Sunday, December 21, 2008

4 Days Until Christmas....Quiet Reflections

Wow! I went to bed last night at 1:30 and here I am up earlier than I want to be. Being up early definately has some advantages however, as I sit here in the quiet (everyone else is still asleep) and ponder this past month or two and the events to take place over the next week and why this is even happening. My life is so busy and full. The days literally fly by as I take care of my busy mostly very young family and then at those moments when they all fall asleep or watch a Christmas video, I find myself quickly surfing the internet for gifts, or opening my "Christmas 2008" Excel program to find out how my plans are coming together. Christmas is coming. I feel the "magic", I watch the "wonder" through my children's eyes, I laugh at the "humor", this delightful holiday is full of and this morning, I am humbled at the very thought of our "Savior", the purpose of his life, and his amazing example of love for others. One Christmas I especially remember an activity that Bryce and I did with my 2 older children. A candle burned each evening as we read excerpts from the bible of Jesus Christ's life and ministry. On Christmas eve, as well as other times of December, we enjoy reading about our Saviors birth, but on this occasion we remembered something from his life each evening with our children. I came across and debated whether my children are too young for this experience, but only for a moment, as I was caught up in the usual happy, busy, sometimes stressful chaos that this holiday season is filled with and my intentions were forgotten...for a time.... but this morning I am again remembering and have decided to do this for the remainder evenings with my family. Of course, I will need to simplify some of the beautiful biblical wordings so that my younger children will be able to understand better but hopefuly I will nurture the seed within each child and they will come to know better and appreciate more fully Jesus Christ. I am so proud of my family. Each one of my children adds so much to my life. Heavenly Father has blessed me richly and I am humbled at his faith and trust in me. I learn from each child different things and my love and admiration and gratitude for them only grows more each day. I'm beginning to hear little voices down the hall so I know it is time to get up and get going with my day. Merry Christmas to all and may your holidays be filled with joy too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

HO, HO, HO! We were there to see Santa arrive via helicopter Saturday morning

Everyone was excited as we arrived at the mall.

They provided cookies for the kids to decorate and eat while waiting for the helicopterAfter the kids ate their cookies, guess who arrived?? Look below! These faces say it all!Santa was darling with the kids. It didn't take long for them to warm up to him!He asked the boys what they wanted for Christmas. Nathan said a present. Santa made a couple of suggestions and as soon as he mentioned cars--McQueen--he had Josh's full attention!Kolton was also interested in McQueen and now tells Megan that Santa is bringing him a McQueen! Abby just sat sweetly on his lap!Hallie was fascinated by Santa although she stayed her distance. Of course, once the goodies he gave out came into view, she was right up front and center!

The Boomer.....

This is what a husband comes up with when he decides that the roof looks too steep to hang christmas lights on yet he still wants them on his house! Next step, share the idea with a few neighbors and voila.....the price is then right and the boomer is delivered!

My busy hubby in the "boomer"! The lights went up pretty fast and the house looks great!

I really think this is a big boys toy!

The boys loved watching daddy in the boomer.
Here is Nathan!

Again, the boys were mesmerized! They wanted to jump right in and help!

Actually, Jesse did just that!

Once again, Jesse with Bryce in the boomer!

Even Melinda jumped in to give Bryce a hand!

It was a fun night! Bryce is putting up some finishing touches and then I will post our christmas house! The kids are so excited about the lights!


We threw almost all of the babies in together to get them cleaned up for Thanksgiving the next day! They always have so much fun bathing together!

Of course, Abby took her bath alone! Mmm, I love to hug and smell clean babies!

They are so precious!

Wow! What a week! What a great time to once again, count my blessings! I am so grateful that all went well with Megan's surgery! She is doing well although she is suffering from cabin fever now that she can not drive for a few more days!

We had our family all together for Thanksgiving. I spent all morning cooking the dinner. Bryce, Melinda & Jesse helped with the house (you can imagine what kind of shape it was in having been filled with 6 babies for several days!!!! LOL) Well, thanks to everyone's efforts, we got it ready and had a wonderful dinner. We spent the evening together as well. After we put the kids to bed, we pulled out Pit! It was really fun. I sure enjoy my family! They are so great and I love them so much. I am also very grateful for my husband, my best friend, and the love of my life!

Two of my many wonderful blessings!

Mmmm, dinner was yummy! Hallie is such a cutie. She loves to eat and will often clean up after the more picky eaters!

Micah eating his thanksgiving dinner! What a cutie!

The family ready to eat! The Adult table and the Kids table!

One of the many highlights was blowing out the dinner candles! (PS can you tell which one is Nathan and which one is Josh?)

Ha! If you guessed the one blowing out the candle is Nathan you are right! He is blowing them out in both pictures and Josh is over to the right side! (When I posted these pictures I thought the top one was Josh. Melinda pointed out that Josh was still sitting next to the cup! See, even I get mixed up too!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Counting Life's blessings

Megan called Sunday evening and was feeling strange pains. We chatted a bit and then she decided to head to the emergency room. They (Wes & Meg) dropped their kids off on the way and by then she her pain had greatly intensified. We finally got a call at 2 am Monday morning with the conclusion from the many tests they had ran on her and Megan had a tumor (not cancer) on her ovary. They scheduled the surgery for that morning and we all waited. Bryce left the house around 5:30 am to help Wes administer a blessing and not long after around 6:45 she headed into surgery. The surgery was a success. When the doctor removed the tumor there was another small one behind it which he removed as well. A small part of her ovary was removed as well but he assured her that it shouldn't affect fertility. The surgery was a laparatomy. She spent the day recovery with Wes by her side and was sent home last evening.

When something like this happens, I am reminded once again, of the wonderful blessings that we continue to experience in our lives. She was so lucky to discover this now before it twisted and caused far more problems. There were no complications from the surgery and all is well at the Stewart's and Croxford's homes! I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood in our lives. What a huge blessing. I am grateful for family! Everyone here jumps right in to help out! I am so lucky to have a family like this - Another blessing! I am sitting here reflecting the events of yesterday and truly my heart is full of gratitude to our Heavenly Father. Before all this happened I was feeling a bit stressed because my house was in disaray, my shopping was not as far as I had hoped, and I have been feeling very tired, then something like this happens and perspective is once again restored and all of the sudden those things that seemed so important to me seem very small!
Thanksgiving is in 2 days and I am so grateful for all my many blessings. I am praying for Megan's speedy recovery, and looking for to my days filled with little people and their silliness. I will have to post some pics as I'm sure we will experience an extra dose of the already craziness we live in and love! Wes is dropping Kolton and Micah off on the way to work today! The house is still quiet, Jesse just left for school and I am going to end this post and quickly get myself some breakfast before I tackle my busy herd today! Happy Thanksgiving week to any who may read this post!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Halloween Week....

Don't you just love the holidays? Halloween this year was great! Our family had a fun evening at the Cornbelly's pumpkin patch.

A few nights later on Halloween, we began our preparations for the big night that afternoon carving pumpkins, adding last minute decorations and eating a spooky Halloween dinner together.

Melinda then, went up to Logan to spend the night at a party with friends Jesse headed over to his friend's house for trick or treating and a sleepover, while Bryce and I took the kids to the church for trunk or treat and then around some of the neighborhood. It was a blast. Megan and Weston, Kolton and Micah joined us after their night at Weston's parents and we ate goodies and wound out! It was a great holiday. We are still reading the books! (my new favorite Halloween story for the kids is "Room on the Broom" I have a passion for children's books and this one is darling if you are looking to add to your collection!)

These "witches" cannot be trusted.....

