Thursday, September 30, 2010

school pictures?

I hate to complain, but this one bugs me.  Why should I buy school pictures these days?  The cheapest package is $22 and you only get two 3x5's, two wallets, 4 mini wallets, and a class photo.  A semi-decent package is $40.  And you HAVE to buy a package to purchase any additional things separate.  And the extras are $10-15 each ($10 for 8 mini wallets?  That would be at least $20 to be able to get enough for Nathan to give to his classmates.)  After you purchase a package, you can pay $20 for the digital image ($20 for the rights to one photo of my child?  I don't think so).  And they're not even very good.  I should at least get a few poses to choose from, right?  Nope.  You have to buy the ONE they took.  When did the school pictures become a money-making thing for the photographer? 

Pictures to send to the grandparents?  No problem.  I'll take some pictures and print them at Walgreen's.  I can send them 100 pictures for $10.  Wallet photos for his classmates?  No problem.  I'll bunch 4 together into a 4x6, send it to Walgreen's and get five 4x6's for 20 cents a piece or less.  The only thing I can't get is the class photo.  Oh well.  Who really needs that, right?  You get a yearbook to remember your classmates. 

I could buy the cheapest package, but once I get all the boys in school, that will really add up.  I'm not going to spend $100- $200 a year on school pictures ($200 if I buy the digitals for $20 each, which is what is necessary for my digital scrapbooking). The point is:  I don't think I'm buying school pictures this year.

Maybe I'll take the boys bowling instead...

Monday, September 27, 2010

a touch of home...

The weather from Oklahoma caught up with us... it made it to 100 degrees today.  Amazing for this area.  I know that my Okie friends have been dealing with this weather all summer, but we're hot.  Especially with no air conditioning.  And I heard it was 72 back in OK.  Guess we traded for a day.  Crazy weather.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

time to get organized!

This week I decided to try to live up to my claim as supermom and really be one, so I got organized and also ventured out.  I figured that if I didn't want to go crazy, I'd better get organized, get some exercise, and teach the boys how to work.  They also need some fun structured time with me.  So...
I ran in the morning 3 times this week, we made our debut at playgroup, Jared started joy school, we went to the library, and the boys have chores to do.  They also have a "chore of the day" and "activity" each day.  On their chore chart are things like making the bed, picking up dirty clothes, brushing teeth, picking up toys, their weekly chore (sweep, trash, or set table), and chore of the day.  They get to put a sticker on for each completed chore and will earn something like an outing to the zoo with a certain number of stickers.  I love having a chore of the day, which they do after Nathan gets home from school in the afternoon.  I can see what is needed for that day, like folding clothes, vacumming, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the van, or whatever, write it on the board, and we work on it together.   

     They have a weekly chore (meaning they do it every day that week), sweeping, taking out the trash, or setting the table.  And they have a specific assignment for toys or books to pick up in their room.  That makes cleaning their room not so overwhelming if they're in charge of just a part of it. 

I also wanted to have something fun each day, so I'm doing an activity of the day.  I think I'll try to keep the same theme for each day of the week, like Mondays - cooking, Tuesdays - craft, Wednesday - game, Thursday - park, Friday - video, Saturday - outing, Sunday - coloring.  Monday we have Family Night (lesson, activity, songs, treats), so it would be great for helping make treats.  Nathan has an early day on Thursday, so we have about 3.5 hours before dinnertime - it's a good day for an outing.  (They get a break from chores on Sunday...)

I don't know if we'll be able to stick with it, but it felt great to be organized for a week.  The boys felt good about helping and they had fun.  And what did we get from our outings?  Sick.  Oh well, that's what happens.  We'll be better soon.

I would love to hear any ideas that you have about chores or activities - things that have been successful or things that haven't worked.  We're also talking about doing a small allowance (not related to chores) so they learn about money, tithing, and saving.  Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

smarty pants

I had to brag on Nathan a little bit.  He's a bright boy.  Tonight he was showing me the homework he had done for this week. (I think he finished it the same afternoon that he got it.)  There were some things I was supposed to help him with.  They have a list of things to choose from that they can do.  We did them all tonight, whipped right through them.  Nathan said, "I shouldn't be in school anymore.  I already learned everything in kindergarten!"  (He's in 1st grade this year.)   I think he has.  I don't know if it's just Nathan or if the schools in OK are ahead or both.  But the things he's learning are so easy for him.  When I went to back-to- school night, I almost couldn't believe what some of the parents hopes were for their child this year.  One of them said they hoped their child learned how to tie his shoes.  Hmmm... Nathan learned that at the beginning of kindergarten.  They're learning how to write their numbers right now and working on simple math.  They have to write their numbers between the lines that have dots to help them get started.  After Nathan wrote all his numbers he asked, "What are these dots on here for?"   And I was supposed to help him with 2+3=5 and 4+3=7.  Nathan can do 38+5 in his head and 23+6.  He also is great at reading.  Some of his words for this week were a, an, the, on, is, and small words like that.  I think he can read most of this post.  I guess we should keep working on more challenging things at home and he can just have fun at school?  The social aspect is good for him, although he already talks too much.  One day this week he and one of his guy friends were eating lunch with 2 of the girls.  He said some 3rd graders came and teased them about being the girls boyfriends.  Luckily Nathan still denies that he's even friends with any of the girls.  They eat lunch and play together with girls sometimes, but they're NOT friends.... what age do they start liking each other?  I can't remember what grade my 1st crush was.  Anyway, Nathan's growing up too fast.  My baby Nathan is now helping with baby Weston.

