Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentines Day 2011

This Valentines Day was a lot of work but lots of fun.  My new neighbor and I decided to host a Valentines dinner together.  We used her lovely house to hold it in, since her’s is fully furnished.  Tonya put together this super cute table setting.The adults had tossed salad with green goddess dressing, chicken cordon bleu, lion house rolls, asparagus, and potpourri rice for dinner. IMG_7422 For the kids we had egg salad sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches cut into hearts with red jell-o cut into hearts  and cheese cubes with pretzel sticks instead of toothpicks. Here are the two kid’s tables…one for younger kids…IMG_7424 …And one for older kids!IMG_7428IMG_7426Here’s cute Amy, looking like a Valentine herself.  So cute!  IMG_7433The kids enjoying their meal! IMG_7434 IMG_7435Vivian got to sit at the adult table…she was happy by me.

For dinner, Tonya and I made four different dessert fondues (yes, we went a little crazy but it was fun to sample them all!) We had coconut, chocolate-caramel, strawberry and simply chocolate.  Tonya bought a red velvet cake, and we had fruit, and granola cookies, as well as some pound cake cut into cubes that my friend Jenni brought over.    IMG_7448IMG_7443 Jenni glowingly beautiful!IMG_7444 Vivian and Jared enjoying the fruit!

IMG_7450Ismale and Tonya our hosts!IMG_7451  Me, at the end of the meal, looking a little beat!

It is so nice to have a neighbor who actually wants to be friends!  I am so happy that we moved in next door!  Her kids are the prefect ages for Christian and it’s so nice to have someone who likes to be crazy and crafty who understands my love for holidays!

Christian’s 5-Year-Old Birthday!

This Sunday Christian turned five!  In other words, it was my 5th Anniversary of becoming a mother. :)IMG_7387Christian, with his “Balto” cake!

We had a party on Saturday for him that was themed:

“Story-Book Adventures”

It was kind of random and old-school, but he LOVED it!

We had Pin-The-Tail on the Donkey for the story about “Cleaver Aisha”

IMG_7363Christian, with Moses and Sophia showing where they got their tails

Musical Chairs for the “Musician’s of Bremen”  And a Rocket Space Ship Piñata for “Curious George Gets a Medal” IMG_7366The kids lined up to hit the piñata

 IMG_7380Zion, giving the piñata his all! (He’s the one who eventually broke it)



For the food we had pigs-in-a-blanket for the “Three Little Pigs”, Pork and Beans for “Jack and the Beanstalk”, goldfish crackers for “The Little Golden Fish” and a veggie tray for “Peter Rabbit”.  I’m not sure any of the kids really “got” the theme, but it was what Christian wanted.

IMG_7359    “Balto” Birthday cake.

I made Christian an igloo cake with Schleich husky dog figurines to be for the story of “Balto” which is actually a movie and I’m not sure it’s a book, because that’s what he wanted.  Originally, we were planning on doing a Narnia cake but after looking into those figurines (and finding out they averaged from $35-$50 a piece, I gave up on that idea).

I was so exhausted after his party that I’m not sure we’ll do a party with a whole entourage of friends every year…maybe just landmark years…like 8, 12, and 16, not sure yet :).  It probably will also depend on how much family we have around on those years.

On Christian’s real birthday, Sunday, we had the missionaries over for dinner (because no one else signed up and I needed help eating Christian’s left-over cake besides that Christian adores missionaries).  They gave us a lesson about how prayer is like the string of a balloon, and that we can get closer to Heaven (the balloon) by using the string.  Creative huh?IMG_7395 Christian on his birthday!

After the missionaries left, we had our own little party and opened some of his gifts from us.  I took movies of this so that’s why the next photos are a little off-color and grainy…IMG_7398Vivian giving her brother a hug IMG_7404 Christian checking out his new book! Vivian wondering if there’s anything else in the bag…IMG_7409 “Real” soccer shorts!IMG_7411  The fisher-price Play-n-go Castle with a knight and a dragon.IMG_7418 Jared reading Christian and Vivian a story in that poor little chair before bed.

I am so thankful for my big boy!  I can hardly believe that five years has passed by so quickly.  Christian is such a sweet and smart little boy who is excited to learn everything he can, explore, create and make-believe as much as possible.  He is really thrilled with the easy-reader books he got for his birthday and has even been able to read most of some of the stories in it.  He loves to color and is always showing me “his designs”.  It’s very fun to see how boundless his creativity can be.  One of his favorite gifts from friends’ was an explorer kit…which he LOVES and keeps going into the yard to dig up “dinosaur bones”.  It is so much fun to see the games he comes up with!

I am so in love with my little boy.  He can be stubborn and feisty, but heck, so am I.  He still loves to cuddle (which I’ve decided is a boy thing) and have me read books to him for hours if I’m willing.  He loves learning about the gospel and continues to listen to scripture scouts almost every day and sometimes almost ALL day.  Because of that, I’m constantly asked if our family reads scriptures an hour a day. The answer is “nope”.  When we do read scriptures it’s usually one or two verses we can discuss.  I think it’s mostly scripture scouts and that listening to them spark Christian’s curiosity to ask me questions about gospel principles.

I am so thankful that I have the privilege to be Christian’s mother and that he joined our family five years ago.  He is truly a gift.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

So Happy Together….for Eight Years!

This month, Jared and I celebrated our eighth anniversary.  Wow.  I’ve now been married longer than I ever was a teenager!  And the amazing thing is, that though we’ve lived in some somewhat odd situations going through various seasons together; basement apartment, school, back surgery, one-room apartment, school, baby #1, school, renting a house, more school, student teaching, university apartment, school, changing states, am internship, baby #2, and  buying our first home…to name the most life-changing.  The thing that is important is that we did it all together as a team—taking “time-outs” as needed and discussing game plans along the way.img716One of my favorite engagement photos.

I feel so blessed that Jared and I found each other.  He and I are so similar in opinions, views, and tastes it’s almost scary.  I am so grateful to Heavenly Father that He made a man like Jared and that he can be mine.  our life 076  Jared and I shivering in the 14 degree temperatures it was on our wedding day.

our life 114

Thank you sweetheart, for eight great years!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vivian’s One Year old! (plus)

I am so shocked at how quickly this year went by!  I have heard over and over again how fast time goes when people have a second child, but this was crazy!

Vivian started walking right before her  first birthday.  It’s been a little frustrating having her fall so often and seeing bruises on her.  I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if half of our house wasn’t tile.  We try to spend the majority of our time in the carpeted areas but she seems to fall the most when we’re above the tile (of course).

IMG_7195I have been so amused watching Vivian’s personality shine through this month.  She’s become a climber and a girl who’s got some mischief in her.  Her favorite things to get into are my bedside drawer and the cupboards downstairs.  She also loves getting into small spaces and hiding.  She’s a very busy girl that is into anything and everything that she can get her hands on.  Her most favorite thing though is baths!IMG_6956

 IMG_7125 Loving the basket!IMG_7127 I have been a little frustrated with her this month as she has expressed her annoyance with anyone else cuddling with me besides her.  She will race across the room and start trying to push her brother off my lap if he and I are reading a book together.  She screams and tries to push Jared away if he tries to kiss me when I’m holding her…it’s kind of funny, but kind of annoying at the same time.  We’re trying to teach her that we all love each other, but she doesn’t seem to like it.  She is happy to cuddle Christian or Jared as long as I’m not cuddling one of them so it’s not that she doesn’t like them, she just wants mommy all to herself, I guess.IMG_7160Vivian, taking off with Christian’s horse!  He’s really enjoying her new ability to walk…now he has someone to play with.IMG_7167

Vivian has proven to LOVE dolls these last couple of months.  Most days she roams about the house with a baby doll in each hand, hugging one of them and kissing them at random intervals.  It’s so darling, it warms my heart.


Words have not been a top priority for this girl.  She does say, “Hi”, “Hey”, “Momma” and “Dadda” and she will sign “all done” “or milk” once in a while when I’m not reading her thoughts well enough.

She does have a major temper though and if she get’s mad enough (in other words cries for longer than two minutes because I’m not right by her) she will throw up.  It is very frustrating.  We have tried to sleep train her, but the clean-up is so ridiculous that we’re still soothing her to sleep by rocking and holding.  I’m hoping that she will simmer down soon with the throwing up.

Vivian had 3 and 1/4 teeth on her first birthday. Two on the bottom and one giant one on the top with the other top tooth peeking barely through….she looked kind of like a jack-o-lantern.  A cute one, but a jack-o-lantern non-the-less.

IMG_7152 Vivian enjoying her spaghetti squash!

This little girl is a great eater!  She especially loves anything the rest of the family is having.  It’s been really fun watching her eat pretty much anything!  Her most favorite foods are cheese, chocolate and bananas, so I have to be careful what she eats them with.

IMG_6974Here’s a picture of what happened when Christian let Vivian check out his Christmas candy….cute but not too fun to clean!

IMG_7290This little girl is such a joy in our lives.  She is defiantly stubborn and feisty, but she is also sweet and loving with a cute sense of humor.  I am so thankful that she’s my little girl.  She keeps me hopping (and off the computer) but she is such a delight to have in our home.

IMG_7282  (Almost) ready for church!

Vivian’s Birthday Parties (in AZ)

For Vivian’s birthday this year, we had just barely gotten home from our Christmas visit to Utah the day before.  So we celebrated that evening by having pancakes for dinner.IMG_6975  It’s our birthday girl!IMG_6981    Christian and Jared helping Vivian blow out her candle!

Then we opened a couple of gifts and went to bed.

IMG_7012 IMG_7018

Vivian was so happy with her box that it took great effort to get her to stop sitting on it and actually open her gift.IMG_7020 IMG_7045

Here’s a cute picture I had to add of her playing with her baby.

We had her big birthday celebration with our friends Venetia and Jim, along with their Australian exchange student , Kalei and her kids, and Sherrada and her husband Cody, and their little girl Lydia.  It was really fun.  We had dinner together and then presents and cake and ice cream.  Vivian was very excited this time for her cake.  I guess she knew what to expect with all that frosting on top.IMG_7052 Here’s the top of the cake….not the best.  I went a little crazy with all those roses.IMG_7067 This is the better view of the cake…then you can’t see my sloppy writing!IMG_7075 Vivian loves to give hugs to her brother!IMG_7078 Showing off her new independent walking skills!IMG_7080Lydia, checking out her new baby cousin.IMG_7086Vivian, enjoying her view of the new baby.IMG_7090Jordyn in her cute piggy-tails! IMG_7093We decided to pull out “the chair” that Vivian thinks is hers so she’d stay put for her gifts!  IMG_7098 I have always loved “the hover” during gifts.  It cracks me up how interested the kids are in each others’ gifts. :)IMG_7103 IMG_7111

Excited for cake!


“I’ve had enough cake!”

I am so glad that we have reached one year!  It’s so much fun to watch their little personalities unfold once they’ve reached this landmark date.