I'm so behind on actually blogging about events, so here's just a glimpse of things from the past several months.
This is Sam while we were camping. It's amazing how fast kids get their faces dirty while you are camping.
Our dog Buddy came along with us on most of our trips. If you can't tell, Caleb and Buddy really love each other.
Anna and Alex did the Murray Kids Triathlon on Labor Day. It was especially a challenge for Anna because she ended up in an older age group with longer distances. I didn't realize they would go by their age as of December 31, not day of race. So she got to go on a long, hilly bike ride. The swim and run were easy for her. All three were pretty easy for Alex.
My mom and I did the Triathamom triathlon again this year. My poor mom couldn't front stroke on the swim because she had been in a car accident and had chest injuries from the seat belt. It hurt her too much to do anything but backstroke. She did awesome on the bike ride. I improved my swimming this year, but did much worse at the bike. The bike route was tougher than last year, and I had to walk my bike up two hills. I didn't gear down my bike soon enough, so I got to a standstill and couldn't move. Oh well. :)
This was Rachel at her last piano recital with her old teacher.
First day of school. Can you believe I have two middle schoolers?
My two elementary kids were excited to start at their new school.
Sam turned three! Its hard to believe my baby is that old.
Alex just finished up soccer. He loved it, and did well!
I don't have much time to write these days. With my kids being involved in many things, I often feel like I am riding the crazy train. I frequently only have a few minutes between driving kids different places.
We finally got family pictures done again. Our kids loved Wheeler farm and it was hard to keep them from getting too dirty while getting pictures taken.
Anna posing for Easter. She just finished second grade. She loves reading, especially Harry Potter. She is almost done with the 4th book. I have to make her stop reading and go to bed some nights. She loves playing with friends. She thinks she needs to swim every single day. She is the most die-hard swimmer out of our kids. First to get it, last to get out. Complains when I make her come in.
Caleb on Easter. He sure is growing up. He has grown about 6 inches and gained about 16 lbs in one year. I've been shocked at how much he can eat now. When he makes corndogs for lunch, he makes himself a whole plate of corndogs, not just one. When we had smores at Leslie's house the other night, he ate between 5-10 smores. And that's after eating a good dinner. He is such a nice boy, and helps me out so much without me asking. When we go to the park, he follows Sam around and helps him instead of playing. Its kind of sad when they outgrow the park.
Rachel turned 14 in May. Its hard to believe she is that old now. She wears the same size of shoes as me now. She is just two inches shorter than me too. She had a huge party for her birthday and had almost 20 friends come. She has gotten really good at the piano.
All of my kids together...Sam can hardly hold still. Alex just finished Kindergarten. He did really well in school and improved so much in every area. He loved his teacher and is sad that he won't have her next year. He is currently taking swimming lessons, and is getting good. He got a retainer to help correct his severe underbite. He has had it one month and hasn't lost it yet. I can see that its helping already.
All my kiddos eating breakfast before our day at the lake.
Rachel built a grand sandcastle when we were at the lake.
We went on a hike to Bloomington Lake. When we went around the corner, there was a moose standing in a pond eating grass. Thankfully, the moose didn't care about us. And I zoomed in for this picture. I didn't actually get that close to the moose.
On the hike.
Alex on the hike.
Dan and Sam on our hike to Bloomington Lake.
Caleb was really tired on the drive home.
We made a quick trip to Bear Lake this week. We stayed two nights, and only had one full day at the Lake. We spent several hours at Bear Lake just playing in the water and sand. Then we went on a hike to Bloomington Lake. It was a fun, short hike. We saw a moose on our hike. Thankfully it didn't care about us. We topped off the day with yummy shakes. We came home tired.
So much has happened since I last wrote.
On Mother's Day weekend we moved to our new house in Riverton. I feel so incredibly blessed to have a newer, larger home to raise a family in. That being said, the new house has come with a mountain of projects. It was a short sale. The entire first day we spent loading up a truck and trailer to go to the dump with all of the stuff that got left behind by renters. We then spent two weeks painting the house. We used about 30 gallons of paint. I would like to say that I will never ever paint again. But there's still a few rooms downstairs left to paint, and a lot of touch ups left. Dan installed a new hardwood floor in the family room. He still has one room left to do. The yard has been a big project too.
There's also a money pit in the backyard. Oh wait, that's really called a swimming pool. We fenced it and have put a lot of time and money into getting it up and running. I am just starting to enjoy it. Today I did swimming lessons with my kids during Sam's nap time instead of driving them to lessons like I do every summer. Rachel swims well enough to take the lifeguard test when she gets a little older. Caleb swims well too. Swimming lessons for him is mostly telling him what strokes to do. Anna swims well underwater and the breaststroke. She needs a little work on the front and backstroke. I got Alex to put his face in the water today for the first time. The pool is covered and the gate is kept locked.
My kids are totally loving that we now live on a dead end. Alex has learned to ride his bike without training wheels. Before bed tonight Caleb realized that he hadn't been on his bike today. He promptly went out to ride because he has to get one ride a day in at least, he says.
One reason I really love summer is that there's no homework. I also love spending time with my kids. They are all so different but so special to me.
Moving to a new ward has been a big adjustment for me. I loved my old ward. I feel lonely. I doubt they will give us callings. This ward is small and they haven't done a single calling in the month that we've lived here. Some good has come of it. All of the kids are in nice primary classes. Rachel is adjusting to YW. The ward members seem friendly enough. Our old bishop was friendly and greeted everyone every week. I'm sure our new bishop is nice but I wonder how long it will take him to ever say hello.
For months, Caleb begged me to sign him up for basketball. I signed him up in 3rd grade, and he didn't even get to touch the ball at all during some games. He's not very agressive. It didn't bother him. He just ran along with the other kids and had a fun time. Well, I gave in and signed him up for Spring basketball. He is on a 5th/6th grade team. He is in 5th grade, and one of the younger kids in his grade. He thinks its great even though he plays less than the other kids, and he goes entire games without touching the ball. Yesterday was a little different.
At the beginning of the game, the teams were pretty even. But by the second quarter, Caleb's team was losing by a lot. Just after halftime, they started having trouble with the scoreboard. So, they could no longer even put the score up.
When there was three minutes left in the game, Caleb's coach put him back in the game. I was kind of surprised. Caleb had not even touched the ball during the game to that point. Then someone fouled Caleb. I'm not sure if he even had the ball. The referee put him at the free-throw line. His first shot was an air ball. For the next free-thrown the ref moved him up a few feet. And he made it!! After the free throw, someone passed Caleb the ball, and he attempted a shot. He was fouled again. Once again, he got to the free-throw line. Well, actually 4 feet in front of the free throw line. He made another shot!! He missed the next one. But the awesome thing was that the other team was cheering him on and giving him high fives. So was his team. My little underdog made two shots! And I almost cried.
The kindness shown by the refs and the other team was amazing! Caleb was on cloud nine all day yesterday. And he's still talking about it today.
If you have an "underdog" child you'll understand why this was a great day.
About a week before Christmas, Anna lost her front tooth. The other one is just barely hanging in there. We tried to convince her to pull it out so she could say that she wanted her two front teeth for Christmas. We also tried to convince her that it would be awesome if the tooth fairy and Santa came on the same night. Her other front tooth is still there.......
I can't believe how grown-up Rachel is getting. She is such a sweet girl. She likes to borrow my things now, like my coats and shoes. But on the good side, I discovered that her snow boots fit me.
Sammy in his new Sunday outfit.
This is my father-in-law on Christmas Eve. He looked cute in his Santa hat.
Anna pulled out the angel Halloween costume to dress up for the family nativity. She looked like a doll. :)
Sam and some oranges from a stocking. He ate somebody's candy bar while we opened presents. He also took bites out of oranges. He likes oranges. None of my other kids have liked them at such a young age.
Yes, its the newest Diary of Wimpy Kid book. And his new pajamas from Grandma match too!
Caleb wearing his new hat that Rachel made. Rachel learned how to make fleece hats in her CTE Class at school. In about 2 days, she made 17 hats. She gave a lot away, and then she is going to donate the rest to a shelter. She was really proud of the BYU hat she made for Dan. She found the "BYU" in the scrap pile in her class room, and cut it out and sewed it on the hat. It looks pretty cute on Dan. Or maybe its just that Dan has such cute dimples. :)
Well, here's all 5 kids in one picture--sort of. I've discovered that the more kids we've had the harder it is to get them in a picture together. This last picture is Alex holding up his stocking. He was not happy about the remote-control car that Santa brought. He came in an exclaimed, "I don't want that!" He told Santa he wanted his very own computer. He did get a little hand-held kid tablet thing with angry birds on it. He was happy about the family laser-tag set though.
I know that we are incredibly blessed. I am so happy to have my husband and children. Each child is so special to me. I am thankful for Jesus Christ and everything that he did for us.
Well, we finally got family pictures this year. The last time we had pictures was when I was pregnant with Sam. He will be 14 months old next week. How time has flown!
Everyone is doing well! My older 3 kids are in school all day. I chose not to put Alex in preschool this year. He liked preschool, but he always asked if he could just stay home with me instead. So, I am letting him have one last year of just staying home with me. I am teaching him how to read and write and count. Alex just had his 5th birthday. Anna just had her 7th birthday. I am already hearing, "How long is it until my birthday?" Halloween costumes are picked out. Rachel is going to her first school dance this Friday. They needed volunteers for chaperones, but I decided I'd better not. :) I figured she wouldn't appreciate it. She spoke in church for the first time on Sunday, and did a great job. Since cross-country and swimming lessons are done for now, my evenings have become much nicer. Rushing to get kids everywhere isn't always very fun. Rachel and Caleb might join the swim team at the fitness center, and I told Anna I would sign her up for gymnastics. So, things are bound to get busier again. At least everything will be close by. Alex wants do try soccer in the Spring. Ahhh.....Spring, my favorite season of the year. Can I just fast-forward winter as soon as the holidays are over?
Sam is starting to talk a little, and its so cute. He definitely knows Dad and No. Mom was his first word. He loves Mom, but is becoming a Daddy's boy. He's discovered that Dad is more fun than Mom. He loves going outside and screams if someone goes out without taking him with them. Have you made it this far in my ramble? Sometimes I have organized posts, but this is just some random writing. :)
I love being a mom and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Each of my kids is so special to me. For one of Caleb's birthday presents, I gave him my old digital camera. It was a really nice camera. He said to me, "Why would you give this to me when you could sell it for a lot of money?" He was thrilled to have it. Now I've had to keep borrowing it cause my newer camera is having issues, and the warranty is over. I am eyeballing a new Nikon or Canon Rebel camera. Good thing my birthday and Christmas are coming up.
Well, that's all for today. I gotta take advantage of Sam's afternoon nap and get off the computer.