Sunday, December 28, 2008

We Did It

We have successfully made it through the holiday season. It seems like it went so fast yet on the other hand we had endless celebrating. I am so blessed at this time to have a week off and the girls and I have some big plans. It seems strange to think that 2008 is just about to close. We have had a great year and I continue to marvel at how big the girls are getting. Christmas morning brought that to my attention in so many ways.

Ellie was completely excited all day on Christmas Eve. She encouraged the other two to join in the anticipation. There was so much going on and we were able to have Giselle and Noah here with us which brought its own excitement. We all joined up at my mom and dad's for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. (Going back a few years) We always have a Christmas Eve program and each person is encouraged to participate. When I was somewhere around Ellie's age I remember singing, with the old LP (that is a record) Amy's Grants Tennessee Christmas. Not sure why I chose that song but for some reason I did. This year my girls decided to start singing a new Amy Grant song, I need a Silent Night, that I found while looking for Christmas music for the Christmas show. They each took their turn belting it out on the karaoke machine. Then they turned it into quiet the trio performance. I just couldn't believe that these were my children and they were participating in the same type of traditions that I so fondly remember. There was an empty space at the table this year without my sweet Grandmother. I still have these little flashes now and again or something that makes me well up with those stinking tears. I just remember the previous year with her all dolled up in her Christmas outfit. We miss her a lot and I am just so gad that my children were old enough to have the chance to meet her and know her. The hardest part now is watching my grandpa. He misses her so much and longs to reunite with her. I realize how grateful I am for the plan and how much I want to be with my husband and children forever. (Wow I am not sure how I got off on that path but I have now regained my composure and can move on. Sorry Mom!)

Once we got home form the Christmas Eve celebration all of the kids in their matching pjs went to bed. We all sleep out in the bonus room and so we can wake up together. Ellie however decided that 2:30 was an appropriate time to check and see if Santa had arrived. It took me the next three hours to keep her from jumping out of her skin. By 6:00 we were up brushing our teeth and ripping apart wrapping paper as fast as we could. Ellie got her own digital camera and I have officially let her take over the photography. She is doing quiet well and manages to remember to take more photos then I. I was completely surprised at with my Christmas present. It was all set up and decorated as I walked into the room. I will let you judge for yourself!

The snow decided to bring Christmas joy to us and we had trouble making the two mile trip to my parent's Christmas morning. As we took a the second path we also saw the three elk that have reappeared from last year. Ellie again capture the moment.

On Saturday we headed to the Bisel party. We are normally in Idaho for that weekend. It was great fun to participate in the Sleigh Ride, tubing, cemetery visit to Grandma and the unbelievable buffet.

Oh the memories that we have made this month. Here's to a new year of happiness and family time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Long Time Coming

We're here! We really are alive and kicking it just seems that there is so much going on and I put blogging on the bottom of my list. If I have an extra minute I try to do something productive. Prime example, make cookies with Tess and Mia. They love it and it teaches me patience. We had a wonderful November and were very thankful to spend time with many of our family. Other things that happened in November:

Ellie had her first piano recital. Both of the girls started piano this fall and are doing great. They have different teachers (long story) and we are grateful that they enjoy it (for the time being). Ellie had practiced and practiced til everyone in the family could play her songs. That morning she was getting a little nervous. By time we got to the church where the recital was I am not sure who was shaking more, Tim or Ellie. He gets so nervous for the girls. Ellie was about to cry when she was introducing her pieces her voice was shaking so severely but she sat down and played like a pro. We were so proud of her and pleased that we got to share the moment with Grandpa and Grandma McNeil, and Allen and Patrice and Evan. Thanks guys!

We made a long trip to Boise for Thanksgiving. We have never actually been to Brain and Jan's house so we were looking forward to seeing them and the rest of our Butikofer family. I had been some what worried about the length of the trip so I prepared an entertainment box for the girls. What would we do without technology, seriously. Between the dvd players and the leapsters (Thanks Averett girls) the girls never made a peep. I however didn't do so well. Tim and I have different travel philosophies. Mine= get in the car and drive as fast as possible ONLY to stop if it is a dire emergency. Did I mention FAST! Tim is more of a sight-seer. He absolutely loves road trips and stops along the way to stretch out his legs and get a refill. And of course he would never eat in the car=too much of a mess!!!! I have decided Tim's way could be more enjoyable if we did it more expeditiously!!! We had a great time in Boise and I would love to show you pictures of it but I never took my camera out of the case. AND no one took it out of the case while I was in the pool with the kids doing cartwheels off the side and throwing Ellie and Lexie in the air off my shoulders. (My dad would be so proud) To Tim's defense he had hurt his back at work BUT while he sat on the side he could have snapped some actions shots.

I missed out on the Black Friday madness which really took a toll BUT I had my own little on-line Thanksgiving day madness when I was showing Sondi some online deals. It is possible that I could turn into a cyber shopper junkie!!! But I just missed Allen and the snowmobile-suit man!

We headed aback from Boise a day earlier than we originally planned and got to see some of my family on Sunday as my mom hosted a Sunday Thanksgiving dinner. Yes Thanksgiving is really a wonderful holiday with food and family.

To start off December I vowed I would make some fun times with the girls. So far we have managed to put up five Christmas trees and last night we went to Temple Square with the Gunners. I love the lights and the spirit that goes with it on Temple Square. It was a pretty mild night as far as the temperature goes BUT with kids they get cold fast. So we headed to Sizzler, a family friendly restaurant. Can I tell you it was so worth it. I love Sizzler salad bar and apparently it had rubbed off on my kids. Ellie was thrilled that she could go back as many times as she wanted. Tess was just happy she got to sit by Luke and Mia well you see, one of Mia's favorite food is watermelon and cantaloupe. She never stopped with the Watermelon and she eats it right down to the rind! Maybe a gift card in the stocking for all of them would be a great idea. Again, just the little things I need to remind myself, make them happy.

We cannot wait for Christmas to get here but more than that the girls are so excited to see their second mommy, Giselle. I think if I wrap her up and put her under the tree Christmas morning will be complete!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween and More

We had a huge more like gynormous week. It all started last Saturday with Ellie's birthday party. We took Ellie and eight of her friends to see High School Musical 3. It was fantastic, more singing and dancing than the previous two. I LOVED IT and so did the other kids. We had two boys attend the party, Luke and Jackson. Luke tried to be all shy and not even come to the pre-movie cake and ice cream bash, however on the way over it was reported he was crooning for the girls and they were loving his opera style. Thanks to Olivia for helping me transport the tribe. Sunday we had our Primary Program. It is a lot of work for the chorister ,me, and I was also stressed about Tess not saying her part.(She wouldn't in any of the practices.) Well she came through like a champ and it was an extreme dose of reality as I looked around and saw that Ellie is the 4th oldest girl in our primary!!!! Moving on in the week.

Tuesday was our official birthday. Knowing what was in store with dress rehearsal after school til who knows when, we opened presents at 6:30 am. Mia kept telling me "Mom it is night outside."

Ellie got her heelys that she has wanted for two years and I got a treadmill that I have been begging for a long time. (It just goes to prove my theory, when we get rid of things we end up having to replace it AGAIN!)
By then fifth hour of dress rehearsal, I got a great birthday present from one of the little ballerinas. She threw up all over the stage and her tutu to boot. Needless to say it was a distraction that had to be taken care of.
Wednesday, the BIG PERFORMANCE!

This is the first time all three girls were in the show. I ran and ran and ran around that day. Tess kept me right in line with her asking every 2 minutes if it was time to get her costume on and she had the other two's outfits laid out and tights and shoes put in her bag.

We had two shows in one night to accommodate all the audience members. ALL the girls did great and I felt very relieved after it was all over! BTW-Mia walked away with the Shirley Temple award for the night!

Thursday brought Mia's preschool snack and Tess' class party. I know what you are thinking. Preschool snack is not that hard Billlie Jo. Well two factors you might not know about. 1-They have to bring a snack that begins with same sound as their name. 2-I try to do some extremely wonderful homemade award-winning Martha Stewart version of a snack. When Mia brought home the paper at the beginning of the month I told her we would send MMMmuffins and MMMmilk. (They go at ten in the morning and I thought this would be wonderful.) I hadn't been to the store ALL week and had no eggs to make the MMMmufins. So off to KFT. I decided to buy some MMMMuffins and that would have to do. I flet like such a slacker mother coming in with my store bought MMMmuffins. Apparently the kids didn't mind and they gobbled them all down. On to Tess' class party. I AM NOT the room mother or room mother helper for this class, however I know the room mother and she asked me to come help with the party. Since I still have not gone through my "Just say NO intervention" I went in for my duty. Tess seriously was the cutest clown I have ever seen. The only face painting she would allow me to do was a small dot of red on her nose! It didn't matter she still won my heart!

