Monday, May 31, 2010

More Odd Conversations with the Under 5 crowd...

Viva, chasing Jake around: I'm a monster!

Mommy interjects - I thought you were a princess?


Children, all in a row, supposed to be posing nicely for a picture...

Mommy says: say monkey!

Children all exclaim: "God & Jesus!  God & Jesus!"

In a cute and not sacrilegious way, of course.

Matt, passing cemetery, explains to kids that's where dead people are buried...

Jake asks: Is that where Jesus goes to get them?

Matt, retelling me this story in the car...

Jake interjects: but WHY does Jesus kill the dead people?

Guess he didn't QUITE get it.

Matt, now busy explaining to the kids that Jesus died for us and we have the chance to go to heaven after this life to live forever.

Viva adds: "we have to get married first!"

I like that she has goals.

I ask: When will you get married?

Viva says: when I'm all grown up!

I ask... and how old will you be then?

Viva says: thirteen!

Jake says: no comment (okay, he didn't really SAY no comment.  but he was busy being the strong and silent type)

Bentley says: when I'm 80 or 90

Hmmmm.... I guess my firstborn won't be giving me grandchildren in the near OR distant future!?

Matt asks: Bentley, do you think Daddy is all grown up?

Bentley says: No, you still have birthdays don't you?

We like how he thinks.  Great Grandma - guess that means you're not grown up yet either!  Good to know.

and there you have it, thoughts from our charming cherubs.  Or, at the very least, the cherubs that WE consider charming and witty!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Viva, The Shopper

If invited, the three children are usually eager to accompany anyone going shopping because they like to get out of the house. Viva, however, likes to join shopping trips because she likes to shop. She likes stores. She likes to look at new things. She likes to chat about what she sees. She likes to smile at strangers. She likes to ride in the cart. She likes to shop.

This evening Mark and I went to Borders and then to Target. Here's some photos from our trip:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer PJs

It's summer time and the temperatures are soaring. Fuzzy, footed winter pajamas are retired and light weight cotton pajamas are moved into the pajama bins. Whenever we change out the pajamas there's a little bit of trauma when we give Bentley's old favorite pajamas to Jake. On the happy side, Bentley gets new pajamas! Here he is modeling a pair of his new pajamas:

Some of Bentley's new pajama bottoms are a little long for him. We've moved him into 4Ts (he is four after all!) because Jake needs the 3Ts. Bentley fits a 4T fine except for the leg length which is absurd. Fortunately he likes the extra long pajama bottoms because he can wrap them over his heel. (See photo above.)

Bentley is the perfect build for children's summer pajamas which are cut for very slim children. It has something to do with fire danger. Is fire a greater danger at night than during the day?! Children's regular clothing isn't cut so form fitting.

Yes, fire is a greater danger during the traditional pajama wearing hours. I googled the topic and learned this: "Children are most at risk from burn injuries that result from playing with fire (matches, lighters, candles, burners on stoves) just before bedtime and just after rising in the morning." Huh? Young pyromaniacs do their thing just before bed or right after getting up?! Seriously?!! Is it a lack of parental supervision during those times? The parents think the child is sleeping when he's in his bedroom lighting fires. One more thing to worry about.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Christmas Dress (in May)

A while back (read... a year and a half ago?!) I decided to make Genevieve a dress.  You can see her modeling it as a young child (humor there) here.  I'm no expert sewer, so I used a basic pattern.  Even so... lets just say I need some more practice at dress making.  Anyhow.  I finished the dress and it was too big.  So we put it away until the Princess got bigger.  It was intended as a Christmas time dress, but Christmas came and went.  That's okay though - Viva thinks it works lovely as a spring dress.  She told me it's "soooo pretty".  She knows how to flatter - she even said that BEFORE she knew I made it!

Notice the matching headband?  That was our Walmart freebie!  We found it at Walmart near a shelf and it had no price on it.  I looked all over and couldn't find the spot for it on the shelves.  So I took it to Customer Service and asked them how much it was, and they told me I could have it.  Sweet.  :-)  It's JUST the right colors.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trikes & Bikes & More

A few weeks ago garage sale season started.  My first mission?  To find a new trike for Viva.  One of the wheels on her trike had an unfortunate encounter with a vehicle last year and it just wasn't riding the same this year.

And, of course, the universe conspired to please me.  First garage sale out on my mission and I found the trike.  A nice Kettler one, in good condition except for some lovely red duct tape on the handle bars.  The price worked though!

I brought it home and all was well for a short time.  Except that Jake kept reminding me that when he turns 3 he wants a "real" bike like Bentley's.

Fast forward another weekend or two.  We bought Bentley a bike at another garage sale.  I was dubious that he was ready for a new bigger bike, as in my mind he stays the same size and age.  But?  Sure enough.  The new bigger bike fits him great and he's zooming up and down the driveway like a pro.  Jake is pleased as punch because the red bike is his.

BUT... now, with the twins off of trikes and looking toward bikes... we needed helmets.  What to do when you have 3 children, about the same age?  Find them helmets that look the same so there can be no arguing, of course!  Amazon to the rescue.  A few clicks and a blue and pink helmet were on the way to match Bentley's red one.  Amazon sent it 2 day FedEx, free shipping... I love Amazon.

So now Viva and Jake both want to ride the red bike.  Forgotten are the lovely trikes I've been busy collecting.  Last weekend?  It was time to find Viva a bike.

$10 later and we have a lovely purple and pink bike.  The Grandparents are outside adding training wheels to it right now, and then we'll be set to go.

The kids LOVE biking, and we have the perfect driveway for it.  I can already guess how a good portion of the summer will be spent... !  (Pictures taken before new helmets arrived and before Viva's bike showed up this past weekend, now we need to go get new pics... !).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Old Testament Trivia

We started reading the Old Testament at bed time tonight.  We just finished up our 2nd run through of the Book of Mormon and thought it was time to shake things up.  So the book starts off by telling us that God lives in Heaven.  Before I read that part I asked the kids where God lives to see if they'd get it right...

their answer?  Bentley says: "Egypt!"

Huh.  Okay....

moving on, we discussed that we used to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus, in spirit form.  I told them we didn't have our bodies of flesh and blood.

Viva than chimed in with her input for the night: "Yeah, that's why we have the sacrament.  It keeps Jesus's blood away".

Well... at least she's listening to the sacrament prayer, right?  Understanding will come... !

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

While the Parents are Away...

Alternatively this post could be titled "It's Baaaaack"!

Referring to, of course, the parks!  The weather is nice and the playgrounds are once again the fave place to be. On Friday night Matt and I had the chance to go out for a long date night, and once we were out the door and the kids and the grandparents headed off to the park!

They also found time for some Dr. Who, Wii, stories, games, and dinner.  I'm not sure how they fit it all in but I'm impressed!

And with no further ado, I present adorable children at the playground:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Some Bears Do

Today I decided it was time to check in with the kids on bear safety - last year a bear or two was spotted on our street, so I figure a little education never hurts.

Bentley was the star performer, when asked what to do if he sees a bear:

"back away slowly and talk quietly"

Right on!

Viva added:

"I want to run up to the bear and ride on its back!"

Uhmm...., no. Try again, Viva?

"I would run really fast into the woods so the bear can't get me!"

Hmmmm.  Lets move on to Jake:

"I would kiss the bear!!"

Grandma points out:

"Jake, real bears eat little kids.  You don't want to kiss the bear."

Jake counters:

"Some bears do, but some bears don't"

Grandma adds another thought, that in addition to backing away slowly a prayer might not be a bad idea.  In fact, it would probably be an awesome idea!

Bentley concluded the learning session with this thought on that:

"Sometimes the prayer might work.  Sometimes it might not".

A skeptic?  A realist?  What is this kid?!

I think we'll have to revisit bear safety again this summer!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jake Facts

Here's 2 important facts about Jake.

1.  He LOVES peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  He asks for one for breakfast every morning.  Sometimes he wants another one during the day.  He can demolish the sandwich quite quickly.  It's impressive.

2.  He LOVES baseball.  It's his new favorite way to pass the time.  No sooner has he been humored by an adult, and taken out to play, then he's asking when he can go back out and play again.  He can't get enough!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It's been a few weeks, but here are a few of the "things" we are grateful for:

time to hang out and just play
our good health
apples.  all 3 of the kids love them, and at the same time.  amazing
a dry driveway to play on
books and games - they consume a great portion of each day

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Aren't they cute?

We're thankful for all the awesome mothers in our lives.  And I'm happy to be a mother to 3 charming cherubs.  Looking forward to the next year of adventures together!

Sunday, May 09, 2010


The toddlers have some books and a game that helps children practice the concept of opposites. When Jake and Viva have pictures to help them, they do well. Bentley knows lots of opposites without any visual coaching. On Thursday while driving to the library I started an opposites game with the little ones. Jake and Viva did not join in very often, but Bentley was eager to show off his knowledge.

