Monday, February 16, 2015

Feb. 16, 2015

My Mom would always record the big events of each person's week as part of FHE, and I'm excited to have started that tradition tonight.
Samuel: “We played cheetah attack today.” :) They love to pretend. The kids were both SO excited about Valentine's Day as it meant candy, surprises, and SWIMMING LESSONS! He got really into decorating for Valentine’s Day and wrapped "presents" (things he found around the house) for everyone.  He got a new swimming suit and swim shirt, just in time for his first of this session of swimming lessons. He also started gymnastics last week which he loved. We also started the sonlight preschool curriculum this week and it's really great. He went to Rose and Ram's house (Indian neighbors) a few times this week too and loves playing the Wii over there.
He gets SO excited when I say it's time to clean the bathroom!
Eliza: “Serve. When it was oatmeal time I served everyone. That’s called ‘stick to you!’” Lol We've been memorizing "Stick to a task til it sticks to you, for beginners are many but finishers are few." That's where that came from! Eliza had her first swimming lesson on Saturday too (with me in the water) and loved it! She got a cute new swimming suit for Valentine’s Day and a new stuffed animal (she carries around several stuffed animals everywhere she goes!). She threw up several times in the night Saturday night and we're glad she's feeling better. No idea where she picked up that bug but glad nobody else has gotten it. Her ballet outfit came in the mail this weekend and she can't wait for ballet class on Thursday! Wish I would've put her in something a long time ago. She walks out of class so confident, trying not to smile, with a look on her face like she's just so proud of herself. :) It's SO SO good for her.
After our first swimming lesson
Zoe: Almost crawling! She can go from laying down to sitting up on her own now and can get to just about anything she wants. Her physical therapy has helped SO much with her muscle imbalance and the left side of her face is looking so much better. just got rid of thrush... AGAIN! Hoping it stays gone. She loves the exercauser that my friend Nicole let us borrow and just jumps and jumps. I'm weaning her in prep for our Europe trip and she's doing well with it, although it breaks my heart!  She's still the most precious, sweet thing ever.
The nystatin didn't clear up the thrush so we tried gentian violet again. She had a purple mouth for a couple days!
Zoe is obviously shocked that we are moving to Cambodia! ;)

Dad: Got super excited about saving 1.3 million at work and could hardly sleep Thursday night. Then he went to work Friday and it turned out it wouldn't be the easy savings he thought it’d be. :)
Aren't Saturdays with Daddy just the best!
Mom: Loved working out on Saturday (I got a Planet Fitness membership at the new year, $10/month baby!), finished listening to "Dumbing Us Down" while I was there. Enjoyed a double date with Kosi and Tori Stewart Saturday night, Shaleena babysat. Stake Conference and Cinnamon Indian Restaurant. MMMMMM we LOVE Indian food!
Made a bunch of breakfast burritos on Wed with Tori and Shaleena to freeze! Laura and Kerri inspired.

My goal will be to post our recordings each Monday night, then hopefully add a few pics/details from our week. I think having a set time when I at least write down a few things is my only hope for being consistent at this blogging thing! I want to blog consistently so that I can print off books that we will treasure forever and that will unite our family when we look back at them. But it always slips through the cracks. Here's to a late new year's resolution.

In the most recent General Conference Richard G. Scott said, "Be cautious not to make your family home evening just an afterthought of a busy day. Decide that on Monday night your family will be together at home for the evening. Do not let employment demands, sports, extracurricular activities, homework, or anything else become more important than that time you spend together at home with your family.
The structure of your evening is not as important as the time invested. The gospel should be taught both formally and informally. Make it a meaningful experience for each member of the family. Family home evening is a precious time to bear testimony in a safe environment; to learn teaching, planning, and organizational skills; to strengthen family bonds; to develop family traditions; to talk to each other; and more important, to have a marvelous time together!"

When I heard this I realized FHE was usually an afterthought of a busy day for me. So I've made more of an effort to make FHE the focus of my Monday and it has been so great. The blessings of Family Home Evening are very obvious and I'm just so grateful we have leaders who remind us of its importance. The kids take turns teaching the lessons now which they love and I really enjoy helping them prepare during the day and see that the things they teach really stick in their minds the most. Our FHE always includes talents, which is the kids' favorite part. They basically just take turns running around jumping off furniture, doing crazy spins and summer saults, etc. And thanks to our trusty cricut we even FINALLY got names put up on our FHE board (a gift from Josh and Stephanie about 4 years ago!)!

