Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

The Obligatory Christmas Post

December 30, 2008

I’m sure that somehwere in the fine print when you become a blogger is the requisite that you will make a big ‘ol holiday post when all of the festivities have died down. Being the obedient blogger that I am, here is my Christmas post. I don’t expect anyone to do anything more than I did when I visited your blog, which is quickly scan through the pictures. But since the fine print also includes a clause that gives permission to post anything you want on your blog under the guise of “I’m writing this here because my blog is basically my journal, and I want to have this experience written down for my personal records”, I’m going to include a whole bunch of descriptions that will mean little to most of you, but a lot to me. Here goes!

We’ve had lots of snow in the last week or so, and Ryan has been loving it! With Joseph off work, we were able to take all three kids outside to play (I just can’t do all three by myself…maybe next year the babies will be able to walk through snow by themselves and I’ll dare to brave it). Ryan had a blast, Owen was OK for a while, and Emmy was happy as long as no snow got on her face.

Grandpa and Dedee came up the night before Christmas Eve for a visit and to exchange gifts. The gifts they got for the kids were a big hit! They gave us a beautiful picture of the temple with our wedding date on it. We had to laugh because when they were here for Thanksgiving, Dedee noticed my new picture on the wall–a picture of the temple that was distressed to look like a really old picture. Little did I know that she was in the process of making our picture for Christmas, wich has the same distressed look. The new one will fit in really well!

Owen’s ears had started draining earlier in the afternoon, so after they left I took him to the doctor. By the time I filled his prescription at the pharmacy, it was nearly 11:00 and we were both beat.  This was his second infection in about a month.  I wonder how many the poor boy had before he got tubes….he never complains about them, so the only clue I have is when they start to drain.

We spent Christmas Eve with the Z’s. Stephanie was able to call home from her mission in Australia. She sounded great and made the announcement that she’ll be coming home on May 5th! We ate lots of GOOD food, pulled together a little Nativity scene with the kids, and had a visit from Santa! The kids had a lot of fun playing with their cousins and their new toys. We headed home later that afternoon for our own little family Christmas Eve traditions.

I promise that the second Owen got the gift in his hands, he was totally fine.

After getting home, we let the kids open their Christmas jammies and then sent them to bed.  Ryan came in early Christmas morning. The babies were still sleeping, so we made him snuggle up and wait a while. When we finally heard stirrings in the next room, we sent Ryan to get them, with strict instructions that they were all to come directly back to our room. Emmy slipped by him, and when he went to get her he saw all of the gifts in the living room. He ran back and said “You’ve got to come see!!”. I had to run to the living room to grab Emmy and saw that she was happily playing with some of the things Santa had brought her.

Much to Joseph’s dimsay, I had to do Emmy’s hair before letting the kids go out. He thought that was quite silly, and I did too when my mom did it when I was a kid, but it’s different now that I’m the mom. See how cute she looks? Totally worth the few extra minutes it took!

The kids were really cute this year. Ryan was so excited, and Owen and Emmy had quite a bit of interest as well. They had a lot of fun opening presents and taking some time to play with each of the things they received. The kitchen was a big hit, and I know that it will get tons of use over the next few years! Ryan also loved his camera and has taken lots of….interesting….pictures.

The kids spent the majority of Christmas morning playing with their toys while we contemplated whether we should travel to my mom’s that day or wait until the next. The weather forecast was not in our favor either day, and Joseph decided that we should pack up and take off Thursday rather than Friday. The roads weren’t great, but we’ve been through worse. Thank goodness for 4WD! We enjoyed 4 days with my family, just relaxing. We watched lots of movies, and I was able to find some time to make a few bracelets for Emmy with all of the new beading supplies that my mom got me for Christmas.

We headed home Sunday afternoon, with a stop in Mapleton to see Grandpa and Dedee. Owen screamed most of the way home, which is always fun. In spite of the fun we’d been having, we were all really glad to be home. Joseph was still off work yesterday, and we spent the day catching up on laundry, cleaning out old toys to make room for the new ones, and just trying to get back into a routine.

During Joseph’s week off, Owen was his little buddy. He wanted little to do with me or anyone else. Joseph headed back to work today, and Owen spent a good 1/2 hour at the front door crying for him…poor kid:


With all of the fun we’ve been having in the last week, I’m in no mood to get back to real life. My house looks like it was hit by a tornado, and as long as the kids are having fun with their toys, I think I’ll leave it that way and face reality after the new year!


