Thursday, October 15, 2015

Schneibers Hit Houston

This summer the Schneiber (Hill, Ellis, Pettit) clan came to Houston for our reunion.  And the fact that anyone was willing to come to Houston in the summer just goes to show how much love and AWESOMENESS our family has!

Katie and Russ and new baby Abraham kicked off the party with a baby blessing.  All of the great-grandparents joined us for the occasion, and it was really special to be able to spend so much time with them.
My big sister has SUCH A CUTE FAMILY!
The whole clan!
At this point (approximately 4 months later), I don't remember all of the little details of everything, but thank goodness for photographic evidence to help jog my memory!

We spent days at the the Huet Hotel and Spa (it's actually NOT a hotel, they just have a super awesome house and boat and jet skis and pool and grill and and I just CALL it a hotel).
Playing pool-volleyball
Jacob keeping the ball in play
Ain't nobody got time to SMILE for a picture, Mom!
Lily to the photographic rescue
Be still, my heart.  
Gourmet Grilling
Handsome Erik
Proof that I was there also
BFFs.  Thank goodness for Papa Dirt!
She's a charmer!
No brothers-in-law were harmed taking these pictures
Or these. 
We also spent some quality time at Top Golf, cooked some delicious food (thank you, Russ, for your amazing pizza!), spent a fabulous day at the beach, and squeezed (squozed?) in a family photo shoot before it was all over.
Grandparents!  Not pictured: Baby Isabelle had to finish cooking in Megan's tummy
We hit the jackpot when we got sent to be in their family.  
We're all so OLD now! 
The Hills
Erik and Megan w baby Isabelle arriving imminently 
The Ellis crew
J^2 and Baby Louise.  PS.  I just have to say that all of my sisters look AMAZING after having babies!
One, big, happy, family.  So blessed.  
This was one of the best family vacations we've had in a long time.  Everyone is so happy and is doing so well in life.  It's so fun to have all of the in-laws complete our family; they're each so INCREDIBLE.  I really don't know how exactly it all worked out so well, but it's a huge blessing to have a family full of best friends to be with eternally.

And, to finish it off, a few more cute pictures of baby Abe (B-Abe?).  Because, why not?  :)

Sweet and Spicy Caroline

Caroline turned 2 last month.  With all of life's craziness these days, we kind of snuck in her birthday celebrations when we could get most of the important people together at once, which meant she got a good amount of practice singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles.  And today, when she saw a mini cupcake (from the grocery store--which was identical to her own birthday "cake"), she pointed excitedly and said, "Happy Bird-day! Happy Bird-day!"  So I think her low-key birthday still had the appropriate impact.  :)

This little girl is a force to be reckoned with.  She is incredibly independent and has opinions about everything.  From what she wears each day (ONLY frilly dresses, thank-you-very-much), to where I put her highchair (RIGHT in the middle of the kitchen), to organizing her toys ("I do it! I do it! I DO IT!"), Caroline knows what she wants and is persistent until she gets it.

Caroline loves her sisters.  She watches them, follows them around, and has learned to be an expert teaser.  She can usually find the perfect button to push in order to get a big reaction from one of them (usually Savannah).  But Caroline is quick to say sorry and is always eager to provide make-up hugs and kisses to the offended party.  And she's helping her sisters to learn patience and forgiveness, two very important qualities.  They are lucky to have her.  ;)

With Savannah and Lily in preschool two days each week, we've been spending a lot more time together.  She loves to be tickled ("Tickee-me, Mom!"), LOVES to read books (If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, aka "Mouse-Cookie" is a favorite right now), will draw and color for full minutes at a time, and shows me how having one child at home can be just as busy as having three!

Other current favorites: Olaf, "Let it Go!" from Frozen which she requests multiple times in a row, multiple times each day), cereal or scrambled eggs for breakfast, being up on the counter while I do anything (which makes my job MUCH easier), and wearing shoes of all colors and sizes.

We love this girl.  Caroline keeps us on our toes and makes us smile, and life would be VERY boring without her!  We're so thankful for her!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The 4-year old Birthday Video!

Best dad of the year award, once again, goes to Rob for documenting their last year!

