Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It's crazy that we have been in Alabama for close to 4 months. Time flies! I thought I would catch up on what's going on with us.
Spencer is busy with work, school, and church callings. He was recently called to be the Young Men's president in our ward. He was so surprised! I am excited for him. He's such a goofy guy and is easy to relate to. I think he will be really great with the young men in our ward. He is also very spiritually minded and can lead them in their priesthood capacities. So good luck Spence!
I am staying busy at home with the kids. During the day, it's just the younger 2 and I, but we still manage to be busy. We go to story time at the library and do crafts at home and try do couponing. Then when Ayden gets home in the afternoon we have piano lessons, homework and chores.

Ayden is enjoying his 2nd grade year and is assimilating quickly. A few weeks ago as we set up a family board game, he asked "how are y'all fixin' to set this up?" He also "yes, ma'am"s me all the time! It's funny. He has a few "best" friends that he talks about a lot and loves to eat school lunch on Fridays (pizza day). Ayden is also doing really well with his piano. He picks it up very quickly and likes the pieces that have him playing in the lower register! He usually pounds those out loudly. He just finished memorizing all 13 Articles of Faith at church. He has worked so hard to accomplish that.

Ellie will soon be 5 and asks every few days how long until her birthday. She is such a helper for me and plays really well with Tate. I asked her yesterday "Ellie, can you just stay my little girl forever?" To which she replied in a very patient voice, "I could mommy, but I want to have my own kids someday. And I can't do that while I'm little." She keeps herself entertained all day by playing with her princess figurines or make-believe. And any chance she gets to play with makeup, she will take it. I can't believe she will be 5.

Tate is our little man. He's 16 months old and our crazy guy! He's walking everywhere now and loves to get into anything he shouldn't. He has a new fascination with belts, particularly Ellie's. He will wear them all day. Much to Spencer's delight, Tate also LOVES football. Last Friday night, both boys were cuddled on the couch with daddy watching the game. Tate will react to plays and point and talk like he knows what's going on. His new favorite game is "tackle".  But watch out, this little boy glares. And man, you do not want to be on the receiving end of that!
We look forward to fall here with cooler temperatures. The kids are excited for Halloween and we are trying to come up with some great costumes. And we are looking forward to the holidays. Ayden asked me if it would still be Christmas without snow and I assured him, yes! Keep checking the blog for more updates and pics of the kids.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ape face

Spencer was goofing around with Tate the other night, making silly faces. And he made one face that has traditionally scared the babies in our family. But not Tate! He thought it was funny.

I call it the "planet of the apes" face! And now Tate does it all the time. He'll be playing with toys or walking around making this face.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sisterly love

After naps, Tate is usually kinda grumpy and only wants me. He takes a minute and then wants to go play. Yesterday after his nap, he only wanted Ellie. He immediately reached for her. 
They cuddled on the couch watching a show. Well, Ellie watched and Tate played with the remote. I think he changed the channel a few times, too. But she patiently cuddled with him.  Good big Sister!

and the Thunder Rolls

A few nights ago we had a thunder and rain storm. Tate loves being outside and wanted to see the rain. So we sat out on the front porch and watched the rain and listened to the thunder.
This is Tate listening to the rumble of the thunder.
He loved it! And each time he would stop and clap after it was done.
Tate also found the rain gutter that was spewing water. Of course, he couldn't let that go untouched.
And here's Ayden doing.....well I'm not sure
A rain dance? Showing off his missing front tooth? His wingspan?  All I know is that he enjoyed the rain too!

Happy Birthday Aunt Dani....a little late

Danielle's birthday was on the 8th and I'm just now posting it. But I didn't forget on the actual day and that's most important!  This year Aunt Dani turned  25 and my kids wanted to make sure she knew it. So they made posters to put up all over the house. They colored pictures and made posters with the # 25 written all over them. My favorite was a poster Ellie drew that had Danielle sitting in a tornado and she drew extra wind around that to show how strong it was. Not really a traditional "birthday" theme, but it came from the heart. And Ayden wrote her a letter to tell her how much he and Tate loved her (apparently, Ellie didn't make the cut).
  We made her favorite dinner and her favorite birthday cake (homemade Devil's food cake with rainbow chip frosting) and we celebrated. Of course, a dinner at our house wouldn't be complete without whining and complaining about the food (they won't eat anything). So in the middle of arguing with Ayden and Ellie, I said "Gee, what a happy birthday dinner for Aunt Dani." To which Ellie said "oh, yeah. Happy Birthday Aunt Dani!" That made us all laugh and put us back on track for a better night.
So Danielle, hopefully you had a great 25th birthday. Know we love you and appreciate all you do for our family.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Still Game Day

As we walked through campus making our way to the stadium, we passed countless tailgate parties and tents and people. It was crazy how big game day was! The women, not all but a lot, were dressed in dresses and heels. Apparently, it's quite a to-do here. And so many people were friendly as we passed them. They welcomed us to the game and thanked us for coming and hoped we had a good time. Southern Hospitality!
at the stadium
We got there early so the guys could watch the team warm up and they loved every minute of it
daddy explaining things to Ellie
We didn't have seats by Stephen and Nathan. They sat directly under the goal posts. We were in the next section over a few rows up. So we didn't see them during the game. We all had a good time cheering for the Cougars. At first, Ellie hated the noise and kept doing this
But then she finally got used to it and at the end of the game even started yelling and cheering for BYU too.
the final score
After the game as we were walking out of the stadium, people would stop us and thank us for coming! Even after we beat their team, they were so polite and friendly. Now that's classy. By the time we got to the car, everyone was ready for air conditioning! It was a great time and I'm glad we could all do it together.

Game Day

 Spencer was born with blue running through his veins, Cougar blue that is. A passion for sports, especially BYU football has been handed down from father to son in Spencer's family. It's a passion I don't quite understand, and probably never will.  And Spencer's family planned their visit to Alabama to coincide with the BYU vs Ole Miss football game. So that was our Saturday activity. Everyone had their game day shirt, including me.

SideNote: I have never in our 8 years of marriage donned any BYU attire. I made a point of it for Steve and Spencer to mark in the calendar!
We were able to find a babysitter at the last minute for Tate. It would have been such a long day for him and miserable for me. So thank you Mindy! Because Tate wasn't going we were able to pile everyone in our van. Which made for cramped traveling, but comical pictures
Notice Ellie's seat. It stands out completely from the rest of the interior of the car. And there's a reason: we had to make a seat for her. SSSSHHHH! Her seat is actually a 2nd seat for our double stroller. The guys just rigged her a seat between their captain's chairs and she fit quite snugly. Also notice she is strapped in, but her seat wasn't actually attached to anything. So if she stood up, she took the whole orange seat with her! Not very safe. Not one of my proudest parent moments!
It was a 3 1/2 hour drive to Oxford, MS and all 3 kids did great. The boys kept entertained with Nana's IPad and Ellie watched movies. Once we were there and parked we ate our lunch/dinner before we headed to the stadium.
enjoying sandwiches
the guys

I'll post the pictures from the stadium in a separate post

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Even Tate got to play around at the science center. He loved any chance to get out of the stroller.
Tate loved this
Spencer and Stephen liked this next one. You sat down in front of a mirror and you could distort your face. These were my favorite of those
so handsome
Ellie headed over to the water station and didn't want to leave. She loved the aprons!
The guys thought this one was funny.
seriously guys?
Barbara took Tate to play in the Toddler room and he just crawled around jabbering. He loved the puzzles and shopping center.
The kids also enjoyed the slide
Apparently there was a zip-line, but we missed it. Nathan found it and did it a few times though. 
The last thing we did was to visit the aquarium downstairs so Ayden and Spencer could pet the sharks and stingrays. 
I couldn't get a picture of Ayden touching the sharks because he did so quickly! But at least he did. I was too chicken to try. After Spencer said it felt kinda weird, I was just fine keeping my hands out of the water. 
I think everyone enjoyed the McWane Center but after 2 hours everyone was tired and ready to go home.
Especially Tate
couldn't even finish his snack

Shaw Family

Note: due to picture overload I will split this post into parts. 

Spencer's parents, Steve and Barbara, and his brother Stephen with his son Nathan came for a visit last week. We were all excited to have family come visit, especially Spencer. He has lived near his family our entire marriage and I don't think he realized how much he would miss them when we moved. Steve and Barbara flew in on Wednesday night and Stephen and Nate got here Thursday night. So by Friday we were ready to get started with fun.
The first thing they wanted to do was lunch at the Waffle House. Waffle House is more prevalent than McDonald's here. Seriously, they are everywhere! This was my first experience at one.
Nana sat with the kids
peekaboo from Tate
After the Waffle House we headed to Spencer's hotel for a few minutes
the cousins
Then we went to the McWane Science Center in Birmingham. We thought it would be for the kids, but you can tell by the pics that the big kids played too!
Bed of Nails
Stephen and Nate with the Pulley
Ayden and Grandpa
Ellie on the Pulley
To be Continued.......

Don't Mess with Nana!

Spencer's family came for a visit last weekend and we had so much fun. Lots and lots of pictures to share, but for now I was to share my favorite moment from the whole weekend. 
Ayden has had a loose tooth for weeks. It was at a weird angle that stuck straight out and he looked really goofy. And we have been trying to get it out. Meaning: we have been trying to get him let us get it out. On Sunday night, Spencer and his brother, Stephen, tried and tried to get Ayden to let them twist, pull, push, wiggle, or anything that might get it out. But Ayden wouldn't budge, he was scared of the pain. So we let it go for the night. But by Monday, I was on a mission again to get that silly tooth out. So I made a deal with him that if we got it out, we could eat pizza for lunch (his favorite). Spencer and I tried for at least 30 minutes to even pry his mouth open to let us look at it. Finally, somehow, Spencer tried the string technique. He got it tied around his tooth, but if we even glanced at the string, Ayden flipped out. That's when Nana stepped. She walked up to Ayden in the bathroom and said "here, Ayden let me look." And before he could even react, she pulled on the string and the tooth popped out! 
I love it! It was so hilarious to me that we struggled with him forever on this and Barbara just walked in and in 2 seconds (literally) the whole thing was over!  We all had a good laugh from it, even Ayden. 
Ayden was very excited to have his tooth out because he knew the Tooth Fairy would be visiting. And his Nana informed him that the Tooth Fairy always brings extra when you have your grandparents staying. So he eagerly looked forward to morning. And the Tooth Fairy didn't disappoint. He found $5 under his pillow. Wow, a very generous Tooth Fairy. 
The lesson I learned: don't mess with Nana, when she means business there's no stopping her!! Thanks so much Barbara.