Thursday, July 31, 2008

Logan's Day

Yesterday was Logan's day with Mom. I call it our date. He got to pick where we would have lunch and once I let him know it was not limited to our usual fare of fast-food, he settled on Sizzler. He loves shrimp and they have a great kid's meal with shrimp. When we walked in, I was pretty sure we were the only ones under about 70 in the place. I guess there is a rush at 11:30 but not from our age group.

He picked a booth - one of the largest ones in the place even though there were just the two of us. Then he wanted to sit together on one side of the table. Once I told him that he would have more room to spread out his food, he switched sides. Not the smartest on my part. I should have taken advantage of snuggling him in tight. I'll learn.

The food came and we dove in. While we were eating we talked about school starting and who he did and didn't want in his class next year. When I finished and he was mid-way through his meal, I began telling him the story of his birth. He actually hung on my every word which doesn't happen that often! We finished and left to go school shopping.

It didn't take long to get the school supplies and things at Wal-Mart, that is until he was choosing which t-shirt he wanted. He made me laugh. It had to be just so. A cool shirt that was totally boy that all his friends would like. Finally, after much deliberation and searching, he settled on a BRIGHT orange "Master Yoda" shirt that also glows in the dark. I guess he isn't as old as he would like to to believe! :) The glow in the dark feature was the winning point.

All in all we had a great day together. I really would like to do these more often. Maybe a day during Christmas to shop individually. I wasn't sure how much Logan really enjoyed himself until Gary told me late last night that he talked about it several times throughout the evening while I was at Bunko. Next week is Ethan's day and, like most things with Ethan, it should be an adventure!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tom's Grandma Vacation and Dylan's Tricks

Tom left yesterday for Grandma Larson's for about a week. I don't know what I'll do while he's gone. He is like my right-hand-man! He takes care of the dogs in the morning, usually gets Dylan out of his crib when he wakes up to play with him, is Ethan's big buddy, and my main babysitter when I run a quick errand. I know he will have a great time. They've already gone to Kennecott Copper Mine Visitor Center and today he is spending the day with Aunt Amy (thanks Amy!) while Grandma is at work. I find myself looking around because I'm missing one of the boys. Ethan woke up and immediately went looking for Tom all over the house. We miss him but are happy that he gets to have this special time just for him.

Dylan has learned a new trick as well. He can now go down the stairs in addition to going up them. He has been playing me for a while I think. When he doesn't think I am looking, he turns around and very carefully scoots down the stairs. If he catches me watching him, he'll stop and scurry back up as quickly as he can. He is so funny that way. He'll walk for anyone but me too! New tricks every day around here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Conversation with a 3-year-old

Ethan: See that spider on the ceiling, Mom?

Me: Yes but it's small so we won't really worry about it.

Ethan: Spiders hatch from eggs.

Me: (Pulling my jaw off the ground.) Who taught you that? How do you know?

Ethan: No one. I just know.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Accident vs. On Purpose

Yesterday, right before church, Tom and Ethan were over playing with our neighbors dog. They were on vacation and we were dog sitting for a couple of days and the boys love spending time with their dog throughout the day. Anyway, after playing for a little while, Logan comes in to tell me that Ethan broke the neighbors window. Logan wasn't even suppose to be out there so I asked him how he knew and what he was talking about. Well, long story short, Ethan threw a HUGE rock down in their window well and broke a large hole out of the first pane of their window. I know we are lucky something like this hasn't already happened with four boys but it doesn't make the walk of shame to the neighbors door later that day any less painful!

When I asked Ethan what he was doing, he said,"It was an accident." This is his new motto for everything he does and I had had it.

I told him,"When you pick up a rock and throw it at a window and then the window breaks, it wasn't an accident."

He looked up at me with his big blue eyes and said, "I did it on purpose?"

It was then that I realized he didn't know the difference between accident and purpose!

One coloring book page and apology later, we are now waiting for the bill. Thank goodness our neighbors were very forgiving and quite gracious with the news. I am grateful every day that they moved in next door!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Smoke, Fire Retardant, Helicopters, and Air Tankers

This morning was suppose to be the start of "play all day day" but Gary got a call out on a fire in Arbon Valley and headed out about 9:00. The boys were BUMMED until we decided to go see some of the action. One quick stop at McDonalds and we too were on our way.

The first stop was at the Tanker Base out at the airport. Gary assured me that no one would come and kick us out of the parking lot. We got quite a few strange looks when we just pulled up next to the fence and watched for about an hour. There were two large tankers flying as well as two smaller crop-duster size airplanes dumping water and fire retardant on the fire. Since the fire was so close to the base, the turn around time was pretty quick and there always seemed to be a plane landing or refilling or taking off. One of the tanker pilots even waved at the boys as he was taxing up to refill. We were close enough he could see them all waving from inside the car.

Next stop was the fire. We didn't actually get up to see flames before we were stopped by the trusty Fort Hall Police road block, but we were close enough to watch the two helicopters dip their buckets into a stream and fill up before heading back to the fire line. The boys loved it.

Even though it isn't a replacement for a day of fun with Dad, they do enjoy seeing what he does. In their eyes, it's all very glamorous and exciting. We don't tell them about the hours spent waiting for the fire to get to the spot they are protecting or the days in the truck driving from fire to fire. Let them think it is all helicopters, air tankers, fire engines, and bulldozers. That's what little boys love!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Can Anyone Smell Bacon?

Yesterday we spent the 24th of July holiday in Preston/Weston/Dayton with family for a fun-filled morning. Weston puts on a parade and carnival in their city park and it is full of good old-fashioned fun. The kids played carnival games where everyone gets a prize, jumped in the bounce house, and had a great day with their cousins. I love small town parties like this because they get to do things that don't happen in the bigger cities.

One such thing was a candy drop. A guy flies around in his glider (think parachute with seat and motor) and all the kids RUN to the baseball field. After circling once to get the kids ready, he flies back and starts dropping hundreds of pounds of candy onto the field and surrounding area. The kids all do the "candy scramble" to see how much they can rake in and have a blast.

The other event that was a highlight was the pig chase. They sell tickets and divide in two groups: eight and under and nine and older. Then two men carry out a pig that isn't really all that big and grease it down with Crisco and then pour - and I mean pour - vegetable oil over the pig. On "go" the kids all run for the poor unsuspecting pig as fast as they could. By this time Ethan is already twenty feet behind with the other three-year-olds and I'm sure he's thinking that it is just a race. Logan didn't want to chase the pig at all so he is on the bleachers watching.

Tom, on the other hand, is out in front, running for all he's worth. About 90 seconds into the chase, Tom makes his move and DIVES for this pig. The crowd all gasps with hope for this little man and then the pig wiggles free from his grasp and the whole crowd sighs for him. It was almost his!

They keep chasing and the pig somehow gets out of the baseball field even with the dad's guarding the entrance and races into the crowd and playground with about 50 kids hot on his tail. Finally a girl catches him and Tom is right behind her to help her hold him down. After he got away from Tom, he knew how slippery he was and didn't want him to get loose again! I was proud of him for being so close to victory for his very first pig chase. He was covered in grease but his smile was worth any laundry. I'm sure Brandon and Sunnie were slightly relieved that he didn't catch the pig since it would have to live at their house.

When Gary asked Tom what he would have done with it if he had caught the pig, Tom responded, "Kill it and eat it when it got bigger." I guess the boy understands where his food comes from.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

(Big) Boys and Their Toys

I don't think boys of any age outgrow their love of toys, big or small. From toy guns to real guns and toy cars to real ones. The sizes and prices seem to increase with their ages but the genuine joy in their faces stays the same and I am a complete sucker for the genuine joy. Gary mentioned earlier in the summer that he wanted to get a motorcycle - price of gas.......miserable miles per gallon with the us for itself in a matter of months.......You get the picture.

Well, yesterday the bike came home and all I could think about was the pure joy in his face. It was like a window into his fondest childhood memories. Even with all the practicality of the purchase, deep down it was about the boyish joy pouring from him that made it an easy sell for me. He already had the coolest job ever according to our boys and now adding a motorcycle to the mix has bumped him up several notches on the "cool meter." Some things mom's just can't compete with! I love him so much though and it makes me so happy to have him so happy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tom's Day

Tom and I had so much fun yesterday on our "date." We ate lunch, talked about his friends, talked about school, shopped for school stuff, found a new game for the wii they bought, and capped it all off at the orthodontist. It was so nice to spend time with just him. I think we'll make it an annual tradition if not once a month! I caught myself thinking about how easy it would be to check him out of school at lunch break and just go to lunch together and then get him back to school in time for class - anything to get time with just the two of us.

