At nine months old, this little girl of mine is so much fun. She has developed a very spunky and fun personality. She is still in the 50% for height and a little less for weight. She is a skinny little gal, but she loves to eat real food. Her baby food days did not last very long. Parker loves to watch Yoda. She also loves to tug on her Yoda sweater. Yoda is so patient with her and never even barks or bites at her.
Parker absolutely loves playing in the water. She takes a bath every single morning. Most of the time, Clayton will get in with her to give her some company. Our friends, the Overdieks, took us to a pool in Syracuse one evening and Parker and Spencer had a great time splashing in the water.
This year has been so mild, so we have spent a lot of time outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. This is a picture of Parker on one of her first real swing rides. She thought it was so much fun! Parker loves being outside. We go on lots of walks and play on the lawn.
Parker has so much fun with her brothers. They love to take care of her and make sure she is safe. Right now, Parker enjoys watching Baby Einstein. She will just sit and watch it for quite a while. Sometimes, she will be so relaxed that she falls asleep during the show. Cooper loved Baby Einstein too, but Clayton was not interested at all.
Parker loves this little giraffe. It was the first toy she ever received. She loves to listen to the music that comes from it and then she will give it a little squeeze and squeal at the same time. Parker started holding her bottles pretty early, though she never was a huge fan of bottles.
Parker has always loved real food. She would take food over a bottle any day. She still doesn't have any teeth but she can gum her food pretty well. Her favorite foods right now are bananas and bread and crackers. She loves all fruit and the little yogurt snacks.
Some of Parkers favorite songs right now are "Parker Posie", "We are a Happy Family", and "Bye Baby Bunting". She loves it when we sing to her. When she gets fussy in the car, Clayton will start singing to her and she will always calm down.
On Christmas evening, after visiting family in Logan, we decided to head over to Bear Lake and stay a couple of nights at Chris' cabin. We joined the McClellans and the Gabrish families for a fun, chaotic time at the cabin. On Christmas Day, a snowstorm hit and finally gave us some snow. It picked up again in the evening while we were traveling over the canyon. It was deep in some spots and we had to drive about 30 mph the whole time. There were some nerve racking moments when it was snowing hard, but finally it calmed down and we were able to make it over there safely.
The next morning, there was plenty of snow to play in. We cooked breakfast burritos and then sent the kids out the door to play in the snow. Jacqui and I went out a little later and started sledding down the road with Reese. A neighbor ended up bringing us some updated and amazing sleds and the kids had a blast on them. The snow plow came down the road and move most of the snow, making it more slick. It was a blast and warm enough to enjoy it.
After we finished sledding, we went inside to eat lunch and then headed over to Bear Lake to go swimming at the condos with Chelsey and Payton. The kids always love to swim so that was a fun activity. Later that evening, Jacqui and Jared made a nice ham dinner for everyone. Jamie and Jared came up to the condos that night and we all played card games and sat around the table stuffing ourselves with candy and getting to know each other better.
In December, Bryce had a job down in Salt Lake so we tagged along with him and then afterwards we went over to Temple Square to walk around and look at the lights. It has been years since we have been down to see the lights at Temple Square. It was cold, but it could have been much worse.
Jocie, Kyle and their kids came down to see us at the temple. We took pictures, the kids ran around and tried not to get lost in the big crowds. We ended up going out to eat in Layton at Garcia's afterwards.
To celebrate Ty's birthday, all the kids went to the Jump Zone. My kids love the Jump Zone. Even Parker had a great time crawling around and playing in the foam pads. We celebrated our Anniversary the following weekend after things slowed down. Most of the time our Anniversary gets overlooked because of my birthday and Christmas. That doesn't sit well with me. In fact, it infuriates me. So, after a good long talk, we ended up going out and trying to make our anniversary special.
On Christmas Eve, the boys left out the Legos, so that Santa would build something for them. They also left him a peice of paper so that he would write them a letter. We spent Christmas Eve at the Gabrish's home, where we decorated sugar cookies, created gingerbread houses and watched the "No Ordinary Shepard."
During the Christmas season, I always pull out my small collection of nativity scenes. This year, Parker was the perfect age and height to be very entertained by these small items. She loved to pick up baby Jesus and the cow every time. She had her own plastic set, but she would always go for the breakable ones!
On Christmas morning, the boys were so excited about thier letter from Santa, that they ran downstairs past all their presents right to the letter. They sat down and read it before they even noticed their presents. Clayton received a bow and a camera for Christmas. Cooper got a new bike. We had a very mild winter so there was no snow all the way till Christmas morning. We got quite a bit of snow so Cooper couldn't try out his bike for a couple of days.
Cooper also got some camo for Christmas so that he will prepared next year for the hunting season. Last May, he was able to go Turkey hunting with Bryce at Grandpa's ranch and he really had a great time. This year, he will have the camo so that he will blend in.
Parker got a few little toys and some outfits. She was still too young to even understand the unwrapping of the presents. She just wanted some candy and breakfast. After we opened presents, we ate cinnamon rolls and let the kids play for a few hours before we headed to Cache Valley.
Bryce decided to buy me some camo for Christmas as well. It fit perfectly and it was nice and warm and comfortable. Now that I have some camo, I might be able to go hunt with him in 3 or 4 years when Parker gets a little older! He also bought me new tires for my four wheeler! What an interesting Christmas!
Bryce wanted and needed nice hunting boots, so that is what he got for Christmas. I also ended up getting him so clothes and a pea coat but none of them fit him. We ended up exchanging them for some bigger sizes. It was a fun Christmas morning and the kids enjoyed opening their gifts and helping Parker with her presents.
After breakfast, we headed up to see Grandpa Cooper, Jocie and her family. We ate Christmas lunch at Grandmas' house and then went up to the Douglas' for Christmas dinner.
Chelsey, Scott, and Payton were sealed to each other in the Logan Temple on December 13th. Payton looked so cute in her white dress and Scott and Chelsey seemed to be very happy. The Sealer talked to them about having angels in the room while they got sealed. This was very emotional for Grandma and all of us. We knew that Grandpa was a witness at that sealing. As we took this picture above, Jocelynn said, "Why are we taking a picture?" Steph said, "Because we can!" That comment really hit me hard. It is true that we need to take advantage of the moments and time we have with family and friends. In a blink of an eye, they could be gone.
Afterwards, we all headed over to the Marriott to eat a yummy lunch and visit with each other. WE are so blessed to have the temples to close and to be able to be here on the Earth right now during the Restoration of the Gospel. We are blessed to have knowledge and to make covenants in the house of the Lord.
In Mid-December, Steph bought tickets for the family to go see the play, "Bandito". They are friends with the owners and main character from the play. They do most of their plays in the Pickleville playhouse in Bear Lake, but during the winter, they are in Logan. I wondered how Clayton would do for it, but after the first half, he told me it was awesome.
During the intermission, Steph let each one of the kids pick out a hat and a mustache. The play turned out to be amazing. It was kind of based off of the Christmas Carol. They did a great job with the acting and music. I loved to watch them try to mess each other up and make each other laugh. It was very entertaining and I would definitely like to go again.
Unfortunately, Bryce's grandma Douglas passed away in November. She was in her late nineties and was passed ready to go home to her husband and other family. She ended up passing away in her sleep. Anyway, all the kids came into town for the funeral. It ended up being one of the coldest days of the winter. There was snow and ice everywhere. They had the funeral in Hyde Park. It was a nice service.
While the kids were in town, we decided it was well overdue for a family picture. We had Jocelynn come take pictures of us. We took the pictures in a neighbors barn and it was freezing cold. Some of the kids had a hard time sitting still, but for the most part, we did good with that many people. I was so happy to finally get some pictures I could put up in my house.
Here is a picture of the In-laws. What a great pictures Jocelynn took of everyone. WE ended up getting this big family picture for Marilyn and Roger for Christmas. They were so excited about it. Now, hopefully, relationships won't change and everyone will stay in love and happy with their spouses!