Thursday, December 24, 2009


Winter Pearl

She joined us on the 18th at 2:03 PM, topping the scales at 6 lbs 15 oz (our smallest baby yet, even with that adorable double chin)! We can't get enough of her.

We spent Wednesday night at Ensign Ranch celebrating Christmas with my family then headed home on Thursday evening to get a good night sleep before our induction bright and early Friday morning.

Do I look excited to get the party started?

After 6 hours of pitocin, she made her entrance. Mike helped the Dr. catch her! This was a first for him.

She has awesome red hair

She was the talk of the Birth Center in her cool cocoon and hat I knitted her

The kids have been amazing and love to hold her. I can't believe how big they all seem now. They are the best helpers too! How crazy we are a family of 6 now.

Mike making fun of how much we (ok, I) packed for the hospital.

Stay tuned for a December update after I have a chance to go through a million pictures. We've had a lot of fun this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

October Fun in a Million Pictures

October was a crazy month in our house. Here is a look at what we've been up to...

As mentioned in a previous post, we took our youth to General Conference. It was an awesome experience that I know left lasting impressions on all of us who attended. We drove all day Friday, saw all 4 (5 for the boys) sessions of general conference, and drove home all day Monday. One of my favorite talks was by Elder Bednar. I loved this analogy...

"In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting.

Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results."

During our trip, some of the kids may have not appreciated the hours in the car, or the fact that I confiscated all cell phones, Ipods, DS' upon arrival in Utah, or sitting through hours of conference, but I'm pretty positive they returned home with a few more "brushstrokes!"

All 29 of us! Notice how much energy the kids still seem to have on Sunday afternoon, and how exhausted the adults look :)

My girls, while the boys were off at the Priesthood Session

While the boys we getting all tucked in the first night, Mike came out of the bathroom and told them he didn't see any floss in the garbage can! He provided them each with a piece of floss and a little flossing lesson to boot. It was pretty hilarious. A few of the boys are patients at our office, and jokingly told Mike their dentist told them they didn't have to floss. They are funny boys!

We left early, early Monday before it started to SNOW! Mike is standing by his new wheels, the "big black truck" as Asher likes to call it. He's moved on up (literally) from our stylin' black tracer.

Insert a short hospital stay and a couple weeks of recovery from the flu here.

The kids enjoying the annual tradition of decorating pumpkin cookies with lots of candy and sprinkles.

Then fun with real pumpkins

Halle loved the pumpkin "guts" while the other two wanted to wash their hands every two seconds.

Mike, carefully planning his creation.

The last week of October was "Red Ribbon Week," an anti-drug campaign, at school. The girls loved the mixed up clothes day, which was a reminder to not get mixed up with drugs.

We ate some really tasty, and cute too, pumpkin patch pancakes for dinner one night.

Asher loves blueberry smoothies!

My brother Dustin, had a birthday on the 30th so his wife planned a totally awesome 80s birthday bash!

My other brother, Kyle, in his creepy wig with his cute wife, Amanda, who was going for the more sophisticated "Top Gun 80s look"

My mom, in the black wig, and her BFF, Lora, in the creepy mullet wig

Kaden, the rocker/transformer and Wanda, an adopted member of our crazy family

Kyle, playing DJ

Do you recognize this handsome devil?

Spider deviled eggs, for our Halloween after party
(thanks Jill for the idea)

My sioux chefs, Mike and his brother Steve

Mike's creative eggs

Bread bones

Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue and his cousin the witch

The whole gang

Mike and I with our poodle, spa girl and buzz

Happy Belated Halloween!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

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Monday, October 19, 2009

The Piggy Flu and Heavenly Helpers

Today is my first day back on the job after almost 2 weeks of sick leave. Two weeks ago today, we were on our way home from UT with 21 youth from our ward at the conclusion of our General Conference Road Trip (more on that later). The next day, I started to cough and exhaustion set in. Wednesday, more coughing, more couch time, but add a headache and some nausea. Thursday morning, my mom drove me to see my awesome Dr. who booked me a suite at the hospital for the next 4 days.

Influenza A was the verdict, (most likely H1N1, but it takes state labs a ridiculous amount of time to make that determination) something they don't take lightly when you are 29 weeks preggo. Anyway, about 6 liters of fluid later, IV antibiotics, Tamiflu, a cocktail of Vicodin and Ambien, a chest x-ray, a handful of non-stress tests and an ultrasound, I was still weak, but baby girl was as active as ever and they let us go home. The worst part of being in the hospital was getting phone calls to let us know that one by one our kids, my parents, my siblings and their kids were dropping like flies with the flu. Talk about feeling a little responsible! In the end we are all on the mend, everyone has finished thier Tamiflu and we are slowly returning to life with the living! Last night, I put on real clothes, make-up and drove my car for the first time in 13 days.

I have to give a shout out to my amazing family for picking up all the pieces during my stint in the hospital and for the few days after I got home. They took care of my sick kids and then took care of me AND my sick kids, when they were sick themselves. Family and friends brought meals for a week, which was so nice not to worry about. Thanks to all for the phone calls, texts and emails letting us know you were thinking of us. We truly appreciate all the love!

And now a word to the wise...keep washing those hands, covering those coughs and sneezes, and get your seasonal flu shot. AMEN

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to School 2009

School started late here on Sept. 10th and now that it is the 21st, I figured it's about time I posted the traditional back to school pictures.  We started the festivities the night before with a tasty dinner and back to school cupcakes with a friendly reminder from Pres. Hinckley to "Be Smart."  Daddy gave blessings, the girls picked out one of their new outfits and then we tucked them into bed...where they goofed around for way too long because they were so excited!

Halle, the big 2nd grader!

I liked this picture of Halle in her class line.  It's a good representation of just how tall she is.  (She's the one with the black and white backpack.)

Haven started Kindergarten this year.  It seems so crazy to have two kids in school.  She did awesome on her first day, I was so proud of her!

Both the girls had their nails polished for the first day of school.  They looked fabulous!

We've had some great weather this month.  The girls celebrated the first day of school by running through the hose that afternoon.

This was the second day of school.  We actually have a bus this year that picks up and drops off at the end of our drive way.  What a blessing!  (Come to find out the bus made the same stops last year, but I was totally unaware.  Oh well.)  This was Haven on the second day of school, looking so darn cute.  She hopped on that bus like such a pro.

On a side note, this is where we usually find Asher when we go to bed.  We tuck him in to his bed and then when it's our bedtime, we find him sleeping tightly in our bed.  The other night we had put all the kids to bed and then were sitting our bed chatting when Asher rounded the corner with a wad of blankets, ready to tuck himself in.  The look on his face when he saw us was priceless!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Yeates Came to Play

A few weeks ago, our good friends the Yeates came for a slumber party! There was good food, as always, backyard football, garage sale-ing and time spent in the wading pool. Its been so fun to see our kids grow up over the past few years and still have a blast together.

Haven, Halle, Freddy and Alastair (Aug. 09)

This is how everyone felt after our time together...exhausted!

Freddy and Halle helping Haven across, just two years ago!

Baby Haven and Alastair!

Catherine and I are both expecting babies in December! Here's to many more years of fun!