Tuesday, August 15, 2017

{7.31.17 - 8.6.17}

The last few months leading up to this week have probably been some of the most stressful months of my life! In February (I think) I was called to be the young women girls camp director for our ward. I have not been to a girls camp since I was a teenager, and I had no idea how much effort my leaders put into camp until I had to do it myself! I was really only able to focus on planning girls camp while Axel was sleeping and then when I was planning, it seemed like that's when my girls wanted or needed me for something. I would sometimes get so frustrated because I really only had at most 2 hour chunks of time to plan - which was probably plenty of time, but I felt so clueless that it didn't seem like enough! Many times I felt like I was either being a horrible camp director or a horrible mom...it felt like I wasn't doing either job to the best of my abilities despite my best efforts!
We all survived and I'm sure my kids still know how much I love them and I think - I hope - that girls camp was a success! It's so much different going as a leader than as a young woman! There were times that it was honestly really hard for me to feel the Spirit because I was either trying to get ready for the next activity or I was dealing with some drama within the young women. I will say that we have some awesome young women in our ward/stake!! They were so nice and accepting of each other and, other than a few hiccups, I was so impressed!!! We also have some awesome leaders and I am so grateful for their help in the planning and throughout the week! There are some things that I would do differently next time, but I really do think girls camp was a lot of fun and I really hope that the young women could feel the love that I and their leaders have for them and more importantly, the love that their Heavenly Father has for them!
The them for our stake young women camp this year was "It's A Jungle Out There" and each ward chose an animal to represent them at camp, then we each got to decorate a bucket for a totem pole that the stake leaders put together. Our ward was assigned the value of Faith and we chose to be a white lion. I asked one of my young women to draw our lion on our bucket and I think she did an amazing job!! One of our crafts at camp was to make flower crowns (because we are daughters of a king...so it was like our princess crown! Also because we were lions and lions are kings of the jungle...so, ya know! We got creative!) So we put a flower crown on our lion and I was very happy with our bucket and I'm so grateful for such talented young women! // I got to pull the trailer with all of the girls' luggage, etc. so I had Matthew take me to the church the night before we left so that I could practice backing it up...and I'm glad I did because I had to use those skills when we got to our campsite! I backed the trailer up into this little space with trees on either side of the trailer and trees on the passenger side of the truck! It was very tricky but I was so excited, so I had to document it! 
We had some awesome priesthood holders/camp cooks!! One of our days at camp our priesthood went down and cut a bunch of firewood, so we made the girls hike down and load all of the firewood into the truck. They were hilarious and worked so smart to get this job done quickly!  
I learned that teenagers are much like three year olds when it comes to listening to instruction and cleaning up after themselves! Haha! We made flower crowns, we made mason jar lanterns, we sang some beautiful songs by the light of flashlights, we did a really fun hike and Bishop brought his horses for the girls and leaders to ride while we hiked, we played, we sang karaoke and we had some awesome devotionals and a wonderful testimony meeting. I grew to love our young women even more than I did before! I am really looking forward to planning another camp - hopefully everyone is okay with that!
While I was gone for the week, Lyla and Alya went to Idaho with Grandma Sorenson and Axel got to hang out with Nana and Daxton! They all had so much fun and I am so grateful that I can go in the mountains and have no service and have very little stress about how my kids are doing! The girls got new swimsuits, they swam and went to Walmart (haha!!)...they got very spoiled! Axel went to the zoo, he went to Seven Peaks and swimming with cousins! I hope they were okay with coming home! 
The girls were asked to draw a smiley face in primary on Sunday...Alya did a pretty awesome one!! I am so impressed!! Lyla decided not to draw a smiley face... 
...and drew a camel instead! But how awesome is her camel!?
"If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, oh what a rain that would be!" Alya tasting the raindrops!! I love this picture! I love the rain splashing off her tongue and the water pooled up near her eye! So cute!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

.eleven months.

7.25.2017 - eleven months

Once Axel turned ten months he started walking like a pro! For a while he had to use something to pull himself to standing, but now he stands himself up with no help from anyone or anything!
He prefers walking over crawling and he just thinks he is so big! While we were camping this last week he was walking all over the place and he doesn't want help from anyone. Usually if we try to hold his hands he shakes free from us because he just wants to do it on his own. Sometimes he will let us help if he's in a tricky spot, like when he was trying to walk up the hills - but he even practiced those on his own and got really good at balancing and shifting his weight! He'll be shed hunting with his dad in no time!

His top middle teeth are coming in and he has the cutest/cheesiest smile! He is so friendly and still smiles at just about everyone. He also scowls at just about everyone and it's pretty funny!

He laughs at everything and sometimes it's out of nowhere...like he just had a funny thought or something! He still laughs at his sisters all the time! It helps if they are laughing, he just thinks it's so funny!

I went out of town for a young women's activity for a couple of days and my sister watched my kids for the weekend. While I was gone we ran out of breastmilk so Axel has started drinking cows milk. He has handled it really well! He's not at all picky about his milk! He didn't have any trouble transitioning and we don't warm it up for him, but he hasn't complained about it at all! He still nurses in the morning so we'll see how does when I completely wean him!

