Monday, April 30, 2012

Twenty nine

It's no secret that we are all apart of the Andrew Flegal fan club. Because he is the best, we tried to do our part to "fill up his bucket" on his birthday. "Fill up their bucket" is Kindergarten code for making someone feel good about themselves via a compliment, kind deed, offering help... the sky is the limit when it comes to trying to be a good person.

On that note, here are a few more birthday highlights:
 
 After a year + of employment at his Utah job, I finally took my children to see Andrew at his office. The plan was to drop off some balloons, pass out the plate of chocolate chip cookies and then go out to lunch. Because it was Andrew's birthday, when he asked if we could skip going out to lunch because it would make him that much happier having saved the money, I didn't make a fuss.
Happy Birthday Andrew! You've got sand now! It's the gift that keeps on giving, I tell you. That sand has multiplied! My house is generously FILLED with it on a daily basis.
So what's better than shooting guns, date night and a visit at work?! Adding to the aforementioned activities was the arrival of family on Sunday. Chicken curry is a solid WIN in our book and the company couldn't have been better. Thank you for making the drive up Flegals and Jensens!

Andrew is 29 now. Despite his wishes, I am going to recognize that it is an appropriate time to burst into accolades as I hail his achievements. Okay, I won't. Being that he is a humble fellow, I will simmer down the song and dance and just say that Andrew continues to excel in the work place. I couldn't be more proud. He is a most faithful Cub Master (of three wards) and dedicated to his little family. We love you!! Happy birthday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

When Andrew calls the 'shots'

Date night was left up to the birthday boy last Friday.  Having secured a sitter for the children, I graciously offered to plan the details of our evening. Images of us strolling through City Creek, child free, swirled through my head. I saw ice cream, imagined the whispered conversation, could feel the wind...

"Shooting." He said without a moment's hesitation. "I want to take you shooting."

Gulp.

When I realized that the only alternative would be to spend our evening shopping at Smith and Edwards, I warmed up to the idea. By the time Kim and Dan agreed to come too, I was pretty excited. 

After a thorough tutorial, (Example: RED YOUR DEAD) Dan opened with a word of prayer; blessing that our evening would be void of reckless behavior,

 okay, I am just kidding. But it does look like he's pondering over something serious. 


Andrew and Dan took turns launching clay pigeons into the air. Kim and I looked on in wifey pride as they made direct hit after direct hit. I'll be honest, I was not a fan of the shotgun. It stirred all sorts of adrenaline fueled reaction... The handgun was a better fit for me.

Kim is hard core.
She is ready to blast those clay pigeons into tiny pieces;
while my cheery smile indicates that I am totally up
for a friendly game of ring toss instead.

Dinner at Costa Vida wrapped up a very fun evening.

Monday, April 23, 2012

an honest salesman

 "She's got spirit,
ya, ya, 
she's got spirit..."

 Last week, Eliza enthusiastically took part in her elementary school's
"Spirit Week!"
My camera was so excited.

 
 Monday: Sock day. 
Eliza borrowed my lucky socks. 
It marked our first ever mother/daughter clothing exchange!
Monumental, right?! Ha.

Tuesday: Hat day
 
Wednesday: Pajama day
It's lucky for you, dear reader,
that I am providing these helpful captions. 
 
Thursday: Crazy Hair day
Another difficult one to decipher.
Friday: Bring your sister to school day
Lottie wishes. 
It was school colors day. 
*yawn.

Spirit week wouldn't be complete without a book fair and a P.T.A. fundraiser. Her school's fundraiser of choice was a walk-a-thon. Rather than selling wrapping paper or cookie dough, Eliza's task was to straight up ask for money. In return, she would walk/jog laps; something that proved to be totally lame. She did 
it anyway.

Call me non-supportive, but the idea of walking her around the neighborhood and asking for money made me uncomfortable. Issuing the power of parental delegation, Andrew was thus assigned. With her head of crazy hair, Eliza went door to door asking if one dollar could be spared. 13 dollars later, I would say she was successful. 

