August 30, 2009

Warm Un-Welcome

Tymon and I had a wonderful opportunity to go on an Alaskan cruise this past week and thanks to some wonderful friends and Nana and Bapa, we were able to go without children. Yesterday when I arrived to pick up Graeden and Elliott, they were playing with their friends in the fields and woods around the Tonks' home. They saw me pull up and hid in the woods. Reluctantly, Graeden slowly walked toward me and barely said "hi". I picked him up and hugged and kissed him and he squirmed away. It took me about half an hour to get them in the car. Elliott informed me that he wanted to live at the Tonks' house. Tymon and Jett and Jocelyn beat me home and when I walked in the door Jett gave me a hug but found out I wasn't making lunch and left. I went upstairs to see Jocelyn playing around and when I poked my head around the corner she took off in the opposite direction...when did she get so proficient moving upright? And I thought my children would miss me. Ha ha ha. We gave the boys some Alaskan float planes to fly around the yard and they lasted about 2 hours before they were broken. And after a few hours they made up for a weeks worth of hugs and kisses. That made me feel better and I know they had a great vacation, too.

August 21, 2009

Birch Bay

We arrived in Birch Bay on Wednesday evening to meet up with my family for a little retreat. After dinner, we took a little walk on the beach and the boys threw rocks into the water with their cousins and uncles. When it was time to leave we discovered that Jett had taken off his flip flops. We searched. It was dark. No shoes. My brother got a flashlight to search for them. Nothing. It was high tide and they were gone. Jett experienced the natural consequence from taking his shoes off at the beach in the dark with a shifting tide.
Thursday morning, the tide was out so far. It took us 15 minutes to walk out from the high tide mark to the low tide mark. My mom was with us and began to search the beach where we were the night before. I thought it was a waste of time. There's no way the flip flops were still there. They are foamy and floaty. And would you believe that she actually found them in the seaweed line along the beach? Amazing. It's so unbelieveable. So believe it. Jett experienced the natural consequence of having a loving Nana who didn't want him to go without shoes.
Uncle Brett and I with Jocelyn.
Uncle Brett loves photoshop. And I love that in the matter of seconds he cut 20 pounds off of me. What's my jean size here? A two? Yes, I believe that's a size 2 bum.
Poor Jocelyn was a little cranky...she certainly got heavy when she fell asleep.
And at times she looks like Evan.

I love these photos of Elliott. Often, he shies from the camera...and if he knew these were being taken he probably wouldn't have looked so good. Thanks to Uncle Brett's big telephoto lens, he didn't know.

August 18, 2009

Jett's Party

Yesterday, we celebrated Jett's third birthday because Tymon and I will be celebrating our anniversary next week on his birthday. One of my friend's daughters planned it and led the games. Here is a dance freeze game and some photo highlights.


We gave him a scooter and the first thing he says is "Oh a scooter! That's dangerous!" He is so fun to watch open presents. He loves everything and it makes you feel so good that you chose a winning gift. The best reaction was for my brother and sister-in-law. I can't remember now what he said but when he opened the gift he exclaimed something like, "Oh Wow! I love it!"

Something that I didn't realize before was how few friends Jett has that are his own age. There are only 2 kids his age in his class at church. Most of the time when he's playing, he's playing with his brothers and neighborhood kids who are older than him. I wanted Jett's party to have his friends at it and there just aren't that many, especially when some kids couldn't come. Graeden called me on it, too. He was disappointed that more kids didn't come. I think I'm going to have Jett in preschool this year, so he can make some more friends and next year have a little bigger party.

August 17, 2009

Last Summer

Amid the chaos that is summer, I miss this little guy. Here he is painting at Amber's house.

And just when I thought all of the flowers at his grave have gone away for the season, I see new buds coming up and new Gerber daisies on their way to blooming. I love it.

August 16, 2009

Local Town Hall

This past week, I took my children to our local town hall meeting with Rep. Rick Larsen. I left early when I ran out of patience for my rowdy boys and wiggly and fussy girl. Luckily the meeting was moved to the local baseball stadium because there were a ton of people there. The estimate was that 2400 people were in attendance.

I've got a few problems with this health care bill. Government has never taken over anything and done it right. Not the post office, not medicare and not even the DOL or DMV. It is wishful thinking to assume that they can take over healthcare and not have issues. Except if there is too much bureaucracy then there are delays in getting the type of care you need in a timely manner. I do NOT want goverment anywhere near my healthcare.

I also came away with a distaste for Rick Larsen's attitude at the town hall. He seemed like he was being nice by asking us what works and doesn't work in the current system. BUT the first thing he did was chastise the crowd for POTENTIALLY being too loud when someone was talking. He instructed us not to cheer or boo when someone was talking. Who is this guy? And how did he get elected? I actually think that if you want to know who of the 2400 people agree or disagree with what is being said then the sounds of the crowd are the quickest and most effective form of communication.

I didn't like that he spoke in a condescending tone to the crowd numerous times. He seemed to spend more time defending HR 3200 than listening to his constituents who HIRED him to REPRESENT them. He didn't come to listen. He came to convince us that for most of us nothing would change and that for a small percentage there would be ObamaCare. We were all concerned about nothing. The government has our best interest at heart. What a crock. This is a HUGE deal to change the ENTIRE system for such a small percentage of people. And it conveniently invites the government into our private lives. What would/could they do with information such as this? It really makes me wonder what will happen in September when congress is back in session. I'm pretty sure there will be some drastic consequences to ramming this health care bill down the throats of the American people.

Look Who's Walking!

I've been having some internet issues lately and haven't been able to use my computer for anything but word who does that anymore? After a week, I've just now found the right cord for hooking my camera up to Tymon's computer and being able to upload some photos/videos. I took this video almost a week ago. Jocelyn has only gotten steadier and picks herself up when she falls. It's fun to watch and we're so happy for her.



Yesterday, Graeden let us know that he would be cooking all of our dinners from now on. This past week, if I haven't been on the ball and cooking dinner when he wants it, he has gotten the corn dogs out of the freezer and popped them into the microwave one by one to cook them for everyone. It's pretty funny but he really does like to help in the kitchen. We were surprised at his announcement and even more shocked today when he actually remembered what he'd said.

Tonight, we had sweet and sour meatballs with rice and he cut up some plums to eat for dessert. If this is what he's making at 5, I can't wait to see what he cooks me up in another few years.

Also, I didn't realize my link to the Twilight video below wasn't working like I wanted, so I found it on YouTube and now we're good to go. How come NO ONE told me that my post made NO sense and the video wasn't right??? Well, my husband DID tell me, so I guess I know who my friends are.

August 13, 2009

Molotov Mitchell

I just came across this commentator and have enjoyed the little videos I've seen so far. Most are political and he seems pretty right on. This one is about some of Twilight's virtues. Very cool.

August 9, 2009

Hard Things

I've done two hard things this weekend. Friday, I met a group of friends from college for dinner. The last time we got together was the night before Evan died. Evan was with me that night. We met at the same restaurant in the same city. I did feel like I needed to go. Not just to see my friends but to confront myself. I don't want to avoid places or situations where I've had memories with Evan. I thought of him a few times while we were there but for the most part I was able to enjoy this new moment with my friends as they interacted with my other children. It was fun and I was emotionally fine. The funniest thing was to see the date of one of my friends interact with Jocelyn. He was so sweet with her and made her a bottle with hot water. She wouldn't drink it and he had to add ice to it to cool it down a bit. He let her throw food at him and even grab him with grubby hands. It was very cute.

Yesterday, I did my second hard thing. I went through my bins of baby boy clothing and filled 4 garbage bags to give away. I haven't looked in those bins since Evan died. Most of the clothing I associate with Graeden or Elliott or Jett. My boys were definitely able to share clothes, but because each one was born in a different season not every boy wore everything. I kept several items that were ONLY Evan's. I feel grateful that my boys shared a room and that Evan was young. I don't know how I couldn've packed up a room for a child who had a lot of personal effects. That would've been really hard.

