Monday, November 24, 2014

Camp Run A Mok

Rachel has loved her choir class at South Middle.  She loves music and drama and so she couldn't have been happier when her choir teacher announced that this year instead of just doing a regular choir concert where the entire class stands on the risers and sing a few songs....they were going to perform a musical called "Camp Run A Mok." 
He held a few days of auditions for the main speaking and singing parts, and Rachel decided to try out.  There is only one choir class, so it is comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and about 80 students.  Since she is a 7th grader, she didn't know if she would be chosen for one of the main parts, thinking they would be given to the 8th graders...but she was so excited when she was given one of the lead roles as one of the camp counselors with a solo.
What a fun, fun night.  I can honestly say that it was the first choir or band concert we've been to that I felt like I could bring the entire family, including the toddler and baby, and know that they would behave for the entire time! 

So the counselors are in red while the campers are in khaki.

Here's Rachey singing while walking up and down the rows of her campers, keeping them all in line!

At one point, she dashed behind a big screened off area, and came out dressed as a "mosquito."  Too funny!

Obviously having a great time performing!

What is a musical without a kick line?

And here's the whole group near the end.

Rachey and two friends after the show. 

And here she is with three of her biggest fans!!!
Rachel did awesome on her solo.  She practiced so hard so that she would be in tune without going flat...and she did awesome.  What a great experience, and we are so thankful for a great teacher who was willing to put in so much extra time and effort to put on a production like this rather than just a regular concert.

The Great Pumpkin Hunt

Something that has become a tradition for our family is our Annual Pumpkin Hunt.  We don't go to a pumpkin patch...we don't go buy pumpkins from a little farmstand...we go out to our garden and pick the pumpkins that our kids planted from seed, place them throughout the yard...and in the evening the kids have a pumpkin hunt and gather theml all in.
 
This year, Lainah was my big helper.  She had a lot of fun "hiding" the pumpkins in funny places.  She could hardly wait until everyone got home so that the hunt could begin.
 
Poor Addy waited as long as she could, but Andy worked on a patient late into the evening and she fell asleep just before he got home...so Addyson slept through the hunt this year.  Our pumpkins weren't as big this year, but there were a lot of them!  

The kids each chose their favorite and marked it so they could carve it later in the week. 
I love fall.  It is one of my favorite times of year.  Pumpkin hunts, and harvest time, and corn mazes, and wagon rides, and apple cider.  What a great time of year to spend with my family!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Peanut Butter and Jelly!

 
 
Every year seems to go by faster and faster...I wish there were a way to slow things down a bit, or to just pause certain days, or hours...so that we could just soak them in and enjoy them for a little longer before they passed on and became memories.
Andy turned 40 this year!  I didn't plan a huge party for him.  We just kept it very small and simple...and it turned out to be a wonderful weekend together as a family.  Before the cake and ice cream celebration, we went on our traditional outing to the Linder Farms corn maze.  Taylor was once again our fearless leader through the maze...at least he was our fearless leader for about halfway through until there was a mutiny on ship, and then Rachel decided that she could lead us just as well.  At this point, it became a competition to see which one could get us to the next check point the fastest.  These two are hilarious. 
 
After making it through all of the checkpoints so that the kids could get their free suckers (this is a very important part of the tradition) we played on the pedal tractors and sat around the bon fire for a while.  It was a great time...then we came home to eat and celebrate!

Addy was Andy's big helper in blowing out the candles...

and she also did some quality testing on the frosting...it was approved.

Andy was relieved that he didn't have to blow out 40 candles.  Matthew was disappointed.  He wanted the smoke alarm to go off!

Seriously...40!?!  And where did all of these kids come from!?!

I love this guy so much...and so thankful that he's mine!

We had the kids rolling with these next couple of shots...


Just a couple of goofballs...

Its our family tradition that the birthday boy or girl gets to cut and serve their cake...so here's the birthday boy...keeping with tradition.

On to cards and presents...and the towel on his shoulder??  Who knows...he's quirky like that.

And I'm quirky too.  Just for fun...I wrapped up some peanut butter, jelly, and bread for him to open.  We love that little song about Peanut butter and jelly...being so happy on their little piece of bread.  If you know that song, you'll get it...if you don't...well...it's okay.  The kids think we are so strange...but Andy was laughing and was a good sport. 

Something that I've always loved about Andy...is that he wrestles around with the kids.  A birthday wouldn't be complete without a good dog pile on Andy.  This year, it was Matthew and Lainah who got it all started...

But it didn't take long for them all to join in...while Addy and Emma helped me with the camera.  Taylor is getting big enough that he and Andy can really have a good go at it too.  It's pretty fun.

In the end, Andy still prevailed as the winner...at least for another year!
Happy Birthday sweetheart...and many, many more to come!

Sweet Girls

 In September, Emma turned Two Months Old!  She is such a sweet little baby, and we all love her so much!  She has started cooing and loves to talk.  She has the sweetest little baby voice, and she smiles whenever she sees any of us.  She loves being held, or just having someone near her.  I have fun with all of her thick long baby hair, and I love how chubby she is getting!

After I took Emma's picture, Lainah wanted a turn!  Lainah started Kindergarten this year and is writing so well, so I had her write her own name and also write how old she was!  So here is our 5 year old Lainah, and there is her 5 year old handwriting...too cute!

After I took Lainah's picture, little Addy had to join in of course!  Something I just love about 2 year old Addy, is that if I tell her to "Smile!" she closes her eyes really tight.  It's the funniest thing ever.

These two are so cute...I'm so glad we still get Lainah home with us every other day. 
How did I get so lucky to have these sweet girls in my home?


Old Age

Twenty years ago, my parents gave me a clock radio/alarm clock for Christmas.  This faithful little contraption persistently woke me up every day through high school, college, and for most of my married years.  Andy and I have often laughed over how well-built this thing is.  It has been dropped numerous times, stepped on, accidentally kicked across the floor, and in fact, a few years ago something broke loose inside of it so that each time you tilt it whatever broke loose rattles around.  However!  It still keeps perfect time, still finds those radio stations, and yes, it's alarm still wakes us up in the morning.  In fact, we decided that we wouldn't buy a new one or upgrade until this one broke.  But day after day, year after year, it just kept on going.  The Energizer Bunny has nothing on this little gem.

Two years ago, out of pure exasperation, we upgraded to a newer model of waker-upper...and so I gave my trusty clock radio to Rachel, and it has been faithfully and persistently waking her up each morning...until about a week ago...when it finally died.  It didn't get dropped, it didn't get stepped on, it didn't get kicked...it just finally succumbed to "old age."  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Making Progress!

The house build is going slowly but surely...and we have had a lot of fun going up there nearly every day to check on the progress!  These pictures are from the beginning of October.  Andy and Matthew thought the well-digging truck was amazing.  Both of them spent quite a bit of time watching it pound deeper and deeper down.  The guy running the truck thought Matthew was so cute and said he could come watch anytime he wanted. 

We also started framing last month, and it has been amazing to see the house start to take shape!  Here's Rachey standing in the entryway.

I have loved coming up to the house in the evenings and watching the sunset.  It is gorgeous from up here.

Taylor, who is taking his 2nd engineering class, has been especially interested to see how the house goes from a set of lines on paper, to something 3 dimensional. 

Matthew is in little boy heaven, playing in the dirt and helping to pound in a few nails...Andy and I have had a few dates up here...ordering out Chinese and eating it off the back of the house where the dining room will be.  We're not excited or anything!

Meanwhile, Lainah LOVES the basement!  Each time we go out to the house, she goes down to run around and explore.  She even asked if her bedroom could be down there and was disappointed when I told her it was going to be upstairs.  Too funny! We'll see if she's still disappointed once her bedroom gets framed in.  I'm thinking she'll change her mind...
One day at a time, it's coming together!

Matthew

Matthew is really enjoying 2nd grade and loves his new school and teacher!  He came home really excited the other day because he had earned a "Super hero" award from his music teacher.  He loves music this year, and his teacher told me that Matthew has a "signature head bob" that he does to the rhythm of the music.  This made me chuckle...

Matthew was also so excited to bring home this little dragonfly candleholder.  HIs teacher has a little store in her classroom, and the kids can earn money for good behavior.  Matthew is such a little sweetheart, he saved up his money for a couple of weeks in order to buy this candleholder for me.  He apologized for not wrapping it first. 
I am one lucky mother to have such a sweet and thoughtful little buddy like Matthew!  He brings a smile to my face every single day!

Homework

Our basement flooded in August, and my home office was destroyed in the water.  Along with everything else, our computer was ruined.  We moved everything upstairs as quickly as we could...and until we get the basement refinished...we have put everything into our upstairs living room.  We bought a new computer tower, and connected it to our TV...so now we have a huge computer screen in our living room.
 
As you can see, Rachel doesn't mind working on school assignments with the new set up!  She had a research paper due for Social Studies...here she is "working hard" to get it completed.

It's a rough life...
Good thing she's a survivor.

Tornadoes

When Taylor was a toddler, he got into everything and made terrible messes without making any noise! I remember having a conversation with Andy's mom about it, and she told me that Andy had been just like that when he was little and so she had called him her "silent tornado."  Oh boy...that "silent tornado" trait must be genetic...because most of my children have it.
 
Addyson is 2 years old, and she definitely inherited Andy's amazing "tornado" abilities.  I am constantly amazed at how quickly and silently she can completely destroy a room.  In fact, during the day, when I realize that the house is quiet... I go into panic mode because I know that somewhere Addyson is into something!
 
She is also a monkey and can climb anything, so it really doesn't matter how high up I put things...she will find a way to get to them.  The other day, as I was changing Emma's diaper, Addy decided to "bake."  She moved a chair across the kitchen, climbed up, and began exploring my baking cupboards.
She found the sprinkles, and food coloring, which were on the very top shelf!
 
She even got out a mixing bowl, spoons, cocoa, kidney beans, brown rice, white rice, flour, measuring spoons, snack pudding, a couple of her binkies (which I hide from her up in the cupboard) and wax paper.  Amazing.  This truly is a talent.
 
I frequently find myself saying in a sigh, "Oh Addyson..."  to which this time she responded, "Hi Mommy!  I's baking!"
 
The Silent Tornado hits again!

What a Nut...

Rachel makes me smile every day.  She will be 13 years old in about a month, and I just cannot believe how quickly the years go by.  When I was living in Ohio, a friend told me, "Sherrie, you can know what your kids will be like as teenagers by remembering what they were like as two year olds."  I remember laughing at his words, thinking that was about the most ridiculous and funny joke I've ever heard.  Well...turns out he's right on!
 
Taylor, who was pretty happy go lucky as a 2 year old as long as he had plenty of food...is pretty much that same way now at 14 years old.  And Rachel?  Well.  As a two year old, Rachel constantly kept me on my toes, she was always making "creative messes" with my paints, markers, sewing supplies, etc.  Weird, but she still does that same thing!  She also had the funniest sense of humor and made us laugh every day...she still does this now.
 
In fact, a couple of weeks ago, she had Taylor and I rolling with laughter as we picked her up after school.  We were talking about his day as we waited for her to come out the doors.  When we saw her, we both stopped talking, raised our eyebrows and looked at one another in complete surprise!  Rachel came walking down the sidewalk wearing her East Valley shirt.  She gets in, says "Hi mama!" like she usually does, and Tay and I just burst out with laughter.  I asked, "Rachey...did you wear that shirt all day?"  She just looked at me weird, and said "uh..yah...why?"  I was still just giggling and asked her if anyone said anything to her or looked at her weird.  She paused, and then realized why I was asking.  She started laughing too and said, "well yah!  Actually the security guard stopped me in the hall and said, 'You know, you're disturbing the peace.'"  She said that a few people just laughed, and that her advisory teacher thought it was hilarious. 
 
She is so funny, I just love her!  I love her confidence and ability to be a leader among her peers.
I did, however, ban her from wearing this shirt on South's Spirit Day. 
She and Taylor laughed...they think I'm chicken.  I think they're both a little nuts.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Perfect Day

Having a baby in the summer is wonderful because the kids' schedules slow down making it easier to take care of the newborn...but having a baby in the summer is also difficult because it makes it harder to get out with the kids to enjoy our favorite activities!
 
One of my favorite places to go each summer has been the Boise Rose Garden.  I have loved it ever since I first strolled through it 17 years ago the day after I won Miss Idaho.  While Andy and I were dating and when he would come over to Boise to visit, we would frequently go to the Rose Garden to walk and talk and just be together. 
 
Last summer, I took the kids to the zoo, and then we had a picnic lunch in the rose garden.  It was a perfect day.  I was going through some of my picture files last week, and came across this one of Lainah from that perfect day last summer.  Here is my sweet little 4 year old Lainah, posing in front of her favorite roses that day.  She is so cute, even with jelly on her lips from her sandwich!
I didn't make it to the rose garden this year, which makes me a little sad.  It will definitely be at the top of my list for next summer's "bucket list" with the kids.  I'm looking forward to another "perfect day" with kids and roses.

Missionaries in Training

It's a well-known fact, that one of the skills of a good missionary is the ability to pose in crazy pictures wherever you may be.  Whether you are called to serve in New York City, or Pocatello, Idaho...a good missionary will be able to find something funny, quirky, and crazy to take a picture in front of, underneath, or on top of. 
Here at the Thuernagle house...we take our mission prep seriously.  Here Matthew and Taylor are showing us the way a set of missionaries would enjoy a trip to the zoo.  As you can see, with age comes a finesse that can only be gained by years of experience in crazy picture posing.  While Matthew, who is 7 years younger than Taylor, goes for the crazed look...Taylor just smirks while allowing the giraffe statue to nibble on his hair.
 
Love these two silly boys so much!

There's Always a Bigger Fish

 
Last summer, Matthew caught a few tadpoles and took care of them for a few days.

He even created a little habitat for them, putting in a rock and some leaves.  They were so cute swimming around in their bowl on my kitchen cabinet.

Last summer, Taylor went fishing with a friend and caught a fish.  He brought it home in a ziplock bag...and took care of it for a few days.

The bowl on the kitchen cabinet wasn't big enough for his fish...so he used Addy's swimming pool instead.  Poor little Addy was traumatized by this thing swimming around her pool.

My boys just make me laugh.  Matthew bringing home tadpoles...Taylor bringing home a blue gill...I wonder what Andy will be bringing home next? 
We do have the above ground pool...so there's room for like a Tuna...a Salmon...a Small-mouthed bass...maybe even a Sturgeon.  Naw...not a sturgeon, but maybe a sea turtle.  That would be cool.  I hope he brings home a Sea Turtle.