Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December Happenings

Our whole month of December was pretty busy. I will try to list some of the highlights. On December 19 we had an extended Leary Family Christmas Party. Guess who came...That's right! Santa came. Our kids are at such an exciting age.


When Santa came into the room that we were partying in, my boys and some of their cousins ran up and gave him a hug.


This is Seth's Uncle Dick. He is by far the best Santa I have ever seen. He is so jolly and really seems to really love the kids. He emanates the Spirit of Santa.


I think Gordon was the most excited of our family to see Santa. He talked to him so much and had an answer to everything. Everyone was laughing by the time Gordon finished talking to him.

Jared was pretty skeptical of the whole thing. He didn't really want to sit on Santa's lap or really get into the whole Santa idea. I was a little disappointed because it means he is growing up and doesn't appreciate the magic of Christmas as much as he has in the past.

Mia, who knows the truth about Santa, loves the whole idea of Santa and I expect her to just keep on pretending for as long as she can. she is such a fun imaginative girl.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Traditions

Another funny story about Carols is this: I have a younger sister named Carol and she has a twin sister named Karen. Carol used to get so angry when anyone would suggest we sing Christmas Carols. She would always say, "Why don't you sing Christmas Karens?" When we would tease her around Christmas, we would always just say, "Christmas Carol, Christmas Carol." She would get SO mad about that. She has since outgrown it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Decorating Traditions

I used a template form Jessica Sprague and the papers are from Shabby Princess.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Joy

Think back to a time of holiday joy in your life. Where were you? Who was there?

This post goes a little with the last one I entered.

When I was 10 years old, my family moved off our farm and we became "city kids". Two houses down from our new home lived a lady named Rosa. She wasn't exactly thrilled when a family of 10 moved onto her quiet street. We were noisy kids and she let us know that we were too noisy.

For a few years we just ignored her and things were what they were. But one year we decided to give her a plate of Christmas Candy. No one really wanted to deliver it to her because she was so grumpy when it came to us. Finally, it came down to John and me. We were the ones to take the candy to Rosa. At first we talked about just putting it by her door, knocking and then running. We decided we had better not do that.

We slowed our steps as we got closer to Rosa's house. When we finally got to her door, we knocked and waited. She came to the door and we handed her the plate of goodies and told her "Merry Christmas", turned around and ran home.

About 30 minutes after we got back home there was a knock on our door. It was Rosa. She was so surprised and appreciative of the treat we had given her. She had made some treats for our family too. She didn't seem to mind so much when we played Kick-the-Can at night any more. The scolding stopped and we were able to get to know a pretty neat person.

December 2

This should have been posted yesterday but I didn't get around to it.

Do you remember making any specific recipe with older family members? What was the experience like

Every year for Christmas, for as long as I can remember, my mom would make candy to give to the neighbors. I remember what seemed like hours stirring until the candy was at the perfect temperature. This was a time when we could visit and joke around with each other. I especially loved this part of the Christmas Season.

We always had fun delivering the candy to the neighbors and wishing them a Merry Christmas. Now my mom will mail some Christmas Candy to her children. It is always a fun box to receive because it is tied to so many memories.

I rarely make candy at home so my kids don't really know the fun of the experience. Last year my mom started inviting us to come, one family at a time and make candy with her. I hope my kids treasure this memory the way I do.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Traditions

I enrolled to take a holiday class at my favorite digital scrapbooking site. One of the assignments is to blog/journal every day in December. To help you along they have prompts for blogging.

The prompt for today is:

What is your earliest holiday memory?

Every Christmas I can remember we would get up, open presents and then go to Rexburg and Idaho Falls to visit my grandparents. Every Christmas that is, except one. There was a terrible storm and we were snowed in. There was no choice but to stay home. We had all gotten games for Christmas and we spent the day playing games and putting puzzles together.

I love the time we shared as a family and the fun we had just being together. This is my absolute favorite Christmas memory up until I was married. I love my family so much and the memory of the love and time spent enjoying, and getting closer to, each other really stick out.

Because this is one of my favorite memories I always try to give the kids a game, a book and a puzzle that we can spend time playing, reading and putting together during the day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving

Things I am thankful for today:

The imagination of Gordon and Ellis.

Playing in the snow. Rather, watching Ellis and Gordon going around and having a taste of snow off everything that had snow on it.

Family Home Evening.

A husband who helps our 4 year old plan a lesson for Family Home Evening that is obviously something Gordon would want to do. To begin, Gordon gave everyone 1 chocolate chip then he went over and took Mia's and ate it. He said the lesson was on being sorry. He went through the steps; 1. Say you are sorry. 2. Make it right. (Gordon gave Mia his chocolate chip.) Then he went and took Seth's chocolate chip and ate it and asked everyone if he was really sorry. After everyone answered no, he held up 3. Don't do it again. I think it was very effective.

Playing the "Hide" game Ellis made up. It goes a little like this: One person hides under Ellis' blanket and everyone else gets to go and find them.

Picking Jared up from "Chimes Club" and having him say, "I LOVE CHIMES!"

Reading "James and the Giant Peach" to my kids. Whenever I stop at least one of them says, "Awe. You always stop when it is getting exciting." I remember when my teachers would read out loud after lunch recess and I would always feel that way.

Having 4 happy and healthy kids help me with dinner tonight.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving

Things I am thankful for today:

Sleepy smiles when I kiss Ellis at night.

Gordon asking for 10 more kisses before he goes to bed and then asking to kiss me 10 times before he goes to sleep.

Mia's excited squeal over birthday party invitations.

Jared giving a talk in Primary.

Seth taking over with the kids so I can take a nap on Sundays.

Snow 2 days after buying snow boots.

Cooking with Seth.