I found that Evan's Mr. Cooper sweater that he wore the Sunday before he died still had food remnants on it, probably from a cracker or cookie he ate at church. I smelled it (smelled baby-ness) and I put in my bin of clothing to keep. I'm not ready to wash it. I kept the ugly shirt that he wore for the baby crawling contest. Not because I like it. I don't. But I do associate it with him because Tymon put it on him the morning he died. We brought it home from the hospital. Without Evan. I kept the pajamas he wore when he packed his diapers for a trip that Tymon and I took without the boys.

Today, the plan was to drop off the bags to a charity on the way to church. All of a sudden it hit me. I couldn't do it. I'd put his little jeans and a few other things in the bags. I had to get them out. I broke down and cried over these bags. I got a few things out and Tymon loaded the rest into the truck and we left. It's now done. Tymon transferred them to the donation collection trailer. Now, I'm unsure about what I want to do with what I have left. It's amazing how attached I can be with inanimate objects. Or how I'm still trying to deny that I said goodbye to Evan. As if he'll ever put these jeans on again.

August 7, 2009

The Fray

Tymon and I ushered at the theatre tonight and saw The Fray perform. Their music is pretty mellow and I appreciated the crowd. I didn't smell any pot the entire evening. It's so nice to breathe clean air at a concert.

Tymon bought this brown shirt and then we got home and discovered that the lighting in the theatre is off because it's really purple. Ha ha ha. Oh well.

August 5, 2009

Elliott's Wisdom

Elliott: Graeden, I tasted one of these before (holding a tomato out of the dinner salad) and it was good. That's why you should always try new things.

For the past couple of years, yes years, the boys have said they didn't like tomatoes. We heavily encouraged Elliott the other day to try a tomato when Graeden wasn't around. He did it, liked it and earned dessert. I love now that he's trying to teach Graeden to try new things :o). Graeden actually discovered that he like tomatoes a month or two ago.

Sometimes, I don't know if I'm helping or harming my children by "forcing" them to eat everything I serve, especially after making them eat a pilaf that I made yesterday. Jocelyn and Jett liked it. The big boys took all afternoon to eat it.

I am encouraged that Graeden's first 3-syllable word was artichoke and he even asked this evening when we were going to have those again. Um, when they're on sale of course! I hope that my children will try many foods in the upcoming years. I am sure they will find some culinary treasures along the way.

August 4, 2009

August 3, 2009

Evan's Sunset

Many months ago, I submitted Evan's name to be written in the sand at sunset at a beach in Australia. A family who lost their baby does this to remember him and to create a legacy for him. I checked back often at first and it wasn't there. It had me doubting whether or not I'd actually sent the request. Since you can only request it on Mondays and I never remember on Mondays, I haven't resubmitted the request. But today is Monday. I went to the site and did a quick search for Evan's name. About 6 weeks ago his name was drawn. I love this sunset and this photo done especially for him.

August 2, 2009

Science Project

Friday morning, after Graeden watched Sid the Science Kid he asked me to cut up an apple for him. He was going to make apple sauce. I was concerned at first because I was doing some scripture study and didn't want to supervise (once interrupted I don't get to finish). But I also don't want a big mess. Then I found out that Graeden wanted to make it in the microwave. Ahhh, I can handle that.
A little while later, I found a bowl of apple slices in water sitting on the table. I guess it didn't go as well as he planned it. I got Graeden and we transferred it to a little pot and put it on the stove. He loved to see how the apples changed with heat. He also learned to spell cinnamon as he looked for that spice in the cupboard.
Graeden made the best apple sauce ever. It was really good and now he knows that he can do it. I love that he can be handy in the kitchen. Learn his ingredients. Practice the science of cooking. And love to create great things.

So Good

One of the best things in the world, I've discovered, is my raspberry jelly. There really isn't any other jelly that can compare. First, you take a bucket of raspberries (or 3 in our case - we did process one bucket for my mom) and pour off the juice.

Mix in a little pectin and a lot of sugar and cook it up a bit and you get heaven on earth. It's really so simple. And pour it in jars and it lasts all year long.

But what to do with the cancer fighting and intestine cleaning seeds? Fruit leather! Graeden looked forward to this for a couple of weeks. He kept talking about how the fruit roll ups at the neighbor's house were so great and he is fascinated with the concept of making our own. Don't look too hard at my wooden of the joys of a new gas stove is realizing that it can get hot and if you leave the spoon on a burning hot pan then it will burn, too.

