Saturday, November 26, 2011

the honest story of the hot water heater

Once upon a time a boy and a girl needed a new hot water heater. Like really badly. They were taking dirty, rusty, showers and it was ruining the tile in their bathroom. They were boiling water every time their children needed to take a bath to ensure the water was clean and pure of whatever. Aside from being a nuisance, the girl was stressing out because of what the dirty water was doing to her body. The boy was working hard so that one day, soon, they could get a new one.

Then one day after a busy work week the boy said he was going to buy a hot water heater. He looked on line and found the best deals. Then he looked on Craigslist, to find only a better deal. The boy found a hot water heater on Craigslist for $300. The boy told the girl. The girl said, "yeah, but is it legit. Is saving $100 worth dealing with Craigslist and not having any warranty." The girl was then chastised by the boy for "always being so skeptical!" So the girl complied and the boy called on the water heater.

The next day the boy said he got a hold of the seller on Craigslist and that he was going to go check out the water heater. The girl said ok. The boy came home all smiles. The water heater was brand new, never been used, and he knocked off one hundred dollars, paying only $200 for the new appliance. The girl was excited and applauded the boy for his frugality and "steal of a deal!"

The next day the boy and the girl's dad installed the new hot water heater. One of the children of the boy and the girl noticed and exclaimed when she turned on the water in the bathroom, "it's clear!" which again emphasizes the point that they really needed a new one.
Then the flame went out and they had no hot water.
The boy re-lit the flame and it went out again.
The boy got a bit crabby.
The girl didn't say anything out loud but silently thought, "I TOLD YOU SO" as she watched the angry boy storm in and out of the garage.
The boy decided that since he was home and in the working mode that he would also replace the water spouts in the tub in the bathroom because they have been leaking.
He ran to get a part that he needed from the store.
He came home to find that the part didn't fit.
The boy became more crabby and the girl became more patient, out of necessity.
The boy and the girl now have no water, cold nor hot.
The boy has been to all the stores and no-one has the part he needs to replace the spouts.
The next day their is still no water. The boy gets up and takes the children to the grandparents house to bathe and takes himself to yet another store to get the said part.
The girl stays home, sick in bed, with a cold.
The boy comes home and says that no part exists and what stupid idiots designed these things that don't fit together.
The girl makes him bacon and eggs and they share a water bottle.
The boy decides he has to take out the whole wall and replace the whole thing.
The girl gets excited and starts googling tile designs.
The boy makes some phone calls.
The girl goes over to the grandmas (girl's mom's) to get the kids and take a shower.
The boy goes to shop for tile.
The girl reminds the boy that the tile is not her priority. The hot water is the priority.
The boy admits he is not thinking straight. He is too frustrated.
The boy caps the spouts in the tub so that the water for the rest of the house can be turned on.
The girl goes and flushes all the toilets.
The boy calls the seller from Craigslist and tells him that his wife was right.
Ha, did I get you? That's not really what he said.
The boy calls the seller from Craigslist and tells him that the thing doesn't work.
The seller comes to our house, retrieves the hot water heater and gives us our money back.
The boy and the girl smile because of good people.
The boy tells the girl at 9:06pm that he is going to Sears to get the original hot water heater he found on-line.
The girl says, "why now?"
The boy says, "because we can't turn the water on until we have a water heater hooked up."
The boy calls his buddy to join him and they drive off in search of a hot water heater.
The girl sighs and thinks, "I still can't do the dishes, but at least we got our money back!"

Come Back!!

After being here for a week, Jeff's sister Gabe and her family left to drive back to Utah today.

We are totally bummed out!

We had so much fun playing with them!

Adelle loved the baby, Teagan.

Braxton loved playing with Riley.

Emmett loved sitting with Auntie Gabe and being read too.

We all loved having them all here and we hope they come back and visit us again soon!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Emmett's first sentence!

Emmett has not yet been a huge talker. He is super funny and he is a great communicator but as far as talking goes he has never shown much interest..... until now!
All of a sudden he is talking and saying words. He even said his first sentence last night after he was done eating.
He took his bowl and stacked it on top of Jeff's bowl and said with pride, " I DID IT!"

