Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jared Visits Santa

Okay, so I finally managed to take one of my kids to visit Santa at the mall. We were there getting Austin's pictures taken and we went to get lunch at the food court and passed right by the Santa set up in the middle of the mall. Jared was so excited to sit on his lap and tell him what he wanted for Christmas. He had the cutest smile on his face the entire time.

After he was all done and we had left the Santaland area he took my hand and said to me, "Mommy, that was a fake Santa!" When I asked him why he thought that he said that he sounded "way different than the Santa at our house." Last year for a family progressive dinner Santa visited our house to see all of the kids.

Christmas '07

Now let me remind you, last year Jared was only 2 at Christmas. That little boy amazes me at every turn. He also is always saying something to make me laugh.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Jordan!!

WOW! Where has the time gone. I can't believe that my oldest son is 8. It seems like just yesterday that I was giving birth to him, at least I can remember it as if it was only yesterday. We lived in Austin, TX at the time and I was working at Red Lobster. I went in the day before my due date for my last doctor's appointment and the doctor said that I wasn't making any progress toward labor (still only dilated to a 1) so he set me up to be induced the following week. I arranged for my good friend Sara to watch Ashleigh for the day that I would have him and I went to work for my last shift. The next morning at 4am I awoke to contractions. Considering what the doctor had just told me I just went out to the couch so that I wouldn't wake Michael and I timed the contractions for a few hours. They went from being every 20mins to every 8-10 mins over the course of 3 hours. Finally I decided it was time to call the doctor. I woke up Michael and Ashleigh and called my friend and asked if she could watch Ashleigh a week earlier than expected. We rushed to the hospital in Rush Hour and when I finally made it to the Labor and Delivery Room my contractions were right on top of each other and I was dilated to a 6. That was a 9:45am. I quickly accepted the offer of an epidural and the doctor arrived just in time to deliver Jordan at approximately 10:30am. I am truly grateful for the opportunity I had to go into labor on my own and also that they had time to give my an epidural when I finally made it to the hospital. When Dr. Phillips told me to stop pushing because the cord was around Jordan's neck I honestly don't know that I would have been able to stop had it not been for the epidural. The doctor was able to loosen the cord and Jordan was born a very healthy little boy. He weighed 8lbs. 1oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. We had no family with us at the time, but we had great friends to help us out. Thank you to Latina and Sara!! We were all so happy to have him in our home. He was a happy baby who loved his sister more than anything. They were the best of friends.

At the Cabin

Aunt Becky's Wedding '04

Jordan & Jared
First Day of Kindergarten

Halloween '07

Jordan & Austin

Now here we are 8 years later and Jordan is still a joy to have in our home. He is a great brother to his sister and his younger brothers. He has a very tender heart and wants to be a friend to everyone. His biggest love is video games, following in his father's footsteps. He is also starting to really enjoy playing such sports as baseball, basketball and soccer. He loves playing with legos and star wars. He also loves playing with his cousins and spending time at Granny and Papa's cabin. He is looking forward to his baptism in a few weeks and we are very proud of him for wanting to be baptized. It is a joy to watch him grow as a boy and in the gospel.

At the cabin

We love you so much buddy, keep Choosing the Right and continue to be a good friend to everyone.

Growing Too Fast!

OK, Austin is now 4 1/2 months old and the kid is growing like a weed. At his check-up last week he weighed in at 17 lbs and measured 26" long, 75th% for both measurements. He's grown so much since birth that Ashleigh can barely cradle him in her arms anymore.

He is such a happy baby and he is so chunky that he is just irresistible. He loves his brothers and sister and is always so happy to see his daddy, of course I, being his food source am his favorite person in the world. He is starting to be very talkative, although his talking is more of a screeching at this point. He is also trying to roll over, but hasn't quite made it yet and he can sit up a little bit, although it's more of a balancing act than sitting up.

He is truly a joy in our home, he loves it when Ashleigh will read or sing to him or play the piano. He is all smiles when the kids are playing with him.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Well Halloween has come and gone. Our kids had a good time preparing for Halloween this year, although they missed having Grammie around to make it even more special. They had fun opening the Halloween calendar that Granny made for them and just as much fun deciding what they were going to be this year. Ashleigh knew last year what she was going to dress as this year and she never changed her mind. She was a cowgirl and we had everything for her costume except a vest. She wanted me to buy her one, but she was pretty specific with what she wanted so I made one instead. Yes, you saw correctly, I made her a vest. She was happy with the final product and she made a cute cowgirl, not that I am biased or anything. Jordan was the easiest, he wanted to be a Clone Trooper from Star Wars the Clone Wars. That was readily available at any store that sold costumes. Jared was our difficult one this year. He changed his mind multiple times a day, everyday for more than a week. He mentioned such things as the Hulk, Batman, a Ninja Turtle and a Rock Star. We finally decided that a Rock Star was going to be it. He was so excited when I found a toy guitar for him to use with his costume. He is such an animated child, he was so funny once he had on the entire costume. Because of soccer schedules and Michael and I doing scouts it was difficult to find a night that we could carve pumpkins so on Friday when the kids got home from school they designed their Jack-o-lantern faces and I spent a few hours carving them before we needed to get ready for Trick or Treating. The kids and I went to our ward's Trunk or Treat and Michael handed out candy at home. Then we switched and Michael took the kids Trick or Treating around the neighborhood and I handed out candy at home. All in all the kids had a blast and got plenty of candy. The only problem that I had with Halloween this year was the temperature here in AZ. You would think I would be used to it by now, but Trick or Treating when its 85 outside is just not right. My mom said it was 45 in VT, somewhere in the middle would be just perfect in my book.

