Sunday, January 4, 2015

Family Photo Shoot

William is doing well. He looks just like his father. He sleeps for 3-4 hours at a time. Eats plenty and has gained a pound in the two weeks since he left the hospital. He likes watching his brothers and sister, and is content in the swing where he is snugly and warm. And this week at just 17 days old he showed us his first smile, at his dad of course, but it was a huge smile followed by a small smirk that melted my heart and brought tears of joy to my eyes.

We tried a family photo shoot last week but mostly I was unsuccessful. William didn't like any of the cute outfits that his Aunt Sarah sent him. But after a lot of food and rocking he finally fell asleep and I was able to capture his sweet spirit sleeping softly under our Christmas tree.

We are so blessed with all of our children. It was the perfect Christmas.

Welcome to the World William James

9 long months. This pregnancy was the longest of all my pregnancies. Waiting for my next baby boy to arrive, I can't explain the excitement and apprehension I felt. Would I be able to take care of 4 children? Is he going to be health? Will the surgery go well?

All the nerves we unnecessary. The surgery went better than expected and I am in excellent health. I really think Heavenly Father has blessed me with healing powers and made me strong. And William is beautiful. A perfect little piece of heaven sent to our family. We have already enjoyed the blessings, and the love we have for this precious little soul. He is amazing. The children love him. Christian has taken to his role as the older brother, watching over William and making sure he is cared for well. Every time he cries Christian comes calling me. Jackson loves being the oldest and holding his baby brother. He will hold him forever if I let him. Elizabeth loves to entertain William. She likes singing to him and talking to him. It is very sweet to walk into the room and see her sitting by his swing softly singing at his side.

I couldn't ask for a better baby and a more joyous Christmas gift.

William James Stoker
Born December 18th, 2014 at 7:48am
6lbs 14oz
19 3/4 inches long

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Eat Some Turkey and a trip on the Polar Express

Thanksgiving was a slow affair this year. We hosted Brandon's grandpa and his new wife Marie. We have them over for dinner often but it was fun to dress up the table and make it special, even with only a few guests. It was a record 85 degrees outside so we spent the day watching football and playing soccer outside.

The next day we headed up to the Grand Canyon Railway for the Polar Express. Christian is obsessed with trains and loved looking at all the trains around the town. He kept yelling at them in this cute little voice, "Choo Choo, Choo Choo!" We got there right before the train left the station so we headed from the hotel straight to the train with our jammies on. It was a magical experience. I read that we should bring some plastic baggies for left over cookies and ribbon to string the bells around our necks. The hot chocolate was delicious and the kids just loved being on a real train. When we arrived to the North Pole the kids were so excited they couldn't contain themselves. Dancing in the isles and whispering to all the other kids how wonderful it is to see Santa and the Elf's houses. Elizabeth and Jackson swear they saw Chippy's (our own personal Elf on the Shelf) house. Then we sang Christmas carols, Elizabeth's favorite part, and finally Santa gave everyone their very own bell. The kids loved the trip. I wish I would have brought the book on the train for when they read the story but I'll know better for next time. We ended the night at the hotel for dinner and bed.

Then we came home the next day in the Christmas spirit and decorated the house. Mainly I decorated the house and the kids ran around looking at all the decorations. They helped trim the tree and posed for me at the end with all their Christmas hats and glasses. I love how excited they get about Christmas and decorating the house. It is truly a magical time.

October Happenings-Disneyland, Pumpkin Farm, and Halloween

After the wedding was finally over and Christian's birthday we decided to take advantage of October break and our Disney passes and headed back to Disneyland for a few days. It was so crowded this time! And still really hot. I was glad we had just gone in September because our October trip gave us the opportunity to do some activities that we didn't have time for before and activities that the crowds were uninterested in like exploring Pirate Island, The Wilderness Explorers Camp and watching some of the great shows. The kids really loved Pirate Island and exploring all the caves. I on the other hand found bending down and squeezing through the tight caves a little challenging in my 7 months pregnant state. But we still had a great time and it was well worth the trip.

We also spent October break at Vertuccio Farms, our favorite pumpkin patch in AZ. It is not a traditional pumpkin patch but there are a lot of pumpkins, and many other fall activities including: a bounce house, giant air pillow, two slides, petting zoo, trains, and a corn maze. Lizzy loved the slides and Christian loved petting the animals. We saw the fatest, oldest, most dominant turkey of my life. He walked around the farm like he owned the place, ruffling his feathers at people and the other turkeys. He was awesome. Jackson loved the corn maze. He likes a challenge and exploring, especially if it has a goal like checking off all the points on our maps. It didn't fell like fall since it was still 90 degrees outside but that is about as fall festive as we are going to get in Arizona.

Halloween was amazing this year. The kids helped me clean out the pumpkins and then they drew faces on the pumpkins themselves. I cut out the faces but the creations were all their ideas and own drawings. It was AWESOME! We went to our Ward Halloween party in the retention basin and had a blast as always. But afterward we went over to our friends the Welch's. Then we hopped a ride on the Graveyard Train for trick-or-treating. Another family we love the Fillmore's attach a flat trailer to a small tractor and put folding chairs up. Then he strung Halloween lights and a large speaker in the back to play Halloween music. All of the neighborhood kids hopped on the trailer (with some parents, about 20 kids all together) and Brother Fillmore drove them around the neighborhoods stopping in each area for the kids to climb out and trick-or-treat. After 2 hours our sacks were full of candy and goodies and we headed home.

One sad moment from our October, we had to say goodbye to our beloved dogs Twix and Snickers. Twix contracted an infection in his teeth that was not fixable without surgery. Snickers was old, blind, deaf, and had a painful rash on his stomach. They were 14 years old and lived great lives. We miss them dearly (especially me with the crumb clean up, my little doggy vacuums). They were great pets and loved by these 3 kids forever.