Friday, April 29, 2011

Please stay here.

Guess who is in Utah?!

Last week, the Blasers drove 1900 + miles for a family wedding. Lucky for us, that wedding is in Utah.

Watching Jimmy and Michelle scoop up my kids when we arrived about did me in. I could tell you how much we've missed them since the move and how my heart was both sad and thrilled to see them again but it makes me cry so I won't.

There was a park, a parachute and lots of delicious food. Michelle, the Queen of Good Times, delivered again.
Happy Birthday Colby! I remember when he turned one! His Mom was about a week away from delivering this happy little creature!!

Nate cracks me up. In South Carolina, we'd joke about the attachment Henry had to Jimmy. In recent months we noticed that Nate had taken a particular liking to Andrew. Sure enough, moments after his arrival Nate was trailing behind Andrew.Talon was slightly overwhelmed with Eliza's enthusiasm over their reunion. Crying at a drinking fountain, I encouraged my dejected child to make friends with another party goer named Aspen. She was a great little playmate that night. Thankfully, it didn't take long for Talon to decide that he was done being shy and the pair of them were back at it again.

And while they've both grown, it's nice to see that Lottie and Clayton's relationship hasn't changed much.
What a pretty baby.

The boys had fun opening their presents.
Mrs. SKINNY Michelle Blaser was looking as beautiful as ever.

Please don't go back. Stay here. With us. What do you think South Carolina? Can we keep them?!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Slightly Irrelevant?

Easter Sunday!
I love them! They are everything to us.

Easter may have come on gone, but that isn't stopping us from having a belated Easter Egg hunt with our cousins tomorrow as we celebrate Emilee's birthday.

Before we part, I have a Henry gem I'd like to share. We have not yet seen the Easter themed movie, Hop! The trailer, however, has been viewed a couple of times by the family.

Sunday evening:

Spurred by the sugar high he was so clearly riding, Henry prances into his room per his Mother's request. Already seeing that he was out of his play clothes, she encourages him to jump straight into his jammies. Ignoring her plea, he pauses. Glancing down, he lifts his underwear open. As he retrieves the red jelly bean, he begins to mimic the rabbit previously mentioned. Through his giggles, Henry exclaims:

"It's a rabbit poop!!" His Mom and Dad watch in disbelief as the scene they're witnessing transpires in a slow motion like fashion. Even so, there wasn't enough time to prevent him from casually popping that jelly bean directly into his mouth. Horrified, the parental unit scream in unison:

"No, Henry! Don't!!!!!!" A second later it's out of his mouth and his teeth are being scrubbed with baking soda (okay not really, but we did brush his teeth). Does anyone else view jelly beans in a different (read: skewed) light after seeing the movie?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Activities

While playing with Nana Marie's Polly Pockets, I heard Henry explaining to his "audience" of dolls that Jesus died for us. And while the detail he shared wasn't completely intact, I couldn't help but feel satisfied that his memory of our lesson on the Resurrection outlasted his stash of Easter candy.

As a Mom, I feel that the Lord blesses me with (simple) ideas on ways to teach the children. Sadly, more often than not, I stash the thoughts away for future use or promise to act on said idea when the timing is better. Neglecting the need to plan ahead, I forfeit an opportunity that could have been special.

Days before the holiday weekend, I had the thought that we ought to have a family lesson on the Resurrection at the cemetery. I wanted to visit the graves of our Grandparents, express my love for them and try with tenderness to answer the questions Eliza has recently shared about dying. It would have been a simple thing to check the weather and buy the flowers, but it didn't happen and I was disappointed in myself; especially when you consider that I make time for dying Eggs and Easter Egg hunts.

To ease my conscience, it's easy to assume that my intentions could have been spoiled by a fussy baby, feuding siblings or a sudden urgent need for a bathroom. Even so, I have learned through the FHE lessons that have fallen apart, that blessings come when we try.

And while my vision of our children quietly sitting on a quilt (in the style of Frauline Maria and the Von Trapp children) on a beautiful Spring morning listening to their Father testify and teach didn't come to pass, I'm happy to say that we have stolen a handful of minute long moments to share our feelings on the blessing and hope of the Resurrection. I have found that asking them questions leads to most interesting conversations. Thank heavens for their primary teachers who reaffirm what we say and in all honesty do a more thorough job than we do.

And now, as I hang my head in mock shame, here are some photos from the Easter Egg hunt we attended and the fun with egg dying:

Eliza finds a way to entertain to herself while waiting for the hunt to begin. Her Mom made sure we were there nice and early.
Hello. My name is Alison. And I love being on-time.
In case my dear Southern friends are wondering, we frequently wear coats. In April.
It didn't take long for Henry to find the humor in his sister's creativity.With some help from Dad, Henry scoped out the scene.
Once the hunt started, the impossibility of keeping up Eliza and Henry became obvious. I sat back with my own little pastel beauty and watched from a distance.

Eliza scored.
Henry didn't do too bad himself. It was a great morning. We took our time driving home as we checked out different neighborhoods and drove past a handful of properties we are ineligible to place offers on.

Later that afternoon, we dyed eggs. Thank you Nana Marie for supplying the eggs and supplies.

Next up, the obligatory Easter outfit post.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Business of Birthdays

Coming home from work, the birthday boy was greeted with hugs. Whipping out the bandanna, Eliza played her part well in hyping up the excitement over Daddy's "birthday surprise."

Despite his best efforts to weasel information out of her, she kept her lips sealed.

Taking his Mother's warnings to heart, Henry was also supportive of our plan.

But if you ask me, Lottie is the most trustworthy of all my children.

She has the "adorable and unaware" act down.

