Sunday, February 22, 2009

Princess Ball

I apologize that this week I don't have any pictures posted. I am having technical difficulties. Too bad too, because Sammi and Grant went to the Princess Ball this weekend, and Sammi had the time of her life. She spent the whole week counting down the days. Then, on Saturday, she painted her nails, took a special bath, and I let her wear a little make up and perfume. We curled her hair and sprayed some glitter on her and wow, did she feel special! It was really fun to her to get all dolled up. She loved having her dad as her date too. He dressed up very handsomely as well, and the two were off to the dance. Sammi had a great time. The Princess Ball is a fundraiser that the High School in Elma puts on for all the Dads and their little girls. Everyone in Elma goes, so they have to have 3 different balls! It is a fun tradition that is one small reason we love living in Elma.

The weather was so pretty this week that we were outside all week. The kids were running through the sprinklers, and yesterday we finally put out our birdseed. Today, we were seriously rewarded. The main room in our house has huge windows that overlook our garden, so we can sit on our couch and watch all of our bird feeders. Today we had a flock of 5 Steller Jays picking at our seed as well as lots of other more common birds. It was so fun to sit and watch them. Everett couldn't get enough of them. Grant always says that if you see a Steller Jay it is going to be a good day. You can imagine our anticipation of today after seeing 5 of them! What a fun morning.

I am so excited to start gardening I can hardly keep myself from buying flowers. If there were more for sale, I'd be buying them even if I knew they would frost over. I can't wait to get my hands in the garden again. I'm going to start building my own compost, and have been studying up on how to do it. We are going to plant a big vegetable garden outside of the kids clubhouse and try to do some fun things that the kids will like. I'm going to plant a TeePee, with Sweet Peas growing up the sides for a fun spot for my kids. I'm looking for a fun old chandelier that I could hang in our yard so that we could watch the prisms make rainbows. Anyway, I have plenty of ideas, but little know how, and little time! I can't wait for my garden to be like the gardens I grew up cherishing.

Enough about me, now about the kiddos: This week, I got a math and a reading workbook for my kids to share. Before I knew it, Sammi had accomplished over half of the math workbook! She just loves that stuff. I let Scotti work in the reading book, and he is just so careful with his writing, that it takes him a long time to write. He really takes his time to make sure that he does everything his best and will not even tackle something unless he can give it time to finish it just right. Cooper spent the week trying to be nicer to Everett. He made a conscious effort to try not to bug Ev and I caught him starting to irritate him and then stopping immediately, as if resisting the temptation to do so. He prayed every night for Heavenly Father to help him. What a sweetie. Ev loves Cooper even though Cooper does bug him for entertainment! Ev has loved being outside this week. He digs in the dirt and then comes inside. Then, he goes back out and tries to ride a bike a little and then checks inside with me. He learned how to crawl on the stools this week, which means he can now get on the counter without any help from me. That is bad news for me, because now nothing is safe! He also refuses to sit in his high chair and wants to sit on a stool like the big kids. Oh, the growing! It is most painful for me, I swear.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines and the Potty

Valentine's Day was big time at our house. It all began on Tuesday when I was in charge of games at our Primary party, where we made over 100 valentines! The celebrations continued on Thursday at parties for both Cooper's class and Sammi's and Scotti's class. Scotti and Cooper made paper airplane valentines for their friends, and Sammi made butterflies. We made a whole bunch of Valentines at home, which made a big mess, and then made a whole bunch of cookies, which made an even bigger mess. Here are some pictures of the creative process with the cookies. The highlights of the holiday for us were when we went around Elma with the Doyles handing out Valentines to people in the streets and stores and at the senior center. Then, an even more exciting event was delivering plates of cookies to our friends from secret admirers (us.) The delivering required much sneakiness and everyone enjoyed the high of trying not to get caught. (Although, we often did.)

Big time events at the Jacksons this week: Everett put his first pee pee in the potty. Seriously, I couldn't believe it. Yesterday, he came to me tugging at his clothes, saying "bathroom!" I thought, what the heck, we'll introduce him to the potty. I took off his clothes and stood him in front of the potty. Lo and behold, a steady stream of pee pee made it directly into the potty. I have never seen Everett so excited. The picture below is of Everett pointing in the potty at his pee pee saying "Pee pee mommy! Pee pee! Potty!" He went again several times yesterday. I'm so proud.

I just realized that when Sammi gets her hair done, she thinks I'm working on her "hair-dude" instead of her hairdo. It's so cute, that I just haven't corrected her.

You should have seen Scotti sneak those cookies to people's houses this week. He was so serious, so stealthy, so swift, but then while we were hiding, he could barely hold his mouth hard enough for the laughter that kept escaping. He is such a fast runner too!

Cooper learned about appropriate wintertime dress, and now gets himself dressed every day in either a summer outfit with a winter outfit over it, or a winter outfit with shorts and a t-shirt on top. He loves it that he is always prepared for either season! I love it that I don't have to worry about getting him dressed!

I forgot to mention that last week we had our house painted, lights installed, and countertops put into our cabinets. Our house is feeling like OURS, and I love it here. What a blessing to live in such a nice place.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cabo San Jose, Mexico

Last night we got home from our trip to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. We had such a great time. I think this is by far our best trip we have taken since we have had kids. Our beach was nice and quiet so we had less worries trying to keep track of all our kids. Jumping over waves and running away from them proved to be Cooper's favorite activity. Scotti loved our pool. He could touch and he could stay warm, so he swam and swam until he really learned how to swim well unaided! He also loved building racetracks in the sand for his cars. Sammi mostly loved wearing her new swim suits and sunglasses, but her favorite thing on the beach was to organize the building of some sand project. Ev loved the waves, but would absolutely not go in the water without a grown up holding his hand. There was a hatch of sea turtles on our beach, and we got to watch the babies crawl out to the ocean and try to beat the surf into the ocean. We each got to hold a sea turtle and help them as we were guided by the guy from the Sea Turtle Development Center who was there to make sure the hatch got safely to the ocean. We had a great time, (but unfortunately, I didn't have my camera!) We also got to go whale watching and saw a lot of whales including two parents and their baby. They were right close to the boat, and all the kids were absolutely thrilled. We took a ride on a glass bottom boat and got to see all the fish under the ocean. The kids loved that--especially Ev. Grant and I snorkeled as well. There was so much wildlife. So much to do. So gorgeous. The weather was unbelievable. I'm so sure we'll go back. What a fun week.

By the way, I think we solved our sleeping problem that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. Our kids were so worn out from all the fun stuff at the beach, that they went right to bed on our trip! I think I just need to wear them out more during the day!

Love to you all!

The Making of Mt. Rainier

Here are a few pics from two weeks ago when it snowed. I decided that my kids have effectively North-westernized themselves when they decided to build a Mt. Rainier out of snow. (Sammi's idea.) Look closely, and you'll see that it is erupting. (Look for the lava flow!) The pictures of Cooper and Ev were taken right after they each threw a snowball at me. You also see the after-activity of hot cocoa!!!