Wednesday, May 28, 2014

to bennett

Oh goodness, oh my. My oldest.  The one that I learned on.  The one that gave me the gift of mother hood.  The one that brings me such joy because of many things, but especially because of your choices and desires, your talent and mind.  
Oh Bennett, I just can't for the life of me decide how or why I got to be your mom.  
From the moment you were born, you have been so good.  You want to be good, if you are told something you did or said isn't good, you are shocked and sorry.  
You would never deliberately do something you know to be wrong, or unkind.  
I am grateful for that.  I hear often what a good kid you are and I can only say, "That's so sweet of you to say."  I could say, yes I know!  He is pretty amazing!, but I would be pretty annoying,
 but that is certainly what I feel.  
7th grade has been so much better for you.  6th grade was a struggle and I am so happy that is behind you.  When we decided to move you were so sad to move from your school. 
 I remember being so sad for you and one day knowing you were supposed to go to your new school that was part of the reason why we found this house was for you to attend a different jr high.  
It didn't make sense at the time, but sure enough, it was true.  
You have grown and flourished at this new school, you have made many new friends and really enjoy and appreciate your teachers and faculty.  
You have found this new talent.  At Christmas time you wouldn't sing while playing your guitar because you claimed you were NOT a singer.  
Who knew that just a few months later you would be portraying in your first ever musical role as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. 
 I had the privilege to help out as the musical director.  It was so fun to watch you with your peers and these new friends.  
I just was so happy to hear so many kids and teachers come to me saying how good and kind you were and were a friend they could trust and enjoyed being around.  
That is saying a lot.  Especially in Jr. High!  
I always say that you kind of gave it to me too easy for my first.
 Nothing has every really been a struggle or difficult for you, 
I have never really had to keep you in line or fear what you may be doing or saying.  
Although, I have been extremely grateful for this, it has made other children a  whole other challenge.  ;)

The other day I found on my phone a goal list for you.  
1st class scout
read to Alma
better my football game
learn 3 broadway songs
1 hour of house work
read 3 classic books
20 minutes of piano
run 3 5ks
keep straight A's

That's just who you are.  You are looking for ways to improve and this list just brought tears to my eyes.  You just want to be good.  I am so happy about that.

You are getting older with more of a social life.  That is so fun to watch and see. Of course I wish I could keep you as a baby forever, but I haven't figured out a way to do that yet.  So, I am just going to enjoy this season as much as I can.  Thank you for still wanting me around and spending time with me.  It's practically my favorite.

Bennett, thank you.  Thanks for our long walks and talks.  Thanks for your desire and goals.  Thanks for always giving me the benefit of the doubt.  Thanks for teaching me the ropes.  Thanks for going easy on me.  Thanks for being mine and His.  Love you Bennett Boo!  

to emmy

I don't think there is any surprise when I say I am a sentimental girl.  
Maybe perhaps to the extreme?  I often have tears in my eyes.  Mostly of joy and happiness.  
I get choked up over simple accomplishments, quiet moments, thoughts, gestures and so on.  Last night as I cuddled up my sweet little Emmy asleep in my bed dressed in one of her many princes dress ups, I was over come with love for this sweet little girl.  I love her.  Like LOVE her.  
I love all my kiddos to crazy measures, it's maybe the only thing I do well in life, is love them, but as I held her in my arms and tears streaming down my face I just kept thinking "I wish I could tell you".  I wish I could tell her how amazing you are for all of us.  I wish I could tell you how sweet she are.  I wish I could tell you how you soften hearts and calm our crazy.  
I wish I could tell you how precious and pure your little voice is.  I wish I could tell you how grateful I am you came to us and how grateful I am you are  raising us it seems.  I wish I could tell you simply how perfect and sweet you are.  You really are. 
 I know I am your mom, I know I should be saying this and maybe NOT be saying it to the world to seem to be one of those moms, but your goodness is something else.  It sure makes me want to be better.  It sure invites the spirit and excludes the adversary.  
I am blessed to have you in our home.  We have thought this since day one.  Since I was pregnant with you really.  I finally with you had a somewhat decent pregnancy.  I wasn't sick I wasn't uncomfortable I was just content and happy.  
When you were born it all made sense.  You were just good.  It hasn't changed for the three years we have had you either.  Going back to my thoughts last night though, I wished I could just tell you all these things, how in fact you make life that much better.  
The reality is I can tell you.  I was in fact, but it went beyond that.  I wished I could tell your future self, what your real self really was.  Might not make much sense, but to me it did.  
I love you Emmy girl. 

I love you Emmy girl with all I have.  I often times do not feel deserving of such a precious, gift, but I am always grateful for it.  

One thing that I know I need to do more of is write.  Write about my kids, about our lives, my relationships, our every days.  I am going to.  I am writing for no one other my family.  I am not even sure if anyone reads this anymore, I am not sure why they would since it's been years since my last update, and I have no idea how to check it, so I am just going to start from here.  Heres to a new volume of English Family Happenings and writings!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It is about time.  That is all I have to say.  My desire to blog, or keep a journal account of our happenings is still here, but for whatever reason, I have not blogged.  In a long long time.

So what has been going on with our family in the last year?  I do not even know where to start.  I guess a good place to start is we moved.  That will be a whole other blog post, but that certainly was a big part of our year.  Andy got sick, twice, which is so not like him.  The kids are growing and growing, still makes me sad.  Lots and lots and lots of "do it yourself" projects.  A very long, cold winter.  A trip to Disney World.  Bennett discovered his love for theatre and music.  Still chugging a long as the Relief Society President, going on three years.  Andy is the Stake Presidents secretary.  Emmy turned three, and is officially out of any state of baby hood.  Bennett is a teenager, Maddox is in first grade and can spell Chrysanthemum (I couldn't, I had to spell check), the twins are in second grade and far too old for my liking.  They were baptized. We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of family visiting and get togethers.  My kids have discovered Full House and it is not part of our families loves.  Paxton had his first and last year of preschool and is seeming so old.  Lots of things happening and going on.  It is a happy life.  A good life.  A busy life and basically my favorite.

I really hope to journal more and just keep track of the things going on in our lives.  I am telling you, Facebook was the demise of my blogging.  It is much easier and quicker to add a one liner to remember what is going on with us, then actually taking it steps further to the blog.  ;) I am recommitting myself.  It will not be necessarily the most fun thing to read, but at least weekly I am going to keep up on what is going on and what we are up to.  Heres to a new dedication and time to keeping account of this thing I love most, my family.

Monday, January 7, 2013

sickies for us'

First things first, I got my computer back!  After almost five months missing in action I'm back. Hooray!

Last week Maddox got sick in the middle of the night and just like Maddox, laid back and not very vocal, he did not even wake up to tell us.  Gross I know.  Just kept sleeping.  When we woke up and saw it all we felt so bad for him.  It was only once and he just seemed to lay around all day, but we were hoping it was just a fluke and not sickness about to tear down our house!

Then the next day he seemed pretty good.  So we thought we were in the clear.  Then the next morning Emmy woke up and was sick.  I knew it was just a matter of time till we all fell one by one.  Poor Emmy just was so somber and quiet.  Its so sad when a baby is sick.  Then it hit Cortland and this boy took three days to just lay there.  Then Pax, me and lastly Jadeyn and Bennett.  Pax and I just had fevers and it only lasted about 12 hours, but the others just kind of would lay there.  Luckily this sickness was not bad, in fact it was kind of nice.  Just us all together for days.  Shutting all other things out.  Once each kid was fever free for 24 hours they felt better and were able to do more.

Sunday was probably my most favorite day of the whole break.  We went no where and did nothing.  Not even church.  We did miss our church family there and being able to take the Sacrament and feel the spirit, but being together was just what the doctor ordered.  We watched movies, played games and put together at least 10 puzzles.  It was pure bliss.  We also had such a great dinner especially for those with tummy's still on the mend.  It was a recipe we found on pinterest of course.  I will include it on here at the end.  We ended with symphony brownies for Maddox's birthday cake.

All in all as crazy as it sounds, being sick was just what we needed.  A day to recoup, recover and enjoy one another the last day before everyone headed back to work and school.  Only funny enough, I got them one more day because I thought sending them back to school might be a little too much just yet.

Chicken and "Dumplings"

3 cans Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup, luckily I already bought a case on clearance at Sams
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 can grands buttermilk biscuits

Cook soup and broth till boiling.  Then add biscuits cut in squares and cook boiling for 10 minutes.  Then cover and cook for additional 10 minutes.  Then serve!

This was so good and obviously so so easy!  It was a hit with everyone.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I have decided after browsing through my blog today that facebook is it what ruined my blog entries.  It's just so easy to jot something down, something funny the kids say, or what I am up to on good ole fb than open up my blog.  I don't want that to be the case though.  I need to be better.  I will be better.

I was talking to a friend the other day about the Holidays and she was mentioning how crazy this time of year can be.  I agreed.  It can be.  About three years ago though, I decided I was not going to let it make me crazy!  There is a lot going on, for sure, but I am in charge of the spirit felt in our home, what we chose to do and what we chose not to do.  The holidays can be accomplished with a heart full of hope and love and the spirit of Christmas even with many many things to do on your agenda.

This year I feel as if I have a lot going on, maybe more than normal.  I am not stressed out at all.  Granted those times may arise, but I am choosing to find joy in the journey.

This month, I gave a talk in church, I taught a lesson, I, as well as the rest of our Relief Society Presidency, is in charge of the Church Christmas party, I am putting together friends in need baskets, I am doing Get Smart With Art with Maddox's kindy class, I am doing the twins Christmas party at school.  I also have Jadeyn and Cortland's birthday and then of course Christmas! and all the fun and things that go along with that.  I find that normally when I have things to do it is the anticipation of it that is what really stresses me out, but the actual event doesn't, that is when my life changed three years ago when I figured this out.  It doesn't have to be hard.  Sometimes remembering that is hard, but I remind myself, it doesn't have to be.

I am going to take a little more time to stop, look and listen, much like we were taught from our friendly fireman in grade school, this Christmastime.  Stop and ponder the beauty of this time of year, look around at those I love so much and love me, and listen to the sweet message of the Saviors birth and all things that go along with that and always, always be mindful of our blessings.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


This is a hard thing to write about in my blog, but I really needed to jot down my thoughts and emotions.

I am not sure if I have talked or wrote about my grandparents much on this blog. In my journal, yes, but here I am not even sure. I am so fortunate to have four amazing grandparents still alive. They have all played a major, and when I say major I mean MAJOR, role in my life. I have grown up having them involved in my life all the time. They have never been, but a few miles away from me (other than my college years) and I feel like I have really taken advantage of that.

A few months ago around Thanksgiving my grandma got shingles. That is not a fun thing to have. Her whole life since I was born has been battling different types of sickness and trials. We actually moved here from Kentucky because she was so ill, and am I ever happy we did that. She has had a shunt put in for her brain, she has had a hip replacement twice once just a year ago or so, she has taken so many antibiotics that her mouth is so torn up from them. Needless to say, she has had a rough go. But still through all of this she was the best grandma. I am sure that sounds cliche, but seriously, she is.

Since she got the shingles she has kind of gone down hill from there. In fact a few weeks ago we heard that she had dementia. We haven't seen her since she had gotten shingles because since they were in her eye, her eye has been swollen closed and doesn't look so great. She always has to have her hair done, make up on, jewels on, coordinating outfits, the whole shebang. She did not want the kids to see her with her eye as it was, so we waited. Finally after hearing that she was going down hill, we just went down there. She was so grateful. The kids were very confused and kept saying she looked so different and she did. She was in her house robe, her hair is longer, no make up or jewels and her poor eye still looks bad. It took the kids a while to get used to her looks, but they got over it and all was well.

The good news was that day she seemed like her self, just a little tired, which can be expected. However, she is on meds for the dementia and today they stopped by while they were up this way and she did not seem as if she was doing as well, although I do know she was very tired today. Just not the same.

For the past three or so months anytime I would think about her I was quickly rushed with all the love that she has shown me and the love that I felt. All the memories she has created for me would be so clear as if I were 13 again. I would quickly develop tears. Partly because I am just so so grateful I have had this kind of grandma in my life and partly because that chapter is over. I can honestly say that I have never felt more accepted, more loved, more appreciated, more valued than I have by her. I see myself praising my kids and hearing her voice. She has passed that on through me and I am so happy for that.

Now don't get me wrong my Grandma is feisty. She was the youngest of 13 kids or something crazy like that and I am sure that has something to do with it. She was demanding at times and ruthless at times, but never did I ever feel anything other than love from her.

A few months ago my mom brought me a box of things from my childhood and there was a little china doll in there that I was hoping to find. It was a little baby china doll that has been my favorite forever and she is laying in a little cradle. When I was in Jr. high or high school whenever her and my grandpa would come over she would go upstairs to my room and leave me a $2 dollar bill. I would check that cradle almost every time I would come home just to see if they stopped by. I have always cherished that memory just knowing she was thinking about me even when I was not there. All those two dollar bills are still in there and it is a true treasure to me.

