Wednesday, November 11, 2015


The first weekend in October always means General Conference for our family. I would say at this point the two biggest "traditions" we have are cinnamon rolls and Perler beads. During one of the Saturday sessions I had Jansen match up Tupperware containers with their lids so that I could get rid of all the stragglers. I LOVE conference, but I also try to think of ways to keep me/them busy while also listening. I'm one of those that can actually listen better if I am doing something else mindless at the same time.

We took an afternoon walk at the Stillwater Ranch walking trail that weekend. I can't wait till the trails in our neighborhood are paved.

Leah loves playing in the street. She loves the freedom of trekking down the road and exploring. This particular afternoon was filled with sidewalk chalk, dirt, bikes, stains, and chunky little legs. 

October 13 was Nate's birthday. These girls and I took him a couple balloons and a few snacks and spent some minutes with him. It was the first time I had seen his office, which is so ironic since he spends so much time in it. It's funny to think that we share practically all of life together, yet he spends a HUGE chunk of his in a place I am completely unfamiliar with. At least I've seen it now.

Littlest PetShops are one of those things that my girls have just really latched on to over the years. I think that Emmy "learned" to love them because Natalie already did and had so many. They still create big "circles" and love to play with them.

This month we discovered a nest of baby jackrabbits in our backyard. The nest was in a peculiar place - right where the kids get off the trampoline. At first we thought they were mice, but it instantly became cuter and more fun when we realized they were rabbits. We checked on them daily, sometimes several times a day, and loved watching them grow. They were unexpectedly gone one morning, and while we were sad, we hope they hopped off to start "real life!"

Our school's Howl a Thon was in October, and the carnival type event to culminate the fundraising is always a lot of fun. This a great community and school that has a lot of support from parents.

Leah wearing Emmy's shoes. Leah calls shoes "ish."

We tried one last swim. As I recall it was a bit of a failure as the water was cold and there was a scorpion spotted in the pool. When you have a pool and the weather is nice enough, you gotta go for it sometimes though.

People often talk about Rudy's BBQ out here. I hadn't had a chance to try it, so we had lunch there one afternoon. Honestly the most memorable part of my lunch was probably my root beer. The food was great, but man, that was a good root beer haha!

That same day we did a little downtown exploring with Emmy and Leah. This is the Riverwalk in the day time.

There's a new area called Yanaguana Garden, and we were impressed. It was a fun place that we'd love to go back to.

Leah had her 18 month check up this month, although she is only 17 months. I had skipped her 15 month appointment simply because it seemed unnecessary. She is still in the 99th percentile for height and weight. And probably shoe size. She has the same size shoes as some of Emmy's friends. And Leah loves to blow bubbles.

We've had some very rainy days lately. Jansen took it upon himself to set out all these containers, and once they were filled, he ran and dumped them in the road. It made absolutely no sense to us, but it kept him busy and moving. And he did it all in his pajamas.

I love everything about my squishy little Leah. She loves to "play" Starfall on my phone and calls it "E." I think the word she says more than any other is "Emmy." One of her newest is "Stop!" She absolutely loves to Facetime and talk to people on the phone.

Nate had a couple days long work meeting in Chicago at Naval Station Great Lakes.

It was time for cleanings and check ups again. Everyone did so well, but Emmy's morning ended in tears when she got a bear ring instead of a jewel one. Trips to the dentist sure have changed - these kids get balloon animals, special coins to insert in a machine to get a small prize, video games to play out in the lobby while you wait, movies to watch while you get your teeth cleaned, etc. We really like Dr. Eddie. 

Our car had a headlight that needed to be replaced, so the girls and I hopped over to Dunkin Donuts while we waited.

We purchased a tree. We spend a lot of time in our backyard, and we want it to be a fun, happy place. It needed a tree. Hopefully we will add more over the years, but I can't believe how much it adds to the feeling of the yard. I have taken trees for granted in our other yards, and now that we don't have many, this one is like our little baby!

We have so many fights over who gets to sit where at dinner. I had a little system going, but it just got hard to keep track. I resorted to taking a picture each night so I had proof of who sat by dad the night before.

We made it to a pumpkin patch, but they are pretty pathetic out here in my opinion. Not to mention over priced. We even ended up haggling a little with the lady on the way out because I couldn't believe the price she quoted me for our pumpkins.

Nate and Natalie attended a daddy/daughter dance hosted by the stake. It was a tropical theme. Emmy was invited too, but I knew she wouldn't love it and that Natalie would, so just these two went. They had a great night.

We did a short night hike at Government Canyon for a date. It is not easy to get out. The whole process of getting a babysitter, getting out the door, planning a date, spending the money, and then worrying about how it's all going at home gives me quite a bit of anxiety, but I believe in it (date nights), so we are trying to be better at it. 

We also grabbed burgers at Bobby J's in Helotes that night.

Natalie begged and planned for a "party" for weeks. She created a menu, a list of activities, planned decorations, etc. Truthfully, in the end, it was just a big playdate, but I hope she enjoyed her "party." We won't do it often, so I tried to fulfill a few of her requests like "balloons that float," and fruit salad and banana bread.

The party was supposed to be centered around our neighbor's dog Tater, so of course he was invited. My mom says Leah is like the little spider in the Mercer Mayer Critter books that is sort of "hidden" on every page. Can you spot her here?

There she is! 

A crown that Emmy created:

Leah loves to throw blankets or washcloths over her face, wait for me to say "where's Leah," and then flings it off while singing her cute little version of "there she is!"

We try to spend a lot of time out here.

We had a happy Halloween. Emmy was a monarch butterfly, Leah was a mouse, Natalie was a macaw, and Jansen was a ninja. Halloween is not one of my strengths. I don't plan costumes ahead very well, and we certainly never have a family theme. We just kind of...get by. Feeling pretty proud of myself for the haphazard red spray paint that made it onto Natalie's hair. That's going above and beyond for me! Leah only wore her costume for a short time on the night of the ward trunk or treat.

Please take care to notice the dress socks.

A friend mentioned that she makes dinner in a pumpkin every year, and that it makes a ton, and she'd be happy to provide the main dish if we did dinner together. Sounded like a great plan to me! 

We all sort of parted ways after dinner and did our own trick or treating. That was a good plan for our little family because we didn't last long. Natalie wasn't feeling well, Emmy was tired, and the storm clouds were making Jansen nervous. We were done trick or treating, bathed and showered, and everyone was asleep by 8:30. That doesn't even happen on school nights. Nate and I just kind of looked at each other like, well, this is weird. Can't complain about a house full of sleeping children and candy though.

I felt bad that Natalie had a "sick" Halloween, but I love this sweet picture I caught of her all curled up in her costume.

I hope November goes a little slower than October did, but I have a feeling that's not happening...