Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

To say that we are boiling over with excitement here, is an understatement! Tess asks me every morning if it's Christmas yet! Porter at least understands the days of the week, and has a coutdown running. Owen, obviously, doesn't know what's going on and just loves looking at the decorations and the lights! We can't wait to see him open his gifts. He's gonna go nuts with the paper!

It's been a busy week getting ready for this next week. Baby Owen's ear infections came back, so that's been sad to see him sick again. He's on a stronger antibiotic now, so we're hoping that helps. He's such a sweet boy, even when he's not feeling well. He was in heaven on Friday night, because I let him sleep with us! I didn't get any sleep that night - I spent the whole time looking at him! I just don't want him to grow up!

Porter's pancake breakfast at school was a lot of fun. He was also able to wear his jammies to school on Friday and the whole school watched The Polar Express. He was so excited when he came home to tell me they had given him hot cocoa and cookies during the movie! He's home now until the 7th, so that will be nice.

I got my lovely goofy gift in the mail yesterday - it's a "beautiful" pink christmas wreath. As much as I "love" it, I'm giving it to Tess. She thinks it's sooooo pretty. So, now we have to hang it up in her room! She's really hoping for some girly dress up stuff from Santa, so we'll see!

We had a visit Friday night and Saturday from Kate and Keven, my friends from Seattle. It was fun to have them here. We all went bowling on Saturday and had a blast. We had a great time with the kids making cupcakes for Kate's birthday. Her birthday is Christmas eve and we didn't want her to feel like we were forgetting!

We're looking forward to seeing Fafa and Punkin on Christmas day. I think the kids are more excited to see them than to open their presents. That is just fine with me! We feel so fortunate that our children have such a close relationship with their great-grandparents.

We hope everyone enjoys their holiday festivities and traditions. We are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior and to take some extra time to talk to our children about the real meaning of Christmas. The gifts are fun, but they are not the real reason for this enjoyable time of year. We're grateful for all that Christ has done for us. We love you all and want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

xoxo, The Mitchell Family

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Santa's Theme Park

Well, we've been really busy getting all ready and excited for Christmas. The gifts have been coming in the mail, and thus, torturing the kids like crazy!! It's been so fun to put them out and see the turmoil they are going through because they can't open them yet! We're planning on spending a quiet Christmas at home and then awaiting the arrival of Fafa and Punkin on Christmas afternoon.

Last night we took the kids to a large Christmas fair in Chandler. It was so fun to take them on the kiddie rides and see all the fun lights. Tess loved the rides and has officially taken the title as "daredevil" in the family. She went nuts. She wanted to go again and again on everything. Porter loved the rides as well, but enjoyed his cotton candy most of all. Brandon spent a whopping $3.50 on Tess' cotton candy, only to have her tell him it was yucky and it ended up in the garbage. Brandon and I happen to agree with Tess on the nastyness of the stuff. Sweet baby Owen rode in his little sling on my hip and literally looked at the lights the whole time. We were there for about 2 hours, and he didn't make a single sound.

Porter is looking forward to a pancake breakfast that his teacher is putting on at the school on Wednesday for parents and students. He sure loves her and thinks anything she does is wonderful. He'll be off as of Friday afternoon and doesn't go back until the 8th of January. It will be nice to have him home for a couple of weeks.

We're all excited to go pick up our tree this week. We've been waiting to get the tree until it was closer to Christmas. We decided to be corny Northerners and buy a potted palm tree in celebration of our first Christmas in Arizona! We know it needs to be planted soon after purchase, so we've opted to wait until this week to buy it. Tune in next week for pictures!!

We hope everyone has a fun week with their final preparations for the big day! We love you all dearly!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I must admit that I've been slacking on this the last couple of weeks. I've been having a lot of fun writing for Amy and I's new website and that takes up a lot of my time. If you want to take a peek at it, it's It has been so nice for me to have a creative and academic outlet on a daily basis. I've really missed the writing I did in college, so it's been a blast.

You know, you hear people talk about peaks and valleys in life. I really feel like we are having a great peak time here at the Mitchell household. Sure, we have our issues, but things are going really well. We're really loving Arizona and the routine we've gotten our little family into. Everyone is doing well except for some little colds. With the weather cooling off here, we've all caught a bit of a bug.

Porter is loving Kindergarten. He's doing so well and we really are proud of him. He's become quite the little reader. He's constantly looking at words in books and on signs and sounding them out. I think he's gotten his mommy's love of reading early on! He loves to do his homework and recently asked me what a nerd was. I'm not sure where he had heard the term. So, I explained to him that a nerd is someone who is really smart and loves to do homework all day, everyday - so his reply was - "Well, then, I'm a nerd!!!" It was really cute. He had a little Thanksgiving play at school and he was a pilgrim. He looked so cute in his little costume.

Tess is doing well. She's getting more inquisitive everyday. She's really starting to pay attention to her letters and pointing them out as she sees them. She loves working on her colors and doing little coloring projects at home with me. Her vocabulary is growing like crazy too. She's constantly surprising us with new sentences. She has finally gotten confident to go to nursery or have a sitter without crying, so that's a HUGE step for her. It's been really nice for us too!

