Friday, October 10, 2008

Evidence

As I sit down to write this, I can tell I'm going to have a hard time explaining myself. I guess sometimes I write too much with my readers in mind. This posting is mostly for me, I'm not going to be offended if you don't find it interesting.

Call me crazy but I love all the little things around my house that remind me that I am a mom, or that say, "Collin was here", or "Lucas was here". Here are some examples: (again, I feel like documenting this stuff for my own enjoyment, I don't imagine too many of you out there want all these details) I often find Collin's bath bucket full of chap sticks that he has collected throughout the house. I can usually predict what will happen if he sees me putting on chap stick, I will hear him trot down to his bathroom and push back the shower curtain to get his little orange bucket, then I will hear the "plunk, plunk" as he goes around collecting from night stands, purses, and kitchen and bathroom drawers. Lately it has tickled me so much to empty out his tractor seat after he has gone to bed. Last night I found two forks, the knob to the lamp (I heard it fall off the week before when Jesse turned it on) some random toys that were small enough to fit, and a Sam's club receipt that Collin had saved because of the smiley face. It's so fun to imagine what Collin's little mind was thinking as he rode around the house on his little tractor collecting treasures.

And now that Lucas is full-on mobile he stays busy with what Jesse and I refer to as "his little projects". I watched him working on one such "project" the other night as he went back and forth from his toy basket to the top of the stairs to watch each toy topple down one by one. After each toy would stop on the landing, he would turn around with the biggest, proudest grin on his face and quickly go get another one. I guess these kinds of things make me happy because of the reminders they are. I was doing laundry the other day and was lost in my mindless task, not really thinking about much when I came across Lucas' toothbrush. I had been looking for that thing for a couple days and had to smile as I thought about him walking around sucking on it and deciding the hamper looked like a good place to put it. Just that little thing pulled me out of my mindless task and made me think little prayers of gratitude for the people whose clothes I was washing.

It's a bit strange to hear myself talk about things like this, I remember so well hearing these same things from moms before I had kids. I guess I'm a little worried someone might read this and think like I used to think, "big deal, all kids do that", but it's my kids doing it and I get to experience it. I hope that I can remember these simple delights forever. It's not always the funnest to pick up toys and little misplaced items all the time, but as long as there are things like that around my house it means my kids haven't grown up, gone to college, gotten married, or moved away yet. Phew, I'm not ready for that. Thank heaven they're still little and still want to spend time with their Mama. For now, I will try to savor all the little bits of evidence I find that make me smile as I am reminded of the blessing it is to be Mama to these boys.


Here's Collin with a bit of 'evidence' I found on the kitchen floor--Thomas stickers!
"It's fern [for] you."



Sounds silly, but I like the fact that someone visiting my house for the first time would look around and say, "Yep, Mom to young'uns."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Day Has Come

Ever since we found out we were expecting Lucas, we have anticipated the two brothers being able to play together and the day has finally come. Just last Saturday Lucas ventured on to Collin's toy tractor and to my amazement, Collin didn't push him off. Instead he showed him how to hang on and slowly pushed him around our house. It ended up being about a twenty minute episode and they both totally enjoyed themselves. I snapped this pic right before Lucas got off, by his expression you can tell he had had enough. Pardon the three year old missing his pants. I guess boys this age just don't believe in clothes. Can I get an amen, Sunni?

Back Door View

It's balloon fiesta time again! Another reason why Fall is great. Early this morning I heard the tell-tale sound of a hot-air balloon so loudly (sounds like Darth Vader) and ran outside to see two balloons right over our house. I quickly got the boys out of bed and we got to watch them land right outside our back door. The Hot-Air Balloon Fiesta runs through this whole week, I'm hoping to get a pic of the balloon filled sky, it's really impressive.

This pic shows them both, but the second one is almost hidden by the one in front.

Two Reasons

I'm only blogging this for two reasons:

1. I wanted to show Jesse the improvements to our entry way, no one else will really appreciate the difference. I should have taken a before and after.

