Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cute Little Monkeys

Okay, I may be slightly prejudiced....but I think these are two of the cutest kids on the planet!! I love them so much!

Once again I got sucked into making Easter outfits...two this year. Ben was only one day old on Easter last year, so he and Madi both ended up with store bought outfits. If you know me very well you would realize that if I hadn't been in labor two days before Easter, I would have been making Madison's dress. This year I was going to buy them some matching outfits, but guilt got the better of here they are, matching monkeys. Do you like the blue and brown? Ben's ended up a little's supposed to be shorts, but I guess his little legs are longer than I thought. People kept asking me if he was wearing a dress....I guess that outfit is retired after today. Oh well, cute pictures anyway. Marcus just now suggested to me that I should have made him some tiny tuxedo pants with a blue ribbon down the side. And where was that suggestion two days ago while he watched me make the outfit? Helpful, isn't he?

Happy Easter Morning

I was surpised this year to find that both kids slept in. Huh. It actually wasn't all that great because we have church at 9:00, and I sort of wanted to get the whole basket thing out of the way before church. We are also notoriously late for sacrament meeting every week, so I was really hoping to make it on time for once. I eventually got them all rousted out of bed, though. They were both really excited about what the Easter bunny left for them. Madi especially loved her dress (don't's a combination of guilt and obsession that drives me) and Ben loved the new bottle in his basket. We gave Ben a bunch of empty eggs....they are always the most fought after toy in our house, and he loves them. He's been carrying them around the house all day.

Marcus came to visit us over Easter, so we've been putting him to work. Brian had him climb up our massive trees yesterday to cut down the branches that have been threatening to destroy our cars and roof for the last year. Yay for Marcus! I would also like to note that I did try to find him a date for while he was here (this was his stipulation for the visit), but was unsucessful due to unforseen circumstances (there are no girls here who don't have tatoos on their faces or ten kids from when they were in high school). I promise to try harder next time, Marcus!

OHS Easter Egg Hunt, Etc...

Saturday was really fun around here, that is as long as you don't work for the man. Brian and Marcus took the kids to the OHS Egg Hunt in the morning and then to play on the awesome playground at Carl's Jr in the afternoon. They also dyed eggs and got to eat candy. I got to sit at a desk and type in numbers and then demand payment from people who want to get something for nothing. Hooray.

MMMMMmmmm....Easter Cake

Nothing to say about this, really. Just look at it. Can it get any more perfect? I think not.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ben's Lord of the Rings Impression


I was recently asked to teach a class for Relief Society about fun and inexpensive things to do with your family. I was at a loss, I called Melanie, and she suggested Letterboxing. Brian and the kids and I decided to go out and give it a shot. I looked up some sites online and found some letterboxes very close to where we live....and off we went! We were able to find one of the three we went looking for. One of them we just couldn't find...and the other one is gone due to some construction in the area. It was pretty cool to find, though, and Madison thought it was awesome.

Anyone have any cool ideas for fun things to do as a family or a couple that are free or inexpensive? The letterboxing was awesome, you should try it!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Dancing Queen...Welcome Back to Blogville

Okay, we are evil non-blogging losers who've deprived you all of seeing your precious (fill in relationship here) for over a month now. We are sorry.....we are just sooo busy lately! Brian and I are teaching two ballroom classes a week, plus two separate private lessons for a competition. I am working for the tax man, and Brian is trying to desperately write lesson plans and grade papers when he's not watching kids or keeping me from checking in to the nut house.

Madi has been very busy with her dance class, they had a competition in Nampa (that I didn't get to go to) and got lots of ribbons and trophies...which means they get to perform in May at Lagoon for "Nationals." I'm not sure why they call it that, I'm pretty sure it's one of those things that you pay to perform in, in fact I know it is...since I paid for her to perform in it. We thought you might enjoy some pictures in full costume.

Ben and Madi have both been pretty sick for about three months, and this is also making us crazy. Madi had a huge kidney infection in early January, and we found out she was allergic to Pennicillin (sp?),followed by the nastiest cold ever....then passed it along to Ben. They both had double ear infections in February, where we found that Ben was also allergic to it....and then he kept getting worse with the coughing, he stopped sleeping and eating...and we finally took him back in, only to discover that he had RSV, and had to use one of those nebulizers with albuterol (which makes kids verrrryy wild!). Sooo...we haven't slept or seen each other in about three months, and it will continue to be that way until April 15th, when I will be done with tax season.

A huge thank you to Dan and Tammy for coming to rescue us this weekend!! They cooked for us and brought us treats and let us go on a real date with no kids! We stayed out till 11:00, when we remembered we hadn't slept in three months and were tired. Still, pretty cool. Thanks, guys!

There! Is everyone happy now?! Just kidding, we love to keep in touch this way, I'll try to be quicker with the blogs!!

Making Some Banana Bread

We love banana bread at our house. I discovered an awesome recipe about a year ago, and now we buy bananas and ignore them on purpose so they can become bread when they are all brown. I have often complained to Brian that our bananas aren't rotten enough yet to eat. We also like to add chocolate chips to them, you know, to counteract any healthiness involved in the bread.

Madison loves to help out, and I think we took these pictures partially to show off the banana bread, but mostly to show off Madison's new haircut and choice of outfit. She cracks us up with her fashion sense. So cute!


We've been so proud of Madison lately. She had a little bit of a rough start in Kindergarten. It was hard to focus and sit still and stop talking. But over the last few months she's been doing very well. Her teacher informs me that she is very responsible and respectful, and she works very hard.
Last month we received a letter in the mail inviting us to an awards ceremony at her school, and there I was surprised to find out that she was receiving an award for high academic acheivement in language and math. Way to go Madison! We are so proud!

Madi Gets a Haircut

I decided in January to trim Madison's hair, it probably hadn't been trimmed in two years so it was a little uneven. Some of you know about the mohawk incident...some may not. Well, about a two years ago, just when we got back from Taiwan, Madison decided to give herself a haircut. It was in two french braids, and she wedged the scissors on either side of the center part in the front and snipped right to the crown of her head. It would have been really hilarious if I hadn't been so horrified, she has such crazy cowlicks that I wasn't sure I'd be able to hide it, and there was no way I was going to shave her head. I ended up doing an extreme side part for a few months, and then she had a mohawk that stood straight up until it got long enough to lay over. That took about a year...then just when I was thinking we'd gotten over it, she cut the same slice again, probably in an attempt to get rid of her mohawk. It has taken nearly another year to get it to grow back to where it looked like a half-hearted attempt at bangs only in the center of her forehead.

While I was trimming the back I wondered out loud if I should just cut her some bangs so that it could all grow out together, then at least it would look intentional. Madison begged and begged me to do it, saying repeatedly, "I'll look just like Hannah Montana, Mom! PLEASE!!!" Soooo...I gave in! And now, against my (and Brian's) better judgement, our little girl now has trendy Hannah Montana bangs. There are only a few problems with the bangs....first, they grow fast, and I want to let them grow out, but not look shaggy....any suggestions? Second, as previously mentioned, crazy cowlicks....this usually means they part a little to the side with a decided flip. Ugh. And Lastly....they make her look too old. This is the real problem. She'll be six so soon that it is killing me....somehow six seems so much older than five. Five is still a baby, really, but six....six is a little girl.

So...what do you think? Keep the Hannah Montana bangs, or grow them out?

Ten Months Old....Better Late Than Never!

Here is our little monkey at ten months old. Can you believe it's been ten months already?? We actually did take the pictures on time, we've just had dead batteries in our camera for a while so we couldn't post them.
Okay, so ten months for Benjamin meant lots of first things. He learned how to crawl this month...and he is getting pretty fast. He still does the whole one-legged Smegal crawl, I think he doesn't want to crawl on his knees because the floor is so hard. Poor baby.
He also got two new teeth this month, and bit his sister for the first time. He has four top teeth and two bottom ones...just enough to leave a fairly impressive mark on Madi's stomach where he bit her in retaliation for picking him up when he wanted to be left alone.
He has also been eating just about everything now. He even ate an entire chicken nugget the other day. He started out by daintily nibbling the nugget, and when he thought I wasn't paying attention anymore he stuffed the whole thing in his mouth. It was funny watching him try to chew with his mouth so full. Now I know better...I cut up everything I give him in case he decides to shove it all in at once.
Ben also learned to shake his head no, and this has become his favorite pastime, and his response to anything I say or offer to feed him, whether he agrees or not. And early this month I taught him to blow kisses, but he hasn't figured out that it involves your mouth he just slaps himself somewhere on the head and then waves it at you. Well...I know what he means!
This month he also said Mom for the first time...he mostly says it when he's upset. He babbles all sorts of other sounds, sometimes even coming up with Dadada, although we're not sure he associates either Momma or Dada with the actual people yet. He does like to jabber, though...and he loves to talk on the phone, he thinks it's hilarious, he laughs and jabbers and laughs and jabbers until we take it away, then he screams like we've stolen his first born child. Ah.....the dulcet tones of a ten month old.
All in all, he's a very happy baby boy, and we can't imagine our family without him! He's still pretty laid back, not the same as his older sister, and shy, unlike Madison. Ben is just a happy, laughing, clapping, nono head shaking, smegal crawling monkey. And we love him!