Baby Owen is just too darn cute! He finally cut his front two teeth this last week and that was a chore to say the least. He has taken the term "blowout diaper" to a whole new level. It's been a lot of fun cleaning up after him! He was in seventh heaven this last week as we went to my grandparents for Thanksgiving. If he's near his Punkin, then he's a happy camper!

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day. Punkin and I spent the day cooking and then we all spent the evening eating! Everything turned out way yummy. The next day we took the kids to Agua Caliente Park again to feed the ducks. We love it there and the kids had a ball. Last time we went Owen was much younger, so this time was fun to see him try to talk to the ducks. His eyes were huge the whole time! Tess has gotten gutsy with the ducks as well. I swear, she was soooo lucky none of them bit her little fingers. She'll hold the bread in her hand and have the ducks walk right up to her and then she barely throws the bread! I think she likes having them get close to her.

We hope everyone had a great holiday and are doing well. I promise to not take so many weeks in between posts again!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Halloween from the Land of Sun!!!

Well, I must say, after having Halloween in the rain or snow my whole life, it was nice to have it sunny! Owen dressed up as Julius Caesar, toga and all, and he fit right in with the weather! Our ward had a huge trunk or treating activity and the kids had a ball and came home with a ton of candy. On Halloween night, we got maybe 20 trick or treaters, so we ended up with a whole slew of candy. Now, a few days later, the candy has been handed to a friend who is a school teacher and the rest hit the trash this morning after the millionth sugar high. I had had it, and chucked the rest!

We let the kids dress up again yesterday morning before we headed to Tucson. They wanted to show Fafa and Punkin their costumes. We had a great day with my grandparents and even went swimming! It's so weird to do that in November, but we certainly aren't complaining. We moved here for the sun and intend to enjoy it! We're headed back there for Thanksgiving and I'm looking forward to cooking with Punkin. The kids sure love it there and we feel fortunate that our children have such a unique relationship with their great-grandparents. Not many children get that. I sure didn't.

We had Porter's first parent/teacher conference a week ago. That went really well. He loves school and his teacher said he takes his schoolwork very seriously. He's one of the top 3 kids in his class and she told us he's one of her favorites too! As a parent, that was really fun to hear.

Tess is still running the castle here. She is defintely in charge and will come tell me even if she thinks daddy is "bossing" her. She loves making Owen laugh and wrestling with him. I think she's really enjoyed that he's gotten more playful. She loved being a cowgirl for Halloween and now I have to plan all of her outfits around her new pink boots!

Owen is doing really well. He's on the verge of cutting two more teeth. He absolutely LOVES playing with Porter and Tess. They constantly have him laughing. He's really trying to lift up his body in a crawling stance, but he's just so darn heavy it might take awhile! So, he just scoots backwards or rolls all over the place.

Well, we'll think warm thoughts to pass out to everyone! Enjoy bundling up and scraping snow off your cars.....I'll think about you while I put on my sunglasses to drive!

We love you all!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Weekend with Fafa and Punkin

Well, we had a busy weekend here at the Mitchells! Brandon had a few days of meetings in Salt Lake City last week, and then I flew in Friday morning to join him in Park City. So, Fafa and Punkin came up from Tucson to stay with the kids. The kids were soooo excited to have them all to themselves.

Brandon's company put us up at The Canyons resort in Park City on Friday night. It was a really nice place. We were able to see some friends that we went to school with, so that was a lot of fun. He works for the same company and they are living in Virginia right now. We hadn't seen them in 2 1/2 years, so it was really nice to catch up. After some shopping and sight seeing, we met up with my Aunt and Uncle and cousins in Sandy on Saturday afternoon. It was a lot of fun to see them as well. We were up until the wee hours of the morning Sunday talking. We sure love seeing them and we're hoping they head down this way for Christmas. We were also wonderfully, maybe, surprised with two inches of snow that night as well! We literally froze in Utah. We are definitely acclamated to our warm Arizona weather.

Alas, we were anxious to make it home to our children. We missed them terribly. We were happy to have some time together, but relieved to make it home safely and be an intact family again! The kids had a ball with my grandparents. They had lots of fun going to the park, coloring pictures, wrestling with Fafa and eating yummy treats. Owen loved his time with his Punkin so much that he barely recognized me when we walked in the door! She even let him sleep in their bed Saturday night - - which he NEVER does!!! There is defintely a special bond between them. We sure appreciated them taking care of the kids. They are the most wonderful great-grandparents any kid could ask for. We never worried about them being safe.

So, it's back to the grind this week. We had some teary eyes this morning when they left. We promised the kids we'd head to Tucson the first weekend in November so they could see them again. Now, I just have to convince little Owen that he can make it that long before he sees Punkin again!

We love you all!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Joy of Nostalgia

As I laid in bed last night listening to the hum of the baby monitor and not really quite relaxing as I was listening for Owen, who is teething, I got into one of my crazy notstalic moods. (How's that for a run-on sentence!?) Those of you who have ever corresponded with me through mail or emails know that I LOVE to write and I take my time to explain any idea or memory that I want to get across. I love detailing life and events. I've always been a fiersely loyal journal writer, until lately! What I miss the most about college is all the research and papers I had to write. Call me crazy, but that's what happens when you spend your childhood reading books - and your adulthood too. I am a self-professed nerd who loves to read! So, bear with me as I take the opportunity this week to rattle off about a multiplicity of things that have been on my mind lately. Feel free to read as much or as little as you like!

