Ever wonder how a 3 year old (4 in 2 weeks) tells you how they're hungry. Well, mine has an unusual way. It doesn't matter where we are, or what we're doing. If Jared wants a snack or lunch or something, he says he smells it. So, today, we were at the store (not a grocery store, Mervyns), and Jared pipes up, "Ummmmmm.....I smell a sandwich and crackers, Mommy." Is that what you want for lunch? Yep, but you know he surely can smell it in the middle of Mervyns, can't he?
I guess it's time for some more updates. I went on a field trip with Joshua's class before Thanksgiving. We went down to Salt Lake to see a play put on at the University of Utah. It was a play about pirates. It was so much fun spending that special time with Joshua. He was in heaven! He was so excited to ride a school bus for the very first time! Here are some pics.
The weekend before Thanksgiving we went to the local bowling alley for their annual Turkey Bowl. They were giving away free turkeys and hams for different winners in different categories. It was a lot of fun. We didn't win anything, but we all had a blast.
For Thanksgiving we went up to Montana to visit John's grandma and his other extended family. The kids had fun meeting everyone for the first time. Ethan was a huge hit with everyone! No one could seem to get over how smiley he was, and how big and sturdy he was. They all just loved him to pieces.
So, this is for all my Arizona fans out there. :) I'm excited to say that we will be in Mesa for Christmas! Yay! We're going to be there on Christmas Eve (Wednesday) through the following Sunday (the 28th). So, gear up for some Cowgill fun! I'd love to see all of you guys! I know it's kind of a crazy week and all, but maybe you can find some time for us. :) We'll also be going to our old ward (Viewpoint) on that Sunday, so hopefully we'll see tons of you there. I was even kinda hoping that we could get together for a girl's night one evening! Let me know if we can work something out like that! I'm so excited!! See ya'll in December!
Ok, so I don't have time yet to get my other posts done, but I just want to pose a question out there. Do any of you have a child who just seems more difficult than the rest? I do. Almost every day I shake my head and wonder how I'm supposed to deal with him. Some days he's a saint and a perfect child. Other days, I just don't know. How do I deal with the disagreeable nature of this child? How do I teach him anger management? How do I teach him that life's not fair, sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, and that's just the way it is. How do I teach him not to talk back and talk to me like he's the adult? I'll tell you what, I've had to learn a lot of patience from this boy. Patience not to react, patience to wait for him to calm down on his own, patience to teach him the same principles over and over and over and over again. I love him dearly, but oh my. He sure is difficult. He has been ever since he was little. I keep hoping that someday everything will just click, and he'll be a perfect child. I know, wishful thinking, right? Anyway, my wonderful child has just come from having a break in his room. So, I'm off to teach him his piano lesson. Maybe, if he doesn't have to go back to his room for being mean to his brother. Or back talking to me. Or just plain being rude... Oh the joys. Aren't children wonderful?
A few hours later...He's really not a bad kid. He's just very intense. Either intensely happy or intensely mad. There's not a whole lot of in between for him. I just got done doing homework and reading and piano with him. We've been at it for about an hour and a half. He does really well with piano. He loves to play and he's a natural at it. He also loves to read. He's required to read 20 minutes every day, but he usually reads for about an hour every day. Sometimes more. And his teacher has started sending home more difficult homework for him. He's a smart kid. And focused. He can get a job done when he wants to. When his brain is being challenged and utilized, he's a good kid. Really good. And happy. When it's not, when he's between activities or bored, that's when he gets upset or doesn't handle things properly. Like when his little brother doesn't want to play what he wants to play. Or when his little brother runs away from him and so he yells at the top of his lungs. "Come back here! Come back here! Jared! You little!" Etc. etc. That's normal right? :) To be bored? And not happy about being bored? I don't like to be bored either. Sigh. Anyway, enough rambling for the day. I've probably written more today than I have in the last 5 months. So, enjoy. If you're lucky, it might happen again. But, not likely. Off to make dinner now.
