Friday, March 30, 2012

End of March Accomplishments

Over the last couple of days every one in the family has done something great...that's okay...I'll bask in the light of my family members.  I enjoy seeing them succeed.
We'll start with Matt.
Yesterday we went to the doctor and he had his kindergarten shots.  He was so brave.  He didn't make a peep.  I asked him if it even hurt and he nodded that it had.  What a guy.  I noticed as we walked out of the office that he was stiff legged and when we got in the van he asked for help. 
Here are my guys with stickers, suckers, smiles and a new book from the doctor.

It was so rare to go to the doctor and not have it be all about Ben.  Our pediatrician did spend several minutes asking me how he was and getting an update on things.  He said, "Ever time I see Ben I just wish there was something I could do to help him."
He is a very kind man.  I told him though that we were happy...meaning that even though it's tough to see him struggle and not know what to do for him that we just love him to pieces and he is who he is because of his struggle in this life.  He is a dear, precious boy and has a fantastic sense of humor.  He makes me laugh every day and I every day I realize how blessed I am to be his mother.
Anyway...enough of the mushy stuff...
My new favorite place is 'twizleberry'. 
I asked Matt if he wanted to go as a reward for doing so well with his shots.  I let him believe it was ice cream instead of frozen yogurt.  He was very happy with was Ben...and Mom :)  I just couldn't say no when after we finished our first cup Ben signed "more".  We all had seconds.

When we got home Matt grabbed Josh's crutches and used them all over the house...that is until his soccer practice.  Then he hopped in the van and went and ran around on the soccer field for an hour.  When he came home he picked up his crutches again and hobbled around the rest of the evening.  
As he headed downstairs to bed with the crutches I asked him how he decided which leg hurt the most...or in other words which foot to keep up off the floor.  He told me that the leg he kept up had "a bubble in the blood where the shot was".  Mmmmmmm....interesting.
Bless his little heart.  So, being so brave and successfully getting his shots was Matt's accomplishment.

Next comes Abby and Josh together.  We had another "Reading Counts" assembly today.  Abby earned her 250 point award and Josh got his "Hot Dog" (1000 points) award.  Abby's class also sang a couple of songs at the beginning of the program.
The kids got to wear pajamas to school today because of all the points they earned collectively this month.  

(Only the second "Hot Dog" in the school this year)

Congratulations Josh and Abby!

Ben's accomplishments seem kind of small, but his small achievements are big to me.
Today his speech therapist came and encouraged me to not anticipate his wants all the time.  To make him request things with signs (or words) when he wants something instead of just giving it to him when I know what he wants.  I told her that I know I'm bad at that.  So often I don't know what he wants and it's very frustrating for us both.  Therefore, when I do know what he wants I'm so excited to give it to him and make him happy.  I can see how this will be extremely beneficial for his communication though and so I'm really going to try hard to work on it.
After she left he was playing with some toys and wanted me to arrange them a certain way.  I showed him the sign for help and prompted him to do it.  After a few more times of showing him the sign and helping him do it he started doing it on his own.  It almost became a game the way he did it over and over and grinned and laughed.  It was awesome!  It's always fun to see what he comes up with for his version of a sign.  He actually has pretty good fine motor skills compared to his other abilities but he still modifies a lot of signs so that they are easier for him to do.  
One more small accomplishment for Ben this evening...
Matt had left out a plastic water bottle and Ben got a hold of it.  He was playing with it while I read The Candy Shop War to the kids.  Next thing I knew, he had opened the garage door and I heard plastic bouncing off of concrete.  He had "recycled" the bottle!  (We keep our recycle box out in the garage.  He must have seen us do that a lot.)  He closed the door, came into the living room clapping and then proceeded to do a little dance for us all.  It was awfully cute!

