Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mind House-keeping

Basically, I am going through a mind dump of the week. Enjoy.

Remember that time when Faye was sick and I was cleaning her sick off the whole house and it was less than pleasant? Except of course you don't, because I was too tired after cleaning her sick up, and then Vince and Jeffrey getting it, that I completely spaced writing about it. But trust me, it was miserable, and no one enjoyed it one bit.

Especially my couch! Because after Faye had gotten sick on it, I scrubbed that thing to pieces! And yet, like an unwelcome house guest, the odor lingered. I sprayed it down with all kinds of cleaners, I put it out in the sun, having read the sun helps to dissipate smells and stains, but to no avail. It was as if the cushions had been dipped into the Bog of Eternal Stench. I did love that couch, but when we could not get the heinous scent to go away, and it was perfuming the air in the house, Jeffrey declared it was time to go.

My yellow couch made me happy. It was long, and one could easily fall asleep, stretched out full length on it. It had a vintage style that just made me smile. Except it seemed to be a magnet for the children. Beth and Faye had colored with magenta Sharpie all over the side of it. Beth had painted with glue all over the cushions and back of it, so that it was no longer velvety soft, but instead, deceitfully dangerous. It could cut you if you got on its bad side! There were wires and springs poking out of the sides and back, and the kids, ignoring the trampoline we have for them outside, had decided to have jumping contests on it. Because the floor is lava, guys, and you have to have 12 practice jumps before springing from the couch onto the rug 1 foot away. And so, it was time to say goodbye to my beautiful couch. Obviously, we let the kids have a mad jumping party on it before we sent it to the dump. Because there was no way we would inflict that stench on anyone else by giving it away.

Thanks to my lovely friend Lisa who kept a sharp eye out for me, I was able to snag a great couch, oversized chair (obviously it has become my reading chair), and an ottoman for free! To me, that was the greatest find ever! I did have to do some serious rearranging to get everything to fit into my living room, seeing as how one piece of furniture left and three came in to take its place. After a tight squeeze, I have everything in a very hygge manner. I am quite pleased with it, and love curling up in my chair (because it is big enough that I can curl up in it!) with my book (currently reading As I Lay Dying by Faulkner) after the kids have gone to bed, and just enjoy my bedtime tea and my book in the silence. It is glorious!



School has started and so far it is going wonderfully.


Keith is not hating it as much as he thought he would, silly boy.



Faye is in heaven, though she says she misses me. She will soon get over it, I am confident, and be so happy and talkative and popular in school that she wont have time to miss me. We haven't really gotten into a routine yet, but I am planning on doing story time at the libraries with Beth, and going on lots of walks, and hopefully get lots of cleaning done so that my house will once again be organized and I can be a happy, at peace Mommy.

Friday night we were going to go to the ward campout, but I got a call from a dear friend of mine. His son and Keith are very good friends and rarely get to see each other. They were having a wienie roast/s'mores night and invited us to join them. Of course I said yes!










He lives in a place that is like paradise to me. Nestled snug in the mountains, his backyard is a kid's dream with a stream running through it, an old abandoned log cabin, and miles and miles of mountain to explore! I breathed deeply of the crisp mountain air, openly showing my admiration for his location. That is where I will one day end up. Not the same place, obviously, but something very similar. Wild open spaces for the children to explore, crickets as loud as a brass band, and the star painted sky glittering all around. That to me is heaven.

When we tired of the food, we went inside and watched Prince Caspian. I am so happy that they chose that movie. I have been trying, for such a long time, to get Keith to read the Chronicles of Narnia, except he has the weird syndrome that "if mom recommends it, it must be dumb" that kids sometimes get. Finally, he has interest in reading the books! In fact, we started The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe today! He is loving it so far. As I knew he would. By the time the movie was over, however, we didn't get home until after midnight. Keith and Faye thought it was the greatest thing ever, to be up that late. Vince and Beth weren't so keen on the idea.

While the kids have to wear uniforms to school every day, Friday is dress down day. This past Friday, as the kids were getting ready for school, Keith informed me that he doesn't have any dress down clothes. The silly boy never tells me these things until the last minute when I can't really do anything about it! Because of that, Saturday became a big day. First we went to visit my grandmother.


