December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

This year we had a great time.  The boys were more excited then we had ever seen them.  They were really excited.  The only thing that would have made it even better would have been snow, but since you can't do anything about that we still had a great time.

Lance and I were hoping that the boys would sleep in alittle longer.  Ya right.  Keaton was the first to get up at 6 a.m and then he crept into our room to tell us that Santa had come and that there were a million presents under the tree.  So we made him wait in our bed until Andrew and Owen started to stir.  Well Andrew was the next in line.  Since Ellie was already awake, we still had Owen to wait on.  So we gave him about 20 minutes to wake up.  We turned on the front room lights and started to make some noise but no luck.  So Lance went in and woke him up.  Poor little guy, he would have slept in too I am sure of it.  He woke up happy so that was a good sign.
The previous night Lance showed the boys a website that was tracking Santa's every move.  Andrew and Keaton were running down stairs to check on it every 3 minutes.  Andrew was really curious as to when Santa would come to Star, Idaho. It was so fun to watch them be so anxious about it.
The boys got their Christmas pajamas. We have had that tradition in both Lance's and mine as well.  So we carried it on.  They were excited about that. Keaton ended up gettting the wrong ones but he was still happy with the ones he got.  He is such a good sport.
Everyone got what they wanted.  Keaton and Andrew got some Wii games, some Ninjago Lego sets, transformers and much more. 
Ellie was content with her little teething ring.  Owen fell in love with his Thomas the Train set and all the Thomas the Train books that he got.  But his biggest and most favoirte gift of all was, his tractor. This boy of mine is love with tractors, riding lawn mowers.   You name it.  He wants to go for a ride and will point them out faster than anyone while we are driving in the car.  He knows pretty much where every tractor is from our home to my parents. It's amazing.

Since our ward started at 9 we didn't have much time to sit and play so we got ready for church. I wish I would have taken a picture of all my kids in their nice new church clothes. They looked really sharp.  Our Sacrament had a great program.  My favorite speaker was a deaf guy whose family is in our ward.  The dad translated for him while he signed. It was a very touching talk about service and about giving. 



After church we headed over to my parents house for the rest of the day.  My siblings met up there too and we had a nice Christmas together.  We had to wait for about 4 hours for my sister and her kids to show up.  That was the most torture I have ever seen my kids go through.  We didn't open a single gift until they came so we could do it all together.  It about killed my boys.  Andrew asked us about every 20 minutes "When is Rachel and Ava going to be here?"  Finally they showed up and they opening and ripping of wrapping paper began.  The kids went crazy with excitement.  Andrew got his Nintendo DS that he has always wanted, Keaton his RipStick that he asked Santa for and Owen his tractor.  It was a great afternoonw with family.  It was so nice to be all together.  We had a great dinner with grandparents and great-grandparents as well.
After dinner and the after the kids were all bathed we pulled out the new family board game we got this year which was Ackward Family Photo.  Ever heard of it? There is a webiste called www. ackwardfamilyphotos.com if you are ever interested.  There are some good laughs to be guarenteed.  We had a great time playing and laughing really hard.
Then we all headed home to put tired, fussy kids to bed.  It was a great year. I can't believe it is already over.  Now it's time to ring in the New Year.  Hope your Christmas was merry and bright.

December 22, 2011

Our Andrew turned 5 today!
Happy Birthday Andrew!
We love you!!!



Candy day

I love making candy, frosting cookies.  I have always loved it since I was a child.  My mom's side of the family always did it each year and it is a tradition I like to continue, especially with my own children. They love it too!  This year we made Reese Peanut Butter cups, fudge and a gazillion cookies.  It was so much fun to have my family over helping us out.  My boys had a good time and I hope my siblings did too.  Then for family night we delivered them to all our friends and family.  My boys had a great time running up to each home and hand delivering all of them.  Thanks everyone for a great candy day this year! Can't wait until next year.




December 21, 2011

Santa

This year our ward Christmas party invited Santa to come.  It has been a long time since he has come to one of our parties. The boys were so excited to see him.  It was nice to have Bro. Josoff do it.  Since we knows our family the boys felt like it really was Santa because he called them by name as they came up to see him.  It was a great party.
Owen even liked him.  All my boys could do was stare at his stash of candy canes.  That is what they wanted the most. Go figure!


Never mind the fact that my children look homeless. It was a fun time being together.
Only 3 more days Santa! Please hurry!!!!

