Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Sunbeam!

We took down our Christmas decorations.  With help from the kids, this can be as fun as putting them up.  Unpacking all of our Christmas presents was like getting to unwrap them again, so we enjoyed it.  Daddy hung our new swing up on the tree in the back yard, and we discovered that all three kids fit on it at once.  Jared is very careful about the weight limit of the swing.  If you teach a child to add, he's going to want to know how much you weigh so that he can determine whether or not you fit on the swing with him.  
 Jared started an art, PE, and swimming class at the YMCA on Friday.  He says his favorite part is the swimming.  Eloise, B, and I found these ducks outside while Jared was in class.  B loves ducks so much that he chased a group of them out into Lake Washington earlier this week, disregarding the fact that his sneakers were on, and that it was 35 degrees outside.  I carry around extra clothes, but not extra shoes. It was a very short trip to the park.
 It isn't just ducks that B loves.  He is very interested in animals lately.  He had a fit when our neighbors took down their light up penguin Christmas decorations, and he has asked every day this week to go to the zoo.  While we were in Tucson, Grandpa showed B a youtube video of goats that can scream like people.  Guess what B's favorite animal sound is now.  He is trying to incorporate screaming noises into his imitations of other animals, too.
I have been reviewing the first Article of Faith with the kids.  When B heard us say "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost," he was convinced that we had said "Holy Goat."  You can imagine the goat screams that followed us around for a while.  The memory is giving me a headache.

While Jared was in his class, we went to Home Depot and got some supplies to paint the walls in our house that have been scarred with plaster since we got insulation right after B was born.  I am pretty sure our new baby can't be born until we get the evidence of B's babyhood covered up, and I'm nesting, so I have to be doing something.  Jordanne and I already managed to get one of the walls painted.

Eloise started primary officially today!  She is a sunbeam.  While we were in Tucson, she attended primary, but this was her first week in our own ward in her sunbeam class.  She is very independent.  She even put on her own tights this morning.
I got all of these weird faces when I asked for a smile.

 I kept saying, "Okay, now really smile," until she was too stressed out to remember how smiling works.
 And yet another weird face when she did her picture with Mom.  I got my hair cut on Wednesday, so now we have matching bangs.
I was relieved when B went running into nursery without a backward glance.  I think he was glad to be back with his familiar teachers and toys.  We all love our new 9 a.m. church schedule that doesn't interfere with naps.

The rest of our Tucson trip

It snowed in Tucson!  Katie told me that the snow stuck to the ground in response to Landon's personal wish.  These little Knights were a little less impressed at the quantity of snow, but they made the most of it anyway.  Jared liked how the snow looked on this barrel cactus.  He got pretty good at cactus identification while we were in the desert.  
 They stayed outside to play until they were good and wet.  I went outside to relieve Grandma as the supervisor, and found her having too much fun to come in.
 When the snow was gone (it stuck for over a day), we went back to the park, bundled up against the cold.  Jared was in denial about how cold it was, since the sun was shining.  He pretended that he was warm enough in a long sleeved shirt, although a bitter wind was blowing.  
 Jared and Eloise decided to ride Grandma and Grandpa's big wheels to the park.  Eloise still fits on the little bike.  Jared looked comically large on his.  He didn't last very long in the park before he asked to go home, and was thrilled when I told him he could ride back by himself, since Grandma and Grandpa's house is visible from the park.
 Eloise finally worked up the courage to hold baby Megan.
 I think Eloise is getting excited to have a baby around the house to help take care of.  B loves baby Megan.  It helps that she can't move around very much, yet, so she is not threatening to his toys.  B is a classic two year old hoarder, especially of cars and train toys.  
 When it was the last time we would see cousins for this trip, we had Jared and Rachel recreate the photo at the end of this post.  Rachel seems to have gotten a lot taller in the last three years.
 B saw that there was some hug action going on, and wanted in.
 Before we knew it, it was a Rachel, Jared, Annie, B, Eloise, and Megan hug.  We miss these cousins a lot already.  We are definitely looking forward to their visit this summer.
 We started home on Saturday, January 3.  We spent the 4th in Utah with Grandma Jill and Great Grandma and Grandpa Richards before driving to Twin Falls for the night.
The highlight of the drive home was the hotel swimming pools where the kids could work off all of the stored up energy from long car rides.  We drove the rest of the way home on Monday, the 5th.  There was some bad weather on the Idaho-Oregon border, a lot of rain coming through the Cascade mountains, and a bit of whining (but not as much as one might expect) from some kids who were tired of being on the road, but we made it home safe and sound to find Seattle warmer than the Tucson we left behind.  I'm sure Grandma and Grandpa are glad to have some peace and quiet in their house again, and uninterrupted nights of sleep, but we miss them a lot.  B woke up from his nap yesterday and announced that he was ready to see Grandpa.  I'm thankful we can video conference to keep the Grandparents close, even when they are a thousand miles away.