Beth charmed her by pretending a rock was a telephone and calling her over and over on the rock phone. Grandma answered using her glasses case. I laughed so much, as did Grandma! After that, I dropped the younger kids off at my in-law's house, and Keith and I went play clothes shopping. It was miserable. We honestly went to 3 different stores, and I guess his size is very common right now, because there was nothing for him at 2 of those stores! It was incredibly frustrating, because I hate shopping. Especially when the shopping trip is unfruitful. Finally, we were able to find something, and after 3 pairs of pants/shorts and 1 t-shirt, I gave up and we went home. He can wear Jeffrey's old t-shirts if he really needs something. I just think it is funny that he didn't say anything until he needed to be wearing it. He cracks me up, all of the time.

My kids are absolutely perfect for me. I have thought about this quite a bit, and am amazed that Heavenly Father knows each of us so well. He sent me the children that I would be able to connect with, and grow from the most. What an absolute blessing they are in my life! I feel like I just gush over them all the live-long-day, but what's a mother to do when they are as cute as mine?!



And let's just admire this adorable photo of Jeffrey being the greatest dad in the cosmos or history of ever, shall we?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Those Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer's Ending


Anticipation, like a gas, is permeating my home today. It has been flowing through our every thought, action, and procrastination. You see, school starts tomorrow. Faye will be going full time, as a wise and grown up first grader. She hasn't stopped talking about it since we went to Back to School night, where she was obviously bestowed with the gift of "All Knowledge" and "The Gab." If you have any questions about what first grade is going to be like, just ask her and she will fill you in, with excruciating detail, on how everything is going to go down, according to her mind. Keith, on the other hand, has had quite the opposite reaction. Whenever school is mentioned he becomes a dust cloud, a sonic boom, the invisible man.


School has no right to come this early and interrupt his glorious summer vacation of trying to play video games while his mom (me, aka "The Evil One Who Only Wants Me Around To Do More Chores And Clean Your Whole House, And I Already Did My Chores When You Weren't Looking, And The Reason They Don't Look Clean Is Because Someone Must Have Come And Messed It Up Right After I Cleaned It, And That Sock Has Not Been There All Week, Someone Just Put It There!") desperately tries to get him to do something so he doesn't end up like poor Jimmy Jet and His TV Set (Shel Silverstein, in case you were wondering). Beth is dreading losing her playmates, and the convenience of blaming every. single. thing. on Faye. Meanwhile, she is also crazy excited to have so much time with just me, her and Vince. She loves Vince like Golum loves his Precious. She may have attempted to eat him on occasion, because she claims she cannot resist his cuteness. While I agree his cuteness is nearly overwhelming, I have had to explain to her that if she were to eat him, we would no longer have a cute little baby to snuggle, just some severe indigestion. Finally, there is me (just me this time, no elaborate aka). I am excited for them to go back to school as there will be the added structure that school always brings. I do so much better on a schedule, and am excited that I will again have that structure. on the other hand, I will be missing my kids like crazy. I have become accustomed to having them around, and I quite like them. But I am excited for all of the new experiences they are going to have, and the friends they are going to make. I loved school when I was a kid, and I am hoping that Faye's excitements stays forever, and that Keith can catch some of the joy of school, like a virus. Suddenly and violently.

This whole week has been focused on getting ready for the new year. Last year I finished getting them the uniforms that they needed. It should be illegal to grow the way that those two do. Keith had to get an entire new wardrobe, including undies, socks, shoes, pants, shirts. Seriously, everything new because he grew so much and nothing fits him now! We were lucky with Faye because we have wonderful neighbors who share clothes with us. We were given so many new uniforms that fit my girl perfectly, including shoes! All I had to get for her were socks and an occasional par of pants. All that was last week, though. Sunday night I began to straighten up the living room before going to bed, and somehow got sucked into the Black Hole (aka Faye and Beth's bedroom. Aptly named because things gravitate towards their room, and become forever stuck or lost once you pass the Event Horizon, or their door.) I ended up cleaning their whole room while they slept, and it was quite a project!

The door could neither open nor close any more than this because of the gravitational pull of stuff.
I didn't realize how long I had been in there, but I began cleaning around 9:30, and finished around 3. And then as I was going to bed, Vince, of course, woke up and wanted to eat. And he didn't finish and go back to bed until 4. To say I was tired Monday morning would be an understatement equivalent to saying Frodo and Sam went for a leisurely stroll to toss a ring into a little puddle of steam. And yet, I had plans for Monday! 

