Wednesday, September 25, 2013

First Days of School

Introducing.... our FIRST GRADER!
 She got to go shopping with Mom and pick out a new outfit for the first day of school. She was so proud of her choice and made sure to describe it in detail to everyone at church the Sunday before.
Tessa is a great mix of a rule and order loving school girl and one that is off on another planet creating, creating, creating. When she's ready for those two sides of her to meet in the middle, the kid will be unstoppable.
She's just awesome. I love this tender hearted, fun loving girl.

 A couple of weeks after Tessa started school, we finally were able to get this big boy off to.... PRESCHOOL!
He wore his backpack around the house for weeks, prepping himself for the rigors of preschool burdens.
 His teacher told me that on the first day Cole asked to use the "math computers" about four times. She asked if he was forgetful. Oh, no, my dear Ms. M. He wants a different answer and will wear you down to get it. He has tireless persistence.
We think he'd make a great salesman.
A big bonus is that he's really cute and funny.
He calls me "Mama Luna". I don't really know why. I could be called worse, so I'll happily take it.

It Doesn't Take A Lot

It doesn't take a lot to make my kids happy. A baby pool and some squirters, and they're in business. If there is water involved, they are all for it.

 I love Paige's face in this picture:
I forgot to empty out the baby pool from a few days ago when they played. Paige made her way outside yesterday to help her dad with the sprinklers but instead sat in the pool fully clothed. She was happy as a clam for about 20 minutes out there splashing with a Barbie, so who was I to take away the fun? Closer to bedtime and time for dinner, I became the person to take away the fun...

Monday, September 23, 2013

August 2013 iPhone photos/videos

You know you've made a real mess when Dad doesn't want to take you down the hall to the tub. 
Sink it is!
 I can't. Keep. Anything in one piece ---with kids around.
We have recently said goodbye to our big wooden giraffe because after so many kid related (not all mine) nose dives, I couldn't make his shard face feign wholeness. Somehow Cole broke the "Karibu" sign that hung under the Masai plate. And our latest tragedy: our muse. I refused to glue his leg on one more time. Most kids only messed with his walking stick after they'd destroyed the gourd he held, but not Paige. She loved to pick up Muse and dance with him. His old leg couldn't take it.
Oh, well. He was a bit on the foul side, with his way too short tunic and goods on display. Give me a break -- no one ever noticed!
This is me looking sad that we can't keep anything in tact. And it's one of the last pictures taken of me (end of August) before having the baby... There you go, kid!
I know nothing really lasts forever, and I am in serious need of new decor, but it's not next on the list! Hold out just a bit longer!
 Can't let a good box go to waste...
 Tessa, up until VERY recently draws girls with hair over one eye. I gently tease her about drawing cyclops girls, and she explains to me that the hair style covers one eye. I don't know where she got it. Dad was doing Tessa's hair, because he's awesome like that sometimes, when he decided to do a "Tessa girl drawing" hairstyle. She's not impressed. She's been drawing both eyes a little more lately...
Only the shortest videos will post on the blog, so we're missing some serious awesomeness on here. I am glad that we can get some stuff up now, though, where I couldn't figure it out before.
I give you "Paige dancing in front of Mama's big pregnant belly" and Tessa's "YNCA": 

Keith Noble McCune

Jake's last surviving grandparent passed away at the end of July, taken quickly by pancreatic cancer. We were incredibly fortunate to be able to travel back to Utah for the weekend of the funeral as a whole family. I was one week away from being told not to fly in my condition, so I was very grateful I could go and be a part of the funeral and family gathering. 
Here is Grandpa McCune's obituary:
Keith Noble McCune

1919 ~ 2013
Keith Noble McCune, 94, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2013. 
He was born July 15, 1919, in Ogden, Utah, to Clarence Scott and Elsie Noble McCune. 
The McCune family later moved to Salt Lake City, where Keith graduated from East High School in 1936. He loved cars and motorcycles, but his favorite hobby, since his youth, was photography. He also stayed active with golf, swimming, tennis, and skiing.
He attended the University of Utah for one year prior to leaving for Argentina on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After his mission, he had the opportunity to work in Panama for Pan American Airlines. While there he entered the military and served in Counter Intelligence for the 6th Army Air Corps. 
Following the war, he returned home and graduated from the U of U Law School. He married Mary Lue Knell, January 10, 1947, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. He was employed by State Farm Insurance. Later in his career, the Insurance Commissioner appointed him to the first Board of Directors of the Utah Insurance Guaranty Association, for which he served as legal counsel for the next 40 years. 
His Mary Lue passed away in March of 1979 following a number of years of tenous health. He married Beverly Bushman Young in December of 1979. Keith often commented on the blessing of having had these two remarkable women in his life as wives and companions. He and Mary Lue had five children, and Beverly had been blessed with six in her earlier marriage. He dearly loved these two wonderful families. 
Keith was an enthusiastic member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having served in many callings including bishoprics, and stake presidencies. He was called as Stake Patriarch in 1983, where he served for 30 years, thus being allowed to fulfill a promise given him in a blessing when he was young that he would be "a preacher of righteousness" to the youth. 
Keith Noble McCune was a great man, young at heart, with an incredible wit and sense of humor, deep wisdom, a kind heart, and a giant spirit. We are grateful that he could be a part of our lives for so many years. 
He is preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lue, his son, Mark (Liz) McCune, and Beverly's son Gaylen (Lori) Young. 
Survived by his wife, Beverly, his children; Darcy (Steve) McBride, Sally (John) Hollingshead, Shannon (Lynn) Dallin, Midge (David) Baird, and Beverly's children; Julie Bird, Susie Irwin, Janie MacFarlane, Cokie (Ron) Price, Lulu (Mitch) McClellan, and many grand and great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Big Cottonwood Stake Center, 1750 East Spring Lane, Holladay, UT. Viewings will be held at the same location on Fri, Aug 2nd from 6:00-8:00 p.m., and Sat, Aug 3rd from 12:30-1:45 p.m. Interment will be at Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery, 2350 E. 1300 S., Salt Lake City, UT.

