S: 2004 Ethington Family Memories
2: Joshua | 2 months old | 11 pounds
3: "I still think of the twins as newborns, but they are growing and are now 2 months old!" | Matthew | 10 pounds 4 ounces
4: twins | together | brothers
5: LIFE IS TWO-RIFFIC WITH TWINS | Matthew | Joshua | 1-15-04
6: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 Well, life is going on. Today I took all 4 kids to the grocery store. I didn’t think I would ever resort to taking all the kids shopping, but we actually had a good experience. Scott is out of town on a business trip and we were out of milk and bread. I am truly blessed to have well mannered children. I did have Jacob in a safety harness that came in handy. I think we got a lot of stares, not to mention the shopping cart was full of kids, so we only bought the necessities. I can’t believe how fast time flies. I still think of the twins as newborns and yet they are over 2 months old. Our home teachers were here on Sunday and they asked if I felt like we had a big family yet. With such sweet little babies I still don’t feel that big; I guess it will be different as soon as these boys start growing and running around. The twins have kept to a good schedule, but they still wake up around the clock for feedings. Thus they are growing well also. Two weeks ago Josh was 11 pounds and Matthew was 10-4. I am amazed at how much they sleep, but at the same time I am grateful because it gives me a chance to keep life going in the house. Some days things are so put together; and other days I don’t have the energy to keep cleaning. There is definitely a correlation between my mood and how clean the house is. With Scott out of town I have let the pressure go to clean; I am trying to do some of those other things that never get done; but the house is suffering. I am planning on just cleaning after everyone is in bed. This last weekend I had a project to go through all the pictures and print them up. I am amazed at how much Jacob has grown in the last year. He has gone from a baby to a toddler to amazing looking more like a little boy just in the last few months. I have been taking a lot of pictures of the twins; I want to remember these moments when they are so little and precious. | Jacob Joshua & Matthew
8: Samantha turns | 4
9: The Royal Court | Princess Samantha invited all of her guests to her castle for an afternoon of fun. After they had all made crowns, they embarked on a treasure hunt for the Queen's hidden treasure. | Tyson, Charlotte, Samantha, Kaylee, Macey, Savannah, & Kyle | February 7, 2004
10: February 9th | For lunch I took Samantha to McDonalds, and she invited 2 friends to come join her. Really she just wanted another party with all of her friends - we had to compromise.
11: Party Time! | For dinner we took her to IHOP for a chocolate pancake. Then we went home for our small family party where she got to open her presents and finally cut into her princess birthday cake.
12: Joshua & Matthew
13: Kim with Matthew, Joshua laughing | February 11th 3 months old
14: 3 month old tricks: -they can hold their heads up -they like playing with rattles -very content and mellow boys Joshua 13 lbs 13 oz | Joshua Kent
15: Matthew 12 lbs 13 oz | Matthew Kyle
16: I took the kids in to have their pictures taken, but the photographer had a hard time getting a good group shot of all the kids together and then the photo session just went down hill from there. I knew I could do a better job, so I just came home and took my own pictures and saved my money. | Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next. ~Franklin P. Jones | Joshua | Matthew
17: Samantha 4 years old Jacob 2 years old Twins 3 months old
18: Birthday Letter to Grandpa Ethington | 2-20-2004 | Joshua | Matthew
19: I wanted to take the time to let you know that we are celebrating your birthday here today. We sent a card a few days ago (I was rushing to get it in the mail so I didn’t have much time to write on it) so hopefully it will be waiting for you when you get home from work tonight. That is only if you are back to work yet. I remember Scott was supposed to take about 10 days off from work after his surgery. I hope you are recovering well. I remember Scott was faithful in taking his pain medication and that helps him a lot. You have probably started eating solids again, but if not what a great excuse to eat ice-cream all day long to celebrate your special day. Things are going well for us here. The weather is nice and the kids and I spent lunch time outside on the swing set with a picnic. Samantha is loving preschool these days, and I try to spend some extra time with her each day practicing writing letters. She is really good at tracing letters now, but we haven’t progressed to the stage where she can try drawing them on her own yet. She has really surprised me with her coloring and drawing. She no longer just scribbles but tries to draw pictures. The picture in your card is a picture of you and her at Christmas time. Then she drew another picture on a piece of paper that I sent to you, she said that it was a picture of Odette, from the Swan Princess movie. She is also really good at coloring in the lines now and is conscious of the colors she is using. She likes to use big words, but she really gets them mixed up sometimes such as conductions instead | of directions. Then of course there are all the words that she makes up. It is like she is trying to express herself but she doesn’t know the right words so she makes up her own. For instance whenever she doesn’t like her hair she says it is "fudgy". Her favorite game to play is hide and seek, but most of the time you don’t know she is hiding. If she hears Scott coming home, or hears me come down the stairs she will hide behind the couch and then she will jump out a few minutes later to announce that she was hiding but you didn’t come find her. It is hard to believe Jacob’s birthday will be here this weekend. Actually the truth is since the twins were born when people ask how old Samantha and Jacob were I would say 4 and 2. So actually it is weird to think of him any younger than two and that he will finally reach the milestone this weekend. He is such a sweet boy and really wants to please. The only problem is his curiosity always gets the best of him. He loves spray bottles, and bubbles, and he loves to unscrew any lid he can get his hands on. I have noticed that when he is getting into trouble sometimes he comes to find me and show me just to make sure it is alright. Of course it never is, so I will be sad when he decides that it is better to be sneaky and do things anyway. (Samantha has hit that age where she is trying to hide a lot, and she doesn’t want to take blame for anything such as messy rooms and scattered toys.) He loves to be pushed on the swing set - I think I pushed him for almost 20 minutes today before I gave up. He also likes to cuddle and be rocked in the rocking chair. | I would say he is the cuddliest of all my children. I feel bad with the twins because it always seems like I am trying to juggle both so when I do try to cuddle with just one it takes awhile for them to relax. I don’t know what to get Jacob for his birthday because although he has shown an interest in