Sunday, February 23, 2014

a new look

My two kids with glasses!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

such a big girl

Savannah is looking less and less like a baby and more like a big girl.  She is slow on the walking thing, but she is now walking along things.  Her pediatrician was a little concerned at her 1 year check-up about her development, that she was only pulling up to stand.  The very next week she was taking steps along things.  I don't think she liked the referral for physical therapy... "What are you talking about?  I can do this." 

We also found out that she needs glasses already.  Those should be coming in this week.  IF we can ever get her to wear them, that may help too.   I imagine stepping out into a blurry world is a little daunting.  

She is playing more with her brothers too.  It's fun to see her getting around.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

10 times the fun!

Nathan turned 10 about a month ago!  He opened presents from family on his birthday, went out to eat at Chili's, and had Dr. Pepper floats.  

He requested fried eggs, bacon, waffles, and fruit smoothie for breakfast.

He had a basketball party with 12 friends about a week later.  Everyone we invited came, as well as a sister that joined in the fun.  We started out at the school, playing basketball for about an hour or so.  It got a bit competitive... there were 4 sets of brothers (what do you expect right?).  They seemed to have fun though.  We came back to our house for hamburgers and cake. With 18 mouths to feed, (including our 5), it was a little crazy!

I made the invite to look like a ticket to a game, with Nathan's favorite team on it.  I heard from one of the kids that his brother asked if he was going to an OKC Thunder game for the party... :)  

I gave the 3-D ball cake a try - not too bad.  It would have been even easier if I hadn't done the star tip frosting.  That added quite a bit of time.  I decided to do the jersey cake as well, sort-of last minute.  I could have done better on it if I had more time.  It was a little sloppy, but it worked.  (I did a few cupcakes too, but forgot to take pictures of them.  I gave out foldable water bottles for favors - also didn't take pictures. And my cute basketball dessert plates showed up the morning after the party, so they didn't make it in time.)  

Not fair to try to blow out 10 candles on two different cakes...

Happy birthday Nathan!  

Nathan is our kid who loves sports, talking, and eating healthy food (and some junk food too).  He loves any kind of sport, will talk your ear off, and is often found eating fruit or veggies.  I have to watch when I buy berries - he might eat the whole container in one sitting!  It's too bad we couldn't invite all of his friends to the party - we just could't accommodate that many people at once.  He's a good friend and leader to everyone around him.  We appreciate the good example he is for his brothers and sister.  We love his outgoing personality and his enthusiasm for life.  We love Nathan!  

2014 calendar pictures














We had a good year!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Savannah's castle

The boys were excited about their Savannah's castle she got for Christmas.  We put it together after we got back home.  I was surprised at how much the boys liked playing with it.  Savannah made sure to push in there and play with HER toy though.   

a look back...

This was the only picture I could find from us at the Mesa Temple, back in 1998 (Alison and me).  Mom probably has more pictures from this trip.  My grandparents lived in Mesa, AZ during the winter for a while, so this was a trip to see them after Christmas in 1998.  Mike and Carrie were recently engaged, and Carrie joined us for the trip.  I think it nearly changed her mind about marrying Mike... we were a bit overwhelming for someone who only has 1 brother.  Luckily we didn't scare her away.

Could this really have been 16 years ago?  I think Ashley was the same age that Nathan is now!

Mesa - number 29

We took advantage of going to a temple along our route back home, a new one for us.  I had been to the Mesa Temple grounds with my family back in 1998 (Dec. 28th), but we never went inside.  I was glad to get the chance to go again and see the inside.

The Mesa  Arizona Temple is the 7th operating temple and originally called the Arizona Temple. It was dedicated in 1927, but remodeled and re-dedicated in 1975.  The inside is a little old fashioned.  
"For many years, the Mesa Arizona Temple was known as the "Lamanite Temple", as it was the destination of annual temple excursions for Hispanic and Native American members of the Church, especially the Mexican Saints."   Some of the murals on the inside were of Native Americans.  

I just wish we had come about a week earlier so we could see the Christmas lights.  I remember those were amazing when we saw them with my family.  We just missed those by a few days.

San Antonio Texas Temple

We got to do some work in the temple with Alison & Micah.  We helped do sealings, which is particularly cool because sealings bind families together (if they choose to accept that ordinance).  We also actively participate together, whereas other work that we usually do in the temple is an individual thing.  It was fun being there with my "older" sister.  The temple sealer (as well as others) thought Alison was older than me.  Hard to believe I am nearly 6 years older than her!  Anyway, we had been to the San Antonio Temple before, so it wasn't new to us.  We got to go to the Open House back in 2005 (May 3rd) and then once again after it was dedicated (July 5, 2005).  This is one of my favorite temples because of the beautiful stained glass windows. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

bigger in Texas...

We did quite a bit of driving in December.  After visiting Alex's parents in Oklahoma, we got to spend a week with my parents and family.  My parents and grandma moved to Bandera, Texas in early December.  Their new house was finished being built just a few weeks before we got there.  It was fully functional for housing 11 adults and 12 kids!  No wonder it's so BIG!  It's like a small scale hotel... If I recall correctly, it has 2 guest rooms upstairs, a bunkroom, movie room, game room, 2 bathrooms, and an office.  They put an elevator in for GG (and hauling stuff from upstairs to downstairs) and a slide for the kids (and kids at heart) from upstairs to down.  Downstairs is the master bed and bath, GG's bed and bath, another office, library, fitness room, laundry room, sewing room, kitchen, dining room, living room, and small toy area under the stairs.  There's an outdoor heated pool in the back.  What did I forget?  Anyway, it's a big place, designed to house their multitude of grandkids (and sometimes the adult kids - but not really designed for them...ha ha).  I think one of my favorite rooms is the bunk room.  It has 4 bunk beds, single on top and double on the bottom.  Two of them have a pull out on the floor.  That means 14 kids could have their own bed.  Slumber party!  There haven't been that many in there together yet.  Looking forward to the day there is - that will be quite a sight!   

 The slide had to be "closed" at certain times... only so much we could take.

Trying to get all the kids in one picture...not all happy campers, but they're all there.  My sisters and their families were all there together for a few days.  Just missing Mike and his family!  (The grandkid count is at 14, with one on the way in March - Alison & Micah's 3rd).  GG got all the kids Bandera t-shirts - blue for the boys and pink for the girls.  

The boys and Savannah were excited to open another present when they got there.  They got a personalized bag with some fun things in it, like light sticks and books.  

This picture of Weston and Dallin playing air hockey is actually the last time anyone got to play while we were there.  We didn't find the missing red shooter until the very last day.  It was fun to see the kids playing together.  

The kids put together a "play" or show for us one night.  They turned the lights out and then started fighting like ninjas.  Apparently all the ninjas died.  We tried to get them to explain the story.  Didn't get much...
They made up a little song though.  

Lots of mouths to feed.  Lots of yummy food.  We basically took turns doing meals.  We had some kind of dessert every night too.  The boys were loving Baba and Papa's rules.  :) 

We had a girls outing one day (plus Audrey's little attachment Noah).  We ate lunch at a fun little restaurant called Camp Verde.  It had a cute shop attached to it with all kinds of little crafts, baking items, jams, salsas, etc.  It was so fun to spend time with all the girls!

Alex and I got to go out a couple of times with Alison & Micah.  One outing was to the San Antonio Temple and the other was dinner and a movie.  We saw "Saving Mr. Banks" - loved it.  Dinner was casual, at a BBQ place.  It was alright.  I was just glad to be out without the kids and not have to cut up anyone's food.  

We spent one afternoon with Papa, playing kickball, volleyball, and exploring some rocks.  There used to be water in this area, but it's mostly all dried up.

We took another quick outing to another water area - the kids loved trying to skip rocks.  It was pretty cold AND we got kicked out of that spot.  We weren't supposed to be parked along the river. Fun while it lasted.

GG and Audrey had not met Savannah yet.  I had not met baby Noah either, born the end of August.  I guess he was about 4 months old the end of December.  It was great to see GG in good health.  She had cancer last year, but she is doing well now.  

Noah is another little Sam... but then I guess Savannah is a little Alex right?  These babies look more like their daddies.  

I wanted to get a picture of my sisters and I with our youngest, our "baby".  Interesting thing is that all of these babies look just like their dad!  No fair...  :)  See the little Daniel, Micah, Alex, and Sam?

 Looking forward to more time at "Camp Bandera" - Thanks Baba, Papa, and GG!