Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A dress, Sox, and the cold

Below, Naomi is showing off her new dress that came with a matching baby-doll dress. She has a serious look on her face because she is the Mommy - apparently Mommy's are serious. Her favorite part about the dress is that it is "long, long, long like Ashby and Avery's dresses at the temple with Kevin and Kelly."


Daddy came home from his conference in Boston as a Red Sox fan. He bought the whole family Red Sox attire and informed me that he wants to watch them again next year. In case you don't follow baseball, the Red Sox just won the... what was it? World Series? Or something. They won some big series of games, OK? I even know who they were playing... some team from Colorado.


The weather has finally turned cold around here! There was frost on the car windows this morning for the first time. So instead of taking the kids outside or to the park to play - I brought the slide inside. They were great at taking turns going down. Then when they got bored with that they started putting cars down. Then they moved on to baby dolls, blocks, books, and every other toy within reach. It was loud and crazy - but I got the kitchen cleaned and some phone calls made -so it was worth it. And the end result was only one fat lip!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Friends


Margaret pointed out to me that I never posted the conclusion to the "to go to church or not to go to church" saga. So here goes. I asked an older lady whose kids are old enough to take care of themselves if she would be willing to sit with us. She hesitantly said yes. I didn't feel great about her hesitancy - so I was still debating not going at all right up until I put my dress on Sunday morning. Finally I decided that I would go for at least the first hour and after that I would probably take the boys home and have Naomi come home with a friend. I prayed for peace and help the whole way to church. We managed to get there early and sit nicely in our pew. The lady I had asked to sit with us wasn't there yet. Right as she came in one of my friends who has 4 little kids came by and asked if we wanted to sit with them since she was aware Richard was out of town. I decided that was a great idea and went over to let the other lady off the hook (turns out her hesitancy was just that she wasn't sure if my kids would be comfortable with her). We did great sitting with my friend. There was one point where Naomi had to go to the bathroom and somebody infront of us took Isaiah, somebody a couple of rows back had Asher, and I was able to take Naomi no problem. It really was a "it takes a village" kind of moment. At the end of Sacrament Meeting Asher was still with the lady a couple rows back so I asked her to take him to Nursery. Naomi ran off to Primary with her friends and I went to make Isaiah a bottle. But Asher wouldn't go to Nursery. So the lady that had Asher swapped me Asher for Isaiah. She fed Isaiah and kept him for the rest of the meetings. I stayed with Asher in Nursery the whole time (don't get me started on that). I can't believe I made it through all three hours, but I did!

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I have great friends who I couldn't have done it without. Also, I have a great, loving Heavenly Father who helps me when I really need it - even if it's by sending me friends. Those friends of mine probably have no idea the amount of peace that they gave me that day. It probably wasn't a memorable Sacrament meeting to them at all. But I will always remember their kindness.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ghosts

Normally I'm not a fan of being scared for entertainment's sake. But around Halloween I always try to get into it a bit. Just for fun. I watch some movie that I would not normally watch, or I read a book that's a little freaky. Today I saw a link that I would normally guffaw at and not give a second glance to. But just for the sake of Halloween, I looked. Take a look yourself if you're in the mood for some Halloween spookyness. But Beeeewaaaaarrre!

