Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hopefully Not Our Last Dinner at the Meldrum's

Left to Right: Papa Laws (a.k.a. Duane Laws- he ans his wife Jo Ann were our kids grandparents there in Michigan and they often had our kids over to play and to go to the park, Tyce Larsen - Patty's grandson and Jamie and Kaylene's son, Patty and Dave Meldrum - one of our Saviors in Michigan and our dear, dear friends! Noah and then Matt
Papa Laws! - Our kids still talk about you! 
Thank you for being so wonderful to us!
Noah misses playing catch on your stairs!
Ellie and Owen Larsen getting ready to eat!
Everyone LOVES Patty's cooking!

Kaylene Larson and Rowena
A lovely candid by the BBQ -
 someone has to keep Kaylene and
her turkey burgers in line :) 
Hey Dave, Have you gotten a DVR yet?!
 Who got kicked off onThe Amazing Race?!
-- our running questions with them :)

Who's Up for Boggle?!  One of Patty and I's favorite past time :)
Matt crashed on the floor -- he was obviously VERY comfortable at the Meldrum's :)

The Last Herring/Wagaman Game Night In Michigan

Matt, Liz, John, Jacob, Me . . . and of course Adam (Elder Herring) and Josh were there in Spirit. We had some mean game nights! Dang I miss you guys!!!!

Farewell Medical BBQ at Tolbert's in Michigan

Random picture to start out with but none the less Tawna Tolbert and Heidi Herd are dishing away!
Noah and Ellie (both mine - well atleast they are both considered mine when they are behaving well :) and then Lincoln Tolbert
Here we have Oliver and Ivy Chu (I absolutely LOVE Ivy's smile because she was so slow to warm up to you and then she flashes this smile at the camera:) and there is also Tolbert
Rowena pretty much slept through the entire BBQ - nice natural mohawk going on there
Mandie Chu testing out the waters and apparently Ivy is voting "no" on her mommy having another baby . . .
I got her to atleast look at me though :)
This is a beautiful picture because it captures a sweet moment of Ellie being a devoted sister. All the other kids were playing on the tramp there by the house and I couldn't figure out where our kids were in the mix until I spotted them alone at the swing set. I asked Ellie why they weren't over there she said"oh, well Noah just wanted to swing so I thought I'd push him" like it was no big deal that she was missing all the fun to stay and push her brother on the swing. I am so lucky to have Ellie.
Crack the Egg in the making . . .
Try not to notice Oliver freaking out in the background :) He wasn't so sure about it all
Classic :)

Man have we grown as a group in 5 years! Ellie use to be the ONLY baby in the bunch!
Goodbyes are hard . . . (Yijia and kids)
Matt and Scott Herd

Friday, July 1, 2011

Matt's Intern Graduation

The ceremony was held at this gorgeous garden villa place right off the water in Detroit. We ended up spending most of the ceremony outside in the gardens instead of inside with the rest of them because there was no way we could contain Noah's need to crush the sandstone tiles to throw bits into the fountain and Ellie inner burning to frolic through the garden picking flowers. How these two can be so naturally opposite I will never know! The good news is that we were all inside when it was Matt's group's turn :)This is Matt with a couple of the interns that he worked with and a couple of the coordinators over him.

I love seeing the difference in the kids in this picture. Noah's only thought is 'hmm what else could I throw in here?' and obviously he managed to make it out the door without shoes and we had to dig up his running shoes in the back of the van without any socks. . . Ellie, on the other hand, is the princess girl ever so sweetly posing in the center :) . . .

"um, yeah, I probably did do that"

Thursday, June 30, 2011

You Know You're Going Through Michigan Withdrawals When . . .

You Know You're Going Through Michigan Withdrawals When You . . .

1) Tear up when you meet someone from OHIO and you are filled with the urge to hug them just because they are from the state NEXT to Michigan. And I'm a TRUE BLUE University of Michigan Wolverine and I still wanted to hug someone from OHIO!!!

2) See a guy wearing a Michigan Hoodie and you turn your car around to get another look and then you almost stop the car just to talk to another Michigander. (This was Matt's experience in California :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mowing the Lawn - Now a two man job :)

It has been fun to watch Noah work so hard to mimic his dad. He pretends to go to work, he carries his tools around and "fixes" things, and even insists that Ellie and I call him "Dad" or "Daddy" on some days. If we call him "Noah" he'll say "You mean 'Daddy'" and then waits for you to correctly address him before he will hear anything you have to say :) At least I'm lucky to have an incredible man for Noah to look up to. . .

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Big Sister Ellie

Ellie's unconditional love for her little sister really amazes me. Rowena cries, fusses, pulls hair, and takes up time with Mommy and yet Ellie still adores her and can't seem to get enough of her. From the day Rowena was born Ellie has loved Rowena and hasn't even shown flashes of jealousy for this new girl in our life. I thought that the novelty was going to wear off and that Ellie would lose interest in this little baby that couldn't do more than flash her smiles, but I was wrong. The moment Rowena starts to fuss Ellie is there to give her her binkie, make a toy dance or sing Rowena a song while bouncing her. Rowena's first smiles and "coos" have all been for Ellie and almost every morning they have a long "coo"ing session on my bed.
Ellie has become such a big help with Rowena that even though it calls for a little more muscle we've actually moved Rowena's car seat to the very back of our mini van to be with Ellie. Yes, I did say MINIVAN and all those who knock minivans can zip it because my Toyota Sienna ROCKS!! And by the way, you CAN be cool and drive a minivan at the same time!!! :)
ANYWAY, back to Ellie and Rowena in the van. The other day in the car Matt and I had to work to hold back our laughter because when Rowena started crying Ellie automatically began to rock Row's car seat and make the "shh-shh-shh" sound. What made this so funny is that Ellie did all that while continuing to feed herself fries AND watch a show on the DVD player. In fact, she never took her eyes off the show during the whole thing. It was like second nature to this little 5 year old girl to be taking care of this newborn! And even though it took a bit before Rowena calmed down, Ellie never complained or said a peep. She just patiently rocked the car seat and softly "shh"ed until Rowena fell back asleep.
This girl is amazing and I could never do this without her!!

To All You House Wives. . .

This is being posted for all you women out there that feel like you can't stay on top of your house. If your husband ever complains about the house being dirty or if you ever feel bad about the state of your kitchen, just pay a visit to this blog and realize that you really are doing a great job. At least your house doesn't look like this. . . . . and yes, these are pictures of my actual house. I came home from church one day and had to laugh and take pictures or else I would have cried and locked myself in a closet!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hale/Herring/Wagaman BBQ

It was finally time to start documenting something of our time in Michigan. For 5 years we lived, worked and played with the most incredible people and very rarely did we ever think of taking any pictures of it. This dawned on me as our time started to draw to a close and I began to panic with my camera. Here are some snapshots of some of the best people in Michigan . . .

The REAL "Men on the Block" - John Herring, Donny Hale, & MattMy children's other mother, Aileen Hale -
Ellie enjoying Aileen's spoiling with all the snow cones she can handle. . .
Our "camp fire" in the Hales' backyard
Caleb Hale. . .
John Herring and Rowena
We gave our ping pong table to the Hales and then Jacob Herring and Matt worked to teach them how to play "Around the World" . . . it was pretty hilarious. By the way, JACOB you will never beat me . . . just wanted to post that somewhere for the world to know :)
I love seeing McKenzie laugh in the corner of this picture . . .John Herring made his famous steaks and coconut shrimp - this man knows how to cook!
And the party didn't stop until midnight . . .
PS Liz - sorry I didn't post the picture of us -- it turned out rather awful ha ha!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Trying something new

I am so grateful for families! I guess it makes sense that I would be feeling this way since Rowena was born yesterday. This morning as I have been sitting in the hospital watching 2 of my 3 beautiful girls sleep in front of me I have been browsing the blogs of various friends and family. I am so impressed and inspired to try and keep a better record of our family experiences and what the kids are doing. I feel that this is such a special time in our lives and even though it is super busy I feel it is so important to help us remember the great experiences we are having and how AWESOME our kids are. So.......I'm going to try and follow the example of my super brother in law Dave and take the role of "the blogmaster"

Rowena's Story: Firsthand Account
We were scheduled to come to the hospital to be induced on May 2nd. We arrived at 8:30 pm and thought the labor process was well underway by 10:00 pm. At that point the resident felt she was 3 cm dilated, 60% effaced, and -1 station. Pitocin was started and we were hopeful to have Rowena by morning. Mandy started having strong contractions overnight and an epidural was placed which thankfully this time provided great anesthesia......what would we do without Anesthesiologists? The contractions continued throughout the evening. In the late morning Mandy was checked again and her status had not changed at all. The physician ruptured her membranes to see if that would kick her body into labor. At this time we were again hopeful that maybe by mid afternoon we would have the baby. Throughout the day she was having regular contractions (thanks to the Pitocin) but no change in her pelvic pressure or dilation. Around 3 pm we talked to the OB physician and came up with the plan to try turning off the Pitocin and trying a prostaglandin to get things going. Ellie and Noah came to visit with Grandma, Grandpa, and Jolene and Grandpa and I took the kids down to play in the courtyard and get some food. After a couple of bites Grandma and Jolene came dashing into the cafeteria telling us that Mandy was feeling more pressure and that her contractions had really picked up even with the Pitocin off. It had literally only been like 30 minutes since she had taken the prostaglandin. We came back to the room and soon after Rowena was born. Mandy's a great pusher and only had to push through 4-5 contractions before she came to us. She is so tiny compared to the other kids and we love her little face, fingers, nose, and toes. She has been so calm and rarely makes any noise besides an occasional grunt or whimper. Mandy is doing well other then her body being really tired from the 22 hours of contracting without progressing. We can't wait for Ellie and Noah to come and see her this morning and are SO glad that she is finally here. One more thing to check off our list as we prepare for our move to Cali!!