It's Soccer Season

This year is the year that my kids are really getting into playing sports and it's fall so that means it's time for soccer. I have to say that I am grateful that Jordan chose soccer over football, don't get me wrong I love to watch football, but given the choice for my kids I would definitely choose soccer. Although that could have something to do with the fact that where I grew up, we didn't have a football team in my town, it was and still is a soccer legacy that Proctor is known for. Both Ashleigh and Jordan are playing soccer at the moment, Jordan is playing on a team and has games every Saturday and Ashleigh is playing after-school sports. Both of them are loving it so far. Jordan is doing great and improving with every game. He has seen a lot of playing time as Goalie and some time as a defender and just a little bit as a forward. He enjoys being Goalie, but did comment after the last game that he likes being a forward as well. Here are a few pictures of him at practice and his 1st game.
During Jordan's soccer practice the other kids like to roll down the hill and feed the ducks. It's a good way to pass the time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October Break at the Cabin

Okay, so I have been thinking alot lately about how I am as a mother and I have felt inspired by some other moms that I know or know of. I decided that I was going to do my best to be a better mom, one who doesn't yell so much and makes life for my children a little more fun. October Break gives my kids a 4 day weekend and I thought it would be a perfect way to make some fun memories. The kids and I were going to the cabin for the weekend, unfortunately Michael couldn't go with us. We go to the cabin alot, so I wanted to do something that would make this weekend more memorable than some of our past trips. I didn't hook up the video player in the car and I packed us a picnic lunch to have along the way. It was a beautiful fall day (for AZ standards) and we headed out around noon. We stopped to have our picnic in Christopher Creek and the picnic area was very nice. After lunch we hiked down a hill to the creek. The kids had fun looking at the water and walking on the rocks. There were alot of spiders along the banks of the water and that freaked them out alittle bit, but they still kept going. After our lunch break and hike it was time to get back on the road.

We arrived at the cabin and it was in the 60's. The kids changed into jeans and sweatshirts and were outside playing for the rest of the afternoon. It was pretty windy and the stronger the wind got the more Jared stayed inside. For some reason he was very scared when the winds were gusty. I seriously think he was afraid he would get blown away. On Friday it was cold and windy again, but we bundled up Jared and Austin and took a walk down to the pond. The kids played in the sand pile, we did rides on the tire swing and we played on the lawn.

Saturday brought rain and even colder temps and more wind. It was a good day for movies, crafts and games. Jordan spent some time playing with his cousin Daniel at his cabin, but the rest of us stayed at Granny and Papa's cabin. Ashleigh was a little bored not having anyone to play with, but she was good to play with Jared and read to Austin. I enjoyed having time to do things with my kids. The only thing that could have made the weekend any better would have been to have Michael with us. Thank you Granny and Papa Gunnell for the use of the cabin for the weekend. I know I had a blast and I am hoping the kids did also.

Busy Family Life

Life is busy, as usual. I was talking with a friend the other day and we both felt like we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off, she has 2 kids in Junior High and 2 in Elementary School. I feel lucky that mine are only in Elementary School, I am busy enough with their schedules as they are now. Ashleigh is taking piano lessons and loves every minute of it, she is doing very well. She is a perfectionist so I have no worries about her passing her songs off each week. Her teacher says she is doing great. She is also going to be starting After-school Sports in a few weeks. She is looking forward to playing soccer at school with her PE teacher being the coach. Jordan starting playing soccer a few weeks ago with a youth league here in Mesa. He loves it so far and his games start this weekend. I am so happy that he is having fun learning to play sports, hopefully he will want to spend more time doing sports than playing video games. A mom can only hope!! :) Jared is a bundle of energy and is just happy if he can go along with anyone. I am looking forward to the weather cooling down so that we can go to the park during the day once in a while. Austin is 3 months old today. He is such a cute baby. He is talking and smiling and laughing now. He tries to sit himself up when he is laying back and he has grown like a weed. At his 2 month check up (he was actually 2 1/2 months old) he weighed 13 lbs. 14 oz. and was 24 1/4 inches long, that was the 90-95% for both measurements. I couldn't believe it. I knew he was growing, but that blew me away, even moreso when my sister-in-law told me that was almost exactly what my nephew was at his 6 month appointment. I refer to Austin as our little Budda Baby. He has all of the same fat rolls as a budda, only they are a lot cuter on Austin.

