Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The 4th Time Around

I haven't written a blog post in forever! Part of me doesn't really feel like doing it anymore but I find whenever someone asks me how tall or big my kids were at a certain age I look here because I know I've written about it on here. So here we go. :)

A month ago Seth turned 18 months! Here are his stats. 
Weight: 22 pounds 8 oz (27%)
Height: 32.5 inches (54%)
Head: 47cm (39%)

He is finally starting to talk! His favorite thing is to tell Dean what to do. "Deeee! Top cy-ing! Deeeee! Get dacket on!" He never says Brennen, just calls both of them Deeeeee. He does say mom and dad pretty well as well as ball, get down, nose, eye, blanket, drink, shoes, jacket, outside... and a few other things.
He is very coordinated and can climb on everything at the park. He has great balance and runs super fast. He loves to look at and pretend to read books. He's still pretty happy for the most part but has started getting an attitude and throws a lot of fits. 
Here is my Seth (and a good looking guy) at 18 months! We were up having a picnic at Mallo campground.
And just another cute one.

I never posted about Dean's Birthday! It was an extra special birthday this year because it was on Easter and we were at his grandma's house. He had a really fun day finding eggs, going to church, eating lots of candy, and having cake and presents. He was really hyper that night and told me it was the best day ever!
His huge messy looking cake was cool, it had a secret hole with some toy animals inside. He wanted a cake that had a home for a foxy so this is what he got. It fell apart and I know what I'd do different next time but it tasted good anyway. :)

Lately he has been a grump, crying about everything and fighting with his brothers. But at school he is everyone's darling and the teachers all just adore him. He is doing great in preschool, above average in all the academic skills. He's really excited to start swimming lessons soon but whenever we go he stays on the side or a flotation device so we'll see how it goes... :)

This kid is almost done with kindergarten! He is super smart and happy. He comes home every day just hyper and bouncing off the walls. He seriously never acts tired, he stays awake late and wakes up early. That kid has never needed a whole lot of sleep...
He just finished soccer and is starting up t-ball. He says he loves sports and is excited for the summer and his birthday.
He's also a great musician. He just understands the piano and music naturally. He remembers everything I tell him and had the note names memorized pretty much as soon as he saw them. He got to play the xylophone for his spring concert and was excited about that (even though it doesn't look like it).

Baby #4
In case anyone who reads this missed the memo, we're expecting baby #4 the end of August! And SHE is a GIRL this time! I'm soooo excited! I know Matt is, too, but he was sorta hoping for another boy. :) The boys are excited and happy to welcome their new sister in a few months.
This pregnancy has been so easy, especially compared to the last one. Except I'm already super fat. I have been more nauseous and tired but also way more hungry than I've ever been! I just feel a lot better overall and have not had problems with contractions or anything else.
So here's a "before" picture (shortly after I found out, just about 6 weeks) and a current 26 week picture.

Me and Matt
Matt is so ready for school to be over! He has worked so hard this year coaching two sports and teaching early morning seminary. I sure appreciate all that he does for us.
I have been teaching piano and trying to be a good wife and mom! I've been practicing piano and also whipped out the trombone and alto sax just for fun. I'm really not good at those but it makes me wish I had more instruments to play! Seth cracks up laughing whenever I play the trombone. He just thinks it's hilarious. Brennen can buzz pretty good in it, too!

So that's all for now! We are just a happy little family of almost six!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

My Sweet Boys

Seth went to his 15 month appointment and here are his stats. 

Weight: 20.11 lb (19%!)
Length: 31 inches (43%)
Head: 46.75 cm (48%)

I was happy to see he is higher than 9% for weight! He had a ruptured ear drum a couple weeks ago and it has healed up ok but there is still a lot of fluid in that ear so he has to take antibiotics for another month and then hopefully it will clear up or he'll need tubes, too.

