Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A visit to the fire station

Our neighbourhood preschool took a trip to the fire station this morning. The first truck we got to visit was a 1937 American LaFrance Fire Truck, the second engine Spanish Fork acquired (it's engine #2). The kids weren't allowed to climb on it, but they were allowed to walk around it. It still comes out to participate in parades sometimes (though it looks like it might need some work before hitting the streets again—something was leaking all over the floor).

Monday, January 14, 2019

Alexander at 15 months

This sweet little baby of mine continues to insist upon getting older, so I guess he's fifteen months old now. He's still at the age where he's changing a lot from month to month, so I will do another update on him.

At fifteen months, Alexander...
  • is finally experimenting with walking, though he still doesn't love it and will refuse to take any steps if he's not in the right mood. He is definitely, and by far, my latest and most reluctant walker. 
  • still loves to climb. He likes to hang out on top of his little slide'n'climb structure, which has been a sanity-saver this winter. He can also climb onto the benches for our table, which means that he can also climb onto the table whenever he wants. 
Here he is doing a bit of climbing:

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Ben the Builder

Benjamin has been very interested in constructing things lately. He loves going over to Aunt Linda and Uncle Trevor's house to play in their garage with tools. They had him working on some project or another recently (it's a secret, however, so I don't know what it is). Linda suggested that we take him to one of the building days at Home Depot, but they're all the way in Provo at 9:00 in the morning on Saturdays and, well, we're too tired for something like that. Instead Andrew took Benjamin to Lowe's and let him choose a little kit to build.

Then that kit sat and sat and sat and sat and sat. Past Thanksgiving, past Christmas, into the New Year.

I finally helped Benjamin put it together on Friday (the kids didn't have school). He enjoyed figuring out the instructions and hammering all the nails into place. 

This little light of mine...

Today was Rachel's first official day in the Young Women program (since last week we only had Sunday School). She had asked for a new dress for Christmas and had even looked at a few online, which she showed me to give me an idea of what she was looking for, so I ordered one and when it finally came in (this week, so we totally missed Christmas) Rachel loved it immediately. And then she held it up to herself and revealed that it was not going to be a dress for her. It was going to be a dress for me.

It was way too big for her!

So we went online together and picked out another dress, which came in a much more timely manner (Friday). This time it fit her perfectly. 

So that is what she wore to church today and she looked beautiful (even if her toes were being pinched by her shoes because I can't keep up with how fast her feet are growing (those shoes were purchased in August and are already too small)):

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Rocking, Rocking it out, and Painting

The other day Benjamin and Zoë called me in to take a picture of them rocking their babies. I happily obliged because not every moment of every day is this cute. Benjamin was holding Alexander and Zoë was holding the newly christened Baby Carrie. 

Tuesday, January 08, 2019


Last night Zoë conducted Family Home Evening and she selected herself to choose the opening song.

"Welcome to Family Night, everybody," she said cheerfully. "Mommy will say the prayer and I will choose the song—ABCDEFG!"

"It needs to be a church song," Andrew reminded her.

Zoë narrowed her eyes at him and snarled, "A.B.C.D.E.F.G."

So we sang the alphabet song because...what option did we have?

Then she had us sing I Am a Child of God, which is a church song. Then she asked us to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (which she calls, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, How I Wonder What You Are because she's not very good at song titles yet) but we told her we'd pray first and then would sing Twinkle, Twinkle and then that would be it for singing time.

Monday, January 07, 2019

The first snowman of 2019

It's finally warmed up enough that going outside isn't miserably cold so the kids and I went out this morning to a rapidly thawing world where we got absolutely soaked. The snow was perfectly packable, though, so we were able to make a few good snowmen. 

Here's Zoë pushing a big snowball. It was hard work but she did it all by herself:

Sunday, January 06, 2019

A two-hour Sunday...

This morning I woke up and remembered that Benjamin was supposed to give a talk in primary today. Luckily we woke up with time to spare since the kids woke up well before my alarm went off and we didn't have to be to church until 10:30 (yay!), so I assigned Benjamin the task of writing three sentences about how he can be responsible for his own learning (since that was today's topic). 

He and Zoë sat at the table writing and colouring, respectively...though not respectfully. They were elbowing each other and touching each other's papers and driving each other crazy. 

