December 27, 2010

Christmas Day

I have to admit that this post might be a little disappointing because I neglected my camera for almost the entire day.  I didn't want to spend it behind the lens.  I wanted to be the one out in front tearing the paper with  my boys and getting excited to see what Santa had brought for them.
Our morning started at 5 a.m.  Keaton came in and woke me up and told me how excited he was that he got a new Scooby Doo movie. It took me awhile to realize that the stinker had already opened a present.  So I put him in bed with me and we all fell back asleep and slept in until 8 a.m.  That doesn't happen very often in our home so we drank it in.  I love it when my children will sleep in later than 6 am.
So we all woke up and rushed down the stairs and the boys' eyes light up when they saw what Santa had left for them.  Tradition in Lance's family is that most of their gifts were never wrapped. Each child had their own pile somewhere in the family room with a balloon that had their name on it.  It is a great idea when you have 10 children in your family but since we only have three we wrapped every single one.  I love the excitement that comes with the ripping and tearing open to see what lies beneath.  All the excitment was over in about 5 minutes. Our living room was covered in wrapping paper and gifts hiding underneath.  Owen really didn't understand what was going on but he had fun watching the boys go crazy.
After we got dressed and ready we headed over to my parents house for Christmas breakfast and to see what Santa left the boys under their tree.  This is what we walked in to see...
Their eyes light up with joy and they rushed over to see what gifts had their names on it.  Santa was quite generous at Grandma &pa's house.  My sister and her family were there also so we had a nice morning with my family. 
Andrew got a new Batman. This year they still requested Spiderman and Batman toys

Keaton got remote control cars, Wii games and a pillow pet.  Andrew did also. They love those!

This is where I finally found Owen. Half asleep with Uncle Justin watching The Polar Express

Then after everyone opened their gifts, my dad started telling the grandkids that he heard Santa on the roof the night before and when he woke up the next morning there was a note for him telling him that he would leave some gifts on the roof. So we all went outside and sure enough Santa (aka- Grandap) left a gift for each child on the roof.  They thought that was pretty cool Grandpa!

We spent the rest of the day relaxing, playing games and eating Christmas Dinner. Thanks to everyone who made it so enjoyable this year.
Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year!

December 23, 2010

Chiara and balloons

So this evening my in-laws came over for dinner and a movie. We watched The Princess and the Frog.  It was a cute movie.  I had never seen it before.  My little niece Chiara will be 2 in Feburary.  She is the most well behaved little child I have ever known.  She eats anything you give her.  She loves vegetables and she loves to be good.  It is just her nature to be that way. She is a very sweet little girl to have around. Incredibly smart too.  And oooohhh those curls! She has a whole head full of them. Absolutely adorable!
 The funny part of our evening was watching my sweet niece Chiara play with some leftover balloons from Andrew's birthday.  She was in love with them.  She wouldn't let them go and so I couldn't resist not taking some pictures of this cute girl. Check her out.....

Andrew turns 4!

The day we brought Andrew home from the hospital. He was such a sweet baby. We were so excited to have him in our family.
He was a big baby from the very beginning.  This one we should have titled "Did you say Steak?"
We labled this one Fat Boy. Aren't those rolls to die for?

 At three months of age, Andrew had RSV and was hospitalized for 9 days. It was  very tough time in his life as well as ours. But he was brave, tough and our hero and he pulled out just fine. We were so thankful for that too.  They had to put his I.V. in his head because all of his veins had sunk. It was a scary sight to see it.

This is one of my all time favorite pictures of Andrew.  This was the night before I cut all those cute curls off. Everyone at church kept asking us what our daugthers name was.  It was so sad to see all those soft curls go.
 Having fun at Cabella's
 Andrew loves to play any sport. He has always been very outgoing.
 In the bath tub with his best friend, his brother Keaton.
 One thing about Andrew that has never changed and probably never will, is a dirty face. Almost guaranteed every day. I can't tell you how many pictues we have of his dirty face. Classic Andrew.

I love his sweet baby face.  Those cheeks I could squeeze all day long.