The little notes Mia leaves around the house for me to find. I love every misspelled word and the thought she puts into them.

Jared playing with Gordon until the two of them are laughing their guts out.

The way Mia is so tender and always trying to help Ellis.

Seth playing "Steam Roller" with the kids.

The magic of being a mom.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Book Worm

Our book club recently read "Night of the Howling Dogs." This is a children's book (we generally read one children's book a year) and based on a true story. After I read it, I thought Jared would like it so I suggested it to him. I told him a little about the plot so he would be a little more motivated to read it.

On Friday he was about 3/4 through with the book when I told him it was time to go to bed. He was pretty upset and things were just getting exciting in the book. He asked me if he could read it in his bed. I almost said no. Then I remembered how much I loved to read in bed while I was younger (and still do). It was the weekend and really it didn't matter if he stayed up late reading. I told him that he could.

He was so excited. I thought he would read for about 30 minutes and fall asleep, what with all of the comfort of reading in bed and relaxing. But he didn't. He read for a couple more hours and finished the book. He was so excited about it and he has been telling me about the book all weekend.

Can I just say that I LOVE that he loves to read? I have always loved reading. I remember learning to read and the way that opened my world and imagination. I remember reading the "Dick and Jane" books in first grade and getting a prize from Mrs. Lankford's treasure chest for reading the correct number of minutes. I remember reading with a flashlight under my blankets so that no one would know I was still awake. Reading has always been a passion of mine and I am thrilled to pass it on to someone I love.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cause for Celebration

I have been intimidated by French Braiding ever since Mia has had enough hair to braid. I used to French Braid my own hair when I was in High School but have never been able to do it on another person's head.

I tried it tonight and everything just "clicked". I am excited because of how many possibilities this opens up for me in hair dos.

I don't have a picture because I just tried it quickly before she went to bed and now she is in bed but I am excited!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Glasses part 2

I had to post the last entry paragraph by paragraph. Apparently I am too long winded. I will finish here.

Jared was pretty excited about getting glasses. He told the pediatrician, "I don't care if I have to get glasses. At least no one will make fun of me because lots of kids in my class wear glasses." I would say about 1/3 of his class wears glasses. He told my friend that carpools with us, "Now we can have a 4-square team with everyone wearing glasses!" He told Mia, "When I get my glasses I will be able to see better than you!" This may or may not be true. We will wait to have Mia's eyes tested so that she doesn't just try to get glasses and be like Jared.

This is a picture of Jared the day he got his glasses outside Grandma and Grandpa Leary's home.

Glasses

I took Jared to the doctor for a "well child checkup" last month. Everything looked great until they did his eye test. He wasn't able to see very well. Dr. Jackson suggested that we go to the eye doctor.

I made the appointment at Costco Optical and headed over with four kids in tow. When I looked at how small the exam room was, I knew that I couldn't take 4 kids in there and expect them to behave or for the exam to go well. I asked Jared if it would be OK with him if I waited out in the waiting room for him. He said it was OK. I wasn't comfortable with Jared going into the room on his own so I decided to give him a buddy and sent Mia in with him.

While we were waiting in the waiting room, Gordon and Ellis started to get restless. I asked, "Who wants to hear a story?" They were both pretty excited to hear one. I began, "Once upon a time there lived a..." then I pointed at Ellis and he said something like apple. The story went on and in a little while I pointed at Gordon and he helped with the story. We went on like this for a while until the story came to an ending. Time passed quickly and before we knew it, the doctor opened the door and was showing Jared just how his new glasses would help him see.

After speaking with the Optometrist for a bit, we went out to choose some glasses. Before we began, I took the kids all over to the corner and asked silly questions like, "Who is getting glasses?" "Can Mia touch the glasses?" "Can Gordon? Can Ellis?" They all had the correct answers and since we had talked about it before, not one of the kids even tried to grab a pair of glasses, I couldn't believe how well it worked. We chose a pair of glasses that both Jared and I liked and took them to the cashier.

She explained everything to Jared about what she was doing at each step. I was impressed. It was just what Jared needed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Update

Somehow it seems I fall behind in blogging and am a little overwhelmed at the thought of catching up so I just get behind more...

Things that should be noted but haven't been:

1. Ellis turned 3 years old in July. He is 30 inches tall - 1 inch taller than Gordon was on his second birthday. He is following his own growth chart and the pediatrician isn't too concerned but he is going to do a little testing just to make sure he is doing OK. We will go in to have him measured in 6 months and then again in a year. It may be something to do with his thyroid.

2. Jared turned 8 in August. He celebrated with a bunch of friends having Jedi training at our house. Amber and Aaron came to help us with the party. Seth had great ideas for party games. I was surprised how "into" it Seth got. Because of him everyone had a great time.

3. Jared was baptized on August 16, 2009. This should probably be noted somewhere for Jared. About a month before his baptism I was downstairs ironing my skirt. Jared came in and told me that he was too grouchy to go to church. I was pretty surprised by this and told him that if he was too grouchy to go to church, he could stay home and take a nap. Seth came down and told me that he told Jared he didn't need to go to church. I was pretty surprised. I told him that I wished he had talked to me about that before he made that decision. After Seth and I discussed it, we both agreed that if he was planning on being baptized, Jared needed to be able to make the decision about going to church. We then told Jared that if he wanted to stay home, he could. He didn't even have to stay in bed the whole time, but he needed to know that if he was choosing to not go to church then he was choosing to not be baptized. Being baptized is a promise you make with Heavenly Father, telling him that you want to go to church and do the things that he wants you to do. Jared was crying his eyes out because he really wanted to be baptized. Seth and I were both trying to get him to tell us why he wanted to be baptized and he told us that he really likes going to church and he likes the way he feels when he is there. We may have even tried to get him to wait a little while to get baptized. Tried to get him to really think about it and make sure this is what he wanted. We told him, "Jared when you get older and you move out..." Jared said, "I have to move out?!" and then he cried harder. I told him that he could stay with me forever if he wanted to.

