Today is Drew's first birthday. It is hard to believe it has already been this long. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful little boy in our family. Drew is quite mild mannered. He has a love of music. He loves to sing and dance. He is all boy. We went to Phoenix last weekend to visit my sister and he found a broken toy gun. He immediately was attached to the thing and even started making shooting noises. Boys must just be born with it! He started walking at eight months, just days before he turned nine months really. He gets around like a pro now. He is absolutely adored by his older sisters (and mom and dad, of course). He loves to make clicking noises with his tongue (and getting others to do it with him). He isn't talking yet but knows how to get exactly what he wants anyway! We are definitely blessed to have him in our family.
We are switching to winter clothes at our house today. The girls are "shopping" in our living room from the many bins of clothing we keep in our garage. They LOVE it. So, while I'm watching them try on even bigger (which really equates to longer) clothes than I expected, Jeff pulled out the tape measure and started seeing how much they really have grown. Ashley is 4 feet 6 inches. Alona is 4 feet 4 inches (I'm pretty sure one of these days she will pass Ashley in height). Natalie is 3 feet 8 inches. Natalie is the most surprising- as she is only 4 yet has to wear size 6 pants for length. They are all growing up way too fast!
If money were no object, this is what would be on my Christmas wish list this year. Alas, due to the lack of employment for anyone in our home I am quite sure it won't be happening. I am excited, however, to say that we have acquired the main gifts for two of our four children- the two oldest. We are still on the hunt for Natalie's main gift (a tricycle like she rode at Aunt Becca's or bike- which we have but needs a little work). As for Drew, he'll be happy with anything. Poor boy has practically no toys, so any inexpensive toy would work but I'm hoping to find a versatile toy that can be pushed around and then eventually ridden on. Craigslist here I come!
Anyway, here is the "in my dreams" Christmas wish list!
A bigger SDHC memory card for my camera (so I can take more than 177 pictures at a time). Ok, so I'd take a 16gb or even a few 4gb or 8gb cards to switch out when I fill one up.
Wood and Supplies for this craft table (it would be my cutting table). I'd even take it already built, but am willing to do the work myself.
A Playstation 3. Yes, you read that correctly. I know this has nothing to do with anything craft or hobby related, but I want one all the same. You see, I love Rock Band. I miss Rock Band. It was a sad day when our PS3 died. The kids miss it. The husband misses it. I miss it.
This Halloween was our first real time trick-or-treating. In Oregon, it was always cold and rainy. There also weren't very great neighborhoods to go out in where we lived- not without driving. So we always stuck to the church Trunk-or-Treat night. We did the church Trunk-or-Treat here on Saturday night. On Halloween night we headed to Alona's friend's house to go out as a group. They live over in the other side of our development. It was so much fun. The kids had a great time going around the neighborhood. They had a blast playing with the other kids after trick-or-treating. I am so grateful for all of the new friends we have been making here in our new home.
Alona and Natalie wanted to be pirates. They are obsessed with pirates since riding the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland last Christmas. Ashley has been barreling through the Percy Jackson books and is obsessed with Greek mythology, so she chose to be Medusa. Those are snakes in her hair (but not real ones). I ran out of steam and didn't make a costume for Drew. He is too young to understand anyway.
Andrew in his stroller, ready to go out for his first Halloween.
Back in October (when we seemed to be constantly on the go) we went up to Utah to see my brother-in-law, Jubal, perform as the lead in The Magic Flute at BYU. This was 1 1/2 days after coming home from Virginia. Of course we went up to SLC to pick up some fabric while we were up in that area. While in SLC I thought it might be fun to go to Temple Square. I may have been there once before, but I'm really not sure. The kids and Jeff had never been there before. It is absolutely beautiful there.
Here the girls are in front of one of the statues.
Natalie was having a great time posing for me!
Drew decided to get in a little nap.
Alona lovin' the flowers.
The kids stopped to see this non-Monarch butterfly.
Beautiful plants and flowers.
We just couldn't get enough of them!
The girls under a tree.
I love Natalie in action.
The architecture of the Salt Lake temple is amazing. The girls loved running up the steps.
They had so much fun running around and exploring.
Part of the Salt Lake temple.
After our day in SLC, we headed down to Provo. We got to spend time with my sister Aurelia and her husband Jubal as well as my brother Joseph and his girlfriend Julia. We went to the opera on Saturday evening. Jeff and I had never been to an opera before. It was surprisingly very funny and quite enjoyable. Jubal was fabulous in it. My favorite part was when the three witches fight over him and ooh and aah over him while he is "unconscious." We also got to visit with some friends while we were there. Our good friend Josh came to see us and we all went bowling with our friends Esther and Thad. (Are you jealous, Kristi????)
I have been waiting to blog because I lost the cable for my camera. I had to get a card reader so I could finally get my pictures onto my computer.
Last month I had the opportunity to go back to Virginia to watch my sister's kids while she and her husband were out of town. I have only been back to Virginia twice now since we left 10 years ago. I didn't realize how much I miss Autumn in the East. The trees are beautiful when the leaves change- and there are copious amounts of trees in that area. It is nothing like the trees in Oregon. Oregon was very green with many trees, but they were mostly evergreens. In the east, you have such a variety of trees. There are still evergreens, as well though. It was crazy how I forgot where everything is and even the names of all the roads I used to drive regularly, but then I was driving and it all came back to me. I have to say, I do miss the East Coast. Of course, I didn't realize how much until I was there!
Just an example of the trees. They were everywhere. They even came out over the roads so it was almost like driving through a tunnel. I remember driving through those in the fall when I lived there. I loved it!
My cute boy.
These two were inseparable. (Natalie and her cousin)
Love her winks.
While in the area, I absolutely had to stop in to see my grandfather. They own a larger piece of land in the country. It even has a pond. Here he is with the inseparable cousins.
Natalie is quite the ham- especially in front of a camera.
They had a blast collecting nuts in the yard.
My nephew (1 month younger than Drew) being loved by the dog.
Natalie loved the wide open space where she could just run and run and run and run...
See? Totally and completely inseparable!
Me and my grandpa!
My niece. She was such a great help. I am grateful that she is such a beautiful, smart, and loving young lady.
Look at these beautiful girls.
Another niece. She was having fun collecting nuts from around the yard as well.
At the pond.
Someone was excited.
Maybe she wants to be a cheerleader?
My grandparents' beautiful land.
More of their property.
More acorns and nuts.
We went to the park to meet up with my friend. I hadn't seen her in 10 years. The boys were hanging out in the stroller eating their crackers. The two of them are quite the pair- cousins that are 1 1/2 months apart. They were a lot of work together, but it was so much fun and I just love them both!
More cracker eating.
I did get to see my sister for a few hours when I arrived, before I dropped her at the airport to head out of town. I'm glad I got to see her (even for a short time).