Saturday, August 23, 2014


Besides all the big events that happened in Ausust, we did some regular stuff to worth documenting such as...
 {my notes I kept throughout the month}
Reese can:
-Make kiss noise, yes it is the most adorable thing ever and she is pretty stingy with her actual kisses-drives josh insane. 
-Say bye bye and wave...ok this may be a "mom" thing but I swear she try's to say and gets pretty close to "bye-bye". 
-Says hello, likes holdings phone. When she is given a cell phone she holds it to her ear or back of her next and again...proud mom or hearing problems?!...says "hello"
-Shake her head no and by the end of August if you gave her something she likes she nodded her head yes a couple times. 
-Learning to do stairs on tummy, only goes up if we insist, by the end of this month she was always sneaking up our stairs! 
-Drink from a sippy cup
-Standing and taking 1/2 step
-Reese has, unfortunately, followed in Max's footsteps and passes out when she cries sometimes. I'm starting to keep track because she does it a lot more then Max...6 times this month alone!
-Throws a good fit if we don't let her on the couch...this girl loves to crawl/walk back and forth across the couch but it's not exactly safe for her to do so, she can throw a good fit over it!
-Reese laughs after she farts and it's hilarious!
-Took first steps at 10mths 1week and 5days old. Very wobbly, we have to catch her as she likes to run 2-3 steps instead of going slowly. 

Max Taylor at the park one afternoon
My dad and his wife threw me and my brother a bday pool BBQ bash and our grandma ordered is this awesome cake   
Wagon ride while the big kids are at school
Grancy let Reese take all the tissues out and she had the best time ever doing it!
She has been a little more myschevious...
I had the great idea for Sumo Night and it was a hit!

"helping" to rinse off his sister
Not a great picture but just proof we watched our friends dog for the weekend. We LOVE this dog. He is sooo fun and so sweet!
Sunday dinner 

Josh's parents poured this amazing concrete pathway/track in their yard for the grandkids, and they totally love it!!!

As much as I LOVE my hot hot HOT weather I am ready for a day here and there of cool, fall weather.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back To School

And just like that summer vacation is over! 

We had our 3rd annual back to school feast complete with fancy table settings (to my kids this means glass plates and wine glasses and fabric napkins, as they get older ill have to step my game up!) crowns and our family theme for this year. 
Since Braden was also going to school this year it was finally his turn to pick the menu. I tell them I'll make them any dinner they choose (within reason) and he wanted grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices, green smoothies and chips. I tried for a few days to get him to pick something ummm more special but this was his decision!
Our theme this year is "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" phillipians 4:13 I chose this for a few reasons but my main reason being Braden was very hesitant about going to T-k. He was SURE he would be bored with, and I quote, "math and stuff" and having to sit down too much. I think he was also nervous about making new friends and just the unknown. So im hoping to be able to incorporate this scripture into FHE (family home evening) and to have it on our minds as the kids get home from school and talk about their day. I want them to know that they can absolutely accomplish anything with the help of Christ, whether its overcoming shyness to make a new friend or getting a new math concept they think is too hard, etc (I talked to them about this during our dinner)

Riley's crown this year had stars all over it and the number 2 stamped on it. She is our star and we are excited to see her shine in 2nd grade. 
Braden's crown had lightening bolts all over it. I told him it was because he is so quick and fast and awesome!
Max's crown had arrows pointing every which way on it because thats Max. He is always going somewhere, doing something, or getting into soemthing. He is high energy!
After dinner that night, before bed josh gave Braden and Riley a blessing. I should've written down what I remembered after because now I don't remember! But I do remember feeling the comfort each message brought for that child. And then Max wanted a blessing, it was really sweet, he sat nice and still and received wonderful blessing as well. 

The morning of the first day of school
Riley was ready. She said she wasn't nervous, just excited to see her new room. Her twin cousins got a different teacher this year which was a little sad but Riley was okay because she got the teacher she was hoping for (Riley said it looks like this teacher does tons of crafts with her students)
Second grade!
Transitional Kindergarden!
Braden was nervous and would've stayed home if I gave him the option but he went without wining or crying and did his best to be brave. 

I stayed with Braden a bit and when I asked if he was ready for me to leave he said no so i stayed a few more minutes until the teacher dismissed all the parents from the room. He liked his class and was happy with me watching him play with some toys. We walked around the class and looked at all the books his teacher has and noticed she had his all time favorite book "the little mouse and the red ripe strawberry". So right then and there (I tried to boost his confidence) and proclaimed "this just proves it! She is the PERFECT teacher for you!" and he agreed. 
Braden is lucky enough to have 3 of his boy cousins attend the same school, all in kindergarten. (he is the only one in transistional)
4years ago we took this picture at church...all living in different cities
how crazy we all ended up together!

