merry christmas!

we hope you have a wonderful Christmas weekend! :)

p.s...my sis in law is a rockstar and designed about a million cards this year ;) check out her stuff HERE.



our family christmas



6 years...and a little video :)

6 years ago {December 16, 2005} I married the most amazing man ever.
 In those 6 years I have seen him grow as a man of God and husband.....and I have seen him easily add the role of {incredible} dad to that list.
Happy anniversary, Nick.
I have been so blessed by you.
I love you.
In other news. Mason decided to start walking on Monday night. I was sorting laundry in the bedroom and heard the kids laughing hysterically.
I came to check it out and this is what I found.
You can't really see it, but Mason takes his first 2 independent steps. Now he's doing it all the time and will take up to 10 steps before he decides he can get where he is going faster by crawling :)
Adelyn gets excited and shouts "he's walking!" every time he does it.



Disneyland highlights: day 1...loads of pictures, yo.

The first weekend of December we went to Disnyland with Alan, Steph and the girls.
We had so much fun!
Disneyland at Christmas? Magical. :)
 Adelyn LOVED the Dumbo ride. Mason was just fine chilling in the stroller watching :)
The carousel was also a huge hit.
...okay...every ride was a huge hit ;) Mason LOVED It's a small world" check out the video:

Adelyn got to meet some of her favorite princesses. She was in awe. It was too cute.
Mason wanted to get in some flirt time with Cinderella...

Okay...the teacups. These were a monster hit with Nora and Adelyn. I think they would have been content staying here the entire time ;)
Let me just say this....yes, Disneyland is expensive, but it was worth every penny. We didn't regret a dime. It was clean, the employees and characters were so friendly and patient ;) We really enjoyed it!




I have loads of pictures from our trip to Disneyland with the other Flies Family :)  to share with you, but I have alot of housework to catch up on first ;) So here is a teaser for you.
We went on the "It's a Small World" ride...with all 4 kids. It's stimulation overload and it is loooong. The kids loved it. Mason was freaking out the entire time. Nick got a little video of him. It cracks me up everytime. I'm glad he had so much fun :)



Thanksgiving fun



first birthday party: yeehaw!

I cannot believe my baby is one!
We had a little party for him on Saturday and it was a blast :)
My sis in law designed the awesome invites for me. Check out more of her fun stuff here.
For decorations, I went pretty easy. I made a banners of scrapbook paper and natural twine.
I didn't get a picture, but I had blue and white paper chains in the kitchen and living room too :)
The table cloth is fabric I got from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon.
The cake is from Costco (so good).
I made rice krispy treats and "eggs and bacon" from this recipe I found on pinterest.
The little hay bale I found at Michael's and the sign is from Hobby Lobby last year.
The little barn is actually a John Deere piggy bank :)
Have to represent! ;)
 I made cowboy boot and cowboy hat sugar cookies as favors.
It's hard to see, but the little sign says "hats off to you for celebrating with us!"

Thank you, dear friends, for celebrating with us! We had so much fun and are so thankful for you :)



One Year!

my baby is one!
Happy birthday, little man :)
we love you!



Iowa Trip: October 2011



he's home!

My brother, Josh, is back on US soil! The USS Hopper made port this morning at Pearl Harbor!
I am so thankful that they made it home safely....I can't wait to hear his stories of things that he saw while "sailing the world" ;)
Sadly, we couldn't be there to meet him...and we don't get to see him until around Christmas. :(
His friend, Amy, was there to meet him (the above photo is one she took this morning)...and I think there were some other friends to greet him, so I'm glad he had someone there to hug him!
Anyway....welcome back, little brother :)
love you!



friday quick 5

I sometimes find myself lacking for blogging, and this way I can at least get one post in a week ;)Although, lately with all the travelling, I've had plenty to share :)
I'm borrowing the quick 5 idea from this lovely lady, whom I have only met once at a wedding in Burlington, IA when I first met and was staying with my bestie, Joni. She is super honest and so encouraging and fun....check out her stuff :)
So here we go:

1. It is 57 degrees here! It downpoured last night and sprinkled this morning. The trees are starting to turn. The sun peaks out once in a while. I couldn't be happier.  :) Hello, fall.
2. I treated myself to my first eggnog latte of the season in honor of the chilly gloom. Then took Mason to get his flu booster shot. Adelyn was grumpy and got mad at the nurse when she "hurt my brother!" and she actually hit the nurse on the leg! I didn't know what to do! We had a long discussion and I made her apologize to the nurse (who was so gracious)....oh my...I have to be honest, we do spank once in a while. We always give her a warning that we will do it if she disobeys again (that way we know it could be coming and we don't spank in our own anger or frustration). When she hits, though, I feel like spanking can be counterproductive... so I really tried to explain to her why Mason was crying and how we don't hit others, etc.....as someone wisely put it (I wish I could remember where I heard this, but it has been stuck in my mind)...Punishment is easy, discipline is exhausting.
3. I have realized that my love of sleep negatively affects my family. Instead of having the kids be my alarm clock, I'm trying to get up a good hour before they do, so I can have some house work out of the way and spend some quite time....that way when they get up, all I have to do is get them ready before we head to the gym....ask me in 2 weeks how it's going :)
4. We successfully made it to Iowa and back with few meltdowns. Thank you, Lord!  My kids rock at air travel ;). The ipad was a lifesaver. Suckers and books also came in handy, and we were blessed with having awesome people around us all 4 flights who were so gracious with my kids and willing to take Mason if I needed my hands...thank you!
5. Nick left today for a week. Boo. I can't even tell you the last time he was home for a full month. I am so glad he loves his job, but the travelling gets old. It really wears on the kids...thankfully, Mommy Survival Mode always kicks in and we do okay, but I crash the minute he gets back.

So there ya go. My first Friday 5 :) I'm going to try and get photos uploaded from our trip back to IA for next week. Enjoy the weekend! Happy Friday! :)

*ps...I think I got the comment situation figured out, so say hi! :) I'm telling you, comments are to bloggers what cards are to the lonely! ;) No lie...



Happy Halloween!



little smarty pants :)

We played a wicked game of hide and seek the other night...and our daughter busted out counting to 10 on her own...I'm so proud ;)



snacktime hilarity

I was down the hall while the kids were eating their snack the other day, and I heard them just laughing hysterically...I came around the corner and this is what I found:



pumpkin carving and preschool?

{Tinkerbell (stencil found here )and--what else?--John Deere}

Our first pumpkin carving experience was uneventful :) It was really hot outside and Nick and I did all of the carving....well, Nick did more, actually....I wrangled the kids.
Adelyn did not like the feeling of the inside of the pumpkin...she stuck her hand in once, freaked out, and that was it :)
Mason hung out in the exersaucer in the entryway...
Maybe next year when she is another year older, she'll like it a little more :)
She wanted a picture with the pumpkins....this night she was wearing one of my hairbands like this and kept running around saying she was "racin'"....
I made this recipe for carmelized pumpkin seeds with our carving "harvest". YUM.

Okay, so, an unrelated topic. Adelyn turns 3 at the beginning of January and is able to start preschool. I'm teedering on whether to send her or just wait until September. She LOVES going to play with her "friends" and "peoples" in the nursery when we go to MOPS, church, and MOPS bible study...and she LOVES going the kids center in the mornings when we go to the gym to play with her "peoples". I'm not worried about any separation anxiety....and she is toilet trained, so I'm not worried about that either. My hesitation is that once she is in school, she's in until she graduates high school! It's more of an issue with me, I guess....anyway....I have a few schools picked out and we are going to go visit...the other decision is Christian vs. Public.....the one I really like is not a Christian school, but the teachers are great and I've heard awesome things about them from ladies at MOPS.
Those of you with kids in school, when did you start your kiddos?



first project::finished!

I finished my first scarf a few days ago...I have a few more in the making and I'm working on a pair of gloves! Next class we are learning "knitting in the round" so I can make hats...joy! :)



rainy day love

I love rainy days. Don't get me wrong, the sunshine out here in CA is fantastic and there is plenty of it....but there is something about a rainy day. You need one now and then :) We haven't had one since May.

Mason slept in this morning, so Addy and I just hung out by the door watching and talking about the rain...toddler style.
She wanted to eat breakfast by the door too...so we did....it was the best.
Don't you just LOVE kiddos in jammies? One of my favorite things EVER.

{on a different note...check how long this girl's hair is. I can't get over it...}






new favorite past time

{oh my word, excuse the magenta overtone. I can't figure out how to edit it out...}

I love to read. If you know me, you know that fact. I go through books rather quickly (it drives Nick crazy). I will stay up until 3 am to finish a good book. No question.
A few weeks ago, I discovered a new hobby: knitting. 
I decided I wanted to learn to knit or crochet, so I put out a request for someone to teach me on our MOPS facebook page. About 10 other ladies replied that they wanted to learn too and then start a knitting group. One of the girls told us there was a beginners class at Hobby Lobby, so I went.
 It's so easy and I am hooked. Scarves and blankets are my specialty right now :) but the next class is learning a new stitch and how to "sew" the garter to make gloves, sweaters, etc....I am SO excited.  :)
I asked the lady teaching the class if she would be interested in doing a special class for our MOPS....I haven't heard back, but I am hoping she says yes...
Here's to new past times....



uncle jake's visit

So my baby brother flew back with the kids and I from Iowa. Let me tell you, he was awesome. He took care of Mason while I had Adelyn. She was spiking a fever that day and it got pretty bad on our flight from Denver to CA (to the point where I considered staying the night in Denver because I was nervous about her being that sick on the plane). She was scary boiling hot. Tylenol and alot of prayer brought it down for most of the flight, and she started to spike again right before we landed. She was fine the next day, so I'm not sure what the deal was.
Anyway....Jake was awesome and I'm so glad he was able to come out with us.
Because our flight was changed, we lost a day with him, so he was only here for a day and a half before he had to head back (boo).
I love my brothers and am glad he was able to stay for even a little bit!
We did alot of just hanging around :) That's about it. We had planned a trip to the mountains, but with that lost day, decided we didn't want to spend the one full day in the car. Next time I guess.
I royally failed in the picture department! This is the only one I got of him here. Boo.

{watching a movie before bed}
{Mason crawling around after his bath. Jake is here, you just can't see him :)}
Adelyn LOVED having him around and kept asking for him after he left.
Anyway, thank you, Jake, for all of your help. You are the best!
Love you! Miss you!



IA visit: we miss you!

As always, it was so sad to say goodbye. I miss our families so much!
We love you guys and miss you so much!!
My brother, Jake, flew back with the kids and I...thank you, Jake (pictures to come)! What a blessing that was :)
That was actually our final "hiccup". We were supposed to leave DSM at 6:45pm, but our flight to Denver kept getting delayed later and later, until finally it was cancelled (lightning on the runway in Denver)....we changed it to 4pm the next day, so we went back to Mom and Rob's and had one more day with them  :)  I know they were tired, but I'm glad we had one more day :)
Thank you, Mom and Rob, for letting us take over the house :) and use the car!



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