February Good Stuff

February has already come and gone. It seems yet again Lex was either in the bath or covered in dirt for much of the month. This is pretty impressive because for most people dirt is a little harder to find in Montana in February.


Lex the 4-year-old

I love how much Lex knows and can do these days.  He counts and writes and asks interesting questions and has all sorts of answers for everything.

He really enjoys learning new things and so many things are still new. He has questions everyday about what month it is or what day comes next or what the weather is like in various seasons or how to pronounce certain words correctly.

Sometimes late at night when everyone else is asleep (and 4-year-olds surely should be too) he'll come sit with me wherever I'm grading papers or working on lesson plans and ask to watch something on TV or an ipad. He pays attention to every little detail and asks questions all throughout the movie. Last night at 11:30 we started watching The Big Year, not necessarily a kids movie or even one I'd normally chose to watch, but Lex had all sorts of questions about the different cool locations they showed, all the different sorts of birds, why the characters were acting the way they were, and just birding in general. I actually couldn't answer most of the questions, but I enjoy more and more how good Lex is at conversation. Soon I was not only watching the movie with him instead of working, I was googling different birds and trying to figure out where we'd find them or how we'd get to Attu.  I'm pretty sure it was after 1:00 when he went to bed. He seemed a little tired in the morning (which = a little grumpy if I wake him up) so I just let him sleep in an extra hour. We both went to school an hour later than I was planning, but surprisingly the world didn't end.

Lex was still there in time for breakfast with his friends and I still had plenty of hours at work to get things done.

And Lex and I got to hang out for a few hours without anyone else bothering us.

Besides his increasing interest in conversation, he is also an incredibly thoughtful guy.  The other day he told me he saved these stickers for me to put on my wall.

Once he had it stuck to the perfect spot he selected he stood back to admire it and asked if I thought it was beautiful.

I told him I did even thought stickers all over the walls and furniture are one of my biggest pet peeves.  I think it's still on my wall, and it still makes me smile.  Lex has always had this talent of making me more entertained than annoyed despite his mischievous and destructive ways.



Meditating brothers. Not sure what this was all about, but I think it must be good. They sure seem happy. 


Pen Pals

I love that Azia has friends scattered around the country. It isn't unusual to walk by and see her skyping or facebook video chatting with someone in another state. I love that they occasionally also do good old fashion letters.

"I was wondering if you are having fun? Also, you are the best person I ever met."

How could a letter like this not make your day?


Harlem Globetrotters

Girl Scouts got discounted tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters this year so I took a handful of girls (and Zoran) down to watch.

The tickets were still expensive, but we were right down on the floor. Last time we went (and bought tickets that same price) we were up a whole other level and in the corner.

It was a lot more fun to be down on the floor in the middle of all the action.

To make it even more exciting, the girl scouts got to go give some players girl scout cookies at half time.

Afterwards the kids went and got autographs and talked to their favorite players.

We got home pretty late so the girls had a slumber party. They were asleep about two minutes after laying down. 

In the morning they got to work getting all their paperwork organized so they could start selling cookies.

I'm neither organized nor ambitious enough to sell girl scout cookies. My daughter doesn't notice details like this though. So, in a few weeks we'll have 100+ boxes to deliver.



Lex is acquiring his father's love of breakfast.

Actually I guess he's had it all the time. We'd go through weeks of waffles everyday when I was home for breakfast every day, so maybe he's just going into withdrawals. He loves his weekend pancakes. Sometimes he requests them for dinner too.

His favorite snack is oatmeal.  He's quite the breakfast boy.

and on a related note, Zoran puts all these toppings on his pancakes: butter, peanut butter, jelly, and syrup.


Valentines Day

The kids decorated Mom's whole house with hearts on her birthday, dozens and dozens of them.  This one was still on the front door a week or so later.

We didn't really do any valentines projects beyond putting valentines together this year. I was feeling a little bad & bought my kids all these cheap little boxes of chocolates for valentines day. I was really amused by how much they all loved them. Maybe because I never buy things like this, or maybe because it really is largely the thought that counts. They loved getting their own little valentine chocolates.

