Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sock Snowman Sensation Sweeping the Nation

Harley is getting a little cabin fever. Who are we kidding, I am climbing the walls. She seems perfectly content with her life of solitude.  We decided to do something crafty to pass our time. Obviously something that didn't require a trip to Michael's.  We saw these cute little snowmen on Facebook, Pinterest, other blogs, everywhere,  and decided to try one of our own.  For directions visit HANDIMANIA!  

It took her about 30 seconds to name the snowman buttons and then express that he needed a little GLAMMED-up.  So, we made a flower for Button's snow hat.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This Kid

Every family's got one kid, or in my case two or three,  who is just a little unique, slightly left of center, beats to their own drum, thinks outside the box.  This kid, Atley, might win the prize in our family.  While Nash spent his Winter break playing video games, Atley went from one project to another.  His mind constantly thinking and creating and building something new and usually something messy.  If he wasn't studying a map and recreating it from memory, or washing and tumbling his rocks, he was building cities all over the house, complete with tiny road signs and bridges made from tooth picks and safety pins, reusing every scrap of card board and paper he could scavenger from our trash.  

 He also created an indoor scooter track for him and his brother and sister.  Every corner had warning signs. Notice the sign for DISCOUNT DOG. We are beginning to think perhaps our dog was at a discounted price for a reason. Let's just say she isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. She's definitely one bean shy of a burrito and an egg short of a dozen.

After telling him how beautiful it was to watch snow fall outside your window, this Kid did this, all over our front window.
His snowflakes are beautiful and unique just like him.  While, the constant messes are sometimes exhausting, I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. I love him to pieces.

Harley's Hospital Happenings

Saturday morning Harley started throwing up. She did it a couple of times and then after only a few hours of sickness, she was totally back to her normal self-playing, talking non-stop, even asking for popcorn and Mountain Dew. We were all astonished by how quickly she recovered from what seemed like a stomach bug.  Little did we know that this was just a prelude to the big show. When we woke up for church on Sunday she looked pale and seemed unusually tired. I decided to stay home with her.  She soon began vomiting again. I also noticed she seemed a little congested.  She was also complaining of a headache and running a low grade fever. I attempted to give her some Ibuprofen but she would just vomit before it had time to help her. She began coughing which exacerbated the vomiting.  Soon her fever was 103.8 and rising. She was miserable, lethargic and the sickest I have ever seen her.  She wouldn't move or talk. She just lay there moaning softly with her eyes closed sucking her thumb.
There is nothing worse than having a sick child.  You feel completely helpless. Harley has an extremely high pain tolerance so, when she started crying because of the pain in her head, I got really nervous. She was dehydrated and her fever was almost at 104 degrees.  Then she started making no- sense.  It was like she was no longer speaking English.  She just blabbered and cried and didn't have the energy to stand up or even roll over. I took her to the emergency room.  It was so packed full of sick people-mostly children I was astonished.  In all of the boys' adventures I have never seen the ER so incredibly busy.  Harley was in a great deal of pain and her delirium was getting worse. On the car ride she kept screaming about worms in the apples. I was in a huge line to check in, beginning to panic, when two women, approached me. Both knew my name and said they knew me from church, from a ward I had not lived in for almost six years. I didn't recognize them but I am certain they helped me jump ahead in the line because we were called back quickly and seen by a doctor in less than 30 minutes. They were my guardian angels that night. When I went back to thank them for their help, I wasn't able to find them again. It was certainly one of the Lord's tender mercies, that they were there. At this point, Harley was completely out of it! She was having hallucinations or something because she started yelling, "That damn doctor keeps asking me if I'm a Catholic.  I'm a Mormon.  Tell him to leave me alone."  She just kept screaming it over and over totally inconsolable.  Looking back now, it was pretty hilarious. I caught a glimpse of what she might be like in the old-folks-home 100 years from now. Long story short, after a bag of IV fluids and some sort of cocktail that reduced her fever, and something for the nausea, she started making sense again and feeling better. In fact, she felt so much better that she snapped at a nurse who tried to put her in a hospital gown.  She colorfully expressed that the gown was "OBVIOUSLY not her style."  She tested positive for two strains of the flu and will be out of commission for at least 7 days, but she is home now and feeling stronger by the minute. By the way, the doctor expressed that hallucinations are often associated with a high fever. Thank goodness she isn't a whack job-YET!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Nash's Baptism

