Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy 29th birthday!

Today we celebrated Ben's 29th birthday. I made him a German chocolate cake, and we enjoyed a laid back day.
I am so thankful for Ben and for all that he does. He is awesome.
My laptop is still in for repair (super bummed), so I'll be doing the remainder of his birthday post when it returns.

Monday, January 28, 2013

That's how we roll

Today when I picked Courtney up from tumbling, we saw a man using his snow blower. Courtney asked, "Why is someone mowing their lawn in the snow?"
I replied, "They're not mowing their lawn, they're mowing their snow."
As we were driving home Courtney said, "Can we please go to the dollar store? I really really want something that starts with a mmmm mmmm M!!"
I asked, "What can that possibly be? Play Money? Mangos?" (Okay, I totally know they don't sell mangos at the dollar store. My brain just got stumped at that moment).
Courtney responded, "Nooo, mmmmm mmmmmm GUM!" (Gum is Courtney's favorite.)
Mady was getting in her pajamas this evening and said, "It's fresh without a shirt on, so I'm not going to wear a shirt."
The other day when Mady first saw my haircut she said, "That is the prettiest hair I have ever seen! I just don't have the words!"
Marshall fiiiinally confided in me and told me who his crush is...... after me asking and asking and asking him for weeks prior. I promised to keep it a secret, so I can't spill the beans.
Myriam likes to go back and forth between Ben and I. She'll leap into my arms then turn to her dad and leap into his arms then repeat it over and over again, and giggles the whole time. She loves to give hugs and kisses. She gives kisses with her mouth wide open. She gave Mady a big kiss today. She loves when I sing to her. I still nurse her and plan to do so until she turns 1. She still sleeps in mine and Ben's bed snuggled up to me.
After the kids homework was done for the day we had fun playing. Ben would trap the kids in between his legs and arms all the while they're trying to catch their breath from laughing so hard and then wiggling to get free. One time Ben trapped the baby so of course the other kids had to jump in to help free the baby. Little did they know, Ben was using the baby to get the others close enough to trap them. One time when Ben had Marshall trapped, Mady and I jumped in and tickled Ben to try to free Marshall. It worked..... well sort of. We love to play. It will be sad when my kids are older and think that playing is lame.
I'm doing my best to get some organizing done around the house, and let me tell you, it feels oh so good! I'll post later on my organization methods that are helping mine and my family's lives run more smoothly.
Here is a photo of Ben trapping Mady and Mady pulling her silly nose flairing face.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Madison's show and tell

Fridays are show and tell time for Madison's class. Last Friday Madison decided that she wanted to bring her baby sister as her show and tell. So, when it was time for her show and tell, I brought the baby to her classroom for her. She had a blast showing Myriam to her classmates. Show and tell is right before school is dismissed. Once she was done, I took the kids home. The second we got out of her classroom Madison said, "That was the best show and tell ever! That was so much fun!" She kept going on and on about how that was the coolest thing under the sun. Her only wish was that her best friend Annika would have been back from Disneyland to see her show Myriam as her show and tell. Annika has been to our house and has seen Myriam, but having her see her at school was different for Madison.
I love that my kids have such a strong bond with one another. I have no doubt that their bond will remain strong throughout their lives. That makes me one happy momma.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ER visit, and quick to defend

