Christmas vacation in NorCal

First and foremost, Noah was baptized in northern CA. It was absolutely a dream. I loved everything about it and who was there and the Spirit that was so strongly present. I hope Noah remembers the day in some way. A little tidbit of information? Both Daniel and I were baptized in that very same font. Daniel has a picture of himself at 8 years old and his Dad (who baptized him), standing in the hallway of the church where Noah was baptized too. You better believe we took of picture of Noah and his Daddy in that same hallway. Here are a few pictures:

Yeah, Daniel was taking the pictures and didn’t seem to notice that Noah wasn’t smiling at all, in either picture. Other than that, perfect day :)

As for the rest of the trip – we hardly ever pulled out our camera. It’s too bad though, cuz it was a blast!

I will have to give more details later – gotta run and make dinner.

Christmas cupcakes

I always sign up to bring in cupcakes or cookies for the school class parties, since I usually can’t come or put them on or donate time in the classroom. This is my way of sharing. This year, I found a fun idea on pinterest for cupcakes. Liam looked at the finished product and said, “what are they? butterflies?” … seriously?? Why would I make butterfly cupcakes for Christmas? Anyway, I spent some time on these. I even got up early on the morning he needed them for school to freshly frost them (6:30 am kind of early … they have to be at school at 7:40, sooo). When Noah came home from school I asked how his class liked them. He said, “Well, Johnny doesn’t like pretzels”. I asked if Johnny just took off the pretzels. He said, “no, he just didn’t eat any.” No other information was freely given about the enjoyment of these cupcakes. I’m not sure the extra time and effort was worth it. hmmmmm.

Noah is 8

I just don’t know how this happened.

I have always been the kind of mommy that loves to see her boys grow up and get bigger and more capable and independent … until now. Somebody stop this please. It was great to see Noah learn to tie his shoes (he was the first one in his kindergarten class to learn and would help everyone else tie their’s), but now he’s talking to me like an adult, getting baptized and telling me about how teenagers make bad choices and try to impress girls – what?! I love him.

I still remember blogging about his first day in preschool. I was so nervous that the kids wouldn’t like him. He was so active and happy and I wanted them to have a little extra patience with my Noah. I wanted them to show him a little tenderness and answer his neverending questions. I wanted them to be nice to my little Noah and not crush his enthusiasm for life and everything around him. I remember exactly what he looked like running into his preschool class, so brave and without even looking back. He was ready and I was not. I feel that way again now. He is ready and smart and growing up and understanding the Gospel. He asks me thoughtful questions, talks to me about how he feels and what he likes and wants to do. He takes care of Liam. Sweet little, timid Liam needs his Noah. Noah teaches Liam his sight words and yesterday he took Liam in the backyard to show him “soccer moves”. He is in soccer now and soaring past everyone in his 2nd grade class in math! He has places to go and plans on the horizon and I am watching him grow up and walk away and not look back. That is my brave Noah.

This year is an important year for him. He decided to be baptized and we’re going to do that in northern CA surrounded by family. I can’t wait to see him grow in the Gospel. He has such a good mind. He sees things as right or wrong, very little gray area. He is honest and has a good heart. And he is happy.

This year, we had two parties for Noah. A small family one, just Forsyths, on the day of his birthday and then another on Saturday after his birthday where we invited cousins. The Saturday party was pretty low key (in comparison to other blow out parties I’ve thrown them). Noah took Liam and his cousins to play Lazer Tag and video games, then they came home and had lunch – specialty grilled cheese sandwiches, Noah’s favorite homemade balsamic dressing salad and pineapple (his favorite fruit). There were a few lego games to play here at the house and then cake and an ice cream sundae bar and presents.

A few things about Noah lately:

– he eats every dinner with chopsticks now. It’s hilarious. He talks a lot about Papa, who died but served his mission in Taiwan. Noah said he wants to go to China.
– He is seriously excelling in second grade. His school in MI was farther along than the one here in CA. Noah says, “this is one of those easy schools”.
– He helps Liam. With everything. Last week, they started a soccer fundamentals class. It was the first week of the class, so Noah and Liam were together on the field. We were a few minutes late and the coach already had the kids on the field, so Noah and Liam ran up and the coach told them to get a soccer ball. There weren’t enough balls. Noah grabbed one quick, but Liam just stood there and looked around. Liam looked so nervous, like he was about to cry as the realization that he was the only one on the field without a ball settled in and became obvious. As his little world looked like it was caving in, Noah saw what was happening and kicked his ball over to Liam and said, “here Liam, you can have this one”. Then Noah ran out to the coach and asked for another one. Noah is brave and kind and tender with Liam.
– He still loves everything that is Lego Star Wars. And Clone Wars
– He loves salad.
– He talks to me a lot about spiritual things and seems sure about his testimony already. Last night we had the missionaries over giving a lesson and they asked each of us to commit to reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know that is was true. They went around the room asking each person. When they got to Noah he simply said, “I already have”. Also, this year, he wanted to bring in a special treat for his second grade class and he said he wanted to bring them all Book of Mormons. I asked why and he said because he was listening to the talk in church on Sunday and they said to share the gospel. I told him to ask his teacher if he could bring in B of M’s and instead of shying away, Noah said he would. And then he did. He came home that day from school and I asked him about it and he told me, “No, she said we couldn’t. It’s the same as Hayes” (his elementary school in MI). Then he asked, “why do they call it religion? Doesn’t everybody believe?” I said people had different beliefs. He responded with, “But they all believe in God, right? If they do, then it’s all the same religion, right?” We talked a lot that afternoon about religion. It is so fun to have him be so interested in talking about spiritual matters.
– He likes to give people things to make them happy. The other day he said he was going to give Ben, his cousin, $50. I asked why and he said, “because I told him I would”. It wasn’t because he lost a bet or broke something. It sounded like he just told him he’d give him $50. Oh man, I love him.
– He is loving. I ask him to say goodbye to his cousins and most times, he gives them a hug … and a quick kiss. I worry that he might do that to some kid at school sometime. When we were at soccer practice he asked if he could stay after and play with his friend, Gideon. I said it was too close to dinnertime, so he said, “OK, well, do you at least want to meet him?” I said sure and walked over to the field. Noah called out to his friend several times, then walked over and told him he couldn’t stay and play, but then he pointed me out and said, “well, that’s my mom”. I waved, Gideon waved and then Noah gave Gideon a quick hug. I wonder if other second grade boys hug one another?

Well, naptime is all spent. I need to get in the shower and do some Christmas baking (I love that that’s what I need to rush off and do :) ). Here are the party pics … both parties.

Our family birthday party

Noah asked specifically for mini lemon cupcakes for his birthday. I asked why and he said, “because I don’t want to have too many sugary things”

The Lego Party with cousins on Saturday:

It’s really embarrassing how long that lego box took me. I felt like it was super big when I was building it … but in the end, it was pretty small. I almost went cross eyed looking for specific lego pieces to make it all fit perfectly. Then, of course, during the party, it only took about 45 minutes before it was smashed into a million pieces (literally a million. I think I used a million pieces). I also taxed my eyes and patience, putting together the Happy Birthday Noah sign. crazy.

We are lucky, this was a Lego car game that Gammie gave us.

These two actually posed this way. I did not catch them mid-bite. They did it again:

Chiara aka, The Duchess

Aria pulled the nastiest long hair and junk out of her mouth right at that moment. Had to be there, but it was hilarious.

And this is the cake. In case you can’t tell, it is Mos Eisely’s Cantina. Noah asked for this specifically. Of course.

I think the best part of the cake was seeing how much joy it brought Noah and Liam to make sure the correct Lego people were on the cake.

The inside was lego colored – red, blue, yellow and green.


I spent a serious amount of time this past week in the boys’ room. I was going through boxes of toys and tossing old stuff, reorganizing what they had and making labels for everything. Standard day in the Forsyth home. As I was doing this, I came across this piece of paper jammed in a drawer on their desk. Noah wrote it. It says (in case you can’t read it):

3 things I think are osum (awesome): Play gumpootr (computer), ches (chess) with dad, Famle (family) and I, play with Mathyoo (Matthew Rocco Clark, his cousin) enewer (anywhere).

I love my little Noah. He is so awesome.

I don’t think I ever wrote this down, but it needs to be documented, so here we go … Christina picked up all the boys from school one day about a month ago and they were all excited and talking about the drug-free day at school. All the boys were talking about the stuff their teachers were teaching them about being and staying drug free. Christina asked Liam how his day was and he piped up and said, “I heard that drugs were free and I’m gonna get some”. :)

And I haven’t told a good Daniel story lately, but the other morning I was getting ready with Daniel in the bathroom and I asked how he slept, and he responded, “I slept okay, but I kept dreaming about trying to go to sleep”. Unbelievable. Daniel dreams of sleeping.

Thanksgiving was a blast, I will have to post pictures and tell all about my turkey making experience.


“you’re doing it wrong”

Please tell me you’ve seen “Mr. Mom”. In this movie, Michael Keaton is staying at home while his wife works and as he tries to learn the ropes of being a mom, he drops off his kids at school. He enters the wrong way and people keep yelling at him (including his kid) “you’re doing it wrong!”. That’s how I felt today. I must be doing something wrong. It shouldn’t be this hard.

It’s Veteran’s Day and so nobody had school today. I woke up with a plan. I was going to make this a very productive and wonderful day, not one of those laze-about-do-nothing-wastes-of-a-day. But within the first 45 minutes of the day I should’ve realized that I needed to simply put on a movie for the boys and crawl back into bed and hide. Just getting my boys to do their normal everyday stuff was awful! Getting dressed, making their beds …. it was painful! All I heard myself saying was, “stop, no! Are you dressed yet? What are you doing? Why would you hurt him like that? You go on time out. You clean up. Don’t touch the baby. Stop. Switch, you go on time out and you get dressed. Do I have to do it like this? Can’t you get dressed without me?” …. awful. For 45 full minutes. No let up.

Daniel sweetly texted me this morning that he missed me and I texted back that I was losing my mind and it was only 8:30 am. He said I should forget about clean rooms and just go on a bike ride. So I took his advice. The boys had already finished cleaning their room, so we hopped in the car and ran some errands, then came home and I asked if they wanted to go for a bike ride. Yes! Yipee! Noah was in and Liam sounded mildly happy about it too, so we got home and I gathered some waters, pumped up tires, found helmets for everyone and we were off! … except for Liam.

Liam started saying that he didn’t know how to ride and his steering wheel always got all wiggly. I kept reassuring him that it would be great! So we started on our way. It took 10 minutes and some serious coaxing and positivity from Noah and me to get Liam around the first corner. By the time we got down the street and to the train tracks (we live right next to the train tracks), Liam was in tears.

I used a myriad of tactics with Liam to get him on his bike and going. I started with positivity and encouragement, “Wow, look at how far you got that time? Good job!”. Didn’t seem to help. So I tried sounding confident, “you can do this, just get on and let’s go! Come on, you can do it!”. But that proved fruitless. So I said, “Well, Noah and I are going to go on this bike ride and you can either choose to come or walk your bike the whole way. You’re choice.” He chose to cry very loudly and walk/trip next to his bike, then scream, “Stop! You’re going too fast! I can’t keep up”, to which, I responded, “that’s because you’re not actually riding your bike, get on and ride!” Seriously, it was not going well.

I’m sorry to say it ended in many tears from Liam and me losing it and yelling/threatening him that if he didn’t be quiet, get on his bike, and ride I’d punish him. Yes, it deteriorated quickly from a “fun break on a holiday” to “the worst bike ride ever”. But after the negative encouragement, Liam got on and did it. Then we got back to our block and I made him ride around the block twice and he didn’t fall once. He turned, slowed down and sped up and he did great. But he was just not confident that he could do it. Oh man, learning that lesson, that way, was terrible. I must be doing this wrong, right? Happy little bike ride? … fail.

Then we got home and had some downtime of just reading. During that time, I fed Ray and put him down for a nap. I was picking up my room when they were done with reading. I told them they could watch cartoons. I was still stressed out from the morning. It’s funny to see what I did to release pressure … I cleaned my bathroom. What??! I know. I don’t know why. That’s just what I found myself doing. Then I put on Jillian and worked out like a maniac.

Then I felt like an hour of TV time was plenty and we needed to get back on track for the day – we still had plans. The bike ride was a disaster, but we could come back from this. I decided we would try It’s a learning site. So I set up Noah and Liam on different computers and felt good about this. Here we go – learning! I would only say this was successful in the fact that we did it. Was it pleasant? no. Did the boys learn something new? I don’t think so. Did I go crazy running from the front room to the family room trying to help them navigate the site? yes. Did both of them complain? yes, differently though – Noah said he was bored and Liam said it was too hard. Yet I had them working at different levels … sigh. I must’ve been doing it wrong. Learning moment? … fail.

At this point, I kind of gave up and let them play games on the computer while I showered. Now it’s 4 pm and I have no more plans. Motherhood always seems to kick my trash and I don’t know why. I must be doing it wrong.

But right now, the house is quiet, the boys are upstairs playing and Ray is crawling around and coming up to me and smiling. Maybe I should leave well enough alone and make a bunting for our thankful tree. hmmm.