He is running all over the place and really likes to climb. His favorite is to climb onto the piano bench. We added another railing to our stairs so he can't fall off the side so the gate is down and he loves going up and down to keep up with his brothers. I still panic a little that he'll fall down them because those stairs are hard! He only says "mom" and "boo" but the doctor says not to worry yet... he's just so different than his brothers! They both had a tons of words at this age.
Getting ready to read scriptures. 

Dean got ear tubes and has been a different kid! So much more energy, so much happier, and so much less whiney. He never really wants to go to preschool but always says he loves it when he goes. We do preschool at home, too, and I think he's learning a lot! He knows all the letters and is getting better at their sounds. He has been able to write his name for awhile and loves to count and sing. 
Some of his home preschool work.

Brennen is doing great at school. He seems to really like it and tells me he's the smartest one in the whole kindergarten. He really loves to read and is reading at a 2nd grade level (at least). It's awesome to listen to him reading scriptures. He has learned to recognize the tricky words that are fairly unique to scriptures. He really enjoys playing the piano and is getting really good at it! In typical Brennen fashion, he memorized the note names pretty much the first time he saw them. He can just look at a song and play it (it takes him awhile to really get it down of course but unlike my other students who struggle at even knowing if the notes are going up or down or which hand plays them, he just knows what the note is and where it is and plays it). He is as loud and energetic as ever and he and Dean love making up games together. 
Before school piano practice.
Sometimes I forget how little they are, especially Brennen since he's so smart and the oldest. I took Seth to the school and we ate lunch with Brennen today. He was SO excited that we were there and looking at him compared to all of those other kids made me realize how small he is! I just wanted to hold him and not let go. He's young for his grade anyway and he just looked smaller than most of the kids in his class.

I never posted anything about Christmas but I'll just briefly say that it was wonderful! We spent Christmas Eve and day just us at our house in Newcastle. It was definitely different not being around a lot of family but it was just amazing and I'm happy that we're at that place in our life with our little family. We did travel to see all of our extended family after Christmas and that was wonderful, too! Dean LOVED sledding at Grandma Hope's. 
Christmas morning!

Christmas morning!

Post-sledding red cheeks and smile!
Matt and I also "celebrated" our 9th anniversary about a month ago. We didn't really do much in the way or celebration but we are very happy and glad to have 9 great years together! We went on a double date with my sister Christena and her husband while we were in Lyman and then on our anniversary we were in Laramie and went for some quick frozen yogurt. And I do not even have a picture of us together! We need to work on that...

That's all for now!

Friday, December 11, 2015


Little sweet Seth turned one more than a month ago! He had been sick for a week with no appetite but on his birthday he scarfed down the cake. He was happy and cheerful all day and it was a fun birthday.

Here are his one year stats!
Weight: 19.8 lb (about 10%) 
Length: 29.5 inches (about 43%)
Head: 46 cm (about 48%)

He is such a happy kid. He does NOT like strangers and just wants to be with me all the time. He loves to smile at people, though, and hides his head in my shoulder with a big shy grin on his face whenever people talk to him.
He doesn't say many words yet .He has said a few but then he doesn't repeat it... the only one he says consistently is "dad dad." Yesterday he kept saying "uh-oh" when an ornament kept falling off the tree but he won't say it today.
He likes to play with his toys and attack his brothers. It's a favorite game to chase them down then tackle them. Brennen likes it. Dean does not.
He gives big kisses voluntarily and I love it!
He doesn't sleep through the night yet. He has only gone a whole night without waking 3 times and those were all late nights. I might try some more "crying it out" on the weekends when Matt is gone wrestling (he can't sleep through the crying and has really early mornings so I always just get up as soon as Seth starts crying).

We had a great Thanksgiving! We went to Laramie and spent it with Matt's family. We had a lot of fun playing with everyone and eating great food. Then I took off with the boys to go to Lyman for a few days and then up to Rexburg to spend a few days with my sister and to go to my twin nieces baptisms. Matt had to work of course so he had a different car to take back to Newcastle on his own.

