Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Leah's Bits

Leah's current favorite pastimes include emptying the cupboards and pulling everything off the pantry shelves that she can reach.  I've got five shelves in the pantry and only the top two have items on them.  One day I'll be able to fill it, right?  But in her mind it's all in the name of cooking.  She likes to stir, mix, pretend to put ingredients together, and then run to me with a wooden spoon saying, "Taste Mama!" Her cuteness and excitement balance out the mess of pots and relatively empty pantry quite well.

When it comes to doing big girl things Leah is all in.  She was a perfectly cooperative, happy patient at the dentist.

She wore another one of my dresses from the early 80's the church.  Knee socks and pinafores for the win!

I see lots of morning trips to the Children's Museum on cold winter days in our future.  Leah couldn't get enough of the painting and water stations
And it's not just real ducks she's in love with.  She gathered up all of the plastic ones and kept them to herself.

If I had a dollar for overtime I've said, "It's non-toxic, right?" to myself.  This girl is almost always getting into something.
Leah was pretty excited about all of Noah's goal scoring too.  We had to stop saying the word 'donut' and start referring to them as 'those round, sweet things you get when you score a goal' because once she heard the word there were tantrums for not having one right that second.  We've also learned that we don't say the word 'duck' either since that starts off an obsession about going to see them immediately. Oh Leah!

Monday, October 2, 2017

September Bits

I think all of September can be summed up in bits.  There were lots of little, memorable moments that's for sure!

Noah's school does a great family night at the beginning of the school year.  We were all excited for another night of Gators on the Green.

Luke doesn't start kindergarten for almost another year, but I'm already thinking about how much I'll miss him.  I LOVE having this boy at home.  We were eating lunch together and he unexpectedly said, "Hey Mom, let's take a picture together."  Done!

Noah is back to writing love notes, which I LOVE.

We used to walk over to the duck pond from our other house and now it's at the end of our street!  Leah is in duck heaven and asks to see the 'quack, quack' over and over again each day. 

This was the cutest first hair cut EVER! Leah held so still, smiled through the whole thing, and kept saying, "hair cuh, hair cuh"  If it involves being a big kid this girl is ALL in.

We celebrated another 100 days of scripture reading with a trip to Dairy Queen.  Two seconds after this picture was taken Leah through a tantrum that surpassed all other tantrums.  We tried to enjoy our blizzards despite the ear piercing screams, but that girl was determined to make it a memorable night (and not in a good way).  

Noah's first grade picture.  Love that boy!

While I was watching the Women's Broadcast Nate and the kids were off having fun at the park.  Leah loved playing in the stream.

We celebrated Papa's 71st birthday with ice cream at Leatherby's.  

For days leading up to it Noah and Nate talked about sharing a banana split.  Noah was so excited to dig into that mountain of ice cream with Dad!

On our way to Leatherby's the kids and I stopped at the cemetery to drop off flowers they had picked out.  We found Nana was there too.

Someone has installed a bench right next to Papa's headstone (thanks whoever you are!), and it was kind of nice to have a place to sit and hang out.  

Every time we go to the cemetery the kids demonstrate such sweetness.  Without even being prompted both Noah and Luke take a minute to sit by Papa's headstone.  Sometimes they say something to him, sometimes they don't.  But I love that there's some kind of connection there for them.  I try hard to keep him alive in our conversations, but it's hard to tell if the stories I share are sinking in and being remembered. 

Noah scored his first goals ever!  He's in his third season and, oh boy, has that boy been waiting for this moment.  We celebrated with donuts before school one morning.

And then we kept celebrating the next week (and the next week too!) as he scored three weeks in a row!  

Saturday, September 30, 2017


We didn't say much to the boys about finding a house until the offer was accepted.  But once we got that green light the excitement for OUR new house began to build.  I think we drove by the house every day just to take a peek and talk about it for the first week and a half.  One day I let the kids get out and look in the windows.

