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"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."— William Butler Yeats
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Clean Your Plates, Kids!

Hey, at least he's cleaning his tray for me, right?  Now if only I could teach an almost-2-yr-old how to properly handle a broom and a mop....

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Anna Banana

Isn't she a cute, little, teeny weeny mother of FOUR?!

My cousin, Anna, and her cute family came into town a couple weeks ago.  They hit up EVERY major touristy attraction Southern California has to offer: Disneyland, Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Legoland, and the beach.  We were lucky enough to be able to join them at the beach and Legoland.  We were even luckier (sorry Anna) to have Dan be able to join us at Legoland.  We were using our free tickets we got when we went last December.  We had one day left to use them.  :)

It was so fun to see Anna again and catch up.  The beach was great because we got to just sit and chat for a little while.  Legoland was a little craaaaazy because it was the rest of the world's spring break and I think everyone came to SoCal.  :)

Left to right: Soren, Anders, Karsten, Evan, and Seth

Anna and her DARLING daughter, Stella.

First ride Karsten's ever been on where he wasn't sitting on his mom or dad's lap.  He loved it so much that Dan got right back in line with him to go again.  I think this ride was broken when we went in December.

Stella had a major blowout.  Like, m-a-j-o-r.  Apparently up to her neck/hair, major.  I couldn't help but take a picture of Anna and her friends tending to said crisis.  Too funny!

I decided to make the lady behind the car a bit more modest.  Aren't my editing skills phenomenal?!  :P

Anna's littlest dude, Grant.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012


What an amazing husband I have.  And Soren is seriously the most tender kid ever.  This was one of those heart-bursting moments that we moms happen upon every once in a while and that make this crazy thing called motherhood completely WORTH IT.

**If you've never heard of the game Pick and Draw, definitely check it out.  Soren and Anders can play it together without my help and they have a grand old time.
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Surviving Easter

Tribute-to-Passover Dinner

I know the title doesn't inspire confidence in our enjoyment of this year's Easter celebrations, but let's put it this way, the kids had a great time and didn't seem to feel like they missed out on anything.  Dan and I, on the other hand, struggled to survive Easter this year.

Here's why.

**Warning: this may be a TMI kind of intro.  Readers beware.**

First off, we went to bed at around 1:30am on Sunday morning.  That's bad news for parents with three kids.  Baaaaad news.  I was trying to get the house in order for Easter festivities and Dan was putting the finishing touches on his talk for church.  After sleeping for a bit (a really, really little bit), I had an unwelcome visitation from Montezuma's Revenge.  For three hours.  In the middle of the long, lonely night.  At the same time that I began my record (and repeated) sprints to the loo, Karsten woke up and Dan had to calm him down and get him back to sleep.  After that, he stood by the bathroom door to make sure I wasn't going to throw up (why do the runs and the vomits always seem to go hand in hand?).  Luckily, I never did throw up and Dan was able to go back to sleep while my body vacated itself.  In the end, I moaned myself to sleep.  And in the morning, I declared myself bested and asked Dan to forgive me for missing his sacrament meeting talk on Easter Sunday.  I also had to ask him to find the Sunday School president to make arrangements for my class.  I'm so lucky to have Dan. He took the two older boys to church with him and snotty-nosed Karsten and I stayed home to attempt a recovery before the Easter festivities would resume post-services.  It didn't work.  Karsten wouldn't sleep and I just kept thinking about the spring rolls I needed to get up and make.

Dan came home early to relieve me (of Karsten, ha!) and help me make the spring rolls before the boys got home (thank you, Sharps!).  We ate a yummy lunch of veggie spring rolls and stir fry.

Then we tried the sleeping thing again.  It didn't work so well.  Karsten was being a little pill and refusing to sleep.  It was frustrating.

For an afternoon snack I made little hatching egg chickies, an idea I found on Pinterest.  I made one little adjustment.  I used blueberries for the eyes instead of mini chocolate chips.  Don't you just love how they turned out all craaaaaaazy looking?  I love my demented chickies.

Later in the day, when it wasn't quite so hot (Yes, 78* is hot - I'm pregnant, remember?), Dan trekked the backyard hiding Easter eggs filled with moolah and the boys lined up for their Easter egg hunt.  This was Karsten's first time participating in an Easter egg hunt.  He was so cute!  He sucked in a breath of air whenever he found one, audibly surprised and pleased.  He also showed Dan every single one before it went into his little bunny bag.  What a darling boy we have.  Soren and Anders were practically impossible to catch in the act of finding. They moved through the backyard like a whirlwind.  I had to get them to stop and pose for me so I'd have proof they were there.  :)

I love his expressive feet!

New shirts from Old Navy.  Aren't they awesome?!

Anders is so handsome!  Hellooooo, future lady-killer!

Again with the feet!  I love his chubby feet!

Proof that Mommy was there.

And Daddy.

Preggo pictures for those who keep pestering me for them.  :)  I am now 32 weeks along and busting at the seams.

All the seekers counting up their booty.  Karsten found one of the two dollar bills I hid in eggs.  He scored a total of $2.92 for his little savings account.

Soren didn't get a dollar bill, but he must have gotten the most quarters because he raked in the highest amount at a whopping $7.32!

Anders enjoyed dumping the contents of his eggs into a little game box that Karsten had cleared out earlier in the day (see the cards on the floor in the background?).  He rocked the house at $6.78.

Needless to say, after a scrumptious combined dinner/dessert of crepes with our choice of almond butter, bananas, applesauce, coconut, maple syrup, and raspberry jelly, Dan and I pretty much threw the kids in bed and scurried ourselves off to sleep.

I'm not celebrating any more holidays until this baby comes.  (Except maybe Mother's Day.  I think I can handle celebrating that one. :D)

Hope everyone else had a wonderful Easter!
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Good Work Ethic

"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, WORK, and wholesome recreational activities."

I'll be the first to admit that my kids have their quirks and faults (like every imperfect body in this imperfect world), but boy are they GRRRRRRRREAT cleaners!  They are super helpful and obedient and just plain wonderful to have in my home for my crazy, nesting self to boss around at will.  Just kidding.  Truly, though, one of the lessons I'd love for them to have learned before they leave our home is the virtue of a good work ethic.  I'm not a great exemplar of this quality - being easily persuaded (by my own selfish brain) to retire to my bed for an afternoon nap rather than tackle that pee pee plagued wall behind the boys' toilet - but Dan is a spectacular worker.  Only problem is, his stellar work ethic is mostly being displayed at his job outside the home (as it should be).  So I've been trying to really squelch that lazy inner voice of mine and get myself motivated in order to get my troops motivated.  You know the whole "be what you want them to be, do what you want them to do" gig.  Anyway, I still find myself frequently hoisting my heft onto my bed these days, but I've been trying much harder to stay on top of things and work, work, work first so that I can take that nap without any guilty feelings of neglect nagging at me. And these boys have been more than willing to come along for the ride.  I am so, so grateful for these wonderful, helpful guys of mine.  They have great attitudes and are game for anything.  They teach me so much and I'm so grateful I get to be their mom!

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