June 27, 2013

What I've Learned

I've learned a couple of things the last couple weeks or so.

1.  When making layer cakes, I've always cut the top so it was flat, then while trying to frost it, I always get so frustrated because all the little cake pieces get into the frosting, and you end up using way more than you want or need.  When making Emily's birthday cake, I had an epiphany!  Turn the cake upside down after cutting it, and frost the bottom instead.  Ding!  Come on now.  So simple.

2.  Charlie has been doing much (MUCH) better about sleeping, but he has still been up a couple times a night most nights to eat.  The other day, I woke up at 2 a.m. with a strong feeling/prompting from the Holy Ghost that I needed to go check on Charlie.  I hurried down there and....he was fine.  Perfectly fine, asleep.  I walked back (or stumbled back as it was 2 a.m.) to my room, grumbling to myself about having to be up for "nothing."  I said a silent prayer, asking why I was woken up and prompted to do something when it didn't seem to matter.  Kind of like, "Heavenly Father, why did I have to do that?"  And I felt an answer, "To see if you would."  And I realized that sometimes He does that.  Sometimes it all comes down to obedience.  So when it comes down to it, if there's something REALLY important for me to do, I will be always ready to obey.  I'm so grateful for that.

June 25, 2013

The Fair

On Emily's birthday, Andrew was having a didn't-sleep-enough-too-much-excitement-too-little-alone0with-dad-time so Mike took him to the Polk County Fair while I hung out with the birthday girl.  You're probably thinking rides, funnel cakes, the whole shebang.  Here in Bolivar, it is pig scrambles, poultry shows, etc.  :)  But on Saturday morning, they did have a bouncy house and some kid's games.  Mike and I went on a date on Friday night and went to the goat show.  (It was basically a 4-H event.)  Anyway, Andrew had a really great time.
A BOUNCY HOUSE!  Andrew's never been in one before, but it is totally up his alley.  He played by himself before, and then a nice older boy was in there and Andrew did everything he did. 

 Then they went to the swine show.  Andrew has never seen a pig in real life before, so he had a great time.
 Counting the cows.

 Playing a game.  He was really supposed to be behind the orange line.  Oh well, he got a prize anyway.  :)
 He was really impressed with the tractors.  And oh my goodness does he look like a big boy here.  WHen I saw it, my jaw dropped.  Our little guy is really growing up...
Happy boys.

Waiting for the tractor ride, holding one of his prizes (a pencil with horses on it).

 Mike said he spent the entire ride waving.  Apparently he thought he was Miss America or something.  This guy is so stinking cute.  We just love our little Andrew.
He was mostly excited about his medal.  This is what he calls his "face happiest."

And then he got to shuck corn for the first time.  I remember doing that when I was a little kid, and it was super exciting to have that job.  He was having a little trouble so I said, "Are you having a tough time?" and he said, "No, just a good time."

What a sweetheart.

June 23, 2013

Emmie's Kitty Party

Yesterday our baby girl turned two.  Times sure does fly when you're having fun, huh?  Since she pretends to be a kitty pretty much every day, we decided to throw her a kitty party.  She approved.  "Mama!  I see kitties!"
A bit of the decorations.  I realize you can't really see kitties anywhere here.  She had Hello Kitty plates and cups and I colored some pictures of Hello Kitty and taped them all over the wall.  Clockwise from top left: 2 strings of pink, blue, white and yellow balloons and those little swirly star thingies (and a cute impromptu hug picture of Mike and Andrew), Balloons and the birthday girl eating a snack, a ribbon/balloon entryway, and a "2" made of watermelon and pineapple squares.
Andrew tried the watermelon when I was cutting it and said, "Mom!  It's not bick-gusting!"  I'm glad it wasn't disgusting, buddy.

 This was the cake, which I think turned out pretty good.  It was layers of chocolate and butter yellow cake with vanilla and chocolate icing alternately.  And it was gooooood.
Emmie opening one of her presents.  Andrew cut the ribbons for her, which was nice.

 Opening another present with me, just as proof that I spent the day with her as well.  We got her some wooden puzzles.  She and Andrew are having a great time with them. :)  And I need to learn to sit up straight.  Geesh.
I love her little tongue sticking out here.  She got so excited when Mike put the cake down.  I'm pretty sure she thought that was her plate.

Happy Birthday, Dear Emily!

Emmie said she wanted to play with Sarah, so we invited the Fergusons to the party.  She gave her a little pink purse (on the coffee table) with some play jewelry in it.  Emmie felt so grown up and has been carrying it around since. 
This picture is of me opening the play food Aunt Amy gave Emmie. (Thanks, Aunt Amy!)  The kids were ALL super excited about it and spent quite a long time afterwards playing in the pretend kitchen.  And the picture cracks me up.  Every single kid crowded around. 

