July 31, 2012

Turning 7

Keaton, my oldest turned 7 years old on the 15th.  Am I seriously the mom of a 7 year old? He has grown up literally too fast for me to keep count.  Seems like yesterday we were welcoming him into our family.  He was the first after Madalynn passed away. I worried every single day of his pregnancy.  I was thrilled, worried, scared, and just so excited to have him.  It was the moment I had always dreamed of.  His labor was fast and very comfortable and easy.  He was born at 5:09 a.m. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at home sitting down with my parents and Lance watching Seinfeld and our bishop and his wife Joanne came over to visit us. We had become pretty close to them while living in Arizona. Joanne was my mom's saving grace while she lived with us. I went into labor the night before with some really uncomfortable back pain. It started to increase and I just knew it was time. So we all loaded up and went to the hospital and sure enough, our Keaton was coming. There was really no real pain. He was my biggest baby so far weighing in at 9 lbs. 10 oz. and 21 1/2 inches long.  His head was as wide as his shoulders. It is amazing he didn't tear me to shreds but he was really easy on my. I pushed for a few minutes and he was here. I remember when he was born just crying. He was crying, he was breathing, he was alive. After what we had gone through with Madalynne I thought it was too good to be true. But there he was. This big, beautiful baby. My baby! He wasn't going anywhere. He was here to stay. There is always some kind of feeling that is different from all the rest with your first child. I can't explain it but I felt like I had recieved the very thing I had wanted all my life. After loosing our first, it was really tough. I won't lie. But we did it! We overcame all the saddness and hurt and h e was the light at the end of the tunnel.
  He was the biggest baby born that day in the hospital. He came out literally a toddler. He was so big. He was so cute.  He was so squishy.  Oh my goodness how the first two weeks of his life were just bliss.  After that, well yogart hit the fan.  Anyone that was close to me will tell you how much we struggled with him.  He was colicky.  I mean the true definition of colic. He cried, no I should say screamed for 8+ hours every day and then when dad would come home from work he would calm down. 

 It made me furious, but at least he wasn't crying.  I loved him so much, don't get me wrong but the first 3-4 months of his life, I struggled with him and with myself.  But after that passed. He was just so sweet again.  Life was very kind.  Ever since then, Keaton has been a joy to have in our family.
A few things about Keaton......
  • He is incredibly intelligent. He can figure things out like anyone else I have met. He loves challenges.
  • He loves his friends. He has been blessed to have a good group of buddies that he runs around with.
  • He is obedient about 80% of the time. He is there to help me out when I need him. If he is distracted by something or someone else I usally have to call him a few times before he comes.
  • He loves Ellie! He takes such good care of her. She loves him as well.
  • He will be in the second grade. He thinks that is pretty cool stuff.
  • He is really good at riding his ripstick.
  • His favorite toy right now are the Lego Ninjagos. He loves watching it on T.V. too.
  • He enjoys wrestling with his dad and brothers upstairs on our wrestling mat.
  • He has only lost 2 teeth. Most of his friends are losing their 7th or 8th tooth.
  • He has never had a cavity in his life. Way to go Keaton!!!!!
  • He is a picky eater. He doesn't eat much. You will never really find him sneaking in a cupboard or the pantry to find something to eat.
So this afternoon we had a little party with all of his friends at our home. We rented a HUGE water, inflatable slide for the day for Keaton and all his friends. Well actually the entire neighorhood. It was a hit! The kids loved it and they played on it from the time it arrived at 8:30 a.m. until almost 9 p.m.  It was so much fun.  We have always lucked out with water slides. You can never go wrong with those and they are built to last forever and hold a million kids. I had so many kids running around my home today it was kind of insane. I am exhausted now because of it.
Since we were on vacation when we had his birthday we had a fun little party with all of his close friends.  We do have a neighbor kid who comes over every chance he gets. His name is Christian and he is darling, most of the time. His little head is covered in red curls. He talks like his nose is plugged and he is the tinniest thing you could ever see. He is 6 going on 7.  My Andrew, who is almost 2 years younger then him, makes him look like a toddler. He loves to make himself welcome at our home. I am so glad that he feels like that but sometimes when he has rung my doorbell for the 50th time I just want to hide. He came and made himself welcome as well. He came over at 10 a.m. and didn't leave until someone came and got him at 8 p.m. He was literally at my home all day without his family coming to check on him. Isn't that sad? I think so. He comes from a pretty broken home so I am glad he can come here and feel welcomed by us.

Happy Birthday Keaton! We sure love you!!!!
(I took this picture of Keaton on his actual birthday while driving home from Colorado in our car. He told me that he didn't feel quite 7 yet. So I told him when to tell me the moment when that feeling comes. So about 2-3 hours later, he leans into me and whispers into my ear,  "Mom, I think I just turned 7. I can feel it now!"  He was so cute about it so I had to take a picture to document the moment when Keaton turned 7.)

This was his little group of friends from his party today.

July 28, 2012

Tub time

We were over and my parents house the other night and I decided to put Ellie in the tub so by the time we got home I could put her straight to bed.  So I put her in and she was so happy. Ellie loves taking baths! It is our nightly ritual and this particular night Rachel decided to throw Olivia in too.  They had a blast. They were too cute not to take a picture. They were just splashing and laughing. It made my heart happy to watch them play.

We heart Saturdays

We love Saturdays!  I love the idea of being home and having a lazy day with my boys.  I love Saturdays because it is the one day during our crazy busy week where we can all be together. Lance usually doesn't have work. The boys don't have anywhere they need to be.
We LOVE this particular Saturday because Lance came home.  Since he was the Young Men's President while they planned the High Adventure and then on Sunday he was relased and put in as the 1st counsler in the bishopric he wanted to go.  They left on Wed. early morning and just got back later this afternoon.  My boys were so excited to have him home, as well as I was.  There is a reason why moms and dads play an important role in the family. My boys got tired of me I think towards the end. Somehow dads have more energy then moms too. At least in our case.
My brother Justin is in town this weekend.  We decided to get together at my parents house this evening for pizza, olympics and water fun.  The kids don't really care about some of the Olympic events so we let them play outside while we watched bits and pieces of some sports.  We brought our slip n slide for the kids to play on and water balloons to throw. I think they all had a great time. Even Uncle Justin got in his swim trunks and slipped and slidded with them.  They LOVED that Justin! Thanks for playing with and loving them!!!!!
But this is what happens when you leave the kids alone for more than 15 minutes outside to themselves.  After we saw all the mud, we just looked at each other and forgot we even saw them.  They were having fun, not fighting and staying cool. So we just let them be. They were sooooo happy! Check em out!

July 27, 2012

Just enjoying being together. Everyone is in town on my mom's side and we had a great time visiting each other. We all got together at Granny B's and let the kids get to know each other all over again and play. It was great food, company and weather. Thanks to everyone who put it together!
My brother Jusitn surprised everyone this morning when he showed up on my parent's doorstep. He came for a weekend visit. We are so glad that he did. We love it when Uncle Justin comes to see us.

July 23, 2012

Colorado/Utah and family reunions

Lances' grandparents on his father's side live in Dolores, Colorado.  It is one of the most beautiful places I have been to.  Colorado is very lush and green.  I loved that part.  The last time Lance and I were in Colorado was almost 5 years ago.  Keaton was just 2 years old and Andrew was 6 months old.  So they didn't remember anything about our last trip and our other two had never been.  Great Grandma and Grandpa Snyder are getting older.  They are starting to slow down.  Everyone of Lances' siblings decided to make the trip to Colorado so we could see them.  I am so glad we did! 
We left on July 13th.  On our way out of Boise our car decided to heat up and the Radiator decided it would be a good time to throw a wrench in our plans.  We were delayed about 6 hours.  So what did we do? We went to Grandpa Quinn's office just a few exits from where we were stranded at a Dealership.  We rented a redbox movie and we all crashed in his back room and tried to keep the kiddos entertained with popsicles and a movie.  It worked well. I think the kids had a fun time. The adults? That is another story for another time.  Finally about 6 hours later our car was ready to go.  So we headed to Provo.  We got into town around 10:30 that night and we all crashed.
The next morning we got back in the car and drove another 6 hours to Colorado. It was a great drive. The kids did well and everyone was happy.  There were several trains that we saw along the way and that made Owen really happy.  He LOVES trains! 
Colorado was cold.  I didn't plan for cold weather. It is summer. Who plans for fall in the summertime.  Luckily we brang coats. We were warned before we left Boise to at least bring coats because rain was the forecast for our weekend there.  So glad we did because we got rained on everyday.  It was cold.  It was muddy. It was hard.  Owen spent most of his time in the car and when he came out of the car he was crabby and crying.  Let's just say we won't be going to Colorado or camping for awhile. Until this phase of Owen passes by.  Ellie was a trooper.  She slept great and did pretty well. I couldn't have been happier with her.  Although she was alittle fussy at times. Her nose was a constant leak but I finally figured out why. She has 3 molars that decided to make their debut and I didn't even realize it.  So sorry mommy isn't more aware of those things Ellie.
My two older boys, Keaton and Andrew were in little boy paradise.  There was so much to see and do there. They got to ride in the boat out of the lake, pan for gold, shoot guns, hike up the moutains and play with cousins galore.  It was really a great time for them. They really became great friends with their cousins.

This is Great Grandma and Grandpa Snyder's home in Dolores.
Boat rides with Grandpa S. and all the cousins

This pretty much sums up what Owen did the entire time.

The cabins at Oida's place where we stayed. Wasn't the nicest but it sure beats sleeping in a tent.

Our family with Great Grandma and Grandpa Snyder

Owen was happy to be in the car. So that is where he stayed.

More beautiful Colorado

A few of Lance's cousins live next to his grandparents. One afternoon they went for a ride up the mountain in the jeep. Kept the kids very entertained for quite some time.

On Saturday afternoon we took the kids with Lee and Jaclyn to Telluride. I love Telluride. I would live there if I could.  Last time we came to Colorado we flew into Telluride and spent the night in this really old fashioned hotel. It was amazing. This time we weren't so lucky but we went on the Gondola rides over the moutain that takes you into the town.  Then we went to this really cute old fashioned ice cream shop for the kids to get their treat for being so incredibly good.

Our family in Telluride, Colorado

I took this picture of my neice Breelynn.  Isn't she stunning?  She was the cutest little thing ever.  She is a diva at heart! She walks and struts her stuff and she is not shy at all.  I just love this picture of her. Last time I saw her, she was just a baby.  They live in Georgia and so we don't get to see them at all. It was so much fun seeing them and getting to know them. We miss them already.

Everyone had fun shooting targets that were set up on the trees. Everyone brought up their guns and everyone had a chance to shoot the targets. This was the guys idea of a good time and it was great!

Sunday rolled around and we all went to church with one of the families that live there in Cortez.  We all were ready to start the day.  I think the Snyder's overtook the ward attendance in sacrament. We were about half the ward. I am not sure if the ward is typically that small or everyone was gone during the summer. We stayed until sacrament was over and we all headed back to Provo.  Another 6 hour car ride. Everyone had a great nap. The drive home was great. The kids saw some fun things.  Keaton wanted me to take this picture of this rock formation that he really liked. It was beautiful.

Keaton's birthday was that Sunday, July 15th.  My oldest turned 7 years old.  I think he was a little bumned that he had to spend it traveling but he was such a trooper. That morning we all sang to him and had a birthday breakfast in our little cabin of blueberry muffins and yogart. Then we gave him a present to open. He loves Lego Ninjagos. That was what he got. On our card ride back to Provo I was telling him about what he was like as a baby and some of the fun things I remember about him being so small. It was a sweet moment to spend with him. He asked me what time he was born. I told him he was born at 5:09 a.m.. He told me that he didn't feel 7 years old yet. So I told him to whsiper in my ear when he feels 7.  I was sitting just watching out the window and then I get this whisper in my ear " Mom, I think I just turned 7. I just felt it." So this the picture we took of him to document this special moment. Happy Birthday Keaton! You are such a blessing in our family. We love you sweet boy!!!!

On our way home, we passed by this Arch in the rock. It is just outside of Moab. Lance and I were here years ago. When we were dating we went to Colorado to visit his family and see his grandparents. We came to this same rock with his brother and the girl, who is now, his wife and took our picture together. Here we are with our kids now. Crazy! We are all together except for Owen who was sleeping in the car. We didn't want to wake him.

Such a sweet picture of my two boys. They fight like crazy sometimes but when they love each other and are best friends. Well I just have to catch it on camera. They are so sweet and such good friends.

This is Lance's brother Lee and his family (Jaclyn, Drennan and Bree)
They live in Georiga. We don't get to see them hardly ever so we were everywhere together with them. They are so adorable.

