Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fathers Day ( I thought I posted this along time ago)

Andy with his buddy!

I have to say I am so happy that I really have a lot to celebrate on Father's day. I have an awesome dad myself, and my kids do too!

This year for fathers day I redecorated Andy's office at work. Nothing big, but a few things, like a new smaller bookshelf, new fuax wood blinds because the baby 80's blue does not go well with the mocha paint, some desk organizers, a darling picture for his wall of the kids and him a new mirror and clock and a baskets of treats and lunches. This guy never takes a lunch. He is too kind to his patients. Which is good, they all love him for it, but he will waste away to nothing if he keeps this up. So now he has a stash and can just grab something quick when he can. He office looks great. I tried hard not to make it look like my office. Something manly you know. It was hard, but I think we did a great job. I wish I had the funds to get a new desk for him, but we will see. I also found out that everything I bought, home office will pay for. So it was a win win situation! Love it all!

The kids got him along with handmade cards, a picture for his office that looks like one of those motivation photos, I will have to take a picture of it. And a folder for papers that he needs to keep with him. I also scored some new nike tennis shoes for 19 dollars, so we threw that in as a gift too! They had fun watching him open them and were tickled to death when he would get excited.

We went to my grandma and grandpas for dinner. It was fun. I got to see my dad and gave him a bunch of cardinal items. It was nice to be able to spend part of the day with him, I am very fortunate to live to close to my dad and can basically see him whenever I want! It is nice. I never doubted once ever in my whole like that he loved me, like really unconditionally loved me. I am a lucky duck!

Now on to my hubby. He is such an incredible dad and I think the best thing he does for his children is treats me so well. He teaches them through example of how to be a great husband, father and friend. I am so lucky and recognize this. When I was praying about marrying, him one of the things that I could not get off my mind was the fact that I knew if I married him not only would we have such a great relationship, but I could not think of any ever that I would want as my children's dad. He was it. He is it. Thanks hon, for being the kind of father I hope my boys will someday. Thanks for never letting me doubt, that "dad" is your favorite word in your book.

Our little guy striking a pose!

Grandpa opening his presents.

The kids devouring the chips. It is obvious we never have chips in our house!

Our big boy standing!!!!

9 months (apparently I never posted this)

Doent' he just have such sparkly little eyes. Andy and I call these smiley eyes!

I am going to say it is my baby nine months old.

Is it possible?

My baby has been out longer than he was in...if you know what I mean!


Doesn't seem possible.

Not quite sure what to think about it all.

He has the cutest smile where he wrinkles up his nose and squints his eyes...melt my heart!
One evening we went out side and I put Paxton in the grass.
He was a little concerned at first, but then relaxed a little.

What a sweet little guy!

Shopping Spree

{Sorry if I have offended any one or grossed anyone out with this photo including peas, I know a lot of people hate them, our family on the other hand does not like another veggie better.}

Well not really, but I really had a great time at The Home Goods store. Bennett, Cortland and I headed out to South County to check this store out. I have been wanting to go for years. I saw an ad on tv and the lady had chair in her cart that I have really wanted for my craft room, so we went.

I was like a kid in a candy store. Seriously I have to say it is one of my all time fave spots. I got a picture to hang over our paino finally, it only took 2 years to find, a bunch a fun serving dishes, a cool gas tank thing for the boys room, and a linen spray that smells so good! Everything was so cheap! It was so fun!

The next day I made Sunday dinner of Parmesan chicken with pasta, peas, and Brushetta. Topped off with a very yummy double chocolate peanut butter pie. Everyone loved it. I have to admit it was all so good, and looked so pretty to boot! Since I am nice I will add the recipe, from non other than the good ole pioneer lady! With a special added touch of my own!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Crust:25 Oreos

4 tablespoons butter, melted
Crush the Oreos until they’re fine crumbs. Pour melted butter over the top and stir with a fork to combine. Press into pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes, or until set.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 8-ounce package softened cream cheese

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 8-ounce package Cool Whip, thawed
Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the thawed Cool Whip and beat mixture until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
Pour filling into crust, evening


I love summer. Mainly because there are so many fun things to do and Bennett is home. I love having all my kids in our home all day. It is the only thing that really makes me consider homeschooling.

This summer we kicked off late Spring by going to Disney and have a few get-a-ways planned. We are thinking about going to the lake this weekend and a possible trip to Chi town at some point. We really want to visit Nauvoo this summer too. The kids have such a great time there.

