Thursday, December 20, 2012

Family Christmas Card 2012

Merry Christmas from the Meek Family 2012

After being untethered from our TV ( Netflix only) for a little over a year there are the rare things we find we miss, NBA basketball the most, commercials the least.  With the Awards Show season fast approaching I have no idea what the hottest shows are or who will be gracing the red carpet.  Feeling a little left out we held our own Meeple’s Choice Awards and the winners are:

Little Blue Eyes  - Evangeline 18 months.  Eva’s bright blue eyes and cheesy grin help her
charm her way out of many an escapade ie; stuffing the toilet with tissue, defoliating and de-potting mom’s plants, and wall artistry, to name a few.  “Bubby” also enjoys dancing in the kitchen while we do dishes, games especially Rosies and Duck, singing songs and reading books.  Eva just started Nursery at church and adores the bubbles.  Cellphones are another of Eva’s favorite, “Hello, Hello?”

Princess in Residence – Leah 4 ½.  Any given day Leah is a princess complete with tutus and tiara.  Dresses are her favorite outfits, the puffier and twirlier the better.  She loves preschool and learning her letters.  Leah is also an artist and enjoys coloring, painting, crafting with mom and helping in the kitchen.  Leah skips, twirls and sings most anywhere she goes.  Leah adores big sister Abi and sharing a room with her.  She is also Eva’s best playmate.

 All American Boy – Talmage 9 ¾.  Tal is totally into games: computer games, Wii games, X-box games, basketball games, board games and pestering his sisters games.  He graduated from his first round of braces and has a great smile.  Tal is attending 4th grade at a public charter school and loves it.  He enjoys the faster pace and especially having PE each day.  Tal loves cub scouting, acting as the Denner, and just completed his Bear requirements.  He continues to play piano and really likes songs fast and loud.

Renaissance Young Woman – Abiela 11 ½.  Abi is blossoming into a young woman of many talents.  She continues to dance ballet and is so graceful.  The years of piano lessons are starting to pay off as Abi moved into Intermediate level and is playing songs she recognizes; music to mom’s ears.  Abi and Kris took up running this summer and ran the Firecracker 5K on the 4th of July.  In the 6th grade, Abi was elected to Student Council again this year and enriches her school with her kind, caring persona and love of service.  She started a project of knitting baby hats for a local charity and has made 18 to date.  Abi discovered soap making and enjoys churning out adorable flip-flop soaps.  She also started babysitting this year and is mom’s right hand helper, especially with Eva.

Meeple’s Sexiest Man – Kris 34.  The votes poured in for this category and Kris beat out Channing Tatum by a landslide, even without the duck face.  Kris shines by day as an attorney at Hopkins Roden and by night as a husband and father.  Kris leads the Spotify party in the kitchen most evenings while doing the dishes and kills the competition with his laundry folding skills on Tuesday nights with Donalee.  (The one time a week we get to watch our shows.) Dad is the favorite story reader, tickler, joke teller, and snuggler for each of our kids.  This year Kris finally let out his adventurous side with a week long white water rafting trip down the Salmon River and a summer of dirt bike riding. 

Family Cheerleader – Donalee (age not mentioned).  Mom as she is commonly called cheers everyone along in their many endeavors.  She is most often found in the kitchen baking treats, preparing one of 6-7 meals/snacks per day, and washing dishes.  In her off time (what’s that?) Mom enjoys blogging about her family’s activities and general zaniness or digging in her gardens.  She is looking forward to catching up her blog, and taking a nice long bath with a good book after the holidays.  Mom ran out of time this fall to get “real” family pictures taken, so I hope you appreciate our Fourth of July picture and how we “really” look.

We wish you all the Merriest of Christmases and good things to come in the New Year. 
Love, Kris, Donalee, Abi, Tal, Leah, and Eva

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bubby - Eva at 16 months

Bubby: Eva is no longer a baby but she's not yet a little girl, she is a Bubby.  And what a sweet, active, energetic little Bubby she is. I love this picture because is captures the blueness of her eyes and her true smile.  Usually Eva flashes her cheesy smile, shown below.
Another nickname for Eva is "Messmaker".  I like to sing it to the tune of Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof.  Messmaker, Messmaker, making a mess...  She pulls all of the books of the shelves, she hunts for treasures in the garbage, she dumps the blocks out of the bin, pours milk on the table to splash in, throws her food on the floor, and can wreck a house in 15 seconds flat.  But then she will flash me one of those cheesy grins and I can't be too mad at her.
Eva is turning into such a little ham.  She adores being the center of attention and making the whole family laugh at her.  Sun glasses are one of her favorite props.  She also loves to commandeer other's shoes and scuff around the house in them.  Eva loves reading books as well.  Several times a day she will unload the bookshelf and then pull me over to the couch so that she can climb up on my lap and read.

This day I had been cleaning out the van and left the sliding doors open to air it out.  Eva climbed up into the driver's seat, put on my glasses, and proceeded to steer down the road, pausing every once in a while to punch the buttons on the stereo controls.
But Eva's favorite activity is going outside.  She runs for the closet to get her "Jack" and "Sh" ( Jacket and Shoes) then points at the door pleading "Go, Go."  She loves to take walks around the block looking at the leaves and birds, ride the scooter or swing on our horse Roxie.  This day I was raking leaves for Leah and Eva to jump into.  Oh, what fun we had!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

15 months, So big, So fun

 These little girls are the light of my life.  They love to play together and are just sooo darn cute.  Eva toddles after Leah wherever she goes and wants to do everything Leah does.  This particular afternoon we took a break from our appointments and errands and had lunch down at one of the parks by the river.  Leah and Eva love playing on the toys, especially the slides.
 Eva figured out how to crawl up the stairs on her own, toddle over to the slide and then turn around and fly down on her belly.  Oh how she giggled and squealed.  Then she would hop off and race back to the bottom of the stairs to do it again.  She was so proud of herself for learning to do it all on her own.  Eva is learning to do lots of things on her own.  She not only walks, but runs and climbs all over by herself now.  She climbs the ladder to the trampoline, the chairs up to the top of the table, and the toilet up to the counter top in the bathroom.  Eva is mastering the spoon and feeds herself pretty well now.  She has also decided that she is too big for her high chair and has instead commandeered Leah's booster seat and likes to sit at the table like a big kid.  She loves to drink straight out of a cup, and with just a small amount of liquid in her cup she is pretty good.  Eva also folds her arms for prayers and is one of the most reverent in our family. 
Eva has developed a love of books and enjoys snuggling on mom and dad's lap to read, "That's not my Kitty", "Look at This, Look at That" and many other board books.  She loves wearing her shoes now.  She will grab her shoes and bring them to me saying  "Sh, Sh... " , begging me to put them on her.  Putting your shoes on means going outside, which is one of Eva's favorites.  She loves to swing on the swing and bounce on the trampoline.  She also loves rides in the stroller and bike trailer.  Eva is cutting her molars and we have had several rough nights, but we have also had a few nights of sleeping straight through.  Go figure?  Recently Eva has discovered crayons and pencils and likes to scribble on paper.  Unfortunately I have also found a few early works on cupboard doors and walls.

Eva continues to grow and grow.  At her Dr's appointment this month she was 32.5 inches and 22 lb 12 oz.  She remains super tall, 99% for height, and just right 70% for weight.  I have even started pulling out some of the 24 months tee shirts and pants out for her to wear.  Eva's understanding is just exploding with new concepts.  Yesterday she smashed her finger in a door and while crying held out the finger, closed her lips and "Mmmm" ed for me to kiss it. At Family Home Evening we played Ring Around the Rosies and Duck, Duck, Goose both of which she loved.  The next day she kept patting people on the head and saying "duck, duck."  Eva continues to be fascinated with animals.  She has the Baby Einstein's Neighborhood Animal movie that I can put on and know that she will be enraptured for 25 minutes, long enough for a shower or to make most of dinner. Her favorite word is "No" accompanied with a little shake of her head.  But she also pinches her nose and says "tinky" for "stinky" after she has done her business. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

School Daze

Summer flew by in a blur of fun and activities.  All too soon, school was upon us and we had to re-enter the world of early mornings and schedules.  This year my brood are attending three different schools, with three different start dates, and three different schedules.  It was the beginning of September before they were all attending and we could get into the real groove of school.  But we are settled in now and I can tell that it is going to be a great year.
 Talmage is in Fourth Grade and attending a charter school this year.  We are hoping that the fast pace, more intensive academic environment, and Harbor method will challenge him and keep him engaged.
Abi is in the Sixth Grade at our neighborhood elementary.  She loves her teacher and getting to rotate to different classes.  She really enjoyed being on Student Council last year and is hoping to run again this year.
Leah was super excited to start preschool this year.  She loved picking out her special ballet slippers to wear at preschool.  She has already made friends and is excited to go each Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon.  She loves coloring, singing the songs and playing with the toys.

Day at Lagoon

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The end of babyhood? Eva at 14 months

My little Eva is growing up.  No amount of wishing, crying or trying can stop it.  She just turned 14 months old an is an absolute doll.  She loves to give sweet open mouthed kisses and little cuddly hugs.  "Mommy" is her favorite word.  Mommy means not only Mom but accompanied with a point or grasping hand signifies " I want that."   Eva gets just about anything she wants, including to be picked up, kissed and hugged, and carried about by mom.  At night when she wakes she still comes to bed for snuggles and nursing with Mommy.  She loves to be outside riding in the stroller, scooting in the grass or bouncing lightly on the trampoline.  Eva is fascinated by animals and quick to point out the birds, cats and "Doggy"s that inhabit our neighborhood. 
Eva is a timid little walker.  She has been standing well for almost 2 months now but she still will only venture out 3-4 steps before sitting down and scooting to her destination.  This day at the Spray Park she was fascinated by the fountain and toddled closer for a better look.  She loves to push her toy ride on car around like a walker.  "Crash!" we exclaim as she bumps into furniture and wall.  This provokes a string of lovely little giggles from Eva.  "Ccccc" she says as she points to her car.  Eva is using a spoon pretty well by herself now.  She feeds herself cereal, noodles, rice and more.  I thought that she might be a lefty at first but is now showing definite preference for her right hand.  Her favorite foods remains fruits and berries.  I know that she ate the lion's share of our raspberry crop this year because she would go out to pick with me in the mornings and rarely would a raspberry make it back into the house.  ( In her defense we had a horribly small crop this year.)

This past week as Eva started out really walking on her own the realization began washing over me that my baby, most likely my last is growing up.  This thought initiated a torrent of tears for several days of course.  Oh how I have loved and cherished the baby years, especially of Leah and Eva my last two.  I continue to nurse Eva about 4 times a day, morning, nap and bedtime, as well as middle of night, because I love that time to snuggle and sing to her.  While I continue to be excited as each new step and phase of my children's lives, the tears spring quickly to my eyes as I feel this era of my life drawing to a close.  It is almost like grieving a love that has changed and passed on.  While I think I could never miss the overpowering nausea and sickness of my early pregnancy, I will miss the flutterings of life growing inside me.  My arms will yearn for the weight of a sleeping baby.  I will cherish the scent of  baby hair just shampooed only to be kissed with one million mommy kisses whenever I pick them up.  I will remember the sweet smiles and kisses, hugs and snuggles, soft skin and bright eyes of my growing baby.  And I will hold in my heart the hope and desire that this role, new motherhood, will be mine yet again in the eternities. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes.

So we were driving to the library last night.  Leah was telling us all about something when Kris said,
"Oh, how do you know that?" 
Leah - "I looked it up on the Internet." 
Did I mention that she just turned four?

