Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy Birthday MOMMA!!

My mother is AMAZING!~
She is 51 years YOUNG and enjoying life!
She is MRS. Crafty and I LOVE IT! (as do all my siblings that benefit from her craftiness) She used to just make and fix things for family and friends then she was introduced to ETSY... ever heard of it? She has her own ETSY shop where she sells ADORABLE things... superhero capes for boys and girls, blessing tuxes AND dresses, baby blankets, and all kinds of cute little things for your kids. CHECK IT OUT... HandmadeByTheHeart you may find something you NEED!~ :)
She is great at everything she does and she is a ROCKSTAR Grandma!!

 (Hailey took this picture of Grandma at one of our many visits last year)
(Hailey and Grandma enjoying the train while we SHOP!!)

Dear Mom,
Thank you for the example you have been to me. I would not be the wife and mother I am today without your loving guidance and care! I know that as a teenager I most likely drove you NUTS (not as bad as other siblings of course hehe) but I am SO thankful for the friendship we have now. I have learned that a mothers love never ends; you are great at showing me that. 
So many times when I am stressed out about kids, or family, or anything you are a calming force in my life. You help me to be a better mother, sister, and friend with your advise. You have never forced you opinions or thoughts on me; since I got married you have been my biggest cheerleader, and now that I have kids you are the first person I turn to when I need help. Just knowing you are a phone call away (or a 3 hour car drive away) and willing to listen means the world to me. 
Thank you for lovingly pointing out my shortcomings or faults when I ask, and never telling me how I should be raising my children. Thank you for being the kind of friend I need; I pray and hope my children love me as much as I love you.
Thank You for being YOU and being the BEST MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER AROUND!~

LOVE ~ Melissa 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Funny Little Boy

So today Landon woke up EARLY...
Today is President's Day, and Matt has the day off work.
He and some friends from church decided to take advantage of the nice day and hit up China Peak for some snowboarding. Matt got a season pass and has not been able to use it as much as he had wished.
ANYWHO...
When he left this morning I was talking with Landon and pouring him some cereal.
He said "Daddy has to go"
And I just said "Yeah he has to go to work" (ONLY because I did not want him to be upset that Matt was going snowboarding without him... ever since Matt took him to the snow at the beginning of the year he has wanted to go; and he cried last time Matt and Preston went without him)
To which he responded "No mommy, daddy going snowboarding!" and took a bite of his cereal.
He was not upset at all...
so I said "Oh, you are right, Daddy is going snowboarding!"
and then Landon said "Can I watch Bubble Guppies then?" and I laughed and put on his beloved Bubble Guppies...

I guess he is over the Snowboarding Thing already... :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's

Hailey wanted to take Valentine's to all the kids in her class...
I let her pick out whatever kind she wanted. She picked Disney Princess that had matching tattoo's....
YUP tattoos... SORRY PRESCHOOL MOMMIES!! 
(now will the boys like the princess tattoo's is the real question??)
Anyway...
Matt and I wanted her to write her own name on them. I have been working with her at this and she does alright. I started last Thursday... we got ONE done... we went on Vacation and now that we are back I was able to get her to write TWO more after lunch. She told me she was too tired to write more letters. Matt and Hailey are in the kitchen right now writing some more and and the conversation is HILARIOUS...
"You messed it Up daddy!"
"No Daddy, YOU do it!"
"Ok, I am picking up the pen one last time."
"Ok, fine I will draw the I."
"Ugh, wait I am missing the little sticker."
"Oh, you are right!"
Daddy got her to do an additional FIVE just now...
 My little girl is growing up!!~ I never thought at 4 years old she would be writing her own name...
Can I just keep her from school so she stays my little girl??
video

AND today she had to put on her Hello Kitty nails from Auntie Sharon...
She dressed herself and brushed her own hair.... can't you tell??
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!~