December 14, 2011

 Saying farewell to John, Carrie and Brantly

Well they have moved.  John, Carrie and B have moved back to Arizona.  So the night before they left we had a get together with all our family for one last horrah.  We made homemade pizzas and had a white elephant gift exchange {which was not very fun, considering we had a lot of kids who didn't quite understand the fun behind it}.  But we had a nice time together.  John and Carrie moved here about 18 months ago.  Lance offered him a job and they moved up a week later.  We had the opportunity to have them stay with us for a few months.  About 2 weeks after they moved in with us, Carrie had their first baby Brantly.  I remember the morning that she came down the stairs just as I was on my way out to run some errands.  She told me that she thought her water had broken and that she was go to straight to the hospital. So that is where we went and sure enough she was in labor. For once I got to feel what is must be like for the men who get to sit back and experience it without any of the pain that come with giving birth.
It has been a joy having them with us.  It has been sad to see all the Snyder's that we once recurited up to Idaho all vanish. Eldon and Shelli left for Medical school and now John and Carrie. We are going to miss them very much.  It was so much fun getting to know Carrie. She is so much fun.  So very sweet. So is their little B. 
Thanks for coming to Idaho John and Carrie. We hope that Arizona will treat you well.  We love and miss you guys already!!!!
Merry Christmas!
With Love from the Snyders



December 11, 2011

Christmas past.
Do you remember as a child all the anticipation of what Santa would bring for you?  Do you remember how anxious you felt as the days got closer and closer?  I DO.  I remember as a child writing the list to Santa, telling him all the things I wanted.  I remember praying and trying to be extra good so that Santa would see the great lengths I went to prove I was good.  Being good just for that one month.  It was almost like the other 11 months didn't matter.  Only the month of December did.
I remember all the fun Christmas parties, movies and food that came with it.  All the pretty decorations, the trees and lights.  Growing up we never had a fireplace and each and every year my mother faithfully made an artifical fireplace to which she hung our stockings from, because after all, stockings were meant to be hung from the fireplace with care.
I remember setting out the cookies and milk for Santa. Because afterall, I was taught from a very young age that is what He liked best. 
I remember going to bed at night just dreaming about presents and wishing that the night would past fast so we could wake up to a feast of presents that were so neatly wrapped.
I remember going to my grandma's house for dinners, getting more presents and eating more candy.

Christmas in Chile.
It's been almost 11 years since I experienced my first Christmas away from home.  My first Christmas in humble circumstances. My first Christmas where I really relied on those I loved most.  It wasn't what I got for Christmas, but who I was with and what it meant to me at the time.
I remember one Christmas in particular.  I was celebrating my second Christmas in Chile.  I was used to the living conditions. In fact, I felt like I had adapted myself quite well.  Life was happy.  Life was simple and there were no worries.  I was a missioary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was in Ochagavia, Chile.  I had only about 3 months left on my mission.  That Christmas we were invited by our Mission President to find someone in our area that needed love.  Someone we could reach out, give food to, sing carols with and someone that needed to feel the Christmas spirit.
Well there was a man in our area that was pretty much homeless.  Now that is not common because most of the Chileans are close to homeless or live pretty close to the life style. This certain man, lived in the corner of an old alley.  He was lonely. A sad life he lived.  It was just him, a dog, a wagon and a filthy dirty mattress in the corner covered with some of his belongings. Trying to cover what was his only true possesion, hiding it so that no one could take it.

As missionaries in our zone we agreed that this man needed love.  He needed to feel that the Savior was there and that He loved him.  So we {about 7 of us} walked up to him on Christmas Eve and presented a box full of food, simple hygenine products and a Book of Mormon.  He was completely taken by surprise.  He didn't fathom that someone would or could do that for him. At first he rejected it, then he welcomed it with open arms.  I saw at that moment something in his face. Something in his countance changed.  He went from sadness to hopefulness.  I had never before experienced something like that. It is really hard for me to explain because words don't do this story justice.  Those of us who were there that day only know what I am talking about.  It's amazing that I can still close my eyes and see his face.
He was drunk.  His eyes were glazed.  I don't know what his story was, I only know that at the time, he didn't have much to live for.  Every time we noticed him on the street he was sad.  Really sad. 
I didn't receive a package from my family that Christmas.  My mom sent it on time.  I didn't get it on time. In fact I got it the week before I went home. Another story for another day. I talked with my family. Said my hello's and wished them a Merry Christmas and then we were on our merry way to celebrate with other loved ones.
Celebrating a holiday such as Christmas in a humble country is an experience.  I sometimes wish that I could go back.  Back to simple conditions.  Where it wasn't who got what and how much someone spent, because well, Christmas isn't spent like that. Instead we read from the scriptures of the Savior's birth. At traditional foods, sang songs and went caroling.  I think that the first time I truely felt the true meaning of Christmas.  I knew then, like I know now that Christ was born into humble circumstances. He was the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Savior of the world. Sent to redeem mankind.
Sent into the world to love and serve those who would crucify Him.
I take comfort knowing that He died for me.  He died for all of us.
I hope that we can reflect on Him this season and not dwell so much on the worldly scene. Although it is beautiful and it is fun, the true meaning comes from the heart and the way it can change us.
I will forever be grateful for my experience that Christmas in Chile. It forever changed my life.

