Friday, December 21, 2012

July Adventures

Wow!  I have let way too much time lapse between updates so I'll try to do my best to catch us up month by month.  Gabby's 3rd birthday was on July 7th.  We celebrated with grandparents coming over.  First we did gifts:

As you can see, Gabby loved it all!

She wanted a Rapunzel cake so this is my sad attempt.  At least she knew who it was!

She's seriously so adorable!  We love our big Gabby girl!  She started potty training the day she turned 3.  She was off to a great start and struggled when Daddy left for training but she has it down pretty well now!

Will went to Kangaroo Zoo to celebrate Parker's birthday!  We sure miss Parker and his family!

Will with Kameron, one of his best pals that lives next door!

 The whole neighborhood crew!  Will sure had a blast!

The best thing that happened in July was....Rebecca was born!  We had been at some neighbor's playing games the night before and they must've gotten me laughing just enough to induce the labor 3 weeks early.  My water broke at 3:30am and we rushed to the hospital.  Luckily it didn't completely break and I actually made it to the hospital and even had time to get an epidural!  After going natural, it was a piece of cake!  My blood pressure dropped but they were able to remedy that before she was born.  Rebecca Ruth Russell was born at 5:54am weighing 5 lbs 14 oz and 17 in long on July 15th.  She was so beautiful!  I was in such a happy place and could enjoy her beautiful self! 

 She was struggling to breath so they put her on C-PAP for an hour and that seemed to do the trick!  She was just fine after that!

 Daddy was sure in love!

 He got a few weeks of enjoying her before he had to leave for 4 months of military training.

My favorite visitors!

Gabby is pointing at her new victim for smothering!

She sure does looooove her sis!

Will took a few peeks at her before he explored the room!

Lydia is so adorable with her too!

Rebecca looked so tiny when we put her in her car seat to go home!  She looks the most like Benjy out of all our children and I was so happy to have a part of Benj that was so familiar and loveable while I tried to cope with Benj's absence.  She has such a mild and easy-going personality and we couldn't be happier with our new addition!

Sweet Cody and Hayden gave us a nice surprise coming home from the hospital.

We ended the month by having Family Home Evening on the Title of Liberty.  Benj told the story from the Book of Mormon and then we made our own Title of Liberty, drawing the things that we will defend and treasure in our lives.

Some of it is upside-down but I think it's a pretty awesome symbol of what we treasure and love!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Field Artillery Family Day

Benj is the Communications Officer for a Field Artillery Unit. That means we got to go to a fun Family Day where they bus us out to the field and they show off their stuff! I didn't think that Lydia would be too keen on all the noise so she spent the day with Grandma while Will, Gabby, and I got to go! Their favorite part was going into the tanks to take a closer look and sitting in the humvee Daddy was driving that weekend!
They bussed us to one site where they shot from the tanks
Then we were bussed to another location where we could see where they landed. The kids enjoyed playing in the dirt while we waited ;) It was fun to see Daddy on his drill weekend and for the kids see him "be a soldier"! We sure love our hero!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Easter Fun

Easter this year was so much fun!  The kids got a nice surprise from the Easter Bunny that morning!

 He even thought of me and Benj!
 It was nice to stay home Easter Sunday.  Church was great and the kids were excited to wear their new clothes from me and Benj.  (See the family pics above to see their outfits)  Since we stayed home, I had a chance to make a traditional Easter dinner complete with a honey-glazed ham, funeral potatoes, and homemade rolls!

The next week, we celebrated with my family.  For the last year, my parents did the money egg hunt for me and my siblings.  Thank you, mom and dad for the extra cash ; )  Then the kids got to go at it for their hunt!  Lydia certainly did pretty well for herself!

Gabby enjoyed herself!

The next day, Benj's fam had their Easter Egg Hunt.  

Gabby needed a little assistance from Uncle Joey

Lydia got some help from her Momma

She needed a rest after all that hunting!

The kids enjoyed their spoils while Benj's Mom gave the adults theirs!  They have eggs that have the letters EASTER on them.  For each letter, we get some awesome food item like a meat, drinks, etc.  There's a number with each letter that determines who gets to have first pick of the options.  We sure appreciate our parents' generosity!  We hope you had a wonderful Easter!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pinning Ceremony

A few weeks after Benj returned home from OCS, it was all made official at his pinning ceremony.  These are all the candidates he went with to Ft. McClellan.  It's awesome that they all passed!

Gabby couldn't resist staying away from Daddy

He was sworn in by Major Cousins where they recite the oath.

Benj gave me the great honor of pinning him.  That meant a lot to me, considering Benj was the only one to ask his wife to do so!  I got to give it a little punch on there. (But not too hard; how embarrasing would it be to get knocked over by your pregnant wife ;)

Fortunately Benj's Dad was ranked high enough that Benj could give his first salute to him.  (The camera was a little late on the picture but a split second before this, they were saluting!)

Love love love Benj's parents!  They are so proud!

I suppose I'm proud too ; )
Maybe I can get Benj to post a few experiences he had at OCS but from my perspective, he worked so incredibly hard!  The dropout/fail rate is so high so it's a testament to Benj that he did so well!  I'm so blessed to have such an incredible provider/husband/father to my children.  Love him!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Family Pics

So, we try to make a tradition of taking family pictures every Easter Sunday.  It's kind of fun to see the contrast from last year!

Keep in mind these are the "cheese" faces; so lovely : ) Sweet William:

 I could not get Gabby to look at the camera and say "cheese"

My happy Lydia
So glad that Benj is home from OCS and love our cute family!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Sweet Valentines

Even though I didn't have a traditional Valentine's Day this year, we certainly enjoyed it! About a week and a half before, we all made Valentine cards for Daddy. Unfortunately, the cadre will literally stomp all over yummy care packages so that'll have to hold out until he gets home!

My Mom was sweet enough to do Valentines with the kids for me while I was at the temple the Thursday before.

Aren't they cute?!

On Valentine's Day, we made heart-shaped sugar cookies and were able to decorate them. Here's Will's creation!

Gabby's (With the full-on cheeser)

Lydia had a little help but there was pure joy on her face when she saw that she was allowed to just dig in!

Enjoying their handiwork

Look at that loveable, messy face!

Happy Valentine's Day! We hope yours was filled with love from those around you!

And as a fun side-note for this month, Lydia finally popped out that first tooth! Isn't she a doll?!