We all got back to Utah safe and sound. But before we went back to Provo we went to Boutiful where Lance's older sister Shauna and her family live. They recently moved from Arizona. Dallin, their oldest turned 12 and was ordained a Deacon. They made it a big family event. It was so much fun too.We all got together for a fantastic dinner of real food, since we had been living on small meals in Colorado. We all sang church songs around the piano as Shauna played the piano and then we went to the church where he was set apart as a Deacon. Dallin is an amazing young man. When the ordination was done he was crying. It was such a sweet experience. Thanks for sharing that with us Dallin! We are so proud of you!!!!!

Lance and his brothers sang Army of Helamen

Most of our family singing songs around the piano. The kids loved it!

We spent the entire next week in Provo with family.  Lance's parents built a home in Provo next to two of his other siblings who also built their homes there. We love it there! It is so much fun.  Tommy and Sharlen opened their entire basement for our family. They were so generous. We had a great time. Cousins played non-stop and ran back and forth between homes. Lance's brother Paul is the racquetball coach for BYU and they built a racquetball court behind their home. It is the greatest! The kids loved playing in there and the adults loved playing Wallyball after all the kids were put to bed. Such fun times.
All of us girls went out shopping and the boys went to see the new Batman movie.  Everyone was happy. Everyone slept well. I couldn't have asked for more.
Sunday night Lance got the call that he needed to meet with the Stake President on Tuesday night. So he went back home to Boise while the kids and I stayed in Provo.  Lance was called to serve as the 1st counsler in the bishopric in our ward.  Ever since he accepted the calling, we have seen so many miracles. I am so thankful that he serves and loves the members so well. He has such a giving heart.
He drove back to Provo Wednseday morning to join us in the rest of the festivities. 
We had another reunion to be to this time in Utah for Lance's mom's side of the family. The Ray familiy.
Let me give you alittle insight on their family.  It is HUGE! Lance's mom is one of 12 children and almost all of them had 9+ kids.  It makes for a huge gathering when they all get together.
Grandma and Grandpa Ray are saints. They really are. They have such a huge posterity, it just blows me away. They are current on what everyone is doing. They still drive from Arizona to Utah and Idaho and atttend all events. It is really amazing.

Our family with Great Grandma and Grandpa Ray
There were 200 people there.  Everyone loves each other and they are just the most kind group of people who could ever meet. I love them all dearly and look forward to each time we get to meet up. Lance has close to 100 first cousins on his mom's side.  The great grandchildren. Well it is close to 200. Ellie was #175. And there have been at least 10 new ones since she was born a  year ago. Truly amazing!!!!!
Here are all the Snyder's that were there. We are missing Preston, who is serving a mission in Singapore and Eldon and Shelli and their girls. I love this family so much! I married into a great family.

Here are some random pictures from our week there.

 This boy can really melt my heart. Isn't he beautiful?

Keaton playing on the water slide.

This is my neice Tessa. She is dripping in adorable. She is 2.  She is so stinking cute. I took this picture of her because she was covered head to toe in dirt and she was just so happy. We were eating ice cream outside and everytime she moved a poof of dirt would just come off of her. She reminded me of pigpen  off of Charlie Brown. I could just kiss those squishy cheeks.

On our way home we stopped in Salt Lake to see my brother who lives just 3 blocks from Temple Square.  My mom was in town visiting him as well so it was an added bonus. We took the boys on the little tram that goes through town and on temple square. We took them out to eat and then headed home after a long vacation.

I took this picture of Ellie while she was playing by the reflection pool. Pretty cool ha?

Keaton is one of my best helpers when it comes to Ellie. She just loves him to bits

I think that is all I have right now. I will probably post some more pictures. It is late and I need to go to bed.


We have been gone for the past 2 weeks and there is so much to catch up on. From birthdays to traveling all over the west, we are home.  We had a great time but it is so nice to be back home.  One of the reasons we came home early was for Lance. Last week he was called to serve as the 1st counsler in our bishopric.  Big news for our family! I can't believe how many miracles have happened to our family since he accepted this calling. Miracles are already happening. The Lord really does take care of us.  We have been so blessed. He will be serving with a new bishopric that was just called yesterday in church. New beginnings and time to say goodbye to the yesterdays.
I will post all the pictures from our trip. As soon as I get a second I will do it.  Stay tuned.

July 9, 2012

The Stevenson's come to visit

I served my mission in the Chile, Santiago West mission about 11 years ago.  Time sure passes quickly.  I had a great mission.  I made a lot of great friends.  Many of whom I still keep in touch with to this day.  Elder Eric Stevenson was one of them.  We just hit it off and had so much fun.  We served in a lot of the same areas together.  Just a very fun, outgoing kind of guy.  The last time I saw Elder Stevenson was in Utah about 6 years ago.  My mission president passed away all of a sudden and so I flew down for the funeral which was held in Brigham City, Utah.  I flew in and my mission buddy Monica picked me up and we went to her home until it was time to leave.  Our other very good from Weston was flying into S.L. as well for the funeral.  We all met up and carpooled together.  It was a really fun time.  It was just so much fun seeing and being with everyone.  Well we also met up with Stevenson too. 
Yesterday morning after I had put Ellie down for a nap and gotten myself ready for church I noticed that someone had left me a voicemail on my phone. I was thinking it was probably Lance since he is gone every Sunday for meetings. I thought it was just him letting me know that he wouldn't be home to come get us before church and to just meet him there.  Well I listened to the message and it was this Elder Stevenson.  The last time I had heard from him like I said was 6 years ago.  Random? Yes, very!  He mentioned that he and his family were heading back home to Portland via Salt Lake and wanted to know if they could come and stay the night at our place since they were not going to make it the whole way to Portland.  So I called him back and told him that we had plenty of room and that we would be happy to have them.
So later that evening they showed up around 7 p.m.  Can I just tell you, we had A LOT of fun!  Seeing Eric was like we had never been apart.  He is the same Elder Stevenson I remember.  Maybe more grown up and more responsible seeing him with his adorable wife Brooke and his two very cute red headed children Jack and Avey.  We had a really nice time visiting and talking.  It was so much fun catching up on what they were doing and filling them in on what our life is like as well.
They only stayed the night and then headed back this morning after we made a huge breakfast and let the kids play together for awhile.  But I couldn't let them leave without having pictures to prove all of this since there are some from my mission who are thinking ya right.  Well here you go!

Thanks Eric and Brooke for coming! It was so great to see you guys! What an adorable little family you have! Feel free to call us anytime you need a place to stay in Boise and we will make sure to look you up when we are in the Portland area next!

July 5, 2012

4th of July

We had a great 4th of July this year.  We had a good morning.  Lance took the boys to see Yogi Bear at the dollar theater while Ellie and I ran some errands to the grocery store.  Then Lance took them to Carl's Jr. for lunch. I guess the new Spiderman movie came out yesterday and so Carl Jr.'s had a promotion that if you came to any Carl's Jr. dressed as Spiderman, you would get a free meal.  So Lance took down the bucket with all the Halloween costumes in search of a Spiderman suit.  I knew we had one that would be the size for Owen but that was it. I really didn't know what Lance grabbed. So I just discovered that he posted this on facebook of my boys before they went in dressed as Spiderman.....

I swear I had no idea he grabbed old pajamas.  Oh well, they got their free meal so they were all happy. Don't you just love Owen's pose?  Crazy boys!
Then after they were done at Carl Jr.'s they came home and ran across the street to swim at the Pollacks home.  They have a huge above ground swimming pool in their back yard that they set up last week and my boys have been in heaven with that.
Then we decided to go out to my sister Rachel's home a little earlier since we couldn't stay for the fireworks.  We spend the rest of the afternoon letting the kids run wild and play with cousins.  We had a BBQ over there with all extended family and had a good time. We headed back home around 7 p.m. because Ellie was sooooo tired. She was way past her bedtime.  We got home and she went right to sleep. So that left us to enjoy the rest of the evening with all our friends in our subdivision for fireworks. Lance made homemade rootbeer and everyone brang potluck desserts.  The kids had a blast.  They had so much fun with fireworks and all the kids. It was a crazy time.  We had fireworks going until 11:30 p.m. and all the kids were happy to drink rootbeer, eat tons of treats and run wild. Luckily for Owen, he was tired at 9 p.m. and went to bed before it all began.  He wasn't too fond of the loud noises of the fireworks. I am suprised that he slept through all of the noise we made.  Thank heavens for noise makers right?
We had a great time! Thanks everyone who made it such a fun year.  Until next year! Hope you had a great holiday as well.