Saturday, June 30, 2012

Scripture Study

I recently bought an oversized Book of Mormon for the kids.  It has big print, lots of pictures, colored words with definitions... cool stuff.

Part of the daily routine for the kids is scriptures.  Now that they have a card on the wall that says "read scriptures" to flip over, they make sure that reading gets done - which I appreciate!  They're on top of things!  Jake and Viva normally have someone read them a story out of the Friend magazine from church.  Which is fine, the magazine is certainly getting much more reading than it has in the recent past.

Bentley, on the other hand, is working his way through the Book of Mormon by himself (my new big one, to tie it back into the conversation!).   Tonight he was busy reading, and his sister scolded him: "Bentley, you don't have to read scriptures today.  It's Sunday and we go to church instead."

To which Bentley replied: "But I want to read them!"

A little bit later, Bentley came out of his room with the scriptures.  I asked him what was up, and he told me that Daddy was reading the Berenstain Bears to Jake & Viva but he really wanted to read one more page in his book instead.  (and it was too loud in his room apparently...).  A few minutes later he looks up and says: "He killed him!  He chopped his HEAD off!  Laban's head!"

Swords and mayhem?  I think this 6 year old is hooked!  :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cute Hair, Kid!

Lincoln has way more hair than Jake did at almost 1.  And way less hair than Bentley did at 1.  

But forget about his brothers.  The truth is his hair looks perfect on him, doesn't it? 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Twins

Some people think that referring to or calling twins "the twins" is not right. They believe that individual names are important to establishing the child's individual worth and identity. I say pooh to them. I was a twin. I was proud to be a twin. I was not only an individual, but part of a special twosome which the name twin celebrated. So here's a photo of the twins celebrating their twinness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Family Party

In the evening we had a family dinner party for the twins' birthday. We have family visiting from out of state, so the party was larger than usual--Ruth & Ada, Lorna, Emma, Diane, and Jim joined us for hamburgers, hot dogs, and cookies (Jake's idea). We sang "Happy Birthday" for the second time and Viva and Jake opened their presents from family.

On Monday the trio went to see the new Pixar Movie "Brave" with their mom and dad as part of their birthday fun. They were happy with their birthday parties and gifts and now they are officially five. Happy Birthday Jake! Happy Birthday Viva! We love you very, very much.

Birthday Party!

Today Viva and Jake turned five. Kara and I planned a playground party for them. She invited quite a few children because it's easy to have more guests when the party is outdoors. A good-sized group showed up to celebrate with Jake and Viva. Their cousins came--Felicity, Danarra, Matthias, and Tiernen. Their friends Patrick & Cassidy and Kiera & Chase came. And three friends from Primary (church) came--Annalise, Dawson, and Chloe. Also in attendance were the moms of the party kids with younger siblings, infant, teenage and adult cousins, and a great-aunt.

We were lucky and had the playground to ourselves! The weather wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst either. It was raining very lightly on the way over, but the rain ceased during the party. The children played on the playground equipment for quite a while then I tried out a game I found online. I divided the children into two groups--boys and girls. I put a long rope down on the ground to indicate the dividing line between the two groups. Then we gave each child two soft plastic balls. The object of the game was get all the balls on the other side of the line. I thought the boys would win rather quickly and for a short time it looked like they would, but then the girls rallied (with a little help from an older cousin and me) and stayed in the game. No one won. This game could go on for hours, so we called it a tie after fifteen minutes or so. The children enjoyed the game except for Bentley who was stressed out that the balls being used were theirs from home and they were getting dirty.

It was half-way through the party, so Kara suggested we set out the food. The black olives, pretzels, and Cheetos were very popular, the carrot sticks not so much. Everyone sang Happy Birthday to the twins and they blew out their candles. Jake did his five in one blow, but Viva wasn't doing as well so after three attempts I asked Jake to help her out. (You want to minimize the germs, right?)

The twins opened their gifts. They received lots of fun games and crafts. Then it was time for the piñata. After every child had two chances to bat at it, the piñata was still going strong. (Store purchased piñatas have a cardboard lining. It's hard for young children to break through the cardboard.) We got out the razor knife and weakened the sides before Jake and Viva had their final chance to hit it. Then I let Bentley give it few good whacks and the candy finally started falling out. I grabbed the piñata and threw the candy across a wide area.

We had perfect timing because it was 2PM and the party was officially over. The children had a fun time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Conversations with Children

Just two funny things those kids have said recently.