We let him think about it and got the other kids ready for church. Jared came to us and told us that he wanted to go to church and he wanted to get baptized as soon as he turned 8. He hasn't complained about going to church since. He even chose to fast on Fast Sunday in September.

4. School is going great! Jared and Mia are both being challenged and they are both enjoying school. Jared is entering the world of timed tests and has a bit of anxiety over them. His teacher has sent some home for him to practice so he doesn't freeze up on them during class. This has really helped him.

5. Mia is terrible at spelling. She can spell the words when I ask her to spell them just at random times but if she knows she is having a spelling test, she over thinks it or something and doesn't spell them right. Do any of you have any suggestions as to how I can help her? We have been writing the words and they practice them all of the time at school. What has worked for you?

6. Yesterday I had a very minor surgery on my foot. I was in a bit of pain so I took one of the LoraTab that was prescribed to me. I could tell as soon as it made it's way into my blood stream. I was dizzy and sick to my stomach. It was the worst feeling I have ever had. I won't be taking any more of those and will just deal with the pain. Fortunately for me, there isn't much pain. I was so ill when I went to bed last night, it was a relief to wake up and feel great.

7. Mia started gymnastics and she just loves it. She was in dance last year and she didn't really care for it. I think she is more powerful and less graceful. She was good at dancing but she didn't like being told what to do. She didn't like stretching. One day she told me that the only thing she liked about dance was free time which was only about 30 seconds at the end of dance.

I overheard her telling the boys on Tuesday after gymnastics that it is important to stretch your body so that it doesn't get hurt and it really makes it feel good. She then told them that that is the reason people like to stretch in the morning. She doesn't complain that they have to do push ups and pull ups. She just loves it and has her eyes set on the Olympics. Who am I to tell her that she probably won't make it to the Olympics? I am her mom and I am her biggest fan. She can do anything she wants to do.

8. The boys started soccer. Jared really loves soccer and he is an excellent Goal Keeper. He isn't really great at thinking on his feet and he doesn't do really well as a forward, but put him in the goal and tell him to not let any in and he does very well. He is eager to learn from anyone who isn't me. Somehow in the last year I have lost a little of my credibility. I knew it was going to happen at some point, but I wish he could have held on for a little longer. When he wants to know the answer to something, he still comes to me but when it involves learning something about a recreational activity he thinks he knows anything I try to tell him.

Gordon and Ellis are on a soccer team this year too. I don't know if they really like it. Well, Ellis does like it. Gordon really likes the idea of playing soccer but isn't so crazy about actually playing. He likes to roll around on the grass and fall down on purpose. His last game he would lay down on the grass and someone from the other team would come and jump over him. Ellis is just so little that he can't keep up with the other kids. He doesn't get very much "ball time" which I don't think he really likes. He will go out there and run around but sometimes he will tell me, "They don't need me." When the game is over and the treats come out, of course all of this changes and suddenly they do need him and Gordon is done rolling around on the grass. I think I will wait another couple of years before I put them in soccer again. I don't think they will even care about that...especially if I have plenty of treats at home.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Back to School

Monday began another school year. This one was more difficult on me than any so far. Jared is in Third grade and Mia is in First. We have switched schools again. The kids were accepted into a magnet school this year. They even get to ride the bus, which they think is cool.

I rode the bus to school until I was in fifth grade and my mom never followed it to school and I always wondered why any one would follow the bus to school. Guess what? I followed the bus to school this year.

None of us really knew where the bus would drop the kids off and none of us knew where to go after the bus dropped them off. I just felt better knowing that the kids weren't scared and they could get to their classes safely.

I was especially worried for Jared. He wasn't really thrilled with the idea of changing schools last year and when we went in to meet his teacher, he wasn't exactly polite. He was a little defiant and tried to find every thing possible that he wouldn't like about the school. I have been agonizing over the decision of sending him to Fox Hills ever since we went in to meet her. Did I mention that Jared has anxiety problems? When we got to the school to meet his teacher, he was crying. She won him over and when we left I was crying because I was just so grateful that he had someone to teach him that was interested in him.

When I got to the school I waited for the bus pulled up. The only problem was that I had two children going to school and there was only one of me...Seth was out of town. Jared and Mia were not going to the same location in the school. I stood there and had to decide which of my children I was going to help. It was agonizing making the decision. Jared was following a bunch of kids and asked me, "Where do I go?" This question took my breath away a little. I told him to follow the kids and he would find it. My heart had fallen into my stomach. I waited for Mia for a while and one of my friends, who also has a First Grader asked me where Jared was. I told her he went somewhere behind the school and she said she would make sure Mia got to class safely if I wanted to check on Jared.

I took Gordon and Ellis and we headed behind the school in the direction Jared had gone. I couldn't find him. Then the bell rang. I just had this sinking feeling that he had been sent on his own and would be so lonely. We were walking all of the way around the school and I remembered that his teacher had said that he would be in the Relocatable classrooms. Then I saw them on my left. I went up to the class and saw him. He was all alone in the classroom and I just wanted to grab him and hug him and tell him how much I loved him. I wanted to tell him that he is just so special to me and that I really hoped he had a great day. I also didn't want to overwhelm him and give him reason to be concerned. I just said, "I love you Jared. Have a great day!" He said good bye to me and then I went to find Mia.

When I got to Mia's class she was sitting at her desk and her teacher was talking to all of the parents telling them about their safety rules for the bus. Mia was so excited and kept waving at me. She was excited because she got to eat school lunch for the first time. Everything was so fresh and new for her and she was just absorbing it.

