Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

What a wonderful year, full of developmental milestones for both girls and lots of love from friends and family.  We are so blessed to be a part of Ellie and Lynlee's lives, and so grateful to their birth families for choosing us! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Family Christmas Present

Greg had his brother Kent build us a computer and gave it to the family as a Christmas present.  Since I am the one who will get the most benefit out of it, I am extremely grateful!  I have been using my work-provided laptop for 6 years, so you can imagine how slow and painful it has become.  A few years ago, as the laptop started to get slower and the memory fuller, I transferred all of my personal programs to an external hard drive.  That made the transition to this new computer really easy, since I have not really had to reinstall anything (except iTunes).

The best thing about the new computer, besides the monster screen, is that I can play the HD videos I take on my camera.  My laptop couldn't handle those, and I would have to upload to youtube to see if it was a clip worth keeping.  Talk about a time waster (which is why I have gotten out of the habit of uploading clips for my birth mom blogs).  Bring on new technology for the new year!
this is a video shot last week, playing on the new computer

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Picking out Tub Surrounds

I love this picture because it gives a glimpse into the girls' personalities.  Lulu is so curious and exploring every aspect of the sample shower, feeling the walls and sticking her fingers in the drain.  Ellie is really starting to figure out her body, and was jumping in and out of the shower stall, then running to the door and back to the shower. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paint

Paint is coming along in the basement, and it makes it even more real!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Play Places

Ellie has discovered that it is fun to play on indoor slides.  Her personality is funny with them, though.  She doesn't like to go if there are other children playing, unless she talks to one and makes a friend.  There has to be just the right balance of other children and not too much noise.  Otherwise, she just wants to wait until there is no one there but her and Lynnie.  Today we hit Chick-Fil-A at lunchtime, and it was really busy and really crowded, and she waited a long time before deciding it just was not worth it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lunch Date

We had a lunch date today with Lynlee's birth mom.  It was wonderful to see M again and be able to catch up with her.  She is really good about playing with Ellie and Lynlee and they both had a lot of fun!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas

The big present this year for the girls was a play kitchen.  It has buttons to push that make noise, and a pretend sink, and lots of doors and drawers to open.  Ellie and Lynnie were both in heaven!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas Eve at home.  We got the girls bathed and ready for bed, and then Greg read the Christmas accounts in the scriptures while Ellie held up the appropriate pieces from the nativity set.  She loves playing with "her people" and especially loves telling us about Baby Jesus and His mommy and daddy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuckered Out

That late afternoon trip to Costco proved to be too much for Ellie. She fell asleep in the check-out line on Daddy's shoulder.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Picking Up Lynnie's Glasses

I'm not sure about this, but I sure look cute!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Finally....Bedtime

It was just one of those nights. Ellie was up from 11:30 until 2:15 a.m., and Lynnie was awake from 1:30 until 4:15 a.m. Luckily for me, I had Ellie and went to bed with her at 2:18 a.m. Greg dozed with Lynnie until she was ready to be laid down. A couple of times, he had her asleep, but when he walked into her room she woke up and started crying again. Weird!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

At the Tile Store

Picking out flooring is fun, and yet full of pressure! I have not been happy with the tile I picked out for the upstairs, so I want to make sure I get it right for the downstairs.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Shelves

"Shelves in a closet.  Happy thought, indeed."
 We have doors, we have shelves, we have moldings, we have windowsills.  Next step, paint!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spencer Family Party

Greg hurried home after tithing  settlement and we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the annual Christmas party.  I think the hottest gift of the night was brought by us (not to brag or anything).  There is a $5 limit per gift, so I got a couple of dollar candy boxes and threw in a $10 iTunes card. 

That I got for free on Black Friday. 

Thank you, BCLs!  Cassie especially thanks you, because she managed to get the gift after multiple steals.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Preparations

We always play a game with our $5 presents at the annual Spencer Family Christmas Party -- the kind where you can choose a new present or steal an already opened present.  This year, someone had the great idea to wrap all the gifts in newspaper so they all looked the same.  We don't get a paper, and I was wrapping presents at 10 p.m.  I remembered I had thrown the ads from Thursday into the recycling bin, so I threw on some slippers and headed outside.  I forgot that there would be no light, so I just rooted through the bin in the dark, and eventually came up with what I wanted.  Sure am glad there are no neighbors' windows overlooking that side of the house, besides Clint's master bathroom!  It was probably quite a sight.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Camp Family Party

Greg was in Grand Junction for basketball and Adam was performing with his choir, but the rest of the locals came for dinner and presents at Grandma's house.  Mom made a yummy dinner, of which Lynlee ate a roll and tried a green bean & Ellie ate rice, and we had a great time!

Lyssa read the labels on the gifts and Ellie got to distribute them.  She was in heaven helping Lyssa and touching all of the presents.  She got to open lots, and at one point brought a present to Grandma, and then said, "I help you open it, Camp!"  Grandma didn't really have much of a choice, but she seemed happy to let Ellie open it for her.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Accommodative Esotropia

Well, Lynlee has another official diagnosis, this time of Accommodative Esotropia.  This basically means she is far-sighted, and as she struggles to focus on things near to her, her eyes will "accommodate" and looked crossed.  Treatment is to wear glasses to correct her farsightedness. 

The ophthalmologist said that 60% of children will out-grow this by the end of elementary school, so we will see.  I think Lynnie looks darling with glasses! 

She was pretty patient about trying on different pairs, until we decided on a cute purple pair.  We sprang for non-glare lenses; I take too many pictures to have to worry about glare!  They put a rush on them so that hopefully we get them before they are closed for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nativity

One of the best suggestions I have ever received came from my friend Darci.  She has a Nativity set just for the children to play with.  Beth posted a link on Facebook a while back with a Fisher Price one on sale, but I did not check it in time.  Luckily, last week when I remembered, the site Beth linked had the set for a better price than the first sale.

The set came, the girls helped me pull it out of the box, and they have been playing with it ever since.  Lynnie likes to suck on the characters, and will carry one in her right hand while she uses her left hand to scoot.  Ellie calls them "all her people," loves to make it play Away in a Manger, and arranges the characters over and over.  A great suggestion!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm a Big Kid Now!

Ellie has decided that it is time to go in the potty, for real!  After months of sitting on the potty occasionally with nothing happening, today, she (as Ellie euphemistically calls it) got her messies out (FIRST) and got out her yellows (later in the day).  It was pretty exciting stuff!  As a reward, I let her wear real underwear for about an hour, and she was in heaven.  It made me nervous when she wanted to lay on Daddy's pillows, though, so the diaper went back on.  Now we need to buy some Pull-Ups!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Convert

After hearing me rave about NAET, Julie decided to give it a try. The best part for me was carpooling!

Now the pressure is on for the treatment to work for her as well...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dallin!

We took the chance to be with Dallin for a few minutes today on his 12th birthday as the Aaronic Priesthood was conferred upon him and he was ordained to the office of a Deacon.  What a special occasion!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Performance at the Ward Christmas Party

Sarah invited me to join her, Joy, and Elizabeth on an 8-hand, 2-piano ensemble for the Ward Christmas Party. It was so fun to practice with these sweet ladies, and fun to play a great song! I got the easiest part (by far!) and was able to relax and enjoy the music. Perhaps the most impressive part was Elizabeth counting to 12 for every measure during rehearsals and performance to keep us all together. Quite a feat!

Ellie still tells me that Sarah's daughters (who she brought to play with Ellie and Lynlee during a practice) are her new best friends.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lynlee is 13 Months Old

And so fascinated by the sticker on her shirt!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grandma's Penguins

Kylene came to town for the weekend, so the girls and I headed over to spend a few minutes with her. Ellie was fascinated by the penguins Grandma has on the lawn! Even though it was freezing outside, she just wanted to play with them. She waddled and everything.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Relief Society Activity

My new calling is on the Relief Society committee, and this was the first activity I helped with.

