The Funnest in the Messiest

Allan was cleaning up our bedroom on Saturday evening. It was messy. Very messy. He folded all the laundry. That was awesome.
Ember thought laundry made for a good pretend blanket while she pretend napped. Photobucket

And putting on socks is always a favorite of hers, even when she is already wearing tights. Photobucket

Just add some shoes and you’re all set. Ready to go out with your stylish self. PhotobucketPhotobucket

And she and I did go out. Just like that, with those Spiderman and Batman socks over her tights, to drive around until she fell asleep. Because she’d gotten cranky and also decided napping was not something she was willing to do. But the car said otherwise, the car said, “Sleep, Ember.” And within two minutes of being buckled into her older brother’s carseat, she did.
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Library + Movie, Wreck It Ralph

Brooklyn is my little bookworm. Of course which of my kids isn’t? None, none of my kids aren’t bookworms. As in, they all are. What? That was stupidly written.

We checked out like 45 books from the library. I’ve read so much this week my voice is scratchy. Reading and singing all the live long day.

I forgot to take a picture of Brooklyn’s books. They crack me up. Long chapter books about mysteries and science and stuff. Books you’d probably see a 10 year old boy reading. Oh but also, Goosebumps. My girl’s got a thing for Goosebumps and that makes me smile because guess who else had a thing for Goosebumps at her age? Me. Photobucket

Our carseats are regularly borrowed and used by whatever kid feels like whatever carseat that particular day. Half the carseats are in Allan’s car half the time. Since I’m constantly moving carseats back and forth to use his car when it’s his coworker, Tim’s, turn to drive the carpool, I sometimes just leave one or two in there to save myself the headache and backache of switching them back.
That, too, was stupidly written. I apologize. Must be the caffeine. Photobucket

We had ourselves a dance party in the car in the parking lot of the library. There was a particularly good song on that insisted we boogy out before venturing in to look for books. There are video clips documenting this booty shaking, head banging session currently on my hard drive. I’d share them but, my computer doesn’t agree that it should have to edit video clips, so it simply decided not to anymore, forevermore. Photobucket

Is it an odd day when a mother wishes there weren’t so many fun toys and computers and games at the library so that her children would just simply pick out books and read books while there? Isn’t that what a library is? Am I confused or misinformed on the definition of library? Can I please just get together with a library that contains books and only books? I will marry such a thing, if such a thing exists, until death do I part, amen. Photobucket

Twas cute, the computer players, I must concede. Photobucket

Twas cute, the chess player, I must concede. PhotobucketPhotobucket

After our library visit we wanted to go to the dollar theater. Brooklyn wanted to go home with Allan and read her books. Hurrah, hooray. Except not hurrah or hooray because I missed her! 🙁 Photobucket

And the perfect end to a Saturday would be a short stop at WalMart for eyeliner and diapers and, quarter machines. Of course. Photobucket

There were prizes missed. And sad eyes all around. Photobucket

There was a prize won, and jealously abounded. Photobucket

And at the end, there were things spilled after moms told children to stop touching things for the love of sanity! Photobucket

Japanese Friendship Garden

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Three weeks ago as the little kids and I were leaving the Great Arizona Puppet Theater I noticed a sign for this Japanese Friendship Garden and thought, “That looks interesting!” I made a mental note to google it and find out if it was somewhere I’d like to take the kids to.
After a quick google search a couple weeks later, yep- sounds fun! And at only $5 for me and free for the kids there was no reason to not stop by! PhotobucketPhotobucket

When I paid to go in I also ended up buying two bags of food so the kids could feed the fish. The bags of food (which were $1 each) were actually just little paper bags filled with a half cup of cheerios! haha. Oh well, they gotta make their money somehow, right? ha Photobucket

Payson and Ember had the time of their lives feeding those fish. Some ducks swam over as well and we fed them, too. Photobucket

I’m not the best at remembering to film things but their reactions to the fish were so adorable I filmed at least five minutes straight. So cute!!
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We were there for a loooong time. I was really, pleasantly surprised by how reserved the kids were about throwing out the cheerios. They would take one or two at a time and toss them in or a very small handful and toss them in, and then watch the fish go crazy, fighting over the food. They’d giggle and smile and tell me all about it and then grab some more.
I was expecting them to take huge handfuls and throw them out one right after another and for them to then be sad that it was gone and beg for more. I was dead wrong! And I probably would’ve bought more, too, because it was just that much fun watching them 🙂 PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

