March 27, 2012

Spring Has Brought Me Such a Nice Surprise

My magnolia bush has blossomed.  Isn't that fabulous!  The little buds emerge as a teaser and let me know that Spring is a bit closer, and at the first sign of balmy weather, they seem to explode with excitement to announce the season's arrival. 

Utah weather can be temperamental in Spring, so I've learned to take pictures while I can.  For all I know, a snow storm will come and dump on my pretty little blossoms (or wind will scatter the petals across my lawn).

And if you've driven by and paused to admire our lovely landscaping, you should know that Jason is primarily responsible for our home's curb appeal.  He did have some extra help this year when it came to pulling weeds and adding fresh compost to the flower beds, though.  Garrett got quite engrossed in the project.  He had to keep reminding me, "Mom, I'm too busy for taking pictures."

I took them anyway.

 This post authored by Amber

Moms, Muffins, and Math

On Friday, I was invited to attend school with Brevin to eat a muffin and watch him as he worked to complete a math worksheet.  (I'm glad that he didn't need my help.  Math has never been my forte.)

I felt a little dorky because I seemed to be the only mom who brought a camera along, but then I handed it off to someone, and she captured one of the few images in which I appear with my child.  I won't mind being conspicuous for a moment if it means I get to have a picture like that to remind me of the marvelous, day-to-day moments I get to have with my children.

Oh, and Brevin totally rocks at math--a skill he clearly did not inherit from me.

This post authored by Amber

March 19, 2012

The Wearin' O' the Green

St. Patrick's day fell to a Saturday this year.  I think that took a bit of the excitement out of it for the older boys.  They would have probably loved spraying their hair green for school. I didn't tell them that I bought a bunch of green hairspray when it was on clearance after Halloween for that very purpose.  Oh well, I guess there's always next year.  No, wait!  That wouldn't be so great for church, huh?

Instead, we all slept in and had our traditional green shamrock pancakes a little later than usual.

I had to deliver some cupcakes to Riverton by noon, so the family all went together and we stopped by IKEA for lunch.  Nothing like eating Swedish food on an Irish holiday!

When we got home, Garrett and Ella wanted to play with bubbles while Brevin and Spencer wanted to play the Wii with the friends who had come over (I was watching them for my friend who had to take her three year-old son to the instacare to have a bead extracted from his nose).

For dinner, we had our Pot of Gold soup and fruit rainbow.  There were some extra cupcakes, too.  I made sure of that.

Then I made everyone come outside and take some pictures before the daylight was gone so we could remember just how festive and green we all were for this annual celebration.  The kids all wanted to pose on the trampoline.  Whatever.

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2012! 

This post authored by Amber

Breaking in Ella's New Swimsuit

The Springville recreation department gave Jason a complimentary family pass to the pool as a "thank you" for volunteering to be a basketball coach for the Junior Jazz league. 

We thought it would be a great opportunity to take Ella to the pool for her first time ever and to try out her new swimsuit. 

It fits.

She looks adorable in it. 

Everyone had a great time. 

The end.

This post authored by Amber

Going to a Hukilau

I have to say that our elementary school is totally top notch.  Just look at the lengths they go to to promote the Book Fair! 

We attended the luau themed family night activity last week.  Once the boys each picked out a book for purchase, we headed to the gym for limbo, hula hoops, a ring toss, and coconut macaroon cookies.  It was fantastic!

I'm so glad I brought my camera and video recorder along.  I laughed until I cried watching Garrett play limbo. I think you might understand why when you look at this picture:

Do you think he'll make it?

This post authored by Amber

The Switch

Garrett has been resistant to the idea of potty training, and so we have not really forced the issue. (If you know how strong-willed Garrett can be, you will understand why some battles are not for the picking!)  We've only made suggestions to his subconscious by placing underwear in his drawer next to his diapers and occasionally asking him if he would like to try using the toilet.  He wasn't interested...until about a month ago.

He would use the toilet on  rare occasions, so I made a chart to track his progress with stickers and prizes, but nothing seemed to be an incentive worthy to motivate him completely.  He just did things the way he wanted when he wanted, and I got real good at reapplying a diaper on a standing child after he had done his business. We began to see some promising signs in the form of dry diapers upon Garrett's waking and even throughout the day, though. Still, he was not fully committed to switching to underwear...until about a week ago. 

