Sunday, June 29, 2008

Disney Mom

I often give Gary a hard time about coming home from his fires and becoming Disney Dad. You know, the dad that does all the cool stuff with the kids. He takes them to the movie while I stay home with the baby. He takes them to shoot the BB gun while I stay home with the baby. He takes them to get the picture. Gary isn't just a Disney Dad. He does discipline and help around the house and do so many things I don't even give him credit for. Anyway, this summer I've been trying to do more enjoyable things with the boys and not just chores and homework and cooking. This week we came to Utah to spend some time with family and have a bit of a summer vacation while Gary is off fighting fires. We got here late Thursday night and Friday was spent getting the boys ready for the Lehi Roundup Rodeo. It was a blast! The boys looked like little cowboys and loved every minute of it. Saturday we went to Cherry Hill water park in Farmington and had so much fun. We all ended up a bit sunburned even with all the sunscreen we thought we put on. Grandma, Aunt Sunnie, Uncle Brandon and cousins Connor and Austin came with us. Dylan stayed home with Aunt Amy and Uncle Kevin for the rodeo and Cherry Hill so I think everyone got spoiled. After Cherry Hill we had to hurry and get ready for Tom's birthday cake and ice cream party. Today we are taking it easy - or at least that was the plan. We decided to go for a bit of a hike through the gully behind Grandma's house. I put Dylan on my back and Grandma carried enough water for us and off we went. About 2 1/2 miles later we made it back. Did I mention it is almost 100 degrees here again today? Needless to say, we are one TIRED bunch of tourists today. I've decided it's really hard work being a Disney Mom. I may need to go back to being a regular mom soon before I collapse. I have one more week of Disney Mom though. We don't go home until after the 4th of July. We have the zoo, swimming pool, Tom's new inflatable slip and slide, fireworks, baseball game..........I'm getting tired just thinking about all the fun we are going to have this coming week! We're taking lots of pictures and will post them when we have a chance to hit the photo lab.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


When Tom was born, two other Larson grandchildren were born within six months. When Logan was born, the same families had children within three months. The kids are lucky that they have cousins so close in age that we get to see every so often. This week we get to spend some time with my brother Ryan's boys, Connor and Austin. Connor is six months older than Tom and Austin is just a month older than Logan. The boys have gotten along great ever since they were born. I honestly don't remember them ever fighting about anything. When they get together, their imaginations feed off of each other and they can play for hours. Today we spent the day at Sunnie and Brandon's because she has Connor and Austin staying for the week. We traded Tom for Austin tonight and tomorrow we are all meeting up again for the zoo in Idaho Falls. It is so much fun to have the boys get together. Ethan thinks he is the same age as all of them and they are patient as he tries to keep up. Dylan was less patient when I wouldn't let him just go anywhere and everywhere. The kid is in high gear lately. I'll post some pictures of the zoo soon I hope.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


They wanted to be "blue Indians." How could I refuse. They had so much fun painting themselves, each other, the sidewalk.......They were still a bit blue today after two very long baths scrubbing every inch.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pocket Knives and Pecking Order

Tom attended his first Cub Scout Day Camp yesterday. I have to say that it was a bit like the first day of Kindergarten for me. I drove some of the boys and once they were all checked in, I had a hard time leaving. They were shooting BB guns, doing archery, playing games, and all sorts of other boy things. Usually I'm not too paranoid about things - at least I don't think I am - but for some reason I wasn't sure I should leave him all day. What if he got sun burned even though I slathered him with sun screen and packed more for the scout leaders to spray everyone down again at lunch. What if a mosquito ate him for lunch? (For those of you who think I'm crazy here, he's allergic to mosquitoes and swells up HUGE every time he gets bitten and I end up in Urgent Care making sure the swelling will go down.) Anyway, I was a bit nervous as I drove away but I needed to get to Sunnie's to pick up Ethan.

Anyway. At Day Camp they have a little store of sorts where the boys can buy things like candy, t-shirts, and the coveted pocket knives. Tom spent his whole $5 on the biggest and best pocket knife they had I think. It is like a mini-gerber tool and even comes with it's own case that can hook onto his belt. I have heard more about the functions of this knife in the last 12 hours than I ever thought possible! Did you know you can kill a spider with one of the features? He asked if I wanted to use it to go into the food storage room because it has a VERY VERY VERY small flashlight on it. There are pliers, knives, screwdriver, get the idea. He's in heaven.

Now on to the pecking order portion of the post. Ethan and Logan are brothers that either get along great (very seldom) or fight over everything. They both want to be in charge. I'm pretty sure they both want to be an only child but then again it they were the only child they wouldn't have anyone to do their bidding. Ethan's been home less than 24 hours and already those two are at it. I know they love each other and really do enjoy each other's company at times but man, they can go the rounds! Even with all the fighting it is great to have Ethan home again. Now if Gary will just make it back from his fire soon, we can all be together again. There's nothing quite like having your whole family home together.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Farr's Ice Cream Shop

I took the boys to Farr's ice cream shop tonight because it isn't somewhere we can go when Ethan is with us (lactose free boy and all). Here's how the conversation went with Logan:

Logan: "What flavors do they have?"

Me: "They have lots of flavors. Do you want me to read you the list or do you want to just look at them through the glass and then pick."

Logan: "I'll look through the glass and then I want you to read me the list."

So he looked then I started reading and he cut me off after about three flavors because he had already decided on Playdough. It's very colorful and a great flavor for kids. Tom chose the same flavor. Our conversation on the way home was not what I had expected.

Logan: "This taste-ez yucky. It taste-ez just like playdough. Can I get a different one?"

Me: "Not this time. Do you want me to throw it away when we get to the store?"

Logan: "Will I get another one?"

Me: "Nope."

Logan: "Then no. I'll just eat this one."

After he finished his, he ate the rest of Dylan's Raspberry Cheesecake flavor too. The kid LOVES ice cream!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I need to start this post with a confession. I am not a game playing mom. I hate Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Go Fish, pretty much any preschool game. So, even though we have most of them, we seldom play them. I think I may have some of my Grandpa Larson in me - Gary will say a bit more than some probably. If I am going to play a card game or board game, I am going to play to win. Tom and Logan are now old enough to start playing some card games and board games but Ethan is still a bit young so we still don't play that often. With Ethan being gone this week, I've tried to do things that we normally don't do.

That said, earlier in the week I picked up Uno from Walmart and we've just been waiting for a night to play. Tonight was the night. We sat down and cracked open the new decks. I went over a brief description and we started to play. Boy it was hard not to say, "What do you mean you have to draw!?! I can see a yellow and a three in your hand from here!" As the game went on though, they became better and better at figuring things out. Since I am a competitive card player, I didn't let them win. I won the first two games with Logan coming in second and Tom learning how to be a good sport. It isn't easy for him to lose either but we had a good talk about sportsmanship and enjoying the game. The last game Logan won so it was down to Tom and me. Let's just say Tom came in second the last game. It was fun to play an actual game with the boys.

Mom sent me some pictures of Ethan and his cousin Austin at Wheeler Farm. He's been having a great time in Utah but I am ready to have my little man home.

The boys and their Grandma! My guess is the boys are trying to get Grandma's nice white shirt as dirty as possible!

When you gotta go........Doesn't he have the cutest little bum?

Grandma said the water was like ice but Ethan loved playing in it.

Picnic time! Thanks Grandma for all the fun adventures with Ethan!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Playing Hard

Tonight Tom and Logan and I did something that is usually reserved for just Gary and his boys. We went to the movies. My friend took Dylan for me (thanks again Leslie!) and we headed off to the theater. After two kids combo and one big kid combo for me, we headed into the movie. There were two other families in there so there were PLENTY of good seats left. Logan was in front so he got to pick where we sat. After we had passed the halfway point, I told him to just find a good row. It took some convincing but we got out of the front row even though that seems to be the best seat in the house when you are six and eight. It was really fun to have a night out with two of my biggest boys. We saw the movie Nim's Island and it was pretty good. I decided that I need to take more opportunities to just have fun with the kids this summer. It seems like it is too easy to get busy doing all the things grown-ups need to do and not have enough time to do the fun things kids need to do with their parents. Tomorrow I really just need a day at home though so it looks like a fight-to-the-death UNO game is in our immediate future. I'm trying to do all the things that are a bit hard for Ethan to do since he is at Grandma's still - yes, I am missing him like crazy now especially since Aunt Amy posted all these great pictures of him on her blog! - and it is giving Tom and Logan and I a chance to bond over things we can all enjoy. I know that for me at least, all this hard playing is EXHAUSTING!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Beginning of Fire Season

Gary got his first fire call-out today and is headed south to Escalante, Utah. The first time he gets called out each summer is an adjustment period for the whole family. I always have a list of things I'm going to get done while he's gone and I usually get a lot done the first week. By the second week, I am ready for him to be home and my productivity goes WAY WAY down. We'll see how this tour goes. Ethan went to Grandma's for the week so I just have the three boys. Dylan is teething and fighting a cold that Ethan gave him as a goodbye present so I think we'll be spending a lot of time here at home but with baseball and life, the time should pass pretty quickly. I also bought a new bike today so we should be having quite a few bike rides in our future! The bike was my cure for gas prices and my out of shape body. We'll see how it works. I have to say, I'm missing my little 3-year-old! He's having a great time with Grandma though and it gives me a little more one on one time with Tom and Logan. I can't believe how much easier everything is with three kids now that I'm used to four! I wouldn't trade four for anything though. They are great boys with such individual sweet personalities.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dylan's Day

Today we celebrated Dylan's first birthday. Since it actually falls on Father's Day this year, we decided to jump the gun by a day. What a day! Grandma Larson, Aunt Sunnie and Uncle Brandon came up for the party and we had a great time. He wasn't really into opening his presents so thankfully he had three brothers ready and waiting for the green light to open them for him. Once they were open though he love every minute of it. He definitely is a toy kid. After playing with every noisy toy at once for what seemed like hours, we had some cake and ice cream. Dyl dove right in to the enormous piece of cake I put on his high chair. Some kids don't want to get their fingers dirty on their birthday but not Dylan! Green goatee and hands and cake bits EVERYWHERE. We didn't even dare risk taking him to the bathroom and opted to bathe him in the kitchen sink instead.

I still can't believe he is already a year old. He still seems to little to me. With the other boys I would stop using a bottle at a year but for some reason, he just doesn't seem old enough. Gary disagrees though. Maybe because he may be our last one and I'm not ready for him to be big yet or maybe because he has a smaller build than Ethan did at his age, I don't know. He has such a funny personality; full of fire and spunk and laughter and silliness. He says about four words sort of: Dad, Mom, Bra (which really means brother and it doesn't matter which one!), and now Hi! whenever Gary comes in the door from work. He still only has 3 1/2 teeth and refuses to walk unless you are holding BOTH of his hands. You can let go of one hand after you get started but he won't go anywhere unless you give him both hands. He did take one step on his own today though! I love him so much and I'm so glad he joined our little family. I'm excited to watch his personality unfold more and more in the coming year.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime?

Today is the day before Dylan's birthday party so I am in full stressed-out must make it perfect party mode. My poor family! It shouldn't be too bad. We have the presents purchased and I just need to wrap them now and make sure we have the correct size and amount of batteries. The cake has been chosen and I just need to pick up a few little things used for the decorations like green spearmint leaves (hello? where do you find such things?!?!?) and some green m&m's which we all know I can find easily. The house is relatively clean and now it's on to the car that we have been living in for the last few months. I'm pretty sure something is growing in there and if I hear Ethan say one more time that his window is dirty and we need a car wash, I'm going to scream! It's also the first decent day in weeks so I need to get out in the flower bed and plant some petunias after I take out the daffodils and tulip leaves. That is always relaxing for me and I love my flowers so..........I'm sure we'll squeeze in lunch at the park and a trip to the school supply store to pick up a homework book for Logan - yes, I know I am mean to make my kids do homework all summer long! Oh, and Ethan has his well-child check-up this afternoon at 3 so that should fill our day I think. No wonder mom's sleep so well at night!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kaci! You HAVE to Come Back!

As you all are probably aware, I spend four mornings a week at the ball field watching either Tom or Logan play. I'm not the only mom their and definitely not the only mom with other kids not playing. Last summer, I hired Kaci to babysit for me so I could watch the game and the boys that weren't playing could have time not at the ball park to enjoy summer. It was AWESOME! This summer Kaci is back. Tom can stay home now with Ethan and Dylan - who is usually sleeping during the games, so Kaci just comes two days a week.

