Sunday, December 21, 2008

Don't Forget!

There is another contest on Gramma Sander's Kitchen Blog! Just click on her blog link (scroll down to my link list on the right hand side of my blog) and leave a comment on the latest post, sharing with us your Christmas wish (or wishes)this year. There is no obligation, just leave a comment and you're entered for a prize. Have a safe and happy holiday season! Love to all!

Here comes Santa Claus!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Joys in my World

We had a few "oh, my" moments this week I wanted to share.

Jenna plays with Brock's train table quite a bit, so when I heard a bunch of clunking around and her shrieks and giggles, I thought nothing of it. When I heard a bit more banging than usual, I went to check on her, and there she was stomping on top of the table! Oh, Jenna.

Jenna sure likes stuffed animals, her newest love is one of Allie's Care Bears. (thankfully Allie is willing to share) She carries at all around the house and rubs its head, its so sweet.

Everynight either Jake or I will check on the kids before we head off to bed to straighten blankets and adjust sleeping positions (sometimes Brock's head is up in his bookshelf headboard or Allie has her feet on her pillow, etc.) So one night Jake came back to our room and said,"You gotta see this!" I hurried to the kids room with him and he pointed at Allie's bed and said, "Where is she?" I guessed Brock's bed, and I checked there first and surely, no Allie. Jake grinned and pointed at the crib. I guess Allie wanted some company that night, and climbed in to snuggle by Jenna. Oh, Allie.
I also wanted to share a quick story about my hilarious Brock. Last night was Jake's company Christmas party so I told the kids to pick up their rooms since the babysitter was coming soon. Since our usual babysitter had a basketball game, we were trying a new sitter who lived across the street. Brock was asking who was coming over the following conversation ensued...
Brock: "Is Laura coming over?"
Me: "No, she is busy today. Carmen from next door is coming to play."
Brock: " she pretty?"
Me: "Well, yes...but why does that matter?"
Brock: "I don't know, I just like looking at pretty girl faces sometimes."
Oh, Brocky.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Buddies

So today during Allie's nap, Brock, Jenna, and I all headed out to shovel the drive way. As you can see, Brock proved to be quite helpful. He is a pretty good worker.
Brock was excited to get his snow pants, boots, and new coat (intended for a Christmas gift) a bit early.

Here are my helpers all bundled up!

Jenna was quite excited to be outside, even if it was just to watch from her stroller in the garage.

Some helper... sleepin' on the job!

But she did prove to be helpful in removing the empty wrapping paper tubes from my wrapping area. I thought she looked so cute because the tube is way taller than she is!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First Snow and First Steps!

Hooray! Our first day snow day! It was very tiny, dry flakes, so not good snowman snow, but we had fun anyway.
Brock just ran and ran laughing, until he would dive on his tummy and slide. It looked painful to me, but he loved it.
Alexandria on the other hand was very cautious and just liked to see her footprints.

They made "snow roads" for their trucks and tractors, I was very proud of their imagination and ability to keep warm, I was freezing! I kept going inside to be with Jenna.

Brock made 3 snow angels, according to Brock, one was him, and the other 2 were his best buddies (and cousins) Peyton and Jayson!

Poor Jenna, she wanted outside so badly, but I don't have snow gear in her size and I knew she wouldn't leave mittens on and would instantly plunge her hands into the snow, then be cold and uncomfortable. I thought the look on her face was fair being so little!

Here is a happier picture of out little Jenna. She has recently discovered she doesn't need furniture or a push toy to take some steps. She is doing very well and she laughs and smiles the whole time as she waddles to her destination. I wish I felt so happy when I have to get up and get moving!

Easy does it! She kind of shuffles with her knees bent at first, then she straightens out and really gets going. My baby is so big! *sniffle*
Hope you are all having a great winter and be sure to get out and play in the snow.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Deck the Halls!

So since our home here in Kansas is shaped so differently than our home in Nampa, we had to kind of start from scratch with our Christmas lights. We used most of our old lights, but we had to come up with new ideas since the landscaping and mere shape of the house is so different. Our Nampa house was tall but narrow, and here our home is short but wide. So we did what we could and I think it turned out really cute. This picture doesn't really do it justice because I had to go way across the street to take it, but you get the idea. Next year we hope to get more icicle lights fir the upper eaves. Grizwald (aka Jake) hated to call it quits, but I told him he had many more Christmases to improve our lights and make the neighbors jealous. We don't want to put everyone to shame our first year - haha!

