Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Peter's First Birthday

Despite my trying to slow down the passage of time, Peter's birthday arrived. ( I have a hard time wanting to celebrate this. I think I'd rather cry.)

Here he is wearing the required birthday hat.
He had lots of fun with his presents. (As did everyone else.)He loves anything that includes balls.
Sadly, there was no fancy cake for him. Hopefully this is not a sign of birthdays to come for poor Peter. It's tough to be the last in a line of birthdays.
He started out just dipping his finger in the frosting to test things out.
But then moved on to mouthfuls of cake and frosting.
I just can't believe how much I love this little boy. And I can't believe that he is already a year old.
It just amazes me how much babies change in 12 short months.Happy Birthday Peter!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The School Play

Samantha finished up her school play tonight. She was an Oompa Loompa and a Candy Kid in Willy Wonka Jr. She loves that sort of thing. (She definitely got the performing gene from Shawn.) The kids all did a great job and you could tell they had fun.I, on the other hand, am just glad to have all of the early morning practices over with.

On a side note, my friend Eliza, had an impromptu lunch today. (Sadly, I didn't think to take my camera with me.) It was so fun to catch up with old friends who I don't get to see very often. And Eliza even made me a lovely birthday dessert. I am grateful for good friends.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Amelia Turns 6!

It was Amelia's big day today. I just love how excited kids get for their birthdays. (I'm trying to remember at what point I lost that enthusiasm for getting older.)I just love those big brown eyes, and that sweet smile. And she really is a sweetheart. Always looking out for everyone, taking care of her younger siblings, thoughtful and kind.
Always lots of fun for everyone to see what is under the wrapping paper.

Of course, our resident cake boss stepped in and created Amelia's self-designed cake, complete with flowers, her initials and a number 6, as well as the snowflake dancers from The Nutcracker - on a stage. (Try tying all of those things together.) Shawn was working with a new medium this time - fondant instead of the typical frosting. I think it opens up all sorts of design possibilities.

In true Stringham fashion, we only had about 15 or 20 minutes to celebrate. She very quickly had to unwrap her presents, blow out her candles, eat cake and ice-cream, and then we were off to Samantha's school play. Fortunately, it was enough for her.
I love that she carefully holds her hair out of the way while she blows out the candles.
And with a little assistance from Shawn, the candles are out.

I just can't believe how quickly she has gone from this:
to this:and from this:
to this:
Happy Birthday Amelia!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Brotherly Bonding

Just a little bonding moment for the boys. Of course, they were both sitting there next to each other, plinking away on the keys, providing the perfect photo opportunity, but by the time I grabbed the camera, the moment had passed and Peter was on the move again. So this photo will just have to serve as a reminder of the moment that I missed.

In addition to climbing on keyboards, this little stinker just took off up the stairs yesterday with no real warning that he had developed that skill. However, it's really the going down the stairs that's the scary part. Let's hope he learns that one soon.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Let The Wild Rumpus Begin

'Tis the season for celebrating birthdays around here. Today was the first of 3 birthdays in 5 days. Just how much cake and ice-cream can we consume in a 5 day period? I'll let you know.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Cleanout

Since my brother, Matt, is moving to Chicago, Shawn thought it would be a good idea to use some of Matt's moving truck space to get some of his dad's stuff back to Chicago as well. He has been working really hard to make this happen. The most exciting thing of all is for me to have use of this little storage room again! Hallelujah! You have no idea how much stuff I have just waiting for a place to be stored.That empty space is beautiful!

Another result of all of this storage cleanout, was the unearthing of this beauty right here:

A 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Since Quincy has no plans to take it to Chicago, it is ours to do with as we please. I will withhold judgement until I see if it will run.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Another One From the History Books

I came across this photo while looking for yesterday's post. Hard to believe that this was just about a year ago. I don't remember laughing then, but it's pretty funny to me now.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On This Day in History

Today's photo(s) of the day come from 2007. I decided to look back and see if I could find a photo taken on March 24th of a past year, and 2007 was the winner.
3 Girls
Amelia and Samantha
Amelia and Duffy

March 24, 2007: Samantha had recently turned 6, Amelia was 5 days shy of her 3rd birthday, and Megan was 9 months old. My how they've grown!

A Little Unclear on the Concept

We stopped by my parents today to drop something off and this was part of the conversation between Amelia and Grandma Judy.

A: Where's Grandpa Ralph?
GJ: He's at the temple.
A: Which temple?
GJ: The Salt Lake Temple. He works there on Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings. And do you know what he gets to do?
A: What?
GJ: He gets to marry people.
A: But he still likes you?

At this point both my Mom and I try to explain about how he is the one officiating and not the one actually getting married.

GJ: When you grow up Grandpa can marry you.
A: (Looking a little doubtful). I think I want to marry someone else.

I guess we need to do a better job of explaining.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Family Portrait by Amelia

Amelia has been extremely prolific lately with all of her drawings and notes for us. This was one from this morning. These particular drawings were obviously strongly influenced by her kindergarten experience. There happens to be another Amelia in her class, so all of her papers have to be labeled Amelia S. She carried that theme straight through on her family portrait. I got a kick out of the Mom S. and Dad S., and the arrows indicating which person is which.

I didn't get to have a body like everyone else because she ran out of room, and Peter was the only one wearing a hat. My hair is a bit curlier than it has been in years, but this is a picture I will love to remember.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Fever

Even the youngest among us has it - a great desire to get outside. My problem is that I really have a little more summer fever, I guess. I want to get outside and actually have it feel warm. (Not just this warmer than winter temperatures stuff!)After all, shorts, t-shirts and no socks make for much smaller laundry loads.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another Sign of Spring

One of the things we like to do as a family, when the weather is warm enough, is go for a Sunday afternoon or evening walk. Hopefully, the weather will continue to cooperate so this can once again be a regular occurrence.Another obvious sign of spring:
Jonas woke up the other morning and started sneezing repeatedly. Then he came running in and said, "Mom! Mom! It must be spring! I'm sneezing again!" Who knew that allergies could bring such happiness.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

30 Seconds

That's about how long I have to complete any task that I attempt lately. That's how long it takes from the time I set Peter down in one room to play with something, and then hurry off to unload the dishwasher or change the laundry, before I hear the pitter patter of little hands and knees coming towards me. This is my most frequent view of him.
Little hands clinging to my leg and begging to be picked up. (Most of the time, there is a ball in his fist as well.) He is generally pretty happy - as long as he is in my arms or on my lap.

We have started referring to him as either Cling (as in static cling) or Velcro. Both names are fitting as of late. I love that I am his most favorite person in the world. I really do. (I am well aware of how quickly that will change. I'm not sure that I always even make the top 10 list of favorites for my older kids and definitely end up on the least favorite list frequently enough.) But occasionally - just occasionally, I need more than 30 seconds to get something done.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Before and After

It's that time of year again, where we start thinking about shedding the winter shag and moving on to a sleeker spring version of hairstyles here. (Note: Jonas readily agreed to this only because he was promised that his grounding from video games would be over.)

The before:
The after:
In hindsight, I think Shawn wishes he had waited a couple more days because his head was cold when he went up to teach skiing today. Oh well, I see it as a promising sign of spring.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Trying to Be Brave

It was time for Amelia's blood tests today. We've been doing this for almost 6 years, but when we walk in there, I never know what we're going to get. There have been times when she walks in, sits down and holds out her arm, without fussing and making a peep. And there are times where she gets nervous and scared and has a few tears. (Still far better than the days when they would have to bring in 2 or 3 people to help hold her down while she screamed bloody murder, which brought several more people just to see what was going on.) Today wasn't too hard. I feel so bad for her. At the age of 5 she has had far more blood tests than I have in my lifetime. But she handles it well and I am grateful that a few blood tests and some medication keep her healthy.And now Shawn and I are trying to be brave. The refrigerator and freezer quit on us. So emptying the freezer was like throwing dollar bills into the trash. And when the repairman gave us the total bid, it was one of those where you say, (gulp)"I'm sorry, how much was that again? And how much would a new refrigerator cost us?" And I don't even want to know how many dollars I just tossed in the trash with all the spoiled food. Unfortunately (or maybe it's fortunately), Shawn just put the hotel room for our trip to Hawaii on the card last night. (And apparently, had we just vacuumed the coils somewhat recently, we could have prevented the problem in the first place!) Argh! I hate these unexpected monstrous expenses!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Those crazy leprechauns were at it again. Everyone woke up to find shamrocks, stars, glowsticks and chocolate coins all over their floors. And of course, a shamrock cookie for each of them.
One of the leprechauns must have had a hole in his pocket because he left a trail of chocolate coins that started outside and went all the way down the stairs. Of course, there were also Lucky Charms for breakfast in green bowls. (Nothing like a straight shot of sugar to start your day.) And our neighbors, the Billeters, brought us some green bread as well!

Lucky Jonas:
He was headed to space camp today. I've never seen him so excited to get to school. He was all ready to be in charge of left wing power distribution on the Voyager. (Hopefully, now he'll decide that math is valuable. No going into space without that math and science background.)
Lucky Samantha:
She found the most chocolate coins which, of course, made her very happy. (She may have taken a few that weren't meant for her.) To keep the peace, I had everyone turn all of their coins over to me so I could control the sugar intake just a little.
Lucky Amelia:
Loves Lucky Charms, so already a great day. (One of the reasons I never buy them is because she tends to eat only the marshmallows and leave all the cereal.)
Maybe not so lucky Peter:
Managed to shut himself into the shower. I could hear him yelling from somewhere, and this is where I found him. He seemed to be enjoying himself, though. (When viewing these photos, please look past the filthy shower and just focus on the cute baby.)

Lucky Me:
I got some help with the laundry! (OK maybe not, but at least they weren't unfolding the already folded piles of clothes.)

Lucky Shawn:
He woke up married to me. That's pretty darn lucky.
A lucky day for all of us. (If you write the word "lucky" enough times, it starts to look a little funny, doesn't it?)
Happy St. Patrick's Day!