cars and airplanes, most of the time he just follows Samantha around and plays with her in all of her pretend games. Of course he talks a lot these days, but until he gets better at enunciating it is still hard to understand. I have started to venture out with all four kids but it isn’t the twins that make things difficult, it is Jacob. He has a hard time staying in one place and not touching things. I have a safety leash that he doesn’t mind wearing and that helps sometimes. (Ironically almost every time I go out I have 2-3 people stop me and tell me how much they approve of the safety leash and what a good idea it is; it just makes me wonder how many are out there criticizing me and that is why others feel they have to support me). As for the twins they are doing really well. I was really concerned after they got RSV because we were told that they would be sick for the next 6 months catching every bug out there because their immune system would be low. Although they did have a cold in January that lasted for over 2 weeks they have been really healthy. Here they are at three months and they don’t seem to be suffering at all from that major setback. The last time they were officially weighed was the last week in January. Josh was 13 lbs and 12 oz and Matthew was exactly a pound behind. | Happy Birthday! | 2-20-2004
20: I think their growth has slowed down a little so it will be interesting to see what they are at on Monday. Samantha and Jacob have doctor appointments for their yearly checkup so I will ask them to weigh the twins while we are there. When they are awake they are really alert. They can hold their heads up pretty well so lately I have started trying out the older toys. My friend lent me some jumpers and they love them. I put blankets to help prop their heads, but they think it is fun to be up instead of on the floor. Last week when they turned 3 months old I moved them out of our bedroom. I was kind of sad to see them go, but it is nice to have them in the next room. Maybe Scott will get some more sleep now. I was going to keep them in the same crib for a little longer, but they have started smacking each other in the face when they get their hands loose. They didn’t seem to mind being separate - in fact they are probably glad they don’t have someone waking them up in the middle of the night with a big smack anymore. Over a month ago we moved Jacob in to Samantha’s room. I didn’t think it was going to work; but it actually solved more bedtime problems than created any. Just before the move, Jacob would go to bed every night crying and he would go sleep by the door; and Samantha would go to bed every night crying because she was afraid of the dark. Now we put them to bed and we don’t hear much from them. Samantha is glad to have someone in the room with her and Jacob obviously likes the company | because he knows that if he gets out of bed he has to sleep in his old room. He hasn’t tried getting out since we turned his room into the baby room, so I don’t know what we will do when he tests the limits again. Back to the twins, like I said they can hold their heads up pretty well. They like to hold on to rattles, and Josh is starting to prefer his fist over his binki. They love to bat at toys hanging in front of them in their bouncers and on the floor. They are very content and mellow babies and usually don’t mind staying in one place for 20-30 minutes before they get bored and start demanding attention or a change of scenery. They do like to sleep a lot and will only stay awake for about an hour and a half. This past week I dropped one of their naps to move their bedtime to the same as Samantha and Jacob’s. For the schedule to work they have to stay awake for 2 hours in the evening and that seems to be pushing it, but at least that is the time when Scott is home anyway and he is a big help. As I am going through the family I might add a note about Scott and myself. Hopefully you will hear from Scott. He will be really busy this weekend and the next few weeks as his team tries to make some deadlines. He got a gym membership to the YMCA and tries to spend his lunch hour working out. The sugar contract has helped him get a good start on Atkins again and he is losing weight. As for me I am constantly trying to balance between all the kids and the house. | We built up a lot of clutter while I was on bed rest so it is time to start going through the drawers and the closets. I need to catch up on my scrapbook and on the website. I am working on the Christmas pictures but since you saw the twins at Christmas I thought I would enclose some pictures that were taken a little more recently. The jumper pictures were taken of the twins this very afternoon as I was typing this email and the others were taken on Tuesday. We had tried to get pictures taken at Wal-Mart that day, but the photographer couldn’t even get one good picture. So I came home and took my own. I couldn't get a good one of all four of them either so we are going back tomorrow when they have two photographers. Hope you have a great day and we will call tonight and sing to you!!! Love, Kim
21: Happy Birthday | Today Jacob, you are two What more can I say, You're becoming more special Each and every day, So blow out your candles One by one Enjoy your birthday Have lots of fun. | 2
22: On Sunday February 22, 2004 Jacob celebrated his 2nd birthday. As a family we did our best to let Jacob know that it was his special day. We started out the day with chocolate chip and peanut butter pancakes, complete with smiley faces. Jacob also had a bunch of red and white balloons that he carried around all morning long. We decorated the house and sang "Happy Birthday" to him every chance we got. He knew that this was his special day. | I hope that for every candle on your cake you get a wonderful surprise.
23: Jacob's favorite movie is Jonah with the Veggie Tales so we decided to make him a special "Bob the Tomato" cake. Scott did a great job decorating the cake while the French peas were left up to Samantha, Jacob and me. Jacob received some great gifts for his birthday. Sammi gave him play dough; the twins gave him bubbles; and in addition to clothes we gave him a cool police truck complete with action figures. He also received some nice birthday cards, and presents from grandparents that he loves. We spent all day preparing for the PARTY that was scheduled to take place after church (we meet from 2:30-5:30). Samantha was really put out that Jacob fell asleep after church, and was missing his own party. Luckily he perked up after dinner when we opened presents and then ate cake. Since Jacob loves fire and candles, we couldn't just stop with two. He sang right along with us on the Birthday song, but I couldn't help but laugh when he sang Happy Birthday"...to Sammi.." | Jacob
24: 4 months old | Matthew 14-1 25 " | 1/2 | 1/2 | Joshua 14-9 24 "
25: Joshua & Matthew | These pictures were taken on March 11th, the day the twins turned 4 months old. These boys are so adorable and easy to love. They are full of smiles and giggles. Over the course of this last moth they have learned to roll over, lift their heads up, play with toys and rattles, sleep 9-10 hours at night, and suck their thumbs.
