"they left us something more precious than silver and gold..."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

fun.crazy.hellish.and one more thing too.

 We had an awesome Thanksgiving! All of our Freeze Family was in town for a wedding from Indiana and it was great to spend time with them! We luved watching all the cousins play, eating some nice meals together and enjoying some convo! This year I am most grateful for time...I've been reminded lately, it seems again & again, how very precious it is and I feel blessed to be able to share my time with people I love...
 We took a surprise trip to Disneyland the day after Thanksgiving! It was a surprise to the girls...we took them to breakfast Friday morning at Kneaders...after we ate we went around and said what we were thankful for...the kids went first and then the parents went...we said things like "castles, princess shoes, light sabers, etc"...that is why Vannah has that grin on her face...
 Then we had them open up a little present, which was Disney t-shirts...and told them we were headed to the airport to go to Disneyland...I love Vannah is this picture, she's like "Say what!?!"
 Then everyone started screaming and ran into the bathroom to change into their shirts!
 We also brought along their piggybank, which they have been saving up for 2 years to go to Disneyland...they came out with $250! Not bad little savers!
 We went with the Walbruchs! What an adventure...just getting everyone on the plane! We went for 5 days, traveling day on both end, so 3 days at Disneyland & California Adventure. When we got back, someone asked me how our trip was and I think I summed it up nicely: Fun. Crazy. Hellish. 
Sometimes you just have to speak the truth and it's quite easy to do when you are pregnant! We really had so much fun...I think these next two pics sum up the trip pretty nicely:
Yup. That's pretty much it...but I will include a few more pics just for kicks!
The girls LUVED seeing all the characters and princesses! The lines weren't bad at all but it still felt like there were a million people there! We went from sun-up til sun-down and they rode every ride except the submarine one. I couldn't ride a few of the rides and I thought Cam was going to turn green after having to go on so many rides...over and over again! The girls were in heaven...Lucy at first would be a little scared on the bigger rides but then as soon as they ended, the famous phrase "Let's go again" spoke out over a huge smile!
 Alice even stopped by to say hi to Jilly...Jilly was so in awe she wouldn't even look at her, she was so happy when Alice showed her the proper way to "tie" her velcro shoes..."Criss-Cross them of course" any princess knows that!
 Jilly & Belle
 Breakfast at Ariel's Grado where we ate a delicious breakfast and met all the princesses!
 We luv our daddy!
 Oh, the hellish part...I was beatdown tired and it was hard to keep up with my every growing tummy! Plus, I probably gained 10lbs in water weight from all the walking...was it worth it...ABSOLUTELY! 
 My favorite ride...I hated to miss out on this one!
 The girls also luved exchanging Disney pins! What a fun tradition...they came away with some really sweet ones!
 Space Mountain & California Screamin' = THE FAVS!
 Merry Christmas 2011...we survived Disneyland!
Other quick updates:
 Vanny finished her basketball season...she luved playing and having her daddy coach! She was really into it, I don't know where she gets it :) But really it was kinda funny to see her intensity and be so determined...I loved watching her play! It was also super cute to see her playing with her cousin Ellie...somehow they learned about the "chest bump" (thanx cam) and they did it after every time they scored...hilarious.
 Lucy dominated the chocolate fountain at Thanksgiving dinner...she never ceases to make us laugh...we coudlnt' love her more. Recent quotes:
"Mom, is our house ever going to be warm again?" 
{poor child living with a pregnant lady!}
And an update on Freddy {the neighbor's cat}...she said the other morning, while in the garage holding Freddy: "Just so you know mom, when those people die (our neighbors) this cat is MINE!" 
ps. please don't tell our neighbors. 
pss...does this mean I am going to have to get her a cat?????? 
psss.... don't tell cam i even said that or he might kill ME!
 Jilly is milking her last few months of being the "baby". She demands to be rocked to bed each night, throws some legit tantrums, smothers you with kisses and big blue batty eyes, refuses to go to Nursery now for the past six weeks (heaven help me), demands to know "what you makin for dinner!"... BUT she is the baby for now, so I figure I will let her.At least until after christmas and then I'm gonna have to come down on her...right...
And as far as me, because you care:
- I'm getting more and more excited about a little BOY! But I'm trying to pick out bedding and make a quilt and I'm all over the place because I want it to be EVERYTHING BOY! So it's like super heros, sports, frogs, lions, green, blue, red, cars, snakes, swords...those all go together right?!?!
- Our end of the year, YOUNG WOMEN's JESUS THE CHRIST party is this week! I'll bee finishing my reading this weekend and it's a perfect time of year to do it! 
OH! And the One. More. Thing. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

in THREE's..

The "rule of three" is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. So it seems lately, I'm totally a fan of the three's!

HALLOWEEN! Which is actually my third favorite holiday {#1. Christmas! #2. My birthday - yes it is a holiday! Um, hello it only comes around every 4 years, so Leap Year is defiantly a holiday in my book!}. Halloween really is a big deal around here and it does make things funnier and more satisfying in a weird, "I can put my make-up on wrong and look good doing it" kinda way! I figured this is probably Vannah's last year of being excited about being a "family theme" so when I brought up SUPER HEROS and the girls were pumped, I couldn't wait to sit down with them and order their costumes online! It's funny how the characters they picked fit their personalities to a T. We had a great time celebrating the holiday at a few different parties: Mystery Dinner at the Parkinson's, Adult Masquerade Party at Blue Lemon, a day up at Gardner's Village with Nachelle & her girls, and the annual rocking Garage Party we host! My sister Emily took the reigns for me this year and held it in her garage (because she did all the food, bless her!). Cam & I still set-up all the gear...we make a few improvements every year and we seriously had so much fun! Carmel apple cider on the camping stove, doughnuts, a skull that had fog coming out of it...just a few fun additions! The weather was sensational so it was fun to walk around the neighborhood with the girls...I've never seen kids run so fast! History was made this year though with the addition of the "Bobbing for Apples" game / scheme, whatever you want to call it! As kids came, we offered them 2 pieces of candy OR if they wanted to try and bob for an apple, we gave them two huge hand fulls. We found however (and I speak from experience) that you actually had to dump your whole head into the bucket to obtain the apple, because the bucket was so deep! It was hysterical to see some kids go for it! Other say "No Way" and then come back and try five or 10 minute's later. We had some great laughs, good treats, and what a trick! 

The FIRST "3" of this series came on November 3rd and I just happen to be lucky enough to be there for the occasion! I flew into Denver the day after Halloween and just in time for beautiful Denver weather {seriously gorgeous and sunny!} and then of course that night a huge snow storm. So I went to keep Jess busy as she just hit 38 weeks and do what I could to get some contractions going and bring laboring waves her way! We walked every aisle of Target twice (morning and night) for two days. We did stairs and laps at the Rec Center {did I mention I thought I was going to go into labor, yikes I'm outta shape}. We ate cayenne peppered mangos (that was more for me that for her labor, I just luv them and Whole Foods...so we made a stop). We did it all. So when we woke up on day 3 and knew I would be going home that afternoon, we were bummed. She had had some awesome series of contractions but nothing that maintained over a few hours. So as we stumbled down to the kitchen and pathetically started pouring Cheerios for the kids, it was as if my sister was translated right before me...she said, "And what really bugs, is that I feel like I have been peeing my pants all morning..." My heart raced and I wiped the sleepers from my eyes, "Are you peeing or are you leaking fluid?!" She responded, "I don't know..." So I said the magically word..."COUGH!" Standing there in her cute white robe, she let out a cough and the water poured down!!! {Sorry tmi, but it rocked!} We started jumping up and down!!! Her water had broke! It was a special treat to be there for Jackson Thomas Northrop's arrival. Everything went smoothly and Jess did amazing. He is perfect and plump and precious. I luved to see Eric's face light up when they laid JT on Jessica's chest...he said, "Yeah, that is defiantly the cutest baby I have ever seen..." Of course he looks just like his dad! Lucky, lucky me! #2 of the series will arrive in December with my little sister Lindsey giving birth to a baby boy! And then my little #3 will be here in February...why does that sound so much sooner than later...
{proof of the stairs, one set at least, this was at the high school, jessica don't kill me!}