Monday, February 13, 2012

Richardson Family Visit!!~~

First of all; I want to KILL MYSELF; no not really, but I am SOOOOOO mad at myself...
I just deleted ALL the pictures I took this weekend...
Grandpa playing on the trampoline with the grand kids...
Lunch Birthday Celebration at Red Robin...
Random Fun at the house...
Sharon and I dropping the AMAZING dessert we made on the floor...
Yeah... So you will have to imagine all the fun we have as I tell the story of our last little trip to Sac...
AHGGGHHHHHGGGGGGHHHHHH... mommy send me your good pictures please...
(Oh not to mention that means I most likely deleted the pictures from Disney on Ice when Matt took Landon... next time I clear the camera I will be more patient...)
So...
My little sister Nicole and her husband Brian Richardson came to visit family in Sacramento. They live in Caldwell, ID. And we LOVE when they come because the kids are close in age and have fun with each other. They have two kids; Katelyn and Johnathon. Katelyn is 10 months younger than Hailey; and Johnathon and Landon are a year apart... to the day!! So this trip they made was perfect because I had JUST packed up Landon's 2T clothes and sent them back with them for Johnathon. I am worried I wont be able to share the clothes much longer because Landon and Johnathon are JUST ABOUT the same size... crazy Huh?? (wish I had a picture to prove it...)
We left Thursday after Matt got off work and stopped off in Stockton. We had hoped to catch his family on this trip too; but his parents and his oldest brother and family went on an even better trip to Hawaii!! So we just chilled at the house with Preston and Sharon who wanted to come down to hang. Luckily while we were there we got to spend some time with his youngest brother Kevin also. Matt wanted to go snowboarding at a resort near (if you consider two hours away near) Stockton; so he invited my brother Preston and his brother Kevin to go. Preston was able to go; but Kevin had to work; but we were glad he was able to stop by. The kids LOVED seeing Uncle Kevin. We had a nice talk with him about all the new things going on. He had just bought a new toy flying helicopter and he tried to fly it with the kids. Landon loved that. Hailey was happy he came because she got to see more of T.J. the Birds dog that she loves so much. He had to get back to work and Sharon and I had some shopping to do so we parted ways. THANKS KEVIN.
So Sharon, the kids and I went shopping. We decided after the second store that we did not want to shop with the kids. We decided instead to hit up Tiger's Yogurt and then head to Sacramento. (Tiger's Yogurt is the University of the Pacific fro-yo place. LOVE the Non-Fat Yogurt!! YUMO next time you are in Stockton hit them up)
We get to Sacramento and the kids realize we are at Grandma and Papa's house and they wake up from their naps SO happy!! They proceed into the house to get SPOILED rotten by grandma... she gave Landon GREEN LANTERN everything...
you think I am kidding right? I am not...
 check this out....
A Green Lantern Shirt, Cape, Mask AND Ring...
The other side of the cape is a Pirate... he loves it!
THANKS GRANDMA~
Hailey got an Octopus Little Pet Shop; Valentines Candy, a special flower hair clip, and dress up stuff!!
Lucky Little Kids. We hung out and then got ready for an early Valentines quadruple PLUS one ~ date... Mom & Dad, Matt and I, Brian & Nicole, Lindsey & Jared, and Crystal went to see the movie The Vow. But before we saw the movie some of us went to Johnny Carino's for dinner. Long story short we all got a free meal. (Matt ordered a BBQ Chicken Pizza and they did not realize they were out of BBQ sauce until our entrees were about to come out.... we all had a buy one get on free... so they comped the whole meal... SCORE; don't worry... she got a good tip)
The Movie was SO GOOD!!!
 We don't see many movies the same night they release; so this was a real treat! Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum were PERFECT for this role! I love them both and I was so glad to get to see it with my sweetheart and favorite people!!
 There was one part in the movie where Channing Tatum's character had a nude butt scene. The boys were convinced it was a body double; but after some research on my part I found out it was in fact him... Thanks Channing... :) We had some dessert at home after all the places we tried to go to were closed. Root Beer Floats really hit the spot!
The next day we had lunch at Red Robin for Sharon's 22nd Birthday!! Of course it was a good time had by all... what could go wrong at Red Robin? Bottomless Fries, Family to chat with, wonderful burgers to munch on... HELLO!~ After the girls got to shop a little while the boys watched the kids... that was nice. That night we watched Breaking Dawn and had a fire at home just chillin' it was nice. Jared Joyner joined us as well. Sweet little Christian came along too; and I just love that smooshie! Sunday of course we went to church and had a GRAND old time. We got home and ate dinner and made a dessert. While putting the dessert in the fridge to chill; Sharon and I had an accident and half of it fell on the ground. It was cookie dough cheesecake and despite loosing half of it; we still enjoyed it! We had to return home Sunday night so we said our goodbyes and headed home. It was not long enough to see everyone; but at least we got to see them.
Grandma gave all the kids a valentine just before we left and my kids have already opened the candy up!
I LOVE going to see family and visit with friends. It is nice just sitting back and enjoying each others company. Thanks Richardson's for coming to visit! Can't wait until next time!!





Sunday, February 12, 2012

where have I been you ask??