26: Joshua | Samantha, Joshua, Kim, Matthew & Jacob
27: The kids and I went with a play group to King's Orchard for some famous strawberries. Due to a spring break rush, they had all been picked over. Samantha and Jacob just played with their friends running up and down the aisles while I took care of the fussy babies. | Strawberry Picking | Matthew | 3-12-04
28: A cute but not so innocent boy | Now that Jacob has finally turned two, he continually tries to live up to the reputation of his age. If he disappears and it is quiet you know that is he curiously exploring and getting into trouble. | 3-30 | 3-22 | 3-11 | 3-19 | J | a | C | b | o
29: Joshua has learned to suck his thumb, but Matthew still prefers his binki. Both boys can now roll over from front to back and are sleeping 9-10 hours at night! | My Best Buddy in the Whole World! | 3-29 | 3-5 | 3-23 | Joshua & Matthew
30: 4-13 Josh sleeps on tummy 4-14 Matthew finds toes 4-15 Matthew rolls 3 feet for a toy 4-20 Joshua gets his first tooth 4-22 Joshua sits up alone for 3 seconds 4-28 Matthew gets his first tooth | Jacob | Matthew & Josh | Milestones | 4-9-04 | 4-7-04
31: 5 months old | Joshua and Matthew | 4-11-04
32: Some Bunny's Having An Easter Egg Hunt | We had an Egg Hunt with a playgroup at the park on the Friday before Easter. Jacob and I actually missed the egg hunt because I thought my car battery had died, so my friend took Sammi. Apparently just the security key was loose so we made it for the end. Luckily Jacob didn't know what he had missed and I just threw candy in Jacob's basket. | 4-9-04
33: Hippity Hoppity Easters On It's Way | Jacob, Matthew, Josh & Samantha | First thing in the morning we let Samantha and Jacob search for their baskets of candy. I was trying to take a picture but everyone was too involved in the candy. It even caught Matthew's attention. The pictures below are after we hid the eggs after church. You can tell they are just as excited about getting more candy. | Sunday, April 11, 2004
34: Spring Break at our House | The month of April was our month of visitors. The day after Easter, Scott’s mom and Ashlee flew in from Salt Lake City to spend Spring Break here in Houston. You would think that they would be moving to a warmer climate; but due to a cold front our weather was comparable at first. However over the week, each day got a little warmer. To start the trip out right, we took them to one of our favorite barbeque places, Valley Ranch. When you get 4 adults, 2 kids, and 3 babies together we become quite a crowd; but thanks to strollers and sleeping babies we were able to fit all at one table. Too bad we couldn't fit into the same car; we had to caravan everywhere we wanted to go. | Monday | 4-12-04
35: Tuesday Old Town Spring | To take advantage of the spring time weather we spent Tuesday outside on the boardwalk of Old Town Spring. It is hard to describe these three streets of historical buildings that have been preserved and are full of boutique-like shops. | We spent all day there, and had plans to go back later in the week, but that is a story for another day. Ashlee had some great finds for the décor of Brianna’s room, but our greatest find was a small bakery shop with the best cakes and cookies ever. This shop had actually closed by the time we got there, but with that advantage the baker gave us free samples of whole cookies and brownies. When we asked him what was good, his reply was that everything he makes is the best. He told us that he used to make zucchini bread, but because he tasted some that was better than his and couldn’t get the recipe, he has never made it since! Now that you know how good everything was, you can understand why this was the downfall of the sugar contract between Ashlee and Scott. | Here is Jacob on an old caboose that is the middle of town. Amidst the shopping, I am sure Jacob's highlight of the day was when he went running down the street with Grandma to see a real train roaring by.
36: Wednesday A relaxing day | Brianna is our missing Triplet | Because I was involved with Samantha’s preschool on Wednesday morning, it became a relaxing morning for those that got to just stay home and enjoy breakfast. It was that or a crash course in juggling babies (I'm not really sure since I wasn't there, I only saw the pictures) We have lived in our house 2 years this summer, so I was ready for a project and change. To get some ideas, we spent Wednesday afternoon touring through model homes in the neighborhood. Then we came back to the house and started brainstorming with ideas. For dinner that night we went to | CiCi’s, a great affordable pizza buffet, and then after we had buttered Scott up a little bit we hit him with our plans. | 4-14-04
37: Who is Who? | Brianna Joshua Matthew | As long as everyone has a toy they are happy. Apparently they were all crying upstairs, while grandma was helping Jacob get breakfast, so Ashlee loaded them all up and brought them all down. Matthew, Brianna & Joshua
38: Next we painted the bathroom where Ashlee demonstrated how to use my new birthday present and get a faux finish. That evening we surprised Scott with our work. The green turned out to be a lot brighter than we expected, so in the end we re-did the piano room to more of a dark green. | I enlisted the help of one of my friends to come babysit all the kids while we ran to the store to pick up paint and supplies. Including her own kids she had 3 toddlers and 4 babies, so we knew we couldn't leave her long. After lunch was cleared away we started in the piano room. We decided to only paint one wall, so things moved quickly. | Thursday | 4-15-04
39: Scott, DeAnn, Ashlee | Friday | Friday we continued our painting in the kitchen with a sunny yellow, it all turned out looking a lot better than I ever expected. By Friday afternoon we were done with project work and we were ready to go play again. Our plan was to go back to Old Town Spring, but after we had loaded everyone in the car I realized my keys were missing, so we were stranded until Scott came home. We did have big plans for the evening. We took the scenic route through the trees up to the Woodlands area and went to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Due to the large volume of children that we had, it took over an hour to get a table big enough. We started out with happy kids, but by the time the food was arriving, they were starting to crack. We had the BBQ salad and then split the giant brownie sundae and took 3 cheesecakes home. The wait was worth it, and it was nice once the kids settled down and got to eat. To keep Samantha and Jacob on good behavior we promised to take them to the play area inside the mall that was close-by. It was late so we had the place to ourselves. | Joshua, Matthew & Brianna
40: Saturday was the weekend of the famous Blue Bonnet festival located about an hour away. We didn't really know what to expect, but we made up for the day before. In a little town called preserved and are full of boutique-likel the main street was blocked off and the street and adjacent fields were filled with boutique booths. It would best relate to Swiss Days. After our day of shopping we went looking for the flowers that had brought us there. | Saturday, Blue Bonnet Festival & Brenham | We never found a good field of blue bonnets to get pictures but the next town up the road was Brenham the town of our favorite Blue Bell ice-cream. We stopped by the visitor center which was closed, but that didn’t stop us from taking pictures. Luckily we did find an ice-cream store to get a treat before we headed home. | 4-17-04
41: We couldn't help but slipping some ice-cream to the babies. Except for a little cereal trial with Joshua the week before, this was the first taste of anything other than milk. Josh just tried to gobble up the spoon. Matthew started out with a shocking face but then a few moments later lit up with a big grin (top two baby pictures), Brianna just puckered up.
42: So cute! | We tried to get some good pictures of the babies, but unfortunately the beautiful bright flowers were more of a distraction that an asset to these pictures. We had a hard time getting any of the babies to look up, much less smile.
