Monday, April 11, 2011

Mother of 5!

Well, if you're wondering where I've been for the last few days, here's your answer! Some good friends of ours will be moving to Texas this summer and needed to fly out there to find a house. So, Kevin and I agreed to watch their home and their children until they got back!

Me and the girls went over to their house on Thursday around 3pm, just as they were leaving and their oldest daughter was coming home from school. We said goodbye and then the fun and craziness began!

That first day there, I ended up teaching some of the young women from my church how to do a Tahitian dance, so the kids got lucky and were able to sit and watch the movie Tangled!

After the house emptied out a bit, I set the kids up with a Spring craft. They had so much fun and really put a lot of effort into their pictures until Kevin came home and rough housed them all until it was time for bed.

When Friday rolled around, Kevin went back to work and I was on my own. I never realized how over-stimulated my mother must have ALWAYS been until I spent 11 hours alone with a 1, 2, 3, and 6 year old! WOW! I couldn't believe how much was going on at every given second. When Kevin finally walked in the door around 6pm I told him "Thanks in advance and good luck!" and then ran out the door to go to a craft class at the church and take a few good, deep, breaths. Its CRAZY how quiet the world gets when you get to pass your satellites off to someone else :)

I got home around 9:30pm to an exhausted-deer-in-the-headlights husband who had JUST finished getting everyone down and to sleep. What a STUD!

On Saturday, we added another child to the brood, leaving us in charge of a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 year old for the next five hours. We decided to play it safe and head for the park! It was quite the adventure trying to fit all 5 car seats into the minivan, but Kevin is the king of Tetris, and somehow we managed.

When we got there, we released the children and let them play to their hearts content. AND BOY DID THEY! There was enough energy being released at the park to power a small home!

Brooklyn was even having so much fun with the other kids, that she decided to conquer her old fear of crossing these puppies! Go Brooklyn!!!

Anyway, Kevin played with the kids for the most part while I walked around and around and around with Lily who is dead set on practicing until she gets it right. The only time she really took a break from walking was to eat a few rocks and snuggle her dad

Beckham got in on the snuggling too. As it turns out, kids don't seem to mind Kevin all that much :)

But the park wasn't all fun and games. I was slightly stressed by the number of little people I was suddenly responsible for, and found myself counting to 5 over and over again whilst trying to make sure I knew where everyone was. We kept really good track of everyone until Brooklyn started yelling "POTTY" at the top of her lungs while running across the playground.

At that point, I quickly tossed Lily to Kevin and told him not to lose anyone, then grabbed Brooklyn and started running. Half way there, I saw Beckham from the corner of my eye and he was following me! I knew poor Kevin had no idea that Beckham had followed me and that he would be in a major panic in just a few seconds, so we hurried to the bathroom and then back out to the playground as soon as we could. When we got there, we saw that Kevin had corralled all the other kids near the swing set and was running around in a mad panic looking for Beckham! Needless to say, he was pretty happy to see us.

Despite our moded moment, the kids all played well together and the weather was perfect. We even got them to stay still long enough to take this picture. :)

When we got home, it was naps for the 3 younger kids, movies and snacks for the older kids, and then Addie got picked up by her parents, Kevin left to do a laser tag game for the rest of the night, I took the kids back to the park to wear them out for bed, home for lasagna, cake for dessert (Thanks Condies!), teeth brushed, pajamas on, prayers said, songs sang, stories read, bedtime...and then... I had the whole quiet house to myself to work on a last minute project I was asked to do that afternoon and turn in the next morning.

Because of that project, I had to abandon Kevin Sunday morning to get all the kids to church by himself! I did the girls hair (because Kevin was scared to) seconds before I ran out the door and then prayed that Kevin would survive. And he did :) He was a real pro! He got all the kids fed and ready, cleaned the house, and started dinner in the crock pot, and he even made it to church EARLY!

