Happy Fourth Roxwell

He's the best, so happy I get to be his mama!


Family Caribbean Cruise

Princess Cay's is a great island; beach, sand volleyball, barbecue buffet.  This is our second visit.

St. Maarten
Spent the day at Maho beach where the local airport runway is situated directly across the street. The boys loved watching the planes come in.

Sand Problems
St. Thomas
I spent my birthday at Coral World in St Thomas where we touched sharks, fed sting rays and discovered in an open water observatory. Midway through the excursion got rained out and we were fully reimbursed.  A great perk from booking through the cruise line.

Grand Turk
Mom took us on a snorkeling excursion.  It was Layne's first experience and he was a pro, just as he knew he would be.

On board talent show

Our assistant waiter, Romeo, gave Brik a magic card box that he used to perform this magic trick on the last day at sea.


Picture a Christmas

At Richard and Becky's with Bagley cousins.

Gifts are Love
We accentuated gratitude during our gift exchange

Too Many Presents
We each got ONE gift from Santa and the kids got only one from us, but when you add grandparents, an aunt, uncle and friends, then multiply it by three, you have a whole lot of remote control cars slamming into the walls!

Christmas Prank
Courtesty of Kate, Jimmy Kimmel and Mom.


Carnival Cruise with The Kids

 I would live on a cruise boat if I could.  We have decided it is our vacation of choice and unless we are traveling to visit family, cruising might be our only travel in the future.  On our first expeditions, I missed the kids terribly and making arrangements for them while we were gone caused mommy-guilt.  At the same time I was nervous to have them along; sleeping/loosing sleep in close quarters, getting lost, being exposed to general-public raunchiness, limiting our excursion options... While there are definite pluses to being alone with my Love, having my Lovlies with me was pretty sweet too.
The thing I loved the most was their excitement for every little thing.  It was entertaining to see them take in everything as they experienced it for the first time.  I have never known a two year old to appreciate a good view, but my baby did.  It was also fun to snap a bunch of pictures, especially of Brik because he is so darn cute!
Our pit stop in Indio is always a great idea when driving to California.  It breaks up the drive and is a really nice little resort.  I loved that we had a walk out patio to the pond with friendly ducks and flirtatious butterflies.  Roxwell was thrilled to play here all morning and I was thrilled to just sit. 
Roxwell was so confused about the whole boat/ship/cruise thing.  He would say he wanted to go on a cruise with us and we would tell him we are on the cruise right now and he would insist "no we're not."  Everytime he saw the red wings on the back of the boat he would point and say "There is our boat!"  It wasn't until the last day that he asked "are we on a boat?"  I said YES! Because he finally got it and he followed up with "How do you know that?"

Our first stop was Catalina Island and everything was absolutely perfect until we stepped of the tender and Layne saw the motor boats.  We had an idea what we wanted to do on the island and it did not include having an eight year old drive our family around in a small boat where we were sure to be cold and wet.  Layne didn't see it that way.  He had a meltdown because we had ruined his vacation.  I was so disappointed in his behavior.  He should be thinking we are the most awesome parents in the world and grateful to be able to have such and experience, the other two did.  Roxwell was pointing at everything with enthusiasm.  He spent an hour walking around with me while the others went back to fetch more money (excursions are expensive).  He had a blast and we did nothing but look.  We ended up renting the golf cart as planned and Layne had another bout of poutiness when he learned he was not allowed to drive the golf cart.  He did he usual "I'm going to control the situation weather you like it or not" and sat in the front seat.  I let him and that is how we got out of that fit.

The REX was a kid's dance club.  I took a picture of it because it in all decorated in animal print and thought my mom would love it.  Layne did not, the music was too loud for him, though I have notice he has picked up some new tunes and mad dance moves since we have been home.  Layne always wanted to "go explore," "see if the boat is moving," and play in the elevators.  Since that is what Layne wanted to do, that's what we all did, most of the time.
At Encinada, Brik wanted to go to Camp Carnival instead of getting off the boat, so we left Roxwell too.  Layne chose to go with us.  We talked about Encinada being a poor and dirty place, do not drink the water and do not give to beggers. Toting our own water in our camelback and explaining to Layne why we don't want to load our pockets with quarters to hand out to people, we thought we were covered. Right when we got off the boat a dragonfly stung him. Talk about ways to pick up something nasty in Mexico.  I remembered I had essential oils in our room, so we went back and took care of his sting before we were off again.