Fife Family Reunion 2012

In mid August our Fife Family ( Fifes, Meeks and Howells) gathers together for a weekend of food and fun.  This year our reunion was at a rented cabin in Island Park, though I almost hesitate to use the word cabin.  Our cabin was tongue and groove pine throughout, 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, top of the line appliances, 4 flat screen TV's, game room, hot tub and more.  It was luxury far beyond our usual home.  But that is not to say that we didn't enjoy it :)
On Friday we ventured into Harriman State Park to enjoy a little hiking.  We looped along the Henry's Fork and Silver Lake then up through the old Railroad Ranch.  Along the way we enjoyed the views, wildflowers, and a little wildlife not scared off by our noisy troop of kids plus adults.  We found two of these fuzzy caterpillars which enchanted everyone including Eva.
Later that afternoon hunted for Geocaches.  We all love the hunt but the kids especially love swapping little prizes hidden inside.
Friday night we enjoyed our second season of Minute to Win It - Fife Clan.  With a little coaxing everyone got in on the different games.  Face the Cookie was a hit with everyone because no matter if you were successful or not, you got to eat your prize.
Jared was the only one successful at Don't Blow The Joker.  I tried a couple of different times but almost passed out.  Other favorites were Bucket Head, Balloon Vs Cups, and Shake What Your Mama Gave You.  The kids of course were the superior shakers. 
I think the kids spent more time in the hot tub than out of it.  With all of the splashing and diving, I'm surprised that we didn't have to refill it.  Little Bella was probably the most insistent, " Bella Swimsuit, Hot Tub" she would beg several times a day.  Kris and I got our hot tubbing in after the children went to bed.  On Saturday night we even caught about 10 shooting stars from the Perseid Meteor Shower at we soaked. 
On Saturday we drove up to Quake Lake.  Unfortunately the Visitor's Center and Lookout Trail were being remodeled so we just kind of looked around.  Quake Lake was formed back in 1959 when an earthquake caused a huge chunk of the mountain to slide down into the valley damming up the river.  A score of people died in the landslide and a lake subsequently formed behind the dam.  Since then an outlet has been cut out for the river to reflow but the lake still remains. 
Saturday afternoon the more adventurous took a float down the river.  The too little and less adventurous stayed back at the cabin.  Really I do love to float, but someone had to stay with Eva. 
Saturday evening we celebrated my upcoming birthday with my favorite, raspberry cheesecake.  My mom has made it for me every year since I was probably 8 or 9 years old.  I could have eaten the whole pan, but settled for just seconds.   Yummy!!!  We also enjoyed watching the Olympics on that nice flat screen in the main room. 
Sunday morning we washed off the dirt and headed for church in Island Park.  The kids enjoyed the experience of sitting on the lawn for sacrament meeting though I'm not certain if they were easier or more difficult to manage outside.
On the way home we stopped to dip our toes in the cool water of Big Springs.  The fish weren't biting at the bread or fish food other visitors were throwing but we did spy four monstrous trout languidly swimming in the shade of the bridge.  Thanks for a great weekend family, we are looking forward to next year. 

Tendoy Reunion 2012

Each summer we eagerly anticipate the end of July and our annual Hayes' reunion in Tendoy.  This year was the first year Eva attended as well as the first year that the whole Meek clan spent in a tent.  Too bad I missed a picture of our tent.  Remarkably after the first night of adjustment we all slept really well.   The Tendoy cabin is a little hunting cabin on a 2-3 acre wooded lot nestled against the Lemhi river.  We have some luxuries like a fridge, flushing toilet in the outhouse, shower in the bully barn ( where the lawnmower is stored) but still enjoy the camping experience of sleeping in a tent, cooking over a fire, playing hard and getting dirty.
Our favorite activity up at Tendoy is riding the trails and roads that abound in the area.  The kids all clamor for four wheeler rides.  This year Kris bought a dirt bike from his cousin Sam so that he can now ride with the Big Boys on the single track trails.  After a Superman style dismount from his bike he was a little bruised and beat up, but jumped back on the bike the next day for another ride.  Even little Eva would squeal with delight to ride, very slowly, around camp and down the road.  Some of our favorite trails are up to Chief Tendoy's gravesite, Copper Queen, and the Lewis and Clark Adventure Byway.  

