Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Day of Firsts ammended

In my haste to get the last post out, I inadvertantly left this little guy out of the first day pictures. It was a total mistake and I felt horrible about it, and his Mommy was sad to not see the pic. This is my little Jayce, and really, you've never met a sweeter little boy than him. Well, unless you've met Beckham (Mckane and Emilys little boy), 'cause HE is truly one of the cutest, sweetest little boys EVER! Anyway, we happened to drive up to preschool dropoff the same time as Dana and Jayce. Since I'm totally Johnny on the spot with my camera, I saved the day and caught his sweet "first" for all posterity.

So there you have it, sweet little Jayce on his FIRST day of preschool.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My commando

See that wee little boy, WaaaaaaaaaaY down there at the end of our super HUGE hall? Don't be fooled, this kid moves at lightning quick speed. He is READY for the special ops.
Commando Max is on his way.

He's gonna get ya!

And it's all worth it when this smiley little face comes at you. Now I should take a picture of his DISGUSTING black knees and toes. WOW! I sure love this kid!
Black knees and sparkly eyes,

First for all

OY!! So much going on, so little time or desire to write about it. You know how it goes, you get beind, then you get overwhelmed, then you don't write. So, maybe there will be like 20 updates in a row, maybe not. the title states, Monday was a day for firsts.

We have a new puppy, our FIRST dog. (technically he came to live with us last Tuesday, but you know...firsts). His name is Lewie (named after Jeres G'pa) and he's a cheagle. Not a great pic, but he really is a cute little puppy. If you know me, you KNOW I am NOT an animal person. Me no likey animals, most especially in a house. So, Jere fought hard and I caved. BUT, he lives outside, because that is where animals belong. However, I won't lie, he sort of makes me feel bad for him, 'cause he's really sweet and cute. I'll try and take a better picture someday soon.

Maggie gave us her FIRST completely unsolicited, posed and SMILING photo. She WANTED to take the pic. It may be because Brooklyn and Jere were taking pics for their big day, but still, it was cute.

Brooklyns FIRST big day of school. She gets to go to Miss Ranelle (worlds GREATEST preschool teacher) two days a week. I can NOT believe my "baby" who came to me at 5 mos. is now THREE and in preschool. She was pretty darn excited for her big school adventure. It's so fun because she is in class with her cousins Jayce, Dane, Morgan AND Owen, how fun is that?

I think Jere was MORE excited for his FIRST day of "big boy" college at ASU than any kid going to kindegarten. He's proudly wearing his ASU shirt, his smaller jeans, his backpack, etc.

A final shot of our two school kids on their first day. We got to drop Jere off at his class, then scoot across the whole city to drop Brooklyn off (after a foray into Target and a crappy lunch on the go). All in all, a successful day (or week) of FIRSTS!!
School supplies and smiles,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Maggie Turned 2

It's impossible to believe that another year came and went and Maggie turned 2. It really fell at a most "inconvenient" time this year. The day before we left for Greer, the house half packed and in disarray, Jere had a show that night and work all day. So, poor thing (not that she cared or noticed, she is TWO after all) simply got a big wake up song by Jere and I, then a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday and a couple of gifts. Leading up to this birthday she had become obsessed with "rella" and she watched Cinderella at least twice a day (or parts of it) for weeks. So, it seemed fitting that she got a Rella dress from Auntie Julie and a princess camera from us.

This is her on her first birthday, which was a rousing big party. She's such a little baby here. Wasn't quite walking, only saying a few words. Oh my goodness what a difference a year makes.

One of like three whole shots of her on her actual birthday. It's 7:30 in the morning here, she looks "awesome" with her morning hair. She loved the dress and walked around with the camera all morning "taking pictures." The camera says things like, you're beautiful, and say cheese, and you're pretty as a princess, etc. Every time it would say something Maggie would reply "oh thank you." It was really funny.

Just a quick shot of Maggie having her birthday breakfast. I believe it was an exciting scrambled egg and apple sauce. Woot woot!

Now I've got to talk about what a funny, sassy, strong willed, full of personality girl she has become. In this particular picture she is enjoying some frozen yogurt. Here's the story leading up....we'd come home from Greer and I had a week before we were moving into the house. So, I loaded the kids up and headed out for Home Depot. There was paint to be chosen and supplies to procure. Maggie was pretty good for most of the time. She went around emptying paint sample papers and throwing them all in the cart. Wandering around the aisles and yelling out to me. But, then, out of nowhere she starts proclaiming in a VERY loud voice..."I WANT PIZZA." "I NEED pizza." "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, I WANT Pizza." This went on for quite awhile, no matter how I tried to assure her we would, and that there was no such thing as Pizza at Home Depot. She could not be persuaded to shut it. So, I promised her pizza we would get, in just a minute, if she'd just calm down. Clearly she needed pizza, or death was imminent. So, who am I to deprive a child who knows so well what she needs. There was a Schlotzky's in the parking lot and somewhere in the recesses of my brain I remembered they had little pizzas. So, we went in and ordered and soon were enjoying our lunch. In the middle of her pizza munching, she suddenly starts singing.."I like to move it move it, I like to move it, move it." Shaking her booty and head to the entertainment of all. The funny thing is, she's only seen Madgascar like ONCE. It cracked me up, that's for sure. Then she got to eat her yogurt, which she kindly shared with Max and me. I just look at that picture of her and am amazed at who she has become.
Maggie has a very extensive vocabulary AND understanding of what is going on around her. She watches and listens to EVERYTHING. If she sees me sad, or if I make a noise that sounds unhappy, she immediately gets a very concerned look on her face and asks "what's wrong mommy, you sick?" "You don't feel good mommy?" Then she proceeds to tell me how Daddy doesn't feel good, Daddy is sick, Daddy has an owie, etc. She asks every day..."Daddy at work?" "Daddy at rehearsal?" She misses him all the time, though she refuses mostly to talk to him on the phone.
She is currently obsessed with body parts and likes to point them out and talk about them. If she's naked, she points to her "chest" and says, "these by boobies?" She also will randomly bust out with a sing songy "shake your bootie, my naked booty, shake your booty." Or "this is my peeps, and this is my bum bum, you see them mommy?" Good times!
She LOVES her cousins, all of them and asks about them regularly. Somedays she asks over and over where her Aunts are, 'cause she'd really prefer to have them hold her. The other night as we were saying prayers, she took over for me and blessed Dana, jayce, Harrison and Dana. I love that we reaching a time when she is trying to say the prayers.
She likes to play "guess what" with me. The other day she said..."Guess what? I Yuv (love) Daddy." I said I did to. Then she said, "guess what? I yuv Maxy." "Guess what? I Yuv Julie." Then she got this mischevious little look in her eyes, like she was gonna "show" me. "Guess what? (think, think) I YUV Chrismus." It just cracked me up.
She has the cutest lisp. Max is Maxth, Guess is Guessth, etc. And I love her L's are y's. So, she yuvs us, she hurt her yip, etc. St's are g's. She gets Guck (stuck) all the time.
Oh, my other favorite thing....she's a bit spazzy. She falls a lot, especially if she's trying to run. So, if she falls, whatever she deems as the cause of her fall gets a real scolding from her. The other day she fell and apparently it was the floor that had it out for her. So, she turned around, and in all her anger she said "NO FLOOR, DON'T DO DAT!"
She loves to listen to shows in the car (Broadway). A song will end and she'll clap and say, "do it again Mommy." We listened to Les Mis for the first time on our way up to Greer. She was LOVING it. She'd clap and ooooh and awe after each song. UNTIL we got to Madame Tsenadier. As soon as she sang, Maggie said, "I don't YIKE that Mommy, I don't yike it!" But, other than their songs, she loved it. She likes to sing songs with me in the car, but only on her terms. If I try to sing something she hasn't requested or deemed ok, she gets VERY bugged and yells NO NOT DAT ONE!!! She will hold her baby doll and sing rock abye baby, except that it's a rather abbreviated version...."rock a bye baby, in tree top, fall down, fall down."
All in all she is a total joy.. She's funny and smart and adorable. She certainly has her naughty side and she screams which is not so fun. But, I just remind myself, she is TWO and naughty and screaming and moody come with the territory. We're just so grateful to have her here in our life. We're grateful for the happiness she brings and the laughter. Can't wait to see what another year brings.
Birthdays and boobies,

Friday, August 7, 2009

A House is a house of couse of couse (my cleverness knows no bounds)

Well friends, here it is, the post about "The house." I know, I know you've been waiting with breathless anticipation for so long. Sorry, it's been a busy and CRAZY couple of months.

Here's the deal....we have needed to move for a LONG, LONG time. We'd long outgrown our apartment. However, if you know me at all, you know that I do not deal well with change. Besides, there always seemed to be some reason we couldn't move. Money, timing, MONEY, something. But, with Max's arrival it was MORE than clear we had to do something. Here is the part where I need to start acknowledging the Lords hand in our lives more. I'm horrible about that, and I need to be better. In January Jere and I sat down and tried to come up with goals. We sort of really suck at doing those too, but hey, we tried. One of the goals that I said was that I'd like to be in a house by Maggies birthday. So, we started looking for houses in the spring, thinking hey, now is the best time. I'm SURE we could find something and make everything work out. When that didn't work out, I was in quite a funk. I just couldn't see how we were ever gonna get out of there. I sort of gave up a little bit. In the mean time, we have wonderful friends who are always looking out for us. I'd get a phonecall here and there from a friend saying, "hey there is this house here for rent, or this, etc." Jenee has been on a serious hunt for the last year. She probably called me at least once a month with a hot tip on a house near her, or near this family member, etc. I always politely listened and then just thought in my head, whatever, it's not gonna happen. We can't afford it, we can't, we can't, we can't. So, at the beginning of July Jenee called again, and she was so excited. "There was this house...." I immediately put up my wall and said, ok Jenee, thanks. But then she told me what they wanted to rent it for and I perked up. Ok I said, I'll go look at it. Her Uncle called and we set up a walk through right away. The minute I drove up I felt happy. Then after walking through it, I felt hopeful. It is truly a sweet little house. It's not all that big, but it's exactly what we need. But, even then I was very cautious. It was a lot of money to come up with, what about this, what about that. So, I told them I was very interested, but would have to show Jere and talk it over. He of course wanted to move in the next day, but I held back. So, for a week I just kept playing it over in my mind. Could we really do this, should we, etc. But in the end, it was all too perfect. The people renting it, the location, the situation, the cost, everything. I don't know where else I'd find people willing to compromise and work with us and be so sweet. They said I could paint it anyway I'd like. Out of nowhere the owner asked if we'd like to pay our rent on the 15th of the month. HELLO, HUGE answer to prayers there. So, obviously we said yes and we started making the transition. I know the Lord is mindful of us, and that he made this possible. He put this house in our path, with these owners, at this time. It is perfect for our little family. It offers us space and room and a yard and a neighborhood and a great ward. And best of all, we moved in just 2 weeks after Maggies birthday. I don't think it's a coincidence. And by saying all this out loud and acknowledging it, it gives me peace. I have to look at it and say, it all worked out, therefore I know that things will continue to work out as we need them too. I won't lie, it's scarey. We're taking on greater financial responsability at a time when Jere is going back
to school. But, I trust in the Lord and I know that all will be well.

With all that said, I thought Maggie might be at least a little confused by it all. But, such is not the case. She has just moved right in and accepted this as home. She loves her big girl bed and all the space to move around in. I can't wait for cooler weather so she can go out and run around and enjoy the backyard. We're so excited about our new ward. The people are so friendly and there are SO MANY kids it's amazing! The nursery is HUGE and Maggie went right in and had a great time.

Moving day was quick. I can NOT say thank you enough to my amazing family and friends. They were all there rarin to go at 7 a.m. We had the truck and other trucks loaded in no time it seemed. Our sweet friend Taylor took it upon himself to pretty much empty our entire shed and deliver it to the house. It took two loads, but he did it. THEN, he organized our new shed and worked tirelessly on trying to fix the doors on it. My sweet, sweet sisters stayed behind and scrubbed my apartment squeaky clean. My Mom watched all the young grandkids so everyone else could work. The Elders Quorum of the new ward showed up to help unload the truck at the new house. Everything was unloaded in no time all with smiles on their faces. The real fun came in putting away and configuring the furniture. Somehow, we got it all done. Peggy brought over a delicious lunch for everyone, which was enjoyed by all. Thank you Peggy for providing that and doing what you could. By Saturday night everything was in place with just a few more boxes to unload. Sunday Lana and Porter came over to help hang pictures and get the place "homified." THANK YOU Porter and Lana!! And a huge thanks to my sisters and sis in laws for coming to help tape and paint beforehand. Like I said, I TRULY could not have done this without my amazing family. By Monday I had everything truly put away and hung. There are some things that are still a work in progress. Like the kids room, it needs bedding and a valance and Max's name. My living room couch wall is a bit bare, need curtains in the kitchen, etc. But overall, it feels good. Now, if I could just get all my lessons scheduled and feel settled on that account, all would be well.

Without further ado, I give you pictures of the humble abode.

Living room view from the front door.

Another view from front door.

View from couch.

New music area. It's nice to have a dedicated little area.

The kitchen is very spacious and open. It's lacking a big in the cabinet category, but it's doable. I didn't take a picture of the laundry room/pantry 'cause it's a mess. But, it's AWESOME and I have so much stored in there.

Our bedroom. We gave up a bit of space and a second closet in our bedroom, but we could at least get all our stuff in there. It's tight, but it's ok. We got that space back in a second bathroom, bigger kids room and bigger kitchen.

Kids room. This was the biggest project. Taping out and painting all those individual stripes, not so fun. But, the overall effect in the end is cute. Note the blanket on the crib, as it is the inspiration. Thanks Melissa for the cute quilt.

I was so happy the the ribbon on Maggies name pictures worked here too. I didn't want to have to replace it. Note the little railing on her bed. She fell out of bed the 2nd night. She was fine really, but it scared Gramma Peg enough that she went out and bought a rail for the bed.

Max's bed. This crib was left here by the previous tennants (the owners son). They were just gonna get rid of it. I was planning on using my beautiful crib, but it's black and this worked out perfectly. So, we have a white crib and I'm trying to decide what to do with my other crib. I just ordered a bumper, since all my other crib bedding was red, cream and black. Poor Max. I woke up 3 times the other night to him screaming out. Each time I'd find him with his leg stuck between the slats. So, the bumper can not get here fast enough. I still need some sort of bedskirt for the crib and for Maggies bed. But, I guess that will all come in time.

And finally.....Maggie has truly known no greater joy than the ability to take a bath in a real bath each and every night. She asks for baths and runs to the bathroom. It is the GREATEST tub. It's seriously so deep that Maggie can sit under the spout with room to spare. I can take a deep soaking bath in it. What JOY!!!
We are thankful for our blessings and for the opportunity to live in this sweet little house at this time.
Movers and shakers,

Finding friends in alternate places

Here's the deal. I have SO MUCH to catch up on and cover that I'm overwhelmed. So, I'm just throwing out these little tid bit entries, because they're easy, AND they are fun things that occurred in my blogging absence. I do promise to get to Greer and my house and my amazing children and their growth soon, I do! But for now....

You know, friends can be found in so many different ways. Sometimes they're in a class at school, sometimes you've known them since birth, sometimes you meet them through another friend, or you happen to start talking to them at the park or church or whatever. And THEN there are those friends that you meet not in person, but in the magical world of the internet. We have one such friend, her name is Danielle. We "met" her almost 6 years ago through an old diary site we used to write on. She stumbled on Jeres diaryland page and then hooked up with mine and we shared a mad love for Clay Aiken so we were destined to be besties. Anyway, over the last 6 years Danielle has "been there" to share to hard times, the joys of babies arriving, the stresses of life, etc. She has loved our children from afar and been just so great to chat with whenever possible. She lives in the greater DC area, but enjoys traveling quite a bit. Imagine our delight when she wrote to say she'd be in Phoenix with her beloved man Tony at the end of July. And so it was that on a hot and balmy July night we ventured into the heart of Phoenix to meet our long time and lovely internet friend Danielle. We met up at a cute and delish little restaraunt named Switch near Phoenix Theatre. They rode the light rail from Glendale and we showed up family style in the mini. It was such an easy, fun and enjoyable evening. Danielle (and Tony, shouldn't leave him out) have such a gift of conversation and easy going way about them. It was as if we'd always known eachother and this couldn't possibly be the first time we were meeting face to face. Maggie and Max took right to them and were on their best behaviour. We're so glad they decided to follow the Phillies (I think) and come see a game and take the time to visit us as well.

Thanks you two for a wonderful evening and a delicious dinner. Internet friends are awesome!
Good times and internet chats,

Welcome to the Neighbor-HOOD

So, we're here.....we're IN the new house, neighborhood, ward, etc. We moved in on Sat. August 1st. And I plan on doing an entire post about the move and showing you pics, don't worry. There ARE pics of the place and much to be said. However, I just had to post this little gem, because well....who couldn't love a neighborhood who does this?

Monday night there was a strong knock at the door. It sounded like my Dad, or someone we knew, so I yelled a "come in" but no one came in. So Dana (happened to be here) opened the door to find this bunch of goodies sitting on the doorstep. Can you even STAND it? How freaking adorable is that? I mean, not only is it clever and cute, it's so practical. I don't have to buy toilet paper for a couple of months. How fabulous!!!

So yeah, we're pretty excited to be there, thrilled "we rolled in", if you will!

Toity rolls and neighborly love,


Thursday, August 6, 2009

101 is.....something else, that's what!

101 is a BIG number, don't you think? Well there were 101 dalmations, which is A LOT of doggies, don't ya think? Then there is 100 degrees, that's HOT. 100 dollars is a good amount to have in your pocket. Let's face it, 100 is a big number, ESPECIALLY if it's the amount of weight you've lost! YEP...Jere has officially lost 101 lbs. Can you stand it? He did that in 3 1/2 months, it took me 5 1/2, whatev. He is looking great, even if he doesn't think there is that much of a difference. HA! He's confused!!! Below I offer pictoral proof.


The night before surgery at a fabulous 407 lbs. It's always so wierd to look back and realize how big a person was.

This picture taken just a couple of days ago. What a handsome guy!!
In conjunction with Jeres great accomplishment, AND the fact that tomorrow is his birthday, I'm offering a list of 101 things, characteristics if you will, about Jere!
101 pieces of Jere:
1. Blue eyes
2. Handsome
3. Crazy
4. Funny
5. Actor
6. Passionate
7. Smart
8. Father
9. Crooner
10. Lover of all things Broadway
11. Moody
12. Obnoxious
13. Loud
14. Charasmatic
15. Little Brother
16. Uncle
17. Mary Kay Man
18. Life of the party
19. Son
20. Christmas fanatic
21. Lover of roller coasters
22. Devoted grandson
23. Husband
24. Student
25. Tall
26. Great grey hairs
27. Center of Attention
28. Music lover
29. Computer whiz
30. N'Sync fan
31. The Nerd
32. Zoni winner
33. Loves to SLEEP!
34. Complimentary
35. Short fuse
36. Teacher
37. Well organized
38. Office supply addict
39. Intense
40. OCD
41. Doesn't hold grudges
42. Quick to react
43. Loves Buster
44. Ice cream addict
45. Self deprecating
46. Drummer
47. Fan favorite
48. Pied Piper
49. Hot box
50. Potty mouth!
51. Butt-less
52. Child at heart
53. Shakespeare scholar
54. Steele Magnolias (need I say more)
55. Julia Roberts lover
56. Blogger
57. Friend for life
58. Salesman
59. Barfer
60. Dianna Krall
61. Fear of the dark
62. Co-dependent
63. Disneyland
64. New York
65. Snow
66. Reality TV Junky
67. A little bit Wicked
68. Paris obsession
69. Dreams of Broad-way
70. Hates heat
71. Movie watcher
72. No more apnea
73. Contagious laugh
74. Enthusiastic
75. Stage door whore
76. Dreamer
77. Have I mentioned HANDSOME
78. Family
79. Frustrating
80. Toro
81. Afraid of bugs
82. Night swimmer
83. Down 3 shirt sizes
84. Gastric patient
85. Hard worker
86. Native of Illinois
87. Convert
88. Imaginative
89. Shameless
90. Beagles
91. Wrapped around Maggies finger
92. LOVES presents, of ALL kinds!
93. Fast typer
94. Persistent
95. Freakshow (in the most loving way)
96. People Watcher
97. Uninhibited
98. Croc lover
99. Glasses
100. Orange
101. My cute husband

Happy Birthday Babe! Hope it's a great one! And we're soooo proud of you and your loss!