Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Coding

Carson had his first study trip of the year and it was all about coding. Carson started learning how to code this summer and really, really enjoys it. He was so excited about this study trip. He loved being a creator as the people at Microsoft called them. 


He got to work with Enock. 


Of course the video games were his favorite. 


These 3 are back in action this year. 


I think 3rd grade is going to be a good one! 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Crazy


We just want to always remember what a crazy 1 year old Spencer is. He is a monster! If it can be climbed he will find a way, the table, the piano, a chair, any bench, he will knock over a toy and climb it, he climbs inside cabinets and into toy bins, up slides and over the couch. He falls all the time and hits his head daily. He is all over pushing everything over, breaking things, ripping paper and taking things apart. He takes the tops off all the markers and pulls everything off the refrigerator and out of the dish washer. Leave him alone for five seconds and he will pour beans all over the floor, knock water off the table and spill cereal everywhere. Everywhere I go people always say, oh man he is a busy boy. But here's the thing, he is the happiest little monster you ever saw. He smiles, all. day. long. He waves to everyone and claps and says 'hi' to all who he meets. He is happy every time I come to get him from his room and goes to bed happily for all his naps and bed times. He gets so excited when Aaron comes home from work and if he sees his siblings in the hall at church or at school pick up he runs up to them and gives them big hugs. He is so very loved. Even when he is full on crazy I can't help but cover him in kisses. We are so crazy about this baby boy we don't know what to do with ourselves. XOXO 

A Mom of 2

I've been thinking a lot lately about life as a mom of 2. Now that Carson and Camilla are back in school I get to spend my days with my 2 youngest. And can I make a confession? I love it, like lots. I finally have Spencer on a great schedule and we just have so much fun. I told Aaron the other day that I really feel like I could have been a good Mom to 2 kids. I know that sounds dramatic but you know those moms. The ones where you are like oh she is such a good Mom. I feel like that kind of Mom when I have my 2 littles. We go on adventures, take walks, see the library, and go to the park. We read books, tell stories and play pirates outside. We run errands somewhat peacefully and the fits are very minimal. We bake cookies and muffins and laugh, a lot. The house stays pretty clean and Brooke handles Spencer's craziness very well. 

Playing pirates, we were fighting off the bad guys with pool noodles. 


These two love to play in the backyard. They dig, swing on the swing, play with the rocks and jump on the trampoline. 




They get pretty dirty so they take a lot of sink baths together to get clean. 


They love it. 


We love our relaxing walks. I can keep up with 2 kids pretty easily.  


But then my older 2 come home from school and chaos ensues. :) The house is suddenly a mess of crafts and books are everywhere. It is loud and the pantry and refrigerator are raided. Everyone starts asking me for dinner, after school activities are all over the place, and it just feels crazy. I feel my stress level slowly start to rise and it stays pretty high until my kids are in bed. It is something I am working on and trying to get better at but mostly I just try to remember that 4 kids is a lot. Life is busy, my kids are young and the most important thing I can do is give them my time and love. I tend to be the parent who is constantly telling my kids what they should be doing. They notice. I am trying to remember they are trying their best and things don't always need to be done on my time table. And I am trying to not make situations that don't need to be stressful, stressful. Its a process. I have small things I am doing each day to try to be better. Life with kids is all about phases, nothing lasts forever and I want to soak up this time more than I do. I know Camilla won't want to come home from school and climb in my lap and tell me every, single detail of her day for forever and that Carson won't strip down to his undies and read for hours for the rest of his life. Focusing on the blessings helps me and I hope to continue to improve. That's what life is all about right? :) 


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Saying Good Bye

So Cory and his family really left us. They decided to move to Utah for Cory to begin a new job and while we know this is a good move for their family we are so sad about it. We will miss them so much. Our kids love their kids and Sheppard is Carson's closest boy cousin. Cory and Delaney are always up for having fun and we love seeing them every time we go to Arlington. We decided to drive down for their last weekend. We got to spend a lot of time with them. I got to say good bye to their cute house and we even got an adults night out for sushi and snow cones. Texas lost a good one when they left. But on to new adventures. 

While we were there Aaron and Carson decided to do a day at Hurricane Harbor. Carson was pretty much in heaven and had the best day ever. 

He would ride those rides all day long. 


Grandma and Grandpa gave him 10 whole dollars to get some food. He was so very excited about this. 


Chicken tenders and french fries, such amusement park food. 


This was part 1 of Carson's Book of Mormon trip. The trip he earned by reading the whole Book of Mormon before his 8th birthday. We are so proud of this boy. 