Well, this week she had basketball camp in the mornings. I thought to myself, 'You are the mom and should be able to handle your own kids for two one hour games.' Yeah, right! It's been freezing and windy beyond belief all week which has given Ethan a cold and Dylan a serious case of grumpy-itis. This morning I rode the bike the three blocks to the park thinking that maybe one or both of the little ones would fall asleep in the trailer on the way there. Nope. The seat on my bike bottomed out half way there so I felt like I was riding Tom's bike and Dyl and E were both still wide awake and still very GRUMPY when we got there. It continued in a downward spiral until, after only 20 minutes, we loaded up and left Tom to finish playing on his own.

At first I felt guilty for getting someone to watch my kids all summer but after this week I only have one thing to say: KACI, COME BACK! It's good for my kids and good for my sanity and I don't think I could do it without her.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rocks in Our Pockets

For those of you who don't live in Pocatello, I thought I'd let you know how crazy the weather has been here lately. Yesterday the boys wore shorts for the first time in a while. Today, I dressed Dylan in his turtle-neck, winter coat and hat, and bundled him in two blankets for Tom's baseball game. The game was called short due to gale-force winds I think. We left after his second at bat to head for the car. It was just too cold and windy for Dylan, Ethan, and Logan to sit there cheering him on. The game ended right after but they still had pictures to pose for. A team of 12, freezing and shivering for their pictures. The wind and cold is out of control here lately. I'm excited for summer to finally be here but it sounds like the weather will be cold and windy tomorrow for Logan's game too. Maybe 80 by Saturday though so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an AWESOME weekend. If any of you know an weather charm that will bring a nice summer and get rid of the wind, let me know. We'll try anything about now.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Praying at Our House

Prayers at our house have become more and more complicated lately. Ethan is REALLY REALLY REALLY into praying and wants to say the prayer for every occasion. The only problem is you can't really understand him. He speaks so clearly for everything but prayers. When it comes to praying it is nothing but mumbling until the closing. The other boys are also starting to feel left out since they rarely got to pray so Gary came up with a solution.

First prayer, second prayer.

Sometimes Ethan says "first prayer" and then someone else says "second prayer" or the other way around.

The other night at dinner, though, we reached a whole new level when we had "first prayer," "second prayer," and "third prayer." When we were done with the third prayer, Gary looked up at me and asked if I wanted to say one too or if I was good. If you didn't know any better, you would think we were obsessively religious!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Is He STILL Sleeping?

All of you with kids can relate to the desire to have them sleep in just a few more minutes in the morning. Especially during summer break or on a weekend. It seems like you have to pry them out of bed during the week for school but when they can sleep in, they are up before dawn. My boys are no exception. The house starts to come alive anytime after about six in the morning. It isn't always the same person that is up at that time, but one of them starts to stir about then.

This morning it wasn't really any different. The three big boys were up and at 'em bright and early. Gary and I had a late night at the ball park so I was still pretty much dead to the world when Gary came in to say goodbye at 7:30. At 8:30 I realized that I still hadn't heard from Dylan - who I depend on as an alarm clock. At 9:00 I cracked open his door to make sure no one had kidnapped him in the middle of the night and to see if he was breathing. At 9:15 I called Gary to see if he thought I should just wake him up. Go figure. He said,"Let the kid sleep." It's now 9:50 and still no Dylan. Boy is he TIRED! I think I'll give him until 10:00 and then I won't be able to take it anymore.

When you want them to sleep, they are up before the sun. When they are sleeping in, you can't get anything done because you are worried about why they are sleeping in so long and then you want to be quiet so they will be able to sleep a bit longer. KIDS!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How Many Rolls of Toilet Paper?

How many rolls of toilet paper does it take to absorb almost all of the water in the toilet bowl?

Two GIANT rolls of Cottonelle if you are Dylan and like to throw them in whole whenever you get the chance. I swear that kid has bathroom door radar. If it's open, he's in there.


This morning we had a Tiger Ball game for Thomas at 9:00. All I can say is, "BRRRRRRRRR!" It was so very very cold and the wind was ripping the whole game. They usually play at least one hour but after three innings and 45 minutes, everyone was ready to go home.

What ever happened to summer? I don't remember the last time winter coats were everywhere at a Chubbuck city game. I know in a couple of weeks we'll all be complaining it is too hot but for now I wouldn't mind a few degrees above 40!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Grandpa part 2 - Baseball

Grandpa went with us to Tom's baseball game Monday night. It was a bit cold - go figure this Spring - so Dianna went back to the hotel to rest. When we left the restaurant it had started to rain and by the time we got to the field it was really raining so we sat in the car and talked while the boys were warming up.

