It all revolves around Family.

Cord, Amberly, Cayden, Kennadi, and Quaid!



Thursday, January 2, 2014

T'was the Season, now its gone.

2013 came and is gone. Crazy. But we had a really wonderful holiday season this year. All of the kids are at such fun ages. Christmas time has a special spirit surrounding it, and the kids can feel it. Its awesome. 

I have such a deep love for my little family, and for our extended family as well. This time of year always brings us closer together, and we always make fun memories. This Christmas I really, really wanted to surprise my husband, and give him the best Christmas ever. Pretty sure I did :) I love him so much, thought he deserved a special holiday this year!!

I had to post some pictures of our sugar cookie making evening. We did this on my birthday, and I'm pretty sure it will become a tradition now.  The kids had a lot of fun with each step, and the dough was really yummy! Even if the cookies didnt end up tasting the best, they were pretty, and we did it all ourselves! 

 We started a gingerbread making tradition with Cords aunts and cousins 8 years ago. We havent missed a year. The kids love it!!!! Its so nice to spend a few hours with the WHOLE family, and catch up with cousins and just goof around. We always do it at Aunt Julies house, which the kids LOVE. They are zoo animals I swear ;)
I snapped lots and lots of pictures this year, here are a few :)

 Nikole and I are both expecting this year, she is about 10 weeks ahead of me, due next week I think!!! I am so excited for her and her husband, who grew up close with Cord. I just had to get a picture of the two of us together sportin' the bellys :)
Then Uncle Bruce had to jump in the picture and sport his 'belly' too ;) 

 I got pictures of the kids with santa....the day before christmas eve......but I got them!!!! This is something that is of huge importance to me every year. We have to have a santa picture. I didnt want to pay for one this year, so we went somewhere new and it ended up being really great! Cant decide why these pictures are so precious to me...probably because the years that the kids believe are quickly going to end...and I'll never be ok with that!!!! We love Santa at our house!!!!

 They even made us all get into a shot, which was perfect because Cord couldnt be a butt about it ;)
 Christmas eve,
oh how I love you. My children are so good, and such big helpers the whole day long. Excitement is thick in the air. Its just a great, great day. Please let that spirit and feeling be in my home and with my family every single year. Love, Me.

And Christmas Morning,
I actually got a picture of myself with the kids by the tree. I want this every year but most are too hectic and fun to do so. I'm so grateful I have this, even if I do look like the walking dead....

Point of this long post, I love Christmas. I love my children and my husband, I am so so blessed to have them and all of the other 'things' we have.

Next year we will have a baby again, so crazy.

12 weeks until my due date, 10ish until she could be here anytime. Crazy, I just cant believe it! (Its freaking me out, but in a good way, I'm so not ready)

I hope all our friends and family had a great holiday season as well. I love reading everyone's blogs and seeing the pictures. How blessed are we all???

Friday, November 29, 2013

The spirit of Giving.

I have been loving the last couple of weeks. Through whatever trials we may be facing, there is still so much good. SO many blessing. and SO much to be thankful for. Its overwhelming really.

I love this season, I love this season. I cant even say it enough. This is truly the best time of year, for so many reasons. One is just because everyone thinks its the best time of year and strangers treat strangers with more love and compassion. We all care more about one another and there is just a special spirit floating around in the air. I love that Christ is the center of it all, but that there are also so many other traditions that are family centered. I just love this time of year!!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, I have so much I am thankful for. I'm sure you've heard the big black Friday debate going on everywhere ;) My philosophy, if you don't want to shop on thanksgiving then don't!! I wasn't fond of the idea of going Thursday night instead of Friday early early, but that's when the good deals were so I went. I went with my two beautiful sister in laws and I had a blast. I decided, you know what, Thanksgiving is about family and traditions and we spent the whole day with family, and then the whole night together and we had so much fun. We made memories, we laughed, we ate at Dennys at mid night. It was great. And we got some great deals on gifts for the people we love most. Whats so wrong with all of that? It was family centered and fun! Just what the holidays should be.

Back to what I meant to write this post about. I'm so thankful for my family. I am so thankful for all the blessing we have in our lives, which we have been noticing an abundance of lately. Its so nice to feel blessed. We don't have all we could ever want but we have what we need and so so much more. Blessed, that's just the word. So blessed.