Em and Sarah - they were excited, just trust me.  They were busy watching a DVD from Aunt Laura (Thanks, Aunt Laura!) so were a little distracted.
Thanks also to Grandma and Grandpa Barnard for the whistles and other musical instruments.  We've had some family parades in the living room today.  :)
And thank you to all of you who have loved our little kids and make them feel so special.  As a parent, you appreciate any and all positive reinforcement your kids get.
And thank you to the Academy for the award.
I'm apparently losing my mind.
But what else is new.
Okay, I'm done now.

June 22, 2013


Is it possible that our little girl is really two today?!  She has grown up so fast, and we adore her.  She is funny, she is sweet, she loves her brothers, she is smart, and we love her to bits.  I love hearing her call sandwiches "Sea-beets" or when she likes a food, she'll say "Mmmmmm, taste!"  There's nothing sweeter than watching her put a blanket on Charlie to get him to stop crying.  Emily is the sweetest little girl I know, and I love her with all my heart.  Happy Birthday, little eggplant!  We're so glad you came to live with our family.
From this...

To this...


To this.  We love you, baby!
Happy Birthday, Miss Emily!

June 19, 2013

A Typical Day...in videos

Click on the links to watch my silly kids.




Father's Day

For Father's Day, I asked Andrew some questions about his daddy.  His answers were so cute.  My favorite is that he likes Daddy because "Happy, I his friend. Play with cars, too.  Funnest and good."
I have to say, I agree with him. 
Except that I know Mike is not 54.  Yet.

Typical day (in pictures)

A typical Charlie face.

One of Mike's talents is that he can put basically anything in his eyes and they'll stay.  It's....weird.  And yet, it makes the kids laugh.

"Call me for your free readin'."  Doesn't she look like Miss Cleo?  This is what she looked like when we checked on her the other night.  (That's Night-Night, her lamb, on her head)

Yes, she is two.   Reminds me of a similar instance 2 years ago, when her brother did the same thing.  But she really went to town.  It was all over both legs, her stomach, and one arm.  When I saw her, she said, "Uh-oh, Mama!  What happened, Mama?!"

I walked in to find Emily trying to feed a chocolate chip cookie to Charlie.  He REALLY didn't mind and got mad at me when I made her stop.  Then he licked his lips for a good couple of minutes. 

Two things:  1.  If Charlie survives these two and their "help" we will be lucky.  They were actually being really gentle with him while trying to get him a drink.  And 2.  I do clothe my children.  Honestly.

Imagine Emmie's excitement when I let her feed Charlie peas.  It was his first time eating solid food and he liked it pretty well.  Now everytime Emmie eats something, she insists that he needs to eat, too.

This boy and his faces.  He totally cracks us up.

Emily has been sick this week.  Poor little baby.  She's a bit of a diva when she's sick.  By the end of the first day, she wouldn't walk anywhere and when I carried her, she laid back straight as a board as if she was the Queen of the Nile or something.  I had to give her little sips of water out of a cup, otherwise she would chug it and throw up.  When I started doing that, she was lying down, so I lifted her head a bit to give her the drink.  Apparently she liked that, because then she insisted she couldn't lift her head.  She really was very sick, but she was also making me laugh with her pathetic-ness.  This is what she did when she was tired of laying down.

Another typical Charlie face.

A Night of....Refinement or One is the Lonliest Number

I started a book club at church.  I was expecting about 5 people or more and we were going to discuss Pride and Prejudice.  Weird stuff came up for everyone except my buddy Yvonne.  It was kind of hilarious.  We discussed it a bit, talked for a while longer, ate yummy food, and then went and crashed our friend Meagan's house.  She had wanted to come, but her husband was working and she couldn't get a sitter.  We packed up some food and headed over there and laughed our heads off.  It turned out to be a really fun evening.  We're planning on having another Pride and Prejudice night at the end of the summer. 
Yvonne and I drinking fancily.  Fancy-ish?  Whatever.

She brought some yummy cookie dough ball thingies and they aren't pictured.  We had black bean hummus, guacamole, cucumber sandwiches, and banana bread.  Yum.  :)

June 18, 2013


No shower.
The same clothes for two days straight.
Baby spit-up on my shirt.
Toddler vomit on my feet.
Patience thin.
I'm not thin.
Emmie is sick.
Charlie is needy.
Dishes in the sink.
Piles of clean (yay) laundry that needs to be put away.
Andrew needs me.
Haven't worked out in a week, meaning no YMCA with my "mom therapy" sessions with Meagan.
 And I'm pretty sure my husband is wondering why I have a crazy look in my eyes.

It hasn't been a terrible start to the week, but it hasn't been stellar, so please excuse me if I seem a little off.

Also, I'm pretty sure I painted more of my toe than my toenail the other day.  Meh.

June 15, 2013


Help around the house.


Invent ways to play with their kids.

Bless their children.
Get sleepy.


Know how to bust a move with the best of them.

And are made of tough stuff.

Happy Father's Day, sweetie!  I love having you be the daddy to our kids.  You're the best.

Happy Campers

Michael took Andrew camping in the backyard the other night.  Guess who had a really (REALLY) exciting time?  Yeah, he was a really happy boy.