About a month ago Claire informed me that she was going to have a Nutcracker party. I asked her what exactly was a Nutcracker Party and she told me quite specifically what it was. "Mom. The Sugar Plum Fairy will come. We will decorate cupcakes and pin the hat on the Nutcracker." Claire held onto those ideas which forced me to figure it out. Thank goodness for Circe and Golda! Golda graciously said yes when asked if she would be our Sugar Plum Fairy. She was the sweetest and best fairy I could ever ask for. Honestly. If you have a birthday party coming up and need an AMAZING helper Golda is your girl!
Now you need to know something about me. I may be musical but I am not crafty or creative. Honestly. I remember getting kicked out of 7th grade art because I was so bad. I think the quote from my teacher was "you are much better at the performing arts than the visual arts. I think you should stick with performances."
So armed with Claire's ideas, pinterest and my trusty Sugar Plum Fairy I think we pulled it off today. We invited way too many girls and yet I would not change it at all. I won't tell you how many came but let me tell you that thanks to the generosity of Claire's friends we won't need to buy anything for her for the entire year. That includes Christmas! This post includes some phenomenal art work by Kent (the pin the hat on the Nutcracker game and the invitation) and some of my best crafty work. Again, pretty much all the ideas came from various blogs found from pinterest. Without further adieu...Claire's vision of the Nutcracker.
Happy Birthday Claire! I can't believe you are 5 today. You are such a sweet and loving little girl who has some fire and sass like no other. I want you to know that we are so lucky to have you in our family. You have taught your dad and me more about strength, humility and prayer than anyone else in our lives. Thank you! You inspire us daily.
We love you so much and hope you have fun tomorrow with your Nutcracker Party and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
This post is going to be long. At least I think it will. So you can stop now and just know that the short version is we went, we had fun and we survived. All good things! :)
The long version is that about 6 weeks ago I had this crazy dream after talking to my neighbor that we (Kent and I) could do Disneyland. It seemed like it would be so much fun and that the kids would freak out. So after checking into the prices and deals I pulled the trigger one Saturday night. I felt both giddy and sick at the same time. Can you feel that?! Well I did.
Then started the great Disney research. I swear I emailed, facebooked and read every website that would give me all the tips and tricks to taking young kids, toddlers and twins to Disneyland. To say I was a bit obsessed would be an understatement!
Fast forward to last Tuesday after school. We picked Emma up from school and had all the bags packed and loaded in the car. We told the kids we were going on a trip and that the big surprise was Disneyland. Emma seemed totally overwhelmed and Claire just freaked out! She kept saying "I am going to meet Tinkerbelle!"
We flew with all 4 kids and it went great. We were a bit of a circus but I am used to people staring at me when I am out with the kids. Kent...not as much.
We spent 3 days at Disneyland. Had lunch at Aeriel's Grotto which was actually pretty good, saw 3 parades, fireworks, the World of Color show and also trick or treated at Disneyland. By the time Friday night hit I had hit my overload button of everything Disney. It was a blast though and I am so glad we did it.
The kids tonight were telling us all their favorite things they did. Emma loved meeting all the characters and getting their autographs. I thought she was going to die when she met Jessie from Toy Story! Claire seriously loved everything. Except for the new Aeriel's ride. It was the first ride she did and I think she was overwhelmed by the huge Ursela and burst into tears! Needless to say she did not want to ride that one the rest of the time. On Friday afternoon she told me "Mom. I think I will give it one more try." She did it and loved it. I was so proud of her!
The boys were seriously so funny. Like total boys they just hung out and went with the flow of what the girls wanted to do. They were thrilled with whatever person they met and whichever ride they went on. They were actually pretty easy since they had no agenda or opinion of what or where to go. They really loved the Aerial ride as well as anything Toy Story related. They were so cute and were so much fun!
Kent was a total trooper and a great sport. He is not a Disney fan period. I think it is a safe bet to say he did not catch the "Magic" but still went through the exhaustion of the trip for his kids and me. I once again have realized how lucky I am to have married him. He was a great support!
My Tips and Tricks for Disney are these: 1. You can plan all you want but seriously it will not work out the way you think. Just go with the flow. 2. Watch out for the people on mopeds. They mean business and they will run over your small child/children if your not watching! 3. Churros and Corn Dogs do taste better at Disneyland. I don't know why but it is worth the $$. 4. Once you are sucked in you will not get out. Try as you might you will need to allow yourself at least an hour to exit the park. You keep seeing things you need to check out or buy or just try once. It is mission impossible! 5. This is a tip I think I will hopefully try the next time we go. (yes. there will be a next time it just might not be for 5 years!) I am hoping that next time we will be able to stay at the Grand California Hotel. I am thinking it will be worth the extra $$ to not have to drive/walk/shuttle anywhere in the morning or at night. Especially with 2 strollers.
If you have stuck with me this long...Thank you! I am totally impressed!!!
Today Emma started her first day of First Grade. She has Miss Rushton and is in a 1st/2nd split. It was funny because for as confident as she was to go once we got there she was totally shy. I have never thought of Emma as shy but today she showed that side. I am totally anxious to hear how her day was and how lunch and recesses were. I think they do early out day today because the parents (i.e. me) need time to adjust to her not being here.
I miss her but know she will do great. I love you Emms! I can't believe this day has arrived. Big milestone. BIG!
I went and saw 17 Miracles in the theaters the other day. The movie subject always gets me. The Willie and Martin handcart company's story. The thing that struck a chord with me was how many miracles there were. I am sure there were more than 17 but the show could only be 2 hours right?
Well in our house we have had at least 2 MAJOR miracles the past 2 days. I need to write them down so I will never forget.
Our first was with Pocket. Many of you know he made it through surgery. Thank goodness! I was not ready to see our little guy go just yet. The vet came back though and told me that he was pretty certain that the form of cancer he has was a) rare (which really should not surprise us since we deal with rare medical on a daily basis) and b) aggressive. He then told me that we would be in the exact same spot with Pocket next year as far as surgery goes. Great.
The miracle came though when yesterday afternoon Mike (from the barn) called and told me that the biopsy came back and the tumor was benign. Which means that Pocket should be around for a long time! I am so thankful for this miracle since the girls and boys seem to really be loving Pocket and the horses right now.
Our 2nd miracle was more of a "I don't know how that happened" miracle! On Monday night we were watching fireworks at Kent's sisters place for the 4th. Things were going great and the kids were loving them. Then they lit one of the really big aerial "now legal" ones which in the process tipped over and started shooting right at the family with my kids on the front line. It was seriously the most scared I have ever been for my kids! It felt like being in a gun fight with fireworks going off all around us. I even felt a bit of singe on the top of my ears and hair! Somehow all my kids were not only safe but had not a scratch on them. It made me think of the part in the handcart story where the angels were helping them push the wagons. Well I felt that angels were seriously holding and protecting my kids as I was not with them at that exact moment. The kids did not move or panic. They each had a little bubble around them that seemed to deflect the fireworks. The kids were a little scared (obviously) but other than that just fine. Again, I seriously don't know how they were not hit but am so thankful for safety and protection on Monday night!
Miracles do exist! If you ever doubt them just look around. I have never been so sure of anything like I am now!
These pictures were taken just after we got Pocket by our great friend Becki.
I am a bit sad and felt like I needed to write about it to just get it off my mind. Does anyone else do that? I am sure you all do it in a more private forum but me...why not just spill it out for the whole world to read?!
Here it goes... Today I dropped the girls off to riding lessons at G. Simmons barn and went to run some errands. When I went back to pick them up and Mitchell (our incredible riding instructor and friend) told me that I needed to talk to Mike (the barn guru) about Pocket. For those of you who don't remember Pocket is our incredibly small and cute pony that we bought for Claire right after she was diagnosed. He has been a great therapy pony for us.
Anyway- it turns out that Pocket is really sick. We knew he had a small tumor on his nose the past couple of years and it has been not a big deal. Well over the weekend it grew really big and has made Pocket really sick. In short our small pony is going in for surgery on Friday. We don't know what the outcome will be and I am sad.