(FYI-After writing this post, I realized that it ended up REALLY long, so read at your own risk. :) )
Man, I really suck at this. Oh well. No use lamenting over it. :) So, life just keeps flying right on by. My little baby is growing up WAY too fast!! I can't believe he's 6 months old now. He's been eating solids for over a month. His first tooth just poked through yesterday, which I can't believe. My other babies didn't get their first teeth until they were 8 or 9 months! He's a gigantic child, but that's no surprise. His older brothers were too. He's in size 12 month clothes, but they're getting a little tight. And his size 3 diapers, going to be too small pretty soon. Not only is he gigantic, a big eater, and has his first tooth, but he also moves around like crazy. He's been rolling around all over for about a month now. He's been proficient at pushing himself around in a circle for at least a few weeks. And this past week he's starting pushing himself up on his knees to try to scoot himself forward. I can't take it! It's so cute, but soo fast! I swear I just brought him home from the hospital last week! What happens to time these days? Anyway, he's a super happy baby. He'll smile at anyone who looks at him. Besides teething, he's a very happy little guy. I just wish time could stand still!
My other boys are doing well also. Just being crazy boys, that's all. You know, running around the house like crazy maniacs and trying to tackle each other. Constant wrestling and races and turning anything and everything into a competition. All play, no matter what the activity is, ends in someone coming to me crying with hurt feelings or a hurt body. Those boys are so rough with each other! I tell them and tell them and tell them. But do they listen? No, no, no. That would just be too easy, wouldn't it? Boys. Do little girls really just sit and play house and play with dolls nice and quietly? I wouldn't know. And I probably never will. I'm pretty sure we're destined to have all boys. But that's ok. I know boys. I really wouldn't know what to do with a little girl. Do her hair? Make her look cute? What the heck is that? Doesn't dirt and grime and messy hair work with girls? Anyway, I'm going on and on about absolutely nothing that I planned to post about. Since I've gone on and on about my boys, let me just throw out a disclaimer. I love these boys. They are also some of the sweetest and cutest little kids ever! Joshua reads to Jared now. They play creative games together (sometimes without fighting). They've been sleeping in the same bed together for the past week because they're "too lonely" without each other. They really are great kids!
Anyway, I intended to blog about what we've been up to lately. So, here it is. Of course there was Halloween. Joshua was a karate kid (this was a last minute decision. He had a power ranger costume like Jared did, but he decided he was too cool to dress up as the same thing as his little brother). Jared was a blue power ranger. And Ethan was a tiger. They had a lot of fun at the ward trunk or treat and trick or treating around the neighborhood.
Then, there's me. These past few months I've turned into some freak who apparentely is striving to be little miss Suzy Homemaker or something. I'm not sure what's gotten into me, but I've been doing crazy things. We have an apple tree in our backyard, so I canned a bunch of applesauce and apple slices. I still intend to juice a ton of apples and freeze the juice for fresh apple juice. I've started making my own bread. From fresh ground wheat flour. Crazy stuff. It's actually quite difficult to make bread. There really is an art to it. So, I've been making it every week for about a month and half now, and I finally got a batch this week that didn't fall when I put it into the oven. The previous weeks, they would rise all big and pretty, and then fall nice and flat in the oven. So, even though they are shaped funny (you can see in the pictures), they didn't fall!! Yeah!! I was really excited about that.
Anyway, other than that, life has just been life. Feeding children, trying to pick things up, trying to clean the house, yadda yadda yadda. This week is the first week in a really long time that I've actually felt somewhat put together. I feel like I'm actually accomplishing what I set out to do. And at the end of the day I can actually sit and relax and not feel so much anxiety about all the things that I'm totally behind on. It's a good feeling. So, now that you've read my whole life story, how about a slideshow to go with the story? Enjoy! I think I'll actually put captions to these pics, so read them. :) Maybe...
Well, off to pick up Joshua and the neighbor boy from school. I'll have to post the slideshow later.
Oh, and now I've discovered Facebook. So, I'm not quite as avid a blog stalker as I used to be. Sorry all my fans.
Oh, and I almost forgot one of my main reasons for posting!! Duh! I think I'll do another post about that important reason. And another one for the family and school pictures I wanted to post. Oops. I guess I got off on a tangent and forgot all the things I was doing this post for today. :)
I'm the worst blogger. No matter how much I promise, I just can't seem to keep things updated. Oh well, don't worry, though. I haven't slacked on checking all of your blogs! I have to admit that I am an avid blog stalker. So, you can bet I've probably checked your blog today. At least once. :) Anyway, so I thought I'd have all this time now that Joshua is in school, but time still seems to disappear! I've taken up being a pampered chef consultant. I'm mostly doing it so I can get tons of great products for free or great prices! I've been loving that. It's been going really well, and I'm proud of all my hard work there. The following posts highlight some of the other things I've been up to the past few weeks. Enjoy!
