Saturday, December 31, 2011


December just came and went for our family. Ava was sick for half of the month starting on the 15th and is just starting to feel better today and Joel and I were crazy busy with work. We decided that we are going to slow down next year and really try to enjoy the month of December and fulfill some of our traditions that we were not able to do this year. However, even with the illnesses and busyness of life, we were able to spend some time with family over Christmas which is really the best part of the holiday season.

On Christmas eve we went to Joel's parents house to listen to the Christmas story, eat, enjoy the company of family, and watch the kids open presents. Ava is starting to really enjoy opening gifts. She was spoiled this year.
One of my favorite gifts that she received was a family edition of the scriptures. I love it!! Hopefully it will make family scripture study more enjoyable in the years to come.

One of our good friends Stacy brought Ava a gingerbread man decorating kit. Ava loved making him cute with colored candy buttons all over his body. It gave her something to do while she was not feeling well. (Anything to keep her occupied and not thinking about her itchy rash)

On Christmas day we headed to my mom's house to have Christmas dinner and open gifts with them. Her husband Mike dressed up as Santa for the kids. Ava was too scared to enjoy this part of the evening and would not let Joel put her down.

We had a wonderful time with family. We are so thankful to our Savior Jesus Christ and hope to remember him always, not just during the holiday season. 2011 was a good year, and we look forward to the adventures that lie ahead for our family in 2012.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We have a 2 year old.

Ava has been so sick these last few weeks that there were a few days that I thought she may never get to have a birthday party. We had to cancel it once because of her illness, and then almost cancelled it again after being in the ER with her the night before. Ava had a cold and fever for several days, and then on Christmas day she woke up with a rash on her stomach and back. They think that it is a reaction to the medication that she was on, but we have to keep an eye on it since it is lasting a little longer than normal. She was a trooper and the doctors said that we could still hold it, but she might not look the best in pictures. The theme to her party was "The Hungry Caterpillar" (one of her favorite books). My mom made a super cute caterpillar cake and Joel's mom made adorable cookies.

We had the party at the gym of our church so that we could have a jump castle for the kids to play in. I think that it was the hit of the party for anyone under age 8.

We made crayons for the kids to take home with them.

Ava had fun but was extremely tired by the end of the party. You can kind-of see the rash on her face in the picture of her opening gifts. We gave her some benadryl before the party and by the end of the two hours she was beat. I cannot believe that she is two already. Our baby is a little girl now. These last two years have been amazing and gone by way too fast. Joel and I cannot imagine life without her. She brings us so much happiness and adds such an excitement to our days. We love you Ava!!

These last two pictures are just for document sake...

This is how her rash looked the first day (a few bumps on her belly and back).

This last picture is two days into the rash. It is even worse now. Hopefully it will end soon because she is incredibly uncomfortable.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Getting Ready...

I have been trying to get ready for Ava's second birthday party for a few days now, but have not been able to get much done because Ava is so sick. I hope that she is better in the next few days so that her party can still take place.

I decided to go with the "Hungry Caterpillar" theme this year since it is one of her favorite books. Ava just loves to read, and I thought that this book would make a cute party. I feel like I have to give Ava a bigger party than I probably would normally do just because her birthday competes with such a major holiday. I think that it is fun to come up with crazy ideas that make the party more exciting and Joel thinks that it is a waste of time for someone so young. Oh will be a great party and she willl have fun.

Her invitations were a caterpillar in a canning jar. The actual invitation was written on a leaf cutout.

Then for one of her give-aways I decided to melt crayons into molds. My original plan was to melt them into the foods that the caterpillar eats through in the book, but I got too anxious and melted the crayons too fast so they came out in all different shapes. (It is OK because they still look cute)

Ava helped me peel the paper off some of the crayons one night before going to bed. (She has crazy hair after a bath, but I think that it looks super adorable)

These are some of the finished crayons. Hopefully I will be able to post more picture of the actual party next week if my little angel gets to feeling better.

I cannot believe that she is turning two. Where does the time go??


Mobius is a children's museum here in town, and Ava has really started to enjoy it now that she is older. My mom decided to get us a family pass for Christmas which we were all thrilled about. Ava really needs something to do when the weather is too cold and crummy to be outside in, and Mobius has given her something to look forward to. I was worried that she would get sick of it after awhile, but she hasn't and we go at least once a week. Several of the families in our play group have passes too, and it is always fun when we meet up there to let the kids play and the mom's are able to chat.

