Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween

We had a little bit of success with our pumpkin this year, which is really surprising because we started it so late. Our pumpkin grew to be about 250-300 pounds, not too bad; hopefully, we will be able to get a bigger one next year.

Markie standing in the pumpkin.

Little James in the pumpkin.

Our whole family dressed up this year, I think that is a first since we had kids. Our two boys were ducks, Brett was a duck hunter, and I was an Idaho fish and wildlife officer. Brett's mom had a Halloween recital/party a couple days before Halloween. We sang a song and had a great time bobbing for donuts.

Brett and Mark bobbing for donuts.

The duck mobile. We went trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. After about 15 houses Mark said "I think I have got enough treats, lets go home."
We went home and then later went out to visit the grandparents.

One tired yet satisfied duck!

Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wood Badge

This post is a little late and I hope I can do it justice. Last month Brett and I went to a 6 day leadership conference/workshop put on by the BSA called Wood Badge. We split up the 6 days over two weekends (thank you Gwen for watching the kids). I was excited to go however, there was also some anxiety because I didn't really know what to expect. Everyone I talked to mentioned making goals, and that I would have the best time ever, there would be moments that I would be laughing hysterically and then there would be other times that tears would be rolling down my face. Now if that doesn't sell something I don't know what does, right? So it was with those feelings I went, and looking back I don't remember when I have had so much fun. It was like I was back at college, I felt like a sponge and I was trying to absorb all the information that they were presenting to us. Brett and I were put in different groups, we saw each other and we were together sometimes but being in different groups I got to be my own person I had to stand on my own feet, I couldn't rely on Brett all the time which was good for me.

The leaders at Wood Badge talked a lot about "tickets" or goals that we needed to make before we left that first weekend. We needed to come up with one big goal and five little goals to help support or help us achieve that one big goal. That scared me more that anything else. It made me look inside, help me to think about me and the things that are most important. I really struggled with this. My whole life I always had the dream to be a wife and mother. I am living that dream on a daily basis, I achieved that dream and I forgot how to dream. It is like a return missionary, they plan their whole lives to go on a mission and then once they have completed that mission they get home and then say "now what?" They have to learn to dream and that can be hard. I shed many tears over my goals, spent a lot of time on my knees asking for guidance, and I was guided. The spirit was so strong while at Wood Badge, even though it is not a church run or sponsored camp the spirit was there, and I was taught by the presenters and most importantly the spirit.

On the last day of Wood Badge, I felt the desire for more, I wanted to stay forever and soak up the feelings that I was experiencing. I was afraid that as I left those feelings and memories would leave. While we were in our last class the staff members were setting up a corridor of American flags that we walked through as we left, the staff members were standing in between the flags saluting us as we left. Rather than a feeling of sadness I felt a feeling of empowerment, a desire to take what I had just experienced and use it in my life and share it with others. Rather than an end Wood Badge became a beginning. I was told that Wood Badge would be a life changing experience, and it has definitely changed my life for the better.

Brett welcoming me into the pack.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Adventures at Antelope Island

The first night at Antelope Island we had a pretty cool looking lightening storm, the unfortunate thing was lightening struck down a mile away from our camp. It was quite a sight to come out of your tent and see a huge fire blazing.

After being evaquated at 9:30 and haveing to pack up the kids really were troopers and did well. Poor James and Mark were so tired they fell asleep in the car while we decided where to stay the night. (I just love how Mark's leg is draped across James).

On Friday, we went to the Hill Air Force Aerospace Museum. Mark and I have always loved airplanes and it was so cool to see all the old bombers and fighters. Mark loves to see the planes fly so we stopped to watch a movie of one of the planes. In the movie the plane is showed being refueled. As Mark was watching the plane being refueled mid-flight he said, "Look Mommy, that airplane brought its baby." That put the biggest smile on my face, kids are so great!

Mark trying on pilot goggles and helmet--they were so big on him he could only look out of one eye piece at a time. Seeing him in this made me think of Star Wars.

James loves being outside and camping for two days and spending a whole day on the Great Salt Lake beach was heaven for him. James was always digging in the dirt, I have never seen a happier/dirtier little boy.

I experienced many firsts this weekend some were good and some were an adventure but these firsts made for an awesome time!!! Thank you Shannalee and Josh for planning such a fun family reunion.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Villain Among Us

"Wesley Wicked is my name, collecting rent is my game...The James Bond of villains, nobody does it...badder!" Markie and I went backstage before the melodrama to wish Brett luck. When Markie first saw Brett in costume he didn't recognize Brett. His eyes got a big as quarters and he huddled next to me. Brett had to take off his hat in order to convince Markie he was really his daddy.

I definitely saw a different side of Brett during the melodrama that Brett was in, I also realized what great legs he has :)

We are proud of our villainous daddy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dinosaur Museum and Jump On It with the Y

Brett's summer job is driving the bus for the YMCA. Most of the time he is just taking the Y kids to the Y's pool, rock wall, or indoor soccer arena. However, on Wednesdays, the Y goes on field trips and sometimes I am able to go. The best part is we get to see some really cool things as a family and we only have to pay for gas. Thank you YMCA. On the 22nd of June the Y drove down to Thanksgiving Point to see the Dinosaur Museum. Markie loves dinosaurs so we thought it would be fun to go as well, plus Thanksgiving Point is not to far from my parents home so we decided to spend a few days down there. We totally had a blast.

Brett and Markie on the Y bus, once Markie got on with his daddy he didn't want to leave his side. Markie loves his daddy!!!
Family picture, you may need to zoom in to see us.

Here we are at the museum.

Here comes the Markasaurus, he's cute and cuddly and he can charm a smile out of anyone.

Playing together in the erosion table.

Riding the Triceratops, aren't my kids so cute! Markies favorite thing at the museum were the computers. In every room he would find a computer and try to play the games, most of the time he didn't understand what he needed to do, but he didn't care because he got to play on it.

We went to see the 3-D dinosaur movie with the YMCA as well. Here is Mark showing off how fashionable the 3-D glasses are.

This is Jump On It! It is a huge warehouse full of trampolines. They have an area for kids under 4 ft and then an area for everyone else. They have bounce houses and slides for kids under 4 ft and a play area for toddlers. They have pass along cards next to their business cards and give Monday night family discounts, I was so impressed! Mark had such a great time, I hope we will go back some time.

At Jump On It there was a huge foam block pit the kids could jump off a trampoline into, it was so awesome!

James at Jump On It! Doesn't it look like so much fun?

Spending time with Grandma Taylor, we had an awesome time relaxing, blowing bubbles, and playing soccer.

James with Grandpa-Great Taylor. It was so fun to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa great, and allow James and Markie an opportunity to get to know them better.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Birthday Cake Fun

A tradition in my house while I was growing up was to choose the kind of cake we got, not just the flavor but also the shape. I chose a clown cake, a people cake (shaped like the 'Little People' with 'Little People' around it), a roller skate cake, as well as many others. I always loved that tradition so I have decided to do it with my family. The first cake I got was an elephant cake and thus both Markie and James first year cakes are elephant cakes. Last year Markie wanted a basketball cake which turned out pretty cute. This year Mark wanted a soccer cake.

Markie's soccer cake

James's first birthday elephant cake

Both cakes were a lot of fun to make and it is interesting the love I feel for each child as I work on each cake. I really think about each child as I am designing their cake and I feel a special bond with them as I try to make their special day just a little bit more special with a fun cake. Thank you mom for always putting in the extra time to make my birthday special by making my birthday cake fun and unique.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Not a baby any more

I was so excited for James to come, I was watching the monitors while I was pushing and I saw the contraction was going away. Wanting him to come so badly I said "Come back contraction." Brett, the doctor and the nurses thought that was funny and the doctor said "Oh, the blessing of an epidural." James minutes old.

Beautiful blue eyes, I love looking at James's eyes! James 2 months.