When it was time for us to go, I took this picture and gave her a hug and left.



They both came home with happy faces and good things to say. Jared had had such a good time he couldn't stop talking about it. When we got inside the house he shouted, "Mom. How many hours can I read tonight?" I asked how many he wanted to read. He told me that he would like to read for 2 hours. He couldn't even sleep because he kept remembering different things that had happened. I was thrilled to see him so excited about school again. He hasn't been like this since he first began Kindergarten.

Mia on the other hand. Told me how great her day was and the she really liked her teacher. She showed me some pages she had colored and talked a bit about an assignment she had done and she was finished talking about it. She just wanted to get outside and play with the boys.

It was a successful day when you come down to it. I felt better sending them the second day and I think it is just going to get easier. On Tuesday Jared told me that he didn't need me to go with him to his class this time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Lens

Looking for a new lens? MCP Actions is having a give away! The generous offer is to receive one of the following Tamron AF 18-270 mm or Tamron AF 28-300 mm. Go here to enter today.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yellowstone

We are back and rested from our trip to Yellowstone National Park. The kids were disappointed that there was no playground at the park. We got there on Monday night after we had car problems on the way out - the bolt that held the shocks were rusted and broke when we hit a bump. Luckily we were quite close to a mechanic and he rushed to get us on our way.

Jordan and Jo had left early in the morning and grabbed us a campsite next to theirs and also very close to the bathroom. Then they cooked us a delicious dinner. While we set up our tent, the kids played in the back of the car. (Since my kids aren't the only one in the pictures, I won't be posting it but believe me, they are cute.)

The next morning we headed out and drove the northern loop. Some highlights of that are Roaring Mountain. We didn't hear it roar but it was so beautiful to see with the steam rising off it. This one was Gordon's favorite.

Across the street from Roaring Mountain there were some Elk. We actually watched these for a long time. The place they were walking was really mucky and at one point the Elk actually sunk all the way to her belly. The girls especially enjoyed watching them.

We went on to Mammoth Hot Springs and saw a lot of really pretty colorful pools.

Then we ate some ice cream at Canyon Village.


Then we hiked to the Canyon Village Falls. On the way back to our campsite we were able to see a little black bear. I didn't have my long lens on and the pictures we took didn't turn out but it was fun to see it digging in the plants and looking for food. Jared kept saying, "There's a bear! There's a black bear!" When we left the bear, he said, "I didn't get to see it." Turns out he was looking at a rock. Seth and I were sad that he didn't get to see it and we would have helped him see it. Jared was quite disappointed but there was nothing we could do to fix it.

The next day after something warm to fill our bodies, we drove the south loop. We saw a heard of buffalo. This was something I had been hoping to see and it was hard to believe how many buffalo were there. There were just so many.

We then went to one of my favorite spots and saw the Midway Geyser Basin. The pictures without being edited, do no justice to it. There was a bench you could sit on and just watch the steam. When the wind would blow just right, the steam would land on you. Of all the kids, only Mia commented on how gross that was. She still sat in it for a long time.

I think this picture looks a little fake, like we are standing in front of a picture of something. This hot pool actually emptied into a river and there were several people fishing in it. I was really interested in feeling it, but didn't because if I had, there would have been 6 kids that would have too.

I could have sat and looked at this for hours. It was just so beautiful. It is called the Large Prismatic.
I found this little nugget on the way out.

After Midway Geyser Basin, we headed on to Old Faithful. We ate our lunch while we waited for the show. It was a nice place to let the kids rest and play around. We then went out the West Thumb, part of the Yellowstone Lake.



The next day we headed to Jackson Hole, WY. On the way out we stopped at Lewis Lake because the kids have a friend named Lewis. It was all they could talk about doing when we told them we were going to Yellowstone. We ate lunch here. There were millions of mosquitoes. We were lucky and hadn't had to really deal with them until we got here, but it was just insane.

We drove through the Teton National Park and it was just beautiful.

It was a lot of fun going with Jordan and Jo and their family. It is not very often that we get to spend time with them one on one. When we go to family parties, there are just so many people there that we don't really spend time with anyone. We spend time with everyone. Our kids loved the time we spent with them and they were sad, especially Mia who had a girl to play with the whole time, when it was time to leave them.

After spending a little time in Jackson Hole, we headed on to Idaho Falls where we locked the keys in the car. Seth called a Lock Smith and he had it opened in no time.

After we relaxed in Idaho Falls, we headed to Aberdeen and went to a Campbell Family Reunion. It was so fun to see my family and spend time with them. We slept one night in my parent's back yard and then headed back home.

This was our first "real" family vacation and we had such a nice time that we are already trying to think up a great vacation spot for next year. It was just so nice to be away from all electronics and routines for a week and reconnect as a family. I loved everything about it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I looked out the window and what did I see?

The other day the kids and I were reading books in the front room. I turned and looked out the window as someone ran past the house and hid in the bushes across the street. I pointed them out to the kids and we watched them for a while.
This was from across the street.
This girl ran across the street and laid down in our front yard. The kids were really going crazy.
I think she saw me taking pictures of her, because she looked right as me as she hid behind our tree in the front yard.

They fired a few shots at who knows who and my kids wanted to go outside to get a better look but I didn't let them. As far as I can tell, they were just a group of kids playing army and we had the best trees to hid behind.

