Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Silver Anniversary

We recently had a fun reason to celebrate. Uncle Fred & Aunt Claudia (Mark's mom's sister) celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary! How lucky are we that we live here in Arizona where the celebration was, so that we were able to attend? They actually live in California, but made the drive out here (as well as did some of their friends)...and Mark's parents flew in from Utah. They had a wonderful luncheon at the lovely Royal Palms Resort. We've had the pleasure of attending other family events at the Royal Palms in the past. Mark's (maternal) grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary was held there years ago, as well as Mark's cousin Sarah's wedding and reception. It really is a beautiful place to have an event. So! As for Claudia & Fred's anniversary celebration...upon arriving at the restaurant, the ladies were presented with beautiful flower leis. This was a nod to remembering their wedding that took place on the beach in Hawaii. Then we were able to relax and visit before enjoying the delicious food.

Here is the happy couple:

Mark & me.

Sarah & Tyler (who were sitting directly across from us).

Fred & Claudia feeding each other a little dessert...

And my 3 little mini-desserts. Yu-um. I must share what you're looking at (from left to right): Caramel cheesecake & vanilla crème brûlée, carrot cake with spiced mascarpone frosting, and lemon hibiscus crème caramel. Yes, they were as delicious as they sound...especially the last one.

We took a short stroll around some of the grounds, and before leaving we snapped a couple quick pictures of Mark's parents:

Thank you for including is in your celebration, Claudia & Fred. It was absolutely lovely. So, here's to the two of you and the 25 years you've spent together...and to you enjoying another 25 years more!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

February Wrap Up

Noah had his friend Hagan (from school) over for a play date at the beginning of February. Here they are with some lunch in the backyard...

Noah and Lincoln on our ship sandbox.

Noah insisted on a picture of himself with a "pirate face":

Our happy Lincoln.

...and of course Lincoln wanted a silly picture too.

This may seem like a weird thing to take a picture of, but I had to document it. On February 16th I was having a particularly sick day (pregnancy & flu), so Noah offered to make lunch for himself and Lincoln (and he did)! I'm pretty sure I cried because I was so grateful...both for how sweet he was & for some help! I thought it was pretty funny that he even used scissors to cut off the sandwich crusts (I don't do that). So cute.

Poor Noah got the flu really bad in February too. Here he is crashed out on the couch with his Gatorade, jello, saltines, and throw up container. It breaks my heart to see my kids sick, but they're also so sweet when they're sick...I mean - just look at that face.

The rest of this post is a series of video clips. Let's start with Noah's first t-ball practice! Here is his coach showing him how to hit the t-ball for the first time. Pretty good, buddy!

The rest of the video clips are of Lincoln. He is at a stage right now where he's very in charge of whether (or not) he will let you photograph or film him. So, when he requests for me to film him I am happy to oblige. That's what happened with the next 3 clips (all from the same day). And while they are nothing out of the ordinary, perhaps that's why I like them so much:

The next two clips are of Lincoln eating spaghetti (familiar to him as simply "noodles"). Hopefully he'll learn better table manners in the upcoming years...

While at this outdoor shopping center we popped into Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to get me a caramel apple (one of the few things that sounded particularly good to me in February)...and the boys picked out these marshmallow treats. Noah chose to save his for later (boy after my own heart), but Lincoln wanted to get going on his right away:

Ta-da! And I've blogged up to the month that we're actually in now!...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Noah turned FIVE!!!

One of my favorite memories/traditions from growing up that made me feel special was my parents decorating my room for my birthday while I was sleeping. It was just so fun to wake up and immediately know that on that day it was all about me. So, we're hoping that doing that for our kids will be something to help us show them how special they are to us too! Here are some pictures that Mark took after the decorating was done (the outside of the boys' door, and then of Noah). I have to mention...I think it's funny how the Mr. Grinch toy seems to be sitting there on the bed scowling at the camera in protest of all this happy celebration. Ha!

Noah chose to have his big birthday party a couple of weeks after his birthday (while my parents would be in town), but we had a little "family celebration" on his actual birthday and let him open a couple of gifts. Here he is before opening presents from his cousins Audrey & Ezra!

And how can you not smile at this picture? Noah (being very into pirates currently) is wearing his Hook costume that he got at Christmas...but he got the matching hat from Linc for his birthday, and the wig and mustache (that he's been begging for) from Mark's parents for his birthday too. He loves the whole costume & puts it on at least once a day.

The best part of this clip (of us singing happy birthday to Noah) is Noah licking his lips while he looks at his dessert:

Now, like I do every birthday, I'd like to take some time to just write down some things about Noah and what he's like right now. And because the post is all about Noah I'll include some photos - a couple that I've posted previously (but love) and a couple more of him as Captain Hook that I took, since that's his thing right now...
Our Noah has grown up so much this last year. His current "stats" are: Height 40 3/4" (10th percentile) and weight 42.5 pounds (58th percentile). He's looking so much more like a "big boy" and he asks such grown up questions every day. Noah is a very observant child. He really absorbs what's going on around him...and remembers it. The details he can recall from things can be really astounding. He can be very shy when introduced to a new situation or new people, but once he feels comfortable he is a serious chatterbox. He particularly loves art and music right now. Besides the projects that he creates at school, he draws several pictures at home every day. He loves music and can remember lyrics and melody better than I can.
Anyone that knows Noah at all is also aware that (for years) he has loved being "into" a character that he can act out from a movie or show (Woody...Buzz...Fireman Sam...now Captain Hook) with coordinating costumes and props being a must. I think that besides simply enjoying the act of delving into a character, he enjoys becoming a movie character because he combines some of the aforementioned skills that he is good at and enjoys...memorizing details (lines of the movie, actions/mannerisms of the character) and singing. It can actually be quite entertaining to watch. I'll be interested to see if this is an interest that he holds onto as he gets older or if it's just something he's interested in as a younger child.
Noah also enjoys reading books/stories (and re-telling them) and has recently begun memorizing traditional nursery rhymes, which he enjoys. Some of his favorite foods right now are tacos, spaghetti, and anything chocolate. He learned how to swim this year and now can swim the entire length of our community pool without any help! He loves talking on the phone, helping cook/bake, playing outside, going to the library, taking pictures, looking up information (answers to questions) on the internet with mom or dad, and has recently begun playing on a t-ball team! He has enjoyed learning some Spanish at preschool and is always interested in learning how to say things in other languages. He loves anything with a theme (holidays, parties, etc) and he had a lot of fun playing such an active roll in planning his birthday party this year - which I'll show in an upcoming post. He's not a fan of brushing his teeth, helping clean up, or talking quietly.
We are so blessed to have Noah as part of our family, and we tell him that all of the time. He has such a fun, sweet, unique personality and I am so grateful to be his mother. I look forward to watching him grow over this next year and to seeing what new skills/interests he develops...and (out of curiosity) to see what takes the place of pirates as his next obsession!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jazz vs. Suns

On February 15th we had tickets (from Mark's work) to attend the Jazz/Suns game at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. We had been looking forward to this game for months, so there was a lot more Utah Jazz chatter around our house as the date for the game grew closer. One day, out of the blue, Noah announced that at the game he would be cheering for the Suns...not the Jazz. He announced this confidently, but with a questioning look (as if to ask if this divergence from family loyalty would be acceptable). I told him that was fine if he would prefer to cheer for the Suns. Noah was delighted at being granted "permission" to assert his own independence in this arena - so you can imagine his delight when on game day I showed him the Suns outfit that I'd bought for him. He was so proud. Before leaving for the game we tried to snap a few photos - Mark, Lincoln & me in our Jazz shirts and Noah clad head to toe in Suns orange.

Me with my boys (including the one cooking in the oven at just over 20 weeks here).

