Friday, July 27, 2012

A week with Aunt Becca! Let the fun (and sometimes not fun) begin!

 An overview of things I learned while being a mom for a week at Liz’s. 
(And things that just made me laugh!) 
Not every Aunt gets to (or wants to) experience the things I got to experience this last week. It was hard. Difficult, tiring, overwhelming, wonderful, fun, funny, laughable, full of learning and much much more.  I feel blessed and privileged to have been able to help out and enjoy precious moments with my cute nieces and nephews!  I’m grateful on the other end that Mike and Liz got to go on a much needed and well deserved vacation and that it was all they could hope for (minus and exotic beach!)
Here we go.  These are in no particular order, but I just took notes as I went or captured memories in my mind for later moments when I had energy to write, because let me tell you at the end of my day, I did not want to write in my journal. (I wish I had, because I would have more detail, but I just didn’t have the animo to find energy inside to even write a little…I was done. I laughed at “Friends” and even broke down and treated myself to some of the best tasting Rocky Road (great ice cream choice for the week) ice cream I’ve ever had while Tyler and Austin went to sleep in my bed with me, because Tyler wouldn’t go to sleep!!!) 

We had lunch with our cousin (before Liz left) who is on his mission in NM.

Ready for church!  Day 2

In the slide at the play place

So fun!

Locked outside!!!  Had to get those dishes done!

Popsicles after the water fight fully clothed!  Gets get creative and have fun!

They play so well together!

Elephant time at the Zoo!

Giraffes. Can't really see them, but they're there!

More Giraffes and silly kids!

Looking at the Zebras.  Where'd they go?  Nati, my sister's sister in law was my life saver this trip. We did everything with her and her kids! I can never repay her for all of her support and help!

Birthday kids!  Can you believe they are birthday twins 2 years apart!  Crazy huh! I've been hearing about how common that is in families! Interesting and fun!  

Coloring time.  Austin earned that coloring book by earning points.  That was the system .  They got a point for doing good, lost points when they weren't doing good!  Simple and works!  10 points equals one item from the dollar store.  Crazy how you can get kids to do things for stuff! Crazy and works!! Look at hat really good coloring!

Awesome huh!  And look at the cute hand on his back!  The love is there in this family!

We found Dori!

We ate outside a lot!  This was pancakes with fresh strawberry syrup. I'm still learning how to make that!

Swimming at the pool!  I love pools!  We had such a good time at the pools we went to!

Things I learned:
  1. 1.    Don’t throw away a 3 year old’s food right after the meal.  He is not done eating.  He kept coming back and asking where his food was. I had already cleaned it up.  That only lasted 2 days until I figured it out that he eats a little bit, says he’s done. Goes and plays, then comes back and wants food to magically appear.  So instead of making more work for me, I just left his same food there and he totally ate it cold and yucky. He is a little weird like that I guess.  Although when his chicken got cold, he said that it was stabbing the inside of his mouth!  Funny kid!
  2. 2.    Give options and choices.  If you want them to eat healthy give them the option of carrots or celery.  Or fruit apples or oranges.  Then they can have something less healthy, but if you do the love and logic thing and give them two choices you’re happy with, they will choose one of them (as long as you’re consistent and stick to your guns!)
  3. 3.    I made popsicles from my left over smoothie that had spinach, berries and bananas.  They liked them and ate spinach all day long without even knowing!
  4. 4.    Eat popsicles outside!!!!  If need be get them a bowl to let it melt into.
  5. 5.    Make easy popsicles in Dixie cups with a popsicle stick.  Too easy and fun!
  6. 6.    I made soup and it was totally healthy.  They ate it! It was kind of funny, because honestly, I didn’t really like the soup either. I hadn’t cooked the celery and onions I sautéed enough.  So they were a bit crunchy, but the kids wanted their cake for dessert, so I told them that if they ate it they could have cake.  All 3 of them ate all of their soup!!! And cake was served!
  7. 7.    I want a stretchy sink faucet when I get my own house!!! So helpful to clean kids off after meals, reaches dishes…it is great!
  8. 8.    Wash dishes immediately after eating, especially the high chair, then it will all be clean and ready for the next go round.
  9. 9.    Kids eat all the time…oh my word. I feel like I was in the kitchen for the majority of the time I was at home!
  10. 0. Sweep!  That floor gets dirty fast.  And Ashley is eating everything she can get her hands on.  As she was at my feet, she was down there eating everything. Kind of gross. Although, my mom said I ate cigarette butts at the beach all the time as a child…(I guess that tells us something huh!)
  11. 1. If you are going to leave the dishes, at least soak them so they are so much easier to was when you come to them later on. 
See what I learned #3 and #4.

