Family Pic 2015

Family Pic 2015

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Boy time

Shawn's traveling is really hard on his little boys.  They miss him so much when he is gone! I thought it was cute because before he left this last week, Abram pulled him aside and said, "Dad, I think we need to go on a date before you leave." Hmmm...I wonder where he has heard that before?!?!

Shawn agreed with him, and asked him what he would like to do?  He said that he wanted to have a snack at McDonalds and then play on the equipment there. Then Abram also invited Nolan along and told him that he had "infinity chances" to come with he and Shawn.  Meaning, that even if Nolan made him mad over and over and over again before they left, he would still let him come along:)

They had a good time with their dad:


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Balderdash

This game makes us laugh!:


....especially when we are playing it with Maddie.  When Ila (my niece who is visiting for spring break) picked the word "mooncalf", Maddie immediately laughed and said, "I know what everyone will write for a definition for that word!"  We all asked what she thought everyone would put, and she said, "The calf that is born to the cow that jumped over the moon!"  I love her quirky way of looking at everything.  Yes, she is the one that ended up putting that the definition of mooncalf was "A calf that was born mooning the farmer."  She didn't get a whole lot of points for her definitions, but she got lots of laughs!!

I also enjoyed Isabelle's creative definitions. The one she wrote for the word 'dorp' was: "A creature that never comes out in the sun; it was one of the most beloved in the 1900's.  But now they have been bitten by the evil devilish ram.  Now the sparks of evilness have come over it.  Everyone can only fear it."
This was a different game they were playing before Balderdash.  They have been playing a lot of games!
l-r: Ila, Isaac, Isabelle, Nolan, Madeline, Caden, Gracie, Abram, Kami
Kami came away with the most believable definitions, and therefore the most points.  She would have fooled us even more if her very knowledgeable brother wasn't around to cast doubt on some of her definitions.  For the word "graben" she wrote "A tropical fish that migrates to the tropic of cancer each year during the summer equinox."  Everyone was voting for it, and Caden said, "I don't know...I would vote for it except that it says 'summer equinox' instead of 'summer solstice.'

Happy Spring Break everyone!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Next Luciano Pavarotti

"What are you saying? You want me to what?"

"Did I hear you correctly?  You want me to sing, you say?...Well....alright."

So the great up-and-coming prodigy begins singing his rendition of "O' Sole Mio", beginning with those lower, richer tones, as his captivated audience listens with rapture to every. single. note.


The anticipation of what is to come begins to build.


The notes get higher and harder to reach, but do we hear any strain in his voice?  Not a bit.


We know that he is really into his music when he begins using his hands to express his feelings and get the message of the song across to us, his audience!


He ends with a high and powerful note and lots of feeling!


The air is thick with emotion! We can hardly believe the performance that we have witnessed!! 

Our little performer comes back to the present - for awhile there he was carried away with his music and 
thought of nothing else.  He looks a little uncertain.  Did everyone like it?:


"They love me!  I'm a star!!"


Did I mention that this little fellow just barely turned seven months old on Wednesday?!?!  He never ceases to amaze us!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

The things they say volume 3

Nolan: "Mom, why do ALL parents know EVERYTHING?"

We're looking pretty good, parents....pretttty good.

What love - Nolan wants to "be the only one to hold Pace" and Abram "Can't get a stand of him." In fact, Abram tells me that he "can't get a stand of Pace" several times a day:) Recently he has been telling Shawn that "he can't get a stand of him", either.

Nolan: "I wish Pace would spit up on me.  I've never gotten spit up on!"

Things just aren't fair.... I wish I knew when he would spit up, because I would hand him right over!!:)

Abram has been walking around the house singing, "This is... my secret beauty!"  Can you guess which hymn that is?

Abram to Shawn: "Sometimes it feels like the food is going to come out of your mouth and you just have to run to the bathroom and throw up!" (This generally happens any time he has something with nuts in it)

You may appreciate this one if you have seen the movie "UP":
Madeline with a gasp as we were driving around town: "I have never seen a REAL dog wearing a REAL "cone of shame" before!!"

Nolan with a very solemn face as we were reviewing a conference talk by Elder Quentin Cook this morning: "Just the word 'gambling' makes me have the shivers."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Reminiscent of Newly-Wed Days

So now that we have been in our new house coming up four years, I guess it's time for our new appliances to start breaking down?!?!?! The dishwasher is on the blink and our washing machine decided to entirely give up this week.

At first, I was pretty excited that it decided to exhibit it's first problems while Shawn was home.  He tinkered around with it and after he worked his magic it washed two more loads of laundry.  Then he left and it stopped working again.  For good.  He couldn't even get it going when he got home.  Luckily, a repairman should be coming Monday or Tuesday.  Hopefully Monday. No time is too soon, I tell you!!  This was a big wake-up call about how much laundry this house generates in a matter of days! No wonder I'm constantly working at it!

