Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best of 2010

Happy New Year everyone! As usual, we like to recap on this past year of 2010.

Kent successfully transitioned from his job at Maricopa Hospital to Banner Estrella. While it was taxing at times to move to a job that wasn't on call and as intense, Kent has overcome his frenetic pace and enjoys having more time to himself! ;0) This has allowed him to focus more on family as well as his calling in church - Scoutmaster. He can now proudly say he thinks he has more of a hold on his calling - rather than the other way around! Due in part to Flo's efforts at learning how to swim, Kent has been bit by the exercise bug - particularly in swimming. From it is born a rather pleasing side note, he's lost a lot of weight.

Speaking of Flo she is learning how children can push her to grow. Isaac inquired of her during the summer why it was she didn't swim, needing to lead by example, she decided to overcome her fear of water and took some lessons. The dedication to this weakness has resulted in the insane idea of doing a triathlon in May. Thus at 5:30am she can be found at the gym, swimming, running and cycling. She also endeavored to conquer the plain and austere feeling of her home and began decorating the rooms, painting walls and garage sale finds as well as adding pictures and decor. Just recently she finished a quilt for Isaac, one sewn by her entirely - both by hand and by machine - that Isaac proudly displays. On the side, she cooks, cleans, volunteers at the preschool and did her calling as a ward missionary (recently released) - her personal attempt at being superwoman!

Isaac is growing by leaps and bounds. He is totally potty trained, both night at day. This has enabled him to start preschool which he LOVES!!! Holidays and breaks have become 'trying' on him as he dearly misses his friends, in particular a girl named Keirly whom he's often holding hands with and Maxwell, his digging partner. He can now spell his name, write the letters, and loves to guess at the first letters of words he hears. He his a huge help around the house and particularly with Keila since he keenly feels his duty to 'teach her' what he knows. This can be difficult at times for a little girl. Luckily she adores her brother. Isaac recently got a tool set that he proudly uses to fix everything and anything he sees. When real fixing needs to be done he is there by Kent's side asking a million questions and grunting as all handymen do!

Keila is as darling as ever, and she knows it! She has a way of snuggling, smiling and giggling that tends to wrap people right around her little finger. She is walking and has a good waddle run that helps her keep up with her brother. She tends to use sign language more than words, unless she feels an urgent need to communicate - such as in the case of chocolate! At such times she can loudly say 'Tree?' (for treat) and 'Chalket' for chocolate while vigorously rubbing her belly for the sign of please. The household is kept on their toes for her curious little fingers can be found in everything. She tends to shadow Flo and mimic her as much as possible. We hope this all pays off when she takes over the cooking for the family!

We're grateful for all that 2010 has brought us and excited for the following year. May the Lord's blessing be with you all. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! It's been a wonderful holiday for the last few days. Kent switched out his day off from New Years so that he could have the 2 days before Christmas off with us. With all the gifts bought and ready, there wasn't the mad dash before the big day so we spent it on little outings with the rugrats and finishing small chores around the house.

We went to the Scottsdale McCormick Train Park where the railroad ties were the main attraction for the kids. I can't begin to count the number of games Isaac came up with as we ran back and forth on them. His eyes would light up and he's say, "Wait, wait, lets play a game. But we have rules ..." and Kent and I would smile as he elaborated all sorts of impossible rules. Is that what he thinks we do with him? Keila had a blast chasing the birds and screaming at them.

The following day we went to a nearby park to feed the ducks and play for a while. Keila truly loves all animals and went bonkers again seeing the ducks. This time she actually threw the bread to them rather than eat it and squealed with delight when they fought for it. She loves the swings and giggled like crazy and is adventurous enough to go down slides all on her own. Earlier she saw me wipe down the slides from the rain the night before. I had to smile as she meticulously wiped each time she went down. Such a little copy cat. Hope she picks the best things to copy from me! Isaac found a car that drove over mountains and valleys all over the playground.

Christmas was spent with the Montierths in the traditional get together with a special visit from Santa. Kent and I stayed up late wrapping the last 2 gifts - a grocery cart and play kitchen- it was enormous! I've always loved wrapping gifts. It's like the final touch, a little act of love that beautifies and adds the element of surprise.

Amazingly Isaac got up at 7am to use the bathroom and climbed right back into bed. WE got up together as a family, snuggled and then went out ot the Christmas tree where Kent and I were gratified to see the response from an excited little boy, "Whoa!!! Big present, that's a big present!!!" We dragged out the excitement a little more by trying to get him to guess what it was. He and Keila loved it, along with the cuttable food toys, pots, pans, etc. Isaac also got a toy drill set so he could be just like Baba.

