My brother and his wife were in IF for a couple of weeks before Tanya's internship in Arkansas, so we had a lot of fun hanging out with them. They arrived a couple of days before Easter so I took Tanya shopping with me when I bought some new clothes for my little crew. Tanya was a lucky charm-- I found cute, inexpensive, matching Easter outfits for all of us! I am sure that my time for dressing the boys in matching outfits is quickly running out, so I take advantage when I can.
The next week, I took Thomas to the orthodontist for his last of a set of three appointments in April-- and this one was to get his braces. Even though it might seem early for braces, we're actually hoping to correct and prevent with "early intervention". So far so good-- he looks adorable and he has been a real sport with all of his new food (candy) restrictions.
While Jake and Tanya were here, we had plenty of fun excursions. I'm sure Chris would say that his favorite of these trips (mostly involving eating) was to Sammy's-- a little diner/shake place in Rexburg. We actually discovered Sammy's on a trip to Provo a few months ago and Chris became an immediate and diehard fan of their famous "pie shakes". Chris described learning about a shake made with vanilla ice cream and a whole slice of blueberry pie as a nearly spiritual experience. He said something about how he had always known it was true, just hadn't realized it until someone told him. Hilarious.
Gordon's kindergarten teacher sent home a note saying that Gordon was invited to share his reading skills by reading a book to his class. We picked a fun and simple book, then Neil and I went to the class to see him "perform". He did such a great job-- he is a very confident kid and seemed at ease reading to his whole class. I am thrilled with how much he has learned this year and it was fun to see him show off his skills.
This last week, we celebrated for three days for Mr. Gord-- he turned 6 on Sunday! On Friday we brought treats to his class, then on Saturday we went out for breakfast, had a lunchtime party at the Aquatic Center (with sixteen kids... holy cow), then extended the party to the slip and slide and sprinklers in the backyard. On Sunday, his actual birthday, we had another yummy breakfast before church, then a birthday dinner and ice cream and Ghirardelli brownie sundaes for dessert. Whew-- I think I put on a pound for every year of Gord's life!
My friend Becca wrote a fantastic article/post about her son, Brigham, who I really think was cut from the same cloth as Gord. I know for sure that I'm in "Parenting 505" with Gordon-- and where Becca is probably getting an A, I'm hoping to squeeze by with a C-! Case in point-- she shares about a day where she prays to be able to get through the evening with her rambunctious kiddo; I was thinking about how most of my end-of-day prayers are those of repentance for not quite making it without losing my temper!
While Nonny and Bob were here, we were discussing Gord's insane energy, stubbornness and determination, and when I complained about my parenting difficulties, Nonny said, "yes, but he is growing up to be such a neat, neat person." That comment has really stuck with me and has helped in the past couple of days when birthday-boy-brat syndrome has shown its ugly face. Gordon can be a very challenging child, but he is also an incredibly sweet, intelligent, friendly, and wonderful little boy. He truly is a neat person and I'm so glad that we have the opportunity to learn and grow from each other.
Finally, we're down to the last few weeks of school and a countdown to summer. I am SO EXCITED for this summer-- Neil is finally emerging from baby-hood and I think I can take him places without a stroller, and Tom and Gord have been busy planning all of the outdoor activities they want to do. Gordon got a new fishing pole for his birthday and Chris has already logged several hours checking out the local trout ponds. Plus, last weekend, a glimpse of summer weather blessed us for a couple of days and we took advantage in the back yard!
Oh, that sun felt goooooood. It's chilly and cloudy again, of course, but just knowing that warm weather is just around the corner is enough to make everyone smiley. Let the countdown begin!
One more picture-- our cute neighbor boys and my boys are thisclose (they even fight like actual brothers) and they all got Club Penguin toys for Easter. I don't particularly care for Club Penguin, or any video game for that matter, but the boys were very excited about their little plush toys. They played outside all day. Cute, cute, cute.