Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Sweet Girls

I love the days where you see your kids shine and you wonder if you might be doing something right! (There are many days in between where you second guess your parenting skills and wonder how to find more hours in the day to teach more lessons and skills.)

I love Kaci's teacher. She always finds something to praise Kaci about when I pick her up. I never feel that she is sugar coating things, or saying things just to talk. The things she says are genuine, and always make me feel good. (Well, there was the one day when she praised Kaci's soccer goalie abilities. She said she came up with a great new strategy, and that was to lay the goal down so that balls couldn't be kicked in and cross her arms and smile a smug smile... that might have been a little sarcastic!) Today, she told me that Kaci is the only kid who can tie her shoes. Not only does she tie her own shoes, but other kids go to her to tie theirs. I love that she is so willing to help other people.

Shanna is always the underdog. She gets ignored and passed over because her younger sisters need more attention and yell louder. Yet, she is always quietly helping, and never asks to be noticed for her contributions. The one constant thing that I hear from each one of her teachers is how kind she is to her classmates, and how enjoyable she is to be around.

Now, for little Sara... well, maybe it is her age, and maybe it is because she is child #3, but she is definately a firecracker. She likes to kick the fake pumpkin on our coffee table like it is a soccer ball, sneak up the stairs when no one is looking, bite my cheek when I am expecting a kiss. BUT, at the same time, she loves to be read to, loves to snuggle and watch TV, and is AMAZING at her phonics. She knows what sound every letter makes. (I won't even get started on how annoying the movie is that she screams about if we don't watch EVERY time we are in the car.)

My kids are such a joy. They might wear me out, and I want to check out instead of doing laundry and dishes and bedtime, but it only takes a sweet voice to say "I love you Mommy" or a sweet sleepy snuggle to charge my batteries enough to make it through another day.

I am so blessed!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sunshine!

To my sweet Kaci:

You are sweet, happy, spunky, silly, groovy, beautiful, graceful, cute, adorable, stylish, innocent, trusting, sweet natured, and I can't believe I am lucky I am to be your Mom! You bring me so much sunshine and joy every day. I hope you feel my love every day. Thanks for making me so happy every time you smile! I can't believe it was 5 years ago that I held you for the first time. You have grown up so fast, and are such a smart and beautiful girl.

You are so special to me!

Love, Mommy
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Morning, 9:15

I think I am becoming too much of a perfectionist to blog anymore. I keep thinking I need to get Kaci's first day of school pictures up before I can blog anything else... When I go to edit those, I think about how I still haven't given the grandparents a single framed picture of Sara to hang on their wall so I start editing a picture of her to print. Then I remember that I need to start laundry, then I see a dirty countertop that needs cleaned...

As I started writing this, I was putting Sara down for a nap. It is a rainy Monday morning. Shanna doesn't have school, Kaci does. The dishes are done, bills are paid, 3/5 of us have eaten breakfast, laundry is started, baby is now asleep and I am headed downstairs for a quick workout. How's that for a random update?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of 4th Grade!

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Shanna started 4th grade today. She was excited, but really nervous. I hope her day is great and she comes home with a big smile! Kaci misses her, she was asking at 9:30am if Shanna's school was almost over. I miss having her here too, but am excited to have her back in school and get our routine back in order again. Dance started this week also, we will be busy busy!!

I was looking back at her previous first day of school pictures, and I can't believe how fast she's growing up!

4th Grade

3rd Grade

2nd Grade

1st Grade


She informed me that she is already half way to being in college... Is there any way to slow down the next 9 years?? Sweet girl, stop growing up so fast!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Summer Fun.. Swenson Style

Washing the dog...

I love these people... and the dog.. (the dog most of the time, the people all of the time) I love seeing my kids being able to experience moments like this. Look at this hot man who is their Daddy!!!

Summer fun also means letting child #3 stuff her mouth full of chocolate.... fully knowing it will stain your clothes. She is enjoying it though!

Oh my sweet Kaci... she got to be "Bat Girl" at Shanna's softball game tonight. She was so proud... and so cute!! Notice the chocolate on her face too!

Sara was fussy, so Shanna gave her an old binkie. Sara loved playing with it...

She especially loved the challenge of picking it up off the floor with no hands!

Sara loves flowers!

This summer has been crazy, busy and also fun. We have been swimming lots, biking, taking care of our garden and flowers and looking forward to a weekend in the mountains!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Money, Spiders and Butterflies

We took the girls to Denver today for a tour of the US Mint. I have no pictures, because along with purses, strollers and bottles, cameras were not allowed. I guess if I was responsible for $80 billion worth of gold, I would take precautions like that too.

