Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bethany’s Baby Blessing

IMGP9133Two weeks ago we left right after school and drove North to Utah for the weekend. Crazy? Yes. Fun? Yes! We went up for the blessing of our newest niece, Bethany!

On Saturday we played in the “snow” (leftover snow/ice), went to Thanksgiving point to see the dinosaur museum, and just played at the Keen home. The boys get along so well with their cousins!

Sunday was the blessing day and it was a nice blessing. We stayed for church and it is nice to be welcomed everywhere and to know that the church is true and the same wherever you go. President Holland’s son (and President of UVU) taught our Sunday school class (and he just sounded like an Apostle and when we found out who he was later it all made sense) and the boys loved primary/nursery and it was fun for me to go to Relief Society! We even tried to take an updated family picture!

We had a great weekend even though it was over so soon! After church we ate and played together until it was time to head back. We left Sunday night and drove all night in time to get Sammy to school the next morning I took the day off to get stuff done and just in case we had bad weather and didn’t make it home in time!

* We were double booked that weekend and missed out on the baptism of our niece Natalie (sorry!!) and were bummed but were told that it was beautiful too! We love you Nat!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Halloween in November?

Well, we did celebrate it in October but life has been so crazy I haven't been blogging or even reading other people's blogs! But since this is my journal I figure that I need to still journal it even if it is a few days (or weeks) late!

October2010_ 017Halloween was “celebrated” three times but it still wasn’t enough for Sammy!

October2010_ 004Sammy was a Boba Fett (I think) at the first activity and then a pirate at the other two activities because his other costume was too small.

Nathan was a very eager Buzz Lightyear, Danny stole everyone’s hearts as Squirt from Finding Nemo, oh, and I dressed up as Jessie (from Toy Story).October2010_ 340

The week before Halloween we had the Ward Halloween party which was a bit stressful since it was also doubling as a YW fundraiser and we were in charge of the baked goods/drinks. I didn’t get to see/do much there besides manage the selling! But I think that the boys had a good time!

October2010_ 160 On Friday before Halloween, Sammy had a “character” parade at school where they dressed up and walked all around the school showing the parents and other kids their costumes!

October2010_ 315And then on Saturday, we went with my sisters to their ward party and I just got to play (no assignments) and had a blast! They had a huge trunk or treat after and the boys had a lot of fun. (To the right Nathan is playing a silly donut game that he loved!)

On Sunday, being the party poopers that we are, we didn’t allow Sammy and Nathan to go trick or treating because it was the Sabbath. Later, Sammy told me something about Halloween being ruined because it was on a Sunday and that it wasn’t fair. Fair? He had Halloween three times! Oh well. It was a good time for all…

Monday, October 25, 2010

Character Award: Caring - Sammy

IMGP8028_landscapeWe were so excited last week to find out that Sammy was getting an award from his preppie-k teacher Mrs. MacInnis! We weren't sure what it was for but we loaded up the kids (and I got someone to cover my last class) and we headed over to Burbank. After a choir Halloween concert we got to the awards ceremony.

IMGP8012Sammy was the first one announced! He got the caring award for his  class! They also gave out an art award. The funniest thing was that he was the tallest kid who received an award out of all of the kids (it was an assembly for 3rd grade and below), oh, that and he didn’t want to smile so he was making a silly “I’m trying not to smile face!” Either way we were proud of our little guy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Sammy!

IMG_5638 Better late than never right? At least I got him a birthday cake made in between school and soccer practice! :) I had planned on posting something on Friday but I passed out right after I got the boys in bed!

Sammy boy likes….Legos, especially “big boy” Legos, Star Wars, Special Agent Oso, Backyardigans, Veggie Tales and anything else that he can watch on Netflix, trains, tying things up with rope or anything that resembles rope (including important cords ugh!), school, riding his bike, throwing tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, eating cheese roll ups and ham and cheese sandwiches, anything camouflage, his brothers, bugs, telling me what he’ll do/allow his kids to do when he’s a parent, train chasing, oh and his new “crossing guard chasing” where we search for crossing guards on the way home from school—he told me that Norwalk must not have any schools because he only has seen crossing guards in Cerritos—ha!)

