Wednesday, November 30, 2011

O Tannenbaum

We put up our Christmas tree a little earlier than usual this year, right after Thanksgiving. Usually, we wait until the first weekend in December. But this year I am missing the holiday winter wonderland that I grew accustomed to in Utah. So I decided to put up the tree to get me in the holiday spirit.  We have a fake tree and it takes some time to get it set up. So we put on some Christmas Manheim Steamroller and got to work.
You can't tell by this picture but they were so excited to just have the tree up, no decorations or anything.
This looks like an old fashioned photo where no one smiles! And how formal she's dressed and posed, it made me giggle.
All 3 kids were so excited to put on the ornaments that they were pulling them out of the boxes faster than I could get them ready. And Tate kept taking them off the tree once we put them on.
The little stinker would not leave them alone! We had that chair for us shorties to reach the top and Tate used it as his personal spot to play. 
Through the whole process, Ellie would exclaim "oh, this is just gorgeous. don't you think Mom?" Finally, we got it decorated to perfection, well as good as it was gonna get with Tate going behind and reversing the process.
Once again, don't know why their poses were so formal! I'm glad we got the tree up and that we did it together. Were there times I wanted to pull my hair out? Were there times they were fighting and I wasn't as patient as a mom should be? Of course! But there were times we were all laughing, singing, and smiling. And all those things make it family time.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Our friend Meghan and her husband, Brian, came to visit us this week. I actually met Meghan my freshman year of college through my friend, Tash, and then after Spencer and I were married she was roommates with my friend(again Tash). So we got to know her more and eventually became really good friends. And that friendship has grown over the years. 
They have been on a cross country trip for a few weeks and were able to make a stop here in Bama. We hadn't met Brian until this week and were very excited to have them here for a few days. As soon as they were settled, the kids including Spencer were begging Meghan to show them gymnastic tricks(she was a gymnast for BYU and coached for San Jose State). And of course the kids got into it too.
Brian was a huge hit right from the start! He has so much energy and the kids thought he was very funny. I guess at first, however, they didn't quite get all his jokes. But they still thought he was awesome.
Tate, was a little wary of him at first, however.
I love that grumpy face! 
Ellie almost instantly fell in love with Meghan and wouldn't leave her alone. She found a friend. She loved to cuddle with Meghan, color with her, and especially do Meghan's hair.
They brought their dog, Bo. And we were a little concerned about how the kids would handle that. My kids are freaked out by dogs. And to top it off, Bo is a german shepherd/husky mix which equals BIG dog. To my kids he was a horse!  But they loved him. Well, Ellie and Tate did. Ayden tolerated him really well. Tate kept following him around saying "Bo Bo Bo Bo". And Ellie kept wanting to pet him and play with him. Poor Bo rarely was left alone. But he was so good with them, very gentle and patient.
On Wednesday we all went to the park for the boys to play football and let Bo run around. Ellie wanted to ride her bike so Meghan and I walked around the walking path with her while the boys got LOTS of energy out. Later that night, we "roasted" marshmallows on our patio. Brian brought out their little camping stove and we sat out eating s'mores. 
that's Brian all wrapped up in the blanket. 
Thanksgiving Day was spent watching football, eating snacks, and making the whole turkey dinner. Spencer and Brian got a little cuddly on the couch
look at that caress
almost a little awkward! After dinner, more football and naps. To be honest, it was only one nap...mine. I thought everyone was going to lay down and nap, but when I woke up after 2 hours (oops) I found that I was the only one that actually did. You know you have awesome hubby and friends when you get to sleep while they take care of the kids. Thanks guys!
We had such a good time with Brian and Meghan, and don't forget Bo. It was nice to visit and goof around and share some fun memories. We can't wait to do this again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tornado season is here

This morning we had our first tornado experience since we moved here. We heard the sirens and immediately turned on the news and radios. And the weatherman was saying that there was potential for tornado in Leeds (a town about a little over a mile away) and for people in the area to get prepared to go to their "safe place." And they kept announcing that Moody (our town) should get prepared too. So of course, never having been in/near tornadoes, we were paying VERY close attention to the news. We weren't panicked or anything, but definitely wanted to be prepared. Our kids have been really scared of tornadoes since we moved down here because of what happened in April. So we didn't want to freak out Ellie but wanted to be ready. Luckily, everything turned out just fine. 
While we were experiencing this at home, Ayden was at school. Knowing his worries, we were concerned for him. I knew his teachers would be completely prepared and ready if anything did happen, but I knew he would be very scared. When he came home today, the first thing he told me was that they sat in the hallway "for a long time." And then he said, "I got really scared and cried, mom." Then he told me that his classmates were very helpful and they gave him a book to help distract him. Then he said, "But the thing that helped the most is that I said a prayer. And Heavenly Father helped me." The power of prayer in the hands of a faithful 7 year old. It makes my mommy heart feel so good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Saturday afternoon was a beautiful day and we took the opportunity to play at the park. Of course, that's what everyone else was doing too, so it was very busy! Ayden and Ellie loved climbing the jungle gyms (which I'm still nervous about since Ayden's elbow surgery) and Tate liked to just wander around, eventually finding the slides. It was such a nice day that being in the sun was actually hot! On the way back to the car, all 3 kids walked together, leaving me with a picture perfect moment.  Melt my heart!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kids say (and do) the Darndest Things

My kids are always saying or doing the funniest things (for an example, refer to blog post: Bedazzled Bums). And I always tell myself to write them down so I will remember them. And usually I don't. I thought I would post some here.

The other night, Spencer was trying to teach Ayden about blood pressure. He went into this elaborate explanation of water pressure in the kitchen faucet, hoping to then tie it back to blood pressure(I think). And in mid-sentence Ayden interrupts Spencer and says "Dad, I don't know anything about that kind of pressure. The only kind of pressure I understand is the pressure on the quarterback."  That completely made Spencer's night!

While driving in the car with Ellie on the way back from picking her birthday gift at Walmart:
Ellie: "Oh no, Mom! I only have 9 fingers. I've counted and counted and one is missing." 
Me: "oh, no. maybe you dropped it at Walmart." 
Ellie: "No, I found it. that's so crazy!"
Me: "Yes, you are very crazy."
Ellie: "Yeah, it's always crazy when one of my body parts falls off."
Yes, Ellie that would be very crazy! and just how many, exactly, have fallen off?

Spencer was teaching Tate how to fist bump. And each time their fists connected, Spencer would say "boom!". So now Tate walks around the house bumping his own fists together and saying "boom!"

A conversation Ellie had with Danielle while eating lunch:
Ellie: "Everyone in my family is crazy except you, Aunt Dani."
Danielle: "What am I?"
Ellie: "You are a listener. All grown-ups are listeners"
Danielle: "But your mom is a grown-up"
Ellie: "Yeah, she's a listener AND crazy."
Danielle: "What is your dad?"
Ellie: "He's just crazy."

Ayden is a picky eater and doesn't like to try anything new, even down to condiments. A few Saturdays ago, I made them fish sticks(yuck) for lunch. And I wanted Ayden to try frysauce with it. Usually, he just dips them in ketchup. So I thought frysauce wouldn't be that much of a stretch. Ayden tasted a teeny tiny bit and immediately said, "oh, yuck. how does anyone eat that?" Then he proceeded to dunk his fish stick in his applesauce. After I recovered from that gross combination, I asked him why applesauce is an acceptable dipping sauce for fish sticks, but not frysauce. And he said. "they just go together, you know."  No, Ayden, I do not know. Nor will I ever!

Tate has recently discovered "talking" on the phone. He will use anything that can be held up to his ear. He doesn't discriminate; a remote is just as good as a shoe which is just as good as an actual phone. And he wanders (we call it pacing) around the house while he "talks." He will walk through the living room and then disappear for a minute or so and then come back (having just returned from my bedroom). We thought it was cute, but didn't realize how much of it was being modeled for him until the other night. Spencer was on the phone pacing around our room. And who was pacing right along side him talking on the DVD remote? Taters!!

I love my kids! They definitely keep me on my toes and make me stop and think. And always keep me laughing!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ellie's Birthday

I am a day late in posting about Ellie's birthday, but at least it's only a day! Our Ellie Mae turned 5 yesterday and I can't believe it. To be a nostalgic mom, I remember taking our pink little bundle home from the hospital on a chilly November afternoon. And these 5 years have gone by so fast.
We started the day by making a special "panacake" breakfast. They were in the shape of Mickey Mouse's Toodles (from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). We took her to lunch to Chick-fil-A where she had a free lunch and got to play on the slides. Aunt Dani wanted to give her a birthday surprise and paint her fingernails, but Ellie said "it would be more fun if I painted your fingers Aunt Dani." So she did! Once Ayden got home from school, we let Ellie see her birthday present....a new bike! (thanks Nana and Papa)
She LOVED it. And kept telling us that. We loved watching her excitement.
She rode around the driveway and street for awhile. And only fell a few times. It was hilarious to watch her fall and then you would hear her little voice say "I'm all alright!"
After she rode for a while, we came inside for cake and gave her another present. This is her "Toodles" cake.
I had made her a few skirts because she has outgrown almost all she has. And she told me they were beautiful! She's not hard to please.
She also received a giftcard from her grandparents and absolutely could not wait to go pick her gift. I took her to Walmart and she picked a Rapunzel barbie doll(unfortunately I didn't get any pictures with that). She has been wanting one of those forever so she was more than pleased. She even asked me if she could sleep with it. I told her no, knowing she would never fall asleep!
I think our little Ellie Mae had a great birthday. In fact, she told me it was and I quote "the BEST birthday ever." Once again, she's not hard to please! We love you Ellie and are so thankful you are a part of our family. You are so sweet and special. Have fun being 5!!