Saturday, November 24, 2012

Just the Two of Us

I did enjoy going to the Jazz game last night and even got into it a little bit at the end when the Jazz won by two in the final minutes of the game, but, I'll be honest, I'd pretty much be happy to watch paint dry if I got to do it alone with this guy...

Basket 'o Boys

Yesterday Benny crawled into my laundry basket, played happily with his Legos for a few minutes, and then started to cry for help when he realized he couldn't crawl back out without tipping the basket over. Instead of helping him out, I decided to plop Joey down in the basket with him. Benny and Joey were so funny sitting in the basket together, partially amused at their confinement and only half-aware of the person sharing their basket, that I had to capture the moment with a photo sequence:

Incidentally, I figured out who I think Joey looks like....

Giving Thanks

More now than any time I can remember, I feel so overwhelmingly, and undeservingly, blessed. I couldn't begin to write a comprehensive list, but I feel such an abundance of blessings have been poured out on our family, that my heart is full to the brim with gratitude. I have so much! I have four precious sons that give my life purpose and meaning. I have a lovely home to grow our family and build memories in. I have clothes to wear, food to eat, a bed to sleep in, and cars to drive. I have friends and family to enrich my days. I have a healthy body that allows me to freely do whatever I choose. I have a community that supports my family and my values. I have a bright and hopeful future. I have a Father in Heaven that hears my prayers and compensates for my shortcomings. Best of all, I have a partner to share in my great fortune. With all these blessings, it almost felt excessive and oppulent to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with such a lavish production of food and indulgence. On the holiday set aside to give thanks, and every day, I thank my Heavenly Father for blessing our family, as I seek more opportunities to express my thanks to Him in service of others.

In my family growing up, our tummies would grumble and growl as the delicious smells of Thanksgiving wafted around us and we waited anxiously, in forced fast, to partake of the mid-day feast. In Aaron's family, the appetizers are served at breakfast-time and the guests graze on yummy treats before, during, and after the main event. I tried my best to pace myself, but truthfully, my tummy had already reached maximum capacity long before the turkey hit the table.
Since Nana and Papa Grover offered to host Thanksgiving dinner, I was off the hook for cooking.

I'm still in disbelief that I consumed this entire plate-ful of food. Two days later, and I still feel stuffed!
Aaron doing the dishes?! It really must be a special occasion ;)

Mrs. Fun Guy

Hank had a day off from school on the day before Thanksgiving, so I decided to treat Hank and Max to a matinee. In my role as mom, I'm usually the one that stays home with the napping babies while Aaron takes the boys on an outing, or the one that does all the packing/prepping/chores so that Aaron can take the boys to some event, or the one that plans a family activity only to have Aaron step in and take the credit. Anyways, the point is, mom is usually the behind-the-scenes parent and never the fun one, so it was a lot of fun for me to get to take Hank and Max to a move, just us.

My Workers

You'd never know it from looking at my house, but the boys and I have enacted a successful chore system. And by successful I don't mean that the house is clean (I wish)--I mean that the boys are learning the important values of caring for their belongings, working hard, contributing to the household, and earning a small allowance. Each day Hank and Max are assigned two chores, in addition to cleaning their own room and doing their laundry on their assigned laundry day. With some supervision, Hank and Max are able to unload the dishwasher, dust furniture and baseboards, help clean the bathrooms, mop, and put away toys. As a reward for their hard work, they each earn a dollar at the end of the week if their chores have all been completed each day. Yesterday, the boys had finished all of their chores in the morning but immediately set to work collecting the garbage, re-lining the garbage cans, and taking the garbage to the curb when they heard the garbage truck unexpectedly coming down our street (the holiday pushed garbage day back and Dad had already left for work). I was so happy that they pitched in and were able to take out the trash without any assistance. Just imagine the little workforce I'll have in a few years!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

Not often, but every once in awhile, the stars magically align and things actually go the way I had envisioned them in my mind. Last Friday night was one of those ever so rare, but all the more special, nights that miraculously did go according to plan: the husband came home from work full of zest and energy, sharing in my enthusiasm for a family game night and the boys not only got along with each other--no hitting, kicking, or pinching--but acted as though they actually liked each other. As I think about it, I guess it's actually a pathetic insight into our family that a successful family game night is such a rarity as to cause wonder and awe....but, I digress. Anyways, it was a snowy Friday night and I had the simple idea to treat ourselves to a new board game ("Guess Who?"), rootbeer floats, and a night of family fun...and we did! The game was a big hit (with Hank especially), the rootbeer floats were yummy (Joey was a big fan of his first tastes of icecream), and at the end of the night we were all still happy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Extreme Halloween

I promised the boys that we would go trick-or-treating until their little buckets were brimming with candy--and I kept my word. In addition to the ward Halloween party and the boys' school parties, Aaron and I took the boys trick-or-treating in downtown main street, to Nana and Papa Grover's trunk-or-treat, and trick-or-treating up and down the streets in our own neighborhood. By the end of the night, Max's bucket was so heavy that he complained until I gave in and carried it for him. Mission accomplished!

Hank is modeling his "tough-guy" face.

Trick-or-treating during the daytime, in 70 degree weather, on perfectly safe city sidewalks is definately the way to go.

Max thought he was pretty cool when the real policemen saluted him as one of their own.

This was a first: the kids in Nana and Papa Grovers' neighborhood gathered on the basketball court at the park while a little glider flying overhead circled the park and air-dropped candy to the kids waiting below.

Only six trick-or-treaters knocked on our door on Halloween, so we definately came out candy-positive this year. The boys raked in enough candy to fill up three gallon-sized ziploc least a two-week supply;)