Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Birthday wishes come true

 5 years old and pretty dang awesome!  We made play-doh birthday cakes for the special guy.
 Birthday Wish #1: a car he found at the store that looks just like the Weasley's car.  He was so excited.
 Birthday Wish #2: Sweet, yummy watermelon.  One of his favorites.
 We painted a dinosaur that holds crayons.
 Fantastic snowies (William's was of course the rainbow flavored snowie) after school with the boys.  Birthday Wish #3: hang out with his brothers. 
Birthday Wish # 4: Rainbow bread.  It would not be William without rainbows and of course I would make it for him.
He is a wonderful little boy.  He is content with just about anything that is around.  He will join in any game that his brothers are playing and helps keep things simple in life.  He wants to be just like the heros in his life, his brothers and his dad.  He is a sweet little guy, for example the other night I was out of patience.  I asked the boys why their toothbrushes were always in my bathroom.  William looked at me and sincerely said, "because we like to be with you."  He is a good fit for this family and we love him greatly.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer is so close

We are so anxious for school to be done and summer to get here.  Time to play and go to the cabin and play and enjoy each other.  So, the countdown has been great.  
The sidewalk chalk contest turned out some awesome entries.  The above entry won for largest and most colorful, done by Caleb.
 We took a trip to the zoo.  The bird show was so fun for Haley to watch.  She loved the birds flying right above her head.
 They had a display of lego animals and this was one of my favorites.  A little lion tamarin monkey holding a stick. Very cool and fun to see the animals and legos together.
 Yesterday we went on a short, windy and fun hike.  Peter was injured at the beginning and so that made it short.  We found this really cool but kind of spooky cave along the trail.  No one was brave enough to venture inside but it looked deep, dark and fun to explore at another time.  And this picture is also one of the last of William as a 4 year old.  Birthday time for him!
And this is an ode to my Caleb.  He has the stamina of 10 hikers put together.  If it were up to him we would never turn around on a hike and just keep going until you could not any more.  He was so excited to find this rock wall and climb it, "without equipment."  He is awesome and fun.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

22 days and counting the fun!

The water fight to end all water fights!  Or maybe it was just a really fun water fight that made some of us soaked, some of us get cold, some of us (Peter) stayed pretty dry and avoided getting shot, and all of us had fun.
 The ammo.
The attack.
 Avoid the camera!
Everyone had fun!

The End is near (of school that is)...and a couple other small surprises

We came up with an end of school countdown to get excited for the end of this year.  Yahoo!  Some of us are looking forward to it more than others (Peter is not so glad to be done).  
Here is the countdown chain.  Very festive and happy.
Our first activity of the countdown was bubbles and popsicles.  So, fun and yummy (the popsicles.  The bubble solution tastes horrible!)
 It was great fun to watch them all blow bubbles or swoosh them around with the wand and then chase!
 Some other activities for the countdown include: a water gun fight, picnic outside, family trip, hike, camping, paint a picture, sidewalk chalk contest, movie night, ice cream treat, snowie/slushie,  glow-in-dark bubbles, play games.  It will be a fun countdown.
And what does the above picture mean?  This is the small surprise I came home to Mother's Day after church.  Caleb had rushed home to make me a peanut butter sandwich with a heart made out of jelly.  Such a sweet boy!  Also, the other Mother's Day surprise/drama we had was rescuing ducklings out of the drain across the street from our house.  We did not actually do the saving, but we did see the mama duck by the drain where 6 of her babies had fallen down  in.  So, we called animal control and they sent the police man out, who called the fire department, who came and rescued the ducklings.  Happy Mother's Day, mama duck.  What a great summer this is going to be!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's "week"