I am very proud to say that I preserved a whole tree of peaches all by myself in 4 days! I've never done anything like this before, so I was quite impressed by myself. I had to hurry and get it done, because I was going out of town the next week, and the peaches would be rotten by the time I got back. So, here's the final tally.
48 bottles of canned peaches
12 pints of jam, 24 half-pints (some jam, some syrup)
Then I froze tons of sheets of sliced peaches individually.
And filled up 28 bags of the individually frozen peaches to use for smoothies and desserts.
8 trays of leather, and 6 trays of dried slices. 12 bags of peach puree to freeze and use later for baby food, fruit leather, syrup, etc. (I admit, I did have help with this part. It was the last day, and I was tired, so I had a friend come help and we split the peach puree.)
I was able to fly out to Wisconsin for the past week. My dad flew me, my brother, and my sister to his house to visit. It was so great to see them! I haven't seen my brother for almost 4 years, and my sister for almost a year and a half. I took the baby with me, and made crazy arrangements for the boys to be taken care of while I was gone. Everything went well, but I'm glad to be back. I missed my boys! And, unfortunately for me, I think they missed Ethan more than they missed me. It was so cute to see them loving all over him at the airport. Here are some pics from my trip.
Well, things change, don't they? After my last post we had a nice peaceful and calm week of school and normalcy. Then, at the end of that calm week, life threw us another curve ball. All summer I KNEW it was the right thing to homeschool Joshua. Kindergarten wasn't going to be a good environment for him. I knew that academically he was probably about at a first grade level. And because he's so tall, he literally towers over all the other kidnergarteners. Because of those things, he sometimes has a hard time socializing and being in an evironment with his grade level. Besides the fact that pretty much all of his friends are in first grade (I think he's the only one in his primary class who didn't make the kindergarten cut off last year). Anyway, I KNEW we were making the right choice to keep him at home. I could work with him more on socializing and how to react better to authority and conflict. And things at home were great! I (much to my surprise) thoroughly enjoyed being with them all day and teaching them and doing so many fun things! We got to do science experiments, read fun books, make fun foods, learn about different countries, read, write, do math. Lots of fun stuff.
Anyway, after our calm little week, I found out that he was listed on the afternoon kindergarten class at the elementary school. He wasn't supposed to be. But...that got my mind working. What if that's a sign? What if he's supposed to go to school after all? (Public school was starting the next week.) I was so confused! I wanted to keep homeschooling him because I had really enjoyed the past month! John and I talked and talked about it. Should we send him to school just so he can play and then we still teach him at home? Should we still just keep him at home? What do we do?? What's the best thing for him?? Then, after we had talked for a really long time, John said. Why don't we just put him in first grade? (Or something to taht effect.) My first reaction was, but it's all day! He's not ready for that!! (Or was it me who wan't ready?) Anyway, we talked about that possibility for a while, and then it hit. That was exactly the right thing to do. There was no question in our minds. He belonged in first grade. And the more I thought about it, the more it seemed right. I realized that this had all been a journey to get us to this final place. Whatever it was, something in the last month clicked with Joshua. Whether it was all the one on one time with me every day, whether it was doing all the school work. I don't know. But not only was he academically ready, but I truly felt he would be socially ready also. In the last month he's been nicer, and acting much more grown up.
So, the next morning (the Friday before school started) we went over to the school and told them we wanted to see about advancing him to the first grade. Long story short, we went through quite the complicated process the whole next week. Kindergarten assessment, IQ test with the school psychologist, behavior and social questionnares done by me and his previous preschool teacher, standardized tests to see exactly where he was academically. Hours of tests that poor kids went through. But when all was said and done, the decision was unanimous. He definately belongs in the first grade! So, a week after everyone else started, he began his adventures as a public school kid in the big first grade! I can't believe it!! When did my little boy grow up? I'm so proud of him, yet so sad! This all came on so fast, I wasn't prepared to let him go out into the big bad world for 6 hours a day for the rest of his life just yet! But, I KNOW that this is the very best thing for him and I am so excited for him!
