Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yeah, yeah, yeah! Not to be confused with Hyah, hyah, hyah!!!

Clayton has a new word. He says "yeah", as in, 'affirmative'. It's nice to hear something other than "no" these days. Though I do miss his cute little head nod. He's been urging his stick pony on for some time, though, with "Hyah!!

In the next video, please note the "William Tell Overture" in the background. It always inspires a vigorous stickhorse ride around the sofa accompanied by a hearty,"Hi-yo Silver, Away!" by Caroline. Sorry the video is so dim, but at least you can hear what I'm talking about!

Busy Baby Butler

After a scare on Tuesday with the Doc not being able to find a heartbeat, I was scheduled for an ultrasound at 9 a.m. yesterday. The tech found the little jelly bean tucked up at the top of my uterus, hiding behind the placenta, bouncing around and active and healthy. What a relief! Everything looks normal and the tech says I'm measuring about a week ahead. But since I'm pretty confident of my dates, I'm just going to assume this child will be like its brother and we'll plan for humongo-baby #2.

Waving Hello

Sucking its thumb - just like big brother, Clayton. In fact:

Here's Clayton at 20-some weeks sucking HIS thumb, too!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Future Farrier Science Teacher

Last week when we went to the bunkhouse of our horseshoeing school to make lunch, Caroline joined Jake upstairs in the office for a while. He was preparing lessons for our students here at the school by assembling some hoof models. To keep Caroline occupied, he started pointing out structures in the hoof and naming them for Caroline. Yesterday morning, while Jake was studying, Caroline (little early bird) joined him once again. Sitting on his lap, she pointed to the book he was looking at and said, "Dad, we're gonna have a little Science lesson." During this lesson, she proceeded to point out and label the Coffin Bone and the "Ravicular" (Navicular) Bone in a picture in the book, completely unaided and unprompted by Jake. I think it took him a couple of minutes to pick his jaw up off of his lap. I'm a bit nervous that I won't be able to keep up with her educationally in the not-so-distant-future!
This is a picture I took almost exactly a year ago today. No wonder she's brilliant! She's been studying with Daddy every morning for her whole life! Seriously!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


More on my kids' sleep habits. After two days of boycotting naps because her cousins were here and it's more fun to play than to sleep, Caroline was so tired that she dozed off during supper. She woke up enough to get ready for bed and asked if she could have a book (a common occurrance with both of our kids) so she could read until she was sleepy. This was at 6:15 p.m. An hour later, I took Clayton in to put him down, too. This is the scene I encountered in the dark (thank heavens for flash photography!) I'm not sure how the book was propped up, but she was OUT cold. Her cousin, Paul, thought it was pretty hysterical and talked about it until HE had to go to bed at 8:00.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Clayton's Table Manners....or lack thereof

On Tuesday during lunch, Clayton dozed off. When I tried to take the apple slice out of his hand, it roused him enough to continue eating, though not fully awake. It was actually pretty entertaining.

On Thursday morning, the kids wanted to "play Play Doh". So I pulled Clayton's high chair, without the tray, close to the table. It still has a bit of a restraint on the front, and he's never tried to climb out of it so I didn't bother to strap him in. I won't elaborate on my failings as a mother that led to this picture, but I will say I've learned a couple valuable lessons about the importance of the safety restraint in a high chair and also of not leaving the room. Even for mere seconds. And the experience made me once again glad for the whisperings of the Holy Ghost and my choice to listen and follow them.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways...#1

This was a little unorthodox - no wedding garb - but in this picture we were just emerging from the temple after being married for time & all eternity.

When I was a young girl, my mom gave me the most valuable piece of advice I've ever received. She told me that I should look for a man who always put Heavenly Father first - in everything he did, everyday. That way, she explained, I would never have to worry about where I was in his list of priorities. Because with the Lord first, I would ALWAYS be next. I'm so happy to be married to that man. You begin every morning with your study of the scriptures, which sets the tone for your whole day. Your choices daily reflect your choice to put the Lord first, no matter what. It is obvious to see that you made up your mind as a young boy to make certain choices based on your knowledge of the gospel, and those choices are never difficult for you because your priorities are in order. And it translates into all you do at church. I love to see you put your all into your church service: all your heart, all your might, all your mind & all your strength. And I have seen our family reap the benefits of your faithfulness & diligence. First of all, because I never feel like I'm second best. I know how important your service is and I've felt that we have all been blessed because of your steadfastness. The kids seem to behave better, especially when I'm alone taking care of them when you're fulfilling your responsibilities. And I seem to be blessed with a little more patience and definitely feel "helped" at those times. And second of all, when you're home, I feel that your focus is on me and on the kids and on nothing else. I don't feel that anything else is vieing for your attention. It shows in the way you treat me with so much reverence and respect and love. How grateful I am to have heeded my mother's advice. I feel so lucky to have a man who knows that putting the Lord first always will lead to unmeasurable blessings for himself & his family. I'm so grateful to be eternally yours, sweetheart! Happy Valentines Day!!!

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways....#2

I love your determination. When you set your mind to something, you do it. And you do it well. You've done this in so many areas, and it is wonderful to watch you master and perfect certain skills. I was so proud of you in May when you pretty much took it all at your horseshoeing competition. I kept looking at you and thinking, "That's MY husband! He totally rocks!" And I wanted to tell everyone how incredible you were and how awesome you'd done. But I knew you were too humble to call attention to yourself like that. Nonetheless, I thought it was pretty cool, and continue to think that about all the things you accomplish.

Friday, February 13, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways....#3

One of the things I loved about you immediately when we met was that I could tell you were a hard worker. I mean, those luscious arm muscles that I pointed out to my sister were one obvious way I could tell. But just by watching you and talking to you, I could sense that you had a strong work ethic, and that really impressed me. I love that you work so hard you're pooped when you come home and crash on the couch at 8:30. But really, I just love to watch you work. It doesn't matter what you're doing. It just makes me happy and makes me want to be more productive, too.
See those rippling forearm muscles? Deeee-lish!!!
Jake after a hard day at the anvil.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out there in the field, Jake is picking up HUGE round bales of hay with the truck & trailer.
After a full day of haying.

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways...#4

I love your sense of humor and ability to have fun. It's contagious! I know other people don't always get you - like when you did "Career Day" at TMS and you had the "starving horse" (er, horse skeleton) run out of the trailer. I think I laughed so hard I snorted, even though the kids were so quiet you could hear crickets. You make me laugh, which I love so much. And I love that you can just be yourself and have fun, with family and with friends (think, "Chocolate Party" - Classic!) My favorite sound in the world is you making the kids laugh and I get such a kick out of seeing you just get down on their level to play. It makes our home such a happy place! Thanks, SMILEY!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Comment Numbers Can be Deceiving...

...but there's still one spot left in the "pay-it-forward" deal!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Valentine posts with this important message...

My dear friend Jill has this on her blog and I thought it sounded like so much fun. So this is how it works..... The first 3 people to leave a comment on this will receive a hand made gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise. There's a small catch...You knew there would be didn't you? Post this on your blog then come back and leave a comment, telling me you're in. Fun, huh? Remember, only the first 3 comments receive the gift.

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways....#5

I love your "Hunk-a-Burnin'-Cowboy-Hotness". Need I say more? You're simply delicious, honey!

Monday, February 9, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways....#6

You are my very best friend. I can't wait for you to be home at night, just so I can be around you. Even when we're not talking, I'm content just to have you nearby. You're the one I want to tell everything to, even if it's just the things that went on around the house that day with the kids. I love that I can share my concerns and feelings with you and I never feel belittled or like they are of little consequence to you. I am so glad that we can discuss thing of importance to our family and that you support me as your wife and have made me truly, your companion. You make me want to be a better person and a more loyal friend because that's what you are. I love you so much!!!

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways....#7

I love that you love and want to be around me. Even in all my weird, goofy, silly glory. I've never EVER felt that you were ashamed or embarrassed of me in any way, ever. What a boost to my nerdy confidence!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.....#8

I love it when you call me little sweet names. Darlin' is a favorite. It makes me tingle. I really liked "Meine Schone Frau" the other morning! Something about being called "Your Beautiful Wife" in another language is pretty romantic, if you ask me!

Friday, February 6, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.....#9

You take protecting our family VERY seriously. Hee Hee. Well, I am just grateful that you are such a wonderful protector and provider for our family. I've never felt worried or scared since marrying you. Even the night that the hand stuck through our bedroom window in New Mexico, it made me nervous but not scared because I knew you'd keep me safe. I Love You!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways...#10

You know how much I love music. What you don't know is that I get such a thrill each time you pick up the guitar and play & sing or each time you sit down to the piano to plunk out a few lines of "Called to Serve" or the "Man From Snowy River" theme. I know you think you don't play well, but I love that you get so much joy out of singing & playing. It is such a blast to watch you when you go to town with "Settin' the Woods on Fire". And I think about the day you serenaded me on the phone before we got engaged. "As Long As I Have My Horse" may not be the most romantic of song choices, but I could tell how much you enjoyed yourself, and I think that might have been the clincher on the whole marriage deal. Besides that, my other favorite musical memories of you are: 1) when I would get up early to nurse Caroline & then you'd take her & then I'd go walking and when I got home, you'd be sitting in that office, listening to "The Phantom of the Opera" and singing along. And then 2) The other thing I love is when I can hear you early in the morning, playing and singing to the kids while I'm still in bed. I could lay there & listen forever. I know it's been awhile since you did, and I've definitely noticed! Thank you for helping to give our kids a love & appreciation of music just by showing them how much you love & enjoy it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.....#11

I love how you have always been so willing to help me out around the house. When we were both working and had limited time, I always appreciated how much you did to help keep our home tidy. And with each pregnancy you have helped make things a little easier for me whether it's by picking up toys, vaccuming or mopping floors, doing dishes, making beds or doing laundry. I know I don't tell you enough how grateful I am for everything you do, but I think you are the absolute best! I've been reminded again this last couple of months how lucky I am to have you! You are such a blessing to me in so many ways and I'm glad I married you!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways....#12

I love it when you do the little things. You are so aware of things that need to be done and I love the effort you throw into making things easier for me on a daily basis. Like when I was preparing for my presentation at the Stake Primary Training meeting in Rapid City and you helped me rev up the powerpoint to be more interesting and enjoyable for my audience. And then when I returned home to find so many things done around the house...including Caroline's pajama pants being mended. I so appreciate your sweetness in that regard.

Monday, February 2, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways....#13

I LOVE that you love to study and learn new things. You are such a great example of spiritual and secular learning. I love to bounce ideas off of you and am so grateful when you can answer questions for me or help me to understand different things better. It also makes me so happy that it rubs off on our kids and that they see that it is something important to you. What joy it brings to see them "studying" with you and the patience you have to help them learn something new even during your limited study time. What a wonderful example they have to follow!!!

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways....#14

Watching you be the most incredible father to our children brings me so much joy! I love to watch you interact with them and I marvel at your patience, unfailing love, wisdom & creativity. The joy you find in fatherhood is so obvious and it makes me even more grateful for you everyday.

Our kids' favorite place to hang.

Daddy & newborn Clayton snoozin' together.

"Cocoa Parties" with Caroline.

Letting the kids "help" around the house/farm...
...and being conscious of their safety to boot!