Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer Nights

Besides leaving a neighborhood filled with great people, we were also sad to leave a neighborhood that was flat and conducive to bike riding. 
One of my favorite ways to spend a summer evening at our new place is to bike over to the church parking lot for a nice, flat racetrack where the boys can practice their pedaling. 

On Mondays, we've enjoyed a few Family Home Evenings out back on our trampoline.

I'm determined to keep my parents' lawn looking pristine. I keep joking with neighbors that we have to keep the lawn nice because that's what everyone sees, and people could tattle to my parents if they see the lawn take a turn for the worse, where the inside of the house would be a little harder for them to spy on and report back to my parents. I'm hoping if we keep up a nice appearance on the outside, people will assume we're taking care of the inside too and report only good things back to the landlords.

Jeff and I both enjoy mowing the lawn, so we often battle over who gets the job every week. My parents left us their lawn mower, and we had a lawn mower from our other house, so it's not uncommon to see us both out there, each with a lawn mower, team working our way through the grass trimming.

I can't say I've ever held a baby and been in dress clothes while I've mowed the lawn though, so Jeff definitely has me beat on that one!
My sister and I are trying to take full advantage of our close proximity. We decided to do a date night swap once a month which has been a fun little thing for all parties involved to look forward to. 

Our first date night was spent at The Cheesecake Factory downtown which happened to be right next to where Jeff would be starting his new job a few days after. It was fun to spend the evening on his new stomping grounds and to take a little peek at his new building.

Jeff was ready for a change with his job, and we figured now that we were closer to Salt Lake, we had a great opportunity to explore a lot of different job options that would allow a change for Jeff and a better commute than if he were to stay at his old job. He found a job at Zions fairly quickly, felt good about it, and has enjoyed the change!

I was looking through old blog posts last week and found this little gem. Looks like Jeff is following in Eli's footsteps.

We kept joking that we didn't know what to do without any kid buffers keeping us busy.
I kept obsessively touching Jeff because I wasn't use to having a free hand, let alone 2 free hands!
When August rolled around, we planned our second month's date night on our anniversary. We went mini golfing. 
Then we went to a food truck park where we got some flame licked pizza. 

Then we grabbed a cookie on our way back to the kids. I was on a quest to find as many 8s as I could on our date because we were celebrating 8 years since 8-8-08. 
It's been so fun to spend some summer evenings sneaking away on dates. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Getting Settled

Here we document our first official Sunday in our new ward with the infamous front porch shot. 
The boys were looking dashing for their big day. 
Unpacking has been a slow process. My goal was just to unpack one box a day. We've finally cleared everything out of the boxes, including any stray children. 

In fact, we're feeling so settled that Jeff and I have even found the time to start up our Friday night date nights again. For our first date night in our new place, we watched an instructional Youtube video about how to draw the little lizard from Tangled. 
Eli and Carson found our drawings in the morning and flipped out. They get a little jealous whenever Jeff and I talk about our date nights, or whenever they find evidence that we did something fun while they were asleep. I thought it would be fun to let them watch the video and give it a try, not expecting anything too recognizable to come from their sketches. 
Eli shocked me! He did such a good job! I was so impressed with how well he followed the instructions. I love the mouth area and smile especially, and the tail wrapped around the branch really impressed me! I'll have to have him take a few Youtube drawing classes more often!

Other Eli drawings include Eli's reminders after our FHE lesson on The Word of Wisdom. We encouraged the boys to draw all the fruits and vegetables they could think of so we could hang it on the fridge to remind us to eat good food. Eli finished up his drawing and then, unprovoked, drew a no smoking sign to help remind us not to smoke. Word of Wisdom lesson = success!
We are also settled enough to have signed up for a city summer class with cousins. 
By the time our 3-week course was through, I was wishing I had signed them up for another class to keep us going all summer long. It was such a fun way to spend our mornings...
Until certain little people would get bored and find themselves in unfortunate situations. 
Getting into unfortunate situations is kind of Lincoln's life theme right now though. 

He is at a developmental milestone where his mobility has surpassed his logic so I spend the majority of my day rescuing him from window sills, table edges, or dangling from the edge of the trampoline. He'll get himself perched somewhere and then helplessly call out, "Stuck! Stuck!" Until help arrives. 
And if there's chocolate worth climbing for. You can bet he's there, but this time patiently saying "Please. Please." Until help arrives. 
The only time I can ensure Lincoln is safe is when he's belted into the high chair. But then nothing around him is safe because he's got a 20-foot splash zone. If he doesn't like something on his tray, his method of rejection is to windshield wiper his entire tray with his arm until all the tray's contents are scattered about him on the floor. The damage is done in a swift and abrupt manner and he pays no mind to the damage his blueberry smoothie will cause once violently swiped onto the floor. 
Just as quickly as he can clear his tray, he can swipe a seat. He is the king of opportunity. He never gets heavily involved in playing with toys. He prefers to people watch. He'll wait for Carson to get up for a drink of water at breakfast to slime into his seat for an extra bite of pancake...