How busy are we? It took me three days to finish this post. That’s how busy.

December 16, 2008

My mother-in-law told me that things must be very busy around here because I haven’t updated my blog in a while…and she was right! We’ve had a lot of craziness going on, and I’ve got a lot to catch up on. I’ll try to keep it as short and sweet as possible….and in trying to keep our lives looking as perfect as can be, I’ll leave all the bad parts out (you don’t want to hear about it anyway…Joseph’s expensive car repairs, followed by his car accident and the extra money it will cost us in insurance surcharges, the awful color correction that our Christmas cards came back with, or the day that Joseph’s phone was destroyed when the car door knocked against his pocket and obliterated the screen…and no, it isn’t covered by the warranty).

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the front rail on Emmy’s crib had a loose screw that needed to be tightened. The rail had to come off in order tighten the screw, so I decided that we might as well take the rails of and give it a shot with letting the babies sleep in their cribs-turned-toddler-beds. I had no idea what to expect. Two toddlers in the same room, behind a closed door, with freedom to get out of bed whenever they want was a little nervewracking! The first night was a bit of a challenge, and we had to put Owen back in bed several times. Naptime the first few days was a disaster. But, we’ve worked them into a nice routine. Bedtime is a breeze and naptime, while not as long as it used to be, has worked itself out as well. I think we’ll definately be ready for big beds come summertime!

It’s not uncommon to find them having fun together in the morning!

Thanksgiving was fun this year as well. We had a small gathering at our house and dinner was yummy! Joseph braved the crowds early the next morning to get a few items he had his eye on, and stayed warm and snuggled up in bed. Owen got a nasty ear infection and we had to take him to urgent care. We helped our friends, the Browns, move into their new home. I didn’t take a single picture all weekend long. Thankfully my sister did, so these are stolen off of her blog!



On December 4th we took the kids for a ride on the Polar Express. The movie was one of the first the Ryan ever latched on to and we took him last year and had a great time (after I recovered from the adventure of getting there). Since kids under 3 are free, we decided take the whole family this year. Owen was a stinker for most of the ride, but everyone else had a lot of fun. My mom, sister, and nephew came as well.  I have a ton of pictures from the train ride, so these are just a handful of the highlights.


We had our first big snowfall of the year this weekend, and Ryan has had so much fun playing outside in it. It brings back many memories of the hours and hours we spent outside during my childhood, trudging up the awesome sledding hill just beyond our backyard. I was beginning to worry that we wouldn’t have a white Christmas this year, but we definately will!

We also saw Santa for the second time this season at our ward Christmas breakfast.  Ryan was excited to sit on his lap this year.  We’ve managed to miss any opportunities to visit Santa until this year, so I made sure the twins had a chance as well.  Every child needs a picture of themselves screaming on his lap, right?

The next couple of weeks promise to be super busy as well, but we’re excited for the extra time we’ll have to spend with our families!  This time of year is so much fun, but I have to admit that I’m looking forward to some lazy days after the new year arrives!

Land of the Living

November 2, 2008

I haven’t been part of it for a few days. I woke up Wednesday feeling a little off, and by afternoon I was feeling really crappy. At that point, I checked out….my fevered body went into its own little zone. Thankfully Joseph was able to take Thursday off so that I could remain in that zone…I haven’t been so sick for a long time. I finally went to the doctor on Friday and learned that I have strep. Thanks to the days of rest, and some nice drugs, I’m feeling much better today! It feels so good to be up and around…I have NO idea how I survived 8 weeks of bedrest without going completely insane! I’ve got loads of things to catch up on here, so expect this to be a really long post with lots of updates and even more pictures.  I finally discovered how wordpress lets you link pics to their online version, so you can now click on them for a bigger version.

Two weeks ago, we got together with the Hoyts for our annual pumpkin carving contest. We missed the Fausetts this year due to illness, but we saw their pumpkins later, and they looked better than ours. I think they conspired to miss the usual night with a million interruptions from kids so that they could carve really great pumpkins. In any case, here are the results of our hard work. Ryan’s is the Darth Vader on the far left (compliments of a very patient father), Joseph’s is the Grim Reaper in the middle, and mine is the witch on the far right.