Yesterday, as I was pulling out of the driveway, I looked over my shoulder to see if there were any children on the sidewalk, and I noticed the three carseats in the back of the car. I had a small moment of nostalgia thinking about the three owners of those precious car seats! I truly think that motherhood has been the best thing I've ever done. Believe me - I'm not the best - or even close - but I love being a parent. In my family as a child we had an interesting dynamic in the sense that there was a 7 year gap between the older children and the younger children. If you take a moment and look at the majority of family photos from my childhood, you will find a child attached to my hip. I was a little mother to my 3 younger brothers and absolutely loved that role. I took it very seriously. I had a special sense of needing to protect them from a very young age. As an older sister I had several opportunities to babysit them. I was super paranoid to leave them unattended at any moment - even as they got older. I remember one Saturday morning - gosh - I don't even know how old I was - I think I may have still been in High School. Anyhow, I had NEVER ever left them unattended and just once I decided to take a shower. I figured I could take a short one and be out in 10 minutes tops. (mind you, the kids were older, I think the youngest was probably 7 at the time) Well, I got out of the shower and the house was dead quiet. I panicked. I ran through the house to find no one home. I about fainted and went into a tailspin of panic. I ran out of the house screaming and running up and down the block. Our neighter, Steve Maurer, heard me and started helping me look for the kids. We couldn't find them anywhere. Meanwhile - I had only put on clothes - I don't think I had even combed my hair! Eventually, I decided to get in my car and start looking for my mother, who had been at the church building for some sort of meeting that morning. I got to the church and their was no sign of the family car. As I was on my way back to the house I happened to notice the car at our local branch of the bank. I parked quickly and RAN inside with my hair dripping wet and all! Right there in front of my eyes was my mother and my little brothers sitting at a desk opening up bank accounts for the boys! Long story short, I will never forget that. I'm sure my neighbor and my mother won't either!

My own grandparents have said that they thought I'd never want my own children, because I had already helped raise 3 boys! Very shortly after Brandon and I got married we BOTH had the itch to have a child. Porter was born one month after our first anniversary and we've had two more since in only 6 years!! It's been a crazy, busy ride, but it's been amazing. I had a professor in college that always used to say that the joy in life is in the journey - not the final goals. Absolutely - he had it right. We're not stinking rich and I'm no runway model, but I have everything I could ever want right here at home. I am just as protective of our babies as I was of my brothers and am constantly telling them they can't go anywhere without me. In fact, we took the kids to the park last night, and as we were walking there we noticed two little boys probably Porter and Tess' ages running in the neighborhood alone. Porter looked at me and asked, "Hey Ma, why are those kids alone?" These kids are so much fun. They crack us up daily with the things they say and the questions they have about life. I have the best husband I could ever ask for. I dated a multiplicity of men, but the second I met Brandon, I knew he was different. I was smitten instantly and I still am. I remember going home after our first date and telling my mother that I was going to marry him. He has turned out to be a wonderful husband and an amazing parent. Those children look at him like he's pure gold. They would do anything for him.

Anyhow, It looks as though I may need to finish my ramblings on another day. This has gotten a bit longer than I thought! Just know we've got 3 little souls here flourishing in our home! They send out kisses and hugs to everyone. I just need to sit down and start writing our own litte family history story while all these little kid memories are fresh in my mind.

I love you all dearly!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Family Home Evening

Well......I know it's been two weeks since I wrote - - - excuses - - - we've been busy and we've had a bit of some sickness in the house as well. Alas, I am back and all is well in Mitchell land.

We had a great Family Home Evening tonight with the kids. We've been really bad in the past about doing that on a regular basis, and have recently vowed to change our ways! Our big lesson tonight was on tying our shoes! Porter is at that right age and we know it takes a lot of practice. He'll get it eventually. Tess even tried as well, which was really fun. Owen opted out - he was more interested in his little dinosaur with tags on it! The kids thought the best part was the treat, of course. We had Nestle crunch ice cream bars - Daddy's favorite. Personally, I loved listening to everyone sing the little speckled frog song!

Soccer season is going really well. Porter, despite being the youngest, shortest and slowest kid on the team, is doing really well. His favorite position to play is goalie, which he does really well at. He's getting faster and more aggressive with each practice and game. We are so proud of him and he loves it. He continues to love school. He comes home each day and sits right down to do his homework. His teacher told me the other day she loves talking to Porter simply to watch the expressions on his face! He's always showed all of his emotion right on his face!

I started watching a friend of our's child last week and Tess has really enjoyed having him at our house everyday. He's 18 months old and his name is Owen as well! She likes playing with him and that has helped her have a playmate while Porter is gone at school. Owen's mom is a school teacher, so he's gone just after Porter gets home from school, so that's nice for me as well. She continues to love to ride her bike and eat strawberries whenever she can. She calls strawberries "strawberry shortcake" because she loves the character Strawberry Shortcake.

Owen is still the perfect little baby. He is ALWAYS sooooo happy. I can't believe he'll be 7 months old on Friday. He's fully rolling all over the place! It took him a bit longer cuz the poor thing is so chubby! He now has two teeth and is jabbering all the time. He's been eating solid food for awhile, but tonight we gave him mashed potatoes for the first time, and you'd think he was in heaven! He LOVED them!! He kept opening his mouth and he'd bark at me if I didn't feed it to him fast enough! He's growing up too fast. What he does that I love best are his kisses. He'll practically suck on your cheek and laugh at the same time. It's way cute.

