Saturday, April 25, 2015

An Evening Walk

Yesterday right before bedtime, we went on a walk. John stayed home to get caught up on some work; I grabbed Wills and the stroller, Caity grabbed her jump rope and Johnny grabbed his sword.  Halfway through the walk, William reached up and insisted on holding my hand the whole way home.  Johnny challenged about a dozen hedges and bushes to battle (after being told repeatedly to stop attacking his sister.)  Caity got twenty five jump ropes in a row.  At one point, Caity harnessed Johnny with her rope under his arms and across his chest, and said, "Giddy up Rudolph!" Johnny took off with Caity flying behind him in a fit of giggles. William looked on from the stroller with an amused grin on his face. Him and I have quite the view from behind.
We walked to Caity's school. I paced the track while Johnny and Caity practiced timing themselves on the slides so they would reach the bottom at the exact same moment.  Did I mention Johnny was wearing his cowboy boots? He was. There is just something about a child in cowboy boots that makes me happy.  On the way home we picked some fragrant blossoms and William would pretend to smell them and sneeze because I sneezed for real when I smelt them a few days ago.
Spring air is nectar for my soul.  It just felt good to be outside and to be alive.  I am excited for more frequent evening walks with John and the kids.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gloria and Petch

It is good for children to have friends. Granted it would be nice if their "very best friends in the whole world" could talk for themselves. BUT, this works too.

Gloria and Petch never seem to leave these kiddos' sides. 
If you have read my blog in the past, you know that Petch has been Johnny's best friend and sidekick for over a year now. He sleeps with it every night (like, he will wake up and get me if he realizes he forgot), he sneaks Petch everywhere we go, and it seems like every piece of mischief Johnny is caught in, Petch is somehow entangles in the fiasco. 

Gloria was a doll my mom made me for my sixth birthday. She was my very favorite and I may or may not have slept with her up until I got married (I know, kind of weird, but at least I drew the line somewhere!)  Because I am a Toy Story fan, I always felt a tinge of guilt putting her away in storage, so it has been a huge relief on my conscience to have Caity play with her and bring her to life once again.  They make a cute pair.

We had to pick up John from class today, which was actually kind of nice because an extra thirty minutes feels like a special bonus with how busy he is these days wrapping things up with school and the US Attorney's office, not to mention applying for jobs...
Anyway, John surprised us and took us to get some frozen yogurt.  There is a place here that serves free frozen yogurt to pregnant women- hello! I'm there. 
We had such a good time and the kids just seemed so happy and content, it was nice having some family time.
When we got out, the kids played around this pillar for about five minutes and though it was a simple moment, I just felt so happy enjoying the nice weather.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day One of Preschool, Day 100 of Kindergarten

I'm a little (lot) behind on this post, but back in February we had a big day here at Brassell House. 
Johnny attended his first day of preschool!
He was beyond excited, for the first time he could remember- he had an activity of his very own to look forward to each week.  He attends Tuesday and Thursday for a couple hours and comes home a fountain of knowledge:
"If you don't stop, look, and listen, you'll get smashed by a car or something."
"Mmmm, chili powder...smells like Christmas!" (confused it with cloves)
"I don't know. When I grow up I want to be a firefighter or a policeman. Cause they both have dogs, so that would be good thing for me!"
"If there is a 'emernigency' call the three numbers I can't remember."
Every day of the week, he sings the "Days of the Week" song until we get to the day we are currently on. Yesterday: "Today's Sunday because yesterday was Saturday and then we start again."
His favorite part of preschool is show and tell on Thursday he plans all week for it.  He adores his teacher, Mrs. Susan for a lot of reasons but mostly because she calls him "honey" and because she has curly hair. 
Worksheets I have been trying to get him to work on since summer seem so new and cool when presented at preschool, so it has really turned out to be a good thing for him. A real confidence booster as well.
On his first day, I wish I would have gotten a picture of him sitting in his chair at class. He sat in his desk with his fingers interlaced, elbows out, sitting up straight, smiling and eager. Caity gave him some "school pointers" on the way, so when his teacher said, "How is everyone doing today?" his hand shot right up, so when he was called on he could say "Good! I mean, great, yeah- I'm great!"

On the same day of Johnny's first day, Caity celebrated her 100th day of school. We went to help out with the celebration, it is always fun to get in the classroom and take in the eagerness of kindergarteners at work, learning.
Here she is making a 100th day of kindergarten hat.

