Monday, April 29, 2013

Nora's First Birthday!

Nora turned one on Saturday!
Here are the birthday cards her older siblings made for her:
It was a beautiful day Saturday, 75 degrees, so we filled up the water table  and the kids splashed around in it for awhile.
Nora LOVES playing in the water!

Later that night we went to dinner at Cafe Rio, which is a mommy family favorite (Nora loves the beans, rice and quesadillas), and then we came back home for cake. I made a home-made vanilla cake using half whole white wheat flour. It was very tasty.
When we brought the cake over, Nora stuck her thumb in her mouth; perhaps the flame was a concern.  
As we sang "happy birthday" Nora slid her thumb over to the side of her mouth and sang along with us...not with words of course but just with a tune of her own :)!
I put a little taste of the frosting in her mouth and then we put the plate in front of her and let her go at it.
She liked it.
She ate almost the whole thing, minus the few bites she threw across the room :), she does that when she's done.
We forgot to do her presents that night (can you tell we have five kids? :)) so we did them Sunday morning instead; and Scott was at a meeting at church and Elisabeth was in bed sick so it was just me and the younger kids but it was all good. We wanted her to open them up before church because we gifted her a new snack cracker package and a couple of new snack cups that we thought she'd like to have during church. I know, we're fancy gift givers :). She also got a few pairs of pants from Granny; most of Nora's other pants have holes in the knees since they've gone through 3 other crawling girls.
Happy Birthday Nora! We sure love you!

*As a side note, she's not walking alone yet but she will walk along the furniture and she just started being able to stand all alone for a few seconds. I'm sure she'll be walking in no time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Annabelle's Pictures and Savers

 Annabelle likes to draw me lots of pictures. And she doesn't like me to throw any of them away. All my kids have gone through this stage. So my compromise is to take pictures of them and I put some of those pictures on my blog. I like the one above she drew of her and I, in dresses with puff sleeves and tiaras. And she drew green grass and blue sky. So sweet. Below she drew some colorful flowers and the sky and then she wrote her name off to the lower right side.

 Changing subjects, have I ever mentioned before that Charles is rough on his clothes and shoes? Well he is. Take these tennis shoes for example. We bought him these tennis shoes maybe three months ago and they are now completely falling apart with huge holes in the front of both shoes and the bottom totally falling off. I was a little irritated because I already feel like I'm constantly buying shoes what with five children whose feet are always growing and they're needing different types of shoes for different seasons and sports. I had a talk with Charles about treating our things with a little more care so they'll last longer and then I told him when I went to drop off a couple of bags of clothes to Savers, I'd look and see if they had any more tennis shoes his size.

 When I dropped off our old stuff, they gave me a 30% off your total coupon and I had my birthday cash with me so me and the little girls went inside and first headed for the shoe section. We got Charles three pairs of tennis shoes in three different sizes so he should be covered for awhile; and we got each pair for about $3 and they were in really good condition. Here is the pair that fit right now. The others will probably fit in a couple of months.

 Then I let the girls each pick something out. Annabelle got a pair of brown flats with flowers on them and Jane picked out a pair of ladybug rain boots. That girl LOVES her boots! Which reminds me of a song from Dora (we checked out the Dora cd from the library and we listened to this song a lot so I have it memorized :)), "I love my boots, my boots and me, they help me swing from tree to tree. I feel so happy with them on my feet, we're best friends yeah my boots and me. I love my boots yeah my boots and me!"

We found Elisabeth a skirt since she's in need of more church clothes and I got myself the shirt I'm wearing below, a twisty scarf, BYU pajama pants and 2 cute purses :). And for those 5 pair of shoes and all those other clothes/purses etc we spent a whopping $35! Nice! In the pictures below I'm also wearing my new Crocs that I got for my birthday(thanks Mom and Dad!). They are amazingly comfortable and they're not nearly as big and ugly bulky as the original ones and I love them. Seriously I wear them all day and could walk miles in them.  In fact, I love them so much that I went online with my amazon gift card (thanks Grandma and Grandpa Smith!) and bought myself two more pair...different styles and colors, but still, they're Crocs. I'm sure I'll post a picture once I get them :). I also got the book, "To the Rescue" the biography of Prophet Thomas S. Monson with some birthday money which I have been wanting to read for a long time. Yay for birthdays! And I love that I can go shopping in my home, online, once the kids are all in bed. Doesn't get much easier than that.

Monday, April 22, 2013

My 30th Birthday!

I turned 30 last week! 30! This means that I've been lucky enough to have celebrated 10 birthdays with Scott and that our 10 year anniversary is coming right up! My 20's were good, no, they were great! I was blessed with a loving husband, 5 wonderful children, a good home that fit our growing family comfortably, lots of visits with family in NC and WA, camping, vacations, many callings in the church including but not limited to nursery teacher, choir director (totally unqualified but the Lord qualified me; and I asked the choir members lots of questions and learned a lot:)), primary age 10 teacher, music chorister for Relief Society, Relief Society week night meeting leader/chair, relief society committee member and newsletter coordinator, and now Primary President. This was a decade of huge growth for me in so many areas of my life (family size, spirituality, capabilities etc) and I am so excited to see what the next decade holds and what the Lord has in store for our family!

We had an ice cream cake for dessert. We used Cold Stone ice cream to make it because I have an all-time favorite flavor I wanted in there(cake batter); if I'm going to give in and have a treat, I want it to be something I really love. Here's a quick video of the family singing, Happy Birthday,  to 'yours truly' :).

I was also lucky enough to have my mom and dad here to celebrate my birthday with us! I LOVED having them here!

My one birthday request to Scott was that we get drapes for the living room(we had old, some broken, wood blinds) and that he put them up on Saturday the 13th, my birthday. Well, I made the mistake of waiting until the week of to start looking at drapes online and then an even bigger mistake of not shopping for them until the day my wonderful mom went out shopping for drapes with me on Friday for 5 hours! We didn't get home until around 1130pm Friday night so I was a bit tired for Zumba the next morning but I love my new drapes!
Pictured are the new drapes if you didn't figure that out. There is a double rod with sheer drapes in the back and ivory and taupe, fleece lined drapes in the front. Scott also got me another journal since mine's only got a few blank pages remaining, my sister sent me a package with a couple of my favorite things (natural licorice :)) and our parents sent some money so I could go shopping...and I have :). Thanks family!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Visit from Grandparents and Orchestra concert

My parents came to visit last week, just for fun. They came Wednesday through Sunday and they were able to come to Elisabeth's two orchestra concerts, her soccer game, and my birthday. It was a wonderful week!

The kids loved sitting with them on the couch snuggling, reading or just visiting. Me and my mom were able to go on walks together every day which I loved, and we usually took the younger three with us, two in the stroller and Annabelle on her bike.

Elisabeth had a school orchestra concert where they wore their red orchestra t-shirts that say "We Will Rock You". This concert was the better of the two because they played more songs, and really fun, modern songs that we all knew from the radio. My favorite song they did was "Viva la Vida". There was also a couple of duets for those stringed players who are extremely advanced and those were so fun to listen to as well, and inspiring for the other kids. The school concert was about an hour.
 We have two pianists, but both are sixth graders and will be moving up to middle school next year. The orchestra will hold auditions in August and Elisabeth is planning on trying out...which means if she makes it she'll be taking a break from cello for awhile.

Later that night was the Monster Concert which was about 30 minutes long and was combined with about 12 other elementary schools. This was a good experience for the kids to see how it sounds and how much harder it is to play with such a large group. We had the largest orchestra by far when compared to most of the schools.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

General Conference April 2013

A week and a half ago on Saturday and Sunday we were able to watch general conference. General conference happens every six months and basically it's a worldwide meeting where the Prophet and the apostles and others speak and give people guidance and direction...they help us draw nearer to God and become more Christ-like.
During the last session of conference the kids went behind the couch and cut out and pasted pictures and words from the Friend Magazines and made poster collages. So Scott and I could cuddle up on the couch while we watched :).