2. I wanted to gush over Sunni and thank her for her help. I know she will take this as the greatest compliment when I say that she gave me Mom-like service. I was drowning in all the things I had to get done before our open house and she stepped in just like our Mama would have if she lived closer. I want to be more like Sunni, who wants to be more like our Mama. Some day when I am like Sunni, I will then work on being more like our Mama, but for now I've got my work cut out for me. I'm never very good at accepting help or calling on those people who say, "if you need anything, let me know" and Su knows that, she just sensed my need and said, "do you want to drop off your kids at my house, or would you rather have my help at your house, which would be more helpful"? Can't even begin to express my gratitude. Love that girl.

Here's the front porch with the beautiful arrangement Sunni helped me create and while I'm tooting her horn, the fountain is one that she made as well. It was a birthday gift to me last year. Now do you see why I want to be like Sunni? Well actually, let's get this straight, even if that girl didn't have a creative or crafty bone in her body, I'd STILL want to be like her. Enough said.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boys = Pyromaniacs

We had an impromptu hot dog roast the other night. It's times like these that I'm glad we live out in the desert so we don't have to drive anywhere to have a desert cook-out. Works out pretty well. Josh and Su drove a whole 5 minutes and I grabbed my boys and walked out the back door to Cliff and Lisa's house and BAM the hot dog roast is on. Cliff got the boys all hyped up helping make the fire. Boy, were they excited. For a while there we didn't know if they were possessed or just doing a dance to the fire gods. For them, the fire was the best part of the night. Cliff was busy digging the hole, cutting his up his lumber pile, and helping the kids with kindling, while the moms all stood around giving out reminders to not get to close, be careful, fire is dangerous, etc.

Cliff is such a fun uncle/dad, he often reminds me of how Uncle Sam is with all the nieces and nephews, but in this case it was just nephews, and lots of 'em. It was a perfect night--another one of those times when I look around me at the people I love so much and just have to heave a big sigh because I feel so content and blessed. There are always things I could pick out of a situation that would make it better, but that will always be the case, might as well be grateful for what I've got in the here and now. And maaaaaaaaaaaan, am I grateful.

What are the odds?

I walked into Collin's room this morning and had to laugh out loud at his amazing bed-head. I have never seen it so wacky before and so I had to run for the camera (pictures never do it justice). I didn't get around to blogging about it this morning, which is a good thing because lo and behold, Lucas' morning nap gave him a 'do' worthy of documenting as well. Here are my bed-head boys:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ode to my Angie

So I remembered another reason I love the change into Fall (including the smell of manure--but only in the cool air-transition stage) it reminds me of my last area in the Mission and my companera Angie Wilcox (well, manure doesn't remind me of Angie, it reminds me of where we lived). We were together for a long time and never got tired of each other. We got to be bridesmaids at each other's weddings and have both had two boys in the same years. In fact, I loved her so much that I made sure to find a guy to marry who had the same last name as her maiden name. We even got to visit our favorite family from the mish together. I had planned on blogging my ode to her on her birthday earlier this month but I missed my chance. Here are just a few things that come to mind when I think about Angela and the blessed September we met 8 years ago. These are for you, Ang.
~purple skittles and Reece's pieces
~gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, yur CUTE
~ooh wee ooh wee ooh wee ooh wee
~scaring me to get rid of my hick-ups
~"oh dear"
~whatever the case may be, at any rate...
~syke, rreeeaaar (cat noise)
~hola, mi amor
~yatzee hand-held game
~muneca mi nina
~kid me not
~killing black widows
I realize that no one else gets any of this stuff and maybe no one has even read this far--sorry to bore you but I seriously love this gal and besides that she's my faithful commenter on all my blogs, she deserves a shout-out. I would have put a missionary pic. of us but my scanner isn't working. Anyway, thanks for all the memories--GOOD TIMES! Love ya dear, and happy late birthday!

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's in the air...


I swear, if my sniffer ever goes out on me I'll be miserable. So much of what I love about life are the smells, and so many of my memories are smell-linked. Isn't there something about how the olfactory senses are connected to some memory part of the brain? Yeah, something like that.