However, on the way to Lyman the car died on me! So me and my three little ones were stuck off the interstate in a dark and cold van until my parents arrived a couple hours later. Needless to say, I panicked a bit and still get anxiety just thinking about it. BUT we were alive and so many family members helped in so many ways and we really were blessed!

I have to report a few things that Brennen said while we were waiting to be rescued. He's so funny. I wrote all this stuff down as soon as we were settled at my mom's. I didn't want to forget it. :)
"Mom, why were you mauling Dad?" (said right after we left after I hugged and kissed Matt bye)
"We're gonna die out here!!"
"You know, we really should be thankful for this, that our car broke now and not on our really long trip."
"Jesus and Heavenly Father created the world but they sure didn't do a very good job at making our car." (Dean echoed that quote a few days later)
"You know, we can't die twice."
"We must be in BIG trouble!" (when the HP pulled up behind us to check on us)
"Carly won't even remember me when we finally get back home." (his "girlfriend" at school)
"If we die out here will they just take us to be fixed with the van?" (I repeatedly told him we were NOT going to die!)
"Geez, I picked a bad spot to go pee. No one even drives on this stupid road." (that's why we were on an exit, he needed to go to the bathroom and THEN the car died)
"What if a pack of deer comes and tries to eat our car just like they ate our pumpkins? Seems like they eat everything!"

So I got good practice taking care of the boys without Matt since I was away from him for a week (although I had a LOT of help from my family members) because now he's gone from 5:00am-6:30pm every day for seminary, school, then wrestling practice. This weekend he's in Rapid City and almost every weekend until the end of Feb. he'll be gone overnight on tournaments. I miss him and the boys never get to see him (they last saw him on Wed night and won't see him again until tomorrow night).

I was going to post more pictures but blogger won't upload anymore! I hope you enjoyed this little update from our family!

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Good Life

We are loving the beautiful fall weather! The boys really like Halloween and have decorated the house quite a bit for that so we're feeling very festive.

Matt is teaching seminary every morning from 6:40-7:30. I think he enjoys it but doesn't really say (in typical Matt fashion). I have been following along with the lessons so that I can brush up on the Old Testament, too, and I've really been liking it!
He seems to be having an easier time this second year of teaching. He is still modifying things quite a bit from last year so there is still a LOT of out of school time planning but not quite as much as last year. 
He has also been coaching Brennen's soccer team. They have practices after school twice a week and a few games. I think Matt's glad that this is the last week, though!

I am staying busy taking kids to school, maintaining the house, studying the Old Testament, learning new piano pieces, teaching piano lessons to 9 students, and being a wife and mother! I love taking care of all of these boys. 
I have also started practicing every week with the local hand bell choir and it's a lot of fun! I don't have a permanent spot yet but I get to float around and play different bells each week so it's fun. Matt and I are also singing in a community Christmas cantata and just started rehearsals. 
My much loved hobby of running has been put on hold because my treadmill is broken. I'm actually SO bummed about that!! It's just too hard to find time to run outside when I have the kids at home and Matt is so busy! I try to do other things to work out at home but it's not the same and I keep praying I don't get too fat!!

Brennen is doing well at school and just loves it! He brings books home to read that are harder than what most of the other kids read. He really can read very well, can figure out really almost any word on his own and is starting to get faster and have better flow. Matt has him working on multiplication, just 0,1 and 2 (as well as his usual addition and subtraction). He's really pretty good at it! His handwriting is getting better, too, and he's a great speller. I have him in piano and he picks up on things SO quickly and he seems to enjoy it! He has really liked soccer, too, and is very competitive.
Reading to his little brother

Reading scriptures
Dean is really loving preschool! His teachers love him, they think he is so sweet and cute and smart. At first they thought he couldn't talk or count or anything but that's because he just chose not to! He's breaking out of his shell and they're figuring out that he knows most letters and some of their sounds as well as a whole lot of other academic stuff. I also do preschool with him at home on the 3 days he doesn't go and we have a lot of fun with that. I think he kind of likes it that Brennen is gone during the day because that means he rules the roost. But he loves playing with him when he gets home. He's learning piano, too, and is a master of "Hot Cross Buns" and "Joy to the World." He is also really great at note values and loves clapping and counting.
Fun on a hike
Letter N!

