Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

I have to admit that when it comes to holidays I'm not very good.
See, it's Easter, right? And, yet again, we didn't dye easter eggs with the kiddos.
I don't know why. I remember dying eggs EVERY year with my family. It was
a pretty big deal and I loved it as a kid, but for some reason, I just never
remember/feel like getting everything ready for 6 kids to create a huge mess
dying eggs. I know, I know...there goes my "Mom of the Year" award...again!
Luckily, the kiddos don't seem to mind and never even say anything about it.
Maybe that's just a sad testament to their lack of expectations?
Regardless, we do have one tradition. The finding of the Easter Baskets on
Easter morning. And that part they enjoy. They mostly get candy in their baskets...
again, no dyed eggs, means no eggs in their baskets. But they also get 1 little gift.
KK got a Lalaloopsy coloring book. Her current obsession.

Joe got a styrofoam airplane.

Sterling got one too!

Annnnnd so did Cori. 

Emmy got a Soduku book. Yeah, she loves stuff like that.

Eddie got a Curious George coloring book.

Eddie, Emmy and Kailyn working in their new books together. 

In a little bit, the girls will put on their new dresses, get their hair done fancy (maybe). The boys will don their new ties and then we'll head to church to celebrate the REAL purpose of Easter.
 The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 I am so grateful for this day to focus on remembering all that the Lord 
has done for me. And most of all, remembering that those that I love, that have died, will
live again someday. I will see my grandparents again. I will hug my daddy again. And perhaps
what I look forward to most, FINALLY getting to hold my son again. Feeling his living, breathing body
in my arms, feeling his heartbeat and listening to his voice. That is why this holiday is so precious to me! I know that the Lord lived and died and then lived again. And I am beyond grateful for that. 

Happy Easter Everyone!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Break

It's spring break this week for our kiddos and so far it's been
pretty eventful. We were sooo lucky to have my sister and two of my brothers
and their families come to Kansas! My brother Larry, his wife Megan
and their little man, Allen drove in from Utah to spend the week. And my brother Scott
and his wife, Laura flew in from Montana for the weekend. My little sister, Jordan drove up from
Texas with her new husband Drew and their little girl, Rori.
The best mom had no idea everyone was coming! Earlier in the week we had made plans to go to the Temple with my mom and John and Clara. We knew about Larry and Megan coming but she didn't. She was so surprised when Larry, Megan and Allen showed up at her work on Thursday. Then they all drove to Topeka Friday to go to the Temple. When they got here mom found out that Scott and Laura were here! Taylor was kind enough to stay and watch all 6 little kids who weren't at school and the rest of us went to the Temple together. It was so nice to be there with my family!
Later that evening mom headed home to go to work. While there Jordan, Drew and Rori showed up to surprise her. I don't think it could have been planned better. :-) It was surprises one right after another for her and it was awesome being able to pull it off!
Saturday, most of the guys spent the day at my mom's old house putting on a new roof. I even helped for awhile. Gotta say, nail guns are fun! Carrying bundle of shingles, though, not so much.
Unfortunately Jordan and Drew could only stay until Sunday so after attending Church together we went back to mom's house to see them off. But this time there was a surprise in store for Sterling and Emmy. See, for a few months Jordan and I have been planning a little trip for them to visit Texas. So as we were all telling Jordan, Drew and Rori goodbye, we told Emmy and Sterling to go put their bags in the car and told them goodbye to. At first, they didn't believe us and just looked at us. Once we convinced them we were serious, they were thrilled!  
 Although, as evidenced by this picture, not everyone felt the same. Kailyn was not happy with her big sissy leaving her. It was touching and heartbreaking to see her cry and beg her sissy to stay or take her with her. These two have such a close bond and I love that.
Here they are getting ready to leave with Aunt Jordan on their Texas adventure!
Scott and Laura left the next day to fly back home and we were sad to see them go.
I wish we all lived closer together! (hint, hint Scott and Laura!!)

Here is Eddie. He was watching "Dumbo" on the laptop
and when I looked over...
he was asleep like this! Tired little boy!

Part of the fun of roofing was taking the littles up on the roof...supervised, of course.
This was their reward for helping pick up all the old shingles around the yard.
Not a fun, or easy, task mind you! 
 Uncle Taylor took KK up to the top of the roof so she
could get a better view. She didn't want to come down.

Cori and Joe at the top. I think they would have stayed
up there all day if they could have.

On Monday it started to snow great, big, fat flakes.
KK, Allen and Eddie stood at the window and watched.
Allen, who is from UT and used to snow was more
excited about the "dars!" (cars)
Cute boys checking out the scene.  

 KK and Eddie and Allen playing in Grandma's curtains.
(Shhhhh, don't tell!) ;-)
The kids had so much fun staying in Manhattan and playing with their Aunts, Uncles and Cousins
that they don't see very often. It'll be so sad when Larry, Megan and Allen go home in a couple days!
But hopefully, we'll be able to make a trip out later this year to see them. And maybe Scott and Laura too!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Parent Teacher Conferences

A looong time ago, well, back in February at least, I had the chance to meet with the kiddos teachers for parent teacher conferences. I actually look forward to these each school year to hear how the kids are doing and get to chat with their incredible teachers! Forgive me while I brag on my kiddos for a moment. :-D

Sterling is in middle school now and I met with most of his teachers. He is doing very well with all A's and B's. He did have some minor issues with getting caught up on some homework, but he got that taken care of quickly...with some strong encouragement from mom. His teachers all seem to like him and are very happy with his work and behavior. Very proud of my oldest kiddo and the example he sets for his siblings!

