Saturday, December 24, 2011

The stockings we hung by the chimmney with care.....

Three years ago I was getting ready to hang the stockings above our fireplace and I needed to place new nails holes above the mantel. I didn't want to make more holes than needed. At the time Kris and I were contemplating the size of our family. We had four kids at the time and really wanted #5. Things were not working out the way we had planned--sound familiar? We had been fasting and praying about this for several months. As I was about to measure out the spots to make the nail holes for our 6 family members, I had a huge overwhelming feeling that we would have another baby and we would have her at the this house and so I needed to measure out space to accommodate another stocking. Now, this might sound funny to you--but to me it was such a clear answer to the concerns we had been having. I happily measured out enough spots to hang 7 stockings:)

As I hang up the stockings each year I hope that I will be reminded of this sweet experience. Our Heavenly Father loves us and cares about each of us and the concerns we might be having. He gave us His son, to be a Savior for us, to provide a way to return to live with Him someday. I am so grateful that families are forever! I look forward to celebrating this amazing time of year with my family.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mariah and Cross Country

Mariah decided to try doing cross country this fall. She has worked so hard and has overcome several injuries including: knee pain, ankle pain, a black toe we are pretty sure is going to fall off, and back pain. Nothing has stopped her. She just pushes through and keeps getting stronger and faster. She has practice everyday after school and comes home just in time for dinner. She gets right to her homework and getting her things gathered for the next day. It has been so fun to watch her be so responsible and take something so seriously. During their first meet of the season Kris and I looked at each other and did they trick these young kids into thinking this is fun? It is fun. It is fun to watch and a fun experience for all the runners.

This picture was taken at her last meet in Rome, NY. They had to run through a creek and several really muddy, soggy puddles. Luckily, the waist deep pond was filled in this year so they didn't have to run through that one. At least it was about 58 degrees this day:) Keep at it Mariah!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

And then there was one...

Much to my disappointment, school started again. I don't know why it always surprises me, but it does. All the kids had a great first day. It definitely feels like fall around here. We went from a/c in the car to the heater in one day! All the leaves will be coming down before we know it. I will enjoy them as much as I can this year because next year we will not experience fall at all! I am pretty sure Phoenix has one season.

Joshua was a little disappointed that I was not driving him to school on the first day. Because of Gabriella's preschool schedule I had them ride the bus and then I saw them get off the bus at school. I told Joshua I would see him there. I didn't think he would remember or care once he got on the bus. But, as he came around the corner-- as soon as he spotted me and Olivia he began bouncing in his seat and pointing us out to his friends. Then, while he waited for the bus to unload--which took a long time--he sat at the window looking at us. It was the cutest thing and made the tears that I had been holding back pour down. I am so happy that I do not have to pry my kids off of me in order to leave them at school, but I am also very happy that this little boy was excited to see his Mom!

Gabriella is off to preschool. She thinks she is so big because her school is in the big kids school. Even though she doesn't get to ride the bus, she loves being at the same school. Don't you just love how big the backpacks look on these little kids!

Sweet Samantha is a 5th grader! She has grown so much over the summer. All her friends told her she was way tan--I agree and I don't think it is fair that she has such gorgeous dark skin.

Joshua is a second grader and really was not looking forward to school starting. He loves to see his friends, but really thinks that school cuts into his life too much.

Mariah is off to middle school again--I don't know what else to say about that. If she just didn't have to be so pretty....

Olivia was really feeling the unfairness of the day and tried to follow all the kids into school. She was really glad to see the bus come home!
So, it is just me and least until February.

Not my best effort, but here are the kids back to school treats!
They are apples and pencils--just in case you couldn't tell;)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer 2011

Most of these pictures were taken with my phone camera so the quality is very poor. We had a fun summer and I am very sad that it is over.

Kris was attending a conference in Boston in June so the kids and I joined him for the last few days. He flew there, we drove. It was a long drive. What was supposed to be a 5 hour drive turned into 7.5 because of all the weekend traffic. But it was worth it, we had a great time seeing the city. I have always wanted to go to Boston. We have lived on the East Coast for 10 years and this was our first visit.

This is our car ride home--that is a lot of kids in one car!

