Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Once upon a time...

My little girl is FOUR YEARS OLD!!! Where has the time gone?!?! And like a fickle female, my daughter kept changing her mind about what kind of party she wanted. "Halloween party!" "No Princess party!" "No I want boys at my party!" "I only want girls at my party!"                      

   I have a taste of what it'll be like when she's a teenager. 

But, she finally decided she wanted to have an all girl, princess party. So we invited seven little girls to dress like a princess and come to her "royal celebration."

 Laycee got to come too. But the night before, Grayson asked, "Can I go to a friend's house tomorrow. I don't want to be at a party with a bunch of girls." (Please Son. Keep that attitude through High School!!!) 

 We started the party off by painting everyone's nails (Jaye's most favorite thing to do.) After the girls were finished, they got to decorate their very own princess tiara. (Note to self: Next time, label EVERYTHING with the kids' names. They do not hold onto to things, or wear tiaras forever, and it gets messy when they think someone else is wearing their crown!) 

    I blew up several balloons to cover the living room floor, and so the girls were told they had to find their princess treasure. They each had to find one necklace, ring, wand, bracelet, and princess wrist band among all the balloons. So we turned on the disney music and let them attack the balloons to find their treasure. Surprisingly, there was no fighting. Or crying. And it was so cute to see the girls putting on all their jewelry. 
After the treasure retrieval, everyone got to decorate a cupcake with pink or purple frosting and sprinkles. It was unbelievable to see that little number 4 candle on my baby's cupcake! She is getting so big. After the cupcakes (another note to self: next year, make chocolate cupcakes too. Apparently not all small children like Fun-fetti cupcakes as much as I do. Who knew!?) 

So then she opened gifts. Which was hilarious. A few of the little royals cried because they either A) wanted to immediately open the toys and play with them but weren't allowed to or B) they wanted to keep the gift that they had given her. 

It was a little stressful to keep all the little girls happy, but I had some awesome moms there to help out. And my little princess absolutely loved it all, so this is one satisfied queen. 

*the funnest part for me was taking Jaye to Walmart after the party to spend her birthday money. We let her wear the crown, so EVERYONE was wishing her a happy birthday. She loved it! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

you learn something new every day...

     During a play date at my house, all the kids requested drinks. Grayson poured everyone a cup full of apple juice, and proceeded to chug his. This was followed by a gigantic burp, which was then followed by proud giggles by my son. 

     His friend looked at him incredulously and said, "that was not funny." Grayson assured his friend that it was funny and burst into another fit of giggles. 

    "Well," said the friend in response, "I am a Mormon, and we don't laugh at burps." 

    Grayson asked, "What's a Mormon?"

    "It means you don't laugh at burps."

    At this point, Laycee tasted her apple juice (which she doesn't like) and spit it out. The boy turned to her and proclaimed, "Mormons don't spit either."

What an educational play date for all of us uncouth Ricks! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Life with Four

      I haven't written a blog since June. I would say that is really pathetic of me... but I was busy baking a baby and wallowing in misery. Which is a pretty good excuse for not writing, if you ask me! But I am hoping to start up again, at least a few blogs a month. 

      Today, I'm just posting about life with the new baby, of course! First off, kudos to Target for having baskets like these! It's the FIRST time since Jackson was born that all FOUR kids were contained! Every store should have these shopping carts- GENIUS! 

    My thoughts about four kids. NOT as hard as I was expecting. For nine months, I asked mothers how hard four kids were to them. The best answer was a woman who nearly laughed maniacally as she described she felt like she was living in a circus. And with the laugh that accompanied her answer, I'm assuming she wasn't picturing the fun, happy kind of circus! 

     That woman had me nervous I would be thrown into the three rings, and life would be miserable. But as I sit here typing, nothing really feels all that different, except I have a baby sleeping on my lap, while I type over his head. 

       Also, I thought for sure we would be home-bound forever more, there was just no way I could handle taking four kids out at once. But as my "Target" photo has proven... we go out. A lot. And it's not as bad as I pictured. Although, I do strangely feel like taking a nap any time we come home from an outing. (Insert sarcastic voice) I wonder why?

