Monday, April 29, 2013

Sister's Funny!

Sister is always saying funny things.

In fact she says funny things so often I forget what they are exactly, I just remember they are funny.

I have been remembering once in a while to post things in my notebook on my phone so I finally have a few to share with you:

One night when I was trying to be such a good mom and I was in the hallway reading aloud to the kids while they were in their beds. Sister didn't like that I was reading loud enough for everyone to hear and kept getting after me to stop. I cracked up and gave up when she yelled, "Turn down your ears!"

One Saturday morning Sister came into my room to announce she wanted waffles for breakfast and was doing her morning yawn and stretch. I heard something pop and I asked her, "What was that that popped?" She answered, "It was my skeletons."

Last week Sister informed Marc and I that Tuesday was the last day of April. I checked the calendar and informed her that she was right. She slumped her shoulders and head, stuck out her bottom lip and pronounced, "Oh, I'm gonna miss April."

You know, as a mother, when your are in the bathroom that is the best time for your kids to tell you things... important things like, "Mom! There's a lizard in the house!" From the seated position I exclaim through the door, "What do you mean a lizard? In the house?" Sister had just gone out to get the mail so I wondered if maybe she saw one out there and was confused about where the lizard was. So I, again, asked her where the lizard was and she, again, told me it was here in the house. I then asked, "Can you come show me?" The bathroom door creaked open and I could see her little eyes peeking through with a concerned emotion lingering on her face. When I looked to see what she had in her hands I saw that it was a Geico Advertisement... I had to take a picture:

She loves to play jokes!
A few weeks ago when we were all ready for Spring and it still hadn't sprung, Sister informed me, "Mom, it's going to be cold tomorrow and my nose is not warm enough. Last Wednesday my nose was cold and I want it to be warmer. My nose is just not strong enough yet. When it is strong with it stay warm? Maybe if I had a patch to get it warmer."

Ah yes! She has some funny insights!

She also has some antics that make me laugh too. Like, on the last Thursday Daniel and the family were here, she was having fun playing with her cousins. She was also having fun getting out one of Grandma Judy's games and was lining up all the cards and playing pieces. It was quite a mess so I helped her clean it up and told her, "no more." A while later I was in the kitchen and I kept hearing something but couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I got talking to my sister and forgot about it for a bit. After Kirsten left I could hear the sound again so I finally peeked around behind the island and I saw this:

She had been trying to sneak the game out to the playhouse that I told her she couldn't play with. I am surprised at her ability to stay behind the counter and hide for at least 20 minutes hoping I would leave so she could run out the back door... ha! ha!

She keeps us laughing!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Grand Stair Case

There are so many "stairs" we take in our lives.

The easy up and down in the house ones.

The back porch ones.

But, in Utah state, their are GRAND ones.

Marc, for over a month, had been planning a backpack trip to the Grand Stair Case Escalante National Monument with Brother and our nephew, Bryan.

Bryan was all excited and rearing to go, but Brother on the other hand, was, well, anxious.

I've told you about Brother before and how his anxieties and fears can try so hard to keep him from doing anything new. So we have been preparing him ever since Marc brought up the idea. There were days that Brother was excited enough to mention that he was going backpacking to family or friends and there were other days where he would randomly yell out, "I'M NOT GOING!!!"

So began Brother's slow, steady climb to accepting the challenge to go on a backpack trip with his dad and cousin.

As much as we tried to keep him on the slow stairway to his first ever backpack trip, it regretfully became one of the steepest staircases I have ever witnessed just the day before leaving.

He was completely and utterly in tears and a pile of nerves and fear on the floor.

We strongly contemplated not sending him. It is so hard to tell when we are pushing him past his anxiety or pushing him past his limits. We were at a loss as to what to do. So, I did what any parent of Brother would do... I sent a desperate text to his teacher at night excusing myself for sending a "teacher" text during her "mommy" time at home and asked her if Brother had talked about this particular trip at all to her in a positive light (he shares more with his teacher sometimes than he does with us). She replied, first telling me that she is always a teacher and then let me know that Brother had indeed told her that he was going camping with his dad with a big smile on his face.

