Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Party

It was a very emotional Easter this year for a few reasons. First we have never spent Easter away from our family. It was sad not being with them on such a momentous occasion. Thankfully some of our new friends here in NM invited us to their house. They have two kids that are around the same ages as Jackson and Elizabeth so the kids had a great time together.

We were lucky enough to hear wonderful talks and lessons at church. It made me realize how grateful I am for the atonement and the Savior. I was sitting at church listening to the talks and thinking about how important my role is as a mother to guide my children in this life. Mother's have an affect on their children that we are sometimes unaware of. Our children listen to us and follow our instructions in every situation. Even when we think they aren't listening, they are. As a mother I need to make sure my children know who the Savior is and what he has done for them. We are here because of Him, and we are able to return to our Heavenly Father because of Jesus Christ.

The third reason I was so emotional is because it was the 12 year anviersery of my dad's death. When my dad died I took it very hard, crying a lot and loosing myself in the process. I wanted to talk about it to everyone except the rest of my family did not wan to talk about it. They put his death and their feelings deep inside themselves, and rarely spoke of him. As the years have passed I have come to a deeper understanding of death and why things happen in life. If my dad hadn't died I wouldn't be the person I am today. His death encouraged me to find the church which led me to my husband who gave me my wonderful children. I have a chosen life and I am grateful every day for that life.

Enough with the heavy, here are some wonderful pictures from our weekend.

Painting eggs
Easter Baskets
Egg hunt at the Cox's
Egg hunt at our house

No nap and too much candy made for a very long day and an early bedtime, lol.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Visitor

We have a special visitor this week which has been wonderful. Aunt Sarah has come to visit us in our new home in NEW MEXICO and the kids have loved it. She is so helpful to me around the house and with the kids and it is nice to spend some sister time with her. It is hard being so far away from my family especially now that we moved away from Brandon's family too. I love that the kids ask where she is by name and give her kisses. We even got in a game of tennis the other day which I haven't played in like 6 years and I was VERY VERY rusty to say the least. I will be sad to see her go on Wed. Here is what we have been up to so far.

Our Zoo Trip:

The ABQ zoo is amazing. They have such a variety of animals and the exhibits are really fantastic. I think it is the best zoo I have been to aside from San Diego. Plus it is super cheap. I used my zoo pass but still if you are just visiting the area this should be on your list of things to do. The kids had a great time and Brandon even played hookie from work to spend the day with us. We couldn't have asked for better weather too. It was the perfect day.

Sarah and Liz enjoying a bubble bath in the jet tub. I love how Liz is totally covered in bubbles from head toe.

Lizzy sporting her new pink poka dot sun glasses.

Lizzy, Jack, and Sarah stuffed in the backseat of the car. We really need a car upgrade, lol.

**Don't you love the new editing effects? Totally Rad photoshop actions. I am so in love.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Celebrate Easter

Just wanted to share some Easter ideas with you all before the big weekend.

First I made the kiddos dress in their Easter outfits early just so I could snap a couple shots for all of you to see. I made Lizzy's dress and Jackson's tie. Jack thought it was so cool to have a real tie just like dad. Brandon even tied it for him.

After the photoshoot we made resurrection rolls. I have seen these floating around the web and have to admit I love the idea for Easter and they taste really good. If you would like to teach your kids about Christ and Easter this is a great lesson and activity. You can find the instructions HERE.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Happy Birthday-part 1

Happy Birthday, It's your Birthday.

Yup, we had a birthday in our house this last weekend and my little baby boy turned 3! I was laying in bed reflecting on what I was doing 3 years ago and the early months of Jackson life. He was such a good baby. A little fussy in the evenings which was solved with a walk around the apartment complex. Now as he says he is a "big boy".

We had a wonderful, low key birthday. We were going to go check out the zoo but it started raining so we ended up going to the aquarium and bio-park instead. The best part is the zoo, aquarium, and bio-park are all one membership. The kids LOVE the aquarium. It is small but pretty great. They had big sting rays (6ft wide) and a large shark tank with some pretty fierce sharks, we are talking big teeth that really stick out of their mouths. Jackson really liked the jellyfish and Liz spent a lot of her time on this giant starfish statue. I think Brandon was a little bit in shock at how active those two are. Running around, jumping, and screaming with excitement. (It is good for him to have a taste of what everyday outings are like with a 3 and a 1 1/2 year old, hehe).

