Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 09 and all that fun stuff

Merry Christmas Ya'll.  Please check your spam folders for our Christmas letter!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ali!

Today our little girl turned 2!

Fresh newborn

First birthday

Two years old

Happy Birthday, Ali!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Belly Bump

I realized I haven't posted any pictures of my growing belly yet this pregnancy.  Probably because we've been so busy we didn't even take any until a week and a half ago.  So, for my friends and family far away, here's my HUGE belly.  I am now 25 weeks.  And not having twins, thank you.

Also, my grandma came to visit after Thanksgiving and we had a lot of fun.  Thanks for coming, Mems!  After she left, we decorated the tree for Christmas.

And a sweet little holiday kiss...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thanksgiving Trip... and some other things

Every year Tyler's parents rent a beach house somewhere and we all go down and spend the week of Thanksgiving together.  It's always a lot of fun -- especially for kids who get to stay up WAY past their bedtime and play in the freezing cold water and sand at the beach.

This year we went to St. Augustine, FL.  Even though Ali was sick with some kind of sinus infection most of the time we were there, we all still had a blast.  All 22 of us... and when Tyler finally came on Thanksgiving day, 23 of us...

(Ali showing me her seashells she collected.)

Too Much Information Alert:
(If you look closely, you can see poor Ali's nose dripping like a faucet)

This was their first time flying a kite.  Cade did really well.  Ali did, too until she discovered how much fun it was to let go of the string and watch how fast the other kids ran to catch the kite.

Seeing us all lined up like this, I realized that there really are a LOT of us.  Tyler's parents have had a grandchild born every year since 1997, so the ages of the kids are: 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and as soon as Ali has her birthday in 2 weeks, 2.  (She's the one who's out of line)

On another note...

For those who didn't know, we have been raising chickens in our backyard.  We recently decided to try incubating some of the eggs to see if we could get any to hatch.  Of the 10 we tried, 3 of them hatched!  We were so excited!  It was a lot of fun and the kids loved watching the whole process.
So here is what a brand-new-born baby chick looks like:

This was the next day after it was dried off.

On another completely different note -

Being in a military ward, most of our friends will come and go.  We are lucky enough to have some that will stay, but that wasn't the case with the Johnsons.  They are probably the best people we have ever met.
I've never known anyone to be more selfless, giving or Christ-like.  Anything we ever needed, there they were.  I truly learned the meaning of serving, of charity and especially of love from these wonderful people.

Thank you, Johnsons, for everything you have done for us.  Our lives have been changed - definitely for the better - because of your example of what it means to try and truly become more like our Savior.
We miss you and hope you enjoy life and everything new you get to experience!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fall Fun

When it finally stopped raining we were able to go out and rake up some leaves.  The kids were playing in the car when they noticed how big my pile was getting and promptly decided to jump in the leaves.  This was the first year Ali really "got it" and it was so fun to watch them playing together.

First, of course, you have to make the pile even bigger.

It was a bit of a windy day and she was getting frustrated with her hair blowing in her face.

Let the jumping begin!!

And I just love this picture of Ali -

When did she start looking more like a little girl than a baby?

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I went in yesterday and had an ultrasound of the baby.  I'm 19 weeks, so this is usually the one where people find out what they're having.  I was able to schedule it during Tyler's lunch so he was able to be there as well as the kids.  It was a lot of fun to see how big the baby has grown.  When I told Cade we were going to see the baby, he thought they were going to cut me open so we could check to make sure it was growing.  He was a little disappointed that he only got to see a fuzzy picture on the computer screen.

As soon as I can get our scanner to work (or when Tyler has the time, rather), I'll post the pictures.  In the meantime, we'd like to see what you all think we'll be having.  With my miscarriages before, Cade was pretty set on having a little brother, but he's since decided that little sisters are fun and would like another one.  According to the Drain-O test, it's a boy. (You mix your urine with crystal drain-o.  If the bubbles turn blue, it's a boy; gold, it's a girl.  Gross, I know, but it's been right so far.)

We didn't find out during the ultrasound because we like to be surprised and know that everyone else is as anxious for us to have the baby as we are.

Everything seemed to be ok otherwise.  We have a large baby (growing in the 8oth percentile) and  I do have an "unusually thick placenta" that they'll check again in 4 weeks.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Festivities

Here are a few things we did this Halloween season.  First, we went to the pumpkin patch and picked a nice, big pumpkin to carve.

(I'm not really sure why the kids have a fascination with covering their mouths when I take pictures of them, but it happens a lot lately).

The next morning started off great, so we decided to go ahead and carve it.

It was fun.  Especially the part when the kids refused to put their hands inside the pumpkin.  So they helped liked this:

I just love Ali's face - it says it all.  "Seriously?  That's gross."

But in the end, they really loved it.

We made some spooky eyeball treats out of donuts and gummy lifesavers that the kids loved, too.  (Again, with the mouth...?)

On Halloween we had dinner at our house with the cousins and made some fun food to eat.  We had mummy hot dogs and witch finger cookies.

After dinner, it was time to get dressed up and go trick-or-treating!  This was Ali's first year actually going up to the door and getting candy.  It was fun... all 10 houses she went to.  After that, Aunt Jana and Aunt Lorrie just carried her.  Thanks!

I was pretty happy with how their costumes turned out.  I ended up sewing the strips of fabric onto a white shirt and some pants, then letting them soak for about 10 minutes in black tea.  I think it did the job nicely!  Here's all the cousins and then a little trick-or-treating.

And to top it all off, the moon that night was a PERFECT Halloween moon!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Yikes.  Ok, so I've been home for 3 weeks now, but I've been spending every night working on the kids' Halloween costumes or stuff for my calling or other pressing matters.  So, here it is - our trip to Utah!

We spent a week with my mom and a week with my dad.  Both my parents took time off work and that was really nice.  Especially being pregnant and not being used to having help with the kids (that happens when your husband is gone 16 hours of the day), it was great to have someone else pitch in and then make dinner, too.  :)

So, with my mom we...

Froze.  We were actually cold pretty much the whole trip.  Cade was excited to be able to finally wear his "sock jammies" as Ali calls them.  Ali on the other hand... well... just refused to wear clothes.

Made suckers.  The flavors?  Bubble gum and "hushmellow."

Held "baby" Kenzie.  My sister's daughter is only 7 months younger than Ali, but Ali really loved to "mother" her the whole time we were there.

Went to Kangaroo Zoo.  The kids loved jumping on all the blow-up toys they had there.  Cade especially loved flying at the speed of light down the gigantic slide.

Spent the weekend at my grandparent's house.  Cade went with my grandpa out on the 4-wheeler to take their dog out one morning.  Again, it was cold.
Here's Cade with his favorite dog, Rebel.  Or as he says it, "Ravel."

We had a ton of fun that weekend.  Ali spent as much time as she could upstairs in the "princess" room having tea parties.  I was able to do our family pictures and was pretty excited with how well they turned out -- especially considering we had 23 people to all get to look at the camera and smile at the same time.  :)  But to see those, you'll have to check out my photo blog.  When I get them up.

Here's my wonderful grandparents-

and here's a pretty good shot of my sister, my mom and me

We also went to the dinosaur park.  I just love Ali's smile in this one -

And this is when she stood on the dinosaur that she was able to conquer by climbing up on it's back (she's showing you her muscles)-

I also got to visit with some of my good friends from school growing up.  It was so nice to see them!
Hannah (newly married!), me, Heather and my sister

I was also able to go to my cousin's wedding while I was there (which is really why I was there - 2 family weddings within a week of each other.  It was great they could plan it that way).  Congratulations to Kevin and Rose!

The next week with my dad was spent mainly in Oregon.  Or in the car, rather, driving to Oregon for my aunt's wedding.  The kids did much better than I thought they would.  Between coloring, snacking, watching movies and the occasional pit stop, we made it in one piece.  Being pregnant while driving so much wasn't great and I learned why the dr. tells you to stop every few hours and walk around.
The wedding was a lot of fun and staying in a hotel is always fun for me.  Who doesn't love not having to clean up after themselves?  I especially enjoyed just being able to share a room with my sister and having late night hot chocolate that we swiped from the lobby after the kids finally went to sleep.

I was the photographer at the wedding (which was great - thanks again!) and it looks Ali will be following right in my footsteps.  They had disposable cameras for everyone to take some pictures and she took right to it.  Too bad her fingers were too short to actually take a picture.

I already posted some pictures from the wedding on my photo blog, so you can check them out there.

It was really a nice vacation.  We were ready to go home and see Tyler... and when I say "we" I mean Ali and me.  Cade told me on the plane home that he did not want to come back to Georgia yet.  "Don't you miss Daddy?" I asked.  "No.  He is in my heart.  When people are in my heart, I don't miss them."  I thought it was a pretty sweet thing to say.  For the books, he's in my heart, too.  But I still missed him.