Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Emry's blessing

Brennan gave Emry a lovely blessing on Sunday, November 13th. There's not much else to say about that but there are a few adorable pictures to share, of course. :) 

We were lucky to have some family there for the big day. My parents and Crystal, Rich, Caden and Macy of course. And then Rex and Jennifer were crazy enough to drive 18 hours from Utah only to be here for about 30 hours and then turn around and make that drive again. See, crazy! :) We were grateful for the sacrifices they made to be there.

They might have only been here for 30 hours but the kids still managed to coerce them into reading a million books.

We tried to get some pictures after church. I feel like people always have perfect, sweet pictures from events like this. But I always end up with awkward photos like the next one and forget to get pictures with half the people there or even a photo of our own little family. Yeah, I'm no good at this.

I do love this next one though. Grateful to my mom for suggesting we try again on the couch instead of the fireplace.

The Eskelsens were there but didn't get to the luncheon until later and I never got a photo with them. Our good friends the Ostlers and the Pitchforths came too, but we just got busy getting the food ready and eating it and no photos happened with them either. But at least I'm writing about it so I have a record they were there, right? :)

The sweet girl of the hour.

She's an angel and we are so grateful she is ours.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Declan's birthday

Declan is three! This year is probably the fastest year of my life. It literally feels like yesterday that we were celebrating this boy's 2nd birthday. But he has grown up so much.  His birthday was pretty low key and luckily he seemed okay with that.  It happened to fall on a Wednesday which was lucky for all of us as that is Tatum's day off preschool. He chose roll-up pancakes for breakfast. After that was accomplished we got to hang out with grandma for awhile and go to Culver's for lunch. Then of course, it was time for the pictures with the Happy Birthday sign.

He got to open a couple presents during the day but we saved most of them for after Brennan was home from work. One that he opened during the day was "big Dukey" from Ikea. He got the little one for his birthday last year and loves it. When we used to go to IKEA all the time in Singapore he would always grab one of the giant ones and carry it around with him. When Rex and Jennifer came out to see us in August they were nice enough to bring us a bunch of stuff from IKEA including this dog. I took this picture immediately after he opened it. It was no posed or anything. Just one of those rare perfect captures. He was pretty stoked.
Emry hung out in her birthday suit. :)
Opening presents.

New Paw Patrol of course!
Oh these two.

We just had brownies on his birthday and saved doing a cake for when some family could be around for it. He probably wouldn't have even noticed if we didn't do any type of special dessert on the big day, but I just can't let a birthday go past without proper recognition. And we all know proper recognition includes sugar. :)

On Sunday we did cake with some extra family and friends. Brennan whipped up this awesome Paw Patrol cake. I do deserve some credit, although really very little. Okay, so basically none. Declan could never choose just one character to have on his cake so then I thought, what if we just made the cake the "lookout" and put all his little figures on it. I gave Brennan the idea of using a paper towel roll and frosting it...and that's exactly where my help stopped. haha. Lucky for all of us Brennan is a man of many talents and managed to go along with my crazy idea and make this fabulous cake.
Pleased as punch to have everyone singing to him.

Declan at age three:

- He loves Paw Patrol. Loves is an understatement.

-His best friend is Tatum. The other day they were watching Little Einsteins and the characters said something about your best friend and Declan nodded and put his arm around Tatum. Pretty much the sweetest thing ever.

-He wants to go to Grandma's house every day. 

-He hates to wear jeans. He always says he needs to wear running pants so he can run really fast.

-He is a professional diaper-thrower-away-er. It's kind of hilarious. He will go out of his way to throw away ever diaper we change.

-He gives the best apologies. They are always immediate and so, so sweet.

-He is very stubborn but absolutely hilarious. We wouldn't know what to do without him! Happy birthday Declan!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Halloween etc

This started out as a reasonable post and then I remembered I forgot to get pictures off my phone from this time frame. And now it's out of control. I feel like this time around I am acutely aware of how quickly it all goes and I feel a desperate need to capture it all. Even if it is just in crappy quality phone photos.

A nearby apple orchard had a Halloween hunt. The morning didn't exactly go as planned and it was a bit breezy and chilly so I wasn't sure about taking Emry anyway so Brennan took the older two. Sounds like it was basically an Easter egg hunt. Halloween style. And they came home with way too much candy.


Too much sweetness.

I had this crazy idea to try to take some newborn pictures of Emry ourselves. Unfortunately, life was (and always seems to be) busy and crazy and the days were getting much shorter. Long story short it never happened. But back when I still had this crazy idea we tested the natural light in the dining room with these two goons. The results are priceless. And the lighting is horrible so that's awesome.

I am so glad I took this next picture. Brennan couldn't believe I was taking time to take a picture before helping him. But man I'm glad I have this. :) Yes, that is poop all over his jeans. And yes it was hilarious.
 We took the kids to HyVee, a local grocery store, for some pre-Halloween trick-or-treating and activities. They decorate pumpkins.
 And cookies.
 Tatum is such a sweetheart. Sometimes I worry we ask too much of her and maybe eventually she will resent it. She is just always so willing to help I find I have to be careful not to overuse that willingness.
 Ready for church! With just enough time to snap a picture. Only we were late so I guess there really wasn't time for a picture but I took the time anyway. :)

 Painting pumpkins.