While visiting the home of a dear neighbor, Eliza was invited inside. Not only did she receive her highest donation of the day, but she was also offered gummy bears! The doting woman began telling Eliza about her 45 + chickens, among other fun tidbits when Eliza abruptly interrupted. 

"Actually, I have to go now. I only came here for the money."

And with that, Eliza and her thankfully, laughing, escort joined Andrew back outside. Despite her intention, Eliza ended up seeing the chickens and played a few rounds of fetch with her dog, Norma.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New York and back

It turns out that Andrew's trip included a day three and four. From my end, there isn't anything spectacular or particularly blog worthy to share. As fascinating as it would be to see pictures of me glued to the screen of my laptop as I eagerly devoured the first season of Downton Abbey; while my children begged me to fulfill their basic needs (FRUIT SNACKS, Mom!! We need fruit snacks!), no one was around to capture such justifiable neglect. ;) In my defense, I began the series after my children were in bed Saturday night. Sunday, however, my children were left to fend for themselves!

Downton Abbey... * sigh. Deprived of a quality obsession far too long, I feel that I, a parched beggar, has just discovered a sanity saving supply of ice water. I drank in the Downton drama. More please.

And then there was that episode at Church that led to the premature exit from Sacrament meeting with my reluctant children in tow.

"But I wanted to visit the candy lady, Mom!" Eliza had protested. Sacrament is the third meeting of our three hour block. A kind and generous sister brings a bag of treats to share with the children which she disperses at the end of Church. Eliza was distraught beyond measure over my unexpected instruction that we were leaving early. With an overtired, need of a diaper change, baby in one arm and the bag of junk we feel necessary to take each week to church in the other, I marched Eliza out as best I could. Henry, bless his heart, did as he was told.

I had no intention to blog about me. A million words later, I will shift gears back to Andrew's trip to New York. Liz was kind to share her beautiful pictures; many of them you'll also see on her blog post about his visit. Feeling no need to convince you that I'm a patron saint, I can honestly say that I have no resentment or ugly jealousy that he was able to go. Sincerely, I am happy he had this adventure. He works so hard. Not to mention, the sentimental attention he throws my way when he comes home from traveling is pretty awesome.

Saturday morning, 
Liz, Andrew and Truman 
biked through Central park.

In relaying detail from his trip,
Andrew had more to say about 
the joy of seeing this dogwood tree
than anything else!

The Green's amazing view from their apartment.
They live on the 22nd floor of their building!

FUN fact:
Andrew's sister, Liz, married Mark Green.
Mark Green and I were next door neighbors as kids. 
I told you it was fun.

Cute dads easily transition into cute Uncles.
"Hi Henry!" 

Another FUN fact:
Truman was born four days before his cousin Henry. 
Pictures of their first meeting here.

Friday night they celebrated Mark and Andrew's birthday.
They went to the shake shack.
Saturday afternoon they went and saw Hunger Games.
Times Square

Picnic time.

There's that fun uncle again.

Thank you Green family!
We love you
and hope to see you soon!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The pity party (day 2)

Dear Andrew,

With the weekend in full swing, the children and I needed a diversion to keep our minds occupied. While you were hustling and bustling about Times Square and Rockefeller center, we cooked up a scheme that involved cousins, pizza, salad (just for Mark), chocolate chip cookies and marshmallows.
Some of the gang...

I'm sure the Shake Shack was wonderful, 
but I think Eliza's marshmallow 
could qualify as a close second.
 
Henry was full of snuggles tonight.. 
Despite being covered by the lingering stench of campfire smoke, 
he has proven to be irresistible.

