Friday, December 10, 2010

The big day

Well, my big day has come and gone. I am another year older. Not really, I decided I am just going back to 25...and staying there. I always kind of get my hopes up that my b-day is going to be some awesome happening for some reason or another, and it never is. It's really no big deal...just another day. I momentarily forget, I guess, that another year's passing might not be something I want to celebrate. I am not was a fine day and I got so many wonderful well wishes that were very much appreciated. I also just have to mention that my birthday and my birthday eve were spent being completely pampered by my five year old. He was so sweet getting me drinks and a blanket every time I sat down. He gave me so many hugs and kisses and he even 'cleaned' the kitchen for me. He is such an incredibly sweet boy.

The other happenings in our life right now...
E has decided to walk!!! He just decided to start walking everywhere. It's a little sad that he is getting bigger, but so great that he is happier and can be a little more independent (if you know him, you know this is a problem).

I is saying the most hilarious things. He told me the other day that his eyes were cold and that's why he needed to wear his sister's pink sunglasses. Every time he wants a candy or a treat he makes this pained face and says, "my tummy hurts." I don't know where he got the idea that he gets candy when he has an upset stomach. If that doesn't work, he takes to begging-"peez, peez".  A asked him the other day if he needed more juice and he said, "No, Ayi. I good. I good."  The two older kids just started talking and there was not really a period of cute toddler talk. I does it and it is so stinking adorable.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I thought I would post pictures of a few of the projects I mentioned.
This is the gift for A's teacher. I found this christmas tree jar at a thrift store, I got some glass ornaments and decorated them with some silver vinyl snowflakes I already had and red glitter on the inside. We put the ornaments and the candy in the jar and added a bow and a card. A was super excited and she loved helping. I think it turned out pretty cute and it cost less than $11 (with the candy being the most expensive thing, by far).

Every year the kids get to open a gift, of Mommy's choosing, on Christmas Eve after dinner. Guess what it is EVERY PJ's, of course. They love getting a gift early and I love that they look so cute in their new PJs Christmas morning. This year I decided to make them....





The rest of the projects are going to have to wait for their blogging debut because they are gifts for people who actually check the blog. I hope everyone is enjoying the Season...we are!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


We haven't been up to much lately. Thanksgiving is over and we are getting ready to welcome in the Christmas season.

I did up getting to do some Black Friday shopping...I think it should be a national holiday. It was fun times, definitely. We got our Christmas tree and lights and all that put up. We only had two casualties with the ornaments...not bad with four small children.

I am also working on/ finished with some holiday projects and gifts that I am super excited about. I really would like to post pictures but that would kind of ruin the gift part for a few of the readers. The kids' Christmas PJs should be done in the next day or two and I will post pics when they are.

Oooohhhh, and I have to say what a wonderful birthday I have had ....and it's not even here yet!!
Exhibit A
My wonderful MIL and SIL noticed that I was loving this coat while we were out for a bit on Thanksgiving. Yay, for early birthday gifts!!

Exhibit B.
I don't actually have a picture but John came home the other day with a new Kodak printer. I am so excited to still do all the cool stuff I already can, plus print awesome pictures at home, plus not pay $70+ bucks when we need new ink!

Aaaand, I got some packages from my mother but she made me promise to wait until the actual day!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


A few days ago was my oldest son's 5th birthday.... I remember being so miserable, pretty much the entire pregnancy with him. I was to be induced and the date finally settled on the 25th, the day after Thanksgiving that year. My parents were out for the holiday and for his birth. We had a nice low-key holiday and then I was at the hospital bright and early. Everything went wrong. The pitocin was not as effective as it should be, I wasn't progressing much at all for a long time, the anesthesiologist was on the road to getting kicked by a pregnant lady, the epidural was mostly ineffective, and then the boy had his hand on top of his head. I remember the nurses feeling his fingers move on his head a few times when they checked me earlier in the day. Not wanting to injure his arm or shoulder, they told me to NOT push. So NOT fun. I didn't push and tried several different positions to see if he would move his hand. Two hours later, I was in surgery getting this troublesome child out of me.

His poor hand was purple and swollen but, other than that, he was perfect. He was the longest baby the nurse had ever measured. I was so tired and hurting a lot, they had me on morphine for the first while and I really don't remember much from his first 48 hours or so. I was so happy to have him home and he was such a sweet baby. I was trying (unsuccessfully) to heal and he ended up being sick for the first month. I finally healed some but he did not get better until after surgery at a month old.

