Thursday, September 29, 2011

No boredom here.

When school is out for the day and the boys are getting restless, it’s still to hot to play outside, they need something to do.

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That's when a Drive-Thru Theatre makes it’s way into our living room. The boys helped cut, color, and decorate their own cars. Simon had added windshield wipers to his but the pipe cleaner wipers fell off before the movie.
I have so many memories as a kid playing in big cardboard boxes and making them into houses, cars, rocket ships, etc. Once the boys were satisfied with their cars we “parked” them in the living room and watched their new Thomas the Train movie “The Day of the Diesels.” Then they “drove” their cars around (we cut out the bottoms so they could move them around) until they fell apart.

Simon has some new interests these days. I am so happy he is moving outside the world of trains. I love trains too but the world is full of so much cool stuff I am really happy he is discovering new things!

He really likes volcanoes, and other stuff that has to do with dirt, the earth, science, space etc.  I just ordered a volcano book for him through his school and he asks me everyday how long until his new book gets here.
Here’s another afternoon activity. Volcano painting!
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All you need is a cookie sheet, baking soda (about 1/2 cup), vinegar and food coloring.
Spread the baking soda onto the cookie sheet. Put about 1/4 cup of vinegar in 3 cups or bowls. Add a drop of food coloring to each bowl. Find different ways to drop the vinegar onto the baking soda. We used straws and small spoons but droppers would be fantastic for this project.
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And for an even bigger impact, we made a volcano!! KABOOM!
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Simon loved it so much he keeps asking if we can do it again! He’s a budding scientist! I can’t wait to try new science projects with him.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jeremiah and the big 3-0

Jeremiah is officially 3 decades old!

If you need a reminder, Jeremiah’s birthday falls on September 11th. This year his 30th birthday was also the 10 year anniversary of the Twin Towers tragedy in New York City.
Since his b-day fell on a Sunday this year, we decided to celebrate the day before which happened to be 9-10-11.

This is what me and the boys gave to him for his birthday. We had these pictures framed for him. (I got to test out my new tripod!)
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We really really REALLY love Jeremiah! He is the best dad and the best husband! He is a hard worker and after working his tail off at Farnsworth Wholesale Company, he comes home and tucks the boys in bed and always finds ways to make us all smile, even when I’m stressed out.

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Isn't he handsome?

I had been anticipating the big 3-0 for some time now but I didn’t know what we would be able to do to celebrate. Since I am nursing Mason I usually don’t leave him with babysitters and when I do he has break-downs. So the closer Jeremiah’s birthday got the more I worried about not being able to do anything fun.  Jeremiah earned some extra $ at Farnsworth and was able to buy his ultimate birthday gift: a new AR-15! He wanted to take it out shooting for his birthday, and I wanted to go too, but we decided that since Jeremiah needed more bullets, and we didn't want to leave Mason for that long that we would postpone our plinking outing until another day.

What did we do instead?
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I took him to the most manly place: As You Wish. We painted pottery. haha.
Jeremiah painted a “Plinking Pennies” jar, so he can get donations for bullets for his new gun. He painted it to look like a grenade! It’s so clever, and manly.
And I made a yellow plate with black swirls that says “The Halls”. My last platter shows the family in stick figures and Mason isn’t included so it was time for a new one. I’ll have to take some pictures of our projects.

Ok, it’s not shooting up loaded soda cans but we had a lot of fun. The best part is that we get to sit and talk. That doesn’t happened very often when there are 3 kids around.
Later that night we had a bunch of Jeremiah’s family over for dinner and a big ol’ chocolate Costco cake with 30 candles.

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On Sunday, the actual day of his B-day, we headed to Thatcher for Ellery’s baby blessing. I was so grateful that Jeremiah was willing to spend his day on the road so we could make it to the special occasion.

I had forgotten that it was Sept. 11th until we got to Globe.

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As we drove through downtown Globe we saw this. We pulled over to take a picture because it was stunning! The flag was huge! It was a beautiful, patriotic sight to see!

I had planned a nostalgic picnic at the “duck ponds” in Safford. A place where we used to go when we were dating in college.

I packed our picnic lunch but rushed out the door without snacks for the trip to Safford and the kids were starving. We had to stop halfway there so I could feed Mason and we ate our sandwich rolls and grapes. Then when we got to Safford we hit the Burger King drive through and got burgers and 2 large drinks, one drink for the grown ups and one for the kids.

When we arrived at the fair grounds we grabbed all our stuff and Jeremiah asked Simon to hold the boy’s lemonade. As he was walking down the stairs he tripped and fell down, twisting his ankle and spilling the entire large cup of lemonade. (Did I mention that Ryan LOVES lemonade and he had been waiting so patiently so he could drink it?)

Simon was crying, I had my hands full with a stroller, picnic bag, the other drink, and baby. As the lemonade splashed onto the sidewalk and dripped into the grass I almost joined Simon in a good cry.
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The boys didn’t enjoy the rest of our picnic. Their little hearts were broken at the loss of their precious lemonade.

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Then there was the ants. Giant ants EVERYWHERE. Simon was scared of them because someone had told him that they are like fire ants and their bites hurt so bad they make you cry. I’m pretty sure these ants don’t bite but we didn’t give them a chance to try. We did have a nice walk around the park, watching for ants and blowing in the wind. Yes, there was wind too.

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At least Mason had a pretty good time.

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Things got better when the boys got to cross a bridge and play around in the gazebo. They made friends with another little boy playing there and they finally all had smiles on their faces.

Then Mason started to get cranky because of the wind and it was time to get dressed and go find Heidi and Austin’s church.