It took twenty minutes (which was fine because I was nursing the baby and didn't want the other two in my hair anyway) but Benjamin finally came up to me with his three sentences and we sat down at the computer to flush out his talk.

His three sentences were:

1) Read The Book of Mormon every day.
2) We bulev that we can teach are own lernings. 
3) We love Come Follow Me

Clearly we had a bit of work to do. So we were talking about things and expanding his ideas when there was a crash and a clatter and...where was the baby?

In the bathtub.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

The case of the missing peas

We were pulling out vegetables to go with lunch today—carrot sticks, celery, cherry tomatoes—but we couldn't find the sugar snap peas. I dug through the vegetable drawer and came up with nothing. I combed through the remaining shelves and didn't see that bag of peas anywhere.

"Did you throw them away?" I asked Andrew, who had, with bravery and nobility of knight, cleaned out the fridge this morning.

"I did not," he said.

"Are you sure?" I asked. "Because I'm not seeing them."

"I think Rachel was the one who put them away last night," he offered.

"Rachel," I said, turning to her. "Where'd you put them?"

"Just in the fridge," she shrugged.

"They're not there," I said.

"Well, they should be..."

She took over looking but also could not find the peas.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Alexander's first steps

Alexander technically took his very first steps on December 21 while we were visiting a neighbour's house for Christmas cookies. He took just two before sitting down.

A few days after that he was standing, holding a bottle of lotion, and he took about three steps towards me before sitting down.

Shortly after Christmas he was playing with Grandpa in the basement and he picked up a big toy and took five steps toward Grandpa.

Mostly he can't be enticed to walk and seems to do it almost by accident when he does it. Any sort of encouragement—"Walk! Stand up! Take a step!"—and Alexander's legs buckle underneath him like jelly. He's absolutely stubborn about it.

It's not that he can't walk. It's that he won't.

Tonight, however, he stood up and took a few steps toward me right in front of everybody. We all cheered and instead of getting flustered, Alexander proudly stood up and tried it again. And then we were able to coax him into trying it over and over again. He was drinking up the attention and working really hard (but we still got a few of his ol' jelly legs every now and then).

Rachel flew to her room to grab some technology so she could record Alexander's first steps:

It was a very proud day:

And now there's no looking back!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Back to school and a spontaneous rant about libraries

The kids went back to school today, which feels far too soon. It was so cold this morning that we beat out all the places I checked yesterday, including Shelley, so we won the award for being the coldest. The kids weren't thrilled about walking to school, but I assured them it would be a good experience. None of them ended up walking, however.

Andrew dropped Rachel off early on his way in to campus and a neighbour stopped to pick up Benjamin and Miriam so they didn't have to freeze.

So the only one who ended up walking to school was Zoë. Alexander and I made the chilly walk with her, but it was only a few houses down the street so it wasn't too bad, and as much as I was loath to send them all back to school today I have to admit that it was nice to have a quiet house for a few hours.

In the afternoon I bundled up the little ones again so that we could walk to the school to meet the big kids. Rachel is participating in the school musical and today was the first rehearsal and parent meeting for that. Andrew's schedule is still fairly flexible but, alas, he had a meeting this afternoon and wasn't able to leave in time to get home for me to go without the kids. He was, however, able to leave in time to greet the kids after their walk home from school. So once we got to the school I sent the little kids back home with Miriam and Benjamin (who took turns pulling the wagon) and it worked out just perfectly.

Andrew arrived home a few minutes before the children, I was on time for Rachel's meeting (and I didn't have to keep any little people with me).

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Happy SNEW year!

We ended 2018 slipping and sliding down the hill at the "train park." It was rather cold today (it's currently colder here than in Prince George, BC, where David and Ruth live, but warmer than it is in High River, AB, where Abra lives) so we bundled up until we couldn't feel the cold anymore and played outside for about three hours!

I don't actually have snow pants so I wore two pairs of long johns under my jeans, the kids were nice and toasty in their snowsuits, and we got plenty of exercise going up and down the hill.

Alexander loved sledding so much that when he was waiting for his turn with a sled he would toboggan down the hill on his tummy. It was adorable (also note: Zoë doesn't pay any attention to me or anybody when she sleds, so watch out): 

I brought our real camera with me but neglected to put a memory card inside, so instead I took pictures until my phone died (which means I probably took far too many pictures.

Here's Alexander getting pulled on a sled: