Monday, March 17, 2014

8 years old and baptized!

Henry turned 8 years old on February 24th and he was baptized on March 8th, 2014.  Since there was no snow this year on his Birthday, we had a Lego Movie Birthday party with a bunch of his friends and cousins on his actual Birthday.  We saw it 3D and I smuggled in snack baggies and water bottles for all the kids.  I was so worried someone was going to ask what was in my giant 50 lb purse.  I don't think a boy could have been more happy.  The move was really great and the kids all had a great time.  When we got home, we had pizza and ice cream cake.  Justin put all 5 pizzas in the same oven to cook, which any logical person would know wouldn't work, so we all had to eat snacks, and dessert before the pizzas were even out of the oven.  lol.  Henry got a lot of Legos from his friends and since I fixed his Lego table, all of them are nicely displayed on it. 

On March 8th Henry was baptized.  It was such a wonderful weekend full of family and friends.  All of Henry's grandparents came to the event as well as his best friend cousin, Wee-o, Stefanie and baby Nathan.  On Friday we woke up insanely early to take some photos and then spent the day at the Museum of Natural History where they also had a chocolate exhibit.  We got in trouble shoving chocolate down our kids' throats throughout the museum.  lol. 

Friday night we had the Hohls and Tingeys over to read the last chapter of the Book of Mormon together.  The spirit was very strong and Henry says he has a little testimony(and he thinks the 3 Nephites helped him find his wallet). Saturday morning I spent most of my time cooking and hanging out with the family.  Then at 3:30 he was baptized.  12 non Mormon friends showed up and a ton of family.  The spirit was very strong there.  We were so blessed that he had so much support from all his family.

Both of his grandparents, Burnell Hohl and Jim Tingey gave the talks, I sang What Heaven Sees in You changed to boy lyrics and Justin baptized him.  During the baptism, Vivi was climbing up the glass yelling, "Hi Daddy!" over and over. Afterward everyone came back to eat and hang out at our house.  Then on Sunday we celebrated his Birthday along with Gammie, and other family.  It was an awesome weekend.

 We skipped school on Monday and spent the day at the Leonardo museum with the Chous and Bradshaws, ate at Hires, went on a short hike up City Creek Canyon and then went to the Lego movie again.  If you don't already know, you have to see it twice. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter Home School

In January I take Henry out of school so we can ski and learn more info in a shorter amount of time, but it's insane and I'm already exhausted from our ski day yesterday. Today we did our big school day including a science experiment. Henry dissolved salt, sugar and flour in water and dropped an egg in each one. The egg floated in the salt water! I told him about buoyancy in the ocean and even the Great Salt Lake and he's excited to go out there to do the experiment with his own body. He got so much done tomorrow we ski again! We plan to ski three to four days a week if our kids don't stage a coup. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mommy's Appreciation

You do kind acts of service for your sisters all the time.  Your heart is full of goodness and charity.
 Henry, I just have to tell you how much I am appreciating you right now.  At the beginning of this year, you had some emotional troubles and would fight with me every time I mentioned any of your home work or piano practicing but you've turned a corner and are doing so well.  I attribute some of it to the winter time and you not knowing that it's actually early when you go to bed.  You are finally waking up early and are getting some things done in the morning. 
You are such a good sport.  You put up with so much girly stuff.  You're lucky I was a tomboy growing up and can relate to your love of everything boy.  I love having you around to balance out all the babies and tea parties.  Bring on the bugs!
You are committed to reading the Book of Mormon before your baptism in about four months, even though you've neglected it for a while.  Every morning you wake up and read two chapters, mark it off on your sticker chart and then go downstairs and practice your piano.  I haven't even had to ask you to do it for a few weeks and it's changed our entire relationship!  I'm so grateful that you've decided to do it without asking(or nagging and eventually getting frustrated).  You do so well in school and I appreciate all your hard work to get good scores.  You do your homework without many problems and do well on all your tests.  You got a 90% on your last Chinese test and your teacher told me that you cried with your head down on your desk.  I was so sad to hear that you didn't think you did well, but I'm so glad you care so much about doing well in school.  I just love everything about you and I hope you can continue to be so responsible. It really makes a big difference in our home.  Love you my son!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Man of Action

Henry at Goblin Vally, helping poor scraped-nosed Violette back to the car.  You're the best brother ever!
Henry, you are a machine!  What do you make? Energy! For the first two weeks of summer I have had you in an hour of tennis, and hour of swimming lessons, playing at parks or our back yard and then two hours of basketball camp along with activities at home and you're still not tired at bed time!  We take you on bike rides and hikes and you tirelessly play family and house with your sisters.  I have never seen you act tired! 

