Monday, December 21, 2015

Joey's got an office y'all

FINALLY! We can now visit Joey at work and all fit! He has worked from a cubicle for the past 15 years. And now he has his very own office!!!!!!!! We have talked about this day for years...dreamt of this day...yearned for this day! :) The last time we visited him at his old job, we barely all crammed into that dang cube. I remember thinking..its about time he got an office ;) And just a few months later, here we are! We can even all eat at the tables inside. And have privacy! Its awesome.

I'm so proud of Joey! He is doing great with his new job and loves it. He says he is busiest he's been in his life, but its "good busy." He even feels busier than when he was working, going to school and was the YM president when we lived in Corpus. So, thats says a lot about how busy he feels right now. However, he is doing great. He is doing things that make him feel like he is accomplishing so much...he is helping his new company take huge leaps forward...he is learning SO much and growing in so many ways. Because its a smaller company, he is in direct contact with the CEO and VP of the company and helps make big decisions. He is constantly in meetings with really important people which is cool to him. He feels there is so much opportunity here and that excites him. He has his own team that he is managing and loves that. He loooves being a manager. He loves being able to make decisions and managing things and I'm sure he is a good manager. He is such a nice guy and a people person. He comes home so much happier than he used to and that makes me so happy. He loves his boss/director too. Even though he's been working late..working from home..and has a lot more on his plate, he at least feels like his work is important. Not just the same ole same ole...he was getting tired of running reports, over and over. Its more responsibility and stress but I think he will figure out how to balance it all better once things calm down a little bit. He has a lot to fix right now and has been playing a lot of catchup, but I am so proud of how well he is handling it all and his accomplishments. I love you babe! You are amazing in every way. Its been fun to be on this journey with you and watch you grow in your career and education. I just couldn't be more proud. You are so smart, so hard working and so dedicated to your family. We know you do it all for us!!! xoxoxoxoxXOXOXOXOxoxoxoxo

Sunday, December 20, 2015

We LOVE snow.

When we moved here, people warned us about the winter. We said, BRING IT! We have loved every minute of it. The kids have been outside so much-its wonderful. We had to spend a pretty penny to make sure they had all the gear necessary, but wow, what a difference it makes to own snow pants and snow boots. When we would get snow in Texas, the whole city would shut down. People would be outside wearing the most ridiculous layered get-ups. Some people put plastic bags tied around their shoes. (We usually wore rain boots or just had freezing toes). We would sled in laundry baskets or on cookie sheets. It was ghetto y'all ;) Up north, thanks to snow plows and trucks that salt and put chemicals on the roads, nothing really shuts down unless its a blizzard. You can still go places! And you have the right clothes/snow gear and fun stuff to really have fun in it! We love it. Anyways, these are a few of my favorite pictures from our many many fun days in the snow this winter...and yes, that hill in our backyard has been AMAZING!!!!!!!! Its huge when you are able to use the empty lot behind us too. Joey has snowboarded..the kids have sledded down the hill one million times("at very fast speed" Joey, do you get that line?) Its been so fun! I don't know if I ever want to live anywhere again where it doesn't snow each winter...

Luke seeing his first snow

We've had plenty of friends over to sled with and build with!

Cute Wes

 Handsome Ammon

Really cool night shots that Joey took

Our six sitting in the snow! This was the first day Luke got to go outside in it. I ordered him this cute little snowsuit. He crawled around and everything :) He was happy to finally be outside(I didn't let him before because it was just too cold! But this day was in the low 30s..)

 Had to take a picture of Joey and his new toy. He actually enjoys doing this! And its been a lifesaver!

The kids love to watch him. Go Daddy go! How could I not take a photo of this? So cute.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Up up and away

We bought this funny looking contraption to keep this little guy warm out in the Iowa cold. We call it the space pod. It looks so hilarious. Had to blog it :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Aubrey loves Shawn

So far Aubrey's birthday we had purchased tickets to see Rachel Platten in Ames...well, that got cancelled so we had to figure out something else. When I found out about the iHeart Radio concert I was so excited. Her absolute favorite singer was going to be part of the lineup: Shawn Mendes. Aubrey absolutely adores this kid. She wants to marry him. Well, convert him to Mormonism and then marry him, hahaha. She has him as her iPhone lock screen and wallpaper. She has him as the wallpaper on the computer. She listens to his music and plays it on the guitar all the time. She talks about him all the time. He is a talented musician and super duuuper cute(I am with ya on that Aub! ;) I got onto ticketmaster the day tickets went on sale and secretly scored two floor seats. She knew that was the plan-to go to that concert and she was SO excited. However, she didn't know until the day they left that they were floor seats. She would be up close and personal with the man of her dreams ;) She was shocked and so excited! I was so excited for her!! The original plan was for our family to go on a mini-vacay as part of the trip. We would all head up to Minneapolis where the concert was, Joey would stay with the kids that night so I could attend the concert with her. And then the next day we were all going to go the Mall of America and have some fun. Unfortunately the whole plan didn't happen thanks to a pretty bad sickness that hit the boys :( I was SO SO sad! But not all was lost, Joey still was able to go and so once again, another fun daddy daughter date. No, I'm not bitter! ;) Really though, I'm getting used to this and what makes me more happy than my kids being happy? Nothing. I'm just glad they got to go and it wasn't a total bust. They had the best time together! Here are photos from their fun time together...the joy she felt just radiates from the photos. Aubrey deserved it! She is such a great kid. We love you Aub! Happy 14th!!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Lukey: 9 months

