Friday, December 26, 2008

More to come later, taking a relaxation break :o)

Hope you enjoyed yours as much as we did ours!

(p.s. John Morgan took his first steps to come)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just call us spontaneous!

Tonight we decided we'd head over to Dorothy B. Oven, a park in town where they do this amazing lights display. The boys had a hay-day! We are so excited for next year when both the boys can run around instead of having to be pushed in the stroller!

They even had 4 high school age kids playing the trombone, Levi was in awe! They played Jingle Bells for him, and he was ecstatic!

The pictures are kinda blurry (night mode turned out to be!), but here are some pics for your enjoyment (they don't do it justice at all)!

A little bit of everything

I've been a horrible blogger lately. My apologies my dear, faithful readers (all 7 of you, lol). But, with the new year on the horizon, I've determined to be better!

The way to start? Playing catch-up from the last month, of course!

Please read on, to find posts about Thanksgiving, making cookies, our Christmas Tree, some Sunday fun, and the FSU game!

Thanksgiving time again!

This time of year is my favorite! Everyone is happy, thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and Christmas and the promise of a new year. We had an especially great Thanksgiving this year. A couple of them, actually!

First, we had Miller Family Temple Weekend, where we celebrated Thanksgiving also. It was such a wonderful time. It's always so nice to be with family, and it's so fun to see the family growing! This year, we had 3 new babies and 1 on the way, and then other grandchildren had gotten so much bigger! It's so weird to think that when Joe-Z and I got married 4 years ago, there were only Dayna and Cassy, and now, come February, there'll be 8 grand kids!

This is mostly everyone, John Morgan was sleeping, and baby #3 for John and Sarah is still cooking away inside!

Then on to Thanksgiving in Jupiter!

We always have fun when we go to Jupiter. Maybe it has something to do with being on vacation and knowing, if only for those few days, you have no responsibilities but to relax and have fun!

Our trip in a nutshell:

See that little cutie, that's Aidan, Garrett and Sam's little boy, sitting with his Grandpa Joe. He's just over a year old, and he was absolutely a sweetheart! Notice how John Morgan is pretty much the same size... I think Levi had more fun playing with Aidan than he did playing with Levi though, lol.

While this was staged for the picture, Levi did have the opportunity to pull the trigger on this air rifle (as long as me pulling it for him, with me shielding him behind me counts as "him" pulling it, lol). We had a ton of fun after dinner Thanksgiving day shooting at 20 oz pepsi bottles that Joe had strategically placed throughout the backyard. And I just have to say that I totally rocked...I was the most accurate shot of us all!

This is my magnificent friend, Kayla. She is the one that first invited me to a youth dance, which peaked my interest in the church. Without her, I would be in a totally different place in life, one not near as happy and gratifying as the place I'm at now is, I'm sure. In a way, without her, I wouldn't have my husband, kids, or personal relationship with the Savior. So thanks Kayla, I owe you ;o)

The next 3 are of us at the beach. What more can I say? It's like heaven!

Once again, John Morgan was sleeping, but here are the three of us, enjoying the warm weather in sunny Jupiter!

Levi loved playing the Wii! I think this was his favorite part of the whole trip!

This was taken while we were out to eat at the Thaicoon, my favorite restaurant of all time! We met my cousin Jen and my Aunt June here that night. We've been going to this place since I was born. Other than my immediate family, these are the people I've known the longest in my life...weird, huh?

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving too!

Chocolate Chip Cookies...yum yum!

So, Levi made his first batch of chocolate chip cookies a couple of Sunday's ago! I did too, for that matter. I know. I can't believe I'm 24 and admitted that I just made cookies from scratch for the first time! It was a ton of fun! He is the BEST helper in the world! He loves to help out around the house, exclaiming "Help Me?" (what he hears me ask him) anytime he sees me doing the laundry or vacuuming or cooking. He's super!

Btw, the cookies were delicious!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

How lovely are your {fake, pre-lit} branches {and your shatterproof ornaments}!

(Levi putting on the first ornament)

(Daddy putting on the topper)

(A few more ornaments)

And ta-da!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Sunday Afternoon Fun

John Morgan loves the piano, we finally figured out we could just slide his high chair right up to it! He had a blast!

Yum yum!

Aren't these shirts sooooo cute?? Thanks Aunt Brett!

(You can visit her etsy shop here to find onsies and shirts like these, and lots more cute stuff!)

Don't let the bars of the gate fool you...they're not in prison! They LOVE standing at the gate and showing off for us...especially Johnny M. He loves to shake it back and forth! Here they brought Curious George in on the fun :o)

Joe-Z's favorite time of year...

is college football season! He loves it, and thanks to him, I do too!

We were lucky enough to have a neighbor of a brother-in-laws father-in-law offer us some FSU tickets he wasn't going to be using!

It was the blackout game, so everyone had a special enthusiasm about them. Being in the stadium with 80,000 other fans was electrifying...until we started losing :o( We took Tony and Nichole Ricks (who had never been to an FSU game before) and it really was a blast. By half-time, it was freezing, and our kids wouldn't go to sleep for their Mema, so we had to bail out. I have to say, as great as it was, I was much happier listening to the rest of the game from our warm, toasty van :o)

Win or lose, we love you Seminoles. And, never fail, next year we'll be there with our hopes up that this season might just be the season our luck turns around!

(You can't see it here, but we're all decked out in our black hoodies for the game!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Advice Needed:

See this sweet little face? How precious his little cheeks are, so round and pinchable? Pretty cute when he's asleep, right?

