Saturday, November 29, 2014

Arabella turns 6!

This sweet girl has been so excited to turn 6! 
This year we are not doing parties but we did send treats to school and she had a party in school on her birthday for Thanksgiving so it made it extra special!
We started her birthday off with famous pancakes and presents.
 She is kind, sweet, tender, meek, beautiful, and silly all wrapped into one.
 She loves to have tea parties so these little cakes are perfect. 
 Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Bird for the Ken doll and Barbie Jeep- now Ken and Barbie can go on a date. (That is what she wanted.)
 As I said, she loves to have tea parties and she has wanted a "real" tea set, meaning china, for a while. We were so excited to get this for her. She wished she did not have to go to school so she could have a tea party right away. She did have one right after school.
She chose to have dinner at Texas Roadhouse- she wanted to eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor. She loved being sang to and sitting on the saddle (my phone is not cooperating to post the picture but it is cute!).  
We love you Arabella! I am so blessed to be your mother! I have grown so much by having you- thank you for teaching me to be more kind, gentle, and loving. I look forward to watching you become a beautiful young lady- just don't grow up too fast. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lovely Kids

I took a few pictures of my other kids today because I discovered that I am taking a bunch of pictures of Samantha and not as many of my older kiddos.
 Okay so there are a few of Samantha. She is not mobile yet so I can take more.

I love my kids! I hope they know it and they will understand that I always want what is best for them and what will  make them the happiest. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cheetos and Missionaries

We had the missionaries for dinner last week and I needed to get dinner made and the floor cleaned up and I needed Samantha to be content while I was doing it. The answer came in the form of fake, powdery, slightly greasy, puffed corn (?) cheetos!
She loved them- who doesn't?!
 This was Elder Toolson's last night in our ward and we were sad to have him leave but know that he will serve his next area wonderfully as a Zone Leader! 
 Pictures were a must. The kids were their typical selves.
 We set up the timer on our camera (we had yet to use it with the new camera) and though it said it was the 10 second timer it was really more like 3 seconds. Needless to say you can enjoy a host of pictures of Peter not quite making it and half smiles and me making funny faces. 

Oh, we got a good one even if Lily is totally distracted by Dad and there is a strange glow from the flash off of something on the table in front of us! Good Luck Elder Toolson and Elder Gulbransen we are excited to put you and your new companion to work!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Half Marathon

On November 8th, I did something that I had not done in almost 8 years to the month- 
a half marathon!

 This is my friend Jen Hair- she is my running buddy! She is my inspiration to get up at 5:30 and brave the now cold weather to run! I love it- she is amazing!
This is us before the race!
 Here I come 13.1 miles later and I have a huge smile on my face because I have just seen my family! I was so happy to see them.

 I love how the one clear picture was the one of my backside crossing the finish line! 
My official time was 1:55.32 which is about 2 seconds faster than the one I ran 8 years ago. I was definitely stiff and sore after this one for a few days but I did not get sick to my stomach that was a nice thing. 
Jen is the best looking finisher! 
I am so thankful to Peter for supporting me in this crazy adventure. I am thinking I will do one in March in Austin with some ladies from church and Jen. The picture with the girl in pink and long blond hair is a girl name Melody Talbot. We had done a little bit of back and forth in the first 4 miles and then we stuck together. As we talked, wouldn't you know it she's a Mormon too! Her name is Melody Talbot and she lives in Mckinney but is originally from Duchesne, Utah. Her husband who also ran the race and stuck with us for a few miles is a dentist and is from Delta. I also know about her 3 kids and her ward and her plans to do a full marathon on Thanksgiving Day- you go girl! You can learn a lot about a person when you have 9 miles to run together. I am so glad I met her, who knows maybe we will meet again!
I am thankful for my body that is not what it was 8 years ago but it still is able to care for my family, run a lot of miles, and allow me to do the work Heavenly Father needs and wants me to do. You bet, I would love to lose a few more pounds and someday I will find that will power but for now I will enjoy the health that I have and strive to use my body for good.

More pictures from Halloween

I took these on Halloween Night.
We had been at a party at the Taekwondo school.
Joey could not wait to get out of his costume- he is growing up and was feeling a bit embarrassed about being in a dress. Oh but he was a handsome Crood!

 Jon was trying to make Samantha eat her tail and she bit his finger-serves him right. 
 Arabella loved getting her face painted to match her costume.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Primary Program

Today was our Primary Program. 
I let out a sigh of relief when it was over but I was also so thankful to have the opportunity to serve in the Primary and have the chance to teach these wonderful kids and to be taught by them.
Families has been the focus this year and I have given the topic even more thought over the last few weeks/months as we have put the presentation together and then I had to come up with something to say at the beginning of the program. 
Oh I had so many thoughts: 
Thoughts of Arabella's tears over not having any kids so she did not have a family when we played the game of Life. This made me think of those couples who so badly want children and never get that blessing in their lives and yet they are still a family.
Thoughts on how my family could do so many things better and yet how there are many things that we are doing well.
Thoughts on how the Lord really does give us families to help us become what he wants us to be. It is how he shows his love in that we may be blessed with perfect parents or a perfect family but face challenges in other ways or we may be blessed with a family that is not the ideal or parents that are not such.  This then allows for us to feel his love as we learn to lean on Him and His Son for strength and knowledge and understanding. 
I thought of the phrase "mama bear". I can certainly be a mama bear about my kids in certain situations. I am happy to let them learn from experiences, choices, and consequences. But, if you try to cheat my child out of something or wrongfully accuse them of something you will find a fierceness in me that exists and only emerges when protection is needed. I will protect my family. I know I  need to work harder on building our defenses because my kids are getting older and Satan is going to try attacking in new and different ways.  I will prepare and protect my family as fiercely as a mama bear by not letting things get in the way of Family Home Evening, scripture study, and family prayer. I will teach my kids to have personal prayer. I will attend the temple more often (this will be easier when Samantha decides that a bottle is a good idea again).  I will be more generous with my praise for my children when I seen them succeed, show kindness and love, serve, feel the spirit, invite the spirit into our home, and do their best. I will put the screens down or away and spend more time living in the moment and listening to their excited little (and not so little) voices. My time with them is precious and short I need to make the most of it. 
Families are Forever. I wish all of the people in the world could feel and know that to be true the way that I do. I wish they could know that we have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who made t his possible through his atoning sacrifice and resurrection. I wish that every child could have a family that loves them fully and treats them with the love a child of God deserves. 
There are days that I feel so blessed to have been born and raised in the gospel by parents who taught me the truth and lived the truth each day for me to see the example of what a disciple of Christ is. Today I will dedicate myself to striving more diligently to be the mother my children need me to be and the mother my Heavenly Father expects me to be. And I will do it with my loving husband by my side, Peter. We make a good team and together we can raise these kids!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pumpkin Dive

On Saturday, October 25th, we went to a pumpkin dive at the Flower Mound Activity Center.
There were a bunch of pumpkins floating in the water and the kids were divided into groups by age. 
They would blow the whistle and away the kids would go in search of the perfect pumpkin.
 These girls had to have an adult in the water with them. I was happy to oblige. 
 Jon picked his pumpkin out while waiting for his turn and was so excited to get it. 
 There were not as many kids in Joseph's group but you can see better how this was set up.

There were carnival games set up and a fire truck and cake walk. The kids had a great time. I loved it and I am pretty sure this will be a new tradition at our house. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Birthday Peter/Dad/Daddy!

We started the day of Peter's 10th anniversary of 26 with a run together. I finished mine off by running to the donut store by our house and getting donuts for breakfast (pretty much defeats the purpose of running but yummy!).
 I don't have pictures but Samantha, Lily, and I went to lunch with Dad for his special day- the thai food was really good. 
 And then the kids and I had planned to put his presents in a pinata and so we did.
 He was totally surprised and had a great time rigging it up and moving it up and down while we all tried to break it open. 

 There was an abundance of laughter! 

We had manicotti for dinner per Peter's request and ice cream sandwiches made with homemade cookies for dessert. Oh we love you dad and we are thankful for all that you do for us!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The many faces of Lily

This girl makes me smile every day! 
She loves each of her siblings and her daddy!
She is crazy and silly and laughs alot which makes us laugh too.

This last picture was taken when I asked her to get dressed for the day about a week ago and her swimming suit was her outfit of choice. She stated, "I am waiting for dad to come home and take me to the pool." 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

I give you... The Croods!

Our costumes are nothing too fancy but we love the movie and we are a family that will stick together through anything just like this fictitious caveman family.