Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Man

A little over 13 years ago, I met the most wonderful man in the world. Shortly after meeting him, I married him. This weekend is his birthday. He is a whopping 36 years old now! Here are 36 of the main reasons I love Rob.
1. He is my best friend. I talk to him daily on the phone, we talk in the car, at bedtime, etc. We talk a lot. I know there is nothing I can't tell him. I know there is nothing he won't listen to. He doesn't just tell me what I want to hear, he tells me what I need to hear. He is the best friend I have ever had.
2. He is an incredible father. I grew up with a pretty darn amazing dad, so Rob had some big shoes to fill. I am happy to say, that he is filling those shoes quite well. He is the best dad around. He plays with the kids daily and is the true definition of "hands on". I love to watch him wrestle with the kids on the floor one minute, and then ballroom dance with them the next minute. He is always there to help me with the kids. No matter what. He is an amazing dad.
3. He makes me laugh. Trust me, his jokes are not always funny, nor is he. But the effort is always there to make us all laugh. We laugh a lot together.
4. He honors the Priesthood. He takes his role as a Priesthood holder very seriously and treats that as a blessing and an honor. My kids have gone to him countless times for a Father's Blessing and I know I can go to him as well. He is so close to the Spirit and I love hearing him give blessings.
5. He has integrity. This may seem like nothing too big, but to me, it is huge. This is a trait I know he inherited from his own father. Rob is honest. His good name means a lot to him.
6. Rob is an incredibly hard worker. Another trait he learned from his own dad, and his mom. They raised their children to be hard workers. They were raised working out in the garden and yard. Rob truly lives by the philosophy that you cannot put a price tag or a paycheck on a job well done. He works hard and puts his all into the things that he does.
7. Rob has an infectious desire for knowledge. His family tells stories of him as a child and his constant questions! He wanted to know everything about everything! He would spend hours as a child taking things apart and putting them back together, reading books, and overall finding out things that he wanted to know about. I am happy to say that this enthusiasm for learning has never ended and he now passes it along to our children. Peek into our house on any given week, and you'll see my "teacher" husband leading our children in a full blown science experiment of some sort. The kids love it and learn so much from him. Mostly, they learn that it is fun and exciting to gain knowledge.
8. Rob loves to sing. I remember his mom telling me that she never realized how much Rob's beautiful singing voice filled their home, until he went on his mission. When I first met Rob (in institute show choir, of course), he was known for his singing at his apartment complex. People who didn't know his name, knew him as "the guy that sings". He walks around singing all the time.
9. Rob is a great provider for our family. He works so hard at his job and takes his responsibility as our family's breadwinner very seriously. I have never had to worry that our family would not be taken care of. This has also allowed me the blessing of being able to stay home with our children and not have to work outside of our home.
10. I love that Rob isn't a picky eater. Just a small thing, but something I am grateful for. He truly appreciates when I make good dinners and meals. There is very little that he won't at least try...except chocolate of course.
11. I love Rob's hands. He has strong big hands that give great foot rubs, back rubs, and head massages. I love to hold his big strong hands. I love to see him hold our tiny newborn babies in those big hands. I love the assurance and peace that it brings to feel those strong hands on my head when I need a blessing. I love to watch him work with his hands, whether he is madly typing on the computer of building a tree house.
12. Rob is incredibly frugal. Sometimes I don't feel as grateful for this as I should, but I am grateful. When I hear of other husbands who have no idea how to budget money, or who spend money on a whim for things they want, I am grateful for a husband who puts the well being of his family and future ahead of what he wants.
13. Rob is a great teacher. To our children, the youth, and those around him. He is always teaching.
14. Rob has beautiful green eyes.
15. Rob is a great dancer. He was captain of the ballroom dance team at USU and is a great dancer. I love dancing with him.
16. I love that Rob wakes me up every morning very sweetly and softly. (I am so NOT a morning person!)
17. I love watching TV and movies with Rob. It is the best. It is especially hilarious when I can coerce him into watching some beauty pageant or chick reality show with me. His comments are priceless.
18. Rob is very rarely sick. It takes a lot to get him down.
19. Rob is not a complainer. Even when his poor teeth are killing him from his braces or his back hurt from his car accident, he rarely complains.
20. Rob is a very positive person. Even when I am not, he is very positive. Something I am SO grateful for!
21. He can type faster (and louder) than most anyone I know.
22. I love that he and my Dad are so similar in their love of learning. They are quite good buddies and love to talk about everything from church history to Barrack Obama and the economy.
23. He is grateful and appreciative of what he has and tells me often that he appreciates me.
24. He has an unwavering testimony of the Gospel.
25. He loves his brothers and they are great friends....usually total idiots, but great friends.
26. He's hot
27. He never gets on my case when the house isn't clean or laundry isn't done. He just deals with it.
28. He is tall and big and strong. Something that really is superficial, but makes me feel protected and safe.
29. He tolerates my craziness of holiday traditions, impulsiveness, impatience, endless projects and overall living with me on a daily basis.
30. He is a good son and loves his parents.
31. He is very humble and can admit when he is wrong.
32. He is one of the smartest people I know. He seems to know about EVERYTHING! And if he doesn't know about it, he will find it out. And although he is brilliant, he never makes me feel dumb and never has.
33. He has his priorities in order.
34. He is the best life partner that I could ever ask for.
35. He is a great example.
36. I mostly love him because of who he is. I can't put into words his character and who he is as a man. But I love him eternally and am grateful every single day that somehow I was blessed enough to be his wife.

Happy Birthday babe! And here's to an eternity of birthdays ahead.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Moto Moto

So we have apparently watched "Madagascar 2" a few too many times. I actually love that show . It cracks me up. Rob, of course, has already perfected all of the voices, and especially loves doing "Moto Moto" - the overly macho hippo. Cayden thinks it is hilarious.

So a few days ago, I came into the room in my large pregnant state with my ever growing preggo belly and sat down by Cayden. He looks at me, looks at my stomach, and in his best Moto Moto voice says, "Girl, you ROUND!" I about fell off the couch laughing. He then continues, "Gosh girl, you HUGE!" I think it made it even more funny because it is so out of character for Cayden.

If it wasn't so hilarious (and quite frankly, true), I would have popped my darling son in the head.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Sadie did it"

Ashlee LOVES chocolate pudding. We buy it occasionally when it goes on sale, the pudding pack kind, for the kids' lunches. Ashlee can somehow always find it and can't resist sneaking some. She has gotten in trouble for this numerous times. (A part of me wants to sit her down and tell her to be smart about it and at least wipe off her face and hide the that sending the wrong message? Probably.) So, once again, Ashlee had a pudding urge and found herself a pudding pack. But this time she decided to "share". When I walked into the kitchen, she and had pudding all over her and was still holding the spoon. When I started getting mad at her, she immediately piped up, "But Mom, look! Sadie did it!" Sure enough, there sat Sadie with a chocolate face. When I asked Sadie if she at the pudding, this is the face she gave me. Kind of hard to stay mad after that, eh? Ashlee really thinks she has found a great accomplice in crime!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

We had a great Easter weekend. On Saturday morning, we got up to see what the Easter Bunny had brought. In our family Easter Saturday is the Easter Bunny's day and Easter Sunday is Jesus' Day. The kids got way too much candy and treats but had fun. After that, we had a yummy breakfast. My Great-Grandmother is from Denmark and one special breakfast item that has been passed down is Aebelskivers. You have to have a special pan to make these in, but they are well worth it! They are like little pancake donuts. I make the batter from scratch and cook up a whole bunch. Top them with jam and powdered sugar (or "snow" as my kids call it) and YUM!
Later that afternoon, Rob's brother's family came out to hang out. We had a great time just visiting, letting the kids play, etc. Rob and Jon had to play "Brainquest" on the Wii which was entertaining. We had a yummy dinner at Chilis and then let the kids have a movie party while we played some games and had homemade hot fudge sundaes.
On Sunday, we got the kids all dressed in their new Easter clothes. They all looked so cute! Church was great. Rob was called as the new Young Mens Secretary. He will do great! We had a really yummy Easter dinner with glazed ham, funeral potatoes, salad, rolls, asparagus, deviled eggs, etc. It was delicious! After dinner, we headed to my parents' home for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. The kids had a great time, even though none of them found a "golden egg" with a dollar in it. They of course came home with way too much candy, but had a great time. It is one of our favorite family traditions.
All in all, it was a great Easter. We are heading out today to get the kids new bikes from Mom and Dad for Easter. They are very excited, as are we, to have bikes that they can actually ride.
Me and Rob-Easter 2009. Wow! I do look preggers! It made it especially difficult to try to bend over to help the kids pick up their eggs.
Grandma and "Papa" Neilson
Ashlee on the hunt for eggs!
Sadie thought the egg hunt was great! We had to watch her closely that she didn't take other people's eggs.
McKell looking for eggs

Uncle Jay made this special 'nest' for some of Sadie's eggs. Sadie loves her Uncle Jay and he spoils her rotten!
My nephews - the BeeGees

The whole gang ready to head over the hill in the backyard and find the eggs. My parents' backyard is SO beautiful. I love it there.
Ashlee in her new Easter Dress
The whole crazy crew on Easter Sunday

My handsome "little" boy. I can't believe how big he is getting!
Our 3 sweet and beautiful little girls
Happy Easter from Sadie

Rob & Jon playing Brainquest on the Wii
("Look at the butt on that!")