I say "helped" loosely, because when the girls and I showed up to help set up, it was pretty much a disaster.  Lynlee, normally so easy-going and adaptable, was constipated and not feeling well and clingy.  I held all 27 pounds of her the whole time.  Ellie, not very adaptable and needing time to warm up to any new situation, had a hard time and cried and clung to my leg.

So, I am holding my gorgeous and heavy baby in my left arm while trying to put on tablecloths/iron tablecloths/move baby chairs out of the room, while Ellie is crying and hanging on to my leg.

It was awesome.

I eventually got Ellie settled, thanks to snacks and a new friend Dana, and Snow White on Catherine's phone.  That lasted about 20 minutes, and then I gave up and left.

The good news is that the activity was really fun,and it looked amazing when I got back there that night!  A yummy dinner and fun games, good company and nice ambiance made for a perfect night.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coat Rack

I bought this little coat rack from Ikea about a year ago, and just never got around to purchasing special drywall anchor screw-thingies until today.  It felt so good to finally get this project finished, and it makes a big difference in the mess level in the kitchen to not have coats laying around on chairs!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

My photo shoot for a 2011 Christmas Card mostly yielded shots like this:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Animals

Ellie loves her animals, and is always finding fun ways to play with them and line them up.  Love this idea she had! 

And many thanks to Darci for telling us about these animals in the first place.

Friday, December 2, 2011

In the Truck

Greg is driving to Rangely, Colorado today for a basketball game, so we got to go in the truck. Ellie was so excited, because she loves the truck. There was a downside, though. After we had been driving for a few minutes, Ellie said, "Mom, I no like the truck. Lynnie too far away!"

Lynnie obviously thought the sound of the diesel-engine was soothing, and took a great nap.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Smart Girl

Lynnie loves this toy, will happily push down the doors over and over.  She has figured out how to pop the green one up, and will push the button, close the door, push the button, and etc.  This is the go-to toy to occupy her while I am taking a shower.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I can do it!

Ellie keeps on asking to go on a slide, but it has been chilly outside. I finally decided she was big enough to try indoor-play places. We were dropping some things off to D.I., so we stopped at Carl's Jr on the way home.  She was in heaven!  It took a few tries for her to figure out how to climb up, but then she was up and down at least 20 times, coming down on the slide every time.  There was a toddler area that Lynnie liked as well. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stacking Books

Ellie's new favorite thing to do is to stack books.  She makes a stack in her bedroom, and then transfers the stack to the family room (running in between to "get more") and then transfers the stack to Lynnie's room.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Taking Advantage

It was bathtime, and Daddy was going to give Ellie a bath.  I got her clothes off and went to feed Lynnie her bottle.  Daddy was not quite ready for Ellie, so she decided it was time to color some more.  Smart girl!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Walker

Lynnie loves this walker.  She motors all over, and has even figured out how to get "unstuck" from some places.  She likes to walk into walls and the couch.  She is getting good enough to walk with only one hand.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Backing Off the Couch

Lynnie has figured out how to back off the couch!  She would slide so fast and just laugh and laugh.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Nicest Lady EVER!

For the first time in over a decade, I decided to go shopping on Black Friday.  The last time, I went with Mom, Rachel, Jonette, and Staci, and we were the only sisters-in-law, so that is telling you how long ago it was.

This time, I joined the BCLs and enjoyed the experience of hanging out with my friends.  I did get some nice deals, and I do enjoy a good bargain, but I am not sure it was worth the sleep deprivation.  We started at the 10 p.m. sale at Walmart, then headed to Target at midnight.  We had so much fun waiting in line there, taking about 2 hours to get through it.  We were all so loopy that it was hard to string coherent sentences together.  Then we headed home at 2:30 a.m. (except for Kandice, who headed to Old Navy) and met up again at 8 a.m.  We started at Walgreens and then went to Costco.  I wanted to get an external hard drive, since the one I currently have has only 8 GB of memory left on it, and it makes my dinosaur of a computer even slower to operate.  We got to Costco about 9:45, and all of the hard drives on special were already gone.