Well, I am excited to say that you are getting really great at tennis and you are also a great little swimmer.  I wanted to put you on swim team...but I don't want to bring you to practice at 7:30am and dedicate every Saturday to swim meets.  All the girls are still asleep that early anyway.  Maybe next year.  Anyway, life is so fun during the summer.  This next week we're having our family reunion and then visits from friends.  After that you have Chinese camp and then lego camp.  You don't even know I signed you up for that.  You're going to die of excitement! 

Anyway, I love you dear boy.  You're so much fun to have around and you're such a wonderful big brother.  Thanks for playing family and house and parents and babies with Bea all the time.  You even let Vivi hit you in the head with a wooden stick toy over and over today and still gave her a hug to make up. 
You really are the best. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rediculously Late 7th Birthday Post

You look all grown up in your Easter outfit.  There's no sweeter boy than you(especially when you have a giant egg full of candy!)
 Oh Enrico...  You asked me the other day why I haven't read you your Birthday blog post and my heart dropped to my stomach.  It has been at the top of my list for a month and a half, but I have just been trying to survive with all my projects on the farm and elsewhere.  I know you're too young to know just how busy a person could be because for you there is endless time, but life is seriously out of control right now, but it's all good stuff, so nothing to worry about.  I really love writing your Birthday post because it gives me a chance to remember all the wonderful things about you...
You love doing fun crafts with mom

You and your Lego table I made for you for Christmas

I spent many hours making this for you! You really love playing with your Legos on your table

You love cooking with your sister

At the First Lego League convention.  Next convention.  BronyCon(look it up)

Henry...I really cannot believe that you've been a part of this world for 7 years now.  People told me the time you have kids flies by and now I'm experiencing it first hand.  Just thinking about doubling your age and you're a teenager and will soon be going on a mission makes me miss you already.  As a seven year old, you couldn't be more wonderful.  I told you a while back that many of the moms I knew said their little boys didn't want to hug and kiss their moms anymore after they turned seven because they didn't have a need for such fluff anymore and you remembered that and just the other night you said, "mom, I still love to hug and kiss you and I'll never stop wanting too".  You still can't fall asleep unless I sing to you because you got so used to it when you were little, which can be a problem because there's just so many kids to sing to sleep these days!  I do love singing you to sleep though and I will never get tired of singing to you. 
I made you this costume for Halloween.  You had orange tights too, but it was too hot on Halloween night to wear them! lol. You're with your friend Nathan here who is Captain America!

Henry, this year has been an adventure.  You started going to a new school, Lone Peak Elementary, where you are in a Chinese immersion program and spend three hours per day learning Chinese.  After a semester of 1 1/2 hours of homework given by the English teacher every night, I felt inspired to take you out of the English half of the day and do home school for that half day.  Well, what we do is more like unschool/ski school but I have felt such peace with my decision because at night we can just focus on being together as a family, eating delicious gourmet meals that you help me prepare and I never have to yell at you from the kitchen to finish your homework while I'm frantically trying to cook dinner.  You went skiing over 25 days this year and are getting really good.  I pick you up from school at 11:45 and we head up to ski two to four days a week(once we skied 5 days in one week!) You and Bea amaze me as you bomb down the hill together.  Clementine has even come with us a few times.  Your ski school teachers at the Canyons said you were one of the best 6 year olds they have seen in a long time.  After skiing we go to the hot pool and hot tubs at the Waldorf and play until it's night time and they bring out the s'mores and I have to drag you away to head home and we finally get you to bed.  You really love ski season! 
Skiing in Idaho with the family

You met the real Santa this year.  He even let you pull his beard.  This wasn't him though. 

