Monday, December 13, 2010

The Secret to Raising Amazing Children...

What's the secret to raising amazing children? Just sign up for 6 easy payments of $19.95 and I'll send you my book! No - just kidding. It's quite simple actually...

start with one amazing child and the rest will follow!

Kacey was a gem from the moment we got her. Well, she did spit up a lot so I guess she wasn't perfect - but she was pretty darn close. I still say that the reason we had so many kids was that Kacey made it seem so easy. She kind of duped us. Before we knew it, the kids got progressively harder and Bryan won the distinguished award for "Straw That Broke the Camel's Back!" (but this blog is not about Bryan so those stories will have to wait.) It's about our amazing Kacey who turns 27 today!

She was such a good baby. Every first baby should be like Kacey. She wasn't one of those "slept all night the first night home from the hospital" babies or anything, but she was such a good baby. She ate every four hours and slept in between just like she was supposed to. She would sit in her infant seat and just look around at people. We would carry her in from the car and just leave her in her seat and people would be amazed because their kids would never just sit there.

She would sit in her swing and swing for hours. We had the kind of swing that got its motion from pushing a weighted bear to the top of the leg and then it stopped when the bear reached the bottom. David used to say that if we could rig it so the bear would keep dropping for a couple of hours, we wouldn't have to get a sitter. She would just swing and be happy.

When we got her a Johnny Jump Up, she enjoyed jumping in it just like babies are supposed to. I never did have any other babies that liked their Johnny Jump Up as much as Kacey did. She did most everything by the book and she made us feel like we were the best parents in the world. Little did we know that we were total incompetents but we were lucky enough to get the best baby in the world!

Kristy came along and Kacey was a model big sister. She was always kind and patient with all her siblings (well except for the stalagmite/stalagtite thing but it's hard to be patient when no one else is paying attention!)

I think there's a saying that goes, "With great hair comes great wisdom" or something like that. In Kacey's case, it surely is true. She was always wise beyond her years and look at that hair!

Motherhood has brought me the greatest joy in my life and it all started with Kacey! She seemed to pave the way for the rest. She wasn't afraid to give talks in primary so when any of the other kids would get nervous about it, they would just look to Kacey's example and know that it was going to be fine (and Kacey would confirm to them that it was indeed true that when you give a talk you got to go to Frank's Market for candy the next day.)

I'm not sure I could have raised as many kids as I did without Kacey's help. She set an excellent example and she helped the others along the way.

And somehow in just 27 short years, she went from being my daughter to being my equal! I figured that day was coming but I thought I would be much older. She has organized the food assignments for our upcoming family trip and she also organized a family talent show and sent out assignments without even telling me. Seriously, does it get any better than that? How lucky am I?

She is an excellent mother - way better than I was. She even has potty training parties! She's so awesome and I really don't know what I would do without her. Her advice and opinion means more to me than just about anyone. I knew by the time she was 21 that if anything ever happened to David and me that left our children without parents (which was my biggest fear) that it would be Kacey that I would trust to raise them. I had no doubts that she would most likely do an even better job than I would!

(Sorry, Bryan didn't make the cut for this blog post!)

So the recipe for raising great kids... start with one Kacey and add 6 more slowly, one at at time (well you could try multiples but I can't vouch for that recipe!)

Happy 27th Birthday Kacey! Thanks for leading the way so brilliantly and making it look like your father and I knew what we were doing!!! We love you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

She's cute!

She was cute then and she's still cute now at 19!

Kylie, you have been keeping us entertained for 19 years now! (Well, actually 20 because you were pretty entertaining as in infant too. Yes, you just came with all that talent!) I never get tired of watching you perform whether it's dancing, singing, acting or my personal favorite... all 3!

I wonder if your favorite audience is still our shiny gold fireplace trim that you could see your reflection in? Probably! That trim was pretty and shiny and best of all - silent. (Unlike your mother who usually told you that it was good... but it wasn't your best.) I can't help it that I am able to see how truly talented you are - it's a blessing and a curse! (Don't be hatin' - it's my job.)

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to watch you grow into the beautiful person that you are today both inside and out. I'm so proud of you! You were so cute then and you still are. I love being your mom.

Happy Birthday Kylie!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What happened?

I don't know what happened. A few nights ago we went to sleep in Moses Lake and somehow we woke up in North Dakota!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Table for 9?

We had a delightful Thanksgiving! It was a small gathering, which was odd for us, but still nice. We all fit around one table - is it a real Thanksgiving celebration if you can fit around one table? No small kids around which made it peaceful but not nearly as interesting. Kristy & Trevor headed to Utah to spend it with the Lacey's and Jon & Kacey & kids headed to Gridley. So we had Brad, Courtney and Kylie here who drove up together from BYU. They left Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. and arrived Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. after having to turn around at the Idaho border and spend the night in Brigham City waiting for the road to open up again. Long drive but I'm grateful they did it because I loved having them home!

I usually forget to pull out the camera at times like these but luckily I remembered. I set up to take a nice shot of everyone around the table and I was greeted with these hands. Whose idea was that and how did they orchestrate it so quickly!

Then I made them put their hands down and took some shots of our group.

Bryan (15), David (49) & Brad (23)

Kylie (almost 19), Kendall (17) & Courtney (21)

Grandma Earl (84 years young - isn't she amazing!)

This is Dan Heldt (19ish?) who is a friend from 7th ward. We had to invite at least one non-Earl to keep us all in line. (Question: How do you keep a Mormon from drinking all your beer? Answer: Bring more than one! Ha ha. )

David, Peggy (also 49) & Brad

And that's when Kylie took over my camera...

Kylie decided she could help best with cleaning up by photographing our efforts!

Apparently she found the sweet potatoes picture worthy! (Not that anyone would eat them! Haven't people discovered yet that sweet potatoes are nature's candy? Who doesn't love a vegetable with marshmallows on top!)

Kendall's idea of cleaning up:

Then the kids opened up their Christmas ornaments from Grandma:

This is my Aunt Dee Dee who is up visiting my dad and helping to take care of him after his knee surgery. She's a gem and I just love her. I'm proud to be named after her (Peggy Dee.)

We played games and put a couple of puzzles together. This one was our most challenging. Luckily, Courtney is kind of a puzzle whiz. She see has a gift!

My BYU kids with grandma.

One of the highlights of our Thanksgiving Day was playing WII's Let's Dance 2 with the fam. Even grandma got in on the fun! We have some great video but it wouldn't upload to blogger so checkout my Facebook if you want to put a smile on your face!

I would love to say that our next adventure is our Christmas cruise that we planned 6 months ago but, alas, it has been canceled. Major bummer! We were scheduled to take a cruise on that same Carnival ship that caught fire a few weeks ago and they canceled all sailings on that ship through through the middle of January. We are so bummed because we were really looking forward to that family adventure. They are giving us a refund plus 25% off of a future cruise (not nearly enough compensation for canceling our Christmas if you ask me... but no one did.) Instead, we are going to be staying in California because we were all headed there anyway. We are going to be staying a few days in Newport Beach and a few days in Palm Springs. We still get to be together so it will be fun. We will just be so sad to do our own cooking and cleaning - ha ha!

So grateful for our many, many blessings!