The first day of school was good for both. They both came home happy and liking their class and teachers. They both have 2 teachers with a split contract. Luckily all 4 teachers seem great!

Normally my kids eat at their kid table in he kitchen about 30minutes before josh gets home and then josh and invest standing in the kitchen or sometimes one of us at the big table. But rarely all together. I made it a goal this school year that mon-fri we would all eat together at the adult able, at the same time. I feel that it is extremely important to have this time together as a family but i HATE making dinner. Just not something I enjoy doing-cooking-blah. I wanted time for us to sit and talk about our day, a place the kids could tell us good things that happened or things that worried them. I make it a point to put all the food out on the table and we pass it around to fill our plates. As we are eating we go around the table and say at least two good things about our day. It's been really nice so far and makes cooking dinner worth it!

School has been in for two weeks now and I'm sooo happy to say its been great. I carpool with a few friends so instead of having to drive 3times a day I only have to drive 1-2times. Braden would rather stay home but he goes to school happy and comes home extremely loving and happy. He has kept his clip on "green" every single day and even moved it up to purple one day (meaning great behavior and got to pick from the treasure chest). I volunteered once in his class so far and it was fun to see him and his classmates. 
   He doesn't whine about the "learning" so far and really likes his teachers. I felt so proud one day picking him up when his substitute teacher handed him off to me and said genuinely "REALLY great student!". Before Braden went to school i worried he would back talk sometimes or maybe push another kid, but so far he has proved that he knows how to act and has been just really great. 
   Riley really enjoys her teachers and class so far. She has homework already which wasn't her favorite thing but there isn't too much whining. She does love that every kid in her school 1-5th grade gets there own chrome book for class! Sounds like they use it about half the day and she LOVEESSS that! I love to hear what she has to say about school when she eat home and she offers up info a little easier then last year. 

When it was Braden's turn to say his two good things at dinner this past week he said he got to play with two of his cousins at recess and when I asked what they played he got all embarassed and said that some girls were chasing them around and trying to hold Luke and Nathan's hands. Hahaha me and josh were laughing so hard!!!

School Year is off to a great start!

Cousin Camp

{top left:Easton, Max, Caiden. Bottom left: Braden, Lucas, Hailey, Riley...Liam and Brynlee were too young to attend and Reese was there but too little too}
I had this idea...i wanted to start a tradition and have all of my kids' first cousins (on joshs side) over for the day for a "cousin camp" once a summer. I'm hoping it will be something they look forward to, love and remember. 
    I had the whole day scheduled and it went mostly according to plan. Cousin camp was from 10am-4pm and I had different activities set throughout the day with lots of time to just play inbetween. 
     To start the day off we made awesome spray paint T-shirts...the kids put strips of masking tape on white shirts however they wanted. 
Then we went outside and they picked what colors they liked and I sprayed....
We let them dry all the way while we ate lunch...
Weren't my helpers cute?!
Boy table:
Girl table
Shirts were dry by then and ready to take the tape off. The kids were so excited...especially Easton, he kept saying "this is SO awesome!". They all immediately put them on. 

Then I stacked them in this pyramid'ish shape that I hope to build and recapture each year! Most of the pictures went something like this...
Then I had to go to a meeting for Braden's school so my sister inlaw Heidi was so nice to come watch the kids for an hour. During that hour I left them with a movie and popcorn and candy and promises of water balloons when I got back. 
They had a blast throwing water balloons
and playing in our inflatable pool. 
Oh and what would cousin camp be without Popsicles!!
silly girls!
For the boys the day basically consisted of playing power rangers and discussing who should be the black ranger and why. 
Whether they were in the back yard, house or in the pool, "GO, GO, power rangers!" is what I heard. 
Just a side note. Caiden was SO mad at anyone splashing, jumping etc in the pool. He walked around the pool giving himself a WIDE perimeter haha poor guy. I put his regular clothes back on and he was happy to go play on his scooter. 
  After awhile all the kids wanted to get dried off and re-dressed for scooter and bikes until pick up time. 
It was such a fun first annual cousins' camp. I couldn't have asked for it to go
any better. I loved seeing them play together and grew a deeper love for my niece and nephews.