Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm a Sucker for Christmas Lights

I love looking at Christmas lights, even if it means walking around the botanical gardens in freezing cold temperatures while your children have discovered that their favorite part of the night (even more than Santa) is rolling down the hill and collecting dead grass all over their hair and clothing. Good thing the Johnsons and Browns had the exact same sentiments. The moms were all oohing and aahing, probably to a level of annoyance! It was so beautiful. I also met another Lyric for the first time, as her children discovered that rolling down the hill was more fun than Santa too! Interestingly, her last name is Smith (which is my maiden name of course).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Parenting payoff

You always hear older parents say the payoff for all that blood, sweat and tears offered as parents will present itself eventually. I am starting to understand that a little bit. Maxwell has made me really proud several times the last few months. The kind of proud that is a little bit of parent payoff! I have always hoped he would become like Steve, who happens to be one of the most thoughtful and kind people I know, and I see little signs of that happening. Max went through a stage of side semi-hugs when he would see grandmas, grandpas, aunt and uncles. He has officially outgrown that stage and is now a big squishy hugger! When I watch him on the basketball court he is the first to high five his teammate who made a good play, especially if they don't normally get that kind of attention. His 4th grade teacher told us that Max is the All American kid. He said that he has never seen Max treat anyone unkindly. And Max is his favorite kid in the class to tease because he can laugh at himself, which I actually think he gets from me. I was forced to learn this because I am such an easy target! During Thanksgiving dinner, my mother-in-law invited her good friend, Anne, to join us because she didn't have anyone else to celebrate with. Anne is a huge sports fan and couldn't miss out on watching the Dallas Cowboys game after dinner. Max plopped right down next to her and cuddled up to her for the entirety of the game. They were teasing each other and talking football stats and just really enjoying each other, even as all the other cousins were running amok. It was a really tender thing to watch. Anne passed away last Sunday of a sudden heart attack, and as I spoke with Pat about my last memory of her with Max, Pat said that Anne had told her several times that she couldn't believe how sweet Max was, especially as a 9 year old boy. She shared with Pat how much she had loved that afternoon. He has given some really thoughtful answers to questions we ask during scripture study. One day we were talking about miracles and we asked the kids to tell us of a miracle they could think of. Max told about the wicked man, Saul, changing and becoming the righteous man, Paul. That is a miracle, but not the kind we typically think of. I won't even apologize for my overindulgent bragging because it is things like this that make it all worth it. Now I'm getting it!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Capri-isms (some borrowed from siblings)

I must record these Capri-isms before I forget them, because they should provide some good laughs for many more years to come!

At the beginning of every prayer Capri says, regardless of whether it is at mealtime or not, is a statement similar to one many adults use..."please bless this food to nourish and strengthen our bodies", and honestly I've never paid really close attention to it...until this morning. I now know what she is saying, and I had to hold the laughter in. "Please bless this food so it won't break our bodies."

This next Capri-ism actually started with Maxwell and all three of my kids still say it to this day. The only time the word privacy is ever used in our home is in regards to the bathroom, which will help you understand how "private seat" is used in place of "privacy".

I love listening to children sing songs, because often times the lyrics are new and improved. One of my favorite lyrical changes made by Capri is to the Primary song "I Love to See the Temple". The first verse ends with "this is our sacred duty", but Capri sings, "this is our secret beauty". True too!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tackle Football...Really?

Yup...really. Maxwell played tackle football for the first time this year. His neck looked skinnier than ever when he was in full uniform! He played on the Stryker Orthopedic team again, and they went undefeated again. They manhandled every other team. I can't believe I'm using the word manhandled in the same sentence as 4th grade football! Max (#61) mostly played cornerback and learned the position quite well. He had some great tackles and two interceptions. Toward the end of the season the coach decided to mix things up a bit, which I think is pretty important in 4th grade football, so Max was able to play quarterback a little bit and had several good runs. They got to play on the Boise State blue turf during their opening scrimmage, which was pretty exciting. I also loved watching Max's face as he would come through the tunnel created by the fans after each game. I wish this tradition would continue on through high school, because it gives me an opportunity to slap Max's bootie and see a huge smile on that adorable, sweaty face! The Stryker team also had the best, and biggest, coaching staff, complete with matching shirts and one really hot guy named Steve!

A Weekend With Mulligan

In Sophie's kindergarten class each child had a turn taking Mulligan the Monkey home for the weekend and then were to write about it in Mulligan's journal. I think it is such a clever idea. We decided to take Mulligan to Pinnacle Sports Grill for dinner. Well actually, Max decided we were going to Pinnacle and the rest of us, including Mulligan, were just along for the ride! This is Maxwell's favorite restaurant, not because of the food, but because of the massive screens all over the restaurant that play a continuous stream of sports, which equals Max Heaven! Notice how Max's body is turned away from the family in the picture of him. He was facing the big screen, not the good company he was with! This was our first trip to this restaurant, and we have returned one more time on Maxwell's birthday, but the food snob in me has decided that Pinnacle is a no-go from now on, except MAYBE on June 1st (Max's birthday), if he's really good.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sun Valley - A Summer Favorite!

