Jun 27, 2011

Teach a boy to fish....

and he will bed/plead/pester/annoy you to take him back EVERY DAY!
My dad has a hobby...well he has a few, but next to farming he likes to go fishin'.  I have met two of the fishing buddies so far.  Lucky for Jense, his grandpa is willing to take him, and has taken him every time Jensen has asked. In fact, this last week they went two nights back to back.

Jensen does have quite the knack for fishing.  One night when I went with him, of all the people with their lines cast... Jense kept pulling out the fish.  The limit is 4 and he reached his while all the other fisherman were wondering what in the world he had on his hook.

Jense and Andrew each caught some fish.

Feeding the ducks

Did I mention it is beautiful here? 

Mia's new obsession is the slide!  If she sees one, she will demand, "Go Down the Slide!!" grabbing your hand until you get on board.  Maybe we should get her a slide for her birthday. 

One of the fishing trips included all the cousins that live here.  We made Navajo tacos... yum!

Ellie is not super impressed with fishing, but always wants to go so she can play on the playground.  Her first time fishing was on fish day or something and she caught two fish herself.  I think she was excited about it, but when they got home she was sad because the fish was dead.

Sam was interested, but got a little scared.  He isn't sure about fish, but Looooves dogs!

Sweet little Mia loved reeling in the line.  Once Papa would cast it out she would reel it back in while looking out into the pond repeating, "wher'd uh fizzy go?"  Poor girlie just wanted to bring in a fish.  I should have had Jensen let her reel one in, but Jense is just so excited about being such a great fisherman that it's hard to pull it from his excited little hands.  Maybe next time we'll ask him if he wants to let Mia bring one in.  Knowing him, I'm sure he'll say yes.

Needless to say we have been eating a lot of fish around here!! Hello fish tacos. Luckily this family is no stranger to fish tacos. John had a fish taco quota that needs to be filled every couple of weeks. If you are looking for a killer recipe... look no further!  I will post it separately.  

Jun 22, 2011

The Land of the Lilacs... and livestock

I figured out why I love lilacs so much.  After coming back home and going on walks with my dad I realize that lilacs are everywhere here.  I am not exaggerating... we passed over 50 lilacs just on our walk.  They smell of my childhood. That is why I love them.  In our first home...the "yellow house" an entire side of the house was lined with lilacs.  The smell of lilacs takes me right back there... picking the tiny blossoms off one by one and sending them out to sail in the bird bath. 

They grow in mass quantities here, and have wonderfully hearty clusters of blossoms- I love it!  I tried to plant lilacs in Washington, but had zero success.  One year for Mother's Day the kids gave me a lilac bush, but it is still as big as the day they gave it to me.  I think it just rained too too much for my little lilacs to stand a chance.

Another fun part of walks around these parts.. (didn't I just sound all country there?) is the livestock.  We pass many a field of animals.  Mostly horses and cows, but the occasional... um... actually I have no idea what that little tiny animal is called.  I'm thinking pygmy goat, but that is just a stab.  It was tiny whatever it is.  Ellie wants to stop and pet all the animals.  She loves horses! Luckily she is not allergic. Jensen unfortunately suffers anytime he is around a horse. 

Oh, and we can't forget the horse chillin' with the mini donkey.  I have to admit this is the most beautiful place to live.  More landscape pictures to come.  I keep looking up at all the mountains in awe.  I completely forgot how beautiful it is.  It is really really really pretty here!

Jun 20, 2011

Our Angel Jacob... Mia's heart donor

It has taken me a week or so to emotionally prepare to write this.  We heard from Jacobs mom and parents last week. We exchanged a few emails and she told me of his life.  Here are a few excerpts from her letter:

...When I see Mia’s picture, I see my son. The bright smile, bright eyes, chubby cheeks, and the funny faces, they bring me to tears and I think about how she is the cutest thing on Earth. The way you talk about her is the way I talk about Jacob - loving, fun, full of joy. He was special to me, the best thing that had ever happened to me...

Jacob changed my life. The moment I held him I knew things were going to be ok. I felt a sense of joy that I had never felt before. He was also the only grandson out of seven grandchildren in my family. I was determined to be the best mother I could be.  

After reading about her loss and grief I am taken right back to transplant day.  It was such an emotional day because we were being so blessed, but I knew that in order for that blessing to come that someone would be suffering somewhere else.  If I think about it for long periods of time it is almost too much for my soul to ponder on her grief. Jacob was taken from her and suffered a tragic loss of her beautiful baby.

My heart hurts.  I know how much she misses him.  Jacob's mother and grandparents loved him so much. Watching the videos was truly difficult. Such a sweet little boy smiling and giggling and crawling around.  I wanted to reach through the computer and hold him and sing to him.  He is our angel and we love him!  

I can't wait to meet Jacobs family and let them hold and love Mia and hear that perfect little heart.  She has so much love to share and I know she is holding out to give some of that love back to Jacob's moma.  It is a heart so full of love and I know Mia will deliver that to her.  She gets to be an honorary daughter to Jessica, and I feel a responsibility as she described to be the best mother I can be. 

I showed Mia some pictures of Jacob and she kept saying: "oh Jacop!"  then after she heard me tell the screen, "thank you sweet Jacob" she said, "tank you see Jacop." I told her about Jacob and pointed to her heart.  I don't know how much she understood of what I told her, but she kept saying "tank you Jacob" over and over as if she knew who she was talking to and why she needed to say thanks.  It was precious.

Here are some pictures of Mia's sweet baby donor Jacob.  It's ok to cry if you need to.  I sure did. His smile is precious in these pictures, and I know there are so many family members who miss him back home.  I know you know this through recently correspondence with you all, but please know that we think of you daily and pray for continual healing of your hearts.  I feel a strong bond that I think can only really be described and understood from me to you, Jessica...mother to mother.  I have a firm belief in life after this one, and what a wonderful reunion it will be with all of us together again with our Angel Baby Jacob.  We love him and we love you.  Thank you again again and again for giving our daughter the most precious gift of life.

Our precious little Angel

Jun 16, 2011


When all sisters get together it is called a sister reunion, but when all sisters (and a mom) get together in Colorado it is called...


We had a fabulous time! Here are some of the highlights of our trip. The only way glamcation could get any better is if we did it TWICE each year.

One of the purposes of glamcation this year was to have a blessingway for my baby sister "Boon Docks."  She wanted a blessingway instead of a shower.  Blessingway agenda went as follows:

- Make food for the feast
- Explanation of blessing way
- Charm and bead ceremony where everyone explains why they chose her that bead for her, and then all of the beads were made into a necklace
- Flower wreath
- 5 sister/mom massage 
- Toast to the new mom and baby
- Weaving the web of motherhood/sisterhood- we shared advice and birthing stories while passing the thread back and wrapping it around our wrists every time we shared.  At the end of this, we cut the strings and made bracelets that we would wear until the safe arrival of her baby.  
- We drew cards that had specific things to pray for
- Then, we were supposed to do henna tatoos...but we were all too hungry so we ate and were too stinkin' tired after that.  We will do henna tatoos next glamcation. 
It was a beautiful bonding experience and I wish I had something more like this back in my child bearing years :-) ya know, cause they're over!  sniff sniff
Boonie is a beautiful person and is going to make an even more beautiful mother.  I can't wait for the arrival of her little one.

"GO TEAM!"  That is what I think of when I see this picture.  This is a picture of all the bracelets that we made for the blessingway. We didn't know if she was having a boy or girl (yes... one of those people);-) so we used both pink and blue for the bracelets.

While the chefs in the kitchen were cookin' it up, my sister and I were taking the opportunity to be crazy in front of the camera.  We have some awesome shots! Including the ugliest face we could pull.  I would post them, but they might not be loving me after that.

Little by little, more sisters started to trickle in after their cooking duties were over.  I probably took a good 25 pictures of goofiness. 

"Glamcatione" Oui?

 One of the many emotions we cycled through during our sister photo shoot/wasting time, time.

Then when everyone finished up cooking, I forced :-) everyone one to participate in my photography shenanigan.  They are good sports.  I wanted to do some more creative/artistic shots, but I have never before photographed 7 women before...so shoes are always a hit ;-)

I love this picture!  I call it "center weighted"  he he no offense boo :-)

A MAJOR part of glamcation is the pampering.  We spend the afternoon in the city and went to a super fancy spa where we were all had a massage- it was heavenly!

A moment's peace without a camera in their face... or so they thought. :-)

We are all so excited for Boo to have a baby.  It is so fun to see her pregnant and to see how in love she and her husband are with this baby.  I loved feeling the baby- babies are so miraculous aren't they?

 Toes all fancy! John says I have "hammer toe" (left)  I think he has hammer toe :-) 

"All the single ladies...all the single ladies" well single for that day at least.

I took individual shots of all of my sisters...that will have to be another post because I can only blog for so long. :-)  This was just taken while she was walking down the walk way. Don't mess with a girl and her iphone.

We did a little shopping and stopped at a kitchen store that had every possible kitchen gadget known to woman.  I thought I had a lot of kitchen stuff... after being in this store I realize I do not.

On the topic of kitchen stuff... while on glamcation one of the many topics of conversation was about things you learned recently that shocked people that you didn't know.  I admitted to not knowing (until a few years ago) what the term "keeps you regular" means.  While sharing these stories my sister shared a story about a friend who never knew about the little indentation half circles on the sides of all tinfoil boxes that you punch in to act as an anchor so the tinfoil roll doesn't come out.  Sadly both my mother and I had no idea those were there... our whole lives!  Does anyone else not know this?  Go, look on the edges of the box... had no idea. I wish I could remember them all... they were funny!

"It's for my collection" - Sebastian voice

This picture was at noon and is totally blown out, but I like it anyway.  All the hermanas

WE laughed! a lot!  I wish I'd had a video camera for what we were laughing at in these pictures.  I don't remember any of the topics except for the one where my sister was telling the story about how my mother told her not to touch her freshly painted fingernails to anything, and so during her photo at school she was still holding her hands out in front of her in the picture...being careful not to smudge the polish. (lower right hand pic)

I wish I had a video camera during the blessing way as well.  Such words of wisdom to pass on. 

A HUGE thanks to Boo and Carlos Santana for such a fabulous glamcation.  They are so generous to host and sponsor glamcation.  Boonie even put cookies and bottled water on our night stands.  It doesn't get any more glamorous than that!  Stay tuned for more pictures I took of the belly. I can't wait for them to be parents!

We completely wore him out! He was completely outnumbered. 
- I also need to mention that the men our lives played a huge role in letting us get away and enjoy ourselves.  Thanks to the daddies, grandpa, and uncles for watching all the kiddleos.  My dad got the kids off to school two days in a row. Once when I called to check on them I heard sheer pandemonium in the background and I was imagining all sorts of things...it turns out he took them to play at the "play place."  Such a good "Pop."

 Am I lucky or what? So many wonderful people in my life!

Glamcation was wonderful!  We were definitely pampered, and dined at some wonderful restaurants, relaxed, reminisced, took a lot of photos, talked about all things baby, went to a movie, played games, enjoyed each other's company, and cherished our time being all together!  

Jun 11, 2011

The Babus

(jense took this picture at Ellie's game...I edited it :-)


I haven't posted about my Jim Jam lately. 

Sammers is keeping us all on our toes.  He is quick and determined and a skosh stubborn.
In no particular order here is what he is up to these days:

- unearthing all of my mom's plants
- tackling Mia to the ground (she thinks it's hilarious)
- eating everything he can get his hands on
- dancing when he hears music
- walking like a champ, but still looking a little like frankenstein
-takes the step down into the family room facing forward and with confidence
- playing in toilettes... still :-(
- squeezes super tight when he gives hugs
- loves to open mouth kiss you... or just hangout with his mouth ajar somewhere on your face
- claps any time he hears "yay" and he claps by bringing one hand to the other
- climbs up on the couch and climbs back down unassisted
(he has being doing this since the day we got here)
- crawls to the top of the stairs and goes foraging for things to throw back down the stairs
- destroys any kind of structured sibling activity.  I love babyzilla.. the older three- not so much
- giggles and flails when he is anticipating getting tickled
- loves to nuzzle and burrow himself into me
- will eat homemade (bitter) yogurt
- loves riding on his papa's back for long walks
- walks with one hand high in the air... for balance maybe?
- Has added a new word to his favorite words... "NANA"  which he says nonstop
- has been known to cry when Nana is not available
- loves to shove food down your throat
- wants to be held and loves to dig his feet into my stomach to get a better foothold for him to be higher up. 
- Is a busy body at church and goes from bag to bag scoping out the goods.  I wish there was a "bag check" at church :-)
- still makes a big mess in the bath.  He splashes like crazy
- gets so excited and squeals when someone gets him from his crib. 
- Said "Uh oh" for the first time
- yells for me... and Nana
-gets a lot of attention from strangers that think he is just adorable
- gets off the bed feet first by himself
- randomly starts laughing when nothing funny happened
- can walk in a circle using his "pivot foot" it's almost like a dance move
-pulls hair
-did I mention he tackles Mia all the time?
- lunges for complete strangers to hold him. 

One way to sum up the Sam is that he always seems to have somewhere he needs to be.  He is constantly on the move and once he gets to his destination he restlessly begins a new journey off to get something else.

His new nickname is "ladies man" because he is always diving for a lady.  Tonight he was all about Aunt Suz, but in the past has only had eyes for Aunt Rae.

A few days ago I was talking to a neighbor and he dove into her arms and put his head on her shoulder and kept it there for a solid five minutes.  I was insanely jealous.  She was eating it up, and I just wanted to snatch him back... but didn't want to ruin her moment.

I don't think there is a cuter face on a baby boy.  His smile is my drug of choice!

Jun 9, 2011

The name's "John"

Mia likes to call her dad "John."  It cracks me up.  Last night when he was telling her good night, she whispered back, "good night John."

I don't know why I find it so funny... she is just so little and sweet and loves her daddy, but she throws out his first name like they are mere aquatints.  It get me every time.

I think my favorite it when she says, "comb on John, les go" or a close second is when she wants a kiss and she says: "kisses John?"

This girl of mine is a hoot!  I'm sure it won't be long before she starts calling me "Mimi" now and again. 

She is starting to turn into a little nicknamer herself.  Tonight she kept calling my dad "Pops" Those two are quite the little pair.  Tonight over sharing some of my dad's famous jello-o (it may or may not have shredded carrots in it)  he taught her how to say... "HUM BABY!!!"  It is loud, but Mia went for it and repeated everything her "pops" told her to. 

Jun 8, 2011

We are Home and Happy!

Mia was discharged on Saturday afternoon.  Today she is finally 100% back to being Mia.  It took a few days for her to gain some strength back.  She lost some weight and was little miss frail for a minute there.  She was 23 lbs in the hospital... pretty sure Sam weighs more than her at this point.  After a continual consumption of pediasure, I think she has put on at least a little weight. I'm hoping at least.  She looks good, and her follow up went well.

Tonight after Ellie's baseball game John took the kids to get ice cream.  He brought one home for miss Mia.  She kept getting ice cream in her hair, and after when we tried to wash it out... her hair-do turned into "the claw."  Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the claw (I admit I was a fan) but it is funny to see on her for some reason. 

You can't see it very good in the picture, but it is there. The claw that is

Since all of our sporting equptment is in storage... papa made a baseball T for the kids to practice on.  Mia was interested so first daddy showed her what to do. 

Then Ellie tried to teach her 

Then she went off on her own

In all the pictures I took of her hitting the ball she was concentrating so hard!
 Check out her little tongue.

She totally get's this from me... and John likes to make fun of my focus facials. 

Elvis loves this tree!  She can't stay off of it.  After she broke a bunch of branches she had to rethink her climbing techniques.  She is up to her usual shenanigans of mothering those younger than herself and staying busy busy busy.

Jense found a nest and is pretty pumped about his discovery!  He keeps it in a safe place outside.  I think he is secretly hoping that some birds might take residence in his nest soon.  Jense has been having a great time playing with his siblings.  They were laughing so hard tonight... for hours.  They kept making up chants about bumbershoot, which is strange because I never took them to bumbershoot.  When Mia chants the chant she calls it "bubba shirt" and the kids squeal with delight at her pronunciation.  She will also throw out a "bum bum shirt" because the kids can't breathe from laughing so hard.  She loves to be the clown. 

I have a great post headed your way... and no I am not pregnant! Let's just get that out of the way right now.  It is taking me weeks to write, but I'll have it done soon.  Life pretty much stops when we are trying to get Mia on the mend, but we are back in full swing.