Tuesday, April 29, 2014

He's 3!

Thats right. The little man turned three. I have a love hate relationship with birthdays. I love how excited and happy my kids are. I love how I get to spoil them and make a big deal over them. I HATE that they are growing up. And growing up is exactly what this boy is doing.
He smart but very reserved about letting people know how smart he is. He is very inquisitive and always wants to know how things work. He will pull anything and everything apart just to se how it works. He is a little OCD at times and things have to be a certain way or it drives him crazy! All drawers, doors, and cupboards have to be shut, completely at all times. His train has to be set up in a certain order and his hands can most definitely never stay dirty or sticky for longer than 10 seconds. If he ever eats anything that drips or gets on his hands I have to give him his own washrag to clean himself off with or else we suffer the wrath of his OCD meltdowns.
He has the best poker face ever which makes him an impeccable tease. I can't believe how well he can hold a straight face.
He can be quite bossy and has some grumpy moments but for the most part he is just pleasant and enjoyable and  just too cute and fun for words.
Currently his absolute favorite show is Tom and Jerry (aka: cat and mouse) and he loves to sing Frozen songs with his sister and even humors her by playing Prince Hans or Christof sometimes.
He is an excellent big brother and plays and plays with Isaac. I love secretly listening to them playing. There is lots of chasing and growly and giggling and I love it even if growling is technically against the rules in our house.
His obsession with trains is only growing so naturally he got trains upon trains for his birthday as well as a trip to the Midwest Train Show and a train cake.

We even got him his very first real life model train! ...Actually we got two because he had to have a stream engine as well as a diesel engine of course.

Cant believe my little buddy is 3! Time just needs to slow down a little. I can't keep up.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happiness Day 21

Yesterday was a very fun, very happy, very tiring day. We decided that since the weather was nice and we didn't have anything else planned we would take a bike trip with the kids. So with two bikes and two bike trailers loaded up we went on an adventure. We peddled almost 20 miles through 3 cities with a  break for a picnic on the river side along the way. It was scary at times (Like when we were trying to cross 6 lanes of traffic without a crosswalk) and I wanted to just give up and quit peddling on multiple occasions  (like when the side walk disappeared and I was pulling a bike trailer up grassy hills) but it felt so good to accomplish and it was just fun to experience with my little family. However.. Im still recovering. Tired. So tired. But it feels so good. I love being physically exhausted like that.
The kids were apparently pretty tired too...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happiness Day 20

This morning we finally went out and let Buggy pick out a bike for reading all of her books. She was too excited to get home and try it out. It came with training wheels so at first she set out on those and I thought she would be content... which she was... for about 5 min (literally) She has never actually tried to ride a bike before so Andrew and I were hesitant to take the training wheels off but she was very persistent (and persuasive) and convinced her dad to take them off. I did the old hold-on-to-the-seat trick for a couple of tries but she was frustrated and so I thought we were taking a break. I sat down but she kept at it. About 10 minutes later the girl was riding up and down the sidewalk on her own! She never ceases to amaze me with not only how physically capable she is but also with how determined she is. I was ready to give up within seconds but she stuck with it and it paid off!
We had a pretty awesome moment last night too. We have be watching The Life of Jesus Christ videos every night for the last little while in preparation for Easter. If you haven't seen these movies I HIGHLY recommend watching them. They have brought a spirit and understanding to our home that I can't even explain. It has been SO awesome to share this with my little ones but it has also been so awesome for my own testimony as well. The man that plays Christ was truly inspired. These videos have touched me in a way that is beyond words. I know it shouldn't take a movie to do this for me and really it doesn't because I had a testimony of Christ long before I ever watched them but being able to hear someone speak those words from Christ point of view is touching to say the least.
Last night we watched the video of Christ's crucifixion. This. Broke. AnDee's. Heart. She cried and cried and was so upset that people could be so awful to Jesus. If Im being honest we kind of had a family cry session. We talked about how it was really awful what Christ went through but that He knew what was going to happen and He chose to do it anyway. That it was His choice because he knew that it was worth it. We also talked about how important it is for us to understand that He died for us and for us to remember that but that is not what we should dwell on. We should dwell on Christ's life and on the fact that he was resurrected and that He did it all so that we could be resurrected too and so that we could live with Him and our Father for eternity. It was so special to watch her start to understand. The spirit that has been in our home since then has been more than amazing and Im going to be sad when all the movies have been watched... maybe Ill find an excuse to just keep watching them. The way our home feels after we watch these movies and have these discussion is the way I want our home to always feel.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happiness Days 18 and 19

I know the point of me writing these happy moments down every day is so that I can relive them and appreciate the little things in the here and now but some days Im just too busy to sit at the computer and write them down. That being said. I do spend time, multiple times a day thinking about what I will write about, even if I don't get around to writing it until the next day. Its actually been a really good thing for me because I spend most of the day thinking things like "Oh that was fun! I will write about that!" Its helped me to just stop and recognize  the little things that make me smile and feel good about life.
Yesterdays happy moment was this.. I was having a mean mom day. I was being totally grumpy and yelling... a lot.  In a pathetic attempt to reboot I turned on the tv and told my kids I just needed a few minutes by myself. I slipped away (With the baby of course)  up to my room and just sat... quietly and tried to get a hold of my frustration and stop feeling bad for myself.
My kids don't watch a ton of tv (although if we are being honest they have had more than their fair share since we have been in Illinois.) So they treasure their tv time. While I was sitting in my room fighting a battle with myself my kids were downstairs watching Tom and Jerry (which is hands down their favorite right now) and I heard it... the best noise in the world. Full on belly laughs from my two oldest children. That noise is like magic. I don't know a person that can hear that kind of a laugh from a little kid and not smile or laugh themselves. Im so grateful my kids are resilient and forgiving of me and my mean mom days.
Later that night I gave up on all the things I "needed" to do and just sat on the couch and watched them as they played the classic drag-each-other-around-on-a-blanket game. They giggled and giggled and got a little out of control but I was able to just enjoy it and revel in the magic that is children's laughter.
 The fact that we were all hopped up on chocolate might have helped me relax a little too :)

Todays moment was this... I guess it wasn't actually today but in the last 24 hours... We signed on our house in Payson! Woot Woot! That in and of itself is a very happy thing. We no longer have to pay a mortgage on top of rent. But in order to get all the papers signed and notarized and then sent back in time, I had to drive out to Andrews work to do the signing. This was great because we got to see dad, go to lunch with him AND there was a train on the tracks that are literally feet from Dads office. We got very up-close and very personal with a real life train. And we even found our own rail road spikes or "Spikey tracks" as Pep would say and the kids got to bring them home as souvenirs. The fact that I made the trip on the crazy freeways and didn't die was also a happy moment!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happiness Day 17

So I have one more happy moment relating to Pep's birthday. We wanted to get him a toy train for his birthday, like one of the legit toy trains that old men collect. But since his birthday was on a sunday we had to wait to take him to pick it out. So last night after Andrew got home we packed up and headed out (in the snow. YUCK!) and he got to pick out not only 1 but 2 toy trains! He chose a classic black steam engine and a yellow diesel engine and yes... he really does know the difference between the two and can pick them out just by looking at them. When we got home we had a bunch of things we were "supposed" to do but of course we all got distracted by the new trains and spent some good time just hanging out as a family, playing with trains.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happiness Day 14, 15 and 16

I know this is cheating but Ill be honest. Im real tired and writing out 3 posts seems like too much right now.
The last few days have been super fun. It was Peps birthday weekend (which will gets its own post at a later time) So we had a weekend filled with trains! We went out to eat at his favorite train themed restaurant and took him to the train show. Ive never been to a train show before but it was pretty cool. I have never in my life seen so many toy trains. Like if you took all the toy trains I have seen in my entire life and put them together... they still wouldn't add up to what they had at this show. Pep had a ball. Watching the pure joy and fascination on his face is pretty much the best thing ever.

