Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Cheer and In-Betweens

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! This Christmas Season has been one of my favorites. The girl's and I have been baking and crafting for weeks now and our home has a permanent scent of cinnamon as a result:) We have gone hunting for Santa's sleigh and reindeer (Brooke saw them in the sky once). The girls saw Santa. Ella asked for a trampoline along with a million other toys and Brooke sat on my lap next to Santa and didn't talk to him. Christmas songs are a favorite (Rob's version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is brilliant). We also have been reading a novel each night as we cuddle up by the fire.

This year both Ella and Brooke were able to be a part of the Christmas Program at their school. Ella was so excited but Brooke was terrified. So I gave her one of my necklaces and she had "put my love" into it so she could be brave. Cute. Ella also got one:) After the program Brooke told Rob that she wouldn't ever do that again. Ella quickly piped up and said that she loved it!

I have been busy baking in our new kitchen and Rob swears he washes at least one
cookie sheet every day. I also put together a church Christmas Program and had a blast with everyone! Thanks to all who participated! Now we can get excited for an Easter Program :)

As we close out this year here are some of my favorite pics from some of the in-between moments that I haven't posted. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Smiling in her sleep:)

Story time!

Caught with a pen!

My Squish

Apparently they ran out of gas mid-play...

their everyday clothes

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fall Holidays

Here's some pics from Halloween and Thanksgiving:) Ella and I were ballerinas. Brooke was Rapunzel. Claire was a kangaroo. Kristie was a super-dog. Rob was a beach bum but I don't have any pictures:(We went to the Blodgett Canyon ward party where some friends and I did a little mock-mom's-life-ballet. Then we ran over to our ward for a trunk or treat. And of course you can't beat trick-or-treating in the crazy Halloween Mecca of 3rd and 4th street. Seriously, it is something to behold.

This was our first ever Thanksgiving by ourselves so we decided to be completely unconventional and have a seafood dinner. I don't like turkey anyway. We went to a little cabin just out of town that had a little pond. The girls thought it was amazing. It was really quite small but they had so much fun. We played games and played outside. We had dinner on Friday instead of Thursday since we were at the cabin. Saturday was our big Christmas decorating day ( I LOVE this day!!!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NEW KITCHEN!!! (finally)

Okay friends! Here it is! The kitchen:)

Some accessories...

And last but not least my Anthropologie board. The knobs are from Anthropologie, and the plants are air plants. My third plant froze so all we have left is the tiny seedling but another is on it's way:) I actually cut the board myself which is a big deal because I hate loud power tools. Yes, I used power tools. I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Harvest!

I LOVE this time of the year! I love the colors, I love cuddling under blankets, I love the HARVEST! It is also Ella's birthday. This year our house was still slightly unfinished from our kitchen fiasco so Ella's "BUGS AND BUTTERFLIES" party was moved to the park. Five is a monumental age for a little one and it was a good day:) Thanks Mom for helping with the cake!

What do we do when we aren't throwing birthday parties? We harvest! These pumpkins are from our garden. The apples are from our tress (I am so mad I didn't get pics of the kids picking them!)The geese are even from the field! Rob saw them land during dinner and got his gun, walked outside and shot the geese! I need to just say that it made me sad and I even cried a little bit. The geese didn't taste very good either. Ashten (The best canning buddy in the world) and I canned apple pie filling, jalapeno pickles, bread and butter pickles, jalapeno jam, and raspberry jam. This was my first year canning and as weird as it was addicting. My breakfast now consists of homemade toast and jam! SO MUCH HAPPINESS!!! While we were in the kitchen the girls were stacking wood with dad or painting pumpkins :)

We can't forget the traditional Halloween crafts. This year we made pumpkin sun-catchers, spiders, and ghosts. The kids didn't want to put their ghosts up but ran around the house "scaring" everyone.

We spend most of our day in the kitchen. Right here Claire is playing in the sink while the girls and I are making granola bars. I will always picture my counters covered with children in dress ups and ingredients.