A conversation with Bentley:

Bentley: Lincoln, you need to be more careful. If you lean on that it's going to tip forward and hit you in the head.
 Me: Bentley, do you really think he understands you?
Mommy: He might be a baby but he's also a person. So he does understand me!
(a few minutes later) Lincoln!! You're not listening! You're going to get hurt!

A thought from Jake, munching away on the *best* food ever, he tells me (pretzels...):

"Pretzels are gooder even than a cat eating a mouse."


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Best Day Ever!

We've had some fantastic weather this week. On Monday it was so hot (in the 70s!) that I went to the shed and hauled out the kiddie pool. The kids had a great time splashing and floating. I set the sprinkler up for them to run through. I gave them them bubble wands and bubble solution. They played and splashed and shrieked and had a fantastic summer day. Bentley went in to read after a couple of hours, but Jake and Viva stayed in the pool until I kicked them out after hearing this conversation:

Viva: "Jake your lips are blue!"

Jake: "Yours are purple!"

Tuesday was another hot day, so I filled the pool again. They children had even more fun and played even longer. Bentley got a little sunburned on his arms. "Best day ever!" is what one of the trio proclaimed. The other two concurred that it was the best afternoon: enjoying the sun, chasing bubbles, playing in the sprinkler, and floating in the small pool. Simple pleasures are the best.

Wednesday was cooler, which was okay because I needed a break from so much fun. Thursday was cloudy in the morning, but by late afternoon it was a scorcher again. (If you're used to 60s, high 70s seems quite hot!) The children asked for the pool again. After Lincoln's nap he joined the trio, but we totally ruined his fun by taking him through the sprinkler. He hated it and would not return to play in the pool. :-(

Friday, June 22, 2012

Music at the Library

Every summer we try to attend at least a few of the music on the lawn performances at the library. The first one we've made it to this year was yesterday. A solo musician was playing guitar and singing songs he'd written himself. He was pretty good, but it really doesn't matter what type of music is playing, the children just want to run up and down the hill. We could go to the library any day and run up and down the hill, but the children like the crowds. There's an energy in the air when you're in a large group. Add music to the group energy and you have even more fun.

Mark came over and joined us for a few minutes on his lunch break. His office is just a block from the library. I had him take a photo on his phone of the children amongst the crowd. It's our "Where's Waldo?" photo. Good lucking finding them. They are together, but very small figures so unless you can enlarge the photo you won't see them. Jake and Bentley are waving and Viva is wearing a pink jacket and lilac leggings.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Band-aid Lost

Yesterday I took Jake and Bentley out for a bike ride. We had a great time. I was surprised how well Jake kept up with Bentley and I because his bike only has 12" tires. We started and ended our bike ride at a playground area. When we finished the ride I watched Jake play on the play equipment while Bentley did a few loops around the play area on his bike.

As Jake came down the slide his new band-aid slipped off his thumb. Jake was sure he lost it at the end of the slide so he started digging in the wood chips to find it. He had no luck. I told Jake it was okay that the band-aid was lost because he couldn't put it back on his thumb since it was dirty now. Jake would not give up his search. He insisted I join him. I didn't. He searched for ten minutes all the while howling/chanting "Band-aid! Band-aid!" He continued his chant the entire drive home. His mom put him in time-out upstairs after listening to him for a few minutes. Jake is relentless.

Today I took the children to the library where they have outdoor music on Thursdays. While Jake was sitting down on the blanket he found his lost band-aid. There it was stuck to the bottom of his shoe. He thought that was pretty funny.

After the library fun I took the children to get a free slice of bread at Great Harvest. (I bought a loaf of bread, so the slices weren't really free.) Jake was chowing down on his red, white & blue bread when it slipped out of his hand and fell on the floor. I scooped it up and told him he couldn't finish it because it was dirty. He started getting worked up about my edict and I flash-backed to the band-aid episode. I checked out the floor where the bread had fallen. It looked clean enough, so I handed the bread back to Jake.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Baby Faces

I know Lincoln has more posts than his siblings... but... he's smaller!  He does more new tricks!  :)

And he makes cute faces.  Check this one out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sunday Walk & Bike

On Sunday I wanted to go for a walk, so I invited Mark and asked the trio if they wanted to join us. All three signed on when they learned that they could bike. They love to go off the home property and bike on different paths and streets. It was a good time except for when Viva went full speed down a fairly sharp decline. At the top of the hill I said if you don't know how to do hills, you might want to walk down this one. Bentley took the hill slowly. Jake jumped off his bike and walked. Viva tried pedaling down the hill. OUCH! We need to work on her braking skills. And judgment.


