August 4, 2013

Potty training Grace

Whoever said it is easier to potty train a girl.... LIED. I've tried every idea in the book. Grace is 3. I've tried an exciting new doll. Little toys. Talking to her. Reading her books. Having her go commando... which works... until I put a diaper on her at nap and bedtime... and then she goes. Holds it in and waits until the diaper is on. She's got the idea... just not the right one.

So at this very moment... I'm taking it further... I took away her pacifier. She knows she gets it at nap and bedtime. She asked for her pacifier tonight at bed and I told her she could have it when she went potty on the toilet. As I was reading a bedtime story, she looked at me and stuck her thumb in her mouth. Ahhhhh! Well played my daughter! Well played.

March 1, 2013

cutest things...

The other morning I was getting ready & heard Grace singing. It took me a moment to understand her 2 -year old words, but I finally figured out she was singing 'I'm a Child of God'. I sing the song to the kids every night. Repetition works!
I was reading a story book tale to the kids the other night. I think it was 'Snow White'. After reading it, Leo said he was in love with me. I giggled and told him that he can love me, but not in love with me. I told him that he will find a lady someday and be in love with her & ask her marry him. He asked how he will know. I told him he will ask Heavenly Father if it's right. Confused, he asked me how he will get down. I didn't understand the question because lately he has been asking about Jesus coming. I finally got it after a couple of questions. He was wanting to know how he would get down from heaven after asking Heavenly Father about the girl he will marry.
I love the innocence of my children!

December 31, 2012

New York family trip

We took the family on a Vagabond Style vacation. What better way to do it with a bunch of vagabonds!

We started off by stopping in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Reading Terminal Market. It's been open since 1893.

There are many vendors selling varieties of amazing food in this building.

One of the things I appreciated about Philadelphia were the buildings. I loved the art on the side, the building with two green steeples and the potted plants on the side of the wall. The bike below used particle board with electrician taped around it. The seat and handle bars were also wood.

We went through Valley Forge and the National Memorial. We visited at the perfect time. It was a beautiful day! It amazes me the struggles and turmoil men (I would say women, but I don't think women fought then) suffered for our freedom. We watched a video that depict what they went through. I love living on the east coast and appreciate our beloved country's history. The words on the monument are :
Naked and Starving as they are
we cannot enough admire
the incomparable patience and fidelity
of the Soldiery.
 If that doesn't bring a tear, appreciation and love for the soldier...!

We visited the World Trade Center Memorial in New York. Words can not even begin to express what you feel seeing the new World Trade Center being built and knowing that there were two just like it where holes are in the ground. The names of those that lost their lives on the tragic day are engraved around the memorials. The church across the street from the memorial was used as a rest place for those that helped go through the debris.

That night we spent time at Time Square. This is a sight! So many people, so much going on. One of the GIANT screens was showing a live play.

The next day we took the Staton Island Ferry to view the Statue of Liberty.

Took a hike along the gorge of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

Smith farm, Sacred Grove, Palmyra Temple

Hill Cumorah & E.B. Grandin Printing press (where the first Book of Mormon was printed)

August 16, 2012

My boys...

I don't want to brag... but I wanted to share stories that were told to me from other people.

Ethan was in line for a water park ride. There were 3 girls, about 8-9 years old, having trouble carrying a tube up the stairs. Other people watched, but Ethan without missing a beat, ran down to help carry their tube up the stairs.

A lady was walking out of a building. Ethan and Isaac were holding the door open for her.

I appreciate hearing stories of my boys helping and being respectful. I love it more that I don't have to be the one to prompt them.

Camping Trip

Nathaniel wanted to take us on a little family vacation before the boys headed back to school. We went camping at North Landing Camp & Resort in Virginia Beach. We had an amazing time! The beach front property we camped on, fishing, clam bake, digging holes in the sand, sleeping in a row of sleeping bags and talking! You could walk out 100 yards and the water came up to the waist. The river floor was sand, not rocky.

July 26, 2012

Lots going on...

Where to start!! Let's see, {hold on, I have to check my photo file to remember}.

In May, we planted some vegetables. It's been fun and full of learning. Besides just watering, you need to make sure that your plant has adequate space to grow {little did I know}. I had to transplant the largest of our tomato plants. It was touch and go for a day or two! We have little visitors (i.e., squirrels and chipmunks) that enjoy our vegetables... enough to claw at them and do nothing else. I had put out bird food, which they loved!, but when I found several ripe tomatoes torn into... well, you know the saying "Don't bite the hand that feeds you"? Yep! No more food for them. I had to put chicken coop wire around the plants.