When you're not skiing you're pretend playing with your sisters.  Henry, one great thing about home schooling is that you've developed a good friendship with your sisters.  You adore Violette above all, you and Clementine get along great and you and Bea can have your moments of fighting, but you two spend so much time playing family and planning picnics together and I hear a ton of laughing while you're playing together.  You and Bea and Clementine are always being silly and enjoy making each other laugh.  I really hope you all stay really close and always see each other as peers and playmates. 
Skiing with Bea

S'mores during your sledding Birthday party
Henry, you also love to read.  You and I are reading the Fablehaven series together at night and during the day you frequently have a book in your hands you're reading.  Your favorite books are the Geronimo Stilton series, which you can read in one or two days.  You're also reading the entire Roald Dahl collection from Costco that you got for Christmas and are already halfway done.  You've been tested at a 5th grade reading level and tested gifted in everything else (however Utah sets the bar rather low, so I'm not sure what that really means).  I'm so grateful that you have such a keen mind and absorb information so easily.  I'm really glad you're in the Chinese program because you're actually learning something new and you really love it. We love your teacher, Mrs. Bringhurst, and she says you're one of the only kids in the class who can read Chinese sentences and answer questions in Chinese even without even having her read them out loud and can answer complex questions correctly.  You usually get 100% on every test and when you don't (and get a 92%), you come home so disappointed and say you don't want to talk about what happened at school. Just know, we're not pressuring you to be perfect! 
You writing Chinese

Home school astronomy lesson
Your Chinese class on Chinese New Year/Valentine's Day
 This year you're excited because you're reading the Book of Mormon through before your 8th Birthday so you can have a testimony of the gospel before you get baptized.  You have a love of the gospel and the scriptures and your knowledge of the scriptures stories and the doctrine is growing day by day.  We study the scriptures together every day at breakfast and even though you and your sisters wiggle and giggle, you somehow hear everything I am saying and can answer any question I ask.  You talk about gaining your testimony frequently and we hope you sincerely pray to feel the spirit tell you that the scriptures and the gospel are true. 
Right before the Turkey slaughter.  You cried when I killed "Dinner"

Birthday breakfast.  You wanted a Christmas tree pancake.

Playing in the snow with your dad in the back yard

This year we have welcomed many pets and farm animals to our family including 30 chickens, 3 turkeys(one eaten), a few random barn cats, many fish(all dead), two hairless rats, many jars of insects and just recently, a lizard.  You are strangely scared of touching the rats because you think they have diseases.  I don't blame you because you're born a New Yorker and a fear of rats comes with the territory.  You love being outside on the farm, collecting eggs, finding bugs, jumping on the trampoline, and creating your fun little world on our farm. 
We had our own arch at our cool campground

Playing in the goblins at Goblin Valley

For your Birthday your dad got you a new, totally awesome mountain bike and we're looking forward to getting you out on some trails and maybe even getting you into some kid races.  Your dad has been looking forward to the day he could ride bikes together with his son for a long time.  You are so lucky to have a dad who plays with you so much.  You and your sisters ask to go camping almost every day and we took you to San Rafael Swell to climb through slot canyons and play hide-and-go-seek in the goblins at Goblin Valley.  You love living in Utah although you miss your friends in Pittsburgh. We took you on a special trip to Chicago a few weeks ago to visit your best friend and cousin Wee-o which was so fun for you and you had a blast hanging out with all your cousins. 
You on a cliff overlooking the "Little Grand Canyon"

You and your cousins(and their cousins) at the Chicago Aquarium

Me and you at the top of the Willis (Sears) Tower

You and Wee-o at the top together

Playing at the Chicago Children's Museum
Henry, you are a special boy and I will never get tired of looking into your greenish grey eyes and freckled nose.  I love everything about you and I love your tender heart and sensitive spirit.  I hope you have a wonderful year my son.  I love you with all my heart.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Lucky Boy!

Asleep at the Lodge. Stop waking up at 6am!!
 Henry is pretty much lucky that I'm his mom because I am doing some pretty crazy and fun things with him this year.  I'm so grateful not to be pregnant at this point in time so I'm taking advantage of it and doing some amazing things like homeschooling him half day so we can do things like ski three days a week, actually go to a museum and actually do some science, which I've not heard anything about since he started school so I assume they've done no science.  Shame.  He actually reads books at his level, has time to practice piano, study Chinese, READ SCRIPTURES and actually PLAY! I remember a talk at General Conference by one of the Apostles that said that Children don't have enough unstructured play time.  I'm trying to follow that advice and let him play Legos on his new Lego table I made him for Christmas for at least 1 hour per day. Plus, Justin and I play games like Monopoly, Life, Ticket to Ride and Bohnanza with him. Some of those say you have to be 13 to play, but he's doing great! One thing he could improve on is not waking up at the crack of dawn to say goodbye to Justin before he leaves for work.  He wakes up super early after staying up kind of late since we read a book together every night after we play games and sometimes gets cranky.  Check out this photo of him taking a nap on the chairs at the ski lodge at the Canyons.  He's so tired he just fell asleep on the chairs and missed an hour of good ski time.  What a bum!  He's an awesome little skier and he and Bea are taking lessons for the next 5 weeks.  The kids are so incredible here.  He's really not even amongst the really great ones.  On his first day, they called him a "wedger" and sent him down a level.  He got mad and is now motivated to never do the wedge again. 

