Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pictures from our Trip

I have a lot of pictures from my trip to Wyoming that I thought I would combine in one post. Please forgive the randomness!
We traveled a lot on this trip and poor Tate never really got caught up on his sleep.
So tired.

Tate had some separation anxiety issues during our trip. He didn't want to leave my side for anything. I think he was really lost without his older siblings. But there were a few times I was able to catch him with someone else!
at the wedding with Aunt Chris
Tate liked watching his cousins and he was really interested in Joseph, who had climbed into the ironwork at the temple.
Cousin Joe in a cage
We were able to go to Marlayna's 5th birthday party. They played "pin the tail on My Little Pony" which was pretty funny to watch.
5 year old Marlayna
Hyrum pinning the tail
Tate loved playing on the trampoline with the big boys wrestling around. He even got them a few times
I am so thankful I was able to visit my family for the week. I am very thankful Spencer was willing to take off work to stay at home with the older kids and take care of the house while I was gone. It was so good to be with my sisters (Katie, I truly missed seeing you) and to see my nieces and nephews: they are so grown up. I loved visiting with my grandparents and Aunt Julie and meeting my new sister-in-law. We had a great time and love you all!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Russell's Wedding

My brother, Russ, got married on March 10th in the Billings, MT Temple. I loved being in the sealing room with my family. Our whole family was almost there, we were only missing Katie. There are so few times we are all together and it was neat to be together in the temple for Russell. My brother will kill me for saying this but it's too sweet not to share. During the sealing, he cried. He was so happy and excited to be married to his love, Nicole. It was so sweet. Sorry dude, but had to share!
Afterward, of course we did pictures. It was a beautiful, sunny day but windy. 
Russell and Nicole James
can we say cheesy!?!
the girls
They did a picture with nieces and nephews, but Tate refused to be in the pictures. We finally got one of him sitting at the bottom of the stairs while they were taking the real one. 
little stinker!
The James kids, you can't tell we are related can you? 
Russell, I still can't believe you are married! I am so glad I could come to your wedding. We are all excited to have Nicole in our family and can't wait to see you both again!

Visiting the Great Grandparents

One of the reasons I wanted to take Tate with me to the wedding was so he could meet my family. My sisters have met him once (a year ago at Katie's wedding), but my aunt and grandparents had never seen him yet. We drove to my grandparents house and visited with them for a while. I love visiting their house because it brings back all the memories of visiting during my childhood summers. 
My grandpa and I have had a running joke for 9 years where he calls me Somebody Else and I call him Old Man. When I got married, he wrote on a card "To Spencer and Loni Somebody Else". He couldn't remember my new last name! So I started calling him Old Man to tease him back. But it somehow stuck and whenever we talk on the phone, he says "hello, Somebody Else!" and i say "well hello, Old Man!" 
Tate with Grandpa Blohm
The day before we left to come home, we had lunch with my grandparents and got to spend a little more time with them. 
Really Tate?
I am so grateful for my grandparents. They are such good, kind people. I wish we lived closer to family so my kids could have a chance to get to know them more.

Wyoming Trip

Tate and I left on March 7th for a trip to Wyoming. My brother got married over the weekend and we took the opportunity to spend a few extra days with family.  Our travels started with an 8am flight from Birmingham and our last flight landed in Billings, MT at 6:30pm. From there, I rented a car and drove the last hour and 1/2 to Powell, WY where most of my family lives. It was a very long day, but it went very well. Tate did a good job on all 3 flights. I was really worried about how he would handle being on my lap for long hours, but he really did a great job. He either slept or jabbered to our neighbors. I know the Lord blessed me with good seat buddies. We sat by older women who were grandmas(missing their little ones) and were happy to help with Tate. They kept thanking me! 
We stopped in Salt Lake for a few hours to have lunch with Spencer's family. It was so great to see them. 
Taters with Nana Shaw
And it was so great to see the mountains and wide open spaces again! I seriously got excited as we flew over Utah and I could see the mountains with snow. Spencer even asked me to get a picture for him. 
It's not the greatest picture, but it still makes us smile. The kids were happy to see snow, even in a picture. I am so thankful we could see our family in Utah, although it made me miss everyone even more. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stephanie and John

 John and Stephanie are a mother/son in our ward that we have enjoyed getting to know. Spencer is John's Young Men's president and Stephanie used to be Ellie's primary teacher. They are two of the most caring people we have met. They love our little family and do so many great things for us. Every Sunday, John comes to say hello and gives everyone hugs. He loves the kids and they love him right back. Ayden wrote a story about how John is one of his best friends. It was the cutest thing! Ellie loves Stephanie and can't get enough of her hugs and sitting with her during Sacrament meeting. Even Tate, who is usually more picky about who he will go to, loves John and Stephanie. They always bring a juicebox for Tate because they know he loves juice! John helps me to the car with all the kids and stuff (because Spencer is usually in a meeting) and makes sure to ask if there is anything he can do for us.
I have been so impressed with what a good, strong example John is for my children particularly, Ayden. Ayden watches how he prepares the Sacrament and blesses it, and often we remind him how hard John works to make good choices. One of the hardest things about our move to Alabama has been the lack of friends for Ayden. We have watched him these past months and know how badly he misses his friends in Utah. He was close with them and he had good examples to follow. So it has been relief to our worried parent hearts to see him become close with John and make a connection.And seeing how close John is to his mother makes me respect Stephanie even more. She has done wonderful things because John has become a great young man.
 Last night we went to the home for FHE. John had prepared a lesson about Nephi's bow which included a puppet show for the kids. Tate was completely enthralled! After the lesson, he brought out bows he had made for the kids, even Taters got one. They loved it! We played a game and had treats and then spent some time just talking. We truly enjoyed our evening with them. I am so grateful for people the Lord puts in our lives. I know he knows who we need to help us along way. I know John and Stephanie are two such people. I hope we can be, even in a small way, for them what they have been for us.
*my camera is charging so I will post pictures of the kids with their bows later*