Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Oh, December is such a magical time! The kids asked us every day about Santa and making sure he would know we would be in Utah.
(Jordan alluded to that in the car accident post. We seriously didn't think we would have a vehicle in time for our trip)
And they asked about presents and reindeer and everything Christmas-y.
We had this awesome FHE where we talked about the Christmas symbols and what they meant.
For example: Red and Green are the Christmas colors because red represents Jesus' blood and green means Jesus will live forever, also same with the Evergreen green tree. Candy canes are white and red for purity and Christ's blood again and in the cane shape for Shepherd's staffs.
-(kids in the tree box)
The kids seemed to enjoy it and I think they learned something because on our drive to Utah, weeks later, they would see decorations and ask about the symbols again.

                                                                     We were scheduled to have family pictures done with Megan Robbins up in Mesa the weekend of JD's wedding. The weather ended up being pretty windy and rainy so Megan postponed them until the first Monday in Dec. We were cutting it close to the deadline of sending them out. We loved the bright colors of our outfits (like Christmas lights)
Miss Gemma was pretty tired and grumpy when we got there so we knew she would be a little difficult.
At least her hair looks great!
I love these kiddos!

Family Home Evening - annual decorating of the tree. Gemma grabbed her gold glass ball and squeezed it until it broke. Nice.
And then, she wouldn't put her pants back on. My attempt to cover her.
Jaxon was so excited about pulling out the Polar Express train
How festive! Lottie's new stocking got to join the family

 The outside. We had lots of fuses blow this time so I made multiple trips to Ace Hardware. The boys did most of the roof. We didn't have to ask twice. For some reason the left side icicles were brighter than the right side. Next year we'll have to replace those.
Jordan decorated his high school room differently this year.

SANTA!! Or his helper came to Jaxon's school one Saturday morning for a free breakfast. Jaxon was very excited and anxious to see the BIG man. He even made Santa a present. How thoughtful.
Not my favorite "helper", but the kids didn't notice.

Lottie's first Santa sitting. Too bad it's blurry. Santa was nervous she was going to poop all over him so we hurried and it's blurry.
Awe! Aunt Charlotte gave is this Christmas dress when we stayed at her house for JD's wedding.
Too cute, Lottie.
Our 'mild' winter.
Teaching Kodee the Spider swing move
Jaxon performed a Very Berry Christmas in his music class. Well, ALL the music classes did. It was at the CFA and SRO. Parents were standing everywhere holding cameras. We tried filming Jaxon, but he kept moving back so kids were in front of him. It was a cute show. He knew all the moves.
Lottie all nestled in her bed taking a long winters nap.
I am sad to say our Christmas goody plates did not happen this year. We bought the ingredients and ran out of time? oh yeah, we were so stressed about our car situation. We didn't get the rental until 5 days before vacation and then it was only a compact car. I couldn't even fit all the kids in it. So if I went anywhere it could only be 3 kids at most. Lots of juggling around.
Jordan got a van the day we were leaving.
Good thing it was a brand new van.
It was a sweet Dodge Town and Country
That's what Jordan's dad said we should get, but we just didn't like something about the seats. they were pretty narrow.

This year our community put on a Live Nativity on the fields right by the temple.
We went on a windy, cold night right as it was starting so we got to sit in the front.
It was the neatest spiritual Christmasy thing we've ever done.
They had real animals and soloists and dancing angels.
At the end Mary walked along the front holding and showing off the baby Jesus. She stopped right in front of Kodee and he loved that. He felt special for being able to see the baby. I think the production made the Nativity more real for the kids.
Afterwards we walked next door to the church to see the Nativity displays. It was super crowded! There were so many of them, we decided not to see all of them.
All in all, a great night out. I can't wait to see it again next year.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dec. 1, 2013 Lottie gets blessed

