Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sledding with the Schipaanboord's

We had a great time on Christmas Eve, sledding at Sugarhouse Park. It was warmer weather when we got there and we took off our hats and gloves. Within 30 minutes though, a storm came in and we were all freezing. It was fun though. Jan made chili and also brought hot chocolate and doughnuts. By the end we were all shivering, except Ben. He was wondering why we were all wanting to leave. He was sad when we finally pulled him away from the hill. Also, it was a monumental day for Josh. Jake took him down with him... TWICE, against my wishes. Josh seemed to enjoy it, or at least tolerate it. We loved being together with family.

I have more pics to post, but my parents are in town for the holidays and then we are heading to Vegas for my brother's wedding, so I'll wait to post again until I have pics from their visit and our trip. We hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Optimus Prime... or IS it??

Today was Ben's transformer birthday party (he's turning 5 on the 16th) and I would say overall it was a success. Besides Ben's bloody nose (smacked his face on the floor when he was running around excited that everyone was here) and the furnace not working (the pilot light won't stay lit so it's getting fixed tomorrow), everything else went great. We had 14 of Ben's friends and their siblings here and it was wonderful to have them all come. Ben was so excited to take the kids on a tour of the house, since these were really our first official kid visitors since we have moved in. We played pin the face on optimus prime, decorated Ben as a transformer, and had a pull-string pinata in the garage. Ben was definitely the star today, which didn't bode well for Emma. I kept reminding her she would get presents for Christmas and her birthday was only in 3 months, but that still didn't make her feel better. It was hard seeing her brother get attention and gifts, but after everyone left, she calmed down and had fun playing with all Ben's new toys (with his permission, of course!) I love the picture of Ben blowing out the candle and Emma blowing too. I'm sure she will have a hay day being the "princess" on her birthday in March. Anyway, thanks to all our wonderful friends who came and made this day great. We love you guys!

PS No one took any cupcakes or pizza like I asked. Now I have 2 pizzas in our fridge and about 15 cupcakes that we do not need sitting on my kitchen counter! :)

I'm an AUNT... again! :)

My best friend, Naomi, had her first baby today, December 12, 2007. Hayden David Nicholes was born at 10:17am and weighed 9 lbs. and was 21 3/4". (I LOVE his hair!)

It made me teary-eyed, reading Jeremy's e-mail announcing the birth of their son. Naomi is a sister to me and we have been friends for about 15 years. They tried for awhile to get pregnant and I was so excited when she told me she was due only a few weeks after me, in August, and then she miscarried last Christmas. Thankfully though, she now has her little Hayden and her and the baby seem to be doing well. I still haven't talked to her yet, but will call tomorrow once she has had some time to rest (she went through 30 hours of labor!) I love you, Nom, and I couldn't be happier for you guys. I just wish I could be there in person to give you, Jeremy, and Hayden my love. Congrats, you guys! All my love, Jamie

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Nostalgic Times

As I videotaped the kids and Jake decorating the Christmas tree, I was hit with immense feelings of nostalgia. I love this time of year for many reasons and it brings back memories of my childhood. I loved watching Ben and Emma get so excited, pulling out each individual ornament and plotting the perfect spot for it on the tree. One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time, a favorite since I was a teenager, is to come downstairs during the middle of the night, sit on the couch w/a fire going, all bundled up and just look at the Christmas tree lit up. It's so relaxing and calming. I'm looking forward to doing that very thing many times over the next couple weeks.

I love that Jake and I are developing our own family memories and hopefully they will become meaningful to our children, like our childhood memories have become to us. You really see the "magic" happen when you look into your little kids' eyes and see their excitement. Okay, enough cheese. :)

PS Take a look at the last pic. Yes, we got dumped on... AGAIN! I'm happy to report though, our Honda Odyssey made it just fine during the snowstorm. We went to our Ward Christmas Breakfast this morning at 8am and had to plow our own parking spot with the front of our car. It was quite the experience. Jake was nice enough to get our Christmas tree right after the breakfast, even though it was still snowing. He shoved the tree in the back of our van and put it up in our living room while it was still wet (hoping it would dry faster than in the garage, so we could decorate it soon.) As we put it in the stand, I held it straight as he tightened. I looked at the tree after he was done and noticed it wasn't straight (this happened four times), then I finally was okay with how it looked (even though it's still a tiny bit "off.") To say the least, Jake was not happy I made him get down on his hands and knees that many times with the melting snow dripping on him, just to move the tree a few inches. Sorry, babe. That's what you get for marrying someone with anal tendencies. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Grammy's Birthday Party

