Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Adam

I'm not exactly sure when, but a number of years ago on December 23rd I joked that we should call the day "Christmas Adam" because it is the day before Christmas Eve and Adam came before Eve. Since then I have always joked that one of my life goals is to popularize Christmas Adam across the world. My hope is that someday someone who I have never told about it will ask me what I am doing for Christmas Adam. Then I will know my life has had meaning.

To help with the cause, a few years ago Stephanie and I decided to have a small party each year on Christmas Adam. It works out especially great here in Tucson, because Dec 23rd is also the birthday of our good friend Bob Neumiller, so each year our Christmas Adam party is also a birthday party for him.

This year our party was a lot of fun. We decided to have finger food. We had chips and 7-layer dip, bulgogi kebabs, potstickers, egg rolls, fruit, veggies and more. Everything was delicious.

After the food we played Jumanji. Rand's team (including Bob and Corine) won.



Stephanie decided that it would be fun to decorate cupcakes to look like Christmas ornaments. Everyone really had a great time decorating.







Here are some pictures of the results.





Everyone had a great time and we hope that next year everyone who reads this blog will remember and celebrate Christmas Adam.

December Fun

Just thought I would do a quick post showing you some pictures of our fun December. This has been a very nice Christmas season for us. Stephanie and I had all of our Christmas shopping done by Dec 1, so December has been relaxed and enjoyable.

Here is Seth enjoying our Lego advent calendar. He really loved to stand on a chair and play with it.



Because today is Christmas Eve, we finished the Lego advent calendar. The last pieces were a Santa figure and pieces to make a fireplace with stockings. The whole calendar made a winter town scene and was very fun. Here are pictures of all of the pieces.





Here is a picture of the kids standing by the Christmas tree. Seth was very excited this year to help decorate. He has done a great job of containing his enthusiasm with the tree and the ornaments. We only have to tell him a couple of times a day not to play with the tree, or the presents.



This December has shown us that Seth is definitely a strong-willed two year old. One thing he loves to do is to sneak the little Clementine oranges.



Finally, here is a picture of Rand with his gingerbread (really Graham cracker) house that he made at the library.



I am going to let Rand describe it in his own words. "One bear is climbing a big rock. Two baby bears are resting in the sun. The mama bear is walking home from the grocery store. Two bears are in the Christmas graveyard. One girl bear and one boy bear are playing in the back yard. Another boy bear is doing a handstand by the fence. Two girl bears are playing in the sand box."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Letter 2009



Well 2009 is rapidly rushing to a close. In fact, it appears that the decade is also ending. It is so amazing. I remember as a kid thinking about the year 2000 and it seemed like such a long time in the future and now we are ten years into the new millennium. Once again, the Boivie family had a good year.

This year was fun, but a little less crazy than last year (thankfully so). We did not have any broken bones or stitched up faces. In fact, I think we made it a whole year without a trip to the emergency room.

The highlight of our year was our fabulous summer. We spent six weeks visiting family in Colorado, Idaho, and Utah and it was truly wonderful. We escaped the oppressive heat of Tucson and we just had lots of fun. The only downside was that it was hard at times to transition back
into our normal lives.



This year we want to send best wishes out to all of our friends and family that we love. Much of our happiness is drawn from your love and warmth and we appreciate you all so much.



Below are a few of our year's highlights that we posted about on our blog.

Valerie's Visit
Our Talented Kids
Rhianna's Birthday
Family Reunion in Colorado
Visiting Family in Idaho
Seeing Great-Grandparents in Utah
Grown-ups only in Chicago
Rand's Birthday
Seth's Birthday
Krista's Visit and Thanksgiving

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Story of a Boy by Rand Boivie

Once there was this boy and he always had lots of great ideas. He was one of the smartest boys in school. One day as he was walking a fly started buzzing around his head. He opened his mouth and the fly flew into his mouth and it flew down his throat and into his stomach and then into his small intestines and into his blood and it ended up in his brain.

When the boy went back into class all of the other students were asking him to tell them some of his great ideas. The boy looked at them and opened his mouth and said: "Frog." Because the fly was in his brain all he could think of were animals and bugs. He tried again and said: "Horse."

Soon the fly realized that there was no air in the boy's brain because air can't get into brains, so he crawled until he came out of the brain and back into the boy's mouth. Then there was some air and he flew to the exit. However, he flew right into a bug catching bucket and died.

The End

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thankful for Family

Hello everyone and let me apologize for such a long gap between blog posts. (I say that because I know there are thousands of you frantically checking our blog every day and weeping when you discover that another day has passed without an update into our perpetually fascinating lives.)

Just before Thanksgiving, Rhianna's class did a performance for school. Here is a picture. Rhianna's teacher selected her to do the introduction and lead the performance. She did a great job and was very professional.



We were fortunate to have my sister Krista drive down from Las Vegas to visit us over Thanksgiving. We really enjoyed having her here. Our dinner was delicious.



As you can tell, Rand's favorite thing about pumpkin pie is the whipped cream.



We had a fun time with Krista. We went to the park and she took family pictures for us (We will put some up in our next post). We also just had a generally good time playing games (both board games and also silly games like Moose, Walrus, Rabbit), going to Chuck E Cheese, and talking and laughing. She teaches high school and the kids had a lot of fun helping her with some grading. They helped her sort her papers and when after she would read them, she would tell them what grade to write on them.She is a wonderful sister and a wonderful person and we were glad to see her.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I did want to share a few things that our family is thankful for this year.

We are thankful for our extended family members. We have such wonderful brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, cousins, and more. We wish that you were all closer and we could see you more often.

We are thankful for our friends and family who blog and keep us updated about your lives. (We are really the ones frantically checking every day to see if there are new posts.)

We are thankful that I have a job that I enjoy and that is stable and pays the bills. In this time of hardship for many, we are especially grateful for this.

We are thankful that we got to spend a lot of time this summer visiting our families.

We are thankful for our health.

We are thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the positive influence it has in our lives.

Note: Stay tuned for our annual Christmas Blog post where we update you on the major happenings of our year and link back to our most memorable blog posts from the year.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween


Just now getting around to Halloween...It was a fun time this year. Last year felt like we went a little overboard with parties and candy so we cut back this year. We had our church Trunk or Treat on Wednesday, October 28. It was fun but very chilly. We made our jack-o-lantern on Thursday and Friday while Rhianna was at school. Seth was my biggest help. Rhianna had also made tie-dye shirts in school that they all wore on Friday. Then on Saturday we went out trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with the Neumillers. Rhianna and Rand were more into it this year but Seth did a great job of keeping up and saying trick or treat. After about an hour legs were getting tired and we headed home. The kids ate candy and then we had them pick out some candy for the week. The rest we send in to Steve's university students.

Our favorite part this year was that all our kids actually had tricks. Someone asked at the ward party and they could show them off - Rhianna learned spells from Harry Potter and so she could do them as Hermione, Rand would shoot his webs as Spiderman, and Seth could give you a shot.

Monday, October 26, 2009

TWO


Seth is Two! Those years go quickly. It is amazing how much he has grown and learned. We are still so glad he is in our family. He often gets cuts and bruises, but is now good at getting himself ice out of the freezer or asking for band aids. He loves climbing, eating, laughing, anything Rhianna and Rand are doing, helping, playing, taking baths, talking, pushing buttons, saying hi....he is still just so cute and charming and very joyful. It is a pretty fun time right now.

He just had a few presents for his birthday. For each he would say ,"Big" and then rip it open as quickly as possible and move on to the next. Once everything was open then he paid attention to them and played. Rhianna and Rand also made him great cards on their own.

After dinner the Neumillers came over for cake and ice cream. He just loves them and specifically asked for Amelia to come to his birthday- they were the friends that watched Rhianna and Rand overnight while I had Seth and Corine first saw Seth when he was just one day old. His cake we decorated with sprinkles and m&ms. He knew to blow out the candles, but I guess his blowing wasn't working too well. He kept pulling the cake closer and leaning in until I thought he was about to burn his lips. So we backed him up and helped him a little with the blowing. And of course he enjoyed the cake!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2 year old stats

I like the old idea that you can double a child's height at age 2 to get their height when fully grown. I don't know if this is actually true, so I have kept good track of those measurements so I can see when they do grow up. (Okay so I guess I didn't keep as good a record as I thought...I can't actually find Rand's measurements written down, so his stats are actually just from my memory...)

Seth had his check-up on Tuesday. He is 31 pounds (which is about 85% right now - the kid is eating a ton) and 35 1/2 inches tall (which is about 75%). He took his 2 shots in stunned silence. Rand also had his 5 year old check up and both boys are doing really great.