After a day of riding the kids and adults loved to soak in Sharkey Hot Springs.  Abi, Talmage and cousin Walker would splash, dive around in the water and play like crazy.    
 Over in the other pool, the adults could soak and relax.  Eva enjoyed floating back and forth from mom to dad in her little baby boat.  Wearing her life jacket, Leah also was a little fish.
While the Big Boys did their trail ride on Saturday the rest of us took a jaunt up to Copper Queen.  The kids all love collecting the green tinged rocks and bits of quartz.  We also discovered wild raspberries to pick, eat and enjoy.
We repeated the Sailboat Regatta this year.  Our creations this year were made from Styrofoam bowls, sticks and paper sails.  They floated really well, as did one of Abi's flip-flops which escaped down the ditch.  We were so excited to be joined by a larger group of our family this year.  Our kids especially loved playing with their Monk, Funk, Meek and Hayes cousins.  And then every evening we would pull our chairs together around the campfire to share dessert and conversation.  Campfire Eclairs were a big hit this year.  Thanks to all of our family who shared this fun time with us and we look forward to seeing you up in Tendoy again next year. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fourth of July Fun

This year Kris and Abi started our Fourth of July off a little differently.  Abi challenged Kris to run a 5K this summer and so they signed up for our Firecracker Fun Run.  They had trained hard this summer so at 7:00 am not even the nervous butterflies could keep them down. 
Sprinting to the finish line.  
Abi set the pace and Kris stayed with her the whole time.  They clocked in at 28:30, a personal best for Abi. 
After a little rehydration and some breakfast we got these two showered and then were off to the parade and a BBQ at a friend's house.
We had another BBQ out at Nana and Papa Fife's house before the fireworks.  We loaded everyone up and headed downtown to watch the fireworks over the river.  Eva was not too impressed but the rest of us Oohed and Ahhed. 
On Saturday we joined up with the Meek Clan for another BBQ and our backyard fireworks.  This is Kris's favorite part.  We really had quite the show this year.
The sparklers captivated Eva.  Kris had a hard time keeping them out of her reach.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Look Who Is One!

 It is so hard to believe that my little Eva turned one.  Where did the last year go?  That year of babyhood flew by in a blur of kisses, hugs, cuddles, smiles, new tricks, adventures and of course many a sleepless night.  But it was a year to be cherished as I will cherish all of the years to come.
 Kris was out floating the Salmon River on Eva's actual birthday so we celebrated a week later.  At first Eva was puzzled by the piles of presents with their wrapping paper, bags and bows.  But after a little coaxing from her brother and sisters Eva got into the groove.  She loved each new surprise but was then confused when her new toys would be whisked away and she was presented with a new gift to open.  She loved all of her new presents, especially the babies.  She also received new books, clothes, sippys and snacks, and a playful toy puppy.  Talmage also made her an airplane mobile for her room.

 Eva was so excited to receive her very own cupcake with no restrictions that she dove right in before I could get a good picture.  She kept trying to grab the flame on her candle while we were singing "Happy Birthday" so Kris had to douse the flame.  Eva surely enjoyed smashing and eating that strawberry frosted cupcake though.

10 Things about Eva
  1. Her nickname is Eva MaGoo.  But she also gets called Sweetie, Bug-a-bug, and Munchkin.  I doubt she even knows her name is Evangeline.
  2. Eva is learning to say a few words, including: Mama, Daddy, Abi, Leah ( Eeah), Buddy, Baby, Be (Please or I want that), This and we swear we have also heard Car, Ball, and Juice.  
  3. She has the brightest, beautiful blue eyes.  People always comment on them.  Those eyes are so quick that she is always pointing at "This" object that catches her eye.  She is especially enraptured by birds darting about the lawn.
  4. Eva loves to go outside.  She points and "Uhhuhh's" out the window to play on the swing or be gently bounced on the trampoline.  She also loves riding about the neighborhood in the stroller.  
  5. Her favorite food is strawberries.  She will pick them no matter the color, green, white or red from our patch and our neighbor's and stuff her little mouth until the juice is running down her shirt.  Strawberries are her favorite for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  Mom buys them just for her as well.
  6. Eva still cruises along the furniture but is getting very quick.  She has become quite the climber and pulls herself up on chairs, couches, stools, beds, tables and more.  Eva remains too timid to strike out walking on her own but giggles and grins if we hold her by the hands and walk her around.
  7. Eva loves music and songs.  At each nap and bed I sing her Primary songs while she nurses.  Our favorites are: I Am A Child of God, Teach Me to Walk in the Light, I Love to See the Temple, Whenever I Hear the Song of A Bird, and I Like to Look for Rainbows.  
  8. I wish she was as good of a sleeper as a nurser, they are probably interconnected.  Eva is down to one nap a day, usually from 1:30-3:00.  At night she goes to bed about 9:00 pm but is up between 1:30 and 3:00 when she gets pulled into bed to nurse and snuggle until morning, about 8:00.  Thankfully the frequency of the middle night parties is drastically reduced.  We have a little routine going and the other night when I forgot to turn on her fan she wiggled and pointed at it until I remedied the discrepancy to the routine.
  9. Eva is a baby on the move.  I try to read her books but she will rarely look at more than a page before she is climbing and rascalling about.  She climbs and scoots, wiggles and worms, and loves to be in the middle of the action all day.  
  10. Mealtimes continue to be an adventure for Eva.  She hates to be confined to her booster chair and will fight and wiggle against the tray.  She is the messiest eater; her food always ends up covering her from head to toe.  She loves a variety of food, but when she is done watch out.  Eva signals completion of her meal by dumping the contents of her plate onto her tray and rapidly throwing it onto the floor or flinging it in all directions.  
I Love You My Little Eva!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beautiful Ballerina

I blinked and my little chubby cheeked ballerina grew up into a beautiful, graceful ballerina. Where did the time go?
Abi performed at her Spring Recital last week. Each year she grows more talented and graceful. I sure love to watch her dance.

A Princess Party

Leah celebrated her 4th birthday with a Princess themed party. She was thrilled to pick out invitations, decorations and crowns for each friend. The day of the party Leah adamantly dressed up in Abi's old leotard so she would look like a Princess. The other princesses didn't keep their crowns on long either but Leah loved her special day with friends: Sage, Emily and Addy.
We drew sidewalk chalk princesses and played lots of princess themed games including a castle bean bag toss, Kiss the Frog, Queen May I,and Frog Frog Princess.
But the biggest hit of he party was this pony pinata. Each girl took a few good whacks at it before the pinata unloaded its trove of goodies.
For her cake, Leah requested "pink cupcakes". I easily obliged with these pink strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. Yummy!!!
On Sunday, her real birthday, Leah enjoyed a family party with everyone. She received this adorable cupcake outfit from aunt Sarah, piles of tutus from Nana Meek, fairy wings from Walker, a music box from the Howell's and a princess sticker book from Uncle Eric. From mom and dad she got a Princess Accessory pack with dress up her bike and a new swimming pool. I'm sure many days of summer fun are just around the corner.

10 Things About Leah

  1. This funny girl lights up my life with her smile, sing song voice and funny sense of humor.
  2. Leah loves painting her fingernails, wearing tutus, dancing, crowns and fairy wings, and all things princess.
  3. Leah loves to ride her bike. Every day she wears out the sidewalk between our driveway and our neighbor's and most days cajoles someone into going with her so that she can ride on the road. Ting, Ting rings her new bell as she rides along.
  4. Leah's favorite foods are strawberries, chocolate milk, cheese sticks and candy. Thankfully she also is willing to eat almost anything else too, ( well at least 3 bites.)
  5. She loves to snuggle up on the couch and read stories. We always have library books but she often goes back to well loved favorites like Dr Suess's Sneeches and Put Me In the Zoo.
  6. Recently Leah discovered computer games. She could spend hours on or I am continually amazed at how quickly she picks things up.
  7. She is a great sister. Leah loves building forts with and pestering Talmage. She snuggles in bed with Abi and steals her Kindle. Leah entertains Eva with songs, funny faces, and playing toys with her.
  8. Pink remains her favorite color.
  9. Leah loves music. Her favorite songs are Nephi's Courage and Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam. She also loves dancing, twirling and pretending to be a ballerina like Abi.
  10. Leah has an adorable little lisp. She is getting her L's down but S's still elude her.