Sunday, December 14, 2014

The goings on of the season....

Once again I have a whole month's worth of catching up to do.  I really don't know where the time goes.  It has been a mild winter thus far, to say the least.  No complaints over here--it has been an AWESOMELY mild winter for two main reasons--1) I really don't like the cold and the snow (mostly the snow), and 2) I am trying to build a house as once the snow falls and the cold cold hits I've got a feeling it will SSLLLOOOWWWW things down!  We did have our first snow several weeks ago.  The kids didn't waste any time getting their snow clothes on and playing.  Can I just say that putting snow clothes on my kids makes me crazy!  It is the bane of my existence.  Trying to get gloves on little hands with fingers in the right holes....impossible!

 But that snow melted quick and up until yesterday we had awesome weather.  It is a little snowy today and starting to cool down a lot.  Hope the house keeps moving along!

One funny thing, I was cleaning the house a couple weeks ago and found this under Tyler's bed...
 I love the "All rights reserved."  It's scary how much kids pick up from random sources.  Better be careful what I say/do!

Tyler had a science fair at school.  I made him do the project himself (I had to help a little bit).  At the fair you could definitely tell which kids had their parents help them!  But Tyler did a great job, and he even won in his class and now gets to go to the regional science fair! {...unenthusiastic hooray...}  I know I'm terrible, but I'm hoping we don't have to redo a bunch of stuff for it.  Here's Tyler's display.
 Last Sunday Eric and I decided to try to take a little afternoon nap.  We never do because the kids wreak havoc while we rest and they keep coming in to bug us about stuff anyway.  But we tried, and actually managed to have about an hour of time in our room to ourselves.  Then we get a knock on the door and it's the kids, telling us we need to come downstairs.  Uh oh.  I was concerned as to what we would find but they had set up a "restaurant" in the dining room for us.  It was so cute.  Jake the waiter even put his nice clothes on for it, there was electric candlelight...
 Music playing in the background...
 Our VERY handsome waiter...

 And the table set up--menu, drinks, etc.  We ordered what we wanted and Tyler whipped it up in the kitchen.  It was so much fun!  My kids drive me bonkers sometimes then they go and do something like this that just melts your heart and makes you smile.  I guess I'll keep a while!
 We had our 3rd annual ugly Christmas sweater party on Friday.  It was so much fun.  Lots of yummy food, games, and friends, not to mention hilarious white elephant gift exchange!  It was a blast!
 Quick update on the house.  Here it is as of 2 weeks ago.  Coming along slowly but surely!
 Saturday we had our ward Christmas breakfast and guess who showed up?  None other than Santa Claus himself.  The kids were so excited!

 Tyler is too cool to sit Santa's lap alone so the boys rounded each other up and did a group shot!  They told Santa they wanted girl scout cookies.  Wierdos.

We've had a fun filled month and I'm sure with Christmas coming it will be another good time!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Whole lotta Excitement!

Well we certainly have been busy around these parts, which creates the double whammy of having a ton to post about but no time to site and actually post!  So I'm putting lots of pictures and a few words.  But if the saying is true that a picture is worth a thousand words then this is ACTUALLY an extremely LONG post.  So no complaints.  

We will start with Jacob's "Reader's Theater."  So in the 3rd grade they do these little programs where the kids act out little plays or read stories out loud to the parents.  It is to help them develop skills in reading aloud, using emotion in reading, etc.  Jacob did a great job on his story, "The Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything."  But the highlight was the violin playing!  Jacob's teacher at school plays the violin and was somehow able to get a hold of a violin for each child in her class--amazing!  She has been teaching them some basic skills and notes and we parents got to see the kids show off their newly learned skills.  It was so fun!  Jacob loves violin and says he wants to take lessons, but I think it's just so he can quite piano--he doesn't realize I'd be just as much a stickler with violin!

