Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Family Pictures Teaser

Here's a teaser from this year's family pictures.  I'll post more very soon . . .

Our photogapher was amazing!  We will definitely use her again.  She took some great pictures of the babies too.  Those will be posted soon too, I promise.

Can you tell what we were trying to spell here?  I feel like this picture really represents my life right now.  Fun and chaotic all at once!

Moon Family

Our Future's So Bright . . .

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Apparently, the last time I posted was in April.  I knew it had been a long time, but I didn't realize just how long.  I haven't even been on blogger to read all of your blogs, which I miss immensely!  I guess life just got a little to busy and hectic.  And blogger had to go for a while.  Hopefully I'm back now.

I'm sure I have a lot to tell you about.  I hope I took a lot of picture, because that is really how I remember what I've done lately.  Hence, the need to return to blogger and my journal so my kids can fill in the gaps in their/my history.

We are doing well.  The kids are growing like weeds still!  Braden and Natalie just turned 2 yesterday.  I have no idea how two years have elapsed since their birth.  They are adorable and very good at tantrums already.  I really miss them being babies!  Oh well.  Better gear up for toddler life . . . potty training, destroying anything they can get into, discovering everything, learning so many new words and concepts, etc.  This is such a fun age!

Peyton and Maryam started 1st grade in August.  They still attend the charter school near us.  So far I think they love school.  They seem to have fun and enjoy their teachers.  It's really hard for me to be removed from their experiences and not really know what they are doing all day.  I would love to be a fly on the wall . . .

I'll post more soon.  With more pictures!  (I'm sure I said that the last time I posted too.  :)  I really do mean it!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Growing Kiddos, October 2011 (a catch up post)

I tried to get the kids to sit still for some pictures last October.  Here's what I got.  There's nothing of real portrait quality, but it's fun to see them squirm and wiggle from picture to picture.  They're growing so fast, I have to capture the images I can, frame worthy or not!
Braden and Natalie
October 2011

Maryam, Braden, Natalie, Peyton
October 2011

this one was almost perfect . . . .

A Mommy Moment (a catch up post)

Being a mommy is more than a full time job, as I'm sure you know.  Being a stay-at-home mom is the most demanding job I've ever had.  I love it!  But it also has it's share of frustrations.  Sometimes I'll escape alone to the bathroom for a few minutes to find my sanity.  Often, there are little hands knocking or pounding on the door and little voices calling for me just outside.  I decided to try to capture this moment last October.  This is what I often find when I open the door to exit the bathroom.
Peyton, Maryam, Natalie, Braden
They didn't know I was going to take a picture, but as soon as they saw my phone in camera mode, they all smiled.  Or maybe they're smiling because they're so glad to see me . . . .

My Birthday, 2011 (a catch up post)

I was struggling last year, feeling very sad--even depressed--that I had not been able to go to Utah to visit my family for a very long time.  Between being pregnant, having tiny babies, and the financial set backs that everyone is feeling in this tough economy, it has now been a little more than three years since we have been able to go to Utah or Idaho to see family.  Tobin's parents are able to come to see us several times each year, and his brother Tony and family came for Braden and Natalie's baby blessing.  My parents and a few of my siblings were also able to come for the baby blessings.  But most of my siblings had not even met my babies by last September, when they were almost a year old.

Because my siblings and their spouses and my parents are FABULOUS, they decided to bring me to Utah for my birthday last year.  I was still nursing the babies, so there was a little figuring and finagling that had to be done to make it work.  In the end, my sister Emily flew to California for a couple of days and then flew back with me so that we could bring the babies with us to Utah.  I had a wonderful time there for almost a week.  And Tobin had a wonderful time at home with just Peyton and Maryam.  It was so great to see my parents and siblings and their spouses and children.  I really miss them!


This was Braden and Natalie's first time on an airplane.  We brought the car seats and stroller to the gate with us, hoping the plane wouldn't be full.  They were flying as lap children, but since there were extra seats on the flight, we were able to bring their car seats on and not have to hold them the entire time.  With the help of a little Dimetap, they were fabulous airline passengers!  In fact, several people around us commented on their good behavior once we landed in Salt Lake City. 

