Monday, December 27, 2010

Kansas City Missouri temple- December 26th, 2010 post 2

Click on this link to see how the temple is going to look, oh, a year from now or so... wait, no, it will be cold then... 18 months from now.

Then look at this picture and tell me what you see!

It was so cool to see this.

Kansas City Missouri temple- December 26th, 2010

This is getting so exciting! Drove by before church and saw some exciting stuff.

Kansas City Missouri temple- December 23rd, 2010

Tom took the kids shopping for me and drove by the temple on the way. This was with his phone, and it was on a weekday so they were working.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kansas City Missouri temple- December 19th, 2010

Kids and I went before church, after dropping Tom off at the church for choir. We also went right after church before going home, so it's nearly 4 hours later.

Lots getting done!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kansas City Missouri temple- December 12th, 2010

First visit to the temple with our new camera... however, it was very cold (15 degrees with a negative windchill) and we were starting to run late (we didn't want to be late to church!). So just a few pictures.

Oh, and the first snowfall of the season...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kansas City Missouri temple- December 5th, 2010

Today Tom was late for choir practice, so we dropped him off at the church and the rest of us drove up to the temple... and then we drove by the temple again after church. So exciting. You can see them building one of the spires on the ground, and in the sunset picture (last) you can see the outside walls being put on. I wonder how it will look next week!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Next year at this time... a 15 year old?

Happy Birthday to our oldest son Michael! He turned 14 while on our trip to Illinois, and he bore this well. He got presents, sang to, Timothy blew out his candles once, Christopher tried the second time. He is patient and kind, goes to seminary 100% of the time, tries to do his work (except when writing a book), babysits, and is an all around good kid. Being the oldest of 9 kids can't always be that fun. Ask Jeff. Or, 8 kids, ask Tom. Michael is BOTH lol.

Right now his interests are making animated movies, writing his novel, Scouts, reading fantasy/sci fi books, seminary, Star Wars, dragons, Harry Potter, NaNoWriMo, and many other things. He loves drawing, too, as well as eating. His favorite foods are pizza and hawaiian haystacks.

He is growing, too. For those of you who remember him as just a tiny little guy with a vocabulary bigger than he was, he is almost as tall as me. (not that that is very tall either, but he's getting there!!!)

Michael, you are a great guy and we're proud to call you our son. Though we might call you other stuff too :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kansas City Missouri temple- November 24th, 2010

Misty day on the way out of town to Illinois... it was misty like this til Hannibal and then it rained the rest of the way. This was one of the first times we'd seen it during the day and there are people on the frame working... kids liked that.

Tiny bit late... Thankful day 30

Today I am thankful for homeschooling. How else could we accomplish all we do?

We are not tied to anyone's schedule or idea of what we have to learn.

Everything that needs to be learned IS learned, just on our own time and in our own way.

Kids are definitely excited about learning and stay that way.

And that's just a start... I feel like I could write a book about this one. Why I am thankful for homeschooling.

I love spending time with my kids and watching them learn, and learning alongside them as well as helping them learn when necessary :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankful day 29

Today I'm thankful for coming home. Sure, we have lots of laundry to do and unpacking and cleaning up but how wonderful it is to sleep in our own beds and get back into our daily life.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful day 28

Today I'm thankful for cool little bits of technology like figuring out "via" on the GPS and MP3 players and stuff on phones. They sure make life a little easier as long as they don't take over your life. :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful day 27

Today I am thankful for my children and how each of them has affected me, both as a mother and as a parent. Today my oldest son turns 14. He was the first to enter our lives and the one who ushered us into the world of parenting. Happy birthday Michael!

Thankful day 26

Today I am thankful for traditions... specifically our "pie for breakfast after Thanksgiving tradition"... :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful day 25

Today I am thankful for my family, immediate and extended. Each person is important to me and I love them. Especially my own children, who are so unique and so talented. Without family, life isn't worth living.

Thankful day 24

Today I am thankful for safe travels through heavy rain (but thankfully no ice), cooperative children (yes, all 8), and short journeys for Thanksgiving. I am thankful for answers to prayers for safe travels and all that goes with them.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful day 23

Today I am thankful for my washing machine. After last week's attack of the sickies and trying to get ready for a trip, I'm just glad to have my washer. I'm thankful the dryer is working, too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful day 22

Today I am thankful for living in a large city. Ok, on the outskirts of a large city. I am thankful to have places to go when they are making a large amount of noise and commotion while replacing our roof, that aren't expensive or far away.
I'm thankful that I have the 12 passenger van to take my kids somewhere while this is going on. Yes, and I am also thankful for the new roof.

And thankful that I have so many things to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kansas City Missouri temple- November 21st, 2010

We drove around the temple site again today. Very windy... you can definitely see the shape of the temple now. Enjoy!

We drove up from the south this time, from the new stake center site.

Thankful day 21

Today I am thankful for movies. It was so nice tonight to sit together as a family (I think we need one more rocking chair or even another loveseat in here...) and watch a movie together. We watched a new favorite, "How to Train Your Dragon" on BluRay. We watched it with the trivia track and everyone except the youngest 3 were reading the popups and learning cool stuff.

We have a lot of movies. Tom was employed by a company that worked closely with movies for a long time. We buy movies when we find the keepers. We check out movies at the library and Blockbuster Online, starting to use free codes at Blockbuster Express and Redbox.

Very rarely we go to movie theatres. Fun, but expensive. It's more fun to be able to watch them at home with everyone and pop popcorn. I think the last few movies we saw in theatres were Toy Story 3, Enchanted, and Monsters Inc. We went to the drive in a few times too when we were near one, in Amarillo, TX and Indiana, PA. I think we took the kids to Finding Nemo at a drive in Ohio.

We watch very few PG 13 and nothing R, just because we don't agree with things being included in movies that go against what we hold as our standards. There are still so many good movies out there even with that rule. We are really looking forward to seeing Megamind and Despicable Me and Shrek the 4th.

We love movies :) Time for another Star Wars marathon. Or Pirates of the Caribbean. Hmm.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful day 20

Today I am thankful for glasses and modern medical advances that allows for near perfect vision with glasses or contacts or even surgery. Michael was telling me the other day how his vision used to be before he got glasses 2 years ago. I don't remember life before glasses, I was 4. Tom got glasses when he was about the same age as Michael and he remembers how great it was to suddenly be able to see. They are both near sighted.

We also have, for the first time in our marriage, vision insurance. Here's to new glasses for the 3 of us, which is overdue...

Thankful day 19

Today (yesterday) I'm thankful for fall. I grew up in a climate that didn't have fall or winter. Sure, we called it that but putting leaves on the walls and windows and pumpkins everywhere didn't change the fact that I lived in southern California where we had no seasons. At least no CHANGE of seasons. I loved when I went to school at BYU and enjoyed my first real fall (other than just quick vacations away from home for Thanksgiving and such). Since then it has become my favorite season. I still love snow best of all but not always winter... winter is sometimes a favorite, sometimes second favorite. Fall is great with the cooler weather, no ice (yet), crunchy leaves, and Halloween and Thanksgiving to enjoy. Yes, even in Texas we lived in an area with 4 definite seasons. Ohio and Pennsylvania were my favorites but Missouri has had some beautiful fall colors. At least when we were able to get out and enjoy them between illnesses.

I love fall!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful day 18

Today I am thankful for neighbors. In Utah it meant someone who you talked to at church, or had a block party with and let the kids run around with in the yard. I'm remembering the Ballads in Provo, and our 3 neighbors in our 4-plex in Orem. In Kentucky I'm remembering the guy next door who was never home, and the other ones that had little kids like we did. In Ohio I remember the people in our complex that stole our deliveries and our Thanksgiving decorations... wait. Not thankful for that but for those that let us know. In eastern Ohio I'm thinking of the librarians 2 doors down. The library was two doors down. Homeschool family's dream. In Pennsylvania I'm thinking of the guys at the lumberyard across the field that helped us drain our flooding basement. In Texas I'm thinking of all those at church, the nice people across the street, the kids' friends in the four houses on either side, and now in Missouri, all the "Tom"s on all sides lol, Ed next door who we were friends with but he passed away last week, and the friends we're making here.

We have had some great neighbors. Growing up, Tom and I had great neighbors too who still remember us and we've found on facebook or talked to when we go to California or Illinois to visit.

You know who you are!

Thankful day 17

Yes, I was behind.

Today I am thankful for chocolate. Tom works for a chocolate company as of June this year, and I am thankful for that too. You need that little treat every now and then and it's even better to share. We all love Tom's discount. And here in Kansas City, there are even drive through Russell Stover stores...