Anyway, I love the smells that tell me Fall is coming. I'm glad I still live in chile roasting country--that is probably the biggest "Fall is here" smell. And I love it, even though I was up until 11:00 the other night de-seeding and bagging and hating every minute of the aching back-so tired-is this bag of chiles ever going to end-experience. It also seems to me like the air smells a bit colder come September and I feel like I should be going to a football game. The other weekend when I was on my way to visit Jesse, I even welcomed the manure smell from the dairies I was passing, for some reason the stench didn't bother me--it just fit right in with the fall is coming mood I was in. Down in Cruces, I just LOVED when the Cal-Compact company got to packaging their spices because it filled the air. The Chile and Cumin--aaaahhhh, I don't guess many of you know what I'm talking about. I've gotten a bit carried away thinking about the changing of seasons, it just does something to me and I think I'll go have some hot cider and start reading Pride and Prejudice. Seems silly I know, it's only mid September and tomorrow may be blazing hot but I won't mind because it'll just give me the pleasure of the transition into cooler days all over again. I'm weird, I am aware of that, but I also know that there are some people out there (Sunni and Mom to name a few) who know exactly what I am talking about. I guess grouping myself with Su and Mom doesn't make me seem any more normal, does it now? Ha!

This one is for Jesse

video

I was telling Jesse just how cute it was to watch Lucas adjust to walking in shoes and I thought he'd like to see. There's actually only a second or two where his shoes are in view because he has recently discovered the magic screen behind the camera and would rather see that than perform on the other end. Here ya go, Lovey, you sure do have cute kids!

PS. I was also thinking about the grandmas as I took this video. This is for you too, Granny and Ma. Oh by the way Mom, there is a pause button on the music player (scroll down to your right) so you can hear the audio from the video :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Collin

This kid blows me away. Before becoming a Mom, I thought and worried so much about the "how to" stuff and I guess my mind was always on the nurture aspect of the nature/nurture debate. Now more and more, I am realizing that each spirit is different and while, as a parent, I have to nurture and teach things like obedience, self control, and life skills in general, each child is so amazingly unique and there are some things about each child over which I have only a slight influence. I will never have another Collin, neither will anyone else. Why am I so blessed?
It is daunting sometimes to think that as a mom I have a part (a huge part) in shaping this kid's personality, sense of humor, and overall functionality in society. Not to mention the monumental responsibility of teaching him the Gospel and helping him gain a testimony. I'm up for the challenge, though, I've never known anything more difficult but I have also never known anything more rewarding. Just yesterday I sat across the dinner table from Collin while we were eating and out of no where, Collin gets down from his chair and says, "I'm gonna give you a hug". Talk about rewarding. This mom-job is strange like that, I never know when pay day is, but honestly if I'm paying attention, pay day is every day. I could have used this perspective/reminder last week, but anyhoo...

Motivation

I'm always going crazy trying to keep up with baby books, blogging, scrapbooks, journals, and logging the cute stuff the kids do and always falling short. Now I hear tell that these here blogs can be put into book form, or something like that, and I'm thinkin' this may be a good way to kill a few birds with one blog stone. Good news for me and for the few of you that would like to hear/read more (I'm thinkin' probably the Moms, Jesse, and a few select others) for the rest of you that casually check in, it may get boring. Sorry, but I'm thinking about myself here and this just may work for me. We'll see...

There's also the consideration of going private--don't know how annoying that will make things, do you have to log in every time to view our blog? I'm thinking I might try because then I can actually write and not worry about the info. I'm passing on to the world. For example, I was starting to write more details about our current move/work switch for Jesse/living situation, etc. to keep everyone updated, but I didn't like having so much out there for just anyone to read and I hate having to filter through all that I'm writing. It's bad enough that I'm having to think about my poor grammar and sentence structure and how entertaining or boring my ramblings are to my family/friend audience, let alone worry about all the weirdos that stumble along our measly little internet space and read about our life. See what I mean about bad sentence structure? Anyway, might sound a little paranoid but Jesse (and life experience) have taught me well. Besides that, my personal info. is already floating around in the world with my treasured red leather purse that was stolen last March, people know enough about me already. But I'm not bitter.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Group date: Steak and siblings