Our finished product.

We took a few little jars of jelly to our new neighbors. Well, two of them, and actually they moved in a couple of months ago...but it's better late than never, right? What's potentially terrible or marvelous is that we had three little jars that the lids didn't seal. So, I put them in the fridge and am thinking that I'll give them away to people that I know that would eat it right away and not put it in their pantry. Well, I checked those jars in the fridge and their lids are either they made a marvelous and miraculous sealing OR I gave the wrong ones to the neighbors. I hope they eat it before a pretty mold grows in it and then they wonder what kind of sick-o neighbors they really have.

Sand Box

I've actually been feeling a little guilty that I haven't been blogging about some of our great accomplishments and activities this summer. I think of poor Jovana starving for stories of the boys and think that she deserves more...

So, here goes. Seemingly out of the blue, Tymon decided that the boys needed a sand box. It was going to be a 3 hour project. Little did he know that it'd take nearly that amount of time to get the supplies. He had to do 2 separate loads for the sand alone.

The boys are quite excited with the project. I'm excited that Tymon is building something. He's done a fairly good job the past several years convincing me that he's not handy.
This is the place. I think the sprinklers used to hit this area of the yard...but sometimes boys playing around the sprinkler head cause them to redirect themselves. The grass has had a tough time growing here...never fear...the weeds love it.

Graeden was so excited to help remove what little grass we had.

But mostly it was Tymon working.

Of course, I always work faster if I have a small child jumping up and down around my project or hanging onto my leg while I'm making dinner.

It looks sturdy... but we had to stop here as we were already late to the pioneer activity.

Never fear, Dad works late. He came back and lined the box as it was getting dark out.

So, Tymon and his brother work out a few times a week together after work. Part of their routine was hauling 57 bags of sand to the back yard. Each bag weighs 50 pounds (almost 23 kilos). The boys were so excited. When the sand started going into the box they had to get in immediately. Our neighbor brought all of his sand box toys over to start playing right away.

It was great to see how excited the boys are about a box. They just love to dig and it's this or in my flower beds...the box is needed.

Tymon would cut the bags open and then the boys would get the sand out of them.

They loved making sand angels.
Now the only problem is the amount of sand in the house. We need an outdoor shower!


Sweet Graeden. He's such a delight. And definitely a people and party lover. We go to church in the same congregation as my parents. We usually sit in the middle somewhere and my parents sit in the front row to the side. They've sat in the front row to the side for decades. Occasionally, we'll sit in the second row behind them. But mostly, after the first couple of songs and after we've partaken of the sacrament bread and water, we let one of our boys go and sit with Nana and Bapa. They love it and have learned to walk reverently with their arms folded to the front of the chapel and sit with their grandparents. It was Jett's turn today, but that only lasted 10 minutes. So, when he came back, it was Graeden's turn to go.

After the service, Graeden was talking about making rolls with Nana. I didn't think much of it and sent him off to class. After church, we gave my parents Graeden's booster seat so he could go to their house. Again, nothing so unusual there. Often one of the boys will go to spend the afternoon after church with them.

So, my parents brought Graeden home at 6 o'clock and they brought a pan of rolls with them. Apparently, that was the appointed time that Graeden had given them. It went something like this:

Graeden: You're supposed to come over for dinner at 6 o'clock.
Nana: Okay

A few minutes later...

Graeden: Nana, you're supposed to bring rolls.
Nana: Well, if I'm bringing rolls then you will need to help me make them.
Graeden: Okay. But you need to be sure to come at 6 o'clock because you have to leave at 8 o'clock. That's when we go to bed.
Well, we had a quick meal of hot dogs, salad and chips when we got home from church. So, Nana and Bapa were a little surprised that we had nothing prepared for them. I did serve them a hot dog and piece of left over pizza. And of course we had plenty of rolls. I'm still laughing that Graeden really did invite them over and was clever enough to give them a time. My mom didn't think to ask me about it because Graeden had been so specific about the time. Only an adult would be so specific, right?! Ha ha ha.
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