Thursday, October 20, 2011

Donut Day

Zachary is doing a rotating preschool with some other kids from our church. This means that every 5th week I get to teach his preschool class in my house. We did this last year, but this year its a little bigger of a group and its twice a week and more structured. For my first week I was suppose to focus on the letter D, so of course the first the Z thought of was DONUTS!! I decided to try my hand at making donuts from scratch with 5 preschoolers. It was messy but a lot of fun. Next time though, I may not try to be so ambitious...but then again...who knows!!

I love how serious the boys look and how "ready to take a picture" the girls are!!

The things we do

I can't believe we are almost through with October. Time is flying and I'm doing a terrible job keeping up with the blog. Oh well. I'll keep trying! Here is just a glimpse of what is keeping us so busy right now.
I am the room mother for Max's kindergarten class this year. I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm figuring it all out as I go. Here is my school spirit stamp to go on the back of my mini van. I guess I am now officially all I ever hoped to be!!
Max is keeping very busy with kindergarten these days. He is doing very well and really enjoying himself. He says writing is his favorite part of school, followed by PE, lunch, and riding the bus. I can't believe how much he is growing up. What is happening to my little boy?

Zach is having a blast being almost 3. He and Daddy got to spend some time together the other night and Zach decided it was a playdough night. This is what the two of them came up with. I was quite impressed. It even says Winnie the Pooh in playdough across the front! Zach told me that he told Daddy what to do and then made sure he did it right. Very nice!

Don't these two look so much alike?? Except for the eyes! Joe has been busy trying to find out how to get around. He's very good at scooting backwards now and usually ends up under the couch. We'll work on it some more!

Jeff has decided to focus on food storage lately so he finally cleaned out and organized the pantry to make space for all the boxes of food he has ordered. He took a picture to prove that he did in fact know how to clean and organize. I may use this picture as evidence later!!
So there you have it. Proof in pictures that we are here, we are well, and things are going great!

Friday, September 2, 2011

He's gettin SOOOO big!

We love Joe--or Joseph, Joey, Jo Jo, Lovebug, Baby Boy--whatever you choose to call him. Jeff and I haven't settled on a nickname for him yet and he gets called all sorts of things. Zach and Max have taken to calling him Joey and that just might stick. In the beginning that was probably my least favorite shortening of Joseph, but if that's what his big brothers want then it will most likely stick. We shall see.
Joe loves his brothers, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Joe's a good sport with the big boys and finds them quite amusing most of the time. But sometimes close is a little too close.
Joe is always laughing and has smiles for everyone--except the camera. These pictures are rare because as soon he sees the camera he gets a blank stare on his face.
I guess our love of trains has carried on with boy #3 (#4 if you count Jeff). He loves to be right in the middle of the action and see what's going on.
Joey continues to be a great baby. He hardly ever fusses. He tolerates the overabundance of love and attention from the big boys. He is perfectly content to sit and watch the antics of our lives. He loves to eat and is now trying out cereal, although I think he much prefers the ice cream his dad sneaks him when I'm not watching. He's not a huge baby, at 4 months he is not quite 14lbs and about 25 inches, kind of in between M and Z when they were this age. He is the calmest, most easy going baby I've had. He's very quiet unless he's really laughing or crying bc he's hungry. It's strange to have someone who's quiet around here. I'm sure that won't last!! But I'll take it where I can get it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The 1st Week

Here are the TOP 5 things I want to remember about Max's 1st week of kindergarten:

1. On Wednesday Max's bus driver didn't drop him off at the stop. I was standing at the corner and watched her drive past without stopping. Jeff chased her down at the next corner and she came back around to drop him off. Her response, "He's so little and so quiet, I just didn't think about it." OK well, this means that I will be watching her like a hawk the rest of the year to make sure my baby doesn't end up sleeping in the bus garage. I also told Max to pay attention and when he sees his house to stand up and start yelling, "THAT'S MY HOUSE! THAT'S MY HOUSE!" Maybe that will help her remember :)

2. Max loves PE. I can see why that is his favorite class so far. They can't have recess because of the heat wave so PE is their only chance to running around a bit. I asked him what he did in PE that was so fun and he said, "Mom, we learned to stand like cheerleaders!" Not sure what that meant but he was excited. However, Jeff was not!

