Last week I posted a video that Ben made me for our anniversary. It was only up for a little bit because the music was disabled by You Tube. Anyways, if you want to look at it and listen to the song, "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars you can check out myAnniversary Music Video.
This year Ben and I are celebrating our 9th anniversary! Time flies when you are having fun! I thought it would be fun to post some pictures from when we met to now.
Here is Ben and I at a single's dance. My friend Eric was really into Halloween and every year he would get a group of people together to dress up. We won 1st prize and I remember Ben being a big hit! I think he even won a prize for his outfit. I remember the ladies flocking around him.
This is one of our engagement pictures. We thought it would be neat to include CJ. We even had CJ announcing the wedding on our invitations. Isn't she so cute?
The happiest day of my life is next. We were married in the Bountiful Temple by his grandfather. I wore tennis shoes with my wedding dress and I LOVED my hair! Ben looked so handsome in his tux and CJ was the minature bride.
I thought it would be fun to post the next picture. 3 of his sisters weren't married at the time and everyone looks so young. His now 16 year old brother was only 7 and Andy and Sarah who have 1 child in the picture now have 5 kids each!
This is Ben and I shortly after we were married at one of his Advanta Christmas parties. Ben worked at Advanta for a year or so after we were married, until he decided to go back to school. He was a valuable asset in his department. He was just someone who answered phones and somehow ended up being sent to Philadelphia to introduce a new program to the company out there.
In 2005, after many struggles, a bad thing turned into a good thing and we were able to take CJ to the temple and get sealed. I also was able to adopt her. This is the second best day of my life!
On a side note, this past year while looking at CJ's birth certificate that I ordered after I adopted her, we realized that I changed the way her middle name was spelled. It used to be "Jayde" and I spelled it, "Jade". So now it is legally Jade and Ben says that just fine because CJ kept spelling her middle name without the "y" anyways.
This was taken a few months after Xander was born. Ben wore his glasses all the time because he worked at UPS and it was just easier for him to keep them on.
This was taken a few weeks after we bought our first house in California! Ben was going through a "I want to grow my hair out as long as I can" stage and I was going through a "I bet I can grow my hair out to the middle of my back" stage. Neither Ben nor I made it. We both cut our hair within months of this picture.
The most recent picture of Ben and I together. We've had a wonderful 9 years with so many good things that have happened to us. We've been through many struggles and tears that have made us stronger and better.
Can't wait to see what adventures are ahead! Happy Anniversary Ben!
WARNING! This is a bunch of random thoughts I just wanted to write down since I use my blog entries for our Family Yearbook.
Xander came home from the first day of Primary this year saying, "I'm not a Sunbeam, I'm a Rockstar!" I didn't think I would enjoy being in Primary with my kids as much as I do. You know how your kids act worse when you are around them sometimes? That's what I thought would happen if I were there with them in Primary. When I first was called into Primary, Xander was still clingy and I thought that it was going to be a problem, but it never has been. I also like the fact that I get to hear what they are learning and that is a great discussion prompt at dinner time.
CJ and I went to "New Beginnings" the other night. I can't believe I am old enough to have a daughter who is going into Young Womens! They spot lighted her and the other girls who are coming in this year. She even gets to go to camp. I am so excited for her. I'm kinda sad that I am not in Young Womens anymore. It is my most favorite calling to have.
The other night, I was thinking that it would have been so fun to be in Young Womens with CJ, but then a thought occurred to me. I can be very hard on CJ and I think that it is probably a good thing that I am not in there with her. For instance, at the "New Beginnings" night each table was in charge of doing a skit on a particular value. CJ and the other girls were just goofing around and playing with the props instead of planning a skit. I corrected only CJ. I think it is better for CJ if I am not there and that she gets a break from me.
CJ is also getting taller! She is taller than her Grandma Porter. Whenever I am around her, I feel like I am shrinking. We have even swapped clothes! Me more than her, of course.
I just took these pictures tonight. Xander and Zoey have been playing more together. They were spinning on the chair when Xander told me, "Mom take a picture of us!" I love how Xander tells me to take pictures of him when he is doing something cute or creative. Xander and Mia are best buds and I think that pretty soon, he'll have another buddy. Zoey just needs to learn how to talk more.
Here are some words that she knows: mama, dada, CJ, Mia, kitty cat, go, down, peek a boo, hot, more, dance, thank you, banana, nose, uh oh, and eye. She's said some more these past few days, but these are the words she says consistently.
I took Zoey to the doctors the other day for her 18 month check up. They told me that she is in the 50% for weight and off the charts again for height. A tall skinny girl is what I have. Everyone is always amazed at how tall Zoey is. She is 35 3/4 in. Almost 3 feet! I asked the doctor how tall she thought Zoey would be. She said it is hard to say (of course, i just wanted her to entertain my thought) but if she kept growing at this rate she would be 5'8" or 5'9"! I thought that was great! She asked how tall Ben was and told me that I was tall too. I've had a few people lately tell me that I was tall. Is 5'5" tall?
Zoey cracks me up at how much she likes to dance. Every night we have a dance fest. I turn up the music and she bust the moves. She has also figured out how to dance in the car. Bobby her head used to be all she could do until she figured out her hands and arms could move too. Now when the music is on in the car, I turn to look at Zoey and she is bending her arm up and down to the music. It is seriously the cutest sight.
Zoey also loves the water. She loves taking a bath and has no fear. In fact, I have to watch her like a hawk. She loves throwing her body backwards in the water and just lays there until she decides she wants to flip over on her tummy. Maybe this girl is going to be a swimmer someday.
So these pictures I took tonight, I used my new flash. I got a Canon Speedlite 430 EXII. It's something that I splurged on with the money that I have earned from my photography. I've never liked my pictures that I take indoors, especially when the lighting is not good.
Taking pictures with a flash is an art of its own. It's not as easy as your would think. I'm excited to learn how to use it. The hardest thing I am finding this year, is finding time to do things for me. I don't know what it is, but I find myself completely exhausted every day and thinking, "What did I do today?"
Mia has been in gymnastics for about 9 weeks. I was so elated when I got her into this facility. The price is right and it seems to have great programs. I waited in line for 2 1/2 hours to get her in. She has enjoyed it every week. This past week, one of her teachers approached me and told me that Mia is very talented and she would like her to be tested for the Pre-Team. That sounded really wonderful until I found out how much they practice. Two hours, Three times a week! I don't know if I am ready for her to be that serious yet at 6 years old. I also don't think I am ready for that kind of commitment either. I think we might just pass this time around and hopefully she will have another opportunity down the line.
I have made more of a commitment lately to sit down and read with Mia. She is such an independent girl, that it is so easy just to let her do it on her own or read it out loud to me while I do something else. But, I realize the importance of taking the time and sitting with her. I want to push her to reach her potential. I just put a sound wall up today on our door above our word wall. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have with teaching kids to read. I wish I could figure out how to do more one on one time.
I think that you make time for the things that are most important to you. I also think that the key is to make sure the things that are most important to you are the things that should be important.
We went to Arizona for Christmas and visited with Grandma/pa Armstrong.
B is for Bokeh
Bokeh is the blur effect that you can do with your camera. This is an experiment that I have been wanting to try. Make a lens cover out of paper and use a punch out of any shape hole puncher you have and you can create something like this:
C is for Cristus
Grandma Armstrong took us up to the Mesa Temple and Christ is what this season is all about.
D is for Dancing
Zoey is our dancer. If there is music playing, a tune to be heard, this little girl cannot control the urge to DANCE!
E is for Eucre
Ben and I play Eucre ALOT when we are with my parents. I'm a little competitive and got this trophy to give to the winner at the end of our visits. Last year, my parents were the reigning champions until. . .NOW! Boo-yah!
F is for Fentons
Grandma/pa Porter came from Utah to visit us after we got back from Arizona. Fentons is a Porter tradition!