Joan, Grandpa Wasden, and Natalie
We had a get together with some of the Wasden aunts and uncles, and of course Grandpa and Joan. Natalie snuggled right up to Grandpa Grape (the grandkids' name for him).  Adorable!
Renee, Lewis, and Braden
Braden could be found chilling with his Aunt Renee and Uncle Lewis.  He loves them!
Gideon (and Lewis in the background)
We got to meet Gideon, Bruce and Marissa's son who is just three months older than Braden and Natalie.  He is adorable and so sweet!  They're going to have great times together when they are a bit older.
Lewis, Braden, Krissy, and Natalie (and Gideon on the floor)
I got lots of help with chasing babies and changing diapers.  It's good practice for Lewis . . . and I think he got the diaper on frontwards this time.  :)
We also got to meet Jade, Anna and Kyle's baby girl who was born in July 2011.  She wasn't so happy about this photo shoot in her blessing dress.
Anna, Sarah, Lydia, Emily

Braden and Natalie enjoyed lunch at Wendy's too!
We enjoyed some big sister time shopping at Savers and lunching at Wendy's.  I think of my sisters every time I see Wendy's now.
Natalie, Great Grandma, Braden
We got to spend some time with Grandma Walther too.  She celebrated her 90th birthday in July 2011, and I was really sad that we had to miss the party.  I think we were the only ones missing from the Walther clan.

Natalie Catherine and Grandma Catherine the Great
Natalie Catherine is named after her great grandma, Catherine Jacobsen Walther.  I was so happy that they would get to meet each other!

Braden and Aunt Krissy
Red heads have to stick together!  Braden had tons of fun playing with Aunt Krissy.
Natalie and Lydia
For my birthday, we had root beer floats.  They filled my cup with ice cream and a candle so they could sing happy birthday.  After we removed the candle, they added the root beer.
Emily and Natalie

Braden, Kyle, and Jade
At the end of the trip, my mom flew home with me and the babies.  She was able to stay with us in California for a few days as well.  We really enjoyed getting to spend time with her, especially since Peyton, Maryam, and Tobin didn't get to come to Utah with us.

Emily was the organizer of this fabulous birthday trip.  I am so thankful that she made this happen.  What a sweet sister who listened to my woes, and then took action to help make me happier.  If I had blogged about this sooner, I'm sure I would remember more details about how many dinners we had together and more specific things that we did.  But what I do remember most, and what I'll never forget, is the love I felt from my brothers and sisters and parents who sacrificed so that I could come spend some time with them.  This was one of the best gifts I've ever received!

Time to Catch Up

I haven't blogged in too long.  And I haven't uploaded any pictures in too long.  So, I'm going to start working on several catch up posts.  It's more for me, than for any of you readers.  I'm counting this blog as one of the ways I'm recording things about my life for my posterity.  And I like that I can easily attach pictures here--more easily than in my hand written journal.  So, enjoy a look into the past six months or so as I get myself up to date in the next several posts.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Appreciate The Climb

Life sure gives us lessons.  I think my childhood was pretty easy.  Even my years as a teenager and young adult seem easy in retrospect.  Once I got married, life really ramped up with the lessons -- taught by difficult trials.  I'm sure I had trials before I got married, but now I can't really remember many of them well.  Interesting how things that I must have found so important and life altering in the moment are now all but forgotten.  Or maybe it's that they don't seem so difficult anymore.

As a newly-wed I began the encounter with my first really difficult trial.  I figured I would learn something and finish (for lack of a better word) the trial in a relatively short period of time.  The trial was our desire to have a baby.  As you may already know, that trial continued for many years, even presenting itself as we desired to have more children after our first set of twins was a couple years old or so.  There were times when I expected the Lord to deliver us from this difficulty quite quickly.  There were many other things going on in our lives to the tune of college education, hefty church callings, student teaching, job changes (and lack thereof), moving to a new state, going through many different doctors--some really terrible, more job changes, etc.  I was tried more deeply than I knew possible.  And at some point I figured this was it; our one big huge trial.  I didn't know why the Lord would give us our biggest, most difficult defining trial so early in our married life.  And I think I also figured that once we got through this, once we finally leaped this huge hurdle, that would be it.  We would be golden.  Life would be easy.  We could just "endure," and coast on through the rest of our easy lives. 

I seriously think I believed that delusion at one point.  Maybe I needed to believe that to get through.  Well, since then I've learned that there are a lot more difficult trials in our path of life.  In fact, those children we prayed for so desperately sometimes ARE these newer trials . . . but that's another post entirely.  My mom recently shared with me some words of wisdom that she learned from another wonderful lady.  The idea she shared with me was something like this: I need to enjoy the moments in this challenge, climbing this mountain, because once I reach the summit I'll find that there is another larger mountain just beyond this one.

If someone had told me that while I was younger and trying so hard to have babies, I might have called them a liar.  That trial was so heart wrenching, the emotion was so raw and immediate and unending.  I couldn't imagine there could be any other difficulty in life that would compare.  And in some ways, no other trial does compare to that one.  But each new big trial I face seems to have it's own difficulties.  A new way I need to be refined.  A new way I need to be humbled.  And I'm grateful to recognize that the Lord knows my weaknesses so well.  He knows what I need to change so that I can be strengthened further.  Eternity must take some serious mettle!  I thought I had learned so much by the time those first babies finally were conceived.  Then, as I've realized at other times in my life, it seems the more I know, the more I realize I don't know.  The more I learn, the more I realize I need to learn.  I really hope by the time I die I have come to a point where I feel like I've made some serious progress on the learning.

As I struggle through my mountain climbs, I think I've become more aware and more sympathetic to the climbs I see others struggling to achieve.  My heart aches as I watch friends and family facing their own challenges.  I wish I could help them somehow.  But I don't really know how to get through my own climb yet.  And I realize all I can do is love them and pray for them, as I pray to make it through my own difficulties.

I think these trials have also made me more aware and appreciative of my blessings.  Of course I know the Lord has given me all things.  However, that knowledge becomes more poignant, more meaningful, as I recognize the little (and big!) miracles, the tender mercies, He bestows on me.  My new resolve is to enjoy the climb, enjoy the enjoyable moments in the struggle.  And learn gratitude for the struggle, the opportunity to learn, the challenge to allow my weaknesses to become strengths.  One of my close friends has often expressed her gratitude for her trials because it's an opportunity to grow, learn, strengthen her testimony.  I think I've felt a bit of that before.  Now it's time I really learned to be grateful for the difficult, defining moments of my life.  Even when "moments" means long, difficult years.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Where Did February Go?

Well, another month seems to have slipped by without any blogging done.  Oh well.  The good news is that I did manage to feed and clothe my family, do the laundry, keep the house fairly clean, etc.  I guess that will do for now.  I've thought about blogging a few times, but once I actually get to the computer I can't remember the pithy topic I was all set to describe.  Alas . . .

We've had a good month.  Life as usual has continued.  Peyton has his first two loose teeth, with his first two adult teeth coming in behind them.  I make him let me check their wiggliness (is that a word?) every day.  I think the baby teeth will be out any day now.  I think wiggly teeth are so cool!  I remember enjoying the experience as a kid.

Peyton and Maryam were both recommended for visits to the eye doctor after their school eye exams a few weeks ago.  They were both seen at our eye doctor last week and both are getting glasses for reading.  *sigh*  The doctor says they are both on the cusp of either growing out of their farsightedness or getting worse.  We'll wait to see which way they go.  Luckily, we do have insurance, so the cost was not too terrible.  They actually look really cute with their glasses on.  I'll post some pictures once we get them.  I'm worried about glasses getting lost or broken at school.  I've told them that they need to wear their glasses all day at school.  Peyton initially told me he didn't need his glasses for school since he doesn't do reading there.  Ha!  I told him that the work he does at school is like reading and is, in fact, helping him learn to read, so we will include "school work" in the "reading" category for his glasses.

Natalie is doing really well with her physical therapy.  She had an appointment a couple weeks ago, and again her therapist was really happy with her progress.  She expects Natalie to start taking steps on her own in the next few weeks.  We are working with her on cruising the furniture and moving from one surface to another.  She is doing great!

Braden has the cutest smile ever!  And the most terrible whine ever.  I'm working hard to get him to learn more signs.  Either that or I think I will need to be admitted to the mental hospital soon.  His whining really pushes me close to the edge!  He does know several signs, but he usually chooses to use only one - it's sort of a mix of "ball" and "more" and "cracker."  He does that sign for everything, so, sadly, it has come to mean nothing.  Lately, I'm making him do the correct sign (with help, if needed) before I will give him what he wants.  It's a good thing he has that cute smile!  And once I finally figure out what he does want, he utters the cutest little, "Uh huh!" 

