Say what

My kids have got some awesome sayings these days. 

Oliver when responding to the fact that we were going to the store. A task which he does not like. "Why don't you just plant a garden so we don't have to go shopping?"

Ansel in response to my declaration that I wanted to make sourdough bread, "does it have lemon or lime juice in it?

And Ian's first word, "dadada."
Our little summer group at Wheeler Farm. The boys thought it'd be funny to pose next to fake cows. Good stuff!


As we speak

Ansel just said to me, "Mom you are going to be 36 in March. You are so old!" We're keepin' it real over here. 
This guy is so into age right now. He wants to be 8 so he can have a sleepover with his cousins down south for a week. 

You see that's what Oliver's been up to this week and we miss him. I'm pretty sure he does not miss us. He's having such a good time.
Love that water slide face!



Broomstick with Ian!
Double piggy back ride with Oliver and Ansel. 
This guy is such a top notch guy. Cool as a cucumber when I tend not to be. He's always willing to listen to my latest concerns. He reads to these boys at night and they laugh and laugh at the funny jokes and awesome voices he makes. We all look forward to seeing him after a long day. He is one good father and I'm grateful I get to parent with him. Good to the core. 



When Ansel recently came home from a get together with cousins he couldn't stop talking about the "Hexbug triple set!"  He then decided he wanted one of his own for his birthday, no...for Christmas, wait...for summer! Imagine his disappointment when I informed him that just wanting something doesn't mean he'll get it.  I then said something sarcastic like, "if we all had what we wanted I'd have a Audi 4 RS and a pool in the backyard," which is funny because I don't really want either of those things, but heck, I was trying to make a point. Well, Ansel didn't care about the point I was making and decided to buy the Hexbug triple set with his own money. I was a little surprised he was willing to fork over 80% of his current earnings (who are we fooling, it's all birthday and Christmas money from his grandparents), for the toy. I even delayed ordering it because I thought his excitement might die down over time. It did not. The kid counted down the days until the set would arrive. As a side note, during the waiting period, Ansel began to think a little more about money as evidenced by a question he asked me one night. "Mom," he said, "is Dad the richest in our family?"

The Hexbug triple set came just today and it was welcomed with great excitement. I love capturing what it feels like to get the first thing you've bought with your own money. For Ollie it was a globe and he gave the thing a hug. Ansel's excitement was very similar for his set. 

The toy was worth the cash and the boys have been playing with it all morning. And now the neighbors are loving it too. And this is all I really want. 



In the middle of the school year we had a squinter. He wanted to wait until third grade to get glasses, but I felt like a negligent parent after a few months and made an appointment. At the appointment it was clear is he was near sighted, just like his mom and dad (sorry about that Ollie). By the time we were done with the check, Oliver said to me, "Can I get my glasses now?" Clearly, the boy was grateful he could see leaf outlines on trees and read words from far away. 

Cheers to solving a problem with relative ease! And now he's got to wear them to school. The next hurdle. With two days left of the school year, I'm guessing he'll leave that for third grade. And that's totally fine with me. I get it. I was worried about "introducing" my glasses to my peers too.



This past weekend our little family all took part in a first for everyone: our first trip to Montana! We had a wonderful time with my sister and her family. Montana is beautiful and the sweeping hills and tall mountains remind me of Utah before it got a little more populated. We hit up a couple of cool things but all agreed we need to go back again!

Palisade falls, a great hike that we loved. 
Feeding dandelions to the goats. 
Watching bears at the Grizzly (Ansel called them ridely bears) encounter. 
Swimming in the hot springs pools. 
And taking a break from driving home at a restaurant housed in an old Junior High. 



Today Ansel said to me while playing at the park, "Mom, let's act like I'm 80 and you're 70 and I'm in charge."

I love what comes out of Ansel's mind. He's thinking about a lot of stuff. Some of which include trying to make sense of new words and phrases:
Diccar is guitar
Diarrhea is bacteria
Mind is mine
I'll take the short cut and you take the long cut
Paralyzed for fertilized
Compuner for computer
Liverty for liberty

He's also very into learning how things work:
I overheard him explaining to his buddy how muscles help our bodies move. 
When I had a cold, he told me that the white blood cells were working hard to get rid of the illness.
He loves to ask how old he'll be when I'm 40 or how old Ollie will be when he's 9, etc. He asks this kind of thing daily. 

And finally, when he gets tired, he'll go downstairs, swing on the swing, lull himself to sleep, then get off and take a nap. This he does regularly.   

I love this kid. 



The other Sunday I was taking a walk and was looking up when I saw this:

An owl in my neighborhood, in the wild. So cool! I hurried to show the rest of my little family. We watched the the owl blink slowly and turn his head nearly 360 degrees. There are so many birds in our neck of the woods. 


8+ months

This guy is so smiley. He lifts people up and lightens the mood with a smile. His little curls are so fun. And his eyes are a tad bit hazel. 

