Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Handmade with Love

We made our gifts this year for each other.
And although it was A LOT of work.
It was so worth it.
Here are a few of my favorite moments on Christmas morning...

Bekah opening her puzzle blocks from Topher with pictures of The Nutcracker Ballet on them, she absolutely adores them.
Porter opening his puzzle blocks, and Christopher being so excited to see what he thought of them.Porter LOVING his barn that his sister and dad made for him, and putting all of his new presents inside.But these two moments are my favorite...

Christopher being so DANG excited about his beanbag chair, I mean look at that face!
Priceless.
And then the hug that immediately followed him opening his bean bag chair.
So much genuine love and appreciation.
And Bekah feeling what it's like to make someone she loves truly happy.
This is why we give presents on Christmas.
To feel like this.
To feel a little sliver of what its like to be truly selfless and full of love.
Like our Saviour, who this season is all about.

A Blur

Christmas morning.
A lot of anticipation.
A lot of work.
A lot of money.
A lot of spoiled, tired kids.
A blur.
Porter was not liking the idea of taking a picture in front of the tree, he wanted to keep eating junk food at 5:30 am.
That's my (husbands) boy.

Tip, Tap and Slide

Bekah had her Winter Showcase for her dance class a couple weeks ago.
It was just a chance for the kids to show the parents what they do in class, it was fun to see her up there dancing with all of her classmates.
She is taking both tap and ballet this year and is doing great at both.
She loves dancing and takes it very seriously.
I can't say that I am not excited about having a beautiful little ballerina as my daughter!
We can't wait for recital, although she is not excited about pulling her hair into the tight bun again for two nights in a row, (that is the only thing she doesn't like about ballet-hopefully she'll grow out of it!).

Seven Dysons Full

Remember how Bekah made Topher a beanbag chair for Christmas?
Well there was a little less than half of a bag of the filling left.
I was going to make Bekah one for her birthday with the leftovers.
Going to.
Topher had other plans.
He wanted a white Christmas.
Inside the house.
He got one.
Seven Dysons full later.
We are still finding the little balls of fun....
...everywhere.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Flashbacks-Santa Claus is coming to town...

Remember when my little Bekah was 2, and sang this so dang cute?
You need to make it to the end-she says "town" the best!

Friday, December 11, 2009

And it was a thing of perfection...

My dream is to have that tree that looks like something out of a magazine-with matching ornaments, all the branches at perfect intervals down the trunk-all symetrical like....
But then I wouldn't have these memories....
My kids all gathered around our cut down tree, finding ornaments from years past...
The baby placing the star on top of the tree...You know he really didn't put the star on top right? Chad put it on top, and I took a picture of him taking it off-he is destructo-baby after all-but it looks like he did do something to contribute besides pulling the ornaments off and breaking a couple huh?
Then of course, if we had the magazine tree, I wouldn't get to come back in after the kids lost interest and space out all the ornaments that were placed in 3 large clumps around the bottom of the tree.And where's the fun in that?
I have a feeling that until the kids are grown, and maybe even after that, my dream of the magazine tree is out of the question-but that doesn't mean we don't always have the perfect tree.

Interrogations, Drugs, and Supply Closets


For our field trip on Thursday we went to the Sheriff's station.
The Detective who gave us the tour was funny, he kept saying things like; "this is the interrogation room." What 3-4 year old knows what that is?Then we met the police dog-and he went on to tell us how Shelby sniffs out drugs, and how she has found lots of them. I am pretty positive not one of those kids had the slightest clue what drugs were, or why it mattered that the dog could find them. They were just excited about petting her.
They let the kids climb in the police car, and they thought that was great, but the highlight of the trip was the supply closet.
It might have had something to do with all the hundreds of Beanie Babies inside, and the fact that the Detective let them all pick one to take home...or I don't know; maybe they all just like the smell of white out.

Twas the lights before Christmas

This has become a tradition all in itself...
To take pictures of my kids holding the Christmas lights, turn the room lights off, no flash, just the beautiful glow.
This one is my new favorite.
Although, I really like her coy little look here.
And this kid was actually a little upset that his dad wrapped him in lights, but you'd never know it by this picture.
Absolutely love them.

I want my house made out of Gingerbread

Yes folks, I think the witch in Hansel and Gretal was on to something...Gingerbread is cheap to make.
And candy sales are still very high-even in a recession...
So finding the right part for repairs, would be easy and affordable.
The labor in building your home would be enjoyable and could be done by small children, without violating any child labor laws.
And food storage would not be necessary...
You could just eat a cabinet or something in rough times.
Unless it rained.
But if you just had a really big umbrella over your house, I think you'd be set.

Friday, October 9, 2009

World Card Making Day

I don't really celebrate it or anything...usually.
It just so happenend that I needed some new cards, it was General Conference Sunday and I could just lock myself in my room, listen to conference and craft away.
Here are a few sets I made.

I like to make cards in bulk-but never do the EXACT same thing on any card. I have a lot of family that I send cards out to-I don't like to have to remember if I already sent them or a one of their siblings the exact same card-this way I don't have to.

Letter to Porter

While I was in the hospital with Porter for 5 days because of his billiruben levels and on account of him being 5 weeks early, I had a lot of time to myself while he slept. During that time I wrote him a letter each day telling him what had happened each day-what tests he had done, who came to visit and of how much I loved him. It's all in the envelope waiting to be read one day when he gets older. It was really fun (and emotional) to read back through those and remember how hard it was being there all alone while he had to have so much done to his little body, and at the same time creating a bond with him with out anyone else competing for his cuddles.

Preggers in The Tulips

I like this picture, kind of rare for a pregnant lady to like a candid picture taken of her huh? Chad has the photography skills! I was pregnant with Porter, and we went to the Tulip Festival one last time before we moved from Portland. This was one of our favorite things to see each year.

Swim Lessons

I don't have any great pictures of Bekah's first swim lesson experience-mostly because they didn't let us in the room that had the lesson pool until the last day and then it was crowded with all the parents, but I did manage to get a few of her cheesing it. She was such a little chicken-she is in dire need to go again, so she can get over the fear. I don't understand it, she used to be such a fish!

Monday, October 5, 2009

This Child, Porter

I was certain that this was going to be my earliest walker-or at least fall in line with his siblings, (Bekah 9 months, Topher 10 months). He was pulling himself up to furniture way eariler than the other two and just seemed so interested in whatever was up at his eye level. 

Well that curiosity turned him into my only climber. This kid will climb anything, and has the concept of a stool down to a science. I have found him on dressers, counters, tables, the back of the couch trying to climb to the window-all in a single day.

Walking though is another story. 

Oh he can do it. 

He took his first steps from the couch to the table at least 4 months ago. 

He will walk down the hall to me if I make him.

He will walk for miles if he knows an m&m is waiting for him at the other end.

He just still crawls 90% of the time.

I don’t even remember my other two crawling because they just flew past that, they crawled for what seemed like a minute and then thought this is not fun, and they walked. 

I’m not worried, he is just barely turning 15 months this month, and I know someday he will prefer walking to crawling.

I just get frustrated that he still wants to crawl outside and get his hands all dirty and that I have to vaccuum still twice a day, because he is still crawling around on the floor.

Oh and note to self…Never take this kid to a movie again-EVER!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Horse Whisperer

This little baby is such a horse whisperer. 
He loves all animals, and gets so excited when he sees anything that even resembles one, but his favorite are horses.
He is so funny with them, Chad will reach out his hand, and talk quietly and softly to them to get them to come to him, and Porter totally mimicks him. 
Sticks his hand out, babbles quietly to them and pets them gently.
They love him.

"Where'd that Topher go?"

Conversation between Chad and Topher, Saturday morning.

Topher: Dad, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Dad: I want to work in medicine.
Topher: (giggling) No, dad, what do you really want to be when you grow up?
Dad: That is really what I want to do buddy, work in medicine, and work in a hospital.
Topher: Oh. Ask me what I want to be when I grow up.
Dad: Okay , what do you want to be when you grow up?
Topher: A pumpkin!!!

After, Chad related this story to me, while Topher was in ear shot, he came up to me all excited. The conversation that followed, cracked me up.

Mom: So you want to be a pumpkin huh pal? That's awesome!
Topher: Yeah, totally awesome! When bad guys come, I can turn into a pumpkin, and they will say, "Hey where'd that Topher go?" and the other bad guys will say, "I don't know....Hey! I think he turned into a pumpkin!"
Then he laughed a good jolly pumpkin laugh.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Porter has been breakin the mold since the day he was born. 
What I mean is, that Bekah and Topher were so similar in their milestones and everything else, that Porter sometimes seems alien to me.

First of all Bekah was born 4 days late-Topher 5 days late.
Porter decided to come 5 weeks early. Making him the first kid that had to stay in the hospital for any extended amount of time, and the only child that wasn't monster sized at birth (still 6 pounds at 5 weeks early, but it made for a much nicer recovery than the 9.5 of Christopher).
Then there was bottle feeding. Bekah would take a pumped bottle occasionally if she was starving and I wasn't around, but it was difficult. Never formula though. Christopher wouldn't touch a bottle, binky or anything in the fake plastic nipple form. Both nursed until they were 14 months, and I had to wean them through painstaking measures on both ends.
Porter had to take a bottle being born so early, he nursed after the first week or so pretty good, but was never a great nurser like the other two. He was too busy, and was much happier with a bottle, and I had to fight to keep him nursing until 9 months when we finally both just threw our hands in the air and said that's enough!

Bekah loved and still would love to sleep with us. Topher is the worlds best cuddler and would love nothing more than to cuddle with mom and dad every night.
Porter HATES sleeping with us. He tosses and turns and fusses and acts like he just can't get comfortable and makes everyone in the bed miserable. He welcomes his crib with open arms and gives you a happy little binky faced smile when you say night night and walk out of the room.

Next Bekah started walking at 9 months old. Not just a few steps, but walking. Topher was walking and running around at 10 months. 
Porter is now 13 months and still flat out refuses. He has taken one or two steps to get to the next thing to climb, but that's it. 
That's another thing. Bekah and Topher never started climbing up stuff until they were much older. This kid will climb anything and everything. I have found him on counters, high beds and on the back of the couch. He has learned what a stool, overturned bucket or a few strategically placed pillows can do for him, and utilizes whatever is handy.
Finally, Bekah and Topher have never been sick enough to require antibiotics. Not once. Topher for the first time, might need them this week-but he is 3 years old. I feel very lucky to have such healthy kids.
Porter once again decides to take a different path. I took him to the doctor 2 days ago and found he has infections in both ears and both eyes. Heavy antibiotic treatment required. This was one mold I wanted to stay in tact.
Still smiling and happy though, that is one thing that they all have in common. My kids have awesome temperments for the most part. Hopefully no one breaks this mold!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When Grandma comes for a visit...

I feel like I am the luckiest girl when it comes to Mother-in-laws. Mona is the sweetest little saint of a woman, the grandkids adore her, and we all look up to her so much. Chad unfortunately has to work a lot, so while she was here I took her and my adorable niece Asha out for some little 'outings'.
We of course had to go to the nearest temple, just to walk around.
I was glad to go see it, I haven't been to it, it's about 2 hours away and to go, I would have to leave my kids ALL day, which I am just barely getting to the point where I might feel comfortable leaving Porter for that long.We spent the day in Ashland one day, walking around and eating treats, and playing at an awesome park. Mona had her camera, and so I didn't bother taking out my big camera for anything but the temple-and then I forgot to get the pictures off of her camera before she went home.
The best part of the trip though, was the chance my kids got to spend with her. They have lived in Oregon most if not all of their lives, so the only chance they get to see her is when we go visit, and then she has all her other grandkids around and errands to run etc... It was nice to have her all to ourselves. Even Porter who is not a cuddler at all, except on the rare occasion with me cuddled up with Grandma and didn't move while she sang to him all the little songs she has in her repertoire.
We love and miss our Grandma Mona so much! Come back soon!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My kid can fly. He enjoys it. Topher also enjoys this. Bekah would kick you in the eye repeatedly if you tried to do this to her. Looking at this picture right here, makes me understand why. In other news that makes a mom cringe... I am leaving for girls camp for a week bright and early in the morning. I am going to not be able to cuddle my babies for 6 days. I might go insane. Stay tuned next week for more scary pictures....me covered from head to toe in dirt, and mosquito bites helping a bunch of teenage drama queens modge podge some frames, and paint some blocks. I know you're jealous.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spelunkin'

This last Friday, Chad was able to hang out with us for a bit, so we went to the lava beds and went cave exploring. The kids had a ton of fun with their flashlights and being able to go at their own pace and really explore, it was a fun afternoon.
Here they are going down into the depths of one of the caves... ...and here they are in the depths...speaking of depths,look at how blue my McDreamy's eyes are...he is so adorable in every way.
Here they all are right before we were going into a cave, I don't remember why the kids were making frowny faces, just being silly I guess.
We would have stayed longer, but we had to get going to go feed the horses that Chad was taking care of for the day, we will definately have to go back again. It was a good time for all of the kids-and that my friends is a rare, rare thing these days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We were in Portland this last weekend for a couple days. On Friday we took Zachary to Harry Potter for his birthday and then we went on a little trip to Target. 2 things- First: I miss and love you Target! You smell like dreams! (Only a select few might get that reference....) Second: Has anyone else seen the recent installment of Harry Potter, a little dark for a PG rating no? Is it just me?Then that night my mom took all of us to a nickel arcade and Bekah and Ryeleigh cleaned out the place. Ryeleigh won the jackpot on that ticket thing they have at all the Chuck E Cheese type places. Then Bekah has a hidden talent I never knew about...she rocks at the claw! She was able to win herself 3 stuffed animals and a ball. She is a rock star! Then we all went and saw Monsters vs Aliens in their cheap theatre. That was a funny movie, and none of us had seen it yet-so that was a bonus. Saturday morning we took the kids to the airport and it was bittersweet. It's always sad to see them go, but they were really excited to get home to see their mom, and pretty soon their new baby sister, she will be born any day now.Then Chad and Tyler went to the movie (again) while my mom, Tabitha, the kids and I went to IKEA. Yeah! Always the highlight for me. This time there was a damper on my high though. Topher was so excited about going in the play area, and since he is 3 and potty trained and all, I was all for letting him go play so I could enjoy my shopping that much more. Well I get him and Bekah all signed in, they are all excited and then the lady has him stand against this ruler. Then she tells me he is too short. What is there some dangerous kind of ride in there? Nope-them is just the rules. Topher is short for his age-heck he is short for a 2 year olds age. I thought it was completely discriminatory that just because he is short he can't play. So then I had to bring both of them with me, which was fine, they did fine, but they were upset, and I could have had a lot more fun shopping with them actually happy about being there. Anyway so that's my IKEA rant. I still heart you IKEA and your fantastic prices on all the wonderful goodness you supply...but please don't discriminate against short kids. It's not their fault-it's in their genes!That night we had a salmon bbq with some of my moms friends and had a lot of fun conversation, and then I had to get to work on school stuff. I'm in the last week of my first two classes! Time flies doesn't it?Sunday we made our way to the rhododendron gardens before we headed out to feed the ducks and the geese. That is where all these pictures are from.It was really beautiful and being able to spend a little extra time with my family was great.One thing Chad and I realized though while we were there is, there is no place like home. One time our home was Portland, and we loved it there, and still hold a special place for it in our hearts-the zoo, OMSI, IKEA, all the beautiful Targets, all the fun shopping, Sunny Hans, all the other fun and wonderful restaurants, and our friends and family that are there. We know though, that Klamath Falls is where we are supposed to be, at least right now. We love it, and wouldn't trade all of our wide open spaces for the nicest house in the little crammed in neighborhood, that used to be the neighborhood of our dreams. Funny how perspective changes, depending on where you are in your lives, huh?
Well they are officially gone. We drove the kids to Portland this weekend and dropped them off at the airport. Zachary is now old enough, that we didn't even have to escort them to the gate. They are getting so grown up! Since we weren't going to the gate, (and so I didn't have to lug my big old camera and Porter around) we took these pictures by the car. This summer was a lot of fun with them here. There was rarely a day that we weren't swimming at the pool or the lake or playing at a park or the library. The kids are getting to the ages where they are actually fun to play games with and have (sometimes) more grown up conversation. We were able to joke around more with one another and enjoy ourselves more than in the past. They didn't fight with one another hardly at all, (as for Ryeleigh fighting with Bekah...that's a different story). I think it was a success! We miss you guys already, and can't wait till next year!

