Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010!

I spent the day today reflecting over the past few years as our family has grown to four. I made a slideshow of pictures from the day Noah was born through today...so fun to see all the smiles, laughs, and memories. I'm so looking forward to seeing how our family will grow and change in this next year. Enjoy!
video

Here's to more brotherly love...

more quality relationships...

and growing closer together and to the Lord...

all in 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas in NH 2009

Here are some pictures of our trip so far to New Hampshire. We are having a great time so far, and really enjoying family and being together.
Not sure which cropping I like better...


Brothers in their new J. Crew jackets from Auntie Karen...studs.

My boys
Love this picture in the snow with Grammy and Jilli
Big smiles
Pops and Noah playing
Me and my boy
Out for a walk with the dogs...Noah held the leash the whole time as we ran with them!
Happy Birthday, Laura!
Grammy and Jakey...we have this picture of Noah in her glasses too when he was little.
Love that smile...
My two boys:)
Out playing in the snow with their cousins.
Mom Mom and the girls

Here's to many more memories to be made this trip! 20 people all in one house are slowly leaving...I think we are down to 10 tomorrow:)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas!!!

We are having such a great time with family so far. It's always special to be able so spend time with all Andrew's family and cousins. Everyone is so helpful, so I get such a nice break and really get to enjoy everyone. We've taken lots of pictures on our Uncle's camera, so I'll work on getting some posted...

The boys were spoiled rotten, of course, and have more toys then we'll know what to do with...and some pretty styling clothes...including some j crew sweatshirts...adorable! They've been playing with all their cousins and uncles and even got to enjoy the snow in all their snowgear. Andrew and I got money, so I'm sure we'll all venture out soon and go SHOPPING! It's so fun shopping and not feeling guilty getting stuff;)

The holidays this year have been a great reminder of the value of family and spending time all together. Andrew and I really didn't get caught up in the "commercial" side of things, so we had a stress free holiday not worrying about gifts, and just focusing on the birth of our Savior! Although he did score a range card from me with 25 large buckets of balls, and I got a nice nike gift card...wonder we'll I'll be spending that? :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

Tonight we celebrated Christmas Eve with some friends at our church. We love our church and feel so blessed to be a part of it and to have met so many awesome people. Being there all together was really special tonight. I also love how there are so many people from the community that attend their, from volleyball, the schools I work at, and friends.

We are all packed and ready to go now...we even took down all of our Christmas stuff tonight after church, so when we come back it will be done. It was a pain, but I know we'll be glad to be done.

These are some more frames I added up on the wall to our "brothers" pictures. I am hoping to get a wall sticker thing that has a quote about brothers to put in the middle and then add some more pictures on the bottom. I love how are boys are such buddies, and I really hope they always stay that way! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas with the Souter Side

We celebrated Christmas with the Souter's/Schmidts last night! We had a wonderful dinner, with lots of yummy food. Some of our friends from our lifegroup came and joined us, which was so special to have such a nice blend of family and friends and to see how well everyone blended together. We feel so blessed to have such awesome family and friends, so it was perfect to celebrate Christmas all together.



So...the food. The food, the food, the food. It all turned out great, and went together really well! I did hickory smoked orange glazed Cornish hens, grilled zucchini, and Paula Deen's loaded mashed potatoes. Oh my...so yummy! The loaded mashed potatoes were my favorite, and a hit. One couple brought the best rolls from a bakery, another brought a yummy salad with home made dressing. My mom did some more veggies, my favorite raspberry jello salad, and the gravy. And Hannah hit one out of the park with her Triple Chocolate Peppermint Triffle...YUM! Talking after dinner...eating some more cookies everyone brought!

Buddies...Ben and Andrew

We let the boys open one of their presents early so we could all play Hungry Hippos together. Jakey liked it the best...of the kids. I would say that all the adults were more into it then the kids. We all remember it being such better quality when we were younger...my how times have changed! :)
My Nanny and I...I love my grandparents. They are so fit and healthy and always so much fun to be around. I'm glad I got to live by them in Arizona for a few years, that was special. I look forward to spending many more years with them!



Watching the Nativity Story together after dinner, dessert, and some games.

Ok, this is a funny picture, but here's the story. We were opening gifts, and I got Andrew 25 large buckets of balls for the driving range by our house. Apparently, my dad had just bought a card with 50 buckets on it. High roller, Dad. :) Anyways, so I made Andrew a little card that said, "Merry Christmas, 25 buckets of balls, love you, love, Me." Andrew read it, and said, "No, Tom, this is way to much! I can't take this from you!" My dad looked surprised and then I said it was from me. Then we all started laughing because of the "love, Me" that he though was from my dad. Guess you had to be there...