When we were done looking at all the fish for the 3rd time around, we headed over to the bio park. It is a great park with separate biospheres. We spent about an hour and a half there and only saw about half the park. There was a toy train section where the kids could push a button and make the toy trains go. And of course it was a Thomas train which made Jack really excited being that Thomas is his current obsession. There was also an area with all these blown up statues like huge carrots and a giant water kettle. They had the best time running around and climbing on everything.

Then we went home and after the kiddos and dad took a nap we had cake and opened presents. I made Jack a Thomas cake and he was so nice to let Elizabeth blow out his candles. What a good brother right? He loved all his gifts including a Buzz Lightyear action figure and sleeping bad from Grandma Sandy and Grandpa Derek, and a dress up construction outfit from Grandma and Grandpa Stoker. He was so appreciative of everything saying thank you after he opened each present.

It was a great day in a new city and I got to spend it with my favorite people in the whole wide world.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Swimming Season

I think we might still think we are living in Arizona because during our Target trip today I bought both the kids swim suits and it is only 55 degrees in New Mexico today. Doesn't look like we will be sporting these suits for awhile. Maybe they will be able to wear them when they visit Grandma Stoker later this month. Oh well, they were so excited about the suits and too cute to pass up. They tried them on right when we got home and even wore them in the bathtub tonight. These two crack me up.

Elizabeth looks SO OLD in this suit. I was watching her prance around in it showing it off to the camera and thinking to myself, she is not a baby anymore. Then I realized it is probably because she wasn't wearing a diaper, lol. Soon both of them will be potty trained (cross your fingers) and I will really feel like they are growing too fast. I do like seeing the little cheeks peek out the back of her suit every once in awhile though.

I also made Liz a pair of army capris this week. They were originally suppose to be shorts for Jack but I cut them too small. So I added some ruffles to the sides and a ribbon belt. The funny thing is I remember having a similar pair when I was in college. They both took the opportunity to smile for the camera...what a bunch of cheese balls.
(I love love love this picture of them blowing kisses at each other)

Liz ready to throw the rock, I HATE THESE ROCKS in our house. Good think Jack is wearing his helmet. **FYI, she didn't throw the rock.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Is it Friday already?

What did we do this week? Well we spent a lot of time at home which is not normal for us but I am still learning my way around and what there is to do in ABQ (like that I am already using the abbreviations). Brandon has been studying for a big test that he has to take on Monday so there wasn't a whole lot of interaction from his end either. We did meet up with some moms and kids from church for a fun craft but you will have to tune in for that later because I'm not finished yet. The moms here are really down to earth and love all the things I love. I think I could make some really good friends if we end up staying in the ward which I am on the fence about because I am not sure I want to live in the mountains. Good news is someone made an offer on our house today. YEAH! I really thought it was going to be on the market for a long time. They offered the full asking price too which is awesome. Hopefully everything will go through, fingers crossed.

Jackson and I did a lot of crafts this week. We played with play dough, colored, used stickers, and painted. I taught him how to fold his paper in half, paint on one side, and then refold it to get the paint on the other side. He thought it was so much fun smushing the paint around and it was a good opportunity to learn his colors which we are working on.

Liz likes playing with the play dough even though she tries to eat it every once in awhile. I awesome did some sewing this week creating a cute summer dress for Elizabeth and a pair of shorts for Jackson. Liz is getting so tall all her dresses are a tad too short I can see her little buns hanging out the back :).

Jackson being grumpy

Next week is Jackson's birthday, I can't believe he is almost 3! Seriously still remembering that chubby baby and now he is a "big boy" or "I'm Jackson" as he tells me. We have a fun week planned so I will make sure to post lots of pictures.

Oh and we bought Tangled! If you haven't seen it yet GET IT NOW. Best Disney movie since Nemo.