Tuesday, April 29, 2014

just a post

It was freezing cold at the soccer games on Saturday. Raining, windy, soaking wet kind of cold. We stopped at the gas station after Jace’s game and got doughnuts and hot chocolate to self-medicate our freezing bodies. It worked, because instant gratification. Although I don’t think any of us really warmed up for the rest of the day. So we spent the post soccer game portion of Saturday lounging around in sweats and blankets. I’m so ready for a steady stream of summer weather you guys. Then the kids asked for a movie and sleepover Saturday night. So we pulled mattresses and bedding into the family room for a ‘way past bedtime’ movie night. The family room sleepover ended a little after 3am when Brynlee woke up with a stomach bug (again!). She spent most of Sunday down and out and still isn’t quite herself. I’m just hoping it doesn’t cycle through the rest of the gang again.

Yesterday we celebrated my thirty second. I’m 32. Sheesh.

On Sunday at church the little junior primary sang me the ‘Happy Birthday Children Dear’ song. ‘If I had one wish then it would be a happy, happy birthday to you, from me.’  They sang the happy, happy part thirty two times – one for each year of my life. The primary teacher that sits behind me questioned me on my age because she couldn’t believe - get this - that I was only thirty-two! I tried not to take offense, until she said it like three or four times. “No way you’re only thirty-two!” I nervously laughed and asked her how old she thought I was, because forcryingoutloud! she was starting to give me a complex. To which she tried to explain herself: she’s thirty-one, a measly year younger than me. I’m married, with three kids. While she’s, well not! I certainly wasn’t going to say anything, but I was equally surprised to hear that she was only thirty-one!! So, ha. I'm only kidding with all the attitude, you guys. But seriously. 

So yes, I’m only 32! Which (only or not) is freakin’ old. And don't you dare tell me that I look older than that because I'm already trying to boast a bruised ego.

Marlee is obsessed with dresses. Any dress, really, as long as it’s a dress (pronounced: duhwess). It’s all she will wear, ever. Including to bed. I think it started with her recent obsession with Cinderella (pronounced: Cinderetta). Also, she loves to spin, and anything besides a duhwess just doesn’t allow for proper spinning.

I did some cleaning today with vinegar. (That daggum Boche dishwasher of mine. Still hate it.) Jace got home from preschool, took a big wiff, and asked if I was making myself a sandwich.  

Anyways, I gotta get busy. Brynlee’s almost home from school, Marlee just woke up from her nap and I got to go pick Jace up from a playdate. And the kids got me some pansies for my birthday that I need to “bury” as Jace called it. I hope they don’t freeze if I put them in the ground this soon. Fingers crossed.

We are planning a family movie to the cheap theater tonight – The Lego Movie. And mom is coming to visit for a day or two.


Friday, April 25, 2014

this march

Jace lost his first tooth.
March 3rd.
Then he lost three more.
March 14, April 1, and April 20th.
At this rate he'll be completely toothless come Kindergarten.

A love note from Miss Lori.
I can't believe that Jace's preschool career is nearly done.

Jace had to make a Dr. Seuss inspired poster for preschool.
This is what we came up with because we tend to be extremely creative and artistic. 
Except for not.
Brynlee decided to join in on the fun and made herself a killer Junie B poster.

Stairs in every color.

More Dr. Seuss goodness.

The kids decided to make their very own garden with a cinderblock paver border.
Turns out the creation of a very own garden with a cinderblock paver border takes teamwork.

Any number that can be created with two chocolate doughnuts in indeed great.
Being old enough to get baptized is kind of a big deal too.

At the library.

Lacy got to come to my town for her daughters dance competition.
This time her trip was short and we only got to visit for a few minutes at the competition, but it was still fun to see her for a bit.

Brynlee's birthday party / a little spring break get-a-way.
Downata Hot Springs.

Getting her ears pierced.

And then we finished up the month with a little trip to visit Breah and crew.
And Mandy, Zayley & Ceder joined us for a few hours too.

