Sunday, December 12, 2010

"I like my birthdays"

"I like my birthdays every one. Each brings a greater joy to me. But I can' wait until I'm 8 for then I'll be baptized you see..."
For those of you who don't know this song, it's a song the kids sing in primary about baptism. Kai turned 8 in November and will be able to be baptized this year. We are waiting until we go to Oregon so my family can all be a part of this very special occasion. We live so far away and have not lived close to my family since the kids were born, so it's rare they get to share in these moments with us. My sisters, Jaime and Jan, were able to be here with us when Kaden was blessed which was cool.
Kai started scouts in November which he has been looking forward to for a long time. We are proud of him and how well he is doing in school this year. He tries hard to do his best. Kai is very social, he makes friends easily. He is a smart boy and likes to spend his time building legos, playing his Dsi or reading his Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.
I actually let him have his first friend party at the house this year (I know, brave of me). He had a few close friends spend the night. I don't even have proof of this event because all my pictures from this fall (Halloween, fall festivals, Kai's and the first field trip I chaperoned) were all erased.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My little turkeys

I have been buying holiday pajamas for the kids since before they were born and I have NEVER seen Thanksgiving pajamas before this year. I happened to walk into gymboree one morning and found the last two pair (maybe the only two pair) in the right sizes so I snatched them up for the boys. Matt informed me Kai is getting a little too old for the "cute" pajamas, but how could I resist when this could be a once in a lifetime thing? AND you were waiting for this.... yes, they were on SALE, only $10 a pair. I admit that's a little steep for what I'd normally pay for their pajamas but dang, they are gymboree and brand new (not from a thrift store or garage sale). I think they look cute!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Curious George

Kai's teacher asked me to decorate a pumpkin for their class for the school's literacy night last night. I am always willing to help with whatever the kids' teachers need so I quickly agreed to do it. Like I have a creative/artistic bone in my body! Just a quick bit of history, never was able to draw a straight line with a ruler in elementary school, and the art class I took in college, NOT my idea of a good time. Talk about torture. SO thankfully I have a creative/artistic husband (although he won't admit it) who happily took on the task. I think he did a pretty good job! He did "Curious George takes a job". Our kids love Curious George and we have had our collection of Curious George stories since before they were born.

Friday, October 8, 2010


This school year marks a new chapter in my life. Both boys went to school this fall. Kaden went to Pre K and Kai's in second grade. Kaden goes for 3 hours every morning. We have to rush out of the house every morning and I spend a lot of time on the road transporting them to and from school (they go to different schools), but it's so worth it. I can finally go to the grocery store alone, have a thought to myself, come home to QUIET house, clean something and have it stay clean temporarily. A lot of times I don't even come home though until after I pick up Kaden. It's just so nice to go shopping without needing to take someone to the bathroom, leave because someone is bored, entertain someone in the cart... Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. Eight years ago I quit a wonderful job with the State of Utah and moved from a place loved dearly so I could stay home when Kai was born, but DANG it's nice to have some time for myself again. I got my first massage this fall. It has totally helped with my back pain (I wasn't so sure at first but I've had a relatively pain free month). Both kids are happy and doing well in school. I signed up to help with the PTA this year and offered to help in Kai's class. I don't want to schedule up too much of my free time though. :) The first day of school was fun, Matt took Kaden, I took Kai and then we met for breakfast. This might have to become a yearly tradition on the first day of school.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Faith is like a little seed..."

Matt has been begging me to post this for a couple months now. I don't know what my problem is, I think I ran out of steam for keeping the blog up. The summer came and went and I was exhausted from trying to keep the kids busy and entertained. Then school started and I got a sweet taste of freedom, something I haven't experienced in 8 years.
Anyway, in primary (church) the chorister taught the kids a song called "Faith" and one of the lines says, "faith is like a little seed, if planted it will grow". She brought a seed she had planted in a cup that had sprouted to show the kids. Kaden was intrigued by this, and "Faith" quickly became his favorite song (which he often sings at the top of his lungs). We went to a ward social this summer and someone brought watermelon that had ginormous seeds. Kaden carefully dug his out and placed them in a cup. His intent was to bring them home to plant. He had the faith they would grow. Matt looked up the growing season for watermelon on the internet and it certainly wasn't the middle of summer in Florida, but to appease Kaden he helped him plant them anyway. It wasn't long before we saw the watermelon sprouting!! We were shocked to tell you the truth. Now his watermelon plant is flowering and several feet long. I am thankful for the faith of my little 4 year old and I am thankful for a primary leader who shared her testimony with my kids.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Matt's latest project

I bought Matt this little TV for Christmas and fourth of July weekend he decided he needed a project. So he climbed up into our thousand degree attic to wire the TV (anyone who lives in FL KNOWS how hot the attics get in the middle of summer). Example, I went to put something away up there and the plastic lid of the container was HOT to the touch. You can't store candles up there, they melt. Anyway, he spent an entire evening running wires, cutting holes and voila! Now we have the luxury of watching TV while sitting on the crapper (I have yet to turn it on but I know Matt enjoys the morning news). :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Swim Trunks and Silly Bandz

Seems these days this is all I see my kids in, swim trunks and silly bandz. We have managed to keep very busy with summer (beach, movies, swimming, bowling, library and more swimming). I haven't been the best at carrying a camera around with me however. Silly bandz are "all that" with the kids here this summer. It started just before the school year ended. Basically, jelly bracelets reinvented but in different shapes (animals, planets, letters, movie characters, etc). They are actually cool and girls AND boys wear them. They were banned from bringing them to school because the kids wouldn't stop playing with them, and I see the kids at church trading between classes and before and after primary. It has been fun for my kids, except when Kai secretly tries to add to his collection from Kaden's stash.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I was having a nice, peaceful Sunday morning UNTIL... I went to put a towel away in the hall closet and saw this little darlin' slither underneath the door! I jumped back screaming, woke Kaden up, jolted Matt out of a dead sleep. Snakes are one of my worst fears. I have always, always been afraid of them.
We have no idea how he got in. What's worse, Kai had seen him earlier (before I woke up) and said, "I thought it was a worm". I can't believe it didn't phase him! We think he had one thing on his mind, "Super Mario 2" and he didn't want to stop to bother with the snake.
I think Matt dislikes snakes as much as I do but he was more rational about the situation. He sat there and designed/constructed a snake noose so he could get him safely out of the house. I stood back and watched, broom in hand. I've been able to swat a lizard or two out of the house with my trusty broom and it leaves a good distance between me and the reptiles. If the vacuum hose would've worked I may have tried to suck the snake up.
Might I add our cat, Onyx, was no help, she's afraid of them too!

Kaden often walks around the house often times chanting "intruder awert, intruder awert", thus the title.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Never, Never, Never...

Never, never, never have a major injury the few days of the fiscal year. For those who don't remember, our 3 year old at the time, broke his leg on the trampoline the second day after we arrived in Oregon for Christmas break. The actual date was December 23, 2009. I have a $1000 deductible per person/per year (that's after we already pay a HUGE amount for insurance each month). Let me remind you we paid the $1000 for Kai's broken arm in 2009. Anyway, I am thinking I'm good, bills started rolling in from Oregon after we got home in January and I pay my $1000. Of course he had to have follow up in Jacksonville in January so I was thinking it'd all be covered, minus 20%, because I'd already paid my $1000, right? Last month I got ANOTHER $1100 bill from the clinic in Jacksonville. After calling the insurance they explained I hadn't met my 2010 DEDUCTIBLE for Kaden. Sick and wrong. Made me mad. I waited until I got my second notice to mail the bill in. In fact it's sitting in the mail box with a stamp on it. If anyone would like to pay it for me I will quickly go out and remove my check.
Let's pray for no broken bones in 2010.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ginnie Springs

Matt got his scuba diving certification this past winter and needs to complete a certain number of dives to keep his certification current so he signed up for the "galaxy dive" at Ginnie Springs. They dove at night so it was pitch black in the cave. We decided to make a family outing of the weekend. It was a nice getaway but the crowd at the springs was pretty rough. There was a lot of drinking, foul language, immodesty and overall crude behavior. I am thinking we won't take the kids back there again.

Friday, April 30, 2010

"Play Day"

I don't know if it's because it gets so hot here or what but the kids have their "play day" at school like 6 or 8 weeks before school gets out. When I was a kid we had "field day" the last day or so of school. I have gone both years and taken Kaden with me. He always has a ball and remembered it from last year. He loves to compete and enjoy the festivities of the day. He will be SO ready for kindergarten when he gets there.

Things that have changed since my childhood field days. We used to get ribbons for the races (1st, 2nd, 3rd). Now everyone's a winner. We did physical challenges like tug o war, sprints, etc. They had cup stacking, hopping on a bouncy ball, water balloon tosses (the running you see in the picture was the most physical event of the day).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The perfect alternative...

Matt's co-worker offered him a bounce house for the kids (her kids were no longer using it). He called to ask if I wanted him to take it. Um YAH, isn't this every kids dream AND it's a perfect alternative to a trampoline which my kids are forever banned from. This is the best "hand me down". Free always makes things so much cooler to me! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To catch a Leprechaun

Since leprechauns cause so much mischief at Kai's school (hiding pencils, making messes, stealing homework) his class was asked to design a leprechaun trap. He and Matt stayed up the other night to construct it. The hope is the little bugger will stick his arm/hand in and will not be able to get it back out once he reaches for the fake gold. Kai is really hoping he is able to catch one today! :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sad, sad day

Today we had to put our fearless kitty, Casey, to sleep. We got him 13 years ago from a neighbor in Providence, UT. From there he moved with us to Colorado Springs, CO and lastly flew from CO to FL with us. He knew no boundaries, the neighborhood was his playground. He liked taking walks with the family around the block. He was our pheasant hunting, dog wrestling, rat catching bully! He had a chunk missing out of his ear, would often show up with missing tufts of fur and scars on his nose. He was seriously the cat with 9 lives, we nursed him back to health on numerous occasions. Casey could also be the biggest baby, curling up next to us with his big motor running, "nursing" on the blanket he rested on. He always let his little sister, Onyx, eat first.
We will surely miss our most loyal friend, Case. Til we meet again!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Kai has been wearing his hair "spikey" to school for the past little while. What's funny to me about that is other little boys started showing up with their hair spiked. Last night after his bath he decided to style it in a mohawk. He has the thickest hair so it just stayed that way. He BEGGED me to put mousse in it and let him wear it that way to school this morning. It is against every fiber of my being to let him go out of the house like that but he was so serious about keeping it that way. I fixed it and couldn't stop laughing at him. He asked me why I was laughing and I said he looked funny. In all seriousness he turned around to me and said, "in a good way or a bad way?". I told him I didn't know how to answer that question.
I feel proud of myself for actually giving in, relinquishing some control. I mean what does it hurt, right?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring is here!

I went out in my backyard tonight and this is what I saw on my trees!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our "winter" fun

In all fairness this "winter" has been really cold here! I will wake up sometimes and the house will be 62 degrees. The night we got home from Oregon it was 55!! We have even burned fires pretty consistently in our fireplace this year (which we've NEVER done before). The kids had Monday off because of President's Day so we packed picnic lunches and went with our good friends to the Timucuan Fort. We did a little hiking, watched the boats, saw dolphins swimming and let the kids run wild. They had a ball and Kaden did great. That's probably the farthest he has walked since getting his cast off. It was a chilly, but beautiful day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kaden turns 4

