Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pink Pajamas

A month ago I was coming back from a trip to mountains with my mom and kids. We decided to go through the Salt River Canyon which is a little twisty and turney, but none of my kids usually get car sick so we weren't really worried about it. We forgot, however, that Hyrum had been acting a bit lethargic that morning, and didn't even think about the fact that he might be a little sick.

We didn't even make it all the way down to the bottom of the canyon before Hyrum threw up all over himself, the car seat, and the car. Thank goodness there was a pull off at the bottom of the canyon. We pulled off the road and I cleaned him up with all of the wipes I could find, striped him down to his diaper, and tried not to throw up myself. After being in the mountains for almost a week all of our clothes were DIRTY!

All I had clean was one pair of PJs that were suppose to fit Brea (who is only 1). Thank goodness I had purchased the 2 toddler size, and I was able to squeeze Hyrum into them. It did take some convincing though. Even though he was sick he took one look at those pink pajamas and told me he did NOT want to wear pink. When we got home Scott couldn't help but chuckle, and we had to take a picture to document probably the one and only time we'll ever convince Hyrum to wear pink.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Books I am excited about!!!

I LOVE amazon! It makes getting books for me, the husband, and the kids easy. Today UPS delivered some really great science books I ordered from amazon for the kids. A friend of mine told me about them, and with Jarom being so interested in science all the time I was anxious to order a few from the series and see if they were going to be something we could really use in our homeschool. I'm happy to report that after checking them I think they are going to be GREAT!! I can't wait to read them with the kids, and do the fun science activities outlined in the back of each book.

The series is called LET'S-READ-AND-FIND-OUT SCIENCE.

Today I also got a few more books to add to my reading Que. Of course I have other books on my 'I want to read' shelf already, but I am taking a continuing 'classical' education course this year and some of these books are on the reading list for class so they are going to get bumped ahead a bit. I can't wait to get reading!!! These are my 'NEW' books that I just got this week. WOO-HOO!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Brea's new Hair Do!

Last week Scott challenged me to try and do something/anything with Brea's hair. Brea turned one in June. She can walk, has 11 teeth, can climb up and down stairs, sings and dances like a pro, but she unfortunately does NOT have much hair yet. (The sad hair situation wasn't helped by the fact that last week Jarom decided to trim her cut little side ponytail...oops!)

So when Scott challenged me I wanted to impress him and demonstrate just how talented I was at doing hair. (I'm actually pretty lame at doing hair.) However, last Saturday I started feeling the creative juices flow at 7am when I was dressing Brea and decided to put Brea's hair in two cute ponytails.

I have to admit I was surprised my little experiment worked. Brea sat still as I combed her hair and at first the ponies were really cute, but by 1:00 when she woke up from her nap the ponytails were pointing straight up and looked more like horns than anything else. I didn't take any photos of that...but I should have because they were pretty funny looking. :) Oh well, some day Brea will have enough hair to actually do something with.

Here is a cute one from the back. See there are actually TWO ponytails!! Pretty cool!!

Brea all dressed, hair done, and eating her breakfast by 7am! Now that's a rare sight.

Cooper and Hyrum were trying to help me get one of Brea smiling during this breakfast photoshoot. Thanks to my two little assistants it actually worked! Thanks boys.

Summer storms and tadpoles...

So yesterday night we had a HUGE monsoon storm hit the valley. I was actually driving home with my six little kiddos from a week in at the homestead (which was glorious), and could see the entire sky lighting up after I got out of the Salt River Canyon. It was amazing to see the sky light up like fireworks were going off and watch the huge fingers of lighting reach across the horizon. Sometimes it was so bright it was a bit distracting and I had to remind myself to stay focused on driving safely.

When I finally pulled into the driveway around 11pm I noticed the strangest sound. After a little investigation we realized it was the frogs. I haven't ever heard anything like it...and it was kind of neat to listen to the chorus of frogs in our subdivision.

