Friday, December 31, 2010

My Sweet Megan

In Meg's kindergarten class they had a "fruit salad feast" for Thanksgiving. She was so excited for this day and came home even more excited to tell me what she had learned that day. She was telling me the story about the first Thanksgiving and the how the pilgrims and Indians had their own feast. She says, "but now days it isn't quite as proper to call them Indians. They are madeup Americans." It was all I could do not to bust out laughing. I said, "You mean Native Americans?" "Ya, that's what I said, Mom." She was too cute! When my little brother heard this (who is part Native American), he sarcastically said, "That's an insult to my heritage!" Such a goofy boy!! I love the innocence of children!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

California Day 1

Dec. 1, 2010 - Today we headed off for our fun adventure in California. We were actually planning on making this trip in about 3 years when Ashlee was 5 and hopefully a little easier to handle, but circumstances made it so we chose to go earlier. Andy's 96 year old Grandma Enid Jacobsen passed away a few days after we returned home from Juleen and Clark's wedding in Utah, so we decided that since we would already be going to Burbank for the funeral we might as well make a fun family vacation out of this and hopefully the kids will remember this trip and associate it with the fun Grandma Enid would have wanted them to have. Andy was born in Burbank but moved to Cody, Wyoming when he was 3 or so. Grandma Enid lived in Burbank up until a bad fall that made it necessary to move her to a care center in Bountiful, UT, where she would be close to Andy's four sisters. And what a blessing they were to her and to all of us in keeping us updated about Grandma's health. We felt very blessed to have been able to see her twice this year and to have the kids get to know her just a little bit more before she moved on to be with her sweetheart and parents and siblings. Grandma was a very fun person who loved life to the fullest. She taught us to live each day to its fullest and just have fun. We visited her while we were in Utah for Juleen's wedding and she even sang one last song for us despite her very failing health. She loved her grandchildren so much and loved to talk to them on the phone. We miss Grandma but know that she is bowling and singing and walking hand in hand with her sweetheart once more!

So, on Wednesday we loaded the excursion and headed for Billings. Thank goodness our flight didn't leave until late morning so we didn't have to rush too much. Trying to pack for 7 people and only have to check on bag was quite the feat but we did it. Thank goodness everyone could have 2 carry-on bags. I think we actually only took 11 instead of the 12 we could take. We met Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Jeff and Aunt Sara at the airport in Billings. It was so nice to have 1 adult per child to get through security and it went off without any problems. We didn't really have to wait too long in the boarding area either. The kiddos were great and very excited for their first airplane ride. We took off on time; landed slightly early; and were welcomed by a nice warm California day! 2 hrs and 10 mins. on an airplane vs. 19 hours of driving was a no brainer!! Flying is the way to go!! It took a little while for our baggage to come through due to some problem with the conveyor belt but it eventually came and we boarded the shuttle to head to get our rental car. What a sight we were!! But we made it and got loaded into our rental mini-van. It was so nice to only be driving a mini-van in California traffic. Our excursion would have been interesting to say the least. After getting something to eat, we headed for the beach!!! The kids were excited! And we had the whole beach to ourselves. I guess only crazy Wyomingites go to the beach in 40 and 50 degree weather. It was heaven to us and the kids loved running from the waves, gathering shells, and running in the sand. We saw the most gorgeous sunset and then decided it was time to head for our motels. What a wonderful day we had!! The kids were fantastic on the flight, we had GPS to find our way places, and we were able to settle into a nice comfortable room for a goodnight's rest before the funeral the next day! How thankful I am for Heavenly Father's plan of salvation - to know that families can be together forever through the sealing ordinance. I married into a wonderful family that accepts me for who I am and loves my children. I know Grandma Enid was smiling down watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren enjoy the beautiful California sunset as she did every day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

The kids always look forward to the Monday before Halloween cause that means the annual pumpkin carving FHE. I got smart this year though and started without Andy cause if we wait for him to get home, then eat, and then start, it makes for a very late night! So we had our chicken noodle soup and started "gutting" our pumpkins. We had tons of fun and were so excited when Daddy got home to join us. And this year we put the pumpkins on the side deck and none of them were stolen. I figured someone would have to be very brave to walk up the deck steps and get hit with the motion detector light.

Pre-carving - I love my crazy kiddos!!

Bunch of goofballs!

I actually turned him loose to do everything himself this year! YIKES!! It was slightly scary sometimes (as you can see with the knife in the picture), but he did a wonderful job!

Aidan was pretty independent this year too. He didn't require a lot of help. He and Aaron worked together a lot on both their pumpkins.

What a face! Meg has this wonderful, fun, spunky attitude as you can see from this picture. She was determined to do the gutting all herself. She is very independent and doesn't like to be told she can't do something (I don't know where she gets that from!).

Our little cheeseball!! Kennie keeps us laughing with her made-up stories and songs.

Ash is getting big enough to really enjoy all the fun! The only problem is she thinks she can do anything the big kids can do. I gave her some foam stickers and a marker to decorate with until Daddy got home to help. I couldn't tackle all 5 kids by myself.

Daddy to the rescue!! Ash was so excited to get to finally carve her pumpkin. And getting to do it with Daddy was the icing on the cake!!


We Survived...

another Halloween!! I am such a party pooper when it comes to Halloween. I find it a useless waste of money on costumes and candy. What is really the point of Halloween? My kids play dress up all the time at home. We don't need a day that they get to go out in public dressed up. BUT...I try to at least make it kind of fun for the kiddos. We did carve pumpkins for FHE cause I remembering loving to carve pumpkins as a kid. (Those pics will come in a later post.) I do try and accomodate their requests for costumes (within reason). I do go to all their parties at school. I do take them to the trunk-or-treat at the church. And this year we spiced it up by attending a party, which totally made Halloween fun!! (Party pics to come in a separate post.) I don't have a pic of Aaron in his costume (which was sooo easy) cause my camera battery died at the school and then we picked him up on our way to the church cause he was at a pool party while we went to grandparents' houses so he wasn't in those pics. Then he and Aidan and Megan ran off on their own for trunk or treating so I didn't catch him then. I did take a pic of him at school with a friend's camera so I can add it when I get it from her. Kennie really enjoyed all the parties at the school. She enjoyed class hopping with each sibling but ended up eating in Aaron's class cause that was the one we provided food for the party. Our little monster aka Ashlee was home taking a nap (since Andy was home sick) so I didn't have to tackle her around all the sugar! So Friday we did school parties and then went to our ward harvest dinner. Saturday we slept in, got a little work done around the house and yard, visited grandparents, did trunk-or-treat, and then spent the evening at a fun party in Burlington hosted by the Gourmleys. Halloween 2010 is done and over with!! Hurray!! (and the kids are already planning for next year...SIGH!!)

Ashlee all cutified in her Halloween shirt and Halloween bow with her crazy curls!

Meg's spider web hair.

Aaron decided to combine a few different pieces of costumes on the way to Burlington - his mask from last year, Kennie's witch's hat, and his Percy Jackson costume.

Alien Aidan and the cutest witch ever Kennie (even though she said she was the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz - she was too cute to be wicked).

Meg the elephant

My little witch and zebra

Look at that innocent face - well not so innocent as she next started digging into her bucket for candy and anything to make a mess!

Aidan said it looked like Ash swallowed a tutu!

Loving trunk-or-treating! Ash really got it this year and made sure no one forgot her little bucket! They both walked the whole time.

4 of my 5 monsters!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blue and Gold

(Feb. 16, 2010) No! I am not talking about the Cody Bronc school colors although Andy might like that if I did, but Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts. Aidan was lucky that his first day of Cub Scouts was also on his birthday and it was the Blue and Gold Banquet. The boys were supposed to make a cake and decorate it with their dads - absolutely NO mom help!! Andy and the boys decided that since it was the thick of basketball season and they all absolutely love basketball, it would only be appropriate to make a basketball cake. It was fun to watch them bring their ideas together.

Where is the picture of the finished cake you ask? I have absolutely no idea!! I was pretty sure I took a picture, but I cannot find one anywhere. But you can see that is was a half court basketball cake and if you look close you can see the little nerf basketball hoop sititng on the counter - that went at the edge of the cake. It turned out wonderful!! And I think the boys and Andy had fun doing it together. (I know I was very grateful that Mom didn't "get" to help!!)

Aidan enjoying his first day of Cub Scouts!

Megan's lovely tongue! There were many creative cakes and obviously someone used some yummy blue frosting!!

There are no more pics from the night because I slipped out partway through and went to my little brother Justin's basketball game. I think I took Ashlee at least and maybe Kenna, but Andy still had his hands full and I was grateful to at least have a few pics from him.

8 Already?

Feb. 16 ,2010 - It can't possibly have been 8 years already since Aidan made a very quick entrance into this world (and he hasn't slowed down since)!! Aidan adds so much laughter and joy to our family. He is our frog boy, do any kind of sport boy, which hand am I going to use for what boy (he writes right handed, plays sports left handed with a few exceptions like using both hands in tennis - he doesn't have a back hand only a forehand), and our little comedian with a temper that only occassionally comes out. He absolutely loves babies and asks for a baby brother all the time (which I have to sadly tell him he will never get). He is very social and thinks the more kids around him the better. He loves to laugh and is good at cheering his little sisters up when they wake up crabby. He might be little but he doesn't know it!!
After school his brother and sisters surprised him with with the gifts they had bought him. I love that my kids get so excited to shop for each other. They are always thinking of others and that makes me happy!

(Notice the beautiful flowers?! They were a wonderful surprise from a very dear friend that sensed I needed a lift one day!! Thanks, Cammy!!)

My 5 beautiful children on Aidan's 8th birthday!

Birthday treats for school!! This is just a small glimpse into Aidan's personality - anything and everything sporty!! I love you, Aidan!! Can't wait to post pics from your baptism day!!