This time of year also brought around CLAIRE"S FIRST FEEDING. The pictures explain it all.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I enjoy my sleep. Rob enjoys NOT waking me from my sleep. But sometimes he has to. Like when our kitchen is flooded. Rob had to rush off to work which left me with a very wet mess. Luckily we know a guy. The guy told us that the kitchen and mud room is ruined and will be gutted and renovated. My initial reaction was PURE JOY!!! Christmas came early this year! I would LOVE to design my own kitchen!! Rob on the other hand.....not so excited. The bad news was that the girls and I would be gone for another 3-4weeks.

Sweet little Ella loves her daddy. This particular day was supposed to be a "Let's-surprise-Dad-just-because-we-love-him-day". We had some great plans made and when we couldn't do them anymore Ella got so sad. So we brainstormed and came up with a craft that we will probably do every time we take a trip while Rob stays home. ROLO PRINCESSES (naturally)! All that is needed is some white copy paper, some markers, scissors, Rolos, and a couple adorable girls with big imaginations. We initially wanted to make individual wrappers and wrap Rolos and leave them for Rob so that every time he opened on he would think of the girls. After they were wrapped Brooke's Rolos that were wrapped were clearly more beautiful than the ones that weren't and those became princesses. The others became bad guys. Oh the battle that ensued!! The bad guys won. This was one of the cutest craft ideas we have ever done:) A tradition has been born!

So we went to Utah and had another fabulous trip! So much to do. I thought 3-4 weeks would be a ton of time but it was JAM PACKED! We ran out of time! So here are some pics of a few things we did:) Love and miss you all!

P.S. New kitchen pictures will be coming later. I am waiting to finish a project using some goods from ANTRHOPOLOGIE...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the Road Again!

The next weekend brought my parent's into town...a trip to Rexburg for Shanae's graduation and to watch her dance that she choreographed be performed at the ceremony...a going away party for our dear friends, The Taylor's (they are so loved we had around 100 people at our house!)...and Shanae stayed with us for a few days which inspired all us girlies to head off to Seattle for a couple of weeks. I am a firm believer that spur-of-the-moment-trips are one way to teach your kids to make life what you want it to be! Did I mention Claire was only 2 months old?? This is not something I would recommend for the weak of heart.

The girls did awesome!!! Claire was an angel, Brooke was an angel, and Ella was and angel. My girls rock. Our Seattle trip was full of all the normal things we do while in Seattle. Pike Place, the ZOO water parks, beaches, shopping, food, food, more food, Children's museum, my dad running around the house chasing my kids while pretending to be a wild chicken,puzzles until two in the morning, and smelling that fabulous sea and evergreen air!! I have a rule about driving with the windows down during the summer in Seattle; it is a must! Mom had surgery on her shoulder the day after we arrived and everything was very successful! Her recovery was great and the girls were still able to play with her and I kept finding her holding Claire when she probably shouldn't have. Inside jokes we made (Shanae---FANNY!!!), bucket lists were made, banana cupcakes with cinnamon frosting were made, and great memories were made. Here are just some of the pics from that trip:) Thanks Mom and Dad!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Simplicity and one of my soap boxes!

July in Montana...What to do? What to do??
Who? The Taylor's, The Humphrey's, The Olsen's and the Child's. What? Boating, kayaking, canoing, games, food, great friends, hot tub, a turtle that the boys found which laid an egg, you know- all the normal cabin stuff. When? Weekend after the fourth. Where? Seeley Lake in a beautiful cabin! Why? Why not?

And what would a summer in MT be without some good ol' tent camping? Rob got the camera while I got the gear. Thanks hun. Husband of the year award nominee!

One of the perks of living in MT is that campgrounds are close to home and since Claire was only a couple of months old we decided to go to Blodgett and Rob would stay with Brooke and Ella while I came back to the house with Claire. The first item of business was to run. Just run around. Luckily for us there was a trail perfect for little runners. Next on the list was junk food, hiking, the river, star-gazing, hide-and-go-seek, and climbing (not in that order).
There was a big boulder that was perfect for the girls to climb and it was flat on the top so they had to put on a show for us. I am sure some woodland creature stopped to listen. I would like to point out that we may be roughin' it outside but my girls have skirts on! We may live in MT but they are still my girls!

