Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Books of the Year

I had a goal this year to read 100 books. I didn't think that would be too far fetched as I read 92 books last year. But sadly I only got to 86 books this year, but I blame my first trimester of pregnancy, I was way too sick and not feeling good to read very much. Looking at my list of books this year there were only a few that stood out to me as being really great. I hope to rectify that situation next year. I hope next year is the year of amazing books! Here are my top five books that I read this last year.
The Help is one of those books that will stick with me forever, it was just that good. I didn't know too much about it except that it had been the top selling book for quite a bit of the year when I picked it up. Even if you don't think this is one that you'll enjoy, just pick it up and read it; it's that amazing! I put it akin to "To Kill a Mockingbird", it's just such an important read. I really can't gush enough about this book, seriously go pick it up now and read it, you won't regret it! To say that I'm a Riordan fan is an understatement and to say that I liked this book is a drastic understatement. This book was clever, witty and just plain fun. The Percy Jackson series included gods from Greek mythology and this one included the gods from Egyptian mythology. I am not well versed in Egyptian mythology but this book sure helps you know who the major players are. I couldn't read this book fast enough, I just couldn't get enough of the two main characters. I caught myself laughing out loud at 1 in the morning, probably annoying Joe. One of my favorite series ended this year (his last book came out on my birthday, I'm pretty sure he did it as a personal birthday present for me). Mull knows how to end a series. There was plenty of fighting, reconciliation and revelations throughout this magnificent end of a magnificent series. I recommend this series to so many people and I really haven't had anybody tell me they didn't like it. Go pick it up and start reading it with your family, it's so much fun! Although this book follows a lot of what I read, dystopian society with a very courageous young heroine, it was different enough for me to really love. I also think I have an odd fascination with midwives which is what this young girl is studying to be. Sometimes I find myself thinking of this book as I'm letting my mind wander. I'm extremely happy that she wrote a sequel to this book. I might get some flack for putting this on my top 5 list but I just think Collins stuck to who she is and finished the series the way you know stays true to her writing. It was dark, much darker than the other ones, but seriously with all they go through how can it not be that dark? She kills off people, makes people pretty miserable, but really I didn't expect much different. I also think she ended with some hope which is a little unlike her writing, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I read this pretty slowly so I could savor everything and really take in the last of my favorite series. I thought she ended it perfectly and am completely and utterly happy with this final installment.
I am always looking for a good read so if you come across one you think I need to read, I would love to hear about it! Did you read any of these on the list? What did you think? I'm excited to see what the next year of books will entail. Happy reading!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Christmas in a few pictures

Christmas was very relaxing this year (it usually is). The kids had a great time opening presents and an even greater time playing with said gifts. Although the windows look dark in the pictures the sun was well up by the time they got up. This year Blake was really into Santa, so we had to have a few talks about Santa. One of our endless discussions was that Santa brings one present and fills your stocking with candy. He was convinced that all the presents under the tree were from Santa, um no, I did not go through the crowds just for Santa to get all the credit. In the end he was excited that Santa visited, ate his cookies, drank his soda and left him and Kalli a present. Blake with his loot. He was very diplomatic and played with all his toys equally. Joe got Blake the 1700+ mega blocks set that literally he worked on all day (he had three more to build at 11 that night that he just left for the next day). It was really fun shopping for Kalli this year because as long as it's girly or princess she'll love it! Her little chest of dress up clothes was a huge hit. She had already done four costume changes in a very short time. Her kitchen was a huge hit this year also. She loves playing in it. Oddly enough, her favorite part of playing in the kitchen is washing her hands. She also asks us to go wash our hands. I'm not quite sure where she gets this stuff. I should have gotten a picture at the beginning of this project. This was the result of the 1700+ mega blocks set. It was a construction set that he put together for Blake. At least his work has been appreciated, Blake loves the new set.
It was nice to spend a quiet relaxing day with the family enjoying being together and playing together. We hope you each had a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas with Love!

We wish you each a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving in Utah

This year we decided to spend Thanksgiving in Utah with Joe's family. We had a great time even though we all got sick. Here is a little of what happened.
Kalli and Blake loved the snow. Kalli only got to go out one day because Blake used the snow boots all the other days. I wish I had gotten a picture of Blake in the snow but nonetheless he loved it. He went out every day multiple times a day. His favorite snow companions were his cousins and his little buddy Maestro. We had a bunch of cousin time! Blake loved having the big kids to hang around. That little girl on the end talked him into dressing as a princess a couple times. I think she may have a future as a public leader =) Kalli sitting nicely ready to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Little turkey didn't eat any of her dinner though, stinker! Uncle Ryan doing the carving. There were 30 people all together which meant a lot of food! And oh was it yummy! The adults sitting and eating. I'm not sure when we will go out of town for Thanksgiving again but it was a fun occasion to be around family and enjoy each other's company.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another one down....

