Thursday, April 15, 2010

dinner with "the cousins"

My brother and sister in laws James and Tina invited us over for dinner after a long weekend of house improvements and family visits. We couldn't have been more grateful for their generosity and hospitality.

During our stay, Trey and Tian wanted to go outside and jump on the trampoline. For some reason, Trey either didn't bring a jacket or wanted to borrow one from the cousins. Anyhow, I didn't realize he had borrowed a jacket from someone until I looked outside and saw this cute little person in a bright pink Elmo jacket. I thought it was a neighborhood girl with very short blonde hair until I looked a little closer. It was my son, Trey, sporting a very pink jacket! Thank you Tacy for dressing Trey and keeping him warm.

Although very fuzzy, look at Tian's cute face! All smiles and happy to be with his cousins.

Justin keeping his "favorite uncle" title by playing with all the children while the adults stay nice and warm, chatting inside. You are the greatest Justin!

Floors #3

James, my brother in law had a very busy day of basketball games and family in town. He is always willing to help, and today was no different. After the basketball game, he came to our home and helped Justin and his father Larry lay down our flooring! Thank you James!

Notice the great paint job? Marie, my mother in law and I painted the night before. We used to have Ralph Lauren River Rock paint, which was a dark brown with texture added to the paint. We decided to go with a putty like color which I love! This putty color is throughout our front room, our kitchen and our dining area. Bye Bye apple green in the kitchen and dining room!

Jacob's Basketball

It was me and my mother in laws and my job to keep the boys entertained and OUT OF THE HOUSE while the men completed the floors. We kept ourselves busy with walks, lunches out to Mickey D's and Carl's Junior; but one of the greatest little adventures was to watch Jacob, the cousin, play basketball. He had such a cheering section, although, I seemed to be the only one screaming. (I am sure I embarrassed not only Jacob, but the rest of my family.) Both sets of Grandmas, an aunt and an uncle, an uncles girlfriend, a Grandpa, all 4 of Jacob's siblings, and his mom and dad all came to watch him play. It was a close game (they don't keep score) but I think Jacob's team came out on top. Trey and Tian did extremely well during the game, and it wasn't until the last quarter or period (what is it called in basketball anyhow? Sorry, my family isn't real big basketball fans.) that Trey became restless and wanted to play with his girl cousins off in the corner of the gym. I wouldn't let Trey play without me being there to watch (I am paranoid of nasty people who stalk schools on the weekends and take children who aren't being watched over. I know Marie, you think I am a paranoid mother!!!), so finally, I took myself and Tian into the corner and watched Trey play with his girls cousins. AND, Trey's "girl"friend Keatyn from preschool was there to watch HER brother play on Jacob's team, Trey couldn't have been happier. While they played, I snuck crackers to Tian. (there were signs everywhere saying, "No Food Allowed." Even my brother in law James pointed out the signs to me, but, I am a rule breaker. If I have to bribe my boys with food to keep them close to me during a wild and loud basketball game, I will do so!!! HMMMM!(imagine me crossing my arms and turning my head while I let out a loud HMMMM)!)

Here is Jacob in all of his glory!

Jacob was extremely excited this particular afternoon because he had just gotten new glasses.

Tyson, Jacob's younger brother was awfully cute during the game. He sat very well on his dad's lap and cheered on his brother.

Way to go Jacob, you were amazing!

floors #2

The second LARGE step to our new floors project was to take out the old carpet. Surprisingly, after 8 years, 2 children, 2 adults and 2 dogs, we really didn't have too many bad stains. Yes, there were plenty to be seen, but now that I look back over the last 8 years, things could have been much, much worse. It took a whole lot of hands to help with the carpet rolling, and Tian wanted to be a part of the large project. I often found him with a toy, plastic hammer following Justin or Justin's father Larry around the house.



Does this look like a boy that was up from 11pm until 5am?

It seems as if Tian knows what day of the week it is, and on Thursday night, he decides to get sick or stay up all night long. Well, this was one of those days. I finally texted my supervisor at 6:30am to tell her I was not coming into work. Justin was already taking the day off to get our floors done and Tian was in no form to go to daycare all day.

These cute, sweet, HAPPY faces do NOT reflect the crying, sad, unhappy mood Tian was in for most of the night.

Check out all that hair!

(straight out of camera shots. No touch ups)



Two years ago we wanted to move. Well, I shouldn't say "we," because it was mostly a one-sided desire. I would have loved a larger home, on more land and in a better school district, but Justin was the man who got the ball rolling with putting our home on the market. After our home sat, with barely anyone touring it, we decided to wasn't our time to move.

As tax season approached this year, we discussed what we would want to do with the money we would receive back from taxes. Every other year we usually go on a trip with our tax returns (this year would have been the year to take a trip!) but this year we decided to upgrade our home with laminate flooring instead of taking a trip. (I am not ready to take a trip, without the boys.)

Justin's parents were planning a trip around Valentine's Day weekend for our nephew Jared's 12th birthday and were planning on staying with us. Justin told his dad about our upgrade "project" and his dad jumped on the construction band wagon. He loves big projects, and we LOVE the help he provides. So, our upgrading project began with my mother-in-law Marie and I going to Costco and purchasing 30 boxes of Laminate flooring while Tian was napping.

A large, huge "thank you" to Ryan Anderson who helped prepare our kitchen/dining area for the laminate flooring. He and Justin worked for two evenings. I guess another "thank you" is needed for Ryan's sweet wife Jenn who let him come over for hours on end helping us with the flooring and base boards!

V-Day, D.Land Style

Whenever there is a holiday, Daycare usually has a pajama day. I couldn't help myself but a week before Valentine's Day, I found these cute Small Paul pj's. I picked them up, as an early Valentine's Day gift for Trey and Tian. Trey was excited to wear his new pj's to daycare, and also to take his Valentine's box we made at home.(the rest of the kids made theirs at the daycare)

Tian had gotten up the night before at 11pm and didn't go back to sleep until 4am. He was crying or whining the entire night. I called my supervisor at 6:30am, knowing she was getting her kids ready for school, and let her know I wouldn't be into work. Trey went to daycare, Tian stayed home, and Justin's parents came into town for our nephew's 12th birthday.

As you can see, Trey was very excited to wear his pj's and receive and exchange his valentines. Do you see our wooden floors? That is for another blog post!

Addendum: I received a list of all of Trey's classmates names for Valentine Card exchange. As Trey wrote each child's name, I asked him a little bit about each child. I knew some of the kids (like Juston, yes, spelled with an "O", who used to make Trey feel so good when he cried in the 3's class with Miss Sherryl, and Aubree, "the girl bully" who now has a major crush on Trey and tries to kiss him weekly. Trey purposefully wears his running shoes(notice the picture above with his white running shoes! A necessity in his eyes!) each Friday because he "needs to run fast from those girls who chase him around the playground.") Well, we got to a boys name which begins with an "M." I had never heard Trey mentioned this boys name, so, I asked Trey about him. Trey said, "You know, the blind boy." I thought about Trey's class and do not recall a blind boy. I said, "Are you sure you have a blind boy in your class?" And he said, "Yeah, you know, the boy that looks like THIS....... and he squints his eyes and wrinkles his nose." I just about busted a gut laughing at Trey. I guess this certain boy walks around with squinted eyes and the whole time Trey has thought he was blind.

Love and Logic

If you look very closely at Trey's feet, you will notice he is emerging from Preschool without his shoes. You might be asking, "Why is Trey shoe-less? What kind of mother are you?!"
My friend Jessyka signed up for a Love and Logic class with her husband and invited Justin and I to join her. Justin and I have listened to the Love and Logic books on CD and have had great success. It was neat to actually take the 6 week class, with Justin, while the boys played in a little daycare classroom next to the classroom we were in. The daycare sitters were teachers from the local schools. The class had a lot of discussion, lecture and some video which was the greatest part in Justin and my eyes. One of the doctors who developed Love and Logic was so funny to watch on video.
In Love and Logic, the theory is making the child accountable for their actions and choices NOW, so when they become teenagers and young adults, they will hopefully make right choices to avoid bad consequences.
One of the hardest things for Trey is to stay on task. To get Trey dressed in the morning is an all morning battle. There are no tears, no crying, but constant nagging. Well, the night before this specific day of preschool, we talked in class about morning routines, the choices the children can make and the consequences they could receive. I had told Trey that morning that his clothes were out and he needed to get dressed before we left for school. If he didn't get dressed in time, he would have to get dressed in the car on the way to school. In Love and Logic, you tell them once, and then hope and pray they mess up so you can deliver what you had promised would be the consequence. It should only take once for them to learn you mean business and you will follow through with your promise.
Well, I told Trey once about getting ready and then I also reminded him once about getting ready. (I know, I broke the Love and Logic rule about reminders, but I just slipped!) It was time to go and he still wasn't dress; he stood in his underwear and under shirt as I told him it was time to go and he would have to get ready in the car. I purposefully opened our garage door before he walked out to the car, in hopes some neighbor would be walking by, see him in all of his underwear glory, and he would become so embarrassed. (I know, I am so mean) Luckily, there was a high school student walking by on the way to school. Trey was mortified.
As Trey was crying on the way to school, I called Miss Des, his teacher and said, "We are trying this Love and Logic approach. Trey was supposed to get dressed and decided to get dressed on the way to school. He might be a little late and he also might be without his shoes. " I didn't know what Miss Des' response would be, but I really didn't care. What she said floored me with surprise. She said, "You are one smart mom to be starting at this young age. In fact, I got my 4th grader fully dressed with shoes on and tied while she slept in her bed just this morning!" Oh, I don't want to have to do that.
So, Trey was a little late, and in the chaos of dressing while in the car, he failed to look on the floor where his shoes laid, waiting to be put on. He didn't seem to mind going without his shoes as he ran into preschool.
Needless to say, we haven't had too many problems with him getting dressed. I give him the choice, to dress at home or in the car. He quickly chooses to dress in our home!

Activity Day-Be Grateful

For the month of February, our Activity Day's theme is "Be Grateful." I know, I should have waited until November to do this one, but, oh well! This afternoon the girls cut out pictures from the Friend, the New Era, or the Ensign of things they were grateful for. These girls are so thoughtful and sweet, their collages they made were a perfect explanation of who they are.

Trey really got into the activity, like always, and really understood the task. His pictures were of Christ with the little children, some pictures of the Brass Plates (which he said represented "the scriptures") and a girl praying. (light pictures I know.)

After the girls made their posters, they each stood up separately and explained the pictures they chose. Trey was so brave, he waited patiently for his turn and was really excited to show his work of art.