Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Matthew Turns Four!

On March 9th, Matthew Talmage turned four years old.  He is such a fun little boy, he says and does the funniest things.  This year instead of trying to surprise him with his cake, I let him help me "design" it and decide how he wanted it to look. 
He wanted to have a car on it and an airplane, which worked out great because Andy and I had bought him some diecast airplanes about a month ago.  So we made it two different levels, one a race track and one blue for sky and clouds...and we used his train track bridge supports to support the upper cake level.  He thought that was pretty awesome.  So we used his three favorite things, cars, airplanes, and trains to make his cake. I even found Lightning McQueen candles at the grocery store.  Super Duper!Some things that we love about Matthew:
I love that when I volunteer in the Elementary school, that the teachers ask him to line up because they glance at him and automatically think he's a first grader.  I love that he is so solid.  Matthew weighed 52 pounds last month...while our 6 year old Brooklynn weighs 56.  If Matthew runs by me and accidentally brushes past me it can throw me completely off balance.  But I love it because he usually stops, comes back, and says in his cute little voice, "Oh, sorry Mom, you okay?"  It's too cute.  Future runningback right there.  I also love that Matthew calls his armpits his "chicken coops."  Seriously.  Try keeping a straight face when your little boy comes up to you and says, "Mom!  My chicken coops are itchy!"  I love Matthew's smile and facial expressions.  He loves to make big cheezer grins, and then raises his eyebrows at you.  In church we usually sit up front in the center, and it cracks me up when I see that he's doing this to the Bishopric.  One time, a friend in the ward who is also our highcouncilman was up waiting to speak, and he got a surprised look on his face, and then started winking and making funny expressions back at Matthew.  It took me a minute to figure out what was going on, but when I did it just made me laugh.  Matthew is such a crack up.
Some other reasons:  Matthew can eat half a tub of yogurt in one sitting.  He still asks me to snuggle with him at bedtime.  He twists his hair when he's nervous.  He's timid about new things and afraid of loud noises.  I love this because even though he's tall and strong for his age, he's still just a sweet little boy who needs to be mothered.Matthew still thinks that people can see through the phone.  So he tries to "show" people things when he's talking to them.  Matthew loves to ride his bike.  He doesn't mind if it's cold outside, and I frequently find that he's gone out to ride in shorts, flip flops, and a winter coat and hat.  He also loves to fish and is already asking when we can go this year.  He has a lightning McQueen fishing pole that he thinks is so awesome.Matthew has a knack at naming things quirky names that aren't the correct terminology for them, but that make sense.  For example, our front patio is "the attachment."  We all call it "the attachment" now.  His bulldozer is "the digger" and the rototiller is the "dirt-turner."  There are too many to list.  Matthew likes to read scriptures as a family.  Even though he can't read yet, he HAS to have his turn.  So we tell him what to say.  When we first started doing this, as soon as we said it was his turn he would blurt out, "And it came to pass sayeth the Lord."  Funny thing, is that he was right on the money a lot of the time.  I love that during the day Matthew will gather tools into Taylor's toolbox, and come give me a hug and kiss and say, "bye Mommy, I'm going out to work for a while."  And off he goes to hammer nails, etc out in the barnyard.  Here is a picture that Rachel painted for Matthew for his birthday.  He liked it a lot and had to give her a big hug.And Matthew is a huge Thomas fan.  He loves Thomas the tank engine...He can name all the different engines and tell you all about them.  For his birthday he got a new set with Charlie the engine. 

Grandma and Grandpa came over in February so he got to open a gift early!  It was a talking Thomas book, and he loves it!  He takes it to bed with him nearly every night. 

Birthday boy cutting the cake...a tradition in our house. 

Happy 4th Birthday Matthew Talmage!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Taylor's Bucket List

For one of Tay's 5th grade creative writing assignments, he was supposed to come up with his very own bucket list. You know, the things you want to do in your life before you kick the proverbial bucket. He was supposed to come up with 50 things. This is what he came up with.

  1. be a Football player
  2. be a baseball player
  3. be a basketball player
  4. travel at the speed of light
  5. be a Dad
  6. be a marine biologist
  7. participate in three different track meets
  8. invent a rocket that will go as far as Neptune
  9. build a robot
  10. make a mini dinosaur by manipulating the traits of a bug
  11. make a new paper airplane
  12. find a metal that is strong but doesn't rust
  13. own a generator touch computer
  14. go to college with enough credits to be a Junior
  15. be a millionaire
  16. make a new language that many people know
  17. go to Disneyland
  18. go to Disneyworld
  19. go to the Oregon Coast
  20. go to BYU for college
  21. be a pilot
  22. fly an F-14
  23. fly an AV-88 Harrier II
  24. Travel at the speed of sound
  25. go hunting with my dad
  26. go to China
  27. get married
  28. own an ipad
  29. make an art sculpture
  30. go to Mars
  31. go into space
  32. be a considerably good cook
  33. invent a recipe
  34. create an identical image of myself
  35. make a movie
  36. meet someone famous
  37. be part of a play
  38. earn the all-20 scout award
  39. own a lamborghini
  40. read the Ranger's Apprentice series
  41. be able to dunk on a fully raised basketball hoop
  42. skip a grade
  43. be a comedian
  44. make a shrink ray
  45. write a book and have it published
  46. create my own website
  47. make a hover craft that runs on bubbles
  48. go to Paris
  49. live in a mansion
  50. get a scholarship for my sports
  51. go sky surfing
  52. go sky diving

Wow! Just reading through his list makes me feel a bit exhausted! He is an amazing boy with a brilliant mind and as I was typing these in, I kept thinking..."you could do that, you could do that too" Aren't children amazing...and don't they have such amazing potential? I hope that Tay has a long, long time to spend doing all of these wonderful things before he even gets close to his proverbial bucket.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brooklynn's President's Day Saga

Brooklynn is in the 1st grade, and has the most energetic, creative, and fun-loving teacher. She absolutely adores Mrs. Clarke, and I hear things about how wonderful Mrs. Clarke is every day. Mrs. Clarke even has a lizard named Spike...and the kids are encouraged to bring him grasshoppers and other yummy bugs to eat. How fun is that for a group of 1st graders! Well, I hear about Mrs. Clarke's wonderful qualities...but after reading a paper that Brooklynn wrote for a writing assignment after President's Day weekend...I worry about what Mrs. Clarke must think of me!

The kids were supposed to write a short paragraph about what they did over President's Day Weekend. Brooklynn did not mention that her grandparents came to visit, she did not mention that her cousins came to stay for a couple of days because there was a swim meet. She didn't even mention that we went bowling as a family on Monday after all of our out of town visitors left! Ever want to know what left a lasting impression on your child? Ask them to write a short paragraph about their weekend and you'll know! But be prepared, you may not want to hear it!

Here is what Brooklynn wrote, word for word. I didn't change spelling or punctuation. A translation will follow. Be prepared for laughs, or gasps, or both.

"On Presidints day I my little brother puncht me in the eye the next day my sister therw a pesse of wood and it hit me in the head it hert The next day I got a naill stuck in my foot I got medisin that tasted like wadermelen mixt with unyins."

Translation: "On President's Day, my little brother punched me in the eye. The next day, my sister threw a pice of wood and it hit me in the head. It hurt. The next day, I got a nail stuck in my foot. I got medicine that tasted like watermelon mixed with onions."

Explanation: All of these things happened! They are all true! However, Matthew didn't mean to hit her in the eye. They were playing on the trampoline, and he jumped and she jumped and his hand happened to be in a fist and as she was coming down he was going up and his fist met her eye. Ouch! BUT...it was an accident! He didn't just swagger up to her and lay her out flat!

Rachel did indeed throw a piece of wood and it did hit Brooklynn in the head. Again, another accident. We are demolishing our barn, and Andy had all of the kids outside helping. They were stacking wood slats, and burning the thin, light, small wood shingles. Millions of them it seemed. It was actually one of these small, thin, and light shingles that Rachel tossed over towards the fire, the wind caught it and it hit Brooklynn in the head. Again, ouch! Again, an accident! Rachel did not pick up a 2x4, say, "Hey Brooklynn!" and then whack her over the head with it!

Brooklynn did also step on a nail. You could definitely say that it was not her weekend. She WAS however, wearing boots when it happened. So, I was not a terrible mother sending her outside barefoot! She was wearing boots and just happened to step on a board that had a nail in it. The nail went completely through her boot and into her foot. I immediately checked her immunization record and she was current on her Tetanus shot, got it just last year for Kindergarten so she was good. A few hours later when the pain was still pretty bad, and I noticed that the wound started to look like infection was spreading, I had Dr. Thuernagle prescribe an antibiotic to make sure that no secondary infection could happen. So thus, the yucky medicine that tasted like "watermelon mixed with onions." But hey, at least her foot started feeling better the next day and no more infection!

So. I wonder what Mrs. Clarke must think about our household. From punches coming out of nowhere, to flying wood, to sharp objects impaling little feet...to horrible tasting medicine...it really doesn't sound like that great of a place to be!

Brooklynn is such a crack up, she is hilarious!

Anybody need us to watch their kids? ha ha ha!!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Matthew vs. the Accord

How many times have we as parents told our kids, "don't leave your bikes out on the driveway...they'll get ran over!" I know I've said it a lot, and I also know that when I say it, I've never been worried about the car...just the bike. I've never yet actually ran one over, although it's been close a couple of times. Andy, however, is not as fortunate as I apparently am.

A few days ago, Andy got into his car and drove off to work...at least he tried to drive off to work. He got into the Accord, or the "race car" as Matthew calls it and pulls forward...clunk clunk. oops. Matthew's bike was in the way and got ran over. Andy got out to investigate and I'm sure was shocked and surprised at what he found. Matthew's bike seems to have inherited his super-human strength because his bike came through just fine. Unscathed, actually. Andy's "race car?" The poor Accord was not as fortunate in the encounter.
As you can see...Matthew is standing in front of his bike which is just fine...training wheels and all, however in his hands are pieces of the bumper and the turn signal of the race car.

Ahhh...Matthew. He did feel really bad and asked if Daddy's car was going to be okay throughout the entire day that this happened. But his concerned feelings didn't keep him from cruising around the yard splashing through mud puddles at mach 10 on his awesome bike.
We bought his bike from a yard sale for 8 dollars...looks like they don't make cars like they used to.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stuck on Repeat?

Taylor and Rachel were such a funny pair when they were little. They kept me so busy, they were always running everywhere. They are 18 months apart, and as soon as Rachey could walk (which was at 10 months) she was running after Taylor and was his little shadow. The trouble those two caused...oh boy. but they were and still are good friends, which I love...and they are still getting into scrapes and causing me stress! But just when I think that I've got this little duo under control...

enters the next dynamic duo. Matthew and Lainey. Oh boy, if I thought Tay and Rachey kept me busy...they were just warming me up for the real challengers! Ha ha!

Just like the other two, these two are good buddies most of the time, and Lainey is Matthew's little shadow, running after him as fast as her little legs can carry her. And they are always busy doing something...many things which make mommy crazy half the time!
Whew! Thank goodness we have Brooklynn around to keep us all sane!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lainah Turns Two

So hard to believe, but our little Lainah turned two last month. The weeks and months have quickly turned into years, as we've watched this sweet little baby grow up into a beautiful and fun-loving little toddler. She is such a joy, and we all love her to pieces. Lainah is most often found right in the center of things. She speaks in full sentences and always has something to say...sometimes we wake up to hear her talking to herself in the middle of the night.
Her nurses in Cleveland mentioned to me several times that she had such a strong, sweet spirit about her. I completely agree. Lainah is a child that you just can't help loving.
Lainah was so excited for her birthday. Throughout the day while she was waiting for daddy and the kids to come home from work and school, she kept singing, "Lainah, Happy Birthday to me, Lainah, Happy Birthday to me!" It was too funny.
She worked really hard to get those two candles out, such concentration.

Lainah's new tricycle. Since it's still cold outside, we've let her ride it inside in the kitchen, her room, and the hallway which are all hardwood or laminate floors. She's had a lot of fun and is getting pretty good. Although, it's been tough to keep Matthew off. He zooms around the corner going mach 10 at the most unexpected times.

The look says it all...

Of course, big sister Brooklynn is there to help out every step of the way

Lainah LOVES Dora the Explorer. She walks around the house singing "I'm the map, I'm the map...etc" and for Christmas she got Boots...Dora's monkey. She also sings the "Back pack" song, and whenever she does something all by herself, she does a little bottom wiggle and sings, "I did it, I did it, I did it, HOORAY!" All the while wiggling her bottom...it's the funniest thing ever. So, because of her love for Dora...we decked out the birthday table with Dora accessories. She loved it.

I couldn't get her to look right at the camera that night! She was being such a little stinker! :) She'd look away and then grin. Always the tease.
I've never worked with fondant before, but decided that I wanted to try it out and see what I could do with it. It was fun to try out a completely different cake method! Lainah loved the flowers.

I had a hard time keeping her from picking the flowers off and eating them. The day probably seemed endless to her...waiting for daddy and the kids to get home so we could P-A-R-T-Y!!!

I think I'd like to take some fondant classes and learn how to do it for real. This was a good go for the first time without any help...but I look at it and see all the flaws!
Grandma and Grandpa came over to visit a few weeks after her birthday and gave her this cute little dress. She loved it. That was one thing that was so fun about her day. Everything that she opened she'd hug and say, "I love it, I just love it." We've got it on video tape and it really is the sweetest thing ever.
So our little baby is two and a toddler! She still loves to snuggle and likes to "sneak" into my bed early in the morning, usually about 5 am. I'm too tired to take her back to her bed, so I usually just scootch over and let her stay. The other morning I woke up and rolled over to find her right in the middle of our bed. She looked at Andy and I and said in her little two-year old voice, "Surprise! Here me am!!!"
Another funny thing that she's been doing lately is putting everything to song. She will walk around the house singing something over and over again. The other day it was "I can do it myself! I can do it myself!" and another time it was "I know where it is! I know where it is!" Whenever I'd ask her "where what is?" she'd just look at me, grin, and then start singing it all over again. I never figured out what she took or where she put it.
She's starting to call Matthew "buddy" when she mothers him. So most of the time she calls him Matthew, but if she's worried that he's being left behind she'll say, "Buddy, come on!" or if he's hurt she'll say "are you okay Buddy?" It's really funny because he's so big compared to her, but he'll let her mother him...she'll hug him and pat his back and say, "oh buddy, it's okay." I love standing back and watching them.
She also loves chocolate. Sometimes in the morning when I ask her which cereal she wants for breakfast, she tells me that she just wants chocolate. She knows right where I keep the chocolate chips...and frequently gets into them. But she always offers to share with others so I guess it's okay. Besides, I'm a chocolate girl myself.
A friend in Kirtland once jokingly told me that you can know what your children will be like as teenagers based on how they were when they were two years old. If that is truly the case...then Lainah will be a beautiful girl with big, deep golden brown eyes...who loves shoes and hand lotion. She will speak very intelligently and enunciate her words to perfection. She will also be very particular about her surroundings...chairs will have to be spaced just right, table settings placed just so, and only particular hair accessories on particular days. She will mother the boys, and be a little bossy to the girls...and tease them all with a little grin on her face. She will be singing funny little songs that don't make any sense to anyone but herself...and she will never tell you what they mean...and she'll give the best hugs and kisses...and will always pause whatever she's doing to see if you're okay when she knows you're hurt.
uh oh...I just thought of one more thing...I'll have to keep my iphone locked down...because she'll want to be on it ALOT.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Favorite Day Last Summer

Last summer, we decided to take one last excursion on the very day before the kids started back into school. Since moving to southwestern Idaho, we've tried to explore our new area and find places that we enjoy as a family.

Andy and I are both very familiar with all the outdoor areas in southeastern Idaho...but this is all new to both of us over here so it's been fun to explore it together.

On this particular day, we took a drive up to Crouch, which is on your way from Boise up to McCall...but you turn off at Banks and head up a river canyon for a ways...and well, you get the idea. You end up somewhere called Crouch, and it is beautiful. It's so sad to me that it's been named such an unbeautiful name. Crouch. Yuck. It doesn't describe it at all.

Here Andy and the kids are throwing rocks into the Payette river. At least, I think it's the Payette. Uh oh...I'd better do some research to make sure.

Rachey is such an outdoorsey girl. I love how she enjoys catching bugs, finding neat rocks, and looking at all the different shapes of leaves and plants. She thoroughly enjoys herself in the mountains.

We also tried a new hairstyle on Rachey about a month before this picture was taken, she wanted to try out bangs...now they're growing out.

Here Rachey is showing Lainah the fine art of digging in the wet sand. The river bank was fun to play on because it was such soft fine sand, and clear, clear water. It also wasn't deep for several feet in so the kids were able to play in it.

Out in Cleveland, we discovered that Andy loves to barbeque. So, whenever we go on our little day trips, he comes prepared to cook burgers and dogs. While I took the kids down to play by the river, he was busy "cookin." After a while, Lainah knew where to go for refreshment and food...to Daddy.

Yep, there's nothing quite like a cold soda out of the cooler after playing in the hot sun.

Matthew will forever be our funny little joker. He can make us laugh without even trying, and is such a fun little guy to have around. Who else could get so much enjoyment out of a hot dog?

And Lainah with her cute chubby hands didn't know what she wanted more, cold soda or her binky. What a cutie.

I rarely get into the photos because I'm always the one taking them, but Tay wanted a turn with the camera...so there's documentation that I was there! Hooray!

Lainah is just the sweetest little girl ever. She is always giving loves of some sort, from little hugs to slobbery kisses. This was such a relaxing place to be, I found this rock right in the shade, and just listening to the river was awesome. I could have sat there for hours.

Matthew could have thrown rocks for hours. What else are rivers for?

I was having a fun time taking pictures of Lainah's cute baby chub. Her cute little toes covered with sand.

I love wildflowers, they always amaze me how they can survive in the hardest places, like right between rocks on a sandy beach.

And here is Tay trying to catch this little friend we spotted in the water. He didn't catch him, this one was too quick, but he had a lot of fun and got pretty wet trying.

And we of course brought up the fishing poles. Matthew's hook was bent together so that he couldn't hook anyone and hurt himself or others...but that didn't stop him from "fishing." He just likes to cast and reel, cast and reel. His Lightning McQueen fishing pole is super-cool too.

Seriously, could she be any cuter?

Some more cute baby chub. I have to document it because it goes away so fast!

And here is Tay, not ashamed of using a Barbie fishing pole to fish. Ha ha ha. Actually, a couple of weeks before we were up in a different area fishing, and he was the first one to catch a fish...with this cute pink and purple Barbie fishing pole. Oh ya....

And cute little Brooklynn loved digging her toes into the sand. She was having so much fun. I admit, I also love the feel of digging my toes into wet sand...there's something relaxing about it.

Matthew the fisherman.

One last shot of the river. Ahh...and then summer vacation was over. A bittersweet day, it's always hard for me when the kids start school in the fall. What a fun day, full of great memories!