Thursday, December 31, 2009

California Christmas

We had a wonderful time out in California for Christmas and the following week. Jordan took the time off from work AND from technology-use -- no work, no ipod, no computer! So, we just had a super time playing with our family, enjoying the warm California days, spending time with Kathie and Winslow, and celebrating the Holidays.

Christmas morning
Landon trying to hold all of his new cars, trains and trucks at once -- Landon sitting with all of his gifts -- Ellie happily munching on her banana puffs -- Christmas morning :) -- (below) Skyping with Drew, Nathan, and April as we attempted to all unwrap gifts together.

The Nativity
The angel Ellie bringing good tidings of great joy, and Landon the wise man bearing gifts. This is the first time I've acted out the Nativity since I was really young - pretty sweet with Landon and Ellie.

Oakland Temple

Kathie and Winslow watched the kids so that Jordan and I could attend the temple -- really wonderful to go together. Then, they all met us afterwards for some yummy treats and to look at the lights and walk through the visitor's center. I remembered visiting the Oakland temple years ago with a friend in high school, and felt so different this time - so complete to be their with my whole little family.

A stop at the McDonalds play place on the way home made the night complete for Landon and Ellie. :)

Daddy Time
Jordan made great use of his time off, happily filling it up with kid playtime! (Playing legos -- racecars -- wrestling/Ellie protecting -- reading)

The best climbing tree around
Landon loves this! "Did you know I could do this?" or "One little Landon swinging in a tree..."

Outside Fun!
We were so happy to take advantage of the warm weather and get some nice outside time in with walks, a few bikerides, a trip to the park, a backyard picnic, playing ball in the court, running, digging in the dirt...

Just more fun
Landon and Ellie on the handmade sit and spin -- so fun for these guys! -- Landon playing blocks with Grandpa -- sidewalk chalking in December :) -- one day spent looking at houses in nearby Brentwood

Landon baking cookies with Grandpa (with Mater's help) -- Grammi and the kids on Sunday morning w/ their new Christmas sunday attire -- me with my new clothes from Kathie and from Jordan after a fun shopping trip -- Our family w/ Eric Nyholm and kids (one of Jordan's good growing up friends)

New Years Eve
Playing with the noisemakers with Landon- We also played fruit basket which he has been asking to play ever since :), sweet little Ellie, Jordan with his 7-layer dip work of art -- Fun New Years snacks.

Such a sweet happy time to be together with our family. Playing, making plans for the future, enjoying our kids and each other and Grammi and Grandpa -- such happy days!!

Christmas Train Ride

We decided to take the train out to California for Christmas, and it turned out to be a pretty fun adventure. The sleep was rough, but the day trip was great -- lots of focused playtime for Landon and Ellie, beautiful scenery, room to move around and play for the kids -- and just a fun, memorable excursion. :) We sat in the sightseeing car all day and enjoyed the scenery and our kids while they walked, climbed, crawled and played around.

Watching the sun rise over the desert-- one great benefit to a 5:00 kid wake-up call :)
Beautiful views!
Fun times climbing, coloring, sight seeing...
Making friends
We made it! :)

Happy December Days

We had such a wonderful month full of holiday events and fun family time. Here are some of the pre-Christmas happenings of the month -->

Christmas handbell ringer concerts at the Provo and Orem libraries

First Presidency Christmas Devotional

Jordan's week in New York and my happy (and cold!) week with the kids

I had been quite anxious about being on my own with the kids for the week, but it turned out to be just a sweet and precious time for me to really focus on playing with and enjoying my children and the joyful holiday season. And although I was really missing Jordan, with the busy days along with Skype and ichat, our cell phones and emails, and even an inflight video conference with Jordan... It was hard to feel lonely too much! :)

Ward Christmas party

Jordan and Landon sledding a few times on their new 'zipfy' sleds
Wreath making get-together with my mom, Laura and Marilyn

Dinner with Marilyn and Josh when Jordan was gone (thank you Marilyn!)

Running at the track

BYU Basketball game
(we couldn't have told you the score or even remember who played, but Landon sure liked climbing on those chairs, and Ellie has been happily clapping her hands since :)

Thursday kid days -
Landon to Pirate Island with Jordan, and to play with the trains at Toys R Us with Debbie
Ellie to the fabric store with Debbie for stocking fabric, and to Barnes and Noble with Jordan for standing and walking practice

Primary sharing times

Ellie walking practice (she took her first steps on her own this month and is having fun practicing walking all on her own!)

