Here are scenes from James' fourth birthday party. We had a family party on Sunday. On Monday we had a friend party. I invited all of his friends from his primary class and a few cousins. It was fun but of course it ended up being the hottest day of the year. We started at the park and had cupcakes, a fire truck pinata, presents, and pin the fire dog on the fire truck. It was fun and I'm glad I set the time fore 10am before it got really hot. Then we all went to the fire station for the tour. I think the kids enjoyed the fire station tour even though the fireman was a little too chatty for 3-4 year old kids. The kids each got to sit/stand in the truck for a minute. Fortunately, James was well-behaved. He got a lot of very nice presents. I think it turned out well for my first kid party. It was a little stressful but I think it turned out well.
I just have to share a short paragraph from the book I'm reading right now, "Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling" by Richard Lyman Bushman. (Didn't like it the first time so I decided to give it another try. This is the story of Joseph's leg operation. Keep in mind he was only SIX years old at the time and had NO anesthesia. "As the operation began, Lucy went out into the fields and left Joseph in his father's arms, the infected leg resting on folded sheets. The surgeons bored holes on each side of the leg bone and chipped off three large pieces. Joseph screamed when they broke off the first piece, and Lucy rushed back into the room. Sent away, she came back again as the third piece came off. Blood gushed from the open wound, and Joseph lay on the bed drenched in blood. He was 'pale as a corpse, and large drops of sweat were rolling down his face, whilst upon every feature was depicted the utmost agony!'"
I just have to say how thankful I am that I live in this period of time. Simple antibiotics would have healed his infected leg. So thankful for modern medicine and practices so that I don't have to see my children suffer from very treatable illnesses and infections. I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father has given us so much knowledge in all areas of life.
About a week ago, my siblings and me and spouses threw a surprise 60th birthday party for my parents. We invited their closest friends from church, neighbors, and family members. They were shocked! We weren't sure how they would like it since both of them hate being the center of attention, especially my mom. But it ended up being a success and my dad said it was the best birthday present he's received in 60 years. Aw, so sweet. As you can see it was a beach party theme inspired by the movie 'Gidget' (one of my faves!). I can't take hardly any of the credit as my sisters were pretty much the masterminds behind it all. We had a dj who played some sweet music from the 60's and even my mom's mom and brother and his wife and my mom's sister made a special trip to be there. My parents were born three days apart in the same hospital. They met for the first time in 6th grade and my dad said he's loved her since then. They grew up in Jerome, Idaho, went to high school together but didn't start dating until after they graduated. My dad used to visit my mom before they started dating and one day my grandma told him that if he had an interest in dating Connie then he had better read The Book of Mormon. So, he did and ended up joining the church. The rest, as they say, is history. Btw, yes, the shirtless boy is my son. It was so blasted hot in the church and after all of the guests left I told him he could strip down. His hair was wet with sweat. I was tempted to follow suit.
I saw this idea on someone else's blog and it looked like fun so I decided to do it too. 100 Things I Love (in no particular order)
1. Ruby's tiny little freckles on her cheeks 2. reading a book I can't put down 3. shopping 4. Caribbean beaches 5. Mexican food 6. chips and salsa 7. throwing rocks in the river with the fam 8. walking along the Boise Greenbelt 9. watching James ride his bike 10. history, specifically LDS, American/European, and Women's 11. campfires 12. natural hot springs 13. hiking 14. Oregon coast 15. Sundays with my parents and sibs 16. wagon trains 17. James chasing squirrels, butterflies, bunnies, basically anything he can't catch 18. dancing 19. road trips (pre-kids) I look forward to more without YOUNG kids 20. Nauvoo 21. sunsets 22. thunderstorms 23. homemade chocolate chip cookies 24. home-grown tomatoes 25. my kids' laughter 26. the smell of the forest 27. bananas 28. pumpkin-flavored anything 29. when people tell Adam he looks like Brad Pitt (I tease him but I secretly like it) 30. traveling by train 31. a tall, frothy, Dr. Pepper from the fountain (one of my many vices) 32. dark chocolate 33. swimming in a natural body of water 34. the night sky 35. watching my kids sleep (is there anything sweeter or cuter?) 36. new socks 37. dates with Adam 38. black licorice flavored salt water taffy 39. hanging out with my friends which isn't often enough 40. my dad's laugh when he's laughing super hard 41. making people laugh 42. when the kids let me cuddle them right after they've woken up 43. the way Adam, James, and Ruby smell 44. Adam's childlike playfulness with the kids 45. good music of any kind 46. playing the piano 47. cheese 48. exercise, especially lifting weights (it makes me feel strong even though I'm not) 49. parks 50. European pastries (ok, ANY kind of pastry) 51. Jergen's Ultra Healing Lotion--the only drugstore lotion I use 52. singing along to the radio 53. Ruby running "fast" 54. coupons 55. museums 56. Target 57. historic Boise 58. Gap jeans 59. Chaco sandals 60. my crazy sisters 61. peonies 62. peanut m&m's 63. teaching 64. hydrangeas 65. sunflower fields in France 66. James' prayers 67. when Ruby puts her hands over her eyes and takes them away and says 'Found me!' So cute! 68. Word Challenge game on Facebook (addicted) 69. mountains 70. baby ducks (ok, baby anything!) 71. Dove chocolate mousse 72. Red Robin's fry sauce 73. British accent 74. fireflies 75. volleyball 76. family history 77. Adam in one of his crazy moods 78. going to plays 79. alone time 80. board/card games 81. ice water 82. cilantro 83. Adam's sparkly, clear blue eyes 84. clothes 85. a freshly vacuumed floor 86. tulips 87. free community events 88. interior/exterior design (not that you can tell by looking at my house. hopefully that will change when Adam lands a job) 89. recycling 90. ultimate frisbee 91. architecture 92. foot/hand/neck massages 93. Little House on the Prairie 94. all of the crazy, random things James says 95. climbing into a bed with fresh, clean, cold sheets 96. parties 97. vintage cars 98. WWII literature/films 99. gardening 100. my grandma's homemade scones
