Saturday, December 25, 2010

We did it!

After many years of being in school at BYU-Idaho we both graduated on Friday 17th December. Jared got his Bachelors degree in Computer Information Technology and I got mine in psychology, minoring in marriage and family studies. Jared's parents came up that week to celebrate with us and to meet Ashlyn, and my parents came up a bit later. What a busy month it's been, but what fun we've had...and what a way to end the year!

I had the chance to speak at graduation.

Ashlyn was blessed after our graduation, in my Grandma's home so that our family and Jared's parents could be there before taking off for home in Washington.

And now it's off to San Antonio soon....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Welcome Ashlyn!

We are so happy she's here!
She was born on Monday 7th December, 2:47 am
8 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches
lots of hair
and we love her...

Monday, December 6, 2010

I just can't find words to express how much I love this little girl, how much I care for her and want to teach her right. Today for Family Home Evening we watched the 5 min. nativity video put on by the church from the DVD that the missionaries give away for free. We learned about the Christmas story, how Jesus was born in a stable, and she loved that there were sheep there. Then we listened to a christmas song by the Mormon Tabernacle choir. She just sat quietly on my lap and let me hold her the whole way through. I can't explain how much I love teaching her about Jesus, how much I love it when she recognizes His picture and says "sesus." The greatest joy I have ever discovered is what I feel when we teach her about Him and how much He loves us. It's something I'd never felt until she came became a part of our family.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Almost there...

Under three weeks and counting.
I can't believe I was smaller than this when Kaylee was born.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Halloween

Here's a record of our spooky, halloween adventures this year. I love halloween, Fall, falling leaves, cool crisp air, orange, pumpkin muffins, the smell of apple cider, wearing jackets and my cinnamon candle burning. Can anything be better? Of course Jared would say that he could think of a lot of things (he's a summer person), but I'm sure eventually he'll come around. I can't complain at all thought because whenever I ask him to grab a jacket and take a walk with me and Kaylee (like I did today), he will always come, even though it is a bit cooler than he'd prefer. I'd take that over flowers anyday!
For halloween we went to my parents in Utah so we could take Kaylee trick-or-treating since there isn't much of that where my Grandma lives. What fun! Of course we had carmel popped corn and watched our families traditional disney halloween movies.

In backwards order, the picture above is the crew that came trick-or-treating with us. See...even college students want to feel the excitement of the holidays. You never grow of it, or some of us don't. There were seven of us out with Kaylee. Some people even gave us candy.

I love my little fairy. Wow, did she enjoy trick-or-treating, even though it was cold and had been raining before hand (which is why we skipped out on putting her white fairy, Sunday dress on underneath). Every door had a "doggie" and she would yell "doggie, doggie" and try to go inside the homes to see them. Once she realized she got candy at the doors she walked more quickly to the next door. I didn't know she could walk so fast. She loved it and we loved watching her enjoy it.

Jason, what a goof, but he had fun with us taking Kaylee around. She actually likes Jason now. She didn't for a while, but now they've been good friends.
(Jared secretly admitted that he's excited to eat her candy since....she won't really be eating it, right?)

Jared had to coach her through the pumpkin gutting process for a bit since she didn't like getting her hands icky. Once she got used to it though, she had no problem.
So with Fall and all that's apart of it, put together with these two people, I just couldn't be any happier.

p.s 5 1/2 weeks left and this baby's outta here. I'm praying for a week early vs. a week late. I'm done...very very done. No more room in there.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Founding Fathers

Declaration of Independence
John Trumball, 1819

Since we've been here in Idaho the last month I've found myself with a lot of time on my hands. Because of this I decided that it was time to learn more about the history of the United States and our Founding Fathers. Being here with Grandma also meant that we regularly watch Glenn Beck, so that of course added to my desire to learn more about our country. I picked up a book Grandma had been studying herself, entitled "The Making of AMERICA," by W. Cleon Skousen. I've been enthralled by it. I feel ashamed that for so many years I used the excuse of living in England and missing some of those vital history classes, as my reason for not knowing much about American history. It's incredible, and a miracle, to say the least, that our country ever became what it has, a land of liberty and religious freedom, with representation by the people and not a monarchy, as most of the world has known.
What impressed me most was what I came across last night when I was reading. I was learning about the miracle of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. After winning the revolutionary war our Founding Fathers recognized that our country would not survive unless it changed the Articles of Confederation and came up with a new system of government, different than any other country had known. 55 delegates from the states arrived to discuss the government. There was arguing and contention over what to do and it was difficult to come to any consensus. This went on for days. Finally, during one of those moments Benjamin Franklin arose and made this plea:

"In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need [His] assistance?
I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that 'except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little partial, local interests, our projects will be confounded and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. And, what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war or conquest," (Skousen, 1985, p.159-160).

