Sunday, February 16, 2014

Will You Be My Valentine?

We have updated our FHE format a little bit recently.  We updated our spinning wheel to include all of the members of our family on the inside wheel and all of the FHE responsibilities on the outside (lesson, activity, treat, spotlight, song, prayer).  We make sure to turn the wheel immediately after FHE is over so we can spend the week working on our assignments.  The person in charge of song has to play their song or request mom play their song.  The prayer person has to ask the people to pray before FHE starts.  The person in charge of treat chooses what they want to make beforehand to make sure we get the ingredients and then make it themselves or with mom.  And, Scarlet and Rhode are required to plan the lessons and give them when they are in charge.

It has been so much fun and it takes away the pressure of me remembering an hour before that it is Monday and that something needs to get planned ASAP.  

Scarlet was in charge of the lesson on the Monday before Valentine's Day and Rhode was in charge of the activity.  So they teamed up to work on their assignments and spent several hours planning, writing, coloring and practicing their lesson.  Here's how the lesson began:

And then Scarlet read the following story she had written on the back of a piece of cardboard:
Valintimes Day is a day to show love to other pepeol and faimley.  It is also a day to forgive pepol and to love pepol.  I'm also going to talk about frienship. here is a story about frendship ones upon a time there was to littel girls in a town named sillinbonvill.  And ellie the first girl saw a butiful girl from Japan walking down the street with two chains that said the word frendship on them and Elie thotgh about her frend named Shelly her they were friends when they were both five.  So she asked her mom if she could go to Shellys hose, and her mom said yes you can go to Shellys.  When Elie got to Shelly's hose Shelly opened the door and asked Elie are we still frends and Elie said yes. This is how friendship works you have to find a friend and be friends forever.

Rhode and Scarlet then passed out paper and crayons and our tradition Valentine Day card making activity commenced.  We were assigned Valentines this year.  Rhode and I had each other.

Here is the card I made for Rhode:

Here is the card he made for me:

Scarlet made this one for Jon:

And Jon made this for Scarlet:

Asher... colored a picture for himself.  "He is a terrible colorer so he is partners with Jude," Scarlet informed us.  Asher didn't seem to mind.  We finished our Valentines evening with strawberry ice cream with homemade chocolate magic shell topping.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...

Our neighborhood made the news not once but twice this past month.  And this isn't some small town, rinky dink newspaper where you make the news for growing the best zinnias.  If you make it into Las Vegas news, it means some crazy cra-zap just went down.  Twice.

One night, while enjoying the solitude that is the time after all children go to bed, our house shook, sonic boom style.  Then, shortly after, it shook again.  Jon went out to investigate.  Shortly afterward, a small neighborhood block party formed outside, trying to figure out what happened.  All they could see was a huge blazing fire coming from the shopping center across the street.  

Local news later informed us that a guy in a pick up truck t-boned a UPS truck and the gas tank exploded.  Somehow both guys made it out okay and no one was hurt.  The pickup truck driver even tried to run away from the scene.  Dummy.

Then, just a few short weeks later, I come home from running errands to find my neighbors house surrounded by police cars.  This registered extremely low on the surprise meter because this is a semi regular occurrence at this house.  But this was no domestic disturbance call, I soon realized.  Something big was going down.

Before I knew it, the police had barricaded us in at all ends, had surrounded the house and had a guy on a bull horn trying to talk a man into surrendering.  About every 10 minutes or so, he would get on the horn and repeat the same stuff, we have you surrounded, we are not leaving, come out with your hands on your head... over and over and over again.  Seriously, they gave this guy A LOT of chances.  

Jon talked to the officers, who said they were pretty sure the guy inside wasn't armed.  But we wouldn't put it past our crazy neighbors, not to mention we are pretty sure it has been a meth lab on more than one occasion, so during the showdown we hung out on the opposite side of the house from the action.

Except for when these guys showed up.  It was too crazy to not get a picture.

Here are my facebook posts from the day.  The standoff was long and I was extremely homebound stir crazy.

Do we really have to love all our neighbors? Don't come visit me at the moment...

"we don't want to cause any damage to your moms house ron, just come out with your hands on your head." So the whole neighborhood now knows he did something bad AND he lives with his mom. Double lv police burn...

