Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Excitement

The excitement around here is so thick you could cut it.  My little ones couldn't be more excited for Christmas.  They sing, they dance, they run around, they chant "Santa Clause" over and over.  They are enjoying every second of the anticipation.  Caleb dreams about what he is getting and constantly asks for clues. Yesterday I started telling him that it is small, it is black, it burns easily, and it starts with the letter C.  He doesn't like that clue.  Cara is obsessed with making and giving gifts to her friends.  Andy is just so excited he doesn't know what to do except jump up and down and yell Santa.  Ali may not know what is going on, but she knows it is exciting.  Unfortunately I am still spending most of my time in bed trying to keep my food down.  I choose to stay in my room rather than on the couch so I don't have to see the messy kitchen.  Josh did take time to make gingerbread cookies with the kids so they could use the Christmas cookie cutters that they were dying to use.  I am glad for Sunday afternoons and that Josh enjoys cooking to make things like this possible.

Cara had her Kindergarden Christmas program and of course she was adorable.  I was totally amazed at the amount of material the children performed.  They did a great job!  Cara is in the red and black dress in the middle.

Andy had his Joy School Program too.  He is so cute.  I can't believe how he is growing.  He lives for Joy School Days so even though he will have three years of preschool I am so glad I included him this year.  He has so much fun with the kids. He is pictured here as a shepherd.

We have continued the tradition of letting the kids sleep under the Christmas tree on Friday nights in December.  I like it because it is easy and free.  The kids love it.  Of course Caleb has a hard time sleeping, but he has a hard time sleeping anywhere this time of year.  Is he Josh's boy or what.

The USU Aggies made it to their first Bowl Football game in 15 years.  Josh used that as "once in a lifetime" ammunition to convince me that he and Caleb needed to make the trip to Boise to see the game.  It would have been a dream trip with the Low boys except that the Aggie's lost by 1 point in the last 17 seconds.

Caleb loved his 2nd basketball season.  He is turning into a pretty good little player.  Josh told him that we could go to the dollar store if he made two baskets durning his last game.  He made three of the four total and played an awesome game.  It is amazing what a little dollar store bribery can do for his game.  If course being a head taller than all of the other children doesn't hurt.

Each year Josh and I go to a beautiful, formal Christmas party.  It is one of our favorite traditions.  We are lucky to have friends that go to such effort to create wonderful memories for all of us.  I even kept my dinner down.  It was a wonderful night.

I did get Christmas Cards out this year.  I was quite impressed with myself.  I actually had one printed rather than doing the newsletter type that I usually do.  I did include the following update:

Top 10 of 2011
10. Josh and Carrie kicked off the year with their first cruise.  They loved it!
9. We had a couple of awesome family trips including Lake Powell and St. George.
8. We spent spring brake in Disneyland.  A place we would like to spend a lot more time! [We might have ugly furniture, but we have great vacations. Obviously travel is important to us.]
7. Josh is now working full-time doing Graphic Design when he isn't with the 11 year old scouts.
6.  Carrie has found a new passion for essential oils and learning more about alternative medicine.
5. Andy started Joy School.  He lives for preschool days and serves as Ali’s interpreter.  He is always concerned about making sure her needs are met.
4. Caleb is in 2nd Grade.  He is a great reader and loves to play any sport.  We spend a lot of time at soccer and basketball games. 
3. Cara started Kindergarten.  She loves it, mostly because it gives her lots of social time. She played what was probably her first and last soccer season.  She is a great dancer.
2. Ali learned to walk and talk.  She is turning into “one of the kids” rather than our baby.
1. We will welcome baby number five to our family in June of 2011.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just in case you were wondering . . .

We did celebrate Thanksgiving, even though I have been in bed for about a month.  The kids all have awesome teachers and did some great Thanksgiving projects at school.  I am so grateful for their amazing teachers!

The week before Thanksgiving I was especially sick, but I pulled myself together to leave the house and go to my parents to celebrate the holiday. Of course it was a really fun day.  Cara spent her day with my cousin Emily's daughter, Kedzie.

Yes, my parents had chicks in their bedroom.  Connie rescued them and promptly gave them to my parents to deal with.  The kids loved it!

The horse riding is always a hit, even in the cold.  My poor dad walks miles and miles in front of the horses so that the kids can have a good ride.

Connie followed Kate and Ali around and took nearly 50 pictures just trying to get a good shot of them in their matching Christmas dresses.  This was as good as it got.

We all love Grandma Iva's cookies and her wonderful Thanksgiving meals!

Someone must of had mercy on Ali and gave her one or two or five.  Life is good!

What a Girl

Ali has a spunky personality and sometimes it shows up in the funny things she does. (Other times it isn't as funny, like her obsession with Vaseline that seems to be lasting forever.) I decided to take pictures of her little adventures and got these in just two days a month or two ago.

It is no wonder that one of her clearest words is "stuck."  She finds herself stuck quite often.

This girl loves books!  Really, it is nothing like I have experienced before.  Her bed time/nap time cue is I put her in her bed with a book.  She is "reading" it when I leave the room and "reading" it when I go to get her hours later.  Of course she sleeps somewhere in there too.  She would like me to read to her all the time.  If she isn't holding a doll, she is holding a book.

Whoops!  She got a little too excited about getting in the tub and jumped right in with her cloths on.  Yes, she is wearing a miss matched skirt over her pants.  She, like Cara, would like to add a skirt to every outfit and she is very anxious about dressing herself.  One year olds aren't supposed to have opinions about what they wear!  She also wants to be potty trained.  I am confident she would catch right on.  With no training or even encouragement she sometimes tells me when she needs to go.  I just don't have it in me to train her right now.

Somewhere I lost a picture of her sleeping on the changing table with two dolls that she had also brought over from her bed.  She hasn't quite mastered climbing all the way out of her crib.  She can get from the crib to the changing table though so she has started many naps and nights by falling asleep on the changing table.  Don't worry I have learned to check on her regularly.  If I don't know where she is or what she is doing it probably isn't a good thing.   She has been doing better about staying in bed since I discovered handing her a book.  She is quite the girl!  I never know what to expect - except the unexpected.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Something to Celebrate!

You may have noticed that I haven't posted on my blog for the past month.  In fact, that is not the only thing I haven't been doing.  I heaven't been getting out of bed.  I haven't been leaving my house.  I haven't been cooking or cleaning.  That is just the tip of the iceberg.  It is all because we have something to celebrate . . . we are having baby number five in June.

We are really excited to be expecting again.  I have to remind myself everyday.  If you know me at all you know that my pregnancies are brutal, and this one is no exception.  (Ironically I just took a puke brake.)  Yes, I have joined the world of making food choices based on how it tastes coming back up once again.  Having four previous pregnancies gives me a lot of experience and does help matters.  I know that I have a 10 minute window after throwing up in which to get something down that will settle my stomach.  I know that veggies take hours to digest and are a bad idea.  I know that I will have a healthy baby even though I can't keep vitamins down and making the effort to take them is entirely not worth it.  I know that if I take it easy and say "no" to a few more things I will keep a few more meals down.  I know that this feeling won't last forever, just 8 months, and then I will get the eternal reward.

My week 9 was especially difficult.  I wasn't able to keep down my medication so it didn't matter that I was on the "big guns."  I was throwing up constantly!  I mention this because it was durning that difficult week that I had two inspired friends and my mom come and take my kids.  It is amazing that the Lord will take one right to their capacity and then send some relief.  I was so grateful for the help!  I was also grateful for suppositories to help me get things under control, something I never thought I would be grateful for!

When Josh and I got married we were committed to having five kids.  We both come from families of five kids so that seemed complete to us.  After having Andy I was enjoying parenting so much I changed my mind and decided that I wanted six.  I still do want six kids, and I know that this isn't my most difficult pregnancy, but I don't think I can do it again!  Even though I am only throwing up 1-3 times a day, now that I am keeping my meds down (with other pregnancies it has been much more) I think just being older and having a house full of kids makes it all a little harder.

So there it is, our good news with a few of the yucky details.  I will be counting down to JUNE!  I am 10.5 weeks and officially due June 25.  Time can't go fast enough right now!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Pictures

I have intentions of doing a Christmas card this year, which may or may not happen, but it did motivate me to get the kids pictures.  I was hoping for a good group shot, which was a total bust.  (Ali refused to cooperate.  She loved her individual pictures though.  Maybe she should have been an only child.)  
We did get some great individual shots of each of them.  Enjoy!