Thursday, June 9, 2016

This Girl - Katelee

Oh Katelee Madge, this girl makes us smile constantly.  The other day we were playing a quick game of Apples to Apples.  I had the card, Rough.  The descriptions words were something like jagged, not smooth, etc.  You get the point.  Katelee put her card down and said, "ok, I'm going in a different direction with this one.."  She laughed a little and had a huge smile on her face.  Ethan set his card down and I mixed them up and then read them.  The first was Iceberg, yep those can be rough.  Then I read the next one, Paying Bills.  I busted up laughing, that was the winner.  Ethan was not happy at all, Katelee was so excited.   She said she knew I'd pick that one, because paying bills was rough!!!  What 7 year old things like that? 

Katelee is hilarious, a deep thinker and growing up way too fast!! 
When I am with Katelee, just me and her, she often makes me do double takes.  I look at her and think, when did my little girl grow up, how did she mature over night?  The conversations we have are fun and hilarious.  This girl makes silly comments and expressions that not everyone sees and I LOVE that. She is very much a home body, she never wants to leave the house once we are home.  If I want to go to the store, I better do it before I get the kids home, otherwise Kate will refuse or throw a fit about leaving.  She loves to read, play school and is so good at gymnastics.  She loves gymnastics, once she gets there...  But when we are at home and have to go, she always says she'd rather just stay home.  She has pretty much mastered the backbend and is very close to mastering the flip over from a backbend.  She loves cartwheels and tumbling and everything gymnastics!! 

Katelee is a super smart girl.  She got straight As this year (again) and will be attending a GATE-like program next year.  We had to talk her into it, she didn't really want to do it, but we asked her to try it out and see how it goes and we would take her out of it if she feels like it's just not working.  She is pretty much polar opposite of Ethan in school.  She rarely talks, even to her teachers.  She sits quietly and very still at her desk, she doesn't get up unless she is asked to or gets permission to.  She never needs to study her spelling words or other items.  If she doesn't get 100% on her math tests she is pretty tough on herself, but just studies harder the next time.  She reads far above her level and loves it.  She is a teachers best dream student. (I'm not sure where she gets that from....)

Life with Katelee is so fun.  She is very independent, she picks out her own clothes and does her own hair everyday.  She wont let us do either of those, unless I beg her until she gives in.  Sometimes she gets in moods where she is naughty, but that is not the norm.  When you look at how good she is the majority of the time, you can't help but get that she needs a naughty outlet every once in a while...  We love this little fashionista and she is growing up WAY TO FAST!!!    

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ethan and Katelee's School Pictures 2015-2016

 Ethan is in 3rd grade this year and doing pretty good.  His teacher is Ms. Pippin who happens to be the best thing ever for him.  She is patient, a lover of crazy boys and a fantastic teacher.  She has come to a baseball game he invited her to and even came to his last Pinewood Derby competition.  He loves being in her class.  His grades aren't the best but it's mostly because the boy wont take his time to complete anything.  He thinks he has to rush through everything.  He is a smart kid he just needs to learn to slow down and not make mistakes.  Ethan is still the kid in class that drives everyone crazy with his contact noises and fidgeting.  If only we knew where he got that from.  He also loves to tell jokes.  He has adapted very well to the new school and has made friends easily.  The kid will talk to anyone and play with anyone as well. 

Katelee is in 2nd grade as is doing very well.  She is still our quiet girl that only speaks to the teacher when spoken to.  She hesitates to answer questions just out of a need to always be right.  She is usually right, but will still hesitate to answer and will not raise her hand at all.  She is best friends with a girl named Emily in her class, which is great.  Emily is a great example and also a very good student.  Katelee pretty high on the GATE (Gifted, blah blah blah) test and was asked to take a few more test to see if she would be accepted into that program.  We haven't really talked much about it with her because we don't want her to feel any pressure.  I'm indifferent either way.  She always aces her spelling tests with no real studying.  Katelee was told by the library assistant that she could only check out one joke book per week, which she wasn't too happy about.  She loves to read jokes to us all the time.  Her grades are nearly perfect and we never have to really get on her about anything with school, except talking to her teacher.

