Sunday, January 25, 2015

Our Family in 2015: Week of 1/19-1/25

Each year Mike and I choose a scripture for our family to focus on... something that we could all do a little better in.  This year, we chose 1 Timothy 4:12.

Which says, "... be thou an example of the believers in word, in coversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

I thought it would be fun to display it big year-round.  So, we grabbed a roll of paper from the learning store and painted it together Monday for Family Home Evening.

We hung it after it dried on the kitchen wall.

I LOVE it!

We are definitely doing it every year.


Adam has basketball practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays, held at a nearby church.  Luckily for us, there is a park across the street (and the weather is beautiful), so we get to spend a couple hours there each week playing.


We have been so blessed with gas prices coming down, and we had a couple hundred bonus gas points from a promotion our grocery store was doing.

We used them to get gas under $2.00 on Friday.  What!


Adam's basketball game was Saturday.

I love watching him work so hard and do his best.


And on Sunday, Josh got a sucker from the bishop.

Even though treats from the bishop are banned 'round here.

(long story)

And then he went ahead and took a picture of himself with it.

I feel like my children are learning nothing here!

If you are going to break the rules, at least be decent and hide it.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Our Family in 2015: Week of 1/12-1/18

On Monday we started another week of school and work.

Since my sweet baby boy turns 1 tomorrow, I attempted some 12-month-pictures.

This is the best shot.

And after about 10 minutes, we were all done.


On Tuesday, we celebrated Sam's FIRST birthday!

When I was growing up, I always thought my younger siblings were so spoiled... but I've come to realize how hard it is to have a younger sibling with older kids.

I feel like all I do is haul Sam around, squeezing in feedings and playing time when I can.

So, maybe the younger ones are a bit spoiled, but they also have to deal with a lot of waiting and driving and older-kid drama that they deserve to be spoiled.

Sam's birthday was no different.

Among basketball practice, projects, picking up Mike from work (and before meetings), we squeezed in this guy's birthday celebration.

I remember spending weeks thinking of Adam's first birthday.

Notsomuch when you're the 4th child.

Luckily, right after Sam was born, I pinned a cute lion birthday cake that was simple enough to quickly make.  The kids insisted that pizza was his favorite meal (he DOES like it), so we threw some pizza together quickly and let him enjoy a slice of cake.

And right after those photos, because it was 8:30 at that point, I bathed and nursed him, and he went to sleep.

We'll have to do presents another day.

Sam LOVES playing "pat-a-cake," adores playing with his older siblings, is a content, happy, easy-going guy who loves to eat and make messes and play peek-a-boo.  He is so sweet!  He is very fast at crawling, and is starting to stand, but refuses to walk (unless you catch him when he doesn't realize it... then he will take a step or two).

We adore our Sam the Man!

Happy 1st Birthday, buddy!


The next morning, Sam opened his gifts: he got a book and money from the Rice family, cute pajamas and clothes from Nano, a card and $2 bill from the Wilkins, money from Great-Granny and a linking toy from us.

We attempted some balloon pictures after we got the kids off to school.

They were notsogood.

Mike had mutual that evening and Adam had a basketball game.

He is #25 and is getting better with each game.

I love the effort he puts in... he is not the fastest runner, BUT he is the first down the court each time because he tries so hard.

LOVE him.

I am so incredibly, insanely thankful that I was able to exculsively nurse Sam the entire first year.  And it was so not easy.  I had to pump every 6 hours and feed him every 3 (setting my cell phone alarm for 3:00am each day even) just to keep up my supply.  And it seems crazy, but I so wanted to nurse one the entire first year without supplementing and we. made. it.

He has been so healthy and nursing has been so good for me.  He's probably my last, and with the older kids being so crazy and busy, I loved that it was something that I could do JUST with him and for him.

I am SO grateful.

But, I'm done with the every-3-hour thing.

It's hard.

We are going to nurse every morning and evening for as long as my body will let me, and then be done.


