Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bike Riding

Landon learned how to ride a bike (with training wheels) while we were down in Vegas so Jared's Dad sent us home with some money to get Landon his first bike. A few weeks ago for FHE we decided to take his bike out for a ride. We had a lot of fun and Landon loves his new bike!

Tori got a chance to "ride" the bike, and this did not make Landon very happy. Tori sure did enjoy it though.
Tori spent the majority of her time running after Landon and picking "flowers"

I like this picture because you can see her dimple really well.
Ella was happy to just sit and watch Landon and Tori.
A couple days after our fun bike riding FHE I took the kids to the park and we brought along Landon's bike. I don't think I was thinking straight because I didn't think twice about letting Landon ride down a big hill to the play area. I realized my mistake a little too late when Landon started crying out in terror because he was going too fast. He would have been fine but he made a super sharp turn when he reached a lap post at the bottom of the hill . The next thing I know I see his little body fly off the front of his bike. I was close enough to the bottom of the hill at this point that I let go of the stroller and ran to Landon who was in hysterics. Thankfully he only received a few scrapes from the ordeal but ever since then he has taken his bike rides very slowly.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ode to my watch

OK, so let’s get something straight, this really isn't an ode. An ode is defined as "a lyric

poem with complex stanza forms", which this clearly isn't. There really isn't a lyric part to

this, and, if there are complex stanza forms there are sufficiently complex that I can't

recognize them. However, if there's someone out there who wants to try and put this to music, I

will let them. (Lillian? Up for a challenge?)

Another thing, the watch I'm writing this to isn't actually the watch shown in the picture, its

just sorta’ similar. The watch I'm dedicating this to is actually a lot more beat up with little

melted bumps on the face that came from welding. (At least, that's where I imagine they came

from since I can't think of too many other things that fling off sparks hot enough to melt watch

faces that this watch has actually seen.)

Now, why would I write a little snippet about a watch? Well, because this is an awesome watch.

I got this watch from my dad a few years back. Not sure how many years back, but a few. He

noticed I needed a watch and so he gave it to me, right there on the spot. (And, by way of

information, that's not the first time he's actually given me a watch that he owned simply

because I didn't have one. He's the man, but I digress.) (That is also, incidentally why I

think the little melted spots are from welding, my dad welds. I don't, in case you're

wondering.) This watch has, since that time, been with me through a lot of stuff. Many years

of school, some research, attractions, children, pregnancies, and a whole host of other stuff

that watches are there for. (Watching you? Who named them watches anyway?) During this time

it has faithfully kept time and dates without a word of complaint. Sure its been a little slow

sometimes, but its been on its game for the most part.

However, this stuff, no matter how great, isn't really ode worthy stuff. No, what makes this a

compelling tale (OK, so maybe not that compelling. Still deserves a song though.) is the fact

that recently the watch has stepped up to the plate, so to speak, and has begun fulfilling

another purpose above and beyond its designed function. Magnified its calling, so to speak.

What has it done? Well, nothing short of stopped my kids from fussing for extended periods of

time again and again, and for that it deserves accolades. (Maybe a trophy of some kind, what

sort of a trophy would you give to a watch?)

I first noticed it doing its mojo in church a few months back. We were sitting there and Tori

was being a bit of a snot. (I know, shocking. But its true.) She was still a little young for

Nursery and I was kinda’ at wits end. Anyway, I was trying to calm her down and she noticed the

watch, started playing with it, and immediately calmed down. What a watch!

Since that time it has come into play again and again, and not just with Tori, with Landon and

Ella as well. It can (And has) distracted all of them at various times for various lengths of

times. And, what makes the watch even better, is that its silent. It is hard to press the

buttons, so they can't do that and make it beep. Its all made of plastic, so there are not loud

noises on wooden benches. And then, once its job of distracting is complete, it returns to

keeping time again with nary a complaint.

Now that is truely praiseworthy, so lets hear it for the watch!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ella and Ella's First Birthday Party!

Ellalyn and her best friend Ella were born about 2 weeks apart from each other. It has been so fun watching these girls grow over the past year, and Lillian and I thought it would be only fitting for them to share their first Birthday party. This past Saturday we held the party and it was a blast! Lillian made a delicious lunch and we had vanilla bean cheesecake for desert.
Our brother-in-law, Justin, has been here for a few weeks doing a rotation for Med school. It was so fun to have him at the party with us and it has been fun to have him here in general. We are hoping that he will do his residency out here so we can see the Smith family on a regular basis.
Ellalyn got a lot of great gifts for her birthday, she got a really cute baby doll and lots of books. I have to add that I was really impressed with Justin's gift. He got Ellalyn some adorable PJ's. Ariane, you have taught your husband well.
Here are all the kids at the party. Krissy (2nd from left) is about 3 months younger then Ellalyn and Ella, and Joel (far right) is about 8 months younger then the girls.
Here is a picture of Lillian and I with our Ellas.
My favorite part of the whole party was the cake eating! Lillian made each girl their very own yellow cake with chocolate frosting (I tried some and they were delicious!) and we laid down some vinyl on the floor and just let the girls go to town. They loved it!!