And that was March in a handful of pictures.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

a flow of thoughts

flying kites at grandpa's farm // easter sunday
I can’t sleep. Dang it! It so bums me out when this happens. I’m tired, I’m ready for sleep, I want to go to sleep, yet I lay in bed, tossing and turning, and … well, not sleeping. I can count sheep for hours. Do breathing exercise until I’m completely blue in the face. Meditate. Pray. Pretend to sleep. And then look at the clock and reprimand myself for wasting two whole hours only pretending to sleep. I can think about what I’m doing tomorrow, what I did today, what I’m going to make for dinner for the next three weeks and make mental notes of what I need to put on my shopping list. I can mentally balance our checkbook, and answer extremely complicated equations or solve life changing problems. I can even force myself – quite impressively - to go brain-dead and think of absolutely nothing at all. But, no matter how hard I try, I can’t make myself actually fall to sleep. It sucks. I’ve become quite the pro with the non-sleeping thing though (I blame my mother) (love ya, mom), and in all of my non-sleeping nights I’ve learned its best to do something outside of lying there, tossing and turning, trying to force myself to sleep.

So here I am. Not sleeping. What are you up to? Do you have sleep issues too?

This evening was Brynlee’s school art show and auction. She waited in line for over an hour and a half (no joke) to get her caricature drawn. The end product was sort of caricature meets bobble head with really big teeth. It was fun though, and the artist drew her with a hula hoop so that made it automatically cool. But it gave me an idea…

I’ve been so bummed that I didn’t take more pictures of Brynlee on her baptism day. I have maybe five pictures. Three of which are blurry. Parent fail, I suppose. But then tonight, post art show, I decided on having somebody way more talented than I draw a cute custom portrait of Brynlee in her baptismal dress. Something sweet and whimsical. Maybe like this or this. Or maybe this. Fun, right?

And speaking of pictures. I’ve been dreaming of a new camera lately. A real camera. One of the fancy ones with a fancy lens and stuff. I loved my old point-and-shoot camera like something fierce. We were a good match, the two of us. But then it got left at and stolen from Lowes, remember. We replaced it, but I just don’t love my new one. I’ve been getting an itch to learn a thing or two about photography too. Not to take fancy schmancy pictures or anything like that, but to know enough to take decent pictures of my kids. And to know enough to not end up with 3 of 5 baptismal day pictures all blurry and lame. I want to know enough to be able to capture my family living life. Want to teach me?

Spence took me on a date the other night: errands for the Easter Bunny, dinner from Taco Bell’s drive through, and the movie theater for Captain America.  Spence cannot wait for the day that Jace is old enough to watch all manner of superhero movies with him. But until then I’m his superhero movie date. Poor dude. About ten minutes into the show I leaned over and told Spencer that I really wished I would have stayed awake the night before when we watched the first Captain America as a refresher. He laughed and said I made it all of ten minutes! Which was a bold face lie by the way. I made it thirty whole minutes, at least! Maybe forty. And I stayed awake for the entire movie in the theater. So ha, three points for me. Honestly though, I have grown to love me a good superhero movie. Mainly because a) it’s the only kind of movie we ever pay full price to watch at the theater and, b) my boys are superhero fanatics.

Jace lost another tooth. That makes four. Four teeth and the kid is not even in kindergarten yet. He lost the latest one on Easter Sunday. We had gone to church with mom & dad and Jami’s clan and during the middle of sacrament meeting he jumped up, with blood splattered all down his chin, and very enthusiastically hollered to Spencer (who was sitting on the complete opposite side of the pew by the way) that he had lost another tooth.  It was so funny, unexpected and irreverent that none of us could keep from laughing.

Soccer season is in full swing. My tulips are in bloom. Easter weekend was a good one. I have a hair appointment tomorrow. And only four more weeks until schools out! I CAN. NOT. WAIT!

Also, I watched this video and I cried. You will too. I'm gonna read that book. Maybe next time that sleep seems impossible.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

the last nine :: march ::

tidbits of love

Our February scripture study theme was on charity: the pure love of Christ. Every evening we studied a different scripture with the focus being love and charity. And then we would take turns picking somebody that we loved and everybody in the family would say one thing that they loved about that person. It was such a fun thing to hear not only who the kids picked, but also to hear why they loved them. I want to do it again because February just doesn't have enough days in it to say something about everybody we love, but this is our February 2014 start:

Jace: He keeps me safe.
Brynlee: He gives me hugs.
Mom: He loves to spend time with his family and makes sure we know that we are the most important thing to him.

Jace: That he love us and made the whole earth for us.
Brynlee: He died for us.
Mom: He loves endlessly and entirely.
Dad: That he’s our big brother.

Jace: Marlee helps me find stuff and plays with me.
Brynlee: That after school she gives me hugs.
Mom: That she’s independent, feisty, spicy and silly.
Dad: That she mimics everything the big kids do.

Brynlee: That he is very kind and funny.
Mom: That he always takes care of his sisters. He’s always a very good example to me on how to treat others.
Dad: He is good at sharing and playing the Wii.

Jace: She helps me do lots of stuff and she likes to snuggle me and gives me kisses and hugs at the morning time and nighttime.
Brynlee: She drives me to school and she’s superlicious.
Dad: I love all the good stuff mommy does for our family.

President Monson
Jace: He’s a good guy.
Brynlee: He believes in Jesus.
Mom: He always tells the best stories and teaches us through his life's experiences.
Dad: That he’s not always serious and that he tells jokes.

Jace: She’s super nice. She’s a very nice person to take care of everyone.
Mom: She’s very responsible and a good example for Marlee and Jace. I always know she will choose the right.
Dad: She is an awesome reader.

The Whole Wide World
Jace: All the planets are super cool.
Brynlee: That there are good people and that it was made by Jesus.
Mom: How beautiful it is.
Dad: That there are so many different things: forests, deserts, clouds, mountains.

Primary Teachers
Jace: That I get to learn about Jesus and they give me love.
Brynlee: They help us learn about good stuff.
Mom: That they love and care for my kids.
Dad: That they are nice.

Jace: That she comes to our house and watches us so we don’t have to go shopping.
Brynlee: That she is fun to be with.
Mom: That she’s endured hard things but keeps her head held high and has become stronger because of it.
Dad: That she takes good care of our kids.

Our Ward Family
Jace: They sing songs with us.
Brynlee: They are all super kind.
Mom: That they care about our family and our wellbeing.
Dad: Everyone helps each other.

Grandma Branch
Jace: She comes to our house.
Brynlee: She always gives us presents.
Mom: I love her dedication as a mother. She was a great mom when I was a little, and still is now.
Dad: She’s very kind and considerate.

Grandpa Branch
Jace: He takes us for rides so he is super nice.
Brynlee: He rides on the 4 wheeler with us.
Mom: He taught me through example.
Dad: He’s a hard worker and takes good care of his family.

Jace: That he is so nice.
Brynlee: That he is funny and cares for us.
Mom: He makes the kids feel special by playing with them.
Dad: That he’s from Arco.

Aunt Marie
Jace: She’s super nice and plays with us.
Brynlee: That she’s funny.
Mom: That she writes the sweetest, most thoughtful cards that I love and cherish.
Dad: That she’s very thoughtful and considerate and gives everyone homemade gifts at Christmas.

Jace: That he always shares toys.
Brynlee: That he’s funny.
Mom: That he has a quirky little personality that always makes me laugh.
Dad: That he’s a good mechanic at age 4.

Jace: That she is nice to Zayne and me.
Brynlee: That she wants to be my friend.
Mom: That she is free spirited and I love her independence.
Dad: That she’s a daredevil on a bike.

School Teachers
Jace: That they teach us about stuff and they are super, super nice.
Brynlee: That they are helpful and very kind to kids.
Mom: They give their time and dedication to helping my children learn.
Dad: I love that they love kids.