Last but not least, Andy had a great accomplishment tonight.  
Our kitchen sink faucet has had issues lately and we've known we needed to get a new one.  Well, it became an emergency yesterday morning when the handle went all the way around like an owl's head.  That wouldn't have been so bad except that it started spurting water everywhere too.  I called Andy at work (I rarely bother him while he's teaching but this was a problem).  He instructed me to turn off the valves under the sink...duh...I felt silly that I hadn't thought of that.  So, I was without water in the kitchen the whole day.
Andy was sweet and took Abby and Ben with him to go shopping for a new one last night while I organized the pantry (I've been on an organizing kick lately.  I've done my bedroom closet, our bathroom closet and now the pantry.  I love walking into an area that I've recently organized and just staring at it).  
Anyway, he came home with one that looked a little space ship like.  Let's just say it was not quite what we had expected.  I told him it was okay though and to go ahead and install it.  He started working on it and then realized he didn't have all the right tools.  
So I was without water again today.  When we got home from the assembly Andy packed up the the UFO and we went back to Lowe's.  We found one we liked and he headed back home to install it while I went to the temple.  When I came out of the temple two hours later Andy came driving up with all the kids in the.  I knew something was wrong.  My first thought is always if Ben is okay.  When I saw him in his seat I knew it had to do with the faucet.  Andy told me that when he pulled it out of the box that the extension that made it taller was a different color (black instead of brushed nickle) than the rest of it.  What?  He packed up all the kids and drove back to Lowe's.  When he returned it the lady had him go get another box off the shelf.  They opened it up and it was the same way.  All the ones on the shelf were that way.  Weird!
Luckily, up on the top shelf there was the exact same faucet just shorter, without the extension.  Andy snagged it.  They were on their way home when he met me at the temple.  
What a blessing it was that the installation process went relatively glitch free. 
Thanks hon!  That's an accomplishment.
I love our new faucet...I think it looks even better without the extension!
I also love this guy who often does my dishes for me :)
Sorry.  I know I was kind of wordy with this post...a little too journal like.  Sometimes there are just details I want to get down before I forget.  You're a trooper if you made it to the end:)

Happy General Conference Weekend!
I absolutely love this time of year!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Purple Day with a special FHE

So yesterday was Purple Day...or in other words Epilepsy Awareness Day.
I wore my purple.

I forgot to remind my family about it so the only other two people in my home that own purple wore it today instead.
Next year I'm going to make it bigger at our house...I'm thinking purple food :)...maybe I'll spray Abby's hair purple (probably not:)
Anyway...we need to be a voice.

Last night we had a special Family Home Evening.
Andy and I met 10 1/2 years ago at a church building up on campus.  That building is kind of old and going to be torn down soon.  That inspired us to go and show our kids our history before it was gone.  We drove around the valley and went to special spots from our courtship.  It was fun for me and Andy...I hope the kids had fun too.  

 First met in the doorway of a little room at "The Toaster".

First held hands at the Institute.

While at the Institute we took the kids to see Great Grandpa Kidd's picture as the director of the Institute.

First kiss...again in a (different) doorway at "The Toaster"
I was about to go into the chapel and practice the organ (I was taking an organ class at the time).
Andy met me there and I ended up never practicing the organ that day.

I wish I would have thought to do the outdoor places first so they weren't in the dark...oh well.

A bench at Pioneer Park overlooking the valley.
I should have had Andy get down on BOTH knees like he did 10 years ago for this picture but it had rained that evening and so the ground was pretty wet.  Didn't want to give him wet knees :)
I should add that this spot was especially significant since Andy proposed on March 27th 2002 (10 years ago today).

Married in the Logan LDS Temple.

Thanks kids for taking the pics.
  It was a fun trip down memory lane.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Summary

Friday was Andy's mom's birthday.  Our family, along with Andy's parents and two brothers were able to get together for dinner.  We gathered at Macaroni Grill and had a very enjoyable evening.

Uncle Dan and Josh doing a little bit of math on the tablecloth.

Did you know that if you go to Macaroni Grill for your birthday they will sing "Happy Birthday" to you in Italian Opera?  Bless her brought a tear to Nancy's eye.

We love you Grandma Nancy!

