Sunday, May 29, 2011

Joshua's Angry Birthday

I can't believe that Joshua is 5!  If you know anything about this boy, you'll know that he loves birthdays and cakes and games.  He even has a cake hat that has candles on top that he periodically wears throughout the year in preparation for his birthday. 

When I got my iPod touch back at Christmas time, Aaron put the Angry Birds game on it.  Joshua LOVED it.  I would find him tucked into a corner playing it at any given time during the day.  I finally had Aaron take it off the iPod because Josh was officially an addict :)

A few months ago, we stumbled upon the idea of having an Angry Bird birthday party.  Josh and I have been planning and scheming ever since!
Here are the fondant birds and pigs for his interactive Angry Bird game.  Joshua sat on the counter for the lots and lots of time it took to create these little guys, dreaming about the time when he would play with them...and then eat them.  Gross.

And here is his cake.  Aaron made the sling shot for Joshua to launch his birds at the pigs.  

Joshua got to play Angry Birds and Wii all day for his birthday...he was in Heaven!  Neither have been allowed in the house for a long time!  And after a Saturday full of whining and meanness, mostly from the older two, I now remember why :)

Don't worry, after just one bite, Joshua opted out from eating the fondant birds and pigs.  (Lulu had 3 or 4 though.)  We had yummy Angry Bird cupcakes for his edible birthday cake and let them pick apart the other cake.  (I borrowed this picture from the blog I found the idea on...mine didn't turn out very well.)

Grandma Carrot sent a Sponge Bob pinata as one of Josh's presents and the kids LOVED it!  It was a total hit.  Josh got some Mario movies, Angry Bird toys, a cake game and a cool red Angry Bird t-shirt.  I think it was a great day...until bedtime rolled around and Josh had to turn the Wii off.  He was an angry boy who told us that his day was horrible.  Gotta love him!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I've got something on my mind that I need to get written down because I don't want to forget it, and since I'm lousy at keeping a journal...the blog will have to do :)

Today was Ar and Noah's last game of soccer for spring season.  What an awesome season it has been.  I LOVE everything about it.  I even love the practices...we go and watch the kids play and do something that they love and support them and it's wonderful.

Arwen and Noah's games were at the same time today, so I went to Ar's and Aaron took the little guys to Noah's.  At first, it looked like the opposing team wasn't going to show.  Arwen talked me into going out and being goalie so the girls could practice offense.  (Ha Ha, Arwen.  She just wanted  an easy target in there so they could score big time!)  Let me tell you, those 8 year olds can kick.  I was scared for my life...well, the life of my shin-guardless shins anyways.  It was lots of fun and then the other team rolled in right as the game was about to start.

Arwen started as sweeper and let nothing get past her and into the goal.  (It may or may not have had a little something to do with the fact that I told her I would give her a wedgie if the other team scored.  I'm not sure...)  Then she played striker and scored a goal for me.  They played a bit more and the ref's blew the whistles for half time. 

There are 11 girls on Ar's team and so they always have 2 games going on at the same time.  6 girls on one field and 5 on the other.  So at half time our girls switched fields so they could play the other half of the opposing team.  I noticed when they switched that the other team had a little girl on it whose little body wasn't the same as everyone else's.  She was quite a bit shorter than the other girls and there was something wrong with her skinny little appendages.  I had what I will call a "small lung" moment..

What the heck is a "small lung" moment, you ask.  Well, Aaron and I know this kid whose mom wouldn't let him try out for sports because "he had small lungs."  Turns out the kid did just fine in sports once he was able to convince his mom he wouldn't die.  Sometimes when we go out for a run together and I'm convinced that I just can't run a step more because my my lungs are screaming or my knees hurt I'll yell that I'm about to die because of whatever my excuse is and Aaron just has to say, "small lungs."

As a mother I struggle with letting my kids try new things or things that seem scary to me because I don't want to see them fail or struggle or get hurt.  Like Josh.  I always worry about him being able to keep up with everyone because of his weird muscles.  Or Noah because he's so darn little.  But all Aaron has to say to me is, "small lungs" and I realize that I have to let them try and that they will be okay.

So, back to the game and my "small lung" moment.  I was worried sick about this little girl.  First off, there are some psycho parents of these sweet little 8 year olds who will scream at the kids or gossip amongst themselves about whatever player just screwed up the play.  I've seen the parents get really upset at some of the kids who aren't as quick or agile as some of the kids.  It breaks my heart.  Then I worried because the girls on Ar's team can kick...HARD.  I already mentioned my poor shins.

I had such a humbling experience when the whistle was blown and play resumed.  It took me a few minutes, but I noticed that anytime the sweet little girl would get the ball, ALL the parents on her team would scream her name, no matter what.  I'm not sure that there was anything mentally wrong with her, but she sure knew the rules of soccer.  She'd get that ball and dribble towards her goal.  It was so neat to hear the parents yelling for her.

Then I noticed Arwen.  Arwen is a superstar...and No.  None of that superstar-ness came from me.  Parents got  to scrimmage against the girls last night as final practice and lets just be honest and say I was the lamest one out there.  And Arwen is 100 percent the exact opposite of me.  She is so aggressive and intimidating.  She would terrify me if I had to be on the opposite team as her.  Whenever someone on the other team has the ball, it's not for very long.  Arwen steals it, dribbles down and scores.  Really.  I'm talking she always scores 70 percent of the goals her team makes.

