I have been really enjoying my kids lately. Getting out of the baby stage is a tad bit sad but a whole lot of fun too.
Lucas is making us laugh, talking more and more clearly each day, and really is a full-fledged big boy these days! I am too scared to start potty-training him just yet but I fear that day is coming pretty soon. :) He loves to talk but HAS to be acknowledged. If he is talking to me, I have to say, "Yes, ok, mmm-hmm, yay," etc. or else he repeats whatever he's saying OVER and OVER! The other day at the park I was on the phone and he climbed something. The friend in front of him and had said, "I did it!" so when he climbed it, he said, "Mom! I did it!" I saw him do it but was listening to my phone call and didn't realize he was talking to me. My friends at the park with me were saying, "Yay, Lucas, good job," to get him to feel acknowledged and move on but I guess he repeated himself 20 times trying to get ME to acknowledge him! :( Bad mommy move. He likes to say, "Mom, I hungy," and run to the pantry. He still loves to cuddle with his "nee nee" (blanket) and give big hugs and kisses that involve a little tongue licking me (ha ha) and do somersaults and throw himself down and say, "Uhhhh," like he's dying or something. He cracks me up. Oh and he pulled our tall 4-drawer filing cabinet full of music down onto himself the other day about 30 seconds after leaving the dinner table! Ran straight into the study, opened too many drawers quickly I guess, and got his finger pinched between two drawers. We got it upright in about 20 seconds and he has a small scratch on his hand. He likes to show everyone his "squatch" and have us kiss it. :) I tried to put a bandaid on it and he screamed louder than when the cabinet fell on him! ;)
Natalie has always made me laugh. She just has this infectious giggle and a funny sense of humor. One day in the shower she got the giggles and kept laughing the whole time. I said, "Showers are more fun when you giggle, right?" She agreed and has giggled through every shower since. Seriously, she steps in the shower and starts to giggle. That makes me laugh and then she giggles some more. If we all just forced ourselves to giggle throughout the day, we'd be much happier. :)
The other day someone called and talked to me about going to "Time Out for Women" with me. That's a women's conference for LDS women and it will be held in Arlington this year, so I've made reservations for a girls weekend. :) Jill asked who called and I told her who it was and said, "She wants to go to Time Out with me." Natalie said, "Time out? But that's bad!" Ha ha. Obviously when I put Lucas in "time out" ten times a day, it IS a bad thing but mommies like to have time outs. :)
She likes a new cartoon she found on Netflix and there aren't a ton of episodes but she likes to watch this one episode over and over. The other day she was just bawling and I asked what was wrong. Evidently something sad happened on the show and the little sheep was crying and she empathized with it and cried too! Such a sweet girl. I saw her just put that episode on again while she was eating her breakfast and I said, "Is this the one that made you cry?" She said, "Yeah, mom, just watch it and you'll know what I'm talking about!" :D I sure love my sweet girl!
Natalie's new favorite thing to do is READ! Yes, it finally happened! She's had some ability for a while but now the DESIRE is there! She wants to do the reading most of the time but will still ask me to read to her sometimes too. I love this stage! A whole new world has opened up to her now. :)
Miranda attended a birthday party for a friend at a cosmetology school over the weekend. It was a hair & nails party, so it was right up her alley! When I picked her up she had the CUTEST braided crown all around her head and had pretty pink nails on fingers and toes. None of the other girls looked much different from when I dropped her off. I asked why the other girls didn't get cute hair like hers and she said, "I'm the only one that didn't mess with it!" So I guess the other girls were more interested in running around, playing, eating cake, etc. but my little diva sat perfectly still while eating her cake, so as not to muss her hair! :) Ha ha.
She has been reading a ton lately and can finish a chapter book in a day, so she's really racking up the points for AR (Accelerated Reader program). She has enough points to go to Midnight Madness (late night celebration party at the end of the year) but I'm encouraging her (along with her teacher) to keep going. Her goal is to reach 100 points and she's in the 70s now, so I think she'll make it! She & Jill both won a ticket to Six Flags for reading so much and we're planning a summer trip to Dallas to use those!
Jill has been so pleasant and helpful lately. She's always wonderful but she's really maturing in a good way and it's fun to see her grow. I'm buying her clothes out of the juniors section now (xs but still!) and her hair is more than halfway down her back. I've told her it's easier to take care of short hair but it really is beautiful and she takes pretty good care of it.
We had one of her best friends, Courtney, and her little brother stay with us for a few days while their parents were out of town and she LOVED having her friend here. At this age it's not hard to have an extra one around. They just played together the whole time. :) The little brother played with Lucas and he loved having someone to roughhouse with, of course!