I love him. We love him so much!


Coin collector

I love having kids partly because their interests enable me to learn new things. Take for instance, coins. Oliver is very much into coins and how rare certain versions are, etc. So many kind friends, neighbors, and family have helped Ollie build his foreign coin collection. And now he's getting into the rare coin business. We have a man who lives in our neighborhood who owns a coin shop and the other day we paid it a visit. 

As we walked in, Oliver knew exactly what he wanted.  I chatted a bit with the lady at the counter, then Ollie took his turn, "Do you have any Benjamin Franklin half dollars?" Um, what? I thought to myself. I had no idea this coin even existed and here was my seven year old talking with the coin dealer like it was no big deal. The dealer went to the back and grabbed some coins for Ollie to look at. He choose a fine grade coin and handed over $7 in exchange. Ansel joined the fray and bought two silver dimes (one was a mercury dime, another coin I did not know existed) for $3. We talked some more, looked around then headed for the car. 

Jess and I looked at the boys' coins and oohed and aahed over them. They were really neat and a part of history. As we backed out of the parking lot Oliver exclaimed, "I am so happy now, I'm crying!" His eyes were watery. I think he thought rare coins were so out of his reach and unattainable, that he couldn't believe he had actually bought something that, only moments before, he had only read about. It was a magical. And since then, his coin collection just keeps growing. Ask him about it sometime. It really is something special. 


Book Review: Steve Young - Life Behind the Spiral

Okay, guys, I've read a book this year!  Actually, I think it might be my second or third book of the year, but the fact that I can't really remember, might mean that it is really my first.  No wait, I know I've read one other, so I think it is my second.  Yep, I think that's right.

Jess brought this book home the other week because a colleague got an extra signed copy and gave it to him.  Ever since I met Steve Young while volunteering at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, I've been a fan, so why not read his life story.  I dig a good autobiography.

It was a great read.  I like football and his story is good. I enjoyed the book.  Sometimes I'd skim over stats, but that's about all I'd skim over. The guy was a hard worker.  He had perseverance.  He always tried to do what was right.  He was great under pressure.  My favorite part however, came in the epilogue when Steve Young went on to explain his life after football.  He mentions all of his kids and their interests. He mentions his first son was into singing, the arts, computers and comedy.  His second son who loves sports.  His two daughters, one who likes gymnastics and the other dance.  I think the reason I enjoyed this part was because it seemed to me that Steve was celebrating his children for who they were and wanted to help them excel in what they liked even if it wasn't football.  I have three sons.  I am sure they will each be into different things.  I hope to help them  succeed in whatever skill or hobby or interest they may have, with the determination and focus like that of Steve Young.

Hard boiled

This year was the first time in my married life where we actually finished eating all of the hard boiled eggs we dyed for Easter. 



Yesterday was a pleasant day filled with good words, egg hunts, spring walks, and family dinner. What a wonderful time of year to celebrate the reason for hope.


Dyeing my hair blonde

Last night, Jess and I were watching a show and in it, one of the ladies has platinum blonde hair.  I thought for a minute and said to Jess, "I want to do something different, like maybe, um, dye my hair blonde."  Jess' response, "Really? I like your hair."  And I answered, "I guess I just want to do something totally out of the ordinary."  And that's when I realized it might be time to sign up for another half marathon. 


Meetings at school

Today I ran to the school twice, once for a meeting and the other to help out with a party in Ollie's class.  There was a lot of back and forth and dropping kids off at friends' house.  And of course, I was running late.  I did this all to the song The Chase, which is from the Man from Snowy River soundtrack I received for my birthday this year and which was playing in my car.

This same song and the feeling it gave me might be to blame for the fact that I uncharacteristically volunteered to be part of the corporate fundraising committee for the PTA fundraiser next year when my natural instinct wanted to sign up to be part of the PR/Marketing committee.  I am now getting rid of the soundtrack. 



Things worth remembering about these days...
Ollie smelled fire outside and didn't want to smell it, thus the protective nasal gear. 

Cute 7 month old with a hole in his pjs.

Celebrating my 35th at the symphony. I fell asleep due to lack of sleep, but it was the best nap on the second tier of the hall I've ever had. And the part I did see and hear was very good. The conductor led and played the piano. 

Jess has the magic touch when it comes to getting Ian to eat solid foods. 

Ollie gets Ian to smile. 
Ansel and his cousin giving air and light to their newly sprouted seeds. 
Ansel is quite the climber. He also likes to dress up as a railroad engineer. 
Giving this kid a swig of water. He loves to do this. 
Sleeping soundly. 
Three boys sitting on a futon. Do we see a familial resemblance?


Green smoothie

This babe doesn't dig the pears and banana baby food I'm trying to get in his diet these days. But he does love my afternoon green smoothie. It must be the Greek yogurt and spinach that he's tasting and loves. No wait, it's probably the peanut butter and vanilla protein powder. Love the stache!