Monday, June 29, 2009

We went to Lake of the Woods on Saturday with our friends the Appah's and Garcia's. I have a feeling this is going to be a recurring theme of posts of pictures down by the lake this summer. 
I had this problem when I was a full time scrapbooker too, just how many pages of the kids at the zoo do you actually do (ha ha that rhymed) for one year? 
The answer I came up with was, as long as each time you tell a different story, you can do as many as you want. 
So here is the first installment of Chronicles of the Lake entitled Eat and be Eaten.
The eat part...
We ate.
Lots of chips, hot dogs and soda.
The eaten part...
We got bit by the thousands of mosquito's that were hanging out by the lake.
Remember next time: bring some heavy duty bug spray.
So, see? We learned a valuable lesson, that hopefully we will remember on Wednesday when we head to the lake again!
Now onto the picture portion of this chronicle.
Bekah with her sassy new haircut...
Bekah actually in the water, past her ankles-this is a huge accomplishment people.
Christopher's favorite part of the day was the soda-it's not a treat he ever gets, so he drank up.
He really really loved it.I'm not sure if Paxton loved anything there-he was in a bad mood, but I caught this sweet moment of peace-isn't he one of the most handsome little boys on the planet?
The bigger kids stayed in the water most of the day with their friends...
Zachary and Parker played with this log and pushed the girls out of their tubes, you know, just being obnoxious boys.
These 3 girlies are so pretty, no wonder the boys love to tease them!
And these 2 stinkers-
Porter had to be held constantly or he would eat dirt and rocks, and Chad caught a crawdad and brought it home...
For a pet...
To hang out with our goldfish.
I guess boys just never grow up....
So that was our exciting day 1 at the lake this summer, come back later this week for more water, sunburns, junk food and pretty much all the excitement you can possibly muster for such an awesome family activity.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So one of my moms favorite things to tease Chad and I about is when we were first dating, I was talking to one of my friends on the phone while my mom was in the room, (first mistake) about the new love of my life.
I was telling my friend that my dreamy hunk was short, (2 inches shorter than me-I was young and shallow, and I NEVER went out with anyone shorter than me...more than once), but then I said what will go down in history as the most used phrase by my mother when referring to her son in law, "But he has REALLY Buff arms."
Chad is a hard working man, always has been since I've known him, and he does...have really buff arms.
When I see him flexing those forearms, doing any kind of work...mercy!
Doing that work with a baby attached to his back...seriously!
Makes me want to make more babies with this man with really buff arms...

The Farm Girls Wedding

If I wasn't a full time mom, and wanted to work outside the home, and travel and do all those things that I probably won't ever do, but have come to grips with...
I would be a wedding planner.
I would be darn good at it too.
I have done the flowers for a couple weddings, and helped do the flowers with my friends for lots of weddings, I have helped my mom cater weddings, and have helped with many a reception.
I really think that I would be an excellent wedding planner.
People would tell their friends about the wonderful lady who planned their wedding, and that wonderful lady would be me.
Ahhh to dream the impossible dream...

