Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kids Say/Do the Darndest Things

My boys keep me so entertained these days!

Yesterday I told Brandon he had to clean up his animals (he had arranged them the night before into three separate groups, land animals, dinosaurs, and ocean animals).  After a bit of grumbling he went to his room and began cleaning while I began vacuuming.  When I came around the corner to his room he came out crying; not one of those temper tantrum, woe is me cries and not one of the "I am hurt" cries, but the heartbroken, emotional pain cries; needless to say I was surprised by the emotion.  Here is the conversation that followed, imagine the conversation filled with desperately emotional tears from Brandon. :)
M - Brandon what is wrong
B - I'm going to miss you
M - (?I'm not going anywhere) Why are you going to miss me?
B - because I am leaving tomorrow?
M - Why are you leaving
B - I have to go to a house that is messy, because I can't clean my room, I am going to put all my toys in a trailer on the back of my bike, gasp, gasp, gasp, AND I'M LEAVING! hyperventilating sobs.
M - (trying not to laugh and sincerely console him) Oh, well sweetheart, you don't have to leave, your room is almost clean
B - But I have to leave, and I'm going to miss you
M- I'm going to miss you too, but you really don't have to go.  Where are you going to go?
B - Moab

I can't remember much of the conversation after that, but that Brandon was an emotional wreck and I was doing everything possible to keep myself from busting out laughing.

Where does a kid come up with such a thought process?  Oh, he is just too funny!!

On Sunday I miraculously had both the boys ready for church 2 1/2 hours before church started (we have 1:00 church).  They were both very excited to go to church, is it time to go yet, is it time to go yet, over and over again for an hour. Finally Brandon says, "Mom we have to go to church , NOW, I don't want to be lumpy, I have to go to church so I can learn and be smart, because I don't want to be lumpy!"  I am sure I said what, several times because I was sure I hadn't heard him say lumpy, but he clarified clearly, He Did Not Want To Be Lumpy!!  Well we made it to church, on time, and Brandon even gave the talk in church; a great talk about the Restoration of the church, and Joseph Smith and the First Vision.  I wonder if he felt good about contributing to his friends and their efforts to not be lumpy?

I wish several times a day that I had recorder at the ready for both my boys, I want to capture all of Brandon's interesting/humorous thoughts, and I want to capture all of the cute things Grants says, not because what he says is cute, but because of the way he says everything.  Some of the words he says frequently that are super cute to me are, awesome and actually; like tonight - "McKay plays basketball with me, is that awesome" and yesterday "axwee, Bandin no like juice, I like juice, that awesome?"  Love, Love, Love hearing my Grant talking, although now if I give him the one on one time he craves I need to be prepared to have me ear talked off, he can go and go. :)

A few Fridays ago Jared was able to get half the day off, it was such a treat to have him home.  Well enjoyed a fun family lunch, movie and playing and then put the boys down for naps.  I settled in to read my book and Jared prepared to go shopping.  Well Grant used all his stealth and managed to escape his room, get into the back yard, scale the fence and fall down the other side to the front yard, where the basketball players (who he is obsessed with) are always playing; all without our knowing it.  Well Jared went shopping and I read; maybe half an hour - 45 minutes and the door bell rings, well I had just went into the restroom (why does the phone or door bell always ring as soon as I go to the restroom?).  Well I thought nothing more of the door bell, if it was important they could always come back and I went back to reading.  15 minutes later the door bell rings again and there is my wonderful neighbor (who hardly speaks a word of English) with Grant; she did her best to explain that Grant was in the road and she was worried about the cars.  I was mortified!  What must she have thought of me?  I was so sure he was in his room sound asleep, but no, he was wandering the neighborhood for nearly an hour unsupervised!  Honestly how can a mother raise children and not be totally convinced that there are angels protecting her children, both seen and unseen?  I am so very grateful that Grant was okay!

On a positive note, Grant began potty training today, he has been showing interest and ability for a while now so when we used his last pull-up last night, I decided we were done.  Things went pretty well today, only two small accidents.  He kept his pants dry for his 2+ hour nap as well.  Here's hoping things go as well tonight, if not I have replacement sheets ready to go.  I am also hoping that tomorrow will go as well.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Temple Square

For some time now I have wanted to take my boys to Temple Square.  I have felt like while they may not be able to go to the temple yet they can visit Temple Square and enjoy the feelings of the spirit there.  I have also felt that of the 14 million people who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints only a few are able to visit Temple Square, we are some of the few and we should take advantage of it far more than we do.  We had such a wonderful day there that I hope to make it a pre-conference tradition. 
 We began our day at City Creek Park - I have never been to this little park, but it is lovely, a perfect place for our brown bag sack lunch.  The boys were so excited to eat lunch out of a brown paper bag. :)  Then we visited Brigham Young park, which was once part of Brigham Young's farm - the boys were impressed with the large wheel. :)
 After our picnic lunch we went across the street to go up to the top of the Church Office Building.  when we got inside the main lobby I was amazed at all the people who were clearly from out of town, probably out of the country.  I originally though they might be the people who translate conference, but my mom visited with the front desk and learned that they were all of the people of the Seventy from Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Guatemala, the spirit was so strong, I don't know if Brandon and Grant noticed, but my mom and I held back tears of joy and awe.  Because of all the visitors we were not able to ride the elevator to the top, but we would be able to if we came back latter. :)

So we started our walk around the fountains and gardens.  While we were at the fountains I told Brandon to pay attention to how they felt while we were there.  Brandon said "Mom I already know, I feel love and happy because you brought us here".  Melt my heart. :)
 We went to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and went to the top to look out at the temple - the boys enjoyed looking at the "toy" cars, people and train, they were so small they looked like toys.
Then we walked over to the temple where the boys played in the little alcove and slid down the side of the stairs. :)  The temple was as always beautiful.  Brandon and Grant lit up when they saw a Bride getting her pictures taken. :)

We then walked across the street to the Conference Center, we took a tour to the top of the Conference Center.  I love how the church turned this building which cover a full block into a forest by planting several different trees on top.  It is so beautiful!  The view of the temple was beautiful!

 After visiting the top of the Conference Center we went into the assembly hall - this was the first time for my boys and their reaction was exactly what I was hoping for.  Brandon walked in and gasped - I know this place, this is where President Monson talks on tv. :)  Every time I visit I am amazed at the huge size and beauty.  While we were listening to our guide one of the men who works in the stage crew came to Brandon and offered him his I-Pad, the screen showed a big color wheel, this man then told Brandon to pick his favorite color, he of course chose red, it turned the pipes red, then Brandon and Grant had a hay day changing the colors of the pipes and the colors of the wall behind the pipes to several different colors.  I wonder if Bonnie Goodlliffe (a family friend who plays the organ for the Mo-Tab choir, and was there practicing) wondered what was going on as all the colors kept changing?  Meanwhile this same man, happily chatted away with my mom and me about everything that goes on back stage, like the miles worth of cat walks, the three different rooms above the center, where they work, and more interesting facts.  It was such a treat for all of us!!

 After the Conference Center we visited the Christus Statue, the Tabernacle and then crossed the street to visit City Creek.  The boys had fun playing with the water in the fountain and were so surprised with the fountains and music came on.  We enjoyed watching the show.
 Then we hopped on tracks for a train ride to and from the Gateway center, which thrilled Grant.
 After our train ride we walked on the overpass and watched the trains go right under us - so fun and exciting!

 Then we went to look for the fish, Brandon was so excited when we finally spotted them. :)  If only they allowed fishing, or even had a vending machine with food to feed the fish, oh well.  :)
 Then they had fun looking at the animals in the animal statue .

 We admired the large waterfall, looked for animal foot prints on the walk ways and then headed back to Temple Square.  As we were walking past the Church Administration Building I was pointing out the window of President Monson's office and the curtains parted and a lady who I assume was his secretary waved enthusiastically at us :)
 We ended our fun and busy day by taking the elevator to the 26th floor of the Church Office Building.  It was so fun to look around and see all of the places we were able to visit.  The view was beautiful!
 It was also pretty fun to see our car - it was so tiny! 

On the drive home while Grant was sleeping Brandon and I visited about our day.  I mentioned to him about the night before when we were reading about Nephi praying to understand his father Lehi's dream.  An angle appears to him and takes him to the top of an exceedingly high mountain and proceeds to show him the Saviors life and Heavenly Father's plan for His children.  I found it interesting this time that he takes him to the top of an exceedingly high mountain; when we are at the top of a mountain we have a better view, a better understanding, just like when we were at the top of the Conference Center, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and Church Office, we had a better view of the city, we could see things better, understand things better.  I shared this with Brandon and also told him that the temple is also called the Mountain of the Lord.  When we are in the temple we can see and understand things about our lives, the gospel, and Heavenly Father's plan for us better.  This is one of the reasons I love the temple so much!  I am not sure how much Brandon understood, or how much he will remember, but I hope that a seed was planted for him.

The whole day was simply wonderful.  I was so grateful to be there with my boys and my mom.  As we watched conference this weekend my boys would point out places they had been.  I think it made their experience with conference a bit more memorable.  Hopefully this will become a tradition and they will begin to understand and appreciate our love for the Temple, General Conference, and the Church.