I absolutely love conference. I was practically sitting on the edge of my seat. I had so many questions answered and once conference was done I sat down with my journal and wrote down 5 things I wanted to change or do differently or be better at and I've been working on those things since. Here are two of the things I wrote down: 1.) make sure to do a nightly scripture study with Scott (so this is on top of personal and family daily scripture time which we do). We've done this on and off in the past but I want to make this a regular steady habit because I know it'll strengthen our relationship with each other and with Christ. 2.) Be sure to whisper to the children often that they are a child of God and tell them regularly that I love everything about them; also always remember to be firm but tone of voice.

Charles took some good notes during conference. So did Elisabeth.
Annabelle and Jane cuddled with Scott and I...and Jane slept in her bed during half of it. Nora slept through almost all of it. Good timing girls! I've only had to rewatch three that I wasn't able to hear very well.

Monday, April 15, 2013

5 and 3 year stats

Annabelle and Jane had their well-child check-ups this week. Here are their stats:

Annabelle's 5 year stats:
Weight: 39.46 lbs (44%)
Height: 42.32 in (40%)
BMI: 15.5 (60%)

Everything looked good for Annabelle. She has 20/20 vision, good blood pressure and is all around a very healthy, happy little girl who we adore! She got one shot (2 vaccines) which got her all caught up and ready to start kindergarten in the Fall. Her leg was sore all day and the day after from that one shot. Oh, and apparently I had forgotten to bring her in for her 4 year check-up and she didn't have any sick visits last year so her last appointment to see our Doctor was two years ago! Nice! :) Way to be healthy Miss Annabelle! She prays for good health every night in her personal prayers so we know the Lord's hand is in that as well.

Jane's 3 year stats:
Weight: 28.44 lbs (25%)
Height: 35.04 in (9%)
BMI: 16.3 (67%)

Everything looked good for Jane too. Great vision, blood pressure, everything. And she didn't have to get any shots! For Miss Jane the only thing we need to work on is her articulation of words, which I will do, though part of that will just come with time. She has a particularly hard time pronouncing her 'R's and her 'L's. The doctor asked Jane to sing her her favorite song so she could hear the way Jane spoke,  and so Jane busted out with a song from Princess and the Popstar! She sang, "Here I am, bein' who I want, givin' what I got, never a doubt now!" :) LOL! It was hilarious! Love that girl! Also, we just started being able to put pigtails in her...about time! :)

They also did a weight check on Nora since she had lost a few ounces between her 6 and 9 month appointments. I was so happy when I read the numbers on the digital scale and saw that she gained a pound and 4 ounces since that last appointment 8 weeks ago! Good job Nora! Keep it up! We are so blessed to have 5 healthy and happy children. The Lord is good, as always. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nora's Duet and Streaming Photos

 When Elisabeth and Charles practice piano, many times they have a little friend who crawls over once she realizes what they're doing, and she thinks she should play the high part in a duet :). They always get a kick out of her interruption :). She plays soft enough now that they can play on without it being too much of a distraction.
 I had taken one of these pictures of Nora playing the piano on my ipod and sent it to Scott at work and so while I was browsing through the streaming photos on the computer that were on his phone, I found a few cute old ones that I hadn't ever posted on here which I thought I'd share. Here's Nora, just a few months old, snuggling with me :). So, so sweet!
And another Nora photo. This was taken a few months ago when she learned how to do raspberries with her mouth :).

 And another Nora photo from a couple of months ago. I can hear this song playing in my head: "Just to see you smile, I'd do anything, that you wanted me to..." When she was very young, just few months old, we would sing this song to her all the time to quiet her down.
 And here is Ms Jane. This is when Scott took the kids up to SLC on the train. He said she sat like this the whole time. :)