Thursday, October 30, 2008


Jackson has had a week of first- his first Primary Program, first school field trip, & first school party.

I got to go along with him on his class trip to Zittels where the farmer's wife, Mrs. Zittle took us on a tour and taught us about vegetables and bees and animals...
It was SO COLD that day, but we managed to have lots of fun.
He actually got brave enough to pet the calf.
He wasn't comfortable turning his back on these sleeping pigs.
This is as close as he would get to the bunny!
He enjoyed the hay maze- more so the second time through when he had figured out exactly what he was supposed to be doing in there.
At the end he got to pick out a pie pumpkin, make a craft (popcorn filled clear glove with candy corns in the finger tips for 'nails'), AND we got to eat popcorn and drink cider. We had a good time together!

Jackson had his Halloween Party at school today. I didn't get to attend- actually I can't go to any of the kids parties this year for pictures. I guess the teachers aren't interested in parents hanging out. Boo! :(
Anyhow, getting Jackson ready this morning was fun. He just giggled with delight to see himself dressed up as a BYU football player. He was excited to show his"friends" at school since no one was at home to see him. He really wanted to show Daddy right away. He just LOVES BYU Football... talks about it daily. Last night we heard him coughing, waking up, saying, "BYU!" and then that was it. He fell back asleep. This evening he made up his own little song about BYU. I'll have to see if he remembers it tomorrow so I can record it.
Here he at school today...
Some pictures through the window...
He loves to twist his tongue around lately.

Class is over- my happy BYU Jack Jack!
Off to get prepared for Trick or Treating tomorrow! Pictures coming soon. :)


Last Sunday was our Children's Sacrament Meeting Program. No Jillie in it this time around, but Jack Jack was- along with Reagan and Kobe of course. They all did great. It was a nice program with lots of well sung songs. I'm including some video I took at their Saturday practice so grandparents can imagine they were there for the real thing. ;) Actually they all did their speaking parts better on Sunday.
We were all extra proud of Jackson for doing his best to say all of those big words. (Luckily his teacher, "Sister Jo" helped him- and whispered loud enough so the congregation could understand what he was trying to say.) Jackson was all smiles the whole time, stood and sat when he was supposed to, and sang every song... although he kept twisting his tongue, even while singing. Happily he wasn't the Sunbeam who was scared, shy, crying, or disobedient. His favorite of all the songs was "Called to Serve." Yea Jack Jack!
Kobe was front and center and did well to not look bored, sang out, smiled, and spoke clearly into the microphone.
Reagan had an air of confidence about her. Spoke and sang perfectly like it was the simplest thing to do. (I suppose by the time you are in your 2nd to last Sacrament Meeting Program of your Primary career, it's not a scary thing anymore.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Things

You know we HAD to see it on opening night! Jillie went to see it with her friends. She apparently needed to feel a little independent and made it clear that I had to take Reagan, Kobe, and Jackson to another theater. (Greg stayed home so he could pick up Jillie and her friends from their movie.) We thought it was a fun movie- although Reagan was annoyed by the screaming t'weens that filled the audience. They screamed every time Zac Efron was on screen it seemed! Everyone liked the whole thing. Kobe especially liked the songs The Boys are Back and "the song where he screams". :) Jackson sang and danced and cheered through it all. I was a little concerned about some of the outfits the girls were wearing. Not awful, but do they really have to wear such short skirts? And who wears dresses and very high heels to high school?!

I am embarrassed to admit (but I will) that I was fighting back a few tears at the final curtain call. Geez, what's wrong with me?! Such a girl! I was reminded by Holly that this was like the day they aired the episode of Blue's Clues when Steve is going to college- and I totally got teary when he looks back at the camera and says, "Thank YOU." :)

I wonder if someday I'll look back at these tickets and think, "Wow, movies were cheap back then!" Hard to imagine, but probable.

Another Good thing from this week- GOOD MAIL from Angie Merx. Yea! Thank you so much! We quite enjoyed goodies from Meijer and your super thoughtful note!

Pumpkin Carving 101

Choose pumpkin.

Design your face. Hollow out pumpkin.

Cut out face. (and if you're Jackson refill emptied pumpkins while mom carves other pumpkins.)

Pose with pumpkin.

Gettin' All Halloween-y at Home

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another Special Saturday

Greg and I were invited to Peter and Kara's wedding which was last Saturday.  Peter used to work for Greg, now they just play basketball together.  Peter's mother was Jillie's 5th grade teacher and now is Reagan's teacher.  A few of our good friends were invited too.  I was excited to have a chance for a date with Greg and hang out with good friends.  

But then there was the dilemma- what to do with the kids.  We had to leave for the wedding in downtown Buffalo around 3pm, the reception was set to begin at 6:30pm and would surely go into the night.  Jillie is 12 now you know- not really an age where you want a babysitter to come over!  But, she gets nervous at home alone after dark- and I'm worried about her trying to make dinner for everyone. (We need to practice more cooking at home!) We thought of different options like:
*ask a couple in the ward to come over and hang out with the kids
*ask one of the older young women from the ward to babysit the younger kids- but not Jillie.
*Let Jillie stay with the younger kids on her own, but run home between the wedding and the  reception to bring over a pizza for dinner & check in.

As it turned out none of those ideas were going to fly.  So we got brave and left Jillie to babysit her siblings for about 6 hours!  She stays with them often, but never that long or after dark. I was really worried that the younger kids wouldn't respect her as their babysitter.  We had a serious talk with Kobe especially (with a few threats thrown in there) about obeying Jillie- treating her like he would any other sitter.  We also talked with Jillie about treating them like any other kids she would sit for and treating this as a "real" job.  We also put together a cold dinner so we wouldn't worry about her having to cook anything.  

She did a GREAT job.  She did text me a lot during the evening, but that was OK since it helped me to know what was happening at home.
*Are you in the wedding?
*Has he kissed the bride yet?
*What are you doing now?
*Should we eat dinner yet?
*Are you coming home yet? It's getting dark.

She planned activities and had reward stickers.  They had fun, they got along- and they all did their dishes and took showers! We had a nice time too even though we had to leave before everyone else.  

I have been told that we should hire her again some time soon.  Sounds good to me!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Saturday is a Special Day

On Saturday, Oct 11th Greg and Jillie went on our ward youth temple trip to the Palmyra Temple. This was Jillie's first time at the Temple to do baptisms for the dead. (If this is a foreign idea to you please read here: In our religion baptism is an essential ordinance done here on earth for our salvation. Baptism for the Dead is baptism performed by a living person acting on behalf of one who is dead, which was practiced in Christ's time (1 Corinthians 15:29). This ordinance is performed only in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can read more here.) She was so nervous before going- totally understandable. She had a good time though- a good experience for her. Especially nice because she was with her Dad- and the Brandts too.
They even stopped on their way home to have a nice lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. Angie and Nick Brandt were going to the temple for their first time too, so they let their 4 year old Olivia stay with me for the day.
I put that little Olivia to work too! (Truthfully when she saw me doing it, she asked if she could do it instead. Way to go Angie- where have I gone wrong with my kids? They're never begging to vacuum!))
Reagan had to perform with her Junior Color Guard today in the Orchard Park High School Homecoming parade. Kobe helped me get Jackson and Olivia over to watch the parade go by. This was a parade that had a pretty long route considering it was just the homecoming parade- not like the whole town was going to come out for it. The parade viewers were kind of scarce, but that way the kids ended up getting lot of candies thrown to them!Of course you know which local celebrity was in the parade with Reagan... OPIE.

But here's our star...

As it goes with fall weather around here, it was chilly when we dropped her off to prepare for the parade, but it was HOT by the time I picked up after the football game half time. Poor girl was sweating like crazy. What a trooper.

Later that day we had some special guests from Michigan. The Merx's! YEA! We've missed them since they moved away from here. I had to go get some groceries before they came and returned home after they arrived. I walked in to find Angie and little Owen playing with my kids. No Greg or Brian. They decided to go to a local bar that has The Mtn channel to watch the BYU football game. I love that we all are good friends and so comfortable together. Just feels like being with family. The house wasn't spotless, the dinner was late, no special plans- just having fun hanging out together.
Here's Owen doing a little dancey-dance on the counter for us. (I guess you'll have to turn your computer screen on it's side for better viewing.)

The kids went around taking some pictures for me...
Very cute one of Skinny Angie & Owen who's a little "deer-in-the-headlights" on this one. ;) Who did he get that from?...


Blurry but cute of a mother son conversation

The Dads listening to and talking about BYU Football

Greg loves him some BYU Football. This is what he looks like when the Cougars are winning!

It was a special, fun, busy, exciting day!