Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bound to Happen

So ever since we moved I have had the same calling - Primary Chorister. What was a major fear turned into a major love and really didn't think that I was going to be changing any time soon. I finally knew what I was doing. That's when you know you're toast. So, 3 1/2 years later I got released from the best gig in the Primary to be changed to (hopefully) the best in the Young Women's, the MiaMaid advisor. Once again I am terrified, but the excitment is drowning it out. I loved Young Women's growing up so hopefully I can pass some of that on to our awesome girls. The whole leadership for the Young Women's is new as well as our bishopric (it happened the same Sunday), so we are all feeling a little lost, but we'll work through it and have a rockin' time. Last night was the first mutual night that I went to and it was an absolute blast! I love our girls already. But a LOT has changed since I've been in Young Women's. So if anyone out there has any advice about working in Young Women's, or any awesome activity ideas, I am totally ok with it if you share!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Our Halloween season lasted all weekend and then again on Monday. I think this was the most fun that the kids have had on Halloween all their short little lives. On Friday was Jaxon's class party that I got to help out at that was complete with fire alarm drill and parade. That night was the school's Halloween carnival and Jaxon was in his element. He loved playing all the games and was all about the giant inflatables. He was especially good at the giant inflatable obstacle course. We weren't even sure if he could do it, but he wanted to do it, so we let him, and he burned through that sucker. Sammi and Jill had a good time as well. Sammi was a little more hesitant to get involved, but had fun when she did. Her favorite was the donut walk and fish pond. Jill just was happy as can be to be in her pooh costume, watch all the craziness that was going on, and sneak candy whenever she could. On Saturday we went trick or treating to Grandpa Gordon and Grandma and Grandpa. On Monday we hit the truck-or-treat that was in a small little neighborhood in our ward, just perfect for such occasions. Then we proceeded to hit a few of the houses in our neighborhood and make visits to an elderly couple that we just love to visit with, as well as Granny and Grandpa and Katie and Mark. And it only took us about three hours! We came away with way more candy than I expected, but the kids were having a blast through it all. It was fun to see them having fun. Plus they were dang cute to look at. They loved their costumes and wore them today as well. That only lasted about and hour as they realized that wearing the costume does not atomatically get them more candy.

Happy, happy birthday Sammi, dear!

Our little Sammi was ecstatic to celebrate her birthday. She proved that she was quite grown-up by keeping the bike that she helped me pick out for Jaxon and that was hiding in the back with a sheet over it when we picked the kids up for carpool a complete secret. She is awesome! Sammi is quite the girly girl so we spent her birthday morning doing exactly what she wanted to do - nails, hair, and coloring pictures of Rapunzel. She has been obsessed with Rapunzel lately even though we don't have the movie and she has only seen it a couple of times thanks to grandma. She wants to grow her hair out long like Rapunzel and is quite pleased with her progress. It's clear to her waist at the longest part when it's straight. Sammi wanted a Rapunzel cake and since I'm a little over making the whole barbie cake
(although I got quite good at them after doing it two years in a row), we did Rapunzel's tower as her cake. That sucker was tall! And miracles of miracles, it all stayed in tact! Whew! Sammi's birthday was actually quite a busy day as I was also trying to prepare some stuff for Jaxon's class Halloween party the next day, so I was more than happy to make her dinner request. Sammi's birthday meal was mac n' cheese. Bless you child. Just what a busy mom wanted to hear. Even though it was no surprise because she asks for it every night. Sammi is such a funny little girl. She is always making us laugh with her little comments and gestures. I think my favorite quote from her so far has been when we where having family home evening and she tried to whisper this observation to me as to not hurt our dad's feelings, "Daddy has the priesthood...he can't walk on water!". She is a very sweet girl and is just beautiful. She is going to make a great mom judging my the way that she mothers her dolls. We love her so much and are so grateful that she's a part of our family!

Jaxon is one year older and wiser, too!

Jaxon had "the best birthday ever with the most presents ever." He had a pretty awesome day. When I went to wake him up for school, before he even opened his eyes, he put a big smile on his face and serenaded me with this little ditty, "It's my birthday shout hooray, wooh, I want to sing to me all day, wooh!". He was a helpful little six year old, too. As I was cleaning up from the disaster area that I made out of the kitchen when I was decorating his cake, Jaxon started cleaning the rest of the house and would not stop. "I just feel like I could clean all day!" Wait, what? Is it my birthday? For his birthday cake he wanted a pizza cake because, "I don't like pizza, I LOVE pizza!"
He actually wanted me to stuff the pizza-looking cake with pizza, but I convinced him that a separate pizza for dinner would have to suffice.
He had a great day and it was awesome to celebrate with all of our family that is around here (minus Emily and Jake, we missed you!). Jaxon is such a funny kid that keeps us constantly on our toes and amazes us with his memory and smarts. He's becoming quite the little reader and loves to speed around on his bike, excuse me, "motorcycle". He really is an amazing helper to me most all of the time and is such a good big brother. We love our Jaxon and are excited to see what this next year will bring.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Jaxon on his first day at school. By the way, he's doing the letter 'K' in sign language for kindergarten, not the #1.

