The Seven Year Plan: Step 1

And she is a Pro....almost!
Ava is really enjoying skiing this year. She definitely is a little more brave for a ski instructor than her dad, but she is doing good. I love when she comes home and has this big 'so proud of herself' smile on her face.  I love the confidence and self esteem that comes from trying and learning new things. She can be so hard on herself and so sensitive to what others say or do to her . She can act like any 5 year old having a grumpy episode, but then almost has a hard time letting go and forgiving herself. I think learning to ski will teach her a lot, like respect and control of her body, how to do hard things, how to keep trying and not give up, and how to appreciate nature. And I hope it empowers hers to know that she can do anything if she just keeps trying.

Here she is on the Magic Carpet at Snowbird.
 And some video of her Cutting It Up!

That's my Girl

Oh and she has become quite the little artist. Sometimes she just gets in the zone and you can see the wheels turning in her head as she feverishly works away at a project.  I don't know why I am always so surprised and what she creates.  She is talented and has a wonderful imagination.

This is crazy town. 
 She created a little town, with a store and hopscotch and playground. The features are pop up and the little girls are removable so you can put them by the monkey bars or on the park bench. She created the rainbow path from confetti she brought home from a play we went to the other night. She told me immediately that I couldn't through it away because she had plans for it.

She told me all about how in crazy town they eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. She said they wear pajamas all day and put their clothes on for night time. She just kept rattling off all the "crazy" stuff that the people in crazy town did and it was an elaborate story that took a lot of thought. And all this creativity took place in just the hour or so before church. I wish I had her imagination and ability to be creative. I also wish I could keep all her art work forever!
Love that girl!


Mommy Dates

Over the last few weeks I have been so blessed to go on two dates with my Ava Anne.
She has been a little down lately and (like her mother) a little hard on herself. Sometimes I feel like she is a old soul. She is so tender, sensitive and loving, but these traits sometimes work to her detriment because she feels things deeply. Since having Talmage I have noticed that she feels a little put off. She often states that she feels less important or ignored. While I do think she is over dramatizing it a bit, I realize that sometime she is right. She often has to wait while I tend to Claire and Talmage who are smaller and can't do for themselves. I had been feeling like she really needed some 1:1 time so we planned a few dates. (Which when I explained to her what a date was I made sure to say that it often included hand holding and lots of talking so that I could reap the benefit of those two things).

Our first date was to a movie she had been asking to see called Oz. It is a movie that tells how the Wizard of Oz came to be. The night started rough at home with an overly emotional and whiny 5 year old, but once we finally regrouped and left for the show; all was well. We stopped at the gas station for some treat and then headed to the theater. After the show we talked as we rode home and she related her favorite parts and relaxed sleeply in the back. I loved every minute of it.

Our second date night had been in plan for a month.  I had bought tickets to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Hale Center Theater. I planned this along with 5 other moms. We decided to do a mom and daughters date night with our girls. We started out by grabbing a bite to eat at the Pizza Factory. On a side note, I tried the carb free noodles with my pasta (which was zucchini and spinach cut up like pasta) and it was very good. We then grabbed some treats at the gas station and headed to the Theater. We let the girls all sit together in the row in front of us and we all sat behind. They did so good. They were not too wiggly, giggly or loud except when it was appropriate and you could tell they each felt so grown up. They are such a cute bunch of girls.

The show was fantastic.  It was funny and held the girls attention really well. The songs were fun and Ava was in heaven watching the kids in the show that danced and sing on stage (her current greatest desire). We were even more excited because one of my cousins, Brooklyn Pulver was the play (she might really be a 2nd cousin but I always have thought of her more like a 1st cousin because we are the same age). She was in the traveling Broadway play of Hairspray as Tracy Turnblad and has a fabulous voice. Plus she is a great actress to boot. She played the "not so nice" part of the Baroness and did a wonderful job. Ava was so excited to tell the girls we were related to her. Afterwards we got some pictures with the cast. My cousin's husband was also in the cast as the Child Catcher. The girls were a little more hesitant to greet him after. His make up didn't help either.

