Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Clara Turned 4

Oh My, how is it possible that I have a four year old? As my girlfriends and I were talking, I realized that having a four year old somehow makes me feel like I am a "real mom" now. Laugh if you want, that's how I feel. Clara's birthdays always tend to be quite exciting because her reactions are so genuine, unrefined and  hilarious. She did not disappoint. Her face for most of the evening below.

My brother and sister were saying all night long that she reminded them of a certain girl they used to know--what? You've never seen a girl get rightfully excited over gifts? And oh that mouth. Yep it's from me too. But lets stick with the non genetic birthday presents. She was super excited about a couple of things. She's been asking for about 6 months for a bike. We kept telling her that when she turns 4 she can get one. She has a mind like a steel trap (again, a gift from me) and she had not forgotten. GB & Grandma Lynn were in on the gift idea with us and provided bike accessories like wheel beads, knee pads, elbow guards, basket and of course the bell.  We gave her all of those gifts first. She kept saying "where is the bike?" When I told her she would just have to use those things on her tricycle, she tried very hard to be OK with that. Then daddy "remembered" that there was one more gift. He wheeled out the bike and her reaction was totally priceless. She had her hands over her mouth and was so excited. One of the most special giving moments so far! I'll remember her face forever.
She got right on and was ready for a ride. Seriously one of the cutest bikes I've ever seen. And yes, I purposefully bought her a purple outfit to match her new purple bike.

We had cake pop's & s'more cup cakes afterwards. Thanks so much to our family and friends who made Clara's birthday special.

It was completely lost on Judah that he could take bites of his cake pop.

Clara sporting her new biking gear

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The glaze after the party. Cake smeared faces, over stimulated brains and half dressed kids seems about right. 

Christmas Party

It seems every year the only time Owen and I get "dressed up" to go somewhere is for the annual Custom Controls Christmas Party. And just in case you were wondering, yes this is me and Owen dressed up. Ha! It makes it to the blog every year, and this year is no different

But lets keep it real, we're no longer DINK's and our real life consists of three kids in their pajama's most of the time! Amazing how just about every year, there has been a new baby in our photo or at least one on the way. 
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Fun with Clifford

A few weeks back I saw a commercial stating that Clifford the Big Red Dog was going to be at a local shopping area. Clara LOVES Clifford and I have a soft spot for him in my heart since he was one of my favorite characters as a child. So we packed up the kiddos and didn't tell them until we were on our way what we were doing. Above: Daddy & Wesley taking the back seat so we could be up close. Wesley looks thrilled doesn't he?

Mommy, Clara and Judah enjoying some story time before Clifford came out. See him in the background?
Kill me now. I just love this kid and with a hat on he's even more precious. Yep, that's my boy with a hat, no jacket, a car and his kakki pants on backwards at a very "trendy" mall.

Me and Wesley...gain, doesn't he look thrilled?

Clara waited very patiently to get her picture taken with Clifford. She couldn't wait to touch him, but when it finally came down to it, she wanted mommy in between the two of them. As for me, I'm always a little curious about who's under the costume, this particular Clifford seemed very happy to have to pose with all the mama's! He really squeezed me in tight.

This was Clara's "most excited face" after meeting Clifford. k
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Mr. Cheese

I am pleased to introduce to you Mr. Cheese. If Judah was guy smiley at this age, Wesley is so Mr. Cheese. 
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Random Happenings

Our kids got mail...for the first time in a long time! They were rediculously excited about the said mail. They asked that we take pictures with their envelopes...well Wesley didn't but you get the idea. Yeah, those are my boys flashing their Abe Lincolns. Thanks GB & Grandma Lynn for the Thanksgiving money & cards. The kids loved it as you can see!

Seriously? I will announce once again that Isaac is single! And now we can see why. Just kidding, if this picture says anything, it's a true representation of how much fun the kids have with Isaac on a daily basis. Isaac truly is great with the kids--now if we could get him to be great with the house cleaning we'd be onto something. Ha ha.
This picture is a little teaser for Grandma. Yes it's here, yes its set up...but not completely. A whole other post is devoted for that.

