Monday, June 22, 2015

28 days hath February...

29 pictures hath this post. (well, that's if you count a collage as one. If you don't, there's a gazillion pictures.)

February started off with the Superbowl! We weren't that into the game this year (besides just rooting against the Patriots) - Chuck had a church meeting, and the kids and I allotted more attention to taking pictures of ourselves than watching the actual game.
Carma LOVED the family togetherness.

Most of late January/early February was spent truck shopping. It was miserable. This was my facebook post about the process:

"Things I am willing to do instead of continuing to shop for a second vehicle:
1. homeschool my kids. 1st period: science with Sid. 2nd period: life skills with Daniel Tiger. 3rd period: math with Odd Squad. 4th period: reading with the guy from Star Trek (are old eps of Reading Rainbow available online??)
2. walk to church every other week. Is it uphill both ways? Yes... but it's also downhill both ways, so that's something. Would I be a hot sweaty mess when I got there? Yes, but I have it on good authority that the Lord looketh on the heart and not on the outward appearance.
3. Schedule any and all appointments and outings on Chuck's days off - doctors, grocery shopping, etc. Oh wait, I do this anyways because taking Jack in public by myself TERRIFIES ME.
4. Be homebound with four kids for the 15+ days (not all at once) this summer that Chuck and the van will be gone on Scout/YM bizniz. Obviously the 'second vehicle' budget would be transferred to the 'chocolate and cookie dough' budget. Does McDonald's deliver??
Or maybe I'll suck it up and quit complaining about first world problems and get back to my newfound craigslist car+trucks addiction... "

Chuck and I started out by making a list of what we wanted in a truck, in order of importance. Naturally, I changed my mind every two days and revised the list accordingly. I spent more time on craigslist and ksl than I did on facebook during that three week period, if that tells you anything...
aaaand what do you know, we ended up buying the one truck that didn't even involve craigslist! We bought this beautiful Ford F150 from our good friends the Swensons. (who incidentally inspired us to buy a Chevy Uplander because we liked theirs. We're stalking them, vehicularly.) I like the truck because it reminds me of our old Ford Ranger, just like a new and improved version, you know? It only took me a while making loops in the church parking lot to remember how to drive stick sooo that's good.

We DID utilize craigslist for some other purchases in February, including a big trampoline for a stellar price of fifty dolla. It was good timing, because like two weeks later our medium-sized one was re-allocated to someone else's home... in the middle of the night... without our express permission... aka it got stolen.
But the boys are thrilled with this one (Clyde and Will were definitely too big for the smaller one) and after doing more research on the liability of trampolines... especially in an unfenced front yard... we're a-okay with losing possession the other one and wish it the best in its new home ;).

Girls night in February was at the Izatt home and we used Nycole's fancy timer on her phone to get this picture:
 And please enjoy how everyone else is smiling cutely and I look like I'm about to sneeze. That's my awkward laughing really hard face, fyi. So glad it's captured for posterity...

February=Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts! So much more fun/less stress to attend as a parent and not a leader!!
 That same night I put this picture on instagram/fb with the following caption: 
"Recap: this fella started his day off making lunches and getting kids to school, then got the tires rotated, made me lunch, washed and vacuumed out the van, spent the afternoon troubleshooting our non-hot dryer (including taking multiple children to the store to get the part), then fixed it and made two dishes for the Cub Scout potluck this evening. PLUS THOSE EYELASHES. Love him!"

 Clyde was Student of Honor at school, wooo! I'm up for any excuse to hit up McDonalds and also force my sweet third grader to acknowledge me in front of his friends at school ;). Jack and Carma tagged along and were both a big hit on the playground.
 A couple days later it was Chuck's turn to go to the school and hit up the boys' Valentine Day parties! Ah, young love - expressed in the form of twelve Fun Dips.

Valentine's Day itself was a day jam-packed with activities that mostly took Chuck and I away from each other, haha. He had a Scout overnighter at Bruneau Sand Dunes that was loads of fun and didn't involve that much blood:
 We spent the morning outside riding bikes until Chuck got home that afternoon, at which time the boys put on a special and highly entertaining song and dance number for us, props courtesy of Grandpa Braden, choreography was all Will:

 That evening, I left Chuck and the kids at home and headed out for a Valentine's date with my friend Sister Manilla Corse, aka my Sunday School team teacher:
  We were very excited to watch Braenna and Heather at their dance competition! We got to watch a few schools before them, which was neat - here's my alma mater, Timberline:
 One of the girls I went to high school with is now one of the coaches for THS, so it was fun to let her know that I was there and how impressed I was with their routine!

And of course Braenna and Heather did awesome, Idaho Arts has a really great dance program:
Sister Corse LOVED watching the dances, and was so so impressed with our girls, as was I. Fun date night!

