Friday, January 22, 2010

Kaiden's Lucky #7 Birthday 12-17-09

We can't even believe it, but the first grandchild & nephew of our family turned 7 this year. It is so hard to believe that he is already that old. It really does seem like just a couple of years ago he was born.

Kaiden had a very fun, early birthday party out at our family cabin at Lake Mead on December 11-12, 2009. My dad and I made a special trip out to the lake early on a Friday afternoon so that we could get the cabin warm with a nice fire and all decorated with the decorations that were left to me by Heidi. We got out to the lake with plenty of time to get all ready for the kids and parents who were going to be staying the night for the birthday slumber party. We only had one little problem...a lock and no key! This put a little delay on our plans, but thankfully my dad was able to break his way in. You can only ever do this if you are the son of the owner of the cabin, and if you are fully capable of fixing what you break. If anyone else ever attempted to do the same, there would be some serious trouble! Once my dad was able to break in, I made the climb into the cabin and quickly unlocked the trouble lock! We got to starting a fire and I quickly started to set up the decorations. We got everything all ready in plenty of time. All the party animals arrived at around 7pm. It was a wonderful time. The kids roasted marshmallows, played, and had cake. The cabin was packed wall to wall with sleeping bags and kids. When it was time for lights out, I think that the kids were actually ready. It was a pretty fun time. I think that this birthday will go down as one of his favorite birthdays ever! It would be mine! After all the guests left in the morning, Mike, Maddie, and my mom came out to celebrate the day with us- as a family, too. Maddie had been feeling under the weather, so Daddy stayed at home with her so that she didn't ruin the sleep over. Kaiden and Maddie had fun playing together all day Saturday. We BBQ'd, had some cake, and watched some movies due to some rain and cold weather. Then we packed everything up and headed home that evening. All in all, it was a perfect way to have a birthday.

Thanksgiving at our new home

We were very excited to host Thanksgiving dinner for my family at our new home this year. We were still unpacking boxes and the Formal living room was still full of boxes, but we had a wonderful dinner. It was so nice to have my dad, mom, sisters: Heidi and Alaina, and my nephew Kaiden over to celebrate with Mike, Madilyn and me! The only smart move we made when moving into this new home was to move the kitchen in before we officially moved the rest of the house in. It was a life saver. It really made the house feel like a home just to have the kitchen all in place and ready to go. The 12 hours I spent cleaning the house and cleaning carpets and floors really helped, too. The house was in AWESOME like brand new condition and is only 4 years old, but I have to make sure that everything is CLEAN! This Thanksgiving was one of the best holidays my family has spent together in a long time. It was low stress, easy, and very well planned. Thank you to everyone for doing their part and just enjoying the day being a family. We couldn't have asked for more! We felt very thankful for all our blessings today! Cousin Time watching a movie!

Eating some olives! Mmmmm!

How can you resist this little face?

You better finish before I take your plate away. I am the crazy plate lady, you know!
Gotta clean up fast after dinner!

What a sweet little pose.

Some of the dinner delights from Turkey day!

Master Chef Mike at the Turkey!

The after turkey official nap.

November 7, 2009 Moving Day

After some hard decisions and some challenging roads coming up in the road, our family made the decision to move into a new home. We were very fortunate in our situation and we were able to buy another home to help our family during some tough times. We moved from our first house that we called home, the first place Mike and I called home after getting married, the first home to new jobs, new landscaping, hard work, and the very first place we brought our little Maddie home to and into a newer, larger home. It was an emotional move, but a necessary step for our family. We will always miss our backyard. Mike and I spent a lot of time creating our backyard into a tropical retreat. It was perfect for us and we hated to leave it! We found a beautiful newer home for us to continue expanding our family in...out in Anthem. This home is much more spacious, open, and has plenty of room to grow in. It is a true blessing! We are so grateful for our chance to be able to move into a home so nice and big. It didn't take long for this house to feel like home. With Mike at home we were able to get settled into this home fast! We had most of the boxes unpacked, put away, shelves up, ceiling fans up, and wall decor in place in 6 weeks! We even had the home all decked out inside and out for Christmas! We worked hard to have the home ready in time for the holidays and we did it! It is no wonder that by January we were exhausted!