So doubling the height of all my kids, this should be their height when adults:

Rhianna - 34 in = 68 in or 5' 8"
Rand - 36 1/2 in = 73 in or 6' 1" (it may have been 6'2"...)
Seth - 35 1/2 in = 71 in or 5' 11"

So we will see...That puts Rhianna and Seth and even Rand at pretty average heights. I expect Rand to be taller since he has always been higher percentage wise as a kid. Since Rhianna has gotten a little older her height percentage has gone down, she is a little shorter than others and so may be when she gets older too (like me??). So we will see. I guess that is why I think it is an interesting idea.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Power of Incentives

October is the month of Halloween and so at the beginning of the month we were talking about Halloween costumes with the kids. Two years ago Stephanie and I bought a Harry Potter robe on clearance and it finally fits Rhianna so she decided to go as Hermione. However, she had never read Harry Potter. She has read a number of other fantasy books, but she just never really seemed interested when I would suggest it. I decided that if she was going as Hermione, she should read the book. So I told her that if she finished the book by the end of the month that I would take her on a Daddy Daughter Date. Of course, she finished the book in only a few days. She loved it. She especially loved how smart Hermione was. Also, because she has such a tender hear, she felt bad that Harry's parents were killed. We had a really fun time on our date. Even though the miniature gold course was closed for a private event, we had fun playing games at Chuck E Cheeses and having lunch and then shopping. I really enjoyed talking with her during lunch. A parent at another table even marveled when we were talking about how big a million is. She looked over at us talking about numbers and said: "She is going to be so smart." I think she already is.

When I made this deal with Rhianna, Rand wanted to be included, so I decided to make a challenge for him. Rand has always been very outgoing and fearless about meeting new people and being away from his parents, but ever since we returned from our vacation he has really been having trouble being separated from us. He wouldn't let us leave him with anyone, he couldn't even stand to go to Primary without one of us there. We didn't want to make too big a deal about it because we figured it was just a phase, but it was hard seeing him so sad. So, I decided to challenge him to try to be separated from us 10 times. If he succeeded, then I would take him on a Father son outing. That meant he had to be willing to go to the babysitting at the YMCA while Stephanie exercised, or go to a friend's house while Stephanie helped out at Rhianna's school. He accepted the challenge and tried hard to be brave and get used to going to these places. On Friday he finished the challenge and we had our outing on Saturday. He wanted to do the same things as Rhianna (except for the shopping). We had a great time.

I am so grateful to have such cool kids. Whenever we hang out one on one, it is so fun. I am also glad that they took on my challenges and succeeded.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Downside of Independence

Seth is almost two and lately has really desired more independence. He always wants to clear his plate from the table. He wants to pour his own milk. He has also started expressing interest in using his potty. The downside of this is that we will often find that he has pulled his pants off and also his diaper. So he has peed on his carpet a few times. So in our house you will see me or Steph telling Seth to stop taking his clothes off.

Last night we went to the store to get the kids some warmer clothes. It is still pretty warm here, but we have had some cool days and our kids needed pants and long sleeve shirts. At the clothing store in the changing room Seth felt left out so of course he took his clothes off too. That was OK because we were in the changing room. However, then we went to the shoe store to get new church shoes for Rhianna. Seth wanted to try on shoes so he took his shoes off, and also his shorts. Then he pulled down some girls shoes and tried them on. He looked wonderful. Pantsless wearing high heels. I wish we had our camera because we could have taken a picture that would have haunted him forever.

Lucky Rand

Last night we went out to dinner at Pei Wei. We had a nice dinner and our kids are actually starting to like Chinese food which is nice. At the end of the dinner our kids were eating their Fortune Cookies. Rand asked me to read his fortune. Here is what it said: "There's a good chance of a romantic encounter soon." We all started laughing, but what was really funny was then Rand chimed in and said, "I got the lucky one!" So I guess Rand will be looking forward to his upcoming romantic encounter.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Great Moments in Parenting

Seth had a rough day on Saturday. After breakfast he wanted to go play outside, still in his pjs. So he was out there playing with dirt and fell head first on a rock. His head has amazing swelling abilities and very quickly there was a huge blue bump out of his forehead. After icing it for 15 minutes he was ready to go again.

But being good parents we decided he shouldn't head back outside with the rocks. While we were listening to music and playing Legos with Rand, Seth came back into the family room with blood all over his face. He had gone into our bathroom and shaved just like daddy. And he had cut himself right on the edge of his lip. So lots of blood, sort of a tricky place to stop the bleeding, but not too bad.

And that was all by about 10 am. He is very good at saying "Only Momma, only Dadda" when we ask who should do things like: shave, spray clean shower, push buttons on the DVD player or computer, use sharp knives...but not so good at not doing those things. We stayed away from rocks and moved all the shaving gear to avoid any more injuries for the day. I was tired by the end of the day...as I am most days. He is a very cute little kid and I have fun with him. He still has the most charming personality and a lovable smile and laugh, but he is also definitely a sneaky energetic one.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Temporary Sleeping Arrangements

Almost exactly one year ago we bought bunk beds for the boys room. These were black metal bunk beds and we thought it would be great for when we had guests come over and then for when Seth got bigger and both boys would have a place to sleep. Well at the time Seth was not even 1 yet and just barely walking.

Now is a different story. Almost 2 and Seth likes to climb. When he first started trying to climb the bunk beds at the beginning of summer I made a big deal about how he needed to ask me first. And he was pretty good and I could stand there and make sure he was safe. But starting about a month ago he would no longer listen. He was climbing up all the time. I would be making dinner and hear him call to me from the top bunk. Or go to the bathroom and he would be up there. With these metal beds it is trickier to learn how to get down and he has no clue. I would always take him down. It was causing me way too much stress.

So we sold the bunk beds. Rand is now just on his mattress on the floor. We have ordered new beds, and ironically they too are bunk beds. This time they are wood and can come apart. So once we get them we will set them up separately and then switch Seth from his crib to the bed. And perhaps someday in the future when it doesn't stress me out and the boys are bigger they will once again get bunk beds.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rand's Happy Birthday


Rand turned 5 last Sunday. Before his birthday he was coming up with all kinds of plans for what he would do...dance contests, Chuck E. Cheese, games, cake, restaurants....each day he had a new idea for us. But this is what we actually did:


On Saturday we went bowling. Rand invited his (distant) cousin and friend Josh and their whole family came bowling with us. The kids had fun and did pretty good. Seth really wished he could have worn bowling shoes. Rand was big enough now to throw the ball on his own and got a spare. Rhianna even started bowling the correct way with fingers in the holes and got several strikes to beat us all. That night we went to dinner at Outback and they brought Rand a free ice cream sundae which thrilled him.



On Sunday after church Rand and Rhianna helped decorate his dinosaur cake with lots of skittles, m&ms and licorice everywhere. Then Rand opened presents and played until dinner. For dinner he chose french toast, so we ate and talked about the things we like about Rand. Then our friends the Neumillers came over for dino cake and ice cream. It was a really fun birthday weekend!


Some of the things we said we liked about Rand:
  • he is creative
  • he can think of good games and play nicely with Rhianna and Seth
  • he is so grateful and happy with each gift he gets
  • he is very bouncy and jumpy
  • he makes friends easily
  • he is trying to read
  • he likes singing

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to School

Rhianna is now in 2nd Grade. She has been very happy this week to be back in school. I hope it will be a great school year for her.

As of Thursday night, she is also now a toothless wonder. She lost a tooth in May, June, July, and now August. It makes for a cute smile and a tricky time eating.

Also, just for those wondering, the school cut-off date here is August 31, so Rand misses it by just a few weeks. So Rand and Seth are home with me. We will be doing an art class again and are already back to the YMCA and the library and getting back into the regular swing of things.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And Finally Chicago!

After our visit in Utah we drove back to Colorado. I got to see a few friends that I have known since elementary and middle school. And then Steve and I left our 3 kids with my mom and dad and brothers and went to Chicago. We have now done a few trips like this, and it is always hardest for me to actually say good bye to them and give them that hug....then once I am on my way I am okay. My mom headed to the park with the kids at the same time we headed to the airport so that Seth especially wouldn't get upset.

Our flight was the most turbulent we have ever been on. Several people around us were on the verge of throwing up...but we made it safely. Then we got in a taxi...I always think it is crazy riding in taxis, but again we made it safely. Steve has his annual Academy of Management Conference every August, and since the school pays for his way, by just paying for my flight we get a good vacation.