"dad says if we hear any pops we should jump behind this bed" "yeah cause that might be a gun" "don't worry guys, i don't think there's gonna be any..." BOOM. And swat is done with warnings.

So after about a million warnings, they set off a few rounds of very loud, house shaking explosions (seriously, its amazing our poor old house is still standing) and after the last one, the bull horn stopped and people cleared out shortly after.  I found out later on the news that the guy was wanted for attempted murder.  Awesome.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Where do I even start?

Asher is the most mischievous, adorable, disastrous, sweetest, funniest, craziest child on the planet.  I really believe this might be a true statement.  If by planet, I really mean in my house.  But totally true.

We thought we were good parents.  We were so good at training kids to sleep through the night, we were pros at getting kids to eat all kinds of foods, and we are so good at not responding to whining and fit throwing.   Until there was Asher.

Getting him to hold still for a haircut was just one battle too many.  So we kind of stopped cutting his hair.  Most days, he looks like the wild ragamuffin he truly is.  But after a day on the beach in Hawaii or right after a nice warm bath, his hair looks like this.

Check out those curls!  Who could resist?!  The headband was his addition by the way.

But then he takes a nap, and the curls are usually replaced with an unruly mop.  Or, if I'm lucky, a peacock fan.

He is fully potty trained and can even take himself to the bathroom.  His method involves stripping entirely from the waist down and then climbing on the toilet backwards.  It is extremely handy since he has not mastered, the 'holding it down' process yet.  And while he is great at stripping, the redressing is still a lacking skill.  So when mom is otherwise occupied (i.e. all of the time) he just hangs out half naked until I track down the discarded bottoms.  

This picture is from our Hawaii trip after his unexpected jump in the ocean.  No clothes, but my backpack and I are ready to hit the road.

Asher is that kid that you can't leave alone for any length of time.  Quiet = disaster in the making about 99.8% of the time.  His favorite deconstruction zone: the bathroom.

He also taught himself how to turn large wads of toilet paper into toilet-dipped spit wads that have clung to my bathroom walls on more than one occasion.   The kid cannot have a writing utensil without finding a wall to write on with it.  I really can't even count how many surfaces of our house now feature his artwork.  On a positive note, he is a great colorer in nursery.

One of Asher's strangest quirks is his inability to sleep through the night.  Not even at 2 1/2 years old.  More often than not, he will wake up at least once in the night crying.  Jon and I have tried everything and finally decided he was having night terrors, as most of the time he is not even really awake but screaming anyway.  I was feeling all kinds of remorse for those episodes of Power Rangers and Justice League he had watched, of course then remembering that I wasn't the one who let him watch them...

But as his vocabulary has increased, the source of his night interrupting dreams have become a little more apparent.  Here are a few of the latest phrases he has been known to scream out in the middle of the night:

"It's my sword!  Give it back Rhode!"

"I just want a cookie!  Just one cookie!"

"We can't go to the park!"

My child is haunted by his extremely normal life.  May he please grow out of this as quickly as possible.

This kid is obsessed with sucking on his index finger.  This habit is going nowhere anytime soon but we are slowly breaking him of sticking his other index finger in his nose.  I took this picture at Rhode's basketball practice.  Sitting on a ball, gripping a sword with a finger in his mouth.  This is the epitome of 2 year old Asher.

He love shows, and since the majority of our TV watching happens in the car, he frequently refuses to leave the car.  For a while, when running errands, he would say "Mom, I just want to go home."  And the minute we would get inside the house, he would say, "No mom!  Not here, I want to go home!"  It took a while to figure out he thought the car was "home" as I would say, "Let's go home" before we hopped in the car.

His favorite shows are Leapfrog, which is awesome because the kid already knows all of his letters and most of their sounds.  I am so okay with television teaching my kids to read.

After begging and begging to wear his brother's cowboy boots, I finally remembered I had a pair in storage that were about his size that we inherited from the Stouts.  I pulled them out and made his day.

Rhode and Asher spend a lot of time together these days while Scarlet is at school.  He is more and more transforming into a fun playmate for his older brother and a nicer sibling to his younger brother.  And really, he is just hard to resist.

Asher buddy, you are just one of a kind.  And I am so glad there is only one of you.  :)