Saturday, January 30, 2010

Andie is 3!

Andie's big day! Grandma Snow sent a package with tiara's, princess shoes, a princess dress that was a little too short (Riley's comment, "mom-is that immodest?" Glad she's getting it!)gloves, pink heart necklace, a pink sparkle backpack and a ring. Wow! She was so excited! She also got a swing for her babies and a Smart Cycle that I can't get to work yet. I got these 2 items for her for Christmas from Kid to Kid and ended up holding them for her birthday. If I would of known my mom was providing everything, I would of held it to next Christmas! Amy also brought over a baby named "Hannah" that cries. Andie was so excited about that baby. We are going to celebrate Andie's birthday party next week. I wasn't going to have one for her but Riley was MORTIFIED when I told her that. So I'm really throwing this little party for Riley's sake. I'm even going to check her out of school for her to be my helper. Andie loves showing you she is 3 with her fingers.

Also, Steele skips with one leg. Really, it's the cutest thing. Probably because he's so big and round and then he skips so delicately. You can't help but to bust out laughing when you see this. Steele fell out of the laundry basket and got a shiner and a fat lip. Blood was coming out of his nose and mouth. I felt so bad for him. He was so swollen he looked like a little monkey. He didn't even look like Steele. I'm putting in a picture but it wasn't taken at full "swollen-ness".

I just got back from Texas. I'm doing some contract work for a company. My current project is to throw 3 parties for Dell employees in Texas, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Serious. How fun is that? We've contracted with Vince Young and Colt McCoy for a couple of the events and we're hoping to get Julian from the Biggest Loser. The first one I'm feeding 1150 people lunch, 2nd one 750 and the third 500. They will be in shifts of 200 people a time. (The room fits 250). I'm in charge of catering, advertising, decorations, security, the guests, the grand prize drawing (dinner with Vince & Colt, supervising the dinner w/ them in the evening, etc. Serious. I cannot believe I'm going to get paid for this. If I need to get my own "crew", I know some sisters that I will be calling!

Cole gave his 10 minute report on Japan and rocked the house! (as he said). REally, he did great. He had a real samuri helmet, ninja shoes, kimonos, sushi for all the kids, pocky sticks, dolls, etc. Great factual info was given. My favorite part was when he would go to another part of his presentation and he would say, "Now I would like to direct your attention to..." He would get docked 5 points if he said, "umm..." but he didn't at all. So proud of him! I'm only going to post the video because I know the only people out there that would take 10 minutes to watch this our his grandparents!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Best Christmas Eve Ever!

Every Christmas Eve I always end up saying, "This was the BEST Christmas Eve!" but I really think this ranks up right near the top. It was because not only did I have 2 sister and their families here but Grandma & Grandpa Walker came and stayed the whole night. This was huge. On 3rd sunday dinners they are always the first to go because they don't driving in the dark. I don't blame them. So, we planned on having dinner early for them. Instead of 6ish we started at 4:30 p.m. This way, I thought they could stay for dinner and get on the road by 5:30 p.m. It is dark by then. Well, I made our traditional Lasagna that mom would make every Christmas Eve. I also made a pan of Grandma Walkers recipe for Lasagna roll-ups - spinach and all. Hey, if the kids didn't like it - tough! I made it for Gram. She said she liked it. One thing gram said was she leaned over to gramp and asked if he made it or did she. I quickly just said that I made it with HER recipe. Well, after dinner I told Gramp the itinerary and told me I would rearrange anything for them and also just to tell me and they could leave anytime. It was ON WITH THE PROGRAM in his book! I was a little surprised but away we went!

Next came the Story of Jesus birth. Of course, everyone had to get into costume. Riley was Mary, Cole was Joseph, Katelyn was the angel, Andie was a shepard, Steele was a very stubborn lamb, the Miller boys were the 3 wisemen and Daniel and Ryan were shepards also. I don't think any of the kids wanted to get into costume at the beginning but then the fun began! I think Gram loved watching the kids. I thought for sure after the story the would leave. But no! Grampa said to keep on going.

So then we had the talent show. Andie sang Twinkle, Twinkle in her little minor voice. Before I go any f Riley made jewelry for her aunts and gram got a home made bookmark and Cole had everyone say a capital in the world and he would tell you the country. All the cousins did something and then Katie and Amy played the cello and violin. Amy was nice enough to try to include me by asking me if I would like to accompany them on the piano. HELLOOO?! I can't stop laughing just typing this! Joy to the World DOES NOT sound like "My Turn on Earth" which is the ONLY song I know by heart! I quit piano for more important things like sports! Amy had a full memory blockage on that one. Nice for her to not leave me out but probably better for everyone that I didn't participate. Now what I should of done is pull out my sax!

