Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kennecott Copper Mines

Yesterday I took the boys on an excursion to visit the Kennecott Copper Mines. On the way home when I asked the boys if they had had a good time, Hank confessed that it wasn't as cool as he thought it would be. Apparently, Hank was under the impression that he was going to get to ride in the dump trucks, get right down in the excavation site, and get in on the action. They were a little disappointed that they had to settle for watching all of the excavation action (worlds largest man-made excavation site) from a safe distance. Nonetheless, they were pretty mesmerized watching the giant dump trucks haul off huge loads of materials and learn all about the history of the copper mine at the visitor center museum.

Moving Target

It's almost as though the moment I take a picture of Joey is becomes outdated because he seems to be growing and changing so quickly. Even though I just snapped these photos last week, Joey already looks older to me.

Joey Tidbits:

* Joey loves company. If I put him down or leave the room for a moment, I have to make sure to set him near a brother or he will get lonely and start to fuss. As long as he is being held, he's happy.

* Joey has found his fists and loves to chew on them, producing an impressive amount of slobber. I offer him rattles and chew toys, but he prefers to suck on his hands or the strap to his binky clip.

* Likely because he doesn't like to be put down, unfortunately Joey doesn't behave well in the car. Hard to believe anyone could feel lonely in our cacophonous car.

* Joey has the cutest little deep, husky giggle.

* By far, Joey is my highest tone baby. Whereas Max and Ben were just floppy rag dolls, Joey is very rigid and erect. He loves to stand on his feet. He wants to sit up so badly; if he is laid on his back, he crunches up into a sit-up position.

* Joey can take or leave his binky, he is fond of his blankie, doesn't like to be  swaddled, and likes to snooze in his swing the best.

Say Uncle

Last weekend Unlce Adam came to visit for a golf-cation. The boys could not get enough of Adam--from the minute we picked him up at the airport they started in amusing Adam with their full reportoire of knock-knock jokes and kept him busy playing trucks until lights out each night. The countdown is on for the next visit!

Prince Harrison & Prince Maxwell

When the Draper Chamber of Commerce submitted an email asking for a volunteer to tow the float, Aaron jumped on the chance to grab a little free PR for the business, and, well, just for the heck of it. Not going to lie, the boys thought they were pretty special when they got to ride in the back of Aaron's truck, huck handfuls of candy to the crowd of kids, and wave like dignitaries to the sea of common-folk in the Draper Days parade.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


My little Jonas-Bonus. He is just that. A Bonus. On top of my three other awesome little boys, I get this sweet litte bonus. Joey LOVES to be held. If he isn't being held, or getting direct attention from someone, he will start to complain. Not that I don't love to hold this little guy, but thank heavens for the Bumbo seat so that Momma can get a few quick things done!

Ahhh! I just want to squeeze that cute little face! Loooove that baby!

Drop-dead Tired

The boys are tanned from playing outside with friends and splashing at the park with their shirts off. They're dirty from catching rolly-polly bugs in the yard and climbing the rock piles at Nana and Papa's soon-to-be house. They're sweaty from playing tag at the park and riding their bikes up and down the street. Their faces are grubby from popcicles stains. Their clothes don't match because they slept in late and dressed themselves in yesterdays' clothes. They're so tired, by the end of the day, they look like this:

They're tanned, dirty, sweaty, grubby, mis-matched and tired. Its summertime and we're loving it!

And He's Off!

Watching your child ride a two-wheel bike for the first time is right up there with witnessing those first baby steps--so thrilling! Hank must have been ready because when I suggested we take the training wheels off his bike, he grabbed the wrench, removed the training wheels, and never went back.

I held onto the back of Hank's seat while he rode in loops around the driveway a few times. Within just a few minutes of practicing, Hank was ready to ride by himself. I gave him a little push and he took off! Just like that! Pretty soon Hank became increasingly adventurous and before long he was riding up and down our street, racing the neighbor kids down the hill.
As a mom, its a little bittersweet to hear your child say things like, "No, Mom, I don't need any help," and "No, Mom, I can do it by myself." Of course I am so proud of Hank for the courage, determination, and independence that he displayed while learning to ride his bike, but there is a teeny little part of me that hurt just a tiny bit to watch my baby take one more giant leap forward into big-kidhood.

Officially Summertime!

Nothing says summer like a cold popcicle from the icecream man on a hot summer day. For weeks the icecream man has been tormenting the boys, driving through the neighborhood, playing its pied-piper music, but never stopping on our street. Yesterday, the icecream man finally drove down our street and the boys took off like a shot, running outside to catch him.

Another neat thing about Utah: the icecream man drives a real icecream truck and plays the traditional icecream man music! In Washington, we had an icecream-Arab who sold popcicles from a cooler inside his beat-up Ford Taurus while broadcasting Christmas music.

First Taste

My sweet little Joey Baby got his first taste of rice cereal the other day and gave me hopes that he might turn into a good little eater, unlike his big brothers. I prepared the cereal thick like wall paper paste and he just slogged it right down. Yummy!


Aaron's idea of heaven = a lush, green golf course + his four best golf buddies. Oh, and me tagging along in there somewhere. I don't know if Hank and Max are quite ready to play 18 with Dad just yet, but they sure loved their golf lessons.

