Sunday, January 31, 2010

Valentines Day!

Valentine's Day will be here before you know it. You might want to start thinking about it now instead of scrambling at the last minute. Here are some cute things I've seen lately.

Cute kids Valentines!

Matthew is going to give away some Valentine's at preschool so I found these cute ones for free online here. They fit him perfectly since he's always the dinosaur chasing all the kids at preschool. I've already printed them and just need to cut them and make a treat to attach them to.

Valentine's craft project

I thought this was a super cute wreath idea. I am going to go pick me up some felt and heart foam wreaths this week and make this project. So cute! You can find how to make it here.

Also, lots of additional Valentine ideas here or here. And one of my favorites I'm storing for another year is a Valentine chair backer. Basically a treat bag that attachs to a chair. I want to make one, but it isn't going to happen this year. You can find the tutorial/idea here. I've seen lots of cute craft ideas and just need to get a few done and off my list before I add anymore. I need more time!!!

I did finish a diaper cover for Isabelle to match the dress my mom gave Isabelle for Christmas. I'm finishing up sewing a few additional things and then I'll post them here when they are done. They are turning out cute!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Busy Week Last Week

Last week we returned from the funeral on Tuesday morning, and the very next morning Karin headed to a work event for about 5 days. While we were definitely very glad to have her back last night, I think it’s a good thing once in a while to have that bonding time with your kids. I continue to feel very blessed to have been entrusted with Matthew and Isabelle, and they really were very good for me all things considered. They are both at fun stages in their development, and I was reminded again by my sister-in-law recently that they won't be at those stages very long and that we need to write down the things they do and say before we forget, so here's another shot at that.

Matthew talks pretty much constantly right now, and it's funny (and a little scary sometimes) to hear the things that escape his lips. He definitely keeps us entertained with what he says and does. A few weeks ago, I took Matthew to the grocery store, and he rode around in one of those carts that has a little plastic car on the front. When we got back to the car, he hopped out and said, "Where's my button? Hmmm... I don't have one. Oh well." He then held out his hand and pretended to click something with his thumb and went, "Beep!" - he was locking his "car."

Again shopping with him the other day, this time at Old Navy, I was walking out of the store and thought Matthew was following me. When I realized he had stopped, I turned around and saw this:

That same day, we were hanging out with our friends, and Matthew turned to his little friend Maggie (OK, she's six months younger but a lot taller than he is) and said, "Maggie, I have to tell you something terrible. My mom is GONE!" Then when Karin got home yesterday, he told her, "I'm so proud of you for coming home!"

Isabelle only knows one trick at this point (she can clap), but she is (if that's possible) more active and into everything than Matthew ever was. Our house is fairly locked down, but she is into every cabinet she can open, and I caught her the other day prostrated on the floor trying to reach under the pantry door for something. She somehow knows which remotes are real and which are old ones with no batteries (this always amazes me that kids can figure that out). She is on her feet almost any chance she gets to pull herself up, so I don't think it'll be long before she's running around, and then we'll really be in trouble. She continues to smile nearly all the time, though.

As much fun as I had with the kids over the past few days, I'm very glad I'm not a single parent, and I'm really looking forward to a normal week for us, and I know Karin is, too. She gets pretty worn out by those events, and our DVR might have exploded anyway if she had been gone any longer since I can't really delete anything while she's gone.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Festivities

We were kinda crazy this year and spent the week of Christmas at home and then left around 11:30 on Chrismas day to drive half way to Kanab, spent the night there and then headed to my parents the next day.  It was good to break up the drive for Isabelle since she's not so happy nowadays in her car seat and just wants to be on the move. 

Christmas morning pic - of course Matthew didn't get up until 8 am, and I was anxiously waiting for him to get out of bed.  When he woke up he made a beeline for the table and saw that Santa "ate the cookies and drank the milk" with wide eyes.  Santa left him a note thanking him for the cookies and the oatmeal for the reindeer.  We had to then go look outside to see if the reindeer ate the oatmeal which they did!  Christmas morning started off in a great way!  He's always so enthusiastic so we couldn't help but get in the Christmas mood.

Our first few nights were at Grandma's house.  We were relaxing our 3rd night there and I decided I better take some pictures before we moved onto our next stop on the Stephens Christmas Vacation.

Don't you just love the huge drool about to drip.  Poor Isabelle has been teething forever and 2 bottom teeth are finally popping!

Matthew played I think about 10-11 games with Grandma this day.  He wore her out!

On Wednesday we met up with some friends we met in London and haven't seen for 2 years.  We ate at Crown Burger and then headed over to the Children's museum at Gateway center.  It snowed a ton this day.  We were so unprepared for Utah weather, but I'm not going to buy snow items for 1 day of use that will be outgrown before it's next use.

They had this great water feature that Matthew and Owen loved.  Matthew was soaked by the end.

Group pic!

