Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 School Year

It's that time of year again....
It's Back to School!
My kiddo's started this past monday.
Staying with tradition all the "going to school" kids were given a special blessing from dad sunday night. After the blessings were done the much anticipated gifts were opened. This was a tradition that was done in my family growing up and I've continued it with my kids. It's always fun to start the school year off with a new outfit. Brayden felt pretty special that he was included too. I had every intention of teaching preschool again this year and so included him in my "school shopping". After discovering that I only had 3 kids preschool age this year in town I opted out. I spend a lot of time and money preparing for preschool and to me it just wasn't worth it for 3 kids. Next year I will have more and so will do it then.
 Over the past few weeks I couldn't help but notice all the back to school ideas floating around pinterest. I saw this idea a while ago and fell in love. I remember as a child wanting to be a baby nurse, a mom, a dentist, a hygienist, a sign language interpreter and I'm sure there were many more. I know my kids will want to be different things too during there childhood. I love that I will be able to capture it this way.

Miss Emily started kindergarten this year. You would think it would get easier as each child leaves the nest and starts to attend school. As the bus pulled away that morning I allowed myself to shed a tear or two. I miss her. Emily was so excited for school to start. We put the kids to bed at 8 the night before and at 10 pm Madelyn came down to complain that Emily wouldn't stop talking about SCHOOL! Then she was up the next morning at 5 getting ready. The bus picks the kids up a little after 7 each morning. She needs to get up fairly early but 5 was a little much.

Miss Emily loves the outdoors. She loves to ride horses and spend time around the farm animals. She absolutely loved the County Fair this past weekend. She loved walking around seeing all the different animals. It wasn't suprising to hear her say she wanted to be a Cow Girl when she grows up.

Here's Miss Emily in her 1st day of school outfit. This girls loves, loves, loves dresses. I knew getting her a new dress for the school year would help make her day. I purposely got her a long one instead of a skirt so that she could sit modestly on the floor during class. I hope it worked.
New dress, new shoe but same ugly red cast. Just 8 more days to go with the cast, I hope!

My 3rd grader this year.
(This girl suffers from allergies so badly. Being at the fair and around all those animals all weekend did not help! Her eyes are so puffy!)

It was no suprise to hear Miss Madelyn wanting to be a baker. This girl loves to be in the kitchen with me. She likes to help me cook but her love is baking. She's getting better and better about following recepies. Right now she can make chocolate chip cookies all by herself and they turn out great! She learned how to make banana bread at Grandma's a few weeks ago and has made it several times at home for us. For the fair she wanted to make banana bread to submit but we didn't have any banana's. We did have zuccini from the garden. So with a little help she made that. She thinks she likes zuccini bread better than banana bread now.   
 Madelyn loves dresses too. I hesitate to let her wear them to school because she is so active. She loves playing soccer, basketball, playing on the monkey bars, etc. Those kind of activites just aren't dress appropriate. As I started to school shop I found Emily's dress 1st. When I saw this dress in Madelyn's size I decided to get it. So glad I did. She was beyond thrilled. The dress was made even better knowing it was identical to little sister's just different colors.

We've got a 4th grader!
 (Hunter was embarrased that mom made him hold the sign. Mom's embarrased that she mis-spelled the word millionaire. Oops! Maybe it's a good thing I'm going back to school too! )

Hunter loves money. He lives for money. He's always asking how he can earn money or what can he sell for money? One afternoon Kory's boss came over to chit chat. In the conversation he mentioned that he had something "pattened" and was paid a couple million dollar's. Since then Hunter has wanted to know how he could become a multi-millionaire. This kid will do anything for money. Hunter has this habit of teasing and annoying his sister's. What boy doesn't do this right? Anyway's we've started having him pay his sister's a $1 for every time they have to ask him to stop more than once. It's working. He hates having to give his money away. Money defenitely motivates him right now!

 Hunter's a very smart boy. He excells is school. When he puts his mind to something he follows through and does it well. It wouldn't be suprising to me at all if one day he is a Multi-Millionaire.