People may try to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, from our currency, and out of the Declaration, forgetting that our unalienable rights come from our Creator. But when you sit down to study the principles this nation was founded on you have to recognize, like Benjamin Franklin said, "the superintending Providence in our favor." And no-one today can take away what happened during those beginning days.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Home in Idaho's my home, and I love it. Sometimes it makes me really sad that both Jared and I feel that we don't belong here long term. We've always felt that it's not the place where we will raise our family, Utah included. I think it is so beautiful here. People complain about the weather but I love it, snow and all. I love it even more after being in San Antonio. I never knew dry weather could make me so very happy. The first morning we arrived in Utah after our three day drive from Texas I went outside and breathed in the fresh, cool, crisp morning air...and I was happy, really really happy. I guess I'm my daddy's girl. He doesn't care much for hot summer weather and never has, just like me. He always says that September, when Fall begins to approach, is his reward for surviving June, July, and August. I couldn't agree with him more. Kaylee and I have enjoyed wandering around outside each day walking barefoot in the grass. You just don't do that in Texas. The grass hurts your feet. I love this weather! I can't explain why it makes me so happy but it just does.

So, we've been home a month. We are spending this last semester (Jared has one more class) at my Grandma's in Idaho. We couldn't bear the thought of moving all of our stuff into an apartment for four months, to start again in a new student ward, especially since it wouldn't be the one we left after 2 1/2 years, and then to have to pack and move out with a few weeks of having a newborn (due Dec 9th). I am NOT doing that. Some girls don't miss much of a beat after having a baby, but I needed a least a 2-3 week one. I went to church and class really soon after but that was about all I could do. To have to pack everything up would do me we're with my Grandma in her beautiful big home and enjoying it. We're so grateful to her because it's been a big help for us to be here, plus we just love her to bits.
We went to a fall festival this last week. Texas instilled in Kaylee a love of water, any water, so we had some fun

I went with my Grandma and Aunt Debi to the Blackfoot state fair a week or so ago. Kaylee gave lots of kisses to the goats.
On our way home to Idaho we stopped at Mesa Verde. So beautiful! We both said it was the best $21 we spent. We learned about the cliff dwellers, the homes they created, and how they lived among other things. Oh it was incredible.

Kaylee is my little gem. I can't think of anything I enjoy more in being a mom, than watching her learn. It's an incredible thing. If you watch you can see it, the process of their little brains working hard to figure things out, like how to make cow noises, how to point to parts of their body, how to put the laundry in the washer and then move it in the dryer, how to put away their dishes, how to fold their arms for prayer, and how to do so many different things. I sure love Miss Kaylee more than I thought I ever could.
You know what else? I sure love Jared more than I thought I could too. And you know why? Because even though being married isn't all flowers, romance, and dates all the time (like you imagine it from the disney movies as a little girl), it's fun being with my best friend, no matter how exciting or dull the days might be.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Oh what do you do in the summertime..."

So what do we do here in Texas? We spend a lot of it in doors in the wonderful AC, to be honest because it's so stinkin' hot, but we do get out and do things when we can. So here's a little record of what some of our days consist of.

We swim. Miss Kaylee sure likes it, especially with these little green floaty things. The other day she brought them to me in the house and wanted to wear them, so she walked around inside with her green floaties on.
Miss Kaylee and I love to cook together. Well actually, I love to cook/bake, but Kaylee joins me when I feel like cleaning up a bigger mess. She's getting the hang of it though, the more she does it. She likes to mix it up and then spoon whatever it is into her mouth...butter, butter and eggs, butter and eggs and sugar, whatever. It's all yummy to her.
We love rain and thunderstorms. She wanted outside so I let her go, clothes and all. She was d-r-e-n-c-h-e-d!
Kaylee gets stuck on the bed sometimes. Doesn't know whether to go up or down. I wait it out a bit to see what she'll do. Sometimes she braves letting go and sometimes she holds on for dear life and whimpers until mommy comes to rescue her.
We're in the make-up playing stage...
and the drawing on ourselves phase
So we take lots of baths to keep ourselves clean. Miss Kaylee and I go for a walk every morning, for about an hour, three miles or so. When we come back we are dripping so it's always bath time and shower time.
We explore lots in this house. This still remains her favorite cupboard.
Cookie dough...sugar cookies, lemon cookies, granola, homemade bread, banana muffins, chocolate chip doesn't matter, she loves it all.
We get out and see things, like Dallas to visit Aunt Michelle and Uncle Craig, or Austin to visit one of Jared's old roommates' and his wife.
We have friends over and we eat! Breakfast for dinner is probably the most popular in the Cook house.
Sometimes when we want to brave being outside for a long time we take picnics or visit the park. Then we look like this after a while.
We went to a cute little town called "Fredericksburg." The Texans love Texas, can you tell...
And then we always make time to play with big 'ol Gus. Kaylee loves this dog to bits. I will not ever have a dog...ever, so I hope this is enough for Kaylee. I'm not a dog person, not at all, not even a little bit. I won't do it. Jared wants a dog, I really don't like or care for them, call me a not nice person, I don't care, I don't ever want a pet, but specifically not a dog. But, saying that, I enjoy the way Kaylee loves that dog.

So that's what we do around here.