We ended up getting on a bus that took us into town, where they offered the popular blowhole excursion for way less than the ship.  It is a three hour tour that we would like to do if we end up going back.  Jarom got the price as low as $10 per person, good to remember... This time we just walked around the town with the streets and streets of shops with everyone urging us to "come in and look around," and everything was "a good price."

One good thing about the dragonfly sting is that it calmed Layne down.  It has always been like this, after a good cry, especially from pain, he becomes mellow and non controlling.  It must be a chemical thing in his brain, boy, would I like to bottle it!  He got into the bargaining with us.  There were these bracelets that every other store carried that they sold for $3 and the shop keepers were always asking Layne if he wanted one.  Layne would ask how much and they would say $3, he would say that is too much and they would say $2.  I would step in with three for $3, because I am hard core.  Then, we would walk away.  After about five times I went up to three for $5 and got a taker.  The kids all loved their Mexican bracelets with their names on them and Layne was plum happy to be part of it, he helped pick the colors and gave them to his brothers when we got back on the ship.

Because we had had a talk with Layne about how poor this area was before hand, he was really in tuned to the people around him laying on the street.  He kept bringing up this lady who was laying down on the side walk and her daughter sitting beside her holding a cup.  I didn't really understand why this stuck with him all day until that evening at dinner when he was telling his brothers about this illustration of the poor people.  He turned to Jarom and asked "Dad, why didn't you give her some of your water?"  It all clicked; camelback- water- cup.  He has such a tender heart!
Brik loved Camp Carnival.  He is all about making friends and loved the attention he got walking around the ship with his face painted.  They had themes every morning and afternoons and activities that corresponded.  I liked that Carnival let them stay on the boat while we got off, I don't think all cruise lines do that.  They also changed diapers, so that limited the interruptions, really nice to get some alone time.  I hit the steam room, played games with Jarom and went to some shows.
The pools were a joke.  The water was freezing in all of them except for this kids pool that was the size of a jacuzzi.  The kids still played for a good while, it was nice to be out in the sun and spruce up our tans.
Brik really liked the miniature golf, I can see him being a good golfer, he is so patient and considerate.  All I remember from golf lessons are lots and lots of rules on etiquette.  Brik also learned how to play checkers while Layne and I were going to elevator rides.  He has been begging us to play everyday we have been home.
So sad to get back to reality.  I love being pampered.  One of my favorite moments on the ship was when our waiter cut Brik's whole steak into bite sized pieces and made the comment that he was taking care of Brik because Mom is on vacation too.


It's Great to be Eight!

We stayed on the diet for through Layne's birthday and it was no problem.  Jarom worked, but Kate was here and we crammed in swimming with friends, presents, interesting bean cupcakes,and going out for dinner. Before heading home that evening, we stopped at the dollar store to pick up some non edible treats for Layne's class and, of coarse, he needed to spend his birthday money.  He bought a calculator, stapler, highlighters, clip board and garbage can to set up his own little office desk.
Eight is the year that keeps on giving because even after the birthday celebration he had more excitement that week with his first cub scouts meeting.  He got all decked out in his uniform and got to hold the flag.  Also, on patriots day he proudly wore his uniform to school and got to stand around the flag and salute it for the flag ceremony and Dad came to school.
 The cream on top was this past weekend when family embraced him wholeheartedly in his decision to be baptized. My family, 
Dad's family,
 and some really great friends witnessed the beauty of a child coming unto Christ.
 He personally produced the program; 
Opening song ---- Baptism
Opening prayer ---- Kara Bagley
Talk on Baptism ---- Sterling Whal
Talk on The Holy Ghost ---- Elaine Bagley
Special Musical Number ---- Kate Kunkel
Remarks from Bishop
Remarks from Sister Burnett
Closing Song ---- I’m Trying to be Like Jesus
Closing Prayer ---- Leisle Decker
 and it was flawless. Grandma Bagley shared a special experience she had with the Holy Ghost and Aunt Kate sang “I Believe in Christ,” which was also the special musical number at his my baptism. Layne was recognized by Grandma Bagley for being a leader and by Sister Burnett for being a great helper.  
  We had pizza and cookies at our house afterwards to socialize with everyone who came.  I enjoyed the day immensely and couldn't have been more proud to call him my son.  Layne beamed with reverence as he took the responsibility very seriously.  Love you big boy.


