Monday, June 29, 2009

Henry Turns 5

Henry was very excited for his birthday this year. He's been dying to be five years old! The morning of his birthday, we woke him up so that he could open his presents before Nathan went to work. Before he even opened up the first present, he exclaimed, "Oh yeah - I'm five now! I'm too big for my pillow!" He walked over to the trash can, tossed in his pillow, and that was it! No more pillow! He hasn't asked for it since. (For those who don't know, his "pillow" is his ratty old pillowcase that he's carried around with him since he was about 10 months old.) Good riddance!

Henry had a birthday party in the evening. He invited seven boys and they all came. We were supposed to have a "water" party with a slip & slide and water guns, but because of his stitches, we had to can the water idea and play some games instead. It was still fun and everyone had a good time.

Happy Birthday Henry!


While Suzi was here we decided to take the kids to the park when Nathan got home from work. The kids were playing on some newly installed playground equipment. All of them except Henry came back over to where we were sitting to play some more Lacrosse. When we looked back up to keep an eye on Henry, we were horrified to see him running towards us, shrieking, with his head covered in blood. It was the single most heart-stopping moment so far for me as a mother. We hadn't seen what had happened, so we didn't know what we would find when we caught up to him. My other kids were screaming and freaking out so loud that we had the attention of the entire park. When we reached him, I was actually relieved to see that it was a gash over his eye. That was something that could be fixed. As we were calming Henry down and cleaning him up, a woman came over to tell us what had happened. She saw Henry fall off the thing he was playing on and as he sat up, it swung and hit him in the eye. Nathan and I took him to urgent care, while Suzi stayed at the park with the rest of the kids. My kids were NOT happy that they weren't coming to urgent care too - they were very concerned for Henry. Henry was so funny at the doctor's office. When we were sitting in the waiting room, he put his hand up to his eye and, quite pathetically, said, "Mom, you need to call my friends. You need to tell them what happened to me."

When we took him into the bathroom to wash him up a little bit, he saw that there was blood under his fingernails. He said, "I look cool with blood on me. I hope it doesn't wash off." What a boy. He became a little nervous when he was laying on the bed waiting for the numbing gel to start working. He kept asking me to tell him again what exactly the doctor was going to do - I was giving him very vague answers.

As the doctor was injecting his cut with the needle, he did finally start to whimper and quietly cried, "That hurts!" What a brave little guy! While he was getting the actual stitches, he kept asking how many minutes until the doctor was going to be done. I told him to count to 60 and that would be one minute. He immediately went to work counting to 60 over and over again until the doctor was done - it kept him distracted (and it was good practice for Kindergarten!) The doctor finally finished. Seven stitches. Henry sat up and looked around, relieved that it was over. He glanced over and saw the needle sitting in the tray. He breathed and sigh of relief and said, "Whew, I thought the doctor was going to use that thing!" When we took our brave little guy home, Suzi and the kids had some frozen yogurt waiting for him.

Half an hour later, we had to say our goodbyes so that Suzi and Kyler could catch a plane back to Phoenix. Henry had taken a real liking to Kyler (Kywer) and I don't think he was happy to see him go. It's never fun saying goodbye to visitors.

Thanks for seeing us!

At bedtime, when I kissed Henry goodnight, I whispered in his ear, "I'm happy that you're okay." Henry said softly, "Mommy, can we say a prayer?" I said sure, and then he said, "Then put your hands on my head." That got me. It was touching to see that he understood what a priesthood blessing was and that he thought he needed one. I explained to him why I couldn't do it and then called Nathan back into the room. Henry was so serious as he sat up in his bed, folded his little arms, closed his eyes and waited for Nathan to start. It almost made me laugh. What a cutie.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Father's Day

This is how we started the day:

Once I got the kids up, we made Daddy breakfast in bed and went to church. After church, we were excited to get a visit from Nathan's older sister, Suzi and her son Kyler. They had just finished a series of Lacrosse games in Park City and came to stay with us for a couple of days. We took a picnic lunch to Millcreek Canyon, where Klyer helped Elliot break in the Lacrosse set he got for Christmas. Kyler was very patient with the boys and gave them some pointers.

I couldn't believe how green it was in the the canyon!

When we got back to the house, the kids played more Lacrosse.

We finished the day with the steak dinner that Nathan requested and the caramel apples that Suzi brought from Park City. Happy Father's Day Nate!