It was really cute. He is a very independent boy and I should have known, " I did it!" would be his first full sentence.

Now we just need to stop calling him the baby. Today Adelle told my sister, "Emmett can't say sorry because he's a baby."

No more excuses M!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Play Take I

You still have a couple days to do this with your kids. It's so fun and so easy!!

Today we did a play with our Preschool friends. It was super easy. Last night, too late, as I was finishing the plans for school today I found hats online and made them in about 10 minutes. I just googled "Thanksgiving Hats" and tons of images came up.

The kids had fun. We will be doing this a few more times with my own kids so more pictures to come.

For the play, if your curious all I did was:
Get a toy boat- This is the Mayflower
Then I explained that the pilgrims came over on a boat called the Mayflower (have the kids wearing the Pilgrim hats walk up to the front with the boat)
When they got to land they were tired (yawn) and hungry (rub their bellies) and cold (shiver).
They didn't know how to look for food.
Then they met the Indians (Indians come to the front, everyone shakes hands and says, "nice to meet you.")
The Indians taught the Pilgrims how to work (pretend to dig, plant seeds, hunt....)
To say Thank you the Pilgrims put on a big feast with all the food they had grown and gathered and everyone had a feast.

That was basically it. Ta Da!

* oh and my Mr. Emmett man totally wanted a hat and I wasn't prepared for him (duh, I should have been) so I stapled a green piece of paper together on the spot and he was a tree. He was happy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Halloween too fun! Worth the backtracking!

We got to go trick-0-treating with these cuties! The neighborhood was great and the company and food was amazing!

Emmett was a Ninja for our pumpkin carving party we went too! Super cute! Jeff came up with his outfit on a whim.

Braxton drew on his own pumpkin this year. Pathetically enough neither Jeff nor I can remember what it was. Funny. Jeff even carved it out and he can't remember. This is embarrassing. We are going with pirate. I think that is what it was.

Emmett was the cutest trick-or-treater this year. Love this little monkey!

Our friends have a pumpkin carving party every year. There are always lots of goodies. Here is Adelle awing over them all while all the other kids were playing.

Here are all the finished pumpkins!

And finally here we are on Halloween. We did a Tarzan theme.
I love doing theme costumes with the whole family and this year didn't disappoint. I got the idea when my sister told me she had a tiger and a monkey costume that I could use. All I could think of was jungle theme, which then led me to Tarzan.
Luckily I have the hook-up with a dear little lady who works at Value Village. I told her my idea and the next thing I knew she was texting me to let me know she found the perfect Jane dress! Thanks Kaylyn. I knew you were my perfect girl for the job! Braxton's gorilla costume also came from Value Village and cost me a mere $7.
Jeff's costume was a wig, some long underwear, and a brown pillow that I haven't yet stuffed and sewn.
Easy Sneezy!
I love Halloween and kids who still like playing along with my costume ideas.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Random Catch Up

We have a computer!!! We called crying to Jeff's mom enough times that she sent up their old computer to hold us over until we are rich and can buy our own. This is such good news. Our old computer was nice while it lasted but when it got attacked it really went down hill and hasn't been functioning well ever since. Making my life....frustrating and difficult! Amazingly enough I use the computer for many things other than blogging so this wasn't just hindering my blog keeping, although that in itself is definitely a hindrance!

That all being said there was a scripture read during Sunday school today that really struck me and has been on my mind ever since.
I will share it.

1 Timothy 6:7-8
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

I thought it was a perfect scripture for Thanksgiving. "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
Yes. I can do that. During the Sunday school lesson I sat and pondered on that. I have so much to be thankful for and although it is inconvenient to not have a working computer, I have so much! Food and raiment, in abundance. I love this time of year and the chance it gives me to remember to give thanks.

My sisters kids stayed the night last week and it was a PARTY in the house! Here are the happy pancake eaters at breakfast.

Here are 4 of the 5 snoozing in Adelle's bed. Emmett was deprived but he didn't know it and I felt better knowing he would still get his much needed good nights rest in his lonely crib by himself.

