Saturday, May 31, 2008

Block Party

We had the opportunity to attend our first block party since moving to the Memphis area today, and let me tell you, it was quite the unusual experience! The block party started at 4 pm, and running on Mormon standard time we arrived about 4:15 pm. Well, apparently Memphians run even further behind schedule than Mormons do! :) People finally started showing up at about 4:45. There was lots of food and even more beer. The alcohol was definitely flowing freely! The weather was scorching, even with multiple fans on and the kids got to play with water balloons. However, I think the thrill of the afternoon for them was playing with all of the neighborhood pets. It doesn't matter if animals are stuffed or real, our children flock to them! They love animals and always have. You'll notice in the following pictures, that there isn't one without some kind of animal! The best was Lainey befriending the neighborhood rottweiler. Mind you, I kept very close proximity, just in case, but this dog was one of the sweetest animals I have ever met. It also outweighed Madelaine by well over 100 pounds. The one picture that I missed getting was of her riding the rottweiler (Yogi). It was so cute! Aleece took more to the little black dog, I think because he reminds her of Sully! All in all, we had a good time, and actually got to know some of our neighbors. We have quite a diverse neighborhood!

So proud

I just wanted to take a minute and say how proud I am of my sweet husband. For those of you that don't already know, he is starting up a master's program next Tuesday at a university here in Memphis. He will be getting his Master's in Education as well as his Educator's License. He had to take two separate tests about a month ago. One was required to enter the master's program, the other required before he graduates from the program. He was told the second one was almost never passed the first time, and not to worry, because he could take it until he passed. Well, he has been waiting all month for his test results, and we are happy to report that he passed both tests! He studied hard for them and his hard work paid off! We are so proud of him and are glad he has the opportunity to once again further his education. He loves to learn and he loves teaching children, and so we are thrilled that he has the opportunity to do so many things he enjoys! Way to go Val! We love you!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day recap

It's always fun to have a few days where you can sit back, relax and enjoy one another's company! This weekend we were able to do just that as we celebrated Memorial Day and we got to do lots of fun things as well. I'm a little disappointed that we forgot our regular camera, and the little camera we had with us somehow deleted all of the pictures I had before I had a chance to download them! We got to BBQ with some friends from our ward on Saturday and the girls loved being able to play with their friend Corbin. On Monday we went to this great sprinkler park! It's pretty much a playground where everything sprays water! The girls had such a fantastic time, as did we! We picniced and enjoyed the coolness of the water, especially since it was so hot that day! Later that afternoon we got to go see the new Indiana Jones movie, which we also loved! It is very reminiscent of the past Indiana Jones movies, and anyone who likes those, is sure to like this one! It was so nice to be able to spend time as a family and enjoy the day together. We are so used to celebrating holidays with lots of extended family, and being out here in TN has definitely been a challenge in that regard. We have done a lot of firsts here for our family. It's nice to be able to create our own little family traditions as well as implement the ones from our own childhoods! We still miss family like crazy though and wish as every holiday draws near, that we were all together!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pool Princesses

We bought a little pool for the girls this week and tested it out yesterday. They loved splashing around in the water and being able to enjoy this already humid weather! The water sure makes it easier to be able to do so! Here is a quick slideshow of them!

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This and That

This is all sort of random, but I thought I would recap our week! Lainey had a doctor's appointment on Monday. We were getting her rechecked because she had 2 sets of ear infections within a month and the doc wanted to make sure they were gone for good. Luckily they are and she has put on a little more weight. She is approximately 19 lbs, which is still tiny, but she is growing and so we are happy! Aleece has been my big helper lately. With as big as I am getting it's nice to have someone who is willing to help me out when Val isn't around! She rarely complains about it and is always telling me how she can't wait for her baby brother. She has even taken to carrying around a baby doll, saying it is her brother, and she is so tender and gentle with it! She is such a good big sister! Plus, she is a good example to Lainey, because Lainey also loves babies! It's always fun to see your children's relationships grow! Val will start up his master's classes in a couple of weeks and he went to an orientation yesterday at the university. The university he is attending is a Chrisian school and he was telling us when he got home that they opened orientation with a prayer, but that it was funny, because they just closed the prayer "Thank you". Aleece was shocked by this and said, "I guess I'm going to have to visit your class and tell them it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen". I got quite a kick out of this, but it's good to know she is learning and growing in gospel principles! I love to hear her relay stories that she has heard in primary. Plus Lainey has gotten really good at saying Jesus and can point him out in any picture! The gospel is truly a blessing in our lives! The girls and I went to Val's school the other day to hear his choir perform and we were so proud of him. It's easy to see how much the students and other teachers like him, and I was impressed with his choir. They are small in number but performed well. The students love having the music program back in there school. This job has also been a blessing in our lives--Val loves going to work and it has given him some great opportunities-like going back to school. I have less than seven weeks left in this pregnancy and am getting quite anxious. I had a doctor's appointment today and we got to hear the babies heartbeat. It was between 150 and 155 and I am measuring well. We are excited to have a little boy and can't wait to see what changes he brings to our household. Being pregnant is like having your own mini heater however and this week I finally succumbed and turned on the air conditioning. I seriously felt like I was melting! :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pregnancy Update

