Sunday, December 15, 2013

halloween 2013

Playing the nose picking game at a Halloween carnival.
 Pratt's pumpkin started with several colors visible.  It ended up with just one. 
 In their element.
 Next year she can have the single color pumpkin!
 There is nothing that Google and Chad can't do together, including paint a pumpkin.

video
 I love this family photo for sooo many reasons!  Mostly because it captures a snippet of each of their personalities.
video

tidbits

Since Aimee created the stick on party hat on my last birthday, it has become a fashion statement around here.  Pratt makes a great model for it.
 People here are so panicky about the weather.  After a good snow storm, school was canceled and the boys got to have Aimee home to play in the snow with!
 The kiddos have figured out how to use the camera on my phone.  I guess May wasn't a fan of being pestered for pictures by her big sis.
 Chad caught Aimee's stomach flu bug.  He came home from work early and spent the evening with a "puke bowl."  The next morning he went to work as usual.  Being the conscientious girl that she is, Aimee prepared a bed for him, complete with pillow night stand and reading material, so that if he had to come home sick again he would have a nice place to rest.
 My dad sometimes used to let one of us kids drive the last mile home from church.  It was a straight road out in the sticks where there wasn't a lot of chance to have any problems.  Chad was the cool dad, and let Porter do a little driving of his own.  Porter pretty much thought he was the coolest kid alive!
I love being the primary chorister in my ward!  The only draw back is that when the primary sings, I can't just oogle over my own kids.  I made Chad take a little snippet at our ward Christmas party of my babies vocalizing. 
video

sleepover

Call us lame, but we have decided that our kiddos won't do sleep-overs with friends.  We have our reasons.  They do however, love having sleep-overs with each other.  I think Porter still misses sharing a room with his best friend, Aimee.  We finally had to make a rule that if they had a sleep over and got too chatty they would have to go back to their own rooms.  I guess be near each other is enough because it worked, and they go right to bed.  We also had to just narrow it down to Friday nights.  I think they would do it every other night if we let them, but it can really throw the mornings off.
 
Usually we just through a thick blanket on the ground as a short mattress.  They hit the big time last time and got to all share the air mattress.  Pratt fell off several times, and didn't wake up there the next morning, but it must not have been too bad because they were all bummed when we put it away.

may moments

This beautiful beefy baby of mine makes me smile every single day.  From her wrist rolls to her dimple bum and all of her other squishes, I adore her!  My biggest complaint is just that she is too big!  Don't get me wrong, I am loving everything about having a chubby baby, except that because she is so much bigger than her siblings, I feel like I am loosing my tiny baby faster.  Here are just a few moments I've caught glimpses of in the last month.
May is now playing/eating toys. video
Pretty much anything will do as a pacifier
 Has the best open mouth smile of all time!
 This was taken during breakfast.  May usually sits in her bumbo while we eat.  I don't know how much longer she will be content with that...
 Going through these pictures of May, you might notice a trend.  Aimee.  Aim can't get enough of her little sister!  Now that May is a little bigger, Aimee is loving that she can cart her around and use her as a doll.  She even told me she doesn't need dolls anymore because she has her Maymay (this is what Aimee calls her).  Aimee is giver her a ride on the rocking horse while they watch a movie.
 Saturday morning means Aimee can be my big helper with May while I start of chores.
 
 May has started eating rice cereal.  She loves it!  She grabs my hand that is holding the spoon and pulls it toward her mouth.  This particular day, all that hard work put her to sleep part way through.
 I snapped this one before I tamed her hair for the day, and glued her bow in.  This doesn't even begin to show how funny her hair can be.
video
Nothing beats a cuddle with some favorite people!
 I love this picture with all of my heart!  After a blowout I put May in the sink to contain the poo during the clean-up phase.  It shows off her chub that I am in love with!
 I was testing out May's Pebbles hair do for Halloween.  Not a bad little fountain on top of her  fuzzy head if I do say so!
 While Aimee was "babysitting" for me, she constructed a bed for May so that she could watch her little show in comfort.
 Aimee and her sister doll never get old!

meditation

Chad basically gets the kids wound up as tight as a drum every night before bedtime.  I guess they have worn themselves out enough during the day that they still manage to go the sleep?  One night I told Chad that he needed to help everyone settle down before bedtime.  He decided to reach deep inside himself and expose his inner monk.  Meditation!

They tried really hard to follow his lead, but in the end, it only lasted a few minutes, then they went right back to playing ninjas, wrestling, and chase.  Maybe Chad needs to reach a little deeper.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

young's dairy 2013

This year we looked forward to our new found tradition of visiting Young's Dairy.  Knowing what to expect and how to plan made it even more enjoyable than the previous year.  We got there early, so that we could eat lunch and get the most out of the day before babies got tired or grouchy.  One of Chad's fellow ortho residents was there with his blond little toddler.  His wife had to work, and he was flying solo.  I think he watched Chad and I as we portioned out plates from a large "community plate" dished at the buffet line, took turns making several return trips for more food, napkins or drinks, and rolled sleeves, and wiped hands and mouths, he thought we were nuts.  We recognize that according to the standards of some, our family of six, with four kids five and under, is crazy.  We love it!

This year we tried our hands at mini golf.  We quickly learned a few things.  First, I was awesome, and Chad struggled.  Second, our kids are still too little to worry about trying to follow rules or keep score.  Third, it takes a long time for kiddos determined to get the ball in the hole themselves.

We also spent quite a bit of time in the Kids Corner.  Here they have a great bounce house, slides, tunnels, a corn box (like a sand box but with corn), and a small climbing wall.

Taking a short hay rack ride works out by merging our old tradition of Vala's Pumpkin Patch with our new one here at Young's Dairy.
We searched and searched to find just the right pumpkin.  Maybe it was a tad mean, but it was fun to watch Pratt pull our pumpkin wagon on the muddy, bumpy trail, around other pumpkins and over vines.  When we found our winner, Aimee did the honors of clipping the stem.  Porter helped me scout out our pumpkin.
video
It took us a few attempts to get a turn on the barrel train ride.  There was a bit of stormy weather, and for some crazy reason they didn't run it when it was raining!  
When we decided we'd had our fill, we hit up the picnic one last time to get some of the left over Young's Dairy ice cream to take home.  That was not the best decision for our health, but I just have such a hard time turning up free!  Either way, it was a great end to a fun family day!

biker girl

Chad put off teaching Aimee to ride a bike for a long time.  He was afraid of the scraped knees, and bloody elbows that inevitably follow.  Not because of the blood, but because of whose blood.  When I was a kid I remember my dad running up and down the road a few times with me until I figured out the balance, helping me turn a couple of times, and then cheering me on as I braved it alone.  Chad had a really hard time with the cheering part, and to be honest, so did Aimee.  She was ready to quit when she had had just one solo stretch where Chad never left her side.  I walked up and down the sidewalk with the boys and may
video

Sunday, November 3, 2013

ward camp-out

We aren't hard core campers.  We have become big fans of our back yard camp outs that have a readily available bathroom where hands can be washed and flies don't live.  That works for us.  But, we also enjoy our occasional "roughing it" trips.  With May still so little, I didn't think it was time for she and I to join the rest of the Williams crew overnight.  Especially since it was forecast to be the coldest night of the season.  We did go up the evening before.  Chad got the tent set up on the nice even grass field (that is how most people "rough it" here in this mountainless area).  We ate a picnic dinner, roasted marshmallows, and even tried a few new campfire treats.  When I left that night for home, my babies were in seventh heaven playing with sticks and primary friends and having the attention of their daddy at their full disposal.

When I arrived the next morning I hated getting out of the car.  It was cold!  I went strait to the fire and stayed there for a couple of hours.  My campers, however, weren't even phased.  They ate up every minute.  When I did finally pull myself away from the fire, May and I found our campers fishing.  Turns out they did more croaker catching.  Chad loves to fish, but when his fan club got more excited about mud and frogs, so did he. 


We rounded out the afternoon, with hot dogs, field games and clean up.  When we finally made it home, and all evidence of the event was cleaned up, I was glad it would be a good while before we rough it again.  Even with a ring around the tub, it was time well spent, and memories worth making.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