After the talent show I thought for SURE g & g would leave. NOPE. On to the presents! The ones that g&g got for the kids. Gram got Andie a dolly. You would of thought it was 100 dollies with Andie's response. I realized then and there Andie did not need one more gift - she got it in that dolly! After all the screaming and ripping open of gifts I think gram was thoroughly pooped. Now there were finally ready to leave. It was probably close to 8! I couldn't believe it! They had stayed for the whole night. I was wonderful to have them there. I know gram is going through such a rough time and that it is also hard on grampa but it was the most wonderful feeling to have them in our home with us. I'm so grateful for their sacrifice on not only driving down in the bad weather but staying and celebrating with us. I don't know how many more christmas's I will have with the both of them. It's hard to see your grandparents getting old. I've been living near my grandma & gramp longer than I lived in Michigan. It's hard to see my gram going through this. I love her so much.

Survived the Holidays!

So much to say so little time. We had the Mesa Daytons here for the holidays with their 4 full of energy boys (add them all together and you have more power than a nuclear power plant!) Before we go any further, there's a story here. We have a bedroom in our basement. The mattress fits but the box spring doesn't fit around the corner at the bottom of the stairs. So, when Adam and Christy stayed here this summer, I bought a frame contraption from Ikea for Taylor to assemble. When Christy was going down to bed, I jokingly said to her, "be careful....Taylor THINKS he put it together right!" Well, Adam got on the bed-no problem. Then Christy did. She MIGHT weigh 100 lbs-all 5'10" of her. BOOM! The bed falls to the ground. So, they just slept in their "coffin" all week. The headboard, footboard and railings surrounding them. This leads us to now. What are we going to do you ask? Well, I think Taylor thinks if he waits long enough the wall will magically get wider so the box spring will fit. My reply: "Cut the wall". So that we did! Taylor got his hand saw and just started sawing. He went a little crazy and just kept going. When I looked I yelled, "STOP!" We had to have a quick discussion as to how FAR we should cut back. I won. Only enough to get the mattress down. No messing with wires or load bearing problems which is where he was heading...

On to our winter vacation with the cut wall and the box spring fitting now THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Here's the lowdown of what we did w/ the Mesa Daytons. Sunday night we had a party at John & Angela's. There was over 35 kids and a ton of adults. This was considered the christmas party for Lynn's side. (Taylors' dad) Monday night Jared decided dinner at Cafe Rio. He called a bunch of brothers and Lynn & Jude both showed up. That ALWAYS makes it an exciting evening! David, Joey, Perry, Anna, Barbara, Jared, Tricia, Chris, Tricia, Taylor and myself showed up. Fun night. All the cousins were at our home playing the WII. (The great addition to our home this Christmas!) When we got home around 10 Judi wasn't ready to go home. She asked me if i would like to go to the movies-her treat. She had gift certificates. How could I say no? So off we went to see Sherlock Holmes until close to 1 am! Great movie...

Tuesday the Mesa Daytons went skiing so it was the perfect day for Grandma Snow to come! Grandma was a trooper. She will go down in history as beating Cole in canoeing on the WII! And then she held her own with Archery. Cole says they tied. I wonder what she would say...Cole just couldn't believe how good she was. I told him that's where his natural talent comes from! They played Mario Kart (he smoked her he says), canoeing, wakeboarding, archery and cruising. Wow! She then played Trouble with Riley and got to see Riley's competitive side which DID NOT come from her! We went bowling at BYU and I think we just tired her out. It was absolutely great to have mom here. That night, Taylor, mom and me went over to KAtie and Aarons for Pie nIght with the Bensons. Great converation - alligators, cougars, mucous to name a few...

Wednesday was sledding at Rock Canyon. No accidents. (Last yr a four yr old boy ran into a tree and died-I'm always nervous). I cannot sled due to my sledding accident when I was 15. Still sends shivers up my spine thinking about it. Tuesday night was grandma Dayton's 100th birthday!!! Has anyone ever been to a 100th birthday?! It was great! She has 8 children-7 of them living. David died years back in a tragic farming accident. Lynn is 70 and acts like he's 55. After the party we headed over to Allison's parents home. They have an indoor massive pool party for the Daytons! Nothing like playing in the pool with Snow falling outside!

New Years Eve - Taylor and I decided to forgo going to Brendon and Delayne's annual party and we just went out for all you can eat shrimp and then the movie "Blindside". Breann told me that it reminded her of me and her in the movie. (Breann is a girl that lived with us on and off last year and I still keep close contact with her. Parents were in a middle of a nasty divorce-she was rebelling....) Taylor and I so desperately needed this night out. Cole and Riley were having their annual sleepover at Granna's New Years Eve party. cole and the Mesa boys stayed outside until 2 am building snow forts and walls getting ready for their big "battle" of snowballs the next morning. Those kids always party HARD at grannas! One part of the tradition at her home is they all throw confetti (provided by the crazy granna!) and then granna is left finding it ALL YEAR LONG!

Friday was more sledding. This time over to our cabin on the back property and had grandpa Dayton pull the kids and uncles on sleds behind the truck. Hours of funnnnn!!! Friday night we went over to David and Jessica's (another brother) for Thai food. Jessica is from Thailand so it was authentic and yummylicious!!! Also, another sleepover at Granna's. My children have gotten zip-zilch-natta sleep this's starting to show....

Saturday was movie with the kids and granna (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and then the adults to dinner at Mama Chu's. Jared and Tricia took us out for letting them stay at our home.(Chris & Trish tagged along). Authentic mexican-great company-and then on the a Iceberg's for shakes. I'm stuffed just writing this! BTW, somewhere in this crazy week we all went to Avatar. Another great movie. Hilarious-we don't go see full-priced movies all year and then we see 3 in one week without having to pay for one due to gift certificates - gotta love those!!! Classic line from Riley when cousins were over. They were playing Trouble and her dear cuz Emerson was playing with her. Emerson sent one of Riley's pieces back to home-she didn't do it on purpose-it's just the name of the game. Emerson giggled and said, "sorry". Riley just folded her arms and said with all seriousness, "that's o.k., because I am gonna get YOU!" Wow! Where DOES that competitiveness come from? OBVIOUSLY Taylor's side!

When the Mesa Daytons left, Cole was cuddling with me on the couch. He had tears in his eyes and said the more fun they have, the harder it is to see them go. He then said he wished he lived with them. To be honest, a little painful for my heart. I told him I thought we had a pretty good family. he said, "yeahhhh...." but without conviction. He then said which I thought was pretty cute, "I just need STeele to get a little bit older!"

This vacation Riley is dying to know when she can wear "outliner". Yes, eyeliner but we're not correcting her. I love it - outliner. When can she wear make-up? What can she wear? Is there a distinction between wearing it to school, church, friends or cousins homes? AUGH!!!!!! She just turned 9!

Andie and Steele loved Uncle Jared. He chased them around the house constantly-CONSTANTLY. And then when he would stop, they would egg him on. The noise level was at a 9 all week. It would hit a 10 when Cole would start "honking" downstairs. It's the "horn" that I used to do when I was little. That deep down from the bottom of you chest honk. We hear it the most when cole is aroud the Mesa boys. Because he is always laughing so hard with them! Cole can and would do it for at least 5 to 10 seconds at a time. It was a great, magical vacation! I'm so grateful for those Mesa Dayton boys. Cole truly thinks of them as "his brothers". We're counting down to April 2nd-why? We leave for Mesa!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


On to the new year. One of my resolutions was be a more patient mother. I'm always so tired and thus I don't think I'm patient enough. I was writing this down on my bed and Steele was getting up from his nap. (He sleeps in our closet). I opened the door and immediately stepped in something wet. Then I smelled. Then I looked. There was no loin cloth on that child. It was across the room with the brown contents shrewn all over also. Then I looked in his pack-in-play. Wetness. When I lifted the mattress? A river. Not just some puddles. A RIVER. I should of run and gotten my camera but when I picked him up he grabbed my long hair with his "brown" hands. What did I do? Are any of you surprised? Yes, I just turned my head 45 degrees and threw up in the toilet. AHHHHH...the new year starts!

The next day Taylor noticed that the toilet on the main floor was clogged. He thought the plunger might be in our bathroom but since Steele was sleeping in there he just shut the door. I thought to myself, "we should probably lock that". But of course, didn't listen to that little prompting. Come on - prompting for a toilet???? Well, the kids came home and Taylor and I left to go pick up my car. Luckily Riley went to use the bathroom. Why is it lucky? She cannot use a toilet unless there is nothing in there. Since there was too much water and a little toilet paper (probably put in by Steele) she flushed it. Well, the water started pouring out. We got the phone call so we turned around. Luckily we were only a couple of blocks away. When we got home, I waited in the car while Taylor leisurely walked in. (if you don't know this by now, Taylor doesn't rush for anything). Well, Riley came out and said there sure was a lot of water! I just stayed there. I have never seen a toilet REALLY overflow. We have always caught it in time. Well, then Cole came out. "Mom, the water is just about to the computers." WHAT?! That is down the hall and into the other room! I flew inside to see just a sea of water and the kids going bezerk! Where was our plunger you ask? AT AMY'S HOME! I left it for her just in case....!!! I ran next door and grabbed their plunger. Taylor by then had had the sense to lift up the chain inside the toilet. I cannot tell you how much water there was. It was amazing. Then, we went downstairs and saw the river coming from our ceiling down onto our food storage. It had gone through the vents. At that point, I had had it. I went and picked up our car. Riley asked if we were going to die because our food storage was ruined. I didn't have the heart to tell her I wanted to die at that particular moment....not one panic....I just knew the hours of cleaning, washing and the smell it was creating for me and Taylor. So everyone...HAPPY NEW YEAR! And make sure you have a plunger!

