Tuesday, November 12, 2013

4 Wheeling Dreams

Last Saturday our friends from the ward/neighborhood took us 4 wheeling. This is not something we have ever done before. I've gone 4 wheeling and so has Josh, but we've never done it as a family, so this was a step out for us.

If you know Dallen, you can imagine that he was in heaven. He got to ride on the back of a 4 Wheeler with our 15 year old friend Whitney for a longer ride that we all went on and she went faster and higher than the rest of us and he loved it. Every time they passed us he stuck out one hand with a big thumbs up.

Jack loved driving the kid sized 4 wheeler himself:

Adam got in on the action too! Don't worry, he's strapped on!

All of the boys had fun. I should have gotten pictures of Nathan and Dallen driving too, but suffice it to say, it was a hit all around!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

We went to Denver to visit back in October and while we were there we hit up a really fun pumpkin patch! I really love going to pumpkin patches. It reminds me of my Wisconsin days. I took a whole bunch of pictures, so here they are in no particular order:

Adam posing with Uncle Scott:

Dal being cute:

And brave. (Always climbing to the top of something-most recently it's the door frames of our house):

And swinging! He always does that pointing thing when he thinks he's being cool. I love it:

Here's Jack swinging:

Here's cousin James driving the tractor:

Nathan riding the kiddie train. He barely fits!

We also met up with my cousins. Here's my cousin Rachel's little boy Noah:

And Noah again: (frankly I would like to take him home with me)

OK, loved this moment. Adam discovered his pockets and walked around with both hands in them:

Here's my cousin Sarah with her daughter Jade:

Adam in the train:

And the whole gang of boys on the tractor out front:

Right after that Adam fell under the tractor and whacked his head and got a massive goose egg! Poor guy! Fun trip!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It's a Halloween miracle! I'm adding something to my blog. I have more to add...lots more, but for now I will just get these pictures up with the promise of more to come.

We've had a crazy busy Halloween-I helped in 2 class parties, did the parade thing, and all the rest. Trick or treating tonight was about as good as it gets, the boys had a blast, and now that they are in bed...I can eat their candy.

Here's the 4 in their costumes:

We've got Crazy Horse the Indian chief:

The world's CUTEST Elmo:

Jay from Ninjago (a Ninja):

And Donatello, the Ninja Turtle:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Beast Turns 2

The final birthday in the month of June-just four short days after his dad's birthday (which I didn't blog about-sorry Josh)-Adam turned 2. In our home Adam is also known as Beast. I can't remember where this nickname came from and really it's only fitting some of the time. Most of the time he's a dream. Sometimes he's a beast. Either way we ADORE this kid!

It was an extra fun birthday because Grandma happened to be in town for it. We did a few of Adam's favorite things to celebrate the day. We went to see ducks (he LOVES ducks) and feed them at the park, we also swung on the swings (another of his favorite things) and we went to get "kinks" (drinks) at Sonic because they kid is always in need of a drink. 

That evening we had the uncles over for cupcakes and hotdogs. Of course we had to have duck cupcakes (a little bit goofy looking but I figured Adam didn't care too much):

The thing about being the 4th boy in a family is that you HAVE to do everything just like your big brothers. Adam loves to sing happy birthday and throw in some Cha cha chas because that's what his brothers do. He was SO excited!!!

Here's a video of him being sung to:

There's just no denying it, this kid is loveable! At book club last night my friends all got talking about Adam and how in love with him they are and they just want to squeeze him. He's sitting right next to me right now all excited about watching that video of himself, singing, clapping and just being adorable in every way. I think I might eat him he's so cute. And squeezy. And loveable.

A few things about Adam.

He loves drinks. Do not leave home without a drink or you will pay dearly.

He adores his big brothers Nani, Kack and DalDal and wants to do everything like them. He MUST sit in a chair at the table, not a high chair. He MUST have the same things they have. He MUST be part of the gang.

He loves pop music. His favorite song is You Don't Know You're Beautiful by One Direction. He goes crazy when it comes on the radio and sings along and dances. He can sing along with a lot of me and his brother's favorite songs. Today he even sang along with the jingle on the radio-"80s, 90s, NOW!" Cracked me up!

