Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fourth of July


The Fourth of July was a big day for us.  We started out the morning by going to our Ward's 4th of July pancake breakfast which was super fun.  After that we made our way to Aaron's to watch the parade with his family.  After then we all went back to his parents house to hang out, play games, and have a fun barbecue.  The cousins had so much fun playing together and we had fun with everyone being their for the get together.  The day before that we also had gotten together to take some family pictures.
Here's some pictures of all the cousins and a water fight with Grandma:)
 and the kids had fun playing with Grandpa too... and of course lego building.  Julian was very excited about making these clouds ;-)

 
We also made a special cake for America's birthday.  It actually worked out and looked awesome!  When we were getting ready for the day I told the kids to wear something patriotic or red and blue, so Gretch comes up with the Captian America costume on to wear to the parade.  She wore it the whole time and kept calling it Captain America day.  Now whenever we see an American flag or anything red white and blue, she's like, look a Captain America flag, a Captain America whatever.  So this was the Captain America cake;-)
 

 Apart from fun holidays we have had a lot of fun celebrating Harrison milestones.  He has been working hard on crawling.  He has been going backward and army crawling backward. He was taking little tiny "knee steps" forward and really did a solid crawl forward about five days ago.  He is not very fast but he's getting the hang of it and he is getting around even faster.  He also loves to make funs sounds, like a Chewbaka, or purring like a cat, he does a ton of zerbert sounds, and gasping sounds were he sucks in air.  So funny.  He can sit up all by himself and pulled himself up all by himself on July 19.  He also started waving over the fourth weekend and likes to point and clap his hands too.

Here he is in a nest that the kids built for him:)
enjoying the grass or future underwear model...
And enjoying some light reading material.



sitting

pulling up
and clapping


Gretchen and I were in the backyard and she saw the moon in the middle of the day.  She was all "look mom a full moon, oh actually it is a half moon."  I looked up to see that it was indeed a half moon... or at least more than a crescent moon and less than a full moon, which are also phases that Gretchen likes to identify accurately.  "Look mom, a crescent moon."  Oh man she is so fun!

Julian has been building mixels like crazy.  He loves the little mixel game and built an entire replica of the game with a path of different colors, nine mixels that could be mixed together to make different mixels (three groups of three), the whirlwind, and the starting mixel, as well as the buttons to push.  He makes armies of these guys and then mixes them all together like in the game.  He gets instructions online to build so many different ones that he doesn't actually own.  I love his creativity.  He keeps telling me that he wants to be a construction worker so hat he can build the house that he wants in our backyard.



 

We had such an awesome moment a few nights ago.  We were outside and the evening sky was so beautiful and the stars were so bright, way brighter than usual.  We checked out our planet app and realized that the bright stars we were looking at were actually Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.  They were so bright and so was the moon.  It was crazy to realize that we were seeing half of our solar system with the naked eye and I just felt like with all the crazy stuff going on right now it is nice to remember that we are all apart of something so much bigger and so amazing.
 

Besides all that fun stuff we have been working on finishing off our bathroom downstairs and we are so excited because it is ready for paint now.  Hoorah!  That is a pic of me covered in sand and also of a table we made and painted.  Yay for getting projects done!



  We also celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.  We went out for a nice dinner and sadly I did not get a picture of us together but it was a lovely night and we ate lots of yummy food.  So glad that I could celebrate this special day with my special guy.  Life keeps getting crazier and somehow he just keeps getting more wonderful.  I'm so grateful to share my life with and have a family with the best man I have ever known.  Here's to a million more. Years that is:-)


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Everything else part 2


After Halloween, Harrison, Thanksgiving, and Christmas... we celebrated Gretchen's 3rd birthday and than Valentine's Day and Easter.

Just a little bit about Christmas, the kids had such a fun time at the ward party.  It was a Polar Express theme and the kids brought a golden ticket that was punched by the conductor when they got to the building.  Each table was set up as a train and the kids came in their jammies.  We had breakfast for dinner and there was a hot chocolate bar.  After that they saw Santa and got a little Christmas bell.  It was so sweet.  Here they are with Santa, with just Julian and Gretch and with all three...
 
After that we celebrated Gretchen's birthday.  She asked for a Peppa Pig cake with Peppa jumping in the mud.  She was really excited about it;)

And here she is opening up her presents,

Here is also a picture of Julian's cake (an ATAT walker aka robot pig) that I didn't get into the last post, and my birthday too.  Thanks for the strawberry cake mom!
 
 After that we celebrated Aaron's birthday with a party with friends and then Valentine's day.  Then we had a fun trip to the zoo,
 

But right before that we had Harrison's baby blessing.  Aaron gave him a very beautiful blessing and we had a very special day.

 

We then celebrated my grandma's 89th birthday.  We took some fun four generation pictures and some family pics.  We love my grandma to pieces and love to see her!
 


Easter was next or maybe that was before.  But we had so much fun painting eggs, having an Easter Egg hunt, and enjoying our Easter baskets! Here's a pic of the kids on Easter Sunday:)

Soon after Easter we started to get ready for summer and enjoyed a gorgeous spring.  We got a trampoline for the kids and started picking lots of yummy strawberries and made some yummy pies.
Things started to warm up and the kids have just been playing outside a lot since! They love to play on their swingset and Gretch proudly pumps herself all on her own.  Yay for that!  They also love to play in the dirt which Julian continues to eat on a regular basis.  We put in our garden too but have not taken any pics of it yet but it is doing great.
 

Time is more or less flying by and we have been more or less blitzed by a Harrison that learned how to sleep through the night last month after not sleeping day or night for any given duration before that.  With that being said he is the cutest little baby ever and so loved by Julian and Gretch.  They love to see and play with him and he gets SOOO excited to see and play with them and Daddy.  Harrison turned 8 months a little over a week ago today.  He mastered sitting up at seven months.  He loves to get around on his tummy and roll around, but doesn't crawl yet.  However, his preferred mode of transportation is his walker.  He will run around in that thing forever, just fiddling with this and running into that.  He is so funny to watch.  He saw Gretchen's flip flops on top of the bar stool, so he runs over there, grabs the top part of the bar stool and then runs backward really fast.  The stool falls over onto his walker and the shoes fall into his walker.  With one hand he pushes the bar stool off, grabs shoes.  Success. Ta da!! Seriously sometimes I feel like I am living with velociraptors from the Jurassic Park movies.  These kids are always out-thinking me...  Harrison likes to knock over the bar stools anyway.  He also says mamma and na-na and has said that for a while now.  He has also says dadda but not very often.  He is so cute and just loves to be moving. He is a champ at eating his baby food and likes to sit up and play with his toys too.  He also loves to have his diaper changed.  He is so smiley and laughy for the whole thing.  He is growing up so fast and changing so quickly but he is still a cute little chubby guy.  Here are a bunch of pics of him over the last six months,


 


 


Gretchen and Julian have been having fun with Harrison and have been pretty helpful to me with Harrison and the house.  I feel like we are kind of getting a rhythm down.  Apart from that Julian is always building things and loves making instruction books for his creations.  He also loves video games, and playing outside in the dirt and in the sprinklers.  He's also loves to start traditions for us.  He's like we should do this activity as a family all the time.  He has started a movie night every Saturday night where we rent a movie for the kids and eat pizza.  He also started game night on Sundays.  We are not as good at that but it is very fun to play with our very competitive kids. When we were playing Monopoly Julian was cleaning out Gretchen and essentially ruling the world.  It really brought back memories of playing with my own brother.  Ah, older brothers teach so much about life!!

  
Here we are using some substitutes for our missing players in Chutes and Ladders.

Gretch loves to pump herself on the swing, play outside, pretend she is a princess, and read books.  She says funny stuff all the time but my favorite is when she says "I'm having a really good day mom. Today is a really good day."  That makes me happy.  She also likes to comment on the view all the time.  "What a beautiful view mom, such a nice view..."  Gretch has one heck of a personality.  She is so headstrong and she can be so kind and considerate too.  She really keeps things interesting around here and loves to do things her way;)  And I don't mean that in a bad way because I happen to think that she is absolutely perfect.
 
We planted our garden in May and the strawberries did awesome this year and now the raspberries are coming on.  Our lemons got ripe finally so we made our annual lemon meringue pie.  The kids also helped me pick strawberries and make a bunch of jam.  They were so proud of their jam and we enjoy eating it all the time.

Most recently we welcomed Aaron's parents back home from their mission and have been able to spend a lot of time with them and with all of Aaron's family.  It has been so fun to see everyone and get together with the cousins. We have also worked on a few projects with and for the kids.  A quilt and a baby bed for Gretch, a storm trooper throw pillow for Julian, and some holiday crafts.

And here are some bonus pics.
A pic of Gretch around Harrison's age and Harrison eating his first baby food at 6 months. Such cute little babies.