Another fun memory I have is having her as my shopping buddy. I have no idea even what we went shopping for and what we got, but I can't count the numerous times we headed out on a shopping spree to get her the latest perfume she wanted, or new towels, or whatever it was she had to have. We would always go to Dillard's to their cafe and get the French Onion Soup. Still till this day I think of those days when I even see the words French Onion Soup. I can smell it, i can taste it. We would always go somewhere to get a soda too because she would say, "I am dry, let's get a drink." I could not keep up with her most days...

She was unbelievably reliable. Her and my grandpa would always be the ones that would stay with us when my parents would go out of town. My brown bag lunch was never better. She would get that ham and cheese loaf, which now makes me literally want to puke, but I loved it then, a FULL size candy bar, chips and pretty much anything else we wanted. They made it to practically every softball game, every game I cheered, every music contest or concert, every musical or play I was in. Every thing. They were there. Every birthday, every holiday, every everything. In fact because she was sick this past Christmas it was the first time in my entire 33 years that we have not spent it at their house. It was weird. For sure.

My grandma was truly a grandma. She is the epitome of grandma, what every grandma wants to be, she was. AS I am getting older I am realizing she was not only the worlds best Grandma, which is what it says on the watch I gave her years and years ago, but she is truly a friend. Not just any kind of friend either. The best kind. The kind that are hard to find and come by, the kind that always last, the kind that you can always count on. That kind.

I remember some time ago talking to a friend whose mom has Alzheimer's and honestly saying, that I would wish cancer upon my mother over Alzheimer's, which I know is a harsh statement. Not that I want my mom to have either, but if I had to chose one that is the one I would chose. I would want her leaving the world knowing my love for her and our memories right in her mind. It is hard knowing that soon all these memories I have talked about with my grandma will only be mine and not hers any more, but I know that as soon as her life is over here on earth, they will all come back to her, to her body made whole again, to brain as clear as ever and she will smile and know that I love her more than words can really even express.

I am so grateful to a Heavenly Father who saw it fit to bless me with parents who love me beyond the word love and grandparents who I cherish. I am grateful as I was growing up to have my Grandma there. I am grateful to have the knowledge that families can be forever. It does not end after this life. We can be together forever. Even as her body and mind are fading, I know it won't last forever.

Even though I know my grandma will never read this simply because she does not have a computer, but thank you. Thank you for teaching what it is like to love unconditionally, to cherish relationships and how to show it. I will forever be in debt to you. I love you grandma, very much.

Being prepared!

In our preparations for our big trip to go here...

I wanted to make sure that I could prepare for the week so our sitter had to do as little as possible! Because, lets face it my "job" would be a lot easier if all I really had to do was make sure the kids were safe and play with them! I am strongly considering doing all these things at the start of my week to make my week go more smoothly too. Not saying her job wasn't hard or exhausting, but I wanted to help out as much as I could!

A few weeks before I thought about all the things that I could do before hand. Besides the normal make sure the laundry was done and the house was spic and span. So I went into organizing mode. The mode I love most! I have things pretty organized around here, but I walked through the house as if I was in it for the first time and saw a bunch of things that would be really helpful if they were labeled. As if I needed any more labels around here! So the labeler came out and excitement was running through my blood!

I have containers on the shelf above my washer and dryer with cleaning rags, cleaning supplies, washing supplies, and dog supplies. They were already labeled, and it was nice for her to know right where to go to get what she needed. I also have a kitchen closet where I keep most everything. On the top shelf I have little containers with batteries, household items, bows, hair product, and adhesives. The second shelf I have diapers and wet wipes, kids craft items, and kids art supplies. That is helpful to, to know right where to go to get what you need!

I even went as far as labeling things in our armoire where we keep sheets, towels, kids sheets and pillowcases. I went through our toys in the crazy toy room and put most all the toys away in a closet and just kept out about 10 things. SO much easier to clean up even if they drag all the toys off the shelfs!

Here are the things I did for her that I want to start doing for myself!

The twins take a snack to school everyday, so I placed 8 bags with fresh veggies or fruits with a juice and their names on the bags, in the fridge. I made Bennett's lunch just for the next day, but prepped most everything so he could just grab a sandwich, a fruit, a veggie, something crunchy and grab his juice box out of the freezer, which helps keep everything else cold till he eats lunch!

I got out 8 outfits for each child and placed them on the dining room table. I dad 1 -7 for each day with them ordered in birth order. I had their Sunday shoes out on the table too. I actually did one extra day just incase they needed them.

I left an envelope with case, their ss cards and an insurance card along with our Sam's card that has credit on it for anything they may need and or gasoline. I also found someone to run the kids to preschool each day and pick them up along with bringing them home. I had arranged with my mom to take B to scouts too as well as making a grocery run at the end of the week to get some fruit, bread and milk.

Another fun thing we did was make a little prize bag, one for each day we were gone. As I was thinking of all the things we could do, I thought about how fun it would be if I did one for the sweet girl staying with our sweet kids. It was almost more fun for me too! For the kids we did just one thing a day the new kids bop cd so they could do a dance party, bubbles and a new book, McDonald's gift cards, crafty things to do, big bop em balloons, A ream of paper to make us a welcome home banner and some treats that we normally do not have around the house. Apparently they really loved them. Cortland was more than gracious when we called home to tell us how much he really appreciated. So super sweet. For Nicki I just did little things, like a bag of those circus peanuts and mentioned something about good luck hanging out with our circus, a pedicure, sticky note that were shaped like a star, because after all, to us, she is a rock star now, a midnight Milky Way hoping she wasn't up that late every night, a candle, and some other things, but you get the idea. I think they thought it was fun. It is just little things like that, that when we are not here, our children know we are still thinking about them, that really seem to make a difference!

I really hope this all made things slightly more easy. My kids are pretty good, they are sweet sweet kids, but lets face it, I've got the numbers. Four little ones five and under can be and get crazy! I got very good reports when we got home from the wonderful and amazing Nicki! Even my mom said she was just so great at it, took everything in stride and honestly looked like she was enjoying herself. I even got a text from her saying we should plan a trip again so she could watch them and how much she missed them. A big plus as well is we came home with no laundry and a very spotless house, which we told her not to do any laundry and don't worry about the house! She is a keeper. I wish I could hire her!!! or adopt her! We are so grateful to her for everything. If it weren't for her we could not have gone, and who wants to miss out on a free trip to Mexico?

Maddox's birthday

Our sweet little guy turned four in January! It was a much awaited party! He had to wait a whole three weeks after the twins birthday. That is hard to do when you think you are the same age and wonder why you can't celebrate with your brother and sister!

He wanted a green party again with a green chocolate cake. Easy enough. We partied it up with a couple of parties and I think he enjoyed his birthday celebration!

No words...

*I found a few drafts!  I am so happy I did this and forgot to publish it long ago!

I know exactly why it has taken me so long to write this post on the arrival of our new little sweetheart, Emersyn. When something major happens in our lives like a vacation, or a new little one to love, it is hard for me to put into words the joy it has brought and the way we really feel about it all, so I put it off. Thinking somehow it will come to me, but the fact is I could never put into words what we felt like on that day, April 29th, 2011. It was for lack of a better word, Magical or Amazing or well, like I said. No words.

My last doctor appointment before having miss Emmy, was surreal. I could not believe that the day had come. Like most of my pregnancies, I am not one to wish the time away. The longer I am pregnant, the younger my baby is...does that make sense? As I was walking out of my Ob's office, the nurse said, I bet you are ready for next week! I was, but I was savoring every moment of this pregnancy, I was not wishing it away.

That week a whole new realm of nesting set in. I was a mad woman. Then contractions went from not too painful, to pretty painful, to very painful. So by Wednesday I was on strict bed rest. There were so many times I told or called Andy and said, I should probably go to the hospital, but I do NOT want an emergency C-Section. I laid low. I did nothing. I was BORED! REAL bored, and it was worse because I would lay there thinking of all the things I would have loved to be doing, but nope, the couch it was. I could hardly make it to the bathroom without being in pain. I could not count the contractions I would have from the couch to the bathroom. Whew, it was fun.

The night before our big day was full. We had Maddox and Jadeyn heading off to Aunt Michelle's house, and they were SO very excited about that. Cortland and Paxton stayed here and my dear friend Annette came over to watch them early that next morning. Bennett went to school. Andy took Maddox and Jadeyn to Michelle's and they were thrilled, but for whatever reason Maddox called around 9 crying saying he wanted to come home and he wanted me. I held it together, thankfully, but every time I have a baby I get really emotional for my children. Life really changes for them. I pray and pray that they will love the new addition and can feel our love multiply instead of divide. Maddox finally quieted down which helped my heart, but I laid on the couch with tears in my eyes sad for my little guy. I was so happy that my five kiddos had two loving people I adored being with them that next day.

After getting the house in the state I wanted and having every thing out for Nicki who would be staying with them while we were staying in the hospital we headed to bed. Nicki is not like family, she is family. We all love her. I feel more happy for my kids while she is here than while I am here! She is awesome! I was so hoping I would get some great sleep that night. It wasn't too bad, but I kept waking up fearful I would over sleep. At 4:00 am I was wide awake. I did my hair, my make up, my nails and that took a half hour. I had much more time to fill. Oddly enough this being the BEST by a landslide pregnancy I have ever had with never throwing up even once, I threw up this morning. Which was weird because I had to be fasting since the night before, but I guess I could not get by without even getting sick once! So then I headed downstairs and watched the Royal Wedding. I had No plans of doing this, but in my pregnant state, I was overcome with emotion. I was in love with them being in love. The looked it. It felt genuine and pure. I love a good love story. I feel I have such a beautiful one and wish everyone could have the same thing. I felt it for them. Let's hope, right?

Finally the time came to wake up Andy. I rushed up the stairs not worrying about contractions anymore. I woke up Andy by saying, "Hey babe, lets go have a baby!" Isn't that so fun. It gives me chills just thinking about saying it! He woke up got ready and then we waited for my sweet friend Annette to come. She is one of those friends who offers to do anything and everything for you and one of those friends I actually call upon to do something for me. That says a lot. She got here with her protein shake in hand, we double checked to make sure we had all we needed, and out the door we went.

As we drove to St. Elisabeth's, we talked about how strange it is we are heading to the hospital with five children and we will leave the hospital with six! We will have a whole other child to love and adore and to take care of. It is so exciting to think about. We talked about what she will look like, her temperament, how much she would weigh, what color her hair would be. We were soon to know all these things. We were soon to know Love times 6. We were soon to hold in our arms something so new, so fresh and straight from Heaven.

I just love the hospital. I know people do not like it at all. I know I am the exception, but I love being there with my new born baby. I love every minute of it. I was like a giddy little girl walking in the doors. We headed straight up to labor and delivery. I was checked into a room to get into my gown while Andy did the last steps of registering. I waited there for him with so much excitement and cheer. He came back and I just could not stop talking about how excited I was. The nurses came in and asked their questions. Started the IV and all those things. I just could not believe with each thing they did we were one step closer to seeing our little girl. Each time they would ask what we were having I would always say girl and then question it in my mind. I was fully prepared for a boy too. I guess since I found out so late in the pregnancy, I wasn't completely convinced that I was actually carrying a girl. They had me take this nasty NASTY tasting thing for acid reflux or something before I went in and I honestly have never tasted anything more nasty in my entire life. It was so gross. I would much MUCH rather have had acid reflux! Andy got dressed in his adorable little jumpsuit, which was about the funniest thing I had seen and we were ready!

The nurse came in and said, we were ready to go. The wheeled me into the operating room while Andy stayed outside. It always makes me sad that he is not there for the Spinal. I would love to have him there. It is not the most pleasant thing in the world, but I have to say this time was the best. It was not even painful at all! AND they had to reenter because of some scar tissue from a previous spinal. It is such a weird sensation with a bit of pain, but this time there was no pain at all. I was so blessed. Dr. Tissier, the worlds best Ob, held my hand and was so funny and sweet while it was going on. He is just so great. I love LOVE him.

The operating table is SO SO small. I would say it is like 24 inches wide. That is what is seems like anyway. So tiny. I always feel like I am going to fall off. I felt uncomfortable, but once my feet started to feel numb and they laid me back, I was in no pain at all and feeling great. They put the shield up and started. I reminded them to send in my hubby! I did not want him to miss this! He came in and he stood back by the anesthesiologist talking with the two ladies like he was one as well. He loves all the operating aspects of it all. He loves watching what is going on and giving me the play by play. Sometimes a little too much detail. This was the quickest c section I had ever had. It had been mere minutes and I heard the anesthesiologist say she is here and is beautiful! I instantly cried. Tears and tears, lots of tears. The joy in that room was beyond words. The feeling was incredible. Such a heavenly moment. I felt so humbled that another sweet baby was placed in my arms to be taken care of and to be loved. I was being trusted to love this sweetheart with all I had. Dr. T, held her up and I knew exactly what she would look like. I could not contain my joy. Then Andy brought her over to me. That was a moment in time I will never ever forget.

