Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to school!!

Jonah is in 3rd grade, Jonathan is in 1st. All I can say is, aaaaauuuugggghhhh, what a relief! I guess I fall in to the category of a parent that relishes the day the kids go back to school. That still leaves Spencer at home, and he is the worst of our 3 so far in needing constant attention. I don't ever remember the other two requiring such vigilance. Anyhow the boys greatly enjoyed their first week back. Of course, Jonah started on Wednesday, and Jonathan on Thursday, so it wasn't really a week.




Yes, they comb their own hair.

The week before, Diedre planned her annual back to school party which was a total blast as usual! The boys all had fun with their different activities.





They wrote introductory letters to each of their teachers...As you can see, the following is Jon's:

Green Beans? Really? What does "Centers" mean? Naughty kids? From what we are told, he is their ringleader! "Wanna play house?" That's our Jon-Jon!

Back to the party...They made their very own t-shirts!






And had a sleepover!

At least they waited until AFTER Diedre left before gambling with glowsticks...

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Joe and Jon received new Superman pjs--complete with cape! (attached with velcro.) Both boys ran around the house the first day the put them on--running with their heads turned back looking over their shoulders--to see if the capes were billowing...Of course Dacia and I were sutably impressed, even if Joe became very frustrated that he couldn't see and billowing from his cape. Jon was just happy his flapped at the edges a bit...

Ummm, superkid on the right, aren't you a little short for a superhero? I don't remember Superman rolling up his tights.

We went to Dacia's concert tonight. Her choir, Deseret Chamber Singers sang at the Springville Art Museum. It was their end of summer concert, and it was very nice. Below are a couple very brief videos of some of their pieces. (Each song clip is less than 30 seconds long--and three clips, taken with my super high-tech, ultra sophisticated film and studio equipment....a $100 point a click camera...No seriously, the choir was great and my recording not.)

Yes, I was sitting in the audience. I felt guilty the whole time, like I was bootlegging a movie or something...I added one more song, several clips. I told you my camera was rinky-dink! It only records sound for video in one minute intervals. It will keep recording video after one minute--without sound, so I have to keep stopping and restarting my recording. I tried to look for pauses, or rests, but wasn't always successful. This clip is 5m30s long--all one song.


Uh, yeah, the video is of the floor. I told you I felt guilty!! Mainly of filming the back of heads...


Wait, is the taller superkid (I couldn't really say bigger) beating up the shorter superkid? Or trying to protect him?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bienvenidos a la Escuela

Caleb survived! It was his first day of school. All day school. A hot day at school with jeans on. His first day of first grade and eating lunch at school. Oh, also did I mention he survived his first day of Spanish Immersion with the beginning being in Spanish and then the end with an english teacher. Whew! He made it and he told me the day was super. He really likes his Spanish teacher, Senora Barker. He says she had a magic necklace that when she turns it a certain way she can speak English, the rest of the time it is pure Spanish. Mrs. N is his English teacher. He did really great and he is ready to go learn that Spanish. We have been practicing and he has been doing really well, even Peter gets into practicing. :) Speaking of Peter, he was sooooo sad that he did not get to stay at school this morning. He was so upset with me that he would not be staying. Poor thing. I wish he could have, I know he would have loved to be with Caleb. So, here are the photos:

Peter wanted to hold Caleb's hand as they arrived at school. I thought it was too cute!
My awesome hijo (son) going to school and so excited. He even got up on time and was out the door with plenty of time to walk to school. Great way to start the year!
He two cute teachers. The one with long hair is Senora Barker and the other is Mrs. Nera but she lets the students call her Mrs. N. They are really great, at least from the two days I have known them. :)
So, on to tomorrow. More Spanish, more recess, and more practicing with mom. Hasta manana!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Harry Potter

My kids are a little late. They're only just getting in on the whole Harry Potter thing. But getting into it they are, and it's created some interesting fun for our house. So jump on over to our blog for some fun Harry Potter art by my wonderful children.

http://grayclanfan.blogspot.com/

Summer's last hurrah!


