Friday, April 30, 2010

I Would L-O-V-E To Do This Again...

So, today is our six year anniversary. Yay! In honor of that, I thought I'd take a little trip down memory lane to our AMAZING honeymoon. We took a 5 day cruise to the Caribbean, as a wedding present from Chuck and Melissa. It was the best.  A perfect mix of relaxing and fun...just right for a honeymoon.  There were so many interesting things to do and see at port, very yummy food on the ship, and some entertaining things to check out on ship too. Ah, it was perfect.
Note - The picture above is at formal dining. Our waiter came out on Thursday with a piece of cake and sang, "Happy Honeymoon To You." We had to kiss to get the we did.

I guess the pictures are pretty self explanatory. I loved our room, and was pleasantly surprised how spacious it felt...and loved that it had a window.
Sight seeing in Key West. The ocean was beautiful.  We loved the key lime pie we tried.  I was scared of all the hundreds of butterflies at the Butterfly house, so Ethan had to quickly walk me through, then went back to enjoy himself. They were everywhere! Ick!

Snorkeling in Cozumel, Mexico. So fun! So many beautiful, colorful fish everywhere!  Except this is where Eth lost his wedding ring.

We had some pretty fun ping pong matches on the cruise ship. We were happy to discover that we were pretty evenly matched. :)
Relaxing, shopping, more relaxing. Seriously, so perfect. Then, it was over all too soon, and we were back in Miami.
So, I believe I did quite the tribute last anniversary. I'll try to keep it simple this time, just let the record show, I love him. I love being married. I love having my husband be my best friend. And I loved this vacation! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Trip Up North...

The kids and I had a great trip up to Marquette this past week. We missed Ethan/Daddy, but he had classes and finals to study for that are a mere week away. It was so fun seeing family and friends, and doing Marquette things that we love. I was a little nervous about the car trip, but the kids were so incredibly good. It was a breeze, even the stops! This is only the second time I've attempted this; I should do this more often...if gasoline wasn't so expensive. :) Anyway, sit back, relax, and enjoy the pictures.

Mackinac Bridge

It's a six hour drive from our house to Marquette, but we always make a long stop for lunch and playing at the bridge, which is exactly half way. It makes the trip feel two, three hour drives instead of a six hour drive. Well, it makes sense to me. :) I love the pics of the kiddies at the Mackinac bridge! They loved playing there, and I have so many similar memories of stopping there when I was little. The one of Anna and Benjamin kissing is kind of rare. I was hoping to get a sweet one of brother and sister hugging. When I asked them to give each other a hug and kiss, Anna grabbed Ben-Ben and planted a wet one right on the lips. Sweet! Usually Anna only "lets" Benjamin kiss her cheek because he's a "slobbery kisser." I guess this day she was too caught up in the excitement to care. So cute.

Playing...And Eating, Of Course

The cousins (Rorie) were super excited to see each other, then the excitement wore off. :) The first pic is Rorie trying on Ben-Ben's new cowboy hat. Adorable. Ooo, second pic, Anna, Melissa, Meghan, and I had a girl's morning at the cosmetology school at NMU. Meg cut my hair, including bangs, which looks super cute! (I'll put up a pic soon.) Anna and Melissa had manicures, and then one of Meg's classmates cut Anna's hair...a trim and bangs. We topped off the morning with a little trip to the Third Street Border Grill. Mmmmm. So fun, so special. And the last pic shows Benjamin drinking ice cream from a bowl...a big bowl. Thanks Grandpa Chuck! Some other fun and/or yummy things about the trip: enjoying a Thai House lunch date with my mommy, Anna got to see "How To Train Your Dragon" with Gra Melissa and Gpa Chuck...she's still talking about it, a hot dog roast at the Jones 30 degree weather (it snowed for a whole day while we were there...ick!), hanging out with my friend Amy for some kid-free grown up time, Anna swimming at the Y with Gma Susan - including water slide, a fun visit with Uncle Andrew and Auntie Sabrina...and I got to see my sis-in-law adorably preggers, we had some fun trips to the park, a nice visit with my Grandparents LaJoice, a play date at the Compton's, playing at Auntie Ashley's house (even though Meg lives there...Anna will only call it Auntie Ashley's house :), Frosty Treats!, playing at Auntie Beth's and Uncle Stuart's house with cousins....then Anna informed me she wished she lived with them...uh no :), we had the traditional Sunday evening dinner at the Rayhorns in which we completely filled the large table...even though we had two people missing, and many other good memories I'm probably forgetting.

Benjamin's Birthday Party!
My sweet, adorable birthday boy! He's reaching for his cupcake in this picture.
My camera was acting up during Ben-Ben's party, so some of the pics are lame and fuzzy...but you get the idea. So the theme, obviously, was Sesame of Ben's favorites. We had pizza, grapes, veggies, and cupcakes. The kiddies/cousins played some games with the balloons, and colored in the Sesame Street coloring book for a bit. It was only family, but Benjamin has plenty of family members in Marquette...I think there were 18 in attendance. Fun, fun.

Benjamin, blowing out the candles.
Benjamin was so excited when everyone was singing to him. It was pretty cute. He called it a "Happy Birthday party" and was wishing everyone else a "Happy Birthday to you." I guess he didn't quite get the whole idea that the party was just for him, which was probably a good thing. :)

After Benjamin blew out one of the candles, he just wanted to try to touch the other one, so Uncle Andrew stepped in and helped out. Love this picture. :)
And I love the pic of Ash and Ben...she is so wonderful with kids! The middle pic shows Joe, James and Ben-Ben playing around with the balloons. And finally, a pic of Ben-Ben opening presents. As typical of a two year old, he lost interest after about three presents. Oh, well. I had fun opening them. :) Benjamin received so many generous, wonderful gifts! Thanks so much everyone!

