Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Day

I'm always glad when Mother's Day rolls around. Well, to be honest, I often greet its arrival with a bit of trepidation, hoping that the kids will be good and I won't feel gypped. Ha! This year, I'm happy to say I didn't feel gypped. 

Big gave these coupons to me a few days early-- he couldn't wait. They seem a little bit like they could be from Rophone…

Rubbing my body with "loshen" for 50 minutes seems like I would end up pretty slippery. Although, my feet are pretty dry so I think I'll ask him if we can break up the time into smaller increments and he can put lotion on the parts of my body that don't require clothing removal. Same with the 46 minute "musushe". My feet have been cramping up a little lately and could use a good massage.

I think my favorite part about Mother's Day is always not having to worry about getting the kids fed. Rophone ordered some extra pizza for Big's party on Saturday, so lunch was a breeze. After lunch, Rophone enlisted Ginger and Edith to help him wrap gifts. I love that Rophone is such a great researcher-- he's able to find such good deals that I end up getting more than I expect.

I opened the cards from the 3 middle kids first. They were all so sweet and made me feel loved. Big didn't sign his, but I recognize his writing.

So sweet, see? I love that Bud signed his card "sincerely" so I know he really means what he wrote.

I was glad to get one from Ginger, too. 

I know that if Pen hadn't been studying for an AP test and someone had remembered to help Edith that I would have gotten cards from them, too. 

Edith proudly delivered the gifts to me one by one so I could open them as I sat on the couch. I'm lucky that Rophone has such good taste in clothes and he knows just what I like. Sometimes even more than I do!

Edith really wanted to help me open my last gift, her favorite because it was wrapped in two different patterned papers. I was more than happy to hold her on my lap so she could give me a hand.

We were both pretty excited to get the box open.

I was so happy to see the flip flops inside the box. I had to go without a pair last summer and my feet just about died from suffocation. I like my tootsies to be free (and un-smelly!) when it's hot. 

I admit that I gave Rophone a little help with the dinner so I could have what I really wanted (and now he should have the skills to do it himself another time), but I didn't have to do any dishes so I'm cool with it. 

It really was a wonderful Mother's Day. Thanks for helping me feel so loved and appreciated, family! I love you!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Big Seven

Big turned seven yesterday. The wait between Bud's birthday and his feels like an eternity to him, I can tell, so I think we were all happy when it finally arrived. I was feeling a little stressed, hoping that I could get the cake made and that the weather would hold for the outdoor party for Big and his friends. 

The kids were having more than a few disagreements in the morning, and Rophone had taken Ginger to play in her championship soccer game (I was sorry to miss it, and they placed 2nd, quite happily), but I still managed to get the cake baked. Phew.

After lunch we walked down to the park for Big's party. Let me tell you, having a party at the park was the best idea I've had in a long time. We just took a frisbee, some balls and cones… instant sports party for a group of 7 year old boys. Waaay better than having tons of inside-the-house chaos. Especially with how our house is halfway packed up right now. I was happy that the weather held, only sprinkling on us for a few minutes. 

I wish I would have taken some pictures of his friend party, but I didn't. Let me just tell you that the way they were all looking at Big as he read the nice cards his friends wrote was priceless. A good bunch of kids.

We got home from the friend party and I got ready for the evening's family party. My sister, Art, joined us with her family and it was a lot of fun. 

I'm a pretty good cook, and it makes me happy when my kids request something they love and I make it for their birthday dinner, but it made me super happy that Big requested pizza. Less work for me on a busy day? I'll take it.

After dinner Big got to open his presents. I love the pictures I got of when he opened his first gift. We were trying to explain to Big and his little cousin how cool the "Simon and Simon" IROC-Z Camaro is and the looks on their faces cracked me up. Guess you had to live through '80s TV to recognize its true awesomeness.

 Big was super excited to receive some books and superhero action figures from his Grandma. 

Rophone jokingly told Big that one of his presents didn't have anything in it. I guess Big believed him, because when he opened this really light gift he sang a funny song about receiving an Amazon box and then set it aside without opening it. It was super funny. We had to convince him that there was really something inside the box and that he should open it. I think he was happier with the Super Soaker that was inside than he was with just the box.

This picture of Big's cousin makes me laugh, too. Birthdays aren't as exciting when they're not your own. Ha! Big opened this accessory before he opened the logging truck they go with. "Logs? Why did I get logs?" So funny.

Needless to say, Big was super happy to open the logging truck that the logs are intended for. 

When all the presents were opened, it was time for cake. 

Thinking of a wish can be tough business.

Happy Birthday, Big! We love you!

Between Birthdays

Before I post about what went on for Big's birthday, I need to post about has gone on since Bud's birthday. We didn't do terribly much, other than live life, but there are a few things that deserve mention.