3. He came home Friday with a stack of papers from this week's work. I looked through them and was QUITE impressed--TOO impressed, really. I asked him how he made his numbers look so neat on his math paper (as his mother, I know he doesn't write that well). He said, "Oh I couldn't make those numbers too good, so somebody else did them for me." I asked who and he said it was some girl but he couldn't remember her name. I asked who helped him draw the picture and spell the words that I could tell were not his work. He said it was his friend next to him. We had a talk about the importance of doing our own work so we get the practice that we need to learn to do better. I don't think it's going to stick.

4. Max left his lunch box on the bus on Thursday. When he realized this at home, he began crying and screaming because "I'm going to starve at school with no lunch ALL YEAR LONG!!" Originally I was laughing too hard at him to console him, but after about 10 minutes of sobbing I told him it wasn't a big deal. He would either find it the next day or we would get him another one and in the meantime he could bring his lunch to school in a paper sack. This didn't help and he cried himself to sleep. He's been very tired.

5. The kids watch Letter Factory and The Magic School Bus while they are waiting for their busses in the afternoon. Max comes home and tells me verbatim what the TV show was about. Every detail, every scene, quotes from it, the whole thing. I ask about the rest of his day and he says, "Oh, we did a bunch of stuff. I can't remember it though." Hopefully he will learn more in kindergarten than TV shows and how to get other kids to do his work, but those are useful skills too!

So there you have it. We survived the first week of school. Zach is still a little lost with out Max to tell him what to do and Max is so tired that he cries about something each afternoon around 4:30, but hopefully we will fall into a routine of sorts soon and this will become our new normal. I still can't believe my baby is in kindergarten. And I can't believe how quiet my house is without him here.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Today was Max's 1st day of kindergarten. He had a great time and is completely exhausted now!! This post might be a little long and rambling, but there is so much I want to remember and it's all so fresh right now.

I have been nervous about Max starting kindergarten. He's not one to take to new things very easily. He's very cautious and uneasy about a lot of things. But he has been very excited about kindergarten so I've tried to be optimistic for him. Today went so well for him. He had a few rough moments--which he will freely admit to, but he was smart and brave and managed things quite well.

He met his teacher a few days ago and informed her that he was "going to be the smartest kindergartener she'd ever taught." He He!! He makes me laugh. After his assessment test when he didn't know a few of the things she asked him, his reply was, "Well I guess you stumped me after all!" Mrs. Rodgers was just getting a taste of what it's going to be like to have Max in her class.

She told him that since there were 2 Maxs' in her class, she was going to call him Maxwell. He said that was fine because he didn't want her to "freak out or something if she kept getting confused." Again--he makes me laugh (and sigh). He's already friends with the other Max in his class and another little girl from his church class, so this is making the transition a little easier. It's always nice to see a friendly, familiar face on the 1st day of school.

I let Max choose what he wanted to wear the 1st day. He chose some new shorts and a faded, stained bright green t-shirt. I would have picked a different shirt, but I let him choose. I wanted him to be comfortable. He also wore some awful looking Toy Story light up shoes that his dad let him pick out at the store. Zach got a matching pair. They light up on the bottom, sides, and the top. I thought they were awful but I may not be up on the latest 5 year old trends. He was also excited about his Batman backpack and Toy Story lunch box.

I couldn't get a straight answer from him about whether he wanted to bring his lunch or buy it. Finally he decided he wanted to buy his lunch and bring the leftovers home in his lunchbox! Smart thinking but I don't think it works that way, so I just packed him a lunch.
I have gotten pieces and fragments of what happened while they were at school. He was kind of all over the place with his descriptions. I figure it has to do with so much new stuff all at once and he may need some time to process it all. I'm just gonna give him some time. Knowing Max it won't take long for all the details to start spewing out!

