Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We Like Mike!

Okay, we really like both Mike and Alicia, but the title didn't sound as good if I added "and Alicia" to it. I know she will forgive me.

We had a lot of fun with Mike and Alicia while they were here. Besides taking two of my kids to Wildlife Safari, Mike joined the family together to play Nintendo. He even had Mom playing Mario Party with the rest of the gang - and my mom doesn't do Nintendo! (He and Mom in fact beat the rest of us) My girls live for Mike to come so they can play Super Smash Brothers with him, and Benjamin enjoyed playing Harry Potter with Mike. I think it all boils down to the fact that they love attention, and Mike and Alicia give them attention.

They were able to find time to visit Todd's family in Monmouth and to go shooting with Chris and Kelly too. Not a very relaxing vacation, I guess, but we all enjoyed seeing them.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Surprise Trip To Wildlife Safari

Mike and Alicia came to visit this past week. They decided to go to Wildlife Safari on Tuesday (apparently Tuesday is Bi-mart two for one day at Wildlife Safari) and invited Elisabeth to go with them. I normally do not let my siblings take my children places without me (probably comes from being the oldest and still seeing them as little kids?), but for some reason I decided to let her go. I even surprised my mom on that one, she was sure I wouldn't let them go (based on past experience, I'm sure!) Since it was two for one day, someone got really brave and suggested I let Emilyanne go too. I knew she would love it, so I called school and told them her dad was coming to pick her up. She was very surprised and VERY excited to go.
Having threatened Mike and Alicia sufficiently about any harm happening to my precious children, I let them leave for their little adventure. (Mind you, I wouldn't even let Mike take them to the movies last time he was here...so this was all new) They had a lot of fun and saw tons of animals.
Elk, Buffalo (Bison) and Yaks...
I haven't been to Wildlife Safari since Leilani was about two, so some of these animals are new to me. I can't believe that it is an hour and 1/2 away and we never take our kids there.
Emily was very excited to see this porcipine. She didn't know they were that big or that they could climb trees.
Mike the little sheep.
Alicia (giraffe), Elisabeth and Emily in the jungle.
They let you drive through twice. So they saw rhinos...
more Elk....
They went through the petting zoo, animal cages, museum and gift shop. Generous Uncle Mike and Aunt Alicia bought a necklace for each of the girls and brought one home for Leilani too!
They saw Bears...
a Mountain Goat and many other animals.

It was a fun day. The girls couldn't stop talking about it for the next few days, and they loved being with Mike and Alicia all by themselves.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Soccer Season Begins

As gymnastic season ends, spring soccer begins.
Leilani is not a soccer star, but she has her moments and she LOVES the sport.
Her father and grandparents would like her to be a little more aggressive in her play.
She reminds me a lot of my soccer days, except I'm sure she must be better than I was. I would never have had the courage to play goalie.
I would have been too worried about my face. :)
Actually, I worry about her face too. Getting a soccer ball to the face hurts! So far it hasn't left any marks, though.

It was soooooo cold at Leilani's first soccer game on Saturday.
The kids found an extra soccer ball to kick around (Benjamin is actually pretty good at dribbling), so they stayed warm by running around and then wrapping up in a blanket.

The rest of us were just cold. I'm kind of glad that Emily decided not to play this season. One less game to freeze through. It sure would be nice if spring would come before summer hits.
I took some video clips with my mom's camera. They aren't great, but they aren't long either.

The poor child has so many people yelling at her. Great expectations I guess.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April Showers of Snow?!

We looked out the window this morning and what did we see?
Snow covering the ground!
My poor daffodil didn't survive the weight of the snow on its head. By the time we got dressed and ready for church, most of the snow had melted away.
But I still had to record the historic event. We don't even usually get snow in the winter, let alone in spring.
Of course, it has been a cold, wet spring - except for our two days of summer.
My poor flowers are trying to bud and bloom, but the weather in conspiring against them. My trees have just started to blossom (notice the trees in the above pictures). I have faith, though, warm weather has to arrive soon - doesn't it?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April Showers Gymnastics Meet

In our family, gymnastics is a family event. We all go to support Leilani at her meets and make a family day out of it.
The kids are pretty good. They only watch their sister (not anyone else) and the rest of the time they color, eat and play with small toys.