Turning 34

I had a really great birthday this year. Nathan took me to a bed and breakfast in Provo (his idea). We stayed at the Hines Mansion

in this room.

Nathan took me to the coolest restaurant I've ever been to for dinner. Check it out!

The restaurant was very modern and hip with a menu full of items I had to ask the waiter about (I didn't want to order the wrong thing!) I ordered a Shirley Temple with cotton candy, yes, cotton candy, sticking out of the top. Our meals looked like they should be judged on Iron Chef America, you know, with different sauces drizzled on the plate? Everything was so fancy and yummy. Then we went back to our room and took full advantage of the jacuzzi tub. The next morning, after our cozy breakfast in the dining room, we walked to a farmer's market across the street. We had the tastiest mint-lime drinks and chocolate croissants. What a great birthday getaway. Thanks Nay!

Once Upon a Lily Pad

Elliot's end-of-year performance was so cute! It was about a frog who's trying to figure out where his place is in the big pond of life. Elliot was an alligator who saves the frog from a group of hungry snakes. He then sings a song about listening to your parents. I think it's the best song I've ever heard.
I only video taped Elliot's part of the performance:

Temple Dedication Celebration

This post has been a long time coming and it's kinda kept me from blogging. I like posting chronologically and I was waiting on Samantha to write this post. Instead, she agreed to let me copy what she wrote in her journal. On May 29th, Samantha, along with 7,000 youth in our temple district performed at the Conference Center in front of the Presidents Monson and Eyring. When the prophet walked to his seat, everyone stood and sang "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet", which I know has been done before, but not with me there! The audience was also privileged to sing Happy Birthday to President Eyring. How cool is that! The production itself was Broadway quality, and I got completely choked up when Samantha was on stage. I called the performance "spiritually entertaining". Is there such a thing? I even saw President Monson take out his handkerchief to dry his eyes during the closing prayer. It was a night to remember. Here's what Samantha thought:

"Yesterday was the performance. I was so excited! Our dance was the second act. I was nervous during the first dance. My group is front and center! The Prophet, Thomas S. Monson was sitting in the front row! Then it was us pioneers to come on. It was so fun! It was an awesome experience. The prophet was right in front of us! I waved to him when we came off stage. I don't think he saw me, but it was worth a try! Our dance is about 3 to 5 minutes long, but it was the best 3 minutes of my life! When we came off the stage, I just stared at the prophet. His smile is something I will never forget. I was just a few feet away from him. I wish I could have shaken his hand or maybe even a hug. I wish I could live it over and over again. I wish it would never end. But it did end. The rest of the celebration was really cool. The only dance I missed was the one right after us. The one before us was the Native Americans. After us is the Pioneer Celebration, the Train Dance [Promontory Point], then Draper in 1912, then Early Immigration, then the Farmers Dance, then the 1920's, then the 1940's, then the Military Appreciation, then the 1950's, then there was this really cool dance called The Gift. Then there was the cultural dances: Hawaiian, Mexican and Chinese. The Chinese dance was my favorite! It was so cool! It had dragons, fans and drums. It was awesome. Then there was the finale. Behind the stage there was this cool mountain. Our theme was "Come Up to the Mountain of the Lord". The mountain was so big and the whole audience could see it! At the finale, this Draper Temple came up and covered the mountain! Then one family "climbed" the mountain to the temple. Then the kids came to the parents halfway up. Then they got to the temple and stood there [while the choir sang Families Can Be Together Forever]. Then it was over. Oh, how I wish it wasn't! It was the most coolest thing I've ever done! I'm glad the prophet was right there. Oh - I just remembered two things! The performance day was President Henry B. Eyring's birthday, so at the beginning we sang Happy Birthday to him! It was so cool! I also found out [during the Military Appreciation segment] that Thomas S. Monson was in the Navy. How cool is that? Then after the performance there was a cast party at the stake center. It was awesome. Me and Ashley danced to midnight. Literally! It was so fun! I got really hyper. The leaders took a picture of all of us together in our costumes last Wednesday and they made a copy for everyone. Now I have the picture, my wristband that says "Come Up to the Mountain", my ticket and my celebration pamphlet to scrapbook. Oh, I also have a petal from the roses my family gave me after the performance. My parents were so proud of me! I've never seen them so proud and of course they made me feel good about myself. My mom said that she got so emotional she couldn't even swallow! Now that's proud! This will be something I will never forget. This experience was so cool, how could you forget! I'll never forget the people in our group and especially the smile of Thomas S. Monson, our awesome prophet!" - Samantha Beutler, May 30, 2009
You can play Where's Waldo to find Samantha....or you can just look in the front row.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, we decided to try camping in one of the canyons close to our house. We chose Big Cottonwood Canyon because it's only 20 minutes from home, which would allow Samantha to attend her final Saturday rehearsal for the Temple Dedication Celebration. Oddly enough, our super short car ride still contained the usual amounts of "are we there yet?" When we pulled up to our campsite, I saw a little creek running 15 feet from our fire ring, and I thought, "Oh, this will be a fun weekend trying to keep Henry out of the water." Then, when I got out of the car, I saw that a clogged up culvert under the ground had created a large pool just a few feet from our trailer. Since we didn't request a "poolside" campsite, we tried to get a new campsite, but they were all reserved.

