Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Fun

We had an awesome Christmas this year. The kids got everything they could ever want and we spent a lot of time with family. My favorite is always Christmas Eve when we get together and have dinner, play games, and re-enact the Nativity. All the kids are at such a fun age. They are starting to understand the true meaning of Christmas and were so cute dressed up as the Nativity characters. My mom made all new costumes this year, so it was really fun to use the new outfits.My mom and dad always give the kids pajamas on Christmas Eve. They love matching with each other and hanging out in their new pj's at grandma and grandpa's house.For the last few weeks we have had some special visitors at our house. Some elves, Bobby and Suzie, have stayed at our house to keep an eye on the kids and report their behavior back to Santa. The kids have had a really fun time finding the elves every morning and it has been a good reminder for them to use their best behavior. On Christmas Eve the kids put cookies and milk out for Santa and the elves since they were leaving with him.Treyson asked Santa for a BB gun. I thought he was still too young, but Jared convinced me to let Santa bring him one. Ashten asked for Heelies. She really likes to roller skate, but heelies are way cooler. Traxton didn't really ask for anything. He has a serious interest in super hero's. He was always having me tuck his blanket into the back of his shirt, so I thought capes would be great. I made him a batman and superman cape and mask. He has totally loved them.Jared spent a lot of time on Christmas helping Treyson shoot his new gun. Traxton had to try it out too. Jared is such a good dad. :)
My dad and brothers made these diggers for each of the grandsons. They are awesome and the kids are so excited to use them in our sandbox.
Dressed for church. We love matching!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Treyson

Last week Treyson turned six years old. I'm amazed he is that old. Time goes by way too fast. He is such a carefree little boy who loves to wrestle and tease his brother and sister. He truly is so easy to be around. He doesn't care what he wears, what he eats, or what's going on. This is such a contrast from his brother and sister that Jared and I both comment on how nice it is to have a child who doesn't have such strong opinions on everything. As long as he gets something to eat every so often; he's happy.

For his birthday this year we decided to have a little "Polar Express" party. We invited some of his friends to come over in their pj's, made a candy train, played games, went on a train ride and drank hot cocoa. It was such an easy party to prepare for and the kids had a blast. I even heard "this is the best party ever" come out of one of the boy's mouth. :) It was actually really nice for me to enjoy the party and not be stressed out over it.

Playing a game of blowing the snowballs off the train track. They were so cute trying to blow the cotton balls.
They're ready to go. They all got tickets to ride the train.

Ashten was in charge of the decorations and she hung up the cute signs around the yard and house.

We love Treyson so much and are so thankful he is a part of our family. He mellows us out so much and we wouldn't be complete without him.

Gingerbread Houses

Our family has a tradition of making gingerbread houses together. It is always so much fun letting our creative outlets run and getting to see what everyone else comes up with. Since the adults get so serious about decorating the houses, my mom decided to let the kids make their own this year. It was so fun for the kids to do exactly what they wanted. I loved watching them design and create a house with so many little details. Ashten had a sandbox and swing, while Treyson had a corral for his animals and a chimney for Santa. Traxton just loved being able to eat his frosting and stick his candy wherever he wanted.

Having the kids decorate their own houses was a huge success. They got their fill of decorating and then moved on to watch a movie. This left us able to get serious about decorating our own houses. This year Jared and I decided to create a beach house. We thought it would be fun to get away from the usual snow covered house. It turned out really cute and we had a blast designing it. I'm so glad we have this tradition and I hope we can continue with it for years to come.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Dance Concert

Last weekend Ashten had her Christmas dance concert. She doesn't "love" dance because it means she has to get all frilly with the uncomfortable leotard and with her hair done up with bobby pins, but she does a really good job and look super cute.
She takes a ballet, jazz, and tap combo class but her favorite is jazz. She likes the upbeat fast pace, but my favorite to watch is ballet. She looks so graceful.

Grandma and Grandpa Taylor as well as grandma Bundy came to her recital. I love that they are always so supportive. It makes her feel so special.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Diversity Means...

Ashten wanted to participate in her school's reflections contest this year. The theme was Diversity Means... We thought about what she could do for a long time. We talked about the word diversity and how it means things that are different. We talked about how people are diverse; big- small, black-white, brown hair- blond hair. We also talked about how people who have glasses and hearing aides. This brought us to Traxton and how he is different. I asked her if being different was bad, and she said "no". (insert sigh of relief) I then asked her if we should treat people differently because they have some quality that makes them different. She said, "no, we should treat them the same." So after our discussion, she decided diversity means loving and accepting those who are different. She wanted to take a picture of Traxton and enter it in the photography category. (This is the picture she took for her entry)
Her entry ended up winning 1st place at the school level and has also won at the council level. Now it will go to compete in the region contest and possibly state. I am very excited that her entry has done so well, but more excited and thankful that she is smart enough to understand how everyone is different and how it is so important to love and accept everyone no matter what differences they may have.

Wrestling Star

Treyson participated in another season of wrestling and did really well. There were a lot more kids involved this year, which made it really fun to watch. He had ten wins and only 5 loses, which was awesome. He really enjoyed wrestling and is already looking forward to more opportunities. We have loved watching and supporting him every week.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Year Later

I've been thinking a lot lately about it already being a year since Traxton was implanted. It seems so crazy to think how fast the time has gone by. It also is incredible to think of how much progress he has made in the last year. I am purely amazed when I think of where we are now compared to where we were one year ago. I can remember the anxiety I felt with wondering if implantation was the right decision. Now there is no doubt in my mind that it was the right thing to do. With his processors on, Traxton can hear perfectly! I never thought I would ever be able to say that sentence.

We still do hours and hours of therapy to help with his speech articulation and language comprehension, but he progresses everyday with saying words more clearly. He talks in sentences and I love having conversations with him. My favorite lately is hearing him tattle on his brother and sister. Yesterday, Traxton hollered into the other room to me, "Mom, Treyson hit me". I loved it!!!
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Traxton goes to Preschool four days a week and he seems to really enjoy it. I went with him a couple of days ago to observe and I was afraid he would cling to me and not do what he was suppose to do. I couldn't have been more wrong. He went with the other kids right away and jumped right in with the activities. He actually looked back at me a few times and said, "mom, go out". He knew it was his thing and wanted me to leave. I was excited to see him comfortable with his teachers and other kids.

When Traxton had surgery he lost all of his balance. That was an unexpected challenge, but it has also gotten better in the last year. Until recently, we took him to a physical therapist to help him slow down and get control of his balance. Things are much better now. I only notice his balance when he gets up fast and starts running or around obstacles. He does much better when he slows down. At night in the dark still affects his balance. The surgeon told us that your eyes help control balance, so he might struggle in the dark. This is definitely the case. He wobbles a lot when he gets up to got potty in the night. I think in time, this will also become easier.

Traxton is such an amazing little boy. He tries so hard to say things correctly. Most times I can get him to try to say words with the correct articulation 3-4 times before he starts to get frustrated. At that point I will tell him "good try" and move on. He has always done wonderfully with having his processors on. I am so grateful that he has never fought wearing them. I think it comes from the hundreds of hours we spent fighting him to keep his hearing aids on. Our Audiologist also says that he is making such fast progress because of the consistency he had with hearing aids before implantation. It's so nice to know my efforts have paid off.

I am so thankful for Traxton and his fun personality and the learning experiences he has brought to our family. I am also thankful for the technology we are blessed with that has made his hearing possible. I still feel that there is nothing sweeter than hearing him tell me that he can hear something. About a month ago we were walking out of the speech therapy building and he nonchalantly told me, "hear that". I had to stop and listen to see what it was that he was talking about. I discovered that it was the air conditioning unit. He could hear the air conditioning unit humming. This tender moment brought me to tears. The fact that our little boy can hear something as simple as the hum of an air conditioning unit is amazing. We have come so far in the last year and I am so excited to see how he continues to progress in the future.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween Fun

We had a great Halloween this year. Super busy between class parties, school parades, trunk-or-treats and visiting family, but fun to celebrate and see all the cute costumes. I couldn't come up with a theme for all my kids to dress up as this year, so they just have cute individual costumes. Ashten was Cruella de'Vill, Treyson was a musketeer, and Traxton was a Knight. They all looked great.

We love to get all the grandkids together to take pictures and go trick-or-treating. They are at such a fun age and love being together.

Some of the great-grandkids.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Autumn Time

I love Autumn! I love when the weather starts to cool down and I can put my fall decorations out. I love when the kids can start playing outside again after the horrible heat of summer. I love the feel in the air as the holidays are approaching. I just love Autumn!

A couple days ago we took the kids to Staheli Farm to go through the corn maze. The weather was really cold, but we had a really fun time. Ashten and Treyson loved running through the maze and choosing the path for us to take. We even made it through without getting lost too many times.

The kids were really excited to carve their pumpkins and did a great job helping. At first they were hesitant to touch the "guts", but eventually they dug right in and each cleaned out their own pumpkin. They told me what they wanted for their pumpkins features and I carved them. They all turned out really cute and we are excited to put candles inside and watch them shine.