I knew right then, that we were dealing with anxiety and that, it would be tough, but he would do it.

Backpacking in. Two nights camping out with the boys. Searching for petroglyphs and Indian ruins.

And guess what! When it came time to hop in the car Thursday afternoon, he got right in without a problem or a whine!

Not only did he get in the car with success, but the entire trip was a success!

Brother LOVED it! He absolutely LOVED it! And he did fantastic! Marc was so happy. He had such a great time with his son and his nephew.

He also took some awesome pictures! Here are a bunch for you to see.

I think he had this smile on his face the entire time! And I have to say, that the Fragile X low muscle tone didn't seem to slow him down from packing his own pack! (And Marc packed it as light as he could for him).

Some of the views they saw, including the dwellings in the mountainside pictured in the bottom two pictures.

Their campsite and backpacking food setup. Brother LOVED the Mountain House stew and that is saying something!

It's a beautiful area down there with the river, greenery and the redrock all surrounded by rocky mountains

Brother was SO excited when they saw the petroglyphs that he wanted to hug them. He couldn't have been happier. He loves learning about ancient indians and this was dream come true.
One of the only pictures of Marc the entire trip. He is such a great dad. It's not everyone who wants to take on the challenge of taking their child with special needs on a backpack trip just to encourage a good father-son relationship. Marc is amazing!

As they were about to leave Bryan spotted the mountainside dwellings. There is one in the top right of this photo.


This shows what a task it must have been to get home each day...
hope they had a ladder, cause I can see this is not where they placed grand staircase...


  More writing on the wall...

My favorite picture of Bryan from the trip.
striped mountainside

Marc got a beautiful shot of this natural arch. Brother named it "The Bridge of Narnia!" Tee hee... man, I love that kid!

Brother took this stick pretty much everywhere with him and enjoyed drawing in the sand with it.

Brother didn't want to cross the river so Bryan would take his pack and Marc would carry him across... aw, wish I would have been there for that one.

Just love this one
Bryan and Brother on the hike out.

Views from the road on the way down

They stopped by the museum there too and Brother was very excited about that too!
So there you have it.

Brothers "staircase" that led him to the Grand Stair Case Escalante National Monument. I think, if he could subside his anxiety, he would tell you that it was worth the steps to get there.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bowling Connections

OK, so these pictures doen't even show Daniel, but, he was there. This was one of the last big activities we did with Dan and his family before they left home. I had debated not going because my kids are so hard to handle in situations such as these, but they LOVE bowling, they LOVE Dan and his family and Grandma offered to buy fries, so we went.

It was just as crazy as I thought it would be, but also so much fun. I loved seeing all the cousins bowling together. They were so cute. And my kids were a lot of fun. I do wish I would have taken more pictures, but these are better than nothing.

Brother has some great bowling skills! I think all the field trips with his school classes have paid off!

 I have to post this short little video Marc got because it makes me laugh. Brother, is full of all kinds of antics and this one made me chuckle. It's only 13 seconds, so watch...

Sister was an absolute hoot! I think this is the only picture Marc got that wasn't entirely blurry! She spent most of her time jumping up an down to celebrate each bowl. She is very competitive and very animated so they make a fun combo...

I don't have a video of her, but these blurry photos of her may give you a bit of an idea:

It was so fun for a whole week to have our family all in one place for gatherings. It is such a treat to have everyone together. We are so close as siblings that it just felt good to laugh together without missing Daniel. I think my mom and dad were happier than any of us though to see all their kids and grandkids together in one place.

I am very blessed to have my family as close as they are geographically and emotionally. FaceTime, email, and phone calls are definitely a blessing we often take for granted.

I was talking to my aunt (my mom's twin sister, Jane) about how nice it is just to be able to pick up the phone and talk to loved ones anytime we want to. In fact I was talking to her the night I took these pictures:

Sister and Baby actually asked me to take these pictures! Cute huh! They wanted to sit by the flowers and Baby said, "picture?"

I am so thankful that my daughters are so close. It is such a blessing. I hope it lasts their whole lives. They'll need each other.

At bedtime, Sister will get into bed and it is not long until we here Sister whining because Baby is climbing over her face to get into bed next to her on the other side.

When we walk in to rescue Sister's face from the scarring of Baby's knees they both start giggling as they pull the covers over their heads and Sister exclaims, "I'm a big sister,  huh mommy?" and Baby giggles even more. I love it!

It reminds me of the fun times sharing a room with my 2 sisters. 3 of us in one room. It seems you never hear of that anymore, sharing rooms. I loved it... most of the time... of course I was a typical teenager and it didn't work for me all the time, but, the good times are very much remembered! We shared lots of late night talks, giggles, stories, crushes, snoring, messes, artwork, secrets and ideas. Kirsten was so little when we shared a room but when she was a baby I used to let her fall asleep on my tummy and I sang to her a lot. Jessie and I sometimes had to split the room in half so that I have my side the way I wanted it, and visa versa. Above our beds were the place we could always hang all our items of personal interest so as we got older the bunk beds just wouldn't suffice as the bottom bunk didn't get enough wall space. Ha ha! Oh, sharing a room with your sisters is just a great way to create amazingly tender memories.

So, although, my girls don't share a bedroom because of their sleep schedule differences I am glad they get a few minutes each night to share giggles.

And, that my friends, is how this connected from bowling to sisters... amazing how my mind wanders (smile).

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Dragon, The Prince and The Maiden

I wanted to post more about my brother, Daniel's visit here but Marc has the pictures from the last activity on his phone and I can't get to them right now, so you'll just have to wait...


In the meantime I can post about something else.

Yep, I can do that, I can make something up out of thin air just because I like to write!

Once upon a time there was a fair maiden.

Don't you just love stories that start like that? Oh, I do. It means there is going to be suspense, love and a happy ending.

This fair maiden had dreams of one day meeting her handsome prince, getting married and living in a castle.

See, it gets good already! You know that the prince will be handsome and heroic, because, well, it's a story...

Only 6 months after her 18th birthday she met her dashing young (young is a general word, he was young, but much older than she) prince. She fell in love with him at first sight.

The prince, however, had other maidens in the kingdom who also vied for his attention. so this young 18-year-old maiden was just not on his radar, yet...

Then he heard her laugh.

A lot.

And boisterously.

He wasn't sure if he really liked the loudness of her laugh but was intrigued that she laughed often. He became so intrigued by her happiness that he accepted a request for a date one night.

They fell in love.

They got married.

They had a son.

They were happy, he was happy. A little slow developing, but always, happy.

Years later they had a daughter.

They were happy, their son was happy and she was happy. Also, a little slow developing, but always happy.

Alas, their lives were suddenly struck by an evil dragon. The great Dragon Exe. Oh, he was a fearful dragon! He had eyes that pierced your soul with despair and grief, claws that could cut you down to size and a fiery breath that could easily evaporate your hope.

During the long and great battle with Dragon Exe they were sent another daughter. The fair maiden and the prince were so distraught as they did not want to bring another child in this family that would have to face this great dragon.

Their despair was all for naught. For this baby girl brought a new hope and light to this little family, not because the great Dragon Exe had left her alone, but because she was such a joy despite the ongoing battle with the dragon. With her, the fair maiden and the prince realized that the Dragon Exe would never go away but they could learn to live with this beast in their kingdom because the people in the kingdom had all rallied together to keep the fair maiden, her prince, and their children safe from the cruel intentions of Dragon Exe.

They realized that they were, indeed, not fighting this battle alone, but with many people on their side willing to put on their armor and fight along side them when needed.

During this time of banding together there was a great love that grew in them all for the maiden's and prince's young children. The love that they radiated gave everyone the strength to battle on.