Christmas now.
I have 4 small children.  I am a busy mom.  I feel tired most of the time and I am always wondering if it is bedtime yet.  I know that is horrible for me to admit but I am being honest.
3 of my children are wild boys.  Boys that keep me on my toes almost 24/7.  They have all written their long lists to Santa explaining all the 100 things they would like on their list.  I am trying to teach them, but so far their little minds are focused on getting.  It is only human to feel that way.  I will admit I get caught up in the " I want" attitude.  That is when I catch myself and then I take a step back and put myself back together.
The tree is up.  There are a few presents under the tree.  We have done the shopping, sang lots of Christmas songs and watched a ton of Christmas movies.  The sweets come out each night. I feel cavaties coming on.
I have been spending more time this month reading of the Savior's birth in the scriptures.  I feel His love for me. I feel His love for my little family.  I know that He is aware of our circumstances, and because I know that and feel it, I know that all will be okay. 
A tradition we have in our family has been picking a family we know to do that 12 days of Christmas to.  Lance and I started it when we got married.  I grew up doing it with my family. Each year we would pick a family and it was one of the best things about Christmas. The door bell ditching, leaving gifts on their doorsteps, running for your life and hiding, waiting and watching them answer the door. There were a few times we almost got caught but each and every year we continue to do it. Our boys love it! They love the service and most of all the thrill that comes along with it.
I have loved and lost.  I have felt love and also grief.  I know that the Lord gives us these emotions to help us when times are hard.  I believe in miracles.  I believe in angels.  We have one hanging on our tree to remind us of our eternal goal ~ Madalynn. I know that she was His long before she was mine, and that doesn't help the pain sometimes but the fact that life after death is real and that she will be ours, is what helps me put things into perspective.  She is out there.  She is here. I have felt her spirit at times and it almost scares me.  Am I doing what I should be doing? How am I treating my other children? Am I where I need to be.  She makes me want to be better. Stronger. 
So to my children, Merry Christmas! May the Lord instill in your hearts the true meaning.


Christmas future.
I hope that as my children grow older I can instill in them a love for Christ.  What He did. What He does, and what He will do for them if we will turn our lives over to Him.  Let Him lead and guide us. I hope and pray that I can teach that to my children.  Right now, it is about presents. It is about who gets what. That is okay. They are little. But I also know that they feel Him near this time of year. As we choose families for our secret Santa, giving them the opportunity to serve others is something you can't just give them.  They have to live it.  To know it and to feel it.

Merry Christmas to all of you! I am so thankful for each and everyone of you.  You have uplifted me, strengthened me, help me to be who I am today. I owe it to so many of you. I can't afford much.  All I can do is express my gratitude for the things you have done for me and my family.  We are forever in debt.
May the Lord fill our hearts with peace and love is my wish this year.
We love you! I love you!