Benjamin is the hardest to keep entertained, of course. At this last meet he kept stealing his sister's hat and playing in the water fountain (thus the beret on his head and the wet shirt). I took this picture to show the amazing sandwich he made out of crackers and lunch meat. We took lunchables for the kids and he used two crackers and all the lunch meat at once. We kept waiting for him to drop it all over, but he managed to eat every bite!
This ended up being Leilani's last meet. She qualified for Sectionals, which was supposed to be on Saturday the 26, but they just changed it to Sunday the 27th. Since we don't do Sunday meets, she will miss it. It was a hard decision, though, because we got some pressure to let her go. She missed three meets this season because they were on Sunday too. We haven't had to miss that many before. The head coach pointed out to me that this is a competitive sport and that is what they do...compete. If they are not going to compete, they might as well not be on the team. I understand that, and I hope this isn't going to turn out to be a major problem. It has been fairly easy so far, because her soccer coach, volleyball coach, softball coach and gymnastics coach have all been understanding of our position. In fact, we do not have one Sunday game this soccer season! That is a first. Her soccer coach is so awesome - he tries to work around his players who can't play on Saturdays for religious reasons too. I just feel like we need to take a stand and hold to our standards as long as we can. Maybe at some point exceptions will have to be made, and we will just let the Lord guide us as we make these decisions. Anyway, I guess we will see what the future holds. Both gymnastics coaches said they would not hold her missing Sectionals against her, so she should still be moving up to Level 5 in June. Her team took 3rd place at this meet. Leilani did not place on any event, but they did combine all ages into one group and only placed the top three. She just didn't have as great a season this time as she did last season. I was so absorbed in watching the meet, that I totally forgot to video her bar routine. I feel really bad, because it is probably the best one she has done. Oh well. You can watch her beam and floor routines below if you want. We are very proud of her!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Change of Perspective

I had one of those mornings today. My husband's alarm kept going off and I couldn't seem to figure out how to turn it off (of course he wasn't home). My girls wanted to sit on the heater in their pajamas instead of get ready for school. At 8:15 I was still doing Emily's hair, even though school starts at 8:30. Elisabeth and Benjamin didn't want to go to the car and take their sisters to school, because they would miss the end of "Super Why." You get the picture. So as I am wrangling my kids out to the car in my "it's a good thing I don't have to go anywhere, maybe I can get a shower in later" mommy outfit (consisting of sweat pants and my nightgown thrown under a coat), you can imagine how good I was feeling about motherhood at that moment.

I started the car, looked at the clock and noticed that we had four minutes until school started (as if it were possible to get there that fast when you have to drive through two school zones on the way), and fastened my seatbelt amongst the demanding yells to turn on the primary songs. Exercising iron will, I held my tongue and turned the car in the direction of school. Reminding myself to keep the speed down (I did NOT want to be pulled over in that outfit and without my purse), I turned on the primary songs. As I heard my two year old behind me singing along with "I Feel My Savior's Love," peace poured through me. My whole perspective changed and my morning was suddenly much better. How could I be frustrated when I was listening to this choir of angels in my car singing about their Savior, Jesus Christ? It really is amazing how much power those simple songs can have in our lives.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Little Bit of Summer

We had two really warm days (one was a record breaker) amidst the normal spring rain and cool weather. My kids were really excited, and spent as much time outside as they could.
Elisabeth made wishes and blew dandelion seeds all over the yard.
Benjamin helped his dad dig up the dandelions in the lawn. Unfortunately Mom and Dad were not in a summer mind set, so we didn't even think about sunscreen. Our kids were all sunburned. Oops! Emilyanne got sunburned the least, because she had on long sleeves and pants. (She wanted to change, but it just never happened and now she is glad)
We found some tulips that we didn't know were in our yard. Yeah! That made it feel like spring.
The kids spent hours on the swing set.

They invited the neighbor girls over and just played and played. It was a nice break in the weather, because today we are back to clouds and rain and cool temperatures.