Saturday, October 31, 2009

Merry Christmas... I mean, Trick or Treat

We had a great time watching the kids trick-or-treat. It was a busy day/night. We had lunch with our friends in Lehi, then we picked up Whitney (my sister) down in Provo. Then we stopped by my cousin's house, and then got home around 5pm. We all had dinner, got the kids ready and headed out the door around 6pm. We went to Jake's parents' house first and the kids saw their cousins, Hannah and Isabelle. Then we stopped by my grandparents' house in West Valley. Then we got back to our neighborhood in North Salt Lake around 7:45pm and the kids trick-or-treated for an hour. The weather was perfect, a tad cold but we will take it over snow and rain! Jake and Whitney were getting a little bored half-way through so told the kids to say "Merry Christmas" when people answered the door. It was funny to see some of our neighbors' reactions (and we got a kick out of it too.) Josh finally figured out the whole trick-or-treating thing at the last house, so I'm sure next year he will have it down.

In case you can't tell, Emma is "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast. She wanted brown hair so our neighbor, Kristin, let us use some of her brown hair spray and it worked really well. Emma loved being a brunette for the night. Ben is a green 3-D skeleton and loved that his costume had bony fingers and toes. Josh was superman and could care less about his costume. He just wanted chocolate, and lots of it. (A boy after my own heart.) Aunt Whitney is Sue Sylvester from Glee, the new show on Fox. Overall, it was a busy, but fun and successful night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sickies, Snow, and Sugar Cookies

Ben called me from school yesterday in tears saying he threw up during recess. When I got to the main office the poor guy was sitting there with his jacket and backpack, and looked so pale. I gave him a big hug and tears flowed down his cheeks as he explained how he threw up in the stairs outside during recess... not just once, but twice. I took his temp when we got home and it was nearly 103. I gave him some tylenol, tucked him in and let him and Emma watch Scooby Doo during quiet time. Ben was lethargic all day yesterday and is still sick today, but his temp is lower so hopefully he will be back to school tomorrow. I told him last night that this is actually a blessing because he will be better by Halloween so he can go trick-or-treating. If he got sick on Thursday or Friday, he probably wouldn't get to go. (That seemed to make him feel a little better.) I took this picture last night. Ben was resting on the couch and Emma and Josh climbed on top of him and tried to make him feel better. Ben was a good sport about it and let them. Ben says he is making his 'sick face' in the picture. After I took the picture and put my camera away, Emma came up to me and said "Mom, I just tucked Ben in really tight with his blankie and made sure he is okay." She is my mini-mom and such a sweetheart.

And yes, we have SNOW! This is the first snow of the season and I can't say I'm too thrilled. Thankfully, I'm sure it won't stay around. It should turn to slush later on in the day. I just want the kids to have fun trick-or-treating on Saturday and snow would put a damper on things. Last year it rained and we had to go home early. Crossing my fingers we have decent weather and no sick kids!

On Sunday we celebrated our sister-in-law, Mallory's birthday. After the cake-eating and present-opening, all the women helped the kids frost and decorate Halloween cookies. Emma, Hannah, and Isabelle really enjoyed it. The boys seemed content frosting their own cookies, eating them, and then going back downstairs to play. Although, Josh did stay the entire time. He's no dummy. When he's around sugar and mom is letting him go to town, he will take advantage of the situation. I would frost a couple cookies, then he would take a bite of one, put it back, take another, lick it, put it back, then get another one, etc. After he had his way with 3 or 4 cookies, I had to stop him. Funny kid! Thanks Grandma Schip for making the cookies at 4am that day, just so the grandkids would have them later that day. You're super-grandma!

I have to laugh at this last picture. My mom and dad sent some really cute clothes for the kids they found at garage sales. It was like Christmas, opening up this huge suitcase filled with clothes, weighing 48 lbs. Emma was more excited than I was. She kept pulling them out faster than I could look at them. She helped me separate all the clothes into piles, "too big" and "just right", and then into Josh, Ben, and her piles. She tried on all her clothes and picked out her favorite outfit (for the moment.) Then she asked me to take a picture of her, and this was the end result. She is definitely our little Diva.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Daddy Tears

Ben came home from school yesterday and had this in his backpack. He said he wrote it all by himself at school. It's a letter to dad. After he had me read the note, he said "Mom, I think I spelled 'could' and 'want' wrong. How do you spell them again?" What a smartie! He's in the process of writing a little book for one of his homework assignments and it's pretty cute. I'll post it when he's finished. I'm just amazed at how much he has learned in just these few months of 1st grade. He can read basically anything and is getting better and better at writing. So, when Jake came home he read it in front of Ben and got a little teary eyed. It was very sweet. We feel lucky to have such a wonderful little guy in our family. Ben is such a sweetheart and a great helper and brother. We love you, bud!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our Little Ham

Emma goes to the Canyon Preschool and loves her time there with Miss Kari and her friends. Tonight her class performed a Halloween program at the Bountiful Library. She has been practicing really hard and talking non-stop about this program for weeks. She ham'ed it up and Jake and I were really proud of her. Her teacher made her a CD of all the Halloween songs they were learning and Ben, Emma and Josh love to sing along to all of them in the car. Enjoy the video! (By the way, when you see Emma flinging her arms around, she's actually rocking out, playing an air guitar. Love it!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Family Pics- 2009

Our neighbor's daughter, Malissa, took our family pics last Saturday and my sister, Ashleigh, helped pick out some favorites and tweak a couple for me. I had found this really pretty trail 3 weeks ago with beautiful fall colors and knew this was where I wanted to take our pics this year. It's only about 1 mile from our house. Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. I love the cool, crisp air. I love to wear sweaters, as weird as that sounds. I love cuddling up in a warm blanket with hot chocolate. I love that winter hasn't hit and I don't have to worry about driving in snow or ice... yet. I love soups and stews, and making pumpkin cookies and bread. I love that we start heading into the 'holiday season' with Halloween so close, and then Thanksgiving and Christmas not too far behind. And of course I love fall because of the red, orange, and gold colors everywhere. I went on a great run Saturday and found myself in awe of the beautiful colors all around me. I better soak it all in because I'm sure in another couple weeks the leaves will be gone and snow will be here. (PS For some reason, the uploaded pics are not as clear as the originals and the coloring looks 'off' compared to the real copy. Weird.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Needing a Kick in the Butt

Our family has been dealing with some stress and big changes lately. Jake started a new job last week, working as the Executive Director and Staff Attorney for a non-profit organization that fights to protect Utah's forests and wetlands. He is excited about this change but it has taken a lot of time, prayer and faith to get us to this point. He's taking a huge pay cut and we have had to re-evaluate our lives and figure out what is most important, deciding the difference between genuine needs and just plain wants. We are trying to adjust and make this change work and it's going to be hard. Jake and I have put a lot of thought and prayer into the decisions we are making for our family and we feel, so far we are on the right track. We also know that a lot can change very quickly and so we are just trying to live in the moment, and having hope that no matter what happens in the next week, month, or year from now, we will be okay and it will all be for the best.

So... amidst all the chaos in our lives this past month, my exercise and diet got put on the back burner and guess what... I GAINED 5 lbs! Yes, I'm actually announcing this to the world. I need to be held accountable for my actions and so I'm using this post to re-dedicate myself to working out and eating 1500 calories a day. I sort of jumped back on the wagon last week and went to the gym twice and ran over 5.25 miles on Saturday. My butt-kicking officially started today, though. I ran 2 miles on the treadmill and then did speed interval training for another 2 miles. (As a side note, I love speed intervals! You burn more calories when you switch it up, instead of running the same pace for miles on end. When I say 'speed intervals' I mean I run 1 minute at 7.5 mph, then slow it down for 1 minute, then crank it to 8.0, then fast walk 1 minute, then 8.5, then fast walk, etc. I get up to 9.9, the highest you can go on a treadmill, then I bring it back down. I'm amazed my legs can run that fast without me losing my footing, falling off the treadmill and smacking my face on the floor (yes, I've thought about this!) Anyway, try the intervals. My friend Shana loves them too and says she has got down to her goal weight and toned herself by doing a lot them, so benefits all the way around!) Anyway, back to my workout. Then I did the cross country course on the elliptical for 20 minutes. Then I worked on strength training for 40 minutes and felt pretty good about what I did. I want to focus more on strengthening my adductors and abductors, something I feel will help me stay away from another IT band injury. After my workout I came home and opened my daily plate calorie counter on (highly recommend this website!) I made myself a fruit smoothie for breakfast (1 pear, 1/2 banana, 70 cals of strawberry yogurt, and about 10 ice cubes.) It was pretty good. Usually I throw in some apple juice too, but ran out a few days ago. So my smoothie was 241 calories, so 1259 calories left for the day. I'm jumping right back in full throttle and am pretty dang motivated to get these 5 lbs. off me (and maybe another couple more!) With the holidays coming up, I feel I need this attitude to keep the lbs. off. Anyone else want to join me?!

(PS The pic above is the most recent fam pic I have of all of us, taken about a month ago. We were hanging out with some of our best friends, Shawn and Amei, the night before they left for Toronto. Shawn started his post-doc there last month.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Birds and the Bees- Revisited

I swear I don't provoke these conversations with my kids... they just happen! Last night Jake was at a board meeting so it was just mommy and the kids all day. It was Emma's turn to pick the book before the kids went to bed and she chose the shark book Ben checked out at the library last week. They wanted to read about the insides of a shark (probably because there were some awesome and gory pictures of shark intestines, etc.) Well, Emma pointed to these two pics and asked what they were. They were pictures of the male and female sharks genitalia. So I explained that. Then Ben asked how girls pee since they don't have a penis.

Oh my. Here we go again. I actually don't mind these talks and appreciate the fact that Ben is comfortable and confident enough to ask me these questions. I just tend to be quite an open person and like to say things how they are but as my kids have grown older (and pick stuff up from Jake and I very easily) I have developed a buffering system, which of course should be there. So I'm very careful these days about what I say to them. Anyway, so Ben and I had a good long chat about the male and female anatomy which lead into another discussion about puberty. Ben at one point asked me if girls have bladders, "you know, the sacks that fill with water and has a ball in them." It took everything in me to hold a straight face and not laugh at that one. So I explained the difference between bladders and scrotums, and now he's not confused anymore. I just pray none of these conversations come out during Sunday School. ;)

Speaking of great mommy moments, I had another one yesterday with Josh. I took Emma and Josh to the park and decided to take a pic of Emma on a bridge. Within the 15 seconds it took me to pull my camera out of the case, turn it on and snap the picture, Josh had found a pile of dog poo and grabbed it with both hands. We were about 5 minutes away from our van, which had my purse in it (which carried my antibacterial wipes and purell.) So, it made for quite an interesting morning. Josh kept asking to hold my hand and didn't understand why I wouldn't. I decided just to carry him (hands away from him and me) and Emma and I raced to the van and made it there very quickly. Don't ask me what he was thinking. He sees Truman's poo and never touches it. Granted, this didn't look like Truman's so I could see his confusion. Either way, it was a very gross moment that I hope doesn't happen again... ever. (We can only hope, right?!)