Sunday, January 31, 2010

Samuel turned 5 :)

Samuel turned 5 on January 20th, 2010. He knows he's getting to be a big boy, now. Here he is with his Lego Bulldozer, one of his favorite presents.

He picked out the cake and helped make it, here he is blowing out the candle.

Here he is reading his new book to Nathanael and Emilie. He has known how to read for a year now. He is getting pretty impressive in his reading skills.

This is the "Wow! Legos!" look as he is checking the age recommended...

Finished product... it's a paw print from Blue's Clues. Yes he's a big boy now but still loves Blue's Clues :)

This is his little fort...

Here he is holding his new baby sister Liberty. He wanted to match her clothes, with his brown pants and blue shirt.

Here are his birthday pictures, complete with boots and hat, taken by our friend Heather.

This one is my favorite :)

Happy Birthday to our Samuel! He is a loving, shy, playful little guy with the cutest giggle ever. He never stops talking unless someone he doesn't know is around. He loves trains, automobiles, playing outside, cowboy stuff, superheroes, reading the Scriptures, and Blue's Clues. He loves his little brothers and baby sister and tolerates his older brothers and big sister. He spends the most time with Nathanael of his brothers but also gets along well with everyone else. He has rough days where he just has to be upset but give him time and he'll get right back into things. He has been known to eat fourth helpings of some foods but has days where nothing sounds good. Samuel is on the small side (Timothy is catching up to him in both weight and height...) but he's growing bigger every day! We love our little Texan and can't imagine life without him around.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Liberty is 2 months

Liberty just turned 2 months old! She is definitely fitting herself into the family. The kids all love her, and here Tom is watching football with her. She certainly seems interested.

Here Liberty is cooing. She wants to tell us stuff and so she's working hard on learning to talk.

She's not sure why we put these things on her head but she's really cute wearing them.
We like dressing her in cute clothes too :) and she has a really warm blanket with her name on it so she can remind us of her name.

She likes eating, sleeping, and talking. We think we'll keep her. She loves her family and is happy to be held, talked, to, sat next to, and watches everything everyone does and is usually a very happy and content baby. Come visit and meet her!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Michael is 13... we have a teenager!

A month ago, Michael turned 13... yeah, this post took a while.

Michael is our oldest. He was born a month early over 13 years ago, very very tiny but such an easy baby to take care of! He was happy all the time as long as he was fed and got some sleep. This was good for two parents in school and Tom working multiple jobs. Michael even came to a lot of my classes with me, even though we had worked out our schedule so we could trade off baby time. Friends and family watched him as I did my student teaching, but when I was done I became a stay at home mom and Michael and I have spent a lot of time together in the 12 years since.He is now a wonderful young man that I enjoy spending that time with. He is in 7th grade now, but in Advanced Algebra and advanced in other subjects as well. He likes the History topics we are studying- ancient Rome and various American History as well. He enjoys Legos, Playstation 2 games, drawing, and a whole lot of other things. He has a lot of talents and great help in our large family as well. He is Star rank in Boy Scouts and working hard on his Life rank. He has a goal to earn his Eagle rank in the next few years.
We are so proud of him and glad to have him in our family!

A New Decade

Or the last year of the old one, depending on what side of that debate you are on... but if you look at the tens column of the year, and it changed, to me it's good enough to call it a new decade.
Here is our family 10 years ago...

Let's see, 10 years ago... that would have been us living in Kentucky, expecting Emilie, living in a townhome in Florence. (Cincinnati area) We were close to the airport and Turfway park, a place they race horses. Michael was 3 years old and Benjamin was 1. Here we are at the end of 2000...

2000- We had Emilie while living in Kentucky. We took a camping trip to eastern Kentucky that summer. Tom worked for Walmart in management. We were in the Northern Kentucky 2nd ward and loved it.

In 2001, we moved to Ohio, Benjamin got his tonsils and adenoids out, I went to the hospital many times and we had Joseph, and lost Joseph. We were in the Milford Ward in Ohio.

