Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gap2Gap 2009

What an action packed day this has been at our house! It started early this morning as Alex, Tyler, and Alysee put on their TEAM YAKIDITTS race attire. Some last minute changes in baseball this week allowed the kids to quickly throw together a team for the 25th Annual Gap2Gap 5-leg relay race. This year over 400 kids competed in the youth division. The kids have been "training" the last couple of evenings by running around the house, setting up a rollerblading course, and biking. They each worked hard designing their t-shirts.
Team YakiDitts!!!
The cute backends...oh, I mean backsides of the kids' shirts.
Look at Alysee go! As soon as she decided to participate in the race she knew immediately that she would like to have a ponytail for the run.
I was SO proud of Alysee when I saw her peak over the hill at the end of her mile run. She's run 35 miles this year at the school's mileage club but most of it is done hand-in-hand with a girlfriend while picking flowers and looking for rollie-pollies. This run was a huge accomplishment for her. I have to admit I was getting a little teary as I was cheering her on at the end.
One totally wiped out girl! It didn't help that it was 90 degrees outside.
Alex did awesome on the 2.5 mile biking portion of the race. He said the hardest part was definitely the hill he had to climb at the end.
Alex then passed off the wristband to Tyler for the inline skating leg.
Tyler took off like a speed demon on his roller blades.
I was really impressed with Alex's kayaking skill. He was confident and quick out in the water.
The cheerleaders!
Tyler finishing the final part of the obstacle and run portion. He's run 76 miles at school this year during his recesses so no one was worried about him having the stamina to complete this final leg.
They did it!!! Team YakiDitts ended up placing fourth in their division out of nine teams. They were only seven minutes behind the first place team. Awesome!
Birch was one worn out daddy. It's a lot of work being the photographer and running to each transition point.
Cheerleader Coop
Cheerleader Nate--who can't wait to compete in next year's race.
Cheerleader Chloe

I put together a really fun video of the kids race. The kids are already planning next year's race. Only problem is I think their daddy is planning on competing too. I think we're going to need some more adult helpers next year. Wanna come watch? Check out the video--

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some days are just...tough

I bought myself flowers today and placed this quote next to them...24/7 motherhood is tough; some days I just want to turn in my retirement papers.
"Motherhood is just another name for sacrifice. From the moment the wee, helpless babe is laid on the pillow beside her, Mother daily, hourly, gives of her life to her loved one...All through the years of babyhood, childhood, and youth, aye, even after her daughters become mothers and her sons, fathers, she tenderly, lovingly sacrifices for them her time, her comfort, her pleasures, her needed rest and recreation, and, if necessary, health and life itself! No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother's love." --David O. McKay

Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering the Past

This morning we made our annual visit to a local cemetery. The kids questioned why we go every year but I think once we were there they felt its importance. This year was extra special because we caught the tail end of a memorial service and got to hear the firing squad and the trumpets play.
Family picture - May 2009 (As you can tell, Chloe isn't feeling really great today. She was a good sport, though.)
I think this is the kids favorite spot at the cemetery. If only they were allowed to climb on the big tank.

I am so thankful for those men and women that have fought and will continue to fight to keep our country as a nation of peace!

Last Christmas, my sister Emily and her talented husband Ryan gave us a game call Koob. It is a great outdoor family game which involves throwing sticks to knock things down. Naturally, Birch and the kids love it. Now that the weather is nice, we brought out the game for the first time. Thanks Emi and Ryan!!

Tyler eyeing his next shot. Notice the colorful paint job Emily gave to the "king pin"

Alex making a toss

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Coop Turns Three

I had plans on putting together this post on Coopy's birthday but it seems as though we do not have the capability of NOT sharing at our house. I've spent the last three days hovering over the toilet and my bed. We're about half way through the family so I figure that by next week we will be ready for another bug...and it better not be the swine flu bug.

We were all healthy (or at least we thought we were) while celebrating Coop's big day. Coop started it out by a stroller date with dad to pick out donuts. Then he made a trip to Home Depot for some supplies that daddy needed and then got to stop by Toys R' Us to pick out his $3 toy from our good friend Geoffrey (the giraffe). He picked out two motorcycles with guys on them. He was in heaven! The rest of the day was spent at the park, working in the yard, and having a yummy dinner and presents.
Sweet baby Coopy ...and what a big boy he is three years later. Pretty exciting present, huh. Coop actually has great manners so this game ought to be a breeze for him. Off to the park for a picnic lunch. Alysee, Nate, and Coop loved feeding the ducks. Alysee and Chloe relaxing in the warm sun. Coop requested pizza and green jello for dinner. It was a pretty tasty homemade pizza if I don't say so myself. We LOVE Coopy!!

I put together a little video to capture a bit of Coop's cuteness. Before watching I must warn you that it is on a tad bit on the long side. Also, though it does not appear so on the video, Cooper does have the ability to not twitch, wiggle, touch his face constantly, and he does in fact look at people in their eyes. I think he might have had a touch of video stage fright.

(side note: Just in case you are wondering after watching this Cooper is not part of the "Blue Man Group" appears that the borrowed camera we were using was having a bit of a blue issue, oh well.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame...again

Yep, we are inundated with baseball right now. And to top that off we are proud new owners of a new camera, something that we have been drooling over and saving for a looooong time now. The new camera took its first trip tonight to the boys baseball game and boy did it have fun (so did its master Birch).
Toothless Tyler -- last week he lost his first front tooth and topped it off tonight with pulling out its neighbor.
Tyler ready for action in left field.
Tyler had some awesome swings during the fifth inning. That boy's got power!
Nate and Coop enjoying the warm evening.
#1 Fan! Chloe spent the whole evening cheering on her brothers, eating peanuts and sticky licorice covered in grass, and crawling after a big doggy.
Alex rounding third base. He was thrilled to make it home.
Alex's favorite spot on the field.
We're not sure where Alex got his good pitching arm but he is sought after on the mound.
Alex playing first base.

And a couple...just because.
Sweet Chloe
I can't believe she's almost one.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It never slows down

...and I'm not complaining about that either. I'm so grateful for good health and blessings that allow us to stay as busy as ever.

Our days recently have been filled with...

Alysee learning to ride a two-wheeler all by herself. (Note that her helmet is on backwards).

Nate didn't want to miss out on the action so he took off like a champ and in no time was racing Alysee and the older boys around the yard on his two-wheeler.

Alex and Tyler are thick into Little League baseball season right now. An average of three to four evenings and Saturdays are filled with practice and ball games. I've really come to value a good stock of treats and peanuts to keep the younger kids entertained for some VERY long ball games.
The boys are playing on the same team this year.
Alex rotates between being pitcher, first baseman, and third baseman. His favorite position is definitely being the pitcher. As a lefty pitcher he is really valued and has a great record of throwing strikes. He dreams of pitching professionally someday.
You should see Tyler swing! Due to his small size his strike area is so small that he often gets to walk to first base. He made it all the way home at last week's game and seemed to enjoy his glory moment. He normally plays center field or left field but he would love to have a try at pitching too.

Chloe, not wanting to be left out on the fun, broke through her top two big girl teeth. We have been super blessed that our kids haven't really been affected too much by teething. This girl has mastered going up the stairs but still seems to think that face first is the way to go down them. She has only fallen down them once and that was a couple of months ago so I guess we have gotten faster at stopping her before she plummets down face first. Hopefully this month she can conquer going down the stairs feet first.
Cooper is just about the happiest chatterbox ever. He LOVES spending time with his daddy and has become quite taken with digging dirt in the garden. We're working on teaching him what's a weed and what's plant.

This past Sunday Coopy was sitting on my lap and asked me for another piece of gum. I asked him where his piece of gum was that he was just chewing and he couldn't quite remember what happened to it. I asked him if he swallowed it and he said, "no." I didn't believe him UNTIL after church I was standing in the hall talking to a friend when it was pointed out to me that there was some spit-up on my skirt. Um, nope, it wasn't spit up...turned out to be Coopy's smooshed gum. Really appreciated that!
I'm sure you have all been waiting for an update on our dear new pet Oreo. Oreo is still alive and well and seems to enjoy his corner of the yard. The kids don't run to play with it quite as quickly as they did the first couple of weeks but I wouldn't call Oreo neglected either. Do I dare say that I'm enjoying having a living compost eater? It's nice to have all the apple cores, ends of the lettuce stock, and cucumber peels go to a good home. The kids the other day challenged me to touch the rabbit but I held out strong.
Mostly the kids enjoy playing hide n' go seek with Oreo. From the house, to me this looks more like "Where's Oreo?" but the kids seem to think he is just hiding in the tall evergreen trees to make the game even more exciting. The above picture is our bunny circle. This keeps Oreo somewhat trapped but also allows him some outside freedom.
Nate is great at showing his friends Oreo and feeding it when I ask him to. Chloe gets quite excited and giggly when she sees Oreo. What's better in life than a good kiss from your brother while being entertained by a hopping cookie?

Yes, we are truly blessed. I'll sign off with a mother's day picture Nate drew of me at preschool and a bit more trivia about me from Nate's perspective.

Mom's favorite food is... "stromboli."
Mom's favorite color is..."pink."
Mom's favorite thing to do by herself or with her friends is..."talk."
My favorite thing to do with my mom is..."read books."