Thursday, December 9, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I wish I could send out Christmas pictures, but we just cannot financially afford it this year. But thanks to our dear and talented friend Chelsea Fullmer we have some wonderful pictures to print someday. We are so grateful to have these pictures that so perfectly capture the current personalities of our children. Nate's pursed lipped smile, Drew's constant tongue sticking out, and Maggie's sweet and even-kiltered personality despite being so cold her lips turned blue. And then there is Eddie and I and I'm so grateful to have a picture of him and I that speaks volumes of our love for each other, our chilren and our blessed life. We are so grateful to be a "forever family" and to have the knowledge of our Savior and Redeemer that brings our life meaning and purpose. Our wish for each of you is one for a joyous and peace-filled holiday season.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Night Chats

Eddie has started a tradition with the boys that every Sunday night he'll lay down by them with his laptop and just record snippets of their conversations. Tonight however, he didn't have his laptop because he forgot it at school. We didn't want to forget some of the things said and so we sat down after the kids were in bed to reminisce about our day and some of comments and experiences that stood out to us.

Eddie asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up and he replied, "I want to be an astronaut."
"What do you have to do to be an astronaut Nate?"
"I got to go to Pre-K and study lots."

One of the kids favorite things to do is tell "spooky stories" under the blankets with Dad. (Eddie aka Evil Dr. Eddiekins, is an amazing story teller and can really get the kids involved. I don't know how he does it, but he is so creative.) Tonight the kids were taking turns telling stories and Nate shared a story about a monster that liked campfires and would go to campgrounds looking for fires. When he would see one he would say, "Yummy" in a really spooky voice. After he finished his story he turned to Eddie and said, "I think my spooky story made me scared."

Earlier in the day we were talking about something and I told Nate we would "need to talk over it later with Dad." Tonight before bed he reminded me that we needed to talk "under" the problem with Dad.

We've been instructed in the proper names of colors tonight. "Dad, this is Hot Pink. Known as Dark Pink. And this is Pink. Known as Light Pink."

In Primary today Nathan was the reverence example and got to read the scripture. He stood up in front with a big smile on his face and when he saw me he waved at me with his arms still folded. Adorable!

Eddie asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he replied, "a giant doctor". (I guess Eddie had told the boys a spooky story about a doctor for giants and Drew really liked the idea.)

I believe we played "This little piggy goes to market..." about a gazillion times today. He LOVES to be tickled and will often come climb into your lap and grab your hand and put it on his belly.

Eddie told Drew that he will get to be a Sunbeam after Christmas, and he got really, really excited. He can't wait to be in primary like Nate. And then Nate of course said, "You'll have to catch up to me cause I'll already be in CTR 5." But Drew still had a grin on his face that you couldn't wipe off.

Every night the boys each say their own individual prayers and tonight Eddie asked Drew if he wanted to go first.
"Sure, but Nate will you help me? I don't have the words."

The next few minutes were precious as a parent to hear...for both Nate's sincere and thoughtful prayer and for Drew's admiration for his big brother and his desire to do what he asked him to.

Nate: Dear Heavenly Father
Drew: Dear Heavenly Father,
Nate: Grateful for Dad and Mom
Drew: Grateful for Dad and Mom
Nate: And our food and drink
Drew: yeah
Nate: No you have to repeat after me Drew. And our food and drink
Dre: And our food and drink
Nate: And our house and home
Drew: And our house and home
Nate: And country
Drew: And country
Nate: And our baby sister
Drew: And our baby sister
Nate: In the name of Jesus Christ,
Drew: In the name of Jesus Christ,
Nate: Amen
Drew: Amen

She is still not walking or talking yet, but man she is adorable! We can't seem to get enough of our little Maggie...Miss Mags...Missy...Mugs...Mag-a-moose...Mags...Mag Pie...Miss...Maggie Lynn...Maggie May...yeah, that one.

One of our all time favorite things to watch Maggie do is when she crawls in her "downward dog" position. In fact, I've had multiple people comment on how funny it is that I teach my daughter yoga at such a young age. No, I don't really teach her yoga and yes her downward dog is better than mine. She plants her hands and feet on the ground, with her bum in the air and her head almost resting on the floor. Think a cross between Mowgli from Jungle Book and his four legged crawl and a gymnast about to do a somersault. It's awesome.

We truly are so blessed with the greatest kids in the whole world. We love every moment we get to spend with them and (well most every moment...there are some moments better forgotten) we are so excited to see them develop and grow.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

Tonight at our ward's trunk-or-treat Eddie and I went as stick figures. It wasn't quite dark enough outside yet to really tell what we were, so this is for those of you that had no idea what we were.

Eddie and Tracy present our version of Miley Cyrus' "Hoedown Throwdown".

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Grand Tour Part 7: Valencia

Originally the plan was to spend some time with Kristi on the end of the trip because we went to Yosemite with them at the beginning of the trip. And we did get to spend a few really good days there but in the end Nate started to run a really high temp (got up to 104) and Drew's pink eye had gotten really bad and after all the unexpected money spent on fixing the stupid van, I didn't want to spend the $200 co-pay to go to the ER. Not to mention the cost not covered by insurance. So, ultimately, we decided to cut our trip short and just get on the road home. But not before we had this fun:

Kristi has an awesome park near their house and the trail to the park is half the fun.

As long as Drew and Nate could hold Aly's hand, they were happy campers. Aly and Ben make them feel like they are so special and important.

Attached to the park are some beautiful soccer fields and the giant soccer balls are a kid favorite. Particularly mine. Here is Nate exclaiming how big it is!

And Aly demonstrating that it's not too big for her. ;)

As a parent, I just have to declare that the swings are not my favorite...unless you have a nephew by the name of "Ben" who will spend his own playtime to push said children and I just get to enjoy the squeals of delight.

Maggie truly loves the swing. She lights up when she sees one and this picture just melts my heart. Enjoy the moment while it lasts, cause I don't do swings. ;)

Nate learning to pump his legs on the giant swing. The swing ended up being to heavy so he needed quite a bit of pushing.

I didn't even attempt to teach Drew to pump; he got lucky. He got a free ride.


My children were introduced to the Barbie movies while we were in Valencia. They are in love. Andrew especially loved dancing with his cousin Elizabeth. I know I posted this movie before, but I think Drew is so cute when he dances. He wants to go all out but you can tell he gets a little embarrassed. He aches to dance, but he's not sure if he should. I think he's got moves.

Still shot of the two dancing kidlets. I think it's good for Drew to watch Elizabeth and her dancing heart. Plus, she can teach him some new moves.

Aly, Elizabeth and Drew posing for the camera. Good friends, good times.


This trip we got to go to the lake again. We were contemplating going to the beach, but Kristi was still recovering from some kind of food bug and it would have required more effort on her part. So in the end, we went to the lake and had a great time just like last year.

Maggie enjoying her string queso con sand. Sounds good right? Ugh. Part of the experience. Just part of the experience.

Seriously, one of the funniest things to watch. At first I wasn't sure what was going on, but these two little munchkins decided it would be fun to cake on the sand onto Drew's back. They spent a good 5 minutes making sure it would stick. It kept falling off his back and it took them a few minutes to discover that if the sand is more wet when it's put on, it'll stay on a lot longer.

In fact, it'll stay on so long that it starts to irritate the skin. In fact, it gets down right itchy.

So of course the best thing to do is wash it off and start again. And again. And again. :)

While these shenanigans were going on, Nate was happy in his own world of building things out of sand and playing in the water.

By the end of the lake visit, we were all tuckered out and exhuasted. Well, at least the mom's were. I think the kids look quite alert and content don't you?

Aly decided she wanted to stay at home and play with her other cousins and so we were all able to fit into one car. Thanks for driving Kris! We missed Aly and hopefully we'll get the Fletchers out here to Texas and so we can all go to a water park together.

Grand Tour Part 5 & 6: Sacramento and San Jose


After our trip to Medford, we started the trip back home. At this point in the trip, I would like to add that Maggie was teething, Nate was getting sick and Drew had pink eye in both eyes. Really bad pink eye. On our way back we were going to stop in Sacremento to see Tamara, but we had to add a stop to pick up our van and drop off the rental car. (Thank you Bev and Christy for making that a fast, smooth transition!) For the above two reasons, we didn't get to Tamara's on Sunday like I thought we would and therefore didn't get to spend the night into Monday. But we did manage to get there for a delicious dinner and for some awesome catch-up talk. Can I tell you how much I love this girl? It's like no time has passed when we do get to see eachother.

I love that in this picture you will find Tam "barefoot and pregnant". We are so thrilled for Tamara and Curtis to become parents and can't wait to meet this little girl. I love you and miss you Tam!

Monday night we made it back to my Dad's around 11 or so and went right to bed. The next morning while I was doing some laundry and re-packing the van, Drew asked to go play at Alisha's house, Nate was content playing dress-up/make-believe and Maggie was busy sleeping away. When I was all done, I went in search of my children. And this is what I found:

"Hi Mom. I'm so excited to see you. Come on in."

"Oh no, I think that is dinner burning."

"Oh that is okay, we'll just order out."

When I went next door to retrieve Drew, I found him in Alisha's room coloring. He clearly didn't miss me at all. ;)

Sue (my next door neighbor mom) has this awesome chest of toys and in there Drew found this Lightening McQueen coloring pad and was busy coloring away with it. He didn't want to leave it...but Alisha said he could take home the coloring page.

Clearly, anything Alisha says, goes. Drew would follow the ends of the earth to be with Alisha. Even now, looking at these pictures Drew said, "That's my friend. Him loves me very much." (He calls everyone "him" right now, including me. I'm told it's a developmental thing...let's hope!)

Drew unpromptedly (is that a word) wanted to give Alisha a kiss/zerbert. He doesn't even do that with me. Just for the record, Alisha has won Drew's affection for life.

Grand Tour Part 4: Medford Oregon


Well we definitely reached the "or" part and the car definitely reached the "bust" part. As you will notice in the below picture, this car is not the van.

And there is a really good story why it's not the van. See the van was in the car mechanic's shop in Marysville (for the 4th time on this road trip) and my sweet, sweet Grandpa rented us a car so we could still make the trip up to see him. My sweet, sweet Aunt Jan drove the way up with me so I wouldn't have to go alone and it was heaven on earth to be the passenger for once and to just gab away with my Aunt whom I hadn't seen in a while. The kids had a BLAST in the back because they were within touching distance of eachother. Needless to say, I was nervous about the touching distance, but they really did a great job. They were very sweet playing and sharing with eachother, but the noise level was definitely a lot higher than I was used to in the when they're right behind you it gets REALLY loud. And Maggie had no problem joining in with the ruckus.

And this right here is the reason we made the trip up to Oregon. I hadn't been to Medford for almost 10 years and although I got to see my Grandpa 2 Christmases ago, it wasn't a very long visit or a substantial visit on my part because Maggie was just a few months old. This time, I got to spend a few days with them and see their new house and go to church with them. I love my Grandpa Cherry and I'm so grateful that I got a chance for my kids to be with him and Grandma Betty. It was a wonderful trip.

Having Keri's kids there was just the icing on the cake. Keri had just gotten back from a hectic trip to Utah just to return for a wedding shoot and so "Grandma Kathy" (my Aunt Kathy) had volunteered to watch the girls. The boys had soooo much fun with Kate who was kind and patient with them. I think she pushed them on that swing outside for hours.

And this is what happens when you ask for a silly shot. Not much difference for Drew, but I think Kate and Nate gave me some good faces.

Say cheese!

Haylee was perfectly content to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie.

But truly all four of them had a great time laughing and playing and enjoying the time together.