Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Nauvoo and Miscellaneous

This post is late, but that seems to be my life these days. First I'll do some random pics of the kids, since those never quite make it on here.
Talmage eating his lunch through the weird ball thing.
A perspective on how small Sadie's glasses are.
They even look cute on her favorite little lamb.
An update on the glasses, she does great wearing them!! She takes them off when she is tired because she gets frustrated that she can't rub her eyes and when she gets bored of sitting in her carseat. Other than that she totally leaves them alone.

A couple of weeks ago we took Kendall's parents to Nauvoo. It was a very quick trip, so we didn't really see all of the sights, but Kendall and his parents did a temple session while the kids and I played at the Family Living Center. We then drove around and looked at the houses and buildings and found the plaque of one of Kendall's ancestors who built the first member home in Nauvoo.We spent the night at a hotel in Keokuk, and the kids LOVED that. We got to swim in the pool and Talmage's very favorite thing was riding the "excavator" up and down. We could never get him to say elevator. Sunday we went to church and then went to Carthage on our way home. I always love the spirit at Carthage jail and I think I always come away with something new when I go there. Here is the family in the room where Joseph Smith was killed.
Avri and Talmage with Grandma and Grandpa outside Carthage Jail.
Siblings taking their picture with siblings. This was the best I could get, they wouldn't hold still!
After the jail we found a little park there in Carthage to eat some lunch and it was a really fun little park. I even rode on this tire swing and now I want one of these swings in my back yard.

As a side note, we changed our minds yet again, and we ARE in Utah now. Surprise!! We have no idea how long we will be here, but hopefully we can see everyone while we are here. We left at 9:00 pm on Thursday and just drove straight through the night to Utah. It was LONG but the kids were total troopers and didn't complain once! And we didn't even have to turn on the DVD played until half way through Nebraska!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Sounds like Grandpa is getting quite a bit better. The trip may be on hold after all. But stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Last minute trip

Looks like we are on our way to Utah! Kendall's grandfather is not doing well and will not be around very much longer. We will most likely be having a funeral this weekend or the beginning of next week. So we are going to be leaving as soon as we can get all of our bags packed and ready to go and we will be driving to Utah. We don't know how long we are staying, or when we will be getting there, but here we come!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Job Search

I've had a lot of people ask me lately how Kendall's job search is going. So here is the update... pretty much nothing new. He found one job that looked promising and then they had a hiring freeze, who knows if it was temporary or permanent. He's taken resumes to all of the granite shops around here but hasn't heard anything yet. He's been picking up a few little odd jobs here and there and donating plasma twice a week to give us the extra cash to work on our home projects that we want to do. Other than that, nothing is new. We still have plenty of projects to work on around here, so we are grateful for the time. But I think Kendall is starting to feel a little more antsy about finding a job soon. We are thankful to you all for your concerns and prayers. We really need them lately and appreciate them all!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ward Luau

This weekend we had our ward luau. It was a lot of fun for the ward and turned out very festive and the food was great! I didn't get any pictures once the activity started because I was in the kitchen solving the food crisis, but here are the decorations. The food tables had pineapples on them made from pinecones.These were the centerpieces for all of the tables.
Here are some shots of the walls and other decorations. Didn't they do a great job on no budget?
The Tiki Club was where we served Pina Coladas.
I was in charge of food and spent all week cooking rice and Kailua pork for the ward. It was a bit hectic, but turned out very tasty.
We had a hula hooping contest (won by one of the men in the ward!) and limbo. Our bishop's wife is very supportive and always participates. Way to go Charity! We also had the young men and the missionaries do the haka and a sister missionary who did a beautiful Polynesian dance.
I really enjoy my calling on the activities committee but I will sure enjoy them more once I'm not running all over the place getting things in order. Kendall's parents traveled the furthest to come to the activity, flying in from Europe and driving straight to the church. They were a bit tired, but it was a good reunion.

Reminiscent Thank You

It was one year ago today that we took our family of five and moved across the country. This past week I was thinking so much about all of our wonderful Utah friends and family and how without them, the move would have never happened. I wanted to put another thank you out there to everyone who helped, from babysitting to meals, to packing boxes and trucks. We received so much help and appreciated it more than you know! We are really enjoying Illinois. We miss you all terribly, but are glad for the internet and technology that helps us keep in touch with those we care about. Here's to a great year!

What happens after the goose egg?

Three days after the goose egg you get this! Pretty ugly, huh? And no chance of actually covering it up. Hopefully it heals quickly!

