Yesterday was my Mom's 50th birthday!! Happy Birthday Mom/Grandma!! She insisted that she did not want any parties or anything that was going to be embarrassing. My Dad got her a Caribbean Cruise which they will be going on in about a month. But as for yesterday everyone took the day off work and we all headed up to Chicago to go to the... Shedd Aquarium! I've never been here but it was AMAZING! It was a community discount day, so still expensive but totally worth it! This was hilarious. The fish loved Sadie! There were two different fish that swam right up to where she was standing and they would face her and sit there looking like they were talking to her. One did this for probably 5 minutes! This tank had a diver in it and he was feeding the fish. He came right up to the glass and waved to Avri and fed the fish right in front of us. Enjoying some jello at lunch. My mom and dad enjoying a nice birthday lunch. Talmage taking in the dolphins. They are so people-friendly. Great show animals. Petting the starfish and sea urchins! Enjoying the penguins. One came right up to the glass and waved at Sadie. Maybe she is just the right size for all these aquarium animals. This is us waiting for the "Fantasea" show. It was AWESOME! The kids were totally thrilled. Next time though we are going to go and sit front and center. That's where all the action is! These spider crabs were disgusting!! Totally looked like gigantic spiders. But I bet their legs are yummy. When we went to see the sharks we got to see the sawfish. They said that she rarely comes out, but she was quite showy yesterday. Did you know that sawfish have bellybuttons because they have live births? My little babies with nice round heads sound much nicer than giving birth to a saw! In the Polar Play Zone the kids could put on these cute little penguin suits and slide down the "ice" slides and play. One the way home we were right in the middle of rush hour traffic is downtown Chicago. Not fun. It reminded me of how much I don't miss Salt Lake traffic. And then it started snowing and the wind was rushing through. It made for a not pleasant drive home. But this was what the back seat looked like. After we'd been on the road for about an hour and a half we stopped at Red Lobster and got a delicious dinner and then finished out our trip home. It was a long day, but so much fun! The kids each had their own favorites. Avri liked the Clownfish, Talmage's favorite was the sharks and Mercedes said she loved the penguins. She does a darling impression of them, too! Happy Birthday Mom!
Today marks the 15th day after Kendall's birthday. So I am officially half a month late publishing this. Kendall had a quiet but fun 27th birthday. The kids helped me decorate the house for him and we had his favorite dinner, steak, french fries, a veggie of some sort (can't remember) and jello. Kendall doesn't like cake and the pie was a little too much for me in one day, but jello is way up there on his favorite things list. I made it layered and fancy to show him how much I love him. :) He still had to work on his birthday, but I sent him a little Birthday card in his lunch.
I just want to take a minute to tell Kendall how special he is to me. Kendall is amazing. He is the best supportive husband and father I have ever met. He is patient and loving and playful. In fact, I would even venture to say that he will probably never really grow up. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Kendall has so many talents. I have yet to find something that he CAN'T do and I am always amazed about this. Kendall is stubborn about all the right things and lets me have free reign of the things that are important to me. We really are a perfect match. Kendall always jokes that he can fix anything but a broken heart. But I think it's the truth.
Kendall was born January 11, 1983. Here he is telling me that he loved me already. And who can resist this handsome guy? Kendall loves holidays and Halloween is one of his favorites. He made this costume himself and even won an award for it! This is Kendall's Court of Honor. He was very motivated and earned his Eagle at 14! Kendall and I met in High School and started dating. This is Senior Prom and I was just crazy about him! A feeling that keeps growing every day that I know him. After High School Kendall served in the Nagoya, Japan mission. Japan was not nice to him. He lost 40 pounds off his already very skinny body and had many health problems. But it was a growing experience for him which he loved. His testimony grew in leaps and bounds and he will never forget the experiences he had there. A few months after Kendall got home a proposed to me, on the 3 year anniversary of our first date! He's so thoughtful! Here's my knight in shining armor. Seven months later we were married in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. The first day of the rest of my eternal life with this wonderful man. This was totally a candid shot that my Uncle took. I love it because Kendall is playing with his ring. :) As the years go on and we celebrate holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and new additions to our family I thank my Heavenly Father for giving me such a choice son of His. Kendall, I love you so much and I hope that you had a wonderful birthday and many more to follow!
Kendall reminded me tonight that we have certain family members who check our blog every Sunday and that I haven't been posting much lately. :) When I went to look and see what pictures I have, they are very few. :( So here is what I have. This is what we've been up to.
Dutch oven cooking...Cutting up and drying 6 whole pineapples...And struggling with nap time...I still see Mercedes as my little baby, but she is far from it these days. She has very definite opinions on things and if she does not want to take a nap she empties every drawer and shelf that she can get to!!! I don't mind this once, it gives me a chance to get everything reorganized. But daily it gets pretty old. She's so stinking cute though, that you can't stay mad at her for too long.
Oh yeah, we set up bunk beds in the girls' room and those have been quite the hit. Talmage calls them "bump" beds. He is insistent that this is their proper name. Since the girls had lots of extra floor space I moved the "Book Nook" into their room so that Talmage could set up his race car track on his floor. But if Mercedes can't control her book throwing urges it may end up back in Talmage's room.
One other funny thing that I just thought of, a quick story about Talmage. Kendall and I have been going on dates every Friday night. Sometimes Grandma and Grandpa watch the kids for us, and other times we get a babysitter. A couple of weeks ago we got a great babysitter named John. The kids love John and were so excited to see him and they talked his ear off and had a great night. But when we got home we found out that Talmage spent the whole night calling him Scott. I told him "Talmage, his name is John." He then told me very matter of factly, "I know Mom, but I call him Scott." Okay...whatever. All week they would talk about John/Scott and Talmage would call him Scott and then turn to me and tell me "His name is John, but I call him Scott." I guess as long as John doesn't mind.
I'll have much better pictures this next week. I promise... :)
I think I'm almost caught up on my blog. Now I need to catch up on reading all of yours!! But I thought I'd just give a little update on my eye. I had my final appointment with the opthalmologist this week (HOORAY!). My ulcer is gone. I have a pretty good scar on my cornea, but it doesn't affect my vision. The doctor said he didn't think I'd ever wear contacts again, but he's very pleased and surprised at how well it has healed. I think it is nothing short of a miracle. So I am cleared to wear contacts in my left eye. Unfortunately I got pink eye last weekend and so now I have to wait until that clears up for contacts, but we are almost there. Just a couple more days! I thank the Lord for my vision. My eyesight is terrible, but it could be worse and I could have had to do surgery or lost vision or any number of things. The Lord watches and protects us.
While my brother was home for Christmas and my Dad was off work we decided to go down to Springfield to the Lincoln Museum. Kendall had to work and so he missed out on the fun, which I was sad about. On the drive down we saw the most beautiful display of frost crystals on everything! It almost looked like an ice storm, glistening in the sun. Here are a few couple of pics to enjoy.
This little girl melts my heart. She is too cute. The Lincoln Museum was a lot of fun. I was afraid the kids would be so bored, but they all LOVED it! Here they are with the Lincoln family. Outside the log cabin with Grandma and Grandpa Entering the Play Zone. Avri loved the door that was just her size. The kids all dressed in period clothes and we took some old fashioned pictures. Getting them all to sit still AND look at the camera so close to nap time proved a difficult feat. We finally found a dress that was almost small enough for Sadie. The play area was so fun for the kids. Lots of toys, free reign of the place, and the guy running it was so good with kids. We saw the two different videos about Lincoln and I can't really even describe them, but they were very fun. Fun enough that we went back and saw them a second time! It was such a fun time for all of us.
What a fun Christmas we had this year! Our kids are the PERFECT age for Christmas. All the excitement without much greed. It was perfect. Everyone in my family came to our house and it was pretty relaxed. We didn't have anywhere to go and we had our family all around us. Though we really miss all of our family out west. We started Christmas Eve with our tradition of opening one gift each, plus a Christmas movie to watch that night together as a family. I made fleece blankets for each of the kids and we got "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."
I broke down and bought new ornaments for my tree this year. So I redecorated it. All of my Christmas decorations are the whimsical red, white, light green and dark green. Avri had made "Magical Reindeer Food" at preschool that had glitter in it to help the reindeer fly. Since it was raining, we left it in the container and put it outside. You can't really tell from this picture, but they ate the food and even left some real reindeer droppings in our front yard. With Kendall's layoff this year we really didn't know how much money there would be for Christmas, so we made gifts for each other this year. They were all done months ago, but I was so excited to give them their gifts and they were all a huge hit! I made these chairs for each of the kids. They are semi-adjustable in height, so the chair can grow with the child. Kendall made Harry Potter wands for each of the kids. He learned how to turn wood on the lathe and carved these babies. The big sturdy one is Talmage's, the middle one Avri's and the smallest is Sadie's I think they turned out beautifully! And we've had so many spells cast on us that I'm not sure we'll ever be normal again. ;) It was so gratifying for me that every time the kids opened a gift they had to be sitting in their chairs. It made for a little less chaos, too since they had a place to be. I made my first ever quilt for Kendall this year. It was quite the challenge keeping it a secret from him, but I did it! I pieced it from our old jeans, pockets and all and it is HUGE and HEAVY and very WARM. It's hard to tell from the picture, but there is a matching pillow in the left corner. Avri made it! She learned how to use the sewing machine and sewed the cover herself. It looks fantastic and she was so proud of herself! The last, but definitely not least, homemade gifts were the ones Kendall made for me. He designed these himself which means they are practical and functional. And he had me in mind when he made them exactly match my kitchen table. I've already used them both so many times.The other big exciting gift was a gift that my brother gave to us. We had to set it up in Grandpa's pole barn because we couldn't wait to use it! I know what we'll be doing come spring. I'm really glad he bought the safety enclosure for it. It wasn't totally set up in the garage because it was too big, but it will be nice and safe and so much fun in the spring. Thanks Ammon!
We felt like the homemade Christmas was really the nicest thing. It was so much more exciting and meant so much more than anything else. We had to start early, but it was so worth it. And I hope that the kids understood at least a little bit of the meaning in it.
Playing with friends...The girls are both so in love with babies. They want to take turns holding babies the whole time we are around them.
Festival of Lights... (Talmage loved this so much that he didn't blink the entire way through...literally! He had tears running down his face but he wouldn't blink!)
My baby sister graduated with an associates... Isn't she so little and cute?
Lots of coloring... Hanging out and trying to keep the house clean enough... Randy, I mean Talmage, ready to play in the snow... He had three coats and a full snow suit on in addition to the hat and gloves... Kendall was almost crying he was laughing so hard when he fell down and couldn't get up again. :)
Talmage got a new haircut...thanks Brittany! AND the BIG news... he decided to be POTTY TRAINED!!! I really wasn't sure if this day would ever come! But Jan 1 he decided to be done with diapers! We've only had like 2 accidents since then! And then there was Christmas. That is definitely a post of its own.