Monday, December 31, 2012

Showered with Love

We have had the most amazing and friendly ward for the past six months and I really am sad to be leaving them. I've already made friends, which is a little shocking for me--I am so not social. Three such friends were the amazing ladies I worked with in the Primary Presidency (another thing I am sad to be leaving!) and were so sweet to throw a baby shower for me, even though I'd already moved. I had so much fun and Miss Lila was quite spoiled! Girl clothes seriously just make me happy--I mean, between the ribbon, the ruffles, the bows, how could they not? I'm so grateful for the friends I've made and will miss them a lot when we're gone!

Of course I didn't pull out my camera until everyone was leaving, but I did manage to get a few pictures. The Primary Presidency--Debbie, Jessica, me, and Ruth:


A few friends who attended the shower--thanks!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Monthly Reed: 49


One morning Reed and I were talking and he decided that he is the smartest person in our family. Then he came to the conclusion that he's also the strongest--even stronger than Daddy. Finally, he decided he is the "everythingest." Self-esteem in action.

Reed's picture of Mommy and Baby Lila. 

My cousins stayed with my parents last night in my little sister's room, so my sister Kayla didn't have a bed. She climbed into Reed's bed with him after he was asleep. This morning, Reed came into my room and told me, "Mommy, I woke up and saw that someone is sleepin' in my bed with me." I asked him if he knew who it was, and he responded, "Nope, I could only see her hair." I'm a little concerned that he was totally unconcerned that some unknown person was sleeping in bed with him!

 Trimming the tree.





Reed loves church, so much. He was sick today so was unable to go and was really upset about it. After talking to Ryan about not going, Reed came in to me and told me he had an idea: he would stay home from church and I could go talk to his teacher to get the craft they were making that day. He definitely didn't want to miss craft time! I actually couldn't find his teacher after church, so I looked up the lesson and found that they'd learned about saying "thank you." We printed out a few thank you cards and he wrote one for everyone in the house--very sweet.

Playing in the leaves: one of Reed's favorite activities.

One day Reed will learn that a headlock is not a hug.

Reed is so excited for his little sister to be born. When he's counting our family he always counts her. If he's drawing a picture of us, he draws her, too. I've mentioned before that he already is coming up with ways to help me with Lila. Yesterday, he decided his Curious George was a baby and made George a little bed and swaddled him. For the next hour or so, he gave Ryan and I turns holding George, asked us to re-swaddle him, fed him, and took him on a walk in a toy stroller. He's going to be such a great helper.

There's a real hug.

Reed is starting to grow up a lot lately and to want to do things he's never cared to try himself before. He surprised me the other day by tracing his own hand when he was drawing. He's getting so good at writing his own name. He can finally get his shoes mostly on by himself (unless they're tight). He's just starting to act older, too. I don't know what it is exactly, but he's really growing up!

Love those chubby little hands.

Reed knows he's a secret super agent spy. He loves to play spy games. For Christmas, his cousin gave him a spy disguise (the glasses with the nose and fuzzy eyebrows attached) and he loves to put it on, then ask people if they know who he is. He's so sure that we can't tell who he is until he takes the glasses off.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cutest Nativity, Ever

We moved out of our ward right before Thanksgiving (long story, I'll explain later). We were only in our ward for six months, but during that short six months we made a lot of friends, which is kind of weird for us--we're both more than a little anti-social. So when some of our friends invited us to come back for the Ward Christmas Party and more specifically for the Primary's nativity, we quickly agreed.

The Primary Presidency decided to have two little ones play the parts of Mary and Joseph--and they chose Reed and his friend Eliza for the parts. Reed was so excited to see Eliza (he LOVES her) and to be Joseph. The day of the party, I put his costume together--yes, I'm such a procrastinator--and Asher decided that he needed a costume, too, even though he wasn't going to be in the nativity at all. I found something for him, too, so he wouldn't be left out.

Man do I love their faces.

And of course a fully body shot is necessary, too. 

The Primary children did such a good job singing the songs and looked so sweet in their costumes. Reed and Eliza basically melted my heart as Mary and Joseph and stayed true to form: when they came on stage, they both kept their hands clasped together in worship/prayer the entire time. And when all the other kids left the stage, they continued kneeling by the manger until they were retrieved from the stage!

 I mean, how cute are they, right?

Awwwwwwwww. 

After the nativity, Santa surprised the children by showing up at our party. He talked about how he is just a symbol of Christmas to help us remember what happened on that very special night.

And finally the children got to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Asher refused to even be near them, but Reed enjoyed chatting.