Sunday night was eventful for me. I got a bad case of the stomach flu. It has passed it's way around our family. The only ones who haven't gotten it is Mady and Ben.
I had a terrible case of it. I was in the bathroom every 5-15 minutes for about 6 hours. I had the chills to top it all off.
I remember one time I had decided to just lay on the bathroom floor by the heat vent. Once I made it to the floor, the heat shut off. I decided to lay there anyway because I had minimal energy. Once I mustard up enough energy to make it back to my bed, I heard the heat turn on the very second I plopped onto my bed. I couldn't help but laugh. It was a good way to put a little humor into the situation, even if it wasn't all that funny.
My stomach was hurting badly. Then I started puking up mouthfuls of blood. It was quite a bit, and it made made Ben and I nervous. I went to the ER and was told that due to the excessive vomiting, I had tore my esophagus which was causing me to vomit blood. They put me on a medication to stop the vomiting so it could heal. I am feeling much better and am so glad that ordeal is over!
Marshall and Madison had a hard time falling asleep last night. Ben gently woke me up this morning for our morning routine of smoothies and scripture study. He asked me, as he always does, if I was feeling up to it or if I would like to sleep longer. This morning I chose to sleep knowing that the kids could use the extra rest. Once it was time to wake up and get the kids ready and off to school, Mady was clearly upset. She despises the fact that she has to wake up early to go to school. She is not a morning person. Neither is Ben or I.
Once we were all downstairs, Mady started yelling, "Mom never lets us sleep in!!" Courtney took offense to her talking about me and yelled back, "YES she does Mady!! You don't even know!!" I have to admit, it makes me feel good at how quick my kids are to jump to my defense. I couldn't help but chuckle at the situation this morning. My kids are so sweet.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Let the chores begin!

It has been a rough couple days. I spent part of Sunday night in the ER. More about that later. I am feeling much better now.

I set aside the time today to finish putting together and hanging up my kids chore charts. They are super excited about it. We will see how long it takes for the excitement to wear off ;)
I have wonderful kids who love to help out in any way that they can. They are wonderful. I love my little family so much. They make life's journey fun and exciting.

Here is what the chore charts look like. I just need to make a couple changes, and then we're golden.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Halloween 2012! Better late than never!

Okay, so I am way behind on this one, but I figure that it's better late than never..... right? Right!
Because this blog is a journal for my family and I, it is important to me that I update it with the things that I missed posting last year.
Halloween 2012:
We were lucky enough to be able to celebrate Halloween a little early at Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland. We went on October 9th. We had a blast!
Marshall dressed up as a red Power Ranger and our girls dressed up as fairies. They all looked adorable.
On Halloween day, the kids had a Halloween parade at school. Courtney, Myriam, Ben and I sat in the gym and watched as all of the school kids paraded around the school showing off their costumes. I love it. It is one of my favorite parts about Halloween. Kids get so excited on Halloween. It's fun. Ben and I didn't dress up this year. We had planned to dress up, but October was an extremely busy month for us, so we didn't put aside the time to get ourselves costumes.
After the Halloween parade, Ben and I helped in Madison's class for their Halloween party. We were asked to come up with a game that the kids could play. The game we decided on was a pumpkin toss. We took 3 of our carved pumpkins, some bean bags, and had each kid try to get the bean bag in the pumpkin. Each kid got a treat after their beanbag made it in the pumpkin. The kids loved it!
After school was dismissed, we came home and I took a few pictures of the kids and got my soup made for my sister's Halloween party in Mona. We took a Broccoli and Cheese soup. 
Madison and Courtney spent Halloween night with their step mom and dad. They had a blast! After we got the girls off with their step mom, the rest of us headed to Mona and enjoyed the night at my sister's house. Marshall had a good time trick or treating with his cousins.
All in all, we had a wonderful Halloween. 

Happy Halloween from a red power ranger and 3 little fairies. Oh, and from 6 pumpkins, too ;)

This is my beautiful sister my beautiful little nieces at their Halloween party. 

We hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween 2012! I'm looking forward to Halloween this year!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Reaching perfection

