Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Scary Thing

This post is a few days later than I was planning on posting it, but here it is. On Friday night we were having a barbecue/movie party in our garage with my family. It was supposed to be outside and because of the weather we moved it into our garage. Everyone came over and we grilled shish-ka-bobs (anyone know how to spell that?) and had salads and we watched pictures of all of us while we ate. Well, as we were getting things ready we had a scary moment that made me think a little bit. Talmage fell and skinned his knees up and so my mom brought him in the house and we were bandaging him up and when we got done my mom asked "where's Avri?" So we all thought about who had seen her last and started looking. She had been in the garage and then suddenly she wasn't. It was one of those "I thought she was with YOU!" deals. We searched the house, nope. Went to the neighbor's swingset, nope. We looked all over the yard, nope. Then we started getting desperate. We knocked on the neighbor's door, nope. We looked down in the ravine, but didn't see her. My Dad jumped in the car and went looking for her. He came back a little while later...without her. I was totally in a state of panic at this point. I just knew she had been kidnapped and that the worst was happening. Everyone split up and looked anywhere they could think of. I got in my car and decided to head down to the park, the only other place I could think she might go. Kendall had the same idea a couple of minutes before me and had already started running. We met on his way back home...with Avri. She was about 4 blocks from home when he found her walking alone. She had thought that Grandma and Talmage went to the park without her, and so she would catch up with them and off she went. A 3 year old wandering down the street alone wearing her bib. I was of course BAWLING at this point. As soon as she saw me and I'd pulled her into the car and hugged her and not wanting to let her go I think she realized the seriousness of the situation. I don't think she'll be trying that one again too soon.

We had to go back and tell half of the neighborhood that we had found her. It renewed my realization of how many good people there are in the world. Anyone we had seen outside and asked if they had seen her was now looking for her. People we had never met before jumped in cars and walked around looking for her. It was by far the scariest thing that I have ever experienced. I've heard of this happening, and maybe some of you have exprienced it before. But the weight doesn't really hit you until you are in the moment and you are sure that you will never see your little girl again. I found myself reeling and completely unable to even decide if she should be punished or just held in my lap until she was 18. I'm so grateful that she was okay and that nothing happened to her. I count my blessings. I have so many! And the times that I want to sell her on eBay have become far fewer since then. I realize that it is all part of life. And even with her trying and difficult personality I love her more than I could have ever realized I would and probably more than I even understand. I consider myself so lucky to have three beautiful and healthy children who bless my life every minute they are alive, and a husband who makes everything possible. Family is what it is all about.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Picture Clarification

I just got looking at that picture of Kendall with the ax and it kind of looks like he's chopping at the tiller. He is ACTUALLY chopping huge roots out of the ground, not beating on the tiller. ;) Guess I need to be a better photographer.

A busy month

We have been so busy that I cant even believe that Kendall has been home for a month already since his layoff! Wow. Life has been nuts. But I must say that I have really thoroughly enjoyed this past month and I think that it has been a huge blessing to our family in so many ways. (As a side note, he is still looking for jobs, one looks possible, but we'll see and keep updated on that.) So here are some of the projects that we have done in the last month:

We have torn out the entire front and side yards, tilled them up and pulled about 6 truck loads of tree roots out. True thing! You would not believe how many roots grow under the ground!! And they are huge! We only went down like 6 inches! Let's just hope we didn't take more than the trees can handle.Look out Paul Bunyan.
We also completely re-organized our food storage and the entire storage room. Then, Kendall built a shelf in the garage to get that cleaned up really well. You can see it here in the picture on the left side at the top. It goes the full length of the garage and is 4 feet deep so it holds A LOT!! He built it so strong and I think I'm married to Superman. I'm amazed at all of his skills and talents.
And no, we don't run in the garage. Kendall is trying to fix this free treadmill for me. Up close:
We have worked on 2 separate garden plots. We have a huge one that my dad has fully fenced. Half is ours and half is theirs. The other one has been started, but isn't quite finished and I don't have a picture of it. It is going to store the vine-like plants like squash and pumpkins and things. This picture is one of my favorites because it is so true-to-life. You have Avri, working hard, and Talmage, standing there looking like he's working, but not doing a thing. His nickname is "The Foreman."
I went through the biggest mound of clothes that the kids have all grown out of and organized them by size and gender so that I can find them when I need them. (They are stored on the new shelf in the garage.) I've also done countless hours of catching up on bills, paperwork, sorting mail, and doing my calling. It has really been nice to have Kendall around so much. I'm going to miss him when he has to go back to work. :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Holiday