They took her to to clean her off and weigh her right there in the room and she started screaming! It was a sound I loved and was so grateful to hear. The pediatrician came in and said she looked great. I was a little worried about that after my last experience with Paxton, I was so grateful to hear she was doing well! Andy and our sweet little girl left to head down to the nursery while I waited to be "finished" up. This is the part that normally takes the bulk of the time, but again this time was the best. It went fast and was surprisingly great. The anesthesiologist was telling me about her 5 children. It was fun to talk with someone with a larger family. My blood pressure was dropping and dropping which normally happens, but once it his like 47/89 they decided to give me some sort of meds to raise it a bit. All of a sudden Dr. T said, you are good to go and we went a head and implanted that fertilized egg for you. So funny, he said that last time too! I was stapled up and ready to go. The hospital was full so I recovered in the operating room. I talked with my nurse and was pretty chatty. She was so nice and didn't seem to mind, but I kept asking where my husband and baby were. I was fighting back the feeling that she was having a hard time breathing, I just wanted to know! I was there for about an hour and no baby and no husband to be seen anywhere! She kept me busy talking so that was a great distraction! Dr. T came in and said, she is beautiful and doing great, so that was very reassuring.

Finally they had a room for me so they wheeled me down there and still no husband in sight. Apparently he did not know I was still in the operating room and him along with my parents were waiting in the first room we were in for like 40 minutes. Finally my nurse called down to the nursery and told them I was more than ready for my baby! A few minutes later Andy and my parents found me and right after that my sweet baby was brought to me. I was taken back by her beauty. I already adored her. I knew her. I recognized her. I quickly scooped her up. I held her close and tight and hoped that moment would never ever end. I then started to feel really hot and felt a little nauseous. Andy took the baby and I threw up! It was weird because that had never happened. It was only once and not a big deal, but still weird. I did not ever have the shakes though right after birth which normally happens every single time nor was I super cold and shivering either. It is weird that I did the same exact thing that had been done four times before and it could be so different this time and I felt like all the other times went super well, but this time was a dream. It was perfect. Just like her, perfection.

That night mainly consisted of feeding her, holding her, smelling her and admiring her. All of my nurses were so amazing and sweet. That night the nurse took her down to the nursery and said of all the moms you need a break the most, but I didn't want a break. I wanted her! I did not sleep until they brought her back to me to feed her. I held her, fed her and had Andy place her back in her bed and held on to it to make sure no one came back to take her from me! About 6 hours after the c section they had me walk to the bathroom. It was so easy this time. The worst was with my first one for sure, and the others were okay, but this time I felt little pain. It is always weird using the muscles the first time after they have been cut, but I did pretty good. Sitting down is also hard. You never realize how much you use those stomach muscles. I realize every time I want to sit down and since it hurts a bit you go slowly which only makes it hurt more because you are using them more!

So they came in and did all the vital things through out the night, but I don't mind that at all. I like when they come in. I like knowing they are doing that because I just had a baby! How great is that!

I look back on that day with such gratitude in my heart. It is just a feeling that you cannot describe, there are literally no words. I tear up just thinking about seeing her sweet little face for the first time or looking at Andy as he was watching her being born. I have watched the video several times. They had a hard time getting her out because she was breech and they did not know that and were not prepared for that. It took two doctors and a nurse to pull her out finally! That day was the absolute best day of our lives. April 29th 2011. The best day ever. Our wedding day and our other children's births were amazing as well, but it is always our last child's birth that makes it the greatest because we feel complete. We feel so much love and happiness. I am so grateful for a birth with no complications. I am so grateful for a healthy beautiful baby girl that we decided to name Emersyn Kathlene, after both of our mothers. I am so grateful for helping hands and a loving family. I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and gifts we have received. I kept her gifts on our dining room table for weeks just to see all the love every single day. That day our family changed for ever, for the better, I am thankful that she can be a part of our crazy lives. She is loved and adored by so many. I whisper that in her ear every single day. I cherish her. I am humbled to be her mom and amazed she picked me!

Thanks Emmy for joining our family! You are in for a crazy ride, but I tell you, there are very few things I do well even and no where near perfection, but there is one and only thing I am perfect at and that is loving my children. I love you with every thing I have! You complete us. You without a doubt are the most incredible thing I know.

Some other things that happened while we were in the hospital!

*she had a hard time gaining weight. They almost kept her there because of it!
*The food there was amazing. No lie. It was like getting breakfast, lunch and dinner at an awesome restaurant every single day and they even fed the dads!
*grandma Kathy spent a good amount of time there with us because she could not tear herself away for miss Em.
*When the kids came to visit it was so amazing. They were all so excited to hold her.
*We had some great visitors. Aunt Nan and Vitoria, Grandma Kathy, Grandpa Phil, Grandma and Grandpa W., Uncle Kyle and Aunt Sarah, Grandma Joy and Grandpa Don, Cami, Tiera, Annette and Shawn, Nicki.
*We heard on the news while in the hospital that they had caught Osama bin Laden.
*Emmy added her little foot to the wall of fame.
*I am pretty sure this was my most favorite hospital to deliver, being the fourth one.
*They give the moms snack bags that literally had over 50 snacks. My kids were in heaven. They were fun things that mom never ever buys!
*My staples all fell out and they were not supposed to.
*I got the pertusis immunization that hurt worse than the c section.
*All the nurses kept saying, well you already know this you are a pro and I would always say, no not at all, it is like this is my very first baby and that is how it is every single time!
*We got some sad news from Utah about one of Andy's cousins that really made the birth of our baby even more amazing. Much more on that later.
*I stayed to the absolute last minute they would let me stay!

Is this thing on?

It is a good thing that I primarily blog for our family and not to keep readers, because I am certain I have lost them all.  It has been over a year since I have posted!  Where has the time gone?  I feel sad about this and hope to be better.  I think a major part of the problem is that I got so far behind and felt like I needed to catch up.  I have now decided to record a few things, but move on and start from here.  So here goes...

Friday, May 27, 2011

In Love

This weekend there will be a lot more pictures of this sweet thing
and many stories about her too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A little about her

Oh man, am I behind. I mean I am really behind on the blog, but I had a post in progress that I still have not finished about when I found out we were going to have a little girl and the whole day of her birth post, but I have to jot down a few things about this little precious one, before it all starts to fade away as she gets older.

