Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Birthday Questions: Annabelle at 4

Happy Birthday to our wonderful little girl!  Even though it's a little late, as per our new tradition, here's the next round of questions for Bellie (she just said, "I have a lot of words to say"):

  1. What are 3 words that describe you? A person... Fun... and I don't know
  2. I'm really good at:  playing basketball in the backyard
  3. What makes you happy?  going to the pool
  4. What makes you sad?  Not going on the right path where my Mom and Dad go when I'm right behind them (side note: she's never gotten lost, I don't know where this came from)
  5. What is your favorite animal?  MONKEY
  6. What is your favorite food? Tomatoes
  7. What is your favorite color? Pink and Purple
  8. What is your favorite part about church?  everything in church... and treats in primary
  9. What is your favorite scripture story?  Moroni
  10. What is your favorite holiday? Why?  Valentine's Day because it's so fun
  11. What is your favorite treat?  Lollipops
  12. What is your favorite type of music?  "I have a Family Here on Earth," "Let It Go" and the Frozen music
  13. What is your favorite toy?  Coloring
  14. What is your favorite sport to play?  Hula-hoop
  15. My favorite books are:  ALL of my Princess books
  16. What is your favorite movie?  Frozen  TV Show? Octonauts
  17. If I could go anywhere, I would go to: Disneyland & Disneyworld
  18. What songs do you like to sing?  "Let It Go" & "Reverently, Quietly"
  19. Best thing our family does together:  Go on walks and go to the pool
  20. If you could pick any pet, what would it be?  a cute cat
  21. When I was little I used to: go to the zoo
  22. My best friend is:  Alex & Elise
  23. What do you like to do with Mommy?  play a game
  24. What do you like to do with Daddy?  go on a Daddy and Annabelle date
  25. What do you like to play inside?  Color
  26. What do you like to play outside?  Play in the sandbox
  27. If I had one wish, it would be:  wishing to go to the pool (I think this girl likes summer)
  28. Are you afraid of anything?  Only crocodiles and sharks and everything that eats persons and snakes and lizards, but not Mema's lizard (hilarious)
  29. When I grow up, I want to be:  the best baseball and basketball player
  30. Who is the coolest person you know:  Mommy (sweet!)
  31. *EXTRA*  My favorite memory is: playing my matching princess game.

Gratitude Turkey 2013

I kind of dropped the ball the last five days before Thanksgiving, but we still did most of the month, so it still counts... right?  Our list still has plenty of things we are grateful for... in order it goes:

Greg, Amber, Jared, Annabelle, & Luke*

1:  Friends, Coupons, Burgers & Fries, Grilled Cheese, feet
2:  Leaves, Our Van, Mommy cleaning my cut, Sea World, Sweet Rides
3:  Primary Teachers, Books, Sleep, Temples, his stuffed Mario
4:  Home Teachers, Doctors, Medicine, Jesus, Mom
5:  Mommy, Daddy, Thanksgiving, Mommy, Noodles
6:  Jared, The Spirit, Mrs. Miller, Turkeys, Green Blankie
7:  Belle, Carpools, The Prophet, Preschool, Naps
8:  Service, Willing Helpers, Birthday Cake, My Party, Jared & Belle
9:  Luke, Asgard, Books, Mema & Deda, Using Signs
11:  Work, Aunt Meggie, The Earth, Books, Blocks
12:  Priesthood, Priesthood, Daddy, Oba & Jiji, Milk
13**:  Good Books, Anthesthia, My Tonsils coming out, Jared, Oba
14:  Grandparents, Phone Alarms, My Life, Leaves, Cheerios
15:  Patience, Chocolate, My Family, Heavenly Father, Daddy
16:  Race Cars, Technology, Trying New Food, Aunt Megan, Kitty-Kat Maggie
17:  Ward Members, Sharing Talents, Church, Church, Sippy Cups
18:  Medicine, Rocking Chairs, Rest, Daddy, Cuddles
19:  Co-Workers, Tile Floors, Ice Cream, Luke, Balls
20:  Callings, Good Blankets, School, Gatorade, Boxes
21:  Cuddles, Alone Time with the Kids, Special Thanksgiving Food, Priesthood, Learning New Things
22:  Showers, Prayer, Doctors, Granni & Grandad, New Teeth
23:  Testimony, Warm Jackets, My Body, Prayer, Playing in the Decorations

*Since he's only got a couple words under his belt, we took turns saying what Luke was most grateful for.
**Day of Jared's Surgery

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Four Years of Annabellie

It's so hard to believe that she's four!

Weight: 37 lbs (50 %)
Height: 40 1/2 inches (75 %)
Hair: whispy strawberry blonde
Eyes: depends on the day--- dark to amber brown
nothing's changed
Shoe Size: 8 to 10--- depending on the shoes ;)
Clothes Size:  5T dresses and shirts, 4T shorts/skirts
Nicknames: Belle, Annabellie, Bellie, Little Mama, Little Girl, Sissy, turkey, button
Luke, Jared, Daddy, Mommy, Pink Blankie, anything Disney Princess, Sea World, anything girly/princessy, singing--- the newest thing I would add to the list would be COLORING and art.  She will take any opportunity to sit and color in one of her MANY coloring books or create something new.
Dislikes: she absolutely HATES (and I try not to use that word a lot) being bossed around--- she's a very independent soul, Luke touching her stuff, and she's recently become a much more picky eater--- much to the frustration of her parents.  Dinner conversations sometimes go like this...
A: I don't like this
M/D: You've had this before.  You ate it up last time
A: Well, I don't like it now.
Favorite Food:  Mac & Cheese with Chocolate Milk is still her meal of choice.  She also gobbles up tortellinis, most burgers, cheese pizza (anything cheese actually), and Japanese food (phew).
Favorite Toys: Princesses & their Castle, her baby dolls and her big dollie Princesses.
Favorite Books: Scripture Stories, All of her Princess books, her new mini Book of Mormon
Favorite Things to Watch: She'll still watch Mickey and Disney Princess movies (without the scary parts).  She also now likes Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood A LOT.  I hear the songs from that show ALL. THE. TIME.
Other New Tricks:  She's gotten really good at writing her letters.  She usually mentions something new every time she comes home from preschool.  The other night in the car, she counted to 29 and got stuck at 30--- it was cute.  She picks up songs really easily and in relationship to her new love of coloring, she's started to color in the lines and be particular in her colors.
What's next: Continue to learn to count, Reading more stories, remembering to use words when she communicates
How she drives us crazy: Her independent (and very similar to my) nature gets us to not listen to each other fairly easy.  We want her to be able to make choices, but sometimes she doesn't listen to us before she makes those choices (like most of us).  She also does a little bit of reverting when Luke gets too much attention (i.e. whining, pointing, using one word)--- frustrating considering she's been talking since the womb... well, not THAT early.
Why she's so awesome: She's my girl and keeps me sane among all of the boy-ness.  She's so sweet and loves to take care of anyone and everyone.  She's also willing to be silly with me, even if it may be embarassing.  She's also really thoughtful; she made FOUR Get Well cards for Jared's surgery yesterday.  I don't know what we're going to do with all of her art projects, but she usually makes something for a specific reason in her mind.  Already willing to serve.  Her smile also lights up the room, or your mood, because she looks at you with complete adoration.  Annabellie-button is the best button girl for our family.  Luke and I definitely miss her on preschool days and I think her growing-up will be the hardest on both Greg and I.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Jared was supposed to get his tonsils and adenoids out today.  I've been using this time before mentlely prepping myself that everything would be okay.  (Like it wouldn't be... because Jared's ENT is incredible and very experienced).

However, we had to reschedule it for next Wednesday (the day before Deda comes for a weekend visit) because Jared and his BFF Caleb LOVE to share everything and this weekend Jared finally picked up the Scarlet Fever Caleb had last week.  The poor boy was not himself on Sunday, so tired and barely ate three crackers.  I took him to the doctor the next day and between getting up and actually going he broke out with the classic rash.  No worries, though, it's just Strep with a rash (it's great what modern medicine can fight).

He actually had to stay home a couple days this week.  The first day, he still felt out of it, but on the second day, he kept asking me for things to do.  Um... rest and get better?  Psht--- way too boring for this Kindergarten!  I don't know what he's going to do when he's home recovering for a week.

So, since he got sick, we have to wait until after he's done with his medicine---which will be next Tuesday--- so Wednesday.  Time to relive the 'week before prep' all over again.  It's a blessing we had to reschedule since we have a big birthday weekend ahead of us... a Princess Party and our little Annabelle turning FOUR!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Year of Luke

I cannot believe I'm already writing Luke's one year stats.  I waited until now because I finally took him in for his year check-up today.  Other parents are not joking when they say 'things go by faster the more kids you have.'  Sometimes I wish we could slow down and enjoy all of the little moments that are passing by so fast.  Oh well, such is life. 

Weight: 24 lbs 14 oz (50%)
Height: 30 1/2 inches (75%)
Head Circumference: 18 1/2 in (80%)
Hair: whispy strawberry blonde
Eyes: dark brown
He's half-way there... already has 10!
Shoe Size: 4
Clothes Size:  mostly 12 months, 12-18 months and small 18M things
Nicknames: Lukie-Luke, Lukie, Stinky, Turkey, Babe-ah, Chunky
Annabelle, Jared, Mommy, Daddy, Green Blanket, Mickey Mouse, Daniel Tiger, chewing on his crib (yikes)
Dislikes: Getting his boogers taken out of his nose, peas, being pinned down, going to bed before he wants to
Favorite Food: pumpkin-flavored anything, yogurt bites, almost anything chopped to finger food size and you give to him.
Favorite Toys: anything he can chew on and/or bite down on and crawl around with
Favorite Books: He doesn't really sit still for books yet, just likes to put them in his mouth.  He really likes to put Hop on Pop in his mouth.
Favorite Things to Watch: Whatever his brother and sister are watching, but he seems to pay extra attention to Mickey Mouse & Daniel Tiger (that's why I mentioned them in his likes)
New Words:  He signs 'all-done' 'more' and 'food'  He says Mama, Dada, and I swear I heard him say 'ah-da' when I asked if he was all done with lunch yesterday.  He gets more vocal as each day passes; especially since Jared and Annabelle started school.
Other New Tricks:  He's working on his first two molars right now; here's hoping they come out fast.  He really likes to scoot around the furniture.  He's big enough to walk, but doesn't want to right now.
What's next: Walking, Teething, Communicating, Not eating books--- you know, typical toddler things.... oh, and a visit from Mema and Deda :)
How he drives us crazy: Right now the biggest struggle with Luke is trying to be consistent in teaching him signs; I want to be able to communicate enough with him so I can know if he wants more food, hurt, tired, etc.  I know his ques, but it would be nice to see him at the next step.  The flipside of that is: he's growing up was too fast.  Everyone used to tell me that things go by faster with the third and they really do--- I really don't know where the time went!  Next time I turn my head he'll be going to Kindergarten, like Jared.
Why she's so awesome: He's such a calm soul.  He brings a peaceful feeling into the house by just being here.  He absolutely adores everyone in the family and it makes my heart melt every time I see his face light up when he sees someone he loves.  He's normally so so happy.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  if everyone was guaranteed to have a baby as happy tempered as Luke, we would all have large families.

It's been a crazy wonderful first year of your life, Lukie-Luke, we love you so much!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Annabelle's First: Day of Preschool

When Jared was old enough, I was really excited to start him in a Mom co-op preschool.  It was fun and tiring all at once.  As it happened, I actually taught at the beginning of my pregnancy with Luke and when he was an almost three month old.  It was hard, but really worth it.  I enjoyed the thrill of teaching again.

Throughout Jared's preschool years, Annabelle loved participating.  The girl has always acted older than she is; so it's only natural that she would want to do preschool when she's was old enough.  Since she had basically had pre-preschool with Jared, we decided to look into other options.

We heard from some of our ward members of a local gym which did a preschool program twice a week.  Annabelle and I went to check it out and she LOVED it; she asked me that day if she could stay there.  She's already so smart and really just needs the social aspect and routine of going to school, so it felt like the best place for her.

The visit day was a month before her first day of school; so, for the past month, she's been asking me nearly every chance she's gotten, when it was time for her to go.  Her asking increased since Jared started school.

Today was the day she's been waiting for.  Luke & I dropped her off; we gave her a hug and she ran to join her classmate.  Luke seemed to have a harder time; when we got home he'd do short little voice bursts to see if anyone was home.  After I picked her up, she told me all about the trampolines and jumping in the pit and making crafts and this... and that... and this... she was so so SO excited.

Lately, when I look at Annabelle, I see more of a little girl than a preschooler, toddler, or baby.  Some days it feels like I just had her and others, it feels as though she's wise beyond her years.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Jared's First: Day of School

First off:  I can't believe I'm writing about Jared's first day of school.  When, oh when, did he get so old?  It feels like we just had him...