Big Boy, Brayden
Brayden was quite excited for school to start too. He came down dressed that morning and helped pack everyone's lunch. He NEEDED a lunch too so he packed one for himself. He kept saying he was going to school with Hunter. When I told him he was going to stay home with mom he said, "yep, I don't have shoes on". He then went back inside. While he was gone the bus came and picked the kids up. Brayden came out the door just in time to see the bus pull away. Oh my did he have a melt down. He kept asking me to take him to school. In his little mind because he was dressed, had his shoes on and a lunch he was going to school too.

On tuesday our 2nd day of school the kids were gone before Brayden was awake. He soon came down the stairs and asked where Hunter was. I told him that he and the girls had gone to school already. He plopped himself on stair, put his chin in his hand and said, "I'm so mad at Hunter. He left me AGAIN!"
It was the funniest thing. Wish I had it on video tape!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Showing/Selling the Pigs.

I have learned A LOT over these past few months living the country life. One of them being farm animals. Having kids raise animals to sell at the county fair is a BIG thing in this area. Last year we moved in right before the fair and so didn't have the chance to have this experience. This year we were iffy... o.k it was I that was iffy if we were going to participate or not. Most of the kids have their choice of raising goats, sheep, steer's or pigs. Frankly with Kory's schedule I knew that the majority of the help the kids would need in "raising" these animals would fall on my shoulders. Having 5 kids to raise by myself it seems lately why would I want to raise animals too? 

Hunter wanted to do a steer but to buy one we were looking at $800-1,000. We don't have that kind of money and second  I REFUSE to raise something that is as tall as I am and out weighs me by several hundred pounds. Let's not forget I grew up in Vegas. I have no idea what to do with a steer! I also wasn't a big fan of goats. Last year Kory's brother brought about 10 of his to our yard so that they could "mow" our grass/weeds and volunteer tree's. Those darn things CONSTANTLY got out of there made up fence. Being they are nocturnal it was without fail that on a daily basis they would get out around dusk. If I took the sometimes 2 hours to gather them all back up  into there pen they'd just get out a few hours later AGAIN!! They loved to run up and down my wrap around porch during the night. It echoed so badly. I felt like I didn't get any sleep until close to dawn when they'd finally settle down.  It also didn't help that twice last spring while I was trying to "help" a goat that had gotten himself  "stuck" in a wire fence that dang thing rammed me with his horns and sent me flying to the ground. So again the goats were out in my book. Then we've got to talk about the sheep. They bellow if that's the correct term and can be quite loud. I know it's a bit selfish but I don't paticularly like cutting Kory's hair or my boys. To me it would be worth the $20 a month to have someone else do it. I'm just not fond of cutting hair. Why oh why would I want to shave a sheep that probably has 10x the amount of hair/fur/wool whatever you want to call it? I have a hard enough time getting my 3 year old to sit still for a 5 minute haircut. How am I suppose to shave a sheep? That leaves us with pigs. At the beginning of Spring we were told that pigs were very hard to come by. When we learned that we might not be able to get them this year I'll be honest I didn't shed a tear. We let everyone know that we'd still be interested in getting pigs but if they were that hard to get this year instead of getting one for each of the 3 oldest at $150 a piece we'd only get one and have all the kids share it. After almost a month went by and I thought I was out of the woods. Then one weekend when we were out of town Kory gets a call saying his brother-in-law was on his way home with a trailor full of pigs. The seller, in Idaho, had plenty of pigs and so 3 pigs were bought for our family at $175 a piece. Not only were we not going to be home when our pigs would be delivered, we hadn't made arrangements for the pigs to live anywhere nor did we have feed! And.... I only wanted one at $150. Not 3 at $175.  Oh happy days for me! I was not happy!!!!
Let's just say Kory spent some time on his phone figuring everything out.  

Needless to say we didn't start our 1st year of raising farm animals the right way. This past weekend was our County Fair. We loaded up our pigs friday morning at 8am to head down to the fair corrals. On our way out of town I was informed that because Hunter is in 4-H he was suppose to wear a white shirt with the 4-H patch. I don't know about any other mom's but I don't normally buy my kids ANYTHING in white. It just doens't stay white! Especially since moving to the country.  Lucky for us I had bought Hunter a white polo shirt about 4 years ago on clearance in a size that would fit him now. I guess worse case scenario he would have had to wear his white church shirt. As far as the patch goes.... We were just out of luck for this year!    
When we unloaded our pigs they had to go through a special shoot that weighed them. Thank heavens they all weighed over 200 pounds so they made the cut in weight. The "perfect" pig should weigh 250-260 pounds or so we've been told. Hunter's pig weighed 256. Madelyn's 243 and Emily's 244. Not bad! We put them in our assigned stalls and then waited for our turn to use the "baths".
Oh my! Oh my! I thought I could get wet bathing my toddler's. By the time we were done bathing the 3 pigs we were just drenched. It's a good thing mom thought to make everyone wear dingy clothes to bathe the pigs in.

Miss Emily bathing her pig.
Madelyn and her pig.
Finally Friday afternoon came the big event. Here's Hunter "showing" his pig. He basicly walks his pig around the arena with a pig stick. There's about 6 other kids his age in the arena with there pigs and the judge. The judge "judges" the pig. He tells the audience the good things about what he see's in each pig and what pigs he thinks could use some more time on feed. Hunter did good for his 1st year.
Madelyn missed the cutoff and so she is in the pee wee 4-H. They didn't have to wear the white shirts which I was quite happy about since she doesn't own an all white shirt. I didn't care for how the schedule had the 4-H (older kids) go 1st and then the pee wee. Hunter showed his pig about 5pm. Madelyn didn't show her's until after 8pm.
Emily "showed" even later. Grandpa Christensen was here and so he went into the arena with her to "help".

As I said, I've learned a lot this year.
Next year IF we do pigs again things will be done differently.
I want my kids to have the proper clothing and the patches to wear that most of the other kids had. It didn't matter if they were in pee wee or not. During the sale it was funny to see some of the kids "make up" there animals. For instance goats had bows attached to there horns. Pigs were covered in glitter! Who would have thought?  From the very beginning I have felt like things were just thrown at us with no warning, no time to be prepared for what we were suppose to do with the pigs and it NEVER stopped! Everything was so last minute it. It was always, "Oh by the way....". 
The kids did O.K with their sale. We are about $330 into each pig. Hunter's pig sold for $450. Madelyn's sold for $475 and Emily's sold for $550. Kory and I both think the only reason Emily's sold for higher was becuase people took pitty on the "little girl with the broken leg" out in the arena.
Next year we are NOT buying pigs at $175 a piece. I think that was just ridiculous but I understand the buyer who bought them was trying to find a place he could buy 20+ pigs from for everyone in town. At the time I was seeing "show pigs" on KSL and Craigslist for $50-80 a piece but they only had 1-2 pigs. Next year we'll buy our own pigs. Lesson's were learned this year and now we'll know a bit more for next year. We did alright for our 1st year!

County Fair Ribbon's

As mentioned this past weekend was our county fair. During the previous week we started gathering all the fun stuff the kids made this summer that they wanted to submit to the Children's Fair. Each object/project submitted would be given a white ribbon. At the end of the fair all those white ribbon's were worth a dollar. If your project was a little more unique or better than average you could earn a blue ribbon worth $3, a red ribbon worth $2, a sweepstakes purple ribbon was worth $5 and trophy was worth $15.

Despite Hunter's deer caught in headlights look he was quite thrilled to discover that his pine wood derby car won sweepstakes. Woohoo!!

