Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday, minus the knee blow out that Sean got during his Turkey Bowl (football game) that morning. Poor guy can hardly move. We had our friends, the Bucks, over for dinner. Our feast included turkey, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green beans, peas, homemade rolls, raspberry jello salad, corn souffle, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, apple-ginger ale, and party punch. Later we went to some other friends' house for dessert (the table was packed with desserts: probably 15 options). It was a great day.

Earlier this month we had a Family Home Evening on Gratitude. Throughout the rest of the month we wrote down things we were thankful for on popsicle sticks and put them in our "Thankful Jar." Here are some of the things on the sticks:
Running vehicle with no payment
Priesthood (and that we can be healed through it)
Holy Ghost
Daddy and Mommy
"Best Wife and Mom ever"

I also did a little photo session with the kids. I wanted to do family pictures for our holiday card, but then Sean broke himself and I didn't want to make him have to move around all over outside (we'll have to do the family one later).

Baby Lovin'

This little guy is so squishable and squeezable and kissable. Sometimes it's hard to get enough...but we try, believe me.

Body Art

I put Nathan to bed with normal, skin colored legs. The next morning he snuck up to our bed (which he still does occasionally) and this is what he looked like. Unfortunately it was permanent marker, so it took some good scrubbing to lighten up the color. It's been a couple of weeks now and his legs are back to normal. Always keeping things interesting.....

Salmon Snagging

Sean really wanted to try for better luck at the salmon snagging excursion (he had gone a couple weeks earlier with the scouts and got stormed out) so we decided to take a little family trip up to the lake for the weekend. We headed up after the kids got out of school on Friday. We stopped and had Blake's burgers and fixes the tail light on the van (after getting pulled over and given a warning for it) and then made our way to El Vado Lake. We reserved a little cabin right there by the lake. It was a cute two bedroom wood cabin right along the river. We hung out that night. Sean took Caelan and Ben over to lake and through in their line a couple of times. The next morning we got up and made breakfast right there in the cabin: eggs, potatoes and sausage. We caught two deer fighting in front of the cabin, which was pretty entertaining to watch. The kids played with a few dogs that were wandering around in front of the cabin. Then we headed over to the Lake Heron and fished. Sean helped the kids with their rods. We stayed in one spot for a couple of hours with no luck (there were probably 20 other fishermen around us and no one was catching anything). We tried another spot and there was no luck there either. We drove by two other spots and asked around, but apparently the fish weren't out and about that day. We decided to head home. The kids had a blast playing along the water front and climbing the rocks. We stopped in Santa Fe at a Spanish foods store and picked up some spanish sausage and then got dinner in Albuquerque before we arrived home. We'll have to try it again next year. It was a fun family getaway, even if we came home empty handed.

Baby Blessing

We blessed Austin on November 6. It was a small little circle: the bishopric, Sean and Grandpa Dick, but it was special. He was blessed to be a good influence on his family and to always know how much they love him. He was blessed to stay worthy throughout his life to do important things like serve a mission and get married in the temple. It was a good blessing and he was quiet as a mouse through the whole thing. Sean's Uncle Tom and Aunt Carolyn and cousin Rachel came too. We came home and had a roast dinner. Good day (also Megan's birthday so it was a celebration all the way around).




Little Twinners

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to You Mega Moo

Megan is now 5 years old. She's been counting down the days until her birthday for a couple of weeks now. She informed me a few weeks ago that I could get her something "beautiful or cute" for her birthday, "but not something awesome." We got a kick out of that one. Her preschool class took a field trip to Hoots (a fun place with bounce houses obstacle courses and a huge blow up slide). She took some birthday cookies with her to celebrate. Then on Sunday she woke up bright and early ready to open her presents (she had two presents wrapped from grandparents and sitting on a shelf for 2 weeks - what a temptation - but she stayed strong). She was completely and totally enthralled with everything she got: Ariel doll, a new baby doll, a panda pillow pet, a little barbie mermaid, Hello Kitty figurines and coloring book and a pony (to put on top of her cake). She asked for a "ponyland cake" and since I have no idea what that is, I made a rainbow cake with green grass and a little pond and put two ponies on top....and apparently it was just what she wanted. Her cousin Rachel came over for dinner and playing last night and brought her another little pony. She came in to me last night before she went in to bed and said, "Mom, I have to tell you something." Then she stomped her foot and said, "Best birthday ever: a present from Rachel and I get to bring my drink to bed." (I don't usually let them take their drinks of water to bed). HE HE HE. I'm glad it was great for her.

Some "AWESOME" things about Megan:
Favorite foods: Macaroni and cheese and fruits and vegetables
Not so favorite foods: potatoes
Favorite movie: Winnie the Pooh (the new one - this is what she told me). She doesn't really have one movie that she wants to watch over and over again - she likes almost all the animated shows we have
Favorite TV show (watched on Netflix): Dragon Tales, Dora, Backyardigans
Favorite color: She says brown, but she also loves pink.
Favorite song: Jar of Hearts
She is a great helper. If I ask someone else to do something, more than half the time Megan will jump and and run to do it before they can. She is also the child who will clean up rooms by herself without being asked the most (by far). There have been so many times that she walks into the house with a pile full of stuff from the van, which she has been cleaning out. She LOVES to hold her baby brother and will ask me over and over again until I finally let her. She loves to play with ponies and barbies and stuffed animals and little character figurines and on the iPad or computer. She plays make believe games with her brothers and sisters and loves to play with Bruno. She is still learning her letters (that's my fault - she must be my third child....HE HE HE), but she catches on to things pretty quick. She loves to practice writing her name, and one of her favorite past times lately is coloring (she will sit and do it for hours, literally). She is the social butterfly of the family: everyone knows her and loves her (seriously all sorts of random people in our ward will make comments to me a(bout Megan). She loves to wear skirts and doesn't mind me doing her hair every day (in fact, just the other day she asked me if I would teach her how to do hair). She is a sweet, happy, energetic, fun girl and we couldn't imagine our family without her.