The night before we prepared for the day.  Set clothes out, packed his lunch & backpack, and talked about what would happen the next morning.  We ended the night by Greg giving him a Father's blessing.  Among the things said were:  he would have strength to be a good example, listen & learn what is being taught & be healthy throughout the year.  I know I've said it lots of times before, but since it's our blog.... I'm so grateful for Greg and his worthiness to be able to hold and use the Priesthood.  So so grateful.

Since Jared and his BBF, Caleb have been pretty inseperable since they were under two, so it's only natural that they went to their first day of school together.  So, we had our first day of school carpool.  The boys were so excited and nervous, much like their Mommies.

Once we got to school, they walked hand-in-hand while we lingered back.  I did because I wanted to soak in all of the first day feelings; plus, I didn't want to think about it too much or I'd get emotional.  Before we went in, we had the boys pose at the entrance.  It's nice to do stuff like this before they're 'too cool' to do this.

The boys aren't in the same class, but they're right next door, so we walked them to their separate lines and waited for the bell to ring.  After the bell rang, it was time to say goodbye.  Luckily, we had a place to go in the library.  There was a 'Cry It Out' Breakfast; we were able to talk with some of the teachers and other parents about school and what to expect.  By the time we left, the kindergartens were getting ready to go to their specials and Kim was able to see Caleb--- without him seeing her.

After school (which felt longer than it probably was), we went together to pick them up.  The boys were cute talking about their days; when Jared got home, he asked if he would be able to go back the next day.  Yep, buddy, for the next few years, or so. :)  I think the hardest part about adjusting to school will be getting used to going to bed and getting up early; and if that's our only major adjust, I'll consider it a win. :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Back to School with Buddy

The current phase of obsession for Jared right now is dinosaurs (not really news, I know); and since he likes them, Annabelle likes them.  One of the kids' favorite shows, and probably one of the reasons he started to like Dinosaurs is {Dinosaur Train}.  Just in case you don't know, it's a preschool show on PBS that follows a family of Pternandons (and one t-rex) as they meet all different kinds of dinosaurs.  How do they do this, you ask?  On a time-traveling train, of course!

When you suspend your disbelief for a just a few seconds, you'll see it's a fun show.  Anyway, one of the main characters (arguably the main character) is Buddy the T-Rex.  Yesterday he was in town, and since we met Daniel for Annabelle {last week}, Jared REALLY wanted to meet Buddy.

Not only was Buddy in town, he was downtown.  We weren't really sure we wanted to fight the crazy downtown crowds, but Jared wouldn't stop talking about the chance to meet Buddy.  And since he's getting ready to go to school, we decided to go.  So, we left really early (everyone, including Uncle Zakie) to brave the crowds and meet the hypothesis-testing dinosaur.

He happened to be at the Children's Museum, which normally has a price tag to get in, but because of the Buddy event, it was free.  Free meant the line to get in was long--- even if you arrive right on time.  So, we waited in the hot sun for an hour while the line widdled away.  We were almost in the building, when one of the workers came out and said they couldn't guarantee Buddy would still be there when we got in.

We prepped Jared, just in case, and as soon as we got in the building, we beelined for Buddy.  It was a good thing we did because we were one of the last people to get in line.  Seriously, there was a girl two families back in line telling others that Buddy would be done for the day.  Once it came time to meet him, Jared, like always, froze.  Only this time, he actually posed and gave him a high-five at the end.

Since we had free admission to the museum, we let the kids explore for little bit before we left; they really like the air-flow exhibit.  Annabelle wanted to carry all of the balls home with her.  It was nice to be able to go to the museum without having to pay, and all of the waiting was worth it for a little high-five.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Temple Walk

This equation made our morning a bit more spontaneous than originally planned.

Antsy Kids + Z & K not seeing the temple yet = Morning Temple Trip

In all seriousness, it had been a while since I took the kids to walk around, so I just used Z & K as an excuse to get out of the house and take my kids somewhere special.  Besides our home, there no place like the temple. 

It was such a beautiful morning and the kids were super good.  I even tried to get a cute picture of the three of them and the temple, but we added something to the mix that Luke has very little experience with... real grass.  Like healthy green grass.  Unless you have a permit to water, no one has grass that green--- it's probably the one thing I don't like about South Texas.  So, when I sat Luke down on the grass, he did not like it.  So, I took a couple pictures, in hopes that one looked semi-decent before I had to save my baby.

One of my favorite reasons for taking the kids to walk around the temple every few months is because they try to go in it.  Annabelle always asks if she can go in and then we talk about when she will be able to go in.  I'm so grateful that we have a temple close enough to do these kinds of adventures.  I want my children to know how important it is to strive for eternal covenants made in the temple.

This building, and the promises made inside, is the reason why mortal partings, like Granni & Jay, are able to bare.  Because of temples, we will see them again.  I hope we're doing the best we can to teach & show them--- because that's the most important part about being a parent--- showing them the way home.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Luke: 11 Months

STATS:  He's beginning to be a moose--- I'm excited to see his stats next month to see just how big he is.

SLEEP:  He still has a great sleep schedule, I should probably think about moving him to one nap a day....

FOOD:  The biggest news in this area this month is that I had to stop nursing.  Something about this time frame for babies and I get more and more infections.  I wish I understood my body a little better so I could go a little bit longer, HOWEVER I'm very grateful that I can nurse this long.  Which means he had his first waffles and milk this month.

PLAYING/TOYS: He's the mischievous little baby we've been waiting for now that he's mobile.  With that, almost everything goes in his mouth now.... what a fun age.  He REALLY likes bath time.  He splashes like he'll never get the chance to splash again and most of the time, the person who's bathing him gets a wee bit on the wet side.

PERSONALITY:  He's still cool and chill, but he'll have random moments where he'll just scream for no reason.  New trick that's not really exciting... just loud.  He's also starting to get a little bugged when Jared or Annabelle hug him too long.  He must be cuddled with before he goes to bed, which I don't mind because there will be a day when he doesn't want to do that anymore.