Jenny in town
She came in the day before we left so we did get to spend one day together! :)

Brazilian Dinner with Mom, Jen, Dan and Kel
Jordan cooked some delicious Brazilian specialties for us before we left for California.

Christmas gift crafting
We tried making most of our Christmas gifts this year so I had a super fun month of crafting and creating. (Here's a couple)

(Christmas ornaments in the making for all of the primary kids - from the Primary Presidency)
(satin flower clips/pins for our sisters and moms)

Play group, Orem library storytime, Yoga - the routine things these days.

Christmas treat making -- pizzelles for neighbor friends, and lots of other treats just for fun. (Almond/raspberry rice, thumbprint cookies, brownies, hot chocolate w/ ice cream and whip cream, and molasses cookies twice. :)

Playing at Arctic Circle with the Killians
Always fun to see Brianna, and Landon and Jackson just love playing together

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Friends!

Here's our family Christmas card/newsletter Animoto style. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day!

11 months

Ellie stood on her own and took her first steps this month. She's still practicing and thinks it is such a fun game to walk back and forth from Mommy to Daddy, or to sit on a step and stand up all by her big self. She is communicating so much more and learning how to let us know the things she wants (bananas, spaghetti, crackers and cookies are her favorites these days!) She loves to clap hands or be clapped for with a 'hooray for Ellie!' and loves to play peek-a-boo or other silly games and she loves to share her toys or binks with us. Such a little sweetheart we've got!

(playing under the table -- her favorite hangout spot)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In my purse today

I cleaned out my purse today and was amazed at how much stuff fit in there (my bag's not that big!) So here's the list...

6 kids socks (the reason for Landon's mismatched socks lately...)
1 Landon glove, 1 of my gloves
a spare diaper
2 clementines
bag full of pretzels and graham crackers
5 crayons from various restaurants
lots and lots of maceys receipts, lists and notes, wrappers, fast-food napkins, etc.
stretchy yellow spider
package of smarties
AA battery
bottle of tylenol
jar of babyfood
plastic foam number 4
grover finger puppet
1/2 bag of craisins
plastic rock
gift cards/coupons for Bath and Body works, Michaels, Walmart, Maurices, Penny's, and Costco
3 pencils
biking pant leg strap thing
vaseline lip gloss
toy frog
Boston duck tours booklet
Ellie's 11 month weight/height charts
mini flashlight
a werthers candy
$1.25 in quarters
ear warmer headband
pink baby spoon
cell phone
wallet with library card, amex, chase card, debit card, temple recommend, drivers license
See's chocolate coin

I feel like a true mom with a bag like this :)

Landon in one sentence

"I want to know everything right now, today!!!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Diaper solution on the way...

So often, Landon surprises me with how much he is thinking.

Last night we went and got a flat tire replaced. On the way home, Landon got really upset when he found that we were never going to see our old tire again?!?!? I tried to explain that we didn't need it anymore by giving him the example of Ellie's diapers with something like this "When I change Ellie's diaper, do I save her old one for later? Nope! And that doesn't mean she never gets to have diapers again, because she has new diapers -- and now we have a new tire so we don't need to keep the old, dirty broken one..." Probably a strange example, but it calmed him down and we talked about other things till we got just about home when Landon said,

"I have a great idea!"
What's your great idea?
" I think when we change Ellie's diaper, maybe sometimes we can clean it with wipes! And then we can keep them and save them and not have new diapers!"
I must have discouraged him with my reply (that new diaper strategy didn't sound like such a great idea for the diaper-changer), because he answered
"Oh, sorry -- I'll keep thinking about what we can do for the diapers..."

So, now Jordan has a new recruit in his quest for a better solution to diapers! :)

Christmas Time

We are sure enjoying this happy Christmas time.

Watch out Jordan

Another little computer-pro is on the way...

Landon's just discovered this computer and his new favorite activity is typing words. He'll write Landon and dog again and again on his own or ask us for how to spell Mommy, Daddy, Nathan, April, Kelly, etc. :) And with every word he's just so proud "Come see this cool thing I did! I made LANDON again!"

Festival of Trees

The festival of trees is always one of my favorite Christmas activities. We went on Friday night and had a great time. Lots of fun trees - Landon was loving all of the Mickey Mouse trees we saw, I really like all the simple country-ish style ones -- and this 'Very Hungry Catterpillar" one, mostly for the amazing quilt with it -->
I think my favorite part is probably the yummy scones though... Here's Landon watching the dancers and performers (this is one of the brief times he wasn't dancing along with them...) while we ate our delicious treats
And looking at all the fun Christmas crafts and kids activities...
And one more - just a sweet little doll house book shelf -- maybe someday we'll make something like this for Ellie. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Latest Project

A sweet stocking for Ellie!

Although this is not the greatest picture... I think this really is just about the cutest stocking ever. :) And, quite likely the first ever Bamboo-to-Cricut creation too!

I got the idea from this ruffle pillow on one of my favorite design blogs (Say Yes! to Hoboken)
I've been wanting to do something cute and ruffly for Ellie ever since I saw this -- so I made her stocking with lots of soft fuzzy fleece ruffles.

And her name -- so cool :) -- I used the bamboo tablet to write her name (so it could be in my own handwriting), then made it into an image and used my great new cricut program to cut out the letters with the cricut on some vinyl. (Thanks again Kathie and Jordan for the super gifts!)

Pretty fun stuff!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"My Daddy's working in the Tree House"

Landon on his way to visit Daddy in the tree-house-office :)

Daddy Adventures

Some fun pics from Jordan's adventures with the kids on my birthday while we were out shopping -->

Playing in the MTC volleyball court

Getting ready for hiking up in Rock Canyon (After a run there from our house)

Playing in the little theater area by Rock Canyon

"I will lose my mitten, then I will say 'Meow meow I've lost my mittens!' And you say 'Then you shall have no pie..."

Getting Closer to a Full Night's Sleep...

Our little Ellie is starting to make some progress in sleeping at night! Twice in the last week she slept solidly from about 11:00 till 5:00 -- hooray!

Happy Birthday!

I had such a happy, happy 26th birthday. Jordan let me sleep in, then surprised me with my favorite crispy apple muffins for breakfast. April, Jenny, Kel and I spent the day on a great shopping trip at the outlets in Park City while Jordan watched the kids (all day long!)
We met for dinner at Magleby's Fresh when we got back (yum!) and then Jordan surprised me when I got home with a birthday party complete with streamers all around the house, balloons, noisemakers and a delicious Daddy and Landon made birthday cake.

How wonderful to feel so loved by my sweet family!


We had a fun Thanksgiving at our house this year with lots of our family (Dad and Shauna, Jenny from Arizona, Dan, Kel, April, Heather, and Nathan). Everybody helped make or bring something, set up and clean up afterwards, so we just got to have a fun time in the preparations and visiting. It was really great to spend time with our families.

(Somehow we managed to get lots of pictures of the table and very few pictures of our wonderful company...)

(But it is a very pretty table! :)

I am so thankful, especially for my own precious little family.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Two little babies swinging in a tree..."

I was watching my neighbors little boy Clark today (and tomorrow) -- Landon had a great time having a little play-mate (Clark's 13 months old so I had such fun watching him do all of the things I know Ellie will be doing soon: walking around, exploring, climbing, clapping, etc.) He was loving that Clark could interact with him so much and that he would have such fun smiling reactions to Landon's sillyness.

Landon made up this song and sang it with delight all through the day --

"Two little babies swinging in the tree
Teasing Mr. Landon you can't catch me, you can't catch me
Along comes Mr. Landon as quiet as can be and
those two babies right out of that tree."


Monday, November 30, 2009

Farewell to the old Landon and Just a few things I want to remember

Since Landon's talking days, he has been "Yandon". Lately he's been practicing and learning to say his 'L' sounds better ("La la la Landon"). It's great to seem him learning, but I'm afraid I will miss my own little 'yandon'.
(And a side note -- Yellow is a tricky word for practicing the L's -- what was once "yeh-yo" is now "Leh-lo" :)

Landon's been sleeping in the munchkin room since we've had Ellie in his room learning to sleep through the night. We thought he was just about dozing off tonight when he came to the top of the stairs with a great tinker-toy creation, proudly saying something like "Look at this cool thing I made!" (So proud that he forgot he was about to be in trouble for coming out of his room...) We had to turn around to keep from laughing then sternly tell him to go back to bed, "But I was just having to make this cool thing..."

A bit later when we heard the sound of tinker toys again, Jordan went up to check on him again. When he walked in Landon told him, "I'm just cleaning these up. Then, if we want to play with them later, we can!"

We've been learning lately that he really is listening to us --


Landon just discovered clementines and is in love. :) A few days ago, we were eating some we had this conversation about his new favorite fruit,

Landon: How does it feel? er... How does it feel you?
Me: Do you mean how does it taste? It tastes great.
Landon: Er...How does it feel? Does it feel you with joy?

(Upon later questioning, I found that Landon really was listening to his scripture stories - when I asked where he'd heard 'fill you with joy' he answered from Lehi, about the fruit from the tree.


Yesterday we were riding home from a bikeride to the library and were all bundled up. Landon suddenly said (with vigor!) "Moroni ripped a piece of his coat for the flag, but I'm not!" (Apparently he was concerned for his new winter coat's safety... :)


We were singing the "When I am baptized' song a few days ago (part of the lines are "I know when I am baptized, my wrongs are washed away...) After a minute, Landon said, "I don't want my wrongs washed away!" then, getting teary eyed, he added "I want to live at our home!" (I'm not sure where this came from...)

Tonight, when we sang it at bedtime, he was thoughtful afterwards and asked, "After we get baptized, do we get to come back to our own home?" When I told him we did, he answered happily, "Oh! I didn't know that!"


Jordan calls Landon our 'Valiant defender of truth and right'. A while ago, Landon heard from a movie something like "I'm going to kill him!' and not understanding it's meaning, started repeating that when he was playing pretend with his animals and such. That didn't seem the greatest, so I'd told him that he should say something like "I'll get you" instead.

Yesterday, my mom and sisters were talking about something ( I think football accidents?) and suddenly Landon was on his feet and sharply reprimanding them "We don't say kill!" He really is a valiant little guy in speaking out for what he knows is right!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Great video :)

Jen showed me this video tonight - my cousin Lauren's A1 contest entry

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Twenty Five...

...for just a few more days!

Some somewhat jumbled thoughts on being 25 --

Landon asked me a few months ago how old I was and without thinking, I answered "Twenty-one er... uh... twenty-five" It seems like in my mind I still haven't gone past that 21 mark in age. :)


At the same time, I've been realizing that I really am not 21 anymore! Because of the demographics in our ward-- Jordan's realized that there is only one guy in Elders Quorum that has been in the ward longer than us-- I've really started to feel a little old as I watch all of the 20-21 year old newlyweds moving in and see that they really do seem much younger than us.


Growing up, I was always the youngest in my grade at school and being a bit competitive or something, I had a pretty strong complex of needing to show everyone I was just as smart and good at everything than everyone else a year older, and I was always proud of being the youngest one to do such and such... For example -->

At 10, when we got to work at our own pace in math, I finished up the 5th and 6th grade math books and started on pre-algebra --so proud to be the youngest and the furthest ahead...

Then at 15, I filled my schedule with all the college prep classes - English, Physiology and Anatomy, Calculus, French, History, plus Choir, Sewing and Seminary along with all of the other school clubs, travels, and high school fun with friends and all... and I can remember distinctly feeling like I should be doing more.

By 20, I was scheduling out my days by every 15 minutes in order to fit everything in to my whirlwind life as I started teaching Junior High full time w/ 7 different preps, continued at BYU as a full time student in order to keep my scholarships, started dating Jordan, was engaged and married!

Now, at 25 -- I'm suddenly average. Married, two kids, stay-at-home-mom. That feels a bit strange, but I can't imagine being in any other situation than living this happy, average life. :)


And just one more funny thought on being 25 -

I was telling Landon about my upcoming birthday and how I would be turning 26. He is determined that this year my birthday not mean 'one year older and wiser too.' As he says,

"But Mommy, I don't want you to be 26! I want you to be 25 forever!!"

