Tuesday, December 13, 2011

3 Months

On November 26th, Simon turned 3 months old! (Thanks for the stickers, Tiff!) Isn't he a little cutie pie! Seriously, I just want to eat him. It's frowned upon, I know. It doesn't change anything!

I guess by now he is 3 and half months. Here's what he is up to. He started laughing about two weeks ago. He's ticklish under his neck and under his arms. I love it when he laughs. Tonight he rolled over from his front to his back twice! Twice! Why won't he stay little? I just don't know. He has moved up to 6-12 month clothing, so he is cruising through the sizes (did I forget to mention that he's only 3 months?! Sheesh!). He is sleeping from about 9:30 or 10 until 6:30. He is also starting to move to a morning and afternoon nap, with fewer cat naps in between. He loves his siblings and spent most of today wanting to be held by someone. Lucky for him, there are 6 of us to choose from. Usually someone will comply! I thought I'd share some of his deliciousness with all of you. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Today is my 35th birthday! A milestone, for sure! In honor, here is a list of 10 of my favorite things for this past year:

1. My family. Jess and the kids make my world go round!
2. Food: Crunchy tacos
3. Color: Blue

4. Exercise: Running

5. Accessory: It's a tie between my red necklace set and my new necklace with my babies names on it. (thanks again Brenda!)

6. Favorite shoes: My Brown boots. Oh how I love shoes!

7. Activity: Riding my bike.

8. Pastime: Visiting with my friends.

9. Favorite dessert: Brownies and chocolate chip cookies. A tie, how could I pick just one!
10. Favorite date: going to see the BYU ballroom dance performance. Unbelievable!

Top 10 memories as a 34 year old:

1.We purchased our first home!
2. We finished my dining room table, finally!!
3. San Fransisco with Jess
4. Throwing Summer's Tea party Birthday.
5. Going to Harry Potter world at Island's of Adventure.
6. Taylor Swift concert with my baby girl.
7. Moving to California!
8. Adding Simon to our family!
9. Our trip to Cannon Beach, OR
10. Thanksgiving with all 4 of my brothers, their families and my Mom!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful List for 2011

I was going to do a photo list for this, but I lack the desire to do it it while on the road, so words it is! I didn't get this out yesterday, because I was busy enjoying my family time. So, a day late, here is a list of the things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. This isn't going to be a complete list as I (and you) don't want to be here all day! In no particular order.
1. Heavenly Father. He has made everything in my life possible. The blessings that make my life pleasant and the trials that help me learn, grow and appreciate the good things that I have. I hope that I can always focus on those blessings and appreciate the trials for what they are.
2. Jess. He is a great companion. He is always trying to make me happy and he works so hard for our family. He is nostalgic, and even though I tease him, I love it.
3. T Jay. He is so sweet. When I am upset, he always tries to cheer me up. He is a great big brother. He is also a great helper. I am so glad God sent him to me.
4. Summer. She is the most giving person I know. If someone is sad because they lost something or they don't have it, Summer will give up her own. She is an example to me. I am also enjoying our Mother daughter time together. She is fun to talk to. I look forward to so many more mother/daughter dates with her. I am also grateful that she wants to learn things that I know and be with me.
5. Matthew. He has the greatest zest for life. He is a great reminder to me to enjoy all there is in life. To take time to balance on the curbs, admire any unique thing in my path and enjoy what others have to offer. He is a champion snuggler and I am his favorite snuggling partner. A true gift in my life.
6. Alexis. Alexis is such a sweet little girl. Her voice makes me happy every time she opens her mouth. I just want to record everything she does and says! She is so happy, and it rubs off on us all.
7. Simon. Sweet little Simon. I am in love with this little baby. He was an unexpected blessing that I have enjoyed every moment of so far. He is a great sleeper, which I give thanks for almost every night. I love to hold him and watch him melt off to sleep in my arms. He has wooed us all.
8. Jess' job. I am so grateful that Jess has a good job and that we have what we need to take care of our family.
9. Our home. While it is not our dream house, I am so grateful to have a place to hang our hats, to keep us safe and warm.
10. A car. I am so thankful to have a car that is comfortable and runs well. It takes me any where I want to go. This week it was to CO to be with my brothers, Mom and their families.
11. Friends. They make the journey through life fun and enjoyable. I have met so many wonderful friends. I appreciate everything that I have learned and enjoyed from each one.
12. Church. I am so thankful for my church. I love the meetings, the things I learn from the classes and the support I get when attending each week.
13. Food. I love food. I like how I feel when I eat good, healthy food. My tongue loves how it feels when I eat yummy food!
14. Running. I am so glad I am able to run. I love a good adrenaline rush that comes when I run.
15. Jogging stroller. Thanks Tiffiny! I am so grateful to have an easy rolling way to move my brood around. I pack the younger 3 in it and head out to enjoy a jog. Every time I do, I think of the pioneers who had to use wooden carts with hard wheels. If I had to pick one baby item to have, that would be my choice.
16. Vacuum cleaner. I know, it's kind of odd. I love to vacuum! I love how my floors look when they are freshly vacuumed!
17. Reading. I love a good story. I love to escape into a different world for a little bit, and then return to my own.
18. History. I am thankful for the things we can learn from it.
19. Freedom. I am so glad that I have the freedom to make choices for my own life.
20. TV. I know it's kid of shallow, but I love to watch TV.
21. School and the ability to learn. I am so glad that my kids have access to education and that we can learn anything we want.
22. Warm clothes on a cold day
23. Grandparents. I am grateful for their stories, experiences and love.
24. Parents. A big part of who I am is because of them.
25. In laws. I have the best in-laws, and I know it!
There are a million other things that I am thankful for, but for this year, this is what comes to mind. My favorite quote this Thanksgiving season is, "Gratitude makes what you have enough."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Road Trip!