Update after 2 years!

Well, it's time to post again. Update: We've added Steele to our family. Wow, that's a longggg time since I've posted!

Cole:This year Cole was part of the 3 Blind Mice for Halloween. Great costume thanks to his mother who still doesn't sew. Cole just took a test in school that he had to know all the states and capitals in the WORLD. No joke. I don't think I've ever felt smarter myself because I'm the one quizzing him. Cole loves getting 100% on things. He's pretty diligent in his schoolwork. I'm really proud of him. I don't think I was ever like him (well, I take that back-I was until high school). What does he want for Christmas? No clothes (which he is getting) and basketball shoes (which he got early). He is really for the break and to just "chill". Cole is on a B.B. team that Taylor is coaching. He is doing awesome. They made him point and his confidence has grown. He made the "A" team but the put him on the "B" team so Taylor could coach that team. His friends are on the "A" team but Cole plays now a ton more than he probably would of on the A team. He absolutely loves B.B. (which makes his mom happy).Cole's flag football team is undefeated for the 3rd year in a row.

Riley: We just had the birthday Bash of the year! First, it started with having a sleepover with 2 Dayton cousins. We went and saw Christmas lights and watched a movie then in the morning we went to the beauty school and the girls got up-do's and had their nails painted. Then, on Tuesday evening we had 14 girls over + Breann (a pretty teenager) + cool cuz Holly and went sledding followed by games & pizza at the school gym followed by brownie sundaes at Riley's home. I'm tired just typing this. Riley is all about the party. And Boy! Was it ever! Oh yes, since the last time I've blogged, Riley got baptized! She got baptized with her 5 Dayton girl cousins. We call them the "Fabulous Five". It was such a wonderful event. Riley was definitely ready. Before she was baptized, if she did something wrong, she would say, "Satan made me do it". I didn't have the heart to tell her "No, he didnt!" But now with the Holy Ghost she is doing great! Also, Riley got her ears pierced with her dear cousin Katelyn. Wow-I obviously had a week moment. She loves them and I made it clear I would not help her. It grosses me out. But she's doing it and loves her Aunt Allison who provides her with beautiful earrings. allison is soooo with it. She makes jewelry.

Andie: Andie was Sheer Kahn for Halloween-not a tiger-Sheer KAHHHN.Andie definitely loves witches and goblins and mummies and monsters. But she's starting to develop a softer side. She's starting to love to dress like a princess. (which is making Riley so happy!) She told me the other day, "I'm Rapunzel and I'm beautiful!" She still loves to watch movies - preferable ones that have monsters in them (or action). She is so excited for Santa to come to our home. I have a feeling this is going to be the year of Andie at Christmas. Andie loves going to nursery. There is only one other girl there but Lilly is leaving nursery in January. Andie is the only child in our ward her age! There is one other girl and Steele but their both illegal Aliens (Steele isn't supposed to be in there until Feb but they let them in because the leaders are in love with him). Andie loves her friends. We don't have any close by so we have to drive to their homes. We have a playdate once a week and she just loves it. Andie likes pink and likes to play with Riley's things when Riley is at school. andie is still smarter than a whip. I'm continuously surprised at what comes out of her mouth.