 He was a bit disapointed with only getting a white ribbon on his duct tape wallet. Can you tell he didn't want a picture taken?? I thought his wallet turned out good. No one else had submitted anything made from duct tape. I really thought he would have been given more than just a white ribbon for this creative idea. I'm not sure how the judging went it certainly didn't make any since to me. Numerous young boys submitted their pinewood derby's and I thought he would have recieved a white ribbon for it with as many as were submitted. But... somehow he won sweepstakes.
 Hunter also submitted a saddle bag that he sewed out of canvas (I missed taking a pict.). He made this bag in a 4-H sewing class. Despite the fact that there were 6 identical saddle bags submitted (all made at the same sewing class) his was chosen to submit to the State Fair. Go Hunter!!!! Hunter also submitted a rope he tied together at scout's one night. He recieved a red ribbon for it but refused to allow mom to take any more pictures of him. The day before the entries were to be submitted Hunter decided to make no bake cookies. Another red ribbon for Hunter. After adding all the ribbons up he earned $11 for his 5 submissions. Needles to say he was quite pleased.
 Miss Madelyn did a good job for this being our 1st year too. She made a pillowcase dress at a 4-H sewing class. She not only earned a blue ribbon for the dress but it was also chosen to be submitted to the State Fair too!
 Madelyn's recycled Kool-Aid bag was given a blue ribbon. 
 Another blue ribbon for her zucchini bread.
A blue ribbon for her bracelet she made. She spelled out spring on the bracelet.
Madelyn earned $12.
 Miss Emily submitted her favorite, chocolate chip cookies. Red ribbon for her!
 One day her and I sat down and made something useful for our family. We made another hot/cold pack. She picked out the fabric, cut the fabric, pinned and pinned and pinned the fabric (I think this was the part she liked the best.). Then with her sitting on my lap she sewed it together. She struggled a bit once the bag was filled with rice and she needed to sew the opening but she did it. It turned out so great that the little bag not only got a blue ribbon but is also being submitted to the State Fair.
 Emily also submitted her bracelet that she made that spells out her name. One red ribbon for her.
That's $7 for her. 
 Brayden is only 3 and quite frankly I really struggled with coming up with a unique/different project that he could do by himself. After racking my brain and searching online I decided we'd make an airplane out of popsicle sticks. He painted all the sticks by himself, he chose the orange paint. Once the paint was dry he helped squirt out the hot glue and he placed the sticks with very minimal amount of help from mom. Red ribbon for him.
 Being everyone else was submitting baked goods mom helped him make his very own batch of cookies. His FAVORITE candy is M&M's. Being I had some on hand I had him add those instead of chocolate chips. One more red ribbon for Brayden.
Brayden earned $4 for his 2 submision's.

 Together my kids earned $34. I think the best part is that my 4 oldest (the ones who understand) each had something that was chosen to be submitted to the State Fair. How cool is that???

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kylie's Blessing Dress

I was glancing through my blog and realized I hadn't posted some of the pictures I took of Kylie in her blessing gown. Oops! I know when I eventually print my blog into a book I would miss these photos terribly.  So even though it's been over a month now I'm going to go ahead and post them.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Kylie even though it's a bit blurry. Quite often this little girl is sticking her tongue out and one of her hands is pulling whatever she can grab into her mouth. I don't know whether to say she's discovered her hands or her mouth.... or maybe it's both!

I went to Hurricane for a few days after Kylie was born to spend some time with my parents. I took everything I needed to make this beautiful dress with me. I had every intention of making it myself.  However while I was there my sister's babysitter quit on her and my mom and I ended up watching her little kiddo's. Her baby Miss B. was not a happy camper that week. She was suffering from an ear infection and she was letting everyone know of her discomfort. Needless to say it just ended up being a little easier with me walking around doing the baby jiggle with Miss B. while my mom sat in front of the sewing machine. In the end I'm glad she had an opportunity to make the dress. All of my other children's blessing outfits were made by there Grandma Heaton. Being Kylie is named after my mom's mom it's fitting that my mom was able to make this special dress. And in the end all of these special outfits were made by a grandma.
 I love long blessing dresses. Like my other two daughter's dresses I wanted this one to be similar in that way. I love the way it turned out. I wanted it simple with a cascade of flowers on the side and that's what I got. I love it!
 During our little photo shoot I couldn't help but to snap a few photo's of her tiny, petite, little features. I made her blessing bracelet on a whim the night before. With what I had to work with I'm happy with the way it turned out. Simple, elegant, white and prettty!
 I love baby toes!


I must have worn her out! She crashed during our photo shoot. She is such a beautiful baby. I just want to eat her up!