This is our first summer in our new home in Queen Creek and Jarom (our oldest) has been hearing stories from the other neighborhood kids about the frogs that seem to appear after monsoons in the greenbelts. So this morning my boys got their Dad to go search for frogs. They didn't find any frogs, but they found TONS and TONS (I'm trying to smile about it as I see jars of them on my kitchen table) tadpoles. Jarom, Cooper, and Hyrum were so excited to show me and can't wait until they start turning into frogs. This afternoon Megan even jumped in on the fun and found some tadpoles of her own.

Here are some more pictures Scott took this morning of the tadpole expedition!

Jarom and Cooper checking out their little creatures.

Hyrum getting in on the fun!Yes they caught them all by hand, and most of them were in the rain gutter on the side of the road.

Cooper finding a little tadpole for mom.Ultimate boy bonding...finding tadpoles after a summer storm.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Family Photos at Last!!

So its REALLY HOT in Arizona right now (I think it was 104 the day we took these photos...of course it cools off in the evening to 99 or so), but I decided it was time to do a family photo with kiddo number 6 anyway!!! Scott was a great sport, and went along with it even though he pretty much hates having his picture taken and REALLY hates being out in the heat. He is such a great husband.

My sister Darby who owns her own photography company, and is totally awesome at taking photos took them for us. I am so lucky to have such a talented sister.

The kids did really really great. And to my surprise all of there were happy and cooperative throughout the entire photo shoot.

I LOVE this one of Megan. She looks so cute...I love the dramatic effect of black and white.
This one really shows off her contagious grin. Megan just sparkles when she smiles. She has such a fun personality and is always willing to help me with anything I need around the house.

This picture of Cooper is one of my favorites. He was asking a classic Cooper question while Darby was taking this picture, and I LOVE how she was able to capture his adorable curious inquisitive look. Everyone loves Cooper's curious personality...its charming!
I love has candid this picture is and how REAL Cooper's expression is...just checking things out.

Hyrum's little smile always brightens my day. I love his cute little eyes, and how they almost disappear when he smiles.
This is such a 'classic' Hyrum face. I am SO glad Darby got this one on film so I can have it forever.
Hyrum's serious side. I love his cute little expression. So typical of Hyrum.

Brea was so busy moving all around that we finally got lucky and found this little wall and hedge. She was stuck and Darby was finally able to get her to hold still and get some awesome photos.

Here Brea is on the move with a mission!
I just LOVE her cute little smile!!! What a sweet little or should I say big sister.

I really really like this one of Jarom. It captures his serious happy side. Jarom has always been such a deep thinker for his age, and I think this picture was able to get that side of him.
Jarom is always full of it (in a good way). He knows so much info about lots of topics he is always teaching me something. Here he is in a teaching moment. Gotta love it!


This little gal has been such a surprise and HUGE blessing to our family. She is two months old now and the cutest little thing you ever saw. I love the sweet innocence captured in these photos. I was worried that it would be hard to get a good photo of Becca, but Darby really came through!! YEA!!!!

{the Family}
Okay its not perfect. Megan was hot, sweating, and VERY itching while we were taking this photo. So she doesn't look that happy. In another photo Megan looks a little happier and I think we are going to take her smile and eyes from that photo and put them on this photo. That will make this about the best photo you can expect with 6 kids in the middle of a HOT August evening. I am just so excited to get a photo with our ENTIRE family of EIGHT! WOW!!!

{the happy Parents}
At the very end of the photo shoot we were running out of light, but we were able to get a few of Scott and I. Aren't we cute? I think we look pretty darn good for having 6 kids 8 and under!!

{the Celebration}

Finally at the end of the photoshoot the kids got to play in this awesome fountain by where we were taking photos. They were excited (and so was I) that we were done taking photos! I am just so happy to have some updated photos to hang on my wall!!!!!!! WOO-HOO! All I have to do now is decide on which ones I want and what size I want them so I can get them printed up for my very bare walls!!! Thanks again Darby!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

WOO-HOO!!! Park Day!!!

Today was the first ever South East TJed Park Day!!! Its been in the works for a while now so it was great to finally have it happen.

To be honest I had some selfish motivations for park day. Of course I wanted to let my kids play with other homeschooled kids so they can form a positive peer group. Yes that was very important, but I was equally excited about the opportunity park day gave me to get to know some other hip homeschooling moms that live close to my home. And I totally did!!
Here are some of the mom's chilling on towels chatting it up. Next time we'll bring chairs...oops. I didn't realize that there weren't any benches near by. Oh well.

We had a great turn out I think there were 8 or 10 moms there. WOO-HOO! My only wish would have been that its was 20 degrees cooler. I guess I'll have to wait until November for that. :) Since we couldn't change the weather we did the next best thing. We had our little gathering at a Splash Pad. The great thing about this Splash Pad (other than it being super close to my house) was that there was also a little lake and playground near by (oh and a bathroom that's a must).
The Splash Pad kept all the kids cool and occupied so the moms had a little time to talk. It was a Win Win.

As a group we decided that we are going to start meeting every third Friday and while the kids are happily playing we'll discuss one chapter out of the new Leadership Education book by Oliver and Rachel DeMille. Oliver DeMille is the founder of George Wyth University and re-introduced the Thomas Jefferson Leadership style/philosophy of education.He is AMAZING!!! I am so inspired by him. I can hardly wait until September 19th to discuss chapter one of his new book.

So homeschooling is going well...really well. I never thought I would homeschool my children, and its still crazy to think that I am actually doing it. However, I know its the right thing for my family, and I have never been happier than I am now. Who would have thought that I would be happier having all my kids at home all day long vs. having two at school all day and only four at home all day. I guess the universe is full of surprises that don't always seem to logically make sense. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Getting Ready for Puerto Rico Trip

In October we are planning a trip to visit Scott's parent who are serving as Mission Presidents in Puerto Rico. Thanks to my awesome mom we are only going to take our two oldest. The rest would rather stay at home with Nana anyway. So its a Win Win. :)

As part of our homeschool studies we've started to learn Spanish. I got this great little CD set called Hop, Skip, and Sing Spanish and the kids (okay and me) have been loving it. It teaches you Spanish using little songs and dances. I gotta tell you it's been quite the fiesta at our house lately. Every night we have a little Spanish song and dance performance for Dad when he gets home from work. I know you are amazed...that we can learn a second language so quickly. I guess we are just one smart family. :) I just hope no one in Puerto Rico will mind when we break out in song and dance (since that is how we've been learning it) when we try to speak to them in Spanish. I honestly don't know if I can speak Spanish, but we all can sure sing Spanish! LOL

Hope you enjoy Megan singing Spanish for you! She LOVES it more than any of the other kids. First thing in the morning she turns on the Spanish CD and starts singing!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

doing the dishes...

So how do you get your kids to do the dishes? I've been asking myself this for a while now... A couple days ago we introduced the {Binder} (more on that later). All I am going to say for now is that the mysterious {Binder} has worked, and now my kids are doing the dishes. Here are some pictures from this morning's dish extravaganza. I only asked once and they were on it! This was Cooper's first time really helping out with the dishes, and he was loving it.
Megan's got her own style of washing the dishes. She sits on the counter and gets the dishes rinsed in a jiffy.
Have you ever seen someone wipe the table off like this? I know I haven't!!
Cooper was a champ at loading. He just went to town getting the rinsed dishes into the dishwasher. I was so impressed.
Here Cooper is trying his best at getting the dishes out of the sink. I can't believe he's tall enough to reach into the sink. Thataboy!
Even Brea tried to pitch in. Although she was less than helpful. Her favorite thing was taking dishes out not putting them in. This got a bit frustrating for her older siblings.
When the kids were done with the dishes they each got one or two (depending on how much they helped) reward cards signed off by mom. When they get 14 reward cards signed off they get to turn the sheet in for a candy bar of their choice.