So my day started off yesterday morning with waking early from a very sleepless night. Kennadi had a nightmare and woke me up at 1 am and I just couldn't go to sleep after that! Baby A (like how I'm waiting to announce her name haHA) was having a party inside my uterus and I was her only attendee. Every time I rolled over, she continued to party so I stayed up all night with her ;)
When I woke up I got going on the dough for the rolls. I had Kennadi helping me make pumpkin pancakes, she is an awesome flipper. I was also trying to knock the dishes out in between because I hadn't cleaned up from the night before, making all of my pies. Quaid came in and wanted in on that so he was scrubbing in the sink, Kenna flipping cakes, and I was doing dough. It worked out. We finished with all that, ate, then I started on my cheesy potatoes, veggie tray, and finishing up some laundry and more dishes! I had to run to Wal Greens because I needed make up as well. In the middle of all of this, I decided to dress everyone in their best for our family get together. I wanted to not look frumpy so I tore out all of my clothes from my closet that were my 'fancy' clothes. Cord came in the room and I tried on shirt after shirt after shirt....well nothing fits well. Of course. Long story short, it turned into a crying fest and poor Cord wasn't quite sure what to do with me. I cant help how emotional I am. Ha.
Cords Dad and brother and sister just happen to come over at that time and all caught me being a bawl baby....Brooke had a good laugh!! It was quite ridiculous but I couldn't hold in the tears. Back to being grateful, they were all so sweet to me and told me some very sweet things. I am blessed to have them and I love each of them so much. The crying ended and all was well, for a few minutes ;)

Okay, so here is a big secret. The rolls I spent so much time on were horrible. I mean terribly horrible. They tasted like shortening. I have no idea why. I used my grandmas recipe and I followed it to the T. Did it all just the way I was supposed to. I have this thing with rolls, I love them. They make holiday meals for me. But this is the 3rd time I have attempted homemade rolls and have failed, miserably. Oh boy. So I ran to lins as fast as I could with only 2 hrs until time to eat, and i bought Rhoads dough, let it rise the fast way, and baked them. They were perfect and SO SO GOOD!!! Thank goodness Lins was open and they had some left.
Shawn told me when I showed up with them, "see I told you they would turn out! They look so good!" I am a bad liar, I didn't tell him anything then but I almost did.  Then during the meal people kept commenting on the rolls, I just didn't make eye contact, I said thanks, and I looked down before my face turned bright red. I'm terrible.  I ended up telling my mother in law at the end of the night. I couldn't hold it in any longer.

I feel asleep in my in laws comfy bed and awoke to a hubby telling me I better hurry and get ready to go shopping!! Ok, don't have to tell me that twice!! Got home and ready and went out with the girls. It was all so great. Not every year is as much fun, but this one was near perfect.

I just want to say how awesome I think Kohls is before I end this. We went, only got a couple things. Stood in line for 1.5 hours. All of their employees were so happy and cheerful. Not one was rude or unhappy to be there. I had only $35 dollars worth of stuff I was buying, so I bought Toni and Brookes $10 items with mine so I could spend $50 to get $15 back in Kohls cash. My total ended up being 60 something, and i had a 15% off coupon so it was 50 something, Toni and Brooke paid me 10 in cash so I only spent $30, and got $15 in Kohls cash...then when we were walking out the door guy stopped us, our cashier was yelling for us to come back!!! We went back and he said sorry, he thought we won the dream receipt, but it was actually for the lady behind us!!!! It was crazy, once an hour Kohls gives a random person their stuff they are buying for free. How awesome is that!!! I noticed the lady behind me had a lot of stuff....cute cute stuff, and she won!! I was very happy for her, and I am just so impressed with Kohls. That made my whole night. It would have been lame if I had won, and only saved $30. But I bet she would have spent over $200, and she got it all free. So awesome. I'm going to shop at Kohls even more now. Like I said, Impressed.

And just so this post isn't so boring I will post some of my Thanksgiving pics.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oh that bandwagon...

So that Blogging bandwagon, I want to be on it. I NEED to be on it. Most of the previous posts on this blog talk about this exact thing, using different words. What I'm trying to say is....I really want to be a good blogger. I want to do it a couple times a week..well maybe that is a bit much. But I want to do it more than twice a year! Well here I go.

So its been forever and a day. I hate it when people say that but I guess now I know why they do.

So today has been a crazy and busy day. I guess usually my days are that way, but today I had to be in many places with not much time in between. That kicks this pregnant momma's butt.

Oh yes, I'm pregnant. Guess I should put that out to the blogging world. It was so awkward a few days ago...and I swear I am the most awkward person I know, but this was really...well you get it.
Anyway I had a photo session this past saturday with a little family. I knew the mom from my middle school days, and its been so fun to take pictures of her kids for her. I last saw her when I did her sons newborn shoot in April I beleive it was. So I got out of the car and she says "Oh, your pregnant!" and I reply with "Ya I know." Ummm...duh   Wow the things I let myself say. I tried to clear that up by laughing and saying I mean, Yeah I am! Ha

