Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Merry Little Chrristmas

Our Christmas was very calm and simple this year. We actually got hit with a nasty stomach flu starting on about the 20th. It swept through our house on a rampage hitting 7 out of 8 of us within 3-4 days (and then there were a couple of flair ups again a few days later). Luckily no one was throwing up Christmas Day, but we still weren't all back to normal. Even with that plus the busyness of December we still managed to get in all our Christmas traditions: baking and delivering goodies to friends, Christmas caroling, 12 Days of Christmas, reading Christmas stories, listening to lots of Christmas music, donating gifts/stocking to kids in need, seeing Christmas lights (we did this while we were on our trip at the end of November). We went to our ward Christmas party. This year the theme was A Night in Bethlehem. We all dressed up for that time period. Sean was one of the Wisemen for the nativity. They sang "We Three Kings", which many people mentioned was the highlight of the program. The whole gym was set up like a city marketplace. There were stations where we got our food (cheese, bread, olives, fruit, vegetables and treats of course), there was a clothing station, there were stations for kids to do games and make crafts. All of the stations required money (we got a bag of coins at the beginning of the night). It was great. We sang in our Sacrament Christmas program. I am the choir director, so I was leading the music. It turned out beautiful. We sang "Sing a Glad Noel," "Stars were Gleaming" (with a children's choir singing the first verse), "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," and "Peace, Peace, Peace" (where the congregation comes in to sing Silent Night at the end). The youth speaker (who was doing a great job) got sick right there at the podium. He actually told his mom earlier that day he wasn't feeling well. She said exactly what I would have said, "It's probably just your nerves".....whoops. But it was wonderful to sing and listen and feel the true meaning of Christmas. We did our regular Christmas Eve things: Ham dinner with fancy dishes, reading the account of the Savior's Birth, reading "Jabeez Dawz," getting in matching pajamas and taking a family picture, watching "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and then heading off to bed. The kids actually forgot to leave anything out for Santa. Luckily he helped himself to peppermint ice cream and left them a note about it :) The next morning we could hear the kids awake at just before 7. No one is allowed in the living room until the music comes on. Sean and I came down and got the music going which was immediately followed by the pounding of feet running down the stairs. Santa left Megan her very own pet kitty ("a dream come true" she said), Ben got his own tablet, Caelan got a desk, Nathan got a sled, Austin got trike. We opened presents (the kids all got gifts for each other throughout the month of December...with their own, earned money). Caelan got some jewelry kits, a gift certificate to get her ears pierced, a journal.... Ben got his Journal book (the book I put together for the Christmas after they turn 8 - a bound copy of their online journal), Legos, books... Nothing could top the kitten for Meg, but she also got a vanity set, a barbie, hair things, Littlest Pet Shop home.....Nathan got cars and a retractable raceway, his own real tools (he asked almost everyone we saw for the next week if they thought they were "real tools or fake." He was quite thrilled with these real tools). Austin got a car track too and a velcro ball game. Sean and I got a VitaMix (actually Sean got me one and his parents got one for both of us). We love it! Sean got a welding blanket for his smoker. We spent the rest of the day hanging around in our jammies playing with our new toys, watching movies, playing games, doing puzzles, etc. A perfect family celebration.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday Best for Christmas

I wanted to get a picture of the whole family before church on the Sunday before Christmas, but I didn't quite have my act together enough to do it. I ended up bringing Ian and Austin home from church early (Ian had had a fever for two days). They both fell asleep on the ride home, so I sat in the car for about 45 minutes listening to Christmas music. Ian woke up first so we took a quick shot together. By the time the kids got home, Austin was in NO MOOD to take a picture, so I got a separate shot of him later when he was in a better mood. Sean had to take the youth around to deliver Christmas baskets immediately after dropping the kids off at home, so I didn't get a picture of him at all. Just know - he was looking sharp too:)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Miss Magoo

Megan turned 7 years old. My, how the time flies. We had a pretty simple little family birthday party. She chose a Little Mermaid cake, so we did an under-the-sea theme and found an Ariel to put on top. Turned out pretty cute. She was thrilled with her gifts (even the clothes elate this little girl). Megan is such a joy. She is so fun and spunky and social and loving. She can make friends with pretty much anyone (regardless of age, sex, personality, etc). She is a real hugger. This girl loves affection. Once she is your friend, you will know it: she'll hug you, sit on your lap, climb all over you, etc. Megan has really become a good reader this past year. She brings stacks of books to bed with her and reads. Once she's done reading she likes the lights all the way off in her room. She is a good student. She brings home good grades, but also her teacher tells me often what a wonderful classmate she is. She accepts and reaches out to new students, she helps kids that are struggling, she is very compassionate to anyone that is having a hard time. Megan is strong willed at home, but when she harnesses that will she does really great things. She is our cleaner (granted, she also is one of our biggest mess-makers, but at least she is good at cleaning it up). There are times when she'll decide she wants to clean and she'll go from room to room getting things done. She is an animal lover. She loves all types of animals. She's been asking me for a pet kitten since August. We think we might consider something like that for Christmas....we'll see. Megan isn't a picky eater. There are a few things she's not fond of: sweet potatoes in particular, but most things she'll try. She likes to sing, play barbies and ponies, do hair and nails, read, color, help me cook, swim, watch movies, etc. We love Meg to bits - she is such a joy in our home.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mr. E-Sauce

E-Sauce: that's one of our nicknames for Ian. That as well as "E." He is our little thumb sucking dude. He'll take his binkie, but most of the time he plays with it. In fact, he does this funny trick where he sucks his binkie while he is sticking his tongue out the side of his mouth. It looks so funny. He loves to gnaw on it and chew it. Whenever I am wrapping him up in his blanket at night, he will immediately stick his thumb in his mouth. He'll also do it when he fussy and has dropped his binkie. I have always tried to steer my kids in a direction other than the thumb (which has always worked up until now), but Ian loves it....and I have to admit, it is one of my favorite things that he does, especially when he cuddles up on me while he is sucking his thumb. Precious! He is a good little baby. He likes to be with people, but he is pretty happy in his bouncy seat or sometimes we put him in the Exersaucer (which he sometimes will be content to play in for a while and other times he hates it immediately). He smiles and giggles. He is our little light weight. I couldn't believe he could fit into the little Tigger Halloween costume that Nathan and Austin wore for Halloween (because he was 5 months old wearing a 0-3 month costume). I haven't started solid foods yet, but I do occasionally give his tastes of soft things that I am eating, which so far he has been a big fan of.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Soccer Season

Our Saturdays were sufficiently filled up with soccer games for about 8 weeks straight, but I have to admit I love it. I realize we won't have much free time on Saturdays for a couple of months each time I sign the kids up, but I so look forward to watching the games and seeing them improve. Nathan played for the first time this season as well as Megan. We have asked Megan in the past if she wanted to sign up and she has never seemed interested at all. Somewhere in the middle of Spring season she mentioned that maybe next time she would want to play. And she still had the desire when we signed up for Fall season. She was a total surprise to us. Our little girlie girl has some serious SCRAP to her. She got right in there scoring goals and going after the ball. Her coach said on multiple occasions that she was the most improved, especially since she was a first time player, and that she really listened to him when he gave direction (and then would do it). It was great to watch. I volunteered to be a referee and was assigned to be the ref for Megan's team, so I didn't get to do as much screaming and yelling as I would have like :) I had to be fair and impartial as the ref. This was super challenging on the first game when I was right there by all the action and Megan got the ball and started heading right towards the goal. Unfortunately it was the wrong goal...and I just didn't feel like I could yell out, "turn around Meg" right there on the field. Oh man. At least she scored again in the right goal to make up for it. HE HE HE. There were a couple of pretty intense games that I had to run, which wasn't really my favorite, but I definitely learned from them. Overall I enjoyed the experience. I think I'll probably do it again next season. Nathan had all sorts of fun playing. You could pretty much tell within the first two minutes of the game what kind of day this was going to be for him: he would either be gung-ho and aggressive about blocking and attacking the ball (and therefore score a few goals) or he would be kind of in his own little world and run along side the ball but not really have his heart into it. When he had his head in the game he was pretty good. He definitely has a good power kick. A couple of times he scored from his kick-off kick. Ben improved this season as well. He moved up to U-10, which means he started playing on the bigger field using goalies and off-side calls. As the season went on he was better about running hard through the whole game. He scored a couple of times (once on the last game of the season, along with a good assist too). He's not super aggressive with his possession of the ball but he plays hard and can run down the opponent. He loves it.