I tried to not cry but got teary eyed when I spoke to Mitchell about it again. I then told the girls about everything. Man! It was so sad! I told them that Pocket might not make it through the surgery and that we needed to be ready if that was the case. They handled it well for being 6 and 4. I think it is me who is really moved by this experience. I feel like this is one of those parenting moments that I can handle well or really screw up. I am not sure if I have done either just yet. All I know is that I am hoping that Heavenly Father heard the little girls prayers tonight when they both asked Him to help Pocket to be OK. I hope he hears my prayers as well. To know how to handle this either way.
I promise he likes it! Really!!!:) The kids this morning on our way to pick up Emma. The bike! We will have to come up with a name or something!
So we went to the house last night and got the bike. The family we got it from ended up being some old harp students of mine and a family I LOVE!!! It is funny how we spoke to each other on the phone but didn't put 2 and 2 together until right before we pulled up. THANKS BENNETT FAMILY! IT IS AWESOME!!!
The kids had a great time taking rides around the park last night and this morning Claire asked me if we could take it today on our errands. I told her my legs might not make it to the bank today but maybe someday!:) Our goal today was to pick Emma up from school. I am not sure how far it is but maybe round trip just over a mile or something.
The bike really isn't bad when you get going and me being a total novice at bike riding I am enjoying the gears it has to offer. The only embarrassing thing that happened was when we were at the school picking up Emma today. As we were heading out a couple of kindergartners dodged out in front of us and we toppled over. It was pretty heavy with all the kids and I and needed help from some other moms but I guess if you are going to fall, fall big!:) Nothing like making a total spectacle of yourself in front of all the other moms. The good news is the Madsen totally took care of the kids and no one was hurt. The bad news was I was a bit shaken and had to bike them all home. We will be sure to watch out for those pesky curbs next time!:)
Day 1 of owning a bike that can haul all my kids in one go...SO MUCH FUN!
Hello! It has been far too long to recap the past month and a half. Crazy how May seems like December in terms of commitments that you have. I don't know how all you who have kids in "real" school (something other than kindergarten) do it! To keep up is insane.
So I wanted to post that I am beyond excited. What might you ask has me all hopped up? Well Kent and I recently have been contemplating the move from a suburban as our family vehicle to a minivan. Before all you naysayers of minivans get going please remember I have 4 kids 6 and under and 4 car seats. I love my suburban but am getting really sick of putting the $$ into gas rather than other things. So while we have been contemplating this I have been secretly (and not so secret to Kent) coveting the mini vans of bikes. Yes! You read it right I who have not owned a bike since I was 12 am going to make the purchase today. I am sooooooo excited!
Check out the Madsen cargo bikes. Also known as the Madsen cycles. I found a great deal on one from KSL (don't you love KSL?) and am super stoked to start doing playdates, picnics, ice cream runs and so much more in my new minivan bike.
In preparation for the purchase I went to Robert J DeBry to pick up some bike helmets for the kids. The deal for the helmets was too good to pass up. $5 per kids helmet!!! Now they are set and I am to. If only I could pick it up right now!:)
So if you see a mom with 4 kids in a bucket on a bike chances are it is me. Don't be afraid to wave at the kids as I am sure they will be waving back!
I will keep you all posted about how it moves with 4 kids in the back as I am anxious to do the first kindergarten pick up tomorrow at 11:30.
I had the best time in So Cal with my cousins this past weekend. I never thought that the Ragnar race would be as much fun as it was. I am not a hard core runner but would seriously love to do this again. Check out this AMAZING video my cousin Padgett put together of our adventure!
ROCK ON TIBBY'S TRACKSTARS!!! (We have a lot more cousins to help run next year. We might have to have a Roy's Rockstars added to our team!:)
p.s. does anyone know how to make my video fit the screen? It is cutting off half the movie! Thanks!
