Monday, May 10, 2010

The "Ooh-la-la" Girls

After William's blessing, when all the family was together, Ella (Heidi and Ned's daughter) and Claire had a ton of fun dressing up. We are big fans of the Fancy Nancy books at this house and so Claire has learned to say "Ooh la la." The girls got these outfits on themselves and then came out to model and said "ooh la la." It was too cute. These girls sure love each other. Cousins are fun!

Ready for action

The "Belle" of the Ball

Love the glasses

William's Blessing

William wearing the blessing outfit both Daniel and Carter were blessed in

Outtake #1 of group photo

Outtake #2--where did Claire run off to?
Outtake #3-notice Carter and Claire

This is the best one we got:) April, Wes, Annette, John (washed out from the sun), Heidi, Ned, Ella, Asher (in Danny's arms), Hayley, Ryan, Sue, Jeff, Danny, Sarah, Carter, Claire, William, Robbie, Laura, Eric, Sydnee and Kollin
Grandma and Grandpa Ottosen were there but had to run off so they missed the group photo, with Eric and Sydnee in this one

William and his great grandparents

It was such a great day to have our families with us (minus Jake and Amy) and to be spiritually fed at the same time. Danny blessed William and it was beautiful and we enjoyed a fun afternoon and evening together. I love the group photo because it shows how many people are there for William and will continue to be throughout his life. What a blessing that is! At the end of the night I realized we hadn't taken any photos of just us with William and Claire took some of me with William before church but they turned out bad. Oh well!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Miracle of the Human Brain...

I spend far less time on the internet these days than I have in the past. There are many reasons why this is the case: I have my phone which allows me to check my calendar and email throughout the day, I am now exercising regularly and, of course, I try to spend most of my free time with Sarah and the kids.

Anyway, there are still so many amazing things in the world that one can find by surfing the "human network." Hey, isn't that a line from a commercial or something?

Anyhow, here's something you may have seen. I saw this some time ago but it's worth a second look.

The "miracle of the brain?" Sure, partly, but there's a lot more to the miracle of the human being than simply the physical brain.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beach Bonfire

William at the beach for the first time;)

Berry girl playing in the hole Danny dug

As soon as we could see the ocean, Carter was so is going to be a fun summer!

The funny girl who ate her hot dog and destroyed her bun. She did not inherit my carb addiction.

Cute boy Kollin busying playing in/eating sand

It was cold enough to put William in a favorite outfit Carter wore as a baby. He looked so cute in it and stayed warm!
Master roaster Papa

Sydnee, Eric and Kollin
We were so glad Robbie & Laura came down for William's blessing--it is always fun to spend time with them!

Bonfire time! It was such a fun night...looking forward to many more this summer!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Family Home Evening at the Todd's & Giant Catfish

Family Home Evening at our home is always hilarious and uplifting, even when it's chaotic since there is always something inherently joyous about striving to do what we know is right. Although we are not perfect in our adherence to holding FHE, we are generally very good about doing it (thanks, of course, to Sari).

So, for our posterity and for general hilarity, it struck me that it would be worthwhile to make an accounting of a typical Todd home evening. What was initially going to be a "quick run down" of how tonight's evening and subsequent FHE program unfolded has become quite detailed. Anyway, for what it's worth, here it is:

1. I arrived home from work around 5:05PM and enter the house through the garage to find the kids are playing an educational game on the computer. Claire was runnin' the show and Carter lay on our bed watching. Sarah is starting dinner (tilapia, broccoli and some strange whole grain that was delicious...Sarah, what was that called again?)

2. Since William was chillin', Sarah advised me to take my run immediately. I ran the 3.2 mile loop (walking up the steepest hills) and made it back in just over thirty minutes. It was hot and my new New Balance shoes were not as wonderful as I would have liked, but that's tangential.

3. I arrived home to find Claire asleep on the bed and Carter now on the computer. "Time to get off guys!" Sarah said from the kitchen (yes, our home is small) so we drag Claire out to the dinner table and force her to wake up so she wouldn't be up till 10PM and we eat. Delicious!

4. I offered to get started with the dishes but am advised we should commence FHE immediately so the kids can get in their bath. Claire and Carter ran over and summited the entertainment center. It was my turn to choose the song and I chose my favorite primary song, "Give Said the Little Stream." We sang the first verse since it's the only one we know, or at least I know.

5. Carter offers the prayer since it's William's turn and he's a bit too young to do so obviously. We then do "family business" which consists of each of us explains the events we have going on for the week. Sarah is interrupted about 12 times and I don't think I even got a turn.

6. Sarah then produces a semi-large piece of construction paper and we collaboratively create some rules and their respective consequences. We have done this before, but this time it seems more serious since the children choose the consequences. The only rule Carter lobbied heavily against was that which required that toys and other objects be put away before the next item or items are retrieved.

7. Sarah then went on to explain how rules, like commandments, are meant to provide freedom and happiness and not the opposite. We then discussed what life would be like if no one at home shared, if we yelled and screamed at each other and if daddy or mommy decided to hang out late and not come home. We all concurred that this would not make us happy.

8. Game time! Hide and go seek, as usual. It doesn't matter, the kids love it. Claire and I hid first and chose to hole up the master bedroom closet which, if you've seen our hose, is not a walk-in closet. She couldn't seem to hold still but it was actually a the sound of air escaping my body that revealed our hiding place to Carter and mommy. I must admit, it was on purpose...hey, I was sick of hiding in there!

9. After a few more rounds we end up at the table to complete a small school project for Carter's class. After that dessert is served: sugar free Jello pudding. Guiltless but not necessarily the most tasty treat, but that's OK, the kids liked it and it's healthy.

10. The kids get in the bath and I take William outside to relax him. I noticed all the bark chips I had so neatly cleaned up on Saturday have been scattered on the walk way. I took a deep breath and happiness flowed through me, forcing out frustration. I'd rather have healthy kids running around than neat bark chips. We headed back inside and I finished up the bath. While Sarah read a story to the kids in their pajamas, I did the dishes and did the rounds cleaning up toys on the back patio, etc.

11. As we do every night, we read from the Book of Mormon stories book and said our family prayer. Claire said the prayer and I helped her. Hugs, kisses, tooth brushing and then both kids on their bunk bed for their nightly story from me. Right now I'm telling them a story about 13 orphans who are taken in by an immensely wealthy man named Mr. Willard. They soon discover his riches come from his fishing lure business. At this point in the story (I tell them a "mini-chapter" every night) four of the children, William, Carter, Claire and Tommy (there's always a Tommy in every story I tell for some reason) are endeavoring to catch a monstrosity of a cat fish named General Sherman. In tonight's chapter they hook him but he breaks the line. Carter begs for me to continue, but I kiss him goodnight and carry Claire to her room where, as usual, she demands a story. Her story is much shorter since she already had the main story and, as usual, she asks for a "teenie bit uh wata'" so I bring her about an 1/8 of a sippy cup of water. She passes out and Sarah and I plop down on the couch and sigh. Oh yeah, William.... (:

Monday night at the Todd's.

One last thing. In case you didn't know, giant catfish actually do exist in fresh water in the US and have been caught both in "olden times' and in more recently. Need proof?:

Finally: yes, there are tense issues in this posting, but I am too lazy to go back and edit all of them. So live with it...oh wait, you're not OCD about that, or are you?