Friday, November 30, 2012

9 months

Chloe is 9 months old! I've had a heck of a time with this blog because I ran out of storage space for my pictures on Picasa (apparently that's where blogger stores them), and I actually broke down and bought more. I kept deleting old pictures from my blog, but it never made enough difference. Anyway, I just had to post these pictures. They make me so happy.

Chloe has finally figured out that she likes food. I need to find where I put my baby food grinder. It's around here somewhere.

Eating daddy's beef stew - yum!

I love this face she makes!

 Look how much hair she's getting! It doesn't all stick straight up anymore, so that's nice.

She's getting better at just sitting on the floor and playing with toys. She even likes it more than her swing. Now we need to try hard to keep the floor picked up. Not an easy task.

We keep remembering that we have old toys in the basement that she can play with. She likes this one!

I've decided this is one of my new favorite colors. It looks especially cute on Chloe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

San Marcos Ranch

Remember how I said that we had so much fun on Levi's field trip that we went back with the whole family the following Saturday and spent almost three hours there? Well here's a blog about that. We have so many in our family (some people think that 8 is a lot) that they gave us the school group rate. We paid $6/person (of course Chloe was free) and got to do everything. My favorite was the corn maze.

It wasn't JUST a corn maze. We had a map with a bunch of stations to find. At each station was a cool cardboard cut-out and a letter. We wrote down the letters to solve a puzzle. Afterwards everyone got a prize for figuring it out. How clever is that?

Everyone wanted their picture taken in front of a character.

The answer: Gobble Gobble means eat beef! Apparently they change it often. It was lots of fun, and we just might have to make this an annual tradition!

Then Dave took the big boys to this scary underground mine. They said they liked it, but it seemed really short. So if you're going to do just one thing, choose the maze.

Meanwhile I took Brennan and Levi down to ride the cars, which was only for kids under 6. They LOVED it.

Apparently the Saturday after Halloween is the perfect time to go there because we practically had the place to ourselves. They said that all the weekends in October were packed with long lines for everything.

There was a sign that they could only go around the track twice, but since no one else was there, they got to go around as much as they wanted.

There were lots of places to take pictures. 

It was such a beautiful fall day, and everyone wandered around and had fun. They also found their hidden skeleton named George and got another prize.

Spencer got a hold of my camera and had a blast. I'll end with a few of his pictures. This is a row of wagons.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My thoughts on the election...

I really wanted Romney to win, and I actually thought he might. I liked his economic plan, his morals, his leadership, and his countenance. When it became clear Tuesday night that he would lose, I literally felt tight in my chest and sick to my stomach. He would have been so good for our country, and overwhelming disappointment left me feeling sad and a little nauseous for the rest of the week. But my main purpose in life is to be a good wife and mother, and I can't do that when I am in a bad mood. I need to be happy, positive, encouraging and patient. I need to create an atmosphere of love and peace in my home for my family to return to after a hard day at work or school. 

I knew I had to get out of my funk. Whenever I get discouraged about something, I try to search for silver linings and feel gratitude. While on my walk (I recently found a great little hike up a big hill with beautiful views, and I've been doing it 3x/week for exercise after I drop Brennan off at school), I prayed for peace and understanding. WHY did Romney go SO far without winning? Not a whiny "why me?" but a genuine "what good came out of this?" I knew God must have had a purpose. The first thought that came to me was that although he didn't win, almost half of the country DID vote for him. They didn't vote for him because he's a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), but many people now have a greater tolerance and understanding of our religion. The states that once hated and despised us, kicked us out, burned our homes and temple, and martyred our prophet actually voted for an LDS president. That's amazing! The Christian churches that have been known to preach against us from their pulpits actually encouraged their congregations to vote for a Mormon because of his values. That's amazing!!

A couple months ago, after "Mormons in America" aired on T.V., Tyler's violin teacher (a retired minister), came out to my car to talk to me about it. He knew we were LDS, but we had never talked about religion. He said he was so impressed with our church's focus on family and service, and he had a lot of questions. We had a good, long talk. I think that the main reason Mitt Romney ran for president and did so well was to get more people talking about our church and to bring it out of obscurity. We know that things will get worse during these last days through war and moral decay, but we also know that the gospel will spread to all corners of the earth with a message of faith, love and peace. I believe we just experienced a major catalyst in that process. Thank-you, Mitt Romney! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

8+ Months

Chloe turned 8 months old a couple of weeks ago, but Halloween got me behind on her update blog. I didn't have as many pictures of her this month either. But not to worry...there are some super cute ones here.

People are always asking me if she acts different than my boys. She's just a baby, so it's hard to tell for sure. But the one thing I've noticed is that she is much less active. She'll just sit in one place and play with toys. We used to wonder what the point of baby toys was because our babies weren't very interested in them. Plus my boys were never content to just sit at this age. They'd be into everything. Chloe can roll, but she rarely chooses to do it. And when I put her on a blanket, she actually stays on it. 

Chloe caught the icky cold that went around the family a couple weeks ago. It made her crankier than normal. We wondered a few times if she was teething because she would just scream in the evenings. But still no teeth, so it must have been the cold. 

She still isn't too interested in solid food. She'll eat a little bit of rice cereal or veggies at dinnertime, but mostly she finger-paints with them on her tray. At least it keeps her entertained while we're eating.

She looks so grown-up in this wagon at the pumpkin patch!

She just makes everyone happy. She sits and watches and laughs at everything her big brothers do, and you can't help but take that personally. 

I love this cute dress from my sister Emily. I especially like the hot pink accents! 

Chloe didn't get the memo about daylight savings time ending, and she was up at 5:30. At least we had plenty of time to get ready for church, and we even had time for pictures. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Levi's Field Trip

Levi's toddler class went on a field trip to a pumpkin patch last week. It's one we had never been to, and we loved it. The whole place was beautiful, and there were lots of things to do. We didn't actually go into the pumpkin patch; but we looked at animals and walked around the pond and played in the bounce house. 

When we first got there Levi was rather shy and didn't want to be with all the other kids. We just sort of wandered around. A bunch of them ended up in the bounce house, but he didn't want to go in. So he climbed up a cool tree house and ate his snack all by himself. 

The steps were super steep.

It was a gorgeous day, and he got too hot for his costume. We loved the cool stream winding all around.

After most the kids left and the bounce house was empty, Levi finally went in....he loved it! We invited Kristen and Luke to go with us, and the boys payed there for a really long time while Kristen and I chatted and took pictures of Chloe.

It may have taken him a little while to warm up, but he sure did warm up!

We liked it so much that we went back yesterday with the rest of the family and spent 3 hours there!