Sunday, May 30, 2010

blah blah blog

What can I say? I'm in a bit of a blogging rut, and springtime is speeding by. The weather is fabulous, the kids are nearly done with school, and we spent a huge chunk of our days outside. After a week of begging, we finally broke out the swim suits today.

We are in the process of planting our garden (tomatoes and peppers in, beans and peas to come), as well as a few flowers. The kids loved helping/playing in the dirt.
I finally painted the boys' room. It was a dull gray-blue color that made me sad to look at--I'm so thankful to have that color gone from my house. (Before)
I took a long time deciding what color to paint it, and pondered dark brown and dark blue before deciding on...a light blue that is similar in tone to the gray, but so much happier. It didn't photograph very well, but here a shot of the new wall color with the shelf I painted blue last summer. The other colors in the room batch the basket on the shelf, and I have some dinosaur accents courtesy of Kohl's clearance rack. I'm pretty happy with it all. The next project will be taking down the weird duck/hunting wallpaper border in the basement.

Rachel continues to collect bugs and worms, and tries to use my kitchen dishes as habitats, so I bought her butterfly house. The first thing she did was catch a tent worm, which is currently resting in a web-thing, becoming a moth. I think she might be disappointed. Thankfully, baby caterpillars should be coming in the mail soon.

Rachel participated in two school programs this Spring. The first was for Mother's Day, but during the program she decided to use the bathroom so she missed a good portion of it. Last week she starred as the letter K in the Kindergarten Alphafriend show.(Rachel with her good friends from the Hearing Impaired program)

Aaron is nearly potty trained, even nights (only 2 wet nights since we started this whole thing, which is a miracle considering Rachel and Nathan are still in pull-ups at night). However, he is heavily bribed with treats and Hot Wheels and continues to struggle with the stinky stuff. I have a feeling we're close to the end, though.

Today I joined Christian in his weekly game of Ultimate Frisbee. I can't say I was very good, but it was a lot of fun, and surprisingly good exercise. We got a babysitter to watch the kids at the nearby park while we played. (Christian actively recruits people to play--2 guys drove down from Lansing today for the game--so, if you're interested, come join!).

I recently started babysitting for a neighbor's girl. She's Nathan's age, and they play well together, so its nice for him to have a friend. Its also nice to earn a little extra $, especially as we head into summer time.

Speaking of which, the kids have their last week of school coming up. I am weirded out by the idea of having a kindergartner, 1st grader, and 3rd grader next year...I tend to think of my family is young, but its starting to sound like we're all growing up. This week I have to put together some thank-you's for their teachers...any ideas? Hannah's teacher is a guy who isn't a big fan of junk food, so I can't go for flowers or chocolate...

And that's about it. Hopefully now that I'm caught up, I'll be able to keep up and get back my blogger's mojo.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Its about time...

Continuing with the bathroom theme...

I finished the kids' bathroom! (Okay, a while ago...but we didn't have it clean enough to take a picture until now!)
This bathroom started off a hideous combination of gray/blue and reddish purple. Yuck.The first step was to paint the gray walls cottage white. The funny thing was, as soon as I did this the purple color didn't look so bad anymore and actually matched the heart-patterned shower curtain. I left it at this stage over Valentines' Day--it seemed appropriate.

It didn't stay for long. I had my eye on a certain shower curtain at Kohl's. I watched it for months until the price came down and I had Kohl's cash to use, and ended up with a darling $45 shower curtain for $10--and I was ready to finish the bathroom.

Working on this bathroom was really a chance to experiment, and it was a long process that I'm not sure is complete yet. I painted over the purple with the cream color and put up all the accessories, but it felt empty. So--back to the store I went, this time for a dark blue. Painted one wall. Still needed something. Painted scallops over the tub. Loved the scallops.
I'm still not sure if the blue is too dark for the small room, or if I should have used bright white rather than cream...but I've enjoyed experimenting. I love the fun monster accessories, the bright towel and rug--it a very kid-friendly space.


I know, I want nothing more than an update on how Aaron's bowels are doing.

Good news! He's out of pull-ups (even at night) and up until yesterday, the only "accidents" he had were of the stinky, gross variety.

Yesterday we had a break-through.

In Aaron's words: "I made a snake!"

Here he is blowing on a kazoo--his potty prize for this big step.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This is the Place! (I think)

We had a bit of unexpected adventure/crisis last week. My sister-in-law, Jeni (married to Christian's 4th brother, Daniel) passed away a week ago, leaving behind 4 kids and her husband. I planned on sending Christian to spend some time with his brother, but last minute I had the chance to go, too. I was so fortunate to find someone with less than 24 hour notice to watch my 4 kids, and am so grateful I could be there. 10 of the 13 siblings were there, and its always fun to be around Christian's family.

Jeni's funeral was beautiful--aside from being very sad. I loved hearing the stories about my friend...and want to say here that while lots of people mentioned that she loved to play games and she and Daniel could never play against each other, it needs to be pointed out that she was an expert cheater. Very, very bad.

I usually visit Utah in the summer, so I naturally expected great weather and didn't bring a coat. This is what it looked like. Yes, that is snow on those mountains.

I didn't actually take many pictures, but we spent our time doing the usual game playing/try to build something together (a play set)/eat really good food (Tucanos! 3 kinds of funeral potatoes!)/tell family stories. Christian and I both went running, but we vastly underestimating the effect of the elevation. We also spent a few hours hanging out with Peter while waiting for our flight. We got to walk down the Memorial Grove Park and check out the inside of the Capital building. Peter thinks a "country manor" designed like the Capital would be a great place for future family gatherings.
Our flight home was atrocious. We were booked on separate flights, but Christian was able to switch onto my flight, with a layover in Phoenix. Our 2 hour layover became 6, 2 of which were spent sitting on the plane while they tried to deal with engine problems. We got home several hours later than expected. Yuck.

But I feel pretty lucky that I could go, get my Utah-fix, remember my friend Jeni, wander through a Deseret Bookstore, and be reminded just how cool the Green clan is.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Big Bad Green Game Night

I have some pretty crazy friends, with some pretty crazy ideas. My buddy Candace said that we ought to have a game night; we ought to do it at my house (for the space); and we ought to invite everyone we can possibly think of. Evites were sent to 34 families (including mine and Candace's), and only after they were sent did I start to think that this might be a stressful endeavor. As it turned out, it was a blast!

We ended up with 19 adults and 19 kids (only about 1/2 of the people ever even responded to the invite), and we all fit nicely without any chaos (I was expecting LOTS of chaos).
Guests came at 5:30 and helped assemble some amazing kabobs (have I mentioned lately that my man can cook?). The kabobs featured beef, chicken, sausage, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms marinated in either a lime chipotle sauce or Yoshida's (available at Sam's--great stuff), served over rice with lots of fun sides and dessert. We served the kids first--hot dogs and potato chips.

The kids were fabulous. We had 2 tables set up in the basement, and they ate first, then played the rest of the evening. The weather was chilly, but not wet, so they spend some time outside and some time watching old episodes of Darkwing Duck.

Half of us played a rousing game of Apples to Apples (I tied for the win with the Bishop), while Rachel, who desperately wanted to play the big kid games, helped collect and distribute cards. She also took a ton of pictures--nearly all of the ones posted today--(she especially liked taking upside-down pictures of the men).

The other half started a great game of Quelf. I have personally never played the game, but I greatly enjoyed hearing the men sing "99 bottles of beer on the wall...", talk like a pirate, wear lipstick, trade clothing, dancing, shout out when their phone rang (lots of extra calls to bring on more cheers), etc...Some games are more entertaining to watch than play. Mostly guys played this game, but bravo to Julianne, who stepped in last minute to fill an empty seat.

It ended up being a great group--some old friends, some we hadn't ever hung out with before...We're so glad we have such good friends!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What goes in must go out

#1 or #2 things keeping us busy around here...
Yup, that's Aaron, sitting on a kiddie potty in the family room while watching Backyardigans. I forced him to drink apple juice until we had some success, and for the past few weeks he's done really well. I'd take him out of pull-ups completely, except...I really, really hate cleaning up messy underwear and we've had no success in that area yet. Any advice?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

In the leafy tree tops...

Tree climbing--kind of a big thing for my kids right now. Rachel especially likes to snack on a banana while she's up there and pretend to be a monkey. The kids need a bit of help getting up to the first branch, but once they're there, they can get around pretty well. Scares me ever time.
And unrelatedly, Rachel went to a birthday party the other day for a deaf friend. 5 of the kids in the picture below are deaf or hearing impaired. I thought it was very cool to watch Rachel signing away with her little buddies. (This was the High School Musical-themes party--a little ironic, right?)