After the first day, my laundry room looked like this:

Something that you need to realize is that all of the lower cabinets house full-size laundry baskets that were also brim full.  Well, mountainous piles of laundry quickly tripled from there.  I guess a house with nine people and one consistent bed-wetter generates laundry pretty quickly.

I started feeling this huge sense of foreboding....How. was. I. EVER. going. to. catch. up?????? And meanwhile, what would we all wear? Then I remembered with affection that handy-dandy laundromat-mat from by-gone years. Somehow the trip wasn't as quick as I remembered it being when it was just Shawn and I, but it was a fun experience, especially for this little guy:

He and Shawn were having such a great time;)


And after about three hours, twelve-plus loads, and about thirty dollars we were headed home to enjoy a whole lot of laundry folding.  But I was soooo grateful!  Because I was on top of the laundry again, and all in one day.  It would have taken me a week to catch up with all those loads!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What I love teaching my children

Elder Richard G. Scott has said, "Great power can come from memorizing scriptures.  To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship.  It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change."

We always have a scripture that we are memorizing, because I have had this happen with the scriptures that I have memorized and have a testimony of this! Plus, I have always loved teaching my children.  This is what our white board looks like right now:

Usually we have the scripture written smaller so that we can write other things on the board that we want to remember or focus on during family scriptures and devotional, but this is a longer memorize than usual!  Also we are learning all of the Articles of Faith again because we haven't worked on them since Maddie was younger.  I was inspired to do this by my younger sister, Heidi, who has eight children (and one on the way this month!)  She says that all of her kids down to her two year old have all of the Articles of Faith memorized.  I'm not doing as well, because my four year old only knows some words here and there - we must not do them often enough - but Nolan and Isabelle now know through #6!

I love the hymns and the primary songs and feel that they are a form of scripture.  It seems that throughout my life these songs have popped into my head at the most opportune times helping me through discouraging times, mundane times, unmotivated times, and even helping me express myself during times of gratitude or great happiness!

Sunday during Sacrament Meeting, Nolan was sitting beside me as we sang, "Put Your Shoulder To the Wheel".  He didn't know all of the words, but I could see that he really enjoyed that song!  And I thought to myself that perhaps that could be a good song for him because lately he is somewhat of a....shirker:)

Soooo, for FHE we worked to begin getting that song into ALL of our heads!

This is something that I used to do with Kami, Caden and Maddie when they were small.  We memorized even more hymns this way than I had remembered - they were reminding me of more and more.  Some of the ones I remember learning this way are: "Joseph Smith's First Prayer", "Count Your Blessings", "Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words", and "All Creatures of Our God and King".

We don't do anything elaborate, I just read the hymn and as the kids see a picture in their mind, they volunteer to draw a picture of a particular phrase from the song.  Then we place them in order on some card stock, and start singing the song once per day while a young "helper" points to each picture in a timely way.

The kids drew up some pretty cute prompts! Abram's: I wrote the word "help" in bubble letter and boy did he go to town getting it all colored up!:


Isabelle's: look at the "shirker" on the hammock:)

Caden's "push every worthy work along":



Shawn's "the fight with sin is real (above) and Kami's "It will be long, but must go on" (below):



Nolan's "With all your might and zeal" (above) - check out those muscles!! and Nolan's "put your shoulder to the wheel" (below):


Maddie's ;Then don't stand idly looking on (above) and Belle's below:
Belle's
Aren't those darling?  I love it!  And this hymn is becoming a new friend already:)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A sink full of cuteness

This morning Pace graduated from bathing in the sink to getting to bathe in a real bath-tub with a super excited Abram.  Here was one of his last sink baths:)


He's a flexible little fellow!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Don't think my kid is weird

Abram has been enjoying beating Shawn and me at games lately.  We play several games of "memory" and checkers every day.  He usually beats me:)  I don't love to play games much, but it's pretty entertaining playing with him!

He is also into combing hair.  He gives us some pretty fancy hair-dos whenever he can get us to sit down,  usually during scriptures or FHE:

I don't think Kami or I need to worry about fixing our own hair anymore!
Evidently this is a really fun way to pass the time right now!  He filled up one of my old hair-spray bottles with water and he and Nolan keep us entertained with all the crazy hair-dos they come up with. Their hair is either glued down with water, swirled, or spiked sky high. Today Abram sported "The Mayor of Who-ville hair-do" for part of the day.

He also discovered that Pace was a fun subject to work on.  Pace was a good sport:



Monday, March 3, 2014

toothless faces

I love little teeth and toothless grins. I don't know why I don't take more pictures of them:

Yesterday, I was home from church with Nolan as he is miserable with a bad cold.  At one point he told me, "I have a tooth that is so wiggly that it wiggles when I walk!"  Sure enough, it wasn't long before that tooth fell right out without him "even doing anything at all!!"


