Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Back in August for Makenna's birthday we surprised her by taking her to build a bear for her birthday to pick out a stuffed animal to make. Kellen had been pretty sad that he couldn't make one that day too, but he took it like a champ and was happy for Makenna. He did however say that for his birthday he wanted to get to go to build a bear. So we kept our promise and a few days before his birthday we went to build a bear and he had his chance to make himself a special friend. 
 Kellen quickly settled in on a camo teddy bear. (Kellen is a lot like his Daddy in many ways...but not all ways...)
 I love the little ceremony that they ave the kids go through before putting the heart inside their stuffed friend. Kellen was a good sport about it, but the picture bellow does the best job expressing how he was really feeling about it all. SUCH a Kellen face...the kind that totally melts my heart.

 His bear turned out really cute! We were expecting a spider man costume for his bear but he surprised us by going for the darth vader. Named - Darth Vader bear. 
 Conner boy is sure growing up. After a month or so of going to preschool he really started to embrace it all. No more tears at drop off. He got settled into the routine of it and had made some friends that he looked forward to seeing (Murray and Rawson). His teacher Mrs. Jurish says that he does a wonderful job, is a good listener and a great friend to the other kids. SO proud of this cute boy, even if he is growing way faster than I like!
 As the kids get older I try and let them have more says in what they do for their birthday party. Kellen surprised me a bit when he wanted to go for Chuck E Cheese. We had gone there for his 2nd birthday, but he was sure that his what he wanted to do. And it turned out to be a great party. We were pretty much the only people there because we had it early in the morning, so the kids had the run of the place and loved it!

 Kellen invited his friends Joseph, Brett, Cam and Peter and their families. He scored a ton of Legos which he was totally excited about. Lots of tokens, lots of tickets, pizza, and a lot of excited little boys running around.

 Part of the party package for Kellen was a chance to go in the ticket machine...he stands in the middle, they turn it on and then tickets fly around like crazy while he catches them and saves them. There was a special ticket inside that is worth 1,000 tickets if you catch it. The sweet guy that was running our party grabbed the ticket at the endif the time and stuck it on top of Kellen's crown.  He was So excited and felt like the luckiest kid ever.  Happy Birthday Kellen boy! We love you so much and are so blessed and so lucky to be called your mom and dad!
 Who ever said that general conference with kids couldn't be fun!

 Makenna and Kellen went through a phase for awhile where they were really interested in cooking on their own. It's a bit scary trying to figure our when kids are really mature enough to try certain things by themselves. But one day I decided to let Makenna go for it (with some help and very close supervision) and she more or less made a box of mac and cheese for the boys on her own! I just love these kiddos and even if I would love to keep them little forever, it is amazing watching them grow.

Conner's very first person he drew all on his own with the help and guidance of his big brother Kellen! It was supposed to be a pic of me. And hey, I am tall and skinny and have big eyes and static hair. I'll take it!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Proud Parent Alert!

Each and every one of our children is special in their own different way. Different personalities. Different strengths and weaknesses. Different likes and dislikes. 
The other night I sat thinking about our kids and thinking about how grateful I am for the differences in them. The way each of them challenge me to be a better person in a different way. The sweetness that each of them bring to our family. Each of them make me so happy and proud to be called Mom.

A week ago I was working in Makenna's class. The kids were finishing up their work and heading out to the playground for recess. Makenna had ran over to give me a kiss and headed outside, and then on the way out one of the little girls in her class named Dawna came up to me. She said,
"Makenna is a guardian. She is like a guardian to me."
I said, "She is? How is she your guardian?"
Dawna said "Sometimes the kids are mean to me and tease me at recess. And whenever I am having a problem with someone Makenna will come over and tell them to stop being mean to me and help us solve the problem. She is my guardian. She is my best friend."

I don't think I could have felt more proud of Makenna than I did in that moment.

Later on that day I was talking to Makenna about what Dawna said. She told me that sometimes when she tells people not to be mean to Dawna that they start to be mean to her too. What a strong girl she is. What a big thing that is to do in second grade. When you want to be cool and fit in and have friends. To be willing to stand up for someone that is being picked on, even if it means making yourself vulnerable. You are a good girl Makenna with a big heart! Way to go!