43: Joshua, Brianna & Matthew | Joshua Matthew | Joshua
44: Sunday | Sunday we had planned on deep frying a turkey for fun, but since Scott was away all morning on stake calling duties, we baked the turkey while we were away at church. On the way home from church we made a stop by the Houston Temple. We enjoyed the evening knowing it was our last before Monday morning when Ashlee, Brianna and Grandma flew back home. | Matthew, Brianna & Joshua
45: Samantha, Jacob Matthew, Brianna & Joshua | Monday morning before loading into the car I got just a few last pictures. As always I am always sad to see people go, but look forward to when we will see them again. That is the price we pay for moving away. | 4-19-04
46: Bed Time! | One of the highlights of the day is bedtime. Usually around 7 pm the twins start getting a little cranky and fussy - that is the cue to take them upstairs. As soon as you lay them down in the crib together and start stripping them down they will calm down because they know what is coming--playtime. This is when I give them a quick baby massage, rub their feet and tick their ribs. Brianna loved our little ritual too. | 4-19-04 | Joshua & Matthew | Joshua
47: Kim's Birthday! | Samantha made me so many presents! | 4-20-2004
48: Preschool Graduation | Jacob & Josh
49: Charolotte Graham, Kaylee Hepworth, Tyson Stacey, Kyle Scott, Samantha Ethington, and Savannah Cook | This has been a fun year in teaching Samantha and her friends' preschool. These are the pictures of the last day of our preschool when we put together a little graduation and simple program for all of the moms. | Jacob | April 21, 2004
50: Getting Back To Nature | Mike was in town on a business trip and stayed with us for the weekend. So Scott took him deep sea fishing! What perfect brother bonding time. They started out early in the morning, ready for anything | With white wet T-shirts, Scott and Mike weren't hard to point out as Mormon. These were some other members that they met and talked with on the ride.
51: Mike and Scott | Apparently, there were rumors of a storm but the boat headed out anyway. At sunrise they could see the light off in horizon but the dark clouds loomed overhead. Within an hour the horizon shifted as the storm stirred off in the distance. The boat continued to head out towards the storm even as the waves grew bigger and bigger. With the rolling waves, Scott and Mike opted to stay out in the rain instead of dry and sick below deck. It was quite an adventure. Once it was obvious they wouldn't be fishing the boat turned around and headed home. All passengers were given a full refund. | 4-24-2004
52: 6 months old | Matthew & Joshua | I want them to stay babies forever; but they just keep growing and getting bigger. At their 6 month check-up today, Josh weighed 16 -8 and is 26 inches long. Matthew weighed 16-4 and is 26 inches long. Now that they are about the same size I really have to look to see who is who. Scott has been having a hard telling them apart without looking for the little dot on Matthew's head. Last Saturday I was trying to help him out so I said: just remember today “Matthew is in yellow and Josh is in blue”. Well I guess I set myself up because towards the end of the day I had left the boys down in the kitchen with Scott while I went upstairs to fold the laundry. Later we were each feeding them cereal. Scott made some comment again on whether he had Josh or Matthew and so I reminded him of what I said earlier that morning. We continued to feed the boys and then I looked at Josh and had the thought, “No wonder Scott has a hard time telling you apart you are starting to look more like Matthew” Then my next thought was “You are Matthew” I had to look over at the other baby to confirm my thoughts before I voiced my discovery that Scott had switched their outfits on me. Actually since this incident Scott is getting better at telling them apart. Now I think he is making more of an effort distinguish who is who instead of just asking.
53: May 11, 2004 Hug a little, Love a lot!! | Matthew 16-4 26 " | Joshua 16-8 26" | 1/4
54: In searching for next years preschool, we found an immediate opening that guaranteed our spot for the next year. Preschool took a step up from just one day a week to three days a week. It was hard to get Samantha out of bed for school, and everyone else in the car, to get her there by 7:45AM. I am glad that we had a chance to test this system out because it didn’t work for us. Both Samantha and I were glad when the school year was over. I didn’t like it because it was early and far. Samantha fought going every morning, so we will be doing a neighborhood program again for next year. | Hug a little, Love a lot!! | trial | May 12, 2004- Preschool Graduation
55: May 2004 A few nights ago Samantha kept getting out of bed and so as a result we locked her in. This is the normal consequence of not staying in bed, but she was really upset. In her closet she found a piece of paper and and pencil and started writing Scott a letter. The next morning she showed me the paper explaining how it wasn’t nice to lock the door; and told me that if I locked her door the next night she would have to write me a letter too. Well that evening when Scott got home she ran upstairs to get the letter. While she was upstairs I gave him a heads up what the letter was supposed to be about. When she came down she asked Scott to read it. “Dear Daddy, You are the best dad and I know you love me and are just trying to help me get my sleep at night. I love you and appreciate all you do for me.” Samantha started to get the biggest scowl on her face and then when Scott was done she looked at me and said. “I wrote the wrong words!!”
56: “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” ~Barbara Bush | 5-18-04 Matthew | 5-14-04 Matthew & Joshua
57: I know that I have millions of stories about Jacob that I have already forgotten. He is at a stage where he can’t decide if he wants to be one of the babies or a big kid like Samantha. Today I came downstairs to see why he was so quiet, which usually means he is in trouble and making a mess. I found the door open and peeked outside to find Jacob barefoot on the play set. He was just sitting there with his feet between the railing and staring off into the grass. I watched him for a few minutes and then he started to get down very slowly and carefully without taking his eyes away from the grass. He was watching a bird and didn’t want to scare him away. He tried to get closer but then the bird flew off and that is when Samantha came to find out why it was so quiet and the moment was gone. This age so hard because it feels like Jacob is constantly just trying to make messes and look for trouble; but I really love to watch him because he really is just so curious and it is fun to see his mind working as he tries to process the world around him. | Mom: “I love you Jacob” Jacob: “You love me?” Mom: “I love you” Jacob: “You love me!” Mom: “I love you” Jacob: “I love me!!” | Jacob
58: making | May 22, 2004 Jacob and Samantha dominated the carnival games and came away with lots of free candy and toys. After lunch we went on a train ride, to the petting zoo, fed the cows on a hayride and let the babies sleep in the shade. In the middle of diaper changes Jacob ran off and was found clear across a field watching the ducks. Next he ran into the weeds and started to sink in the swamp. I had to rescue him with one baby naked in my arms and the other one abandoned in the bathroom.
59: Oil Ranch
60: Bath Time! | All Clean! | Matthew & Joshua | 5/30/04
61: Bubbles! | Samantha & Jacob | 6/6/04
62: 6/5/2004 | Matthew & Joshua | I am enjoying my babies while I can. With half of their baby year over, I just want time to slow down. They love to play and get attention. I just hope they are getting enough attention. We are working on switching them to a 4 hour feeding schedule; but they really have a hard time staying awake 2 hours. With the cereal and the new baby foods they are getting now, I don’t think they need the extra feeding, but it is the sleep that they still seem to need.
