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.

Autumn Leaves in Oklahoma

We tagged along with Jake to Oklahoma City this week while he attended an Agricultural Expo. To kill some time while Jake was busy, I took the kids to a place called Celebration Station (an arcade type place) but it was closed until later in the day, so I found an empty parking lot surrounded by large trees, so we parked and played in the morning sun. We sure love autumn!

Jenna loved the leaves, I tried to minimize tasting, but I think she snuck a taste or two!
Brock was ecstatic to find a stick bigger than he is, and he kept proclaiming that it was even bigger than Daddy!

My 3 peas in a pod! (or three leaves in a pile, rather.)

Brock and Allie decided it would be a good idea to pile up as many leaves as they could at the base of this tree...I am not sure why, but it was fun to watch them work together for their cause.

Busy workin'.

Where do you live?

Here is a street sign from down town Oklahoma City...what a funny address!

Monday, November 3, 2008

On the Move!

Jenna has decied her knees have had enough crawling. She likes to push around this little car when her knees need a break. She just grins and giggles as she tries to be big like brother and sister.
Oops! There's a wall there!

Getting ready to go!

Nap Time

Pop and Allie rest up on Sunday after a fun filled weekend. So Sweet!

A Trip to All-Star with Granny and Pop

Since Jake's parents were in town from Easter Idaho, we wanted to show them "All-Star" a great place for kids here in Wichita. It has arcade games, go-karts, mini-golf, carnival rides, and bowling. What a great place! Thanks for playing with us Granny and Pop. (My apologies, I don't have a good picture of Jayne, I guess we should have convinced her to get on a ride with the kids!)

Pop helps Jenna drive a motor cycle at "All-Star"!
Brock and Allie on the coaster! Allie looks petrified in this photo but she was laughing the whole time. They love this ride. It also goes backwards which they get a kick out of.

Jenna smiling at Daddy!

Brock and Allie on the swings!

Brock is old enough now to ride the mini go-karts, he did really well and felt so proud he got to drive by himself. He picked the purple and green car since it reminded him of the Green Goblin. Barely a moment goes by without some reference to a super hero (or villian in this case).

Pop and Jenna in the arcade.

There are also little kid go-Karts (even smaller than the one Brock drove) but Allie wouldn't turn it and kept crashing and needing help...this car was a little easier for her to handle.

We also had lunch at a yummy place called Cheddars. After glancing at the menu, Jake predicted his father would get the Steak and Shrimp and his mom would get the Chicken Pot Pie. He was right! We also had to introduce them to Freddy's Frozen Custard (a soft creamy ice cream, its not like an eggy meringue) and Brahm's burgers and ice cream. OK so we basically ate all weekend. But we had a blast visiting and having Pinochle partners.
Larry and Jake also went hunting early Saturday and had a good time. I was glad Jake had a buddy to go shoot birds with so he won't be tempted to take Brock hunting at age 4!
Granny and Pop got to play at our favorite park with us too, but I forgot to take my camera so you'll have to take my word for it. ; ) Hope everyone is having a great autumn!

Happy Halloween!

Ready to head out! It was so warm (around 70 degrees) we didn't need to layer them up under their costumes. What a great night!
Official candy inspector! (Doesn't my hand look weird in this picture?)

Checking out their goodies with Granny.

A quick pose before we head out. I wanted to be sure you could see Jenna's sparkly butterfly wings.
After about 1 block of trick-or-treating, Allie was spent so we headed back home while Dad and Brock kept going strong. It was nice to see all the kids in the neighborhood (there were a lot more than I realized) dressed up and laughing from house to house. Tons of the homes were decorated and hate robotic props the kids could look at. One home even gave out full size candy bars - now that's dedication.
My favorite costume that came to our house was a young girl and her friend who had all different color balloons taped to their shirts with a sign that said jellybeans. Simple, but clever I thought. Oh, and Brock's new buddy Blaine that lives up the road was Frankenstein Superman. He was wearing a superman suit with a green Frankenstein mask. Too funny. Reminds me of the year I was a Cat Pirate. Yeah yeah, laugh it up. I wore a fuzzy brown cat mask and put a pirate patch over one eye. Ug...what was I thinking?

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