So now Andrew is 4.  I didn't get too many pictures of his birthday party because we spent it playing at Monkey Buizness. It is an indoor gym full of fun inflatables for kids. We had a great time and I think Andrew did too with all of his friends.

Happy Birthday sweet boy!  You deserved a good day.  We love you and are so proud of the sweet boy you have become. You add so much to our family and we love you dearly!

December 21, 2010

8 years

Today is our 8th Anniversary.  Last night we had a company dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with all of Lance's employees.  We had a great time.  The food there was so good.  Afterwards Lance suprised me with an overnight stay at the Anniversary Inn.  It was nice to break away and have a relaxed evening. 
I cannot believe that it has been 8 years. Doesn't seem like that long and yet at the same time I keep thinking, " It's only been 8 years?"  I am so grateful for all you do to provide for our family. We love you!  Thanks Lance for the love and support you give to me and to our boys.  Happy Anniversary!

December 19, 2010

Sunday Christmas Program

Do you remember the Sunday before Christmas the ward puts on a great Christmas program?  Our ward has always put on amazing programs.  We have an incredible ward and we have just loved it completely.  Lance sings in our ward choir and he had a solo for O Holy Night and I was to sit with the our kiddos down in the pews.  I thought I had it all under control.  Sunday has always been a hectic day for our family.  We have three very busy boys who find it hard sometimes to sit still for long periods of time.  Today was so acception.  Once the choir sang their first song they were asked to remain seated up on the stand until the program was over. They sang three different songs total so it was obvious they were going to be up there.
We did pretty well for the first 10-15 minutes.  I gave each of my boys some paper and a pencil to draw with.  They were content for a short time.  Then Owen started to get alittle restless.  He wanted to get out and wander around and I kept telling him he couldn't because we were in sacrament. Well being the 20 month old he is, he didn't understand a single word of it nor did he care because he was going to have his way.  Well he started to get loud and really fussy.  So I told all the boys to follow me into the hallway.  Once we were out there they started to run and play with our good friends who were out in the hall. Same situation as ours, dads are in the choir.

Keaton starts to tell me that he needs to go to the restroom.  He was pretty sure he could go into the men's restroom by himself so I let him go in.  I sat on the couch in the foyer and waited for him to come out. Well it took awhile and I finally hear my name being whispered from down the hall.  There was Keaton standing naked with his underwear and pants around his ankles.  Are you serious? He was asking if I could come in and find him some toliet paper.  I couldn't believe that my 5 year old would come out naked to ask me that. So I hurried him into the women's restroom next door so I could help him out.  While I was helping him my friend kept an eye on Andrew out in the foyer.  After our fiasco in the restroom we got all cleaned up and we went out to find Andrew and he was in the little area between the door from the outside and the inside screaming and running around.  I was already livid with frustration. I went in and tried to get him to quite down and then Owen and Keaton joined in.  We were out of control today.  I have never had a Sunday like this and it seemed like forever.  Wanna know why? Because our Christmas program went 25 minutes over.  That is why it felt like forever.  I am glad that Lance got to enjoy the program.  I will have to get the details from him later on.
It doesn't stop there.  So after sacrament we take all our kiddos to their classes.  Keaton and Andrew go to their classes just fine.  It is Owen who is having a tough time adjusting to the nursery.  For some reason all of our children have had a really hard time getting used to that.  After about 15 minutes of being in the nursery I hear Owen screaming in the hallway. So after filling in as a substitute I go out into the hall and find Owen and take him to Relief Society with me to see if he will calm down. I guess another boy in the nursery socked him in the face pretty hard so that set him off.  Relief Society was a no go either. There was a big bowl of chocolate candies for the lesson on the table up front and he was bound and determined to get some.  So I had to take him out into the hall because he was too loud.  They only place that seems to make him happy is the gym and running and playing on the stage and steps. So that is where we went. I just needed him to be quite.  I sat down on a chair feeling very exhausted.  A sweet sister in our ward came in and chatted with me.  By the way, thanks Carol for coming to talk. It was really nice catching up with you.
So church ends and we are scheduled for tithing settlement 40 minutes after.  What is the use going all the way back home just to turn right back around and come back. So we hung out in the church.  They were restless and wired.  Our sweet bishop let them each pick their favorite treat out of his candy bucket in his office and they all choose M&M's and Owen spit them out everywhere leaving trails of chocolate mess everywhere.
We end up at my parents house after all is said and done.  Time to relax.  Kind of.  At least we were out of the church.  Owen didn't have a nap at all and fell fast asleep at 6 p.m. tonight. It was really nice. Let's just cross our fingers that he sleeps all night long.  Keaton is pretty stuffed up. He can't breathe very well and has a constant runny nose. Poor guy.  Hopefully he will sleep better tonight with a humidifier.  Andrew thankfully has caught nothing yet.  He has a birthday coming up this week.
All the children are nestled in their beds and fast asleep. Now why can't I do the same thing?