We started out with pairs they knew from their books and game. They were excellent on hot-cold, down-up, top-bottom, over-under, wet-dry, day-night, fast-slow, big-little, front-back, tall-short, on-off, in-out, open-shut, etc.

Sometimes when the toddlers (Viva in particular) were stuck for an answer they would respond with the obvious one: wet-not wet, hard-not hard. This shows a good understanding of the concept of opposites, but it doesn't exhibit the depth of vocabulary I'm looking for.

After running through the common pairs of opposites I tried a few new ones on them: stop-go, sun-moon, white-brown (?), and green light-red light. Good work!

Next I tried "Pretty?" There was silence for a while and then Bentley said "Naked!" Another unconventional pairing was given when I asked the trio "Princess?" (Viva's nickname), I thought they might say "Monkey" (Jake's preferred nickname), but after some struggle they came up with "Ballerina". Ballerina?!

***** ***** ***** *****

Today Jake rode to church with Mark and I while Viva and Bentley went with their parents. I tried the opposites game with Jake. I was amazed how many he knew. He does not need visual clues like I thought; he just needs a little more time to say his answer than his older brother is willing to give him.

Jake knew all the pairings that we practice except old-young. Jake and Viva both struggle with that one. I coached him, "Great-grandma is....?" "Old!" he replied. "Jake and Viva are....?" "Twins!" he responded. (I'm glad to know that I will never be old because I'm a twin!)

The concept of aging definitely isn't connecting with Jake. Another pairing of his that I liked was when I asked "Tall?" He said "Bigger!" I like his thinking. Forget tall-short. Let's go for tall-bigger.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Photogenic Twins

Opa took Friday off of work, which meant he had the chance to play outside with the kids - soaking in some of this GREAT sun!  The twins were looking particularly photogenic, we think!

Friday, May 07, 2010

South Dakota Part II: Viva takes on Mobridge

Matt kindly provided a trip report, part 2:

You might be wondering if we survived the trip to South Dakota, as no update was made after day two.  Well, we eventually made it home.

Days Three through Seven involved restful sleep, driving, and fun times with Grandma Vicki.

Uncle Jeff arrived Friday, and we met up with him at breakfast time in Aberdeen.  Viva slept very well after Thursday's full range of activities, but she was happy to lead the way to IHOP!  We enjoyed the time to visit with Grandpa and Jeff, and Viva worked her two-year-old magic on the guys to convince us that we should take her back to Wylie Park and Storybook Land for day two.

It was a bit windier this day, and Viva now knew what to expect.  Her real goal?  Playgrounds.  But that didn't stop us from seeing new things.  Jeff showed Viva the land of the munchkins on the yellow brick road, we met Glinda the good witch, and we went over and fed the geese at the pond.

Later in the afternoon, we headed out to Grandma Vicki's place.  Viva was in charge of selecting the music - country music, "girl songs!" were regularly commanded when I tried to hijack the radio for my own tastes.

Grandma Vicki and Genevieve found many ways to stay entertained for the weekend.  There were paper dolls.  Viva let me play with them regularly.  There were new Princess movies.  I got to watch those, too.  Genevieve got to wear an apron and be a kitchen helper.  She helped frost the cake (but with quick intervention from Grandma, was prevented from licking the frosting OFF the cake when done helping), baked cookies, and helped make messes out of her dinner.  For part of our Saturday adventure, Grandma took us all out for the matinee at the theater, where we learned How to Train our Dragon - an excellent movie for all of us!  Afterwards, Viva was treated to a trip to the Cowgirl shop to pick out fancy pink boots.  Unfortunately, the Cowgirl Princess had gone without a nap, taken in too much sugar, and was just ready for a good scream.  So she shared it with all of us.  That ended the trip for pink boots.

On Sunday, we went to church where Viva was able to meet local friends, then it was back to Grandma's place to cook the big meal!  Viva's generally familiar with having a Sunday family dinner.  Sometime when she grows up, she'll hopefully understand the significance of the one she was at on this particular Sunday: as Uncle Jeff pointed out, for the first time ever, Great Grandpa Hanson was able to have dinner with his two children and grandson.  Viva was the representative for the fourth generation.  It was a great dinner, and we got a family picture, too!

