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Monday, January 30, 2012

Our Extended - Twice Removed - Not Really Related - Family

On Saturday I woke up around 9 AM thinking – I feel like we should do something today around 10 AM.

Without really knowing why 10 AM stood out to me, we decided the Zoo was the place to go.

We got ready to go to the Zoo and were minutes from leaving when I got a call from our good friend Tracy (Aunt Tracy) letting us know she would see us soon… OH NO! We had an appointment at JCPenny at 10 AM!

I grabbed a change of clothes for Taylor and we headed out the door to meet them. Luckily the studio had some problems in the morning so by the time we got there, they had just gotten ready to see us (their cameras were locked up and nobody had the key!)

We did a combo session. The Fox’s had some family pictures then Taylor had her 5 year old photos. Taylor was a lot more photogenic then usual. I mean she loves being in front of the camera all the time, but she usually gets this scary serial killer smile. This time (most of them) were normal smiles.

Quinn (5 months) found the lights and decorations far more interesting the camera lady trying to get his attention, but the Fox’s still got some really good pictures (at least I think so).

I won’t post theirs – because that could be a littler weird – especially without asking first. But I will post the one of Quinn and Taylor. Because Taylor HAD to have a picture with the baby.

I am also realizing how many “Aunts” and “Uncles” my kids have (the not real ones that is)…

The Oldest and actually the ONLY one we have referred to as “Uncle” – The kids just started adding the “Uncle” and “Aunt” to everyone else’s name on their own:

Uncle Sam – The upside-down maker

The Oldies (not old like gray hair and broken hips, but old like since their birth):

Uncle Kenny and Aunt Tracy – The new baby maker(s) (FYI Taylor asked me for a new baby yesterday and I told her that she can borrow Kenny and Tracy’s baby to which she responded “well they need a girl baby then”)

Uncle Travis – The ultimate gift giver (Seriously! For a dude with no kids he KNOWS my kids and they are always super excited about the gifts they get from him)

The Newest Additions (these people are making their way to the Aunt and Uncle of the kids lives – so they still get the title only about 50% of the time)

Uncle Rob and Aunt Tawni – The future in-laws (Jordan knows it – she just has to convince Sammy)

Uncle (Pastor) Matt and Aunt (Mrs.) Kim (Taylor has deemed them Uncle and Aunt, but since they are also Pastor and Mrs. she usually says “Uncle Pastor Matt” and “Mrs. Aunt Kim”)

I really do adore my “Sisters” and “Brothers” and so thankful for the love they have for my kids and my family. I’m happy to accept my children deeming you “Uncle” and “Aunt” and I hope you all enjoy Taylor’s new pictures:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Perfect Picture

We had a guest speaker at work today during our “Staff Meeting” (pretty much chapel).  He was a Korean pastor and that is only relevant because of a funny joke he told:

He took a picture of us and told us he loved taking pictures – and not just because he’s Asian

It made chuckle.  His whole talk was about “pictures” and how he loves taking pictures because he gets to look back on old pictures and remember something significant.  He gets to remember a phase of life, a story, or a moment.

He then asked us what picture we would take if we could take any picture of Jesus.  What one moment in his life would signify the most to us?

He mentioned a few like calming a storm while on a boat, sitting and playing with children after he scolded his disciples for shooing them away, or even his last moment on the cross.

Although these are all great moments – and there are significantly more its not the one I would choose.

The picture that would be most precious to me today (knowing this changes during different periods in my life) would be his moments in prayer before he was arrested and later crucified.

I picture this perfect man crying out to God the Father – knowing what is about happen must happen, but still with the hope that it didn’t.  This is my Christ.  The man who bore the price of all of the crap we do in our lives not because he was FORCED to because he CHOSE to out of the pure love that he has for us.

This is the picture I would take and cherish.  And now that I’ve been thinking about it all day I sure wish I knew how to draw so I could draw it and hang it up in my house… I may need to enlist one of the awesome artists in my life ::gently nudges Chandra::

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I think I’ve sort of touched on this before – sort of.

But I’m going to start with a sort of story. Back in High School I was a drama geek. A proud drama geek. One of my favorite moments actually was “surprising” people with my drama side. Not saying I was drama (although I kinda was a little bit of drama queen when it came to my interactions with my parents).

You see (or pretend you see) pretty much everyone’s first impression of me was the “quiet shy girl”. I played that role well at school. I came to school for school’s sake. I came to go to class and go home. That’s what’s for right?

I didn’t strive to be popular or have a lot of friends. My close friends were in my church family – and that is where I let my real personality shine – at church – where people didn’t “judge me” (Yay we all know that’s a lie, but it’s how I felt anyway).

I did however, have this love and passion for the stage. I shouldn’t say did have, I still do. I love being on stage. I love memorizing lines. I love becoming a different person for that short time. It’s exhilarating!

::Insert quiet moment to reminisce and miss being on stage::

SO when I started doing school plays – and not just being an “extra”, but lead roles it shocked people. How can this shy, quiet girl handle being in front of a ton of people all loud and exposed! And that was fun.

That is not really why I’m writing though. Thinking of my drama days reminded me of a field trip we took with our drama class my senior year. We went to Cal State Fullerton and visiting some acting workshops. One of those was about auditioning for a role. The teacher said – “You have to make an impression”

He told us a story about auditioning for a commercial. Everyone knew the lines and most people said the lines well. So he knew he had to make an impression so he’d be remembered. He did the part like the 20 people before him – but when he finished he leaned back in his chair and fell over. Why? To make an impression. The people watching chuckled and moved on, but you can bet they remembered that audition and a few days later he got a call for the part.

What kind of impression do I leave? That is why I’m writing today. I sat chatting with a woman at work and we walked away from each other I thought “she leaves a good impression – I leave feeling that she cares”. I hope I leave that kind of impression. I don’t want people to get that shy – quiet girl impression that I so proudly accepted when I was in High School. I want to leave a deep lasting impression on people. I want people to walk away from conversations with me and think “She cares”.

I hope those impressions lead to “call backs” so I can tell them WHY I care – because HE (My Jesus!) cares. And for those that already know me I hope those impressions express to them and remind them that HE cares and therefore calls all of US to care.

That’s it for today. Much heavier then I usually try to make it, but a thought for you too chew on nonetheless.

Haha…heavier…chew on… It’s like a “weight” joke all up in there

Monday, January 23, 2012

So Sayith Tay and Jay #12

What do you want to do in summer?

Jordan: Do fight and go to the park.

Taylor: Ok, I'll tell you what I want to do in the summer.  I want to play around in the summer and run around in the summer in my new blue shoes.  And dance in my new blue shoes and kick a balloon.  And jump off the couch doing a swirly whirly jump.  Then I'll throw a balloon at the other balloon that is teasing me.

What should Cara and John name their baby?

Jordan: Elijah!

Taylor: Harry Potter!

What kind of car do you want to drive?

Jordan: Beach Grandma's Car

Taylor: A blue car with fire paint on it and I want to steer and I like crashing it into people so I can winned (can you tell she's been watching her dad play a Grand Theft Auto type of game?)

Who do you want to be like when you grow up?

Jordan: Allie!

Taylor: Aunt Genny!

Who is your favorite princess?

Jordan: is um, um, is, um snow white and the pink girl (sleeping beauty) and the yellow girl (Belle) and mommy is like the blue girl (Cinderella)

Taylor: Ok - its the blue princess - her name's called Cinderella

Who's your boyfriend?

Jordan: My boyfriend is SAMMY! sammy - semmeee

Taylor: How about Kenny?
Me: No he's married Tracy
Taylor: Get out of town mom, I think I can make him my boyfriend
Me: No you have to pick a boy that is NOT married
Taylor: Connor!


I think as we get older we forget about how things hurt. I don’t mean forget THAT they do hurt, but the way that kind of “hurt” feels.

Like pulling out a baby tooth. I don’t remember what is what it felt like. I remember that it hurt, but I don’t know how the hurt felt.

I swear this isn’t totally random. I mean I’m sure you all know kids and/or toddlers that are insanely clumsy like mine and have blood coming from some part of their body nearly daily – whether it be a scrapped knee or bloody lip.

On Sunday I wasn’t feeling well so I did what any good mom would do… I locked the kids in the girls room (with me of course) and laid on Taylor’s bed as they played (hoping to fall asleep). Taylor and Jordan decided I needed to be “fed” so they pulled out the new baby feeding toys Taylor got for her birthday and proceeded to hold the fork/spoon up to my mouth and tell me “Eat your corn mommy”, “Now here’s a strawberry”.

Since I was still feeling super icky I told them I didn’t want any to which Taylor said “Mommy you have to try it – you might like it!”

Can you argue with her logic? Well no since those are the exact words I tell them when trying to get them to eat something.

So I said fine and pretended to take a few bites. Taylor brought the fork up to me for the 500th time – I’m not going to pretend I know exactly what happened but this “bite” made it to my mouth instead of just in front of my mouth.

The problem is, although it was a play baby fork, it didn’t make it in my mouth it made it directly into the middle of my top lip. I winced in pain and told Taylor to be careful – she hurt mommy.

She said sorry and the kids kept playing. A minute or so later I realize I’m tasting blood and go to lick my top lip. OW! She had peeled back a big chunk of skin/lip with that fork jabbing and what was left was a dangling piece of lip and exposed tissue. OUCH!

It seriously took me about half the day to get over the pain enough to eat anything, but at least today it feels fine.

All that got me thinking – My kids bite their lips or run into something for a busted lip a lot… It hurts a lot more then I remember. I now have a little more sympathy for their whining about their owies. But only a little

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Trip to Neverland

Taylor wanted a Peter Pan birthday so off to Neverland we went.  You wouldn't know you were in Neverland by the looks of things - but we were there... I swear.

The party was scheduled at a park for today.  I planned the party as a couple weeks before as I sat in nice 72 degree weather.  What this means of course is it had to rain... and foolish me didn't realize it was supposed to rain today until Kenny told me at work "It's supposed to rain on Saturday, what are you doing for Taylor's party?"

So THANK YOU to Kim Newmeyer for getting me the Children's Center at Church open for me with just a few days notice.  I actually think having it indoors in a very kid-friendly room was really nice.

The kids got to decorate their goody bags, get pirate tattoos, make Indian headdresses, fill jars with pixie dust, and "fish" with mermaids.  That is about as close to the theme as it got - but with lots of imagination it was totally Neverland.

We had 16 kids show up and they all seemed to have a pretty good time at all the different stations plus running around like mad - Taylor being as bossy as ever of course (I keep telling her people won't want to play with her if she stays so bossy - but for now the kids she plays with deal with it).

Taylor was particularly glad to see her friend Allie (she's known her since she was born and they are less they a year apart) so we were super glad the Edmundson's were able to make it.  We had some new faces there too. Well not "new" because we know them, but "new" because we don't see them on a regular basis.

After the party a few of us headed to Stonefire for dinner and had a great time while stuffing our faces with great food.  I know you may not believe me when I say "stuffing our faces" but really...if you've eaten at stone fire you know that is how you must eat.  Yum!!

Overall it was an awesome time.  Thank you to all of our special friends and family for joining us to make the day special for Taylor.

Enjoy some pictures of the day/night:

Monday, January 16, 2012

So Sayith Tay and Jay #11

What is your favorite place to go and what do you like to do there?

Taylor:  Disneyland. My favorite thing to do there is go on Cinderella ride.

Me: There's no Cinderella ride.

Taylor: But I thought there was.  My favorite is the Peter Pan ride! You have to get the alligator and hit him on the nose!

Jordan: I tooted! My favorite is the park! I go with my friends and play at the park. And Buddy and Daddy and Taylor go with me. And I like to go to... I can't tell you!

How do you make cheese?

Jordan: I make cheese with mama!

Taylor: Maybe you can make cheese with ice cream.

Why are boys and girls different? 

Jordan: because I go in mommy and daddy's room and buddy goes in his bed.

Taylor: Because a boy has short hair but a girl has long hair.  Only boys wear shirts and pants and only girls wear dresses.

How old is mommy, daddy, papa (grandpa), and popo (great grandpa)? (in that order)

Taylor: you're like 55, kinda like 54-5, like 54-5 eaches 12, like 55-3 plus 10 - 4 - 5

Jordan: 3, 4, great!, great!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Best Number is 5

I’ve been delaying this post (I say delay but its only 2 days late – that’s not THAT bad). I have a reason for delaying though! Granted it’s not a very good one, but its still a reason. I just haven’t had any time to get pictures off my camera to my computer to post and a birthday post isn’t the same without pictures.

However, since it is now 2 days after her birthday and I know I won’t have any time tonight I’m going for it without pictures. I’ll post pictures later when I talk about what we actually did for her birthday.

My big girl turned 5 on Wednesday! Holy Cow! I don’t know what this feels like such a big deal to me, but it does. I feel like 5 is one of life’s milestones like 18.

For Taylor’s 5th birthday she got a special surprise (blog post coming about that soon). However, there are other “events” in her life that are triggered by this big day in her life. Here are things we always said all our kids would experience starting at the age of 5:

- She gets to go to the Christian Book store and pick out her very own bible
- She gets to pick an “activity” like dancing or karate or gymnastics to be part of
- She gets to start Kindergarten (well that’s a few months away)

I think I’m as excited about this season of her life as she is if not more so. She had her 5 year old check up and here are her stats:

Height: 46 ½ inches (98th Percentile – She’s super tall – the doctor thought her chart was wrong until she walked in the room and saw her)

Weight: 38.6 pounds (40th Percentile – Poor girl is going to be tall and lanky just like her mom – and I don’t think my little drama queen will handle the teasing well)

She’s doing all the things she should be doing for her development except tying her shoes – the doctor actually said most kids now don’t know how to tie shoes since most shoes don’t have laces anymore.

Taylor got 2 shots to prepare for Kindergarten and she still needs blood work done, but I didn’t want to it all on the same day.

With all that said – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAY TAY!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I know its quite a few months away, but I was recently reminded I need to start trying now to get Taylor in a school I want her in.

Issue #1 – All the schools in my area are very poorly rated schools ranging from 2-3 out of 10 “stars”.

Issue #2 – The school in our district she is supposed to go to is one of the lowest ranked ones and only 2 “stars”.

Issue #3 – Because all the schools in our area are crappy a lot of parents are trying to get their kids out making it even more difficult to get a district transfer.

Issue #4 – To make a “good” excuse for a transfer I need it to be a school I work close to (which is a GREAT!!! School)

Issue #5 – If it’s a school I work close too that makes a 30 minute commute for Justin to pick her up

Issue #6 – That pick up time would put it right around lunch/nap time making that time (already the most difficult part of his day) even more frustrating

Issue #7 – Option 2 is to have the school provide child care (or a local preschool which means I have to pick her up and hope I can schedule my lunch the same time everyday which is unlikely) – that costs $400 a month.

Issue #8 – It costs less money (less then child care) to put her in a really good Christian school (that doesn’t include childcare).

So my prayer: A raise that or some other suprise income that will make up for $400 a month I need for after school childcare OR her tuition in a Christian School. Start praying people!

Monday, January 9, 2012

So Sayith Tay and Jay #10

Tell me about your favorite book:

Jordan: I can't tell you! (she is not cooperating tonight)

Taylor: My favorite book is the uh, flower book.  I mean Good Night Moon.  In the book the rabbit says goodnight to everybody and stuff because he's gonna go to sleep.

Tell me about your favorite movie:

Jordan: My favorite movie is that one! (points to The Last Dragon on the shelf) oh and that one (points too The Jungle Book).  Its a DVD.  See look we can shake them.

Taylor: My favorite is The Lady in the Water. Well the lady in the water there's a kind of animal in it and she gets scratched by it

Jordan: then the animal with scary eyes scratches the lady

Taylor: Stop Jordan its my turn! Ok.  Then the eagle takes her and splashes her in the pool.  Then the guy finds  her and takes care of her. And also he takes care of her because of the wolf trying to get her.  Then you better spell the word.  And it happens and then all those times its now gonna be the last time on the last day and the wolf was trying to get her but the eagle comes and gets her.  But if the eagle comes down the wolf will come eat him so the lady can't go home.  Then the end.

Tell me about your favorite song:

Taylor: My favorite song is the Halloween song from that movie (points to The Nightmare Before Christmas) and sings...


Tell me your favorite knock knock joke:

Taylor: knock knock, who's there, Armageddon, Armageddon who?, Armageddon outta here!

Jordan: knock knock, who's there, Tickle, Tickle who?, Tickle you! (starts tickling me)

My Plan to do Nothing

If you would have asked me on Wednesday what my weekend plans were I would have told you absolutely nothing but sitting at home and relaxing.
I’m not a liar, I promise. Well I guess technically I am a liar, but in this scenario I did not lie to you. We just had an unexpectedly super busy (super fun) weekend.

On Friday night we headed to the Key’s house for burgers and games. Despite the 2 hours stuck in traffic to make a 40 minute drive we had a great time. I’ll say it again, but it is nice to be able to just relax with friends that are living in the same chapter of life you are. There’s an unspoken understanding of the chaos around us.
We played a game called True Colors that I thought was pretty fun while the babies slept and kids watched a movie.

We got home late on Friday night and as I headed to bed I was thinking about the Saturday ahead of doing nothing.
Saturday came and so did a phone call from Tawni asking if we wanted to meet them at the Santa Ana Zoo. So Justin and I decided “why not?”

We met the Webster’s at the zoo and had a great time! We got a season pass since it was $30 for one day or $60 for a year. Since they have a park there I can guarantee this pass will be well used by Justin for his sanity during the week. It’s a nice small zoo which is perfect for the kids! They get to see everything and get just tired enough that they nap well (fingers crossed).

We headed back to our house and kids napped. We played a game and just sort of talked most of the night. Here comes the part where I “say it again”. There is something very nice about just relaxing with people who are in the same place you are. I told Justin later that night how much I enjoyed just doing “nothing” with the Webster’s that night (sorry if I we came across as boring though…that is Justin’s worry).

I tried a new recipe for meatloaf that I didn’t hate (that’s a triumphant event on my part), but I think it could have been better. After dinner the guys played a game (side by side – how cute) and the girls tackled the task of the kid’s hair. Elijah is the only one that made it out without a trim/cut.
We took the trimmer to the boy’s hair. Nate’s came out shorter then we thought which makes him look a lot more like Sammy I think. Jordan’s also came shorter then we planned – I blame her massive wiggling, but I’m glad she wiggled! It looks REALLY cute and I know I wouldn’t have done it that short intentionally. It totally fits her personality too! Little miss Sassy for sure. She also looks even more like her “twin” Sydney.

What a great – busy weekend we had! And aligned with that theme, on Sunday….
…we rested.