The only part that wasn’t the greatest, for the kids, is that you have to stay on the path. No walking, sitting, or running on the grass or sitting on the boulders or anything like that. I don’t mind that and I have no problem teaching my kids boundaries (and they obey so well, gosh they’re great kids!) but, it would have been awesome if we could’ve sat and had a snack in the grass. Of course, I’m like going through grass withdrawals and have been for the past four years of living in the desert. haha!
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We had a great time walking around the little pond they had and looking at the trees and plants there. Photobucket

And maybe 45 minutes later, we were outta there in fantastic moods 🙂 Photobucket

Excited

I’m excited. I’m really excited. Hopeful. And nervous.

I haven’t been truly excited for quite a while, as we’ve dealt with stress and frustration trying to move. You guys know how we were trying to move to Utah for the last year and a half? The job market there is really over saturated so it was tough. Allan works in a specific field as a controller and moving into a new industry at the same level he currently is, was not happening!

And so anyway, man oh man were we struggling stuck here with little hope of things happening soon. I watched the weeks tick away, the months tick away, and all my hopes and dreams for what I want my life to look like… slip away. Or at least it felt like that in my soul… stranded out in the desert.
Oh desert, you may be interesting but I need green. I just do.

SO anyway, things have totally changed now. Allan found this city, I’m not going to say where because I want to keep our new location a secret from the online world, but it’s SO green. LAKES, mountains, pines, just total and utter heaven. And… there are jobs. And it’s close enough that I can visit my family (who live in northwestern Washington) almost as often as I’d like. Not daily, but weekly if I really wanted to, and monthly easily!!! Can you believe that?

So, he’s found three jobs there that could work but who knows if he’ll get them, what we do know is that there is a lot of interest in him from companies/employers there! This is all brand new. We just heard about this city two weeks ago and already things are rolling SO much better than the last full year of job searching in Utah. We really believe we might be moving before this summer! And I am like full of butterflies lately. I dream about this new places, I fantasize about it all the time. I never felt that way toward Utah (no offence Utah, you’re just not my taste) even though I knew I’d be happier in Utah than Arizona, I was always a teensy bit sad that I wouldn’t have that lovey feeling toward the place I lived.

And now I do. Moreso than I dreamed. And Allan does, too! And I guess I just had to blog about it a bit because it’s consuming my thoughts lately.

And in the meanwhile, things have been great/difficult/stressful/joyous around here as always. Life as a mom, raising four kids, has ups and downs but lately, the ups are beating out the downs something fierce. I love my kids’ current ages. Things really do get a million times easier as they get older!

I’ll blog more about specific things we’re up to when I get a chance… hopefully a naptime today will happen and tomorrow I can have a post up about our weekend activities. Until then, here’s one picture from a visit the little kids and I made to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix. Photobucket

I have about four minutes before I need to leave to take the girls to school. They’ve been taking the bus but we were running late this morning so, driving it is.

I feel like I’ve been awake forever. I’m so tired. The kids have been talking to me nonstop this morning. They do every morning. They do every minute.
Being a mom is a lot of work. I’m either spending every second of the day entertaining/watching/BEing with kids or if I bother to answer the phone and talk to my mother (for the first time in months) as she comforts me about our not-going-anywhere moving situation, I can be sure to walk into my childrens’ bedrooms and find something seriously wrong. Photobucket

It feels like 100% of the time I take a few minutes to do something I need to that doesn’t revolve around them, they are naughty. I do ALL sorts of things with the kids…. ALLLLL sorts of things, almost constantly, GOOD mom things and yet I turn my back for five seconds and they repay me by immediately going to do something destructive.

Since they’re SO destructive and messy (and trust me, I make them pick up their messes!!) I try to stay out of the house when I can. I don’t like being home. Home is really boring and just not a place I like. Photobucket

I’m so thankful that we can to go out again. Nowadays the housing market has been going up so… I don’t worry about losing money on selling our house quite as much. Photobucket

We shared a salad and gluten-free pizza at Barro’s. The gluten-free pizza tasted like I imagine a butt would. The salad was delicious. haha Photobucket

I checked out the winter clothes clearance sales one day. I always mean to buy during clearance sales for the next year but never do. And that particular day, I didn’t end up buying anything! The kids were pissed at me. Allan called me about an important phone call he had with a potential employer, he didn’t have time later in the day to talk to me and I was right in the middle of the store so I had to talk to him then. The kids, I don’t know why, get super annoyed when I’m on the phone even though I kept walking through the store like I would have been if I hadn’t been on the phone. Frustrating. I almost never talk on the phone while I’m out with them so I don’t think they have the right to be upset with me. haha! Photobucket

And suddenly happy again? Weirdos. Photobucket

I’ve made a HUGE effort to take more pictures once the older girls get home from school. I don’t know why it’s SO hard for me. Well, that was a total lie because I know exactly why it’s so hard for me!! Taking care of four kids is overwhelmingly difficult. Taking care of two kids is a lot of work, taking care of four kids is TOO much work! haha PhotobucketPhotobucket

I have a million bazillion things I could blog about Brooklyn but, unless she wants me to I try not to. It’s weird because raising her is a giant part of my life, takes up a lot of my thoughts and time and energy but… she’s pretty much gone from my blog now. And maybe will be forevermore? haha (She doesn’t mind me posting pictures of her, she just doesn’t like me talking about her much) PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

I really like this painting of Payson’s. PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

I tell the kids to not leave their stuff lying around. This two year old likes to take things apart as much as she liked putting them together. PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Bike Riding + Book Writing

We got home from school and the kids rode their bikes. PhotobucketPhotobucket

Sierra always has helmet problems. Photobucket

Nothing we do to her helmet keeps the dang thing on. We’ve tried adding stuff to it, tightening it, moving it around and just… the thing does not fit. Ugh. Are other helmets shaped differently? We might have to buy a different one. (She was goofing around with her helmet in these pictures, it’s not always like that, ha) PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

I can’t remember when, but I bought some blank books from the Target dollar spot last year. I am really kicking myself for not buying more! The kids spent an hour writing and drawing and coming up with adorable books. Seriously, kiiiicking myself for not buying like twenty of those blank books! Photobucket

The kids’ book titles:
Brooklyn: A Cycle of a Cute Baby
Sierra’s: A Butterfly Grows
Payson’s: A Pirate
Ember’s is obviously just scribbles 😉 Photobucket

Classic two year old. Mouth covered in marker.
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The kids are all really proud of their books. And again, why on earth didn’t I buy more?? Photobucket

Preschool Time!

I love preschool activities. I could happily have a preschool aged child for the rest of my life. I love the games, the teaching to write and read, the songs, the crafts, the things my kids say and do while learning, their easy laughs, their giant smiles over the littlest things, I love it all!! Photobucket

I’ve talked a bunch about Mother Goose Time. It’s a boxed preschool “curriculum” that I buy online and really, super duper love. I have mentioned once or twice before that I’ve also tried a boxed “curriculum” from Adventures in Learning. I haven’t mentioned this one as much on my blog, I’m not sure why. I really love it. Photobucket

So obviously we have been using our Adventures in Learning stuff a lot this week and that’s why I’m blogging about it. haha Photobucket

I bought this curriculum when Ember was a baby and am just now finishing up the last third of the kit. It’s about things in and around ponds. Photobucket

Payson and Ember were equally enthralled with our school time every day. I only took pictures on one day; it’s difficult to photograph children when one is trying to maintain a relatively clean home while there is playdough, paint, scissors, glue, and markers flying every which way 😉 Photobucket

Payson is… such a complete joy during our school time. He LOVES learning. He listens intently, he is HAPPY, he is smart, funny, and just… brilliantly adorable. PhotobucketPhotobucket

Preschool time with him is a lot of fun. Photobucket

Ember, too. She is just as enthusiastic and funny and cute during it all. The only difference between the two and their impact is Ember thinks breaking all of our crayons and colored pencils is a WHOLE lot of fun 😛 PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

New Nephew

My sister-in-law Laura had a baby the week before Christmas. I got to meet my new nephew this last Sunday when we drove over to their city for his blessing.
He’s so cute and teeny and had the softest little head. Man, I miss holding babies!!
Here baby Brighton is with his dad, grandpas, and Uncle Allan. Photobucket