She let her brother come sit by her, I am always so grateful how inclusive she is with her brothers.

William high jacked some childrens' snacks.

Johnny joined in on the fun

Sitting with the big kids for story time.

Caity is on the far end by the filing cabinet. 

This girl loves kindergarten and says she can't wait for first grade because then she'll get lots of homework (we'll see how long THAT lasts!)  It has been a great year and I love this phase of learning, at least for Caity- she is really inhaling any and every piece of knowledge. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Birthday Party

First of all, a shout out to my "little" brother, Matt! Today is his birthday! I am lucky to have such an awesome brother and I miss living close to him.  A lot of times Johnny and Caity remind me of him and I.  We were the same age difference and were buddies growing up.

Speaking of birthdays...
Last weekend, while John was at some enhanced concealed weapons certification class (that seriously took ALL day,) the kids and I went to our friend, Kaden's 2nd birthday party!
The first half of the party was at this fun house called Kid Planet. My kids were in heaven.

This girl was in paradise- she is so adventurous and all the apparatus kept her busy.

Johnny would jump up and dive right into the balls. Pure joy.

When William wasn't desperately trying to get out of the tortuous ball pit, he was trying to throw balls at me through the net.

But as I alluded- he was pretty horrified by the ball pit the majority of the time and resembled a prisoner trying to escape.

 Have I mentioned Johnny is afraid of heights? He is. There was a portion of the jungle gym where jump up on ledge to ledge to climb to the top.  He about died of fright. Like really. By the time my pregnant self was able to maneuver him down, He was soaked in sweat and tears.  After that, he stuck to the toddler area with Wills. They had a good time going down the toddler slide 101 times. They were just both so relieved there weren't balls or heights they were pretty happy.

Climbing up to the slide, William loved this part.
 After a couple of hours at the play place, we headed to the Jensen house for lasagna and cake and a pinata! 
Caity and her friend, Maddi. I really love Maddi's face in this picture.

The younger table also had a good time. William had been on a sugar fast (I am trying to get him to eat better and more consistently) so when cake was presented to him, boy was he happy!

So he proceeded to scavenge everyone else's left overs. This picture was taken after I had already nabbed two other plates.

It was a fun party and kept us busy and happy while we waited for Dad to get home from his class. Needless to say, everyone slept very well that night!

Monday, April 20, 2015

William says "OWWWW!"

For whatever reason, William is our favorite form of entertainment around here.  If we get him to make an animal sound, we all cheer and keep hammering at him to do it again. (And again.)
The kids (and myself) have his favorite book memorized and recite it to him on at least an hourly basis, and every time he gets so excited.
If Master William wants to go outside, we all drop what we are doing to go play with him, if he wants cars- we put away the dinosaurs we are playing with, so heaven-forbid, he doesn't have to play with cars by himself.

For the most part, especially in public, William is a stoic little guy. He is not one to trifle with baby giggles or awkward hand waves at strangers. He mostly just stares...or grimaces.  So, when he does talk we all act like he is the smartest baby in the whole world.
Before this video we were asking him if he wanted a baby and he would close his eyes, shrug and say, "yeah..." smiling all big, then he would laugh. And we would laugh. And then ask him again.
(Yes, I have no idea what he is going to do when baby brother arrives in a couple months!)
We did get him to point to his owies and say "OW" though, and we thought that was pretty genius.

Here are some more random pictures from my phone of Master Wills:
Helping Dad grill some burgers after church.

Waiting for big sister to get out of ballet class.

William's first day of nursery. I don't think Alison was too thrilled with his offering.

This is one of my favorites of William.

The boys were taking baths. I was doing dishes. I looked up from my kitchen window, only to spot a little naked bum streaking after his big brother in the back yard. Boy, was that little guy happy.

He loves being read to (especially when it is his big sister!)

Also, he is in a big boy bed now. He was pretty thrilled to be "unleashed."  He has done well for the most part, except for the that one time at three in the morning when I found him sitting on Johnny's head, hitting Johnny saying, "Dadadadaaa"

I am going to try to be better at updating more frequently, I have been busy lately with school and being pregnant and not taking pictures- but I miss reading about the little things I seem to forget over time- so wish me luck! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Storytime with Dad

