Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

I get a kick out of the Socal Pumpkin patches that are smack in the middle of the urban sprawl. Just lay out a bunch of pumpkins, put up a few hay bales, decorate with some corn, and VOILA, you've got yourself a real-life pumpkin patch. Throw in some ponies, goats, and a haunted house and it's a fair! The downer is that the pony rides cost $5 and the bounce house is $2 for five minutes! But this year we took the kids, and had ourselves some fall fun.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This is Halloween, this is Halloween...

Happy Halloween to all you boys and ghouls!




Princess Peach

and this little ladybug!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Baby Update

Lucy is already five and a half months -she has grown so much! I feel like she needs an update.

Lucy continues to be a happy baby and sleeps 8 hours at night! She rolls over both ways and can pretty much roll anywhere she wants to go. She even does a pretty good job entertaining herself. Two teeth have broken through and rice cereal is a hit! She loves to grab the spoon and "feed herself."

Lucy listens intently if you say Mama or Dada and wants to join in any fun her siblings are having. She has these big baby blues and a smile that just melts you!

Can you even stand how adorable she is?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back to School

Now that I got the summer post out of the way (phew!) I can move on to other stuff. My kids started school at the beginning of September -about six weeks ago- but it's still blog-worthy.

Ian is in fourth grade now and rides his bike to school. He started playing violin as part of the music program at school and loves it! He's still doing swim team, and was moved up to the older team. They swim two hours every day!
Jacob is in 2nd grade and is getting used to a stricter, home-work lovin' teacher. It's good for him! He's playing soccer and enjoys being a defender.
Kate started preschool two days a week and looooves it. She insists on taking her backpack, even though she doesn't need one. Her favorite thing to do is play in the playhouse!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Summer Recap!

I have to crank out this post so I can be free and move on to understand, right?

Summer was a sleep-deprived blur...I guess that's what a new baby does to you! We did manage to do some fun things I had to report on the blog, though.
In July, we celebrated the 4th with a bike parade and breakfast at our church. The kids decorated their bikes and zoomed around the church parking lot. Here's our bishop announcing the beginning of the parade. "This is not a race, okay?" Riiiight....

A week later, we had a family reunion with Ben's family in the Redwoods in Northern California. The drive was long and the stay was way too short. I married into an incredibly fun and united family!

Redwood National Forest

Getting ready for the the famous races! Cousins in each age group race each other.

Ian won his division!

A day at the beach. It was definitely not sunny Southern California, but still a blast!

The "outlaw" in-law picture. We're sooo bad!

Our sweet baby Lucy was blessed on August 1st. Notice the new suit...Ben had to buy one to be in the bishopric!

My mom made Lucy's beautiful dress

We did not go to the beach enough! My favorite beach trips were the 3rd annual Three Arch Bay Mom's Beach Retreat...
We missed getting a picture with the later group

...and our first trip to San Clemente Beach on Labor Day. It was relaxing just hanging out with friends, and the waves in San Clemente were perfect for boogie boarding...even Kate gave it a try.

Hope you had a great summer yourself!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Here are my girls, each at about three months, in the same outfit! Can you tell them apart? DO you think they look alike, or different?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lost and found