It was my Grammy's birthday yesterday. I'm not sure if she wants me broadcasting her age on the internet, so I won't, but let's just say she is still very young! We went to my Aunt Teresa and Uncle Kristen's house for a little party. It was fun to chat with everyone, eat ice cream and Texas sheet cake made from scratch (yum! Thanks, Teresa), and watch Grammy open her presents. This was the first time I can remember spending Grammy's birthday together with her. I feel very lucky to be living so close to my grandparents, especially now that I have my own kids and they can develop a close relationship with their great-grandparents. All growing up they lived in southern California and we lived in Oregon, so we didn't see them much. Plus, they served in Guatemala for 3 years as Temple President and Matron, served in Chile for 1 1/2 years, in Ecuador as Mission President for 3 years, and in Colombia helping with the Perpetual Education Fund for over a year and came home because of health reasons. Anyway, they have been out of the country for almost 10 years, off and on, and although we know they were doing what the Lord wanted them to do, it was still hard for us and them to miss out on so much with the grandkids and great-grandkids. Hopefully they are here to stay now, barely 20 minutes from our house! I love them both so much. I have always felt a special closeness with my Grammy. Maybe it's because I'm her oldest granddaughter. Who knows. I'm just very grateful for them and their examples. Happy 29th Birthday, Grammy!

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Adorable Joshua

It's hard to believe my little guy is four months already. Being the third child, I sometimes refer to him as "the forgotten one," not because I "forget" him but because the older two desire constant attention and Josh many times gets his needs met last. He is such a patient and sweet baby. He melts my heart with his gummy grins and loud squeals and coos. I know I need to document more of him now because he is changing so fast. It's hard to believe that a year from now he will be walking around, playing with his siblings. He really is a joy in our home, just like the rest of our kids.

The first picture is of Josh his first time out in the snow. I bundled him up and then put him in my sling and wrapped my coat around him. He seemed pretty content, even with the cold wind blowing at him. (Don't you love those cheeks! They are so fun to kiss!) The next two are of him and Truman getting some alone time, which rarely happens because the kids like to huddle around Josh and protect him. The last two were taken after Truman left. Josh is definitely my sweet little guy!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Kids' Rooms (UPDATED)

Jake's mom came over and helped me finish up the kids' rooms today. What do you think? When Jake saw the first coat of pink in Emma's room he said "My retinas are burning." He says it's fine now, just too much pink, but what do you expect with a 2 1/2 year old who LOVES pink?! After we were all finished, Emma came in and said "Mom, I LOOOOVVVE my room. It's pink." That was all I needed to hear to make the day worth it. I'm excited to really start decorating it. I'm going to put up some white valances. I'm still trying to decide what I want to do with Ben's room. (By the way, I realize the letters above his bed are a bit high but we plan on buying him a headboard and footboard so I tried to compensate for that.) Ben wants to help me decorate his room so I'm betting we are going to have pretty "creative" things going on in there. I'm just excited for them to finally have a space they can love and call their own.

** Update: So, I updated the post with pictures of the kids' rooms with stuff on their walls. I was going to use some cute Sorry-eyed Doll (I think that's what they are called) pictures that Jake's dad had on his wall as a kid for Emma's room, but when we got Michael's to get frames for them, Emma spotted the Princess pictures (50% off right now!) and she had to have them. Of course, this turned into a "Mom, I want something on my wall too" from Ben and he said he wanted a Transformers poster. We headed to Shopko and I'm very glad they had a wide range of kids' posters. Ben was able to pic a transformers poster (1 out of 3 to choose from) and then he wanted a CARS poster. He can't wait to show dad when he gets home from work... neither can I. :)

HUGE snow storm

We woke up this morning and it was snowing, and it kept snowing, and snowing, and snowing. It didn't stop until late this afternoon and we got over a foot of snow. The picture of the house was taken about an hour after it stopped snowing. The others pics were taken yesterday. You can tell there wasn't that much, until today's storm. The kids are excited to play in it! Also, take a good look at the last picture. Yes, we have a flying dog. Truman's new game is jumping over the small hedges in our backyard. He thinks he's a ballet dancer, leaping through the air with such grace.