Monday, September 20, 2010


For those who don't go to Centennial a track is a piece of paper the kids earn for good behavior or quick thinking at school. They are given out by any faculty member of the school. This year Shane and I decided that for every 10 the kids earned they could earn a special reward. They each got to make a list of 5 rewards to choose from. The include things like swimming, getting a date with mom and dad, getting happy meals, or late overs. Surprisingly Brandon was the first to earn 10. He chose $5 in Wizard 101 (a internet game he's addicted to) money. Lindsay earned her 10 a few days later. Logan is 1 away ( I WILL find something to give him one today!) from earning his first 10.

So last night Lindsay chose to make a fancy desert and play restaurant "A la Lindsay" is what she called it. She wanted to light candles and everything. She chose Molten Lava Cake as her desert. It was the perfect reward for her. She loves cooking so much and she really did most of the cooking by herself. Except for cracking eggs. Oh, Lindsay DOES NOT like cracking eggs. I tried teaching her to do it "cleanly" but she just can't quite grasp it yet. She hates getting it on her hands. But she did a WONDERFUL job! I don't think she could have been prouder of herself!

Everyone absolutely loved them. Brandon started licking his plate which inspired Sophie and Logan to do so as well. This upset Lindsay a little bit. She yelled, "Is this the kind of behavior you would have at a fancy restaurant??" She got her brothers to stop, but not Sophie. It was really fun.

I'm really proud of how hard the kids have been working at school to earn these tracks. I hope we get to have more fun 10 track nights!

The Adventure Raising Brandon

Brandon is one of a kind. Absolutely an original piece of work. It is really a wonderful thing being his mother. I love him very much. He is frustrating, love-able, kind, a great helper, and hilarious.
Here are some recent stories from my adventure of raising him.....

He is such a good brother. And for the most part he is thoughtful and likes playing with his little sisters and brother. Sometimes though, he likes playing with their emotions. The beginning of last week Brandon had Lindsay and Logan afraid to go to sleep. He was telling them about a bad dream he had in which the basilisk from Harry Potter was coming and he was screaming... trying to get everyone to cover their eyes. Him and dad were the only ones and so the basilisk was looking at everyone else killing them. Of course he saw the reaction and thought it was pretty neat so went farther farther into detail about how scary it was. I was so frustrated because it took 10 minutes to calm Lindsay and Logan down. After that I asked Brandon to only tell me or his dad about bad dreams.

Brandon has a REALLY bad habit (well, Lindsay does too actually) of leaving his bike behind the van. I can't tell you how many times I have been pulling out to go somewhere and have had to slam on the brakes before I run over bikes, scooters, toys or water bottles. Brandon never understood why it was so important for him to park his bike elsewhere. "Nothing ever happens!" or "It's not a big deal!" he would exclaim whenever we would get after him about it. Well finally, much to mine and Shane's dismay, something did happen. I was pulling out and Brandon's pegs got caught on the tire and totally ripped it open. ARGH! So $175 later I really hope Brandon has learned his lesson.

Another bad habit that runs rapid in our family is nose picking. I'm not sure how I raised Lindsay and Brandon to be such horrible nose pickers, but they are. Bad ones. It's gross. We've been really trying to break the habit. One afternoon I caught Brandon going to town.
"Brandon! For the love! Stop picking your nose!"
He looked at me for a second. "Mom, how do you stop picking your nose?"
"What do you mean how do you stop picking your nose? You take your finger out!"
"No, mom, I mean... it's so addicting! Do you think I have caffeine in my boogers? I just HAVE to pick my nose! It's kind of like I'm a smoker... I just can't stop!"
Oh boy! I was a goner! I was laughing so hard!

These are the highlights from just last week. At least I can be sure he'll always keep us on our toes!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mesa Verde!

This year for the Gebs' family reunion Tawnee and Dan planned a wonderful weekend at the amazing Mesa Verde National Park. If you have never been here, it's well worth the visit. It's
amazing to go into the cliff dwellings that are thousands of years old. Getting into them was a lot of fun too! You have to climb huge ladders, crawl through crevices, go up and down steep stairs and walk along a 12 inch wide switch back up the steepest narrowest cliff I have ever experienced. It was such a new adventure! We all had a really great time!

Brandon was chosen as a "Jr. Ranger". He lead us along the first tour we took to Cliff Palace and the Ranger brought up the rear.

These are pictures of Cliff Palace. We also visited Balcony House (my favorite), Spruce Tree House, and Long House

This is the stairway we crawled through to get out of Cliff Palace. Pretty steep with a steep ladder at the end to finally get back up on ground.

Here we are scaling the 32 foot ladder to get into Balcony House. This one was my favorite. It was the steepest and most adventurous. It also had the best story I think. There was a spring coming right out of the rock into this dwelling. A severe drought came into the area making it necessary for those who lived here to defend it. They did so by creating all these crawl spaces you had to go through in order to get to the spring. Our ranger told us they believed they would just wait there for people to try and come in through the little caverns and they would just kill them. There's a "murder hole" in the balcony house where they tossed the bodies of people who died trying to get water. It's crazy! It made me grateful for my running water in my own home.

Brandon always pulls this weird face whenever I ask him to smile. It's really quite annoying. This is taken outside one of the rooms in Balcony House.

This is the switchback against the cliff coming out of Balcony House. I don't do many things like this so for me, it was such an adrenaline rush! And Brandon started yelling ad screaming "That was AWESOME!" when we reached the top.

Lindsay climbing out of the "kitchen" room in the Spruce Tree House. It was actually a really pretty shot, though I didn't do it justice. We were in the dark and there was a ray of light coming through the ceiling shining right on my girl. Maybe with some doctoring we can get it looking good?

This is one of my favorite pictures. It was a long day for poor Sophie who wasn't getting very much sleep. Before every tour begins, the ranger tells everyone to spit out their gum, keep any snacks in your pack and only to drink water. Well, we let Sophie gnaw on a piece of licorice just for the silence it offered. Whenever a Ranger came we'd just hurry and turn her away or take the licorice and hide it. You can see how much she like it!

It was a fun trip! We'll be going again someday!


And this is what Sophie has been up to for the past month.

Not sure what her problem is lately, but I sure hope she gets past it because it can get frustrating! She's still cute though.

Logan's playgroup!

We decided not to do two years of preschool for Logan. Instead he is in a playgroup with these fine boys. They meet once a week from 9:30 to 1:00. They get to eat lunch together and play. He also gets to play with his very good friend Luke every Friday at about the same time as his playgroup. It's heavenly! For him and me. He gets very upset if we don't remember to bless him in his playgroup, just like we bless Lindsay and Brandon to do well in school. It actually was so upsetting for him that, trust me, we don't ever forget anymore! He lives for these days and I'm grateful he's already getting the opportunity to play with such good kids!

First Day of School 8/18/2010

Is it truly possible that he is in 4th grade? I mean, how could this have happened? Brandon is so excited about this year. He LOVES his teacher and I think is going to become an over-achiever just because he wants to make his teacher happy. He's doing really well. Already he has earned 10 tracks for his first reward of the year and was chosen by Mr. Johnson to be a representative from his class for the "First Friends". It's a group of kids who welcome new kids and their families to the school. He will give them tours of the school and if they are in his class befriend them. Proud of the little bugger.

Lindsay's in the 1st grade! Oh-me-oh-my! She was so excited this year to stay in school all day long! To get to have lunch at school and to participate in specials are the highlights. She loves school and was so excited for this day to begin. She's doing really well as well. She likes her teacher and is a really hard worker. She doesn't like to make mistakes and so always tries her very best with everything she does!
I'm excited that I no longer have to ride to school. Brandon and LIndsay do a good job to keep eachother safe. I was totally nervous the first time I sent Lindsay without me. She of course was exasperated. "Mom, it's not a big deal! I can do it!" she kept telling. And they do well... most of the time. Sometimes they come home right in the middle of a fight and that's always heavenly.....

Here's to another great year at a great school with great teachers!

Good Hit!

For the grandmas and grandpa who wanted to see Brandon play ball, but didn't get the chance this summer. This was his last game. He wanted to hit a home run sooooooo bad! He came pretty close!

My, oh my how this boy loves baseball!