Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Update 2010

Because Jr. will be along so shortly, we decided to forgo the usual Christmas letter and card...opting to wait and send out a Valentine to include our newest edition in the pictures. (Also, I think I'm a little too surly right now to send out an "It's A Wonderful Life" letter) But I do feel so bad that we aren't sending something to all our friends and family to let them know we're thinking of them during this holiday season. I so wish we were able to have everyone over to our house to sit by the fire, drink hot chocolate, and catch up on all the fun things everyone has been doing. Of course, I would have very little to add on this front as my life pretty much revolves around my weekly and sometimes bi-weekly trips to all my doctors who are working so diligently to make sure this baby gets here safe and sound. I'm trying my best to make this season fun for the kids...doing art projects, taking them shopping, making cookies and treats for ourselves and neighbors, and of course, the traditional holiday cleaning. (Ok, that's more my pregnancy nesting, but maybe they'll think of it as a tradition and keep it up!)

Our tree is up and our stockings are hung. My sweet, patient husband even put some lights outside for me. This week I discovered that our camera we thought was dead, is not dead afterall, so there's a nice Christmas present in and of itself! Hopefully that will ensure more pictures soon...especially of Christmas and subsequent baby.

Both Jackson and Sydney had school Christmas programs, both of which were very well done. Jackson really sang in his concert, which made me so proud. If he can overcome his anxiety of public performance, he will be quite the singer. Sydney's preschool program was very cute. The teachers had the kids recite several things and sing lots of songs, all of which Sydney participated in. Again, proud mama. Jackson is making a lot of progress in kindergarten, learning how to read and write very well. He has a lot of friends and makes more everywhere we go. Sydney is a drama queen, but super affectionate and loving. She's very smart and we're all excited to see what she does with her quick mind. Right now, it's only used for trouble.

Kate is having a ton of fun un-decorating and re-decorating the tree over and over again. She walks around the house belting out Jingle Bells and making up her own verses.

Jake is being the most patient and loving father and husband a sick man can be. We've all been battling colds and his seems to be lasting the longest! He is patient with me and all my mood swings and bouts of impatience. He has even stopped commenting on my compulsive apples-and-peanut-butter habit. The kids seem to be particularly amped lately with all the Christmas excitement and we're both working hard to enjoy it without wringing their necks.

Me, well, I'm 35 weeks pregnant. The little email update from Baby Center tells me that at this point the baby has very little room to move around and will likely stop moving so much. Huh! This kid is all over the place, it's just more uncomfortable for me now! :) The cankles are here to stay and the most comfortable position right now is horizontal...which I don't get too much time in because of the 3 other munchkins. Jake has commented a few times, "I guess I just forget how BIG you get." Yep. I'm THAT big. I'll post a pic sometime just to prove it. I mean, this is about the time you lose all dignity anyway, right? :)

We do wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope you're all able to be with loved ones. We are blessed beyond measure. We're so lucky to be able to spend Christmas in a warm home with my parents and my brother's family. We're so grateful for the gift of our Savior and for this season to celebrate it. May you all be blessed too!

Monday, December 6, 2010

are you crazy?

I know these were the looks I was getting at Wal-Mart tonight. You know that look...the one where they look at your children, look at your pregnant belly and immediately judge. I know occasionally it's a look of sympathy, but mostly it's a self-gratifying, "at least I'm not that stupid" look.

For us, the witching hour for the kids is between 4:00 and 6:00...they're out-of-control crazy because they're so tired, they yell, scream and fight each other if we attempt to leave the house...that is, if they're not asleep in the car. Obviously I know this and yet I still sometimes attempt a trip to Wal-Mart under these circumstances.

So am I crazy? yes.

Bad news? come January 13th, life is going to get even crazier!

Good news? these crazy, toddler years only last a moment and I get the rest of eternity to be with all these sure-to-be-amazing spirits.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trust me on this one.

Overheard on the baby monitor...
Sydney: "Kate, it's a girl. She needs her belt on."
Kate: "Give me my dee-aye" (deer)
Sydney: "Kate, trust me on this one."
Kate: "O-tay, I'll trust you on this one."

Friday, November 5, 2010

More work-in-progress

I need some advice. Here we have photos of our living room fireplace. The frame in front is something Jake and I made to go around a mirror my friend gave us that will go above the fireplace. However, before I decide whether to actually hang it or "lean it" on the mantle, we need to beef up the mantle. It's something that's bothered me since we first looked at the house. It's a sorry excuse for a mantle on a fireplace this size. So the next picture shows the piece of wood I got last week from an Amish woodworking place...very simple, we're just going to paint it and put it right on top of what we already have.

Here comes the advice part. What color should we paint it? I don't really like the white that's up there now, but it would be easy just to stick with it. We could paint the whole thing dark, but then it wouldn't contrast the trim around the tile work. OR we could stain it similar to all the woodwork in the room, which you can see the color better in the picture of the thermostat and paint chips.

Lastly, I REALLY want to paint this room. You can see, it's a really warm brown right now, which it's not that I don't like the color, but the floors are brown and all the trim is brown and there isn't very good lighting in the it just feels like a dirt cave in there. I'm thinking gray, which you can see in some of the pictures. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Love notes

When I was younger and my Grandma Abbie was staying with us, she would often make my lunch for school. Each time, she would enclose a little post-it note in my napkin with some little words of encouragement or just "I 'heart' you". I will usually put "I 'heart' you Jackson" notes in Jackson's lunch and in turn, he brings me home these cute notes. They have rest time at school, when the kids are encouraged to take a nap or just rest quietly. Some are allowed to draw if they're not tired and this is usually what Jackson does with his time and scraps of paper. I love each and every one of them. It's hard to throw them away but my collection is getting HUGE! I have at least 50 or so now! I love my big boy...he has such a tender heart and I'm so glad!

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!

For the school's "Shade Out Drugs" Red Ribbon Week, all of the students made anti-smoking posters. During parent teacher conferences, the parents got a chance to vote on their favorite poster with no names (thus the "2" on Jackson's poster). Well, my little creative guy won first place in his class AND the grand prize for the whole school! He got 2 certificates, a water bottle, some sun glasses, a book mark, and a special bagel snack! (What more could a 5-year-old want?)

If you look carefully at the poster, there's quite a story behind it. In the bottom left, you see a guy throwing a cigarette in a trash can with a girl below him. Just above that, it shows the guy and the girl together with a heart in the middle because she loves him now that he's not smoking. (I got this all from his's not completely self-explanatory!) I also really like the good lungs, bad lungs pictures. I think with Jackson's anxiety I probably won't have to worry about him smoking...he would worry too much about the color of his lungs!

I'm so grateful for these little victories that help boost his confidence.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sydney's 4th Birthday...a LOT belated!

Here are a few pics from sweet little Sydney's 4th Birthday in July. She wanted a rainbow and unicorn Jake, not wanting to be too cliche (although for a 4 year old, I think cliche is acceptable) made this awesome tie dyed cake. Syd loved it! Especially the THICK frosting.
Notice the kitchen torch used to light the candles. Some were completely melted by the time the wick would stay lit!

The pint-sized party goers...Braden, Kate, Jackson, Charlie (neighbor), Aryn, Sydney & Gracie (neighbor). They had a ton of fun...but I don' think I'm going to be able to get away with these low-key family parties much longer. Eventually I will have to have an all-out, friend birthday...especially since Jackson has had 2 now!
Sydney is our sweet, affectionate, little devil. She is constantly vying for attention and affection through cuddles, hugs and kisses. I hear "I love you mommy" from her several times a day...though often times I think it's to make up for the mischief she's been making. She makes messes faster than anyone and she does super-naughty things like cutting her own hair, cutting Kate's hair, and cutting pretty much anything little pony's hair, barbie hair, ribbons, ties, name it. I try desperately to keep scissors away from her but she's old enough and crafty enough to find them. She'll even use nail clippers in a pinch.

Sydney is a smart girl! I will be working with her and Jackson on letters and sounds and she will pick up on them as fast or faster than Jackson. Her teachers tell me she has an amazingly long attention span for her age, which will hopefully serve her well. She is really determined and independent and tries and tries till she figures things out.

I love our little Sydney. It will be so fun to watch this one grow and develop into a strong, intelligent woman. I just hope her need for affection doesn't result in a few dead boyfriends when her dad catches her kissing them!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Like mother like daughter?

My mom found this old dress of mine that I had my picture taken in. It's more of a shirt on Kate now, but we tried it on anyway. I think there's a little resemblance there...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


You know when you haven't written in your journal for so long that you feel like there's too much to say so you just don't write anything because you feel like you'd have to write everything? That's where I am right now...feeling completely overwhelmed by all the months that have gone by without blogging and now there's just so much to do. So here's what I've decided. Tomorrow I leave for Portland, OR for one of my dearest friend's, Cara's, wedding to her sweetheart of forever, Rob. I'll be back next Monday. At that time, I will jump in...with both feet. Jackson is in school now and I usually have an hour or so in the mornings before the girls get up so I'm going to slowly spit out pictures and info. They may not be in the right order and you may not care about a lot of them, but I need to get them "on the record."

To be blogged:
1. End of preschool for Jackson and Sydney
2. Summer in Moberly...pool with cousins, family reunion, etc.
3. I'm pregnant! (with a boy)
4. Sydney's 4th Birthday
5. Trip to Utah and Bear Lake
6. Jackson starts kindergarten!!!

and many, many more random and fun photos...and maybe even a video of Kate singing, "You are my sunshine..." which is just the most adorable thing ever! :)

See you next week! xoxo

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kate's birthday

Our little Katybug turned TWO on March 20. Though she doesn't look too pleased in this first picture, she was actually delighted and just upset that I took her away from her cake for the photo with the poster Brad made for her.

Kate is the happiest little girl. She is super smiley and has an infectious giggle. She is a little parrot and repeats the last three words of any sentence we say. She talks all the time and is always telling on Jackson, Sydney and Max...and likes to make things up too. The other day she reported, "Daddy spank me!" I knew it was a lie because Jake was on a campout. I think she just runs out of things to say so she makes stuff up. :) She loves Jackson and Sydney and wants to play with them all the time. She is also her grandpa's girl and wants him to walk around with her outside constantly. We're so in love with Kate and can't imagine life without her! Happy Birthday sweet girl!


A couple weeks ago we enjoyed some early warm weather. The kids loved getting out on the swing set and in the playhouse with Max. I took some shots around the yard so you could see it before spring exploded...which as I write has. Those pictures will be up next.

This is the magnolia tree....pre-buds.

This is the garden plot...anxiously awaiting its seeds. Can't you just see big tomatoes and cucumbers and pumpkins and strawberries...lots and lots of strawberries.

Yes...this dog is like 3 times bigger than the last time you saw him.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kids, kids, kids

My posts have been so few and far between lately that a lot has been going unreported. Mostly by the kids. First off, Jackson is growing and growing. All of his pants are too short for him! That's frustrating to me, but great for him. He's one of the tallest in his class and he loves being able to reach lots of things. He's also strong enough to man-handle Max, which is really helpful. Most of all, he loves to learn and explore and have fun. His favorite primary song is Follow the Prophet.
Sydney is in dance and getting ready for her big recital in May. Of course, at 3 they aren't really advanced, but they sure are cute and she's learning the building blocks for later. She loves her ballerina and tap shoes and follows directions really well. She's a headstrong little sucker but once she sets her mind to something, you can't distract her. She loves playing with Jackson and is quick to say "I love you" and give lots of hugs and kisses.
Kate is still our little sweetheart. She is so happy all the time! She occasionally gets upset about something, but is quick to return to her smiley self...even after Max has tried to knock her down! He loves trying to play with her! She is talking up a storm these days, though we only understand 2 or 3 words in her 10 word sentences. She also repeats everything we say...another good reason to watch our words! And yes, she just turned two. The next post will be of her birthday, but I have to get the pics from grandma!

Big J Turns FIVE

In February, our big guy, Jackson, turned 5! Some days it seems like he's so much older than that and yet, I still can't believe how fast he's growing up.

Things Jackson has assured me he can do now that he's 5: buckle his seatbelt and Sydney's in the car, finish his own drink at Sonic (not a shared one with Sydney), sleep without the bathroom light on, shoot bb guns with daddy (actually, he thought he should be allowed to shoot without daddy, but I assured him that 5 years was NOT old enough for that), pick his own clothes to get dressed, put on his own socks, ride the bike daddy bought him last year, reach the cups on the top shelf in the cupboard.... and the list is updated every day.

Why I'm excited Jackson is 5: He is such a big help with his sisters and the dog, he tries really hard to do good things to surprise me, he can tell when I'm getting stressed and all of the sudden becomes really responsible, still has the most tender heart and loves hugs and kisses from me, he loves taking Sydney on adventures and they play for hours...and my list gets longer every day.
The cake Jake made...awesome again!!
The friends all gathered to partake of the cake!
The friends all gathered to "help" open the gifts!
Jackson super pleased with his superhero toys!
All of the kids finally coming down from the frosting high, watching Spider-Man.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meet Max

He is pretty much still a baby...but a big baby. He was born on November 21, 2009 but just joined our family on Friday. The kids have been so excited to get a dog and we didn't waste any time. New dog. The kids love him. They are sometimes annoyed with him because he likes to sniff and lick and steal their toys, but we're training him and he's getting better. Anyway, right now I feel like a dog is harder than a baby. At least a baby goes to the bathroom in a diaper and stays in a crib. Why do you think animals learn to walk and run almost at birth and it takes humans so long? Anyway, we're having fun with Max and are fully aware that this bulldog is going to get BIG! But he's also lovable and lazy. A year ago our kids were terrified of dogs. Look at them now!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Jake!!!

Today is my sweet husband's birthday. OK, maybe "sweet" isn't the word to describe him unless you're saying it in a surfer tone "SWEET!" This has been a really big year for our family, all thanks to Jake. He took and passed yet another bar exam, got a job, bought us a house, and moved us into said house in the rain. (Slightly less miserable than the conditions of our UT to NYC move, but only slightly) He works so hard and sacrifices so much for us and I love him. The kids adore him! He can't get a moment's peace when they're awake because they're all clammoring for his attention.

Jake is a man who knows a lot about a lot. I'm so glad he knows how to keep our family happy and healthy! Happy Birthday sweetheart! 243

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Picture Day

Last year, our pictures were less than desireable. I brought the whole family to Jackson's school to get pictures from a professional photographer. Unfortunately, they had an elaborate backdrop that was mostly drab brown and the kids just got lost in it. This year, I requested that the backdrop be left out and that they just take a "regular" looking school picture of just their faces. I'm very pleased with the results...I sure love my cute kids!