Thursday, November 3, 2016

October Bits

 The California Capitol Airshow probably deserves its own post, but I'm cramming it into this month's bits instead.  Nate and the boys met up with Tyler and Brennan and Grandma and Grandpa at the airshow.

It's little (and big boy) heaven to explore and learn about those big, mighty machines.
It was disappointing that the Blue Angels had to cancel at the last minute because Pilot 1 was sick, but you wouldn't know it from these faces. 
It was especially cute though that without being prompted in any way both Noah and Luke mentioned Pilot 1 in their prayers that night, asking that he'd get better and be able to fly the next day. 

Leah loves the 'selfie' mode on the camera.  She's all smiles when she sees that cute baby smiling back at her.

Nana gave us a little scare and earned herself an overnight stay in the hospital.  Thankfully, it wasn't a heart attack like it seemed to be in the beginning, but we still don't know what caused her symptoms.

Pretty much every night until October 15th was a late one for Nate, so we squeezed in FaceTime whenever we could, including when the boys were taking a bath.  Leah loves seeing Daddy on the phone.
 I went into check on the boys before going to bed and found Luke's bed empty.  After peeking on the top bunk I found he and Noah fast asleep. 
 Noah explained the next morning that he invited Luke up for a sleepover.  I love that they are the best of friends.  

This girl could swing all day every day.
And this was such a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago. 
 My grateful mama heart was about to burst.  I've got a fierce love for these two and their sister, and some snuggle time was just what we all needed.

Nate took Luke on a walk around the temple before Stake Conference started.
 We've both felt little pricks of inspiration that this sweet middle child needs a little more individual attention.  It's been fun sneaking in simple little moments with just him and seeing how much he loves and appreciates it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


This year's Halloween inspiration centered around our little pumpkin.  
Both Noah and Luke wore the same costume at the same age Leah is now, and I wanted to get one more Halloween out of it.

And take a look at these three pumpkins.  Leah on the left, Noah on the top, and Luke on the bottom.  It's crazy that they are all essentially the same age in each picture.  Too many birthdays too close together, but, wow, what a fun comparison!
The best inspiration I could come up with to coordinate our trio was a take on classic Halloween charaters.  So, in addition to our sweet pumpkin 
 we had Noah as a vampire
 and Luke as a spider.
I count myself among the lucky that these boys are still quite easily persuaded in the costume department.  I know it won't last long, but it sure does make for a cute Halloween picture.  And, that's what really matters, right?
So we trunk-or-treated our hearts out a couple of days before Halloween, and then had such a great time on Halloween night with friends and family. 

I love this tradition of dinner together and then trick-or-treating.  Now the four big boys run ahead as one group and Camille, Leah and Kate take their time.  But it just fun to have it happening year after year as our kids grow up.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Eleven Months

Leah is ELEVEN months old!

 October was just filled with clapping, crawling, and teething!

 You had five teeth come in this month, for a grand total of eight.  That made for some moody, needy days and nights, but we got through it.

Every day is filled with being busy.  You are constantly tugging on our legs to pull yourself up, following us to wherever the action seems to be, and showing your curiosity in one year old ways.

You especially want to be wherever Noah and Luke are, particularly if it involves being outside.  Get those little legs walking, and we'll make it happen!

 You giggled with pride when you figured out how to unroll ALL of the toilet paper.

Pulling all of the sandwich bags out of the box was fun to try and kept you busy while I tried to make dinner.  A win for us both (except I had to clean it up).

You've gotten yourself into some pretty precarious positions all in the name of exploring and trying things out.
Thankfully, your brothers are especially watchful, and we all come to the rescue when you're hollering for help.

You borrowed my clothes again and looked just darling in this little pinafore dress.


And you were the cutest pumpkin in the patch for Halloween and the Trunk or Treat party at church.

 You continue to love people, and will go to anyone who asks to hold you: moms on Noah's soccer team, friends at church, just about anyone.  You love absolutely love hugs, both giving and receiving.  I think getting you out of your crib first thing in the morning has got to be one of my favorites right now because it's always followed up by a handful of sweet big, armed hugs from you.
But new for this month, and completely unrelated, is that you are crazy in the bathtub!  You put your face in the water, slip and slide everywhere while we try to keep a firm grip, and squeal when the faucet is running and you put your head under it.  Seriously, you are a hazard in the tub!  It's part hilarious and part a whole lot of work when it comes to bath time!
 Oh, I love this age!  You are starting to sleep better (FINALLY! HURRAY!), and it seems like every day we get a new glimpse into your personality and who you will really be in the coming months and years.  And, boy do we sure love who you're becoming.  You are just sunshine, so full of love and happiness, and we could not ask for more!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Kindergarten and Joy School Fun

The week before Halloween was a busy one! On Monday we went to Bishops, Tuesday I started my two week turn of teaching Joy School with a field trip to Zittle's Pumpkin Patch, and on Friday I volunteered in Noah's class for Scarecrow Day.  It was exhausting and so much fun!

Sweet Luke.  He sure loved that we left Leah with a friend, and it was just the two of us for a while.

 This group of three year olds is a treat to teach!  They are buckets of fun, and so much easier to teach than my first go with Joy School two years ago. 
I invited another Joy School group to join us so there was no shortage of friends on that rainy, perfect pumpkin patch weather morning.
 Luke field tripped with Noah's class the past two years, but I didn't know he actually remembered it. He knew a lot of the answers that were asked, and loved sharing what he knows.

 Noah and I were both excited beyond words for Scarecrow Day.  His teacher's scheduled time for parent volunteers doesn't line up with my mom life/schedule for now, so I haven't been in the classroom at all.  Finally, I was getting a chance to see how things run and get a feel for the climate in Noah's classroom.  
I loved being there! And I'm pretty sure Noah loved that I was there too.  Along with thanking me at least a dozen times, he was not shy about telling all kinds of kids that "MY mom is the one over there doing the face painting."
I was not too thrilled to be assigned face painting by Mrs. Chan, but I fulfilled my responsibility.  Face painting is definitely not my talent, but it passed the judgement of five and six year olds just fine.

I caught a picture of Noah and Everett during a quick break from face painting.
And Noah jumped into a picture with his buddy Peyton.
What a great week though! Field trip and teaching with one and spending the morning with another in his classroom.  This is literally the stuff my mama dreams are made of!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

100 Days, so to Bishop's We Go!

Back in June we had a Family Home Evening lesson about scripture reading.  That night we set a goal to read the Book of Mormon for 100 days without missing a day.  It just seemed too easy to skip a day sometimes: getting home too late, being too tired, or just forgetting.  I wanted something to change, and that change needed to be permanent.  So I printed a hundreds chart, and we started marking it off one day at at time.  That chart went to Tahoe with us three times, on a camping trip with the boys in the family, and just became a part of our every day routine.  And that's exactly what we were aiming for when it comes to scripture reading.  We talked of a reward for all of us when we reached 100 days.  A family council was held, ideas for celebration were shared, and a vote was taken: Bishop's Pumpkin Farm was the winner, which is what Nate and I had kind of planned on all along.  It didn't take any convincing on our part.
 So on Monday we all picked Noah up from kindergarten, and headed straight to Wheatland.   None of us have been to Bishop's before, but the boys had looked at pictures and a map of the place online, so they had an agenda of must do's for the day.

One of those was Coyote Mountain.

Between panning for marbles and going down the long, fast slides, this was a great spot to play.
Noah and Luke were all smiles for the carousel too.
And so was Leah while she watched all of the fun.  But this girl is all smiles all the time if she's with Dad.

We stopped at the 'How Tall This Fall?' sign.


And we also took a train ride.

Actually we took the train twice, because on a celebration day you say 'YES!' to everything, including a plea to ride the train a second time.

 The petting farm was filled with cute baby pigs, a giant hog, sheep and these hungry goats, among other animals.  Noah and I laughed as this goat scarfed down the food we bought for him, while Luke whined saying, "I'm allergic to this farm smell!" over and over.

Love this boy, and I loved that he shared his apple with me.

There are lots of fun places to take pictures at Bishops.  Between the weather starting to turn cold, Leah just barely waking up from a nap, and Luke suffering from eating too many cookies, we didn't capture quite what I would have liked to.  But we'll be back, and what we got was good enough.

 It wasn't until long after this picture was taken that I realized the position we had put Leah in.  Oops!
It also wasn't until after this picture was taken by a stranger that I saw Leah had leaned over to hug Noah.  Oh, that girl.  She's just a lover. 
And I loved this day of celebration.  Nate had just finished a month of working late and on Saturdays.  Being together, celebrating together, and experiencing something new to all of us was the perfect kind of fun for this family.