Grandpa told me about when his boys (Dad, Mike, Jerry) were just getting old enough to play ball. There wasn't a league in Highland at that time so Grandpa got one going. They got four teams together to play. Since there wasn't a baseball field anywhere and the city wasn't that interested in making one, Grandpa took his tractor and leveled off a piece of ground. The dad's got together and measured out the bases and then built a backstop and Highland baseball was begun!

I wish I had half of the memory my Grandpa does. He can remember facts and people and things about grade school. He is an amazing source of history. I had him write his life history for his 80th birthday and it was amazing. I will have to work on getting it typed up and adding pictures now that there are so many easy ways to have a book published these days. I just hope my boys will remember the times they have with Grandpa.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grandpa Stories - TIMBER!

Grandpa and Dianna (his wife) came to visit yesterday. It was great to see them. I haven't seen Dianna for quite some time and she looked great. She had projects for the boys to do and they ate it up. They got to decorate sand buckets with cute foam pictures and then Ethan brought out the puzzles. He loved getting so much attention!

Grandpa is an amazing 84 year-old. They live in Tucson, Arizona but he comes up several times a year to see family and friends in American Fork, Utah and then also makes the rounds to my Uncle Mike's farm in Hagerman, Idaho and to my Dad's farm in Ontario, Oregon. Now that we live in Pocatello, he's started to go back to Utah through this side of the state to visit us and Sunnie and Brandon in Preston. This is the first year he has had someone to drive for him so it's fun to see other family members too. Last visit Aunt Karen and Uncle Wayne came and this time Dianna joined him for the trip.

While he was here, they saw my list of unfinished projects and noticed one of them was cutting down a tree in our back yard. One of our poplar trees started breaking off after all the extreme weather this year and needed to be cut down. Luckily, it was on the end and was going to come out anyway in another few years. I told Gary that I could take care of it and he started laughing and saying that I couldn't cut it down. Being the stubborn person I can be at times, I took that as a challenge. He told me that he would be bringing a saw home on Tuesday to cut it down which gave me Monday and Tuesday morning to get it down.

Well, all it took was for those two to notice it on my list and it was decided that Grandpa would "help" me cut down the tree. Ten minutes later we were in the back yard and he was sawing off some of the smaller branches so we wouldn't be trying to deal with extra weight. Next he started sawing out a wedge so we could push it to the canal bank. After that, he told me, "Well, I guess I'll let you try to cut for a while. Just cut straight across so we can get that wedge out."

I took the saw and started sawing at the base. He made it look sooooooo easy. I sawed for a while and was getting NO WHERE! He took the saw back and tried to make me feel better by telling me it was hard wood right where I was sawing because there was a knot and it was dying right at that spot. The next thing I know, he is pulling the tree over because we weren't going to get it to drop toward the canal with the way it was leaning. We pushed it over and rested it on the fence and then he let me saw off the top portion of the tree and he took care of the bottom. Anyone who knows Grandpa knows that when he said I could help him, he meant that he would do the bulk of it and let me step in when he thought there was something I could handle. Gotta love that man!

I'm out of time today but tomorrow I'll have to write about the baseball memories he shared with me going to Tom's game.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ball, Ball and More Ball

This is the week of sporting events in our home. We have more than ten games scheduled in the next six days. Between soccer and Bannock Boys baseball wrapping up this week and city t-ball starting, there is a ball game every day and sometime more than one game. Logan started the week with a great game this morning. He really smacked the ball at one of his two up to bats and the other time hit it solidly off the tee. He played first base and did awesome. Tonight we have a double-header for Tom. Since we have to have him at the ball park at 5:00, I asked Gary what he thought we should do for dinner. Even he agreed that eating at 3:30 was a bit out of the question! His response was, "Even they aren't THAT old!" Take out it is I am thinking. Grandpa and Dianna are also coming to visit today sometime for a couple of hours. It should be a FULL FULL day and the boys should be sleeping well tonight. I'm just hoping I can keep them occupied for three hours tonight at the ball park. That is a long time for little boys. I'll post the boys t-ball schedules on the side of the page if anyone would like to come and watch the next generation of professional ball players. It is quite entertaining. Although no one ran to straight to third today in Logan's game after they hit. That in and of itself is an amazing feat for four, five and six year-olds. I can only imagine what it will be like when Ethan and Dylan are also playing! E can start t-ball next year. YIKES!