Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Getaway

Ok, so this post is a little delayed, but better late than never, right?! This Thanksgiving we made the long drive up to Idaho Falls, ID to be with Steve's family. This was an extra-special Thanksgiving because ALL of Steve's seven siblings were there with their families, which hasn't happened in a long time! So we started off driving on Wed. at 5 am, and when we got to Lehi, UT we were able to meet up with some GREAT friends, it was so fun!!! We couldn't stay very long, but it was so great to have even just an hour with them! So, when we finally got to Idaho, it was awesome to see everyone and see how much the nieces and nephews have grown up. We had a blast playing basketball on Thanksgiving morning (and Lightning and Horse for those of us who are athletically challenged ;)), and then we all enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast, of course, and we had fun just talking, watching movies, playing games and then shopping on Black Friday. And for once I didn't need to get up super early because I have all my shopping done already, YAY! But my sister and I went later on just because, uh, well what else do you do on Black Friday?? Anyways, on Sat. morning all of the adults enjoyed a temple session together, and then spent the next couple days playing foosball, around-the-world ping pong, Wackee Six, Phase 10, putting puzzles together, eating SO MUCH GOOD FOOD, etc. etc. Overall it was a great Thanksgiving weekend, and I'm so glad everyone was able to be there!!!!

On a more serious note, I just want to make a short list of things I'm grateful for (this is more for my sake, so feel free to skip over this if you want :)) ::: Steve-- without you I would be missing half of me. It's impossible to put into words how much I love you and am grateful for you every day-- for your love, support, wisdom, humor, smiles, hugs and kisses, advice, and for my best friend. Jake-- for teaching me patience (still working on it), how to love unconditionally, how to put someone else's needs before my own, how to find humor in frustrating situations, and how much Heavenly Father must trust me to send down a new little person who is so small and helpless and precious and amazing. I love you forever. The Gospel-- for all the things I know to be true and how that knowledge changes my life and makes it better. For my Savior and His Atonement, that even though I am FAR from perfect, I know that He is on my side, and has made it possible for me to repent and change. My family-- Without my parents I wouldn't exist, and without their examples I wouldn't be where or who I am today. Now that I have a child I have just a glimpse of how much they sacrificed for me, and how much they still do everything with their children in mind. Thank you! For my siblings, who are my best friends and support systems, and who inspire me and others more than they know! I am grateful for Steve's good, stable job, especially in these hard times; for my friends!! There are definitely awesome people in this world!; for a roof over our head, food to eat and clothes to wear; for two running cars; sunshine; the internet; cameras to put memories on paper; tithing; medicine; prayer; air conditioning/heat; running water... and the list goes on and on. I'm grateful for my life-- hard times and all!!

The Utah crew: Andrea, Devin and Carter Phillips; Emily (pregnant with Luke) and Jesse Havens; Steve, me and Jakers, and Jeremy Stoker
Checkin' each other out first...
... then off to sharing crackers!
Aww, these guys are so awesome!!! Steve became friends with Devin and Jeremy in High School, but Steve and Jesse have been friends since Elementary days. I think they all will be forever friends :)
And it's a good thing Devin and Jesse married such AWESOME chicas, because now we can be forever friends, too!!! Seriously, these girls are too awesome for words!!
Ok, on to Idaho! Here is little Savannah, just 3 weeks older than Jake. I hope they are good friends growing up!
Our future basketball star.
YAY!! My sister, Sarah, was able to spend most of the weekend with us!! She's at school at BYU-Idaho, so she was only a half hour away. Jake was her buddy for 4 days, and it was awesome, let me tell ya. We love you, SAWAH!!!!!
The annual Thanksgiving b-ball game
All the girls went out to eat for lunch on Black Friday. The waiter didn't get me in the picture :(
The English Christmas Tree!! This is one of my favorite Knowles/English heritage traditions. You stuff a Christmas tree (or in their case, TWO Christmas trees!) full of odds and ends gifts. They can be goofy, practical, or whatever you want. Then each person (or family) takes turns picking things off the tree one at a time until everything is gone. Some of the things we got were hand towels, an egg separator, a mini strainer, a flashlight, books, lotion, a pan scraper, and a little clock. Jake got 2 books, puzzles, a soft little soccer ball, and a teddy bear. Good times!

Natalie and Josh working on a puzzle.
Steve's parents, his siblings and their spouses. I love this family!!!!
So, after we left Idaho, we stopped in Provo to visit my sister, Emily, and bro-in-law, David. They are newlyweds going to school at BYU, and they were kind enough to make us some lunch! Thanks guys!!! They were also kind enough to give Jake some maracas to play with, and a mustache!

Thanks for letting us come see you guys!!! We love you!!! :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

First STEPS!!!

Jake actually WALKED tonight!! He took his first real non-wobbly step yesterday, then another one today, and then tonight he was standing in front of me and I motioned for him to "come here" and he WALKED to me instead of crawled!! We didn't get his best "round" on video, unfortunately, but before we started taping he had a round of 6 or 7 steps! We're so excited for Jake, he's going to just love walking, I know it! As for me and Steve, wish us luck ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Pop-tart Bandit

Jake has always been a curious little boy. We even call him Curious George, he's just always exploring and getting into things, and it can get pretty tiring. I love this about him though, because he will usually stay focused on something until he knows how it works, or what to do with it. Well, the other day, he was in our 3rd bedroom where I had piled our food storage in the middle of the room because I was going to organize it and put it away. There were boxes and boxes of things and I thought he would have a fun time pushing stuff around and climbing on the boxes (don't worry folks, the boxes weren't too high, and they were the durable-kind you get at Costco or Sam's with the heavy duty cardboard, so he couldn't hurt anything). Anyways, I knew that would keep him busy for a while, so I was in the kitchen doing dishes and stuff. Well I went to go check on him about 15 minutes later because it had all of a sudden gotten quiet (and we all know what that means). I laughed SO HARD when I saw what he had done. He had opened the heavy-duty cardboard part of a box of Pop-tarts, and then the smaller regular-size box of Pop-tarts, and THEN the individual BAG and was eating a Pop-tart!!! I still don't know how in the world he did it, especially in 15 minutes, but it was a result of the Curious George in Jake. Oh yeah, and no adult supervision, hehe. But he was so proud of that Pop-tart, though. When I found him, he had beaver-chewed it all around the edges and was getting to the good-stuff, and I was going to take it away from him so he wouldn't get a sugar rush but then I realized that he had EARNED that sucker!! To say the least, it was hilarious, and I'm laughing to myself as I write this. For the next 20 minutes until he had finished it he kept holding it up to me as if it were some kind of trophy he had won. Oh, that kid... I wouldn't trade him for anything.
Pure happiness right here!
Clapping his hands together with the Pop-tart and the bag.
Taking a big ol' bite of good-ness.

A Reception and Reunion

When I lived in Arkansas (junior high and high school years), my family made good friends with another family in our ward, the Wright family. All the kids were about the same ages, so we always did a TON of stuff with them. My mom and Stephanie Wright are still best friends to this day, and we look for any excuse to see each other now that my family is up in Seattle and the Wright's are still in Arkansas. I just love all of them, and there are always LOTS of laughs when we get together :) So, their daughter, Brianna, got married not too long ago and her new husband is from SoCal so they had a reception there, and Steve, Jake and I were able to go and see them and it was SO FUN!!! Congrats, Brianna and Paul!!

They had bubbles and Jake of course was loving it.

Jim and Stephanie
The Happy Couple: Paul and Brianna Ovuoba :)
Jake LOVED Stephanie, he took right to her. I'm not surprised ;)

Thanks, guys, for inviting us to the reception, and thanks, Paul, for being from SoCal so we could make it to your reception!! It was great to see you guys, we miss you!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween= FUN!!