Here's a great picture of Nicole opening her stocking.


The boys opening their new knights...I might already regret buying those, they hurt! Their swords are sharp:)
Every year, we all sleep around the Christmas Tree together...this year was no different. One question is though...WHY??? Just kidding...kind of...but it is fun once the boys calm down and go to sleep:) Here's Andrew all ready to go in my Dad's pajamas!

Here's one more from the other day all together with three generations:)

Monday, December 21, 2009

No More Secrets

Well folks...there are no more secrets for me in my closets...they are all done and organized! Andrew and I woke up this morning...after sleeping in until almost 9:30 (which meant we had to skip our workout, but I was so sore anyways it was good) and went into a cleaning and organizing frenzy. Andrew did most...ok all, of the cleaning, and I did all the organizing. I didn't have any time to take any before's and after's...I know, I know, you are all so disappointed, right? lol. There are actually two cupboards (in my bathroom) that I didn't do, but it's just a quick five minute job. Everything is done, I feel so free!!! What a great way to go into the holidays, so stress free. Here's the big question though...why today? Why all the jobs on my list today? Because my grandparents flew in today! yay!

Big deal you say, why all the cleaning and organizing? Because they are German. Ok, not just German, but Schmidts...which means that ocd runs through the Schmidt blood (I somehow missed it, but Noah got it). I could give some shout outs here to some of the ocd outbreaks that the Schmidts have had over the years, but I'll spare you, Uncle Derrick about telling them about your meticulously organized garage. And you, Mom, about how you straighten picture frames when you walk into a house, or you, Hannah, who I don't even know what you do, but you are. Everything is always perfect at a "Schmidt's" house...and I love it, actually, I'm jealous I didn't get the gene.

So that is why everything had to be perfect today. And thanks to my wonderful husband...we did it all! And we had a great afternoon and evening with my grandparents. Family is so special, and it was such a great reminder that being together is what's really special. I love my grandparents, and I miss all the other family we won't get to see this year, but hope that everyone has a very, Merry Christmas! And now, on to tomorrow where we are celebrating Christmas, and I'm making my first "holiday" meal ever...and it's for 16 people! My family and some good friends. Hope it turns out ok, they are all new recipes...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Here's the Deal...

Here's the deal, I am ambitious...I have big goals and grand ideas...and I fickle out. I do. I don't really like that I do it, but I do. My intentions are good, I just get lost in the excitement. So here's the "walk of shame" I must do...but here's my New Year's resolutions from last year...and my progress...or lack of.