63: SUMMER SWIMMING | Jacob, Craig and Carrie Coleby, Matthew, Kim, Scott and Joshua
64: Santa Barbara 2011 | Joshua and Matthew 17 lbs 27 inches
65: 7 months old June 11th | Joshua has been able to scoot since mid-May on Mother’s day. At first he would go only a few feet but in the last week he has started moving across the room rather quickly. He can sit up well now but still falls after a minute of sitting. He still uses his thumb to calm himself and so he doesn’t cry very often. However it is discouraging when he is crying and you can’t put his thumb in for him. He has just learned to vibrate his lips, and I am trying to teach him eating time is not the time to practice that skill. He ends up spitting food all over the place. He has become very cuddly and when he is around Matthew he will try to bury his face in his neck. | Matthew just figured out scooting a few days ago. He has become very frustrated on the floor because he can’t move. Last week he did start to move backwards. Then I saw Josh going for Matthew's binki, which he thinks is a toy, and Matthew saw Josh coming at him and he started scooting backwards at an equal rate - it was quite the sight. He will most likely be more content on the floor now that he has figured out how to move just a little better. He has been able to sit well now for a few weeks. He can actually keep the sitting position for a few minutes if he has the right balance. When he cries he rolls his tongue so it makes it easy for me because I can tell who is crying. He seems like he has a very sweet personality, very cuddly and willing to wait his turn. | Samantha | Jacob
66: ASTROWORLD | June 12, 2004
67: Craig, Samantha, Scott and Jacob | Scott and Kim | Samantha and Jacob | We went to an amusement park with Craig and Cherise. It was perfect because we took turns holding babies and kids while the others went on the rides. After lunch Scott asked Samantha if she wanted to go on a mommy and daddy ride. He took her on Greased Lightning, which is a roller coaster that shoots you out at 60 miles an hour, goes through a loop and up a steep hill to a stop and then rocks backwards and goes through the loop backwards. She didn’t think it was fun at all and just said it was plain scary and Scott spent the whole ride keeping her in her seat.
68: 6/13- Matthew | 6/13- Joshua | 6/9- Jacob snuggling in Samantha's bed
69: Lake Powell | June 19-25, 2004
70: We only planned on coming to Utah for one week for our trip to Lake Powell so I packed light, only a few outfits. However since Grandpa Ethington was sick we switched our plans and drove up to Salt Lake after our family vacation with the Coleby's. Lake Powell itself was great! Although it seemed like more of a change of pace than a vacation. I still had four kids to take care of. It was fun to be with Melissa and her family, but mostly to see the twins with their cousin. Ben is only a few weeks older so they are all in the same stages.
72: Below: John & Melissa, Chris, Cindy & John Petrini, Stan Coleby; Kim, Jacob, Samantha & Scott Ethington | Joshua | Kim & Jacob
73: Rainbow Bridge
76: Matthew (left) and Joshua (right) with their cousin Ben Petrini.
78: My sister Cindy with Sammi, Matthew, Josh, & Jacob
79: Playing in Salt Lake | The extra time with family was nice. After driving up to Salt Lake, Scott had to fly back to work and then came back 2 weeks later. It was so much fun to have sleepovers with cousins and spend time with everyone. Samantha had so much fun that it really makes me wonder sometimes why we live so far away. I didn’t want the weeks to end. | 6/30/04- Melissa and I took the kids to a nearby park | Josh, Matthew & Ben | The kids left me no room to sleep.
80: Joshua | Matthew
81: When we left in mid-June, the twins were barely wiggling and scooting around. But they became more mobile as our trip went on. In these pictures Matthew is the baby on his hands and knees while Joshua is still scooting around on his tummy. | Crawling Around... | Matthew | Matthew
82: Travis, Brianna, Tyler, Matthew, Josh, Audra, Makayla, Allison and Ashlee | Richard | Mike | Kim | Jacob | Samantha | Mike & Ashlee | Matthew, Grandma DeAnn & Joshua
83: This was an action packed day! We spent the morning playing on the Classic Water Slides with all our Ethington cousins. Then our family went to a BBQ at my aunt's house to visit the Coleby families. Afterward we spent time at the hospital with Grandpa Ethington, and I am sure there were some fireworks by the end of the night! | Richard | Great- Grandma Dorothy | Our family with Grandma & Grandpa Coleby and Great-Grandma Coleby
84: Jacob, Matthew, Josh, with Kim Ethington, Mike with Samantha Ethington, Ryan, Brianna with Ashlee, Adam, Tyler, & Travis Cook; DJ with Allison, Makayla & Audra Salazar, and Richard Ethington
85: Grandpa Ethington | Grandpa has been sick for the last 2 years, but doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong. This summer when he was admitted to the hospital they finally diagnosed him with Wegener's granulomatosis, an auto-immune disease. It was so good to spend time with him this summer, but it was also hard to see him so weak.
86: 7/6/04- Matthew, Brianna, and Joshua | 7/1/04- Samantha & Allison
87: We love spending time with cousins! 7/7/04- We went to visit Great- Grandma and Grandpa Astle! The kids loved feeding the ducks at the pond nearby. Below Grandma Astle, Matthew, Jacob, Grandpa Astle, Joshua and Samantha. | Jacob
88: Mike, Ashlee, Scott, Josh, Makayla, Audra, Allison, Grandpa Ethington, Jacob, DJ, and Brianna
89: July 10, 2004 Before starting our drive home we had a picnic in the canyon with Grandpa Ethington who had just been released from the hospital. | Allison and Samantha | Josh and Matthew | Jacob | Grandma DeAnn | Kim | Grandpa Ethington
90: Matthew | Joshua | Jacob
91: July 11th - 8 months old
93: playing at the Beach | July 24, 2004 Rebecca came to stay with us for a month! We had so much fun, and she was a big help with the babies. Not to mention all the time she spent playing with Samantha. | Joshua | Above: Samantha and Rebecca Below: Josh and Matthew
94: SURPRISE! | On July 27th was Scott’s 29th Birthday. With a helper in the house (Rebecca) I decided this was a good year to plan a surprise party. Scott thought we only made plans with Craig and Cherise to come over for a BBQ dinner. However when Scott got home I handed him a bunch of balloons with instructions to go get ready for a bike ride. To get him out of the house, I sent Scott on a treasure hunt for his birthday presents. In the meantime, all of our friends from the neighborhood showed up ready for a BBQ party in the backyard. Scott’s final clue on the treasure hunt told him to look for his last present in the back yard. When he opened the gate we were all waiting and yelled, SURPRISE!!