Here are Emmett and Kate. They are besties and it's so fun. They love each other and drive each other crazy all at the same time. It's funny how apparent their genders are too. Emmett is such a boy; showing off, pushing her buttons, instigating trouble. Kate is such a girl; bossing him around, tattling on him, telling him what to do, laughing at everything he does.... They are the perfect combo.

It didn't take Braxton long after he got home from school to have them all in their "ball clothes!"

Here they are pretending to go to sleep in the dog's bed. I know, gross.

Here they are sharing an after school snack of apples and pears.

In other exciting news Adelle's preschool group took a field trip to Great Harvest Bread. It was a fun adventure and the kids each scored a miniature loaf of fresh baked deliciousness. As you can see Adelle had the pick of the litter this day being the only girl.

Looks like the most eligible bachelor award goes to Benjamin. He is such a sweet boy and he and Adelle are really cute together. I think she likes the quiet, shy type.

Last but not least here is my handsome husband with roses, for me! They were actually left over from Young Women in Excellence but they got sent home with me so I strategically gave them to Jeff and had him romantically walk in with them. After which we had a minor argument ( in between kisses ;)
Him, "but you don't like it when I bring you flowers."
Me, "yes I do."
Him, "you say you can't justify it though."
Me, "I know, I can't. But I still like it."
Him, "so do you want me to bring you flowers?"
Me, "well, no."
Him, "you are so confusing."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Gramy always says....

"You better write that down so you don't forget it!"

The kids are at such fun ages. Braxton is experiencing a whole new world at school. Adelle has mastered being the mini-mom of Emmett. Emmett is too big for his britches but too small to do all the things he really wants to do. Emmett is also so stubborn!

Emmett is a ham. Jeff thinks he is the funniest of our kids so far but I think it's too early to tell. I think they are all funny but Emmett definetly has his own, sly, sense of humor. He rolls his eyes. He is not even 2 and he can already roll his eyes and he does it often. When you talk to him and he doesn't want to listen he totally looks down or over and ignores you. The other night at dinner Jeff was scolding him for goofing off at the table and his bottom lip totally started to quiver. He was frowning and sad and it took everything in us not to laugh. Then Jeff left bad, laughed, and Emmett turned that frown upside down instantly. Almost like it was all an act. He cracks us up!

Adelle dances like a Hawaiian. She works her hips and all and I don't know where she learned it but I do know that she is way too flirty and cute. She loves taking care of Emmett and the two of them play so well together lately. Emmett follows her around just like she used to follow Braxton around (and still does when he is home!) Adelle is becoming a way better eater than she used to be. She is funny. The other day on our way to a field trip we were carpooling with our friends. I was driving and my friend was in the front seat, all the kids were in the back. My friend and I were talking and the kids were all trying to watch Dora on the dvd. Adelle pipes up, "mom, remember you aren't supposed to talk while you are driving!" She was trying to get me to shut up so she could watch her movie but it didn't work. I tell her I can't talk on the phone when I drive, I can still talk to the person next to me!
She loves everyone. At the store today she made conversation with another shopper. She is very polite and fun to be around. She acts way older than any three year old I've ever met. On Sundays at church you can find her in one of many places:
With one of her nursery leaders who she loves
With the primary president who she hangs out with in her spare time
With one of the young women who adore her
With the young men's president who she really likes and calls him by his first name
With her nursery friends
In the bathroom
She is definetly Miss Congeniality.

Braxton I don't have words for lately. He is so smart, and yet sometimes so spacey. I can't figure it out. I will share some recent quotes:

I am laughing out loud as I sit here thinking about some of the things he's said lately.

On Sunday, looking out the window, waiting for my brother and his girlfriend to pull up to dinner:
Braxton, "they're here, they're here, they're here! Oh, nope. Not them. Just the neighbor. Mom, what is our neighbors name again?
Me, "______________."
Braxton, "oh, right. Mom, is she a boy or a girl?"

Oh my gosh? Are you serious. Our neighbor, she, is a girl. We have been to her house,we talk to her frequently. I am not sure where this came from? She does have really short hair and she doesn't wear any makeup, but....really?