Every time John reads a story to the kids he makes sure to read the copyright page word for word, then proceeds to make up the text on each page there after.  Seriously, I can't get the kids (William) to sit still through a page that reads "Where did the dinosaurs go?" and yet, they are raptured as John reads, "All rights reserved. No part of this publication...etc." He even reads the ISBN numbers at the bottom. And they just sit there: listening, cuddling, and so happy that Dad is home. 
Then he goes on to re-write a perfectly magical story.
Today, Where did all the Dinosaurs go? 
transformed into 
Look Out for the People Eating Dragons that Live in Sewers.
Johnny finds it hilarious. Caity, who can read, uses all her self control to not correct John on every page. It is a struggle for her.  And William...he will just sit there as content as can be, roaring occasionally while he points at various dinosaurs.
Meanwhile I watch on in disbelief that John gets away with it, and that I am so lucky to call that John Calhoun "mine."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kickin' it on a Monday Afternoon

Today as soon as we got home from Caity's school, we all changed into short-sleeved shirts and shorts. It was 76 degrees today!
Despite the darling polos and cargo shorts in Johnny's possession, he rotates between the same three shirts every day: his truck shirt, his Cars shirt, and his basketball shirt; always paired with athletic shorts.  William didn't quite fit into Johnny's hand-me-downs we pulled down earlier, so I particularly enjoyed watching his little toddler belly bounce after his older siblings. Caity came out of her room after she changed and exclaimed, "Free! Free at last!"
We broke out some capri-suns we have been saving for such an occasion and unanimously decided a game of soccer was in order.
Caity naturally ran inside to grab supplies to make a score board and a notebook to make sure every knew all the rules.  On her way to the sliding door, she hollered back, "Johnny! You'll be a goalie- it is so fun, I promise!" So fun that she opted to coerce her brother to be it as opposed to herself- haha. Perks of being the oldest, I suppose. :)
Johnny ran up to me out of breath and said, "I better go get my boots!" And he did. Because if you're going to play backyard soccer, you might as well go all in- in cowboy boots.
Caity's organizing took too long for her little brothers' attention spans so they decided to go ahead and warm up while they waited.
It started with William sitting on the side of the deck, clapping for Johnny every time he kicked it through the two Easter basket goal posts. (After each time Johnny informing him it was time to clap, of course.) But also making sure to say "Uh-oh" and looking concerned every time Johnny missed the ball and fell Charlie Brown style on his back.
Then, Johnny said, "Come on, brother! Let's play soccer you stinker dill pill!"

And they were off.
These two playing together is one of my happy places.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

If I had a Camera on me today...

If I had a camera on me today I would have captured:

7:30 AM- William and Johnny taking turns with each bite of their cereal, standing on the chair and smiling at eachother after every bite.

8:00 AM- Cutting Johnny's hair, with William standing on the stool with him while they made silly faces in the mirror.

Johnny and William's little bums as they raced cars against the wall of the bath.

Caity, sleepy eyed, fully dressed and hair done rushing from her room and saying, "Happy General Conference!"

John giving me a hug when he woke up.

William stacking cars while we watched conference.

Johnny shouting "Hey butler!" to William, and then William shouting something back, then them both going back to what they were doing in the first place.

Caity laying on her back watching conference with her ankle resting on her knee.

Johnny's proud face when he brought me a ship he made out of legos.

William's face when he ran out of his room after his nap, like "Hey world! I'm awake!"

Caity leaning on John while they watched conference together.

Caity telling me about how she liked Elder Bednar's talk because he said not to listen your fears and that is what Spencer told her at the park when they were playing on the monkey bars.

When I moved to the other couch for some space and three little bodies moved over their with me and squished themselves on to my same cushion so they could all have a good spot that was touching me in some way.

I was doodling and I looked down at Caity and Johnny's pictures and they were copying me.

William saying "Sorry" to Johnny and giving him a hug.

All three kids making special "food" in the sand box. They were so entertained and thrilled with themselves.

William throwing a tantrum, then laying on the floor and staring at the wall refusing to acknowledge us.

Caity in a bathrobe, crossing her legs, sitting on the toilet reading a "Nevergirls" book while she waited for her bath to fill up.

William and Johnny sitting side by side in camping chairs in the backyard eating oatmeal.

How handsome John looked when he went to the priesthood session of conference.

John's face after he told me a funny joke.

When I told Johnny it was bedtime and he exclaimed, "Yes! Tomorrow is EASTER! I so excited!"

William waving "good night" to me, hugging his blanket.

Wish I had a camera. I suppose I'll just have to close my eyes and watch the slideshow there and hope that the images only become blurry enough that I won't see the dirty faces, but clear enough that I can see the light in those childrens' eyes.

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