When we got home from church, we were greeted at the door by Scott and Amy who had just returned from their trip! Lots of hugs and snuggles ensued and then Scott and Amy (and all of the little kidlets) got to work finishing up the dinner for us so we could sit and chat before saying goodbye.

Although it was probably the busiest 4 days of our lives, we really had a lot of fun. The kids were all well behaved, and very loving and appreciative, and it was nice for my kids to have live in friends for the week. We also got to eat like kings while we were there and play a lot more then we normally do. And at the end of each day, we got to curl up in the comfiest bed in the world and pass out cold! Seriously! I've never slept so well in my life!

And to both of my moms...You truly are SUPER WOMEN!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

General Conference at the Hanks Home (Day Two)

Day two of General Conference in our home was just as fun as day one! We started out the day with a good breakfast and a fun project (thanks to Aunt Sara and the Progressive Pioneer.)

We simply busted out our acrylic paints and created our own Spring Scene whether nature wanted us to have it or not!

Brooklyn LOVED painting on the window and it really turned out cute. Oh! and for all those who are worried about our rented apartment... no worries, we actually painted on the plastic covering that we keep on the window during the winter to block cold air from getting in! :)

After we were done, Kevin and Brooklyn sat on the couch for some relaxing reading time while I fiddled around with some other crafts and Lily took a quick nap.

When conference finally started we were prepared. Kevin had a Star Wars Lego model to put together, Brooklyn had her conference packet, and Lily had FOOD!

Everyone listened and stayed awake for the whole thing, and we even got to finish some fun projects while we were at it.

As always, I was able to get a much needed spiritual boost and now feel better prepared to wake up again tomorrow and tackle the every day tasks of a stay-at-home mom! Hope you enjoyed conference weekend as well! We miss you all and wish we were spending the remainder of the evening eating good food in good company... but until that is possible, we love you!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

General Conference at the Hanks Home (Day One)

Its General Conference weekend and we are having FUN! We decided to try some new things this year, and because of it, Kevin and I actually got to listen to ALL the talks today!

We started off the day with a craft project to help us welcome the fabulous Spring weather and its accompanying warm fuzzies.

Brooklyn loved being busy first thing in the morning, and was THRILLED by the outcome. She couldn't get enough of the sparkly raindrops hanging in the sunlight. :)

When Conference started, we each pulled out our Jelly Beans for Jesus jars and our conference packets and got to work.

Kevin and I split up the apostles so that if someone from Kevin's list was talking, he would take notes while I watched the girls, and visa versa. We also practiced our listening skills by putting a jelly bean in our jars every time the Savior was mentioned. My jar filled up after the first session so I had to eat it all before the next one started. Woohoo!

Brooklyn kept busy by filling her jar with jelly beans, and by coloring her conference packet. She was really into it and managed to watch the WHOLE first session!

Here she is with a self portrait of herself and how she feels when she listens to the prophet. So cute!

And in case you're wondering why we put Brooklyn in the pack and play... its because of this lady! Brooklyn could get in and out as she pleased, but by keeping her and her stuff in there, we were able to avoid any major disasters and all sibling rivalries. (Minus a few stolen colored pencils that Lily magically got away with.)

Here is my cute family enjoying our sunny session together. I love how both of the girls are standing!

After the first session was over, Brooklyn FINALLY got to eat her jelly beans! She swallowed each one as if it were the best thing that had ever happened to her. I can't believe how patient she was!

Lily didn't get a jar for obvious reasons, but don't worry... she probably had more jelly beans than all of us put together. The girl is an eating MACHINE!

When the jelly beans were all gone, Kevin sat the girls down for a REAL lunch while I got to go on a 5 mile run. My clever little Brooklyn chewed her sandwich into a butterfly while she was eating, and as you can tell, she was awfully proud of herself!

Amazingly, both of the girls slept through the entire second session, which allowed me to make this cute picture frame for the subway art I printed off of the internet last week. It kept my hands busy while I listened, and turned out pretty cute too!

Anyway, now Kevin is at Priesthood session, the girls are in bed, and I am writing this. I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings. Happy listening!