Jared was in Virginia for meetings from Tuesday night until Saturday this last week. It was great for him to have some time with his sister Michelle who lives in DC and to be away from the daily trucking issues to think about the bigger picture of his company. We all missed him like crazy but we did OK and I scheduled in a lot of fun stuff so I could stay sane in his absence - did visiting teaching, did a crazy clothes-shopping trip with three little kids in tow (I was wearing clothes with holes in them - getting pretty bad!), had a fun girls' night in with a couple friends, had the young women come here for our Wed night activity... Even though it's always hard and sometimes rather disastrous to plan things or get out of the house with so many little kids, it beats the alternative of all of us going crazy from staying in and being on our own too much! The weather's getting better so that makes everything better and I've been able to take the kids on walks and enjoy some sunshine. Sunshine does wonders for me. We're so spoiled here that a few weeks of really cold weather and a little snow and ice can really throw a wrench in the works.
I haven't been writing down and capturing the cute and funny things the kids do and say very much lately - there are so many little things that happen every single day and Jared and I lay in bed talking about them before going to sleep at night - but then I promptly forget them. So here's an attempt to grab a few moments with these cute kids lately.
The other night, I’d just put the twins to bed then heard sirens out on Snow Canyon Parkway. The twins were talking excitedly about what they’d just heard and I went in there to settle them down. I agreed with them that it was very cool that we just heard what they were sure was a fire truck and reassured them that everything was fine and they should go to sleep.
Silas, in the cutest little concerned voice: “But Mommy, what if da fiderfiders have pwoblems wif der ladder? Can I help dem?”
The twins are totally into making a "magic school bus" (from the show that they love to watch with the big boys) several times a day out of all the stools from the bar and chairs from the dining table. Sometimes they make it out of all the cushions from the couches in the living room. So the whole upstairs often looks like a tornado hit it lately. I love hearing them talking with each other: "Shu we go on a field trip on da magic skoo bus?" "Let's go!" "where shu we go?" "brrmmmm" "let's bring pears!" "yeah!!!!" Then I have to go intervene on the loading up of real food onto the bus.
Eliza’s SO excited about her birthday party this week. She’s been planning it for about a month now, assigning different duties to different family members (“Daddy, you’ll pick up the balloons and the crowns from Burger King, right? On your way home from work, right? And you won’t forget, right?”) and having me make lists of the things we're going to need. Luckily she only has a handful of good friends so her elaborate ideas should work out fine for a small group.
Another major focus for her lately has been conducting a school that she dubbed “Baby School: Teach My Babies” where she teaches the twins about colors and numbers and “reads” them some favorite books and helps them learn to “draw” pictures. She is SO cute about it – sounds like a top-notch preschool teacher as she explains things to them with a great mixture of little-kid words and more grown-up terms and they eat it up - "Come on, Ollie buddy, come join us for reading now... Great job, Si! You're getting to be quite an artist!" They come running in to me to show me their latest scribbled picture that they’ve completed with Liza’s help and they have the cutest little proud looks on their faces. Eliza does get quite put out when they aren’t totally cooperative with her curriculum and sometimes gets pretty firm with them – but generally she’s a great little teacher and keeps things moving at a nice clip so they’re quite willing students. A few minutes ago, she was in there teaching them "Ribbons" (when she explained what this was and demonstrated, I realized she means "rhythms" - she had them clapping the little plastic bowls from Liza's tea set together and I turned on some music for them which was a big hit). Oh, she just got firm on the drawing project they're now doing - Liza: "Si, does that look like a leg?" Si: "yes!" Liza: "No, it does NOT. Here let me help you." Funny funny girl.One last thing on Eliza - her Joy School goal for this unit on goal-striving is to decorate my room. Not sure where she got it from - but a few times a week, she gets out a bunch of ribbons and quite artistically decorates my bed and the lamps by our bed and sometimes other things in the room as well. She usually also places a carefully colored page from a coloring book or one of her own original drawings on the bed. I don't know where she got the idea for this goal but she's been very diligent about it!
Ashton told me the details of his theory of how certain specific incidents in Spiderman III came to pass on the way home from school today – while I was trying to field questions and issues raised by the many other kids in the car (I had Ana and Olivia as well as my kids). Ashton often has very involved things he wants to explain to me in a very animated way right when I really can’t give him my attention. But I do love seeing glimpses of how his very busy mind works and marveling at the theories and ideas that are always springing up in there. I often wish so much that I had more time to really listen to him. I need to do more Mommy Dates with him and find ways to spend more one-on-one time with him. I know it won’t be forever that he really wants to talk to me about all his ideas and thoughts.
I've had so much fun reading books to Isaac's class every Tuesday afternoon and seeing him in action with his friends. I get lots of hugs from many of these cute little 1st graders when I enter the classroom and lots of interesting comments and questions throughout the stories that I read. But my favorite part is the proud look on Isaac's face when he sees me arrive and his smiles at me whenever I look at him while I'm reading. He's so cute with his friends and his favorite thing to do at recess lately is to play house with his many girl friends.
Isaac's been working so hard to read enough books to earn a reading lamp to go on his bedside table. He finally finished the goal this week and is SO proud of his new lamp. He also lost his second tooth this week (while he was at school - the day after I read the class a story about a kid loosing a tooth at school - very cool) and after 3 days, the tooth fairy finally showed up. Isaac was thrilled with the money and ice cream coupon from the tooth fairy and totally forgiving of the tooth fairy for being so late. He's always totally forgiving of everyone.
One last thing - last week we took the kids to the circus. It was a "total red-neck circus" as my friend described it - done in a rodeo barn at the fairgrounds, very interesting assortment of attendees, pretty decent and varied acts with some pretty cheesy costumes. It was pretty funny to see the same people coming out to do different things with the announcer calling them something different each time - "And here are the amazing Rodriegez brothers" and next time the same people come out in different costumes "And now - the fabulous Marvel duo!" The kids were all totally into it - except Silas who was mostly into doing kamakaze stunts on the bleachers. The kids loved the dancing dogs, stunt horses, clowns (they were the worst in my opinion), acrobats (they were really pretty darn good) - but their favorite (and mine) were the three elephants who could stand on two legs and walk around and do lots of pretty amazing feats. Can't beat the circus for a good family outing complete with great people-watching!
That's it from us for that last couple weeks.