Marquette Library

Melissa and Rorie met up with us at the Marquette library for story time and playing...we missed the story time though. :) Every time we visit MQT, we have to visit the's one of our favorite places! Ben looks kind of distraught in this pic, but really, he loves the library...especially looking at the fishies!

South Beach, Walking Riley
One day, we went with Grandpa Chuck to walk Riley at South Beach. It was super cold and windy. Anna loved it, but I had to take Ben-Ben back to the car after about 10 minutes. I LOVE the middle picture of Anna Ellene.
So, such a great trip! The kids were great travelers and great while we were there. Ben-Ben doesn't do too well with new things or unfamiliar people or change, but he did surprisingly well...even though on top of that, he caught a random fever from Rorie a few days after we got there. Yay Benjamin! Bed time was a little bit hard a few times...he doesn't like sleeping anywhere but home. But luckily, Grandpa Dewey would stay in his room and sing to him for a bit, and sweetie Anna would try to comfort him too. Oh, and he was a little sad when I left him with Grandma a few times, but that just made him more snugly and sweet afterward...trying to convince me not to leave again. :) I heard, "Mama, hold you. Snuggle, snuggle," numerous times on the trip. Love it! Anna, on the other hand, was in her element. She loves being with all her family members, and doing our traditional Marquette stuff. So glad we went...but so glad to be home. :) After not seeing Daddy for almost 8 days, the kids were screaming with excitement when we got home. Precious!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Birthday To Benjamin, And Happy Easter To All Of You...

So, this entry is going to be heavy on the pictures, and hopefully I'll be able to keep it light on the text. We'll see how that goes. Hehe. Two very important things to celebrate today:

My sweet, baby boy was born; Benjamin is TWO!!! Such an exciting day. We sang to him many times today, wished him a happy birthday over and over, took him on a long walk to the park, and we served him one of his favorite dinners: pizza, mandarin oranges, green beans, and CAKE! Every time we would say, "Happy birthday, Ben-Ben," he would reply, "Happy Birthday to you!" In a few days,we're having a big birthday bash for extended family in Marquette, Sesame Street themed, but we wanted to celebrate with daddy too. :)

Mmm, yummy cake!
And I also had to throw on a picture of Ben-Ben watching Sesame Street. So, just over a week ago, we discovered that Benjamin recognizes and says all of his ABC's. At the time we thought it was only about 2/3 that he knew, but have come to realize since, he's got them all down. Wow! It was so surprising to me because I have never tried to teach him his ABC's and didn't know he recognized even one letter, let alone all the upper case letters, and some lower case letters. I mean, he can barely even sing the song! I just had no idea that he was picking it up on his own, most likely from Sesame Street. Then, one day, he got hold of some flashcards of Anna's, and started saying the letters correctly. Crazy! I thought it was coincidence until he got about 6 of them right. :) He has shown interest in the alphabet for months now, and would always excitedly point out ABC's every time he saw them, but the letters he would say seemed pretty random. I guess he knew what he was talking about! Anyway, it was a very fun surprise.
And I think I update about my kids enough on here that I don't need to do a whole "tribute" to Benjamin, on this, his day of birth. I love him. He is my handsome, smart, funny, active, mischievous, silly, energetic, squishy, smoochy, beautiful little boy. Wow, time flies!

Easter Festivities!
Beautiful Anna. (She wanted to dress up for the Easter egg we had Ben look nice too. :)
We did most of the Easter celebrating on Saturday, at least the non religious stuff. Saturday morning we went to Frankenmuth and the kiddies participated in a very fun Easter egg hunt. It was very well organized, plenty of eggs filled with chocolate candies to go around, and each child got to choose two prizes on the way out. Anna chose bubbles and some sidewalk chalk, and Ben-Ben chose bubbles and a rocket. I love the second picture of Anna, she looks so serious, like she's making a game plan for the hunt.
Daddy and Benjamin watching the boat in Frankenmuth.

It was such a beautiful day, and Frankenmuth is such a fun town, that we decided to stick around for a bit. We played at a local park, visited some shops, looked at all the Easter decorations that were out, and just took in the beautiful weather. It had been sunny and in the 80's for a few days leading up to this, but luckily, it was only in the 70's on Saturday.

Bunny ears = happy Anna, and sad Ben-Ben. This was taken while we were getting ready to go to Frankenmuth.
Saturday afternoon/evening, the Easter bunny left a note and clues for the kiddies. He had hidden their Easter baskets. Anna was just full of excitement, giggles, screams, and laughter as she raced around finding the clues. It started at the dining room table, then to the bathtub, to the car, to Anna's bed, to the refrigerator, to the couch, and then they found the baskets in mommy and daddy's bed. So fun! Once Ben-Ben discovered there was candy in the eggs, his mouth was continuously full until we took the basket away for the day.
Anna especially loved the magnifying glass and stick on earrings she got. And besides the candy, Benjamin like the basketball game and scrubby frog he got.
Today, Sunday, was General Conference for our church. It's a meeting broadcast from SLC, Utah. It's conveniently available on-line. After, we had Ben-Ben's birthday dinner, as mentioned above, and for scriptures, we read about the Resurrection in a children's book we have. (We had a few 'family night' lessons centered on the meaning of Easter leading up to this weekend too...trying to teach Anna about the significant aspect of the holiday.) I love all the fun traditions that accompany Easter, but even more, I love the strong focus we are given to remember that the Savior lives, cares about us, and loves us. It is such a comfort to know that, and fills me with peace. Happy Easter to all my family and friends!