Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ensign Peak

What did you do by 8:30 AM this morning? I had already been reporting for 4 1/2 hours, and was done with my part of morning drive radio. And JB and our four sons had reached the top of Ensign Peak.

This is JB's old stomping grounds. It's steep, but it's an incredible view at the top.

JB sent me pictures from his phone of their journey:

"He rode like this nearly the whole way.  Boy did he ever love the view of trains and the airport from up top."

 JB wrote: "Didn't want to hold still for the picture. Andrew was very worried about him falling off the top. Reminded me of Max in his concern."

And then, my favorite picture of all my boys, which is now my phone's home screen (replacing one from 2 years ago when the boys cuddled around a new baby James):

Afterward, they popped into Nona's house and got a second breakfast.  I think it was a great time for a hike. The littles are often up in the 6 AM hour, and the bigs rarely sleep past 7 AM, even in the summer (they are still going to bed at just about the same time as during the school year anyway because momma gotta sleep). And it is getting so hot now in the afternoons, a morning hike sounds perfect.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Andrew soccer

This was Andrew's first soccer season, yippee. And it went kind of like Max's first soccer season.  We kept telling Andrew to "Kick the ball! Kick it!" and he finally told me, "But dey won't wet me haf a turn." 

Here's some video of one of his first games. He's number 6, at the very back of the pack.

His last game he actually got a few kicks in, and I believe he got it to go into the (other team's) goal.  Max was encouraging him to go for it by yelling to him, "You can play with my Lego sets!"

Though most of the season his favorite spot was by his bestie Cory, talking about dinosaurs or alligators or boogers.

Here's our Gold Monarch (not sure who chose that) showing off his trophy from the end of the season. 

Andrew all week long would ask if it was time time for soccer that day. I think he liked having something of his own, after watching the older boys play various sports for a while. He still sometimes mentions that he misses soccer and preschool now that they are both well over.

Ben Baseball

Ben just finished a season of baseball with his friends for the past two months or so. This was his first time with machine pitch, and he started out the season hitting strong.

He hit a batting slump though a few weeks ago and kept striking out, game after game. We kept working with him, and I wonder if he just got too much advice (Hold the bat higher! Hold the bat lower! etc). But his second-to-last game he got a hit each time he was up (4 for 4), and therefore won a small Lego kit as a prize.

He is a hustler, though. I admire how much he always is trying hard. He pays attention, he follows the ball, he runs for the ball in the field and throws hard and does everything he can to catch others' throws when he plays first base. 

Daddy was a good fielding coach, too. He would be blogging this differently from his perspective out in the field game after game with all those 7 and 8-year-olds. Let us just say some of them did not pay sufficient attention to the game.

James spent a lot of time watching through the fence.

I'm pretty sure that is Andrew in the background picking his nose. He would run around with other players' siblings his age and really enjoyed himself. 

Max is the best big brother. He really helped me keep an eye on the littles. Especially because one field had a creek nearby, and another field was close to a fairly busy parking lot. 

Max Flag Football

This spring, Max did flag football for the first time on Tuesday nights. He really enjoyed it. I wish we would have thought of it before.

I thought he was pretty fast at getting right to the guy with the ball, and he made a lot of good tackles or grabs. For instance:


It's always fun to play on the same team as a friend, in this case, Cooper J. (not to be confused with Cooper A, also in their same 4th grade class).

This is the same field we have played many soccer games, and a season of hot baseball games a few years ago. And I must say James is getting very good at not eating the black pellets in the artificial turf.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day marked our first trip to Lagoon this season.


And that meant while one parent rode roller coasters with the big boys, the other took the little boys plenty of times around on things like the boats.

James rode with brother Andrew, and then with cousin Phin.

After a case of mild whip lash on the Jet Star II (just for me, Ben and Max felt fine), we had some lunch with Papa, then rode more rides.

After Lagoon, James napped in the car while we drove to Provo to meet my Utah siblings at our brother Enoch's grave.

And we had a picnic dinner at Joe's house. Here are the Utah cousins on my side. We have other pictures of cousin Kaylee and James looking at the camera (and James doing a big cheesy grin like Andrew is below), but I picked this one because my brother Peter's baby David is sucking the nacho cheese Doritos flavor off of Maxwell David's fingers.

Kaylee is outnumbered by far. The only other girl cousin so far is a baby in Missouri. Another baby girl cousin is coming in the fall to join three older Seattle.

My brother Joe has dogs and cats and reptiles and tortoises and turtles, and Andrew was in heaven.

It was feeding time while we were there for Joe's monitor lizard. Bye bye, little mouse. I felt like singing "The circle of life" while we watched, but I refrained.

Monday, June 8, 2015

James is two

Why yes, I regularly just whip up cakes based on a PBS character. I'm all smiles, but it was a stressful few hours of butter-creaming and snapping at my children to "give me some space!" But they are forgiving and were so excited to see the finished product.

I daydreamed about what cake to make for a while. Basketball, like his first birthday, and one of his first loves? Or some sort of truck on top, because he excitedly points out any and every "BIG truck!"

But it was fun to see him point to it and say "Tiger! Tiger!" when he saw Daniel Tiger up at Nona and Papa's house.

Then we moved him over by his twin cousin Phin so they could both be sung to and blow out their candles.

And then he started licking or kissing or giving a hugga mugga to Daniel Tiger. I report, you decide.

Which prompted Andrew to try it, too.

His birthday present was a light saber ("Saber! SABER!"). He and his brothers basically turn everything else into a sword or light saber anyway.

His is red (because he's been dubbed Darth Baby by his brothers), and JB got two more blue ones on sale the same time at Kohls. Buuuut, three light sabers and four boys makes for jealous math.

At his checkup today, he was 37 inches tall (97 percentile) and 28 pounds, 5 ounces (55 percentile). He says dozens of words and forms 3+ word sentences. The doctor asked if he could tell different colors yet. Not quite, but he can name every different kind of ball, and hear a truck or chopper or plane before the rest of us.  He loves stories and asks for the same books at night, despite baskets-full between his bed and Andrew's bed.

The handout she gave us talks about when to know when 2-year-olds are ready for potty training. Maniacal laugh. Though last night he did try to imitate his brothers by standing at the toilet and looking down expectantly.

Jamesy is energetic, stubborn, sweet, cute, funny, floppy, screechy, snuggly, smart, loud, curious and everything a two-year-old should be.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Andrew's preschool

Andrew had the best time in our neighborhood co-op preschool this year. He wishes it was still happening. It was 2 hours twice a week and we rotated houses, then had a graduation at the park last week. 

He misses his buddies already. Most of the time it was just at a home, where we colored, sang, read books and "learned" the alphabet and numbers. Still a bit sketchy there, but he's four years old.  He'll go to a regular pre-k next year. 

They also did a few field trips, like to the fire station, and to the grocery store below.

It wasn't like a trip with your parents, they took a tour and everything.  Every morning Andrew would wake up and ask, "Is it preschool today?" So this could be a long summer.

Last day of school + Max's opera

Jamsey snuck into the picture of Max on his last day of school.  All done with fourth grade!

He and this boy below are much taller than at the beginning of the year. Ben is now finished with first grade.

They brought home their report cards -- Ben's reading scores are insanely high.  We signed up for the summer reading program at the library to avoid the summer slide. Though it may have already started with 5 days of parties the last week of school...

Max's teacher puts on a new opera each year with his class. This year it was "The Hatseller and the Monkeys."

 I give you, Max's solo:

He was so courageous and excited and serious about this for weeks.  We now have a DVD and are always humming the songs.