Speaking of Jacob and piano, I forgot to take a picture but he had a little "Monster Concert" the night before Halloween.  All the students dressed up in their costumes and each played a little Halloween-ish song.  Then ALL the students (maybe 30 or so) played a duet together called "Dueling Pianos."  It was awesome!  They held the concert at a piano store so they would actually have that many pianos in one room!  If was so cool to hear them all playing at the same time and it turned out surprisingly well!
 And then of course there was our annual trip to the Red Barn in Santaquin.  We've made this our little Halloween tradition.  The Red Barn is such a fun place--a hayride over to a big pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin, or two or three or four.

 Here we are on our way out to the pumpkin patch!
 They have a mini Red Barn and behind that is a maze our of old apple crates.  I found it more difficult than the kids!  I managed to maneuver my way out though.
 They also have 2 big slides.  You can sit on burlap sacks and speed down--too much thrill seeking for me so I let Eric handle it with the little guys.
 They also have an apple cannon, and sandpit, and a fun tractor track to pedal around on.

 We went with a couple of our friends.  Here's Tyler and his buddy Camden on the slide--ready set go!
 And Maggie too--zoom!
 We let the kids pick out their pumpkins.  Unfortunately we never ended up having time to carve them this year, terrible, I know.  But life right now seems so busy we hardly have time to breathe!  Most of it is due to building the house, but I'm tired of thinking about house stuff so that will be saved for another posting.

It was so much fun that night.  We even bought treats at the barn afterward and picked up some fresh Jonathan apples from the orchards and some fresh cheese curd...yum!

One little side note...whenever Tyler and Jacob are excited for something happening the next day, they lay out their clothes the night before.  They will even lay out socks and shoes and underwear.  Just like a little invisible person on the floor.  I think it's cute.  The other night I walked into Joey's room to tuck him in and found him laying this out....
So cute.  Wanting to be like his big brothers.

And next came Halloween!  It's a busy night for us, we "host" a neighborhood pizza party on Halloween night in our driveway.  100 pizzas!  Tons of people, drinks, etc.  It always goes well and is fun but makes for a busy night.  The kids ended up trick or treating with friends this year.  It's funny because I remember growing up you NEVER went trick or treating when it was still light outside--but now people start going around at like 4:30!  Which is fine with me because who wants to be out in the dark and cold?  Not me.  

A costume run-down..Joey was Captain America (he's WAY into the Avengers right now)

We made a costume for Jacob called "Troll on my Back."  It's a backpack framed out with PVC pipe and stuffing, a couple of Salvation army shirts sewn together, a scary clown mask, and a few other items.  The shirts are sewn together so that Jacob's arms are actually the clown's arms and he can look like he is attacking himself.  Jacob's "arms" are just fake with stuffed gloves sewn onto the ends.  It turned out cool but way WAY bigger of a pain than I thought it would be.  No more homemade costumes for me!
 Tyler was Old Man Superman.  He's getting too old for a lot of costumes so wanted something cool and funny.  We came up with this idea and it was fun--even a potbelly to match!
 And Maggie was a scary vampire.  We went all out with makeup, black hairspray and fake blood.  She said she wanted to be scary--she is!
 The kids got lots of candy of course.  Joey gave me a scare.  I had been home with the 2 little ones for a while.  Then I got busy in the kitchen for only a few minutes then realized it was too quiet.  Joey?  I looked everywhere in the house and yard--no where.  I started walking around the neighborhood and couldn't find him.  Mind you at this point it was probably after 8:30 p.m. and it was black night outside.  I started to freak out when he wasn't at any friends houses.  Most people with kids have had something like this happen--you know the feeling.  Anyway, I enlisted a bunch of friends to help and we found him 5 minutes later down the road a block and a half away....he decided he didn't have enough candy and went to go trick or treating again!  Ugh, that kid is such a stinker sometimes.  You never know what kind of whackadoodles are out on Halloween.  Needless to say I was relieved, but he's getting into a habit again of leaving the house without telling me.  When I am in the shower, busy doing something, etc he just takes off.  People probably think I am the worst parent ever because I am always texting, "Is Joey there???"  I try to watch him but he just leaves.  I need to put a shock collar on the kid....