There is something about this baby that brings tears to my eyes every time I even glance at her. I have had full on crying fits. Yes I am aware my hormones are still trying to even themselves out and all, but she is just so amazing to me. I cannot get enough of her. I do not put her down. She has only been in her swing twice and that is when Andy has had her. I cannot imagine putting her in her swing! Let me hold this sweet thing! I do obviously put her down when she sleeps at night and when there are things I have to do and cannot do with her, but honestly, I cannot get enough of her.

As much as I am holding her and feeding her I am surprised she is not 11 pounds, but sadly enough this little one is having the hardest time gaining weight. My babies do not normally start packing on the pounds until about week two, but she lost so much in the hospital and is sloooooooooooooooooooooowly kind of putting it back on. She weighed 8.9 at birth, but the doctor this morning honestly thinks they weighed her wrong or the scale is wrong, because he saw her at day 4 and was no where near 8.9. When we left the hospital she was 7.6. She then lost four more ounces, but is not back up to 7.5 as of this morning. He wants me to pump and give her an ounce of my milk after each feeding with a syringe to not confuse her. Sounds like a lot of work to me. I feel like there is no time to pump! She has to start gaining more and I feel like it is going to happen real soon, so hopefully that is true. I go back again on Friday. I will have spent $100 on weight checks because of my co-pays! I am pretty sure I could have found a baby scale for about that! Oh well. Anything for her!

So, I got off on a tangent I think. That is not what this post was going to be about!

Here are few things about our sweet little Emersyn I hope to never forget!

*Her long beautiful fingers! They are so delicate and really stand out.
*She has the skinniest long feet. Super cute.
*Her eyelashes have made an appearance about at day 7. So sweet. She is so new!
*She has little stork bites on her forehead. I love them.
*Her tiny little legs.
*She fits in preemie clothes comfortably. I did not think I would get to use those again!
*She is such a great nurser! Minus the not gaining weight.
*I heard her get mad yesterday in the car because I waited too long to feed her. I have never heard her like this. I like being reminded she was born with perfect lungs!
*I adore pink.
*She has been showered with so many nice gifts from so many amazing friends. Every time I look at the gift bags and packages on my dining room table I feel so thankful for dear friends. I cannot put them away because it is just such a sweet reminder of those who love her.
*Her eyes are really looking blue, but I have felt like they were going to be more like Paxton's color. Difficult to decide on the color until about 9 months old.
*Her little noises are so sweet. When she gets hungry she just lets out these little grunts like.
*I love her name. It always puts a smile on my face and in my heart when someone asks me her name. I love that we chose that for her.
*Her legs are so tiny and short. She would be so much longer if her legs were normal length!
(I am pretty sure I know where she gets that from!)
*Have I mentioned I LOVE pink? Like a lot?
*Her smell is addicting. I don't want her to ever lose it. Can we bottle that newborn smell please?
*Her lips quiver and it is so cute.
*Newborns are just so easy. I know not everyone may feel that way, but all they do is eat and sleep. Her doctor asked if she had her days and nights confused and I laughed because don't they just have nights at this stage? She is awake for very little time of the day, but when she is I love staring into her eyes.
*Her hair is so fun. All my boys had tons of dark, thick, long hair. Jadeyn's hair was light and straight. She did not have nearly as much of it either. I loved her hair do not get me wrong. It is just fun to have such the opposite this time. She has so much hair we cannot do the karo syrup bows because they will not stay in at all. We are loving headbands though. We rarely spend much time without one on!

Let's face it, I could go on and on, but I will stop there and hopefully this will get me on the ball with updating more. I am anxious to write about her birth. I honestly feel we are closest to Heaven in those very moments. Definitely moments I want to always remember.

Friday, April 29, 2011

a new child to love

Welcome to the world...

Emersyn Kathlene!!!

April 29th 2011
8 pounds 9 ounces
21 inches long
Perfect in every way.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

all in a decade

My baby, my very first baby, the baby that made me a mommy is ten. TEN! How can it be? When I think of all that has happened since my very first child has been born, I guess it makes since, but I would like to repeat the last 10 years about 10 times, because they have been so great.

Bennett is a good kid. He tries hard. He is disciplined. He is sweet and kind. He worries about other people and their self worth. He likes to be a leader to his siblings. He loves sports. He really loves to read. He is still into Pokemon. He is so excited to have a baby sister. He is helpful. He loves to memorize.

He is just an all around good child. I have been so blessed to have him. I am sure there are times where I just wish I could get inside his brain and see why he will not put his jammies in the clothes basket or why I find those Pokemon cards around the house, but I will take those imperfections when I get such a great kid that goes a long with them.

Bennett, I wish I had a handbook on how to be the best mom I can be to you. I wish I knew all the ways to raise a wonderful, hardworking, man who know how much his Heavenly Father loves him, but even though I do not have that handbook, you sure seem like you are turning out to be the boy who already knows those things and has already accomplished those things as well. You amaze me. You inspire me. I love you my sweet baby. I am not sure if it is alright calling you that especially since we look eye to eye now, but not matter how tall you grow and how old you turn, to me, you will always be my baby!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This morning this cute little guy who decided to wake up REAL early after a late night for me, said the cutest thing. He came in all excited after finding his cleats that I brought up from the storage. He was SO super excited about this. Since I was still asleep he came to my side of the bed and said, "mom, will you please untie my new cleats for me?" I was so tired, I uttered "maybe". He then went to Andy's side who was a little more awake and he said, "yes".

He ran out of the room so happy with a skip in his step. He passed Jadeyn on the way out and whispered, "Jadeyn! Did you know that maybe NOW means YES!!!" He was so so excited about that! He hears maybe a lot and now to him I guess he thinks he will be hearing a lot more YESES!!!!
Man I love Cortland.


This weekend we celebrated my amazing Grandpa. He has finally retired. We were all surprised he finally did it! Get this, he was honored at a reception at work and he had worked longer than anyone in his local, he is an operating engineer, by 15 years! He had been working hard for 47 years. At the same job. What a great example. To be honest, I don't think he even really wanted to retire. I have had many examples in my life of hard workers, but this man is quite amazing. Right up until he retired he was working 6 days a week 10-12 hours a day! I could not cut that. He is 77 years old. I hope to have half of his stamina when I am that "young".

Grandpa, you truly amaze us. All the time!!!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Four weeks!