Henry is so much fun right now and Justin and I are living it up and enjoying every minute of our time with him.  I just love you my darling boy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Innapropriate church behavior

Henry couldn't resist climbing in the giant bank of snow next to our car at church and fell in up to his waist.  He was having a blast until he felt the holly bush underneath poking holes in his legs. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meet the Lorax

I finally made my first Halloween costume ever and I loved how it turned out. He said people were laughing at him at school. I told him that he had a funny costume but he didn't believe me and thought people were being rude. Poor thing. Am I like one of those horrible moms that embarrass their kids? Perhaps.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sir Henry

Henry dressed up in this knight costume at the Cornbellys pumpkin princess land and climbed up on this giant sparkly horse. He is so lovable.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Busy Body

Dancing with Bea in the kitchen.  He's such a sweet boy and he LOVES his sisters!

Every morning Henry goes to an hour of tennis lessons, an hour of swimming lessons(which is mainly just lap swimming and I'm surprised with how well he puts up with it) and then swims at the pool for a couple hours afterward, and never wants to go home, he reads a book a day, has playdates every once in a while, and has soccer twice a week.  He's one busy kid! You'd be surprised how often he complains that he's bored.  Seriously.  What more do I have to do? He's had family and friends staying here almost the entire summer and got to visit his cousins in CT for his aunt Courtney's wedding reception and family reunion.  He basically just ran wild with his cousins and I'm glad he's still alive. 

At Mystic Seaport.  Still comparing how tall he is to his cousin Will(Wee-o) who is a little older than he is.  Henry is still taller, but not sure how long that will last.  Wee-o's got some tall genes waiting to turn on at anytime.  Henry LOVES Wee-o and I dream of the day they're BYU roommates!

Henry's effortless volley.  He's one of the best in the class.  Check out the view we get while we're watching!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bad Tooth Fairy

 Pulled Henry's second tooth out with pliers
Went missing
Tooth fairy came during the day, perhaps?
She came by early and will leave money under the pillow I say
Happy Boy
Mommy forgot to put money under the pillow
Sad boy
Anyone have a dollar(desperately)?(to cleaning lady and Italian friend) 
Promise that we will find the tooth while we're cleaning
Still lost
Next night, mommy forgets again
Still no dollar
Sad boy again
Henry thinks the Tooth Fairy forgot all about his tooth
Tonight mommy finally finds a dollar!
Sorry Henry
Bad Tooth Fairy

Last day of School

This is as good as it gets when trying to photograph all my children together.  I love to see the snow that's still on the mountains in the background.  It's almost gone!

Yesterday was the last day of Kindergarten.  I'm so excited to have my schedule back to how it was before this school year.  I know I signed him up for Chinese immersion school, but I'm kind of dreading the mundane every day schedule that comes with putting your kids in school.  I used to go on a road trip every month without a care in the world and I miss it.  I heard that Chinese school has a lot of homework.  I think it's going to be a good thing that I'm homeschooling him for half the day and that he's already ahead in reading and writing so we can just focus on learning Chinese for the first difficult months without it taking up all his time at home.  He keeps asking me when we're going to Italy and I keep telling him that it's just the first day of summer vacation and he will have to wait two months before we leave.  We're heading out to CT and NYC for a week in a couple of weeks where he will see his cousins.  He'll be so excited!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Super late Easter recap

We colored Easter eggs a few times.  This was a neon set

Well, this month has been crazy but I haven't had time to post all the Easter photos we took of the fun activities of the season.  Henry really loves holiday crafts.
Henry made this for Justin.  The BYU egg

The cousins at Tracie's house in their Easter best

One of our many Easter egg hunts we did throughout the month.  The kids go crazy even if there's just one jelly bean inside

Henry and Colton holding their monster eggs.  I have to say, this is the cutest box set I have ever seen, maybe even better than the dinosaurs.  This set came with crazy hair, monster face stickers and pipe cleaners for arms and legs.  Brilliant!
Yeah, and is snowed on our party day:(

The loot from the last egg hunt

Don't take my candy!