Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Michael is now 15. (what?)

15 years ago, we became parents.  Shocking, isn't it?  I woke up to get ready for class (they still had class the day before Thanksgiving way back when) and my water broke.  Michael was READY to get here, even a month early.  He was a tiny little guy, only 5 lbs 7 oz, but he's grown... just last month he passed me up in height.
We are very proud of him.  He's growing more than just in height, but mentally and spiritually too.  He is developing his talents.  He is working on leadership skills.  He is learning new things in homeschooling and Boy Scouts.  He works hard.  He has fun.  He is exploring new interests and making friends.  He attends Seminary and is working on his 2nd year of perfect attendance. 
He has a great sense of humor and loves to share it.  He is patient with younger brothers and sisters (most of the time!)   He is learning to play the piano and does practice, once in a while.  He enjoys drawing and writing.  He's taken part in NaNoWrimo the last two years, and Scout camp for the last 3 years.  (at 3 different Scout camps across the country, no less.)  He even changes diapers.... but not often. 
He likes They Might Be Giants and the Beatles, as well as other music groups he is discovering all the time.  He likes to read and especially likes fantasy books like the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, though he has many other favorites.
Michael is a great person to know.  I am proud to be his Mom and I love learning who he is becoming.

Now for his driver's training... eek!
7 pizzas for a hungry group!  Michael loves pizza and enjoyed picking a lot of different kinds for both homemade and a few take and bake... (Papa Murphy's actually freezes well...)
Flaming death...
The smoke attacked the missionaries...
He's a big boy now!
Apparently he gets presents.  Dunno, birthday or something.
This is the "Blue Canary" of They Might Be Giants fame...
Liberty loved his monkey sticker.
Chocolate from Dad!
Mythbusters game!  

November 30th 365 challenge


Timothy and Samuel love this puzzle.  I know it's been in our pictures before, but they liked it with all the 'popups' popping up.  I'm thankful for my family, for homeschooling, and for fun stuff like this.

November 29th 365 challenge- It's a GIRL!


Here is our new baby giving us the thumbs up.  (it is better than our 9th child, who flipped us off.)  Baby 10 is a GIRL.  She was very cooperative, other than being modest until the ultrasound was almost over, and everything looks great.  She is measuring right on for dates, still due to arrive in mid April.  This arm was up behind her head, like she was kicking back and enjoying the experience of being smooshed by the ultrasound tech getting pictures of her.   We are very thankful that all is well, that she is telling us "thumbs up" in her own little pre-birth way, and that we got a glimpse of this little person getting ready to join our family in just 4+ months. 

Here are some other pictures of her.
 Baby foot...
 Hello!  Baby's hand.
Profile picture.

Initial reactions?  Shock.  After 7 boys you expect another boy.  I was thinking we'd have 8 boys... instead, we are getting a third daughter.  While exciting, it's a little startling and I'm not sure what to think.  Even though I just had a baby girl 2 years ago, boys are written into our genes and I thought I was preprogrammed for more boys, as 2 had to be the limit (Tom's and my families both have 2 girls, and 2 girls only...)  We'll be the first in this generation or the last to have 3 girls... probably going back a few generations, too!  Plus this involves 2 girls in a row!  Still adjusting my thinking to this idea... and then the fun part... getting ready!  

(plus I get to use all of Liberty's CUTE baby girl clothes over again!!!!  Even though a different season, most of it works!)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kansas City Missouri temple November 24th, 2011


Look!  There's a grassy hill around the temple!  Love seeing it come together.

November 28th 365 challenge


Liberty with a Christmas snow globe... no water, just a little fan that blows the snow around.  It plays Christmas music very LOUDly and has Pooh in it.  So she loves it.  Thankful for Christmas decorations!  And kids who appreciate them.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27th 365 challenge


Happy Birthday Michael!  He's 15 now.  He loves the "Blue Canary in the Outlet by the Lightswitch"   night light he got from Abram and Jen.  I'm thankful for Michael today!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Timothy is 5! Happy birthday big guy!

Happy 5th birthday to my Timothy!  I know his birthday was actually 2 weeks ago, but I saw it was Michael's birthday tomorrow and I'd better get posting about Timothy's birthday first before I get too behind!

Timothy was our 2nd child born in Amarillo, Texas.  He was the first one born while living at a home we owned.  So, Timothy was the last of our children in a long row to each be born while living at a different house.  (Michael, Provo, Benjamin, Orem, Emilie, Kentucky, Joseph, Cincy, Nathanael, Coolville OH, Samuel, Texas).  Christopher and Liberty of course were born while we still lived in that same house, so that streak was broken.