Rob said that the girls' favorite thing to do that night was to listen to camping and fishing stories around the fire. They also got new flashlights and Rob took them on a night walk. They didn't want to come back home the next day but rain was coming fast so Rob quickly got the tent down and got the girls out of there. But they REALLY didn't want to come home yet so they waited for the rain to stop and then played in the river.

These simple activities are what will convince the girls that they had the best childhood ever. I can't help but think that we have all become so commercialized and spoiled. I blame this on Walmart. In today's world (I can't believe I just said that) parents are planning huge vacations which cost 1/4 of their salary and then get mad when their kids throw a fit because they are too tired, but those parents didn't spend all that money for their kids to whine so they better smile and have a good time or else!! Anyone who has been to Disney World knows exactly what I am talking about. I am guilty too. I just dragged my kids around Utah for three weeks and had to get in as much as possible because who knows when we will be back. Actually, we will be back for Christmas and I am sure we will do it all again and I am sure my kids will get tired and I will get frustrated. Which is a big part of why we live where we live. I am thankful for a grounded and balanced husband and kids who want to explore the wonders of dirt and sing on a rock. And I am grateful for simplicity.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What a blessing!!!

I LOVE 4th of July weekend!!! I mean I REALLY LOVE 4th of July weekend!! This time of year has always been the best for our family since my Dad was born on the 4th and because we always get together for a bit of unruly shenanigans and patriotic celebrations:) We love our country and love to celebrate our freedoms! This year was ,shall we say, especially special because we got to enjoy having ALL of Rob's family HERE and some of my family including my adorable grandparents. Why the large number you may ask? It happened to be Claire's blessing weekend...which was a great excuse to play Montana style!

Rob's family came first and we went hiking. Not just any hike but a hike with a backhoe for Ashton and Dylan to drool over, wildflowers galore for the girls to pick, a beautiful waterfall at the top and even a big ol' toad for everyone to pass around. The weather was just right and it was only 30 minutes from our house. Claire did great in the baby carrier. One of the twins wasn't feeling well so Russ took off his shirt to cover him up and Ella was NOT okay with him walking around without a shirt on. She just could not stop talking to me about it. One other casualty of the hike was that I was allergic to SOMETHING up there and lost my voice. This was a first for me (I am sure Rob enjoyed it) and I hope the last. Every time I tried to talk I am pretty sure Mikelle or Kristen started laughing. The really lame part was that I was in charge of everything and REALLY needed to talk so after the second day I just sounded like I was really angry because I was trying so hard to be heard. Poor Brooke and Ella kept asking me if I was mad at them. Sorry children if you have to go to counseling for the way I was talking to you.

At the house we played backyard baseball, played badminton and the Child family tradition---HAND STAND CONTESTS!!! I don't know how they start but they always do. If there is grass to be felt what better way than to do it upside down? Of course we can't forget about the guys always running around with the BB gun shooting gofers and magpies. And we also were able to get in some swimming at the hotel! I am now officially admitting to all my city friends how bumpkin I have become. Yes, I have shot at them as well. Don't hate me--they are major pests around here. And what would a 4th of July weekend be without a BBQ and fireworks? Lame, that's what, and this weekend certainly was not!!

The boys left for some outdoor fishing fun and Rob won the plaque for the year. The girls attempted to enjoy the farmer's market but I think everyone was worn out. Annie had both of the boys (one was still sick) carrying them around trying to stop them from crying and I was trying to console all three of my kids as well when my friend walked by and said "Isn't it crazy that we do this to ourselves? I just saw some lady walk by with screaming twins!"

My family, (Mom, Dad, grandma, Grandpa, and my niece and nephew) came the night before the blessing and we had a big BBQ and played Rollick. SO FUNNY!!! It was great to see my grandparents. Claire's middle name is Valoy after my grandma and it was "especially special" to have them here. Blessing day arrived and I was scrambling, like I always do, before church but we all got there alive and her blessing was beautiful. What a special little girl. Rob's family left after church and my family was able to stay for the next couple of days.

