Monday, February 25, 2013

Valentine Letters

Kory's parents our currently serving a mission in Nauvoo, IL. Unfortunately we haven't been the best at sending regular letters. So a week before Valentines Day we decided to write to our grandparents and tell them how much we love them with a bit of a twist. We used conversation hearts in place of some of our words. The kids loved it!

 Maddie had some serious concentration. Sh

 With a little help Emily was able to use several candies in her letter.
Brayden I think ate more candies than we got on paper. In the end he wrote his name by himself and we glued the candies into a heart shape.

Hunter cracked us up! He didn't like some of the words on the candies and he was having a hard time using them after he used his first 3/4. So my very resourceful son flipped the candy over and wrote his own word on it!
This turned out to be a great family home evening night. My girls want to do this almost every week now. So glad they had fun. I just hope our package arrived with the candies still intact so that Grandma and Grandpa could read it.

Kylie's 8 months

 Kylies photo shoot the end of last month was a disaster!!! I love this little girl to pieces but she sure makes my life miserable trying to get her monthly pictures. If she wasn't baby #5 and I had my camera out a lot like I did with my older kiddo's I woudn't worry about it so much. But my picture taking has drastically been reduced with each child. I'm afraid if I don't take pictures once a month of this cutie pie I won't get any of her in these stages that quickly go by.

So of like the 50 I took here's the best one!! One day I'll have time to play with it in photo shop and fix the tacky background but for now it's what's working for us.

 These dang sticker's were an awesome idea but seriously.... This kid won't leave them alone!!
 If it's not the sticker that takes her attention it's the fuzzy drop she's sitting on and can't leave alone.
 I ordered this cute hat for Kylie B several months ago. It was suppose to fit a newborn! I have never seen a newborn with a head so big it that this hat would fit. So I've waited and waited and waited and thought I'd try it in this months photo shoot. Still too big but I love the hat! That being said Miss Kylie didn't appreciate it. She just wanted it off! Big brother Brayden was trying to distract her with dominoe's.

 Didn't work! She wanted the domino just not the hat. Oh well.... Maybe next month's!
I must admit I love her little scunched up "I'm upset, leave me alone" look.

Baskettball Season

My husband says how different our town is compared to when he grew up here. When he was a child there were 8-10 families that had 6-14 kids each. He says that across from our house was a baseball field that was always occupied by the local kids. He remember's there always being someone to play with. Today it's a bit different. Our primary has just over 20 kids in it. In fact our Junior Primary is so small that we only have 2 teachers. One teaches the sunbeams and the other teaches everyone else. This makes it hard on this 2nd teacher as she has about 10 kids ranging from age 4-8. Now that being said more than half of those kids our my kids immediate cousins.  I learned real quick that my kids love to play with there cousins but sometimes it's nice to be able to play with a just a friend too. Unfotunately most of my kids classmates live anywhere from 15-40 minutes away. It's not easy to get them together and I've been amazed at how many parents tell me they don't want to have to come to my house to pick there child up after school. We live to far away! Frankly I hate it!!! So wanting my kids to make friends outside of cousins and to give them an opportunity to play with them I've allowed Hunter and Madelyn to play whatever sport or participate in whatever acitivity they have had an interest in at school. 

Over these past few months (since November) both Hunter and Madelyn have played baskettball. This year Hunter's team wasn't too bad. His practices were after school and almost every game was at our local highschool. This still gives me a 30min. drive one way but it was an oppportunity that Hunter really enjoyed. Somehow my pictures that I took got "lost" so I have none to share. His team had 19 kids on it and they were 3rd/4th graders. Our team was split into two due to it's size. They were almost undefeated! They only lost one game and it was to our other half which is kind of funny being all kids played for both teams. Hunter's season ran from the beginning of November until the middle of January.

