Thursday, January 31, 2008

And the winner is...

Congrats Mindy! I don't want to post the prize quite yet so it will be a surprise to you when you get it. I feel sad for everyone else. This is why I was not great at sports, I would always feel bad when we would win. I always feel bad for the non winners! At any rate WTG Mindy, you are always such a great blog writer and commenter! Sorry to you all who entered and were not picked, Bennett was totally up for the McDonald bucks though, he was a little sad you (Ben & Amy) were not picked!

I did want to personally thank Meg. She was the only one that commented that I did not know. There were a few of you that had never commented before as well. Thanks! Thanks to all of you commenting and reading as well. Again, I am so grateful for the world of blog.
I am a little sad that more "lurkers" did not come out of the dark, but it is what it is. I guess I will never know my following in Japan! Oh well. Be sure to check us out for more fun drawings in the future.
PS After the picture Bennett said that is a weird picture of me mom.


A winner will be announced today. I promised Bennett he could draw the name so I will have to wait till he is home...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

100th post and prizes

As you can tell from my title this is my 100th post. That seems weird to me. I guess at the end of the year when I get it all bound into a book it will be a pretty good read for our posterity.

I have a stat counter that is kind of fun to see how many people have logged onto your site, where they came from and things like that. I honestly can't really figure it out. All I can see is how many people came that day and month and sometimes the states or countries they have come from.

Last week my blog was having about 200 hits a day. Most of them were from the United States, but some were from Germany, Spain, England, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia and a few others. It is kind of fun to see all of these other countries listed on my site.

I don't know about you, but when I am checking my blogs of the people I know, somewhere along the way I have found some of their friends or acquaintances that I occasionally check up on. It is kind of weird I guess, but at this point I sort of feel like I know them.

I really love this whole blog thing. I love to be able to keep in touch with friends and really get a glimpse of what their lives are like. I love it. I am really grateful that I blog and most of my friends do too...okay now I am starting to sound corny.

First thing I really am so happy the my SIL introduced me to blogging three years ago. I really hope this system never ends.

So now on to the fun stuff...

One of my favorite sites Tangled and True did a lot of giveaways this month and last night I had a dream that I won one of those even though unfortunately I did not. I thought it would be fun to maybe see who some of those readers are from far off places by getting comments and even from my loyal readers too, and with a comment your name will be entered into a drawing for a really cool really, fun prize, and I will have to live up to it. I always wonder who those 200 or so people are. I know most of you, but I always think who else is reading up and where are they from and how did they find my site, so maybe this will help. Please don't be shy...So here is the info.

Simply Breathtaking Drawing
Starts 1/23/2008
Ends 1/30/2008
One cool winner will get one cool prize
Leave a comment to be entered
(Australia, I am planning on hearing from you!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Backtracking IIIII, all caught up, my good husband

During Andy's lunchtime he calls home. We normally do not have much to talk about, but he always calls. I like our time to talk and the kids are normally down for naps so it is an uninterrupted conversation as well. Kind of fun.

Over the holidays we all had the flu. Several times. It was horrible. One day just to prove how horrible it was I threw up 22 times. I know gross, right? I just had to let you understand how sick we all were.
So one afternoon when Andy called he casually asked how my day was. I replied with well it is 1:00 and I have changed over 32 poopy diapers. What do you think? Fun huh? I tell you three kids in diapers is not really that, but it is when they are all sick.

When Andy walked in the door that night he brought me these beauties. I think he was being so nice, or maybe he wanted to change the aroma in our home? Either answer makes me happy.

Backtracking IIIII, a reunion of sorts

So I had a little reunion at my house. My neighbors growing up came over. Our moms were best friends and still are and I have been so thankful that we have all kept in touch through the years. Funny enough we have 3 sets of twins amongst us. We also had 13 children Bennett and Vonner are both 6 the rest of the ELEVEN were all 3 and under. Funny thing is, the house didn't seem too loud or crazy at all. We all had a great time. I can't wait to start doing that more often. It was such a great reunion. Thanks Mom, Sharon, Missy, Sadie, Amy, Jodi and Carrie for coming and spending the day with us.
Bennett, Vonner, Maddox, Garrett, Sophie, Kaylea, Owen, Kennedy, Jadeyn, Ava, Cortland, Ella, Gavin

Backtracking IIII, Baby's First Christmas

Why can't he seem more like a baby?

Backtracking PartIII, Maddox turns one

My big one year old. Loving his balloons. A new toy.
His cupcake cake. The goods. Trying it out.
. Messy face.He likes it.

Happy 80th Birthday Grandpa! Party #2 and he wasn't quite so in love with the cake.
Maddox turned one. I have decided if I have anything to do with the birth of our future children, they will not be born in December of January. I feel like Maddox's birthday is kind of an after thought. I will be sure to go all out for his birthdays, I have to.

We had a little combined party for Maddox and my Grandpa whose birthday is just the day before. He turned 80! He looks so great and acts like a 50 year old. It was a lot of fun.

Maddox received many wonderful things and I had a fun time with his cake and cupcakes and decorations. We had Andy's family over the night after. We had a great time with both parties.

backtracking part II lot's of pictures per Paige's request

Fun times.

Brooklyn's birthday party They were so cute.
Slumber party
The kiddos. Always having a good time.

