Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

The only problem with this "enjoy" stuff for 2015 and slowing down on blogging is that I get even more far behind on things I want to document so I'm trying to catch up just a little this week.  

But I guess since we just barely took down our kitchen "heart attack" (back HERE...I couldn't bring myself to take them down any earlier I love those things!), I guess it's a good time to wrap up that great holiday.

Oh boy I love having a day of LOVE mixed into the year. 

I talked a little bit about our my kids' Valentine's prep back HERE, but I forgot to include the pictures of Lucy's initial Valentine's card idea.

This is the front of the only card she made:
...and this is the back:
Are you trying to melt me with cuteness Lu??  I think since that one took so darn long she was more than happy to opt for the store-bought ones we bought instead :)

The day before the big day was a big, grand celebration for everyone at school.  I mean, what's Valentine's Day for kids without school parties?  I do not know.

I figured it was important enough to them that I should go surprise them at lunch.

...and head out with them to recess too.
Could not be more grateful for these darling friends.
We all were pretty happy about that little visit.

Grace and her friends came over after school to experiment with the new pizza recipe they learned at school that day.
Grace could not be cajoled into the picture for some odd reason, darn it, but she was the boss of this project and man alive she's sure becoming a great cook!

I decided I better bite the bullet and do our traditional Valentine's sugar cookies too right alongside her.

Who wouldn't want to get a plate of those babies delivered to their front door??

I didn't plan much for Valentine's Day.  (I'm still trying to adjust my "enjoyment" which means I'm not as prepared for things these days....which surprisingly still turns out ok.)

So cute Lucy poked her head into our bedroom that morning asking when it was time for our "pink pancakes."  She had set the table all up for us and was wondering when I was going to put the little gifts I usually have into their cups (traditions hold I tell you!!)

Luckily I scrounged up some stuff speedy quick to fill up those cups that pacified her ...really exciting things like hand sanitizer and raisins.

And we whipped up our pink pancakes.

Lucy and Claire had also been working on a big Valentine's gift for me and Dave.

Complete with a string of hearts:
...and a poem:

I was on-the-ball enough to buy my four girls some beautiful multi-colored roses.
I gave them to them with a little poem about why I picked the specific color I did for each of them.

It made me cry to read it.  I'm just so grateful for these girls of mine and how different and unique they each are!!
Max was at volleyball so he missed out on breakfast AND the lunch we decided to take everyone out to.  Dang it. 
Luckily he loves that volleyball of his.  

That night my own #1 Valentine surprised me with a take-out Thai food dinner on the back porch.
It was the best way ever to beat the hoards of crowds out on the town on Valentine's night.

Sure love that "Love Day" and my "loves" that I get to be surrounded by every day.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

MORP and how much fun teenagers are

In honor of the fact that two of my three teenagers are kicking off their sport seasons this afternoon, I thought I better do a little ode to teenagers here because I really like them a lot.

I've said it before but I'll say it again...I had no idea how fun the teenage years could be.  

Now, let's not get confused and think that they are fun ALL the time.  

That would be a just plain ridiculous statement.  

Man oh man I don't know that I've ever prayed my guts out more than I do for these kids.  They are maneuvering through a lot and sometimes it is SO tricky to parent a teenager (my favorite post ever about this is over HERE).

But this week is one of those pay-off weeks that makes all the rough stuff 100% worth it.

We are all so excited for volleyball and tennis to start (but also kind of overwhelmed's always a crazy season juggling home games vs. away games and trying to get to both sports all over the valley at the same times).  It's been non-stop tryouts and practices for the last two weeks and we're ready to get on with the games.

More about that soon, but for now let's talk about MORP because it happened last weekend.  (MORP is prom spelled backwards and it's kind of a low-key, fun girls' choice dance.)

Kids at their high school started asking while we were in China.  Max got a message on Twitter with a little slideshow of a cute girl flipping through questions on poster boards surrounded by Christmas lights to ask him to MORP, and Elle's sweet friend at home offered to ask someone for her because there was an "asking frenzy" going on and she claimed that if she waited 'til she got home she wouldn't have many options.

