Saturday, January 24, 2015

Christmas 2014

It's the hap-happiest season of ALL...
 there's ornament gazing and cookies for glazing and sleeping neath trees all a glow.  There's Christmas clothes wearing and Christmas card bearing and Bethlehem long time ago.  It's the most wonderful time of the year.  with christmas eve jammies and kid-playing debbies and gifts bringing CHEER.  It's the most wonderful time of the year. 

Ornament gazing

 and cookies for glazing and sleeping neath trees all a glow
Christmas eve eve eve family sleepover - frosted cookies & watched Frosty the Snowman

Christmas clothes wearing
My kids rarely look assembled for church - let alone match.  It had to be documented. 


Window down on the way home from church

  and Christmas card bearing
Lucy was my buddy this year and decorated the fronts of the letters. And loved stamping and mailing them.  Our heat was out and one of my favorite moments was an entire evening doing holiday cards in front of the fire with my Lucyloo.

and Bethlehem a long time ago
A kate-planned ward activity (you know those are the best kind)  A Night in Bethlehem.  It was a very special, spiritual evening.

christmas eve jammies
my mom sent us pajamas for the kids

sisters wearing sisters

kid-playing debbie
So, one of the fun things this Christmas was we had Sister Long stay with us for a little while.  She was so fun with my kids.  And we got along great.  We had a few moments where we realized we were kindred spirits.  One of them was when we were talking about the weather and how it was supposed to be sunny that day but maybe it would be tomorrow and at the exact same moment both belted out Annie "the sun will come out tomorrow!"

playing puppets with Maryanne

gifts bringing CHEER 
 my favorite moments Christmas morning: 

-- Jingle Bell march 
(marching around following daddy to every corner of the house before opening presents)

-- Joey's excitement over his taco bell phone case.  :)

--joey showing sister long the ropes on her new tablet

--Luke bought me a ring from his school store with his own money.  So so sweet.

--watching Lucy on her new balance bike

--Maryanne totally Elsa-ed up

--Freddy in his one and only Christmas present.  A homemade hat from his dear cousins Meredith and Chloe.   --and Lucy with the new magna-tiles

 a little clip of christmas morning

 And keeping with tradition - we saw a movie Christmas night.  I feel like some of the best movies are our Christmas movies.  We saw Frozen last year and Les Miserables the year before that.  This year we saw ...

The movie and Christmas 2014 get two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Thanksgiving 2014

I really enjoyed this Thanksgiving.  It felt much simpler than ones past.  We had all our cooking done on Wednesday night when Will and Hannah arrived.  We stayed up talking to them and the next morning took advantage of having extra grown-ups in the house and ran away for a nice round of disc golf.  And even though I'm not much of a disc golfer, I loved having a break and being out in the fresh air crunching around in the leaf-covered forest with my bff.


pre-dinner wrestles with their cousin Will  (who is a total rockstar by the way.  I can't say enough good things about this boy.... or his amazing wife)

Enjoying the gentle comedy of friends and family

the thankful tree
hmm...I wonder who wrote this one????
I was in charge of the craft and we made candy turkeys -ya know just in case we got hungry.  (maryanne's anatomically challenged turkey)
the kids' color-your-own place mats

will there be enough?  according the caleb we need at least a pie per person.  I think we're close.

2014 Thanksgiving attendees - Johnston Family: Derrick, Becca, Audrey, Bennett, baby Caleb; Will and Hannah Mckay; Annie Pulsipher  (also amazing and fun - will braid your hair as soon as look at you); Wood Family: Josh, Alicia, Emmett, Melynn, Tucker;  Cremeans Family: Drew, Amanda, Josh, Becky (Amanda's mom); Wilsons and us.  (sorry for the hurried, blurry phone pic)

Friday - lounging, eating leftovers, more wrestles, playing DDR and the 3rd annual follow-the-wilsons-into-the-forest-to-cut-down-a-tree tradition.  (although I didn't take any pictures of that??  weird.)

ddr from katiehale on Vimeo.