 Here are some random Carma + food pictures, including the time she straight up fell asleep in her little chair, hahahaha.
 Jack rediscovered his Superman costume from a couple Halloweens ago and insisted on wearing it daily for a while. Here he is cheesily posing with the Superman Lego :).

Another craigslist purchase was a sweet new bike for Chuck (another re-allocation issue...). Chuck got peer pressured into delving into road biking last fall and it's turned out to be a really fun hobby for him. This day the missionaries stopped by to check out the bike and test it out a bit and race Clyde a bit:
To cross off a requirement in Clyde's scout book, we spent part of President's Day picking up trash along the path by our house. The boys loved scurrying about looking for trash, and I loved finding the big ticket items that conscientious neighbors dump in the creek: old TVs, tires, etc. GRRRRRR.

Oh, we got one last photo shoot out of the trampoline on Carma's 9 month bday. Such a cute little chubby genius:
 Sometimes the house is quiet because Jack is somewhere being naughty but usually it's because he's playing legos in Clyde and Will's room (which they would probably characterize as being naughty, haha). He can sit in there forever, just happily playing 'yegos' with the sun in his eyes and nary a care in the world.
 OH, back to the truck: we took it on its maiden Izatt family road trip, to Twin Falls, woo! We actually went to pick up some new seats for the truck (craigslist. again.) and decided to pull the boys outta school and make it an all day adventure. The truck is old school and has a little something called a "tape deck" so Chuck popped in a Star Wars tape and oh my gosh the road to Twin has never seemed longer.... ;). Jack loved it however, and we now find ourselves with a wee Jedi AS obsessed as Clyde was at his age, if not moreso.
 We got the seats first thing (a front bench seat to replace the current seat/console/seat so that all "six of us" can fit in "legally") and then had some adventures, mostly watching people parachute? hang glide? something? off the bridge and visiting Grandma Pam's classroom!

Okay, this is a random picture but I love it! One day in Sunday School I asked for a volunteer to help me drop off cookies to the kids who weren't there and, of course, Michael had my back. This kid is literally my right-hand man in class, he sits to my immediate right and is such a stellar helper and prayer-giver when NO ONE else will volunteer. As we walked up to one house I realized how awesome we looked in our sunglasses (orange aviator for me, green Minecraft for him) and insisted we take a picture.

 OH, another trampoline photo shoot: trying to get all four kiddos to smile. As always, it went splendidly.

We got some good Grandpa Braden time in during February, one night he came over and watched the boys for me while I spoke at a young men/ young women etiquette dinner. Another day he came over just to hang out and found himself on the bottom of this adorable dogpile:
 Ohhhh these two. Always on top of each other, always right next to me.

One  night as I was aimlessly wandering at Target (that's a lie, the aim was each and every clearance endcap
 I have a carefully mapped out route that I adhere to pretty much religiously) I happened to catch my reflection in a nearby mirror and just had to laugh - how many articles of men's clothing can a woman wear before it's considered cross-dressing?? But really, that sweatshirt looks pretty unisex, right? And the t-shirt underneath? And the shorts? And the shoes? 
Good news is that all of my underclothing is gender-appropriate so I feel like that's the important thing ;).

And speaking of cross-dressing, (what a segue!!) here's all four kids wearing THE cutest romper ever. I bought it back in the day for baby Clyde to wear to Chuck's BSU graduation, and I just love seeing my darling little babies in it!

February. Done. Boom. #bringonMarch

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Back in January

Buckle up and strap on your SWAT helmets for a bit o' time travel: we're going back to January!
 Can't work the strap on your own? Don't worry, Jack is standing by ;).

 Once upon a time at the beginning of January, my friend Grace had a baby! And as we were the only family/friends within a thirty mile radius that were somewhat healthy, we got to keep big brother Clark with us overnight:
 Such a cute kid! And baby Andy came out darling (and quiick! I got to be the on-call helper when Grace went into labor in the middle of the night, and when Jason texted me that the baby was there... like maybe forty minutes after they had left their house... I thought he was kidding!) and we're so excited for their family.

Because as Jack can tell you, babies are the best, particularly at very close range...
 Apparently January was a good month for getting up close and personal with siblings (baby, it's cold outside?) because here's another dose of sibling love, haha. I just thought my big boys were so cute that day so I started taking a few pictures of them and things escalated from there ;). So glad they're best brothers!!

The medium trampoline provided some chances for sibling bonding, including this chilly day when Carma and I definitely watched from inside the van, haha:
This was my favorite activity there for a while: plop Jack in the tub with Carma happily standing guard, while I sit three feet away in the hallway and read for a half hour. 

This bit of sibling... bonding... happened during Family Home Evening one night. Will was in charge and orchestrated the acting out of the story of Nephi's brothers tying him to the mast ... and for some reason, Will appointed himself to be Nephi, haha. But it was an excellent lesson about keeping ourselves worthy to receive guidance and inspiration and also being humble and listening to our leaders. I'm SUPER sure the boys remember all that, not just playing with the rope ;).

January also provided lots of time for friend bonding! Not only did my awesome friends show up to my exercise bday party, but we also had two different girls' nights... what?? This is the first one, at IHOP because we were trying to avoid the infamous Angel over at Shari's, haha. OH, and who's that cute girl on the very right? NYCOLE, yayyy! They're back in the Treasure Valley and Brandon's doing wonderfully and I may have teared up a little when she got out of her car. (PS is anyone else as amazed as I am that I have friends that will be seen with me in public? Look at how cute everyone else is dressed? And then I am straight up wearing my athletic shorts. And a rock/paper/scissors t-shirt...)

Our second girls' night happened a week later because Kara and Melinda missed the first one and it was Kara's birthday month so obviously we couldn't let that slide. So we all got together and maybe the Panda Express was tainted? Possibly the sparkling cider was extra sparkly? Whatever the cause, things got pretttty crazy and our inhibitions were non-existent enough that we preserved some of the hilarity in these pictures:
Do I have a video of us posing? Yes. Am I saving it for future blackmail purposes/to keep my spot in the group once they realize I'm way less cool than them? Yes.

Chuck (and Carma) and I had a date night out and about for Chuck's co-worker Sean's birthday:
Carma got to snuggle with Sylvia (left) and Demenee (middle) and I struck up a friendship with Sean's dad (lower right). He was such a nice guy, we talked all about Carma and his grandkids.

Carma and Jack and I busted out our best red/white/blue for a two-day extravanganza in January: the State of the Union on a Tuesday, followed by PRESIDENT OBAMA COMING TO BOISE on Wednesday. Sooo cool. Granted, I didn't actually go hear him speak but I wore my Obama shirt and flag shoes to the dentist and Carma got two more chances to wear her darling skirt, so it was a win all the way around. AND (to my knowledge) no one unfriended me after I put a picture of Carma on fb that day with a "Blue Girl / Red State" caption, so that's good!!
Speaking of Carma, here's some cute pajama shots because why  not??

And here's how she felt about some sort of banana/orange medley concoction I attempted to feed her:

Aaand here's how cute she is sleeping, snuggled up with Chuck and all alone:

(I promise we're almost done)
OH, one time in January I convinced Clyde to take some pictures with me:
We were just hanging out, eating oranges, nbd.

AND SPEAKING OF ORANGE, I neglected to document some amazing bday gifts I received, so here we go. Janell Hyer is probably the most thoughtful person in the world, and for my birthday she brought me a huge gift bag of surprises... all orange and all in groupings of thirty. SO cool:

Next up was Heidi, whom I will now forever refer to as my super hot sugar mama because she sent me birthday money and swallowed her fashion sense and fully supported my choice to spend most of it on orange coats for Carma and me:
Have I mentioned how much I love Heidi? I'm pretty confident that I could tell Heidi anything and she wouldn't judge me... in fact, I test out that theory on a pretty regular basis ;). Such a good BFSC.

And HOLY toledo, that was January!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Little active boys

For Christmas this year, my dad gave us money that we used to enroll each boy in a class or activity - it was a perfect way to break up the winter a bit! The boys loved knowing that Grandpa had helped them be able to participate in something fun that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do.

Jack did gymnastics at the Rec Center and after an initial hesitancy, LOVED it:
He adorably waved to us/shot us a thumbs up every so often, just to make sure we were watching. He was so excited each week to go back and hang out with his teacher Dee and run around. Jack really thrives on personal attention, so this was perfect.

 Will got to take a little hip hop dance class and it was possibly the cutest thing ever. His instructor was so fun and patient with the kids and Will had a great time:
 The pictures were definitely taken through glass; some parents sat inside but the combination of loud music and my crazy younger children added up to us watching from the bleachers outside ;).

Clyde did basketball and ended up on a team with some friends from school and an awesome coach who really taught the boys a lot of skills and teamwork.
They did a 'parents vs. kids' practice and Chuck and Clyde had a great time playing against each other. This season was such a great experience for Clyde, and I'm so glad.

And of course, here are the obligatory pictures of how F-U-N it was to keep the other siblings happy on the sidelines for all of these classes and practices and games:
Aye carumba! Carma was a superstar, she was dragged to allll of it and did really well, considering. Clyde was the luckiest, he had bball practice during Will's dance class and school during Jack's gymnastics class, so he got out of spectating completely. 

Thanks again, Dad! We're really grateful for the chance to have the boys explore some interests and get out and about - they each had a great time!!