Easter at Our House

Oh, Easter! It's almost as fun as Christmas. This year I wanted to capture the true meaning of the holiday, much like Christmas. We spent the week talking about Christ and the Resurrection. We had a Family Night and watched this video.

We also had plans to visit our families in Utah. We decided not to go, though, because of a number of reasons. When I called my mom to tell her she said, "okay, then we're coming there." I didn't tell the kids they were coming and when they woke up Saturday morning there was a lot of giggles and smiles and hugs when they found Grandma and Grandpa and Alina. SO FUN! We spent Saturday morning at Landon's baseball game. {Austin pulled his loose tooth out while we were there - it left his other loose tooth hanging like a moon-shiner's tooth. We laughed at it all day.} Landon was SO happy to get one of the two hits of the game. It was hilarious when he rounded third base and made it to home, paused, looked at us and posed with a huge grin, and then kept running back to the dugout. It really made him happy to have his Grandpa there watching him.

The boys and Alina spent the rest of the afternoon motorcycling at the dunes while my mom and I stayed home so I could do a couple up-dos for some girls from church going to prom. It was fun to do an up-do again...girls and prom, oh the excitement! I'm sure my mom was a little bored waiting for me to finish, sorry mom! Then we did some Easter shopping and made some GF hamburger buns so we could BBQ when the kids and dads got home. Of course we did some egg-dying after dinner. The kids are getting quite artistic. I should have taken more pictures. Landon made an egg for each of his favorite college football teams: Hawkeyes, Airforce, UofU Austin's eggs were most colorful, stamping and dying and coloring and dying again. And Isaac impressed me by writing his name for the first time on his eggs - well to be honest he spelled his name Issssss, but still, he wrote it on every egg. I love how happy they all were. And it was fun to have Alina there too. She was so cheerful and fun to be around all weekend. She's good at squelching the occasional argument between the boys too.

Sunday morning came early! It really was like Christmas. The kids were so excited to look for their baskets and eggs. Since Aust can't eat eggs the Easter Bunny hid plastic eggs with jelly beans in them; more of a hit then the hard-boiled kind, I must say. The boys had fun with their Hex Bugs and Ella fell in love with candy, especially her candy necklace. My mom described it well: she acted like we would act if we found a million dollars - she had pure joy and excitement with every lick.

I also bought some confetti-filled eggs for the kids to throw at each other outside. They braved the cold, and had a great time with the eggs. Then they got the water balloons from their Easter baskets and stayed outside until they were SOAKED! It was freezing outside, but they didn't care. They had so much fun throwing eggs and balloons at each other - I think I'm going to have to get those every year.

We had a HUGE, YUMMY Easter Dinner and then after the traditional 10 minute fight with Austin to get him out of the car so they could leave, my parents were headed home again. It was such a peaceful, enjoyable weekend. I loved it. I know it was an effort for them to come, so Thank You Mom and Dad.

Monday, the day was cloudy and cold but I put Ella in a little spring outfit anyway, because I was in the mood for spring. Later, I was cleaning my bathroom. I had gathered up all the Easter baskets and eggs to put away for next year and they were in my closet. Little Ella-girl came walking into the bathroom with a basket and looked so cute, I couldn't help myself. I had to grab the camera and a little impromptu photo-shoot. I was wishing I hadn't rolled up her pant legs, but I wasn't planning it so I didn't think to unroll them for the pictures.



I was planning on giving our Landon-Boy some press, and I'm still going to. There's a lot going on in his almost nine year old life. I want to post all about it. Last night he and I went out to dinner after baseball practice - Just The Two of Us... and I LOVED it. I really, really enjoyed him. Lately, it seems that every time he wants to "talk" one of his little siblings is interrupting with some kind of urgent need. I was feeling a bit distant from him and our little dinner together was the perfect way to reconnect, no distractions, just listening to all the funny things that go on in his head.
But today is just not the day to tell you all about him because I have some other thoughts that are crowding out my happy thoughts. I gotta get them out so I can focus.