I don't normally talk to strangers, but I randomly stopped people who had the drive in their carts to see what time they got there to get it.  One guy said he got there about 9:30.  As we were headed to the registers, I stopped this nice lady because she had one in her cart.

Me:  Hey, what time did you get here this morning to get the external hard drive?
Nicest Lady EVER:  Oh, do you need one?
Me:  Yeah, it was the one thing I wanted to get here, but we got here too late.
NLE:  Well, you can have this one.  My friend picked one up for me, and I got one myself, and I have been debating whether or not to buy them both.  My husband will probably kill me if I come home with two, so really, it is yours!

I could not believe it!  The grin on my face was so huge.  After many exclamations, I headed straight to the register to check out.  On our way back to Target, I was telling Kandice how I wasn't thinking, and I should have taken her picture for my POTD.  Luckily, we ran into the Nicest Lady EVER at Target and she let me take her picture when I said I was a scrapbooker...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Eating Thanksgiving Dinner

We had fun celebrating Thanksgiving at Greg's parents' house, along with Paul & Staci, Rod & Jayme, and Kent & Jessica (with all of the attached children).  Ellie would not try anything, even mashed potatoes and a roll, which normally she will eat.  She ate her snacks.  Lynlee has decided it is more fun to take drinks of water, hold the liquid in her mouth, and then spit it out.  Her bib has a pocket on it, and it was completely full of water by the end of dinner.  We had to put her clothes in the dryer!  Ellie did try 3 kinds of pie.  She did not like the banana cream or coconut cream, but she ate a substantial portion of pumpkin pie, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Pumpkin pie counts as a vegetable, right?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Who knew those cookies were so messy?

As a special treat during our shopping for Thanksgiving, I let Ellie eat a cookie in the cart. It was awesome how messy it was, and the blue around her mouth from the frosting would not come off, no matter how much I washed her face.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

So Independent

While I was taking a shower this morning, Lynlee crawled into Ellie's room and happily played by herself.  So independent!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Help You Cook!

Ellie is becoming increasingly interested in "helping" me in the kitchen.  Today, she wanted to make a cake, so we did.  Then she helped me stir some things, and wanted to do more.  To keep her busy while I was making dinner, I gave her a bowl of water and a bowl of flour.  I think she scooped and stirred for at least 25 minutes.  Good thing Santa is bringing her and sister a play kitchen for Christmas!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter Coats

After our garden excursion earlier in the day, the girls' coats were dirty.  Luckily, I had this purple vest in a 3T I had picked up on clearance for Ellie, and Lynlee fits this beautiful coat that was a Christmas present from Grandma Linda to E last year.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sheet Rock Delivery

the shortest distance meant bringing their truck around back = smart!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Not Naked

I got Ellie ready for her bath, and she tore out of her room to go find Daddy and tell him she was ready.  All the way down the hall, she said, "I naked, I naked."  When she got to the family room, she picked up a blanket, wrapped it around herself, and declared, "I not naked!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yes, that is my car....

....on the back of a tow truck. :(

If the car was going to break down, it happened with the best possible scenario.  I was headed to a NAET appointment, so Hailey was playing the girls.  After coasting into a parking spot, I could not get the car started again.  I managed to get a hold of Greg before his basketball meeting started, he got a tow set up for me, attended his meeting while I was waiting for the tow truck, and then picked me up.

Greg's diagnosis is the alternator (which gave me flashbacks to Women's Conference with Kandice!), but we are still waiting to hear from the mechanic with an official diagnosis.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Look, Mom!

"I drew a letter E for Ellie, all by myself."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ensemble Festival

Ensemble Festival was a success!  The quartet consisted of Syreese, Sadie, Madelin, and Josh (McKinzie's student).  The trio consisted of McKinzie, Jacob, and Tyler.  I am always impressed by how well these wonderful students perform.  I was a little nervous that they would be able to pull it off, but they all did great.