Max wanted to ride the bus to school without me and ride it home. This surprised me, but I was trying to let him make his choices so he could decide what he could handle. We walked to the bus stop together and he got on the bus with the other kids and they drove off. He had his brave/scared face so I was very proud of him for trying hard things. My neighbor said she saw him get off the bus at school and he came up to her and said "My name is Maxwell Orwin. Will you help me find Mrs. Rodgers' class?" How darling!! I'm still not sure whether I should have gone with him, but I guess he figured out how to get where he needed to go!

When I got him off the bus in the afternoon, he was sound asleep! I guess it was a long day for the little guy. Evidently there had been some sort of mix up or delay that had upset him a little (not sure of the details) but he got home safe and sound.

All in all, I think today was very successful. I hope and pray that it will continue that way. I worry about him more than I thought I would. But he's smart and charming and learning to be brave so I think it will all work out just fine.

Happy First Day of School Everyone!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Here's my story of the uninvited guest: One Monday morning I went into our downstairs bathroom to--well, anyway. I walked past the sink and I saw a small snake on the floor. I didn't react immediately bc the boys have fake snakes that I find all over the house. Well, then this one moved! I slowly backed out of the bathroom and closed the door. I went into Jeff's office and whispered that I didn't care what he was doing, he needed to get off the phone now. Apparently, I was white as a ghost so I had his attention.
I told him that there was a snake in the bathroom. He said, "Really??" I said, "Go see for yourself." He put his caller on hold and went into the bathroom and replied, "Well I guess there really is one!" He then cover the snake (only about 12 inches long) with the toliet plunger and went back to the office. He told his coworkers on the phone that he would have to reschedule the meeting bc he had a snake to take care of.
He caught the snake in a clear box (pictured above) and set it outside. I told him he had to release it somewhere away from the house so he left it on the porch till he was finished working. Unfortunately, the little fella died in the box before Jeff was able to free him. We both felt a little bad for that. I am proud of myself though because this whole incident was taken care of while the boys were watching TV and they never knew anything had happened.
However if it would have been a mouse, I would have died right there on the spot and then we would have had to move. So that's my story of the uninvited guest.

Below are a few pictures I took of Joe sleeping. As you can imagine, with my two older boys, he had a hard time finding a quiet place to relax. Max and Zach sit and watch him sleeping and as soon as he begins to wake up, they start pestering him. At only a few weeks old, I could tell he'd learned to fake sleeping in order to be left alone for a little while! I came in one day to find him with this gun on his lap. Zach said it was to keep the bad guys away :). I often found him laying like he is in the 2nd picture with his face covered trying to sleep! Sorry little guy--they just love ya so much!

This summer we were also visited by some very much invited guests. Here is a picture of when our friends from El Paso came to see us. Ms. Anita and her daughter Brittany were passing through and stopped to say hello. We loved Ms. Anita in El Paso. She sat with the boys every week in church so Jeff and I could listen. She invited us to dinner when Jeff was out of town. And most of all, she loved me and my boys like no one else in EP ever could have. We miss her a ton, but were so happy that she could visit!

Joe's Blessing Day

While we were visiting my family in LA over 4th of July weekend, we took the opportunity to have Joseph blessed. We did in my parents' ward and my dad and both of my brothers were able to join in. We also invited my "Paw Paw" (Brother Armond-no blood relation but family nonetheless) was also able to participate. Jeff blessed Joe and I'm sure it was beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't hear much of it bc of Zachary!! But I'm sure it was lovely. After church my siblings and their families all got together at my parents' house for a big dinner and more playing with cousins.
We are so blessed to have such a sweet little baby in our family. Joe has been so easy going, laid back and happy. He's been a dream baby--so far (knock on wood)! We sure do love this little guy!
My boys!!
Our family--I don't think we'll ever have one of those nicely posed, sophistacated looking pictures that everyone else seems to get, but that's not the real "us" anyway!
The grandparents
This picture was really fuzzy bc by this point none was willing to sit still and we were going to be late for church!
I was really glad to be able to share this day with my family. We haven't been able to do that with the other boys because we've been so far away. It's nice to be closer for sure.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Catch Up-Moody Gardens