My brother's family was our second stop on the Stephens traveling Christmas Vacation. They live a half hour from my parents and since they were hosting New Year's Eve we decided to stop there on the 30th and 31st. It dumped a ton of snow on the 30th so mid-day on New Year's Eve Matthew went sledding for the first time with Jordan, my brother Russ and their kids. Me, Isabelle, and my sister-in-law Kari went fabric shopping. Matthew had so much fun! My sister Laura and her husband Carl and my parents joined us for New Year's Eve and we celebrated with TONS of food that we could not possibly eat. Jordan made Korean Bulgogi that was scrumptious and we had lots of other yummy items. We played Boxers or Briefs where people said not nice things to me (j/k) and played Beatles Rock Band. 

On the 1st before we left for our last destination on our traveling tour my other brother Ken and his family stopped by on their way back from their vacation to Disneyland. They recently moved to Wyoming from Utah so it was good to see them for a little bit. We are hoping to go visit Wyoming this summer and see the vastness of where they live.

Brady, Kelsey, Karly, Matthew, Dylan

We were talking about sledding at Dylan's house the other day and Matthew said "Dylan didn't like sledding" which is true because Dylan wasn't feeling well and we got him and dropped him back home along with Brady and Kelsey who got hurt before heading out to shop.  I am continually amazed by what our son remembers and processes.

Jordan said Matthew loved just laying and playing in the snow.  Papa (grandpa) made his hat!

My brother got some sweet air!

My niece got even bigger air.  Karly is a die hard sledder.

Matthew went down once by himself but that was "scary" so he went the rest of the time with Jordan.

Our last stop on our traveling tour was on the 1st to stay with my sister Laura and her family.  My nephew Colby is a New Year's baby so we ate Ice Cream Cake with them.  Matthew LOVED it!  Colby's girlfriend Tee Cee is one of his favorite people and he kept asking to see her and finally got to see her on the 1st.  So cute!

We left Utah on the 3rd and drove the whole way home.  Isabelle did much better than I expected and for some reason we made record time at 11.5 hrs.  Isabelle ran a fever that day and the next 2 days but is doing better now.

I just finished laundry and repacking for our trip back to Utah for Grandma's funeral.  This time I'm flying up early with the 2 kiddos myself (please pray for a good flight and cooperative kids) and Jordan will meet me up there later.  We're all flying back together and then the next day I leave for a work trip for 5 days.  Let's just say January is starting off a little crazier than expected.

All in all a great Christmas and fun memories.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Remembering Grandma

My sweet 97 yr. old Grandma passed away last night. It's been a long time coming and truthfully she could have passed a year ago when she had surgery and it would have been for the best. It's been a long hard year for my mom and grandma.

Here are a few photos I have of recent pictures of her. One from June with Isabelle and the other with Matthew when he was a baby.

6 weeks after Matthew was born.

Isabelle was about 3 months here.  I was shocked at the condition my Grandma was in.  She was pretty frail and confined to a wheelchair and could hardly hear or keep up with what we were talking about.  I'm so glad that she got to meet Isabelle at least once.  Isabelle's middle name is Sadie after my Grandma.

I have great memories of time with Grandma and my mom was her only living child (her brother died when he was a baby) so we had the privilege of having her with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas and we would go visit her at her house in the summers.

Fun memories:
-Her yummy cake doughnuts that she always had on hand. They were soooo good!
-She would always make ham and cheesy potatoes when we visited her
-Playing kick the can in her awesome yard
-Playing dress up with her costume jewelry
-Wearing her cool high heels and hats around while visiting her
-Fun family reunions out in her little town
-Sleeping in grandma's bed when we went to visit (she was a widow for 30+ years)
-Playing at and walking to the park in her little town of Myton, UT
-Walking to the post office with her and my brother to get her mail and we would pass the 3 legged dog
-Standing on the bed in her covered porch area and peeking into the kitchen through the vent and spying on what everyone was doing
-Taking baths in her claw foot bathtub
-Calling on her rotary telephone
-She would always read the same books when she came to stay at my parents house and we would always talk about what she was reading - she loved the book Charlie.
-She always fell asleep and snored while she was reading
-She would leave me kit kats (her favorite) or money on my pillow when she would leave after visiting us in Utah
-Chasing after me with a brush trying to comb my hair while my parents were on vacation (I think I was 8)
-She wore panty hose every day and a girdle when she was younger and I remember them always hanging up to dry and wondering what all those things were about.

She was one tough lady.  She survived her son dying as a baby and my mom's dad dying in an accident and had a business and raised my mom by herself until she remarried when my mom was 12.

I feel so grateful to have to many fun memories with her and for having her in my life for so many years. Not everyone gets to have that with their Grandma.

I hope she's had a great reunion with her first husband (she got remarried and was then a widow of her second husband 30+ yrs) and son who she's been apart from for over 70 years.  Most of her siblings and friends have passed on so I'm sure yesterday was a really great day in heaven for her.

Love you!