95: Happy Birthday
96: M | DATE_____________ | 7/28/04 | These boys are proud that they can pull themselves up! | Joshua | Matthew
97: DATE__________ | 8/1/04 | Jacob, Joshua and Matthew | Joshua
98: August 4, 2004 | Mr. Jacob | Rebecca and Samantha | Samantha, Cherise, Carrie; Matthew
99: We took Rebecca to the Children's Museum twice! It was that much fun plus I feel like I can do more with her around. We have gone to the pool a lot too! | Matthew and Joshua 7/26/04 | It was hot outside, but the kids loved playing in the water.
100: Camping | in the backyard!
101: August 14, 2004 | Since camping with two babies, who just want to crawl around in the dirt, doesn't sound like much fun - we decided to go camping without them. We put them to bed in their cribs and then just camped in the backyard. Samantha and Jacob loved it!
102: ________________ | 8.11.04 | 9 Months
103: Matthew | Joshua
104: Are they identical? When the twins were born, we wanted to know right away if they were identical or not. Nothing could tell us either way, so everyone said “Just wait; give it some time - you will be able to tell.” Now we have waited 9 months and we still don’t have the answer to this commonly asked question. Both boys have the same blood type, same general facial features, same hair color, same eye color, same weight and the same temperament. But they did have two separate sacs, and once you get to know them they seem to look different. It is actually fun to see some of their differences. Josh learned to scoot about a month before Matthew. Of course once he could get around what was the point in trying to crawl. Josh scooted for over 2 months, while Matthew only stuck to scooting for a week and then picked right up on crawling. Most know that Josh is the thumb sucker and Matthew is the binki boy; but did you know that Matthew has figured out how to wave, while Josh has figured out how to clap? They both pull up on anything that will hold their weight. Every day I drag them down the stairs with the hopes that they will figure out how to come down before going up. Currently they avoid trying to go up the stairs because they have figured out that it is an “off limits.” Any time they approach an “off limits” zone they are quickly moved to the playpen. These are smart boys. We have successfully cured any interest they had in the garbage can, stairs, fireplace, and we are working on the dishwasher. Well, we are done with waiting!! We saved up our money for the test and sent in their DNA saliva samples, and know we know with 99.9% certainty that they are identical! | Matthew | Joshua and Matthew
105: 8/8/04--When we were getting ready for church this afternoon Samantha asked me if I had some scriptures that she could borrow to take to church. I decided to let her borrow a Book of Mormon that I kept on the fireplace. I was shocked at how excited she was, and then she asked if she could keep it. When she found out that she had her very own scriptures she ran upstairs to show Scott and Jacob. Then all the way to church she was asking if we could read them all day. She asked where Nephi was and what was in Chapter 1 and then chapter 4, and then on page 23. (She can now recognize numbers). As we were walking into the church, she told me she had to hold he book just right so that everyone could see her with her scriptures. I was amazed at the impact that just giving her her own book could have. When she got home from church she put the book in a special drawer so that Jacob and the babies wouldn’t get to it. What a sweet testimony she has of how important this book is. It was fun watching her all day, and how excited she was over her very own Book of Mormon. | Half Birthdays | We have reached a lot of milestones this month. Both Samantha and Jacob are closer to their next birthday and we made cakes to celebrate! | 1/2 | 2 | 4 | 1/2
106: Samantha has been looking forward to preschool starting again for a few weeks. On her first day, she got up early - but she got up too early because she was complaining of stomach cramps. After breakfast she went to lie down and went back to sleep. About a half hour later I heard her screaming at the top of the stairs. I went running up just in time guide her quickly into the bathroom. She did feel better after throwing up, but I knew that she couldn’t go to school. While she was soaking in the bathtub I called to her friend’s house to explain why she wouldn’t be coming. After I hung up the phone, Samantha came rushing down the stairs completely dressed, very upset. “You are wrong mom, you’re wrong, I’m not sick.” She just kept repeating it over and over. Just watching her made my heart break because she was so excited about going to her first day of school, and she was crushed and crying. Finally she calmed down and we decided to have our own sick preschool. I pulled out the manual and improvised for the next 2 hours teaching her all about the letter A and Alligators. | “You are wrong mom, you’re wrong, I’m not sick.” | Preschool | August 31, 2004 | Kaylee & Jayden Hepworth, Jacob, Savannah Cook and Samantha
107: 9-2-04 | 9-28-04 | Savannah, Samantha, Kaylee, Tyson, and Josh | Jacob got to participate whenever I was the teacher.
108: MAKING MEMORIES WITH GRANDMA | 9/11/04
109: "The more you laugh the longer you live" | Our family had a nice visitor in September when my mom came for a quick trip. The first weekend we went to Kemah Boardwalk - where there are little carnival rides and a lot of tourist shops. We saw the sharks in the tank at The Aquarium, a nice restaurant, but then we ate our packed lunches. I took Samantha over to the carousel while Jacob and Scott got the grand tour on the train ride. Following our morning in Kemah we headed to Galveston for an afternoon at the beach. Even though most of us had just been to the beach a few days before for Labor Day weekend, the kids were all ready to go again. The week before it had been so much fun watching the twins crawl around in the sand. My mom was a little disappointed in our little 1 foot waves. That's not even enough for body surfing.
110: MATTHEW & JOSHUA 10 MONTHS OLD
111: ............................ | Matthew -sleeps 12 hours at night -can crawl up the stairs -says "Hi" -can stand for 2-3 seconds | Joshua -can wave bye-bye -can pull self up on furniture -has 7 teeth -can balance -says "ma ma" and "da da
113: Scott and Craig Deep Sea Fishing | After my mom stayed with Craig and Cherise for a few days, she came over to our house to spend a few days with us. It was a nice relaxing week, but we didn’t get out much again until the weekend. On Saturday, Craig and Scott went on a deep sea fishing trip so we went to Old Town Spring and walked around the shops. It was a nice warm afternoon, and with 2 kids and 3 babies in tow we didn't move too quickly. Next time I think we will leave the kids behind. We were sad to see my mom go early Sunday morning. | 9/19/2004
114: Kaylee, Jordan, Samatha, & Savannah with Julie Hepworth
115: Singing Recital | September 17, 2004 | Samantha is in a little singing group and they had their Fall Recital on Friday. There are four girls including Samantha - the other girls are 3, 4 and 7 years old. I think Samantha’s favorite song was God Bless America. They have been working on the program songs since last April- it seemed like she still didn’t quite know all of the words, but she did to that one. It was fun to hear her sing this last week as she was trying to practice and she would start belting out the words in the car. It was also nice that my mom was here and Craig and Cherise could come also.
