Saturday, September 22, 2012

Brotherly Love!!

Our precious third boy! During my pregnancy I had so very much hoped that we would have a know 2 boys and 2 girls. Even numbers and all! I'm so happy that we did not find out that he was a boy until he came out. I really truly believe I had those feelings of waiting early in my pregnancy so that I would enjoy my pregnancy more. Not that having a boy is a bad thing, but I wanted Ella to have a sister so badly.
And now...I feel that God blessed me with 3 boys and I wouldn't change it for anything. I love my boys!
And they love each other...even if Jack and Owen drive each other bonkers sometimes!
And Owen is already teaching Zeke to make crazy faces!
In Michael's words, "How did we get so lucky...we only have to put on one wedding!"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Zeke's Gallery Pictures!

In our dining room we have what we call the gallery pictures of the kids. They are taken between the ages of 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 months. Owen's were taken by a professional photographer who wanted to beef up her portfolio. After that we've just copied the poses and done them ourselves.
Click here to see Owen, Jack & Ella's Gallery Pictures
The other day we decided it was time for Zeke to have his gallery pictures taken. He's such a happy baby it wasn't hard at all to get great pictures of him. It's so nice to have all our kids pictures up now.
Here are a few of the shots close up...
The first thing people say when they see Zeke he has the biggest eyes! He sure does! He is definitely our beautiful, bright-eyed boy!
Ahh...Daddy Love!
Cute little pigs!
Adorableness times 10!!!
I guess Daddy & Zeke were both a little tuckered out from taking pictures!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Year Ago Today...

Ella was being checked into Mary Bridge Hospital to have her shunt put in.
 It was a scary day, but an exciting day too. Knowing that the doctors had found her Hydrocephalus before it caused permanent damage....what a blessing!
Sleepy, recovering girl!
It's crazy that it's been a year! Ella is doing splendidly...her vocabulary has taken off this year and she is much more stable on her feet. She's perfect in every way...including her sassiness! If you'd like to read about Ella's ordeal you can click here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Guess Who's Back At Our House....

Look at this cute grown up girl. Seriously in 4 months she went from baby girl to little girl. I really enjoyed my 4 month of maternity leave, but I was really to get back into the swing of things. I love me some schedule and routine!
This was the kids on Tuesday. It was Logan's first day back with us and the first day of MOPS. I didn't even mean to dress the girls alike. Logan did ask me to put her hair up like Ella and she actually left it that way which was shocking. The kids were SO happy to be going back to MOPS...I guess they like routine too!
These two girls just picked up right where they left off. It really is like having twins even though Logan is 8 months younger than Ella. They have so much fun playing and laughing together. They do of course get on each others nerves sometimes, but that's to be expected.
I love that 3 days a week Ella has another little girl to play with and Logan enjoys being with us too. On Wednesday when Jen came to pick her up and Logan went out in the garage to drive around the coupe car and Jen said, "Okay Logan I'm leaving" to which Logan replied, "Bye mom!" I think she likes us! :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

This Baby Of Mine!

Update...Zeke rolled over for the first time from his tummy to his back yesterday!!
I haven't posted an update about Zeke in a while so I thought it was high time.
Zeke is seriously the most easy going baby ever...I know I said that about Ella too, but he's even more so. He just rolls with it! He's a fourth so he sort of has too, but he doesn't mind at all.
He is sleeping through the night again. He did great on vacation and camping, but then when we got home from camping he started waking up once a night for a week. I think he was going through a growth spurt. He usually sleeps from 7:30 until I wake him at 6:45. Don't hate me because my 3 month old sleeps! ;)
He is a serious looker...I mean come on doesn't this picture just make your heart melt! This mama is in love!!!
He loves to be talked to and will give anyone that talks to him huge smiles as a reward.
He really enjoys his play center where he can see himself with the mirror and reach for the toys. I've even found him laughing at himself in the mirror before.
Contemplates things like seen above! ;)
Isn't too crazy about the car.
He loves to be worn in the baby bjorn. I wear him a lot when we are out and about. He's started to fight sleeping in it though. He loves to look around and see everything and he doesn't want to miss out. I'll be walking around a store and all of a sudden I feel a thunk on my chest and it's his head as he finally gives in and falls asleep.
Zeke hasn't rolled over yet, but I'm sure that's partially my fault. I don't put him down for tummy time that often. He does sleep on his tummy though. He is really strong and can hold himself up when he's on his tummy so I'm sure it's just a matter of time.
He loves to chew on his fists, blankets or fingers.
This little last baby of mine melts my heart and I'm treasuring every moment of him since I know all too well that it will be over too soon!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Welcome Home!!!

