Sunday, July 31, 2011

I want to be a missionary now....

Last night, we had the opportunity to have the sister missionaries come to our home to teach a missionary lesson to a young man seeking the gospel. His name is Demarius and he's been meeting with the missionaries since March. The lesson was about following the prophet and the 10 commandments. It was such a good opportunity for us to teach our children about being missionaries now. We talked with them about what the sister missionaries had been doing and why it was important. And then we firmly stressed how important their good behavior was going to be! We didn't want them distracting Demarius from the Spirit. And they did a very good job of sitting quietly. Tate was the one who was the most distracting. He took this time to play with anything in reach and to babble loudly. Usually, he's a pretty quiet little guy, but not last night!  The sisters asked Spencer and I to share how following the prophet and the 10 commandments had helped us in our own lives. I hope the children listened as we bore our testimonies and shared our experiences. 
Spencer and I really enjoyed having the sister missionaries along with Demarius in our home. And it was really neat to see him in church and have him sit with our family. We are very grateful for this opportunity that helped us to teach our children about the importance of missionary work.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mr. Grow Up

Tate is growing up so fast, it makes me sad. He just figured out last night that he can stand and balance. And he thought he was something great! He did it for about 30 minutes and would clap after each time. Of course, we thought he was something great too and clapped and cheered right along! Ayden said "oh, mom he's learning so many things so fast. how come he can't stay little?" Ayden, those are my thoughts exactly.

video

p.s. Ayden came up with the title for this post.

Night Vision

I love my daughter's smile! It makes me happy to see that beautiful face all bright and happy. I told her today that when she smiles it makes her eyes light up and she looked beautiful. She politely smiled and said thank you. Then slowly her eyebrows furrowed and she looked confused. I asked her if she knew what that meant that her eyes light up. And she said thought for a second and said "does it mean I can see in the dark?" I love this girl!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Balloons

I made a donation for the children's hospital while at Walmart today. Ever since Ayden's surgeries at Primary Children's Hospital in Utah and all they did for us, we try to support others. So today when I added a few dollars to my total for a donation, the cashier asked if my kids wanted balloons. My first reaction was to say "no, thank you." I hate balloons. They either get stuck in the ceiling fan or deflate so fast that I spend the next day or so kicking it around before I finally get annoyed and pop it. But after seeing all 3 of their faces light up, I couldn't say no. Seriously, what is the fascination with balloons? Whatever it is, it made my little ones very happy. And who can argue with that?
Tate kept stealing their balloons.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bakin' Cookies

On Sunday afternoon, Spencer had to go into work for a few hours and took Ellie with him. That left the boys at home with me. While Tate was finishing his nap, Ayden and I made cookies. He is very eager to "learn new hobbies besides cars and football." So he tried baking! I let him do it all himself and only helped with the oven
being careful with the scissors

rolling the doll into balls. look at that concentration!

his favorite part was smashing them flat!
I told him that every good cook/baker must taste their food to make sure it tastes good. That was one piece of advice he was more than willing to listen to.
what's with this face?
 Even though his face doesn't show it, it did taste good. This was him going "mmmm, that's just how it should taste!"
carefully putting them on the wrack to cool

The finished product!
Ayden did a really great job and we had fun. It was really neat to spend this time one-on-one with him and see his excitement at his accomplishment.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Video Evidence

video
So I tried to upload this video with the previous post, but it wasn't working. So I added it here as more evidence of Tate's mischief! Coincidentally, we were watching America's Funniest Home Videos during the time of this little adventure. Ayden just knew this video would be perfect for it. I love Ellie's giggles and laughs in this video. Too precious.

The Adventures of Taters Shaw

Every night before bed, the kids request a story. Lately, they've asked that we tell them a story.  So Spencer and I made up "The Adventures of Taters Shaw". Each time we try to come up with something outrageous and funny for the kids. They love it.
Well, Saturday Tate had adventures that were all too real...

it's hard to be mad at that face 

Later that day.......


Even later that day.....

Seriously, what am I going to do with this boy! It's so hard to be mad when that sweet face looks up at you from the mess.

Summer Crafts: Shaw Style

In order to keep my kids from driving me crazy in their boredom, I have tried to do one craft each week this summer. Some have been more successful than others! Here are a few of my favorites.

One our first attempts was a treat pizza. I thought the kids would have fun picking the candy and decorating it. But of course they really only enjoyed eating the candy. I have no clue why Ayden is making this face.
 The next craft was a Monster bookmark for each of us. I let them choose their own paper and then I made the bookmark for them. This is how Ayden's turned out.
 Our next craft was a treasure chest. The kids like a show called "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" and asked to have a treasure chest like Jake's. So we set to work. We needed Spencer's help to construct the top of the chest.
where are Ellie's pants?
 Ayden and Ellie really liked this craft. They did most of the work and I helped with the glue gun. 

They loved putting the jewels on the box to make it look awesome, as Ayden told me. 
On the front, Ayden wrote "Teasure keep out"

And no treasure chest would be complete without a treasure map. So I drew up a treasure map for them. They spent the whole day playing treasure hunt. I would hide the box in some part of the house and they hunted for it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gulf Shores Vacation Part 3

Sorry these last few posts have been longer, but I still have one more from our vacation. On our last day, we decided to take a tour of the USS Alabama Battleship. 
view from our car
 We took a "guided" tour from the Captain. Wait a minute....
 It was so hot inside the battleship and of course that leads to mutiny. The kids were only interested for so long before we had to find more interesting things on deck.....
 When I said the kids got bored, I meant all the kids!
Even I took a turn. Look at me! Purse, stroller and all.

After the battleship, we headed over to a submarine. 

