Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to everyone! We've had a great could of days; a great week, in fact. The kids have been out of school and Joel hasn't had to work, so we've done a whole lot of nothing! Isn't that great! Actually, we've had to be productive here and there, but we've had our fair share of just hanging around and enjoying each other's company. It's been absolutely great.

A few weeks ago Jenna asked me if we could make a sponge cake (where that came from, I have no idea), so I told her we would make one for Christmas. She and Will were great helpers. They both read the recipe for me and helped me dump in ingredients. I realized that this was the first time I've ever made a sponge cake from scratch (I've done angel food, but not sponge), so I was pleased that everything turned out just fine.
Here we are with the before, and if I'd been thinking we would have done an after shot, as well. Oh well!

For Christmas Eve we drove around to look at Christmas lights. After we got home we read from Luke 2, then had root beer floats while watching Joy to the World. Here are the kids after getting home from looking at lights...
Jenna woke us up around 6:15 this morning. She very obviously couldn't wait to open presents, so we sent her upstairs to get the boys up! Boy was she excited! Her enthusiasm for any and all holidays always amazes me, and Christmas surpasses them all, by far!
We all had a great time going through our stockings and opening presents. The kids got a lot of books this year, which we think is great! Here they are with the books from Aunt Adrienne... (Jenna is wearing her hat that she got in her stocking, she wore it the entire time we opened presents :)

Will and Adam got matching "Cars" blankets from Grandma R. for their beds. They even have their names stitched on them! Could there be a better blanket for a little boy's bed? I think not.

And here are Adam and Will, eating some popcorn that Santa brought and watching Monsters vs. Aliens.

After we opened presents I was doing a puzzle that I got as a gift. (in fact I basically begged for a puzzle. I really enjoy doing them, but Joel doesn't. This year I made it very clear that I wanted a puzzle!) Anyway, Joel also got me a mat to do the puzzle on. You know, the kind you can roll up so you can put the puzzle away, then get it back out later. Well, the mat was a little bumpy from being folded up in a box. Joel suggested I iron it, which I did. The felt did flatten out a bit, which was nice. I then turned the iron off and went about other activities.
A bit later Joel noticed that the iron was still plugged in, so he wisely unplugged it, thinking it could be dangerous to leave it plugged in. As it turns out, it was dangerous to have it out at all. While Joel was in the shower, and I was upstairs with Jenna, Adam plugged the iron back in, pushed the button to turn it on, and apparently proceeded to iron the kitchen table.
I was very dismayed to find my table looking like this...
However, after further inspection Joel figured out there was about 4-5 spots on the table that had had some serious iron time. Meaning Adam didn't just turn it on and walk away, he was playing with the hot iron. I cared a little less about my melted table top then, and was just extremely grateful that Adam hadn't burned himself at all! (I'm still a little bugged about my table though. What was I thinking, not putting the iron away? Lesson learned.)

We had a great Christmas today, truly. We all got things we wanted/needed, and the best part of all was being together with a spirit of giving. I know that we all think about how blessed we are at this time of year, and I just want to add my little bit to the pot. I am so thankful for my family. I am grateful to know that I can be with my family forever; there isn't one single thing more comforting than that in the world. And that is truly the greatest gift we've ever been given.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

So Much!

I feel like there is so much to cover, and I can't decide how much detail to go into.

Joel and I were lucky enough to go to Mesa, AZ this weekend so Joel could interview at A.T. Still University. Our friends watched our kids for us here in Laramie, and we pretty much owe them our souls for it! We couldn't have done it without you, Bades! Thank you so much! My kids were so excited to go have a sleep-over at their house, they weren't even sad to see us go.

We were lucky to go at all, because all of the roads out of Laramie were closed on Wednesday! We were supposed to fly out of Denver Thursday morning, but we were wondering if we were going to get there. Thankfully the roads opened up at just the right time, and Joel and I made a break for it!

We were able to get to Denver safely and stay the night at a hotel that night. We made it to Phoenix with no problems, except for Joel losing his drivers licence in Denver after we went through security. That was no good!

We had a great time in Mesa! We went to a Madrigal Feast that my niece was in on Thursday night. While Joel interviewed Friday I did some shopping and hung out with my sisters. Friday night Joel and I went to a movie together, maximizing our childlessness.

On Saturday my sisters and I did a cinnamon roll bake-off. We wanted to figure out which great cinnamon roll recipe/frosting recipe was the best. It was extremely scientific and delicious! You would think I'd be sick of cinnamon rolls after eating so many yesterday, but I could honestly go for a few more!