Well I DID go for a little vacation to visit my family but that is not WHY my blog has not been Blogged on in over a week...
THIS is why...

Ever heard of it??
It is an ONLINE site I can download MY picture to; make a book (or card, or calender, or whatever else they offer) and then order it...
WHY did I choose Mixbook you ask...
Well, They had a GROUPON... ( Please tell me you know what groupon is...)
AND my husband happened to purchase it for me for my birthday AND it expired Yesterday...
So hence the blog neglect...

I made 5 books, and a few cards...
One from Our Wedding, another for Hailey's First Year... then one for Landon's First Year... then one for Disneyland and another for the Cruise. (the cards are for people who read this blog so I will not say what they were for; but I will say it was cheaper than purchasing a card in the store)
My kids are REALLY into reading books and going to the Library right now; so I figured them getting a PERSONALIZED book would be neat. I forgot how CHUB my babies were... :)
SO... without further adieu... I am going to start my post about my little vacation... maybe it will be ready tomorrow.... :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Happy DAY!!~~

TODAY is my Baby Sister's Birthday...
I consider her one of my best friends!
She is attending American River College in Sacramento, and she works at Old Navy. (most of the money she makes goes right back to Old Navy for cute clothes OR to her nieces and nephews of course)
She is planning on serving a mission and is waiting SO patiently for her braces to get off so she can go...
I am SO proud of her!

Sharon,
You are an AMAZING little sister and an ever better auntie! Thank you for all the things you do for my family!! I can't wait for you to get married and have tons of kids so I can spoil and love your little smooshies! (remember to name the first one WaWaBaby; because that is what I plan on calling them no matter what...) You are beautiful in everything you do, and you are so strong in the gospel. You have wonderful friends and you know how to be a wonderful friend to others. You are sweet and kind, and care very much for everyone around you. I wish you the BEST this year, and I want you to know I love you!
~ Melissa
(Sharon and I enjoying some SUN in Tahoe for our Family Reunion 2011)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHARON!!
Landon has prepared a song for you and it goes like this...
video
haha! ENJOY!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