While Kris attended conference all day the kids and I had to entertain ourselves. We spent most the day in the Public Garden and Boston Commons. It was a little drizzly, but the kids were in a great mood and we had so much fun exploring everything.

This is the carousel in Boston Commons
We didn't know where we were going and just kept walking and discovered this great shopping area. I know it probably has an official name, but I don't know what it is. The whole city of Boston reminded me of a small scale Washington, DC and an itty bitty New York City mixed together.

A friend of ours told us about the ducks statues in the Public garden. She even loaned us her copy of "Make Way for Duckings". If you are as uneducated as I am then you should know it is a cute children's book that shows a family of ducks finding their way around Boston. Very cute book, and fun duck statues for the kids to play on. We spent way to much time climbing on ducks!
Joshua really tried hard to imitate all the different ducks.

All of my ducklings lined up in a row. I was such a proud mommy!
Across the street from the Public garden was Boston Commons. They had a bunch of frog statues. The kids loved them too, but not as much as the ducks. There was a great playground there, but a bit to wet to enjoy it much.
We loved all the ducks in the duck pond. We rode the swan boats around the tiny lake. We all loved it except Gabriella, she wanted to drive the boat.
Don't these purple flowers look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book? We loved them!

Since we didn't want to make the kids walk all over the entire city we decided to buy tickets on the Duck Tour. Those are the obnoxious tour buses that go in the water also. It was a fun way to see the entire city, but not quite as educational as you might think. Our guide mostly pointed out all the Dunkin' Donut locations for us--there were a lot of those!
Switching gears now....

We love to go to the drive-in movies! There is a great place near our house that we try to hit a couple of times a summer. We usually make it for 2 movies--it makes for a late night.

We went with some families in our ward camping to a place called Highland Forest. We had so much fun visiting with them and watching the kids play. We even hid peanuts for the kids, a favorite game my Grandma Palmer used to play with us when we went camping with her.

We put this shirt on Olivia and had her walk into the living room where all the kids were sitting. I asked them if they liked Olivia's new shirt. It took them all a little while to catch on, but it was fun to watch their expressions as they figured it out. They were all screaming and jumping up and down. It was very sweet to see how happy they were. And, we have since found out it will be a boy! That announcement was also followed by screaming and jumping up and down. However, instead of being in our living room we were in the parking lot of the grocery store. It was a little embarrassing:)
We love you summertime! We hate that you come and go so fast--it is just not fair!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Baby, baby, baby, Oh....

We are thrilled to announce that we are expecting baby #6! The sweet little one is due on Valentines day 2012. It will make our Spring even more exciting than it was already going to be. Now we can add a newborn on top of selling a house, moving across the country and starting a fellowship program in Arizona. We like to keep the chaos going around here. The other kids are so excited to have another baby. Gabriella asks me everyday, "how big is the baby?" It is a long time to wait, but we will be anxiously waiting his/her arrival!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer is slipping away!

I know I am going to be amazed when the fall hits us again so I had to get a few pictures on here of things we have been doing this summer! There is not a lot of organization here, but they are posted:)

We went to Washington DC to meet up with our friends the Haymore's. They moved to Washington state last summer and I don't have words to describe how much my kids have missed them. This is Joshua and Michael greeting each other. It started out as a hug and quickly turned to wrestling. No surprise there!
All the kiddos (except Lilah) at Iwo Jima and the New Carrillton Bell. (I don't know how to spell that) Basically this is one of the only places in DC where you can have a great view of the whole national mall.

These two pretty much never had space between them for the 3 days we were together. It was great.

Gabriella's Joy school graduation! I cannot say enough wonderful things about Joy School. It is an amazing program and if you have ever considered doing it with your preschooler, I highly recommend it. It is so fun to have the kids in your home and to watch them grow over the year. Gabriella really got into the program and sang all the songs like I have never seen her do it before. She is usually the kid rolling around on the floor while the others are practicing. But, apparently she can do that and listen at the same time because she knew every word. Too cute!

We have had to say good-bye to so many good friends this summer as they have been moving. It is always so hard to have friends move. We ourselves have moved so many times in our married life and although it is hard to move, we have made many good friends who we still keep in contact with. The Theler's gave us some fireworks when they left and the kids had a lot of fun playing with them.