That was it.  Garrett just decided he wanted to wear underwear, seemingly out of the blue.  Well, once he decided to go ahead, I knew there was no turning back. 

The first two days necessitated emergency laundry loads due to several accidents.  I guess that's "par for the course" when it comes to potty training.  After only a few poops in the underwear, he has decided that it is better to do that in the toilet, thankfully.  Nights have all been dry so far, so I think he's doing pretty well.  In fact, this whole potty training thing hasn't been quite as horrible as I remember, but then again, we are only a week in.

At any rate, we think he looks pretty cool in his new duds!

This post authored by Amber

March 8, 2012

Another Sports Season, Another Blog Post

Brevin recently wrapped up his first basketball season with the city recreation league.  His games were held during the months of January and February, and were played at Cherry Creek Elementary school (in the gym that was formerly part of the old Junior High).  His group was comprised of teams of boys in the third and fourth grades, Brevin's team being the Pacers.  Jason was the coach, so that made for some great father/son bonding as well.

While I don't believe he had as much fun as he did playing flag football, it was very clear that Brevin had skills in the sport of basketball that made him very fun to watch.  Yes, his dribbling, passing, and shooting require a bit of refinement, but he demonstrated a quick response to changes in ball possession and really hustled on the court to be the first to set-up for defense or offense.  Because he was always aware of the ball movement, he was frequently open to take a shot.  That improved his chances of making them, and he had his fair share of baskets for the season.  He also got a few baskets off the fast break.

It was a really fantastic season.  Now on to baseball.

This post authored by Amber

March 2, 2012


Since the beginning of the school year, Brevin and Spencer have been dropped off at the school a half-hour early every Tuesday to take part in chess club.  Both have really enjoyed the experience, and they have learned quite a few strategies for playing the game.  They recently had an opportunity to put their new skills to the test at the district-wide chess tournament.

The tournament was a new experience for all of us, and Jason and I had no idea how fun it would be to observe.  It was held on a Saturday morning at a local elementary school.  Children were called into classrooms to compete against other students in their same grade for a total of six rounds.  Once a round was finished, the students would go and wait in the cafeteria until they were called back to the classrooms for another round.  (Even though they had been playing chess from 8:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the boys wanted to play more as soon as they got home. Love it!) 

In his six rounds, Brevin won one match, had three stalemates, and lost two matches, giving him a total score of 2.5 points. Not too shabby for his first tournament, I'd say!  He competed in the largest grade group and was awarded a medal for participation.

Spencer won three matches and lost three, giving him a score of 3 points.  He was pleased to learn that it was enough to finish in 9th place overall for his grade.  He received a trophy for his first-time efforts.

Because Brevin's group was the last to finish, we were still at the school when the final totals came in and Art City Elementary School was named 1st place overall in the competition.  Brevin and Spencer were ecstatic to go up on stage with the other students to celebrate and hoist up the large trophy. 

I am sincerely grateful to those who organized this huge event, and for the adults who volunteer weekly with the school's club. Each has allowed Brevin and Spencer and invaluable opportunity to learn and appreciate the game of chess.

This post authored by Amber

For Sentimental Reasons

There are just some things that have to be done on Valentine's day.  We have to have pink, heart-shaped pancakes with strawberry syrup (I have been eating those every Valentine's since I was a child), we have to make pink, heart-shaped rice krispy treats to take to teachers (I even use the same pans that belonged to my mother), and we have to eat a heart-shaped pizza for dinner.  All other details are negotiable.

Barely a year old, and she's already getting heart-shaped boxes filled with
chocolates from a boy.  Well, they were from Dad, so I guess it's alright.

This Valentine's day marked fifteen years since Jason gave me
an engagement ring. To mark the occasion, he found this
lovely photograph of the temple we were sealed in to give to me.
I was just as romantic (not!) and gave him cologne that he had
picked out and even bought for himself.

There are just some things that have to be done on a day other than Valentine's day. Jason has to take me out to dinner so we are not competing with the holiday crowds (this year we chose Chili's restaurant), the boys have to sign Valentine's cards for the children in their classes, and I have to listen to Nat King Cole's Greatest hits every day during the entire week previous. All other details are negotiable.

This post authored by Amber