Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Party

This week it was my turn to teach/host joy school. We have now moved to 2 days a week, Wed. and Fri. instead of just on Wednesdays. I know Ty will love that. Well on Friday we had a Halloween Party in place of regular "preschool", and invited all the other 3/4 year olds in the ward to join us. Including a few siblings that had to tag along with their moms, we ended up with 18 kids!! Thankfully I wasn't all on my own :). The other moms from the joy school (plus one more) stayed, and Kenny also had work off that day so he was home. And boy did we party!! There was coloring, crafts, apple bobbing, balloon games, a pinata, and of course FOOD. Kenny and I had so much fun staying up the night before and decorating the house--the kids thought it was so neat to wake up to that! I have never been a huge fan of Halloween, but maybe I should just decorate more because it's pretty fun :).

My mom made these darling skirts for Bryn and Madi. I got a few good shots of them, then realized my memory card was not in the camera! So I tried to get some more, but they were done...this is as good as it got :)

This is the view of our house standing at the front door.

Kenny had the great idea of stealing a table and chairs out of the nursery at church to use for our party. We had to rearrange our furniture, but it worked out so well!!

We even got some dry ice that morning for the kool-aid! :)

All the kids rushing to get the loot after the pinata broke.

Also last night we got to go on a date. We've been doing a babysitting group trade-off thing with 2 other couples in our ward. It works out so well. 3 Fridays a month (if it works out) so you babysit once and get 2 dates! We ate at a yummy, slightly overpriced Italian restaurant called Brio. It's just really nice to get out for 2 hours and talk and just be together.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm In Love

These two have had more of a love/hate relationship lately. They seem to argue better than any other 2 kids in the world. But when there is love, there is SO much love!

I'm in love with the fall season, and really wish it would last longer.

Butternut Squash soup and pumpkin streusel muffins (those are from Costco). The best part for me, was when Tyler said "there's no vegetables in this soup!" hahaha. That's like all there is, it's just blended up nicely :)

I'm so enamored with my kids lately. I mean sure there's times or even days when I swear I'm going to send them away for a while. But seriously, I am crazy about them. I love when it's Brynlee's turn to pray and she asks for Tyler to be the one to help her say it, and he does such a beautiful job. And I love when Madi gets upset and Brynlee sings to her "I'll build you a rainbow..." and does the whole song, truly believing that will make her happier. They melt my heart and seeing those precious sibling moments each day makes me so grateful. I wouldn't trade that for any other job in the world.

I'm also loving that my house smells cozy and yummy from making this apple pie this evening. It was delicious!!

(Yes this picture was shot with a self-timer...from the ground. It was a gorgeous Sunday evening walk)

I'm in love with my growing little family and the incredibly joy I feel with and because of them.

Overall, I'm in love with my life.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Saturday morning we headed out to Amherst, OH and went to a cute pick your own place. Right now they've obviously got apples and pumpkins. Unfortunately, not a single picture turned out of the kids and pumpkins, but that's okay :). The sun was super bright, and to get all 3 kids to look at the camera AND smile is in a word, impossible. Exhibit A: Below Tyler is sticking his tongue out in his cheek, Brynlee is pouting, and Madi is playing with the pumpkin haha.
They also had some animals and a hay maze, but our kids were too scared to go in it, and they made it so that it was too short for adults to fit in. Brynlee kept saying "I smell something!" haha, welcome to the smells of farm animals and hay, Bryn.

One of my most favorite pictures ever.

We had a hay ride pulled by this tractor out to the apple trees. Madi is checking out the feel of hay for the first time.

It's hard to tell, but Madi is devouring that apple :)

We weren't planning on canning any this year, so we just got the smallest bag--a 1/4 peck. Perfect for an apple pie this week :). We also bought the BEST apple fritters ever, and some apple cider from their little store. It was a fun morning. That night I went to a stake youth fall activity and Kenny stayed home with the kids. October is going by all too quickly!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nature Center and Trunk or Treat

Friday was another rainy day. But we decided to head out to the Rocky River Nature Center, which is only like 15 min. away. The kids had a lot of fun indoors. By the time we were done inside, it had stopped raining so we walked around outside for a little bit. One thing I know for sure, Ohio sure knows how to do fall. It is gorgeous everywhere we go. I will soak up every bit until winter comes.

That night was our ward trunk or treat/chili cook-off. Tyler really wants to be a knight for Halloween but we didn't have a costume yet so we just dug around in our costume bin and he decided on being a cowboy. Brynlee wanted to be a butterfly, and Madi used the dog costume that all 3 of our children have worn at Halloween :). I am not a huge fan of Halloween, but I sure do love seeing my kids dressed up cute and getting so excited about it.

