Sunday, October 28, 2012

proof mommy exists photo day

Remember the goal of including myself in pics with my family, well this is one of those posts.

In case you don't know why I'm doing this, read this, and then go take pics of yourself with your family.  :)

The BABIES:


The GIRLS:


The TYLERs (both of whom didn't seem to want to be in the photos!  Ty kept his back turned most of the time and TS kept trying to escape):

So, there's proof I exist (though, the entry prior to this proves that too).

I have some with just Ty and the kids that I am planning on posting...if I ever get to it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

homeschooling

Besides doing school work, do you ever wonder what we do all day since we homeschool?

Meet my nail stylist, Violet:

BIO:  As you can see from her expression, she's been doing this for years.  Okay, maybe not years, but she likes to trick me into thinking she has that type of experience.  She was trained in the backyard a couple weeks ago.  She can sometimes stay on my nail, sometimes not.  She has this down.  She know wut she doin'.

Here she is painting my nails:

 She looks cute, and I'm scratching my eyebrow:


She still looks cute, and here I am not scratching my eyebrow:


She's very professional:

We had been doing the expression at the same time, but the photographer was a little too slow.  So now I just look like a weirdo:

Speaking of the photographer, here she is (for most of the time):
You can see her creative use of her makeup on her face with her blush and purple eye shadow.

After Violet painted my nails, it was time for some flower nail stickers.  Violet added some, and so did Rhys:


This was right before she slammed her hand against my nail really hard to make the sticker stay.  I think it's a nail stylist trick:


Finished product.  This is about what both hands looked like.  Not to shabby for a four year old!


Prior to my nails getting done, I did Violet's and Rhys' nails, but we didn't get any pictures of Violet's nails getting done, just Rhys!

To ensure Rhys couldn't run around like a crazy baby, we strapped her into her hair chair so she could stay there until it dried.  I put flowers on her nails then painted over it with a clear nail polish:


Here's Rhys and I...and Violet's finger.  I love how Rhys poses.  I think it's so cute.


Here's the finished products!

Violet's hands with pink nail polish and flowers, then clear nail polish:


Emma didn't want any colored nail polish, just the flowers with clear nail polish on top.  Here's her beautiful hands:

And this is where you can pretend Rhys' hands are.  She wasn't really interested in holding her hands out, and she very quickly picked all the flowers off.

After we were done, and after the kids cleared off the table and emptied the dishwasher (so that I could clean the mess of a kitchen behind me that seems to get messy in the blink of an eye!).  Then we all had tootsie pops, which I'm not sure they've all had them before (we don't do candy a lot), which made it all the more fun to have a little unexpected treat.  I gave the baby some tiny tastes of mine, but she didn't get much. She enjoyed it, though!


And, that, my dears, is how our day went today.  At least for part of it.

sweetness

We gave Emma a box of makeup for her birthday because she wanted it REALLY bad. 

The night that she got it, I was busy putting Ella to bed for a little while. When I came back out, I found Tyler & Emma in the bathroom, and he was putting makeup on her because she didn't know what everything did. He didn't necessarily know what he was doing either, but it almost made me cry because it was so sweet. He even painted her nails. She absolutely LOVED it. 

Have I mentioned I love my husband? BECAUSE I DO. He's such an awesome dad. 

Real men put makeup on their daughters and paint their nails...hehe.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Emma's Party

Emma turned 10 years old last Wednesday!  Can you believe it?  I can't believe it.  I seriously can't believe it.  How has 10 years gone by?

We celebrated her birthday yesterday.

This year, for her cake, she wanted to do cupcakes.  She thought it would be fun if they could put frosting on their own cupcakes and individualize them.

Having made snickerdoodle cupcakes with the kids a couple weeks ago, I knew the most enjoyable way of making the cupcakes was for me to measure it out, and have it ready to just pour in and mix, before they came to help.

(If it's just one or two of them, they can do the measuring, and it's fine.  But trying to accommodate them all and take care of two babies at the same time, one of whom (Rhys) last time I caught holding the big container of salt, spout open, head tilted back, literally on the verge of pouring salt in her mouth...then add the stuff all the rest of them are doing out of curiosity and trying to be independent, is too much.  Instead of it being a fun experience, I begin feeling like I'm on some type of crazy game show.)

Here they are about to start.  If you're new here, Emma is the one in the middle.  She's the birthday girl!  She's showing her new bracelet that a friend gave her.