Anyway, added to our busy schedule was something fun--Maggie's 6th birthday!  Here's the birthday girl herself.  I love having Maggie in our family--she's the little princess in the house (and she knows it too...).  She is definitely all girl, the good and the bad--we have lots of drama and whining and changing of clothes, but we also have nail polishing, girl movies, and all that fun stuff.  She has plenty of spunk to her and needs to with three brothers!  She is a smart little thing and will always help me out with things when I need it (well, almost always).  She loves all things girly which is great for me since she's my only girl--it wouldn't have been as much fun if she were a tomboy!  We just love having her around, I think we'll keep her for a while....
 Maggie wanted a Spa Party this year.  I've heard of them and I know you can hire companies to come out and do it all, but I have a strict dollar limit on birthday parties!  I'll do hers myself then take the money I saved for MY OWN trip to the spa.  Ha ha.  I enlisted the help of Eric's mom Sharee and my niece Kaylee and her friend Kaitlyn.  Thank goodness they offered to help because if I had been alone it would have been a MESS!  I would probably be in the looney bin right now.  But it went well and girls had a blast.

We let everyone make their own bath salts, even adding coloring and essential oils for yummy smells.  Then we did the same with some bubble bath--we made our own and let each girl pick their color and scent.

 Then we did facials--just a mask made from banana, yogurt and honey.  It smelled really good!  I'm sure it would have tasted good too!  We went easy on it, only cheeks, forehead and chin.  Jacob so far had participated in the activities (he even took a bath tonight using his bath salts) but refused flat out for the facial!
 Ahhh, relaxed!
 Then we brought everyone into the nail salon (aka living room).  We had four stations set up--the hand soaking station, fingernail painting station/foot soak, toenail painting station, and drying station.  I like to call this "organized chaos."
 Here's Maggie getting her nails done by Kaitlyn.
 And this was Joey, and where you can usually find him if he hasn't snuck out of the house...sitting ON the counter, eating some contraband like chips or candy he snuck.
 We had the move "Frozen" playing while we did their nails.  All the girls sand along and danced copying Elsa's moves for the song, "Let it Go."  It was so funny.  Little sassy things.
 Then presents!
 And what better way to top off a spa party than with a nail polish cake.  Yes, I made that myself and even repaired it TWICE from Joey sticking his fingers in the frosting.

 The final verdict?  Best party ever, hands down!

Monday, September 22, 2014

How to Build a House

You can ask me how to build a house.  I am becoming an expert you know.  I just wanted to give a quick update on all things Swenson Residence.  After FINALLY getting the loan approved (being self-employed and building a home do not go together easily), we were able to get things rolling.  

We started with a big empty hole.
 Eric checked it out.  Yup, it's a hole. 
 Once we got the hole squared away, it was time for foundation.  Tyler had a little LEGO man in his hand when we went down to see it.  I told him to stick it in the cement and it would forever be a LEGO house, but I guess it was too cool a character to waste.  Silly me.
 Now on to the foundation walls!  It was awesome to watch guys frame it up and fill the concrete in.  I thought about asking to try to operate the crane thingy, but since I had to refer to it as a "thingy" I figured I better not.

 Once that was all done, it was time to set in the garage floor.  We excavated under the garage as a play room so are using a suspended slab floor for the garage.  The man doing it must have been annoyed with my questions making sure this will hold up under the weight of all the cars, etc (I don't want my kids being squished if it collapses), but he was very patient with me.  It was pretty awesome to watch.  They used a huge crane and lifted and placed each piece.  It only took them like half an hour to lay them in.  Good thing the foundation was measured right!  That would have been an expensive mistake!
 Here is the basement partially framed.  The basement is actual done being framed now and they are working on the upstairs exterior walls.  It is more fun because we are starting to see the actual shape of the house and how it will look from the outside.  Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures yet.  But there will be many more to follow!
It seems like it took forever to get things going with the plans and loan taking a while, but now that things are in motion it is really exciting.  Nerve wracking, but exciting.