Thursday, October 30, 2008



yes... you read that right. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Coop at the batting cages...

Andrew used his "PT" time (physical training) the other day to take Cooper to the batting cages at the fitness center on base. Once again... another fun, FREE, thing. He was SO excited, especially because both the other kids were napping, and he got some one-on-one time with Dad. They started out with the slowest baseball pitch, which came a little too fast. Then they moved it to softball, and Coop started connecting. Batting practice has been somewhat of a daily routine for this kid since about 6 months old (no joke!) :). But, this was his first time to the real cages. Cooper loved it, and I think they will go back, for sure! And, I think Dad may even get in the cage. :) They stopped for slurpies at the shopette on their way home, and brought one home for Gunner too.


Just before we left St. Louis, our neighbors were PCS'd (Permanent Change of Station... or in other words... moved), to Hawaii (poor them). Lucky for us, and again the overseas weight limits, we ended up with this FREE SWING-SET! Which, by the way, my husband didn't want. :) Don't worry, he has since gone back on his word. But I couldn't resist, especially since the Air Force moved us! Here it is in our new backyard... and our boys couldn't be happier! And, oh how I love that they can go play in our fenced backyard, by themselves, and I can watch it all through our big living room windows! Their favorite thing for us to do is set up "obstacle courses". Thanks for the inspiration Aunt Aimee and Aunt Brynne! :)



Our boys had a blast at this FREE event at the park on base. It is so fun to go to events like this, knowing that you won't have to spend a dime, your kids will have a blast, you'll have plenty to eat, and they'll take a great nap that day from playing so hard! It was fun to see our friends, the Cochrans {Brad and Keva}. They are our BYU football hosts, and Bryce goes to preschool with Cooper. Also loved hanging out with the Bells {Clifton and Jaime}. Zander goes to preschool with Cooper too, and Emberlyn is just such a sweetie. The funniest thing was we waited in line for probably a half hour to get a balloon made, and they both decided they didn't want their balloons "bended", and they just wanted to have "light sabers". The best part was they popped on the grass before we left, so we didn't have to bring them home. :)

$$ Sofa Savings $$

Our GROWING FAMILY has officially become TOO BIG for our couch and rocking recliner. Our furniture has worked GREAT for the last 5 years, but the decision making started... do we buy a full set of new furniture (saving a little more $ than if we bought it piece by piece)?? Or, do we just buy an extra loveseat or couch to get us by? After all, we are only here for 2 years, and then have to move again... and we maybe will want to buy new furniture to fit our MAYBE someday new house... so many decisions!!!

After many hours of research, lots of time on craigslist, and a CRAZY trip to a furniture store with the whole family (and LOTS of breakable decorations all over)... this is the couch (just the couch), we'd decided on. PRICE: $569

But then a few angels knocked on our door (Camara and Misti), who are professional garage salers, and my workout buddies, who had heard my woe stories about furniture.... and they had found this:

... which is now in our house. YES, that price is FIFTEEN DOLLARS!!! A family on-base is headed over seas, and we are really glad there are weight limits. :) They'd owned this beauty for 3.5 years, 1.5 of which was spent in the unused basement, and couldn't justify bringing it to Europe. There are a few scuffs... but being the cheapskate I am... I took the plunge. :) And, after a lot of Fabreeze (to get their smell out... not a bad smell... just their smell), we have been pleasantly surprised... as  you can see by this picture...

... and they are doing these acrobats on THAT couch... rather than on ME. :)

fIRe ParAdE

One more perk of living on base... the National Fire Safety Week PARADE comes right by your front yard. :) We didn't even know this was happening, but it was a fun Saturday surprise. There had to have been 20 trucks from the Air Force and surrounding towns. They even stopped for a photo op with the mascots. Lots of FUN... really LOUD


The Community Center on the Air Force Base hosted this


event. I am a sucker for FREE FUN, so we were there. Our boys sat in the front row, with eyes glued to this crazy lady and her snakes. She didn't bring anything venomous, but they were still snakes, and I was still a little weirded out that she has over 26 pet snakes. My boys, however, were in HEAVEN, and carried their little booklet of snakes around all day... turning the pages, and giving lots of "wow"s and "cool"s. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

yes *FIVE* months

Dear Beckett,

Will you please stop growing? Over the last FIVE MONTHS, you have changed SO much, and I can only imagine you will keep changing everyday. You are such an AMAZING five-month-old. You rarely cry, give grins freely, eat whatever we put in front of you, do great on as much or as little sleep we give you, are so easy-going, cuddle up to us, let us squeeze your guts, and just about every other PERFECT quality. We know too well that you won't always be this way. (We've done this experiment twice with your older brothers). We know you will grow up TOO fast. Although we will always love you, and you will undoubtedly always be an amazing little guy, for now we love you just the way you are. 

