Sunday, February 28, 2010

Being Happy

This picture is for my nephew, Landon, who was telling his mom that Porter and Maya's beds were green, and Sarah swore they were brown. Landon-1 Sarah-0

*Ok, ok, so we actually photoshoped the beds green. Sarah was right, they are brown. As soon as Casey heard Sarah's phone message, requesting a photo to prove to Landon she was right, he decided to play a trick on her. It worked too. She called and said "I would have bet MONEY those beds were brown!"

To back track a little, we had a pretty exciting day Friday. Porter had a doctors appointment where he was declared "healthy-as-a-horse" (minus the excess sugar cubes in his diet). The doctor suggested Porter and Maya get eye exams, and she ordered blood work on all the kids. I was also supposed to have brought Miles in for another shot, but forgot. She said I could bring him back in later and she would fit me in, so I ran home grabbed Casey and the kids and took Miles in for his shot. Prior to injecting him she said "Look at those legs, He probably won't even feel this", he didn't. Then we went to the Lab down the street to have their blood drawn. Porter went first and was so brave. He sat in the chair and just held Casey's hand. He's such a nervous little guy. He was so brave, he had a few nervous tears, but he sat still and was a great patient. Then Maya went next. She was a little more resistant, Casey had to hold her, but they got the job done. Bennett had been watching what was going on with mild alarm. He kept saying things like "Porter getting owie", "Maya getting owie", then I think it dawned on him that he was next, and he hoped out of his chair grabbed his jacket, and said "I go, I dont' want owie". He had to get blood drawn also, so Casey held him on his lap, and he did remarkably well. I was so glad Casey was there to help. It would have been really difficult by myself.

Porter also lost another tooth, and decided the tooth fairy couldn't have it, cause he was keeping it. That lasted one night, then he decided money would be more handy than some dinky ol' tooth. Only I guess the tooth fairy wanted to make him sweat (or forgot) because she didn't come get it. Maybe tonight.

Casey's cousin came and babysat for us Saturday night (the kids loved it and asked if she could come every time Casey and I go out). We decided to go to the Temple for our night out. I hadn't been since Miles was born, so it was nice to be able to go and feel so peaceful. The Boston temple is really beautiful. After the Temple, I was really wanting Mexican (the kind of place where they bring those delicious chips and salsa to your table). In our efforts to find a Mexican place, we stumbled upon a restaurant called Tango, that served Argentine food. Casey really liked it, but it was a little too rich for my blood (plus there were no chips or salsa). I got a salad that consisted of (I'm not exaggerating) 3 slices of tomato, 3 slices of mozzarella cheese, a small pile of leaf lettuce and a drizzle of vinaigrette dressing. It cost more than 8 bucks! So Casey is making plans for next time we go and I'm researching where we can find a Don Pablo's.

So we had a case of the sniffles in the Elmer house today, but due to the fact that I was scheduled to speak I attended church alone (and I LOVED it!-not the speaking part). I've been doing a lot of thinking about goal setting and making changes in our lives. Casey is great because he lets me just ramble out my ideas, and always adds pertinent insights. Today in Relief Society, I felt like we discussed a lot of the things I've been pondering on my own. The topic of the lesson was on Becoming Perfect. And we talked a lot about how the important part is the STRIVING. One of the topics that impressed me the most was when someone mentioned that the scriptures read "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." and she went on to point out that it says "as your Father in heaven is perfect" not "as your neighbor is perfect". I feel like I've really fallen into a rut of comparing myself to other people, and sometimes this is a good thing ("I'm going to try to be a better missionary to my friends like so and so") and sometimes it is really destructive ("I wish I was thin and organized and perfect like so and so"). It took a while but I think I've discovered why there is a difference to these two ways of thinking. One comes from a desire to be a better, in order to glorify God, and one comes from a desire to gain the acceptance, or admiration of other people. Yes, I know it's a simple thing (and you are all thinking "DUH"), but this has been a big deal for me. I feel like I take a lot of the important things for granted and let myself drift along unhappily trying to obtain worldly perfection, when the only thing that matters is the pursuit of Godly perfection, and If I'm working towards that I should feel pretty darn good about myself.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Yesterday I was thinking to myself, which I tend to do alot, that I am amazed that I have a 7 year old or a 5 year old, or a 2 year old, or even a 6 month old. The responsibilities come crushing down quickly and you realize and catch yourself thinking, "I shouldn't be saying that" or "I shouldn't be watching this" and it's all because you realize that there are 4 little people looking and hanging on your every word and action and forming their morals of what's right and what's wrong based on how I act or the things I say, or the things I listen to or watch. You begin to wonder if the light that you're holding up for them to follow is bright enough, or even lit at all and you pray that you can do just a little bit better so that when those little ones need to rely on their own light, that you have burned bright enough to set them aglow. I'm sorry if this is too metaphorical, but I can't believe that Porter only has one year left till he gets baptized and I feel like he's an amazing kid, but I want the light in his life to be stronger and that means that I have to do better as a Parent, Father, Husband, and Friend.

On a separate note, the kids and Amanda and I are working on a project that involves, a piece of wood, a quart of paint, and about 2,000 little black nails. It should turn out pretty cool, but is a lot more labor intensive than I had really imagined. It's always fun to do things together. I have always enjoyed working with my hands, maybe that's why i'm a Landscape Architect, I love to create. More on that to come if we have enough patience to actually finish it. So far i've spent at least 3 hours hammering!

The Pictures are of Porter and Maya playing on their bunk bed with their little flashlights that they got for christmas.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Porter's 7th Birthday

*This post has been edited. I woke up this morning and decided my posts have been lacking text (after looking through my blog book and enjoying reading all the stuff we had done), so I added some to this post, and am going to try to supplement my photos with more text in the future.
We woke up to an awfully excited 7 year old. He chose Cream of Wheat (one of his ALL TIME favorites) for the big birthday breakfast. I paid him $20.00 to not have a friends party (best $20 ever spent). One of the perks of a family get to open presents first thing in the morning!

Another perk of a family party...adorable little helpers to help with all the cumbersome unwrapping.

This picture made me laugh because it looks like Maya is thinking "I wish I was getting presents (in a Veruca Salt -from Willy Wonka- voice)" which is totally not how she is. She get so excited for her bubby and she is a great sport about not getting gifts herself.

This guy needs to stop growing up. I miss my little baby boy. At least he is still one of the sweetest guys I know. I sure feel blessed to be his momma. One of the reasons we decided not to do a 'friends' party was because there are not a lot of kids Porters age here. He has one friend from church his age, and a few others in his primary class (who are a little younger) that he could have invited, but MOSTLY I just didn't want to put the work into it. So I said "How about I just give you $20.00 and we won't have a party with friends, since we don't really have any friends anyway." Well tonight my dad called to wish him happy birthday and Porter explained to Grampy that he "didn't have a party because he doesn't have any friends". Grampy did a great job of reassuring him that he "does have lot of friends, he just doesn't know it".

Just one grin, giggle, hug, or smooch from this little man can melt my heart.

Casey doled out the Birthday spankins, and judging from the grin on Porters face I bet you can tell this doesn't happen that often (What? DAD giving SPANKINGS? Never!)
'Rip it, tear it, rip it like a parrot'

Porter was such a nice big brother, letting Benny help him unwrap his gifts.

So one of his gifts was a huge bookshelf (may sound weird, but I swear it's legit). The thinking behind it was that he would have somewhere high to put his creations so the smaller Elmer's would be less likely to destroy them. I thought he'd be really stumped by the huge, heavy gift, but he looked at the box and said "It's either a bookshelf or a vacuum". Casey and I were both shocked he guessed it. In order to kind of play it off Casey said "Would you like a vacuum?" Porter said "YES, I could take it apart!"
These little weird toys are called Bakugans and Porter likes them for some reason, so his sister and the two babies got him a couple. (I despise trendy toys. Casey says my motto is "If it's not wooden it's not gooden")

Even though Porter was so good about letting his siblings help with the unwrapping, some people had a hard time with the idea of Porter getting ALL the presents.

Nana and Grampy came through with a LEGO gift card, and it even came with a magazine to order from. I have a feeling this is going to provide hours of deciding what to buy!

Grammy and Poppy hooked him up with this great coat (doesn't he look great in that blue?). They also sent some really fun books to read.

Daddy got him a really awesome tool kit of his very own (thus the bookshelf-he had to have SOMETHING to build). It didn't take him long to find an old DVD player and start disassembling it.

And dad even stayed home a little longer this morning to help Porter build his shelf!

A couple of hooligans wanted to leave the bookshelf lying down so they could use it as a pony corral. See Bennett in the background being a pony.

Alas, our apartment isn't big enough for a pony corral, so we had to finish it up and set it upright (much to the dismay of the ponies).

Then daddy went to work and we spent the day watching Duck Tales, making the cake, and organizing the toy room and the new shelf! Porter wanted Vanilla cake with Vanilla frosting (YUCK. If I'm going to slave away in the kitchen, you better bet there is going to be CHOCOLATE involved). So I convinced him that it'd be really cool to alternate layering chocolate and vanilla cake, and put a chocolate frosting (mixed with cool whip to appease the chocolate haters in the family) in between the layers. Then we frosted the whole thing with vanilla frosting, shook rainbow sprinkles all over it, and used a chocolate candy writer to write "Happy Birthday Porter". I can remember as a kid my mom decorated cakes to earn extra money. I always loved it because she would cut off the top portion of the cake and let us eat it. It was so so so cool! So for the first time I cut the top (and sides) off this cake, and even though I was tempted to eat the scraps all by myself, I decided to try to let my kids enjoy one of those moments I enjoyed as a kid. THEY LOVED IT!

Then we braved the rain and ventured out to McDonald's (where I sat, praying our Pediatrician wouldn't walk in) for the birthday dinner. Come to find out, it's not so much that he loves the food, but he wants MORE toys!

After finishing dinner we rushed back home and lit up that big hunk a cake!
Throughout the day Porter would walk into the kitchen and ask "When do we get to dig into that big hunk a cake?" After we all ate cake Porter decide he would try to make a deal with his dad. The conversation went something like this:
Mom-"Casey, you should serve this cake at game night tonight. I don't want it sitting around the house"
Porter-"NO WAY, you'll have to pay me for it. How about $20.00."
Porter-"How about $40, I doubled the price."
Dad-"How about $10?"
Porter-"No Way!"
Dad-"How about 5?"
Porter-"OK, $10.00!"
Porter got his first lesson in Bartering 101.

I guess it was worth the wait.

Maya ate too much and gave herself a tummy ach.

I guess Dad did too.

Miles didn't get any cake so he had to make do with chewing on his fingers. But we did give him a french fry (salt and trans fats).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Day

I FINALLY made the kids these Tarzan skirts that they LOVED playing with at my sister Sarah's house. A few years ago her family were the Flintstones for Halloween, so being the crafty momma that she is she made a Bam Bam skirt for Landon. While we were there over Christmas Porter loved that thing (he even wore it under his jeans, pajamas, and every second in between). So Sarah gave me her extra fabric, and tonight I got out the sewing machine and got to work.

Even Benny got a "kirt". I may have made his a little too short, but he didn't seem to mind.
They wore them "LOUD and Proud"
I promise, he WANTED to wear it.

Just like he wanted to wear this bright pink cape all evening. Gotta love that kid.

Another favorite after dinner activity is playing Mario Kart. Not the video game, but the interactive game where they tip Bennett's bike over and take turn humming the theme music, tossing bombs, and peddling as fast as the arms can pedal.

Oh, it's so much fun! Just looks at those faces, even Miles wants to get in on this action.

We did a little school work today. Bennett is always dying to get involved in the school work. Sometimes he sneaks his little grubby hands in. If only the big kids were as enthusiastic about doing school work.

So maybe they are enthusiastic sometimes. Here is Maya working on her hundreds chart (counting by tens). She organized the numbers 10-100 (skip counting by 10's) then she put the correct number of items above each number. Today she did 60 popcorn kernels and 50 stars (she learned how to draw a star!). Only tomorrow will tell what she'll add next.

You can just see the creative juices flowing.

and the glue flowing

Story time with Maya, all the kids were super excited to read this book about spiders. Porter decided he knows how a spider spins it's web "IT GOES IN A CLOCKWISE PATTERN". He was pretty excited about that discovery.

And Bennett decided that maybe if he dressed himself I'd take him to the park. He walked up to me like this and said "I go to park mommy?" Sorry big guy but a coat, one shoe, and a diaper isn't going to cut it. Especially not with the constant rain we've been getting today.

A little personal hygiene goes a long way. Aunt Nicole would be proud.

Just ignore the Halloween shirt and check out this cute baby. I can't get enough of him!

Here are Porter and Maya, hard at work growing teeth. Maya wanted a picture of their new teeth, and after pulling Porters lip up, she said "WOW, your tooth is HUGE! how come mine is only small?"
Now off to plan for tomorrow...PORTER'S 7TH BIRTHDAY!!!