Monday, July 27, 2009

Our Baby Boy is ONE!!!

It's hard to believe our baby boy is one already! It seem like just yesterday we were doing everything in our power to bring him into this world, with no luck! He had a schedule of his own though and I would go through it all again a million times, just to have him in our family! Since the moment he entered this life Lennon has blessed us in so many ways! There are so many things to love about him.....those big brown eyes, his sweet smile, his ALWAYS pleasant personality, his love for all things soft, his sucking on his bottom lip, his falling asleep on his own :), his "happy feet", his love of music, the list could go on forever!

We celebrated his birthday throughout the whole weekend. The celebration consisted of homemade meals, presents, homemade cake, more presents, a visit to the zoo and lots of pictures of our adorable son! Granny and Grampy were here for the celebration and it was tons of fun!

I will post videos of his first birthday cake experience soon! :)

We gave Mr. Lennon some new toys and what I thought was hilarious was that his favorite of all that we gave him was the ball that I found at the dollar store! :) He enjoyed the other gifts (trucks, bean bag game, new soft blanket, book, etc) but the ball was by far his favorite! Lennon got some awesome gifts from Granny and Grampy, including a train play mat with a couple of train sets(which has been a huge hit!), some fun new cars, and some super cute new clothes. He was also spoiled by his other relatives and got some cute stuffed animals and a fun new outfit that reminded me of my childhood (We're the Greentree Alligators!) from Aunt Patty and Uncle Eric, two cute new outfits from Aunt Katchie and Uncle Jeff(pictures coming soon of him in his new outfits!), some more new clothes and a fun farm/animals playset from Grandma and Poomp and lots of birthday wishes from everyone else! We are so grateful for our loving family members and for their kindness! Thanks you guys! You are the best!!!

We love you Mr. Lennon! We know the next year will be just as fun and full of adventure as this past one and we can't wait!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

4th of July 2009

We were so excited to have Granny and Grampy here for the 4th of July this year! We went and saw one of the local firework shows, which was pretty impressive, and we set some of our own off. Perhaps not quite as spectacular as we had hoped, but the kids were impressed, nonetheless!! We were able to enjoy some yummy food (BBQ of course!) and enjoy one another's company! Lainey would have been right up there with Val setting off fireworks if we had let her, but luckily we were able to keep her occupied! Aleece loved pointing out the colors and shapes at the big firework show and Lennon was mellow as always! I love getting to celebrate the holidays with our cute kids and seeing how much fun they have! It's fun to carry on traditions and even more fun when your children come to expect them! :)

The kids had such a great time catching fireflies with Granny and Grampy! Granny and Grampy even bought them some fun bug catching equipment and we went out at dusk and the kids caught many, many fireflies! It was fun watching them do something I remember doing as a child! The girls kept their fireflies until the next day when they decided to return them to their natural habitat! Anyone who knows Leecy T knows that she is a lover of all creatures big and small (minus maybe spiders! But really, who likes spiders!) and she didn't want anything to happen to them! She has such a tender heart!

the kids with Granny and Grampy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Aleece's continued birthday celebration....

Aleece had her 5th birthday party at Build-a-Bear Workshop. She invited her sister and two of her good friends, Hyrum and Lexi. They each got to pick out an animal, stuff it, wash it, and get it dressed. The kids were all so well behaved and I know Aleece and Lainey had a fabulous time! There animals turned out so cute! Aleece got a puppy dog, Lainey got a kitty cat, and Hyrum and Lexi both chose bears! With all of our travling this summer, having this kind of party was very easy and stress free! After they had their animals, we enjoyed brownie cupcakes and opened presents. Aleece got a fun color wonder book and candy from Hyrum and lipgloss and bracelets from Lexi. She was thrilled! It's still hard to believe that Leecy T is 5! She seems so grown up and I love seeing where each new day takes us!

We were so happy to have Granny and Grampy come visit and bring Leecy T her presents! She got some great gifts.....some super cute new clothes, Puppy Bingo, Littlest Pet Shop animals, and even a new Pet shop tent! Needless to say, the gifts were a BIG hit! We always love having Granny and Grampy visit and thoroughly enjoyed every moment we got to spend with them! Thanks for the great gifts and wonderful company you guys! We love you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Leecy turned 5!!!

Our sweet Leecy T turned 5 on June 26th and was a real trooper being willing to travel home on her birthday. We had anticipated being home to celebrate her birthday, but due to having to get the oil pan in our car replaced, we were on vacation a little longer and ended up traveling. She woke up at the hotel to our lovely singing voices :) and cupcakes and a few little gifts. We went to see the Oklahoma City Monument Memorial and though it was scorching outside, we still enjoyed the beauty of it. She was in charge of picking meals for her birthday traveling and luckily we made it home to Memphis in time to open the packages that were waiting for her! She got some really fun gifts from everyone and was definitely spoiled! I was really excited to give her her big present from us, and it did not disappoint! She gave the perfect reaction to her new, incredibly lifelike pony, and it has been loved every second since! Because of the traveling, Aleece got to celebrate her birthday multiple times! The next day we made her a cake and she got to have her special birthday meal (roasted chicken, corn, and potatoes and gravy). She had her birthday party the next week, which I will be blogging about later! We are grateful to all of the family members who called and sang to her and sent her such nice things!
Aleece is such a sweetheart and it's hard to believe my firstborn is 5 now! Some days it seems like just yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital. She is so smart, compassionate, funny and beautiful! She is such a good big sister and helper to me! I love to have conversations with her, and she continually amazes me at all that she knows. She isn't afraid to ask questions and she catches on very quickly! She has an incredible memory and I love to hear her recall some of the events from her past! She has such an amazing compassion for all living things and I don't doubt that someday she will be a vet, just likes she wants to be! I know that she will succeed in all that she does! We love her so very much and can't wait to see where she goes in life!
a traveling birthday! :)
home at last! Presents!
Aleece's new pony!
Blowing out the birthday candles!
We love you Leecy T!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Father's Day 2009

We celebrated Father's Day in Utah this year. We took the kids to the park and opened Val's presents there, enjoying the beautiful summer weather. Val got lots of good stuff from the kids and we enjoyed a nice Sunday dinner with family later on in the day. I am so grateful to have Val in my life. He is an amazing husband and an incredible father. He loves our children unconditionally. He takes the time to teach them about so many things, from music to the gospel and everything in between. He encourages them to be unique and to do things that they love and he provides for their every need. He reads to them and he tells them stories he makes up off the top of his head, and he is far better than I at getting them to sleep! :) He honors his priesthood so that he can give them blessings when they are in need. He encourages there silliness. He is such a good dad and I am so grateful to be able to raise our family with him!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Lainey and Lennon's 1st haircuts

While we were in Utah we took advantage of having the best hairdresser around give Lainey and Lennon their first real haircuts! :) We desperately need Katchie to move closer to us so that we can maintain our good looks! :) Lainey and Lennon were both so good while they got their haircuts. Lennon literally had a smile on his face the entire time! The end results were fabulous! They new haircuts are absolutely adorable! We knew we didn't need to worry with a pro behind those scissors! Lainey and Lennon both look so grown up now! All of my babies are growing up so fast! Thanks Katchie!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Part 5....Utah!

We spent a good amount of time in Utah and are very grateful to Katchie and Jeff for letting us invade their personal space! We were able to spend lots of good quality time together! We went and saw Great Grams and Pops Henderson and were able to catch up with them. They had never met Mr. Lennon and the girls had grown quite a bit since the last time we saw them!

We were also able to spend some time with one of my best friends from high school, Kara, and her cute boys! I have known Kara for 15 years, but we hadn't seen each other in about 8 years! Technology is a wonderful thing, having allowed us to stay in contact all these years! The funny thing is she moved to Utah not that long after we left! Hopefully she will still be there when we make it back there someday! :) It was nice to catch up and for the kids to interact. Although I have to admit it made me feel a little old, with 5 kids between us! :)

We also went to Temple Square in SLC and down to Provo to see MaryRose and Adam's new home. We also saw Trey's new apartment at BYU(it's crazy that my baby brother is now in college!), celebrated Father's Day (pictures to be posted later!), relaxed and just had a lot of fun! It's interesting, that with as many places as we have lived since we got married almost 7 years ago, that so many of them feel like we are going home again. Just like Marshall, MN, Utah holds a special place in my heart and I miss dearly the family who lives there! Thanks for all the fun you guys!

Part 4....Jackson Hole, WY

We drove down through Jackson Hole after leaving Yellowstone, and while we only spent a few hours there, it was fun to sightsee a bit!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Part 3......Yellowstone

From Cody we headed to Yellowstone! We met up with Granny, Grampy, Trey and Katchie(who had just had jaw surgery and was a real trooper!) and had a fun filled 2 days! We took the loop around Yellowstone and saw all kinds of fascinating wildlife.......lots of bison, both big and small, elk, deer, a wolf, pelicans, and a bald eagle. There were lots of young animals and it was fun to see them with their mothers. We even saw what looked to be a brand new baby elk who couldn't even walk yet. We got some really fun pictures. We saw a couple of moose heading into Wyoming, but we didn't manage to see any bears. We got to see Old Faithful go off and various other geysers too! There were some beautiful waterfalls and I love the picture I captured below of a gorgeous Yellowstone sunset. It truly is a magical place. It had been many, many years since I had been to Yellowstone, and Val as well, and we had never been together. This was a fun first for our little family, and the kids loved looking for all of the different animals and walking around to look at all the geysers and hotsprings! It was definitely a trip we will always remember!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Part 2.....Cody, Wyoming

Part 2 of our summer vacation was in Cody, Wyoming. Val's only living grandparent (Granny Zu) and his brother and sister in law, Chandler and Jessica live there. We made the trip from Marshall to Cody in one long day and it took us approximately 14 hours. Lucky for us, the kids really are seasoned travelers now and we have very few problems! Plus, the DVD player is a huge help! :) South Dakota is a pretty boring state to drive through, but northern Wyoming has some beautiful scenery. We arrived pretty late at night and we were feeling the chill of the air as we went to bed. Little did we know that there would be an inch + of snow when we woke up the next morning! In June no less! Needless to say, we weren't really prepared for winter like conditions, but we managed to stay warm! We had a great time visiting with Granny Zu and Channy and Jessica. We took a couple of drives to see different places in Cody that had special meaning to Val, ie the home his parents brought him home from the hospital to, the one he grew up in, the school he attended. It was fun for the girls to see the places he tells them stories about. The kids enjoyed putting puzzles together and coloring while we were there as well. We also went to see the Buffalo Bill Cody Dam. It is quite a sight. If you are afraid of heights, it's definitely not the place for you to visit! We were in Cody for about 5 days and are grateful the children had the opportunity to meet Granny Zu. She met Aleece when she was about one month old, but hadn't seen us since. She is 95 years old and while she is still spunky as ever, we know she won't be around forever. She definitely left an impression on the kids and I know we all had a great time while we were there!