  

Snacking spectators.
I was chattin' with a family on this bench for awhile.  They thought Mia was adorable.  
I will never get tired of people telling me how cute she is. 
She wins people over with one interaction because she is so sweet and friendly. 

I was totally laughing as I was clicking away at my sister and her husband.  He was gearing up for a smooch, while Suz was gearing up for her closeup.  I just love the lean in... and the deny!  love it. 

He got her on the next lap. 

Mr Kye... just being sweet. 

We went out to eat after skating.
The plan was to go to the grill room at the Homestead, but they were completely shut down... the entire Homestead.  

Instead we went across the street to the Zermatt.  Lovely place.  
The kids loved the huge tree and the little waterfall in the lobby. 

I was reminded in more ways than one (if you follow me) why I rarely take my four children to an eating establishment... together.  They are cute though- I will give them that!

Jan 10, 2012

Teach me to Pray

My minis are really into praying.  Mia and Sam take turns saying the prayer at meal time... they both need a turn!  Mia loves to squint and often has a really happy/entertained look on her face.  Sam will close his eyes for a second, then blinks rapidly throughout the rest of the prayer.


Sam has to get his "MEN!!!!" out of the way before he will take it seriously.  Somewhere along his prayer education path he learned to scream "MEN (amen)" as loud as he can almost immediately after the prayer begins.  He is really enthusiastic about his "men" and we only reinforce him because we can't stop laughing.  Here he is yelling "men" while Mia is taking it seriously.  I caught this sweet little interaction between them on my camera.  

"No sammy, close your eyes yike dissss!"

"now say, Heamly Fader..."

"Dis Day"

"food, bessings, family, nana, papa, jense, ellie, mia sam, mommy, daddy, Jacob family, peeschool, good day, be happy, be nice, dos right (do what's right)."



"here Sam, now take a bite."

"Owe, Sammy did it... he bite Mia."

Jan 8, 2012

A mother disguised as a big sister

Ellie and her "two babies"

Ells is the main mother of the household.  It so difficult sometimes being the actual mother of the real mother.  She seems to have all the answers... good ideas... toddler strategies, etc.   There really is no use arguing with the girl.  She was put on this earth to be a mother and she is getting her training early! I think the phrase that I say more than any other as a mother is "Ellie, leave the baby be!"  Sometimes I even ask nicely. :-)  The term "baby" encompasses both Sam and Mia.  Mia loves being included in the baby category so we just leave her there.  She (Mia) asks me on a daily basis if I want to "snuggle two babies?"  The answer is always yes.  When I carry them both down the stairs she announces, "moma's two babies."  She likes being one of the babies... we like it too.  She is also a "big girl" and a "princess" on most days as well.   Most of the time the "babies" don't mind the attention, but Ellie has a way of trying to force them into playing library, or school, or kitchen, or anything... and they scream like they've been stabbed.  This is when the "leave them be!!" demands ensue.   I wish I was exaggerating, but we deal with this on a daily basis.  I need the book, parenting a child who wants to be the mother... if one exists. 

Often Ellie's insistence on taking care of the "two babies" comes in handy.  She is creative and keeps them occupied for a long time.  This mothering a mother does have it's perks I suppose.

Mia looks so happy.  She plays the little sister role so perfectly.  She would sit in that box all day long if Ellie continued to push her around.  That particular night Ellie had a difficult time managing the two who both wanted turns... so she cut a hole in the box and put them in together

Sam rode around on the flap..looking enormous I might add.  They stayed in this box together for longer than you would think a three and one year old would.  

Ellie just adores these kids.  They seem to be more than willing to be the adorees. 

I have distinct memories of being maneuvered via my pink "bed spread."  I remember longing for my turn to last longer.  I never got my fill of this activity.  The kids play this often, and I finally got the camera out to remember these little goof-balls just as they were.  

I thought this picture was fitting for this post.  This is the tile that Ellie gave to John and I for Christmas.  She decorated it and said what she wanted to be.  "When I grow up I want to be a.... mom."  Her truest most honest desire.  There is no doubt in my mind that this is what she wants very most of all.  Hopefully she won't get burned out with all the current mothering she's doing.  :-)

Elles, you are a great little moma- thanks for your help!

Jan 6, 2012

He's a maniac... maniac

Sammer Jam keeps us hop hop hoppin' all day long.  
He wanted to wear this fancy headband... so we went ahead and let him.

Sammers newest development is how he likes to get in trouble, and then report to an adult about what he has done.  If he knows something is a "no no" he will attempt it and then bring the evidence or yell from the scene of the crime.  He is usually yelling, "Nana! Nana!" in a semi panicked voice.  He loves the attention he gets, and then he runs around saying, "no no no no." to himself.  It is quite amusing.  We probably shouldn't enjoy it as much as we do because it is going to burn us in the end, but we can't resist the need laugh at this little ball of energy.  The best is when he points his finger at himself and said, "no no no!"

These pictures were taken before he started making his latest facial expression... THE SCOUL! or as we like to call it, his "mad doggin" face.  It's pretty much to die for- you'll see.

When he is not destroying something he really is the funnest kid to have around.  He loves to play and giggle and rough house all day long.  He can carryout a conversation in his own little way, and says the most random words perfectly.  He wants to help me doing everything, and is the epitome of monkey see monkey do.  

We sure love you Sammers!

My brother in law emailed me this clip... he caught a little of Sam's craziness on his fancy phone.