Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Instruction manual please!

At the birth of our second child, Kassy, I remember my Father-in-law Rick telling me he wished children came with an instruction manual. "Just when you think you've got parenting figured out, you have another child and the same things don't work!" he said. Emma has definately illustrated this principal in our family.

With the first 2 kids we didn't put locks on cabinets with cleaners (they never tried to play with or eat the cleaners), crayons always stayed in the high drawers, etc. Around the time Emma turned 2 I kept finding the playdough and other art supplies left out and scattered. I keep these supplies in our mud room in the upper cabinets. I accused Hunter and Kassy of getting these things down for Emma, and sternly requested that they STOP! They insisted they hadn't done it, over and over they insisted. I just KNEW Emma couldn't have gotten them down, she was only 2!! Until one day Don quietly witnessed Emma as she negotiated the terrain of the mud room: she used the drawer pulls as latter rungs and simply steped her way up to the counter. Then, she opened the cabinet doors, pulled on the the desired tupperware full of art supplies until it flew off the shelf landing on the floor. Then she'd scurry down and play with it. Genious! :-)

The thing about Emma that throws me off was that she doesn't ask for help, so I don't even know that she's getting into this stuff unless she leaves evidence. Kassy and Hunter have always asked for help with things, or permission to use things, but Emma doesn't. It's funny, she's not malicious or rebellious at all. I honestly think that asking for help just doesn't occur to her. She knows she can do things on her own, so she does. I LOVE IT! The girl is capable and independant, watch out world! I finally caught her on film the other day, scaling the pantry shelves to get a mint. :-) Oh, how I love her!

Liquid expands as it freezes

This morning Kassy decided to put a Dr. Pepper in the freezer for a tasty frozen treat later. Unfortunately, good intentions mixed with ignorance can have unintended negative consequences. I went to the freezer this afternoon to retrieve some ground turkey for tonights chili dinner and found frozen Dr. Pepper slushie all over the freezer!

I was laughing too hard to be mad. I mean, yeah it's a mess, and a waste, and yada-yada-yada. But, I've really tried hard over the last year to subdue my temper and see the humor in life instead of just getting irritated. I don't want my kids looking back on their childhood and remembering a bunch of yelling from their Mother. Today I did a good job of it! Of course I ran to get my camera before we melted the slushie to clean it up. This was the original scene...Check out the can! The top literally blew off 5/6 of the way around. We had 2 giant packs of hot dogs and about 9 pounds of ground Turkey just covered in slush. I helped Kassy with the cleanup to ensure it was done thuroughly, but she learned a valuable lesson in science today. Liquid expands as it freezes!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sick Days

Just as school was winding to a close for the year, we had a case of Stomach Flu run through the family. Hunter and Kassy were both home sick on the same day, which made for an intense night/day for me! Luckily, it turned out to be a 12 hour flu, so by noon these kids were jumping off the walls again. I love to witness what creative things they come up with to entertain themselves.

Hunter made a long rope by stringing together several dozen rubber bands. Kassy tied a candycane on the end...Kassy and Hunter started out by dangling the candy and treats down to Emma, pulling on the rubber bands making Emma jump for it.
Hunter enjoyed making his sisters jump around :-)
Kassy & Emma had fun catching their prize.Emma with her candy cane. Funny thing is, I don't even remember her eating it. They just had so much fun with the game, the game wound up being the highlight, not the candy.Beautiful Kassy, I'm so glad this flu didn't last long at all.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Emmett Cherry Festival

Don and Hunter are HUGE cherry fans! We've missed the Emmett Cherry Festival for the last few years and were determined not to miss it again. This year I flew back from my nephew Michael's wedding in Colorado on Saturday morning at 10am. I had just enough time to shower, paint Kassy & Emma's toenails, and head out the door. We went with our good friends the Schows and Swensons.

If you know me at all you know I'm all about the food at festivals! After a nice lunch that brought us all closer to a heart attack, we hit the rides with the kids.

Tyson Schow, Kaden Swenson, Kassy, Emma, & Halle Schow.
Tanner Swenson and Hunter.Gavin Schow, Bart Schow, Tyson Schow, Don, Josh Swenson, Abigail Swenson (tiny baby in stroller in the back), Me, Kassy, Alissa Schow, Halle Schow, and Emma.Me and my girls: Alissa and Amber. Life blesses you with a handfull of true friends in a liftime. I'm grateful for these two!When the ride tickets were all used up we headed to the orchards to pick some cherries. Bart Schow, Halle Schow, Me (where is my head?), Kaden Swenson, and Kassy. Baby Gavin Schow is in the front, baby Abigail Swenson is in the back. Me, Don, and Hunter looking for cherries.Hunter up in the cherry trees.
Kassy climbed the tree to find the cherries too.
Emma had to climb as well, of course. This girl won't miss out on life for anything!Don climbed the trees and hit the motherload. Kassy in another tree.Take a look at that! Is that a thing of beauty or what?

Milestones in life...

For several years Kassy asked if she could get her ears pierced. I said she'd have to wait until she was 12, like I did. My sister Katy asked me once, "Are you making her wait because you really believe she should wait, or are you making her wait because Mom and Dad made us wait?" I had to admit I was being a lazy parent, simply passing down something that was imposed upon me without any thought put into the reasons why. After talking it over with Don, we decided that it's Kassy's body so she should be the one who says when it's the right time to pierce her ears.

Do you know what happened? As soon as we told her "say the word and we'll take you to get your ears pierced" it was like a switch, she no longer thought it was time, she wanted to wait. I call this the Forbidden Fruit Phenomenon. When something is forbidden, some people crave it simply because it is forbidden. Take away that forbidden aspect and they no longer want it. I learned a valuable lesson about my daughter that day.

