A few hours after Grey's baptism, our ward had a chili dinner and trunk-or-treat. I was so burned out that I barely managed a leopard-print scarf and kitty ears. We brought our neighbor friend Cooper with us.
I begged him to be something I could buy and he was adamant that he wanted to be a spider. So I came up with this ridiculous costume, he then cried about it when I put it on him. This was a tiny moment of joy when I told him about candy.
Cooper the werewolf and Greyden
Cutest little ladybug in all the land
Cole followed his little friend Tinkerbell (Ellie) the entire time
What an incredible experience. It was stressful leading up to it since I have never planned one before, but once it started I could sit back and enjoy the wonderful ordinance of my sweet boy. We have been talking about his decision to be baptized and confirmed for so long. A couple months ago, he started panicking and wondering if he had a testimony and if Jesus actually exists. He felt anxious and overwhelmed by it all. I sat him down and told him that it is 100% his decision--I stopped planning until he told me he wanted to do it. I asked him to give it a couple days, pray about the choice and get back to me. After a day or two, he told me he prayed about it and felt like it was the right thing to do and that he wanted to be baptized but he still felt nervous. He continued to pray every single day to not feel scared about it. Finally about two days before, he told me he was excited and that he wasn't nervous anymore. I love that he continued with such sweet faith even when it scared him a little bit. And afterwards he was wondering why he was scared in the first place. Isn't that like everything in life?
I will never forget the powerful spirit I felt and the testimony that filled my heart confirming that this is Christ's church and that Greyden is on the right path. I will also always have his peaceful, beaming grin engrained in my mind forever. He told me that when he came up out of the water he felt so good. He felt refreshed and wonderful. He knew he made the right choice and felt the spirit strongly. I love that God's plan includes such amazing experiences for young children to be able to learn and grow and feel the power of the Holy Ghost. It reaffirms my faith to have a child go through this. It reminds me of the sweet and simple truths of the gospel. It is a gospel of constant love and continual forgiveness.
Before the Baptism in their awesome white jumpsuits
Daddy & Greyden
After the Baptism & Confirmation
Happy & looking very grown up
Grandpa Dale & Grey
Grey with Grandma Jo and Grandpa Dean
Grey is trying to be as tall as Grandma and is close to succeeding
Grey with Grandma Laura & Grandpa Dave
I should have tried to get a picture before the Baptism and loads of cookies. Elise kept trying to do her passé and Cole was zoned. This was the best we got.
Eight is such a big age! I am overwhelmed that my sweet Grey is an eight-year old. I vividly remember life as an eight-year old and the years following--which is very scary as a parent. He is going to remember every imperfection of mine from hereon out! I am mostly overwhelmed with gratitude that Heavenly Father allowed me to become a mother and especially be a mother to Grey. He has an incredibly sweet spirit. I am amazed at his faith and understanding of the gospel at such a young age. I am amazed at his sensitivity to the Spirit and his wonderful efforts to be a good, kind, and loving person. His teacher recently told me that she can sit him next to anyone in the class and he will be their friend. She said he is friends with and kind to everyone. There is nothing more precious to hear as a parent. I absolutely adore him. He is doing really well in school. He is at the end of a third grade reading level (at the beginning of second grade) and above level in all subjects. He works hard and really tries his best. He LOVES sports especially football. He plays football or soccer with his buddies every day at recess and always tries to sneak his athletic shorts under his pants for school. I have caught him a couple times... He is always leaving the house for school with a towel to use as a flag at recess or some sort of ball. He loves watching the Broncos and asks every Sunday morning what time they play then begins counting down ALL. DAY. LONG. Not surprisingly, Grey was pretty much off the charts in size at his 8-year old check up at the doctor. He was borderline 100% for weight (72 lbs) and way over the 100% for height (4' 6.5"). He is the size of an average 10-year old. He is strong, healthy and BIG. Should be nice for him since he loves football so much... Grey is a wonderful older brother. He puts up with sharing a room with Cole (which we all agree would be very difficult). He reads stories or the scriptures to the younger ones. He wakes up and comes to give Vanessa a hug.
I am sensing that we are entering a new phase of life and of our relationship and it is exciting and scary all at the same time. I can feel the pull from him for a bit more independence and his insistence that he is capable of doing everything. I also find him figuring out he can make his own choices and learning consequences of those. I am so unprepared and untrained in raising children--this will be an interesting journey... Any words of wisdom are always welcome!
We had a family birthday party for Josh, Grey & Addie
Opening gifts in the morning!
He asked for German pancakes for his special breakfast so I was nice and dragged myself out of bed in time.
New scriptures, watch and CU Buffs shirt
Since Grey's baptism was the day after his birthday, we decided to have a small combined party with a neighbor at Chuck-E-Cheese's.