He is at the 3% for height (hey we hit the charts!!!), 50% for weight and, wait for it....99% for head! No wonder he took so long to walk! His big old noggin' made it hard!

He has started saying a few funny phrases. "I don't care" and "No fair" are cracking me up. He says them all the time lately but completely out of context. It's so funny.

He's got an opinion, but what 2 year old doesn't.

He loves to hug. Whenever I tell him someone is coming over or that we are going to go see someone he informs me he's going to hug them. For example-"Adam, guess who's coming over tonight? Uncle Jas!" and Adam instantly says "hhhhhhuuuuuggggg."

He's got all the kids that we are friends with in love with him too. When we go to the park or the pool I have tons of babysitters because everyone wants to play with Adam.

We absolutely adore this addition to our family. Who wouldn't?!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's Great to be 8! Part 2

My handsome Jack was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on July 6th and it was a wonderful day! The baptism included 3 other kids from our ward at church, so it was a big one-in the chapel with lots of people.

The main thing Jack will probably remember from his baptism day? The water in the font was cold because the heater was broken and he had to be dunked 3 times! Makes for memories.

He was so excited and giddy through the whole baptism service. After his confirmation as he walked back to his seat he was just glowing with happiness. I loved seeing it and knowing he was feeling the Spirit.

Here are some pictures from the big day.

So excited before the baptism:

Baptism boy sporting his new suit:

 With the family:

The brothers: (love this picture!)

With Daddy:

And the proud Mama:

He had both sets of grandparents there:

One set of Great Grandparents:

His Aunt Natalie, Uncle Alex, and cousins Daniel and Zachary:

And the Allen uncles:

Who get a little crazy:

After the baptism we had a little party back at our house with family. Here he is with the cake he picked out:

 It was a wonderful day and he's a wonderful kid.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's Great to be 8! Part 1

Birthday number 2 for the month of June. I'll admit, I always feel a little sad for Jack that his birthday is right after Nathan's. Often he gets the same presents so there aren't too many surprises and often I am a little exhausted by Jack's bday and don't put as much effort into it as I might otherwise.

Still, I think the kiddo had a great day!

We started the day out with his birthday party, then went and played with a bunch of friends for a while and then had a party with Josh's family that night. Jack chose Nachos and Tostadas for his dinner and a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake for dessert.

Jack's birthday party was Lego Star War themed. He invited 9 kids I think and only 3 showed up which was disappointing! I think that we underestimated how many people would be out of town the very first week of summer. But the kids that came had fun.

We started the party by making Light Sabers and then I like them have a light saber duel. This was only moderately successful. There was a lot of complaining over broken light sabers...

 Here's the guys (Jack, Kaden, Trey and Lars):

They also did an obstacle course with their Light Sabers that Jack and his friend Trey put together. Then we had pizza and did a pinata. They had to whack Darth Maul with a Light Saber stick to break him open: 
 Here they are preparing to whack him.

Here's the birthday cake. It's the Death Star:
Here's the kids eating cake:

Like I said, later that night we had a family party. Here's his cake from that:

Jack is a great kid. Again, like I said with Nathan, I feel like I write the same things every year, but that's ok because it's who Jack is. 

Jack is our tender kid. He love snuggles and baby animals. Of course those things aren't quite as apparent as when he was little, but he still loves a good snuggle and if he's mad all you have to do is scratch his back and he snaps out of it. 

Jack is a hard worker. I ALWAYS know which kid is going to have his chores done first in the morning-it's Jack. He is responsible and I can count on him.

He's getting good at soccer. He scored in just about every soccer game this year. 

He's an amazing reader! He's read lots and lots of chapter books that are on probably about a 5th grade level and just loves them. 

He doesn't eat much. Nachos and cheese and maybe the inside of rolls. 