 We came home with our scrunched in car and had to get the house ready for all the company the next day. I made a lasagna and ranch for the next day. And I really wanted to have chocolate pound cake.
Connie gave me a full sized bundt pan and then I misplaced it so when I started the pound cake at 11 that night I had to use my stoneware bundt. I set the timer for an hour and then was sooo tired I decided to take a nap, feeling sure I would hear the timer beep when it went off around 1am.
2:30am-I awoke with a start and ran to the oven fearing I would see one crispy, black cake..
I got it out of the pan and to my surprise the middle of the cake was still edible.
I didn't have enough cookies so I decided I would serve the cake and tell people not to eat the outside.
So using the stoneware pan totally saved the cake!
7 came way too early, but I was excited to put Lottie in the dress Gemma wore.
I had to use a different hair band because I misplaced the one that matched the dress. (talk about major new mommy brain)
Lottie looked so beautiful!
I was so happy too because Joanna and David's and Jim and Kim's family were able to come down for the blessing. Richard and Jenny came and of course Janeen and Billy. That was the first time Billy met Lottie.
Jordan gave a beautiful blessing saying Lottie would be blessed to be a great friend to everyone.
I assured Jordan she wouldn't cry in the blessing, Jordan said she would, and she did. Later, JD said he couldn't believe how much they were bouncing the baby. He thought they were going to drop Lottie.
Jordan and I shared our testimonies and I had mine all planned out. Jordan really focused on the accident and I was going to talk about the miracle of the baby.
I ended up talking all about the accident too.
Connie brought over her lasagna and put mine in the oven during church while I stayed during Primary.
We came home, pulled out rolls, salad, and lasagna and we had some good grub. I guess we didn't have enough rolls, but everyone wanted more salad with the homemade ranch. Then it was dessert time. The cookies disappeared and many people ate cake, but the only one who said anything was Joanna. She was in the Living Room sitting on the piano bench when she stuck her fork in the hard crust and it flew off her plate across the room. Yeah, not edible. We still can't believe the whole cake wasn't burned to a crisp. We took group photos, and Kayla was nice and took these pics (and edited) of our beautiful baby and family!

Love the full house!

Later when everyone was gone, Jordan told me the Spirit let him know Lottie is going to be of great comfort to me one day. I asked him why he didn't say that in the blessing and he said he didn't get the thought until later. I thought that was neat he would still be having promptings even after the blessing. That's one of the reasons I love that man! He honors his Priesthood and the Lord works through him in special ways. 
Hosting can be quite stressful for me, but I thought the day ended being beautiful and wonderful!!
And, I am so glad Lottie and her sweet spirit is in our family.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Oops, he did it again!

He being Kodee.
Did it, meaning, fall and cut his chin open.
Again, yes, this is the second time.
1st time in August
2nd time in November
Richard said no more falling
Kodee came home saying he even had fun.
Crazy kid!

 Here's the 2nd time after falling on the kitchen stool
You can see the 1st time scar to the right
This time-1 or 2 stitches

 During bath he slipped while standing on the side
After the shot-he was so brave. We knew he was nervous. Just a few tears squeezed out.
 That's really split

 1st stitch on the left                                                                            
 making the knot and 2nd stitch
 Finishing up. 3 stitches.
 Yay! We even got a smile and he still likes Uncle Richard
Yes, we wrapped him up so he wouldn't try to push him away, but Kodee didn't even try to move.

Happy Easter..I mean, Thanksgiving!!!

Every year the Gila Valley puts on a fun run called the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.
Richard and Jenny have been doing it a for a few years so we decided to sign up!
You could choose between the mile and a 5K. We went with the 5K. I was still 2 months post baby and hadn't run yet, but Jordan was in marathon training so he was used to three miles already. I didn't think it would be that hard. We thought Jaxon could run lots of it.
So we woke everyone up nice and early Thanksgiving morning, dropped the babe at mom's house and drove to Pima.
It was a chilly, chilly morning.
We bundled up Kodee and Gemma in the double stroller and waited for the whistle to blow. There were a LOT of people there.

 Jordan pushed the stroller and I ran alongside him for about, oh, 3 minutes and then he was off and I kept falling farther behind. I ran into Jaxon with about a mile to go and I basically had to pull him to the finish. His legs were done. We were some of the last people to finish. Yikes! I think my time was 44 minutes. Jordan said it was super hard to push the stroller in the wind in the dirt. He still made it in 32 minutes, i think.
(Little did we know that would be the last time we would use the double stroller)
We stuck around for the drawing of prizes. Yeah, we stuck around for a long time for NOTHING! We even had 4 of us to choose from. No dice.

We ran through the finish line but Jaxon did NOT want to. As you can see on his face.
Overall, we had fun and we're going to do it again next year!
We headed to get the baby to go home and shower. Lottie did so good!
We had from 10:30 to noon to get ready and boy did that time fly. 
We took off without the cool whip so we had to turn around.
Good thing the food wasn't ready right at 12.
I brought 2 pumpkin pies and the cranberry salad I love that is my mom's recipe.
We had a big crowd this year. Kelly and Troy were still down from JD's wedding, Jim and Kim and Jenny and Richard's family. 
I guess when Grandma H. walked in to mom's house she said, "Happy Easter! everyone!" No one had the heart to correct her.
The kids had so much fun playing with their cousins.
During the prayer on the food which Dad gave, Lottie got super hungry and fussy and was crying so loud. We couldn't even hear the prayer and I felt so bad because I was locked in behind the table and couldn't leave the room. For some reason she wouldn't nurse at the table so I had to miss the beginning of Thanksgiving dinner.
We loved that we had run that morning so we could eat what we wanted!
We had lots of fun catching up with family and laughing.

Friday we cleaned and packed for Tucson-for Jordan's first half MARATHON!! Duh duh duh..
I felt a little uneasy about going on this trip, but Jordan was ready to run.
We got there just fine and headed to Macayo's for a nice, but expensive, dinner. I think we passed it twice before we finally found it. So it was a late dinner.
The kids did pretty well waiting for our table and food while coloring. Jaxon LOVES the coloring pages and likes to finish the whole thing!
After getting gas we hit up Old Navy for their Black Friday deal of everything 50%. 
Jordan was the only one to go in and I drove around the mall.
Jaxon announced he wasn't feeling well and before I could pull into the parking lot he tossed his dinner all over the floor in the back and Kodee's bear. 
Not a fun cleanup.
Jordan came back with really good finds of jeans and stocking stuffers for Christmas.
We went straight to the hotel and the kids got situated in room while I cleaned out the car the best I could. I actually took wash cloths from the room to wipe the car down. I bet the maid liked finding that surprise the next morning. 
Jordan announced they had a jacuzzi so the kids jumped into their suits so fast it was hard to keep up. I fed the baby and then came down to watch and be the photographer. 
At the end Jaxon and Jordan started daring each other to hop in the freezing cold pool.
I think Jaxon walked in and came out really fast. Jordan decided to swim the length of the pool in one breath. 
He dove in and and we watched as he swam underneath. About 3/4 of the way to the end of the pool he JUMPED out and tried to get out of the pool as fast as he could saying he couldn't take any more, it was too cold. I was laughing so hard! (Sorry) He hopped in the jacuzzi shivering. Hello! It was the last of November and there was a cold wind that night.
We got the kids toweled and back in the room to get to sleep. 
I think the three kids went down fairly quickly while Lottie would cry after I put her down. I was worried about the early morning wake-up but we managed to get some sleep.
Bright and early that alarm went off. Jordan got all ready in his running gear while we just got our shoes on and headed over to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Perfect place to have right next to your hotel I say. Jordan chose a healthy breakfast of eggs, oatmeal and fruit. Good choice, honey!
We ate quickly so we could get Jordan over to the park to check in. The park was about 3 minutes away so we got there in good time, before 8. Instead of getting us all out to see him take off we left to go get dressed for the day and pack our stuff. An hour later we went to go try to find Jordan in the middle of the race. It was a very interesting drive to say the least. The map we were given of the race route was so unclear. I scoured and scoured and finally googled the area. I saw where the park was at mile 8, but it was a miracle I found the park because it was behind a bunch of houses and I had to guess where to park. We got out and the kids played and 15 minutes later Jordan in his bright yellow ran up and around. He said he was doing great! He got some water and was off again. I let the kids play longer and then I was anxious to get back to the finish line so we wouldn't miss Jordan finishing. I didn't have anything to worry about. We waited for probably 45 minutes before There was any sign of Jordan. I talked with this really nice man who was waiting for his wife and daughter who they all turned out to be insane athletes. The wife had run a half the week before and they were all going to run a full marathon the next week.
 So close!!
BOOM! He finished! 2 hours 15 minutes 41 seconds 
So proud of you, babe! First time he ever ran this far before.
 Good job dad, can we go play some more?
 My turn to show the love

Jordan got his medal, shirt, water, and fruit and cookies to fuel back up.
He said at mile 11 he started hurting and it took him until mile 12 to feel numb; and his phone died so he had to finish without music.
But, finish he did!
We took off, grabbed our stuff and checked out of the hotel to get on the road. 
I drove so Jordan could rest up his muscles. We stopped for lunch right by a truck stop that had showers. Perfect stop for Jordan. He got all clean and dressed and met us at Taco Bell. 
I had to feed the baby so the kids played around the long bench a little too much for my taste.
We made it through.
We filled up our drinks, went potty and were back on the road, Jordan driving now
about 30 minutes later, right outside of Tucson the traffic started getting really congested and we had to slow down. I had this feeling to pay attention and watch the road. Jordan was talking to his mom about the race, but he had it on speaker so he was still paying attention to the traffic. We sped back up but up the hill we noticed the cars were slowing down to stand still again so we kept our distance and watched. We all started getting close together and slowing down. Jordan was worried about this RV in the other lane that was really wobbly and I was looking behind us at this truck that was really close. At that moment I screamed out, "Jordan!" and he hit the brakes so we wouldn't hit the car in front of us. I looked in the side mirror at the truck carrying a horse trailer and they slammed on their brakes and were swerving like crazy. They went off to the left to try and miss us, but they hit us right in the back. I looked forward thinking we were going to hit the car in front, and start a chain reaction. But, miraculously they were already pulling away. And then I thought we were going to be hit in the back again, but no one hit the truck. Partly in shock I started crying out, but that scared the kids so I sucked back in the tears and toughed it out as Jordan pulled over to the right shoulder. We braced ourselves silently praying the people in the truck were nice and had insurance.
We looked at the back of the van just stunned that none of us got hurt. Although Gemma's drink did explode in her face and she cried because it was so cold. The boys had been playing with Lottie's baby rocker and were making a sort of fort out of it. It had bumped Jaxon in the lip so he had  a little bit of a fat lip. Thankfully they were all wearing their seat belts and no one was hurt or even sore. We were truly blessed. We had to wait a while for police to come so we could report the accident. The cops were kind of jerks. They kept telling Jordan that he was at fault for some reason, but the second cop that came understood that Jordan didn't break out of nowhere and that the truck that hit us was going to fast. The older couple that hit us were very nice and exchanged insurance info. We were able to drive the rest of the way home and called insurance to file the complaint. That's when the mess began. The other guy's insurance was awful to work with. They did not do anything for almost a month, and unfortunately the man was not real helpful either. He asked Jordan to get a form notarized that explained we weren't pressing charges and would get him out of a citation, but then he was not returning any phone calls to his insurance to accept fault for the accident. This almost completely ruined our holiday travel plans to go up to Utah. Our van was totaled and we needed to get an assessment. We also needed to be put into a rental, but none of this would happen until the driver of the other car complied. Finally he did. We were reimbursed for the car seats and stroller that was stuck in the back of the van. We also received money for what the van was worth and a rental that we took up to UT. It was a nice Town and Country souped up with all the latest gadgets. It was a fun trip. While we were in UT we found the Toyota Sienna we were looking for and got it! We've loved the decision we made for the car. Too bad it had to be such a long procedure, but we're glad it all got worked out. I hope we're never in an accident again. That was not fun!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A family wedding

Joanna and David's oldest got married! 11/23/2013
Rachel and JD
We got to be in the Sealing Room. Which I'm very grateful for. It was so good to hear the covenants they were making to remind me again of what Jordan and I made almost 9 years ago.
I'll never forget the Spirit we felt and how squished we were.
That was a small room. I ended up being in the corner with men behind my chair and angled where Jordan was standing in between my legs so I could only see half of JD and Rachel.
Good thing the sealing didn't last too long!
We came out too see the kids were doing well
Even Elder Layton made an appearance. on cardboard. He was a hit!
 Nice photobomb Kase!
After a few huge family pics we headed to the luncheon. The food was delicious. Although we thought the smoked ham was too smoky for our taste.
We left and hit up Old Navy to find outfits for our family picture. I think we were there 2 hours and lost the kids a few times but finally found matching outfits for ONE picture.Here's the color scheme below:
My pants are royal blue
We came out of Old Navy to rain and wind
Jordan was about to go on a run-OOPS!
WE headed to Aunt Charlotte's so he could change and the kids could relax for a few minutes
(Aunt Charlotte's is the best place to stay. We feel like there is plenty of room and we are not stepping on their toes, and there's lots of stuff for them to do. They were having a football party when we got there so we had some snacks. Kodee did get pizza sauce on their newly cleaned carpets. Charlotte wasn't too happy about that-understandably.)
We finally got to the reception when it was almost over. 
It was a really fun and awesome reception.
The kids had fun dancing and lots of people danced
Lottie loved being held all night
The soup, salad and cake was like the best thing ever!
There were white strips of plastic hanging from every corner and in between to meet in the center of the room in a ball-loved it!
great party!
We went to church the next day and the kids were super restless so we didn't get much out of the talks.
We tried to have lunch at Joanna's afterward but we found out pretty much all the meat was gone from the luncheon the day before.
JD and Rachel were there too.
Talk about awkward.
JD was understandably upset we saw them.
Something to laugh about for years to come.

Random post

There's always a few pictures I don't know where to put so I put them here randomly.
Here's Jordan's workout/weight loss/muscle gain photo updates
 I'm so proud of your motivation to be healthier and stronger.
You run in the cold, when you're tired, and hungry, and when you're sick
Way to be awesome!

 This is Jaxon. Sleeping in a laundry basket. Curled in a ball. 
We moved him to his bed because we knew he would wake up hurting.
Next morning he was back in the basket.
 uh..Kodee didn't quite make it to his bed after the basket
Craziest sleeper so far
Fall 2013 school pics
Finally we have an updated pic of Gemma for the wall. Only took 2 years.
I think the photographer did hair magic because that is not how we sent her. Her hair was sticking out on top all over the place.