Monday, July 20, 2009


My beautiful baby has turned into such a handsome boy. Where have the years gone? I remember the day he was born, and the many sleepless nights that followed. I remember his first steps and his first words. In a few weeks, we'll get to experience his first day of school. I couldn't ask for a more special, talented, handsome, wonderful child. What an amazing five years this has been. I can only hope he knows how much his mommy and daddy love him! We are so thankful that he is a part of our family.

Five is a special number, so we had to have a special party! Grandma and Grandpa drove down to visit on Sunday, and we had our annual BBQ -- for the past five years we have had a cookout for his birthday. It's become a family tradition. Joseph's primary teacher has the same birthday, and she also happens to have some kids who are friends with ours, so she helped us celebrate.

The birthday boy with Mommy and Daddy.

The Grillmaster gets the party started!

Joseph and Andrew were very anxious to eat the cake. Joseph picked out a Wiggles cake this year. Usually I make the cakes, but since we're still living out of boxes I have no idea where all of my cake decorating tools are.

Having fun with the Haroldson family.

Opening his presents from Mommy and Daddy: A Spiderman guitar (the kid has a serious guitar obsession), a Spongebob lunch box and backpack, a Spongebob DVD, a Berenstain Bears DVD, some Spongebob books, and his favorite book EVER -- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

However, Mommy and Daddy's gifts were pretty insignificant compared to Grandma and Grandpa's gift: A Power Wheels Ford F-150!!

Joseph taking Aiden for a spin.

What an amazing gift! Joseph is very blessed to have grandparents who love to spoil him rotten!

Last but not least, Joseph's very sweet cousins made him a cake today. They also made him homemade pizza, and Aunt Darlene got him a fabulous gift -- an entire ream of paper to have all to himself!

Happy fifth birthday, Joseph! I love you, kiddo!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Moving Take One

I've called this post "Moving Take One," because in a few weeks we'll be moving again. For right now, we are living with Brad's brother and his family until we can find our own place. So, I'll take you on a little journey of our first move, and the past few weeks with our family.

Step 1: A visit with Grandma and Grandpa. The Sunday before we moved out, I decided to take a trip with my boys to visit their grandparents. Even though we're living closer to them now, I knew that it would be a while before we saw them again because of the chaos involved with moving our family from one end of West Virginia to the other. We had a fun visit, and are excited to get the chance to visit with them again once things settle down a little.

Joseph and Andrew, happy to be with the Grandma and Grandpa.
Step 2: Loading up the truck and heading across the state. Neither easy, nor fun. I much preferred spending a lazy Sunday afternoon with my parents and my little boys.
It turns out that it is not very easy to load a 75-year-old piano into a 24-foot moving truck. It took an hour-and-a-half to load the piano because the wheels on the piano happened to be a fraction of an inch too short to make the piano go over the lip on the ramp; thus, the movers (aka, the Elders Quorum) had to come up with a strategy to get a 1000 pound piano up a 10 foot ramp without killing themselves or my piano. Luckily, one of the ward members in attendance lived around the corner and happened to have a bunch of two-by-fours and a very strong son and they were able to get the dang thing on the truck.
Brad looking slightly unhappy about the delays caused by the piano, which he despised before he had to load it into the big ol' truck.
Elder Hester using Elder Van Lydegraf as a bench while he played the piano for the inhabitants of our street.
Once the truck was loaded, Brad and I got the house all cleaned out and headed on our 5 hour trek to Parkersburg. Manuevering the 24-foot truck which was also towing our pick-up truck was also not an easy task. I followed Brad in our Honda. The truck would only go 40-miles per hour over the steep mountains between Hancock, MD and Morgantown, WV (which is about 2 hours of the 5 hour trip when you are actually going the speed limit). To make matters worse, I missed a red light (without my knowledge) while trying to make sure Brad got through a difficult intersection, and got my first ticket ever. EEk!
But, we arrived in Parkersburg safe and sound. Quite a few members of the Parkersburg ward showed up to help move our belongings into my brother-in-law's basement. Amazingly, it took about five minutes to move my piano and about a half hour total to unload the truck.
Step 4: Chaos!!!!!!!!!! My in-law's home is constantly filled with new and interesting people (and a couple of pets, too). I'd estimate that on a daily basis there are about twelve people in the house, and it seems like someone new is there visiting/staying every single day. It's been quite an adjustment for our little family. Joseph and Andrew have been a little overwhelmed. I have been too. I actually think the boys have handled it better than I have. We're really enjoying our stay, but we're pretty anxious to have our own home. Hopefully we'll be in our own place by August 1. It's nice to visit with our family, but I'm eager to get myself and my kids back to our regular routine.
Emily - one of the many visitors in the home. She has actually been quite a blessing to us. We appreciate the endless hours she has put into drawing pictures for Joseph.
Joseph and Scotty (again, another visitor in their home) proudly displaying their superhero costumes that Emily lovingly made them.

Ian, the dog. Ian has been very subdued throughout this whole process. I guess he's used to the constant influx of new people in his home. He also seems to handle Andrew and Joseph pulling his tail very well. Overall, I don't mind Ian - although, I don't care for him so much when he barks his head off at 7 am.

However, Bella the cat does not handle her new roomates so well. Her ears are always slicked back whenever she sees Andrew and Joseph, in nervous anticipation of being chased throughout the house (which happens about every five minutes if she's in their sight). She's taken to hiding until they're asleep.

A little more chaos. My in-laws hosted a 4th of July BBQ at their home, complete with about 20 unfamiliar faces for Andrew and Joseph. It was actually enjoyable chaos, though. There was yummy food, fun activities, and our own little fireworks display. Andrew and Joseph got to enjoy their first sparklers. Joseph was much more interested in them than Andrew. By the time it was dark, Andrew was too tired to care. It was a fun day, though, and it was good to meet some of the families in our new ward.
Now that you've read this post, I'm sure you can understand why it's been a while since I've posted anything. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be posting some pictures of our new house (keep your fingers crossed). Until then, good night!