The Fabulous Fours

I've got to say that every year that goes by, this whole motherhood thing gets better and better.  Now that I have FOUR YEAR-OLDS (!!!) every day is full to the brim of questions, making connections, learning, playing, and laughing at all of the funny pseudo-adult things they say.
Fairy Princess and Rainbow Dash
Savannah, when replying in the affirmative, often says, "Yes, indeed."  Or if she has a better idea, will say, "Well, actually...."  She loves to imagine, explore, design, and make jokes; she's a ray of sunshine in our lives.  She still loves all things super-hero and can often be found karate-chopping and ninja-kicking around the house.  Savannah also has an incredibly soft, sensitive soul and if ever she is in trouble her eyes will brim with tears and she'll cry plaintively, "Please forgive me, Mommy!"  And of course I do, immediately.  
Magformer Engineer
 Lily is quite the go-getter.  If there's something she needs (like cookies off of the top shelf), she will just find a way to get them without even asking for help!  I'm often amazed at her capacity to problem-solve and the strength of her resolve. She is an embodiment of the phrase, "small but mighty."  Lily LOVES to learn; doing 'school' is her one of her favorite things right now.  She is a little Ms. Mom to her sisters and can be counted on to help anyone who is sad, needs help, or isn't doing exactly what she thinks they should be doing.  ;)  She loves to dance, to play with friends, and be right in the middle of the action.  
Dressed to the 9s
I love that these two are the best best best of friends, and now that they're getting a little older it's SO MUCH EASIER to go places, take on some 'extra' projects (like a garden!!), and do more than just survive.  But I also love that they're still little enough that I can snuggle them on my lap, kiss, and sing, and rock any problems away.  I know that soon enough they're going to learn that there is life separate from Mom.....and I'm actually going to try not to think about that because....I'm in denial and I can't handle that they'll ever actually grow up!!!!  *sniff sniff*
Birthday quesadillas on the stairs
Basically, life is really good.  And while every day isn't 100% smiles and sunshine, I feel incredibly blessed right now.  Their needs are simple, their hearts are soft, their smiles and laughs are totally infectious, and their cheeks are still so darn kissable.  I love it.
First experiment with marshmallow fondant!
I will use marshmallow fondant from now on....

This year we spread their birthday out over a few different days to accommodate traveling grandparents' schedules.  We had birthday donuts, presents (highlights: various dress-ups, My Little Ponies/Big Hero 6 action figures, magformers, and their very-own Books of Mormon!)  We had their actual birthday 'party' at Chuck E Cheese on Saturday and the whole birthday-week experience was pretty much perfect.

Except, when Savannah saw her Baymax cake (which she specifically requested and I spent hours on), she just said, "But Mom, where are all of the other guys?!?!"  I just told her my fondant skills weren't up for anything more complicated, and she just needed to deal with it.  Kids these days..... ;)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Beef gets Mary!

At the end of March the entire Ellis clan (even Emily!!) descended upon Houston to celebrate Spencer's marriage to Mary.  

As per usual, it was a whirlwind 2.5 days; each second filled to the brim with catching up, playing games, and sneaking in a few hours of shut-eye.  

Photos from the big event:
 Time to stop and smell the flowers
Seriously. How cute. 
Hitched and Happy!
Mary has set the standard for every future bride.  Our girls were convinced she was a real, live princess. 
Every time they talk about marriage now, it's always "in the temple, with my sister."  I hope they get to do a double-wedding someday!!
Best best best friends.  
Twins with Twins
All the grandkids...Caroline was NOT excited.
Future BYU roomies
The beautiful Emily, fresh off her mission.  It's her turn next!
The Ellis women.  It makes me so happy to see KK with her beautiful girls!
Power Couple.  Powerful faith, love, work, fun!
The original 11.  What an amazing family. 
Our 'little' family
I'm thinking I may need to find some kind of work-from-home-at-night job at some airline so we can do more family trips.  Because every time we're together I wish time would just SLOW DOWN.

Or maybe we should just win the lottery so we can be at all sporting events, birthdays, baptisms, school concerts, graduations, backyard barbecues, etc etc etc.

That's a better idea.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

J^2 Came to Visit

I don't really remember why (birthday present? christmas present?), but somehow Jacqueline pulled off a week-long visit to Houston in March.  And it was SO FUN.  It felt like it was Christmas & my birthday, combined, the entire time!

At this point (June), I don't remember everything that we did.  I remember going shopping, going to the park, playing some games, and Jacqueline being wayyyyy too helpful for an 8-month pregnant lady (like doing my dishes, carrying groceries, bathing my children, etc.  Basically she was the best houseguest ever, WHILE being about to pop.)  

Luckily, I DO have some photographic evidence that she came, brought Jacob, and we had fun.  Thank goodness for cameras. 
At the Houston Rodeo--right before eating the giantest, most delicious cinnamon roll ever. 
 We spent a day in Galveston, touring some old houses, eating yummy food, and playing on the beach.  Texas in March is a wonderful thing.
Cuteness overload
Major cuteness overload.
This girl could play at the beach forever!  She must be my daughter.
Love love love. 
We were SO GLAD Jacob joined us for a few days, too!
We will never stop working on J^2, doing our best to convince them to MOVE TO TEXAS!!!!!!