Well, we hope all is well with everyone and I promise to work on some great oration for the next entry!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

What Would Jack Bauer Do????

For all you TV junkies out there, I pose the question to ask yourselves in any difficult situation - - - -What would Jack Bauer do???? Jack, the man of all men - who can save the day in a mere 24 hour period...... My own sweet Brandon, contemplated during church today the idea of if he made WWJBD bracelets.....would they sell??!!! I kindly reminded him that he may be the only man pushing 30 that idolizes Jack Bauer from 24! I told him that he was our hero and that was all that mattered! We've reached a point in our home where Brandon must call on his own hero to get him through his next assignment........yes, our sweet non-scout, is now the Cub Scout Master in our ward's chapter of the BSA (Boy Scouts of America)!! I am thrilled for him and he's excited to learn the things that Porter and Owen will be getting into in a few years. He's so good with kids of all ages that I know he will do well. If you like, send him an email of encouragement when you can!!!

We're doing great here in Mitchell Land. Owen weighed in this week at 21lbs 14oz - so he's still a contender in this season's football choices for MVP. He cut his first tooth on Monday and his second tooth today. Just this week he's turned into a big mama's boy as well. He constantly wants me to hold him and if I walk past him and don't acknowledge him he screams at me!

Tess is doing well and loves to play with her brothers. She's been totally engrossed in coloring this week, that I had to make another trip to the store for more coloring books!! Brandon took her to the video store this weekend to pick out a movie and she rented Beauty and the Beast - we're now on our third time watching it!! When is it due?????!!! Soon, I hope!

Porter had a busy week at school and had another soccer game yesterday. They won and he had a lot of fun. He actually came in contact with the ball this week! For those of you who haven't seen him play - he's always the short, slow one on the field - - so to see him start to get aggressive and go after the ball was fun. At least this year he's not chasing his shadow or picking grass during the games or practice!! Such an improvement since he was 3 when he started!

On Monday we had a fun visit from my cousin Sam who lives in Olympia, WA. He was here in Phoenix for some sort of Accounting training/conference thingy. I'm not sure what it was, but he came over for the afternoon. We hadn't seen him in 6 years, so it was really nice to catch up. So, here I'm officially dedicating myself to keeping in touch better. I'm not so good sometimes.

Brandon and I are great, just pluggin' away at life like usual. The kids keep us busy and that's exactly what we signed up for, so we're happy to do so. We love that they are starting to have things going on in their own little lives. It's been fun to see Porter start his own "networking," if you want to call it that! He has made lots of friends at school, and one classmate is on his soccer team, another in his class at church, and he sees some others at the play place at the gym that Brandon and I work out at. He even says his new best friend is a kid named Travis - we'll see who it is next week! As long as he's not telling me who his girlfriend is, he can change his best friend anytime he wants!

We send out hugs and kisses from our babies to everyone! Have a great week!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Well, the highlight of our week was seeing Barb in Sedona on Monday. We had never been there and really enjoyed the little town. It was really fun to see Nana again as well. We hadn't seen her since Owen was like 3 weeks old, so he had really changed a lot in the time that has passed since then. Porter and Tess loved seeing the motorcycles and simply hanging out with their Nana for awhile. Lots of tears were shed as we left, but at least she knows how much we love and miss her!

Porter had his first soccer game yesterday and he played really well. It's so fun to watch him play because he's the shortest and slowest kid on the team - and he simply doesn't care! He just plays his little heart out and loves every minute of it. It was quite hot, so we kept everyone hydrated and covered in sunscreen. We look forward to more games and are hoping it will start cooling off pretty quick! He continues to love school and is soaking up everything he is learning.

Tess is doing better with having Porter gone. As the weeks go by, she'll get more used to it. It helps that Owen is getting more playful and loves to laugh at everything she does - so she's getting attention from him. I've really tried to keep her busy and do fun things with her and that is helping. Her favorite thing to do is help me load the washer and dryer, cuz she feels like she's a big girl doing laundry.........if only she knew what she was starting.......she'd wait a few years!!!

Owen turned 6 months old last week and his little personality is just booming. He LOVES to watch Porter and Tess and laugh at everything they do and say. They in turn, love the attention from him, so that keeps him going! He's still struggling to move around, but he's getting there. He's still eating a ton and loving his solid foods! He has a round of shots this week and he'll be weighed as well, so stay tuned for the results!

Brandon and I are doing well. Just the usual for us. We just love to watch the kids and see how much they change daily. It's funny how much they can entertain us and how much they pay attention to what we are talking about and what we have going on in our lives. Both Brandon and I have been trying to be healthier and to lose some poundage - and yesterday I sat Porter and Tess down at the table for lunch and gave them both a peanut butter sandwhich and an individual baggie of chips - - - Well, I walked away to do something else and I overheard Porter asking Tess how many calories were in her bag of chips!!! I about died laughing. I guess it's good to teach them good habits now!!

We love you all and will catch ya next week!

xoxoxoxo, the mitchells

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Watch Out Dave Beckham, Here comes Porter Mitchell!!!

Well, soccer season has begun in Surprise and Porter is stoked and ready to go!! He had his first soccer practice on Thursday and has been talking about it non-stop since then. His first game is the 8th and then he has one every Saturday until the end of October. We'll keep you posted on his season's stats. He continues to enjoy school and is sad that he doesn't have class tomorrow.

Tess is still struggling with having Porter gone during the day. I'm really trying to keep her busy and helping her understand that now this is special "mommy-Tess" time, so it's fun to have him gone. I wonder if she'll love him this much when they are teenagers!

Owen is doing well and turns 6 months old on Wednesday!!! We can't believe how fast he is growing. He's really trying to move around, but his little body is so chubby, he's having a rough time! He continues to be the happiest baby and super easy to tend to.

We are so excited for our little day-trip we have planned for tomorrow. Nana Barb, from Seattle, is on a ride trip with her Harley group and has a two day stop in Sedona, AZ - so we are driving up there to see her. We were going to surprise the kids, but I couldn't keep the secret for more than a day, so we're all excited to see her. We'll take pictures so everyone can see!

Brandon and I are doing well and just pluggin' away at keeping everyone fed and happy! We hope everyone is doing well!

Catch ya next week!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

School Time!!!

Well, the big week arrived and started with a bang! Porter was so excited he was up by 5:30 on Monday and ready to go by 6! Three hours later, he was finally there and I was balling. Brandon took the day off so he could be there to see him off to school. We were able to take him into his classroom and help him pick out his spot to sit. He was so excited to meet everyone and even one of his friends from church is in his class. His teacher is hispanic, so we are thrilled that he will be learning some spanish, more than just what mommy has taught him. After his teacher assured all the parents that their kids would be safe, we had to leave. When I picked him up at the end of the day, he was wasted! By Wednesday night, he slept for 13 hours straight! He finished out the week strong and is loving it. He is attending a brand new school, so a few things still aren't quite done - including the kitchen and cafeteria. It should be done this week and Porter can't wait for Pizza day!

Poor Miss Tessy was so lost this week without him. She has no idea what to do with him gone. She spent a lot of time coloring and playing with me. One day, all she wanted to do was sit and cuddle with me while I read her a bunch of books - for several hours! I've also caught her trying to get Owen to do more than he can and he ends up crying! She will get used to it, and now is the perfect time for me to start some pre-school with her to help keep her busy. The highlight of her week was getting a new carseat! She loves it because it's pink!

Bubba Fats Owen is still growing like a champ and moved up in size on his carseat as well this week. He also got a new high chair and is loving that too. He's such a sweet happy baby. Today he had an accident at church that went through all his clothes, and of all days, I had forgotten to put an extra outfit in the diaper bag - so he got to attend the last hour in his diaper! Everyone loved seeing how chubby he was with all of his rolls!!!

We took the family for a drive yesterday and went to see the Mesa Temple. The kids loved the paintings at the visitor's center and we walked around the grounds and took some photos. It was a nice family outing to show the kids the temple here.

So, we're all geared up and ready for another week of school! I'm still getting used to having Porter gone and realizing that it's okay. He has already done a lot and is anxious for another week of class, PE, art, music and library time. He said that so far his favorite part about kindergarten is that he doesn't have to take a nap!

We love you all and hope you have a great week!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's official - we're legal Arizonians!

Okay, so I flaked out last weekend and didn't update the blog. I didn't realize until Sunday that the batteries were dead in the camera - and then Brandon left Monday for Nashville and took the camera with him!!

Brandon spent Monday and Tuesday in Nashville on business and was able to see Kevin (my brother) while he was there. It was a last-minute and short trip, but fun to see Kevin on short notice. The kids and I spent the week hanging out and enjoying Porter's last week at home before school starts. Tomorrow is the big day, and I tell ya, tonight might as well be Christmas eve. Porter was sooooo excited when we tucked him into bed tonight. I was kissing and hugging him, and he leaned towards my ear and asked, "Hey, Ma, do I need to set my alarm? Do I have to get up early?!" It was so cute. I simply told him that school didn't start until 9am and that we live a mile from the school, so he would be fine getting up at his usual 6am! Anyone who knows us, knows that we love routine and all three kids are in bed by 7pm on a normal day - so we always get up early. So, it was cute to me that he thought he may need to set an alarm.

We finally buckled and made ourselves legal Arizonians by changing our licenses and registering the car! I believe we were supposed to do it in the first 60 days....... So, that put us somewhere like just over 4 months late!! So, it's official! Who knows how long it will be, but we hope to make it somewhat permanent. We'll know in the next couple of weeks if Brandon's next job is here in Phoenix or out of state. We'll keep everyone posted.

Tess is in for a big shock tomorrow. I'm curious to see how she handles having Porter gone all day. She's not a solo player, so, we'll see! Owen had a doctor's appointment this week and weighed in at 20lbs 7oz at just over 5 months old! He's most definitely our chubbiest baby yet!

We hope everyone is doing well and look for the big update next week on Porter's first week of School!!!


Sunday, July 29, 2007


Well, this week I've decided to do something a little different instead of the usual spout-off of what we've done this week.

I had one of those Oprah "ah ha" moments yesterday while folding laundry and wanted to share it with everyone. So, here goes......

I, as most women, struggle with the desire to do the household laundry. A few weeks ago, I decided that I needed to change my attitude and try to look at the task of laundry and other household chores as something other than chores. In the process I've learned a great deal about the joy of taking care of my family. So, bear with me as I compare our family life to the task of laundering our clothing.