We're off! We're on our way! To the best of all Thanksgiving Days!!

We are at it again. Hitting the road. Ready for adventure. Here's our itinerary for our Turkey trot across the desert. First stop, well, the first stop was a bathroom break in the middle of no where, but you know what I mean! The first stop was to Edwards AFB, my birthplace. I have only been there once before, but moved away as a baby, so I know nothing about it. My Mom was right, it is in the middle of nowhere! I can now say that I know where I was born, well at least which exit to take to get there and what the welcome sign looks like! We are staying in Vegas our first night. Now, Vegas isn't that interesting to me as I am not a gambler, drinker, clubber etc. but i think the lights of the strip and the unique hotels will make it a memorable stop for the kiddos, not to mention there aren't a lot of choices for hotels in the desert. Stop number 2 is Kanab, UT to visit my Dad and Grandma Great. It will be a short drive allowing us a nice little visit with Dad. Then it's a very long day to Colorado Springs with a stop at four corners monument for pictures. We will get into Colorado Springs Saturday night, along with two of my brothers. Yes, all five siblings and my Mom are getting together to give thanks! Sunday, Simon is being blessed in my Mom's ward. It will really be something to have Jess and all of my brothers participate in this special event. Other things on the agenda for the week: a lot of visiting, parks, touch football games, a 5k, temple visit, food, fun and family. I am so excited about all of this. Oh yeah, and did I mention that my mother will be hosting 5 of her kids, 13 of her grand kids for this visit. It will be cozy and memorable for sure!

We will head home on Black Friday, something that we avoid like the plague. Speaking of, isn't there a black plague? If so, it makes sense to name the busiest shopping day of the year after it! (yes, I know the real reason for the name!) Anyway, we are staying in Salt Lake the first night, so we can see the lights at temple square. I am REALLY excited to show the kids this sight. It is unbelievable. Reno is our other stop. Who knows what other gems we will stumble upon in our travels. I guess I'll let you know when I check back in. Until then, Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

So, remember how I had big plans of posting thankful bits daily for the family all month? Well, clearly I have failed at that one. Not the Thankful part, just the publicizing my thankfulness part. But don't worry, I have something up my sleeve, that I think will be fun. For now, here are some fun photos of the last week or so. Enjoy!
It has turned Fall in our neck o' the woods. I. Love. Fall. I love the crispness, the foods associated with it, the cozy clothes, colors, list could go on and on. Fires are at the very top of that list, but add S'mores to the fire and you've nearly won my heart forever! Passing that love on to my kiddos is hugely satisfying!

Cute baby in sunglasses, check!

Cutie Patootie staying up late, eating a snack and watching cartoons, all while feeling very big girlish! I wish I could video tape everything this little lollipop kid does and says. She's unbelievably adorable! If LA wasn't such a drive, I'm sure we could make serious money off her voice!

My sweet sleepy baby boy, sweating out a rather treacherous bout of gasiness.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trouble with Teeth

Summer lost a tooth last week! She was so excited, because it fell out on her desk while she was at school! She came out of school dancing with excitement as she told me of her good fortune. It's been a while since she has lost a tooth, so she was seeing $$ signs! Bed time is always a snap when the Tooth fairy needs to pay a visit and this night was no exception.
Fast forward to the next morning. An adorable sad face woke me up. The Tooth Fairy hadn't come. Sighs filled our home. I suggested that she send the Tooth Fairy an e-mail, letting her know that we had moved since her last visit, in case that was the problem. She looked at me and said in amazement, "You can do that?!" I told her "why not?" That was all she needed to get to work. She penned (typed) the lovely letter above and sent it off to:

Dear Tooth Fairy,
Hi!I lost a tooth,but we moved this Summer.Last night I put my tooth under my pillow,and you did not come to pick my tooth up!I am wondering what happened to your appearance for my tooth.I hope you are not having a hard time with getting to all of the houses in one night,and not feeling bad about it at all,when you do not get to all of the childrens houses in time.
my adress: XXXX XXXXX Circle Califorinia
It worked, because the Tooth Fairy paid a visit the very next night, explaining that she had, in fact, gone to our house in Florida and was confused that she wasn't in "her room" and that she was sorry for the mistake. Luckily Summer was very understanding and patient with our dear friend!

Tom Turkey

We got to visit the elementary school today to see Mrs. Ballard's 2nd grade class perform Tom Turkey. Summer was a cow. A very adorable cow, I might add! The little ones and I enjoyed watching her.

Mrs. Ballard's 2nd grade class basking in their Tom Turkey 15 minutes of fame.

Here's what we are thankful for today:

Jess: "Walking outside and realizing what a beautiful day it is."
Kelli: Access to a free education for all of my kiddos! I am glad I don't have to do it myself!

T Jay: "Parents"

Summer: "Simon"

Matthew: "You!" (pointing to me.)

Lexi: "You! You make me happy!" It's my lucky day!

Simon: Mommy! I thought I'd make it almost unanimous!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful Posts

These photos are from Jess' birthday. We were so busy enjoying his day, that I never mentioned anything about it here. For his 39th birthday, he got a monster late sleep in, a breakfast date, a new bike, a scavenger hunt (planned by T Jay) and a birthday party (pirate theme) planned by the kiddos! It was really fun.

Jess is the genius of crazy games to get the kids to do what we want. This is some sort of bedtime train. I asked him to write all of his game ideas down. I'm smelling a book deal? Maybe not, but for posterity's sake!

In other news, I am trying something new this Thanksgiving season. We will still be making our annual Thanksgiving tree while we are in Colorado. In the mean time, I am interviewing each of the members of our family on things they are thankful for, and then I will be posting them here. Some of the days will be combined into one post. Five kids, remember?! Here's what we've got so far:

November 6th:

Jess: The ability to improve

Kelli: bedtime

T Jay: food

Summer: a body

Matthew: (he wouldn't cooperate)

Lexi: baby dolls

Simon: milk

November 7th:


Shallow: Upgrades on Delta Airlines.

Deep: A wife who makes my life infinitely better. (I didn't pay him to say that, at least not that I'm admitting!)
Kelli: Washer, dryer and Dishwasher! All three were used profusely today. I couldn't imagine my day with out them!

T.Jay: Clean water

Summer: Mrs. Ballard (her 2nd grade teacher)

Matthew: The bed that I sleep on.

Lexi: Simon

Simon: pacifier

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Simply Simon!

This post is all about our little Simon! He had his two month check up last week. Here are his stats: weight- 13.2 lbs. Length- 24" He is in the 80 something percentile and growing like crazy. He has begun to smile at us and is staying awake for longer periods of time. He started sleeping through the night at six weeks, which has won him extra brownie points with me! All six of us are utterly in love with him!

Handsome after Church.

Simon smile unveiled!

Simon: "I like Mom to try really hard to get me to smile. It's entertaining to watch her make crazy faces." At least that's what I think he'd say!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Hooray! Mom gives me everything I want!

lovin' the swing!

Bring your family to work day

Last week, we took the opportunity to go tour one of the wind sites that Jess' company has been working on in our own backyard. We stopped into the local office, picked up hard hats (pink for the girls, of course!), safety vests and a tour guide and set off for the site.
The kids are in front of the old turbines in this photo.

First off, Holy windy, Batman! Duh, right?! It was so windy that we had to hold onto our hats, literally! It seemed like enough wind to power the whole East Bay area without breaking a sweat! (new turbines)

Family photo op (except for Simon, he was snug in the car.)

Operation retrieve Lexi's run away hat.

Matthew's plan for riding out the wind.

The kiddos posing on the platform to the turbine.

Four little angels looking down on us.

Jess' job is actually finding and preparing the sites for construction, not the actual construction. It was fun to see this side of the process. At this site, they were replacing old turbines with larger more efficient turbines. They took down about 25 old ones and replaced them with one new one!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

Trick-or-Treating with our neighbors!

Robot, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and our little strawberry Fairy!

Checking the fit! (and added muscle strength)

Me and my little honey bee!

and one more 'cause this little bee is so cute!

Me and my Hubs!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shining Light

Matthew's preschool is named Shining Light Preschool. I have it's location saved into my GPS and usually use the navigate function so that I can track the arrival time. You know, am I going to make it on time or not?! As the route guidance comes to an end, the navigator says, "arriving at Shining light on left." Each time this happens, so 3 times per week, Matthew and I have the following conversation: "Mom, it's not shining light, it's shiny light." I tried for the first few weeks to correct him, but it was utterly futile! This week, he expounded on why it is shiny light. I'm sure he was fed up with my ongoing mistake and that darned GPS because in an exasperated voice, he said, "Mom it's shiny light because we keep it shiny and clean." My response was of course, "I guess we should call our house shiny house. Maybe then it will stay shiny and clean?" So far it hasn't caught on, except in my dreams.


We got a little lucky this week. America's paranoia with unclaimed backpacks totally worked in our favor this past weekend! On Friday, We stopped at the playground to play before heading home. We had a great time. Fast forward to Monday morning when I was looking for T Jay's lunchbox. I realized that T Jay had left his backpack at the park. I remember looking at it laying on the ground, surrounded by a bunch of other backpacks and thinking it wasn't a very good place to put it. Then I further realized that not only were his backpack and lunchbox gone, but his jacket and library books were also in there. This was going to be a pricey mistake. Instead of getting mad about the irresponsibility, I just informed T Jay that he would have to help pay to replace everything. He just nodded. As we walked to school, we discussed the possibility that it might still be at the park. Poor T Jay was nervous the whole time, hoping his backpack would turn up. It wasn't at the park. I told him to check the lost and found, but I was not optimistic. If I'm being honest, my guess was that some obnoxious older kids found it, stole what they wanted and then kicked the rest around until it was destroyed. After school, he came racing out with his backpack on and a huge grin. Apparently someone saw a lone backpack sitting at the park and called the police, who determined it was not a bomb and returned it to T Jay's teacher! Yay for cautiousness!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


So, Matthew frequently walks up to me and says, "hungry" when he wants a snack. If I'm busy, I will try to put him off. When I do that, he takes matters into his own hands. Sometimes Lexi goes along for the ride. Who eats a cucumber like a pickle? This is not the first time either. Just thought you might like a peak into the eating habits of this utterly adorable 5 year old and his protege'.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A First

So apparently I experienced my first earthquake tonight! I was sitting downstairs folding laundry, watching TV and holding Simon, (I know multi tasking much?!) when I felt a huge bump. It seemed like someone upstairs dropped something really heavy causing the house to bounce a little. Strange. I even went to investigate, thinking someone might've fallen out of bed, but all of my sweeties were snug in their beds. I had a 'what if' thought in passing, but then I went back to my laundry folding and TV watching. When Jess got home we were talking about it. Apparently there were two earthquakes today. One around 2:40 and then the one at 8:16. We weren't aware of the first one because we were walking at that time. Someone told Jess that you don't feel them if you are walking. I'm not sure of the science or truth on that one, but we didn't feel the first one, so maybe it's true. I feel like I need to get things a little more prepared around here, and learn a little more about earthquake safety. We do have two cases of bottled water though! That should hold 7 people, what, two days?! OK, yeah, add earthquake prep to my to do list. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

She's a big girl now!

