Playing Catch Up....Wrapping Up September

 September came and went so fast. We struggled to get into the routine of school, homework, lessons and life in general. I got a little behind on our blog because it was a struggle to keep the day to day things up. But since the year is almost over and one of my goals related to our family theme of "I can do Hard Things" is to keep family record, I have to persist! 
So here is a quick catch up.

Claire is loving dance. But honestly the highlight of her Wednesdays is when Grandpa takes her to dance. She loves her grandpa and there is nothing cuter than a girl and her grandpa headed to dance!

In preparation of Talminator's upcoming birthday, we worked really hard on getting him to hold up one finger when you asked him how old he was. He finally got it, but he was a stinker when I tried to get a good picture.

Also Ava started piano lessons at the end of September. She is taking from one of Tyson's friends from high school's wife. She loves it but when she is home she only wants to play "original" songs (her words exactly).

We ended September with some really great sunsets. Nothing like a great sunset to remind me how amazing all God's creations are.

Last but not least, (at least in my husbands opinion) we ended September with our first snowfall in the mountains. This is better than Christmas morning to Tyson.


Claire Starts School


This girl was so excited to start school at Children's Discovery Preschool.  She and I had endured a rough week and a half when Ava started school and she did not.  She is a advocate of everything being "fair" and doesn't let you forget when someone gets to do something that she doesn't. She was so excited that she quickly got ready and barely would eat because she just wanted to leave. During our entire car drive she kept asking me the name of her teacher and we reviewed where she was going to hang her bag (by the picture of the bear--Claire Bear-coincidence or not?).

She came home with a cute first day craft and her first school art work. Of course we had to document it.

The week before school started we had gone to an orientation day. She was disappointed she didn't get to stay when it was time to leave. She loved their toy bike contraption and I think it might actually help us teach her how to ride and pedal on a two wheeler.

She loves her teachers Miss Brooke and Miss Marina and she comes home telling me all about her day. I love watching her talk while she does her little adult-like mannerisms. She really is a mini me but I hope she stays little for a bit longer. Today she showed me how she colored all the "baby a's". So far I am really impressed with her school. I didn't cry on the first day but I did on the third day. It hit me how fast these important years go by. I felt humbled by my opportunity to be her mother and a sense of urgency to arm her appropriately for the future. Good thing she is Heavenly Father's daughter first and foremost and he can help me live up to the task.
Also, I hope she always keeps her excitement for school, her eagerness to learn and her confidence in herself to achieve anything.

Eleven Months Old

The outtakes are getting more and more hilarious. He gets in wild moods and is such a ham for the camera.
The Talminator is 11 months old and getting saucy.  His little personality is coming more and more out.  He is tender and gentle yet stubborn and vocal when he wants something. Here are some things he is doing now.

-He is definitely more active. He is starting to scoot and roll and critically think how he is going to get something that is out of his reach. He has figured out how to get from sitting, to his tummy and then back to sitting. He loves to get in a somersault position and smile at people through his legs.
He is in the early stages of army crawling and often rocks back and forth on his knees. We lowered his bed because we don't want to find out the hard way that he can pull himself up.

-He is finally starting to ear a few solids without gagging and acting like he is choking. He is still a veggie lover and now loves his little yogurt melt treats. He goes berserk when he sees them and lets out a complaining roar when you take to long to put some on his tray. He loves to drink his bottle and fall asleep in this position....the chilax position!

-He is getting more vocal about who he wants to be held by. He often rejects his father and has a tantrum when he doesn't get to be held by his mom. He is so a mommy's boy and for the most part...I am basking in the love. He is cuddly and tender with me. He pats my back and he lays on my shoulder and tries to give me kisses on my cheeks. He is such a sweetheart!

-He loves the tub and loves to splash.  Whoever gets the honor of bathing him also gets the privileged of having a bath themselves..haha!

-He has a new sad forced cry when his feelings get hurt or he is shy or pouting.  He closes his eyes and opens his mouth and lets out a long whine. Then for full dramatic effect he puts both his hands over his eyes and face and bows his head in defeat. 

-He really tries to mimic sounds or even words we say.  He really likes to click his tongue or growl in low animal like voice. He mimics sounds like oh no, or ought oh! We call Ava "A" and sometimes he says it after us. Of course we are going to produce talkers...have you met my husband? He also mimics actions and this is one of his best. Can you tell mommy works too much from home?

-He is starting to defend himself a little. He pulls a little hair and has even tried to push or swat at one little girl in particular. Her name starts with a "C" and she is a big baby lover. She has actually shed a few tears due to his self defense moves.  I guess...let the wrasseling begin.

His scream mask face. This is right before his forced cry

And the Best picture of the night!

His dislike of a beanie could mean he is not going to like, winter, snow, and skiing...shhh don't tell his dad.

He warmed up to the beanie eventually and daddy's reconfirmed daddy's hopes for the future!!