He dislikes timeouts (especially now that he is five he tells me, “I don’t like being five!), having to hurry in the morning (or any other time), eating pasta, not being able to play outside every minute of every day, having to go to the grocery store with me instead of play and taking pictures when I ask (unless he thinks of it!)

Other little facts about Sam…he’s literally growing like a weed and I’m having trouble keeping clothes and shoes in the house that fit him. He’s four feet tall and still has that strawberry blonde hair that glistens in the light. He loves to smile, giggle, be tickled and wrestle. He loves to wear his suit on Sundays (and throws a fit if he has misplaced his suit coat) and loves Primary. He is a joy to have around (well, most of the time—as long as he has eaten and is well rested and isn’t throwing a fit about something!) He’s growing up so quickly before I know it he’ll be in high school and then on a mission, in college and eventually married. And I know that we’ll enjoy it while it lasts…

One other fun or silly thing…I still remember the cute little hats that they give you on your birthday! I remember this one especially from Mrs. Harvey when I turned 6! I took a picture of Sammy with his on…he didn’t take it off all day long and now he is sleeping with it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to Nate Nate!

Can you believe that he’s already three?
He likes the number three! Today he announced that it is his favorite number now, and here are some of the reasons I thought of.

  • He is now three years old and was born about three hours after I went to the hospital.
  • (At least) Three trips to the ER.
  • Three days in the PICU after surgery to fix craniosynostosis)
    One of three brothers.

Life is crazy. I’m glad for insurance with this kid. He’s a sweetheart and has the cutest dimples (thanks Grandpa Driggs) and blue eyes (thanks Grandma and Daddy).

IMGP7869-croppedWe love you Nathan! Happy Birthday. Enjoy your new Lego Duplo garbage truck!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kid updates…

Life is crazy. School is crazy (and I’m already behind). But the boys are crazier.

Quick updates…since I really should be grading!

Sammy_CubbieSammy – Loves school, or in his words, “it’s awesome!” Gets green cards (good behavior) and has brought home a few purple cards for extra special good listening and following directions. Is already trying to be a missionary and is always asking people if they’re “members of the church” or today, “if they saw General Conference and Thomas S. Monson”. He is growing like a weed literally and I’m having trouble keeping shoes and clothes on him. He is very tired and still trying to adjust to being in preppie k all day long and often throws tantrums when he finally gets home; today’s fit was about everyone saying he’s five or six when he’s only four. <sigh> He eats a ton. He loves tostadas, cheese rollups, broccoli, celery, carrots, Jell-o, pudding, cookies, ice cream and anything with chocolate in it. This past weekend he had the chance to bring home “Cubbie” from school and we took a picture in my classroom together.

IMGP4342Nathan – will be three tomorrow…is enjoying more time with Daddy while Sammy’s at school. Sometimes he wants to eat his food cold and sometimes will eat it hot, but not too hot. Is quite a story teller and likes “to be silly”. He has huge dimples and a great smile and is very sensitive if I scold him. Has mostly grown out of the turning blue and crying thing but if he’s really upset I do make sure that he sits/lays down still.  He loves to eat the same things that Sammy does for the most part (but doesn’t want butter on anything that Sammy does) and always wants to play with whatever Sammy is playing with. He loves playing with Danny and is now trying to pick him up (ahhh!) He is kind of a night owl and likes to come out to see what is going on :(

IMG_5630Danny – Is 13 months and started walking about a month ago. Within the last two weeks he’s gotten pretty good and can walk anywhere he wants to but he is still pretty wobbly too. He is enjoying chasing the boys down the sidewalk and climbing up the stairs at Grandma and Grandpa Driggs’ house. He even tries to walk and kick the ball at soccer practice! He loves to eat veggie straws, ice cream, peaches and mandarin oranges, pasta and to drink real milk. He is a happy little guy who charms almost everyone he meets with his contagious and warm smile. He does not enjoy being told “no” and seems to be quite sensitive like Nathan.