Emmy is excelling as usual. We were able to get her started on working on math at her own pace in her class. Since she is working at a couple grade levels above her, she gets to work through her 4th grade math book on her own instead of doing work with the class. If she finishes the 4th grade book, she'll move on to the 5th grade book. This way we can be sure she doesn't miss any concepts but she also won't be held back by the pace of her class. She also gets to do math on the computer everyday during math time on Success Maker. At her conference, she was doing 6th grade level math on there. In addition, once a week she meets with other kids who are advanced in math for a special math group. All these things have made her so much happier and far less bored! She also recently qualified to be in the Math Contest at school. That will take place at the end of the year. Couldn't be more proud of my daughter!

Joe...ahhhh, Joe! He is so bright and intelligent! Unfortunately, he seems to think that means that he doesn't need to do his homework. We have been working on this with him, but to little avail. He is reading at something like 160 words a the end of 2nd grade they'd like him at 92 wpm. He also never does his math homework but aces his tests. He doesn't study spelling or sight word, but aces them too. Hard to convince a kid to do his homework when he doesn't seem to benefit from it. :-/ Still, he needs to do it so he can develop good learning habits. He's got a great teacher who's willing to work with us on trying to get him some more challenging work and trying to get him tested for gifted. Maybe if he's challenged he'll be willing to do the work?! ;-) Still, I'm very impressed with and proud of my boy!

Cori is doing so awesome in 1st grade! His behavior has improved by leaps and bounds. He rarely gets in trouble anymore for talking or not keeping his hands to himself. He is also at the top of his class in reading and math. In fact, the principal approached me about having him tested for gifted also. Apparently she watched him doing tangrams at a school activity and was amazed at how quickly he could solve them. She thinks he may be gifted in linear, mathematical thinking. I was kind of surprised, but I'm very interested to see how things go. Yet another kiddo to be proud of!

And last, but not least, Kailyn. She is loving preschool and doing very well there. She loves to play with her friends and teachers. Her teacher said that she is finally starting to come out of her shell and talk in class. LOL! She's never quiet at home, but put her in a public setting and she becomes shy and clams up! She talks a lot about her friends when she's at home and likes to practice her writing skills. Her favorite letter are "R", "L", "K" and "X". She know all her shapes and colors and is learning how to count objects. Very proud of my baby girl!

Overall, I'm very pleased with the kiddos and their progress and reports. I have been blessed with amazing children (yes, I know, every mom is!) and I'm grateful for each of their talents and abilities. I wish I could take credit for them, but these accomplishments are theirs. Way to go Kiddos!!

Picture It

Here's the goings on in our family over the past couple weeks in pictures:

Poor Kailyn was sitting next to the stove while I cooked.
I turned my back for just a second and when I looked back she had
touched the hot burner and burned her fingers. :(
With some ice on them all evening they were feeling MUCH better
the next day. So sad though!

Just a few days later, Joe was running outside.
He slipped on some ice and hit his face right on
the light pole by the tree out front. Not fun! :-(

What a beautiful smile! Emmy has started the 2nd phase
of her orthodontic treatment. She recently got a lip bumper in
to try and make some more room on her bottom jaw. She'll
wear that for about 6 months, then we move on to full braces!
Yay! But not really...orthodontics are soooo expensive!

One of the things that I LOVE about all my kids is their
love of books and reading. Although we have a fairly strict bedtime,
the kids are allowed to stay up pretty much as late as they want, in their rooms
reading. (No complaining the next morning that you're tired though!!) They all
take advantage of it, including KK and Eddie. KK just adores being like her
big sissy! Love these girls! 
And Eddie has to have his books in bed with him too.
He is obsessed with the Little Golden Books...not sure why.
Doesn't matter what it's about, it just has to be a Golden Book.
He props his pillow up against the wall and reads until he
falls asleep. Just like his big brothers. I love having avid readers!

Kailyn's newest interest is drawing...all the time! I find
paper all over the house with her art work on it. This is a
picture of her current obsession, princess fairies. And she
drew it all by herself. Pretty good for a 4 year old.
Oh yeah, and she's a left hander just like her daddy!

With the nice weather the past few days Eddie and I
made a couple stops at the park to play after going to the gym and
while waiting for Kailyn to get out of school. Here's an action shot
of him going down the slide. I think he liked running into me at the
bottom the best though!

Just a handsome boy!

When it hit 70 degrees we headed to the zoo with my bestie,
Danna over at 3 pink cupcakes, and 2 of her 3 girls. Here are the kiddos
checking out the giraffes. Aren't they the cutest things EVER!?

And here's Eddie givin' his girls some love. ;-)
What a lady's man!

And them hammin' it up for the camera!

Yeah, this face...not sure what it's about, but it made me laugh!
This boy makes the funniest faces sometimes....well, often.

My life just wouldn't be complete without this little man.
So glad that Heavenly Father knew I wasn't done, even
when Rob and I thought we might be. I just can't imagine my
life without his smiling face and the joy he brings me.

The best part of my bestie... her two oldest girls are besties
with my two girls! Her are Lee and KK. Earlier that day, KK
had been crying wanting to talk to Lee on the phone, so we
ended up meeting them at the zoo. Just can't keep besties apart!

And today, Sterling finished his diorama for school.
 It's a lizard habitat in the desert.
I've got to say, this young man really impresses me.
For a 12 year old he can be very responsible. He sets his alarm
every night, gets up when it goes off without complaint. Gets himself ready
in the morning, comes up and kisses me goodbye, and gets out
the door and to the bus stop, all without any help or prompting from me!
In fact, until he tells me goodbye, I'm usually still asleep.
 He is just an incredible young man!
Wish I could take credit for it, though I suspect it's just who he is!

Robert Allen