So for NOW, I am TRYING *to be more positive in my thoughts and words *to take nothing for granted *to live in the moment and plan for the future *to help the elementary school come up with an allergy action plan that is suitable for Austin *to figure out a way to help Austin be a "normal" kid

I have had three meetings with the principle, over the past couple of months, regarding Austin's food allergies - focusing on the Peanut Allergy, because that is the one that is LIFE THREATENING. Here's what I'm asking for:

-Staff Training: recognizing signs of anaphalaxis and knowing what to do and how to use the epi-pen {as of my last meeting, only ONE person in the school knew how to use the epi-pen. That is unacceptable to me - what if she isn't there? what if they can't find her? what if... I think ALL staff should be trained to use the epi-pen, the sooner he gets the shot the less likely he will die or suffer brain damage from lack of oxygen}

-Ban of Peanut Products in the Classroom: this is a touchy subject. In Florida parents are picketting to remove a 1st grader from school. They are saying some MEAN things that rock me to my core. This website has a video from CNN that talks about this case. It also lists some of the things people are saying based on this case, two examples:

"Really? I shouldn't have access to a peanut product anywhere "in public" because of your kid's problem? Man, you make me want to scatter peanuts everyplace I go. Sounds like a gene pool that needs to be drained."

"You do everything you can, but at some point you've just got to let some kids die. Are we at that point with banning peanut butter? I don't know. But the survival of any species can't continue when the weakest are allowed to pass along their sickly genes."

Comments such as these, help me realize that I am the minority, and there are STRONG opinions out there. I can not understand how people can be so callous and just plain mean. But that's beside the point. I'm not going to win, trying to change those kinds of opinions. But there's gotta be some kind of compromise and balance. I get that people have the right to eat whatever we want. We also have the "right to bear arms". Yet, guns are banned in schools, as they should be. A peanut for Austin is just as dangerous as a loaded gun. I am asking the school to ban peanuts in the classrooms. Students can eat it in the cafeteria where it can be controlled. Which brings me to my next point in the action plan.

-Providing a CLEAN nut-free table in the cafeteria (if I had my way, I would ban nuts from the entire school, but apparently, there are children "that will ONLY eat peanut butter and we can't force them to eat something else." Furthermore, this is such a TEENY-TINY town that the principal is VERY concerned about backlash from parents...really concerned. And I too, want them for me not against me - or Austin)

-Asking kids to wash their hands as they enter the room after lunch: there is concern with this taking away from the students educational time. I can understand that, as well. However, hand washing will benefit all children for general health and wellness reasons. And with sinks in the classroom, it can be done quickly and efficiently.

-Decreasing the amount of nuts in school, in general: I've asked the school cafeteria to come up with a substitute for Uncrustables, which are served everyday. It's proving to be a lot more difficult than expected, because of financial reasons, and the need for the cooks to "make" the peanut-free sandwiches themselves instead of just opening a box of pre-made ones.

I feel like maybe I'm too close to this issue to assess if fully, because I'm sitting here trying to figure out what the big deal is? Why is it so hard to just reduce the amount of peanut butter from the school (by keeping what people bring from home in a controlled space and not serving it from the hot lunch line). And why is it such a big deal to assign a table in the cafeteria to be peanut free?

I've been in two other school districts that were "peanut free" and didn't think twice about it (even before I realized the severity of Austin's allergy). In fact, Ada County (Boise school districts - within an hours drive) have all adopted a peanut-free allergy protocol, according to our allergist. So, I'm left to wonder, can't we just copy that protocol and put it into affect next year?

As I write this, I am aware that it might sound as if the school isn't working with me. The principal, actually, has been quite sympathetic and has put many phone calls in to others in the "know". She is willing to do what needs to be done but she also has lots of pressure from, not only other parents, but even staff within the school that just can't fathom the thought of not being able to eat nuts at school. So that's where we're at. My options: keep working with the school, drive Austin to Boise everyday, Homeschooling, a private school with (according to people that attend) very supportive staff and less parents to deal with. What I want to do is just let him keep going to school, SAFELY. I'd like your opinion, am I being unreasonable?


Flashback Friday

We're not flashing back too far, just to Ella's birthday. I know it's been a while. Her birthday was January 25. We celebrated Januray 24 because we had basketball and Pack meeting on her actual birthday. We had a sweet butterfly birthday party for her. I LOVED the cupcakes, even though they were no where as perfect as the pictures from the book I found them in, Hello Cupcake.