 Here are the main Characters. Ava loved the female lead who played Truly Scrumptious. She especially liked when Truly Scrumptious pretended to be a life-sized wind up ballet doll. I must say her isolation dance skills were pretty impressive. The girls kept asking if it was a real person or really a doll.

We had so much fun we decided we should do a moms and daughters GNO every few months. Here is the whole group, mom and all!

I must say that my date was pretty darn cute! I loved my Ava time and I plan to continue dating her.
I hope these dates will yield lots of great conversations and build a wonderful relationship with her. I love the relationship I have with my own mother and have always desired to have the same kind of open, loving, accepting secret telling kind of relationship with my own children. I hope we continue to know each other and growing together.


Easter FHE

The real meaning of Easter.
 I wanted to make sure that we talked about the real reason why we celebrate Easter. I found this could idea on Pinterest called Resurrection Eggs for Toddlers. I wanted to keep it simple so that Claire could hold her attention. I numbered six plastic Easter eggs. In each I put something to symbolize a part of the Easter story. We read the associated scriptures as the girls opened the egg.
1- A piece of bread (which Claire promptly ate), to symbolize the last supper and sacrament Jesus had with his apostles.
2- A picture of a cross that I had drawn to symbolize his death upon the Cross.
3- A piece of white fabric to symbolize that they wrapped his body after he had died.
4- A rock to symbolize the heavy stone which was rolled to close the opening to the tomb.
5- A empty egg to symbolize that after the 3 days his tomb was found empty because he had risen.
6- Some lifesavers (a treat) to symbolize the treat or gift of the resurrection that Christ had given us.

We looked at pictures of each thing and then quizzed the girls to see if they remembered what the symbols stood for. Ava was great and even bore her testimony of Christ. I love seeing the look on their faces as they learn things. It was a great Easter FHE with the small ones. Now I am just going to sit and bask in the afterglow of the spirit that comes to our home after FHE.


Small Bump

I love this song!
Small Bump by Ed Sheeran

It makes me think about Talmage, Claire and Ava and how I watched my stomach grown and tried to picture each one of them developing inside of me. Just feeling the life inside me brought me such joy and I kept thinking past their births to all the little and big moments we would share in the future.
They were just a small bumps, but they have brought such big joy to our lives!

*side note-I know the last verse has to do with a miscarriage which I have been fortunate enough not to have experienced so far in my life. I have had many family and friends that have and I can't imagine how hard it is to go through. Even though my heart hurts as I listen to the last part, I love the song and message and can't stop hitting the repeat button.

This song brings these images to my mind.
Oh, how I love these little bumps!


I Love Him

My Boy, I Love Him!
The End.

The Art Of The Brick

Last weekend we had a family date night.
Our family went on a date with another family.
We went with the Matt and Crishelle and their cute daughter Alyse up to spend the evening in Park City. First we went to the Kimball Art Museum to see The Art Of The Brick exhibit by Nathan Sawaya. It was life sized art made completely from Legos. Tyson was in heaven and the girls were super impressed. In the newspaper article it said that he asked his parents for a dog and they said no, so he built a life sized one from Legos and that is where his passion started. I like the idea of a Lego pet. Here are some great pictures of some of his pieces.

 This was Ava's favorite. She is our little artist.

 This was one of Tyson's favorites because it combine skateboarding and Lego's.

This was my favorite.{SMOOCH}

Bucket List: See Mt. Rushmore- {check}

 This was one of the coolest. I can't believe you can create such detail in a flat image.
 In the background you can see his self portrait in Legos.

The girls weren't sold on the Lego cat as a pet idea (Darn).

Here are some more great pieces. His self portrait, the city scape, a castle and a creepy peeper.
Ava found the money one real quick. Already going for the Benjamins!
We ended the night with dinner at the Wasatch Brew Pub.  Good food and good company. However next time we should rethink a brew pub when it is the night before St. Patrick's Day.

