Monday, January 28, 2013

Oh, January

Oh, January.  You are my least favorite month of the entire year.  After such a busy, fun and magical month that precedes you in December, you are such a let down.  You come in with your coldness (unusually cold here this year- 20 degree weather is cold for Seattle), and boringness- there is nothing to look forward to.  Spring and Summer seem years away and your cold, rain and fog are zero fun without the festivities of Christmas to help distract. There are no fun events in your month, or in any month soon to follow.  I would think I would be glad for a low key month after the craziness that is December, but you are too long, sullen and dreary for me.  And unfortunately, I feel the same about your brother February. 

Bah-humbug, right?  I've always felt that way about January.  Fortunately, we've made the best of a long month.  Mitch's new thing is to ask me everyday, "Mom, what are we going to do that's fun today?"  My answer is usually "Be together as a family."  We've done lots of that this month and loved it.

Here is the every day doings of our (long) month of January.

Chloe loves playing school and recently has found 2 new willing students.  I often hear her excitedly shouting, "Blue!  Say Blue!"  "L- say L!  E- say E!  A- say A!  H- say H!  Leah!"  The twins will pretty much do whatever she asks.

It's pretty cute.

We've had lots of yucky fog this month.  After a week straight of thick, dense fog, I decided I'd rather have rain (that's saying a lot for me).  It made the days even darker than rain and dangerous to drive in.  I carpooled home from a meeting with some friends one night during the fog and we could hardly see a thing.

Our mailbox at the new house is down the street.  It's not really that far away, but much, much farther away than at our old house.  Far away enough that I don't like getting the mail anymore and will ask the kids to go to get it instead.  They love their new job.  I Spy Mitch in this foggy picture, on his way back from getting the mail- can you?

Chloe was just behind him with the twins.  I was able to stand on our back deck and take these photos. 

Later that evening, the kids helped Ben plant some fruit trees we received as a gift from his boss at work.  One is plums and the other is assorted apples.  In 2-3 years, we will be enjoying some delicious fruit right in our own front yard!

The kids were thrilled to help, but during down times would jump on bikes and toys and ride around in the dark.

Neither of our 2 neighbors has small kids at home- I'm sure they must LOVE us and our loud, crazy ways.

My sweet boy Mitch.  When did he get so old looking?

Ben's back has been acting up again, but he was a trooper and, amidst the pain of all the bending over, squatting and shoveling, he still got those trees planted.

Chloe and Mitch took their job of watering the trees very, very seriously.

While Chloe is at school, the little girls will often get into her stuff.  Leah found Chloe's dark pink lip gloss one day and painted her lips up nice and pretty.  Apparently she was going for the "full lips" look.

On Mitch's days off from school, these 3 become best pals.  Their favorite thing to do is watch movies together.  They are a cute trio when they are playing nicely together.

In the middle of the month, I took the twins to get their hair cut.  It has been almost a full year since they last got it cut.  They were both in great need.

Lexi sat perfectly still.

Leah needed one the most.  Her long, wispy hair was not so stylish anymore.  As scraggly as it was getting, I was still a little sad to see it get cut off.  These are no babies I have anymore.

She did a great job at sitting still too.

I was bummed when I looked back through my pictures and found that I didn't get any after shots!

The next Sunday, I curled their hair for church.  Lexi was so excited about it.  Leah, if you can tell from her face, was not very excited.  She forced this smile for me and then said, "I do NOT want my hair like this!"

I thought it was adorable.

Oh, my sweet Lexi girl.  Sometimes I think I could have 12 more just like her.

The man of our house got a robe for Christmas.  He feels pretty darn cool in this thing.  (Does anyone else think Hugh Hefner?  No, just me?) 

I was in charge of finding volunteers this month for a blood drive at church.  The volunteers needed to run the nursery and hand out snacks to those who gave blood.  We were short on volunteers, so I took a shift in the nursery.  I had the twins and Mitch with me and they were all troopers for coming with me and spending 2 hours in a small room with just coloring books.  (And sharing an iPad 3 ways).

Ben got our Wii hooked up in the basement one Saturday morning and became the most popular person in the state.

The kids have had a blast playing on it together.

One of Mitch's favorite things to do is make himself sandwiches.  And he takes great care and time to make a good one.  If we have all of the supplies, his Super Sandwich includes lunch meat, cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomatoes.  Minus cutting the tomatoes, he can make the entire sandwich by himself.  And his favorite part is eating the whole thing!

On MLK Jr. Day, with no school, we celebrated and opened our first jar of canned peaches from this summer.  I was hesitant to open one because I don't want to see them disappear- we put in lots of hard work and long hours!  But they were delicious, and they are meant to be eaten.

One Sunday after church, we went to a friend's house for games and treats.  As we were leaving to go home, one of our friends' little girls showed us her fun trick of getting up on a ledge above their doorway.  Mitch was super jealous of this and kept begging to get up with her.  We consented.  He loved it.

He was very nervous getting down.

Brynn's way of getting down looked much more fun (and scary)- she jumped right off into her dad's arms.  Too bad our dad has a bad back, and a mom that doesn't like watching scary things involving her kids. :)

Chloe recently started Activity Days at church (now that she is 8 years old) and last week was their Recognition Night.  Each girl was asked to do a report on an ancestor.  Chloe chose my maternal grandma, her great-grandma, Amanda Grace Taylor.  She joined the church when my mom was just a few years old.  She lived in the South where the church was very small and where her family as not supportive of her.  They thought Mormon's were very bad people.  But my grandma showed faith and courage by staying strong in the gospel and never wavering.  She is such a great example to me and my family.  She was the first member of the church on my mom's side and we are so grateful for her choice to be baptized.  It has been such a blessing for all of her posterity.

Chloe in front of the display table- she brought pictures of my grandma and also the pink blanket she crocheted for Chloe when she was born.

Chloe did such a great job reading her report on such a wonderful lady.  We love you Grandma!

The brownies and ice cream at the end were pretty great too.  She belongs to a great group with some truly fantastic girls.

When Mitch is at school, it is just the twins at home with me.  We watched some friends the other day and the twins were perfect little hostesses.  They immediately took the friends on a tour of the house.  I heard Leah say, as she dragged one of them upstairs, "This is my room, and this is Mitchell's room, OK?"

It was fun to see them interact and play so sweetly with their friends.  They loved showing them where all the kid board games were.

They must have gotten into 15 of them.  Most of them they didn't even know how to play, but making up your own rules is more fun anyway.

This past Saturday was Chloe's first basketball game.  We recently signed her up for her first year of basketball through a program in Auburn called "The Upwards Program."  It came highly recommended from many friends and I have been extremely pleased so far.  It is very well organized and the coaches are fantastic.  The skills the girls are learning are top notch.  They have been practicing for a few weeks.

Before the game started, they had the teams line up and the cheerleaders formed a line and they announced all the players' names and numbers as they ran out onto the court.  Very cool.

Both teams, coaches and refs met in the middle of the court and said a pre-game prayer.  (The program is run through a local church).

Leah was pretty cranky the whole game.  We never really could figure out why.

The game is split into 6 quarters.  Half the girls play each quarter.  Chloe sat out the first quarter, then played in quarters 2, 4 and 6.

The first half of the game was a learning time- learning how to play real defense and offense in a faster paced style than practice. 

She didn't even touch the ball during offense for the entire first half of the game.  At half time, Ben and I pulled her aside and told her how to get open and how to call for the ball.

It worked!  She got the ball and shot it several times in the second half.  None of them went in the basket, but we were very proud of her for being more assertive.

She was the official "out-of-bounds passer" the entire game.

It was a great first effort and we are excited to see her learn more and improve throughout the rest of the season!

Ok, January- just 4 more days of you!


Amanda said...

I love the babies hair! Even though Leah didn't like it. And who wouldn't have 12 of Lexi? I certainly would Although I have seen her scream....:) That Mitchell is a great motivator in our house. I tell Carter that Mitchell does ___ and ___ and then Carter magically wants to do it. Will you post pictures of Mitchell doing everything Carter doesn't want to do? Let's start with soaping yourself in the shower:))

Amanda said...

And tell Chloe that when we come up there she may have 1 or 2 more kids who will follow her every command!

The Blakeslee Family said...

Great post! I got caught up on everyone. I, too love Leah and Lexi's hair. Did you notice I didn't call them babies or twins? I'm trying to get over that.
Chloe's basketball looks much better than Saturday basketball (or Jungle Ball as we used to call it). Can't wait to see all of you!