Monday, January 28, 2013

"Half" Birthdays

Mollie's treat: Rice Krispie Treats with sprinkles

Carli's treat: Donuts
     Since Mollie and Carli have July birthdays, they never get to bring in a treat to their school class. So to give them that time to "celebrate" with their class, I bring in treats for their "half" birthday. It makes January a busier month, but they love it! I've been doing this for Carli since Kindergarten and since she goes to middle school next year (Boo!) this will be the last time I can do this for her. In addition to treats, the girls wanted to bring in Griffin. I asked their teachers and they both said it was fine but we had to be sneaky because animals are not allowed on campus. So when I signed in at the office with the treats, Chad went around with the dog to their outside doors. Both the birthday treats and the dog were a hit!! It is always fun to be around the girls and their friends. It makes more work for me, but I think this is something I will miss! Happy "Half" Birthday girls!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Puffy"- January 2013

     Now that my due date is getting closer, I'm going to the doctor more frequently. For my first appointment in January I got some bad news (although deep down I was expecting it)...I have gained more weight, A LOT more weight. 11 lbs to be exact! In one month...yikes!! The reason I was expecting it is because I gained 11 lbs this month with all 3 girls too. That gives me a grand total so far of 66 lbs!! I've decided to embrace it. As Marjorie Hinckley said, "The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."  Each time I step on that lovely scale at the doctors office I just smile :) When I saw the doctor, he looked at my weight and asked (with a smile on HIS face), "Holidays catch up with your weight, huh?" I told him it is just a heavy month for me and he said it was just water weight and not to worry... I just looked a little "puffy". So remember...when you see me and think I've gained a little weight...that's not it. Doctor says I'm just a little "puffy"!!

Hunting, hunting, and MORE hunting

Chad's big will be on our wall soon (although I told him it needed to be in his office NOT my livingroom !) 

Chad's first kill of the season

Chucker hunting in Winnemucca, NV

9 dead little bunnies :(

But the girls had so much fun!!
     Chad had quite a hunting year! He was lucky enough to go elk hunting twice and got something both times!! His first tag was for a cow (female) and he just went out one early morning before work and shot her! His second tag was an either sex tag. He wasn't counting on getting a bull, just another cow for the meat. His friends all go camping for about a week and do nothing but hunt. Its a good time for them and they always fill every tag! Chad got his bull on that hunting trip...he was excited to shoot a bull this time!
     He had the opportunity to go bird hunting too! A couple of his friends go quail hunting in AZ every year and they always invite Chad to go. Apparently its a LOT of walking/hiking, but he always has a ton of fun! This year however the birds weren't very good in AZ, so they decided to hunt Chucker. "What the heck is Chucker?", you ask? I asked the very same question! It almost sounds like going snipe hunting :) Its some kind of bird and it actually tasted pretty good! Instead of AZ, they traveled to Winnemucca, NV (not sure if I spelled that right) which was colder than here!! Once again, it was a TON of walking, but he had fun!
     Chad also took a day during our Christmas break to take the girls rabbit hunting! I had some last minute Christmas gifts to finish up (crocheting scarf for Carli!) and needed them gone to get that done, so Chad volunteered to take them for the day! He is such a great dad :) He and a friend took the kids out to the desert and had a BLAST!! (no pun intended!) The girls had so much fun shooting their pink gun and being together with their dad! I'm glad they had a good time but wasn't really excited about eating them (Chad insisted on cooking them up!) I also told him he couldn't tag me on Facebook with these pictures because my HS friends would never let me hear the end of it! (My HS mascot was the "Jackrabbits")
     I'm glad that Chad was able to have such a great year hunting. He usually isn't able to go as much as he wants to because of the company and soccer, so he has earned it! I hope he enjoyed it because the baby is coming soon, which means his time will be limited :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lucky #14...???

     Wow, what a year! January 2nd was our 14th wedding anniversary. I can honestly say that our 13th year was our best one yet! With my anniversary gift last year, Chad called this last year our "lucky #13" year...and it was!! We had ups along with the downs, and we've learned that marriage takes a LOT of work, but all the time and energy will pay off. We have enjoyed all the adventures and memories we created last year (and all the awesome date nights!) Marriage is definitely not easy, but it is definitely worth it! We are looking forward to our 14th year...hopefully it will be another lucky year. Is there such thing as "lucky #14"? There will be for us!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy New Year!!

     New Years was another first for us...we celebrated at home with just our immediate family (and the new puppy, of course!) Traveling to AZ would be a little difficult this year with Griffin and me being 33 weeks pregnant, so we decided to stay home and celebrate with friends. Problem is: most of our friends were out of town or sick! It ended up being just us :) It was a great day! Chad had some finishing work to get done on a project in Delta so we loaded up in the car and went with him. Us girls helped him do some dusting and vacuuming and played with the dog in the snow. We had lunch together and enjoyed each others company before heading back to town. After doing a little bit of shopping, we came home and ordered Chinese food for dinner. The girls wanted to have a Harry Potter marathon (Chad was SUPER excited! hehe) so we just ate and watched movies all night long!! Grandma Whiting had sent us a package full of New Years items that we used to ring in 2013 :) Even Griffin joined in on the action! It was a nice way to start our new year as a family! 2012 was quite a year for our family, lots of adventures and experiences that will never be forgotten. We are excited for what's in store for us in 2013!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Just like me...times 3!

Mindy- 7 yrs (1985)

Mollie- 6 yrs (2012)
     Once again, we had a toothless Christmas! Mollie lost her two front teeth before Christmas so she HAD to sing "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth". It's a tradition.  I've told the story before (see the Jan 2012 post "Just like me" to see Regan singing toothless) but when I was 7 I lost my two front teeth right before Christmas. Just like now, we always get together at Grandma/Grandpa's house for a Christmas party with the family. Each grandchild does some sort of musical performance for everybody, and since I had lost my teeth, I had to sing "All I Want for Christmas". Now that my girls are growing up, THEY get to sing!! This makes all 3 of them losing their two front teeth right before Christmas!! It's meant to be :)
     We didn't make it down to AZ this year because of the new puppy and my big baby belly, so Mollie had to sing it in Utah for our "other" family, the Brownlows. She did great!! She also sang it at home for Grandma/Grandpa via Skype. I'm not counting on it, but it sure would be awesome if this new baby lost HIS two front teeth in time for Christmas too! If not, that's okay...I feel pretty lucky to have 3, just like me!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Baby "Bump"- December 2012

     This has been a fun pregnancy...much harder than the 3 girls, but fun! I know what you're thinking: How can you enjoy morning sickness, soreness, heartburn, weight gain and all the other side effects of being pregnant? Well, I don't. But I DO enjoy knowing that after all these years I have a little miracle inside me. It's been so neat to have caring friends that are as excited as Chad and I are! I am truly blessed to have the friends I do. They are always calling my belly a baby "bump", but does this look like a "bump" to you?! Not even close! I laugh because I try to explain how big I'm getting and nobody will listen. Unlike most women, I don't just gain a measly 20-30 lbs. So far I've already gained 55 lbs!! And I still have 2 more months! My next doctor appointment is Jan. 2nd and I KNOW I will gain quite a bit more. Unfortunately, this is a big month for me with every baby. Even with all the weight, we are so excited and can't wait to meet this little guy!! More "bump" pictures to come!

18 Road Sledding

The crew

Carli has decided she likes sleds better than discs because you can steer them

Kolt and Regan getting ready to race

Mollie and Ali headed down the big hill...Mollie is completely fearless!

Griffin watching all the action...he wanted to jump on every sled that went by :)

Regan was loving every second of it!

Mollie liked to go DOWN the hill but not having to hike back up!

Chad and his puppy :) He is still so happy about getting him!

Grif is still so small he froze out in the cold. He wouldn't even walk! Since my pregnant belly kept me from being able to sled, I ended up carrying him to the car and bundling him up in a blanket :) 
      After getting back from Utah, the Munch family invited us to go sledding up 18 Road. We usually do a LOT of sledding, just in our front yard. The hill is perfect for smaller kids but now that the girls are getting bigger, they are starting to want a bigger hill (especially Carli). 18 Road is perfect! To make things even better, we have had a TON of snow this year!! Too much in my opinion, but whatever :) It was super cold, but only the dog seemed to mind. We learned that the girls are so tough!! They aren't scared of anything! They are more brave than me :) I'm sure there will be many more sledding trips in our future!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Best Christmas EVER!

