Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Bucket List: Wilson Ponds

 This morning we walked around Wilson Ponds and fed the ducks.  Poor Taylor was worn out...he had just finished up with two hours of weight lifting and basketball drills at Skyview...so he was exhausted.  Still, he was a good sport.  He and I were the stragglers behind everyone else.

Addy didn't want to get out of her stroller, but she had a great time watching the little ducklings dive for the bread!  She is also wearing her favorite pajama top...she didn't want to take it off this morning...it has a monkey jumping on it, and she kept saying, "no! my monkey!"  So today she's wearing monkey pjs all day...it's great being almost two!

We always see more fish on the days when we're NOT fishing!
 
What a gorgeous morning!
It was a good little walk...and Taylor scouted out the fishing hole he's going to try out next week.  I'm glad we live so close to places like this...it sure beats spending all day on the Wii or watching movies!  And these little excursions have been great motivators for my kids to get up early, practice piano and do their chores without any nagging.  Tada!  I LOVE summer!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer Bucket List: Boise Zoo

The kids and I made a "bucket list" for this summer.  We have lots of fun things on our list...we'll see how good we are at actually doing them.
 
Today we decided to go to the zoo.  It was a beautiful day!
Rachel took care of Addy for me, and Tay took charge of the stroller so that I could just come along at my own pace and not worry about carrying or pushing anything.  They are sweet kids.
 
Here Taylor was showing Addy the fine art of talking to monkeys.
 
Matthew and Brooklynn really liked the addition of the animated dinosaurs!  Addy was afraid of them though, and called them "skeery!"
 
It's tradition for my kids to pile into this little African hut...the "jailhouse."  Addy was too afraid to go inside...she had just been traumatized by roaring dinosaurs and wasn't feeling too adventurous.
 
Some of the kids thought the lions were boring because they weren't doing anything...but Addy loved them!  She kept saying "Lion King!  Lion King!"  Too hilarious.
 
Brooklynn thought the African school house and the display of the warrior's weapons and jewelry was pretty cool.
 
And this blasted jeep.  I dread this jeep...there are always a ton of kids piled on it, and waiting to pile on it...so of course it would be Matthew's favorite part of the zoo.  We waited a LONG TIME for this picture!
 
And of course Lainah had to have her turn!
 
Look!  Lainah is the same height as an Emperor Penguin!
 
And...Taylor discovered that we've been wrong all of these years...we thought the word he is pointing to was referring to a donkey.  Nope.  It's a penguin.  Who knew!?!
 
Matthew used to be the same height as this guy...he has grown a ton this year!
 
Addy's favorite part of the day was playing with these little guys.  She didn't want to leave them behind!
 

 
And Brooklynn had to have her turn with the penguin encounter...
 
We didn't make it to all of the zoo...after a couple of hours we were all done...so we came out and had a picnic lunch by the Rose Garden...which has always been one of my favorite spots in downtown Boise.  What a great day, I love these kids! 
 
So there's one item off our bucket list...it's shaping up to be a great summer!

Get On The Boat?

 
We have officially created a monster!  All day yesterday, Addyson was coming up to someone in the family and saying, "Get on the boat?"  She'd say this while looking up at you with her big brown eyes...and then she'd smile that dimpled smile of hers...what a charmer!

After a while, she took matters in to her own hands.  She found her swimsuit on the hook in her room...took off her shorts and diaper...and started getting ready to "get on the boat!"

She is too funny!  I finally let her just go out and sit in it for a while.  She was so excited to sit in her spot...which is the seat opposite the driver and facing backwards.  This is where she and I sit to spot our hot doggers and skiers.  She is just too cute!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day!

 
We had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!  Friday Andy got done with work early so we loaded up on the boat and went out "just for a test drive."  And we were good...we were only out for about an hour and then came home, unloaded kids...and Andy and I went out for our weekly date.  We "promised" the kids that if they cleaned up the house Friday night, that we wouldn't have to clean on Saturday and then we'd be able to go boating all day.  See?  We NEVER stoop to bribing...we just keep our promises. 
 
We got home to a spotless house late Friday night...so what could we do but keep our promise on Saturday!?!  We didn't take any pictures...but we spent most of the day out on the lake.  We were all a bit sunburned, except for Addyson.  We had a blast...and when we finally came home Saturday evening, we were ALL exhausted. 
 
All of our family's graves are in Eastern Idaho, so we didn't visit any graves this year...but on Sunday afternoon we had some fun talking with our kids about some of our favorite memories of their Grandpa Thuernagle, Great Grandpa Orme, Great Grandma Thuernagle, (as we're trying to save money for our house build...we shared with them that we wished grandma Thuernagle were still alive so we could go rob a bank...all of you Thuernagle's will "get it"...to everyone else...it's just one of those wonderful family inside jokes) and other loved ones who have passed on. We also talked about the soldiers who have served in the past and for those who are currently serving to preserve our freedoms.  We just want our kids to know that Memorial Day weekend is SO much more than boating...or barbequing.
 
However...that being said...we had a great BBQ on Monday at one of our favorite parks.  We had the place all to ourselves so we feasted and then played Frisbee, and kickball (until Taylor killed our ball with one great kick.  The ball burst.  His new nickname is "steel toe Taylor.") 
We ALWAYS make too much food!
And while they did all of those fun energetic activities...here was the pregnant mama...enjoying some yummy food.  And yes, I ate all of it PLUS a few brownies. 

Me and my almost 33 week tummy!

So what did we do after our picnic???  We came home...changed into swimsuits...hitched up the boat and went back out on the lake for a few hours.  The BEST thing about this boating episode was Addyson.  Each time the kids would fall off the skis or the hot dog, she'd say, "You guys okay!?" or "Where'd you guys go?"  But then when we'd start up again, she'd look over at Andy and say, "Go faster Daddy!" 
And the WHOLE time, she kept saying "get in the water!?!"  I didn't think she'd really want to because it's not warm like a swimming pool...but at one point, Andy and the kids were just swimming off the back platform of the boat and Addy and I were sitting on the back watching everyone and she kept trying to jump in, so Andy said, "Sher, just let her jump in to me!"  I completely expected shrieks of terror once she hit the water.  But no, no this little almost two-year old had the BIGGEST smiles on her face and every time we tried to get her out she would cry!  She is hilarious!  Who knows, she just might be skiing by the end of the summer.

End of Schoolyear Picnic!

Every year, our Elementary School has a big picnic on the last day of school.  Parents come with camp chairs and blankets with a picnic lunch for their students and the school sells ice cream.  It is something that my kids look forward to every year.  This year...I got lazy...and my kids were OVERJOYED.  I ordered pizza instead of making something from home!
Next year Brooklynn will be a 5th grader, and Matthew will be a 2nd grader!

Matthew has LOVED his teacher this year, Mrs. Loper.  From the 1st day of school, he was telling me how pretty she was and how nice she was.  I agree, she has been the best!  Matthew has grown a lot this year, and Mrs. Loper thinks that by fall he may be as tall as she is!  I think my favorite thing about Mrs. Loper is that she has recognized that although Matthew is taller and bigger than all of her other students, that he is still just a "little" 1st grader.  He was still only 6 years old until a couple of months ago, and that he needed just as much attention, and love and nurture as her other students.  A lot of times, adults see Matthew's size and forget about those very important things.  Because she recognized that, she was a GEM in my eyes...I couldn't have been a more thankful mother to have my son in her class.
Matthew with his 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Loper! 
 
Brooklynn LOVED 4th grade!  Brooklynn is self-motivated and a high achiever...and she excelled in Mr. Haskett's class.  We really appreciated how he gave her so much independence when her regular studies were done.  She had a lot of privileges given to her, she learned a lot on her own...and was also able to tutor younger students and help Mr. Haskett with some of his grading as well as helped him with ideas on how to teach difficult concepts to some of her peers in a way that they could understand.  He made her feel very special...which again...I couldn't have been a more thankful mother to have my Brooklynn in his classroom.
Brooklynn with her 4th grade teacher Mr. Haskett!

Brooklynn was sad when it was time to go, she had the best 4th grade year ever!

Matthew and Brooklynn know that this was their last year at Reagan Elementary...and it was a bittersweet day for them.  They were SO excited for summer...but SO sad to say goodbye to their teachers and friends.  I must admit...a big piece of my sentimental mother heart was crying too...it's so hard say goodbye to great experiences.
And little Addy is ALWAYS the center of the action...Mrs. Loper was giving her students cupcakes, and when she saw Addyson...well, Addyson got one too.  She immediately put her pizza down and started in on that yummy frosting and chocolate!  Smart girl!
 
Addyson enjoying the school picnic treats!

And More Awards...

 
Taylor was awarded the Engineering Student of Overall Excellence this year at East Valley.  As we were waiting for his group to be announced, we had fun making fun of him about some of the other categories...for example:  Taylor is in Jazz Band and Concert Band.  He NEVER practices his trombone.  Never. Ever. Never.  But it has come really naturally to him, and with the piano lessons that I teach him, he is musically prepared for class each day.  So when the music department was handing out awards for the "Hardest Working Student"...I couldn't help but look over at him and say, "What!?!  It isn't you!?" 
Taylor with two of his good buddies receiving awards in Engineering.

Taylor's final awards banquet for Middle School...next year it's Skyview High!

And Matthew has had a great 1st grade year.  I haven't documented all of his achievements, but he was awards Star Student earlier in the year...and throughout the year has brought home coupons that his teacher hands out for good behavior.  Some of the fun things he's been able to do with his coupons is 1)Sit at the teacher's desk for the day 2) wear his hat to school 3) switch desks with any student he chooses 4) bring a special item to show his classmates and 5) a free no-homework pass!  We've also gone to Pizza Hut quite a bit to try and keep up with the Book-It certificates he earns from his reading!  He is a great reader and his reading tests show that his current reading level is where it should be at the END of the 2nd grade.  I'm so glad that I'm not the only bookworm in the family.
 
Matthew received the "R Factor" award at the end of the year assembly which is for being "Respectful, Reliable, and Responsible" throughout the year.  He also received an award for perfect attendance during this last trimester.
Matthew with his Reagan Excellence Award

Matthew with his Perfect Attendance Award


Addyson was a big fan at the awards assembly.  I think she clapped for everyone.  Anytime the parents started cheering, she'd clap it.  It was so cute!
Little Addy...getting so big, can't believe she's almost two!

Just an Average Month...

As the kids get older, my calendar just seems to get more and more full.  As I was reviewing the week's events last week to make sure I wasn't going to miss or forget anything...I decided to take a picture just for fun.  The crazy thing is, is that I don't even have all of mine or Andy's stuff on here...this is mostly just kids' schedules...and May was just an "average" month. 
 

In the past week, the last 3 days of the month have now filled up as well...that beautiful day, the 29th that doesn't have anything written on it?  Yep, that was short-lived...it's now full, ending with a Miss Idaho Alumni mtg that evening...I'm tired already.  Sigh...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

32 Weeks...7 to go!

In just 7 short weeks, our baby girl will be arriving  and we are all so excited!  She is a little "mover" and wiggles all the time, especially when I take a break to read.  She likes to make my ipad bounce when I hold it on my tummy. 
 
These past two weeks have been up and down for me.  I started feeling extremely tired and sick but just figured it was because we are at the end of the school year, and I've been trying to juggle all of the assemblies, banquets, final sporting events, final homework projects, as well as get all of my kids registered and transferred over to their new schools for next fall...and I just kind of ignored how I was feeling until it got pretty bad. 
 
Thankfully, I have a great doctor and when I called to talk with him (finally) about how I was feeling, he had me come right in and took a blood draw.  Come to find out, the Heparin I have to inject twice daily...has made me anemic...and it was making me sick.  So I immediately went on an iron supplement to boost my platelet count.  After about a week and a half, I finally feel "normal" again.  Pregnancy "normal" is just abnormal, let's face it! 
 
At my appointment yesterday, some of my vitals and lab results were off, high blood pressure and showing protein so now they've got me watching for sudden swelling because these are signs of preeclampsia.  But so far, so good.  In two weeks, I have to start going in twice a week for stress tests to make sure baby girl is doing okay and will do that until the delivery date. 
 
So here I am with my huge 32 week tummy! 

Last week I was standing in a check out line in a store, and then turned sideways to look at something on the shelf and the lady behind me exclaims, "Oh my gosh, You're pregnant!"  It cracked me up.  Keep in mind, she's a complete stranger...but she was really nice.  She told me that from behind she couldn't even tell, so when I turned sideways it "freaked her out."  So glad that I have that effect on people.  So if I have been freaking out any of my friends for the past few months, I sincerely apologize...

Lainah keeps praying that baby sister will "come to visit when she's supposed to."  I love it...we're planning on her debut "visit" to be Friday, July 11th...we'll see if she cooperates!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Final Projects

There should be a law against having projects assigned to students during the last two weeks of school.  Seriously?  I don't know about other families, but around here...the last two weeks are just about survival.  Every day I hear myself saying, "remember guys...you're almost done, finish strong!  Stay focused!  Keep on top of your work!"  Then they leave the door and I collapse onto the sofa and think, "how many more days?"  I have this secret countdown calendar in my head...and believe me, I celebrate just as hard as my kids do when school finally gets out!
 
Rachel's Social Studies teacher is an over-achiever or something.  Here is Rachel working on one part of a 3-Part project.  Sheesh.  She made a replica of Mt. Vesuvius erupting.  Personally, I think she made great use of my polyester fiberfill and wire cleaners from the craft room.


Tada!  Finished!
She is such a goof. 

Now please tell me...no more projects right?  I mean...there's only 2 more days of school left...are we finally in the clear?!?

Father and Son's Campout

The annual Father and Son Campout was last weekend.  We loaded the boys up with food, and fishing gear...bug spray and sleeping bags...and then the girls got out their tutus and danced on the trampoline. 
 
I just kept thinking...next year there will be 5 girlies to party with when the guys go away for the night!
 

 

After the fairy dancing on the trampoline...we painted nails...and we didn't even have to worry about the boys complaining about the smell of the polish!

After nails, our pizza arrived...and we went downstairs and watched "Barbie and Something about Being a Mermaid Pearl Princess."  Ahem.  We watched a Barbie movie that had something to do with a pearl princess...I can't remember the name of it.  It was cute.  Then we came upstairs and had ice cream sundaes.  Then the little ones got put to bed while Rachel, Brooklynn and I stayed up to watch...Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  I let the girls choose.  I think the boys would be very proud of them in their choice.

We love Father and Son's weekend around here!  It's fun to have just our girl time together...but the next day I am so ready for my boys to come home!

Fishing Date with Tay

I had my date with Taylor last week.  We went fishing...which translates into Tay went fishing, and he brought a camp chair for me to sit in while he fished.  It was a beautiful relaxing afternoon. 
 
We got all situated, and he started casting, and then he just started talking.  It's no wonder he didn't catch anything...I think we were being too loud.  We were laughing and joking about so many things.  One of the things that made me laugh the loudest was when I said, "So Taylor, you're going to be turning 14 in a month...how does that make you feel, are you excited?"  and his reply, "Well...it just means I'm getting older, I mean I'm going to have to get a fishing license!"  Too funny.
 
He gets to start going to the stake dances too, and he's excited but he's also worried because part of Andy's responsibility for his calling is for us as a couple to chaperone at the dances.  Hee hee!  Just what a 14 year old wants...his parents there watching everything!  I told him not to worry, that Andy and I are AMAZING dancers.  He just looked at me with horror on his face before we both burst out laughing.  But seriously, I think that Andy and I will have to come up with something...
 

We also saw this weird fish!  It looks like it caught in a paint ball war or something!  We named it "Gollum."  So anyone fishing at Wilson Mills Ponds...look out for this guy!

What a fun afternoon with Taylor.  He's a great kid.  He has a great sense of humor, and one thing that I've loved about him ever since he was an inquisitive little 3 year old...is the questions that he asks!  I used to be able to answer and explain everything to him... but his mind is amazing...and half the time nowadays I don't have the answers to his questions, but we have great discussions about space, biology, math theories, religion, and life in general. 
 
I told him next time I'd get my fishing license so I could teach him the fine art of CATCHING a fish.  Ha ha!