Way back in October, our sweet friends asked Mike to try to sell their car (and fix a few things on it).

So, we've been able to use it for several months and it has been THE biggest blessing.

Having 2 cars is pretty amazing.

The stress of having our van break down (we would have to take the bus to school and work and activities) is always in the back of my mind, and being able to borrow their car alleviated that stress.

Plus, Mike brought them to school each day, while I stayed home with the boys and got a little extra rest, which was HEAVENLY.

But, they moved and needed to sell it.

So, we did.

So thankful to them for letting us use it.

Mike had the day off on Thursday, so we headed to a government building to get Josh's birth certificate.

Truthfully, I never bothered getting it because those things are $30 and I have better things to do with $30.

I know.

But, he needed it to be registered for school, so we did.

The mall happens to be next door to the building, so after getting his birth certificate, we headed there for a little indoor play + a few See's suckers.

And then went to register my Josh for kindergarten.

How is he THAT old?

I just had him.

To say he was excited to go to school would be a lie.

But, it'll be so good for him.

And once Grace spotted him and introduced him to the kindergarten teacher, he was a little more excited.

She's darling.


On Friday we opened the last of our Christmas gifts: the cousin gifts!

We like to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the holidays 'round here.

Josh got an awesome airplane that shoots and makes fun noises:

Grace got some Jamberry nail covers (that are too cute):

And then my battery died.

Adam got an awesome watercolor pencil set and Sam got a cute farm puzzle.

Thank you to all of our sweet Wilkins' cousins for the fun gifts!

The kids loved them!


Saturday and Sunday were spent doing piano, homework, playing games, going to church, having pizza night, and being so busy that I forgot to take pictures.

It happens.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Our Family in 2015: Week of 1/5-1/11

We did pretty good on our 25 Days of Christmas bucket list, but one thing we didn't get to, was making Grandma Hansom's popcorn balls.  We had bought the ingredients, but had never found a good time.

FHE on Monday was a good time for a yummy treat.


Back in June (while Mike was at Scout camp), one of the arms of my glasses randomly fell off.

I wanted to "make it do" so it's been taped, superglued, hot glued, etc.

And I lived.

But, on Tuesday, they fell off and got stepped on.... right on the bridge of the nose.

So I buckled down and ordered a new pair on-line.

For now I'm sporting some cool tape around the center of those things.


I love the relationship that Josh and Sam share.

I've mentioned it before, but it just makes my heart melt.

Josh is so insanely patient and loving with Sam... he will drive him on his car every.time. Sam gestures that he wants a ride.  Wednesday while Mike was at mutual, Josh rode him around and around.


Heart-melting Mama over here.


On Thursday I took Adam to the doctor.

He's been complaining about his stomach hurting for awhile, and I wanted to get it checked out.

It normally only causes him debilitating pain when it's time for chores, so I wasn't too worried... but then I got worried that maybe it was something because it's been going on for several months.

They ran a few tests and he's all good... so I'm pretty sure it's just a stress-induced-by-cleaning stomach pain afterall.

Which I can relate to, because of the stress of being stuck with 3 crazy boys in a waiting room for an hour.



On Friday we got caught up: on housework, school work, and piano practicing.

And rewarded ourselves with some chocolate.

Just because.


On Saturday we went to one of our favorite parks that is close to our house... and we happened to have Josh's plasma car with us.

And there happens to be a long, downhill walkway at the park that we all took turns riding down.

It was a blast!

Not that those pictures tell ya much.

But, believe me, our stomachs all hurt from laughing so hard after that.


On Sunday we went to church, came home, ate a late lunch, napped, and then ate a late dinner.

Church from 11:00 to 2:00 is tricky for naps and meals.

We played some board games after dinner together, and then got everyone to bed, ready for a new week and getting ready to celebrate our favorite baby's first birthday.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Our Family in 2015: Week of 12/29-1/4

On Monday I took Adam and Grace to the dentist.

Had to sneak in that second cleaning before the end-of-the-year.  ;)

They both had no cavities... yay!