As I sorted out a few days worth of laundry yesterday morning, I was pleased (maybe) to find my husband's dirty soccer socks, swimming suits, and now Tess' pretty princess underwear. The dirty laundry is a direct correlation to all the fun times we've had as a family at any given moment. We were able to witness one of Brandon's final soccer games this week, play in the water a bunch, and Miss Tess hasn't wet her pants since Monday and is the Queen of potty-training! I have the habit of folding our laundry on our bed and have spent many an hour folding and thinking about our family as I fold. It's been enjoyable to see the folding go from just Brandon and I's stuff to adding Porter, Tess and now Owen. What a huge milestone for us this week to add little girl underwear to the batch. I found myself cheesily nostalgic yesterday as I realized we've hit another stage in our life with our baby girl now a big girl. I almost want to freeze our children in childhood so they never leave my side and I can continue to control the environment that they live in. The clean laundry is the anticipation of all that is to come in the future - or shall I say - the preparation for all the things we plan to do in our time. In two weeks, we'll be adding Porter's school uniforms as school starts. Crazy how time is flying here. I know someday I will miss the swarms of laundry I find myself doing on a daily basis. For now, I will relish in our memories as I do the laundry!!!

Anyhow, enough of my soapbox, as you can tell, we've had another great week. We're so proud of Tess. She has done such a wonderful job this week potty training. I finally decided to get serious and trash the pull-up - which is officially a waste of time, if you ask me. So, she went to the panties on Monday and after wetting like 12 times, hasn't since then! The boys are doing well and loving playing together. Owen loves the attention Porter gives him and Porter loves being the big brother. I think Porter will be a lot like Chris, who as most know, loves being our older brother and protector.

We hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer. Tune in next week for more Mitchell news - and maybe more ramblings from me - - -


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Water Week!!

Well, everyone knows how us Mitchells LOVE the water - - - this week was no exception! Porter finished off his swimming lessons and passed with flying colors. We are so proud of him. He did a wonderful job and is now looking forward to going to Tucson and swimming with FaFa and Punkin so he can show off his new skills! His exciting news was that he got registered yesterday for fall soccer! Stay tuned, his season starts Sept 9th, so we'll have lots of fun pictures and stories!

We actually had a really busy week. Tuesday was our movie day, and sad to say, probably our last. Miss Tess just doesn't like to sit still for too long and it's getting hard for me to manage her and Owen at the same time. She just wants to dart all over the place and I just can't run after her with a baby in my arms! We had a HUGE milestone with her last night - - - -she went potty in the potty chair for the first time!!! Hopefully we can keep this ball rolling with her! We made a really big deal out of it and got her all excited.

Wednesday our friends from Queen Creek came over for a play date. We took them to the sprinkler pad and had a ball. Afterwards, we came back and played and had lunch. It was a lot of fun. Ethan and Porter are almost the same age, and Tess and Ella are close in age too, so they play together really well. In fact, Rustin and Owen are only 6 weeks apart - so everyone is basically the same age which is nice!

Yesterday we drove to a neighboring city and found a new sprinkler pad. It's a bit bigger than the one we have here and the kids loved it. I even got wet while putting Owen in the water several times. He loved it. It was fun to go with Daddy so he can see all the fun the kids have there too. We finished off our day yesterday with a family trip to the library. So, we're all set on reading materials for a week or so! The kids love to look at books and pick out new ones each time we go. Mommy and Daddy love to read too, so we had fun looking for some new books. We even walked away with a great grilling cookbook. Anyone is invited to dinner to check out Brandon's grilling! He's the best!!!!

Little Owen is still doing great. I had to pull out the next size up in clothes from the garage again. Brace yourselves, he's now dived into the 18 month clothes!! They are a little big, but some of the 12 month stuff is small - it really just depends on the brand and with summer clothes, you don't have to worry about length. He's just a thick boy!!

Well, this week should be another fun one! Tune in next week for details!!

xoxoxoxo, the mitchells

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's Swim Time!

Well, it's been another hot week here in Surprise, and it's no doubt that we are definetly in the middle of summer! We are doing the best we can to stay cool and are more than happy to pay our high electric bill! We didn't do much more than the ordinary this week, but had fun all the same.

Tuesday I took the kids to the movies again and they actually got to see a movie that they hadn't seen before. We then met up with Brandon for lunch, which was fun. It's always nice to see him during the day. Wednesday we did our weekly trek to the sprinkler pad. I always have to drag the kids home. They absolutely love it there. I may start taking them more than once a week before school starts for fun.

We got exciting news this week - well, at least I think so - Porter has to wear a uniform to school. I've always loved that idea and so we went to a uniform sale this week and just need to pick up a few more items. He is getting sooooo excited for school to start. I am too, because you can tell he's getting tired of Tess picking on him all day long! So, we have just under a month until he starts.

Porter started his swimming lessons this week and is doing GREAT!! I'll take some pictures this week at his last lesson and post them next Sunday. I keep forgetting to take the camera! We are so proud of him. He has just about mastered the "doggie paddle" and can swim pretty good under water, which is a huge step for him. I've actually been able to convince him to now put his head under water in the tub to wash his hair now! (Now I just need to convince him that taking a shower is like a sprinkler!)

Tess wanted nothing to do with the potty this week - - - What happened to girls being easier to train than boys??!!! I guess with Tess - everything is different! We'll give her a couple of weeks break and then try it again. Anyone with suggestions, please let me know!

Sweet little Owen is now eating his rice cereal twice a day. He just loves to eat! We've decided he'll be our football player for sure. He's doing really well and loves any and all attention he gets from his siblings.

Brandon and I are doing great. They actually poured the foundation on the Mayo Clinic building he's working on this week, so that was exciting. They had to do it in the middle of the night because of the heat. My week was the usual, although I've added a bunch of exercise to meet some personal goals. I hit my goal for the week, so that made me happy.

We hope everyone is doing well. The kids send kisses and "bear hugs" to everyone!

Until next week........

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Agua Caliente
We had a great week here in Surprise! Brandon only had to work Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, so we got to have Daddy home for more days than not. Brandon and Porter went to see the new Transformers movie on the fouth of July and they had a ball. Brandon said that Porter's eyes were glued to the screen the whole time!! We had a relaxing holiday and other than the movie, we played with the kids and hung out and had a family day here at home.
Friday morning we headed out for Tucson to spend a couple of days with Fafa and Punkin. (My grandparents - they've got great nicknames!) We LOVE to see them and are grateful they live so close. A few hours later and lots of kiddie songs in the car, we were there. Brandon and Fafa took Porter and Tess swimming while Punkin, Owen and I hung out at the house. Punkin is Owen's favorite and he was very happy to see her. After swimming and playing for awhile Brandon and I took off for a date. (You can't go to their house and not let them watch the kids. They practially forced us to go out!!!) It was so nice of them to offer to watch the kiddies while we went out. We went and saw Ocean's Thirteen, which was fun.
We all got up early on Saturday and headed out to Agua Caliente Park. It's a 101 acre aquatic/riparian habitat surrounded by the Sonoran Desert just outside of Tucson. It was a way cool place; like a little oasis out in the desert! Punkin brought bread and the kids got to feed the ducks, which they loved. Punkin, Porter and Tess were also interviewed by a reporter for the Arizona Star, so we'll have to watch Thursday's edition to see if they made the cut!! We really enjoyed our time there and plan to go back when the weather gets a little cooler so we can stay and have a picnic next time.
We are looking forward to Porter's swimming lessons that start tomorrow. We'll let you know next Sunday how they've gone. I'm going to try to get Tess to cooperate with potty-training again starting tomorrow. She was interested for a few days, and then changed her mind - so we're going to give it another go. Owen turned 4 months old last week and started cutting two teeth. So, as long as we keep the teething tablets and tylenol handy, he's seems to be handling it well.
The kids send hugs and kisses to everyone! Until next week.......

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Summer Fun!

We've had another fun week here at the Mitchells. It's getting REALLY hot here and we're adapting our daily routine to accomodate that. We're finding fun things to do in the water and inside as well. Tuesday I took the kids to some friend's house in Queen Creek for a play date. That made for a fun outing and I also got introduced to a digital scrapbooking program, so now I've found my new project for a while to catch up on all of the million photos we have! We went to the sprinkler pad again on Wednesday and again yesterday with Daddy. We sure love that place and go as often as we can. I think we'll start out our fourth of July this week with an outing over there!

Porter got to go to a birthday party Wednesday for one of his new friends. He had a lot of fun and came home all excited about his new friends. He has one more week until his swimming lessons start. He's getting anxious for that. We found out this week that school starts Aug 13th, so only 6 more weeks until school starts. Starting so early is weird for me being from Seattle. Up there they don't start until after Labor day and then are in school until the end of June! We'll be done here by May 22nd!

Tess is getting to be more of a handful everyday. She truly epitomizes the terrible two's. One minute she's great and then next she's super unhappy! We love her just the same! She loves to explore and entertain us whenever she can. She is constantly doing something that makes us die with laughter.

Little Owen is getting bigger and bigger everyday. I started him on rice cereal this week because he's always sooooo hungry! He's doing well with it so far, so hopefully, that should help keep him full! He will be 4 months old this week. I absolutely love this age. It's one of my favorites. He's so fun as he's interacting with us and smiling and jabbering all the time.

Brandon and I are doing well. Brandon continues to enjoy his new job and has spent a lot of time practicing his guitar this week. He really enjoys to do that and write music as well. As I said before, I've found my new hobby in digital scrapbooking. I enjoy it because I can work on it in small incriments. It's soooo much more convienient than getting all of my papers and junk out all the time. We enjoy most spending time together and with the kids. We hope everyone has a great 4th of July this week. Happy Bar-b-queing!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Porter!!

Well, we had a really fun week here at the Mitchells! The highlight of the week was Porter's birthday, but we did a lot of fun things to celebrate. Tuesday Julie took the kids with some new friends to a movie and lunch at one of the local elementary schools. One of the theaters in the area plays a kiddie movie that has already been released onto DVD for free on Tuesday mornings for a fun outing for kids. They showed the movie "Barnyard" and the kids had a lot of fun.

Wednesday, which was Porter's birthday, we started off our day with an outing to a local sprinkler pad nearby. It's like a big sidewalk area with water features that the kids can run through and play with. We had a blast. That will be our regular Wednesday morning activity with our new friends here in Surprise.

Wednesday night we celebrated Porter's birthday just us as a family. Yesterday was the big PARTY!!! FaFa and Punkin drove up from Tucson to join us and we had 5 of Porter's new friends come over for a party. We colored, made party hats, played candyland and chutes and ladders, played with porter's nerf dart gun, decorated cupcakes, ate the cupcakes with ice cream and opened the presents and then played with the presents. Everyone went home happy and loaded with sugar!

We then got to enjoy the rest of the day with my grandparents. We loved having them visit. Little Owen sure has a special bond with his great-grandma and loves to be held by her. Last night Brandon built a big fort with chairs and blankets in the living room and slept under it with the kids for fun. FaFa and Punkin left this morning and many tears were shed by the kiddies as we said good-bye. We promised to head to Tucson for a visit in the next month or so, so the kids will be looking forward to that.

Life sure is busy here and as the weeks go by sometimes I wonder how fast these little one's childhood is slipping by. I can't believe how fast Owen is growing up. He's gotten so cute and so fat!! We sure are grateful to have them. We wouldn't trade anything in the world for them. Everyone sends their love and kisses and hugs from the kids!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

We hope everyone had a wonderful father's day. We sure did here at the Mitchell household. We have a tradition of letting the kids individually pick out their gifts for their dad - and they can get what they want - no matter how silly it may be. I told the kids yesterday to pick out what they thought dad would love. Porter got Brandon two bags of his favorite chips, Tess got him a bat and a wiffle ball, and Owen got him some detail supplies for the car!! I thought they did pretty well. (For Mother's day, Porter had gotten me laundry soap and Tess had bought me an order of french fries!!) I'm curious to see what they pick out as they get older. We made daddy a big breakfast and let him take a big nap this afternoon. The kids also got him an apron for when he's grilling and decorated it to look like Superman, but it said SuperDaddy instead.

Our week here was pretty usual, although it has gotten really hot here! We only play outside in the early morning now. We're still enjoying the sun though. Porter is really excited for his birthday this week and has been asking how many days have to go by until the big day. Tess officially mastered her tricycle this week. She's such a fast learner. With minimal instruction, she's now wizzing all over forwards and backwards and in circles. Owen continues to be the perfect child. He slept for 11 hours straight last night, which was soooo nice. He loves to talk and smile at everyone!

We hope everyone has a good week. Tune in next week for a detailed report on Porter's birthday!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

We've Been Shot!!!

It's been a busy week here at the Mitchell household. We spent lots of time playing at the park and enjoying being kids. We got our new library cards and signed Porter and Tess up for the summer reading program. Wish them luck as they work to earn things like a pass to the zoo or a Cold Stone gift certificate and lots of other fun stuff! We also got Porter registered for some swimming lessons. Tune in starting July 9th for updates on that. He'll be in a daily class for two weeks starting then. It should be fun!

Little Owen met his new doctor and was not too pleased about the shots he recieved this week. He howled, but took it like a trooper. Porter, on the other hand, howled worse when he received his Kindergarten shots the next day. At times like those, I wonder how on earth my mother did this with 5 children!!! Needless to say, Owen weighed in at a whopping 16 lbs 5 oz. Our children never fail to pull in big numbers on the scale! Porter survived and is looking forward to waiting a LONG time before he has any other shots.

As for Tess.....or shall I say, "Messy Tessy", she's had a usual week for her - full of teasing everyone, bullying Porter, kissing Owen and running the show here at home. She truly has complete control of us! I can't quite decided if we've been blessed to have our only girl be our middle child as well. We've been double hit! A few days ago, things got quiet and I went searching for her - only to find her stripped down naked and sitting on the toilet. I looked at her and she said, "I go potty!." So, I took her off and we started potty training. We'll see how long this takes. Wish me luck!

Brandon and I are doing well in our roles as referees and crowd control. We love the chaos that we've brought to our lives with these little ones and look forward to the new things that happen everyday.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Well, we had another fun week in the 100's here in Surprise. We spent Monday in Tucson with FaFa and Punkin and then spent the rest of the week playing in the sun! We are loving our new little city and have spent some time exploring.

Yesterday morning we went to the community park and lake and had lots of fun there. We ended our day with a trip to Cold Stone and everyone got some yummy ice cream!

Porter got registered for Kindergarten this week and is getting excited for the fall! Everyday he asks when school is starting.

Tess hit a huge milestone today......Momma used the curling iron on her hair for the first time!!!

Owen continues to grow and eat a TON! He's really starting to try to talk and make sounds. We sure love having him around.

We hope everyone is having a fun week and look for new stuff on our blog next weekend!!


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Introducing the Crazy Mitchell Family

Bear with us as we learn the fun times to be had using a blog!!! We thought it would be fun to have a central place where all can check out our family and we can create a journal of sorts for ourselves.

We just moved to Surprise, AZ last weekend and are enjoying getting settled in our new house and exploring our new city. We did the obligatory Costco run yesterday and are in the middle of organizing the toys now - which is the biggest chore of all!

Porter is doing well and loves having grass in our yard again. Tess is her usual busy self and would be happy if she spend all day in her bathing suit swimming! Bubba Fats Owen is getting bigger and bigger every day. We've decided he may end up bigger than Porter as he eats a ton at every feeding!

Brandon is loving his new job and Julie is enjoying the chaos of being at home with the kids all day!