In 2002 we moved to the other side of Ohio (middle of nowhere!) to a little town called Coolville, near Athens. Tom had just changed jobs to work for Anderson Merchandisers. The fun thing was, he was assigned to an area in Western Ohio... so for the first few months after we moved we only saw him on weekends. The best part of living here was being two doors down from the library, and we literally went every day. We went to church in West Virginia (Parkersburg Ward) and that was also an adventure. We started officially homeschooling here because Michael would have started kindergarten, incidentally, at the elementary school next door.
In 2003 we had Nathanael (yep, in a little tiny hospital in Athens, Ohio... his pic is still on the hospital website instead of taken off like the big corporate hospitals LOL) (and we were only at the hospital for 9 minutes from the time we entered the ER doors at 2:40 in the morning until he was born, in L&D) This was also the year of our marathon, 2 wedding trip across the US without Dad. He did join us in California and Utah though, for a few days. We also went to Glenn Beck's Rally for America in West Virginia. Awesome.

2004 was a big year... this picture is actually from early 2005. First thing in 2004, we moved to Pennsylvania. Tom had already started working in PA in December of 2003, alternating weeks between his new territory and his old one. We lived in this house in a valley between Indiana PA and Clymer, in the foothills of the Appalachians. The stars at night were amazing. The fall colors made me fall in love with the area, and our Indiana Branch was wonderful even though we were only there for 9 months- Tom got a promotion to the home office in Amarillo, Texas. We were expecting Samuel SOON at this time, so it was a crazy time for us. Tom actually moved to Texas and was there for 6 weeks before we moved there the week of Thanksgiving. Benjamin started homeschooling also, though it was sporadic at this point with moves and another baby coming...

In 2005 we had Samuel. Emilie started kindergarten. We got used to Texas weather... welcome to the Panhandle... we also celebrated our 10th wedding annivesary.

In early 2006 we travelled to Utah for the first time in a long time. Tom was tired of Texas stuff everywhere... and this picture is the result :) Yes, we both graduated from BYU and are very proud of it!
In 2006 we bought our first home! After many years of renting (ok, our whole marriage LOL) we looked at the homes that were in our price range and bought one... We are still happy with our decision. Timothy joined our family in November. This year also marked 2 years in Texas...
In 2007 I started working for Sears Portrait Studio, first regular job I had had since working for BYU.

In 2008 we had Christopher and I stopped working for Sears. We took a trip to California in our new 12 passenger van, going through Utah and Colorado on the way back. I had not seen my sister and a few of my brothers in 5 years, so it was about time! and Nathanael started homeschooling...

In 2009 we had Liberty, our 2nd daughter. We also have a teenager now! Michael turned 13 in November. Earlier in the year we took a trip to Illinois via Arkansas. That was fun, too, we hadn't seen some of Tom's brothers in a while. And Samuel started reading :)

We have now lived in Texas for 5 years, fully half this decade! This is longer than we have lived anywhere. Tom still has the same job and it has really treated us well. We've also been in the same ward for 5 years. Michael is now 13, Benjamin is 11, Emilie is 9, Nathanael is 6, Samuel is 4, Timothy is 3, Christopher is 1, and Liberty is new! It has been 8 years since we held Joseph.

It has been a good decade. Here's to many more! This decade should have some interesting events... by 2020 we'll probably have 2 sons go on missions and 3 kids go to college... 4 teenagers at once, a few Eagle Scouts we hope... but amazing to think about! In 2019 Liberty will turn 10, Christopher will turn 11, Timothy will turn 13, Samuel will turn 14, Nathanael will turn 16, Emilie will turn 19, Benjamin will turn 21, and Michael will turn 23... yikes!

Happy New Year!

I promise I'm going to update our blog more often. Really. I completely missed December, but I've already posted once in January, so that's more often already.

Now, how much free time do you think I have with 8 kids?


enough to play on Facebook, apparently...