Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Picture Update!!

 My little book worms

 Lovin Papa's new ride!

 Anna's first day of preschool

Cousins in the leaves!

Lara's fans at her district cross country meet

My twins! ha ha Caleb and cousin Elie

Friday, November 18, 2011

Warning: novel alert!

I don't even know where to start this post. My life right now is... crazy I guess is the only way I know how to put it. Our living situation is less than desirable, mostly because Barrett is gone during the week doing an internship in Utah. I have never missed someone so much before, but at the same time it has been a great growing experience for me. I have realized how much I depend on Barrett for so many things, so his being gone has helped me be stronger and make decisions on my own. I'm so grateful that we live at a time with great technology where we can talk to each other in real time and not have to wait weeks to see or hear from each other. We're so blessed to be able to have him home every weekend.

A big thing I've been doing lately is trying to change the way I think about mothering. I have been introduced to an amazing book called Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman. The book is based on ten years of research on the family and reiterates the importance of the family in society. I highly recommend this book to every parent. The subtitle is The Heart of Parenting and it is very very fitting. My heart is becoming more involved in my children than my mind as I read this book. It is teaching me to have empathy for my children, to recognize emotions as opportunities for teaching instead of discipline, and helping me understand my importance as a mother. The book also has an awesome chapter on fathers and their powerful role in the lives of children. 

So I feel like I've been having this huge enlightenment on how I can be the kind of mother I have always wanted to be, but my struggle is that I am living with my parents. I love them and am so grateful to them for letting us live here, but I feel like I keep getting pushed back down in a rut with my parenting because they interact with my children the way they were taught to. Children are so so different than they used to be and so I feel like we have to parent differently than we used to. I also feel like I have to constantly pick up after my kids and like they are in trouble a lot for getting into things they aren't supposed to because the things they aren't supposed to get into are basically the whole house. Once again, it was my choice to live here and I am grateful. It is always hard not having your own space or your own things. Hopefully only 6 months and we'll get to have our own place!

I feel like this post is rather negative and I don't mean it to be. I am enjoying being so close to family and not missing out on fun things like when we were away. And living here is saving us a LOT of money. My kids love being with their grandparents and getting extra attention from them. I have lots of babysitters! My mom has been nice to watch Caleb for me twice a week when I take Anna to preschool so I can go to the gym. That is a really good outlet for me and helps a lot.

Barrett has a month off for Christmas between his internships so hopefully we can do lots of fun things. I love this time of year and festiveness in the air. I think this Christmas will be fun because we aren't focusing on a lot of material things. We don't need anything much because we don't have a house and little space to store things so I'm thinking Barrett and I will try to go somewhere or do something fun for our Christmas presents to each other this year. Any suggestions?

I apologize for the lack of pictures on this post. They are all on our laptop with Barrett in Utah. Hopefully soon I can get on when he's home and post some. Caleb is getting so big and finally getting some more teeth. He talks constantly (often like a broken record) and loves to explore and learn. One of his favorite phrases right now is "happy day!" I don't even know where it came from! I call him my little monkey because he climbs anything he can. I take him off the dining table like 5 times a day! He is enjoying being in nursery at church with Grammy and Anna.

Anna is loving preschool even though we can't get her to say much about it. If we ask her about anything her response is ALWAYS "I don't know." A little frustrating but I guess I have to learn to ask better questions. I went with her class on a field trip to the fire station and it was really fun. She is learning to recognize letters and write her name. She loves going to school. Anna says the funniest things and likes to make up nonsense names for her toys. The other day we were playing with Barbies and I asked what her name was and she said Slutty. ha ha ha  Barrett was also asking her about who she will marry someday. She said "I don't know his name yet, but he will be nice and handsome!" :)

I love my kids and I love being a mom! There is nothing else in the world I want to be doing right now. I'm so thankful to the Lord for the blessings He has given me and the tender mercies I receive every day.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I don't know why it is so hard for me to blog lately. I think about it all the time, but I never get around to doing it! So here goes I guess!

July was a crazy month for us. I took over 350 pictures that month! We celebrated the 4th of July, the 24th of July, went camping in Utah with my extended Andersen family, and went to visit my sister in South Dakota. From April to July my little family has driven about 5000 miles. Wow. My kids have been troopers this summer spending so much time in the car and new places and not having a home of our own. They've adjusted well and have really enjoyed spending time with family.

