Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Riding Island Park

Yesterday we took our quads up to the Hellmann's cabin in Island Park and spent the day barbequing, riding, and enjoying time with friends. John and I may have humored getting a job there so we could just live in a cabin and basically have the best life ever.
It was a perfect weather kind of day and Matthew was most happy in his pack and play watching the four-wheelers come and go. He would hoist himself up, holler "DADADADA," plop himself down, crawl around his play pen, and do it all over again. If he got bored he would throw his toys out until someone turned around and he would cheese his best big-cheek smile at them so they would stay and play a while.
The older kids played all sorts of role play games that involved off and on: mermaids, genies, mamas, daddys, darlings, and magic trolls.
Zandy: Please! Help me, Genie! I'm a mermaid and I want more than anything to be human again!
Johnny: OK, you know what I have to do to get you back to human, right? (leaning against the rail like he's James Dean or something)
Zandy: What? Anything!
Johnny: I have to lean really close to your face like this, tilt my head (this is where I am about to intervene but...) and call on my magical powers to bring you what you need! What is your wish?
Zandy: Just legs, please, I just want legs again!
Johnny: Poof! Your wish is my mammon!
Zandy gets up to dance and walk.
Johnny: Wiat, hold it right there! You asked for legs, not feet...you still can't walk. HAHAHAHA.
(Oh...he's THAT kind of genie.)
They spent the afternoon making a pretty hard core teepee. Caitlin and Caity orchestrated it while their little servant siblings set to work. It was fun watching them trapse through the forest in search of branches to make their home.
William was TERRIFIED that bugs were in his shoes the entire day. He would just erupt in screams and kick and cry and frantically try to take off his shoes. And when I would pick him up he would hug me so tight and maybe it isn't the worst thing in the world that he is afraid of bugs after all.
My favorite part was going on a ride with John- it was a lot of fun and we found some great potential camping sites.
All in all a great day.

The beginning of the TeePee

Johnny and Zandy collecting branches.

Finished product (with padded chairs and all!)

Look at my puddin'  out there muddin'! (see what I did there? That was a rhyme.) 

I don't kow what I was thinking, but I wore nice shoes, I worked so hard to not have them get muddy and what do you know they got muddy as we were leaving island part...from the van. hahaha.

Curtis (wish I could have gotten a picture of Cari!) So nice of them to invite us to their family cabin!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Just stuff

  1. The way Johnny talks cracks me up. He is just funny. He picks up on social cues really quickly and his vocabulary and the way he talks just isn't what I expect from a five year old, so it cracks me up.  He kind of reminds me of the kids on the movie, Sandlot.  He has impeccable timing.  He also has a wild imagination. He can transform reality very quickly to meet his needs. Sometimes he takes his imagination to seriously:
    • Me: Johnny get your coat on, it's raining. Johnny: Mom, sharkboy loves the cold. Besides, the water is good for me, unless I get angry- then, BAM- I'll rip everything up with me teeth. Wearing a coat gets me angry- you can put two and two together. (He walks away smugly.)
    • I love our conversation topics. Johnny: Man, mom. I can't wait until I'm sixty, it's going to be awesome.  Me: But when your sixty you might not run so fast. Johnny: (without missing a beat:) That's fine. I'll just fly. 
  2. Johnny also is so friendly. At the park I can always find him by looking for a cluster of kids. Every day it is different kids and every day, Johnny is in the middle of it all, and every day when it ends he hollers, "Bye friend! Let's hang out again next time!"  He says "Hi" to every one we pass at the store, on the street, at church. He loves when people say "Hi" back.  
  3. We are six people living in 850 square feet. It is enough room to fit us and yet it doesn't feel like enough room for us to live- I know I sound whiney here- but I am learning the more time outside at the park and about the time, the happier we are. We seriously spend at least 3 hours at the park every day.
  4. William and I have the perfect Oreo strategy: he eats the frosting and brings me the cookie...which dip in milk.
  5. I am slowly getting adjusted to life post-school. On one end, I feel like I have more time, on the other I feel like I have a significantly less amount. Yeah, I don't know how that works but one day at a time and we are slowly starting to average out. 
  6. Caity was late for school today because despite her mother telling her to get ready like a million times, her book was just TOO good to put down. I thought it was too cute to get annoyed, besides only ONE WEEK LEFT! 
  7. Matthew likes playing catch and it is so cute. Him, William and I will sit on the floor and play together and as soon as he throws the ball he looks at William like, "Did you see that!?" and When William (who is the most tender big brother) says in a baby voice, "Good job, Machoo!" Matthew starts laughing and scooting.

The other day, all of us sat on the porch to wave "Good bye" to Dad.

We went to the park after scouts. John was at work studying for his test.

She is such a cute sister!

Hard to see, but William and Johnny felt SO cool because they were sitting on the outside of the bridge bars. I know, that is probably dangerous- but that ain't no thang compared to some of the things I've witnessed them do on our Family outings. So, it's all relative.

We got frisbees and William and I played with his for about thirty minutes. It was so fun and we laughed over and over again.

