Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Horton Hears a Who

We bought a fun new game called Horton Hears a Who! on clearance at Target. The boys LOVE it! It involves running, jumping, rolling, tipie toeing (?) and hurrying as fast as you can. They get especially excited when mom or dad put on the Horton mask and scurry around :) Here are a few pictures of Nicholas practicing the art of collecting clovers.

Notice the unfinished green paint behind him...I am not in love with that color, and have yet to decide on a new one. Any suggestions welcome!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fun in the Crib

Life just seems to fill to overflowing with activities this time of year. It is fun, but exhausting. Thus, my neglect of the blog.

Here are a few pictures of Essie playing in her crib.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The "Hot Pots"

About ten miles from my home town there are some natural hot springs. The locals call them the "Hot Pots." While we were visiting we went out for a dip. It was COLD outside, but the water was PERFECT...warm enough to have steam rising off it. It is out in the middle of a field, so you really have to know where you are going, or you'll never find it. We had it all to ourselves for about an hour and then a few people came and joined us.

It isn't very deep right around the edge, but the rocks are slippery. Nicholas was afraid he was going to slip and fall down into the deep water. It took some major persuasion to get him to stay in with us. He relaxed a bit after a while.

My brother and Nicholas. The beer can wasn't ours...there were cans littered all over from some rowdy party. Jackson dove down to the bottom and cleaned them all out of the water. We hauled them out with us and threw them away. Nicholas and Thomas liked pouring water out of them and filling them back up again. Not the best toy, I know.

Handsome Jackson!

Thomas is was super brave and went ALL the way under the water for the first time ever!!! Good job Thomas!

Uncle Jake giving Thomas a ride around. That rope behind them goes over the deep part. It is fun to sit on the rope and look down into the deep dark hole the water comes out of.
Aunt Kara and Nicholas
Marisa (Jake's girlfriend) came with us, but she didn't have a swimsuit, so she just watched. When Nicholas wanted to get out, they snuggled together and told stories to each other. Nicholas loves her (we all do!).
Thomas under the water!

I have more pictures from Thanksgiving weekend, but I loved these pictures so much I had to post them first. We had a great only complaint is that it was too short.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Assignment #4

Assignment #4 was to photograph a "Dream Come True." Monday night after the kids were all in their pajamas, ready for bed, Jackson said, "Let's go to Cold Stone!" We all cheered and jumped in the van. The kids LOVED looking at and choosing from all the different kinds of ice cream and toppings. It was a "Dream Come True" for them I grabbed the camera on the way out the door on a whim. I am glad I did, because it was so fun to capture pictures of this fun night time excursion.

For any photogs out was completely dark outside, so I shot on 1600 ISO, which I had never done before. The photos were fairly noisy, but I ran a free trial edition of Nikon's Noise Reduction software...I am not remembering right now what it is called....and it helped a LOT!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Assignment 3

For my photography class, the assgnment for week three was "Sunflare." It was challenging for me for a few reasons...1) because sunflare is hard 2) because you have to hold really still and be in just the right place to get the flare right and KIDS DON'T HOLD STILL 3) because of the time change Jackson isn't home until the sun is down on work days...this meant I had one day to capture this...actually one hour in one day because the hour before sunset is the best time for flare.

I am SUPER happy that I was pushed to learn and try something new, though. I am happy with the pictures considering the circumstances. Here is what I turned in. Oh...the theme was "Joy."

Monday, November 10, 2008


The boys LOVE to color and draw. Thomas's favorite thing to draw is race cars and rockets. For a long time now, that is the ONLY thing he would draw. He would fill up page after page of race cars with different patterns on the sides of them. The past few weeks he has been branching out a little bit. He started drawing monsters with big pointy teeth and lots of arms and legs. Sometimes he will draw a house with a sun above it. It is fun to watch how his drawings progress.