I also turned this...

In to this...

Which was not easy cause marshmallow frosting is hard to work with.

Todays happy moment happened just minutes ago. I was laying Isaac down for his nap and he apparently thought it was much too early to sleep. His solution to this was giggling. And it worked. I mean how do you get upset with a giggling baby? So we sat and giggled together until he fell asleep. I think thats how going to sleep should always be. Just giggling until you can't keep your eyes open anymore.

This picture obviously isn't of his nap today but look how darn cute he is when he sleeps!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happiness Day 13

This morning was magic. Its warm. Like really warm. Like we didn't even have to wear jackets. The kids even ran around barefoot. We took a walk to a park down the road and played and played and played. On the way home we were busy spotting all the spring time things. Birds and the ducks on the pond and flowers! Real life daffodils are blooming! This makes me so hopeful! I am so excited for summer. I hear that the "Chicago land" area is AMAZING during the summer months. Im pretty anxious to so what all the hype is about!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happiness Day 12

We spent a lot of time outside yesterday. Andrew even agreed to go running with me so we packed up the kids and killed ourselves pushing double wide strollers against the wind. It always feels good to get that kind of a workout though. I love the feeling of my body being just totally exhausted.
I think the happiest part of being outside so much was that my kids met some friends!! There is a little girl that lives two doors down from us that is about their age and a little boy around the block that is 5 and has a little sister that is 3. My poor kids weren't even sure how to interact with other children. Its been way too long since they had that opportunity. I hope that it becomes a much more frequent thing though. Its so good for all of us to have some social interaction every now and then.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happiness Day 11

I love watching my kids discover new things that they can do all by themselves. It makes them happy and it makes me happy. Recently Ike has figured out how to turn the bathtub on all by himself.  He knows he isn't supposed to do it (because Im scared he will turn it on boiling hot one day and fry himself) so he acts all sly and sneaky about it at first and then once its on or once I call his name (to tell him not to do it) he just busts up in full on giggles. Cutest. Boy. In. The. World.

And then he drinks it... naturally.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happiness Day 10

We had a BIG moment this morning. AnDee and her dad made a deal. If she passed off all 27 of the books from her first set of books that she is learning to read from, he would buy her a bike. And guess what?! She did it! She passed her last book of flawlessly this morning! Im so proud of her! She is just too darn smart and too darn cute.

In other happy news...
Andrew spoiled me (again) and bought me new running shoes! I have an old soccer injury in my left foot and my old shoes were irritating it which was making running even less fun than it usually is ;) Andrew is pretty much the best and took me out yesterday to a real life running store (never been to one) and they fitted me for these babies! I ran with them this morning and the pain is gone! Its like a miracle!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happiness Day 9

Yesterday was a good day. After watching (most) of conference (the kids were going crazy. Ill finish watching it today... don't judge me!) We got out and went for a walk. Joseph was riding his little bike and AnDee her scooter. We had been out for some time and Pep was climbing up a little grass hill to ride his bike down when off in the distance we heard it... the clicking and clacking of a train on train tracks. Joseph stopped dead (and I really do mean dead. Like he was in the process of turning his bike to go down the hill and just froze) in his tracks. Spotting the train off in the distance he simply whispered "Wow" Like it was the most incredible thing he had ever seen. Im not sure why this makes me so happy but it does. I LOVE how fascinated he is with trains. I love how he lights up when he sees them and I love that he finds so much joy in things that most people barely even notice.
When we got home from our walk Pep still had too much energy and was causing a few problems. He had Buggy's little doll stroller and was running around like a mad man slamming it in to everything, including his baby brother. He was warned that if he ran in to Isaac one more time he was going to have to put his nose on the wall  (Our form of timeout) Of course he couldn't control himself and after slamming the stroller directly in to his baby brother head he was sent to put his nose on the wall. He was less than happy and was making quite a show of how sad he was. His little brother who was crying his own tears after being run over noticed how upset Pep was and couldn't stay upset with him. He walked right over and stuck his nose right up on the wall next to Pep. Which of course caused Pep to laugh and the crying stopped. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever and made me realize that there is a reason Christ has told us to be as little children. It didn't take any time for Ike to forgive Pep. It was as natural as breathing for him to forget what had happened and bare Peps "burden" (also known as time out) with him.