The Summer of Hard Work

 My kids are probably the only ones in the world who hate doing work. They whine and cry and pout, stomp their feet, slam doors and are really good at dragging it out. Their number one complaint is "it's too hard," said in their best whiny voice. In my experience when something seems too hard, after a bit of practice it becomes a cinch. Let the practicing begin...

I set up a training program for the month of June. I made cards with all of the work and home school tasks I feel they are ready to do. Wrote out exact instructions, attached a picture and a star value, then laminated them for the long haul. The first three weeks of summer break I kept our schedule clear so that they would have enough opportunity to complete their daily assignments of three chores and 3 school tasks. Stars were awarded for completed tasks that were approve by Mom or Dad.

Once they earned 8 stars they got to choose a prize from the grab box, 18 set up a play date, 30 toy from the dollar store, 40 carousel ride at the mall, 50 late night movie with popcorn and 60 - 10 tokens at Chuck E. Cheese. Each week started over with the star count. All tasks had to be completed by dinner to earn stars and dinner could only be had if all tasks were completed before bedtime.

The single best piece of advice I have taken from the Love and Logic discipline series is that a time limit has to be set and a natural consequence has to follow. Just like you don't get a paycheck (which buys dinner) when you don't show up to work. I can't make my kids do the work I ask of them. It has to be done and I know it is easier to just do it myself. Yet I have a drive to instill a good work ethic in my children. I feel my dad did that for me and when I look around at the other people in my generation, I see that lack of motivation is a big hardship later in life.

The kids were excited to get started, especially Brik. When someone would ask him what he is doing this summer he would excitedly tell them about the work and the home school and the stars and the prizes. They both earned more that 50 stars the first week and enjoyed the rewards. By the second day of week two, Brik lost some motivation and missed his first dinner. I was proud of the way he handled it and though he cried some, he took full responsibility for his sadness. Week 2 Layne earned more than 60 stars, we were impressed with his drive.

In the third week of training, I met resistance. Lots of crying, whining, pouting, procrastinating and so on. Jarom thought this was the end, but oh, no, I am a fighter. I know a dinner or two was lost for the both of them and they earned few rewards, but we kept trucking on. It was nice to have Papa drop in for the weekend to give us all a reprieve.

Week four was the hardest yet. The kids each started a 3 week Monday through Friday summer camp. Brik attends 3 hours in the morning and Layne 4 hours in the afternoon. We bumped the work load down to 2 school and 2 work assignments. We added the option of bonus tasks that earn double stars that neither took advantage of. The kids had a really hard time managing their time and earned less than 30 stars all week.

There are two more weeks they have to learn to manage their time better, then they are off for a vacation in Iowa. We only have 3 weeks before school starts to finish up the training. Once they are in school I will expect one job a day with their teacher's homework assignments to be completed before dinner and three jobs on regular Saturday's.

Despite all of the distress this training program has brought, I am pleased with the many changes it has brought about. Sunday's prove to be a most relaxing day with no job assignments except dishes, which job we turned over to them more than a year ago, when they went through the same ugly process. Now they both do their dishes quickly when told without any hassling (hope that I hold on to). I love to see that they look forward to church and the quiet, relaxing day.

Another bonus is that the kids are not "bored" so they do not fight as much, they seem to play nicer when they are avoiding work. They have become more aware about dirt, clutter and where things belong. I love to hear them tell their friends to clean one thing up before they get another out, show their brother where something belongs and explain to others that when you touch a window it leaves spots. The best is when they call each other out when they see the other making a mess like "Layne, you need to fix this to the way it was" or "Brik, you have to clean that up because I had it all clean."

I have noticed that they are picking up on how easy maintenance is verses waiting until things get out of hand. Some things that were overwhelming and took a lot of time are now simple and fast. One of Layne’s jobs is to wipe his buggers off the walls. It was grueling the first time and he felt cheated that it only earned him two stars. Now he thinks before he wipes and anytime we can help impulsive Layne think before he does something, it is pretty miraculous.

The assignment that has brought me greatest joy this summer is organizing kitchen drawers. They have to pull everything out, vacuum the crumbs, wipe the surface and replace it all in an organized way. Brik especially is fantastic about it and neither mind doing it. It has been one of those deep cleaning things that I have been meaning to get to for more than a year. Now when I open a drawer that is clean and tidy, I can’t help but smile.

Work is good and it only gets easy after it is hard first.


Through Their Point of View

I love it when what they say gives you a window straight into their brain.  I want to laugh, but I know laughing out loud will alert them to their childishness that they want to lose, while I want to hold onto. Because I can't remember the day before, the only way to hold onto these memories is to write them down.  But where do my precious moments for daily journaling go to?  Other tasks of great importance, no doubt.  So here is a peek, because sadly, that is what I have time for at the moment.
 As primary president, I was conducting a teacher in service at church.  The class rooms we full, so we set up chairs in the kitchen.  When we came out Layne asked "Were you teaching our teachers how to cook?"
 I was getting Brik's breakfast ready, he stood beside me and said, "It stinks in here."  I said, "I'm sorry, I tooted."  He looked confused "I thought girls can't toot."
One of Roxwell's therapy activities involves rubbing oil on a piece of vinyl.  As I placed his hand in the puddle of oil he said "Yucky."  I said "It's not yucky."  He looked up at me and questioned "Yummy?"


Children's Museum of Phoenix

Brik is in an awesome preschool program called First Things First.  His teachers are excellent.  They love him, naturally.  He has great social and listening skills and definitely the desire to learn.

We got to ride a school bus into Phoenix, spend the morning at the museum and eat a picnic lunch on the lawn before heading back.  He was more than excited.

I loved this pizza oven and all the tactile pizza makings.
Brik's favorite, by far, was this trike wash.


Happy Birthday Dear Mommy

Roxwell is nonstop fun.  His personality has blossomed as his language has emerged.  Last November he was only saying a handful of words.  Now he is putting together full sentences with 8 plus words.  He says things to make us laugh like "The keys are in the gas."  (inside joke from Thanksgiving).  He doesn't miss a beat when he excuses himself after burping and is always the fist to raise his hand and say "I do" when we ask "who wants to..."  He can be caught singing "clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere" when it is time for bed.  Today he picked up a new tune from his brothers;


White Mountains

We rounded up our snow clothes again because it was time to get the kids out on the ski slopes.  It was a total splurge, but I suppose one needs a good splurge now and then.  I am not so keen on trips, you know.  The bright side was that it was short, I had a whole morning to get ready with Jarom’s help and we had a comfortable place to stay (although that doesn't mean anyone slept well)  I really enjoyed being encircled by the kid’s excitement in the days leading up to the adventure. 
Road trip
Layne was sure he was going to speed down the mountain and do jumps and tricks, because he already knows how to ski.  This is one of Layne’s many quirks, he is confident he knows how to do pretty much anything even thought he has never had any experience.  He knows he can and is very convincing.

We put Layne in full day ski school which included 2-90 minute lessons.  I skied with him from 2-4 pm and he had picked up a lot of good skills, namely, staying upright most of the time.  After going down the bunny hill once, he coasted right over to the mid mountain lift which took him up to his first green.  He did not like the lift ride, the height was a little much for him, it was cold and windy and long.  Getting off was a bit tricky for him too, he wiped out the first couple times.  I warned him that there were some really scary runs up on the mountain and he needed to stay close to me so that I can tell him which way to go.  Turns out, he had no control, he just went straight down with out slowing and finally coasted to a stop at the bottom.

Layne was thrilled with himself and so excited to do it again.  I knew he had gotten lucky to have not taken any turns off of greens, but was impressed that he never fell.  He got slightly better on the last run at slowing up here and there, but took a really hard fall that did him in.  His body was so exhausted and he was freezing because he didn’t want his jacket zipped and took his gloves off because he got snow in them.

Brik had plans to bring his bicycle helmet and thought he could probably snow ski alright when he is five since he did water ski really well when he was three.  I thought this was reasonable. He forgot the helmet, but the ski goggles made his day.

We put Brik in full day Fun Zone Kids Care with one 90 minute ski lesson.  He never learned to ski on his own, but had a good time through the whole day.  When I went to get him at 1pm he was begging to go out and ski again.  After a bed wreck with Brik between his legs, Jarom found a new way to keep Brik upright by having him hang on to his ski poles while Jarom balanced him.  It took a lot of effort, but Jarom got him up on mid mountain and kept up with us fairly well.

After a crummy night sleep and being left all day in the kids care with strangers while his family skied Roxwell made it all the way to Payson before loosing it.  As he was having his melt down I was trying to comfort him.  Finally I told him we were going home and he could sleep in his own bed.  He got quiet, I kept talking and he wailed again, but when I went back to the part about his bed, he stopped.  I went on and on for a couple minutes until he pushed me away and pointed for me to go back to my seat.  He fell asleep and was fine the rest of the way.  He just wanted to be understood!  Roxwell was such a trooper. When we were returning Brik’s skiis he said “I wanna skateboard!”