I'm so thankful for this lovely long weekend.  I'm thankful for a niece and nephew and niece-in-law who will travel far distances to be here.  It totally MAKES Thanksgiving for my kids and us to have these wonderful relatives come and spend time with us.  I'm thankful for a sister-in-law who is busy and pregnant and still is willing to host a beautiful Thanksgiving...with little added touches that make it meaningful and charming.  I'm thankful for a husband who doesn't even hesitate to just roll up his sleeves and start cooking up a storm without being asked.  Because of all these people - a holiday that can sometimes be a stressful, tiring one  - wasn't.  Not one bit.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Freddy: months 3-6

Tomorrow Freddy will be 7 months and I think the last post I did about him was at 2 months.  A lot has happened since then.  He's been so mature as he deals with everyday problems like his waist line and his hair line.  :)  Nothing gets him down - he's the happiest and sweetest baby we've ever known.  He might be a little too happy and easy going for his own good.  The louder, screamier kids seem to get what they "need" while this 4th child patiently waits for his needs to be met.   Here's a run down of his last four months.    



It was at Freddy's 4 month check up that we found out he has what doctors call a little bit of a "weight problem"  But a little different than Tommy Boy.  At his check up he had dropped from 25% to 5%.  We had to go in for weekly weight checks during that month.  His lowest was 3%.   His 4 month check-up he weighed 13.4 pounds (5%) and was 25 inches long (30%) and his head was 80%.  I was nursing him a lot but we were worried my milk wasn't caloric enough.  We tried supplementing with formula and he took a bottle for about 3 weeks and then all of the sudden just stopped.  And he was a rowdy nurser sometimes and then other times would just peacefully drink.  Yeah, it was stressful... and I shouldn't use past tense because it still is.    He looks a little worried as we discuss his problem.

And here is Fred in red.  He's wearing an outfit that his Grandma Hale's college roommate made about 53 years ago.   Jon, Mike and Joey all wore when they were babies.


One of my favorite things about Freddy is that he snuggles in.  And his little body just curls up and really there is nothing quite like a snuggle from wee Frederick.  And when he's 18 and not so little - I want to remember these moments.

On the evening of November 12, 2014 - I made the spur of the moment decision to shave his side wisps off and just let it all grow in together since he was starting to look like Benjamin Franklin.

 and here's our little evil genius baldy!
And for some reason, even though he had really lost most of hair anyway - he looked like a totally  different baby to me!  And I looked at him and said "Wo - it's Anderson!!"  (Anderson is Freddy's double cousin)  What do you think?   Sometimes we call him TMA - time machine Anderson.
(baby anderson - left)

 Freddy, how do you feel about your bald head?

Well, he got more confident about it and even modeled for a photoshoot with his auntie.

 Oh, how thankful I am to Kate for having this talent and sharing it with me!!  These are such a treasure.
5 MONTHS cont....


6 month stats are as follows: head 90%, height: 26 inches (25%), weight 14.7 lbs (5%)  The doc was saying at least he was following his growth curve but then stocked me up with lots of free formula and advice on fatty foods. 

But he's just so dern happy.  So he can't be too hungry right?

Sitting up.
He started sitting up really early - like 4 1/2 months.  But even at almost 7 months - he sits up for long periods of time but still topples over.  He doesn't have quite the sturdy base my other kids had.  But he sure is a strong, wiry one.  He's been doing planks and push-ups for a while too.  

(almost 7 months)

Oh Freddyboy - you are our joy of joys.  We'll do our best to not take advantage of your quiet sweetness in all the mayhem.  But bless your little heart for not adding to it. :)

Every story has a beginning...

Joey and Katie first met in Mr. Hawkes 3rd grade class at Valley Elementary. They became good friends in Jr. High and best friends in High School. Katie wrote to Joey on his mission in Tiajuana and Joey wrote to Katie later on her mission in Tokyo. Years later at the ripe old age of 25, these best friends finally fell in love... or maybe just realized they were already in love. They got married on January 22, 2004.

happy kids

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