On Monday after having Family Home Evening:
Braxton, "Mom, can I put this Temple picture in my room, or did you and dad just like it in the closet?"

Oops! This was embarrassing. It is a picture of the Seattle Temple where Jeff and I got married and we've been meaning to find a good place for it, but we haven't and now we have pictures of the Vancouver Temple up..... I know, excuses, excuses. It was just really funny how Braxton stated his question.

Today walking home from school:
Braxton, "oh and mom, today for the first time ever I played football with the big kids at recess!!!!"
Me, "Wow Brax, that's awesome. Do you know any of their names?"
Braxton, "the big kids? No! Actually, yeah one of their names was Luke."

This last one wasn't funny but it was sweet and exciting and it made me reminisce of times in elementary school playing kick ball (not football, kickball!) I am happy he is loving school so much and excited for all the new experiences he is having!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm actually a parent

Braxton is home from school sick today. It was Jeff's call, not mine. Props to a good dad. The funny thing is that he doesn't act sick, at all. He has a cough. It sounds really nasty. I know it's not normal to have a nasty cough, but, there is no other symptoms. He doesn't even cough much during the day but he hacks at night. I think that whatever it is will be short lived and he will be happily back at school soon. On the other hand, it's been a really great day having him home and I know that even though he cried when I told him he was staying home, he's had a good day at home with us too.

The funny thing about this is that today the school called me to see where Braxton was and for the first time in my 6 years of being a mother, I actually felt like a real, legit, parent when I replied, "yes, I am keeping Braxton home today he has an awful cough."

Is that funny to anyone else? Like it finally hit me that I have the right and the responsibility to excuse my child from school when they are sick. That's like big people stuff right there. Maybe I'm crazy but this was just all really new and funny to me.

The happy part about all of this has been spending a Monday, like old times, me and my kids all at home. Reading books and magazines together. Painting with water colors together. Eating lunch, all together. Playing dress up. Tracing coloring pages. Emmett being a cute little pest. Adelle dancing like a rock star. Braxton annoyed that Emmett is a pest and that Adelle is playing on his bed and throwing his pillow off his bunk (like she does most days when he is at school he just doesn't know it!)

The sun is shining. The floors are swept. The kids are napping with the humidifier. Jeff is working hard and has a booked week (loud cheering!!)
and I am actually a parent!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I know that my Savior loves me

This is the song that we sang together last night at Young Women in Excellence. It's a primary song but we thought it fit perfectly with our program for the girls and their voices singing it were so beautiful.

Needless to say it has been stuck in my head for weeks. I am constantly singing it around the house. There is nothing quite like singing this song and having your children chime in. Braxton learned this song last year in Primary so he sings it with me and it almost always brings me to tears. I love this song! It's so touching.

I don't know the kids in this video. Just found it on youtube.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adelle likes nice boys

So my husband is already starting to keep his eye on our little sweet pea, Adelle. She is too much and I have a feeling this is only the beginning.

First of all she is kind-of crushing on a little boy from Preschool. We carpool with him and she really likes it when she gets to ride in his car and yesterday I overheard her telling him all about her day, her clothes, her brother... to which he never responded but that didn't slow her down one bit. It was funny to listen to from the front seat!

So then this morning we are up at the church setting up for tonight's activity with the youth.
I am in one room setting up tables and chairs. Her and Emmett are back in forth from the room I'm in and the gym. In the gym is Jeff, talking to the Facility Maintenance People who are working on fixing parts of the building.

At one point Adelle comes into the room I am in and exclaims, "Mike is in there. He is a nice boy." So I think Mike is a kid, right. Later, I don't see Adelle so I ask Jeff where she is at. He leads me to her. There she is sitting on the gym floor, next to Mike, a 40 or so year old man, talking his ear off as he is trying to work on fixing the retracting door. Upon our arrival she says, "this is Mike. Mike, this is Andrea. Andrea is my mom."