Whew! I cannot believe that our summer is done (technically there are more days, but we all know about school...). I really have tried to help the boys have fun these last few weeks, exploring our options with discovering nature, discovering our surroundings with new things to do. Helping them play nicely together... all of that. But last night was our final big thing for Caleb, our last Hurrah! before his big day tomorrow. It was a surprise for him and he was excited when we pulled into the parking lot and he realized what was going on. We took him to Jungle Jim's Play land for the evening and I think the boys just loved it. Peter loved the rocket ship ride (I think they went 3 or 4 times), he loved getting tickets from the little games they played, and he had fun on the bumper cars; although he did not quite figure out how to go in a straight line. Willy had fun walking around and trying to hit all the colored buttons as Peter, Caleb and I whammed them down for tickets. He had a lot of fun stomping. I, Diedre, had fun watching the boys (Caleb's complete exhilaration at riding the small roller coaster, Peter's bravery at riding all the rides, and Willy exploring), enjoyed the bumper car ride, and got queasy on the tea-cup ride with Peter; I just do not do well with spinning things. Rob loved the small roller coaster ride and he was very grateful for the dinner of pizza.
Now for Caleb, the reason we went in the first place. He had so much fun! Out in the parking lot he was jumping up and down and exclaiming shouts of YES and YEAH! He got to ride all of the rides (he says they were all his favorite) and play a bunch of games so that he could win tickets and get some fun little prizes. He was such a wild man on the small green roller coaster; he was raising his hand in the air pointing in triumph, his face had a smile or open "I'm loving it!" expression the whole time, and he was laughing non-stop. He was a great little bumper car driver and it was fun to be out there with him, crashing into each other. And he says he loved the spinning tea-cup ride. I asked the boys if they had fun and they both loved it. Caleb said it was the best way to end his summer, I was glad to hear that.
Tomorrow he starts school. First grade! He is excited, for recess. :) And for some reason I am not excited. I am not emotional, just not excited. I think I am apprehensive to see how he does with full day school. Wondering how Peter will do with Caleb gone all day. Sad that my Caleb will be gone from be for so long. And sad that our summer adventures are over. So, I guess in a way I am a tiny bit emotional. But I know he will do great and he is very excited to make new friends and see old ones. My kid, he is growing up! PA bought him some new clothes yesterday and Caleb looks so great in his new jeans and button up shirts. He is such a handsome boy and in his words he looked "GREAT!" He is a good kid and we love him so much! OH, and one last, last hurrah; this is Caleb's final day to sleep in. Tomorrow morning, hello early days. UGH! Good luck to everyone else starting school. We love you all!
video

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Binky envy

We took Spencer's binky away-permanently-about two weeks ago. We tried trimming it, by cutting off a small piece off every few days, but it didn't phase him. We ended up having to just throw it out. He was fine until today.

Aaaaahhhhhhh, Spencer! So I'm laying on the living room couch, enjoying a hard-earned Sunday afternoon nap. Then I hear a strangled screech coming from somewhere in the house. "Spen-ceeeeeerrrrrrrrr! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo........!!!" He had opened a drawer halfway up a row of drawers, and used it to boost himself up onto the kitchen counter. Then he got into the spice cabinet, and had a grand old time opening spice bottles and dumping them all over himself, the toaster, counter, stove, open drawer and kitchen floor. In all he emptied about 30 spice bottles-including a bottle of Kitchen Bouquet, Browning and Seasoning sauce. That stuff stains. Bad. You know how spices smell really good? Yeah. Not all mixed together, all at once.

Later we were perusing one our family picture albums when Spencer starting yelling and trying to pluck the binky in one of the pictures-out of the picture. Seriously. He reached out his little hand and tried to pinch the binky to get it out of the picture, which incidentally was his own binky in his own mouth--in the picture. And boy was he upset when he couldn't get it!


Following are pics from our vacation in July. These were taken in Solvang, CA, a Dutch-settled town over 2 hours north of L.A.











Thursday, August 20, 2009

Feel free to have nightmares

These suckers are BIG, and ugly, and LOUD, and LIVING IN MY BACKYARD!!!
You can read about them here (and make sure you scroll down and catch the video on the side of one molting).


And for some perspective, there's another bug in this photo. At the top of the net is a yellow jacket. That's how big this thing is!
The only reason I got as close as I did was,
1. At first I didn't even know it was there and almost grabbed it while fixing the net. (but I am proud to say that I didn't scream when I did realize it was there) :)
2. It was under the net, so I felt safe enough to get a picture and then run.

Eeewww! I hate creepy bugs!

And check out our blog for some fun summer time posts.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Feast of the Assumption



Every year, the Little Italy neighborhood near the dental school celebrates the Catholic holiday of the Feast of the Assumption, which, after some research (I mean, a little trip to Wikipedia), is to commemorate the assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.