Last Wednesday night I took my children to a farewell dinner at a community park for friends who were moving. Ben was at work-related meeting and I was glad to take the kids to free dinner! I told them we'd have to leave just before 8pm to go and pick up pictures at Costco for a church camp they were all participating in that week. While at the park, my kids seemed to be playing happily. Jacob and Ian had brought their Razor scooters and Jacob was taking full advantage of riding the many sidewalks at the large park. I have to admit I checked on my boys only every once in a while, since Kate is usually the one I worry about. This park also had a clear perimeter, so it’s not like they could just wander off. I even remember saying to someone that night, "I have to check on Kate all the time, but I don't worry as much about my older boys."
About 7:50pm I started picking up our things and getting ready to go. I looked for my kids to tell them we were leaving, but could only find Ian and Kate. I got the kids and stuff in the car, thinking Jacob was around somewhere, probably on his Razor, since I couldn't find that either. I would look for him after I got the baby and stuff in the car. I sent Ian on the other Razor to look around the park, to see if he could see Jacob near the perimeter of the park. It was getting dark at this point and it was hard to see that far. Ian didn't find him so I left all the kids in the van and headed out on the Razor myself to look for Jacob. I told some of our friends who were still at the park that Jacob was missing and they helped me look. I was a little worried, but not too much, knowing he must be hiding in some bushes, or in the bathrooms.
Just after 8pm I started to really worry. We had exhausted all possibilities at the park. A police officer was routinely circling the parking lot, and I approached him to help. He got out of his car and began peppering me with questions. He notified his unit. I called Ben to come home from his meeting. Friends were still looking around the park. The officer kept asking me if he could have gone home, but I didn’t think he would know the way home. Plus, it was pretty far. I was holding back tears as I answered endless questions and began calling people (at the request of the police) who had been at the park, especially Jacob’s friends he had been playing with.
During that first fifteen minutes, some men who had been playing soccer in an adjacent field came to the police and told them they had seen a strange man hovering around the park that evening. They said they may have seen him taking a little boy away from near the bathrooms. At this point, I broke down. Just the sheer terror of the reality that someone could have taken my child swept over me. The officer tried to keep me calm by telling me that most likely, that had not happened. They detained the witnesses, however, and they remained there throughout the search, as an embodiment of that very real, horrifying possibility. Others who were at the park began calling members of our ward and stake. Our bishop’s phone was ringing off the hook, he told me later.
The search shifted as we got a call from a member of our ward who said that his wife, our Relief Society president, had seen Jacob near our neighborhood pool. She had happened to see him while driving by and noted the time. Her husband called her a few minutes later and told her we were searching for Jacob. She told him that she had seen him. We told the police and our search moved to our neighborhood. I was detained at the park, but we all felt relieved that someone had seen Jacob, that he had made it home on his scooter. But the search was still on. In the meantime, Ben was told to go home instead of coming to the park. The police wanted someone at home, waiting, with the lights on, so Jacob would stay there if he went home again. We called all of our neighbors and church members who live close by to begin looking. Emails went out and more people responded to those. Police were sent to any locations we thought Jacob might go to…friends, the school, etc. Finally the police officer said he had been found. Seconds later, we found out that a church friend who knew Jacob had found him and he was safe.

Jacob’s story:

Jacob left the park because he had soiled his pants. He was embarrassed and didn't want to tell anyone. He took matters into his own hands and decided to go home on his Razor, take a shower and change. It was three miles, and he crossed at least two busy streets to get there. He did make it home, but no one was there and the doors were locked. So he decided to ride to Costco, since that is where we had planned to go after going to the park, thinking we would be there. That is when Kim, our Relief Society president, happened to see him as he rode past our neighborhood pool. Jacob rode another two miles to Costco, but it was closed. Then he headed back home. By this time it was dark and he was really scared. He stopped and said a prayer that he would make it home. A few blocks later, as he was crossing a very busy six-lane, 50 mile-an-hour speed-limit road with oncoming traffic, our dear friend Jennie saw him. She didn’t know we were looking for him. She got him in her van to take him home. She dropped him off at the pool where many people had gathered to help search for him.
Jacob rode a total of 7 miles and was missing for an hour. He could have been kidnapped. He could have been hit by a car. But he is safe. He is safe.

I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am. First, for prayer, and for those who answered those prayers. I am grateful to police officers, who do their job every day, who use experience and training to help efficiently in times of crisis. I am amazed by the network of the church, how fast we were able to find Jacob, how many people stopped to pray and moved into action at a moment’s notice. I believe that angels were there to help us that night, both angels on earth, who stood by our side, who searched, who watched my other children, who held my baby, who called and mobilized others, who drove me home, and angels in heaven, who I believe watched out for Jacob on his journey. I also know it was through my relationships with two church sisters, whom I would otherwise never have met, that Jacob was found. They knew him, recognized him in the dark and helped him find his way home. The Lord also knows us, recognizes us and helps us to find our way home. It is through others that He does so. I realize things could have turned out differently, if that had been the Lord’s will. But it was not, and for now I am grateful for my family and having my son safe at home.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Babies and purple Jacarandas

In the spring, Ben was telling the kids that our new baby would be coming when the Jacarandas bloom. The Jacaranda is an otherwise boring tree, but come May, it suddenly turns into this gorgeous purple wonder. Our neighborhood is lined with them, so it looks pretty spectacular. Hey, it's really the only sign of spring we get around here. So here's Lucy, about one month old, in front of the Jacaranda trees.

Friday, June 11, 2010

One Month

Baby Lucy is one month old! We are truly enjoying every minute with her. You can't help it...she's adorable, smells delicious and has a captivating smile. She is also a ravenous eater and therefore growing up way too fast. She weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz. at two weeks and 10 lbs. 7 oz. at 1 month. Bring on the cheeks and fat rolls!
What do the sibs think of her? The boys like Lucy, but only pay attention to her about 15 seconds a day. Theyhad two days off school this week and experienced a lot of *crying baby.* Their thoughts:
Ian: "Can we take her back to the hospital now?"
Jacob: "Can she go back in your tummy now?"
Sorry brothers, she's here to stay!

I was a little worried about Kate's reaction to a new sibling since she demands so much of my attention, but she could not love her little sister more! Kate always lets me know if Lucy is crying, wants to hold her, helps with diaper changes and is excited about every little thing she does.
"Look baby sister is moving her head!"
"Look, baby sister has eyelashes!"
"Look, baby sister smiled at me!"

We sure love our little Lucy!

one week

two weeks

three weeks

4 weeks

one month

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Baby Lucy is here!

Lucy M-
born 12:04 A.M.
On Thursday, May 6th
7 lbs. 7 oz.
19.5 inches

We couldn't be happier with the newest addition to our family!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

All by himself...

My child learned to make cookies. Good cookies. All. By. Himself. All that chocolatey deliciousness without lifting a finger. Maybe I can get him to start making dinner, too...

It IS an easy recipe, if you want to try it.

Quick-Mix Chocolate Cookies

1 box devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix all ingredients with spoon until dough forms.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls about 2 inches apart.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Store tightly covered. Makes 30 cookies.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Easter Photo Shoot

I love taking pictures. I love my kids. I love Easter clothes. I love spring flowers. For all these reasons, I must take pictures of my cute kids, in their cute Easter clothes, in front of cute flowers. The question is, "Why is this so hard?"
Seriously, out of 160 pictures I snapped -in about 10-15 minutes- I got *10* pictures where all three were actually looking at the camera -looking, not smiling, or being cute.

I guess it is hard for kids when the following don't make the cut:

The yawn
The pirate face
The tongue
The crazy pose

The fake smile

not to mention the pushing, whining, yelling, scratching of crotches and closing of eyes that goes on.

But once in a while I get lucky...

and realize that photoshop can help...

and that sometimes kids don't have to be looking at the camera.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

March Catchup

Ready for some catch-up? Here's what's been happening with us since we last tuned in...
The boys enjoyed their annual school jog-a-thon where they run to make some money for the school PTA. And oh, how we need it. With the terrible California economy, they have made all kinds of budget cuts. Increased class sizes, furlough days, cut programs...why don't the big people see the value of education? I should just be happy helping the government bail out those who bought homes they couldn't afford, or refinance their homes to get money to pay for other things they didn't need, and then decide that they don't want that house they bought after all, because, oh, they can't afford it. But the government can, right? Okay, I'll stop now.

The naughty leprechauns came to our house on St. Patrick's day and made a horrible mess, even riding our bikes in the house! They did leave some awesome candy behind.

However, I had to settle for my favorite flavor of SUGAR-FREE Orbit gum since I failed my routine glucose test to check for gestational diabetes. I had to take the dreaded three-hour glucose test! One nasty drink, four blood draws and three hours sitting in a busy waiting room was not fun, but I did it!! No gestational diabetes for me!! But I think I'd better slow down on the Cadbury Mini Eggs anyway.

At the end of March, I was released as Young Women President in my ward. I cried many tears, but know that it's right, too. I will miss participating in awesome activities with awesome youth, even CAMP(!), feeling the power of the Lord's love for the youth of our church, saying the YW theme every Sunday, having a perfectly good excuse to act like a teenager, working with an awesome bishopric and amazing YW leaders, being so involved in the lives of my dear, dear Young Women, who will be amazing mothers and leaders, and a force for good in the world!