2009 was a good year for our family. A lot has gone on since 2008. Here is the year in review with a few pictures..... only 5 because that's all blogger will let me do. January: Jack was born on January 21. That month we had fun with a new baby, pneumonia, a flooded basement and a little baby jaundice. Luckily everything ended up just fine. February: Maddy turned 5. It was cold and snowy. March: It was cold and snowy. Does anything exciting every happen in March? April: We helped get the house ready so that Jake and Alicia could sell it. We spent a lot of time cleaning. We also perfected the art of cleaning an entire house in 20 minutes, just in time for a last minute showing. It made us never want to sell a house....but was definitely good practice. May: We got to go to Virginia for a few weeks to visit my family. My youngest brother got home from his mission and we got to be there for that. We spent lots of time at the beach and in grandma and grandpa's backyard. June: Sam graduated from optometry school. Yeah!!! We packed up all of our stuff and moved to Oregon. Sam took over an optometry practice in town. July: We had fun finding all of the parks in our new home and unpacked boxes. August: Played outside. It was hot. Mason turned 3 and discovered his love of pirates September: Maddy started kindergarten. She loves going to school so much and she has a really nice teacher. Jack learned to crawl. October: The kids dressed up for Halloween. Maddy was a witch. Mason was a pirate and Jack was a piece of pizza. November: We went to Utah for Thanksgiving. It was so much fun to be there with Sam's family. Maddy and Mason couldn't get enough of playing with cousins. December: Christmas in Oregon. A little bit of snow. Jack started walking.
We feel like we have been really blessed this year. A lot has happened since last January. We know that we are in the right place, where Heavenly Father wants us to be. We are thankful for our families and for the gospel. We hope that 2010 can be a great year for everyone! Now for those new years resolutions....... guess what mine is? It rhymes with whose gate. Happy New Year!
Maddy and Mason were really excited about Christmas this year. They left a donut out for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer on Christmas Eve. It was one of the first things they checked in the morning. Luckily "Santa" and the "reindeer" remembered to eat some before they went to bed. The older kids both got up at 5:30 am....... that's pretty early. We had to wake up Jack because for some reason he had decided to actually sleep. They loved all of their presents. Jack has had fun walking around with his walker and Mason loves his pirate ship. Maddy got a Littlest Pet Shop House and a Barbie Veterinarian. She's had a lot of fun playing with all of those things. Thank you to everyone for sending such nice gifts. We hope that everyone had a merry Christmas!
We made some real gingerbread houses today. I have never done this before so I didn't know if it would really work. I can't believe that they are actually standing up,,,,,, it's a Christmas miracle. Maddy and Mason loved the decorating part but not so much with the cookie making part. Maddy rolled and cut the dough for about 15 minutes and then she was done. Jack got a hold of one of the gingerbread men and chewed on it for a while. Well, I guess he gummed it since he still doesn't have any teeth. This might have to become a Christmas tradition since it turned out so well and it was fun for everyone. Apparently Mason is not able to make a normal face in pictures anymore.
We went and got a new camera. So far I think it's a little more fancy than our old one. It has 14 MP instead of 5 with the other one. I think it makes the pictures look better......... or maybe they would look better if I was a better photographer. I think it is impossible to get all three kids looking at the camera and smiling at the same time while holding the camera and trying to push the right button.
Today is Halloween and our camera decided it would be an excellent day to quit working........ so I didn't get any pictures of the kids in their costumes or at the hay maze and pumpkin patch we went to this afternoon. I'm sad because they all looked really cute and I'm sad because now we have no more camera. Our camera was lame on several levels. First of all it would only hold about 12 pictures at a time. What kind of digital camera will only let you take that many? It would also eat up batteries like nobody's business. So boooo, hiss SAMSUNG Digimax D53. Thanks for ruining Halloween. Okay, so it didn't ruin Halloween. It just kind of annoyed it.
We carved our pumpkins for FHE this week. Everyone had fun getting messy and Jack had fun putting his pumpkin in his mouth. Mason said he wanted his pumpkin to have a sad face and Maddy wanted a scary face. I made some Halloween things for dinner but I didn't take any pictures because it wasn't much to look at. We did have our usual chocolate pumpkin cake and it was yummy! The kids are very excited to go trick-or-treating and luckily the weather cooperated.
A few weeks ago we drove down to Boise so that we could go to the temple. I needed somewhere to take the kids while everyone else went so we found a children's museum. There were a lot of fun things to look at but everyone's favorite was the little grocery store. I think we were in there for almost an hour. Look at the tiny shopping carts!
Jack really loves to be in his walker/rolling chair. He is actually kind of a little terror in it. He runs around sticking his fingers in the electrical outlets, pulling books off the shelf and chewing on the dust jackets, and runs into the back of your ankles when you're not looking. The other day I was washing some dishes in the sink and I turned around to get the towel on the oven door but it was gone. I couldn't find it anywhere and then Jack rolls by waving the towel and laughing. The other kids left some pretzels on the table and Jack got a hold of them and threw them all over the floor.....except for the handful that he was eating. He also enjoys spilling crayons and play dough on the floor whenever he gets the chance. All of this makes me a little worried for when he is really crawling. I'm not going to be able to keep him out of everything. I couldn't catch him on video doing anything naughty...........he wants you to think I'm making all of this up, that he really just rolls around looking cute and being all innocent. He's not really naughty, just very curious and very cute.
There are a lot of really nice parks here. We went to our favorite one a few weeks ago. We brought some lunch and the kids got to play. Maddy really likes the merry-go-round. I got on for a minute but then decided that I was too old for spinning rides. I'm not sure how kids can stay on there for so long without making themselves sick. Jack spent most of the time chewing on the frog's hand and Mason mostly likes to dig in the dirt. It's not a successful day at the park for Mason unless he leaves dirtier than when he came.
Maddy started school this month and she really loves it. When I picked her up from school the first few days she was mad and was being kind of mean to everyone. I asked her why she was being so grumpy and she said it was because she wanted to stay at school. I thought I would be one of those moms who cries when their baby goes to school...........but I guess I'm not. This is kind of surprising since I'm usually pretty good at crying. I think it's mostly because kindergarten here is only 2 1/2 hours everyday so she still spends most of the time at home. There will probably be some crying involved next year when she starts going all day. Here is Maddy on her first day and a picture of her waiting for the bus. I didn't take a picture of her actually getting on the bus because I didn't want to seem too dorky......... not that there's anything wrong with that. Taking pictures I mean.......nothing wrong with being dorky either, I should know. Maddy waved at us after she got on the bus and I wondered how long it will be before she doesn't want me anywhere near the bus stop. I hope that day is still far away.
Last month we drove up to Pendleton so we could go to the swimming pool there. It was a really nice pool and the kids loved it. Mason is still asking when we can go to the water park again. I think Jack even had a good time in the water.
Mason turned 3 about 2 weeks ago. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted he would say, "A pirate cake..... a spiderman cake....... spongebob cake......... can I have a snack?" I decided to go with the pirate cake and found some good ideas on the internet. But as you can see, it was kind of huge disaster. It was more pirate island than pirate ship. Luckily Mason still liked it and it still tasted like cake. I think Mason liked his presents.........or he at least liked them for the 10 minutes he got to play with them before Maddy took over. Here are three things we like about Mason: 1. He says at least one really funny thing everyday. 2. He loves to play and have fun with Maddy and Jack. 3. He loves swords, bugs, mud, digging in said mud, wrestling, and eating. Happy Birthday Mason! We love you!
This week we went to the county fair. I took the kids in the morning and then we went back later that evening. I think they really liked all of the animals. Here's a picture of Mason and a llama that apparently did rather well at the fair. He must be so proud. Maddy and Mason got to have one of those snow cone things and they finally both decided on root beer flavored. This is what Jack did at the fair. Must not have been exciting enough for him......or maybe he's just really tired from not sleeping at night? Here is the view from where we watched part of the rodeo. These ladies were riding their horses around shooting at balloons. It didn't really seem safe to be standing right there watching but no one else seemed worried.
We have to get our own health insurance now.... one of the joys of being your own boss I suppose. Anyways, the company finally got back to us after a month and said that everyone was accepted for the insurance except me. They can't accept me because of my height to weight ratio......which is basically just a nice way of saying you are too fat. I guess they have some chart of heights and weights and if you are over at all you are automatically rejected. So yup, I'm feeling pretty darn good about myself. I was only 4 lbs. over their limit and they don't care about that or that I just had a baby or that I'm really trying hard to lose weight or that I really like cookies. I cried after I opened the letter..... and then I ate some ice cream. Just kidding, I said I was never going to eat again. I was already feeling bad about myself and that just didn't help. Sam kept telling me that it wasn't that big of a deal but nobody just told him that he was too fat to have health insurance. So I'm going to lose weight and I'm putting it on the blog so that maybe it will help me to stay motivated to know that the 5 people who actually look at the blog know about my plans.....and I'm pretty sure that was a horrible run on sentence. I've lost 5 lbs so far. Just 20 more to go. I'll just tell ODS that I'm going to give my fat money to some other insurance company. Don't worry mom, I really won't stop eating. I like food and I hate throwing up so that pretty much eliminates an eating disorder. Normally I don't put things like this on the blog but it's kind of making me feel better to complain about it.
We finally made it to Oregon! That is one long drive......and we have Spongebob Squarepants and candy to thank for us making it to Utah in 2 days. We stopped there for a few days to see some of our family and then we came the rest of the way. We kind of just showed up with no place to live except for the Super 8 Motel. We looked for 2 days and nothing was really working out. We ended up finding a really nice place to live. It was a huge blessing and was just one more confirmation from Heavenly Father that this is where we are supposed to be. Here is a picture of the view from our backyard. Pretty nice, huh. We went to a park down the street last week and a deer just comes walking out of the trees like it was no big deal. It's pretty cool to see a deer but I sure hope I never see a cougar or a bear come strolling out of the woods while we're at the park. So far we really like it here. Everyone has been so nice and we seem to be in a really good ward. Sam starts seeing patients on Monday so hopefully everything will go well and hopefully he can be really busy soon so we can make some money. The student loans have already started looming.......scary!!!
This is what Mason calls Jack and I have to admit that the rest of us have started calling him that sometimes. I thought I'd write a few things about Jack because he kind of gets left out of things since he doesn't do much yet. He is huge........ I think he weighs almost 20 lbs. and is wearing some 12 month size clothes. He likes to be carried around a lot of the time. I like to carry him and all but hauling around an extra 20 pounds all day makes my arms tired. He is very happy and loves to laugh and smile and thinks that Maddy and Mason are hilarious. We have one of those little chairs with the wheels and Jack just figured out how to move it by himself. He can now entertain himself for about 15 minutes at a time zooming around the kitchen and then it's back to mom holding him. We all really love him and are glad he came to our family.......and some day I really hope that he will sleep :)
We wanted to do something fun for graduation and that fun thing we really wanted to do was take the kids to Disney World.....but since we have no money that just wasn't going to work out. We decided to go to the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio instead and Maddy and Mason loved it. We drove down and spent the night. They have some neat rooms there. The one we stayed in had a cave and inside the cave were bunk beds for the kids. You can see Mason's happy little face. He loved getting to sleep in the bunk bed. The water park was indoors so it was perfect for people who are as whitey white as we are. Maddy and Mason both almost drowned because of their life jackets but other than that we had a really great time. These pictures turned out pretty terrible but I think you can kind of tell what's going on. Maddy, Mason and Sam went down the big water slide about 10 times. I think Mason was almost scared to death the first time but for some reason he kept getting back on.....only to get really scared again.