This Christmas season is turning out to be a busy one. I am signed up for 5 cookie exchanges/dessert parties. We just went to our ward Christmas party which was a blast! It was a "whoville" theme and everyone did such a great job. Rylee is at an age where she just runs everywhere so as you can tell from the picture, trying to catch her long enough to get a picture can be difficult. We still have some parties to go to and fun to be had. Rylee is so cute this year with all of the stuff going on. I am excited to see as she grows and develops the things she is able to do.
My friend showed me these blocks she made for her niece one time and I thought "I can do that!" So I made some for myself and they were pretty cute. Then I had a friend ask if I could make some for her. Well it snowballed from there and I've made about 20 sets of blocks. I feel like I've gotten them somewhat perfected so now I'm open to taking orders! The blocks are two 4x4 cubes that sit on one 8x4 block. I can do whatever colors/theme you need. For plain colors on white wood the cost is $15. For patterned paper, fancy stickers, or color painted wood, the cost is $20. The pictures below are a small sample.
We love Halloween and since having Rylee, we love to coordinate. Last year we were a chef, cake decorator, and cupcake. This year we decided to be pirates. Unfortunately Evan wasn't able to go to our ward trunk or treat because of class. We had a fun time going with Aunt Amanda, Uncle Skye, and Izabelle. Happy Halloween!
Hello to everyone out there in blog-land. Tonight I thought I would treat you with an update coming from me, and not from my wonderful wife, Shelbee. It has been a while since I have posted anything on a blog, so hold on tight, it may get a little bumpy.
Let me start out by saying how wonderful it is being a Dad. My little girl is nothing short of adorable. I love being able to spend every day with her.
We had the pleasure of having Kris, Rachel, Alex, and Aurora down to go to the State Fair of Texas with us. It was so nice!! We didn't quite stay as long as usual because of the babies but it was still fun. We had some tornado taters and corn dogs to complete our experience. We also got to just veg and hang out over the weekend.
Rylee is 18 months old! This is a big day for us because she now gets to go into Nursery at church. This means no more chasing her around hallways for 3 hours! Her 18 months stats are 29 pounds (95th%) and 34 inches (99th %). She is working on saying more words. We need her to say at least 15 words by 21 months or she will need to do early speech interventions. I'm not too worried because I know she is just soaking everything in. She loves to play with friends and be outside as much as possible. We try and go on nightly walks. She loves bath time too. Rylee has begun to throw fits every once and a while. We just either ignore her for a few minutes or put her in a time out. Overall she is a wonderful little toddler that is happy and healthy!
Yes, Evan is now 30 years old. He was kindof down about turning 30, especially because he found a gray hair in his beard. I had a surprise breakfast party for him on Labor Day when our friends were in town. He walked into the living room and there everyone was. It was fun! He was sick over the weekend before his birthday but felt better by that Monday. So Monday night on his birthday we went to Genghis Grill with my family and our friends the Smiths. It was fun. Overall I think Evan had a great 30th birthday!
Rylee is officially walking now. We were worried but at about 17 months she started really walking everywhere. Here is a picture of her at IKEA in the kid chair. In the next picture of her she is playing with the ipad which she is in LOVE with. In fact, if you have any free/cheap apps you would recommend for toddlers, please send them my way. Everyday when I get home we sit together and go over our ABC's with Elmo. She knows how to find her folder, open it, and then she moves her finger around trying to decide which app to open. For 17 months I think that is pretty good. Anyway, we just love playing with our growing little girl!
I have always loved the "back to school" feel there is everywhere in August. Freshly sharpened pencils, new notebooks, dressing up in new school clothes, etc. Now that I'm a counselor, I don't have as much fun decorating a classroom but I do add/change a few little things around my office. Believe it or not, the picture of the owl pen holder is my favorite new addition. Who knew $2.50 at the dollar spot at Target could make a person cheer up almost every day. I guess owls remind me of Rylee (since her nursery is decorated in them). And it is just too cute. The crown pen is from Disney World when Evan and I went 2 years ago. I think it looks like the owl is wearing the fluffy crown. haha! This summer I was somewhat of a pinterest addict. I saw all of these wonderful quotes and couldn't help but use them in my office. So to start the year I have a "Be Inspired" board in my office. I hope students will be able to add their own quotes or words of advice throughout the first half of the school year. My "Be the good" sign is a nice addition that Tiffany Kurtz helped me with. (she cuts vinyl and does a great job!) My A&M themed "Mrs. Russell" sign is something I made for my classroom 3 years ago after I got married but forgot about and then found in a box this summer. Gotta love using stuff you already have right? Anyway, these little updates to my office have made coming back to work a little easier.
I love summer!!! I am blessed to work in education which provides me 2 glorious months of summer vacation. I decided that it would be fun to take Rylee to the beach for the first time. Evan agreed and off we went! We drove to Houston to stay with our friends Jared and Lydia. We got to spend some quality time with them which is always fun. On Saturday we drove to Galveston. While it is not one of the nicest beaches, it holds alot of fond memories for me. We set up our spot on East Beach. Rylee didn't know what to think of the water and muddy sand at first. She actually started to cry to be more accurate. We tried to get her to like it and she didn't seem to want to try (if you didn't already know, Rylee is pretty stubborn). So we took her back to our spot to see if she would take a nap. No go. We changed her swim diaper and let her play in the dry sand for a little bit. She liked that. Then we went to wash her off before leaving and she LOVED IT. She would cry if we picked her up. So we stayed longer and had more fun. I always love going to the beach but the sand can be a pain. I think next time we go we need to have a hotel room on the beach ;) Anyway, it was a nice last summer trip. I am really going to miss spending all day with my baby girl.
I have been meaning to update our blog... really.... but it has been overwhelming since I haven't posted since January. Basically I have decided to start from now on. Rylee turned 1 in April. We had alot of fun at a local park. Rylee and I have gotten to spend time together this summer and I have loved every second. Swimming 3-4 times per week, naps every day, playing games, watching movies, etc. We have really enjoyed getting to spend time with family. Rylee had her 15 month check up. She weighs almost 28 lbs and is 32 inches tall. She has been in the 95th percentile at every check up. She is still not walking but the pediatrician isn't worried. She says she will walk by 18 months and if she isn't we can discuss our options on how to help her then. I will be working at Linda Jobe Middle School for a second year. I get to move up with my students from last year which makes me the 8th grade counselor this next year. Evan will be staying at home with Rylee again and is focusing on finishing school. We love our little family. Spending time together is always fun. I hope to update the blog more regularly.
My friend Chelsea MacDonnell Fullmer took our family pictures last minute. She even did 2 photo shoots because the weather was very cold and windy during the first one and her camera stopped working. I'm glad it did because looking back at the outfit I chose for the 1st one, it wasn't such a great choice. It is CRAZY to look back at this family picture compared to our family picture when Rylee was a newborn. Just to prove it, I have included one of those pictures at the bottom of the page.
We were married on June 20th, 2009 in the Dallas LDS Temple. We purchased our first home in Mansfield, TX in 2010. Our daughter Rylee was born April 7th, 2011. We have 2 puggles named Barkley and Bella. Shelbee is a school counselor in Mansfield and Evan is in school for Special Education. We are excited to continue our adventures in life together as a family of 3!