Ethan and Katelee are quite opposites when it comes to school.  I have a feeling Ashlee is going to be much more similar to her brother in school than to Katelee.  So far we love our new school.  Everyone is very nice and the teacher we have so far have been great!   

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mommy-Daughter Dates

Sometimes I like to have some one on one time with my kids.  Sometimes we are actually able to make it happen. Life gets pretty busy sometimes and when it gets busy all I want to do with my free time is hang out with the whole family.  But, I also know how special those one on one moments are so we work hard to make it happen.  The other day I needed to go to the grocery store and Katelee was adamant that she wanted to go with me.  We decided to make it a Mommy and Daughter date.  We went to Target and got some popcorn and a slushy and walked around and got what we needed.  Then we went to the grocery store and then Katelee picked China a go-go for dinner.  I have never been there, but she really wanted to go, so we went.  We decided to get the Chicken Chow Mein and it was yummy.  We talked A LOT and loved every minute of our time.  Katelee is funny, she is at an age where she is still a kid but trying so hard to be grown up.  Our conversation was a good mixture of kid stuff and teen stuff...  I'm so thankful for times where I can just sit back and enjoy my kids in a special way.  When I was sitting across from Katelee at dinner I just kept thinking, "How on earth did I get so lucky to have this girl in my life?"  I have truly been blessed... 

After my one on one with Katelee, Ashlee really wanted some Mommy and her time so we decided to go shopping and to lunch. It was the day after Thanksgiving so it was really busy.  We went to Bath & Body Works and scooped up quite a bit of stuff for cheap.  We had to wait in line forever, but Ashlee was so good.  We went to Cugios after that and shared the lunch pizza special.  When we started eating Ashlee noticed the Garlic Knots were ready and asked for some, so we got some of those as well.  Ashlee is so fun to hang out with.  When she is one on one she is such a good girl.  She is polite and kind and doesn't talk potty talk when it's just her.  Again, sitting across from my other daughter I couldn't help but feel overwhelmingly blessed.  She is a crazy girl and I just love her.  She is a whole lot of me packed into that small body!!  She cracks me up without even trying and her facial expressions are on point!!! 

Chris and I are trying harder to make these types of one on one experiences happen more for all of our kids.  It's so important that they feel important and feel like we care about them!!  When there are 4 kids running around the house it's easy for them to feel like we don't notice them and I don't want them to ever feel like that.  2016 will be full of lots of one on one dates!!!  

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Last Time

A few of my girlfriends and I went to "Time Out for Women" in St. George.  It was a great experience and SO much fun with those girls!  I will blog more about that later, maybe.  During one of the presentations a lady read the following and it struck such a raw chord with me. 

The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before, 
When you had freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Diaper changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize
So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.
-Author Unknown-

The things is, I'm pretty sure Brynlee is our last baby.  I still think the idea of 5 kids is great, but I'm just not sure it's in the cards for us.  Chris is done, he will have to have some kind of a vision to agree to have another one.  Some days I can't imagine waking up multiple times a night again for feedings and newborn stuff.  I would love to be pregnant again, I LOVE being pregnant, but my body is a mess and it probably wouldn't be the best thing for me...  Sometimes I look at our family all together and think, "this is perfect!"  Like last night at the dinner table we were all just talking and hanging out and it felt so good and right.  Then there are times when I look around as if someone is missing. The other night when we were gathering for family prayer I was looking and saw Ethan, Katelee, and then found Ashlee and Chris had Brynlee and I just kept looking.  For a while I just kept looking.  Chris started reading and in my head I was thinking, "why isn't he waiting, we aren't all here!"  But then it clicked.  The mind and heart are interesting organs!! 
I packed up all of the clothes that Brynlee has outgrown, it was a sad day.  I may have shed a few tears, I can't lie.  I would hold up the clothes and smile as I would remember how cute that outfit was on my girls.  Then I took them to a lady in our ward that is having her first baby girl.  It was a sad day...  It was a last...

I look at my little Ethan, who isn't quite so little any more.  I can't tell you the last time I picked him up and carried him on my hip, but when I did it last did I think it was going to be the last time?  My baby won't let us feed her any more.  She must be the one to feed herself or she wont eat...  When I fed her last did I think it was going to be the last time?  And did I appreciate it like I should have? I can almost guarantee I didn't.  I have to fight with Katelee to let me do her hair.  The girl is 7!!! She wants to do her own hair, pick out her own cloths and much more.  When will it be the last time I do her hair?  Will I realize it?  Ms Ashlee is a handful, she has a spunk about her that is all her own.  She loves to hug me and give me kisses when I leave for work, when will she do that for the last time? 

After thinking about some of this stuff it was depressing.  But then it has made me much more aware of the little things that will one day be gone or I will do for the last time.  I rock my little baby a little longer at night, as long as she will let me.  I cuddle with the kids, even if I have to make them...  I have started to try a little harder to enjoy and extend those things that will one day be the last time!  I'll hold them a little closer, longer and tighter and soak it all up while I can.  Filling my jar so that hopefully it will last me through the rest of their childhood.   

Pinewood Derby 2015 (Ethan's FIRST one)

Ethan is now is Cub Scouts which means he does an activity every week and he gets to do a Pinewood Derby!  He was excited but I almost think my dad was more excited. We had Ethan pick out what he wanted the car to look like and my dad was able to cut it for him.  We had an FHE where Ethan and all helped work on the car.  Ethan was very good at sanding and messing around with all the tools...  

I was put in charge of painting the car, which I'm not all that good at...  We made it work though... My dad added on all the other items to get it where it needed to be weight wise.  Ethan wanted a driver so I found a Lego guy to add to the car.  My dad even made a carrying case for the car so he could enter the race in style.    Here are some shots of the final product:

The night of the Derby my parents came over for dinner and last minute inspections and then we were off to the races.  (Look at that smile, you can tell he is excited!)

They did 4 races with the car getting a spot in each lane.  The first lane Ethan took 1st place.  After that he didn't score first again, but was still doing good.  They let the boys place the cars on the track and I'm afraid Ethan didn't always get it centered so the wheels rubbed on the edges a few times, but he had tons of fun! 

Ethan's car ended up taking 4th place.  We would have loved to win it overall, but 4th place for your first race is GREAT as well!  It was fun seeing all the other cars and designs that people came up with.  Brought back memories of all of my brother's Pinewood Derbies and that was great fun.  Ethan has been looking forward to the next derby ever since the last one ended.  

Good-Bye Hansen Family

So when we moved into our condo when we first got married there were a few couples that lived in the same complex.  We got to know them each, but we got to know the Hansen family the most.  Carlee and Chris became our good friends, after far too many years of knowing them...  Carlee and I had baby girls around the same time.  They both had brown hair and these blue/green/clear eyes.  She named her daughter Kaylee and we named ours Katelee.  They were in all the same primary classes and their nursery leader especially had a hard time telling them apart.  Not only were their first names similar but their last names were as well, Hansen and Nelson...  After a bit the Hansen family moved out of our little complex and away from our ward.  We were all sad, but they were still close by, so we weren't too sad.  

We visited with them often, had family dinner nights with them and met up at different places to hang out.  Our kids meshed so well with each other.  Ethan loved playing with Conner, who is around Ashlee's age and Ashlee LOVES Conner.  He is her boyfriend if you ask her, even now after all this time apart...  When we found our new home, we were so excited to see that it was literally down the street from where the Hansen's were living.  I could not have been more happy to be close to them again.  But that happiness was soon washed away when we found out that they were moving..... to Texas!!  It was such a good thing for their family, but we were all so sad...  Before they left for good we had the kids over often to hang out and the adults too.  

We have gotten to see them one or two times since their move and the kids always pick up right where they left off.  Katelee and Kaylee send things back and forth to each other, it's so cute!  We miss the Hansen's like crazy, but we are so happy that things are going so well for them.  


There are only handful of couples that we get along with so well.  Chris and Chris always have tons to talk about and Carlee and I could talk for hours.  It's so great to have such great friends, even if they live in Texas now! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Yankees Fall Ball 2015

Ethan LOVES baseball.  He has played consecutive seasons since he was 3 almost 4 years old.  Each season we ask him what sport or thing he wants to do next.  We always try to say a different sport, "do you want to try soccer this time, or maybe basketball?"  And his answer has always been, "no, I want to play baseball."  Don't get me wrong, I love that he loves baseball, but I would also like it if he tried a different sport as well.  I really want him to get some experience on a different playing field with different actions, etc.  Last season we made the switch over to our zoned Little League, which is Cheyenne Little League.  We have really enjoyed it so far.  They are very organized, on top of things, informative and we know nothing of the drama that happens, which makes it amazing!  His coach and team last season was good, but we weren't trying to get Ethan on the same team or coach.  Don't get me wrong, the coach was good, but he didn't do much instructing, which we feel is very important.  We signed Ethan and Ashlee up at the same time, a huge hunk of money spent, and then we waited for the team assignment.  During Fall ball they do not have try outs, they draw players.  

Ethan's name, fortunately, was drawn by a great coach.  The team was a little sketchy at first, but it ended up being a great season.  The coach was very dedicated to the boys, he was there for them.  He didn't argue with the umpires, he respectfully disagreed at times, but he was there to help the kids get better and teach them the game of baseball.  The Yankees played great, our pitching improved over the season, which really helps out when you are watching the game.  They won some games, they lost some games and they had fun doing it.  

I just wanted to document some pictures from the season, that the team mom took and then sent to all of us parents.....

This is the classic Ethan sliding form.  His hand is always up high and the other one is dragging on the ground...  It's a sweet looking slide.

Ethan was one of the pitchers that we had.  He is an alright pitcher, he gets the ball across the plate.  He doesn't throw hard, but he does make the kids hit the ball.  We have lots of work to do on his pitching, but for being 8, almost 9, he did good. 

Ethan is kind of a punk on the bases.  I don't know where he gets his cockyness from....  He takes huge lead offs and almost taunts the other team with his eyes...  Begging them to throw the ball.  A few times when they did, he took off and stole the base...  I do love watching him, for the most part, on the bases.  He doesn't need coaching on when to run, stay or play.  He takes risks and for the most part he is very successful.  Sometimes though, when he is being cocky, I would like to throw a ball at him myself, but another part of me just giggles.  
Ethan played first base a lot this season.  They actually threw someone out that was leading off and Ethan was very proud of himself for helping that happen.... 

I love these two pictures.  Since I was a first baseman, I think I mentally criticize him a little too much.  His form, his feet, etc, but he does a pretty darn good job, for not having played first base much last year.  I have kept most of my comments to myself, or only told them to Chris, but I do try to give him a few helpful hints at times...   
Here's a pretty good stretch at first.
I like this picture of Ethan and teammates in the dugout.  Just chatting it up with each other.  He really does enjoy his teammates and hanging out with them.  

The Yankees actually made it to the Championship game.  The only team the other team had lost to all season was us.  We took them on and ended up losing, but 2nd place got trophies as well.  Ethan was so excited for the trophy and being announced on the field after the game that he didn't even care that they lost. 
Here is the team doing a cheer after getting their trophies.  It was a fun season and taking 2nd place isn't bad either!!!!