On the 4th, we went on a different hike. It was also very pretty. When we came back the guys went out to get some fireworks. While they were gone, the girls and I "decorated' the house for his birthday which means that I give the girls streamers and tape and we end up with some intense rooms. I think the banisters get it the best. While they did that I taped up reasons why we love Dad all over the house. He spent a good while going over the house trying to find them all. By the time they left he only missed one (he still doesn't know where it is). We got his cheesecake and celebrated with fireworks that night. What a great day! Happy birthday Dad!

Everything went so well the first time we ended up doing it again except we swapped the hand stand contests for a big water fight which ended with Brooke grabbing the hose and drenching my dad. Good girl. Rob also took my dad out on a mountain bike and fishing adventure. Dad even came back saying Rob didn't try to kill him this time and he had a blast. Rob took the kids all out to the river and Thomas caught some minnows and we put them in our fish tank. We played video games and badminton. Thomas got to be a pretty good shot and Madeline enjoyed having some little girls around to take care of:)

We had 25 people here at one time and it was fast and furious but SO MUCH FUN!!! I would do it every year if I could. Thanks to everyone for coming up. We love you all and can't wait to see you again!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Something had to give....

I kept telling Rob that Claire was too good. Something had to give. And it did. Two and a half weeks into Claire's life we got a call. The Stake President wanted to meet with us. Rob was called as the Second Counselor in the Bishopric. I knew she was good for a reason! So we now sit with Bishop Humphrey's family because Ella and Brooke are in love with Lizzie (their daughter) who watches them while I take care of Claire. I think Brooke and Ella like this arrangement just fine! I have to worry about them having too much fun now instead of getting bored:) I must say this has been a growing experience for us all. The love we have for the ward members has grown and I am TRYING to be less selfish about my "Rob time".

Dee and Bonnie were able to come up a week later so that Dee could ordain Rob as a high priest. What a beautiful moment!!! I love my in-laws and the example they are and I love my dear husband for always striving to meet his potential. This was also the first time Claire got to meet her Grandma and Grandpa Child. They fell in love with her immediately (how could you not!??) and were amazed that she was such a good baby.

That same weekend was very special as well because it was Brooke's third birthday!!! Bonnie was just in time to help decorate while Rob and Dee took Brooke and Ella out on a Montana adventure! We did a "Tangled" theme and it was adorable!! I made all the girls "Rapunzel hair" and the boys got blow up swords. We had "Tangled" banners, Rapunzel's hair hanging outside the door and a tower cake. The kids colored "Tangled" pages and played "Pin the frying pan on Flynn Rider's nose". We also made Pasquel party blowers. Most of the time the boys ran outside and chased with their swords. I must apologize for the lack of pictures. Men just don't have the same idea as to what to take photos of as women....

Dee and Bonnie left after church on Sunday....but not before Dee got Claire's FIRST SMILE!!! She was loving on him like she recognized him and I really think she did. Her personality is most like her Grandpa Child's and she seems to have a special connection with him.

A few days later Ella had an Ugly Duckling performance at the Daly Mansion. This was my first time seeing it in person and she was hilarious. It looked like she was more interested in the audience than she was of dancing! I loved it! All I can say is that three is definitely busier than two...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Third beginning

So I am probably breaking some blogging law that states I can't go out of order with my timeline but it must be done. I am going to catch up with our history starting with the birth of Claire. Too many good things have happened this summer that I simply won't be able to sleep if I don't put them into words. So here we go.

This is me....pregnant. Yikes. The morning of May 12th seemed normal...unfortunately. I was ready to have a baby but nothing was happening. Rob left for work at 5:00 and as he left I reassured him that no baby would be coming today. He left. 7:00 brought the girls into my room to fill their empty bellies. As I sat up to get out of bed, BAM!! HUGE CONTRACTION!! This is my third time around. I knew what that meant. I was short on time. I went out to the kitchen to get the kids breakfast and take care of them before heading to the hospital. Stupid idea. Did I mention that this was my third time around?? Should have known better. Before I got to the kitchen another HUGE CONTRACTION!!! I turned right back around and woke my mom up. She took care of the kids while I called Rob. Hmmm.....why isn't he answering the phone??? This is his third time around. Doesn't he know that if I am calling him at 7:15 AM two days away from our due date something MIGHT be happening???? After calling a couple of times he finally called back. Our conversation was short. Turns out that the poor guy was in the BL3 completely gowned up and with a bunch of deadly pathogens exposed. Bad timing on my part-or baby's part. I have to say he was driving rather fast-just like any knight in shinning armor who is trying to save his wife (or marriage) would do.
7:45 brought us to the hospital. The hospital had been warned of my coming and my lack of time before this baby was coming. I don't think they believed me. Everyone sure was slow on getting me to the room. One nurse even gave me the look like "yeah, yeah, everyone's baby is coming 'right now'..." To make a very fast but intense story short, my body went into shock and I almost lost consciousnesses but my doctor rocks and kept me going. Oh yeah, the fluids and oxygen helped too. My nurse couldn't get an IV in me because of this little going-into-shock-problem. I remember asking a couple of times when I would be getting my epidural. I also remember nobody answering me. Lame. I connected the dots and then told the doctor to "Get it out of me!" and went to work.

8:45 brought a beautiful baby girl that looked just like my other babies but with her daddy's nose. The hospital was having a computer malfunction and couldn't get me any pain meds for five hours. I felt kinda pioneeer-ish. And tough.
Dear, dear Claire. You were so calm and peaceful right from the beginning. You didn't cry a lot. The doctor told me to try to get you to cry more so that your lungs could develop. You slept in the incubator with your arms over your head. We named this sleeping position of yours that soon became habit for you "dead bug". You were a great eater:) I always heard about easy babies but to actually have one!! What a blessing you are! You even slept 5 hours straight your first night.
Ella and Brooke were excited to meet you. Brooke brought you a ladybug from our garden. And Ella brought some weeds that she picked. I loved having all my loved ones within my reach. These are the moments to remember.

Claire and I had some great bonding time together since this was my best recovery yet and Rob was able to go to Ella's first ballet performance "The Ugly Duckling" where she was a little duckling who made fun of the ugly ducking. And how cute she was!! I will admit that I cried a little bit because I had to miss it but luckily I knew she had more performances and a wonderful invention called a "camcorder". Plus, she was more excited that Grandma got to see her anyway.
Grandma stayed with us for a week and did everything for us!! Thanks Mom!!
What a little miracle little babies are. Bless this Child.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Little Adventures

It is official. I am a blogger. The reason for this undertaking is simply because of and for my family. I am hoping to capture the everyday adventures of us. Maybe one day we can look back and remember all the moments that got lost in the cracks of life. So here is a little intro of who we are as of right now.

We are up to almost SEVEN years! Those seven years include 5 moves in four different states, 3 girls, 1 house, 1 dog and LOTS of fun! Rob is a mad scientist and I am home with the kiddos. Most of our adventures will find us out in the beautiful Montana playground.

This is my Ella! My social little girl! She LOVES people! This girl's heart is HUGE. She feels life much deeper and stronger than any other person I have met and I love her for it. She will beat you in a foot race too. The only one who can catch up to her is our dog. Not bad for a four year old. Her latest passion is ballet. She was just a duckling in her first recital. Hilariously adorable.

This picture pretty much sums up Brooke. Some sort of creepy crawly in her one hand and a flower in the other. This one is my nature lover. Yesterday I found her outside laying on the grass watching the butterflies flying in the garden while she was holding one as well! She also has a better vocabulary than most
adults I know. Brooke is always kind to others and will give her most prized possessions to those she lovesAnd finally we have our little Claire. What a doll huh? She is the most pleasant and light-hearted thing around. This little girl is my spring flower. She is also my distraction, not because she needs attention, but just because she is smiling all the time and who can resist that? None. That's who .P.S. She is also in the 90th percentile for her height and weight. We grow 'em big.