"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Father's Day

Father's Day was crazy and busy and full of fun. The day before, the kids and I hit the store and I gave each of them a five dollar spending limit to get Dad a present. This is likely Cody's and my favorite part of our special days. We love seeing what the kids pick out for us, because it is always symbolic of "them". On Sunday Dad wore his special tie that Hailey made him earlier in the year in preschool. I love that he wears these goofy ties with pride each year!

After church they all gathered on the couch to watch a movie together. Daddy duck and his five little ducklings. Doesn't get better than that!

Ethan was sooooooo excited to give him the cheeseballs!

A movie from Hailey Jane.

100 Otter Pops from Lauren...just for Dad!

And chocolate covered almonds from Devin. Yeah, these lasted all of one day!

Of course Aunt Leighann came over for dinner. Steak, asparagus, salad, rolls...all the fixins.

Just Cuz

The boys.
Garrett Allan 2 1/2 months
Devin Joseph 20 months
Mornings are fun hangin' out in our jammies

Summah Time!

Summer is my absolute favorite season. And I'm not just saying that because it has been a very long winter. I'm saying that because I am from Houston and I am very accustomed to the heat and in all honesty, I love it. A lot of northerners who visit the Lone Star State in summer run away screaming because of the heat and humidity. But it's what I know and love. School ended here on June 3rd and we were all counting down the days. But sadly, the weather didn't start to warm up enough to swim outside until last week. Anythkng below 80 is way too cold to swim in, especially here in the desert when the water loses a ton of heat at night. Anywho, summer is now here and I'm happy. When Ethan came home on his last day I had this sign on the door.

That afternoon the kids and I brainstormed a list of activities we wanted to do before school started again. Ugh, the thought of fall and cool temps and white skin makes me want to cry. In fact, any talk of school or Halloween or Thanksgiving or ESPECIALLY Christmas and snow is 100% banned in our house. Only talk of summer fun is allowed. We put it all on a poster and hung it on the pantry door. Some of the things on our list are one time things...but a lot of them are activities we will do several times during these warm couple of months. Blah- summer here is so short, so I feel we have to take advantage of every single hot day! Welcome to sum sum summah time!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Garrett- 2 Months Old

Dear Garrett,

I can't believe you are already into your third month of life! The last several weeks have flown by, but at the same time they have dragged horribly. I won't lie. You have not been th easiest baby to take care of. You came into this world with issues and you have had a hard time adjusting to this cold and cruel world. But the older you get, the easier time you are having; the easier time we are ALL having. For the first few weeks you were waking every hour and a half to two hours at night to eat. Without fail, you wanted to eat all the time. But lately you have been going in much longer spurts so I am a much happier mommy. Believe it or not, mommies have to sleep too and they are very grouchy when they can't! So thank you for taking mercy on me.

You are growing so quickly and at times I wish you would slow down a bit. You are my last baby and I am trying to savor it. But since you are the youngest of five, life is very busy and sometimes I have a hard time sitting and enjoying your babyness. I am constantly so rushed and I wish I had more time to snuggle with you...just for fun rather than because you are fussy or needing to eat.

I love you like crazy. You are smiling all the time now and you are becoming a true delight! I have heard you try to laugh a couple of times, both times being at something Devin has done. Boy, does he scare you. Devin is so little still and doesn't quite understand being gentle. He loves to come over and try to get you out of your swing, or lay right on top of you when you are on the floor. You tolerate him a lot, but I think your patience is wearing thin. But keep in mind that Devin is your furture best friend. I love that you boys are so close in age because hopefully you can always be good friends. I have a feeling you will be.

Lauren is another one ho loves you a little too much at times. I think she wants to be your mommy. She is the first time greet you in the morning, other than me of course. You are always laying in my bed when we wake up and Lauren comes running in to keep you company while I go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. That girl loves you to pieces! As you get older and fight with her, I want you to know how much she loved you when you were tiny. Even though she is only three years old, I think she would lay down her life for you.

You had your first immunizations on June 6th, and like all babies, you did not like it one bit. I hate seeing my babies cry and suffer afterward, but I think I'm doing the right thing by having you protected against yucky illnesses. We came home that afternoon and you slept for most of the day. You are a growing boy and you weighed 12.13 pounds (58%) and you were 23.25 inches long (59%). Sounds perfect to me!

I think you resemble Lauren the most as a baby. The other day I was looking at her pictures from when she was your age and you two look alike. Your eyes are a little different...more like Devin's but you share other features. It will be interesting to see how you grow and change as you get even older!

Garrett, you may be my fifth baby but I love you as much as I love your brothers and sisters. You are a truly unique and special little guy and I am so thankful I get to be your mommy. Heavenly Father blessed me so much when he sent you to me. I hope you always know how much I love you!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

1st Grade Program

School is over and we now have an {almost} second grader on our hands! Ethan's end of year program was on June 2nd and they did a terrific job. I really love their elementary school, especially the principal. He seems to genuinely care about the kids and their families. Mrs. Smith was an excellent teacher, although we had some issues with her in the beginning. But she turned out to be wonderful once we got a few things worked out. We will miss her next year!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Memorial Day Bowling

On Memorial Day it was cold, as always. Kick off to summer my eye. It is never ever warm that weekend. We tried to think of something fun to do that day and bowling sounded like a safe bet. We had a blast and Devin got to bowl a little and it was hilarious watching him get so excited about it!


This is what I see most mornings. After everyone has had breakfast they congregate in the living room to watch PBS Kids on TV. The baby is usually lying on a blanket, happily looking around. His not-so-older brother can always be found close by. I wonder what is being conversed between these two. I can't wait to see their relationship grown and develop over the years. I have a feeling they will be great buds.

Devin Starts Nursery!

Devin turned eighteen months in April. That is a terrific milestone, because up until then church gets more and more difficult. I've always said there should be a special class just for kids ages twelve to seventeen months, but alas, there isn't. Devin has been especially hard for several months now because he doesn't have an off button and is constantly on the go! Since the baby was born at the beginning of April and we didn't go to church for a few weeks, Devin didn't have his first day in nursery until the end of May. We weren't surprised at all that he took to it right away. He loved everything about it, except for the other screaming kids. But he loved going in and sitting down to a table full of fun puzzles! Every time we have peeked in on him since then he is having a great time. In fact, last Sunday he carried around a baby doll in a green jumper the whole time. He always had it in his hands when I looked in on him. It's been great sitting during Gospel Doctrine in peace and quiet, not chasing a toddler around!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Leighann's Birthday

May 28th was Leighann's birthday. She has been quite the pathetic loser lately, with her husband living in Kansas this summer for his job. She came over that afternoon for her birthday and we partied hard. Well, as hard as a couple with five little kids can party. That morning Cody took the three oldest kids to the store and let them have free reign over the place, each picking out their own present for Auntie Ums. The girls found a purple cowboy hat and huge pink glasses and said they wanted to give them to her. Cody got the idea that she should have to wear them while opening presents. She was a good sport about it.
Lauren picked out a baby bear snow globe. Leighann was blown away at her generosity.

Hailey found a strange little cheetah or leopard or prehistoric cat of sorts. See how much Ums loves it?

She also LOVED the sling hot from Ethan.

And Devin doesn't know it, but he picked out a Toy Story art set. Leighann was nice enough to let the kids play with it the next day.

And then Cody went a little cray putting together a care package for the birthday girl. Yes, those are male enhancement pills. Total inside joke. And she also got a pregnancy test. Newlyweds never can have too many of those on hand!

Tuna, mac'n cheese, Chef Boyardee, chips, cereal...Cody is so generous.

Her real gift from us was four new pillows for their bed. She was venting to me how all she wanted was to get some new pillows, but instead every last nickle was going to rent and other bills this month. I remember the days when things such as pillows seemed like a luxury. Heck, we still have months like that from time to time. I had no idea the emotional plug I would pull by buying her pillows. She actually teared up...something I rarely see her do.

The we had strawberry pie and homemade icecream for dessert. Happy birthday, Leg Ham! Hope we made it a little special for you.

Hailey's Graduation

Hailey is a real preschool graduate! Her graduation was on May 26th and luckily, the weather was perfect. It had rained all week but we were very grateful for the blue skies that day! This child was made for school. I hope her enthusiasm for learning continues all through her school years. We have been very blessed to have a wonderful preschool teacher now for a fourth year in a row. Kari has been with us for long and it feels like she is part of our family now. She does an incredible job teaching during the year, but the graduation program is always a grand finale. She is so creative and each year writes a parody on a hip hop song of sorts, changing the words to go along with a school theme. Last year she did The Black Eyed Peas "Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night" and this year she did a Justin Beiber song. Hailey is still singing it. They also sang a song that I sang when I was in kindergarten, all about the fifty united states. I was able to sing right along, amazed that I still remembered it. We are very proud of our Hailey Bailey and we're all excited about her starting kindergarten in August!