Thursday, May 19, 2011

8 Years Old!

Alexa turned 8 on March 16th. I can hardly believe she is that old! Her birthday happened to fall during Spring Break, so we celebrated on her birthday as a family, had a party with her friends the following week, and had her baptism on April 9th. What a lucky girl to celebrate so many times!
We started the day at IHOP with Grandma and PopPop. I'm not sure where Andrew and Quinten were when this picture was taken, but we were all there. Lucky for us, on a Wednesday morning IHOP is not crowded and breakfast was great.

Later that evening we had dinner and opened presents. This was her gift from Aunt Andrea- The Lost Hero (which she has read twice since then... and can't wait for the next book to come out) and a cookbook. Alexa had this long list of things she wanted for her birthday this year. We tried to accomodate as many of them as we could. Some were just plain ridiculous and were probably written down in the heat of the moment... such as, "a family who is nice to me." We also did not honor the "any kind of pet" request. Sorry. I just can't make every dream come true. We went the weekend before her birthday and got her ears pierced, which was a big one for her. She has been waiting forever because "all her friends have their ears pierced already." Cry me a river, Lex... I am not everyone's mother, just yours. :)

Grandma gave her a jewelry box to keep all her new earrings in.

We had cake with Grandma and PopPop.

And, this is my favorite picture. Alexa specifically told everyone to stay away and not blow on her candles... Callie is hilarious.

These were the girls who came to Alexa's party. We took nine girls to see Gnomeo and Juliet. Wow. Let's talk about hyper. They came to our house, we opened presents and then left for the movie. My good friend, Melissa, is a saint and came along with me. We filled them with popcorn, soda and candy and then dropped each of them at their houses on our way home. They were a fun bunch of girls, I think they had a great time, and I loved that there was no chaos at my house while I tried to entertain them. Best birthday party ever. :)

We were lucky enough to hit a theatre that had the official Gnomeo and Juliet poster. :)

This birthday is a special one, of course, because Alexa was baptized. Our stake held the baptism on April 9th. There were 15 other kids being baptized, so it was a big one. We were lucky enough to be one of the first on the list, which was nice because we didn't have to sit in the chapel for an hour to wait our turn. We were told they estimated about 600 people being there! It's the joys of living in an area with lots of families. :) Grandma Judie, Grandpa George and Uncle Damon came down from Washington. Aunt Siri and her boys came down from Salt Lake, as well. Andrew's familiy was all there, except for Aunt Andrea and Uncle Mike. It was a good day. If Alexa was nervous, she didn't show it. I'm hoping she was more excited than anything. I'm so proud of her for making the decision to be baptized. She is an amazing example to her younger sisters and brother. I know it is a decision that will affect the rest of her life in a positive way. My hope for her is that wherever she goes and whatever she does, she will remember the covenants she made with the Lord on this day; that she will live her life in a way that will make others question what makes her different and what gives her that light in her eyes, and that those people will want to ask her why. I hope when they ask, she will have the courage to tell them about the gospel and how important it is to her. I love Alexa so much. I'm so grateful I was given the chance to be her mom.

Andrew and Alexa getting ready to head to the font.

We got home from the baptism and Alexa changed her clothes so fast, I never got a chance to get any pictures with her. This picture was taken the next day after church.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Winter Visitors

It's always fun when we have friends come into town. Our kids love playing with their long lost friends. My dear, sweet, amazing friend Melissa (who devastated our house when their family moved a year and a half ago, I might add... :)) came down in March with her kids. She had a wedding reception in Las Vegas for her brother she needed to go to, so we were lucky enough to get her girls for the night. It was so much fun! Kinzlee and Alexa always seem to pick up right where they left off the last time they saw each other. They were destined to be friends, I believe. I've told Melissa before that if Kinzlee ever needs a place to live, she can live with us. :) And the twins have grown so much since they moved! They are two weeks younger than Leah and they all played so well together. It was just a blast having them here- we loved every minute of it!
When you put my three girls and Melissa's three girls together, it makes a whole mess of girls, huh??

We also had visits from the Spencers and the Blakes this winter... on the same weekend, which was so much fun! It is such a stark contrast from having the Garns come visit because there are only boys from both families! My girls are a little outnumbered in these pictures. I was impressed that my girls held their own, though. Benjamin and Callie are in the picture above. They share the same birthday, just three years apart. And, Callie has a little bit of a crush on Benjamin. She gets so excited and nervous and giggly when I tell her they are coming to visit. She is such a girl!

We also got to watch the Spencer boys while John and Rach went to a wedding on Saturday. It must be the difference between boys and girls or something, but I can honestly say we had the most pleasant day. There were no fights, no tattling, no crying, no nothing. Everyone had a great time and I was truly sad to see them leave. They all entertained each other so well!

This is the whole group. Alexa missed most of the evening because of a birthday party... I somehow think that was best. She gets a little weird around people she hasn't seen in awhile. It must be nerves or something, but in typical Alexa fashion, she plays it off as being "too cool" for anyone or anything. From left to right by family: Callie, Leah, Quinten, and Alexa Hench; Alex, Christian, Evan, and Benjamin Spencer; Travis, David, and Ryan Blake.