We got a few inquiring looks and double takes as people saw us traipsing into the game wearing Jazz gear...but with one kiddo in Suns attire. Noah walked around proudly as if to say, "Yup, I'm one of you people." Here's a clip of them enjoying themselves as the game got going:

The boys enjoyed pizza at the game!

You gotta love Noah's "Go, Suns!!" yell...followed directly by Lincoln yelling "Go, Jazz!!" (We actually had to change up the seating arrangement later because things got a little heated with their competing allegiances.)

We had a great time. This game was just after everything happened with Coach Corbin taking over the Jazz too, which made things interesting. We (referring to the Jazz) lost by one point, which was a bummer, but it was a good game...and Noah was so proud to leave the game having cheered for the winning team. I love doing stuff like this as a family, and the boys were pretty well behaved up until right before the end of the game (but it was getting pretty late at night by then, to be fair). The only thing that could've made things better was to have not felt nauseous, but hey - at least I was doing well enough to go and be able to enjoy myself, right? And, the next time we go to a Jazz/Suns game...we'll have THREE boys to take with us! Unbelievable.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


In February I began feeling significantly better (not throwing up). So, I was glad to be able to attend a Valentine's Day dinner with several other couples from church, held at the Larson's home the Saturday before Valentine's Day. It was our first time leaving the boys with a babysitter (other than grandparents) who would be putting them to bed, but everything went great & we had such an enjoyable evening.

Josh & Dani B.

Jayson & Dani A.

Shauna & Taft

We know some of the people at this table and don't quite remember the names of others...

Chad & Kayla and Tiffany & Troy

Stephen & Tessa (with Mazarin) and Don Bluth - yes, the Don Bluth for those that know who he is (too bad it's a closed eyes picture)...

Thayne & C.A. with their daughter and grand-daughter

On Valentine's Day Noah brought home quite a haul from pre-school...here he is eating a cereal treat on a stick from one of his teachers!
Somehow I don't have any more pictures from Valentine's Day, but it wouldn't be a Valentine's post if I didn't at least say a public, "I love you, sweetheart!" to my man: Ik hou van je. Ich liebe dich. Te Amo. Wo ai nin. Je t'aime...

January in a nutshell

Yes, I know that New Years Day is a little bit on the late side for finally decorating Christmas cookies like I promised, but hey - at least we did it!

During the middle of January my mom drove all the way down just for a visit over a long weekend! What a fun surprise. One day we visited the zoo & here's a picture of while we were there of her & Noah.

Noah posing by a palm tree at the zoo. I love winter here.

Sweet Lincoln.

Another fun classmate's birthday party at Pump it Up (Noah is in the yellow, striped shirt on the back row).

Random brother cuteness.

Another picture of Noah falling asleep around the house (in his pirate costume). I wish I could get him to take a nap when Lincoln does, but I guess he just manages to crash on his own when her really needs a nap...

Our sweet baby boy #3! (The "big ultrasound" where we found out the gender was Jan. 28th)

Here's a clip of us telling Noah & Lincoln that the new baby is a boy. It's a bit longer (for you grandparents to enjoy) at 2 & 1/2 minutes, but you should at least watch the first part and let me know what you think...after telling them that it's a "new brother" Lincoln gives Noah a big hug and scampers off. Do you think Lincoln thought that we meant that Noah was being replaced with this "new brother" or that it was just his way of celebrating? (Oh, and Noah's initial big lip is because he'd been really hoping for a sister):

A couple clips of an alternative method for cleaning the floor...and yes, the old phrase "You're not going to stop until someone gets hurt..." did ring true yet again this time:

Lincoln had been begging the whole meal to drink from both straws and the same time. We finally relented:

In January we bought a minivan & it has a dvd player with wireless headphones that the boys think is pretty sweet. Here's a clip of Noah enjoying his new "toy":

Lincoln not knowing that we're watching him play:

And that's it for January (we're moving right along with this blog-catch-up thing)!