12 December 2015

December 2014

Ever since Camille was an infant and had RSV she wheezes when she gets a bad cold.  By now she's an old pro at the nebulizer.  Unfortunately, Cecil is a wheezer too.  Good thing big sister can help him feel better about having to use the breathing machine. Same big ol' brown eyes and same wheezy lungs.

I really love all the festive, fun, and spiritual activities there are to do around this time of the year.  I took the kids to Burnet again this year for "A Walk Through Bethlehem".  Although super crowded, it is so amazing.  A church puts it on a couple weekends in December and basically acts as though its the time of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem.  There is candle making, weaving, soilders, a tavern, etc. etc.  At the very end, you follow a star and see the baby Jesus.  It's so cool and isn't lost on the girls.
This is how Cecil feels about three hour church.  I can't say I feel much better than him.
I was surprised to get all four of them in a picture with Santa at the ward party.  I can't imagine this happening every year.

The YMCA puts on a great Christmas party the Saturday before Christmas.  This is on the horse-drawn sleigh pulled by Clydesdale's.  It was really cool.

My two favorites Sunday's every year is Easter and Christmas. This year, the boys were under the weather, so me and the girls got prettied up and went alone.
It was a really special Christmas this year.  We traveled to Arizona to spend it at the Cabin with the Taylor's.  Here's all the cousins with Grandma Nettie and Papa.  I really miss being near all these people. The cabin is so special and I wish my children could have more experiences there.

On Christmas Eve we had a small nativity play, sang a few songs and enjoyed the company.
It was super cold outside and only flurried a little, but it didn't stop anyone from hiking around, playing on the rope swing,

or spending a lot of time in my favorite spot, the porch swing.

The day after Christmas we all hurried off the mountain to ready for Jillian's baptism that was to be held that weekend.  I really can't believe that she's at this point.  I feel so grateful to have been surrounded by the Taylor family and some Peterson's too. It was such a wonderful day.  She got baptized in a dress from our wonderful friends the Rattray's.  Their daughter Allie took her first communion in this dress.  I just really love it.

Here's the crowd that came.  The energy and spirit was so wonderful.  Jillian's dress after the water was my baptism dress from when I was 8.  I love seeing her in it and she really really loves it, especially the "poofy sleeves", which makes me smile.  I was trying to alter the dress and give it cap sleeves and no collar but she just really loved it as is, so I left it.  I'm happy I did.
I had everyone write a thought or testimony on index cards for Jillian to come back to and read throughout her life. They were all so wonderful and Jillian really treasures them. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful families.

Speaking of hand-me-downs, here's an outfit that Jeanette made for a 3 year old Jeffrey.  Now it fits my little Coco.  Isn't it so adorable?

One of the day's before we left, we hiked the 'Hole in the Mountain' in Phoenix.  It's a simple and short walk to the top, but has great views.  I don't really miss living in Arizona.  I just really miss the people there.

There's a pretty cool view of the city through the hole.

The day before New Years Eve we departed AZ and headed to Sonora TX to ring in the new year with some of Jeff's friends.  A huge snow/ice storm decided to follow us and the trip was treacherous and actually pretty scary.  When we made it to the ranch house all was froze over, even the animals.  We had a cold, but fun New Year's.  

25 November 2015

November 2014

Big, big news this November.  Coco is fully potty trained. He loves wearing big boy undies and I love that I only have one in diapers now.
Jillian's class had a Thanksgiving presentation in class.  Jill was a pilgrim girl and looked adorable.

The girls have a whole week off for Thanksgiving break.  It's so wonderful.  Jeff had to stay and work all week, so me and the kids made the drive out to Houston to visit Jeff and Nettie's family.  I feel so lucky to have them only 3.5 hrs away but really wish that we got together more.  Our kids get along great and I still look up to my brothers for advice and raising good kids.  While we were there we visited the Houston Zoo. 

The carousel ride is always a big hit when we see one.   

We had a quiet Thanksgiving dinner with some friends that I didn't get any pictures of :(
That weekend Jeff's high school alma mater played in a play-off game in the Baylor stadium, so naturally we all made the trek up to watch the game.
The last week of November we were out shopping and saw who we all thought was the "real" Santa.  Pretty convincing if you ask me.

13 April 2015

September 2014

Jeff's best friend Nate got married in Utah in September.  We decided to take the whole family. Traveling is super crazy with all the children but they did so well. 

The day before the wedding, we got to take the kids to the mountains for a family and friends luncheon.  They had all sorts of activities including human bumper soccer and lots of minute to win it games.  It was so wonderful to be in the mountains again. They call for me 

The next morning was the sealing in the Salt Lake Temple.  My parents had the kids so Jeff and I could attend.  Late the night before, Jeff realized that he had forgotten our recommends and after texting and calling our bishop with no response we headed up there in the morning on faith. By the time we arrived our bishop had spoken with the temple and we were in!  The sealing was perfect! 
After all the hoopla was done we snuck away to have lunch with Amy and George at the JS Memorial Building then back to the temple to do our first live session.  It was really interesting to do a live session. I mostly loved to see the temple and all the intricate carvings, paintings etc.  While in the Celestial Room we asked an usher to give us a little tour.  He showed us a room where Pres Hunter lived and then showed us the back of a stained-glass window into the Holy of Holys.  It was awesome. 

The reception was held that evening at Nate's uncle's home in Provo.  It was absolutely beautiful (pics lost).  There was a sweet video, good food, and dancing. To top off the night the wedding party jumped into the pool in their clothing while fireworks went off.  It was great!

The next day we got to go on a hike with my parents.  It was perfect weather and a perfect little hike for the kids. 

While in Utah we got in some good cousin time of-course.  I love that my kids are all pretty much the same ages as Brett's.  It's makes it more fun.

I also got to hang-out with Monica which is always a hi-light.  We tried to take several selfies and none of them were very flattering.  It was hilarious. 

Once we got back to Texas the party didn't end.  We went to an Express game and enjoyed the fireworks after the game. 

BYU came and played UT so naturally I had some brothers come into town and Zack Taylor came too.  Even though it was too hot, I think we all had a great time.  Jeff threw his first large tailgate before the game.  Not sure if he'll ever do it again. It was A LOT of work.  My brothers had to leave the very next day. I was bummed I couldn't show them around ATX.

As per usual, my milk supply is decreasing rapidly.  I have started supplementing at nights to help Cecil's tummy get full.  Also, he started really crawling and loving his new found freedom. 

Extra August 2014

I found a few more pictures from August...this fiasco with my pictures has me really reeling. 
Here is cute little Coco boy at the library looking at a Backyardigains book. I have LOVED these characters since Jillian was a baby, and all of my children really loved them too. In-fact Jill will still sit and watch the shows with her younger siblings. 

Camille had her hi-light class for gymnastics in August. This was her last class as she wants to try out ballet. She has really become quite athletic and strong through gymnastics.  I think she's overshadowed sometimes by Jillian. Camille is just as athletic and coordinated and strong as Jillian was at this age but best of all Camille has an attitude to match.  She is always happy, bubbly, funny, and brings a smile to everyone's face.  She is not competitive though while Jillian is.  I just love to see the differences in all my children but I hope that Camille can learn to be a little more competitive.  

Camille is super quick down the runway too. May-be she'll be a great jumper in Track and Field. :)

Cecil got his first tooth in August. He smiled all the way through it. He's just such a happy baby.

10 March 2015

August 2014

August has always been one of my favorite months. It's my birthday month, so of-course I think that's important. I also have always equated July and August with vacations.  The summertime heat draws me to the water and beach. Then at the end of the month, the excitement of a new school year, new friends, and new experiences has always appealed to me. August 2014 was all of these things and more. 

(Unfortunate side note: I've lost my pictures from Aug-Oct 2014. A hard drive I placed them on was corrupt and now all my pictures are all gone. The pics in the following few posts will be from my Instagram account and Jeff's phone. While my devastated that I've lost all those pictures, I'm so thankful for the ones I have.)

Jeff's brother Ross was coming home from his mission in August. I had not planned on going to Aizona to see him, as we were going for Christmas. However, I have been itching to get to the beach with the kids all summer. Also, the girls have never been to Disney and I wanted to take them before they were too old for the 'magic' of it all. At the last minute, and with Jeff's aunt Becky very sick in the hospital in AZ, we decided to take the family.  We weren't sure if this would be our final good-bye with Becky, so we left a week early to see her and go to California.  

A day before our trip Cecil and Jill came down sick. I packed all the children's tylenol and motrin I had and we started our drive. By the time we made it to AZ Becky had had a stroke, brain surgery and  was heavily sedated and intubated.  We tearfully said, what we thought were our good-byes and then hit the road again to California.  Becky pulled through her ordeal and later mentioned seeing my deceased Grandma Pete (whom she'd never met) by my side and playing with my children in her hospital room while still sedated.  Becky was also able to recall conversations that other family members had and things the doctors did and said while she was unresponsive.  I shared this with my dad and a few of his siblings. We were all very touched and comforted, knowing that those we love that have passed aren't really so far away.

When we finally made it to California we all couldn't wait to hit the beach.  Even through fevers, pink-eye, and a bad cold we all had a great time. Coco mostly played with the sand, Camille searched for seashells, Jillian tested limits with the water, Jeff and his buddies went spearfishing, and Cecil and I lounged on the shore. We were able to go to a private beach called Three Arches. It was spectacular. (All the pics of the arches, and scenery are lost).  

Me and the girls ventured pasted the arches to find this beautiful little cove.

Coco would only go near the water if he was being held.  He still does a 'mini-seizure' when he's excited., and you can see it in this picture. His arms extend and flex while his fingers wiggle.  I'd say it an appropriate response to such a beautiful place and prefect wave. 

The girls attempted boogie boarding and had a blast. Jillian caught on quickly and really enjoyed it.  Camille was loving it until she had a big wipe-out...then she was done. 

The next day was our Disney day.  Coco woke up with a fever and pink eye. Since all the rest of the kids were battling pink eye (all of them were on antibiotics by this time) and we had drove this far, we pushed through. I was determined to make some memories with my girls at Disney. Here we are on the tram to the park. This picture just kills me with all the kids and their swollen eyes.   

Brandon came with us to help with all the kids.  He would run and get us fast-passes and then once we got to the front of the line, we'd get a stroller-pass.  This way we weren't waiting too long for any ride and the girls got to ride the big ones twice.  We all really loved Peter Pan. The girls favorite was Space Mountain.  Coco ended up being pretty grumpy all day but I'd say it was worth it. Look at that smile. 

We'll definitely go again when the boys are a little older and hopefully we'll all be healthy.

These faces don't lie; Disney is the happiest place on earth.

We actually missed the big parade but caught the tail-end, which was the most important part anyway. 

We stayed until the bitter end.  All the boys were checked out but me and the girls were ready for more after the fireworks show.  We left the boys falling asleep on the sidewalk as we ran to Indiana Jones.  It was a great day.

On Sunday after church we went to the San Clemente Beach trail and pier. 

There was a swing-set on the beach that was just perfect for my four as the sun set in-front of us. 

Of-course our last day in Cali was spent at the beach again. We were all a little worn-out but had to squeeze every last moment we had out of our big trip. 

The next day we drove to AZ and meet Ross at the airport.  (I am sickened that this pictures with the Taylor family are among the lost).  It was a happy a tearful reunion.  He looked amazing and was really glowing. 

Jeff was able to go with Ross and his parents to a session in the new Gilbert AZ temple.  It is such a beautiful building. 

The homecoming that Sunday was great.  All the Taylor girl cousins sang and Ross gave a wonderful talk. After the program we got to visit with Jeff's extended family. It was such a wonderful day.  After all the activities, it was time to head back to TX. 
Of-course we had to stop at Sandy's ranch for a potty break and to feed the goats. It was a long and successful trip, even with four sick kids. 

Not two weeks later Jeff was off to Cabo, Mexico for a bachelor's party for his best friend Nate.  He had a trip to remember. 

They golfed at a breathtaking resort.

They were basically staying steps from the beach. 

To finish off his trip they caught a huge 500-600+ lbs blue marlin. 

They cut him up and some of the guys took the meat home.  I think we'll have marlin meat in our freezer for years to come.

While Jeff was gone the girls started the new school year.  Camille started 1st grade with Ms. Schrott, whom I just love as a teacher, and Jillian started 2nd grade with Ms. Sweet. 

Here they are on the first day of school.  Such sweet, perfect sisters.  Goodbye, summer. 

I also had my 32nd birthday in August but those pictures were also lost. We went out to Olive Garden as a family to use a gift card I had and I think I did some on-line shopping.  Pathetic sounding, but it was all I wanted and needed.  Side-note: I'll probably never eat at OG again.