We love our three boys. Today at the market they were giving me a run for my money (rainy day with too much energy) and a lot of people were just staring at us (their faces said “what was that lady thinking bringing all three to the store?!” but we survived. Didn’t break anything at the store. Didn’t lose anyone. Saved $18 with coupons and finally restocked the fridge and cupboards (thank goodness October finally arrived!) They love each other and although they each have more energy than Thad and I combined we wouldn’t give any of them back!

p.s. Here is a video of the baby “walking” a little at Auntie Sarah’s  house (even though these are from a little while back when he was just starting out and he would fall as soon as I had the camera out.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Space Ship Sammy

Here is a little video of Sammy…singing a little bit to Grandpa for his birthday and then singing a song he learned in Preppie-K! Enjoy!

Hooray for the Dell Web cam and fun, silly videos before bed!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saving mementos!

Sammy_PreppieK_003So Sammy started Preppie-K over a week ago. I also started school and I'm remembering how much work it really is and I'm amazed at how tired I am after a full day of work!

He also starting bringing works of art to show me! My brain remembers reading on a blog by some BlogHER out there that takes pictures and/or scans the art that her kids do and then puts it in a digital book which she has printed (and there are so many good companies out there). So I did it, well, the scanning at least! I plan on making a digital scrapbook this year of our family’s doings and silly stories so this will be perfect and then if someone gets to them or spills on them or attacks them with scissors I won’t be totally sad, and I’ll still have the memory of what was important to him at school, like "playing with the action figures” during free time!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sammy Starts School

It has started…my first little guy has started school. He will be in school until hmm…wow…June of 2024! I am sure that it will go quicker than I realize. He is in a special four year old program at Burbank Elementary for late birthdays and I hope that it will be good for him! Daddy took him to school today so this is all a second hand account but we’ll see how it goes…

We’ve been counting down the days on a calendar and he was very excited to be going to school. Today was finally the day! “Today is the ninth” he told me after school. I learned that in class. ;)

It was also my first day of school with kids so there was a little extra stress and anxiety on my part. I didn’t want to be late either and it got a little crazy in the morning trying to get him to eat his food in time and get dressed so that Daddy could deliver the two youngest to Grandma who was going to watch them while Daddy accompanied Sammy for his first day. He got up, got dressed and then it was time to put his shoes on…shoes, shoes, where are the shoes? We found them, put them on and then Sammy said, “ouch, these hurt!” What? He wore these last week and they were fine. Okay. I ran to the box of the next size up clothing and looked…they weren’t there. Oh nuts. Oh yeah, Sammy got into them and I moved them…but where? Oh  nuts again…the clock is ticking for me and I’m figuring out how many minutes until I’ll be late too! I finally found them, stuck them on, and then tried to run out the door…Nathan was still asleep when it was time to go so he got woken up and almost thrown in the car which made him grumpy and wanting Mommy who was already supposed to be at school. I did get going and made it to school five measly minutes before the first bell (phew).

Sammy was beaming from ear to ear, had his lunch box packed and backpack ready and jumped in the car. Daddy delivered him safely and stayed with him (per the school’s policy) until 11:30 when they came home. I got home and talked to Sammy about school and he told me, “it was awesome!” He told me a few tidbits about rug time and play time but was too distracted to give me really good details. Oh well. I know that he was happy, that he enjoyed it and that he was well behaved and that is what matters, right?

The real test will be tomorrow…all day long by himself until 1:30! And then next month when it changes to 2:30! I’m crossing my fingers but I think that he’ll be alright!

Friday, September 3, 2010

John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl

SummerFun_August2010_JohnWilliams_ 018We drove up (well, Jeff drove us up in a big comfy white van) to the Hollywood Bowl to see good ol’ John conduct. Thad wants to go every year and I quite enjoy “The Music of the Movies” as well so we decided to invite friends and family and enjoy. We also decided to take along Sammy and his cousin Jared (die hard Star Wars fans!) and they were super excited!

SummerFun_August2010_JohnWilliams_ 003 While we were waiting to go in they were giggling, hugging and playing and then they spotted them…some light sabers in the window but didn’t say much (just gawked—I think that with me and Cathy as moms they didn’t even ask…) But then to their utter surprise and enjoyment Kathryn Raile appeared with something behind her back. When they couldn’t guess what it was she handed two nifty light sabers to them! You should have seen their  eyes! They had a blast with them.