As prepared as we thought we were when we packed the car and set out to leave for Nash's baptism, we still had drama.  Things were going remarkably smoothly considering one child and one mother had strep throat and another child had a double-ear infection. The baptism boy was well, so we just had to survive the day and I really believed I was prepared for anything and that I had thought of everything. After, the electricity went out for Atley's baptism, I felt certain I could handle whatever happened.  Oh, how the mighty fall!  Granny, Grandma Butler, Atley, Nash, Harley and I went to the church at 7:30 AM to fill the font, set up the chairs and the refreshment tables, get the slide show ready, practice songs and talks and take pictures for the big event.  Dad and Grandpa Butler had to get themselves ready and pick up the pre-ordered donuts and hot chocolate and be there no later than 9:15 AM.  We got the chairs set up. Atley practiced his song and Harley practiced her talk to perfection.  The font was filling on schedule.  We decided to set up a different room for the donut and hot chocolate bar.  Somewhere in the midst of all the chairs and font filling I lost my phone.  As we were setting everything up I realized I had forgotten the whipped cream.  I frantically searched for my phone to call Scott and have him bring some. I couldn't find it, so I had to use my mom's phone. I discovered an exasperated voice on the other line. Scott had been trying to call me for over an hour. He was no longer at home and the donut order wasn't anywhere near ready. We also discovered in our conversation that neither of us remembered to bring an extra white shirt. There was no time for him to go home again before the baptism.  He would just have to put a wet shirt on under his suit jacket and there would be no whipped cream.  Now if the Dunkin Donut guy would hurry up, he might just make it on time.  In all the confusion, I realized I hadn't turned off the font. I raced down the hall to shut off the water. It was about a centimeter from flooding.  The moment Scott and Nash got in, it would surely be overflowing all over the church floor.  What to do?  The only way to unplug it would be to get in the water.  We sent Nash in naked.  Unplugging it was no problem.  It was at a reasonable depth in a couple of minutes and so we told Nash to dive down and plug it back in.  He dived down but could not get it plugged back in.  He tried again and again, but his bootie kept bobbing back up.  Guests were arriving and witnessing three women gathered around the font directing a naked boy with words like, "Reach, Stretch, Your not trying hard enough." I am fairly certain some ran away in horror.  We even sent him into the font with a broom, but try as he may,  he could not get the plug back in place.  The font was draining fast. I had to turn on the water to try to offset the water we were losing.  Everyone was there and all they could hear was water draining and water running. The microphone wasn't working properly and I couldn't get the TV to work for the slide show that I had spent hours putting together. Still there was no Scott or Grandpa Butler and everyone had already been waiting for ten minutes and the water was draining fast.  Finally, Scott  arrived and a friend had offered to run home and get another white shirt-one small crisis averted.  We started the program with the soundtrack of a very loud babbling brook as mood music behind my talk on Baptism.  Of course, at this point the water pouring into the font was ice cold because the hot water had been exhausted at least an hour earlier. Additionally, the water pressure couldn't keep up with the rapidity of the drain.  Half-way through my talk I saw Scott get up and leave.  A small moment of panic for me-but he quickly returned soaking wet up to his knees and miraculously the sound of draining and running water stopped.  Luckily, he decided he better wade in before there was no water left. Nash was baptized in 2 feet of water, but he was baptized none the less. When he came out of the water he rightfully exclaimed, "WHOA! That was cold!"  Atley's solo was amazing and Harley's talk was fantastic. The microphone miraculously worked for both of them. I completely lost my voice about 20 minutes after the baptism and it didn't return for 3 days, another tender mercy. The slide-show was a big bust but the boys dressed quickly, so I am the only one who was disappointed.  Despite the stress and drama, the spirit was felt by all who attended, even those friends who are not of our faith.  It was a memorable day for all of us and one not to be forgotten by Nash anytime soon.  The hot chocolate and donut bar was a big hit. Thanks to the mother of Nash's best friend I even got one picture of him in his Baptismal whites!  Also thank you to another friend who grabbed my camera and took pictures of all the festivities, when I was too rattled to remember.  Thank goodness for great friends and the power of prayer.