We spend our days in the sprinklers, pool and splash parks. We eat lunch outside, we ride our bikes more and go exploring more. Just a lot of fun times.

I have a little schedule we do with the kids too each day. After breakfast, the four older kids have 20 minutes of lesson time. Bennett works out of a work book and I do little preschool lessons with the kids. They love every minute of it. After that is done, we do 20 minutes of zone time. Each child gets their own zone to clean. Bennett gets things like unloading the dishwasher, making his bed, picking up toys, helping in the garden, bathrooms, stuff like that. The little kids get things like wiping down the doors with Clorox wipes, swiffing the floors, wiping the table, and other things like that. Pretty easy, but still teaching the work ethic. For the rest of the day we do some music/dance time, play outside, almost always have a picnic lunch topped off with a Popsicle, and clean up time before naps. After we put the kids down for nap time, which it has been so nice having Bennett here helping with that, Bennett gets his one on one time with me after Paxton goes down. We play with Paxton till then. I have to say that is one of my favorite parts of my day. I love that little guy and getting on the floor and playing with him. So fun! After he is down, Bennett has been learning a new life skill each day. Like I previously mentioned, dishes. He can know rinse off, load and unload and knows how to start it and where everything goes to put it away. We had a laundry lesson. How to sort and start the washer and dryer. I taught him the best way to clean a bathroom. Gardening, Making beds, changing diapers, making quick easy and safe know that sort of thing. HE LOVES THIS! I love that he loves it. I love that he is learning how to work hard and what needs to be done in a house to make it run smoothly. Hopefully I will raise all the boys I have to be so helpful in the home like their dad is...that is a big hope of mine! I start on dinner around 5 so it is done when Andy gets home and the kids wake from their naps.

So all in all, we have been having just a really fun summer. I have so many things I really hope we get to do with the kids this summer. With baseball, t-ball and gymnastics it has kept our evenings and Saturday mornings pretty busy, but other than that, it has been pretty relaxing. I only wish Dentists got off for the summer too...not that would be awesome!

Here are some pictures from my moms work picnic. We have been going with her ever since Bennett was born. I think we have only missed 2. She loves having the kids there. Unfortunately I was late with Maddox, Jadeyn and Paxton because we were in urgent care for three hours, so they missed all the games, but we still had fun. We look forward to doing that every year!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


There has been lots of this used lately!

I LOVE this shot!
What cute boys!

Monkey see, Monkey Do!

Today was a sunscreen wearing, running in the sprinklers then going to the pool kind of day. Man we have had a hot three days. Luckily it is only supposed to last a week or so then we should be back to normal meaning 80's to 90. I actually do not mind the heat, only if there are ways to cool down, and luckily we have ways. The pool {which we have loved so much}, sprinklers, any kind of ice cream/Popsicles, and AC manage to do that for us.

This morning we decided to head out and run in the sprinkler. I want to get a big fun one, but this one seems to do the job. They had so much fun running in it! I loved just watching them. Unfortunately we had to end for lunch. Nothing like a PB and J with some carrots and apple wedges. They were all ready for naps and Bennett and I got some one on one time in. Love that boy! We will have to see what the rest of the week holds for us. I am sure much more time playing in water and many many many more Popsicles to be had!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


This is a preview as to what you are going to get to see concerning our vacation. I don't care who you are, you will think think this is cute. So cute. So cute I cannot stand it so cute. So cute I want to go drag this boy out of his bed and kiss him like crazy cute. So cute I just can't believe I am so lucky he is mine cute. I love everything about this video and every thing about this little boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Buzz Lightgear and Woooody!"

*my favorite part is when I ask if it is Buzz Lightyear and he replies with "yes". There is something about the way he says yes that makes me want to smother him with hugs and kisses. Infact, I think I may just go and do that right now. Yep, I will.

The Lodge

Arriving at The Animal Kingdom Lodge!

The Lobby.

Cool exhibit!

The Concierge.

One of the many fire pits!

The pool!


When Andy and I decided to go ahead and make the trip to Disney World, I was on the phone a lot. Last year when we were there we dreamed of what it would be like to actually stay on the resort with all the conveniences that go along with that, so this year I called to check out the prices and they were actually very reasonable we felt.