It has been a dream come true to live in the same town as most of my siblings (all but one, actually). We have regular Sunday dinner get-togethers at each other's house, swap babysitting, go tag-team errand running, and celebrate birthdays and most holidays together. It is the best set up! The other weekend while we sat in Cliff and Lisa's garage eating popsicles and watching over our precious yard sale items that weren't selling we started calendaring. Among other things, we planned our first group date. Like I said earlier, we usually just swap babysitting for our dates. We decided Outback was the place and all found babysitters. You can't imagine how excited I was for the date--great food, the best company, and NO KIDS!!!!!! When we showed up and were being seated, the hostess asked if we'd be needing high-chairs or kids menus and we practically burst out laughing from glee. It's not that we don't love our kids, but when we ALL get together, an uninterrupted conversation is not possible--there's just too many little people with all kinds of different needs. A break every now-and-then is the most refreshing and wonderful thing.
So here we all are at Outback in early August. Sunni, Josh, Lisa, Cliff, Samia (Joe had to work), Me and Jesse.

Guess who's walkin' now?

15 Month old Lucas !
You can see my hand in the pic with a toy trying to coax the little guy to walk over so I could snap a pic. Jesse wasn't around for the very first steps and I wanted to document every little bit for him. Lucas was a good little boy and waited until he saw his "Papi" to take more than two steps together. In fact, he took his longest walk across the room in Artesia when we were up to visit Jesse over the weekend.


He is a 'late walker' compared to most, except Collin who waited until 16 months to start. Fine with me--I don't mind my kids waiting a while to get mobile. And to me, there's nothing cuter than the wagging diaper behind of a crawling baby. Although, the first clumsy steps are a close second to that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The 4th of July

Hey, not bad, only a month late on this one. :) We took a trip down to Carlsbad for the 4th, there was a big Williams shin-dig reunion sort of thing and we booked a hotel and were totally excited to see everyone. For some reason, I was particularly looking forward to a road trip with my little fam. I always forget the annoyances of handing toys to boys who've dropped them, singing songs till I'm hoarse, and answering a bazillion questions of what this or that is that we're passing. Collin got a little sick on the day we were planning to leave and we thought our trip was going to be no-go, but the next day he perked up a bit and we hit the road.

By leaving a day late we missed most of the reunion but got some good immediate-family chatting. We all went to Gaga's (Jesse's Grandma) and then to the river to watch fireworks. It was one of those experiences I'd like to create over and over again. To sit on the green grass with almost all the fam. together and watch a spectacular show. It was bliss. Perfect weather, perfect company, and it felt great to reflect on the amazing blessing of living in the good ole' USA and all that was sacrificed so that it would be such a great nation. I am blessed and grateful.


Another fun reflection of this trip was that it was the first time Jesse and our little family have stayed in a hotel. I liked to walk into our room as if I were housekeeping and notice that it must be a little family staying in the room--a pack-n-play in the corner by the bathroom, a little bed-pad on the floor made of beach towels and the parents on the bed. I may be sounding really silly, but I just loved our short stay and our little trip.

We got to look around Artesia some more and went to Jobe's (Jesse's cousin) house for a fish-fry and anniversary celebration for the grandparents. All I have to say is--GOOD PEOPLE. I love the Williams bunch. From the parents, the brothers and sisters, to the aunts and uncles, to the cousins. I just felt surrounded by wonderful folks.

After the party simmered down, we got in the pool with the boys and had a grand old time. I sure am feeling better about moving down to Artesia after such a pleasant time with all those Artesians--mostly Jesse's cousins and their families.





Tired little boys--we did a lot of driving.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Woops-a-daisy!

Has it really been over 2 months since I've blogged? Yikes! Lemme 'splain. My life turned upside down at the end of March--my purse was stolen and it has been the most insane mess. I cannot even begin to write all that I have had to deal with and how awful it's been. So, I won't even try. Besides that, it's depressing stuff to talk about and I don't need that right now. Maybe someday I'll feel like blogging it all out. Or I could just copy/paste from my journal. Anyhow, another reason I can't ever get around to blogging is that when I log on to update my blog, I have to look into all my friends and read about their lives and before I know it, my kids are done with their naps and it's dinner time. Frankly, I'd rather read about everyone else's life than write about mine. :) So, this time when I got on the computer to update this bad boy I just went straight to creating a new post, no checking in on my friends. I guess that's the secret to getting stuff blogged.
I think for now I'll just post some pics and let the old, "a picture is worth 1,000 words" addage do the talking for me. Here's our life for the past few months.
Collin and Lucas in their Easter get-ups

Then there was Mother's day, Jesse got me a new planner to replace the one that was stolen.