I have one true desire for my life. It is to be the best wife and mother that I can possibly be. I often push myself beyond my limit. I work endless hours as a wife and mommy, often at the expense of my own nurturing. Sometimes I fear that I am failing and making too many mistakes, and that that I may not be doing enough in my role as wife and mother. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the thought of this, and I let the tears start to flood down my cheeks. But then, with the tears still falling from my eyes, I look at my precious, happy, healthy, and content children and husband. In that moment I have a beautiful realization that my fear is true. I don't do enough, because enough for me would be perfection. I realize that I will never accomplish perfection, but that it's okay. I am doing a great job, and that feels great. Then and there I smile through the sting in my watery eyes because I know that I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing: learning and growing with my children and husband. Perfection was never meant to be reached here on earth. In the words of the beloved President Gordon B. Hinckley "Try a little harder to be a little better". That is what we need to be doing. Not wasting our energy beating ourselves up because we don't think we are good enough. My house may not always be immaculate like I hope. My kids sometimes have messy hair, dirty clothes, and dirt under their fingernails. Sometimes we eat doughnuts for breakfast. Sometimes I yell too much, cry too much, or complain too much. Sometimes I just get lazy and don't want to try in that moment. But the sometimes is the key word here.
My family and I are blessed. We are on the right path in life. And that, my friends, is what matters most.

Our day

The adventures at our home never end. My children keep me on my toes. I love it!
I greet my pillows at night with open arms. 
I often stay up too late. It is a habit that needs breaking. 

Here is a flashback into our day: 

Myriam won't wear her headbands anymore. Every time I put one on her head, she yanks it down and puts it in her mouth. This photo I took of her today makes me laugh.
"Life is too short to waste time matching socks". Okay, so I am usually pretty good at having matching socks for us, but today was an exception. I didn't have time nor did I care to find matching socks. Right before we headed out the door for school, Mady pulled off her Dora sock and went to school only wearing her pink sock. Her Dora sock supposedly "hurt" her. She hates socks. It's an everyday battle that I've learned I cannot win. So, if she goes with one sock on, more power to her ;) Luckily she has warm snow boots to keep her feet warm. I cannot wait for sandal weather to come back around.
Marshall set this up today. He attached his Lego bat guy to a string that comes out of his Lego spider. He was quite impressed with himself. He was so excited to show me his set up. Marshall's obsession is Legos. He takes some of his Lego guys to school with him, and he and a his friends trade them. It is the highlight of their day.
Courtney loves to take swim baths. She asked if she could take one this evening. She was completely content for a whole 10 minutes in there ;)
After Courtney got out of her "swim bath", she grabbed my phone and took this photo of me with it. She must have been dancing around or something when she snapped this photo. She loves taking photos.

I recently came across this photo. It was taken at Marshall's baptism. It's a 4 generations photo of my grandma's hands, my mom's hand, my hand, and Mady's hand..... Look at the difference from my grandma's hand to my daughter's hand. In reality, it wasn't all that long ago that my grandma's hands were little like my daughters. Now they are old and worn. They are beautiful. Looking at older people's hands is humbling to me. I imagine all the things those hands have done throughout their life. I think about how many meals they have prepared for their family and other, how many tears they have wiped from faces, how many scraped up knees they have kissed, cleaned, and bandaged, how many dishes they have washed, how many weeds they have pulled, and the list goes on and on. My grandma is pushing 90. I told her a few months ago that I wasn't ready for her to leave us yet, and that she needs to stay here a bit longer. She softly replied by saying, 
"I'll see what I can do."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In our neck of the woods

Last night the girls requested that Ben lay with them for a few minutes before they drifted off to sleep. 
As he laid there with them Courtney said, "Your armpits smell good. I can tell you put yogurt on them." 
She makes me laugh.
My favorite little boy is sick with the stomach flu. He is taking it like a champ. He is such a trooper. He has been sound asleep for a few hours now without waking. I have high hopes for a better tomorrow for him. It always breaks my heart to see my kids sick.
Mady is getting her own fashion sense lately. Today she requested that I split her hair into pigtails, and braid them down the sides of her face. But, I was only to braid them part way down, not all the way down. After that was done, I was to curl the remaining hair at the bottom of her ponytails/pigtails in ringlets. She reminded me of someone from the little house on the prairie. She was ecstatic and asked, "MOM, aren't you SO glad I picked THIS kind of hair for you to do today!? It is SO cute!" I replied, "Yes! It IS so cute!" She is beautiful. She could rock any hairstyle.
Myriam is our little human vacuum cleaner. Anything she sees, she puts in her mouth. The other day I caught her trying to eat the oven. Her mouth was wide open with her head tilted sideways while she was trying to put the whole thing in her mouth. She is silly. 
She is crawling everywhere. She pulls herself up to things and walks along furniture. She is so close to walking. Any day now. 
Her favorite thing to do is climb up the stairs. We have to keep them blocked off. She gets so excited when we allow her to crawl up them on her own.... with us right behind her of course.    