With love, 
Mommy & Daddy

Highlights over the past month:
  • Discovered your THUMB. And you love that you have a best friend that is permanently attached to your body, and who is there any time you need it. :)
  • Started EATING BABY FOOD. I (Mom) rushed out the door to the General Relief Society dinner/broadcast... totally forgetting to bring you with me. It came time for you to eat, and Dad gave you rice cereal for the first time. AND, he even took pictures for Mom! You did great, and have since tried green beans, sweet potatoes and peaches. Yum, Yum!
  • You love to SWING at the park and in our backyard. 
  • Started using your BUMBO, and even got so comfy (and neglected) once, that you fell asleep! Thanks again thumb! :)
  • Started using your new blankie... a SwaddleMe blankie to keep you snug. You LOVE it, but always get your thumb out somehow! 
  • Moved to your CRIB and have been SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT ever since! You go down between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. and sleep until 6:30 a.m. or so. I feed you, and you go back to sleep until about 8:00 a.m. You have also settled in to more of a nap routine... and prefer a short nap in the morning and a longer afternoon nap. You don't always get them though, as you are subject to your older brothers' schedules.
  • You are getting around better and better... not quite crawling, but you seem to roll or SCOOT BACKWARDS to anything you want. You even get yourself stuck under the edges of the furniture... and you're still smiling!
  • If I start talking to you close to your mouth, you will start talking back and try to MIMIC what I am doing. 
  • Got neglected during October General Conference while we potty-trained Gunner.
  • You love being in on the action... WRESTLING with your brothers and Dad. You are always smiling... even when you are getting "smeared". 
  • You will just CHILL on us, and let us cuddle you.... we hope you are always like this.
  • Go to the gym 3x a week with mom, and just hang out in your car seat watching the older kids play.
  • Still love your BATHS, and especially chewing and sucking on everything now.

Some of your OUTINGS this month:
  • FIRST MLB BASEBALL GAME! Royals v. White Sox 9/20/08. You did SO great... like always.
  • SWIMMING at the community center (no pics... got to get some from friends).
  • KIDS DAY at the park on base.
  • SNAKES ALIVE demonstration at the Community Center.
  • Day trip to St. Louis to the TEMPLE.
  • Dinner at the BELLS' house.
  • BYU FOOTBALL GAMES at the Cochran's house with the Heaths.
  • Picnics at the PARK after preschool on Wednesdays. (or STORYTIME at the library if bad weather)
  • PARK with Seelingers.
  • National Fire Safety Week brought the FIRE PARADE of about 20 different trucks, right in front of our house! Thought you might be scared, but you did great.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

PoTtY PArTy!!!!

HE did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This past weekend (general conference weekend), we decided to have a "POTTY PARTY". It was complete with Potty, pop, pizza, underPants, and prizes! Gunner (2yrs. 9mos.), SUCCESSFULLY potty trained!

  • Number of accidents: 3 on the first day... NONE thereafter!
  • Number of times he peed in the first hour: 19! (he figured out how to get treats fast!)
  • Party Song (sung each time he went, along with dancing by ALL family members): "Slow Ride"... his favorite Guitar Hero song.
  • Number of VERY proud (and pleasantly surprised) parents: 2
  • Number of VERY helpful older brothers: 1
Gunner is a very stubborn boy... so we knew it was going to be hit or miss with potty training the first time around. It was all up to him. HE made his mind up... and HE did it! He loved the "party" part of it, and after seeing all his treats Saturday morning said, "It's my birthday!?" We chose conference weekend so Dad would be home to help, no church, and Cooper had no school Monday for teacher development... which meant we would have 3 days home. Which, we didn't even end up needing! We actually potty trained Cooper during an April general conference weekend (he was 2 yrs. 4mos., but took a little longer to "get it"). We are so proud of Gunner! He tells us when he needs to go, and even does a great job on outings. 

You are such a BIG BOY and we LOVE YOU!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Some final goodbyes

Just got some pictures uploaded off Andrew's camera, and came across these few pictures of some of our final goodbyes at Scott AFB, IL. 

These first few are from our last day of church, August 3, in the Belleville Ward in the O'Fallon Stake in Illinois. It caused me to look back on our time there. Our ward had a wide range of ages, military and non-military families, and a lot of transient areas of apartments and such. Those who held callings, worked hard to hold things together. We actually had two sets of missionaries (Elders and Sisters). Andrew served as an Elders Quorom teacher, and as "Den Leader" of the cub scouts. This meant weekly den meetings. Cooper loved going to "Scub Scouts" with Dad. There were only a few boys who came regularly, but I have no doubt that Andrew did a great job and made a good impression in their lives.

