Monday, November 16, 2009

Basketball Birthday Party

I'm a little behind on my posts and trying to catch up. We had a great birthday party for Cayden's 10th birthday. He was so excited and it turned out great! We had about 35 boys here and we had a blast eating lunch, making jerseys and flags, playing basketball, watching NBA highlights, and opening presents. Above is Cayden's birthday invite.

Yummy chocolate basketball cupcakes.

Hanging out watching NBA highlights,
Gift bags for the kids when they left.

A whole lot of candles to blow out!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Ashlee gives us plenty of things to remember. She is quite a girl!

Recently, we had a FHE on standing up for what is right. I shared an experience from high school where some friends were watching a movie that was rated R so I stood up and left because I didn't watch rated R movies.

Ashlee then says, very seriously, "Mom, that happened to me too. At the family reunion the kids were watching Harry Potter and it gave me a scary feeling inside so I stood up and left. I went in the other room and watched 'The Mask' instead which was a MUCH better movie."

Oh I love my Ashlee Bear.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sunday Smiles

My friend, LaShel, has a great blog. It is so fun to read about her family and what they are up to. It's fun to keep track of how they are doing. But more than that, I have been inspired by something that LaShel does. Each week she does an entry on her blog called "Sunday Smiles". In this, she documents things that made her smile during the week. They aren't big things, but just the simple things that we often times take for granted. Sometimes they are things that don't really warrant a smile, but you somehow manage to smile anyway. So with her permission, I have decided to follow suit and do my own Sunday Smiles.

Here is what made me smile this week:

I smiled when Rob watched the kids last Sunday so I could get a much needed nap. I was still recovering from a nasty bout of strep throat and needed a nap desperately!

I smiled when Sadie stayed in nursery by herself for 3 straight weeks! I also smiled that the reason for this success is because McKell has been taking her instead of us. Who knew?

I smiled when we fed Jaxson his first rice cereal and he ate like a champ! Nothing like seeing a little human being eat food for the first time!

I smiled when I saw my Dad at our school for the Veteran's Day program.

I smiled when Rob and I sat and watched TV together a few times this week. I smiled when he held my hand because we didn't have any babies on our laps.

I smiled when I whacked my hair off and gave myself bangs and my girls were fascinated and amazed.

I smiled when I went on a date to Chilis with Cayden for his birthday. Just me and him. We giggled the whole way home over ridiculous and nonsense things that somehow involved the word "pee".

I smiled when I heard sweet little Sadie sing every single word to "Twinkle Twinkle" by herself and then clap and say 'YEAH!!"

I smiled when 2 different teachers at the school stopped me to tell me how much they love my children and how much they brighten their day. One of the teachers even teared up when telling me of how Ashlee kissed an "owie" on her hand and was so concerned for her. I her words, "Ashlee consistently warms my heart." Another teacher said, "McKell is so sweet and so smart. I just love her."

I smiled when I got to go observe at the girls' dance class. I smiled watching them practice their "Santa Baby" number. I smiled when McKell almost did the splits and Ashlee did a back bend all on her own.

I smiled when Sadie tried feeding pancakes to her baby brother. He was not impressed at all.

I smiled when after 4 days of work, I finally saw some empty laundry baskets!

I smiled when I saw the joy in Cayden's face when all of his friends showed up for his birthday party.

I smiled when the birthday party was over and was a success.

I smiled when it started to snow

I smiled when I made it home after going no more than 5 mph on pure black ice for 45 minutes

I smiled when I sat and watched my 3 oldest kids sing and do their parts in the primary program. I also smiled when Sadie insisted on standing on the bench during every song and lead and sing with them as well.

I smiled when we had Sunday dinner at my parents' home. There's simply nothing quite like it.

I smiled when Jaxson was talking and flirting with me tonight. He is such a sweet little guy and we love him to pieces.

My Veteran Daddy

You know, growing up I never really put much thought into Veterans Day. It didn't mean a whole lot to me. But now that I am older, I love this day. Not only because my oldest son was born on Veterans Day, but because I love what this holiday represents. Now that I am a mother, I appreciate even more the men and women who have served our country and continue to do so in order to protect our freedoms and protect us. One of my favorite statements is that "We are the the land of the free BECAUSE of the brave." So true.

My dad entered the US Air Force at a very young age. He spent most of his early married years serving in the military. He and my mom moved numerous times as a newly married couple and then as new parents. They were finally stationed back home in Utah and my dad continued his military service here. He was a command pilot in the Marines and served honorably for 35 years! He retired as a Major in the US Air Force.

