Sunday, December 19, 2010

 Here's a post for the man I love the best and most!  I am so lucky to have Aaron.  We've been married for nearly 10 years.  It's not always been easy...we butt heads a bit too :)  (Must be because he's married to a grown-up version of Larkin!!)  But he really is the most patient, loving, compassionate man I've ever met.
He always keeps me giggling which is probably one of the things I love most about him.  He is so creative and crafty and brings so much fun and joy into my life.  He is always ready and willing to give a helping hand and I'm pretty sure there's not something he can't fix.  I'm constantly volunteering his superman services for him...which drives him crazy because for some reason he doesn't think he's as amazing as I know he is.  
Anyways, I love you Aaron :)  Here's to the next 70-80 years!  I love you the most, I win.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Last but not least...Lulu!!   What to say about this little one?  Well...Larkin is the child that I butt heads with most of all.  She is  the most sassy, stubborn, naughty, mischievous, and did I mention naughty of all my kidlets.  Aaron has always said that Noah is just like he was as a little child.  Now Aaron is saying that he thinks that Larkin is exactly what I was like as a child.  Ahhh!!  I'm not quite sure about that, but it would explain why she exasperates me so much!!
 Don't get me wrong, life would be so sad without little Lulu!  She keeps us laughing 100 percent of the time.   We dropped Aaron off at work yesterday and she pointed to a man walking into the building.  She said, "You see him?  He wants to kill us."  "WHY??" I asked.  She shrugged her shoulders and said matter of factly, "Because he's naughty."  Whew!  Where does she come up with this stuff?? The other day Larkin asked me where her "booby sweater" was.  Whhaaat?  I had no idea what she was talking about.  I brought her into the bathroom and stuffed toilet paper in her shirt and asked if that was a "booby sweater." "No," she said, but was happy with my latest fashion.  (Aaron was not.)  She kept asking for it for a few days.  Finally, Arwen figured it out.  It was Larkin's hot pink puffy vest.  Oohhh!!  Now I know :)  She wore it to the church Christmas party and took it off because she got hot.  She wandered off and came back in a panic.  "Where's my booby sweater?"  She shouted!  I quickly pulled it out from under my chair and put it on her.  She was happy.
Larkin loves to dance and be pretty.  You'd never know it by looking at her, but she insists that I make her hair pretty, because she doesn't like when she looks in the mirror and it looks, "ug-a-ly!"  We have some fancy pants expensive curler things that she calls, "curlie-do's" and is always begging for them.  But, she yanks them out after a few minutes and never lets them do what they are supposed to.  
Well, guess who is 3 today??  Uh huh!  I have a feeling that this little one has lots of new tricks up her sleeve for this year.  And I can't wait to giggle at all of them!  I love my Lulu so much! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

 Joshua!  What can I say about Joshua? I don't have any favorite children, but if I had to make a tally of who is consistently sweet, loving, giving, helpful, obedient, and cute, Joshua would win, no contest!  (I'm kind of partial to him because he's the only child who actually looks a little like me!!)  We have always said, "Joshua is just happy to be here,"  and I think that will probably be his motto his whole life.
 Of all my children, Josh has had to work the hardest to get to where he needs to be.  He didn't walk until he was 18 months because of a muscle condition..  Now he struggles with speech because of that same muscle condition.  But he has never given up and finds joy in the journey.  Joshua loves his "talking school" and can now run and jump with all the rest of my hooligans! 
Sometimes, okay, all the time, I find I coddle Joshua and I don't expect as much from him as the other kids because he's been delayed with nearly everything.  I have been worrying a ton lately because Joshua has a May birthday and will start kindergarten next fall, making him one of the young 'un's in his class.  Both Arwen and Noah are the older kids in their classes.  But I have started doing some phonics with him and he is picking it up way faster than the other two ever did.  And, he's been playing some letter games on the computer lately.  Aaron got on him last night because instead of learning his letters and sounds, he was doing some gingerbread man game.  Josh insisted that he knew his letters and that he was ready to play.  So Aaron quizzed him.  And you know what, he knew 90 percent of them!  What!?  I've only taught him 6 sounds from my book.  Way to go super star!
 Anyways, we sure are lucky to have this silly kid!  I love him to pieces!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