We had our Evening in Excellence program for the Young Women at our church. It was a huge feat to put on but I really believe in the Young Women's program and the purpose it has in these girls lives. In a world that is so stressful, challenging, negative, harsh...I wanted to create a night to truly celebrate all the GOOD these young women are doing. They do so much good. We highlighted not only their achievements in their Personal Progress but also the accomplishments in service, school, extracurricular, talents, family and individual interest. We had a sort of Emmy's show, although it was named the EMMA's {A Tribute to Emma Hale Smith}. Each girl received an award and in between awards we had talent performances, young women that: played the harp, sang, violin, Irish Dancing, Ballet, Piano, Contemporary Dance. It was a spectacular evening. I was so very proud of the two young women who received their Medallions as they completed all the requirements of the Personal Progress Program! One of the highlights for me was the Honorary Awards we gave out...we had the girls (over a month's period) nominate women in our church ward that had touched their life or their families life. We had a committee pick the top 5 and we invited the women to come that night, with special invitations and seating when they arrived. Each girl read about the nominee and then presented them with an Honorary Award for the positive impact they have on young women. Each woman was really touched. It was pretty special and a reminder to me that you never know who is watching you or what the small acts of kindness and service can do for those around you. 
 {Honorary Awards}
 {Set-up...Mrs. Buttersworth painted GOLD for our "Emma" awards!}
{getting ready! red carpet and all!}

*Back to the THREE's right? Well Evening in Excellence #1...in December we will be having our end of the year Jesus the Christ Reading celebration (I am on page 450...I have a month to finish!). We are having a super fun night to celebrate and we have an amazing guest speaker coming for the young women...can't wait to surprise you with who it is! And then if that is not enough, I will have to sneak in #3 before the baby comes with New Beginnings in January with the Young Women.

Just THREE more and I promise I am done and seeing that these are my favorite three's:
- Jilly is now sporting "Katy Perry" bangs, courtesy of her sister Lucy. She walks into my bedroom, at 7:05 a.m nonetheless, with butchered bangs. I'm so groggy I don't even know how I manage to say, what happened to your hair and she matter of factly says to me, "Lucy cut my hair, no worry...it's OKAY!"
- Speaking of Lu...her latest obsession is Freddy Kruger. Not the scary killer guy but our neighbors kitty (that is what the neighbor named him!). Anyways, "Freddy" has become quite the regular around here because Lucy has basically adopted / God Mothered / Stolen the kitty from our neighbor. Which of course, sends Cam just about over the edge! And he is quite vocal about his disdain, when he sees her sneaking the kitty food, making a bed for it in the garage, and petting it for hours. To which Lucy has voiced, "Yeah mom, if I am ever dating some guy and he doesn't like cats, no way am I marrying him..."     She. Is. Five. lol!

- A few months ago I was looking for a way for Savannah's piano playing to be more effective ("series of 3!"). It seemed like every time we sat down to practice, she would end up in tears (for no reason!). Plus, I wasn't thrilled about her piano teacher. So, after some talk with Cameron, I decided that I would start teaching her. But how I approached it with her, was that she would be getting a new piano teacher the upcoming week. So Monday after school (back in August) she came home, and said I'm ready for piano. So I had her get her piano bag and told her to go outside through the garage and then come back to the front door and ring the door bell. She looked at me, kinda confused, but she did it. After she rang the doorbell, I opened the door and introduced myself as Mrs. Kesler, her new piano teacher. Long story short, it's been a funny, fabulous 3 and half months teaching my star student. It's amazing how this little scenario works for us both. There is no crying. There is no fighting. She truly treats me like her teacher and her as my student. She leaves after 45 minutes through the front door and then back in through the garage "I'm home!" This week she passed off all her books and is on to her next level. It's been a growing experience for me as a mother to look for ways to do things differently, as needed for my children...in this case, to be apart of her "make believe", all while truly believing and sticking to what I know is her potential. Vannah and her BFF are luving the hoop season! I luv to see her little cheeks get all flushed as she is running, focusing and working so hard! It's pretty cute! 
I can't believe my THREE will soon be four...

1. What is your favorite number?

2. Has your child ever cut their hair or a siblings? Did you freak out?
 or just go back to bed like I did (okay, after a few threats to cut all of Lucy's hair off if she every picked up a pair of scissors again, and then I rolled over...)

3. Do you love the Target Christmas commericals as much as I do?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's about "TIME"...

First TIME for everything...
{first...sorry for the odd facial expressions and poses in this post...
remember I am pregnant and borderline crazy in so many ways...}
I have been wanting to can all fall...I canned applesauce with my mother-in-law (Marva Lu!) last fall but she practically held my hand the whole time! So the garden was overflowing with tomatoes and with fresh peach stands on every corner...I got out my canning book and instruments (is that what they are called?) that I got for Christmas and went to work! It was also conference weekend for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints...so I canned and listened...and decided, not evening knowing it, that I had started a new tradition...canning during General Conference Weekend! Results: 19 quarts of peaches! 24 pints of spaghetti sauce! 9 pints of diced tomatoes! and....one of my favorite quotes from conference, by Carl B. Cook:

The door opened and someone entered, but I didn’t look up. As the door closed, I heard someone ask, “What are you looking at down there?...It's better to look up.” I recognized that voice—it was President Thomas S. Monson. As we parted, the words of a scripture came to mind: "Believe in God; believe that he is...; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth." 
Perfect TIMing..."I'm really liking the Cami in the second trimester." - Cameron said this a couple of weeks ago. Now, if he would have said this two months ago, the wrath of Cami would have ensued, but since the timing was perfect...we laughed hysterically until we were crying! 
{me and my dust mustache while 4-wheeling}
Where did TIME go?
 Lucy turned 5 at the end of September...every child's birthday takes you back and makes you wonder, where did TIME go? Lucy has such a special place in my heart. It's interesting how each one of my girls has touched me in a different way and while my love for them is universal, it's so individual. Lucy was the babe who hated the car seat and I remember cooking dinner with her in the Bjorn carrier. But she slept like a champ, she still requires me to slow down & listen, and still gives me the best hugs and kisses. Instantly lovable, never forgettable, you've never met someone like my Laquisha. xo lu-lu!


Just in the nick of TIME.
A great reference when playing dodge ball with the youth at church, get your prego butt out of the way...
What TIME is it?
Time for some BLUE! We had Lindsey's baby shower last weekend and there was so much blue, the room started spinning and I had to sit down...I hope I am ready for it! We had so much fun planning the shower and celebrating Lindsey - she is going to be such a fantastic mom! My sister Jessica was also in town, she is having her baby boy in a month! We had a little party for her at Cheesecake Factory as  well!
TIME flies when you are having fun!
We had an awesome time 4-wheeling with the Randy & Wendy a couple of weeks ago! Time really did fly...we were out on the mountain for over 3 hours and it flew by! The scenery was beautiful, I luv this time of year. The air was crisp and invigorating. 

No TIME like the present... 
We hit the mountains again...it had been a rainy, gloomy morning but we thought let's go for it! The clouds parted and we had a super fun hike up Millcreek canyon with Cameron's cousins (Cath, Aunt Shellie, Jesica, and Becca! - why did we not get a group picture!!!). We had so much fun chatting, chasing kids, and taking pictures of this gorgeous present that is fall. The COLORS!
 {Want to read an uplifting and inspiring blog...check out cath here!

Remember that one TIME...
 That time we went to Hike the Y but got stuck in Utah Country Traffic and then once we got there, knew we couldn't make it up the Y and back with sunlight closing in on us...so we drove over to the Provo Temple and walked around it instead? That was one of the best times...

The TIMing was off.
One more story...there just isn't enough TIME