As for the parents, whew, a lot of work!  We reminisced our first time skiing.  Jarom’s was at Sunrise too, where his dad started him off (without any instruction) on the mid mountain ski lift.  Apon boarding his first lift ever, he dropped his (handmade by Mom) mitten.  As soon as they got off the lift, Dad says “I’m going to go find your mitten, I’ll meet you at the bottom.”  Jarom does not have good memories.

I remember it being hard, but fun and my gloves got ruined and my hands hurt from the rope pulley that was on the bunny hill. I also remember my fuscia jacket, florescent pink rainbow bright ear muffs and  turquoise snow pants, but that is probably because of the pictures.


Eat at Marks

Yes, my boys play "Chef's."  It is like "house," Bagley style.

Step 1; move the kitchen to the playfort.  This includes tables and cooking utensils to the upper level.

Step 2; write the menu

Step 3; make the restaurant customer friendly.  This includes a board that represents a table on the lookout, which is the smallest area of the entire fort and incredibly difficult for full size people to get in and out of.  Also, post a sign in the foyer for guest safety which reads "PLes.  Do NoT Go in BAC sind (signed) LAYne"

Step 4; track down customers

Step 5; take order

Step 6; discuss order with su chef, Brik

Step 7; cook.  Note; the red side of the lego table was the fire.  Layne warned Brik Not to burn himself.

Step 8; serve the customers and watch them eat.

Roxwell ordered pizza, but was served a tissue.  He was a good sport and pretended to eat the tissue.

I suggested that since their place is called "Fish Marks," They should have some fish on the menu.  Layne added Fish Sticks for today and said when I come back tomorrow they will make me Mahi Mahi.


One Hundred

Layne has his one hundredth day of school yesterday and in it's honor he was assigned to write a book.

It reads;

I wish I had 100 QoDR'S (quarters)
I wish I had 100 SiStrs (sisters)
I wish I had 100 MAGic crisTLs (magic crystals)
But I wouldn't want 100 SCWrPeinS (scorpions)

100 years from now people will Be Mare KinD PePL WiLe Lev AMnS ULon (Be more kind. People will leave animals alone)

I could eat 100 CAnDey Brs (candy bars)
I could eat 100 Pesu's (pizzas)
I could eat 100 reD PePr's (red peppers)

P.S.  He has been earning money with orange juice again, outside this time.


The Snow Day

I don't miss the snow.  Ever.

The kids thought it was going to be like Disneyland to spend a day in the snow.  They were the reason we made the trip, of coarse.  It hardly ever snows enough in Pine, AZ to get a good sledding hill, we kinda felt like this THIS was our chance.  Jarom miraculously had a Saturday off work, the stars had aligned.

The night before Layne got sick with a fever.  When Layne get's sick he does things like tills the garden and climbs onto the roof.  It was such a hard decision to go or not to.  A day of Layne whining about going to the snow and Brik sad about the lost opportunity while being stuck at home, again. So we headed out anyway.

I have to admit, snow does LOOK like a lot of fun.

"The Meadow"
But it is hard to drive in.

Not too much fun to dress for.

And definitely not fun to be sick in.

This made my day though...

After the 2 hour drive, I was antsy to go to the bathroom.  We got stuck pulling into the drive, so I had to wait longer than I wanted.  Roxwell couldn't even walk in the snow and Jarom had already headed up the hill to the cabin, which is a good hike, especially in snow, especially, especially wearing tennis shoes, especially, especially ,especially holding a bundled up 2 year old.  I told Brik to start getting dressed and I would be back down when I was done and started up.

It had taken me quite a while and I was pretty sure Brik was going to be half dressed, halfway up the hill, too tiered for another step, crying for someone to rescue him.  Nope.

Totally dressed with snow suit, coat, boots, gloves, "snow glasses," bicycle helmet (which he packed himself) and a shovel!  The kid was shoveling his way up the mountain!  And happily doing it!!

He ended up having a blast and luckily their were cousins for him to hang with.

Rowell was not so fond of the sledding.  It could have been that he landed on his face the first time down.

Poor Layne didn't even go down once, but he found a cozy place by the fire.  And that is saying something because cozy places were hard to find that day.