Monday was Joseph’s birthday. He took the day off, since his car was still in the shop. It was fun to have him home to celebrate all day long! I’ve been working for the last few months to buy him 30 gifts to open. I didn’t want a bunch of useless gag gifts, so I started well ahead of time so that it didn’t break the budget. Ryan had a great time helping him open them up, and it was nice to hear him say that everything that had been on his list were given to him. These ears of mine have been on high alert to catch everything he’s mentioned wanting in the last few months! The culminating gift was a pair of tickets to a concert that he’s really wanting to see again. Thanks again Chris for your willingness to conspire with me on getting those! That night, we went out to dinner with friends and then went bowling. That’s probably where I picked up that bug….bowling balls are so nasty!  Unfortunately, I deleted all the pictures of Joseph’s big 3-0 on accident, and I was only able to recover a few, most of which were of him opening presents, which I know isn’t much fun for everyone else to see.  Here they are anyway.

His gifts got bigger and better the further into the stack he got. This was the last gift he opened, and he thought it was a hint that he was old now and had started to snore. It only took a second or two for it to click that it was more likely to be a hint that his final gift was the one he was really hoping he’d get!

 Given my checked-out state on Wednesday and Thursday, I have nothing to update there. I do remember Ryan asking a million times if it was Halloween yet and can he put on his costume. Friday couldn’t come fast enough for him! We spent the entire day telling him the schedule so that he’d stop asking about his costume. We had to miss the ward trunk or treat, but Joseph took the kids to the Hoyt’s that night for pizza and trick-or-treating. He forgot the camera, but Mark did get a few to share with us.

None of us are in this picture, but I thought it was funny how similar Tiffany and the skeleton looked!

Here are a few more pics from things that I missed last week. The first bunch are from the annual Z family party. The kids went trick-or-treating at the middle school Grandpa Z. works at.


All of the Z grandkids

It took a LOT of work to get these two to stand next to each other long enough to get a decent picture!

Totally out of focus, but proof that Owen did have a few happy moments that night!

This next bunch is from the Saturday afternoon that we spent with my family at Hee Haw farms.  The kids had a TON of fun!  Owen was in love with the slides, Emmy loved the corn bin, and Ryan loved it all! 

We were shocked that these two sat in the same seat and actually seemed to enjoy it.

I love Emmy’s face on this one!

They had a pig chase and Joseph and Nick decided to give it a shot when the “big kids” were allowed to get in the ring. The rules were that you had to catch a pig and kiss its snout. Not being one to turn down a challenge, Joseph played by the rules. Nick did not, and paid for it dearly…

His pig did not like being caught and not kissed, so he decided to show Nick who was boss and pooped on his shirt. Thankfully, Matthew had a clean one in his car. Of all the people for this to happen to, I think Nick is the one who would have been most grossed out. So Nick, how was it really?

Owen was really intrigued by this little tractor, but he just couldn’t figure out how it worked.

They really do love each other, most of the time…

Pickin’ Pumpkins

October 10, 2008

We decided that this would be a good year to try out going to a pumpkin patch.  We always get together with our good friends, the Hoyts and the Fausetts, to carve pumpkins, and we thought that picking them right from the field would be more fun that stopping at the grocery store.  It turned out to be a REALLY cold, windy afternoon, but Ryan had a lot of fun!   They had a hay ride out to the field, and when Ryan saw the tractor with the trailer full of bales he said “I surely do love that wagon!”.  I love the things that boy comes up with!  He decided that he needed a little pumpkin, because he is a little boy.  I tried to talk him into something a bit bigger, but he knew what he wanted, and that’s what he got!  We had a lot of fun, and I think we’ll do this every year!

Lucky 7

September 21, 2008

I truly am lucky to be in love with my best friend….Happy Anniversary Joseph!!


September 16, 2008

Last night we loaded the kids up, sat for 20 minutes while we jump-started the car (see previous Tackle it Tuesday post), and then headed to the big city for family home evening. We’ve never taken the kids to Temple Square and we thought it would be a fun little activity. We only had an hour or so to wander around the visitor’s centers, Ryan was a little intimidated by the Christus statue, and Owen was his typical whining self, but we had fun. Ryan was on the lookout for all the missionaries and told a sweet sister from Brazil that his Aunt Stephy is a missionary in Australia right now. He was certain the the missionaries live inside the temple.

As we looked at the diplays in the visitor’s centers, Ryan pointed out all the things he recognized. It’s really a heart-warming thing as a parent when you see your child showing some understanding of the things that you’ve tried to teach them. He is such a little sponge and takes in everything we say (good and bad…whoops!) and remembers it so well. I’m sure he’ll make a great little missionary himself one day!

We tried to get face shots, but they wouldn’t hold still long enough….I like the way the one turned out better anyway.

Wiped out!