Simone's baptism was on the same day as Grandpa's funeral. Double fortunate for us. We don't usually get to be a part of these things since we are so far away. Tessa was thrilled to be there to see her cousin get baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
We met for an awesome breakfast at Matt and Mary's house, and then headed over to the stake center.
Right after, we zoomed back to Salt Lake to get to the funeral. The church was packed. The family prayer in the viewing room surely exceeded its limit in bodies. Cole chose to have a melt down right before the family prayer over crackers, so I was having a keep the kid quiet wrestle, along with Paige, who he was upsetting, in a room where I felt like people were sitting on my pregnant self. It got a little crazy, but I'd do it again if it meant Jake was able to take the time he needed with family. Which he did. It meant a lot for him to be a full participant in everything going on, so again, I was so grateful I could be there so he didn't have to wrangle children. Cole was crying when everyone else was before they closed the casket, and Grandma and Great Aunt looked worried about him until I waved them off with, "It's about crackers." Grandpa McCune had a great sense of humor, so I'd imagine he'd appreciate the dose of kid reality in a somber situation.
Because of our over-tired bundle of children, we somehow were the last ones out of the viewing room. This meant that there didn't seem to be a seat for us in the chapel in the family section. Ummmm. It got a little awkward as we scouted out a location. Jake was supposed to sing in the program, so it really wouldn't do for us to march to the back of the whole place. We were able to split up and smash in. The funeral was a lovely tribute to a lovely man whom I adored. Among other talks and a musical number, Darcy gave a really sweet talk about her dad and Jacob and Jonathan sang a duet that was a beautiful and loving gift to their grandpa.
At the gravesite, there was an all white floral arrangement on the casket. After the services were over, colorful daisies were passed out so that grandchildren and great grandchildren could put the bright flowers into the arrangement. It was incredibly fitting.

 A couple of wards in the stake  hosted a family luncheon afterward. Cole wanted a brownie. I wanted him to stay clean:
 And then this was Paige hanging out outside, where she loves it best. The mornings were so cool. I love having the chance to soak that in before heading back to still steaming Texas.

Thanks be to God for allowing us the opportunity to get back to Utah and take part in this weekend! Everything fell into place and worked exactly how we needed.

Jake's iphone Utah pics - June/July 2013

I think this photo may actually be from the family camera, but Jake transferred it to his phone. I like it, so I'm posting it again.
We felt like this was probably going to be the last time we saw Grandpa Keith McCune in this life, and we were right. His health took a very fast downturn a couple of weeks after we left. What a blessing and tender mercy it was to have spent just a little more time with this incredible man. This is our whole family with him, including the baby in my belly. :)
 At the McBride family reunion --girl cousins:
 The swimming pool at Dad and Sandy's house:
 Tessa and Cole would have slept in this thing if we'd said they could.
 This picture is exactly what it was like for Paige at my mom's house. She LOVED being outside. She'd grab what we were eating and take off to walk and munch. She was usually a total mess at the end of the day, but she was clearly having herself a fabulous time.
 One more pic of the McBride cousins:

The Must-Dash 5k

The Saturday before Father's Day, Jake ran in the Must-Dash 5k. They handed out some pretty sweet mustaches to the kids and the racers. There was a mustache contest for those who took the time to grow one, but we certainly prefer the temporary kind:
 "My name is Inigo Montoya..."
 Tessa did not want anything to do with the sticky, furry, lip catapillars.
The kids played in the fountains afterward and had a blast doing it. Paige didn't really want to get wet, so she stayed on the outskirts. Cole, however, tried to find where the water was going to blast up so he could stick his face right in it. He provided some serious entertainment for  those watching.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

May 2013 iPhone photos

Dad and son headed to the park.
Let's go fly a kite:
 We went for a family treat after Mama's ultrasound. The baby looked active and healthy. The technician never even glanced to see the sex of the baby since we wanted to keep it a secret. She didn't want to risk us seeing and knowing, so she avoided the tell tale area completely. Healthy baby! Those sonograms are incredible. We went for donuts. Clearly, Cole enjoyed one with chocolate frosting:

 We had a ward 5k at the Nature Preserve. Tessa ran a mile without stopping and ended up going two miles that morning. Way to go, kiddo!
 Diaper head:
Cole loved watching Tessa in "The Fabulous Flying Car", and we all sang "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" for weeks. He was excited to give Tessa flowers after the show:
 Robot in the rain?
 Dad did a relay walk for fallen military/public servant heroes with some people from work. We went to have dinner with him, and the kids enjoyed work tattoos and oranges:
Lewbie's giggles:

iPhone April 2013 Photos

Too often I have Jake take pictures since he has his phone with him always, and we don't have the camera. But then I get backed up on here and can't seem to keep the pictures together that belong together when months later Jake uploads the phone photos. Ah, well. At least we have them.
So this was end of March/April phone photos:
Vampire baby: 
 Mom and Dad's quickly thrown together after church Easter egg hunt:

 Our awesome visit with the Blacks:

 A hungry, hungry hippo:

 Another tooth bites the dust: