Monday, November 22, 2010

Welcome Baby

I was so lucky and got to spend four days last week with my little sister as she had her second child. Maggie and I drove down to San Juan Capistrano early Wednesday morning, and got to be there as Stephen Craig Lark made his way happily into the world and into his beautiful little family.

I love this picture. This was taken right before Alyssa began pushing. Doesn't she look so serene, and natural, and focused? She looks to me like she really understands the power she has a woman to help the Lord in bringing a child into the world. Maybe I'm over-thinking it, in fact, I'm SURE I'm way over-thinking it. I'm sure what she was really thinking at that moment was something along the lines of "Just get this baby out of me!" But the former is what I prefer to believe she was thinking. I just love those moments right before and right after a new child is born...I've never been to a birth before, other than when my own children were born. What a wonderful experience...thank you, Alyssa, for letting me be a part of it.

So here's the little guy...all 7 pounds 12 ounces of him.

By the time we got him home on Friday, Maggie and I had done a little shopping, including a trip to the Build-A-Bear workshop. We picked out these little Darth Vader and Mace Windu outfits to bring home to Harry and Charlie. But first, we thought Stephen would look awfully cute in them. Darth Vader didn't fit, but the Jedi uniform did....the force is strong is this youngling.

Before we left on Saturday, we had some time to take a few family photos...
Here's Maggie with Ada. Ada loved her big cousin Maggie. It made us to sad to drive away and see her crying becuase we were leaving. Maggie seems to have made quite an impression on this little one year old:

And finally, a picture of me with a baby that I didn't have to deliver. I think that's a first!

Taylor and Alyssa, well done.
Thank you again for letting me and Mags witness such a special event.
We will truly never forget it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I've been thinking for two days how to write this blog post in a cute and clever way. But I'm stuck. It's just not happening today. So, how about a photo tour of our weekend instead? Sound good? Good..

These two lovely people got married.
It was a beautiful ceremony, and I got to spend an hour in the temple wiht my parents and ALL of my six siblings. That was a first for our family, and it was pretty cool.

All of my children(plus their numerous cousins) survived being left outside of the temple and left to their own devices during the wedding. I just liked this picture of Charlie.

I also just liked this picture of John.

The wedding reception was perfectly fun...bounce house, dancing, balloon animals, cotton candy, you name it, we had it. Including a fractured elbow for Harry at the end of the night. You know, a vacation for our family is really never complete without a trip to the ER.
(Isn't my brother so handsome? I loved this picture of him with his youngest daughter)

Just when my kids thought they'd never had a better weekend, it got better. We went to Disneyland. We'd been planning this for a couple of weeks, but wanted to keep it a surprise. They were surprised. They kept saying things like, "I can't believe we're actually here". We hadn't been to Disneyland in a while - something like three years. We'd never been without grandma and grandpa or friends to help us out. But we had so much fun with just our own "little" family. We only had one breakdown when Charlie found himself one inch too short for the Indiana Jones ride. Otherwise, he was proabaly our best rider...he did them all...Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, all the other mountains, he even fought Darth Vader! They only thing sad about the day was that we didn't really have any extra time or hands to take many pictures. But here's a small sampling...

I love this picture. I have another version of it from an earlier trip to Disneyland. Except now there are two more children in the photo.

It's pretty fun when your own family takes up almost the entire ride!

A year ago, this picture would have been impossible. It's amazing what turning four can do for a boy afraid of people dressed up in animal costumes.

We had some Jedi training in the afternoon...

And then I took Maggie and the two little boys over to Toontown and Fantasyland while the bigger boys and dad hit up the "scary" rides.

Did you know I had twins? Just born a few years apart.

We closed the park down and headed for home. My husband was a super-trooper and got us all home safely,(but a little cranky) by 1:00 a.m.

And now, two days and thirteen loads of laundry later, we are officially unpacked.
Yes, really, thirteen. I think we'll be staying home for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

John Is Four

First, for a Halloween update.

I totally caved.

On Sunday afternoon I was getting ready to make cupcakes for John's birthday when I realized I was out of eggs. So, kind of an ox in the mire situation I decided, and I was off to the the grocery store...just to get eggs. But there was just something about the late afternoon ambience of shoppers at the store on Halloween that got to me. Before I knew it, I was loading eight large bags of candy into the cart along with my eggs. (I know, why did I get a cart if I was really just getting eggs?) Anyway, when I got home three boys were outside on the porch,sadly watching all the neighbors getting ready for Halloween. When they saw all the candy in the bags, they said to me, "Mom, what does this mean?" To which I replied happily, "WHAT DO YOU THINK IT MEANS?" To be there, you would have thought those kids won the lottery. Mom was actually going to let them go trick-or-treating on Sunday?!? And trick or treat they did...up and down the street, around the block, even over the train tracks to the Robers. It was excellent. I was the most popular mom in the least for the evening. And it felt least for the evening.

The late night celebrations kind of exhausted our birthday boy. We had to wake him up at 9:00 a.m. so that he'd have time to get dressed before his friends arrived for his party. As you can see, John did not inheirit the love of early morning birthday celebrations from the Earnest family. But, bedhed and all, he gave it his best shot and opened up every single present.

But then, it was time to get ready to party...four year old style.

We took our promised trip to the auto junkyard, saw some cars moved around by forklift, saw an airbag explode, and John even got to help get this car down off the tow truck. Pretty much a dream come true for our four year old.

We finished up with lunch at the pumpkin patch, some bounce house fun, cupcakes and presents. By 11:30 a.m., we were all pretty much worn out, and in need of an afternoon break.

But by 4:30, we were ready to party again. This time with dinner at Firestone. Apparently when you're four you think it's fun to make silly faces when your mom is trying to take your picture. I didn't mind though...I was just glad we got to go to Friestone instead of CPK for a birthday dinner. Not that I don't love CPK, but with all the birthdays we have around here, even I can get tired of hawaain pizzas and chicken waldorf salads.

We finished off the night with cake and Coldstone. Can you believe we'd never done this before? We sat on the patio of our store, sang Happy Birthday, blew out the candles, and then everyone got to choose whatever kind of ice cream they wanted to go with their chocolate cake. Mint Chocolate Chip, check. Vanilla with gummy bears, check. Even pumpkin ice cream. We had it all.

And today, we are all totally exhausted. But that's okay, because in case you don't already know, today is TOY STORY Tuesday. And John and Jack and I are holed up in my room watching our first blue-ray on my fifty inch plasma t.v. Yes, I should be making bow ties for my sister's wedding...or doing any other of the million things I need to do before we leave on Friday, but, I find lying on my bed with my four year old and watching Woody and Buzz Lightyear save the day yet again is pretty much just bliss for me right now. Happy Toy Story Tuesday to you all...I hope you have a four-year old around to watch it with's the best way to do it!