Steele: Steele is 16 months old and hits a lot and throws things a lot. He is a terrible sleeper at night. Most nights I'm up from 1 to 4:30 a.m. - not an exaggeration - just take a look at me and you know I'm telling the truth. But the kid is always, always, always happy. He loves being with him mom. Especially if I'm holding him. He runs around like a mad man in sacrament mtg, spitting cracker crumbs at people and laughing. He throws his bottle of milk at the teacher (hitting the podium) in Gospel Doctrine and looks at me and belly laughs. (That is when the primary president graciously offered to let Steele go to nursery early). He loves to point his finger and gibber gabber. If you gibber gabber at him he looks at you amazed as if you get his language and does it more more intensely. He hates being in the grocery cart and he loves Andie to bits. The feeling is mutual with Andie. They are definitely little buddies. Just today in nursery the leader says to me (who is a 65 yr. old man), "Most kids this age don't like this but STeele LOVES it!" He proceeds to lift steele high up into the air until he touched the ceiling and then drops him instantly-catching him close to the ground. Steele was giggling so hard it just sounded like gurgling.
Taylor and I are plugging along. We love living in this home. We love having the Bensons so close. We love that the Miller's had a "Landlord Appreciation Dinner" for us. That was so thoughtful of them. We've had a rough couple of months with our rentals so it couldn't of come at a better time. We love Taylor's calling at BYU. I've learned how to cook for 60 kids on a $1 per kid budget (that includes all the paper products also!) Taylor had an interview with a company that he would really like to work for. We should hear back by the beginning of January. They really liked him so we're keeping our fingers crossed.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Andie is Ours!

Andie is ours forever! What a wonderful day today. It started with Cole having his temple recommend interview w/ President Stratton. On one question regarding the word of Wisdom, he asked Cole how he knows its true. Cole said how he just follows it. Very plain and simple. President Stratton and Taylor got teared up. President Stratton after told Taylor how he just knew that Cole was such a strong boy in the gospel. President Stratton also said at the end that Andie had been waiting a long time to come to our family.

Last night, John called (who is Kimberly's dad). I had invited John and Annette 6 months ago to the temple. (Annette is the step mom but she has raised kimberly since 7th grade). I called them 2 weeks ago and told them when we were going but I didn't think they would come. At 9:00 p.m. he called to see if it was alright that they come. Of course. When we got off the phone with him we were truly excited that they would come. They ended their date, went home and packed, got in the car and drove 8 hours. They arrived at our home at 6 in the morning and spent the morning with us. Also last night we had a great talk with our kids about going into the temple, who John was, putting their minds at ease that John wouldn't take Andie, why I can't have more kids through my tummy, how Heavenly Father just made a detour for Andie, etc. Just a great night with our kids.

Today was plain and simple and wonderful all wrapped in up in one. The sealer gave some words of wisdom to Cole and then Riley and then he said some cute things to Andie. When he was done, on cue she just responded to him. It was seriously the cutest thing. We went to the alter and they placed Andie there with her hands on ours. I can't remember much of what was said except, "as if she were born under the covenant." It was just the sweetest experience.

Selfishly, I probably would of just liked it with our family. But there was no way we were going to say no to John. Remember, he did not want his first grandchild to be adopted. He wanted to raise her. For him to want to come was huge. Just think, the grandpa unselfishly sitting there, giving up his cute granddaughter. It was just about too much for Taylor and my hearts. He was truly happy for us. I'm just so grateful for this wonderful plan of salvation. Andie is ours. I can't even type anymore because I can't see through my tears...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It's Official! We Have a Finnish Navajo Joining the Clan!

Well, it's official! Andie Walker Dayton is our first finnish Navajo in the family! Yesterday, we went to the court where everything was made official before the judge. Pretty much everything went smoothly except when the judge read that she was navajo. There was some back and forth that went on between him and our attorney about the Indian child Welfare Act, but in the end he luckily said since there was a signed affidavid from our attorney in Arizona he would go with that. He could of put her in foster care until he contacted the indian council. We didn't realize how serious of business this was adopting an indian. Luckily, everything has gone smoothly for us. Believe me, we have heard horror stories.

At one point in the proceedings, our attorney asked me how has Andie changed our life in our home. How do you answer that after everything we have gone through to get her? I got a little tearful and said that she has turned our life upside down in the most wonderful way.

At the end, the judge walked up to Cole and Riley and got down on their level and said that he was issuing a court order on their parents. They had to take them out for ice cream after to celebrate - the kids loved that.

If anyone is going to be in town on September 2, they are welcome to the blessing of Andie at our ward. Our family is going to take Andie through the temple sometime this month. After much thought, consideration and prayer, Taylor and I have decided that it will only be Cole, Riley, Andie and us going through the temple. This is as much a special day for Cole and Riley as it is for Andie and we don't want them to get lost in the shuffle of the 75 of so people that would be in the temple. We hope you all understand but we just really want to eat every minute up that we can with our children in the temple. We will tell you all when it is so you can be thinking and praying for us.

Andie is truly the biggest "tender mercy" in my life. She is the missing puzzle piece. The kids can't get enough of her, Taylor doesn't want to let her cry in the middle of the night and I hold her all day long. We are so blessed to have her.