I took the boys mini-golfing so they could put their new golf skills to use. There wasn't much point to keeping an actual scorecard, but the boys informed me that they won because they golfed faster than I did. Hmmm, speed golfing. Thats actually not such a bad idea!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Grover Family Trivia

Every year for the past five years I've published our blog to create an annual family journal. I cherish these family journals--they capture our fondest memories, our highs and lows, and measure our growth as a family. When our children are grown and we look back on these precious years, reviewing our blog, I hope we'll remember those little nuances, inside jokes, and weird traditions that make our family unique and make us who we are: the Grovers. So, to preserve those funny little Grover-isms, I'm creating a "Grover Family Trivia" column on our blog and will continue to update the list periodically as new items come to mind.

*Note: as with most inside jokes, its kind of "have-to-be-there" kind of thing. Unless you are a member of our Grover family, the following may or may not be as clever/cute/funny as we believe them to be. Sorry!

Q. What is a "yee-ow?"
A. A police car. The boys have always had a special interest in police officers and rescue vehicles, pointing out every police car or siren along the way during a car ride. When Hank was too little to say "police car" he would just point to the vehicle and make the sound of the siren, "yeeeooooww, yeeeoooww." And the word "yee-ow" was born. It is not uncommon for any member of our family to look out the window, point to the flashing siren on a police car, and say, "look! check out that yee-ow."

Q. What closing song do we sing at every single FHE?
A. "Jingle Bells." Everytime without fail. No idea why. As we began implementing FHE in our home a few years ago, we would assign Hank or Max to choose the closing hymn. Now, we've been singing "Jingle Bells" at the end of FHE for so long no one can even remember why we started singing it in the first place! Additionally, while we sing "Jingle Bells," the boys run wildly back and forth across the room, bouncing off the walls and running into each other. Its just what we do!

Independence Day

What is more wholesome, down-home, and just plain fun than a local parade and a neighborhood BBQ? The only thing that would have made my 4th of July just that much better would have been a homemade apple pie (nobody makes it like my mom). Otherwise, it was perfect!

Several years ago when we attended the Freedom Festival Parade in Provo Aaron camped out overnight to reserve our front-row seating. This year, we were lucky to have a great hook-up and got the VIP seating without the hassle of holding our spot. The boys loved the police officers on motorcycles, the fleet of army trucks and rescue vehicles, and the marching bands playing patriotic tunes.

After the parade, we had a quick lunch with Nana and Papa Grover at their house-in-progress and then took the boys to our neighborhood's annual carnival/BBQ.

With the fires raging throughout Utah the past few weeks and the ban on fireworks in our community, we didn't get to set off any of our own fireworks this year. But, the firework display from our back deck was still pretty impressive.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


He could wear a paper bag on his head (wait, he does like to do that) and still look cute, so its no surprise that this little boy just stole my heart all over when I finally mustered up the energy to get his haircut. Ben didn't enjoy the experience one bit, but boy does he look handsome!

On another note, this little boy is just learning so fast these day! He is picking up new signs everyday and loves to be able to communicate (he asks to eat and for milk constantly!) and is just developing the most fun little personality. Yesterday, Ben even said his first audible word! A week or two ago Ben mimicked the inflection of the words, "more please" and has since been able to say (in his own inside voice way) "thank-you," "excuse me," and "help me." What a well-manner little boy! But yesterday he said his first word that was actually enunciated in a way that was very understandable. The word? Da-da maybe? Ball? Milk? Nope. Ben's first real word was "nothing." Of all the millions of words, Ben says, "nuh-thin." Odd, but still exciting! We're so thrilled with all of Ben's constant progress.

#18 Tie-dye shirts

The boys and I got crafty (well, if not crafty at least messy) and made our own tie-dye T-shirts. Hank and Max were both pleased with how well the final product turned out.

#22 Camping

I fully support the annual father/son campout. It's a win-win for me, really. I mean, the boys get to spend some quality time in the great outdoors with their best bud Dad (win!), and I get to have my own little retreat at home with the little guys (win again!). I've already planned exactly what I will do next year during the father/son campout when Ben and Joey will be old enough to join: NOTHING! Wonderful, indulgent, quiet, and peaceful, NOTHING. Can't wait!

#38 Splash Pad

Best Mom Ever: I took the boys to the local splash park for the afternoon to play around in the water and beat the heat.

Worst Mom Ever: Even though I tried so hard to keep him out of the sun poor little Joey got his first little sunburn. Shame on me!

#5 Movie in the Park

Last week our town was showing "The Adventures of Tin-Tin," a family favorite, in the park. The movie didn't start until dusk (about 9:45pm) and the boys were super excited to stay up late...

...or not. Max didn't last much past dark and faded into a deep sleep soon after the movie began.

Half-way through the movie we were all a little chilly and decided to call it a night. Hank didn't make it out of the parking lot before he crashed. So much for staying up late-late!

Littlest Brother

I can say from first-hand experience that there are a few distinct advantages to being the youngest sibling. Joey is so lucky to have three older brothers who each love him, entertain him, and protect him. I love to see my boys develop sweet nurturing skills towards their baby brother--giving him his binky anytime he is fussy, pulling wacky faces to try and make him smile, and always happy to hold him for a moment while I finish a chore. While Hank and Max are tending to Joey so sweetly, Ben is also great at helping Ben. Ben is great at getting Joey toughened up with a few love swipes, friendly pinches, and brotherly head-butts:)