I'll be the first to admit that the 'surprise' element wasn't necessary, but the text messages he sent throughout the day made me believe that he was enjoying the anticipation.

As I drove the crew to our destination, my blind folded beau shared a few guesses. My favorite:

"We're not at Harbor Freight, are we?" The excitement that saturated his voice wasn't missed by me.

Harbor, what? Sorry love. Not quite. Maybe next year?

Instead, we opted for the classiest choice available to families of five. Bowling! I know. You were expecting inflatable bounce houses and hot air balloon rides. Bowling is a favorite of ours and was equally enjoyed by those who came to his party.

Lucky for us, that "party" included more of our family. Andrew's thoughtful sister Katie made a delicious cake and was kind enough to host our family (again) for dessert.

To know Andrew, is to love Andrew. This year he turned 28. As I processed that number, my first thought was that it was ten years ago that we met and {quickly} fell in love. Little did I know then that he would grow up and become (in my biased opinion) the best Dad ever, a most dedicated companion and my greatest friend.

I love you Andrew. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Taste of Spring

Mother Nature has been in a fickle mood lately. After a day or two of warm weather, we'll wake up to another scene of wintry white. The giant sized snowflakes are beautiful but are most definitely unwanted by the entire, Utah based, Facebook community.

The tulips in Grandma's yard were a welcome sight. Still recovering from the most recent dusting of snow, the flowers seemed fragile. I wanted to applaud them for their endurance and beauty. I'm crossing my fingers they won't make an early exit as a result of this crazy weather.

Today, finally, felt like Spring. The timing worked out well considering I had play date with some friends from my Nauvoo days. Unfortunately I missed out on a recent reunion, so when the chance popped up a second time to see some of my lovely lady friends, I jumped at the chance.

Lucky for Eliza and Henry, I'm not the only one whose been busy making babies.

Based on the content of our conversation (dare I mention?) and our level of laughter, it's fair to say we picked up where we left off. Today was a great day to be back in Utah.

I'll be holding them to their promise that we'll be making these gatherings a regular thing. Any other Nauvoo lady friends in the area who want to come, let me know and I'll keep you in the loop.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Fleglets

The ordinary posts that center on the kids are the ones I love most when I revisit past entries. When I need motivation to maintain my blogging consistency, I look back a year to see what we were doing. The detail I issue may make your eye balls bleed and your toes curl, but it's something my future self appreciates. Since I no longer have the "This is for the Grandparents who live so far away" excuse, I'll go ahead and selfishly dedicate this to the Mom who is marveling at how fast they grew up.

Our life may feel as though it's on hold while we wait for our home to sell, but with children in the picture there is no such thing as a standstill. In the month that we've been here, they've grown. The change in Lottie is most obvious.

At five months, Lottie was introduced to solids. From the start, she willingly opened her mouth, but there were times that her tongue - which totally has a mind of its own - would win out over her desire to swallow. Imagine a spray bottle issuing a squash infused mist all over the parent (raising my hand), highchair table and other neighboring surfaces. Eliza and Henry think that type of behavior is hilarious.

To date, she's had rice cereal, squash, sweet potatoes and bananas. The spoon feeding process takes time, but she's doing better. It's pretty exciting stuff. I've already noticed a change in her poop. Awesome topic of conversation, right?

Her happy personality has really started to shine. She's found her voice and loves to hear herself "sing." She started rolling in February but the new challenge we're dealing with is her ability to grasp and put into her mouth the things that she wants. Her thoughtful siblings are more than happy to provide her with toys - some of which aren't age appropriate. Keeping her safe from objects, like dimes for example, is becoming a full time occupation. Here's one of her favorite pastimes.

The cliches remain the same with each child. It makes me smile to hear her randomly let out an exuberant peel of laughter, but I feel sad as other aspects of her babyhood are fading away. One thing is certain; she has stolen all of our hearts and her little presence has been one of the best things about living with my parents.

Lottie's an observer. Her big eyes will attach to someone and she'll just stare. When you notice her, she'll acknowledge your attention with either an enormous smile or a distraught cry. Please don't take offense if she opts for the latter. With time, she'll warm up. Her mood is an obvious factor in these types of situations. Just last week, when I locked myself out of my parent's house (gold star for me), we ended spending a very special afternoon with Grandma Popcorn. After three unfriendly visits, Lottie finally gave her dear Great Grandmother (whom she is named for) the sweetest of smiles.

It's clear she's familiar with these two faces.

Oh Henry. I had a fun time snapping these shots of him the other day. It was clear that he was "in the zone" while dominating the play-dough situation. I thought about combing his hair and wiping away the remaining tootsie roll juice from his chin, but decided not to worry about it. I wanted to capture the authenticity of the moment. His little boy charm is effortless. The kid makes me laugh all the time. I find myself apologizing to my parents when he's feeling "contrary" but am definitely thrilled that they truly know him.

Don't let the dinosaurs fool you. At the moment, the child is obsessed with being Snow White.Eliza kindly made him a paper bow. Keeping it in place with two pieces of tape, he was free to frolic about knowing it was securely fastened. As he told my Mom, without his "crown" he'd be unable to go to the ball.

As for Eliza, she loves her new preschool. She is as pleased as punch with her new batch of friends. With that being said, one of this week's biggest smiles was owed to a letter she received from Talon. The picture of him handing her a flower with the words: "I miss you" choked up my Mom and me more than it did her, but I think that's because she was too excited about the Curious George tattoos that were included.

I'm surprised that I was able to score a smile considering most of the pictures turned out like this.
My constant request to "SMILE" for the camera wears on her nerves. I can't say that I blame her. Can you imagine what I'll be like when she leaves for prom? Poor girl. And finally, here's a video for the Blasers to thank them for the fun piece of mail we received.