Before Kellen started school I used to imagine what he would be like as a student. And Kellen has very much lived up to my expectations. He is a hard worker. He is smart as a whip and is learning so much! He is at the top of his class and has advanced in every subject. I am very proud of the work he is doing.

In his class they have a series of cards with colors that represent how well they have behaved that day. All kids start on green. If they are misbehaving they have to move their clip down to a worse color....yellow, then orange and then red. However, if they are caught being exceptionally good then they get to move their clip up from blue, then purple and last pink.
Since school started Kellen has NEVER had to move his clip down. He has always been on a positive color, every single day! Lots of blues and purples and greens. But he was yet to be on pink. He has been working Soooo hard and trying soooo hard to get on pink. One night he was even telling me that he was getting frustrated because he Tried so hard to be good but he just couldn't figure out what to do to get on pink. I told him to just keep put he good work and keep trying hard to be good and that some day he would end up on pink.

Sure enough a week or so later I picked him up from school with the biggest smile on his face EVER! He had gotten on Pink! He was so proud and so happy. He got to pick a toy out of a special bag his teacher has for kids that get on pink. I was so happy (and relieved) that he was able to see that hard work and being good pays off. That boy is such a special boy. Such a joy to be around...always!

Con is going through and awesome phase right now. A dress up phase. One week he as a ninja. The next week he as a power ranger. Then a pirate, then a ninja turtle. Currently he is back on pirate. Well, in the midst of his ninja turtle phase a few days back we were out shopping together and running errands. He was dressed up in his ninja mask and was looking pretty cool. So I looked at him and said "Con, you are looking pretty cool buddy!"
He looks up at me with the sweetest eyes and says "Mom, you look gorgeous!"
I swear I probably started blushing right then and there. It was unexpected and so cute. And to top it off, he continued to say it for the greater part of the day. Just randomly, he would look at me and tell me that I was gorgeous.

The last few days he has started telling me that he wants to marry me. I love when little boys fall in love with their mama and want to marry them. And how could I say no to such a sweet request.

Today I asked him what it meant for us to get married. "Well, girls and boys get married in the temple mom. But I am not a grown up yet, so we can get married at home."
"Okay Conner. What will we do when we get married?"
"We will kiss and then dance around together and be happy."

That boy just melts my heart. I love when he asks for me to come rest next to him on the couch when he is getting tired and needs someone to cuddle. I love when he wants me to lay in his bed by him and scratch his back while he falls asleep. I am so grateful for me sweet, affectionate little boy.

I love the age when kids can do no wrong. Sure she can be a stinker and get herself into a bit of trouble these days. But really, she is still pretty perfect in her mama's eyes.

But Carys has developed an appreciation for something that makes her mama Really proud! DOLLS! Baby Dolls! Carys seems to Love her babies. (YAY!)

I was a Total doll lover when I was a little girl. Baby dolls. Stuffed animals. Barbie dolls. All of it. So naturally I dreamed of having a little girl some day that I could rock babies with and feed them and tuck them in bed and play house together. And I think I may have had that dream realized with our little Carys.

The other day when Carys woke up and I got her out of bed she quickly wanted down so she could grab her babies. She took one and gave me the other and we went out into the living room. And then she set down her baby, spoke some gibberish to me and ran in her room and came back with her baby bottle. Then she spoke a little more gibberish, ran back in her room and came back with her baby stroller. And then we sat together, rocking, feeding, and walking her babies around. It was a dream come true. Thank you sweet little girl!

