Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ethan's Progress Report

That was the only thing I can think of to describe me when I saw Ethan's very first progress report!!!  I couldn't believe it, my Ethan, my crazy Ethan did fantastic!!!  He even got all E's....  And his teacher's comments of "He works hard to do his best, we appreciate his efforts." Nearly made me cry!  I was so excited we let Ethan get an actual Happy Meal from McDonalds, instead of the $ menu!  

What a proud Mother moment this was for me!  Way to go Ethan, I hope you continue to enjoy and excel at school!    

Ethan Turns SIX! (October 2012)

Ethan's Birthday was on a Sunday this year so we had his birthday party the Saturday before.  The Friday before his party Ethan got to spend the night at Aunt Anna, Uncle Enrique and Emily's house.  They of course spoiled him like crazy!  They took him to build a bear and let him do whatever he wanted the whole night and 1/2 of the next day!  Ethan was indecisive on what kind of cake he wanted this year.  At first it was Sonic the Hedgehog and then it was Mario or Waluigi...  Finally I suggested a baseball and he jumped on that one, thank heavens, because that was so much easier!  We went with the baseball theme, pretty easy for this household!

Ethan had lots of family and friends over for his party and he really enjoyed it!
 Ethan opened up all of his presents and loved them all....

 The next day was Sunday and his actual birthday...  Chris has meetings that start at 7:30 each Sunday so he wasn't there when Ethan woke up, but the rest of us were.  I wanted to get a picture of him that morning just so I could show everyone what a SIX year old looks like.  He has grown up so fast!!!  I cannot believe he is so old!  It literally seems like he was just born a few years ago, not six!!!!
 Ethan got to open up his presents from Mom and Dad and his sisters.  He was a little disappointed that he didn't get a big truck like he asked for, but I think he was pretty happy with what he did get!  (Poor boy had pink paper, but I had Katelee color on it with a blue and green crayon so it wasn't all girly!)
 Can you see the slight sadness of not getting a big truck...  When we put the legos together he realized that one of them was a big 4X4 truck and that made him much happier and it made me much happier too!!!  It's sad as a mother to disappoint your child, but that, I assume, is all part of lives lessons!!
My little mother heart has a love/hate relationship with birthdays.  I love them because my kids are so excited to turn another year older.  I love them because I get to spoil them and see how much they have accomplished in the past year.  But I hate them because my little babies are growing up.  I hate them because they show me how FAST life is flying by.  This 8lbs 14oz baby is growing so fast.  He is getting so tall and will soon be my height!  This little boy that use to hug me and love on me whenever I acted like I was crying, now just laughs at me!  Sure he is still sweet at times, but there are times when he does things just to bug us!  He is a character, funny and so smart.  He has so many friends at school and loves to go!  Ethan had a great birthday and is very excited to finally be SIX!!!!  Love you buddy! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Katelee Turns Four (September 2012)

Katelee has finally turned four!  She is so happy to be getting older and it's making me so sad to see her keep growing!!!!
Katelee got a Cute backpack for her first day of school!
Kate also got a lot of clothes

She also got a Chalkboard and White Board stand and....
Lots and lots of clothes!!!!

Kate had a great birthday party with lots of family and friends.  She wanted a Barbie cake and I tried my best.  She liked it so I say it was a winner!!!  

Kate has done very well in school.  She is a perfect example for the kids in her class and she always gets smile faces on her weekly progress reports.  She has made friends with the kids in her class and really livens up when she is around them.  She does better around other kids since she has been in school too.  She is still shy but she will actually play at times, which is a huge thing for her!  She is a moody girl and at times drives us crazy with her crying and yelling and going from happy to fired up in 5 seconds....  But we love her all the same.  She can be so sweet when she wants to and one of my favorite things about Katelee is that no matter what, she will always say "love you" back.  When she gets up in the middle of the night and I put her back to bed I always say, "love you" and she will repeat it back to me.  Ethan never does that...  But Katelee ALWAYS does that!  She is still a mother hen to Ashlee and now that Ashlee has started getting annoyed by it Kate will say, "if you do that one more time I will put you in time out!"  It's hilarious!  Life wouldn't be the same in the Nelson household without Katelee and we are so grateful for her!  Love you girl!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas-Funny

Hope Everyone has a Merry Christmas!  I hope to do a better job at updating the blog next year....
Love, Cousin It!!!
(The things I do at work to make people smile!  Who said Compliance is boring!)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Random Update...

So, It has been quite some time since I gave an update on the Nelson Family!  This household seems to be quite busy lately and it has shown in my lack of blogging.  So here we go...

On Labor day Chris and I both had the day off of work and so we took the kids to Red Rock for a hike.  We have never done this as a family but it is something we will be doing again!!!  We packed a lunch and really enjoyed the day.  Ashlee rode on Chris's shoulders the whole time and LOVED it!  Ethan and Kate were troopers for the hike and loved being in the wilderness...
 Here is a picture of Daddy and Ashlee finishing up the hike.  We let her walk and she loved that too!

 Ashlee is a huge lover of hats and dolls.  She will keep a hat on her head forever if she feels like it.  It has to be her idea though.  She loves to give hugs to her baby dolls and pushes them around in the stroller all the time.
 Once again, Ashlee is a character.  She loves to be silly and make people laugh.  One night she was being super grouchy and so I gave in and gave her a binky and the next thing I knew she had two of them and they were both in her mouth at the same time!
 Ethan loves him some boots.  Aunt Lisa buys him the nice boots and Ethan wears them down fast.  The last boots he got were brown and soon had a hole in the front so when Chris and I went on a date one night we stopped by Sams Town and got him some new ones for school!  He of course loved them and wears them everywhere.  We like the black ones because they seem classy enough to wear to church too!
 The other day while cleaning out Ethan's backpack for the day I noticed he had a progress report.  I was a little hesitant to look at it since Ethan can be pretty crazy!  Well how surprised was I to see this!  The one thing that stuck out to me was he got all "E's" I was one happy momma.  I told Ethan he could have a happy meal, that is quite amazing for me....  Way to go Ethan.  He has really done well with school and I'm so thankful for that!
 Just a silly picture of Ashlee.  We were out driving around the other day and pretty soon she went quite and this is why!
 We had an old family friend get married and we were able to attend.  I always like having a reason to dress up and dance.  These pictures were just silly ones we took.  As you can see Enrique fits into our family just fine!
 And here is our cowboy.  We put him in short, flip flops, dress shirt and tie because the wedding was outside.  His cowboy hat was in the van and when we got out he decided he also wanted to wear it.  So needless to say he stuck out but he loved it!  This is our little cowboy!
 Here is a better picture of all of us, except Emily.  I guess she wasn't feeling the happiness of the occasion.
 One night for family home evening we colored a sheet together as a family.  Even Ashlee got involved in it.  It was a lot of fun!
 I had a Compliance Conference in San Diego last month that was four days long.  I had three nights away from my family and that was tough.  However the view from my room and the solid nights sleep was pretty nice!  Here is the view from my room...
 And another...
 Dinner one night...
 And one night we walked down to the beach, which was very nice.  It was a little chilly, but fun!  I was however, very excited to get home to see my family!
 For Columbus day I had the day off and got to work in Ethan's class and then spend the rest of the day with the kids.  I was making dinner and I guess Ashlee was hungry because she climbed on up to the table and just gave me the look of, "feed me mom!"  We had to wait for dad to get home which didn't make her too happy...  But eventually she was feed and much happier!
We have been staying busy and hopefully I will get things all caught up soon! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Katelee's First Day of Preschool

Katelee's Preschool story is actually a pretty stressful one when I look back on it.  We had her registered with our friend Kacy's preschool that Ethan went to last year.  We even went to the open house and got her excited about going there.  We had Grandma and Grandpa Nelson all ready to have her Monday/Wednesday and Friday's of each week.  Then one day Ethan brought something home from school about a preschool that his school has.  This preschool is a Peer/Mentor program for children with speech problems and other disabilities.  They were conducting interviews and would only be notifying parents if they were chosen.  Chris and I discussed this, she would be going to school Monday thru Thursday at the same time as Ethan.  It is free and she would be given the opportunity to be around kids with disabilities and learn not to be afraid or intimidated by them.  The downside points were that she wouldn't be going to the same school as Ethan, She wouldn't get to spend as much time with Grandma and Grandpa Nelson, they might go a bit slower due to the other students in the class and Kira would have to pick both kids up after school instead of just one.  

We went in for the interview on Friday morning.  They discussed with me the ideas of the program and the requirements of Katelee to be in the class.  There will be 12 kids with some sort of disability that can be  anywhere from a speech issue to a physical disability such as Cerebral-palsy or Downs Syndrome.  They would like the kids to speak up, tell the kids to give them a toy back if they took it from them and basically be an example in class.  While one teacher was discussing this with me the program the other one was trying to get Kate to interact with her.  Of course Kate was being her normal shy self, but she did do a puzzle with her.  I told them that Katelee does well at church but she was more on the shy side than the talkative side.  I was very upfront and honest with them about Kate's shyness.  I didn't want them to be sold on a kid that just wouldn't work with their class plans, it just wouldn't be fair to them.  They asked if Kate could follow directions and I said yes.  They told us that all of the eligible kids' names would be placed in a hat and the principal would draw them out.  Only two kids per class would be accepted.  They asked Katelee to push in her chair and she did as we left.  I went to work and spoke with Chris about it.  I just wasn't sure if they would want Katelee.  I wasn't too stressed because I saw that they had like 20 interviews and they were only going to accept 2 per class, I figured the odds were well against us and I was fine with that.  

During lunch I missed a call from the school saying that she was accepted and could start on Monday if we got all of her paperwork completed.  This sent me into panic mode...  I wasn't expecting her to get chosen, I figured since she didn't even talk that they wouldn't really want her.  I then started second guessing all of the positive reason I felt this program would be beneficial for Kate.  I finally got a hold of Chris and we discussed it.  We both felt OK about it and decided to do it.  I wanted to get Kacy's professional opinion about these kinds of programs.  She was very nice and said that if it wasn't working out for us that we could always just bring her back to her class.  That helped me feel better.  I got off the phone with her and said a pray, asking for a feeling a peace if this was an OK decision for us to make.  As I called the school to tell them we would accept I felt calm and good about the decision.  

We weren't able to get all of Katelee's stuff together in time for her to start on Monday (her birthday) which was fine with me, so she started on Tuesday, September 11, 2012!  
She was so excited to go to school, especially the same school as Ethan.  I was afraid that she would be too shy and cry when it was time for me to leave.  I talked with the teacher before hand about what I was to do if she started crying when I left.  I was already to simply walk away as she was crying....  We waited for her class to arrive (they come on a bus) and for her teacher to get there.  Once I saw her teacher, Mrs. Adams, I leaned down and told her it was time for me to go.  She said OK, kissed me and let go of my hand.  I started to walk away and she was completely OK with it.  I turned only once to make sure she was good and she was.  I turned back around and started crying.  I was so happy she was OK with me leaving but I was so sad as well.  My little girl was grown up and ready to face the big world of school without me.  Did I want her to cry when I left?  I don't think so, but I cried when she didn't.  I looked like a crazy mom as I cried walking across the crosswalk.  I got in the car and started bawling like a baby, I mean the kind where you have to breath deeper to keep up with the craziness...  I called my sister and was talking to her and even cried then too.  So silly, but such a huge thing for Kate...  I was so proud of her!

I wasn't able to pick her up on her first day but Kira was there to do it.  They actually drop Kate off in Ethan's class at the end of the day so they can be picked up together!  She loved school and hasn't cried about me leaving once.  Last Thursday we were eating breakfast and she looked at me and said, "I don't wanna go to school EVERY DAY of the week!"  I laughed and said well you don't have to go Friday!  She looked at me and said, "oh, OK!"  That has been the only time she has said anything negative about school.  Even that night she said, "Mommy, I do want to go to school tomorrow."  We talked about how no one would be there to play with her and that she needed a day off, so she was OK with it.  

Her teacher told Chris that she is shy, but that she is starting to play with the kids and talking a little more.  She will warm up real soon I'm sure and it will be a great experience for her!  I can't believe how big my little lady is getting.  I love her to pieces and know she will do great in preschool.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ashlee's Sleeping Habits

The other night while checking up on the kids before we went to bed we found Ashlee like this.  I don't know how she was asleep but she was.  If you can get a wedgie from a crib and with a diaper on this girl accomplished it!!!  We moved her legs out and she went right back to sleep!!!  This has not been the only time that she has gotten stuck, we usually have to get her unstuck a few times a week....  Silly girl!

Kate's Hair

This girl and her hair....  Sometimes it cracks me up!!!  The other day for church I put her hair up in buns.  She demanded to sleep in them and then the next day when we combed out her hair this is what it looked like.  The curly hair just gets frizzy when you brush it.  She loves it though and that makes me smile!!! Poof!!  

Ethan's First Day of Kindergarten

Monday August 27, 2012
It seems like we have been waiting for this day to come for sometime and now that it is here we aren't quite ready for it.  Ethan attended a small preschool in Henderson run by someone we knew from our ward.  Ms. Kacy did a great job at getting Ethan ready for school.  As the date got closer we talked about school and what he could expect.  On August first both my mother and I mentioned to Ethan that he started school this month.  He wasn't at all excited and told us that he was nervous.  Chris and I decided that we needed to make going to school seem like fun and exciting.  We decided we could do this by taking him out by himself school shopping.  We started with lunch and then went to get supplies.  After that Ethan seemed to be more excited about going to school.  Which made me a little less nervous as well.  
I recently started a new job, but I requested the first day of school off so I could be the one to drop him off and pick him up on the first day.  I didn't have any time off saved up but this job is a lot nicer than my last and they let me cheat a little.  We all got up early and got ready for school.  It was quite stressful for me trying to get myself ready and all the other kids too....  But we finally made it out after we snapped a quick picture outside our house.
 All of us including Dad hoped in the car and headed over to the chaotic school.  I have never really considered how crazy dropping Ethan off was going to be.  It is quite annoying.  I was already a little nervous and stressed so the traffic and chaos added to it.
 I read somewhere that school starts at 8, and they take the kids inside at 7:45, well we got there right at 7:45 and the kids were already in the room.  The other Kindergarten teacher was outside and told us we could just knock on the door.  So we knocked on the door and I snapped a quick picture....
 The door opened up and in he went with no look back.  I was proud, so proud of my guy for not being scared at all.  As I walked back to the rest of the clan I felt fine and then Katelee asked where we were going now.  I got a little chocked up and paused before I responded.  I finally answer her and Chris said, "Are you crying?"  I just laughed and explained that I was a little upset that his first day of school he didn't even get to play or get a picture with his teacher...  It just seemed so typical of me as a mother. 

Us girls went over to our friends house and hung out until it was time to pick Ethan up.  Our friend, Kira, will be picking Ethan up from school each day and taking him over to Grandma's house or keeping him until we pick him up.  So we all went over there so Ethan could know that Kira knew where to get him and she knew where to get him.  As we waited in line to get Ethan I could see him sitting right by the door.  He looked so big all ready to go.  I waived at him and he waived back.  I probably could have cried just seeing him looking so old and cute, but I didn't!
 We got a picture of him by the school sign but he was not really excited about it so I made it quick...
All in all Ethan's first day of school was good.  He had fun, I didn't have a break down and we started a new chapter in our life.  So far the dropping off has gotten better, we are getting into a grove of dropping Ethan off and making it to work on time.  We see a lot of our friends during drop off and that has been fun.  Ethan hates homework already but whatever, hopefully he will eventually get over that....

We have really been so blessed to have such great friends and family in our life.  So many people have volunteered to help us out, help drop off and pick up when we need the help and everything else.  This whole having a child in school thing has been so stressful for me.  Trying to figure out how to get Ethan from school and other things, but so many people have been so great.  We are so blessed.

I can't believe that I have a child in Kindergarten...  It might sound weird but dropping my son off every morning kind of makes me feel like a better mother, like I'm actually doing something that other mothers do...  It kinda really fun, crazy traffic and parents and all...  Congrats Buddy!  

Friday, July 13, 2012

What Happened to My Baby?

What on earth happened to this girl?  How did she become this toddler?  Our little Ashlee is still skinny but she is growing up so fast.  Next month she will be 18 months and start nursery...  WHAT???  I cannot believe I just typed that...  Seriously, where did the time go.  Ashlee walks around the house like she owns it.  Katelee never leaves her alone and she can get anything she wants from Ethan!  She is perfectly content playing by herself, in fact I think she would rather play by herself.  Just like in the picture, Ashlee loves to carry her drinks under her arm.  Give her a drink, she might take a drink and then it is back under that arm.  She is such an easy go lucky girl and rarely causes problems.  The only time she is grumpy is when she is hungry, she may not look like it but she does eat at times.  She eats when she wants to eat and that is the only time.  If she is done eating the food will go in and ALL come out!  Soley is really loving Ashlee....  This summer we have gone swimming quite a bit and Ashlee is a big fan of water.  She loves to get splashed and try to eat the water.  The other night at our friend's house Ashlee just kept walking off of the stair and crashing into the water. I couldn't keep her still for more than 1 second...  It was crazy!  She was LOVING the water....  The summer has just begun so I can't wait to see how much she loves it at the end!!!  
Ashlee is still quite small, probably just over 20 lbs, if that.  She is still wearing mostly 12 month clothes, but she is getting tall, and her legs are so long!!!  Ashlee is such a joy to have in our family.  We are so grateful for her, her personality and her crazy talking, spitting and even her little attitude when she throws everything you hand her.  Thank you Ashlee for keeping us on our toes and giving us hugs out of nowhere and being the most cuddly kid we have had.  When I get home from work Ashlee will stop what she is doing and come run over and give me a hug, that absolutely makes my day, no matter how crazy it might have been, PERFECT!!!  This girl is going to do great things and I can't wait to see them!!! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


When we found out we were pregnant for the very first time we already knew what the name would be if it happened to be a boy.  The first name would be Ethan, just because we both really liked that name.  The middle name would have to be Andrew.  Chris's middle name is Andrew, his dad's middle name is Andrew, and so on for 5 or so other generations.  Chris is the third boy in his family and he didn't want to take the risk of us not having another boy to carry on the Andrew name, so our first boy got the name!  (Plus Ethan Andrew Nelson has a ring and a good flow)

When we found out we were pregnant with a girl next we decided on the name Katelee Maree.  (I was trying to convince Chris that spelling Marie with two 'e's would be really cute....  He wasn't buying it, which ended up being ok)  Katelee was due on September 17th or so, but we found out we would be having her a week early.  When we got the official date of September 10th we called and told Chris's mom.  She informed us that date was her mother's birthday.  From the moment I heard that I knew what Kate's middle name was going to be.  From that moment on her name was Katelee Madge.  I wasn't the biggest fan of Madge, but I knew it had meaning and before long I LOVED the name.  I look at Katelee sometimes and think how well Madge fits her...  It just works.  And from what I hear about Grandma Madge, Katelee and her would get along well.

When we found out we were expecting another girl we were a bit stumped.  We have had a boy name picked out but no girl name.  We thought and thought and finally came up with Elizabeth Ashlee or Ashlee Elizabeth.  Being that the other kids had family middle names I wanted this child to also have a middle name with a person behind it.  We started leaning more towards the first name being Ashlee, so I started asking about my family history and women named Elizabeth.  Unbelievable, (well not that Elizabeth was an uncommon name in history) I was able to find two great ladies with the name Elizabeth.  They were both pioneers and had rich history and strong courage.  I fell in love with these woman when I heard all that they went through and accomplished.  One Elizabeth was crossing the plains and gave birth to a child who later died on the journey.  Wanting to bury the baby in Zion they continued on only to have Elizabeth die on the journey as well.  She was bury with her child on the side of the trail.  The other Elizabeth was the wife of Joseph Smith's bodyguard.  She has a very rich religious history.  

For Memorial day we were able to go to Spanish Fork and place flowers on the graves of family members.  While there we were able to get a photo of Ethan with one of his name sakes....  John Andrew Nelson. 

And Katelee with her name sake.  Madge Johnson....

Unfortunately for Ashlee, Elizabeth's grave has not been found.  My grandfather once tried to find it but was unable to, so she will probably never have a picture by that headstone.  However I will do my best to tell her the stories I have heard so she might feel some connection to them.

.My kids are very comfortable in cemeteries, some might think this is weird, but I like my kids to go with me to place flowers on my grandparents and others graves.  And the kids like it too.  It helps them realize that even though some people have died we can still talk about them, get to know them and not be afraid of dying.  We talk about that person and what I remember of them and how important they were to me.  We talk about seeing them again one day and how we will all be together no matter what happens.

Names are important to me....  I hope my kids are grateful for their names and always have the thought of making that person or persons proud that they share that name.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Christopher Nelson!!!

I know, I know.  Chris graduated on May 20th and I'm just now posting about it...  Things have been a bit crazy around here.  But late is better than not at all.  There are an abundance of photos, but I couldn't decide which ones not to include so I just put them all in here!!!  
I can still remember writing this post 3 1/2 Years It's funny to look back at that...  Well the day we have been waiting for since we got married has finally came.  And what a day it was!!!  I will leave some minor details out and talk about those in a later post.  Since Chris' school is a private Jewish school graduation was held on a Sunday, Saturday is their Sabbath.  Those that came for the long ceremony were Uncle Brian from Texas, Aunt Lisa from Utah, Aunt Anna, Uncle Enrique and Emily.  Also both sets of parents were there....  So much fun!    
Here is a picture of half of the crew before graduation started.  Uncle Brian had a Nook, Aunt Lisa was journaling and Ethan was playing with someones Wii.                                                                            

Here is one of my favorite pictures of Ethan and Katelee from the graduation.  They really were such good kids during the whole thing, thanks to electronics and Aunts and Uncles!

Like with any graduation ceremony the graduates get to walk in.  Because Chris' Physical Therapy class was the first one for Touro Nevada they were the first ones to walk in.  I have to say I got choked up after he walked by and even shed a tear, so emotional...  It was so official with him in his gown and cap...

Here are just a few pictures of Chris at his seat up front!


Chris never realized my sister was up front taking pictures of him...  We have like 10 from this close and he isn't looking at a one of them!  Everyone around him is, but not him!

That is Chris on the right getting ready to have his name read.  I was so excited I couldn't hardly contain myself....

And here he is after being "hooded"  Doesn't he look so happy?  It could be that he just heard his crazy wife yell for him.  I was very tempted to say, "that's my babies daddy!"  But I decided to be more dignified and just yell!  I have waited over 7 years for this day and nothing was going to stand in my way of cheering for him!  I apologized to Chris ahead of time for embarrassing him...  He is use to it by now!  

A picture of the hood from behind, kind of.  It wasn't flat like it should have been, but you get the point!!!

After Chris' name was read my sister took the two oldest kids and my mother took Ashlee up to the hotel room that my parents got us for graduation.  My dad has worked at this hotel for over 25 years so I was excited to see that Chris was graduating there.  After about an hour more of names and a few other talks the graduates were finally able to exit.  

There is my cute husband, an official Doctor of Physical Therapy... 

Happy doesn't even begin to describe my emotions.  Ecstatic comes close but not close enough.  After everyone exited we were able to go to the next room and take pictures.  We called my sister and Mom and they brought the kids back down for pictures!

Before they came down I got my pictures taken with the cutest PT I have ever seen!!!  

Chris became very good friends with a classmate, Whit!  We all did.  So we took a couples picture...

Then the kids came.  Yay Daddy!!!

Those are some proud parents, don't you think!!??

And here are the Nelsons that were able to make it!

Daddy with all of his kids!  

And here is our new Family Picture.  (Side note: Doesn't Ashlee look thrilled to be there?)

Some proud in-laws as well....

Here were the Blackburns that were able to be there!  

While trying to get a picture of Chris with his siblings my dad was being his usual self in the background...  I know Chris was excited to call him his father-in-law!!!  

Here is a good one with no human hawk in the background!!

I thought I'd try the cap on too, I think it looked pretty good on me...  Maybe one day...  I doubt it will be that fancy of a cap, I'll settle for just a regular Bachelors cap...

I know one day Ethan will be wearing a cap like this....

Here is a picture of just the graduate...  So happy!!!

And here is a picture of my dad getting Chris' dad to participate in picture ruining...

And then my dad tried on the cap...Ashlee just wanted to pay with the cap.

She looks good with it on, but wasn't happy to have it on..

After the ceremony we had everyone come up to the room and we had a luncheon.  It was nothing difficult and the room was big enough that we all had plenty of room.  Uncle Matt and Maddy joined us later as well as Aunt RaNae and Uncle Jim.  

Chris was blessed to have gifts to open, so the kids helped him out with that job!

Chris got an iPad, or as Katelee said, "we have an iPad now!"  We do everything as a family!!

One of the rooms in our suit had a nice Jacuzzi that the kids LOVED!!!!

After everyone went home for the night we stayed up with the kids a little longer and then went to bed.  We got to stay the night and that was fun.  

The last three years have been years I hope to never forget.  The struggles that have made us stronger, the nights of going to sleep by myself because Chris was up studying, the crazy school schedules and the summers off....  A lot has happened in the last three years.  We have been humbled multiple times by the love and support that we have received from family and friends.  There have been times during the last three years when I felt like all I needed was someone to understand how it felt to have a husband in school...  And then someone would call and make me realize that there were a lot of people that knew exactly how I felt.  We have been so blessed, so blessed that I can't even begin to express my gratitude to everyone....  Please know that if you have talked to me, smiled at me or hugged me in the past three years you have been mentioned in my prayers of Thanksgiving!  Chris and I could not have made it all this way without each and everyone one of our family members and friends.  Support has come in the way of financial, material, love, spiritual and emotional ways.  We will work the rest of our lives to repay that debt to each of you.  Thanks for getting us this far....

Now to Chris, Thanks for staying awake in class long enough to get the information you needed to pass your tests.  Thanks for hanging in there, even when it got to be too much.  Thanks for still being a full time father and a husband while you were also a Full time student.  Thanks for making it babe, thanks for letting me cheer you on and thanks for cheering me on as well.  I love you and am so proud of you!