Joe got to spend most of our summer vacation fun time watching from his carseat. He's still just a little small to join in on most of the fun. Fortunately though, one of his most favorite pastimes is watching his big brothers. Soon enough he'll be joining them and then we'll really have our hands full!
We went to Moody Gardens to check out all the renovations they've done. The rainforest pyramid is neat, but VERY hot and HUMID. Yuck! It was fun to search through and try to find the different animals. A lot of them are free roaming so that was a different experience too!
Zach tried to catch this iguana and bring it home with us. We had to stop him and try to convince him that the lizard probably did not want to live at our house.
Here we are about to enter the bat cave. Fun idea but a very smelly one. The boys didn't seem to notice though.
We found another fun place nearby. The Rainforest Cafe. Jeff and I had been there before but it was a lot of fun to watch the boys experience it. Max kept repeating to himself, "they aren't real. they're just pretend" and Zach was afraid that the "rainstorm" was going to get his food wet.
We had a wonderful time and brought our cousins back a few weeks later to do it all again with them!

Summer Catch Up - Beach

Jeff got a little bit of a vacation in July so we headed to Galveston for my boys' favorite pastime--THE BEACH. Even Max, who is not a big fan of deep water or swimming, loves to go to the beach. We even ran into some friends from our church just a few umbrellas down from us. Small world!!
Zach spent a lot of time looking for sharks. Fortunately he didn't find any, but we did see a dolphin leaping around out in the gulf.
Every time Jeff starts building a sand castle with the boys, we seem to collect extra kids. I have no idea who this extra little boy is, but he decided to join in the fun. The more the merrier!!
The big boys stopping to pose for a picture
Daddy taking Z "surfing"
This is what Joe did 99% of the time. He watched for a little while, but mostly he napped. Jeff did take him in the water for a minute but mostly he napped.
Well, much fun was had by all. So much so that we will probably be back there one more time before school starts!

Summer Catch Up-Circus

Note to reader: I know I'm behind on posting but every time I go to do something on here I get interrrupted. I know--My fault for having 3 kids. But even today, I got as far as downloading pics off my camera and the baby woke up (an hour earlier than he should have) and then the computer starts acting up and I can only type inbetween my pics instead of above or below them. So forgive me as I try to catch up on posting the summer pics so that I will be able to post current pics when school starts again. Wish me luck!
These are some pictures of our day at the circus. Jeff's boss was extra generous and decided to get the boys tickets to the greatest show on earth. They had a BLAST!! Max loved the motorcycle guys who rode around in the big ball and Zach loved the elephants doing tricks. Zach rediscovered his love for cotton candy and they both got light up swords as souveniers to bring home. They have been putting on circus shows for us quite often ever since. A great time was had by all. We will have to go again some time. Thanks Ms. Tricia!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Joseph Daniel Orwin

So I'm finally getting around to writing out Joe's birth story. He's six weeks old today so I know I'm a little behind, but hey, I've been a little busy! Anyway, better late than never I suppose.

I'll start with the day BEFORE he was born because that is really when it all started. Monday, April 25th was my official due date. I had been having sporadic, unproductive contractions for a few weeks. I was dialated to a 2 but had not progressed past that at all. So I went to my 40 week check up that afternoon and asked the doctor if I was going to be induced (I had been with both other boys). He said he would induce me on Friday--fine, but then he check my blood pressure again and said he could move me up to Tuesday(the next morning). That was great news because I was miserable and pretty certain that Joe had decided he was never going to come out on his own. Before leaving the doctor's office, I AGAIN expressed my concern that the baby was turned the wrong way. I was sure that I was feeling a head up in my ribs. The doc AGAIN assured me he was head down and he was just really high still. Alrighty, if you say so!

