Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

Here's the 411 on our Thanksgiving...

Natalie had a "thanksgiving feast" at her preschool, so we made her a little pilgrim bonnet for the occasion.
 Thanksgiving Day was completely non-traditional and completely awesome. Nate worked until about 1:30 in the afternoon, and I bit my nails all morning wondering if he would make it home in time for dinner with the Comins at about 2:30. I was SO relieved when he did. The morning was a little long...being alone with the kids on a holiday...but I didn't let my thoughts wander to all my family I was missing for too long. We were so lucky to have a beautiful, sun shiny day that we spent in the backyard and riding bikes.

Kiki and I decided to do a Thanksgiving take out meal. We got delicious food from Claim Jumper, and it turned out to be really cost effective as well. 

 After dinner, we set the kids up in the loft with a movie on the computer. And then we actually got to watch an adult movie as well! There were a few interruptions, but really nothing we could complain about. The kids played awesome and really kept themselves busy. I didn't get a lot of pictures, but it was a wonderful day.
I came across this quote during the Thanksgiving season and it really struck a chord with me:

Gratitude, expressed to our Heavenly Father in prayer for what we have, brings a calming peace...a peace which allows us to not canker our souls for what we don’t have. Gratitude brings a peace that helps us overcome the pain of adversity and failure. Gratitude on a daily basis means we express appreciation for what we have now without qualification for what we had in the past or desire in the future.
Robert D. Hales

I hope I can keep those words in mind always. There is ALWAYS so much to be grateful for.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Valley of Fire

I think I made Nate's week when I texted him a few days ago, "Let's go hiking this Saturday." 
He wrote back, "Atta girl!"

It's been a busy couple of weeks for him at work, so we weren't going to let his Saturday off slip by with just some grocery shopping and cleaning. The fighting and tears from the kids started before we had even pulled out of the neighborhood, but things improved from there. We went out to Valley of Fire State Park.

Emmy lasted a little while in the backpack, but all she really wanted was to explore and get dirty just like her brother and sister.
 I have not seen Jansen this happy in a long time. He was talking non-stop, very loudly most of the hike...he just kept expressing how much fun he was having and how we should do this every Saturday. Natalie loved finding small "caves" she could nestle herself in.
 Sometimes your church shoes are also your hiking shoes.

 Taking a break...

I think we ruined some pants. The mudroom is littered with sand. Backpacks, bags, and water bottles are piled in a corner of the house. But we had a great Saturday.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Do REALLY Dumb Things

Somebody got a new bike.

Actually, somebody got TWO new bikes. You see, I do some incredibly dumb things sometimes. A few weeks ago I ordered Natalie's bike on Amazon. A few days later, two big boxes showed up. I figured that between the parts in the two boxes, we'd have ourselves a cute new bike. After opening one box though, I realized there were two bikes in my living room. I had ordered two. 

On a Thursday night, I had placed my first order. The following Monday morning, I ordered the bike again...with absolutely no recollection of the first order. I don't know how it all happened, but I do know it was my fault, and I do know that I am concerned about these mental lapses. 

When I asked Nate if he was worried about me he said, "Eh, it happens." What a good man.

I guess it all has a happy ending. I sold the extra bike to a friend at a discount. 

 I enjoy her so much. She loves to scoot around on Natalie's old tricycle when we go out to ride bikes. She's on top of the world when we let her run around the cul-de-sac. It must seem so big to her.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Aviation Nation 2011

Our afternoon at the airshow this year was wonderful. Steve and Jody were in town...they were able to come with us last year as well. I guess it's becoming a tradition! In the morning, Nate and his dad went birding in Henderson with kids. After that, we headed to the base.
This was Emmy at the airshow last year.
Can you even believe what happened in about 365 days? 
I had to include this picture because it's so ridiculous. We were trying to have a picture taken of all of us, but  I felt like we were holding up the crowd. I get really uncomfortable in situations like that, so I jumped up and told the man, "It's ok! Never mind! We'll get a picture later!" And he caught me on camera doing it.
He told me, "Those people can wait!" 
And forced me to go back and have our picture taken.
I don't care how old you are, your gender, race, interests, can't tell me these things aren't cool.
Such a happy afternoon.
Jansen was in heaven. We got Natalie a pass to play in the bounce houses, so I would say she really enjoyed herself as well.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ready For Battle

The fighting that goes on in this home between Jansen and Natalie is at an all-time high. 

I think Emmy is smart to equip herself.
 Testing her agility in her new armor...
 She looks ready for a good wrestle.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Career Day

Natalie had a career day at her preschool. We dressed her up as a veterinarian. Glasses and all. I love little peanut standing in the background!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Feeling Good Inside

What in the world could all these balloons be for? Not to torment Emmy...who about went crazy having so many big yellow balloons just out of her reach from her carseat.
On Sunday night we took all 27 of them to a rest home. Our friends the Nelsons had the idea, and we were so happy to be a part of it.
 The kids sang "If You're Happy and You Know It" to the residents, and then we gave them a smiley face balloon. 
 The kids sang great, and they all did really well. Meeting elderly people in these types of circumstances can be scary and uncomfortable, but they held their hands and happily talked with them. It was so humbling to see joy on someone's face from something as simple as a balloon and some visitors.

In the middle of our visit, Jansen told Nate he had a secret for him. Nate bent down and Jansen whispered, "I feel really good inside." My heart almost burst and I got a little teary. Jansen continued to mention throughout the night how he had a warm feeling and felt really happy. It was a wonderful experience for all of  us.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

While Jansen's At School

Natalie spends a fair amount of her day trying to fly. She has experimented with various types of "wings," but  she has yet to find something suitable for soaring the skies.
 Never give up!
 Emmy is never far behind her when they are exploring the backyard.
 Emmy discovered Natalie's belly button one afternoon. There were a lot of laughs.
 If Natalie is hurt or upset, the quickest way to calm her down is a hug from Emmy. I'm so glad that having Jansen away at school for so many hours hasn't been as hard on Natalie as I thought it would part thanks to Emmy!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Maximum Quality

Tonight Natalie told me that 3 + 3 equaled 6. I commented on how good she was getting at math.

Jansen said something to the effect of knowing more than her and rambled off some equation that he knew. I asked him if it was necessary to talk about how he was better than her at something. He said to me, "I'm not better than her. I just have more maximum quality about math."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On Halloween Night

By day, they are perfectly normal children, leading perfectly normal lives.
By night, there is nothing normal about them. He the most energetic of pilots. She the most fierce of the ladybugs. The wee one of the family transforms into something so exceedingly cuddly and soft, it was impossible to get a picture of her.
After the sun has set, they consume snakes, human mouths, and...Jell-O. Gasp.
And all this to prepare them for a night on the town with other equally strange children. They will knock on door after door and gather candy to fuel their charismatic spirits. The candy has positive effects on their mother's spirit as well.
It's best to never be alone on a night like this. Straaaaaange things can happen. 
Things that would give you the chills just to hear about it. And were you to see it, you may not believe your eyes.
But every word of it is true.