In August we had a Gibson family reunion, celebrated our 5th anniversary, and Barrett started his first internship in Driggs. He only has to go up 3 days a week and is enjoying himself there.  For our anniversary we were able to get away by ourselves for a day and night, which was awesome! We stayed in a hotel in Idaho Falls, went to the temple, the bodies exhibit at the Museum of Idaho (which was awesome), did some shopping, and then went to the Josh Turner concert. We had a great time. 5 years. Wow. It seems so short because it feels like our family has always been together. It's hard to imagine my life without my wonderful husband and beautiful kids. I love them all so much!

Anna has been having lots of fun here with Grammy and Papa and Lara. She says the funniest things and is always telling stories. She went through a phase this summer where she talked about her "other family" all the time. She apparently had another family with a dad named Phil who often seemed to be in the hospital... funny girl. She is in love with books and loves getting anyone to read to her she can! Anna starts preschool in a couple of weeks and is so excited to go. I'm just glad it's only 2 days a week. I'll miss her!

Caleb is growing up so fast. His vocabulary has grown like crazy lately and he talks so cute. He still has only 2 little bottom teeth and is 16 months old! I hope he gets some more soon so he can eat better! He is a busy little guy and gets into everything. He loves to climb and open doors and drawers. He says the cutest little "ta da!" when he stands on something, but we have to be careful: sometimes it's the kitchen table! Caleb loves animals and playing outside. He's still a huge mama's boy, but refuses to call me mama. I'm daddy. And daddy is daddy. And grammy is daddy. But papa is boppa and Lara is wawa and Anna is Annie. He is pretty funny. I love him to pieces!

I have a calling as the ward choir accompanist and I'm loving it! I love practicing new pieces and playing them with the choir. It's been really good for me to develop my talent some more. I've also been trying to run regularly and I want to do a 5k this fall. Lara started running cross country for Madison this fall and I'm loving going to her meets. It makes me really want to compete! I wish I could just hop into her races sometimes!

Well that's about it for now I guess. I'll try to be better about blogging!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Idaho Summer

Life has been a little crazy the past few months. We moved from Flagstaff to Rexburg in the middle of May. Barrett's brother Jason did a semester abroad in Greece and flew to Phoenix the week before we moved. We picked him up and then he helped us move. I was so thankful to have him help! He rode with me in the car to help with the kids while Barrett drove the moving truck. We had a little mishap with a balcony and the front of the moving truck and learned a little lesson about getting insurance, but other than that our trip was uneventful.

We moved into my parents' basement to save some money and so I don't have to be alone all the time when Barrett goes to Utah for his internships. My parents have been lifesavers! It's been an adjustment not having our own place and all four of us staying in one room, but we are doing well and are grateful for a place to stay.

Anna and Caleb are loving having lots of room to play and extra attention from Grammy and Papa and Lara. She just turned 14 and is a great help with the kids. The kids have a big plot in the garden to play in, a trampoline, swings, and lots of grass. What more could a 3 year old and 1 year old ask for?

We haven't really done anything big since we've been here. We've just been enjoying family and the summer weather. We've been helping both of our parents with work around their houses too. We helped my parents take down their old fence and put in a new wood one. It was a lot of work but it looks really nice now.

It was Barrett's birthday July 1. We had a fun weekend with his family and he and I went camping one night without the kids. It was fun to have a little date night and enjoy some nature. We went near Kelly Canyon and camped right by the really high and muddy river. It was a beautiful drive and a fun night. I love that guy!

I love the 4th of July and we had a fun one this year. The weather was really nice and we had a fun day. We went to a ward flag raising and breakfast and then went to the Rexburg parade with both of our families. There were some fun floats this year, but we left the memory card to the camera in our laptop, so we didn't get any pictures of the parade. We went home and took naps and had a relaxing afternoon and then went to Idaho Falls to the fireworks. It was a fun, relaxed day. I am so grateful to live in this country where we have so many freedoms, especially to be able to worship the Lord as we please. I am very grateful to all the men and women who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms I have today. God bless America!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Birthdays and Easter

 Anna turned 3 on April 19th. It was a fun birthday because she was old enough to get excited for it. She woke up in the morning and said "I'm the birthday girl!" She loved opening her presents and when I asked her what she wanted for breakfast she said "I want to open more presents!" We ate French toast.