It didn't end up being a problem - The kids stayed clear of the water for the most part. We had other water problems, however. Although it was sunny when we arrived Friday evening, it started to rain right after I went back into town Saturday morning to retrieve Samantha from practice (and a few forgotten items from home). It rained constantly until Monday morning. On Sunday, when we had our fill of playing Dominoes and Phase 10 in the trailer, we got in the car and left the canyon looking for something to do. We decided to go to Emigration Canyon to find this diner we saw on TV. We got lost looking for the entrance to the canyon and enjoyed a lovely tour of the University of Utah campus. The campus is actually very nice. We drove by some dorms, all of the fraternity and sorority houses and the biggest Institute building I've ever seen. (Gillian thinks she wants to go there now instead of BYU!) We drove up and down some streets in The Avenues, saw a bunch of really cool old houses, passed the This is the Place Monument and finally found the canyon we were looking for. The diner was cute and we had the best homemade malt pudding ever. Yum! It wasn't raining in Salt Lake City, so overall, it was a relaxing getaway from the camping rain. When we got back to the trailer, we took advantage of a break in the storm clouds and went on a hike that Nathan wanted to go on.
The trail was mostly muddy and still covered in snow, so it was a little slow-going, but the reward at the end of the trail was Donut Falls, a waterfall that falls into a perfect hole that looks like a donut. It was really pretty - and unique!

On the hike back, it started to rain again - and hail. This was not the first time we've been rained (or hailed) on during a hike. We hid under a tree to see if it would let up. Nathan decided to run the rest of the way to the campsite and bring the car back to get us. We went and hid under the roof of a nearby restroom.

That night, the freakiest thing happened. Elliot and Henry share the bed that converts to the dining table. Elliot has a habit of falling off the bed at least twice every night, so we always have our sleeping ears half open. In the middle of the night, I heard a thump, so I rolled over and shined the flashlight on the boys' bed. I saw two sleeping bags, so I turned off the flashlight and rolled back over. Suddenly, Nathan (very alarmed) said, "There's someone outside!" I jumped up and ran to the boy's bed. Henry's sleeping bag was empty and the Velcro that keeps the canvas wall closed was wide open! Just as I was putting two and two together, Henry started to knock on the front door of the trailer, crying. My son had fallen out of the trailer! I was totally freaked! We pulled him inside, and Henry said, "Why is the door locked?" Henry said that he landed on his feet, and he seemed to have no injuries, which was a relief, but I put him into my bed and stroked and kissed him until he fell asleep. I couldn't sleep, thinking of all the different ways he could have landed on the cement outside - like on his head. The morning finally came and we could ask him what really happened. He just said that he got outside with his "invisible potion". What? Finally, when we were home, I got the real story out of him: He had woken up and decided that he wanted Dad. He got out of his bag and thought he would slide off the side of the bed feet first - only it wasn't the side of the bed. He said that when he fell out, he was able to grab on to the trailer and was hanging. By then, the storm clouds had cleared and the moon gave enough light that he could see his way around to the front of the trailer. Thank goodness he could see where he was going (remember the pool just inches away?). Here's a picture of where he got out:
Even with all the rain and the "incident", we still managed to have fun. See?

There was a big pile of snow in our campsite, so we took advantage and used it as a second cooler!