The last four years has absolutely flown! I can't believe Kaden is 4. When Kai turned 4 I thought he was so grown up. Kaden is such a little fire cracker. He is very quick to laugh, very independent, very clever and wants to do everything his big brother does. He has a little temper but he also keeps us laughing. Everyone loves Kaden. Happy Birthday to our little buddy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wonderful, Wicked Weekend

Matt and I went away for the first time in 7 years this weekend (I've never left my kids with anyone, except for the night I left Kai to have Kaden. Kai has had sleepovers but never Kaden. Matt surprised me with tickets to Wicked for Christmas. I saw it last spring in Jacksonville with a friend and LOVED it. I was excited for Matt to be able to see it too. We went to Tampa, saw the show, had a nice dinner at Ruth's Chris and stayed over night! It was much needed, long over due break! Nice to be able to talk without being interrupted, nice not to have to buckle anyone in but myself when I got in the car, nice to eat a meal without worrying about the kids making a mess, not sitting still or being too loud, nice to wake up without having any demands placed upon me immediately. It was wonderful! We need to get away more often. I think I was most proud of myself for breaking down and leaving the kids. They were in good hands, their Grandpa and Grandma McKendrick came and stayed at our house with them. Grandpa made them pancakes for breakfast, a memory I am sure they will have forever. I still remember my Grandpa O'Dell making us girls pancakes when we went to visit him.

Happy Day!

I took Kaden and got him all registered for preschool for the 2010-2011 school year. I don't know who is more excited him or me?! In Florida all children who are 4 have the option of going to preschool for essentially 1/2 day (Kaden will go 8:30-11:45). I feel like they need it in preparation for kindergarten which is full day here. He will be going to the same preschool Kai did (a baptist academy). It's such a FUN time for the kids, I look forward to the friends Kaden will make, the experiences he will have, the crafts he will come home with. I will drop Kaden off, run and drop Kai off, and I will have precisely 2 1/2 hours to myself. It will be almost 8 years since I had any time to myself. I can actually go to the grocery store or the post office BY MYSELF. Hopefully I come up with some more fun things to do than that but for now that prospect is exciting. :)

Can you tell what part of school Kaden is most excited about?

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Kaden has waited patiently for his turn to play baseball. He will be 4 next Saturday so he was old enough to start spring baseball. We missed his first practice because we were away for the weekend but his Grandpa and Grandma McKendrick took him. We are so excited to watch him and cheer him on this season. Since his cast came off about 2 weeks ago he still isn't able to run, but he does his best to hobble along. We have no doubt he'll be running soon. He asked me at one of Kai's games if I would say, "go Kaden, go Kaden" when it was his turn to run bases.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"If it snowed in Jacksonville"

This paper actually melted my heart when it came home from school. We had a really good time in Oregon at Christmas time. The boys LOVED spending time with my family and there were lots of tears shed the night before we left and the morning we flew out at o dark thirty. I could hear Kai sobbing in the dark on the plane from Pendleton to Portland. Quietly sobbing though is an improvement over last year in the airport, "I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE PENDLETON" so everyone was staring at us. Meanwhile I was crying too and couldn't say anything. I think Kai was actually fully prepared to let Matt, Kaden and I fly back home this year and him stay and go to school with his cousins. Now he just tells me he wishes we could move our house and our yard to Pendleton.
Anyway, while we were there Kai and Grandpa Gailey built a "snow alien". Thus the paper from school.
Translation- "If it snowed in Jacksonville I would make an snow alien. I would lick snow when it falls from the sky."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's off!

We are so happy, Kaden's cast came off today! It has actually gone pretty fast since the first two weeks he had it on we were in Oregon. At first he wouldn't put weight on it (he had me carry him out of the doctor's office) but just a short couple of hours later he realized he can still get around. We are taking him swimming at UNF tonight. We found him a wet suit on ebay (for when we go to the springs) for $6.70. As you can see he loves it and it fits him perfectly.