Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Morning

I don't have any pictures from Christmas Eve...We had a nice night. Me and the kids drove up to my parents house on Tuesday. Travis joined us Wednesday afternoon. We started getting ready for my mom's party. She invited all the temple missionaries over, which I thought was very sweet since they aren't near family at the time. They were all so sweet and loved our kids being there as they all have grandkids back at home. Kaylin had thrown up around 6:00 that night (we are thinking because of all the excitement) and the party started at 7. All the guests brought a dish and we enjoyed singing and our tradition of the story read from the notebook with songs.

Christmas morning was wonderful! I would have been happy with my only Christmas present being the the kids wake up at 7 truly was a miracle!!! Athough I didn't sleep well all night (apparently I was the only one wide eyed with anticipation)
Cute Kaylin was so excited. It was like all her dreams came true. She took time looking at everything in her stocking, opening her 2 Santa presents first, then opened her other ones, worrying about everyone else's presents too. Mika Moo only had a few presents, but she loved them and played with them all weeked. She was by far the easiest to please!

Travis helping Ethan figure out his remote control pick-up truck. He's actually quite good at it (for a 3 yr old!) He can even turn it now.
These pictures are all out of order from when I uploaded them to where they posted...but you get the idea. We had a great morning and everyone was very happy. :)

Christmas Day of Play

We spent the day playing with the Hayes' and Grandma and Grandpa! It was a nice day, so the kids loved going outside! Lily and Aidrian wore matching shirts so we had to get a picture of them together! One the greatest presents this year was Travis fixing my old 80 4-wheeler. We got a new helmet both of the kids can wear. We did a scavenger hunt to lead them out to the garage and find it. They had so much fun riding it with Travis!
Here Travis is telling Ethan where the gas and brake are. Ethan was quite worried that he'd be driving it alone! (phew!) Rest assured we may have a few more years of Ethan as a passanger.

Me and Mika chillin in the family room....

Kaylin got a new bike! Travis was grossed out by all the Princess stickers so he bought some motorcycle stickers (THOR) and so if you look closely it'll say "THOR Princess". How cute is that? Yes, she still has training wheels...that clumsy little girl needs them for her own protection!

Grandma Wendy and Aidrian. She was a bit stranger shy the first day, but thankfully warmed up to everyone and even with her cold, she was a cutie pie.

Me and Travis relaxing...

Christmas Day Night the kiddos slept in the tent in the playroom. Lily ended up sleeping in her crib, but she loved watching WALL-E with Kaylin and Ethan before bed. She was so funny talking and laughing the whole time! Kaylin and Ethan absolutely love WALL-E and giggle through the whole first half of the movie.

Travis had finished his Sudoku book last month so I got him a new harder one! (Black belt!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Card

I know some of you might think I'm lame for putting my card up here, but I just didn't have enough to mail to everyone! So I'm bloggin' it! It’s always fun to send out a Christmas picture and letter every year, to let you all know how much we love you and wish you a wonderful holiday season. It’s holidays that bring cherished memories to mind, the unbelievable feeling of gratitude for our Savior, Christ the Lord, and the sweet blessings of family and friends whom we cherish and love. –And a quick update is always needed!

Quote: A daughter is a treasure - and a cause of sleeplessness.
Aidrian Mika is the newest member of this crazy household. She is our treasure! She will be 7 months this December and it’s unnerving how quickly time has gone watching her grow. She sits up very well and loves to see the world around her. She has diamond blue eyes that sparkle and are so expressive with her thought process. She especially loves watching her siblings play around her, sometimes at a distance and sometimes smack in the middle. She beams whenever she sees daddy and loves to cuddle and be held by mommy. She is a sweet, calm, even tempered baby, but she knows what she wants and will complain in several different ways to get it. We can’t imagine our home without her!
Quote: A boy is noise with dirt on it.
Ethan Chase--our rough and tumble blonde haired boy always has me at the edge of my seat. He is very independent and I find him many times with his nose in the fridge getting some yogurt or apple juice. (I’m sure that will continue in his teenage years as well!) I have my most amusing conversations with him as he is constantly wondering about every single thing around him. He is very funny, happy, tender and cuddly. He loves his trucks, cars and motorcycles and has found a new love of puzzles. He goes to a playschool twice a week and after the initial shy sweet little guy, he becomes the “show off” or class clown. Lucky for me, he listens very well to his teachers and is VERY excited to move up to Primary in the Sunbeam class at church.
Quote: What the daughter does, the mother did. ~Jewish Proverb
Sweet Kaylin Marie is a Kindergartner at Welch Elementary and I’m still blinking my eyes to see if it’s a dream. It might be the similarities between Aidrian and her that bring me back to her baby years, but she has grown in leaps and bounds. She is learning how to read and doing quite well. She wants to write her own stories (sound familiar?) and loves doing anything creative and is very imaginative. She is our social butterfly in more ways than one; in that she makes friends easily with anyone and also adjusts and adapts well to anything the winds blows her to. She is very empathetic and caring and such a joy to have in our lives.
Travis is a guy who never quits, despite the nagging of his wife and children! He is always helping someone, working very hard and playing till he can’t play anymore…there doesn’t seem to be much time for himself. He is enjoying his work at Earl’s Quality Car Care, managing the shop and providing customer service. He’s learning so much and enjoying the field. His true pride and joy is being with his 3 kids, whether it be wrestling or cuddling, he is a very loved daddy. My personal favorite is hearing him talk to Kaylin and Ethan. Whether it be a “learning” lesson or what they did that day, he has a peaceful feeling about him that is admirable, listening to these conversations are priceless.
Brittany loves staying home with the kids and finds it’s quite underpaid. I’m constantly busy, but cherish those quiet moments (like these!) where I can get things done that I actually want to do and also take time to reflect, write journal entries, work on my blog and catch up with emails. I absolutely love being with my family and friends and find it very therapeutic. I’m currently a Beehive Advisor at church and loving it. It’s so easy to love those girls. I still enjoy photography (if you haven’t noticed) and am learning more and more with each session. I am constantly amazed by my growing children and adore my husband and all he does to make my life beautiful.
All in all the Clarkes are well, happy, having fun and loving each other! We hope this finds you well also! Merry Christmas and a Happy New year! (We are currently looking for a house to buy in the nearby area, so check with us next year, we’ll have a new address!)

Sparkling for Christmas!

Christmas Sunday, Travis and I sure had some sparkling children! Kaylin and Aidrian has matching tutus that had sparkles all over them and so we also wore those sparkles all over our clothes! But they were so adorable! Ethan had a great silver tie along with Travis and the cutest gray pin striped pants.
Ethan was definately not in the mood for pictures, so this is the best one we got! Look at all those sparkles!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do you know the gingerbread man?

For Family Night we made a Gingerbread House Grandma Clarke gave us! The kids were so excited!

The box makes it look soooo easy...Warning: Don't look at our finished product too closely. Make sure to follow all Hints.
First, Lay the tray down flat. Hint: Make sure not to have the tray upside down. When you place the house on it, it will be confusing. Once turned over in the correct way, it all makes sense.
Second, Cut the frosting bag so you have a nice small opening. Hint: Don't make a large hole or it'll come out fast, thick and kind of like a huge blob. Don't try to move around with fingers, the frosting will stick to those instead of the gingerbread.
Third, Put up the walls, make sure you start with enough frosting to keep it together so you don't have t keep taking it apart to add more. Hint: Keep the gingerbread pieces away from 3 yr olds, they break them and then want you to put it together again...and it doesn't work.
Fourth, Decorate. Hint: You may think you have a large bag of frosting, but it goes quick if you followed the "don't" on the Second direction. You may use red squeeze bottle too if available.
Fifth, Let Dry. Hint: If your frosting is too gooey and melting off your house try 1. Turning down the heat in your house. 2.Getting a hairdryer that has a cold setting. If doesn't work, go to next step.