Halloween 2014

We enjoyed a ward trunk or treat a couple days before, then soup and trick or treating at the Wolff's house (Annette is my visiting teacher and I just love her!) with a bunch of families in the ward. Holidays just get more and more fun as our kids get older! Sam especially looks forward to holidays SO much and helps us get into them even more! Both Sam and Eliza were very particular about what they wanted to be for Halloween. And being the candy lovers they are, they had a very happy Halloween.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Family Photo Shoot - Dec. 7, 2014

One awful Sunday in December I forced everyone to take some family pictures for our Christmas card. It was pretty miserable, as family pictures usually are, but we did it. :) I'm excited to have our pictures taken professionally in the Spring.

Samuel - 4 1/2

Eliza - 2 1/2

Zoe - 6 months

This girl sure has my heart!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 19, 2014

I've wanted to give a little update on each of the kids for a while. We feel so blessed to have three beautiful, healthy children! We've had several reminders lately that each day is such a blessing.

SAMUEL is 4 1/2 and is a great big brother for his two sisters. He is REALLY into money and has been for the past couple months. Most days he spends a lot of his time counting his money. He's become really good at counting, adding, and subtracting because it! We do "school" about 3 times a week where we do songs about the days of the week, months of the year, say the Pledge, sing the Star Spangled Banner, work on an Article of Faith, and then each of the kids do their assignments. Sam usually does a page or two in his numbers book and writes his name. Then each day when the girls are napping him and I have a "lunch date" together and then he reads to me from his reader books. He's becoming a good little reader and he is just SO fun to teach. He takes correction really well and is always eager to learn things the right way. I love this about him! He loves to be read to so we read lots of books each day. He has enjoyed his Playsmart class at the library (30 min. on Thursdays, over now) and is enduring his weekly soccer clinic. He loves soccer but had a negative experience one day (he's a little too competitive...AND he asked his coach if he could go say a prayer with me that he'd get the ball, and his coach said no:( ) and now isn't excited to go. Just one more week of that. He likes to shorten words. I think he gets this from me but he's taken it much further! If I asked "Should we have french toast or pancakes for breakfast?" he may reply "French!" or "Pan!" Or "Frenchy" or "Pany." :) Funny kid. He loves to wrestle and box and is still just all boy.
Before Zoe was born Sam saw a nerf gun at Target that he really wanted. It cost $30. Ever since then he's been talking about it, begging for it, and working to earn money to buy it. He'd tell strangers about his $30 gun and everything. He talked about it nonstop. He worked for several months (washing neighbor Paul's car, walking/feeding Hershey the dog next door, doing jobs for me, keeping his diaper dry, etc.) and finally got it a couple weeks ago. He'd only earned $14 or so but we told him we'd pay for the rest of it if he didn't suck on his finger for a whole week (he'd suck on his finger to go to sleep at night). He did it!! Caleb held his hand every night while he fell asleep for a week more after that to make sure he'd broken the habit, and he hasn't sucked on it since. We're proud of him.

The exciting walk to the toy isle, money case in hand.
He couldn't look at me long enough to get a picture because he wanted to keep looking at all the other guns.
Sam really loves Eliza. I asked him if he wanted to go to preschool and he said he'd rather stay at home with Eliza. Some days he begs Eliza not to take a nap. I tried to take him on a date last week, but he didn't want to go without Eliza!
At the zoo several weeks ago Eliza really wanted to ride the pony. I only had $3 cash and the ride cost $2 per person. The lovely lady wouldn't budge and let my two kids go for $3 so I tried to convince Sam to let Eliza go. He was NOT happy, even with the "any treat you want" bribery (meanwhile Eliza was throwing a huge tantrum, kicking and screaming on the asphalt). Finally something clicked and he decided to let her go.