My little coupon helper

October 31, 2009
Madilyn is my newest little coupon helper. She likes to watch Mommy create the shopping list and cut out the coupons! That's my little girl! It has become a new obsession of mine, as well as some of my friends, too. We research the website for all the grocery sales that week and match them up with all the coupons from the mail, newspaper, and on-line and try to see how much we can save. I like to see how much MORE food we can get for the same amount of money! It has been a fun little obsession and now I am starting another generation of bargain hunting, too. You can never start too young!

Grandma's Spa-tacular Show

In the middle of October, my Aunt Dianne decided that my Grandma needed some pampering, so she brought over her foot spa to do a pedicure on my Grandma's cute little feet. It was quite the show because many of our family members were stopping by throughout the day to come and visit Grandpa during his last days. It was quite the sight to see all the little Great-grand kids gathered around this spa treatment. The little ones were very curious as to what was happening to Grandma's feet. Between all the tools, the foot spa water & bubbles, and the pretty nail polish colors, it was very exciting for all the little eyes! I don't think my Grandma ever thought that this would be so entertaining. It was a fun moment in time. It brought some cheer to the house during a gloomy time. I like Madilyn and Owen's reaction the most. They are VERY curious with all this excitement. Gotta love the little ones!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Halloween 2009

On October 21, 2009, we got together with a Mom's group that I will be joining with a great friend of mine, Holly. She hosted the Mom's Club Halloween party at her home and it was fabulous. She decorated so cute and had fun activities for all the little ones to enjoy. The wind gave us some trouble, but what do you expect when you live in a desert. It was fun to meet other moms and to run into an old, dear friend of mine from middle school, Heather J. What a small world. Maddie enjoyed watching the other kids, but she mostly played outside by herself. She still only considers "kids" to be her cousin, Kaiden. We are working on it. She is such an independent little one. We had a great day, great people, great Halloween themed food, great visits with old friends, and plenty of treats for Maddie. It made for an exhausting day and a long nap on the way home. All in all a great outing!

Halloween was a hard time for our family this year due to Grandpa's passing so close to the holiday. We all put on our smiles and went Trick or Treating at Town Square. Grandpa wouldn't have wanted us to miss it. The kids had a blast and the adults had a fun time seeing all the fun costumes.

Daddy wanted Madilyn to be a Penn State cheerleader last year and I told him he could have his pick on her second Halloween, so you can guess what she was this year! Ta-da...a Penn State cheerleader. She looked so adorable in the little outfit and it only cost $19.99 at A great deal and SUPER cute! Daddy was soooo excited to see his little Maddie Doodle in the outift. The best part is that she can wear it each Saturday for all the Penn State games. Daddy needs his little cheerleader to cheer on the team for good luck. Last season, the only game they lost was the one game she didn't watch with him. He thinks he has a good luck charm, now!

October 2009

Now that the holidays have passed, I feel like I have a minute to actually sit down and add some updates. We have had a very busy end to 2009. My Grandpa Bill Clark was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer on Sept. 17, 2009. After much long, hard work and interviewing, scanning and cousin and I were able to finish his Life Book that I had started in October of 2008. We finished the book and ordered it the second week in October 2009. It arrived on Oct. 23rd and we gathered as much of the family together as possible to see Grandpa read his life story PUBLISHED! It was an amazing day for me to be able to see my hard work and determination pay off. He was already too sick to do much other than sleep, eat, and hold a small conversation, but I know that he loved his book. He was too weak to read the whole book on that day, but Madilyn and I came over that Friday and went through the entire book as we all snuggled with him in his bed! It was a moment that I will never forget and a time that brings tears to my eyes each time I reflect on it. These are the moments that make me so thankful to be a Heritage Maker and keeper for my family. After a short battle with his cancers, he passed away that week on October 29, 2009, leaving behind his wife, Iona, his 4 children, 10 grandchildren, 22 great-grand children and 1 great-great grandson. He was a man of very little words and lots of opinions, unless you talked about reading, politics, or WWII. He was a pilot, a handyman and an important part of our family. I will miss having him over for dinner and all the wonderful moments he cherished playing with Madilyn. His death was a hard one for me, but I am thankful that I have captured his life story for all to read. I am excited to have a piece of him in our home, so that his little Sweetheart Madilyn will always remember him, too.