Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Catching up.

These boys have been such a warm light on these cold wintry days. I have felt so grateful to be able to be with them day in and day out. I have found so much joy in their little spirits and their new found intelligence that they are realizing within themselves. I have felt tremendously better and more energetic since the beginning of the year, thank heavens. This pregnancy has been so unusually comfortable since my first trimester. I actually feel the best that I have ever felt pregnant. So much stronger and sometimes forgetting that I am pregnant at all until I am doing mindless chores and I find myself totally winded and out of breath. I am a lot pickier about the food I eat, which makes me feel like a giant snob, but none of it is fancy or complicated. More like, I just want a whopper or a big mac and nothing else will curb it until I have it. 

Homeschooling has been amazing this month. I was so happy to get back into the swing of things after the holidays. I tried not to take too long of a break with the boys knowing it would be a beast to get back into the swing of things again. 

This year, we are focusing on a value a month. We are talking, learning, practicing, using this value as much as we can to really apply it into our lives and know it. We eased into this speaking about Honesty.
January was Loyalty and Dependability. February is Respect. March is something else. We have LOVED doing this. The boys have taken to it really well.

Here are a couple things/people we have learned and focused our lessons on.

- Egyptian pyramids
-Heavenly Father's mission for his children (each of us individually)
-Laura Ingalls Wilder. (We are finishing up little house in the big woods) We have learned SO much about the time in which she lived. We have loved this.
-With our reading of (little house) we have focused and discussed family recreational activities, hard work within the home, traditions and celebrations.
-Isaac Watts- Such an interesting, talented and genius man! The Father of Harmnody. We loved learning of him.
-The Ancient wonders of the world.
-Moses when he parted the red sea and when he received the ten commandments
-Martin Luther King- being kind!
-We finished Indian in the Cupboard and then watched the movie. We compared and contrasted the differences. We decided that the book was WAY better than the movie.
-Amphibians, Reptiles and how Heavenly Father has created everything for a purpose and uniquely.
-We have found a new love for podcast stories. Sometimes, I will stop mid story and ask the boys thought provoking questions about what they think will happen or how they would feel if it were them. They love to see if they are right about what they think.
-We have attempted to start Farmer Boy- Another Laura Ingalls Wilder. 
-MOANA. -My boys have this soundtrack memorized and also have their own choreography as they have pulled the couch cushions off every surface and made "voyaging boats". They take off their shirts and embrace their Hawaiian heritage.

There are so many more things that have come up but those were a few that really stick out.

I have learned to no longer make a "to do list" for my day and instead write in my planner/journal all the things I/we actually accomplished. I realized while doing this that my days are jam packed with amazing little things that add up to being more interesting and exciting for the boys instead of being stressed and hard on myself for not getting to the things that were probably forced and unexciting anyways.

Marshall's swim season is coming to an end and I have to say, as I always do at this time of year. I am so glad. It will be so nice to have him home for dinner and bedtime. I have managed to get all the boys fed, bathed/dressed and in bed by 6:30 a lot of the time and have felt pretty amazing for it. (They are up pretty early 5-6 am, so they are pretty wiped out by this time. They don't even fight it)

With swim season wrapping up, our plans now are to continue to search for a new home while working on the little things in ours now. We are hoping to move before the baby comes, but if it doesn't work out, that's okay too. At least we will try. We are praying that something will come along for us that is a right fit for our family's needs. We have a pretty specific search criteria which is making it a little tricky to find an ideal space for us. Something will come along. Just hoping sooner than later.

Ezra has plowed through 3 math curriculum books and has picked up reading! He is surprising me everyday with all that he is learning and applying. I am so proud of him.

Eli is continuing to make us laugh with his wild somersaults, flips on the couch and jumps off anything elevated. He is doing math and reading with Ezra at his own pace and loves the stories that we are reading together. He is so much fun. We are planing on signing him up for gymnastics for spring session so if he does flips, he isn't hurting himself. ;)

Oliver is signing and talking- so much communicating. He is also one who loves books. He enjoys coloring with the boys and being right along side them during our lesson time. He does NOT want to be left out. He is getting so big, I can't even handle it. I can' believe he will be a big brother in a few months. It is almost heartbreaking but exciting all at once.

Here are some photos from my phone from the last couple weeks. I have hardly had time to pick up my real camera and take some decent shots.

