Monday, December 30, 2013

Disney Collector

I've posted about the boys watching "egg videos" before.  Their very favorite egg collector calls herself "Disney Collector."  The boys have memorized many of her videos.  She also does toy reviews as well.  Their favorite of those is watching her play with a play-doh set called Scoops and Treats.  They have mimicked this video for weeks now when they play with play-doh.  They have also asked and asked for the real Scoops and Treats.  They tell me, "But, Mom!  You can get this right now at Waaaalll-mart."  (Because that's what Disney Collector says in her video.)  But that video is two years old, and I could not, in fact, find it at Wal-mart.  Well, Michael and Cara gave Luke a gift card to Amazon for his birthday.  Luke knew just what he wanted to look for-- and lo and behold!  Amazon carried Scoops and Treats.  They were so EXCITED the day it arrived on the "present truck," (aka UPS.)

Making his first waffle cone:

Ice cream cone:

and Popsicle

And if that wasn't enough to blow their world, the boys found REAL KINDER EGGS in their stockings on Christmas morning!!!  They rushed to the table to open them.  And for quite a while on Christmas morning, all other toys were forgotten.  The world became just the boys and their eggs.

Opening the eggs took about 5 minutes, but then the boys stayed at the table for a long time restuffing the eggs and reopening them and quoting lines from "Disney Collector."  Micah would open his egg with Donald Duck and say, "Oh, this is cute.  We got Daisy!"  And Luke would say, "Next up, the Kinder Surprise!!!"  Micah has been sleeping with his kinder eggs every night since Christmas.

We have had one adventure with our kinder eggs.  On Friday of last week the boys and I took Griffin for a walk on the lake trail in our neighborhood.  Micah brought a kinder egg along, of course, as well as a toy cell phone.  As they walked along, Luke picked up a rock and ran to throw it into the water.  Micah had to do the same, but he put the rock in the same hand as his kinder.  I yelled for him to stop, but I was too late.  He released his throw and the rock AND kinder flew into the water.  It took about 2 seconds for Micah to realize what happened, and then there was a major freak out.  Micah doesn't have great force, but he had gotten the kinder about 2 feet into the water, and I wasn't about to wade out there in my tennis shoes, nor would I let the boys do it either.  So we finished our walk and went home, where I changed into my rain boots, grabbed the finishing net and trudged all the way back to collect the kinder egg.  If we have any more of those adventures, Micah will find himself grounded from eggs again.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Party Time!!!

Luke's birthday is Nov. 27.  He was supposed to have a bowling party on Sat., Nov. 30.  But his doctor said that he should avoid people for 5-10 days.  On Saturday he still wasn't feeling great, and then Jared came down with the flu too.  So obviously we didn't have that party.  But we'd ordered an awesome Lightning McQueen cake that I was too late in canceling.   So Grandma Debbi and Grandpa Terry took their chances and came over on Sunday night to eat cake with us and wish Luke a happy birthday.  Jared hid in our room the whole time.  

So that was mini party #1.

On December 15 we finally got to have his party-- with a new theme.  Once we were into Dec. it was clear that with work parties and such a Sat. wasn't going to work, so we had to come up with something that would work on a Sunday.  We had a gingerbread house party.  Terry and Debbi donated the gingerbread houses, and that was a huge help to me.  It was family only:  Herreras, Andersons, Ortons, and us.  Oh, and the missionaries came for dinner.

Here are some pics from the night:

Micah spent MUCH more time eating candy than decorating.  He had a huge sugar crash the next day. That child can PACK AWAY THE SUGAR.  I wish he wanted to eat anything else.

I want to highlight some of the big events/ changes from Luke's sixth year.