     This was a Christmas different than years past because we went to Utah...never done that before! We spent Christmas with the Brownlows (you'll see why later in this post) instead of staying home. We drove over on Christmas Eve so we could get there in time to:
           *Open our new Christmas PJ's (I got them in Vegas at M&M World this year)
          *Make peanut butter cookies for Santa (they had PB cups in them this year)

         *Hang the Santa key so he could get in their house (we don't have to hang it at our house anymore because we have a chimney, but we brought it for their house because they don't)

         *Put the girls to bed and "hang" the stockings for Santa to come

Notice the little furry present waiting for them to open....'s a close up!! 
      The girls had no idea but we came to Utah because we got them a PUPPY!! Crazy, I know, with a new baby on the way, but we just couldn't resist! They have been talking about wanting a dog nonstop since we had to put Layla down last year. Chad is missing his hunting buddy and also doesn't want this new baby to be raised without a dog. So we got one! It was a great surprise!!
The girls walking in 

Opening the box!!

They couldn't believe it! A real live puppy!! 

They weren't too interested in the rest of their gifts (plus this one required most of their attention!)
      I have to mention the pickle gift this year too. Every year we hide the "pickle" somewhere on the tree and whoever finds it gets an extra present. Carli has won it every year BUT this year it was hard to find! Mollie and Regan recruited some help to get them up near the top and for the first time ever...Regan found it!
      One pretty excited girl! She got her very own gift card to spend at Target :)
       PUPPY INFO: He is a wire-haired pointing Griffon. Chad wanted a dog that was good in the field, and I wanted a good family dog. Chad did a ton of research and found this breed. They are supposed to be super intense in the field, but great with families (and fairly calm too!) There are only a  handful of breeders so it was really hard to find an available puppy! Chad had to be interviewed by the breeder and sign a contract (crazy!) before they would even sell him to us!! We had to give the breeder his registered name, but wanted to have the girls help pick his call name after they knew about him. His name is Griffin, short for Gryffindor :) Chad likes to call him Griffin-dog! He has been a great addition to our family, and the girls are stepping up and taking an active role in taking care of him.
Griffin spent most of his time with the wrapping paper. As a typical puppy, he loved all the noise it made!
     This was a great Christmas! In fact, on the way home, the girls said, "This is the best Christmas EVER!!" We told them it was a great year and next year will be too because we will have a new baby brother to celebrate his first Christmas with! So many new exciting memories to make!! Later that night, Chad and I really was one of the best Christmases ever :)

The 12 "Dates" of Christmas

      As a little pre-Christmas gift to Chad, I wanted to put together the 12 days of Christmas BUT I wanted to be creative about it. What I came up with was the 12 "Dates" of Christmas. One thing he values is spending time together, so I thought this would be a perfect way to show him that I love him!! :) I won't share all of the things we did, but a couple of them included the girls coming along so I wanted to document them.
     The first one was a total surprise, which made it even more fun!! My friend Darcy and I arranged for our families to get together and have dinner (typical thing) and "play games" afterwards BUT what really happened after dinner was a knock at the door to take a Christmas light tour IN A LIMO!!! It was such a great surprise for everyone! We rented the SUV limo because our kids are always admiring them when they see it drive by. Chad had never been in a limo either, so this was a first for him too! The girls couldn't believe it! Mollie said, "It's like we're rich and famous...but we're not!" Such a fun time! We might have to do it again next year :)
The Dares and the Cases 

The big girls in the very back seat. It faces the road which they thought was cool.

Mollie and Eden spent most of their ride dancing...that's right, dancing in the limo. They thought it was awesome that they didn't have to buckle up AND they could stand up while it was driving :)

     The second date that we brought the girls on was the Polar Express. One of our friends has a tractor and trailer and another friend had a bunch of hay bales, so the end result was a hayride to the North Pole! :) Everyone had to have a "ticket" to board and we headed down the road (brrrr!) to a bonfire and treats AND a surprise visit from a man with a beard! We have such great friends who are always willing to do fun things!! Another great night!
Their tickets to board the "train"

The kids (and a couple of us moms!) had a great time riding to the North Pole! We sang Christmas carols the entire way and the conductor (Gary) even had a train whistle :)

Carli and Santa

Mollie and Santa
*Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of Regan and Santa (my camera battery died!)...but she saw him too! 

A Sweet Tradition

Ali, Mollie, and Brooke

Regan and Carli (who was constantly eating frosting!)

Carli's finished house- she spent most of her time on the pretzel fence

Regan's gingerbread house- she spent most of her time on the roof

Mollie's house- she spent most of her time eating the candy around her :)
     It's become a new tradition since the Munch's moved to Colorado that we go to their house to make gingerbread houses. It is so much fun for the kids (and we all get belly-aches from eating our weight in candy!) This year was no exception! The girls worked FOREVER on their "masterpieces" and enjoyed every second of it! They are looking forward to next year and this sweet tradition!