December 9, 2011

Ellie Mae {at 4 months}
her stats.....
Weight: 13 lbs. 2 1/2 oz. {48%}
Length: 25 1/2 inches {98%}
Head: 40 cm {25%}

Ellis is 4 months old.  I can't beleive how fast the time has gone by.  This little bundle of ours in starting to squeak and squill.  It has been so fun to watch her grow up.  Having a girl is a whole different ball game than raising boys.  Here are a few things we have learned from Ellie.....
~ she loves to be held.  She does well for a few minutes in her bouncer or on the floor and then when everyone else has left the room or when she can't hear anyone she starts to fuss until someone comes to her resuce.
~ she still has to be swaddled to sleep.  Although she is getting pretty strong and breaks out of it quite abit, she hates being wrapped up. She can't sleep without it.  I feel that a weaning is in the near future.
~ she loves the bath.  She loves to float and splash.  She really loves her head being scrubbed.  She will giggle when I wash out her neck.
~ she can almost roll over.  She is almost there. It will only be a matter of time before she completes it.
~ she is an early teether. Her two bottom teeth are trying to break through. Causing some miserable days for Miss Ellie and mom.
~ she is a very long baby. Everyone comments on how long she is.
~ she went right to 6-9 month clothing.  She didn't really get to wear alot of her cute 0-3 outfits.
~ she only gained 1 pound in between her 2 to 4 month appointment. I swear all my babies, besides Andrew were low on the charts. Maybe time for some rice cereal?
~ she refuses pacifiers.  She sucks on her fits like crazy.  She has found her thumb and her index finger will curl around the top of her nose. It is really cute!
~ she is one slobbery baby! Her tops are constantly soaked. We will go through several shirts in one day.
~ she is the only child I have ever had to treat for Thrush. Both her and I are passing it back and forth to each other. So we have tried all the medications and they don't seem to clear it up. So we have been doing some home remedies like Gentian Violet and it is working. So we will stick with it. Only downfall~ a purple mouth and it literally stains everything it touches.

~ she still sleeps in our room at night. During the day, its in her crib.
~ really doesn't like her swing anymore
~ she likes to be sung to.
~ she is sleeping much better during the day. At night, she is still waking up 2-3 times. That is the reason why she is still in our room.
~ she loves her brothers. Well almost all of them.  Owen {our 2 yr. old} is not the kindest little one to her.  Whenever he comes around her eyes get really big and she starts to fuss, looking for someone to help her out.

Have you ever had a really fussy baby?  Well I have! I have had a few of them. Everyone always tells me, "Wait until they are 4-6 months old and they will calm right down."  Well that is starting to happen. Ellie is becoming much more content.  It has been so nice.  Yesterdy was the first time in her life that she has been out shopping. My mom and I went out for alittle bit yesterday and we didn't hear a peep from her. She was so happy.  Thanks Ellie!  I hope it lasts so we can shop some more.

December 4, 2011

Owen and Ellie

The other day Owen asked me if he could hold Ellie.  Owen is at that terrible two stage and his favorite words lately are "No" and "Mine".   If Ellie is left unattended you will usually find Owen trying to find a way to hit her, kick her or try to pull her out of her bouncer chair.  To put it more simply, he is not that nice to Ellie.  But this particular day  he was pretty sweet to her.  So I let him hold her and this is how it looked.

Can you believe my girl is 4 months old? Neither can I!  Where has the time gone.  She is getting sweeter and sweeter.  I am so glad that we have grown out of that really fussy stage.  She is starting to laugh, talk like crazy and I think a tooth might be trying to wiggle its way to the surface.  She goes in for her 4 month app. on Tuesday so I will hold her off for another post.
Owen on the other hand, he is a handful.  I think most of my day is spent trying to keep Owen away from Ellie.  He is doing better, but there is always room for improvement right?
Owen is into building forts.  We have an oversized chair in our office and he loves to take the cushions off and make a fort with his blankets.  When Lance was in Georgia back in September he bought each of the boys a gift from his trip.  Lance got Owen a dog that laughs.  Well the machine part ran out of batteries and he was a pretty hard pup, so we took the inside part out and now he is a soft, squishy, loveable pup that he plays with all the time.  He loves to take him to bed each night too.  It is cute to watch him carry him around the house.


O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

Our family Christmas Tree.  This year we told the boys that they could pick out the tree.  I guess we should have told them what section of trees they could pick from.  We knew we wanted to get a big tree. I guess 11 feet is a pretty tall tree but to our boys, they wanted the 18 ft. trees.  There was no way on earth we were going to pay $180 for a tree.  When we told them that we wouldn't be able to do that, Andrew caused a huge scene at the tree lot.  Full on screaming and crying.  It was another joyous outing with all my children. 
These are our little Christmas trees in our entry way.  The boys let me do the decorating on these ones.


This is the Grinch House that Grandma Snyder gave us a few years ago. This is one of my boys favorite things to put up.  Every morning Owen goes straing for it to turn on the lights so it is all lit up.  Thanks Grandma S.! We love our Grinch!
Now we just need to hang our stockings with care.  We will post pictures soon.


Rub a dub dub, 3 boys in a tub

I love bathtime! I always have! These 3 boys of mine always have fun in the tub.  Tonight we had a bubble bath.

November 29, 2011

Love this song!

Love this new album.  We are huge Michael Buble fans.  This album is going to be on repeat this season.  Falling in love with this song.

November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving

This year was the most low key holiday we have spent in our entire married life, and I have no pictures so show for it.  We didn't go anywhere, or do much of anything.  We were just lazy and hung out.  It was kind of nice.  I don't know what the rest of the family thought about it but it was nice to experience for once.  All of my in-laws traveled to Utah to be together. I feel bad because we should have gone, but we didn't.  I was not in the mood to travel, especially during the holidays with kids.  That to me does not sound like fun.
We went over to my parents house for dinner.  There was some great food. Andrew wanted to carve the Turkey so after it was carved he wanted at the remains.  I wish I had my camera to take a picture of it because he was so stinkin cute.  He had a great time taking the bird apart.  Thanks mom for doing that!  My sister Rachel and her family decided to go out for dinner and just be by themselves.  Now she swears that going out to eat on Thanksgiving is the way to go.  I think we will have to try that one year, although I am one of those traditional gals.  I like being with family. I love the home cooked food.  I love just being indoors and being together.  If I had it my way, we would have been in a cabin high up in the mountains with the snow piled a few feet high and the Christmas tree already up, but that didn't happen so we settled to stay in our warm home.  The weather was actually pretty close to perfect.  We played football outside with the boys so that was nice.  My boys love being outside come rain or shine.  No matter how hot or how cold it is, you will find them playing outside.  Me, not so much.
My kids have had no school this past week.  It has been nice to have them home.  I am also really excited for school to start back up and get back on schedule.  I am one who thrives on schedule. I believe my kids do too. 
This past week we have played and played.  They are not going to want to go back to school.  Christmas break is just around the corner so we will be doing this again.

We also went out on Black Friday.  One of my favorite traditions.  Although this year was a little different.  We decided since some of the stores opened Thanksgiving night we might as well go and get some done while we were still wide awake.  So my sister Rachel, my dad and I decided to go out and brave the crowds early.  We wanted to go to Toys R Us first because Keaton wants a RipStick and they were having a great deal at Toys R Us from 9-11 p.m.  How bad could the lines be?  They were terrible.  There were close to 1500 people waiting in line.  So we took one look at it and knew that if we were ever go get in, we would have to wait the 2 hours in line just to get in and once we got in the deal would be over and the RipSticks gone.  So we got back in the car and laughed our way to Walmart.  There were a few things there that my boys wanted so we decided to give it a try.  Oh my goodness, we will never do that again.  It was the craziest place ever.  I am not a huge fan of Walmart and try to avoid it when I can.  I have never seen the store so crowded in my entire life.  There were crates full of the items that were on sale wrapped up and when the horn sounded at 10 p.m. people went crazy ripping things, pushing people and pretty much nawing at people.  I have never seen people go so crazy in my entire life.  I had to stand back and just laugh.  It was so ridiculous.  I could have cared less about the great deal I got on some things, I was more entertained watching stupid people act like fools just to get what they wanted.  I can understand why some people are trampled and crushed by crowds.  Just plain crazy!
I decided to get up early and adventure out by myself the next morning to find some other things.  The town was pretty much a ghost town.  Everyone does their shopping from midnight - 5 a.m.  Not me, I have a baby I still have to nurse and so does my sister so that didn't happen this year. Next year we can do that.  I was alittle disappointed this year, I didn't get all that I needed in one day.  So the Christmas shopping will have to continue.  Seems like Christmas gets more and more expensive each year as my boys get older. 
One tradition that we are going to start is the Elf on the Shelf. Ever heard of it?  This year Santa is going to mail the Snyder children an elf to sit in our home and observe my boys.  Each night after they have gone to bed we will move the elf to a different spot, making the boys believe he is real.  Of course they should be on their best behavior because Santa's elves are keeping an eye on my kids.  Hope it works this year.
All the Christmas decorations are up minus our tree. We will do that for Family night on Monday night.  We always get a real one so we try to wait a little bit so our tree isn't bone dry by the time Christmas comes.  We always leave it up until after the New Year.  I love this time of year.

November 16, 2011

The stomach flu

So I was dumb thinking that the stomach flu would pass us by, well I was wrong.  We were hit pretty hard Sunday night when Keaton started to complain about his stomach hurting right before he went to bed. So we did a little to help him out and an hour later he came out and told us he needed to throw up, well he really meant it because he threw up all over the office floor and then numerous times in the bathroom.  So we made a little bed for him upstairs to kind of quarintin the place.  Lance was kind to sleep with him since I had to be close to Ellie so I could feed her throughout the night.  He started to run a fever and Lance gave him a blessing and he actually slept through the night peacefully. 
Well I was the one who was hit hard next.  I woke up around 4 a.m. and was just feeling awful.  I had a whooping headache, body aches, the chills and the feeling that I needed to throw up too.  So I was next in line.  Mine lasted much longer than Keaton's.  Keaton woke up the next morning feeling perfectly fine.  So I knew mine wouldn't last the entire day. 
We kept Keaton home from school just to be safe and not spread the holiday cheer to everyone else.  The boys played nicely all day long. Dad made them forts and they watched Shaun the Sheep and Phineas and Ferb quite abit.  More than I would have liked but considering the situation I didn't care.  I was miserable.  I layed down everywhere I could.  It was hard to watch Ellie and have the strength to carry her and take care of her while having no energy to even lift my head.  Thank goodness Lance has been home these past couple of days. We couldn't have done this without him.
So Tuesday came around and everyone was happy and healthy.  The boys went to school and life felt like it was back to normal until the afternoon rolled around.  We had just picked up Keaton from school around 4 p.m. when all of a sudden Owen and Andrew started puking everywhere.  So in order to clean up my couches, the floors and the carpets, I put them all in the bathtub to soak and clean up.  They were content in there for quite some time.  I hate cleaning up puke.  I really do!  It's a good thing my nose is still plugged up because I couldn't smell it.  It is the kind of smell that makes you want to throw up the way when someone yawns, it makes you yawn.
So everyone was cleaned up and bathed and in pajamas at 4:30 p.m. and we were waiting for dad to get home.  All that time I was praying like crazy that Ellie wouldn't get it. 
Ellie goes to bed around 6 p.m. so after we put her down we all headed upstairs to help the boys out.  We watched more Shaun the Sheep (by the way, have you seen that show? It is pretty funny.) and Lance had one boy with a bucket on hand ready for puke and I was with the other.  Owen fell asleep pretty fast and so we were happy that he was sleeping.  Andrew on the other hand was hit the hardest with the stomach bug.  Poor guy was puking every half hour seemed like.  I wanted to cry for him.  All we could do was rub his back and help him out best we could.  After about 4 hours of it, he finally settled down for bed and they both have been sleeping since.
Now here I am at 6:30 a.m. with a baby that wants to be entertained and a house full of sleeping boys, I am crossing my fingers for a better day today.

November 9, 2011

Shaun the Sheep anyone ?

video
This is Andrew, enough said. He makes me smile.

November 6, 2011

Finding Joy in the Journey

It still blows my mind that we are already in November and that Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away.  The weather had definitely gotten much colder and we have already had our first snow fall.  I am not sure I am ready for snow yet but tis the season.
Our Sunday turned out to be pretty good.  The kids did fairly well in church today and we didn't have to roam the halls with Ellie. Instead, Lance took the second hour with her and I took third hour since Lance had to teach the Priests today.  We only had to stand back in the corners of the room this time.  She is getting better, she still likes to be on the move but she is getting better.
Our lesson in Relief Society was on President Monson's talk, Finding Joy in the Journey.  I love that talk. I refer back to it quite abit to help myself get back on track.  Sister Payne taught it so well. I felt like I connected with everything she shared with us.  She is a very sweet woman in our ward who just adores Ellie. Everytime she sees her she comes up and it makes Ellie smile from ear to ear.  We discussed a lot about what our parents did to make us feel important growing up.  We talked about all the things we can do to help our own children feel loved and important. 
She shared with us about what her life was like after having her 5th child.  She said that she was not happy.  She woke up grumpy.  She just didn't like life at all. She was tired and just wanted her free time.  She went on to explain how she developed a close relationship with Christ.  I was all of a sudden brought to tears because I felt like she was talking about me.  I have been feeling all of those things and it I felt like it was okay to feel those things but how I acted on them was a different story. 
Life right now is kinda hard for me.  Having 4 little ones has presented its challenges.  I know I am up to it. I know that Lord knows that too.  Has it been easy for me? Most definetly not!  Most days I feel like throwing in the towel and calling it quits because if I have to change one more dirty diaper, break up a fight, trip over another toy for the 10th time that day or listen to my little one scream herself to sleep, I am going to go bonkers.  Some days I just sit back and marvel and this crazy life Lance and I have together.  Look how far we have made it, and I think of how much further we have to go and it is overwhelming at times. 
This past week I have really dedicated to helping Ellie sleep better.  It has not been easy at all.  She is quite the fighter and most times she cries and cries but I can say she is getting better.  It makes it really hard to go anywhere because I have made the commitment to stay home 99% of the time to help her out.  My kids might think it is boring but I keep telling myself that it will pay off in the end. She is already sleeping alittle better during the day.  Even though it is in her swing she is sleeping more.  Nights, well she goes down alittle easier.  She has had to cry it out but the longest has only been about 25 minutes.  Which listening to it makes it seem like forever but really it isn't that long.  She still wakes up once or twice but other than that she is doing pretty good.  Its the other three boys that don't sleep well.  One of them is always trying to sleep in our bed or crying for us to come and lay with them.  Our nights are alittle hectic sometimes.  Needless to say we don't get much sleep so sometimes earlier bedtimes allow us to get a good head start on a long night ahead.
We have been using the doTERRA Essential Oils and there is a technique called the Aroma Touch and my boys LOVE it! Almost every night they ask for them and want me to rub their backs.  They say it give them "good nightmares" instead of bad ones. We are loving them!
Now is 9:04 p.m. and it is time for bed.  So today's lesson for me is recognizing the joy in the journey and finding happiness in family living. Since this is the month to express our gratitude, I am grateful for my family and for what they mean to me.  They are my rock and my life.  Oh how I love you!!!

October 31, 2011

Trunk or treat

Our ward finally decided to have a trunk or treat this year.  We are so glad they did too.  I love the idea of going from trunk to trunk instead of door to door.  Plus this way, you trust the people who are giving you candy and you don't have to worry about your kids knocking on some creepy person's door asking for their creepy candy.
The boys were excited.  We had Grandma and Grandpa Quinn over for octopus hot dogs and mumies in a blanket.  They LOVED it!  It was a fun dinner to have for the boys on Halloween night.
Then we headed over to the church for Trunk or treating.  It was so blasted cold this year. I bet it was only 45 degrees outside and it was really windy.  So it didn't last that long this year for our family. We got our candy and headed back indoors at home where it was nice and warm.  So another year has come and gone. Next year we will take Ellie out.  This year Grandma was so nice to stay behind and watch her. Thanks Grandma!



October 30, 2011

It's just a Sunday

That was all I could think about today, " It's just a Sunday!"  I don't know why but Sunday seems to be the most hectic day for me out of all the days of the week.  I hate to admit it, but its true!  Seems like we are on the go from 6:30 a.m. until bed time at 8 p.m.  Tonight was no different.  Since Lance was set called to serve as Young Men's President, his morning consists of meetings and after church also.  So it is crazy getting myself and 4 little ones dressed and ready to go when dad comes back to pick us up at 8:30 a.m.  Doesn't that seem so early?  It does to me.  Now that the sun doesn't even show its face until almost 8:30- 9 a.m. it makes it just a little harder to roll out of bed and start another day.
The kids did pretty well in Sacrament today.  Ellie fussed so it usually means either Lance or I walking and bouncing the hallways with her.
After church we always go to my parents house for the afternoon to visit with them and to have Sunday dinner.  I love Sunday dinners over there. I enjoy being back in the house I grew up in.  Something about home that makes me always want to go back.
This evening my dad hid a bunch of Halloween candy in their back yard for all the kids to find.  They just thought that was the coolest thing. Thanks dad for making their evening! Even though it consisted of sugar, it was fun.  Tis the holiday season right?

