Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's Been a While

My apologies.

It's been forever since I updated the family blog! Boo on me. A Christmas post will be up, uh, soon.

Okay, so let's start with Drew's birthday. He turned 29 this year (old geezer!). Luke helped me with the cake and I'll be darned if he isn't the cutest cake assistant I ever did see.

Look at all those candles! Nearly started a forest fire.

He's such a goober. His little candle-blower-outer helpers:

Gracie has been a doll and helping me with my makeup routine. She also likes to freshen herself up while she's at it.

I love that girl!! Also, Luke loves playing on the windowsills. They're just his height. I love when he does this. I think it's so cute!

Cute, right? Oh, Gracie has been working on being extra adorable:

 Let's see, what else? We took the kids to go see Santa in NOVEMBER. Laugh all you want, we had to a wait a total of 5 minutes. Totally worth it.

Gracie did NOT like Santa. But Luke just had to tell Santa what he wanted, so he told him and hopped off.

(I don't know what's going on with Luke's hair.)

Luke being adorable AND he can spell his own name! (smartypants):

Next up: Christmas!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankful Days (Day 3)

So far there's been a natural progression, have you noticed? Hubby, son, and now...

My baby girl!

Isn't she beautiful?

I love this little girl. Let me tell you a little why I didn't think she would be in the family. So, Drew has 3 brothers. I have 5 brothers. With that ratio (1:7) of girls in the family, I figured my chances of having a girl was slim to none. It wasn't like I was pining for a girl. When I found out Luke was a boy I was relieved. Because I had so many brothers I felt like I could handle boys.

I had a very special (and private) experience in which I found out I was having a girl before I even went in for the ultrasound. I think I may have only told Drew about the experience. I don't remember. But I do remember going in for the ultrasound and being completely calm because I already knew what I was having. 

Then after we found out we were having a little girl, Drew was the one that decided on the name Grace. I hope that Gracie thinks that's special when she gets older. 

Gracie is the sweetest little girl. She's a mommy's girl but she yells "Daddy!" when Drew walks in the door. She asks "Where Daddy?" during the day. She loves loves loves her big brother. She follows him around and plays with the toys he likes (she has her own girly toys). She likes to give hugs and kisses and she folds her arms for prayers. She speaks so well already! After Luke, this is such a shock. 

She's a beautiful girl, inside and out.

Friday, November 2, 2012

22 Thankful Days (Day2)

Okay, Day 2 of the Thankful Days! 

Today I am so so so grateful for my son, Luke Andrew

Let me tell you, I was a little nervous about him for a while. When he was first born, I had a heck of a time getting him to breastfeed. The first night home with him he just wouldn't eat and about 20 minutes later, we were both crying. That problem was fixed (hallelujah!) and he kept growing.

But man was he feisty! He would only eat about 5 things, he would yell "NO!" all the time and he was a grump. But slowly he became so kind. It's kind of amazing, actually. He's always been a sweetheart but when he was 1-2 it was only on his terms. Now he's kind all the time. And the person who he's sweetest with? His baby sister, Grace.

He holds her hand when I can't, he kisses her goodnight, he makes sure she doesn't get hurt, and he let's her have a toy if he's playing with it and she wants it. He says "I love you, mommy," and always asks where daddy is. He likes to sing and dance and play with other kids. He has never bitten or hit another kid. 

He is just a wonderful little boy and I am SO grateful for the chance I have to have him in my life.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

22 Thankful Days (Day 1)

I'm going to be doing 22 Thankful Days, hosted by See Vanessa Craft

Since today just happens to be my husband's birthday, I'll start with him!

(This is us at the Sacramento LDS temple. Around 4 months after this, we'd be getting married in this very temple.)

I'm grateful for how hard-working he is. When we found out we were pregnant with our first baby, Drew was unemployed. He took the first job he was offered. He hated it. But he knew he had to provide for his family. Then he got promoted and moved us to North Carolina. Still, he wanted to make sure he could always take care of us, so now he's getting his Master's degree.

I'm grateful he's a great dad. He hates coming home so late some days that his kids are in bed by the time he comes home. If Luke is still awake in his bed Drew will get him up so he can talk to him for 10 minutes. 

I'm grateful for his love. He loves me and the kids, and shows it daily. He loves Christ and show that, too, through his actions. 