So the next morning Jeff and I check in to labor and delivery around 7AM. We get settled in quickly and things begin moving right along. The doc comes in to see how I'm doing and breaks my water. The pitocin is working like it should. Then the anestiologist comes to do the epidural. Well I hate epidurals and wish I was brave enough to labor without one. I've never had a not horrible experience with one and this was no different. Actually it wasn't too bad getting it this time, but it didn't really work. Well it worked on one side but not the other. The nurse kept telling me to push the pain pump and lay on my right side and it would start working better, but this did not help. So I pretty much labored through it all numb on my left side and feeling EVERYTHING on my right. It's actually kind of a strange sensation only feeling half a contraction. As things progressed we figured I'd be ready to start pushing around 1PM or so. About that time the nurse came in because she couldn't get Joe's heartbeat to consistently show up on the monitor. So she started moving the monitors around and after a few minutes she still couldn't get a good read. He had a heartbeat but she couldn't get a steady reading. So she tried the internal monitor and that's when she noticed a BIG problem. The internal monitor is suppose to attach to the baby's head and it wouldn't work because it wasn't his head. It was his butt. That's when she called the doctor.

Well the doctor came in and examined me and said the baby was breech and he must have turned while I was laboring. I was really mad b/c I thought he was breech all along and NOBODY LISTENS TO ME! And that's just what I said. I slammed my hand down on the bed and firmly (not quit yelling) told the doctor "I told you that yesterday. Just yesterday I sat in your office and told you this baby was turned the wrong way. I told you that yesterday!" Well the doc just kind of stuttered about how he's sure the baby was not breech eariler and that this must have just happened. Yeah right. At that point it didn't matter b/c it was time for an emergency c-section!

So they prep me for the c-section and wheel me into the operating room. I don't remember much after that b/c they had to knock me out. Jeff said it was b/c I kept yelling that I could feel them cutting me (even though they hadn't started yet). All I remember was going in there worried that my epidural wasn't working and I'd need something else for the surgery. Jeff said I kept yelling at the doctors for more pain meds and then the anestiologist gave me something that put me to sleep. He said I was snoring while Joe was being born. Yes I slept through the birth of my child. What a great mom! So while I was sleeping this happened....
When I woke up I was being moved from the operating table to my bed. It was the most excuritating pain I've ever felt. I didn't feel the least bit bad yelling and crying. It felt like I'd been sawed in half. They gave me more meds (obviously they didn't work very well) and took me back to my room. For the next few hours I was in A LOT of pain and shaking really bad (side effect of the epidural) so I couldn't really even hold Joe. Jeff was awesome though. He handled everything perfectly. He spent the next week taking care of me and the baby. My mom and dad were great too. They took care of my other boys and me too. It was a rough day and a rough recovery. Six weeks later I'm still not 100% but I'm getting there. In the end all that matters is this...

Joseph Daniel Orwin was born on April 26, 2011 at 1:54PM. He was 8lbs 4oz and 21 inches long. He has red hair and blue eyes and is healthy, happy, and perfect and we love him very much!

Welcome to the world Joe!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fall Into Spring

We have a 15000 sq ft lot with, I think, 14 trees. This means in the fall we have a lot of leaves on the ground. This is very different from when we lived in El Paso and had one 4 foot tree on our little lot. Jeff spent a lot of time over the fall and winter seasons trying to figure out what to do with all our leaves. He didn't want to pay someone to deal with it, but they wouldn't magically go away either. So he had to think of something. He tried mowing them but that just made them smaller. He tried blowing them but ended up just spreading them around. He prayed for strong winds to blow them somewhere else, but again, no luck. Ultimately he decided he was just going to have to rake them the old fashioned way. It took him till February to make this decision and then he opted to only do the front yard and leave the side yard and back in its leaf covered state.
I am in no way saying Jeff is lazy. He actually loves yardwork and is out there doing something every chance he gets. I guess he just doesn't like raking leaves. I can't imagine it's really that bad, but I've never done it!! So after he raked up some of the leaves he let the boys jump in one of the piles and have some fun. And they did!

If any of you have ideas on how not to have to rake leaves in the fall, I'm sure Jeff would appreciate them!

Handsome Boys

We took the boys to get some nice church clothes for Easter (planning ahead!!) and found some great deals so we took advantage. If you know Jeff, you know that he would have these boys dressed in suits and ties for every occasion!
Our church just finished building a new building for us to meet in and it's right across the street from our house. It is finally done and Sunday was the first meeting there. We decided it was the perfect time for the boys to try out some of their new "handsome" clothes. We had to hurry and get the pictures taken before they got dirty--that walk across the street is way too far to guarantee they'll stay clean!!
The boys were so excited to be able to see the inside of the church building. While it just looks like a regular church, they have be able to watch it being built from our backyard for the past 9 months. They have talked about it almost daily and were thrilled when it was finally done. We were even on time this week!!

