Friday, June 20, 2008

Our Quad Stroller

So we have struggled for a while with the whole "going on a walk" thing with all four kids. We do it often, but without fail there is always one child, if not all four, that just can't make it all the way and we only have had a double stroller. Well, Brett solved that one for us. The three older kids just get to share the back seat. It works, I guess.The kids look content enough, even happy. So now we know we can go on a walk and have happy kids the whole way. Who would have ever thought our double stroller would last us so long! (Notice the kids scooters hanging off of the handle bars)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Laundry Day

I love my washer and dryer. Not because they are anything special, but because they make my life so much easier. Can you even imagine life without them? Washing all of your clothes by hand and hanging them to dry!?!I try to do laundry just one day a week. Although it leaves me with 8-9 extra large loads of laundry in one day, I feel like it is done and folded until the next week. I normally wash everything and then wait to fold it all until the kids go to bed and I can watch TV as I fold. Here is a picture of 7 of the 9 loads that I did this past week. And after 2 hours, and five beds being put back together, here is a picture of everything folded (minus underwear, I'll spare you that one). You can see the space that I sit in at the foot of the bed (and the remote control for the TV, a must). The clothes on the bed are all piles of "hang-up" clothes (sorted by which closet they go in), so although everything is folded, there is still work to do.
Laundry is a never ending chore, that is never quite done, but for today, it almost feels "done". Until next week. . .

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I love to see the Temple

Our ward had a primary activity a couple of Saturdays ago at the Newport Beach Temple. I guess not exactly at the temple, but at the stake center right across the street. There was a game that the kids played and then there were a couple of short talks, all relating to the temple. After the activity we went over to take some pictures at the temple. There was a member of the ward who took pictures for each of the families there, but I don't have those yet, so we will have to wait to see if he got a better shot than the one that we got.
We wanted to make sure we got a picture of each of the kids in front of the temple. How often do you remember being at the temple as a kid? Yeah, I don't either (of course, I don't remember most of my childhood). Only weddings really. Or trips to Utah. So we thought these pictures would be special to them someday.

And this last picture of Spencer and Natalie I love. You can see Angel Moroni right above Natalie's head if you look close. I just think they look so happy and cute, brother and sister, arm in arm!
It was a gorgeous day and the Temple Grounds were so peaceful and beautiful. Wouldn't it be awesome to be able to spend more time there with the family!?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I love milestones!

First off, Happy Birthday Brett! The big 27. Brett and I have always talked about how once you hit 27 you are old and Brett has hit that point. The kids insisted on candles for his cake (or in his case Congo Cookies), so we went ahead and put all 27 on there.

Even with the help of the kids and lots of nieces and nephews, somehow he wasn't able to blow all the candles out the first time around. I hope that he didn't wish for something that we really need.

As for the other milestones in our lives:
-Spencer is officially ready for kindergarten. This week has been a big one with doctors visits (including immunizations, urine sample, and blood tests, not so excited about those!) and his first dental exam. Both went relatively well (minus a huge blowup when they were drawing his blood). We love our dentist if anyone is looking for one!

-Natalie is finally making it through the night dry. This has been a long haul and although she has been potty trained for nearly two years now, she is finally waking up dry. Hurray! Also, things are clicking for her with swimming and she is loving the water. She loves to have us watch as she puts her head under. She is also allowing Brett to pull her around like an airplane with her face in the water. I am hoping this summer we will have three new swimmers!

-Bailey is officially potty trained (during the day at least). She is wearing big girl underwear, even during naps and we are so excited about it! Spencer and Natalie love it too because Bailey still gets a treat (one jelly bean) if she goes to the bathroom and she shares one with each of them each time. Got to love bribery!

-Tanner, after a very long couple of weeks, has finally broken teeth. Not just one, or two, but three of them. No wonder he has been such an ornery little boy! All of the other kids have gotten their bottom teeth first, but Tanner's first tooth was on the top left. I will try to post a picture tomorrow of it. He is also pulling himself up on everything, including the stairs. The other day I came around the corner and he was already up five stairs. I am going to have to make sure that I keep a better eye on him now!

I love milestones. It tells us where we have been and where we are going. The kids are growing way too fast, but it is so fun to see the excitement and joy in their eyes as they do things and get ready for things in their future.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How To Change Your Brakes

So, I don't often post on our blog, but I thought I would share a funny story. About a month or two ago the brakes on our van started squeaking. I don't know much about cars, but I know that my dad used to change the brakes himself so I called him and asked if it was hard. He said that if I had never done it before then I should take it somewhere to have it done. I called a couple of local places and the cheapest place was $150. I then looked to see how much replacement pads cost and discovered they ranged between $20 and $40. I decided to replace the pads myself.

I found a site on the Internet (I love google) that described how to replace your brake pads.
It was really easy to do. I followed each of the six steps and before I knew it I had replaced the brake pads on both the front tires. I felt pretty proud of myself. I had followed the instructions right down to the last line,

"Put your wheel back on, being sure to tighten all of the lug bolts. Now double-check your lug bolts just to be sure. You're done! Feels good, right?"

I did indeed feel good. Rachel was gone and Tanner was sleeping so I loaded up Spencer, Natalie and Bailey in the van and decided I would take it for a little test drive to make sure all was working well. I started the car and put my foot on the brake and put the car into reverse so that I could back out of the garage. As soon as the car hit reverse the van shot out of the garage like a rocket. (Engines rev really high when you first start them) I had my foot to the floor on the brake but it didn't matter, the car was still moving fast. I quickly turned the steering wheel to avoid going into our neighbors wall. Trying to think quickly I tried to find the parking brake, but I was unsuccessful and the car now hurled down the driveway and slightly onto the grass.

My next thought was to put the car into neutral, but in my frantic state I accidentally pushed it all the way into park. The van began making a nasty clicking/grinding sound. I knew this was bad so my next instinct was to turn the car off. However, the car was still moving and now the steering wheel was locked so I could no longer steer. Not knowing what else I could do, I jumped out of the van and ran behind it and tried to stop it from going any further down the street (in sandals of course). Luckily, about 20 feet later the van finally came to a stop. Also, luckily no one else was outside to see that I had just run over my grass, nearly hitting our mailbox and nearly running into a parked car. When I got back in the van Spencer asked what I was doing and why I had jumped out of the van.

I started the car again and this time let the engine run a while so that it was not idling so high. I also began to pump the brake and after about 10 pumps I could feel that there was more pressure behind it. I put the car into drive and let it go about 5 feet, then applied the brakes and this time it actually stopped. I ended up doing this several more times and every thing appeared to be working great. I even drove the van out onto the main road and tested to make sure all was well.

Moral of the story: Changing your brake pads is very easy, and you can learn to do anything on the Internet. However, just make sure the directions include all the steps, like Step 7: Start the car and pump the brakes before putting the car into gear.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Higham Cousins May 2008

So we had a photo shoot the other night with Tanner, Dallin and Alyssa. Ok, not a real photo shoot, but we did take some pictures. Tanner is the oldest (7 1/2 months), then Dallin (6 months) and Alyssa (4 months), although you can't really tell from these pictures who is the oldest. I think they all look about the same age. Hopefully they will be the best of friends growing up!
Tanner, Alyssa, Dallin
Alyssa and Tanner

We put all the kids down on the ground to try to get a good picture of them all. It started ok . . .
. . .then went down hill from there.
Alyssa was the first to start crying. . .

. . .then Dallin. . .

. . .and then they all had had enough.
This last picture is just to show the size difference between Alyssa and Tanner. Tanner is at the bottom of the growth percentile charts while Alyssa is at the top.