December 25, 2009

Christmas with the Family

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. This year we had the opportunity to visit with the Jones side of the family. Most of my boys have an innate understanding of their special toys, especially of their firearms. (Not sure what happened here!)

Regardless, the boys love their noise-makers. Each boy has his own noise-maker and wasted no time sounding them off.

Michael was very excited about his Mater puzzle. Puzzles are one of Michael's newly discovered passions and Mater is his favorite Cars character.

The boys got some Legos this Christmas. Included in the box was a picture of various things that could be built with the legos. David took the time to recreate several of the characters on the paper. This one was the one he was most proud of.

After playing with the toys we headed over the Grandma and Grandpa Jones' house. We were fortunate this year to have most of the family in town. This is exciting because we don't know when we'll have this many Joneses around for Christmas. (Theoretically we'll be here in 2 years but everyone's lifestyles are getting more crazy!)

The cousins had a great time playing together. Not so surprisingly, the girls played with the girls and the boys played with the boys. David and Tyler played a lot together being the 2 oldest cousins. There was also significant movie watching with the new DVDs this Christmas.

The older kids also played games. You never know what to expect when this many older kids get together but we always have fun.

(Posted 7/24/10)

December 24, 2009

The Finger

I had to work this Christmas eve. Work was obviously slow but I had a client in at 2:30 pm to look at mortgage options. Because of the time and his limited options our appointment didn't last very long. When I finished with my appointment I checked my messages and discovered a message from Michelle indicating that she had taken Donovan to get stitches and that I needed to get home a quickly as possible to care for our kids!

The boys were being watched by our good neighbor Alin Schoenrock but she had previous obligations which required her attendance at 3:30 pm...about when I discovered the message revealing the dilemma. With no boss at work (already on vacation) I just approved my own leave and raced home.

I discovered what had happened to my Donovan. Apparently he had decided that it would be a good idea to make paper snowflakes. He retrieved the scissors, procured the appropriate snowflake paper and began to create the folds that would develop into magnificent snowflakes. In the meantime, Micheal happened upon the project and thought it would be fun to play with the scissors. While Michael was playing with the scissors Donovan became incensed at the loss of important project equipment and tried to grabbed the scissors and wrest them from the grasp of Michael. However, the reach was ill timed and ill place, almost eliminate his finger tip.

Donovan was a brave little trooper. Michelle was just as brave in handling the situation, getting baby sitting, transporting the injured child and contacting me. Obviously she is the mother of some very active boys.

On side of Donovan's finger wouldn't numb, even after repeated attempts using local anesthetic. So Donovan received 7 stitches and the nurse gave up on the last 2 stitches and just glued it closed. He then received some protective bandaging to prevent this very active boy from bending his finger and breaking open the stitches.

Here is a picture of the finger after it has had a few days to heal. If you look closely you can see the blue surgical threads of the stitches.

Needless to say, that put a cramp in our style for Christmas eve. We were hoping to deliver some neighborly holiday greetings, have some devotional time (reading Luke 2), and be together as a family. Instead, Michelle and Donovan hung out in the after-hours clinic and I was with the other boys at home. We are fortunate, however, that Donovan still has the finger.

December 20, 2009

Craziness at our house

Things have been very busy for us these past few weeks. We've decided that due to various economic factors beyond our control that a change of career is in order. In order to facilitate this change in occupation we have done quite a bit of research. Our efforts have resulted in the decision for me to become a Physician's Assistant (PA). While we are very excited about this opportunity it is not something that we can do overnight.

In order for me to become a PA I am going to have to return to school. But in order to get into school I have to get qualified. While I have spent the last 8 years in real estate it hasn't helped me to get important pre-requisites accomplished and so I am going to be going back to school for a semester to complete my list of required classes. In addition, I have to gain a certain amount of time with practical experience in the medical field.

To gain experience in the medical field I actually have to get trained for that too. As a result, I have just completed my CNA training through the OrchardCNA program. The program was a 3 week program that basically went from 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm Monday through Friday and from 6:00 am - 2 pm on Saturday. This provided the 80+ hours of training & clinicals that the state requires to qualify for certification. I just completed that program on Thursday and will be scheduling my state exams soon.

Working from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm and then school from 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm and then reading/homework until 11:00 pm doesn't leave a lot of free time. So I don't really know what has been happening with my family over the past few weeks however I do know that they are still here!

Michelle just got back yesterday from a quick trip up to Grandma Petersen's house. They were celebrating "Grandma's Christmas" since they will be traveling this year and it is the "off" year for family visits. From the report they had a wonderful time. Friday night was packing, traveling and seeing the cousins! The packing and traveling part wasn't so much fun but the kids had a blast seeing the cousins. They had so much fun in fact, that they (the kids) didn't get to bed until after 11:00 pm. They just could not be contained.

Saturday morning was filled with all sorts of crafts including gingerbread Christmas tree construction, personalized snowflake assembly, and snowman creations. All of kids did wonderfully but I can't help but notice that Donovan has a certain knack for artistic creations, more so than any of my other boys.

Because of so much busyness during this season I have not been so diligent in maintaining this accounting but I hope to be better. This coming semester is going to be another busy time with full-time school and work but we share persevere.

December 15, 2009

A Trip To The Dentist

Well, it's that time of year when we go and see the dentist. I'll admit it, there is always a bit of apprehension about this particular visit. While it is only supposed to be a check-up you never know what the dentist will find. It's that bit of unknown that always has me worried. I brush and floss my teeth and we help the kids brush their teeth too. But...
Everything turned out just fine! We are set for at least another 6 months. The boys did great once we got David on the chair. And each boy was excited for his "prize" after their check-ups. Yeah!

November 28, 2009

New Bathroom Sink Installed

While this has been some time in the making...we finally have a bathroom sink installed! We are certainly grateful to everyone who has helped us reach this point. Michelle thought of the design, Dad Petersen and Uncle Kyle were responsible for the steel construction and assembly. Uncle Jared did the tiling. And I was able to do the installation. And there you have it, a nice bathroom sink.

Our boys are not content with the built-in step shown at the bottom of the cabinet. So most of the time we'll find Michael and Aleky sitting or kneeling on the counter top. It is a good thing that this vanity was built "Petersen-tough" to handle the demands and work load our family will put it through!

November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving with the Family

We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and we look forward all year to each opportunity to gather together with our extended family. The Petersen's side of the family has quite a few cousins who are all very close in age. Each time we get together the cousins will do everything together and they go non-stop until the late hours of the day. While cooking a Thanksgiving meal that comes in handy since all of the kids stay occupied. I find it quite amazing how few accidents and crying actually occur with so many little children in such close proximity for an extended period of time.

In any case, we had a fabulous Thanksgiving meal hosted at Aunt Melissa's house this year. We created a table for the kids and most of the cousins (3 families represented - Boels, Joneses, Kims) were able to fit. Now eating was not a high priority item for the kids (especially my boys) but they stayed put because they had to wait for their cousins to continue playing.

These kids were found hanging around.

Cynthia heads up the nail decorating activity while the mommies work on dinner.

Parent enforced curfew, the boys decide to camp out in the family room so they can all be together.

My boys discover the Nerf cannon. They set up a sniper nest at the bottom of the stairs.

We had a very enjoyable time visiting with family. We certainly appreciate the Boels for allowing all of us to visit their home and share in their hospitality.

November 13, 2009

New Addition to Our Family

We are excited about the newest member of our family. In anticipation of growing family we have decided that we need a vehicle that will allow the entire family to travel together. Our search has led us to "Big Red." I hesitate to call it Clifford but that is the name that immediately comes to mind.

The vehicle has the cloth seats which we prefer because the leather seats all seem to wear much faster and look much worse over time. We were hoping for the bench seat option for the front but didn't get it with this suburban.

The engine looks to be in fairly good condition so we felt pretty good about finding this deal. I think that as long as we take care of it, this vehicle will get our family to Grandma's house and back at least a few times.