The boys went to the Father & Sons camp out. The kids enjoyed the weather blowing bubbles. Grace loves being outside and ate her meals frequently on the deck.

We celebrated Grace's 2nd birthday.

In June, we took the kids to Six Flags with the Johnson family. The boys had a blast going on the roller coasters. Leo had fun on the kiddie rides with Ezra.

Cameo and I took the kids to 2 Smithsonian's in Washington D.C., ... American History and Natural History.

We celebrated Fathers Day!

For my birthday, we met the Johnson family in Baltimore, Maryland. We went to a restaurant that was seen on "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives", Broadway Diner. After, we took the kids to Fort McHenry where the Star Spangled Banner was written. 

We celebrated Leo's 4th birthday.

In July, for the 4th of July celebrations, we took the kids into DC for the parade. We started by taking the Metro. It was fun being at the Nations Capital for the day.

After the parade, we went across the street to the Natural History Smithsonian. Cameo and I did go the week before, but we didn't stay very long. This time, we were there for several hours. We had time to waste before the concert at the Capital started. After the concert, we stayed on the west lawn and watched the fireworks over the Washington Monument.

While Ethan was working on a merit badge, the kids played at the park.

April 27, 2012

Isaac the Meteor

Isaac played a Meteor in his 3rd grade Space Production. He did a fantastic job.

Isaac the Meteor

Waiting for the program to begin:

Short stories

As Ethan sat down next to me after passing the sacrament for the first time, he leaned over and said "that was much more fun than just sitting here".

Isaac received an A for his Thomas Jefferson report. He had to put together a timeline and give a presentation on 7 facts.

As Ethan & Isaac were getting out of the van to go to scouts & mutual Leo yelled out the door "have a good time and play nicely".

Grace had stuck something up her nose. I tried to pull it out with tweezers, which didn't work. I got an appt to take her to the pediatrician. Once there, I plugged the other nostril and blew into her mouth. As I lifted my head, Grace was screaming. The object flew out of her nose and into her mouth. She started choking, so we sat her up. It flew onto the floor... an eraser from a pencil.

Ethan's poem

Ethan's English class had a poetry slam. They were taught about presenting and then were able to practice in front of the parents. I have a video, but it's not working. Hopefully I can get it working soon. Here is Ethan's poem about the Apocalypse.

The day had finally come,
And now we're all going to run.
Trying to survive our last day on earth
When the earth will crash into the sun.
The sun is coming closer.
We only have 5 minutes left.
We are coming closer to our end;
Everyone is doing theft.
We all brace ourselves for the impact
We all start to say goodbye
Then we all start to cry.
The llamas start to run.
The birds try to fly.
The dogs and cats legs are shaking;
But they don't know that today is their last day.
Everyone is running around crying.
I don't know what to do.
We only have 5 minutes left.
My life is almost through.
I can see the sun coming closer;
I feel the warmth on my skin.
It's finally here,
I lower my chin.
-Ethan Cox

Park outing

Grace with daddy

Ethan and Grace

Isaac and Leo

April 24, 2012

Washington, DC

We took the kids to Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms. It's a huge festival that lasts several weeks. Isaac was doing a report on Thomas Jefferson, so we thought it would be great to see the Monument in person. It's always amazing to see history up close.

Cherry Blossoms

Washingon Monument

Thomas Jefferson Monument

Draft found from June 2010

What can I say?! I'm horrible at keeping up with the kids memories... and now it's worse trying to remember them.

As a family, we love to watch 'America's Got Talent' and 'So you think you can Dance'. The boys love trying to imitate the moves of some of the guys dancing, especially the robot.

Ethan is growing by the minute. He's an amazing help with Leo and Grace. If Grace is crying, he'll go and scoop her up.

Isaac is catching up fast to Ethan. I tell Ethan he needs to make sure he's a good brother to Isaac because one day Isaac will be taller. Last week Isaac asked if we were rich or poor. I asked him what he thought. He said rich and then asked if he was right. I told him no. I love that he doesn't feel the effect of all that's happened.

Leo loves Grace, but also isn't sure of her. He doesn't want to touch her, but he will acknowledge her when she cries. He is helpful when I ask him to get me something. He loves jumping on the trampoline.


A couple nights before we left, we decided to have a "special" dinner out with Mary, Reese & their kids and with Christine & Adam.