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Oregon: Day 1

On Friday, June 19th we left for Newport, Oregon. Derek’s sister and her family moved to Albany, Oregon last summer and we had wanted to go and visit. We got out there just in time to help move them back to Utah! We were glad to be able to spend some time with them, Derek’s other sister and his parents.

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Ready to go!

I was a little worried about the 14 hour drive with four boys. But we survived! They actually did a really good job. We left mid-afternoon to beat rush hour traffic and were able to go 3 hours before stopping for dinner. We went to Papa Kelsey’s Pizza and Subs in Burley, Idaho.

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So happy to be out of the car!

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Jeffery was a better traveler than any of us! He was as happy as could be.

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Best buds

After devouring a couple of pizzas, we found a park for the boys to play in while I fed Jeffery. When their wiggles were all wiggled out, the boys put on their pjs and got back in the car.

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We hoped they would fall asleep during the last 2 hours before getting to our hotel in Boise. Unfortunately, Carter was the only one who obliged. Isaac had napped earlier and so he was having a hard time sleeping. Cooper really likes sleeping in his own bed and refused to try and lay his head down to rest. We discovered that being away from home, over-tired and confined in a small space are not a good combination for him (and we were only 5 hours into our trip!!) He was READY to be at the hotel. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites/Spectrum. It wasn’t until we arrived that I realized it’s right across the freeway from the Boise Temple! Seeing the temple is what finally helped Cooper calm down a little bit.

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Of course the second we got into the hotel room (around 11 pm), the last thing the boys wanted to do was sleep. They wanted to explore every nook and cranny, try out all of the light switches (woo hoo!!) and stomp back and forth across the room as loudly as possible. We finally got them settled and asleep around midnight.

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Isaac the Four Year Old

Isaac turned four in November. He is such a good natured little guy.

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He is the stereotypical oldest child: obedient, responsible and protective of his younger siblings—practically perfect in every way. He loves to “help” work around the house. He’s pretty good at gathering, sorting and folding the laundry. He needs a little help getting the machine going but other than that I think I should maybe turn the whole job over to him. He also loves following his dad around the house with his tools and helping him work on whatever project needs done.

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Isaac is starting to notice words everywhere and wants to know what everything says. Dad can even get him to sound some things out. We’ve been doing a little neighborhood preschool exchange with four other boys Isaac’s age. He goes two times a week and it’s been a good experience so far. I think it’s helped him solidify some letters and sounds. It’s also been fun for him to have a few little friends in the area. I thought the couple of hours that he’d be gone wouldn’t be much of a break for me since the twins are still at home but it has turned out to be a great block of time for all of us. The twins really enjoy playing together without their big brother The Supervisor. And when the twins play well together, Momma gets a couple of hours to get things done. Win for everyone!

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Isaac is very sensitive to the Spirit and easily understands the gospel. I am always impressed that he can retell some of the lesson he had in primary or in Family Home Evening.

He loves to dress up and play pretend.

We started Suzuki piano lessons in September for Isaac. He has really enjoyed it. He’s progressed quicker than I expected he would. He even helped me record some of his songs on a cd as a Christmas gift for grandparents. He has a great teacher and he’ll have some fun opportunities to perform this coming year. He just had his first recital a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been taking Suzuki teacher training classes as well, so being Isaac’s piano “coach” has been a good learning experience for me and a fun, new way to interact as mom and son. I hope we can keep enjoying it together.

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Overall, Isaac is happy and fun to be around. I have been dreading these school age years (ages 4-12) as a mom. I just really enjoy baby and toddler-hood (and am even looking forward to the teenage years) but have been unsure of how to parent these years in between. Isaac is easing me into this next phase and helping to make it a pleasant transition.

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I’m grateful for this quiet contented boy that reminds me so much of his dad. They both bring a calmness to our home that we (especially me) really need.

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October and Halloween

I love Halloween. I was feeling ambitious this year and the boys were pretty excited about bats and spiders and things so we spent all month making decorations and costumes.

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I should have taken this picture when it was really dark out. Oh well. The witch silhouette was pretty awesome.