Houston Rodeo Week

Max's school had a Western celebration last week. I had no idea what this was for other than the fact that it was Houston Rodeo Week. He spent the whole week learning all about Texas, the Alamo, cowboys, Texas flags, armadillos, and blue bonnetts. I thought it was kind of dumb that they spent all that time talking about Texas just because the rodeo was in town. I mentioned this to Jeff and he said, "Well isn't it Texas Independance day or something?" I said, "Oh, maybe it is. How should I know?" Then he reminded me that Max goes to school in Texas and will probably spend some time learning about Texas history. I felt a little dumb, like I should have realized that. I said, "Well I guess now that we live in Texas, I should keep up with things like this." He laughed and said, "Lori....we've lived in Texas for 6 years now!" OH! OOPS!

Anyway, so here is a picture of my cute little cowboy who now knows WAY more about the state of Texas than I do. I guess I have some reading to do!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Great Name Debate

Thank you for joining us for the great name debate. Our little guy will be arriving in less than 3 months now and it has been quite a struggle for the 4 of us to decide on a name that would be just right for him. So we put it to a vote. Jeff voted for Charles Anthony with an option to call him Charlie, I voted for Nathaniel Joseph with "Nate" as a nickname, but the boys teamed up against us and pulled out the majority for a win. Therefore I am happy* to announce that Baby Boy Orwin #3 w ill now be known as...


(although Max has stated that if the baby is born with horns and green skin he's changing his vote to Shrek)

So what do you folks think?? Do you like it?? If try to come up with something better because I'm clueless. We have discussed every name in the book from simple standards like Michael or David to off the wall choices like Promethyus and Archemedes and we've got NOTHING! My big thing is I want to make sure the kid has options--like Maxwell can be Max and Zachary can be Zach--and I want it to kind of go with the other boys names (Maxwell Alexander and Zachary Xavier). I've even given up on trying to use all the letters in the alphabet, even though we only have S,B, and Q left.

Jeff keeps whining about finding "the RIGHT name". I don't know what that's all about. He thinks that divine intervention is going to lead us to the right name, which is fine but I'm a planner person and am starting to grow impatient waiting to figure out "the RIGHT thing"! (Doesn't sound at all like me huh???)

So here is a list of our top 10 names that we sort of agree on (my picks are at the top and Jeff's are at the bottom-as they should be).

  1. Nathaniel
  2. Joseph
  3. Daniel
  4. Michael
  5. Christian
  6. Bradley
  7. Jason (i still like Jasper better)
  8. Charles
  9. Anthony
  10. Caleb

We are also open to using Jeffrey as a middle name this time if it works, but not committed to it. PLEASE feel free to comment, vote, or add something that you think we might like and just have neglected to fully consider.

So until we come up with something better, welcome to the family baby Tarzan!! (And my mom thought Xavier was a bad name!!) :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fun Times in Tremonton

We go to Tremonton about once a year (where Jeff grew up) to visit friends, family, and evidently the cows. Jeff has a lot of dairy farmers in his family and most of the Orwins have at some point in their lives worked on a dairy farm. This means that once a year Jeff feels the need to go back in time and see some cows. So we made our annual trip to the dairy farm to see the cows. This is never my favorite part of our vacation. I've done it 7 times and twice I've been pregnant. All I really have to say about cows is that they stink and I'd rather not think of where Walmart gets its milk.
On this trip we also got to meet Baby Connor-Jeff's sister's newest little one. All we heard before we met him was that he was a grumpy fussy baby. Does this look like a fussy little guy?? I thought he was a delight. Maybe he just likes me best!!

The boys really wanted to go camping while we were out there, but due to time restraints, weather, and the fact that I hate camping, we decided this wasn't the best time for it. Nana was nice enough to set up the teepee in the backyard though and the boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Maybe next year we can do the real thing--or maybe not!!