But Grace has a growth in her mouth that the dentist says looks like an oral wart.  She has to get it removed, because they can spread, and the dentist is going to have it biopsied just to make sure everything is all good.
I talked with the dentist about Adam's front teeth (we found out at his last appointment that the insurance wouldn't cover them anymore, because they've been "fixed" too much, so we've been saving).  She says that the new treatment that she has planned, she has never had anyone break them off before.  So, we are crossing our fingers and getting those broken teeth fixed.

Afterward, I took these guys out for lunch to celebrate them having no cavities.

And, yeah, it's not the smartest financial move... but, we sure had fun!

Plus, kids eat free at Firehouse Subs.

We spent the rest of the day taking down the last of the Christmas decorations (except for the tree), cleaning, and working on some schoolwork.


On Tuesday evening we were un-decorating the tree, when Adam said that his chest hurt.

We were all still getting over the cold (and had horrible coughs), but even after resting for a few hours, some Tums (just in case it was indigestion), and Tylenol, it still hurt so much so that he was crying.

Mike took him into the ER.

Where the pain mysteriously disappeared and we found out that his chest and heart are just fine.

This kid!


On Wednesday, we spent the day prepping for our New Year's Eve party.

I had found some treats on clearance for prizes (winner chose first, second place chose second, etc.), organized all of the games, and put the finishing touches on our New Year's tree.

After dinner and clean-up, we began our party!

I had found the idea here for 10 New Year's Eve Minute-to-Win It Games.

I think next year, we will do it in teams.  We had each person complete the task... and some took much longer than a minute.  We had an absolute blast playing the games.

Except for this guy, who kept attacking the different games, so we put him in his crib for his own party.

He was good in there for a whole 8 minutes.

After our games (Josh was the winner!), we counted down and watched the fireworks on the Strip on the t.v.

And then got started popping our New Year's Eve fortunes.

Mike did all of the fortunes (with a few prizes thrown in), and he cracked us up.

The best was that he made 3 "You will have 5 children" fortunes, thinking that he or I would get one... and the kids got each of them.


I can't be tricked even by fate into having #5.

After our tree, we lit our sparklers, and got these guys into bed.

It was a FUN New Year's Eve, and a great way to start the new year.


On Thursday, New Year's Day, we all slept in.

Way in.

And got up at the crack of 11:00 to make some fresh-squeezed Arizona orange juice.

We spent the day relaxing, playing, and cleaning up.

I never am in the mood for spring cleaning, but I LOVE after-Christmas organizing and de-junking.

I just wish my cute family was as into it as I am.  ;)


Sam has slept in this port-a-crib in our bedroom for his entire life.

That hole?

It began as a quarter-size tear, that Josh slowly enlarged until he (and Sam) could crawl in and out.

So, we made the change and moved him to the boys' room into an official crib.

And said "good-bye" to our beloved port-a-crib that Grace, Josh, and Sam all slept in when they were teeny.

Sam is loving his new bed and I miss him in my room, but I have to admit it's nice to not have to try and read my scriptures in the dark each night after he was asleep.



On Saturday after Mike was off of work, we went to check out a fun, new park that Mike had found on-line.

In Henderson, of course.

While we were driving, Grace had to go to the bathroom, so we stopped at the first place we saw.

Which happened to be a HUGE park entirely devoted to dogs.

Why are you so cool Henderson!?!

We eventually made it to the other park, and had fun playing.

When the kids could no longer feel their hands (it was a little cold), we headed back home.


On Sunday we went to church and into new church classes.

Josh is a CTR 5 this year:

Adam is a Valiant (and on his last year of Primary... wow!):

Grace is a Valiant (but she and Adam are in separate classes):

Josh was tired and grumpy and hungry and not in the mood for pictures.

By the end, neither was Grace.

11:00 church is hard.

But, after a little lunch in their tummies, they were happy, played together, and enjoyed the last day of winter break before going back to school tomorrow.