We were staying in the Sheraton which is right by the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, a perfect location. Steve did have a few paper presentations, lunch meetings, and conference receptions to go to, but we also did many great things together.

*Blue Man Group - Very funny, very entertaining
*River Architecture Tour - We took the tour done by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and this was excellent. The docent knew so much about the architecture and the history of Chicago. We saw beautiful, amazing buildings.

*Millennium Park - The park has an amphitheater designed by Getty and then several sculptures and fountains. The bean was amazing, the different reflections off of the polished metal. I also loved the face fountain that would spit water - kids were playing in it and I thought our kids would love it.


*Art Institute of Chicago - A chance to see more of the famous paintings we had learned about back in college...a great collection and we only saw a portion because we were just getting tired feet from all the walking.

And FOOD
*We just watched Top Chef Masters last night and I am proud to say we ate at Frontera Grill by Rick Bayless who was the winner. And it was fantastic food. It was the first ceviche we had ever had and we were surprised by how good it was. The guacamole - I could have been happy just eating that. We were also surprised by how we liked the little corn pancakes topped with chorizo and plantains.
*Chicago Deep Dish Pizza - we ate together at Gino's and Steve also went to lunch with other professors at Giordano's. Gino's pizza was great and we also really liked their cheese bread.

*LB Bistro - This was actually in our hotel and the chef is more known for his pastries. The desserts were very cute little $2 deals. The chocolate cake and strawberry shortcake were good but again we were surprised that we liked the lime custard with strawberries so much.

*Weber Grill - We were happy they did the BBQ so well - we are more picky now that we have lived in Texas.
*Big Bowl - This was Asian food and again very good. We got the orange chicken and then a seasonal, more Thai influenced noodle dish with lots of veggies. Both were good. Steve also tried the ginger ale that they make themselves - way too gingery for me. I got their freshly made raspberry lemonade.

It was great to have those few days to ourselves. And I also really want to thank my parents and brothers. Michael particularly was Seth's buddy - Michael played with him, put him to sleep, got him medicine in the middle of the night when he was sick - I am glad Seth is named after him. Calvin got Rhianna and Rand involved when his friends came over for dinner and then for his Young Adult FHE. My dad had a busy weekend - he was actually in Utah for my grandpa's 80th birthday party. And so my mom did the rest...cooking, laundry, parks, gardening, rec center and swimming...they had a wonderful time. We left on Thursday, August 13 and actually ended up driving the whole way back to Tucson. 900+ miles from about 6:30 am (Mountain Time) to 9 pm (Pacific Time) but then we were home. This was literally one of the best summers of my life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Utah


Our next stop was Logan, Utah. I am very blessed to have all four of my grandparents still living. We stayed with my grandma and grandpa Clyde. I could just tell they were so excited to have us. They always greeted us outside and had food and toys and everything ready for our stay. They took us out to the back yard and let the kids run through the sprinklers. The kids learned to pick apricots and leave the pits on the fence for the squirrels. They also had raspberries and gooseberries. Over the next few days my grandma cooked us many good meals, including Curry Chicken which is one of my favorites. Rhianna loved wandering around the house looking at grandma's many beautiful things. She has read my grandma's life story so they could talk about her book and look with both grandma and grandpa at their picture albums. My grandpa has always loved mechanical toys and gadgets and so he took time to play with cars, yo-yos, tops, marbles, and more with the kids. I really felt their love in all they did with us and I am glad we had the time to visit.

We spent one afternoon visiting my grandma and grandpa Funk. My grandpa has had some strokes and now it seems like he has lost most of his memories. So it was harder to talk with him this time, but he also seemed gentler with the kids and they were able to sit with him. Rhianna even fell asleep on his lap. My grandma is doing really well. She told us all about the plays and operas they have been to this summer. She also spends time serving in the temple. She has always been very social and is still able to enjoy all these many things. Once again she made us a good dinner complete with Casco's ice cream she has always had for us when we visit.

We were also able to see my aunt Becky for a few minutes and go out to my aunt Tania's house. Tania had tons of delicious raspberries, and several animals for the kids to be around - new puppies, chickens, goats, and horses. The kids all got turns riding the horses - thank you Tania. Logan also has lots of memories for us since that is also where we went to school and met. So a few times we took the kids out and showed them some of the places we lived at USU, places we would go, we took a walk around campus, drove around the temple, and of course we got some Aggie Ice Cream.