Anyway, in the life of a one year old 2 1/2 months makes a big difference. She's grown up a lot...I can't believe it. Here's some of my favorite POTD's (picture of the day) of her since her birthday.

These next pictures are from the little "photo shoot" I finally got around to doing so I could get some pictures of her at 1. I'm not a pro, by any means, so be forgiving. I'm having a hard time getting her to look at the camera, these days. Also, unless she is trapped on a high place she can't crawl off, I can't get a good pic of her - the girl is all over the place; and LOVES to chase me when I'm on the ground trying to get a picture of her. Oh, and, by the way, I do realize she's wearing pink in EVERY one of these pictures. It drives Cameron crazy, how much pink she wears. I can't help myself, I love it! I tell him - at least she doesn't have a bow the size of her head on all the time. She does wear other colors, but, I guess these pictures are the proof, she's mostly a pink girl. (she was playing peek-a-boo in this picture; I love it!)
"really, Mom? don't you think you got enough already?"

Ella at {ONE}

*she still drools a good amount of the time

*she has a cowlic that makes her hair stand straight up, unless it's confined by a little mini-pony tail....or if I comb it smooth and straight right after her bath it stays down, but then she kinda looks like a boy :)

*she LOVES to dance

*she weighs 21 pounds

*she has 8 teeth

*her favorite food is meat - especially chicken, steak, and roast

*she waves bye-bye and good night, but not hello

*she says "uh-ooo", "all done", "mo" (more), "waz sat?" (what's that? always while pointing to something), "socks", "mama"

*she plays peek-a-boo, unsolicited. She covers her eyes and then peeks out until she sees someone watching her, then she uncovers her eyes and yells, "boo!"

*she started walking at 14 months

*she really likes music - any music - even my annoying voice! she will almost always calm down when I sing to her

*she really, REALLY hates diaper changes

*she loves baths

*she loves putting things in - shape sorters, piling her grocery cart with toys, putting bath toys in the bucket, throwing clothes in the dryer, even a ziploc bag and a handful of cheerios will keep her entertained for long stretches

*she is a blanket SNOB - she HAS to have one of these blankets (we have eight!) to sleep with, no other blanket will satisfy. She wads it up in her hands, finds a corner and sucks on it, when it gets wet she finds another section and does the same thing. If she is tired, she wants her blanky, even in the car. Those things are worth every penny they cost. Trust me. I know they are the reason she has slept so well.

*she still has one bottle a day - at night before bed. Sometimes she goes to bed without one, but then she wakes up in the wee hours of the morning wanting one, otherwise she sleeps well from 7:30pm to 9:00am every day - angel baby

*she follows her brothers around, but always comes back to find me

*I feel like she is a puppy sometimes - crawling around, hanging onto my pants, whining for snacks, it's pretty funny

*she wont leave the stairs alone - loves going up, screams for someone to come get her and bring her back down

*her favorite room of the house is Isaac and Austin's room, if you can't see her, she's there, getting into their lego guys, and other chokables...some days are exhausting, keeping her out of there.

*she's always STARVING when she wakes up from her nap

*she's the only one in our family that EVERYone gets along with ALL of the time... We LOVE her


She WALKS {...well, kinda}

I love those chubby little Flintstone Feet

She walks, but only a few steps at a time...crawling still gets her where she wants to go faster. She is especially good at walking while pushing her grocery cart or a laundry basket. If you hold her hands she will walk around as long as you let her. She is so so proud of herself when she takes a few steps on her own. She starts walking, looks around to see whose watching, and then starts clapping for herself.


IF I could read ONE person's mind...

...It would be HIS

this boy baffles me...he makes me wonder what he's thinking E.V.E.R.Y. DAY... he teaches me patience - He teaches us ALL patience - Landon gave me a note today; it says, "Heavenly Father knows your tough, He gave you Isaac."

Oh how I love these boys of mine.

Zacky, you are the funnest, most loving, incredible little boy. And you are FULL of PASSION. That's why when you are happy - you are ECSTATIC, and when you are mad - you are ...INSANE...there's just no other word for it! What are we gonna do with you, Crazy Boy?! I wish wish wish I could know what you were thinking so I could figure out a way NOT to set that 'insane passion' off, 'cause you are wearing me out! How does that 3-year old brain work, Little Dude?!