Nash's 8th Birthday

Nash celebrated his 8th birthday a couple of weeks ago.  The highlight of turning 8 was of course his baptism, more on that later. We also took him to a Baltimore Ravens football game.  He is their #1 fan!  It is almost ridiculous how deep his obsession goes. He literally makes himself sick with worry when he watches a Raven's games.  He loses his appetite and goes completely berserk if they lose.
Here he is meeting his favorite player Dennis Pitta a few weeks before his birthday.  
  Seeing the game in person was almost more excitement than he could handle. He was a nervous wreck. Thankfully, they won and he was instantly the happiest boy on earth. He could not stop talking about it for days.  We got to the game early enough for him to be able to get close to the field and see the players up close. He was stunned, as we all were, at how enormous they were in person.

When we got home from the game we ate birthday cake. Unfortunately, I failed to buy candles so, just to clarify, Nash is not turning 33!
He had his favorite, P.F. Chang's, for his birthday dinner and contrary to the look on his face in the picture above, he loved it.  
Happy Birthday Big Guy! We love you lots.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

It has been a busy and wonderful month! Here is a glimpse of some of our Christmas festivities, starting with Christmas Day and working backwards.
The kids didn't really specify what they wanted this year, which made Christmas morning a big surprise and for the most part a happy surprise.  Nash loved "The World's Biggest Gummy Worm."   Atley's favorite was the globe he got from Granny and Harley loved her robot dog, apparently, the real one wasn't enough.
Santa brought Harley a bigger bike. She had no trouble getting used to it. Now she can go even faster!
We ate Christmas Eve dinner at our favorite restaurant and it was awesome not cooking!
Per tradition the kids opened one present from us, which, as always, was pajamas, but they also received new sleeping bags.  They starred in the Ward Christmas Nativity and made a last minute request to Santa.  Ispy came faithfully each night.  His Gingerbread House is one of my favorites.
This year, the day before Christmas Eve, I gave each kid money to buy gifts for their siblings.  They were so excited. They loved the shopping and finally understood, just a little, how much fun it is to give. They opened their sibling gifts  Christmas Eve morning and were elated with what was chosen for them.
No Christmas season is complete without the building of the Gingerbread Messes, I mean the Gingerbread Houses.  I am not a huge fan of this tradition, but the kids seem to like it despite the frustration and the fact that Gingerbread is nasty.
Grandpa & Grandma Butler & Granny were here for a few days before Christmas. We had a great time at National Harbor at ICE and the National Botanical Gardens.
The boys had a holiday piano recital. Atley played Joy to the World.  Nash played Torches Here Jeanette Isabella. Their hard work paid off and we were super proud of their performance.
We are so grateful for the birth of our Savior, His life of example and especially for His atoning sacrifice for us. We feel truly blessed to feel our Savior's love and the love we have for one another!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Teacher Gift Ideas #2

I saw this wonderful idea HERE, to make Christmas Potpourri. It smells wonderful and is something easy enough for LITTLE kids to help with. I had to make seven for Harley's preschool teachers. It only took us about 10 minutes and it was a big hit. Click the link above for a list of ingredients!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Puppy for Christmas

The kids' Christmas gift from Granny came a little early this year and with a lot of fur attached.  The Butler's have added another animal to the zoo, a Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles/Bichon Frise Mix). They named her Splat, which I really hope isn't a foreshadowing of her demise. I am exhausted  and feel like I have a newborn again but I already love her fuzzy little self, poop, puppy puke and all!

They all love Splaters, but Harley probably loves her best. Harley lays on the floor and just lets the puppy lick her and wrestle her.  It is the sweetest thing in the whole wide world and I am fairly certain every little girl needs/deserves a puppy of her own. Next year a pony for sure!

Here we are at the vet, ALREADY!  The cat and her got into quite a rumble and Lucy Cat scratched Splatypuss'  eye terribly.  So, now we are giving eye drops to an animal and probably going without food for a week. No worries Splatimir Putin you are totally worth it, for now!