Spring break - visit to the zoo

During our Spring Break I thought it would be fun to visit the zoo.  I thought that because our Spring Break is so different from everyone else I know that it would be a great day to go - it was packed I have never, NEVER seen the zoo so busy.  Fortunately we got there early before the crowds were unbearable.  It turned out to be a very fun day at the zoo.  But before we left Grant decided to put on make up just like me - so funny to me, but he was pretty sad about how his efforts turned out. :)
 Highlights from our visit:
* Meeting Grandma Julie and Chandler at the main entrance - the boys didn't know they would be there. :)
*Zuri the baby elephant was playing and rolling around
*a green tree boa eating a large mouse - start to finish - it was fascinating, all most as entertaining as the reactions of everyone we told about it - no one seemed to want to stick around and watch it with us, but we stayed for the whole thing, yucky tail and all. :)
*the amur leopard was running around
*one of the tigers, was walking all over the place and then went for a swim
*the seals and sea lions were doing a little training so we got to watch them do a few tricks and eat fish
*the polar bear was walking around a lot and we did see her swim for a bit, but despite waiting for a LONG time we did not see her swim up to the glass like she so often does. Oh well.
*and of course riding on the carousel

It was also so fun to see the progress the zoo is making with the new African exhibit, it is going to be so big and cool - we can not wait.  The boys loved watching the machinery, trucks and tractors hard at work too. :)

It was a great day at the zoo

 After the zoo we met up with Natalie for lunch at McDonald's - it was a very fun day!!!

April Fools

Not sure why I was motivated to celebrate April Fools day this year?   Perhaps my problem is that I will happily look for anything to do other then all of the necessary and pressing items on my to do list?  Regardless this is what came of my efforts at a few jokes.  While Grant was napping I covered his toddler bed with a sheet turning it into a tent. 

 While Brandon was sleeping I covered his door with a table cloth and was hoping to fill it with balloons which would fall on him when he woke up, but he woke up while I was blowing up the balloons.  He had to go potty pretty bad and was not able to get out of his room fast enough, so the joke was on me. :)  We tried again on Grants door, which had Brandon pretty amused. 
Then Brandon and I set to covering the garage door with streamers so that when Jared came home he would have to drive through them (it looked like a car wash).

I thought my ideas were pretty funny, but no one else did - Grant woke up, got out of his tent and balloon door with a sleepy uninterested expression, and Jared just didn't care.  I also changed some of the names on his cell phone so that when he got texts from his mom, dad, and me he would be a bit confused.  He wasn't confused at all and certainly not entertained. - Oh well, I tried. :) 

Brandon, without knowing it, pulled the best joke.  While I was in the shower he got to the fuse box (which is in Grants room) and while playing with it, turned off all the power in the house.  Well the day before (Easter morning) the power had gone out in the whole neighborhood for a few hours, so I thought it was happening again - even though the weather was fine.  After a few texts to neighbors I learned it was just our house and put two and two together.  Silly boy! :)  Too bad he didn't even know he had turned off the power. :)


We had a wonderful Easter this year.  I had big plans for making Easter more meaningful, but I think in the end the few discussions and the Family Home Evening we had were far more meaningful that the activities I considered putting together.  Our Family home Evening the Monday before Easter was simple and wonderful.  We talked about the empty egg and the empty tomb, the joy of the Resurrection, and our Savior.  Then we colored our puppets of the tomb, stone and Savior.  After our lesson, we let the boys have a play egg hunt, with empty eggs; it was made even more fun, because Grandma Dee Ann and Grandpa Wyn joined us on Facetime.  The boys understood the lesson from the day and surprised us every once in a while during the week by referring to it, or retelling the story, and even sharing their appreciation for the Atonement.
Easter morning was as exciting as ever.  The boys woke up before us and went on a hunt for their baskets, they found Brandon's and woke us up enthusiastically to get us going.  The baskets were filled with treasures of candy, bath toys, notebooks, new Book of Mormons, and other little toys.

 That night we enjoyed a wonderful family dinner at my parents house with a fun egg hunt afterwards.

 Then on Monday morning we had a very fun playgroup with another egg hunt in the Primary room.


We finally get around to visiting the much talked about Scheels sporting good store.  It was a fun outing, glad we have seen it, but we wont likely revisit.  The boys did have fun, posing for a few pictures, riding the Farris Wheel, golfing, shooting, looking at all the animals, looking at the large fish tank, and playing in the playground.  It was a good outing considering the weather outside. :)