November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Our boys have been very excited for Halloween this year. David has been talking about it all month long. He is old enough now to remember the various holidays and to get excited about them. Donovan is also getting very excited about the holidays too. He picks up on the enthusiasm from David and it multiplies. Michael is excited that his brothers are excited and he wants in.

This year Michelle decided to to Star Wars costumes. She was able to put together three young Jedi costumes; Aleky's costume was about half done so he got to be a Musketeer instead. We decided to stay in our neighborhood this year and visit our friends here. The boys were just excited to knock on the doors, say "Trick or Treat" and get candy. Of course, we were excited for our boys and to visit our friends and neighbors.

Our longest stop, by far, was at the bishop's house. They decided to hand out cooked hot dogs and hamburgers instead of candy. We stopped and had dinner there, along with the nice hot chocolate they provided. It also gave us an opportunity to visit with other neighbors who stopped to share the food.

However, in spite of the food already shared we ended up with a lot of extra candy as the bishop carefully unloaded his bowl of candy into Donovan's bucket (behind Michelle's back--he was very sneaky!).

It was a lot of fun running around the east half of the ward. We ran out of time before we could visit the west half. Regardless of the shortness of time I think the boys got more than enough candy for a single night.

We're still trying to decide how best to handle the influx of sugar. We've heard some parents let their kids eat as much candy as they want on Halloween night and they dispose of the rest. Other parents distribute the candy over time to even out the sugar to a manageable level. Some dentists (I've heard) will trade toys for candy. So far, we've decided to go with the even distribution of candy over time but haven't settled on this option as the only option.

October 29, 2009

Jack-o-Lanterns 2009

We had a wonderful opportunity to carve a few jack-o-lanterns this year. David got a pumpkin seed from his Kindergarten class in the spring and that seed produced a couple small pumpkins. David was able to carve one of those pumpkins all by himself. Michelle acquired a couple more (larger) pumpkins that we worked on as a family.

Michelle took charge of the larger pumpkin. Michael was able to assist on the clean out, getting the pumpkins seeds out of the pumpkin.

Donovan took charge of the second pumpkin. I was able to assist on the clean out.

David took charge of his own pumpkin and did everything himself.

It was a fabulously messy experience and everyone had a good time. Michael was able to take charge of the smallest pumpkin so he could do some of his own carving.

Aleky did his best to be involved but we just didn't trust him with any carving equipment. But in spite of not carving he, along with the other boys, enjoyed lighting the jack-o-lanterns.

I hope everyone has a happy Halloween!

October 21, 2009

Do We Have to Eat Dessert?

There are times when my boys simply boggle my mind. Tonight was one of them. We were simply having leftovers for dinner. The boys struggled with the decision, "what do I want to eat tonight?" This was probably an exceptional hard decision because they didn't want to eat it the first time, which is why we have so many leftovers.

Each child finally made a decision and began eating. That was mildly surprising but the real jolt was about to happen...dessert!

What kid in the entire world doesn't want to eat dessert? Each kid ate their dinner and so we wanted to reward them for eating. So Michelle whips out the pie and ice cream. Sounds good, right? Well our boys literally started throwing fits, crying, moaning and wailing about having to eat dessert! More specifically, they didn't want to eat the pie (Razzle Berry Pie). Michelle had cut a thin sliver of pie for each boy, put it in a bowl and added ice cream. The boys acted as if the ice cream had been contaminated. David grudgingly ate his piece of pie but Donovan and Michael couldn't be coerced into eating their sliver of pie.

I really had to fight the feeling to laugh out loud when David first started throwing his tantrum over having his ice cream contaminated by the sliver of Razzle Berry Pie. He started to wail and moan and even created some crocodile tears. Truly an unexpected moment in the evening.

Does anyone else have kids that have issues with dessert?

October 17, 2009

Ward Activity - Fall Festival

Our ward had a fall festival this year instead of trying to compete with Halloween. We have to express our appreciation to all of those people who worked so hard to put this activity together. They did a fabulous job and I think everyone had a great time.

The evening started in the third quarter of the BYU-SDSU football game with the score tied 21-21. But notwithstanding, there was still quite a decent turn-out. We did notice a few of the brethren who disappeared somewhere in the fourth quarter. Their faithful attendance (at least in spirit) to the football game proved enough to claim our school's 500th win (38-28 final score).

Our fall festival started out with the pot-luck dinner. The ward provided the hot dogs and hamburgers and the members provided chips, salads, and desserts. With ample time to eat the activities started around 6:45 pm. The booths that they had included the photo booth, face painting, fishing pond, ring toss, pumpkin derby, bowling and basketball shoot. Also included, but not as booths, were the largest/smallest pumpkin, bottling and pie eating contests.

Here we are at the photo booth. While this was the first booth, it also happened to be our last stop of the evening.

Our friends, the Andersons, were also there for a quick photo opp. at the same time.

Face painting was the boys first stop of the evening after "eating" dinner. While they had been talking about it all week, when the time arrived Aleky was the only one brave enough to get something painted on his face.

After seeing the courage of his little brother, David also summoned the courage to have a spider web painted on his face.

At the end of the evening Donovan finally mustered the courage to have a blue star painted on his forehead. I'm not sure he had fully recovered from the shock of the experience...

Eleanor also finally decided to have her face painted and she got a "bug on the face." While the whole experience wasn't thrilling, she survived and was very excited to see the picture of the butterfly on her cheek.

Another wonderful masterpiece from the Young Women artists (Sister Brienholt). It was too cute to pass up without taking a picture.

The primary's fishing pond was fun as each kid got to go fishing twice. Apparently there were enough "fish" for everyone to get two tries and each kid was success (on almost every cast).

Aleky's favorite stop of the whole evening was the young men's ball toss. He thought that he had died and gone to heaven. He just tossed the balls into the tubes and if anyone missed he was there to help on the rebound.

Michael finally got his turn to go bowling but it didn't quite go as planned. May be we need to let him practice a few more tosses before our next fall festival.

This pumpkin derby was an interesting race. You quickly built a "car" and place a small pumpkin on top (strapping it one with rubber bands) and then you race them down the ramp. My pumpkin came in 4th. I guess I need to work on my pumpkin aerodynamic designs for next year.

Michelle really wanted a piece of pie for dessert. However, all of the pies were being used for the pie eating contest. So she entered. While she didn't win she did get her piece of pie.

Michelle also dominated the bottling contest. The rules were simple, bring one of your bottles with the number of total bottles prepared this year and the biggest number wins. Unfortunately, the word got around the ward that Michelle had really gone to town and so there were only a limited number of entries (why try when you don't stand a chance?). Michelle won 1st place and Autumn Bosley won 3rd place. Samantha Anderson won 2nd place but wasn't there for the picture.

Brother Jaccard wrapped up the evening with story time. He did a great job for the 3 minutes we were there. But the boys were more excited playing with the balls from the various booths that they weren't too concerned about the story. It took us the whole story just to round them up.
We all had fun. BYU won. What more could you ask for on a beautiful Saturday evening?

October 13, 2009

Aleky's Birthday Party

Better late than never we decided to have Aleky's birthday party when we could have a lot of friends come over and when we could have time to put the party together. Ironically, we didn't have very much time today but Michelle worked very hard and had a little family miracle. And before we knew it all of our friends had arrived.

We started with letting the kids run wild in the back yard while Michelle quickly put the finishing touches on the cake. With the guidance and assistance of our resident pilot, Matt Badel, we were able to create a virtual replication of a modern day war plane...almost.

Next, we rounded up the kids for a quick art project. They had to decorate their luggage (goodie bag) and check it in. This went pretty well except everyone wanted the red marker at the same time.

Once they everyone had their own marker they really went to town. We just ran out of room so some of the kids had to find additional space elsewhere in the room.

After checking in the luggage we sang "Happy Birthday" to Aleky and then moved to the kitchen to eat the cake and ice cream. Our boys loved it, especially since they didn't really have time (or desire) to eat dinner!

After opening presents each kid picked up their luggage at the baggage claim. It was so wonderful to have so many friends come to support us with Aleky's birthday party.

Happy Birthday Aleky! You're growing up so fast. You won't be our little baby boy much longer but we still love you.