Thursday, May 29, 2008

Alison's Graduation

She did it! Alison has offically graduated from 3 year old preschool. She had so much fun this year in school. She really enjoyed going to school and getting to paint, cut, paste, play and have "jobs". I can't believe how much she has grown. She will always be my baby, but she is telling me now that she is a big girl. She is so big in fact that I am not allowed to give her kisses any more, unless she requests them!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Friends + Food = Fun!

Memorial Day at Rockaway Beach with all of our friends. Priceless!
The Edson family, McBride family and our family rented out a beach house in Rockaway for the weekend. We had so much fun. Unfortunatly, the typical Oregon weather had returned and it was long pants at the beach. The kids still had a lot of fun. We had so much food, we did not know what to do with ourselves. There is not a lot of pictures from the beach trip because we were all having so much fun talking and playing, we forgot to grab the camaras!
The kids all got along great and let the adults play and talk. Poor Spencer Edson is only 18 months and none of the kids wanted to let him play with them. But the adults gladly helped to keep him entertained. We made it down to the beach each day for at least an hour. Any longer than that and we were frozen! On Monday, we left town via Tiallamook Cheese Factory for a good bye ice cream and squeaky cheese. Mark McBride made all the cars a Rockaway Beach CD to listen to as we drove. It is great! The kids still request it to be played every time we get in the car! It has a lot of fun summer beach songs on it that the kids just don't know how we know the words to them. We are always asked to stop singing.
It was a wonderful weekend that is requested on a frequent basis. Oh if money grew on trees, life with friends and family would be so much easier!

Going to the factory for ice cream!

Susan and Mark McBride and Mark figuring out the bill for lunch.

Alison and Ella being girls!

The troop watching a movie.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Impromptu Family Beach Trip

Jennifer and Mark, so romantic!

The kids playing in the "river".

So the Relief Society Beach Trip was over and it was time to head back home to an un-air conditioned home, 2 hot kids and 1 hot husband. And it was still 95 degrees in Oregon City while the coast had at least dropped a bit. So I called Mark and asked him if he wanted to get the kids swim suits, towel, and sunscreen and come meet me at the beach instead! He said yes and two hours latter we were walking to the beach as a family with the sun shining on us! In the 6 years that we have lived in Oregon, this is the first time that we went to the coast and actually could wear bathing suits and say we were hot!

Some might call it the beach here in Oregon. To me, the beach is in Southern California, Florida and Hawaii. Oregon on the other hand has a coast. Nice sand to play in. Trees to work your way around and admire. Water that is so cold only your toes can stand to touch it, and that is only for about 3 seconds! Wind that is always blowing. Swim suits on the kids followed by sweat shirts and wet suits on everyone else. But for today, we all enjoyed the sand, surf and sun. Okay, so we really did not go in the ocean, we were in the "river" that forms when high tide recedes and leaves this nice shallow water that can actually get to be a somewhat normal temperature. It was so much fun to play and rest at the coast together.

And for an added bonus, there was a kite festival that weekend on the beach! It was so neat to see all of the different kites blowing in the wind! My personal favorite was the circle kite. Amazing!

Alison filling up her treasure bag.

John holding his shovel daring the waves to come and get him.

My personal favorite of the kites!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ladies Beach Trip

The ward had it's second annual Relief Society Beach Trip this weekend. It was a record breaking 95 degrees! Even at the coast! Two of my friends and myself started the trip off with lunch at P.F. Chang's and then enjoyed ourselves on the 2 hour drive to the coast. We stayed at a beautiful home in Rockaway Beach filled with about 25 women, and no air conditioner! It is Oregon, who needs air conditioning, right? It was a lot of fun and so relaxing to be with friends for 24 hours!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The case of the...

Scene: 2 found in Alison's room
1 found in John's room
1 found in hallway
1 found downstairs
Suspects: 3 very potty trained children
2 moms
all wearing underwear and long pants
Admission: no one, but a lot of finger pointing
As for this detective, I am too tired to get to the "bottom" of it. The crime scene is cleaned and the case is closed. I of course have a theory, but for now we will just wait and see if a giant rat ever appears in the house, since none of the humans did it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Fun

It is so fun to have the children get older and want to do things for you. The kids were excited to make me breakfast in bed this morning. Of course they just learned about this concept earlier in the week from no other than myself! One of my motherly duties is to teach my children, especially about service to others. So with the seed planted, it only took me mentioning breakfast and they were all over dad to get out of bed and take them downstairs! Wow it is so nice to have an extra hour of sleep. They proudly carried up their trays that they prepared for me. Each one had to take a turn to tell me everything they chosen for me. It was so sweet and nice. I enjoyed a "love bite" of the cheeseburger so John could eat the rest. They both really wanted the fruit by the foots so those were given away as well. I was allowed to eat one of the doughnuts, the other one was for Ducky. I was also allowed to eat the toast and raisins. It was the nicest breakfast I have ever had.
Happy Campers

John's tray:
cheeseburger plain, no meat; fruit by the foot; fruit loops; smoothie

Alison's tray:

unbuttered toast; raisins; 2 chocolate doughnuts; fruit by the foot

The rest of the day went well. Mark prepared dinner and let me take a nap. As I was getting the kids ready for bed I told John for what felt like the hundredth time to put his pajamas on. You see, that is a true Mother's Day! Anyway, John precede to tell me that this was "the worst Mother's Day party ever! I don't want to celebrate Mother's Day ever again! I just don't get to do anything I want to do!" To which I replied, "I am having a great Mother's Day. This day is all about me the mom. That is why it is called Mother's Day. It is not about you, you are not the mom.". To which he replied, "then when is Son's Day?". I held back a full laughter because he was serious. He was expecting a day of partying, I guess, and it was at 7:30 at night that he realized no breakfast in bed or presents for him, and mom was still going to tell him what to do. I do love my children! They never stop making me laugh.