I wasn't thrilled with the idea of these guys hanging out in my yard with Bebe (Is that how you spell it?) guns or whatever they were using and shooting it at people, but they did any way. After a bit we left and went to the Library. There were about 5 more kids in their "Army Clothes" and guns walking on the street. They didn't look as official as these two did and that is how I came to the decision they were just a bunch of kids playing around.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ouch

Yesterday just as I was stepping into the shower, Ellis started crying. He ran to tell me that he had fallen, I thought he said off a chair. His mouth was bleeding a bit and I asked Mia to help him get a drink to take care of the blood. As we were getting ready for swimming lessons, Ellis was just crying and really seemed to be in pain. I asked him if I could see his mouth and he let me. I had intended to just look at his lip, but when I lifted his lip I noticed that his teeth had been adjusted. When he fell, he had hit his front teeth and one of them went up, into his gums and twisted a bit. He had blood all around his teeth and I thought, "No wonder he is crying so much." I gave him some Tylenol and called our dentist only to discover that they were closed on Mondays. There was a number to call for emergency or "if your child is in a lot of pain" which I called. I had to leave a message and then headed out to swimming lessons with the kids.

Just as we got to the very noisy pool the dentist called back. I took Gordon and Ellis back outside so that I could talk to him. He was very nice when he asked me what happened and I had to tell him that I didn't know because I was just getting ready for the shower. I tried to tell him what Ellis had told me, but I was still trying to make sense of that myself. He told me that since the teeth were knocked out, but were just pushed up they would likely just correct themselves. He also wanted Ellis to come in to be checked out in a couple of weeks.

When I asked Ellis about his teeth and what hurt, he pointed to the sunken one and said, "This hurts." He pointed to a different tooth and said, "This doesn't hurt" (back to the sore one) "just this one.

He hasn't sucked his thumb since this happened. I wonder if this will be the beginning of breaking the habit for him.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Growing Up

A couple of things that should not go unmentioned happened today:

*Gordon counted to 100 today without asking me, "What comes after 29? What comes after 39? etc"

*Gordon came downstairs and showed me that he had written his name. I asked to take a picture of it, but he wouldn't let me. He has been able to spell his name for a long time and he has written his name when I sat next to him, showing him how to form the letters but today he wrote it 100% on his own.

*Ellis is potty training. Last night while he was sitting on the toilet I told him that I wanted him go yucky (I guess he calls his BM yucky because that is what I said whenever I changed his diaper.) in the toilet. He looked at me for a minute and said, "I can do that!" And he did. He has been wearing underwear since Monday.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Life

Some things that the Leary family has been up to include;

1. Gordon had his birthday 5/16. He is now 4 years old. We often hear him say things like, "I can open the door now because I am 4 years old. (Seth put in a new sliding door that is so smooth for Mother's Day.) His favorite color is green. Gordon asked for a "Green butterfly cake with blue and yellow frosting." He was happy with what I came up with. Jared gave Gordon his old bike for his birthday and Gordon just loves it. I often hear him talking to the bike, telling it thank you for not tipping over.

2. Gordon and Ellis have discovered how much fun it is to play together. It took longer than I had expected, but my heart swells when I hear these little guys plotting and making up games together. They just need to discover that it is fine if they sing the same song at the same time. I hear a lot of, "That's MY song. Don't sing it while I'm singing it."

3. We spent Memorial Day weekend with my brother and his family. They moved to Utah for one Semester at BYU while my sister-in-law finished up her college. I was so excited when they told us that they would be in Utah. I had envisioned spending all of my free time with them. Turns out we didn't have as much free time between us as I had anticipated. When we spent the weekend with them, I told Emily that in my mind that was how we were going to spend every weekend and I feel like I didn't take advantage of their being here like I should have. They are moving back to their beautiful house in California on Monday, June 1. They have a couple of boys that are Jared's age and they have really enjoyed spending time together. They also have 3 girls and Mia adores all of them. As far as Mia is concerned, Kristin hung the moon and Claire and Amy are the stars in the sky. She spent a few nights at their house and she just loves being with them. We will miss them. Hopefully Seth will get a bunch of trips to California with work so that we can see them often.

4. I went to the Zoo with Mia's Kindergarten class. Mia was disappointed that there were no lions at the zoo. There was a Mountain Lion and it was almost good enough for her. We had a lot of fun eating at the zoo. I was with Mia and one of her friends and they wanted to stop every 10 minutes to eat something. We rode the train and played on the playground. It was a nice overcast day. It didn't rain on us luckily, but it wasn't too hot either. It seriously was a perfect day to go to the zoo.

5. I got my first pedicure. Seth was out of town for 5 days and I needed a little break. I was trying of something for me to do and one of my friends suggested that I get a pedicure. She told me where she goes and I went. I called up my very good friend TaLaisa, from my Sandy neighborhood, and while she had just given herself a pedicure, she came and talked to me. It isn't often that I get to go and have my feet rubbed and talk to one of my favorite people in the world. It was pretty relaxing. I enjoyed it more than I had expected to. Now Mia wants me to paint her toenails.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lesson Learned

Just because it will be much easier to cut your little (wiggly) boy's hair in the bathtub doesn't mean it is a good idea. Gordon has so much hair. The good news is that I scrubbed our bathtub clean.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Yard Sale

Mia set up a yard sale on one of our table the other day. We had some friends over and they had brought lotion with them. Mia decided that she would sell their lotion and the right to use a ball. The other kids were excited to pay $.50 to "rent" it for 10 minutes. I was surprised by her idea, but I was more surprised that the boys were willing to pay it. I made her give the neighbor his money back before he went home.

Tulips

Today for preschool we made tulips. I had some egg cartons that I was saving for something special.

To do this simple project, you need egg cartons and pipe cleaners.

1. cut the section that holds the eggs carefully into individual cups.

2. cut the section so that it looks like a flower. (I trimmed the edges so that they were even too.)

3. poke a small hole in the bottom of the flower.

4. insert a pipe cleaner.

5. (optional) color or paint the flowers.

6. put in a pretty vase for everyone to enjoy.


This will be one of the gifts my kids give their teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hickey II

Remember this post? Yesterday I was cleaning house and the kids were helping me. Mia came to ask me a question and she had the green pop-up toy stuck to her forehead. I was already a bit of a grouch, so I took it off her head and threw it in the garbage. When she asked me why I put it in the garbage, I told her that it would make a mark just like Jared's on her head. She went in to tell Jared that I threw his toy away.

Meanwhile, Ellis was crying at me saying, "I want a mark on my head!"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hickey

Jared got his first hickey today. He has this toy that you turn inside out and it jumps really high. When I got home from shopping today, I noticed he had this perfectly circular purple spot on his forehead. I asked him, "Did you stick that green thing to your head?" He said that he did and ran in to look at it in the mirror. I was laughing about it because I remember kids coming to school with hickeys on their faces from doing the same thing.

When he went to bed he asked me if it would be gone by morning. I told him that I didn't think so, but maybe. I asked him if I could take a picture of it, but he was adamant that I didn't. I started laughing about it again and he said, "Mommy. It is making me really mad that you won't stop laughing about it." I still can see the humor in it and hopefully he will be able to, too one of these days.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring

I love spring!


To celebrate Earth Day, we had a few friends over and we played outside, made bird feeders and then rode our bikes to take Mia to school. I think they look so pretty in front my my peach tree that is blooming.



Some of us enjoyed eating the Peanut Butter more than spreading it.



Another thing I love about spring would have to be outdoor soccer. Jared and Mia started Saturday. I really like to watch soccer. I like that the kids are out there running around burning all of that energy they have to keep in check during school.




I love having weather warm enough to take the kids to the park. Picnics in the shade and just enjoying each others company is high on my list of lovable activities.

Somehow, just having warm weather makes everyone around here happy. I like being able to show the kids out the door and not feeling guilty because it is cold out there. The best part is that they are happy to go.

Now that we are used to the pretty flowers and the hours spent outdoors...when is it going to get cold again?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Update

Things that have happened since March 15:

My sister and her kids came and stayed with us for a week. She has a 7 month old daughter and her 6 year old son. Ever since they left, Mia has been begging for a baby sister, or she will say, "Beth is SO cute. I love her so much!"

Same sister let me take photos of her cute, cute kids AND she LOVED them.

Had our last soccer game. Signed up for Spring soccer.

Mia didn't wet the bed, for the first time, and we had a party. Mia got to choose everything about the party. We bobbed for apples, had cupcakes and played games.

Mia lost her second tooth. It was so wobbly and ready to come out. She wanted it to come out so I told her to just grab it and twist it she was really surprised when it came out. (April 1)

Gordon learned to wink.

Kindergarten Easter Egg Hunt.

Spring Break.

Wheeler Farm.

Jared relearned to tie his shoes.

Colored Easter Eggs.

Easter Egg Hunt.

Easter Pictures.

Had Cayden spend the night - aren't cousins great?

Back to Wheeler Farm, this time with cousins. Wheeler Farm has their baby animals right now. We went on a tractor ride and had a picnic. The weather was so beautiful, it was such a fun day.

Soccer started up again.

We finished off with an "Easter Bash" with the Ellis side of the family.

Seems like we have just been busy, busy, busy. We sure have enjoyed ourselves, though.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Soccer

This month Jared and Mia started playing indoor soccer. I had no idea that I would love watching them play as much as I do. They have games two times a week and I really look forward to the time that I get to spend with them, watching them do something they enjoy and just listening to them when they are done.

I love the way they achieve something, anything, and then look over at me to make sure that I was watching them and noticed what they did. I only wish I had put them in sooner.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cereal

Mia lost her first tooth today. She has been so excited to have a loose tooth, but very nervous about it coming out. She was really hoping to have it out on her birthday, 5 days ago, but it never happened. This morning while she was eating, she bit down on a piece of cereal and her tooth came out with it when she stopped biting. She didn't even know that it came out. She tried to chew her cereal and it was really hard, so she checked to see what it was. She was so excited when she saw it was her tooth. She couldn't stop talking about it. She showed everyone that said, "Hi" to her at church today and even some that didn't.

I am not thrilled with the picture I got, but these days, I just have to be happy that she will let me take any photos of her at all.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mia's Day

Today my little angel Mia turned 6 years old. If I had been prepared and not trying to get kids ready for the day, I would have posted this at 7:30 am when she was born. That didn't happen but we did have a fun day.

It actually started last night when she begged me to let her wear curlers - she was really putting off going to bed - so I let her. We have a tradition to have donuts for breakfast on birthdays. It is the only time during the year they get them and I am surprised at how much this silly tradition means to them.

I think this picture is pretty accurate as to how she felt about having her pictures taken at all today.

Seth was out of town and wouldn't get back until after the kids were in bed, so we were really going to celebrate Mia's birthday on Amber's birthday, the next day. Seth called to tell her happy birthday while we were out and left a message. I called him back after Mia was in school and he told me that he was able to get an earlier flight home. We decided to have a surprise party for her. She is ALWAYS talking about having a surprise party. I made a few phone calls and we had some guests for the party. When she got home from school, we all jumped out at her and yelled, "Surprise"! We played with balloons and had cupcakes. It was a lot of fun.

The best part was after everyone was gone and I was just sitting with Mia. She turned to me and said, "Mommy, when we had that surprise party, I was REALLY surprised! I didn't think I would get a party at all and I didn't think that daddy would be home. It was really fun." I am glad that it worked out and she enjoyed it so much.