Monday Annie, Adrienne, and I all loaded up our kids, squishing as many into each vehicle so we wouldn't all have to drive, and headed to a cheese factory to get some squeaky cheese, and shelf stable milk. I needed the milk so that I could have it to put into the kids' lunches this year. And then they went to another food outlet store to get some cheap filler snacks for their lunch boxes. And then we had to stop to get ice cream, of course. Finally, we ended our excursion at an Amish store. Because that is a perfectly normal outing, right? By the time we got to the Amish store, I was exhausted, and I was so ready for school to start. Spending all day long, in close quarters with 10 kids while functioning on only 3 hours of sleep is not ideal. But I have to tell you, if I could marry that Amish store, just for its deli, I WOULD! Annie, Adrienne and I stood at the back and chatted with the guy who sliced the meat and cheese for us. For a good half hour, we stood there, sampling cheeses and meats that he told us about. And can I tell you about the chipotle cheese? It was the smoothest, creamiest, yummiest thing that has ever caressed my pallet. I will be going back soon, just for the cheese. The pumpkin butter was quite divine, too, but really, nothing holds a flame to that cheese! And I didn't even know I was a cheese lover like that before we got there.

Tuesday was Back to School Night. I strapped Vince onto me, and then we headed out to meet the teachers. Keith was much alleviated once he talked with his teacher.



He has the same wonderful woman he had last year. He had his heart set on getting a new teacher, but he is excited now. Faye, of course, bounded in to meet her teacher with a burst of energy rivaling that of the birth of a new star.


She flew around the room, lighting up everything in her vicinity as she explored her new home for the school year.



She met some old friends, and was in and out with kaleidoscopic energy and enthusiasm. Keith was as steady and serious as ever. His teacher wonderfully put him at ease, and even helped him be excited for the year to come. I just love her and am so glad he has her again! When we finished with Back to School night, we went to the local Soda Parlor and got a treat. Then to the hardware store for a growing chart board, and home.

Which brings us to today. We got our backpacks out and began filling out the paperwork that needs to be returned tomorrow. I added the events that will be happening these next few weeks to my planner, and Faye started on her homework. She is so excited to be going back to school! Keith made his lunch around 3:00 and put it in the fridge. His school clothes have been spread out on the ottoman for just as long. He is so careful and meticulous with everything. Faye, on the other hand has barely been able to keep herself from exploding with the excitement of going back to school tomorrow. She practically flew around the house, leaving chaos in her wake. She went to the neighbor's house and played for a bit, and then came home and caused chaos once again. She still doesn't have her stuff ready for tomorrow, because she is having serious difficulty in staying still long enough.

And then the real fun began!


I have been trying to coax Keith into learning to ride his bike for a few years now. Today was the day he finally decided to give it a try. I took Vince out in his bouncer and set him in the shade on the grass. I then pulled out the bike. Faye, being the more adventurous of the two hopped right on the bike, now fear at all. She began pedaling, and with a little bit of coaching, she began to pick it up! But then it was Keith's turn. It is his bike, after all. Her bike has two flats, so we just focused on using Keith's. Oh my goodness, I love that boy's determination! With a little coaxing, he was nearly riding on his own! And then Jeffrey came out and took over, which lovely for me, because I could then pull out the camera and go all paparazzi on them.




Jeffrey is so practical. His first instruction was to teach them how to fall. "Lean into the fall," he taught them. And then he tried to help them learn to ride. After about twenty minutes, Keith asked if I could come back and help them, because I am the better teacher. I laughed!


I didn't teach so much as encourage, tell him he could do it, and help him balance a little bit.

And now my children understand the exhilaration of freedom. The freedom that flying through the air, the wind tugging at your clothes and hair, and the absolute joy of speed that signifies bike riding. They are already planning biking trips, and I am thrilled that they are so excited, because so am I. I haven't gone biking at all since... who knows how long? But I have longed to. Before the kids started to learn, they had to beg me to get off of the bike so they could have a turn. And while it was a very small bike, and incredibly difficult for me to steer, I got a taste of that excitement again! What an apt way to end summer, on the wind of a bike.


And then it was time for dinner, showers, prayer, and bed. Before bed, we pulled out the Growth Chart board and I measured everyone.


Jeffrey may have cheated a little, because there is no way he is that much taller than me, but he laughed and said it is now etched into wood for history, so no one will ever know the truth. Typical. I also presented the kids with key chains with charms for their backpacks.


The smiley face is to remind them to be kind and to help others. We do all we can to make others happy. If we see someone who is sad, we help them. If someone is being teased, we be their friend. We make others laugh. We care about them. When we do this, it will help us to be happy, as well.

The book charm is to remind them that the main reason they are in school is to learn and progress academically. They are to focus and take advantage of the free education that is being offered.

They need to be tough and brave. There will be lots of hard things that they will have to do at school. Many will be scary. They need to remember to follow the example of the Stripling Warriors (the arrow charm). The Warriors were brave because they prayed to God for help, and if Keith and Faye do the same, they can have courage! When they pray, their answers will come to them through the Holy Ghost (Spirit charm).

They will have to stand up for the right. Not everyone will have the same rules as our family (the G charm), and that is okay. They can still be a friend to people who have different rules, but if they do things that make them feel bad inside, then they can choose to not do those things with them. They can walk away. They should do things with friends that help them feel good inside, things that will help them feel the Holy Ghost.

Finally, they must cherish the Word of God. (hold to the rod charm- which I hadn't put on when I took the picture). Throughout everything, they will gain strength, courage, knowledge, and guidance by studying the scriptures and abiding by the things that they learn. If they stay close to the word of God, all things will work out, always.

And I gave them sanitizer because germs. I hope that seeing the key chain with the charms will help remind them to make the right choices. I hope that they are going to have the best year ever!

And now, instead of going to bed so I can get up early and be a happy mommy, I am dangerously close to deciding to cleaning, because then they can wake up to the peace of a clean house with a lovely pot of crockpot oatmeal ready to eat for their first day of school! Hopefully it wont take as long as Faye's room did!

Friday, August 5, 2016

My Darling Beth,


Last Saturday marked the third anniversary of you joining our little family, and I have to tell you what a wonderful addition you are. I can't imagine life without you. You are such a light, and an intrinsic component of our lives. I love how quick you are to laugh. You think everything is a joke. You are the reason I have gone against so many of my "I would never..." parental vows. For example, when we go places, you love to run away and hide, watching the panic on my face as I frantically search for you. 


Usually a kind passerby will point you out to me, hiding behind a shelf, or in a rack of clothes, or around a corner. Because of this, we now make you wear a leash. 

*Gasp!*

I know! I used to scorn the parents who needed a leash to look after their children, and here you have me eating humble pie. It tastes a lot like peace of mind, I must say.


You love to explore life and everything in your little universe. We have learned that we have to watch you much more closely than we ever did Keith or Faye. You have a nose for mischief and you love to get it dirty! Last week I had to go to a meeting and your Daddy called me home in a panic. Apparently, you had found the red house paint we had been using to paint the rental house, and you decided to paint the walls, floor, tv, table, chairs, couches, and yourself. A few weeks prior to that you had gotten into my acrylic paints and done the same thing to the upstairs of our house. 


Not to mention the many times you have found markers and colored the walls, the couches, yourself...

You love to play with barbies and dollies. You do everything from change their diapers, feed them, take them for walks, and give them baths. You love to bathe those dollies of yours. Every day. 


Flooding my bathroom and gleefully dumping an entire bottle of soap into the water with them to make sure they get squeaky clean. You also love bath time for yourself, and any time you hear the water running, you insist on climbing in with whoever is currently in the shower/tub. When you don't have any dollies on hand, you make do with what you have. You have used your blocks as dolls, or pieces of paper, and once, I even saw you using your fingers as you imagined they were dollies since nothing else was around.

You love to get your hair fixed. Every morning you ask if I can fix your hair. You bring me the hair box and spray bottle and while I comb out the snarls and untangle your gorgeous honey colored curls, you gleefully watch Heidi on Netflix. The same Heidi as the book written by Johanna Spyri in 1881. Because you have great literary taste, my dear. Or, if you are not in the mood for Heidi, you watch Brave because Merida is your favorite Disney Princess. And it makes me laugh because we briefly considered naming you Merida. But you are such a wild and free spirit, and oh so brave! I love that she is your favorite, because she does her own saving.

Right now your favorite color is pink. The only thing you asked for, for your birthday, was a pink cake. 


Every time, you specified that it must be a pink cake. I mentioned many other things, toys, games, dolls, etc. You would not be swayed. A pink cake you must have, and a pink cake is what you got!


You love to listen to music and dance with your brother and sister. You love going to dance class and running around, playing with the other girls in dance. You are so friendly and when you meet a new friend, it doesn't take you any time at all to envelop that child in your world of imagination.

Bethy, you are the world's greatest cleaner! When I ask for help to clean up the living room, you jump right on it. Keith and Faye will stand there arguing about who has to do it, and who made the bigger mess, and you just jump right in, and begin putting things away. And you do such a great job of getting most of the things in the correct places, even!

Your favorite food right now is anything with sugar in it. Or cheese. you love cheese and will sometimes get into the fridge at night when you should be sleeping. You take a big bite out of the brick of cheddar, wrap it back up, and place it back in the cheese drawer in the fridge for me to find the next time I am needing it. With a complex dental imprint on the corners of the cheese. 

Your favorite thing to do is go for walks, or be read to. You love to be outside and active, whether it be on the trampoline, or in the stroller or just walking down the street. If you find a book lying around, you insist it be read to you, because to you, that is the greatest thing in the world. And I don't mind doing it, as it really helps your imagination. Sometimes your Paca Stories comes over to read to you. You call him that, because he is the one who reads. You will climb up on his lap with a mountain of books, and not let him leave until he has read every last one to you. He loves it as much as you do.


I am so happy that I get to be your mom, and that you still come and cuddle with me every morning. I love your cuddles with your nose tickling hair. When you are tired, you rub your ear lobe. When you are exceptionally tired, you reach up and rub my ear lobe. You still have a binki, and I dread the day when we get rid of it, though I know it must happen soon. You do NOT sleep without your binki. If you wake up in the middle of the night and we can't find it, you howl from my bedroom that you want your binki. You won't nap without it, and I know that the day you give up your binki will be the day you give up naps. I am heavily debating which is more important to me. 

You adore your little brother and idolize your older brother and sister. Never have I seen such a younger sibling so successfully tease their older siblings. You have a knack of getting under Keith and Faye's skin, and you laugh and laugh as they are trying to get away. And you have recently started kissing everything. I mean everything! Stair rails, packages at the store, windows, doorknobs, etc. You get so much joy out of loving everything in sight! 

I cannot believe that I am as lucky as I am to call you my daughter. I love you forever, Everly Beth!

Mommy

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Birthday Eve Journal

July 29th,

Dear Diary,

Tomorrow is my birthday. I am so excited! Today was so much fun!!! I got to go play at a splash pad with some friends of mine. I went down the slides and played in the water with my friends, and it was so much fun! Except I didn't like when Keith made me stand under the big bucket and it dumped out all of the water and soaked me and it was cold and so scary! But my mom was right there and she yelled at Keith and let me sit on her lap wrapped in a towel and fed me animal crackers and fudge goldfish. I love those crackers and goldfish!

After the splash pad, we went to Grandma's house. I got to play with some of my cousins, and we chased the cat around, and played on the swing set and with the barbies. My favorite is to play with the barbies and dollies. And Grandma always gives me treats when I use the potty at her house, so I try to go 12 times each time we visit. But sometimes I forget and have an accident. But Grandma doesn't get mad at me, so it is okay.

Today my aunt MaryAnn brought some pizza to share with everyone, and Mommy and Grandma made me a PINK cake! It was chocolate on the inside, but the pink frosting was my favorite part. And the ice cream! I had pink ice cream, too! We stayed for most of the day, and played and ate, and I got presents. Even Great Grandma Jeri was able to come! She has been sick and so I haven't been able to see much of her lately. I was happy to see her again.

When we got home, Daddy made us dinner and I got to cuddle with Mommy and watch a show with her. It was a great day. I love my birthday!

Always,
Beth


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Mister Vinster Gush

It is time for a Vince update.

My cute little guy just rocks my world! He is 4 months old now, and blows me away. His favorite thing is to make his bouncer really bounce. I put him in it, and he kicks those chubby legs of his until his chair is bouncing so hard, I worry he will be flung out of it. When the bouncing slows down, he begins to kick furiously again, as if to take off into the stratosphere. And if I glance his way, he smirks and begins to kick all the more.

This kid has got legs! With those legs, he travels the world, or the carpet, or his crib. He will probably be a sleepwalker. When he wakes up in the morning, his head is squished against the bars of his crib, even when we place him at the bottom of his bed. Or, I find him sideways, head against the bars and feet against the bars, and miserable.

Mister Vinster gives the greatest hugs! I hold him, and often I find his arm tightening around my neck, while he gives me a slobbery kiss on the other side.

I don't know how on earth I got so lucky as to be able to call him mine, but I am SO happy that he belongs to me.

Best baby EVER!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Aviary Adventures

I just love this picture of Keith. So serene and contemplative. This is the essence of my boy.
It seems after I have a baby, I always have to go to the dentist. Those adorable little parasites leach my body of calcium and my teeth suffer, despite the brushing and flossing.

Last week one of my teeth began to hurt when I put pressure on it. Then on Friday, another tooth began to hurt when it was touched with heat, or cold, and I couldn't put pressure on it. And so, with dread, I scheduled an appointment for my dentist. I didn't want to deal with another cavity, and especially didn't want to deal with the bill.

Today was my appointment. I gathered the children, and we headed down, the nearly hour long drive, until we reached the dentist. I love my dentist. We chit chatted for a bit first, and then he inspected my teeth while the office ladies oohed and aahed over Mister Vinster. The good news is I don't have any cavities like I suspected! Apparently, having a sinus infection can cause pain in the back top teeth. Weird, right? And then, despite my best efforts, I have been grinding my teeth again, or so it seems. My extremely painful tooth has an exposed root. Happily, he slapped some fluoride on it, and the pain receded. He then sent me home with some fluoride toothpaste to apply directly to the tooth, Since I didn't bring it with me, he asked me to text him some pictures of my retainer, both in my mouth and out of it.


That was absolutely the strangest text I have ever sent to anyone!

Afterwards, though, was the highlight of our day. I had promised the children that we would go to the Tracy Aviary, and so we did!



The best part, though, was that our friend Kylie works there and was able to give the kids a mini tour before she had to rush off.


They love seeing Kylie! And they love playing at the bird park. Also, the baby toucan is huge, and was so fun to watch and hear!


We didn't stay very long. I was willing to stay longer, but the kids led me out after seeing only half of the park.

I love taking them on outings because it typically wears them out. They went right to bed, and now, Jeffrey and I are on a hot date, watching Lord of the Rings in our pajamas. We have finally made it out of the Shire, and it only took us 2 weeks to do so. It is so fun to hear him heckle it, though. We love to heckle movies.

Another successful day has come to a close.

What a wonderful life I live!

Aviary Adventures

I just love this picture of Keith. So serene and contemplative. This is the essence of my boy.
It seems after I have a baby, I always have to go to the dentist. Those adorable little parasites leach my body of calcium and my teeth suffer, despite the brushing and flossing.

Last week one of my teeth began to hurt when I put pressure on it. Then on Friday, another tooth began to hurt when it was touched with heat, or cold, and I couldn't put pressure on it. And so, with dread, I scheduled an appointment for my dentist. I didn't want to deal with another cavity, and especially didn't want to deal with the bill.

Today was my appointment. I gathered the children, and we headed down, the nearly hour long drive, until we reached the dentist. I love my dentist. We chit chatted for a bit first, and then he inspected my teeth while the office ladies oohed and aahed over Mister Vinster. The good news is I don't have any cavities like I suspected! Apparently, having a sinus infection can cause pain in the back top teeth. Weird, right? And then, despite my best efforts, I have been grinding my teeth again, or so it seems. My extremely painful tooth has an exposed root. Happily, he slapped some fluoride on it, and the pain receded. He then sent me home with some fluoride toothpaste to apply directly to the tooth, Since I didn't bring it with me, he asked me to text him some pictures of my retainer, both in my mouth and out of it.


That was absolutely the strangest text I have ever sent to anyone!

Afterwards, though, was the highlight of our day. I had promised the children that we would go to the Tracy Aviary, and so we did!



The best part, though, was that our friend Kylie works there and was able to give the kids a mini tour before she had to rush off.


They love seeing Kylie! And they love playing at the bird park. Also, the baby toucan is huge, and was so fun to watch and hear!


We didn't stay very long. I was willing to stay longer, but the kids led me out after seeing only half of the park.

I love taking them on outings because it typically wears them out. They went right to bed, and now, Jeffrey and I are on a hot date, watching Lord of the Rings in our pajamas. We have finally made it out of the Shire, and it only took us 2 weeks to do so. It is so fun to hear him heckle it, though. We love to heckle movies.

Another successful day has come to a close.

What a wonderful life I live!