Friday, February 14, 2014 a nutshell

 The first weekend of September was a father/son campout at church. We decided last minute that it would be fun for Daddy and Kellen to go on their first campout together! Actually, we have been really lame about taking our kids camping and it really hasn't happened as a family yet. I am really hoping that changes this next year! But for Kellen this was his first time getting to sleep in a tent, using a sleeping bag, etc. It was an exciting time for him! This picture pretty much sums this up!
I've been trying Really, Really hard to make it to the temple at least once a month. I am not perfect at it, but I AM trying! It's hard for me to make it in the evening, so I almost always miss ward temple night. So I decided to just start getting a sitter and going during the day on my own. And I have LOVED it. It is actually really nice to go by yourself sometimes. I can go there with my own thoughts; spend as much or as little time as I need, thinking, praying, pondering. It has really been a blessing. And it has also been good for me to have some alone time. A nice little break, just for myself. I am not really the type of mom that needs a whole lot of this. I know a lot of women that feel like the NEED time away from their home and away from their kids where they can feel like themselves for a little while instead of feeling like "mom" 24/7. Though I understand this feeling and can totally see where it comes from, it is just not something I crave for myself often. I don't need to get away that often. That being said, I do think that my days going to the temple have been a really good thing for me...a chance to recharge physically, spiritually and emotionally. 
Often times while on my temple trips I will swing by and have a little visit with my dad. I am so grateful that he is laid to rest so close to us. A place where it is so easy to go and spend some quiet times with him in my thoughts and reflect upon memories. I will usually bring my phone with me and play "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" for us. That song will forever remind me of him and bring me comfort and peace when I miss him. (I will have to post the story of how that song became so special some time soon!)
I seriously don't know why I try and grow my hair out...because ultimately I ALWAYS end up chopping it right off again. Short hair and me are just meant to be. I don't know why I always fight it.
At 10 1/2 to 11 months this little cutie was Soooo close to walking! She was cruising along the furniture like a pro. She could take a step or two from one piece of furniture to the next without a problem at all. And she was mastering the art of pushing around her little grocery cart all over the house. It was only a matter of time before she was off and walking on her own!
Carys is such a sweet little baby. She is certainly a girl with an opinion and a mind of her own. But she is also a cuddler and such a sensitive, gentle little one. She LOVES to read books. She will grab a book and back herself into a lap any chance she gets! She was still waking up once or twice in the middle of the night at this age, though she was getting pretty close to sleeping through the night. At least she is a good napper. She LOVES to be carried (then and now). She would happily be hauled around on your hip all day if she had it her way. She does MUCH better in the store if she is in a carrier than if you try and put her in the cart. She is not really a fan of the car, though she is learning to tolerate it a bit better every day. She loves the dogs and has the cutest little barking noise that she will make while she chases them around. Though it breaks my heart to see my baby growing up right before my eyes, I am always anxious to see what new things she is going to do next.
Last year in the school jog a thon Makenna had won a pass to Boomers. So we thought it would be fun to have a special date night with mom, dad and the two big kids. And it was a blast. We played a riveting round of miniature golf. Dad and Kellen were pretty good (well, Kellen was pretty lucky). Mom....well...the kids could have given mom some pointers. Mom is not a golfer. No doubt about that. (But you can't be perfect at everything, right?)

Apparently you can't drive go-karts if you wear sandals. And if you know me then you know that is pretty much all I wear all summer. Which meant that Dad got to take turn with each of the kids on the go-karts (LUCKY!) They absolutely loved it and it was just as much fun watching the smiles on their faces as they came ripping around the corner. Though I would love to keep my kids little forever, there are also a lot of fun experiences that come with them getting bigger. 

That moment when you look at your daughter and get a flash of her as a teenager right before your eyes. (Aaaahhhh!!!!)
This boy....he makes me laugh....EVERY DAY!
So apparently Krispy Kreme has a day every year where you can get a free dozen glazed donuts if you come to their store dressed as a pirate. Well, McKamey's most certainly do not pass up a dozen free donuts! Better yet, dress ALL your kids up and then you are crazy to think we would pass up 3 Dozen free donuts! (we didn't dress up baby...this year). The kids thought this was just about the best thing ever! And they got a huge kick out of all the people standing in line in their pirate garb while waiting for their free donuts. This will become an annual McKamey tradition from here on out.

With Makenna and Kellen both in school all day long now it leaves me with a lot more alone time with the two littles. So I thought it would be fun for me to do something special with these two. We decided to get the Con and I an annual pass for Sea World. I used to go a lot with Makenna and Kellen when they were little. But having so many kiddos now, it makes having Sea World passes for us all pretty pricey. So little Con had not been to Sea World all that much (compared to the older two). Plus, I love Sea World! And I am so glad that we decided to get the passes because going with the two of them has been such a fun thing for us to do. I love my special time with these kids. The years when you get them all to yourself and don't have to share them does not last for long. Gotta hold on to it tight while you can.

I am grateful for a little boy that can pass out anywhere, anytime. Just give him something soft to sit on and a nigh night and he is good to go.
When you have a sister that is your best friend then it totally melts your heart to see your own little girls loving each other. I pray every day that my children can grow up with friendships that will last. That they can always consider each other their best friends.