A few of Ava's favorite things to do there are; dress up as a police officer or fireman, play with the water feature, and she loves to paint. Here are a few pictures of our last trip to the museum...

They have several plasma cars for the kids to ride, and then other kids dress up and direct traffic or help with crashes. Ava was trying to direct traffic in these pictures.

And here is a picture of her painting. She loves to use all the different colors and mix them together on the paper.

We love Mobius!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

I am way behind on these blog posts and need to catch up if I am going to print out a book at the end of the year, so here are a few back-to-back posts of the things that we have been up to this last month.

The day after Thanksgiving we bought passes to cut down a Christmas tree with my brother Eric and his family.

Ava thought that it was fun to see snow on the ground.

And she thought that it was even more fun to bend over and pick up a hard chunk of snow. She thought that she had made a snowball and was excited to show it to her dad.

Ava and her cousin Simon are super cute together. We had fun spending some extra time with Eric, Jenny and the boys before they headed home.

Long story short...our tree was a little "Charlie Brown" when Joel found it, but by the time we got it home it was a missing even more branches and needles. We decided that it was so weak that it would have trouble holding ornaments, so Joel drove down to the store and bought a tree. It is a beautiful tree but we love finding the perfect little tree out in the woods so much more. (Guess we got to experience both this year)

Ava was so excited to decorate the tree and loved wearing our Santa hat while doing so.

Having a child makes the holidays so much more fun and meaningful.

We sure love Ava and the joy she brings us each day.

This last picture is just Ava having fun with a strainer and making a cute/funny face.
It was too cute to leave out...and I am sure that she will love me for it some day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Ava never really got to enjoy the snow last year because she was still pretty young. This year however, she is really excited about the snow and tells us about how white and fun it is.
Today she decided she wanted to help her dad shovel the driveway, and had a blast outside.

She wanted to make sure there was no snow on her slide, so she had her dad help her clean the swing set.

We are glad that she is starting to enjoy winter more, because her parents love the snow and cannot wait to teach her how to downhill ski.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Very Cute Good Witch

We had a pretty eventful Halloween season this year.

I started going to a Mommy and Me play group in our development a few weeks ago, and Ava and I love it. I love spending time with the moms and Ava enjoys all her new friends, so it is a win/win. The week before Halloween the play group had a Halloween party and all the kids dressed up. I wish they would have let us take a group photo, but it is hard to get toddlers to cooperate for a photo. They all looked adorable though.

Ava is totally into coloring right now, and when she saw the art table she threw off her witch hat and began drawing a picture. That was the last of her hat that day... she refused to wear it for the party.

The girls frosted and decorated sugar cookies.

And they all had a blast playing in this little Halloween fort. She had a great time!!

Then a few days later I took her to my mom's school for Ava to trick-or-treat her grandma. Ava loves going to my mom's classroom.

We also hit up a church Halloween carnival the weekend before Halloween night. Ava had fun running around with her cousin Gage ("The Viking").

(These two kids are so cute together.)

They ran around the numbers of the cupcake walk even if the music stopped.

(Thanks to her grandma Anderson for making a witch costume to match her hot pink hat.)

We could not ask for a cuter witch. We love this kid to death.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Playing with Cousins

Ava got to spend time with her cousins Maveric and Simon this weekend. Jenny and I took the kids to the park to play while Joel and my brothers went to the Eastern football game. Ava loves the park and is more than happy to go play there any time that she is able. It was even more fun this time because she had her two cousins to chase around. We had a great few days with them and wish we lived closer so the kids could spend more time together.

Ava and Simon looking out the windows of the tree fort.

Ava would probably swing almost the whole day if we would let her. My sister-in-law Jenny took this picture. I love how it shows the joy and excitement Ava has on the swing.

These last two pictures make Ava look so big. I feel like my baby is such a little girl now. I cannot believe how fast time is flying by. Watching her grow and develop has been so much fun. I just wish it would slow down a tad bit.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Carving Pumpkins

We decided to have a family date night last night and carved our pumpkins. Ava loved cleaning the seeds off of the newspaper until she realized that her hands were dirty which caused her to scream "clean me". (She hates to be dirty...wonder where she got that from.)

But her favorite part was when we lit the pumpkins. Ava loves to watch candles burn, and it was even more neat to see them burn inside of a pumpkin.

I am grateful for nights like this spent together.