Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Our kids are at the perfect age for the holidays. Mara's the adorable little toddler shouting "I got cann-y Daddy! I'm a Ladybug!" as she walked away from each door. Watching her hold out her basket with that excited sparkle in her eyes was the thrill of the night.


Reid's old enough to be really particular about all the details. And to get really spooked by all the imaginative characters. Even his own costume! Way back in August, we stopped at a Chicago Costco on the way home from our Utah trip (which I should probably blog about). He saw the coolest army guy costume. I ended up buying the two oldest girl's costumes as well, just because I couldn't tell him no. When he was younger he dreamed of being an army guy. Well, when we got home he realized he couldn't bend over in it, so we had to take it back.  About a month later he decided he'd choose a grim reaper costume instead. The first few nights after he got it, he couldn't go to sleep. I realized having that costume in his closet scared him a little too much, ha! So for his birthday I bought a new ninja costume (he outgrew the other one). And guess what he wore to go trick or treating?


Yup, he made up his own army guy costume with clothes and toys from home.

Although, I should add he was the grim reaper to both the school pumpkin walk and his class party. He was Darth Vader when we went to Festival last weekend, and he was a Ninja for the ward trunk or treat. We have a lot of dress up opportunities around here.

His friend Chamberlain wore his grim reaper costume

Two Elsa's with Anna!
Nell was a witch to everything but the Festival event, and that was purely out of convenience (the Elsa dress was way easier to slip on and off for our quick outing).

She and Coraline were just adorable as they colored in their own warts and evil eyebrows. They skipped along the street saying "trick or treat" and "thank you" to everyone. In fact, tonight was one of the most enjoyable nights I've had with Coraline. She can be such a turd, but this evening she was perfect.

I'm really loving ages 8, 6, 4, and 2.

In other Halloween news ...

I took the big kids to the library one Saturday and, unbeknownst to us, there was a pumpkin decorating event going on. The pumpkins and supplies were all furnished by the library, and the kids were able to enter a little contest they host every October. Nell was NOT interested in competing with anyone for best pumpkin. I, however; really wanted them to keep those pumpkins at the library and not my house, ha! So, I talked them each into entering the contest and today we found out Reid won for his age group (which just so happens to include Nell's age, so her worst nightmare came true). She handled his win and her loss really graciously though. It helped that she had three special people buy her ghost lollipops at school today (her current tecaher, 4K teacher, and best friend Ellary) and he had 0. 

That Nell is always a winner to me though. Want to guess what she did with those three suckers? Gave one each to Reid, Coraline, and Mara. I sure love that girl. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Little Sous Chef

Reid has loved cooking along side me for as long as he's been able to steady himself on a stool.


A couple Sundays ago I asked if the kids wanted muffins and scrambled eggs or pancakes and scrambled eggs. They chose muffins and Reid quickly volunteered to scramble the egss. He started before I was in the kitchen along side him, and when I showed up to check things out there was a distinct smell in the air.

I looked under the pan and saw that a manual had caught fire. The moment was calm enough that I was able to just pull it out and show it to Reid. He appeared both surprised and a little bit anxious about how I'd react. I asked him what he thought he should do next, and he confidently tried to blow it out. When that just fanned the flame and sent ashes up in the air, his confidence quickly left him.

"What else could you try?" I patiently asked.

He thought for a split second and then shouted "Water!"

"So do it," I said as I handed him the flaming papers.

After he put out one side I showed him that he'd need to flip it over and extinguish the other side as well. At this point, we both laughed a little at the whole adventure. I asked him what he had learned, and I think it is safe to say he'll check the burner for nearby objects before turning the oven on again in the near future.

Today he came home from school with a Kids Halloween Cookbook. He was eager to pick out a couple recipes, and so we loaded all his sisters up in the car and headed to Aldi for a couple missing ingredients.

At dinner time he helped brown the meat for our pasta and then he got to work making one of the recipes from his book. It's so nice to have an ambitious helper in the kitchen. I love the process he's going through as he makes mistakes and learns from them. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Be Grateful

The night before school started, we sat the kids down for a special family home evening. For years now I've wanted to create a family motto of sorts. So at this FHE, we introduced a new theme we are going to focus on this year. If all goes well, we'll just keep it as our family motto.