Sidewalk chalk is an activity I love. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hail Storm

The first hail storm I can remember was when John and I were newlyweds visiting Rexburg looking for housing.  We pulled up to a taco truck that October day and hail started pelting us and we laughed and talked about how great it was to experience it together, because that's what you do when your newlyweds every thing is so much more perfectly perfect you have eachother! Yay! Fun memories.
A week ago we had an insane hail storm that made our newlywed one seem like a pansy. It lasted about 25 minutes with most hail measuring comparable to quarters. Seriously- quarters! John went out to see if there was anyone who needed a ride and he came home, took off his heavy coat and we saw pelt marks all over his back! It was insane. 
The kids thought it was the coolest thing. I knew it would be a memory they would hold on to for a long time- like literally hold on to it- I opened my freezer the next morning and found it loaded with hail pellets! Haha. Funny kids.

And yes, our power went out for about five hours!

I don't know if this being a highlight shows how boring my life is, but hey- it is what it is.

John Calhoun IV

I realized this afternoon I take for granted how nice it is to be married to someone I like so much. I know, I know- I won't try to get too mushy here. BUT for all the sappy stuff I write about the kids, it is only fair that I get to spot light John on occasion.
Life has presented me with quite the extraordinary experience.  Some days are perfectly perfect. On those days, I can't wait for John to come home so I can share the goodness of it all and we can enjoy it together.  Some days are lousy. On those days I also can't wait for John to get home. The moment he walks through the door, no matter how stressed I am I instantly have something to smile about. He just makes me feel happy when I'm with him. If I'm the one that is out conquering the world, I get excited the moment I realize I get to go home and see him again.
Really- he is the highlight of my day, every day. Not an event goes by, a book read, a thought conjured, a failure or accomplishment achieved, that my first reaction isn't- "I gotta tell John about this." And whether or not he enjoys a play by play of my seemingly insignificant daily life- I will never know because he always makes me feel like it is important to him. I want to be more like that.  Maybe after a few more years of this marriage thing more him will rob off on me. I feel so blessed.
And I'll end it there even though I could go on forever and if you know John you already know that.
But I mostly wanted to write down that little reflection and to publicly thank John for not only being the highlight of my every day but of my life period. He's made this life so much brighter for me. I'm lucky to have him.

It also helps that he just brought me a mango gelati.
I'm tellin' ya'- he's a keeper!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Monday, Monday

On Monday, Caity didn't have school!
We all did a happy dance and chanted, "Oh yeah, oh yeah- no school!" We like when Caity gets to stay home. I remember when I used to hear moms talk about how hard May is because they get worn out of school. I didn't think much of it at the time, but I totally get it now. I am sooo done.  As is Caity- Tuesday morning she woke up and I heard her snapping at her brothers and then exclaim in a very dramatic and emotional voice: "I just can't DO this anymore! I don't want to go to school today!"
Some cuddles, scrambled eggs, a pep talk and explaining she only had 6 more days of actual class put her in a better mood.
However, that was Tuesday- these pictures are from Monday. So, let's back track.
Having Caity home was a lot of fun.
We rode bikes, played school (ironic isn't it?), played Mexican Train, colored and enjoyed being outside.
The kids set out to make a nature bucket. Caity collected flowers, Johnny collected bugs and William collected sticks and rocks.

It was so cute watching Matthew tracking them from the porch as they scrambled back and forth.

We eventually came inside where I told them to clean their rooms. They heard me yet I found William in Matthew's bouncer and Johnny playing with blocks.

(This is how he is every time I come in the room to get him out of bed!)

It was a good day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Our Spot

A couple of weekends ago we were feeling ancy to get out and about. So we went to one of our favorite fishing spots in the Rexburg area. We haven't been since we moved back, I forgot how beautiful it was! The kids had a lot of fun exploring and I loved getting some fresh air!

To get to the spot we have to cross a railroad bridge and it basically freaks me out because the whole time John is like, "What would you do if a train were to come now?" And I'm like "WHAT?? Trains still USE this? Why the heck are we still on here?" But I don't want to be the chicken and the kids are already laughing at me, so I figure- hey, why not risk out lives today? It seems to be our family's "thing."

As with any experience near water, the search for rocks and sticks was underway.

It was such a fun little outing. It wasn't a big deal, yet it was what got us all through the next week, for sure. I love living close to wide open spaces!

In other news, Caity FINALLY saved up enough money to buy a new bike. She was stoked. John took the older three on a bike ride, and about ten minutes later I got this picture:

Johnny thought they were so sneaky because they got to go to Old McDonalds! (He had been asking all week with negative response from his mom.) Dad's are fun. (And mom's are funny! Am I right?)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sheep Falls in May

This weekend we took some friends to one of our favorite places: Sheep Falls.  We hadn't been since moving baaaah-ck (get it, sheep falls- baaaah? Oh, I am just somethin' else with this witty humor of mine.)
The weather was pretty and it felt so serene to be out in the middle of nowhere.  I love that when you hike in, you are at the top of the waterfall.  There are a lot of big boulders for kids to climb on and explore and (-now this is important if your kids are my kids-) lots of rocks and sticks to throw in the river.
Similar to every time we do something like this, you can find my kids playing dangerously close to a cliff's edge and me frantically being all chill and collected like, "GET AWAY FROM THE LEDGE! DO YOU WANNA DIE!?" and John's over there acting death ain't no thing, like, "C'mon, they're like 6 feet from the ledge." Which is true...but knowing they may have inherited my coordination? Those kiddos were one stumble from mortal destruction- I swear. So I'm basically the live-in kill joy in our family. They still love me though.

All in all: a great little trip.
It was a fantastic weekend full of spring rain storms, side-walk chalk, chiseling out the taco soup that spilled in my freezer a week ago, working on the motorcycle, bonfires, barbeques, and going to church.
But alas, it is now Monday. Back to the grind!

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