All I have to say is if you're watching all 7 boys (3 are Cliff's, 2 are Sunni's and 2 are mine) thank heaven for TV!

Collin's 3rd birthday, I love the expression on his sweet face.

One week later: Lucas's 1st birthday--he got one toy and boy does he LOVE it.


May 31st: Samia and Joe get married! (See Sunni's blog for more pics and details)


Jesse's birthday breakfast--neither Jesse nor I wanted to be in the pic. but the boys didn't mind showing off their bed heads.

A few weeks later: Father's day, more exuses for me to buy things for my Jesse and make big breakfasts--except this time we tried turkey bacon and I didn't like it so much.

So there you have it folks, a busy few months for us and it's only going to get worse, I'm afraid. I guess when I get the time and nerve I'll post again explaining our more recent happenings. So, over and out 10-4.



Friday, May 2, 2008

5 Wonderful Years!

For our anniversary trip this year we went to San Antonio, TX. Loads of fun. Before I go into the trip, I've got to give a shout out to my Sunni (and her Josh) for watching our boys. You folks are great--we love you and our kids love you, now that I think about it, is there anyone in this world that doesn't love you? Anyway, about the trip...I'm not going to go into details :) but I will say that we had a blast. We went to Six Flags, The Alamo, the River Walk, the San Antonio Temple, and did lots of shopping. During the whole year we are pretty frugal and tight with the money (eat Toasted Rice cereal instead of Chex, ya know what I mean?) but we set a little aside for our annual trip and have ourselves a shopping spree. It's actually pretty funny, we think we're huge spenders when we give ourselves $150 each and buy things like running shoes, earrings, t-shirts, and cooking gadgets. Yeah, we're wild.

It's only been five years of marriage, but I practically rely on these anniversary trips to keep me functioning. I remember our honeymoon and how amazing it was to leave everything behind and just enjoy my Jesse-time. There were times when I felt like we were the only people on earth--it was just bliss. And although you can only have one honeymoon, these trips sort of serve the same purpose for us--it's a chance to just be Anika and Jesse, we get to leave everything behind for a couple days. I'm a huge believer in doing whatever it takes to celebrate the milestones in a marriage, it keeps me sane. I hope we can keep up our tradition. Anyhow, here's some pics from our trip this past March:

It's too dark to see behind us but this is us at the River Walk






At Six Flags Fiesta Texas



In front of the beeeeee-autiful San Antonio Temple

It was a well rounded trip, we got in a little of everything. The River Walk was romantic, Six Flags was just plain fun (I forgot how much I love roller coaster rides), The Alamo was educational, and the Temple was rejuvenating. I can't wait until next year, it's Jesse's turn to plan the trip so we'll see...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Collin's Haircut

This was actually about a month ago, but I'm a blog-slacker. Collin was seriously overdue for a haircut (just check out the shagg in the picture). I don't know why it takes me so long to finally get around to cutting his hair, it's not like he dislikes haircuts or behaves badly when I try to cut his hair. On the contrary, he is surprisingly good about sitting still and being patient while his mom has to go over and over his hair to get the perfect taper. I'm bound to get faster and better the more I cut his hair, I'm actually pretty good at Jesse's and it only took me about 4 years. Ha! So, in the mean-time I'm grateful to have this angel-child who sits still for me. I guess he was sick of being shaggy because when I ran the buzzer up the back of his head and he saw the hair fall onto the apron, he said, "oh, tanks mommy"! Then when I was really cookin' and he was watching lots of his hair land on the apron he said through a nervous laugh, "oh, niiiice". What a cutie! Oh, and just for the record, I have always wanted to be called Mama, but for some reason, Collin has picked up on the term we use for mom when we try (notice I said try) to speak Spanish, so now he calls me "mami". Oh well, even if 'mommy' isn't my favorite term, I'll take it gratefully, I'm just glad to be his mom.
Here's the shaggy boy waiting for his haircut

Lucas was just as good and patient as his brother as he sat and watched from his swing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How does he do it?

Lucas has done some pretty weird and funny things lately. He is 9 and a half months now and he is (I know every mom says this) ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE! For about a week now he has been mobile. Not crawling yet, but he can scooch on his belly and push with his feet to get places. He does get on his hands and knees and seems like he's almost ready to get going with the crawling thing. Anyway, here are some funny pics of this cute kid.
These PJ's were beyond repair after Lucas' toe got through with them
Got him out of bed and his hair had been matted into this curly-q, should we have named him Clark Kent?

This is how I found him this morn when I came into his room, I don't know how he got his arm out--crazy kid.

I had to include this pic, it's one of our favorites. Let me tell ya, this is kid is as good and sweet as he is beautiful, we are so blessed!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My handsome valentine

I could go on and on about how wonderful Jesse is. He continually amazes me with his goodness and yummy-ness. I honestly cannot imagine a better husband or friend. And he's SO handsome too, which "a man ought to be if at all possible" (little quote from Pride and Prejiduce). Anyway, I hadn't intended to make this a Jesse-blog, I was just wanting to put up some Valentine's Day pics. We had heart-shaped toast and eggs for breakfast and heart-shaped tortillas with our enchiladas at dinner. The next morn. when I got Collin up he saw the rose petals I had sprinkled on the stairs and said, "Uh, oh, made a MESS!!" It was pretty funny.

Jesse at breakfast

Another handsome Valentine of mine with his heart-shaped tortilla

Making "pan-kates"

When we get Collin up in the morning and say, "let's go eat breakfast", he responds with, "Yea!!! Make pan-kates"! On weekdays we usually eat just eggs or oatmeal, but on Saturdays, we give into his cute request. He just loves these things. We got started making these kind of pancakes and have never gone back. It's a recipe from my dear friend Cammy Mansell in Ft. Sumner, they're kind of crepe-like thin and yummy!

Collin likes to "help" Papi make pan-kates and pulls a chair up to the island

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

January review

In an effort to keep our readers updated on the year (this blog is meant to replace our yearly letter after all) we're going to post a few pics from last month. Of course, we wouldn't have to do a review if we had just started in January like we intended. Sounds just like us, good start, aye?

Collin going down the slide--tongue out, as usual
We had our traditional Williams family football game while we were all together over the Holidays. Kinda cold, but still very fun. I didn't get many pics of the game, but I sure took plenty of Collin. He and his cousins played on the jungle gym while the "big kids" played football. Lucas just watched all of the action from the side lines in his car seat.

Lucas all bundled up

Another tradition with the Williams family is a get-together with all the girls at Village Inn, no boys allowed :) and everyone comes in their pajamas. Jeremy (Jesse's brother) was married last year and that added the final Williams girl to the bunch. This was the first year with the complete group of sisters, all 6 of us together and it was a whole lot of fun. I can't wait for the next one!

The Williams girls: Anita, Rachel, Cadi, Anika, Rachel, and Bonnie

Here are some more pics of the girls, left to right: Anita, Rachel, and Cadi

On the other side of the table: Me, Rachel, and Bonnie

While we were visiting the folks, Jesse got pretty handy with the tractor/back-hoe and dug a huge trench for Papa (Jesse's dad) to run his pipes for the well. We had nice weather for a January and spent some time outdoors throwing the football and frisbee. Collin sure had a good time playing in the dirt.

Jesse just-a-digging away

Collin liked to sit with Jesse as he drove

Collin playing in the trench with his cousin Justin

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And so we begin...

Here we go folks, the Williams are officially joining the blogging world! We figure this may be a better way of keeping our loved ones updated on our life happenings, but then again, that only is possible if we keep this puppy updated. Some of you who have recieved our Christmas letters (that arrive near St. Patty's Day) may be skeptical of how well this is going to work, we'll see... Wish us luck!