1.  He graduated from private therapy.
2.  He started kindergarten.
3.  He spontaneously gives hugs to his family and friends.
4.  He learned how to pump on a swing all by himself.
5.  He learned to read (He's at a beginning 1st grade level) and to write all of his letters-- lowercase and uppercase.
6.  He started drawing pictures besides a stick person.
7.  He changed schools and changed towns.
8.  He started bathing himself.
9.  He decided that he wants to be a teacher when he grows up.
10.  He can brush his own teeth.
11.  He started an independent tumbling class (as opposed to Mommy-and-me)

I am so very proud of my Luke.  He has grown and developed in ways that I can't put down in a list.  This past Sunday we took cookies to a friend of his.  When we arrived at the home we invited in, and Luke immediately took off with his friend, laughing.  They stayed together the WHOLE time, playing bad guys, etc.  From what I could tell there was very little distraction from fans, etc.  It is moments and experiences like those that let me see how much he has changed this past year.  It is in the conversations that we have and the connections that he makes.

Luke is a sweet boy.  He is very curious, especially when it comes to how things work.  He loves his brother Micah and his puppy, Griffin.  Luke's favorite games right now are play-doh, Candy land, and pretending to be a teacher.  His favorite activities are tumbling class, jumping on the trampoline, riding his bike, and playing at the park.  He enjoys school.  His favorite parts of the school day are eating breakfast in the cafeteria, going to recess, and singing in music.

Luke has a beautiful, simple testimony of Jesus Christ, and he has a strong desire to choose the right.

We sure love our Luke!

Luke's Birthday

Luke was sick on his birthday.  He'd been on an antibiotic for a day by then and had some of his energy back.  This was both good and bad.  I woke up to Luke saying, "Let me paint your foot now!"  I shot out of bed and ran into my bathroom.  I found the boys painting their hands with my foundation, using my nice Mary Kay brushes.  They were hand printing the bath mats.  So... that was the bad part of Luke feeling a little better.  

The good part was that he wasn't so whiny, and we got to do a few fun things for his birthday.  He opened presents in the morning.  He was very excited to inherit Jared's old ipod and to get a cheap ipod dock of his own.  He played music most of the day.  He also got a new book from Micah:  "Hooray for Amanda and her Alligator."It's a Mo Willems book, and he is BY FAR my boys favorite author.  They love all his books.

After dinner we had cupcakes and ice cream.

And then we decorated the Christmas tree.

A pretty low key birthday given the circumstances.
But still pretty good.

Happy 6th Birthday, Luke!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


In my last post I mentioned that my boys like to watch "eggs."  I can't even remember how this fetish started.  The boys USED to watch Youtube songs, like "The Wheels on the Bus" over and over.  But one day they discovered these videos where people open kinder eggs (from Germany) or other such candy eggs with toys inside.  Here is a link so you can see what I'm talking about:

Angry Birds Toy Surprise Jake and the Never Land Pirates Disney Pixar Cars 2 Easter egg Spongebob     

The crazy thing is that despite how lame I think this video is, it has 66 MILLION VIEWS!!!  How is that even possible?!?!  Seriously, click on this link, watch it and then ponder on 66 MILLION VIEWS.  I mean, my boys have probably put 50 or so views on that one.  It's one of their favorites  Micah and Luke even have whole videos memorized, and they reenact them using Easter eggs.  But 50 views and 66 mil is quite the disparity.  I'm thinking there are a lot more kids in this world like mine.  I would like to swap stories with their parents.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why Micah Needs a New Favorite Book

Micah's current favorite story is "Harry the Dirty Dog" by Gene Zion.  It is the story about a dog who hates his bath so much that he buries his scrubbing brush and runs away from home in order to escape a bath.  He then plays around the city and gets very, very dirty.  When he returns home his family doesn't recognize him.  In the end he begs for a bath, and when the little boy and girl give him one they discover Harry.  This makes Harry so happy!  I like this book a lot, and didn't even mind reading it 10 times a day.  Until Monday.

Luke was home from school with a fever.  I had gotten them both lunch and since they weren't feeling great I took pity on them and let them eat over by the computer so they could watch "eggs" while they were eating.  I then made my lunch and sat at the table, reading, while we all ate.  I was pretty absorbed in my book, I guess, because in the background I barely registered Micah yelling "Harry the dirty dog!  Harry the dirty dog!" over and over.  I didn't fully break out of my book-induced haze until Griffin came racing around the table shaking from head to toe and covered in...Yogurt!

These pictures are post-seven or so shakes, so they don't quite do it justice.

And that is why Griffin had an emergency bath and why we haven't read "Harry the Dirty Dog" since Monday.  Micah is grounded from that book for a week.

Friday, November 15, 2013

What goes on in their heads????

I ask myself that questions several times a day.  Today I asked it when the boys threw some poop over the neighbors fence.  Now that is an awkward moment.  Walking next door and apologizing to someone that your children threw poop in their yard.  Awesome.  Also, when I asked Luke why he did that he told me that it was because Jesus wasn't there to tell him not to.  WHERE does he come up with this stuff?

I asked myself that question yesterday when Micah (who was supposed to be in time out in his room for shredding a credit card payment stub) snuck into the guest bathroom (because his was locked!), filled up a mixing bowl with water and then dumped it in the middle of his bedroom floor.

And I asked myself that question after a conversation with Luke a few nights ago.  I have been reading the "Magic Tree House" series to Luke.   We read a chapter (or a few) most days.  We just finished book #4 in which Jack and Annie find out that the "M person" is Morgan le Fey, a magic librarian who can transform into animals.  Doesn't that just make you want to pick up that series right this very minute?!  But anyway, I asked Luke which animal he would like to be if he were magical like Morgan le Fey.  He said he would like to be a sea lion so he could swim way down to the bottom [of the tank at the zoo] and look at the drains.  WOW!  Consider me speechless.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dewberry Farms

I love fall!  I love the changing colors and crisp winds and those few days of perfect weather.  We actually don't get a great fall in Texas.  That was more a Utah/ Virginia thing.  But I still love fall.  And one of my very favorite things about fall is visiting the pumpkin patch.  We never made it to a patch before Halloween.  That was disappointing.  But I found one that was open until the middle of November!  So the first weekend after Halloween we went to Dewberry Farms.  It turned out to be a mix between a pumpkin patch and a carnival.  There were some rides and most of it cost extra.  And then at the little shows and events there were a lot of gimmicky sales pitches.  ("Thanks for coming to see the pig races!  Buy a pig nose for $1!")  That part was annoying, but overall it was LOTS of fun.

The Hayride:

Luke hates hay rides.  He actually refused to go on the hayride at first.  Micah LOVES them, so we split up.  I took Luke over to a playground, and Jared took Micah to stand in line for the hayride.  But en route to the playground, Luke spotted an air conditioner.  He just HAD to tell Micah, so he actually got onto the hayride just to tell Micah that he found an air conditioner.  

After the hayride we went to the slides together.  Both of the boys had a ball on this rolley (is that a word?) slide.  They did it over and over and over.

We showcased our strength.

or lack of...

Made it to 9!

watching Luke avoid the mud was pretty funny.

stopping for a joy ride...

spider's web

Cow train--
We rode in barrels painted black and white.

We also saw the animals in the barn.  There was a new litter of pigs nursing.  Micah loved the pink pigs , of course.  Luke was very concerned about the flies in there.  He thought they should have a fan to blow them away.  Good idea, Luke.

I'm pretty sure we'll go back again next year.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trick or Treating

On Halloween we had an Orton trick-or-treat party.  Emily hosted.  She made dinner in a pumpkin which was delicious.  We also had salad, rolls, green beans, cheese and crackers, and candy corn.

Then we got ready to trick or treat.

Putting on the costumes:

Libby was a beautiful fairy.

Micah was James, the red engine.

Beckett was a dinosaur.

Luke was Percy, the green engine.
Brevin is the football player.
Keaton was a Ninja Turtle.

We went around Emily's block and got all the candy we needed.  We probably trick-or-treated for about 40 minutes which was a perfect amount of time.

So glad that Jared could make it!

Love Luke, but what is that face?!

The full effect of Libby's costume:

Can't believe Cara made that!

It was a fun night.

And I've said it before, but I LOVE LIVING BY FAMILY!