Thursday, October 29, 2009

Frozen Peas

This morning as Dylan and Ethan were chasing each other around the house and wrestling during rest intervals, a corner from the wall JUMPED out and ran right into Ethan's head. Go figure. Ethan didn't run into the corner, the corner ran into him. That corner packs a mean punch we discovered when we surveyed the damage. Ethan was left with a nasty indent, yes, indent, on the side of his forehead. As the tears were welling up, I grabbed the best thing since sliced bread for such occasions: frozen peas.

Living in a house with four very active boys, I've discovered how great frozen peas are for these type of events. They don't have as many sharp edges as ice cubes. They aren't big and bulky like ice cubes. They are more moldable than ice packs that were once used for keeping bottles cold when they were babies. And, apparently, they are quite tasty.

Ethan held the peas firmly on his head for almost 20 minutes. When he was done, Dylan suddenly had a "horrible owie" on his head too. It's amazing how that can happen while sitting on the padded sofa and not moving. I rewrapped the peas and had Dylan lay down with them on his head.

No sooner had I turned my back than Dylan was sitting up, eating his ice pack. Within five minutes, Ethan and Dylan were both eating the ice pack and arguing over who got more peas. Peas. Really? You are arguing over frozen peas. What's next? Broccoli?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Family Photos

Thomas 9 1/2 years old.

Logan, 7 1/2 years old

Ethan, 4 years old.

Dylan, 2 years old.

The whole gang goofing off. We had a great time getting pictures this time. My Aunt Karen took them when they came to visit last weekend and it was great having someone that the boys felt comfortable with. These are just the sneak peak. Can't wait for the real reveal of all of them!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson by Ethan Jax

Every six weeks, our family is in for a treat. It's Ethan's turn to give the Family Home Evening lesson. One of these times I'm going to remember to video tape it. It's amazing. Actually, amazing doesn't do it justice.

This week, when I told him it was his turn for the lesson, he yelled, "Yippeeee!" in excitement. There may have been a joyous hand pump to go along with it. It's all a bit foggy now.

Since his reading ability is still a bit limited, I think he has about 30 sight words down now, I asked him if he would like some help preparing. His answer is always the same. "No, I can do it all by myself."

I always respond with some probing questions like, "What do you think you are going to talk about?"

He always has an immediate answer and it's never one you can predict. This week's answer was, "Ummm, probably ticks."

Ticks? Did I hear him right? I must be mistaken. Nope, he really wanted to give his lesson on ticks. Blood sucking, disease causing ticks. Yum.

I asked him if he wanted to practice his lesson before Family Home Evening. I told him I would love to listen to him practice if he wanted. Nope. His response? "I already know what I'm going to say so I don't need to practice. Besides, if I practice to you, you'll already know what I'm going to say in my lesson." Duh.

Last night was the big reveal for the lesson. That little four-year-old is turning into quite the dynamic public speaker. He stands up in front of the family and delivers his lesson in a very authoritative voice. His eyes become even more animated as he goes into the perils of ticks and the evils they carry. He answers questions during the question and answer portion with firm c conviction that he is right. It was all I could do not to giggle.

Did you know ticks have little claws that dig their way to your "blood places" and suck out all your blood? Did you know they can be brown or lots of other colors all together? Did you know that doctors have to take them out? Did you know that they don't like fire or smoke? Did you know he learned all this very valuable information from Gary? Gary was astounded. He doesn't remember giving such a detail briefing on ticks to his four-year-old. Once again, Family Home Evening proved unforgettable.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Amazingly Fun Weekend

We are so lucky to have fun family visiting this month. Last weekend Mom and Don made it and this past weekend, Aunt Karen and Uncle Wayne came down. We loved every second. It was so much fun - even when the two little ones were out of control because they hadn't had naps for days. We saw the canyon. We saw the forest. We took family pictures. We ate good food. We slept late today completely exhausted!

It was great having them here. Ethan bonded immediately with Uncle Wayne. Last night, when he knew he was going to bed, he came running back into the living room saying he forgot something. He literally threw his arms around Wayne and said, "Good night!" After we reminded him that Wayne didn't come down here alone, he saw Karen sitting next to him and gave her a big hug too. As he was walking back down the hall to bed, he yelled, "See ya Pal!" It was too cute.

