Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Wishes from Miss Gracie

As you can see Gracie got a little stage fright and forgot a few lyrics. Usually she can belt out both songs all of the verses without missing a word!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Elf Yourself

It takes a few minutes to load and it may need to continue loading as you are watching, but it is well worth the wait!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sweet Dreams Bambi

Well we are back from vacation and our wonderful visit to Gigi and Papa's house. We had a great time playing, eating and relaxing in the fabulous Las Vegas. Hopefully, I'll get myself organized and will be able to post some more pictures of our trip later on this week.

The second night we were in Vegas, Mark, his dad, his brother, Parker and Carson decided to ride up to Lee Canyon to go Deer Hunting. Please keep in mind I hate guns and don't buy them for my boys, and make Mark keep his guns at his dad's house. However, my boys have inherently known what to do with a gun since they could start walking. They turn everything into a gun, whether it is the spray bottle or a pair of chopsticks. They were so excited to go, I didn't see how I could deny them their fun. It was almost dark, so I wasn't too concerned about them actually getting anything. I should have known better.

I got the lovely phone call about an hour after dinner. Carson and Parker were both yelling into the phone, "We got a deer! Papa owes us $10 dollars. It was so AWESOME mom!" Awesome isn't quite the word that comes to my mind when I think about hunting and dead animals. I think it is a boy thing. I hope this picture doesn't gross you out too much. According to Mark, Parker and Carson were right in the action, seeing the deer before it was shot, and afterwards watching Papa and Uncle Steve clean it out. They didn't find it gross at all and loved shining their flashlights on the liver, stomach, intestines, and other internal organs. If nothing else, I guess it created a real life anatomy lesson for them. Should I be worried as a parent, that they now play Deer Hunting around the house, with Gracie as the deer?
Actually, my boys had a wonderful time with their Papa, dad and uncle. I don't think it would have mattered if they got a deer or not, but they just enjoyed their time together. They enjoyed the drive together, the treats and the conversation. The fact that they actually got a deer was total bonus. They made a great memory together. When we were driving home through South Lake Tahoe, Parker saw a deer and Carson said, "Shoot, I wish my Papa and Uncle Steve were here to see it." As for Papa, I think he would probably say his life is complete after hunting with his two sons, and two of his grandsons, in the mountains they love so much.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Birthday Boy Bayden!

I can't believe it, but yes it is true Bayden turned one on Saturday! I think time must go by more quickly the older you get because this past year has just flown by. I feel like we were just in the hospital with the little guy and now he is crawling all over the place.

Since our first, we have learned that one year olds don't remember or even appreciate big parties. I was going to do the birthday cake with the kids and call it good, but then they all started asking about his party. Although they all had wonderful suggestions which included, but were not limited to Chuckee Cheese, Disneyland and Jon's Incredible Pizza we were able to talk them into a small party with our cousins and dear friend Kristina Hall (we have adopted her as an auntie, actually it might be more of a stalking you'll have to ask her). We made Ali's famous chocolate cake and had a great time. Unfortunately Marina, Mike and their kids got the flu and couldn't make it, but we were lucky to have Melissa, Anthony, Lexi and London and Kristina here to celebrate.
About 2 months ago we weren't even sure the whole hand and face in the cake thing would work out for Bayden since he has a challenging time with textures and sensory issues. Lucky for us he has a fabulous Feeding Therapist who worked with him a lot the past 8 weeks to prepare him for the big day. My whole goal for him the past 2 months was that he would be able to stick his hands in the cake and enjoy it. I'm happy to report that like all Fellows, he loved the cake! Here are a few pics chronicling his first encounters with chocolate.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Where's Waldo?

What do Dorothy, Glenda the good witch, the Cowardly Lion, Anaken, Casper the friendly ghost, Hillary Clinton, and Monica Lewinsky all have in common? They were all at our house this past week as we celebrated the Halloween season. We had three Halloween Parties this week. I may not have a year supply of food, but I have a year supply of candy and as you can see, there was no Waldo in sight.

I'm such a theme girl and had big plans for a Wizard of Oz family theme. Things began to unravel when Parker told me he really wanted to be someone from Star Wars. I just couldn't see myself forcing him to be the Tin Man and having his memories of Halloween be of me selecting his costumes for him. Carson jumped ship when he had the chance as well, so instead of a Scarecrow I got a friendly ghost. McCall really wanted to be Dorothy and well Gracie and Bayden aren't articulate enough yet to make their desires known, so I was able to salvage a bit of my theme with a Lion and Glenda the good witch.

Mark hates dressing up, but when he saw the Hillary Clinton mask at the store he just couldn't pass it up. We went to our friends annual Halloween Party as Hillary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. We had a great time and got a few good laughs.

This post has taken a few days to write and now it is the morning after Halloween. The kids had a wonderful time last night. My parents surprised them by coming in yesterday afternoon. We ended up trick or treating with our good friends the Milletts. Because they have older kids, we ended up hitting a lot more than our usual 16 houses.

I knew Parker and McCall would be totally into it, but I wasn't prepared for the determination and speed which Carson and Gracie approached the task with. It was so hilarious to watch them run faster than I have ever seen them run from house to house with these heavy treat bags dragging behind them. Keep in mind, that Carson had a pillowcase over his head the whole night and I'm sure could have been classified as legally blind as he ran through the neighborhood.

After 2 hours we headed home for the long held tradition of candy sorting and swapping. It was a great day! We hope you all had a great Halloween too.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Saturday Fun (by McCall)

Here are some pictures of me playing soccer with my friends. My team name is the KICKS. I love playing soccer. My favorite position is mid-fielder. My coaches are Majer Araj, Mike Mitchell and Rob Vicario. They are nice. I got two goals in my last scrimmage. My mom had to buy me two Hershey Bars. I'm hoping for more goals this weekend.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's fine to be NINE McCall!

Let the unwrapping begin!

Webkinz Mania

Ali's lovely cake recipe.

McCall's first solo baking project. She did great!

One of her favorite b-day presents, a Laura hug!

I can't believe it, but McCall turned 9 years old on Sunday. I seriously can't believe she is that old. It really seems like just a few months ago she was born and then starting Kindergarten. She is a sweetie pie and she had a fantastic birthday. We decided to opt out of a big party this year and she is going to go ice skating with one of her best friends instead.

It is always around my kids birthdays that I feel bad we don't live closer to family. They always want people present on their special day and well it never seems to work out. Well this year, McCall lucked out! Our sweet friend/Nana Laurie Reimschiissel called on Friday to say she was flying in on Sunday(McCall's B-day) for a visit.

McCall was ecstatic and could hardly wait for Laurie to come. She had a great day filled with lots of crepes and other yummy treats. We had dinner with a few close family friends and enjoyed our time with McCall.

We had a great week with Laura and we were so so sad to see her go home yesterday. She gave us a happy boost of energy. We considered calling in a bomb threat to the airport, so she couldn't leave, but since her daughter is due any day with a babe we abandoned our bomb plan.

Soccer Fun

Ready for a big game on the field.

He was so excited to do the out of bounds throw in.
Here is one of the few shots where he is actually running.
Of course his favorite part of the game is the victory tunnell.

We are fully emersed in our soccer season with McCall, Parker and Carson all playing. We have practices Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights and games on Saturday. The kids love it and so do we, although we are looking forward to a few more nights at home come November. I got a few pics of Carson at last Saturday's game. Of course, I was trying to juggle a screaming Gracie and Bayden as I took most of the shots, so you can see they aren't the greatest.

This is Carsons first year playing and he loves it. Sometimes we aren't quite sure if he knows exactly what he is suppose to be doing, but he smiles a lot out there, so he must be having fun.

Perhaps the funniest thing about this fall is that I've started playing soccer too! Yes, the girl who has never played a day of soccer in her life was recruited by a friend to join a local rec. team. It is pretty intimidating to say the least. These girls are really good and I have no clue what I'm doing. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I pulled my hamstring pretty good and I was only able to play the first half last night. Oh well!

It was great to have the kids their to cheer me on. Carson told me this morning, "Mom, after school let's get the net out and I'll help you with your power kicks." Pretty sad when your 4 year old can see you need serious help. It has definitely made me more compassionate with my kids when cheering from the sidelines at their games. It is a lot harder than it looks to dribble that ball and actually make a goal! I'm just trying to make it all the way down the field without coughing up a lung. I guess it will help me get in shape, so that is a positive thing.

You'll notice there will never be any pictures of me playing soccer posted on this blog, just my sweet kids!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Old McDonald had a Band!

Today Gracie and Bayden had Music Therapy. Our therapist is the sweet and talented Tara McConnell and Gracie and Bayden love her. She plays the guitar, the bass, and the piano. She may play more, but that is what I've heard so far. Anyway, they love to sing and dance with her. Bayden is particularly obssessed with her guitar. I hope this means there is a guitar in his future :-) I would love to have a child who could play the guitar. He also really likes her drums. Gracie likes her fancy scarves and pretty ribbons. She is a true diva!

This afternoon she dressed herself in her pink tulle skirt, with her red and white polka dot dress over the top. It was quite a sight. Unfortunately I didn't get a pic of it. She insisted on wanting to wear it to the park and soccer practice. After some tough negotiations and several minutes of crying I was able to convince her that her jeans were a better choice.

Here are a few pictures of the kids with Tara. One of there favorite songs to sing with her is Old McDonald had a Band.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Can we feed the DUCKIES?!?

Well I'm back among the living. I didn't realize how much I take good health for granted, but after the past 11 days of complete illness, I was so happy to wake up today and not feel like I was going to pass out! Mark knew the old girl had her groove back when I wanted a Chocolate Oreo milkshake and I felt like cleaning my house. It feels so good to be back to normal and to be able to run around and do things. The big happy news for this week is that Bayden learned to sit and crawl on his own. He has been working hard at it for months and this week was the magical week for both things to happen.

Here is a picture of Bayden sitting up for the first time this week.

We have had some fun little house guests with us the past three weeks! Our backyard has been invaded by Turkeys!!! Unfortunately, it has caused for some major vocabulary confusion for Gracie, who likes to refer to them as duckies. I tell her, "Not duckies, but Turkeys honey." and she just responds by saying, "I feed the DUCKIES?" Now whenever we see a picture of a Turkey she refers to it as a duck. I've given up the battle and I guess people will just have to think we are an uneducated bunch.

When I first saw them preening themselves outside on our back lawn, I thought it was so sweet and I told all of the kids to whisper, so they wouldn't fly away. They played out on the lawn and took naps and stayed for 3 to 4 hours. Later that evening I walked down there and saw they had pooped all over our grass and yard and had kicked bark all over the patio. I was so irritated with those little Turkey's, I almost started calling them Ducks.

We cleaned up the yard and then they came back a few days later. Gracie was all excited! Unlike the previous time, I sent the kids out to run and play as loud as they wished. When the turkeys didn't leave, I ran out there and started yelling and waving my arms so they would fly away. They just sat there completely unfazed by my presence and looked at me like I was a crazy girl. They didn't move an inch and stayed for another 3 hours.

Basically, I've given up the fight. We just clean the yard up every Saturday. I think hunting season isn't too far off, so if anyone is looking for an easy shot with comfortable hunting accommodations 836 Morton Way just might be the place for you!

Gracie on the back patio, prepping for her daily Turkey a.k.a. duckie feeding
Our little feathered friends.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to School

On Monday August 13th, our kids headed back to school and Mark and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. Mark and I were both sad to see the kids head back to school and to see the less regimented days of summer end. The kids were all so excited for the new school year, so that made it easier to send them off.

McCall is starting the 4th grade and is thrilled to have the opportunity to have her first "male" teacher. She told me she thinks "it will be a good experience to see how a man teaches." Mr. Gex is his name and he gives Jay Leno a run for his money. He is so funny. He had me laughing so hard at Back to School Night.
Parker gets two wonderful teachers this year as he heads into the first grade. He will have the opportunity to have the same teacher McCall had, Mrs. Cook. She just recently had her second baby in one year, so she is team teaching with Mrs. Smith. They are both incredibly nice and nurturing ladies. I swear Julie Smith is Joan Clever reincarnated. I love her!

Carson will be attending his little speech pre-school class at a neighboring elementary school with his same teacher from last year, Janet Bunje. The big news in his life this year is that he gets to ride the little yellow school bus. I guess the people at the district felt bad for me and took pity on us, by offering to pick and bring Carson home from school. Oh what a difference a bus makes. It has made life so much easier!

Gracie, Bayden and I are reading lots of books together at home and like to see all of the fun things the older kids learned while they were away at school. I'm amazed at how well Gracie knows the comings and goings of the other kids and I can often find her waiting anxiously by the front window for her best friends to make it home. I think she gets bored with me :-)
After soccer practice that night, Mark and I and the kids celebrated our anniversary by exchanging cards with each other in the aisle at Target. It was a classic! I guess in the end our kids is what the anniversary is really all about. We've had a great life together and that night was another fun memory to add to our collection.

Parker turns 7!!

Since our return from vacation we have been very busy. The day after our return was opening day for soccer. We have McCall, Parker and Carson all playing this year. Mark is coaching both of the boys teams, so it made for a hectic parade on Saturday morning. The day after opening day was Parker's birthday!

Because his birthday landed on a Sunday, we just had a family celebration. He wanted breakfast food for the entire day, so we had pancakes, bacon and fresh fruit for breakfast. After church we had our family away from family, the Millett's, over for more breakfast. For dinner he chose french toast, waffles, hashbrowns and bacon (lots of bacon!) I can't believe he is already seven and two inches taller than his soon-to-be nine year old sister :-) Anyway, I think he had a great day as you can see from the pictures.

Party of Five's Excellent Adventure Part 2

The second half of our fun summer vacation was spent in Salt Lake City. We had a great time with my family during a fun-filled week. Although I treked the kids all over Salt Lake, I think there favorite activity was just spending time with their cousins and Grandpa and Grandma.

While we were in Salt Lake we went to the Hansen Planetarium, The Children's Discovery Museum, and Hogle Zoo. We also got to do a fun family hike around a lake up at Brighton Ski Resort. (I can't for the life of me remember the name of it.) We also went swimming and had a fun progressive dinner with my family. We got the chance to play one of my favorite games, red rover, red rover!!! I also got to eat at a few of my favorite restaurants. No good vacation is complete without yummy food.

We headed home on the 10th of August. After 3500 miles, I think it goes without saying that we were very happy to be home!