All Mia asked for for her birthday were a wand and a fairy costume. These were easy to get. I also was excited to pass down to her a doll cradle that my grandpa made for me for Christmas one year. I really loved that cradle and it is fun to see her enjoy the same toy I loved so much.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Parenthood

Tonight after I tucked Jared in bed, I went downstairs to relax. I could hear some muffled crying but I figured it was because he was so upset that he got toothpaste on his hand while he was brushing his teeth. (He was REALLY angry!) I went up to check on him and I asked him why he was crying. He said, "I just don't know if I am going to be ready when I am a parent."

I was surprised at how upset he was. I told him that being his mom was one of the greatest things I have done but it is really hard work and takes a lot of patience. I then said that because it is so hard, we wait until we get married so that there are two people working on it all of the time.

Worms

It is such a beautiful day today. When I took Mia to school my thermometer said it was 58 degrees. The sun is shining through my front window and making my house so warm that it is hard not to curl up in the sun and take a nap or read a book. I opened the window today. It is such a nice little break before the storms begin tomorrow.

Gordon was outside blowing bubbles and playing in the dirt. I heard him start to cry. I went to check on him and he was at the door crying. I opened the door and I asked him what was wrong. He said, "That worm is trying to eat me!" Poor little guy. He was so scared. I explained to him that worms don't eat people. Once he got it figure out he told me, "Worms don't eat people. That will make them die. They have to eat mud so that they can be big and be Mommy and Daddy worms." He said this about 5 times, I think to reassure himself that he was perfectly safe outside. He did NOT go back outside to play though.

Memories

When my mom came, she brought a bunch of my stuff that she has been trying to get me to take home since I got married. I just went through it today. There were a lot of fun memories in those boxes.

One box in particular had all of these letters from some missionary that I almost married. It really got me thinking. I am really happy to be where I am today. Married to Seth and the mother of 4 beautiful children. You often hear stories about how when someones parents die, the children are going through their things and they find these love letters between their parents and they really cherish having found them. What you don't hear about is finding love letters from some bloke that their mom dated before she even knew that their father existed.

I wasn't sure what to do with the letters. It was a huge part of my life for a while. They are my memories. I decided that since I never wanted my children to wonder about it, I would just throw them away...erase the memory, I guess. I am not going to go back and read them so I decided that there was no reason to keep them around cluttering up my house.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Service

I have been thinking about how important it is to teach our children to do acts of service and am hoping that you 3 readers of mine have some suggestions on how to do it. I know that example is a huge part and I remember my mom taking meals to our neighbors for as far back and I can remember. We sign up to clean the church building, which they love and ask if we can do it nearly every Sunday. We also helped cousins rake the leaves on Seth's Grandmother's lawn.

What are some ways that you teach service to your children?

It's been so long...

I haven't posted for a little over a month. It is just so easy to not blog for a day which turns into a week, which turns into a month...you know how it gets. Suddenly blogging seems so daunting that I put it to the bottom of my "To Do" list. By typing this, I am NOT saying that I have completed my "To Do" list...

This is all just a jumble of thoughts.

Some things that I have learned this past month. My kids don't like being told what to do. I know, I know, I already knew this. I am finding that when it comes to chores, they like to choose what they are going to do. Every Saturday morning, we split up on teams. I have a master list that we go through over breakfast and as I read the chores a hand pops up for who is going to do the chore. This week I hope to make some cute cards with the chores listed on them and then I will simply hand the card to the team working on the chore. I still ask them to help with things throughout the week, this just gets the deeper cleaning that is necessary done.

Over Valentines Day Seth and I went to Houston Texas. It was nice to have a little get away. My mom came down from Idaho and stayed with our kids while we were gone. I was a little anxious when I asked her to come and I had a whole list of reasons why she should come. When I asked her, she said "Yes" so quickly that I didn't get to use any of reasons I had planned to get her here. The kids had a great time. It was nice that they were able to stay home and have that comfort and we didn't have to really impose or double any ones family for the extended weekend which was nice. Mia told me that my mom was "kind of more fun" than me.

Seth and I had a nice time. We spent Saturday in Galveston and it rained like crazy on us. We went to an aquarium and had a nice time just going at our own pace and not having to worry where the kids were or what they were doing. That was nice. It was hard to look at anything and not think about how much the kids would have enjoyed it. We went on a ride film that was some cartoon about getting attacked by a giant squid and I missed Jared. He just finished reading a book about the very thing and had been filling me with information the week before we left.

Sunday we spent the afternoon/evening with Seth's cousins. We really had a nice time and a delicious meal with them. I haven't really spent much time with them and it was fun for me to get to know them better. It really was a great trip.

On Sunday (Yesterday) things were a little rough getting ready for church. I was feeling frazzled and frustrated when we got into the chapel and were sitting down. I sat down and just said a little prayer that I would be able to feel the Spirit while I was at church. It was Ward Conference, so the Bishop spoke and the kids were being a little better than usual. It was announced that the men could sing a song and then Sister Leary would bear her testimony. I hadn't been listening with both ears so when everyone was looking at me, I leaned forward and asked if they said Sister Leary would bear her testimony or Mister Leary. I bore my testimony and sat back down. It wasn't any thing really amazing and the kids were really naughty after that, but it got me thinking about my testimony and where I am with it. Also, since I was thinking about that so much I guess, it really got me focused on the Savior and the incredible blessing he gave us by giving up his life for us. I really felt the Spirit through the remainder of the meetings. Seth at one point made a comment. After church he asked me if he was rambling. All I could tell him was that I was just so overwhelmed by the Spirit that I wouldn't have noticed if he had. It was a great experience for me and a great meeting for me as well.