Here's my special dude. Mr. Cheese at the moment. Can you see his 4 teeth? Yeah, you're right, how could you miss them? They're huge! Wesley had his 9 month appointment several weeks ago already and at the time he was 18 lbs 1 oz. He's doing all the normal 9 month things and is happy and healthy. We're so thankful for this joyful and peaceful addition to our family. Quiet. Content. Determined. Focused. And pretty darn handsome if I do say so myself. 
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hiking & Training

We went on a family hike up 'A' mountain on Thanksgiving weekend. Yep, Clara and Judah hiked all the way up the mountain by themselves. I knew Clara could do it, but Judah has a tendency to have an "I can't monster" riding on his shoulder. He did fantastic! He needed help in a few places but was totally confident all the way up and all the way down. I wore Wesley in the moby wrap backpack style...he was a happy camper. When we got to the top we posed for a family picture. Here is where my husband and I differ...There was a couple below us just a bit that I wanted to ask...but conveniently there was a 10 year old boy right next to Owen...Guess who got to take the shot? Yep the 10 year old boy. Hence the reason we look more like we're standing in front of a prison. Gotta love it. At least in this one all five of our faces are in the frame.
Judah posing above the city. You can really see how high the hike was from this perspective. And no, we don't know who Taylor & Sarah are, but apparently they want their love on a rock in permanent marker for all to see. Here ya go!

Clara was a little more model-esque

By the end of the hike Wesley was hanging a little low--still smiling though

This is my "I am woman hear me roar" face. Oh don't ask!

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I am still training for the PF Changs Half Marathon. I still can't believe that I am doing it...well I've paid for it and if you know me, if I've paid for something I am going to do it! I have been running 3-5 times a week depending on the week...several miles each weekday run and a long run that I just got up to 7  miles this weekend. A blessing from the running? I am getting to know a lovely new friend who has also committed to this torture--I mean running. We are able to run at least once a week together and it's been a blessing to have accountability and encouragement along the way. It's amazing what training can do...I am at a place that 4 miles seems easy-ish and 7 miles did not kill me.  I never thought I would get to this place. I can honestly say that I am running and enjoying it (not the super long runs) and I can see/feel my body changing. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Yep, I realize we are almost on to a 4th birthday party and Christmas and I am just getting to Thanksgiving. You don't have to read it if you don't want to. This is more for me and the recording for my family! Something we are all thankful for? The life of our newest niece Callan. This is Wesley "holding" her for the first time. Wow does he seem giant compared to her!  Another "WOW" is that we added the 6th, 7th and 8th baby to this family this year. Woah! Let me just say that GB & Grandma Lynn and Noni & Puff you have fertile's amazing that 3 kids can produce that many grandchildren so close together.

Thanksgiving turned out to be a fashion show of sorts between Clara and Olivia. They came up the stairs several times saying "We're so fancy!" What I am thankful for? My sister (and brother) living so close and that our kids can grow up together. Doesn't get much better than that.

Another special thing was that my mom was in town for Callan's birth and to help afterwards...we realized that this was the first Thanksgiving that we have shared together since 2002. How did that happen? More than ever, the deeper I get into this motherhood thing the more I am thankful (and amazed) for my mom. She had her hands even fuller than me! And she survived although she doesn't remember much. Haha. Here she is with mr. Cheese himself!
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There has been much to be thankful for this year, 3 new babies in our family, a new place to live, renters (never thought I'd be sayin that!), healthy family relationships, healthy kids, and so much more. Wow. What a year (so far). 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thx Giving Gunning

Have a few pics here of me and the Boys shooting. Ya, his is Daddy Owen posting. I was informed by my warrior Queen this will not be a regular feature. Or so she thinks. I have to say the Blog is pretty accurate day to day as to how we really live. But, you know a "good wife" typically tries to hide any and all red neck and hill billy moments. Hope to sneak back in soon. Owen Out....

Single Uncle Isaac 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Callan Elyse

Announcing the birth of my third niece Callan Elyse. My sister Rachael had her baby girl a few weeks early, much to her relief and our joy! 

The Tres Amigos. I've been at 2 of Rachael's births with my mom...Both have been at all three of my deliveries. I couldn't imagine it another way. 

 Obviously comfortable! Thank God for modern medicine.
I think this is the best face ever. I told Rach to give me her "Oh my, I just realized I am about to have my 3rd child" face. I think she nailed it! 

Callan Elyse--5 lbs 9 oz born at 9:32 pm. Callan is our maiden name, we'll call her Callie

The happy family! 

Boo for Sickies

So we have made it almost 9 months without a true illness for seems he's made up for it this past week. Man oh man, there's pretty much nothing sadder than this little boy being sick. He ran 103+  fever for 4 days and then came the explosions from both ends. Poor baby is so tired--he's not played much this week at all, he just wanted to be snuggled or held. If he didn't want to be held he wanted to be sleeping. Praying that today's more up beat baby will stay. 

We happen to have his 9 month well check on Monday. Umm hello? Where did the last 9 months go? I cannot believe that he is 9 months and that he's 3 months shy of a year! God has been so merciful, with each passing month I can look back and can remember where I was with both of the other two kids...Clara was still work every day for me--trying to figure this whole mommy thing out. Judah was in the beginning throws of his failure to thrive and I was feeling crazy managing all of his symptoms and calculating his intake & calories. With Wesley, we're happily enjoying the snuggle time with a small illness and blessed that things are going so well! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

We are here

We are here. Still. Busy. loving life. Home Schooling. Celebrating a legacy of marriage with family. 60 years people. We are still here. More to come soon.

Monday, October 31, 2011


We went on a camping trip this weekend. Oh my what to say what to say? I did have fun. I did freeze, there was a bathroom, and I probably will do it again. We joined 6 other families from our church--There were 26 in all, 14 adults, 12 kids ranging from 8 weeks to 7 years of age and 2 dogs. We went to Camp Verde, just south of Sedona and camped in this beautiful canyon area with a creek running through it. So here are some snapshots.

The littlest Maurer getting ready for his first Camping trip.

Our loaded 4runner. The first indication that we brought way too much stuff!
The oldest Maurer setting up the tent (OK I confess, this is Owen taking down the tent at the end of the trip, but who could really tell?) And can we say saggy pants?

The fuel for the weekend....Starbucks Frappaccino's. Note to self--next time bring some coffee that can be heated when it's only 37* outside! We didn't anticipate that it would be that cold, Owen and I and all three of the kiddo's snuggled together to keep warm. The first night, pretty much every hour of the night one of the 12 children were crying! It was the longest night ever!

 The littlest Maurer and the Middle Maurer chillin' quite literally in the morning. Can I just say how thankful I am that I don't regularly rely on a camp fire to warm up milk for my baby?
 The big cheese!
 Clara was in heaven being outside with her daddy all weekend long!

Our youngest camper, Caleb...can you see him in there? 
Is it just me or does Mena seem like she's got something up her sleeve for Judah? 

 Eating breakfast...
 Green Machine.
 Dan and Katie enjoying breakfast---about 3 hours after the rest of us! They "slept in" as their camp site was away from the rest of us...not far enough though because they still could hear all the cryin' babes!
 Clara and Judah enjoying a treat from their daddy. Twinkies are not something that I would give them! They were so happy! Owen took them on a "trail" of exciting and bumpy driving.
The beautiful stream right by our tent. This was my "white noise" for sleeping.

Ahh and here's my mountain man! When I first laid eyes on Owen my sister told me that I wouldn't like him because he was "kind of a mountain man". Ha! Believe it or not, this was our first real "outdoors experience" since being together--not sure how I lucked out to get someone who is "so prepared" for EVERYTHING. I love you babe. Give me at least 6 months before we have to do that again.
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