SummerFun_August2010_JohnWilliams_ 007

We enjoyed the music…the boys did get asked by the people behind us to put their light sabers away and they stayed up and were good until about 10 pm…then they passed out…right as the Star Wars music was starting! We tried to wake them up since they had asked about it all night but we were unsuccessful. Jared sat up for a minute and then laid his head down clutching his still glowing light saber. Sammy was harder to “wake” and finally was roused for about 10 seconds until his light saber turned off and then his head fell too. The music was great. The food was yummy. The company was even better. :)SummerFun_August2010_JohnWilliams_ 021

-Lots of friends.
-13 tickets to the Hollywood Bowl to see John Williams.
-Seeing Sammy and Jared fall asleep right before the Star Wars songs were played…


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Soccer Time!

SummerFun_August2010_SammySoccer_ 005 I began playing soccer a long time ago as a timid 5 year old and was often seen picking flowers and drifting off into space…

27 years later (yikes) I am in a new role as a soccer mom of a four-year old! Now I’m not sure that this classifies as soccer but there are boys, cleats, a field and bunches of little size three balls.

Sammy was elated as I finally announced on Friday that his first soccer practice was actually that night! He said, “tonight?” and then smiled from ear-to-ear with a smile worthy of (and only possible with) our genes.

We arrived at practice on time but by the time I got all of the kids and stuff out of the car, and walked (carrying one and pushing another tired one) to the field we were ten minutes late. Sigh. He was so anxious and excited and jumped right in. The “stretching” if you could call it that was especially fun to watch since all of the kids had a hard time mimicking the coach’s teenage sons (who are former students of mine :) ) as they stretched on one leg or the other.

Finally it was time for practice! The coach had them put their balls on top of their heads so that he could talk to them and then told them to put the ball on the ground and then dribble. Sammy, excited at his realization that he knew how to do this, quickly picked up the ball and started to “dribble”, but no, not like a soccer ball but like a basketball! I should have snapped a picture but I was too busy giggling hysterically and then trying to get him to put the ball on the ground and dribble it like we had practiced at home (I guess that I didn’t use the terminology with him!) Oh well.

Practice was fun! Sammy had a blast and when the coach asked him after he responded, “great!” with a smile that would melt any mom’s (and any coach’s) heart! I am looking forward to seeing him grow and enjoy this new fun time in his life!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Danny boy!

IMGP7051 [He] had a birthday shout hooray!
We want to sing for him today!
One year older and wiser too!
Happy Birthday, to [him]!

I always loved that Primary song and Danny had a birthday too! I can’t believe that it has been a whole year since we brought him home. (Time flies as we age doesn’t it?)

Danny loves

  • his brothers! He lights up every time that he sees them, especially in the morning when they wake up!
  • to say “hiiiii” and wave. He especially likes to say “Hi Dad!”
  • to snuggle and put his forehead to yours! He loves to hug!
  • to eat gram crackers, pretzels, fruit and In-N-Out cheeseburgers!
  • to drink real milk – on his birthday we made cupcakes and offered one to him. He was hesitant but picked at it a little and got a bite. We offered him some milk which he quickly took a sip of and then didn’t stop drinking until the sippy cup was empty. Having an empty cup he finally returned to eating the cupcake. What can I say but that Great Grandpa was a dairyman?
  • to crawl everywhere! He also stands up (for ten or twenty seconds at a time) to play with his toys and “cruises” along the furniture.
  • to shake his head (and whole body) when we say “no” to something. He will also shake his head no when he is trying to do something that we’ve told him not to!
  • grabbing DVDs from the top of the Blu-ray player! :(!

He is a happy little guy who is pretty content being in our family! He loves to snuggle and love us and chase after his brothers and we’re happy to have him! Here is to another great year Danny! We love you! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer sun and summer fun!

I have been trying to do as much with the boys as possible this summer to not go crazy at home. Some days we just play at home but some days we’ve gone out and about with friends.

Here are some pictures of our little outings and some of fun at home.

A couple of days we met cousins, friends, or just went by ourselves, to the park (Heritage or CPE). Who doesn’t love putting on sunscreen, packing some PB & J sandwiches, pretzels and a few Capri-suns and heading to the park to swing, slide and run around?

