Friday, December 18, 2009

Tis the Season

We have been getting ready for Christmas. I think so far this is the most fun its been. Sam is super excited and he believes in Santa and all that fun stuff! We've been driving around looking at lights at night and we found a great cul de sac in Mesa. We also took the kids to the temple.

Sam had a Christmas program at his school this week. Once again, he was front and center, right where it was easy to see him! He did so good and they were all really cute.

I guess the biggest news of the month is that Charlie is potty trained! Yay!!! I had though a couple months ago how it would be a nice Christmas present to myself if I could be done with diapers. I didnt think it would happen, but on Sunday when we woke up, I asked if he wanted to use the toilet and he did. From that point on, he wore underwear. Its now Friday and he has only had a couple small accidents this entire week and none since Tuesday. He even goes on his own, without me asking him all the time. It is wonderful and Im so proud of how great of a potty trainer he has been. Pretty much perfect!

We are heading up to Prescott this afternoon for the Hardy/McGuire Christmas party at Dad and Fran's. Im so excited to see everyone.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We have had a nice Thanksgiving weekend so far. We had a little dinner at my mom's on Wed night with just us, Mom and Randy and Grandpa Smith and Grandma Lumpkin. It was nice! It was the smallest Turkey meal Ive ever had. We got to sit at the dining room table and eat on China. It was very nice. The next day, we headed over to Bob and Pat's for a Cunningham family Thanksgiving. It was so much fun! The kids had a soccer tournament. There was lots of tree climbing and rough housing. The food was amazing too! It was great to see Whitney and Audrey's families. It had been a long time since we'd all gotten together. It was better than I had hoped.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 gross!

Am I the only mom that see's a mess like this when she checks her kids bathroom? This is what the toothpaste ALWAYS looks like in the boys bathroom. Its so gross, but it makes me laugh at the same time. Charlie is pretty obsessed with brushing his teeth. He mostly likes to eat the toothpaste, but I usually find him in the bathroom 5 or 6 times a day trying to brush. Now if only I could get Sam to like it that much.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Madness

We hosted a Halloween party here for our friends with small kids. It was a lot of fun. Charlie was very into trick or treating. By the end of it, his bag of candy was so full he could barely carry it. Here are some pics of us from the party.

A Hustler, Cleopatra, and 2 Power Rangers: Oh and Carl glued that comb over on with rubber cement! OUCH.

Power Rangers:
My goblin cupcakes. I also made eyeball cupcakes !

Our Jack O Lanterns!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where have the months gone?

I cant believe I havent updated this blog in over 2 months. Life has been busy.

Sam started Pre-K at his school this year. His teachers are Mrs. Martinez and Mrs. Klemmer. Sam's friend Will is in his class this year, so that is nice. Will's mom and I are good friends so we take turns picking up the kids from school and letting them play all afternoon. Here is a pic of Sam with his friend Will, on an opposing soccer team.

Charlie and I hang out when Sam is in school. I take him to the park and run errands. He goes to a babysitter here in my neighborhood on Wed mornings so I can have a few hrs to get things done. Miss Lina is his sitter and she is a very nice lady that does child care out of her home full time. She has 3 other 2 yr olds that are always there for Charlie to play with.

Sam is playing his 2nd season of soccer! He is on the Las Sendas league this year so I see all my friends at the games and practices. Its fun for all of us. This year, Sam really seems to understand it more. He actually knows what goal is his haha. He has also discovered that he is a great goalie! So this year that is his job. Its fun watching him, but its a nightmare dealing with Charlie at the games. Man that kid just wants to GO in his own direction.

The kids and I went up to Prescott over the weekend with Leslie who was in town for a wedding. We spent one night up there. It was a quick trip, but nice. We got to go to a pumpkin patch with Kristal and her kids and actually pick pumpkins off the vine! I dont think Ive ever picked pumpkins. Most pumpkin patches in AZ are field with pumpkins trucked in and scattered about.

We are looking forward to the holidays. We are kicking it off with a Halloween party here at our house for our friends and neighbors. Carl has plans to make a haunted house in our courtyard that the kids have to go through to get into the house....he is procrastinating it though, and busy with work so we will see.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Well, Im back from hiking Havasupai in the Grand Canyon. I had an amazing time! happy Everything from waking up at 2:30am and driving 3 hrs to get there, to the hike, the was all a lot of fun!! Not having to take care of kids, I felt like a kid again.

The hike in wasnt bad at all. Its 10 miles and the first mile is practically straight down, the switch backs. Then after that, its just a LONG walk. It was a beautiful walk though and I didnt get any blisters at all. Im sure not having to carry our packs made a huge difference.

The campsite was amazing! A large creek running through the middle and lots of little brooks and creeks all over the place! The spot we got was surrounded on both sides by creeks. We were right against the canyon walls and there was a really cool cave right up above us that had 4 tunnels that went back about 200 feet. The water falls were the most amazing waterfalls Id ever seen. They blew anything Id seen in Hawaii out of the water. Havasupai falls was nice, but the 2nd day we hiked to Mooney Falls and wow, it was so awesome! We had to go through this crazy little cave, and climb down latters and hold onto ropes and chains to get down. It really was one of the coolest spots Ive ever seen in my entire life.

Everyone hiked out, but my mom and I took a helicopter out. Aside from waiting forever, it was really cool. When you are in the bottom of the canyon, all you can see is the walls right by you, so the canyon doesnt look as big. But flying out, I saw all the other canyon walls that were set back and I was like, wow this really is the grand canyon! There is a village down at the bottom that 300 natives have been living in for over 1000 yrs. It was crazy seeing houses down there. The only way in is to walk, horse back or helicopter. They all keep their cars at the hilltop and fly in. I cant imagine living down there, totally cut off from the rest of the world. We saw horses carrying mail bags out.

Anyways, the whole trip made me realize how much I need to get back outdoors and starting camping and hiking again. I really enjoyed the rock climbing as well. It was scary but when I was down and saw what I climbed, I was so proud of myself. It was amazing being in a spot where there were no cars, no music, no noise at all but the creek. You couldnt even hear the other campers. It was really neat.

Here is the link to an awesome slide show that Carl made if you want to check out more of our pics:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Have you ever gone backpacking??

Because I havent. And Im doing it this weekend for the first time. Carl and I are hiking to Havasupai with Tiffany and Luis, Leslie, and my mom and Randy. We are dropping Sam and Charlie off in Prescott to spend the weekend with my dad.

Packing for a trip like this is hard! Ive never had to include everything in one pack before. We each get 35 lbs and that has to include our tent, sleeping bags, clothes, food, dishes and everything else we might need! They dont allow fires down in the canyon, so we are bringing freeze dried meals and little bunsen burner stoves and mess kits that we cook with. We got beef stroganoff, beef stew, and bacon and eggs. We actually already tested out the eggs and they werent half bad! A bit salty and porky for my tastes, but the texture was fine, so I know I can eat that stuff for a couple days. I will take plenty of pics of our food and post them to my other blog

Its going to be 95-100 degrees down there, but the water is cool and it cools down enough at night that its tolerable. I feel like even though we will be roughing it, it will still be vacation because I wont have the kids. My load will be lighter because I only have to worry about myself, and that will be nice.

We will take tons of pics and I will be sure to share them all!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe

Dirty Jobs is a show on Discovery Channel and they are doing a show about my parents dirt shirt factory in Kauai. They did all the filming yesterday and today. The show will air this fall.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pictures from San Diego

Carl made a pretty cool slide of our pics from San Diego. It includes all of our friends we were there with. Its really good! There are a lot of pics, but it goes really fast. Check it out!

San Diego Slide show

Friday, July 10, 2009

San Diego

We went to San Diego for July 4th this year. We were invited out by our friends Nate and Stacy and their 4 kids. They rented a big house right on the boardwalk of Mission Beach. We also met up with our old friends Jim and Elisabeth and their 3 kids too. There were 10 kids in one house. It was loud and crazy and everyone had fun. We had a really neat fire pit on our patio and we got to make smores. Each family was in charge of a dinner and everyone grilled and made really yummy food. We mostly stayed at the beach but on the last day we went to Sea World. We had a great weekend with our friends. Cant wait to do it again

Friday, June 26, 2009

Crazy Hair Day

Sam went to vacation bible school this week at our church. Yesterday was Crazy hair day. Since Sam's hair is so short, we decided to dye it any color he wanted! This is how it came out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Swimming Lessons

Sam has been taking swim lessons this summer. His swim teacher, Harrison, comes to our house and gives him a lesson twice a week. We love Harrison, he is a 17 yr old kid that is wonderful with kids. Sam loves him and is always painting him pictures and stuff. Sam is doing great with swimming. He can doggie paddle all over the place, go down the slide, jump in from anywhere. Charlie is right behind him. Here are a few pics of the boys having lots of fun in our pool and the last one is a close up of Sam, with all his adorable freckles he is getting!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Sam and Charlie are up to lately

Ive been meaning to blog about a few recent things that have made me smile, laugh or cry. I will start with Sam. He is very into things and how they work. He gets obsessed with little things and then they are the topic of conversation forever it seems. Right now we are on Gates. All of the neighborhoods up here are gated communities. He knows that on Saddleback Rd, there is a neighborhood with green gates, the only one with green gates in all of Las Sendas. This makes them very interesting and he begs me to go down that street all the time, even though it takes us out of our way. Also, he is constantly asking to go into this neighborhood or that...anywhere that we dont live or havent driven. He loves me to drive around and show him new streets and neighborhoods...preferably with gates that I can magically get into because I guess the gate code right. Now even Charlie is catching on to this fun and he constantly points the opposite direction I am driving or turning, and says, "Mommy bat way!"

Charlie is very interested in numbers and letters. His love of clocks has inspired a love of numbers. He can count backwards from 12. He prefers to count backwards actually. Anytime we are driving around or at any place, he notices signs and all those interesting letters and numbers. He randomly calls out any letter that comes to mind and points...A...E....K....P...sometimes even getting them right. The other night he was asleep and talking in his sleep. He was pointing and yelling out random letters...the kid even dreams of letters.

Back to Sam...he knows almost all of the 50 US States! Each night, Carl goes over them with him on a neat map that is hanging in his room. He picks a new state and memorizes it. He can now name almost half of the country's States. Who knows maybe after the States we can do the Capitals. Maybe he can be on Oprah someday as a child genius! (kidding)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Play Date Fun

Some friends from my playgroup got together today at Kristen's house for some swimming fun. It was a good time. I love all of Sam and Charlie's little friends. They are all so cute in their bathing suits.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sharing a room

*this entry was written over a month ago and I forgot all about posting it. I think I wanted to get a pic of their room in. I may do that today. But I still think this is worth remembering.

Lately, Sam has been complaining that he didnt want to sleep alone. I always tell him he has to, then kiss him and leave the room. When I think about that, I felt kind of bad. Why should he have to sleep alone when I dont have to? I asked him if he'd like to share his room with Charlie, so they could sleep together every night and he was so excited and said yes. Today we moved Charlie's crib into Sam's room. We had to do a little rearranging of the furniture, but everything fits very nicely! Im happy with how it all looks. Tonight was the first night putting them down together and it went fine. I told Sam that he can talk to Charlie, but has to stay in his bed. And he did. I heard some talking and goofing around, but soon after I walked out, Charlie went to sleep. It took Sam about 20 more minutes to fall asleep. All in all, it went very well. I hope that sharing a room brings them closer as siblings.

6-24-09: Well, its been over a month and its going good. They are both used to sleeping together. It takes them over an hour usually to settle down and go to sleep. Charlie can climb out of his crib now too, so that poses a few challenges. He cant climb back in, so I may just take the rail off and convert it to a toddler bed, until we can get bunk beds for them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Preschool is over

Sam had his end of the year program at his school last night. It was really cute. They all sang songs on the stage, then got called down one by one to get their diplomas. Sam will be in Pre-K next year, then its off to Kindergarden! I cant believe how fast time is going with him. That is Sam, front and center with the red and white striped shirt on. CUTE.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kauai Part 1

My friend John FINALLY uploaded a slide show from the first half of our trip to Kauai in March. Such good times. Such great photography! Its long, over 400 photos, but they are amazing photos that capture every detail of our trip. Ive already watched this many time, feeling nostalgic and wishing I could be back in Paradise. I feel so lucky that my good friend John is such an awesome photographer and made this awesome slide show for us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Did I climb out of your mouth??

Tonight when I was putting Sam to bed, I told him that I loved him so much and he was special because he was my first born. We had an interesting conversation that followed.

"I was born?" Said Sam.
"Yes, you were the first one born, that is what first born means."
"I was in your tummy all alone for a long time. How did I get out of there?"

Ummm "Well, God took you out."

"Well how did I get out of your belly though? Did I climb out of your mouth?"

Ok, after I held it all in, wanting to burst out laughing, we had a nice discussion where I lied to him and told him that no, he did not climb out of my mouth he came out of my belly button. "but did I climb out myself?" NO!!! You didnt. God said it was time and he had the doctors take you out of me."


So that was that. I had no idea what to say! Maybe it would have helped if Id have gone to the 3 week bible study Im attending right now on teaching your kids about healthy sexuality. Except today I completly forgot we had that class today and I just skipped it. Go figure that the day I miss the class, Sam asks his first question about sexuality.

Maybe God is telling me something.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy Bday Charlie

Charlie turned 2 this last week. We also celebrated Carl's bday (38) and our anniversary (5yrs). Needless to say, it was a busy, fun week. We had a little party here on Saturday for Charlie. We had the pool heated up and friends over to swim...everyone had a great time. I made a cute cake and cupcakes this year, stole the idea from my friend Laurel. Yesterday after the party, we had a nice little hike with just Carl and I and the kids and it was nice.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh Charlie

Isn't this just the cutest picture? Charlie loves putting on any boots he can find. These were Sam's rain boots. I love when he is walking around in a diaper like that. He just looks so babyish and adorable. Exactly how he is.

I am so divided on how I feel right now with Charlie. I can barely go into public without him throwing knock down, drag out tantrums. He is extremely hard to please at the moment. He is starting to talk a whole bunch, but he gets really frustrated when he cant get me to understand what he is trying to say. Its hard. I cant wait for him to talk better. More communication will mean more reasoning with him.

On the other hand, he is the sweetest little thing. He is so cuddly. If I sit on the couch, he is right there, laying across my lap with his blankee, which he nows calls his frisee, sucking his thumb...looking so sweet and innocent. He is a lover. He loves to give me hugs and kisses. Big open mouth kisses. I love it.

My little guy is going to be 2 years old in less than 2 weeks. I just cant believe it. He is growing so fast, and is so happy and healthy. I just feel so blessed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter! (alittle late)

Its Easter. We have had a nice few days. On Thursday we went up to Prescott to hang with everyone up there. Leslie was in town from Seattle. We stayed at Jason and Kristals and that is always great for the kiddos. On Friday, we went over to Sarah's place and some of our other family was in town from Michigan. Sam and Charlie got to dye eggs with all of their cousins that were there. It was fun. I think they went through 120 eggs in about 30 minutes or less.

Yesterday, we hoped to go to an Easter egg hunt here in Las Sendas at the Trailhead. It was rained out though, so we came back home and I had an easter egg hunt here for Sam and Charlie, so they werent missing out. Since I did that, I had to go to the store and buy more stuff to have for Easter morning. LOL, cant forget that the Easter bunny comes!

Today, the kids got up earlier than normal, and I was not prepared. Sam was wondering why the Easter bunny was late. I made them stay in Sam's room till everything was ready, then they had their little hunt and got gobs more candy that they really dont need.

Its been a nice holiday. Carl hasnt worked much and its been nice having him around this weekend.

Monday, February 16, 2009

trying to get a free photo workshop ticket

I dont usually do this type of thing, but I really want to win a free ticket to a photo workshop that will be here in Mesa in May. Ive been following a really neat blog called Sunshine in my Soul that I randomly found on facebook somehow, months ago. I started reading about this womans life with her children, as a stay at home mom and I got hooked. She takes the best pics of her kids and posts them and it always leaves me feeling like I could learn so much more with photography. I could have some of those awesome pics, of my own kids! She teaches a workshop with her friend every so often and usually they are out of town. This one is right here in Mesa, so I must try for some more free entries. I just needed to mention this here and I get 10 more entries.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thanks Audrey

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
James 1:2-3

I was reading Carl's sister's blog, and she posted a verse that really spoke to me tonight. It was just what I needed to read. Thank you.

Life has been hard lately. Everyone that knows me in my personal life, knows this, because I am an open book about my life. I have to talk about it because its what is happening in my life and Im a talker, its therapudic and its who I am.

I am so thankful that we have so many good friends and a lot of close family to help us through the bad times. Every night when I put Sam to bed, he tells me that he wants to me to God Bless all our friends. So I start to do it and the list just goes on and on. We have so many great people in our lives.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Moving Schmoving

We are finally all moved and settled! YAY!!! I have to say that it feels sooooo good to be back in this house. I am loving it with Sam and Charlie. Its so much easier to keep track of them, to keep the place picked up. Sam has stayed in his bed all night since we moved in. We've been enjoying the spa and fire pit at night with the kids. Its been nice to be near all of our friends again and having spontaneous play meet ups at the park with friends. We've been going on lots of walks again too, Sam loves all the wild life. It just feels good to be home. I feel like we were in a dream for 2 years or something and now we are back. It was surreal moving back into this house, feeling at home the very first night, knowing where everything should go before we even moved anything in.

That is a pic of Sam and Charlie playing in some boxes I unpacked. Nothing like plain old card board boxes for the best kid entertainment.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yesterday Sam turned 4!

I am constantly amazed at how time started flying by much faster once I had Sam. With each year, I cant believe how fast it went and how much he has changed and grown. I cant believe he is already 4!! Its been 4 fun years for sure!! Yesterday, I had a little party here at the house with all of our playgroup friends.

It was fun. We ate pizza, killed a pinata, and then had the gooeyest Sneaky Snake cake ever. When I asked Sam a few weeks ago what kind of cake he wanted for his Birthday, he says, "a smeaky smake cake." Um Whaaaaat?? haha. I love his cute little voice and the funny ways he talks. What he really wanted was a Sneaky Snake cake. He remembered Charlie's snake cake from last year and he LOVES the song Sneaky Snake. I decided it had to be different, so I had this one done out of cupcakes. It had more frosting on it than Id ever seen and it was messy!!!! Of course the kids all loved it.

Sam got lots of fun presents, including a spin art machine, a sticker making machine, nerf guns, hot wheels, an adorable home made book bag that my friend Elisabeth made.

It was a great day and Sam had a blast! Happy Birthday my big boy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A New Year...a bit late.

I cant believe we are already into 2009!!! I have many high hopes for this year. I just know that it will be better than last year. Already things are starting out right.

Sam started at a new preschool last week. Its called Love Of Christ. He has 16 kids in his class and 2 teachers. I think we are going to like it a lot more. I liked his other school, but it was just too small. Some days, Sam would be the only one alone with the teacher for the entire afternoon. After only 3 days there, he really likes it and is making friends.

Charlie is talking so much. He is already very good at ordering me around. He is saying new words every day. Recently he has gotten into reading. He loves books and we read before bed and nap and also several times during the day. It makes me happy that both of my kids love books. I really want that to continue.

Here are a couple pictures from the park the other day.