As you all know, we have had a lot of things going on here. If not, here's a quick recap: moved across the country, unpacked a monster load of stuff (6 people worth!) into a new house, had a baby and started all new schools. So there are a few things that I have been putting off, with no real date of intent. Potty training Lexi is one of them. The other day, as we were walking the kids to school, I watched Lexi run along with her over loaded diaper sagging and bouncing behind her. Thoughts of how ridiculous she looked rolled around in my mind. That's it, I told myself. Lexi is getting potty trained this week. Done, date set, now to stick to it. Ugh! On Monday, we went to Target and loaded up on yummy drinks and snacks to reward Lexi toward clean and dry pants. She was super excited, I was not. Potty training is my least favorite part about child rearing (so far!). We woke up on Tuesday morning, ready to go. We got the kids off to school, threw her last diaper into the trash and got to work. We went into the bathroom and began to demonstrate and then practice the potty process. Lexi is both independent and strong willed, so she took charge right away. And then we waited. Pretty soon, she announced that she had to go pee! What? I was expecting at least several puddles on the floor before this breakthrough. Thrilled, I followed her into the bathroom to witness her achievement. She didn't disappoint. I checked her pants though out the day, and gave her a reward for keeping them dry. She put two and two together and followed me around for the entire day, asking me to check her pants every five seconds so she could have a treat! I guess we'll play that game for about a week, and then I'll mysteriously run out of treats for her!
Day 2 went well also. I decided to run a couple of errands after we dropped Matthew off at preschool. I was a little nervous, but decided to roll the dice. We were in Target, deciding between Dora or princess pull ups for night time when she told me, "I pee in my underwear" I panicked a little, asked her to wait until we got to the potty and dashed off. It felt a little like I was in a race, and didn't hear the gun go off. Now I had to scramble off the blocks and try to catch up. We made it to the bathrooms, discovered she only peed a tiny bit in her underwear and she was able to finish peeing in the toilet. Sigh of relief! She has told me she has also gone poop in the toilet, but I missed the proof, because she had already flushed. Other than the little Target thing, she has kept her underwear dry. Amazing. Who new she would be a 2 and a half year old potty training prodigy?! Just kidding! I am so grateful that she has decided to make this easy on me. If you need any potty training help, I basically used the Toilet Training in Less Than a Day Book. It's labor intensive, and really isn't fun, but the kids tend to be toileting on their own (with out being reminded) within a day or two, and that makes it all worth it! She is so proud to be wearing underwear. I know what you are thinking. The binkie is next on the list. No date has been set. Any thoughts on how to make that one painless? I'd love some ideas.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cannon Beach

We stayed in Portland, so we drove the kids by the Portland temple.

Look at that face. Delicious.

This is the restaurant where we had lunch. I had yummy fish and chips. Fresh caught halibut by a local fisherman. I was in heaven!

Cute, huh?!

We also shared a s'mores crepe. Mmmmm!

Gepetto's toy shop. I love small town America!

Bruce's candy shop, known for their salt water taffy. My favorite flavor was the peanut butter and chocolate.

The balcony.

Haystack rock. Remember, from Goonies? I wish there really were an ancient pirate ship hidden inside to explore!

Lexi on the balcony. That smile is to die for!

Snuggled up reading time. Heaven.

Birthday boy, Matthew. this is on Oct. 3rd, Matthew's 5th birthday! Here are my top 5 favorite things about Matthew:

1. He has the sweetest face on the planet.

2. He is a champion snuggler. I wake up most mornings with him snuggled up close!

3. He is super (SUPER) independent.

4. He is really outgoing. Our first Sunday in our new ward in CA, he slid into the pew next to a woman and said, "Hi, my name is Matthew. I just moved from Florida and it's a long trip." A real charmer.

5. He ends statements with, "was that so sweet of me?" Melts my heart every time.

Oregon coast sunset.

Why are birthday hats and blowers so much fun?

Birthday cake!

After cake and presents, we went out to a bonfire on the beach. We put glow sticks on the kids, gave them flashlights and let them run around. They had a fabulous time.


We slept with our windows open, so Simon got to sleep majorly bundled. I think he liked it!

Brunch. More yummy halibut for me, and fried avocado, a first for me.

When we were looking in the gift shops in town, there was a shirt that said, "I went to the Oregon coast and poked dead things with a stick." My kids did just that. Here, they are admiring a headless seal. I am not sure if Jess let them poke it with a stick or not.

Enjoying the coast

Maybe Lexi wasn't all that impressed? More cold than anything.

It's never too cold to strike a pose when you are 7!

I had so much fun in OR! I loved the weather! We also met up with Jess' parents and introduced them to Simon. It was great to see them!