Friday, January 30, 2009

Foto Friday

I got behind on my blog again dang it, so here are photos that sum up my life this past week.

Saturday night was Family Date night with our friends. Six families went bowling and out to pizza for the night. We had a blast. We put the kids on two lanes and the adults on two lanes. The funny part was 1/2 the adults lost to their kids. I think Ty actually scored the most out of anyone under 25.

They had these cool ramp things for the kids to roll their ball down. I wanted to use it too, but Eric wouldn't let me.
Ty literally just threw the ball from his chest and then ran all the way back to watch how many pins fell down.
The group took up 4 lanes, but it was a blast.
Even the littlest two, Austin and Anders, who are 2 days apart, they had a good time too.
I can't remember what was going on when I took this picture, but it's cute isn't it.
It was probably a follow up to this....
E took the kids outside to play with glow sticks. Apparently he also figured out how to make them into earrings. I think he looks good.
Of course Ty wanted to be just like Dad.

On Wednesday night Austin, Luke and Austin got together again...oh yeah, and my friends Diana, Noel and Alena, as we all had dinner together at Diana's. It was super yummy and fun to all get together. You'd think living by each other we could see each other more, but schedules are busy as we all know. I think we are going to shoot for a once a month GNO though. Hopefully it works, I love hanging out with these girls.

Then this morning you would have thought it was Halloween at our house again, but it wasn't. Ty had circus day at school so we dressed him up like a clown. My mom actually sewed this costume for my sister when she was in elementary school. Tanner wanted an outfit too, and I had this turtle costume and he was jazzed. I couldn't not take pictures. They looked too cute.

It has been a great week for pictures :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Permanent Marker

Red Sharpe takes exactly 15 days to wash completely away.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Saving Money and Looking Good

Well, not really, but it's working for me. I have a new guilty pleasure. Shopping online. I love it because I can shop at any store, and put as many items in my shopping bag as I'd like and when I'm done I can close the page and not have spent a thing. I know it sounds weird, but it's totally fun for me. I get to see all the latest styles and fashions and I don't spend a dime. But I tell ya what, if I did buy even half the stuff that I find online I would be one stylin' gal. Check out some of my finds this week.
Aldo boots, you can never go wrong at Aldo shoes. These boots come in about 9 different colors too... how's a girl to choose?
And this beautiful sweaterdress from Victoria's Secret is under $100. Well, only $2 under, but still it's under $100.
This hot bag from Target. Love it.
Okay, now this coat, this beautiful coat is by a designer named Lauren Moffatt and it's over $500 and it is so beautiful. The one online is navy, but the other one I found was a gray and so so pretty.
I love scarfs and this one is super cute. It's by Triple Five Soul. I love cowl neck sweaters too so this is a nice play on that. Fun fun.
J. Crew always has great staple items like this cute tee. I love simple tops like this, the looks good with anything top. It would be a must buy, if I was buying.

Okay... enough shopping for today, there are 100 and 1 things I should be doing, but it was a good day online.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good Friends, Good Times

So following up to the last post. What makes me being a mother easy-er. Well of course there is amazing husband/dad who takes care of us so well as I have mentioned in various past posts. As Eric now puts it... 'I am married to the legend that is, Eric Lawrence'. And then there is my mom who is and will be forever my go to gal, for stinkin' everything from Dr. Mom questions to 'how the heck do I deal with this kid' problems and everything in between. She's awesome. And my Grandma who gets the frequent phone call starting with, 'is this Grandma's diner', or 'Chef Shirl, I have a question. I'm trying to make this meal, and it's not working, can you help me?' She's so goof to teach me how to cook even if she lives 300+ miles away. Family is priceless and there is nothing better in life that is for sure.

And the other kind of glue that holds me together is good friends. I am lucky enough to have a plethora ;) of good friends in my life, varying in all aspects and points of view. They all contribute so much to my life and keep me grounded in my thinking and my actions.