I am calling this a pretty good week for Mother's day to fall.  We have had some pretty good times.  The weather has been beautiful and that has made for much outdoor play and digging in the dirt and planting fun things that will hopefully grow and blossom.
 Peter and Caleb both had make-up games for soccer this week because of a rain-out and it was fun to watch them play and do so well.   Peter has really been in the game this season and made some great plays for his team, the Green Geckos.  Only really bad point of the week happened when a mom from the other team yelled at me for cheering so loud and hard.  Yeah, that hurt my "soccer mom heart" just a bit but I am over it now.  How can I not get into the game and get excited when these boys play with their heart?  It is just too fun.
 We went up to This is the Place Heritage Park for some fun together on Friday.  We rode around on the train, the boys got a ride on the horse, they panned for gold and saw/pet some fun baby animals.
 They also got to pick up the baby chicks which was very exciting.
More soccer, it is just too fun!!!  Caleb's team has been doing so great this season.  They are mostly all back from last fall so we have played together, same coach and he knows their strengths.  Caleb is back and goalie and he loves it.  He has only had a few games where he has gotten any action because our offense is really strong.  But when the ball gets down to his territory he is ready.  Of course in this picture it does not show anyone around him while he is making the save, but he made plenty of them yesterday.  The pictures that would be truly Sports Illustrated worthy never get captured because Rob and I are too excited or into the game to worry about the camera.  So from my mind's eye picture at least 3 or 4 green players (opposing team) in the goal box with Caleb and he is diving on the ball as they come to pound it in the goal.  Or picture him running up to make a sweet drop kick to his team at midfield before hustling back to defend once more.  Or one of my other proud moments when 2 green players were headed right for him and Caleb had no defense to really help him out.  So, Caleb charged up to the greens, at the top of the box, and stole the ball clean away from them so they could not even get close to the goal.  Now that is my boy showing no fear and taking charge of his job.  Yeah, I like watching my boys play.
Now for those moments when a camera was not handy but they were still great times to be a mom.  We planted our garden this week and it is great.  While we were digging we found an ant's nest and a bunch of ant's eggs.  My boys, being awesome, started digging up the eggs and squishing them with their shovels or fingers.  Sounds quite gross but they were really into it.  Yesterday we also planted some pretty mini-rose bushes in the yard for Haley and Peter.  They are such a splash of color that makes one happy.  Rob and the kids were very sweet to me and got a new printer for us and for me for Mother's Day.  Finally, last night I went to a neighbors house for a moment and when I came back home I was greeted by Haley looking out the front window.  Her face lit up when she saw me and said,  "Mommies outside!  I found her."  Then when I came in she said, "I was looking for you."  Such awesome kids.  
Now, for Mother's Day Sunday itself.  It will be good.  Usually I like to have all my floors mopped, all the clutter piles cleaned away and organized, the bathrooms clean, laundry all done and put away and everything in "apple pie order" just so that the house is nice and I can relax about that.  But, it did not quite happen this year and oh well.  We will go to church and sing our little hearts out.  Then we will come home and we will dig in the dirt that is plant free and have fun with that.  We may even do some painting, we will see what time allows.  Then we will head up to Granny Grays and eat yummy food.  It will be awesome because as I keep trying to remind myself, life is about enjoying the small moments.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A day of fun, excitement, adventure, surprises, and one tragedy

So, yesterday was pretty awesome!  As soon as the boys came home from school we all got in the truck and headed to Liberty Park to feed the ducks some bread.  Earlier in the week the kids and I went and saw some ducklings.  So, of course we wanted to show Rob and we headed out on what would turn out to be an adventuresome day.
 We made it to the park and not only fed some adorable ducklings.
 But we also had some goslings come right up to us and practically eat right out of our hands.  As Caleb said, "baby anything is too cute."
 Afterwards it was time to get some food.  We went over to the Brigham Young park and ate.  While eating the boys found a whole colony of ladybugs and started bringing them over to show us.  Haley loved watching them crawl on her arm.  Then Peter got the brilliant idea to take some home.  I, being the mother that tries to make her children happy, emptied out my water bottle and we put the ladybugs in there.  It was a difficult car trip home because they kept bumping around and falling on their backs.  However, at one point I noticed a ladybug with little yellow things by her.  Yes, crazily enough the boys found a ladybug that was ready to lay her eggs and she laid them right in that water bottle!  The boys are beyond thrilled that we have ladybug eggs in our water bottle.  I have explained to them that a water bottle may not be the best breeding ground for these ladybugs to hatch, but they are excited to find out.  Here's hoping.
So, we got home and we needed to release the ladybugs.  This is the tragedy part.  As I was carefully cutting open the bottle to get the ladybugs out without disturbing the eggs, a ladybug got in the way and was chopped in half.  OH MAN!  I am still feeling bad about it.  But the others were transported safely to the tree, I think.  In the above picture you can see the water bottle, with the eggs, and Peter is holding the mother ladybug.  So exciting!
A close-up of the eggs.  We will see where this adventure leads, if the eggs hatch, and what happens.  Peter is excited to see the "cycles" of the ladybug happen in his own home.  Here's hoping.

