Friday, October 31, 2014

Fund Run (September)

Maya and Josh's school do a yearly Fund Run to raise money for the school. We like to participate in this fundraiser because the money goes directly back to the school. The kids each raised over $100! Thanks to everyone who donated!

They let the kids go one grade at a time - 4th went first, down to the kindergarten kids last. It was fun to see Maya running with her class and laughing and waving at us as she went by. We saw a bunch of kids from Josh's class, but I didn't see him anywhere. Finally, we see him running with the last group of kids with huge crocodile tears streaming down his face. He was running like he was being chased by an axe murderer. Turns out he was afraid of getting ran over by kids who were running behind him. I felt bad he got so worked up over something like that. The next lap around I couldn't find Maya but after a few minutes I saw that Josh and Maya were together. She had gone back to help him and make him feel comfortable. She can be such a sweet sister sometimes and I am grateful. I love their red faces in these pictures!

Baptism Day

Maya's big day was on Sunday, October 19, 2014. We were happy that Grandma and Papa could come and support her on this special day. We know all of our family would have been there if they could have. One of the big downers of living this far away from everybody, but we made the most of it with our wonderful friends and ward family. I kept Cora home during the first part of church so she could get a nap in. After church we had a few hours to set up everything for the baptism. I learned that I don't handle stress and pressure very well. I also learned that I have a wonderful and supportive family and great friends to help me when I need it.

Once we were ready to start I could feel all of the pressure and tension melt off as I sat back and enjoyed the service. Maya asked me to give one of the talks and I spoke about baptism. I used some of the ideas from the "3 Bears of Baptism" talk that is floating around the internet. As I introduced the topic, I pulled out Maya's teddy bear that her great-grandma Giordano gave her as a baby. Her eyes lit up and I think it helped her focus a little more. After my talk Maya played, "Love One Another" plus a little song she composed on the piano. She was amazing! She only practiced it a few times on a real piano (we have a keyboard) and I thought she might decide to back down because of how many people were there. I was so proud as she marched up there and played like a pro! We then proceeded to the font and watched as she was baptized. It was an amazing thing to see -- Nick did great and I could hear his voice crack a bit. It was so sweet to witness. Aubrey, our awesome babysitter, gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. She did a wonderful job! Then Maya was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost. It was such a great service! I'm thrilled she made the choice to be baptized.

Our great friends, Mary, Jonathan, Sasha, and Sadie came to support Maya. We met through preschool and elementary school a few years ago. They are such awesome people! We were so glad they came.

Me and my girls. I love my sweet little family. We are proud of you, Miss Maya!

Maya's Birthday Party

Last spring we won a free Jungle Java birthday party as a raffle prize, so we saved it for Maya's birthday. She had a great time running around with her friends!

I have to say, we have such wonderful friends here in MI. We are so blessed to have them and we were grateful they could help us celebrate Maya's birthday!

Monday, September 22, 2014


Wow. This little baby girl has grown up so fast. I feel like we were just in the hospital holding her and wondering what we were going to do with this little, warm lump. Looking back, we were so unprepared to be parents. We had no clue, yet here we are, 8 years later (well, tomorrow) and we have all survived.

I love that Maya is always creating and using her imagination. I love that her favorite gift tomorrow will probably be the ream of paper we bought her and the package of Scotch tape that has 8 rolls. I love that she always "has a plan". This has been a challenge at times...I spend an entire day organizing the basement just to find that Maya has turned the whole space into a preschool for Cora with paper everywhere and stuff taped to the walls. I love finding little pieces of paper that she has written on. One day we were going to be watching our friends, Kate and Luke, for a few hours. Maya decided to have a Nature class for them and she created this awesome lesson plan all about butterflies. She had a painting craft, a lesson, and a few songs. This is a flyer she made for the parents.

I love that Maya plays with Josh every day at recess. I know he's safe and being watched over.

Another day she decided to be a photographer and she posed her doll in several different places around the house and yard. I found about 100 pictures like this on my camera the next day. Always good for a little laugh. She even talked our neighbors into bringing their dolls over for a "photo shoot".

Her baptism will take place in October! We are all looking forward to it. We love you, beautiful. Keep coming up with great ideas!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Broken bones

A few weeks ago we were getting the kids ready for bed on a Friday night. Maya was in the shower and Josh and Cora decided to go downstairs for a few minutes before going to sleep. Cora ended up falling down the last 2 stairs and put her arm out to break the fall. When Nick went to help her she pointed at her arm and said, "Owie" -- she cried for a few minutes, but then all of a sudden she stopped and would really respond to us. She had also lost all of the color in her face and her lips were white. We decided to take her to the ER to have her arm checked out. I put the kids to bed and Nick took her in to see the doctor. As I waited anxiously for any information from Nick, I couldn't focus on anything else and felt sick to my stomach. I felt terrible that she was hurting and I couldn't do anything about it. They took a few X-Rays and wrapped it in a bandage before sending her home. Around midnight I heard Nick's car pull into the driveway. I was so excited to see that little girl. He opened the door for her and she came running in to see me, saying, "mommy! See? See?" The doctors had given her a little stuffed kitty and she wanted to show me her bandage as well. I can't explain the relief I felt when I saw her back to normal with the color in her face and hearing her sweet voice. We had a follow up appointment on Tuesday with the Orthopedic doctor. I brought the big kids along too because I didn't think much would happen...they'd remove the bandage, take an X-ray, and let us go, right? Wrong. The x-ray showed a definite break and we were told she'd need a cast for 4 weeks. Cora did an awesome job with the x-rays and getting her arm wrapped. She wouldn't break a smile at the nurses or doctor but she didn't cry or whine either. I was thankful for that!

Only 6 more days and this bad boy is coming off! I can't wait to scrub her arm...the cast is filthy and I can't imagine how dirty it is underneath. We love you brave girl!


We celebrated Nick's birthday on July 7. He had to work since it was during the week...what a drag to be an adult. He never complains though. We got him some new clothes and he was very appreciative. I made him a double layer chocolate cake -- it was pretty good! So thankful to have this sweet man in my life. He makes me laugh every day and is a wonderful father and husband. We love you!

Cora's birthday is on July 23...again, it fell on a weekday so we decided to have a small BBQ on the Sunday before her actual 2nd birthday. We had foot long hot dogs, pasta salad, chips, and watermelon for dinner and Carla helped me frost some pretty pink cupcakes for dessert. We love this little girl so much. She brings us laughter and smiles and helps us to not take things too seriously. What I love most about having a baby (ha! Guess she's not really a "baby" anymore, but she's our baby.) and two older kids is that they find everything she does irresistible too. She loves tagging along with them and making us all laugh. Life wouldn't be the same without her and that spunky little personality we get to enjoy. Her big gift this year was a water table. She loved it! We also got her some clothes for fall and some cute shoes. Kept it simple this year.

Present time! I loved her reaction to each gift...every shirt, every pair of pants, etc. she'd say, "AWWWW! So toot" (Cute) She especially loved the baby doll from her friends Luke, Kate, and family.

Notice how Cora is dumping water on her friend, Kate? That didn't go over too well!

So motherly. :)

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!