He cracked me up at one point. I looked in the rear view mirror and he was sitting there in his seat belt with the window down and his arm resting comfortably on the window opening. I told him I couldn't believe how big he had gotten and that it felt like yesterday that I was bringing him home in the infant car seat. He grinned at me and said, "Yeah. I remember that. It was so much fun." Love the kid!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mother-Son Afternoon

Today is my first of three mother-son afternoons. I am pretty excited I have to admit! Thomas has been wanting to eat Subway sandwiches for a while now but Ethan and Dylan don't eat Subway very well so we seldom go there. I promised Tom that I would take him all by himself one day when Gary was home. Today is the day. Gary is taking a half-day off so I can take Tom to lunch and then school supply/clothes shopping and then on to his orthodontist appointment. I know, we don't end our date very exciting but........

I think it will be fun to spend some time with just Tom. He is so responsible being the oldest that I usually give him more to do and don't get as much one-on-one with him. I can't believe he is going into third grade this year. CRAZY!

After this afternoon, I will take Logan next week some time and then Ethan the week after that. It should be fun to spend time with each of them individually. They are each so unique and fun to be with that I am actually looking forward to school shopping with each of them!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Nieces and Nephews

My brothers have kids that I really don't get to see very often because of where we live. Thank goodness my sister has been trying to see all the grandkids this summer so I've spent more time with them than in years past. This last Saturday I got to pick up two of my nieces, Demi and Taylee, and bring them from Burley to my house for a night until Sunnie could come and pick them up. It was a spur of the moment thing and no one was expecting them to be able to come, much less end up here and I loved every minute of it.

The girls weren't expecting to go to church with us because they thought they would be camping with Sunnie and Brandon so off we went to the mall in search of dresses. WOW! It was much harder than I thought! There was one rack of dresses at Sears and one at JC Penney. Thank goodness they each found one they liked because we only had 20 minutes before the mall closed.

The next hurdle was Sunday hair. As much fun as it is to try and do girl hair, I am even more thankful that I have four boys. I don't know how all of you with girls EVER make it anywhere on time when hair is involved. By some miracle, we made it to church on time with six kids.

Sunday night my nephew, Chase, came to visit for a few days en route to Grandma's house. He's a bundle of energy and so much fun for the boys to have around. I just hope city life doesn't bore him to tears, much less playing with boys several years younger than him!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Teetering and Tottering

Dylan is walking! OK, not around the block but five or six steps at a time without coaxing. He will actually let go of something on his own and try to walk where he wants to go next. It is so cute to see the look of determination on his face. Not a daredevil by any means but not my slowest walker either at 13 months. Way to go Dyl!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Boys Pictures

When we were in Utah, I took advantage of Grandma's willingness to help, my brother's sweet digital camera, my sister's connection to the perfect picture spot, and a nice day to take the boys pictures. I figured I would try to do it myself and if it didn't work out I could still have them done more professionally. I think they worked rather well for the 20 minutes it took! Immediately following the picture session, I took Logan to Immediate Care for his fever of 103 and sore throat so he was definitely my trooper of the day.

My Little Man Dylan - 1 year-old

Ethan, X-man, ZZ, Big E 3 years-old

Logan, Bear, Blondie - 6 1/2 years old

Thomas, 2-Tom, Man-of-the-House 8 1/2 years-old

Mom and her boys.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Does using a crockpot make you old?

I got my trusty crock pot out again this morning to make pulled pork sandwiches for dinner. When I pulled the lid out of the dishwasher - I use the thing several times a week lately - the handle on the lid literally popped off. What was I going to do? We've only had the thing since we got married. They just don't make things like they use to. :) Anyway, I tried super glue to no avail and then decided I just needed to bite the bullet and go to Wal-Mart and pick up a new one. In the mean time, I just put my two frozen pork roasts in the crock pot and put a plate on top.