The week after the boy's season was complete the girls started. No rest for this family. Madelyn's team has had practice 3x a week before school at 6:00am. This has been difficult. Where as there wasn't anyone local I could car pool with Hunter's team I've had another mom to car pool with Madelyn's which had made her crazy schedule a little easier to deal with. We get our 8 year olds up about 5:15 a.m, pick each other's kids up about 5:35 and have our kids to practice by 6am. In my opinion this is way too early for any 8 year old!! On top of the 3x a week practice she has one game. Unfortunatley only 2 games of the 6 were home games. We've had to travel to Kanab and Fredonia which are an hour away from home. All of her games have started at 4:30 pm too. I hate this time. How our dad's suppose to make it to these early games?? Madelyn is #10
 I feel like we've been living in our van lately. If the kids were to ride the bus home from school we would be late for these far away games. So instead I pick everyone up from school, drive to the game and hang out in the car for up to an hour! Hunter's teacher at school realized what I was doing and offered her classroom to us to use after school.  I've taken her up on this these past few weeks. While we wait in her classroom we read, do homework and visit. Basicly the same thing we do in the van while we wait but we each have more personal space and moving room. The kids still get bored but it beats sitting in the van. If only we didn't have freezing temperatures and we could play outside!
Maddies team is also 3rd and 4th girls. She being in 3rd makes this her 1st year playing the game. Last year she was able to participate in a baskettball camp. At the end of the 2 weeks the girls played each other.  
We've got one more week of baskettball. I can hardly wait!! Her last game this week is a home game which makes it even better. The majority of her team are 3rd graders, just learning. It's been a little hard on her knowing Hunter's team was basicly undefeated and they've only won one game of the 5 they have played. We keep telling her that as long as she's playing her best that is all that counts. Winning is fun but it's not everything.
I'm so looking forward to the season ending. I feel like I'm at the end of my rope. Most mon/wed I drive to at least Orderville 2x for practice and preschool which is being in the car for just under 2 hours throughout the morning. When there's a game on the same day I feel like I've been gone and in the car most of the day. On game days I get the 2 hours in the morning of being in the car than another 2 hours in the afternoon/evening for games. I leave my house on these days at 2:30 and don't get home until 6:30/7. So glad it's almost over. Wed are my hardest day's. So glad I've only got one more. Till next year'!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brayden Starts Preschool...

I love all of my 5 kids.
That being said I have to admit that I have really enjoyed the time I have with my 2 youngest at home by ourselves. We have fun. We play with playdough, we color, we paint and

 we fix yummy snacks. It's a great time to see and watch the personality come out of my 3 year old. Sometimes he seems to get overshadowed by his older siblings, especially when they get home from school and I've got 5 kids asking for my attention all at the same time.
 During Christmas break we were able to visit with lots of family members on both sides of the family. Many times I was asked to interpret what Brayden was saying. It was brought to my attention that this little man of my life didn't/couldn't say some of the letter sounds and therefore wasn't easily understood. After talking to my mom about this I finally got the nerve to call our school district and make an appt. to have his speech tested. Three weeks later he had his appt. with the speach therapist. Brayden's going to be turning 4 in April and there are several letter sounds that he can't make yet and should be able to at this point.  His hearing test came out fine and after some paperwork was completed Brayden qualified for free speach therapy done at the school twice a week. On top of that because of this "impairment" he qualifies to attend preschool 2x a week for free. I wasn't ready for my little man to leave my side quite yet. Brayden however LOVES school.  
 Brayden in front of his school!
 Brayden just loves his "Diego" back pack.
 This is Miss Wendy, his teacher. He has a cubby with his name on it and a picture of a ball. Ball starts with the letter "B" therefore marking Brayden's spot throughout the classroom!
When he gets to preschool he's suppose to put his "homework" in a box, put his backpack in his cubby and sign in. He loves writing his name to sign in. He is loving preschool. Everyday he asks what day it is and if it's preschool day. I have to take him to school but in the afternoons he get's to ride the bus home with all the other kids. He and two other preschoolers sit behind the bus driver and wear safety harnesses to help keep them in their seats. I've always worked with my kids at home on learning letter's, number's, sound's etc. but I have been so impressed with how quickly he's learning attending preschool twice a week. He comes home with homework to do each day. It started with a paper having him draw straight lines, cirlces, his name, etc. Now it's tracing and writing phonograms. If that wasn't enough he also brings a book home that I am suppose to read to him enough times that he can than take the book and tell me the story back. He get's so excited to do his homework and it's been fun to do it with him. I miss my little guy during the day. I miss his stories, his laughter, his willingness to help me with my chores, his wanting to bake banana bread each and every day but I know he's having a great time at school.  

Kylie is 7 months old..

After Christmas the lil' pumpkin of mine hit her 7 month mark. She's getting so big! Well I should re phrase that... Developmentally we can see her growth but she's still pretty petite and at this time could still wear some of her 0-3 month outfits.

 She sits's up great. She finally started to play on her own with some of her toys. I love that I no longer need to entertain her constantly! Her two bottom teeth are fully in and she's learning how to use them.
 She's no where near crawling yet as she really doesn't like to be on her belly. And really this being baby 5 I'm totally allright with her not crawling. I am so not ready for that next stage.
Little stinker is no longer a good sleeper. She wakes up severals time during the night wanting to nurse. We've started feeding her baby food before bed with the hopes of getting more than 4 hours between feedings. She's starting to eat more table foods like green beans that we bottled this past fall, canned peaches, soft bread and store bought baby snacks.  

Plumbing Issues

So in the middle of January one night Kory ran to the basement to grab some ice cream. He came back up the stair's not a very happy man. We had a water leak! Really we're just so very thankful that he discovered the leak and soggy packing boxes before the basement flooded!

We thought that with the numerous day's in a row that were below freezing temperatures that maybe the pipes had frozen or the leech lines. To make sure we didn't end up with a flooded basement he shut the water off with the intention's of working on it the following day. The kids and I got to go the whole next day without running water. We survived the inconvenience and was hopefull that it would only be the one day. No such luck! Kory called our landlords and explained the situation to them.  They thought that maybe the septic tank was full and needed pumped. So on day 2 Kory took some time off work, borrowed a mini excavator and tried to find the septic tank. After digging around in the area our landlord thought it was in but was still unsuccesfull he decided to move to the other side of the white picnic fence.  He found  a random water line and broke the pvc pipe. We had a mini geiser! After the water cleared and a little more digging accomplished the missing septic tank was found. It wasn't full to the top but it was in need of emptying so we found someone who could do that on day 3. The septic tank is now empty and the broken water line is fixed. We turned the water back on to discover that the pipes still leaked but only when the water was running like the flushing of a toilet or a faucet that was turned on. So Kory left the water on for us but we just couldn't use it.

Day 4 Kory took some more time off work to work on our plumbing issue. He finally discovered that the inlet pump going into the septic tank had broken off. Meaning some of the flow could get in but not very much. Unfortunatley we couldn'd find anyone in town that had the needed parts. So day 5 we  got someone to bring us the parts from the "city" and not only had running water again but usable running water. Hip Hip Hooray!!! I got just what I wanted for my birthday that day. A SHOWER in my own home!!! I was a long week to say the least.

Emily's 1st Lost Tooth

Right after Christmas Break this big girl of mine finally lost her 1st tooth. She is the youngest of her siblings to loose her 1st tooth. Hunter didn't loose his 1st tooth until 2nd grade and Madelyn was in 1st. She's quite proud of herself for being the youngest in the family to loose a tooth thus far.

 Our Tooth Fairy quite frankly needs to be fired. She does an absolute terrible job. There have been too many times to count that it's taken her 3-5 days after the lost tooth before she finally finds her way here. We make up all sorts of excuses for her like, it's a sunday and the tooth fairy doesn't work on sunday's or you must have stayed up too late and she had to pass us by or the opposite, you got up to early before she was done with her visits. I really do feel terrible that our tooth fairy can't seem to come the same night as this grand event.
Being this was Emily's 1st lost tooth the tooth fairy did make her much anticipated appearance on the 1st night and left her a whole dollar.  A few weeks ago Miss Emily lost another tooth. The tooth fairy didn't come for 3 days!! It was just terrible on my little 5 year old. Just last week Miss Emily lost her 3rd tooth.  The tooth fairy made numerous mental notes and actually left notes in her bed so she wouldn't forget. The next morning Emily came down so excited with Madelyn right behind her. The tooth fairy had left 2- one dollar bills??? After Emily walked away Madelyn replied, "Yeah mom, you always forget so I did it for you". Madelyn is such a sweetheart! Can I give her the money and ask her to play our tooth fairy?