We might have only been on vacation for 1 week, but Ga-Ga, Pa, Uncle Ry & Aunt Stephie were on vacation for 3 weeks! On Friday the day they got home the kids and I needed to head down towards Ga-Ga & Pa's house to take our van to the dealership so I figured why not stop in and put a Welcome Home sign for them.
First we rolled out the big long butcher paper in the much more spacious since we moved the island kitchen. Then we got to work...
Owen's very first heart!
Owen's 'Welcome' how his 'C' is backwards!
Then his 'Home' which actually came before his 'Welcome'. We'll work on word placement this year.
Then I asked the kids to tell me a little message and I would write it for Ga-Ga & Pa. It's hard to see with the flash, but Owen had me write, "We love you with all our mights...we hope you are not at work!"
Jack was very thankful for their new coats that Ga-Ga had bought them.
He also drew batman's face with two big eyes! Looks a bit more like spiderman to me, but he was sure it was batman.
Here is Ella's (of course) scribbles.
This is what she wanted me to write!
And here is the sign all hung up in Ga-Ga & Pa's garage. It really was a perfect place to hang it up so they saw it right when they opened the garage door, but I did originally want to put it in the house. Unfortunately when we got to their house that is when I discovered that I don't have a key to their house and that door behind the sign that is not normally locked....yeah locked! We had a whole fun day planned of playing in the backyard with the slip and slide one last time, but it wasn't meant to be. Thankfully I had called a friend who lives in Graham to see if she would come hang out with me and when I called to tell her we couldn't get in she invited us to her house and the kids got to play on their slip and slide. It was such a fun, impromptu time! Thanks Christina! Can't wait to see you and the kids again!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Annual Labor Day Camping Trip!

Every year we go camping at American Heritage and we usually take Michael's parents trailer, but this year we stayed in a little cabin instead. I have to tell you I wasn't really looking forward to it. When I say little cabin...I mean tiny!!! Plus the amount of moss on the roof of the cabin had me a little worried about the condition of the inside.

I was thankfully and pleasantly surprised when I opened the door and found this very clean, nice smelling, cedar lined cabin.

We had planned that Michael would be sleeping in a tent with the boys, but after the first night and Michael having a horrible night sleep we all slept in the cabin. Owen was on the top bunk and Ella and Jack slept together on the bottom bunk.

Zeke slept in his pack and play and he slept great the whole trip! Since we've come home is another story. I think he's going through a growth spurt because he's been waking up once every night.

Do you think she's just a wee bit excited???

Once our friends showed up we got the fire started. See the tent in the background? That's where Michael and the boys slept the first night. Once we knew they weren't going to sleep in it again we just let all those boys play in it, jumping on the air mattress and wrestling. They had so much fun they ruined the tent. It was already in pretty bad shape...we've had it since we first got married, but they put the final nail in the coffin for it. After that we just had the air mattress out on the grassy air so the kids could play. They ran and jumped on it over and over and it never popped. Seriously it was one of  the best things that entertained the kids.

My little pyro! He was CONSTANTLY asking us if he could light sticks on fire and he was always going around gathering up the dirty paper plates so he could toss them in the fire.
Mr. Fred aka The Woodsman!
My handsome man!
Zeke is the youngest baby we've ever taken camping and he was super easy. Over the weekend he started chewing his fist and hasn't stopped....I think teething is on the horizon!
Playin' card! We also learned a new dice game called Farkle...the boys love it!
The absolute best form of entertainment was our little motorcycle. They even hooked up the bike trailer so the little kids could get driven around. I think Michael ended up filling it up with gas 3 times over the weekend. It was great fun!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sometimes I Feel Like A Cool Mom!

While we were on vacation my friend and neighbor Rachael watered our garden for us. When we got home we had two giant zucchinis waiting for us. I really only like zucchini when they are smaller. These big ones don't have very good flavor and I'm not one for shredding them and making zucchini bread. So what do you do when you have two giant zucchinis and two big boys??
 You give them to the boys and let them have some fun!
The boys walked up to the desk and tossed them over a couple times.

But mainly they just picked them up and threw them. Over and over again!
Wham!!! It was really fun watching them.
Finally the zucchini lost the battle!
That's when it wasn't very fun for Owen anymore since I had him pick up all the guts. Oh can only be the fun mom for so long! ;)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bye-Bye Yellowstone...Onto The Most Beautiful Drive In America and Home Sweet Home!

On Friday morning we got up bright and early since we had to make it all the way from Old Faithful to Billings, Mt. to catch our 5:30pm flight. Or so I thought...more on that later!
We were going to drive north away from Old Faithful and then cut over to the northeast exit, but then we calculated it on the map and it was actually shorter for us to backtrack to Lake Yellowstone and head north from there. We hit a bunch of construction on the way out of the park and it ended up taking 4 hours just to get to the park exit! One of the coolest things was on the way out in Lamar valley we saw 2 wolves. Jack had been wanting to see a wolf the whole time so I was so happy he got to...even if it was a ways off the road.
Right before getting to the exit of the park Zeke was dying to eat so we pulled over at this cute picnic spot by the river and let the kids do their favorite thing...throw rocks!
They had already been in the car for quite awhile so it was nice that they got to stretch their legs.
As you can see it was a bit windy!
Michael really enjoyed the panoramic feature on his phone. It was a gorgeous place to stop. We didn't stay long though since we still had a ways to go.
We didn't take a picture when we entered the park so I made sure we took one on the way out. Can you find Owen or at least part of him?
Once out of the park it was only about 4 miles until we came to Cooke City. This is the last town before you got over the Beartooth mountains so we had to stop for lunch. Of course being a small town there is no such thing as MCD's there. I walked into one cafe to see what was on the menu and when I saw that a plain ol' grilled cheese cost $7 I walked out. We ended up going to a cute sandwich place and got sandwiches to go since according to the owner we still had a good 3 - 4 hour drive and by this time it was 12:30 and we needed to be at the airport by 3:30! You can imagine that by now my anxiety was building up!
Once out of Cooke City we started driving on what Charles Kuralt the traveling CBS Journalist called "The most beautiful drive in America!"
My Dad had urged us to take this drive since we would be so close. At first I wasn't interested because it was going to add about 2 hours of drive time to our trip and with 4 kids you honestly want to be in the car as few hours as possible. But...once I started thinging about it I just couldn't pass it up. I mean Charles Kuralt has traveled all over America and this is THE ONE road that he said was the most beautiful!
Of course my pictures don't do it a bit of justice, but if you ever get a chance to drive this road...DO IT!
There were tons of mountain lakes to be seen.
Lots of curvy roads!
You can see the highway in the distance switchbacking up the mountain.

 More curves!
Finally at the top which is over 10,000 ft above sea level...the highest I've been in a car, Michael got out and took some panoramic shots. It was as you can imagine quite cold up there and seriously windy. Michael said it took all his strength to keep himself on that rock to take the pictures. Also when he came back to the van he almost couldn't get the door open.
It was...
During this time a miracle happened....ALL 4 kids were asleep at the same time!
Shortly after coming out of the mountains we made another stop so I could feed Zeke and the kids could run around. After finally getting cell service I decided to check in for our flight using my phone and maybe possibly looking into getting us on a flight for the next day if we couldn't get to the airport on time. It was during the checking in that I noticed it said our flight didn't leave until 7:35pm. I thought that our flight had been delayed, but then I looked at my iternary that I had printed out for our trip and nope...7:35pm! In my mind I had told myself that we needed to be at the airport by 5:30, but somewhere along the line my brain turned that into our flight was leaving at 5:30! Oh ended up being perfect since we needed to have time to stop and buy some snacks for the plane (Wal-Mart where I forgot to shut Zeke's door and all our stuff was in the van and no one took a thing.), get gas and clean out the rental van. Why clean the van you say? Oh I don't know because our 3 older children are pigs! This is what the floor of the van looked like...
It was awful! Stuff was EVERYWHERE!
Once we got pass security we settled in at our gate and I went through and reorganized all the kids backpacks. They had taken everything apart...all the colored pencils were out of their art cases and all the removable felt pieces for their quiet books were was a mess! Since I'm an organizational freak it was driving me crazy!
The kids had been watching the portable DVD player in the van and the battery had run out so we had to plug it in so it could charge.
Zeke had some laughs with Daddy and Ella and I went in search for something to eat where I spent the most I've ever spent on a thing of yogurt - $2.35! Those small airport eateries are highway robbery!
The flight was pretty non eventful...we did switch up the seating arrangement though. Ella ended up sitting with Owen and Jack sat back with me. It was SO much nicer for all of us. If Ella can see me she will just sit there and say my name over and over again.
While we were landing it was fun since it was almost dark and everything was lit up. I was able to tell the kids when we were flying over certain places....we're over the SuperMall, there goes Emerald Downs, we're flying over our house, there's Fred Meyer's.
Our friend Al that took us to the airport came and picked us up and we were home and in bed by 10:30pm. Exhausted and oh so happy to be home and in our own beds!