Sunday, March 2, 2014

In the laboratory of my own home

I'm sorry that I haven't posted for so long, but I have been super duper busy trying out some home remedies "in the laboratory of my own home.":) This topic may be a bit controversial to some...

Essential Oils With Herbs Stock Photography - 17777212

Monday I decided to bite the bullet and get Pace in for his second set of immunizations since he is two months over-due.  He was so sick for so long that I couldn't get them before, and I was having a hard time getting myself to take him in now, because he was so healthy and happy.  After the immunizations, he immediately developed a fever of over 102 and had that for several days, followed by a very nasty cold and a sleepless night that sent me scurrying back to the doctor only to find that he had two ear infections and needed to be taking breathing treatments. When he gets sick, he really gets sick! Today is the first day that he seems to be feeling better 
(although he still sounds awful) but I am keeping he and Nolan - who is also sick- home from church.

This week, shortly after the immunizations, a lady stopped by and told me that she had heard that my baby had been really sick this winter. She gave me four essential oils to try out on him.  They were " to keep him from getting sick and the get him over anything he catches."

Welllll... I am always willing to give things like this a try.  There has GOT to be something to them because so many people believe in and swear by them. And many people who use them will say things like, "this one didn't work for this, but THIS ONE totally worked for THIS!"...

I can't really speak for all the other essential oils out there, but, at least in the Gee home four oils have been tried and tested and here are my conclusions after extensive experimentation:  They. don't. work.

I was given four oils to try:
1. The essential oil "On Guard" which is purported to help you build immunity and keep you from getting sick in the first place, has a really horrible smell!!!  The reason it may work for some, is that anyone that IS sick doesn't want to get close to you, and therefore they cannot share their germs with you.

Now Pace, being a baby and all, can't be ignored or kept at a distance of 6 feet from everyone (the distance that I have read out-distances the spread of germs). I dutifully began putting "On Guard" oil on Pace multiple times a day.  I also began getting horrible headaches from the strong smell.  Now, Pace hadn't gotten sick....yet.  At this point, he was just suffering high fevers from his immunizations.  The night after I started using "On Guard" he had his worst night on record.  We wore out the floor together, he and I, as I paced, trotted, and danced trying to get him to stop crying/screaming and fall sleep.  Come to think of it, I think he had a headache too.  The next morning, he woke up with the horrible cold.  No more "On Guard" for us.
2.  I was told that the "Melaleuca" oil could be used when your baby got ear infections.  You don't put it into your child's ear, you just rub it all around the ear. I DID NOT try this one out.  So maybe it works.  But come on now - if your child has a horrible ear infection, first of all, you need to go to the doctor to get this confirmed.  Don't you?  And once you do, who in their right -compassionate- mind is going to let their child suffer while they perform an experiment on whether or not it actually works.  Not me.  I will take the antibiotics, thank you very much.
3. The oil "breathe" - This oil, as it sounds, is supposed to help you breathe... whenever "On Guard" fails you and you catch a cold.  Yes, I tried it out, but, once again, the only thing that helped Pace breathe was the old tried-and trues: 1.) a humidifier, 2.) being held, - up-right 3.) by his mommy- and 4.) a hefty application of "Vicks Vapor Rub" slathered all over his chest.
4.  The fourth- and last- oil that I was given to try out was "Lavendar".  This oil is supposed to make you feel all relaxed so that you can sleep better. Now, being sleep deprived,  I didn't bother wasting this precious oil on myself.  I have absolutely no problem falling asleep - WHEN I GET THE CHANCE!!!  But, I have decided there might just be something to this oil....at least, it has given me pause to come up with a magical potion of my own, no money out, with just the same PLACEBO EFFECT.  You see, in a flash of brilliance one night when I was having a hard time convincing Nolan and Abram that yes, it really was time for bed, I told the boys what the oil was for and applied it to their skin. I discovered that just the thought of this oil working sent my two little boys to bed faster than anything ever has.  Ever.  They got so droopy the second that I applied it that they could scarcely make it up the stairs to their beds.  Nolan, who really believed in it and was exhausted from his super busy little-boy day, fell asleep speedy quick.  But Darn.  It didn't work on Abram, who had had a nap.  He was back up just as speedy quick. But wait!!! I'll be darned if that "lavendar" oil didn't start working two hours after it had been applied.  Because eventually he did fall asleep. 

Days later, when the oil has for sure been worn of, sweated off, bathed off, WHATEVER, Pace is finally sleeping better, too.

My final conclusion from my experimentations is that babies are perfect for these types of experiments.  They don't have any preconceived notions or expectations.  Things are going to work on them, or they aren't.  Well, they didn't.

The end.