Mark and James have been great friends from day one, when James was in his chair Mark would put his chair next to James. I hope they always remain close. James 3 months.

Great smile!!! James 3 months.

Carving the big pumpkin (thanks mom and dad). James 6 months.

Halloween night, what a cute little frog. James 6 months.

My Christmas Angel! This is one of my favorite pictures of James. James 8 months.

James got a jumper for Christmas and he would jump for hours, Brett and I couldn't believe he fell asleep in it as well. James 9 months.

James has always loved the kitty. Most of the time he likes to crawl after her, put one arm over the top, give a little yell and then body slam the cat. Thankfully our kitty is very patient and will just sit there until James is ready to get off of her. I guess James is practicing to be a WWF wrestler. James 11 months.

James first birthday. James 1 year.

James eating his first birthday cake, he was using his hands until he decided that was taking too long so he decided to dive in face first. (We have it on video however the video didn't want to load, sorry.)

Don't blink you might miss your kids growing up. This past year with James it has been just like that, it seems like just yesterday I was giving birth to him and now he is a year old and on the verge of walking. James has such a fun personality, even though he is only one he has already learned how to tease and wrestle with Mark, which can be both good and bad. He is very patient with Mark which is good because Mark is still learning that all the toys in the house don't belong to him anymore. James learned to give really tight hugs when he was 10 months old and when I am having a bad day there is nothing better than to get a great big hug from him. James has learned some things faster than Mark, like how to open the gait to the stairs, and he also puts things in his mouth more thank Markie ever did which can sometimes be a frustration for Brett and I. James really likes to read books and I will often find him in Mark's room with a book open on the floor in front of him and he is turning the pages looking at the book. James loves the bath and often times I think I get wetter than he does. James really has added a sweet spirit into our home and I feel truly blessed to be his mother.
Happy Birthday, James.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I normally like to wait until the first birthday before I cut my kids hair because they always look so much older after their hair is cut. I know I am crazy but that is just what I think. So anyway, 3 weeks before James 1st birthday I was showing Brett that I could put James hair into pigtails, Brett decided it was time for me to cut James hair. I agreed so here are the before at after pics.


He has definately lost his baby looks but he is still as cute as ever.

Another first for our family is Markie has started preschool. He has preschool for an hour a day, Brett takes him and I pick him up. Frankly it is a good thing that I didn't take him, I teared up just as I was driving away after I picked him up after he came out of the classroom. I am hoping preschool will prepare me for when Mark goes to kindergarten, however I think I still might be an emotional wreck.

Brett taking Markie to school the first day, Markie was so excited to be going with daddy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Easter!!!

This is the first year we have really celebrated Easter with Mark, and I think Mark had a pretty great year. We were invited to 4 different Easter egg hunts a neighborhood hunt, the YM/YW put a hunt together, our city hunt, and a family Easter egg hunt, which were a lot of fun. We also colored eggs which made for a fun Mark and mom project.

Mark using the 'magic crayon' on an egg.

Mark finding an easter egg in our flower bed.

This is how James enjoyed most of the Easter egg hunts. It was pretty cold for 2 of the 4 hunts and he is still to small to eat the candy in the eggs. Isn't he so cute!

While hunting for eggs around our neighborhood Mark fell he got a little owwie. Just the war wounds that come with having fun I guess.

Easter egg hunt at Grandma Schwieder's house.

"I found another one mom!"

After dinner and the Easter egg hunts Brett took the cousins on a go-cart ride. I think that was the biggest hit of the entire day. I am glad it was a nice day so the kids could enjoy the go-cart.

The Easter Bunny came to our house on Friday night/Saturday morning. When Mark woke up there was some string out side his door. I told him that the Easter bunny left a present for him and that he needed to follow the string in order to find his present. He didn't want to find it until Brett came home from soccer later that night.

Mark got the scripture readers as an Easter present. Brett thought since Easter was a more spiritual holiday it would be better to give the kids a more spiritual type gift. I thought that was a neat idea and a fun tradition to start. I hope we can remember and continue it.