December 18, 2010

Keaton's Kindergarden Christmas Party

Keaton's Christmas party was yesterday.  Keaton has loved Kindergarden so far.  He has a great teacher and he has made some great friends.  I signed up to help volunteer at their Christmas party.  Keaton was excited that I was going to be part of the fun too.
We decorated Gingerbread houses. I was glad because I don't think we will get to that this year as a family.  All the kids were given their own homes already put together. All they had to do was put the frosting on and overload it with candy.  They were each given their own big bag of candy and left to cover their homes.  They all had so much fun.  Some of them were pretty inventive too.  Most of the kids just had fun eating the frosting and candy.

Since Santa doesn't come to public schools, which I think is ridiculous, The Grinch decided to make his grand apperance.  I thought it pretty funny that the teacher had to warn the kids before that the Grinch would be stopping in to say hi and that they didn't need to be afraid.  That it was only a costume. I was kind of interested to see what this Grinch was going to look like.  Well he made his apperance and this is what we saw....

It was a pretty good costume but some of the kids stopped dead in their tracks and just stared.  The Grinch saw that I was taking pictures for the class and asked if I had a child in the classroom. I showed him where Keaton was and Keaton was not to thrilled to have the Grinch that close to him but nonetheless we got a picture of them together.  I think the kids were relieved when he left.  Thanks for coming to scare some of the kids Grinch.  Just like the song says, "Your a mean one, Mr. Grinch."

It was fun to be with you in your class Keaton!  I really love watching you learn and grow.  You continually amaze me with how much you know.  I love your brillant mind.  Merry Christmas son!

Andrew's preschool Christmas program

Since it was the last week of school before Christmas break our boys had Christmas parties and programs.  Since Andrew only goes to Preschool twice a week his program was on Thursday.  Grandma Quinn met us there to watch his little program that they had been working on all week. 
They sang some cute songs and played the bells.  Since they are all only 3 years old you can't expect much but it turned out pretty cute.  They are a small group this year but they are a close group and they have had so much fun together.
Afterwards they colored or painted some Christmas pictures while Santa was on his way.  Owen decided that he wanted to be a part of the painting project. So the teacher gave him his little cup to dip his paint brush in and what does he end up doing with the cup?
Yep! He started to drink it so we decided that he should use the crayons. That was much better.
Andrew sat patiently and painted some pictures of his own.

Well Santa finally arrived.  They kids were so excited.  I love watching their faces when they see the man in red. Keaton and Andrew still believe and so it was a special treat for Andrew to see him.

To Owen sat behind and kept an eye on Santa and all the commotion. He was patient to wait his turn until he saw the kids getting candy canes from Santa.  He wanted to have his turn.

Well his turn came and see what happened! This happens every year.  He loved Santa! Absolutelty adored the man. :(

But he did get his candy cane and he was content.  It was a very cute little program and I am so glad to be a part of these fun activites with my children in their classes.

Thanks Andrew for letting us come to your Christmas Program. I love you and I am so proud of what you have accomplished so far in school.