 Noah!  How could you not love this kid?  Just look at him...such an angel right?  Ha Ha!  He really is a sweet little boy.  He always keeps me on my toes.  A couple of weeks ago he informed me that he told his entire church class of 5 and 6 year olds that Santa isn't real...yeah, he figured that out himself a couple of years ago.  I was pretty perturbed, especially because I have talked to him about not spoiling the fun for other kids.  He just shrugged his shoulders and told me that his teacher told the class that Noah was wrong and that if they didn't believe, Santa would not come.  Yeah...Noah didn't buy it.
 My friend volunteered in his classroom the other day and told me a sweet story about Noah.  She said that his teacher lost one of the days of the week signs and everyone was really worried about finding it.  Noah raised his hand and suggested to his teacher that they should just say a prayer to find it.  That's my boy!  What an awesome kid.
 Don't let that sweet smile fool you...behind the grin are schemes of naughtiness!  Lately, now that he is learning how to read and spell, he'll write or type a note that will explain to the opposite parent how mean the other parent is.  But, in his defense, we do get sweet love notes occasionally too.
You just gotta love him!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

 Arwen turns 8 next week!  I can't believe it!  I am the luckiest mom in the world to have her.  She's just amazing!  Arwen is the most obedient little girl I have ever met.  I know anytime I ask her to do something that she will do it without any complaining or arguing.  I think she understands that if she does things with a happy heart...even things that she doesn't want to do, that she will be happy.  I just love her.  She is always dancing around the kitchen...looking silly and singing a song.  She once told me that she made a song up at school and one of her friends told her it was the best song ever and had Arwen write the "lyrics" down for her.  She has a beautiful singing voice.  Arwen is always smiling which makes her big blue eyes light up.  She attracts lots of little kids everywhere she goes because she is so sweet and loving. 
Arwen has finally developed a love of reading.  I wasn't quite sure that she would.  Up until now it has been like pulling teeth to get that kid to read.  But in the last couple of months, she has become more confident in her skills and I always catch her with her nose in a book.  It's great!  I love to hear her giggling in a room by herself and sneak in and find her laughing out loud at whatever predicament Junie B. Jones has gotten herself into this time.  She loves scripture reading in the morning.  She always begs to read everyone's verse's for them.  
 Arwen loves to draw pictures...especially pictures for her friends.  I am constantly finding little cards and notes for her classmates and teachers all over the house.  She writes me little love notes all time...her last treasure she picked out at the Dollar Store was a bunch of cards so she could write special things in them and give them to people.
I love how courageous Arwen is.  She's not afraid to try new things...things that are way out of her comfort zone.  And after she falls down (or fails) the first time, she gets back up and tries again and again until she has mastered it.  She keeps a smile on her face the whole time.  What an amazing example for me!  I just love her to pieces...every little bit of her!  I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father blessed Aaron and I with such an amazing little spirit. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!
 /     \
 | () () |
 \  ^  /

 Pretty much, no one had any idea who we were this year :(  Aaron wore his hat to work and everyone thought he was a viking.  Oh well.  The kids loved their costumes...they are the masterminds behind everyones get ups!

In case you're wondering, we are characters from, Avatar, The Last Airbender from Nickelodeon.  Joshua is Aang, the Airbender.  Arwen is Katara, the Waterbender.  Noah is Zuko, the Firebender...but not the bad Zuko...Zuko when he's a good guy.  I am Toph, the Earthbender.  Larkin is Momo, the Winged Lemur and also Aang's pet.  Aaron is Appa the Water Bison.
Sweet little Momo was not in many pictures because she had a high fever and was pretty grumpy :(  So much for spending lots of $$ and time to make her darn costume...she wouldn't even wear it at the Trunk or Treat party tonight.  Gotta love it!  Anyways, Happy Halloween from the Nielsen Benders!

