Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Cute and Not So Cute

We are having a lot of fun with Rachel. She is such a pleasant baby. My favorite time with her is when she falls asleep right after eating. She does so many facial expressions during her REM cycle. We captured a video of some of her "angel whispers" and I really can't wait until she smiles for real when she is awake.

I also learned the hard way to keep her bum covered when changing her. Last week I had just started changing her diaper when she shot a torpedo of poop out. She has pretty good range, as some of it landed 4 feet away. I have learned not only to keep her covered, but also not to put anything "downstream" from the changing table. As you can see, I had to wash everything on the carseat. You think I would be frustrated with the mess, but I couldn't stop laughing for at least 10 minutes. I still think it's hilarious. Anyway here's a little video and picture to enjoy!


video

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Quick Update...

So we brought Rachel home on Monday. She's doing fabulous! Here's a few more pictures for you all to enjoy:

Going home outfit

In the car seat, bundled up against the Cleveland chill.

After her first bath a home.

Brushing her hair. What do you think? Should we do a faux-hawk?

Mindy will give a full update and relate all the details (well, maybe not ALL of them) when she gets a moment.

It lives

I did not want to post anything after the announcement of Rachel because I thought my silly post would be just well....silly. But I think enough time has passed and let you all see that tradition still lives in our house and the vacuum tree is still around.
It is not the best quality photo but what fun we had decorating the vacuum. Does everyone know why we decorate our vacuum? A quick history: during our first year of marriage Christmas was coming and I went outside to ask Rob what we were going to do about a tree. He told me about how in the MTC (missionary training center) he and his companion decorated the Church's vacuum because they did not have anything else. So, it was decided that Rob and I would do the same that year and we wrapped lights around our tree (the same one we have today) and for that month we avoided vacuuming. :) Every year since we have pulled out the vacuum and held a place for the vacuum tree. I think it is fun. We have made decorations for it, Willy's favorite was the family photo one. The only thing different is that instead of no vacuuming we just unplug the lights and vacuum the house with a decorated vacuum. The boys love it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Welcome Rachel! A Little Preview...


Rachel's finally here! 8lbs 1 oz, 21 1/2 inches long!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We have a winner!

Remember this....
We were able to attend an assembly today at Heartland were Caleb was honored and was able to receive this....

He received a very cool medal, a certificate and some other coupons to do fun stuff. I guess now his project goes on to another level of Reflections and I do not know what after that. We are just so proud of Caleb. He was so surprised when they called his name and as we were leaving school today everyone was saying goodbye to him and good job. How fun for him!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tis the season

We are geared up for Christmas! I love looking forward to everything and planning it all. And having kids just makes it more fun because you kind of get to plan even more things just for them. Yesterday (the 1st) we got things going by decorating the tree, doing a gingerbread house, and dancing around to fun Christmas music. At times our attitudes were not so festive; like the time when Caleb did not want to do his homework or the time when Willy was getting into everything in the kitchen and I was in the middle of dinner. Those were not such fun moments, but the rest of the day was good. Just a few photos of our preparations:
This is our version of an advent calendar. I got some of the activity ideas from different people and the conjured up some of my own. The boys helped me color the little pictures and then I finished it off. Tonight we will be drinking hot chocolate and reading a Christmas story. It turned out pretty cute.

This is the tree before the decorations and music. Peter was so excited to be able to play with his Bambi in the tree. The vacuum tree is not up yet but it will be soon. :)


And Willy's favorite activity of the day...eating the candy from the gingerbread house. He started off being satisfied with just the graham crackers, then he moved on to a small dab of frosting on the graham cracker. But once he got a taste of those white chocolate chips there was no turning back. Caleb was less interested in the candy because he was gooping up the house with frosting but Peter and Will could not wait to get another piece.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Rob Grays in Rhode Island

We had a good time in Rhode Island and Boston. The boys loved playing with Jackson, Cooper and Douglas! Some of the things we did while on vacation were:
Visited the John Alden house in Rhode Island. The boys wished they had more time to run around and play but alas, Grandpa Gray had bigger plans.
Visited the Mayflower II, how did those Pilgrims do it? Peter was the coolest kid there and he spotted the seal swimming around in the harbor. We had such fun watching for the seal to pop it's head out of the water.
We visited Plimoth Plantation and my boys had a blast running around and chasing the chickens there. They also liked seeing what the Indians used to live in back in the day.
We roamed around Boston and had fun looking at all the different buildings and sharing a donut together.
We got a ride on the ferry which was short but fun.