Have I mentioned that we LOVE Sun Valley in the summertime? I think I have a post exactly like this one each year, because it never changes for us. We never love it less! Especially when we are with the cousins. A few things to note that might be different from last year's post:

1. Capri loved the Hailey 4th of July Parade more than anyone else. By the time all the other kids were bored and had found a bit of shade to sit under while chowing on parade candy, Capri was still totally entertained. She continued waving at every float, horse rider, street sweeper, pooper scooper, not even realizing that she was a lone two year old on a busy street!

2. We went to the rodeo! The adults loved it. The older kids were semi-entertained. Capri played Uncle Mike's iphone the whole time...and she got sunscreen in her eyes. Not the hit for her!

3. Look at Sophie's face in the picture of our family under the shade of a tree in our red, white and blue attire. Notice how much more red it is than everyone else's? Scary moment for Mommy. We were at a community root beer float feed after the parade. A very populated root beer float feed, because it's free! We got our floats and all sat down under a tree. We counted kids and realized Sophie was missing. Not too disturbing yet because Sophie is ultra responsible. She could have been cleaning up a spill made by someone, she could have been picking up litter, any number of things! All four of the adults canvassed the area and could not find her, at which point I began to panic. I cannot believe I'm admitting this, but I actually said a prayer that went something like this, "Heavenly Father, please help me find Sophie. She is the one I really cannot live without." Now I love all my children equally. I really do. And I have favorite things about each one. That being said, Sophie is my biggest helper. She is my sanity sometimes. She is more responsible than me...truly! There is a happy ending of course. Thankfully, Uncle Mike thought to check the van that was parked down the street. Sophie was sitting in there crying...and baking. Apparently she thought we were getting our floats and heading back to the van. She had been sitting in the van for 20 minutes or so in near 100 degree heat. Hence the flushed face. Boy was I happy to see that flushed face!

Valentine's Day with the masses!

For some reason we always spend Valentine's Day with friends! I've never really thought about it until writing this post, but I guess there's really no romance in that, is there?!! In Arizona we had the tradition of hosting a Valentine's Party with a bunch of couples, and the best part about it was the guys were totally in charge. We ate pretty gourmet because they would pull out all the stops. I guess watching my man cook is pretty romantic! Watching his friends cook...not so much, but still impressive! This year we joined several of the most fun couples we know and ate dinner at my favorite restaurant in Boise, Barbacoa. Their website slogan is, "Stimulate your Senses, Elevate Your Mind". Pretty sexy right? And actually very true. The food is absolutely amazing and the decor is swanky. It is such a hip place that I don't really feel like I belong, and I don't feel like that often. I saw Sam and Hollie there, and told Hollie how I was feeling, and she said, "you don't belong here...your wet wipes are totally sticking out of the top of your purse"!

Truth in Reporting!

Steve and I were watching the news last night and heard the most honest statement ever spoken by a weatherman..."the chance of fog tomorrow is a definite maybe." He quickly corrected himself by saying, "I mean a definite possibility", but not before Steve and I caught it and had a good laugh!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stop Lookin' At My Mom

Have you tuned in to the X-Factor yet? It is Simon Cowell's new show that is very similar to American Idol, but has some differences that I am loving. If the two female judges (who do an excellent job) would wear more coverage on their upper halves, I would love it even more! I let Sophie watch it with me, and I feel like I have to repeat myself several times each episode and say to her, "that's not modest". This always makes me feel like I'm turning into my Dad, because whenever there is a swear word in a movie we are watching together, (and yes, he still does this even though I'm 36) he says, "that's not nice". It has become a family joke, and all the son and daughter in-laws love to pipe in with it too! I have a feeling I'm headed down the same path of being the butt of many jokes! Anyways...the reason for this post is to share with you our new favorite song, which is rapped by a 14 year old contestant on the X-Factor. Max sings it all the time and he wants a shirt just like the "Astronomical Kid" that says "Stop Lookin' at My Mom". That's my boy!! Check it out:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mormon Pilgrimage

It's not an official pilgrimage that Mormons are required to make, but it kind of feels like it should be. I feel a little more complete after visiting Temple Square, This is The Place Heritage Park and a 24th of July (Pioneer) Day Parade in small town Utah with my hubby and kids! Highlights of the trip in no particular order:

1. Panning for gold at Heritage Park.

2. The fish rodeo at Spanish Fork Pioneer Days, which lasted about 2 minutes, which is also how long the fish lived after being caught!

3. Meeting Cosmo at Spanish Fork Pioneer Days. Ahhh...memories! This is when I start singing the BYU fight song.

4. Lagoon with the Romneys...anything with the Romneys would make this list! This is one reunion that needs to happen more often.

5. Spending some quality time with O'Brien cousins and Las Vegas Smiths. FYI: Spanish Fork Pioneer Days rocks!! It's a weekend long party...especially with the cousins!

6. Swimming at the dinky, muggy, chloriney hotel pool. The kids chose this over going to a big outdoor water park. Hey, Steve and I got to chill on comfy chairs and not worry about the crowds as we had the pool all to ourselves.

7. Touring the conference center...unbelievable.

8. Walking the grounds of Temple Square...magnificent.

9. Eating at In-n-Out...I added this one for Steve, but I think I concur!

10. 5 hour energy drinks to keep Steve awake as he drives so I can read or snooze or zone out without worrying about my narcoleptic hubby!