So her friend asked for her and both kids were all set to go.

When we got home from China Elle's date answered her like this:
Let's go ahead and get a better look at that:

Love it.

It was Elle's first dance (since our family rule is no dating 'til you're sixteen-years-old and we left the week after she turned that magical age so she missed a couple when we were in China).  She was on group texts and had numerous meetings to figure out all the little details of what they wanted to do.

Here in the desert they do something called "Day Dates" before the dances.  So any weekend before the big day comes, they do another big-deal thing.  It's gotten a little blown out of proportion...some kids even go to out-of-state amusement parks or up to cabins in the mountains, etc.  Elle and her group, after much deliberation, decided to go paint-balling and go out to dinner for their Day Date.

Max's group went to a comedy club and out to dinner.  I really need to track down pictures of that because I'm positive the girls have them somewhere.

Then it was on to the big dance.  Along with the deliberation about where to go on their Day Date and how to schedule the actual dance night, they also had to figure out which "famous movie couple" they were going to be (that was the theme this year).  

Elle didn't decide until the day before (her poor date...) but the final decision was Danny and Sandy from Grease.  

Here's the finished product before she picked up her date.
(They asked me to do the pictures so I got to get a real pic. of her :)

As you can tell, Max is not as forthcoming with pictures for me.  First of all it was girls' choice so he didn't have as much control but second, and most importantly, he's a boy and he's Max.

But I did manage to get a pic. of he and his date when she picked him up.  They were Peter Parker and a very cute Mary Jane Watson:
They had so much fun...fondue at someone's house first, then the dance, then Skateland.

And I have not a single picture of that whole night of that boy's life gosh darn it! ;)

But I do have a plethora of Elle' helps when you're in charge of getting them...

We had Superman and Lois Lane:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

I'm not sure the names of these guys, but they were from a show called "Recess."


This guy was missing his date 'til later because she was playing in a soccer competition but he was a good sport to get pictures anyway.  He was Flynn Ryder from Tangled...missing his Rapunzel.

Mario and Princess Peach:

And last but not least, Danny and Sandy:

The girls:

And the boys:
Yeah, the large-group-jumping didn't work so well...

All the while the sky was so gorgeous I couldn't resist snapping a pic. of it as well.

I'm pretty sure they were pretty well documented :)

Then they were off.

Both kids had such a great night.

And with that it is off to the races for Prom.  Kids have already started asking so Max got busy and asked as well:
Grace helped...we cut out all those letter and then he circled letters from his name scrambled up in the newspaper.

And right after he left Elle got a little package on our front doorstep:

Man it's so fun to have these kids so close together.  Little did I realize when Elle made her surprise entrance into the world fourteen short months after Max that all that trouble they caused as varying stages of baby-hood at the same time would sure pan out to so much fun.

And last thing for today, speaking of teenagers, Max got accepted to college over the weekend.

It was the funniest night because he came in by himself on Friday night noticeably extremely worried and nervous.  Dave and I were standing in the kitchen and both asked what in the world was going on.  (We didn't know they were notifying those who got accepted that night.)  He saw our serious faces and took it as a sign that maybe we already knew and we were sad, but he didn't say anything when we asked what was wrong and just sighed as he went over to the computer.  A few seconds later he stood up with a big yelp and let us know HE GOT INTO BYU!

I cannot tell you the excitement of that evening.  We were all over-the-moon about that.  I'll have to write more details about the college application process at some point, but he was holding on to that possibility like nobody's business so he was pretty excited.  Luckily I had some sparkling apple juice on hand so we broke it out and had a little celebration.

Max is trying to determine a whole slew of things right now, mission timing, volleyball, school timing, etc., but this was a huge piece of the puzzle to check off the list so we're all pretty happy.  I'm so happy so many of my friends' kids made it in too...friends I was at BYU with.  So weird that we have children who I swear were just babies who are now graduating from high school.

Teenager #3, Grace, still has a few years to get to all this fun stuff, but she sure is learning a lot watching these older siblings of hers.  So excited to see what's in store for her.

Yep, it's been a pretty big few days for teenagers in this family of ours.
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