Z Family Reuinon 2008

September 16, 2008

Mel pretty much summed up this post on her blog (except that she forgot the second “really” in regards to the temperature), so all I’m going to add is my pictures!

Summertime Fun!

August 19, 2008


We decided to go to Lagoon yesterday one last time before they are only open on the weekends, and apparently everyone else in the state had the same idea we did because it was really busy for a weekday.  Ryan has been waiting all summer long to go on the “sidewheel”, aka the Ferris Wheel.  I don’t like Ferris Wheels and I’ve never been on the big one at Lagoon, but I gave in yesterday.  It’s one of the few rides that the babies can go on, since we didn’t buy season tickets for them.  I was prepared to be on that thing for an hour before they let us off, and I spent the entire ride (which only ended up being two times around, thank goodness!) fretting over the thought of Ryan jumping up on the seat, losing his balance, and falling over the edge.  We all survived and I was more than happy to get off that thing when our turn came to an end. 

Ryan has also been working up the courage ro run through the fountain at the entrance.  He always wants to do it, but once he actually gets near the water, he chickens out.  So, yesterday I walked in with him and showed him where to stand so that he’d get wet.  I failed to take note of where I was standing and all of a sudden the fountaing turned on and I was soaked!  Ryan thought that was great, and it was just what he needed to go wild.  We let him run for quite a while and he was pretty bummed when it was time to go home.  I’m sure we’ll hit the park a few more times before the season ends, but we had a great time yesterday in spite of the heat and the crowds!

NICU Reunion 2008

August 17, 2008

Yesterday was the annual NICU Reuion and we had so much fun!  Our volunteer group plans all year long to make it a memorable experience for everyone who attends, and this year things went so well!  We did have a little bit of panicking when we realized that the generator left by the party planning company didn’t work, but we were able to work all of that out quickly and get things rolling before anybody really noticed there was a problem.

One of the down sides to being a volunteer is that I was busy working most of the time and didn’t get to spend to much time with my family, so I don’t have many pictures.  The highlight of my day was the raffle!  I bought 24 tickets, and 9 of them were drawn!  I kept getting told that we needed to head straight to Vegas…too bad we’re not gamblers!  We got some fun stuff, and few things that we’ll give away as gifts to people who will actually use them (any bikers out there need a pink and purple riding jersey in a size XS?) but it was really fun just to win! 

The loot!

More fun!

July 16, 2008

What a lame title.  I’m too tired to think of anything creative for this post.  Oh well….maybe next time.

Ryan’s been extra lucky this year, as his birthday celebration has been spread over several days. Every morning he asks me if his birthday is back, and I’ve given up trying to explain that he has to wait for a whole year for it to come around again. He’s just happy that people keep singing to him and offering candles for him to blow out. We were able to have Grandpa and Dedee over for dinner, which was fun because we haven’t seen them for a while.They gave Ryan one of those big styrofoam airplanes…I’m sure just to watch me squirm while they assembled it (I HATE squeaky styrofoam!)…and we learned that when the styrofoam airplane package says “Age 6 and older” it really means it. Ryan really liked his airplane, but figuring out how to throw it correctly has been a bit of a challenge!

Then we spent a day at Grandma & Grandpa Z.’s house with all but 3 of the cousins (we missed you Jonathan, Gabe, and Jacob!). Grandpa had the yard full of fun with swimming pools, slides, the trampoline, and a slip ‘n’ slide. We enjoyed lunch together and then let the kids go crazy in the water. The big hit of the day was the “boat” which held pretty much all of the kids at the same time. They thought that was great! The babies all enjoyed a bit of splashing as well. After the kids had all turned to prunes, we had cupcakes and presents for Ryan.  Later on we attempted to have Family Home Evening, but Ryan’s attention span was pretty short at that point. Everybody was beat when we got home–I wish I could run the kids down so well every day because they went to bed so easily that night!

Isn’t this the cutest little pool?  The babies just love it!

I’m not sure what Ryan was upset about in this picture, but isn’t that a pathetic little face?

Emmy & Mathew had fun in the boat as well!

Emmy was Grandpa’s little buddy that day!  Look how exhausted she is!

This picture is totally unrelated to this post, but it came off the camera at the same time so if I didn’t share it now it would probably not get done.  Owen and Emmy have found that they fit perfectly under both my little red table and my hutch.  They just like to hang out there.  Today they were holding these toys up to their faces and yelling back and forth.  I couldn’t find the video camera, so the still picture was all I got, but it sure was cute!