Saturday morning the family packed up in the van and we drove a distance whereupon I jumped out and they left me on the side of the road to go and have breakfast without me.
You was my day to run 17 miles.  I had mapped out a route and planted a couple of bottles of liquid along the way.
It was such a beautiful run...starting out by the university, past the temple and through town and several small communities.  I have been dealing with some achilles tendonitis in both ankles for a few weeks.  However, I've been icing and trying to rest in preparation for this run.  I was feeling great the first many miles...a little pain but not more than I was used to over the last few weeks.  After their breakfast at IHOP, Andy and the kids drove by and cheered me on.  All was going well until about mile 14.  The pain in my left ankle started to increase a bit.  I powered through a little longer and then at mile 15.5 I just couldn't run any more.  The pain was too much.  I called Andy and told him I was going to walk the rest of the way and so I would be a little later than he had originally expected me.  About 30 seconds later I called him back and asked him to come get me.  I couldn't walk any more either.  Wow!  Something was really wrong.
After getting home and sitting down for a bit it was feeling a little better.  I thought I would get it checked out on Monday by either our physical therapist neighbor or our podiatrist neighbor.
Of course Sunday morning I woke up and it was worse.  I hobbled all around home and church and worried the whole time that I was making it worse.  
Our kind physical therapist neighbor came over last night and looked at it, gave me some suggestions and agreed that I should see our podiatrist neighbor today.
Josh had a follow up appointment with him anyway so it worked out just fine.  Josh is excited that he no longer need his crutches.  He was given permission today to be done with them.  Yeah!
Dr. C. looked at my ankle, asked me some questions and then gave me some things to do for two weeks.  If I'm still having pain at that point he'll do an X-ray.
I'm encouraged that at least the marathon is not out of the question like I was afraid I was going to be told.
It's a setback...that's all.  
So until I'm able to run again...

this is me :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

flowers, flowers everywhere...

A couple of weeks ago I signed up to make cupcakes for our Relief Society (our church's organization for women) birthday party tonight.
Enter FLOWER #1 of the day.
I've wanted an excuse to try and make these (hydrangea cupcakes)...from Pinterest.
By the way, I wonder how many times I will mention Pinterest before everyone who reads this blog just rolls their eyes and stops reading because they're sick of hearing of Pinterest...(I know you won't Jenny:)
Here's the result:

Not as gorgeous as the original but they'll do.
(The ladies at my table tonight seemed surprised when I told them what they were supposed to be.  "Oh....yah.  Okay."  :o)

FLOWER #2 of the day.
It wasn't until late in the afternoon, with my cupcakes safely chilling in the fridge, that I stepped outside.
Oh Boy!

I was so thrilled to find these lovelies!

Two big clumps of daffodillies just a bloomin' away!
Spring has definitely sprung and I am so happy!  It's always been my favorite season because of the flowers and the rain...doesn't get any better.  Fall is a close second, then winter and summer last of all.  I'm just not a heat person...although, since I've had kids I'm beginning to appreciate the summer months more.

The last little FLOWER of the day (#3) was a gift from the R.S. Birthday party.
There was one at each place setting.

I've always loved these little orange and purple guys.  They just make me smile.  
(I traded the one that was in front of my plate for this one at another table.  Don't one was sitting there yet.  I felt okay about it.)

Flowers are amazing to me.  I love watching them grow and bloom.  I remember spending hours in my mom's flower garden and watching things change day by day.  I still get excited when I see something new popping up through the dirt or see a bud finally burst open.
Flowers...what an incredible creation.

Lilacs, hydrangeas, peonies, tulips, pansies...those are my favs.
What's your favorite flower?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Call me "The Bag Lady"

Last year for my birthday, my sweet friend, Jami T. made this adorable bag for me!

Now, some women have one or two purses or even several.  Not me!  I'm a one purse/bag woman.  I have used this exclusively since then.  Thanks so much Jami!

I found out what pattern it was, (Jen Giddens "Pleated Tote") bought it, and was inspired by Jami to make some for my own friends.

I think I've made about 10 since last summer. (Jami's probably made five times that amount and has more of a right to the title "bag lady" but humor me :)  After I did it once, it was very easy to do more.
I love giving them as gifts.
I mentioned that my sister's birthday was yesterday.  I made one of these bags for her several months ago with some fabric that I thought she would like.  I wanted to give it to her for Christmas but made myself wait until her birthday.

