Sunday, February 28, 2016

Wrapping up February

It's tricky to try to teach tennis and keep the littles entertained on the courts at the same time! J came up with a fun game collecting the stray balls with the wagon for whoever was waiting their turn. It worked!
G asked if she could paint outside the lines. I said yes bc it's hers. She said, "yep! Bc it's my brain!" I meant her painting but sure, that too. Cooper added that her brain is outside the lines for sure. For example, she just, and I quote, "drew an r that is doing a push-up without eyes." 

L during art class: 
G: Mary had a little lamb. It's feet was nice and slow...

What do you like about our family G?
-that we're laughing 
What do you not like about our family?
-that we're tooting (Dude-I LOVE when we're tooting!)
What's the hardest thing in your life G?
-when the puzzle pieces won't go in the right place. Even when they look like it.
G: what if our bum was where our head was and our head was where our bum was? Then we'd have to always sit on our head!

The grumpy corner for kids who don't want to cheer on their sister at her basketball game: 
Dude: hey kiddos! That means, hey kids.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The groundhog was right!

We saw the sun again! Mother Nature better be careful, or we're going to start to expect this! Decided that as part of school on Tuesday, we needed to get outside and play tennis. Why not? Balance races:
Ready position:
On Thursday I needed the house clean or else. So I bribed the kids with a slurpee if they could just, please, for the love of Pete, really clean their rooms. They were pretty happy about it. Especially L, who didn't have to do any of the work.
Meet Luski "the Page Ripper" Stinkovitch. Cause she smells. And rips books. Poor books. Poor me.
Dude's current favorite game - "I'm so good at this!" Love his drawings.
Lately L has been waking in a super foul mood. It's really bad. I finally got her to stop crying and flopping around like an unfortunate fish, by letting her take pictures on my phone. Meaning, of course, I needed to delete hundreds of photos of her forehead later. We photo bombed her for one. She was less than thrilled.
All in all, it was kind of a tough week. So after M's basketball game, where she again played some killer, deny-the-ball-at-all-costs, her-opponents-hate-her, she-doesn't-even-let-them-move type of defense, we up and went to the beach. Why not? It's only an hour away!
The kids were a little surprised that we were serious. Love this guy's coolness.
It was a little hard to walk down the hill on Cobble Beach. But noooooooo, she did NOT need any help.
Climbed the tallest rock! Some are more comfortable with heights than others.
The whole time she walked, she laughed to herself, saying things like, "whoa," "I falled," "aaaaahh." Glad it was so hilarious.
Oh look! A steep hike with a view behind the lighthouse! On it!
Yeah, this was a good idea. Especially when Trouble ran ahead of everyone by herself half the way before I could catch up. Shortly after which, she "ran out of power" and had to be carried the rest of the way up and then the whole way down.
Doesn't get much better than a sunset over the ocean. Although J in particular appreciated the clam chowder at Mo's quite a bit as well!
We'll have to do this again. Three cheers for spontaneity!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


The girls competed in their first Spelling bee! We only had about a week's notice, but they were way excited. Sadly, M made a mistake, corrected it to get the word right but having said it out loud incorrectly, was eliminated in the word "sonar." J was eliminated in the next round with the never-used word, "shoehorn." But they cheerfully watched until the end and talked excitedly about next time. Proud of their responses to disappointment!
During the competition, I didn't think the littles would be really capable of keeping quiet as requested. Bopa, and Grandma and Grandpa Smith stayed to watch while I took the crazies out to get some rare sunshine at a nearby park. Dude played zombie, G played dead, and L refused to ever get out of the swing.
We actually had more than one day of sun this week so of course we spent more time at the park. It's so nice to be outside.
Love the nervous laughter I can hear just looking at these pictures.
When it isn't sunny enough, we entertain ourselves indoors. Nothing out of the ordinary with this moment except that the cuteness of him spontaneously putting his arm around my neck nearly made my heart explode.
And speaking of random cuteness, G prayed tonight, "thank thee that it is M's birthday, and thank thee that it was L's birthday, and thank thee that it is going to be my birthday really soon. Ha! It's going to be a long month as we wait.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


