Tuesday, March 24, 2015

*March Updates*

We are certainly enjoying spring in Texas. I have been surprised at the amount of rain San Antonio gets! I really like the variety in the weather from day to day this time of year. We have been spending a lot of time at neighborhood parks or in the backyard now that the playset is finished. 

After much thought and debate, we decided to get a trampoline. The kids combined Christmas money to pay for a lot of it. It has been WONDERFUL. No regrets so far. Jansen's prayers often include a thank you for "a backyard of dreams." Trampolines seem to stir up imaginations, and of course the exercise is awesome.

 I think I have mentioned before that I am a Wolf den leader for the Cub Scouts in our ward. I really enjoy working with the boys. In addition to having one of my own around that age, these boys are the same age as the kids I taught when I was an elementary school teacher, so I feel comfortable with them. Here's Jansen at one of our ward/Cub Scout activities:

It was a "Ward Round Up," and there was some line dancing. I loved seeing Nate and Natalie out there dancing together. 

Natalie won an award for this collage she created, and I love it! I think the colors are amazing. 

It may look like Nate is sleeping, but he's not. You have to stay alert and on your toes when you play chess with Jansen!

We have church at 9 am, and I have to get everyone ready on my own because Nate is already there at meetings. I try really hard to have all bags packed and outfits set out before going to bed Saturday night, but we still struggle. I choose a certain time in the morning and tell the kids they need to be dressed, hair done (just Jansen), and teeth brushed by then. If they are, they can choose a little extra dessert, some extra screen time, or 20 minutes of alone time with a parent. It has helped a lot. Even though I KNOW what time I need to wake up by to get there on time, I still push snooze and regret it EVERY TIME!

This little nugget is WALKING! She started taking steps without help about a week after she turned 9 months. She will be 10 months tomorrow, and she is walking around the house like she owns the place. It is adorable. I don't mind one bit that she is so mobile. All my kids are so much happier after they can walk. She has started to show interest in babies and stuffed animals and we can really get her giggling if we play peek a boo with them.

She is also loving the bathroom and unrolling the toilet paper. And eating it.

She loves to rip Natalie's glasses off her face.

Some dinners take 3 minutes to eat and 300 minutes to clean everyone and everything.

Natalie always rubbed her hands through her hair while eating at this age. I really hope Leah doesn't start that. Especially since she suddenly hates the bath tub. 

Emmy earned an Ariel doll for great behavior while getting shots, an xray, and her blood drawn a few weeks ago, and Jansen earned something for some reason I can't recall right now, so Natalie got to have a special night with me after the other kids had gone to sleep. She had ice cream in my bed, and I read to her from her book. She was in heaven. 

Literally minutes from our house is Government Canyon State Natural Area. It has "more than 40 miles of hiking and biking trails that range from remote rugged canyon lands to gently rolling grasslands." Nate rides there a lot, but a couple Saturdays ago was my first time going. We did a little family hike. Nate promised ice cream if anyone spotted a Golden Cheeked Warbler, but they are rare, so we went home empty handed. We didn't feel too bad - our kids get plenty of ice cream.

This is a little bit of Emmy's work redecorating some shelves. 

A friend celebrated her 30th birthday last weekend and wanted to have everyone do lip syncs. Nate pulled through with a last minute "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight. 

Emylee talked me into doing one with her. We did a song called Lip Gloss by Lil Mama. I heard the song for my first time the day before we performed. I swear I listened to it non stop for 24 hours so I could at least kind of get it down. It was a blast. I will admit that although I have a crazy streak, I REALLY had to decide to let go and have fun with this and leave my inhibitions at the door. 

Our lip gloss is poppin'.

And I turned 33 this past Saturday. I told Nate all I really wanted was to sleep in a little, and to have some time to myself, probably to shop. I took Natalie and Emmy kind of last minute to see Cinderella with a few friends who were going, and I cried probably 10 times - not sure why. We really loved it.

We also grabbed cupcakes after the movie.

Nate picked these flowers for me while he was out on a run that day.

My kind friend Tasha bought me a piece of cheesecake that evening (I got Key Lime Mango or something like that), and it was amazing. 

Emmy was a little under the weather on Sunday, so I kept her and Leah home from church. By the afternoon we really needed to get out of the house, so we took a walk on some trails near our house.

Nate is gone at some training this week. I think the kids got more upset about him leaving this time than they ever have. Maybe it's because they are getting older. We can't wait for him to get back. Thank goodness the lasagna I made on Sunday has now fed us for 3 nights in a row because I ain't cooking while he is gone! I highlight so many of the happy and good things we are experiencing on this blog, but life is certainly not without it's tears, fears, struggles, stresses. I just don't usually take pictures of those things. I truly wouldn't appreciate all that is wonderful without the daily trials.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thin Air, Pinkalicious, Before and After Room, and New Ring

Nate took Jansen and Natalie to Thin Air in February during his week off. This is Jansen's heaven. I think playing dodge ball at a trampoline place with his dad has got to be Jansen's very favorite activity in the world right now. We went in the late afternoon on a weekday, so it was empty which was awesome.

A little over a week ago I took Natalie and Emmy to Pinkalicious the play at the Magik Theatre. They loved it. They have both asked when we can go again.

That night Natalie said to me, "I want to be watching Pinkalicious again right now."

We went with a group of friends, so that made it even better.

We were having fights every night about who got to sit by dad at dinner time, so we had to come up with a rotation. I had to laugh when Jansen said Emmy had the best seat EVER this night because she got to sit by dad AND Leah. 

Leah makes the cutest humming noises the whole time she is eating when she is in her high chair. She is basically eating all the same foods we are now at every meal.

The playset is finished! Nate worked so hard on it for months and months. These are the original plans he made for it. He did an incredible job.

And I am married again! I lost my wedding ring awhile ago (SO sad) and have worn a few cheap rings from time to time, but Nate surprised me for Valentine's Day with a beautiful new one similar to my original ring. 

Before I write about this room, here is a "before" picture: 

 And this is the "after." This is our sort of "reading" room. It's the room directly to your right just as you come in our front door. We painted it white in January, and I have been working on it the last couple months. I guess the decor is kind of inspired by the painting above the love seat which was done by someone in Venezuela where Nate served his mission. It's a colorful room that makes me happy each time I see it.

I took this picture the other day of Natalie's turkey and cheese sandwich. She seriously ate it like that. 

Yesterday was a cold and dreary Saturday, so I took the kids to Hobby Lobby to spend some money they had earned or saved. Natalie bought some fabric to make dresses (still not sure how that's going to work out since I don't sew) and a cake pop maker. Thank goodness for 40% off coupons!

Today Jansen bore his testimony at church. A few nights ago he told me he was praying in his bed and thinking to himself that he knew God was there, but that another "logical" part of his brain wondered if he was wrong. He prayed to Heavenly Father to know and said he soon felt tears in his eyes. He said he felt the Spirit and knew that Heavenly Father was real. He said he experienced the same thing the following night. It was an incredible feeling as a parent to hear him relate this experience and then be willing to share it in front of many people this Sunday.