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Look

The new glasses came in yesterday. Here is our little princess with her new look!And I'm sporting a new look today too!I got hit in the head with an extension cord yesterday, a very large one I might add! The swelling has gone down a bit and now it just looks like a big scratch all the way down my forehead. I guess that's the last time I'll ask Kendall to help me cook! (In his defense though, he felt so bad about it that he worked himself to the bone yesterday getting everything done for me that needed to be done for this weekend.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

More yard stuff

If there is one thing that there is no shortage of in Illinois, it is trees. And because there is such an abundance, Kendall has been able to find a lot of free firewood lately. I've been introduced to the world of splitting wood. Here is what the mess in the back yard looked like for a long time.Here is what it looks like now that it is all split and stacked. The big stumps are going to be little seats for our fire pit that we are going to put in right there.One night, Kendall even took over making dinner and watching kids while I went out and split wood. It was a total role reversal that I really enjoyed. I was particularly frustrated with the kids and it was a really good outlet for frustration! I was kind of surprised how much I enjoyed it and what hard work it was.

We are also involved in our next big project: putting in a retaining wall in the back yard. Kendall has started the trench that will become the wall. This project will most likely take us until winter to finish with the amount of dirt that we have to move and the amount of money that the bricks cost. But it should look fabulous when it is finished!
On a totally different note, we found this recently under our back deck. Kendall was going to take the nest down until we looked inside and found this.
Looks like we have some little babies to look forward to soon. :)

Before and After of the Yard

Before shot of our front yard.
Day 1 of grass seed.
By day 7 we had baby grass fuzz.
This is our front yard today. It's been just over 3 weeks and it's looking pretty good. We just put down a bit more seed this weekend in the thinner spots and had to redo part of the west side where our neighbor's tree came down.

Before shot of the east side yard.
This side is struggling a little since the neighbor's dandelions are trying to take over, but still an improvement.

Before shot of west side yard (including Kendall's drainage pipe that he put in). And those sticks are actually some of the smaller roots that we pulled out of the ground. Only a small portion of the 6 truckloads of roots that we took out!This was a little project of mine to try to figure out how to landscape by the stairs. There used to be a little drainage trench that ran alongside the sidewalk. We are going to do the same thing on the other side of the sidewalk as soon as we get rid of all the rocks!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Camping for FHE

This past Monday night for FHE we decided to go camping. It's amazing the different kinds of things you can do when you don't have to go to work in the morning. The kids had a BLAST! We haven't been camping since Avri was Mercedes age, which means that neither Talmage nor Sadie have ever been. But we got all packed up and went to Jubilee State Park and set up our tents. We had dinner and then went on a little nature hike. I gave each of the kids a little cottage cheese carton with a string to hold it around their necks and they could put their "treasures" in it. This helped keep them from wanting to keep every large item they found. If it didn't fit in the bucket, then it stayed on the trail. Talmage found this perfect little walking stick.After our hike we hung out around the fire for a bit and my family came to visit and we had smores. Then we sent the kids to bed. They went to bed in the Winnie the Pooh tent, but I was too nervous to let them stay in there all night, so we brought them into our tent when we went to bed. Our tent was the perfect size. Kendall and I bought it right after we got married and only ever used a corner of it. Now we pretty much fill it comfortably. The kids found a treefrog the next morning that we brought home and it is now our pet "Jay" living in his very own terrarium in the basement and we feed it mealworms and bugs that we find in the house. The kids have been begging to go again, which is great. We want to go once a month to get the kids used to "roughing it" a little bit. The funniest thing was that Avri wanted to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes so that she could use our new portable potty that we got at Christmas time. I'm glad that we don't have a fight on our hands. :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good from today...
Touch a Truck at the Stadium. The kids had a BLAST driving the buses, firetrucks, dumptrucks, police cars, tow trucks, garbage trucks... you get the point.
The Bad from today...
We got in our first car accident in our new van. Somebody backed into us in the parking lot at Sam's Club tonight and put a dent in the back side of our van. But, nobody got hurt and the damage wasn't terrible and the guy that hit us was really nice. His little boy got in our van with our kids and they all watched Tarzan while we visited and waited for the police.

The Ugly...
I hope this won't be too ugly, but when I took Mercedes in for her regular eye check-up on her hemangioma we found out that her prescription is changing a bit and so to help with the difference between her two eyes she has to wear glasses!! I'm so sad for her and I even cried when I was trying them on her. We haven't been able to find ANYONE who takes our insurance AND carries infant glasses! Once we find some I'll put pictures. I'm sure she'll be super cute in them, but I can't stand having to wear glasses and I'm totally hoping that this is a temporary thing, but only time will tell.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Park Outings

The kids just LOVE going to the park. Any park. This is one of our favorites. It has sand...
and slides...
and swings...

and sand.
But don't even THINK about making Mercedes sit in the grass and especially NEVER make her touch the sand! She screams! She's absolutely terrified.