Friday, February 29, 2008

Clark's Gymnastics class

Every Friday morning at 10:30am, Clark attends this gym class, which is LOVES! He can hardly get his shoes and socks off fast enough to run through the door. Here's they're practicing on the "skinny" balance beam!
Here's Clark's "bear crawl". He just really loves all of this, and I can see his "wheels turning" as he tries to improve his technique each time around the circuit.
Clark is on the trampoline at the left of the picture. They have this circuit which includes jumping on the tramp, swinging on the bars, "shimmying" down the parallel bars, jumping over the pommel horse, and back around to the start. He smiles through the whole class, and occasionally waves up to us upstairs with a big grin. The pictures are out of focus because they won't let me use my flash, but you get the idea.
Here's my buddy, Johnny, who hangs out with me upstairs during Gymnastics. Yes, he is wearing Hello Kitty bandages. He hurt his finger on a treadmill at the Wixoms last weekend, and it was a bad one. I thought the lighting on this picture was really fun - no flash, just natural light.
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Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss!

Today the kids celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday at school, so we did Faith's hair to fit the part! Mommy had fun, and it brought a smile to Faith's face!

This is where the boys run every Friday morning when we go to help out in Mrs. Quattlebaum's class. I love that Grant wants us there, and the other kids just ADORE Clark & Johnny, and treat them like babies, getting them things, and helping them color pictures - it's so cute! I am happy that I can help the VERY pregnant Mrs. Q pass out papers, clean things up and be a runner while she endures the last 3 weeks of her pregnancy.
Here's my Grant at his locker just outside of his classroom!
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Friends respond with MORE answers to prayer

Our dear friends, the Ahrens family, sent us this e-mail in response to Andrew's write-up about the answers to prayers on Saturday:

"Last night at dinner, Jen shared with the family a story that she had read on Vanessa’s blog about how the Croshaws showed faith by praying to find a parking spot on a busy traffic day in Washington, D.C.

Late this afternoon at work, I found out that a very important document, which my client had been ordered by the Court to produce to other parties today, was missing. Eventually several individuals, including a file clerk, a paralegal another associate and myself, were all looking for the document, but we could not find it. As you can imagine, I became very worried and stressed for a moment, and did not know how I was going to get out of what seemed to be a very big problem. In the midst of these bad feelings, the story of how you had prayed to find a parking spot came forcibly into my mind. The thought came that if Heavenly Father can help us find parking spots, he can also help us find important legal documents, if we ask with the same child-like faith. Thereafter, the document was located from an unusual source outside my office in time to send it out today. I feel this was an answer to a prayer"

Does anyone else have an experience to share? Do tell! They are all faith-promoting and wonderful to hear about!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cute Prayer by Clark

Clark is always so sweet in his prayers, being grateful for things that we don't think of. For months, he's prayed for Anne-Marie, who was seriously hurt in a car accident, and now he prays "We're thankful that Anne-Marie is all better" because she has made a miraculous recovery!

Last night for Family Home Evening, Clark said this as part of his prayer:

"We're thankful that we can be home with mommy (he says this almost everyday and melts my heart)
We're SUPER thankful that that Mommy came home today (from Las Vegas)
We're thankful for our food storage that it will last forever
We're thankful for our the cans...and in the bags"

I have no doubt that when disaster strikes, our food storage will help us through, not only because we are prepared with it, but because that food has been blessed and blessed!
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Girls Weekend in Las Vegas!

Thanks to my generous husband, I flew out to join the Croshaw Girls Weekend, while Andrew used his amazing powers to become Super Dad for a few days! We had so much fun visiting, crying, watching a movie ("No Reservations"), learning from each other, and of course a little bit of shopping! We didn't go to "the Strip" once, and that was fine with me!
These are my cute sisters, Laurie, Suzanne and Emily with their babies Thomas, Brigham and Grace - all born within 2 weeks of each other. These women teach me so much, and I feel blessed to be in their family!
Here are all the girls, right before we left for church, and the Utah group started their trek home. From L-R is Emily, Suzanne, Laurie, Vanessa, Mom and Jenn, our soon-to-be new sister-in-law. She's marrying Jeff on May 31st, and we are thrilled! She gave me a new haircut this weekend, and took about 6 inches off! Thanks, Jenn!
These three were the center of our world this weekend - they just are so fun and different from each other! They each have their own personality and demeanor! I will treasure this weekend forever! I'm still thinking of all the lessons I learned from our conversations, about what really matters, how to teach our kids "hard" things, how to depend on the Savior and so much more. I love my Croshaw sisters!
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Andrew's experience with the kids

Andrew isn't much of a journal writer, but he documented this experience that happened on Saturday and I thought I'd share it with you.

Feb 24, 2008

The most amazing thing happened on the way to theMuseum yesterday. With Vanessa out of town, I packedthe kids up and headed down to the mall intent onvisiting the Museum of Natural History. It was around3 pm when we left here and I assumed that with alittle patience and a little luck we would find aparking space along the mall. I mean, who else willwant to be there on a cold, rainy, February Saturday? Well, apparently, an awful lot of people. Aftermaking a full round up and down the mall roads, it wasbecame evident that there were tons of people justlike me crawling along almost bumper to bumper looking for the brake lights to light up indicating adeparting vehicle. Looking at the clock and the amount of competition, I started to feel like it was areal possibility that we could spend more than an hourcircling without ever getting a break. Also, if we didn’t find parking in the next 30 minutes or so, it would be a very short visit to the museum before it closed.

I enlisted the kids help finding a space to park, partly to keep them busy, and partly because with all the competition, I needed all the help I could get,even if that help was yelling out whenever they saw an open spot in front of a fire hydrant, or garage entrance, or bus unloading zone.

The thought occurred to me that we could say a prayer together and ask for the Lord’s help. At first, I dismissed it, thinking that it was too risky. What if we didn’t find a spot? I didn’t want to damage their simplistic view of faith and prayer. After a moment,I reconsidered and proposed the idea to the kids. They all liked the idea. I called on Faith since Grant has been the previous prayer in situations like this. Faith was fine with saying the prayer, but struggled with the notion that I was going to drive and participate in the prayer at the same time. Shesaid a short, simple prayer asking for help that most assuredly punched through the car roof and cloudcover, arriving at the pearly gates stamped HighPriority.

A different mood came over me immediately. All of a sudden, I was pleased to stop and allow pedestrians tocross in front of me. Why rush, when the Lord istaking care of the situation? Less than a minute later, when we came to a stoplight,Clarky wondered loudly why we had not found a parkingspace yet if we said a prayer. It was some comic relief and provided a chance to explain that ourprayers must oft times be accompanied by patience and faith.

The light turned green and we proceeded into the nextblock and stopped again at an intersection. As we were waiting and surveying the cross street for anybody leaving, I noticed out of my peripheral vision a man and his two kids step up to the crosswalk. They were waiting for the “walk” signal to proceed across the street in the same direction as we were heading. Our eyes met somehow and he mouthed the word to me,“Parking?”. Surprised, I nodded vigorously back to him in affirmation. He pointed across the street suggesting to me that he was parked just up ahead. With no cars coming, he crossed just ahead of the green light and had already crossed the street when we started through the intersection. He pushed his doorlock button on his key ring, which made his vehicle light up just a few spots ahead. I simple could not believe it.

What are the chances of a person who clearly knows how “in demand” parking is offering to someone else in this way? And what arethe chances that it would be us sitting there at that light having just prayed for divine intervention? It was so unmistakably an answer to little Faith’sprayer. Like He often does, the Lord helped us through another person. I chided myself afterwards for not trying to somehow tell the man that he had just been party to a miracle. It probably would have touched him. I sinned immediately after having received a blessing. I hate it when I do that.

If the Lord cares enough to orchestrate miracles of open parking spaces, perhaps he also cares enough to answer other prayers on other matters – like healing relationships, changing hearts, enabling forgiveness,and so on. It was a great day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I feel loved!

My sweetheart brought home these beautiful yellow roses (on Valentine's Day - not 3 days later, like this post might suggest). He said when he walked in the door "You haven't had yellow in awhile!" I had to agree, and kiss him! Today (Sunday) we are all sick with colds. Some of us have sore throats, others have coughs and pains in funny places. I am so happy that my hard-working, never resting husband is sleeping just 5 feet from my computer. I adore him and all that he does for our family!
This was my first attempt at truffles. Any suggestions, my cooking friends? I couldn't get the chocolate thin enough that it wouldn't pool at the bottom as they cooled. It was fun to make and they are very rich! I found the recipe on called "Easy Decadent Truffles" - that's my kind of treat! The funny thing was that I made them as a special something for my Andrew, but with karate RIGHT after dinner, Andrew never even tried one on Valentine's Day! I think I still got points for spending the time to make them!