MILESTONES: 7/8/13-- He's fast at crawling now and today he booked it to the dishwasher to help everyone unload.  He wasn't facing me for a minute and he had dislodged the bottom rack; apparently, Luke has some muscles!  He can totally pull himself up now. *** 7/13/13- 7th tooth! *** 7/23/13-- first banana waffles

RANDOM: We absolutely ADORE Luke.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ugga Mugga

Today was a GRR-reffic day in our house because we got to meet one of the biggest celebrities the kids know--- Daniel Tiger!  He's the star of a PBS show that's spin-off of Mister Roger's Neighborhood called {Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood}.  The show is one of the cutest things ever; they have songs for each lesson of the day and I use them all the time.  Annabelle is particularly fond of him.

I literally found out about it yesterday on FB and, spur of the moment, decided to go with Annabelle's best friend, Alex.  We had a GRRreat time.  Our local PBS station pulls out all of the stops when they sponsor things.  The kids did some crafts, walked and sat on a trolley (from downtown), read some books, and got a new book to keep (even Luke).  As an added bonus, we saw some of our {Play 'n Learn} friends from the beginning of the year.

When the moment of truth arrived, the kids clammed up.  They wanted me to act as a protective barrier just in case he pounced, I guess.  Luke just stared at him the whole time and by the end, both of the big kids gave Daniel a high-five.

In the car on the way home, Annabelle mentioned how cool he was, and how she wanted to go back.  We had to remind her that Daniel had other kids to visit, but maybe he'd come back another time.  She said she might be ready to give him a hug then.  Good enough for me, little girl.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Zak & Krystal decided shortly after the folks left Seattle that they didn't want to stay there.  They wanted to be closer to family, so they've decided to move to our neck of the Texas woods.  Literally, Z got a job at our local Target.

They moved down on my birthday weekend and now Z will be staying with us and Krystal (and the animals) will be with Mom & Dad until they find a place.

Last night, Krystal came down to stay for the weekend to go apartment/house hunting, so we played some board games.  I'm excited to have them closer, and hopefully, we'll be able to make lots of memories with Zakie & Krystal.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Patriotic Pictures

On Sunday, we coordinated our outfits to be Patriotic, since it was the Sunday before the Fourth, so naturally we needed to take pictures.  We had also forgotten to take our Mom's Day & Dad's Day pictures, so that made me really want to take cute coordinating pictures.

Too bad on that particular Sunday morning there was a HUGE downpour in the twenty-minute window that the kids and I arrive at church.

When we finally park, this is how it went:

Mommy:  Okay, guys, it's raining really hard out there.
J & A: *in awe* yeah...
Mommy:  So, here's what we're going to do, when I count to three, I'm going to open the doors.  I'll get Luke out of his seat and you two need to run inside to Daddy as fast as you can, okay?
J & A:  Okay...
Mommy:  One--- two.... THREE!

*Mommy opens both sliding doors and her door.  She closes her door and rushes to get Luke out of his seat quickly and closes his door.  She then walks to the sidewalk where she expects to see Jared and Annabelle running, but THEY ARE STILL INSIDE THE OPEN VAN.... staring at the rain.

Mommy (standing in the pouring rain WITH Luke--- who had no idea what was happening to him):  What are you two doing?  Out of the van and run!

Luke and I were DRENCHED for the beginning of sacrament meeting.  Looking back, I'm glad we have a funny story to tell behind

Daddy and the kidlets

Mama & the kiddos

I sure LOVE our family!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Luke: 10 Months

STATS:  Big boy, I really have no idea... bigger than last month.  He's as big as his 12 month old neighbor friend, so he's big. :)

SLEEP:  His sleep schedule hasn't really changed.  The only thing different is if I wait too long to put him down for his nap, he'll sit up and cry until I come and get him.  Then, I'll sway or rock with him for a few minutes and he'll go down so nicely.  He also likes it when I sing to him, currently we sing, "Good Night Lukie" and/or "I'm a Child of God."

FOOD:  Since last month, we have started him on table food.  He still nurses in the morning and at dinner; I need to start weening because I'm starting to have infection/pain problems again.  We've reintroduced bananas, but that's about the only fruit because he's still got a couple light bumps.  We tried giving him mango the other day and his face was hilarious.  Pretty sure he didn't like it.

PLAYING/TOYS: Now that he crawls he is all OVER the place. 

PERSONALITY:  This month he found his voice.  He'll grunt and squeal (he especially loves it when Jared and Annabelle play with him).

MILESTONES: 6/15/13--- He had his first (and definitely not last) taste of Japanese food.  And, just like his siblings, he loved it. *** 6/22/13--- He crawled! ***  He's also started saying the sound "Ma" a lot.  I'm not really sure if he's trying to say 'Mama' or not, but he sure loves to say it when I'm walking away or when he's mad.  *** When we visited my folks this month, he actually noticed Maggie, their cat.

RANDOM: We absolutely ADORE Luke.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our World Has Changed

Because Luke learned how to do this yesterday:

Luke can crawl.  And, what is he motivated by?  Food.  The boy loves his food, but now the world has endless possibilities (including things to worry about, but they are still possibilities)!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Fun Times

We had lunch at the pool...

We ate frozen yogurt...

enjoyed our friends....

 Played at the pool again (we do that a lot in the summer)...
We also had some friends come over during the day.  The girl who came over was also named Annabelle; it was hilarious trying to get them to play together because then I'd be anything their name twice. "Annabelle, why don't you show Anabel your princesses?"  They looked at me so confused; I ended up just calling our Annabelle, Belle after the initial confusion.
Yesterday, we had a fun playdate at Sea World.  My friend and I both wanted to take our kids there before the craziness of summer crowding (it was the last day of school yesterday), so we decided to take our kids there for a few rides, shows and splash pad play time.  We got there at the same time and the boys started getting excited in the parking lot (the girls were excited too).

Jared and Caleb encouraged each other to ride the Shamu roller coaster; it was great to see Jared helping Caleb to realize the coaster is fun.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Luke: 9 Months

STATS: 29 inches (75%), 20 lbs 3oz (50%), 18 cm head (50%)

SLEEP: He still sleeps like a champ.  He has two naps, each one to two hours long.  He can miss his first nap, but no one likes that.  He sleeps from 8ish to 7ish every night.

FOOD:  Lots and lots of stuff.  Although, the doctor wants him to go on a fruit fast while diaper rash heals.  His favorite food seems to be pumpkin.  He'll eat anything too; Jared and Belle wouldn't touch peas, Luke ate them just fine.  His newest like is the dissolving baby puffs.  Since he's getting good at those, we'll probably start feeding him table food too.

PLAYING/TOYS: Luke LOVES his toys.  I've noticed he really likes his sorting bucket, Stuffed animal tree from Mema & Deda, and his Mickeys (he has three).  He likes all of his other toys too; basically, anything he can chew on is his new favorite toy.  We started playing peek-a-boo with him and he's starting to react.