Lex, a few days before Valentines Day, working on his valentine photo. Sometimes I just want to dress him like this all the time: snappy hats and dressy vests. Or in his superhero suits. He does pull that look off pretty well, too.

My sweet little lady sent me this email the night before valentines day, just as I was getting started on the evening's work. Much better than all the other email I had to answer:

And then Valentines Day at our house:

So full of love and sweetness. . .


Wrestling Begins

So it started in the middle of February
Zoran and Bryce. . . first day of practice

and then promptly took over our lives. . .

Ahni & Lettie in the front; Zoran and Bryce in the back

There is practice or a meet (or two) every day of the week but Sunday. I don't think it slows down till its over in mid-March.

And as we got started, there was this, probably my favorite facebook post of the month: 

Israel was trying to decide on a nickname to put on his wrestling sweatshirt. He had a  handful of somewhat cheesy, somewhat clever old west themed ideas. Then he opened it up to his facebook friends and collected even more annoying and bizarre options. I ignored them all and just had them put his last name on it. Then, just after I ordered them I got a text from him telling me he just wanted Israel. I told him I just put LaFrombois on it & asked if it really mattered. He said it did. And asked if I could please ask if there was anyway he could still switch it. I was a little annoyed but did call and change it. And then a few minutes later I saw this.

It made sense. And I wasn't annoyed anymore. Just really thankful my brother is such an awesome uncle. Not only did he avoid any awful, middle school nicknames, he made Israel really excited about the name he already has.

Dylan turns Six!

And apparently my boys are not the only ones with an angry birds obsession.

I think nearly every present was angry bird-themed, as were his cake and cupcakes.

Of course we had to go with the light up sword and grizzley hoodie just to mix things up again.

(Also because Dylan got the most joy out of his last hoodie, I think it was a Mission one, as anyone I've ever seen. He spent about five minutes showing me all it's amazing qualities: a hood that pulled all the way closed, a pocket that went all the way through to the other side! The list went on and on. I mean really, how can you only have one when a piece of clothing has so many awesome attributes!)

And there were cousins everywhere. ..

In every corner and peaking through windows and doorways...

and, eating Angry birds cupcakes.

And why is my daughter wearing pajamas to a birthday party in the middle of the afternoon!? And why didn't I notice before now? She is either dressed in formal attire, with heightened attention to every detail from footwear to hair accessories or wears the same dirty yoga pants for three days in a row. There is no apparent logic or pattern to which days or events get pjs vs. formal wear.

The party ended with a birthday video of the birthday boy.

You had to be under 10 or over fifty to secure one of the really good seats.


Lazy Boys

My kids seemed to have had quite a few random days off school this month. It always makes me jealous when I have to go to work and I leave them all cuddled up like this.


The pickiest eater ever
(Dylan has stolen the crown from Zoran)

I know that he eats pizza, but that's about it as far as I can tell. I asked him when he said the night a week or so ago what he liked to eat and he couldn't tell me anything. About a half hour later I asked him again and he said he did like lasagna.

Saturday afternoon I didn't want to make real lunch so I bought all the kids a cup-o-noodles at the store and made sandwiches. My kids all like ramen, but I never buy them the cup kind so it was sort of a treat for them. Dylan thought he could eat regular noodles (which we didn't have), but wouldn't consider trying any in a cup.  He told me he did eat sandwiches, but none of the meat we had. Just peanut butter and jelly, but he didn't really like the peanut butter we had and wasn't interested in the jelly without it. Also, he wasn't opposed to apples, but he looked at the ones we had and was not interested.

"I guess I'll just have to eat a slice of bread," he said, and he did.  About three different times throughout the day, but no other food as far as I saw.

At one point I even heard Zoran giving him a lecture about eating healthier and how he was never going to be strong if he wouldn't try some other food. Zoran was pretty good at this talk since he has heard this sort of reasoning a lot, seeing as he subsists mainly on various forms of sugars. Vegetables, until recently, made him puke. Literally. He is getting better though. I think in a few years he may be able to sit at the same table as a bowl of broccoli. It may be a few more years for Dylan.

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