May 25, 2011

Boy Turnin' Three

Isn't that just about the sweetest, most innocent little face you've ever seen?  Don't be deceived by those adorable baby blues, though.  This kid is a typical three-year-old. (Well, he's a typical three-year-old Park boy, that is.)  He likes to dump things out, throw things, and be destructive.  He enjoys climbing, wrestling, and sword play.  He is confident, assertive, and sometimes a bit bossy, but he is also thoughtful, inquisitive, and affectionate.  What can I say?  The Parks are passionate people. And this little guy...well, he makes me laugh every day (and makes me clean up a billion messes every day, too.)  Our lives would be pretty boring if we didn't have Garrett around.  Surely, he is something worth celebrating.

Garrett's 3rd Birthday Party:

I've been wanting to use this design concept for a birthday party invitation for a while now, and it just so happened that Garrett actually likes Toy Story. The timing was perfect, and the party wasn't too bad, either.

We celebrated with extended family when everyone was already together for Mother's Day.  Garrett opened presents (he was excited about his "lick-o-lish"), we sang Happy Birthday about five times because Grandpa kept lighting the candles, we ate green alien cupcakes (the idea came from here), we drank green slush, and we watched Garrett's year-in-review video. 

Garrett's Birthday on May 12th:

The birthday hoopla is simply to suit my fancy.  All Garrett really cares about is blowing out candles.  That being the case, I made sure to incorporate candle blowing throughout the entire day in each of his meal items of choice (french toast for breakfast and chicken nuggets for lunch).  Note to self: candles stuck in hot foods tend to melt, tip over, and leave a residue of wax within the food items.  

Garrett decided he wanted his birthday dinner to be pizza.  The older boys tried to convince him to go to Pizza Pie Cafe, but Jason and I were more "persuasive" and he chose to visit the local establishment of Two Jack's Pizza.

I made a small cake for our family to enjoy (and to give Garrett one final chance to blow out some more candles).  It turned out to be a compilation of ideas that I found on the internet.  I'm glad I took a picture the moment it was finished, because as I went to feed Ella, Garrett decided to eat the number 3, push Buzz Lightyear halfway into the cake, take a bite out of the headboard, and use Woody to smash footprints into the base of the bed.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), I was able to salvage some frosting from the garbage to fix all of the cake's blemishes. Awesome.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Garrett! 

This post authored by Amber


 Mother's Day 2011
Our bishop was driving by our house as Jason was taking pictures of the children and me.  He was kind enough to stop and offer to take one of the entire family.What a great Mother's Day gift!

I recall a sacrament meeting talk given some years ago on Mother's Day when the speaker said, "Every year on this day, we put mothers on such a high pedestal, that all the women go home feeling guilty."  Well, since then, I've let go of all unreal expectations I've had for myself and for my children...well, at least my Mother's Day expectations. 

Why should this Sunday be any different, simply because we're supposed to honor mothers?  I know I will still have my "battles of the bench" in trying to keep three rowdy boys reverent.  I will likely struggle to console a child who is in a great gulf of woe and misery because his brother is now sitting in his spot. I apologize if the plastic dinosaur, thrown in a fit of tantrum, hit you in the back of the head.  I'll have the intuition to hand the babe off to daddy just before she spits everything up that I just managed to feed her, and I'll try not to laugh too loudly at the sight of him dripping wet in his suit.  (I'll even do the laundry...eventually.)  I should definitely still expect to be called upon to remove my son from nursery for using the chairs as a weapon.  I will delve into my arsenal of dirty looks to flash across the Primary room at the son who is giggling with his neighbor when he's supposed to be singing Praise to the Man. I will do all this, and more, and it won't seem so bad.  I'll just "chalk it up" to another three-hour block survived, and there's no guilt in that.  In fact, I think I'll just take my place on that pedestal, thank you very much!

This post authored by Amber

May 13, 2011

The Month that Was April

 While it sits among the list of shorter months, we were still able to stuff April with enough celebrating, tradition keeping, and vacationing to make the past thirty days seem to burst at the seams with excitement.  And while I did not spread out the blog posts into manageable, consistent musings, I decided it would be a bit much to try and write a post for each event retrospectively, so I've resorted to a picture summary of all that took place with brief descriptions (because Heaven forbid if no one in cyberspace knew of all that we do in the Park household!).

And now, for your viewing pleasure, THE MONTH THAT WAS APRIL:

We thought the last of major storms were over and felt it safe to set the trampoline up.  It was a bit premature because a huge snowstorm dumped on General Conference weekend (and there were several smaller snowstorms to follow). Gotta love Spring in Utah.

Parents were invited to a RAD Kids demonstration to show what the students had learned during the past year in the program. I'm so glad that Brevin was able to participate in the personal empowerment program. And nobody better be messing with my kid!

We made a near week-long trip to St. George for Spring Break.  We had a wonderful time with the Olson family who invited us to join them in their parent's home.  We did a lot of hiking, visiting with family, and soaking in the practically perfect weather.  It was fabulous!

 Jason was gracious enough to share his birthday candle blowing with Garrett.  He also shared his special day with a Cub Scout Pack Meeting that was unexpectedly given to my charge on the Friday we returned from our trip.  Because the Pack Meeting was on Tuesday, we celebrated Jason's birthday the day before with dinner at Joe Banditos and angel food cake.  Thanks for being such an angel, Jason, and working with me on that one!

Ella at Three Months:
This girl is "all girl" and not because we constantly dress her in pink and frills (because she doesn't have much of a choice in that).  It is because she likes to talk.  She also loves to be talked to.  And don't think about leaving  her in a room all alone, because she knows when she's alone and she will protest with emotionally charged cries.  I'm telling you, it is a different cry than anything my boys ever did, and good gravy!  It's pathetic!  Thank goodness she is a relatively content child.  Ella's smiles make up for her cries anytime, and she is also doing that a lot more now as well, so phew!  

NuSkin holds an Easter-egg hunt for children of employees every year.  Brevin is no longer eligible to participate so we had him assist Garrett in collecting eggs while Jason and I ran between two areas of the field with cameras, trying to get equal shots of Garrett and Spencer. And yes, they "cleaned house" (too bad not literally).

Everyone had a fun time coloring the 3 dozen Easter-eggs that I hard-boiled......well, maybe not everyone.  (Actually, Garrett had a blast, too.  Every so often he would make this face, though, as he waited for his eggs to color.  It was hilarious.)

The Easter Bunny came, and Ella won the prize for healthiest goodies.  Her eggs were empty and she got rice cereal.  It's nice when your kids don't care what they get, isn't it?

And finally, what would Easter be without all the Park grand kids posing together before being released to hunt for their eggs.  Garrett was searching for orange, Spencer for sports-themed, and Brevin for Spiderman eggs.  All eggs were located and so it was off inside for a scrumptious potluck meal before the rainstorm moved in.  Gotta love Spring in Utah!   

This post authored by Amber