The first time I called I got a bunch of different quotes for all the different resorts. We had decided to stay in a moderate resort being the middle tier of their hotels. The first time I called I found out that due to our large number of guests (7) there were only a few options. Of course the cheaper ones were out, because we needed two rooms. Oh well, it was still a great deal. I had always wanted to stay at the Animal Kingdom lodge, but it was a little pricier than what we wanted to spend. When Andy got home that night we looked at all the options and decided to stay either at the Caribbean or the Port Orleans.

Well when I called back the next day she had to look it all up for me again and The Animal Kingdom lodge was actually 64 dollars cheaper than the cheaper hotels for some odd reason. So I jumped on. Although we would not have a Savannah room, we would have two standard rooms, I was ok with that. How much would we really be in our rooms anyway and the resort had all kinds of things to walk around and look at. So I reserved that along with 6 day park passes and the dining plan which included a snack a day, a sit down service and a quick service meal. It was so much food! Then as I was about to get off the phone I happened to casually ask about air fair since I knew 2 hours sounded a lot better than 15 and to my surprise and excitement they were only 654 more! That is a lot of money, but for 7 of us to brainer! TOTALLY WORTH IT! I loved that the price I paid that day included everything. We would not have to pay for another thing other than souvenir's.

I called Andy right away and told him we were staying at The Animal Kingdom lodge and he was so excited since that was the place we really wanted to stay, but did not think it was possible. Disney sent us itineraries and fun little things for the kids, coupons to the game room and other places, free miniature golf, luggage tags and a video to get every one excited. I tell ya, I love working with Disney. Everything is so organized and went so well and smoothly. It is the perfect vacation for our gang. I don't know where they find their "castmates" but seriously from the lady I talked to book the vacation to the guy changing the trash bags, they are ALL SO DARN NICE! They must do something, maybe some sort of incentive or something, Andy and I would love to figure that out.

So after we arrived at our resort after being in our lovely bus ride with an awesome bus with our own personal tv's and such, the Kids and Andy went to the big five story window to look out to see if they could see any animals. When we pulled up I knew it was nice. It was going to be the nicest place we have ever stayed with out a doubt! I went to check us in. She asked my name and follows with you are going to love this to celebrate your family we upgraded you to our nicest room the two bedroom suite! I was going to love that and actually did love that very much. She gave me a fun little folder with everything we would need our "keys to the world"(cards that got us into our rooms, our meals and park tickets...see how nice and convenient they make everything?) and pointed the way. So we walked. And walked. And walked. The only problem with these suites is they are at the end of the hall. It seemed to take forever to walk there especially at 10 at night with five very tired little ones. Once you got there though, it was all worth it.

We walked in and could not believe our eyes. It was nice. I mean NICE. Like when celebrities visit Disney World they stay here kind of nice. We walked into the huge living area that was so awesomely decorated with an African Flair. The room had it all including huge french doors that opened up to our suite. The bed was huge, the room was amazing the bathroom is indescribable. The shower itself was bigger than our entire bathroom. There were phones and tvs everywhere, nice big plush robes. Chocolates on the bed with Mickey Mouse made out of towels. It was all so nice. We could not believe it. The kids room was off the living area and had two queen beds again with chocolates on the pillows huge flat screen tvs, and huge lovely bathroom and big closets. It was SO nice. We had three balcony's looking off to the Savannah. Here we thought we would not even have a Savannah view and we probably had the best view of the resort now. There were always zebras and giraffes right out our balcony's almost looking close enough to touch. The kids could not get enough of it. The zoo will never be the same again! It was amazing. We sat on the balcony for a long time just admiring the view in amazement of how lucky we got.

After all the excited of the rooms our luggage was delivered and off to the 15,000 square foot pool we went. The kids loved it. Bennett, Jadeyn and Maddox could seriously live in the water. Cortland loves it, but his body temperature must not be able to take it because he always gets so cold and just shivers the whole time. Maddox's does a little too, but this kid does not let it stop him. We stayed at the pool for a while, then went to get a meal right at the restaurant right by the pool. Our resort had three restaurants, a gift shop and a little market. The food was great and had something for everyone, of course my kids are not picky at all, so it wasn't hard, but it was nice that they had a variety of things everywhere we went for the kids to chose from.

After dinner we went back up to our rooms, put the kids to bed and then Bennett, Andy and I all sat on the balcony for a while. It was just so neat. We felt so grateful for it all.