All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. Kent and I spent some time musing about the past Christmas' that we remember, he remembered the magic of Santa, I remember good food. But nowadays our memories are of people, specifically the little people in our lives. It's their smiles, their laughter and joy that ultimately gives me the greatest joy. I may not remember exact details of this day, but I sure hope to remember the feeling I felt as I spent precious time with my loved ones. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Second Wife and Best Friend

The 'second wife' of Kent's seems to be my best friend lately. For those of you who are rather confused, I'm referring to the Canon Rebel camera he bought 2 years ago. At first they were inseparable and I could be walking, talking, eating, scolding or any number of things and being told all of a sudden to just 'hold it' while Kent adjusted the thing to get the right shot. I never took to 'IT' for obvious reasons but gradually I became less intimidated with it and figured out enough to do a decent shot. Lately I've been lugging it around with me wherever I go. In addition to dislocating my back and keeping my chiropractor happy, the 50 lbs has a way of keeping me down to earth so to speak. This time of year I have a habit of wandering mentally to the million of things I want/need to get done, or worrying about things I can do nothing about, etc. So when I'm out with the little ones I'm too far off to really enjoy them until my purse bangs painfully into my side. Then I think, "Oh hey, I've got the camera, maybe I can get a cute shot in ..." and suddenly I'm back looking for little things from Isaac and Keila that make me smile. I am by no means become anything near a photographer, but I have to thank it for reminding me what this season is about, my Savior, His love and birth that makes if possible for me to have my family eternally.

Kent's showing Isaac how to hold the bat and Isaac actually hit a few of the balls Kent pitched to him. It was fun to see how excited he got. There's something about achieving something all on one's own.

We went to a park nearby where Isaac fed the ducks (Keila fed herself) stale bread. At one point 2 of them got daring enough to approach on land. Keila was obviously concerned about Isaac's safety and yelled at them rather aggressively. It's amusing to me because she often adores animals and can hardly wait to pet them, but apparently not if they're getting to close to her big brother!

Keila is much more daring in personality than Isaac was at her age. She loved the little suspension bridge at the park and especially when I bounced on it as she took her hands off the rails to try and balance. I love her little grins.

Little monkey sees big brother...

Little monkey do!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Only A Week

It's crazy how quickly the Christmas season passes by with only a week till the big day I've had some random thoughts pass through that I wanted to record.

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but it seems this year that I'm less likely to hear people say Merry Christmas. If I should say it to the cashier as I'm leaving I get a rather pointed, "Happy Holidays!" as if I've committed a rather huge faux pas in what I say. Granted it is a time of many different holidays for many differing cultures, but when did my wishing someone joy for a day that is significant to me because of my Savior's birth become offensive? It saddens me that some find offense where none is intended.

The other major thought that's been cycling through my brain is how bipolar this season seems to be. It's the 'most wonderful time of the year' and yet I see so often that it is the most difficult. For whatever reasons, at this time of year the things that are lacking or have been lost (loved ones, jobs, etc) seem even more poignant. Outwardly some plaster on a happy face but silently weep inside. It has made me particularly grateful for the birth of my Savior. While not all is fair and things we lack leave a keen sting I know that there is healing through Him who gave his life for us - healing now and in the life after. So that is the reason I smile, it is the quiet pillar that makes all of life, not just this time of year, joyously peaceful.

So here's to wishing all you a Merry Christmas. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing or struggling with or enjoying, I pray that this season is filled with the simple but great blessings of love and peace.

Here we are doing our yearly ornament crafts. Even Keila is getting into the spirit of things!

Finished products for Isaac's friends at school. Reindeer, button wreaths and candy canes!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Surprise Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my man! Well ... not really, but since birthdays around this time of year tend to get gypped a little, I thought we'd dedicate a day before the chaos began to truly celebrate Kent's birthday. So yesterday Isaac and I took the time to make our own card. Unfortunately the Internet was down and so we only had stickers to go with our little poem:

Happy Birthday to you ...
You live with a zoo.
You have 2 little monkeys
Who love you ... me too!

We wrapped chocolate and surprised him early this morning. Later this afternoon Kent and I are off for a much needed massage and a dinner at the Melting Pot. Bring on the calories!!

So here's to a wonderful man, loving father and tender husband! May you following years be filled with adventure, growth and love! We love you!

Friday, December 10, 2010

One Down, Three to Go!

I've always been grateful to have a husband who understands my neurotic behaviors. Especially when it comes to money. I've often heard it said that money can make or break a marriage and gratefully Kent has learned from the mistakes of others and takes a frugal approach. He balances me since I tend to go the extreme of making a 'holey' shirt last till the threads but melt away from use and has taught me that money can make life easier and more enjoyable in the right doses. It has been wonderful these last 2 years being out of school and residency. Perhaps its due to having worked so hard together those lean years, that having such a large income feels luxurious without needing to really spend it. It's the peace of mind that if the car breaks down, we can easily pay to fix it, or there's a special event and we can afford to go the an expensive restaurant. Even so we've kept our old habits of frugality and managed to pay off one of our 4 student loans. It's a little sickening to think that we owe more in school loans that what we own on a house but there is a so much pleasure from the fact that we have so quickly chipped at the old millstone. We estimate that perhaps in 10 years we might be free from them. So here's to our hard work hun!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dad's Night

Isaac's preschool has an annual Dad's night (and Mom's Night in the spring) for the kids. Isaac absolutely adores Kent so any activity that means he gets to ride in the truck with Baba and have his sole attention that evening is Heaven on Earth! The preschool had paper airplanes, bowling, golf and shaving (the boys used a popscile stick to shave Dad - apparently some dad's wished it was whip cream instead since many a child stuck their Dad up the nose!) and cookies and milk. The best part was that Kent had a blast too and they stayed much later than planned. Here's to male bonding! Argh, argh, argh ... ;0)

He's combined ballet and bowling together!