Monday, Viva was able to go to school!  She had a great time with the other kids at pre-school, and all reports were positive!  While Viva was away, I had the opportunity to help setup Grandma's new computer.
Now she can read the blog from home!

Well, there you have it.  A successful trip to South Dakota.

And we topped it off with a white knuckle drive through dense fog back to Aberdeen, another breakfast at IHOP with Great Grandpa Hanson, and some time at the war memorial at the airport.

How were the flights back?  Well... flying to Minneapolis was great, and we were greeted by Kathy as we got off the airplane!  She had presents for Viva and the boys.  Viva took the opportunity to sleep most of the way to Chicago.  We discovered that O'Hare has a nice playland.  And it's huge.  Scary big.  And that my backpack + Viva's backpack + Viva = about 80lbs for me to carry to the end of the wrong concourse.  We wrapped it up with a McD's Happy Meal and a video rental on the plane back so we could watch Alvin's Squeekquel and the Princess Bride.  I'd mention that we also watched a 3rd movie, but that sounds excessive.  And I've forgotten what it was.

Viva the Princess, traveler extraordinaire.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Is Jake REALLY a monkey?

Last night during bedtime we were reading the book "Do Princesses Really Kiss Frogs?". In the book the little girl asks her father "Daddy is that a REAL cowboy hiking this way?" (Walking towards them is a little boy dressed in a cowboy hat and cowboy boots riding a stick horse.) Her father replies, "As real as this princess with me today!"

I stopped reading the book to ask the kidlets, "Is the little girl REALLY a princess?"

"Yes!" all three responded.

I tried again, "Is the little boy REALLY a cowboy?"


I push the envelope a little further, "Is Jake REALLY a monkey?"

"Yes!" they asserted in a sincere three voice chant.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Spring is here!

Jake with the hoops, Bentley with the bike, and Viva... with a hat?  I love them!

Jake tells me that once he turns 3 he wants a bike like Bentley's - no more trike for him.  We'll see!

Pictures from the South Dakota Traveling Duo

Matt & Genevieve had a lovely time in South Dakota together.  He tells me she was a great travel companion, and this despite some fears he had going into the trip with her!  We sent her with some jelly beans and M&Ms, in her carry-on, that came home unopened.  I asked her why she didn't eat them and she reminded me that I'd told her to share them with Daddy if he was feeling angry.  She said "he never got mad so I didn't get to eat my candy!". 

Crazy kid.  What self control!

Back to the trip.  Matt & Viva had a great time!  Genevieve came home with stories and cookies, and her brothers are quite envious of her time with Grandma Vicki.  Jake's been throwing a request for her to come visit us into his nightly prayer.  :-)

Here are a few pictures Matt sent me from the trip.

Viva, rewarded for surviving the first few legs of the flights with Daddy: yogurt parfait AND a chocolate muffin for breakfast?!!  This isn't the Daddy I know!  He normally feeds them apples and carrots... :-)

Viva and Great-Grandpa Roy.  They're so cute!

Viva & Uncle Jeff:

Viva & Grandma Vicki (Viva's trying to attack dessert, I think... !):

Cowboy Style Fun

Matt & Viva brought home gorgeous cowboy boots from Grandma Vicki - they look QUITE stylin' in them, lucky little kids!

The Pink Princess.  I love her attitude!

Twins.  Almost being sweet to each other.

All 3 of them!

Thanks for the stylin' footware, Grandma!

Hawaii Gear

I had a lovely time in Hawaii, with my cousins, and had fun collecting small goodies for the kids.  I ingested all my souvenirs in the form of toffee chocolate macadamia nuts (yum), but I figured the kids would want something a little more lasting.

Ruth & Rachel found some lovely slap bracelets that the children are quite enamored of.  I hesitated to buy them, they are slightly garish in my opinion - BUT, I ceded to the advice of my cousins that they were just what the kids would love.  And they are right.  They DO love them.  They particularly like slapping them onto arms, legs, chairs... whatever is available.  They have bright colored lizards/geckos/string rays on them (mini plush animals), they're quite a sight!

They also received some Hawaiian style necklaces.  I started out intending to just buy Viva a necklace, but since her brothers often give her bracelets somewhat envious stares I figured I should just include them too!

They're quite cute.  I think they may be so cute I"ll have to go back to Hawaii to buy them MORE accessories?!

bentley with his Vogue look:

the goofy look:

just plain adorable:

showing off their new matching hawaiian style backpacks:

abandon ship, abandon ship!  this photo shoot is OVER... !