Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We had a very nice Thanksgiving this year. We went to my parents' house to make dinner. For lunch we had a nice veggie tray and crackers and cheese.
And it was complete when we were able to watch "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" while we ate. I realized that in 28 years I have NEVER seen that show!
Rigdon was free to help himself. His favorites were the carrots and olives with the crackers in a close third.
After lunch we were able to open a fun little package from my sister-in-law, Allison. She made these darling age-approriate folder games for each of the kids. Avri got one to practice subtraction facts, Talmage got one for ordering the alphabet and Sadie got one for matching complex patterns. They also got a letter from Aunt Allison explaining the games that she had made for them as a gift and giving them their one rule: They have to remember how much she loves them every time they play. :)
They couldn't wait to get busy playing their games.
Sadie was so proud of hers that she didn't want anyone else to touch it. So she found a great hiding place in Grandma's house to put it and then forgot where she had put it. So we have to go back and scour the house for it.
While we were waiting for the final touches on dinner we read 3 Thanksgiving books. Two of them were new for the kids, and we learned lots of new things about Thanksgiving.
Grandma needed help making one last pie...
And Grandpa needed help setting up the outdoor nativity, which Avri was very willing to help with.
I am so thankful that I live so close to my parents and that we are able to spend so much time with them. We really miss Utah and being close to all of the rest of our family. But seeing so many people here who don't have any family close by makes me realize how blessed I am. I have always loved my family, but if there is one thing that I have learned from becoming a mother more than anything else (except maybe patience) it is love. I didn't really know what love was before I was married. And then having Avri taught me an entirely new kind of love. When I had more than one child it was truly an amazing experience to see that love grow. Love is never divided, like time is. It is only magnified and intensified. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a wife and a mother to 4 beautiful children. I am truly a blessed person.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Music Video

I have tried to shelter my kids from Lady Gaga, but alas, it was to no avail. We went to see Puss In Boots at the theatre the other night and a preview for Chipwrecked had the chipmunks singing "Bad Romance." So the kids have been asking me to find the song online. Once we found it this is what we got:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I was awakened at 2:45 this morning (just a few minutes ago) to sobbing sounds. I got up to investigate the sound and found Avri laying in her bed completely distressed. She was sobbing hard enough that she could barely tell me what she was so sad about. After a few minutes I finally got out of her that she had not finished her homework packet for school the previous night before she had gotten out her pet rat to play with it. She told me that Daddy had told her she could play with her rat and so she did, but her homework packet wasn't done yet and then she proceeded to sob to me that she was so sorry that she was making bad choices. ...WHOA!!

First of all, her homework packet is something she gets to decide when she wants to do. It isn't due until Friday morning each week, so if it isn't done by Tuesday, that's okay! Secondly, since when does this wake a person up in the middle of the night and make you feel such remorse that you sob this hard? I talked her down from her anxiety attack and explained to her that she wasn't making bad decisions. I told her that it is also important for her to play with her rats because they need attention and exercise and that she will have plenty of time tomorrow to work on her homework packet. But I can't help but be concerned about a 6 yr old who is having anxiety attacks in the middle of the night.

Do you ever feel like you are just completely un-certified to be a mother and handle these kinds of things? I have absolutely no experience with this kind of stuff! I have always known that Avri is a rule follower. She may not LIKE the rules and she will tell you that, but she always works so hard to follow those rules. But I had no idea that she was stressing over them SOOO much! Makes me really think about the way that I parent. Am I too hard on her? Is it just a trait that she carries? Wow. Okay, I think I'm going back to bed. Maybe something will come to me in my sleep.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reading and Writing

We are so proud of Avri. She has come so far academically in the past year that I have just watched in amazement. She has really blossomed as both a reader and a writer. She has turned into the child who reads the cereal box, the road signs, my text messages, and anything else she can get her hands on. It is awesome. She also LOVES to write and her spellings are still quite inventive, but getting better all the time. A few days ago she decided to write a letter to Aunt Allison. So she did. I didn't help her at all. In fact, I didn't know that she was doing it until she was all done. Allison got the letter and put a post about it on her blog. So I thought I would link to it here. I think she has rather good handwriting and pretty good spelling for someone who is barely 6 years old!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Summer Surprise

I am finally getting around to posting about July. That only makes me only about 2-3 months behind, right? Oh well.

My brother Ammon and his wife Allison were planning on coming to Illinois for a vacation and also to interview for a job with Caterpillar. They told us that they would be getting here on July 5th, so they were going to miss Avri's birthday on the 4th. We were really sad that they wouldn't make it for her birthday. But on Sunday the 3rd, we got home from church and had a scavenger hunt in our front yard which led us to the back yard where our prize was Ammon and Allison!! (And some Pop Rocks that they brought for us!) We were so excited that they surprised us and got here early. The house was a huge mess because of the birthday party the day before and we were remodeling and painting the master bedroom (which turns the entire house into a disorganized mess). But they didn't seem to mind too much. Here is Sadie with her buddy Allison.
For the 4th of July we celebrated Avri's birthday all day. We started in the morning with breakfast at my parents house, cooked on our brand new fire grill - designed and made by Ammon!! Here he is showing us how it works.
It was really smoky, but here is part of the grill. It has a large cooking surface, but also has a grill and a rotisserie that are attachments. We are excited to do a lot more cooking on it and get really good at using it.
The kids kept themselves entertained which breakfast was cooking.
Then Avri opened her birthday presents. Accessories for her dollhouse...
And lots of new hair things, headbands, and a cute hat.
Rigdon got to know Ammon and Allison really well over the next couple of weeks. The last time we had seen these two was for their wedding when Rigdon was only 2 weeks old!!
Who doesn't love Christmas paper in July?
That night we went to a bbq party in Elmwood with a bunch of friends. They lit some fireworks,
and smoke bombsand my parents brought glowsticks while we waited for the fireworks to start.Avri just loves her holiday birthday, and I'm so glad. We love her so much and are so happy that she is such a unique and special part of our family. And we were really glad that Ammon and Allison were able to be there for her day!

Hair Experiment - Complete

We have officially ended the hair growth experiment. Kendall has always wondered how long his hair would grow in one year. So here was the experiment. His only stipulation (or mine) was that if he had a job interview that he needed to look nice for he would end early. He has had half a dozen interviews lately, hence the early finish. Here are the results!

January 1st (for the kids' reactions see my post here.)
February 1st
March 1st
April 1st - April was a nice month. ;)
May 1st
June 1st
July 1st
It's even long enough for him to wear Avri's new pretty headbands. Now THAT takes a very secure man.
For some reason we missed taking a picture in August, so we have...

Sept 1st
Sorry, these pictures are all terrible because the lighting in our living room is awful at night. I kept teasing him about having a mid-life crisis and trying to imitate Justin Beiber.
So we had a little fun playing with it before we cut it all off. He was sad that he couldn't be Wolverine for Halloween.
MacGyver anyone? Wow. So glad he hasn't ever had a mullet.
I learned that I have no idea how to cut a Mohawk. I'm hopeless.
And a very nice little pony tail.
Now THAT is a haircut!
I found my husband again. Isn't he so handsome? I sure love this man.
We learned this his hair really does grow about 1/2 inch every month - which is supposed to be average for most people. It doesn't really speed up or slow down, just plods right along. And I will be happy if he doesn't do that again for a very long time.

**I just noticed in this last picture where Rigdon gets his eyes!! I think they look exactly like Kendall's!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Very Wet Birthday Party

Avri planned her first real birthday party with friends this year. She came up with all of the games herself, and it was actually very simple to put together. I think I spent more time on the invitations than on the rest of the party.

Party day was HOT HOT HOT and very humid. So we were extremely glad to be playing in water. As we were getting things set up we let Rigdon play in one of the water buckets. He was having so much fun that I went to get the camera. It was so humid and hot that the lens immediately steamed up and it took a looooong time to clear. Have I ever mentioned that I hate humidity?
For party favors Avri picked bubbles and squirt guns.
As the guests were all arriving we found a worm/caterpillar thing and so Talmage decided to let it climb up his bare chest. The kids LOVED watching that!
Getting ready for a water balloon toss... Thanks to Kendall, who spent the entire morning filling literally hundreds of water balloons!
After the tossing, the kids all wanted balloons broken over their heads. And it DID feel good.
Next we did a water race. We divided into 2 teams. Each team had a big bucket filled with water and smaller empty one and 2 sponges. They were SUPPOSED to fill the sponge and pass it down the line, empty it into their bucket and try to be the first team to completely fill their bucket. This team really got the idea of it.
The other team had all of the boys, and the 2 little kids (3 yr olds) and they totally didn't get it. They ran around crazy instead of staying in formation. But those boys were inventive in getting ALL of the water into the bucket, and they ended up winning!

The "girl" team followed all the rules and were so dainty about squeezing their sponges.
Next was a version of Duck Duck Goose. The person who was "It" filled the sponge with water and the person who got the goose got water squeezed over their heads. They had so much fun with this one!
Then we played on the slip 'n slide and ran in the sprinklers, just to make sure every inch of us was drenched.
We sang happy birthday and cut the cake and had bomb pops - to go along with the 4th of July birthday!

I admit I was a little worried about how crazy 12 little kids was going to be, but they were so much fun! They didn't get out of control at all, and everyone had a great time!