Oh yeah, and I'm grateful he's so handsome. I like to to look at him every day and I never get tired of it!

29 Things You May Not Know About Drew:
1. He hates cake & frosting
2. He loves NPR
3. He likes college football more than the NFL
4. He doesn't wear the color brown
5. He doesn't like the beach
6. He says licorice like "lickwish"
7. He's Young Men's president but can never be at Mutual
8. He's a cheese and chocolate snob
9. He's also an ice cream snob...Blue Bell or nothing
10. He would go back and change his college major if he Advertising
11. He's an excellent writer (in fact, he ghost writes for the CEO of his company)
12. He hates surprises
13. He doesn't like chocolate chips in his chocolate chip cookies
14. His favorite movie is Remember the Titans
15. He used to want a dog until I convinced him otherwise
16. He's obsessed with budgeting ever since reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover
17. One of his favorite stores is Half-Priced Books
18. He doesn't like to camp
19. His favorite TV shows are Seinfeld and The Middle
20. He had to be hospitalized after he was born for respitory issues
21. He will try almost any kind of food at least once
22. He wants to live in Switzerland
23. He thinks his children are angels (they can be)
24. He's a great artist
25. He doesn't get very excited and he doesn't cry
26. He hates the San Antonio Spurs
27. He follows politics like nobody's business
28. He picked out Gracie's name
29. If he could do/be anything, he'd become a teacher

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Peppers Go To Washington (State, that is)


Before you start reading this post, I suggest you carve out a few hours of your time. Seriously, this is a fatty post.

Okay, you've been warned. So. The kids and I went to Washington for THREE weeks.And yes, I took both kids by myself. They were actually amazing. Just see for yourself:

Don't let Gracie fool you, she left her headphones on for about 20 seconds.

Anyhoooo, let's get back to the vacation. So, so many pictures.

From left to top and down the backwards "L" (This is how they will all be)
- Watching Finding Nemo in 3D. My brother is an Assistant Manager at a movie theater, which means free movies!!
- Johnny and Luke watching Finding Nemo.
- The kids' play area. I loved that little special table for them. 
- Grace and my dad. So cute!
- Making Drew snickerdoodles to mail to him.
- He worked hard on those snickerdoodles :)
- Gracie getting more nails did
- Wrestling with Grandpa

- Grandma reading to Luke in his bed
- Oh yeah...Luke's bed :) He slept in a tent all three weeks! He loved it.
- Being a goofy boy
- The fort! My mom put sheets on their dining room table to make a fort. They loved playing Marble Works in there.
- More fort playing
- There's a place close to my parent's house called Sherwood Forest. It's a forest with a walkway through it. It takes about 30 minutes to hike through.
- The bushes and trees and foliage isn't taken care of so it kind of eats you as you walk through
- There were several bridges, also. 

- Chuck E. Cheese! 
- Gracie & Chuck
- My lil brother won 50 tickets for the kids!
- The kids on the Venga bus
- Chuck, Grandpa, & Luke
- Luke was surprisingly good at this basketball game
- Get them duckies!

- Luke with his bubble gun. It started leaking on Uncle Johnny but he was a good sport about it.
- Lovin' the bubbles
- Shooting them off the deck
- Bubbles
- My parents bought this Larry Boy for Luke and his ears actually stick. Poor Larry was left this way several times.
- Luke talking to his daddy via Skype.
- Gracie LOVES stuffed animals
- Every morning my mom would put a toy in this little cabinet. Luke would wake up and go check his "door." Lots of Veggietales and Toy Story toys.

- There's a harbor in Aberdeen and while we were there there were 2 ships in the harbor. We were able to go on one. Luke loved it! He thought it was a pirate ship :)
- Luke next to a teenie tiny cannon
- Gracie showing her pirate spirit
- Grandpa & Pirate Luke
- Grandma & Pirate Luke
- Look! Pirate Uncle Johnny
- Just chillin' on a ship. NBD.
- Pirate chicks

- We went bowling and obviously he loved it.
- Luke beat most of us...just not Grandpa. Of course, Grandpa was in a couple of bowling leagues back in the day.
- I think he likes Larry Boy. What do you think?
- Luke's awesome Glasses straw. I guess this is what he'd look like with glasses!
- Sharing with his sister. What a sweetie pie.
- Luke became slightly obsessed with Captain America while we were there because Uncle Johnny wore so much Captain America clothes
- At a bounce house place. Gracie wasn't so good at it. Neither was I.
- Gracie. What a beauty.

- Grandpa & his baby girls
- This was at Chuck E. Cheese. 
- Grandpa bought the kids some cool Chuck E. cups
- The kids loved sharing ice cream with Grandpa. Look at Gracie's mouth! She's like a baby bird!
- Luke is no better. Little birds.
- After the bounce house place we went to Denny's. Aren't these cups cute?
- Waiting for our food at Denny's
- Watching Veggietale clips on the internet with Grandma.

- One weekend we went to Seattle and saw the Space Needle. Pretty cool stuff.
- For some reason, Luke starting calling my dad "Pickle Nose." He's putting toy pickles on his nose here.
- Watching more Veggietale clips on my dad's iPad.
- On the Monorail in Seattle
- In our hotel room in Seattle
- Gracie had a lollipop and she got NASTY. We had to go buy a new shirt, she slobbered so much.
- Luke and his lollipop. He's kind of OCD about getting dirty. He's extremely clean.
- Cuteness.

- While in Seattle we went to a place called Pike Place Market. It was awesome.
- The front of the marketplace
- My bro bought a leather-bound journal with homemade paper. 
- These fish sellers would throw fish back and forth to each other. I think it's just for entertainment.
- The boys and their Captain America fetish.
- The FIRST Starbucks. That must be old.
- The gum wall! Super gross.
- Just a sign on a bus stop.

- Pumpkin decorating! I figured carving would be way to messy so we just painted on ours. That's Larry Boy's call signal.
- Gracie coloring on hers with a crayon.
- Luke had to supervise my mom to make sure she got it right.
Uncle Johnny hard at work.
- Luke, Larry Boy, and Grandma. Her pumpkin turned out great!
- Johnny. He's seriously obsessed.
- Tubby time for Gracie
- Tubby time for Lukers

- My dad and I went on a date. We went to Casa Mia's (Italian restaurant) and then Dairy Queen.
- Luke needs his Larry friends next to him on his pillow
- Captain Adorable!
- Making their own pizzas bought from Papa Murphey's
- Aberdeen. This is the view from the top of the mountain my parents live on
- I love my little brother
- My dad's work office.
- They love their Uncle Johnny!!

- Three generations! I love my mama. (And my daughter).
- My parent's house from the street. You can't tell how long it is from the front.
- A pretty house in Aberdeen! I loved it.
- The babies and grandparents the day we left :(

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Texas Trip (Wrap Up)

I was thinking how I should post about my recent Washington trip but then I realized I never finished posting about the Texas trip! I'm such a slacker. But here it is! Better late than never.

Here's some of the last pictures:

Luke and Drew went on a little date to the Legoland in Grapevine.

Meanwhile.... we took Gracie to Build-A-Bear! Since she loves stuffed animals, she was in heaven.

Stuffing her doggie.

Washing her doggie.

More washing.

On a carousel with Grandma.

That's all of the pictures. However, on the drive home, Drew and I made a list of a bunch of stuff we wanted to remember, so you'll get to see them too. There's three different catergories: Food, Events, and Memorable Moments.

Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bueno (3 times!), In-N-Out (Drew and I on a date), Chicken Express (one of Drew's favorites), Whataburger, Domino's, Olive Garden, Spring Creek, Chili's. 
 - Misc: Frozen yogurt, Sno cones (upon Drew's insistence), QT soft serve ice cream
 - Drew's work food: The Ranch, Japanese cuisine

- Rangers game  - Hawaiian Falls  - Legoland  - Batman movie  - Cam Thorpe's wedding reception  - Friend Reunion party  - Painted Door  - Ecolab visits (for Drew)  - Date night  - Gracie & Grandma Spa night  - Shopping  - Half-price books (Drew went a little crazy with his Far Side comics)  - Dinner with the Fackrell family  - Basketball (Drew & Matt)  - Craft day with Emily  - Lawn work (I discovered a hidden talent for trimming bushes)  - Arlington 4th ward & Mansfield 1st ward visits  - Luke's 1st Converse shoes  - Gracie's 1st Build-A-Bear  - Family Pics at the Thorpe's  - Taken (creepy movie Matt made us watch)

Memorable Moments:

Play Room: Mama Pepper transformed the upstairs into an awesome play room for the kids!