I failed to get a good picture of everyone dressed up for our ward Halloween party (Nathan was Batman, Megan was Ariel, Ben was the Grim Reaper, Caelan was a gypsy, Austin was a worker guy, Ian was a bat and I was a little girl), but I did get a picture taken before the kids went to school on Halloween day. The kids had their annual Halloween parade and class parties. Nathan had a preschool party as well. We carved pumpkins the night before. Sean made his famous chili for the ward party. It was a great success. Nathan was a maniac trick-or-treater this year. He took off and went from car to car over and over again. Amber Pearce (a friend of ours) said she probably saw Nathan 7 times. Sheesh. They definitely made out in the candy department. Their plastic pumpkins were completely full (I LOVE that about trunk-or-treating). Austin even kept at it for a good round or two. There were also a few rooms inside the church with some carnival games, which the kids had fun playing at as well.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mess Alert

Austin loves himself some Ranch dressing. Every so often he actually bites into the vegetable too. This last picture is great. Sean took Nathan and Ben to see "Man of Steel" at the cheap theater one night. They went out for Baskin Robbins ice cream afterwards. Sean looked over in the car and Nathan was clean as a whistle and Ben looked like this. HA! Totally uncharacteristic of him.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cupboard Under the Stairs

"Mom, can I take a rest under the Harry Potter?" "Sure." He slept a good 3 hours in there. He's asked every time since then to take his rests in the closet under the stairs. We like those movies at this house, can you tell?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Up, Up and Away

This year we barely squeezed in the Balloon Fiesta. We went the second to last night. We've never been to the night glow before, so we thought we'd do that this year. It was great. We drove down Friday evening and headed down to the field. It was still a little light when they start to fill the balloons, so we still got to have the experience of being right in the midst of all the balloons filling right next to us. The balloons don't go up into the air, but it's still cool to see them all lit up on the field. The firework show afterwards was GREAT. I think it was better than any of the 4th of July shows we've seen in the last several year - really awesome.
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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Happy Happy Birthday Austy Dear!

I love two year old birthdays. They are old enough to get excited about opening presents and they can actually do it on their own, but they could care less about how many or how expensive, etc. They love the cake and ice cream and get excited about what they can recognize in the decorating of it but could care less if the center sunk in and you had to stuff pieces of cake underneath it to even it out....HE HE HE. Two year old birthdays are great! Austin was pretty funny in the morning. All of the family was obviously pretty excited about it being his birthday and so we excitedly told him, "It's your birthday. YAY!" at which he quickly replied (with a good deal of sass), "No." He responded in this way several times throughout the day. He wanted to bring in the "Terrible 2's" with a bang! Ha! Actually Austy is one fantastic two year old. He is very stubborn when he wants to be (mostly this involves things that he WANTS). He is determined and adventurous (he plays on the playground at the park like a champ, he climbs up on counters and tables, he tries to ride the big bikes, he wanders through the forest on adventures and he is our first ever climber out of bed). He is cuddly and sweet (he will just lay on Sean or me and cuddle up with his blanket). He still loves his binkie and blanket (I let him have it all day on his birthday but we are now trying to limit it to bedtime - so far we haven't been too successful - he just finds it). He is quite independent and capable (he will push a chair up to the fridge, get out the milk and pour it into his cup. Just yesterday I watched him drink straight from the milk carton....Yikes!). He is a good little talker (I think he probably is our earliest talked and says the most things at 2 years old - he has a very big vocabulary). One of my favorite things he says is, "Oh no" because he has this cute little sing-song way that he says it and it sounds so sincere. Adorable. He'll bring us "everything" he needs when he wants his diaper changed or when we ask him to go get the stuff: a diaper, pj's, powder, diaper cream, wipes (often handfuls and handfuls of wipes not in the container)...and he is runs in and out of the rooms getting supplies and then dropping them off and then going back for more. He is very proud of himself every times he does this. He loves all transportation type things: cars, motorcycles, bikes, quads, planes, trains, etc. He loves balls and bath time and playing outside. He loves cheese, oatmeal, milk, bananas, pizza, noodles, rice, red peppers, peaches, watermelon, ice cream, cookies (mostly anything sweet), ice, etc. He loves to do something that gets a reaction from the family...and then do it over and over again. We have some good laughs. We loves this little boy to pieces!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Nathan's Preschool Pictures

Here is Nathan's preschool picture along with his class picture. His two teachers are Miss Lydia and Miss Tara. He loves his school. His buddies at school are Jonah (of course.... we carpool with Jonah and he spends one afternoon at our house each week and Nathan goes to his house one afternoon each week too), Vicinte, Wyatt, and Ensonio (I'm probably not writing that name correctly - Nathan says it with a good Spanish accent, so I'm not exactly sure how to spell it).

Saturday, September 28, 2013

5 Year Old Nathan

Happy Birthday Nathy Pants! Nathan spent his birthday morning at preschool. They sang to him and he brought Tootsie Pops to share with everyone. Sean got home a little early and we let him open his presents. He got a scooter (one with real tires) which he then spent the rest of the afternoon riding around. He chose Lasagna for his dinner, but when it came time to eat he wasn't really hungry at all. I think he maybe ate two bites. Then he had a pirate ship cake and Mint and Chip ice cream. Nathan is a great kid!! He is fun, happy, social, funny and an all around awesome little dude. Here is a little about Nathan at age 5: His favorite foods are lasagna, cheese, ice cream, popsicles (he is the only one in the family who will choose popsicles over ice cream for dessert), blueberries, watermelon. He loves the song "Follow the Prophet" (the Jonah verse) and recently "Baby Beluga." His favorite color is blue (he tells me often that he likes all the "boy" colors but not "girl colors"). He loves to play outside: wandering in the forest, climbing trees, riding the quad, jumping on the trampoline, kicking soccer balls, and riding his scooter. He also likes to play Legos and play with his family. His good buddies are Jonah, Samuel, Paul, Wyatt, Rez..... and pretty much anyone who is around to play with. He can make friends with anyone anywhere. We were at a High School football game and he was sitting in between complete strangers (we were in the row next to him) and he was totally comfortable. Before the Father-Son camp out he went with Sean and Ben to get pizza. While they were waiting for it to cook Nathan made friends with a middle aged man and they started chatting about all sorts of things. When they were getting ready to leave Nathan said to Sean, "this is my friend, Mike." He is a great sound-effect maker. He is not a fan of dogs (not even our own dog). He has a good memory and a great sense of direction. There have been several times when we are driving in the car somewhere and he will tell me where to turn (places that aren't even that common for us to go to) and on the way he'll point to that street and tell me who lives that way and so on (he definitely gets this from his Dad). He likes to help Dad work on things and he also enjoys helping me in the kitchen or with jobs. He is a great big brother and especially enjoys loving on his baby brothers, Ian. He loves to keep up with his big brother. He is ALL boy (we have had several "potty" incidences that prove this...). He brings a fun, energetic, happy spirit to our home and we love him bunches.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hanging at the Fair

We took advantage of School Days at the State Fair again this year. We saw a Cirque Nirvana show, a Wolf show, pig races, Chinese Acrobats, Native American Fire Dancers, saw the model trains, went to the McDonald's Farm fun zone for kids, got a milkshake from the Dairy, saw a cow get milked, checked out the arts and crafts (including the Lego displays), played on John Deere tractors, went to the petting zoo (complete with all the normal animals as well as an ostrich, zebra and baby camel), ate a picnic lunch.....a full day of fun. And all of that for me and 6 kiddos for a whopping...$4. Yes, my friends, that is how it is done.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dirty Dash 2013

I did the Dirty Dash last year with a few of my friends. I thought it would be a good race for Sean to do because it wasn't just a running race - it involved all sorts of other fun obstacles along the way. So when we saw a groupon for the event a few months ago we decided to do it together. It was held at the Wild West Zoo right here in our own town of Edgewood. We got a deal on 4 tickets so we asked Caelan and Ben if they wanted to do it with us. They decided to. It was a fun race through mud puddles, over rope walls, through mud tunnels, sliding across blow up slides, etc. We did a lot of walking through the course, but we all made it. Fun times.