Monday, July 20, 2015

2 Weeks Worth

I neglected to blog last Sunday because I had been working on my France posts for so many days that I didn't want to get on here anymore. But I'd like to be all caught up before we head to Utah this week for our month-long vacation! So a few things going on...

Sadly we have lost a chicken. We're now down to 15. It's pretty sad and disturbing how it happened. Brynlee was outside and had a plastic grocery sack (I don't know why, but she did). She started waving it up and down and for some reason the noise of the bag like freaked the chickens out and they started all running around to another corner of their coop as if it was going to attack them. She wasn't even in the coop, but standing outside of it not too far away. She saw their reaction and thought it was funny, so she did it again. I had seen her the first time and was trying to yell out the window at her to stop but she couldn't hear me because of the noise with the bag and the scared chickens. So it took a few seconds to get her to stop. I got after her for torturing the chickens and for not listening to me. She was sitting inside with me for a few minutes to think about what she'd done. She went back outside and there was a chicken laying in the coop, totally dead. Another chicken started coming over and pecked at it like investigating. So we hurried and took it out of the coop (and by we, I mean I made Tyler do it because it was so disturbing to me to see a dead chicken laying there that I couldn't touch it and he wasn't bothered by it at all) because I know they can be cannibalistic. We think it must have hit a 2x4 or the coop itself in all the commotion and snapped it's neck and was just done for. They were all trying to run/fly away from the noise and in a big flock in a small, enclosed space. Brynlee felt awful, as she should. When Kenny came home from work he made her help to dig a hole and bury it in our backyard. She, and the other kids, had some good talking-to with us about how we treat animals, and that teasing isn't ever funny. It's sad that it was at the expense of a chicken's life, but better to learn the lesson now. I'm sure she won't forget that.

Last weekend (the 10th or 11th) Kenny took the 4 older kids to see the movie "Inside Out". They all really enjoyed it and had a fun outing with dad. They even got to ride in the truck which was probably the most exciting part about the whole thing! Not sure what it is about the truck they all love so much but it's quite the hot commodity.

On Wednesday, the 8th, we had a fun cub scout activity. We all went out to Sutton, to Coyote Lake to hunt for fossils. The only thing we found were leaf fossils, but it was still pretty cool. It was not a very warm day, like in the 50's and cloudy. I was there with all my kids, and several other leaders/parents came with their kids so we had quite a group. One little girl, who is about 2 years old (either just under or her birthday) she is a little adventurer and just takes off and does what she wants. Her mom had run to the car to get something and so she was being watched by her dad and grandma. Well for whatever reason she decided to take off into the lake. It was pretty crazy because she didn't even slow down I mean she just ran straight into it. I was handing out sandwiches to my kids when I heard her grandma scream "Winnie, NOOO" and I turned and saw her run straight into it. she didn't even slow down. After like the first step it drops off really quickly. She may have been expecting it to be shallow for a little ways like it is here at Wasilla Lake where kids always play. But anyway she was under the water, face down and struggling to come up. Thankfully I had set Briggs down a minute ago so I wasn't holding him and just ran after her and jumped in and pulled her out. It was such a scary moment. Thankfully she was totally okay, just a little shooken up and totally wet and cold. We didn't stay too much longer. Unfortunately my phone was in my pocket when it happened, and it took me 1-3 minutes to remember that fact before I pulled it out. We came home and I stuck it in rice for the rest of the day and overnight. I couldn't see anything on the screen except weird green lines, and I was so worried. I prayed hard that it wouldn't be ruined and thankfully it came back to life! Go rice!! :) So thankful we were all safe and protected on that trip. That is a very good reason why we always say prayers before starting any activity!

Brigham is so hilarious lately. He turned 11 months old on July 12th. The only two things he can say are "no" and "uh-oh" which is not a very good sign! haha. But it's so funny. He also likes to shake his head all crazy as if he's saying no, but he doesn't know it means that. It gets a good reaction from all the kids so he does it often. He can walk along furniture but he's certainly not close to walking on his own. He can't stand alone or anything like that yet. But that's okay, he'll get it in his own time. He is so very very loved and doted on by all of us. Still loves his binky which makes me happy! He'll eat absolutely anything, and a lot of it! He's a horrible teether. So playful and squishy and cute. Loves playing games with daddy more than anything. Lately he's been choosing his dad over me which is really sweet.

This past weekend Kenny went fishing with Andy. It's the first time he's gone this year and they were doing to go dip-netting so he could just catch a bunch and be done for the summer. Only it was awful and he didn't catch a single one. He came home pretty deflated and bitter about what a waste of time and money it was to go down there. I suppose that's the gamble of going fishing. It's not as certain as picking them up in the grocery store--even in Alaska. We decided we'll have to go all together as a family next year and go camping out on the beach and make a whole trip out of it. That way he will not be in a rush to get back, and we'll have fun together. Briggs will be almost 2 then so it'll be a lot funner than it would be right now.

One day we decided to make individual pizzas for lunch. Kelsey loves rolling out dough, but mostly she just loves to eat it.

On Friday night when daddy was gone we made pancake faces for dinner. It was a big hit! The original plan was to watch the movie Stuart Little since we just finished reading it together this week. But they didn't have it at Blockbuster so we ended up getting Fantastic Mr. Fox. It's kind of a weird show, and we all enjoyed the book much better, but it's been a while since we've read it. Anyway, Tyler made his pancakes one as a mouse, Stuart Little, and the other as his bird friend, Margalo.

The swing set is still a favorite. Especially now that the hornets are gone. When Kenny was removing one of the tree roots that was sticking out underneath where the 2 end swings are, we discovered (rather quickly!) a big hornets nest. It was a mess trying to get rid of it, but Kenny's very persistent and he finally did. But not until we'd already had lots of casualties. Kenny, Kelsey, and Brynlee (twice!) were all stung. Those are no fun.

Last week Conocco Philips had a company party which was lots of fun. It was actually raining the whole time--it didn't let up once. But they still had a blast. Unfortunately most of the pictures were on Kenny's phone, which he dropped in the water when he went fishing. So he's got a new phone now but I think those pictures are gone. Luckily I have a few, and they took a family picture there for us with props and everything! We certainly didn't come dressed like that, we just put on their stuff for the picture. But they had lots of yummy food, horse/pony rides, a rock climbing wall, a salmon ride that tries to throw you off (sort of like a bucking bull in other states, but here we have a salmon). Anyway they had a great time. Then we of course had to stop at Costco before coming home :). Oh and I have a funny story. We got there a little bit early into Anchorage so we parked and went into the 5th Avenue mall that's downtown there. I discovered that Brynlee and Madison, but mostly Madison are very scared of escalators. Kelsey was okay if I held onto her hand. But it was so funny one time we all got on except for Madi and she really wouldn't step onto it. She kept sticking out her foot like she wanted to, but she just couldn't go for it. A total stranger woman saw the situation (as I'm trying to coax her into it as I slide further and further away...) and she held her hand and helped her to step on. It was pretty funny. We need to get out more!! I don't think we've been to a mall in like over a year, seriously.

Oh and also on Friday, it was another cold and rainy day. So we thought it'd be the perfect day to check out our local "museum". It's called the Dorothy G. Page Museum and it's just next door to the library (they share a parking lot). We wanted to wait till Friday because that's the day it's free! It's really small, and doesn't have a whole lot. But we had the whole thing to ourselves haha so the ladies were super nice and attentive. It was fun to walk around and see a bunch of cool artifacts and learn more about the founding of this town and more of the history of Alaska. After that we went to the library for a bit before heading home. They had a fun scavenger hunt game for the older ones to play so they were looking for specific things the whole time. It helped them to stay focused and look around for more than 2.5 seconds.

Last Sunday we had the Meades over for dinner. We just love them and are grateful for their friendship. And yesterday (also Sunday) we had the Larsons over for dinner. They're a new family in our ward, but both grew up in Alaska. It was fun getting to know them better, they're a cute family.

We're getting to know more families on our street which is fun. The other night we took a fresh loaf of bread down to a new family that just moved in. She's close to having her third baby, they have 2 little girls. And another family that just lives a few houses down but it's taken this whole time to introduce ourselves and get to know each other. Anyway between them and the next door neighbors our kids stay occupied with friends and our yard is overrun with children. I love it and would prefer them to be where I can keep an eye on what's going on. By the time we get back they will all be back in school, and one house will probably have moved. But the kids have sure enjoyed having some more playmates.

We're all getting so excited about our upcoming vacation. There's certainly parts I'm dreading and just bracing myself for and starting right now to pray for the extra patience I'll need. Just all the things that come with travelling  (SOO much travelling!!) with 5 young kids. But hopefully we'll make lots of great memories and they'll build better relationships with grandparents and cousins, etc. We're so looking forward to it.

Friday, July 10, 2015

France Trip Day 11 - March 21

*Disclaimer: I just dropped a whole boat load of posts about our trip to France. It's taken me a while to get them all together. As always, don't feel like you have to read it all. It's just for my journaling purposes.

We were finally heading home!! We slept in till almost 8 and took our time getting ready. We walked down to a boulangerie for breakfast, and found some souvenir shops to get something for the kids. We took the shuttle to the airport and flew to Iceland! There was a pretty rainbow there when we landed. Wish we could've gotten out and explored, but instead just took a picture from the window. :)  Had a long day of travelling. Andy picked us up from the airport and was so nice to let us leave our car at their house. We were SOO happy to get back home. I'm so glad we went, but I hope on our next trip I won't have a baby to worry about :). But even still I was glad we didn't have him. It was a lot colder and rainier than we expected, and we went for long periods of time without food and water.  It was such a wonderful trip and we made so many great memories.

France Trip Day 10 - March 20

This morning we had to say goodbye to Steph and Andrew, as they were flying out a day before everyone else. We grabbed breakfast at... you guessed it! A boulangerie :). We drove to Versailles and walked through the Chateau and gardens there. I still remember this from when I was little. Especially all the gold. 
For lunch we met with a guy from Tim's mission who is a less active Tim had been working with. He was in Paris and Tim wanted to introduce us so we met him. His name was Kenny too! :) We also got to drive over and see the temple site. It's so cool to see a temple under construction right there in Paris. What a blessing that will be. Then we drove over to the Notre Dame Cathedral and went in. We got to sit there and listen for a little bit as they started mass. The woman singing had the most beautiful, clear voice. It was cool, but we didn't stay for all of it. Then we had to go back into the traffic! We stopped at the grocery store, and then went to our old friend's house, Jody Jones. They were in our ward when we lived there, and they're still there today! They raised their kids there and everything. Amazing. We had a wonderful evening there. Jody is hilarious and makes her home so warm and inviting. She fed us using a raclette, which is the coolest dinner party invention ever. We got one for my mom for her birthday this year we all loved it so much. I want one too! It was great to be in their home and see how much good and service they do there still. We got back to the hotel and got to "see" our kids for a bit on face time. Thank goodness for technology and Wifi!!! :) We chatted with my family for a bit and then said goodbye to them. They were flying out several hours before us and we didn't want to get up at 3 a.m. to see them off :). 

Poor Kenny was so tired and couldn't understand a word of French when we were talking at lunch, and he just fell asleep. :) 

This is the temple being built.

France Trip Day 9 - March 19

Grabbed breakfast at our hotel and drove to Paris! We went to the Louvre for a sinfully short amount of time. Seriously we've got to be the record-setters for the shortest amount of time spent at the Louvre! It was awful, but there's just always so much to see. You could spend days in that museum alone. It was so neat though. Driving around Paris is literally insane. I never got used to it for a second and I'm so grateful I never had to be the one driving! I am pretty sure you spend the majority of your time finding a place to park and driving, even if it's a shorter distance. So we opted to walk a lot, but that takes a long time too. We walked/ran to the Eiffel Tower! It took forever and we couldn't stop for lunch so once again we found a boulangerie and kept ourselves from starving with a little bread. The Eiffel Tower was way cool and we all rode to the top! Then we walked a ton of miles back to the car and drove through horrible traffic to get to dinner. We were meeting up with an old friend, Mathilde. She and Kim were best friends in France and have visited each other in their respective countries a few times. She's such a sweet girl and we all really enjoy her company. Her english is just awesome too. We met her at dinner at a place called Chez Fernand. It was really crowded. As in I was sitting right next to people I had never met. There's not as much need for personal space as there is here in America. :) It was fun catching up with her and my dinner was so yummy. I ordered Boeuf bourguignon. Then we drove to our hotel that ended up being in a not so good part of town haha. None of us knew because all the reservations were done online ahead of time. But it wasn't the nicest place and it sort of put a damper on everyone's spirits that night. I think we were all just exhausted too. Paris is definitely a big, busy city and I'm not used to that. (And eating dinner at 9 or 10:00 is not my thing either! I was starving!) It was one of my least favorite places to visit just because I'm not a huge fan of crowds and traffic, etc. We did have a good day and it was so fun to see all the things we did see. But like I said we were just tired, and we all got to bed late again. I cried because I missed my kids so much. I was ready to go home.

 This particular intersection is hands down the scariest driving experience of my life. I honestly couldn't even handle it I put my head down and didn't want to watch. My dad, on the other hand, is super competitive and loves a good challenge. He really enjoys driving here! haha.

The famous Mona Lisa, which is certainly not one of my favorite Da Vinci works. 

Kissing at the top! How romantic :)

 Walking the streets of Paris for approximately a hundred miles.