April 22, 2014

Our Calm Easter 2014



For the last couple years, the Easter celebrations have been held at our home.

Two years ago was some seriously awesome fun. (Easter Part 1 and Easter Part 2)

We had been the middle meeting ground between my parents, who had moved north of us, and three of my siblings who lived south of us. We usually had some cousins thrown into the mix as well.

This year, things were a lot different.

Two siblings have since moved far away, (abandoning their favorite sister for jobs and their lives... pish, some people have skewed priorities) the other couldn't make it. Cousins were out of town and... miracle of miracles, my parents now only live 25 minutes away! Yay!

Clearly they have correct priorities. *wink wink*

So this year, we were invited up to their home for Easter dinner.

It was just us, my little brother, and our friend Michelle.


Michelle and my mom, getting things ready for dinner.


My mom LOVES making things cute for a holiday and went all out to make the dinner table as adorable as possible.

I'm pretty sure every holiday growing up included a cutely decorated table.


This year my children got to enjoy that tradition.



Even Jackson was excited.

Clearly a far prettier Easter than I could have provided.


My dad getting the food ready while my little bro eats it.


Extra snack table!


While I greatly missed all the craziness and fun of extra family at my home, I have to admit, it was kind of nice to be able to just... sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

After everyone gorged themselves on delicious food, we all gathered around and watched THIS amazing video on Christ and why we really celebrate Easter.

It. Was. Awesome.

But soon, the kids were chomping at the bit to get on with the Easter egg hunt they knew awaited them outside.


I LOVE this picture of little miss Claira. It just... makes me happy.


My brother had hid all the eggs so he ran the show-down.

It was actually entertaining to watch him try and hold back the tide and talk sensibly to them as he let Claira go out and find the first egg before allowing the older kids follow one by one, when all they wanted to do was run out there in a haze of sugared frenzy to get the eggs.

How's that for an awesome run-on sentence!



 Jackson wasn't quite sure what to think about it all.


 Enjoying the spoils of the hunt!


Some squealing let us know that a few ants had found their way into a couple of the eggs.


Thanks for all your help little brother!

(I told you I would post this picture. Mwah ha ha ha!)

He is single and available if you want to risk it.


My two favorite men, checking out my parents's new property.


Later, the kids spent some time inside, doing some good ole' fashioned playing.



Those colored things are ancient devices called b. l. o. c. k. s....


We had a wonderful day.

Thanks again mom and dad!

Love having you so close!

April 20, 2014


HAPPY EASTER



From our crazy family to you.

April 18, 2014

What Else Would You Be?


The other night, Hubby turned to Jacob (who is almost seven) and randomly asked, "Jacob, what do want to be when you grow up?"

Without hesitation, Jacob responded, "A superhero with everything powers."

Hubby and I glanced at each other trying to hide out laughter.

Hubby then asked, "If you couldn't be a superhero, what else would you want to be?"

Jacob paused only a moment before saying, "An adult with everything powers."


He's guy who knows what he wants, and also has a back-up plan.


I like it.
image found on google

April 15, 2014

Jackson Graduates to a New Helmet


It is such a simple thing, to have your baby snuggled up under your chin.

As my five-month old Jackson slept in my arms, his cheek against my chest, I couldn't help but think that this was the first time he has slept on me like that since before his surgery at seven weeks old. 

I loved it. I relished in the knowledge that he could hear my heartbeat, that I could feel his hair and kiss his forehead as he slept peacefully.

I've missed it. 


He was on helmet break and after feeding him he had fallen asleep. So I gently lifted him up so I could snuggle with him.

It's not the same with the helmet on.

Speaking from experience, it's really, really hard to snuggle with a piece of plastic.

I was loathe to wake him up to put his helmet back on.

But, I also feel gratitude down to my toes that he is doing so remarkably well.



Three weeks ago we had a helmet check-up appointment. At this appointment they took new scans of his head.


Before Surgery                                                            After 2 1/2 months in the helmet


 Before Surgery                                                            After 2 1/2 months in the helmet

Remarkable, isn't it?

Here is another view.

Red line is before surgery, blue is after 2 1/2 months on the helmet.


This next one is comparing his head from after his first month.

So, red line is after one month in the helmet, blue is after 2 1/2 months.


Two weeks later, (last week) we went back down to pick up his new helmet and have a check-up with the surgeon.

At these appointments we received the news I was so hoping and praying for.

He is doing SO well that he will only have three more months in the helmet. Then we will go back for more head scans. After which he will get to be out of the helmet for one month. After that we go back for more scans. If at the end of that month his head shape is holding and everything is growing normally, he will get to stay out of the helmet permanently!

YEA! And YEA again!


We are having to re-adjust to this new helmet since it is a whole lot bigger than his last one and it shifts around a lot.

Which means his ears and cheeks get pocked and mushed a lot.

He doesn't care too much for that. 

Especially since this little guy is now rolling!



Quite a feat with that bulky thing if you ask me.


What a little blessing this guy is in our lives.

Thank you all again for the prayers offered in his behalf. And thank you to the wonderful surgeons who have taken such good care of both my cranio-babies.

April 13, 2014

Joseph's Baptism


With the arrival of his eighth birthday, another important event happened in Joseph's life.


He was baptized!

It was all he talked about every day from his birthday until, a couple weeks later, he entered into the waters of baptism.

He really was very excited.

We had many, many family discussions on baptism.

It is so important to us that out children understand this step of faith they are taking. So we discussed what this covenant means that they are making with our Heavenly Father, and that they are promising the follow His Son (for more on Baptism, click HERE)


We are really proud of him for choosing to take this step.

He had lots of family and friends show up to support him.




Grandma gave the opening prayer.

Granny gave a short talk on baptism. (during which Joseph ran up and gave her a huge hug, then just decided to stay up there in the front of the room with her)

Savannah, Jacob, and Alayna sang a special song, "When I am Baptized".

They did awesome! Here are ALL my kids singing the song. Haha, they are so cute.



I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.

Then Hubby baptized Joseph while Grandpa and Papa acted as witnesses.

Afterwards they went back to change out of their wet clothes and guess what? We forgot to bring towels! Oops. They must have used a lot of paper ones to dry off with.

While we waited for them to change, Jacob got up and sang the first verse to "Nephi's Courage."

Okay, so I may have coerced him... a little... a lot.

He did awesome though!

When the boys finally came back out, Joseph was confirmed a member of the church and was given the gift of the Holy Ghost.

After that the bishop asked Hubby and I to bare our testimonies.

It was a great baptism.

And of course, since most of our extended family had to drive in, we all had lunch afterwards.



 This funny kid had a blast playing with his cousins.


But one of favorite moments of it all actually happened the next day at church.

Joseph was suppose to give a talk in Primary and we may have sort of *coforgotugh*. Eh hem.

So I told him he should just go up and talk about his baptism.

I wish I had a way to show you accurately how he said this, but I can't so I'll do my best.

He stood at the microphone and said in a very serious manner, "At my baptism,(pause) the Holy Ghost came to me (long pause) and it was life changing. And all my family gathered together (extra long pause) as one."

LOL! It was so sweet and funny all at the same time.


Love that kid.

April 9, 2014

Joseph Had a Birthday... a month ago.


Writing about a birthday a month late is beginning to be a good record time for me.

That's bad.


But it's true, this handsome guy turned eight years old last month! 


I don't know why he did it.

It's not like he asked my permission to grow up.

Rude.

But with or without my go ahead, his birthday arrived and this kid was exciiiiiiiiiiiiited!

He even managed to make his siblings mad at him after he informed them all that it was his birthday and he could do anything he wanted and they all had to be nice to him.

Oh dear.


That morning I ran to the store to buy some birthday treats for his school class.

Hey now, in my defense, homemade treats are no longer allowed. 

So there.

Then I swung by his school to drop them off.

I'm pretty sure his smile was close to spliting his face in half as he took center stage in his classroom. His teacher teased him for how anytime any other kid had a birthday, Joseph would always mope and complain that his birthday is never going to come.

They sang happy birthday and he passed out the chocolate, multicolored sprinkle coated donut holes.

By his pure happiness, you'd think he'd never had experienced a birthday before.


At home, I was frantically trying to clean the house, (some family was coming over for cake and ice cream) cook a nice dinner (my husband invited a guy from work who was visiting from Germany to come eat with us), and get Joseph's cake made and decorated.

Meh, no pressure.

Dinner was a success, the house was... kind of clean...ish, and the cake surprisingly got completed!



Simple (thank the stars) yet completely him.

He was thrilled with it!


Silly kid.


And the magic moment arrived!

Light the candles daddy!






Ta-da!

Cake and ice cream was passed all around!

As I was distracted in the kitchen, the boys just couldn't take it anymore. They simply HAD to open the gigantic gift that Joseph's cousin brought!

So I missed it all.

But while the boys were busy assembling the new pin ball machine...


the girls were hanging out in the box left behind.


It was a win win gift, and a very fun evening.



But the birthday doesn't end there.

The next evening, Hubby and I took Joseph out for his special birthday date with us.

We asked him where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do.

His response?

Jamba Juice.

I tried to cox him into choosing a nice restaurant. Or even fast food and Jamba Juice.

Nope.

Just Jamba Juice.

Okay then.



Sooooo many choices.



And I'm still laughing about this, but he chose a drink that if I recall correctly, was called "Apples and Greens".

He very literally ordered a "green drink". I watched them puree the veggies myself and just hoped that he would still like it.

At that point he probably would have liked anything though, he was just so happy to be there.


And so was this little guy apparently!


Joseph insisted on taking a picture of us.

Soooooooooooooo not my best look.

Don't judge.

But he was the birthday boy!


Second birthday of the year... aced!

Happy birthday to my hard, sweet, frustrating, thoughtful, infuriating, kind, worry me to tears little man.


I love him so much.


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