Here is their "I can be Kind" lesson and art piece. (From MLK day)

Practicing our letter writing in flour.

Coloring and cutting our gems for our mummies.

Prepping our mummy

Oliver actually sits for a real haircut like a man! He doesn't even flinch!

The boys are still dressing up and imaging a new setting and world around them.

Dentist visits went awesome! No cavity club!

Meeting Finn the neighborhood ice fish.

The boys made Hawaiian leis out of their race tracks.

Ezra has been offering to take on the dishes more a lot lately and has been so helpful. I am so grateful for his service.

Marshall and I have managed to have some regular date nights/lunches and target trips!

Goofy Eli wearing my glasses.

We met our newest little cousin, Levi. The boys were obsessed with him and all wanted to touch him,

We practiced courtesy and manners at Burger King! No better place! They took me on a date!

My growing bump! 17 weeks here.

Oliver is 22 months! Almost 2! He can hardly believe it! He will be having his golden birthday, too! I will have to throw a party!

The boys all wanting to help with the vacuuming chore. I hope their enthusiasm for chores never fades.

Walked out of the shower and into a pirate battle. They completely transformed the living room to a real setting in their imaginations and they were all deep into it. It was great.

That's all for now! More to come, I am sure!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

End of the year//Family Date and Ice Skating date!

This is a little late but better late than never, right?

We ended 2016 just right for our family. We took the boys to the science museum and spent the entire day there. We feel so spoiled having an annual pass and all the perks ;) We took the boys to the show in the omni theater. They loved it... for the first few minutes and then started playing in and with their seats and standing to stretch over the rails. We were still glad to take them. It was a long and winded visit, but we were together and that's really the best part. Here are some photos of our visit.

While we were at the museum, Marshall and I got to day dreaming about getting out and doing something "crazy" together. Something out of the ordinary for us, you know? Something besides a late night grocery getting trip ;) We decided to get a sitter and go ice skating. This was by far the best date that we went on in 2016- and really because of all the emotion that went into it. It was spontaneous and cold, we thought for sure we would both fall on our faces from the dull, heavy rental skates, but we didn't- well, we hung on to each other pretty tight. We stayed for about an hour watching all the teenagers skate around and play together. It was so fun and a beautifully chilly night. I don't remember the last time we were both nervous and excited and afraid all at the same time (Besides maybe when we were in the hospital with our new babies.)

Afterward, we went to Coldstone creamery for some ice cream. Marshall had a gift card tucked in his wallet just waiting to be used. I love an (almost) free date.

Marshall loved being on the ice so much, in fact that he went out the next morning to purchase his very own hockey skates. He even got together with some guys to play at a local rink. He thinks they were a great investment. I am happy he bought something for himself, he doesn't do enough of that. 

We rang in the new year pretty simply. We ordered pizza and had a dance party in our living room. The boys counted down at around 7pm and they were fast asleep by 7:30. Marshall and I watched a movie and were in bed by 10:30. I think I remember waking up just before midnight to help Eli back to bed, and heard the neighbors celebrating the new year. I fell back to sleep pretty quickly after that.

I feel like this year has a lot of things for us. I am looking forward to all of it.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Our December.

             Our December went as quickly as our last few months. I cannot believe that the new year is approaching and as excited as I am for the new beginnings, I am anxious for what the year has in store for our family. I am trying so hard to keep up with our blog and that will most likely be a goal of mine for the new year. Here are a couple snapshots of what is new for our family.

We were able to successfully send out Christmas cards for our long distant family and friends before it got too late. I always feel so accomplished when I can get that done. Every year, I feel like I am nailing more things down that need to be done at certain times of the year to get things done before the hustle of the Holiday season. We always schedule family photos in the late summer, take family photos in the fall, have cards ordered at the beginning of December and hope to have them addressed and sent out a week or two before Christmas. Christmas shopping is another story.We were pretty last minute this year, BUT! Last year, I thought we went way overboard with Christmas, and I swore that we would never do that again. I didn't like the way it felt. So, in the beginning of the year, I put $500 cash in an envelope and that was what we had to spend on EVERYTHING and for EVERYONE. I am so happy that I did that. That is MORE than enough to spend and it was like money never spent because it was planned and set aside. That is my advice for you for the new year. You're welcome :)

We had the biggest surprise this year! We are expecting baby #4 in the summer and we are SO excited. We were "planning" on another baby but thought we would wait a couple more months. We know Heavenly Father has His own plans and we are happy to abide by them. It definitely shakes up our own timeline but we know everything will work out as it is supposed to. All of our children will be spaced out exactly the same which is crazy and fun all at the same time. 

