Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dance, Dance, and a little more Dance!

We have a great year of dance behind us!  The girls all did an exceptional job throughout the year.  Dave and I loved watching them at the end of year recital.  This is a real talent my little ones have and it brings me so much joy to watch them thrive and excel in this passion.
 Zoey is so graceful and precise in her movements.  Her absolute favorite class right now is lyrical.  She loves the clothing choice for the recital and loves the movements involved in this type of dance.  She is often found dancing throughout the house in her spare time.  I love watching her dance.  This year she danced to the song "Manhattan" and did a beautiful job!
 She is becoming such a beautiful young woman.  I love watching her mature and develop.  She tries her best at all she does.  Sometimes she is too hard on herself, as she really is an exceptional kid!

 For jazz Zoey danced to "Walk Like An Egyptian".  It was a fun dance for her to do.  I enjoyed watching her preform the different movements.

 This was Kinley's first year of dance.  She was thrilled to join her 2 older sisters in this experience.  She loved every minute of it!!!  She could hardly wait to put on her recital costumes.  She could have spent all day in the front yard having me take pictures of her in her many unique poses.  These were a couple of my favorite shots.  All the poses were her own idea, I just snapped the camera.
 For tap she danced to "Little Jack Frost"

 Alexa ended up with another sailor theme this year!  She really loved this costume.  Her favorite part was the skirt.  This year Alexa has really fine tuned her skills in dance.  She has developed a great love for dance and has become very good at it.  During the last month of dance she informed me multiple times that she would "never stop dancing because she loved it so much."  I smiled at these comments... as I LOVE watching her dance!
 Alexa chose tap over jazz this year.  She danced to the song "Sea Cruise".
 Kinley's ballet class danced to "You've Got a Friend in Me".  It was precious.
 Kinley did awesome with the recital, as she remembered all her parts and preformed with perfection!
 I love how excited she was about dance this year.  She would look forward to practice all week long.  As recital time came around you could just see the excitement radiating from her face!  It brought me so much joy to witness this.

 Alexa's ballet routine was to the music "I Feel Pretty" -- She did an awesome job!  Her picture above and below are of her favorite part of the dance.  She is in a circle with all the other girls at the time of this particular dance move.  Cute kid!
 This was her favorite dance for the season.  A lot of that had to do with her costume.  She loved this red dress!

We also signed Zoey and Lexa up for a tumbling class this year.  They LOVED it!  Throughout the year they were continually doing flips off the couch and cartwheels throughout the house.  Zoey perfected her walking bridge and Alexa was able to fine tune her cartwheel!

It was a really great year of dance!  Since our move we have struggled finding a dance studio that works out for us.  I know it isn't a part of this life that will have eternal significance... However, it has been such a big part of our family thus far.  A part that brings significant joy to our entire family -- We are praying something works out in our new town that will allow for this love of dance to continue for our girls!

The Big Move

 We have moved... and are still trying to recover from the side effects!!!  With three busy little ones still at home, end of school years programs, recitals, and extras all occurring... and a husband in the midst of preparing paper work for a new job and tying up everything from his old job, I about died from all that was on my plate... add a TERRIBLE stress fracture to the mix and that has been me for the last three months. Hands down this has been the most stressful thing I have ever experienced in my life.  Normally when I find myself in a stressful situation I am able to intensify my workouts and make it through until life balances out.  Unfortunately, I hurt my leg (on the tibia), tried to run through the pain causing a painful stress fracture on my tibia resulting in NO EXERCISE  the first 6 weeks and no running for the last few months!  Yes, you heard me right... months!!!  It has been very, very difficult to say the least.
 Any one out there tried packing and moving while in a cast?  It is extremely difficult... but, we did it!  We have officially been Arizona residents for almost 2 months now.  Wow!  Where did those 2 months go?!  We still have many boxes needing to be unpacked throughout our home.  It will take some time for us to get used to this town and new routine but, we are taking it one day at a time! 
 Rex is 8 months old in these pics!  I sure love this little guy.
 As moving day quickly approached my children began wearing pjs longer and longer throughout the day.  Some of the kids may or may not have worn the same pjs for a good 3 or 4 days in a row that last week of us living in Ohio.  I can't be sure, as I was too busy hauling my body (cast on my leg and all) throughout the house cleaning and packing everything in sight.
 We felt blessed with all the help from our ward... tons of movers to carry boxes, women in the ward cleaning our home among the movers, the Wagleys bringing over mattresses for us to sleep on, letting us use their laundry room all day, and providing lunch for everyone who was helping!  Also, a huge thanks to Sister Wait!  She came over the next day to help with more cleaning!!!  We could not have ever finished all that was required without everyone's help.
Unfortunately, in the chaos of the day, I failed to take a picture of the giant moving truck.  It was big... so big within hours of it sitting out front we had a knock on the door from our neighborhood council.  Apparently someone was complaining in the area -- thinking my "truck driver husband" was parking his new truck out front for good!  Um, really?!... We have lived here for 3 years and never once parked it there before.  

Anyway, after  a very busy summer, we made it!  We are looking forward to settling into our new area quickly.  I am tired of waking up every morning to a half unpacked house and trying to find a familiar routine that works for us among this new town.  I miss being a mom -- I am really looking forward to the day my house is unpacked and the routine of life is set in place and I get to spend the day doing regular cleaning, cooking, and playing with my babies.  After this move, I decided we are done moving!  This was (and still is) such a stressful experience on every member of the family!

So Long Snowflake

After a solid three months of craziness, I finally sat down today to peek in on my blog and realized I had this blog post I wrote almost 3 months ago but, never published it... My decisions and feelings have remained the same.  I do miss our little dog from time to time but, have yet to regret my decision of finding her a new home!  The general conference talk which discussed using our time for things that are good, better, or best was the main deciding factor on this decision.  I feel like my time and energy is already spread so thin, It is best to give what I have to cultivating and building an eternal family rather than the good choice of caring for our little dog...
 After analyzing and discussing every possible option of getting our beloved Snowflake out to Arizona with us, we came to the conclusion that it would be best for everyone if we found her a nice home here in Ohio.  We were sad to say good-bye and we all miss her but, I have not once regretted the decision.  I am pretty certain if we attempted bringing her to the airport we would be kicked off the plane... She has been banned from 2 groomers (technically 3 but, the third one had nothing to do with her personality).  Dave considered driving her out when he traveled out for the state boards in a few weeks but, the timing of that wasn't adding up either.  Our new house is on a busy road, right across from a park, she loves people and loves to squeeze her way out the front door when it opens.  I was afraid for her safety in the new area and my children's safety, as they have been known to run after her. Before Dave and I took her to her new home we had each of the girls take a picture with their little dog.  
Zoey with Snowflake
Lexa with Snowflake
By the time we got to Paisley, Snowflake decided she was done holding still... so we decided to snap a cute shot of Paisley the sweetie kid sitting on the couch by herself.

Judge if you must, many others already have but, I know this is the best possible choice for our family right now.  We miss you sweet Snowflake!

Picture Catch Up!


 Kinley and Paisley playing in the rain on our Ohio deck!
 Rex wanting to go out too! :)
He poked his face out just enough to let the rain soak his face... and he loved it!
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 The girls doing one of their favorite things--picking beautiful dandelions that so abundantly covered our yard in Ohio.
Last spring Alexa had an end of year school performance.  The kids were asked to dress as forest animals.  Alexa chose a blue bird!  On stage she was able to spot pretty easy among all the other children dressed in brown and gray.  My favorite part of her production was watching her anticipation as the big day approached.  She felt special and was thrilled to have the support of her family behind her. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mothers Day 2014

 This year Mother's Day was also mine and Alexa's birthday!  Between all the celebrating and our regular Sunday routine, which involves an hour drive to church and and hour home, it was a very busy day that flew by faster than we could fit in everything we wanted to.  In the picture above Alexa is wearing some new sunglasses and tumbling outfit (notice it is her two favorite colors) given to her by our neighbor Judy... along with a whole ton of other exciting birthday gifts purchased just for this little sweetie!
 The two birthday girls!
 While Dave and I were in Arizona Grandma helped the girls put together some special Mothers Day gifts for me.  I could tell they worked hard on their cards and were so excited about their individual presents they chose for me.  I loved it!  I loved seeing their sheer joy as they surprised me with this project.  Being a mother is so much more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined!  I love being a Mama to these five little cuties!   
During sacrament meeting Rex started crying a bit, so I took him to the mother's lounge and almost missed hearing my three oldest babies get up and sing with the rest of the primary children.  I look forward to this moment all year long.  I rushed down the hall and was able to step in the chapel doorway just in time for the first song to begin.  I loved the moment each of my girls spotted me in the door.  Kinley leaned over and let Alexa know I was in the doorway watching them, the three of them smiled, Kinley waved, and they all began singing in their prettiest singing voices.  It was a good day to be me!  The Bishopric spoke, which was equally as enjoyable.  I love hearing my husband bear his testimony behind the pulpit.  He has a natural talent for this.  Dave genuinely loves and cares for the people of this ward, he prays for them, he encourages them, and he instructs them with love, in a way they feel that love he has for them.  The following week our bishopric (including Dave) was released.  This has been Dave's favorite calling.  He loved serving with Bishop Wait and was so sad to see that this precious experience had come to an end!
 Me and my babies!  I sure love these kids.  I love this season of my life!  My children are at an age where they all still think their mother is the most perfect person in the whole world and I am soaking up every minute of it!!!
 I am super excited about my birthday gifts.  Instead of getting any of them out and playing with them, I kept them in their boxes and added them to the stack of other boxes overtaking our house waiting to make their way to Arizona.  As you look at the picture above you can see that Rex is just as excited as I am to get his hands on my new hand weights!   
It was a very busy day!  I was hoping to get a picture of me and the little ones before leaving for church but, in our typical Sunday morning fashion, we were needing to get out the door as soon as possible or have to sit back on the hard chairs-- which after 3 years of sitting through sacrament without my husband, the bench is a bazillion times easier to keep everyone in place and sitting reverent than when you show up late and have to move to the metal chairs in the back... so much easier!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Alexa's Early Birthday!

Why is getting one good picture of five adorable kids such a difficult task to accomplish???
 Here are a few of my "best" shots.
 Alexa's birthday fell on a Sunday this year.  So, at school, they celebrated it the Friday before her real birthday.  Grandma was flying home on Saturday, so we decided to celebrate her birthday on Friday too -- presents, cake, and all!  Alexa was thrilled to be called "the birthday girl" all day (more correctly stated -- all weekend) long.  Zoey, on the other hand, was not too happy about our very real enthusiasm for an unbirthday celebration.  She had to comment and correct every time we referred to my Lexa as "the birthday girl".  It was a great start to the day.
 As anyone who has a Spring birthday would understand, when Alexa's school birthday celebration had finally arrived she knew exactly how she wanted things.  She had watched her friends birthdays come and go and put together her ideal day of birthday festivities.  The main thing this day entailed were blueberry donuts from whitehouse farms for her entire class.  She was very particular about this request and told me exactly when to show up and pass them out to her class chums!  Later I pulled her out of school to get her ears pierced (again, remember we did that last year for her birthday too.  We had some issues and had to try a "do over".  Hoping round two works out a little better for us!). 

 Kinley and Paisley were pretty excited to pick up the blueberry donuts with Grandma, Rex, and I.  Bonny, the dog with the same birthday as Lexa and I, was wandering the farm parking lot.  She was so good to wander around the different groups of people in the parking lot saying hello.  She wanted to play catch with the people but, was very particular about giving everyone in the group a turn to toss the stick.  Such a cute dog!  The girls loved every minute!
 Alexa loves to sit on the table and has from the time she was tiny.  In following after her older sister, Paisley is also frequently found sitting on the table rather than comfortably in a chair behind her.  Whatever, some battles are not worth fighting!
 This is a girl that loves to shop!  Her birthday list started months ago and has been rapidly growing ever since.  It was hard to know what exactly to choose for her.  We decided to narrow her choices down and take her to the store so she could make the final decision.  Although she knew what most of her presents were she was thrilled to open all of them.
 Alexa in her "wild west" hat!
 I love this picture above.  Alexa is such a snuggly little thing.  She loves sitting on my lap, giving hugs, and being close to those she loves.  She was particularly sweet to me during our birthday weekend.  She wanted lots of pictures of just the two of us and kept referring to us as "the birthday girls".  I love the way she has her arm around me in the picture above.  Such a sweetheart!
 She really wanted a "frozen" cake this year.  I really wanted to make a dessert our family would enjoy!  I am realizing we are not cake eaters.  Most birthday cakes end up in the trash around here.  I thought if I bought her an ice cream cake this year things might be different.  I wanted to make her birthday a special one and she is a girl who loves her sweets.  I thought she would want to choose her own (although I had a pretty good idea which one she would pick -- and I was right).  She chose the coldstone cake batter ice cream cake with sprinkles mixed throughout it.  To make it a frozen cake I added the girls toy frozen dolls on top.  Success! 
 So, how did the cake taste you ask?  Lets just say we were happy the sister missionaries were coming over later that week to get rid of the other half of the cake.
I love these pictures of my little sweetie blowing out her candles.  This girl has such a passion for life.  She is a confident, outgoing kid that goes into every situation with full force.  She is quick to stand up for her beliefs and is not shy about calling someone out of their bad behavior.  She loves her family and is a loyal sister.  She is strong willed and determined.  I adore her unique interests, one of them currently being a book collection called "Who Would Win".  It relates facts about two animals found on the earth and determines which one of them would win if they happened to fight one another.   She is an incredible artist, loves riding her bike, and is the first to spot the bus each morning (She loves being around her friends).  I love the petite little thing that she is and feel so blessed to be her mama
 Although I LOVE sharing a birthday with this girl, it was fun to have a day dedicated to her and only her.  I hope she felt our love for her.  I can't imagine our family without an Alexa in it!  We adore her!!!