In case you were wondering about the real characters, here they are.
 Toph, the Earthbender.
And the rest of the gang!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I was just running upstairs for something...I can't remember what right now.  Larkin and Josh were in the family room giggling and playing nicely.  I overheard Larkin say to Josh, "I have a tail in my nose."  I stopped on the stairs and said, "What??"  Joshua said, "She has a stretchy rat tail in her nose."  I immediately knew what she had done.  I made a super cute advent Halloween calendar for the kids and the treat on Saturday was cute little stretchy mice for them to play with.   Apparently Larkin tore her "rat tail" off and shoved it up her nose.  She had the funniest look on her face.  I told her to follow me so I could take a picture of her funny face...before taking the mouse tail out.  The huge lens was on the camera so I told her to wait a minute.  Right as I got them switched out and was ready to take picture of the silliest face ever, she sneezed!  Out came the "rat tail" with lots of snot.  So, no picture, but it was pretty funny!  Now if I can somehow get her to stop putting garbage in her ears and nose! 

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Arwen had a great game today in the rain.  I caught her pouring her water over her head when she was subbed out.  Rain or no, it's just a fun thing to do I guess.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Noah's Project

Noah got into the building mood the other day and decided to build a giant wooden sponge bob.

Mostly him and Joshua just bent a bunch of nails, but did get some pounded through the boards into the grass.

After a day or so with Joshua's help they converted the sponge bob project into a train track project.

When we got around to taking it down they were OK with it because they could still follow the train tracks now made out of dead grass instead of wood. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Asleep at the table space?

So the kids have been Lego maniacs for the last little while, and admittedly so have I.  

We started out with space ships with cool wings and lasers and what not.  The same sort of post Star Wars stuff I'd build as a kid.  But somehow the kids decided that aerodynamics don't make any sense in space.  Noah started the box design and all the kids had to have one.  It's hard to tell from the picture but the big one is BIG.  We did some major scrapping of the bottom of the Lego bin to finish it...even had to cannibalize one of Arwen's space ships.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Backyard Campout

Noah and Joshua are wizards with their smoke rings.

Yes, the tree house is still unfinished.
First (And Third) Day of School

Noah loves school...
...he never know's what he learned...
...but he loves school.

Arni-B 2nd Grader

She loves teaching Noah all about school.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Noah's video with his current favorite song.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Aaron's birthday fell on Labor day this year so we went up to the Mount Hood area to play.  We decided to go to Little Crater Lake.  So we packed up snacks, water, dropped by the store to get 3 pairs of new tennis shoes and then set off!

The kids really liked this fallen tree and played on it for a long time on the way to the lake.
Larkin pretending to be so awfully sweet!
We told the kids to sit down and be quiet so we could all listen to the sounds of nature.  They weren't very good at it :)
Larkin and Josh went off by themselves and were pointing out all the shapes they saw in the sky.  Larkin saw lots of babies and Josh saw little animals.  It was funny though, because when I looked up, I didn't even see any clouds.  Silly kids.
The water was an amazing color!  There was nothing living in just had a bunch of trees that had fallen down.
The kids (mostly Joshua) told me that this hike to the this lake with a whale in it (huh??) was totally lame. 
 Smiles all around, despite the lameness of it all!
The water was so beautiful!  The kids just wanted to throw rocks in.  Larkin even put part of herself in it.

Overall, it was a really fun time.  It wasn't much of a hike, so much as a drive to a pretty lake.  We went to Timberline lodge after that and then out for dinner...which was like out of the Twilight Zone...but more on that later.

Friday, September 03, 2010

 What do you do when your husband is away on a business trip?  Prepare and eat fine dinners?  No way!  Not around here.  We made blackberry pie, brownies, no-bake cookies...and donuts.  Donuts were a first for me.  The kids were a big help...and no one ended up a burn victim with hot oil around.   Always a plus!
Arwen was a goofball for all her pictures.  But she sure enjoyed her sprinkled donut.
I like this picture because it really shows off the half-bangs Noah cut for her a few weeks ago.  Whew, Noah!  Thanks.  I was really looking for ways to save a few bucks. 
Joshua eats his toast like this too...upside down.  And really, think about it.  This way, the good sugary sweet stuff is the first thing that touches his tongue. 
Noah always enjoys himself a yummy treat or ten! 
While driving home from the airport, the kids told Dad we got him some donuts from Krispy Kreme.  He came in and saw the plate and totally believed us!  Ha Ha!  And...lest you be worried about all those empty calories we ate while Aaron was gone, these donuts were made from a secret ingredient from the garden...that makes them healthy!  Can you guess the ingredient??