G if for Gifts
The kids were showered with gifts from Grandparents and their Aunt Darcy and Uncle Dustin. On top of that, they earned gold coins for two weeks by doing service and good deeds. The gold coins were traded in for cash and they used that money to buy their sibling a gift. Xander worked so hard for Mia and bought her 3 presents!
H is for Hearts
We played card games a ton this break. Hearts was a game that I haven't played forever. It was fun to learn it again.
I is for IPOD Nano
CJ got an IPOD Nano for Christmas! Her biggest wish came true!
J is for Jelly Belly Factory
While Caleb and Grandma/pa Porter were in town, we visited the Jelly Belly Factory. With it being the holidays, we waited in line for at least an hour! The wait was worth it to the kids as they got a designer Jelly Belly hat and free Jelly Bellys to eat at the end of the tour!
K is for Karaoke
Mia's favorite gift is her karaoke machine and her keyboard. CJ gave her her old IPOD and Mia can hook it up to her karaoke and sing the day away.
L is for Lights
This season we saw the lights at the Oakland and Mesa Temple. The Mesa Temple grounds were covered with thousands of lights; it was amazing!
M is for Mines
We went up towards the Lost Dutchman Mines while we were in Arizona. They have this really fun old western town. The kids got some fools gold and that was about it! Everything else was so expensive!
N is for Nativity
At the Mesa Visitor Center they had a creche display. Nativities from all over the world were displayed.
O is for Ornaments
We kept the tradition of making ornaments this year. We used teeny tiny boxes that Ben got off the free shelf and everyone had to made it into something. This is always a lot of fun for the kids.
P is for Polar Express
We had a Polar Express party at our house. This is something I have thought about doing for years, but never had a big enough place to do it. All the kids came dressed up in their pjs. We watched the Polar Express and had hot chocolate and cookies. When they went home, they each got a candy cane with a little bell to help them to remember to "BELIEVE".
This also was fun for me to help the Moms out by giving them a couple hours to last minute shop or do whatever. In the end, the kids couldn't keep focused on the movie and really, all they wanted to do was play!
Q is for Quilt
My mother in law had a blog giveaway for all the girls. She had several quilts that we all got to choose from. She randomly picked names and I was last. But look at this quilt! I'm still a winner!
R is for Receiving cards/letters
One of the best things this year for me was to receive Christmas cards with pictures I have taken on them! One of my friends sent me one and Betsy and Russ did too! Thank you for making my day! Also, the kids got a letter back from Santa. It was addressed to the PORKER KIDS! Hilarious! Is Santa trying to give my kids a complex?
S is for Swimming
The kids swam everyday while we were in Arizona!
T is for Trailor
My parents live in a trailor during the winter months in Arizona. We found out what the maximum capacity was for their trailor. It can fit 2 comfortably and 8 is pushing it!
U is for Umbrellas
Aunt Darcy sent the kids a gift card to Target. Mia was very careful in her selections and came home with a giant black and white zebra umbrella, a black purse, and black and white flowered pants. See a pattern?
I got a rainbow one that is so big, I can fit all my kids under it.
V is for Visits
2 visits with 2 sets of grandparents, 2 visits from Santa and 1 visit from Great Grandma/pa!
W is for Waffle Cones
Betsy and Russ got us a Waffle Cone maker for Christmas. We have used it several times already. Tonight we tried making chocolate ones. Delicious! We love it!
X is for Xander the Iron Man
Xander got an Iron Man mask, Iron Man hand that lights up and shoots darts, and an Iron Man arc reactor. After years of loving Spiderman, Xander has branched out to a new superhero.
Y is for Yummy treats
Ben made these giant cookies on a stick at one of his many work parties.
Z is for Zoey's car
Zoey's biggest gift and I mean that literally, was a car of her very own. Thanks Uncle Dustin! She loves it.
Whew! If you made it this far, you are a blog champion! Thanks for sticking around!