Friday, April 17, 2015

Final Ketchup #7--Grandma and Grandpa Tucker

When I see light like that and flowers like that, I have to grab my camera quick.
No one wanted to do these pictures, but I'm so glad we did. I love these people so much.
I hadn't noticed how white Mom's hair as gotten. I've always thought of it as peppery, but it glows with that light behind it.

There were over a dozen outtakes. After deleting the ones with closed eyes or open mouths, I was left with some funny ones.

I don't know what got my mom in this mood, but she never pulls faces for the camera. They enjoyed it more than they will admit.
 Like I said, Mom rarely goofs around in pictures, but if you look closely at the middle one, she's bunny ear-ing Hyrum. Micah goes from one Calvin and Hobbes face to the next, Lily tries to keep in her selfie faces but finally succumbs, Hyrum didn't want to be there at all, and Grandma and Grandpa were pretty good sports.
I'm so glad we took less than ten minutes of that light and Brad's unbelievable flowers for these pictures.

I'm so grateful for good parents who love me and love my children.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ketchup #6--Easter, Conference, a Funny Story, and . . . It's FINISHED!

Lily and Brad spent Easter/General Conference weekend in Utah.

Where did I go with the three little kids? Dozens of photos to tell that story.

We may have spent two nights at the finished . . .
 . . . CABIN! Well, it isn't completely finished. But finished enough to stay there. This is what it looked like after we unpacked the truck. Peering through the front window.
 All the necessities for life--toilet paper, games, food, and blankets. And some more stuff, too.
I tried not to spend every second unpacking and assembling and placing and cleaning and deciding. It's a place to relax, after all.

They invented games and ran everywhere.


 We walked by the stream a few times a day. This stream dries up around May1st, so we threw stones and waded and rock hopped as much as we could. It's so beautiful down there.
 Every evening, we would walk around the forest, watching for animals. Can you see Hyrum?

 The red windows make it easy to find the cabin through the trees.






 A large herd of elk lives very close to us, and we see them almost every visit. This time we got pretty close to them.

 I took Hyrum and Eve back to the cabin, but Micah stayed in this spot. He stayed so still that he saw a coyote stalking the elk herd. Not wanting to see an elk attacked (this is his rendition of the story), he whooped as loud as he could to scare them both away. We had a talk about how that isn't the smarted thing to do and to observe and sneak away next time.

Saturday morning I vowed to stay in bed a little while. The heater wasn't working yet (they fixed it while we were there), and it was COLD in the cabin (59* upstairs and probably 10* cooler down), and I was cozy with the sunrise creating dancing tree patterns on my bed. I drifted in and out of sleep, but somewhere in my subconscious, I heard a pounding sound, but I quickly fell asleep again.
Again, my sleep was disturbed by the pounding. Hmmm. Hyrum must have pulled out his hammer and he's breaking rocks or something.
I don't know how many times this happened, but what I do know is that all three kids burst into my slumber, exclaiming, "DIDN'T YOU HEAR US????"

Remember, it was less than 60* in the house that morning? Hyrum and Eve had ventured outside and had accidentally locked themselves out--in their AZ pjs and bare feet. They had been pounding on the windows and doors, trying to get Micah away from his book and me away from my dreams. Micah did wander out a little while later, but he shut the door behind him, just as Hyrum lunged to keep it open. They even threw a few small rocks against the window (!!!!) to try and wake me. Eventually, Micah realized that I hadn't latched the window by the front door, and he slid it open and climbed in.

A pretty exciting adventure for the first night at the cabin, right?

It was General Conference weekend, and by the time their toes were thawed (thanks to hot chocolate) and I got dressed, it was time to watch.
 They got their notes, crayons, pens, pillows, and blankets, and we snuggled up close on the couch together.

Although I couldn't figure out how to coordinate the hotspot on my phone with the new TV, we watched on the iPad.
The coziness and quietness and closeness lasted for maybe one of the eight hours we watched conference, but I loved being there on that couch with my kids. First time of many, I hope.

After the first session, we dyed eggs.

 Hyrum was moving a giant cinderblock and dropped it on his favorite egg--at least it was his and not some else's. I learned a lesson this Easter--less eggs equals more creative results. I'm going to remember that next year.

Eve played and stayed up late and got up early every day, and this is how I found her Saturday afternoon--completely worn out.
The Easter bunny also managed to find us.




By the end of the weekend, I could see measurable progress in the house. It had gone from this:
To this:

 Still so much to do, but so so good. I think I'm going to do a whole series of posts once all the rooms are done.

We packed up and headed home after three days in the pines.

Three days. The first of so many more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ketchup #5--Spring Break

Photo dump of our staycation Spring Break. We didn't have anywhere exciting to go, but we tried to find a few exciting things to do.

Hyrum has fixed a few things around here--helped Dad fix my stool and the garage door opener.
I took the three littlest kids to the Children's Museum of Phoenix. It was so cool! A huge jungle gym constructed of recycled stuff . . .
. . . one entire room dedicated to fort building. Micah's legs are visible behind Eve's head. The kids stayed in here a long time. Fort building is a very important skill at the Sanatorium.
Eve had her first experience with a hula hoop. Then Mom showed her how it's done!

The craft room was not Micah's favorite, but he did add some green paint to the enormous cardboard castle.

Aren't those ostriches in the back cool? Reclaimed from an Anthropologie display.
On Saturday, we scoped out the creativity festival at the Mesa Arts Center.


Eve went from singing on the stairs to . . .
. . . screaming on the stairs on the way back up.

The weather was perfect that day. The kids ran in the fountain and got just wet enough to cool down a little bit.

These huge human tops were a hit.
Micah kept saying, "These are SCARY!" but I didn't believe him--until I got in one.
They swiveled unpredictably as your body weight shifts, and it feels like you're going to tip over at any second. They are designed to keep upright, but it doesn't feel like they will.
A few fun adventures in boring old Mesa for Spring Break.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ketchup #4--Eve

I convinced Eve to buy a dress. It took some convincing, because dresses like this are almost always itchy and uncomfortable.

Not this dress. It's not any ordinary dress.

It is an Elsa dress.

With a hoop skirt.

And a cape.

Just like Elsa.
She has worn that Elsa dress with its cape and hoop skirt, along with her Cinderella glass slippers, almost every day for a month.

Remember how I took Ellie and her family to see Cinderella?

Eve wore her Elsa dress and glass slippers to the movie theatre.

To see Cinderella.

I can't explain how I felt as I watched her experience that movie. She danced in the aisle and pretended she was Cinderella through the whole movie. She took off her glass slippers when Cinderella did, and she ran up and down stairs and pretended to cry and spun and danced.

Just like Cinderella. But in an Elsa dress.

To be five and see Cinderella for the first time as you spin in your Elsa dress and glass slippers?

Only one word.

Magical.