Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jack turns 4!

While we were in WA Jack had his 4th birthday. The boys are constantly aware that their birthdays are going to happen again. It seems like they really talk about it all year and always countdown other people's bdays in order to get to their own.

So for example we're counting down to Aunt Carly's bday, then Uncle Josh, then Britt, Grandpa, Aunt Amanda, Me THEN COOPER!  (did I forget someone?)

This comes up almost weekly.

Jack's birthday is a week after Jake's. He wanted to have a birthday party with Dad this year so we did a family thing over at the Fry's and also had our friends, the Gollihurs, over for the day. Jack was spoiled by all and then on his REAL birthday ( a few days later but Jake already left for CA ) we went to Chuck-E-Cheese to play and had root beer floats that night.

We wrote a little entry in our family journal about Jack for his birthday and it goes as follows:

Jack turns 4 today! He finally gets to be in SUNBEAMS!
Jack weighs 38lbs and is 41" (3ft5in) tall
movie-Chipmunks (still!)
toy-video games, leap pad

He wants to be a ninja when he grows up.

What are we doing today? Going to Chuck-E-Cheese w/Cooper, Adele, Mom, Mimi and Carly. We're having root beer floats tonight when Grandma and Grandpa come over!

Love you Jack! You are one extreme boy. Extremely sweet and extremely loud and extremely silly and extremely naughty sometimes.

You got lots of scars this year. One (faint) one on your cheek and ear from the alpine sled. Your teeth went through your bottom lip @ Meg and B's house. Cooper hurt your nose on a plastic saw and sliced it open. You seem to always be getting hurt and leave us wondering whether or not you needed stitches! You are super helpful at home. You love helping with chores and cooking. You even got an apron for Christmas! You like to take naps still. You take very good care of Adele and your new puppy Griffin.

I know how cliche this sounds but I really can't believe how fast kids grow up. People keep asking me when Jack is going to go to preschool and I just can't send him yet. Cooper going to Kindergarten happened WAY too fast. I'm keeping Jack home while I can :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

December in WA

I flew home with the kids on Dec 12th. Jake met up with us on the 19th. Lots of family in and out for the whole month including Carly and Paige from UT. Dan Amanda and James, Britt Josh and Madi from ID. Matt, Nicole, Aubree, Olivia and Sydnee from UT.  We were missing Mike, Kayla and Mason for sure this year :( Needless to say, Christmas was grand! Lots of activities, lots of food, lots of movies and games. My kids sure love their cousins. They just played and played and played. Come to think of it I don't think any adults ever had to really jump in solve any problems between the kids while they were playing. The only time I remember intervening was when the kids were in a bed together playing "family". So we told them to play something different and they said, "How about doctor?!"


I'm pretty sure that won't be the end of it either. Those will be some embarrassing stories one day. They had a great time together. We're hoping to make a big road trip this summer while Jake is busy with an internship (Fingers crossed!!!!) and stay for a few days in Utah with the cousins. (Is that cool Nicole? :)

Can you believe that I didn't take any pictures of our trip?! I've always been bad about that but for real. I really didn't take hardly any other than the ones I got on my phone.

Christmas really was great though. Of course we're on a limited budget being in school and all so we kept it nice and simple for everyone and felt blessed to be able to give so much with the money we spent. We were also given some pretty awesome gifts from a lot of people. Plus our parents all pitched in to fly us home. They let us invade their homes for a month and they kept us fat and happy. I cherished this Christmas so much because I know it won't happen this way forever. There simply is not enough room for a family growing as fast as ours! I mean, look at all the kids in the picture above. Mason is missing from it and that makes 9 kids ages 5 and under from one side of the family. It will only get crazier! I love it! Plus it makes for some crazy good card games with that many sleep deprived sugar frenzied adults.

SO thankful for time spent with each other. I love our big crazy family. I love the Pacific Northwest because it is home. I love going to Seattle and eating till I think I might burst. I love the Christmas season to spend time together, to celebrate the birth of our Savior, to serve people around us and spread a little Christmas cheer. I LOVE walking through the front door at mine and Jake's parents house and feeling like I'll belong there forever and I love sharing that with each other.

Thanksgiving 2012. Yeah that's right, two months ago.

You know how when you say you're going to start a blog, then you do and you do ok, then you stop? And then you want to start again but time just keeps passing and you feel like it's been too long to just jump back in it without feeling like you have to catch up on the last two months? Yeah? Me too.

My life is busy. I stay at home with my three children. One goes to Kindergarten for 3 hours a day and three days out of the week I have two extra kids that I watch. That's about it. But my life is busy.

Last time (*ahem, end of Nov) I wrote about our neighbor who hates us. Welp, she probably loved us during December cause we weren't here! Haven't really seen or heard her since the encounter though. Thanksgiving was super. The weather was beautiful. You'll have to excuse me for always rubbing in your face how beautiful and awesome the weather is in California. Don't be jealous. Just come and visit us....

Anywho, it was my first Thanksgiving cooking for my family. Jake and I made a delicious turkey and had our friends, the Browns, over to share Thanksgiving with us. Lots of food, pie, friends and games.

I know it's late but believe me when I say that we had (and still have) so much to be thankful for that day. We moved to this unknown part of our lives and became grown-ups. (Shouldn't that have happened already having three kids?!) You know what I mean though, right?

We found our own house. We made our own friends. Cooper has never, not ONCE, been late for school. (I know right?!) We bought a lot of furniture (I can't wait to tell you about those adventures one of these days.) It feels so right to be doing this whole school thing here in California. It was scary to leave our families and move to a place where we were basically starting over. But boy oh boy did the Lord guide us right to our own front doorstep. Every door has opened so clearly for us and we have been so blessed by Heavenly Father with the assurance that what we're doing is right. That the sacrifices we're making now are worth it. Although, it really doesn't feel like we're having so sacrifice anything at all.

Sure it'd be nice to have jobs and all the security that comes with that kind of thing. Sure it'd be nice to have nicer, newer things. Furniture from a store and not from some crazy person on craigslist. Sure it'd be nice to go out to dinner every once in a while instead of feeling guilty about the fancy steak we splurged on that one weekend. Sure it'd be nice to take the kids to Disneyland since it's literally an hour away instead of trying to change the subject every time it comes up. But you know what? We have each other. We're growing together. We're helping each other and finding creative ways to enjoy our lives RIGHT NOW. My new years resolution for 2012 was to enjoy the ride and quit looking ahead to the next step. I feel like the last couple of years I've just been waiting to move on and I haven't been able to see the blessings happening right in front of my face. We have so much to be thankful for and love this part of our lives.

Hope you enjoyed my Thanksgiving post, now that it's almost groundhogs day. Here's to catching up this week!