Everyday is an adventure when you have 3 toddlers! Today was no exception. Josh and Nate put on their witch hats and gathered their "brooms" and off they went flying through the house. It was about 7:30 or 8 pm and Bryce and I were in the family room feeding Abby. Suddenly, we realized that it was too quiet. Melinda had left to go out with friends a few minutes before this. Well, as I got up and went around the corner I noticed that the front door was WIDE open. YIKES! (We usually keep this locked at all times) anyway, I stepped out and did not see the kids. I called to them and heard faint voices up the street. "Come home now" I hollered and from next door I saw Hallie and Nathan running t'wards our house. Still, where was Josh? I could hear him saying, "I'm coming, mommy"! Nathan and Hallie ran right past me on the porch into the house and still I'm hollering for Josh to come home now. Bryce is right inside the door and I can hear him saying, "where did they get these cookies?" Cookies? We don't have any cookies??? Meanwhile, here comes Josh, carrying something. I meet him on the porch and guess what he has? A plate full of cookies! On top of the plate is a note that says "DJ and Melisa, we love you guys!" (DJ and Melisa are our next door neighbors. YIKES my kids have just taken some cookies that were left on the porch for our neighbors. Bryce quickly took the plate back as the boys finished the cookies they were munching on. This is definately a first. I guess we will be baking some more cookies today for our neighbors, DJ and Melisa. (sigh) LOL There is truly NEVER a dull moment around here. I really need to blog more often because I know I will enjoy reading all these crazy things later. I wonder what today will bring? ;o)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Already Another Month Gone By..Time to catch up for October, Disneylan,d, Halloween etc.

October was a blast! We had so much fun in Disneyland! The entire family went. We rented a house in Huntington Beach and spent 3 wonderful (excluding the few meltdowns we know we are bound to have with 6 babies on board) days in the Magic Kingdom, as well as a fun day at the beach. Where do I begin?

We left for California Friday, October 10, and drove to Vegas where we spent the night at the Smith's home! (Thank you Smiths) We drove in to California the next day. The house was perfect. Four houses down from a beautiful park. Bryce had purchased a GPS from Costco before we left and I will gladly be an advocate for this wonderful technology. You drive right up to wherever you are going! It's sooo easy and you can locate anything in your immediate surrounding that you are looking for, gas stations, grocery stores, entertainment, hotels (for an emergency night's stay on the way home when you are in the middle of nowhere and your twins start throwing up in the car. Will get to that later!) Anyway, it was great.

Now, I have to say that I CAREFULLY researched a great time to visit Disneyland because I wanted to go during a time where crowds would be thin. I talked to people on websites about October etc. We then picked our days and began our adventure. Not one person remembered to mention that Columbus day would be a crowded time to visit the magic kingdom there were over 54,000 people there! Luckily the other 2 days were not as crowded as this. Needless to say, we spent a great deal of time at Toon Town with the toddlers and the other kids went over to California Adventure where it wasn't nearly as crowded. It was a good day anyway, and we were lucky enough to get to see the beautiful firework show which is really, truly magnificent! I've never seen anything quite like it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Potty Training the Twins....

YES! I am potty training the twins and unbelievably, (knock on wood,) it is turning out quite well. Now, you have to know that I tried this a few months ago and the word "nightmare" comes to my mind! With the new baby coming as well as looking for a house and preparing to move, I decided to wait. The twins will be 3 years old on October 26 so they are definately the oldest kids in my family that I have potty trained but tackling 2 at once, certainly has its challenges. So why now? We are leaving for Disneyland in a few days and I had originally planned on beginning this when I got back home. Two nights ago, I went to get diapers and realized I was down to just a few! I called Megan and borrowed some not wanting to drive into the store that late. Well, an idea popped into my head. The next morning when the boys got up I told them I couldn't find any diapers what could we do? We brainstormed together a bit and they finally noticed their basket of undies in the closet and came up with the brilliant idea of wearing underwear instead. We talked about what that meant and so the day began. As an added incentive, I added a skittle as a reward for actually "going" in the potty. Well, both boys had accidents and as well as successes throughout the day. Josh caught on much faster than Nathan. When the boys did have an accident, they helped me clean things up! I set the potty chairs in their room at naptime so they could use them if they had to go which they did! We are on day 3 now and having very few accidents now! Whooo hooo! I am going to order a potty seat that fits on the toilet to help simplify all of this! Who knows, if I can get these little guys "trained" maybe Hallie will jump in as she often does! She learns so much from them, walking at 10 months, climbing out of the crib etc. etc. wouldn't it be nice if she could potty train and be my earliest one??? (Ok, I better ground myself here before I get too excited.)

The rest of my family is at Dave's & Lori's house having dinner and watching the afternoon session of conference. I opted out, although I hate missing the family gatherings, because I decided it was more important for me to stay focused here with the boys. Conference was wonderful! I love this time of the year and I am always inspired and renewed by the wonderful messages of our great leaders and prophet. I have been a bit of a slacker on many things I use to do, FHE, consistent family prayers, etc. Oh, how having all these little young ones has changed my focus! But---- they are getting older and I think more than ever the time is now to get going again on family scripture, prayer, FHE. So, I will hold myself accountable on my blog and let you know how it all works out.

Meanwhile, GO NATHAN, GO JOSH---let's get this potty training stuff anchored!!! Hooray!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Where does time go?

Life if so busy. My intention in beginning this blog is to keep a record of our family on a daily or weekly basis, more for myself and family than anything else. The time just flies and we've been so busy and suddenly another month and a half has gone by! So, let's see if I can catch up a bit. A typical day lately has been like yesterday. The toddlers all woke up and while I was helping Abby upstairs, they slipped away to the main floor where the kitchen is! (YIKES) Unfortunately, I forgot to attach the child lock on the pantry door! Well, you can guess what a party they had in there. When I came down, we had flour on the kitchen flour mixed with mini marshmallows & raisins. Many other items were scattered about! (sigh) Later on that morning, I ran upstairs to get Abby and change her! When I came back down, the kids were coloring at the table with a green sharpie marker! (Now, where did they get that? I swear they have a secret stash of forbidden items somewhere! LOL) Well, Nathan had, of course, colored himself. It was green all around his mouth, both arms, the back of his neck, (he must of had some help with the back of his neck) and both legs. Unbelievably, he didn't get any on his clothes! Well, three little kidlets were promptly placed in the bathtub! Did you know rubbing alcohol helps green permanent marker to fade quite a bit? You can't really see it anymore, thank goodness.

Jesse came home from school today and was off to scout camp! He is such a cutie! He was very excited and Bryce went with him. They are staying overnight up by Jordanelle somewhere! Sounds a bit chilly for me. Both of these guys have been ill this week. They were both feeling better so I hope all goes well up at camp. I got the kids in bed last night and spent some time cleaning up the house. I'm up early this morning doing the same thing. Just thought I would take a minute to get my blog going again.

Last night while tucking in Josh and & Nate, we got talking about Halloween. As of last night, Nathan announced that he was going to be "a bat". Josh is still a bit undecided but Nathan is working on him! There may be 2 little bats in our house on Halloween night! I love the holidays and children make it that much more fun!

Hallie has a bit of a cold. Poor little girl. She is so much fun. Girl through and through although she can run like Jesse! (I've discovered this while trying to get something away from her!) I need to post some updated pictures.

Melinda is busy in school and we both spent a quiet evening last night. She enjoys her sorority. (she belongs to a LDS sorority at the U) They do a lot of really fun things. She keeps busy too! She is going to UVU and has decided to get a nursing degree.

Megan and Wes and their family are doing well. We get together quite a bit, especially during the day and let the kids play or take them somewhere fun. Lately, we have enjoyed Gardner Village, various parks etc. We tried the mall a couple of weeks ago and I found myself chasing 3 little boys (Nathan, Josh, & Kolton) down Fashion Place Mall! I'm sure it was quite a site. We were just leaving Gymboree and without any warning, the boys just took off running, giggling, shoplifting, (Kolton was wearing one of Gymboree's hats), I chased them all the way, and I really mean ALL THE WAY, down the mall. I finally caught up with them and a very kind gentleman grabbed one of them! (sigh) While I was trying to "catch" them a lady suddenly became very interested and started asking me if they were triplets! Right in the middle of trying to catch these little kiddies that's all she could keep asking me! (I was thinking, why don't you just jump in and help me catch them first then I tell you anything you want to know!!! LOL) Every day, brings a new experience! Nothing is mundane around here! I wouldn't trade my life and what I am doing for anything!

I went over to Nanci's and John's house Thursday night. They BBQ hamburgers and had us over to visit with Alisha who is in town for the week. It was so much fun. I love my family. I haven't seen Alisha in years and she brought her little 8 month old boy with her, Breven. He is a doll! What a cute mommy too. She looks great and her little guy is so happy and busy. Nanci's children were there too and I haven't seen them in quite awhile either. It was so fun to visit with them. This is the first time I have seen Brandy's little girl, Nadia. I swear I stepped back in time 20+ years! She looks so much like Brandy. Another darling baby! She was all smiles too. I even got to visit with Rees and his wife Maria. What a cute couple. It was fun getting to know them better. Taylor stayed after Brandy and Carly left and she is such a cute little girl. Growing up so much!

Well, I know that's a lot but I'm glad I caught up a bit. I can hear some suspicious noises upstairs so my family is waking up! I will try to blog more often and get around to posting some pics. Life is great and although it is sooooo busy, I couldn't even begin to imagine doing anything else than what I am doing right now! I love being Mom!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

WOW! 2 Months have gone by and where do I start?

I can't believe this! I decided to begin a blog to keep a family journal really and this summer has absolutely flown by full of business and fun! First off I want to introduce our new daughter....

Abby Ellen Croxford! She came into this world July 31, 2008 at 1:40 pm. Weighing in at 6 lbs 13 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long. She is beautiful and has lots of thick, black hair. Everything went very well for both Melinda and Abby. We are all in love and as you can imagine, she has many helpers! Here they are -

We found a beautiful, new house! It is just one block over from our other house so we are in the same ward. We pulled this move off in one week and I am still in shock that we did this! Megan took the little ones each day and with Jesse and Melinda helping out while they were home, we got all moved out and then in! We hired some help this time which was awesome although it still took quite a bit of time. (How did I acquire so much stuff???!!!) We are all tired this week and recovering from many late nights and very physical, busy days. The boys learned a couple of new tricks during this move. One is how to get out of the cribs in spite of all my best efforts to keep them in. We received many middle of the night visits (of course, after finally getting to bed in the wee hours of the morning). Also, how to open the front door! I discovered this one on day one at our new house. I put them all down for a nap and left them with Melinda and Jesse. I went over to our old house to clean up. On the way home, Melinda called to ask me if I wanted her to get the kids up. She said she could hear them. I was pulling up to our new house while on the phone with her when I noticed a little boy across the street busy playing with some Tonka trucks! Josh!!!! He had learned to open the front door! YIKES! Well, we had to push a heavy box in front of the door, which the boys discovered that if they both work together, they can push the heavy box out of the way and open the door again! So.....we stacked 3 heavy boxes on top of each other! Ha.....just try that out Josh and Nate! Bryce has since gone to the hardware store and installed a child proof lock! (I hope it works. I've been thinking of volunteering my crew to be the testers of all so called childproof safety devices!) So here we are in our beautiful new house and not a minute to unpack yet! I spent all day yesterday running errands. I left in the morning with Jesse to get his school supplies, music book (did I mention that he is going to learn to play the violin and to make it even more exciting and fun we are going to get him into some private lessons this fall with "Ryan Shupe" as his music teacher!) Abby had her 2 week appointment, and then off to Celest's to get haircuts for the boys and Melinda! We arrived home about dinner time. We fed the kids, got them to bed, fed ourselves and discovered that I had left Jesse's new planner book at Walmart this morning so off we went to retrieve that! (Of course we spent a little bit of time picking up a few other much needed items like milk, fruit and Haagen Daz! So once again, a very late night! I didn't know I could feel so tired! Abby has been waking to eat about every 3 hours and she is such a cute, sweet little baby. Last night she must of had pity on me, because she slept for a full 8 hours! Whoooo Hooo! Jesse headed off today for Jr. High! He is so excited! He had his first day on Friday for 7th graders only then Monday he had off (they had only the 8th & 9th graders) so today is the first day with all grades combined! He has 2 different days (A & B) with 4 classes each day. Today is "B" day! Off he left me this morning to catch the bus! I am so proud of him. He is an amazing boy. He had his 12th birthday this past month and was ordained a deacon on Sunday, August 10, 2008.


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