Fast forward 2 years...it's time! Kassy decided that today was the day, so off to Walmart we went. Of course Hunter wanted to come along and witness the agony his sister was about to endure. Here is a video of Kassy getting her ears pierced.

As soon as Emma saw what Kassy had just done, she was insistant that she was next. I knew this was a possibility. What I had forgotten, in all the excitement, was that Emma had fallen asleep in the car on the way to Walmart, and was thus very tired and emotional! She hopped up in the chair, smiled with delight that she was such a big girl, but once the pain hit.....well, see for yourself....

Please note that her crying only lasted about 90 seconds. The pain was no match for a bag of gummy bears and a 3 hour nap once she got home. That was yesterday and she's been absolutely fine ever since.

I'm proud of my kids, who they are and the choices they make. Their personalities differ from mine. Sometimes I struggle to understand them. We're trying to give them guidance along the way while providing them ample space to walk the path they choose.

Michael got married!

Michael Chevrier, the 2nd son of my oldest sister Susan, was scheduled to get married on June 18th in Denver, Colorado. Michael is the first of my nephews to get married, and I'll be honest, it seemed a little weird that he was old enough, and thus I was old enough. :-)

The economy being the way it is these days, everyone is pinching their pennies. Michael is extremely important to all of us Speidel's so we decided the best thing to do was for all the siblings (Aunts and Uncle to Michael) to fly into Denver for the wedding. We made it a 2 day event and it was a lot of fun!

We all flew in early Thursday morning then headed up to the summit of Mount Evans. This is my sister Katy and I on the way up...what beautiful scenery!Mount Evans is 14,420-some feet high, the highest peak I've ever been to. We were well above the tree line, and there were several Mountain Goats hanging around at the top. With the wind chill it was around 9 degrees. Burrrr
Mom & Dad followed us up the mountain in their Jeep. This is Rusty, Me, Mom & Dad.
We all had fun taking pictures of these Mountain Goats. I've never seen one before, much less been this close. A baby Mountain Goat An adult Mountain Goat. How cool is that?Previous to this trip I knew that my Mother has a fear of heights, but I had no idea that my sister Janet shared this fear times 10. Poor Janet barely survived the drive up the mountain, I've never seen anyone so scared in all my life, honestly. I was so proud of her because despite her fears she kept on going and made it to the top. Once she was there she got out and enjoyed her surroundings. What a woman!Katy and I at the top of Mount EvansRusty, Me, Janet, and Katy. My oldest sister Susan, the mother of the groom, had wedding things to tend to, and thus wasn't with us on our sightseeing trips.That evening we attended the rehersal dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Denver. I have to say, I love downtown restaurants!! They tend to have much more personality than an average place.
Rusty, Me, & Katy at the rehersal dinner.This is my oldest nephew, Joseph, and his soon-to-be-wife Katie. They are getting married in Orlando, Florida on July 24th. Joe is only 8 years younger than me so these boys are like my little brothers. There was a balloon artist at the restaurant. He went around and made everyone a baloon. This is my Mom holding her chili pepper, because she's my Dad's "Hot Mama".Katy's son Reed was the ring bearer and thus the only cousin at the wedding. This is Katy and Reed, wearing his alien who is sucking his brain.If you've had the pleasure of being around my Speidel family you know that we laugh a LOT and tend to get loud. We soaked up this balloon guy and all his tricks. This is my brother Rusty as "Thor", with his helmet, braids, and club.The next morning Mom invited us all to the RV and made us breakfast. My Mom always loves to feed ya! Rusty, Mom, Me, Janet, and Katy.The wedding wasn't until 5:30, so we took off sight seeing again. Colorado is WAY too beautiful not to get out there and see. We drove up past Golden to the grave of Buffalo Bill. This is Katy, Reed, Rusty and myself just off the parking lot looking out toward Golden. have always loved stained glass!The grave of Buffalo Bill. It was interesting to learn that he wanted to die a Catholic, so he was baptised the day before he died. Me, Janet, Rusty, and Katy. Reed was a great photographer!The museum had a children's area that was too irresistable for the folks from Georgia. :-) This is Janet in a cowboy hat and chaps.I don't know if it was the lack of children or spouses or what, but I don't think I've ever seen my brother so relaxed for 2 days! Here is Rusty brushing up on his rodeo skills.At the wedding: all five siblings
Me (#5), Rusty (#3), Susan (#1), Katy (#4), and Janet (#2)
We clean up pretty good, huh?Waiting for the wedding to begin. Me, Janet, Katy and Rusty Katy's son Reed was the ring bearer. He was such a good sport all weekend, tagging along with 4 adults I'm sure he was bored out of his mind, but never complained. He's a sweet heart!Aubrey and Michael just after the ceremony. It was a beautiful wedding!Somehow I messed up the colors on this, so I just made it black and white. :-) Aubrey and Michael Chevrier. I hope she can handle our crazy family. Every family is a little crazy, right?Arn't these the most fabulous shoes you've ever seen?!?! They are the bridesmaides shoes and I'm in love with them. My neice Laura let me take them for a test drive. Wasn't that sweet? Too bad they didn't come home with me, I looked so good in them! ;-)

We love you Michael and Aubrey!! Thank you for sharing your special day with us. May you always put eachother first and enjoy all the experiences life has to offer together!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome to Football....

Hunter decided to try his hand at Football this year. This being his first season, we figured he'd benefit from learning the basics at Rocky Mountain High's Football camp. Today is day 3 of the camp. As predicted by Don, Hunter is sore & tired, but loving it! You should see the light in his eyes when he's done. He's tired, but he's excited!