Saturday, January 29, 2011

New memories....

I flew home to Utah to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday in October of 2009. Just Ian and I went. It was a real treat planning the trip with my dad, and surprising the heck out of my mom. This is the last picture that I have of my dad and Ian. When we went home last Spring, he was too sick to hold him, and when I flew out by myself to be with him when he got sick and put into the hospital, he told me that he couldn't wait for our May visit so that he could be home and better to hold him again. He loved Ian. He called him "Moose" because of his size at birth. He is my dad's last grandchild. And, my dad really loved ALL of his grandkids so much.

The point of all of this, is that when I look at this picture it represents the last memory I have of my dad and Ian. It breaks my heart. I have this deep fear that my children, most especially Ian, won't remember my dad, their Papa. And, that is so unfair. Because he deserves to be remembered by all of them who he cherished so much.

But, this week, a wonderful thing happened. I have a photo album on a table in my living room with photos of Papa. Papa with the kids. Papa with his horses. Papa with my mom. Papa decorating Christmas cookies. A good friend who also lost her dad gave the album to me when he passed away and it's been a great blessing. We look at it all of the time. The other day, Ian went and grabbed the book and brought it to me. He patted me on the leg and when I looked down at him he pointed to a picture in the book and said, "Papa." Crystal clear. And I just sat down right on the kitchen floor and he sat in my lap and we looked at every, single picture of Papa while he pointed and said "Papa" to each one. I could not hear him say that word enough. It felt like we were making new memories, through the photos, and it gave me a glimmer of hope that my children would remember and love and honor their grandpa until they get to see him again and spend eternity with him. He is living on in our memories and we will never let those die.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The things you do for love...

This morning Molly informed me that it is Jane's birthday. Jane is her new doll that she got for Christmas. Apparently Jane turned 3 today. So, to put a smile on my cute Molly's face, I decided to play along. We made a rice krispie "cake" with plenty of flower sprinkles, blew out candles, and I even mustered up a little gift for the special birthday doll. Molly thought this was all delightful, had a perma-grin, and kept telling me through it all that I am the "best mom ever."
That being said, I would like to insert a little note about something I like to call the "Molly-coaster." This is a super fun phenomena that I get to ride all day long. One minute, I am the best mom ever. And, wham! the next I am, and I quote, "the worst mom ever who doesn't love me at all!" Which she says full of venom. You should hear it. It's certifiably mean as heck! Yikes. And like the Molly-coaster's close cousin, the roller coaster, the whole up/down/around and around business makes me a little disoriented to say the least. She can no kidding, turn on a dime from the sugary-est little gal, to a little mini evil step sister. I am not sure how to handle it most of the time. My current strategy to survive the ride is to ignore the bad and super exaggerate the good. Also, at times I try the "random strategy" which goes something like this: Molly told me this evening how "no one loves her at all," so I asked her if her underwear were on inside out. She just sighed deeply and walked off in a huff. I am sure I just verified her theory, but what is a tired mom to do? Oh, I do love the little sucker. And, I think she's really smart, and is trying to test the world. By the way, we are all failing miserably, because we are not as clever as her little five year old self.

And, a totally unrelated side note: When Max was asked in Primary who is hero is, guess who named? Yep, Molly. He is probably the most frequent passenger on the Molly-coaster. So, I guess that just goes to show, there is a reason we all keep going back for more! She is totally worth it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Post Christmas fun...

So, after our Christmas festivities, the fun really began! We had super fun visitors fly in on Christmas night: Geoffy, Crystal, Jaide, and Tage. We love it when they come! It's always super fun, we have tons of laughs, and we find ourselves wishing they would just stop their silliness and move right back up here!

Also, Jon and Geoff's sister, Lesa, was in Vancouver, visiting Abby, and their group came down for a little par-tay! We had a spaghetti dinner, and then they dived into a traditional VW family Taffy Pull. It's a huge ordeal, and one that I am not particularly keen on, but I try to be supportive by staying out of the way, while the real experts do the dirty work. Here are the three stooges cooking the taffy (which takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R).

Then, the mix gets poured onto buttered plates to sit until it cools a bit before the real fun starts...
The Pulling begins! Molly pulls! (and takes lots of little bites along the way)
Jonny, an expert, pulls and shows everyone how it's done. His is my absolute favorite to eat. He is super nice, and even though I don't get involved in the process much, he lets me eat as much of his taffy as I want. I do have to admit, it's a super fun tradition, and I'm glad he carries it on with our kiddos. They love it.
We did a lot of other fun things, but, of course, my camera was MIA from most of it. Here are some pictures from our trip to Portland on the MAX train. My Max ("the real Max" as his friend from school likes to call him) reminded Ian (who is super into trains right now) that it is called the MAX train, NOT the Ian train. It was pretty funny. Here are Max and Jaide anxiously waiting for our train in the freezing cold!
While downtown, we shopped some super after Christmas sales and made our first ever trip to Voodoo doughnut. We waited in line close to an hour, but we've been told by many it's a Portland icon, so we were quite patient.
Here is the menu. Some super original doughnuts, not all of which were G-rated.
The Colorado clan eating their goods.
Molly with the M and M doughnut. I had a bite of most of our dozen, and this one rocked. A whole one would have put me in a sugar coma, but this doughnut would be totally worth it!
Here is the whole dozen. Such fun flavors!
Ian with his fruit loop doughnut. This one was good, but I preferred the Capt'n Crunch one.
Max with his Uncle Geoffy. They are good buddies, and were both worn out after our trip to town!
The whole 10 day visit was super fun, went too fast, and made me want to escape reality even more! It was so hard to go back to being the only one around to entertain my kiddos after they had such a fun time with their cousins and aunt and uncle. Come back soon guys! Do the Roar! (that is an inside joke).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Morn...