White trash party 20011. Kris just enjoys this way to much. I have to admit it was fun wearing a banana clip again:)

Yes, that is a tramp stamp on my baby. Don't worry, it was not permanent.

Joshua and his friend Rowan roasting marshmellows and trying to put stuff in the fire. What is it with boys and fire?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Belated birthdays!

Joshua and Gabriella did have birthdays this year. I lost the cord that gets pictures off our camera so I am way behind in updates! I love how much my kids LOVE their birthdays!

Utah County Half Marathon

I survived! I surprised myself for sure. Several months ago my Dad told he was doing another marathon. He also told me my little sister was doing a half marathon. He offered to fly me to Utah for the race if I wanted to do the half marathon as well. I thought about it for about .3 seconds and said "HECK YES!" I have been taking a running class for a few months and was fairly confident I could pull off 13.1 miles. Although until the race I had never run this far. I like to have a goal:) I am slow, but that is ok with me!

The race went well for all of us. My Dad beat his previous racing time by at least 45:00! My sister Katie and her husband Doug did amazing as well. Katie could easily do the full marathon--those skinny legs are fast! I finished in 2:25 (I told you I was slow) but it was a few minutes before my goal time so I am happy.

If I were to ever do a half again this is the race to do. Nice downhills, a couple uphills to break it up and awesome scenery.

It was so fun to see family! We have not been to Utah is almost a year and I miss all the amazing people I am related to--by genetics and marriage! I almost enjoyed flying by myself, but I get motion sick so it was still not too much fun!

Thanks for bringing me to Utah Dad! You better watch out what you offer from now on--apparently I will do anything for a free trip!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Can you handle the heat?

Today we found out that we will be moving to Phoenix, AZ next year for Kris to do his Orthopedic Spine Surgery Fellowship. We will only be there for one year, but we are very excited for this new adventure. We are so sad to leave our happy life here in NY, but we are also ready to finish this long medical training process.

This past winter it snowed over 179 inches, which by the way, won us the New York State Golden Snowball Award--yes, I am serious there is such a thing. So, when people have been asking me if I think I can handle the heat in Arizona I have just one thing to say...

Bring. It. On!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A man and his dream...

Kris is a lover of boats. Every February for as long as we have been married we have gone to the annual boat show. Kris insists it is the ONLY good thing about February--I tend to agree. We often discuss/joke about which we will purchase first when he gets finished with all this medical training junk--a house or a boat. You might reason that we can't live in a boat so we should get a house first. Kris says he can live on a boat just fine.

In fact, boats and the boat show have played a big part of our life together. When we were dating we spent many days on Kris' Dad's boat. I am not a very good water skier but Kris must have seen some potential because I am pretty sure he would not have proposed if I couldn't hold my own on a ski.

After we were married, when February rolled around, we went to the boat show. We saw a beautiful boat and went to check it out. It was a MARIAH boat. He turned to me and said, "If we ever have a girl, can we name her Mariah?" Obviously I agreed and the following February we took our 4 week old baby girl to the boat show and took her picture by a Mariah boat. If I knew how to scan pictures into the computer I would post that too, but I don't know how so I won't. Just imagine a tiny Mariah in front of a big boat. Here she is as a big girl...

Our taste in boats has changed drastically over the past 12 years since and now Kris is all about the wake boarding boats. Unfortunately upstate NY does not value wake boarding boats so we were only able to find a few among all the fishing, party pads and luxury boats at the boat show.

We had a great time and we were able to forget that it was 3 degrees outside--at least for a few minutes until we had to walk to the car again.

And the debate still or or boat.....

It is never too early to start! Gabriella called this a skateboard with boots. She cried when we took it off of her.

And now February is over...why does it still feel like winter!?!

Fighting the Winter Blues

Joshua and Gabriella are very tired of the snow and winter cold. They want to go outside and play. After one bad snow storm, that left us stuck inside, they decided they had enough and they were going to do something about it. They found some summer clothes and got changed. Then they made pretend ice-cream cones out of play-dough, had a picnic in the living room (pretend park) and finally got themselves geared up for a Safari in Africa. It was hilarious. They made me cold to just look at them in their summer clothes, but they continued. I am grateful for cute kid imaginations and for siblings who love each other. It was s fun day for them--even if we were buried under 12 inches of new snow!