Monday, September 22

growing, growing, growing

 time is sailing by so quickly around here. as a result, the kids are doing a lot of growing and i feel as though its happened over night.

all three kids started soccer a couple weeks ago, even our little man.

it took him a while to realize that he gets to actually play instead of just watch, like he has for ever, so he ended up just standing there for a few minutes. after some coaxing by his coach and chris, he took off running and then never stopped (even when the ball did!).

with all his growing, charlie may not be getting much wiser...
his sweet sister convinced him to let her put a tattoo on his forehead.

ellie is getting older. you can see it when she smiles. 
she's lost a few more teeth, including one of her front ones that was loose for over two months. 

daddy finally gave it a little flick, during sacrament meeting of all times, and it came right out.... along with quite a squirt of blood! i heard them giggling uncontrollably, looked over and saw ellie covering her mouth with her hand and chris proudly holding up her tooth for me to see. they ran to the kitchen to clean up since she looked like he had punched her in the mouth with all the blood. luckily all the blood on her dress came out just fine, but she was a little embarrassed walking around at church with a blood stain the size of a tennis ball on her front.

two days later another tooth came out! this time with no blood or mess. it just popped out while she was brushing her teeth.
eating apples has become a bit of a challenge :)

jack is maturing before our eyes.
he is a brand new cub scout and absolutely loves putting on his uniform each wednesday evening. he was able to help with the flag ceremony during his first pack meeting two weeks ago. he had been hoping to be picked for the job. sure made this momma proud. he stayed up till 11 the night before to read the entire wolf handbook and has a bunch of things he can't wait to do.

i was the wolf den leader until the week before jack began scouts. when i told jack that i wouldn't be in there with him he cried a little, but quickly got over it. we had both been looking forward to the opportunity. it's hard to believe he will be turning 8 years old next month. 

look at that handsome dude!

and lastly, this babe.
this babe is growing, growing, growing.
and so am i.

we had an ultrasound last thursday and the baby had both hands in front of its face the whole time. after a ton of poking, prodding, shaking, and bouncing by the tech, which made me feel a little queasy, this was the most we saw of the tiny ones face. a precious little nose, tiny little lips, and part of it's cheek. already has some chub :) 
just under 9 weeks to go!

Tuesday, September 9

a weekend in KC

one of my favorite things in life is to catch up with old friends or family and see how happy and content they are with their life. its one of those simple things that makes me happy! we made the 5 hour drive up to visit the carpenters over labor day weekend in kansas city. it was so wonderful to see them and see how happy they are! 
steve and kandie live in a beautiful part of Olathe (pronounced o-lay-th-ah), steve is enjoying his job, they've built a gorgeous home, the kids are enjoying life, and they're loving the ward they are a part of. pretty perfect!

we got in late friday night, but that didn't stop us from hanging out, letting the kids run around and get to know each other again, meet the adorable and sweet baby seth, and just catch up! i love kandie. she's one of those people that no matter how long it's been, we just pick up right where we left off like no time has passed. not to mention she is super woman! maybe it was all that time we spent together in our primary presidency or the companionship we had while our hubbies were in school together or maybe its just that i admire everything about her, but she is just an amazing woman and I'm so grateful for her. anyways, an overview of our trip:

somehow this is the only picture we got with everyone, minus chris. bummer! 

on saturday we headed into the city for some bbq. this place was SO delicious. we were going to try going to a different place called oklahoma joes (thanks caro for the tip!), but it was just too far and with the potential of a considerable wait time with 8 kids, we decided to go here instead. we really enjoyed it. the side dishes were killer and and my burnt end sandwich was better than any other bbq sandwich I've had at a restaurant.

after lunch we hit up an awesome (and free!) kids place called Kaleidoscope. they had all sorts of fun crafts for kids.

can you believe how beautiful these kids are?! Sydney, Leah, Bryce, and Katelyn have grown so much. chris and i were super impressed with syd- she's growing into such a beautiful young woman! it's crazy!

one of the crafts at kaleidoscope is painting with melted crayon in a room with black lights, which i think was a definite highlight. charlie really liked it and loved how his hat glowed so well.

check out my toes!

after some serious crafting, we went next door to the hallmark museum. did you know that hallmark headquarters are in KC? neither did we!

chris and i took the little boys out for some ice cream because, lets be honest, there were a lot of little girls singing and dancing!

on saturday evening we went to a KC Royals game and had such a great time! the kids all had a friend to entertain each other and even baby seth (or baby steph as charlie calls him) was a trooper. we made it through all nine innings! they ended up having extra innings and lost, but we didn't bother staying for those. the weather was perfection and we had popcorn, nachos and pizza- we had a grand time at the ballpark!

our little family went to visit liberty jail and the temple on sunday morning before church. chris and i both remember visiting liberty jail when we were kids. it was really special to visit and i hope the kids remember the feelings they had while at liberty jail.

by the time we got to the temple, the kids were cranky and hungry for lunch, which made us crabby too. so there we sat, in the temple parking lot, eating our picnic lunch with crabby kids. it kind of made me sad. but! I'm still glad we went.

sunday evening was probably my favorite part of our trip. not only did we have an amazing roast dinner complete with homemade rolls and jam, roasted AND mashed potatoes, and then ice cream sundaes, we got to spend so much time just chatting. its so fun when steve and chris get together! they joke and make each other laugh the whole time. so glad he has such a great buddy. (is that even what men call their friends... buddy? doesn't sound masculine or tough enough, but it really fits for them!)

jack and charlie both really loved seth. jack held him every single chance he could, even if seth was upset. jack's going to be my number one helper when this baby is born. it'll be like having a nanny... or maybe just an extra set of hands... sort of... :)

on monday, steve and bryce taught chris and jack how to cast with a fly fishing rod in the backyard. now the boys are convinced they need a fishing trip to truly get the feel for it.

ellie, charlie, leah, and bryce spent a good amount of time sliding down the stairs on their tummies and also doing headstands.

of course, chris had to show off his headstand and handstand skills too. he even put on a little show, moving his legs all around, which made us all laugh.

before we made the trip home monday afternoon, we went to the gym and let the kids go wild for an hour. it was the perfect thing to do before a long car ride.

syd and leah showed us all their cool tricks they've been learning in gymnastics. that little leah is fantastic!

and just like that,
our trip came to an end.
hugs were given and tears were shed.

this is charlie's "what?! we're not going back to baby steph's house" face

the only consolation was that we were listening to harry potter and the chamber of secrets on the drive :)

carpenter's, we love you guys!

Monday, September 8

2nd, 1st, & pre-k

we made it back from florida just in time for the kids to start a new school year on august 18th.


jack is in 2nd grade now and his teacher is super sweet. and bonus, mrs. been LOVES that jack plays the banjo! she is a huge bluegrass fan. his teachers always love him because he's a great helper and very intelligent. after the first week mrs. been told me "you are so lucky to have a son like jack, he is the best!". she's totally right and it always does my mommy heart good to hear that others feel the same.

ellie started 1st grade in mrs. humphrey's class. even though she doesn't love school because "its every single day", she knows she got lucky with mrs. humphrey. ellie is doing really well academically and has the most stellar handwriting we've ever seen a 6 year old have. here are a few of our favorite comments that her teacher has written on her spelling tests and homework assignments the past couple weeks:
"Aren't you something!"
"Excellence is never an accident!"
and "you are super girl!"

 and this kid...
how is he old enough for preschool?!

charlie started going to a 3 year old class on tuesdays and thursday mornings with his buddy brynn. we never sent our others to preschool this early, but charlie cried almost everyday last year when i'd drop of J & E and ask if he could go to school too. that, along with the fact that preschool is very reasonable here, and of course with the baby coming in a couple months, we decided to give this guy a little taste of big kid freedom.
he is in love.
you know charlie is in absolute heaven when he is willing to wear a shirt AND pants AND TENNIS SHOES. his normal everyday attire consists of undies and flip flops, which is adorable on his tall but still little man body.
every morning he asks if i am dropping him off at school and the mornings when i say no, he lets out a very frustrated sigh.

he was so excited his first day. when i asked him if i could hold his hand walking up to the door he said "no thanks, mommy". i was asking more for my sake than his.

love seeing this sight twice a week :)
(even if it's only for a couple hours)