This morning there was genuine disappointment on his face when he found out they went home today and he wouldn't see them again for a while. We didn't tell him on purpose last night so he would go to bed and get some sleep.

I also discovered something this weekend. I think I actually like watching baseball! We watched both Yankee's games of the weekend and it was really fun. The fact that they won both games also helped I'm sure but can you believe the game last night that went into so many extra innings? It was an amazing finish! I'm even looking forward to watching it again on Monday and Tuesday. After years of trying, Gary may finally have a wife to cheer on the Yankees with.

The only downside to this weekend was I forgot to take ANY pictures of our fun! Karen had her camera going all the time and she promised to send some other photos with our family ones so we are excited to see them. We are doing our best talking them into just moving down permanently. Fingers crossed.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

4 Year-Olds

I once thought Ethan was an exceptional listener. I could ask him to do something and he would hop right to it. It was amazing how well he would respond. That was then.

It all came to a SCREECHING halt the day he turned four and since that perilous day, he's been on a downward spiral that makes those diagnosed with ADHD look focused. The kid gets distracted at the drop of a hat, or the feather on the ground, or the block he tripped over, or the t.v., or the thought of going outside, or the thought of staying inside, or, or, or.

Will we survive this disease of being four? Does the focus ever come back? Will there ever come a day when he is going to get his shoes from his room and he comes back with them again? Are your 4-year-olds like this too?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Random Pictures from the Weekend

This is the view from the top of the fire lookout tower at Grandview. We climbed the stairs and got to see what the look-outs see. It was a bit high for me and having the kids up there scared me to death but we made it! We all signed our names on the outside of the building at the top. I'll post some of those pictures when I get them at home.

The beautiful canyon we call home.

We took this at Hermit's Rest. It was a beautiful spot to enjoy the canyon. We took Don and Mom there this weekend when they came to visit. We loved having them here and enjoyed every minute we could spend with them!

Logan posing at Hermit's Rest.

Tom posing at Hermit's Rest.

Dylan in the tree at Hermit's Rest.

Ethan posing at Hermit's Rest. Can you tell we loved the tree and loved seeing a bit of the canyon in the background?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shoshone Point

Last week, Gary took the boys and I on a hike to Shoshone Point. It is a very gradual climb from the parking lot to the point. Since it's only about a mile long, it only takes us - with the little ones hiking too - about thirty minutes. It was beautiful and we had the place to ourselves. Here are some of the pictures.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Tom's Play

Tom's fourth grade class performed three plays yesterday that they had been working on since almost the start of school. They worked really hard and they did a great job. This first six weeks of school, they focused on fairy tales from around the world. Their plays depicted different fairy tales from different cultures and the kids learned that, although each culture may have Cinderella, it may not have the same happy ending or it may be told differently than they are use to. It is amazing how multi-cultural this school is. I love that my boys are seeing that it doesn't matter where you may have grown up or what language your family speaks at home. What matters is who you are inside. Kids don't seem to stereo-type like adults do. I really do love this part about living here. They are being exposed to a whole new form of teaching and a different ciricullum than we were use to in a traditional public school. Here I go getting off subject......

In the first play, Turkey Girl, Tom was the Native American priest of sorts. It is the basic story of Cinderella but from the Native American telling. He was awesome!

The next play was completely in spanish. Tom helped with props. Let's just say my boys are not the strongest spanish speakers in their classes. He worked really hard building the fruit stand used in the spanish version of Red Riding Hood. I guess it was pretty funny because half the audience - who are native spanish speakers I think - were laughing pretty hard at the dialouge.

The third play was called "Spiderella" and was an insect version of Cinderella. Tom was one of the three narators in this play and he was great. He isn't nervous speaking into the microphone and spoke clearly and slow enough we could understand him. I loved watching him get out in front and perform. He doesn't do that very often. He is really coming into his own since we've moved down here and I can literally watch him grow into a young man each day. Man I love that kid!