December 15, 2010

Just my thoughts

It is 8:44 p.m. and it is completely silent in my home.  All my boys are asleep and I am the only one here.  Lance is still at mutual and it is so nice to listen to myself think.  It has been way too long since I have had a moment like this to myself.  I am enjoying it.
I can smell Lavender oil on my hands.  For the past few night I have been massaging my boys feet with it before they go to bed.  It has been quite the calming experience for them and for me as well.  I have loved doing that for them.  Andrew especially. He had never really let me do that for him but now he loves it and requests it each night.  I love that sweet boy of mine.  They are all sweet, don't get me wrong.
I am sitting here at my computer desk and just trying to unload the day.  It has been busy.  It has been slow.  I am not sure what one I like best.
On my computer screen this evening I saw a picture of Mary and the baby Jesus.  I was almost brought to tears at the sight of how beautiful the picture was.  She is holding the Christ and looking over her shoulder starring as if she were looking straight at me.  I just sat there and pondered her and what she must have felt knowing that she would give birth to the Savior of the World.  I am sure she felt every emotion known to man. She was human.  Riding on a donkey and being rejected at every door.  No one understood just how important the birth of this babe would be to the world. To them!  He would come to this world to save them. Save us!  Save me!  How humbling it has been to read about his birth.  Born under humble circumstances in a manger filled with hay.  Looking back almost 4 years ago when I was close to giving birth to my second son Andrew.  I was due the day after Christmas.  I was very uncomfortable, large and just anxious to welcome this little one into the world.  I was scheduled to be induced on the 22nd because we didnt' want to be in the hospital on Christmas day.  How easy was it for me to get up from my warm comfortable bed, get in my car (not on a donkey) and drive to a hospital who saved a room for me and have my baby.  I can't help but wonder what it would have been like to give birth in a barn.   I am humbled at the thought of His birth.  I still am!

Other things that are going through my mind can't seem to find their way out onto the computer screen.  One thing I have been praying for lately is a better understanding as to why we have our trials.  Why are we born with them? I think I know the answer but I really want to know and feel why.  I have someone who is very close to me going through a very tough trial.  Did this person agree to these trials before they came to earth? I was reading my Patriarchal blessing this morning and I forgot about the part that told me I knew before what life would be like. I came to this life on my choice.  Really?  I shouldn't really say that because I have a good life. I  have a wonderful husband and sweet children, but really? I chose some of the things I have had to go through?  One of the greatest blessings in my life was serving a mission.  It taught me about me.  Who I am and what the Savior thinks of me.  That was life changing for me.  Many times I loose sight and fall off track but there are things that remind me to get back on and keep fighting.  So that is what I simply must do each and every day.
I has been really tough for me to sit and visit with this person who is struggling so much.  To hear them and what is happening makes me sad inside.  I just wish I could share some of the goodness and some of that Godly love that I feel and replace all the hurt, blame and shame with this sweet feeling.  It feels really good. Why do some refuse to allow it to take seed?  If it feels so good, why wouldn't you want it all of the time?  I guess I have never really had a huge struggle that has made me question my faith, nor God.  I just do what I know to be true, and that is to love God and keep His commandments. 
I know that God lives! Clear as day! I know that just as I know that the sun will rise tomorrow. It is one that thing that will never change.   I hope that sun will rise on a better day for you.  I hope you know that you are loved! 
One other thought that has been creeping in now and then is that of our first child Madalynn.  I have wondered if I did it all right.  Did I do what I wanted to do? Did I say all the things I wanted to say to her? Did she hear me?  Could she feel our tears that hit her face so many times? Did she hear the sweet laughter that filled that hospital room from all her many loved ones who came to see her? I hope she knows that was one of the hardest, most sweetest moments of my life.  I hope she knows how much I reflect on the moment she was born.  When I get mad, sad, angry or frustrated and I need something to just help me calm down I go back to that moment.  It has seemed to help me.  There used to be feelings of anger towards her and towards Heavenly Father for givng me that hurt, but now that I have put that hurt past me there is nothing but a sweet serenity that feels me and I feel at peace.  I am thankful, no, I am grateful for that hurt that I felt.  It made me stronger.  It made me become the person I am today.  I hope she knows I love her. That we love her.  I think about her quite often and marvel at the amazing role that she must play in all of this.  Someday I will be worthy to hold her and raise her. I am still working on that.  I WILL get there!

Merry Christmas to all of you!  I am sorry if we didn't get Christmas cards out to everyone.  We cannot begin to express the love we have felt this year from so many of you.  We thank you!  We love you!  May the Lord watch over and bless you! Good night!

Things to do still.......

I looked at the calender this morning and it dawned on my that Christmas in next week.  Where had December gone?  There is still so much to do... Let's see.......

.... finish Christmas shopping.
.... Celebrate our 8th Anniversary
.... Andrew's 4th birthday
.... Plan and prepare Christmas Eve party at our home
... Organize my house
....Clean my house
.... Clean the carpets

the list goes on and on. I need to get off this computer and get to work.

December 8, 2010

Candy Day

This year I am starting new holiday traditions.  Every once in a blue moon we would get together at my grandmothers house to make candy with my aunts and some cousins. Well this year I wanted to make it offical at our home.  We all gathered at my home this morning and made candy all day long.  People came and went all day long and we had a good time. My boys made candy cane reindeer with Aunt Rachel and the rest of us snacked on all the fun things we made.
This year we made, English Toffee, fudge, reces pieces, sugar cookies and brownie balls covered in chocolate with candy canes crushed on top.  They turned out really good.  I think everyone had a good time.  Then they all stayed over for Tacos later on.   I really enjoy everyone coming to our home to have fun.  Thanks everyone for coming over. Here are a few pictures of our day today....
My boys and I frosting our cookies
 I believe my sister will shoot me for putting this picture up. But she looks so cute anyways.
 And my oh so sweet sister-in-law Shelli had never frosted a Christmas cookie until today.  Where have you been my dear?
Thanks for the candy day! Can't wait to do it all over again in a week or so. Happy Holidays everyone!

December 1, 2010

First Snow Day

I am laying in bed sound asleep when all of a sudden my phone starts ringing.  I couldn't tell who it was by the number so I answered it and it was all in spanish.  Its a good thing I can understand it because it was a message telling the parents that school was canceled due to the 9 inches of snow we got over night.  Yes, 9 inches. It looked so beautiful outside. Everything was covered in white.

So since it was a snow day, we played in the snow.  My boys were in heaven!  Even my little Owen was adventurous and got out and played in it for awhile until he fell flat face in a pile of snow and then cried because he was so cold. So he was done.

We spent the afternoon at my parents home.  We helped Grandma and Grandpa put up their Christmas tree and had spagetti dinner with them.
We are crossing our fingers that tomorrow will be canceled as well. We will just have to wait until morning to find out.
There were so many slide offs on the road today.  So many people that think just because it snows doesn't mean it changes how fast you can go.
On my way home from the Dermatologist this morning I saw this..... yes it is a young girl riding her horse down the street and through the gas station parking lot. I had to pull over and take a picture of it. It was pure craziness and the scary part was, the horse was kind of out of control. I saw in my rearview mirror that a car had pulled over to help the young girl because the horse was up on its hind legs. So I guess when you can't get your car to go out in the snow or don't have 4-wheel drive, just take your horse!

Who does this?

November 28, 2010

Home for the Holidays

Our fireplace is not quite finished but it will get there

 Our Christmas tree this year. Yes kind of plain but my boys decorated it this year. Yes, it is real!
 We put this ornament on our tree every year. When our daughter Madalynn passed away the hospital gave us this angel ornament to remember her every year. So she hangs on our tree each year.
Grandma Snyder would love to see this.  This is the Grinch set that she gave us two years ago. We love it!
My boys love it!

My mini Christmas trees in the family room upstairs. It isn't the best picture and it doesn't do it justice, but they are beautiful.
More pictures to come. Stay tuned........