Sixth, EAT. When it doesn't stay standing and the roof slides off the side walls because of the massive load of candy, just eat it. Hint: You should have learned by now, the hairdryer is not a good idea.
Seventh, after you all have taken a bite, let go of holding the roof from falling and give one side to each of the kids. Take a few bites yourself, take the good candy from your child's roof and discard.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Baby

We have a Santa hat and put it on Aidrian. She was so tickled by it...

What a gorgeous little Santa!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day 3 of the missing Pinky

I personally think his pinky is looking better...but it is clearer since it's stopped bleeding so much.
The good thing about day 3 is that he didn't even fuss when we cleaned it, let it air dry and wrapped it again. Although we did have the distraction of cartoons, he was a champ!

Now we did have another small incident with Ethan's ear...he came up to me with a bloody hand and ear. Oh no I thought, what now? He went behind the couch and a staple from the back of the couch stabbed his ear...phew! So now he has gauze and tape on his ear too. Travis wanted a picture on the blog, but I felt too bad to put it on here. Ahhh, having a Clarke boy is never boring!

Trying to crawl?

Little miss Mika moo loves tummy time. (can you see those gray/blue eyes?)But now she gets up on her hands and knees and starts rocking!! Now every other parent made me proud of this little milestone at 7 months (almost to the date!) But not the mother who is moving in a month...this is disaster...
She is such a cute tiny little thing. She mostly just goes backwards and fusses when she runs into things like the couch behind her.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy 7th

So Travis and I celebrated our 7th anniversary this weekend. Nothing special, just time alone (well and Mika too--nursing baby) and some Christmas shopping. But we had a great time. It was nice to reflect on the years and just be together. I'm liking the idea of spending eternity with him! ;) We played trivia, remembering every anniversary...didn't do so hot. He was never good at remembering what I thoguht were important details and having kids has fried my brain--specifically the area of "remembering"...But we do have some great memories that we laughed and smiled about! We had some great food and lots of snuggles.

Here are some pictures taking us down memory lane of when we met and fell in love....

This pic was taken while we were dating in 2001. This was taken the day before we got married, Dec 14, 2001

My favorite engagement picture. I've always loved Travis' laugh.

Our wedding day, December 15, 2001. We got sealed by my dad in the Atlanta Temple and this was taken at the Hollingsworth House in Fayetteville. My whole family came, with their kids and all. It was definately a day to remember!!! This was during our dance....

Why I love Travis: selfless, kind, happy, relaxed, spontaneous, helpful, attractive, giving, dedicated, loving, warm hearted, funny, caring, great laugh, responsible, fun, hard working, playful, respectful, understanding, sympathetic, strong.

He would do anything for me without even hesitating. If there was a choice between getting something for me or him, he would always get it for me. He is so genuinely loving and selfless. He may seem quiet and closed, but with me he is funny and clever. He isn't much of a talker, never has been, but it makes for a great listener. He is so fun--we have some of the funnest memories dating. He is up for anything and always cares if I'm happy and concerned with my well being. He will let me sleep in even if he's just as tired. I could go on and on and on, but I think you get the idea....I love him so much!!!

Why Travis loves Brittany: I don't know, I just do. The list of Brittany's qualitys far exceed that of mine. She loves me with a pure complete love, nothing held back. When we were dating it took her a while to give me all of her love, but I was persistant and finally got her to unlock that last door to her heart and what a wonderful warm opening it was. This last month as we have been approaching our 7 year anniversary I have been reflecting on our marriage and what is different this year than years past. There isn't anything specific that is different, but I do know that I am happier now than I ever have been (and I have been very happy these previous seven years). I feel closer to my wife than ever and love her more than ever. It is easy to see a lot of the reasons why I love her so: she is beautiful, smart, artistic, talented with the camera and on her blog. Those are things that make me very proud of her, but the things that make me fall in love with her over and over are: the way she loves her family and loved ones, the way she mothers our children, the way she makes those around her happy, the way she treats her own and my parents and siblings, her love for her Savior and the Gospel, her thirst for gospel knowledge as she studies the scriptures, our quiet conversations that we share alone together, her love for life, her complete support in all I do, the way she can forgive and not hold a grudge, and she is the best friend anyone can have, especially me! I love Brittany more than I ever thought possible and know that it will only grow stronger. I vow to (as the scriptures say) cleave unto her for I cannot afford to lose her. She is my soul mate, the one who makes me live, my Eternal Companion.
Brittany may not mention this in her portion so I will have to add it for her. She also loves all my moles and the way I smack my lips when I sleep. She will never admit it but I think its just because she is embarrased.

Happy bath baby!

Aidrian absolutely loves her baths as she can now sit up in them! She splashes herself silly, kicks her legs almost topling over and swallows water. For a couple days she's had a really bad diaper rash, but we didn't know till yesterday because she never fussed about it. We think she'll have Kaylin's pain tolerance. So this is her happy baby face in the tub with any owie bum--what a cutie.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One Happy Kid

Yes, that's a mattress in the middle of the family room--you do what you can to get all that energy out on a cold Sunday! Here's Ethan doing tricks. This one made me laugh the most and you could see his happy face, he had some other good ones too, but his back was turned away from us...
You can see his finger taped up. We splinted it to the next finger so he wouldn't bump it. He's actually doing really well with his left hand and now starting to use his right hand too. (the owie hand) The only time he's been frustrated yet is when he tried to color and couldn't hold the crayon right.

Like Father Like Son

Ethan got his pinky stuck in the door and it took the tip right off. He was very brave and after crying for mom, Paka gave him a blessing and he fell right asleep.
These pictures don't show it very well. As soon as we took the gauze off it started bleeding. But it is getting better and we all feel like it will heal nicely. He's doing great today--same ol' self as you see in the post above.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

O Christmas Tree!

Our cute little Christmas tree...yeah it looks a little crooked doesn't it? We set up the camera for a little family shot...


Christmas Tree Farm

There is a place in Fayetteville where Travis and his family would get their Christmas Tree. You get to cut it down. We thought it would be fun this year to cut our own. Paka and Grandma (Travis' parents) came with us!Paka loved having Mika on his shoulders. We didn't tell him she was drooling all in his hair! ;)
The Clarkes family tradition was to pick the ugliest Christmas tree in the lot! I think Paka was bummed I wasn't carrying over the tradition since it was Travis' initial idea back in the day at his house...So we still found the ugliest tree (which actually was pretty cute) and took a picture of it for Brandon on his mission.
Here are the boys carrying our "pretty" tree.
There was a Santa there that took us on a hayride. It was funny, Kaylin was pretty confused why he was driving a tractor. But she's learning (all on her own) that all the Santa's around are just helpers. The REAL Santa (like the one on Polar Express) is at the North Pole busy as can be till Christmas Eve! :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

St. Simon's GA

So after Travis worked on Friday we headed down to St. Simon's Island. We had such a great time!! The kids played with their cousins non-stop and it was awesome! Mika was adorable and loved everybody. On Saturday we went over to the beach, it was a gorgeous day and the sun was shining! Of course I had to take pics...and Travis took the camera for a while so I could enjoy the day too.
Aidrian's toes in the sand... My hunky husband...he was so happy to be in his board shorts on the beach.

Kaylin was playing in the tide pools and fell into a hole (yes filled with water) and so she was soaked head to toe. (So did Emma) She borrowed Blaine's orange and blue striped shirt and wore it as a dress! But this pic I loved...Mika loves her big sister.

Me holding Mika. She was so happy and loved the sea breeze.

Ethan the sand monster. He loved it. He wanted Travis to make a huge hole and he sat in it a lot of the time. He also loved throwing it. Thankfully he only threw it at the girls once. Cool pic.

Kaylin enjoying the hole as well. She loved the sand. She made one with Emma and Aunt Jo Jo too. Her hair got so curly in the humidity.

Paka held Mika for a while and then put her in the sand. She loved it. She sat there for a while just touching and feeling it. But unfortunately she bent in half and put her face right into the sand. She got it in her mouth, up her nose and in her eyes. Poor thing. I ended up just taking her to the bathroom there and rising her with water.