Today I'd like to thank my "mom group" of friends. These moms came into my life about a year and a half ago when Ty started preschool. They had a playgroup already in place and kindly accepted me and my kids into it. We quickly became good friends and over the months had many activities and fun times together. There have been some fun girls night outs, and one very cold GNO because we stayed outside the movies talking for 2 hours in 36 degree weather! Just this past summer 3 of our families went camping in Tahoe. We spent the 4th of July at Erin's annual get together. We went Christmas caroling together and this weekend... it's bowling time with the families. These women are extraordinary and so genuine. When I am with them I know I can talk about anything serious, or funny or completely off the wall and we will have a great time. Our kids all get along so well and range in age from 8 all the way down to Anders who is 2 days younger than Austin, and we'll have one more little one join us next July. When we are together we all help each other out, even though most of the time it's people helping me as I try to gather all three kids up, but regardless, the actions are done without request, but because we are all helping each other make it in motherhood. Three of us share an interest in business as Lindsey is in marketing, Lisa is advertising and I've got my photography. It's fun to have someone understand splitting your time between motherhood and business and being able to share our experience there. So I am grateful for these women. I know I can count on them for anything.

And now to lighten things up. Yesterday we all went to Bounce U, and indoor arena full of inflatable toys. My kids absolutely love that place. We went to support Lindsey's launch of her So. Placer Family Life Magazine, which if you haven't seen, you need to. Not only because I'm in it, but because it has great things for your family to do and see in So. Placer. If you need one, let me know. But anyway, we all had a great time letting our kids run around while we chatted. Here are some fun videos of the boys jumping down the huge inflatable slides. I don't know where the girls went, but I'll get video of them next time. By the way Tanner has no fear.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Monkey See Monkey Do

The other day I was quizzing Tanner on things like his ABC's and numbers, in English and Spanish, and all those other fun things I like kids to know which helps validate my feelings of being a good mother. Then I asked how old he was because he's been working on adding in the half - two and a half. When I asked him how old he was he thought and thought then with total confidence he proudly announced "FOUR".

"Ummmm, no Tanner, Ty is four, how old are you? "
"No mommy, Ty is two, and I AM FOUR."

"Tanner, how old is Austin?"

"Austin is a baby mommy."

"Right, and you are two and a half, and Ty is four."

And this is the picture I took later that day as Tanner was proudly walking around the house in his underwear- like Ty and his friends wear, and vacuuming, just like Ty learned how to do, because he is four.

But above all my silly goals and mile stones I set for my kids, I am always reminded of the most important and rewarding part of being a mother. I just go back from a primary board meeting and this quote was given by Elder Jeffery R. Holland which said "May God bless you always in your sacred opportunity to help save the children of this Church." Whoa- that's big, but so exciting. What an opportunity I have been given in raising my three beautiful boys. And as a mother my role is crucial to their upbringing.

"Mothers, you are instruments in God’s hands, with a divine responsibility to teach and nurture your children. Little ones so need your kind and loving hand. As you put them first, He will direct you how to best serve them.

"All of you with older children are needed in your homes. Yes, there are frustrations, but there are lots of joys. Look for them! Having raised four industrious sons, I learned a thing or two about being an instrument: Enjoy the energy of these years! Make your home a safe, happy, relaxed place where friends are welcome. Listen, love, share your stories of your childhood and teenage years with your children.

"Have expectations for your children. We had a curfew and told our sons that the Holy Ghost goes to bed at midnight. When they didn’t come home, a few times the Holy Ghost told me to go out and find them. That surprised a few of their dates! We laugh about that now—but I must admit, laughter comes easier as they have grown older.

"Be there for your children. Sit on the bed and enjoy the late-night talks—try to stay awake! Pray for the Lord to inspire you. Forgive often. Choose your battles. Testify frequently of Jesus Christ and His goodness and of the Restoration. And most of all, let them know of your trust in the Lord."

Bonnie D. Parkin, “Sweet Moments,” Ensign, Nov 2005, 107

Oh... well I didn't know this is where this post was headed, but I guess after a long week, this is the kind of post I needed. Sometimes it is hard being around the amount of energy I am all day every day. And trying to have my kids fit into my adult world upon occasions when they are only children. But the little moments are what makes it all worth it. The sweet hugs and kiss I just got from the boys as they bounded off to bed and the sweetness in their voices as they said 'I love you Mom' was a priceless moment that I would give half the world to have again. And the fun things we create and do are memories that will stay with us for a lifetime. And knowing that in the end, the hard times will only make us stronger and closer as a family makes our trials a little easier. I know I have a long rode a head of me... but I look forward to every moment.

Mothers teach their children to dream - that which is possible.

Motherhood - The Highest and Noblest of Work in this Life!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pizza Pizza

What a fun morning we had!!

Ty's preschool had a field trip to Round Table Pizza and the kids got to make their own pizza... their favorite!!
This picture is my favorite with Tyler taking a little taste of the sauce while the lady wasn't looking. He is totally Eric's son.

After the fun time we drove over to the park with some of the other kids from school and hung out in the GORGEOUS weather we are having. It was so calm and relaxing... I love days like these.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to Basics

2009 is the year for change, so everyone says. I decided to change some things for me and my family this year too. My 2009 mantra is back to basics. Now, this concept started to become very complicated in itself as I was thinking of all the ways I could simplify life and all of a sudden I didn't like it any more as I felt too over-whelmed by being basic. I'm weird I know. So I have made it more specific and I would like to focus on food. Yes- food is one of my favorites. Last year my mom introduced me to several new food techniques such as canning and jam making and I just loved it. I have also found myself making more and more things at home from scratch -and they actually turn out really good. I am no chef yet, but I definitely found a new little seed in my life and I'd like to nurture that seed this year and see what blooms.

I recently received a bosch mixer and it's so pretty :) Funny how appliances become just as exciting as new clothes at a certain point in your life. I can't wait to start making bread with it. My mom and I have our gardening plans for the year in the works and almost completely ready. This month I am planting at least peas, onions, lettuces, spinach and rhubarb with more to come in Feb. and the months to follow. We are doing potatoes in tires and a strawberry patch. Hopefully I'll be able to pick some strawberries before my kids get to them all. I can't wait to start dehydrating fruit in the summer... yummy! I found a cool little yogurt maker online which I might invest in and if life gets exciting maybe I'll make a greenhouse for all my little veggies. There might be plans for some fruit trees but I haven't gotten there yet in my thinking.

Then there is the more daunting task of food storage. That one is a big one but I'm already on my way and hopefully by the end of the year I will not only have a years worth but be a pro at using what I have and replenishing my stack of stuff. So in a nut shell, by the end of the year I hope to be back to basics in the department of veggies and grains and be well feed.

The great part is my kids are totally into it too. Ty loves helping me make dinner or cookies or whatever it is I'm trying out in the kitchen. Tanner gets into it too and help my dump the ingredients into the bowl. He always runs into the kitchen yelling "I doomp, I doomp" as he scoots a kitchen chair over so he's tall enough to help. Yes, the messes are bigger and a few times I have had to dump the entire batch of whatever out and start over due to little hands helping a little too much, but it's so enjoyable having them in there with me. Who knows, maybe next year we'll get some chickens and goats - ha - as Eric laughs from behind me.

Friday, January 9, 2009

He asked for it

Vacuuming is a constant chore in my house. It's one of those things... like the dishes, that I just have to have done regularly. I'm not perfect at some of my other chores, but I do get the vacuuming done. The boys love it when it's time to vacuum. Normally the run from it or jump over it or have some kind of game they start playing when I get it out. Then every few weeks or so I move the everything out of each room and do a full vacuum job on the house. It's at that time I vacuum all the stuff under the couch (how does so much stuff get under the cushions by the way?) and do the baseboards etc. Ty and Tanner love to help me with those parts because we use the hose and the attachments to clean it up and they can both handle it.

Well, the other day it was vacuum time and they really wanted to help. So I let them clean up with the hose under the cushions and around the fireplace. After that I started in on the floors when Ty asked... "can I vacuum the floor too?" I was about to say no when I thought, why the heck not? So I taught him how to hold it and go back and forth and he looked right at me and said ever so seriously, "I know how to do it Mom." Oh, okay then. But I did need to show him how to not vacuum the cord and off he went, and he LOVED IT.
He asked about three more times that day if he could vacuum again. I said no because I didn't want the magic to fade. I think my days may have just gotten that much lighter. Who knew.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Austin's BIG day

Sunday was a big day for our little Austin. It was his two month old Can you believe it's already been two months!! Eric blessed him at church in the morning. He wore the same little outfit the other two boys wore. I can't believe it went on all three boys and survived. Putting any baby in white just spells out dooms day. But it made it and of course he looked grown-up.

Funny side note: he's sitting on my lap right now as I'm writing this and he just let one rip and it was so big it seriously shook the chair. lol

Anyway. So after church we went to my parents for our weekly Sunday night dinner, which as always was so yummy - thanks mom. And as I was in the kitchen after dinner making some cookies with my sister Eric yelled from the other room "oh, he did it!" Austin rolled over. WOW. He kept on doing it all night too, although it took me all night to finally catch him doing it. It always happened right as I looked away. But when we got home I caught it on tape. So here's the proof.

He's getting so big and is the biggest joy. He's always smiling and snuggling... I love him.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 All Wrapped Up

The last week of December was a whirl. For playgroup we did a cookie exchange. I have to say that was one of my favorite playgroups ever... and the yummiest. I will admit, my kids had about one cookie out of the bunch I got, but I needed those cookies to help me make it through the last couple of days before Christmas. The kids, as always, had a ton of fun playing together, and I caught a cute photo while the kids all sat down on the ground around Austin to "check him out". Ty was very proud to show his little brother to all of his friends. It was like show and tell time, but Austin just smiled away as the kids played with him.

That following Monday my Grandma and Sister drove up from LA. The boys were so excited to see Dee and GG. As soon as I would walk in the door the boys would run to find Dee and my Grandma would sit down and insist on holding Austin. This was the daily routine when we came over to my parent's house. I don't think there was more than a 30 minute period when my Grandma didn't have Austin in her arms, and that was normally because I was changing him or feeding him. My dad has a locomotive train that he sets up every year under the tree which both boys loved to play with. Tyler was a great conductor and Tanner like to put the cows in and on the different cars.

Christmas eve we all got together to do our yearly tradition of opening one gift before Christmas. It's always a Christmas pair of pj's. Then after we had open the gifts we piled into our cars to look at lights. Normally we start the night by going to a near by neighborhood in Granite Bay which does a beautiful display of luminaries. Unfortunately this year, we think due to the rain that day, the neighborhood didn't do it. But we continued the festive evening by driving around looking at lights. When we got home we made our cookies and wrote our letter to Santa and the boys hit the sack.

Early Christmas morning we climbed back into the car and headed back over to my parents to open gifts and have our super yummy Christmas breakfast. My mom makes these unbelievably good cranberry muffins with the most fattening-but so worth it- sauce. We opened gifts throughout the day and by the afternoon Eric and I were so ready for naps. After naps my Uncle, Aunt and cousin had arrived from KS. Christmas Day is my Aunt's so we had another small present opening moment where my dad gave his little sister some fun prank gifts. and we had cake. This of course was after the fabulous crab and steak dinner that is quickly becoming a favorite new tradition of ours. Previously we never knew exactly what to make for dinner since we just had the turkey for Thanksgiving, and we actually do ham too for a little variety and we didn't want to repeat that. So a few years ago we started the crab and steak thing, and it has totally stuck. It's really good. After all that we pulled out one last gift for the kids which was a pair of big old truck that a secret Santa had left for the boys. It was easily one of their favorite gifts of the night. It kills me how we try so hard to get them a nice variety of things they want, and no matter what we get there is always one thing that is all they want to play with all night. Gratefully we had two of the exact same gift this time that they both wanted. It worked out well. Thank you secret Santa :)

Then to wrap of the family time, we went to an alumni basketball game that my sister was playing in at her old high school. My little ones haven't see her play in a long time and they really had a good time. Their favorite part was when she took them onto the court and let them shoot around. After the game I dropped the two older boys off at home and we had a girls night out at Macaroni Grill with my Grandma, Aunt, Mom and Sister. Oh, and Austin came to and of course spent the night in my Grandma's arms. It was nice to have some girl time together too.

While the season was crazy and went by all too fast, it was really pleasant. I love spending time with family and creating a bundle of wonderful family memories. And it's always nice to have a little extra reminder in our day to day life of the Savior and his love for us. This year I truly felt the true meaning of Christmas and I hope to carry that feeling in my heart for months to come.