Be Dilligent
Be Kind
Be Grateful
Be Brave

Tonight, as I was grudgingly cleaning the kitchen I asked myself, "what could I do to be more grateful." And this little blog, and the year I wrote a post every day, came to mind.

I need to keep capturing these fleeting moments, so my heart is filled with gratitude as I lay down to rest each night. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

First Day of School

Yesterday was Reid and Nell's first day of school. My favorite part was so simple. Reid woke himself up, took a shower on his own, and then came upstairs with his hair done all by himself. It's the small things, really. I'm not sure why, but that simple act (mostly the hair part) just made my heart beam.

And little Nell. She woke up at 3am because of the lightning. I think it's the first time since she moved downstairs (at the beginning of summer) that she's come up and crawled in bed with me. I think the best part is that she brought her clothes with her and put them on the couch. She was ready to go at 3am! Luckily, she did manage to fall back asleep until about 5:50. She woke up so pleasant and eager to start the day. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Time Marches On

Last night all the girls were sent to bed with out reading any books. It was an awesome evening until all three of them decided they didn't need to help clean before bedtime. By the time the house was finally tidy and they were all tucked in, I was just too worn out to get through a whole chapter of Reid's latest Wimpy Kid book. But darn it, he did earn his book time. Luckily I happened to have my phone on me, so I came to this blog and searched "Reid." I found some posts from 2013 and 2014 and read him a few.

It was such a small pleasure that filled both of our hearts right up. None of the three posts I read were about anything significant, just simple little day to day happenings. It really made me sad to think Coraline and Mara won't have those kind of memories captured.

But man I tell ya, they have been living a glorious summer life the last couple days.

I can't even begin to explain how excited I am to have just these two little bugs home each day. I love Reid and Nell to the moon and back, but it's time my youngest two get some serious special time with their mama. They are both at such a fun (and trying) stage. I'm just going to soak their adorableness up while I can. Cause if I've learned anything from parenthood, it's that time definitely does not stand still. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Nabed BuBee

Mara just loves to mimic her older siblings. One of my favorites has to be "Nabed BuBee," which is naked butt-cheeks or maybe naked bummy. I'm not really sure which, because I can't remember now exactly what it was Coraline said one night as I got them both into their jammies. But whichever phrase it was, Mara threw herself into a fit of laughter and started pulling down her diaper so she could dance around shouting "nabed bu bees" as well.

Tonight (8/24/18), when I told her and Coraline it was time to put on their jammies, Mara opened up their jammie drawer and picked out her own set. I was so impressed. Then, when I undressed her, she started doing a little shake shake dance and said "my butt, my butt" as she patted her little behind. We've come such a long way in just a couple short months!

This girl just cracks me up daily. She does the cutest things, and as Ben pointed out, she does it all with the cutest little pitch and tone in her voice. She is seriously adorable. I can't imagine what we did to deserve such a perfect little caboose!

We love you Joyjoy!

*all photos dated 8/21/18

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Volcanoes at the Library

Somehow at dinner tonight Nell brought up this little library adventure photoed above. I think it was last Thursday. There was a mini class about volcanoes for kids 6+. Reid and Nell were so excited to find Julian waiting in line when we arrived. The three of them quickly found a table together and then J's grandma and I ditched them (I did ask the "adult" in charge if it was alright that I take the two little girls and leave -- by "adult" I mean young college/HS student). 

Oh, that's right. Nell brought it up because she started singing about their volcanoes name. They named it Mount Cola, because the experiment used a bottle of coca-cola. They worked so hard together and were so excited by the experience. I just love this community, and our little neighborhood, that we live in. As Nell talked about how fun it was, she said something about wanting to remember it, so I told her I'd "put it on the blog." The kids use to ask me to blog about a lot of things. I know it is important to them to remember these fun things, so I am once again committing to blogging just a little more. 

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