**Warning: I have lots of pictures in this one!**

We went on kind of a last minute vacation to Michigan this weekend to visit my Grandma and Grandpa for Easter. Since we have time and don't have to worry about taking off work we decided to leave early and take a little detour to the town where I grew up near Detroit. It only added a couple of hours to our trip and was well worth it. We met up with two old friends and got to drive around memory lane. I showed Kendall the house that I nailed the walls together and grew up in. I showed him all of my old schools and my orthodontist office (I spent many hours there!).(Yes, we met at McDonald's. I'm all about killing three birds with one stone. We got dinner, the kids released their energy from being in the car for 7 hours, and we got to visit and get re-acquainted!)
Then we drove to northern Michigan to my Grandma's house. Friday we visited and colored eggs and then colored the snow with the food coloring. We had really nice weather while we were up there, but they did still have some snow for us to draw pictures in. This picture is Mercedes with the "bird" that she found at Grandma's. It is a well-loved puppet that she just couldn't get enough of!
We took a little walk down the road and taught the kids how to play Pooh Sticks in the little river down the road from my Grandma's house. They loved throwing the sticks in the river and watching them come out on the other side of the road!We decided to do our egg hunt on Saturday. Growing up we always did all Easter stuff on Easter Sunday, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that our family tradition is going to be the secular egg hunting and baskets on Saturday so that Sunday can be for the religious aspects of Easter. The kids got their Easter baskets and not too much candy and we all had fun.Sunday we managed to get everyone ready for church early enough to get a few pictures of the kids in their new Easter clothes. I also wanted to get some nice pictures of the kids with their Grandparents and Great-Grandparents. Then, while we were at it we took a new family picture that I put at the top. I just can't get over Talmage in his totally studded suit! Look out girls!
I just love these little kiddos. Happy Easter! We hope yours was just as wonderful!

Friday, April 3, 2009


This is an exciting time in my life, and I feel like I'm in a new frontier where I don't quite know what to do. I've finally accomplished the feat of nursing a baby until they were one year old, and weaning that baby, not because I was pregnant, but because I wanted to wean! So, I did it! I am not pregnant OR nursing and I can take any medications I want for my allergies that are flaring up! I never remember to take medicine of course because it has been 4 1/2 years since I've been allowed to take medicine, but the fact that I CAN is cause for celebration. Of course, the other night I told Kendall that we needed to start thinking about how far apart we want to have the next one. No time soon, of course. I'm just a planner.

Look Who's 1!!

This post wasn't supposed to be so late. I started on her birthday and didn't finish it. Then I almost finished it on April 1st, which was my due date so I was going to justify it. But alas, I have no justification now, so Happy Birthday you sweet little girl.
Mercedes birthday was on March 25th. My family came over and we opened gifts and let her play with them for a while. I thought this was really sweet. Avri wanted to give her a gift, so she went and got her very favorite doll and "wrapped" it up in a towel and set it in the pile with the other gifts. She still hasn't reclaimed it. She now calls it Sadie's doll. Here she is with her "new" doll and the stroller Uncle Ammon gave her. (Talmage was having a hard time letting Sadie play with her own toys.) And there is also a pic of her giving the baby doll kisses. She LOVES babies!
Then we had cake and ice cream. This is the first cake that I made for her. (It was a white cake when I put it IN the oven and a black cake when I pulled it OUT 2 1/2 hours later. I went downstairs to exercise with Kendall and I guess the movie distracted me enough that I didn't give it another thought until I came up to go to bed.) So we tried again.Not the fancy thing I usually do, but it was delicious!!Sadie was having fun taking off her birthday hat. She loved the cake and ice cream and had no problem at all just diving right in and eating it all with her hands. Unfortunately, my brother has all of those pics on his camera and I haven't gotten them from him yet. So no messy pictures.
Mercedes has been such a joy in our lives every day of her life. We were so surprised when we found out that we were having another baby and it took me a long time to get used to the idea. But I couldn't be happier or love someone more than I love this little spirit that the Lord sent to us in a somewhat miraculous way. I can tell that she is going to be the family prankster. She loves making people laugh and she loves to cause trouble and get into things. She knows that she is cute and has already figured out how to get away with things.At one year she has no desire to walk or even try to stand on her own. But she loves to pull herself up onto the furniture. She is very snugly and loves to be held and give hugs and kisses. She is our quiet child. She doesn't try to talk too much, but she is getting REALLY good at sign language. Every day she learns at least one new sign. She loves talking on the phone. If you give her any phone, play, real, cell, she will immediately put it to her ear and say "Hiiiii" in the cutest little high pitched voice you've ever heard.She still only has 2 teeth that aren't all the way in. But that doesn't stop her from eating just about everything. She is barely 20 pounds but we still haven't turned her car seat around because we need to go buy a new one. I'm sure she will love it when we finally do it. She LOVES to take baths and since learning how to Sign "bath" she asks every time I change her diaper if she can take a bath. She has a new fascination with babies and everything that looks like a baby. She wants to hold all of the dolls in the house and gives them kisses and pokes them in the eye. She also loves pictures. Every time she sees a picture hanging on the wall she points and leans so that you will take her over to see it and we have to name everyone in the picture. This is really cute the first 115 times.

We just LOVE you Mercedes. You have brought so much happiness and laughter and joy into our home. We can't imagine life without you and we thank our Heavenly Father every day for sending you to our home. Happy birthday little lady bug!

Potty Scotty anyone?

I have been looking into the program "Potty Training in One Day." Does anyone know about this? I've heard quite a few things about it, and all good. Normally I wouldn't entertain the thought of potty training in one day, but since Kendall is home and could take the girls, I would have the opportunity to try it out with Talmage. Unfortunately I don't have an extra $50 right now to spend on buying the package. I found that the library has the book, but I don't have the Potty Scotty doll. So I thought I'd check and see if any of you have done this and either have the doll, or if you think it could be done without the doll. Any suggestions? I'd even be willing to buy it off someone if they are done with it and don't want it anymore. I just don't have lots of spare change right now. I don't know how wide spread they are, but I thought it was worth a shot!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Building Lasting Relationships

Kendall and I have discussed "our family" many times and tried to crack the mysteries of exactly how to have a tight-knit family forever. We have decided that one of the biggest factors (aside from staying close to the Lord) lies in the time that you spend with your kids. We feel that not only quality time is important, but also the quantity. And I've never thought this more than now. After having Kendall home for 2 weeks Avri has become an entirely different little girl. In the past couple of months she has been going through a mean phase with him. She is grumpy whenever he has been around, she makes mean faces at him and is just nasty. Well, in the last two weeks they have become very good friends again. I leave the kids home now to do my visiting teaching or any number of other errands and when I get home Avri and Kendall are laughing and playing. Kendall really isn't doing anything differently, it is just the way that Avri views him, I guess. And the amount of time that they are able to spend together. But I'm really considering myself lucky that the timing was so perfect for his layoff. Mercedes has always loved her Daddy, but now she only wants him when he is in the room. They have both really gotten attached to him and it makes my heart go all soft to see it. I feel like I have been able to talk to Kendall so much more and really catch up with him on our lives. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Maybe he knew that this would be a great opportunity for us.
Here is my funny little family. The morning routine is a bit more laid back lately. Avri gets into the crib with Mercedes every morning and plays with her. This particular morning she also "helped" Talmage get in. I'm glad I wasn't around to see how that played out. Don't you love the bed-head look?

Out of the mouths of Babes

Talmage is at that age where you get a little nervous about what they are saying while they are in nursery, or at the grocery store, or anywhere but the comfort of your own home. These are a couple of the latest funny sayings.

I frequently tell him to sit flat on his bumm. Guess that is the teacher in me coming out. Well, his interpretation comes out sounding like this: "Sit on your fat bottom." I can just imagine him saying that to his nursery teacher.

This is a conversation we had the other day.
T: Mommy, you are a girl?
M: Yes, I'm a girl. And what are you?
T: I am a boy.
M: What is Daddy?
T: A boy
M: How about Avri?
T: She is a girl.
M: What is Sadie?
T: Ummm...a lady bug?

Maybe it is time to change her nickname. We've had a really hard time convincing him that she is actually a girl and not a small bug with black spots.