Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where's he friend Ava?

The other day Ava went off to her bestest little friend, Cassia's house to play for the morning. Poor Nathan followed me around all morning whining, banging me with his head and generally driving me crazy. I was trying to make Halloween costumes and they were not working for me so I wasn't in the greatest mood. I kept trying to shake him off but keep him quiet cause Lias was sleeping. Needless to say, we were not having a fun morning at all.

I finally sat down on the couch to try to hand stitch some of the dang costumes and started watching Baby Einstein with him. If anyone knows Nathan, they know he is addicted to Baby Einstein and has been since he was like 6 months. It's the only thing he'll actually pay attention to, even for hours if you put it on the continuous loop setting (this is a common occurance around here about 4:30 while I'm trying to make dinner). Lucky for us he also gives a running commentary of the show. Pretty soon this picture came up:

Nathan turned to me and in the most pitiful little boy voice said:

"Oh, where's he friend Ava? He needs he friend Ava"

And all the sudden I knew exactly how poor little Nathan was feeling, in a way only a 2 yr old can tell you. He was so lonely and sad that Ava had left him that morning and was so sad for this poor penguin who's friend Ava had obviously left him all alone that morning too.

Watching these two play together lately is pretty amusing yet touching. Ava has introduced Nathan into make believe and it's been so fun to watch them run around pretending there are helicopters after them or scary giraffes in the next room. They really do like each other most of the time and it's so sweet to watch the way Nathan adores Ava.

Ava kissing Nathan at the hospital

Valentines Day 2007

Father's Day 2007

Friends in the Goat Pen - Spring 2008

Here's to hoping Ava's always Nathan's friend. And wish me luck when Ava goes off to school next fall.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


And my very favorite present of all - good pictures of the whole family.


What do you get when you mix 11 kids, 10 adults, 1 birthday and 5 pumpkins on a Saturday night? A rocking birthday party - for me of course.

I turned 28 on Sunday so about Friday I decided I wanted a party. We called up a few friends and it turned into a great night. Everybody brought a desert, which left me and John all the birthday cake to eat the next day. We also had a You Tube party (John's idea) where everyone told us their favorite You Tube clip and we watched them all up on the big screen. Hurray for high speed internet. I'm now 28 lbs heavier too after eating everyone's yummy deserts.


Lots of projects going on lately.

First and foremost, John finished the crib - only 4 years in the making. When Ava was a baby and we were living in Upstate New York, I told John how much I'd always dreamed of having a cradle for my babies. He got to work on it right away and the morning I went into labor with Ava he put the last coat of tongue oil on it.

It was (and still is) extremely cool and functional, for about the first 2 months of a baby. He was very impressed with his woodworking abilities, so he decided he wanted to make Ava a nice crib instead of just a pine one like the cradle was. I was all for it since I was thrilled with the cradle so $200 later we had enough oak and ash to make a nice crib. He's worked on it sporadically throughout the past 4 years, in between getting a Masters, getting his first real job, and having 2 more babies. Luckily, we still happen to have a baby that needs it. Here's the finished product:

The Crib

And my finished product to put into the crib.

All I can stay is it was worth the wait. I'm constantly amazed at the skills John surprises me with and this is just one. He made the entire thing from scratch, designing and planning the whole thing in his head and on a few pieces of paper. I tried to add my two sense but when he started doing trigonometry to figure out the curves on the back I realized I was way out of my league and let him be. I'm mighty impressed with his handy work and will gladly wait another few years for the next project, which is this:

It's a very big, very old, very cool:

Black Walnut Tree

that has resided in our backyard for the past 100+ years but which is now sitting at the local woodchuckers (ie local lumber jack guys). They are going to cut it up into a ton of boards and posts so that we're able to use it. Once it gets back from them John's going to make us a bed and maybe a dresser and a few nightstands. It's a huge chunk of wood and I'm very excited to see what comes of it.

Here's what's been occuping my time lately.

Nathan's Cowboy Quilt

My ward has had a quilting enrichment night the past three months and I've been trying my hand at it. I'm making a cowboy rag quilt for Nathan's new "big boy bed" and it's been fun, but tiring since I only get time to work on it late at night after the babies are asleep. It's coming along well, especially since it's my first big quilt I've ever made. It has 7 rows and 6 columns for a total of 42 suares and three layers of fabric on each square. Eventually the middle fabric and the design will be ragged up but for now they're just there. I think it's kinda cool (I have to since I've put so much work into it) but I can't wait for it to be done. Which will be awhile since I still have to put it together with the backing, quilt it, and bind it. Wish me luck.

I've also been working on getting things up on the wall. John has threatened to start decorating for me if I don't so I'm frantically trying to put things I want up rather than Bob Marley posters all over. Here are a few attempts.

I actually really like this one because 1. John's instruments finally have a place I can put them away at that the kids can't get and 2. I actually put something on the wall. I have committment issues so don't often follow through with anything but these are on the wall and there to stay. Finally - we've only lived here 2 years now.