116: Joshua and Matthew 9-28-04
117: I never let the twins play on the stairs, but once a day I try to teach them how to come down. However, Matthew has discovered how fun it is to go up. For every two stairs I try to drag him down he tries to climb up one. He is pretty fast now too. If I run upstairs for diapers, when I come back down I find that he has tried to follow me and he meets me at the top. As long as he keeps on going up quickly I am not too worried, it's when he stops to play that he might fall. Josh is a little better at coming down because Matthew lost his interest in going down once he learned he could go up.
119: Scott's work sponsored another work picnic at Astroworld this summer. Since we got our tickets last minute we had to take all the kids with us (no babysitter). The day was perfect autumn weather, nice and warm but not hot. Scott and I took turns staying with the stroller and the twins; who by the way were perfect all day long. They just looked around and ate their Cheerios and then they even took turns napping in the stroller. | October 9, 2004
120: The twins are now 11 months old. They are still my little babies, but they want to be toddlers. Both can balance standing and have taken steps. Josh has a little better balance but that is probably because he insists on standing all the time.
121: The boys love to play in the bathroom or with the phones. If Josh hears me coming he tries to scramble quickly away from what he was doing to leave his brother at the scene. Matthew on the other hand doesn't mind getting caught and even tries to go for the toilets when he knows I am watching. | 11 | months old | Josh 20 lbs 4 oz | Matt 19 lbs 14 oz
122: Samantha spent an hour looking for the perfect pumpkin! | October 29th
123: PUMPKIN PATCH | Matthew | Jacob | Joshua | Samantha
124: Since Halloween was on a Sunday this year we didn't send the kids trick-or treating. We did have a fun party with friends on Friday morning, then we went to a carnival that night, and Saturday we had fun trunk-or-treating at a park with the ward. Samantha was Princess Anneliese from "Princess & the Pauper" and Jacob was a Knight in Shining Armor until he destroyed his costume. Joshua was a spider and Matthew was Superman. | Charlotte Graham, Sammi, Savannah Cook, and Jacob
125: That's a lot of kids - and it doesn't include the 5 napping babies and toddlers running around. | Trick or Treat! | October 29th and 30th
127: Matthew | November 10th: In order to accommodate Craig's busy schedule, we had the twin's party the night before their birthday. It was quite the birthday bash with pizza, presents and of course a lot of cake. We didn't open many presents the first night because we wanted to get on with the cake. When my mom came to visit this last fall, she left a combined present for the twins. It was a big box of blocks. It was a big hit with all of our kids. November 11th: After spending so much time eating cake you would think they had their fill but they were eager to eat some more the next day. For dinner we went to Chick-fil-A. We were looking for a ball pit that the boys could play in, but we never found one. Afterward we came home for family time with more cake and presents.
128: May this year be your best ever! | Craig with Carrie, Jacob, Sammi, Kim, Matthew, Scott and Joshua
129: I hope all your birthday dreams and wishes come true. | Joshua and Matthew
130: Ready Set Go! | November 10th | Josh | Joshua | Matthew
131: Look at all these presents, I can handle this.... | November 11, 2004 | Matthew | Joshua
132: JOSHUA | 0-1 | 5-6 | newborn | 1 month | 2 months | 3 months | 4 months | 5 months | 6 months | 7 months | 8 months | 9 months | 10 months | 11 months | 1 YEAR OLD 20 lbs 11 oz 29 inches | 1/2
133: 6 months | 5 months | 4 months | 3 months | 2 months | 7 months | 8 months | 1 month | 10 months | 9 months | newborn | 11 months | 1 YEAR OLD 20 lbs 2 oz 30 inches | MATTHEW
134: Almost a year before you were born I went to the temple on December 5th to pray and ask the Lord about the next baby to come into our family. I was all alone in the Celestial room crying and praying to Heavenly Father about many things but also about when we should have our next baby. Later that night I had a very special experience. As I walked into Jacob’s room and sat in the rocking chair, I looked at the clock and the time read 11:09. Then I had the distinct thought, “My next baby will be born on November 9th.” This was the answer to my prayers. When I did get pregnant 3 months later, my due date was November 23rd. I worried about my new baby and why this baby would be born 2 weeks early. Imagine my surprise and relief on April 28th when I went for my first Doctor visit and the ultrasound revealed that I was pregnant with twins. We now know that you are identical, a chance of nature as some may say; but to me you are a miracle; a miracle that was planned by the Lord. He knew my needs and by revealing when you would be born helped me dramatically through my pregnancy. It helped me make decisions, and most of all it gave me peace to know that my twins would come full term and lessen the likelihood of complications. Sure enough on Sunday, November 9th I started having regular contractions, but they just weren’t strong enough to head to the hospital. Monday came and we kept babysitters on the alert. We spent the day with Samantha and Jacob running errands and then we went out to lunch at Burger King. I always felt we were only hours away from going to the hospital, but they never got strong enough. Looking back at the week before Jacob was born; I should not have been surprised that I didn’t give birth until the next day. By Tuesday morning I was scheduled for induction so we had an excuse to finally go to the hospital. I was in active labor with small contractions 1-2 minutes apart and strong ones every 5. When they checked me out my cervix had already dilated to 5 cm. An ultrasound confirmed that Baby A was head down and Baby B was head up. This complicated the delivery, in the fact that I was at high risk for having a C-section. Dr. McGuirk, insisted on an epidural and recommend Pitocin to speed things along. By 11:30 I put in my order for the epidural, but the anesthesiologist was a busy man that morning. He showed up 45 minutes later, and by 12:30 my epidural was placed, then after a few more contractions I was declared completely dilated and ready for delivery. Both of you boys came out healthy, strong and with no complications. We stayed in the hospital for two days and then we all came home together. I look back at the events of your birth and events following and leading up to your first year of life and I am amazed that I have been given the privilege to bring you into the world and to have you as part of our family. You two have a special bond and it has been fun to watch your relationship develop as you grow and discover each other. I hope you will always be close and that you will look out for one another. You have many similarities but I can tell even at such an early age that you are different and special in your own way. I pray that through the years and as our family grows you will each find your own identity and your place and purpose in this life. I believe Heavenly Father has a plan for both of you, and you were sent to our family together for a reason. This past year has been wonderful and I am excited for the years to come. Thank you for letting me be your Mother, Always and Forever 10/15/2004 | A Letter to Joshua and Matthew About their special birth and my labor story
135: PRESCHOOL | Kaylee Hepworth | Tyson Stacey | Josh Humphries | Today we celebrated upside down/inside out/ backwards day | Jacob | Samantha
136: DANCE | Recital
137: December 11, 2004 | This fall Samantha took a tap & ballet class, and they had a holiday performance. She was nervous before the show started, but by the time she was on stage she was having a good time. When they first opened the curtain she waved to us and then she had a huge grin on their face for the rest of the time. After the finale all the dancers received medals for their great performance!
138: Thursday December 9, 2004 This last week I asked Jacob how he had slept the night before, he said “I think I’m sleeping faster.” It has been fun to watch him wake up recently because you can tell that he had been dreaming and he is trying to distinguish between what is real and his dreams. This morning he woke up looking for “the kitty.” He really has entered the imagination world. He loves to play with cars and insists on others playing with him so their cars can talk. It is hard to keep him quiet at church because as you are telling him to be quiet he will say loudly, “The cars suppose to talk.” In addition to playing with cars he likes to sometimes pretend he is a kitty. He crawls around on the floor and wants attention. I actually like this game because he is quiet and he likes to cuddle and let you pet him. Maybe I should encourage this game next time we go to church. Jacob really is entering a great age where he is learning to talk but doesn’t quite know the meaning of things. The other day Jacob was really frustrated with a blanket that he was trying to spread. He said out loud, “This is making me nervous.” I tried to correct him and let him know he was frustrated, but he said it again and insisted that he was nervous. Yesterday I had worked the night shift, and so we had a babysitter come in the morning for the hour between when Scott leaves for work and I get home. The new sitter was sitting on the couch talking to Sammi. Jacob came down the stairs after he woke up and called for me. Then after he came down the stairs he crawls into the lap of the babysitter to cuddle and probably get his morning hug. He then looked up at her and said: “Hey, you’re not my mommy.” She did have dark hair like mine, but I guess he wasn’t expecting to wake up to a stranger. | Monday, December 13, 2004 Joshua—despite the twins being identical and having similar temperaments there is definitely a difference in personalities. Josh is the type who eats everything placed in front of him, and even if his tray isn’t empty he is always trying to reach over and steal food off of Matthew's tray. Matthew on the other hand, takes him time eating. He is always trying to save food in his hand - at the end of the meal when I wash his face I have to pry open his fist to let the extra food drop. We once found a piece of cookie clutched in his hand from an hour before. Joshua likes to put his head on the floor like he is going to do a somersault and look at the world upside down. Joshua loves balls and would throw them if he could, he just doesn’t understand the letting go part. Matthew: Of the two Matthew has the biggest vocabulary, besides ma-ma, da-da like Joshua, he can also say and "hah" and "bah" for hi and bye. We figured out when he was trying to say Bye when he started waving at the same time. Last night at dinner I had put Josh in the bouncer and Matthew was wandering around; then I saw him put his head on the ground to look around. I said out loud, “What are you doing Matthew; Josh is the one who likes to look upside down.” After that I took a double look at the babies and realized I had gotten them confused, and it was Josh. However this morning I thought it happened again, the baby who I thought was Matthew had his head on the floor looking around; but this time it really was Matthew. So they do learn from each other. | Joshua | Jacob
139: Playing in the tub | 12/12/04 Samantha, Matthew, Joshua and Jacob | 10/10/04 Joshua and Matthew before their first haircut
140: taking pictures | Everyone gave my parents updated family pictures for Christmas. | Craig, Cherise and Carrie Coleby
141: 12-20-04 | Samantha, Scott, Kim and Jacob; Matthew and Joshua Ethington
142: In preparation for our trip to Utah I really tried to pack light. Jacob's main gift was a train set; and Samantha’s main gift was a dress-up dress of Princess Anneliese from the movie Princess and the Pauper. She has been asking for this dress since Halloween (and of course I had to buy it at Halloween time because I knew it wouldn’t be around at Christmas). Anyway I thought the kids were distracted so I pulled the presents down from their hiding place. I was putting them in a bag when Samantha walked in on me. She asked about the bag, so I told her it was a surprise (big mistake) and she would have to wait until Christmas to see. Together we walked out of the room and I kept up my busy pace of getting things I needed. | MORNING
143: Within a few minutes Samantha found me in the computer room. With a look of concern on her face she said, “How is Santa going to give me my Anneliese dress if you have it?” Since I didn’t know how to answer her question I took the mad approach and said she had ruined my surprise. She then took the defense that she didn’t know what I was talking about and promised that she didn’t see what was in the bag. A few days later when Scott's mom asked Samantha what she wanted for Christmas and her reply was, “It’s a secret.” To finish the story, jumping to Christmas morning, we let Samantha and Jacob open their gifts from Santa. Jacob opened his train and Samantha opened Anneliese and King Dominic Barbie dolls. A little disappointed she stated that Santa must have been confused and thought she wanted the small Barbie Anneliese dress. She was relieved to find her first present from Mom and Dad was the dress she had been asking for. We then explained that I had already bought the dress and so Santa had to choose to give her another Christmas Gift.
144: CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON It is always so much fun to see the kids with their cousins. | Josh | Samantha
145: Enjoying The Holly Days | Jacob | Laura, Grandma DeAnn, Ashlee, Audra, Richard, Scott, Mike and Grandpa Ethington
146: Holiday Memories Warm Even The Coldest Of Days | Today we had a nice Christmas Dinner back with the Colebys; we had the big Astle Party on Christmas Eve | Angela & Eric Bell; Kim & Scott, Stan, Sharon & Rebecca Coleby, Melissa, Ben & John Petrini; Cindy Coleby, Jacob and Samantha
147: We spent the rest of the week getting ready for our upcoming cruise on Jan 2nd. We were so grateful to Cindy who watched our kids so we could go on another vacation. | Allison, Samantha, and Jacob | Jacob | Jacob- Yes he was sleeping in that- too much chocolate.
148: Original Ethington Family Audra, Mike, Richard, Scott, Ashlee; Wayne, DeAnn, and Laura
149: Scott Ethington, Audra & DJ Salazar, Richard, Laura, DeAnn, and Mike Ethington; Allison Salazar, Samantha, Kim, Matthew, Joshua, and Wayne Ethington, Makayla Salazar, Ashlee, Brianna and Travis Cook; Jacob Ethington, Tyler, Ryan and Adam Cook
150: Dear Family and Friends, This has been wonderful year for our growing family! The first few months with the twins weren’t too tough because I (Kim) kept my life simple and we stayed home most of the time. Once they hit around 4 months old and we were no longer worried about them getting sick; I started venturing out for shopping, library time and other outings. That only lasted a month or two, when I realized it was a lot of effort! