Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ahh, the rewards of accomplishing a goal!

Well, my kids began the public library's summer reading program the beginning of June. The goal was to read 30 hours in order to get a one day pass to the local water park plus a few other little incentives along the way. But the great motivator was the water park. Fitting in the reward was a bit tricky between dentist appointments, planning a last minute trip to California, and starting my baby sitting job, today was the only day to enjoy the fruits of their dedication. And did they have fun!!!! We spent nearly the whole day there. I must say I was proud of my kids for accomplishing their goal, of course the younger two had to have mom's help especially Austin, as Ariana can read easy readers. But reaching a goal, is reaching a goal whether you do it it a lone or with help. I believe getting in the habit while young will greatly enhance one's life. As a missionary I saw how effective goal setting can be. And boy, is it awesome when you accomplish your goal!

The slides were a big hit!

Lounging in the wave pool

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Braving a trip alone

So I decided with Keith's crazy schedule, if I wanted to go places and visit family I would have to go without him. This was stepping out of my comfort zone a bit to drive to Las Vegas alone with my four kids. I did it and survived! We stayed with my grandparents. So not as to overwhelm them with the joys of 4 children we visited the Lied Children's Discovery Center and the Museum of Natural History and planned to visit with my aunt and brother. We had a lot of fun. I was surprised that it wasn't as difficult as I imagined. Although I did have one scare while at the Silverton Casino. We were in the Bass Pro Shop (pretty impressive store-It looked like we just stepped into the great outdoors with a waterfall and all.) We were heading over to the Casino to view the giant aquarium when Daniel and Ariana disappeared from sight. Talk about panic!!! We just came down the stairs from the second floor and I turned to the side of the stair case heading to the exit of the store and entrance to the casino when I looked behind me to only find Carissa as I was holding Austin's hand and had the camera in the other hand. I had just had a conversation with Daniel near ending the flight of stairs. I asked Carissa "where is your brother and sister?" Her reply was "I don't know." I scanned the immediate area around the stair case and then ventured a little bit further, frantically looking and calling their names. No answer and no sign of Ariana or Daniel. Fear consumed me, where could they be it was only seconds from when they were last behind me! I headed back up the stairs thinking maybe they dropped something. No, they weren't on the stairs. I wanted to cry at this point. While on the second floor I looked down onto the first floor scouring everywhere when I spotted them heading in the opposite direction of where we were headed. I knew if I tried to run down the stairs with my other two I would lose them so I did what any panicked mother does, yell! I yelled their names so loud that everyone, I mean everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at me. But I didn't care because I had found my children and they heard me. It was a moment of joy and relief and then anger. I didn't know whether to hug them or spank them, so they got both. After that everyone had to hold hands and after viewing the aquarium it was straight out of that scary place. Thank goodness my brother met me soon after that. That was the only scary and unfortunate event and that was plenty. Aside from the moment of terror I would do it again, just not the casino.

This how I wanted to contain them after the casino incident

The aquarium at the casino. The kids loved watching the stingray swim up and down along the glass.

Science can be gross. We got to learn about how bugs help scientist solve crimes.

Just playing in the water or learning how to change the flow of water?

Finding fossils

Can you pull your own weight?

Showing off piano skills to great grandma

Barbecuing with Uncle Ben

The kids and my grandparents

View at the Hoover Dam, Can you believe how low the water is?

Progress on the road over the Colorado River to bypass the Dam

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Forth

For the fourth we just hung out at home while Keith slept the day away as he had worked the previous night.

The kids helped me make our annual 4th of July Star Cookies.

Catching up

Well, I am not good at this blogging thing yet. I haven't figured out when to do it that is convenient or how set it up with all the cute stuff that everyone else has. That aside I am going to make a renewed effort since I first set it up in Dec! So first things first I have to catch up on what I we have been doing for the past 6 months. Well, Ariana turned 5 in January ( oh was she ever excited because she thought that meant that next day she got to start kindergarten and go to the ever anticipated Mrs. Baker's class--what a sad moment when she learned she had to wait for another 8 months).
Carissa turned eight and was baptized, how special that was for her. She is such a special little girl with an amazing desire to do what is right. I am so proud of her.
Daniel turned seven and has to test his limits all the time or maybe it's me he is testing to see if I will follow through. I am notorious for threatening to take away a privilege if the children aren't obedient. And it certainly stinks when I have to follow through. Like when I kept asking for a week for Daniel to clean up his room. Finally I didn't know what else to do to motivate him so I thought if I threatened him with no birthday presents and no birthday celebration with the family that he would rush to get it done. WRONG!! (we celebrate as a family on the actual day of the birthday and have a party with friends on the weekend of the birthday) I think I was more heartbroken that I had to follow through than he was, after all I had a nice evening planned and had presents I was excited to give him, but I had to be true to my word. But I tell you what when I asked him the next day to pick up his room or he was in danger of missing out on having a celebration with his friends he got his room cleaned. But that lesson has not been a lasting one, because we have to repeat the losing of privileges. Also I have been trying to potty train Austin and he is by far the most difficult of all of my children. My girls it was a matter of 1-2 weeks and Daniel took about a month before there were no accidents but Austin will do great for a couple of weeks and then decide he doesn't want to do it any more and will throw fits about sitting on the toilet. I have to admit it is getting better, meaning that he is more consistent about going and I battle maybe one day here and there. But I am going on 4 months now that I have been consistent with him and well he runs the show. And I thought I would be done with this toilet training business. (My girls were two and Daniel was two and a half and Austin is 2 and 9 months--Experience isn't always the greatest teacher!)

As far as activities go, Carissa had her dance recital. She was in two dance classes, ballet and rhythmic gymnastics. Ariana had her "Stepping up" ceremony from preschool and we had piano recitals for Daniel and Carissa. Our family went camping when school ended for the kids and Keith and we have taken trips to the children's museum and the wildlife museum and gone swimming. So I believe that will catch me up to the present. Now hopefully I can update more regularly and consistently.