Before Grandma and Grandpa left on their three week European Vacation (I’m soooo jealous) we played a few days with Grandma while Grandpa was golfing. One day we went to the Santa Ana Zoo. It was the perfect size for us and the boys loved it. Sammy’s favorite was the snake. I think that Nate liked almost everything! :)

One day we met our friends Amy and Lincoln at Splash…we have really enjoyed our passes there. Totally worth the money we spent! And it has been fun to see the boys gain confidence and be willing to do more things!

Another day we went to Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove and met our friends Kathryn, Katelyn and Laura. It is $1 per person to get in but the boys had a blast. They had swings, a pirate ship, a whale slide and a giant dragon slide that was really tall and long. We will definitely go back another day because we didn’t have time to visit the whole park!

One afternoon we went with the Raile family to the Cabrillo Beach Marine Aquarium in San Pedro. We used to visit as kids and we took the boys last year and it was quite enjoyable. We walked out to the beach and looked at the real tide pools and then saw all of the animals in the aquarium. They even have a lab where they are breeding sea horses and other neat things! Very educational and fun! The touch tank was super neat too – the kids loved touching the sea stars, sea urchins and more! The big boys both passed out on the way home—it was a fun afternoon!

And lots of days we just play around at home. We have played in the sprinklers, went out for ice cream, made pizza, did science experiments (especially homemade volcano lava), had water balloon fights, put puzzles together, painted, cooked, baked, watched movies, set up, played with and then destroyed the train tracks all in the same afternoon and destroyed the house on a daily basis.

There are two more weeks of summer! I can’t believe that it’s almost over!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Samism: Love

NewCamera_June-July2010_ 227 It had been a long day of playing and fun and I was finally tucking the big boys in but Danny was already fast asleep.

Mommy looking over at Danny said, “Isn’t he a cute little guy?”

Sammy: “Yes he is! He makes my heart burn.”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nateism – The Shark

Shark As much as he talks and talks, and as many times a day that I put him into time out I’m sure that this will be the first of many stories that I will be sharing and saving here to tell him later.

Early yesterday morning Nathan spilled (or maybe better said, poured out) a giant bowl full of water on the kitchen floor.

Mommy: "Go to time out!”

Nathan:" No!" (but he walks to time out anyway, grabs something to draw with and says,) "I'm drawing a shark to eat you! Rarrr!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Samism: Prayer and the Moon

half_moon Scene: Mommy, Nathan and Sammy are jammed in a tiny bathroom while they do their before bedtime potty duties. We open up the little window (no explanation needed as to why, right) and finish up. Little brother Danny is already asleep in their room so we decide to enjoy the moonlight and pray in the bathroom (hey, why not) and Sammy says he’ll offer the prayer.

Sammy: Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for this day… (then he starts to mumble something about the moon getting close enough to touch it—he does this often though in his prayers and I can’t always hear what he’s saying…)

Sammy finishes his prayer and then climbs up the step stool to look out the window.

Sammy: Is it close enough to touch yet?

Mommy: Oh no, it can’t come close enough to touch (thinking quickly) or else the other little boys wouldn’t be able to see the moon tonight and they’d be sad.

Sammy: Oh. Okay. Then I need to say another prayer.

Sammy: Dear Heavenly Father…please let the moon be a little bit closer but not too close so that all of the little boys can see it.

Sammy then climbed back up the step stool, smiled and said, “See, it’s a little bit closer now but not too close!”

Oh the faith of little children!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th!

Fridays that the fall on the thirteenth don’t scare me, nor do black cats crossing my path although I am a bit weary of walking under ladders but I think that is because I’m clumsy and would probably crash into it or trip! And did you know that in most Latin American cultures it isn’t Friday the thirteenth to worry about but the always dreaded Tuesday the thirteenth (martes trece). Ooohhh!

Either way Friday, August 13th is especially special (can I say that?) for us because we were married six years ago on that lucky day in the Los Angeles Temple.

Here are a few photos from that day!