~~2012 Cruise!!~~

Many of you have been anxiously awaiting our FAMILY CRUISE blog update...
Ugh... Well at least my sister Sharon and my Mother are soooooooooooo HERE WE GO!!~~
(WARNING LONGEST POST OF PICTURES EVER AHEAD...)
 We left home around 6 a.m. and stopped off for breakfast. We made it to the Cruise Terminal by 11 a.m. and the kids were SO excited to see the "BIG BOAT" We were some of the first cruisers on the ship after the VIP loaded so we felt VERY happy about that!!~
 The first thing we did was head to the back of the boat and eat some grub at the Buffet. I think Hailey and Landon were overwhelmed with all the food. They wanted to get everything they saw! Matt and I had an AMAZING hot sandwich with turkey meat and the kids leftovers. Jello was a BIG hit!!
 Our rooms were not going to be ready until after one so we decided to take the kids on a tour of the boat. We headed upstairs to see the water slide and the top of the boat aka "The Whale Tale". This is Landon's favorite part of the boat! 
Then we took them to the pool area. We relaxed in the chairs and this is where Hailey fell in love with the "Warm Pool" We let her put her toes in the warm pool because she REALLY wanted to get in. (full on almost strip to get in when I told her we did not want to get our clothes wet; logical Hailey response OK, take off my clothes and get in)
 Then we took them to Camp Carnival to become acquainted with the play area. This part of the boat just might have been Matt and my favorite!!~ They were very excited to go back there later on... then we went to check out the front of the boat...
 They saw some people playing golf so they let us know we needed to do that for sure; but not before they played on the course rocks...
 The view of Long Beach area before we took off... it was a BEAUTIFUL day!!
 We went to get our golf balls and clubs for a fun game with the kids. Landon did not want any help so we have some good videos of him "playing golf" We got through all the holes and I even got a hole in one! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! When we went to return our equipment Hailey fell in LOVE with the frog towel they had displayed. One of the workers said she could take it and her eyes just LIT UP!! We were able to go to the room at this point so guess what the kids wanted to do...
 That's right... they wanted to play in the water!! We all put on our swimsuits and relaxed in the nice warm sun. The kids went down this kiddie slide SO many times! Matt checked out the bigger slide and was not very impressed so I just laid out rather than get wet! About an hour later Hailey was able to talk us  into going to the "warm pool". We just maxed and relaxed until it was time to get ready for dinner.
 We showered up; had the Muster Drill, got signed up for Camp Carnival; then headed to dinner JUST in time! Our dinner was at 6 pm and it was WONDERFUL!! The waiters were on top of taking care of the kids.
 The kids got Pizza and French Fries and Matt and I both got two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts...
 The key lime pie was to DIE for, and the Chocolate Multan cake was amazing! I always get the cheesecake and I have to admit I was not really into it this time... But the kids loved tasting it all!!
 After Dinner Matt and Landon had to go up again to see "The Whale Tale" while Hailey and I went to get some chocolate milk from the buffet. (I think the kids drank their weight in chocolate milk during the cruise I swear!!)
 We got back to the room to our Towel Walrus and Bunk Beds! 
The kids were SO excited about the bunk beds!!
 Check out the Light Saber Action I got above with Landon... the kids were too tired to go to the Camp Carnival night so we all got ready for bed and slept!! It was for sure a LONG day!!
 The next morning we hit up the buffet for breakfast and watched the tug boats help us get into port at Ensanada. The kids opted for cereal and chocolate milk (go figure) and Matt and I enjoyed omelets and pancakes and fruit.
 We ate in the sun while the kids played bean bag toss and with the GIANT chess pieces. Hailey had the horses kiss and told me they love each other... it was a kick!
 We headed back to the room to get ready for the day. (notice Landon talking with our Room Steward in the top left picture; they are best friends) We decided to get off the boat and we were going to head into Ensenada; but with Landon not wanting to get off the "BIG BOAT" and Hailey wanting to see and buy every souvenir on the pier port we opted to take advantage of an empty boat. We let the kids pick a souvenir; Hailey got a bracelet and a Kitty Cat bobble head doll... Landon did not care about getting anything he just wanted back on the boat... 
So we did and Landon and Hailey wanted to go back to the Camp Carnival to play. The cruise planned "Princess and Prince" activities that we thought the kids would enjoy; so we dropped them off. Matt and I went to play a Trivia Game; and relax in the sun. (it was TV Show Theme Songs; we were about 10 years too young to know enough to win; we got 16 our of 20 however...) It was time to pick the kids up for lunch; but not before we checked out the Library Area... We knew it had games so we went there before hitting up the lunch buffet...
Landon made a "Big Boat" with the Jenga pieces and Hailey made a stand for her Kitty Cat... can you find the kitty?? We also played the memory game; and got too loud for the Library so we headed out for Lunch. Guess what the kids wanted to do after Lunch...
 YUP... we swam again. On the slides AND in the "warm pool". I have to admit this part was pretty nice. We were shocked how nice the weather was; we thought for sure we would not be able to take advantage of the pool and slides and we were so happy when we were able to! We had to get ready earlier today because it was Formal Night for dinner...
We tried to get a good family picture; but as you can see the only happy people were Matt and I. We got many compliments on how wonderful our family looked despite the kids not wanting to take any pictures...
 Dinner was GREAT! The kids got Mac' Cheese and Chicken Nuggets and Fries. They were served right away so I tasted Landon's food and it was SOOOO good! Matt got Ribs and Lobster, and I got Steak and Orange Honey Turkey. We all sampled, and I think the ribs and the steak were the best!! For dessert I got the Creme Brule and a Chocolate Cherry Cake. Matt got ice cream and his same old favorite, the Chocolate Molten Cake. The kids got a little restless so our assistant server folded a napkin into a mouse for Hailey and a Captain Hat for Landon. It was a GREAT dinner!~