tidbits

Pratt truly has no inhibitions.  This is also true of his attitude toward rules.  He seems to think that even though he knows he is doing wrong, and will be punished, it will probably be less displeasure than the pleasure he will receive from following his own whim.  In this case it was scaling the wall and climbing along it's ledge to get to something that I purposely put out of his reach.  He wears me out!
Walking to the school bus each morning is a highlight of the our day.  Aimee and Porter like to run to the corner.  Pratt likes to experiment with his options.  This day he decided that he needed to ride in the stroller and hold May.  Most days he prefers to ride in the bottom of the stroller, curled up in a blanket in the basket that isn't exactly intended for little boys.  Who knew that my stroller could be converted to a double.
A couple of weeks ago we all went to a Saturday Primary program practice.  Afterward we decided to stop at Kroger to stock up on a sale item.  My kids love the kid carts here, and all have to push one when we go.  It was hilarious to try to herd all three kids with carts (plus May who was being pushed by my best cart driver, Aimee) to the back of the store where our item was located.  Lots of people got cut off and/or run into.  As we were leaving, Chad asked me if I always let them each have a cart when I come alone.  I told him I did.  He was blown away on many levels.  I just smiled and kept herding.
Yeah, we have a dog with personality.
I decided to make a quick stop at the grocery store to grab a few items.  We lucked out and showed up at the same time the Wienermobile was there!  The gave us coupons, key chains and wienie whistles!  I thought it was a lot cooler then the boys did.
This is the boys eating donuts, trying out their wienie whistles and waiting for Aimee to come home on the bus.
Funnest dad ever right here!  Nothing like a little bed time wrestling to get them to go to bed...
Porter and Pratt "shaving" with dad.  Did I mention Chad is the greatest dad ever?

shows

video
Aimee loves to perform.  It doesn't matter that most of the time there is no rhyme or reason to it, she just wants our attention.  The boys want to be just like Aimee, and although they are more self conscious, seeing Aimee do things often gives them the courage they need.  And so it was one evening, just before bed time.  Chad had brought a few boxes up from the basement that were converted into a "stage."  Aimee sang her "a little of this and that" song for a good 8 or 9 minutes before we had to make her stop and give her brothers a turn.  The funniest part was that she was that earlier she had been pretending that Pratt was a wolf in a cave, and as he continued to play during her song, she just sang about whatever it was he was doing, pretend or real.
Porter and Pratts songs were much shorter, and they weren't quite as good at keeping their stage in upright position.  We had a great time watching the impromptu production.  It was the perfect end to our day!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

girls night

When we found out about the father/son ward camp-out, Chad was excited to take the boys out.  This would be their first activity of this kind.  That also meant that Aimee and I would have an entire evening all to ourselves.  It was too long in the making, I know, but our first girls night was highly anticipated.
As it turned out, it didn't go quite as we planned.  That Friday it poured!  I think some die-hard campers may have still gone, but I didn't think Porter and Pratt (or Chad) were that set on camping that a backyard cookout substitute wouldn't suffice. The bad part is that this interfered with the girls night Aimee had planned for us.  We escaped for a little over an hour before joining the boys for the cook out.  Aimee had requested that we go out for ice cream, and go to the mall.  We skipped the ice cream and went straight to the mall.  I hate the mall.  I hate shopping, and therefore I hate the mall.  I guess that is because I forget to enjoy it the way a five year old girl does.  We went to Fetch to pet puppies, and then to the make-up counters to get our nails painted and try on lip gloss.  The ladies at the counters thought it was the cutest thing they had ever seen.  They were right!  Then with the time we had left we rode the escalators and tried on about 20 pairs of sun glasses, bracelets and scarves.  All this while pretending that we were just getting to know each other (she was much better at pretending this than I was). 
One of my favorite comments of the night was Aimee telling me that she couldn't wait until May was born so that all three of us could do this together!  Win!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

memorial day

Growing up, Memorial Day meant camping for the weekend.  For us this year, we lucked out.  We just thought it was cool that Chad actually didn't have to work that day.  It was also good timing because for our ward here, it means a big ward breakfast.  The High Priests are in charge of this particular ward event, and since Chad is in the leadership, he was able to be helpful.  It turned out to be a chilly and wet morning, so rolled everyone out of bed early, bundled up, and went help set up, and get food cooking.
 
As the youngest guy in the quorum, Chad was the only one there with small children.  It was fun to watch him cook eggs with his mini men assisting him.  Plus, it gave Chad an easy excuse if he messed up the eggs!  Chad cooked all morning, and my very pregnant self manned the troops.  I think people get a kick out of watching me go through a buffet line with four plates.  Personally, if it means that I can get Porter to eat as heartily as he did, I would do it every day!

That evening we kept things pretty simple.  We made pizza and ice cream picnic style.  Of course Chad did a great job talking about the reason we celebrate this holiday, and then we (and by we I mean Chad and the kids) had a few fence races and a round or two of tag.  We were just so happy to have Chad home, that the only thing that mattered was that he was with us.