One thing I have learned about Jack in the last year is that it is very effective to parent him by leaving choices in his hands. He says he's not going to do something that he is supposed to and all I have to do is say "that's fine, it's your choice" and he inevitably makes the right choice. This is much more effective than forcing him. I am hoping this carries us through his teenage years but I realize the stakes will be much higher then and it will be riskier to leave choices up to him. But I hope we are laying the ground work for that now while the consequences don't matter nearly as much. 

I love this kid so much. He was baptized last week and that's the next post you'll see on this blog. It was a very special day.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nathan's the Big 1-0!

It's birthday month in our house and the second string of birthdays is about to start...so, I figured I better blog about the first two before the next two hit.

Nathan's big 1-0 hit just a couple of days after school got out...unfortunately on a Sunday. Not too much fun to have a birthday on a Sunday but we did our best to make it fun. He of course opened presents and he chose to have pizza poppers (like mini calzones) for dinner and cookie dough eggrolls for his birthday treat. (That's my boy!) We had the uncles over to celebrate:

But the real fun started the next day...when we had his birthday party! He invited a crew of boys over for a Plants vs. Zombies (it's an ipad game) Party!

Here's the crazy bunch:
We had pizza and cake and ice cream and did a bunch of wild games involving zombies trying to attack and plants fighting them off (weird I know-who makes up this stuff?.

Here they are chucking large marshmallows at each other:

And we did a pinata-painted by dad (we just used a box we had on hand and dad painted it up with characters from Plants vs. Zombies):

 Here's Nathan with one of his best friends Sam:

And another best friend Blake:

Nathan has a good group of kids in the neighborhood to hang out with and I love it. These are good kids that he had at his party.

And here's the pretty awesome zombie cake. It took me all of 10 minutes to decorate and the kiddos all LOVED it. Nice. 

It's funny. A friend drove past the house when the parties were going on (Jack's was the next day-more on that later) and commented that with all those little boys running around having a ball it looked like a perfect ad for happy family life. Funny she said that. We had tears at both parties, grouchiness, meanness, the works. But in the end I think we had a good time. (Just didn't want anyone to think these parties were perfect. No blog facade here.)

I love this picture of Nathan.
It's so him. Such a sweet joy and innocence in that face.

I feel like every year I list the things I love about my boys and every year it's the same because I still love the same things. This is true with Nathan. I say it every year, but the thing I think I love most about him is the way that he is so unassuming when he interacts with people. He doesn't care if you are rich or poor, smart or dumb, tall or short, or growing three legs. Fact is he probably wouldn't notice (observation would not be listed among his strengths). He's just going to be nice to you and treat you the same as anyone else. The kids at school have caught on to this and they are all his friends. I've sat at lunch at school with him and was surprised how many kids stopped to say "hi Nathan!" Now, in true Nathan form he didn't actually notice most of them saying hi because he was in his own world, but I could tell that they liked him.

Nathan is happiest when left to his own schedule. It's hard during the school year because he hates to be rushed SO much. Summer is perfect for him because he can take things more at his own pace. I toyed with the idea of putting him on a swim team this summer but just couldn't bring myself to do it because it's at 9 every morning and he would hate being rushed out the door for it. He just likes to be able to move slowly and do things when he is ready to do them. He is very much like his dad and his dad's dad in this way and in many other ways.

Nathan is PERFECTLY content to be by himself drawing, writing or reading. He is becoming a talented little artist and can draw and draw for hours. He loves to read (love that about him) and he loves to learn. I'm sometimes surprised at how long he can entertain himself quietly in a corner.

He still dresses up in costumes all the time. All the time. He's been this way since he was little.

It's fun to have him getting older and to be able to see more clearly his strengths and his weaknesses and just who he really is. And to figure out ways to parent him and what he needs in life. And to just really get to know and understand him. As he grows I can see his strengths-kindness, intelligence, a desire to do good-so clearly and I can understand the things he struggles with-keeping a cheerful attitude and recognizing the good in his life and being responsible-more clearly and I can better help him grow to be the man I want him to be. I love it. I love watching him grow and progress.

Nathan's a good kid. I love him and I can't believe he's been in my life for 10 years now!