(side note:  Do you see Nathan's tan line?  He's already looking like a CA boy.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Don't let the glasses fool you...or the pulled back hair or the spit- up/snot on my shirt...

I've denied it for long enough... it's time to reveal my true identity.  I AM SUPERMOM...because I have SUPERKIDS!  

Today I took Jared, Owen, and Weston out with me to run some errands.  We went to the post office, bank, Ross, grocery store, and McDonald's (drive-thru).  I even took them in the dressing room at Ross so I could try on some clothes.  (I really needed a new skirt that fits my post baby belly before Sunday when I'm speaking in church).  I had to do it, and we did.  The boys waited patiently for me - they were SUPER (that's why we went to McD later).  Weston made it on one tank of milk - no re-fueling along the way.  This was pretty much our 1st big outing.  I think we may be ready for playgroup, if the boys can get rid of their coughs and snotty noses.  People often tell me that I must be a supermom and I'm quick to correct them, but now I know that I AM a supermom because I have super kids.  (If I really was a supermom, the beds would be made, the dishes done, and clothes wouldn't be piled up on the couch waiting to be folded.  I wish I had some extra superpowers to take care of all those things.)  Oh well. 

Off to save the world... or maybe just make dinner.  SUPERMOM!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cuatro niños!

Being here in CA, I'm picking up a little spanish...  We were walking home from school and a boy behind us exclaimed, "Cuatro niños! Uno! Dos! Tres! Cuatro!" (as he was pointing to each one).  He was so excited, almost as if he hadn't seen that many kids in one family before.  I am amazed at the reactions I get when people find out we have cuatro niños.  Jaw dropping, stop the bus, you're crazy... just wait until they see cinco and seis!  (if there are those)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

birthday hike

   Alex's birthday was on Labor Day, so he had the whole day off.  I let him pick whatever he wanted to do, which was hiking (of course).  The hike was about 2 miles.  We had a good time, especially in the sandstone caves near the top.  

At one point Alex let Owen get out of the pack, and he took off.  Owen was so excited about being free that he was getting upset when Jared was walking too slowly.  He was pushing his way through, a boy on a mission, determined to hike (even when he kept falling down on a loose slope).  You'd think he would get frustrated or cry when he fell, but he was giggling with glee every time he fell.  He was so excited to be hiking that it didn't matter where he was going, how steep it was, or what obstacle was in his way.  

Weston was content to sleep in the carrier the whole time.  After the hike we went out for pizza and then had M&M cookies when we got home.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baby blessing

Weston had his baby blessing this past Sunday.  We were thankful to have Mike, Carrie, and Nicholas join us for the special occasion.  (They drove quite a ways to be here, only to have to turn around and head back home.)  Weston almost made it through the blessing without crying.  We took a quick picture of all the boys before church.  I had to take some more pictures of him in his handsome clothes today, since he had a blow-out in those before we could take pictures.  I also took a little video of him since he was in a really good mood today.  (He's cutting his first teeth, so good moods are hard to come by these days...)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Baba-licious! (this one's for Baba)

No need to look any further... the next George Washington is here! (or maybe just a few pirates, as they like to think)

And just had to throw this one in to show that the shoes you bought for them are being put to good use!

Have you read "Mr. Sillypants"? Here's what we've got around here:

Smarty pants, sweetie pants, stinky (cutie) pants, and fussy (smiley) pants

From the book of Jared...

Jared is at a fun age when he says funny things or maybe not even funny, but just random. You can tell he's thinking about things. Here's a couple things from just the last 30 minutes:

I said, "I need to get my shoes on. Can you get me my brown shoes?"
Jared looks at me funny, peeks around behind me (looking at my clothes) and says, "Do they match your shirt?" (I have a purple shirt on today with blue jeans...and not a speck of brown anywhere.)
He didn't think I should wear those shoes.

And then out of the blue he said, "If you have a rooster, you have to eat it."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because they peck at you."

And while eating his fruit snacks, "Why do they call blueberries blueberries?"
I said, "Because they're blue."
Then thinking about it as he pulled out a red fruit snack, "Then why aren't strawberries called redberries?"

Don't know the answer to that one...