We will miss our ward so much and are grateful we had one more opportunity to visit them!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Very Disney Birthday

Reed essentially had the best birthday, ever this year. Seriously, I don't know how we're ever going to top it. The celebrations started with his trip to Disney on Ice with Grandma and Grandpa. They continued with a surprise trip to Disneyland. Yes, surprise. We decided a few months ago that we wanted to take Reed to Disneyland for his birthday--we figured he was finally old enough to really appreciate and enjoy it and not have a hard time spending the entire day out and about. He'd been talking about Disneyland and Cars Land for the past few months and about how much he would love to go there, so we knew he'd be excited to go. We also decided that Ryan and his parents would take Reed and I would stay home with Asher. I was seven months pregnant when they went, so wouldn't have been able to do much anyway. And Asher would have loved to see Mickey, but would have been too small for many of the rides and would have gotten super grumpy around nap time and later around bed time, too. We also really wanted to make the day a special one for Reed. Don't worry, we'll take Asher on his own special Disney trip in a few years. 

Riding in the car to Disneyland. Reed had no idea he was on his way to the Happiest Place on Earth, but was super excited to spend the day with Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa.

Anyway, Ryan, Reed, Grandma, and Grandpa set out for Disneyland early that morning. Reed was completely oblivious as to where they were going. He was pumped just to be going somewhere with Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa.


Reed is just like Ryan when it comes to surprises--he doesn't get very worked up about them, but rather mulls them over and later gets pumped. He was the same way when he found out about Disneyland. By the time they got inside the park, though, he was very excited.

In the tram--looking a little excited!

They started the day in Cars Land. Reed and I had toured Cars Land online a few times--he really liked the games on the website--so he was most excited about that. Reed loved riding the rides there (though he was too short to ride the coolest ride--but it had a two plus hour wait, anyway).

First stop: Cars Land! 

Patiently waiting for his turn.

After Cars Land, they headed to Disney. Reed's favorite ride was of the day was Pirates of the Caribbean. He was so excited he seriously couldn't even form words--he kept making excited noises and pointing at everything. At one point, he got wet, which he thought it was hilarious. He also thought it was pretty cool that his favorite ride also happens to be Daddy's favorite ride.

Disneyland! Apparently it was a little bright--and please forgive the finger shadow.

Reed was so patient the entire day. The park was pretty busy (it was the week of Thanksgiving), but he didn't complain once about waiting in line. Ryan had taken a few toys and other distractions into the park to keep Reed occupied while in line, but he didn't even really need those.
His very own ears.
This font should be named "happiness"

Reed was super pumped to get his very own pair of ears. We have a pair of ears with Ryan's name on it from our Rolfe Family Disneyland trip way back in 2007 that the boys fight over wearing--so Reed having his own ears is kind of a big deal. He was so pumped to see his name on the back and wore the ears for the rest of the day.

Just chillin' in some overly large furniture in Toon Town.

He's a pretty impressive driver for a four year old.

Through a series of very fortunate circumstances that honestly I don't really remember, they ended up scoring crazy good spots for the parade without even having to wait--which was lucky, because Reed loved the parade. The parade was extra cool because it was Christmas-ed out and had several of Reed's favorite characters in it.

Reed loved the lights.

Waiting for the parade to start.

Best parade, ever.

After the parade, they went back over to California Adventure to check out the Bugs' Life rides. Reed had a great time on the bumper cars and really loved this ride where he got to go through a big watermelon and smell different things (I'm not really sure what it's called).


Riding the Bugs Life bumper cars with Grandma.

A very tired and happy Reed climbed back on the tram and fell asleep between the park and the parking lot (yes, approximately five minutes of a ride). He woke up briefly when they got in the car, then zonked out for the entire drive home.

And on the tram home, before he fell right to sleep.

I think I'm safe in assuming that Reed's birthday was fantastic.

Monday, December 24, 2012

California

Because Ryan didn't need to take any time off at the end of the year, we decided to use the rest of his paid days off at Thanksgiving and went on an eleven-day trip to California. Our trip was amazing--we haven't been able to go to California for that many days in a row in a very long time. We were also lucky that Janelle's girls were out of school the majority of the time we were there and that Justin's kids were visiting for the majority of the time, too. The boys love spending time with their cousins so much. I don't mind it either, because I have essentially full-day babysitters to play with the boys while I relax and actually get to spend time talking to adults. Amazing, I tell you.


I never seem to take many pictures while we're in California, but I did at least take pictures of our favorite activities this time. One such activity was a trip to the Skirball Cultural Center. I've heard about the Noah's Ark exhibit at Skirball many, many times, but we've never taken the trip before, figuring the boys were too little to really appreciate it. I'm so glad we went this time, though, because it was literally one of the cooler things I've seen. I'm also glad Janelle and the girls were able to join us, because whenever the girls are involved, Reed has a great time.


Most of the exhibit (all of it?) is made of recycled items. For example, can you tell what the neck of the stag above is made of?


If you guessed keys, you're right. We had a great time just seeing what everything was made out of. In addition to the cool recycled items, though, were a ton of fun activities for kids:


The exhibit is also ridiculously gigantic. I've seen pictures of it before, but have never understood
the scale of the exhibit before. It occupies three huge rooms and could, I think, have housed all the animals on the original ark.



I think the kids most enjoyed the climbing part of the exhibit. They were able to climb up and all over an area above the ground floor. At first we kept Asher on the ground, but once he went up he had an amazing time. He kept yelling to me, "I up here, Mommy!"