Here's the website... I like the bloopers in the outlet section.

Thankful day 16

Today I am thankful for my breadmaker. When I just don't have time to make bread by hand, or when things are crazy busy or like the last few days, full of sick kids but we still need bread by lunchtime, the breadmaker is a lifesaver!

Here is ours...

We've had the same breadmaker since December of 2000 (MAYBE 1999, I am trying to remember if Emilie was born yet lol). It died last fall and my brother Jared got me a new one, same kind, for Christmas. I am happy to say that this 2nd one is nearing its first birthday and doing quite well.

I have some great recipes to share and you might just have to tweak the recipes to work for your climate... having lived in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and now Missouri, climate differences are crazy! Comment if you'd like recipes for chili cheese bread, cinnamon raisin bread, or a never fail buttermilk bread.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful day 15

Today I am thankful for a sense of humor. If you can see the funny side of things, it sure makes life better. Especially with kids :)

Kansas City Missouri temple- November 13th, 2010

So this evening we piled into the van to go see the temple site and then head to the pet store to feed Kenny the snake. So amazing how things are going! You can really see that a lot is being done now that the work is mostly above ground.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful day 14

Today I am thankful for pets. We've had a few... growing up we had a cat, named Katie. My dad is really allergic to cats so now that my allergies are worse I really understand better what he went through letting us have that cat and her kittens. I loved her. She died when I was in college.

Moving around the country we had many fish. Sometimes it was just Michael, sometimes everyone had their own. Some of them even survived our power outages and freezing temperatures. Eventually they all passed away before we moved to Missouri.

We've had Kenny the Kenyan Sand boa (snake) since February of 2006. Our kids have learned a LOT about snakes from him. They have learned about reptiles, carnivores, hibernation, mice, and the food chain. Even Christopher talks about Kenny having to eat the mouse. He is right now going into a dormant cold weather mode. We cleaned out his tank yesterday and I was holding him... even with the heat lamp he was pretty cool to the touch.

Benjamin got Cedric the dwarf hamster for his birthday this year. I think he's the most fun of all the pets we have. He has a ball he runs around the house (and sometimes out of the house with Benjamin and his neighbor friend) in, and everyone likes to hold him. He runs around his wheel for hours, and yesterday we gave him a baby carrot which was highly entertaining to everyone. Liberty loves the little furball that runs...

We love the animals in our lives, neighbors' pets, someone to love and take care of and be responsible for. They love Grandma and Granddad's dog (and Ariana and Amanda too) Chomper, where we stayed for 2 months this summer, as well as their cat, and Aunt Sherri and Uncle Richard's dog Charlie. Aunt Monica and Uncle Jeremy have a dog and a bunny they loved when we visited in April. And many, many more pets of friends and family.

Nathanael wants a bunny someday (dad says no) and I think we'll be getting fish again. Maybe a hermit crab or two.

Not only do these provide excellent learning opportunities but they also are part of the family. Even fish.

I'm thankful for pets.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Timothy is 4 years old!

Timothy is our 4 year old. He is amazing. He chose not to talk (other than learning the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors...) until he was 3 years old. He is making up for it now. He loves to make Liberty laugh. His best buddy is Christopher, who learned to talk right along with him and they say many of the same things. Christopher's big disappointment right now is that Timothy is using the potty and he isn't. Soon. Christopher is only 16 months younger than him. They both LOVE Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story. We have lots of little Buzz Lightyear figures around here. They loved Michael's big Buzz to death. There are a few beanie Buzz's. We even have a little Lego Buzz but he's packed up.

He's a big little guy, almost as tall and as heavy as Samuel, who is nearly 2 years older. (22 months apart like a lot of our kids). He loves picking out his own clothes. He likes going to Primary and Sunbeams now. He gets to give the scripture and prayer tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

He likes singing in Family Home Evening. He doesn't like being read to, because that means we're going at a different pace than his own. He does like helping and listens well, but there are some things where he just dances to the beat of his own drum and nothing you say will change that.

Timothy loves to be active and figure things out. He hates help. He insists on doing it all himself. He will get himself something to eat. He will get himself something to drink. He will clean himself up. I think we were almost to the point he would have changed his own diaper if we hadn't started potty training. He loves puzzles. He can equally play alone fine or get along with others, as long as he's in charge somewhat. He is definitely a challenge to figure out some days but a joy to have around. We are glad he's part of our family.