My dad is not a man with a lot of bravado. He doesn't show off or feel the need to make himself look good. His is a quiet dignity and a quiet pride. He loves his country and served as a patriot. I am one of the youngest in my family, so I didn't experience the numerous moves to new places. I don't remember my dad leaving to go on flight missions. I was born after the Viet Nam war which is the war that he served in and flew supplies into Viet Nam and other places. But after serving in the active military, my dad also served in the Air National Guard. I remember him going to Camp Williams for his service. He always looked so handsome in his uniform. I especially loved his hat and remember wearing it quite often when he would return home.

I started to have a better understanding of my dad and his military service when I lived in Japan. I was there as a nanny for my sister and her family. My parents came to visit us while we were there and we went to a military base in Tokyo to get some groceries, eat dinner, etc. This was the first time I had seen my dad in his military atmosphere. As soon as he presented his retired military card to any member of the base, he was immediately met with a full salute and immediate respect. You could see the respect in these young solders' eyes. They saw my father and instantly had the utmost respect for him. I was in awe of this. I swelled up with pride as I saw this happen over and over again. I had never realized what this meant to my father, but I was witnessing first hand a new side of him.

Since that time, I have never viewed my dad the same. I have a whole new respect for him. He has a love of country and a love of God and a love of family like no other man I know. He is honorable. He is a patriot.

It cannot go without saying that my mother was also instrumental in all of this. I make it a point to not only admire and honor the veterans of this great nation, but I am forever grateful and amazed at the wonderful spouses and families of those who serve our country! They sacrifice so much behind the scenes and I am grateful for that.

Yesterday, on Veterans Day, my kids' school did their annual Veterans Day program. They do this every year and I am so proud and impressed that they do this! My kids have been writing letters, drawing pictures, practicing recitations, and learning songs for months in preparation for this special day.

One of the highlights of the day for me was before the program even started. I pulled up to the front of the school and my dad was walking down the sidewalk to meet me. In front of my car was another car with an elderly couple in it. There was an older woman helping her very old Veteran husband out of the car. He had a walker and was struggling to get on his feet. In typical form, my 80 year old father hurried to their car and helped. It was just an amazing moment to see these two men. They didn't know each other. They had never met. But they immediately had a bond as brothers in the military. My dad helped this wonderful veteran get on his feet, shook his hand, and helped him on his way. This is who my dad is.

The other highlight for me came during the program. At our school, they invite any veterans of the kids from the school to attend. They actually have the Veterans sit on the stage for everyone to see them and the kids sit on the floor and honor them with recitations and song. I wish I could put into words how I felt during this assembly. These little kids from Kindergarten through the 4th grade were respectful and honored these men and women who had come to their school. At one point, they performed a medley that they had put together. It was a medley of all of the songs from the 4 branches of the military. Our school director asked that the veterans please stand when their song was sung. These kids didn't just sing the song, they SANG that song with pride and appreciation. They knew every word and sang with gusto! My heart overflowed with emotion and pride when the Air Force theme was sung and my daddy stood. I looked and saw my own children looking at their wonderful grandpa with such love and admiration and they beamed with pride! I couldn't contain my emotions at all. It was a very special moment for me.

So I say thank you to my wonderful father and those like him who have served and continue to serve this great nation. I honor you and thank you.

True patriots!
Dad standing with the other members of the Air Force while they kids sang. "Nothing can stop the US Air Force!!"
A tribute wall with veterans, art work, poems, and letters.
Happy birthday Cayden and Happy Veterans Day Dad!

Happy Birthday Cayden

I can't believe my baby boy is ten years old! When did this happen!? It really does just seem like yesterday when they put this beautiful big boy in my arms for the first time. And my life has never been the same since. Cayden will always be special because he was my first born. He is what made me a mommy. Cayden is such a special boy with an incredible mind and strong spirit. He has always been happy go lucky and so full of fun. I love his giggles. I love his big smile. I love his soft heart. Cayden has been such a gift to us. He truly is such a good boy. He does great at school, he loves scouts, he is great at his piano and everything that he does, he does with gusto. Mostly, Cayden has a great capacity to love and care for others. Let me give an example. Recently, a new family moved in by us. Cayden was so excited that they had a son his age and in his primary class. In typical Cayden fashion, Cayden made it a point to say hi and make sure this boy felt welcome. Unfortunately, instead of a warm happy response, Cayden got kicked in the shin. This happened on more than one occasion and we were rather frustrated. But not Cayden. Although it made him sad, he didn't hold a grudge and was never mean back to this boy. When I asked Cayden recently who he wanted to invite to his birthday party, this new boy was one of the first that he mentioned. I asked Cayden if he was sure that he wanted to invite him because he had been so mean to him and Cayden said, "Yeah, Mom. I forgave him a long time ago and we're friends now. He was just having a hard time being in a new place." I learned a lot that day from my 10 year old son. Just like I have learned many things from this amazing son of mine. I love you Cayden! Happy birthday! Please stop growing now!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mondays + Family Night = Usual Disaster

Okay, so here is my beef for the day. Keep in mind that I am not questioning Church principles or revelation or anything like that. But seriously, I really have to wonder, on a weekly basis, why MONDAY is the designated day for Family Home Evening in our church. Seriously!?

Mondays already kick my trash. We are recovering from the weekend, the kids are usually grumpy, they inevitably have homework, I am grumpy, Rob is tired from being back at work after a weekend, etc. etc. and THIS is the night we are supposed to sit together in reverence and love and learn about Gospel Principles such as kindness, service, patience, etc. SERIOUSLY!? My form of kindness, patience, and love, is just getting the kids in bed before I beat them all senseless! (which I NEVER do, but I do think about it...mostly on Mondays.)

Tonight, after an incredibly BRUTAL Monday, our lesson was on Helaman's 2,000 Warriors. I'm sure they learned something. We even took a quiz so I know they learned something. But it sure makes me wonder when what I remember is Sadie wanting to sing "Twinkle Twinkle" the whole lesson, Ashlee thinking they are the "stripping" warriors, McKell and Ashlee debating the difference between 2,000 and 3,000 warriors, everyone wanting to hold the pictures, Rob singing an opera version of "We'll bring the World His Truth" (while Sadie continued to sing "Twinkle Twinkle"), and Cayden just tolerating us all because this IS his favorite scripture story and he knows it down to the very detail. Of course, after all of that, I couldn't resist making the statement, "And do you all know WHY the warriors lived? Do you!? Because they listened to their MOTHERS!!! That's right, their MOTHERS!!! So the next time you think that Mommy is crazy and doesn't know what she is saying and you don't think you need to listen and obey, just remember that listening to your MOTHER could save your life. It worked for the "stripping" warriors!"

Don't even get me started on Sunday being the "day of rest"....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Catching Up

I feel like I have posted a lot of pictures and a lot of "events", but nothing day to day, so here is a catch up on us.

Rob is doing well at work. He is excited that IMFT was finally profitable for a quarter. If they can keep this up, we may be getting our pay back to where it was before the bit pay cut, but it will take a while. Rob has been a trooper with Jaxson and helping out with everything. He is such a great man. It feels like life is almost returning to "normal" and he and I can spend more time together instead of one of us going to bed or taking a nap any chance we can. I wish Rob had more time to do things for himself, but he assures me that he is fine and enjoys his times when he is taking care of Jaxson and can watch movies.

I am trying to keep up with life. I am feeling like we are getting on somewhat of a schedule, although it seems to change daily. I know I am so blessed to have 5 beautiful and wonderful children who are just so great! I am grateful for this time in my life where I can spend my days with my two little ones at home. I also cherish the times that I can be with my older 3 kids and do special things just with them. I am pretty much in "mom mode" most of the time, which is fine by me. I am really tired of being sick. I got a HORRIBLE case of strep throat at the beginning of October that really knocked me down. And then four weeks later, I got it again! This time I have had a much harder time recovering and went through a rather scary time of horrible body aches, muscle and joint pain, stomach pains, and migraines. I felt so weak that I couldn't even lift on Jaxson's car seat. It was scary. After some serious rest, I am starting to feel better. I am enjoying my Relief Society calling and love the sisters that I work with.

Cayden is getting very excited for his birthday this week. I cannot believe he will be TEN! When did that happen!? Cayden is such a sweet and wonderful boy. I am so proud of him and what a good boy he is. He has so much love and is so much fun. As much as I hate to see him growing up, it is also fun to see him mature and have a fun relationship with him. He and I are quite good friends and love hanging out together. We laugh a lot and he is a total goofball! He has had some problems at school with some of the boys in his class, but we're working on it. He is doing great in school and continues to love to learn.

Ashlee is doing great. We have had some concerns with her schooling this year, but things seem to be working out. She has made huge strides in her abilities in math and now we are focusing on getting her reading up to where it should be. Ashlee is so fun and delightful. She loves to use her imagination, especially with her stuffed animals. She and Sadie have become quite chummy and she loves that Sadie will say anything she asks her to. Ashlee's latest thing is constantly asking what everything means. "Mom, what does 'probably' mean?" "Mom, what does 'holiday' mean?" She is very inquisitive. We also have to remind her that she can't just decide to change the way a certain word is said because she wants to. She keeps us on our toes and we are so proud of her.

McKell is doing great in school and loves it so much. She is growing up so much and I can't believe how mature she is becoming. She is such a good little helper with McKell and Jaxson. McKell looks at her as a second mother and McKell loves it. She is begging to get her ears pierced which I think we will do soon. She loves drawing and doing any sort of craft project. She reminds me so much of me that age - always doing some sort of crafty project. She loves dance and is always singing just like her dad. McKell got her spacing appliance in this month and is doing really well with it. Not fun, but she is tolerating it.

Sadie continues to be the joy and light in our family. She still cracks us up constantly and is growing up way too quickly. I love this stage that I refer to as the "footy pajama" age. I wish I could just stop time at this age and capture it forever. Sadie is talking so much and we love to hear her express herself. She loves saying, "Why, Mommy? Why?" She has had a complete fascination and obsession with "The Wonder Pets" recently so we have watched a lot of that at our home. She is such a smart little cookie and knows how to count to ten, all of her colors and shapes, and is working on her letters.

Jaxson boy is growing like a little weed. I can't believe he is already four months old! He is really filling out and getting bigger. He is getting really smiley and fun. He recently learned to spit and thinks he is quite funny. Jaxson is very introspective and has a funny little "concerned" face that he does, complete with his Daddy's worry lines on his forehead. He is a lot more quiet and reserved than Sadie ever was. He loves sitting in his Bumbo seat and is getting really close to rolling. Jaxson is an "old soul" and bring such a warm spirit to our home.

So, that's an update on us. 'Nuff said.

Halloween Decor

I got kind of crafty this year and added a few more decorations to my already ridiculous amount of Halloween decorations!
Above: A cute witch's hat I made using a foam ring, scrapbook paper, soccer cone, and ribbon.
I REALLY got into these glitter pumpkins this year! These are a Martha Stewart specialty, although I opted to use the plastic pumpkins instead of real ones so I could use them year after year. I can't wait to glitter all sorts of things to come!

I made these centerpieces for our ward's Witch's night. They were super easy. I sprayed Christmas berries with black spray paint and then put them in a container that I decorated with scrapbook paper. I added a few little Halloween ornaments and whalah!
I can't take credit for this awesome "Spell Book". My friend, Dorey, made it for me. She is as nutty as me when it comes to Halloween. She made this out of an old Reader's Digest book and filled it full of all sorts of vintage looking Halloween things. I LOVE it!!
My new "BOO" letters that I made.

Pumpkin Carving Time 2009

Another successful pumpkin carving night. We had my parents come up for yummy cheese and broccoli soup and then we carved like crazy! They all turned out great and we had a fun time!
Mom and Sadie busy carving. Sadie just enjoyed stabbing her child safe knife into the pumpkin over and over.
Ashlee opted for a butterfly jack o lantern this year. It turned out really cute.
McKell had a beautiful castle pumpkin and Cayden went the patriotic theme and did an American Flag. It is fun now that the kids are old enough to choose what they want and also help carve them more.

Sadie decided that eating donuts was way more fun than carving pumpkins!

Mom and Dad and their pumpkins. Mom had a little bit of a hard time with the teeth on hers and we had to do some serious dental work. I love that she did eyebrows. Dad kept his simple and "humble".
All of our pumpkins. Pretty impressive! Every year we light them up and then have to do a countdown and turn off the lights. 5...4...3...2...1...
ooh! aah! Pretty darn impressive I would say!

Peacock Halloween Party 2009

We had a great time at the annual Peacock family Halloween party hosted by Rob's sister, Suzanne.
Juliann and Jon as Army soldier and Arab prisoner

Brian and Suz
Erin and Erin
McKell, Anna, and Cayden playing Wii
Rob's family is very theatrical. Jon, dressed as an Arab sheik, brought some "praying music" that would start playing about every 25 minutes. He would grab his "praying mat" and starting praying. It was hilarious!

Cute Brooke!
I'm not quite sure what Janet was supposed to be, but she was in full character as usual and made us all laugh and marvel.
Juliann and Me

I LOVE James' face in this picture! Just not quite knowing what to do with his mother. James came dressed as a homeless man, complete with a "Will work for food" sign. The whole night he was stealing food and other items and putting them in his pocket to take back to his "Box".
McKell was our cute little mummy in the mummy wrapping game.
Our 2 handsome Clone Troopers - Cayden and Andrew

School Projects

Oh how I love school projects! Especially the ones that don't BEGIN until about 7:00 on a Sunday night are are due the following morning. Cayden has loved the Middle Ages unit they are doing in school and really wanted to build a cool castle. We got really creative and this is what we came up with. It even has a moat and a drawbridge. Even though it can be stressful, I love doing these projects with my kids. The projects and grades with come and go but the memories will last a lifetime!

Not a great picture, but I severely burned my finger with the gluegun and got this lovely huge blister on my finger. Casualties of a 4th grade project!