Friday, June 24, 2011

Ernie Through the Years

Please indulge me while I mine Flickr for treasures.

Just Born
6.26.05 Princess 2

One Year
Beautiful Baby

Two Years
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Three Years
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Four Years
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Five Years
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Six Years
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The Birthday

Ernie is 6.  I could say I can't believe how old my oldest is...but I can.  Oh, I can.  She is not a little girl any more!

door streamers


Ernie was pretty sure she'd be princess today.

At 6:30 (half an hour before their earliest allowable leave-the-room time) she sent Mimi out to the kitchen.  "Mom?  Ernie needs somefing.  She needs bwekfast in bed.  She said I could come out!"  She is so good at organizing her minions.

breakfast in bed

(Nana- do you see all this bedding?  She loves EVERYTHING you make, even the baby blankets!)

After breakfast...cartoons!  We just ordered Netflix last month, and my kids are hooked.  They've watched ALL of "Ni Hao Kai Lan," all of "Diego," and are almost finished with "Dora the Explorer."  Our lives will never be the same...
watching cartoons

We spent the rest of the day with the cousins, while the big girls went to their last day of day camp.

Ernie requests restaraunt meals a LOT.  Like, multiple times a week.  My sanity, and our budget, put a big damper on her plans but we let her pick a restaraunt tonight: Sushi!  Yum :)

We came back to the house for donuts (atta girl!) and a Skype session with Nana and Grandpa for present opening.

presents

Six years.  We've both done a lot of learning and a lot of studying.  She is determined, focused, smart, and fair.  She's learning to imagine and think outside the box, which I love to watch unfold.  She is beautiful and strong and understanding.  She told me today she can't read big words, just small words like "atonement."  She really, really, REALLY likes to read.  She also told me that today, since she's 6, is her first day of first grade.  She's ready to hit the books!

Happy Birthday, beautiful girl.  We love you and adore you!  You're the best Ernie in the world.

Flexible!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I love my family

I am SO GRATEFUL to live near family.  Seriously.  I wish we still lived close to all the other family members who have moved away (pssshh...who needs education?  Or a job?  Everyone should stay here!)

My niece and Ernie are in a day camp this week, and LOVING IT.  I was nervous when I found out most of the other kids were about 5 years older, but those two girls are sticking together and keeping up, and having a blast doing it!  It's a pretty low-key "camp" put on by the teenage children of a family friend.  Super cute, and every day has a theme.  Today I went to pick up the girls, and watched the big kids guide our tinies around a kickball field.  Way too sweet!

This also means that Aunt LoLo and I are joining forces so the toddlers can nap.  Even if Ernie isn't getting her naps, Mimi WILL!  (And yeah- super glad that E still takes a "rest" every afternoon.  If she doesn't just read for an hour and a half, she'll sleep for a good couple hours.  She needs it!)

rolling onto his side

In other news. Wonder Boy is mobile.  Yes sir, he grabs his chubby little feet, rolls up like a potato bug, and flops onto his side...straightens out...and keeps doing that until he's done a complete 360 degree turn.  I don't think he realizes that he's moving....but that little potato bug trick is becoming an obsession of his, and he has no idea why or how he got on his side.  Where did the ceiling go??  For a fellow that can have long conversations with the ceiling fan, this can be confusing.  (Also, this outfit has lost it's poo mojo.  Tomorrow will mark the 1 week anniversary of his last dirty diaper, and I am NOT happy.  But he's more not happy than me.)

carrying Coren on her back

Also, Aunt LoLo has found a new way to transport babies.  It looks very...protective.  He's like a turtle!

One other amazing benefit of living close to family...especially intrepid sisters....is the ability to sneak out for an hour BY MY SELF.  Normally, I don't leave my babies for about a year.  But this was something special- I visited our temple.  (Oh yeah, and I cut my hair.  Myself.  It was easy, I just grabbed chunks of hair and worked around my head, cutting them the same length as the chunks next to them.  Maybe next time I'll try and get more sleep before I attempt this??)

outside the temple

This post is kind of rambling, I know....and it perfectly matches my mental state, haha!  I've spent most mornings this week running damage control on things I forgot to do or say the day before.  Whoops.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Raspberries

raspberries!

raspberries!

Guess who found his tongue?

(Don't forget our pillowcase giveaway!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

These Nights

I snapped some pictures the other night, so I could remember what these years look like.