We finally bit the dust and decided to get our painting done in our kitchen. It was a two day process. We did one big wall on a Saturday night and then the next week finished up all the other walls on a Friday night. We love it and it just makes it so much more homey!
Our next project to paint is the kids' rooms. I already know what I'm doing in the girls' room but Joe still needs to decide what to do in Blake's room. Hopefully that will be done sometime in January!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Woodworking man...

Awhile back I did a post on a beautiful picnic table that Joe built for our kids off of a great website called Since then I have shown Joe a lot of projects I want him to work on. Because of this, Joe said he needed a work bench before he could complete any more projects. I agreed if that meant I got to have my projects completed. So here is his new workbench in our garage.
Beginning stages. Here is the finished product. He did a great job and now he can start on my projects. You can see Kalli's new bed in the making, her headboard and footboard. I am so excited for that project to be completed! It's going to look so great! Joe is doing such a great job! And because Joe had some extra wood I found a project for us both to work on. He cut the blocks and sanded them for me. I painted them, mod podged scrapbook paper and added vinyl I cut. I think it's so cute and it only cost us a few dollars! I love when we work together.
I can't wait to show you the finished product of Kalli's big girl bed. It's going to be awesome!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This year I took exactly 4 photos of my kids on Halloween... that's it. They all look identical to this one. Happy Halloween a couple days late from spiderman and a cute little puppy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carving Pumpkins

Blake (and me) had been dying to carve pumpkins this season. Since Joe's parents were going to be in town we decided we should carve with them. Blake was so excited as were Scott and Paula =)
Blake and Kalli were so excited with their pumpkins. Blake helped pick out the pumpkins and I think we got some great picks! He even tried to carry them for me but alas they were too big. All of us at work! Joe got to work on Blake's and his own. We call him the master carver( or maybe I just do) Kalli picked out a kitty to do. This is us with our finished product. They had so much fun with this activity. Our finished products. Blake has the alien (that we also think resembles our little unborn girl's ultrasound pics), Paula and Scott did the skull pumpkin, Kalli and mine was the kitty and Joe did a cute face.
We had so much fun doing this, plus this year we moved the carving inside which was infinitely more comfortable!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We found out this morning that Blake and Kalli will be getting a baby sister. We're so excited. Blake was stuck on having a boy but I think in time he'll warm up to the idea. Initially when we told Blake we were having another baby he told us it was going to be a girl, so I guess he knew from the beginning.
We're also excited because we get one more ultrasound at 32 weeks just to make sure her head looks good, since we want to be prepared in case she has the same condition as Kalli. Plus the ultrasound will be 3d, we've never had that done.
All in all, we would have been happy with either a boy or girl but we're so excited to welcome another little girl into the family. As my mother in law said, soon the granddaughters will outnumber the grandsons! Who knew that would happen?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On Tuesday morning, bright and early, we are finding out what gender we will be having. We want to know what you think it might be! Vote in our poll and we'll see who was right!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Terrific Two Year Old

We celebrated Kalli's 2nd birthday on Saturday. We had so much going on that day that our only goal was to make her feel special, we think we succeeded.
Kalli started by opening her presents. She didn't care about unwrapping them, just getting the present. So Blake got to open them for her and she got to play with them. It was a good system they had going. Kalli received a lot of princess stuff, pink stuff and baby stuff. Kalli is ALL girl. She has grown up in a house with no princesses or really anything pink and yet she is obsessed with these things. I'm pretty sure it's been hardwired into her brain. We decided to give into her girliness. Kalli enjoying her birthday doughnut. I must say that I love this tradition! Blowing out her birthday cupcake.
Although Kalli can be quite dramatic she is such a sweet girl. She loves to give hugs and loves and is pretty friendly. Now that she's getting older, Blake and Kalli enjoy playing together. It's hard to believe that it's already been two years and in other respects it feels like she's been in our family forever. We just love our little stinker bug!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where are all the balloons?