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day and what a wonderful day it is. I am so thankful for my own mother and all that she has taught me in my life. There are many times in the day when I stop and say to myself, "wow, I just did or said that just like my mom". I am thankful for her example to me in serving others. My mother was always doing something for someone other than herself. I think back to how we always had clean clothes, food to eat and things to play with. Our friends were always welcome in our home. I watched her give service to those who were in need, even when she had 10 children of her own and a husband who was busy with his work and church callings.
I hold a special place in my heart for the women I know that have more children than myself. I often think of my mother as I talk with them and wonder just how she did it all. I try to give of myself to all women in my life that give so much to their families and friends. I pray daily that my Heavenly Father will guide me to know when they could use some help. And then I try to follow whatever prompt I receive to go and do for them. Sometimes it is as simple as bringing over a pizza and salad for dinner. I have learned that it does not have to be homemade to be from the heart.
And so to my own mother I love you. I hope that you had wonderful friends that thought of you when your own children were too little or too much of a teenager to think about you and what you might need in your life. I thank you for your example of being a mom. You made it look so effortless! I thank you for your testimony of our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. I thank you for saying prayers with us and encouraging us to go to church, read our scriptures and say our own prayers. I thank you for the love you so freely gave to me.
At this time I am also thankful for my mother-in-law. I am thankful for the love and care she gave to her own children, specifically Mark. I am thankful for the way she raised him to be kind, honest, dependable and hard working. For the way she "put up" with him at times. I know that he has not always told you how much he loves and appreciates you. But I want you to know that he does. A while ago while dealing with our own son, who is very much a "mini Mark", Mark said to me, "Wow, I really appreciate my mom and what she had to go through raising me". I hope you know how much we both love and appreciate you and your patience.
As for my own motherhood experiences I am always glad to be a mom. I am thankful for the beautiful children that I have. I am thankful for their personalities and ability to make me stand in awe. They have brought me such joy, laughter and love. Yes, there are times that I would like to take a "vacation" from motherhood, but I never want to quit.
My own celebrations started at 4 am this morning when Alison tapped me on the arm and said she wanted to sleep with me. I opened the sheets and pulled her close. It is always such a wonderful feeling to have someone curl up next to you and be so comfortable that they just fall asleep. I stand in awe at the trust and faith they put in me, their mother. I love to lay next to John at night and feel his body relax as I listen to his breathing slow and watch him close his eyes in complete peace and comfort. I am honored that he needs me to lay with him to help him fall asleep. I treasure these cuddle moments that I have with my children. I know that it won't be long before they don't need or want me to cuddle with them. And so for now, I lay down next to a wiggling body and accept the feet in my back as I sleep, because someday, I will miss it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

John Loves Mom

On Friday, May 9th, the Kindergartners had a Mother's Day Tea. All the moms were invited to come to the school and watch the children perform 3 songs. Following the songs the children lead us over to tables where we were able to sit together and have tea and cake. John and I enjoyed pink lemonade and carrot cake. Then the teachers handed out all of the wonderful gifts that the children had created for their moms. John made me a trivet which he painted a butterfly on. He also made the picture of him and I and said I was beautiful. When he got home from school he gave me another gift that he made in Kinder Day. It is a candle holder with a coupon in the card valid for his "help" when I want it. I am so lucky!
The songs the children sang were just beautiful. They sang out strong and clear and were so excited to perform for their moms. It just melted my heart to watch my own child up there singing to me. Wow! I don't think that I ever thought my little baby boy would be a Kindergartner. He is so sweet and loving. He enjoys making things for others. John loves to play with his cars, dinosaurs, race tracks and Transformers. He is really enjoying having a play mate in his sister. He loves his best friend Jake and always wants to play with him.
Earlier in the week while I was cuddling with John at night he sang the songs to me. He has such an excellent voice and memorizes things so quickly. One of the songs that they sang to the mothers was "You Are My Sunshine". When John was a baby I used to rock him and sing this song to him. However, I would sing, "you are my son John, my only son John". He informed me that I was wrong when I would sing it to him because I was singing the wrong words. Oh well. John you are still my "only son John" and "my Sunshine". I love you very much and I am so happy that I get to be your mom.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Alison Loves Mom

Alison just loves going to pre-school! She loves being able to play with friends and make art. For Mother's Day they made a book to give their moms. Alison is so proud of hers. She did a wonderful job and I smile every time I look at it. I love my Alison. You are a sweet little girl. You love to cuddle with mom, watch movies, drink chocolate milk, eat snacks (all day), and play with your friends. You really love your brother, John. You love to play with him and play with his toys when he is at school. You miss him when he is gone to school and are so excited to play with him when he gets home. You are always looking for his approval and following every thing he does. You told me the other day that for your birthday you wanted all the same toys that John got. You are a friendly person and wonderful at sharing. I am so happy that I get to be your mother. I love you so much!