We didn't even bring our good camera which was a bummer because we went to the Butterfly Pavilion after our tour. It would have been so sweet to photo the girls' faces as the butterflies flew around them.

We did however snap a few pictures with our grainy cell phone camera of Kaci and Rosie. Who is Rosie? Rosie is the tarantula who lives at the Butterfly Pavilion. You get a sticker if you hold Rosie. I don't know where Kaci gets her sense of adventure, but she was the only one who wanted to hold Rosie. I love that she's up for trying anything. She wasn't scared, and even went back to hold Rosie again.

Sara might end up being adventurous like Kaci because she was reaching for Rosie. I didn't think pictures of a one year old holding a tarantula would be very appropriate though. We'll let her hold Rosie next time maybe.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Summer's Here!!

I have been so bad at keeping my blog up to date. I don't seem to sit down until I fall into bed at night. I have been wanting to post pictures of the last few months, so here's the quick (meaning sitting and editing a slide show for the past hour) way of showing them off!

Shanna turned 9, (I need to get the pictures off the other computer to post of her parties)We had crazy end of the school year events. Field trips, days at the park, Kaci's preschool graduation (kind of... she isn't quite old enough for Kindergarten next year) Shanna's last day of school, Sara started walking and then turned one... Every day has been full of adventure!

I am still trying to settle into a good Summer routine. I feel like I am either too lazy or too much a Drill Sargent. I am loving having the girls here, especially Shanna. I feel like I never get to see her during the school year. We have been riding bikes and hoping for nicer weather so that we can swim lots.

Happy Summer!

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Sugar & Spice

Kaci wants to do "Big Girl" stuff. We made cookies three days this week. I love her sweet smile and funny off the wall comments...

I took my eyes off of her for one minute...

Oooohhhh... is she a handful!

Monday, April 27, 2009

In My World...

You'll find this funny if you have seen Horton Hears a Who... You know the part where the little girls says something about "in my world, everyone's a pony and they eat rainbows and poop butterflies..."

Well, tonight Kaci was eating milk and cookies and was drinking her milk with a spoon. I told her to stop and to pick up her cup to drink.

She says, "Well, in my world, people use their spoons to drink milk."

(I am trying not to laugh, because we have been working very hard about teaching them not to argue...)

So, I told her that in her world, she still has a Mommy who can tell her what to do, and that she better put her spoon down and pick up her glass to drink.

And she says "well then you better go back to your world, because people here don't like rules like that."

I was bursting at the seams trying not to laugh and to be the stern parent who doesn't-like-being-talked-to-like-that. It didn't work so well. She is so hilarious...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Screeching Sara

Sara's new trick is to screech like a screech owl when she thinks she is being ignored. Should I mention that she thinks she is ignored A LOT?

I think this picture came after she screeched for 5 minutes straight and we gave in... The look of victory

Praying in Spanish

Kaci was praying yesterday. (Who else would come up with this stuff?) She stopped in the middle of her prayer, and said "I think I am going to start saying my prayers in Spanish." I told her to finish her prayer, and after she did I asked her why she wanted to start praying in Spanish.

"Because... there is only 1 God, and like 100 different languages. Just because someone doesn't know English doesn't mean they can't pray, so God has to know every language."

(At this point, I am trying not to laugh. She is so serious about it, and her eyes are bright blue and sparkling.)

"You know what else Mom? I don't know very many words in Spanish. But that's ok, because sometimes I say words in English that I don't know either. Little kids who live in Spanish don't know all their Spanish words, and God still hears their prayers."

Oh what a sweet girl. It is so hard to keep a straight face when the little wheels inside her head are spinning this fast!

Friday, April 10, 2009


How could you ever say "no" to these eyes?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sweet Baby Girl

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"Do Dogs Get Married?"

What would you answer if your 4 year old asked you that question?

I answered "No, Dogs don't get married."

Tyler nudged me and said "way to go...." and winked at me. He then told me to "wait for it."

Kaci says "Well then how do dogs have puppies?"

Tyler saved me and went on to explain that Dogs probably get married in their own language, and we just don't know about it... That little girl has so much going on in her sweet head!

See the Resemblance?

"I'm gonna hug her and squeeze her and love her and kiss her and call her George"

You can laugh at our little Elmyra, but it is a daily battle for us.

Kaci, stop squeezing your sister!

But MOMMY, I'm just hugging her!!

You need to click on the picture to see Kaci's expression....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break

We had such a fun week! We planned at least one fun activity a day. The weather was great and we had fun playing in the sun. We went to the park, the farm, the library, ice skating, Chuck E Cheese, Fort Fun, bike rides, walks, the fair, watched tv and movies.... It was fun to show the girls more of the town where we grew up!

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Monday, March 09, 2009

A Kaci-ism

One more for today (Can you tell I found some computer time tonight?)