Don't mind to low riding pants. The boy has no bottom.

Happiness Day 8

Im playing catch up I guess. So here is yesterdays happy moment.
Do you ever sit down to watch conference and hear EXACTLY what you need to hear? I did. As distracting as it is to have sick and whining children doing anything they can to turn your attention to them, I somehow managed to hear the one message I needed to. Im sure there was a lot that I missed. Lucky for me we recorded it so for the next few days I will dig in to that while kids are (hopefully) napping.
The massage I received was essentially this "quite worrying about all the things you feel like you "need" or "have" to do because the only things that NEED to be accomplished in our home are daily family prayer, daily family scripture study and weekly family home evening."
For some reason I struggle with these things. I pray with my children every day and we usually have a family prayer at the dinner table but we don't always kneel down together as a family and pray and usually we do our scripture study while Andrew is at work so he misses out. And if Im being honest... FHE is a rare thing in our home. I get SO wrapped up in cleaning and exercising and getting everything I "need" to do done. I have been battling with this for a long time now because I don't want to miss anything with my kids. I hate my phone cause its distracting and consuming and makes me miss little moments with my kids that wouldn't be missed if I had more self control. It was good to hear church leadership just lay it out for me when it comes to what I need to be focusing on in my home. I don't NEED to clean the kitchen but I do NEED to make sure my family is completely grounded in the simple but profoundly important gospel principles. It is always a happy moment when you hear the exact message that you need to hear. It makes you truly realize that God knows you.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Happiness Day7

 So yesterday was kind of crazy. Not because we actually did anything but because the kids have been sick and Isaac hardly lets me put him down. That and I was trying for all I was worth to watch conference, at which I was somewhat successful. The day wasn't a bad day by any means. Andrew was super spoiled and went to a cubs game. Not that Im a baseball fan or anything but I always get slightly (and secretly) jealous when he gets to do those kinds of things. The weather was warm enough to go outside for a bit (even with being sick) and it was a nice escape from the house for a few minutes. However I didn't get the chance to write about my happy moment for the day so here it is...
The moment I want to write about though, was a very selfish moment. Im kind of embarrassed to be writing about it for some reason. Like if I do something that makes me happy its not ok. For some reason I feel like ALL of my happy moments have to come from my kids or my husband but I was selfish yesterday...
I was invited to go running with a group of women in our ward. I wasn't sure I wanted to go because I am not a runner and they wanted me to get up at 7 AM! I know 7 isn't that early but like I said, my kids have been sick and as most of you know... when your kids are sick you don't get to sleep much. However I did drag myself out of bed and went out into the freezing (but sunny!) weather.
IT FELT SO GOOD! We ran 6 miles on this awesome little trail that winds through a prairie. I was scared about the distance at first because... well because I hate running if we are being honest and it has literally been years since I just went for a 6 mile run. But I did it! I actually think I could have kept going for quite some time. It was probably just some weird adrenaline reaction or something but I was ready for more! I even got to have some adult conversation with some real life adult women! And as a bonus one of the ladies brought her dog. I know its dumb but I miss my dogs (and animals in general) like mad! I loved it! It was selfish but I loved it and I hope I get to do it again.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Happiness Day 6

So my kids fight. Its hard to believe I know but its true. This is not what my happy moment for the last 24 hours is. Although there was fighting. There was also playing and giggling and being best friends.
Joseph and Ike have developed an awesome friendship lately. They love to chase and growl at each other and then giggle and giggle like its the most hilarious thing that has ever happened. Ever.
My happy moment from the last 24 hours was just listening from another room to little boy giggles for hours. They have really started to love playing together now that Ike is getting a bit bigger. Ike especially loves to wait for Pep to lie on the ground and then he will promptly walk straight up to him, turn around and sit directly on his face. Which of course causes another round of hysterical laughter. It is the best sound ever and it makes me extremely happy.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Happiness Day 5

Yesterday was a good day. Andrew stayed home from work and we FINALLY went and got our Illinois drivers licenses. That in and of itself wasn't a real happy moment (dragging 3 children to the dmv while you take a written test is never real fun) but getting it done was such a relief and the fact that Andrew was gonna spend the rest of the day with us was definitely a happy thing. Most of the day was just plain good. We just chilled and hung out together.
I woke up in the middle of the night to a thunderstorm. I LOVE thunderstorms and this one did not disappoint. It was super fun to just relax and listen to the rain... even if it was at 2 A.M. it still made me happy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Happiness day 4

AnDee wasn't the only one who was saving her money. Pep was working hard (sometimes) to earn a few bucks himself. Bet you can't guess what he was saving for?! A train! Weird I know. Its not like he doesn't have 100's of them or he doesn't obsess over them. In reality I actually love that he loves trains cause I love them too. When I was a kid I always wanted to either be a vet or a train conductor... I still want to be both of those things. Who am I kidding?
So I got to take the little man on a date last night which is always fun. Its so enjoyable to have one on one time with your kids where you can just listen to them and focus on all the cute and amazing things they do and say. He talked my ear off but since he was the only one I had to pay attention to I loved it instead of feeling overwhelmed by it. He is clever and smart and funny and a total tease.
It was a blast to just hang out with him and watch him explore all the toys/trains at the toy store. He seriously is the coolest kid ever!
He was a little confused by the whole money thing. He put his little bag of money up on the counter but on his way out he said "Oh mom! Wheres my money?!" so I explained that we had to give it to the store so that we could have the train. To which he replied "yeah.. but where is my money?" I don't think he quite gets it but he quickly forgot about the money and zeroed in on the train.
The train has already ran down one set of batteries. It is loved.
And yes... he has been wearing his engineer hat and pants all day. He makes me happy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happiness day 3

I know this is probably boring news but its pretty much the best thing in the world for our family. We got to go outside 2 days in a row!! Not only that but it was ABOVE 60 degrees! This is exponentially warmer than it has been at any any given point since we moved here. The wind was blowing like crazy but it didn't matter cause it was warm!! Being outside makes my kids so much more pleasant and it makes me a completely different person. Happy. Much much more happy. The best part is that there were a bunch of other people outside in the courtyard with us but it didn't stop AnDee from running around and singing at the top of her lungs. There was a car full of teenagers sitting across the street waiting for a friend and they had their windows down and they pretty much thought her singing was the best thing ever. Pretty sure she just started a fan base.
and yes... that is Buggy (fashionably dressed of course) running around picking up garbage and singing.

The other happy moment I had in the last 24 hours was this...

(Don't mind that his name is "Fart" Its a term of endearment  I assure you.) This is from my brother Caleb. He is talking about coming out here and visiting. This is a big deal. You see, Caleb and I used to be super close. Like I had to approve a girl before he was aloud to date her kind of close. But things changed quite a few years ago and although we haven't had issues with each other by any means our relationship just fizzled out and it got to the point where we only saw/talked to each other about 2 or 3 times a year and generally speaking our conversations didn't go much beyond soccer. Well about a month ago he kind of just showed up again and I have been hearing from him quite often so when he started talking about coming out I was super excited and then to have him just kind of acknowledge the fact that he misses the relationship we used to have... it made me tear up a little to be honest. I know thats super dorky and I hope he never reads this cause he will never let me live it down but I have missed him terribly and Im so excited to have him back in my life a little bit! Im REALLY hoping we get to play soccer together. We have never played soccer together other than in the back yard kicking the ball at the dog kennel until it had a permanent bend in it. I was waiting until I was old enough to play in  adult leagues with him but by the time I was old enough he had moved up to Logan and we were kind of going in different directions so Im REALLY hoping to find some games we can drop in on while he is here!