 We made her birthday cake and then went swimming when Barrett got home. Anna was excited to go but when we got there she wouldn't go in any deeper than her ankles. When we were at Roper Lake in Safford she fell in the water and went under. We didn't realize how much it scared her! After about half an hour of trying to coax her into the water I finally picked her up and walked in the middle and stayed there until she realized it was fun! She enjoyed it after that. Then of course we had cake and ice cream after her choice of enchiladas for dinner. She only ate the frosting on her cake!

 Anna is such a sweet little girl and I love her so much! She is so forgiving of my imperfections and tells me she loves me a million times a day. She is still learning to share with her brother, but she loves him and likes to help him. She is growing up so much! I love my Anna!

 The kids had fun doing an Easter egg hunt the Saturday before Easter. Caleb thinks eggs are balls and it very obsessed with them. It didn't take any convincing to get him to pick them up!

 Easter morning pictures... Caleb wasn't very happy about the idea, but then he warmed up to it. My Mom gave Anna her pretty dress (and the hat and gloves didn't even stay on till we got in the car) and she loved getting all gussied up! I made Caleb's jacket, shirt, and tie from a pattern I bought for 50 cents! Score! I am pretty partial, but I have some cute kids! :)

 Caleb turned 1 on May 6th. He started walking on April 26 and hasn't stopped going since. He's already walking more normal and losing the new walking toddle. He had fun opening his presents and got lots of fun new toys. His favorites are the ball and the stacking cups. Why have I never had stacking cups before? Those things are the best toys ever!

 It was a gorgeous day so we had a picnic at the park and played outside most of the afternoon. My kids are going to have so much fun being at my parents' house with a huge backyard!
 I went easy on myself and made cupcakes for Caleb's birthday. These are my mom's recipe and they are amazing!! I've eaten like 7 every day because it makes a lot.

 Happy boy eating his cupcake! He didn't even make a big mess. I love this little boy so much! He is such a momma's boy and it gets old sometimes, but I love that he loves to be with me and I melt when he puts his head on my shoulder. Being a mom is amazing!

Monday, May 2, 2011


April was a really busy month for me. It was Anna's birthday (post to come), we went to Utah for my sister Rachel's wedding, and getting ready to move and Barrett having to study for a cumulative exam... Life just seems to be in a whirlwind! We are moving back to Rexburg in 2 1/2 weeks! Our time here has gone by so fast! We will be living with my parents for a year because Barrett has to do four 8 week internships and we didn't want to have to move the kids around that often. His first one is in Driggs, Idaho, so he can commute, but the other three are in Kaysville, Orem, and Logan, Utah but at least he can come home on weekends. We are happy that he got them that close to home.

Here are some pictures from Rachel's wedding. We had a great weekend being with my family. My whole immediate family was there except my brother Paul's wife and daughter and my brother Greg, who's on his mission. We all stayed at my grandparents' house in Orem and had a party!

 Miriam and I look more and more alike as we get older. Kinda creepy!

 Rachel and Justin VanBibber!

 Anna had lots of fun with her cousins Hannah and Myah

 Caleb and Elie and had fun together too! They are only 9 days apart

 My Uncle Doug Andersen was able to marry Rachel and Justin. They just got married in a church for now because they were both married before and had a short time frame to get married in because of Justin's work (he's doing a residency in Boston for pediatric dentistry) and couldn't wait for all of the logistics to go through to get their cancellations of sealing. So they will be sealed in the Boston temple next April and we're hoping to go!

The week after the wedding my friend Nichole Christensen and I went down to the Mesa Easter Pageant and took our 3 year olds. We left our babies at home with their dads. It was a really fun little trip and Anna still talks about seeing Jesus at the temple. The only thing that was disappointing was that the sound was pre-recorded. But the rest of the production was amazing. I'm so glad we went! The weather was beautiful and we had a fun time. 

 Matthew and Anna loved getting pictures with some of the cast members. Their costumes were beautiful!

 Sadducee #1. His costume was amazing. He enjoyed showing the kids all of his rings

 Anna wasn't quite as sure about the Roman soldier. He was so nice though!

I just had a twinge of sadness looking at this last picture. I love the Mesa temple so much and always feel so much peace there. Of course it is the same with every temple I've been to, but I am really kindof sad to be leaving Arizona. We've had so many fun adventures while we've been here and have grown so much! I am really happy to be moving back home though. Big changes for us the next couple of years!