It is always a struggle in the morning doing Kaci's hair. Her hair is so easy to do curly (get it wet, scrunch it up, and you're done.) But, she wants straight hair like Shanna and me. I can do it, but it means I get it wet, blow dry it and curl the ends. (And convince a 4 year old to hold still for all of that.)

This morning, we had the conversation again. This time I tried a new approach. I told her that Tyler's hair is curly. She thought about it, and said "but Daddy's hair is brown." I said that it was blonde when he was a little boy. She thought about it for a while and then said...

"Well, what happened? Did he eat too much chocolate?"

Tyler's Photos

I love it that Tyler has found his escape from all of the craziness and stress. When he comes home from being at the lake taking pictures, he is so relaxed and happy. These are some of the amazing pictures he has taken.
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Tyler has been going out to a reservoir to take pictures of eagles right by our house. This picture is just amazing to me. I think I'll have it framed for his office. I'll post some of his pictures of eagles next...
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The Front Door...

I have waited a long time to post these pictures... Our front door in Utah was "The Picture Place" It was the backdrop of so many happy memories and great pictures. If I could have taken down the door and brought it with us, believe me I would have. These are the last pictures in front of that door (unless we get crazy and run up and take some before the cops come sometime in the future!)

Also, here is a picture of the wall in the garage where we measured the girls. Don't worry, we wrote it all down and have a new chart now that I transferred the data on to. And last, every great cowboy rides off into the sunset, here are some great pictures Tyler took from our backyard before we left.

It is very bittersweet to look back at the pictures now that we are settled here. The house and yard don't even come CLOSE to comparing to our last house. But, this is temporary. The reward of having our families close is priceless and we are really enjoying being here. We miss our friends and familiar settings, but I am hopeful to keep our friendships (You know who you are!!!) and create new familiar settings. Who knows... maybe we'll even have a new "Picture Place" soon!
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Dance Recital... 3 months ago

I know, I have lots to catch up on. Right now I am like a kid who is supposed to be doing homework, but is doing something much more fun instead. Here are pictures from the girls' dance recital in DECEMBER. (Hey, cut me some slack, we were in the process of moving!)
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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Look At Me!

Sara is pretty pleased with her new mobile abilities!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandad!

We had a fun Mexican Fiesta celebrating my Dad's birthday! It is so great to be here, able to celebrate special days like this!

Dad, I hope you had a great birthday! I love you!

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Friday, March 06, 2009


Tyler and I got to go out for a while by ourselves tonight. (THANKS MOM!) It is so great to be able to laugh and relax and enjoy being with him. We went (gasp) shopping... something that would normally be a grouchy time ("Put that back, no we're NOT buying that... I SAID put that back..." Have you ever been shopping with three kids?) But we joked and looked at the things we wanted to, and it was great.

I feel like my battery has been recharged. We got home, and it was refreshing to see three sets of sparkly eyes smiling at us! (Except Kaci burst into tears when we got home and asked if we could go on another date, she wasn't ready for Nana to leave!)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Circle of... teeth

Shanna lost one... Kaci has most of them... Sara is working on getting her first one.

I had no idea that Shanna had a loose tooth. Maybe I was in denial because she has no permanent tooth to fit the space where this baby tooth fell out. I should be grateful that this is the only short coming I have seen in her life. She is beautiful, smart, healthy, sweet... but she has no new tooth there. We now have to figure that out.

She started the day by brushing her teeth like normal, eating breakfast like normal, but then came home from school with a tooth hanging out in a kinda (really) gross way. We told her she could choose whatever dinner she wanted if she would just pull it and end the agony. (Don't get me started on the drama on loosing her last tooth...)She picked a chicken salad from Smashburger and American Idol on TV, I said "Wahoo, I don't have to pull a tooth!"

On a different note, Sara is working on getting her first tooth. I was so excited for Shanna to get her first tooth, I was thrilled when Kaci cut her first one, but the THIRD time around, I am a little smarter and am already saying "OW" about Sara getting her first tooth. She has been really fussy and not sleeping well, so I guess it will be a good thing for her (and me) when it finally cuts.

Kaci is just the sweetest girl... writing a letter to the Tooth Fairy, telling her that she brushes her teeth really well, and hopes hopes hopes that her tooth will be the newest star in the sky soon!

I am just lucky to be on every stage of the journey with these sweet girls.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Doll, My Sister

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Early Walker??

Shanna and Kaci didn't walk until they were older than a year old. Sara thinks she needs to show them up. She is so determined to wiggle out of our arms every time we hold her. She has the right idea on how to walk, now she just needs a little meat on her bones. (She is just 14 pounds!)

I love this little sunshine!