Just playing a little catch-up on pictures. Joni loves to look at temples, so when we were on our way to the library a couple weeks ago, we drove past the Ogden Temple and Joni begged to go walk around. We couldn't at the time, but I promised her we would later. So trying to cram in as many memories as possible before the big move, Andrea and I took Joni and Ava to walk around the temple grounds last week. They looked so cute in their little summer dresses.
Joni's mother needs to teach her to keep her legs together like a real lady. Oh, wait, I guess that would be me. Never mind.
We took them to Farr's ice cream afterward, because with it being less than a block away, how can you pass that up?
This picture is not turned sideways. Lily is just leaning over that far. Take notice at the cone in each hand, and the dripping ice cream on her face. She couldn't be any happier.
Tom and I are feeling a little stressed. We're trying to make a big decision. Tom's against a huge deadline - it's called homelessness. He gets kicked out of his dorm TOMORROW. He takes his big final in the morning, and then he has to be out by 4:00.
He has been looking desperately for an apartment for weeks now. He has seen a bunch of them, and has it down to two at this point, both of which he wouldn't be able to move into for another week or so. They both have very strong pros and cons. I'll break it down....
#1 - Beautiful green neighborhood, lots of stuff to do, close to a lot of shopping, museums, parks, etc. But the apartment itself is kind of so-so. It's a little cramped, and a little more expensive. And not close at all to school and church. So when I'm home with the kids all day, I would have more than enough stuff to do out and about because the surroundings are great, but inside we might feel cramped, and it would be quite a chore to get to church every Saturday.
#2 - Very "gray" neighborhood - we're talking not a stitch of grass or any trees. No parks, no nothin'. We probably wouldn't be around many, if any at all, English speakers. And I don't think there would be any good possibilities for sending Joni to preschool. BUT, inside the apartment itself, it's huge and spacious and beautiful. And the biggest thing is that it's also close enough to church and school that we could easily walk there. Oh, but did I mention there's a trash burning place right behind the apartment? So I could maybe fool myself every day that I'm living in luxury, but I would be quickly knocked back into reality if I stepped too close to the back windows, because I would instantly smell the burning trash. But then again, it wouldn't take forever and a day to get to church.
You with me here? Do you see what I mean now by "strong" pros and cons?
What to do?
Please pray for us. It's a huge decision, and it could go either way. We feel very strongly that the Lord has prepared a place for us to live, where we can grow the most, and do the most good...but we feel a little lost at the moment.
P.S. Cyndy, just so you don't worry too much, we do think he has a place to stay for the next few days. But after that....yup, you guessed it. Homeless.
I recognize I haven't been posting a whole lot recently. I've had a hard time keeping up on everything without Tom around. I'm doing my best to get prepared for the big move, but no matter how hard I try, I always feel like I still have a million things to do. The good news, though, is that a week from Saturday, I will get to see Tom. I have told him many times that through the month of October, I'm on vacation, and he will be the one changing all the diapers, doing all the feeding, and of course all the cleaning (fall semester in Jerusalem doesn't start until the beginning of November, so he'll have LOTS of free time :-) )
Last week mom and I took Joni and Ava to the zoo, and we met Kristin there. The little girls had a ball! Okay, maybe us adults did, too. I felt like such a little kid - I think I enjoyed it a little too much.
Abby, Ava, and Joni.
Mom in front of the bears.
The girls eagerly observing the elephants.
Jackson didn't always understand what he was looking at, or where he should be looking, but anytime he saw an animal really moving around, this is the mesmerized look he would get on his face.
Mom with Joni and Jackson.
This is Jackson just as we were getting home. It was late afternoon and he hadn't really slept all day. He did amazingly well, but on the drive home we kept handing him baked Cheetos to keep him happy. As you can see, he loves them.
I just have to share a couple things the kids did recently. Tom's family gets a kick out of potty talk, so this is for you guys!
Yesterday as I was getting Jackson out of the bath, I had him all wrapped up in the towel. I asked my mom to hold him while I went downstairs and grabbed him some clothes and a diaper. Just after she took him, she sat down and put him on her lap, and felt, should we say, a rumble? It was pretty loud and powerful, and it was coming from Jackson's tush. My all-so-proper mom yells, "Aaah! He's pooping! Bad! RIGHT. ON. MY. LAP!" Dad and I were laughing so hard we weren't sure what to do. I thought my dad was going to fall right out of his chair.
I did finally run like mad to grab a diaper, and quickly grabbed Jackson. Luckily, it was just a dry run of things to come. You got lucky this time, mom.
My little stud-muffin, Jackson, turned one year old this last Saturday. The lucky little boy actually got two celebrations because Tom's parents were here the day before. So on Friday we had a little birthday lunch for him (lunch time was better for Tom so he could watch on Skype). First, Jackson had a lunch of blueberries and homemade macaroni and cheese. He LOVED it. Then we gave him some chocolate cake for dessert, but he had eaten so much of the meal, he refused to taste the cake for quite a while.
Tom's parents also took us to Javier's that night for dinner. Thanks Omi and Abba! We had a great time visiting with you, and wish you could have stayed longer!
Sorry, but I'm posting a million pictures. What can I say - I'm a shamelessly proud mama to my birthday boy....
Starting in on his mac'n'cheese
"Dude, did you try this?"
Can you say, "cheese!"?
Take notice of the cheesey goodness smeared all over the side of his head, up into his hair.
This picture melts my heart - Tom and Jackson are talking via the computer. Jackson looooves to talk to "dadda". Anytime he sees my laptop, he'll scramble to get to it, hoping to catch a glimpse of daddy. It was nice to have Tom enjoying the celebration with us.
I had to include this one because Jackson was honestly in a state of shock after his lunch. He just stared like that for the longest time. It was cute, but umm, almost freaky.
As you can see, he did finally dig in to the cake.
Since we can't pack much to Jerusalem, we kept his presents to a minimum. Here is Jackson sitting on Omi's lap (Tom's mom) shaking his little, uh, shaker things...I don't know what they are. They made noise and you shake 'em, so I knew he'd like them.
Here is Jackson on his actual birthday. Mom and dad took us to Boone's (it might have had something to do with the fact that I ruined dinner) and let Jackson pig out on french fries. He was a happy camper.
I love my little boy so much. That kid is so full of love and goodness, I could just eat him up. This last year has gone by way too fast. I swear the day he turned one he was instantly bigger.
Here are some pictures of him when he was still itty-bitty....
Little buddy just one day old (the date is wrong on the pic)
With daddy on his blessing day
About two months old
Two month pictures
Jackson, your daddy and I sure love you. You bring so much joy into our lives. We feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has entrusted you with us. We look forward to many more fun and happy years, and even eternity, with you in our family.
This last week we got to have Emma (Tom's little sis) hang out here for a couple of days while Tom's parents took his other little sis, Kelli, up to Rexburg for school. Joni and Emma had a great time playing together.
Joni and Aunt Emma at the PC park
Joni and Emma had a lot of fun making Jackson a little Play-dough birthday cake.
Check it out. I love this picture. Every time I see it, I laugh right out loud. Tom is in the middle with his two brothers-in-law, Jared and Tim, who are basically just trying to make him feel uncomfortable. It's working.
I found it while going through some of our stuff the other day. It would be so sad if it was ever lost. I'm actually not even sure who took it. Maybe his sister Kelli? Not sure. But it's a classic and it MUST be documented.