Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Latest Update

This past month has flown by.  I wish we could say it was because we were having so much fun but that isn't quite true.  It has been good but challenging.

Benjamin joined our family at the end of November but he was kind of enough to wait until after we had eaten our turkey.  The first couple of weeks were a bit intense as we struggled to sleep at night, I had a couple of migraine due to changing hormones, a blood clot scare, and a nasty cold.  Jonathan had a throw-up bug and Benjamin lost a pound and wasn't gaining weight for the first two weeks of his life.  We were a little on edge trying to get him fed without having to use formula.   We are all well now and Benjamin is flourishing.  He put on about half a pound a week over the past two weeks.  I hope the trend continues for a few more weeks so we can sleep all night long : )

Thankfully through that craziness my mom and Hyrum's mom were here to help us out.  My mom spent a night with Benjamin so I could sleep, Hyrum made a lot of peanut butter and jam sandwiches and changed a lot of diapers, and Hyrum's mom played with grand-kids so I could take care of Ben.  Grandma's were the favorites for tucking in and doing hair.  Hyrum took Jonathan to school everyday and he also made some needed home improvements--recessed lighting in our living room--during his paternity leave. 

December brought the normal craziness of Christmas.  I did as much as I could ahead of time but Ben was, and mostly still is, eating constantly.  I often feel like I spend all day on my couch feeding him.  I reigned in my desire to go all out for Christmas and pared down our treat list and Christmas Eve dinner list.  I also asked Mom to do a bunch of things.  It worked out well since my parents and brother and sister ended up coming on the 24th instead of the 23rd and weren't around to help earlier.   Hyrum and I were able to take the kids Christmas shopping over the course of several days which helped reduce our stress and allow some time with each of them.

We enjoyed a quiet Christmas with my family.  We built Lego creations, went rollerblading, read books, took naps, worked on a crazy puzzle and just enjoyed being together.  The 26th brought great weather so we went for a hike that morning and then another walk that afternoon.  Hyrum even got in a couple bike rides last week.  Saturday we said goodbye to my family and 45 minutes later welcomed Hyrum's brother and sister-in-law for a couple of days.  Ian and Charity played lots of games with the kids and were good sports to put in their puzzle quota.  Sunday, Hyrum and I sang in church and I went back to Primary for the first time since Ben was born. We also celebrated Hyrum's birthday.

It has been a busy month but we've been glad to share it with family.  Ben has filled a place we never knew was empty and everyone loves having him here.  Each day brings new joys and new challenges with him but we are working through it.  It's been great to have a month with Hyrum home.  I will miss him when he goes back to work next week.   I've never been one for New Year's resolutions but I am looking forward to what excitement this new year will bring. 

Friday, November 21, 2014


So far November has been pretty tame.  We've spent the month close to home and I've been to lots of appointments; doctor, dentists, eyes, speech therapy for Spencer and church stuff.  I've been filling my freezer with things to eat after this baby gets here.  I've put so much in it I was worried we would have to get a turkey for Thanksgiving next week.  I've finished all my sewing projects and think it's time to start a new one. 

This was from our new stove but Hyrum thought it applicable for my growing belly.

Every night we go to bed hoping on one hand we don't have to go to the hospital in the middle of the night and on the other hand really hoping we do just because we are ready for this kid to get here.  The only thing we don't have for the baby is a name--#5 will do for a few days : )  I'm hoping I get to be home for Thanksgiving next week and look forward to seeing my parents for a couple days. 

There is the belly.
We've been busy but just normal life goodness like tears over practicing piano and doing chores, laughs over silly dad jokes and gearing up for Christmas songs and movies. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

Charlotte had a birthday.  It was really low key but she was so happy to open a few presents and have a cake.  It was declared the best birthday ever. 

So glad we have this girl.  Charlotte is so full of personality.  There is so much character in that little girl.  She is smiley and bubbly most of the time.  Charlotte loves to tell people what is going on in her life.  She is pretty good at sharing and loves to play with her siblings.  She takes good care of Spencer and is often seen walking hand in hand with him. 

We are so glad we've been blessed with that little girl.  She may be a small package but there is a lot going on in that kiddo.  So much fun!


View from our back deck.

I love Fall.  I love the smell of rotting leaves, the moistness of rain, maybe snow in the air.  I love the red leaves, apples and pumpkins.  Spiced apple cider.  So much fun.

Fabric pumpkins

Salt Dough ornaments, they're going to hang in my kitchen.
 I really wanted to make a few more decorations for our home.  I made some pumpkins and salt dough ornaments that I think turned really well.  The kids made some too that they are painting tomorrow since they have school off the next days.

We enjoyed a day at the corn maze.  Hannah and Jonathan enjoyed the maze with dad while the little ones played with me.  We all enjoyed a hay ride as well.

Jonathan and Hannah on the hayride.
Family adventure at the corn maze.
Playing in the corn box. (Think dry corn instead of sand)
We finished up this great but crazy month of October with a Halloween celebration.  I enjoy the fun of Halloween but I'm not a big fan of the creepy, spooky gore.  In the past we've attended a trunk or treat activity at church and called it good.  I try to make a fun dinner on Halloween to include the kids in the actual holiday.   This year, since Halloween was on Friday I decided we would participate in trick or treating.  The kids had a great time.  Hannah dressed up as Ms. Frizzle of the Lost in Space variety, Jonathan was a Jack o' Lantern, Charlotte went as Cinderella and Spencer was a knight.  They all had such a blast.  Spencer thought it was so cool that people were just giving him candy.

Jack o'Lantern Cookies
Witch fingers from grandma.
Halloween dinner: candy corn pizza, monster jaw apples, and breadstick bones.
The trick o' treating crew.
It has been a fun month.  We start November just getting ready for the holidays and awaiting the arrival of our new brother.  We'll have to wait and see where we eat Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wedding Fun

Sometime in June, Hyrum's brother informed us he would be getting married in October.  We thought as usual Hyrum would attend while I would stay here with the kids and hold down the fort.  The couple dropped a little bomb on us when they requested we all come and even made an offer to help with that endeavor.  After some thought and prayer we decided it would be a good idea and boy was it ever. 

The floor in our car after a few hours.  It only went downhill from here.
We made a few choices that made it easier and one that made it a little harder--maybe.  We decided to drive to Salt Lake City, Utah spend the three days there for wedding events and drive home.  We bee-lined to Utah and home again afterwards, making for four very long days in the car.  we did decide to stay in a hotel with a two bedroom suite which helped alleviate stress of space conflicts and sleep schedules.  We also stayed in Salt Lake so we would be closer to the activities.  We didn't get to see much family other than the ones participating in the wedding which was sad but, you do what you have to do, right?

Monday and Tuesday were spent in the car.  I revamped the kids' car bags after our summer trip so everyone would have their own.  I was hoping to prevent things getting spilled all over the care but, that didn't work out so well.  One great idea was to get cheap cookie sheets and magnetic shapes.  The kids loved it and spent hours making pictures.  I also bought slinkys at the dollar store.  They were a great success.  Spencer loved calling out when saw a train, windmills or cows.  Thankfully there were a lot of those things.  It kept him busy. The other kids did a pretty good job of playing together or just enjoying their stuff in their space.  They traveled great, especially since we usually make a point of stopping and seeing things. 

Kids outside the tabernacle on Temple Square.

Wednesday we got up early and drove north of Salt Lake to a friend's house, where we dropped the kids off so we could attend a session at the Bountiful Temple.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful way to spend our morning.  The temple is always a source of peace and comfort for me but that day it was especially so.  We picked the kids up and then hurried back to hotel to drop the kids and Hyrum off for lunch, naps, and work. 

Hannah and I headed to the Dodo for lunch with Charity and her bridesmaids, sisters, sister-in-law, mom and those soon to be related.  It was fun to get to know Charity's side of the family.   After lunch Hannah and I ran errands to places I can only go shop at in Utah--we had to check out the cooking store, Orson Gygi.  Love it.

That evening we joined the two families for a pizza dinner and some fun to get to know Ian and Charity a bit better.  They just glowed with excitement for their big day.  The pizza was good, the company was better and it was just a fun night. 

View from the top of the Conference Center.

One of the biggest reasons we decided to take the kids with us was because of all the times we've been to Utah we had never visited Temple Square.  This was one of the highlights of the whole trip.  On Thursday, we arrived a couple of hours before the wedding and took a tour of the Conference Center.  The kids loved it.  They loved seeing the place we had just watched General Conference take place in.  We saw several wedding pictures taking place on the grounds of the temple and had wonderful opportunities to talk about why we strive to be sealed in the temple.

Cousins at the Salt Lake Temple.
Then came the wedding.  It was a lovely ceremony that helped remind me of a few things I need to do better.   A great mom from Charity's home ward watched our kids while we were inside.  Then came the waiting and the pictures.  Spencer had a hard time with the pictures.  He was so tired.  After pictures we raced back to the hotel and arrived about 15 minutes before my sister who was watching the kids for the evening. 

The Happy Couple with the groom's nieces and nephews. 
We left the kids in my sister's capable hands and we joined the wedding party for dinner at the Millcreek Inn.  It was up Millcreek canyon and was so beautiful.  Charity and Ian's wedding colors were were navy, gold and coral.  The flowers were beautiful and the fall colors on the trees added to the romantic atmosphere.  It was a quiet evening spent with family and friends celebrating Ian and Charity. 

 Friday we drove to BYU so Hyrum could meet with someone on campus.  That didn't work out but the kids enjoyed the experiments at the Eyring Science Center.  My brother and his wife had just had a baby so on our way back up to Salt Lake we stopped by the hospital so I could say Hi and meet my new niece.  Unfortunately the kids couldn't go up and Hyurm was battling a cold so I was the only one who got to say Hi. 

Sillies at BYU
We grabbed some quick lunch and then got everyone ready for the reception that night as well as packed for our return trip home.  The reception was beautiful and so much fun.  The food was fabulous too.  We just got to soak it all in.  We left after the party was over and headed to Evanston, Wyoming so we could get an hour under our belt for our trip home. 

Our family at the reception
Saturday and Sunday were spent in the car though we did stop for church.  We stopped in Newton, Iowa which later I found out my parents had lived there for 6 months before I was born.  it was a busy week but so worth it.  The kids traveled well and we had a great time as a family.  We are so exited to have Charity in our family and look forward to getting to know her better. 

Most of the nieces and nephews, it's a big family.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall activites

This year the kids expressed some interest in playing soccer so every Saturday we join hundreds of other families and enjoy a couple of hours of soccer.  The kids are learning and loving the game.  This weekend we spent Hannah's game in the rain and cold but by the time Jonathan started, the clouds had moved on and we were toasty. 

Trying to stay warm and dry.

Go Hannah!

Watching the ball.

Jonathan is all ready to attack.

He scored!

Mr. J's Day

Birthday Boy
Jonathan had a birthday.  He had a good day with some presents in the morning and getting ready for birthday celebration that night.  Grandma and Grandpa were able to join us that night for more presents and some cake.  Jonathan was pretty floored about his cake before I cut into it and went a little crazy after he saw the inside.  Thankfully it tasted as good as it looked.  Happy birthday, Mr J.
So silly.

Six layer of rainbow goodness, a couple layers of milk chocolate fudge too.  Yumm!

Go Bucs!

Ready to cheer on the Pirates.
I really like the view from the stadium
One of the things we enjoy doing is cheering on the Pirates.  This year we once again took the whole crew to a game.  There are a few games every year that start at 4 pm making it possible for the little kids to get a little nap and everyone to get to bed at a decent hour afterwards. 

Just because I love her.

This year the Bucs even won.  The kids enjoyed the celebratory fireworks at the end.  We're not sure if the kids enjoy the junk food we take or the baseball game more but it is a fun outing for the whole family.

It was a little warm.

Happy to be here.

The girls.

First Day

First day of school for Hannah (3) and Jonathan (K)

This year marked another beginning.  Jonathan had his first day of school along with Hannah.  Hannah was really excited to go back to school.  I think she has missed her friends though it was great to have her home with us this summer.  Jonathan started kindergarten and, though a little anxious, I think he had a great day. 

Waiting for the bus

Jonathan outside the kindergarten playground.

Backbone Mountain Expedition

A few weeks ago Hyrum, Hannah, Jonathan, and Charlotte went on a hike to Backbone Mountain, the highest point of Maryland.  It was a two mile hike that took them through West Virginia into Maryland and up the hill.  Hyrum packed a lunch and they headed out around 8 am.  They had a great time and apparently there wasn't too much crying along the way. 

Hopefully we can gt a more comprehensive trip write up one day.

King of the mountain.