This is actually more letters (12 inches tall) that are light brown and will be centered above the couch in the family room. I've got 11 x 14 inch pictures of the kids faces matted to 16 x 20 in mat and then framed in 4 inch thick frames (in other words, huge pictures )to put under the words. John gave me the frames, which are made out of old fence boards, for Christmas last year but I was pregnant and life, let alone decorating, doesn't happen when I'm pregnant. I'll let you know if I ever actually get these up on the wall.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall Photos on the Farm

Chunka Munka

Nasin Masin

Curly Girlie

Ava Mava

Naughty Nathan

Lias the Pious

Monday, October 6, 2008

4 Months Already (my ramblings about Elias)

I'm finding it hard to believe, but my little baby is already 4 months today. I know it's clique but it really seems like he's grown up super fast (or maybe that's cause he never was little). He is far and away, the nicest baby I've ever had the pleasure of kissing and loving on. He started out a little rocky for the first few weeks when he didn't like to go to sleep til about midnight, but he's calmed down now.

We discovered, out of necessity and since he's the third kid, that he can put himself to sleep like a dream. About 3 weeks ago our normal methods of getting him to sleep (rocking, walking, nursing) didn't work so we started just laying him down and lo and behold, he fell asleep. We lay him on his belly and he grunts and sucks his hands and the sheet for about 3 seconds, then he's out. I can't believe how simple it is and how nice it is. He sleeps great too, for about 6-7 hours, then wakes to nurse then back out for about 5-6 hours. I always thought Ava was a good sleeper and Nathan was a horrible one, but Lias has shown me just what a great sleeper is. I absolutely love cuddling him and kissing his fat little hands while he's nursing at night.

He's also the giggliest baby I've seen. When he was only a day old he was sleeping and started giggling in his sleep. I thought that was awfully cute but weird for a newborn but he did it quite frequently and still does. When I go in to get him from his naps he giggles and squirms on his belly till I pick him up. We haven't been able to nail down what he likes to laugh at since it changes daily but currently his favorites are: John playing the guitar, Ava telling stories, me bouncing him on my knees and going over a bump in the road in the car. He giggled like crazy the other day on a windy road out here and it was too cute.

Anyway, he's a great baby and I'm loving every minute of him. For some reason, I don't feel rushed or annoyed by being tied down with a baby like I have at times with the other two. I can only guess that I've finally been broken - I like to equate motherhood to breaking a horse and for the past two kids I've still been known to buck and trying to get the saddle off my back occasionally. Now, if he doesn't sleep at a certain time - oh well, there's already 2 others awake too so it's not like he's much harder. Maybe this is how people end up with 6,7,8 kids. Not that that's happening over here. I'm just loving this one I have and thought I'd write it down for his sake when he's a horrible teenager.

-----------Lias Stats @ 4 month checkup: 21 lbs, 3 oz 25 2/4 inches---------------------------

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Who's the bigger kid?

We spent a quiet 2 days this weekend sitting around, cleaning the garage and seeing which one of us (John or me) is the bigger kid. As we all sat around the kitchen listening to conference (our church has a Semi-Annual Conference broadcast around the world each April and Oct) I kept noticing John folding paper. I figured he was just doodling and since he did let me take a 2 hour nap this morning AND fed the kids breakfast AND lunch AND was making dinner, I didn't want to rock the boat(or get sucked into some adventure) by asking him what he was doing. Right after conference he jumped up, grabbed the papers and the kids (well, all the kids that can walk) and ran out the door. I followed to find this scene.

Yes, that's my almost 30 yr old husband standing on top of the icehouse in our front yard, throwing a paper airplane. And that's my 4 yr old and 2 yr old watching and learning and loving every minute of it.

He had made at least 5 different types of airplanes and wanted to see which one would fly the best. And of course he had to get leverage and momentum so where better than the top of the roof of the icehouse?

After each throw Ava and Nathan were recruited to find the airplane before Allie (our dog) did and bring it back to John for another throw. They ran around like crazy looking for all the planes and fueling John's fire by yelling, "Wow, Dada - that one went SO FAR!" and giving him adoring looks the whole time. I got roped into the fun too cause they weren't quite big enough to reach the planes back up to him.

Wind Blown Hair

Nathan dreaming of being just like Dada

You gotta admit, he's almost as cute as the kids. This is definitely where my babies get their dimples and looks from.

Fun's over - Lias got ahold of the planes

And my efforts to have some coolness factor with the kids too: We made a whole family of scarecrow people last night and even let the kids paint their faces on. We were thinking of giving them hair out of straw but ran out of daylight and energy so right now they'll just remain hairless. And please ignore my patriotic attempt that never got taken down after the 4th of July. I'm just waiting for next year.

Scary Family

Really Scary Family

Lias almost 4 months

The real deal