John & his Motorcycle: We drove up to the Pepper's house and saw a motorcycle. Drew: "Only one of my friends would be dumb enough to buy a motorcycle." Me: "John?" Haha, we love you John!

Brett Thorpe: I'm not even going to repeat the story here but Drew seriously laughed SO hard for about 5 minutes. If you want to know the story, ask Drew.

The Dog Debacle: Kev & Martha brought their 2 dogs. One night one of them got out. The next day one of the neighborhood guys told Mama Pepper that the dog had dragged a poor old man down the street and was pretty beat up. Mama & Dad Pepper stressed about it until the went and talked to the old man. Turns out it wasn't Kevin & Martha's dog. Phew!

Braxton Thorpe & Panera: I don't know why I thought this story was so funny! Probably because Lainie is such a good story teller :) If you wanna know this story, ask Lainie. It'll be worth your time.

Bubba: Matt calls Luke Bubba and he would play Hide & Go Seek with Luke. He'd wander the house calling "Bubba, where are you?" and then Luke would look for Matt... so cute!

The Middle: Drew was really excited to show his family one of our favorite shows: The Middle. Matt was so not enthused about it. Even after he watched it. That's a pretty typical reaction.

Dad Pepper & Matt: Matt was so funny with his dad! He'd follow Dad Pepper around saying "Hey, what are you doing?" "What are you going to do now?" Dad Pepper finally asked: "Can I please just go to the bathroom alone?!" 

Chubby Checker: Matt insisted that Drew had gained a lot of weight (which he hasn't) so Matt would walk around the house singing Chubby Checker. He even recruited Dad Pepper to start singing, too.

Haley Leavitt: At Cam's wedding reception, we saw tons of friends. It was so great. Of course, our good friend Serene was there. And Drew LOVES teasing her. And now that she has 3 girls, he likes teasing them. One of her daughters, Haley, who's around 3 I think, had gotten a couple of bug bites on her face at the reception. Drew told Haley she had bites on her face and she got really worried and started crying. Drew's such a brat. 

Leaving Ranger's game: The Ranger's game was going pretty late into the night. Knowing the rest of the family could be driven home by Drew in our car, Mama Pepper & I decided to take the kids home. We left and were pretty far away when I realized I had Drew's keys. Back to the stadium we went. The problem was the game was over and there was no way we could get to anybody or the car. I ended up running the keys over to Drew.

Sunday dinner: We had a dinner after Sunday to see a lot of our friends. It was so much fun. Everyone brought something to eat and we just hung out and enjoyed each other's company.

Have you made it to the end? If you did, congrats! And hopefully you enjoyed it. Or some of it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Texas Trip (Three)

Since all of the kids and grandkids were in town, of course Mama Pepper wanted to do family pictures. The kids were pretty darn wiggly but luckily we had the newest member of the Thorpe family to shoot pictures and a lot of them came out great!

Here are some of the best ones (I tried to edit them a bit):

I think they came out great!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mr. Luke Goes to School

I have to interrupt the Texas travel pics to post about my baby's first day in preschool.

I was really, really hesitant to put Luke in preschool. I figured I would check out preschools next year. It makes sense--start preschool a year before actual school. However, a girl from my ward contacted me saying she was starting up a preschool and she would love for Luke to join (she worked with him in nursery). Still, I was doubtful. But then she sent me her curriculum and I decided that she had put a lot of time and thought into it. Her price was good and the other reason for me doing this: Drew's longest days are Tues and Thurs and Luke's preschool is on Tues and Thurs. 

I was nervous! Once my baby starts school it never ends. I mean, Drew is 28 (almost 29!) and he's STILL going to school! I just didn't know if I was ready to let Luke grow up yet. But I let go... and got a little teary, but I held myself together. 

We started the day with chocolate chip pancakes. Brain food, right?

 I figured his BYU shirt was the best choice for his first day.

And of course his new awesome shoes.

Opening exercises included: weather, date, attendance, prayer.

Circle Time: learning about whales.

Luke and Miss Jamie!

Put your hands together for the Preschool class of 2013!! Aren't they adorable?!