He had a great first week and just loved it! He's happy to be in a class with his friends and where he feels like he belongs and where he feels he's on the same level as everyone else. We sure miss him when he's gone all day, but that's ok. Now I'll get lots more time to spend with Jared and Ethan. Well, I think that's enough for one post. :) I'll try to keep more updated now that I have more time since I'm not a teacher anymore. :)
This last week was crazy busy! Monday was a pretty normal day. Just school in the morning and we had some friends over to play in the afternoon. Tuesday morning was school again. Then in the afternoon we went to a playgroup, and then came home to swim at the neighbors house. That evening I had enrichment to go to. Then, on Wednesday things got even crazier. John left really early to go on a hike/campout with the young men. He was gone until Saturday! So, I guess I decided to fill my time up while he was gone.
We had school, and then went to a playgroup at the park. Then we went to another playgroup. Then we had to stop at the store, and we came home. I cleaned like a madwoman because I was having a party at my house that night. So, I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. And then we ran to Arby's to get some dinner. We got home just in time for the consultant to pull up. I had my party, which was a huge success! The kids got to stay up late and watch a movie downstairs during my party.
The next day didn't get any less busy. We had school, of course, and then we went to the Davis County Fair all afternoon. It was fun. We got to see a lot of animals and they had a cool little science tent set up where they had a bunch of different science type activities. I didn't get to take any pictures, though, because John had the camera with him up in the mountains. (Which, by the way, he almost broke because his bag of fish that he caught leaked on it!) Anyway, we had quiet evening and I put the kids to bed early to gear up for our next day.
Friday was the craziest of all! After school, my sister-in-law brought over her 3 kids (all under the age of 4) so I could watch them while she and her husband went to Salt Lake overnight to celebrate their anniversary. Yes, I said overnight! So, I had my Ethan (almost 3 months), her baby (9 months), her son (2 1/2), my Jared (3 1/2), her son (4), and my Joshua (5 1/2) by myself overnight!! To make it even more exciting, they had never been overnight somewhere without their mom! During the day they played outside a lot and were all pretty good. I had to break up a few fights here and there, but nothing too major. The fun started at bedtime. We had dinner (mac&cheese and hotdogs-I wanted to make sure everyone would eat it), and then I told them all if they helped clean up we could watch a movie before bed. They all did a great job cleaning up, so I turned on a movie. But, my sister-in-law's kids don't sit very still for movies...so that didn't go so well. I decided to go ahead and get them into bed. So, I tried to get them all ready, but both of the babies started crying. I tried holding them both, but they didn't like that. They wanted to be held alone. So, I've got 4 kids running around crazy and 2 babies crying. What do I do? I ended up having 2 of the neighborhood girls come over and hold the babies for me while I tried to get everyone else settled down.
That worked for awhile, but then they had to go home. I couldn't get the other kids to stay in bed, so I gave up on them and decided to just put my kids to bed instead. My kids were wonderful and had a perfect bedtime. After I got them to sleep, I tried again to get the other kids to bed. They just weren't having any of it. I tried having them talk to their mom a few times. I even tried to bribe them with candy and chocolate milk (I know that's horrible, but I was desperate!). NOthing seemed to work. By this time, the babies were both starting to get fussy again. Luckily, I had another lifesaver friend come over and help with the babies. Well, eventually I separated them and they finally went to sleep-2 1/2 hours after I started them! However, one of them was sleeping in my bed, and the other was sleeping in my babie's bed. That's where I was finally able to get them to sleep. I though, hey, no problem. I'll just bring up the air mattress from downstairs, and the baby and I will sleep in the family room. (The other baby was using the playpen.) That was fine, until I woke up in the middle of the night and the mattress was halfway deflated. I'm not sure what happened to it. Oh well. It was still fine. Everyone slept through the night, except Jared. He came out looking for me since I wasn't in my room. I was too tired to try to make him stay in his own bed, so I let him crash on the couch next to me.