Thanks to everyone who came to the party and thanks especially to Lillian for all the hard work she put into everything!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fun in Vermont!

We had such a great time visiting with Ashley, Anisha, Ariane, and Ariane's kids in Vermont. We hadn't seen Ariane's family in almost 2 years and it was so nice to get to spend a week with them. Ariane has the cutest kids and beyond that they are really smart, funny, and well behaved kids.
Ariane just had a baby girl about 5 weeks before we went out to visit her. Josie was such a good baby, and I was really impressed with how easy going she was. And she is REALLY cute right?I loved being able to visit Vermont while Ashley and Anisha were there. Ashley and Anisha are so much fun to be around and they are the best Aunts! The picture below is of Anisha and Ella and I think Ella must really love Anisha because a good portion of my pictures of Ella from our trips to Vegas and Vermont also included Anisha.We were all really sad to see Anisha and Ashley go!

It rained a lot while we were in Vermont so one day we decided to take the kids to a children's museum. This museum was pretty awesome and the kids loved it! In one of the rooms they had a tornado simulation machine. At first the kids really loved it.
You can't really see Clayton's face in the picture below but he is smiling really big....But then the wind started blowing really hard and Tori and Clayton didn't like the Tornado room very much anymore. Surprisingly Landon LOVED it all the way through and even opted to go in twice (once with Tori and once with Clayton). I know I am mean but the pictures below of Tori and Clayton's faces crack me up!
The next few pictures are just pictures from the museum, the kids had a great time and I am really glad we went!This picture of Noah is probably my favorite picture I took while we were in Vermont. Isn't he such a handsome boy?
I think my favorite part of our trip to Vermont was watching my kids play with their cousins. I loved how they just acted like they played with each other everyday. Bed time was a bit of a struggle because they all just wanted to stay up and play all night! Growing up my cousins were some of my best friends and I am so happy that my kids have so many cousins close in age to grow up with.
Here is a picture of all the Peterson grandkids together. I may be a little biased but I think this is a really good looking group of kids :).
Clayton and Noah are such great big brothers to their new sisters. You can tell that they think the world of Josie and I think Josie is one lucky little girl to have two older brothers that adore her.I just had to throw in this picture of Ella because she is so cute. I can't believe that a year ago she was as tiny as Josie. At one point during our trip I was holding Josie and Ella was trying to climb on me and I thought to myself "Wow, it would be so hard to have to take care of two babies like this all the time" and then it hit me that that is basically what I was doing a year ago when Ella was around Josie's age and Tori was around Ella's age. I am so glad that we were able to make the trip out to Vermont, it was so fun and I know that my kids loved every moment they get to spend with their cousins. Thank you so much Ashley for thinking to invite me to tag a long with you and Anisha and for making this trip possible. Also thanks so much Ariane, for letting me and my kids invade your house for a week and for being such a great hostess!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

6 years.

6 years,

5 places of residence,

4 cars,

3 kids,

2 degrees,

and 1 amazing adventure I am more in love then ever!

Happy Anniversary Jared, you are the best!

Friday, June 05, 2009

My Baby is 1!!!!

Ella turns one year old today. Has it really already been a year since she came into our lives? Looking back to a year ago I remember the fear, excitement, and love I felt when I had her. I feared what having a child would mean for my other kids, especially Tori who was just over a year old, excitement in seeing my baby for the first time, and the instant, absolute love that a mother has for her child. The news that I was pregnant with Ella came as a bit of surprise to us. We had planned to space our children out a little bit more then 13 months but knowing what I know now I wouldn't change a thing about when Ella joined our family. Ella adds so much joy to our lives. She is beautiful, funny, and full of personality. She adores her older siblings and they adore her. She is just a perfect fit into our family and we love her so much! Happy Birthday Ella!
Ella at One is:
-not walking but can stand for short periods of time on her own. I am completely OK with this. I know the walking will come soon and I think that walking is the first real sign that your baby is no longer a baby. I am OK with Ella staying a baby for a while longer.
- such a happy girl.
- not talking at all but sometimes I think I hear words in her babbling. She can wave and she attempts to play peek-a-boo.
-no longer taking a bottle, as of Tuesday.
- is beautiful. Still very bald (as you can see) but she is so cute it doesn't matter that she is lacking in the hair area.
- is so sweet and easy going....most of the time, she is also a bit of a drama queen. This makes me super nervous for her two year old stage, and teenage years for that matter ;).

* To see more of Ella's adorable 1 year old pictures visit my friend Lillian's Photog Blog. She did an AMAZING job with these pictures and I am so glad she took them for me! Thanks again Lillian, you are the best!!*
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