Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Jackson, like his brother, loves books!  I jumped in the shower one morning and came out to find Jackson in his room looking at books.  I hope that love stays with him and continues to grow!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cleaning up the garden

We had a nice sunny Saturday afternoon, and an extremely over grown garden.  It was the perfect afternoon to start the fall clean up of the garden.  I pulled out all the weeds, the dead peas that didn't produce anything, picked a big bowl full of green beans, pulled up 4 beautiful (and yummy) carrots, filled up two bowls of cherry tomatoes and pulled out the very over grown plants.  I decided to leave the zuchinni plant because there were several big blossoms.  I left the bean plants and the purple kale as well, hoping that we'll get a few more beans.  It was nice to have most everything cleaned out and ready for the winter.
Jackson was very helpful!
 I also cleaned out the last of the berries.  I picked a bowl full of blueberries and raspberries.  Jackson was helpful in eating all of the berries that I picked.  Well - he ate a lot of them, but he also ended up wearing a lot of them as well. 

It was a great way to spend a sunny September Saturday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We have a One-Year Old

I'm amazed that Jackson is a year old.  This little guy is such a joy!  I can't imagine our family without him now!  I'm also amazed when I look back at pictures.  I can't believe that this little guy (born at 9 lbs, 2 oz)...
 Has become this guy.  So much growing in a year!
Here are the statistics from his one year check up:  Weight: 28lbs, 5 oz. (off the charts), height: 32 3/4 inches (off the charts).  He is officially a monster!  I like to compare his size to Adam's at the same age.  Adam was 26 pounds even and 32 inches tall at one year.  I think Adam better watch out!  Jackson is going to be bigger!!  I took both the boys in for their checkups at the same time.  We had a new nurse who hadn't seen us before, and she was so fun!  She has two boys as well.  She told me her youngest was Jackson's size at age one.  He is now 18 years old and is 6 feet 3 inches and 240 pounds!  Her oldest is smaller, but age 21 he is 6 feet even and weighs 210.  I think Scott may need to get a second job!  How are we going to afford feeding these giant kids of ours???  It's funny that I get asked all the time if my husband is really tall.  Everyone is surprised when I tell them he is 5'11" or so.  There must be tall genes somewhere!
Anyway - we had so much fun celebrating Jackson's first birthday.  We celebrated with my family a little early.  We celebrated all the September birthdays (Hyrum, Adam and Jackson) together.  Jackson had his first taste of opening presents.  He did pretty good, but lost interest pretty quick.  Adam, or course, was happy to help him out!
 On his actual birthday, we had our neighbors join us for ice cream and cake.  They also helped Jackson open a few more presents.  We are so lucky to have wonderful neighbors!  Jackson seemed more intersted in the wrapping paper than the presents.
 He wasn't sure about the whole candle on the cake.  Adam helped him blow the candle out!  Big brothers are great!
 He didn't have any trouble enjoying the cake! (This picture is from the family party.  He didn't make much of a mess on his birthday!)
 Scott and I got Jackson this fun Buzz Lightyear ride on toy.  Jackson loves to push it around the house and bang it into everything!  He often has to fight Adam for it because it is very cool and has lots of buttons to push and a laser gun to shoot.  It's fun to watch him play with it.  Once in awhile, he'll climb on the seat and sit there and grunt until someone comes over to push him around.  Funny kid!
 Jackson is truely such a joy!  Here are a few things I want to remember about him at a year old:
  • Cute thing that Jackson does:  when he's drinking a bottle, or getting tired, he starts pulling on his ears.  I was paranoid all summer that he had an ear infection, but everytime I had someone look at his ears, they were always pink and healthy.  He also likes to pull on other people's ears (especially daddy's!)  I guess he just has an ear fettish.  I think I'm getting used to it and don't automatically start worrying. Of course, he'll probably get an ear infection this winter and I won't think anything of the ear pulling and he'll have to suffer through it!
  • Everyone calls Jackson "baby Jackson" or just "baby".  Hopefully this will end as he gets older, but we've always called him "baby Jackson" since we decided on his name when I was still pregnant.  Even our neighbors call him baby Jackson.  I know I should stop, but it's so cute to hear Adam call him "baby"!  Maybe we should change his name to BJ.
  • Jackson only has 5 teeth at a year old. Two middle teeth on the top and three on the bottom.  I've been able to feel the 4th on the bottom and the two on each side of the top for close to a month now.  Not sure whats taking them so long to pop through.  
  • Jackson has this cute little "stink face" when he's starting to get upset.  He krinkles up his nose and opens his mouth, and I can't help but laugh every time he does it.  I need to try and get a picture because it's just so darn cute!
  • Jackson is such a tease!  His favorite person to tease is his daddy!  His does this best while giving hugs and kisses.  When daddy asks for a kiss and anyone else is around, Jackson will look at daddy and lean in for a kiss, and then quickly turn to the other person and give them a kiss!  Then he looks back at Scott and gives him this cute "gotcha" smile!  So hilarious!  His personality is really starting to bloom!
  • Jackson's favorite person - DADAM!!!  That's not a typo - that's how Jackson says his brothers name and it's so fun to hear.  If Jackson does something that makes Adam laugh, he will do it over and over while watching Adam to make sure he's still laughing. 
  • Favorite foods:  He's a great eater, but some of his favorites are - green beans and peas, spaghetti (just like his brother), berries, pancakes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese, and anything chocolate or sweet!
  • Favorite things to do: watch big brother, listen to music and dance (he bounces up and down and waves his hands around anytime he hears music), wrestle with daddy, tackle big brother, climb the stairs, walk around pushing his buzz car or walker toy and sleep!
  • Jackson LOVES his sleep!  I don't think I have EVER rocked this guy to sleep!  Since he was about 3 of 4 months old, we've just put him in his crib for naps or bedtime and he lays there until he goes to sleep.  He has never cried or fussed.  We often don't even know when he wakes up in the morning, becuase he'll just quietly play in his crib, not making much noise.  I'll go in and check on him and find that he's awake.  When he's getting tired, he'll point you to his room and grab onto his crib and fuss until he's laid down.  I wonder if he'll continue to be so good at going to bed?
I could go on and on about this guy!  I just love him to pieces!  I'm amazed at how much room my heart has to love these boys in my life!  I always wanted to be a mom, but never imagined how truely amazing and fulfilling it could be!  I am awed at the responsibility it is to raise these future priesthood holders and pray every day for the guideance that is necessary.  I also thank my Father in Heaven for this great blessing to be a mother and especially for this little boy and his big brother.  I am so blessed!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Adam's Special Pre-K Day

Adam started Pre-K on his birthday this year! He is the oldest in his class, which he will just have to get used too! He is going to a co-op preschool, which means that the parents (usually moms) are very involved in the school. He goes three days a week, and one of those days, I get to go with him and help at the school. I go on Thursdays, so on the Thursday of his first week of preschool, Adam had his "Special Day". This was a new thing for Adam! At the school orientation the week before, I was given a littlbe blue backpack that contained a teddy bear named Wembly. Adam got to spend the week with Wembly, and then write a story about it. Wembly also helped to make a "special day" banner. Adam laid down on a piece of butcher paper, and I traced him. He then colored the picture and we wrote down some of his favorite things. Then at school, his banner was hung up, and the teacher told everyone all about Adam.
This isn't a very good picture, but this is the banner.

This is Adam sitting on the special chair with Wembly. Teacher Judy is sitting next to him, reading his Wembly story to the other kids.

Here's is Adam's story (they encouraged us to just write down whatever the kids say, and not edit it - so this is it!!)
"I got Wembly out of the bag and had lots of fun with him. I threw him up in the air and he really liked it!!
I put the Superman clothes on him and then he wore his pajamas at bed time."

"We had a fun tiime having pictures. My mom let me take the pictures by myself!"

"We had lost of fun, and shared a snack before we went to bed. We had M&Ms and something else I can't remember."

"I took Wembly to see my new cousin, Robyn. I holded Robyn and Wembly, and they were squirming. It was tricky to hold them both at the same time. My mom helped me."
"I love Wembly and I'm really going to miss him! I had a lot of fun with him!"
It was a fun way for Adam to start his preschool year. He was pretty excited to be the first one to have his "special day", and to get a special bear for a week.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hot Pipes!

Back at the beginning of September, Scott rode his motorcycle to work, which he tries to do when the weather is nice. He enjoys the ride, and it helps to shorten the time of his commute because he can ride in the car pool lane. On those days, Adam and I listen for the motorcycle to come around the corner so we can open the garage door for him and he rides the motorcycle up our steep driveway and parks in it the garage. On Thursday, September 2nd, we did just that! Adam was so excited that dad was home (which is pretty normal around here!) He ran out the garage door and was dancing around the motorcycle while Scott was getting his helmet off, and putting stuff away. Usually, Scott reminds Adam that the pipes are hot, and that he needs to be careful. This time, the warning wasn't heeded, and I heard a scream from the garage! Apparently, Adam got a little too close and the side of his leg briefly touched the hot pipes! Scott picked him up and carried him inside. At first, I thought there was a huge blister on his leg, but after looking more closely, we found that the top couple layers of skin had burned off and must have torn loose when Adam pulled his leg away from the motorcycle. It wasn't a blister, just shrivled up, burnt skin. Adam was beyond comforting, so I held onto him while Scott grabbed some sharp scissors and cut away the skin that hadn't pulled completely loose, and then we started the ice/cold water routine. I was worried that we wouldn't be able to pull all of the heat out of the burn, and his leg would just continue to burn and burn. For awhile, I wondered if we should take him to the ER, but Scott has had lots of experience with pretty bad burns, being that he works around a very hot wood burning pizza oven all day! So, he helped calm Adam down, like only Scott can, and convinced him to keep ice on it, and then sit on the side of the tub with cool water running over his leg for close to 30 minutes, and then put ice on it again. Amazingly, by the time it was bedtime Adam said that it didn't burn anymore.
This is what he leg looked like that first night. The burn was very big, and eventually, all of that red skin peeled off.
Here it is about a week later. We wrapped it up with gauze and neosporin at night, and Adam wore shorts during the days to let fresh air help to heal it.
Here it is after all the skin had finally peeled off.
Now, he just has a big red spot on his leg. I wonder if it will be a permanent scar, although it does seem to get lighter and lighter. We think Adam has definatley learned that those motorcycle pipes are very hot! He reminds Scott of that fact every time he sees the motorcycle!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A 5-Year Old Birthday Squirt Party

It's amazing to me that Adam will be 5 years old tomorrow! Where has the time gone? This boy has grown up so fast, and is such a joy to have in our family!
Adam really wanted to have a water fight party - and so, we made some invitations, invited a few friends, and crossed our fingers that the weather would co-operate! Adam picked out the picture for the invitations!
We invited 5 friends, and told the parents that we were having a squirt party and that we were going to try and make sure no one got really wet, but to bring a change of clothes - just in case! The weather co-operated in that it didn't rain, and the sun actually shone a little bit while we played outside. It was only about 65 degrees, which was a little chilly for my taste.
We gave each kid a water squirter and did some practice squirting while trying to pop bubbles.
Then, we had a couple of races. Like, squirting a balloon from one side of the yard to another. Little did we know that those darn balloons would keep popping! Soon it became who can get their balloon across the yard before it pops. I think only 2 balloon made it.
Then we raced to see who could fill out their bucket with water first and squirt the rubber ducky out.
And, last we did some target shooting to see who could knock all of the army guys off of the toys.
This soon deteriorated into shooting Brother Wallis...
which soon became shooting Sister Wallis...
not even the camera woman was safe!! (Sorry Grandma - but great picture!!) We ended with squirting the birthday boy - Adam thought this was the best fun ever! (I think it's so funny that Adam's buddy Xander tried to protect him from every one else, instead of squirting him! You can see him with the yellow squirter ready for a fight!)
Turns out it was a good thing we asked parents to send an extra set of clothes. By the time we were done, we were all soaked and shivering!!
After changing into dry clothes, the kids enjoyed some hot chocolate with marshmellows and whipped cream. It was a great way to warm up!
After hot chocolate, Adam opened his presents. It's so fun to watch kids at this age. They are all so excited to see what is being opened!! Adam got some great new toys from his friends!
After presents, Adam blew out 5 candles on his cake and everyone got a cupcake to eat. Adam wanted a bakugon cake. This is as close as I could get. He was super excited to get some new bakugons after they were washed off!!
We had so much fun celebrating Adam's birthday with his friends! It was fun to hear the kids talk about it at church today! They all thought it was great to get to squirt brother and sister Wallis with water! Adam's official birthday is coming up on Monday, which is also his first day of Pre-K. I can't believe he is 5 years old!!

The Plan

It started with Uncle Brian sneaking a cupcake, and acting all innocent like nothing was up. He taught Adam how to whistle like everything was cool and nothing was going on.
I've decided maybe Uncle Brian isn't the best influence on my son! Brian came over Saturday morning to wish Adam a happy birthday. In the midst of hanging out together, a plan was formed.
Both of them got up from the couch very sneakily and walked into the kitchen, after annoucing that they were going to the bathroom. They quickly ran to the refridgerator and did this...
and this...
And then walked back to the couch while looking around and whistling as if nothing had even happened. Oh, the deception!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

National Day of Service

September 11th is a National Day of Service and Remembrance, in honor of those who died back in 2001. The Area Authority for the NorthWest Region of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, asked that each Stake participate by providing their members with opportunities to serve within our communities. So, our Stake planned 3 different service projects - a blood drive, a food drive and an opportunity to serve some members of a senior citizen community. We decided as a family to particpate in the food drive. Earlier in the week we stapled flyers to grocery sacks and walked thru the neighborhood along with our friends, the Karpowitz, and delivered them to our neighbors, encouraging them to donate food.
Adam and Sophie started out strong and had so much fun running from house to house.
Sophie's little brother, Jonas wanted to deliver some flyers too. Adam helped by showing him how to attach them to the doors.
Jackson rode in the stroller and was ready for a nap.
Here are the tired kiddos after delivering all the flyers. We ended up delivering flyers to about 85 homes.
Saturday morning, we drove around the neighborhood looking for those bags on peoples doorsteps. Unfortunately, we only collected about 5 bags of food. Luckily, I had picked up a bunch of food from a family in our ward that was moving, and didn't want to pack up some canned goods. We took our food to the church where our Primary had made a big poster for the kids to put stickers on for each item of food they brought. Adam ended up having to put about 130 stickers on that poster, which he thought was pretty fun!
Here's Adam standing in front of some of the food that was brought in by the Primary kids in our ward. They ended up collecting over 1200 pounds of food! Pretty amazing!!
(Adam is holding Wembly, which is a teddy bear from Pre-school. There will be more about him later!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Natures Bounty

We are very lucky to be part of a local bulk buy group! The group leader works miracles for us every summer and we are able to buy produce, meat and even grains and other things from local farmers. Because our garden has been less than productive this year, I have been taking advantage of the opportunities to buy yummy food, and practicing my preserving skills. The past two weeks have been spent making and canning spaghetti sauce and canning tomatoes - 39 pints of spaghetti sauce, and 15 pints of diced tomatoes from 75 pounds of tomatoes. This is a picture of the second batch.
I've also put our food deydrator to good work. So far, I've dehydrated 50 pounds of peaches, and 25 pounds of Ginger Gold apples (the BEST apples for dehydrating)
I have 40 pounds of Red Bartlett Pears sitting in the front room waiting for their turn, and will be picking up 10 dozen ears of corn for canning later in the week. I'm hoping to get some beans as well.
I've done some canning and preserving in the past, but this has by far been the most canning I have ever done. I took a class early in the summer and learned how to pressure can meats and have done some chicken as well. I'm looking forward to adding some soups and other things to our food storage during the winter months.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mmmm... Berries!

The first few years we were in our house, we planted one or two blueberry bushes. Last year, we decided 7 blueberry bushes were enough, so we added some raspberries, and I am so glad we did! They have exploded this year and we are loving eating fresh raspberries!
Jackson is the biggest fan of our berry bushes! If we head into the backyard, he immediatly crawls over and starts plucking them off and plopping them in his mouth. The blueberries are more accessible, but he's happy with the raspberries as well!
Mmmmm.... berries!!!