I think M had a pretty good 9th birthday, even if she really, really didn't want to turn 9 and end her year of being her favorite number 8. We started off the celebrations with skiing at Mt. Bachelor! After a rocky start, confidence was regained and everyone had a blast despite the clouds rolling in along with a pretty serious wind (that Bopa challenged...and lost) that nearly blew everyone back onto the chair lift when they tried to get off!
Everyone's legs were too tired for M's original plan of ice skating, but a lot of cake made those tired muscles feel better. 
We couldn't find the candles :( so she blew out some matches that the adults held in front of her, and she got all the pieces of the cake that she wanted. 
And I think we started a new tradition! Silly string fight! As you can imagine, M in particular was pretty excited about it. Next time we might need to get some cans for the adults too!
But a little about M at this age:
Favorite movie - Star Wars; the Force Awakens
Favorite book - Percy Jackson
Favorite color - yellow
Favorite food - anything sweet and sugary
Favorite number - 8
Last book read - Percy Jackson #1
Last movie seen - Inside Out
Currently she wants to be a chemist when she grows up and is pretty seriously into all things science. She can't help but dance when fun music is playing and loves to play pranks on people. The trick is learning which ones won't get her in trouble! She loves hiding herself (under the sink is a new favorite spot) and hiding valuables such as phones, and is really into making up her own jokes, comics, and stories. She's recently become a defensive basketball star and is the household Chubby Bunny champ, despite having a tiny mouth. She cares deeply about others' feelings, often putting their wants above her own. For example, when we discussed going to Bend, we realized she would miss a basketball game if we did. We left it up to her, since it was her birthday weekend. She chose to go because she didn't want everyone else to be disappointed because they'd been looking forward to going. Another sweet example was as we talked about her getting back into speech. She didn't really want to keep going. We had a long talk about it, pluses and minuses, etc. At the end, she mentioned a friend of hers who has been taking speech longer than she, and said it's a good thing she's going to keep going bc it would make her friend feel bad if M got to stop and she had to keep going despite having started first. When M gets in trouble, we have to be careful about what we say to her because she has an overactive guilty conscience and for example, when she got in trouble for sneaking into Aunt Patti's car and riding home with her without telling any of us, we found her crying hours later because she felt so bad about it. She had a hard time moving on past the thought of how worried we had been. Poor dear. She has grown up so much in the last few years and we love the sweetheart she's becoming. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Happy Birthday baby L!!

She's tiny, she's cute, she's often in the shadows of her older siblings but refuses to let herself be left out. She's wild, loud, loving, and her own little person. And she's 2!
We celebrated her birthday up in LO with family. Isn't it amazing that our kids get to spend time with four great-grandparents?! I love my grandparents and am so glad my kids get to know them and see how much they love them too!
Now since she's officially 2, she has an excuse when she acts like this, which is happening with increasingly disturbing frequency.
This is also fun. Best when in public, like in a store by myself. 
When she's not throwing monumental tantrums, she is pretty darn adorable. People tell me so all the time. Especially when she's being a complete handful and I'm not feeling it ;) 
Some of her favorite things are: her blankie, bananas, peanut butter, mama, Little Einstein, outside, jumping, baths, singing "popcorn popping" or "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam," being naked, running away, playing with her siblings (especially being rescued while being chased by one of them pretending to be a wild animal), peek-a-boo, books, puzzles, trying on shoes, slides, and when daddy comes home. She loves giving hugs and kisses and wishes every person their own individual nigh nigh in her super sweet, little voice. She oddly replaces the ends of most words with -ooah. Makes it hard to follow! She wants cereal for all meals of the day, and loves to push how far she can go before getting in trouble! Isn't she too young for that?!
Some of the things she hates are: being left in nursery, dinner, being strapped in, grocery store carts, vegetables, being told no, being told to do something she doesn't want to do, being quiet, and being told it's time for a nap. Pretty typical, and yet there's nothing typical about her! You'd think that the fifth child wouldn't be able to surprise us much, but she is determined to keep us on our toes! 

February is here!

Family yoga. Had to do something to counteract that ice cream that had them literally bouncing off of everything!
Strength/agility testing at karate. So fun to watch this little guy!!
Dude: MOM! I found a dragon rock!!
Me: What? Oh, that's an agate. Why'd you call it a dragon rock?
Dude: Uhhhh, oh, I just want to.

Me: G, why are your hands playing in your cup of water?
G (pulling them out quickly): oh! I thought it was a pool.

When we miss North Dakota, we're forced to make our own snow. It's not quite the same. Also, messy.
Fire dragon vs ice dragon, who will win?
L was seriously impressed with G's creativity. Magnetic toys are the best.
"I'm out of power." Shoot. Somebody forgot to recharge her battery again apparently. It's so fun when she does this: