Sunday, August 31, 2008

Backpack

Sometimes I think that Mandy is just as excited as Dallin is about getting up to take him to school in the morning. When I tell her where we are going, she claps her hands and says, "Yea, we are going to Dallin's school!" However when we leave Dallin at the school, she is a lot less excited about that. A few days ago as we were leaving the school she asked me if we could go home and take a nap right now so that we could come back and pick up Dallin. She has learned that our new routine is that right after she gets up from her nap we leave the house to get Dallin. She just wanted to speed things along a little. And to help her feel more a part of the whole going to school process she has starting wearing her "backpack" to drop Dallin off and pick him up. Her "backpack" is actually her baby doll's diaper bag, but she figured out how she could put in on to make it seems like a backpack. Layton really enjoys our forays into the school as well. Something about babies just attracts people and he loves to have people talk and smile at him. It puts a huge smile on his sweet little face. What is really entertaining to me is the expression on other people's faces when they look at him. Little girls' faces especially just light up when I walk by with him. It is so cute to see their little eyes get all starry and hear them make little cooing noises as him. It makes me feel good that my sweet little boy, who brings so much joy to me, brings joy to so many others as well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Tourists

You know at some point I thought that I would begin to run out of things to blog about. I thought that eventually it would get to the point that I would only have something to write about maybe once or twice a week. Now, over seventy posts later, I am starting to think that my kids are so crazy that they are just going to keep coming with new and interesting things for me to post about. They always seem to have a surprise and a good laugh up their sleeves. During the pouring rain and howling wind of this weekend's tropical storm, Dallin and Mandy decided that they would take a trip to the zoo. I am absolutely sure that they have no clue what the word "tourist" means, but they certainly know how to dress up like the stereotypical tourist that is always mocked and joked about. They have their camera, their cell phones, their hats, their brightly colored clothes, tacky jewelry, sunglasses, and if you look carefully in Mandy's hands she is holding her play credit card. Not sure why Dallin is wearing beads just like Mandy, but I have a feeling it is the result of hanging out with too many girls :). My children make me laugh all the time and I love it!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we were home bound while Tropical Storm Fay moved over our area. Odd though it may seem, I really enjoyed the storm. Dallin was out of school and Nathan came home from work early on Thursday and then stayed home with us on Friday. It was so nice being at home together. There were no demands on our time. No rushing here and there trying to get things done. No packing up the entire house just to go out and run an errand or even go to some place fun. We just did whatever we wanted. Nathan and I took turns reading a book, which I especially appreciated because I haven't been able to sit down and read a book in a long time. We put the kids to bed at the usual time and then curled up on the couch together to watch some Olympics late into the night. All in all, it was three gloriously relaxing days. A much needed break from our usual routine. Layton seem to really enjoy the storm too. He loved looking out the sliding glass doors and watching the wind blow and rain pour. I guess he takes after me in that I actually enjoy the sound and sight of the wind and rain. It holds a certain majesty that I find awe inspiring and in some strange way comforting. It is like the physical manifestation of the way I feel about our spiritual lives. The storms of the world may pound the outside of our home, and while it may not be perfect inside our home, it is a warm safe happy place.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Picking Songs

For primary a couple of Sundays ago, I created a poster of flowers and a little bee and I let the kids play pin the bee on the flower in order to choose the songs that we would be singing that day. After church Dallin, all on his own, came up with his own little game. His game is pin the car on the car (how surprising that he would use cars) to choose songs. He first put the blindfold on Mandy and spun her around. He led her to the door and she stuck on the car. And what song do you think she landed on? Follow the Prophet, which is Dallin's favorite primary song. So they stood over by the door and sang it. It was so cute. Then Dallin had me put the blindfold on him so that he could do it too. It makes me so happy to hear them sing primary songs!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blue Socks

It is always funny to me what children decide their favorite items are. When it comes to socks, Mandy has decided that her blue ones are her absolute favorite. Whenever I tell her to go get her socks and shoes, she always seems to come out holding these blue socks. And if her blue socks are not in the drawer, she comes out of her room begging me to find them for her. She has every color of sock that you can imagine. And for any other thing, if you ask her what color she wants, she almost invariably says pink, with the occasional purple thrown in there for good measure. So why BLUE socks? I have no clue. But as you can see, she has worn them so much that they are threadbare in places. Even when they don't come close to matching her outfit, she insists on wearing them. To all you fashion police out there, don't lock her up for her fashion faux pas.




