Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ready for Christmas!

We are excited for Christmas in this house. The kids call everything we do lately a Christmas party.

We made probably 5 dozen sugar cookies, and out of that barely got 3 plates of edible cookies to take to our neighbors. We had lots of fun and made a huge mess.

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Busy Boy

William is good at being a toddler. He's so much fun, but we have to keep right on top of what he's doing to keep him safe!

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I love his adorable face and wild baby hair.
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All I want for Christmas is my 4 front teeth

Poor Micaela seems to lose her teeth 4 at a time. Well, she has them pulled 4 at a time. She has plenty of room for those adult teeth to grow in now.

Before, baby teeth intact:
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After, admiring her new space:
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Also, in the past 2 weeks Micaela has gotten very into playing the piano and has learned a bunch of new songs. She practices (very briefly) at least 20 times a day. It's amazing what kids can do when they (all of a sudden, mysteriously) get motivated!

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Crazy trip

Jason and I went to Europe! Crazy, huh? He had job interviews in Switzerland and Hungary, which we nearly missed due to most of our original flight plan being cancelled because of plane malfunctions, stupidity, etc. But we got everything rearranged and he narrowly made it to both interviews. It was a crazy few days, though!
In between red-eye flights and trains, we got to see parts of Zurich and Budapest. (Jason served his mission in Hungary and lived in Budapest for several months, so that was a fun little trip down memory lane.) My mom and sister were so nice to take care of our kids so we could take our first vacation alone since our honeymoon! (thanks, Mom and Holly!)

Here's a pic of us near our hotel in Zurich:
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(you'd think I could have gotten someone else to take that instead of taking it myself at that great flattering angle..) :)

Our hotel sat on this lake:
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This was the view from the train station in Zurich. Most of the buildings there looked pretty similar to this one:
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And one of us in Hero's Square in Budapest:
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

10 times the Hollywood average!

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary! Eight years ago today we got married in the Mt. Timpanogos temple. It snowed every day that week except for our wedding day, and we had a beautiful snow carpet all around.. And a short sleeved dress purchased in June for a wedding originally planned for September. But we pushed it back to the Saturday when everyone could make it to the wedding and got November 11th, 2000. Check out how cheesy this is - on 11/11/11, it will be our 11th anniversary. That's the kind of cheese you can't buy in stores. So we like the number 11. You know, 11 carseats, 11 student loans, etc.

I'm kind of embarassed to admit that we didn't realize we were getting married on Veteran's Day until the day of. Didn't quite make it on the radar (we love and support the troops but are apparently clueless). Yesterday Micaela asked "Mommy, why is your anniversary on veterinarian's day?" Good question. "Because we love animals, Micaela."

Anyway, the whole day was amazing, and then we got to go on our honeymoon to the Bahamas! And that was the last time we had fun. No, just kidding! Pretty sure we've had some good times. :) Here are some pictures of the big day:

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Here's our cake topper. We actually brought this home with us (to our little cabin in vermont) and when we unpacked it, the groom's head had been broken off. I thought that was pretty funny, but of course not at all applicable or appropriate to our situation...

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Happy Anniversary! I love you!

Friday, November 7, 2008

You knew it was coming..

Our yearly announcement... ;)
A new Merrill on the way!
Disclaimer: Yes, we have a lot of kids. And we'll probably have more.

Now that that's out on the table, let's all take a deep breath and watch this little video of #6 coming next May!

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We're so excited to welcome another member of our family!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Roar

I loved Andrew's dinosaur costume. His 2 year old roar made it soo much cuter, too.

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And his sisters, in varying degrees of happiness..

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I'm pretty sure their candy's already gone.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Helowen iz kuman soon

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Maybe we should work more on spelling. :) I got out the Halloween stickers and the kids made about a dozen 'cards' - Lizzie made the one above. She loves that (creative) phonetic spelling.

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Today we got to play in [our neighbor's] leaves. We kept trying to rake our own, but could only manage about a 6 inch pile of aspen leaves, so the kids were more than happy to help the neighbors (who have no kids at home) rake theirs. And then throw them back around the lawn again, of course.

