Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is at our it at yours?

Any favorite traditions? Share!!!

We love to have our Christmas Eve Party with all yummy party foods to eat! Then we open up one present (pjs) and get dressed up in them. I told Wade this year it would be fun to open up a new Christmas DVD and watch it that night too! Of course, leave out the cookies and milk and carrot and put our stockings out. I CAN'T WAIT!!! The kids are LOVING it. Charlotte keeps counting how many sleeps til Santa comes! This is the best part of Christmas!!! OF course, we'll take our turns opening presents the next day. Have a yummy breakfast, listen to Christmas music, have a yummy dinner! Maybe this year, we'll finally have the patience to sit through a movie at the theater! ha ha ha ha. I loved that tradition growing up.

And I said we should do something for Christmas Adam (Dec 23rd) and he's like let's eat Chinese food! That was a good idea. Now he just wants to celebrate festivus (same day).

Some day, my dream is to have a posh, family Christmas party that night (on the 23rd). We dress in our Christmas dress best, sing Christmas hymns or special Christmas music (not about Santa, etc), put on a beautiful Christmas concert on our grand piano, the kids will have learned their music pieces on the piano, violin, cello, etc. And we'll have beautiful treats and drink egg nog and hot cocoa and bubbly and be an intimate affair and of course invite some friends because they need to enjoy the music too.

The Blizzard!

Tuesday, November 23rd we decided to head out to Oregon for Thanksgiving. Wade had to work but was able to leave with permission right after lunch. This gave us time to go to Charlotte's Thanksgiving feast at school. We wanted to leave earlier so we could get a good head start before the blizzard reached Utah (which the National Weather Service hasn't issued an actual blizzard warning in almost 14 years). We were all packed so all we did was hop in the car the minute Wade got home. So exciting.

Partly cloudy skies and SUN. The sun was bright and beautiful! YESSS. We made it!! Well, until Snowville. We saw these DARK clouds up ahead.

And then BOOM. The storm. It was crazy. When it got to that point, a police car was just in front of us. He put his lights on and pulled to the side. We were behind him but felt we should pull over. So did the Jeep behind us. He told us the I-84 is closed in Idaho and to go home. I was so mad. But we needed to be safe. So we booked it home. We got out of the storm in about 5 minutes and raced it home.

When we did get home, Wade hurried to Macey's. Got some supplies for the day and some dinner. And we watched the blizzard start. It started in 3:15. And it was awesome. It snowed crazy for hours. Some people didn't think it was that crazy. I thought it was. I grew up in Oregon. Seeing one snowflake would be calling it crazy (cause seriously, that meant a 2 hr delay for school. NOT JOKING...well just a little). Down south they got less and less of it.

Ten minutes into the storm!

about 45 minutes into the storm.

We decided to make the call of not going til the morning. Just in case some miracle the snow all disappeared, right?

But I wanted the kids to go play in the snow after it had settled down. So it took forever to put their gear on but once we were out there they LOVED it. Played, rolled, built in it! They had a blast and so did I!!

Wade already used the snowblower but I'm sure we got almost a foot of snow!

I love this picture of Charlotte walking. She never really has played in the snow before. For a few years, she had her walker or was too unstable. But she just RAN into it. It gave me nice warm fuzzies inside. :)

Isn't this kid just oh so cute?!

After Charlotte walked across the lawn, she just dropped in the snow and made snow angels! I never taught her. Must be one of those things that kids just know how to make!! :)

These kids just are so much fun!

PS. This is the next day. And no, no no. No. We did NOT cut down a tree. ha ha ha ha. My friend totally thought that was a tree stump! It is a sad sad snowman. I really wanted to make one with the kids but the stupid snow was too dry. So I had to use a bucket. And then I couldn't find any sticks or rocks buried in the snow! So this is my snowstump.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The decorations go up...

Since we were heading to Oregon for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to put up the Christmas tree before we left so when we came home, it was Christmas! We wanted to get the decorations up too but yeah...didn't happen until we got home.

But I love our tree. One day I'll have "MY" tree, with all the gorgeous ornaments in my special front room on display. But this is our tree. And every time we get the ornaments out, I totally remember where I got (most) of them and the really special ones. Some of my favorite ones are: the zapatista (rebel from Chiapas Mexico) that comes with a gun! Our big gigantic snowman star (see picture below), Our nativity shooting star made of Rimu from NZ and a few other precious ones. Sometimes I think the ornaments don't really stand out against our tree but that's okay, it's still beautiful to us!

This is the result of the kids decorating. 2 ornaments on one branch! SO AWESOME! :)

Both of the kids putting the first ornaments on.

Charlotte mesmerized by the lights.

I'm SO excited for Christmas this year. Charlotte's is remembering all these things that we did last year. She remembers the M&Ms that go in the snowman plate, the advent calendars with chocolate in them and other things. And she is the one that loves to move the snowman along on the calendar too! And Jack is just talking about cwismas trees, cwismas lights, snowman,sanna claus, reindeer! I asked what he wanted to do today and he said he wanted to make cookies! We're going to have so much fun this season! And that we'll be really able to show and tell them the true meaning of Christmas.


We headed out to Colorado for the first time in both of our lives. Wait in all 5 of our lives. It was a whirlwind trip. We left on Sunday, October 3rd to Boulder and returned on Tuesday October 5th. Her appt was for that Monday! Charlotte and Jack were awesome driving all that way!!! But Kate....oh was hard. But we did it!

Anywho, Charlotte was approved for a study to see if her left ear can handle a cochlear implant. It was just a bunch of tests that was conducted and they took several weeks to analyze it. We actually just received the data a couple weeks ago. And it was inconclusive. No data saying it would be good or bad to get it. Crazy. Our trip was paid for by their study so it was good to get the information no matter what.

We've never been to Wyoming? Have you? Oh man. NO OFFENSE. But HOLY COW. It was pretty boring. And I've traveled from Utah to Oregon many times and it was gorgeous compared to that drive. Colorado was beautiful. It was fun to see what it was like.

On the drive there, we stopped at the Little America in Wyoming (closest to Utah) and of course had to stop at the same place on the way back. The kids loved it. Thought the playground was fun!!

We didn't have that much time to go and do touristy things but we did go down a couple of streets where it's just pedestrians. Whatever they're called. It was fun. I seriously never have seen so many (stereotyping here...) tree hugger like and naturalist people. And I'm from Oregon. ha ha ha ha. There were some fun things for the kids to see and they had a great time playing on all these things!

The kids had THE best time at the hotel! They think it's so fun to go the "house". ha ha. Charlotte made a great friend there. The lady that puts the breakfast out in the morning. On the 2nd day, Charlotte wanted to put all the dirty table cloths in the dirty laundry and put new ones out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wade's an American!

Citizenship day was November 10, 2010! Congratulations to Wade! I'm so sorry this is a late post but I'm doing it now so that's all that matters, right???

It's been about 3 months of waiting after sending in the hefty bill and papers but he had 3 appointments before this day. He's been wanting to do this for several reasons:
1. He doesn't lose NZ citizenship. So he's a dual citizen. He wouldn't have done it if he had to give that up. (PS, Charlotte's a dual citizen and when we can, we'll do the same for the rest of the kids!)
2. Traveling abroad is so much easier. There's no worry of keeping track of travel documents, tickets, etc. And the chance of losing the green card...WOAH. That would be a nightmare.
3. Deportation. Although this would have most likely would've never happened, you never know!
4. I'm sure there's more, but these are the biggest reasons.

And guess what!? Wade didn't marry me just for citizenship! HA HA HA. Had to throw that in there.

It was such a good day. Thankfully, the sickness/pneumonia/pink eye all happened less than 48 hours of this so we're so blessed it didn't happen earlier.

Wade had to check in early but they let all friends and family come at that time too. Technically they weren't going to let us in until a 1/2 hour later to the auditorium but thankfully didn't have to wait in the lobby for long. We sat on the balcony and Wade sat below in the main auditorium. We watched patriotic images on the screen before it started too. It was a great atmosphere. He sat next to a South African, Iraqi and Somalian.

My wonderful friends, the Tippets, came up to it too. We weren't going to have anyone there with us, except the Midgleys but a family illness came up, so I randomly told Jen about it that morning. And luck would have it and Gary was off of work! If they didn't come, I would have died. Not literally. It was hard taking care of all three kiddos with their help so I'm so grateful they came.

When it started, they first had girl scout/cub scout kids bring out the flag. We said the Pledge of Allegiance. What was funny, the girl holding the flag's pants fell down! It was so funny because she just kept going! I swear if I had a video, I would've sent it into AFV. And I would've won 10,000 bucks for sure. Then a woman sang the national anthem. And said the last line wrong too. Wade couldn't believe it! It didn't don on me that it was the wrong words until he retold me what she said. So funny too. And then she sang another patriotic song. Woo hoo.

Had a nice patriotic talk.

Then they did the oath!

They brought the microphone around to any of the 125 new Americans if they wanted to say anything and Wade did! I wish I could've heard him. The kids were screaming in my ear. But it was awesome. He speaks so eloquently.
Oh I forgot! They played "Cause I'm proud to be an American" well whatever the title of the song is. And everyone sang it. Kind made me laugh but it was cool at the same time because they were really feeling the patriotism!

Then that was it. They handed out --in quite the fastest, orderly hander outers ever-- citizen papers!

We went down to visit the Midgleys in the hospital and went out to dinner. GoodWood Barbecue. LOVE LOVE LOVE that place. Quite American like in food so that was perfect. It was simple. And I wanted to do more for him but by the time we got back it was too late and when I wanted to throw a little American party that weekend, we were full blown into pneumonia, pink eye and Kate's sickness. It was crazy! But it was an awesome patriotic day. We'll never forget it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pneumonia, pink eye--oh my!

Well this past week has been crazy. A week ago Saturday, Charlotte woke up with a fever but after getting some Tylenol in her, she was fine. And off we went to the Ward Breakfast and then to the JJ Cole's warehouse sale (which SADLY is no longer happening in Logan Utah. It was their last one because they were bought out and are moving to Iowa. Sniff).

But a few days later, Charlotte started a cough. But it was only once in awhile I heard it. Sometimes you just cough randomly, you know? The next day, I sent Charlotte to school and Nicole told me she was coughing but not very much. Hmmmm. So on Wednesday, we kept Charlotte home from school. She would've only been able to go for a couple hours anyway because we were heading to Salt Lake for Wade to be sworn in as an US citizen!! ( I will do a post as soon as I have pictures). But on Thursday, her cough was worse. But just a cough. Well, you could hear her rattle even time she breathed. But she was okay.

But Jack had GOOPY eyes. I HATE conjuctivitis/pink eye (they are the same thing...I looked it up! Just in case I start saying conjuctivitis and no one has a clue to what i was saying. he he) plus had a fever...Anywho, we called the dr. Got an appt for the next day at 9:40. Well, during the night, Charlotte was hacking up a lung and had a fever. Her breathing was pretty fast and I was so worried.

We were able to get her in at the same time for the dr to see her. He checked her out and said she's got pneumonia. BUT we caught it early. I started to freak. He said we aren't at the scary stage yet so this is good. Charlotte's on antibiotics and Jack has drops for his eyes plus he got a script written in case he needs it for pneumonia. Well, Charlotte caught pink eye off of Jack. I swear I was trying to make sure they didn't cross contaminate each other but I wasn't good enough. It's not too bad though. But this morning, Kate's nose has been runny. And she has a tiny bit of goop too. I pray nothing happens to her but she had a horrible night sleep. I got up about 6 times with her (she usually wakes up once or twice.) Poor girl.

They are all fine, in their energy and appearance, but they are definitely sick. Charlotte's missing her Primary Presentation today. She was GUTTED last week when someone in our ward removed her from primary to bring her to his lesson in High Priests (which had, apparently, really nothing to do with the lesson. Besides the fact she was only 5 and was asking for primary the whole time). She was so distraught after church. That's another story so I thought today would be terrible plus she knew she was saying a prayer in primary too. But it hasn't affected/phased her-yet. But it's alright. She didn't have a speaking part...her whole class was reciting the 4th article of faith together. So maybe this was a blessing...

So here I am, Kate and Jack are having naps and Charlotte's watching Elf and playing with Jack's toys. ha ha. So I thought I'd do a little update about Charlotte and Jack. I just did one about Kate so thought I'd share what the others are up to!


This kids loves anything to do with coloring, writing and glue. She's awesome.

Loves to sing. It's so cute. She will sing "Jesus wants me for a sunbeep" to Kate when she's upset. She sings it a lot when Kate is crying in her car seat.

Ugh, this is terrible but apparently she has heard me say this but she says "oh gosh!" when she's busy doing something. It can be when she's made a mistake in drawing or messed up her playdough sculpture. It's funny though. ha ha. She'll say it more often "as a matter of fact" rather than in anger too. Which makes it funnier.

A long time ago, I told Charlotte my name. And she was like, uh no, you're mommy. And a little bit after that, she realized me and Jessie on Toy Story have the same name. So she would randomly call me Jessie. BUT lately, she will yell for "Wade". WADE!! if he needs to come do something quick or for me she'll say "JEH-KUH!" and explain in her cute chatter that something is just wrong. Today, she yelled for me to come and explained that Kate threw up on her mouth, hands and the floor. I actually really love it. She calls me mommy 95% of the time of course. It's just really cute how she says my name!

She loves to make Jack go to therapy. And does all the same stuff she does in therapy. And she carries around a paper and pencil. Does the Lyng 6 sounds (the 6 sounds that cover all frequencies of speech) and chases after him when he doesn't want to do it anymore.

She and Jack have been getting along SO much better. It's all in the secret bribery of charts. I can't tell you how much our lives have turned around. It's not 100% but it's amazing. And I love it. Plus with a parenting meeting for our Relief Society...I learned so much. It's been a real blessing.

Her speech has soared lately. Talks about things using "very very" or uses the, under, ing's

She is in Hula. And is SO cute!!! There's a video on my Facebook profile of a little part of the dance they learned. It's so good for her balance and she just has a fun time.

Is crazy about school and the school bus and church. And of course all other things that are part of her routine. Are we surprised? I think not! So I'm actually quite shocked she's been okay about missing school and church. That's a blessing because sometimes she's just so upset when she doesn't get to do things she really looks forward to.

Thought this picture was so cute. She's in my boots writing things down.

This little random pig in Colorado. She loved it!

Charlotte and her bike. This summer, she finally reached the pedals AND could push herself around the sidewalk and driveway!

On a swing at the Apple Orchard!

He's really quite the character!

He loves his tools. And I'm not kidding. He knows all the names of them : tape, saw, hammer, pliers, wrench, square, drill. Plus drill bit and screw. And if he doesn't know it, he asks what it is. He's SO interested in all things regarding building. He thinks his water gun is a drill. Well, any gun he sees. He will watch you do anything. He'll just sit and watch Wade fix the drain or the furnace filter or whatever happens in the garage. He loves to be outside with Wade when he's working in the yard and tries to help and do those things. He loves to take his hammer and fix the wall and bang on it (no damage yet...)

He loves to say "I do it." Which is good. And really frustrating at the same time.

When he hears Wade comes home for the first time after work or opens the door and sees him, he always says, "hey Dad!" So funny.

Discovered his crib gives off shadows. He is deathly frightened of them. No matter how many times we explain it (like a 2 year old would ever understand ha ha) and say it's okay, not a big deal he just is so scared. I got the novel idea to reorient his crib so it wouldn't give off shadows. It has helped a lot. Plus we put a blanket on the side of the crib that gives off the shadows. But he has to sleep with the door opened "just a little bit" (he says it all the time. so cute) and sometimes with the light on. But he's woken up in the night, just terrorized. So sad. But he's getting better.

He loves anything with cars or trucks. Loves his big truck book and has to be read it all the time.

Loves saying his prayers.

Asks all the time if dad is at work, church meetings, church and that he's the bishop.

Is on a huge Toy Story kick.

If he's hurt he'll come up to me but scream Daddy. Sigh. I'm pretty neat, Jack.

LOVES hamburgers and fries. And every time we pass the McDonald's he yells out "hamburger and fries!" Not that he is saying to go get it but just because he knows that's where they are.

This kid just makes me smile. His facial expressions crack me up. I just love him!

Fell asleep with his Happy Meal on our Colorado trip (I will post about that. SOMEDAY! ha ha)

Loves to chase this stupid cat around. It's our next door neighbors. But he'll start to pet it and push down on it and won't let it move. Poor thing. I have to watch out for it every time Jack is around it.

Loves water and loved this sculpture in Colorado with water coming down.
He loves tomatoes! This is one from our garden that he wanted to eat. Ate it just like an apple!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you!

Today is Veteran's day. I am always so overwhelmed with patriotism and love for all who have served our country and all the soldiers around the world who sacrificed for all of our freedoms. I get upset when I hear the tragic stories of soldiers dying for the freedoms we have today and I rejoice when they come back. I am SO thankful for ALL of them. Both of my grandfather's are veterans and my brother, Dave, is too. He served in Iraq from Feb 2007-August 2007. He was a doctor helping the soldiers and Iraqi people. His military career was from when he started in 1997 (I think that's when you started medical school...) until this past May 2010 when he left the military/Walter Reed Medical Center and decided to join civilian life as an anesthesiologist in North Carolina. Oh I just can't tell you HOW proud I am of him and his sacrifice he has made. Especially for his own family. I love my brother and his family so much and am so grateful he is around today. Dave, you rock. I love you! I'm so proud of you. :)


Dave receiving the Bronze Star Medal, Ibn Sina - 28th Combat Support Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq