Coops Black Eye!

Last weekend we headed up North for the annual McRae Family Christmas Party. We had a great time spending time with family. It was nice to see everyone and share in the spirit of the holidays! Cooper and Charlee love to spend time with their cousins. They get to play, rough house, wrestle, run around like maniacs and overall have fun! Well, it is all fun and games.....until someone gets hurt! This time it was Cooper! Cooper was wrestling with his cousin Jake when Cooper managed to hit his face into a wooden rocking chair! You can only imagine the HUGE goose egg that immediately developed . However, Cooper was a trooper and toughed it out, he only cried for a minute.

These pictures were taken the morning after the kiss with the rocking chair!

Three days later and much explaining to several people, Coopers eye is turning from black and blue to a nice shade of yellow and green!

p.s. Jake was totally playing with Cooper and this was a complete accident! We love Jake and appreciate that he takes the time to wrestle and play with Cooper, because Cooper looks forward to hanging out with his cousin Jake!

Numa, Numa - Charlee Style

Charlee's favorite song to sing is Numa Numa! Here is a short HYSTERICAL clip of Charlee singing in the car at the top of her lungs. It is so funny because she is totally off key and so loud! I love that she has no inhibitions and can always be herself! If you have never heard this song, it is in Romanian and if you want to hear the whole thing, go to youtube!

Bye, Bye Bathroom!!

For those of you lucky enough to use our bathroom, consider yourself privileged! Because as of today, it has been demolished and thrown out in the backyard in bits and pieces! So, say your farewell, shed your tears and just wait until you see what is in store. This old ugly bathroom is getting a desperately needed makeover!
Not very many people are cool enough to have a toilet on their back patio. It's kind of the new thing now. You should try it out - works great for the kids and stuff! (Sense the sarcasm?)

Here is Mike hard at work laying tile! Now, I love this travertine tile. I think it is beautiful and well, it just fits our family's personality. Mike likes it too, once it is all finished. He doesn't think it is so beautiful while he is cutting, laying, grouting - ya know all that stuff that goes with those pretty new floors!
Mike is such a hard worker! Isn't he so good to me? I think I will keep him around for a little bit longer!

Once the makeover is done, I will show you the finished product!

The Arrival Of The Envelope

The manila envelope with a return address of Department of the Army, U.S. Army Human Resources Command arrived Friday addressed to MY HUSBAND! Yep, you guessed it, Mike has been recalled and attached to a unit that is deploying to Iraq.

My first thoughts went a little something like this:
"This is not can this be happening?"
"I can't do this again, I just had a baby."
"What are we going to do?"
"This has got to be the worst day in a long time."

Mike's first words about the matter:

"This sucks!!!"

However, since it has been a day and we have tried to look at the more positive side of things, I realize that this is what I was talking about....patriotism. This is our country, several of men and women have fought for my freedom. It is now our turn to sacrifice and serve our country.

I know I could sit around and have a pity party for myself, but what is that going to do me? I am going to be positive (as much as possible) and make the best of this situation. And, if I get all whiny and annoying, just tell me to SHUT UP because things could be a lot worse!!!

All I ask is for you to keep Mike in your prayers. He is going to a dangerous place and is going to need all the blessings he can get. Pray for him to always feel the presence of our Heavenly Father, that he will never feel alone. Send him emails and packages so that he knows we are all thinking of him and appreciate all he (and all the other soldiers) is doing for us and our country.

As for the kiddos, please keep them in your prayers also. They don't understand a whole lot about this world we live in, and are unable to grasp the concept as to why their Daddy has to leave again.

So, as for me....I'm A Soldier's Wife.....Again!!!

My Daily Thoughts......If You Really Wanna Know!

Today was just the average pleasant day. But for some reason I thought I would share some of my random thoughts that have run through my mind today.

First off, I have to say that I have the BEST BABY ever. I can't explain how utterly sweet it is to have a tired baby who is ready for a nap and I just wrap him up like a burrito, lay him down, give him the pacifier, and he goes to sleep....ALL BY HIMSELF! No rocking, walking, bouncing, holding, whatever. He just goes to sleep. Man, I love it!!!

Second, how in the world do moms all over the world keep up on LAUNDRY? I swear I just get it all done, only to find the baskets are all FULL again. How does this happen? It truly boggles my mind and somewhat depresses me. How my mom did it with FIVE kids is beyond me. I can't keep up with the three I have. So if anyone has any solutions to my sad situation, please give my some guidance!

Third, I love to go grocery shopping and save LOTS and LOTS of money. I started this Grocery Smarts program, and I love it. I have been able to build up for food storage and save lots of money while doing so. Today I went to Albertson's and my total (before my savings) was $105.57, after all my coupons and savings, I only spent $41.27. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

Fourth, some people feel that store bought Shampoo and Conditioner are just has nice for your hair than salon Shampoo and Conditioner. I must tell you all that you are sadly MISTAKEN! Salon hair products are so much better for your hair. I decided to try a new SALON hair product - thanks to Chelsey!!! I was using Biolage (which I love), but I swapped over to Pureology and I am now in love with this Shampoo and Conditioner. It is amazing what it does to my hair. Call me crazy, but it really does make a difference.

Why am I rambling on and on about nothing? Well, I warned ya in the title....!!!

Who Would Have Ever Known.....

Beware of the Dog!
Who would have ever known that this game for
children can and will scare even the bravest adult!
On Sunday, we had Scott, Shaunna, Tammie & Jason over for dinner. After dinner, we are all outside roasting marshmallows when none other than Scott says he has a GREAT game for us to play. Tammie and Jason decided it was getting late and headed out for the night. We decided to break out this "great" game and play for a minute. Scott filled us in on the fact that it looked like this great game for kids and it should be a lot of fun. Ha Ha Ha....this game scared the living daylights out of me. I might even admit that a small naughty word escaped my lips when the dog woke up. Cooper and Charlee were scared to death of it. Charlee watched nervously while Cooper went in the other room and plugged his ears. Both were pleading that the dog NOT wake up.....EVER!!!! Anyway, it was pretty funny though. We all had a good laugh at each other's expense. However, if you were thinking of getting this game for your kids, make sure they aren't sissy kids like mine, or they won't like it!!!

To All The Soldiers....May God Bless

Well this post is going out to the soldiers that serve our country. I must admit I never really had a sense of patriotism until Mike joined the Army back in 2004. Since that time, I have come to realize how much the freedom we enjoy in our country rests on the men and women who serve in the armed forces.

Mike served in the Army for three years and I was excited the day his enlistment was OVER! It meant no more going away for long periods of time, having a husband and father at home again, no more worrying about being deployed to Iraq, etc. But tonight I was talking to my great friend Alicia - who we met while in the army. Her husband too, served his time and retired from the Army. However, a few weeks ago he received a letter demanding his return to deploy to Iraq for 12-15 months. Paul is now active duty army, and being shipped off to Iraq to serve our country.
We pray for your safe return Paul, we love you and our prayers are with you always!

I know these soldiers put their life on the line for us everyday, and for that I am truly grateful. I would like to remind everyone of the sacrifice that a soldiers family makes as well. The wives that remain home with the children, being both a mother and a father, THANK YOU! It is not an easy job being a mom, and having to do it alone is much harder. Not only do you have the stress of being a single parent, but you also have the constant stress of knowing that your spouse is in danger every minute of every day. Being a soldiers wife is not easy. So hang in there Alicia, I know you can do it! I don't mind listening to you vent and complain - whenever you need it, I am here! And, thank you for being strong enough to let your husband go serve so we at home can enjoy our freedom!

Since it is Thanksgiving time and the time to remember what we are thankful for, I would like to express my thanks to those serving our country, in all areas. Be it soldiers overseas, at war, and at home protecting us here...THANK YOU! I am grateful I live in a country where I have the freedom to believe in what I want, the freedom to raise my children how I see fit, and the freedom to love and honor my God, my Heavenly Father.

On The Naughty List!

So, Charlee was a little naughty this year. Last month we took Charlee shopping with us to pick out Cooper's birthday presents. We constantly reminded her that it was very important NOT to tell Cooper what he was getting. Well, we hadn't been home for more than an hour and Cooper told me that Charlee told him what we got him for his birthday. I then told her she was naughty and I was calling Santa to have him put her on the naughty list.

I tell you this because........

Tonight we are making our Christmas List's. I gave the kids a paper with their names on it, and decorated it all up so it was all Christmas Cute! (ya know, it's gotta be cute lookin').

Cooper - "I can't wait for Christmas. I am so excited to see what Santa is going to bring me."

Charlee - "I am on the naughty list....... Mom, is Santa going to bring me anything?"

Mom- "Maybe you had better write Santa a letter and tell him you are going to be SUPER good, and try and redeem yourself!"

Charlee- "But I am good sometimes mom."

Mom- "But you are mostly naughty Charlee."

Charlee- "Yeah, I know!!!" (with a little giggle)

Cooper- "I dunno Char, Santa has you on the naughty list and it is super hard to get off THAT list."

So, how mean am I for telling her she is on Santa's naughty list and she isn't getting anything from him this year?

Our Little Goblins!

Happy Halloween to everyone! I just love this day! I wait all month for it to come, and it is over, all to quickly. This year was so fun! Cooper was a MUMMY, Charlee was a NICE WITCH, and Griffin was a CANDY CORN! So cute.....!!!

My little Griffin man! I couldn't get a good picture of him with out the blasted pacifier in his mouth. Whatever keeps em' happy!

And my little Cooper man! Isn't this the scariest mummy you have ever seen? Cooper was very adamant about everyone knowing this WAS NOT toilet paper! I don't know where he got the idea that I would wrap him up in toilet paper, but I assured him I would NEVER do that to him!

And then there is my little Charlee Boo! The most beautiful NICE witch to ever walk to face of the earth! I must admit, I do think I have the most adorable 4 year old daughter. She is so Sassy! (As Scott and Shaunna would say!)

See what I mean, he wasn't to happy about having his picture taken today!

We hope you all had a safe and Happy Halloween.

Carving Pumpkins!

The Halloween Pumpkins! Last Sunday we had dinner at my parents house. Mike and I picked up some pumpkins and had each family carve a pumpkin. We had a great time together!

Here is Charlee and me, concentrating on the task at hand. Charlee picked out the face, and I got to carve it! We made Mike clean it out first. We didn't want any part of that! Jesse is in the background eating pumpkin seeds. He is trying to convince the kids they are yummy and they should eat them too. His feeble attempts failed, Charlee wasn't falling for it!

This would be Mike hard at work carving his and Cooper's pumpkin. Not quite sure where Cooper disappeared to? Ummmm....notice, it is light outside!

Here is Mike, still hard at work. It is getting much darker, but this time Cooper graced us with his presence for a picture. So nice of him, huh?

And finally, it is really dark outside! But, Mike and Cooper have completed the pumpkin. Isn't it great?

Kids Say The Funniest Things!

This was so funny I had to post this to share with you all. The other night we were at the mall walking around, just hanging out. It was getting kind of late and the kids were done! Scotlyn was getting cranky, Cooper and Charlee were tired....blah, blah, blah. I asked Tammie if she was ready to go. Before she could answer me, Cooper says...

"Mom, are we done with our TRAVELS?"


What 1st grader says that? Are we done with our travels? You gotta be kidding me! Where do they hear this stuff?

Cooper is to funny!

Happy Birthday Cooper!

Cooper celebrated his 7th birthday! He is so happy to be 7, he is growing up so fast. It is hard to believe that in one year, he will be getting baptized. I guess it is just hard for be to believe I have a child that is 7! Anyway, Cooper had a fabulous day and loved being able to spend the day with his cousins, aunts, uncles, Grandma and Grandpa!

In our family we love to celebrate birthdays! Here is Cooper blowing out the candles on his cake. It took him forever to make his wish, we had to encourage him to HURRY UP! We all wanted to eat the cupcakes!

In the morning, Cooper couldn't wait to get up and open his presents. Charlee and Griffin gave him some Star Wars figurines - which he loves! Mom and Dad gave him a few games for the Wii and a new Razor Scooter. He wanted a skateboard, but I think he is still to little for one!
After school Grandma and Grandpa came with a surprise! We made him go to his room and close his eyes (we didn't want to wrap it!) Finally, he was able to come out and see what it was. It was really funny, he opened his eyes and when his saw the box, he pretended to pass out on the couch. It was cute! My mom and I decided to go in together on this present, and we are glad we did. We couldn't get him to stop playing and it was way past his bedtime!
Here is the best Grandma in the world. We sure do love this woman! If it weren't for my mom, our family would be a mess! She is what keeps us all together. I love you mom, and I know that everyone else does too. Thanks for all you do for me and our family!

Cooper, Charlee, Ethan and Conner - they have so much fun together. Cooper decided that he wanted to have tin foil dinners for his birthday dinner. So, we had everyone put together their tin foil dinner and we cooked them outside in the fire pit. Actually, I think Mike, Victor, Scott and my Dad cooked every ones food. All of us girls stayed in the house and talked (we didn't want to smell like campfire....ewwww!) and the kids played outside.

Thanks everyone for celebrating the day with us. Cooper had a great day!

Griffin's Blessing

We blessed Griffin on Sunday and it was a beautiful day. We are so grateful Griffin joined our family. He has been such a blessing and we love him so much. He is such a great little baby, with the happiest disposition. Isn't he just adorable in his little overalls?

We want to thank all of our family and friends for being apart of this day. Also, as special thanks to Bob, Engor, Izeck, Hanna, Kallie & Macie - we are so glad your family drove all the way down here to join us. We loved being able to spend time with you all.

After sacrament meeting, we headed to my parents (who by the way, are the best parents anyone could ask for!) for a little dinner. I love having family dinner on Sunday's, it is the one day where we can all be together as a family. Thank you to all my family for spending this day with us. We enjoyed being with you and love you all.....and as Dad would say, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU ALL LOVE ME!!!

Built Ford Tough!


Is this not adorable? I can hardly believe that Griffin will be two months old in a week. He has grown so much all ready. I love this little outfit and thought all my Ford buddies would appreciate it! Jared and his sweet wife Jamie at Dealer Collision Center gave this outfit to Griffin when he was born. I couldn't wait for him to fit in it, now I don't want him to outgrow it! Thanks for the great gift Jared & Jamie!

Griffin is smiling and laughing now...I just couldn't get him to cooperate when I was taking his picture. Little stinker!

Jumpin' Jacks!!!

Okay, so we decided to take the kids to Jumpin' Jacks for the day. If you have never been to this place, you gotta go. It is not just for kids, adults love it too!

Check out this slide......

Step 1 - Climb up this steep inflatable slide, that is missing several steps with Scotlyn tucked under your arm, pushing Charlee up (again, because steps are missing), and trying to keep your own balance so you don't fall backwards onto several small children trailing behind you. Oh yeah, and all the while your lungs are burning because you had a baby a few weeks ago and your totally out of shape! (The last part mostly applies to me and Tammie...!)

Step 2 - Send Charlee down with Scotlyn. Is that truly safe? Mmmmm, I guess we get the "Mother's of the Year Award"
Step 3 - Go down the big huge slide - heck you earned it after climbing up the thing!
Griffin and Jackson were cute little boys. They sat at the bottom of the slide and watched everyone play. Two little cuties, see what you have to look forward to when you get older!

Cooper is having such a great time...see all the sweat. I am telling you, you get a great workout in this place. Remember to bring the hand sanitizer though! All these sweaty people....?

Charlee is a pro at sliding down this slide. She left this time with only two burns on her arms and one under nose. There were some bullies, oops, I mean little boys and they stepped on Charlee's hand. She came down the slide and said "Mom, there is a mean DUDE up there. He stepped on my hand and didn't even say he was sorry. Rude huh?" I told her "Go tell him if he steps on you again and doesn't say he is sorry, your mama is gonna come sit on him." She looked at me kinda funny and took off to tell this little kid to watch out!

Scoti got a little thirsty...climbing up that slide parched the little one. The answer? Give the kid some Pepsi.

Tammie, April and I decided we needed to take a break and sit at the bottom of the slide and watch the kids go down.
We had a fun day together. Thanks girls for the fun day out!

The Roles Reversed!

Cooper & Charlee some how managed to fall asleep, in the car, at the same time! On the other hand.....

Griffin decided not to sleep and to scream instead.
Cooper & Charlee are usually wide awake in the car. They can be found playing or fighting with one another. Griffen is generally asleep. I guess they decided to change things up a bit!
I am not sure which one I prefer though. A sleeping baby and fighting kids, or a screaming baby and sleeping kids?