Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Grandma came to visit

My mom came to visit over the three day weekend this month. We had so much fun! The kids loved having her here; especially Hyrum. He loved snuggling up to her at night in the luxurious blow-up mattress we have for guests. Ben enjoyed having an extra person to read to him the books he loves. Emmy loved having someone else to carry her around everywhere.

Hyrum also loved the chocolate milk she brought him as well as the new Cars blanket and pillow she made him. Emmy loved the beautiful necklaces she was given and you can usually find her wearing at least one of them at all times. Ben loved the stacking blocks he was given and enjoys when I help him build towers so he can knock them over.

We did a few fun things while she was here.
Some of my favorites were when we watched a movie together and had popcorn. Also, I couldn't forget to mention when she watched the kids so Brandon and I could go out on a date with some friends. We had a great time and we owe it all to my mom.
Some of the kids favorites were when they got to spend time with grandma while Brandon and I went out on our date. Grandma got the kids chicken nuggets and even bought the Aritocats for them to watch.

The kids also liked when we went to the mall to ride on the carousel; even the babies rode this time...they didn't like it very much. Hyrum on the other hand loved every minute of his ride and even rode twice this time.

We also went to the zoo. The animals were pretty active this time we visited. This was the first time that we really got the babies out of their stroller to look at the animals. Emmy went nuts! She loved looking at the animals. She would grip onto the fence and yell at those monkeys swinging in the tree. She would then point at and jabber about every animal she saw. It was really cute.Do you see all her necklaces?

Ben enjoyed being at the zoo. He especially loved all the room to practice his new discovery, walking. His favorite part was probably acting like a big boy like Hyrum by standing on top of a bench and looking at the animals.Hyrum has always loved the animals and this time was no difference. He loved looking at all the different animals with grandma. His favorite part this time was the Hippos. We were there for the keeper chat. The keeper of the hippos came out and feed those huge animals a snack and talked about the different facts about hippos. It was amazing to watch those animals eat. We were only a few feet from the hippos when they were being feed.
BubbleShare: Share photos - Find great Clip Art Images.We had a great time with grandma and can't wait for everyone to come in April!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

To My Natalie

I know this may seem a little cheesy to share with everyone but I think Natalie needs to hear it and I cant think of a better place to surprise her (and embarrass her at the same time). It has been nearly six years since I fell in love with Natalie. We have had nothing short of an adventure in our five years of marriage yet it has been the most wonderful years of my life. We have finished two degrees, moved six times, had three kids, and accomplished much in between. Natalie and I first met as students in Rexburg, Idaho. She had come to meet my roommates and fate had it that I was the only one home. It was her gorgeous smile that first attracted me to her, almost as if it were permanent and nothing could wipe it off her face (I wish I could say that it was because she couldn’t stop thinking about how good looking I was, but we all know that had nothing to do with it). I could not help to continue to fall in love with every other aspect of who she was. Her innocence, her faith, her cheerful attitude. It was all that I had hoped for... more than I had hoped for. Why she agreed to marry me is beyond comprehension but I am sure glad she did.
So why do I love her?

I have always been impressed by her level of devotion to the church. She showed me in the little things she did what a faithful member of the church should be, yet she did it by simply being herself. She didn’t like to miss her meetings, and felt obligated to make sure she attended her own ward even when I would ask her to attend mine. She felt it important to visit her sisters each month. And she always devoted time to her callings and did them well. Even today she stands constantly concerned about others in the ward than she does herself. It seems that she naturally feels the heartache that others are feeling and it draws her to think about and try to help them. Even as I write she is making cookies for the Elders (they have had a tough couple of weeks in teaching). After we got married, Natalie felt it important to continue fulfilling her callings. She also devotes the time to our family where the gospel is concerned. Every night, even when I am not home, she ensures that our children read the scriptures and say their prayers. And she is always teaching them what is good and helping them to focus on it. I am grateful that our children will grow up knowing that the gospel is not just an important thing but that it is literally who they are.

She is possibly the world’s best mother. It would seem to most that the ability she has to nurture her children was perfected before her birth. This might account for the fact that she desired Early Childhood Education as her major in school. It is a part of her and she does so well at it. Never does she correct a child without telling them why. She is fair to each of our children and makes sure that her time is equal among them. When she is away from them, they are her number one concern. We cant even go on a date without spending most of our time talking about the fun things they did that day or how they made her laugh…or cry. Her love for them is also shown by the endless gigabytes of pictures that she has taken to make sure each of them have pictures of their childhood. They are her number one joy. Could these children have been blessed with a more devoted and caring mother!

And well, then there comes me. So many times has she sacrificed her time and energy for me. I do not consider myself to be the smartest student, thus it takes me more time to memorize or understand various concepts concerning my future profession. This translates into many late nights at school. And when I am late, Natalie does not get a break from the kids. Yet, she is so often willing to give me the time I need to be successful in school. I also have a demanding calling at church. We only have one vehicle so it is never an option for one of to go home when the other needs to stay at church. This means that she has to get all of the kids up and ready for church by herself every Sunday and stays at the church afterwards while I participate in meetings. Yet, I cannot remember a time that she has complained. She is the epitome of love and sacrifice in marriage.

She has so many other talents: cooking, organizing, teaching, crafting, blogging and journal keeping, dancing, loving, and just being a friend.

I am thankful for the love of such a companion and I hope that she knows how much I love her.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Family Fun

I just wanted to take a moment and post about the fun we had as a family tonight. One of the kids' favorite thing to do is to spend time with their dad. They love him so much and are always so happy to see him come through the door.

Today is the start of Brandon's spring break. Brandon decided that he would come home early tonight. The kids had an absolute ball with him. They all wrestled on our bed and tickle each other. Brandon threw the kids up high in the air.

Hyrum was a little nervous about being thrown, not to mention he is starting to get on the heavy side to be doing those types of things. Hyrum was mostly content just to wrestle and be tickled.

Emmy LOVED being thrown in the air and couldn't get enough of it. She would squeal with delight when being up in the air. She would come to Brandon over and over again to be thrown in the air and would try and get on top of him to speed up the process.

Ben was a little terrified, but enjoyed himself. He went to Brandon a few times to be thrown. His favorite thing was probably the wrestling. He will stand over you, if you are laying on the ground, and give you a funny look and then flop himself on top of you and just laugh and laugh.

I would have liked to have captured some pictures of the event, but I decided to enjoy the moment. It was nice to see how happy everyone was and how much they truly enjoy each other. I have been blessed with an amazing husband who loves his kids immensely. I have been blessed with three wonderful, precious kids who love each other and their father. I have been blessed with much.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My Three Monkeys

They love each other, what else can I say?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sticker Attack

Last week, I found a sheet of Hyrum's stickers in a random spot and gave them to him to play with and put on some paper. After a little while, I noticed it was really quiet. Hyrum got really creative on where he should put his stickers, below is the result. Needless to say, we had another talk about where it is okay to put stickers and where it is not.

She really was having fun

I think Hyrum gave Ben maybe one or two stickers. At least he was sharing, right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Our little Valentine's day excitment

I woke up on Valentine's morning to beautiful flowers. There were a dozen roses mixed in with lilies and they looked beautiful. There was also quite a bit of chocolate; some from Brandon and a heart shaped box of chocolates from each of my three little monkeys.

In the morning, on Valentine's Day, I helped Hyrum finish up his Valentines for his friends and helped him make a Valentine for Brandon.
Since Valentine's was on Thursday, Brandon came home early since Thursday are one of days that he has an easy schedule. It was really wonderful to have a few extra hours with Brandon that we do not usually get to have together.

In the evening, we took Hyrum's little Thomas the Train valentines around to his friends. Hyrum said "Happy Valentine's Day" so cute! He was so excited to take around his valentines to his friends. For the most part, he loves to share with others.

Afterwards, we thought that as a family we would go out to dinner, but when we got to the place we wanted to go, the place was packed! We soon came to realize that the kids wouldn't survive a place like that and opted for Wendy's.

We were the only people at Wendy's; we received the fastest service I have ever seen from Wendy's .

We came home and enjoyed dinner. If I had planned on eating dinner at home, I would have made it a little bit more festive like my parents did while my siblings and I were growing up.

The kids loved their dinner and their Valentine's Day presents. Hyrum got a skittle heart and a big and little race car. Ben and Emmy each got some of their puff treats as well as a big car for Ben an a pretty necklace for Emmy.The kids also really enjoyed their dinner; what is not to like about chicken, potatoes and grease? Not to mention adding a bottle of sparkling cider to our dinner. Hyrum gave the perfect face after taking his first little swig.

For Valentine's day, I got Brandon a box of chocolates, a really cute card and a movie.
He got me a paper cutter. I have been wanting one of these for a long time. I think he really picked a good one. The parts can seperate so you can have a large or small paper cutter. Also, you can add different edges to the blade so you can have different types of cuts. The paper cutter took awhile to get here, so he sent this picture to my email account.

It was really nice just to spend time together as a family.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

It was five years ago today that Brandon asked me to marry him. I can't believe how fast the time has gone.

We were going to school up in Idaho. We came down to Utah since we were flying out of Salt Lake City's airport to Texas for the three day holiday so I could meet Brandon's parents.

We went to a little Chinese restaurant called the Pagoda for our dinner on Valentine's Day. We ended up waiting over three hours for our food. However, the wait wasn't too bad since we were able to talk, but you could tell Brandon was a little frustrated with the situation. For those of you who know Brandon, know that type of attitude is out of his character. He is usually pretty easy going about things. Afterwards, he told me he was frustrated since he wanted everything to be just right.

After dinner, Brandon said he thought that it would be a good idea for us to take a walk around Temple Square and exchange Valentine's presents. I said sure. By this time, I was thinking that there was something going on. Before we left Idaho, all my roommates told me to call the apartment if anything exciting happened. Also, Brandon was acting funny at dinner. He was doing something funny behind the trunk of the car(Come to find out, he was getting the ring out of his coat so I could wear the coat since it was so cold). Not to mention, that we had talked about getting married in the summer and I think we already had a date set at the temple. Also, I told Brandon that I wanted to be proposed to the same way my dad proposed to my mom and that was at the temple (I always thought growing up that being proposed to at the temple, like my mom was, was so romantic! My dad actually proposed to my mom at the Jordan River Temple.). However, one thing that led me a stray was the fact that I told him that I didn't want to be proposed to on Valentine's Day. I thought it was super cheesy.

We ended up by the reflection pond. I went first and gave him a picture of us in a frame and a pocket hymn book in a bucket filled with candy. It was a bucket of love. Bucket of Love is a cheesy nick name we have for one another.

He gave me a collage picture frame with five pictures of us. He told me to open up the back of the frame and there was a poem there that he had written for me. He asked me to read it aloud. At the very end of the poem, it led into him asking me to marry him.

Brandon got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I didn't know what to say (shock/excited factor), so I just pulled him up and kissed him. After the kiss I told him yes.

Brandon is such a great husband and I am so proud of all the many things he has accomplished. I love him so much. He is my everything.

First Ear Infection

Emily had her first ear infection last week. I had noticed she had not been feeling very well for a couple of days, but I thought it was due to her teething again. Well, last Thursday she woke up feeling very hot in the middle of the night. Of course, I forgot where I put the thermometer. I called the doctors office the next day and they said they wanted to see her. Come to find out, she had a huge ear infection. She was given the drug Amoxicillin.

We started the drug on Friday, by Saturday, she broke out in a huge rash. I called the office and they said she was having a non-allergic reaction to the medicine. The rash was even worst on Sunday. Finally on Monday, I decided not to give the Amoxicillin to her again. I called the office again since the rash had spread, the rash was redder, and the rash was really bugging Emily. The doctor switched the medicine and advised that she should be given Benadryl for a couple of days to help bring the rash down and to give her some comfort.

She still isn't quite her spunky, feisty self, but the rash has gone almost completely away. Below are the pictures of her on Monday morning. The pictures don't do the rash justice. Also, it had been a over 12 hours since her last dose of Amoxicillin.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

You Have Two Big Ones

Warning, if you get uncomfortable reading about girly things then this may not be for you but we had to post this. Hyrum has been the source of much laughter as of late. Just this morning, Hyrum was getting some help from his mother in getting dressed for church. During the process, Hyrum glanced up to his mommy's chest and in the process of going to grab them said, "look mom, you have two of them. What are they." Natalie wasn't real sure how to handle the situation but did her best to talk to him. Later today, during the middle of stake conference Hyrum looked over to one of our friends who sat next to us. She is a little on the larger side and Hyrum being observant and feeling this poor lady up said to her, "Wow, you have two big ones!" Needless to say, this stake conference is one I shall never forget. We sure love our Hyrum!!!

Summer 2007 Pictures

Pictures by Willow Batt
If you live in Provo and want professional pictures, let us know

Monday, February 04, 2008

Gotta Give Credit

For all of those people noticing our new blog design, it wasn't me who designed it. It was Brandon who put a couple of hours figuring out how to make our blog look just right. He has a little bit of a Martha in him.

The scrapbooking pages and elements are from

Handsome Hyrum

Hyrum has been so much fun lately. His vocabulary,independence, creativity, imagination and curiosity have dramatically increased. Hyrum's favorite question is why? His favorite expression is "I do it myself." For the most part, he loves playing with Ben and Emmy and is so excited to have them wake-up. He is always asking for me to take them downstairs so he can play with them. He loves to sing his ABC's and of course, "Twinkle Star".Hyrum loves going to Pre-School with his friends. He still loves playing in the tub and will play in the tub for about 45 minutes. He loves to pretend there are monsters. He also likes to pretend that he is a cowboy.

In his favorite shirt!

Hyrum still is a big CARS fan and has been wearing Car's shirt for two days in a row ( I figure, it is still clean, why not?). He still loves playing with his cars. Hyrum loves talking on the phone to family that lives far away. He also enjoys using tools to try and fix things. Hyrum loves reading books.Hyrum really enjoys playing his games (Hi Ho Cherry-O, Don't Break the Ice, 6 Silly Pins, and CARS Memory Game) with mom and dad. Not only is he excited when he does well, he is excited when others do well in the game and gives them a thumbs-up and claps for a job well done. He is very thoughtful of others. Today at an appointment he wanted to share his treats with the kids on the other side of the room. He also takes care of Ben and Emmy first, then himself. He still is mommy's sweetheart and loves to get mommy loves.