They had a great time playing some of the games and getting candy. I even won (sort of...I guess they chose 3 winners?? I wasn't there when they announced it) the chili cook-off too, so that's fun. I just use the Lion House Chili recipe and we love it. It's sweet and spicy. Anyway it was a fun night and we all came home exhausted. Although not tired enough, it seems, because the girls took turns keeping me up all night. Bah!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Around Our House and TOFW

Here's a few random shots of my kids last week...

This one they came up with on their own...laundry baskets + blankets=fun??

This one is obviously not in our house but this playground area is just down the street and it's so nice. We are really enjoying this cool, fall weather. I am obsessed with this picture of Madi, her little wrinkle-nose smile melts my heart. Below: It's a fun challenge to keep all 3 swings going...Ty should really figure it out on his own soon.

I like to fill up both sides of the sink with water and dish soap so they can "wash dishes" or just play in the water and get wet while I do some real cleaning. Yes, I still do have to clean up their watery mess, but at least it's contained while I do the rest of the house, right?

Tyler decided to share his cheetos with Madi during lunch one day. She LOVED them so much I couldn't take them away haha

Playing drums on the kitchen floor is a classic childhood experience, right?

This past weekend I got to go to Time Out for Women with some super awesome women from my ward. We had SUCH A BLAST!! oh my gosh it was the best weekend I've had in a while. It was so emotionally draining though! I haven't cried so much and laughed so hard for 2 days straight ever! Lots of great conversations and womanly bonding going on :). We had a fantastic time and I'm so glad I got to know them all better. It was in Cincinnati, OH so we drove about 4 hours to get there. We stayed at Shanna's parents house. Shanna's sister lives in Columbus, and also brought a group of girls with her so there was about a dozen women spread all over the floor and couches throughout the house. The presenters were fantastic, the spirit was so strong and I had some incredible experiences while I was there. It was really great to be able to go, and I felt rejuvenated and ready to come back home and be a better wife and mother.

L to R: Shanna Olmsted, Katie Kirkham, Laura Petterson, Natalie Palmer, Lisa Ybarra, and me.

I don't know if you can really tell from the picture but I got my hair colored and cut. I have never colored my hair before, so I was a little nervous, but I needed a change. I love it. My friend from my ward, Joslyn Pattee is my new hair dresser here :).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Announcement and Catching Up

First of all, the most exciting part....WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER GIRL!! I am so excited. I'm sure I would be just as excited if it were a boy, I really never care. I just love love seeing my little baby when I have my ultrasound. It was this morning, and Kenny and the kids came. It was seriously hilarious. Here's a few comments from the kids as they watched the screen:

Tyler: It looks like a dinosaur!
It looks like you're feeding a fish...

Brynlee: It's a creature monster!
(When she switched over to a 3D image, and the screen changed...) It's an orange baby!

She kept having to wait till I stopped laughing to continue because my stomach was obviously moving when I laughed, making the pictures go all funky. But the kids were cracking me up, seeing it from their perspective. Unfortunately, all the joy left the room (for Tyler) as soon as she said "you're having a little girl". Tyler's whole countenance changed and I really thought he was going to cry. I immediately turned to him and put my arm around him and he said, "Another girl?" Poor kid is not that excited. But I know he'll love her so much once she's here. But we are thrilled. Anyways, here's a little catch up on our weekend.

Saturday we completely spaced Tyler's soccer game, and I'm so mad about that. I don't know how we forgot, but we did. Kenny was working on his talk ALL day because he had worked late every day last week so he hadn't had a chance to work on it. Late like, anywhere between 8:30-10:00. But Stake Conference was that night and we had one of the young women come and watch Ty and Bryn. I brought Madi with us since she was still kind of fussy/sick. Kenny did an awesome job speaking in the adult session of Stake Conference. I was so nervous for him haha, but he really did great. It was on spiritual preparedness.
Sunday: Obviously another day of Stake Conference. Tyler got to go up and sing with all the other primary kids. I always get comments from his teachers/primary leaders how they always love to hear Tyler sing so loud and he knows the words. That night we went over to the Henrichsen's house for dinner. We brought over some pumpkin choc. chip cookies with cream cheese frosting. Brynlee has figured out that if you show up at just the right time, you don't have to help do anything but lick the beaters :).
The family had a big dog, a guinea pig, some fish, and a python. I'm not even kidding, we all held it. I was freaking out. Kenny has pictures on his phone. Tyler was way more brave than I was. He let them wrap it around his neck/shoulders. I wanted to die it was so gross and freaky. But we all lived haha.
Monday: we did some fun fall things. We went over to the Critchlow's since we haven't seen them since their litle Caleb was born. Then we met up with the Palmers at the park to let the kids play and collect leaves. The fall here is GORGEOUS!! OH my heck I never want to come inside because all the leaves are just so pretty. Scott is in between Ty and Bryn in age, and they also have a daughter a little younger than Madi.

Tyler did a little craft with all his leaves when we got home.

That night for FHE activity/treat we made some caramel apples. YUM!