We tried to get our kids to be happy to take some family pictures, but needless to say they didn't turn out well.  I never seem satisfied when someone else takes our picture. Either they take them at the wrong angle, or to close up or too far away, they never really turn out so this years Christmas card might be a disappointment.  But we still have time left to take more.
Some of my children were happy and some of them were not, as you can tell in our family photo.  At one point all my children were crying in the car on the ride over to my parents.  It just makes mom feel so happy and want to sing songs.  It wore me out seirously and we all look it too.
Wow, have I really aged that much?  I admit it has been really hard to loose all the Ellie weight. Grant it, it has only been 3 months, but seriously, this picture proves that workouts need to be more intense. Isn't if funny that we are never content with ourselves.  There is always room for improvement.
 Ellie, what can I say?  I am really tired.  I am exhausted.  She has really gotten better but today I felt like it was 2 steps back.  She cried a lot today. I know she was really tired but really?  She cried from about 3-7:30 p.m.  That makes for a really long afternoon.  She is so gosh darn cute though so it is hard to get mad. I just look at her and feel so thankful that the Lord sent her to us.  She is a blessing.
 You can tell who was happy and who was not.  Keaton had an emotional breakdown on the ride over.  So he refused to smile for anyone.  Too bad because they might have to go in the christmas picture.  Sorry Keaton, that is what happens when you don't smile. The world will see it.
 There are moments when I look at his smile and I just melt.  I really love this boy!
Owen, well he has been by far the hardest two year old I have been in charge of.  It's either his way or the higway and when he doesn't get it, watch out.  We wonder if it is time for his big boy bed yet, but Lance and I look at each other and we aren't ready for that yet.
His nursery teacher commented to Lance today that he is really sweet in the nursery.  He cleans up when they clean up and he really eats when they eat.  In fact today she said that he usually knows when it is time for clean up and snack time and usually starts the song to remind the teachers.  Today was no different.  The teachers were behind on schedule and here came Owen singing the clean up song for her and letting her know it was past time for snacks.  She was thankful for the reminder. That's my boy!
Now it is 9 p.m. and everyone in the house is fast asleep.  I can hear nothing but noise makers running.  It is a beautiful sound after a long Sunday.

Meet the Laney's

Yesterday I took some pictures for my sister Rachel and her family.  They are so photogenic it was great.  My two neices Olivia and Ava were just so sweet. It was so much fun to see them interact with each other. They sure love each other.  Rachel, my sister, inherited all the beauty in our family.  Aren't they a beautiful family? Thanks for a fun afternoon with your family Rachel! I really enjoy being with you guys.




October 25, 2011

Palmer's Fall Party

It was that time of the year. It has become our family tradition to go to the Palmer's Fall Party.  It is a great event that our friends put on each year at their home.  It isn't Halloween until we have gone to the Palmer's party either in our home.  Our boys look forward to it every year and this year was just as good.

Can you tell what Ellie was for Halloween? Grandma was so kind to stay behind and watch her while she slept the entire time, by the way. Thank you Ellie!

I miss the days when I had control over what my kids could dress up as. This year they really wanted to be Power Rangers. We said "No way!" So they settled for ninjas instead. It's doable.
 Owen still has to say in what he gets to be. He is a cute little tiger this year.
 My neice Olivia was the cutest little monster I ever saw. Isn't she just so sweet?
We all met up at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  They live just down the road from where the party started.  So Grandpa pulled up to the back of their house and we loaded all the kiddos up into the back of the truck and drove down to Charlie Horse Lane.  There is always a hayride waiting to carry all the people back to the place.  My kids loved it! Owen loved that tractors were involved.  I am not sure where his fasination for tractors started but he was in heaven.
Every year Batman and Spiderman parachute into the party.  The wind died down just in time for them to make their appearance.  All the kids went crazy.  When I say kids, there are probably at least 200 kids there.  All waiting for them to land, so they can run up and see the superheros.  So they did it again this year.  It was so fun to see. I don't think Owen really got into it but the other ones sure did. Our good friends who live next door met us there and their children drew pictures for them and I think Batman and Spiderman were alitlte suprised with that but loved it just the same.




They always have Chili and cornbread to eat, but since that doesn't sit to well with a nursing mom and little kids tummies we had dinner with Grandma and Grandpa before the party started.
There were a lot of things to do there.  After the superheros land the wicked witch of the west flies over in her little plane and drops candy off for all the kids to run and find.  She flew over about 4 times and each time the kids went crazy.
Here comes the plane
 Can you see all the candy it was dropping off?

 Even adults did too.  Sometimes you had to duck in fear of a hard candy getting you in the face. Believe me it happened last year and my neice got a black eye because of it.
It was a litte chilly this year so we headed back home after the candt was collected. W were all okay with that and it was bed time.
Another great year. Another great tradition. I love this time of year.