Ghosts

Trunk-or-Treat past and present

Last year at this time of year my Mom was in town visiting. So the Saturday before Halloween we dressed the kids up and got ready to take them to our ward's Trunk-or-Treat (in other words, Trick-or-Treating from car trunk to car trunk in the church parking lot). As we drove to the church the wind was howling like crazy. Leaves blew around the car like they were in a tornado. It was raining a little and very chilly. But we were sure that they would just move the event into the Gym of the church. No problem. When we arrived at the church they directed us where to park so that our trunk would be ready. This surprised us since we were sure it would be moved inside. As we got out of the car we realized that the lights were out in the church. Electricity had been knocked out by the storm. So we stood outside for a while, then we realized that some people were inside in the dark. So we went inside for a while. Inside, people were saying "we're still going to do this outside". Other people were saying "It's not safe to be in the church with no electricity - go outside!" So we went outside. There someone was saying "We're still going to do this inside by flashlight. It's too cold out here - go inside!" By this time it was already pretty late for our kids. Plus this event was supposed to be a dinner and they were attempting to light a grill outside in the gail-force winds. Astonishingly, it wasn't working. Anyway, in the end we left and went to Chili's for dinner where Naomi was the star of the restaurant in her Ballerina/Bee costume.
Fast forward one year to yesterday. Richard is still out of town so I got the kids dressed up all by myself, which was a feat of it's own. And we headed to the church. The weather was fabulous. It was about 72 degrees and a very little breeze was rustling the leaves. Hardly a cloud in the sky. Inside they had bounce houses, carnival games, and food. Then we went outside and trunk-or-treated until Naomi's bucket was full. Asher and Isaiah happily sat in the stroller (it was after Asher's normal bedtime and he gets super mellow when he's tired). It was a fabulous evening.


I didn't get a great shot of Naomi in her Belle costume. But here you can see the detail - right down to the earrings. I'll get a better shot on Halloween - it's a little hard to dress all the kids AND get a perfect shot of their costumes.


Here is Asher in his Doggie costume. I made it myself but I can't say I'm incredibly proud. It didn't turn out how I thought it would at all. But at least nobody said "And what are you supposed to be?" to him. And he was so happy to point to himself and say "Doggie!"



Isaiah had no idea what was going on -but he made a cute Pooh anyway.

I wasn't going to dress up, but Naomi told me I had to. So here is my costume. When people asked me what I was, I said "Eccentric."

A cute shot of the whole Doggie costume. If only I had thought to include a leash! That would have made my life easier during the games and food part of the evening.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fun fun fun

Yesterday was a busy day - hence the no blogging. We ran errands in the morning, I cleaned the house up during naptime, went Visiting Teaching, then tooks the kids out to dinner until bedtime so that the house would still be clean for Girls Night Out. Six of my girlfriends came over post-bedtime and we played Apples to Apples and chatted. More chatting than gaming really. We were a bit loud and rowdy. It was nice to let loose a little. I don't think I've had that much fun playing games with girlfriends since college. There were cookies, brownies, and chocolates enjoyed by all too. It was a good night.

We miss Richard but we're doing OK. We're excited for tomorrows Trunk-or-Treat at the church. And we're living in dread of church on Sunday. How am I going to do it all by myself? Well, I'm not. I'm not going unless I can get ahold of someone in the ward who will willing sit with us to help. And then, joy of joys, Richard will be home Sunday night. Don't forget to check out Richard's technical blog to hear about all the fun he's having at the conference (rdworth.org/blog).

On Wednesday I tried to upload a video of Naomi doing a new "trick". But I finally gave up and went to bed. I'll try again today. First I'll put the actual video of her trick. Then I'll put another one of what happened the first time I tried to catch her on camera. Let's just say, Asher took my command a little to literally. Trust me - it's funny. So watch both. Neither is very long.


video

video

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Asher reading

OK, I know this is my second blog post today. And I also posted two yesterday. I told you I would be bored while Richard was gone! But I have a special treat for you tonight.
This video is of Asher. He has started picking up words like a sponge. In the last three days he has added the following words to his repoirtue : fishy, oink, eat, oww, and I. So this video is an example of his "oink" which is more of a snort because I like to snort a little when I say oink. You can also catch "doggie" and "ruff ruff" in this video - those have been in his arsenal for a while now. "Doggie" (really it's more like Goggy) is his most frequently used word. Followed closely by "vrooom".

video

I tried to do another video of Naomi - but I'm ready for bed and it wasn't done uploading. So you'll just have to wait in suspense to see Naomi's new "trick".

This is Naomi speaking

It's my turn to send Daddy a special message.