Let me explain the beaver...Ang is a beaver fan.  While we were in Canada this last summer we saw these beaver patches in a shop and she admired them but didn't know what she would do with it.
I secretly bought it and planned then and there to make her a bag and stick it on somehow.  
I used some of the same awesome wool felt that I used for my shamrocks in my bunting and made a pin out of the beaver patch.  Yeah for beavers!

Here are a few more of the ones I've made.  I thought I had pictures of them all but I only found a few.

I think it's so fun to look for just the right fabric combination and try and match the personality of the friend I'm giving it to.

One last bag to share...

I made another one of these cuties a couple of weeks ago.  This one is for me!
I love it!

That's my sweet Singer it's lounging on.  I love this machine!  My sister gave it to me when she got her new one years ago.  She had purchased it at a thrift store.  It worked beautifully except the bobbin was a bit problematic.  I wasn't much into sewing at the time and so it wasn't that big of a deal.  However, my sewing fears eased off (I'll have to write about those a little later) and I started working on some projects a couple of years ago.  I borrowed my mom's old machine for those while this beauty sat in storage waiting to be fixed.
Andy surprised me on my last birthday and had it repaired!  Love it Hon!  Thank you so much.  
It's such a beautiful little machine...not fancy or showy but just exactly what I want and need...for now :)

Precious Moments

Ben is such an affectionate little guy.  He's always wanting to give hugs and kisses and touch his index finger to yours (kind of an E.T. thing).
At bedtime, saying goodnight to everyone can take several minutes because of all of this.
A few months ago Ben added someone into our goodnight ritual...

Not every night, but often, after hugging and kissing everyone else, he will point to the picture of the Savior that we have hanging on our wall.  I will take him over and he will hug, kiss and put out his finger to the picture.  It is extremely precious and I absolutely love it every time he does it.
The other day, he put out his knuckles to the picture to "pound it".
ummmmm...I wasn't quite sure how to react to that one.  I ended up trying to have him give the picture another kiss instead.
Oh my innocent, precious little man!

Andy turned around the other day at breakfast and found this...

Thanks for capturing it with the camera hon!

St. Pat's Day

I tried to be a really "cool" mom for this holiday this year.  
We do have reasons to make this a special day in our family.  
My dad served an LDS mission to Ireland and now that I'm a Bryan...well, it's kind of in my kids' blood...literally.

I realized that all of my festivities had to do with food...for Easter I need to come up with mostly non-food ideas because by the end of the day I felt like I had eaten three Thanksgiving dinners.  It was pretty bad.

We started off with festive pancakes.  I got this great idea from my cute sister in law's blog.  She did this for Valentine's Day.

Next on the list was making cookies to deliver to friends.  Abby is a super helper in the kitchen. 

During Ben's nap time Abby and I watched this... (the boys were happily engaged elsewhere)

I had put a few potatoes in the oven to bake for potato soup that night.  They were kind of forgotten and when the movie was over and I wanted to start dinner I found them practically hollow from being baked so long.  

This was a fun Irish spud...too bad it didn't make it into the soup.
(Andy wisely suggested I use frozen hash browns as a replacement)

Here was our dinner.

This is what I grew up eating on St. Patrick's Day while we watched "The Quiet Man".
Hopefully soon my kids will be old enough to enjoy that one as well.  
(Bonus:  It doesn't have a scary Banshee)

After I had already stuffed myself, I had to have the treats I was feeding to the kids as well.

Green cookies and Shamrock floats (sprite and lime sherbet)
Also, here are the white flowers I bought on St. Pat's eve to have the leprechauns turn green over night...well, apparently it takes them a lot longer than 12 hours to turn things green.
The kids were convinced that we did have a leprechaun though.
Here is a list of things the naughty little man did:
1) turned Abby's trap around and took the gold.
2) flicked the lights on and off
3) brought something from downstairs and put it in Abby's room
4) tripped Josh on his crutches.

We ended the day with haircuts for all the boys.
Ben was the most cooperative :)

I hope your day was as green as ours!