Saturday, December 11, 2010

One more moment to boast....

about my kids. Jacob had a Thanksgiving program at school a couple weeks ago. On the board they had a big turkey and each feather had a saying, "I am thankful for..." and the child's name on it. All the other feathers said things like "toys" "ice cream" "candy" etc. but there was one that stood out above all the rest--"Jesus." And can you believe it was Jacob's?!? Once again, my kids are a real inspiration to me. And it gives me a glimmer of hope that amongst all my efforts (and failures) as a mother at least something is getting through!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

We've been trying hard to teach our kids, particularly Tyler and Jacob, about the true meaning of Christmas and the spirit of charity. For Family Home Evening last week each boy picked a name off the "angel tree" and let them pick out the gift for the child in need they chose. But Eric and I felt like we wanted to do more.

So, we found out about some families in need and talked to the boys about them. We talked about how blessed we are and how Heavenly Father wants us to use our blessings to help others. We told the boys that if they wanted to help these families, they could go get some of their own money to donate to them, as much or as little as they wanted. Both boys, especially Tyler, have been learning the value of money. We let them earn money in different ways, they save it up, then they get to go buy a toy at the store. Tyler is really starting to understand the value of a dollar. So imagine the pride and tears in our eyes when both our boys ran upstairs, emptied out their little piggy banks into the envelopes we gave them and handed them to me and Eric. Jacob had almost $10 he has been saving for so long, and Tyler gave all his money as well. We talked about how there were 9 families in need, and Tyler lined up 9 envelopes, one for each family, and divided up his money--one dollar in each, one quarter, one dime, one nickel and one penny. It was just about everything he had, but he wanted to make sure each family got something.

I was so impressed with my boys--I know they are young and probably don't understand exactly what they were doing, but they knew they were giving up something they wanted to help someone else. I am so proud of them and hope this season I can be just as quick to give.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pictures pictures pictures!

So I realized I was taking hardly any pictures of Joseph (I've noticed it gets less and less with each successive child) so i've tried to ramp it up a bit.

Well, you probably guessed there isn't a whole lot going on around Thanksgiving around here. We found out about a deal to get into Knott's Berry Farm almost free but it expired Thanksgiving day--so we decided to go ahead and spend our Thanksgiving at Knott's. We went with our good friends the Larsons (remember Emma? this is her family). Well, looks like we have 2 more little lovebirds budding between our families...
That's Maggie with her best friend Ian. They are so funny together--usually get along but have the occasional love spat. They get so excited to see each other, it cracks me up. They had this mini-spin ride there and I just had images of a miniaturized date from the 50's watching these two. We had a pretty good time (Knott's is a little bit ghetto--but it is America's first--read "oldest"--theme park). The kids had fun, and being there with the Larson's was a blast. Then we had our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday over at the Larson's house (we spend a lot of time with them--Mindy and I are great friends, so are the guys and all the kids play really well together--you can't beat that!). We had a huge spread and it was so much fun. That is my favorite meal of the year!

Joey has been starting to smile a lot more, but I can't seem to get a picture of it. He loves to be held so you'd think my arms would be nice and toned but they are still flabby. Here's the little rugrat with his daddy.
Once again I couldn't catch the smile. He is even cuter in person--he just isn't too photogenic yet. His head it too floppy!

Here's Joey with Eric doing their guy thing--watching football on tv. Joey was totally into it!
And then there was Maggie. What a character. One minute you think she is the cutest sweetest funniest thing, then the next you are ready to leave her on the curb with a "FREE" sign around her neck. She looks so cute with her hair done, but she insists on pulling out her clips or ponytails. Not because she wants them out, but because she wants to look at her "pretties" (clips). Here she is after pulling one side out--she thought she was pretty special.
We blessed Joey at church today. We were going to bless him in Utah over Christmas, but decided this is our home right now--we've been here almost 4 years, this is where our friends are, where Joey was born, etc. And I am glad we blessed him here. Eric did a nice job and Joey didn't cry. Here are a few pics--they were all rushed before church so none are that great...

Floppy head....
Who's that handsome guy? Oh yeah, and Eric looks pretty nice too...
Well, I guess that's it for now. See you next time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

St. George

Well, Joey is crying so the pictures will do most of the talking. We took a weekend trip up to St George and had a lot of fun! We went to Zion's Nat'l Park and did some light hiking. It was FREEZING cold when we got there (30 degrees) and I was totally unprepared. So I stayed in the car with Joey at first and Eric took the rest of the rugrats...Then it warmed up a little so we went for a short hike together. I know I don't look that great here, but oh well.

The kids all had a blast.
Tyler was holding the camera and took this shot. He told me, "I am going to take a really pretty picture getting everything in it--even the sky." He did a good job. What do you think, a future Ansel Adams?
Grandma and Grandpa Swenson came down on Saturday and surprised the kids. They loved it! Grandpa brought down his Rhino and took everyone for rides. It was a hit!

Maggie sure loves her "pop pop".

Sunday mornings are a beast (church doesn't start until 1:00) and I try not to let the kids watch tv or anything on Sunday. So the morning can get pretty boring. Last Sunday we decided to build a tent. We turned the ENTIRE front room into a fort. The boys loved it--Maggie ruined it a couple times but we were able to fix it. We left it up all day. Tyler and Jacob put on some costumes and ran around "spying" on me, including taking random pictures (none of which will be shown here due to their unflattering nature).
Sorry not too many details, but today it is all I can do to get the pictures up!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy Happy Birthday Maggie Dear!

First of all, I have to tell you about my hairspray (sounds interesting already, right?). I bought a double pack of hairspray at Costco a while back and the brand written across the front in big letter is "BIG SEXY HAIR." I didn't think much of it, but it is also the hairspray I use for the kids. Well, Tyler is more observant than I thought--he dropped it a few days ago and said, "Oh no, the Big Sexy Hair!" and then yesterday I styled his hair and he said, "Spray some Big Sexy Hair on it!" Ugh, that sounds so bizarre coming from the mouth of a 7-year-old! I guess it could be worse....(Mom, what does sexy mean?) I was a nerd for Halloween and it was hard enough trying to explain to the boys what THAT was!

Maggie has recently taken a love to her backpack. Grandma Swenson gave it to her a long time ago, but until now it has sat dormant. Well, she hardly takes it off, calls it her "paa-pack." She even puts toys in it and stuff. It is so cute!
Joey is getting enormous. He is over 13 pounds now. He has started smiling a little, not too much though. I was lucky enough to get one (kind of) on camera... You can see the remnants of it at least.
Here he is showing off his muscles. (Note the size of his Swenson head...thanks dad.)
Jacob insisted....Joey looks indifferent. And no, my boys hardly ever wear shirts at home. I don't know what their deal it. Well, I guess they wear them all day, but they usually don't wear shirts to bed. I don't really care, but it looks like my kids are always half naked!
Another pic of is so hard to get a good picture of babies at this age. They look so cute in person but it just never seems to translate to the camera. They always have some weird look or squished up face. At least it gives you an idea.
Maggie turned 2 yesterday and we had a little party at home, just us. She LOVES this show "Wow Wow Wubbzy" so I decided to make her a Wubbzy cake. It turned out pretty darn good if you ask me. For those who aren't familiar with Wubbzy you'll have to Google it so you can be impressed at my cake decorating skills.
Maggie knew exactly who it was (how could she not given my mad cake skills) and was OBSESSED with the cake. She wanted to look at it all day long. It was a relief to finally cut it up and not have to keep picking her up to see it. It made me feel good that she loved it so much! Now there's a girl who appreciates a cake!
She didn't get much, but her 2 main gifts were a dolly and stroller--note the expression of pure joy on her face. Do I really need to tell you how much she loves it?
She pushes everything around in the stroller, not just the doll--sippy cups, lite bright pieces, legos, anything she can get her hands on. And she loves the doll--she even held it while she ate her cake and ice cream!
All in all it was a success. Now no more birthdays until May!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Whew! What a weekend! Not only was I in charge of planning our branch Halloween party, but we also had our Sacrament Meeting program today. It was a very stressful week, and I am glad it is over. Here's a few highlights though...

Maggie's new favorite thing is this green skirt my friend gave me. Every morning when she wakes up and I go into her room she has it on. Most of the time she has dumped out her laundry basket to get it, but doggonit she wants to wear it. If I don't put it on her after I get her dressed she will go back upstairs and put it on again anyway, over her pants. It is really pretty funny. The boys have also been dressing up in different costumes lately and Maggie found one of their cowboy hats. Here is a typical idea of what Maggie looks like during the day....
Since Halloween was on a Sunday this year, Fort Irwin held trick-or-treating on Friday night. It is a small, isolated community so it is easy to do that and I think it is great! Now my kids get to go trick-or-treating! So Friday we had some friends come over for pizza and the kids all went out together. Here's my kids.... doesn't Maggie look so cute? That costume suits her 100%.
Jacob was Indiana Jones. I can't tell you how nervous I get when the boys try to crack that whip!
Tyler was a skeleton (obviously). We carved pumpkins a couple days ago. Our first year here we made the mistake of carving them a week in advance. Well, it is still warm here so the pumpkins were so rotted out a few days later they were thrown out well before Halloween night. This year we carved them on Thursday, and trick-or-treating was Friday. Perfect, because now it is Sunday and they are already going bad.
Maggie was obsessed with her pumpkin (or "punk" as she calls it). She carries it around and won't let the boys touch it. Hers is the little one of course. "My punk! I wan my punk!"
As I said it was a crazy busy week particularly Friday, Saturday and today. Nonstop, literally. I don't think I sat down yesterday until 8:30 at night. So Maggie has missed her naps and gotten to bed late each night. Needless to say she is very tired. I notice it was peculiarly quiet in the house after church today (church ends at 4 p.m.....this was around 5:00). I looked around and saw this....
I walked over to see what she was doing, thinking she was playing around, but no...she was DEAD ASLEEP! Is that some form of child abuse, denying your child sleep until they are so tired they sleep standing up, still holding their half eaten sucker in their hand? Guess I am guilty.
Poor little thing. Don't worry, she got to bed on time tonight. Let's hope this week is a slow one!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Day in the Woods

Well, we were getting a bit stir crazy at home (by "we" I mean me) so we spent a Saturday up at Big Bear and had a weenie roast. The big kids played, hiked a bit, built a fort, and had fun. Joey did this...Actually he wanted to be held most of the time. Maggie enjoying her lunch (that she only ate the chips, oreos and soda of...).
Who's that stud cookin' the dogs over that totally awesome (and illegal up here right now) propane stove?
Yes, we read online that fires are a no go right now so we brought the stove. Everything online and signs along the road on the way out to the site said propane stoves were okay, but we get there and there is a sign stapled to the table that said that actually right now propane stoves are not allowed either. Well, why they wait until you drive all the way in there to tell you is beyond me...and we didn't just drive 2 1/2 hours to eat raw hot dogs, so we went on the wild side and quickly cooked the dogs anyway. Wefigured we could pull the army card if any rangers caught us ("Oh, gosh sir. We didn't realize. You see my husband is in the army, gone a lot. We just came out to have some family time..."). Luckily no one caught us so I didn't have to whip out my feminine wiles. And to make it more authentic we at least roasted the dogs on sticks.
The boys worked on a fort (in fact, Eric and Tyler came up to this same camp site like 2 years ago and built a fort---it was STILL THERE!) and went scouring for logs. Jake found not a log, but a fallen tree and thought it was perfect for the fort. Here he is dragging it down the hill...
Not to be outdone, Tyler went and found himself a monster stick and proceeded to add that to the fort as well.
Although Maggie wasn't much of an outdoors-woman (every time her hands got dirty she's get upset, "Eeeeeww! Ka Ka!") and managed to trip on rocks and sticks every other step, she did enjoy the fort for a minute.
And here is Tyler with his masterpiece...
Eric tried to get a cute shot of Jake, this is the best we could come up with......typical Jake anyway.
A few days ago it decided to rain out here at Fort Irwin. Quite the novelty for us! And it was a downpour! Short lasted but exciting anyway. The kids instantly ran outside. I love the look of sheer joy on Jake's'd think he had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The boys were having so much fun....and yes, Tyler was outside in the rain with no shoes or socks on. Don't judge! If I'd made him put his shoes on first he'd have missed the rain--not only because it didn't rain too long, but because that kids is slow as molasses when it comes to putting his shoes and socks on.
Maggie (who probably has never seen real rain) wouldn't venture out from under the porch and kept asking me, "Whas it doo-een?" (Translation, "what's it doing?" Ha ha. Isn't that sad!?! She finally mustered up the nerve to go out in it once it had all but stopped except for a light mist. She still thought she was so cool to be out with her brothers though.
I will try to take more pics of Joey. If only I had an extra arm I could accomplish so much more!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Halloween

Well, you could only put 5 people on so I let Daddy be the witch instead of mom. Ha ha!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

More pictures...

Mostly Joseph still sleeps a lot, and when he isn't sleeping he is making funny looking expressions. The boys are still doting on him...One of his funny expressions...
Maggie is her usual self--she has claimed all of Joey's things as her own. She does share with him though. How kind of her. She climbed into his swing all by herself.
I walked in and saw this yesterday...
He wasn't squishing him, even though it looks a little like he was. But he was reading a book to him and it was so cute.

A random picture of Maggie.
And this is what Joseph does a lot of still, although he is waking up more and more.

See? Awake!
Well, I know the commentary lately has been lame, but I usually only have a couple minutes to try to post anything and during that time the kids are pestering me the whole time. So for now I guess the pictures will have to suffice.