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And of course the (last-minute) pumpkin carving, always fun. Apparently up on top of the table.

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These are the kinds of holiday things that I confess to dreading.. but then when they're over of course we all love it and build great memories and all that good stuff.

Good luck to all of us tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stand up guy

William is standing up and loving it! He can take several steps but is generally scared of walking still. (Mom's fine with that.)

He pushes himself up and stands there laughing, and then takes a step or two and sits back down. There's no falling - he just decides to sit back down. (I don't know where he gets that whole being conservative thing from...)

I love the arms for balance:
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So excited!
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Proud of himself.. or something..
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A snapshot of life here - beautiful weather and colors! (And nearly constant dress up clothes)
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Family Miracle, I mean Portrait

We had a (miraculously) successful family portrait session! And it was free, unless you count the gallons of gas required to get the Beast up to south fork park. I brought my camera and tripod, set it all up, and my sister did the snapping and the shaking of the skittles bag to try to bribe the kids to look in her direction. I can't believe we got one!
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Afterwards I couldn't help but snap a few more..

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PS - You'll all be seeing that family picture in your Christmas card, so.. you know, just try to act surprised. ;)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who says summer's over?

Yesterday it was 85 degrees and gorgeous. 3pm rolled around and we pretty much had nothing to do (ok, we could have cleaned our messy house, but come on..) so we dug out the swim suits and towels, packed a picnic dinner, and headed up provo canyon!
Ok, so by the time we had everything together, swim suits attached to the appropriate body parts, changed diapers twice, had 3 time outs, got everyone in the car, found my keys, got out of the car and went potty, and got everyone BACK in the car, it was 4:30. Still worth it.
We headed up to Deer Creek reservoir and were the only ones there! It was so beautiful, and the kids had a total party. Jason left campus and met us there an hour later, and we had a great little family end-of-summer picnic. Complete with full fall colors. :)

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, William!

One year and ten minutes ago, William was born! He has been the sweetest, most fun baby - just a complete joy to have in our family.

But he had a sad birthday. He just wasn't happy. He's getting molars and maybe a cold and was just kind of miserable all day. He didn't even want his cake, and this boy eats more than I do!

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He's just not a happy birthday boy - look how sad!
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That picture was from when we took away a toy he had just opened to give him this one.. should've known better - I mean, what is this, our first kid? :)

He didn't want to eat the cake, but he definitely destroyed it.

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Good job, William!

It was all I could do to get this smile out of him.
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Happy 1st Birthday, William! We love you!
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Beast

When you think about buying something nice that will make your life easier, you probably aren't thinking of a GIGANTIC white BEAST that barely fits in the driveway (forget the garage!)... but that's what we did..
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This is the beautiful part:
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The AISLE down the middle that SEPARATES our kids!!! That deserves ALL CAPS! It's truly a beautiful thing. But it gets very ugly gas mileage.

With our family, it really was inevitable.

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Back to (home)School

After our trip to Nevada was over, it was time to hit the books! And the crayons. And unfortunately, the fingerpaint.

We had a great first day of school - everyone was excited to start.

our school/toy room:
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Hard at "work"
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While I was helping Lizzie with her math, Micaela surprised me with, "Mom, look, I can spell cardiovascular!" Where does she come up with this stuff? And if she can spell cardiovascular, why can't she spell any words that start with a w-h?
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Those off-guard moments are the best part of homeschooling!

Ranch Heaven

Forget Disneyland - we got to go to a kid's paradise in:
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Stephanie and her family were so awesome to have us over! (Seriously, can you imagine me descending on them with my 5 crazy kiddos?) :) We got to ride a horse, feed some cows, swim in not one but TWO natural springs, catch guppies, go 4-wheeling, play in the lawn-pool and jump on the giant trampoline for hours on end.

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The best part was being able to attend Tyler's baptism. We are so proud of you, Tyler, and of your wonderful family!

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