Friday brought us the real Halloween celebrations. I AM a room mother helper in Ellie's class. However when I woke up Friday I really had no desire to get out of bed. This put a damper on me preparing all the gooly goodies for her party.

The room mother had put together this fun Halloween story with Science experiments and cool sounds. She wanted the food to relate to the theme. I looked and serached the entire night before on the Internet for great party food. This is what I came up with. A snake that had slime coming out of it and flying creatures stuck in a pumpkin. (Sorry no picture BUT it was dar!)

I bit off more than I could chew and called in some reinforcements (Robbin-Thanks) The food was an absolute hit and I even had enough left over to take to the neighborhood Halloween party we were invited to. We went with some neighbors and had a pre trick or treating party and then loaded all the kids on the wagon and went around their neighborhood.

We bailed after about an hour to go visit great-grandpa and our biggest requested stop... the FRANCIS FUDGE FAIRY. This is the only Halloween necessity for Tim.

The weather was perfect and we got loads of candy. (DR. Moffits dream I am sure!)

Saturday would have been a great day to relax and chill from the big week HOWEVER I had signed up a month ago for a scrap book marathon. Tim was the best husband/father once again and took care of the girls, the laundry, and even put my birthday present together. AHHH thank heaven for day light saving...I got the extra hour of sleep I really needed. Hope we can get back to normal! Although I am not sure what the defintion of normal is at this home:)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

9 Years Old

Yes it is official. Nine years ago this day I received the best birthday present ever, my sweet little Ellie Jo Butikofer. I have learned so much over the past nine years and I would not trade one day of it. When you have kids I think you realize who you are and you see a part of you manifested in someone else. Each day I sincerely pray for this kid. She has such a big heart and I know that she is going to do great things. My only concern is- have I done all that I can to let her know how much she means to me. Here are nine qualities that I enjoy in Ellie.

1. From the moment she came into this world she was the life of the party! Being the first grandchild on the McNeil side meant that she got A LOT of attention!!! There was never a moment she didn't have someones attention. Since at the time I was knee deep in drill team and my teaching career, she was drug to every football, basketball,volleyball and dance competition around. She attended her first football game when she was 2 weeks old. I remember thinking "having kids doesn't slow you down!" Well as a result of my naivety (is that even a word) Ellie also got RSV when she was four months old. I think that was the first moment that I realized how precious her life was. I would lay in the recliner at night with her on my chest hooked up to oxygen and just watch her breathe. I held my breath the entire first night and prayed that I would be the best mom I could to this child. To this day she is always the center of attention for better or for worse.

2. Ellie finds joy in small things. I guess this is the proper and nice way of explaining that she is a hoarder. I am sure in the next twenty years you will see her on on of those reality show where she has to get some type of help because her junk collecting has taken over her life! She saves everything and wants other people to save things. I think she has Luke convinced that there is a reason to save pop can tops??? Just the other day I went through her desk and started to purge things. When she found the ONE inch pencils in the garbage she asked me why I threw them away. I said, "you can't even write with them why do you have them and why would you keep them." Her reply was simple, "I wanted to see how small I could get them with the sharpener and they look cool."

3. Ellie has very intriguing knees. She is a ballet teacher's worst night mare. She has very interesting knees. They are not bowed and she is not knocked kneed but it is some strange cross between the two. Giselle says that it is a ballroom dancers dream. Good things she looks cute in the leotard so that people have something else to watch!

4. Like I said before Ellie has a big heart. She loves everyone! When she was very little and we lived in Kamas she stole the heart of an elderly man in our ward, Grandpa Padfield as she called him. One day he showed up at our house with this cute wooden rocking chair that he built for her. This was also Ellie's first exposure to understanding death. When Grandpa Padfield died, I am not sure who cried more Ellie or me? She also hates it when people are sad or hurt. For instance when I put Mia in time out or she gets in trouble, Ellie comes to her rescue.

