Tuesday, January 28, 2014

double hammocks

Last Wednesday Daddy was home for a while in the morning since he had youth group that night. Evie asked him to make her a tent and since he's a nice Daddy like that, he did. But when I went down there, she had taken all the blankets off the chairs and was trying to tie them to two separate chairs to make herself a hammock. I just told her several times that it wouldn't work and started to walk away. I felt bad so I helped her out by grabbing some larger blankets from upstairs and tied them around the school table like I saw on Pinterest a long time ago. Samuel really wanted to hang out (literally) with Evie so I made him one as well. They really enjoyed it for a couple days, but here we are a week later and they are still tied up not being used. Time to take them down so we can use our whole table again.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Samuel shares

Samuel is not one for sharing, the little fluffy haired toddler punk ;). That's why I was so impressed when he went over to Ezra of his own volition and shared his sippy cup. I thought it was so sweet. Of course, Ezra is not ready for cow's milk but all he did was chew on the spout and swallow some Samuel germs.

Samuel's turn! The back and fourth of the sippy cup happened many times. Ezra's like, "Now hold on a minute, I wasn't finished with that!"

Having been satisfied with the cuteness and the amount of saliva swapped, I went and got Ezra his own chew toy sippy cup. They both look like they're saying "Cheese" when in fact only one of them was. 

More cuteness. "Here brother, let me squish your face." 

how to calf feed a baby

 A week ago after church I had a strong hankering for eggs benedict. After I fixed the big kids lunch I asked Terry if he could feed Ezra while I whisked around eggs yolks and a stick of butter (drool). Terry's a bit out of practice at feeding a baby. And Ezra is not very adept to begin with since he's only been at it about a month. He doesn't like to take the first bite but every following bite is much better received. Terry was having a hard time so he treated him like a baby calf and squeezed his cheeks in between his gums. Apparently that's how you get calves to take a bottle when they don't want to. Perhaps every one knows this trick, but it was new to me and Ezra is number four! I thought it was so funny. And it worked.

Wiping off the excess.

Happy baby. HE'S SO CUTE!

school time shenanigans

Generally speaking, Samuel doesn't cause quite as much trouble while we are doing school as he did last year. Every once in a while though he likes to remind me of what he's capable of, that he is in fact still our Destroyer Baby.

Take this tape he got from who knows where (seriously, I don't even know where he got that from). Yeah, that one is done.

That same day he really wanted an apple. I told him he had to wait for lunch. He did not wait! Little punk.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

two flying kids

Terry's been doing T-25 for two and a half weeks now. He's so addicted that two Sunday's ago he was utilizing the kids to work out. I guess this kind of thing does happen around here quite frequently

Who needs expensive weights? Well, wait, I guess these weights are expensive. But at least we don't have to go to the gym to use them!

Evie's K reading and math

 I am teaching Evie to read differently than I did with Noah. We're currently using The Well Trained Mind's suggestion of The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. It's pretty straight forward, and very systematic. I like it. It'll probably take us into next year which I am okay with! At the end of some of the lessons are some optional enrichment activities. This one sounded too fun to pass up, which is what I usually do since I'm worn out after just one lesson with her. She had to fish for letters with this pole I made out of a ruler, twine and a magnet. Each letter had a paper clip that was of course attracted to the magnet. 

Once she fished out a letter, she put it together with the sound we were learning that week: ang. "PANG!" she says!

Additionally, last week Evie completed her Math-U-See Primer workbook, which I guess is supposed to be for Kindergarten. It's only 30 lessons (with about seven worksheets per lesson) and was pretty easy. Noah is nearly done with his Beta workbook so I had to order them both the next books this week! At this rate we'll be doing algebra in 5th grade. Just kidding. I do quite like this curriculum as well. 

mostly girl dress up

For Christmas, Evie received a box of dress up clothes from my folks. These first few photos are taken the morning after when she had to try everything on. Actually, Noah was telling her what to wear and she was obliging, like a doll. 

Nice headband, fan, gold scarf and 2 skirt combo! Oh, and I missed the umbrella bag/purse on her wrist.

Enter Samuel. He's modeling Evie's egg fry pan. Noah changed Evie's outfit to include the best gift ever (the umbrella), lace veil and white wedding skirt (so they think). Guess she forgot to remove that purse and fan. Oh, and I can see her pink cowboy hat just peeking out from under the umbrella.  

Best gift ever, pink hat, four scarves, fan and purse. Ezra's like "Whaaaaaat?" 

This photo is from just a couple days ago. Evie would really like a sister, but since she hasn't got one, Samuel has to do. Poor Samuel. I mean, poor Daddy, because Samuel actually enjoys it. Can you see why we are getting him dress up boy clothes for his birthday in a week and a half?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

April and Matt

Last weekend my friends from college, April and Matt stayed with us for a couple nights on their way to a wedding in Wyoming. We both got engaged around the same time and were bridesmaids in each other's weddings. Terry even used to stay in Matt's apartment when he came to SDSU to visit me - I have a fond memory of such a time when he called me in the middle of the night while I was working at a dorm front desk in order to sing me the song they made up about their snake called "Snake Fish." Good times. 

They also have four children (there were 12 people staying in our house!) but with opposite genders - three girls and one boy. Noah and Nathan have been occasional pen pals. Evie was so extremely excited to have some girls to play with (she's been begging for a baby sister for a while now). So we put all the girls in Ezra's room and Ezra slept in his pack and play in our bathroom. The boys were all in Noah and Samuel's room.
left to right: Evelyn, Evie, Ella and Adi

Friday morning we all enjoyed some egg bake together. Noah and Nathan spent the rest of their time playing chess, Statego and Star Wars Guess Who. They have a lot in common, both being first born, strong willed punks :) The girls did a lot of dress up playing. We all had such a nice time. Since they came last year for a work training of Matt's, perhaps it'll become an annual thing!

guns and a birthday

Last weekend Terry headed out to the ranch to celebrate his dad's birthday with the kids. They left early in the day to split some more wood while Ezra napped at home with me. When I arrived I found them like this, enjoying Gramma and Grampa's Christmas gifts to themselves - new recliners.

After a yummy lunch of grilled protein (hamburgers, bratwursts and chicken drumsticks), we headed outside for some target practice. After all, Noah had to try out his new BB gun target my folks got him for Christmas.

Here are a couple of Noah's first shots. 

Poor Evie didn't have much to do. Just like me when I was little, she's not into shooting stuff. 

But now that I'm older, I think it's a lot of fun! For target practice it is anyway. I don't fancy shooting animals though. Unless they come after my kids! This is my very first time shooting Jerry's pistol. Yeah, I was a little nervous. 

I was worried I completely missed the target (we were about 35 yards away) but I did hit it at least twice :) 

Noah's photobomb! 

She and Girly the dog didn't like the pistol's noise so they hung out (hid) in Grampa's truck. 

It's pretty out there. And the weather was perfect. 

Terry is instructing Noah on how to shoot our new .22 rifle. Grampa brought his out as well. Our scope was way off so they spent most of their time adjusting it. 

When we were almost done, Terry let Noah shoot the pistol a couple times.

He even hit the target! 

"Can we go four wheeling yet?" 
Fun fact: The house in the background is where Terry and I used to live before we moved to Nebraska nearly eight years ago. We brought baby Noah home to that house. Crazy!

Terry's turn with the pistol. 

Time to go, time to go! 

Upon completion of our fun outside, we headed back to the house for some cake for Grampa. Happy birthday Grampa! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas stockings

When I was taking the tree down last weekend and putting all our Christmas stuff away, I remembered I hadn't bragged on my mom's home made crochet stockings yet. Last year she only had Noah and Evie's completed. But this past fall she went crazy and did four more to complete our mantel! They're in order. Terry's is first, the one with all the colors of the stockings combined. Mine is simple red and white. Noah's has a cool mitten pocket and Evie's has a pretty purple flower. I like Samuel's best. It just looks like him. And Ezra is more reserved because so far he's pretty laid back. Thanks Mom!

Star Wars Six Pack

I finally got around to installing one of my Christmas presents to decorate the large round caboose of my van: Star Wars family decals. Of course, the van had to be washed clean of the winter road chemicals first. Terry and the kids were nice enough to do that on a day that was finally above freezing. So now if you see this van cruising around Rapid, you'll know who's behind the wheel. 

 Terry is Han Salo because he has to end up with Leia. We also thought Obi Won Kenobi would be cool. But Han Solo is so much dreamier.

I am Big Leia, because she's awesome and I'm kind of bossy like her. In the future I can be Slave Leia! Or not...

Noah is Little Luke. Of course, that means Anakin to him. Darn new Star Wars.

Evie is the Little Leia. She insists that she is really Padme though. Ug. The new Star Wars has ruined everything!

Samuel was a tough one. He could have either been a Jawa with a gun and belt or an Ewok. We felt that Samuel fit both characters. Can't you just see him in a little Ewok costume dumping out Leia's stuff and leading her around by the hand, beating up Storm Troopers and yelling unintelligible nonsense? But I could also envision him in a Jawa costume shooting stuff and going "What?!" when questioned about his questionable business dealings. In the end I cut off the gun from the Jawa and added it to the Ewok. I mean, come on, Samuel has to have a weapon! And the fact that he's the only child with a gun seems perfect. The little "scoundrel" is clearly Han Solo's son. Ha! It fits him well and makes me smile.  

And finally, little Ezra is Yoda. Terry described him as quiet and wise. I pointed out the baldness.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

pulling a sled

When I was little, I don't think I would have ever been nice enough to pull my younger siblings in a sled (I can just see them nodding their heads in agreement). But Evie actually wants to pull Samuel around! She was even disappointed when Samuel came in today (he was all wet) instead of staying outside so she could pull him around.

She was lining him up on the track daddy made in order to pull him down the "hill." It's really more of a very small decline in the yard but it works.

Noah likes to do it too! I don't get it, but I think it's great.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ezra pushing up

Just a little more than a month ago Ezra was sitting up and falling over. Then around Christmas he started sitting up completely independently. And now that Ezra is seven months old, he's been working on pushing up off the ground. It seems too early for that business to me! 

He does go down to the floor quite frequently and rotates around 360 degrees for toy grabbing fun. Monkey bottom!

And bam, he's up!

"Eh, what? Who's that?"

"Ooooh, it's my mama. I like her."

"I will show her how strong I am by planking out. Oh wait, it's that yellow string again. I love this thing!"

Just to show that it's not a fluke, here's some photos from a different day. Noah said he's doing a push up. But seriously, how are babies so strong? He does all these Pilates moves like it's nothing!

And then he's up on all fours!

My brother likes to think that he never cries. Here's proof otherwise. Nap time!