The pyramid. Go Jadeyn.

Adam and Gloria drove here to visit for a couple of days. The boys had a lot of fun together.
I love this picture of the twins and Uncle Marc. The kids LO-OVE Uncle Marc. (Andy's youngest brother) Bradley, 10
Brooklyn, 9Taylor, 6 3/4
Haley, 2 1/2
Natalie, 2

Little baby Julia, look at those eyelashes, she is only one hour old here.

I love this shot of Jadeyn.

This is at 2:30 in the morning after he was sick, still so happy.

Andy took this silly picture, but I just LOVE Brandons face. Enlarge it to get the full effect.

backtracking a little bit, okay, about a month! Part I

Christmas was such a fun time for us. It was SO nice being home and actually living here. We enjoyed being with our families so much. It was extra fun because Brandon (Andy's oldest brother) and his wife and four children were here. It was SO fun and Bennett loved being with them so much.
The festivities lasted about a 2 weeks long and almost every night. I am still trying to catch up on sleep.
On Christmas Eve's Eve we had a big dinner with all of Andy's family. It was so fun. We had our gift exchange, played games and pretty much snacked all night. The kids loved running around and playing. They all got matching jammies which is always a huge hit and they look so cute. They also had their care bear scavenger hunt, which always gets them so excited. You know out of all the time we had with them(with 10 children all 10 and under there was NEVER any fighting, yelling or crying. None) it was constant fun. Besides most of us getting the flu not once, but twice, we all had a good time. It was so nice this year to have a place where we could all gather and there was plenty of room. We are so grateful to have a home here where when family visits we can open our doors...hint hint know who you are...:)
this picture cracks me up, we actually got some good ones, but this is my fave!

a nice family photo, check out Bradley right behind Grandma Joy

cuties in their jammies with care bears, check out cortie

they are so cute and have so much fun together

they are so cute too and love to be together

Christmas Eve we relaxed all day besides me running around 21 cookie platters. Then that night we headed to my grandma and grandpas house for our Christmas dinner and gift exchange. That is always fun. It is a tradition we have had for my entire life. We came home that night and set out the cookies and milk for Santa and dressed in our matching Christmas jammies and all went to bed.

matching jammies, cortland sure likes to get his picture takengrandma and her baby
Sometime throughout the night Santa came and boy were the kids excited. Funny thing though of all days my children sleep in it is Christmas morning. I mean on a normal day we are all up by 7:00 no later and this particular day they did not wake up till 9 am! Why can they do that everyday? We opened our presents and had such a great time. The kids got bikes and tricycles and little chairs and a few other things. IT was perfect, not too much not too little, Santa did well this year:). This was the first Christmas morning of my entire 30 years I did not wake up in my parents home. Kind of weird, but it was so nice. Probably really weird for my parents.
this picture cracks me up, you can see we had to wake them all up, they all look so tired, i think maddox's expression is my favorite bennett got a bigger bike and he was SO excited about it the twins got new tricycles that the loved and would not leave alone cortland is the type of present opener everyone wants to see, he oohs and aahs forever over the most simple little thing, he gets SO excited it is so very cute
maddox was fully laying in his present, i think it was a hitWe then headed to my parents house where we had brunch and opened gifts there. We always have such a great time. My mom is in Heaven on this day. Her world revolves around her grandchildren and Christmas so this day is honestly her favorite. It is so fun to see her get so excited. She probably gets more excited than anyone else I know about Christmas morning. So cute! We then played with toys and games took naps and had some visitors.
the tree at my parents

maddox enjoying a box, just a box

eating my moms wonderful breakfast
Then we got ready to go down to my other grandparents house for the evening. That was fun too. Seeing family and eating and exchanging gifts is always something we look forward too and seeing their beautiful huge tree!
the great grandchildren
kk and cortie
We got home and slept well that night. Then the very next day we had Andy's family over again. We honestly could not get enough time in with them. It was so fun and the kids all have such a blast together. It is fun hanging with Michelle, talking, cooking, baking, talking and more talking. I have to admit though more than once we were longing for our other SIL's.
The rest of the Christmas Vacation was spent with family and parties and more family time. We all had a blast!
One thing about Christmas this year that I would really try to figure out to do differently next year is we all got WAY TO MUCH! It would be grand to me if everyone only gave us one gift, or even a family gift. I know people have way too much fun buying during the holiday season, but it is really important to me that my children do not think of Christmas being a time to get gifts. I want it to be about being together, making memories, giving of ourselves...I think it may be a hopeless want, but I am thinking about what we can do next year that can be different. I mean if you ask Bennett what he got for Christmas I am not even sure what he would say, there was just so much. We are truly grateful for all the generosity that is sure don't get me wrong. I just want it to be less about the receiving and more about the true meaning of it all, how cliche, right?
Anyway there will be a long line of pics. I will see how I can spread them out.
Oh and here are some of my favorite Christmas decorations of this year.I remember making this when Bennett was a baby, and it still brings back such sweet memories of my new first born baby and our first Christmas together.Love this ornament too.

this year my mom gave me my ornaments from my childhood and this has always been one of my favorites.

my Christmas gift from Andy this year. This will always be one of my favorites.

I love the way my banisters turned out.Our Gold tree.

Our silver tree.The stocking were hung.

Love it.