After Carson's baptism we had a yummy dessert that everyone loved and it went so fast poor Carson didn't get any of it. He was so sad. So sweet Grandma got up early Sunday morning and made it for him before we drove back to Austin. Carson loved it. It was his first Sunday fasting and he was so diligent and obedient about it so his first meal was especially sweet. 


Oh we love this boy. 




Tuesday, August 8, 2017

These crazy kiddos

The kiddos got this fun tent from my parents for their birthdays. It is a new fun place to color, read or hang out. 


So these kiddos are kind of driving me crazy! I had a not so great morning where I couldn't get anyone to get ready for church. My kids all love going to church but Carson hates getting ready for anything and especially hates wearing church clothes! Aaron went to church early for meetings and it was time to leave and this was me. 


The girls were running around downstairs without shoes on, Carson was in his underwear not ready at all, and Spencer was asleep. I was resigned. I decided there was no way we were going to make it to church on time but we could make it to church before it ended. I finally got Carson to take a shower and get ready, the girls put on their shoes, and Spence woke up. It was a shorter than normal church but I kept my cool. We are all about the natural consequences and I think the natural consequence of this is not being able to go to church but they're just too little for that. Still trying to figure all this parenting stuff out....

The girls loved helping Daddy work from home and take some calls for him. :) 



Friday, August 4, 2017

Oh Carson and Happy Birthday Aaron

A few days ago Camilla was sent to her room for throwing a fit. While she was up there Carson disappeared for awhile and then after I put the kids to bed I found this note outside her door. 

Camilla, 

Sorry that you had to go to your room. But for only $1.25 you can get total protection from all bullies and bandits. 

Love, 
Carson

PS- Really I'm not ripping you off with this money. 


Oh this boy he cracks me up. He has been obsessed with making money all summer. He built a fort down stairs and charged the girls a quarter (which they payed) each time they wanted to go in and he made shops and sold toys. The kids each set up their own shops last week. Brookey's was a place to go when you are itchy and she will help you stop being itchy and feel better. Camilla's was a place you can go when you get in trouble to feel better or when you do something good and to feel special. Well Carson's, Carson's was a shop where you could pay him money for help with anything. The price started at $5 and after no takers he eventually got down to 5 cents. That is when I jumped in to tell him I had a problem and needed help getting my 8 year old to practice his piano. Hm... shop closed. I don't know if I will ever be able to take down that shop closed sign all year. I love him so much. 

We got Spencer a new float so I can feel better when we are all in the pool. He is kind of a wild man and hard to keep up with and I feel better that he has something that gives him a little bit of flotation. He still needs a hand on him at all times but its better than wild and free. 


Spencer loves Carson, following him around the pool and giving him hugs. 



We had some friends over on Aaron's birthday, it was 105 degrees. The snow cones were a must. 


Aaron had fun birthday with a long run in the trails and then a quick jump in the pool. He had a bit of relaxing and some sprinkler work and then he swam with the kids and then we were off on our date.

We started off with tennis. Aaron dominated me and it was dang hot but we had a lot of fun.


Then we went over to Barton Springs. Neither of us had ever been before. It is pretty awesome that this is right in down town. Well the water was cold, like freezing cold. After hanging out for like ten minutes I was like I am over this cold water.  


Love that you can see part of the sky line in the background. 


We were getting ready to go when Aaron, who had jumped in, asked me if I would be sad that I didn't jump in. So we did it. We held hands and jumped in together and we survived. Then we climbed out, jumped in again and swam across and back. I am glad we did it. 


Then we took our freezing bodies over to Hopdoddy's for dinner. I am realizing there are a lot of pictures of me, it was Aaron's big day but he is way better at taking pictures than me. We had amazing food and then needed to get home to take the babysitter home. 


That night we had amazing dessert and hung out. It was a really fun day. 

Aaron's actual birthday, the next day, not so much. It started off with Brooke waking us up at 6 (not normal) and it was a down hill from there. Kids were a nightmare, Aaron put together a hanging tent for the kids that ended up being a lot of work, I couldn't get everyone to get ready for church and then we were late. Church wasn't the best. Kids were out of control and Camilla had to stay with us the whole time. After a crazy dinner we had all the kids asleep before 7:30. 


Happy 35th birthday Aaron. We are luckiest to have you. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

First Day of School

Two days after we got back from our trip the kids started school. They were both very excited and happy to be back with their friends and teachers. We are lucky to have a school where the grades are looped so they have the same class/teacher for 2 years. This makes going back to school so much easier. 

