Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hello Again!

Thought I’d pop in on this poor neglected blog! For those of you who like things sequential, my apologies! I think I’ll head backward in time again, hopefully with enough time left to skip even further back. Also, I’ll pre-apologize for the ongoing decline in photo quality. Today we can blame Montana Spring as it’s 70 degrees out and I couldn’t imagine sitting inside while J naps. Everything is perfect except for my inability to see details on the computer screen :-)

To kick off this gorgeous return to warmth, John and I hiked the M this morning. Today Catherine has preschool and playgroup (neither hosted by me today) so I’m enjoying a day with the little guy. He’s such a ham!

He hiked by himself up to the first set of steps and then it was in the backpack the rest of the way (except for snack time at the top of course!) We picked up lots of rocks and he pointed out every dog, that is of course until he conked out in the backpack. Poor buddy normally only takes an afternoon nap but the past two mornings he’s conked out at 10:30/11a. Fingers crossed it’s a growth spurt!

Yesterday was our reset day from a busy weekend. We are really trying to work on making one on one time, or at least focused time for positive attention for the kids (they’ve been seeking attention in all sorts of unloving ways recently) so Catherine got to pick an art project. She chose making moons since we’ve been reading an old book of James’ about the Apollo missions. She even added a command module and lunar module, she was very proud of her creation.

John ideally was supposed to be napping during this adventure, but ended up painting with us.

Another sleeping baby. We did a stroller walkv with friends up in the canyon where it was much cooler and we had to bust out the snowsuit one last time.

Which meant when we got home and it was still barely warmer than 45 degrees, John wanted to play with his new water table! No one can deny he’s a true Montana babe.

The water table was a great gift passed on from a friend and the kids love it! Even the big kiddos. I’m sure it’ll lose it’s appeal eventually and we’ll pass it along again, but for now it’s kept the kids entertained for hours.

On Sunday James tested to become a Level I Spartan (I’m not sure exactly what it means either), but it definitely means he can scale an 8 foot wall and is getting super strong. We stopped in and the kids tried too. As Catherine put it “he’s getting strong so he can carry me more!” That’s not quite it, but James has been really enjoying the training he won in prep for his Spartan race in a few weeks.

On Saturday we did a little hike to stretch our legs along the Gallatin and then in the afternoon we hit up the pump track. Catherine is getting much better with balancing on the downhills and really enjoyed it this year. John meanwhile spent the whole day looking for ants, ducks and dogs. He makes the cutest expression when he doesn’t know where something/someone is. This is when we asked him where the ducks are!

And we kicked off the weekend helping James’ team from work collect food for the food bank.

Our little reader! If he’s not forcefully demanding you read him a book, many times he’s reading himself a book! These are two of his favorites, or at least favorites without dinosaurs :)

Matthew was very proud of the sunflower and bean seeds he grew at school:

And Friday night was movie night at Matthew’s school. We made marshmallow pops for treats. These are so super easy if you have a lego lover. Big marshmallow, smooshed little marshmallow and yellow candy melts. I figure we have at least 5 more lego birthdays in our future so why not practice now :-)

And my dear sweet Catherine and her comically large pizza slice!

Poor John, it was rainy and sleeting earlier in the week and he would stand at the door pounding “dog ball” (or daw baw, gog bol etc.) This boy loves playing fetch with Sky and gets fairly distraught when he can’t.

Oh yes, and speaking of distraught, this boy loves his legos and is actually quite impressive with how he manipulates them. But legos are legos and all lego lovers experience frustration and anger before their finished masterpiece!

And the inspiration for the water table was John’s stealing of our dishes to go play in the dog bowl. So far the water table is MORE appealing than the dog dishes, but we’ll see how long that lasts!

Oh and this boy has learned to give kisses and it’s the best thing ever.

At least I believe it is. June is less impressed with his hugs and kisses.

Last week John found the ducks. This boy loves the ducks.

And in our “make hay while the sun shines” plan, we hit up 3 parks in one day last week. John followed big sister right up the big slide because he loves to give me heart attacks:

And then of course he led big sister up again!

This boy loves his reading, though he and Catherine have yet to find a compromise on how much each of them gets to hold the book when it happens so it rarely happens like this for long.

We met up with friends the other weekend for a park adventure and to check out an event at the library. Face painting was of course a must!

The road up Hyalite Canyon is closed to traffic for the next few weeks so James and I have been enjoying it for training runs.

And of course we had to watch Force Awakens for family movie night when it came out. Matthew is already planning how awesome it will be that he can watch the 8th movie when he is 8.

More parks, more ducks, more heart attacks trying to keep the little guy safe :-)

The last time I hiked the M with the big kids, one of Catherine’s buddies hiked Peet’s Hill the same day. Ever since then Catherine has been obsessed with hiking it as well as “mother henning” John and teaching him to hike. One Friday I let her plan the trip. She packed the backpacks (lord only knows what was in hers) and made the snacks, which consisted of marshmallows and leftover Christmas candy. She also got to lead the whole way and was pretty proud of herself!

Hiking with John out of the backpack is a little like hiking with a very, very slow cat. Here he took a long break to climb the fences by himself:

At the “top"

John is actually fairly good at the hills, its not getting distracted by every dog, ant or moving piece of grass that is his real issue :-)

And John and his dinosaurs, complete with sound effects:

Our little super hero!

Always in cahoots with this little daredevil!

We are trying to redo some landscaping, which is hard to do with two kids under the shovel scouting out worms!

And from our family hike to drinking horse mountain! We stopped to feed the fish at the end.

Catherine took lots of pictures of the fish, but I’ll just share one!

The big kids and their hiking sticks!

Mr. Rock Climber and Ant Finder:

Serious about snack!

Even more park time! It’s like I’m trying to avoid the realities of housework and my own yardwork this month :-) Matthew is becoming quite the daredevil on the climbing rocks. Even more daring as he never wears his tennis shoes and ends up climbing in snow boots:

And looking back on John and his adorable smirk one year prior!

And with that I’m caught up to where I left my last “official” blog! I’d love to keep going but as expected, someone is going to skip his 2+ hour afternoon nap in a real bed because he conked out for 15 minutes in the backpack this morning. Wish me luck and we will see you all soon hopefully :-)

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