Saturday, January 17, 2009

Farewell, Nasty Ni-Night!

Some of you will be thrilled to hear that we have officially said good bye to Lauren's security blanket! Well, at least I am pretty sure that by posting this announcement that I will be able to follow through with it and not give in again! And when I say, security blanket, of course I mean the little pink blanket that she sucks on and I don't mean the original blanket. We threw that one away months and ago and have replaced it over a dozen times over the past several months. I don't even want to think about how much money I have spent on replacement blankets at $8.99 a pop. So better late than never, so they say. I am embarassed that it has taken me this long, but Lauren has proven to be the exception to too many rules. I have new resolve to take control of the situation and the first step is acknowledging the problem. My daughter is a spoiled ****, and I have no one else to blame but myself (and my husband, and her grandparents, and my friends, and complete strangers taken in by her charms). I am the one who spends the most time with her and so it is up to me to say enough is enough! I am the boss, right? Right. I love my little girl and she brings me great joy, singing songs all the time, pretending her dinosaur is chasing her, using a domino to eat her yogurt, and how she loves me to draw on her back. I hope we can make this transition without too much fuss! Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Most Favorite Christmas Gift...

Grandma Rowley surprised each of her grandchildren with a personalized ABC scrapbook. On Christmas morning, it was difficult to get our kids to put their books down and finish opening the rest of the presents! They absolutely LOVED them! So last Sunday was our first time at the 1:00 meeting time. Surely I have no excuse to not be on time for church! So Chad had already left with the boys and I was coming shortly with the girls. I come out of my room to head to the car and there is little miss thing, sitting in her little chair, one knee propped up, reading her little book. It was just so adorable I had to race over and unpack my camera and take some pics! Then I remembered we needed to get moving! SO after all that we were a couple minutes late for church! As you can see, she loves to look at pictures of herself! She studies each page and has to tell you all about it. In fact, we took this book to church and Lauren would not stop talking too loudly so I had to take the book away!
Ressa wanted to jump in the picture, too.

Here are all 4 of the books! These will be something our kids will treasure all their lives!
Thank you so much, Grandma Rowley, for such a thoughtful and precious gift! We love you so much!

Happy Birthday, Babe!

Today was Chad's birthday and what a nice day he had. Started off by sleeping in, awaking to the wonderful smell of german pancakes that his sweet wife made him. Then off to go golfing with his dad for the rest of the morning. Came home for lunch, had a nap and then fired up the grill, added some juicy steaks and had a nice dinner and small party with his family. The day was capped off with the Cardinals winning handily over Carolina, putting Chad in a terrific mood. A good day for sure!
The kids love to decorate for any birthday so you can see a little of their handiwork. Jackson did the chandelier that you can see on the right side. He was pretty proud!

Of course, Lauren had to have a turn blowing out the candles. Can you guess how old Chad is? That's right! 83! I know the cake looks a little suspect, but it really was good. Chad loves this hot fudge sundae cake so I made it for the first time. Turned out good, just not very pretty. Chad's uncle John and cousin Ryan showed up just in time for the festivities.
I love Chad so much! He is a great guy and I am so proud of the kind of father and husband he is. He takes such good care of us! This new year will be full of new challenges and adventures. Recently called to be the Elders Quorum Pres., Chad is going to pretty busy. I know he will do a great job! We love you, babe! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Mexico, check! Texas, check!

Carson and Jackson have been obsessed by the United States ever since I bought them a large US puzzle 3 years ago. They often talk about which state they would most like to live in and why. They have always wanted to visit Texas since it is SO big. Well this last week of winter vacation, I decided to go and visit my friend Lacie in New Mexico, just 5 minutes from the Texas border. It was a 10 hour drive and since the kids travel so well, I figured I could handle it on my own. Chad kindly offered to come, but I told him it wasn't necessary since Lacie's husband in not home very often, which is why I wanted to go in the first place. Besides, that last week of vacation starts to get a little boring when you are at home. This trip would spice things up a bit!
So we headed off on Monday morning and drove the long drive with no incidents and the kids did great! I'll say one thing about New Mexico: it is very flat and straight, making for an easy drive. Even the one section that goes up a mountain wasn't very curvy. Lacie and her sisters were waiting for us and didn't mind that I had been driving ALL day and had a night of games planned. We had a great time!
Lacie had a lot of family around so it made us feel at home. I was there over New Years so we celebrated with a big family get together at Lacie's house and ate her famous shredded beef tacos and played games all night. Carson even stayed up 'til midnight! Way to go, Carson! I was sad that Chad wasn't with us and my sister told me that it means bad luck for the new year if you don't kiss your significant other on New Years. Oops! The next day we drove to Lubbock, TX and went to the science center, saw a movie, then went to Lacie's sister Breana's for pizza. That was a great day! I will say another thing about New Mexico and Texas (at least Lubbock): it sure is WINDY! I don't know how people even function there! There is no point in putting any sort of effort into your hair and good luck opening and shutting your car door!

I REALLY blew it with taking pictures! I didn't take ANY! I don't know what I was thinking! I guess we were having too great of a time and didn't think of it. Anyways, here is Carson with Jaedin and Trenton at the science center in Lubbock. This is the 3rd one we have been to and the best so far! Thanks to Lacie for taking such good care of us! We miss having them live here in Coolidge and hanging out all the time.

It was sad to say good bye after 3 days of fun, but my poor sick hubby was missing us and Lauren wanted her daddy too. We headed back on Friday and the drive back was great once again. We made good time and we were all glad to see Chad (and grandpa and grandma) again!

Christmas with the Rowleys

This year was the first Christmas morning that our little family spent by ourselves. We always have someone from my family here in AZ staying the night. But this year LeaAnn drove home to Washington to spend the holidays with our parents, Nate went to Disneyland, and Sam stayed up in Flagstaff packing for another move. I was disappointed because I believe that the more really IS the merrier. But I have to say that I did enjoy how relaxing Christmas morning turned out to be. SO relaxing that I didn't take any pictures. I am disappointed by that fact. The kids enjoyed their presents: Carson loves his new keyboard, Ressa loves her new bike, Jackson got MORE cars, and Lauren a little arm chair all her own. It didn't take long to clean up the mess and head off to Grandma's for a nice breakfast and back for a nice long nap. We enjoyed the relative quiet, knowing that come afternoon, all of Chad's family would descend upon us for two days of endless activities and food!
Grandma Rowley had spent so much time and preparation for this year's nativity program! As each year brings more grandkids, the production (and cast!) gets bigger and bigger. We had to move the play inside the garage because of the bad weather, but there was plenty of room and we had a great time. After the play, we sang Christmas songs while Uncle Dennis played the harmonica and then played some games. Good times!

This is the one and only pic I took on Christmas morning of the boys heading out to play their new tag game.