Wal-Mart had a nice selection of shiny new crock pots to choose from. I never knew it would be so exciting to purchase one! Our old one was pink and flowery, not really my taste but it made yummy dinners so who was I to complain. I picked up a GIANORMOUS red and silver one and set off. When I was checking out, the cashier and I were chatting about how I came in for the crock pot and was leaving with an untold amount of stuff - I think they pipe subliminal messages to buy things through the overhead speakers. She looked at me with a confused look and asked, "So, you use it a lot then?" And then looked me up and down again like I was a 90 year-old woman. Do the rest of you use your crock pot like I do? It's just a quick way to make dinner in the morning and not have to worry about it at 4:30 when the house is crazy and I am getting tired of dealing with it. I will admit it. I love my kitchen gadgets, especially those with slow cook settings and timers!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Things are finally starting to settle down. Gary is back at work, T-ball and Tiger ball are over, the garden of weeds has once again become a garden of vegetables, and life is getting back to normal. I can't believe how nice it is to have our routine back. I'm really enjoying the "boring" life we lead!

This summer I started a chore chart with the three oldest. They each have about six jobs they do every day and, depending on how well they do them or how many reminders I need to give, they earn points for completing the chores. Our first goal was Kung Fu Panda. They needed to earn a variety of points depending on the person and then once all three had met their point goal, Gary would take them to the movies. They went last Saturday - probably the week before it hit the dollar show! - and they all four had a great time. Today we sat down to discuss our next point goal. So far it is a group reward so I threw out a couple I thought they would love. That should have been my first clue.

I offered to take them to Deleta roller skating or to McDonalds for dinner (they demolished one of our McDonalds to rebuild and it's just about done complete with a new play place) after everyone had earned 200 points. Tom wanted skating and just because he did, Logan and Ethan wanted McDonalds. I told them they all needed to agree. They started throwing out their own options and finally wanted to go to our pizza/video game/miniature golf/laser tag/play ground called Outer Limits. Since this was going to cost us twice what the other two were, I told them it would also cost them 400 points thinking they would say no way. Wrong! They were all three on board and ready to earn points to Outer Limits. This chore thing is going great. They get the stuff done I need them to without any more complaining that they are doing more than someone else. In a month or so we'll all be eating dinner at Outer Limits too! That's a win-win!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vacation Recovery

We are all still recovering from our fun-filled vacation in Utah. The boys are still exhausted as evidenced by the time they get up in the morning - lately it's been after 8 which is practically unheard of in this home! I am still so behind in the yard and house after being gone that I haven't had a chance to blog or put any more pictures here either. Gary is suppose to be home in a day or so and then I will be able to have a bit more time I am hoping. So, be patient with us, the blogging with resume hopefully later this week or the first of next week. It's hard work being mom and dad at home for three weeks straight!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Disney Week" continued with pictures

Instead of posting a long, rambling post today, I thought I'd just put in some pictures from the activities the last couple of weeks. We are all EXHAUSTED but ready to continue our week of fun in Utah. Today we are going to the movie, we have a swimming day later in the week, we get to tend my nephew Cohen one morning while his parents find out if their baby is a boy or a girl, and then there is the 4th of July with the Salt Lake Bees baseball game! The boys won't be able to say we didn't do anything this trip! Anyway, here are some photos:

At the playground at the Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls. Ethan, Tom - who really was happy!, Connor, Dylan, Logan, and Austin.

Grandma and her cowboys at the Lehi Round-up Rodeo. Even though it doesn't look like it, the boys had a ball.

Ethan and Aironn on the Lazy River at Cherry Hill Water Park. He looked like he was wearing a muscle suit!

Austin Larson, Ethan, Connor Larson, Tom and Logan at Cherry Hill Water Park.

Connor - standing, Austin and Tom in the tube, Aironn in the back tube and Logan trying to tip it over. It was a day of fun.

Tom's birthday cake. He wanted a hunting cake so I made him a shotgun shell.

Blowing out the candles with help from (Left to Right) Ethan, Logan, Tom, Uncle Ray, and Dylan.

Aunt Angie and Ethan at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake taking one of many snack/drink breaks. It was HOT that day!

Dylan riding the carousel at the Hogle Zoo. He was very grumpy all day until he got on the carousel. He didn't want me holding on to him either. He thinks he is SOOOOO big.

Ethan riding the carousel at the Hogle Zoo. He loved every minute of it. For some reason he was on a giraffe that didn't go up and down but I don't think he even noticed.

Logan and Tom on the carousel at the Hogle Zoo. The had to be on the other side of the little boys so I couldn't get too close to them to get a good picture.