I am happy to report that life is good in the Leary home. We are working one day at a time to figure things out and it takes all of us to work on it together, but at least we are working on it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friends

Mia is in LOVE with a boy in Kindergarten named Jack. Jack is the brother of one of Jared's friends. Every day Mia tells Jack, "I LOVE YOU!! I want to marry you." Jack always tells Mia, "I hate you!" or he says, "I am NOT your boyfriend!"

Jack came over to play today. Mia and Jack were so cute. They got along so well. I was a little worried that if he came over with his brother, he would just want to follow Jared and Josh around. That didn't happen.

Jack even played house with Mia. It was cute to see them both carrying babies around. They went in the playroom and closed the door. They are 6 years old. What difference does it make if the door is open or closed, right? They were in there making food and taking care of their babies for a while and I overheard them say something about kissing. I went in to check on them and they were just over by the play kitchen making muffins. I asked if the had been kissing and Mia said, "Yes." Jack kept telling me several times that they hadn't. He also told me that he was a scientist and had plutonium in his bedroom that he made himself. I believed Mia. I told them that they couldn't kiss any more and that they had to have the door open. Mia said, "It was Jack's idea. We kissed on the mouth." Again I told them no more kissing.

I was so surprised because Mia hates kisses. If I slip-up and kiss her then she will wipe it off and say, "Eeewww! I hate kisses!" When I told her that there was no more kissing her friends, she told me that she loves kisses now. She then kissed me about 10 times in a minute.

I was worried that Jack's mom wouldn't let him come over to play again. When she showed up I told her, "Our kids kissed. Well, Mia and Jack kissed." She said, "That Jack. He is always kissing." It was no big deal. I felt a little bit better but somehow, because the door was closed, I feel like I wasn't watching them good enough.

I guess Mia has had her first kiss...let's hope it is her last for a LONG time.

Reflections

Jared wrote a story for this year's reflection contest. He won on the local level and was sent on to the Council level. We got a letter from the school inviting us to a Council Awards Ceremony last night.

The evening began with an open house. We looked through the entries and had a cookie. When the program began, they did literature first. Jared was sitting on a bench just below me. We were watching and I had told Jared that I was pretty certain he didn't win anything since his name wasn't on the list, but I didn't know because there was no ribbon on his entry.

I looked down at him while the names were being read. Jared had his fingers crossed on both of his hands and was just bouncing around. In my mind I could hear him saying, "Please say my name. Jared, Jared, Jared."

It broke my heart a little seeing how badly he wanted to win and knowing he wasn't going to. He was so disappointed when they didn't call his name. He said to me after words, "I know it is OK. Now I just have to start again and I worked really hard on it."

It is so hard to watch your kids learn the difficult lessons in life. I was at a loss as to what I should say to him, so I just hugged him. I was impressed with his sportsmanship. Not so long ago, he would have gotten so upset. For just one moment he did a body slump and then he swallowed his pride and was happy for those who won. Even when we were leaving Jared went up to one of the girls that won and told her congratulations. He is maturing and learning right before my eyes. I was happy to see the change.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Once there was a snowman.

Today while Jared and Mia were at school and Ellis was napping, Gordon and I made a snowman. Seth's brother's family gave us a snowman kit and we have really been itching to use it. The warm sun made the snow perfect for the snowman.

Gordon really enjoyed "dressing" him.

I imagine Gordon is telling the snowman, "I am Gordy-smo-Gordy." The snowman looks about the size of a 3 year old.

I think he turned out rather cute. Leaves and all.

Sledding

On Saturday we had planned on going sledding with my brother and his family after we went to one of our friends baptism. While we were at the baptism, we got a my James called and said that they had sick kids. We decided that we would just go any way. I am really glad that we did. We were really bundled up - and warm. I didn't even get cold when Gordon and I got to the bottom of the hill and slid off our sled into a puddle of water.

Gordon was a little nervous about sledding but after he went just one time, he loved it. He would giggle all the way down the hill and talk about how great it was on the way back up.

Jared, I think, had the best time of us all. I think he would have stayed all day if we let him. We had to promise hot chocolate when we got home to get him to come willingly. It was so much fun to see (and hear) him enjoy himself. Again, I am really glad that we went.

The only photos I took were of Ellis. He was just so fluffy and bundled and cute that I couldn't resist. My camera stayed in the car the rest of the time so that I could enjoy playing with the kids and not worry about getting a great shot. I regret that I didn't get any photos of the excitement or the kids going down the sled, but I do not regret just enjoying the kids.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Update

It is so easy once you skip a bit of blogging to keep on skipping it. A quick update on our family. We had a very nice Christmas. My favorite part was when we were opening presents and I was opening the gift Mia gave me. She had been a little down in the dumps because she didn't think she had as many presents as everyone else (remember she is only5). When I opened the present and told her how much I liked it, her face brightened and she excitedly told me about why she bought the gift for me. It was a sweet moment to see her forget about herself and feel the joy of giving.

When I was little, we would just open the presents as quickly as we could and not take time to play with them. We let the kids play with each present as they opened it. It was so fun to see them enjoy themselves.

We spent New Year's Eve with Seth's parents in West Jordan. We played games and watched movies. It was a lot of fun until I discovered that Ellis had diarrhea and I had just used up my last diaper. He had diaper rash so bad. I went and told Seth that it was time to go. We had about 20 minutes left until midnight. We took the kids home and let Jared and Mia stay up to watch the ball that didn't drop. Seth played some games with them and I went to bed. I don't even know what time they went to bed.

I took a couple of pictures using my new tripod. This one just makes me laugh. It was the best one we got. We were in a rush because we needed to get to church. Mia was NOT happy about it and I didn't realize she was sticking her tongue out until I downloaded it to my computer. It really it just captures how she was feeling at the time.

I think it is a family tradition to take a picture of everyone goofing off. Everyone got involved with it and it was a fun way to end the photo shoot.