The baby blessing was beautiful. And Ellery was absolutely adorable in a crocheted dress that Heidi wore when she was blessed as a baby, and a hair bow that Heidi made for her sweet little girl. I wish I had pictures. Ellery is such a doll! I wish Heidi lived close by so I could see her and and Ellery all the time.  I just can't get enough of that baby!

On the way home from Thatcher we stopped about 5 times for nursing, potty breaks, and dinner. Once again our “quick trip” home ended up taking almost twice as long as normal.

I think Jeremiah had a birthday to remember.

Happy Birthday to the best husband and daddy to our sweet kids! We love you so much!

More fun at the 40

The day after Ryan’s Birthday we hopped in our car and drove up to RV for Labor Day weekend. I didn’t get many pics from our trip but trust me, we had a great time. We taught the boys how to play the ABC game in the car, and we played some of our other favorites like I Spy (Ryan’s favorite car game).

We had to stop a few times on the way because Ryan has a small bladder. Our normal 3.5 hour drive now takes us no less than 4 hours. And on the way back it was more like 5 hours.

Anyways, we arrived in RV Saturday afternoon and we soaked up the unbelievable weather. We had been dealing with 110+ degree weather for the two weeks that led up to the weekend.  The lovely 75ish degree weather was AMAZING! Then we packed up a picnic and some other supplies and headed out to “The 40”. (40 acres of land outside of Saint Johns.)

The kids found the best place to play: The Dirt!

They dug and dug and dug, and built a dirt slide down the side of a hill for their cars, and for them.

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They had dirt from the tops of their heads to their toes. And they had the time of their lives.

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The sky was beautiful too.

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Jeremiah and Karissa helped set up the new fancy grill. We cooked hamburgers and pigged out. And we all got eaten alive by mosquitoes. Jeremiah had about 20 bites on his legs. I told him it was because he is so sweet.

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Mason loves being outside and he enjoyed most of the time out at the 40. Just as the sun started to go down he had a complete melt-down and no one, not even me, could get him to stop crying.

We finally had to grab our dirty little boys and hit the road. Once we got back to the highway Mason calmed down and fell asleep. I think all the crying was caused by him being over stimulated, over tired, and in a new place. I was just relieved that he finally calmed down.

The next day we spent some time at the Udall house and picked green apples in the rain. I got to climb the apple tree in my parents yard, just like old times, only now I am so much bigger, and weaker, and chubbier. haha.

Jeremiah and I took advantage of our available babysitters and left Simon and Ryan with Grandma Udall and Uncle Jason while we went to TrailRiders and had the yummiest deep fried tacos ever! mmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Then we picked up the kiddos and headed back out to the 40 acres to take Jeremiah’s family some water. Jeremiah took the two older boys out to look for cool rocks and he took them for rides on the quads. Me and Mason stayed back at the cars and tried to stay out of the wind. Once again we had to cut our time short because Mason hated the wind and we had to stay inside our car instead of enjoying the lovely outdoors.

As always, the weekend away was much to short. I’m starting to understand a little bit why Jeremiah wants to move up there so badly. There is family, cool summers, a slower life, and you can see the stars at night.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

YIPPEE! Ryan’s 3!

Can it be? 3 years since this little boy joined our family?

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After only 3 short years I feel like he has been part of this family, and a part of me, forever.

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Ryan’s birthday is September 2nd and falls in the midst of Labor Day weekend celebrations. The last 2 years we made plans to spend the long weekend in the White Mountains. I convinced Jeremiah that we needed spend all of Friday (Ryan’s birthday) in Mesa so we could celebrate.

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We opened presents in the morning before Simon went to school He got “Moon Dough” and new paints and markers.

Then we juggled naps and fun. Me, Mason and Ryan went to the Arizona Museum for Youth (AMY for short). It was just perfect for a 3 year old! They had all kinds of hands-on fun activities for little people. Including an exhibit all about Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts.

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Of course Ryan doesn’t know anything about Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Schroeder or the rest of the gang but I have a soft spot for Peanuts characters since I worked for a MetLife Insurance company.

They also had tons of art projects and a whole wing of the museum was dedicated to little kids, 4 and under. Ryan played with play food, making me all sorts of yummy concoctions, and his favorite part was building with these gigantic puffy blocks.

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He would build them up as high as he could reach then crash into them and knock them over! It was so much fun he got the other kids doing it too. 

We didn’t get to stay nearly long enough. Before we knew it, it was lunch time and time to pick up Simon from school.

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Ryan didn’t take this news well. I had to drag him away from his blocks and he cried. Yes, I made my son cry on his birthday and it broke my heart.

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But once we were in the car and on our way to get his free Krispy Kreme doughnut he was just fine. I bought a few extra to share with our visitors (Grandma and Papa Hall) and we picked up a hamburger kids meal for Ryan, per his special birthday request.

Then we picked up big brother from Kindergarten and Ryan took a much needed siesta.

After Ryan woke up I took the boys to Toys R Us so Ryan could pick out a Thomas train. This was the only thing he wanted for his birthday.

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and he enjoyed a pretend ride in Lightning McQueen.

That night we had an impromptu birthday party. We had Grandma and Papa, Karissa, Cabrena, and Talyn, Ezra and Allison (Dana’s kids). And Ry got some great gifts, like a new wooden Thomas train track set, a giant coloring book, and an Iron Man car.

We ate yummy train cake and ice cream.

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Ryan picked out all of the candy for his cake. Oreos, bottle caps, and “sweetest fish”.

Then we all went to bed to get ready for our next adventure, Labor Day in the mountains.


We love our sweet little Ryan. He is so smart, funny, and he is very emotionally sensitive. He can always sense when someone is feeling upset or if they need a hug. He is a wonderful brother to Simon and he loves giving both of his brothers hugs and kisses. I really don’t know what I would do without this amazing little boy. He keeps our house lively and fun!

Si and Ry

Si and Ry