Sadie enjoying her ice cream cone

Fun with cousins! Anna, Ashlee, Andrew, Cayden and McKell all enjoying their hot fudge sundaes.
Yummy Aebelskivers for Easter breakfast

Sadie, discovering her Easter basket
Cayden with his cool new green Easter rabbit
McKell loved her new lamb from the Easter Bunny
Ashlee's Easter basket!

A few nights before Easter, we had my parents and my brother, Jay, up to do our annual Easter Egg Coloring. We always have a great time. Jay had to show us how lovely and colorful even our paper towells were after coloring the eggs.
Cayden busy at work doing a "patriotic" egg
McKell was very meticulous and careful about her eggs. They were all beautiful.

Quite a production!
Sadie wanted in on the action, but there was NO way I was giving her actual egg dye. So, we gave her some plastic eggs, a bowl of water, and a dipper, and she was happy as a clam.
Me and my Sadie bug

Dad, Mom and Jay
Some of the final product. Aren't they just beautiful!?

Spring Break

We had spring break this past week. We had a really great time. Rob took a few days off which made it extra fun (and do-able for Mom!) On Thursday, we went to the Living Aquarium in Sandy. That was so cool! TONS of different sea creatures, etc. The big hit was the pool where you could actually touch live stingrays. Ashlee was absolutely fascinated by this! She ended up soaked, but who cares, right? You don't get to touch a real stingray every day! They also got to touch urchins, star fish, and shrimp. It was a really cool adventure.

On day 2, we went to Hogle Zoo. Our family loves the zoo! This was by far one of the best trips to the zoo that we have ever had. We went in the afternoon and they had just fed the animals so they were all very active. We saw all sorts of new things. It was especially fun having Sadie experience the zoo. This was her first year of really being able to take it all in and she was fascinated. She kept saying over and over, "WOW!" She especially loved the monkeys.

Overall, it has been a great spring break. We also had Easter mixed in there, which I will do a separate post about. Today is our last day of spring break and I am just letting the kids hang out, play, etc. My house looks like a tornado hit it and I am exhausted, but it was all worth it. Happy spring break 2009!Riding on the train at Hogle Zoo. The ticket guy was so nice and let us wait for a new train just so the kids could sit backwards in the "caboose". They have never done this before so it was really fun for them!
So, it looks like Cayden has almost caught up to the Gorilla!

The Peacocks in the peacock on the carrousel

Sadie, Rob and McKell.
Ashlee on the "extinct" snow leopard. (We've been watching "The Planet Earth" series as a family so they have a whole new appreciation for nature.)
Riding the carrousel
Sadie LOVED the monkeys. They were all very active and jumping around. Much like my own children after we feed them!
Hanging out with the giraffes

McKell watching the elephant eat. This elephant is actually going to have a baby soon. Rob pointed out to me that an elephant's gestation is 22 months. WOW! I guess I can't complain about 9 months, eh?
Sadie at the Living Aquarium. She is in a canoe in the marshlands.

We just had to get a photo of Ashlee after the Stingray exhibit. As you can see, there is one little patch on one sleeve that stayed dry. Otherwise, she was completely soaked including her hair. She loved every minute of it.
The electric eel

The alligator

Ashlee & McKell at the marshland
This was such a cool starfish - actually a sea star. It was alive and the kids got to touch it and feel the suctions underneath.

They had quite a few sharks in the shark exhibit. The kids thought this one was extra interesting because of his tooth that was sticking out.

The stingray in the pool
Ashlee in complete heaven-touching the stingray

The girls just studied their oceanography unit at school so they really were interested in seeing all of the thing they had learned about. They loved this beautiful coral reef with the tropical fish.
More coral

The octopus exhibit
The underside of the octopus

The jellyfish exhibit was amazing. There were glow lights that changed colors so you could really see the jellyfish.
Sadie was so intrigued by the jellyfish. I think we could have left her there all day to watch them.
Another eel
They had a section of the museum just about the fish life in Utah. This is in front of the lake trout.