So, the next morning came around. Everyone woke up at about 6:30, except Joshua. He woke up around 6, but I kicked him out and make him go back to bed. Anyway, I made Laura's baby a bottle, put him down on the floor next to me. Fed my baby. Changed both babie's diapers and clothes. Changed the other 2 kids diapers and clothes. Made sure my kids were dressed. And an hour had all ready flown by! I definately feel for mothers of twins and more! You're just constantly going, going, going! Anyway, the morning went pretty smoothly. I was expecting their parents to come get them around 11:00, but wasn't expecting John to get back until later that afternoon. But, he surprised me and got home at 10:30! I was sooo happy to see him after all that! It was a busy week, but a good one! We all survived and I'm sure I could do it again if I had to. :)
Sorry there's no pics, but I couldn't take any. :( But, here's some pics of John's peaceful mountain trip. (Actually he had some ups and downs on his trip to. He was with a bunch of teenage boys after all.) :)
Lately the boys have been very bored. We have all of their toys downstairs, but they refuse to play down there. They're scared of the basement I guess. Anyway, they end up laying around the house fighting and whining all afternoon. I've been going crazy! I never have a moments peace. It's either them in my face whining, or them arguing and fighting. Constantly. This weekend, we got a swingset and set it up. It's been so nice! As first, they whined and complained and wanted us to play on it with them. (That's another thing with them-they don't think they can do anything by themselves. They want us to do everything with them.) But, we ignored them, and eventually they ventured out by themselves and started playing. They've been out there for hours this weekend! Not inside whining at us! Yes! It was a success!
I'm so happy to have such wonderful boys! The other day I was holding the baby because every time I put him down he started to cry. It was past time to be making dinner. Joshua came in and asked when dinner was going to be ready. Me: Not for a long time. I haven't started cooking it yet. Joshua: Why not? Me: Because the baby cries when I put him down. Joshua: (in a very matter of fact, yet helpful voice)Well...I can hold him for you. Me: (thinking about it)Oh, ok. I guess that would be ok. Thanks! So, I set them up on the couch, and Joshua held the baby for about 20 minutes while I got dinner started. It was wonderful!! He is so sweet with Ethan and just loves him to pieces! Here some pics to prove it really happened. :)
So, I mentioned before that I'm going to be homeschooling Joshua this year. As part of that, we're going to be going on some field trips so we can get out and have some fun. Some will be with other kids, some will be just with us. We also have playgroups we go to 2-3 times a week. Anyway, last week on Thursday we went our first field trip. We went to Wheeler Farm in Salt Lake. It was a lot of fun. We went on a hay ride around the farm and we saw the animals. Then we fed the ducks. Then we went over to this really neat little stream and the kids played in it. They started out with their pants rolled up just walking around, but ended up getting completely soaked. They loved it though! We played in the stream for about an hour. They were throwing leaves in and chasing them down the stream, and eventually they even started attempting to jump across it. Sometimes they made it, sometimes they didn't. :)
Last week I woke up one morning and was so tired of my hair. So, the next day I went and spontaneously got it all chopped off! And I even added bangs! It is a huge difference, and at first I wasn't sure about it, but now I'm happy with it. What do you think?
As promised, I'm trying to keep more up to date on my blog. So, yesterday afternoon we went to Willard Bay for a couple hours. The boys went swimming with dad, while I stayed at the picnic table in the shade with the sleeping baby. It was fun to watch them out having fun together. John said they were looking for buried treasure along the shore and they skipped rocks and all kinds of stuff. They had a lot of fun. After that, we went and got ice cream cones. It was a fun Saturday afternoon. We really need to get out and do stuff like that more often. We don't usually go anywhere because I think it's too hard sometimes, but it really wasn't that big of a deal. I want to create more fun family memories like this one.
We planted a small garden this year. We didn't get it in until pretty late, so it didn't do real well, but at least it was something. As you can see in the front, we planted a little too much lettuce! We couldn't eat it all, and it eventually went bad because there was too much. The corn, however, seems to be doing really well! I love the picture of the kids standing in the corn. I can't believe how tall it is!
So, the other day, a few weeks ago, I had one of my first really hard days with three kids. Joshua came in our room early, not feeling well. When I finally rolled out of bed, I awoke to chaos. Joshua had puked all over the floor and remote. Jared had spilled POWDERED sugar in our pantry. All over. And did I mention that our shoes our in that closet also? AAgh!! What a mess. And then the baby was spitting up everywhere. Crazy. So, that's how my day started, and it didn't get much better. The baby cryed all day. Fun, fun. Anyway, here's a pic of the powdered sugar mess, and this was taken after I had scooped up a bunch of it!
Life with 3 boys. All I can say is CRAZY! But worth it, I guess.. :) Joshua is 7, Jared is 5, and Ethan is almost 2. I can't believe how fast time flys! We've been married for 9 years all ready. Life is good!