Or he hops into my headphones whenever I get up to go to the bathroom. He's like an alligator. He quietly and seemingly innocently lurks until the just the right opportunity arrives to which he quickly strikes.
I've been bad at documenting the funny things the kids have said. Here's a good Eli quote I don't want to forget. My parents were talking to Eli and asking him how old he is. Then they said, "Eli! You're going to be 8 soon. What happens when you're 8?!?"
Expecting to hear him reply, "I'll get baptized," they were a little surprised when he instead responded, "I will get the Holy Ghost."
We were all impressed with his answer and laughed at his thoughtful reply. He asked us what was so funny to which my dad said, "Nothing. That was just a good answer."
Then Eli matter-of-factly said, "Actually Grandpa, it's the correct answer." 
He has since surprised us during Family Home Evening as Jeff and I will thoughtfully try to prepare lessons that will apply to the kids that they may not have learned yet. I wasn't sure the boys knew the Joseph Smith story, so I chose that for my lesson one Monday. I was two words into the story when Eli said, "Oh. I know this story." and proceeded to give a more detailed version of the restoration of the church than I was prepared to give. The same thing happened a few weeks later with the story of the 10 lepers. 
He's such a spiritual giant and surprises me every day with his desire to do good and his innate love of the gospel. He's such a great example to me. 

One day we were all packed up to go to the library, fed, went to the bathroom, had found all of our library books, shoes on, headed out the door before I realized I had no idea where my library card was and I had no idea where to look for it in the mess of the house still being a little unsettled from the move. 

I was mumbling to myself in annoyance as I rummaged through bags in the garage to try to find the card. Eli politely came over to me and said, "Mom. I know something we can do to help find your library card." My pride got the best of me and I nearly cringed as I knew exactly what he was going to say. I was too flustered to want to have a teaching opportunity on prayer in this frantic moment that I was trying to get out the door. Plus a little part of me was worried maybe a prayer to find the card wouldn't work and then I'd have to explain why prayers aren't always answered on top of trying to find the card and get out the door. 
I bit my tongue, swallowed my pride, and decided to have a little faith that a little prayer might be answered. And what a great opportunity THAT would be if we DID happen to find the card with he help of a prayer. Eli, Carson, Lincoln and I gathered in a circle in the garage as Eli sweetly offered a prayer requesting that we could find the library card. 

I took a deep breath. Willed myself to have faith we would actually find the card. Within seconds of the prayer being over, I instantly remembered where the bag was that ha my card in it. And it was definitely in a spot I never would have checked in my frantic rummaging. It was a faith building experience for me because I got to see Eli's strong example of child-like trust in the Lord, and I just hope that experience has planted a seed that Eli's faith can continue to grow on. 

I am seriously so impressed with Eli. He reminds me every day that we are all born with the light of Christ. The things he knows to be true haven't necessarily been taught to him, but he just oozes goodness and has such a desire to follow what's right (on most days :) ). 

Airplanes and Zion

Newland's stay was extended an extra week which meant more time to play and more popsicles for everyone! 

We went to Hill Air Force Museum to oooohhhh and aaaaahhhh at the airplanes up close after seeing them in action at the air show a couple weeks before. 

Klarissa bought Newland some little toy airplanes that the boys loved flying around with all the big airplanes around really getting their imaginations going. 

We spent a day at Cherry Hill that I left my phone in the car for, but it was super fun!

We had borrowed Jeff's parents' trailer to move. Our old house had an RV pad, so storing the trailer was no issue, but it got a little trickier once we were at my parents' house and didn't have a great place to store it. We made a quick trip down to Cedar City to return the trailer and decided to stop by Zion National Park while we were down there.
Carson took to the dirt to make dirt angels. 
I took to the trees to hang all our belongings after red ants began attacking any foreign object sitting on the ground. 
Foreign objects include little babies smeared in sugary jam. Lincoln found the ants as no threat to him or his personal space. Whenever they started swarming, he happily poked them with his finger and managed to come away without a single bite. 
Eli found some tadpoles that kept him busy through lunch. 

We hiked to Emerald Pool. It was hot and crowded, but really pretty once we got there. 
We found a cool little area great for a picture. I made the mistake of trying to sit down while trying to keep Lincoln in the picture without sitting on his foot. At least that's the excuse I'll use for why I look so awkward in this picture. 

We had a great time in St. George and a great 3 weeks with an extra little boy around. All the excitement wore Lincoln right out. He had been waking up at 6:00 every morning, but has been sleeping in until 7:30-8:00 ever since our busy July! Yahoo!