He attracts attention from "the ladies" and he likes it. He is a smiley flirt and enjoys the attention. What can I say?  He is a Charmer!!


These kiddos provide a lot of entertainment.
Here are just a few gems from the last few weeks.

Ava has been talking about her big brother Ben for a little while. She often expresses her dislike of being the oldest and having the most responsibility. The only time she recognized that being the oldest was a good thing, was when Ambria (my great niece) pointed out to her that she will be the first to get a cell phone. Well, Ava decided to create Ben herself and she was really happy to show him off. She made sure he was taller because that signifies (to her) that he is older.

Dress-ups are a constant around here. Today we got the pleasure of having Meredia and Rapunzel in our home.  I didn't think i was every going to get Claire to take off the wig!

We are starting em' young around here. 
Tyson gave Talmage a ski magazine in hopes of starting the brain washing early.
Talmage was captivated...(by the crinkling paper).

The girls love seeing this sight every morning.  They always say we need to rescue the jail bird!

Claire has really matured and often enlightens me with all sorts of 3 year old deep thoughts.
One day last week she was very excited when she noticed that her monkey water bottle was folding his arms "just like Jesus tells us to do". I love how observant she is (except when it is directed at me and any blemish I might have). I hope I can teach her to use that Power of Observation to look for opportunities to serve and help people.

Love my little crew!!



We have had some fun FIRSTS this week.

To start off, Claire had her first dance class at Silhouette Dance Studio. It is a combo ballet/tap class. She has been so excited about it and on the day of she nagged me every 30 minutes about when it was going to start. Of course when she got there she was a little timid, but was happy to have her friend Brooklyn in class with her. Ava's primary teacher is Claire's Dance teacher and that helped Claire come out of her shell. 

Claire loved being in her ballet clothes and even asked to sleep in them that night. I can't wait for her winter recital.

Ava got her first black eye this week, compliments of the same coffee table that gave her her first experience getting stitches. She is 0-2 with that table and I think she should just end that unhealthy relationship. We iced it for a long time, but it progressed to all sorts of shades of blue and purple throughout the day. She is nervous to go back to school and get made fun of. I told her that people will think she is some sort of  undercover/secret ninja and think she is cool. 
I don't think she believed me!

Another 1st was seeing Disney's Tarzan at Hale Center Theater. The last two years I have taken Ava and my mom down to St. George to the Tuacahn to see a show. This year we are traveling to Oregon for my nephew's wedding and so we decided to save some money and do something closer to home. Ava has really loved musical theater and this show did not disappoint. Ava was so smitten with the aerial acrobats and all the fun dancing and animal costumes. She asked me if I would come see all her shows when she gets older and of course my answer was "Yes".  It was a fun girls night. We got some dinner before the show and my mom enjoyed a little bonding time with us. We already know Mary Poppins' is coming next year and we want to go.

The round theater was transformed into a wonderful jungle.

 Ava gets shy getting her picture taken with the cast, but secretly she loves meeting them. These were some of the apes in Tarzan's family group.

This was Tarzan's mom Kala, dad Kerchak and Tarzan's best friend Terk.

And finally Tarzan and Jane. Ava was a little shy that he had no shirt on. She commented a few times that he looked a little naked. He was seriously strong though. He swung around on vines (aerial drapes) and did some amazing tricks.
Can you tell she is blushing?

 We also went to our first Redneck Party. Our Cousin Ambria had a Redneck Birthday Bash.
There were many fun redneck games, but the most popular was the woopy cushion challenge.

Here they are as official rednecks.


Crestview Cougar

Ava went back to school last week. 
She is in first grade and was so anxious about all day school. We actually had about two weeks of Ava waking up in the night until she had her back to school meet the teacher day. After we visited the class, met the teacher (Ms. Nixon), picked her desk, and practiced where to stand in line after getting off the bus she was able to sleep through the night (well until the night before school). We spent a lot of time talking about what to expect and how to handle different situations. She was a pro by the time school started.
Our great neighbor had donuts and juice in her drive way on the first day before the bus. The kids are all so anxious they can barely eat but it is fun to see everyone with their new back to school outfits and haircuts. You can kind of see Ava's anxiousness in her face as she smile. I know lots of mom's cry...but I just felt gratitude. Gratitude that I get to be her mother and that I get to take part in raising her, but also grateful for all the others that help me teach her and mold her into the woman she will one day be. I had flashbacks to pregnancy moments and that day she was born. I thought about her milestones and every memory made me smile more and more. I am really the lucky one...lucky to have her as my daughter. I heart my 1st grader!!!

Lining up for the bus! So many neighborhood kids.
Coming home! She was tired but excited to tell me all about it.

We celebrated a successful back to school week by going bowling with some friends over the weekend. It was fun but by the end, you could see how tired the kiddos were.

We love these three crazies!