Thursday, November 10, 2011

the despicable williams

We love Halloween! And, like I said last year, Village Green is the greatest place in the world for a kid to have it! It isn't all about blood and gore, it's about characters and LOTS of candy! Last year I spent hours sewing all of our costumes. This year I got considerably lazier and resorted to dye (that was nearly a disaster all by it's self) and hot glue. While it may not have been as visually appealing it was so much fun. We started off by watching Despicable Me so that I could get my kiddos excited about what I had already decided they would be for Halloween. I hope that lasts another year! They loved it! Then we enjoyed all of our normal Halloween traditions one at a time. It was just a great season really. We loved what is very possibly our last Halloween here in the Corn husker state!

We made minion cupcakes. Truthfully, it was more aesthetic than tasty. The bodies, after all, were Twinkies. Plus, Aimee and Porter had a lot of fun putting sprinkles on them.











Our annual trip to Vala's Pumpkin Patch was awesome. Chad's externship ended just in time for us to hit one of the last warm week days for a not too crowded visit. We have now been there enough to know what to spend our time on to make the most of our day without missing anything and without wearing the kids out on the stuff that isn't awesome. One of my personal favorites is the jumping pillows.



Aimee has gotten all girlie on me, and wanted her picture taken in the pumpkin princess.



Between the hail storm we had here, and the lateness of the season, it was tough finding the pumpkins we wanted. I admit, we settled.



This is the family peddle cart. Chad also made sure to take Aimee and Porter on the single rider ones so they could go fast. Porter wasn't a big fan of going fast...all in good time.



The out-house pictures are some of my favorites.









Aimee and the four boys next to her are the fanatical five. This is our car pool group that we love. These kids are crazy on a normal morning heading to school, but this morning in their costumes they were uncontainable! They are at the old folks home in this pic. They came and sang a few songs for them. It was so cute!

This is Aimee's first school party. I loved the paper towel plates!





Aimee won the pin-the-nose-on-the-jack-o-lantern! Sadly, she first ran into the wall when released with the blind fold! I was laughing so hard I think some of the other parents thought I was mean. If only they knew how often that happens without a blind fold...



This was the final product! Pratt had glasses, but after the ward trunk-or-treat they were misplaced. I have the cutest villain and baby minions!



Our pumpkins this year! Aimee just couldn't stop painting, and hers ended up mostly yellow. Porter had more paint on himself than his pumpkin. Prat was a great watcher. I chose a simple one so that I could keep everyone in paint, and Chad kept with the Despicable Me theme.




Mummy minion.



Frankenstein minion. I am married to such an artist!



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Sunday, October 30, 2011

tidbits



I snapped this photo a couple of weeks ago. Now Pratt is up on his knees and rocks back and forth. He wants to crawl so bad but hasn't quite figured it out. It is just a matter of time though.



While Pratt technically isn't mobile yet he still does a pretty good job getting around. Aimee and Porter regularly play and hide under the bunk beds, but this night after tubby time Pratt was able to join in the fun.



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It is pretty fun getting to teach your kids to tell you how awesome you are or to do funny things. I caught one of those incidents on camera the other night.




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We have never had a kid with so much chin chub. This is one of the fun benefits of it!

peer presure

In the last few months Aimee as become very attached to her bike. She rides it outside regularly, and to the clubhouse for several of our activities there. I feel like our $15 yard sale investment has been a good one. A couple of week ago the bike became a little cool. Most of Aimee's Sunbeam class lives within 50 yards of us, and they are all older than Aim. Just recently several of these other four year olds had their training wheels taken off, and replaced with a dad running behind them while holding on to the bike seat. Of course Aimee didn't want to be left out, and requested also have her training wheels removed. Only day before Chad had seen Aimee's little friend take a pretty good spill off her bike. It resulted in blood and several bandages. Being the cautious dad that he is, Chad was not thrilled about this. He talked Aimee into trying it out on one of her friends bikes first before doing it to her bike.



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It was a lot of fun for her for about ten minutes, and then she was ready to hop back on her four wheeled bicycle to enjoy the convenience of little effort needed to ride a bike. Either way it was cute to watch.

train museum




We have awesome friends! One of our good friends turned 30, and his wife threw him an awesome Amazing Race surprise party. We drove all over old market Omaha and Council Bluffs doing everything from downing ice cream in record time to singing to strangers and hanging upside down on the monkey bars at a local park. It was a blast! We were seconds from winning, and had it not been for a blatant traffic violation just blocks from the finish line we would have. It worked out great though because our prize was admission for our entire family to a train museum in Council Bluffs. I admit that the kids didn't enjoy the race as much as we did, so it was great that we won something they would love so much, especially Porter.



The museum had all sorts of miniature trains moving through model towns. There was also a small train that they could drive. There was a fair amount of bickering over whose turn it was, but still fun. We also got to step into several engines, and walk through a variety of train cars that included old fashioned mail cars, sleeper cars, army cars and dinning cars. They rang the rail yard bell, and had a great time.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ward camp-out





We had been really looking forward to our ward camp out. With Chad gone all summer we hadn't been able to go, but this was just the opportunity we needed. The forecast was clear this year, but it did say it would be a cold that evening. We got up to Hitchcock with plenty of time to go claim our camp spot. It reminded us of just how much we love our hand-me-down tent. We then enjoyed a BBQ and fireside before we headed back to the campground. Honestly, I missed most of the night. By the time I put Pratt to bed and pumped up in the van, most people had gone to bed. I found a few smores and learned that Aimee and Porter had actually asked Chad to take them to bed while I was away. It had been a big night. They had definitely made the most of being in the woods. That night I could have written a thank you card in the dark (because for the second year in a row we forgot to pack a flashlight) to our neighbors who kindly loaned us their four sleeping bags. Every blanket that we own wouldn't have been enough. It was cold! My little Prattman's rolling skills are not good for staying under the blankets while in a pack n' play outdoors. I also learned that Chad thought the sleeping bags for Aimee and Porter were just for padding. He gave the kids all of his blankets, and I wouldn't have been warm if I had had all of them myself. I got up early the next morning to feed Pratt and pump. The two of us enjoyed the warm van for a couple of hours before I headed back down. That morning we enjoyed fried eggs, hash browns, sausage, donuts and juice. We swapped stories with our friends about their crazy nights and packed up. We got to drive back home on I-29 for the first time since the flood closed it. It was quite a site to see. We got home in time for Chad to vacuum the van out and me to uncover our kids from the layers of dirt and smoke they had built up. Someday we will get good at the camping thing, but for now we are having fun make memories failing at it!

7 months old






Pratt had a check-up just last week. I learned that my not-so-little boy is indeed, not so little. He was 19 pounds, and his height was at about the 67th percentile. He may not be a baby that people gawk at because of his size but we are still adjusting to his size. Porter was about 18 and 1/2 pounds at his one year, and Aimee was just barely over 16 pounds. I continue to be amazed that a child can actually follow clothing sizes by month. Right now my little guy is learning to eat. He was not excited about this step. I only wished I had captured a picture that would have said it all.. He is getting much better now and has mastered rice cereal, peas (Chad thinks I am a villain for this), carrot, and his favorite, sweet potatoes. He has also caught up to his brother in terms of hair growth. I now have two little heads to cut every three or so weeks. Pratt continues to be a great sleeper, and waker. By that I mean that he always wakes up happy. In fact he often just wakes up and plays. It isn't crying that gets me in the room to retrieve him, it is his little happy squeals. I only with I knew how long he had been in there before I heard him playing... He is a little rolling machine. Aimee has gotten quite good at pulling him back onto the rug in the living room. Although, he also loves his walker. He is my first kid big enough to actually use it. Aimee and Porter couldn't reach the floor until they were too old to enjoy it. He scoots backward all over the kitchen. Pratt loves everyone, and everyone loves Pratt, although Porter reserves his affection for special occasions or when he feels possessive of the kids outside cooing at him. Pratt makes me baby hungry, and that is saying a lot! But don't worry, that is most definitely not in the plan for a while!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

pre-school for aimee



Aimee is a social learner, and that is really why I decided to put her in pre-school. Every time I would try to sit down and work on letters or colors, she shut down and tuned out. This was an effort to make sure she is ready for kindergarten. Several months ago I went and toured the facility. It is actually an old fire station that has since been converted into her pre-school. It is called Catholic Charities Learning Center, but it is not a Catholic school. I asked a lot of questions, and decided that this would give my baby girl a great environment to learn and see what school is all about. She goes three days a week for three hours, and loves it! We missed the whole first week while we were in Idaho, so her first day was actually a field trip to the zoo. Since we go there a lot the exciting thing was getting to ride the bus. She was a little disappointed when that wasn't a normal part of things, but has since learned lot of other things to love. I for one love that she loves it! I am also able to run a few errands on school morning, and get through the grocery store a little quicker. I have decided that while I think it is a good thing, she won't be going to pre-school next year. This year will help her get the jump start she needed, but I miss her so much! I need next year for me, before she starts kindergarten, and I lose having her around as much!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

grandpa darrell

We have managed to get all three grandparents out to our house in the last six months. Grandma Alice came to help out when Pratt was born. Grandpa Williams came when Chad was ordained, and we guilted my dad into coming by me whining about having to drive 1000 miles with all three of my kiddos alone. I didn't do it alone. My dad made the drive with us, and then stayed a couple of days before he flew home. One of those days was a Sunday, so we just enjoyed a relaxing Sabbath.



On Monday grandpa got so see Aimee go to her first day of pre-school! Then we headed off to the zoo. We went to the jungle, the desert dome, and caught the 3D movie at the IMAX there before it was time to go get my big girl.


After lunch and naps we hit of the zoo a second time so that Aimee could show grandpa some of her favorite things there- the budgies, and the goats. Then we bribed the kids to leave by going for ice cream. I am pretty sure we were entertainment for everyone else at Zesto's. We had ice cream everywhere, but we also had a great time.

The kids played outside for a bit before it was time for dinner and family home evening. Grandpa left the next morning. I think we tuckered him right out in just one big day of play (oh, and a sacrament meeting) but we sure had a lot of fun doing it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

idaho

I admit I was hesitant to be away from home so long. Call me a bit of a control freak, but I just like to do things my way. Yes, I have an incredibly patient husband. But, as it turns out, we had a great time during our nearly four week long stay in the great state of Idaho! Chad did his second externship at University of Utah. Since I was released as primary president, I didn't feel the need to stick around Omaha when there was a chance for me and the kiddos to see our family. We even got lucky and saw Chad a couple of times! Here is a photo-with-a-brief-explanation view of the trip.

Pratt had lots of relatives to meet during his first trip to the Gem State. Great Grandpa King had a great time getting to know the little guy.


Aunt Torj was very patient with all of the little people that wanted to explore her stuff. She was also great to take time to make them feel special.



I loved helping my mom cook as a kid, and I was glad my kiddos got to enjoy doing that with Grandma Alice.



What a cool Aunt to hang out in the kiddie pool!



Gardening was not one of my favorite things to do with my mom, but my kids liked it. I think Chad has a lot to do with that.



Taessia did her fair share of babysitting while I was in Preston. There were several mornings that she watched the kiddos so that I could go on a walk with my mom. Thanks Torj!




My parents use this wagon behind their four-wheeler to garden with. It became known as the Grandma Wagon, and was a favorite activity during our stay.



My mom would haul the kiddos all over the neighborhood in the wagon, but my grandpa's old farm was a favorite stop. It is now run by someone else, but they were kind enough to let the kids come see the animals, and even feed a calf a bottle.



One of the highlights of the trip was finally blessing our little guy. We got permission to bless him at my Dad's house one Sunday afternoon. Chad had that weekend off, and both grandpa's and a few other special family members were able to be there. It was a really neat and personal experience.



Aunt Tubbs was so sweet to come to Preston every day she had off from work to spend time with us, and the kiddos loved every second!



Uncle Cubby also came home several times, and did a good job making sure the kids got teased and squished.



This picture will be one to show the kids when they are my age, and I am telling them about their grandpa that served in WWII. I have such a cute little grandpa!



We were lucky enough to have our visit correspond with Melissa and her kids being in town. Aimee had talked for weeks about getting to see her cousins, and had a marvelous time with them. I only wish I had gotten a picture with Ellie in the wagon too.



Did I mention how much these kids love their Aunt Tubbs? It's pretty easy to see why!



Grandpa Williams always worries that we are going to have enough to do at his house. Well, we had a great time, and Grandpa was so cute to watch playing with his mini fan club.



For Family Home Evening in Pocatello we made a trip up to Scout Mountain for a hot dog roast. Aimee and Porter had a great time with their big cousins, and it was so cute to see those big boys be so cute with my little people.



I was pretty glad that Aunt Shauna helped out with tubby time after this night. The kids were filthy, but they sure had a great time!



Grandpa busted out his four wheelers too, and we zipped up and down the streets of the Pocatello metropolis.



Pratt has two little boy cousins that were born a month and 3 months after him. Hopefully someday they will be a little band of buddies when we all hang out at Grandpa Williams house. This one is Carter. They rolled into each other and spit up on each other. It was a pretty good start of making mischief.



This is what Aimee looks forward to all year! Grandpa makes a special effort to take us to the ranch and ride Poco. Every time Aimee gets a little more confident. She did a lot of leading the horses around, although grandpa had to make sure the horses long legs didn't get going faster than Aimee's little legs could go.



Someday I need to arrange all of these grandpa and Aimee photos in sequential order so I can see change from year to year.



Aim has no fear of these huge animals, she just adores them. She is a little cowgirl that only gets to get out a couple of times a year.



Grandpa is getting Pratt ready to go for his first ride next time we get to visit.



Porter is a little scared of riding. When he rode with me or Chad he was done in a matter of minutes. He later went with grandpa and cried when we took him off.



Grandpa took the tree out of his back yard, and he painted the play house. It made for lots of fun hours for Aimee and Porter. These are Uncle Mikey and Aunt Saundra's goggles that they stole for a few of those hours.



Fun grandpa in action.

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Aunt Tubbs playing in the sprinklers with the cousins.

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The grandma wagon in action.

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