Monday, August 25, 2008

Knight in Shining Armor

Poor Dallin is always surrounded by girls. ALL of his cousins on Nathan's side of the family are girls. And while he does have some boy cousins on my side of the family, we live so far away from each other that he rarely ever gets to see them. We went to a play date at Nana's house, and even at the play date he was surrounded by girls. There was only one other boy there (other than Layton) but he was quite a bit younger than Dallin. All the kids played dress up and Dallin was the only knight among all those princesses. He will certainly never have any shortage of damsels in distress to rescue!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Toy

















Layton's newest favorite toy is his toes! He loves to hold them and play with them. And he especially loves to put them in his mouth and suck on them. I guess he must have some really tasty toes! I am just glad that his new favorite toy is something that we never have to worry about losing. They will always be around for whenever he is ready to play :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Puzzle Party

Mandy is our little puzzle lover. She loves to put together all kinds of puzzles. A few days ago she pulled out her puzzles one by one and put them together. After putting together all of "her" puzzles, she then proceeded to pull out some of the bigger puzzles. She brought out a thirty piece puzzle and when I saw her with it, I told her to go put it back up because it would be too hard for her to put together. Well, this is one of the few times that I was actually glad that I have a stubborn willful child. Rather than put it up, she told me, "I CAN do it." To my amazement she did do it. And after putting together that puzzle she put together two other thirty piece puzzles. And perhaps what was even more amazing is that she spent almost two full hours putting together puzzles, one right after another. Who ever heard of a two and a half year old that would sit and do anything for two straight hours? Dallin decided to put together a couple of puzzles too, but he only lasted about thirty minutes and then he moved on to play with his trains and cars. Maybe this means that she will be brilliant like my sister Lisa. My parents have always told us anecdotal stories of Lisa sitting quietly hour after hour putting together puzzles all by herself. I would certainly be proud if Mandy turned out to be even close to as smart as Lisa is.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Soccer Time

Last Saturday Dallin had his very first soccer game. That morning as we were getting ready, Dallin was so excited that he could hardly contain himself. He couldn't wait to get up there and get started. As mentioned before, Dallin is playing soccer at the YMCA, so the game started out with a prayer. It was kind of different because they asked everyone to come out onto the field, stand in a circle, and hold hands while the prayer was being offered. I liked though, I think it really added a feeling of camaraderie and sportsmanship to the event. Dallin was picked to be one of the starters. That doesn't really mean anything because at some point everyone on the team will get to be a starter and everyone on the team gets to play about the same amount of time. The game got started and at first I don't think that Dallin knew what to do. But after a moment, he started running after the ball right along with everyone else. The first couple of times that he got to the ball and started kicking it, he kicked it the wrong way down the field. Luckily his own team has a pretty good goalie and he was able to keep Dallin from scoring a goal for the other team. He did start to get better at it as the game went on. One time he kicked the ball all the way down the field and was ready to score a goal when the other team kicked it in to their own goal for him. I guess he can be credited with an assist though! The one thing that he never really did get the hang of was the boundary lines and the whistle. The coaches/referees would blow the whistle when the ball got kicked out, but Dallin and quite a few of the other kids would just keep on kicking it and playing. He enjoyed himself so very much. He had a big grin on his face the whole time that he was playing. He was also really happy that Nana, Grandpa, Stacy and Jon could be there to watch him play too. He kept looking over at all of us to make sure that we were watching him and would wave at us every now and then. Even though I think that Dallin's team was technically the winner, no mention was made at the end of the game about who won and who lost. Every child was treated as a champion and took a victory lap through the tunnel of people cheering them on. We all had a great time and we can't wait for his next game!