ELIZA is 2 1/2 and has come a LONG way the past month!! She went through a hard phase with adjusting to having a new baby, then our long trip to Utah. We've learned that she needs schedule and consistency and LOTS of love!! Isn't love just always the answer? That's what I'm learning! She is really growing up and is becoming such a peacemaker. She has the cutest little voice and LOVES to talk. She loves anything princess or pink. GIRLY girl. She's also really tough and can hold her own wrestling with the boys now. I love her prayers. She usually says, "Please bless us to be strong and healthy, and Daddy too, and Mommy too, and Samuel too, and Zoe too..." (while opening her eyes half way to point at each person while she says their name).
She knows when she's ready for her nap and will flat out tell us, "I'm ready to go to sleep." She still sucks on her pacifier to go to sleep. :/ She picks her own clothes, and knows what she wants when she wants it! She changes her outfit several times a day. Sometimes a shirt all of a sudden becomes "not beautiful" or "I don't need this one anymore." I finally got smart and we keep her shirts in a basket on the floor instead of hanging them up all day long!! (I'm in search of other simple process improvements that really makes our days easier!) She loves doing school in the mornings (lately she traces shapes or the letter "E") and also LOVES books and being read to.

I forgot that her bath water was running the other day... she didn't mind at all!
Goodbye hugs after meeting up with Caleb for lunch at Lake Parsippany. Love this pic.

Twirling around in her mini dress in the street singing, "I'm a Princess... in high heels.. let it go!!"
The kids get hooked on one thing for a couple weeks and then move onto something else. For several weeks it was riding their bikes and wearing their capes that Grandma Andersen made them.
Leaving for our date a few weeks ago. We went to Walmart and got magic clip princesses, a princess night light, and suckers. :)
ZOE is 4 1/2 months old and is the sweetest baby ever! She is calm and happy and sleeps well and is just sweet. Her and I have thrush (AGAIN) so we're back to doing nystatin 4 times a day. Hoping we can kick it permanently this time. Her torticollis has been a constant concern for us the past couple months as well and I've had to stretch her neck several times a day. She's gotten a lot stronger but we think she needs some help from the chiropractor, that it's a misalignment in her back. We'll see this week. She loves her fingers in her mouth and this week has started sucking her thumb. I kind of tried to stop her but she's persistent and I gave in. :) Her smiles and coos melt our hearts!

Zoe at her 4 month check-up

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Zoe's blessing - Sep. 10

Our sweet Zoe was blessed by Caleb on September 10th. It was the first time one of our babies has been blessed without ANY family there. :( But we are grateful for wonderful friends in our ward. My friend Cathy wrote down the main points of the blessing which I was grateful for. When Caleb held Zoe up after her blessing she had her arms across her chest. Everyone was commenting that she was even reverent for her blessing! Little do they know, she just likes to hold her arms like that all the time. :) Caleb mentioned in her blessing that her calm nature had already been a blessing to our family. It's really true. So grateful to have this sweet spirit in our home.


I give up on getting this picture to upload the right way...

We invited all our neighbors. None of them ended up coming, although our neighbor Rae joined us for refreshments later on as well our friends the Stewarts who also blessed their baby that day!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 28, 2014 - MAINE

For a couple months now Caleb has been talking about his vision of this dreamy vacation to Maine. Well this weekend we made it all come true. We got back late last night from a wonderful weekend in Maine! We left Thursday afternoon and pitched our tent at a KOA in Saco around midnight. We camped two nights and got back late Saturday night. Maine is beautiful. Only some of the leaves have changed but the ones that have changed are just incredible! We couldn't stop saying "wow" at the bright reds, oranges, and yellows. We enjoyed the beach, fishing, Portland Head Light and Fort Williams park, driving around and admiring the leaves, camping, eating yummy seafood (our favorites were the shrimp roll and clam chowder at Bayley's and the chowder at Chowderhead's). We weren't ever in a rush so we could do things at the kids' pace and it made for such a great time! We stopped in CT and saw the Holbrooks (friends from MBA school) on the way home and it was really fun to chat with them.
Portland Head Light. There was a really fun trail that went all along the water. Lots of history here.

Our little angel! She is such a good baby. She just amazes me! Such a joy.

Caleb caught a dragon fly for bait to catch this bass! He is one resourceful guy. The kids and I had given up on catching anything and had loaded up in the car (Eliza had obviously moved onto playing a game on my phone). Caleb persisted til he caught it! I love his persistence and his passion for the outdoors.

We love getting "comfy cozy" in the tent! I guess I say that, cause now Eliza says it a lot. :)

Enjoyed a beautiful run Saturday morning. I got back and everyone was still sleeping! That's the best. ;)

They searched for "flecks of gold" all morning.
We went to Old Orchard Beach both days. Such a cute beach town. I could definitely live in Maine.
The beach is seriously good for the soul.
When the camping gear takes up so much room that you can't bring the stroller, Dad gets his workout. :) Good Dad.