He was our BIG baby.  Dr. Tucker was worried that he would get TOO big so I was induced, and he was kind of right... but shorted the real weight by a pound... Timothy was 8 lbs 12 oz, our biggest baby so far.  He was born fairly soon after the induction, which just shows I was ready to have him!

Timothy is our little blonde boy, with CURLY hair.  He got his hair cut last right after he got his stitches out this summer.  It's needing cut again... but he tells us he likes it curly!  He is learning how to read and loves to figure out stuff.  He definitely has his own way of looking at things and expressing himself, so we have to be ready for anything for him.  He has been doing great in Primary with new teachers and meeting at the new building next to the Kansas City temple. 

His best friend is Christopher, but they are starting to include Liberty in their antics... so for a week we had a 4 year old, 3 year old, and 2 year old all wreaking havoc on our home... but now Timothy is 5... not that it will change anything that way!  He has a great imagination and has lots of ideas to lead them in different games and activities. 

Timothy is a very picky eater and would be happy eating bread all the time.  However, we are getting him to try new things at least once or twice a week, even though he starts most meals with "I don't like that.  I want some bread."  You just can't cater to everyone when you have 8 children, but we do make sure he's fed something every meal. 

Timothy is a great addition to our family!  We love our 7th child, our 6th son, our #6 when we count off in the car, our curly haired wonder, our bundle of exuberance and excitement about everything except vegetables.  We'd definitely miss him if he weren't around!

November 26th 365 challenge


It's time to bring out the Nativity sets!  I am so thankful for our traditions that allow us to remember the reason for the season.  I am also thankful for my many child-friendly Nativity sets.  :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25th 365 challenge


Christmas is one month from today.  I am thankful for this season, for times with family, for remembering the reason for this celebration, and for all that comes with it.  I love the memories, and I love making more memories.  A second Christmas in a row, pregnant, even though I didn't know it last year, I am still thankful for everything that has happened this year and for all that I have learned.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24th 365 challenge


I'm thankful tonight for my 9 children, for the things they each have taught me over the years, and for each and every day I have had with them, whether it was the 12 days I had with Joseph, or the 5,476 days I've had with Michael (so far)... (it'll be 15 years on Sunday). Each day there is something more to love about them.
And I'm equally excited to get know this 10th child, who is making him or herself known more and more often.  We will probably find out more about who he/she is on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23rd 365 challenge


Today I'm thankful for working appliances that allowed us to make our 10 pies!

(Tradition for us... one per person!)

This was the last one we finished, Coconut cream!

We also made 2 pumpkin, lemon meringue, jello, chocolate peanut butter, oreo ice cream, apple, cherry, and banana.

November 22nd 365 challenge


Yesterday was the Liberty Interfaith Ministerial Alliance Thanksgiving Celebration.  Tom and I were a part of the orchestra, which by the time we performed, had 39 participants.  The Community Choir was made up of 120 people from different churches.  We had 2 directors, several speakers, but mostly music.  We accompanied the hymns, plus played a beautiful piece called "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" arranged by Mack Wilberg.  Here is a link to the piece on YouTube, and here is another.  The first one is the BYU combined orchestras and choirs, one is the Tabernacle Choir and orchestra.

I am thankful to have been a part of this, for any amount of musical talent, and the opportunity to share it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21st 365 challenge


UP UP UP!  Liberty in the air because she has a few words we understand!  She is so excited when we figure out what she's saying.

Today I'm thankful for my husband (and best friend) Tom, who loves me and our kids and shows this by spending time with us when he can, and by working hard for us when he can't. 

November 20th 365 challenge


I am so thankful for my beliefs, especially for my belief (knowledge, really) that my son Joseph is a part of our family forever, and for the part that temples play in that belief.  Tom and I were married in the temple, and we were sealed for time and all eternity, meaning that our marriage will last beyond death, and the children that we have are part of that union forever, as a part of our family that began with that marriage ceremony in the temple.  And that includes our son Joseph who died at 12 days of age, back in 2001, even though some of our other children have never met him but still talk about him, and our older children were ages 4, 2, and 1 still have memories of that time (or of us talking about that time.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19th 365 challenge


They were pretending to be chocolate and melting all over the floor.  I am thankful that we can be clean with baths and showers!

November 18th 365 challenge


Today I am thankful that Samuel does not have pneumonia, though he is sick.  For now he just has a bad cough.  We are definitely keeping an eye on him, though!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17th 365 challenge


Today I am thankful for how wonderfully unique each of my children are. Of course, that makes it more difficult to raise them, teach them, and deal with them, but honestly, how boring would 8 (9?) carbon copies be? Liberty is already showing her strong personality (well, she did THAT even before she was born, see ultrasound pix) but today I just loved her choice of accessories.  She has her own sense of style, for sure.  (big sister Emilie helps...)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16th 265 challenge


Today I'm thankful for a sense of humor.  (no, I wasn't going to say chocolate or M&M's, though those are very good choices.)  Tonight we were opening a package from Grandma and Grandpa for Timothy's birthday last week.  They always send M&M's.  We were pulling all these packets out of the box and for some reason they all ended up in front of Michael.  As it was dinner time, and he had this pile of candy in front of him, we all thought it was hilarious.  Thus the camera came out.

November 15th 365 challenge


We love the Postal Service and all related businesses that allow us to get mail, packages, and other things at our house.  Kids love to check the mail, get packages from UPS, etc.  How fun it is to get birthday presents and cards!  Timothy was happy to get this birthday card!

November 14th 365 challenge


Monday night and I'm thankful for Family Home Evening.  Family Home Evening is an inspired program where the night is set aside for family use, for instruction, time together, treats, games, but most important, to be together.  For more information, see here.  This is our chart for who has what 'job' for the evening, including prayers, lesson, scripture, songs, game, and treat.  We'll have to add another little clothespin after April.  :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kansas City Missouri temple November 13th, 2011

Today we drove around the temple right after church, as usual... however, this time, it took less than 30 seconds to get from the church to the temple!  yay!  It's lovely how they are getting all the landscaping in.  It will look even better in the spring when everything is in bloom.  We can see the parking lot being finished up, too.

November 13th 365 challenge


Liberty on the back of the couch... she takes after her mom.  My dad would find me on the back of the couch at this age.... standing, sitting, whatever, and being very nonchalant about it.  I am thankful my parents let me live... and I'm thankful for my childhood and how they raised me. 

We've only had 5 ER* trips in all our years of parenting (so far), and nothing to do with climbing, so thankful for safe kids!

*(see Benjamin's bike accident, Timothy's "bonk" bed incident, Nathanael's folding chair encounter, plus one dehydration adventure with Nat and one bout with pneumonia with Samuel...)

November 12th 365 challenge


Today I am thankful that my kids love to learn.  (and I love homeschooling.)   Here Liberty is playing with her new shape sorting toy from her birthday.  She is forcing herself to learn the shapes she doesn't like.  The diamond, parallelogram, and trapezoid are her least favorites.  They only fit a certain way, and she sometimes ends up putting them in by opening the lid... however, she is figuring them out slowly but surely, and she keeps trying.

  Go Liberty!

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11th 365 challenge


Today I am thankful for our liberty (as well as our Liberty!) and all the men who fought and died for our freedoms.  This is from our trip last year, not truly today, but I just wanted to find that that really fit.  Enjoy!

November 10th 365 challenge


Timothy turned 5... this is his crazy, goofy face.  Happy Birthday to my Timothy!  We are very thankful for him.  What's funny is we got him Cars 2 for his birthday... I remember the week he was born, sitting on the couch with our family watching Cars at 9 months pregnant with an almost 9 lb baby boy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Liberty is 2 years old!

 Liberty trying to hold up 2 fingers.

Birthday card!

Warm new clothes!  She loves new clothes... and this one has an elephant on the pants.

 Chocolate from Dad!

 She probably would have licked them all and put them back...

 Every 2 year old of ours has looked borderline teary when we set fire to their cake...

 She's trying to blow out the candles.

 Now what?

 She loves this shape sorter... she just doesn't like the parallelogram or the diamond. 

 Cooking!  (princesses?)

Happy 2nd birthday to our Liberty Rose!

I can't believe it's been 2 years since Liberty Rose decided to make an appearance in our household on a busy Wednesday evening.  (I remember it was Wednesday because Tom and kids stayed home from scouts, etc. when I wasn't quite feeling right)  Since then it's been non stop cheery baby girl, unless she's being grumpy.  She knows what she wants and lets us all know, even though she doesn't say many words.  She'll repeat after us when we tell her to say something, but her communications are usually grunting and pointing.  She takes after her aunt that way :)  She loves girly stuff, dancing, princesses, being pretty, BUTTERFLIES are her favorite.  She loves talking on the phone, even if she doesn't say something if there really is someone on the other end.  She thinks my cell phone belongs to her.  She loves Nursery at church.  She knows when it is bedtime and is happy to go to bed.  She also loves her plug (pacifier) still, but I know it will be gone eventually.  We try and keep it to just bedtime and naptime.  She makes fun animal noises for pigs, elephants, lions, tigers, cows, etc.  Her favorite thing to do is play with Emilie.  She loves watching Baby Einstein movies with the music.  She loves playing outside.  As I am typing this is she is ordering Timothy and Christopher around to bring her toys near the sliding door so she can play with them and look outside at the same time. 

We can't imagine life without her.  She had a fun birthday and we look forward to next year, when she might actually know what's going on.  Everyone loves her and we are happy to have her as part of our family.