I am hoping for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. I have a subchorionic hemorrhage. Apparently this is common in 25% of pregnancies. This is new to me and makes me nervous. It's just a little pocket of blood in the uterus that doesn't seem to be bothering or bothering the baby at all, which I am so relieved to hear. Although, I am not allowed to lift anything/anyone over 20 lbs. which makes it a little challenging at home with my children. Ezra and Marshall have been pretty good helpers. I have been pretty sick and literally eating everything in sight and haven't been able to work out because of the restriction so if I feel good enough to get to the gym, I walk on the treadmill for almost an hour and count it good. I've never really experience such a real and raw lack of motivation to move until this pregnancy and I feel so lazy. I can't wait to get past this. Hopefully, I'll feel better soon.

Christmas morning was VERY exciting. Ezra was awake every hour on the hour asking if it was morning time yet. By the time 6:30 am came, he was literally shaking with excitement. 
They loved what Santa brought for them and ripped the paper off all he presents so fast!

Uncle Mike came over late on Christmas eve to watch a movie while Marshall and I wrapped Christmas gifts, it got pretty late so he ended up staying the night. I am sure he was awake as early as we were with all the noise happening upstairs while he was downstairs. I had him step in to pose like I would for the "announcement" photo for a practice shot. haha!

Christmas eve was spent at my parents house. My uncle and his wife and my grandparents were there. We ordered our usual eve Chinese feast. It was delicious and good to see everyone.

Marshall had a company holiday party and it was fun to meet (again) people that he works along side with on a daily basis. I could tell he was happy to have me there. 
 On the coldest night of the year, Marshall and I got a babysitter and went to a movie and grocery shopping . Windchill -40! Church was even canceled the next day!

I love catching the boys doing stuff like this. I wish they would snuggle and sleep in one bed like they did back in the day. That would clear a lot of space in our house. I suppose we could have established that from the beginning and this would have worked out for us:) 

 Eli's hearing is great and besides his little quirks, he is a perfectly healthy 4 year old.

The Elf decorated for his birthday, we had a little party with cake, ice cream and presents. He loved the attention!

We were happy the boys were able to see Santa at a church activity. Ezra was concerned that he forgot to tell Santa what he wanted, but we assured him that Santa knew.

Once again, caught the boys talking in their cup phones in their bunks. I loved this capture.

Ezra has found a love for money lately and he is learning a love for working for his money. I hired the boys to deep clean the salon and it was a great help!

Here we recreated the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty. We talked about all the questions that we can ask about this scene. In example, "Why was humpty dumpty on the wall?" "What made him fall?" "Was he trespassing on the kings land? Is that why the kings men were there to put him together again?" "How did they try to put him together again?" and so many more!

Ezra had his Christmas recital. He played great, we were so proud and I couldn't stop smiling. 
He played Jolly Old St. Nick and Up on the housetop.

The boys love when they are accidentally twins. 

Ezra was asking some awesome questions about milk in the milk carton and I used this opportunity to teach the boys about Matter.  They absolutely LOVE object lessons and experiments. We put ice cubes(solid) in a pan. We turned on the heat so they would melt into Liquid and then watched it boil and evaporate and steam like a gas!  It was like magic for them.

Oliver likes to set up little picnics after his naps. Especially if his brothers wake him up.
Here, the boys had a lesson on Abraham and how he was asked by God to sacrifice his only son, Issac. We learned about faith and obedience and how sometimes it can be hard, but there are wonderful blessings that can come from it. I made the boys little stacks of wood that Issac had to carry to the altar (little did he know that it was for him...(pretzels wrapped in licorice) 

We are still loving dress up over here by the way ;)

Marshall was able to take the boys sledding and they LOVED it. The sled was completely shredded and destroyed afterward. Ezra said that he never wanted to forget that day and that it was the best day ever!

We are looking forward to the rest of the year as a family. Marshall has some time off and we plan on laying low but also hope to get out for some family fun.

Happy December!