So, I remember once sitting in a Red Robin in Visalia next to a poster that said, "All I need to know I learned in Kindergarten" and then had a list of stuff that we learn in kindergarten that we use throughout our lives. Supposed to be funny, or ironic, or something. Well, I don't agree with it at all because, frankly, I feel I've learned a lot since that time in my life. But I digress. I feel like "All I need to know about myself I learned when my first child went to kindergarten". Ok, maybe not everything, but some pretty important things anyway. Let me explain:
1. I have learned that I'm slightly clingy. Ok, ok, really a lot clingy. I may or may not have been seen bawling my eyes out as the school bus drove away with Jaxon on it for the first time in his little life. But in my defense I did wait until it was driving away. (And I may or may not be a little misty now just thinking about it) But think about it - it's the beginning of the end. Blink and he'll be in high school, blink again, mission, again, married with 11 kids (hahahaha!!!). It's all going too fast! What's the rush? Slow down, isn't he still like 2 or 3 or something?
2. I have learned that it's almost easier to have more kids to entertain than less. It seems like every morning that I struggle to find things to thrill and excite (and educate of course) the girls. Where's a Jaxon when you need him? But it's really good for Sammi to get a little more attention. When Jill grants that privilege anyway.
3. I have learned in a whole new way what it means to be genuinely excited for someone else even though you feel bad for yourself. Jaxon is just jump out of his shoes excited to go to school each day and comes home absolutely glowing. I love that.
4. I have learned to absolutely appreciate this time that I have to be at home with my kids. I have been guilty at times of wishing and looking forward to the day when I can have a little more peace and alone time when someone wasn't crawling all over my personal space. But now I get it a little more - this is the best time ever, challenging, yes, but the best.

So, yes, Jaxon started school on Wednesday and is loving every bit of it. Especially the bus ride. Oh, and one other side note. The kids in our neighborhood that he rides the bus with - awesome. They are so nice to him, it just makes my day. Jaxon's teacher is Mr. Nielsen, no relation. Jaxon really likes him so far and he seemed really nice when I met him, although he is one of the few people in the world that have made my 6 foot self feel short. So here's to a successful start to many more years of learning!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The likeness is disturbing

So is it me, or does Jaxon look like a mini-version of Elton John in the '80's?

Poor Jaxon needs a brother.
Don't think I'm announcing anything, I'm just sayin' someday)

Yah, Jill, I think it's funny, too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I guess Christmas was a while ago...

So, hello. Long time no blog. Life got a little crazy there for a while and something had to give, this was that something. Our life since Christmas has been full and awesome! Here's a little update of what's been up these last 7ish months.
Jill learned how to crawl just in time to get into everything at Christmas time. Awesome.

In January I did one of my months of teaching for the joy school that Jaxon was involved in. Let me tell you, I have a new appreciation for teachers and I pray for the soul that will have Jaxon as a kindergarten teacher. Not that I think that he's going to be particularly naughty, but just wow, the energy that kid gets when he's amoung his peers (especially his BFF Brody). Seriously, it should be examined and researched. Riley also turned 30 this month. He discovered it's not all that bad.
February came and I started looking after a couple of kids for a friend of mine. One was a little two year old girl and the other was a 7 month old little boy. Once again, I gained a new respect for mothers who have twins, what with Jill being just a couple months older than the little boy. Steph, I am in awe of you. But it was a good thing, and kept me busy, and I'm glad that I could help out.
Jaxon and Sammi were also involved in a dance class that my sister, Emily and a friend of her did for their dance major. They absolutely loved it and keep on talking about when they will be able to do it again.
Sammi also went to the dentist for the first time and was a model patient.

In some of March and April I taught for school again. Whew. Really, these kids were pretty great. So incredibly smart and funny. One girl could totally draw better than me. Don't know how I feel about that.
In April Jill turned 1 year old! It's very exciting, but I still think that she should be a little baby.

Shortly after her birthday Jill started walking and loving being mobile. It wasn't long until she started running. About a week after turning 1, Jill also started sleeping through the night finally!!! Words cannot describe my joy! Well, it lasted a while, but she's back to waking up to tell me how much she loves me at least once, but mostly 2-4 times a night. What a gal.
May came and with it my birthday and our anniversary with an awesome Staycation with Riley. BIG thanks to my parents and Mark and Katie who made that possible. Riley also went through a major transformation at this time.

We had a rocking Hall family reunion that was pirate themed. Barbara did an absolutely amazing job with it all.

June came with a whole lot of crazy. Jaxon learned how to ride his bike without training wheels. Big stuff. Sorry, no picture.
The kids stayed with Rick and Barbara and had a blast while Riley and I took a road trip with my parents and Mark and Katie to go to my Uncle Brent's wedding to his now lovely wife Melinda. It was fast and furious, but a serious amount of fun. Riley and I got to dance the night away at the wedding and pretty much made fools of ourselves. It was great!
Michael and Anne came with the kids to visit us crazies out in Idaho. It was soooo good to spend a lot of time with them. We went to the circus, the zoo, the museum, the spray park, out to the Hall farm, had 4th of July celebrations, and just played until we dropped. Well, we dropped, but the kids kept on going. I really hope they eventually make it out closer so we can hang out more. Like soon would be good.

So our life keeps on plugging along and we are just trying to enjoy the ride. Thinking back on the last little while has really made me realize how blessed that we are as a family. Hope your family is doing great as well!