Jack Jack

This post is all about Jack, and is mostly for far away family who want to know all about his latest and greatest accomplishments.

Accomplishment #1: Opening Doors. Now, this may not seem like a big accomplishment, but it has changed our lives. I don’t think he had the desire to open doors, nor was he quite tall enough, until we moved to Utah. He has found great joy in exploring our new home. Specifically the pantry where he can find his favorite snacks: crackers and raisins.

And also the refrigerator where he can find his very favorite snack: cheese.

Accomplishment #2: Making Monumental Messes. He’s sneaky, he’s fast, and he always leaves Mommy wondering just how he managed to make that mess in .025 seconds. See below.

That is what an entire bag of Goldfish crackers looks like. This is a result of learning how to open the pantry door.

Accomplishment #3: Hiding. Usually after I find a monumental mess, I can’t find Jack. I think he feels guilty, so he hides. He used to hide in the same place all the time, but now he’s becoming more adventurous. I frantically search the house looking for him several times a day, praying that he hasn’t figured out how to unlock a door to get outside. Recently, I found him here:

 

Accomplishment #4: Drawing. Jack loves to draw, and is starting to take his scribbling pretty seriously. Side note: I don’t know how he can be comfortable sitting like this.

Accomplishment #5: Multi-tasking. He can do pretty much anything while sucking his thumb. Here he is skyping with family while doing it. He’s also very talented with the one-handed suck your thumb/pick your nose combination.

Accomplishment #6: Enjoying the world around him. Jack is quite the observer, even though he spends a lot of time running around in circles. He loves anything that has to do with balls, and will actually sit down with Daddy and watch a ball game on TV. He’s also great at watching how Daddy throws or hits the ball, and then does it himself.

We had big trucks and machinery outside our house for a few weeks while they did some road work, and Jack was totally mesmerized by all of it. He would just stare at it, like he was trying to figure out what they were doing.

His new favorite thing to do is go on rides in his new wagon he received for his birthday from Papa and Grandma Parsons. He willingly sits still and loves to look at the scenery around him. By the way, isn’t the Spring scenery just lovely in Utah?

Mother’s Day

Dear Husband,

I am so glad that we are at a point in our relationship where you know that it’s not flowers, jewelry, clothes, or other expensive items that I prefer as Mother’s Day gifts. It’s gigantic gourmet cupcakes. Thank you for surprising me after dinner on Saturday night by taking the family out for cupcakes. Even if it was a last minute decision, it was the right one.

Love,

Your Cupcake-Loving Wife

~~~~~~~~~~~~

My mother has taught me much. My mother-in-law has, as well. Now I teach my own children, and guess what? They teach me, too. So, today I am grateful for the privilege of being a mother, and for all the things my kids have helped me learn about myself and what I am capable of. Motherhood is hard, but the easiest thing for me to do is love these two kiddos:

Happy Mother’s Day!

Imperfections

As I was going through pictures we took on Easter, I came across a few that left me laughing.

I’m reminded that no one is perfect, even in their picture taking. I hope I remember this video when I might judge others for not being perfect:

Easter weekend and Jack turns 2

Easter weekend was a whirlwind. A good kind of whirlwind, not like a tornado or something. We attended a graduation party for Peter’s cousin Jacob on Friday night. It’s been so much fun getting to know Peter’s family here in Utah! I forgot to take pictures. I know, lame.

On Saturday we attended a BBQ for our friend Paul, celebrating his 28th birthday. Peter and Paul grew up together in Ohio, and, as you can see by this picture, are happy to be living closer to each other these days.

Peter’s sisters Christina and Brenda, and their husbands Bruce and Riley drove down from Idaho to meet us at Paul’s party, and then stay with us Saturday night so they could be at our house for Easter dinner and Jack’s birthday celebration. Christina and Leah had a jam session.

Easter morning! The Easter bunny left a trail of eggs into the kitchen where the baskets were hiding. They were surprised to find extra baskets from Ohio!

We enjoyed the sunshine after church.

Uncle Gordon and Aunt RoseAnn joined us for Easter dinner.

Afterwards, we celebrated Jack’s second birthday. He’s getting so big!

We ended up back outside to play with some of Jack’s birthday presents.

Before they left for Idaho, I had to snap a belly shot of Brenda: The Cutest Pregnant Lady Ever. Can’t wait to meet my new nephew in September!

Leah Starts Ballet

For the past year or so Leah has been dancing around the living room wanting to be a ballerina. Every. Single. Day. We moved to Utah, and this continued. So much so that Jack has started mimicking her by twirling around every so often. We decided to enroll her in a ballet class, and this picture was taken the day before she started her class. Can’t you just FEEL her excitement by looking at this picture?!

I must admit that I, too, was pretty excited about these ballet classes. Yes, once upon a time I took ballet when I was 7 or 8. I even attempted to rekindle my passion for dance as an adult and took an adult ballet class several years ago. One word: comical. It’s only cute when you’re 4, or when you’re extremely talented. A bunch of women in leotards trying to plié and sauté around the room while trying not to look at themselves too much in the wall length mirror is really, really hilarious. It was fun while it lasted, which was only a few months.

She’s enjoyed her classes so far, but has been up to her usual shenanigans. She convinced her teacher her name was Sarah one day, and I heard her teacher calling her “Sarah” for the entirety of the class. I had to clear things up afterwards. On another occasion she invited the owner of the studio over to our house for a private performance!

Here’s video of Leah at her 2nd ballet class. They are practicing hopping because they will be bunnies in the upcoming Sleeping Beauty recital in June. Leah wants to be Sleeping Beauty, but is settling for a bunny. Hopefully she doesn’t try to steal the show, although I wouldn’t put it past her.

 

NEUSFLASH: The Neuenswanders Move to Utah

Peter accepted a job with Food for Health International in Provo, Utah, so we packed up and moved all of our belongings and family across the country in January 2011. Although we were very sad to say goodbye to our family, friends and all that we know in Ohio, we were also excited to begin a new adventure together. Moving across the country with 2 little kids proved to be a fun experience, but more importantly it taught us that we couldn’t do it without technology and sugar. A big thank you to Despicable Me, Toy Story 3 and chocolate for getting us through the never-ending nothingness of Kansas.

After our first day on the road, we stayed in St. Louis, and had to get a picture in front of the arch. Jack is clearly unimpressed, and Leah wanted to slide down the arch. We said no.

The kids loved staying in hotels! Jack would not leave the hotel room telephone alone, and it was driving me nuts until I realized he probably had never seen a telephone with a cord. Yes, that's right, I am now that parent who can say, "well, kids, when I was your age all we had were telephones with cords!"

They slept great!

The most interesting thing we saw in Kansas: hundreds of these wind turbines.

We enjoyed beautiful, warm weather in Denver. Do you see the hint of pink in my hair here? A story for another time, but let's just say that it's all Kansas' fault.

Grand Junction, Co.

I was hoping to snag a family picture in front of this sign, but Leah was grumpy, Jack was sleeping, and Peter was trying to keep on schedule, so this is what you get.

Our new home for at least the next year. The original house was built in the 18oo's, and then later renovated and added onto.

The view from our house. That's our church building right across the street. We are always on time to church! You can also see the Y on the mountain, representing BYU. I'm wondering how hard it would be to get a block O up there.

We can enjoy the view from our dining area.

Stay tuned for even MORE pictures, and find out what we’ve been up to in Utah!