This year we set out again for another year of the ABQ balloon fiesta's glowdeo. Unfortunately it was a little too windy so they couldn't blow up the balloons. We decided to stay since they were still going to do the fireworks show and we didn't have time during the rest of the week to go back. The kids still had fun running around, eating and watching the fireworks. We stuffed our faces with hotdogs, fries, funnel cake and cotton candy. The fireworks are amazing every year, I've never seen a better fireworks show ever! Hopefully next year we'll get to see the balloons up close and personal.
No balloons but we're still happy! Every year they have a Darth Vader balloon. Even though they didn't blow it up, the storm troupers still came out. Blake was so scared of them but Kalli was willing to go right up and take a picture. I give her another year before she's frightened too. Enjoying the yummy food and waiting for those fireworks to start.
In all honesty, we still had such a great time even though there weren't any balloons. I guess it's what you take out of each situation. If you've never been to the ABQ balloon fiesta, you need to go! Plus, you can always stay with us!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Growing by two feet

We are excited to finally announce that we'll be adding two cute little feet to our family in March. We'll just say the middle of March as my doctor, ultrasound tech and I all have different dates. We are super excited. Blake is telling me he wants it to be a girl and name her Allissa, not sure where he got that from. Kalli keeps pointing to the pictures and saying "baby". So needless to say we are all very excited!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We need your help again...

Once again we are looking to paint another room. And once again we can't decide so we're bringing the issue to you all! This will be in our kitchen which has a warm tone. Please, let us know what you think.
Here are all five of your choices. Please take into account the drapes that are next to the paint, they need to live cohesively together. Here are all of the paint samples except for #5 under our cabinets and you can catch a glimpse of our counters.
Please let us know what you think looks best. Thanks! (This is greatly appreciated!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Some of our favorites...

We recently took some family pictures since it's been over a year. Our family is so young that even a few months shows a great difference. We loved how they turned out. Here are some of our favorite pictures.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

We are celebrating our 6th anniversary today. Joe surprised me with this picture last night. It is incredibly gorgeous and totally unexpected! After 6 years he has learned a thing or two!
Six years ago I'm sure we would never had guessed where and what we would be doing. But I don't think we would have known we would be this happy with our lives. I feel eternally blessed that I married my best friend and the person I turn to first. Here's to many more years of wedded bliss!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A little sneak peak at what we were up to yesterday...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Whooping Good Time!

On Friday we had Blake's birthday party. We invited some of his closest friends to play in his pool and generally have a good time. We pretty much locked the kids outside and the adults enjoyed our time inside childless. Blake is pretty funny to watch open presents. He got excited about every present and jumped up and down in excitement. It was fun to watch. He also got to pick out his own cake and was so excited to have a Transformers cake. He made out with great presents that he loves more than anything. In fact, all the new presents he received he takes back and forth in the house and sleeps with them every night.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Celebrating the big 4!

Well today is the long anticipated (by Blake) day of Blake's birthday. He has been asking when his birthday is everyday for at least six months. I sure hope it lives up to all the excitement he has for this day. Although Blake has been quite trying at times he sure has become a great little boy. He's pretty thoughtful and loving but still extremely active. We sure do love this boy.
Fresh out of the oven. One year old. Celebrating his 2nd birthday. And I thought he was big then! Celebrating 3! And now he is 4! Yesterday I asked him a few questions so that I knew him better here were his answers:
Favorite color: yellow (this was a bit of a surprise)
Favorite food: mac and cheese
Favorite movie: Transformers (I think this one is in theory)
Favorite TV show: Phineas and Ferb
Favorite thing to do: Play outside
Favorite church song: I Am A Child of God
Blake got extra lucky this year as his birthday falls on Thursday, he gets to celebrate Thursday and Friday. We'll have a lot to live up to next year. Happy birthday our bubba boy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our 3rd of July festivities

Since we have such a great view of our city's fireworks, we decided it was necessary to have a party at our house. We invited four other families over to eat, launch fireworks and watch the city fireworks from our backyard. It was so fun getting to know new families and hang with old ones (that is not a jab at your age Heather =). The kids just loved running around with each other and incidentally we had no fights, that may just be a miracle! The food was delicious! The kids loved the fireworks we did ourselves and the adults loved the city fireworks!
The kids sitting in the front yard watching our own fireworks. They kept yelling "fire"! What are we teaching these kids? Blake and mommy. He barely came close to us the whole night as he was having too much fun with his friends. And this is what Kalli did all night. Kissing her little boy toy. In actuality I think he was kissing her and she was just putting up with it. Oh, and she was also giving hugs to her friend Anna. She just loves Anna! Can you see how enthralled they are with the city fireworks?
We had such a great night, can't wait to do it next year.
Cutest story of the night. We were getting ready to eat and told the kids we would be saying prayer. We could hear them outside at the table arguing about who got to say the prayer. In the end each of the kids got to say a prayer. It took a long time but eventually everyone go their turn. At least we know we're teaching them right.