Here is our "ginger bread" house.

Jenna would climb into Pa's lap whenever he'd sit down, they were fast friends during Gramma and Grampa Mulnix's visit for Thanksgiving. He kept Jenna busy while the rest of us got to work decorating.

Allie asked me what these were, and I told her they were stockings...I guess I need to read more Christmas stories to her!

So of course since we were all adoring Allie's mix-up, Brock decided he could top her cuteness by putting a stocking on his head as well. Our silly guy loves to make people laugh.

Oh, Christmas Tree! We found a great one at Home Depot this year. I think its our biggest one yet.

Sorry this one is side ways, I flipped it in editing, but it still uploaded this way so I guess you'll have to turn your head...but I thought it was a better shot to show its immense girth!
Come visit and we'll have hot coco by the fire!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ghost of Christmas Past

Time sure flies, check out these funny Christmas photos of years past!

2006. Brock and Allie on Christmas Eve in their matching jammies, Allie kept trying to leave, so Jake's arm came to help.

2004. Brock helping decorate.

2005. Brock and Dad making fudge.

2004. Brock and his cousin J playing before opening gifts.

2004. Pam, Jayne, and Larry, singing carols in ther festive togas. Oh my!

2005. Don't eat yellow snow! Brock was munching snow while watching Dad set up our Christmas train.

2004. Stalking the candy cane.
It seems that last year I took very few pictures. If I find some, I'll post them later. Time to deck the halls!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Who?

OK, here's the thing. I feel as if Thanksgiving has lost its identity. I went shopping last night for Thanksgiving type things, and all I could see (and hear) was Christmas stuff. I even heard one lady wish her friend, "Merry Christm-, oh I mean Turkey day!" Turkey day? Thats all well and good when you are too young to pronounce "Thanksgiving" but anybody even a little thankful for anything these days? Seems like all Thanksgiving is anymore is a celebration that everyone's beloved Christmas is only a month away! Yippee, time for presents! (ok, I am laying the sarcasim on kinda thick, let me get a hold of myself.)

I guess the purpose of this post is to tell you all that I am thankful for the numerous blessings I have. I am immensly thankful for my sweet and hard working husband and of course our amazing children whom I adore and love! I have great parents, who are still living dispite some heath battles. I have the best in-laws who are kind to me and include me in the family as if I am one of thier own. I'm grateful for our lovely home here in Kansas and a nice new neighborhood and ward family. I think most of all I am thankful for my loving Savior Jesus Christ and the restored gospel to lead and guide us through this tempory life on earth.

Thanks for letting me ramble on my soap box, I suppose I am preaching to the chior. I shouldn't let the lady at Wal-Mart make me bark at everyone. I guess I just wondered if anyone else felt this way.
Well, I do not really have a "Thanksgivingy" picture, but I tried to make our mantle look the part with our cute "Harvest letters" from Jake's sister Pam (thanks Pam!), and a little pumpkin Brock decorated at pre-school. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. OH! and Happy Birthday to our little nephew Carson! Happy number One buddy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Caught Ya!

Movie Night! Tonight's showing : " Ice Age"

Starring (from Allie's point of view)
Sid the Sloth aka: Silly Guy
Manny the Mammoth aka: Fuzzy L-phant

Brock is starting to be "too cool" (for lack of a better term) to snuggle with Allie anymore, so I jumped on the chance to sneak this picture as opportunity is fleeting. Allie adores him and would love to share his bed at night, but Brock is really starting to want to be less "snuggly" which I guess is a good thing, but I do notice that Allie still tries to sneak a snuggle every so often. Allie tries to snuggle with Jenna when Brock pushes her away but Allie kinda smothers Jenna. So our poor middle child is in between a snuggle buddy, but that leaves me (and Daddy of course) lots of Allie snuggle time. I've gotta snuggle when I can, soon she'll be Brock's age and be so over it. I guess when Jenna is big, we'll have to start again. You know....get a puppy.

Our Little Miss Mischief

I think Jenna's favorite room in the house is Brock's bedroom. She takes almost every opportunity to enter and discover all the wonderful things Brock keeps in there. Brock is patient with her and he usually doesn't mind. In fact, at times when I notice Jenna is "missing", I'll ask Brock if he sees her, and he usually answers something like, "She's in my room, we are playing trains!"

Here is Jenna caught in the action of taking the Care Bears and Brock's orange dinosaur bank off his head board. She loves to climb up on his bed and rummage through his things. Her curiosity is so sweet.
She especially loves the bears.

Babyzilla destroys the train table city, including moving the mountain. What fun!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Brock Quotables

Brock, 4 going on 40.

Lately Brock has proven to be quite inquisitive, especially when it comes to him doing chores. Here are 2 of the more hilarious statements from our big guy.

Quotable One: "When I am big, I won't clear the kids will." (Uh-oh, he is on to us!)

Quotable Two: "Is that why Daddy's get married? So they don't have to do chores?"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Best Gift

One man's trash is another man's treasure...or in this case, one boy's treasure. Often while playing outside, Brock will find a variety of "treasure" and bring them in for me with a beaming smile on his face. He usually says something cute like, "does this flower make you happy?" or "this leaf is pretty like you!" (I am not sure how to take that one, the leaves are usually old, cracked, and brown... o-well! ) Anyway, his pure intent fills me with joy and leaves me wondering what the next treasure will be.

Here is what he collected for me yesterday, a dandelion head, up leaf from the neighbor's tree, a rock, and some sort of grain looking weed. Keep 'em coming Brock!
Heading out with Allie to hunt for treasure.
Be sure you don't get so caught up in life that you miss out on the daily treasure opportunities!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blink of an Eye

So, today I was marveling at how quickly life changes and how fast time seems to be passing. In grade school, I remember Christmas break being AGES away, then after it finally came, summer vacation was EONS away. My mother kept telling me to enjoy my youth because it goes fast. I thought she was long until my birthday again? Now I feel as if my birthdays are obnoxiously often.
Anyway, just wanted to show some pictures of my (I can't believe they're not babies anymore) kids.

Jenna turns ONE next month. Yikes! Here is a picture of her with her thumb all bandaged up after a routine blood test at the pediatrician. He likes to check his patients for hemoglobin issues sometime before they turn one. Anyway, she was not happy about the prick, but here she is happy and loving her red bandage.
Allie, now our little miss independent, loves to dress herself, often to my dismay. She has no problem wearing things that don't match or even fit, but I usually let her chose unless we are going out into public. Now that she is potty trained, I do insist on a new pair of undies every morning, which she is usually OK with unless its been more than like 3 days since she wore the ones with Cinderella, then we do laundry. She would rather take 10 minutes to untangle an inside out shirt than have me help her. But, it is nice to only have to dress one child each morning. This photo is an example of a "I do it mommy" outfit. She is wearing pink pants a bit too short (lets just say they are capris) with an old blue Superman shirt which Brock gave her as a hand-me-down, brown boots with "fur" at the top, and a blue jacket whose sleeves are getting to short, that's wear the hot pink mittens come in handy. Allie is an adventure everyday.

Brock has seemed bored lately unless we are outside, so I have been giving him more responsibility around the house. He loves to help me make dinner (seen here building a lasagna) and he clears the dishes after dinner. He also helps with laundry, whether its putting things in the washer, out of the washer into the dryer, taking things out of the dryer, or hiding in the dryer or under a pile of clean laundry, I can count on him to be a good worker.

Brock is also great at vacuuming (this picture is him working in his room) plus he helps me mop the kitchen and dining area. I usually sweep up the crumbs, then he mops, until I take over to smooth out any streaks. One of my college roommates used to joke about having several kids so they could clean her house, but I have noticed its nice to share the chores, and kids love to help and feel needed put your kids to work! All it costs is some hugs and kisses, and occasionally (when they are not looking), a quick do-over. Happy House Cleaning!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Camp Out

One of Jake's church callings is the ward Scout Master. They had a camp out scheduled for last weekend, but since 2 of the scouts had an early morning choir practice at school, Jake had the scouts come camp out in our back yard so they could still participate. Despite the bitterly cold wind and late night dinner, they had a good time. Jake told Brock he could camp outside too if he wanted to, which of course he did. Brock talked about the camp out all day until the scouts finally arrived. He zipped from scout to scout bombarding them with questions and asking if he could help them with anything. Most of them humored Brock by letting him "help" pitch their tents and build the fire. I didn't take too many photos because it was so cold I spent most of the night in the warm house. I would have made a horrible scout.

All tucked in. Brock was using Jake's old Superman sleeping bag, which is still in great shape and kept him very warm. I know Jake teases him mother for not throwing anything away, but Brock has been reaping the benefits of Jayne's preservation of her children's old things.

I don't think Brock put this flashlight down once. Boy scout in the making!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Eye of the Beholder can't expect them to look cute all the time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boat Ride

We took a boat tour of Oklahoma City on Thursday. It was very beautiful and quite fun because our boat guide was hilarious. He said funny things like: "Here is the bass fishing shop were you can buy camouflage lingerie for the ladies. I got my wife some, but it doesn't work because I found her." and "Here is the Toby Keith 'I love this bar' restaurant. Toby and I grew up together and he owes me $12. I know he's good for it, but hasn't paid yet." It was really fun.

View from our boat ride on the Oklahoma City Canal, it was a beautiful evening.
Here is a bronze sculpture of the famous Oklahoma Land Run 1889, when everyone was hurrying to claim some great land to call their own. This display is not complete, upon completion in 2012, there will be 38 pieces making it the longest bronze sculpture in America.

They were huge and awesome! Allie went nuts because she loves horses, she pointed and said "Horsies!" over and over. These statues were an impressive sight.

On the boat! The kids were too distracted to look at me for a picture, but Jake looks cute. I hope you enjoy the back of my kids' heads.

OKC Federal Building Memorial

We visted the Okahoma City Federal Building Bombing Museum. It was both a heart wrenching and inspiring place and memorial. I wish everyone could see it. I hope to go to the Twin Tower Memorial as well someday.

Brock walking along the reflection pool.
Fireman Brock! They had dress ups of firemen, EMTs, and police officers in a room intended for children. There were also a coloring station and puzzles to do. Allie was asleep in the stroller during most of the tour, but this was probably the only room she would have enjoyed.
This is a memorial in place of where the original Murrah Federal building once was. There is another brown "wall" on the opposite end of the water which symbolizes the old shape and position of the building. Timothy McVeigh (at age 27!) parked a Ryder moving van on the road (which is now grass seen on the left of this photo) filled with 1400 pounds of explosives, lit the fuse and ran to his get away car parked 3 blocks away. (it took only 150 pounds of explosives to implode the rest of the building during demolition...shows you how much that wacko had in the truck.) Shrotly after 9 am the truck exploded destroying half the 9 story building including 168 innocent people and children. There was a daycare on the second floor. None of the infants survived, but a few of the preschoolers were rescued.
We went through the memorial museum, and we learned so much. I remember this happening, I was like 12, but I was young enough to not really understand it all. My mother was born and raised in Oklahoma and both my grandparents are buried there, so Oklahoma has always had a special place in my heart, seeing the museum made me ache for those innocent people. If you are ever in the area, you have got to see that museum.
The neighboring buildings were also damaged by the explosion. Ten building were raised up off their foundations and had to be reconstructed. In fact, at the begining of the tour, you get to sit in a room and listen to the recording of a meeting about city water that was being held across the street. The explosion was heard on this recording and it was bone chilling. Can you imagine minding your own business in a meeting and you hear an enormous explosion and everything goes black? Electricity was lost on several blocks. There is still no clear motive of why Timothy did that, but he had been turned down by the army for not passing the psychological test. At least that test works. There were many amazing stories and displays of heroic efforts and tragedy, but were were not allowed to take photos.
The story that touched me the most was of a woman who entered the building that morning to pick up a social security card for her new baby. Her mother and preschooler were also with her. The blast killed both her children and her mother, and left this woman pinned under a beam. She was rescued by a man who had to amputate her leg below the knee with a pocket knife. Wow, kind of makes my daily trials seem easy. I didn't post this to make you sad or gross you out, but as a reminder of how fragile life is and how quickly things can change. We all won't have the opportunity to save someone during a disaster, but maybe you can be a hero in another way. Just something to think about.