 This is a picture that was hanging outside Tatum's classroom. It's always fun to get a glimpse into her life at school. I so wish I could be a fly on the wall to see how she interacts with teachers and peers.
 Emry's first bottle! Declan took a bottle without a problem at the beginning and then we never had a need to give him one so we didn't until he was 4 or 5 months old. Then we left him with my parents for about 12 hours and he refused to drink a bottle the entire time! Anyway, I'm determined not to make that mistake again so we are trying to give Emry bottles at least once or twice a week.
 We love the children's museum. It is a bit of drive to get there but it is always worth it.
 Declan is a big fan of wooden train sets these days.
 Our ward combined with the other ward that meets in our building for a Halloween party. They had face painting and fun little games for the kids. Including the classic donut on a string. You can see Declan crying in the background of this picture. Remember that.
 Brennan raced them.
 And Declan's tears led to him just pulling the donut off and stuffing his face. None of this no hand nonsense for this boy.
 Emry's belly buttong suddenly started bleeding through her onesie one day. That was a bit startling to see. Luckily it has healed up nicely since then.
 We headed to Grandma's house for some fun. And some Halloween cookie making.

 Declan was quite proud of the way he decorated cookies without supervision. There are two cookies underneath those heaps of sprinkles.
 Sometimes my bedroom gets a little crowded by morning. Emry is in there all the time, obviously but sometimes these two hooligans climb in sometime in the night.
 Could she be cuter? I'm pretty sure she couldn't.
 Out for a walk with the kids and this tree was such an amazing color and shape. It was just this explosion of cheeriness.
 Admiring their little sister. Watching Tatum and Declan grow into best friends has made me so darn excited to watch these relationships continue to grow.
 Brennan has had a lot of weekend activities for his calling as Young Men's president. I should have a better attitude than I do, but sometimes it sure is hard knowing Saturday and Sunday morning are going to be exactly like every other morning of the week. One weekend he was at a camp out and his friend Jeremy went too. So on Saturday my friend Krystal (Jeremy's wife) and I met up at a park to enjoy the beautiful weather. Krystal even treated us all to drumsticks when she had to take Carly to go potty at the grocery store. How amazing that it was warm enough to be outside having ice cream just a few days before November!

 So. Many. Leaves.

 Another Sunday. Sunday morning is kind of a big deal around here. Brennan leaves early for meetings before Church every week now. And every week, no matter how much preparation I do Saturday night, it is a stressful couple of hours trying to get us all ready and out the door. Every week is seems to get a bit easier, I guess I'm getting the hang of it (or Emry is getting older and easier to predict).
 I had to take a picture of the car clock because we were actually on time. This is huge. We are late for preschool almost every morning and always late for church.
 But why? Sometimes the three hours are over and I have to wonder why I just voluntarily tortured myself. This particular Sunday was the second one in a row where Emry cried screamed through the entire third hour. No matter what I did she would just wail. While I'm bouncing her in an empty classroom I see Declan and his nursery teacher pass by. He took a spill in nursery and cut his lip open. He usually gets over injuries pretty quickly so the fact that he was still crying about it was evidence in and of itself that it was worse than his usual spills. So I snapped this lovely photo of what life at church can sometimes be. Wailing baby, crying and bleeding toddler. Oh the joys. :)

 Tatum's preschool Halloween party was the morning of Halloween. They won't allow younger siblings at class parties and field trips unless they are being carried in a baby carrier. Super annoying to me. Luckily my friend Krystal was kind enough to watch Declan for the morning so I could go. Not that I had to go, but I really wanted a chance to go to something at her preschool so I could have a better idea of how everything goes.

 Emry was very cooperative and slept in her car seat for most of it and then I put her in the wrap for the last hour or so.
 Tatum and her friend Bowe in the photo booth.
 Courtney is probably one of her best friends at preschool.
 The whole group.

 Another trip to the apple orchard. This time to redeem our free donut coupons.
Pumpkin carving time!
Tatum has always been grossed out by the guts and Declan just follows her lead. So getting them to touch the guts took some work. But it was hilarious and totally worth it.

Tatum drew the face on paper and Brennan did the carving.

Halloween night! A witch and Darth Ren 😂 (Trying out the new emoji that blogger has. That is supposed to be happy/laughing and crying haha. Not the best emoji.) It's kind of a long story but we ended up with a Kylo Ren mask and a Darth Vader towel/poncho. I'm very ignorant when it comes to Star Wars so I didn't realize how obvious this would be to the general population. But oh well, Declan didn't have a clue. It was an easy costume kind of year for us.

October ended with heaps and heaps of candy. Too much candy! But it also ended with such mild weather. We have been so lucky this year but it looks like today is the last day of that. :(