Insert imaginary photo of Lottie here:

******************

What a doll right?
It was cold. 
Lottie was content playing with the adults who 
were to weak sauce
preferred to stay and visit inside. ;)

 As for Uncle Mike;
He ran the show outside. 
In your place, he started and tended to the fire,
played on the swing set with the kids,
hit me a couple of times with a ball via the slingshot 
and did... this?!?
As a side note:
Three cheers for Eliza.
The kids wanted to play with the slingshot  and
I didn't know how to open the third car garage door.
She showed me exactly what to do.
She is five. I am twenty eight.
I'm sure I would have eventually figured it out?
Scott was cool.
He was the only one to make his own roasting stick out of a branch.
 
 Say "Cheese" Sara!
 

 FYI: It's been suggested by Mike
that you build another slingshot
to ensure that the summer's 
onslaught of water balloon fights are fair.

Thanks to my family for making the drive up. It's nice taking a turn to host and to have that break from making the drive down to Salt Lake. My Mom is a super star as she drove up twice today. This morning she accompanied me to an eye appointment. I would have left her home with the kids, but because I am severely inept until those dilating drops are out of my system, the children tagged along with Nana so she could drive me home. 

Have a perfect day exploring New York tomorrow with your sister. You deserve it. We love you and are so lucky that you're ours.

Ali

He's in New York (day one)

Dear Andrew,

Because I was -----> thisclose <----- to accompanying you on your business trip to New York (of all places, geez!), having you away has been tough. On the bright side, I am pleased to inform you that my "support staff" have been top notch in your absence.

Our youngest little Miss seems to be the most troubled as she doesn't fully understand the circumstance. More than once I have found her staring out into the yard from a window; repeating your name over and over.

"Dada!... Dada?!" Last night I asked her,

"Lottie, where is Daddy?!" Without hesitating she pointed to the garage. According to my observation, it's been determined that Lottie assumes that when you aren't around; that you're either working in the yard or out messing in the garage. The sound of car engines also revs her up with excitement that you are finally home. This behavior would pull at your heart strings.

Here are a few photos from Thursday that I thought you might enjoy. 


Lottie likes to wrestle like her Daddy. She calls this move the "air freshener."

It's a shame that our children don't really like each other. ;)

And finally, to Liz and Mark:

You are so kind to let him stay with you for the weekend. Do me a favor and please encourage Andrew to take pictures!

I love you, Andrew.

Ali

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Over-sized Easter Sunday photos

The children in their Sunday best.


Eliza was kind to indulge my request for additional photos.
Henry's glasses are already broken. He can wear them, but they are crooked. It makes the challenge of picture taking even more tricky. Since wearing glasses, his crossed vision has become more pronounced - hence the successful side shot.
Henry's darling Easter tie made by my friend Audra
Check out her website here

It was when I began taking pictures of Lottie that I clued into the fact that Church had started. Yikes!

 

..............................................

In the midst of the excitement that surrounded the discovery of Easter baskets and the mouth watering smells of breakfast, something felt off Easter morning. Already bouncing off the walls, I gave the kids a heads up that we needed to simmer down from the sugar high so that we could take some time to talk about the Savior.

"Christmas" Eliza began, "is about Jesus. Not Easter." Convinced she's just shown me the light, Eliza beams. 

Doing my best to annoy, I obnoxiously imitate the sound of a loud, unsettling buzzer. Ding dong, you're wrong, Eliza. By the way, I'm feeling like a parental failure at that moment. With the help of this video, we were able to shift gears.
 Henry, patiently sitting in Andrew's lap, remained quiet but attentive. Lottie was up in her bed taking a pre-church nap. Eliza was a heap of emotion. Reluctant, yet precious, tears streamed down her face as she shared her five year old insight and asked questions. The time spent was short and sweet, but had a lasting effect on the rest of my day. And while I like to think it impacted them as well, their specified Easter brain memory space had already been filled with competing memories: Easter baskets, cousins, omelets and... motorcycles.

Easter night was spent at Bubba and Nanna's house. Aunt Katie made a delicious dinner which left us eager to return the favor.