I guess you have to guess what that one letter I'm covering up is. I'll give you a hint - it's at the beginning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This is Isaiah speaking

I have a secret message for my Daddy. It is encoded in the picture below.




After I sent the message to my Daddy I felt the need to help it "self-destruct in 5 seconds". So I ate it. Yum.


Fall Foliage Finally Fantastic

How's that for alliteration?

The tree outside my kitchen window finally made a truly fantastic change at the end of last week. Friday morning it was bright red. I took a picture but never had time to blog about it since my weekend was a little busy. I took the second picture this morning so you can see how the leaves are falling quickly. Especially since it is kinda rainy and windy today. Nature is seriously amazing.
If you've ever wondered how and why the leaves change color check this out.
Friday

Tuesday

Monday, October 22, 2007

A great weekend

Richard and I celebrated our 6th anniversary this weekend. Instead of going to a hotel or some other city we decided to take a little trip to the "Worth Hotel". In other words, we sent the kids to Grandma Worth's house and we stayed home. We enjoyed doing things like talking in the hall upstairs after the kids would have already been in bed, eating treats out in the open instead of covertly hiding half way in the closet, and going to bed whenever we wanted instead of waiting for one last feeding of the baby. Friday we dropped off the kids, went out to eat and watched a movie. Saturday, we slept in then drove out to a Flea Market in West Virginia.




We walked around the flea market for a while then went to the cute little historic town of Harper's Ferry.

We ate Crab Bisque for lunch outside at a cute little restaurant because the weather had just enough fall crispness in the air to enjoy that. Then we ate ice cream cones outside because the weather had just enough summer left in the air to enjoy that. After that we drove home. (It is worth mentioning that at no point during all this driving did we listen to Princess music or any other sort of kids music. Nor did we stop our conversation to answer questions about some random thing or to tell anyone to get their feet off the back of the seat.) During the drive home we discussed our plans/dreams to someday open a "Chocolate House" where people can come to do chocolate tastings - kind of like wine tastings. Or they can enjoy a cup of Hot Cocoa, or some of our hand-dipped chocolates, or chocolate-shaped-whateverholidayiscoming-thingys.




It was fun planning our future fortune-making business. (By the way - to all you Ashursts, this is how we plan on making our money while living in the Ashurst Family Compound and we think a ski-resort type town would be the perfect place for it so keep that in mind for our plans.) Anyway, that evening we got take-out at Outback and went home and watched 2 more movies while snacking on Cheese fries and candy.



We picked up the kids Sunday morning feeling refreshed and ready to face the world together. (Of course that was all promptly beaten out of us by taking 3 kids to church - but I'm sure some day we'll see the blessing of this sacrifice.)

The weekend was a success in every way. This week Richard is off to Boston for a week-long conference (which you can find out more about on his technical blog rdworth.org/blog ). So expect lots of blog posts from me as I try to feel connected to the outside world without any actual face-to-face grown-up conversation.
PS - check out Margaret's (mom-in-law) blog to see pics of the kids playing with their cousins this weekend. It looks like they had a lot of fun. Thanks Margaret and Grant!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rubber Duckie Hysterics

We discovered today that Isaiah thinks a rubber duckie's squeak is about the most hysterical thing ever. Witness for yourself in the below video.


video

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fall Foliage Playability Report

That's right: Playability. It's an important part of the Fall Foliage. How well can it be played in. Today's foliage gets high marks for Playablity because it is dry as can be - which means less mess and less stink. But it gets low marks because half of the leaves are still green as can be and on the tree! Overall - I'm a smidge disappointed in it. I tried to pick out a beautiful leaf to send to my mother and I couldn't even find a spectacular one. Just blah orange or green still. Bummer. But on the up-side, my camera takes great pictures outside so the following are my favorites:
Here is a new view of the tree you've been following. Since we were outside playing, I thought it was only fitting that you get a view of the tree from outside instead of through my kitchen window.
Here Naomi is carefully picking a bouquet of her favorite leaves.
Naomi is trying to reach leaves off the tree.

Asher definitely has that intense/loving/pondering look down that some boys have.


I hope I don't get arrested for this one. I felt a little bad putting my baby in the leaves - but it was such a cute photo op that I just couldn't pass it up. I promise he was only there for a second and he didn't eat any and I washed his little hands thoroughly afterward.



We also put a huge pile of leaves at the end of the slide and the kids landed in it at the bottom. The pics were cute but not as cute as the above. Naomi also enjoys having the leaves thrown up in the air to land on her head. Remind me to wash her hair tonight. Asher enjoys taking off down the sidewalk and giggling because it makes Mommy run panicked after him.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back to the subject

The sub-title of my blog says "A place to see how cute our kids are." Sometimes I get distracted from that by the ability to rant or by other fun things in my life. But today I thought I'd take a minute and get back to the subject. My cute kids. Below is a cute thing that each of them has done today. And an up-to-the-minute picture too!

This morning as I was getting a snack ready for the kids Naomi was playing with Asher. She handed him some toy inside a little bag and said "Mommy, Asher just won a contest...imony." (By way of explanation, Naomi just learned about the concept of a contest from some TV show. And I'm guessing that in her Sunday School class yesterday they learned about "testimony") I love it when she is just figuring out some word. We really love that Naomi says "break-sick" instead of breakfast but just this morning she said "Can I have yogurt for breaksick?...I can't say that... break...fast." She's growing up fast. She'll be 4 next month!!



Since Asher is on the verge of talking we decided it was time to cut back on xuxa use (xuxa is the Portuguese word for pacifier, it is pronounced shoe-sha). So just this past week we have been leaving the xuxa in his crib when he wakes up. At first we just didn't make a big deal about it but as soon as he noticed we talked about it. Now he is finally to the point where he voluntarily puts it down when we walk into the room. Today when I went to get him out of bed after his afternoon nap he wasn't quite ready to give it up. As I walked into the room he very carefully set the xuxa down in the crib and stood up. But when I went to grab him he ducked back down and lay down so that he could put the xuxa in his mouth without touching it with his hands. Then he stood up again and looked at me. I gently said "you have to put it back, Asher." He looked at me. Then he looked around his crib. He went to place it in one corner, then changed his mind and stood back up. He went to lay it on his blankie, then changed his mind again. Finally he very gently placed it in one corner of the crib and stood up again. With one longing look over his shoulder he held out his hands for me to pick him up.


I admit, Isaiah has not done anything remarkable today. But he's 6 months old! He doesn't have to do anything remarkable. Or maybe, I'm not giving him enough credit. Maybe the remarkable thing that he has done today is to NOT do something. Like be fussy. The boy is just very sweet. He hardly fusses at all. Occasionally he gets bored and fusses for a change of scenery or because he's hungry. But he never fusses uncontrollably. Oh! I know something cute that he does. He clings to me when I pick him up. I've never seen such a small baby cling with his little hands when he is picked up. I just love it. He's like a little baby monkey hanging on me. When I go to set him down I always have to carefully pull his little fingers off my shirt. It gives me warm-fuzzies just thinking about it.

Special Day

This weekend was something I've been looking forward to for a month or two now. But it was something Kevin and Kelly have been looking forward to for more than a year. Richard's brother Kevin and his wife, Kelly, were sealed together for time and all eternity on Saturday in the Washington, D.C. temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And now, in the words of Naomi, they can be together "forever and ever just like me, and Mom, and Daddy, and Asher, and Daddy, and Mommy, and Isaiah, and me." The sealing was beautiful. I could see the look on Kevin's face the whole time and it was so cute. He looked like a little kid who is so excited he could just jump up and down but knows he's not supposed to right now so he puts on his "grown-up" face and tries to look like he's totally under control. Sort of a flicker between calm and composed and grinning like a maniac. Very cute.

