Saturday, February 7, 2015

the blog has moved!

I have decided to switch blog providers because of too many technical difficulties with this site. This blog will still be live, but will no longer be updated. Eventually, I want to export all of the info on this blog over to the new one and delete this one entirely. Until then, feel free to look at previous posts here, and check out the new blog here! Also, Emmett's blog will remain the same. Thanks for following!

Friday, January 30, 2015

great-grandparents and swimming lessons.

Last weekend we had our last Christmas gathering with my mom's extended family. Always a party, let me tell you! And a house full of people. I hardly took any photos, but was able to capture some sweet moments between Emmett and my grandparents. Normally, Emmett is very overwhelmed at these family gatherings (crowded environments, in general) and doesn't want to talk much. He usually finds a corner to play in by himself and escape from the others. But he was brave enough to socialize this time with great-grandma and great-grandpa during mealtime. :)
hanging out.
^^such a sweet moment between Emmett and my grandpa. they were playing peek-a-boo together and Emmett was laughing really hard.
I have been working on my family history quite a bit lately and it is addicting! I get pretty excited every time I log into and find new notifications. ;) My family tree is getting pretty big and it is so interesting to learn about my ancestors. I have found military documents, immigration charts, photos of  ships, and more. I would love to organize it all in a way where I could make a family tree book.
I am so grateful that I was able to get to know some of my great-grandparents and am even more grateful that our children are able to get to know theirs. I believe family is the most important thing and that we are all connected eternally. I have felt connections to family members I have discovered through working on my family history and it is very rewarding.    

Ethnie started level 3 swimming on Monday! She was so excited to get to work. I feel like swimming is an activity that strengthens her self esteem. She is always proud of herself when she masters a new skill in swimming. And she is so dang cute to watch. *Disclaimer: The lighting at the pool is a horrendous yellow and no amount of editing or filters could make these photos look better. The lighting there reminds me of food-warming lamps in kitchens of restaurants. Yuck!
boogie boarding with a new friend
practicing her front stroke and rhythmic breathing. this was a hard concept for her to grasp. 
good job Ethnie!
^^back float looking good!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

the cutest snowman around.

The weather is finally more tolerable. It is such a relief to walk outside and not have razor blade-like-wind cutting your face. Now if the sun would stay out it would make my week even better!
Matt took the kids outside today to build a snowman. By the time I got the camera outside they were mostly done, but I got a few good photos. I think the snowman turned out super cute!
 Ethnie named her Martha :)
 putting on some better arms.
 all done!
 we named the baby one Fitz.
 Emmett refusing to put his mittens back on. sigh. a constant battle. he hates them.
good work guys! looks like Emmett won the mittens battle.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ethnie turns 9.

My darling little girl turned 9 years old on Tuesday. :) She had a very busy and fun-filled day! It's crazy to think that she is entering her second half of third grade, is becoming so imaginative and creative, and is beginning to show innate nurturing and motherly qualities. (she even graduated from her booster seat.)
of course, her day started by opening her gifts. :) 
^^ Legos from her brother.
^^ a tent and sleeping bag for her American Girl doll
^^ new books and money from Nana. the Boxcar Children is a great choice!!
Despite the below-freezing temps (a lovely consequence of having a winter birthday), we took Ethnie and her best girlfriends to the community center to swim at the water park.They had a blast getting out of the cold. Ethnie kept saying, "This is the best birthday EVER!"
Afterwards, we all went back to our place for build-your-own cupcakes and gifts. Ethnie was embarrassed while we sang to her. :)

^^ Emmett had no problem being the only boy at the party. :)

^^ in love with his cupcake.
^^ adorable group!

opening her gifts

Ethnie got some wonderful, creative gifts. She also got lovely cards and money from family. Thank you everyone! Ethnie loves all of her new presents. She is such a lucky girl!
We love you doll! Happiest birthday to you. :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas festivities 2014.

Wow, December has come and gone! We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was very nice and we feel extremely blessed. The kids got tons of gifts of gifts; they are so lucky and are reminded of how loved they are by family and friends. This post is loaded with photos! We have had a very busy Christmas season!

holidazzle village.
Earlier in the month we met our good friend Warren downtown to check out the new holidazzle village. Ethnie was spending the afternoon with a friend so we just had Emmett with us. It was great weather to be outside.
^^ Emmett was so excited to ride the light rail! it was his first time and he had a permasmile the entire ride. as soon as we got off he wanted to get back on. :)
^^ Emmett loves his buddy Warren!

^^ checking out the reindeer.
^^ photo on one of the "old" holidazzle parade floats. personally, i loved the parade and will really miss it!

McMullen-side Christmas.
We headed up to my dad's the weekend before Christmas for the annual family gathering. It was so nice to see and catch up with everyone! There wasn't much snow, but the kids had a blast with grandma and grandpa. 

^^ Emmett: packed and ready to go ;)
^^ my sweet boy. 
time to open gifts from grandma and grandpa!

good stuff!

^^ grandpa reading the book Everyone Poops before bed ;)
^^ cuddling my cousin Rob's baby, little Navy! can't get enough of him.
my dad's family pooled together to get Emmett a very special Christmas gift. a gift certificate to a website that specializes in autism resources, like learning games, books, sensory toys, and other things we can use at home. we are so grateful. THANK YOU family!

^^ grandma snuggles are best. :)

smokey comes to visit.
We had the fun opportunity to take care of Smokey the kitten for four days before Christmas. It was our first time watching a cat and we loved it! Smokey is seven months old and is a very sweet girl. We loved cuddling her and watching her play! Thanks for letting us take care of her, Jackie!

watching the kids play

smokey was very interested in Emmett during his bath. she sat in the bathroom watching him.

^^ pampered kitty :)

Christmas Eve.
We were at home on Christmas Eve. We opened gifts from each other in the morning, then got ready to host Matt's family for dinner. We had four different kinds of fondue. It was delicious and everything went really well. Unfortunately, I didn't get many photos of the evening. But we all had a really nice time! 

^^ Ethnie loves helping Emmett open his gifts.

^^ new game!

^^ more Lego friends. what Ethnie really wanted for Christmas!

^^ my brother sent Ethnie a charm bracelet for Christmas and she loves it. :)

Christmas Day.
Christmas morning was really special. Santa definitely came and left presents for the kids. I love it when they come wake us up with their messy hair and raspy voices telling us Santa was here. Despite the challenging year we've had, we have felt very blessed and watched over. We have had what we need, which is all that matters. The Spirit of Christmas has filled our home and kept us focused on the true meaning of Christmas. 
^^ Emmett loves his new Nemo sensory toy.
lucky kids

^^ a new Thomas the train - what Emmett asked Santa for.
^^ Ethnie got what she asked for and more.
After cleaning up and packing, we headed back up north to spend Christmas day with my mom and Rick. It was so busy! We had to gather up Smokey and take her home first. Poor kitty, she HATED her cardboard carrier so much, she tried busting her head through one of the holes! I felt so bad making her stay in there. She was so stressed out!
^^ so sad, but can't help but laugh every time I see this photo!
opening gifts from Nana and Papa. these kids are so lucky.

We stayed over and took the kids to a hotel pool the next day. Nana had to work so we burned some time while she was away. Wow, it felt great to sit in some warm, humid air for a while!

^^ one of Emmett's favorite places to be is in the water. we may have another big swimmer in the family. :)
^^ the other big swimmer

so happy

Later on, Emmett went outside to help papa bring in some wood. He was a pretty good helper.
playing with Elsa

good job, bud!

getting a ride with papa

Hope you are all staying warm! Happy New Year!