 We headed back to the room and found our room steward there. He and Landon had become BEST friends. He had told us the day before that he had a son the same age as Landon and he really missed him. Every time Landon saw him he ran up to him and gave him a BIG hug and told him "I'm on a Big Boat!" so his nickname SOON became BIG BOAT by our room steward! We got a towel folded dog that night and he slept with Hailey. The kids went to camp carnival after dinner and got to watch Ice Age 2. Matt and I got to watch the Showtime Dancers do a Tropical Themed show. When we went to pick the kids up; Landon was asleep and Hailey was giggling at the movie! We got in bed around 11, not bad!
 The next morning we decided to try the dining room breakfast with the kids. Matt and I enjoyed it more because we got to sit for most of the breakfast. Landon loved the orange juice and standing in the window watching the ocean view.
 I had been CRAVING eggs Benedict from previous cruises so I got that and some french toast. Matt got a big plate of everything; Hailey got eggs and pancakes and Landon got eggs and french toast. The food was again OH SO GOOD!!~~ We went back to the room and got dressed for the day. 
 Landon had to look at the Big Boat every time we left the Restaurants; it was cute. On our way to drop the kids at Camp Carnival we decided to check out the pictures we had professionally taken the first night. Hailey wanted to stop at almost every booth to get her picture taken. A few turned out REALLY cute, but I was not going to pay the cruise prices; so we got a picture with her best picture and headed out. Matt and I then went to the Towel Folding Demonstration. We took pictures to remember how to make the three things we learned... can you tell what they are??
 Matt's towel animals have the glasses on them. The big picture is the dog. The top little picture is an elephant and the little bottom is a mommy and baby Seal. We hope our step by step pictures we took will come in handy with the kids later... We left the demonstration and headed to the back of the boat for the Serenity Area. This area is a KID FREE ZONE for adults 21 and over. We sat in the jacuzzi and made lots of new friends. It was nice to really relax in the warm sun... a few hours later it was lunch time and we went to get the kids...
 They were SO excited to see us; they wanted us to see the FACE PAINT they got while playing. Hailey loved her rainbow and heart, and Landon was SO proud of his "Whale Tale" We took the kids to eat at the buffet and they REALLY enjoyed it. They had chocolate fondue and ice cream galore... And of course after lunch we had to go get the kids suits on back at the room, do you love our towel heart??
 This time we went to the "warm pool" first. We were there quite a while; and a few times Hailey grabbed my face and said "Oh mommy, I just love you so much!" that was the best part of my trip for sure. After about an hour lounge in the warm pool; Landon lobbied for us to hit up the slides!! So we were on our way to the back AGAIN...
 It was a little more chilly this day because we were out on the sea, but the kids were sploshing and splashing without a care in the world!! When both kids were ready to go we headed to the room to clean up a little. The Camp Carnival had a scavenger hunt planned for the kids and parents so we decided to play. We had to go all over the boat getting tons of pictures; hanging ten on the greens; starting a Conga line on the pool deck; doing the chicken dance by the slides; finding the Pizza Palace and a few other places; getting ice cream all over our face and finding our favorite crew member with a big smile... then we had to get a picture on every deck... it was alot of work...
 BUT it was worth it because the kids got a MEDAL and won FIRST PLACE (we figure we were the only ones playing, or everyone won a medal) And first place included a SHIP ON A STICK... (Matt was SO proud; we have 4 from a previous cruise that he and his friend Brent Cutts won... the Bird Family carried on the tradition...) Landon LOVES it the most!!
 Of course he had to show it to his best friend and then admire it after dressing up for dinner AND take it to dinner with him... he is SO like his father...This night we took the Nook and Matt's IPhone for the kids to play games so we could enjoy dinner... it WORKED!!
 Dinner was again amazing and we all had entirely too much to eat. Landon ate a few bites then decided he was ready to go to bed. And he did so right then and there on the bench. Hailey ate a little more and played then decided to lay down besides him... it was a perfect end to that dinner...
 Landon stayed asleep when we changed him into PJ's and took him to Camp Carnival. Hailey woke up and went happily and willingly. Matt and I caught two shows this night the Showtime Dancers and a family comedian. It was nice going to a comedian show without any cussing or rude jokes. We walked on the deck enjoying out last night on board before getting the kids...
 Hailey ran to us when we arrived and was saying "Meow... mommy look I am a kitty" and Landon was still asleep right where we left him. Hailey showed us a puppet she made, and a t-shirt she colored and was telling us about the show she was watching. She told all her friends goodbye and we grabbed sleeping boy and went to our room. We had to pack up all our stuff for our luggage to be loaded off in the morning so I was doing that while Matt and the kids watched cartoons. We got some LATE room service and enjoyed cookies and cake and chocolate milk with Hailey late into the night.
We woke up the next morning and got our Breakfast Buffet on. The kids enjoyed their cereal and Matt and I got all kinds of goodness!! We wanted to go to the Dining room one last time, but decided this would give us more time to get off the boat. We went back to the room and grabbed our stuff and waited to get off the boat. We got off early and we were in the car on our way home in no time!
This Family Cruise was a GREAT vacation for us. We knew we wanted to spend some special time with the kids before we decide to have another baby, and the kids let us know EVERY DAY how much they loved going on the big boat! The Disneyland Trips and the Cruise will be FOREVER a fond memory for us all!
If you have yet to go on a cruise... GO! But if it is your first time go without kids... if you have been before PLAN TO GO AGAIN!!~~
If you are still reading this post... I consider you a TRUE friend... :)