After the sealing we had a party/reception at our house. Richard decorated a wedding-ish cake and I had fun putting together a fancy party. (Big thank yous to my friend and also Margaret (mom-in-law) who loaned me all the fancy silver dishes - remind me to add "platter" to my Christmas Wishlist.)

Anyway, Congratulations Kevin and Kelly!


The Happy Couple



The Whole Group


Naomi and her cousins Ashby and Avery


Kevin and Kelly with the temple as the backdrop


The cake and flowers and fancy table at the party

(the platter is already empty of sandwiches- apparently people were hungry!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Poor Asher



Poor Asher needs his brother to grow up fast and bring some manly-ness to this house! Yes, that is a purse on his arm. But at least it matches his outfit, right?

Wishlists

I've been having lots of fun making Wishlists for our family. See the sidebar on the left for each family member's list.

It is so easy to want. Especially for me to want things for the kids. I want them to have everything that their little hearts desire. And especially the things that will really get their minds or bodies going. As I pick out a present I can just see the joy on each little face as they open the present. As they figure something new out. Those little cogs and wheels start spinning and you can practically see them getting smarter. What Mom doesn't want that for her child? Then I think about the toys of yester-decade. Wooden horses that their Dads spent hours whittling. Dolls sewn together with scraps of fabric and used spools. A cup. And those things really get those cogs and wheels spinning too - just not in such a flashy, instant gratification kind of way.

Last year for Christmas Richard and I decided to focus on homemade gifts. But our plan totally failed. Each of us had great plans for homemade gifts for the other - but neither of us had time to make them! And buying "the stuff" to make these thoughtful gifts was actually pretty stinking expensive. So we ended up with store bought presents for each other bought at the last minute with much less thought involved. It was really a little sad. Richard actually returned the thing I got him. This year I'd like to try again. I think with a little more planning this could really be a great thing.

Do you have any ideas of how to give your kids/spouse presents that make their minds light up without filling the house with lame plastic garbage that requires batteries? Enlighten me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Foliage - in the tree and on the ground

The tree still seems very green, but that is because the leaves have already started falling! Some people are of the opinion that this is going to be a somewhat lame Fall because of the drought that is going on here right now. Sorry. But I still think my tree may just be the prettiest around.


Below are the leaves on the ground below my tree to illustrate how many have already fallen. Don't you wish you could crunch on them? Well, just come visit me! Then you can!


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Crazy Saturday

Yesterday, at the beginning of the day, here's how we thought our day was going to go: Richard and I planned to work together cleaning a bit in the morning, then we were going to go to a community event with free kids stuff, then Richard was going to tune a friends piano, then I was going to go grocery shopping and clean the house, then Stacy (Richard's brother's wife in town from Oregon) was coming over to visit in the evening.

Here's how the day actually went: Richard and I worked together to clean the basement because we couldn't find his piano tuning tools - we never did find them. So after an hour or so of work we called the friend and cancelled the piano tuning for that afternoon. Then we packed the kids up and went off to our community event. Which was fun - but not ALL free. We spent about $10 on rides. But we did find the perfect "Belle" earrings to go with Naomi's Halloween costume. As we were leaving we saw a friend we know from church. We'll call her Charlotte. She was surronded by Police so we went over to investigate. Turns out her 10 year old son had fallen off his skate board and hit his head and banged up his knee. They only have one car and she had her 8 year old son with her too. Charlotte's husband and infant twin sons were at home. So we took the 8 year old and drove her car to their house so her husband could meet them at the hospital (they went in an ambulance). We took their 8 year old and the twins with us to our house. So much for an afternoon of grocery shopping and cleaning. It was all we could do to keep everybody fed at once! The three extra kids were at our house until about 4:30 and Stacy was coming at 6!! Plus, now the house was extra messy instead of extra clean. And the grocery shopping HAD to be done or we wouldn't be able to feed Stacy. Anyway - in the end I kinda enjoyed having those cute little twins around for a couple of hours, and the house did get mostly cleaned in a whirlwind while Richard took the kids to the grocery store, and we fed Stacy and really enjoyed chatting with her. So it all turned out fine. But it was one crazy, whirlwind, unexpected day.