Although there was strife, fear, and sometimes tears, they all, because of the 3 children, lived happily ever after.

Ah, don't you just love a good story?

Reading  over that again makes my life seem a little more heroic and noble. I think I would have to challenge each of you to look at your life and make up a story for it, you'd be surprised how great it sounds when you're wanting to make it into a fairy tale.

I know it may seem far fetched but I was inspired to write this down partly because of a song that my sister, Jessie told me about. It really has nothing to do with my story, yet everything to do with my life. You'll be touched by it too. So, I'll post it hear so you can listen to it and be inspired too, knowing that your life is great, you are great, and your trials are meant to build you.

If you don't want to watch the video, then you can just look at this sweet picture of the 3 children in the story, because they will make you happy too, just seeing them smile.

This photo is one of my all time favorites taken in 2011.
I just love how it captures their love for eachother.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Care Bears, Tigger, Elmo, Sully and so much more!

As I have told you before, my mom is the queen of yard sales.

Therefore she is the queen of kid's entertainment supplies.

Her house is a child's dream!

Not only does she have every toy possibly imaginable, but she also has costumes to satisfy any child's imagination.

With all the cousins together this week I know that my mom's playroom and costume closet will get well used. Here are the pictures just of yesterday's imaginations come to life:

This picture makes me laugh because my mom actually has two Funshine Care Bear costumes and just happened to pick up the huge stuffed version at a yard sale last weekend! You see cute Li'l Mr, I'll explain his "photo stance" later.
We all laughed pretty hard when Sister came out in this costume because it is meant for a 18 month old... tee hee!

Elmo, a Unicorn and Sully... could you get a better trio?

The chimp, Jasmine and the Cowgirl

The unhappy Easter Bunny, the other cowgirl, Lazy Town and the boy in the orange shirt (also known as Brother)

Snow White, Pink Poodle and the orange monster

Stitch (also made an appearance back at Christmas), witch and a dragon
Baby was so happy to sneak into a few with Minnie Mouse, Snow White and the Baboon.

The last one, after this they were just swapping costumes for more photo ops,
but we weren't as entertained at that point... so the pictures stopped.

Brother really loves Li'l Mr, he tried to hold him and love on him as often as possible.

I loved when I would take Li'l Mr's picture he would squat down, his mom explained that he learned it from her because when she took his picture she would squat down to get to his level to get a good picture, so now he thinks that's what you do. Awe, I love kids!

And Baby just cracks me up! She has started this new thing where she has to be REALLY cheesy for the picture. So funny!

I was taking the picture because it made me laugh to see her wearing the horn helmet with her princess dress. It just seemed so fitting. And there's Li'l Mr in the corner crouching down for his photo op.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Goblins in the Valley

Marc got to go on a Scout campout with Brother last weekend.

They went to a place called Goblin Valley. It is called that because the rock formations look like thousands of little goblins all over the little valley.

If you've never been here before, but it still looks familiar to you, it may be that you are a fan of the movie, "Galaxy Quest"

Marc said they had a great time, that our son was a little bit of a stinker sometimes, but for the most part, did pretty good. It seemed, from the pictures that they had a great time hiking around the valley of goblins.

Brother was so happy to be able to hike and climb around. He loves this kind of thing!

I love the snow-capped blue mountains topping the red goblins of the valley.

He loves caves, I am sure this was one picture he asked Daddy to take.

Here is Brother hiking with his scout leader, great guy that Varden. He takes the boys on quite the fun adventures.
I am so glad that Marc was able to go, not just for Brother's sake, but because that Father-Son time is so precious. We don't get a lot of opportunities to go on a one-on-one outings with our kids, so this kind of thing is a great opportunity.

The day that Brother and Marc got home was the same day my brother and his family came in from Illinois for a week-long visit. We got together all of our family on Sunday for a big dinner at our house.

It was so fun to have the entire family together again.

And let me tell you, we love food. We were definitely gobblin' all the food that was here! Ha! Sorry, I just couldn't help tying it all in...