Thursday, August 21, 2014

Max is 4!

Max turned 4 years old last week.  I can't believe it!  He is growing up way too fast, I need to freeze time.  We celebrated his birthday the day after his real birthday so Tim could be with us. We started off Max's day with a pretty morning run (Max ran at the beginning and the end...he is way too fast for his own good).  Then we went to one of our favorite parks to play and hav a picnic.  Later that afternoon, we had a little friend party.  It was a last minute planned shin-dig, but we had fun. Later that evening, Max requested popcorn and a movie.  Max could eat popcorn forever. Literally.  We love Max and I can't imagine life without him. Here is what he is currently all about:
1. Tim is Max's hero.  He copies everything his Daddy does.  It warms my heart :).
2. Max is loving sunbeams and is starting to sit for maybe 20 minutes of the hour long block now...! No, his behavior isn't too bad.  It is hard because our whole entire family is in primary, so it is a little distracting.  We love it though! 
3. Max is developing so many new motor skills.  He can do monkey bars, somersaults,  ride his bike like a pro, climb on everything, throw a Frisbee and football correctly, kick and trap a soccer ball better than me, write his first and last name, sound out tons of words, and yesterday he proved to play the wii all by himself.  Great. 
4.  He is getting so tall! 
5.  He has memorized the first 9 articles of faith!  Well, we are almost ready on the 9th :). 
6.  Max is all about fighting the bad guys and capturing them.  We have had to enforce over and over "capturing" the bad guys, not killing them. Needless to say, I feel very safe when Max is around. 
7.  He loves scripture study and church.  Recently he said two different statements that melted my heart.  We were doing the "going to bed" routine one night and it was a lot later than usual.  As I was brushing his teeth I said, "Let's just say an article of faith for scripture study tonight Max, it is so late."  He pulled the toothbrush out of his mouth and gave me a very serious face and said, "But Mom, we have to read the scriptures!  It is my favorite part about going to bed!"  Talk about being put in my place.  I learn so much from Max  :). 
The other sweet thing he said while we were getting ready for church one morning was, "I can't wait to take the Jesus water and bread in Sacrament meeting Mom, it is my favorite part."  It is times like that I need to remember when I am ready to check out because of our crazy Max...
8. Even though Max is 4, mealtimes are still a major challenge.  If I didn't shove the fork or spoon down that boy's throat, he might never eat.  I don't know how he gets all of his energy...
Jake on the other hand only needs my attention when he is done with his 2nd helping of dinner...sweet Jake :).  Such different eaters I have! 
9.  Max could sit and read books to himself (well, look at the pictures) or have me read to him all day.  I love that about him :).
10. Max loves light. Flashlights, lightning, fire, etc...
11. Max is a planner.  He is always asking, "Mom, what are we going to do after ______?"  Every time I tuck him in he needs to know the plans for the following day.  He is my son I guess :). 
12. Max is just like Tim was when Tim was a kid.  Exactly alike. Stubborn as a mule, and very particular.  He won't let Tim or me get the best of him when we are trying to discipline him.  I am constantly having to think of new parenting tactics. Max will finish eating something sticky or messy and rush to the bathroom to wipe off his face and hands before doing anything else. What four year old does that? 
13. He is in that stage now where he has to do EVERYTHING by himself and do it his way.  Such an independent. 
14.  Max sings all the time.  It amazes me how many songs he knows!  He also is starting to quote movies now.  It cracks me up to listen to him go off on different movie scenes. 
I love Max, and am so blessed to be his mom.  He is so caring, sensitive, honest, hilarious, and wild.  Happy 4th Birthday buddy! 
The birthday boy!

The awful cake I made.  Next year: store bought. Max wanted a blue and green
"4" cake.  That artistic gene skipped me most definitely!

Max wanted to try riding without training wheels since he was a "big 4 year old." 
The verdict: he tried :).
I think the training wheels will need to go back on for a bit :). 

I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off at Max's party, so this is
one of the only pictures I got.  Max is hidden underneath Jay Jay the Clown's arm.  Tim
was the perfect Jay Jay again this year! 

Max and Jake after a lot of sugar, popcorn, and no sleep!  So fun to
celebrate Max's special day :). 

Annie's Wedding!

My beautiful sister Annie got married last month!  To say I am happy for her is an understatement!  She and I are about as close as two people can get without getting married...hehe :).  Being able to spend some time with her before the big day and being able to be at her wedding was so wonderful!  She is an incredible person, and I definitely want to be like her when I grow up.  She married Conner Blake, who I am proud to call my brother now!  I met him last December and approved 100% for him to marry Annie (I am very protective of her...so that is a pretty big compliment!)  I was able to get to know him a lot better the few days before the wedding and think the world of him.  We all do! 
Their wedding day was perfect. I kept saying that over and over again.  The perfect bride and groom, the perfect place (Bountiful Temple), the perfect weather, perfect food, perfect company, perfect (and gorgeous) reception, perfect music, etc...   So proud of you Annie and Conner, sure love you guys!
The only thing that could have made the special day better was to have Tim there.  Due to lovely med school, he was not able to make it which broke my heart and his.  There will be an open house in Virginia this December for Conner's group of loved ones and Tim will be able to celebrate with the Blake's then :).  I also wished that our brother Dave could have been there too.  I guess Oman was a leeetle to far for him to come.  Bless Dave's heart, he is the hero in Oman and fights off all the bad guys, so proud of him.  We missed the rest of Camille and Devin's families too, so wished they could have been with us.   Hopefully we will ALL be able to get together soon...! 
It was so good to be with most of my family though.  Tons of cousin time.  Love and hate relationships were made with those little rascals, but thankfully, mostly love.  Being with my family makes me so happy, and we all had a blast :).  It is crazy to think that Annie was the 7th and final Holt to get hitched.  So blessed to belong to such an amazing family :). 
We had so much fun and were super busy, that I forgot to take pictures.  So mad at myself.  Here are the lucky few I shot while in Utah :). 
Max and some of his cousins at the Temple.  Clearly, the fountain was the coolest part...

Annie looked stunning!  What a beautiful bride :). 

Swinging on Grandma and Grandpa Holt's awesome swing set!  Jake's smirk...

Love that picture of Max :). 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer fun!

I have been awful and posting lately.  Me and the boys have made some great memories this summer and I told myself today that I HAD to sit down and blog while the memories are still semi-fresh in my mind.  Luckily both boys are asleep...I better type fast.  I am just going to post a bunch of pics...sorry for the randomness! 
First impression of this picture:  Way random, and totally awkward
mismatched bedding.  My impression: Max's photo (taken himself) of
his neatly made bed (made himself)...his reward for making his bed is that
he gets to take a picture of it.  We have dozens of these pictures, and I just
had to post one.  Such a sweetie!  Side note: yes, someday I hope he will have
cute bedding that matches...but today is not that day...!

Brother love!  I say "Max, gentle with Jake..." probably about 248 times a day :). 

So sweet :). 

Tim's parents are the best and got us this AWESOME kite for this past Easter.  Whenever it
isn't raining and there is a great breeze going on, (which is hardly ever in good old Cleveland...)
Tim and Max both know that it is perfect kite weather. Flying this kite requires a lot of muscle and skill,
but once you get it down it is a blast to fly.  We have had a lot of fun with it, thanks Mom and Dad Ashworth!

Max is still a little too young to fly it by himself, but with a lot of things recently,
he will get the hang of it soon and be better at it than me!

Tim is the master kite flyer by far.  Love this pic :). 

Once again, Jake gets the best jobs:
#1 Hold the kite thingie...

...#2 Eat the kite thingie!
video
 
Video of the kite
One of my dearest friends Michelle and her hubby Kyle had a job in Virginia this past summer.
On their trek across the country, we were lucky enough to be one of their stopping
points!  Tim, Max, Jake, and me think the world of them and had such a great time!  They only stayed
a couple of days, but that didn't stop us from catching up, playing games, eating yummy food, and of course going on an awesome run in the hot humid heat of Cleveland! Thanks for making our summer Kyle and Michelle, we love you guys!
 
Friends forever! I just love this girl!  

Happy Father's Day Tim!  Max has had a superman kick for who knows how long and insisted
on making a super man card for his Daddy for Father's Day.  Tim is definitely super, that is for sure!  I couldn't have asked for a better Daddy for Max and Jake.  I love him so much and am one lucky woman to be married to him :).   

 

I turned 25!  Crazy!  I have an incredible husband who made me breakfast, and then we
just played with our boys.  We got a babysitter that night and Tim and I biked to get some
ice cream.  It doesn't get much better than that! 

We went camping!  We finally had a weekend when Tim was free and we had a blast!
We got to our site kind of late, but it was still so fun.  Jake was a champ, as usual, and Max
was in his glory.  He had been asking and asking when we were going to go, so his face looked like it does
in this picture the whole trip!  Tim is a pro camper and makes it so enjoyable because he can deal with and do
just about anything outdoors.  It was a gorgeous night, and I enjoyed so much just being with my family.  So fun

Sorry for the awkward angle...I just had to post this with sweet Jake!  All cleanliness, nutrition, and hygiene go
out the window with camping. After I had come to terms with those conditions, I had a great time! 

Good morning Ashworth family!  Love the feeling of waking up in a tent :). 

Happy 4th of July!  I realized that we have hardly taken any pictures of us in our yard.  With Tim graduating this next May, (feels so weird to say that...) I made us take a timed photo before we went to a BBQ with some friends.  Even though our backyard is tiny, next to a parking lot, and not fenced in, we have loved having it and have made many memories :). 

Some of our friends were awesome enough to include us on a fun day at the famous Cedar Point amusement park.  It is
roller coaster heaven for those of you who are that crowd...a.k.a Tim.  I braved one roller coaster with Tim and about lost it (literally...).  We all had so much fun though, and are so glad we had the chance to go before leaving Cleveland.  The weather was perfect and our kids were so good.  While Tim was going crazy on roller coasters, me, Max, and Jake thoroughly enjoyed the ferris wheel :).  Max's face says it all, love it! 

I was so proud of Max braving a bunch of rides I thought he wouldn't go on.  Having said that, he went on this ride probably about 6 or 7 times :).  Just watching him go around and around and around made me want to puke...! 
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Max's First Race!

Max could probably run all day if Tim and I let him. We always joke that Max learned to crawl, then run.  No joke, I think it was the week he learned to walk when he mastered running.  Ever since then, Max has been a running machine.  I can't help but say that I am a proud mother!
  One morning I was out for a run and saw a poster advertising a race right by our house.  Not only did I want to do it, but they had a "fun run" for kids after the 4 miler.  I came home and told Max about it and he was so excited!  Tim wasn't able to come because of a rotation, but me and the boys had a blast!  After the race they had homemade doughnuts (smelling those when I was finishing my race made me sick...) and some games for the kids to do.  Max and his little friend Jude were the youngest runners there and it cracked me up how well they kept up.  The "fun run" was one lap around the track.  After he ran the whole lap without stopping he came up to me and said all cheery, "Mom, I want to do it again!"  So I said okay, and that is exactly what he did!  Way to go Max :). 
The racing man!  He was insistent on wearing his running headband.  I found one of
my old race bibs and pinned it on his shirt to make him official :).   

Max and Jude showing their muscles before the race!

Sweet little Jake!  He had the most important job of all during the race by
keeping that stroller seat company :). 

The runners! 

Since I had Jake and couldn't be Max's partner for the games, a sweet little
girl agreed to be Max's buddy.  She was so cute with him and it made his day :). 
video
On your mark...get set...go!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Walk On Horsie!"

Max's preschool class has been lucky enough to enjoy a horseback riding program for the past 5 weeks.  Today was the last day, and parents were invited!  Parents and cameras, of course.  I was so excited to see Max ride "Nick," the horse he has been talking about for the past 5 weeks.  It is a pretty incredible program this place has.  Riding horses is a very effective type of therapy for individuals with disability whether it be emotional, mental, or physical.  The staff was amazing, and did such a great job accommodating the crazy preschool class!  We sure lucked out with this preschool, it has been such a great experience for Max :). 
Max waiting to ride Mr. Nick, the horse :). 

Feeding the horses the "pizza treat" the kids helped make.


"Hey Mom!" 

We were so far away, getting a close up was kind of difficult.  Max was
one happy camper on that horse :). 

Most of Max's darling preschool class :). 

Each kid was awarded a ribbon for completing the training program.  My child
was pretty excited and put it on immediately. 
video
Horse parade!  Perfect weather for riding :).
video
Max trotting! 
 
 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring has finally sprung!