I have been doing SEP's this week at the kids' school. Its a good thing, and a hard thing for us this year. I just cant get over how great of a year my kids had last year. They learned so much and they did so well. Their grades were awesome, their behavior was awersome, they were learning so much and improving. It was just as it should be.
This year is a different story. Kennadi is such a smart little thing, and she doesn't struggle in the ways that Cayden does. She is struggling in her reading a bit. Since I switched the kids from the charter school back into public school, the difference has been very significant. Kennadi was not where she needed to be at all starting first grade. She did all day kindergarten at Valley Academy last year, and I know the teacher struggled to keep the kids happy and interested all day long. I know it was long and difficult. So they did a lot of games and music and stuff like that. Now I am thinking they must not have done much learning...Kennadi is just now getting to be at the level where she should have started first grade a few months ago. She is learning and growing and progressing nicely but she started behind. That makes me sad. I didnt know she was behind and no one informed me that she wanst up to par in kindergarten. It leads me to believe that the charter school did things differently enough that they either did not know where the students were compared to where they should be at that point in their education, or they test differently than the public school. Whatever the case, its been a bit of a struggle. Its hard to hear that your child is behind. We all think the world of our children, and I could go on and on about how amazing she is. The truth is she is behind and that makes it so we do more work, or need to be doing more work with her, and that equals more stress and longer homework nights. Since I know what it is like to struggle in school I will do everything in my power to help my children. So its a blessing that Kennadi gets extra reading time in class, and gets to do a special intervention class in school as well to help her read. Those things among the other reading activities and working with her at home. So its all good....but I need to remember that she is behind and I need to make more of an effort to help her. Pregnancy and Patience aren't things that usually go in the same sentence for me, but I need to be patient with her even though I am pregnant and can be moody.

Cayden and his struggles in school are of a completely different sort. He lacks motivation to finish his work. Actually he doesn't really care that he needs to do the work, so he doesn't. He has kind of had that attitude since kindergarten but its just now really effecting his grades and those things. He is SUCH a smart boy, borderline gifted in certain areas. He is such a fast learner as well..he just doesn't want to do it, so he doesn't. Simple as that. But that's not good. I have tried everything I can to motivate him. Rewards, Consequences, all of it. He will go through periods where he does awesome but it doesn't last. His teacher tries all she can to make him do his work but he just doesn't. If you know Cayden then you know he loves to be silly and goofy and that is how he makes friends and how he get attention and how he thinks he should act if he is embarrassed...well we can work with that, but I just need to get him to know how important it is to start and finish his school work, and that he needs to do it right. He actually fakes doing it. By that I mean his work will look done but it will have random numbers or words or its just not right. So he doesn't read the directions. Its so frustrating. This kid I swear, I love him to death but he is going to give me gray hair before I reach my 30's.  If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. I love this boy and dont want to see him get further and further behind. It makes me sad to see where he is in school and look at his classmates and see that they are moving further than he is. I want him to love school and love learning, which he says he does and acts that way, so I cant figure out what the problem is. I just want him to be successful.

Quaid has his birthday in the middle of September, which means he barely misses the cut off date for starting school. Its terrible, because he is pretty much ready!!! But he has to wait an extra year. So he is not in preschool this year because I just thought he didnt need that many years of preschool. I wish I would have done it anyway because he needs some little friends. He is always around big people and he is pretty bossy, lol, so I need to find him some little play groups with kids his age. He is my little buddy though. He has been to all my doctor appointments with me and ultrasounds and all that good stuff. Since cord doesn't really have the type of job where he can just stop working and run with me to appointments, its actually been nice that I don't have to go all alone. I love spending my days with Q. And He loves being with me all day. So it works out.    We have finally convinced him that the baby will be a girl, even though he strongly argues it. He wanted it to be a  boy badly. Some days he says its fine that its a girl, and he has even started to hug and kiss my belly now that it is getting bigger. Its so adorable and warms my heart. I have to say I feel so blessed with the three children I have. Even though we have our struggles for sure, they are great to me and they make me proud and happy everyday.

Another reason I want to start writing on this blog more is so I can keep everyone, and myself updated with what is happening not only in the life of our family, and the upcoming birth of our new addition, but with all the things that are going to be happening with Cord. Most people don't know anything is going on, and thats ok. I don't much feel like announcing things or even talking about them right now. Our family has hit a hard patch. Things feel like they are really rough...but I know we will make it through. Talking about it all will be the first step for me so im sure that bits and pieces will come out here.. and that will be kind of therapeutic. Also, I will be able to look back on this and remember details of what was going on in our life at this time, and how it felt. I love remembering the little things.

So today has been pretty good, and pretty busy. At the end of the day I just can not wait to have Cord come home so I can hug and kiss him, feed us all dinner, and spend the evening with my little family. Maybe its the pregnancy, maybe its the circumstances, but I cant stand being away from Cord all day. yeah yeah I know, kinda mushy...but it feels nice...almost 10 years together and I can honestly say I like him more now than I did then ;)

And some pictures just for fun...