He likes to go swimming and he enjoys the bath tub, but he is so independent! He doesn't like it when I lay him down in the bathtub to rinse his hair and he is so wiggly I get nervous to let him go while he is in the bathtub...so we kind of butt heads when it comes to bath time! The pool is another story...he actually likes to stay close to me while he is swimming...I don't know if it's all the kids or just that it's a new space that he's not completely comfortable with yet. I don't mind, though! I would much rather have him clingy at the swimming pool than wanting to do it all himself.
He loves the splash pad, though! He just wanders around and sometimes gets surprised when the water hits him out of nowhere, but he just keeps walking around and playing in all the puddles he can find! He loves to splash!!

He likes to yell. Really loud. I think he's learned it from his sisters when they throw fits...but he does it just for attention. It's just a high pitched, shrilly yell!! It's really hard to listen to...especially in the car! But he loves his voice and likes to talk, and I like to hear him!

He sleeps so well!! The girls still get me up at night more than Axel does! I'm so grateful that he is a good sleeper! Even through growth spurts and new teeth, he sleeps like a champ!

I cannot  believe he is going to be a year old next month! I don't know where the time has gone and I wish with all my heart that time would slow down a little! But since I can't make that happen, I will just try to enjoy every moment I have! He makes it pretty easy!!

Love you Little Man!!

{7.24.17 - 7.30.17}

...camping continued! Axel found the ONLY mud puddle to be found! And of course it was the day I put him in his white hoodie! I can't even be mad because he's so darn cute! 
All morning the kids worked on their own campfire and arranging their own camp chairs around it!  
Would you believe me if I told you my friend's phone took this picture of Lyla!?  
These kids were almost inseparable the whole trip! So cute! 
Evan and Megan were nice enough to let all the kids into their trailer to wait out the rain! (Annalyn & Alya) 
Watching Matthew bring in the crawdads was one of the highlights! 

It was so much fun to spend so much time with our friends and watch our kids run around and play and explore and imagine! 
We owe it all to these guys! They have been friends since before any of us girls were in the picture and I am so thankful for the friendships that "the wives" have cultivated and for the friends that our kids are developing!
I bought myself a coloring book and my girls have kind of taken it over! I don't mind though, because they are doing so well! Alya's is the eagle (hawk?) and Lyla colored the peacock. 
Alya has really enjoyed coloring and she is doing so well! She really concentrates on what she is doing and is so careful to stay in the lines!  
Lyla does great for a little while, but she has a hard time sitting still for too long! (Long car rides are really hard for her!) She is very careful for a minute and then she gets bored and...colors a little faster...aka scribbles... // We found a zucchini in the garden that was half the size of Axel! We always seem to have a few of those every year! Haha! 
This little man turned 11 months! I can't believe he is almost a year old!! The first year with the girls seemed to take forever, but Axel's first year has gone SO fast!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

{7.17.17 - 7.23.17}

Alya loved helping dad rub beeswax (she calls it earwax) on his cutting board. My girls are awesome little helpers, but only when it's their decision. Heaven forbid we ask them to clean up after themselves or set the table! // Lyla working on her coloring skills. I feel like it's been a while since they have really wanted to sit and color, but I love it when they do! 
Look at those teeth! His top two teeth are coming in and he just keeps on getting cuter and cuter! 
 Matthew made his own pastrami! It was really yummy!
(Lyla) We managed to get our friends from Cache Valley together! We have all moved all over...most of them are still in Cache Valley, but there are a couple of us here in Sanpete. We met near Strawberry and camped for 5 days over the 24th of July! It was so much fun!!
(Alya) The kids got wet, they got dirty, the colored, they picked flowers and gathered leaves. They rode the four-wheeler, they hiked all over, they laughed and ran and wore each other right out!  

Lyla was so tired one night while I was getting Alya ready for bed, she just passed out in her camp chair next to the fire. This memory would be sweeter for me if I could just forget about the giant fit she and her sister threw right before falling asleep! Haha!
Swimming at Strawberry. I love my people! 
Alya just buddied up to Luke one morning! She kept asking where he was when she couldn't see him and when he moved his chair away from the fire pit to go sit up on the shady hill, she moved her chair up to sit next to him. It was really cute! 
10 adults and 8 kids. It's hard to believe that the adults outnumber the kids - they have enough energy that I feel like they should count for two people! Haha!
This was hopefully just the start of an annual trip and I am so looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

{7.10.17 - 7.16.17}

Everyone got a ride in the wagon today! I even had the girls arguing over who got to pull me! 
"MOM! Look how high I can go!!" Lyla//Alya 
Just a few of the many faces of Alya...
...and Lyla! 
I think she could be some kind of ATV model, no? 
I took many pictures of these people on the four-wheeler...but Lyla's face is what sold me on posting this particular picture! 

 I have picture similar to this of the girls with this little turtle. This boy is getting so big and I'm struggling a little with it! // Just try getting the girls to leave Axel's toys alone. I've tried...it's hard!
Splash pad fun. All three of the kids were soaking wet by the time we left! 

 I love that Lyla holds her breath to run through water that is not even close to touching her face.

 When they all choose to snuggle with each other my heart melts a little bit.