Every night we have the same bedtime routine: pajamas, brush teeth, and gather to read a few verses of scriptures.  (Some nights it's a VERY few verses!)  After this we say prayers, the girls give Wonder Daddy and I five kisses each (cheek, cheek, chin, forehead, nose!), and give Wonder Boy a little snuggle before galloping to their room to "hide" before Daddy comes in to sing a song to Ernie and read a book to Mimi.  It's not hard to find them, because they always hide behind Ernie's bed and start yelling "Why aren't you coming to find me?!" if we stay behind and chat for more than a minute.

Scripture time


This copy of the Book of Mormon is what we're studying and reading from right now- it was a wedding gift from my husband's side of the family, and has BEAUTIFUL artwork included!  The kids love seeing the pictures.  Ernie has her own dog-eared paperback copy of the Book of Mormon that she reads from (and proudly carries to Sunday School every week.)  Mimi has an illustrated boardbook with stories from the Book of Mormon that she looks through while we read, and she insists on "reading" us a story every night.  Mostly her stories consist of telling us how angry the men are- a lot of the pictures are of very serious men discussing very serious things, apparently.  They're all slightly scowling.

Scripture time

Wonder Boy is pretty happy on a blanket, as long as there's plenty of action going on around him!  By the time prayers come around, he's normally pretty squirrelly and ready for his next snack.  I think he's hitting another growth spurt!

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If there's extra time, Ernie loves to color.  LOOOOOVES to color.  She and Mimi both have "art kits" with crayons, colored pencils, and markers- I think they love how official it feels to open their kits and carefully select what to use on their picture.

coloring

Mimi is such a goof.  Such an incorrigible GOOF of  a monster!

my monster

After the girls are safely tucked into bed, and after Wonder Boy falls asleep, I'm trying to be good about getting out for a walk around the neighborhood.  Glad it's light at night now, because I don't get out the door until after 9 most nights.  I'm actually going to talk more about this later, but I really REALLY enjoy the quiet alone time!  (I managed to do my entire walk without slowing down tonight!  I'm a speed walker when I'm alone, I actually walk faster than I can jog, so I was kind of pleased with that!)  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pillowcase Review and Giveaway!

When Cha Cha put out the word she was looking for reviewers for her new pillows, I jumped on the chance!

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(Really, I did.  Like, I commented about 5 minutes after she posted.  It was kind of embarrassing.  But I'm so excited for you guys to see these!)

Cha Cha has a darling blog and loves all things vintage and sentimental (she does a really neat linky every Sunday, about sentimental tchotckes around her house, things passed down in her family)

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She was inspired to make these pillows, and has opened and Etsy shop to sell them!  Here is how she explains them:

The pillow cover has a pocket in front that makes the perfect place to keep Bible memory verses. Wouldn't this makes the perfect gift.

I am so excited about these pillow covers. My hope for the pillows is that they will be beautiful decoration for your kids bedrooms, with a pocket to keep Bible verses in. As a mom who is trying to instill the value of memorizing Bible verses in her children I know that it is sometimes hard for them to turn to the verses in the Bible each time they sit to work on memorization. 

We write the verse on cards, but then where do you keep the cards?????

With the pillows kids have a safe place to store their cards and a visual reminder to work on memorizing the verses. I hope you love this idea as much as I do. I am a sentimental fool and I think these would make great gifts that will become wonderful keepsakes.



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I love this idea, and it's a great place to stash memorization cards you want your kids to flip through before they turn out the lights.  BUT, wouldn't these make a neat slumber party pillow, you could stash your tooth brush and a light pair of pajamas in the pocket.  Maybe a traveling pillow, with a  coloring book and crayons on a car ride?

She has a ton of different fabric options in her shop, Cha Cha's Treasures, along with cute little posy pins and other "treasures" (you have to check it out, she's really creative!)

My girls love pillows of all shapes and sizes, and LOVE this one- the pom pom fringe is adorable.

GOOD NEWS!
Cha Cha wants one of my readers to have a pillow cover for their very own

You have lots of chances to win your choice of pillow cover from her shop!  Everything you do earns another entry in this giveaway.