Amberly (6 years old):
Amberly was such a good girl.  As I was curling her hair so she could go to her friend’s party, I said, “You have to clean up your room all clean so that when mommy and daddy get home, it’s all clean.  It was hilarious, because I finished her hair and totally forgot that I had told her to do that. The next thing I knew she was in her room running around frantically trying to get everything all cleaned up.  She is the cutest and so efficient.  She tries so hard to please and is such a good kid.
Amberly is so funny and such a good girl.  Even when she doesn’t do what she’s supposed to, she immediately feels bad for it and tries to make it right. She is totally a blue personality.  One night we had just gone to the pool and then the play place at Burger King (I have now been play placed out for a while!  Those kids were spoiled with play places!  I stayed there for like 3 hours once and we went to at least 3 different play places!  I’m kind of sick of them!) so when we got home I told Austin to get in the shower, then help Tyler get in the tub, wash his hair and make sure he was ready to get out before he played in the tub.  Amberly got in and I told her to stay in until I came back to do her conditioner/brush out the snarls hair routine.  She was playing in the bath. I snuck away just quick enough to hurry and jump in the shower. Brought Ash into Mike and Liz’s room with me, gave her toys to play with and speed showered so I could feel comfortable (because when I’m wet and tired and still in my suit etc, I’m more cranky, and I needed all the patience I could muster to get through the next hour.)  So I hurried really quickly, thinking they’ll just play in there and it will be fine.  Well, when I got out, what do you know Amberly was running around in a towel, hair not washed.  Tyler was running around in a towel and everything was in an uproar! I told Amberly that I had specifically told her to stay in the bath until I came and got her.  She was soaking wet and getting water everywhere etc. I said, “Now you have to get back in and we have to do your hair.  If you would have just stayed in the bath it would have been easier for everyone.  No dessert for you.”  She was upset, but completely understood. After dinner, she brought her plate over, didn’t really say anything, and just went to her bed and went to sleep. I felt so bad, because I didn’t even get to apologize for being so abrupt. 
It’s in those moments when I react that I’m kicking myself for being so over the top and out of control and yet on the flip side justifying my actions, because they’re “called for” because you’ve got to discipline and have consequences.  And it’s like you get madder and madder at yourself for being mad and mean and then you get mad that you aren’t doing things right and it’s this cycle over and over again…I don’t know how to break it, but to admit when I’m wrong immediately so that the damage can be taken care of at least a little bit.  Liz is a good example of that as she is so gentle (sometimes!) with her kids. She’ll stop and play or listen to them. It’s not just one task after another.
Amberly quotes:
Amberly when she saw the Disney castle at the beginning of Snow White the movie. “That’s where you don’t get married. That’s just a fake temple!”
Advice I gave Amberly, but learned from when she was trying to open her lip stick container and it wouldn’t open.   “ Leave it for a while. Be patient. Come back for it and it works.”  She came back and opened it after she had left it a while and wasn’t frustrated when she came back and tried it a second time. I learned that sometimes we just take time and give it a bit of patience and it will all work out better later.
·      While saying the prayer, “Bless Tyler that he can learn to color with markers.
·      We were having chicken and zucchini (a very yummy dish I might add) and Amberly said, “What is that?” I said, “It’s chicken.  Do you want to try it?”  She very seriously said, “I don’t want to try it. I want to eat it.”   I laughed so hard. She didn’t even realize that it meant the same thing.
·      I was feeding breakfast to Ashley (you gotta feed her when she’s hungry or you’ll have a crying kid on your hands.).  Amberly comes up to me after she had asked me 10 min before to make her pancakes.
o   Amberly: “No one is getting me my pancakes.” 
o   Instead of getting frustrated I did a little love and logic, I said, “Why do you think no one is getting you your pancakes?”
o   Amberly: “Cause no one is getting me them.”
o   Me: “Why do you think no one is getting you your pancakes?”
o   Amberly, “Because you’re busy feeding Ashley.”
o   I responded, “Yep. Can you be patient for me while I feed her?"
o   Amberly: “Yeah.”  And then she totally didn’t bother me until I had made them.  It was so nice for her to figure it out on her own and then she quit bugging me, cause I couldn’t do anything about it anyway. I was feeding Ash.
Okay here is a really funny story that could have turned out disastrous…you gotta watch kids closely all the time.  I hope Liz doesn’t get mad at this story.  I’m sure she can relate!
So I was in the kitchen cleaning, making food etc.  I had seen Amberly “walking” (more like dragging) her little stuffed animal cat or dog (can’t remember what it was…look at all that attention to detail!).  She was pulling it on its leash that was made of a chord from her leap frog notebook thing that plugs into the wall.  Well, later on all the kids were sitting on the couch watching some show like “Curious George” or those dancing and singing kids…anyway, I walked by a couple of times and didn’t think anything of the chord I saw over by Amberly. I thought her dog/cat was on it and on her lap.  Well a little bit later I hear Austin say to her, “You’re going to choke yourself.  Stop doing that.”  I walk over to her and get a close look at it…Oh my word, She had wrapped the chord around her throat, because sometimes they play “puppy” and she was acting like the puppy this time and putting the “leash” on her.  Well, her hair was all tangled up in it.  I thought I was going to have to chop her hair off.  It was so tight to her neck and a good job of it getting really nice and wrapped around her neck. I just laughed, but was actually really concerned.  I pulled it and stretched it as best I could to get it off, but the little knots she had tied were so tiny that it was hard to get the adapter part through, because that part was bigger and as she worked, she had tightened it and tightened it. I thought, “What a horrible aunt I am.  I almost let her choke herself to death and didn’t even realize what she was doing all those times I walked by.”  I asked her why she had done this, she said, “Because I was trying to put my leash on.”  I’m thinking it’s time to get a dog!  (But they can’t have one because of Mike’s allergies!) Anyway, it was scary, but I got it off, no chopping of hair or the chord. It was hard for a second, but luckily hair stretches a little bit!!!
The chord wrapped around her neck.

You can see the genuine love she has for animals.  A dog walked into their backyard.  She immediately made it feel at home!

Yummy cake!

Playing in the play place.  She is so cute and gorgeous!

Fell asleep after play time!

Ready for our girl's night. I went in and put Ashley down and came out to this beautiful spread of finger paints!
Fun stuff!!!
After our nails were done!
Mushroom pic.
Amberly and Maddi her cousin at the Botanical gardens.

Dragon Egg!

At the aquarium!

So cool!  Sea turtle!

Eating popsicles outside!  She got Tyler's because he didn't want it anymore!

Austin (9 years old)
What a good helper (when he wants to be!) I learned that Austin is a yellow. He didn’t take the color code test, but what I know about him, he is a yellow through and through with some blue shining through (maybe more will come as he gets older, like his dad!) but this kid is motivated by extrinsic rewards and anything fun. Once I figured that out, it didn’t bug me so much that all he wanted was to have fun and what the next “fun” thing we were going to do was. He only asked to play video games once the whole week!!! Yep, that was a miracle and very wonderful!  After he played for a little bit and then lost the privilege he never asked again. That could be, because he knew I’d say, “No” or because we just had so many other fun things to do!  I don’t know.

He was a huge helper with Ashley. He really is her second mother. He knew what to do to get her to stop crying.  He knew how to get almost everything I needed in the house.  Most importantly of all, he knew how to work the T.V’s I didn’t! 

He was a good consoler for Tyler. He really takes good care of his little brother. He didn’t even complain when he had to clean up after Ty like 100 times!  He helped me clean the living room, cleaned off the table, cleaned, took out the trash, reminded me about things to do like take out the trash or take back red box movies (of course there were incentives on that, that meant we got to get a new red box sometimes), to put on and take off the emergency brake on the van at home in the driveway.  He told me how to get to church, how to get to Sonic, Mc Donald’s, Burger King, home etc!  He was a great helper.

He even learned that when I say, “Clean.” I will check under the bed and everywhere!  I know that he does his best.  He carried the swim bag into and out of the pool.  He made sure everyone got their swim suits and towels in the washing machine.  He was a great helper and even read scriptures with me, because no matter what that kid doesn’t take naps even though everyone was napping on Sunday afternoon!

He is also really good at finding the DVD player and sneaking movies!!! HOP!!

One day Austin came inside from outside fanning himself and said, “You know how hot it is out there?  It’s like 60 degrees.”

K, he's 9...shouldn't be able to fit in a booster seat!!! That was the only seat available that wasn't at someone else's table so we used it!! Funny huh!
I laughed and was like, “It’s like 90!”  It was just too funny, because he doesn’t grasp the concept of how many degrees makes it hot!
Won a gun for going into the balloon pit and finding the Chick Fil A balloon at Family Night. I love and support Chick Fil A and their values. (Added that comment after I've heard all the uproar about it...craziness...what is this world coming to?)

What a good big brother. Always willing to help out!
All smiles here!

Austin in the deep end!!

Austin and Collin his cousin looking at the cool sharks!

Ready to swim!

Helping Ashley in the play place tunnels!

Looking at the huge Rhino
This kid could play in the play place every day and never get tired of it.  He meets whoever comes and just plays with them!  True yellow, through and through!


Tyler (3 years old)
Tyler quotes that were just funny, made me laugh or just unique!  After a while I just had to start laughing at some of them or I might have cried, like “You’re mean!” 
·      “Here’s the deal.”
·      “You are kidding me!” ( you have to hear that one with his cute little voice!)
·      “You’re not the boss of me!”
·      “You’re mean.”
·      “You’re not being good.”
“You’re being naughty.”
·      “Why are you so mad?”
·      I gave him his cheese sandwich and he was like, “Oh YES!”  He was so excited! It was cute!
·      “I want fire chips.”  They call Doritos “Fire chips” because there is that flame/fire symbol on the bag.  I went to a BBQ the other night and totally called Doritos “fire chips” like that was their real name. I had to catch myself and then explain!

Well here is an experience I had with Tyler. (It even gets a title, because it’s an experience I hope to never forget in my life):

“He didn’t need a DVD, he only needed a hug (and so did I)”
July 19, 2012
 I just came in from crying outside.  Here’s the scenario: Liz called to see if I could look up a place online for them to eat.  After this trip they are getting smart phones so they can find places without calling someone with internet or a smart phone.  Tyler (3) came up to me and was like, “I wanna watch my DVD.” I was on the phone with them and was frustrated. Ashley was pooped again, and I just changed her right before her bath.  I had like 14 things going on and so I said, “Go get in your bed.”  He went away screaming. I told Liz the address to the restaurant they wanted to go to.  I got off the phone, told Ty as he screamed his head off that he needed to be patient and I would be back after I put Ashley down.   He calmed down.
 I almost had her down to sleep and he started screaming his head off.  “Aunt Becca. Aunt Becca.  Aunt Becca.”  At the top of his lungs.  I was so irritated.  She woke up a bit, but not all the way.  I told Amberly who was almost asleep in her bed, to go run and tell him to be quiet.  She sleepily staggered to go tell him. I very shortly told her, “Hurry.  Hurry.”  She was so cute and did. Then she came back and I almost had her to a deep sleep and Tyler came and opened the door.  Angrily I shewed him away.   I was so annoyed.  So what did he do next? Run in his room and started wailing. I was so mad. I put her in her crib (so glad that she was asleep) and ran (literally, before he woke her up even more) so that I could get to him before he woke her up.  It had just taken me like 15 min to get her to sleep.  The second time is always harder than the first time.

So I ran in, covered his mouth just as he was about to scream out his next scream.  I muffled it and told him, "Stop crying right now, because you’re going to wake your sister up."  He just cried harder and louder. I covered his mouth up and said, “If you don’t stop you’re going to have to go sit in the back yard.” I covered his mouth up again and it was not the prettiest, nicest covering up of a mouth. He was so sad and mad. It made him even worse. So I went to the back yard and just held him in my arms.  That was when the learning came into play.  He was calm and needed some love. He cuddled with me and calmed down. He quit crying. He turned into this cute little boy that needed love, and not this annoying little boy that was waking up his sister. I was so annoyed minutes before and my heart broke for how mean I had been and I just sat there and cried. I just cried for how mean I’d been and how unforgiving in the moment I had been. I cried because I was so scared for children that I might one day get, that I might (scratch that), WOULD mess up on. I was sad because I was so imperfect and Heavenly Father gives us these perfect little people to care for and we are mean to them. We don’t take care of them as best we can every day, because we are selfish. I was selfish when I wanted him to be quiet, not only so that Ashley could sleep, but so that she would be out of my hair.  I was selfish and realized in that moment that he hugged and cuddled with me,  holding the Curious George DVD in his hands, that he wasn’t wanting a DVD, he wanted and needed some love and attention. He needed to be held. He needed someone to pay attention to him, even if he couldn’t recognize that, that is what he needed (currently he is sitting in my bed with me, when he should be sleeping and it’s because he is an individual and his individual needs are not fitting with my ideal (he would be sleeping right now and I would be playing Nintendo with Austin) idea of what should be going on.

I was mad at myself and I’m sure that that was why I was crying so hard.  I really felt the Spirit and knew that I needed to forgive myself and understand that what we are doing is so important, forgiving others and ourselves, but that we both need to try our best and on our worst days, don’t give in and say we can’t do it, but that we can keep trying. The thought, “You haven’t failed until you quit trying.” Came to mind.  That it was crazy how Tyler was acting, and how I reacted.  That he didn’t need a DVD.  He needed a hug. He totally sat there while I cried and sobbed and held him. I thought he was asleep. The record shows that he was not asleep even now, but I can be nicer and more patient and try to see what is bothering him. I’m going to put lavender on his feet right now and on guard. Hopefully it will help him relax and go to sleep.

I learned a lot tonight I hope I never forget the memory of “He didn’t need a DVD, he only needed a hug (and so did I)” experience at Liz's.

Good little helper!  He always swept after we ate!  He is such a good kid!
His birthday ice cream cone.  It was a big deal.  Believe me! We about had a tantrum because he ate it all and he wanted more...and don't help me remember the blue balloon that I let fly away!!! Oh man that was a disaster!!!!  I don't know if he'll ever forgive me for that!

One really funny COW!  On Chick Fil A's bday!  You know we went and dressed up like cows!!!
Without that leash, I would have lost him for sure!! He did really good on it and you can tell he was used to it, except for that one incident that he cut across traffic. I went one way with him and the stroller went down hill the other way.  Thank goodness a lady grabbed it for me!
For family night they had a minute to win it contest.  They had to go inside a huge pit of  balloons and find the one chick fil A balloon and win a prize!  They gave him 2 prizes cause it was his bday!
Happy 3rd birthday!  That is supposed to say "Tyler" in sprinkles...but let's be honest no help for the weary!!!  We're lucky to have gotten a cake without eggs.  Great recipe BTW!
This is the coolest picture ever!  That monkey was totally looking at him and interacting with him! I loved it!!!
Finally!  Enough said!  Seriously, this kid has soooo much energy!  The only problem with him getting a nap, is it is just an energy storer for later that evening when it's bed time!!  Watch out!

Always smiles for this kid!

Can this kid get any cuter?  I love him so much, even though he called me mean!

Ashley:  (1 year)
Ashley is my sweet, sweet girl. I think I will miss her the most. I can’t even imagine life without Ashley. I miss her already, even though sometimes, I wish she would just take a nap.  But she really is such a good baby. She eats quickly and lets you know when she’s hungry.  She was so happy and can be entertained in such easy ways. She just needs something to play with. She is so happy on her own.  She needs to know someone is around to take care of her (Austin usually did that!) and she’s good.
 The thought of her makes me want to cry, because tonight I won’t get to put her to sleep.  She is the sweetest Angel that heavenly Father sent me this week (except for Nati, who I could never have done this week without).  When I look at her face as she’s sleeping, my joy is so full. I can’t even feel an inth of what Heavenly Father feels when He looks down at His children and sees us in our perfect and imperfect states.  The annoying part and then the sleeping child who is “Trying to be like Jesus.” I thought about what Ashley was thinking about today as I laid her down to nap. Her eyes were going back and forth looking beyond my head. I wondered if perhaps she was seeing angels.
 When I looked at her, I saw myself. I know that sounds weird, but she is the 4th child and I remember mom saying so many times how she needed me as her little KIT. That I was her little angel at times.  I know what she was meaning, because just when I needed a little reprieve I would hold Ash and have a few minutes with an angel, who didn’t talk back to me and who didn’t tell me what she wanted constantly!  Her cute face, nose, ears, eyes, mouth, everything as she slept was so cute.  It made every moment worth it and I thought, “This is how mom’s do it.” I remembered when John was a little baby and I had babysat Melissa’s kids right when I got home from my mission and how there were such hard moments in my days and how he would just cuddle with me and how I needed those moments of reprieve.  That is what Heavenly Father gives us; moments to dwell with his perfect angels, before we go face the world.  I loved those moments and feel like those will get me through anything when I have kids of my own.
 I also kind of liked it when she saw me and Liz at the airport, when Liz had just gotten back.  She looked at both of us a little confused, because now she had two moms and she kind of reached for me before she reached for Liz. That was cute!!  Made me feel special and that I had made enough difference in her life that she knew who I was that week!
 Ashley is such a good baby.  She stays in the stroller all day!  We went to the zoo and she totally stayed in the stroller, no complaining all day.  2 days later we went to the botanical gardens and the aquarium.  She totally stayed in the stroller. It’s not that she didn’t want to get out and play, it’s that she knows that she stays in there (what would we do if she and Tyler were both out!! Help us all now!!).  I gave her her snacks and drink and she was set.  Sometimes she was fussy, but you just have to talk to her and she’s back in business for a good hour!  She is such a good girl! Maddi helped take care of her too, feeding her every 5 seconds at the zoo! There were fish crackers everywhere!!!
 Always give Ash her two drinks. 1.  Happy tea 2. Her chamomile teething water.  So no matter what she drinks, she’s getting calmness or soothing! It works! What a good mom Liz is!
 Friday Miracle: I was supposed to take out the garbage on Thursday night. I totally forgot.  I woke up Friday morning early.  Took advantage of it. Read my scriptures and grabbed my Ensign and headed out back for some nice early morning reading in the beautiful weather.  I was reading and heard on the street next to me a loud, loud truck….”Oh crap!!! It was garbage day!” In a family of 6 if you miss garbage day it is not a good thing.  So I jumped up ran and took out all the trashes, and the garbage to the curb.  Not a huge thing, but a big thing at the same time. I know the Lord blessed me to be outside reading so I could hear it.  I would have been in bed sleeping, but He helped me wake up, be alert enough to read and be outside to hear the warning signal!  And thus the Friday Garbage Miracle came about!
Totally perfect Ashley face when she is about ready to cry! Perfect moment!

Birthday cup cake earlier in the day.

She loves climbing in the play places!  Austin is so good to help her!

I wish this one wasn't blurry, because I think it's hilarious that she's got celery in one hand and a cupcake in the other!  Happy Birthday Ashes.

Such a good girl!!!  Drinking her happy tea at the Zoo!

Birthday ice cream!  Don't worry she only ate that whole thing.

One year older and wiser too!  Happy Birthday to you!

Trampoline Time!

She loves to jump!!!
These are the sweet moments life is made of!

 She totally laid on my chest for like an hour and didn't even fall asleep. She's so cute and a good little girl!
What a good mom Liz is. You can totally tell. She is happy and kind to her kids. You can tell that they respect and love her. So many times Amberly would say, “That’s not how mommy does it!”  I would laugh and say, “How does she do it then?”  Her kids are well trained.  They’re used to playing outside.  They help each other and I have seen a lot of growth and maturity in Austin this last year.  He is growing up, but Liz expects him to do things to help and he has learned how to correctly clean his bedroom.  I love that there isn’t too much stuff to be in the way to clean up and I love the new format of their room so the “stuff” is hidden behind the bed kind of.
You can tell how good of a mom she is because Ashley is so well trained for her naps.  She goes down so easily and then knows to cry herself to sleep if she wakes up when you put her down. I learned that you don’t play games with you kid and go back in and pick them up.  You put them down for their nap or the night and they know you’re not coming back so they will go to sleep, otherwise you and them will be in a nightmare stage for 4 or  5 years!
She taught me a good lesson with Tyler to love him and being sweet gets you a lot farther than being mean back when he’s mean.  I learned the phrase turn the other cheek with him sometimes.  Or agree with thine adversary quickly.  Gets you a lot better results than arguing with him!
I understand why she tells me not to call the house phone when the kids could potentially be sleeping!!!  I won’t ever do that again!  Once they’re down, you don’t want them up!!! Reprieve time!
You can tell that Liz has a routine with her kids.  How they eat, sleep, play etc.  That shows consistency!  Tyler was so cute when I was feeding Ashley and would start singing “I am a child of God” to her so she would eat.  He would start singing it along with me.  That is a home where the Spirit dwells and they know that they are children of Heavenly Father.  Or when it’s meal time and everyone fights over who gets to say that prayer! That is funny and great!!!
I love that they only drink water and juice or milk sometimes!  That was a great blessing!  It would have been hard for me to put juice in their cups every meal, knowing how much unneeded sugar is in juice.

I can tell that this is a good family because when I ask them to turn the T.V. off for meal times or any time in general, they do it and it’s not like a foreign concept.  They just do.  They are consistently nurtured and disciplined.  That helps a lot!
I loved how they would eat veggies so they could get treats! That shows that Liz has trained them already and that they will do it, if they are expected to!.
Getting in the car was so much less a hassle when they would get in their car seats and get buckled, and get a treat. They were so good in the car. They only asked to watch a movie one time and then we listened to my book on CD the rest of the time; Fablehaven.  I loved it when I hadn’t turned it on yet and they would request it.  They didn’t complain when church music came on, because you can tell they are used to it and that is a part of their life.  That means they have good parents who help them consistently have the Spirit in their lives.

I can tell that Liz cooks a lot of different foods because they were willing to try and eat everything I gave them (yes of course there was a sweet incentive afterward, but they were willing to try new things even my very yummy orange vanilla cake!)

Liz is so thrifty all those McDonald’s coupons and the happy hour sonic coupons.  Good times. I never did get my shake from Sonic!!! Next time!

We went to Chick Fil A for their birthday!  If you dressed up like a cow you got free food.  Fun stuff!
Me and my sis!  We are best friends!  I'm glad we could do this and she got to go on vacation too!
Mike is a good dad.  He loves his kids and plays with them.  According to them he can do 4 flips on the tramp! I'm pretty sure he is the reason they have a trampoline to begin with! Yay for that! I love trampolines!
I had a Mike moment when Tyler was being rude and I couldn’t take it anymore. I told him to stop splashing water like 100 times (a bit of an exaggeration, but a lot) and he kept telling me I was mean and not the boss of him, with his bent up little nose like does when he’s being rude. I grabbed his little body out of the water, put his towel on him and put him in his room with his pjs and told him to dress himself. He started whaling…crying his head off. Had his tantrum. I came back after I had taken care of everyone else and then he was ready to be better.  We had a little cuddly moment and he was happy again…I tell you what those kids and their learning moments. I learned so much, because just as they want everything right then, I realized that I do that too!!!
Mike mows the lawn and takes the trash out (I have always love that about him!)  He provides a great living for them and is patient when Liz is too much of a Proper!!!
Jumping for joy!  They're coming home!!!