Got in some good cousin time and played a lot. The boys made way too much noise for certain people in the condo but they loved playing duck, duck, goose; hide and seek; and super heroes with Jackson's capes.

The boys looked so cute in their turkey hats! Happy Thanksgiving!
We visited the New England Aquarium and among other things we saw this gigantic lobster, 3 sharks, sting rays, seals, jelly fish, turtles, a barracuda and so many other fun things. But boy oh boy, that place was packed to the gills!

My boys had fun managing the subway system. Caleb even saved our skin by reminding us where to get off at one point in our journey.

And last but not least, Willy enjoyed finding any way possible to push buttons. Whether it was in the condo and pushing the buttons on the oven or in our hotel by turning on the electronics, he was having a blast!
Thanks everyone for the fun time and Grandpa Gray for organizing it all. There was so much more we wanted to do like explore the forests that lined the roads there in Rhode Island or go for an Awful Awful, but that is okay. We had fun! Love you all (we missed you Jason and company)!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Late Autumn Hike

At the beginning of November, on the last really warm day in the valley, I took the boys on a hike on the Mill D Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was a good thing I threw a bunch of warm clothes in the trunk of the car, because it was COLD in them there hills! There was snow on the lee side of the mountains, so I took the boys up this trail since most of the first leg is on the west and south face of this particular mountain. The trail was dry for the most part, with just a few muddy spots. Jonah was sure nervous about falling off the trail and down the mountain in some spots. Kinda weird when hiking up the trail.




We only hiked up about a half hour due to the position of the sun. We turned around with enough time to make it back down with the last remaining sunlight. Jon-Jon kept asking how high we were going to go. "I'm real tired! I don't have enough oxygen 'cuz we're so high up. When are we going to stop and take a break?" We eventually did stop and the boys fueled up on Capri-Sun flavored water and Wheat Thins. Good thing Dad had so many pockets in his cargo pants and jack-vest!







More pics of Addison

Addison's hair is very difficult to do anything with. Before taking these photos, Dacia smoothed down her hair, but less than 5 minutes later, well, you can see the results.











Friday, November 13, 2009

Awesome!


"Awesome!" That is how Caleb described it to me today. I went and picked Caleb up from school this afternoon and he was all a buzz about some paper he had gotten in school today for being a good kid. I did not know what he was talking about so he went back into school to look for it. Senora Barker came out and told me that in an assembly today Caleb was named "Student of the Month" for her class! WHOA! I was so proud and blown away. Last year when that stuff happened they told us so we could go to the assembly with him. I really wish I could have been there when Caleb's name was called. Mrs. Neral said that he was so surprised and excited when they called his name. What a good kid! He said it felt great to be up there, as it should. I am so excited and proud of him, he makes my heart smile. But that is not all, Senora Barker also told me about how he had lunch with her. I was a bit confused so she went on to explain. In her class the students are given pesos when they do good stuff. After they accumulate enough pesos they can buy stuff from the class store. With some of Caleb's pesos he chose to purchase a treat bag that had a cookie and some suckers in it. But with the remainder of his pesos he bought a ticket to eat lunch with Senora Barker. So today, along with a few other kids, they sat in the classroom and ate lunch together. How cute is that?! I thought it was so sweet that he wanted to have lunch with her so he used his "money" to buy that ticket. Not only is that cute but he told me the other day that teachers are able to visit a magic store. I asked him to give me more details and he proceeded to tell me that this magic store was for craft supplies and that teachers were the only ones that were able to go to this magic store and get supplies for any type of craft. Then he made me smile by telling me that he wants to be two things when he grows up. An Architect first and foremost (he has wanted that ever since he was three). Secondly, he wants to be a teacher so that he can go to that magic craft store and get some stuff from there. Oh, how cool are kids!