    Today, I even braved a trip to Idaho Falls alone with all the kids! All for the sake of free face-painting. I'm a sucker for FREE. We still had to cough up $15 bucks at Ijump (this AWESOME building that is like a giant trampoline floor), but it came with FREE face painting. TOTALLY worth it!  

Notice, Jackson is not pictured. Why? Because he's sleeping . 

     So to answer my own question, life is good. It feels like I still just have three kids along with this adorable little pet that sleeps on my lap all day. I know when I blink, I'll suddenly be chasing a wrecking-ball toddler. But life with four so far... is a circus. The happy, fun kind. 

    PLUS, we can FINALLY call ourselves "The Ricks Six". I've been fantasizing about the day I could use that name.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fun day!

This past weekend our family had a blast at the Legacy Flight Museum's FREE pancake breakfast and airplane exhibit. First off, for being free, I was thoroughly impressed with the breakfast. They served not only pancakes, but sliced ham, hash browns, and orange juice. I must be small town, because that breakfast was awesome! 

Following breakfast, we walked around the museum portion. My kids (especially Grayson) absolutely loved all the guns mounted on the walls. Then we checked out all the airplanes on display. The cool thing about this museum is that all the planes are in working order, and we see them flying over Rexburg nearly every day. 

I have to admit, my Dad would be so disappointed in me because I didn't learn the history of any of the airplanes... I just liked looking at them. 


Naturally, we had to get our family pic in front of the "Mormon Mustang". Apparently, this was a famous WWII bomber that shot down three Nazi planes. Here is the link to a cute Mormon Message about the plane. 

I love this picture! In a previous post, I talked about how much Jaye loves bugs. Well, her other passion is rocks. In this picture she is showing me her "pretty rocks" which I needed to carefully hold while she climbed inside an airplane. 
 Jaye was obsessed with the rocks, but Laycee really only cared about all the dogs. The planes were only exciting to her in the sky. The grounded planes were about as interesting to her as math is to me. But the dogs... oh, the dogs. She was in heaven! In this picture, she is lovin' on a "Chi-Weenie". 

There was one really big airplane that allowed (or at least we assume we were allowed because the door was open, but no people were around) to climb in to the cockpit. 

We had a great FREE day together. 

Art camp

  I just happened to see online that the "Art Guild of Eastern Idaho" was hosting a FREE summer art camp for kids of all ages. Naturally, I jumped on that! So, for one hour, three days in a row, we walked down the street to the art guild for camp. They even let Laycee do it. Since it was free, I was expecting it to be really lame, but it turned out so fun! 

    On the first day, they did texture painting. They had a textured 5x7 wooden block that each kid colored with  pastels and then painted over with turpentine- which blended everything together. 

The second day they learned about all the different types of lines- straight, zig zag, etc. Then they spent the hour drawing a picture with a line-drawing challenge. 

The third day was the messiest day of all, they even provided shirts for everyone to wear. The kids made "sand sculptures". 

My kids had a blast! And I especially loved the price of the camp! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Girl's night

Barry and Grayson got to go to the annual Father and Son's camp out, and Jaye was so disappointed she wasn't allowed to go so I promised it was going to be a Girl's Night to remember. Friday morning I was helping run the Young Women's annual fundraiser yard sale, so Barry took the kids to the grocery store to pick out a treat for the night. 

After the boys left, Jaye's friend came over for some girly fun. We kicked off the night by decorating tiaras. (I just happened to find two left from Jaye's second birthday party in my craft box!) Laycee got to decorate a paper one I printed from the internet, but all the girls had fun doing stickers. Afterward, we made "princess necklaces" and then painted nails. After they were all done, they raided Jaye's costume box and pranced around like princesses. 

After Jaye's friend left, we put Laycee to bed, got in P.J.s, pulled out our candy, and crawled into Mommy's bed for a late night movie: Snow White. Jaye has never seen it so her reactions were adorable!

 "Don't eat the apple! It's poison!" 

Such a fun night, my boys need to go camping more often!

Buggin' out

To quote my friend, "I've known little kids who love bugs. But Jaye really loves bugs." 

You have no idea how ridiculously true this statement is! This little girl is OBSESSED with catching bugs and wants to keep them all. It doesn't even matter what kind of bug it is, but her most favorite are lady bugs... and worms. 

The other day we went to the park. Normal kids would just play on the play ground. But not the Ricks' kids! They're a unique bunch. First off, they were excited beyond belief to have found two big June Bug Beetles in the bathrooms, and brought those out to play with. Then they used their expert bug-tracking skills to a small exposed bit of dirt under the slide and dug for worms. 

When I told them it was time to go, Jaye begged me to let her take her handful of worms home. After I laid down the final "NO!" she started to cry. In compromise, I said, "how about we take a picture of your worms so you can always remember them." 

And here it is... In Memory of Jaye's Worms: 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No visit to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for me... :(

         My mom keeps asking me if I'm showing yet, because I've kind of just looked fat for most of this pregnancy... so here is a picture of me at exactly 30 weeks. And good job to my five-year-old who took the picture for me.

Little over a week ago, I found out I have gestational diabetes. It was a huge surprise for me who has had incredibly healthy pregnancies the last three in a row. After talking with the dietician, I felt so overwhelmed that I cried pretty much for the rest of the day.

That. Was. An. Interesting. Day.

(Thanks to my sister-in-law Rachel who is the greatest motivational texter in the world! She talked me through a bad day.)

It wasn't emotional for me because of the actual diagnosis, but honestly, the stress of having to keep a log book and eat and check my blood at scheduled times every day. If you know me... I am NOT an organized person! So the thought of needing to be organized or risk harming my unborn child is a pretty big trial for me.

Fortunately, so far... it hasn't been too bad. My kids LOVE watching me poke my finger. Apparently the sight of blood never gets old for small children- I should take that little poker with me on trips or to restaurants and just prick myself when they get rowdy! It would keep them entertained. Genius.

Anyway, I have struggled with writing down every little darned thing I eat, but I met with the dietician yesterday and she said my sugar levels look great and that I'm doing a great job. The diet hasn't been too bad either. It has actually helped me feel a little bit better.

So, although I have this little trial to bear for a few more months, I am so grateful. It could be a WHOLE lot worse!

                                           But prayers are still welcome :)

Family Home Evening

    Family Home Evening isn't always an uplifting experience at our house. It's usually more of a, "Hurry up and finish your cookie so we can put you in bed because we're really tired," kind of ordeal. But these last few weeks will be chalked as a win for the Ricks Family. Barry was in charge and decided to teach the kids about Ephesians 6:11-18- the Whole Armor of God.
     I found some cartoon body pictures online and fake-photo-shopped the kids' heads onto them. So each week, we focused on a different piece of armor. After we read the scripture about the piece, we talked about what it meant, and then the kids got to color that piece of armor and glue it to their body pic.
    They all LOVED the activity and I've been surprised how well they remember the title of each piece of the armor. We finished our Armor FHE segment by watching the seminary video on Youtube called, "The Armor of God." It's for teenagers, but my kids loved it. And now after a whole month of making these little warrior pictures, I love seeing the final product displayed on our "Art door."

Love in the bathroom

        My husband recently started his internship at a company in Idaho Falls. His work group call themselves "The Avengers", so I used the very last bit of my own personal precious birthday money to buy a little "Avengers" knick knack for Barry to keep on his desk at work. About 20 minutes before my husband got home from work that day, my son accidentally bumped the knick knack off the kitchen table and it broke. Before Barry ever got to see it.
        Blame it on being tired, poor, or the usual excuse- pregnancy hormones... but I just burst into tears. It was a really big deal for me to spend money on something so frivolous while we are in between semesters (AKA extreeeeemely poor), so needless to say, I was beyond consoling.
      Grayson kept trying to apologize, but I just really didn't want to be forgiving at the moment, so instead, I locked myself in the bathroom to cool off. I had been in there for just a few minutes when all of the sudden something was gently pushed under the door.
                     This sweet drawing: 

     He was letting me know that he loved me. And then I reeeeally felt like a horrible mom. That my kid was so worried I was mad at him, that he needed to send me a message of love. So I cried some more... out of guilt. But then I got out of the bathroom and hugged my sweet thoughtful son, and let him know that I loved him like crazy. And suddenly, the dumb Avengers knick knack didn't matter anymore.

             (I should just start handing out hand-drawn heart drawings to everyone... it really can fix a bad time.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Children... the artists!

I have great hope in my children's future! They express their art in so many ways. For instance...

Laycee loves to color. All over my journal entries, in both sets of our scriptures, on the dishwasher, on her body, on their toys, our expensive t.v. screen, and here is an example of her favorite canvas. The wall. This lovely illustration is in Grayson's room.

Grayson apparently has a future in cutting hair. I was on my computer while Jaye was chatting away and when I looked up I noticed her hair. I shouted, "What did you do?!?!" And without hesitation, Grayson booked it to his room. I asked Jaye, "you're not the one who cut your hair, are you?"

When I asked Grayson why he did it, he said, "I didn't mean to!" So apparently, he accidentally held a pair of scissors to her hair and unintentionally hacked off some bangs. Riiiiight....

So there you have it. The Future Monet and Paul Mitchell. I'm so lucky.

In a Galaxy far away....

Another FREE day of activities!!! And perfectly fitting for our geeky family! May 4th was National Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with You... Get it?) In honor of this important National celebration, Toys R'Us hosted a free lego star wars building day. So once again we loaded up the car and headed to Idaho Falls.

Every kid got to build on of these space ships and take it home.

                      I love Laycee in all these pictures. She is making a flying sound in all of them.

After building the ships, we moved on to the next most important national Day. FREE Comic Book Day! Woooo!!! We headed to the Outland Comics Store and picked up free comics for the whole fam.

Last year's free comic day had this freaky costumed woman... it was nice to have a non-freaky, Ghost Buster attending this year. He was the star of the party (made his own ghost backpack and it was pretty sweet.) Grayson refused to go stand by him, which was surprising because he believes in REAL Ghost Busters) but Jaye jumped right in.

                                                        Great Day for this family!!!

Earth Day

Sometimes, I forget that we are completely dirt poor because we are DANG good at finding cheap things to do as a family! Early in May, the zoo in Idaho Falls hosted an Earth Day Celebration... in other words- *FREE ADMISSION*!!!

We took the kids up for an exciting day of animal viewing. Laycee's never been to a zoo so it was especially fun to watch her light up with every animal, and make all the animal sounds (She's a little obsessed with roaring.) We took most of our pictures on Barry's phone, so there are actually no animals in my photos.

The petting zoo was hilarious. Jaye LOVES animals... from a distance. At one point all the goats tried to come get some treats from her and she started screaming. Barry had to run in and save the day. Maybe next time we'll stay on the outside of the fence.

You can tell we had a looooong day, this picture was taken only a few minutes after leaving the zoo. My girls were TIRED!

A ton of companies donated gifts for the Earth Day raffle, and out of the hundreds of people there... Our ticket was one of the few drawn! So fun! But by the time we made it to the table, all that was left was this gift basket of cleaning supplies from Melaleuca.  Oh well, a prize is a prize!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dating and Marriage activity

     This post is mainly for my Mom who wanted to see pictures. But this last Tuesday evening we had a combined Young Women activity about dating and marriage. The first half of the activity focused on the purpose of dating and virtuous living. Following this section, we announced to the girls that we were now going to go to their fake wedding reception where they could dream about what kind of future wedding (and groom) they really wanted.

    For the reception, there were three tables set up, and a cake table complete with an ADORABLE wedding cake made by my talented friend! While we ate the cake, a newlywed and a woman who has been married for 60 years spoke on the blessings of a temple marriage in their own lives... it was a sweet, wonderful evening. And the wedding cake was AWESOME!

I LOVE this wrapping paper, found it at Walmart of all places.

The little favors on the table were lemon heads and bliss chocolate (to go with the purple and yellow theme) and the attached note said, "Don't settle for a "sour" relationship when you can have eternal "bliss".
Cheesy, but they were so cute!

At the end, the girls got to get a gift from the "gift table". Each bag had a ring pop and a booklet with group date ideas, and quotes about dating, sexual purity, and eternal marriage.

The cake was soooooo cute, vanilla cake with raspberry filling, and homemade marshmallow fondant! And she made it all while miserably sick and newly pregnant. Talk about amazing!

I hope the girls felt inspired. I know it sure made me appreciate my marriage and my STUD-MUFFIN husband!