We took the two youngest on a hike up the canyon last Sunday. They were the only two takers on the activity (the other kids missed out, I tell you), and it was really weird to be doing stuff with only two kids. Kind of easy comparatively. I mean, I've done stuff with only two kids before, but not usually with Rophone along. Two parents with two kids is nice. 

Anyway, the hike was actually a series of little explorations as we drove the canyon. The first was a little nature hike. Big loved reading the information signs that were posted along the trail. He really wanted to climb a little rockslide next to the trail…until he read about the great basin rattlesnake that might be hiding among the rocks. No urge to stray from the trail after that!

We found another little trail by the creek. We're definitely going to go back soon with the other kids and have a picnic at one of the nearby tables. Just a nice, relaxing place to be.

Later in the week it was just me and Edith up to our normal-ish stuff again. We had to run to the store and couldn't resist buying some sidewalk chalk.

She got a balloon for being rude/shy to a store clerk, as a reward for not talking to strangers, he said. Edith insisted that the balloon needed to go along with her babies on our walk for some fresh air. Here she is in a pouting stance, because her balloon isn't cooperating the way wants it to due to the wind. We ended up tying it to the railing so it could still have some fresh air while we went on our walk.

On Friday, I was able to get together with some friends that I've known for ages (39 or so years for one, 36 or so for the other). It's so nice to be able to get together with people who, even though you haven't really seen each other much, it is still easy to be together and talk like no time has passed. It was a ton of fun. Luckily I brought Rophone along so he could play photographer.

It was a nice week, leading into a crazy Saturday and the craziness that is to come over the next few weeks preparing to move. Can't wait!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Nine and Feeling Fine!

Amazingly enough, Bud is 9! I know I say this every time one of my kids celebrates a birthday, but I'm always shocked at how old they're getting and how fast they're doing it. Bud was so excited for his birthday. He's like me-- we just love the whole celebration thing. 

I didn't take pictures of the decorations (I know, shocker!), but I was happy that two of the balloons I picked out with him in mind were his favorites-- a silver one and a globe. Even though the decorations are always basically the same, I'm trying to be better about finding something to make it feel more uniquely them.

Bud had a great day at school, I think. His teacher gave him a few extra privileges and it's always nice to be surrounded by friends who wish you a Happy Birthday. I was always kind of bummed when I was a kid that my birthday was during the summer because I missed all of that. 

After school Bud got to go to piano lessons. I say 'got to' because he loves it so much. He loves to learn the piano, especially with the teacher he has now. She rocks. I love that Bud still wanted to do it today.

When he got home from lessons he rode his bike around for a bit while he waited for his requested dinner of fajitas to be ready. Bud got the bike as pretty much his only present this year. We took him the other day to pick it out and I purchased it yesterday afternoon so he could have it for his birthday today. I was afraid that letting him know about it would make his birthday kind of anti-climactic, but this doesn't look like a kid who's let down to me:

I'd be stoked if I got a bike like that, too. (Don't worry, he's not riding without his helmet on. Just posing.) :)

Dinner was fantastic (if I do say so, myself). Bud told me that it was, too. He kept exclaiming, "This dinner is amazing, Mom!" Thanks, Bud. We've decided that we need to make fajitas once a month. Bud was totally on board with the idea, of course. Who wouldn't want to have their favorite food more often?

Bud opened up his one other gift after dinner-- a pair of shorts from his Grandma. They're his favorite kind, so he was super happy to see them in the box. I've got them in the wash right now, in fact, so he can wear them tomorrow. 

It was finally time for cake and ice cream. The kids know what the cake tastes like so they were super anxious to get to the part of the evening where they get to eat it. I made the same sour cream chocolate cake that they (seem to always) request and I frosted it with a stabilized whipping cream that had raspberries folded into it. Not the prettiest thing in the world, but mighty tasty.

I love this little smirk on Bud's face. It is such his personality (that people hardly ever get to see).

This is the Bud he usually presents to the outside world (cutie pie):

So, if you've been following my blog for any length of time (I think there may be one of you left), you may remember that Bud has never (not once!) been successful at blowing his candles out in one try. Not even close. I usually have a long string of blowing attempts to pick from when it comes time to put a blog post together. Not this time!! For the first time, Bud did it in one blow! And quickly, too. I was lucky to capture it.

His lips started doing this…

and then he suddenly blew, hard, straight down the middle with absolutely no side-to-side movement of his head. I mean, it looks like there's absolutely no way the candles on the side are going out…

…but then they were. Out. Every single one. 

Woah! What just happened? HOW did that just happen??? You did it, Bud! Happy Birthday!  We have loved calling you ours for 9 years and we can't wait to see what year ten brings!