1.  Go to her shop and tell us your favorite design
2.  Follow her blog at Sit Relax and Read
3.  Follow Sit Relax and Read on Twitter
4.  Like Sit Relax and Read on Facebook
5.  Favorite her Etsy shop Cha Cha's Treasures
6.  Blog about this giveaway
7.  Tweet about this giveaway

I'm going to make this super easy for everyone: simply fill out the form below with your answers!  (Nothing will be visible to anyone but me, and I'll send favorite designs to Cha Cha!)

This giveaway will close June 26th.





Friday, June 10, 2011

IRL with Our Best Bites

I KNOW this girl!

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The gals behind the cooking blog Our Best Bites are a couple of sweethearts- I went to sunday school with one (Sara, on the left) and with the HUSBAND of the other (Kate, on the right).  They came to our town to do a book signing for their new cookbook, and Aunt LoLo and I were so excited!

Is it me, or does Wonder Boy seem to be a bit friendly with Kate?

(Although, Sara seems awfully excited about the bread Aunt LoLo brought her to keep her strength up!)

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It's been such an amazing thing to watch their blog take off....to see them on the cover of a magazine (LDS Living,) to see their cookbook on Amazon and at Costco...wow!!

If you like to cook, and you haven't seen their blog yet...go check it out.  They use honest to goodness NORMAL ingredients, and the food is all fantastic.  Sara served a mission in South America, and the experience really shines through in a lot of her dishes, especially with her love affair with limes and fresh herbs.  They're both young moms, they don't have a ton of time for cooking, and the food is all fast and fresh and yummy.

A huge thanks to Uncle LoLo for taking all four of our big kids while Aunt LoLo and I (and Wonder Boy) hit the town!  Movie and Popcorn Night is fast becoming a Friday tradition at my house (I can't think of a nicer way to stuff my girls full of fiber!) and I was glad to get out to the signing early so we didn't miss our popcorn night!  (Plus, it's HANDS DOWN the easiest cooking night.  Ahem.)

Also, please note: I AM WEARING MAKEUP in that photo.  Yes, I know it doesn't show.  My darling, GORGEOUS twin sister greeted me the other day with the announcement that we are BLEACHING.  It's a highly technical term, apparently, that means we need makeup if you want to see any color variation between forehead, cheeks, lips, and chin.  I look forward to more of these announcements as we near our thirtieth birthday.  Also, daily updates on her latest gray hair count.  (Mine: 1  Hers: More.  Her boy is older than mine.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Year's End

Photo

Last May my husband lost his job and threw himself head first into his teeny business. I found out I was pregnant with our third child. We destroyed our front yard to build it back up as a little urban garden. Ernie started her homeschooling education. Looking back over the year, I just have to be grateful. I won't say that God gives us challenges, but I will unequivocally say that he will help and bless people to meet their challenges, if they do the best they can. And most people on this green earth are doing the best they can, whether we think so or not.

Ernie still isn't over her mystery illness, but we can mostly control her symptoms with a strict diet of no dairy, low-fat, and limited sugar. Fruit, veggies, meat, and whole grains are the order of the day! (Plus a daily dose of vitamins, laxatives, and enzyme supplements.). Bless her little treat-loving heart, she has all kinds of goodies and plans squirreled away for when she's better...and I am looking forward to the day an errant meal doesn't have her sobbing and throwing up in my arms. Pain I can't fix with a Hello Kitty bandage and a "brush it off" is so hard to watch.

Wish me luck on her upcoming birthday party. I think we've settled on angel food cake and strawberries for treats.

My teaching year has drawn to a close, with a recital as the capstone. I am so proud of all my little kids. I've been teaching for nearly 12 years now! It's amazing to hear them play their sonatinas and little pieces, and remember where they started out. Ernie performed in her first recital, she was SO excited! (A little too excited, she ended the evening ill with nerves!) Thanks for letting me ramble on a bit today. Wonder Boy is teething again (perpetual teething with nothing to show for it can start to wear on a guy) and I held him most of Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Thank goodness for baby wraps! Even still, in those four days I read a lot. Really a lot. As in Jane Eyre, two YA fantasy novels recommended by a friend, Little Women, and Secret Garden. Five novels! Thank goodness for free classics on the Kindle app, so I could read while pacing circles around the house with my sobbing and sleeping boy! (And huge thanks to my Dad who held and put to sleep the Wonder Boy so I could focus on my recital kids!). I'm glad to see this year draw to a close (it seems like the end of the school year is more momentous than December 31st, yeah?). This next year is looking so good, with business picking up, a fun curriculum ordered for next year, and some summer plans!