Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The big 12 for Ella!

Guess who is a Beehive now?!! Our lil Ella. Seems like just yesterday she was dancing hardcore to Bet On It from Highschool Musical 2 in our living room with all the best four year old moves she could muster :) She is growing so fast and growing into such a lovely young lady. The weekend before her birthday, she was surprised one morning with a visit from the Beehive class(if you have no clue what I'm talking about, its a class at church for girls ages 12-13..hitting 12 is a big milestone because you leave the "primary" program and get to enter the "youth") They brought her cinnamon rolls, balloons and a sign with lots of sweet messages from the girls. What a great welcome! I was so touched, thanks girls(and leaders!) The morning of her actual birthday, Buddy the Elf even wished her a happy birthday hehe. She requested donuts..and then her big gift was...cell service!! She received a phone the year before to play with, but now she can call and text. She had been counting down the days, I kid you not. Joey got it all set up by the morning so she could go to school with it. It was fun sending her her very first texts:) Oh, and the picture with her purple jacket on is to also show I curled her hair. They usually go to school so early to catch the bus that they just do their own hair. But on this special occasion, mama busted out the curling iron y'all. Thats love ;) And Joey took them to school so they didn't have to get ready so early. She had a great day at school and then we threw her a little Sofia the First party at home that evening complete with Texas Sheet Cake. I normally don't do a real party at home(I mean, I'll bake cupcakes or something on their actual birthday)on a year when they are going to have a "friend party" but because she was having to wait almost a month to have that party we decided to make it party-like. So she got two parties really:)  Hey, 12 is special! We also celebrated her one night for finishing up her Faith in God booklet(from church). She accomplished all of the goals and memorized all 13 Articles of Faith! We ordered a special necklace for her and went out to dinner to celebrate. We are so proud of you, Ella!
For her big party in January, she decided to do a rollerskating party at this cool old skool skating rink we found nearby. She couldn't decide what she wanted to do and when I found out about this, I talked her into it :) She is glad I did because it was super fun! We had never done this with the kids before so it was a neat new memory to share. She skated like a pro(she is a natural at anything like that!) and had a fun time with her friends. They enjoyed pizza and the pretty darn cute cupcakes I made. She was spoiled with lots and lots of gifts from generous friends. She left the party very happy that day which makes us happy :) We love you, Ella! We are so glad you had an awesome month long celebration ;) We are so proud of you. You are making wonderful choices. You are so good at reading your scriptures and writing in your journal. You are so organized and have amazing goals. You are an incredible big sis. Your brothers adore you. And you are so so helpful to me in so many ways. I don't know what I would do without you. Happy 12th!!!

If you are wondering, why Sofia? Well, first purple is Ella's favorite color. Second, she secretly loves that cartoon ;) She won't admit it though, hahaha. We always tease her about it. We are nice like that. She did have fun being royalty that night though. No doubt about it.

Before she could sit down I had the funny idea to have her complete princess tasks. I even had put a bean(supposed to be a pea but I had no peas..) on her chair to see if she would notice. I am corny like that. And as you can see, balance was one of the tests...she was a good sport ;) 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Ella's Winter Figure Skating Show

Took us a couple of months to find a place, but we finally found an arena for Ella to take to continue figure skating classes. Its not what we are used to..very old facility..not a widely popular sport here like it was in the Dallas area. Kinda weird since we live in an area where ponds actually freeze over and some are even designated at certain times as safe to iceskate on. It just seems like figure skating would be a big thing here! But its not. Anyways, we found a place and Ella really enjoys her new coach, Igor. He actually competed in the Olympics for the Russian team many years ago. Anyways, he's totally nice and has taught her so much already. Its been fun watching her get back into the swing of things again! She is so beautiful and graceful on the ice! She performed to Luke's favorite song, "Hello" by Adele at the recent Winter Show and did awesome. Two of her best friends even came to watch! Thanks Alyssa and Emily for coming! It meant so much to her :)

 I have no idea what I just said to get her to make this face! LOL

We had quite the crew with us that day..

 A sweet sisterly hug

 This is Ella and her choreographer for the show, Inna.

 The group of skaters. Many of them did holiday routines with costumes. Ella didn't want to do that :)

 Ella and her two besties!

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.