Friday, June 15, 2012

1 month to 1 year!

Just one more month until baby Lincoln turns 1!  Can I still call him a baby, even though he now toddles?  :)

He is charming (and a bit quirky).

He likes to jabber.  I think he might have some words, I just don't know what they are!  Beyond "hi ya", "hi", "mommy", and "daddy".  I think I heard "no" the other day but I'm going to pretend I didn't. Today he MAY have been saying "soft", over and over, while head butting the cat.  Or maybe I'm just assigning that word based on context?  :)  Either way, he likes to talk.  He had a 5 minute conversation with his Dad on the phone earlier this week, and was talking (and leaving space for Matt to reply) the whole time!  

Great-Grandma is a favorite.  She's a captive audience and he knows it!  She's also engaging, which I'm sure helps.  :)  He has long conversations with her, and brings her toys and books.  In particular the shape sorter.  They've spent hours on it together.  :)  

He's getting tooth #9!  I can see it.  I'm hoping that's why he's been throwing his food instead of eating it, and why he's kept me up the last three nights.  Either that or he's turning into a serious night owl... which is not impossible based on his genes.

He is fast!  And inquisitive.  And normally cheerful.  He'll play by himself, but he also definitely finds his siblings entertaining.

In the interest of being non-biased I should disclose he's a bit rough on books.  I'm sure it's just a phase.

He looks good in green:

And last, but not least... he is a great soccer player.  He kicks kicks kicks his ball around.  When he can get it away from his brothers, that is!

Happy 11 months, big guy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jake's Crayon Art

Although the kids don't read the blog (yet)... they must have a sense about things.  And Jake must know he hasn't had any art featured on the blog recently!  Which is because he doesn't do as much art as his sister and brother, not because he has been neglected by his sweet mother.  

Anyway.  This week he has been doing some crayon sketching.  He favors clean simple lines in his art.  A minimalist.  I like it, I wish it would extend over to his toy collecting habits.  :)

A farm house.  With a moon.  And a cool backwards J in Jake (which I am not concerned about!).

A boy.  And his bike.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Viva's Mosaic and 3d Art

Genevieve has been quite the artist lately!  She is very creative.  Although she enjoys drawing she is also more into exploring other forms of art than her brothers have been to date.  Last month she got out some construction paper, scissors, and tape.  An hour later she brought me the above masterpiece - a Mommy and Baby Kangaroo with trees, all cut out and taped back together.  The Mom even has a pouch!  I was quite impressed with this creativity particularly because it was an entirely original product/idea on her part.

Yesterday she made me this.  Now, granted... it was not quite the time intensive masterpiece as the above work of art.  But it is also creative:

What is it?  Obviously, it's a volcano with lava ready to spew out of it.


I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

It's Good to Have a Brother

A common theme of my posts, I know... :)

Every morning for the past few weeks Bentley has been heading into the nursery and reading to Lincoln when he wakes up.  Normally it's a few chapters from whatever book Bentley is currently reading.  Lincoln sits in his crib, gnaws on his pacifier, and listens.  Until he is done listening.  And then the baby monitor lights up... when I head to rescue baby, Bentley protests: "Don't take him!  I want to finish the book!" (regardless of the fact that may take another half an hour....).  Cute cute cute.

Jake is also a good older brother, but he's not quite as dedicated to Lincoln as Bentley.  I think it's the age gap - he's just enough younger to be not quite as mature yet.  Bentley is 100% good humored with his little brother, wrestles with him, reads to him, talks to him in goofy baby voices... Jake, on the other hand, is about 70% good humor and 30% frogs and puppy tails.  It will be so fun to see their relationships deepen and mature as they grow!

Just like Bentley and Jake are great big brothers, Lincoln is a great little brother.  Here's some proof, Lincoln earning his keep giving one of his big brothers a ride:

Don't worry, Lincoln also gives rides to Jake.  And Jake and Bentley both give rides to Lincoln.  Mostly, I think, because they have been reminded (firmly) that the ride on car is LINCOLN'S toy, and they are not to be playing with it.  So they find a way around the restriction - play WITH Lincoln on it!  It's cute, so I let it slide...