I had grand plans to take a lot of pictures while I was there, but I was lame and only got one picture, and it wasn't even in Mesa! This is Joel and I in the airport in Denver, waiting for our flight...
Joel felt like the interview went really well. They said they would let us know in four to six weeks. That's a long time! Well, it turns out that we didn't have to wait that long because they called Joel tonight and offered him a spot in the PA program! Yay! We couldn't believe they called so soon. The guy said they were very impressed with his application and interview. We are so happy and relieved to hear that confirmation. Because Utah turned Joel down, we will be deciding between Billings and Mesa. There is a lot to consider!

We were really happy to pick up our kids today, but they were definitely not eager to come home. The boys were the happiest to see us, but Jenna wanted to stay and play. I was happy that they had a fun time. She cheered up a bit after we got home, I'm happy to say. Now it's back to reality, school, work, etc.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Birthday! and Thanksgiving

Alright, going back nearly a week... We went sledding with the Bades last Wednesday. It was great to have a day that no kids had school and no husbands had work. We bundled everyone up and went up to Happy Jack for some cold fun.

Adam wasn't too in love with the whole thing. At the beginning Joel tried to let him go down the hill on a sled, just at the very bottom, but Adam really wasn't excited about that. He mostly just stood at the bottom after that.
I was brave and went down on a little saucer. It was scary when it would turn around and you'd be going down backwards. But Jenna inspired me with her braveness, I didn't want her to think that her mom is too big of a sissy.

Jenna and Maggie on the tube...

Like I said, Adam wasn't very excited.
After we got done sledding we left to go back home, but at the top of the snow-covered road we waited to make sure the Bade's got up the hill okay in their van. Well, after a minute or two we didn't see them so we turned around to see if they needed help. They weren't at the bottom of the hill, so we assumed they went the other way down the road to check out some smoke we'd seen. We almost turned around once on the road because we didn't want to get stuck, but there wasn't a good place to turn around. We kept going, and guess who we ran into? The Bades of course, stuck in the snow! We are so glad we decided to go find them! Joel and Chad were able to push their van out, after much work and some sticks piled in front of tires. The unfortunate part was that then we had to turn around, so of course we got stuck as well. It's a good thing that Joel and Chad are strong, because we could have been there for awhile! But in the end we all made it out alright and we had some fun memories! For the other Sarah's version, head over to her blog to read about it. :)
On Thursday we were lucky enough to be able to go to Joel's Aunt Gwen's house and spend Thanksgiving with her family. My kids always love going to Gwen's, as do Joel and I. Dinner was great, and we got to play some fun games. We really love hanging out with family. We are blessed to have such great family around!
Then yesterday we had another birthday to celebrate! Our little Adam turned TWO years old! Oh how time flies. He really wasn't too interested in all the birthday hoopla. When asked about his birthday his usual response was, "No." But after church we had dinner, opened presents, and had cake. Adam did a good job of opening his presents, even with all of the "help" his siblings gave him.

He got this big furry ball from his Grandma R. and he's just not sure what to think about it. Joel was trying to get him to touch it but he wasn't too excited about that prospect. He's doing better with it today, and I'm sure before long he'll be throwing it at all of us.

All the kids (minus Gannon) getting ready for cake. I'm not sure why we didn't have Adam in the middle?

The cake says "Happy Birthday Adam" but you can't really tell in the picture. It's probably better that way, it really didn't look very good!

And Adam did enjoy eating his cake. He ate quite a bit, then left to play. But he kept coming back to take a few bites, then run off and play some more. I like his style!

Adam had his two year wellness check at the doctor today, and his weight is back on the charts! After his 12 month appointment his weight dropped off the bottom of the chart, so you could say he was about in the -5%. But he had a little growth spurt and he's now up to the 3% line. Way to go, Adam! (I think it may have something to do with the fact that they don't have to take their clothes off to weigh them at this age) His height is around the 25% line. He's a little guy, but very healthy! Although the doctor noticed that he has an ear infection in his left ear! Weird! He's the first of my kids to even have an ear infection (that we know of). But since he really isn't showing any symptoms and doesn't seem to be in any pain we aren't going to treat it, it will probably just go away on it's own. If not, we can go back in to get it treated. He did have to get one shot today, but he didn't cry at all. I think he was still angry about the fluoride treatment on his teeth so he didn't care about the shot.
Well, that will conclude the birthdays from our family for quite a few months. We have had three in the last 6 weeks! Now it's on to Christmas! I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Joel! He is 26 today! He is sleeping right now because he worked last night and works tonight. Hopefully we can squeeze some fun in there sometime. The kids enjoyed watching him open his presents this morning, and I'm sure we'll all have fun eating the cherry cheesecake tonight! Joel, I love you! I am so glad that you are my husband!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whirlwind Week

We've had a bit of a crazy week/weekend. Last Monday we got on e-mail from the University of Utah offering Joel an interview on the 13-14. He said yes, and we quickly planned a trip to Utah! I've got a sister that lives in Orem that we stayed with. We always love visiting Adrienne, and we are only sad that we don't see her more often!

We left Laramie Wednesday after the kids were done with school. On Thursday we went up to Salt Lake to make sure we knew where Joel needed to go the next day. While we were up there we went to Temple Square.

Here's Will, Adrienne, and Jenna in the tabernacle...

(Please don't comment on my lovely hair, it was very windy!)
On Friday Joel headed to Salt Lake and Adrienne had to work. I took the kids to a park nearby so they could run off some energy! They needed it! Adrienne and I were able to head to the mall when she got home from work. I found a store that I need to visit online because they had a lot of cute stuff! On Friday night we tried to go to Texas Roadhouse because Adrienne's never been there, but there was an hour and a half wait! No thank you! Not with three kids! So we ended up going somewhere called Paradise Bakery (I think) and had sandwiches and soup. It was really delicious.
Saturday started out much the same as Friday. Joel went to Salt Lake and Adrienne had to work. Shortly after Joel got home we went to Texas Roadhouse, figuring that if we went around 4 it wouldn't be too busy. Silly us, we should have known better. Luckily we only had about a 15-20 minute wait, but we got there just in the nick of time. I couldn't believe how busy it was! But is was of course wondering food, so it was worth it.
Saturday evening we just hung out. Here are some pics we snapped that night...
Joel was "flying" the kids"

Adam thought it was hilarious to sit on Joel's chest/neck and bounce up and down. Joel had all of the kids bouncing on him at one point, and I don't know how he didn't lose his delicious dinner! We got a good ab workout that night with all the laughing!
You may be wondering how Joel's interview went. Well, we don't know yet. :) He said that he felt like it went well. They interviewed around 100 people (out of about 950 applicants) and they accept 40 people into the program. If he does get accepted it will be a major honor; if he doesn't, it will be disappointing but we know how incredibly qualified all the other applicants were. We will probably have to wait a week or so to find out. They said we should know by Thanksgiving.
We came home Sunday and prayed that the roads wouldn't be too bad. Thankfully they really weren't bad at all so we made it home safely and without incident. It's always good to be home, but we miss Adrienne! We wish we could just pack her up and bring her home with us, but she always claims that she needs to stay there to work and make money and all that crazy stuff. :)
I'll keep you all posted on how things turn out!

Friday, November 6, 2009

School Pictures

William, Preschool, age 4 (in picture) I love that it shows his goofy smile. I promise he doesn't smile like that all the time. ;)

Jenna, 2nd Grade, age 7

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to everyone! Our Halloween is pretty much over already because we did all of the Halloween activities yesterday and don't have anything planned for today! :) The kids both wore their costumes to school for parades and parties. Here's Will before school yesterday. (We didn't have time to snap a pic of Jen) Can you tell who he was? ...
Well, of course he was Albert Einstein! He was the cutest Albert I've ever seen, for sure. He didn't love the mustache and he wouldn't wear it at school. Oh well.

In the evening we headed to the church for the trunk-or-treat. It was pretty chilly, but we all survived. :) There weren't as many people there as I've seen in years past, but the kids still got a nice load of candy.

Getting ready

And here are the final products! A tiger, a Mummy, and Albert Einstein! Jenna's costume had some issues with staying in place. If we ever do a mummy again we will use a different technique. She was falling apart much sooner than expected. But she looked cute/scary while it lasted. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We were in Lovell for a quick trip over part of the weekend (more about that later), and I found a few pictures of Joel as a little boy. Now, I always knew that Adam looked like Joel. It's pretty obvious to everyone. But I found a few pictures of Joel at Adam's age, and I thought the resemblance was just crazy! I wish I could find pictures of Adam that would really show the similarities. I think anyone that knows Adam can look at those pictures of Joel and really see what I'm talking about! Here's Adam...

And here's Joel...

Adam again...

So can you tell who's who? I'm sure you can, but I just had to share!!!

Now about our trip to Lovell:

Joel had an interview at Rocky Mountain College in Billings for the Physician's Assistant Program on Friday the 23rd. The plan was for Joel to take the boys up to Lovell and they would stay with his Mom while he went to Billings for the interview. I was going to stay in Laramie with Jenna because there were things that needed to be done here. Well, Joel kept asking me to come with him and I kept telling him that I needed to stay home. On Wednesday night when Joel was at work and I was, of course, missing him, I decided that it would be more important for me to go with Joel and support him than to do the things at home. Thursday morning I packed up the rest of the family and we all went to Lovell together.
All of the kids stayed with Joel's Mom on Friday and I went to Billings with him. He was really nervous about the interview; it's his first grad school interview. Even though I wasn't able to really help him at all, I think he liked knowing that I was nearby.
The interview seemed to go well. From what Joel told me they seemed to really like him and they were impressed with his application. They told him that they would try to let people know if it was a "yes" or "no" by Tuesday. They must have really been on the ball because last night we got the official letter of acceptance into the PA Program! We are so excited, and I am so proud of Joel! It is definitely a relief to have an acceptance, but the road is definitely still long!
Because he was accepted to Rocky Mnt, Joel decided to turn down his interviews in Maine and Connecticut. For one, we don't need the added expense of getting out there. Two, we don't plan to go out there for school anymore, so we think it's unfair for Joel to take up an interview spot when that would be taking away someone else's opportunity. We are pretty bummed because we really wanted to go to Maine just for fun. But we can do that another time. :)
Right now Joel is waitlisted to interview at the University of Utah PA program (they are ranked #4 in the country, so we were SUPER excited to even have the possibility to interview!), and he has an interview scheduled at AT Still University in Mesa, AZ in December. It is all a bit overwhelming, but we are really happy with how things are turning out. We aren't 100% sure where we are going to end up at this point, but we are excited about what the future will bring!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Birthday Time

It's birthday time again. We have a lot of birthdays late in the year, so there will be more birthday posts to come!

Will is FIVE years old! I was just looking back to the post when he turned four, and it really doesn't seem like that was a year ago. But time marches on, and our little boy is not so little anymore. (Joel measured him this morning and he was a good two inches taller than he was just a few months ago!)

After having cinnamon rolls for breakfast we opened presents when Joel got home from work in the morning...

I think he's deciding what kind of fun stuff to buy with his money!

Showing off his tooth pillow from Grandma K.

He was excited to get Peggle, one of his favorite computer games.

He got a couch of his own, and it even has roads to drive his cars on.
We didn't to anything too out of the ordinary because it was a Sunday. After church we had the Bades over for dinner and ice cream cake. Here are the kids anxiously waiting for the candles to be lit...

We are so happy to have Will in our family. He's a great boy, and he makes our home more fun and entertaining. I am continually amazed by how smart he is. We love you, William!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Today we were all piling into the van so I could take the kids to school. I asked Will to close the van door since he was the last one in (you just have to push a button). He looked back at the door and said, "Why do I have to do everything?!?" Oh that boy! If only he knew!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Holy Bags!

We keep all of our Walmart/plastic bags that we get so that we can recycle them. We just put them in the cupboard under the sink and every few months I pull them out and take them to the recycle bins at Walmart. Well, I've waited a little longer than normal and the bags were getting out of control under there! Joel decided that he wanted to count them last night, and this is what it looked like when he pulled them all out!
Time to recycle, I'd say! In case you're wondering, Joel counted 227 bags, give or take a few. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The difference a year makes

Joel snapped this picture of Adam the other day while they were outside playing. We remembered that we had some pictures from almost exactly a year ago of him doing the same thing. I can hardly believe how different he is!

Monday, September 21, 2009


I think the picture speaks for itself. It is September, is it not? I must be forgetting, this is Laramie we're talking about. :) I'm not sure I'm ready to have this kind of weather yet, but I will be honest and admit that a tiny part of me did relish in the cold just a little bit this morning. I don't mind chilly weather, and it's always a little fun to pull out the snow boots, warm coats, hats, and mittens. Hot Chocolate, anyone? However, I know that I will be sick of the cold only too soon, and I think the snow could have waited until November to show it's frigid little face.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I feel like I should have blogged awhile ago, but I realize that my last post was only about a week and a half ago. It's just that we've done a lot since then, so it feels long than that! However, even though we've done a lot I don't have any pictures to post, and there probably isn't much to say that will be interesting to the general public. Oh well!

For Labor Day weekend we went up to Lovell because Joel had seven days off of work. He headed up on Thursday the 3rd and he took Adam with him! I stayed here with Jenna and Will because they still had school. It was so nice to be able to get things done and pack the rest of us up for the trip without Adam's "help". It was simply amazing how easy things can be when the youngest in the house is almost five instead of almost two.

We didn't do anything too exciting in Lovell, but we had a good time. Joel got to go fishing in Devil's Canyon, which made him happy. We spent time hanging out with the fam and just relaxing. Jenna and Will got to have a sleepover at Grandma K's house, which was a hit. And Joel went golfing with his brothers and had a great time. I brought Jenna and Will home on Labor Day since they had school the following day, and Joel brought Adam home on Tuesday.

We had a nice treat Tuesday evening; my Mom came down for a visit! It was great for the kids to get to know their Grandma K a little better, and vice-versa. Joel and I also enjoyed being able to spend time with her. We played some games, watched some movies, and just hung out for a few days.

Joel has been back to work since Thursday. He started working nights the previous week, and it's definitely been different than days! It is nice to have him home more (while we're awake), but really we don't see him much more than we did before because he has to sleep, of course. As we continue to adjust to having him on nights we'll see how much we actually like it and/or dislike it.

Well, I warned everyone that there wasn't anything too interesting to say! But since this is basically my family journal, I like to document all trips and visits. We've had a fun and fairly busy few weeks, and I'm sorry there aren't any pictures to go along!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Will started preschool today! He is such a big boy! It is half-day preschool, so he’s only gone for three hours. He has been more than ready to start school. This is his first your outside of the home; I did some at-home preschool with him last year. Even though he will be 5 soon, he’s not old enough to go to Kindergarten because his birthday isn’t before the cut-off.

He can already read, write with direction (he’s no good at spelling, yet), do some very basic math, and plays well with other kids. I know this year in preschool will help him in so many ways, as well.

His first day went well from all accounts. He had a good time, and he said his favorite part was playing outside. I have a feeling that recess will be his favorite thing all year! His teacher (who is amazing, by the way!) said he did great. He was extremely shy the first few times he met her: he wouldn’t talk to her and would barely look at her. But today he already started to come out of his shell and show them his true, fun, talkative self. It’s going to be a good year!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Changing Rooms

We made a few small changes in our house over the weekend. I decided that Will and Jenna were a little too old to be sharing a room, and that Adam was old enough to share, so it was time to have Will and Adam bunk together in a room. :)

On Saturday we moved Jenna into Adam's old room and Adam into Jenna's old spot. It was a pretty quick move, although we had to take apart Adam's crib as well as Jenna's bed frame because they couldn't fit through the door frames and hallway. But that wasn't too much work, and soon we had things switched around. Thankfully, Adam and Jenna have the same type of dresser so all we had to do was switch the drawers out.

On Sunday I noticed Jenna was writing something, so I asked her what she was doing. "Making a sign for my door," she tells me. I thought maybe she would say something like "Please Knock" or something, but of course her sign says this...

I loved that she added the "But Dad." as an afterthought. Too cute!

But of course since Jenna had a sign on her door, Will decided he needed a sign as well. So this morning I helped him make his sign (I only told him how to spell the words, he wrote it and cut it out himself).
I'm so glad that I am able to go in all of my children's rooms! Ha Ha!

Monday, August 24, 2009

2nd Grade!

Jenna's first day of school was today. It's hard to believe our little girl is in 2nd grade, but time of course time just keeps ticking on and everyone just keeps getting older! I think she was excited for school to start. I was both excited and nervous for her; I'm not sure why. It's her third year going to school, more if you count preschool, so I should be used to sending her off into the big, bad world. But dropping her off at school this morning still made me a little emotional. I just couldn't believe how grown up she's getting. She sure was cute this morning, too! Her new shoes match her new backpack! :)

They only had a half day of school, so before we knew it it was time to pick her up. She said she had a good day; they mostly talked about rules. :) She is sitting right next to her best friend, so hopefully they won't get into trouble! Last year Jenna had to be moved to a different table because her and another girl talked too much! (Not hard to believe, that Jenna can TALK) So before school started this year we had yet another talk about listening to the teacher and only talking when you are supposed to. Hopefully it will be a great school year!