*Side Note- One funny event of the evening was when Tyson parked the stroller in the lobby area where everyone was parking their strollers.  When he came back to where the group was standing, I asked him "Where is the baby?" He looked at me and said, "I don't know. Don't you have him." I shook my head and Tyson took off quickly and headed back to the stroller.  He had parked the baby with the stroller. We were all giggling. The baby never noticed. He wasn't crying or even making a peep.  He is such a happy and content little guy. Tyson had seen me take the blanket off him and thought I had grabbed him too. It was so funny! We still giggle when we think about it.


St. Patrick's Day

Last Sunday we were all Green!
Green for St. Patrick's Day that is...okay and we just wore green.

St. Patrick's Day hasn't been a big holiday to us traditionally since we are both of Welch decent and honestly not aware of any Irish in our blood. We also don't drink so that means we don't get into that part of the holiday. So we have thought of ways of making it a fun family holiday. Last year I found a great kids book called The Leprechaun Trap. It is all about how a leprechaun comes to visit a family for awhile before St. Patrick's Day.  He is full of mischief and every night he makes some sort of mess/trouble for the family. Each night the kids set a Leprechaun Trap to try and keep him from making mischief and because they know that if they can catch him, they will get his pot of gold. 

The next day after we read the book our own leprechaun named Shamus Reilly. No he comes back to cause mischief for us each year for the week before St. Patrick's Day. He causes the same kind of mischief like spilling boxes of Crayons and dumping out folded baskets of clean laundry on the floor. Ava really gets into the idea of trapping him and came up with some good ones like putting him in the refrigerator and then stacking all sorts of stuff in front (I wish I would have gotten a picture of it...still getting use to this blogging thing). When Shamus got out this is what he did. 

We also found him like this one morning.

The girls love it so much and Ava is getting super clever. On the night before St. Patrick's Day we went out to dinner with some friends (see next post about our fun time). The girls fell asleep in the car on the way home and when Tyson went to put Ava to bed he found Shamus tucked into her pillow case.  I guess she figured she would catch him escaping. We didn't know where he had disappeared to so... Whew! good thing dad noticed a lump...if you know what I mean (wink wink). He was gone for good on St. Patrick's Day morning and I guess we won't see him until next year.

Ava was disappointed she didn't get his "real" gold but the girls have fun finding golden chocolate coins around the house and they each found a little pot with some chocolate coins as well.

We started our morning out right with chocolate and some Lucky Charms before church (okay Claire had Reese's Puffs because she couldn't understand why we were having Lucky Charms). We made sure to incorporate some green in our outfits to avoid any pinching. When we got home the girls played beauty parlor while we made dinner and I let Ava paint Claire's finger nails and toe nails. Claire was so cute showing them off and Ava was so proud of herself.  She is growing up too quick!

 We have decided that each year we will do something different for dinner, either Irish themed or green. This year we had corned beef. I could hardly believe when Tyson suggested it because he vowed he would never eat it again after an overload of it on his mission.  I guess 16 years is long enough to wait (wow...16 years...he is old...j/k). We had red potatoes, carrots, rolls and a store bought rainbow Jello thing (not nearly as good as home made). Oh and to wash it down we had Apple Beer...yum.  It was good and Ava loved the corned beef.

Claire dazzled us with some dinner entertainment.

She learned the song in her nursery class and has been singing it for weeks.  We love to hear it and request shows over and over again.
Overall St. Patrick's Day was fun even though we aren't Irish or Catholic.


Face Juggle

Ava has been sick this week and we are going stir crazy being home all day. 
I finally added a few new apps to my phone that could offer some new 
entertainment for us.  One is an app I saw a friend had used call face juggler.
We had so much fun swapping faces on pictures of us.
Claire was a little wierded out by it at first and kept saying to put her face back,
but after awhile she found it funny and we all giggled. 
It worked especially well on pictures of baby Talmage and baby Reese
because their face and heads are the same size.
Here are a few of the pictures along with originals.
(P.S. When I showed my mom, she couldn't sometimes tell things had been changed...Oh Renae!)