5. Ellie has also channeled Giselle's act for injuries. The ace bandages have found a great home and every time we are at mom and dad's she finds the crutches. She always has an injury and the other day it came to a for front. She had this bump on her finger and she kept showing it to me. At first I thought she got a sliver and it may have gotten infected. However she wouldn't actually let me touch it or examine it. After about a month and the swelling getting worse, I made an appointment for the first day she had off of school. Turns out had a big pocket of infection and it had to be lanced out. THAT WAS FUN! But she loves the facts that she has to soak it in Epsom salt baths twice a day!

6. She never gives up! Ellie will try and try and try something until she gets it. I mentioned the other day that she got her back handspring in acro. Somethings come sooner and quicker than others but overall she keeps trying. She may not have learned to ride the two wheel bike until she was 7 (thanks Uncle B) but at least she never quit.

7. American Idol watch out! Ellie loves to sing. She can and will memorize the words to any song. (Not so much into memorizing math facts but song are a must!) I think when she was only two years old she had all the drill team songs memorized and even those of other teams. (Giselle..."this is how my drummer drums!") She has also passed her love of singing on to Tess and Mia. Any given day you can hear quite the concert going on inside, outside, or in the shower. Hannah Montanna has nothing on this girl.

8. Ellie is a great example and big sister to Tess and Mia. It has been so fun to watch Ellie and Tess do the whole school thing this year. Ellie gives Tess a lot of advice as to what to wear, how to wait for the bus, and when and where to play. She reads to them, teaches them, and runs the show as far as what they are playing. She is the head choreographer when they are making up dances and also the fashion consultant. But she also teaches them spiritual things too. They have to also take a "scripture bag" like Ellie to church and Ellie sets up the whole pulpit and routine for family home eveningtalks as well. Being the oldest sister myself I know how she feels and how you want to control everything. I hope that she continues loving them follow her footsteps.

9. Her smile says it all. She has a cheesy smile when she is getting her picture taken but on the lighter and more natural side of life it melts my heart when she walks in the door and I see her smile. I am sure it won't be long before that smile melts someone elses heart... but for now she is all mine! Happy Birthday to my nine year old baby! I hope the next nine years are just as wonderful.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grape Nuts = Growing Up

I just had to hurry and post this funny story. I haven't done much in the line of keeping up with Mia's baby/scrapbook so I thought I should document this little occasion.

Mia likes to eat cereal EVERY morning. I offer her good warm things to eat and she just chooses to eat cereal. Not just any cereal she is very specific. She wants Rice Crispies! I buy the big bulk bag to use for Rice Crispy Treats so I never thought that this would end up being Mia's personal fav. She does like me to put one teaspoon of sugar on them however. Well moving on... She told me "Mom I am hungry." I then replied in the most loving voice "What would you like to eat my little darling?" She opens up the pantry and says, "Mom, I growed up so I need some of Dad's cereal." Referring to the grape nuts. Well knowing how they taste, I try to tell her that I am sure she won't like them. (A mother always knows.) In her attempt to reiterate to me how grown up she is, she gets the box herself. I poor the smallest amount in her bowl and add the milk. One crunchy bite later...."Mom, I'm still a little kid. Can I have my own cereal?" I just smiled and poured the grape nuts down the garbage disposal and got out the Rice Crispies!

While I am updating, I had these pictures to throw in. We didn't get to go anywhere for UEA for many reasons, so we braved the CROWDS of people at Gardner Village and then went with the Gunners to Chuck E. Cheese for Noah's pre-celebration. I stood in the face painting line for 45 minutes while the kids went to the petting zoo. Ok let's just say, the kids could go to Great-Grandpa Bisel's and pet as many animals as they did there and I could pull out the face painting kit and do the butterflies myself BUT it was the time together that counts RIGHT. The things we do for our kids. NEXT year Disneyland MARK MY WORDS!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just for Aunt Giselle

So to say we all have had a hard time with Aunt Giselle moving would be a slight understatement. Mia seems to have it the worst. I think the reason maybe that Giselle has brain-washed her to believing that she is her mother. Don't get me wrong, I love that they want their Aunt Giselle to be such a part of their lives. We send video footage and pictures on the cell phone bi-weekly to her. (I am so grateful for technology.) Last week Ellie got her back handspring down. First person we call...Giselle. Plus the cell phone video of it. Every morning Mia tells me "I can't wait til Christmas. Then I can see Giselle." Apparently I just need to wrap Giselle up and put her under the tree. So these pictures are for Giselle. I hope that the rest of you enjoy them and please note the time. 4:05 AM! That is the only time I have to blog. I couldn't sleep so I started some laundry and now I have one second for an update.

Where on earth does the time go? My big girl will be 9 in just one week. I am seriously freaked out with the notion. You know me the leader of the drama queens! Needles to say they keep me on the move! Gotta go...time to put in the next batch of clothes!

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's October...My favorite month!

I can hardly believe that it is October. This is one if not my single favorite month. It isn't because of all the birthdays or Halloween. It means we start wearing cute sweaters, eating soup A LOT, having pumpkin this and pumpkin that and most of all we gain one hour of sleep with daylight savings!!! Let's be honest it really is because of the birthdays!

We had a great time celebrating Jack's first birthday. I would love to show you the pictures of it but I forgot to grab my camera and so far no one has posted their pictures that I can steal. Chelsea made the absolute cutest cake EVER. I pride myself of being "Monica" but move over "Martha". One of the highlights was the three legged race. Tim prides himself on NOT being competitive...this does not bout well with his overly competitive wife. Therefore I have set the stage. Chelsea and Allen held the current three legged world record for YEARS back when they were both in their athletic prime(BTW Happy Birthday today, CHELSEA). The competition was tight and due to a certain spill that Chelsea and Max took, Tim and I were able to walk away with bragging rights. Thanks for the memories family!

I will just give shout out to the rest of my October B-day Babes!

Robbin-11th Happy Birthday to the best friend and neighbors I have ever had!

Noah (baby)20th- We can't really call you baby Noah anymore. Happy Birthday big 3 year old!

Patrice 28th-I am so glad we get to share our special day together, you are just like one of my sisters! My birthday wish for you is a crib for your baby, wait that should be Evan's birthday wish. Maybe by the time he is one he will get it!

Ellie 28th- You were the best birthday present I have ever gotten. I can't believe what a beautiful young lady you are becoming!

Grandpa Butikofer 31st-We hope you have a great day! And Happy Halloween!

I just wanted to cover what we have been up to the past few weeks.

#1 Field Trip with Mia: Her "BearHig" preschool fall Teddy Bear Picnic. We went to Nobbletts. It was great to watch Mia in action and she pretty much ran up the trail. One of the other mothers commented to me, in between her child's sobbing sessions, that Mia seems so comfortable being outside and playing in the dirt and picking leaves. REALLY- this child playing in the dirt and being crazy, go figure. Which bring me to my next item.

#2 Swimming Lessons: I enrolled all the girls in swim lessons. We didn't do them over the summer and I felt pretty guilty. I put Mia in Child B class. This class is designed to "acquaint" children with the water and make them feel comfortable. I was worried that I should put her in the level one BUT Tess is in that class. Needless to say after one class the teacher told me that they should move her up a class but I still felt like Tess needed her "own" class. It is so funny to watch her. The teacher is constantly telling her to get up on the side with the other kids and she dives into the water and holds her breath as long as she can. The girls are doing great and I am so glad that we have the rec center so close.



#3 The new addition to our family! Three little kittens have come to live with us. Mia has wanted a kitty for such a long time and I keep putting it off and putting it off. It had gotten to the point where she asks me 15 times in a day (I truly counted). So with the help of my mom letting me know where I could get some, each girl decided they needed to have their own. Welcome Aleena (I think it really is AL), Gabriella, and Chloe! Seriously they take as much time as my own kids. They are barely 6 weeks old and still miss their mommy. Mia is in seventh heaven and I am so proud of Tess and Ellie for also holding and petting them. Tess request that I bring Gabriella up to the bus stop to greet her when she gets off the bus!

They are outside cats but we just had to bring them in to snuggle them a bit. They really miss their mom!

This maybe the only update this month here is a list of things I have to do:

Swim lessons every Saturday

Super Saturday

Have a HSM3 birthday bash for Ellie!

Dance Concert (Super Spooktacular)

Make a Halloween treat for Mia's preschool class

Halloween Party in Ellie's class , (your right Robbin I got myself back into helping the Room Mother)

Primary Program

Raise 3 kittens

Raise 3 daughters

Try to keep up with the laundry

Fix nutritious and delicious meals

Clean, Clean, Clean!!!

It may be Thanksgiving before I update!