Brother's Day

It is no mystery that I love my boys, a lot.  I am so glad I have three of them.  A long time ago we came up with the holiday of Brother's Day.  Where they could celebrate being together, being awesome, and being brothers.  When Haley came along we had to modify the holiday and started, Bro-Sis Day.  Still a day to celebrate each other and being siblings, fun times are always had.  However,  I still wanted my boys to celebrate each other in their own way and I re-instituted Brother's Day for them, and 2013 was the first of such days.  I believe they had fun. 
 Rob took them swimming.
 After they came home and Rob went to scouts they made sticker story books.  Although this picture is not the best of them it still describes their relationship at times.  Sometimes they can be best of buddies, but sometimes they really need their space.
Here is a much better picture of what Brother's Day is supposed to instill; love, togetherness and the fact that having a brother is about the best thing ever.  I made each of the boys a little satchel to hold things in on Brother's Day and on each satchel I sewed my own version of a badge.  Each year they will earn a new badge from their Brother's Day activity.  This year they got the pool party badge.  I also sewed on something illustrating each of them.  Robot for Caleb, Harry Potter for Peter, rainbow for William.  On the very bottom I painted part of a saying that I came up with for them, "Together as Brothers forever we'll stay."  Just another way to save  the memories and make things fun.  I love these boys (and Haley, she and I had fun while they were gone) and I love watching them be together.

Caleb's recognition

Caleb came home with quite the surprise last week.  I opened up his backpack and found a Star Student award.  Why am I surprised, you ask?  I do not doubt in Caleb's intelligence and abilities at school.  He is a "boy with a brain" as his Kindergarten teacher told me long ago.  We all know he is an excellent reader, loves spanish and does well in science and everything he focuses on.  My surprise came because his fourth grade teacher recognized him in all these aspects as well.  Let me just say that this has been a rough fourth grade year for Caleb and his relationship with his teacher.  Whew!
So when Caleb brought home this award we were not only thrilled and completely proud of him, but also happy that his teacher saw what was good in Caleb.  Way to go, Caleb!

Family/Cousin Time

Emily's wedding meant that all the cousins got to come together and play.  They loved it!  They were able to play at the park together and come to our house a couple of times to chase each other around and do what boys (and girls) do.  It was great.  I cannot forget to mention one of Peter's memories that he wants to remember.  So, while I was at the church helping to decorate for Emily's wedding Peter and Caleb stayed at Granny's to play with the cousins.  I soon received a text from Uncle Jonathan that Peter's tooth finally came out.  The tooth that would not come, the tooth that was hanging on by a thread and Peter would not pull it, finally came out.  In Peter's own words he wrote, "Caleb was chasing after Douglas and Douglas' head hit me.  My tooth was so wiggly, I wiggled some more, and it came out! I began to cry because it hurt a lot but I was excited too."  Peter insisted on giving Douglas a nickel for helping him get the tooth out.  What great times!
Other good times to remember:  I, Diedre, pulled out the shrinky dinks and they all made each other little key chain pictures.  They had such fun drawing ninja tornados and other different things for one another.
 I, Diedre, also got the brilliant idea that they would enjoy tie-dying shirts that they could have and wear when they were home, knowing that their cousin had one too.  Dying them was less that fun.  14 kids and 4 adults was just a bad ratio.
 But seeing them run around in the shirts and being together was fun.  We will miss these kids when they are at home but I think they will remember Emily's wedding and all the fun they had together as cousins.  The Gray Family is AWESOME!