Monday, February 29, 2016

Aunt Glenda's / Provo City Center Temple

Star Wars fun in the Jungle Room
Last weekend we decided to take the chance to go down to Pleasant Grove to see Jordan's Grandpa Johnston for a quick, probably last visit. Kathie and Winslow are there with him at Aunt Glenda and Uncle Gary's house, so we were excited to see all of them too (And, the kids were also super excited about the toys they remembered!)

While we were there, we got to visit the open house and take a little tour of the Provo City Center temple. It was so beautiful and just really wonderful to walk through and point out all the special little things to the kids.  Something about walking through each room along with the kids made the blessings and work of the temple seem even more simple and wonderful. I really loved it. (Ellie especially loved the stained glass, and it was fun yesterday at our Stake Conference in the Logan tabernacle to notice the stained glass there and be reminded of our special day at the temple the weekend before.)

(Also, a beautiful description of this temple here )

Friday, February 26, 2016

sick days / sunny days / solutions

poor sick Ellie + brothers happy for some extra movie time :)
We've all been taking turns in Ellie's position this week. I was sick over the weekend when we visited Aunt Glenda's and Kathie & Winslow & Grandpa Johnston. I assumed it was just pregnancy sickness though until Porter also started throwing up the next day. And then Landon, then Ellie...

This morning Ellie thought she might be ready to go back to school, but was just so tired. After lots of back and forth, she finally decided to stay home. After a morning of resting and a stroller-ride walk, she went outside with Owen a bit before lunch and before long they were climbing over the snow tunnel and wrapped up in their pretend world of brothers and dads and bad guys and magic... And they've been playing and pretending since - such magical wonderful sounds to hear! :)

And a discovery --

Last week (before the latest sickness) I was talking to Jordan about how tired I was feeling. "It should be the easiest part of pregnancy and Porter's sleeping all night (!!) and I'm napping in the afternoons... I feel like I should just feel like a superhero, but I'm suddenly just so tired!"  He immediately suggested maybe I was low on iron, and it was like a ta-da!/magic light bulb moment. (I'm not going crazy, I'm not just being lazy, I'm not just being a wimp... there's a reason!) I've almost always been low in iron through my other pregnancies, (and my diet has been almost completely void of any meat or dark green high iron veggies these days)  but I hadn't had my lab work done yet like I was supposed to and just kind of forgot about it. Jordan took a quick trip to the store and came back with iron capsules and a bag full of carefully chosen high-iron snacks  (shelled pumpkin seeds, roasted almonds, extra dark chocolate...) And by the next day I was feeling much more super-hero-ish :)

(Meaning, when I opened the fridge and saw package of raw hamburger in it, instead of thinking yet again "oh dear, what a waste! I'm never going to get around to cooking it and I'm just going to have to throw it out..."  Instead I opened the fridge and saw the hamburger and pulled it out and cooked it :) (Because that's what a super hero does around here I guess!)

I'm still trying to figure out the right balance of enough iron to help with tiredness without too much that it makes me sick... but It was sure nice to have a reason for feeling so tired (and a sweet husband to force lovingly remind me to take those little iron pills)

And I think everyone is finally just about back to being healthy for now, so I'm excited for a sunny day and  for the weekend ahead!

Friday, February 19, 2016

happy weekend

I think this started out as a "take my picture" by Ellie to document her crinkly hair before school one morning. Then she had one brother next to her, then two, then all three :) I sure love these guys!

We were so excited to be into February (and out of January) this year that I even hung up our calendar a few days early. And though February was much less busy, it had lots of little events the first few weeks for me. Nothing too big or crazy, but just things that meant I had to get dressed up in real clothes most days :) Today we had book group at our house (again, not a big thing, but just something requiring vacuuming) and it was kind of the last extra scheduled thing for the month. So I'm feeling relieved and happy for a more empty calendar this next little while. Landon always asks when he gets in the car after school "what's on the calendar today?" and one day he said, "I love it when there's lots of stuff on the calendar!" I know I've felt like that in the past, but these days I'm just so happy with empty calendar spaces!

Other little things from this week:

-We've had very few Porter disasters, woohoo!
- I went to help out in Landon's class yesterday during dance, and it was so super fun to watch those kids dance! (And dance with them a little bit too with the heel-toe polka :)
- I'm loving watching Owen learning right now. He finished reading his first kit of 'Sam books' from the library this week and has also been so excited to figure out little math problems. Driving home from school, he said from the back of the van "Mom, you + Dad equals 69!"(32 + 37)
- Porter is sleeping so much better these days! He's reached the tipping point where there are more sleep-all-night nights than wake-ups -- hip, hip hooray!!!
- Ellie's taking on Porter preschool time too now. Landon's friend Will was over one day while she was having school time with the boys and said to her, "Maybe we should pay you to come teach all these things to (my little sister) Abby!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

a baby boy!

I had my ultrasound on Friday, and we have a healthy baby boy on the way! We celebrated with some balloons and a little Studio C  + baby boy cake lunch party :) (After some comforting time for Ellie who was very sad that her wish for a baby sister wasn't coming true!)  I'm so excited for this one more little boy to join our family! 

sunshine day

We checked the temperature before our lunchbreak walk this morning, and it was 49 degrees! Woohoo! We were thrilled last week when we got a warm afternoon of 35 :) We had some beautiful snow this weekend that also cleared out the week's inversion, then these warm days!

We got home from our walk this morning and Owen asked to stay outside to ride his scooter. I sat on the porch while the boys played (and our neighbors from across the street joined in). What a happy warm winter day!

Also this weekend: a long 4 1/2 day winter break from school for the kids, a fancy Valentine's family dinner on Sunday evening, a planning commission meeting, a relief society activity, some errands and emails and jobs to tackle, the Republican Lincoln dinner for Jordan and me, our final round (?) of Risk Legacy (game #15), some more decision making, a fancy brunch of English scones by Ellie and Jordan, another Star Wars movie party (we're making our way slooowly through these -- we've almost finished #3 and we started during Christmas break! :), and lots of talking and working and playing.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Roof

The Christmas before Porter was born,  Jordan gave me a gift certificate for us to go to the Roof. It only took three years, but we last month we finally used that gift certificate! And, I even managed to make it a surprise for Jordan (which I am terrible at). April was visiting and was so great to watch all the kids while I met Jordan in Salt Lake as he finished up some meetings he'd had down there that day.

And we enjoyed a happy and peaceful and sweet dinner! We sat just a table or so away from when we'd been once before for an anniversary celebration. And we both remembered the little ledge where we had set Landon in his car seat carrier ( 9 years ago!)

I love this view of the temple. We were there just in time to see the bright day light, the sunset and the beautiful night-time lights of the temple.

I'm so grateful to be going through life with Jordan. I love him so!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


I have been loving this Valentine time. On February first, I got out all of my pink and red and heart decorations and have been so happy to see all these cheerful things around the house. This week, we've been working on class valentines which are so fun for me too!

 Ellie and I had a heart painting party (from this simple idea), and then she taped on pencils and pixie stix and carefully picked out a valentine for each child in her class. Landon and I worked yesterday afternoon on his star wars valentines (like these), with pixie stix lightsabers. Hooray for these fun little projects to do!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mr. Mischief

I'm hoping a little more of this --

Friday morning playing, scooping, dumping, feeling,  pouring -- with supervision

will eventually lead to a little less of this -- 

Saturday morning I'm eating hot cocoa!
or this-- 

Monday morning I got the butter for my toast and I did this (squish) and this (squelch)!

Also, my newest strategy when I find a Porter disaster is to take a picture (so far this has kept away any mommy yelling :)

(This was advice I got from a friend years ago when I thought I had such a mischievous toddler Landon,  Little did I know...)

Friday, February 5, 2016

four children + one moment on a Saturday afternoon

Ellie and Owen + preschool time, playing an Ellie made game to learn about consonants and vowels. (from Ellie, "I'm Owen's Saturday preschool teacher")

Landon reading (a Garfield comic book from this week's trip to the library at last)

Porter decorating the bathroom floor with peach bellini hand soap

Dear one

darling print here

One of the magical things that I just love about our neighborhood is getting to see deer so often. A few weeks ago, we left to take the kids to school and one was meandering across the driveway. Porter will still say as we return home every once in a while, "we saw a deer one time in our front yard!"

This morning I stepped out back to get Jordan (to rescue us in our late for school + the van's battery is dead predicament) and I spotted a deer back behind our raspberry patch. I almost called the kids out to see, but then realized that something wasn't right. One of his legs was caught up on the fence, not as it should be. Jordan called animal control while Landon and I sat on the rocking chair and just cried for this poor hurting deer. (Plus a prayer from Landon and his own reassuring words - he'll be happy soon, because he'll be in heaven.)

I've always been an adament 'no pets' kind of mom. And I'd kind of gotten it into my head over the years that I don't really like animals. (And how could that be as the mom of Landon who loves them so much??) But feeling such sadness for this deer this morning, and just thinking of the little burst of joy I feel every time we get to see the deer across the street at the park or in our yard or walking down the street... I think I really do have just a little bit of Landon's love too.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Landon's snow fun

In between shoveling jobs, Landon made himself a tiny little hill for sledding right outside our front door.  (Video below)

Also, Landon walked home from church Sunday and by the time we arrived in the van, he was on his way into his snow gear and heading out back to have quiet time in the snow.

Besides being an awesome help whenever Jordan goes out to shovel, he has a sledding hill in the front, a snow fort half built in the back,  and trails all around our yard... I just love how Landon loves this snow!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

a Sunday morning disaster

playing a pretend sleeping game with Ellie :)
This weekend I was thinking more about what we could do to make our Sunday more of a special Sabbath day.  Jordan was out of town, so one thought I had was wanting to do  as much as we could on Saturday to get ready for a calm Sunday morning (and day). After lunch, we had a little family meeting and I even played "Saturday is a special day" before reading off the list of jobs :) And we worked hard! We got so much done in getting our house cleaned up and organized, meals planned, groceries bought, (snow shoveled!), and even Sunday clothes set out.

Sunday morning went super smoothly -  the kids and I were all ready at 8:45, and all the big kids were in the van when I went to find Porter for shoes and socks.

But then I found little Porter in the kids room, with one of Ellie's shelves empty, and all of her special treasures spread all over the room. And her newly made "sand art" sprinkled on top of everything. And a nearly emptied bottle of bright purple glitter nail polish being given one last good shake across the carpet (and Porter's brand new Sunday pants).

Landon came in and kept Porter at the bathroom counter, comforting his so-sad "Mom yelled at me!" with such kind soft words (that were not nearly as appreciated by me at the time as they were a short time later!) "It's okay Porter, everyone makes mistakes. Mom shouldn't yell, should she?"

I dabbed at the nail polish, but soon decided to handle the problem later. After church we vacuumed up the bright colorful sand from everything and restored Ellie's treasures to their spots. I still haven't tackled the nail polish. Ellie told me this morning though, "You know that purplish color that's left from all the nail polish? It doesn't look very good right now. But if all the carpet was that color, it might look kind of nice!"

(At least now I have a back up plan if we can't get this out :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Landon and Owen went out for a sledding adventure at the park on Saturday with all the great new snow. I went out to meet them when their time was up, and watched as they slowly made their way back across the park. With snow up past Owen's knees (and close to Landon's), it was a long journey! (video below)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Snowed In

We woke up Saturday morning in a true Winter Wonderland. We'd had quite a bit of snow the past little while, then overnight we'd gotten a lot more and it was just about as snowy as I can remember seeing it here.  Jordan was going to be out of town for the weekend, so he went out early on Saturday with Landon and worked for about an hour and a half unburying us.

Still, by the afternoon we had a few more inches so Landon and I went out to tackle the snow shoveling job again. We did the front walk and almost made it down the driveway when I finally noticed the giant hill the snow plows had left for us, blocking our driveway completely. I'd already shoveled about as much as I could manage, so I called our home teacher for help.  Landon was still a trooper though and kept working while we waited for help to come. :)

(and a little play too of course for this snow-loving boy!)
John came and got right to work and soon his Father-in-law arrived with a tractor plow. In no time the driveway was totally clear and the giant hills were gone - phewph!

Except, about 2 minutes after they left, the snow plow came through a second time and left a barricade even taller than the first! (probably about 4 feet high!) So I called for help again and it wasn't long before our driveway was clear and we could make our big journey to the grocery store. :)

Hooray for such a great home teacher!!