The birthday boys (and Elise) Greyden & Cooper
The requested cake--he picked it! I forgot to get a picture before candles
And the traditional birthday boy quiz: What is your favorite food? cereal, pizza and mac & cheese What is your favorite vegetable? carrots What is your favorite fruit? apples & pears What is your favorite thing to do? ride on daddy's motorcycle but I can't do that anymore so just being home and being LAZY What are your favorite things to play with? footballs, soccer balls, sports stuff What is your favorite color? red, white & blue Who are your best friends? Ryan, Emmett, Danny, Cooper, Brady, Andrew, ummmm everyone! What do you like to wear? my sports jerseys What is your favorite sport? FOOTBALL, baseball, soccer What do you want to be when you grow up? be in the military or a police officer What are you really good at doing? playing football What is something that is hard for you to do? nothing. Everything is easy for me. What makes you sad? everybody hating me :( But then he said its funny. What makes you happy? playing with Legos or sitting around and being lazy and being with my family What makes you mad? When Elise is saying, "That's Mine! That's Mine!" (with the whiny voice imitation) What is your favorite TV show? Chima or Ninjago What is your favorite book? Captain Underpants & Flat Stanley What is your favorite game? Battleship What is your favorite animal? The Elephant that pooped at the zoo What is your favorite song? In the Air (Phil Collins) What is your favorite thing about mommy? She helps me What is your favorite thing about daddy? He smacks Elise & Cole around (disclaimer: they wrestle and G thinks it funny when it isn't him) What do you want for your birthday? Minecraft for the Xbox 360 What is the best part about being 8? getting baptized!!!
I have been a little busy with a new side project of mine. I created a blog focusing on everything I love besides my family! It is full of fashion, health & fitness, beauty and recipes. The blog is phase one of my end goal which is an online clothing boutique. I am going to start small with a few pieces and build from there. The website is www.spinninginheels.com if you are interested to check it out. I am sure having fun with it.
Which in turn has caused some negligence on this blog. Does anyone read this anymore anyways? If not, at least my kids love looking at it.
October started off with General Conference--our favorite part of the season. We eat delicious cinnamon rolls and lots of treats as we listen to our prophet and others teach and uplift us. The kids really do great (surprisingly) as long as we have our little tent and Bingo set up.
Jared & Grey went to an Avs game and sat in the very, very back
I am the Bear Cub Scouts leader and got to take my scout boys as well as my own boys on a fire station tour. It was really cool!
We enjoyed the beautiful fall weather at the zoo and had to leave abruptly when Vanessa had an explosion that soaked throughout her car seat and up and down her clothes. It was awful.
High School football games are the best--cheap and close. We knew Grey would love it but Elise loved it especially because of the dancers and color guard.
More amazing fall weather = lots of family walks along the canal. Can you spot the kids??
In other news.... Cole is giving up his nap but really isn't ready. I keep finding him passed out places.
We only get a quick fall break from school--a four day weekend. I asked the kids what they wanted to do and Greyden begged to have a lazy, movie-watching day. So we spent Thursday at home watching movies, playing on the iPad, eating snacks and doing all the things I never let them do. On Friday, my mom treated us to a fun day at the train museum. It was a perfect fall day and wonderful to be outside.
Vanessa is 6 months old! She truly is our little angel baby. She brightens up our whole world. This has been the fastest six months because she is such a gem. Don't get me wrong... having a baby is exhausting and I am barely hanging on most days. But she eases the burden with her grin that lights up the room and her sweetness. She is just a special little spirit that Heavenly Father sent to us.
Look at this face!
She LOVES being around people whether it is me or the other kids. I notice the days that Grey & Elise are both in school all day, she gets kind of cranky and bored. She really likes observing all the commotion. Plus they adore her and love to hold her and play with her. She is spoiled rotten by all of us. She still sleeps in our room because she is so quiet and only wakes up once (sometimes not at all). And knowing she is our last, I am savoring it and really enjoying the snuggles--although I don't bring her into bed until 5 or 6 am.
She is rolling really well onto her stomach and can roll back onto her back but doesn't realize it. So she will get stuck there and get mad. It has been going on a little too long.... She just started sitting up barely. I don't trust leaving her there but she is really strong. She loves to suck on her thumb. It really is precious--although sometimes she forgets about it and gets so mad. She will start sucking on it when she is tired or hungry. She also puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. She will suck on your shirt, your toes or anything she can find. If I bring her into the bathroom while I shower, I often find her rolled over and sucking on the tag of our bath mat (yuck). She wakes up smiling and cooing!
She has been a fantastic sleeper since day 1 and we are so grateful for that. I really don't think I would have survived it if it weren't for that. Four kids is a lot.
She is strong and healthy! Dr office stats: 26.5 in long (79%) and 15 lb 9 oz (43%) with head size 16.5 (35%).
I started her on food. First foods: Oatmeal, Peas, Butternut Squash. So far so good! She is messy but loves eating.
Vanessa is truly a gift in our home. So lucky to have her in our family.
The kids' elementary school does a fun run where they block off the street between our school and another school nearby. We wait for the other school kids to run to ours, then yell some chants, run back to their school all together, yell some more chants, then we run back to our school. It is really cute and fun. I wasn't able to go last year because I was teaching a class. So I was thrilled that I could do it this year with them. It is such a great school.
Elise with the two kindergarten classes
Grey & Elise before the race--he did not want me to take a picture obviously
Cole & Elise holding hands running & melting my heart
No fun event is complete without the following: Cole having a meltdown on the way to the car and all the way home