And on a side note: Happy Thanksgiving! This is our Turkey Family for this year. They turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. Love you all!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happenings

Well, you have all heard about Halloween. It was fun, my boys loved gathering candy and they loved their costumes. Well, William really did not love being taped up with all those glowys but it was fun once we were done. Rob's office also had a trick-o-treat thing on Friday so the boys went to that as well. We did not dress the boys up with their glow sticks so Willy went as a little Architect. It was so adorable !
And everyone loved the boys' costumes. There was one cubicle that the boys really wanted to avoid, they had steam coming out and a strobe light flashing. They made all the kids go past the lights and then there was a guy with a spooky mask on, it was the least favorite part of the trip. Now since November has begun we have had parent teacher conference with Caleb and he continues to make us proud. He is such a little stud in the classroom. We were told that he can be a little "chatty" with his friends but they are very impressed with how smart he is. He does great at getting his work done and he does really well with working on his own and following instructions. Senora Barker is very pleased with how well he is doing with Spanish and he is even starting to read some Spanish on his own and speaking in class with the teacher. Caleb has also finished up with his reflections project for this years competition. The theme is Beauty and at first Caleb did not want to enter a project. He was a little unsure of the word Beauty, but after talking it over and figuring out what was beautiful to him, we hunkered down and made something. Caleb said that the mountains were beautiful to him. He loves to go for drives through the canyon and look at all the rocks, trees, mountains.... He also loves going to Scofield and exploring up there. So, we came up with a 3D project to incorporate some pictures we took this summer, Caleb's talent for drawing and his enjoyment for folding paper and came up with something pretty cool.
There is a picture of Caleb at Scofield, Willy at the cabin in Manti, Caleb's cave going down to Scofield, and one of the deer we saw at Scofield this summer. Then Caleb's drawing includes a lot of details of bears, deer, elk, rivers, trees and bushes, trails going up the mountain, and an eagle and red tailed hawk in the sky. He is a great little artist.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gray Halloween

We had a great time on halloween night with Grandma, Grandma Gray and Emily! Caleb dressed as robot, Peter a robot cowboy, and Willie as an robot alien. Jonah went as a vampire, Jonathan as dark spiderman, and Spencer as a hunter who hunted, killed, skinned, and then wore the skin of Tigger. Ok, fine, he actually went as Tigger, but we couldn't get him to keep the hood/hat part on, so Rob commented that he actually looked like he was wearing a Tigger skin. Grandma and Grandpa fed us all pizza before we went out and we had a great time!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yesterday found me...

Yesterday found me doing many different things that are not on the normal to do list. First, rake leaves in the snow. Monday we spent a lot of time playing in the leaves and having fun, but I knew it was going to snow on Tuesday so I was trying to get them up before they got all mushy. Well, after the garbage man took a bunch away in the morning Peter and I bundled up and put another load in the garbage can all the while it was snowing on us. We then came in, had hot chocolate and then started working on the Halloween costumes. I was putting the finishing touches on Caleb's robot costume when Peter decided he also wanted to be a robot and he wanted me to make him one too. Hummm? Weren't you going to be a cowboy? Yeah, he replies, he is going to be a cowboy robot. :) Only Peter. So, I started making his robot costume, put him down for a nap, and then Willy and I went outside to play in the snow. He was so excited to go out, he loves to be outside. And he had fun in the snow, it was very fun to watch. video
That was yesterday, now for a few random photos of how a pile of leaves can grow and grow:





You might be wondering about Willy being so high up in the tree but he had a total blast. I would put him up there and then bring him down into the pile of leaves. He loved it! Caleb did some jumping from the tree too, but Peter stuck to the ground being happy with just climbing the mountain of leaves and playing in them. fright
The rest of the week you ask? Today is getting Willy's alien costume ready and getting ready for the Gray Boy's Sleepover. It should be a "Frightfully" Fun time. :) Ha Ha! Caleb's Halloween parade at school on Thursday, trick-o-treating at Rob's office on Friday and then up to Granny's house on Saturday. Caleb has decided he will be the box robot on Thursday and Friday, then Saturday night he is going to be a glow-stick robot for the night time. Should be fun!

Pumpkin carving



Monday night found us carving our pumpkins for the boys. It was fun. Willy is the only one that really got into scooping the guts out, and then he started putting them back in after they were out. :) Caleb and Peter did not appreciate the slimy feel of the guts. But Peter did enjoy the fact that my hands were all slimy and orange. The boy's two favorite parts of carving was designing the face and slicing into the pumpkin. Unfortunately for them Rob and I would not let them take over and use the knife. Caleb chose a spooky face, Peter also chose a spooky face (only later to put a happy face on the other side because he did not like the "sad face" of his pumpkin) and Caleb designed Willy B.'s pumpkin. It was fun. We made carmel popcorn for the boys to enjoy during the night and I think Caleb ate half the bowl. :) Fun family times.