It is hard to remember our family without little Eva. Her precious smile brings so much joy into our lives. She is a very friendly baby and smiles quickly for family and strangers. Everyone in our family coaxes her to "Give me some Smileys" to which she readily complies. She has also just learned to laugh and will giggle along with mom or when tickled under her chin. Evangeline continues to be a snuggly baby and loves to be held, nursed, carried and rocked. At night she sleeps in the crook of mom's arm, switching from side to side as she nurses. Mom doesn't mind as she loves snuggling with her little "Sweetie Muffin" as well. During the day Eva takes 3 pretty consistent naps: a 20-30 minute morning nap in the swing while mom grabs a quick shower, an early afternoon nap usually in the front pack, and a longer later afternoon nap on mommy's bed. Eva LOVES her bath now. She wiggles and splashes her way off the tub cub so that mom keeps having to scoot her back up. After her bath when she is all lotioned and smelling sweet, I love to give her kisses. Another of Eva's favorite activities is her nightly rub down. She kicks her legs, smiles, coos and talks to me while I massage her arms, legs and belly. Eva is growing stronger and stronger and now can sit in her Bumbo chair for 20 minutes or so. She is still a little wobbly so that by the end of that 20 minutes she is really starting to schlump in the chair. Eva still loves to be carried in the front pack but now she likes to turn facing out when she is awake so that she can see everything. But when she is sleepy she is content to turn around and snuggle into mom while being carried around. Her hair is starting to fill in and now she has a little fuzzy blonde head. Her eyes are still the brightest blue while her eye lashes are growing long but continue to be blonde as well.
Abi and Tal started school the end of August. Both kids were so excited to have new teachers and make new friends. Mom was super excited to get back into a routine. However it was soooooo hard to give up sleeping in mornings. Abi is turning into a little fashionista. She and I had so much fun shopping for school clothes together. At each store we would find more and more things we liked. Finally we just had to say, "Stop! We have enough." She even worked hard and saved up enough money to buy these chic suede boots. Tal decided that he wanted to sport a fauxhawk like one of his friends. As9 Tal is all boy, his wardrobe consists solely of Lego T-shirts, jeans, and a few shorts tiding over from the summer.
Leah took a little spill one Sunday afternoon while climbing up the vanity in the bathroom and split her chin open. Kris had just left for Home Teaching so he quickly dropped off brownies and took Leah to the Redicare. Leah was so brave, she didn't even cry when she got her 5 stitches!!! She just said, "That tickles." She wore a Dora bandaid over the stitches for 5 days and then she was good to go.
On Labor Day we took a little family outing up to Mesa Falls. The kids really enjoyed the Visitor's Center in the Inn where we could touch skins and antlers from many different animals. We did a little geocaching along the way and learned the valuable lesson of "If the trail disappears, there is probably an easier way."
One weekend my creative kids decided to make a volcano. With very little instruction or assistance they made this paper mache' volcano and painted it.
The next day they set it off in the back yard. With a little red food coloring, baking soda and vinegar, the volcano was a booming success.
Our little Leah is finally potty trained. Once the older kids got back in school we just decided to pull out the panties and go for it. She and I made a Princess Potty Chart that she decorated with Disney Princess stickers each time she was successful. I washed a lot of clothes at first but after a week and a half she had filled up her chart and earned her Rapunzel dress-up dress. Congratulations on being a big girl, Leah!!!
This past August we gathered the whole Fife clan together in Island Park, ID for a weekend of food, family and fun. My parents rented this awesome cabin called "The Mangy Moose." It had tons of space for us to spread out in and even a family of moose that would wander by each evening. We took turns preparing meals and and heading up activities. The kids especially loved going on 4 wheeler rides. This game is "See how many kids you can ride at once." Good thing Kris and Brian were great sports. We also tried out geocaching for the first time. Geocaching is treasure hunting with a GPS.
The kids were super excited to find the cache of toys and such in the wheel hub of this rusted out old car. Geocaching also helped introduce us to the local law enforcement. Kris and Brian each had a 4 wheeler full of kids while Dad, Jared, Mallory, Kalene with Bella on lap, me with Eva on lap piled into the Explorer with Leah and Sage in the back. As we followed the compass around on the iPhone we bajaed down through the church parking lot and onto a main road where we passed a friendly deputy. He quickly flipped a U-turn and came after us lights blazing. We in the Explorer panicked over out unbelted little ones and loudly encouraged Leah and Sage to lay down in the back. The officer passed us by and pulled up behind the 4 wheelers. At that time we in the Explorer took a quick left off the road into Mack's Inn and left the 4 wheelers to fend for themselves. "Stinkers" Brian texted us. Luckily they got off with just a warning. I could not stop laughing and giggled the whole way home and most of the night.
The cousins put on a fantastic talent show for us. Abi and Gabby are lip synching to "Hot and Cold." Tal and Sterling had some blackmail worth crazy dancing that we caught on video for future generations. We also had a blast playing some "Minute To Win It" games like a pencil catch, ice fishing marbles with your toes and everybody's favorite "Bottoms Up." It was a riot watching each of us try to knock plastic cups off of the table using a yo-yo tied on behind. Jared especially had a "smashing" good time and proved that "Bottom's Up" is a contact sport and proper "support" should be required.
Our cabin was just off of Henry's Fork above Mack's Inn. We loaded up the canoe and inner tubes for a little float down the river. Somehow the canoeists always ended up towing the tube floaters. The little floaters had such a great time they wanted to float again and again. Being close to Mack's Inn brought back many memories of when I was a kid and my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins would crowd into a cabin at Mack's Inn. We would stay up late playing cards, running wild, catching minnows, and having a wonderful time. During the weekend my sister Kalene asked me if now that it was our turn to be the moms at the reunion if we were Aunt Patsi and my mom, Donetta.
One of our
favorite childhood memories of those reunions was feeding the fish up at Big Springs and visiting the John Sack cabin. A school of huge trout lived under the bridge and would swim out into the open water to gobble the chunks of bread or left over pancake that we would throw over the side. But now there were only a few medium sized trout and they were not at all interested in out bread chunks. A hungry little muskrat came swimming out and gathering the little chunks though to take back to his family. This year we bypasses the cabin tour as the little ones found it "BORING!!!" on a previous trip.
Our family reunion was celebrated over my birthday. Happy 34!!! Leah was nice enough to share her Birthday Princess crown with me while my family sang "Happy Birthday" replete with Cha Cha Cha's. My wonderful mom made my favorite, raspberry cheesecake. One night we watched a movie, "Rio" on the big screen that Brian brought
up. Another night we roasted marshmallows and made smores. We played
bean bags and cards, stuffed ourselves silly, and created lasting loving family memories.
Kris and Donalee met and fell in love in High School. After Kris's LDS mission and Donalee went to Nursing School we married 16 years ago. While Donalee supported Kris through 7 LONG years of undergrad and Law School, Abi and Talmage joined our family. Donalee retired from Nursing to be a SAHM when Leah was born 7 years ago. We were thrilled to add Evangeline to our family in 2011.