It was all too much for me. She is so great and so friendly. She seriously is a little 3 year old who acts 25. I can't wait for all she has in store for us.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mrs.Andrea Art Docent

Docent - n. A teacher or lecturer at some universities who is not a regular faculty member. A lecturer or tour guide in a museum or cathedral.

This morning was one of my favorites. I got to teach art to Braxton and all of his little Kindergarten friends in Mrs. Howell's class.

At the beginning of the year the PTO Presidency asked for volunteers to be Art Docent's and teach art to the different classes. Because of budget cuts the art classes had to go. I volunteered, not really knowing what I was in for.

A few weeks later I went to a meeting where I learned about the first artist I was to teach,Piet Mondrian. (Remember, I would attach the link and a ton of pictures, but I can't!)

Since then I have been searching the internet, painting, organizing my thoughts, cutting lines out of construction paper, writing chants to help the kids memorize facts.... all in preparation for the hour class that I taught this morning.

IT WAS SUCH A HIT! I love to teach. I loved being the teacher of Braxton's class. I loved that the kids already knew me since I volunteer on Mondays. I loved that I kept their attention the whole time and most of all I LOVE WHAT THEY CREATED with some glue, lines and finger paints. Beautiful art!

Do you know anything about Mondrian? I did not. Honestly. The first I had even heard of him was a couple months ago when my sister-in-law posted a picture of his work on her blog. In case you are like me and didn't know anything about this artist, here is a song, to the tune of London Bridge, that I used today with the little bugs to remember the facts:

Mondrian used lots of lines.
Lots of lines.
Lots of lines.
Mondrian used lots of lines. In his paintings.

Black and white, red, yellow and blue.
Black, white, red. Yellow, blue.
Black and white, red, yellow and blue.
Abstract paintings!

Main points that I wanted to emphasize included:
Abstract art
Primary colors

I didn't come up with that all on my own. I just found one similar and simplified it a bit.

In the end they recreated Mondrian's famous New York and Red Tree paintings.

I cannot wait to find about about the next artist and get busy!

Randomly through the class I would ask them, "now what is our artists name?" and I they in uni-sense would respond, "PEIT MONDRIAN." Pronounced Peet Maun dree aun. While clapping their hands with each syllable.

Special thanks to my sister for taking good care of Adelle and M while I play with the Kindergartners on Monday mornings!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

now close your eyes, I am going to draw you a picture.

My computer still doesn't want to upload my pictures onto blogger so....bear with me!

Are your eyes closed? Ha, I just realized that won't really work because you have to have your eyes open to read. Fine. Just imagine then.

500 students sitting on the floor in a crowded gym. Teachers holding peace signs above their heads encouraging the noise to stop.

High school cheer leaders jumping up and down and young students watching, jaws dropped.

A platform on the stage with three tiers. First place, second place, third place on each side.

Parents and siblings secretly there to join in the celebration of their children, soon to be recognized.

An announcer on the stage in a deep voice bellows, "First for the Kindergartners. In first place running a total of 39 laps ....... in second place running a total of 38 laps BRAXTON ASHMORE! third place...."

Braxton looks up, caught off guard, and looks at his teacher to motion him up onto the stage where he stands proudly as he receives his medal. His face is serious. His arms are folded at his chest. He smiles when he sees me down below with the camera but only for a split second. He has an image to uphold apparently.

Ok. I'm done. Did you get the picture. He was very cute up there to say the least. It was a special day and Jeff and I were quite proud of our little runner. Second place for all the Kinders in his first ever jog-a-thon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Donkey in the Well

Life is crazy. My computer is back, sort of, after being super attacked by some virus. I have a lot of catching up to do but I am not able to upload any pictures. So, instead, I will post this inspiring story. I'm sure we can all relate.

One day a farmer´s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn´t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone´s amazement, he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer´s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off.

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well, is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step upward!

I know life is challenging. I know for the last week or two I have felt like I was stuck at the bottom of some pit and all the neighbors were shoveling dirt on me. Then on Sunday I let the guards down and I let myself be taught by the Spirit during Sacrament meeting, which carried on to Sunday school, and so on. These words from a loving Prophet continue to strengthen me, “Now, remember, it is better to look up.” -Thomas S. Monson.