Sunday, December 20, 2009

Leah at 18 months

Our little Leah is officially a little girl but she will forever be my "Baby Love." Leah turned 18 months and is the joy of my heart. She still loves me and needs me in a way my older kids have outgrown. Leah knows that she is sooo cute and adored in our family but she in turn loves each family member as well. She says "Abi" really well and likes Abi to read to her, or hold her or help her with things. Talmage is really good to play with her. When Daddy comes home at night she runs for the door with up stretched arms squealing "Dadoo, Dadoo." In the middle of the night or when hurt or sad she still calls out "Mom, Mom," though.

Leah is really enjoying the Christmas season. She helps un-decorate the lower branches of our tree. She points at our tree and says, "Pretty, On!!!" indicating that she wants us to turn on the lights. Our Little People manger set is her favorite though. She always seems press the star to turn on the song during family prayer. She likes to carry the characters, especially Baby Jesus and the animals around, even to bed. So far she has only looked at the presents under the tree but she loved dancing on the unrolled wrapping paper as we tried to wrap presents. It made a nice crinkly sound. We went and visited Santa after the Downtown tree lighting and she did really well. At first she was curious about this strange man, then she got close enough to him that Abi could hold her for a picture and finally she let him hold her for a picture, but just for a minute.

Leah remains tall and skinny but her weight and her appetite are picking up. She is 33 1/2 inches tall which is the 95% for height, and 21.4 lbs for weight which is the 10%. I think that is the highest percentile for her weight since she was born. Leah had gone through a really picky stage but she is surprising me how much she will eat at some meals. Here she is eating a favorite - Mac & Cheese and peas. She also loves instant oatmeal, cream of wheat, tomato soup, any pasta with tomato sauce, apples without the skin, grapes, yogurt and anything with sauce. We have to be careful to keep all ketchup, jam, salad dressing etc. out of her sight or she will holler "Sauce" and climb on the table and will not be redirected until she has a big pile of "Sauce" on her plate in which she is sticking her fingers and then licking them off.

This picture is deja vu as I have one of Abi also clomping around in my shoes in her PJ's. Leah loves to put on her "Shuzy" and then will grab your hand and lead you toward the door to go "Side"/Outside. With the recent cold and snow I haven't taken her outdoors much. After the first snowfall, I bundled her up in snowpants, boots, coat, gloves and hat. She tromped around for a minute, tore off her gloves and refused to put them on again, started eating the snow, and then tripped and face planted in the snow and started crying. That ended our first snow outing. Leah's vocabulary is really expanding. She knows most parts of her body, titles to our family, foods like apples, cheese, "tookie", "Nack"/snack, "Juz"/ juice, "Mik"/ milk and water. She also knows to brush "teeth" and bath. Leah enjoys a few "Mooovie"s including "cars" and "Doggy" or 102 Dalmations. She also likes coloring pictures, playing with her toys and jumping on our little trampoline downstairs. Leah can communicate most of what she wants with words, Uh-Uh's, or by taking your hand and pulling you over to what she wants you to do. She adores Nursery and her leaders. Leah is a joy to all of her family.

Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas from the Meeks 2009

Kris and I celebrated our tenth anniversary this year. It was fun looking back and realizing how much we’ve done in the last ten years, how much we’ve grown ( +3 kids), and how many blessings we have received. To commemorate this banner year I have compiled a TOP TEN LIST of things that have happened in the Meek family this year.

10. Abi (8) and Tal (6) again played Spring Soccer with AYSO. Kris coached Tal’s team – the Fireballs. Dad especially learned a lot and the kids had a great time. Abi and Tal each scored several goals and we are proud of their hard work.

9. Abi turned eight years old and was baptized this June by her dad. We were so grateful to have many family and friends join us in celebrating this milestone. Abi gave a talk in sacrament meeting about her baptism in which she confessed she was a little scared at first, but afterwards thought “That was the easiest thing ever.”

8. Kris was called into the bishopric of our ward as the Second Counselor in July. I’ll admit, I bawled at first; but the Lord has truly blessed us. Two lovely angels sit with the kids and me on Sunday. Kris and I are learning even more how to schedule and balance our lives to keep the more important things and let go of the rest. Kris’s law practice is growing. And with the right attitude, we are growing closer as a couple and as a family by serving the Lord.

7. We took our first non-camping Family Vacation since law school this summer. We went down to Utah where we spent 2 days traipsing around Ogden Dinosaur Park, Hill Air Force Base, Hogle Zoo, Temple Square, the Clark Planetarium, and then a whole fun-filled day at Lagoon. Kris, Abi and Tal rode Wicked and claim it was “AWESOME!!!” but I was a big chicken.

6. Tal started Tae Kwon Do this Fall and is loving it. He is “this close” to earning his orange belt. His favorite part is breaking the boards.

5. Donalee and Kris are ever busy with their projects. I should say that Donalee keeps Kris busy with projects. We spruced up our deck and yard, refinished a dining room set, and redecorated Tal’s room. Kris is President of the local Civitan Club this year as well as being active in the Inn of Court (I don’t know either). I juggle PTO, church callings, my home and family, and my new interests, Food Storage and Couponing, in my spare time.

4. Leah is growing and growing. She just turned 18 months and started Nursery which she adores. Her vocabulary is exploding and she is starting to string words together - “No want to!” Leah loves to sing songs like “Popcorn Popping”. She also loves books, drawing pictures, playing with Little People, and going outside. She is the center of attention in our house and knows it; good thing she is soooo cute.

3. Abi and Talmage are excelling in school, their activities and piano. I continue to teach them piano and hope to start teaching a few other beginning students in January. Abi continues to dance ballet and is so graceful and talented. Both Abi and Tal are in the Discovery class in their school.

2. I was called to be the Activity Day Leader for Girls in our ward. It is THE BEST calling in the church. I adore the girls I teach and even more love spending extra time with Abi.

1. Our family spends a lot of time together. Game nights on our Wii whether bowling, tennis or carnival games are a new favorite. We’ve also started reading the Harry Potter series together before bed. We enjoy grilling outside in the summer, taking walks around the Greenbelt, playing board games and watching movies accompanied by popcorn. Our family is our greatest blessing and we love doing things together. I try to capture the highlights in our blog

We hope that this Christmas season finds you all well, peaceful, and happy. Delight in this season of remembering our Savior and the “good news” of the gospel – He lives, He has atoned for us, and we can live with Him again. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wrapping Up November Blessings 25-30

Blessing #25 - Being a Stay At Home Mom. Now it took me many years to believe that it was better to stay home than to be at work, but now I can't imagine trying to work and take care of my family. I am so grateful for my husband and his job which let me spend time doing fun things like making our first ever pie with Abi. It is a pumpkin pie and it turned out pretty good.
Blessing #26 - My Activity Day Girls. I've said it before, but I have the best calling in the church. My girls are fun, beautiful, smart, cheerful and a load of laughs. ( Even if they think that my frosty pink nails are "old ladyish.") We had a really good time learning how to do manicures from Camille. Two weeks later the girls gave service by giving manicures to a couple of shut-in ladies in our ward.

Blessing #27 - Living close to family. I enjoy the closeness most at the holidays when we get to be with them rather than being far away. I appreciate my mom being able to babysit for us on occasion. I am glad we can visit our Nanas and Papa on Sunday afternoons. I really appreciate all of the help, meals and love we enjoy.

Blessing # 28 - Music. Nothing sets the mood like music. I love being able to listen to Sunday music on Sunday to get me in the mood for church. I love playing Christmas music to put me in the holiday spirit. I love listening to my kids practice the piano. I love playing the piano ( in the rare moment) I get the chance.

Blessing #29 - Modern Conveniences. Our power was out for 2 hours on Sunday. Somehow, it takes the removal of a blessing to make you aware of it in your life. I am thankful for electricity, and heat, for running water and indoor plumbing. I am thankful for a grocery store down the road and a refrigerator and freezer in which to keep our food. I am thankful for our cars to take us around town and anywhere else we need to go. We are truly spoiled.

Blessing#30 - Family Home Evening. Monday nights we gather as a family and spend time together. We usually sing songs and open with a prayer. Currently we sing "Popcorn Popping" and "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" for Leah because she loves the actions. Then we have a story or lesson. If I start a story from The Friend, Kris usually has to end it because they always make me cry. ( My husband and kids make fun of me.) Then we have an activity and treats. Yesterday we made our annual Gingerbread House. I hadn't read the instructions so I was unaware that with this particular kit you were supposed to let the icing dry 2 hours after constructing the house before decorating. Well.... we didn't really have time, so HOT GLUE to the rescue. We covered it up with icing and it looks as cute as ever.