Letter W and fall theme
Seth is almost 1 and is walking! He still prefers to crawl but he'll walk places a lot, especially if we don't try to "make" him. He just experiments on his own and usually cracks up at himself while doing it. We call him our little mountain goat because he climbs everywhere! He has 6 teeth and is just happy and funny. He dances to music and still hates stories and books. He has crazy hair but I'm waiting until he turns 1 to cut it. He LOVES Matt more than anyone else. He says "Dad" all the time and loves to look at Matt's picture. He'll gravitate to him and always lays nice and still on him whenever he lays down. It's adorable.
Climbing out of his favorite spot, the windowsill.
Crazy hair standing on his favorite spot, the end table

Well, that's us! Until next time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


We sure have been happy lately but yet last week I was a little mopey. My family had just left after visiting for a few days and I don't know when I'll see them again, maybe not even until Christmas time. I also had heard about a couple of fun get-togethers in Laramie, reminding me that we are the only ones who aren't there. I also couldn't find a babysitter when I needed to go to the dentist and I missed being near family sooo much. I've felt a little lonely and "cheated" that my kids don't get to spend as much time with their grandparents and cousins as the other kids do. 

I was also feeling a little bummed that I am not teaching school like so many of my friends. I had a combined piano recital with the elementary music teacher here (who had guitar students perform) and she was so nice to allow me to share her music room for the event and it made me wish I had her job. :)

But then on Saturday instead of having some sort of "end of summer bash"  we just stayed home. We helped clean the church and the boys were actually quite helpful and I loved that they knew it was an important thing to do. Then Matt took the older boys one on one and helped them learn to ride their bikes. Later that evening we played bocce (which Brennen is getting pretty good at) then went to the elementary school to play on the playground and let the boys ride on the bike path while we walked along with them in the chilly fall-like air. 

Brennen still has training wheels but he's getting really good at riding and he can go pretty fast! I felt like it was a metaphor for how life is going to be now that he won't be home with me during the day. He rode so far ahead that I couldn't see him and I felt a bit of panic until I remembered that he knows to stay on the path. He knows where he is going and I don't really need to keep him under my watchful eye every second of every day anymore.

The school is just east of town, right at the start of the black hills, and it was just so beautiful. Dean was singing to himself the whole time, Seth was so happy and smiling and Matt and I held hands and talked about the upcoming school year and about how happy we are with the life we have made together so far.
Side note: He was super sick a couple weeks ago, feverish and delirious for days. It made me realize just how much I love him and how I would be sunk if anything ever happened to him. Not only would my kids not have an amazing father around but no other man would ever want me (or be able to put up with me) and there's no way I would ever want to be with anyone else. He really is my perfect half and I love that I can feel comfort and peace in the fact that he is mine forever. (end of cheesy lovey dovey side note)

I just felt so much joy that night (and the feeling has stayed with me) and I know that even though sometimes it's hard to be far from family and to feel a little lonely that I am truly happy here with my little family and with my life. 

Lately I feel like I'm seeing myself through different eyes. I looked at myself and realized that I AM my mother. I am what I see when I think of her. I am what I remember her being when I was just starting school. She was 29 when I went into kindergarten and I am 30 now when my first baby is going. (I was her 3rd baby but whatever). :) When in the world did that happen??

I just realized that so many things that I think are a big deal or that I think matter a lot just don't and I need to be able to let certain things go. I need to remember to be thankful for my blessings because I have more than I can count. To be SO thankful for the beautiful life I have and be at peace with the choices I have made.

another side note: I didn't read through this before posting so I apologize if it doesn't make sense or sounds rambling. :)