I'm sure I've left out some exciting things from our month.  I'll probably remember them when I look through the pictures on my camera again.  Then I'll have something to write about in another post.  And you'll be so excited to see that I've posted more frequently than once a month!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Going Through the Motions

The babies are at such a fun age!  And such a difficult age too.  We are at the point where going to church feels almost pointless.  I guess we are there to teach the babies that this is what we do on Sunday and for the older kids to learn something.  I'm certainly not getting much out of it right now.  Tobin and I spend most of Sacrament Meeting in the foyer with restless or screaming babies.  Today I was interpreting for my deaf friend and both babies started screaming at the same time.  Another friend had to take over interpreting so that I could help Tobin take the babies out.  I spend all of Sunday School in the halls and/or foyer, and if I'm lucky I get to stay in Relief Society because the babies are so tired they will finally fall asleep.  Just nine more weeks until they can start going to Nursery!  Wow!  (I seriously can't believe they are almost 18 months old already.)  What a relief it will be to take them to Nursery and get to sit through a lesson without a squirmy, screaming, or cranky baby on my lap.  (But I think I might miss them, too.)

Today was a rough mommy day, all the way around.  Church was hard.  Tobin taught Elder's Quorum today, so I had both babies with me.  I don't mind taking them so he can do his calling.  But it does take a lot out of me.  Luckily, I have a fabulous visiting teacher and a fabulous sister-in-law who help me out a lot!  After church I had some trouble with Maryam.  She acts so much like a teenager sometimes.  I probably get frustrated too easily, too.  I'm really trying to work on being patient and speaking calmly with my children.  That all went out the window today.  I ended up feeling like I just wanted to run away from home.  Alone.  This mommy business can be SO HARD! 

Don't get me wrong.  I really love my kids, and I would not trade them for anything.  It's just hard to feel like I have run out of tricks and tools in my mommy bag and things still aren't going right.  I think I'm just down on myself right now.  Sunday is usually my lift for the week.  My chance for renewal.  When I don't get to listen or try to feel the Spirit, it's hard to feel renewed.  I need to do a better job of finding that lift and renewal on my own all week long.  It's just hard to find any time for myself.  I already can look around my house and list so many things that need my time and attention, on top of the everyday demands of four kids and a husband.

On the positive side, this coming weekend is our 13th wedding anniversary.  We have planned a night away, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law are going to watch all four kids.  (They are saints!)  I'm really looking forward to some time to relax and rejuvenate.  I know we both need it!

Because I'd love to hear your ideas and get some fresh perspective, feel free to comment and answer these quandries . . .
When you are feeling down or frustrated, what is your best way to break out of the blues?
What are your strategies when you have run out of mommy tools and you want to just throw in the towel?
What do you do for yourself during the week?  How do you fit in "me" time?

Walking and Almost Walking

Braden started walking independently last weekend at Uncle Roy and Aunt Linda's house.  I forgot to mention it in my post from last week.  It was so exciting to watch him take those first few steps on his own.  He really seems to like it and has not looked back.  This week, every time I turn around I see him standing in the middle of a room or walking across a room.  He still walks on his knees sometimes when he gets tired or frustrated, but he is always willing to get back on his feet when I offer to hold his hand.  He is such a cutie!

Natalie's physical therapist recommended a high top shoe from Stride Rite a couple weeks ago.  I got her the shoes, and she is quickly becoming much more confident in her standing.  She loves to have someone hold both of her hands so that she can try to walk like her twin brother.  She is still pretty shaky and makes jerky movements as she walks.  But I can certainly see that she is making progress.  She will stretch up onto her tiptoes all by herself in order to reach for things.  That's an improvement for her.  Getting up on tiptoes has been one of her PT exercises for the past couple of months.  For a while I had to hold her by the hips and help her move up onto her toes.  I'm happy to see her able to do it by herself now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What to do . . .? Your advice is requested.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  Especially because we receive so many wonderful Christmas cards and letters updating us on the lives of friends and family.  The saddest time of the year is when I have to take down the Christmas cards.  I have been known to leave them up until after Valentine's Day.  We have a few friends who send their yearly card/letter for Valentine's Day, so I've justified leaving up the Christmas cards because their friends are still on the way.  This year I had to take the cards down already.  They are usually posted on the wall just below the railing to our stairs.  My sweet little babies have learned to climb the stairs and wouldn't leave the cards alone.  Thus, they had to be removed, lest they be destroyed.  But now what do I do with them?  I feel so sad thinking of throwing them in the trash.  Think of all the beautiful pictures and thoughts in that stack of cards!  Think of all the fond memories of family and friends!  Think of how I cherished each card as I took it out of the mailbox, opened it, devoured the news, ooh-ed and aah-ed at the beautiful photos!

This is where I need your advice.  Clearly you can see I have a problem.  Right?!?!  After the season, what do you do with the Christmas cards you received?  Is there something to be done other than throwing them in the trash?  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this.  Please!  Even if your answer confirms my fears that there is nothing to be done but throw them out.

(By the way, I know exactly what my husband will say . . . . Throw them out!  He doesn't seem to have sentimental attachments to such objects, like I do.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wonderful Weekend

I didn't take any pictures to document it, but we had a wonderful weekend!

Friday night I had an impromptu girls night.  It was so much fun!  We had to park far away from the restaurant and hurry through a downpour, but that seemed to make it more fun.  It was such a treat for me to be out of the house to do something fun all by myself!  Thanks, girls!

On Saturday evening we drove to my uncle and aunt's house in Modesto to spend the night.  It was so fun to be there and just relax.  They are great at being a grandma and grandpa.  Our kids had fun watching movies and playing with their toys.  It was so nice to catch up and get a dose of Wasden.  We had a long night, since little Natalie didn't sleep much.  That meant that Mommy and Daddy didn't sleep much either.  Usually we would check her diaper, make sure she was ok, and just let her cry it out.  But we didn't want to keep everyone in the house awake all night, so we were up with Natalie trying to keep her quiet.

Sunday morning we got to hear my cousin Tyler report on his mission in their ward's Sacrament Meeting.  We also got to hear him speak in a Spanish branch a little later.  Uncle Roy spoke after Tyler in their ward.  I think Tobin and I both enjoyed going to church without having any responsibilities.  It was so nice to feel the spirit and enjoy family.  After church, we had lunch with Aunt Linda and Tyler.  Uncle Roy got a break in meetings and we got to see him again for a few more minutes.

After lunch we headed home and had our monthly extended Family Home Evening with my parents and siblings via computer.  I miss my family so much!  This weekend was really nice to have some time with them, in person and through the blessing of technology.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Projects

My sister-in-law inspired me to do mostly hand made gifts for Christmas this year.  I found tons of great ideas on Pinterest!  Here are pictures of the things I made as gifts this year.  I think I'll do things a little differently next year, so that the kids can be more involved in the gift giving (and making).  I had so much fun making all of these, though!

a skirt for my niece
an apron for my brother-in-law

a wall hanging for my sister-in-law

a wall hanging for my sister

abc book for my niece

menu board for my sister-in-law

army wife bag and clutch for my sister-in-law

matching pajama pants for the whole family
(clearly I'm lacking some pictures here) 

dresses for the girls and ties for the boys
 Whew!  That was a lot of work!  I still have quiet books to finish up for the babies.  I intended for them to be Christmas presents, but they are taking way too long to finish!  I'll post pictures of them once they are done.  Maybe I'll finish them in time for Christmas this year.  :)  I'm also working on a quilt for my bed.  I really need to finish that soon.  Any ideas on how to machine quilt a large quilt on a regular sewing machine are welcome. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Look

I've been thinking about cutting my hair a lot shoter for several months.  I finally got the nerve to do it and made an appointment.  This morning I was so nervous about it I thought I might throw up.  I almost cancelled the appointment.  But I told myself to suck it up; it's just hair, it will grow back.

So I went through with it.  I LOVE the results!

My kids were at a friend's house while I was getting my hair done.  When I picked them up, Braden started crying as soon as he heard my voice.  I picked him up, and he continued wailing.  He would not be calmed until my sister-in-law held him.  I tried to take Natalie from my SIL, but she didn't want me either.  Peyton says I look sort of like a boy.  Maryam says my hair looks nice.  She might think about cutting hers the same way too.  Tobin loves my new look too.  (He has to, though, right!?!?)  I'm amused at the varied reactions of my family.  I think the babies have finally gotten used to my new hair tonight.  We will see what happens in the morning after a full night's sleep to forget again.

I was really getting tired of my longer hair, and it seemed to always be in a ponytail.  I'm really excited about this new 'do! 

Unattended Camera

Here's what happens when I leave my camera unattended while I go to the bathroom . . .

There were more, but I figured you get the idea from these.