And this is how we entertained a houseful of boys in our world that is made up of girl things: the Wii. :)

We had such a great visit. It was fun getting together to catch up. I love that we had such great relationships with our friends in college that seven+ years later we can still get together and have a great time. It would have been a blast to have a bunch more there- Stinchfields, Stewarts, Butterfields, Allreds, and Brinkerhoffs, we missed you!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Random Shots

These are just a few pictures of random things that have happened in the last few months:
It is a rare thing for my kids to get up and not immediately wake me up. Typically on the weekends I am woken up by someone tapping my face, pulling on my feet, or some other obnoxious form of torture they choose to inflict upon me. Yes, they are rude. I just can't seem to break them of it. Well, the picture above was truly a remarkable morning. I got up and all four of my kids were in the living room watching The Food Network. Ahh... I have taught them well.

Quinten is doing really well in his new bed. He loves the bunk beds and loves, loves, loves his new Cars bedding. I'm not a fan of character bedding, I'll be honest with you. However, this has been the best idea I ever came up with. Every night he lays on his bed and smiles because he sleeps on Mack and McQueen. So, we will live with character bedding until I can't stand it anymore just because it makes my boy happy.

I would imagine everyone celebrates Dr. Seuss week at their school, right?? This happened to be hat day and I thought they were so cute that I took a picture. It's always fun to see my non-school kids get excited about what is going on at the elementary school. Poor Quinten wears more girlie things than he should. This hat was leopard print and was about 18 inches tall- it's just bent over in the picture.

Callie started soccer this year. I think this was before her first practice. You know the drill for this age: they travel in a herd on the field, sometimes someone gets a shot off, and typically you end with a losing record at the end of the season. Callie was no exception. There are always a couple girls who look like they know what they are doing, but everyone else just runs around. It will be intersting to see if she wants to stick with this or not.

Alexa is a different story: she's getting really good, her team was undefeated and they finally look like they know what they are doing. Her games are more exciting than Callie's. :) Alexa is small- usually the smallest on the team. However, she is faster than anyone out there and that is what makes her good. And, she has a killer power kick. She is also a bad loser and wants no critique from us EVER. We keep trying to tell her that is what a coach does- they tell you what you are doing wrong so you can get better. She doesn't believe us yet. It's been a lot of fun seeing her improve and enjoying it as she goes.

I am kind of glad to have the summer off before we start in with another fall season. With two girls playing, it really has eaten up our Saturdays. Their games were never at the same time, of course, so we were going back and forth. And Thursday practices for both of them were ridiculous: different times at different fields. We live in the car on Thursday evenings. It was always a relief when Andrew would call and say he was on his way home from work and would get one girl or the other.

One Year Older

Andrew's birthday is the week after Valentine's Day. I think one of the reasons we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day is because of this. We usually go out to dinner somewhere in between and call it good. (Yep, we're total romantics. :)) This year we had dinner as a family and then invited Andrew's parents over for dessert. Andrew isn't a big dessert person- definitely not a cake person- so we had ice cream pie. I suppose all the fuss is more for the girls' sake. They loved wrapping his presents and were so excited to see that we actually surprised him, which never happens.

Andrew and I turn 32 this year. It's kind of a crazy thought that we are moving farther and farther away from our "younger years". It also means we are getting closer and closer to having spent more of our lives together than apart. I like that thought.

Andrew is an amazing husband and father. We are very blessed to have him.

Latest Happenings

I am a total loser when it comes to blogging. I just can't manage to get it done. And I picked the lousiest time to start again. May and June are typically two of our busiest months- we've got end of the year programs and parties, field trips, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Leah, Quinten, Callie, and my birthdays, and we usually get ready to head to Washington for a few weeks towards the end of June. Soccer went a few weeks longer than normal this year, so we've just barely finished with that. I've just completely cut out swimming lessons till the end of the summer because I can't find the time... or maybe I just don't want to make the time. :) My final disclaimer is this: I'm feeling computer illiterate this week. I've started this post a few times and can't get my pictures to turn the right direction. Sorry. I'm just posting them anyway or I will never get anything on here. And, it make take several posts to catch up- I've just got to get these pictures on so I can stop hearing nagging voices in my head!!
These pictures are of Valentine's Day. Quinten's gift was a Thomas train that says wonderful phrases, such as: "I'm a really useful engine!" Yeah, it's gotten old since this picture was taken.

Don't you just love morning pictures?? Everyone has such tired eyes. :) We ate heart shaped donuts with pink frosting for breakfast- the girls were in heaven because we don't typically eat donuts for breakfast- at least not the kind with frosting....

The girls each got fleece balnkets with different heart patterns and a heart shaped fleece pillow. You'll notice Leah is wearing St. Patrick's Day pajamas... not sure how that happened.

I'm not typically a Valentine's Day fan. It's kind of a useless holiday, in my opinion. (Sorry to all you lovers of the infamous day.) However, I've recently decided that just because I'm not a fan doesn't mean I should push my opinions on my children. I'm trying to let them decide for themselves; and, in order to do that, I'm making the effort to celebrate all the "useless" holidays- even if it is with something simple. Donuts and gifts?? It works.