9 months is a milestone for me because it means Luke has been outside of my tummy as long as he was inside :) I can't believe how fast its all gone! So this month has brought two more teeth(eek!) He also had fun "playing" with snow for the first time as we have had some snow here in Iowa and plenty of it. I bought him the cutest little snowsuit! He also has tried juice and Cheerios for the first time(he of course loved the Cheerios and juice as he has never met anything he doesn't like yet!) He isn't a picky eater at all. Polar opposite of how Mr. Wesley was(that kid wouldn't eat anything!) He is trying to pull up but hasn't quite gotten on two feet yet, just one :) He is a speedy crawler and has sharp eyes that can spot anything on the floor. I am constantly fishing things out of his mouth! He is quick :) His favorite place to be is in the playroom where all of big brothers toys are..his toys just aren't as cool of course. So I have to make sure none of the boys toys are too small and if they are, they gotta stay upstairs. He just wants to be one of the big kids already! Happy 9 months Luke! We love watching you explore and learn new things every day. Enjoy his new "spiked up" hairdo...okay, I'll admit he had just eaten something messy and put it in his hair. When I tried to get it out, I was running my fingers through his hair and it looked so cute spiked up that I left it like that :)

He is oh so handsome.

 I started singing a song and he was trying to do the motions :)

Those eyes.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Our first Iowa Thanksgiving

It was kinda weird to be living in Iowa for our first big holiday. We really enjoyed it though..we just felt so far from our family that it felt a little bit sad. But thankfully we have a ton of kids to where we never ever feel  It was a great day! I had debated whether or not I wanted to go to the trouble of making it all. We honestly thought about going to a restaurant! Sounds lame but I know a lot of people that do it. That way you don't have to clean up:) And you don't have to spend all that time in the kitchen. It gives you more time to just be together. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, I like making it all! And I love the smells. And I love the Macy's parade being on while I'm doing it all. And I love having each child have a dish they are in charge of. That excites them, especially the younger ones. So I'm glad that we did it. And the cleanup wasn't too bad with everyone helping. Joey is always a rockstar with the cleanup since I make it all. He is awesome. The food was amazing and being surrounded by the ones we love enjoying it all was perfect. We were also invited to a friends home for dessert. Lots of pies! It was fun and so nice to have friends to spend the evening with. We were thankful for that. It helped us not to feel as homesick. I am so thankful for my family and for our new Iowa friends! Thanksgiving was a wonderful day this year.

 And this was Joey's idea...


Monday, November 30, 2015

Cali's music program

Cali got to dress up like a pioneer for her 3rd grade music program. It was the cutest music program ever. They didn't just sing, they did little hand motions and square danced. It was seriously adorable. And Cali knew every word and every motion. She wasn't shy at all up there. It was so fun to watch! We were very proud of you, Cali! You were the cutest pioneer up on that stage(thank you to our friends for letting us borrow this sweet dress!) Behind her in this photo is also her artwork. Very beautiful! Cali loves art and drawing. It is her favorite subject in school.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Two little boys on two giant couches

We did it. We finally bought new couches. The old ones had had it. About 14 years of use and they were looking a little sad, what with all the crazy animals always climbing all over them ;) We didn't get rid of them though, they are now in the basement living room. They are still the coziest couches in the world. I'm not sure I ever want to part with them! Anyways, Joey and I found this pair at a local furniture store and within a week they were delivered. The boys were so excited when they arrived. They each claimed a couch and cozied right up :) They are gorgeous couches. I just LOVE them. They look so great in the house! I just hope we don't destroy them. They are a very light color. And don't seem as sturdy as our old couches...probably not meant for a family of 8 but we loved them so much we took the risk(and purchased a stain protection plan that we may or may not have already used:) Its going to be hard to make sure these little boys hands are clean all the time. . .wish us luck. I'm sure by next year these couches will be brown...

And no, its not just the fact that Ammon isn't very tall that makes the couch look so long. It is a very very long couch! Figured we have lots of rear ends to squeeze in so we got the extra long...