I had an appointment yesterday and it went pretty well. I was a little worried because since the Thursday before I was ordered to "rest". This weekend was rough. I just want to do what I want to do. I was driving Andy crazy with lists upon lists of things I really want to do, but I was good and did nothing. Other than enjoy Andy's family that came in town for the weekend.

So at my appointment he checked me and I am not dilated at all and starting to thin out a little, which is normal for me at this point. The baby has finally switched and is not longer transverse, which is always good. The heartbeat was at a steady 167. We scheduled the section for May 2. I get to be there at 5:30 am! It is so crazy to think how fast this day will come! Am I ready? I know one thing, I am not sure I am ready for Paxton to not be my baby. He is starting to seem really big and old and starting to slim down, so I guess the time has come, but to me, they will all always be my babies!

We still have no idea if this sweet baby will be a girl or a boy. I go back and forth. I really think it is a boy, mostly because that is what we do. We make boys. For the first 19 weeks I was sure it was a boy then we had our ultrasound and I was really confused because I really felt like the baby was a girl. Since then, I have been confused. I am not sure. I don't really care either way. Every one else really seems to, but I don't, I do just wish I knew already though! I ready to get things ready. I do have a girl and a boy outfit to take to the hospital, so I guess I am covered!

So with only four weeks to go, I am hoping that many things will get crossed off my list, many bonding moments will occur with the five children we have and a lot of rest will be had by yours truly! FOUR weeks seems entirely too soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Things I would have posted to Facebook if I hadn't been enjoying Paradise

(not in any certain order!)

*I aways forget how many people are so completely comfortable in a bikini. Old, young, thin, not so thin...I admire their confidence!
*Speedos will always get a good laugh from me!
*I cannot wrap my head around how lucky I am to be right here right now!
*My husband is truly my best friend. We cannot get enough of each other!
*I hope the kids are being good and having fun!
*I am so grateful for Nicki and her awesome personality!
*The beach scene always takes my breath away!
*Even in Mexico people think I should speak Spanish and think it is weird Andy does!
*I keep thinking of the things the Kids would love here and how not as relaxing it would be if they were here!
*I am pretty sure I have eaten more this week than I have this year!
*We have our own personal butler, a maid, someone who cooks for us and brings us drinks whenever and whatever we want. We have someone who drives us around the resort if we want and someone who does our laundry. The more I think about all that the more I realize that is exactly what our moms did for us!
*Why do I not live on the coast?
*Room service 24 hours a day? Sure!
*We have gone to bed earlier here every night than we do at home.
*A little burn never hurt anyone, but it sure affects my sleep!
*Gourmet? Of course!
*You want to do our laundry and press it? Sure!
*I am completely aware I look better with a little color on my face!
*I thought I was going to have a baby tonight!
*My feet did not like our flight one bit!
*Now those are tacos!
*Alberto and Olivia are a match made in Heaven!
*I am thinking in Mexico maybe they think a little alcohol is ok when you are preggers, just a little. Every time we ask for our drinks (sin alcohol=no alcohol) they look so let down and confused!
*A facial sounds just about perfect right now and then it was! The best one ever!
*I want a bathroom just like this if I get to build a house again someday!
* I really know a lot more Spanish than I thought I did!
*I love people watching!
*I think this lady thinks this us a topless beach! We look for her every day!
*Japanese food might just be my favorite food...
*Just talked with the kids and they already sound different!
* I am just so grateful to be married to my best friend. We never run out of things to say!
*We always sit by Canadians!
*I am going to have to do a cleanse after this!
*I am a loner...I only need Andy.
*Watermelon juice is my most favorite of all the juices!
*Beets and mouse, weird, but good!
*The hardest decision of our day is beach or pool? Such a life!
*I think I seriously have sun poisoning!
*Yes, I do most definitely have sun poisoning!
*Taking a nap on the beach sounds so nice. And it was!
*I think I have hit my food quota for the year!
*Another cocoloca, yes. Another pina colada, yes!
*Getting dolled up for the company diner is fun to do once in a while!
*I have done my makeup twice every day of this vacation and my hair every day and wore contacts every day and am realizing how much of a slob I must be at home!
*There is little that can be compared to walking in our room full of rose petals on the ground and roses on the bed and a bath drawn with rose petals floating on top. I feel like a princess!
*I cannot stop itching!
*I really kind of am anti-social!
*So proud of the hubs for attaining this huge accomplishment! He is such a hard worker!
*Can I take the beach home with me please? Or at least the pool?
*This burn will not stop my massage and pedicure, I will breath through the pain!
*Pops is awesome!
*"Where did Andy go?"
*Finding our peeps? and then meeting Luis!
*Our last day is always bitter sweet.
*Got all of our souvenirs!
*Still feeling really burnt!
*Best surf and turf ever!
*"You are a doctors wife, you can afford to buy organic milk from Sam's!" Talking to another couple about how we shop at Aldi, but how I cannot buy their milk!
*Our last breakfast of champions!
*We never got a picture of a cuate...but not for a lack of trying!
*I got some awesome earrings from my awesome hubby!
*Getting company gifts every night was one of the big highlights!
*And there goes the itouch...
*Prepping for the flight home. It is such a catch 22. I am drinking a ton of water to avoid swelling and contractions, but now I will have to go to the bathroom every other minute!
*Got my new camera just in time!
*Can we just move to Mexico?
*Let the peeling begin!
*We have a game plan if I go into labor in Mexico and hopefully we will not need to execute it!
*Can't wait to get my hands on our babies! I have really missed them!
*The thing I loved best about Mexico I get to take home with me, I love you ANDY!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting bigger by the minute

This is not an exaggeration. I honestly think I am getting bigger by the minute. Man. It was going so well till about 26 weeks. In fact at my last doctor appointment I was measuring small and he said I only had a cute little baby bump. Wait till he sees me next visit. He will think I ate up that cute little pregnant girl!

What is it about 30 weeks? I just balloon up! I don't really mind getting bigger or even more uncomfortable because I know the end result is all worth it, but man sometimes I wish I was one of those girls who barely look pregnant at month NINE!

So when we decided we wanted to have another baby, we totally timed it out. We know it is not always on your time line, hence the four years between B and the twins, but we decided we wanted to work it around Andy's president club trip so I would be right at 30 weeks and the doc would still let me travel. At my first visit, I asked him about it and he said that would be fine. I was very happy to hear that and very happy to hear he made the trip and very happy when we found out we were going to be able to have that baby we "planned" out!