I just can't believe we have a first grader and a third grader. This is Carson's last year at this campus. Tears...


We have had a child in Ms. Erhart's class the past 3 years. She is the best. She sent us this picture. 


She was all ready to go. 


I sure miss the big kids but I am happy to get back on a routine and finally establish a schedule for Spencer again. I hope this is a great school year for us! 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Part #2 Arkansas

So we made it back to Arkansas again and we were lucky enough to stay in the Gustafson's house while they were on a trip to Minnesota. We spent our time swimming in the pool and playing with cousins. There was also art and talking and running and golf and sweating, lots of sweating. It was a crazy hot week. We had meals together and the kids were just in heaven. 

The highlight of our trip was Carson's baptism. Our sweet boy made the decision to follow the example of our Savior and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was such a special day. 

Carson with his grandparents. 


Cory and Delaney made the drive up and Sheppard really loved the baptism. And he really loves Carson. 


These two have such a special bond. Aaron performed the baptism and gave Carson the gift of the Holy Ghost. Carson is lucky to have such a wonderful dad who holds the Priesthood and loves him so much. 


Carson was surrounded by so many people who love him. 5 of Aaron's six siblings and their families were all there, plus his parents. My parents made the drive and Cory and his family came as well. It was such a special day. I was filled with so much love for my Savior and for my family. 


Afterwards we all went to Aaron's parents for dinner and swimming. It was such a perfect night. 




Then Saturday morning we got up, cleaned the house, and started the trek back to Austin. We were beyond happy to get home! After putting the kids straight to bed we unpacked the whole car and bags and then we all crashed. Such a great trip and so many great memories. 


Friday, July 21, 2017

Pierson Family Reunion Part #1

So we headed out with a packed car and four little kids on a trip to the Pierson family reunion in Nauvoo and Arkansas. The kids were so excited for this trip. They were counting down the days and couldn't wait for the long drives in the car. 

Here we are all ready to go, not an inch of room left anywhere in that car. 


Some car crashing. This only happened once. Ha ha. Brooke and Camilla fell asleep a couple of times, Carson 0 and Spencer took a handful of 20 minute naps. It was not our best sleeping road trip. 

On day one we traveled to Little Rock and spent the night at Aaron's parents. We got in around 10:30 on Friday night. 


The next day we got up and drove to Champagne, IL to visit our dear friends, the Williams. Our kids instantly ran off together and we fell right in sync with these great friends. They were so nice and got a cake for my birthday since we were traveling all day on my actual birthday. 



Illinois is a beautiful place. Aaron and I got up early on Sunday morning and enjoyed the sunrise and some time alone before all the kids got up. 


After church and talking all afternoon the girls put on a show for us. The cutest show ever. The kids all got along so well. 


Future super stars. Camilla followed Julia around everywhere she went. 


Then on Monday morning it was time to get up and drive to Nauvoo. Here we met up with all our cousins and went straight to the historic part of Nauvoo and played games that our pioneers played and dressed up like them. 



We visited historic houses and watched a show put on by the performing missionaries. 



We learned all about steel and how they used it. 


That night we had our FHE. This is a tradition of the Piersons. We sing the family songs and this was our loudest and best year yet. 


Camilla and Emmy became good friends this visit. 


Grandma stepped up her game and accompanied us. 


It was a special night. Grandma and Grandpa shared their testimonies of why they choose Nauvoo for the reunion and that they know Joseph Smith was a prophet. Then the siblings gave them a present for their 50th wedding anniversary. It is a painting of their lovely home that they have lived in for almost 40 years. Aaron also wrote them an amazing poem about how they have made their home such a special place to be. Grandma and Grandpa are such good examples of marriage and love. We are lucky to have them in our lives. 

We were also lucky enough to celebrate our girl's 6th birthday. It was a special day. Big breakfast and tons of family wishing her a happy birthday all day. Carson went to Carthage Jail and had a good experience there with his cousins. 

That night we celebrated Camilla's birthday with donut game and the kids had a great time. 




We also had a big water balloon fight. 


And of course a big Happy Birthday serenaded to our girl who loves nothing more than being the center of attention. 


Lots of time spent playing with cousins. 




We stayed in this gigantic bunker house with like 30 bunk beds and huge bathrooms. It was really fun. 

That night we went to the pageant. It was amazing and we all had a great time. 


Camilla ended up crashing on Aaron's shoulder before the show started, kids were so worn out. 


Then the next day it was time to wake up, pack up and hit the road again.