PERSONALITY:  This kid so laid back.  I mean, we just made two cross-country drives and he was so easy (i.e. only fussed at the end of each driving day).  He absolutely adores his brother and sister and they adore him (almost TOO much).  He's staring to be a little bit more vocal, so we'll see how his personality changes.

MILESTONES: 5/10/13, I found his third tooth.  He got his fourth tooth while in Utah AND he's working on his fifth and sixth tooth right now. ***5/13/13, First time swimming.  He did okay.  He sat just fine in the baby float, but wouldn't get it on Saturday.*** 5/31/13, Fed himself for the first time, first time with Baby Puffs.  *** This week he's also figured out how to get from his tummy to sitting back up.  He's so close to crawling, Greg and I both think it'll happen this month.

RANDOM: Oh how we all LOVE Luke.  Seriously, none of us can get enough of him.  Jared and Annabelle encourage him to crawl and move (sometimes to the point of them trying to do it for him--- whoops).  He's such a calm personality.  He's starting to find his voice and get's really excited when the other two are happy or excited as well.  He's also starting to get upset when I leave him anywhere, so here's hoping that doesn't get too worse.  No matter what, we certainly love our little baby.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Granni's Obituary

Carolyn Ruth "Cari" Peterson Jackson 1935 ~ 2013

Cari Jackson passed away peacefully at her home in Layton, Utah on May 19,2013. Cari was born June 25,1935 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Ole Bertrand Jr. and Mary Alice Parker Peterson. She was especially loved by her eternal companion Lee Jackson. They were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on June 25, 1954, her 19th birthday. She dearly loved her family consisting of six daughters and one son, 24 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. She also had a very special relationship with her aunts, uncles, and cousins.

She was an artistically talented painter and seamstress, had a beautiful singing voice, participating in numerous musicals and choirs, loved to square dance, and was a fantastic cook. In order to audition for a Holly Fair display, she had to present some of her artwork to those in charge of the fair. As she was presenting her work to the organizers, neighbors in the area gathered around. As a result, all of her work was sold. On another occasion at a church bazaar in a city mall, her husband watched as on-lookers bargained to purchase her items. Cari also loved to quilt, especially when it was for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Many of her family and friends requested her to make personal items.

Cari's passion was anxiously knowing and assisting her family in all aspects of life. She loved serving in her church, primarily in Relief Society and Primary callings. Throughout her life, she developed genuine relationships with her many, many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, stepmother Mina Schwartz Peterson, brother Spencer Bradley, and son-in-law Ephraim Van Dyke. Cari is survived by her husband; seven children: Shari Van Dyke, Cindy Jackman (Brett), Becky Raymond (Brett), Jared Jackson (Karen), LeAnn Rocha (John), Caryn Swann (David), and Jenni Blaser (Corey); grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and sisters Kathy Schovajsa and Debbie Belk.

Her sweet and enormous caring spirit is already missed. We love you, Sweetheart, Mom, and Granni!

Monday, May 20, 2013


Carolyn "Cari" Ruth Peterson Jackson
June 25, 1935 ~ May 19, 2013

This past weekend started like any other.  Relaxing Friday, chores/family fun time on Saturday and Sunday is Church.  At church this week, the theme seemed to be temples.  I took it as a "time to go to the temple, Amber" sort-of a message.  I didn't realize how it was preparing me for the news I'd get.

About an hour after church, I resolved myself to begin to get caught up on the blog.  I still needed to finish writing about Z & K's wedding, among other things.  I used to do this on Sundays while the rest of the family napped.  A very peaceful activity for me.  Then, my Mom & sister tried to call and text, but my phone was in the other room.  Greg woke up to get it and saw the "911 call now" text.  I knew something happened to someone.

I was lucky enough to go through almost 30 years on this earth with all four of my grandparents living.  I was EVEN more lucky to have a good relationship with all of them.  I 'regularly' called (a.k.a. once-a-month -ish) to check-in with them, especially with my Grandmas (because Grandmas always relay the information).  When I saw the text, I knew one of the four was gone; my mind automatically went to my Grandpa, since he was recently diagnosed with Dementia.  So, when my Mom broke the news that is was Granni, I was shocked.  Greg had to guide me back to the couch and then I had to calmly ask what had happened.  Basically, she passed peacefully during her sleep (the best guess is something with her heart).

So, a day later, I'm still in shock.  Flying just me to Utah is as much as driving the whole family out, so Greg is able to take Bereavement and be there for me, and the rest of the family.  We start the drive tomorrow, we'll be there sometime Wednesday--- with her funeral, and such, over the weekend (hopefully).

Granni is incredible at making each of us feel loved and special; even though there was a lot of us.  She is spunky and full of life.  She is so talented.  My kids and I all have things she made for us and now they are extra special because of this parting.  I'm not sad for her; because of the Gospel, the Holy Ghost has confirmed to me that she is peaceful, happy, not in pain, and still, present in my (and the rest of my families) life.  I'm sad for Grandad, my Dad, his sisters, their spouses, us grandkids and the great-grandkids missing her physical presence for this short time.    I'm sad that I didn't send her Mother's Day card out it time.  I'm sad that she didn't physically meet Luke.  I'm sad that I didn't call more or that I won't be able to call her again.

With the sad comes the happy. I'm so grateful for the memories:  many Christmases in Logan, eating Life & Green Jello with Carrots, receiving my graduation blanket, Granni & Grandad dropping me off at school, coming up for General Conference weekends, introducing them to Greg on one of those weekends ("so this is the guy who's important"), being in the temple together, saying 'oh brother' or 'eee-gads', calling for advice, receiving the {baby blankets} and {presents} for my kids, playing games and watching her competitive spirit, seeing them TWICE in Texas (once for a reunion and the other for my aunt's wedding).  In the pictures above, Greg sneakily took a picture of Granni and I staying warm in hotel blankets.  Even though, we're not posing for this picture, I'm so grateful to have it.  She made me feel safe and warm (and even laughed at me when I tried to stay awake with everyone else).  I'm so grateful that I did call and know, from her own words, that she was grateful for those calls, and grateful for me.

Every time I create something, I'll think of her because I know that's part of her in me.  Hopefully, Jared and Annabelle will have a couple solid memories of her, so I'm going to do my best to teach my children to emulate this amazingly compassionate, and stubbornly fiesty woman.

See you later, Granni.  We love you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Jared: Year Five

At preschool, last month
Weight: 40 lbs--- FINALLY
Height: 44 inches
Hair: light brownish red
Eyes: dark amber brown
no teeth gained--- no teeth lost, although apparently we have to worry about six year molars next year--- yikes!
Shoe Size: 10 1/2 to 11
Clothes Size:4T pants, 5T shirts--- I bet he'll be in all 5T soon
Nicknames: Bubba, Buddy, Goofy Goober, Handsome, Big Guy
Likes: Annabelle, Luke, his stuffies & blue blanket, Star Wars toys, dinosaurs, Phineas & Ferb, reading, doing puzzles, playing the Wii, Sea World
Dislikes: being misunderstood or disciplined, when Annabelle touches his stuff (doesn't sound familiar at all)
Favorite Food:  burgers & pizza
Favorite Toys: his dinosaur k'nex, Star Wars figurines, Phineas & Ferb figures, and his Millennium Falcon
Favorite Books: scripture stories, his mini Book of Mormon, Elephant & Piggie books, we just checked out Magic Tree House and Captain Underpants, so we're going to start reading those together.
Favorite Things to Watch: Tiny Toons, Jake & the Neverland Pirates, Phineas & Ferb, Dinosaur Train, Tom & Jerry
Other New Tricks: He pretty much doesn't nap anymore, he's picking up sight word already--- I bet he'll start reading soon.
What's next: A fun and relaxing summer getting ready for KINDERGARTEN (breathe, Amber, breathe)
How he drives us crazy: He's figured out how to open the child locks on our doors, so now he'll knock on our door and then open it.  And by knock I mean, bang.... at least he doesn't barge in.*** He usually only has one volume: loud.  It gets amplified in our house and when he breaks down--- I bet the whole street can hear.*** He's smart--- which means he gets bored REALLY easily.  Ever since he was a baby, he likes to be entertained.  I love spending time with him, I just hope he finds his own quiet activities which he likes to do.
Why he's so awesome:  He's always been an amazing helper.  I usually don't have to ask him twice to do something which is nice.  He's a fantastic big brother.  Always willing to help them, and yes, a little bit on the bossy side.  We've already noticed that he's really in-tune with the Spirit.  Greg and I hope we can foster than and I really hope that doesn't change, but gets strengthened when he goes to school. Five years seems like so short, but it feels as though Jared has been apart of the family the whole time.

Happy Birthday, Buba, thanks for giving me the best gift in the world five years ago... becoming a mom.

Birthday Questions: Jared at FIVE

I can't believe Jared is FIVE!  Has it really been THAT long?  Before heading off to his Birthday Adventure at Sea World, here are the traditional birthday questions (and answers):
  1. What are 3 words that describe you? Human, Silly/Loud, Smart
  2. I'm really good at: "This is a hard question"  Building my Dinosaur Legos & Reading
  3. What makes you happy? Going to Sea World
  4. What makes you sad? When I make bad choices and go in the corner
  5. What is your favorite animal? Parasaurolophus
  6. What is your favorite food? Yakisoba
  7. What is your favorite color? GREEN!
  8. What is your favorite part about church? Having the Sacrament
  9. What is your favorite scripture story? 2,000 Warriors of the Army of Helaman
  10. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
  11. What is your favorite treat? Chocolate Popcorn at Christmas
  12. What is your favorite type of music? Grim grin grin grinning Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion
  13. What is your favorite toy? Tag Reader & Puzzles
  14. What is your favorite sport to play? Cardinals Baseball
  15. My favorite books are: All of the books my Grandparents got me, Elephant & Piggie Books
  16. What is your favorite movie? Star Wars Episodes 4 & 5 (6 isn't my favorite because of the Rancor)
  17. Favorite TV Show? Dinosaur Train, P&F, Shaun the Sheep
  18. If I could go anywhere, I would go to: Dinosaur Land!
  19. What songs do you like to sing? Christmas songs & "As I Have Loved You"
  20. Best thing our family does together: Go everywhere in the car from one week to another week.
  21. If you could pick any pet, what would it be? Lizard
  22. When I was little I used to: I do not remember that!
  23. My best friend is: Caleb & You! (pointing to Mommy)
  24. What do you like to do with Mommy? Play games and go to YogurtZone
  25. What do you like to do with Daddy? Help him plant and build stuff.
  26. What do you like to play inside? Dinosaur legos, Stuff under my bed.
  27. What do you like to play outside? Baseball toys and dinosaur skeletons in the sandbox
  28. If I had one wish, it would be: Go to the Museum, Disneyland and Disneyworld
  29. Are you afraid of anything?  Being in the dark, being alone
  30. When I grow up, I want to be: Paleontologist
  31. Who is the coolest person you know: Caleb, and Mommy & Daddy
  32. *EXTRA*  My favorite memory is: Going to Sea World (riding the Shamu ride and seeing shows).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Luke: 8 Months

STATS: big

SLEEP:  I thought his sleep would be affected by the major time change, but he got up at the same time--- just two hours earlier. ;)

FOOD:  He really likes his homemade baby food, especially pumpkin, banana, carrots and applesauce--- but since it's hard to puree food on the road, we used more store-bought pouches.  He loves those.  We also introduced baby puffs and Greg sneaks him bread once in a while.

PLAYING/TOYS:  His favorite toy right now seems to be the jeep rider, since he can be up and seeing what's going on.  None of his toys have motivated him YET to crawl, but here's hoping soon.

PERSONALITY:  He's still great!  He absolutely LOVES to laugh; Jared and Annabelle are the best at getting him to laugh.  He loves to watch everything going around him; he had so many things to look at during our trip to California.

MILESTONES:  We survived his first long car trip.  He did great! *** He experience nice green grass for the first time in Cali and lasted longer than either of his siblings *** First trip to the beach *** First trip to California Adventure

RANDOM:  I feel like a broken record, but he's so much fun!  He's a great baby and is rarely upset.  Jared and Annabelle are always so good with him and he ADORES them.  He gets excited when he sees anyone he recognizes and smiles constantly.  He's a joy to have around which, I think, makes being outnumbered much easier to handle than if he was a hard baby.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Digging for Dinos

Jared LOVES everything about Dinosaurs (like most little boys).  In fact, he tells me almost every day how he wants to be a Paleontologist when he grows up.  During {Play 'n Learn} last month, we had a day all about dinosaurs.  There was even a sand table with dinosaur skeletons to dig up.  He loved it so much, he told me later that day we could do something like that with our sand table at home.

So, on Easter morning Jared got some dinosaur skeletons in his Easter basket.  The last few days we have spent some of the afternoon digging dinosaurs.  He, and Annabelle, would probably stay out there all afternoon (if it wasn't for the HOT Texas sun, I'd let them).  When I took pictures today, they'd find all 12 of the dinosaurs and then go somewhere in the yard where they couldn't see Meg or I hide them.  (SO glad she's here while Greg goes out-of-town again for the weekend.)

Their digging styles are definitely true to their personalities: Jared would use the tools given to him to carefully brush away the sand until the whole dinosaur was uncovered, while Bellie would only uncover a little bit with the tools and then pull the dino out excitedly.  Call me crazy, but I think her way would cause the destruction of a lot of real-life fossils.  Good thing it was only pretend. :)
Auntie & Baby

Jared's self-portrait
Miss Ham-for-the-Camera
Just like a true Paleontologist, Jared knows the names to all of his dinosaurs AND he corrects us when we say them wrong.  Hilarious and sad all at the same time.  I know he's growing and changing every day, but I'm constantly marveled by just how smart he is.  It's really hard to grasp that he's almost FIVE.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Luke: 7 Months

STATS: honestly, didn't catch them this time... kind of single-mom-ing it this past month.

SLEEP:  Still sleeps great.  8-730, with two naps during the day. (SAME--- best. baby. ever.)

FOOD:  He eats A LOT.  I forgot how much baby food you go through when the baby realizes that he likes to eat!  Right now, he doesn't seem to have favorites, just FOOD!

PLAYING/TOYS:  He grabs for toys now and tries to get them with as little movement as possible.

PERSONALITY:  We survived the month without Dad and Luke's personality is still in tact.  He's still calm and cool and fantastic!

MILESTONES:  another tooth! #3 *** He's really thinking about army-crawling, but not much movement, I guess Jared and Annabelle help him out too much.*** He had his first ride in the baby jeep *** His first Easter was the end of this month and Annabelle used the occasion to dress him in pink bunny ears; I guess that happens when you have an older sister, but I don't know much about that ;)

RANDOM:  He's so much fun.  He loves to explore, giggle and eat.  We're going to test his true baby awesomeness by taking a car trip to California this month--- so we'll see how that goes.  We love the baby Luke!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

So Glad When Daddy Comes Home

We survived the 'month without Daddy.'  This past month Greg had to spend his weekdays in Dallas and then a total of 20ish hours with us on Saturday/Sunday.  This is the first time in a couple years that he's had to travel for work & he hasn't been on campouts/high adventures since being released from Young Men, so it had been a while since we've functioned without him--- pre-Luke time.

The best part of the whole experience (besides the beautiful invention that is Skype and doing it as much as we could) was being in Round Rock, last weekend and seeing him like 8 extra hours, just because of the drive difference. Honestly, I don't know how miltary spouses do it; I need Greg.  I get a little shaky without him.

Anyway, we were definitely watched over while he was gone, but it's sure nice to have him back.

Even the kids think so (this was when he came home for good).  He still has one more trip next week, so we're going back up to Round Rock, so we don't have to be alone.  After that, I'm requesting (i.e. hoping) that he doesn't have to travel for another two years.... hey, a girl can dream. ;)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sea World: Single Mom Style

I really didn't want to spend the whole month without Greg doing NOTHING, so I thought, "let's do something easy... like go to SEA WORLD."

Yeah, I know, I crazy and over-ambitious... but everyone knows that.

It was slightly crazy, but overall a fun day. We spent a lot of time in the kiddo area and I spent a lot of time holding (or chasing after Luke). At the Shamu show, I made sure to ask a nice lady to take a picture in order to document this crazy day.

The kids are I needed some out time to refocus and not get too mad at each other.

Now to survive the rest of the month without Dad...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Luke: 6 Months

STATS: 18 lbs, 27 1/2 inches, 27 head circum

SLEEP:  Still sleeps great.  8-730, with two naps during the day.

FOOD:  He finally turned the 'I like other food' corner.  This month he tried: mangoes, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and pumpkin... he REALLY likes Pumpkin.

PLAYING/TOYS:  He's trying to grab for the toys around him, hopefully that encourages him to roll a little more often.

PERSONALITY:  Still chill and so so happy.  He loves watching Jared and Annabelle do pretty much anything. Hopefully he continues to be chill while Greg goes on travel for most of March.

MILESTONES:  rolled back to front 2/4, sat up alone 3/1

RANDOM:  He's getting big, so hopefully he starts moving some more.  He's happy and healthy, so we're trying not to worry.  He's a blessing and I can't believe he's already six months old. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spontaneous Sea World Morning

Yesterday was supposed to be a typically Saturday.  However, Greg and I changed our minds in the middle of breakfast and decided on a whim to spend the morning at Sea World.  We can do that now, since we have passes.  We're usually not this spontaneous, but we wanted to start the month off with a fun family memory since most of the month is going to be a challenge.

We literally only spent a couple hours there.  We went to the Sea Lion show (since we missed it last time), played on these crazy high nets in the kiddo area, rode the Merry-go-Round (Jared & I rode the Shamu coaster) and then went home just in time for lunch.

The nets had to have been the most memorable thing of the day.  They are literally as high as three flights of stairs.  Jared was all over the nets and then got to one of those fabric tubes.  They are suspended high over the ground, connecting the two different areas.  Jared needed someone to go with him, and since Greg was wearing Luke, I got to do it.  Oh my goodness,  I didn't know I was scared of heights until I got in that tube with my son.  The whole time walking across I thought of things like the weight limit, the ware of the straps, the frequency of quality control checks and it didn't phase Jared at all.

Relaxing in the nets
 After we crossed, Greg, Belle and Luke met us on nets to do a little climbing.  Jared didn't want any help (unless someone *cough* Greg was bouncing the ropes) and Belle wanted to be carried the whole way up--- which didn't happen.  She finally started going when she realized she was safe; she wouldn't go on the coaster or in the tube because she didn't think they were safe.  The best part about those nets was that it was something the whole family could do; Greg and I didn't just sit on the side, we actually got up and had fun with the kids.

This is the reason why we wanted to get Sea World passes this year.  Random days where we just go and have fun.  The kids now ask every day if we can go, I can't blame them, it was exciting to do something spontaneous.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Park Fun & Mommy-Daughter Date

Today, the kids and I needed an adventure, so we went to the Swing park.

Jared tried something new this time.  A swinging platform crossing he was scared of last time.  He was able to cross and take an awesome picture of the occasion.

Annabelle particularly enjoyed the slide and, of course, the swings.  She and the slide had an electric relationship this time--- full of static and awesome hair.

Luke really like the baby swings again.  I swing him from the front so he can see me and he was giggling every time he got close to me.  Hilarious.

After dinner that night, Annabelle and I went on a Mommy-Daughter date for Frozen Yogurt.  Her quote from the night: "I love being with you without the boys."  Yep, baby, everyone needs a little girl time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Random February Happenings

Jared helped Luke sit up; Jared was trying to help Luke practice because he's getting really close. *** Jared is starting to read on his own.  One of the first things I noticed him reading was the Book of Mormon.  He started reading 1 Nephi 3:7 out loud and asked me to help.  It was adorable--- and a great way to start one's reading career. *** One day at lunch, Annabelle made faces at Luke.  He thought it was hilarious and couldn't stop laughing.  I guess he didn't know lunch came with a show.

Greg and Luke all ready and handsome for church--- we actually had him home that morning because it was Stake Conference. *** Luke's first time sitting in a shopping cart seat; let the random sicknesses commence! *** While shopping at HEB, I asked the kids to get the whole grain goldfish we normally get.  The box was way in the back, so like any good shopper, they had to dig for their deals.  And, like any good Mom, I took a picture instead of helping them.  *** A couple of ways I found the boys sleeping this month.  Luke mostly naked and Jared couldn't stay awake after church.

Greg wanted his birthday to be really low-key, so I did what any good wife would do and bought him a larger TV.  We've talked about this for a while, but never went to the next step, so Greg asked if he could for his birthday.  So, off to Best Buy we went and got a great deal.  For the first few days, it was blocked of from the kids on the floor (it was even that way for my book club), then, we had some friends offer a spare TV stand until we can afford to get our own.  On his actual birthday, I wanted him to open something, so I got him one of his favorite movies we don't own yet (The Three Amigos) and watched it after the kids went to bed.  Low-key for a great guy.

Finally, Luke had a day where he was consistently rolling over, so I pulled out the camera to document it.  Naturally, the older rugrats flocked to the lens and started being really cute; hugging each other, kissing Luke and smiling really big--- so I had to take pictures. :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sicky Baby

Poor little baby's been working on some teeth the last week or so--- which led to ear infections and weepy eyes.  It hasn't been fun for our happy little Luke.  We knew something was wrong when he wasn't his happy-go-lucky self--- and he started chewing on EVERYTHING in sight.

Even though it's sad to see him sick and it breaks my heart, babies are always extra cuddle when they're sick and this mommy loves to be there for the cuddles.

We haven't been doing much lately because I don't have the heart to take out this sick cutey, but he'll get better soon and we'll be on the move.

Now, if I could just convince his older siblings that it'll be over soon...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

30 by 30: Book Club

I accomplished one of my {30 by 30} goals last night by hosting book club.

I made this a goal because I wanted to be able to find a book that everyone in my group would want to read.  Most of the time, the group stretches my reading sphere and I don't feel like I bring a lot to the table in my suggestions or discussion points.  I know that's mostly not true and it's my female psyche working against me, however, I still wanted to feel like I could contribute and the best way to do that was to find a selection to read and host.

One of my favorite movies growing up was "The Princess Bride".  So, I was really excited when I found out that it was a book first.  So, I suggested it to the group back in November or December and everyone (meaning everyone who came that month) was ready and willing--- WOO HOO!  And, I thought a fun, romantic tale would be perfect for February.

It was an easy and hilarious read.  The book is a satire and definitely my kind of book.  For the eats, I served: MLT crackers-- really BLT because I didn't have Mutton, chocolate truffle life pills, and peanuts. :)

We had a great discussion-- and I even showed a few clips from the author and cast talking about way Princess Bride is such a classic.

I don't know why I was so afraid to host, but now I won't hesitate in the future.... the hardest part of the whole process was finding a book.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Our Valentine's

We had a fun little Valentine's Day.

The kids woke up to a little treat and a new book--- a valentine's tradition in our family.

Before valentines day, we made little bags to give to their friends and Jared to his preschool.  They had cuties and straws in the bag.  After, Jared got back from preschool, we headed for a quick playdate at the swings park to get some energy out before nap time.

I made Gweg and I matching Han & Leia cups... because we're nerd like that; I must say that Greg thought they were awesome.  So we're perfectly nerdy for each other.

Also, I found a fun idea from a friend online for Valentine's Day cards, so we attempted to take the picture to send to all of the family.... these are all of the shots.  It's pretty hard to get three young kids to sit still and smile--- all at the same time.  The third one is the one we ended up sending out to family.

Goofy kids, but we sure love our little Valentine's.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Quick Gramma Visit

Gramma Barb came down to our neck of the woods to escape from the cold and wet of the East Coast--- only to visit on a rainy day.  We decided to make the best of a rainy day and take our first trip to Sea World with our new annual passes.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It did turn out fine, maybe a little wet and cold, but with warm waterproof jackets, we had lots of fun.

We ended up exploring most of the park.  We went to both aquariums and the kids wouldn't stop telling us what they were seeing.  Jared wanted to drag Gramma everywhere; her hand in one of his hands with a map of the park in another.

Ride-wise: Jared and I went on the kid Shamu roller coaster; he loved it, I was a little shaky.  Annabelle was so bummed she wasn't tall enough to ride the coaster that we had to go try one she could ride.  Even though she could ride a fishy-tilt-a-whirl didn't mean she liked it; in fact, she screamed the whole time, asking to get off.  Poor girl.  I cuddled with her and tried to stay positive about the whole experience.

After the rides, the rides realized they were so hungry and it started to rain, so we ran to the closest restaurant to us--- which ended up being a pizza/pasta bar.  It was a nice place to wait out the rain to figure out what shows we could catch.

Show-wise: We were able to see two of the three main shows; the beauty about having passes is that we can catch it next time.  We saw the dolphin cirque de sole which ended up having a surprise beginning that the kids LOVED.  Then, we saved Shamu for last.  Seeing those majestic animals up close was amazing; and they even have a new calf in their midst.

After Shamu, the kids were done, so we left and had dinner at Red Robin with Gramma before she had to go.  It stinks that we only get to see Gramma once or twice a year now, but we're certainly grateful we get to see her at all.  We love Gramma Barb!


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