Click to play 1st Soccer Game

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Father's Blessing

In order to get the school year started off right, Nathan gave Dallin a special blessing. In the blessing, Nathan blessed Dallin that he would have a great school year, make lasting bonds of friendship, and be happy and excited about learning new things. My favorite part of the blessing was that Nathan blessed Dallin that he would come home and share all the great things that he was doing and learning with his parents. I hope he does. Dallin was not always the most forthcoming when I asked him about things that he did at pre-school, so hopefully this year he will be more talkative about what he does each day. I can't believe that I am actually hoping that Dallin will talk more. He talks ALL THE TIME. Normally though his talk is all about whatever he is currently playing with and about what we are going to be doing next!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1st day of school

Dallin had a wonderful first day of school. We got up yesterday morning at 7:00 and Dallin drank his chocolate milk as usual and then he very happily picked out his clothes to go to school. Is it any surprise that he choose to where a Lightening McQueen shirt? He helped me pack his lunch and made sure that I put a couple of Oreos in there so that he could have a special treat. Then we all got in the car to take the two minute drive over to the school. Nathan even decided to go into work late so that he could come with us too. We got there a little early so we had to wait for the bell to ring before going in to Dallin's classroom. Dallin's new teacher, Ms. Allen was there to greet us. I don't think that Dallin even said a word to her when we came in. I think he may have been a little nervous about the whole situation. He didn't whine or cry though. He went into the classroom and found his cubby hole and hung up his backpack. Then he found his assigned seat and sat down ready to learn. We met his teacher last Friday when we went to the school for an orientation. I think that Dallin is in for a really good year and has a really great teacher. I take is as a good omen that one of Ms. Allen's students from last year came running up to her to give her a hug and tell her how much she had missed her over the summer. When Dallin came home, he didn't have a lot to say, but he did say that he had a fun first day of school. He said that he made a new friend. His new friend's name is Ryan and I think he is the little boy that sits next to Dallin at his table. One person though was not too thrilled at having Dallin go to school, and that was Mandy. As we left the school she started to cry because she wanted her Dallin. At home, Mandy kept asking me, "Where is my Dallin?" Once I finally had her convinced that Dallin was at school, her question changed to, "When are we going to get my Dallin?" She is going to need a little adjusting time I think to get used to not having Dallin around to play with her. When we picked Dallin up from school, she gave him a big hug. Judging by the grimace on his face, I don't think that Dallin was as excited about the hug as Mandy was! During the evening, I had the opportunity to go to a parents meeting with Ms. Allen. She explained what they would be doing this year and what things we would be expected to help the kids with at home. She also explained a special situation in the classroom this year. When Dallin came home yesterday, he told me that his teacher told him that he couldn't bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school anymore because they were too messy. Well apparently, the not allowed to bring peanut butter part was true, but it isn't because that is an exceptionally messy sandwich. Ms. Allen asked that all students in her class not bring anything containing any kind of nut, not even in their own lunches, to school. There is a student in their class that is so extremely allergic to nuts that it could be life threatening if he even gets it on his skin. So no PB&Js for Dallin this year. I hope he doesn't get tired of ham or turkey!!

Click to play 1st Day of School


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Magic Show

Introducing the amazing, the magnificent, the mind boggling, Magic Man Dallin! Dallin came up with this magic show all on his own (this will be very obvious once you watch the clip). While his tricks may not be all that mysterious, his little show is still very cute.

video

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hat

After Dallin's soccer practice, I was hot and sweaty and decided to go take a shower. So I left the kids playing with Nathan. It seems that whenever I leave him alone with the kids, I never know what I am going to come back and find. I come out of our room and Nathan smiles and tells me to look at the pictures on the camera. I take a look and these are the pictures I find there. Dallin apparently had put Nathan's hat on Layton. Nathan knows that I hate to miss cute little moments like that, so smart man that he is, he grabbed the camera and took a picture for me. Isn't he sweet to think of me like that? I love the pictures. I think that they show off Layton's triple chins really well, don't you?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Holding Layton

Dallin has really become a great helper when it comes to Layton. He loves to hold him. And he loves to walk around with Layton and put him in the swing. He is really careful with him and has never dropped him. It makes me a little nervous, so I watch him like a hawk when he carries Layton, but he does an excellent job. It has come in handy when we have been in places that I need to use two hands for a second to do things. I just hand Layton to Dallin and he is so happy to help because he is so proud to be holding his little brother. Dallin told me the other day that Layton was his favorite baby ever! It is kind of funny to see Dallin holding him though. Layton weighs a little less than half of what Dallin weighs. So essentially, Dallin carrying Layton is like me carrying around 50 pounds or so. That's a lot of weight!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Comforting Mandy

At about 5:30 in the morning, I was sitting on the couch feeding Layton. The couch butts up against the wall that separates the living room from Dallin and Mandy's room, so I had a very good vantage point to hear everything in their room. All of a sudden I heard Mandy start to cry. I thought to myself, "Oh great, I just got Layton back to sleep and she is going to come busting out here and wake him up." (I know, not a real sympathetic thought toward a child having a nightmare, right? 5:30 in the morning is just way to early for me to feel compassionate :) As I finished that thought, I heard Dallin say, "Mandy, what's wrong?" Mandy told him, "There's a storm." If you will remember, Mandy is terrified of thunder, so she must have dreamed that it was storming outside. In actuality I think she may have heard the garbage truck go by and in her sleep thought that it was thunder. I then heard Dallin say, "It's ok Mandy, there's no storm. I am here with you. You're OK. Just go back to sleep." And do you know what? She went right back to sleep. I couldn't believe it. She must really love and trust her big brother.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Never-ending Itsy Bitsy

Did you know that the Itsy Bitsy Spider was a song that never ends? We didn't know that either, but Mandy turned it into one. She was being really sweet though and helping Layton learn the song too.

video

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy 31st

Happy Birthday to ME! I was thinking about just skipping over the fact that today was my birthday and not drawing any attention to the actuality that I am now 31. But, why should I? Why is it that as we get older we dislike our birthdays so much? I have recently been teaching my kids the primary song that goes “I like my birthdays every one, each brings a greater joy to me, but I can’t wait until I’m eight, for then I’ll be baptized you see.” When we are young each birthday really does seem to bring some greater joy. “I can’t wait until I’m twelve, for then I’ll be in Young Womens.” “I can’t wait until I’m sixteen, for then I’ll be able to drive a car and go on dates.” “I can’t wait until I’m eighteen, for then I’ll graduate High School.” “I can’t wait until I’m in my twenties, for then I can get married and have kids.” Or one of my personal favorites, “I can’t wait until I’m twenty-five, for then I’ll pay less for car insurance.” As a child I can remember looking forward to so many milestones in my future. Now that I have kids, I would really like for things to slow down. Because for them, I absolutely CAN wait until they are eight, twelve, sixteen, eighteen, and so on. I want it to take as long as possible for them to reach those special birthdays. Honestly I really don’t dread getting older. In fact, in some ways I am enjoying the passing of years. I just wish that I could make them pass a little slower. I will say though that there are still a few things in the future that I “can’t wait” for. One of them is Layton sleeping through the night every night. What a happy day that will be! Another thing that I am really looking forward to is the Second Coming of Christ. For some reason I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I so want it to happen in my lifetime. I so much want to be here to see Him descend from the sky as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I don’t know why I want that so much, because there are so many terrible things that will happen prior to His coming that we will have to live through, but I really want to be here as it unfolds. I just hope that for me it is going to be a GREAT day and not a DREADFUL one :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In the middle?

Look who has gotten a little bit braver! At FIVE years old, Dallin is actually not holding onto the side of the pool. He is walking around in the shallow end without holding onto anything. It has driven me crazy that he is so scared of learning how to swim. I learned how to swim when I was TWO. Anyway, at least he is branching out a bit. He even "jumped" off the bottom step of the pool into the shallow end without anyone's help. Maybe next year he will let us teach him how to swim. Mandy doesn't seem to be quite as scared. Hopefully we will be able to talk her into trying to swim a whole lot sooner than we have been able to do with Dallin. Her favorite thing to do is to jump into the pool to Nana. Dallin loves to do that too!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Working Mom

I never really thought that after having three kids that I would still be working. Somehow in my mind, everything was just going to work out perfectly so that once I had children, they would become my career. But things don't always work out as planned and in order to keep us afloat I have had to continue to work part-time. Heavenly Father has really blessed me though. He helped me get into a job that not only brought me here to Jacksonville so that I could meet my eternal soul mate, but has also allowed me to be a stay at home mom and a part-time career woman. I go into the office about once a week to drop off completed work and to pick up new projects that have been assigned to me. And the great thing is that they let me bring my kids in to the office with me. Since I have to work, I really couldn't have asked for a more ideal situation. It is great. But it is also very stressful. I often have to do my work with kids either sitting in my lap or climbing all over me. And when I have a project that has a very short deadline, it can get pretty harried for me. But I love my kids and I am so grateful that I get to stay at home with them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Night Owl

Look at that cute baby smile. Looking at him you would never realize how frustrated I was when we took this picture. It was almost 11:30 at night and the child was STILL awake. He stays up late almost every night and it can get pretty tiring trying to keep him quiet so that he doesn't wake Dallin and Mandy. However, maybe I shouldn't complain. Maybe staying up late is helping him sleep. We are pretty excited because twice this week he slept all the way through the night. Let's hope it isn't just a fluke and he'll start sleeping through the night every night!!! Ooh, maybe I shouldn't have said that. Now I have probably gone and jinxed things and he will never sleep through the night again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Strawberries

One nickname that we have for Mandy is "Candy Mandy". Not only is it a cute little rhyming nickname, it is rooted in reality. Mandy is a super picky eater. But you can be sure if there is candy or junk food around, she will gobble it down in a heartbeat. There are very few healthy foods that she will eat. One of them however is strawberries. She loves them. Just the other night we had some with dinner and she almost ate the entire package of strawberries all by herself. She seriously knows how to stuff her face when it comes to strawberries! No one better get between her and that bowl of berries!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

White Gum

Mandy is our little gum chewing girl. She loves gum and asks for it all day long. She likes all kinds of gum, but oddly enough given the choice between sugary bubble and my sugar free mint gum, she will choose the mint gum every time. In order to clearly identify to me what gum she wants, she refers to the mint gum as "white gum". She will actually chew the gum for hours and then spit it out in the trash can.







So far we have had only one little gum in the hair incident, but luckily it was minor and I was able to cut it out, without the loss of hair being too noticeable. Dallin likes to chew gum as well. However he is really funny about the "white gum". He will only chew it for a few minutes because he says that it makes his teeth "too clean". I was unaware that anyone's teeth could ever be too clean, but apparently they can! I guess the cool sensation that the gum produces makes his mouth feel extraordinarily clean.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Great Investment

As many of you probably remember, last year for Halloween Dallin and Mandy were super heroes. Those Halloween costumes have been a fantastic investment. They have worn their costumes so much that I am sure they are going to fall apart any day now. They love to play super heroes and show off their "super powers", which generally just consists of them running or jumping across the room. Their newest super power is walking around the house and counting to ten with their eyes closed. I guess being blind and still able to do things is pretty amazing to them. Truthfully, it is pretty amazing to me how well people with handicaps are able to adapt and do things. What was really hilarious is that the other night, Dallin told Nathan that he could do a new cool trick, he could "fly". Dallin then ran across the living room and dove onto the couch will his arms clamped tightly to his side. So Nathan, big tall lanky Nathan, told Dallin that he could do it too. So Nathan got up and trotted across the room and dove onto the couch (which was probably the funniest part because Nathan is longer than the couch, so he kind of just halfway fell onto it), with his arms clamped tightly to his side just like Dallin did. It was one of those moments that I wish I had on video, because writing about it just doesn't do it justice. I am still laughing about it as I am typing this! **Also please don't get confused by Mandy's costume, she is not Wonder Woman, but "Wonder Melon".**

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Little Mommy

Dallin, Mandy, and Layton have really enjoyed getting to spend some time with their cousins this summer. Friday night we went over to Nana and Grandpa's house to play with them. Kate was drinking a bottle on the couch and it fell out. Mandy went over without being asked and picked up the bottle and started feeding her. She is going to be such a good little mommy someday! She and Dallin talk about becoming a mother and father all the time. In fact, Dallin measures everything about his future on when he will enter the ranks of fatherhood. Instead of using the phrase, "When I grow up, I will...." he says, "When I get to be a Daddy, I will..." I think it is so cute that they want so much to be like us.

While at Nana's house Layton and Kate spent a little time together in Nana's arms. Layton kept trying to reach for her. We're not sure if he just wanted to touch her or use her as a chew toy. He has been chewing on everything lately. I think we are starting to see the beginnings of teething.

And since we were there, we of course wanted to play the Wii. I think that the only time that evening that Breanna, Haley, and Dallin were quiet and patient were when they were sitting down waiting for their turn to play.
We enjoyed the Wii so much that we played it again Saturday night with all the cousins and then we went over again on Sunday evening so that just our little family could play. What can I say, we are hooked! Anyway, Dallin has now had so much practice at it that he is fast becoming an expert. When we played bowling Sunday night, he scored 168 the first round and 180 the second round. His score was actually better than both Nathan's and mine!!! It is sad being beaten by a five year old.