Starting to cook:

Lining the cupcake tin:

Watching it mix:



Meanwhile, Ella was hanging out on the couch.  It's almost like a play pen for her.  She will hang out there (without falling off) when I need to sit her down.  I thought she looked so cute:


Then we cooked them (the cupcakes, not the kids) and the kids chose the frosting color they wanted and frosted them:



Rhys had been asleep the whole time and woke up right as the kids finished.  Emma sat back down and helped her frost the cupcake.  (Rhys' hair is really growing in noticeably now!!)


After we were done with that part, I made the ice cream.  Only, I forgot to put the ice cream bowl in the freezer the night before.  It ended up not being cold enough to actually make ice cream.  Boooooo.  So, I stuck it in the deep freeze.  I took half of it out and turned it into some chocolate ice cream and put it back in to try to freeze it in time.  I wasn't sure if it was going to work out in time or not.

Then it was time to open presents.  I like Emma's face and how TS is flexing his muscles to help her via his mind powers.

She got a make up box (which is sitting behind Rhys in photo above), then some boots, new pjs, a musical DVD that she loves, and some other stuff.  There's also a pocket watch (necklace watch?) that is coming in the mail.  She's been asking for a pocket watch, so we'll see what she thinks when it arrives.

Here everyone is looking at the stuff, including Ella:

Look at her sneak in a step when no one (but me, the spy) was looking!

Most of the time, Ella was crawling back and forth between me and the herd of kids.  It was so funny because she crawled this way most of the time.  It's like she is doing a combo of crawling and walking.  haha.  She likes to free stand a lot, but she very, very rarely takes steps.  I actually wish she would take a lot longer with the walking thing.  Other than Emma, she's by far our latest walker (she's also the tiniest, other than Emma), and it's been really fun having her not be walking!

Here's the cupcakes we made:

Since we didn't have a big cake to stick ten candles in, we used all the kids cupcakes to hold them.  I snuck in two "trick' candles.  They're the kind that keep relighting and won't go out.  I thought Emma would think it was funny.

The brown cupcakes were chocolate cream cheese frosting on white cake with some of those chocolate mint candy crumbled on top.  It was yummy, except the cream cheese frosting didn't taste nearly as good as it usually does.  I used a different recipe than my usual one, and I shouldn't have done that.  But it was still fun!

My sister and her family were able to come over.  They arrived at right about the time we were ready to have cake & ice cream.

I took only video of us singing the birthday song and watching her blow out the candles.  I'll have to download it later and post it.  But for now, I'll just explain how it went because it cracked us all up.

All of the adults were aware of the trick candles.  We were giggling our evil giggles in our minds as we sang her the birthday song.  She covered her face because she said it made her feel weird having everyone stare at her and sing.  She loved it, though!

Tyler sat the cupcakes/candles down in front of her, and we told her to blow it out...while smiling amongst ourselves, imagining what she would do.  hehe.

So, she blew them out.

They stayed blown out.

Nothing tricky happened, except the trick candles tricked us by thinking they were trick candles.

We weren't going to be beat by some stupid candles, so we quickly decided to relight them.  We waited a minute, they started sparking, Uncle Rob sang an abbreviated version of the Happy Birthday song and then said, "Now blow them out!"

Emma was clearly thinking we were a bit insane by this point.  So, she blew them out again.

They stayed blown out.

WHHHAAAT?!!

We were not taking no for an answer.  Tyler pulled the candles out of the cupcakes and relit them while holding them and glaring at them.  After waiting a minute or so, to the point that they were sparking, he blew them out.  They freakin' blew all the way out again.  What's up with that?!!

By this point we're thinking that we're going to throw them all in the fireplace and melt them down into blobs if they don't start doing some type of trick.  We grabbed a couple new ones, lit them, let them burn for a while until they start sparking.  Then we blew them out.

Mine blew all the way out (?!!).

Tyler's did not.  It blew out and relit right away!

Throngs of people cheered.  Victory!!

He blew it out a few more times, and then it stopped working again.

Whatever.

By this time, the ice cream had melted considerably.  And seeing as how it wasn't exactly in a more solid ice cream form to begin with, it ended up looking more like mashed potatoes and gravy...or blended up beans?  But it tasted DELICIOUS.

Here's Emma's (haha!):


It was so yummy, in fact, that Kyrie excitedly got up to eat more of it.  She may not look terribly excited here, but she was when she got up to get more.

Seeing how it looked on her plate, combined with her excitement, made me laugh just a little too hard.  (I won't explain beyond that.)

Then the kids got their party bags, which were actually little party boxes.  I put little packs of bandaids, wet wipes, rubber duckies, balloons, mini-spray bottles, a craft to paint, chapstick, and other stuff.  A lot of it was stuff they don't usually get to play with (like bandaids and wetwipes) that they really love.

I took a few pictures of Rhys, trying to catch a good one of her looking through her stuff.  Siouxsie kept being in the background, and I kept catching her in the weirdest expressions (not on purpose).  It got pretty funny.  Here goes with Siouxsie's expressions:

Expression #1:

Expression #2:

Expression #3:

We finally told her to just hide behind the balloon so we couldn't see her face anymore.  haha.  Then she scratched her head right as I was taking a photo, making it look like she's picking something out of her hair (not on purpose).  It was hiiiilarious...  And Rhys looked uber cute, as usual.

Rhys LOVED her little party box.  It was so fun to watch her, and the other kids, look through their stupid party treats (haha).

Rhys was sooo excited about her chapstick.  She's so cute!  Where Ella is tiny and so baby, Rhys is soooo sweet and squishy.  She's one of my most favorite people in the whole world.

Ella hung out with Kyrie for a bit.  Ella is so tiny and cute.  It's hard to handle her sometimes.



Then after Uncle Rob told a really neat story about forgiveness (that had to do with a rather tragic story involving a dog and a wolf), we watched our night time Bible video with the kids about Jesus.  They really like them.  They have a ton of them here (most any Christian would like these).

It was a really fun night.  So many funny things happened and everyone had a lot of fun.  It was a great little party.  Emma really enjoyed it.

(now...to the next day)

Her last present came today, the day after her party.  She had been asking for a pocket watch.  She said she wants to be able to hang it from the chain and look at it.  I think she must have seen it on a show or something.  She really wanted one.

When it came in the mail, I went in to wrap it up.  But first I pulled it out to look at it.  Here it is.  It's silver with a pretty little butterfly because she loves butterflies:


The inside:

It's quite beautiful.

I was in the room by myself as I was looking it over (that's code for, I had a few moments to myself to actually think and feel, without too much distraction, except for the pounding on the door as the kids tried to break in), and all these emotions bubbled up unexpectedly.  I was a little surprised at the sudden intensity of my feelings, though I probably shouldn't have been.  It happens almost every time during some of the most fun & exciting times in our family that there is a point where sad feelings surge. I took my time and stood there looking over her pocket watch, crying to myself...thinking over our lives with Emma.

The reality of FA was so strong right then.  For some reason, this watch suddenly, briefly symbolized the reality that Emma's time is running faster than most of the rest of us.  I thought about her birthday and how we used to wonder if she would live to be this age and how wonderful it is that she has.  I thought about how last night, after we had cake and "ice cream", Tyler came over and whispered to me that Emma keeps getting out of breath.  She's been looking really pale and getting tired easy.  She might have some heart issues again or she's low enough on blood that it's affecting her breathing, like it has before (anemia can affect the heart).  Or maybe it's nothing more than usual.  But, it makes my heart sink and my stomach feel sick.  With FA, you just never know what the future holds.

I've decided I hate time.  I want to live in a reality where time doesn't go by.  Where we all just are and we all are always together and no one can be sick or be taken away from the rest of us.

Then I wrapped up her little pocket watch, and we gave it to her.  When she opened it and saw it, she was speechless for a second.  She couldn't believe we bought it for her.  She's been carrying it around ever since - it is actually a necklace.  Besides her makeup, I think it's her favorite present.

I love my little family and treasure all the times we get to spend together.

Friday, October 19, 2012

the tooth fairy

Emma lost her very first tooth at her 8th birthday party.  She was taking a bite of her cake when it fell out.  Two years later (just yesterday), she lost her 7th tooth the day after her birthday (we've yet to have her party).  It's just kind of funny how the timing has worked!

She excitedly put her tooth in the special tooth holding pillow with a pocket thing and sat it by her pillow, eagerly waiting for the tooth fairy to come during the night to take her tooth and leave her some gold money (we the tooth fairy uses gold dollars).

Let me interrupt myself for a second...

When it's come to the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, we've always felt somewhat torn about how to approach it.  We want our kids to know they can trust us and that we'll always tell them the truth.  But at the same time, we've wanted them to use their imaginations and experience the excitement of these things because IT'S FUN.  I leaned towards telling them the truth about it while Tyler leaned towards not so much.  We settled on an in between and decided we'd tell them when they asked for the truth about it.

To continue...

So, morning time came (this morning), and Emma walks in and says, "The tooth fairy didn't come."

I'm thinking in my head, "THE TOOTH FAIRY DIDN'T COME?!!  What kind of loser tooth fairy do we have?!!"  But instead I smiled and said, "Oh, really?  I wonder if a lot of kids lost their teeth last night and she didn't have time to come yet."

She looked bummed but was trying to stay chipper about it.

I'm thinking, Can't you just ask me if the tooth fairy is real, please?! But no, she never does.

Anyway, so we got a lot of ideas from friends on FB that were quite entertaining, as to how to fix the problem of a no-show tooth fairy, and we also decided to go ahead and tell Emma the tooth fairy wasn't real.  She's freakin' 10 years old now.  That's old enough to make sure she knows since she apparently is never going to ask about it.  hehe.  (I don't remember ever truly believing the tooth fairy or Santa was real, but it was still fun to me.)

I was a little concerned she was going to feel lied to and lose some trust in me.  I even wondered if she was going to then question everything we've told her, not believe us as easily when it came to things, and whether she'd wonder if God was real.  Now that I've told her, I realize my worries were WAY EXTREME because that wasn't at all how she responded.

I stopped her and told her I had something to tell her.  I said, "The tooth fairy isn't real."

She stopped and stared at me.  I assumed she must be feeling disappointed.  I mean, she'd have to be, right?  But she didn't really show it...I just guessed it.  She looked thoughtful and almost like she didn't think I would know what I was talking about.  She said, "How do you know?"  So, I explained it all to her.  She thought it was quite interesting.  She was a touch disappointed because she liked the idea little fairies being real, but she actually didn't implode, nor was her world ruined.  Imagine that.

Tyler and I texted each other through out the day about it.  I thought I'd post it here for memories sake.  A couple things to know.  My texts are blue.  Tyler's texts are white.  Tyler is usually the tooth fairy (but it's really not his fault, even though I pretend to blame him) and we give her gold money for each tooth.  You can click on it to see it larger.  (There was a little typo I didn't catch while texting him that I edited to make it correct):


So, after these texts, I decided to make sure she knew about Santa too.  I stopped her and told her, "Emma, you also need to know that Santa is not real."  She smiled and said, "I know."

I was so surprised!  When did she figure that out?

Based off of the responses on FB, there will be a smallish portion of you that will think along the lines that I did (though some think it much more strongly than me) that children whose parents play the Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny game with their kids (we never did the Easter Bunny) will end up with children who, to some degree, no longer trust their parents, think of them as liars, and potentially lose their faith in God.  (haha!)

Since I've experienced this, I would like to state that none of the above happened with Emma nor do I now believe it would happen with most kids.  I ended up talking to her about it again later on to make sure she was really okay.  She had no trust issues, didn't think of it as being dishonest at all, and she thought it was really funny.  When I tried to approach it as though it was possibly somewhat dishonest of us, she looked at me like I was crazy and clearly did not associate it with lying.  When I reiterated to her that God was real, she interrupted me and firmly said, "I know Jesus Christ is real."

So...pretty much all my worries were pointless and leave me feeling like there's no reason to judge other people and how they do these things.  Odds are it'll be just fine!

That being said, we're still going to tell the other kids from the start the truth about Santa & the Tooth Fairy, but we're still going to play the game.  Someone mentioned it on FB, and I thought it was a great idea, Tyler did too.  I love the magic of childhood and giving them these fun memories.  I do think it can go too far sometimes, but overall, kids love stuff like and it's worth it.  TS already knows both are pretend because he asked a while ago, and I told him.

Oh, and the tooth fairy ended up coming tonight, and Emma still hasn't noticed, as far as I can tell.  :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

work

We were up this morning when Tyler went to work, and Ella was so cute giving him a hug goodbye.  Her little leg was wagging like a puppy.  hehe.  So cute!  She was also all smiles...except apparently when I took her photo.  What a nice way to send daddy off to work, eh?