The kids were also able to go to a story telling activity that the boys enjoyed--but I think the girls were a little too old to appreciate. They were good sports, though, and stayed with Reed and Asher throughout the story time.



Additionally (I know, you're shocked that there is even more), the kids were able to do a craft. They used recycled materials to make cute little finger puppets. Reed was SO proud of his elephant--he's still carrying it around, three weeks later.


Ryan, the boys, and I took a drive along the coast one of our last days in California. The weather wasn't really frolicking-in-the-sun-at-the-beach weather, but it was beautiful walking along the beach and enjoying the solitude weather--hardly anyone else was there. The boys enjoyed their digging time, too--they are happy anywhere they can find dirt to play in.


While we were in California, we also celebrated Thanksgiving. A large part of any Hambly get-together is amazing food; and this trip certainly didn't disappoint. My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner was a ridiculous Sweet Potato Souffle. I don't even like sweet potatoes. At all. But this souffle? It's amazing. It could be dessert--in fact, Reed commented that it tasted like a treat. The souffle was the one thing on his plate that he actually finished. The rest of the diner was amazing, too, of course, and the pie...oh, the pie. Let's just say that I enjoyed the berry pie so thoroughly I had a slice of it every night for the next three days and would have continued, but the pie was gone. 

We're so grateful we were able to spend time with our California family!

Seeing the Hand of the Lord in our Lives, or How We Survived the Past Three Months

The past few months have been a little crazy for us--and January is going to be anything but sane. However, despite the crazy timing of three major life changes, we are feeling so very blessed. Ryan was recently offered an amazing job with an accounting firm in Las Vegas which will enable him to make the jump into public accounting. We originally planned on looking for a public accounting job once Ryan finished the CPA exam (in approximately one year), but when this job offer came up we couldn't turn it down, even though it's essentially the worst timing, ever. We both love the company and Ryan is so excited to start working with them.

In addition to receiving this new job opportunity, we were blessed to receive a fantastic offer on our house the first weekend it was on the market and to have that offer actually go through to record and sell. The offer was above the price we paid six months ago, so though we did lose some money (because we don't have much equity in the house and had to cover realtor fees), we didn't lose much and still had a good amount for a down payment on a new home. We found a house we love in Vegas and thought we weren't going to get it because a cash buyer had also made an offer--but only one day after we submitted our offer the cash offer fell through and the seller accepted our offer. We have amazing friends--one in particular--who spent large amounts of time helping us move all of our belongings out of our house and into a storage unit. We have fantastic family members who have been so supportive and have helped watch our kids, clean our house, and are now housing us while we are between homes. I have been blessed with a very healthy and easy (knock on wood) pregnancy that has enabled me to pack our belongings, take care of our kids, and make several trips to Vegas to look at homes. And in approximately one month we get to welcome a baby girl into our family.

Yes, January will be hard and crazy. Ryan will be moving to Las Vegas January 2 and staying in a hotel while he starts a new job. We will close on our house after he receives his first paycheck in mid-January. And I will be in St. George with the boys, staying with my parents, waiting to have a baby--also in mid-January. But January will also bring many blessings to our little family, which we are so grateful for. To many new and happy changes in 2013!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sledding

Reed has been requesting a sledding trip for several week snow. We go sledding approximately once a year, so I'm surprised he even knew about sledding. And if he does have any memory of sledding, the memory would come from last year's sledding debacle, which I didn't really want to repeat this year. Anyway, once there was snow near-ish to St. George, Ryan and I did a little research (thanks, Facebook), and found a place to sled. Apparently it's a lot better to know where you're going to sled before you drive for an hour than to assume you'll be able to find somewhere. Anyway, the hill we were directed to (by CAL Ranch in Cedar, if you're curious) was perfect. The hill was steep enough to get some speed going down, but not big enough to freak the boys out or to present an insurmountable climbing challenge between rides.

Reed and Asher had the best time. They alternated between riding with Grandma, Kayla, and Daddy. After every trip down the hill, Asher would ask, "We do that one more time?" He had no reservations about the sled. Reed was only worried a few times: once, when Ryan went down face first on his stomach (Reed: "This is making me a little nervous.") and once when Kayla wanted Reed to try a different sled with her (Reed: "That sled looks a little nervousy."). I was the official photographer for the day because I didn't think that eight months pregnant would be the very best time to fly down a hill.

After sledding for a while, we built a snowman--the one item on Reed's agenda that he wanted to be sure we accomplished. He was a little disappointed we forgot to bring a carrot and other snowman supplies with us, but was appeased with the bits of newspaper we found and rolled up to use for the face. Our snowman was actually kind of impressive, as far as snowmen built by desert dwellers go. The boys also decided to make snow angels, which they were pretty excited about.

We ended our day at Brad's, which is our favorite place in Cedar to eat. If you're ever in Cedar, go there. Seriously.

And now, way too many pictures--remember, I was only in charge of photographing our outing, so I took way too many pictures.