Here I am at approximately 31 weeks, on Mother's Day. Remember the old post about Aleece and the song, "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly"? Well, I look like that old lady, only imagine she just swallowed a horse! :) I honestly don't remember ever getting this big with Madelaine!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ballerina's In Training

Aunt Mary made the girls the cutest tu-tu's ever and has Leecy and Lainey dancing around the house like crazy! They love to dress up and were thrilled with their gifts. Thank you Aunt Mary for all of the time and effort you put into making them! We love them and you!!!

Being a mom...

Being a mom is my greatest joy and I could ask for no greater calling in life. My sweet husband has allowed me the opportunity to stay at home and care for our children and I am so grateful. We have been blessed with two of the sweetest little girls and anticipate greatly our first son. One of my favorite quotes, (forgive me for paraphrasing) says something to the effect of "In 100 years it won't matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, or how much money I had in the bank, only if I mattered in the life of a child." I strive every day to make a difference in my children's life and to give them the best life possible. I know I have been entrusted with them by my Father in Heaven, and I am thankful for that every single day. I am grateful to have a mom who taught me how to be the kind of mother I am today and am so grateful for all she did and continues to do for me.
On Mother's Day I was spoiled WAY too much and thought I would share some of the pics!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Home again

We had a fantastic opportunity to spend a couple of weeks with family up in Minnesota and had a fabulous time! Here are some of the highlights! Sorry if some of it is a repeat from the last post!

-We were able to do things we had never done before, despite living in MN for 2 1/2 years! This included walking the sky way throughout Minneapolis, going to the Como Zoo and having the IKEA experience!

-The Como Zoo makes the fifth zoo we have been too over the past year with Granny! We have also been to the Hogle Zoo (Salt Lake), the Minneapolis/St. Paul Zoo, the Sioux Falls Zoo, the Memphis Zoo and now the Como zoo and conservatory. We had so much fun (as always) looking at all of the animals and learning new fun facts. We now consider ourselves zoo connoisseurs!

-IKEA is now my new favorite store. It's probably a good thing we don't have one within a hundred miles of us! You can seriously get everything you need there and for ridiculously reasonable prices! Plus they have great meatballs and there lignonberry jam is delish!

-We were able to see my baby brother Trey go to prom. It was so fun to see him all dressed up! He looked so grown up! Don't let that fool you however, he is still a kid at heart! :)

-We were also able to see Trey perform in a couple of track meets. He throws the shot put and discus and is pretty much amazing! They even wrote an article about him in the local paper, entitled "Trey's Anatomy".

-We had the best time spending time with family--Granny, Grampy, Trey, Patty and Eric. The girls had so much fun, despite being sick, with all of them and we created some great memories.

-Patty and Eric, our families political fanatics, taught the girls to say Obama. We are now the proud owners of a stuffed guinea pig with that same name. Seriously, what 3 1/2 year olds support politics? Apparently ours does! :)

-We were able to talk to Elder Bubba on the phone as he left the MTC and headed to Switzerland! It was so good to hear his voice! We also got to listen to the most amazing message on my parents answering machine. This sweet woman, whom met Clay on the airplane from SLC to Chicago called to inform all of us of what an amazing young man Clayton is and how strong his spirit is and how happy he is. All things we already knew of course! :)

-The girls did get pretty sick, but we were lucky to have Granny there to help out! She is truly an angel!

-We experienced winter in what was supposed to be spring! We had 6+ inches fall one day and Aleece was certain that that meant Santa was supposed to come that night! Minnesotans have been referring to the date as February 85th and so on! They really haven't gotten a spring at all because it has been so cold!

-Madelaine learned several new words, including several names. Some of these are Granny, Grampy, Trey, Patty, Sully, sit, chocolate, jacket, blanket, and several others.

-Granny and Grampy were so good to us--they took great care of us and neither the girls nor I wanted to leave.

Here are some more pictures from our wonderful trip! We miss everyone already, but are glad we will see them again soon!!! Thanks for all of the fun!
Click on the image to enlarge! :)