I had the opportunity of serving as the Primary pianist (a dream calling for me), but my dream didn't last too long, as I was quickly also called as the secretary in the Primary presidency. I loved having the opportunity to serve with the children, and to get to see what Cooper was learning and doing too. The first presidency I served with was Mariah Steadman, Kim Martinez and Bonnie Naylor. I learned a lot from each of these women. Then I was kept as secretary for a new presidency pictured below...
Tracy Shields (chorister who took my job as secretary), Lisa Johnson (2nd C.), Joy Toone (1st C.), me, and Rose Polvado (President).

I really grew to love these sisters. We had so much fun together. They took me to lunch at a cute tea house for my birthday, made sure I was taken care of when I had Beckett, and even had a surprise going away party for me, complete with gifts, AMAZING food cooked by Rose (she is Hawaiian and knows how to cook!), and fun. Thanks for everything girls!

Cooper was in the CTR 5-boys primary class. Some days there were up to 7 boys there. They actually went through a few teachers while we were there, until they finally got the Birckheads (who seemed to be able to handle their energy). 

Pictured below, those in attendance the last day: Brennan Leafty, Frankie Spicer, Cooper, Logan Wilson, Liam Obray, and Natalie Noorlander (a sunbeam visiting). 

We also loved our neighborhood on base. A few months after we moved there, Adrian and Comrie moved in with their cute boy Jack. It was so fun having good neighbors. She always brought over yummy treats. For a month while their shifts overlapped (they both graduated from the Air Force Academy), I watched Jack for a few hours each day. It was so fun, and a great experience for Cooper and Gunner to get used to having a baby around. We miss you guys!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tags Finally Fulfilled - AND - Welcoming Halloween

Have had a few tags I have put off. Thought I would also show you some of our Halloween spirit! We love fall, and it is the perfect "boy" holiday. They are really into all the "scary stuff". The masks were a dollar at WalMart (no, they are not their costumes), and the witch was clearance from last year's after-Halloween sale, and we just happen to have the PERFECT tree for it in our front yard... right on the corner...
Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only!

The questions are as follows:
1. Where is your cell phone? kitchen
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? Jean
5. Your father? Steve
6. Your favorite thing? snuggles
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your dream/goal? eternity
9. The room you're in? family
10. Your hobby? photography
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? home
13. Where were you last night? FHE
14. What you're not? lonely
15. One of your wish-list items? vacations
16. Where you grew up? Coeur d'Alene
17. The last thing you did? gym
18. What are you wearing? sweat
19. Your TV? sports
20. Your pet? none
21. Your computer? mac
22.Your mood? content
24.Missing someone? lots!
24. Your car? Van
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? Ikea
27. Your summer? moved
28. Love someone? boys
29. Your favorite color? yellow
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? Sunday

Now on to my second "tag". 6 quirks about me.... mmmm... 

1. I am about the most indecisive person I know. It takes me forever to decide on what to eat at restaurants, or what shirt to buy, etc.

2. I have a shower "routine". I do the same thing, in the same order, usually even the same number of scrubs in each place.

3. Any time I drink out of a drinking fountain... I take 10 drinks. Not sure why... it started in middle school. Maybe I am OCD and don't realize it.

4. I am very plan oriented, and if things don't go they way I have them planned, I am easily frustrated. 

5. I am a list person... I get this from my Dad... 

6. One thing that drives me crazy is inside-out hoods on sweatshirts or coats. I notice them all, and want to fix them all for those people. Not sure why...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bumbo Baby

It seems like each baby there is something "new" that you just "have to have". This time around, it is the BUMBO.
This very cool chair is such a nice place to sit a baby... especially on who is not yet sitting. He still doesn't prefer it over his "Jump-a-roo", but definitely prefers it over a bouncer seat. This was the first time we put him in it, and he was ALL grins. (By the way.... THANK YOU to Auntie Rachel for the Target giftcard that made this purchase possible!) We also got the "play tray" that hooks on, which has made it super nice to set toys on. Cooper loves putting him in it, and I'll often come in the room and wonder why he is in there, but Cooper assures me, "he just wanted to be in his seat mom." 

Yes, those are olives on his head. Anything the older boys do, that we think Beckett wouldn't like, ends up making him laugh. I guess they know him better than we do.

Here is our "Olive Monster!" 

Friday, October 3, 2008

A liTtLe late... bIG announcement....

Some of you got these in the mail a couple months ago... but, I finally am back on my desktop, instead of my laptop, and I thought I would post them for everyone to see. I also want to make sure they are in our blog book when we print our blog.

The three pieces were each 3x6 inches, and held together with a brad in the upper left-hand corner. The pictures were so fun to take, and the announcement was even more fun to design. He has been such a blessing in our lives! We sure love this little guy... who is growing WAY to fast, I might add!