J has grown into a healthy happy little boy. He is very kind and generous. He is so boy! He loves anything Spiderman, or Transformers, or Batman, or "rockstar". He is a little apprehensive about new things and he hates vegetables. Although, now he will say that he likes them and then sits at the table for an hour before he chokes them down. Batman, as he likes to be called most days, is also a constant source of laughs. He always has something hilarious to say.

This year J had to share his birthday with Thanksgiving. We had John's side of the family over for the day. We started with a yummy breakfast and then cake, of course. He had his own little cake for his special day and then we opened gifts. What a spoiled little boy!! He was thrilled with all of the super hero toys he got, his swords, the movies and the Batcave. He also got some clothes and a new "rockstar" blanket. We had so much food all day and a delicious Thanksgiving feast. Some of the company had to leave a little early due to Uncle Blake's asthma attack. But we had a great and crazy day with everyone over. I am so grateful to have such supportive and loving families on both sides. I am grateful to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and the knowledge of a living Father in Heaven. We are so blessed! I am grateful to have the four beautiful healthy children we have. I am so thankful for my sweet Jake. He is truly a special part of this family and he has so much to offer to us and to the world. Happy Birthday my boy!!
 Goofy kid!! He actually saw the picture of his "birthday rockstar shirt" one the computer the other day (my mistake for having it up while he was in the room) and he said, "Mom that is the shirt I want for my birthday! It has stars and a 5 and guitars! I want one just like that!" He was so excited!!

He was so excited about his own personal cake.

Super heroes!! What a boy...

AAHHH...the Batcave. He has been asking for one for months!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Last night John and I had the opportunity to attend the adult session of Stake Conference. It's an opportunity for all of the adults to hear wonderful messages and be enlightened. We were so privileged to have Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak to us. It was wonderful. We left the kids with a babysitter for the first time. I was actually really nervous. It's not that we have never left the kids, it's just always been with a family member. Always. We left Jake for a couple of hours with a babysitter once when he was about a year but that is seriously the only time. I was a little scared but the kids were super excited. Our babysitters were awesome, the conference session was extraordinary, and apparently the kids behaved beautifully. I am so glad John was off early enough and we were able to go.

Today we made it to church an hour and a half early to still not get a pew. The kids waited pretty patiently. We walked around and went to the bathroom. I met Elder Scott in the hallway...what a sweet, wonderful man he is. Then it was time to start. There were wonderful messages shared and the kids did very well for the two hour session. A had some issues at the very end but we all had an opportunity to hear the Apostle and enjoy some spiritual enlightenment.

It has been a truly wonderful weekend. The only thing that would make it better would be if John didn't work through most of it. Oh, and if he weren't sick! Now I just have to get ready for the coming week....Thanksgiving at our house and a little boy turns 5!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I love Fall

Yeah, I love the Fall. I love the cooler weather. I love living in a place that you can see the changing of the seasons when you walk outside. I really should have taken some pictures a couple weeks was so pretty.

This is looking up in my front yard.

This is the view down one side of the street.

I also love to have a fire going so I can cuddle up with the kids, and John if he's here, in the evening. I love the fashions of fall, and I really love getting ready for the holidays. I turned on Christmas music today! I never listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but I couldn't help it. I am so excited for the Christmas season this year. I know that a lot of my excitement comes from being in our home and getting to spend time with just my hubs and the kids. This year, though, I have the wonderful privilege of hosting Christmas for much of my side of the extended family. I. Am. So. Excited. I have nearly all of the shopping done and I have started (and even finished) a couple of the projects I have on the to-do list...
This is J's birthday shirt.
A little box to hold one of A's Christmas presents.
Cute baby playing with pumpkins (yes, I made that too!).

This is the one and only draw-back to fall. With 9 mature trees on our property, we rake A LOT of leaves!!! But they are beautiful...

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Halloween this year was a long weekend of fun activities. On Friday A had her school times. The whole school has a little costume parade that marches around the school. The Topeka High School marching band actually leads the way. Then the classroom parties start. A friend of ours and I are the head room parents so I helped (emphasis on the help this time) plan it and it turned out really well. They made cute little spiders, decorated cookies, played a game and had sooo much sugar. So many parents showed up and were so willing to was great. I, of course, forgot my camera so the only pictures I have of her are on my phone and I should just email them to myself but that hasn't happened.

Anyway, Saturday night was the ward trunk or treat. I am on the Activities Committee so I got everything we needed and headed to the church two hours early (John was at work). The kids ran around, I helped set up, E kept trying to make a break for it out the open doors...once again, I wasn't much help. Anyway, the chili feed/contest was delicious and then the trunk or treat started. My kids went around once and decided they would rather pass out candy at the van with Daddy...strange kids. A was a Chinese Girl, J after much debate was Batman, I a puppy, E a bee and Daddy and I were hippies. I, once again, forgot my camera and actually sent John home to get it, only to realize after it started that I had not put the memory stick back in it. Thanks for the pictures Bidwells!!

Then on Sunday we headed down to Manhattan. My sister in law, jordan, threw a Halloween party for all of her nieces and nephews and some friends. There were all sorts of creepy and delicious foods, games, crafts and candy. The kids had a great time...Thanks Jordan! And I actually remembered my camera.....

All in all a very fun holiday. A was super excited that there were still trick or treaters coming around when we got home from Manhattan on Sunday. She begged and begged to pass out her OWN candy that night, that is seriously her favorite part. She is such a funny girl. J didn't want to wear his mask, and really enjoyed Goonies. We don't let them watch PG-13 movies but G-ma Kathi didn't have any 'Halloween' ones that weren't and I didn't think that it would hold their interest anyway...true for the other three kids. J liked it. The two year old was a stinker, as usual. Man, it's a good thing that kid is cute. E was just there. John was at work, except for Saturday night and I am so happy he was able to join us for one of the activities and that he humored me and the kids and dressed up!!

Halloween is done, now on to Thanksgiving, which also happens to be J's birthday this year. I asked him the other day if we could just put some candles on a pie. He said, "Mom, I have to have a cake since it's my birthday. Pie is not for birthdays. We'll just have both." So it's settled then...cake and pie for Thanksgiving this year.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Princess and the... Hay?

So A had a field trip and I was priviledged enough to go. It IS fall so, of course, they went to a pumpkin patch.  The hay ride, pumpkin, hay jump, playground and the "not so" Creepy Tunnel...the kids had a great time and it was a long day!!

P.S. Thanks for the great pictures Katie!

We also had A's Parent Teacher Conference. I have to say I LOVE her teacher. Ms. Howard is the perfect combination of discipline and fun. It's always great to sit and talk with someone about how wonderful my daughter is!!! I could be a little biased but she really is doing great at school. A is at the top of her class in all criteria...I am so proud. They have her in the top reading group and the new para in class will be an opportunity for her to stay challenged in math. She does need to do some practice on her handwriting. I was slightly concerned about her socially (just given her experience at school in Topeka before) but that was for naught...she apparently is the same happy, talkative girl there as she is at home. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful daughter. I just hope that we will be able to keep up with her!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Moment

Well, I just feel like I should post something and I had a really great moment today that I just have to share. Today started as a chilly overcast day, the two-year-old woke up sick and John had a normal work schedule today. The boys and I did absolutely nothing except watch movies (good Mom, I know), snack (even better), and rough house. Oh, I did some on-line Christmas shopping/browsing. After A got home from school, her and J went over to the neighbor's yard to play. When dinner was almost ready, I walked down the driveway to call them back home and I was simply over whelmed.

I have the knowledge of the gospel and, with that, a living prophet. This wonderful man, President Thomas S. Monson, instructed us a few weeks ago to live more grateful. I had a moment of true peace. That peace came from recognizing all that I have been blessed with. I am so grateful for my family. I have four healthy, beautiful, wonderful children. I have a husband that is loving, supportive and hard working. I am incredibly grateful to live in my home...that John and I live together in our own home. I know what a blessing it is that John has a job that can support our family. I am grateful to live in a place where we can enjoy the changing of the seasons. The fall is just so beautiful.

It was such a small fleeting moment where all of those things came to my mind, and tears came to my eyes. I am going to try so much harder to have more of those moments (maybe not the tears) and live more grateful.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cute baby....or so it would seem.

I always get the kids picture taken at their birthdays. I decided since I have a fancy-shmancy camera now that I would try to take some of the one-year-old myself. Great idea, right? Oh. My. Gosh. I think maybe he just skipped a year and is really two. What an ornery boy he was!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

He's One!!

I cannot believe it!! My baby is one!!! E celebrated with a second bath...
We had family over the following Sunday for dinner, cake and ice cream, and presents. We had a wonderful time having John's side of the family over to celebrate our sweet little boy. We had a wonderful dinner, the kids played and the cake was good. A and J decorated the cupcakes for the occasion. And, although we no longer have a sprinkles left, they were delicious. Birthday Boy wasn't really too sure about what to do with the cake at first, but he got into it. All of the siblings and cousins were super excited about all the wrapped packages, E, on the other hand, was really mad that I wouldn't let him escape me. His first opened gift was a bouncy ball that lights up from his Grandma Kathi, he got a hold of it and just sat there with it. He was pretty much content with the ball. He got some really great toys: an activity table, a ride-on fire truck, a baby laptop, peek-a-boo blocks, a remote control car and a super soft stuffed animal blanket among other things. It was a great evening! Hopefully his Daddy can be there for the next one, we missed you babe.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Even more UT

We did so many things in UT, I am trying to remember them all. After the birthday and the train, we went to Lake Powell for a week. Well, it was almost a week...we had to cut the annual camping/boating trip a little short this year. My Grandma turned 90 this year and we had to have a party to celebrate. My wonderful cousin organized the first family reunion for Grandma's kids and their families. We went to Willard Bay again (I did not drive like a maniac to get there this time) and had pictures and dinner the night before.  We went boating and tubing and had a blast!! It was really great to see that side of the family, it was kind of nice that John finally got to meet most of them too.

After John came out, we decided to head to ID and go to Yellowstone. Oh yeah, my sister and her husband live in Rexburg so that was an added perk! We went to some fun places in Rexburg (hello gourmet cupcakes and hot chocolate, Porters is my all time favorite store... ever, and a couple really fun places to eat) and then headed to Yellowstone.  It was amazing! We saw buffalo and deer and elk. No bears...Jess was disappointed. I didn't realize that there are so many geysers there and they are all so different and cool. J called the Paint Pots "Gooey Geysers". There were seemingly dry ones that roared and steamed. There is a whole lake (Fire Lake - I think) of water that sizzles. There are stops where you get out and walk on a wooden path through mazes of steaming holes and boiling water and shooting water spouts. The falls and streams and pools of water make amazing colors on the rock and ground, and the water is crystal clear.

The day we went turned out to be pretty cold. It started just a little chilly and by the time we made it to Old Faithful it was downright cold. John even talked of calling it quits and watching it from the windows in the big lodge they have. I was not having that. We got outrageously over priced sweatshirts from the gift shop and made it in time to get front and center seats.Then we waited. John got us hot chocolate, and we waited. went. It was pretty darn cool. Because it was so cold you could see all the steam and that made for a neat effect. When we drove back after Old Faithful, you could see countless spirals of steam out in the distance that you wouldn't on a warmer day. Such a cool experience!!
The cute restaurant we ate at right before going into the park.
The awesome buffalo that was taking a stroll down the side of the road. Later we saw one jog across the road. The kids thought that was silly, more silly were the 'jokes' they came up with about it.
Jess, A and J next to a gooey geyser.
crystal clear water
Muddy ones (Paint Pots)
Us in front of the Paint Pots
You can see Jess and the two older kids walking in the sulfur smelling steam.
Cool colors and patterns on the ground under the water's surface
(Most of) Us in front of Fire Lake (on the bridge over it actually...the kids LOVED that)
Nice and warm in their newly acquired apparel. They look happy don't they? It was COLD.
Old Faithful
Hoodies are not a good look for me- unfortunate...the man and I in front of the end of Old Faithful

P.S. I will have to get pictures from my Mother from the aforementioned activities. We also went to Antelope Island when we first arrived in UT. The kids were highly disappointed they didn't see any antelope. They enjoyed the drive "on the water" to get there and the visitors center with all the cool stuff and pictures in it. There were spider webs and their owners all over the windows and building...the kids thought that was equally amazing and creepy. They were super excited to see a buffalo taking a rest on a hillside. Then A could not stop worrying about that buffalo because he wasn't with his herd. Oh. My. Gosh. It would be nice if she could show the same concern for her brother J as she did that buffalo. That experience made the few close encounters with buffalo at Yellowstone a very exciting time for them.