It was a wonderful day and since then times have definitely gotten more challenging and fun. We have three crazy and wonderful boys to love and take care of and life only gets busier. I love and appreciate my husband even more than I did (or understood) back then and I’m grateful that he puts up with me and my stress and mess.

I think what gets me this year is looking at how much everyone’s changed! We look a lot older I think, our nieces and nephews have tripled in number and the babies/toddlers are now 7, 8 or 9 years old!

I did blog two years ago with our story and a bunch of our old photos if you want to see that go here!

Happy Anniversary Thaddeus! I love you! :) I think that the boys and I will make a cake to celebrate the beginning of our family with a “family birthday party” so that they can join in the fun!

Update: We made cupcakes (with six candles) and opened a family birthday present: two bats and a batting tee! :) And thanks to Anabel and Samantha for watching the kids so that we could have a night out!!! The kids adore you (and we do too!)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Planes, Trains and a lot of fun…

NewCamera_July31_2010_MarineCorpsOceansideRailwayMuseum_ 015 We were a little crazy and over planned last Saturday but we had a lot of fun! We started the day off right after Danny’s first nap and headed South to Miramar to the Marine Corps “Flying Leathernecks” outside open-air museum. We met our friends, Chris and Victoria and their daughter Elisabeth, and he gave us a tour and taught us about each of the helicopters, fighter jets and more. Sammy was enthralled and had a blast. Nathan and Danny enjoyed it as well. It was great to go with Christopher because he knew so much!

Then we jumped in the car and headed back to Oceanside (we passed it on the way to Miramar) but on the way there passed the San Diego Temple (which is undergoing a major cleaning/renovation!)

We met my parents in Oceanside for an afternoon of swimming and sun! The boys played for a good three hours in the pool and Thad even had a boy (about 10 or 11) “adopt” him for the afternoon. He got a good taste of what it will be like when the boys are bigger and how much more physical they’ll be in the pool (attacking him!) Sammy is getting very brave in the water and “swims” a few feet with his head under the water, and his eyes open. He took one swim lesson at Splash! this year and we’ll sign him up again in the fall! He had Thad throw him up high in the air at least twenty times (see the photo on the far left). Nathan did it too (in the floaty that was for Danny but got most used by Nate!)

Then about 6 pm we got out of the pool, got dried off and then headed north to Perris, CA for members night at OERM (Orange Empire Railway Museum). The train park usually closes at 5 but it was open until 11 or so and we could ride old trains and trolleys and Grandpa Marcroft even got to drive one!

We changed the boys into their PJs and drove home. We were all exhausted but it was a good day. I still can’t believe that we travelled 274 miles that day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Samism: Money 101

Borden Milk Sammy had just poured a giant glass of milk. Mommy remembering him pouring out the extra milk last time began this conversation.

Mommy: Sammy, drink what you want but then don’t pour it out. Mommy will drink the rest. It costs Mommy money to buy milk!

Sammy: Okay. But Mom, then just don’t use your money.

Mommy: Don’t buy milk?

Sammy: No, but use your money to buy more dollars. And then go to school.

Mommy: Go to school?

Sammy: Yes, when you go to school you get more money. And then you can get more food, milk (and a big list that mommy can’t remember now).

Mommy: Oh.

Sammy: See! Just go to school*.

*I guess that the “going to school” is going to work right? :) I do go to work (school) to earn money…

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fun with Grandma & Grandpa at the Welk

Sammy has been asking when we were going to take the train to Oceanside again (this is our third “annual” trip) and although Grandpa and Grandma didn’t have time at Oceanside we (the boys and I, Daddy had to work) still took the train to Oceanside and then Grandpa picked us up and took us down the road to Escondido, CA and we stayed at the Welk Resort for a night.

The boys loved the train (all three of them) and they couldn’t stop smiling (the return trip home in the car with Grandpa and Grandma wasn’t as pleasant; Sammy kept saying, “this is taking hours and hours” and they couldn’t keep their hands to themselves).IMGP5438

When we got there we played foosball and air hockey, played at the playground, took walks to the pond across the way, fed the ducks cheerios, had races on the grassy area behind the condo, barbecued, swam in the pools and had a lot of fun!

It would have been fun to stay a few more days…maybe we’ll go again next year! :)

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