Strong Mind:
  • Some sort of teacher education training/class/book. ahhhh...well, maybe. I read a preschool curriculum book I got from Fox for one of my classes that I never read then...but look at it now to do things with Noah...does that count?
  • Read 1 book a month. Not every month, but I have definitely read more then 12 books this year...even though half of them were in Hawaii...
  • Read to the boys daily...no. I can't say daily. Some days we read 10 books, most nights I read the boys a book at bedtime...but not daily. Noah is much easier to read to then Jakey.
Strong Body:
  • Lose my last few pounds (15) by March 8th (my b-day) and maintain for the rest of my life! Woo hoo!!! Yeah, did that one...oh wait, then I gained back 25 pounds. Does that count? NO, and that's all I'm saying about this one.
  • Work out 5 days a week to keep healthy bones, muscles, organs to be able to live long and thrive! I probably averaged four...but still good! Working out, even though I've gained weight has always been consistent.
  • Focus on eating healthy in order to preserve my health long term. Hmmm...I think I can say yes...even though there are some not-so-good days...
Strong Spirit:
  • Fall in LOVE with Jesus! I want Him to be my best friend and for me to fully rely and trust in Him! Man! I still don't feel that passionate relationship with him. But I grown closer to Him over the past year as he leads us through life.
  • Take on some sort of leadership role at church...maybe something in children's ministry? We did for a few months, but it was just too hard on us actually going to church...two services was too much for us with the boys and being cranky, we didn't get to go to church, just volunteer.
  • Spend time daily praying for my children and family. I wish I could say yes, I feel like this would really impact our lives.
  • Allow God to change my heart to have a cheerful and giving heart towards my family. YES! I can say that God has changed my heart, and I am yearning to be home with my kids and love on them all day long:)
Strong Relationships:
  • Build relationships with new friends from church/family friends. We LOVE our lifegroup and could not have asked for better friends. We also have some good friends at the club I love chatting and playing with. What a blessing!
  • Spend time investing in other people's lives...giving on myself and teaching my children to give as well. Hmmm...I think I give a lot of myself to others. I started my volleyball Bible study, which was great. I think that volleyball is really one of my ministry areas...I know I'm having a positive influence on many lives.
  • Spend time weekly investing in Andrew and our relationship. We do get to spend time together often, but I still think we have a long ways to go!
Here's just a few more random ones:
  • Have Noah fully potty-trained by January 31st. Check!
  • Teach the boys the importance of being active daily and nourishing their healthy bodies. Check!
  • Pay cash for a new car. Check!
  • Save enough money to buy all our new furniture and decorate our new home with cash. Check! Although I still would like a few more things...
  • Put pictures in all my scrapbook pages. No. Progress has been made, but I still have 4 drawers full of empty pages...
  • Finish nursing to make it a whole year (April 1st) No, but to give myself a little credit I had mastitis a million times, and the doctor told me I had to stop nursing, I think I made it 11 months? I don't really remember now, but it was a lot longer then Noah!
  • Do something bigger then just our family...something to help others in the world. We started those foster care classes, and even though we stopped, I really feel that heavy on my heart. I meet kids, talk to other foster parents, hear songs, see things on tv...I am yearning to help some of those children in need, I know we will make a difference in kids lives, I just need to be patient until the time is right for our family.
Not a complete failure, but still some work to do. I think my New Years goal for this next year is this: To follow the Lord's leading in all areas of my life. Simple...how can I go wrong here? I know that he will only take me to higher places in all areas of my life if I can fully rely on Him.

As I was looking back over old posts tonight, it's so fun to see the documentation of our life. Thanks for reading and being there with me! I started this blog to keep everyone out of town updated, but I think I love it now for more then that. I feel like it's an outlet for me, a way to express myself, but also to brag on my guys a little, and let the world see a little piece of who we are. Here's to another year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Noah's Christmas Party

Today was Noah's preschool Christmas party! It was so fun to be able to bring our whole family in and share in a part of his day. Noah was so proud to have us all there and show us all around. On the way home I heard him talking to himself saying how it was such a special treat (that's what we say for candy or something really special) to play at his preschool with him. I also heard him saying, "No, no baby, (Jakey) you don't go to my preschool..." hmmm...

Noah is in love with Teacher Dorothy, who both I and Hannah worked with. (She still looks just the same) She does such a good job of letting him have time and helps him with "his ideas." She is very patient as he does the same thing EVERY day. It's always paper airplanes and necklaces. We've got quite the collection.


We had a little snack, made a holiday centerpiece, and just had time to play together in one of HIS special places. You could tell he was in his territory. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Consistency

I have noticed in the last few days, my children seem increasingly grouchy...and myself getting a little frustrated. I know that being a parent is tough, but I think this batch of grouchiness is brought on by me. My schedule is a little...ok, a lot crazy, and never really the same. I think my kids need that consistency to their schedules so they know what to expect. They never know if I'm coming or going, or staying or leaving. So Jakey clings and Noah whines. My kids don't really have a hard time leaving me to do church, a class, or preschool, whatever, but this last week they have. Noah started an exercise class at the gym, and cried! He didn't want me to leave him at preschool, and the teacher had to grab him from my leg. That's not like my boys. They are happy, and love to experience new things on their own. But I've not been giving them enough consistency at home for them to be sure of themselves as they leave on their own. They don't know if I'm going to be there for them when they are done...and I NEVER want my kids to feel like that.

Maybe I'm injecting my own feelings and "professional" education opinion, but I am so looking forward to tomorrow where I'm done subbing, and have the whole Christmas break with them, and then only have to work one day a week! I think it will be great to get my priorities back where they need to be now that a lot of the financial pressure is off of me, and I can just enjoy my kids and get into a good routine.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Secret #3


I was giving my boys a bath tonight after a full day with them, and decided to tackle another project. Our linen closet is in their bathroom, so I worked on that while they played. It really wasn't too bad, just needed some re-arranging and organizing. It probably only took 10 minutes...if I would just stay up on things!

Before
After

I also organized our cubbies, and straightened up the table. I love Christmas time and having Christmas decorations out. I wish it were a little longer season, everyone's homes feel so cozy and welcoming.