(While posting this post, Hunter came up and was watching what I was doing over my shoulder. He started laughing and said, "look mom isn't she saying I love you in sign language"? I guess she is. How funny that I hadn't noticed. I've only looked at this picture a bazillion times.)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Kylie's 2 months old

Miss Kylie B., as the kids have started calling her, turned 2 months old last sunday!

 She's changing!
She's staying more alert everyday.
She's smiling a lot but it's been very DIFICULT to catch it on camera.
In the mornings, her happiest part of the day, she coo's and talks to me.
I love it!
 She's loosing that newborn look and looking more and more each day like a regular baby!
Not being a newborn anymore does have it's up side. Like....sleeping most nights from 10pm-4am.
That's 6 HOURS of uninterupted sleep .
Love it! 
 Even though she's looking more like a regular baby she's MY  baby! And I love her to pieces!
I love this picture just because it shows how tiny her little feet our being able to slip through the holes of the baskett.

Miss Kylie B. has discovered her hands! They are always close to her mouth whether they are by themselves or pulling something up to her mouth like her shirt or the #2 month sticker.
Quite frankly anything she can grab onto goes straight to her mouth!

 I love, love, love the newborn stage.
I love the snuggling into my shoulder, the sleeping on my chest, that newborn smell, the way their little bodies stay curled up in a ball, the tiny moans and groans and the soft whimpers they make even the newborn cry.  That newborn cry is unmistakable! Any mom can be out shopping and recognize that New Born cry. We don't even have to see the baby, just hear that cry and we think, "Ohhhhh that must be a newborn". Miss Kylie B's cry is changing! It's loosing that newborn sound. Can I cry?
I do believe she was done having her picture taken!

Kylie had her 2 month checkup last week.

She has grown from
7 lbs 6 oz. and 19 inches long at birth
10 lbs. 12 oz. and 22 inches long.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Another mishap...

I've decided I am ready for summer to end! It seems we have had one mishap right after the other and quite frankly I'm done and exhausted! I feel I'm walking on tippy toes just waiting to see what life throws at us next! I feel like I'm always contemplating if we do this what might possibly happen?

Saturday afternoon Kory's brother, Kirk, showed up at our house. He and Kory were outside when Emily, Madelyn, cousin Sara and Brayden asked if they could take turns riding the quad. As long as an adult is outside supervising we don't have a problem with this. Madelyn started by driving one of the kids up and down the street one at a time. Earlier that day Kory had been working at the shop, now having company he decided to run back over and shut things down, lock the door, etc. and then he wouldn't have to go back out that night. Madelyn asked if she could follow him on the quad, Kory said he didn't have a problem with that and so Kory and Kirk drove away. No one realized that everyone wanted to go so all 4 kids piled up on the quad and Madelyn drove away. By the time the kids got to the shop Kory and Kirk were already inside. Emily was sitting in the back and asked if she could just steer the quad around while they were waiting for dad to come back out. Madelyn didn't see why not so while Madelyn pushed on the pedal Emily steered.  Apparently no one was ready and no one was hanging on. Emily turned the wheel a little to quick and both Sara and Brayden fell off.

 Instead of going inside the shop where Dad was Maddie quickly drove everyone home to mom. I was on the phone when I heard Brayden screaming outside. When the door opened I immediately got off the phone and I was a bit panicky. If only I had a picture of what I saw. Madelyn was in tears, had blood all over the side of her face and in her hair, when she turned around she also had blood on the back of her shirt. Brayden had blood all over the side of his face and his collar was soaked through. Emily was in tears and so was Sara. I immediately picked my phone back up and called Kory. When he answered all I said was, "I NEED you home NOW!" and hung up. Unbeknownst to me he was already pulling up outside. He had heard the screaming from outside his shop but when he went to check on them they had already left. Being he was done locking up he figured he'd better follow to see what was going on.

Madelyn was not hurt nor was Emily and Sara. Sara's arm was a little scratched but it was already scratched up by her cat so it was hard to tell how scratched up she really got!  Madelyn got blood all over herself by trying to carry Brayden inside. Brayden was definetly the one that got hurt. We were talking that maybe he would need stitches but the blood clotted almost immediately and it quit seeping.    
When I washed Brayden down the best I could and was sitting on the couch Kory noticed the camera by my side. He was teasing me that I had to take a picture first before taking care of my kiddo's. I was a bit offended! The camera just happened to be out and I just happened to be sitting by it without realizing it! So what does he do? Picks up the camera and starts taking pictures. He says now I have something to blog about!

Later that night Kory and I were talking about all of our recent trials that have been thrown our way. He said, "Can you imagine what life would throw at us if we weren't praying for safety?" I'll admit my 1st thought was I don't think that part of our prayer is being heard but the more and more I think about it we have been blessed. In the past few weeks we have had one mishap right after another. It seems as if we are being picked on at times but all of our mishaps could have been worse! We still have each other and we are all still breathing. In our area we have had several sudden deaths. We've had a young dad, a new husband, a grandma and 2 infants pass away. We are hearing of more and more divorces! We all have our own trials and we all handle them in different ways. These past few weeks I have been stressed, I've not liked or appreciated my trials. But I will gladly accept these trials as others in our area are going through much worse right now.

Cooking Party

Madelyn finally got to have her 8th birthday party!
Her birthday was the end of June but with family reunions, her baptism/Kylie's blessing, Grandma's cousin camp and our many, many dr.'s appts it just kept getting pushed back week after week. When Kylie's shoulder dislocated 2 days before the big day I was tempted to reschedule but by this point I was just ready to be done with it.
So here we go...
Kory thought I was CRAZY but I made each girl her own apron with her initial and a matching chef's hat. It was a bit time consuming and a lot of work but the girls LOVED them. We used these as the party favors.   

 Eva, McKayla, Madelyn, Ruth, Brittyn
I told Madelyn that with her birthday theme that she picked she could only invite the amount of kids we could fit around our table. With Emily being invited too, this left her with a total of 6 kids including herself. So she got to invite 4 friends. I made Emily an apron and hat too BUT she didn't want to be in the picture!

To start our party I had balloons the girls blew up, dipped them in melted chocolate and then we put them on a cookie sheet and into the refrigerator they went to get hard. When the chocolate was hard we popped the balloons and used our chocolate bowls later for dessert. Next time we do this I'll spray the balloons with PAM before dipping them. I had a hard time getting the balloons to come away from the chocolate bowls without breaking them.  
 After the chocolate bowls were made everyone got to make there very own personal pizza's.
 They loved rolling out their circle of dough and putting there very own toppings on.
 While our lunch was baking we played the flour game. Ever played this before? None of these girls had. I filled a measuring cup with flour, packed it in tight, I flipped it over and then patted it out onto a plate carefully so it would keep it's form. We then put a penny on top.
 Each girl took a turn cutting a piece of the flour away.
 When the penny fell, she had to pick it up with her teeth.
 After the flour game the girls put together their green salad on a stick to go with their own personal pizza's.  Maddie was holding the baby for me while I was getting everyone else's pizza's out of the oven. Baby girl was not happy!
 After lunch we played the candy bar game. One girl was rolling dice trying to get double one's while another girl had to put her apron over her head, put her baker's hat on, and using two hot pads and two knifes cut small pieces of a snicker's bar. She could cut as many pieces from the snicker's until the double one's were rolled. When they were rolled the dice was moved to the next girl and the candy bar plate followed. The girls who got a lot of snicker's loved this game. The girls who didn't get a lot didn't care for this game so much!
 After the candy bar game we opened gifts because one of the girls ended up having to leave early.
 After gifts they sat around the table again frosting and decorating cupcakes!
Madelyn thoroughly enjoyed her cooking party and I think the other girls did too. They kept saying , "this is so much fun" or "this is so awsome". I'm glad they enjoyed themselves. I'm glad they had fun. And truth be told I'm glad it's over! It's been a crazy few weeks.

And now I'm done for a few years. Our kids only get friend birthday parties when they turn 5, 8 and 12.
Our next big birthday party will be when Brayden turns 5 still two years away.