Landon's Latest

Landon has been working on his 'Gordon chart' since his birthday (in July) and finally finished it! He got one mark (= 1 penny) for every dish that he did. Four months later, he got to buy Gordon. Here's the proud helper -->

And he had a HUGE accomplishment this last month -- he gave up his binky!!! I thought this would never be possible, but we lost it in Logan and he managed to sleep without it that night (amazing!), so we continued with it and he is binky-free now. Wow!

(I put off ever taking away Landon's bink because it was the one time when he would/could be really calm - he'd take breaks during the day to go lay on his bed w/ his binky and 'sleep', but now he's without that one calming thing... I'd thought at least he'd still have his soft blue blanket to 'pull fuzz', but apparently, that went along with binky use to him because his room is now fuzz free too!)

Landon's been having fun running with us at the track (my batteries died before I could get a great picture...) He sure is one tough little kiddo!

("I sure love you Billy!")

Landon loves to have friends. Today at church, he came with me to the end of primary and happily sat talking with one of the other presidency women while I conducted (with an occasional not-too-quiet "And what's next Mommy?"). As soon as it was over, he ran into the throng of kids and grabbed the first little boy he saw to tell him "My shoes are matching with Daddy's!" On the way home he yelled hello to everyone who passed, and when he saw Emma (one of my past piano students) run by w/ a friend, he tried to catch up with an "Emma wait!", then walked back to us shoulders slumped saying, "I was too late Mommy! I was too late!"
He loves to go to playgroup and see Josh and Jackson and has a great time playing with Josh while Jordan watches the boys and Ellie on Saturday mornings during Yoga.

He is one determined little boy -- one of our favorite things was him saying in response to Jordan's observation "I am NOT assertive!" :)

Landon loves to dance, 'play and play and play', help cook, watch his favorite movies, run, climb on the stairs, play with Ellie "I say silly words to Ellie and she laughs!"...

What a wonderful little boy we've got!

10 Months

Up, up and away with our beautiful Ellie! :)

Ellie loves to be up -- climbing up the stairs in her mischievious little game, up in our arms or in the backpack with Jordan, up standing or walking along the furniture -- up! And she's getting pretty quick with her crawling and very quickly comes to find us if Jordan or I leave the room.

She is loving some new foods -- especially graham crackers (leaving home without these has become an emergency at times), baby-made spaghetti, and cereal.

She's talking and playing around with all sorts of sounds these days, lately a lot of "diggadiggas"

She still loves to cuddle, for quick moments at a time, then she's got to get back to looking all around and taking in what she sees.

She's learning to vocalize and point to what she wants and is getting some definite preferences. And, she's learning to say please in sign language (we learned with Landon that this was worth teaching to avoid the initial scream-for-what-you-want technique. :)

She's playing with Landon and loves to chase him around or be chased (as long as she knows she is safe.)

We love sweet Ellie!

(Lots of cute pics :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Can we do all those fun things again tomorrow?"

Yesterday, after some very rough days with Landon, my whole focus was to make it a happy day for all of us. When I put Landon to bed, we talked about all the good things of the day. A bit later he came out to the top of the stairs to ask something, then said, "And Mommy, can we do all those fun things again tomorrow?" What a nice ending to a day made sweet through some really hard work.

Here are some of the fun things we did --

Made "3" pancakes (funny side story: as Landon ate his 3-shape pancakes, he'd take a bite then ask "What does it look like now?" he eventually got down to one little piece that he was trying to get me to guess with the hint "Like on our camping trip..." then by acting out it's motion on the table -- Landon turned his 3 pancake into a lovely banana slug. :)

Did puzzles 'lots of times!' and even a few times with our toes, by Landon's request.

Read stories in the munchkin room

Recorded some little videos

Went for a walk and scooter ride to the church on Jordan's lunch break, then stopped on the way home to lay in the grass and look at the clouds and tell poems and songs (again, all by Landon's request)

'Played and played and played' - w/ trains, giraffes, animals...

Watched Clifford

Made up songs and rymes about Landon's animals

Did lots of jobs

Had a dance party to the Mac song and a few others

Played with Ellie on the stairs

Had some quiet 'sleeping time' on the couches

Went to the running track

Had a yum Rumbi Island dinner at home

Watched a Mickey Mouse Christmas movie

Made a family of aluminum foil people

And mostly, I tried so hard to be ever patient and kind and help Landon be sweet and kind too.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

The latest Mormon Messages -->

And while you're there, these three are great.