The road through Little Italy shuts down for four days to celebrate with a carnival, live music, lots of people from all around the area, fireworks, and food. Lots and lots of food (why else would they have called it a Feast?). It centers around the Holy Rosary Catholic church (seen above) in Little Italy. What's really funny is that the church pretty much turns it's basement and the sidewalk around it into a casino to raise money. I guess gambling is alright as long as it's done at the church.

Our friends, the Cowdens, invited us to go to the Feast tonight with their family. It was definitely fun. Most of the event seemed to involve walking around a smally street full of people, and looking at all the different food booths and trying what looks good. It's called the Feast of the Assumption, but it really should be called something like an Italian new year, since, like I said, is in Little Italy and celebrates every italian. It was interesting to see what all the hub-bub was about. We didn't see the procession (which is the main religious part of the holiday) or the fireworks, but we had a good time eating some gnocchi and gellato. Here's a few pictures:

Eating gnocchi and sharing a laugh:

The crowd:

Some of the live entertainment:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Silly us

I guess I should say, silly Diedre for coming up with "wacky" ideas. We started a new thing called “Wacky Week” at our house today. School starts in just 2 weeks (ugh!) and I figured a little more fun and silliness was needed before we get down with school. So we started with Wacky Week, a week filled with silly things to just have fun. I think Caleb made the most of the day. Peter did not seem to be in the wacky mood, he participated with us but at the same time he was not gung-ho. We started the week with “Eat in Wacky places” and we had fun. Breakfast was eaten under the table, and Caleb and Peter decided to eat two different cereals in one bowl, to make life more wacky. So fun. We made wacky hats and then Caleb ate his lunch in the tree while Peter ate his sitting in the bench under the tree. Then for dinner we ate our food behind the couch. The boys have liked being silly and the most fun was watching them ride their motorcycles tonight (note to people not in Utah: PA bought the boys a battery operated motorcycle in a yard sale and they just cruise around in those together). Back to wacky week, the boys were doing all sorts of trick riding. Standing up, standing with one foot up on the seat or with both legs over the handle bars. Caleb even tried riding backwards tonight. They were having fun. Now they are falling asleep with glow sticks and their beds are in wacky places for the week. The rest of Wacky Weeks includes: wacky clothes (backwards and inside out), eating with our fingers, no work day on Saturday (yes that means no dishes for mom, no cleaning just playing), try to do everything backwards day (walk backwards, eat backwards, read stories backwards.....), food mix-up (ice cream for breakfast...). I think it will be fun. I really want to make the most of the time Caleb has before going to school and getting serious. So, why am I sharing this personal family silliness with all of you? Just so that I can share the silly photos and let you know that Willy even got in on the christening of Wacky Week. The photos:

And for Willy B. This boy, cracks me up. He did not want to miss out on Wacky Week I guess because he made his own fun. I had Peter in a bath this morning, then Peter got out and did not drain the tub. The three boys were upstairs together, I was downstairs and I heard Peter say that Willy just got in the tub. What? I go up to investigate and this is what I found.

Silly man, he wanted to get in that water so much that he crawled right in, clothes and all, and just started to play. He was having so much fun and Peter came in to tell me that Willy snuck into the bathtub, Peter was loving it and so was Willy. HAPPY SUMMER! Live it up!!!!!

Peter's Post

I need to post especially about Peter because he is doing something HUGE, something so big for all the world that he cannot have this combined with any other news. Yes, you guessed it, he is a big boy and saying goodbye to those old diapers. And he is doing a fabulous job! I know, I need to remember that all children have some issues with this phase in life but my Peter is doing AWESOME!!! We celebrated just how much he is progressing by going to the swimming pool for him. He loves playing in the water and we are so proud of him. In this picture he is holding up his sticker chart that he filled up. He is an awesome little boy. Temperamental yes, grouchy at times yes, sweet and loving yes, and obedient yes. We love him!

Mmmmm...Fruit Pizza


At a recent visit to our local Costco store, we stocked up on lots of fruit. We looked at the heap of wonderful juicy goodness and thought, "Hey, we should make a fruit pizza with all that juicy goodness!" And make a fruit pizza we did. Before we devoured it, we decided we must share our spectacular dessert with the world... digitally, of course! Enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

More fun

Check out our most recent adventure!

http://grayclanfan.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 3, 2009

Spencer's 2nd!!

Grandma Gray and Emily came over and surprised Spencer for his Big Day.