Anytime the little girl got to the ball and Arwen was the first one there to try and steal it, I noticed something.  And it took my breath away and even made me cry.  Arwen did not charge the little girl.  She did not steal the ball away from her.  She'd wait it out and let play happen and then continue on after the girl passed the ball.  At first I wasn't sure Arwen was doing it on purpose.  Because really, how often does she look at the girls' faces or bodies.  It's all about feet and the ball.  I figured her eyes were glued to that ball and nothing could distract her.  But after a few times I just knew that Arwen knew there was something special about this girl and that she needed to do some things differently.  Ar didn't stop playing and make it seem like she was just letting the girl "win."  She stuck with her and followed  the ball, but never once did she make contact with that ball and steal it.  I promise you.  If Arwen had wanted that ball she would have had it lightening fast. 

We try so hard to teach our kids to be kind others and love others.  But most of the time I'm convinced my kids don't get it.  The punch each other, call each other nasty names and throw tantrums about how life is not fair when they get called on it.  But today I knew that that Arwen gets it and that when push comes to shove, she's going to look out for the littler guy.  That she will be the one to make sure no one eats lunch alone at school.  That she won't let others pick one someone because they are different.  She won't care that her whole team, or class is watching and worry that what they might think of her.

I love this sweet little girl so much.  I LOVE to watch her play ball.  It gives me so much pleasure and happiness. Seriously, I look forward to practice and the games more than just about anything.   But it's NOTHING compared to seeing her whole self filled with compassion and love for someone she doesn't even know.  She gets it.  She's trying to be like Jesus.  She wants to be good.  She loves her fellow humans.

I asked her after the game if she noticed something was different about the little girl and she said she did. I wanted to ask her why played the way she did, but she looked at me with her sincere blue eyes and I could just see everything.  She did what was right not because someone told her too or even because we've coached her on how to treat others that have it a little rougher than we do.  She did it because she is full of goodness and charity and kindness.  I just love her so much and always want to remember what is probably an insignificant moment that no one even noticed except for me.  Well, Arnie, I noticed and you really were the star out there today.  Thank you.   

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Arwen and Joshua made blueberry snow men the other day.  
Very cute.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cute things overheard at the Great Wold Lodge

Noah:  "Hey guys, It's John and Terry!"  I love this show!  The thing is, no one really knows which one is John and which one is Terry."  (You know...TOM and JERRY.)  

Aaron:  (talking to Joshua about going down the canyon water slide)  "Joshua, do you want to go on it again?"
Joshua:  "Again?  I've already been on it AGAIN!  I've been on it 4 times!" 

Great Wolf Lodge 2011

 Aaron and I surprised the kids with a trip to The Great Wolf Lodge last week.  We threw all of them in the car and told them we were going to Wal-Mart...which we did, to get snacks for the hotel.  (There's a Wal-Mart 10 minutes away from the Lodge.)  The kids were pleased as punch when we drove into the parking lot.
 I hardly saw Arwen.  She had a blast skipping from one part of the park to the other.  She is finally tall enough to ride all the rides without an adult.  Her favorite was the Tornado.
 On the 2nd day, Larkin, Noah, and Joshua all crashed at different times.  It was pretty cute to see one of them zonked out there in the 84 degree park, taking a nap. 
 Larkin was just getting done with one of her tonsil episodes and was kind of a pill.  We got A LOT of sass from her :) 
 Joshua was just happy to be there!  He was tall enough to ride on the the big rides with Aaron or I.  He LOVED it! 
 Noah loved everything!  His favorite part may have been the cable television, though :)
And another of Lu...she did have lots of fun, when she wasn't busy throwing a tantrum! 

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

10 Years Later...
Do you hear me? I'm talking to you
Across the water, across the deep blue ocean
Under the open sky, oh my, baby I'm trying
 Boy I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard
 I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
 They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I'll wait for you I promise you, I will
I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
 Lucky we're in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday
 And so I'm sailing through the sea
To an island where we'll meet
You'll hear the music fill the air
I'll put a flower in your hair
 Though the breezes through trees
Move so pretty you're all I see
As the world keeps spinning 'round
You hold me right here, right now
 I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
I'm lucky we're in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday
 I love you Aaron.  
Here's to the next 10 years
...and then the eternities.  

Thanks to our amazing, beautiful sister in law, Bethany, Aaron and I now have wedding pictures outside the Denver Temple where we were married.  10 years ago today, Denver had one of it's freak blizzards and I opted to not have any pictures taken outdoors.  I've kicked myself since.  But thanks to super talented Bethany, I have pictures to hang on my wall, that weren't taken in the gym of the church! 

Monday, May 02, 2011

Windflow - Hike

  I can't remember what the real name of this park is, but Noah named it Windflow the first time we brought him here because it was really windy.

Larkin and the kids do fine walking on their own on the down-hill.

At the bottom of the hill is a frog pond that we spend a lot of time at.  Here's Arwen climbing a cliff down by the pond.

Noah climbing the same cliff.

We found a few tadpoles and Noah found a dead snake that he had fun playing with on the end of a stick.

Mostly though, they just threw rocks into the pond.  With every throw we thought Larking would go in with her rocks.

Larkin had fun throwing rocks from the top of a cliff as well.  She'd get right to the edge and huck a handful of rocks and wobble a little and finally looking toward us yelling at her to, "Get back from the cliff, Lulu!"

Joshua loves his snacks.  Arwen and Noah made the whole hike but Joshua and Larkin needed some help on the way back up the hill.  Now that's a workout. 

Arwen and I had fun looking for flowers.  We found these that I liked a lot.