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For Fall Break my mom invited us down to Palisades State Park for an overnight trip. We had a fun time playing with cousins and the boys loved the cabins complete with bunk beds. Here’s a picture of the littlest boys playing on the big rock.

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I love coordinating our family’s costumes every year. My kids are still fairly easy to convince young so we’ll see how many years I can indulge in matching attire. The boys are old enough to have somewhat of an opinion so I gave them a few matchy options and let them vote. I thought Toy Story would be fun or Monsters Inc. I was also keeping twinner costumes in mind like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum and, of course, Things 1 and 2 were options. The boys unanimously voted for Mario Brothers. I don’t know why that was the top of the list (we don’t play it all that much) but I have to admit I was super excited to make a Princess Peach dress.  I was also really lucky to find some awesome tutorials for Mario and Luigi hats and even a Hammer Brothers outfit (adapted from this Bowser costume). Isaac was super insistent on his choice of character.

I was working on costumes until the minute we walked out the door for the ward trunk or treat. I still had finishing touches before Halloween night but I think they turned out pretty cute. At least they were a fun challenge for me to make. (Derek is a good sport to put up with me.)

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We went down to Jaker’s in Springville for a pre-school field trip. I should have gotten a picture with all of the boys but here’s me and my boys at least.

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My friend Anna from high school invited us to go to Cornbelly’s for a family date night one Saturday night. I forgot jackets but it was a beautiful night and we had lots of fun.

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Our friends hosted a Halloween party the week before Halloween. Look at all those boys! We forgot to get a picture of the kids before all of the families with girls left.

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On Halloween night Derek took the boys around the neighborhood trick-or-treating while I stayed home to hand out candy. I should have just gone with them. We only had two groups of kids knock on our door. That happens every year. You’d think I would learn… After trick-or-treating we went down to Springville to show off our costumes to Grandma and Grandpa and the cousins.

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A Nerdy Thirty Birthday

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If you know Derek, you know how appropriate a nerdy thirty party was. It was even his idea…. kind of. 🙂 He wasn’t a big fan of the bow tie but he was a good sport.

Here’s the Invite I sent out: DerekBdayInvite (2)

2014-05-10 14.20.03We had Derek’s favorite snacks: Doritos, popcorn, Red Vines and on the other table we had nachos and soft pretzels with soda.

My three smallest nerds:

ImageImageImage2014-05-10 13.31.38These two… We sure are going to miss having these cousins around.Image

2014-05-10 16.20.07Aunt Linda was the favorite! I’m not sure how many books she read but the kids just kept them coming!Image

I think he had a good time and felt loved. Thanks for coming everyone!

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Airplanes

We got to celebrate our cousin’s 2nd birthday last weekend by visiting the Hill Aerospace Museum. We went there last fall as part of Isaac’s potty reward but the boys were way more excited about it this time. Everything is more fun with cousins! They love the movie Planes and I was impressed at how quickly they recognized all of the different types of planes. We saw a Chupacabra and a Skipper and jets like Echo and Bravo. I don’t think I would have made those connections if they hadn’t pointed them out. It must be a boy thing…

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Happy Birthday Christian!

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Basement Remodel: Demolition Part 2

Grandpa Curtis is our remodeling superhero. He came down two more times this week to get us all demolished and cleaned up. Uncle Nate donated his day off to helping too. His job was dusty and gross: pulling down the ceiling (I think he discovered 3 *old* mouse nests!! Ew! Glad those are gone.) Thanks Nate!

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The boys were so excited to “help.” They had all of their tools down there hammering away. Isaac especially had a good time working next to his grandpa. He was carrying ceiling tiles up the stairs and into the truck for a good hour while Curtis was hauling the big stuff. He talked non-stop and enjoyed every minute. I think Grandpa did too.

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I was surprised and impressed at how good Isaac was with the little crowbar. He was popping nails out like a pro. He kept hitting himself in the face, but he was in heaven.

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He also got to take a ride to the dump with Daddy first thing this morning. He was looking forward to it all week and as soon as we woke up this morning, he was ready to go.

Boys are kind of fun sometimes.