I am now consolidating my blog posts by seasons, at least for now.
Marley Jo turned EIGHT years old this year! She was so excited to turn eight and she was baptized on her actual birthday. We had a lot of family come to celebrate and support Marley on her big day and she was all smiles. She is so exuberant and bright, my sunshine girl. We are so proud of her, she is such an incredible blessing in our lives.
Marley is so thoughtful, she is always thinking of things she do for others. She is always writing people thoughtful notes and cards (especially in our little family). She is so good at speaking love, she is so affectionate and loves everyone and has the nicest things to say about everyone. She is always looking for ways to show me her love, through cleaning and organizing things in the house (my favorite, and she has become such a great deep cleaner). When she sees me cleaning she will ask if she can help me and will even work up a sweat with me (like when we were just scrubbing tiles and baseboards). She likes to ask her siblings what gift they would like, she will use her money to buy them things sometimes but usually tries to make them things. She is the one who wants to keep EVERYTHING (I am always going through her room while shes at school to throw away things). She keeps boxes, cartons, containers, ribbons, etc. so that she can create a gift for others. For Mothers Day she made me a pinata and filled it with all the candy she has been saving. For dad she will make him service coupons, for massages, for quiet time, for hugs and kisses, etc. Marley is always asking me who we can make a treat for and gives me a list of people we should do something for. I just love what a big heart she has and how she is so loving and thoughtful. At a ward activity some of the fellow parents of kids in Marley's elementary class were saying how they didn't like their teacher and one parent said, "yeah I don't think any of the kids like Mrs. Mitchell". I just sat there and thought about if Marley had ever said anything negative about her teacher at all and she really hasn't. She says that she is the best teacher and is often saying how much she loves her teacher. Marley loves everyone and she REALLY loves them. I can't think of her saying anything negative about others, she is always looking for the best in others. When she gets new primary teachers she cries because she loved her previous teacher so much but always ends up loving her new teacher just as much.
I am so very blessed to be this special girls mother.
Marley's breakfast in bed
(her and I seem to love all the same foods)
I took her to go get her ears pierced, and she was so brave.
On her birthday I brought her lunch and we ate together in the cafeteria. This year she chose a Powerade with chicken nuggets and french fries.
She chose Annika and Connor to come sit with us. Connor talked to me about Star Wars the whole time.
We sent out baptism invitations for her birthday and Uncle Tanner and Aunt Chan couldn't come (obviously since they live way out in California) but their family all sent her these sweet notes!
These are out of order but I'll get back to Marley's birthday and baptism later on in this post.
I love looking in on all my kids every night right before I go to bed, they are just so perfect to me.
We went out to a bounce house to play and I was climbing up and down and through this whole jungle gym area with Grant the whole time, I was sure he was going to put me into labor.
We went out enjoying the beautiful weather at the wild west park and then celebrated the Chinese new year at the library across from the park.
Kesler and Marley at their swim lessons. They had it twice a week and things were pretty busy for a while there with piano and voice lessons for the girls, tumbling, swim lessons, and activity days. While they would swim Travis would watch Grant at home and I would walk around the pool and watch the kids swim.
We liked to get to the pool almost an hour before their lessons so they could just swim and play.
The way Kesler wears his goggles looks like all sorts of uncomfortable.
These two are two peas in a pod. They are the best of friends, it is so fun hearing them laugh while they read together at night, and how they play with each other during the day. Kesler was with me when I went to drop off the girls at their piano lessons and as they left he said, "Marley is my very best friend". He looks forward to her getting home from school every day.
Bursting at the seams, my belly is always more out there by the end of the night.
Back to Marley's birthday.
Right before Marley's 8th birthday we took her out to the temple to walk around the grounds and have a special talk about covenants and how important baptism is, then went out to lunch together.
Marley's baptism, such a special day
Afterwards we all came home for a dinner, which Marley picked, breaded baked chicken, funeral potatoes, green beans, and both grandma's brought salads and desserts. Marley said her first choice was seafood but everyone doesn't like seafood so she opted for baked chicken.
Workin the wig and fancy crown from grandma
Grandma and grandpa took her out to pick out her very own set of scriptures, a scripture case, and special pencils to mark in them.
These were some of the pictures we took for her baptism announcement. My mom got her this beautiful temple dress, it made me cry when she first tried it on she looks like such an angel.
Rock climbing for family home evening
Date night at the Hale
The ward boundaries in the stake were changed to make wards bigger. Our ward was already the biggest and our youth program already was well attended but they still added even more to our ward (around 200 more members). There were about 40 youth at the first combined activity here. This change made a lot of extra work for Travis as bishop and was gone a lot more for the next couple months. It has been great though, I sure love all the new additions to our ward.
I make the kids smoothies all the time and the kids will spill sometimes but the entire smoothie went all over Keslers face and down his clothes this time (he didn't have a spoon and it was thicker and just came out all at once). He was pretty startled.
It has been so wonderful seeing the kids do their own personal reading every night for the 7-7-7 challenge. Kesler would watch the scripture videos by himself in our room but would have Marley read to him sometimes too. I feel like there has been an added measure of the spirit in our home.
They read other books before bed too and Marley and Kesler love silly books.
Okay I was having an especially difficult day and lost it at church when Grant threw the biggest tantrum at church. I just started crying and Susie saw me in the hall and came up and just gave me a big hug. Then I went to find Travis and went into his office with him and he comforted me and let me regain my composure before leaving. I didn't think anyone else saw me cry or anything but later that evening Susie Bean brought me home made bread, she had made three attempts to make the loaves perfect. Then Brenda Allred brought me 6 of her specialty caramel apples (they are amazing!) because she said she could tell I was having a hard day and she wanted to do something for me. THEN the following morning Michelle Allen brought me a dinner because she said she could tell I was having a hard day and wanted to do something for me! Holy Cow, we have the most incredible people in our ward! I love them so much! These women in our ward have changed me with their Christ like examples. I have found myself striving to be more like the sisters in our ward. They have helped me come closer to Christ and helped me see what kind of a person I want to become.
Kaydence was so excited to go on their school ski trip! She had such a great time, this has been her favorite year of school!
The kids wanted to decorate cupcakes and give some to our neighbors
Had to sample some of them
Johnny and Jess came down and stayed with us and went out to a BYU volleyball game and we got to watch Taysom. Grant sure loves playing with his cousin, they both LOVE to play with balls