Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012--The Flintstones!

 Folks have been telling Eric he looks just like Fred Flintstone for years, so I knew this was an inevitable Halloween scenario. I was just waiting for that Flintstone feeling to surface, and this was our year!

If you look at the photos and think that we're making silly cartoon faces, it's because we are!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Volume VIII, issue viii, September 2012

One Small Step for Charlie Kind
We were extremely proud of Charlie for learning some mad new skills in September!
Charlie learning to Canoodle with his Lunch. 

I heard raucous laughter from both the bigger kids and Charlie and ran into the living room to see what was causing such an outburst. This is what Eric was doing to entertain our innocent little chap.

The Jackson Three

In early September we took our annual late summer trek to Jackson Hole. We honored our trio of traditions as we hiked to Taggart Lake, swam at the Rec Center in Jackson Hole and ate ribs at Bubbas. Satisfaction!

Eve's Observation

I was involved in some project that demanded something orange, sweet and stretchy. (I don't even remember what it was. Weird.) I asked Eve, "Do they make orange fruit roll ups?" She responded thoughtfully, "According to my kid instincts, I don't think they come in orange."

Marie's Artistic Sensibilities

   In the beginning she says, "I'm Marie d'Evegnee and I'm gonna play Twinkle Little Star Marie." After that, it frankly gets a little morbid. She sings it with such cheer though, don't you think? (I'm glad she went to the "doctor," but it honestly sounds like it might have been too late.) But at least her friends help resolve the existential dilemma when they demonstrate their humanity as they say, "C'mon. . . guys, what should we do?"
   Marie's poetic soul also emerged the other day when she was upset and she observed, ""When I cry, it's raining in my eyes."

             If you think that I have fun getting her dressed for preschool, you might be right!

I don't know which is worse--the fact that they make such great dorks or the fact that they look much more like their Hafen side in all of these photos. It just comes so naturally that I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed. 

Peter's Prayers
   Peter's prayers have been evolving from their toddler stage to their Hugh Nibley stage. Earlier this year, Peter had a primary lesson about the prophet Nephi building a ship to cross the ocean to come to America. That Sunday night, Peter prayed with all sincerity, "Please help Nephi build his ship." Peter continued saying this same phrase every night for months, and even though we know from the Book of Mormon plot that Nephi's boat got the job done, his honest anxiety for Nephi's project made us hope that somehow prayers can be retroactive.
   This summer, Peter started to pick up on the fact that he can pray about different things that have happened during his day and that he doesn't need to say the same things in every prayer. When Eric came home from his trip, he gave each of the kids souvenirs from his adventures. Peter received a plastic axe from Mount Vernon that was filled with tiny candy cherries. In his prayer that night, Peter said, "Thanks for my present from Dad. . . which was the AWESOMEST of them ALL!"

    It was difficult for Peter to endure the long countdown to his birthday, so we started telling him how many days he had left each night. A few days before his birthday he prayed with passion, "Thanks that in four days it's my birthday. . . and then three days. . . and then two days. . . and then one day and then it's my birthday! And THEN. . . just around the corner is HALLOWEEN!"

   He opened his bright blue eyes and gasped as he cried out, "Hey! That's just like talking!"
   I leaned down and kissed his thankfully still-chubby cheek goodnight and said, "Yes, Peter, it is just like talking and Heavenly Father loves it when you talk to him that way." How could I not be head-over-absolute-heels in love with that kid?
   The night of his birthday party, Peter gratefully sang out , "Thanks for my awesome, AWESOME party!"

                        Avengers Parties with a Vengeance
    For our two September boys' birthday bashes, I thought I'd multi-task and have both parties on the same day. I honestly thought I was being somehow smart and savvy. Don't ask me why. I just remember thinking how brilliant I was because both boys would have the same theme and apparently there was something smart about that. And I'm not ashamed to say I was wrong. Dang wrong.

    What they don't tell you in the "Don't-Be-Stupid-and-Have-Two-Birthday-Parties-in-the-Same-Day Handbook" is that you will actually do twice the work and will stupidly render yourself twice as awesomely tired when you're done. Really, it's simple math. Two Parties= Two Party Hangovers. At the same time.

   Now that my confessional of idiocy is over, I will admit that both parties were fun. Dang fun. (Which is the problem with over-doing things in general. Your regret at having done so much will pretty much be exponentially balanced with how much fun you had. And that explains my party-planning philosophy.)

Here are the invitations:

 Peter and Marie and I delivered the invitations in a flurry of neighborhood flags on September 11th. I teared up a little as I watched my little super heroes joyfully run down the street with the colors of freedom waving all around them. As they looked at the flags, Marie wrinkled her nose and said, "Hey! Our costumes match the flags! Why, Mom?" As I explained to them the meaning behind those stars and stripes, I was emotional and extremely proud of our country and what it represents on so many levels.

Even Charlie got to dress up for the occasion. 

                                              I didn't think it could get any cuter than this. . .
                                                         . . . until they did THIS.

Another September highlight delightfully plunked itself in the middle of all of the Avenger madness, and that was the honor of meeting the long-awaited Zoey Hinckley. She had nine adoring fans waiting in line to hold her like she was royalty. Welcome to Zoey and congratulations to Wendy and Spencer!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Volume VIII, issue vii, July and August 2012

Eve's Baptism
I'll mostly let the pictures speak the thousands of words I could say about Eve's baptism. Even since her toddler days, Eve has been as good natured and as genuine as a girl surrounded by brothers could be. She embraces her decisions and her emotions with a control beyond her years and her decision to be baptized was no exception. I don't think Eric or I could be more proud of her without passing out.

The date of Eve's baptism was precariously perched between my frantic grading of piles of 12-page research papers, finals, a family reunion, church Girls Camp, a bridal shower, and Eric's three week literary tour, but luckily we were able to take a deep breath and appreciate the day. 

I didn't look at the clock the night before the baptism so I wouldn't know how tired I should be after staying up to sew Eve's baptism dress. I wouldn't let Eric tell me what time I went to bed. A few days later, he gave me a wicked look and shouted, "5:30! HAH!"

Those cascading ruffles were worth every wink of lost sleep! Each stitch was sewn with so much fondness for my Eve that it outweighed any sacrificed slumber.

Holden gave the talk on the Holy Ghost at the baptism and talked about how when the Savior was baptized, the Spirit appeared in the form of a dove. He told Eve that she should recognize the Spirit in its true peaceful form of the dove and refuse to listen to other "birds"or voices that might try and speak to her. He said, "There might be robins or crows--and there are A LOT of crows--that will try and get your attention, but you need to listen for the voice of the dove." 

Hafen Reunion 2012
   As the fifth child of seven, I am an introvert to the core. However. . . (and that is one big however), when it's my turn to have a voice I have learned to let it be heard. . . and to have it accompanied with crafts and projects and treats. 

It was our turn to be in charge of our family reunion this year. I have been dreaming of having a family t-shirt for years, but unfortunately for me the tick-tock of the clock until my turn to host our family reunion has coincided with the exponential growth of our family. With some careful planning and some all-night painting parties, we were able to design and hand-paint fifty-eight t-shirts (a craft-drunk shout-out to Kimberly, who stayed up until past 3:00 AM with me for several nights, is in order here). 

The whole crew descended upon Badger Creek (the BYU-Idaho outdoor learning facility) and tried all sorts of ropes courses and giant swings and wall climbing. 
Even Eve climbed the monstrous rock-wall while Eric and I squinted up at her and chewed on our fingernails as we shouted out encouragement to her. 

The World's Cutest Dictatorship/Grandparents

Game night and Talent Show

First Day of School 2012

As per our pre-school tradition, each of the kids got to come with me on a little "date" either for breakfast or lunch.

I like to ask the kids questions to make sure they feel good about life as a d'Evegnee and this is how my conversation with Peter went:
"So, Peter, are you worried or anxious about anything?"
"You mean, for kindergarten?"
"Well, are you worried about anything else, not for kindergarten?"
"Yes! I'm worried about zombies and vampires. . . "

* * *

Since Marie hasn't started public school, she wasn't scheduled for an outing. She was a little sad when she saw Eve putting on her shoes for her outing, so she asked me if she could go with us. I told her that it was really up to Eve. I held my breath a little as Marie asked Eve if she could tag along with us, but as soon as Marie finished her question, Eve leaned down like a little mother hen and clucked, "Of course you can come! Let me help you get your shoes on." You already know that I was in tears.

My other favorite pre-school outing image surfaced when Caleb was with me at the grocery store picking up a few things for our breakfast for the first day of school. I asked Caleb to grab another can of whipped cream for our waffles, and he picked up the can, smiled slyly and clinked it against the one in my hand just like we were giving a toast with glasses of champagne.

Eve had been begging me for sewing lessons all summer, but our packed schedule made it nearly impossible to fit it in. The week before school started, she picked out fabric and sewed a skirt to be part of her "back-to-school wardrobe" and wore it that first week.
She was a quick learner and sewed like a little pro. I had to tease her each time she started to chatter and tell me a story because her careful stitches veered completely off of the fabric and she'd giggle and say, "Oops!" 

I'm SOOO Glad When Daddy Comes Home

I won't pretend that we didn't play while Daddy was away, but we were sure happy when he returned to us after his three week literary tour. There's just more laughter when he's around. 

Eric and I had both been concerned that Charlie might not remember him after his absence of nearly a month, but when he saw his beloved DaDa, Charlie gave him a bear hug that lasted and lasted and lasted. It was like our baby had just figured out what he had been missing and wasn't about to let it go. (If you look at him in all of the photos, you'll see that he refused to release the death-grip he had on Eric.)
He's not asleep. His eyes are closed because of the intensity of the squeeze.

Eric divvied out souvenirs to our troops the night he returned and in Peter's prayer that night, he said, "Thanks for my present from Dad. . . that was the MOST AWESOMEST OF THEM ALL!!"

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