Monday, April 18, 2016

Halloween 2015

This year for Halloween the boys were super excited to be Star Wars characters! With the upcoming release of the new Star Wars movie they thought it would be great to have the whole family dress to the theme. We all got on board and thought that would be great--except for Lily. She wanted to be Elsa from "Frozen" and nothing could deter her. She knows her own mind, that's for sure!

We got to work searching for the boys costumes, as well as our own. Rachel was to be Princess Leia and BJ Han Solo while McKay was Darth Vader and Benson a Storm Trooper. The boys decided that they wanted to be bad guys and we could be the good guys.

McKay as Lord Vader at the school parade

Benson the Storm Trooper at the school parade

Lily as Elsa, complete with the tiarra and shoes

Baby Kate got to be a little elephant. She was adored by everyone (and cozy too)!

The kids decided they wanted to go Trick-or-Treating in Nana and Papa's neighborhood, so Nana put on a perfectly spooky dinner of soup in bread bowls with accompanying festive finger foods.

Wickety Witch, our favorite Staheli Farm friend, happens to live in my parents's neighborhood! On Halloween she sits outside her house with her tasty witches brew and witches fingers so of course we had to pay her a visit.

The kids were excited to visit her, that is, up until we pulled up in front of her house and they actually saw her. She looked so convincing that the boys wouldn't get out of the car! Lily ran right out to meet her and play in her front yard (below). After a while I finally coaxed the boys into coming out of the car...but they wouldn't get too close to  her!

Before heading off for Trick-or-Treating, we stopped in at Grandma Cox's house for some pizza and cousin time. Lily and Lance are best cousin-friends and it shows!

I think they could actually pass as twins and they love to play together. They get so excited every time they see each other. I love it!

The boys were very excited about their Star Wars costumes and planned them for months. However, after wearing them to school and the ward Halloween party, the novelty apparently wore off. By October 31st they decided they weren't going to wear their themed costumes but instead opted to create Zombie costumes and paint their own faces. I washed my hands of the whole thing and tried to keep my eye-rolling to a minimum so as not to ruin the evening.

Zombie 1 & Zombie 2

As mentioned, BJ and I had planned to be Leia and Han Solo. However, when it came time to get dressed, I tried on the Leia wig I'd purchased and realized it was TINY! I couldn't get it over all of my hair. I was very disappointed. Then BJ suggested we should trade characters which, as you can see, we did! It worked surprising well! BJ rocked the tiny buns and dress and walked away from our friends Halloween party with the "Best Costume Award"!

Developing Kindness

A couple entries ago I mentioned how Benson is kind to his siblings. I'm seeing kindness manifesting itself in different ways among our little ones. It's encouraging to see! Certainly we have a long way to go, but to realize that sometimes they get it right is so comforting.

Today I had a rough morning. Nothing really out of the norm occurred but I was just feeling tired ( the baby had been up 3 or 4 times in the night) and overwhelmed. A few days ago a little friend of the boys walked into our house to play and totally innocently said to McKay, " Why is your house always so messy?" It cut me to the core because it's true. Sweet McKay nonchalantly replied, "Because my baby sister is always unloading things." This is true. But sadly it's also because Mom is always way behind on everything. And I can never seem to get ahead. Even though I work at it all day and often all night, it really never seems to improve. I feel overwhelmed at the task of caring for my 4 little ones and often feel I don't even do a good job at that, let alone all the housework!

Anyway, those thoughts were nagging at me this morning and by 9:00am I was already feeling frazzled. Then Benson accidentally stepped on the living room curtains and tore them off the wall. And I lost it. I didn't yell but I did cry which I usually don't do.

When it happened I just said in kind of an exasperated way, "Oh no, Benson"! He really lost it then and ran to his room crying. I went to my room crying and sat on the bed. Little Lily followed me into my room and sat down next to me. In the most grown-up way I've ever heard out of her she patted my knee sympathetically and said in a soft, nurturing tone, "It's ok Mom, you can fix it. Here, have a cheerios (she put one into my mouth). It will make you feel better. You don't need to cry. Here, take my hand, we'll go fix it Mom. It's ok Mom."

It was just the absolute sweetest thing. It completely melted my heart and actually made me cry more to have her be so gentle and sweet and realize that maybe underneath that busy, demanding 3-year-old is a kind sweetheart of a girl.

Anyway, Benson came back down and I comforted his little tender heart with a hug and a kiss and the admission that I knew it was just an accident. Little Benson just wants to be loved and it breaks his heart when he thinks he's not loved. Such a little tender heart.

And, the other day I was struggling with the kids, trying to get everyone ready and out the door on time. Everyone was fussing. Lily wanted help eating her breakfast, I was trying to feed the baby and make McKay's lunch and tie his shoes and pour Benson's milk and it was just crazy! Lily kept shouting about her cereal and I finally just looked at them all and said, "Mommy just can't do everything right now!"

They could all see I was frustrated. Then, out of nowhere, McKay hopped down out of his chair and walked over to Lily. He started talking in a cute little voice, offering to feed her and even making a game out of it so that she would take bites for him. He fed her all of her breakfast and made her laugh, to boot! I was able to get the lunch made, the shoes tied and all without the chorus of complaints from the moments before.

Just before McKay left for school I grabbed him and hugged him tight. I told him softly that his actions were some of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. I was so proud of him for seeing a need and taking the initiative to serve our whole family by filling it. It was really wonderful and changed the entire ton of our home at that time.