Oh what do you do in the Summertime?

 This is what we've been doing-
Playing in cupboards

Watching Elmo

 Playing with our neighbor friends

 Having lunch with grandma and sisters for my birthday

 Playing outside

 Going to the Bear River cabin with family while dad is gone on a business trip

 Hiking with Aunt Molli

 Playing with cousin Taylor and wanting to do everthing he does

 Hiking with grandpa!

 Finding Lincoln's favorite spots to sit and play

The whole family getting sick for 3 weeks and watching lots of curious george

 Going on a date to the temple and Texas Roadhouse for Devin's birthday & celebrating him passing another CPA test. 2 more left to go!

 Going to the zoo

 Playing in our backyard

 Swimming at the Rec center

Celebrating being 32 weeks along in my pregnancy!

That about sums it up!

Lincoln is ONE!!

I can't believe my little Lincoln is one year old!! It makes me tear up just thinking about it. Lincoln is the sweetest, cutest, craziest little boy. He loves throwing balls into baskets, going on walks outside, watching baby einstein videos and getting attention from anyone who will give it to him. He willingly gives kisses when you say "kiss kiss!" He loves the color red and the beach boys song "Barbara Ann." He can say the words: hi, tickle, da-da, and Jesus. He STILL throws huge tantrums when it's time to get dressed or change his diaper. Otherwise, he is all smiles. He has 4 teeth, with one coming in. He loves grapes, cheese and cookies. He can take a couple steps, but doesn't really want to start walking yet. He is CONSTANTLY babbling. We love him so much!!
Some of these pictures are from a few months ago. I completely forgot to take pictures of his birthday party until after it was almost over!
Christmas morning
Enjoying the sun in March
Almost done with the helmet!!
First hair cut from dad
the only way he would sit still was to put a baby movie on for him
My attempt at a soccer ball birthday cake
Loves pushing his highchair around
In his new wagon with his friend Sammy
Love you Linco!!

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

I've tried this soup a few times now, and I think I've got it about right. It takes forever, but totally worth it. Filled with tons of vegetables. I freeze it in canning jars, it makes great lunches. The noodles absorb the liquid, so I have to make sure to put in a lot of liquid. Otherwise, there will not be enough broth. It takes up almost the entire stock pot. It usually fills about 8 large canning jars to freeze + enough for dinner that night.

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 small cloves garlic, chopped (or 1/8 tsp garlic powder=1 clove)
2 onions, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
9-10 cans chicken broth (I sometimes use low sodium)
3-4 cups water
1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce (I also add 2 cans v8 juice)
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
5 red potatoes
1 (15 ounce) can green beans
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
3 small zucchinis, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 TBSP dried)
salt and pepper to taste
Large shell pasta ( about 3/4 a package)
1 package of stew meat
grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Cook your stew meat in the crock pot for 7-8 hours on low the night before or the morning of making the soup. I just add some water and sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper, and some garlic and onion powder.In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes.Add chicken broth, water, (v8) and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and add potatoes, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 60-90 minutes. Add kidney beans about halfway through so they don't fall apart.While that is cooking, boil the pasta.When soup is done simmering, add stew meat and pasta. Serve in bowls with shredded parmesan cheese on top.

simply having a wonderful christmas time

I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone. We had a great Christmas day with mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, and cousins. Lincoln was the center of attention, he loved every minute of it. We gave him some fun books, teething rings, and balls. Mostly, though, he just wanted to play with all the wrapping paper and cardboard boxes. We feel so blessed to have such wonderful family so close by. As always, we missed the barlows but are excited to hopefully see them this summer.

One of the best nights we had this week was when we stopped to help a man on the side of the road with his car. We ended up driving him to our house, giving him some warm soup, and taking him where he needed to go. He didn't speak much english and we don't speak much spanish, but it made us feel good to be able to help him. It helped us remember what Christmas is all about.
I haven't blogged for so long, I almost decided to give up on it completely. But for the sake of preserving family memories, I changed my mind. I have so much catching up to do, I don't know where to start. So sorry for the bombardment of pictures!

Lincoln is now 8 1/2 months and is growing faster every day. He scoots around the house so fast, I am on my toes constantly trying to keep track of him. He loves playing peek-a-boo, riding on daddy's shoulders, and getting attention from all the ladies at church. He is laughing or smiling most the time. His cheeks are so chubby, I probably give him 200 kisses everyday.
I love being a mother. For awhile there, I feel like I lost myself a little. Having a baby is harder than I ever imagined. But now I have found myself again in the midst of all the laundry piles stacking up, the stretch marks on my tummy and hips, the list of things-to-do with nothing crossed off, and the never-ending bags of dirty diapers to take out to the garbage. I have realized that I need to slow down, focus on the things that matter most, and enjoy the time that I have with just the three of us. I still have other hats I wear sometimes: the nurse, the relief society teacher, the sister and aunt, the neighbor, etc. But a mother is who I am now, and I wouldn't have it any other way.