We got the keys on August 24 and decided that the next night we'd go have pizza at our new house.  Luke excitedly announced, "Mom! Our family has a new tradition! August 25 is our house's birthday.  That means on every August 25 we have to have pizza in the backyard!"  I, for one, welcome any kind of birthday that's not at the end of November or beginning of December, but mostly I loved that Luke is a guy who likes traditions and making new ones as a family.  You can bet August 25 is in my calendar for our houses birthday in 2018.

Moving day came about a week later.  This was the only picture I caught, because it was, once again, a literal sea of friends working their magic and unloading our stuff in record time.  The amount of love that our family has been given, particularly from members in our ward and family who helped, is too much to quantify.  It just felt awesome to know that we didn't have to do it on our own, and that there were so many who genuinely were happy to help.

I woke up on Sunday morning after our move the day before and caught the most beautiful sunrise.  It was the dawn of a new day and a new beginning of our life in this new place.  It's pretty great to roll over in the morning and watch the sun come up!

When I mentioned our living situation to people a common response was, "Oh, I could never live with my in laws!"  But I have to say, it was a really special time for our family.  It's a different experience to live together and be involved in each other's life every day.  I have to say I loved it.  Leah getting in to EVERYthing aside, being there was an immense blessing for our family and really strengthened our relationships with one another.  And even though Grandma and Grandpa are just ten minutes away now, we find ourselves missing them and the time we had together every day.

Friday, September 29, 2017

August's Bits

Being at Grandma and Grandpa's house meant that there were new, fun trails to explore.

One of our main motivations for moving was that our street was just too busy.  There were too many cars driving way too fast.  We loved being able to play in the street and ride bikes just about wherever we wanted.

This girl has just about conquered every park.  There is almost nothing that she can't read or climb...and she's not even two!  She is just so determined to stretch, pull herself up, and reach to the next step or spot.
Leah thought it was too fun to run around in the car as we waited at the car wash.
I caught this picture as we left school one day.  I sure am glad these two have each other.
Noah left Nate and me the sweetest note in his journal to find at Back to School Night.
I finally got some tiny piggies in Leah's hair!

She was so proud of herself when we figured out how to stick that fruit snack onto the end of her nose.
As I was making dinner one night I told Luke about when I was a kid and watched my mom make meatloaf I promised myself I would NEVER reach in a bowl and mush up raw meat.  But, I got over it, and there I was ready to get dirty.  His response was, "Well, I'm a kid mom, and I can be braver than you!" It's so true in so many ways, including making meatloaf.
Not her best picture, for sure.  Oh, living in someone else's house has it's challenges.  Leah was into EVERYthing almost ALL day long.  It was exhausting keeping up with her and keeping her out of trouble.  A quick trip downstairs to change the laundry was all the time Leah needed to find my (only expensive) lipstick and completely ruin it.  I was mad, she was mad that she was caught, and in the end we both just hugged it out.  She wants so badly to be a big girl and do all things big girls do, including being trusted for more than three seconds.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Back to School

Not being in our own house didn't put a damper on our second annual Back to School Feast.  Dinner and dessert, new journals, father's blessings and a new scripture to guide us through the school year made for a pretty great evening.

Noah's first day of school was a good one.  He was excited to reunite with friends and get to know his new teacher, Mrs. Tahara.

They aren't in the same class, but we have pictures of Noah and Everett going back to Joy School, so we just had to snap one together for first grade.

 Noah and Peyton became buddies in kindergarten last year, so it was fun for them to be back together in the same class again.

While Noah was at school and Leah napped Luke helped me make cookies for our first day of school after school cookie chat.  I just love how much this boy loves to be in the kitchen.
 By the time Leah woke up Luke had just enough time to crawl in her bed for a few snuggles before it was time go get Noah.
 And, oh, this boy was all smiles when  he walked out the door!  It was a great first day,
 He filled all of us in on eating in the cafeteria (although he 'forgot' to eat his lunch), playing on the big kids playground, and that the day seemed incredibly too long.

Luke's first day of Joy School was a couple of weeks later.  He was SO excited that it was finally his turn.
We made more sprinkle cookies for his after school chat and celebrated a great day.  I am also doing homeschool TK with him to take advantage of some amazing learning opportunities without him having to be at school five days a week.  That's going to come soon enough, right?!