Nicholas does scribbles of many colors. He can also do a pretty good circle, but he prefers to scribble. Actually, he is more interested in making a big sword by hooking the markers together than he is in coloring. Here are a few pictures of our latest coloring session.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Assignment #2

I think I mentioned before that I am taking an online photography class from Sheye Rosemeyer (link to her blog on sidebar). It is a six week course and we have an assignment for each week. This past week we were supposed to take the same subject in the same pose with six different backgrounds/lighting situations. It is a bit challenging to get a 5 year old to do the same pose, but I think he was close enough. This was what I 'turned in.' I am learning a lot from this class and really enjoying it also.

Daddy and his sweet little girl. They have a great connection. Every time he walks in from work she gets so excited and says "Da Da Da Da" while flapping her arms. If he doesn't pick her up right away she starts to cry. She loves him!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Jackson's mom is an amazing seamstress. She has made quite a few Halloween costumes for her grandchildren over the past few years. She keeps them in her closet, and when it is Halloween the kids get to go through and choose one that fits them. It is so fun!

Thomas chose the dinosaur this year.

Nicholas chose the lion.

Estella was a bit too small for anything, so I made her a quick orange tutu. I'll post a picture of her soon. It was her first birthday yesterday! I can't believe it. It was as if something clicked inside her that said, "You're one...time to walk" because last night she started taking about 10 steps in a row without falling. It was so fun to watch. We sang to her and she grinned and waved her arms, basking in the attention. She really likes to be the center of attention. We love our Essie Boo!

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Well...these pictures are reverse order than I would think I would have this figured out by now.

This year we gave Thomas and Nicholas small gifts on their birthdays, and one large present to share inbetween their birthdays (two weeks apart). The large present was a huge set of Legos. They (and I) LOVE them! Thomas especially likes them. he makes all kinds of airplanes, rockets, boats, race cars, and his latest was a huge robot. It is so fun to see his creations. A few days ago while I was taking a nap, he wasn't tired, so he built with Legos until I woke up. These are his creations.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Leaves, Leaves Everywhere!

I LOVE FALL!!! Have I said that enough times already? The weather has been absolutely perfect. This afternoon the boys decided they wanted to rake a pile of leaves. They spent a good hour raking leaves, jumping in the pile, burying each other, having leaf fun fun! Here are a few pictures of their fun.

Notice she is standing solo...good job Essie!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Family Home Evening

Jackson never ceases to amaze me. I mentioned to him at dinner tonight that it was his turn for the lesson for FHE. Ten minutes later as we sat down in the living room he began an amazing lesson. I am not sure the boys learned anything from it, but I sure did.

He started by showing us all a stack of nice, clean white paper. He said that each paper cost 10 pushups. We all (except for Thomas who was feeling a bit picked on and emotional) got down and did our ten pushups. Thomas cried, whined, begged, and finally grabbed for a piece of paper. Jackson calmly explained again that he had to do 10 pushups to get one. Thomas grumpily, tearfully, and loudly did 10 jerks that barely resembled pushups. Jackson said he could have the bent paper (caused by the grabbing) for pushups like that, or he could do more for a fresh straight paper. Let's just say it took a while, but Thomas finally got a clean paper.

Jackson then said that he would show us how to make an airplane out of our paper. He could show us each of the steps, but he couldn't do it for us. We could ask each other for help, but not him. We all followed his directions the best we could. Nicholas quickly asked me for help. Thomas cried and cried getting more and more frustrated with his imperfect airplane. By the time we were done Thomas was just about hysterical. Jackson called the boys around him and asked them to show him their airplanes. They did, and Jackson asked if they could see where they had made mistakes. Thomas just about couldn't take it anymore. He was SO upset that his airplane wasn't perfect. Then came a surprise...

Nicholas gave Jackson his imperfect airplane, jumped down on the floor, and began doing more pushups. When he was done, he asked for a fresh paper.

Jackson told Thomas that he had two choices...he could do 10 more pushups for a new paper, or he could give Jackson his imperfect airplane, do 5 pushups, and Jackson would give him the perfect airplane that he made.

You can probably see where he was going with this. This was as far as we got, though, because Thomas was screaming so loud that Jackson couldn't explain what the purpose of the lesson was. I think we will try it again, though, when we are all feeling happy. To me, it made so much sense. We are commanded to do things that are really hard for us to do...but if we do our best, and then do whatever our Savior asks us to do, he will give us a clean sheet of paper every time we partake of the sacrament and will replace our imperfect airplane with his perfect one.