I really do enjoy living in Cleveland.  After this past winter though, I was at the edge of my seat, (maybe even falling off,) waiting for Spring to come.  And it has come!  Hooray!  We have enjoyed dozens of walks/runs/bike rides, park days, snow cones, ice cream, playing sports with Max, kite flying, and water gun fights this past month.  We have spent countless hours in our back yard playing, eating dinner, blowing bubbles, and just relaxing.  The blossoms on the trees are so pretty, and the air smells so fresh! The tulips and daffodils are gorgeous! There has been a lot of rain, but heck, I will take rain over snow any day :). 
Tim is in his final home stretch of year 3 in Medical School.  Man, the time has flown by so fast!  He works so hard waking up before the sun every morning so he can be with us in the evening.  I can't believe he will be a Doctor in one year. CRAZY!  I am so proud of him! 
Max is finishing up his first year of preschool which we have all loved.  He is into changing his clothes about 3 times a day.  Soccer outfit-running shorts-superman jammies-flip flops-running shoes-soccer outfit...you get the point. He is memorizing the articles of faith (doughnuts of his choice being the incentive!)  Max loves soccer, baseball, and running right now.  He and I are going to run a race at the end of the month at the elementary school right by our house.  Every time we meet someone he will let them know that he is a runner and is going to win the race.  No brainwashing there at all...! He loves his brother!  Those two keep each other up laughing, growling, squealing, yelling, and singing every night after Tim and I put them to "bed."  His appetite is increasing like crazy!  He is growing up way too fast, I can't believe it.  I love hanging out with him and seeing what a big boy he is becoming :).
Jake is all smiles!  That boy is always in the best mood, even when he has an excuse to be in a bad one.  He is getting his 3rd tooth and is perfectly sitting up. He grabs everything and eats it.  He hasn't taken to crawling yet, but is a little scooter bug all around the floor.  Jake will not eat purred baby food.  I have tried probably 50 times with no success.  He refuses.  It has been very frustrating!  SO...one day we finally tried giving him "grown-up food."  He devoured it.  The little monkey decided to skip the whole baby food stage and move onto the good stuff I guess.  I don't blame him.  Meal time for Jake consists of a lot of beans, cheerios, pieces of bread, rice, cut up fruit/ steamed veggies, noodles, and potatoes.  I have to get creative.  We are so glad to finally have solved the dilemma of him not eating purred food because he is now sleeping through the night!!  I am a whole new creature when I wake up after an uninterrupted 7 hours of sleep.  Happy wife, happy life baby!  Way to go Jake, we love you buddy!
I am keeping busy with my church calling, nannying 3 days a week, and training for a half marathon this summer. Not to mention my baking kick as of late...I love food way too much for my own good!
I was spoiled rotten for Mother's Day this year with a gourmet breakfast of waffles, eggs, raspberries, and bacon.  Tim had a meeting before church and masterfully whipped all that up AND enjoyed it with Max and I before 7:10am. What a guy!  Church was wonderful, especially seeing the primary kids sing.  Max was so sweet up on the stand singing, I was displaying quite the waterworks in the congregation!  After church, we came home and had a quick lunch and packed up for a day at one of Cleveland's beautiful Metro parks.  Metro parks are kind of like the "mountains" of Cleveland for me.  They are all over and we love walking/biking in them :).  This particular one had a castle built in the 1900s which we went to see.  Max was so excited being in a "real" castle he could hardly stand it!  After we toured the castle, we biked and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  The boys were so good in the trailer and the weather was perfect!  We got home and Tim grilled the most amazing hamburgers to date.  He  made homemade french fries too which are to die for!  Literally.  We had corn on the cob and enjoyed the meal outside in our back yard.  After dinner we went for a walk, then came home and put the boys down for bed.  Tim and I enjoyed ice cream with hot fudge and just talked.  It was a full day, but the best!  I told Tim many times that I could relive it again and again and again!  I am so blessed to have a husband who treats me so well and is an amazing father to our boys!  I have two adorable kids who keep me on my toes, but teach me so much at the same time.  I am so blessed and have so much to be grateful for! 
Here are some pictures from Mother's Day and just random wonderful days! 

All smiles this little chunk!  I am kind of obsessed!
Max and Tim playing with Max's new castle.  Max got this for being "very obedient" one day.  We kind of get desperate for ideas to promote good behavior around our house sometimes...!

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...! 

Did I mention I am a little obsessed!?!

Sweet Jake :). 

Best buds :).  Love this picture! 


Max peeking through a window at Squire's Castle.  What a cute little face poking out!

The 3 joys of my life :). 

Such a cool picture!  Love my family! 

Look at all of this grass I get to put in my mouth! 

Max and I after our bike ride.  He was a champ and didn't bother Jake at all...this time!

The best husband in the world!  I couldn't have asked for a better guy!

We took pictures of the boys before bed last night:
Max at his finest...
Sweet Smiling Jake!