I love looking through old photos. They make me smile. Here are some photos that I couldn't help but share them.

Courtney fell asleep in her dolly's car seat one night right before bedtime. This is the car seat that Marshall, Madison, and Courtney were all in when they were babies. It was too old and worn by the time Myriam came along, so it got retired and passed on to Mady and Courtney as a car seat for their dollies.

I love Marshall's little grin here. He is such a good kid. He is such a good example for his sibling, and for others around him.

Mady loves giving her baby sister loves. She is such a good sister to all of her siblings. She has such a caring heart. I have no doubt that all of my children will remain close friends throughout their lives.

I love the sweet little notes that Ben leaves for me. This one was waiting for me on the steering wheel of our car. "You are so beautiful my sweet Jamie". He also left one on the door handle just outside of the car that said "Do not forget that I love you". He never fails at making me feel beautiful and loved.

Have you ever been extreme couponing? This is from one of my first shopping trips while I was doing the extreme couponing. I can't remember the total I spent on all of these items, I just remember I got them for dirt cheap. However, I do remember only spending just about $2 for each sun block. I'm looking forward to getting back into doing extreme couponing again. I'm thankful to have a neighbor that clips coupons with me. If there is anyone in our area that would like to get together with us and clip coupons, we would love to have you join along..... Wow, I sound like a complete nerd.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Our California Vacation!!

As you all can probably tell, I have been trying to catch up on posting things that I didn't get around to posting last year. 
I will probably be doing this off and on for a little while.
This past October we were fortunate enough to be able to go on vacation. We had a blast. I miss it.
I will tell you this, it is a TON of work taking a family of 6 on vacation. I am so thankful for my husband who helps me out a ton! I couldn't imagine being able to juggle everything and everyone around without him. He is pretty awesome. 
If there is any advice that I can give parents, it is this: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT take an airplane that will have a layover. Fly straight through. Oh, and make sure to check your bags at the very first gate you get to. We didn't know until our first stop in Denver that we could check them at the gate free of charge. So, we drug most of our luggage off one plane and onto the next. It was fuuuun fuuuun fuuun. The kids were great helpers, and the layovers weren't that long, so it really wasn't that bad. 
The kids had a blast on the airplane. I packed each kid their own bag full of things to keep them occupied on the flight. They had coloring books, sticker books, crayons etc. We also had another bag packed full of snacks.
We stayed in Cali for 6 days. 
We did quite a bit while we were there. We were able to go to Mickey's Halloween Party,
spend 3 days at Disneyland/California Adventure, 
1 day at the beach,
 and 1 day at Legoland. 
If we get the opportunity to do a vacation like this again, I will make sure we are able to stay at least 2 weeks, and do 5 days Disneyland/California adventure, and do 1 day on 1 day rest at like the beach or hanging around the hotel swimming and relaxing. We were constantly going from before sun up to way past sun down. We will take our time next time, and see all that we want to see without feeling rushed or exhausted.
I feel like we were rushed, and we only got to see about half of the stuff (if even that) at Disneyland/California Adventure, and Legoland. 
We had a great time, and I feel very blessed that we were able to take this vacation. 
I will say this, after driving a mini van around all week while there, I wish we had one of our own. I love our SUV, but it's too squishy for us. The van was nice and roomy. So, if you see us sporting a mini van sometime in the near future, don't be too surprised. ;)
We made some wonderful memories together while we were there. 
I feel very blessed. 
My heart is full.

Our first night there was spent at Mickey's Halloween Party. Holy candy! They loaded us up, and we didn't even make it 1/3 of the way through. The parade and fireworks were awesome. This was definitely worth the extra money. So fun!

The next day we spent the day at Huntington Beach. Some of the kids say the beach was their favorite part of the vacation. It was a lot of fun. Next time I hope to try out Laguna Beach.

Everyone got buried in the sand except for me. I was busy feeding the baby at this time. While I was nursing Myriam, a bird flew by and peed on my neck. Yep, that's right, PEED on ME! I was so mad. Now I can't help but laugh when I think about it. It is kind of hilarious.

Oh, this bird! Let me tell you, I wished I was carrying a baseball bat when we encountered this bird. It was making me so mad. We had just gotten ice cream and were walking down the pier. The girls were slower at eating their ice cream. The bird kept swooping down trying to get their ice cream. It flew just a couple feet above our heads the whole time. I kept swatting at it. THEN it tried to poop on us!  I was beyond mad at this point. Every time I swatted at it, it would fly back up, then start the game all over again. I resorted to yelling at it. Yep, I was the psycho woman on the pier screaming and swatting at a bird while everyone stared at us. Ben took the picture of this bird. Every time I looked at it, I would think of how angry this bird made me. Now, I can't help but laugh.

The folowing 3 days were spent at Disneyland and California Adventure..... I love my little family more than life itself!

I love their silly faces..... Courtney had grabbed my camera and snapped this picture on the right just as Ben was giving Mady kisses. So precious :)

Look at those big luscious lips and eyes. Love!

Courtney was trying to hide her sucking her thumb in the photo on the left. Too cute.

Lots of mommy and Mady photos. She is definitely a Mommy's girl. Love!

He is so handsome! The pictures that were taken of him with the star wars characters were taken at Legoland. These statues are built out of legos. It was really cool to see all the things they had built out of legos.

California Adventure

My beautiful girls in front of a beautiful castle
I may sound cheesy, but Ben and my children are my happily ever after

Someone took this photo of Ben and our baby while the other kids and I were riding Luigi's flying tires

The famous Lightning McQueen driving down the road in Cars Land

And of course the famous Tow Mater

The girls and I riding the new Radiator Springs Racers ride. Thank goodness for fast passes. Ben had to wait in the fast pass line first thing in the morning just to get fast passes. They were gone so quick..... Note to self: Next time pull my hair back before going on this ride. My hair was blowing all over the place. I was trying to pull it back in a ponytail when Ben snapped this photo.

Ben and Marshall riding the Radiator Springs Racers ride

We did 2 character dining meals while we were there. This was the second out of the 2. This is at Goofy's Kitchen. We had fun, but I prefer Ariel's Grotto over Goofy's Kitchen.... When we were done eating and getting ready to leave, I couldn't find the cap to my lens. Ben, the 3 older kids, myself, and some of the workers were looking everywhere for it. We couldn't find it. As I was searching for it, Myriam got her tiny little hands on my leftover glass of milk that was still sitting on the table all too close to her. She tipped it right over. It landed right one me. So, I had drenched pants the rest of the night. Thank goodness this was our last stop of the night. Again, this is one of those things that I can look back on and laugh at.
I love Myriam and Mini Mouse's matching clothes. I did not do this on purpose. So funny. She was not a happy camper right here.

Ariel's Grotto. We had our picture taken with Ariel upon arrival

A photo with Mady's favorite princess while we dined- Princess Aurora

The kids with Cinderella

A picture with Courtney's favorite princess, Belle

The night just wouldn't have been complete without Princess Mini Mouse :)

Mini playing peek-a-boo with Myriam. Oh so cute! Myr didn't know what to think.


.....So she decided to just grab her nose

Our dessert. YUM!

All decorated and ready for Halloween

Ben, Mady, and Courtney throwing up I love you signs while on the teacup ride. This has been my favorite ride since I was 8 years old. The 3 older kids and I went on it first, then Ben with Mady and Courtney. Marshall didn't want to go a second time, so he stayed with the baby and I.

Our last adventure in California. We went to Legoland the day before we flew home.

Waiting for our plane to start boarding at the John Wayne airport in California

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