I'm not sure I am expressing everything well, but I do know that I felt the Holy Ghost in my heart teaching me about the reality of the atonement. I also felt the importance of teaching my children this truth and other truths that will protect them from the increasing temptations of the world. I am thankful that my parents did that for me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Candy Land

I started a 6 week online photography class this week. My first assignment was to recreate a childhood memory using some specific techniques. I had a lot of different ideas...the first two I tried and failed at.

First, I was going to take pictures of the kids while we went to the grocery store. I had great images in my mind of the kids happily riding in the cart, enthusiasticly picking out cereal, helpfully unloading the cart at the checkout stand, etc. We got to the store, I loaded my camera bag along with the three kids and a long grocery list into the store...and then reality set in...WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING!!! Taking one child to the grocery store is hard enough! Why did I think I could take three kids, get all the groceries I needed, AND take great, technically correct pictures??? I abandoned my idea as soon as I came to my senses and didn't pull out the camera the entire time.

My second idea was to take pictures of the kids happily playing Candy Land. The pictures turned out okay, but I still wasn't happy with them. I ended up submitting some of the pictures I took of Thomas climbing the tree a few weeks ago. Here are a few from our Candy Land photo shoot.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Family Journal

For the past four years I have diligently printed out and organized our family pictures into leather bound albums (the kind you just slip the pictures into). I am nearly up to date on journaling in them also. I am almost finished filling up my last album, and I have decided to change our family journaling from that to blogging and printing one blog book a year. I think it will be more efficient time wise. I also think it'll be better because I will be doing it as things happen instead of trying to remember details when I print the pictures off months after they were taken.

That said, I want to record a few things we did this week even though they might be a bit boring for you to read.

  • Estella is getting very brave with walking. She took her first steps a month ago, and is now regularly standing up by herself in the middle of the floor and taking a few steps before falling on her bottom. If you lend her one of your fingers she is very steady and will walk fast with you. The most steps I have seen her take on her own is 5 in a row. At church today we sat next to a mom of five grown boys. After sacrament meeting she laughingly said, "WOW! She is a pistol!" I think she said it well.
  • Nicholas is growing so fast. He is only about 5 inches shorter and 4 pounds lighter than Thomas right now. Nicholas came to us with the talents of being thankful, polite, and considerate. He is as much of these things as a three year old can be. It warms my heart when he turns to me and says "Thank you, Mama." with complete sincerity. He is very fun to be around. He loves playing soccer, jumping on the trampoline, riding his trike, and reading stories. I have recently begun to notice that Nicholas tends to hide how he is feeling. I have realized that he often feels sad or insecure and I have to pay careful attention or I will miss understanding how he feels.
  • Thomas has suddenly turned from a little boy to a big boy. He has gained a lot of control over himself in the past few months. He is very inquisitive and is always full of good questions. He loves to learn about the world around him. He is taking gymnastics once a week with his buddy Mason, goes to preschool with Mrs Potter two mornings a week, and also takes violin lessons from his Grandma Chelle. He loves all of these activites, and seems happiest when he is learning. He has a very competitive nature and often says he wants to be the best or thinks he is the best at different things. He is learning to recognize when he feels the Holy Ghost.
  • Jackson, the boys, and I cleaned out the garden yesterday while Essie was taking a nap. We harvested hundreds of tomatoes this year! Even though we did that, I was still sad to see how many froze. I just hate to see them wasted. Next year I will be more careful about protecting them and picking everything before it turns too cold.
  • Jackson bought a pass to a new Gold's Gym that is very close to his office. The main reason he did was to swim in their pool, but he has really enjoyed lifing weights and using their cardio machines also. I am still walking, and have recently been jogging for exercise. It is hard to find time for excercise with three kids. Jackson has been going to the gym at 5:30, so he can be back by 7 or 7:30 to give me 30 minutes to exercise before he goes to work.

Now for a few pictures....Yesterday we went for a walk on the Monument with Julia (Jackson's sister) and her two boys Ethan and Aiden. Here are a few pictures from the beautiful morning.