General Conference

It's been a while since I have had a chance to sit down and update. A few weeks ago was the Semi-Annual General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It gives the members of the church the opportunity to listen to our beloved Prophet and other church leaders speak on different topics that they feel inspired to share with the world. There were 2 sessions on Saturday and 2 more on Sunday. I always look forward to Conference, I always feel spiritually renewed after listening to the Prophet and Apostles of the Lord speak words of inspiration. Especially this year, with an election and the worries of the economy I was eager to hear from our religious leaders. I am putting links to a few of my favorite talks.

Saturday AM ~ Neil L. Andersen ~ We may not know it all, but we know enough
~ President Dieter F. Uchtdorf ~ The infinite power of Hope
Saturday PM ~ Jeffrey R. Holland ~ The ministry of Angels
Sunday AM ~ President Henry B. Eyring ~ Unity
~ President Thomas S. Monson ~ Find Joy in the Journey
Sunday PM ~ Russell M. Nelson ~ Marriage

These few talks are just a sample of the conference as a whole. If any of you would like to read or listen to more I promise that you will be uplifted as you do so, just click on the link at the beginning of this post. I have been spiritually fed from this conference and I appreciate the love that my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ have for me and for all of us.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Proud to be an American

I wasn't sure if I was going to do a post about the tragedy that struck our country 7 years ago, but I decided that there were a few things that I wanted to say. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I was in the car taking Michael to work when we heard it on the news as the second plane hit the WTC. I was completely stunned and all I could do for the rest of the day was sit in front of the television. I also spent the day trying to make contact with my many friends who lived and worked in NYC. Luckily, they were all safe.

On this September 11, 2008 I would like to express my love for this country and for the men and women who are fighting to protect us all over the world. I don't know anyone personally who is fighting in the wars in the Middle East, but I pray for their safety and appreciate the courage that they have to get up and do their job day after day. To me, this picture from 7 years ago is what we need to remember the most. That no matter what devastation is thrown our way we will always be a free country and we will always pull together in our times of need. May God bless all of the families who lost someone on 9/11/01 and fighting for our country from that day on and may God bless all of you as well.

Jared's Air Guitar

Jared loves music, he loves to sing into Ashleigh's microphone and he also plays the air guitar anytime we have music on in the house. This video was taken while we had XM Radio playing on the TV one day. He is a total crack up, he keeps us laughing on a daily basis. When we got home from church on Sunday he told me that he taught the kids in his nursery class the song "Who Let the Dogs Out", he learned that from a Valentine's Day song card. All I could do was laugh and hope that is what his nursery teacher did as well.

Austin's Special Day

Sunday Sept. 7th was Austin's Blessing Day. He looked so cute dressed in his white blessing outfit, although he has grown so much over the last few weeks that it was actually a little small on him. His daddy gave him the blessing, with Papa Gunnell, Uncles JJ and Scott and the members of our Bishopric all participating. The blessing was beautiful. Through the gift of the Holy Ghost, daddy blessed that he would know that his family loves him and that he is also loved by his Heavenly Father. He was blessed that he would choose to be baptized at the age of 8 and that he would be blessed with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He was also blessed that he would choose righteous friends throughout his life and that when he was 19 he would serve his Heavenly Father by going on a mission. The blessing also promised that when he returned home from his mission he would find a worthy young woman to marry in the temple, for Time and all Eternity. Austin didn't make a sound through the entire blessing, he is such a good baby. I think he was caught up in the excitement of the day because that little boy would not take a nap for longer than 15 minutes at a time for the rest of the day, luckily he was happy and not crying all day. I am grateful to be blessed with such a happy little boy, he is getting a cute little personality. He smiles at all of us and he makes those cute little baby noises of a baby trying to talk. I am also grateful for a wonderful husband who has been able to give beautiful blessings to each of our children, thank you Michael. I love you!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

How Quickly They Grow

Austin will be 8 weeks old in a few days and it amazes me how quickly time flies and how much he has changed in just 2 months. I thought I would post some random pictures of him over the last few weeks to show how he has grown and changed. Just a tidbit of information: at his 5 week check up he was 10lbs 4oz and 22 1/2 inches long. I couldn't believe that he was over 10lbs. He is a very good eater and looking at him you can tell. His whole body has filled out and he is just too cute.

All smiles for Daddy

All smiles for Mommy

Look at those cheeks!!