I was seven months pregnant with Ruby, my second child, in June of 2008. The summer heat had already set in and we had been using our home air conditioning for at least a week or two. Every time we turned it on it would make a horrible noise and the air it was generating just didn't feel as cold as it used to be. We were living on a very tight budget with Adam still in school and me staying at home with the kids. We finally relented and called a repair service to assess the problem. He confirmed our biggest fear-- the unit had to be completely replaced. It was as old as the house (1977) and there was no saving it. Cost to replace it: $3000. We talked about putting it on a credit card, taking out a line of credit on the house, etc but we really did not like either option. Meanwhile, the house was unbearably hot. Horrendously hot. I have an immune disorder which makes me extra sensitive to heat and coupled with pregnancy I was miserable. James, who was two at the time and normally full of energy, would just lay on the floor or the couch too tired and hot to move and trying to conserve his energy. At night he would cry until we stripped him down and placed a fan directly on his nearly naked body. Only then was he able to fall asleep. It was 100 degrees inside and out. Adam's parents mercifully approached us and told us bluntly that they would pay to have the a/c replaced. Their generosity never ceases to amaze me. Adam grew up poor in a family of seven kids. The Christmas they received $10 each from their parents was a good Christmas for them. Adam's mom went back to school about six years ago and now teaches kindergarten. On her teacher's wage, she thinks of herself as being well-off financially and now wants to share her excess with her children. Once the a/c was installed, I went from feeling sick, weak, and fatigued to feeling relief and comfort in knowing that my baby would not be in danger because my body was no longer under extra stress. EVERY time I turn on the a/c, I think of the amazingly generous gift from Adam's parents and I am so grateful EVERY time.
I've been thinking a lot about James' upcoming 4th birthday at the end of the month. I have some ideas brewing. Since he's sooo into firetrucks and fireman I thought it would be fun to have a group tour at the fire station with all of his little church/preschool age friends. I think they would like it. I don't know. What do you guys think? The tour would last about 45 minutes and then I thought we could go to a park that's close and do fire truck cupcakes and play fireman games. There are some fun fire truck themed birthday goodies. Hmmmm... just thinking.
Has been interesting and yet really dull at the same time. We've spent a lot of time at home just messing around in the yard. I'm excited to report that my corn and green beans have started to sprout! Nature never ceases to amaze me. How magical to plant a tiny little seed and watch it sprout and blossom. Life in all forms is truly amazing. It's been fun working in the garden with James. He will spend endless hours digging and playing in the dirt, fascinated by every creature that happens by. He loves to find worms and rollie pollies and will make up stories about the mama worm and the baby worm and where they live. It's really cute. I love that he enjoys being outside and is anxious to 'tend' the garden. We have also been entertained a lot this week by the neighborhood bunny. Our neighbors let their rabbit roam the neighborhood because they "can't stand to see him caged up." Well, I"m not sure what's worse, keeping it in a cage or allowing it to get killed by a raccoon?? Anyway, James spent hours every day tracking, watching, chasing and grabbing the bunny. It was quite fun to see him hop into our yard. The moment James caught a glimpse of him, he would go tearing out the door to chase it. We managed to catch him a few times but he always wriggled away as soon as James held him. Then James would cry because he wanted to keep it. I told him, "Well, he doesn't want to be held he just wants to be free." James replied, "No, he doesn't want to be free. He wants to be four." So funny. I'm afraid the bunny may have met an untimely death as I have not seen hide nor 'hare' of it in the past two days. Kind of sad.
The kids were sick AGAIN this week. Raging fevers, croupy coughs, and vomiting from trying to cough. Pretty miserable for all of us. Poor kids.
We took James to the dentist on Friday for an emergency appointment after noticing a huge hole in his back molar. His filling had fallen out plus it was bigger than it was originally. I LOVE our dentist so much and he is so good with James. He was on his way out of town but said he wanted to look at it. He did a quick filling and James was the perfect patient. He sat there so calmly and held his mouth open. Even the dentist was amazed at what a good little patient he was. He said his other molar would have to be done as well. A lot of kids' baby teeth have really deep grooves and sometimes they don't even close, which is the case with James so that's why he has two bad molars. I was relieved to hear that because I was feeling like a pretty bad parent.
One last thing that I want to remember. This week Adam was talking about how he doesn't have any friends and James looked up from his plate and said, "Yes, you do! You have us." That was the sweetest thing I've ever heard.
I feel like I never mention Ruby. She has started running, jumping and saying everything. She says "More cheese" a lot and "Let's go home." Oh, and "Park." She always wants to go to the park. But she's saying three word sentences and I have started introducing the potty. James was trained at 22 months and I'm hoping to have Ruby trained around the same age.
This has turned into a really long post. Went into a stream of consciousness mode.