Yeah, I think so too. The only thing that could make it better was if he was doing this at night!

Here's the problem: I think my 8 month, 2 week old is trying to wean himself from the bottle!

Take yesterday for example. He ate a full bottle for his "night/early morning" feeding, but the throughout the day, only ate 3 oz, 2 more times. He did, however, have 3 full "solid" food meals. The last one {which I gave him only 20 minutes after we'd had a knock down, drag out wrestling match in which I tried to make him eat his bottle, of which he decided to finally slurp down 3 oz}, consisted of a full bowl of oatmeal (we're talking a huge bowl...made with 4 oz of his leftover formula), a jar of peas, a jar of squash, a jar of carrots, 3/4 of a jar of bananas, and 1/2 a jar of chicken (see picture below for visual). So, I know he was hungry...he just wouldn't take the stinkin bottle!

So, twice in the middle of the night last night, he got up to eat a full bottle. Urgh.

We're exhausted. We can't believe our 8 1/2 month old doesn't sleep through the night (back to 2 night feedings, really?). And I'm concerned {It's okay, you can call me a worry wort. I always am. Especially when it comes to my kids. Way to overly-concerned.} that he's not getting enough of the nutrients from his "solid" food to make up for what he's lacking in his formula.

Any ideas?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A letter to Santa...

(I got this in an e-mail from my sister in-law, and thought it was great!)

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my daughter's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years...

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your sister," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my daughter saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think she wants her crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come on in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,

P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lunch at the park with Dad

We went to meet Joe-Z for lunch last week and decided to spend our extra 20 minutes at the park just up the road. It was a blast. These boys love their daddy!

(If you click on the collage above, you can make the whole thing bigger, so you can see each picture better!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Raise your hand if you've ever been doing the laundry and looked at the same old pair of _________ (fill in the blank) and thought,

"Ugh! Holy. Cow. How many times have I folded this same pair of _________?!?"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Can less be more?

The Miller family had a "Family Temple Weekend" this past weekend. We rented a huge house in Winter Garden and Bill and Cleo and each of the boys and their spouses and children stayed the weekend together. It was a blast.

It was the first time that Joe-Z and I had been back to the temple since John Morgan was born. 7 months is a long time. You don't really realize it when you're caught up in the day-to-day thing we call "life", or at least I didn't, until I was taken out of that day-to-day and had a chance to breathe while I was in the temple.

It's so peaceful there. So quiet. I love that. It's so quiet that you can't help but hear the whispers of the Spirit. I decided that I want to try to make my home more quiet. When I was thinking about how I can do that, I thought of this talk, given by Julie B. Beck in the October 2007 General Conference, entitled "Mothers Who Know." This is the part that I really love:

"Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world's goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord's kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power."

Now, I realize that not all of us are mothers yet, and for the guys, never will be. But the great thing about this concept is that it can work for anyone. If you're a dad, you can still do these things, and have a better home for it. If you're single, you can do these things for yourself right now, and make your own personal kingdom better and more righteous, and in the process will be laying an even better foundation for your future family.

I have hope that this will help strengthen not only my family, but me personally as well. I, for one, am excited about having less at home!

(After reading this, it's totally not what I thought I was going to be blogging about when I all actually. But, since it's what came out, I'll go with it. I'll let you in on my other blogworthy experience later.)


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We love the park!

Joe-Z had today off in observance of Veteran's Day. We had a super-fun day!

John Morgan went down the slide for the first time! He loved it!

Sliding with Mommy:

Sliding with Daddy:

Joe-Z made a fun observation while we were there. He LOVED that he was able to wear shorts and a tee shirt to the park in November!

We love it here!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ryan Anderson shared this video on Facebook, and I liked it so much I wanted to put it on the blog.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Up, up, and away!

Well, not the away part yet, but here he comes, up and up!

I walked into the boys' room this morning and found this:

which was promptly followed by this:

(do you see him there...flailing backward, limbs a blur?)

He's been trying for the last couple of days now. Just like Levi, actually, his first attempt was on a case of Zephyrhills water, lol. After 3 or 4 days of practice, he finally has it down.

And so this has become our new fun game. He stands up on anything he can possibly find, gets excited, bounces, waves his hands, and falls because he's not holding on anymore, lol. It's a blast! Levi is really enjoying it too...he keeps saying, "Gain!" and pointing at John Morgan, trying to get him to do it again!

My most favorite, though, is when he crawls over to me, grabs one hand and pulls himself on his knees to take my other hand, then pulls himself up to standing. He's so close to me, looking me right in the eyes, giggling in excitement over his new found independence. So sweet.

I love being a mom!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Tricks

John Morgan has learned a new trick...

(Please ignore the baby talk coming from the overly-excited mommy!)

6 months, 2 weeks, and 1 day later
, and we have a full-on mover and shaker! He's is so pleased with himself and is LOVING being able to go wherever he wants to, although his poor forehead isn't so's kinda like a magnet...he crawls over to ______ {fill in the blank} and doesn't know to stop! So he's had a few bumps...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family togetherness...

I mean the big, ever-growing Miller Family togetherness!

The first weekend in September, we had the opportunity to go to Jacksonville for Mike and Keturah's son Zerin's baby blessing. It was such a wonderful reason for gathering together, and we had such a nice time being with everyone in the same place again!

The boys got to play a little Rock Band {which Joe-Z thoroughly enjoyed} and Levi adored the swing set John and Sarah had in the backyard!

We love you Miller Family, and we're so happy we're all so close again!