It will be weird when we get back from our trip I will only have 8 weeks left of this pregnancy. Even as big as I am, I am not ready to be done with this pregnancy. I like it. I like feeling the baby move and wondering what he or she will look like. I am not one to rush a pregnancy along. I want to savor every moment. I just feel so blessed to even be able to have another baby. So blessed.

I have decided to take my workouts a little more serious. Maybe go back to five days at the gym instead of three or less! I am also going to cut out most of the sugar I am eating. There is just not reason for it. I am not a big sugar eater anyway especially because this pregnancy it has made me sick, but still I am hoping for success.

I just wanted to jot some things down about this pregnancy before I go to bed. Yes it is only 8:30, but more power to me. With as much as I toss around at night, it probably eats up about 2 hours anyway, so why not start off early! I am still sleeping pretty well. Not any major complaints. I do like to have pillows all around me, but I feel like I am getting pretty good sleep, although I only see this lasting about 2 more weeks. We will see...

K, so I am off to bed. Sweet dreams my sweet readers!

Getting ready and being organized

We just got back from a little weekend get-a-way with the kids. Anytime we get away wether it is a short little trip or a big fun filled trip we always come home with the same thing. Time well spent with each other and no distractions. We decided to take this little journey this weekend so we would spend two whole days just with the kids. No laundry/cleaning/running errands/all those other "chores" getting in the way of our times with the kiddos. I love that.

We just headed up to Chicago. We have not been there in almost 4 years since we moved from there. It was surreal. We drove up to Schaumburg first and went to Ikea, which the kids loved, swam at the hotel pool, did the Medieval Times thing, and then headed into the city. I think part of the reason why we have not been back, even though when we left we promised each other we would head back up every 6 months, is because we just loved and adored every moment there and it was hard going back and seeing a place we cherished so much. I wished we still lived there. I had tears in my eyes when we pulled up to our little flat. I pictured us in the window bringing home our twins, sending our firstborn to Kindergarten, bringing home baby number 4, dental school situations, graduation party, all the amazing friends we had there, you know that sort of thing. I cried. I thought of the people that are there now and had to wonder if they are experiencing the amazement we did while living there. As we drove around visiting all of our usual spots it all looked the same, like we never left, like we still lived there and were just vacationing a while away. It truly was surreal. One funny thing we realized while we were there was how little we really went out to dinner or anything like that. To say we were poor does not even do justice to our financial lives at that time. (I love that I only have happy amazing memories of that time in our life and it just goes to show it does not have anything to do with your income or lack there of:)) Chicago is known for eating establishments. When we were driving around we were trying to figure out where to go, and unfortunately we wanted something fast so nothing too amazing was going to happen, but we ended up at Pot Belly. How funny is that. Yes it is SO SO good and I miss that place all too often, but really? That is where we dined? This makes me laugh! I am also sad we did not get to see any of our dear friends that still live there, but the trip was just too short, but we are going to come up this summer and believe me we will see everyone we have missed so much! To say I miss that wonderful place is an understatement. My heart is truly in Chicago.

On our way home late last night I was thinking of what needs to be done this week, the week before our big excursion away. I was thinking about all the things I need to show our "sitter" and if I have already pre made enough meals, and where everything is that she may need or want. I have to say even I roll my eyes at myself when the labeler comes out or I reorganize what has been reorganized. I have to say though, having someone come stay at your house where they know where nothing is, it comes in handy to have the sheets and kids sheets labeled, or the batteries or hair ties, soaps, first aid and such. It should make it a lot easier on her.

I am just praying that every thing goes well for her. I was just telling Andy last night that if I had to watch all five kids by my self for a week I am not sure I could do it and I am asking this sweet girl to? I just hope it goes well...fingers crossed.

This week extra meals will be made, bags will be packed and I am sure I will clean and reclean everything about a dozen of time just to release some extra energy. I am also positively sure I will shed some tears over leaving my little brood. I have a process I go through when leaving my babies. I am so excited when the trip is planned then I feel very sad to leave them, then I get nervous, then I decide not to go, then I get sick to my stomach and then we go and I am still pretty sick then once we get there, all those nerves and fears disintegrate! This will only be our third time leaving the kids, but each time is just as hard. Luckily the girl that we are leaving them with is super sweet and so loving and "huggy" and I know they will not lack of love while I am gone. I am super excited about that. I don't know I probably hug and kiss each person in the house about 23,000 times a day, I worry when they don't get that!

Another goal I have this week is get Christmas blogged and out of the way so when I get home our trip can be documented right a way! I am so excited!

And now I am signing off after a long random blog post! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The goodies around Christmas

This year Andy kindly asked me to not volunteer to be head room mother. I was last year and really loved it, but it was a lot a work. Not much help from other parents, and I tend to go a little over board which means late nights and tired me. So Andy convinced me this year especially being pregnant. So no one signed up to be head room mom. One mom decided to kind of take lead and get people to help. I went in to help with the Halloween party and brought some treats, but was not in charge and it was awesome! When Christmas came I planned to do the same thing, and then no one could do the party leaving the teacher left to figure something out, so guess who volunteered. Yes, yours truly. I cannot leave well enough alone, I have to keep pushing it. I will think of something and then think of something to make it better and cannot just let it be. So the result was a really awesome party, but a very wore out room mother!

These were the prizes for our games. To add to the stress I was almost at the school and forget the bingo game and had to go all they way home again. When I finally got back to the school I threw everything in the stroller and went running through the school with everything, 5 minutes late and so sorry I was!

Cookie treats for every one and then little candy bags for take home prizes! This does not seem like that big of a deal until I realized how many 35 really was! It take a long time to do all that!
The yummy cupcakes!

Teacher gifts. We also gave them little gift cards to St. Louis Bread Co.. Now I want St. Louis Bread Co..
I love these beautiful snowflake cookies we make every year!
One night after Family Home Evening, we finally made our Gingerbread house. IT was so fun and the kids had a ball!

Our Favorite Santa!

We finally made it up to see Santa. Can I just say I love this Santa. When we walked up Bennett looked right at me and said I have never seen a black Santa. The other kids did not even notice one bit. We have always told our kids that all the Santa's we see are just the Real Santa's helpers. Andy thought it was funny and said, isn't Santa they one time they really go off looks for the job? Old, white, chubby? This guy was thin, our age and not white. He was by far our favorite Santa of all time though. He was so cute and kind. When we walked up he said, "ho ho ho, I am not the Santa you are used to seeing am I?" So cute. He took time with each child and talked with each one of them. I loved it so much. When I look back at all the pics of my kids with Santa, I am pretty sure this will always be my favorite!

Waiting for Santa!