The weekend before Courtney & her mom and Jill & I went to paint pottery. It was pretty comical because neither of us moms are crafty at all but all of our things turned out really nice and it was a lot of fun!
Chorus Abilene (the group that runs the choir my kiddos are in) held an "Abilene Idol" competition and I took Jill, Courtney, and Miranda to the finale last weekend. It was so fun to hear all the great talent and we even got to text in our vote! I have started working in the Chorus Abilene office for 3 hours every Friday and I actually get paid, instead of just volunteer work this time. My great friend, Sara, watches my kids while I do it and it's nice to feel a little part in the working world. Although I do feel slightly guilty for missing out on my kids for those 3 hours! Luckily I know the kids are having a blast with their friends and the nice praise I get at work when I do a good job is SO nice to hear!
This past weekend we watched General Conference instead of the normal church routine and it was such a nice break. I LOVE listening to inspired leaders and am hoping to incorporate what they said into my life. :)
Ben is still busy working and bishoping but things are pretty good for now. :) He doesn't have much time for hobbies but his latest favorite thing to do is read! He's in the middle of the first "Hunger Games" book and doesn't want to put it down, so he'll probably be done tomorrow. I told him to hurry up, so he can take me to see the movie!!! :)
I am helping in Jill's & Miranda's classes twice a month each and it is so fun. It almost makes me think I'd love to be a teacher but all day every day probably would not be NEARLY as fun. :) It's so nice to get to know my kids' teachers and friends. Remember last year when I told the PTA president I wouldn't do my Room Coordinator job because I needed to not be so busy? Well, the lady who took my place moved away and left none of her information of who is a room mother, etc. right before our Winter Carnival (and biggest fundraiser!). So I stepped in and will finish out the year doing that AND already volunteered to do it next year too! But I'll have 3 in school next year and it really is a fun job, so I don't think it'll overwhelm me. :)
I'm also singing in a musical program at church next weekend called "Women At The Well." The music is beautiful and I hope it all comes together nicely for the performances. I love to sing but I'm really tired of the time it's taking away from my family on Thursday nights due to rehearsals. It was fun but I'm ready for it to be over.
There is usually only ONE Tuesday a month where Ben & I are both home, NO Wednesdays (Ben has church mtgs), and Thursdays have been rehearsals for the past six weeks or so. So freeing up Thursdays will be significantly better! :)
I didn't post about Spring Break, so I will quickly sum it up.
*My dad calls on Sunday afternoon saying he's halfway here to drive to Kansas with me. He's very sweet but I said, "Don't you remember what happened last time you did that?" He didn't remember but I will never forget Lucas crying the whole drive to Kansas.
*We head out the next morning, all is well for about 20 miles, and then Lucas throws up! Dad pulls over and I clean him up, change his clothes, move on down the road. We stop for lunch in Wichita Falls. Lucas won't eat and won't let me put him down and just cries while I try (and fail) to eat.
*Lucas sleeps for a while and wakes up screaming. He's burning up. We stop at a Walgreen's in Chickasha where he throws up in Aisle 8 all over the boxes of medicine I'm holding!
*Lucas falls back asleep and the girls take turns whining the rest of the way. I need to go to the bathroom but there is NO way I'm stopping when Lucas is sleeping and the girls don't have to stop.
*We get to my dad's old house, a.k.a. the bunkhouse (where we stay) and the door is locked! I can't get to the bathroom! I load everybody back in the van and run down the road to my Grandma's! Yay! :)
*Kids take turns whining and driving me crazy and I take them back to the bunkhouse. Their behavior was worse the next day but improved after I break down telling them they're ruining my trip to see my family!
*The girls ride horses, feed the baby calf, play with the dogs and cats, swing on the swingset, basically want to stay outside the entire time and I feel sad my kids can't grow up on a farm. It is a really cool place!
*Natalie's horse spooked and jumped a little, her hands went up in the air, and it bolted out from under her! She fell into a "Natalie-sized" puddle of mud and other than having a mouthful of mud and being totally muddy, she was fine! I'm glad I wasn't there to see it happen because I guess my girls screamed enough for everybody! I was in the house with Lucas while he napped and heard about it later when everyone could agree it was a funny sight since she didn't get hurt.
*My Uncle Tim spoiled us all again. All 3 girls got cowgirl boots, Jill also got a genuine cowgirl hat and spurs! I got a bunch of clothes that I really needed and I love them!
*I got to visit my best friend since kindergarten and I really wish we lived closer! We are so much alike in all the good ways! :) We can not see each other for a year but when we're back together it's the same as always and I love that!
*My dad drove us home and my kids were excellent, so hopefully my dad isn't too traumatized!!! :)
*I love my family! Not too fond of the drive! :)