This is a great picture. Nathan was picking at the frosting - look at all their expressions.

Pumpkins, Parties and Pirates

We did all sorts of celebrating this year:
Fri: Rt 66 School Parade and class parties. That night was the school Fall Festival
Sat: Carved pumpkins, Sean made his chili and we went to our ward Trunk or Treat party (and came home with all sorts of extra candy)
Sun: Just ate candy
Mon: Megan's preschool Halloween performance and potluck. That night I took the kids trick-or-treating to Walmart and Beehive Home Assisted Living. That night we had Family Home Evening and talked about the Holy Ghost (appropriate, don't ya think?).

And I think we went through about 15 costumes between all the events:
Sean and I were Fred and Wilma Flinstone.
Caelan: Taylor Swift, a Vampire (gone soft - she didn't want to wear the collar or teeth) and a witch
Ben: Ninja and the Grim Reaper
Megan: Clown, Princess and a donkey
Nathan: Bob the Builder, Shrek and a pirate
Austin: Bat, an alien and Tigger

She looks so grown up in this picture. Yikes.

Megan and her best bud - cutie pies

Our Shrek

Carving Pumpkins. I gut them and Sean carves.

Fred and Wilma (I think we are dating ourselves because most of the kids had no idea who we were).

The crew.

The Grim Reaper

ET Pumpkin (I think this one was my favorite this year)

Awesome Halloween pumpkin

The pirate and the donkey

Adorable little Tigger

Pumpkin Patch

We love to go to the pumpkin patch. It's like the intro to Fall (and we LOVE Fall) and the beginning of the holiday season. We found a fun little corn maze pumpkin patch to take the kids to this year. We meandered through the corn maze (and had to find little dinosaur stations along the way), the kids climbed on huge piles of hay, they pet some farm animals (and Megan picked up a chicken), we ate cinnamon roasted almonds and pecans and fresh fruit smoothies and picked out a few pumpkins to take home. Fun times.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happiest 10 Years

Sean and I celebrated our 10th anniversary last week. Can't believe it's been 10 years already, but in other ways I feel like we have been together for a whole lot longer than that. I guess time flies when you're having fun, right? In 10 years we have:
-Both graduated from BYU
-Owned or been in possession of 11 cars plus a scooter
-Lived in 5 states, 7 cities and 11 addresses
-Brought 5 children into this world
-Visited 19 temples and been temple workers
-Hiked the Tetons, Grand Canyon, The Subway (in Zion Nat'l Park) and Mt. Whitney
-Vacationed in Hawaii, New York, Victoria Island (Canada), Florida, 8 National Parks, and 2 Mexican Riviera cruises
-Experienced loss (a miscarriage, my Mom, my grandma Sorensen, my great grandma Blatter, Sean's Grandpa Dick)
-Gotten jobs, lost jobs, transferred jobs, etc
-Served in LOTS of callings in the church: everywhere from Nursery leader to Student Ward Bishopric member
-Snorkeled in Catalina, White water rafted the Snake River, 4-wheeled in Southern Utah, ziplined in Cabo, rode bikes down Palomar mountain

-And also enjoyed all the little things: driving to and from CA and AZ for family events (we could probably do that blind folded), watching Netflix movies at night together, making fudge every Christmas time, camping (whether it's big trips or short over nighters), Sunday afternoon walks as a family, working on household projects, exercising together, texting each other throughout the day about little things, holding hands, carving pumpkins into awesome shapes (I do the removing of the "guts" and Sean carves), sitting outside on summer nights, playing with our kids, quick ice cream runs to Walmart and all the other small things that make life feel full.

10 Years Down - and an ETERNITY to look forward to....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ben's Lost Tooth

Ben knocked into something last week which made him cry (he's not usually a crier when he gets hurt, so I knew it must have hurt in just a certain way). He said his mouth hurt. I looked in his mouth and noticed that his bottom tooth was loose (whatever he hit knocked that tooth loose). I told him that if he wiggled it around it would probably come out in the next few days. The next morning he woke up with a hole in his mouth - his tooth had come out during the night. Caelan helped him find it in his bed. He was so excited to get to put it under his pillow. Our tooth fairy isn't very punctual - she missed the first night, but did come the next night. Ben found a silver dollar under his pillow, plus she even left the tooth too. He was thrilled. And he is looking so great with his little toothless smile.

The Balloon Fiesta

Sean's sister and her friend came into town for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. We decided that we didn't want to wake up at the crack of dawn and be out in the cold so early in the morning with a one week old newborn, so instead we just found a dirt field right by the Balloon Fiesta park and watched the balloons launch from there. It was great - no crowds, we didn't even get there until 7:40 AM, it wasn't too cold by then, we ate cinnamon rolls in the car and we still had a fun time watching the balloons go up. It started to get windy about halfway through so lots of the cool huge balloons that we saw last year didn't actually fly: they blew them up on the field but they didn't go up into the air, so we didn't see those, but we had fun watching all the others. Afterwards we went over to the Botanical Gardens where they were having a Harvest Festival: we watched them make fresh apple cider (and bought some to take home - YUM!), rode on a wagon pulled by a tractor, saw the animals and made a corn husk doll.