We really believe that we were meant to not find Richard's piano tools because if we had found them we wouldn't have been there at the right time to help Charlotte. We are so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who guides us to the right situations.


Question: Can you tell which one is Isaiah?

Answer: The one on the far left. And the one in the middle. It's a trick question. One of Charlotte's twins is named Isaiah too.



I have a whole new respect for Moms with twins or triplets or any more than one. There was one point where all three babies wanted to be fed at the same time. We had to enlist Charlotte's 8 year old son to help feed one of his brothers while Richard and I each fed another baby. It was so crazy that we just had to look at each other and laugh.

Friday, October 5, 2007

peace

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

(unknown source)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Communication

Asher talks a bit now. But he doesn't really use his words to communicate needs yet. The words he says are like "doggie" for every animal, "mamamamamama" for any parent or help of any sort, etc. But please believe me when I say that he usually gets his point across loud and clear without using any words.

For example: he'll grab my hand and drag me to the fridge where he will point. Then he will drag me across the kitchen and point at the cupboard where he knows his sippy-cups are. Obviously he wants a drink. So I grab a cup and turn on the water to get him a drink. Suddenly he screams. I look at him - he is wildly motioning at the refrigerator. Apparently he wants a drink of MILK.
Another example: When he is done eating he simply signals that to me by throwing his food/cup on the ground - usually resulting in an explosion of milk or PB&J or cracker crumbs.
Yet another example: When Asher wants to get out of his bed he throws his pacifier across the room. And he's got a strong arm! It can often be heard whacking the floor or occassionally the wall with a good loud thump.
And another: When Asher is doing something naughty and realizes that Mom is watching from across the room, he smiles sweetly and then nods his head. This apparently is meant to reassure me that climbing from the ottoman to the top of the TV is OK.
One more: When he needs a diaper change he grabs his toosh and lays down in the place on the floor where I usually change his diaper.

As you can see, some of these examples are wonderful. I'm so happy to have him inform me of when he needs a diaper change instead of me not knowing and letting it go so long that his sensitive little toosh turns bright red. But the food throwing I could do without. The being dragged around by the hand is kinda cute. But climbing under dressers and cribs to find a pacifier that has been flung across the room is NOT cute. Long story short, I think words are probably the most effective way for him to communicate. *sigh* Some day soon, right?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Foliage and the view

It's time for an update of the Fall Foliage outside my kitchen window! Below is the view from this morning - just a little more red has crept in!



After my last post about the tree outside my kitchen window my Mom pointed out that my sister, Angela ( presseddownandshakentogether.blogspot.com ) posted something about the view outside her kitchen window recently too. That got me thinking about the view outside other Moms' kitchen windows. And why is that such an important view to us? Why does what we see affect our moods? My first thought was that maybe it's because we spend so much time facing that view - doing dishes, cooking, getting snacks, etc. But in all reality, I don't spend THAT long looking out my window. Yes, I spend time in the kitchen - but I'm usually too busy to gaze outside. I'm talking to two kids at once, telling Asher to stop putting his pacifier in the garbage can, helping Naomi color, cooing at the baby, etc. - all at the same time.

Maybe it's because I feel bonded to other women who are doing the same thing with their days at that same moment.

Or maybe it's because I feel bonded to my mother because I imagine myself in the place she was years ago when she was making homemade breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners for me and my 5 siblings every day! She really must have spent HOURS each day doing all that for us. No cold cereal for breakfast in our house. It was waffles or pancakes for breakfast made with love by Mom. No "lunchables" either. It was sandwiches and homemade cookies. No frozen chicken nuggets or pizza for dinner. It was roasts and casseroles and soups. Even homemade breads for much of my younger years! Yes, I think maybe that is it. I feel bonded to my mother.

What about you? Do you love the view from your kitchen window? What is it? And why do you love it so? Or is it some other view that catches your fancy?