Fall is seriously the best.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grizzly Bear

We often refer to Madi as our little grizzly bear. Or for short, grizz.
-Brown hair (or fur)
-round and pudgy
-waddles bum when crawling
-growls at people
-moves pretty quickly on thundering paws when she's after you

We love our Grizz. And I wish she was feeling better. Ty and Bryn are on the mend (minus a little cough that Ty's hangin on to) but Madi was the last to get it, and so is the last to let it go. She was up a lot last night, so this morning she lays around a lot. Mostly on me. But here she crawled over, found her bottle, and plopped onto the bean bag, letting that cute gut hang out.

But then because I gave her attention, she quickly dropped her bottle and came after me (on those thundering paws...)

And proceeded to climb on top of me and maul me like a grizzly bear. :)

See my own big gut pokin up into the picture? Maybe it's not just Madi after all haha.

All she wants is for me to hold her and love on her. And that's just fine with me.

Also on the list to do today:

Cut Tyler's hair

Get my own hair cut, and maybe even colored?!

Persuade Kenny to not work late for the only night this week--that might take a lot of effort

It's supposed to be date night...

Clean the yucky bathrooms

Take care of the bills that I've neglected on the counter for the last 4 days.

Happy Friday to you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Takin' it Easy

All 3 kids are sick. We don't go anywhere (except emergency trips to the store when we run out of medicine), and if you should happen to come over you'd find us all in our pajamas. Yeah, I decided to join them in that today. Normally this white board has our dinner menu for the week. Right now it just looks like this...

And this is about how general conference weekend went down...

These poor needy girlies just want to be held all the time. Although I still managed to honor the conference tradition of making scones on Sat. and cinnamon rolls on Sun. yum!
Being sick is the pits. And I'm just so grateful I've been healthy enough to take care of them. We all just take naps whenever we can, or when their poor little bodies just poop out because we don't sleep well at night. There's a constant chorus of coughing and crying (try and beat that alliteration!) day and night. I even have a notebook where I write down each child and what medicine I gave them at what time, because it's too much for me to remember on my own. Pathetic, huh. Normally I just get kind of angry when my kids are sick. I don't know why, I just hate seeing them like that when there's nothing I can do about it. So this time I've decided to be upset with the pediatrician. I took Brynlee in and she said it was just a virus. It very well may be, but I think she should have done a better job checking her, at least do a throat culture. Luckily, she has no idea I'm directing my anger at her. But today the sun is actually shining (it's been a while, you see) so my spirits are up today. So let's talk about happier times (like last week) since it's been a while since I've blogged.

First of all, BIG NEWS!!
Brynlee is potty-trained!!! Woo-hoo! She really caught on fast this time and it wasn't hardly a big deal after a few days. I'm so proud of her. 3rd time's a charm right? It was a couple Thursdays ago and we were shopping at Kohl's. She saw a pair of Dora panties and really wanted to get them. So I told her we could, but we'd have to start wearing them the next day, so she needed to use the big girl potty. She just said "okay". So we went for it and she's done great!! This picture was taken on the first day she's proudly showing off Dora and holding up her dum-dum pop after going in the potty. (I think that was after 3 or 4 accidents...but it was the first day.) I told her that when she went 3 days with no accidents she could get a new baby doll. When we got to the store, she decided on some ponies instead and that has been a nice little pick-me-up for her during these sick days.

Here's our sweet Madi, she loves to tinkle those ivories :). Seriously, she always crawls over to the piano and pounds out a little number--whatever those fingers can reach haha. She is so sweet, but has developed a serious attachment to me. As in, a lot of times not even daddy will do. But she is at that age. She also has decided that she won't fall asleep anywhere but in my arms. She used to just lay down in her crib and go to sleep with the other more of that my friends! She is demanding a little more attention, and I am inclined to give it to her since she won't be the baby for much longer. She walks along furniture and loves to play games.

Our big Ty man is doing great too. (Or was doing great...remember these are the happier days we're referring to.) He is loving preschool and soccer and being a great helper. Some days he feels like he looks especially cool with whatever outfit he chose, and requests I take a picture...

He usually sings himself to sleep, and they're always made-up songs that he creates on the spot. He keeps us laughing all the time with things he says. He likes to use the word "hypothesis". A while back I had made bread for the first time since moving here and he takes a bite and says "Thank you, Mom. This bread is delightful!"

Last night during family night he got to choose the opening song and he says in all seriousness, "I Pray to The Man". After several minutes of me laughing so hard I was crying, I finally composed myself enough to figure out that he meant "Praise to the Man" hahaha. I told Kenny we might need to have another lesson on prayer ;).

These pics are from a few weeks ago we went to another one of the metroparks they have here. This one had a lot of cool birds in different cages. Bald eagle, owls, vultures, etc. Then we went ona nice walk in the little forest part.

Just ignore that sign that says keep off the rock kids obviously do.

Well I hope you are all taking it easy this week, too.