Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Senior Showcase!

I can't believe we only have one semester of school left! But as a senior in the Communications department, Barry had to do a 50 hour project and then present it to the school. He started his "Closet Geek" podcast with his four brothers nearly a year ago for this project, and it has been an awesome experience. Last week's podcast had over 120 listeners! That's so exciting because it takes years to build a fan base, and they have been doing so well! He even has a few European listeners who love the show! He and his brothers have decided to keep going and I see great things in their future! 

So here is his display for the showcase. There were about 50 students and each one got half a table to present their project. He gave out super hero candy and wore the rainbow bow tie he just got from a Geek-themed "Loot Crate" box. (check out if you want to know what I'm talking about).

We also printed off a Closet Geek t-shirt and did a drawing for that. 

It was a great and fun night! And I am so proud of his hard work. 

Lucky Day!

It was another Magical St. Patrick's Day at the Ricks house. The night before, we all colored leprechaun pictures and then built the traditional leprechaun trap out of the giant lego blocks. The kids left our pictures outside of the trap as a gift, and then put pennies inside to lure the little creatures in. Unfortunately they got away.
The kids were amazed to see the leprechauns used green ribbon to climb up the door, to get it open. 
 The little stinker destroyed their traps, got green foot prints everywhere, knocked all the coats off of the coat rack, and all the shoes off the shoe rack... It was a huge mess. (Which, in retrospect, was pretty stressful since we invited people over for the evening!)
Jaye thought it would be funny if the leprechauns thought this little mega blox guy was real, and the little leprechaun did! Apparently it was a girl, because it left a kiss on the toy's cheek (thank you dry erase crayons!) and it remembered to leave the tiny note this year. The note told the kids that they'll never catch her, but since they left the leprechaun some pictures, it left them some of its treasure. 

They had to search through the huge mess to find their chocolate treasure (which took FOUR stores to find!
). Jaye's was in her shoe, Grayson's was in his hood, and Laycee's was in her tea pot.

Then of course, on to traditional GREEN breakfast. Barry is such a trooper, he went to the store at 6 a.m. to get eggs. So we had sausage, green eggs, green french toast, and green milk. I love Grayson's face in this picture! He wanted to reenact his response to seeing the food, silly kid. 

Jackson got green beans. Nasty. 

I love St. Patrick's Day. It is actually a holiday to honor St. Patrick who taught Christianity to the Irish people. I don't know how it got turned into a big drinking holiday, but the original theme is AWESOME. And since the holiday fell on a Monday, we invited two other families over for Family Home Evening. Barry taught the lesson. Legend says that St. Patrick used a three-leaf Shamrock to teach the Trinity (but we changed it to the Godhead- Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost). So Each kid got a coloring sheet of a Shamrock and the Godhead. 

Then we played "Pass the Potato". One person was in the middle with their eyes closed while everyone else passed the potato. When the person in the middle shouted "Leprechaun!" whoever was holding it was out. The game was o.k. Except all the kids got out quickly, and only adults were left in the end. 

Then we did "Pin the shamrock in the Leprechaun's hand." The kids had a round and the adults got a turn. If you can see in the picture, the Leprechaun is on the door, and Laycee is pinning hers on our dryer! I think she was dizzy. 

The adults weren't much better than the kids. 

After this game, the kids all went into another room while the adults hid little packaged shamrock cookies around the room for them them to find. After the search, we ended the night with brownie sundaes topped with GREEN mint ice cream and green sprinkles. 

It turned out to be such a fun day!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Work in progress

I came to a realization the other day. Our ward Relief Society asked me to watch two little kids for a full day. As I prepared for the huge task, I started thinking of fun things we could do all day, and different ways I could entertain the kiddos. 

And, since life never turns out the way one expects, all four of my kids got sick so I had to do an emergency cancel for the day of babysitting. But as I thought about the plans I had made, it made me think... "Why was I willing and somewhat excited to put so much effort into making the day enjoyable for someone else's kids, when I never put that much thought into my own?" It really surprised me to realize how lacking I am with my own children. They are my full-time job, I should be putting in a full-time effort to make the most of our time together. 

We had a lesson about motherhood and the declining birthrate the other day at church, and one mother (whom I truly admire so much), said that mothers put too much emphasis on the negatives of child-rearing. Complaining about life doesn't do much to inspire the next generation to desire having children. I find myself guilty of this... at most "girls nights", we all have a tendency to complain, or be somewhat negative about our kids, even if it's in a joking fashion. 

Here's the truth. Motherhood is hard. Stinkin' hard. And just when you think you've got it down, they change, and you've got to figure it all out again. It's monotonous, and sometimes I feel like I'm begging them to just watch one more hour of t.v. so I can get some cleaning done, or have some "me time". But, 20 years down the road, I'm worried that I'll look back and wonder why I didn't do more. Try harder. Love more. Play more. Smile and laugh more. Share more positive experiences. 

I don't want the reason why we do something fun be because I want another mother to be impressed with my ability to entertain her kids. I chose this career. And I want to make the most of it.  

Starting now. 

... When I'm done writing my blog. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

life is so hard.

I totally forgot to add this to my last blog post, and it's my favorite picture of the week! This is a picture of my two-year-old genuinely weeping because we all started singing along to "Let it Go" from Frozen, and she wanted it to be a Laycee solo.
Future Diva?

Another great week!

This has been a busy few weeks! Jackson is almost 7 months old already and since he has mastered crawling, he has decided to move onto the next big feat- standing! Ugh. I'm not ready for it. The second time he pulled himself to standing, he knocked off all our play station remotes and magazines on the t.v. stand. I can tell there are going to be fun times ahead.

 I am on the Relief Society meeting committee and was in charge of making the dessert for our Relief Society birthday. We had a Garden Party so I ended up making 80 cups of dirt cake. I went to the church the morning of the party, let the kids go crazy in the gym, while I spent 2 and 1/2 hours mixing pudding like a mad woman. It was fun though. I had some peppy church music playing and was belting while stirring, and didn't even have to worry about bugging the neighbors! But the party turned out great, the desserts were good, and I think everyone had a fun time. ---- TIME FOR A NAP!

Jaye thought this necklace looked like a giant smile. She wanted to send the picture to daddy, and this time he wrote her back a long mushy text... he's learning. :) 

My kids have inherited our large mouths. PROOF ---->

All the better to sing with, I say. 

Now here is probably one of those moments I'll be looking back on with regret. One day Laycee was screaming and flailing while I was trying to change her diaper, so I grabbed the only thing within reach to entertain her... Jackson's old binky. I popped it in her mouth and she immediately calmed down. 

The next day she was relentlessly crying so I tried it again. I popped the binky in her mouth, and seriously folks... like magic, she fell right asleep. On my lap!

I hope I'm not setting her up to be one of those kids who still takes a binky at ten years old, but it is so Fantasically wonderful to just plug her up!!! Don't judge me. 

    So I was in the bathroom getting ready, and someone knocks on the door. Grayson answered it, and shouted, "Mommy, it's for you!" I walk down the hall to a uniformed woman at the doorway holding this GORGEOUS bouquet of flowers. My heart leaped a little as she smiled at me and said, "These are for you....r neighbor. She's not home. Can I leave them with you until she gets here?" 

    Seriously. I felt mad at my husband and he didn't even do anything wrong! I briefly considered just "forgetting" to tell my neighbor about the gift, but I did enjoy pretending these were mine as they graced my table for about half an hour.  

Curse you, flower delivery person. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Something new

This probably sounds weird, but I LOVE to write in my journal. I feel like it's important and I want my kids to get into it too. And since we don't watch t.v. on Sundays and needed to fill up the day with all kinds of family activities, thus began family journaling time. 

We took the kids to the Dollar Tree and let them all pick out a journal. So every Sunday, we pick a question to answer in our books. Grayson works so hard to write down words, but he does almost everything phonetically. It's so cute. 

Jaye likes to draw her answer, but has been getting more excited to try and write letters. 

And silly little Laycee works so hard drawing little petite circles all over her page. It's serious business. 

I love these sweet kids. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fun at Fan Faire

        Most of these pictures are already posted on my facebook page, but no one in my family is connected to the good ol' fb, so here's a recap on my blog. 

        So Barry managed "The Fan Faire" for BYU-I. It's basically a geeky convention, and we had around 200 people show up for the 4 hour event. In small college standards, it was huge! And awesome! Here are some pictures of our family at the photo booths. Excuse the cross-universes

After 6 and 1/2 hours, Laycee was NOT wanting to smile for the camera...
 I don't know how we got so lucky, but Jackson slept through most of the convention. PHEW!


Here are some of the fun costumes from our convention. 

Sora from Kingdom Hearts and Blue Link from Zelda
 Star Trek
 Medieval society 
 Two Doctor Who's
(their Sonic Screwdrivers are actually functioning T.V. remotes. I kinda want one)
 This little Link was the hit of the whole event. 
 Two links. 
I can't remember what her costume was, but she was one of our winners of this cute robot artwork from Scott Johnson. 

A picture of this super attractive man, hosting the event. 

 random costumes and huge fans

Wash and Zooey from Firefly. He even had toy dinosaurs. 

 Jack Frost. She won best homemade costume. Totally awesome! 
There was a big group of Steampunk group. I only got a pic of her. But she was so cute!

 And here is Barry's steampunk costume.