Clark says the funniest thing! When he hasn't seen a toy for awhile, or jumped on the trampoline in more than a week, he always says this and it makes me laugh everytime.
On Thursday, he got on his bike and said it again "Mom, we haven't seen this bike in YEARS!!"
I guess that's how the timeline works with kids. If it's been weeks, it might as well be years! I LOVE being a mom!
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

We have had a very "loving" morning today. I tried to start the day out right by saying "What can we do to show our family members that we love them?" And Grant ran with it, followed by Clark and John. They made each other's beds, put the pillows on, and were so gracious when another did a service for them...a perfect way for a Mommy to start out my Valentine's Day.
Here's our breakfast table with a little "gift" for each child: "Cars" pencils for Grant, Hello Kitty pez for Faith, and for the little boys...SPATULAS!

I made a photo book for Andrew and titled it "What does Daddy love?" He got tears in his eyes as he read it, and wanted to take it to work to show his co-workers, which was exactly what I had hoped he would do. I was very pleased.
Unfortunately, Daddy was in a bit of a rush this morning for a weekly 8:30am meeting, but we still had a special time together and then sent him on his way. The kids don't have school today or tomorrow because of Parent Teacher Conferences, so it's been great! We took John and Clark to preschool, and then I told Grant and Faith that we needed to run to the mall for something. Quotable for the day: "Mom, are we going to the National Mall?" "No, Grant, just the regular mall where you buy things". Oh, I love living in Washington D.C.

On the way to school, Grant asked "Is it a law to have a job?" which led us to a conversation about why you need to work...which leads to money...which leads to a place to live...which leads to homelessness. Grant knew about homeless shelters, but Faith asked "How do they go places?" When I told her that they walk, she said "But what about getting all the way to the Children's Museum (in Baltimore)?" She was shocked when I told her that homeless people can't do fun things like that. It was kind of sad, but I think she also realized a bit how lucky we are to have all that we have.
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Sunday, February 10, 2008

What a week!

This has been a "normal" week in so many ways. After reading Adri's blog about her dear friend who's 2-year old son is in his last weeks of life due to cancer, I am so grateful for a day when I can just fold my 10 loads of laundry, vacuum, read a book with the boys, play at the park, make dinner (not so much) and hug each child before I tuck them into bed.

On Wednesday, the weather was incredible! The boys (Clark & John) ended up at a park after we took the "big" kids to school. We played for an hour and a half, and as soon as we walked in the door, our friends called and asked if we wanted to go to the park. Of course! So, we spent the next hour and a half at another park, and returned home just in time for lunch and naps! The perfect morning, if you ask me!

That afternoon, it was still so warm, so we spent time jumping on the trampoline and swinging on our own little swingset! Ooh, how I love warm weather. But, I know...if it never got cold, we wouldn't appreciate warm. I appreciate warm, and I hope I never forget that!

On Thursday, I was having a particularly "normal" day and needed to physically step out of the house at least one time. So, with Andrew and Grant on their way to karate, I packed up the other 3 kids and took them to Enrichment where it was a CHOCOLATE recipe night. Faith was in heaven when she learned that it was ALL girls in the room (except her cute little brothers).

The kids were great, and I got the social fill that I needed, as well as an OVERFILL from chocolate.

Friday night, we prepared for Clark's birthday party, and were up until 1:30am baking the cupcakes, frosting the cupcakes, making muffins for the baby shower the next day, cleaning, decorating, etc.

Saturday was the busiest one I remember in a long time. The boys were up at 5:15, so I let Andrew sleep in. I left Andrew with the kids at 7:30am and didn't return until 1pm. I had the Churchwide Leadership training, then Kate's baby shower (who's adopting a darling boy from Taiwan on Valentine's Day), then off to the Balloon shop, stop at Target for some Pump Needles and home.

When I walked in the door, the kids said "Daddy's resting" and he was! Motherhood is a tough job, right bunch? We finished up the party plans, held Clark's party (see below), and then were off to a Ward Party at 7pm.

We had intended to watch a movie called "Amazing Grace" last night, but by the time we got the kids in bed at 9:30pm, I fell asleep while waiting for Andrew to send an e-mail. I was done!!!

I feel much better today (Sunday) because I actually got to sleep in (7am) before the steamrollers (aka John & Clark) joined me in bed!

Clark's Soccer Birthday Party

After a one week delay, due to Andrew's trip to Utah with Secretary Leavitt for President Hinckley's funeral, we had the party yesterday! The boys were just adorable! The theme was SOCCER. Andrew was their "coach", and we all dressed in soccer jerseys (the blue ones are from my Thailand trip) This is the cake, made especially to Clark's requests. "I want guys on it, playing soccer!" It turned out pretty cute and Clark was thriled. "Oh yeah, yeah, yeah" were his exact words. The circle in the middle says "Clark - Four".
Part of these soccer player's training was to build their muscles. Andrew put every ball that we own on the trampoline, and, along with about 8 boys and 3 mommies, we had a lot of fun! The mommies sat in the middle, and the boys were running laps around us, first one way, then the other, and yet another time kicking the ball as they went. They were giggling with joy and were very forgiving of all the crashing and pile-ups that happened along the way.
This is Clark's little buddy, Luca. He and Clark get along so well. Clark just loved climbing on Luca's back, and then they'd roll over and laugh. This picture captures it perfectly!
Here's the whole birthday group. From left to right: Jack (preschool), Clark, Owen (HBS & preschool), Luca (primary), Johnny, Stephen (cool-guy face), Gordon and David (preschool). The party was an hour and a half, which was a perfect length. They shot hoops, jumped on the trampoline, stopped for a team snack (raisins and water), made pennants so they could cheer for each other, opened presents, sang to Clark, and were on their way with their "goodie bag" full of soccer pencils, whistles, inflatable ball, bouncy ball, stickers, etc.

OUr little friend, Luca, is allergic to almost everything, so we just didn't have food involved with the party. I was amazed at how much we depend on food at parties. What's a party without food? But, we proved that wrong. We had a great time, and nobody missed any of the treats! I'll take that as a note to self.
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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Jesse is engaged to his perfect mate!

Cute brother...NEW sister!
My wonderful, not-so-little brother, Jesse, is engaged and making wedding plans with his adorable fiance, Danielle. They will be married on April 25 in St. George. My sisters and I have always said that it would take a very special girl to steal our little brother's heart AND fit in with our family. Danielle has done both beautifully! We can't wait for her to officially be our new sister!

Dress-up Time

This is our Solid Gold dancer, Grant! He LOVES this little gold lamay that we got from Uncle Steve's store when we lived in Logan. It's stretchy, slinky, and can transform Grant into a robot or any other imaginative thing he comes up with. He is so funny! I'm sure glad we have those cowboy boots from my fiddling days in the dressups - at least they're being used, right?
Clark's creative juices don't flow too fast when it comes time for dress-ups. He always picks this darling monkey suit that he got from his friend, Owen's birthday party. The cutest part about it is the curled up tail in the back and the yellow banana hanging out of his pocket! Thanks, Audrey, for the costume! Halloween is taken care of.
This picture makes me laugh! I love the knee socks with the ballerina suit. When she initially came up from the basement, she had this outfit on backwards, and she was concerned because it was "NOT MODEST"! But, once we got her turned around, she was a happy gal. Mom, you can see from the torn sequins that this costume has been well-loved! Thanks.
Ok, funniest picture of the day! This is NOT a costume. This is ACTUALLY and truly what FAith wore to school this morning! First, she had on the two shirts on top, and I thought it wouldn't be too bad. Then, when she said "Mom, I haven't worn this green skirt in a long time!" I just let it go. After breakfast, I sent her up to find some knee socks or tights to keep her legs warm. It's hard to see, but her tights are black with BRIGHT rainbow stripes! I just had to tuck my head and giggle when I saw this completed.
And then, to add to the authenticity of the outfit, she came up to show me that she had chosen her cherry rainboots "because they're colorful and I'm wearing a colorful outfit!" She certainly was! Andrew said under his breath "It can't get any worse. Just let her wear them and take a picture of it!" So, as we speak, my daughter is wearing this outfit at school. I can only guess what Mr. Tagnesi thinks! Faith is a free spirit and I love her for it!
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Dress-ups make us laugh!

Faith came up in this little ensemble, and she made me chuckle. Especially when she made this pose. Isn't she adorable?
Then, she insisted that I model the same outfit! I'm not nearly as cute, but she did a very good job taking the picture!
Next, John insisted that he try on the SAME outfit! Of course Faith said he shouldn't wear it because it's a girl outfit, but thta didn't hold him back. He is our SHOE boy, often coming in wearing daddy's shoes or my high heels (that I can barely walk in). Grant is not really sleeping in the background, but I think that Clark is ready to attack behind John on the carpet.
This is John's fake smile. His lips disapear and he's all teeth. Don't you love the color of this hat? I just think color makes a picture so fun.
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