 In all the pictures we have from this day, in most of them Ellie is covering one eye. The sun was very hot and bright that day. Obviously, being on submarine meant that everything to see was below and it wasn't easy access for a stroller. So Spencer stayed up on deck while I took the kids below. It's amazing how anyone can live in such cramped quarters for so long with so many other people. 

Ellie thought it was "amazing" that the wheel was bigger than her!
 I can't believe how small the "doorways" are. At 5'3, I had to stoop, I can only imagine how it must be for anyone taller.
Even though I found it all very interesting, I must say that we rushed through the submarine part because of how hot it was down there.  By the end, all 3 of us had sweat dripping off us! And Spencer and Tate on deck weren't any better off. It was a fun way to end our vacation. 

Gulf Shores Vacation Part 2

On day 2 of our vacation we headed to the beach in Gulf Shores. We got there earlier in the morning hoping to avoid the heat of the sun for as long as possible. And I'm glad we did. 
 There were only a few people on the beach when we got there which was nice. The kids, as excited as they had been, were very nervous of the waves crashing against the beach. So we started off slowly by playing in the sand. Tate wasn't too impressed with any of it. 
 Pretty soon we were able to coax Ayden in the water if we carried him over the waves past the choppy part.
Eventually, we got all the kids to go in the water. And Ayden entertained himself by jumping over the waves on the beach. It was so fun to play in the water with the  family. Quite a few times we would get knocked down by a strong wave when we weren't paying attention. Many times I would get knocked down and couldn't stand up and would get tossed around some more only to come up to find Spencer laughing at me!

Spencer attempted to make a sandcastle with the kids but didn't very far because they kept getting distracted. And the kids hated getting any sand on them. Really? We're at the beach! There was a 20 minute time period of Ellie screaming on the beach that she had sand all over her and couldn't get it off. Fun Fun. 
That wasn't our only clue that they were getting tired.....

That pile of towels is really the pooped out Taters! So we decided to call it a day and pack up. Luckily, no one was sunburned, especially me. I burn so easily I was sure I would come out looking like a lobster. But thanks to 1-2 coats of sunscreen every hour I didn't!
Tired? I think so
 Our first trip to the Gulf was so much fun and we plan to make the trip again. With a beach only 4 hours away it's hard to stay away!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Gulf Shores Vacation Part 1

For the first time our little family took a family vacation. I know that sounds pathetic! But usually if we traveled anywhere it was to a family event like a wedding, blessing, or holiday, and then we called it a vacation. Being so close to beautiful beaches and ocean, gave us the perfect opportunity for our first vacation.
 
We drove to Gulf Shores, AL which is about 4 hours from where we live. Not all our passengers were wide awake with excitement! 

We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel that overlooked the bay. The kids loved the view. Tate kept crawling over to the window to watch the cars on the street.

There was a little park by the hotel where we took the kids to see the barges. Spencer met a new friend!
 

 Later we went to dinner at Wintzell's Oyster House. Seafood is not my favorite but I was a good sport and tried the shrimp and crab cakes. Seafood: still not my favorite!
The kids loved it, but especially Taters. I don't think his cheeks could get any more stuffed!

After dinner we went back to the hotel and tried (emphasize tried) to put kids to bed early so we could be ready for the beach the next morning. I think Spencer and I fell asleep before they did!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

Now that we are in Alabama we have been trying to adjust to the heat and humidity. The heat wouldn't be so bad but when you add humidity, the heat becomes unbearable. The temp may only be 95 but with the humidity it feels like 106. Which makes me MISERABLE. It's been quite an adjustment for the kids because they were used to running in and out of the house as they played outside with friends. Not only is it too hot to be outside but we haven't seen any other children in our neighborhood. A very drastic change!  So our days are spent either in the little pool on our patio or in the air-conditioned house. 
Mult-tasking: swimming and popsicles
Another change that has taken some getting used to is trees, lots and lots of trees. There are no wide open spaces.  Sometimes it's overwhelming and I almost feel claustrophobic. But it is a very beautiful change that we are getting used to. 

 One of the first things we did when we got to Alabama was to visit the Birmingham Alabama Temple. It is definitely smaller than the ones we are used to in Utah, but we are so excited to have one only 30 minutes away.
All together at last
We really do like our new home and already some of us are picking up on Southern talk like "y'all" and "fix'n to". It's pretty funny when Spencer interjects them into conversation without meaning to! Ayden will soon follow once he's in school and around it all day. It's only a matter of time before we all do it.

Our Move

When we first made the decision in February to move to Alabama, I thought I had plenty of time to get prepared and say goodbye. Spencer left in March and I stayed in Utah to get the house packed and let Ayden finish school. Our moving day wasn't until the end of May but it came too quickly and soon we found ourselves with a big moving truck packing up our belongings and saying goodbye.


Ellie and Ayden thought it was so cool to run in the empty truck and they couldn't believe that our "entire house" was going to fit.





But soon enough, the truck was almost full. The neighbor kids were helpful in making sure the truck was loaded.

We had to get a picture of all the kids by the truck!

 And of course we had to get one last picture as a family in front of our house. What you can't tell is that my eyes are puffy from all the crying(or maybe you can).


We loaded the truck and said goodbye on Saturday May 28th. On Sunday Spencer, his dad, and Ayden started the 3 day drive to Alabama. I was lucky not to have to endure 3 tortuous days in the van with 3 kids. Instead I flew with the younger 2 on the following Wednesday. Oh so much better!

Tate and Ellie loved to fly, especially when they had snacks. Ellie made sure to use her manners to request her own drinks on the plane. She was adamant that she do it herself! And she was a big help with Tate: keeping him entertained and fed.