Here are the kids on Christmas morning. They were pros by this time. Funny story. After all was said and done on Christmas Eve, and Jon and I had finally hit the sack, we heard a rustling at the top of the stairs. I jumped out of bed, panicked that someone was going to come down the stairs and see the goods. When I rounded the corner on the stairs, there were all the kids. Olivia had woke up and gotten them all out of bed, because she thought it was morning! I glanced at the clock and saw that it was midnight. So, I tried to gently break it to them all that it was still nighttime and that Santa had not yet come, so they had to go back to bed until it got light. Poor kids. They went back to sleep without a fight, though, and woke up around 6:30 for the real thing!
Olivia was just dying for this package of 50 puzzle erasers. She was thrilled that Santa remembered!
And, number two on her list: Beverly Hills Chihuahua. She is so funny!
Ian with his Buzz Lightyear gun. Max and him both got one!
Ian with his Choo-choo. He was so excited! He loves Thomas. And I love the train stage. I hope it lasts a LONG time.
Santa surprised Molly with a Madame Alexander doll. She LOVES it. All she asked for was a Princess Art set, which she got, but she couldn't believe that he brought her this cool doll that looks just like her. She has been loving it! The week after Christmas she found a canvas doll house for it with the money that she got for Christmas, so she is all set up!
And this, is my Iron Man.
So happy.
Ian with play dough from Grandma.
Max with his Lego airplane that he and Mom built. He is so amazing at Legos. I love his patience and am amazed at how he can figure out the picture instructions. He barely needs any help. His attention span is longer than mine already. Legos are both of our favorite toy.
We had a fun Christmas. We spent tons of family time together playing, watching fun movies on our new TV, and, let's not forget EATING. Every year I complain about how much work and stress this holiday is, but when it's all said and done, I just LOVE the time with my family on Christmas and the week after, and that is what gets me through it!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Eve traditions...

Pretty standard fare at our house on Christmas Eve. We frosted and decorated some CRAZY cookies. Santa was one lucky duck this year, as the kids picked out their most embellished masterpieces for his eating enjoyment. Olivia is a confectionary artist. She made some doozies!
Jon is a good sport and likes this activity more than he lets on...
Here are the goods and the notes. They get more elaborate each year.
Big Daddy reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas." All of us looked on in amazement.
Drum roll. All of the kiddies bathed and in their Christmas jammies. Thank you Aunt Courtney for sending them our way and picking out such cute ones yet again! Aren't they absolute dolls?
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Or, as Ian would say, "ho, ho, ho."

To be continued....

We interrupt this holiday season....

I can't believe I never blogged this. So, remember that huge tree limb that fell on our house last January? Well, the whole freakin' tree fell the first Saturday in December. It was terrifying. I had just returned from a run, and was gathering laundry to take downstairs. Everyone else was playing downstairs, except Max, who was in the car grabbing something. I walked out of my bedroom and BOOM! The whole house shook. It only took a second to realize what happened. I screamed. Everyone came running. And, when we went outside, this is what we found:

You can't tell how huge the tree is from the pictures, but it was a HUGE, old maple. It took a 40 foot crane to pull it off the roof. Yikes. The good news is that now it's down, and I don't have to worry about it squishing my house anymore. Other good news, my house is apparently built like a tank, and very little real damage was done. Our gutters are ripped off, the roof is damaged and some siding is ripped off. There is a leak in our basement ceiling from the missing siding. And, there is a huge mess that still needs to be cleaned up, but we are slowly working through it.

Really, now I am ready to talk about the holidays!

Pre-Christmas festivities...

OK, I have to back up, before I can go forward, if that makes sense....

Early in December, Molly had a ballet recital. It was lovely, and she did a darling job. She is such a cute ballerina and we are so proud of her! She danced her little tutu off!
There they are, the whole, cute crew!
And, then, there was Max and Molly's school program. Aren't they adorable? They sang lots of fun songs and each had a little speaking part.
Max was a shepherd and his line was, "This is great news, what should we bring Him?" He did a great job with the delivery, and had it all memorized! This is Max, looking all shepherd-y.
And, Molly, an angel of course, said, "We will all rejoice at His birth." Of course, we had a little video-cam malfunction and missed the speaking parts all together, but they will forever be bright spots in our minds. They are both so cute and loving school so much. They are learning a ton and becoming little social butterflies. It's fun to see them grow up and become a little independent. At least, that is what I try to tell myself as I see them slipping out of my firm grasp!
Now, we can move onto the Christmas festivities!