Grandma Showell
Jace: That she gives us birthday cards on our birthday.
Brynlee: That she always remembers to send us a birthday card.
Mom: All of the memories that I have from when I was a kid. She was the best grandma ever.
Dad: That she includes everybody in her birthday card list: kids, grandkids, great grandkids, in-laws … that’s impressive!

The Francis Family
Jace: I love Alec, he helps me play superheroes and stuff.
Brynlee: That they are kind to me.
Mom: They always go out of their way to make our little family feel special and important.
Dad: That I have someone that I can talk to about childhood memories.

Grandma & Grandpa M
Jace: That they love us and will forever.
Brynlee: That they care for us.
Mom: That they raised 12 kids and lived to tell about it.
Dad: They are hands down the best parents I have ever had.

Jace: I love when Kyle comes over to our house to play.
Brynlee: That he’s funny.
Mom: That he is such a good friend to Jace.
Dad: That he jumps up and down while he plays Nintendo.

Mary & Everett
Jace: That they say hi to me.
Brynlee: They are generous to us.
Mom: That Mary gives me flower starts out of her own flower garden every spring and fall.
Dad: That Everett knows how to fix everything and is willing to share his knowledge.

Our cousins
Jace: That they play with us.
Brynlee: That they play with us.
Mom: That everyone gets along with each other.
Dad: That they come over to our house for Holidays.

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
John 15:12

Sunday, April 6, 2014

this feburary

Just as I expected the stomach bug continues to make its round, taking us down one at a time. Right now it’s Spence’s turn. It came on quick and knocked him flat. Jace started crying when Spence started throwing up because he didn't want him to get sick. That boy makes me smile. He has the biggest heart. His latest is that he says, "whatever you say boss" or "aye, aye captain" whenever I ask him to do anything.  He's Spence's little mini-me, following him around everywhere and trying to do everything just like dad does. Those two are inseparable; I hope it always stays that way.

Tomorrow Brynlee gets to go to Achievement Days (is it called activity days now?) for her first time ever. She is so excited. I can’t believe she’s eight. Holy Moly. She got her ears pierced for her birthday. Grandma Showell took all of us girls to get our ears pierced for our 8th birthday. It was a much anticipated and prized birthday present. So when Brynlee started asking to get her ears pierced I told her that she had to wait for her 8th birthday, just like I had to. Of course, come birthday time, that was the first thing on her birthday wish list. She doesn't do pain real well so I made double extra sure she wanted to go through with it. She insisted. The first few day were kinda rough for her – we were visiting with friends out of town and I don’t think that helped. But now she really likes them and is glad she did it.

Marlee wants to be outdoors at all times. The trampoline is her favorite. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I don’t have to bundle her six billion times a day and drag her in when I fear that her extremities might be suffering from mild frost bite.  When Brynlee and Jace were about Marlee’s age they both turned into major daddies kids. I sorta became dead to them and daddy could do no wrong. But Marlee? Not so much. She is a mommy’s girl through and through. Sometimes I joke that I wish she would hit that stage because mom just needs a five minute break. But really I love it. She’s my sidekick. I love her so much. 

Anyway, a few pictures from February, just ‘cause I never posted any.
Big room, little girl.

Big sisters are the best.

Jace and the snow covered golf course.

Rosy cheeks.


Building Turtle Mania castles.

She fits in a bowl. Also, we don't comb her hair.

A valentines day box in process.
Brynlee was determined to make her valentines box all by herself this year. I helped her prime a box and google an idea (its pinterest for the lame) and then she ran with it. She was so proud of her end product, mainly because it was entirely her product. 

Building snow stuff.

He was a little top heavy and didn't stand for long, but it was fun while it lasted.

Jace has been writing his entire name lately. Middle name included.

The cutest mailman ever.
#careerdayatpreschool, #jacesidea, #weloveourmailman

And here's her Valentine's Box all done. She did such a good job.
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