I am heading down to So Cal with Kent and my family to run my first Ragnar next week. This is monumental in the fact that a) it will be the first night away for Kent and I alone without the kids since the boys were born. Nothing like spending it with 10 other sweaty people for 24hours plus in 2 suburbans!:) b) I haven't ran a race...or really ran since before the boys were born. c) I will finally have a visual of what Kent really does!
Thanks Simmons/Morgan cousins who have agreed to this crazy adventure and make our team possible.
Tomorrow Mack and Morgan turn 2. I really can't believe it! Kent and I were talking about how the memory of their birth day is still vivid in our minds and that 2 years really does seem to fly by. In hindsight. The reality of having the boys these past 2 years has been slow moments and days but quick years.
We have been through a lot the past 2 years as a family and looking back I feel like the Lord blessed us with the boys so that we couldn't worry to much about the day to day things. We have just been in survival mode and have not had a chance to worry at details really. Probably a good thing!:)
These guys are so adorable and fun and sweet that I feel extremely lucky to be their mom! I still don't know how we have done it and honestly can't believe most of the time that they are mine. I love them both so much though and can't wait for more years and more birthdays!
Before you get worried we are all just fine in our house! All is well and by some miracle we are all healthy.
I need blog lands help though. I want to teach my harp students this year about classical composers. Not just famous harpists but really open their eyes to a bit of the amazing classical world. I want to somehow help them be well rounded musicians not just well rounded harpists (if there is such a thing!)
So I am trying to come up with a list of AMAZING classical composers that we can learn about. I am thinking one a month (at group lessons) then possibly having a little quiz the next month or something like that.
There are so many composers that I love and want to share with them but the ages of my students range from 3-18. I want to somehow keep it light and memorable. Does anyone have suggestions?
I know the greats like Beethoven, Mozart and Bach but what others do you like?
Claire has been so funny lately I can't help but write a few of her "moments" down.
So the other day she was telling me that tomorrow she would be going away to college. She was very adamant that this was going to happen and even packed a box with all the things she would need. Her pillow pet, her doll, some dishes from a tea set, her blanket and some clothes. She was then getting ready to go to bed and I told her I would miss her a lot while she was away and she told me "mom. I just received a text from my dear friend who told me that we are not going to college tomorrow. So I will be staying home!" It had me laughing so hard I couldn't say good night to her. Thank goodness she is not even going to preschool yet. I would miss her terribly!
She has also been watching a lot of this bear movie and they always ask the viewer "what do you like to practice every day?" and Claire's answer is, "Harp." Yep. Claire started harp lessons two weeks ago and has been such a joy to practice with. Whether or not it will last when the newness has worn off I don't know. I am just riding the good wave with this one.:)
Then today she had to get two shots. After the deed was done she told me with tears coming down her cheeks, "mom. Dad is going to hear it today. Shots are NOT fun and I am not having a good day!" Seriously. Where does she get these lines?!
I think the best news and biggest step for us is that this past week was her last speech therapy. Yes. She has officially caught up to her age group and our therapist told us she didn't need to come anymore. We are sad to see Jean go since she has been such a HUGE part of our lives but thrilled that we made it to this point. AMAZING!
Kent and I got married in 2002 after meeting in our soph. english class at DHS. We have been living in Utah for the past 9 years and 8 are back in Davis County! You can leave and explore but will always end up back in Farmington!:)
Kent works in the running event industry. He worked for Ragnar Events for 3 years and just this past September started working for The Color Run. He loves the challenge of putting on races for thousands of people trying to just have fun and run. :) He is awesome at it and I am grateful for his hard work to support our family!
We have 4 kids. Emma who is 7 and is such a diva. She is so funny and articulate and a joy to have in the family. Claire is 6 and is a very special spirit in our home. She has her own trials which in turn has taught us so many life lessons. We have our twin boys Mack and Morgan who are 3 and so much fun! We are expecting #5, a boy in June and hope we survive. :)
I am a full time mom and full time harpist. I teach 28 students a week out of our home and somehow try and juggle to joys of being a mom a freelance musician and the joys of being a teacher. I don't do it well but love it all!
We are always up for an adventure and love to travel!