Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016

January was a tough month. I have been really uncomfortable with this pregnancy and Joe was away for work for 3 weeks in a row which made for really long days.

I started it off by wrecking our van. I hit black ice on the road in front of our house and hit a tree.  Thankfully nobody was hurt but our van has seen better days. (We decided not to fix our van since it is over a $2000 fix and we plan to get a new vehicle soon. Every time the kids get in the van they remind me that "it is broken")

James started swim lessons with his friend Benjamin! 


I had fun taking pictures of the girls together so they could hang them on their bedroom walls. More pictures here. 

Joe and I celebrated 8 years of marriage together!

Ali's turned 5 and had an awesome princess party with her friends. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ali's 5th Birthday

 Ali had a pretty fun 5th birthday! She was excited to go to school on her birthday and took colorful goldfish to share with her class. She got to go to the dollar store to spend some birthday money, to McDonalds play place for a happy meal and Coldstone for ice cream. I loved watching Ali so excited on her special day! Joe was out of town and so was unable to be here for Ali's actual birthday but he made it special by calling her and leaving random messages throughout the day.

Later in the week Ali went shopping with me and got to pick out some new outfits. 

Ali had her first friend birthday party and loved every minute of it! Her party was a princess themed party and her friends came dressed up as princesses. They played with sparkly play-dough, went on a frozen scavenger hunt, used magic wands to pop balloons and find treasures/candy, played pass the slipper and had a dance party. Ali wanted cupcakes instead of a cake and so each of her friends got their own cupcake with a candle and they all made a wish together. Joe and James dressed up in suites and served Ali and her friends at the party which Ali thought was pretty awesome. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Letter to James (End of 2015)

James,
You are such a sweet and caring boy. I will be forever grateful that Heavenly Father sent you to me as my first child and that your such a wonderful big brother to your little sisters. Their have been many moments this past year that my heart has overflowed with love for you and your actions have brought joy to me and our family.

This past year was a rough one for me as I was really sick with baby #4 and you have been such a help to me as I have struggled through nauseousness. I will never forget your sweet desire to try to alleviate my sickness by bringing toast with peanut butter on it up to me in bed each morning. You also started getting yourself cereal each morning and helped your sister when I couldn't.

You love to help me cook and know how to make mac-n-cheese all by yourself. Your favorite food is my homemade chicken noodle soup and you are really good at helping me roll out the noodles and add ingredients to the pot. You also love my pancakes and can make them on your own.

I was really nervous for you to leave your friends, school and routine in Utah and to start the school year off at a new school in a new state and you have done amazingly well. You are a born leader and make friends very easily. You have worked hard in school this past year and are improving with your reading each day as you read 5 books everyday after school.

You have always had a special place in your heart for animals and when your teacher asked you what you want to learn more about at school you told her "animals!" You love learning about where animals live and how they adapt to their surroundings. One of your favorite TV shows is Wild Kratts. You love to play the Wii and games on the I-pad and always get excited when you hear anything Mindcraft related even though we don't own it.

You love playing and being with friends and had a fun time playing flag football with your friend Rex this past year. You also like to play with our neighbor friends Ava and Ben. Your favorite sport seems to be soccer and you look forward to playing each season. You also enjoy music and just learned all the songs in your first piano book. You have a lesson with me each Tuesday and earn a quarter each time you learn a song. You have been saving up your quarters to buy a lego set.

You love legos! Whenever you get a minute to yourself I know I will find you in your dinosaur bedroom with your door closed (so that your sisters can't interrupt) building with legos. You have lots of legos but really like your Lego City, Dinosaur World, Star Wars and Ninjago sets.

I love you James and am proud of the sweet boy that you are.

Love,
Mom

Letter to Ali (End of 2015)

Ali,
You are such a kindhearted girl with a deep desire to make people around you happy. You love feeling "grown up" and will often times choose to sit and be with me over playing with other kids. For Christmas you asked for "3 lipsticks and 3 chap-sticks" and for your birthday you want new clothes. You love to talk on the phone, especially to your grandmas. When you talk on the phone you usually go into your bedroom and lay on your bed with your feet up like a teenager which always makes me laugh.

You love to help dad and I make pancakes every Saturday morning. You have deemed it your job each week to cut up a banana and always ask to flip the pancakes. You are such a good helper and really love to be involved in anything that allows you to feel grown up. I often times see your desire to want to be so big and just want you to enjoy being a 4 year old and then remember feeling the same way as a kid, I wanted to be just like my mom and was always bossing my siblings around.

You started Pre-K this past year and are really excited to go to kindergarten this upcoming year. You know all of your letters and sounds and have just started learning sight words. You love to point out the words you know when we read books and take a lot of pride in doing your "homework" with me and sometimes make up extra assignments.

You are going to be an amazing mother someday and really enjoy playing pretend with your baby dolls and taking care of your little sister. Whenever you see a baby you get really excited and say "Aww, it's so cute!" You absolutely LOVE to talk, you have such a cute voice and kind of talk with an almost British accent. You like to talk so much that sometimes it gets you into trouble because you forget to listen. I often times laugh at your cute phrases because rather then ask a simple question you ask it 4 or 5 different ways just so that you can keep talking.

You started dance a few months ago and absolutely love your teacher Mrs. Jackie! You were really excited to take dance lessons all on your own but then when Hannah saw you dancing she wanted to dance too and you got really excited and were happy to let her do lessons with you. I love watching you dance with your sister every week. You have so much fun with ballet and tap.

I love you so much and am grateful that you are such a loving, kind and forgiving girl.

Love,
Mom

Letter to Hannah (End of 2015)

Hannah,
You are such an energetic, animated and beautiful little girl! You steal the show wherever you go and often times leave a grocery store with a stranger wrapped around your finger. You are super outgoing and will strike up a conversation with anyone you meet. This past month we were at the mall and you thought a stranger was dad and hugged the strangers leg, I said Hannah we are over here and you looked up at the man and smiled and said "you are not my daddy!"

You don't hold any emotion back which is awesome and contagious when you are happy but not so much when you are sad. I love seeing you so happy over the simplest things. You love picking out dads clothes for him and always make him wear an orange shirt, you love the color orange and when you see it you get excited and say "I am so excited!"

You have the most beautiful natural curls. Your hair is long and thick and beautiful and everywhere you go people ask me about your hair and if I curl it. Most mornings you wake up looking like I have spent lots of time on your hair and really you just rolled out of bed. You make the cutest faces and love to pull your arms up to your scrunched face with your fists closed and say "I'm scared!"

You just started adding a "y" sound to the end of every word and have to go to sleep every night with your "blankey," "doggy" and "booky." You love reading and have just started playing and entertaining yourself and love to play in your bedroom. Often times I find you in your bedroom sitting in your little chair reading a book or singing to a baby doll. You also love dogs!

You love singing! I love listening to you sing I am a Child of God, Book of Mormon Stories, Eye of the Tiger...especially when you sing the roar part. You love to watch little video clips from U-Tube on the I-pad and one of your favorite clips to watch is a song about daddy, mommy, brother, sister and baby finger. You sing the song all the time and when you get hurt or are talking about a finger you refer to it as a person just like from the song. When you eat olives, raspberries or play with legos you can be heard singing the finger song.

You love Netflix and are always asking to watch "Tigerhood" (Daniel Tigers Neighborhood) and Sofia. You love Sofia and like to reenact scenes from the show with Ali. Your favorite Sofia episode is one about a little witch who goes around hexing (mean spells) people. You love to point your little finger at me and say "Hex" when you get mad...it is hilarious!

You are such a special little girl and bring so much joy to our family. I love you!

Love.
Mom

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year in Review

2015 was a great year full of lots of change. Joe graduated from BYU with his MBA and took a finance job in Troy Michigan. 

We had a lot of ups and downs trying to find a home and lived with family and in a hotel for about a 2 month period. We ended up finding a home but are currently renting until we figure out where life is going to take us. Where is life going to take us?...it seems to be the question of the year.

A few days after moving into our home I started feeling really sick and we found out that we will be having another baby! We are excited to welcome another baby girl into our family this upcoming spring!


Joe is really enjoying his job as a financial analyst for a motor supply company and continues to learn each day. He is currently serving as Young Men's President in our ward and keeps busy with church service. He had LASIK eye surgery this past month!

I am happy to have made it to week 28 of this pregnancy and am excited to welcome a baby girl into our family this spring. I continue to enjoy photography and cooking. I keep busy with the kids and love being home with them as well as serving as the Young Women's Secretary in our ward. 

James started first grade and has adjusted to a full day really well. He is working hard learning to read and was able to do flag football shortly after we made the move. James just finished learning all the songs from his first piano book and is excited to start basketball and another season of soccer. 

Ali started Preschool this year and loves her teachers and classmates! Ali knows all of her letters and is a very happy girl and loves to mother Hannah. She started ballet and tap lessons this year and loves to dance.

Hannah pretty much runs our household, she loves to be involved and in charge. She potty trained this year and has grown up so fast. She is taking dance with Ali but mostly focusing on just ballet.

Month Summaries