That dream is what keeps my mind reeling with a running log of ideas for weddings and parties.
The other day I was making a salad, and was thinking to myself...
"Self, these vegetables are so beautiful, I think they are more beautiful than flowers, don't you?"
And of course me being myself, answered, "Yes, yes they are."
That's when the farm girl's wedding was planned.
She will be so excited, this imaginary girl in my mind that will someday say "Oh great wedding planner, what wedding is right for me, a simple farm girl?", and I will tell her I have been planning her wedding for years...
The sweet farm girl bride will carry a beautiful bouquet of lettuce as she walks down the aisle of corn... The bridesmaids would have beautiful bouquets of carrots-you know the kind that chefs like Jamie Oliver always seems to have in abundance growing in his garden with the green stems...
The flower girls would throw brightly colored cabbage leaves in their wake....
The bride and groom would stand in front of the big red barn and pledge their love to one another while the sun sets, as the guests wipe their eyes at the beauty of it all, while sitting on bales of hay.
Later on at the reception held in the big barn...tables would be covered in white with small wooden baskets of beautiful fruit for the guests to sample at their leisure.
All of the food would be grown there on the farm and it would be fresh and delicious, and the guests would marvel that they had never been to a wedding that even came close to the magic of this one...
Then they would all wave their white hankies as the bride and groom ride off in their pumpkin carriage.
....and when my wedding dialogue starts colliding with a bedtime story with a fairy godmother, I realize, I should probably stick to being a mom for now.

When I grow up...

I am in the Primary presidency in my ward, and we just had our quaterly activity. It was all about what the kids wanted to be when they grew up. They all came dressed up like something they wanted to be, and then they went to different stations to learn about different jobs. The kids all had resumes that I made up for them, and they went to each 'job' to get more experience on their resumes. Super cute and super fun. Here are my rugrats dressed up in what they want to be when they grow up... Bekah my ballerina...
Christopher, my little cowboy.
Then Ryeleigh-our doctor/nurse, who really wants to be a teacher, but we had funner doctor dress ups than teacher dress ups, which is really all that mattered anyway, right?

Bekah helping making dinner

We have our summer chore charts in full swing here at the Hewlett house. This year we are doing flags and the kids can earn stars each day to earn prizes each week. They have one assigned chore each day and then they have to pick a job out of a box of popcicle sticks. The rest of the jobs on the chart are things like getting dressed, reading, writing in their journals and doing service for their siblings.
Once a week Bekah is supposed to help me make dinner.
I love to have my kids help me in the kitchen, as long as I can prepare for it by making something that they can actually help with.
We had tilapia packets this night with sweet pineapple sticky rice.
Bekah made all the tilapia packets-and they were scrumptious!
The recipe is on the recipe blog....and your kids will eat them, at least all of mine did-even Ryeleigh who is a self proclaimed fish hater.

By the way...that adorable apron she is wearing...it was mine when I was little-Strawberry Shortcake was one of my faves, right after Rainbow Bright. The apron is still in perfect shape, and I remember wearing it all the time-so much fun to see my girl wearing something that was part of my childhood...she also wears my old t-ball shirt to bed sometimes, it is so cute!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How do I love thee Porter?

I can't even begin to count the ways!

Bekah's First Ballet Recital

Bekah had her first recital this past weekend, and she was beautiful! Both of her Grandma's were here to see it and a couple of her cousins too.She knows what she wants to be when she grows up now, and can't wait for next year. She was so cute about the whole thing. She took it so seriously. She was in a class of 4 and 5 year olds, this picture pretty much says it all. The rest of the class, cute little girls dancing an adorable dance in tutu's. Miss Bekah, serious ballerina.Every arm extension straight, every toe point perfection. Seriously, her being serious=too funny. She was expecting flowers, because "every ballerina gets flowers at the end of the show, don't you know?" Grandma Julie delivered perfectly with a dozen pink roses.
Her mom couldn't be prouder to be the mom of this perfect, beautiful little ballerina!
More pictures are on her blog, and the video is here on the family videos, if you care to watch, it's only a little over a minute long.