It was such a lovely place. We have said that there were a few other places we would like to try and stay at, but we are afraid to now after having such a nice place there and liking it so much! It was so great to come back to our rooms being all made up back to beautiful, fresh linens and vacuumed floors and more chocolates on the pillows every day. The kids loved that! They came by around 8 every night and did a turn down service. Normally we weren't there, but one time we were and the sweet lady just could not get over our family and had such a fun time talking with us. She kept saying are you sure they are all yours...pretty sure sweet thing and I have all the extra poundage to prove it!

Every morning we walked to the front of the resort and waited for the bus. There was a different bus that went to each park and came by about every ten minutes. It was awesome. They dropped us off right at the gates of the parks. With so many small children it was really all about convenience and they sure know how to do it. They had activities for the family to do every time of day and fun little nature walks to see the animals and learn more about them. It was so cool!

Although we did not spend enough time in our rooms, we loved every minute we did. I wish we could go back right now and stay forever. Seriously I do. Kudos to Mr. Walt Disney. You were a genius. We are happy we got to benefit from that!

PS...if you are wondering why I am up blogging at 3:52 am it is because this lovely month of June not only gave me a sweet ear infection going on for 2 weeks now, but now she has blessed me with a raging sore throat, or what some like to call strep throat...why? Tell me why? I just pray with all I got no one else gets it. I have only had a sore throat and an ear infection one other time in my life, what makes June so special to give me both of them right now?????

PSS...I love having a baby in the house...there is nothing better than that!

PSSS...why will blogger only let you upload five photos at a time?!?

PSSSS...{now it is getting ridiculous!} These pictures do not do the room or the animals justice. I did not do a very good job catching great shots.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ready to go

In our packed car!!!

Going through the airport!
In the plane!

Paxton being perfect as always.
On the bus going to the resort!

These boys were so excited.

She was too!


The Monday before our big trip I had all the laundry done and everything packed. We used our guest bedroom downstairs for the staging. By the time Wednesday night rolled around, I had many more things that had collected on the bed that needed to make it in our bags. Traveling can be a little crazy and preparing for it is even harder I think. Especially because we were traveling with a baby and four other kiddos. So Wednesday night Andy and I headed downstairs and finished the final details.
Since we found out we had to pay for each bag, we decided for everyone to take a carry on. Something I did not want to do, but I didn't want to pay for them even more. We had so many bags. I had a whole suitcase full of food, snacks, baby food, formula and drinks. I had one huge suitcase with Andy and my clothes along with a huge Cinderella dress that HAD to go. We had a suitcase for each child and a bag for the baby. We also had a bag of shoes and diapers. Then we had a diaper bag and bag full of electronics like laptops, video cameras and portable dvd players.
We packed the car the night before. It was a tight fit. My dad drove us over in our car and Andy sat smashed in the middle while I sat with several things at my feet in the front. Luckily it ended working out.
By the time morning came I had been up several times fearing we missed our flight. Finally it was late enough to just get up. We let the kids sleep as late as possible. We got everyone ready and off we were.
We got to the airport with not a minute to spare due to major traffic and horrible storm and several accidents. We checked our bags with sky cap (ended up checking more than I thought originally,but lets face it is was worth the 15 dollars to not have every person pull a check on bag with us!) got our tickets and off to the gate.
Security was bar far the hardest part of our whole trip. It wasn't bad and nothing horrible happened, but when you have 7 people going through, 10, bags and a stroller and car seat, it seriously takes FOREVER. The kids did great. I was wondering how that part would go with everyone having to take off their shoes, holding the baby, putting all the bags up, having the bottles tested, and on and on. Finally we g0t through. They were so patient with us and I was so proud of our little travelers listening so well! It could have been really really bad. We walked up to our gate and right on to the plane. The kids loved it. They we so excited. I think Cortland and Bennett were a little concerned, but the smile did not leave their face the entire two hours. We had a had snacks. movies to watch, colors and games and did not use any of them! They just had such a great time. Luckily we did not bother anyone around us either, because I was most worried about that. By the time we got our drinks and finished them up we were ready to land!
Everything went so smoothly. We arrived in Orlando and were shuttled right over to our resort. Totally the way to go. Andy and I could not stop talking about how nice and convenient everything was and went. So happy it all went well!

{Stay tuned for much more Disney trip.
I have to break it up or it would be the worlds longest entry ever! }