A day spent at the capitol building and going on a hike is a good day. 



Let me first explain that currently, my kids and their cousin are way into money. They collect coins, count their coins, draw their coins, make magnets out of coins, fold their dollars and put them in extra special boxes, sort their money, tabulate their money, study the pictures on money, ask how they can earn money. It is endless!  In fact the other day, said cousin was brushing sand off of our picnic table and said, "Ash, how much can I earn by doing this?" The answer was, nothing. But be assured, I am happy to give payment when it is due. Yesterday afternoon was just a time. 
Little cousin loves to earn money and so he suggested to my boys that they all set up a table outside and sell some art. They were game. They got busy creating drawings, taking time to make art that people "would want to buy." This was very important to them and lots of effort was put into their work. After some time, they were ready to set up shop. 25 cents per picture. 
Let it be known that I never would have done anything like this as a kid. It scared me. I didn't want to fail, and never tried. I'd like to say I've grown out of this tendency, but I have not, and nearly every bone in my mother body wanted to tell them to forget the enterprise and heck, I'll pay you for cleaning off the picnic table! But I didn't. I sat back and watched their teamwork and organization. They walked boldly to the end of the driveway and for 45 minutes they sold their wares.  They made $2.50. I was impressed and so very proud of what they accomplished!

It was magic. And it made me want to make sure I stop at every stand I see this spring and summer. 



While Oliver is at school, Ansel has a lot of time to show Ian how things are done. 

How to hang out in your "pajammies" in the morning. 
How to watch PBS kids, currently the Super Why show. 
How to use the iPad. 
How to sing patty cake. 
And how to wear a sun hat at the park. By the way, he chose the hat. Ansel loves that hat. 


On clearance

At carpool the other day I was wearing these glasses for the first time when I picked up the kids. I got some varied responses. 

"Mom you look different," said Ansel.

"You look like a famous person," said Ollie.

"You look like a boy! Boys can have ponytails you know," said Oliver's friend.

"I got these glasses for $3 at Nordstrom rack so I say these look like a steal!" I replied. 

And with all that honesty, we drove home. 


Heard on Sunday

From Ian:
I'm tired (communicated through crying). 

From Ansel:
Mom, is it fast Sunday today or slow Sunday?
The rains came down and the flowers came up!

From Ollie:
I remember when I was in nursery. I played with puzzles and had a great teacher. Those were the good old days. 


Piano recital

Ollie had his first piano recital a while back. The kid was nervous but mustered up the courage and played like a champ! I was impressed. 

He is so much better at piano than I was at his age. And his teacher is superb. 

It was held at a music store I used to frequent as a kid with my mom and siblings. The smell of the place brought back so many memories. And it looks exactly the same. Makeshift closet toy room and all. 


He's four

Ansel has been waiting to turn four for a long time now. The day finally came and he was so very excited. This guy is such a treat to have around. 

He LOVES to swing on the swing downstairs and listen to music. He knows pretty much all of the songs on several CDs and their order. His interpretation of words is classic. He sings "I bought the law and the law won!" with such enthusiasm. 

He loves the game Temple Run. He loves it so much we limit it to about 15 minutes a day or else we get frustration that he can't play it more. So yesterday, instead of playing it on a mobile device, we ran around the house collecting coins, jumping for gems, and ducking from prickly plants. All his idea! At the end, Ansel exclaimed, "I'm sweat[y]."

His latest is gathering rocks from outside and painting them. He loves to find granite rocks and he likes to paint them gold. 

And one day before his birthday, he was running so fast in the house, tripped on the baby bouncy seat and hit his head on the edge of the wall. Six staples later a very brave boy is very protective of the wound. "I had to get staples. Don't touch them!"

And sometimes he'll just stop and say, "Mom," and I'll ask him what he needs and he'll say, "I love you."



Sometimes I'll look at my kids seriously and say to them, "Hey, I want to tell you something." They'll stop and look back, wondering what could be so important. Then I say, "Please, just stop growing!"  It makes them laugh every time and they respond with, "Mom, we can't stop growing!" They then explain that their bodies simply grow on their own and they can't do anything to intervene. In fact, they don't want to stop growing. Dang, I'm out of luck. I do so enjoy each of them at these ages, regardless of how little sleep I'm getting (I'm looking at you Ian:). 
Old enough for the exercise-saucer? Say what?
Very excited to get his cookie college diploma. 
Spelling things in the Cyrillic alphabet, with park bark. 


Unsuccessful marketing

I saw this ad in a magazine I was reading the other day. 

It made me sure that I never wanted to ever try that pizza-like concoction pictured in that microwaveable bag. 

On the bottom in small text it read, it's what inside your teen's snack that counts. I couldn't help but laugh.