Baby Girl

Baby Girl

February 3, 2009

It's a girl!

Making her first appearance on-line--Baby Girl Ralston! She is very active and seems to enjoy sucking her fingers & thumb. Her "official" due date is July 12th, however, given Mommy's delivery history, we're expecting her 7-10 days early.
We've decided to keep her name a secret until her arrival, mostly because it will take that long for Mitchell and I to agree on her name. However, we are still open to reasonable suggestions.
Kasey & Astella seem most receptive to a baby sister. Blake and Wesley will get over the simple fact that there will be no more boys in this family...I'm just not sure how long that will take. They all seem fairly excited to have a new baby coming--although I am quite certain they will think she's "broken" for the first little while because she doesn't do much.
Wish us luck!

November 4, 2008


Halloween 2008

A Pirate says, "Arrhh!"

Halloween was a BLAST this year. We had a great time the Monday prior carving pumpkins and making caramel apples. Blake and Wesley need a little help with the carving part, but Astella was a STAR carving her pumpkin with limited supervision! She did a fantastic job.

On Halloween I helped out with Astella's kinder-carnival and then the boys and I went to watch Astella in the costume parade. Luckily the rain held off long enough for the kids to have a decent parade!

That night we enjoyed a little nutritious dinner before setting out to accumulate the largest amount of candy in the least amount of time. Astella, Blake and Wesley all obliged me by allowing me to make them matching pirate costumes this year. I must say they were the cutest band of pirates around.

After a little trick-or-treating and a little bit of rain, we returned home to assess the "booty". We let the kids eat as much candy as they wanted thinking it would deter them from wanting any the next day (not so). They had a fun time trying out new flavors and new chocolates--Nerds being the new favorite!

All in all, it was a REALLY fun event! Enjoy the pictures!

October 16, 2008

Astella's Fun Run

Today was Astella’s “Fun Run” at school. It’s the one big fundraiser for the year and their goal is to raise $30,000. The money is put to excellent use providing cost-free field trips to all the students, a K-3 Music teacher and a small classroom fund for each one of the teachers.

I loaded the boys into the wagon this morning and we trailed along beside her—as best as we could—while she did lots of running. 45 minutes later she had accumulated 21 laps. We figured out it was about 3 miles based on the size of the laps. The kids all had a snack and a water bottle, then headed back to the classroom for some regular education.

Thanks again to those of you who donated to Astella’s school! We really appreciate your support of her and her education!

August 2, 2008

Summer 2008

Just Another Day in Paradise...

So far the summer has been treating us fairly well...

We've mostly been hanging around, BBQing, swimming, flying kites and doing all the other easygoing fun things that children should be doing in the summertime.

In July Astella celebrated her 5th birthday. She keeps telling us that now she's 5 and she can go to kindergarten. She'll start school on the 19th of August. It's approaching more and more quickly and while Astella is very excited, I find myself fighting back the anxiety of letting her go. It's such a paradoxical situation seeing as how I've been so stressed with 3 small children at home that you'd think I'd be thrilled to have one gone for a few hours every day. Maybe I'll feel like that AFTER school starts.

Astella insisted on having a "Tree Party" for her birthday. Since she's only going to get about 3 or 4 big parties while living in our house I figured I'd let her pick the theme. When she announced that she wanted a Tree Party I was pretty surprised and confused. How do you have a Tree Party? What do you do at a Tree Party?

After thinking about it for a while I decided we'd have a "Garden Party" and invite a few friends. This was a little easier to plan. The girls painted pots, decorated flower and butterfly cookies, had a little picnic and then played with Play doh. All in all, it was a very successful party. As a compromise I made her a "Tree Cake" for her actual birthday. That was also a big success! So, now we have a 5 year-old and we're enjoying it.

We also took a camping trip in July. We drove out to Blue Lakes near the California/Nevada border right outside of Carson City area. We met with our good friends the Pedersens and have a phenomenal time with their family. We each brought along 3 small children (that makes 6 children 5 and under) and our one and only teenager, Kasey. While she was outnumbered, she took it all in stride and was quite a trooper! Big surprise--Teenage girls don't really enjoy being without a shower, a curling iron, make-up, friends and boys. All that being a given--she was an incredible help and enjoyed herself reading books and venturing into the lake (which was pretty cold!)

We only stayed a few days and nights and managed to make it home pretty unscathed. Blake and Wesley had obtained enough bug bites on their foreheads to warrant the many questions at Church the following day of whether or not they had the Chicken Pox. While they looked pitiful (and we felt pretty badly about it) they managed to keep themselves in very good spirits and only scratched a little bit.

Mitchell also took a business trip near the end of July to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the spare time he had he enjoy a few short trips around the area, a look at the night lights of Miami and the highlight--falling asleep to the sound of an evening monsoon rain. We are sorely missing the monsoons here in California. He returned home to me with horrendous allergies and had still been battling to get them under control since the California pollen doesn't help much.

We plan on spending the rest of our summer reading library books, playing in the water and making big decisions. We'll keep you posted as often as life allows.

June 9, 2008


The boys are OFFICIALLY two. I'm sometimes enjoying them and sometimes not. It's very interesting having the two of them go through their "nasty" stages together (ie - limit testing, whining, etc...). Sometimes I think I might actually really go crazy or maybe perhaps that I already went crazy a long time ago and have lost track--just another side effect of being crazy.
Astella will be 5 in July and will start school in August. Very exciting--except that she's going through an anti-Mommy stage where if I say, "I love you honey" She says--"I love Daddy." While Daddy is enjoying this stage--I'm not so much. Despite my redoubled efforts to spend more time with her and do new and more interesting things--she still just loves her Daddy. I'm hoping this is just a stage. I'm just worried about how LONG it will last.

On the up side--an older couple in the Ward has volunteered themselves to babysit our children for one night a month (for 1 year) while we go to the Temple. When they called to announce this wonderful service I asked them point blank if they were REALLY REALLY sure. At which time they said, "Of Course." This has been very rewarding even only after the 2nd time. The interesting thing is that they seem to adore our children--a BIG plus! :o) They even asked the last time whether our children ever argue with each other. I stood their with my mouth wide open. OF COURSE they argue--I couldn't believe it! :o) I guess they morph into something else whilst we are away and then change back to themselves in the late night hours while they're sleeping! :o)

Wesley is starting to understand they Mommy and Daddy are going to the temple. We took them there at Christmas time to see the lights and they haven't forgotten it even though they weren't even two yet. It helps that we have picture of the temple in the house and pictures of the actual trip to the temple in December. It's very cool. The Brother and Sister that watch them are Bro and Sis Nabsezca--A very difficult name for a two-year-old to pronounce. Regardless--Wesley has taken to trying as best as he can to add it into his nightly prayers. It's very sweet. It is my greatest joy seeing my children learn how to pray for I know that two of the most important tools for a child to have in order to gain a testimony is a love or Prayer and of the Scriptures. To see them learning the art of prayer so young strengthens my heart--even if we do have to hold them down on a regular basis for nightly Family prayer. I have hope that someday they will willingly kneel with us...Fingers crossed.
Blake is going through a Time Maching phase. He saw the movie "Meet the Robinsons" by Disney. It has a time machine that flies to the song, "The Future has Arrived." He spends a large amount of his day flaying his time machine (his hand flattened out) around the house while singing his version of "The Future has Arrived" which sounds comething like "Itsa Witta Watty Day Hey." (Translation: The future has arrived today, hey.) Wesley has recently begun to pick up the habit as well and we are now privledged to experience the entire event in Stereo--just another perk of having twin toddler boys.
Our sweet Kasey girl will be having her recital in two weeks. While she is VERY excited to be having school end on Tuesday of this week, she will have to attend even more rehersals to prepare for her performances. She'll be performing 9 dances over the course of 3 different recitals (6 hours). We've decided to only take the children with us to one of these recitals (2 hours). It would be best not to test them beyond that--at least at this stage. We're looking forward to seeing all that she has worked on this year.
That's all for now...Happy Father's Day to all you Daddy's out there!

May 20, 2008

Welcome to our Family

Mitchell and I have been married now for 7 years in August. Here is our sweet family--which we think is just the right size, for now. Kasey turned 13 in February. She's actually a delightful teenager. Astella is 4 and looking forward to 5. She will start Kindergarden in August and she can't wait. Secretly I'm having Mommy anxiety--something about not being ready to let go...

Blake and Wesley turned 2 in March. They have their moments, but so far *knock on wood* they haven't entered anything we would consider to be "terrible". That doesn't mean they don't test limits or frequently try to tackle one another. They love hockey so everytime they "check" each other they say, "I hit your guy!" It's a good thing hockey season is almost over!

We're very happy to be in California. Everything is really lovely despite the major allergy season that arrives with the beautiful blossoms. I still can't get over how many flowers bloom year-round out here. I suppose that's not suprising coming from a girl who grew-up in Phoenix, AZ.

We'll keep everyone posted on the new happenings in our family. Tune in...