We had a GREAT Halloween!! It was so fun to dress up for our ward party, go to a pumpkin patch, and go trick-or-treating with friends. And, Steve was pretty excited to get Jake's candy bucket all to himself, since I'm cutting out sugar for a little while to finally get this baby weight off once and for all! Anyways, hope everyone had a fun Halloween as well. Let the holidays begin!!!! (ps. This is my FAVORITE FAVORITE time of year!!! Well, this and the next couple months, hehe.)

Straight from the zoo: Me- a tiger; Jake- a monkey; Steve- our zookeeper!! I'm sad, these first two pictures are the only ones we got at our ward party.
He didn't really like the hood at first, but he got used to it as time went on :) ______________________________________________________

Peltzer Farms Pumpkin Patch!! It was a lot of fun! They had pumpkin picking of course, pony rides, a corn maze, a petting zoo, and train rides, but we were lame and cheap this year and only got a pumpkin. But it was still fun to look at the animals from far away and let Jake watch other kids ride the ponies, haha.

These were the coolest pumpkins I've ever seen! They were half white, half orange. Cool!
(Ok, I don't know what it is about blogger, but it never lets me turn the pictures around!)

So handsome...
Jake and Mom turned into pumpkin eyeballs!
He's about 2 1/4 feet tall this fall!
Wait... I mean 5 feet! Slight miscalculation, haha.
Time for Trick-or-Treating!!! What we've all been waiting for! We went with our good friends Cameron and Rachel Martin, and their little girl Candice, who is just 3 months older than Jake. She was a monkey, too, and they were ADORABLE!!

Gotta love the tail.
Jake and Candice, the two little crazy monkeys!
Candice's costume was a lot cooler than Jake's, it was stuffed all around the middle, and it had feet! Jake's didn't have either one, but it was still way cute ;) So their hands are kinda blurry because they were both dancing up and down together, ha!
Time to knock on doors....
.... so we can inhale all of our candy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Box!

I love getting packages and letters in the mail, and a few days ago I was surprised to find that we had received a box from Steve's mom! Well, usually boxes that we get from her are filled with all sorts of goodies, and I was super excited to find out that this one was no different! It was a Halloween box full of three little pumpkins, gourmet candy corn, a cute pumpkin door decoration, Halloween tissues, a stuffed pumpkin, and three Halloween "characters": two filled with candy and peanuts for the "grown-ups", and Jake's was filled with Coco Puffs, Honeycomb, honey pretzels, animal crackers and sweetened Cheerios! It was so fun!!! Thanks Mom K for thinking of us!!

Gourmet candy corn flavors: Pumpkin Spice, Apple cider, Chocolate, Creme Brulee, Blueberry Cobbler and Caramel ;)
Chowing down on his goodies, Yum-o!!


So, Steve is taking Real Estate Investing classes, a lot of it he is doing online, but the actual classes are held in Phoenix, and he's gone 4 times in the past year and a half for about a week at a time. Usually, I go with him and we stay with my Grandma who lives in Sun City, which is only about 10 minutes from his school. Well, this time, my mom was supposed to fly down from Seattle a couple days after we got there, but she and my grandma surprised us with having her there right when we got there! It was a great surprise!! Jake just absolutely loves his Grammy :) Thanks, Grandma and Mom, for a FUN FUN FUN week!!!!!

My mom brought this table for Jake, it plays music and sings the ABC's and stuff, and he just has a ball with it (as you will see in the video below!).

His mouth wasn't big enough for all the fries he was trying to eat.
Lemon face :)
All of us (minus Steve) at a really yummy restaurant.
We found out he loves whipped cream... but who doesn't??
Kisses from Grammy

My grandma, mom and Jake... and a pretty waterfall!
As you can see from these videos, my mom is kinda crazy ;) But we love her!!!! Thanks, Grandma, for bringing her to your house for SUCH a fun visit!!!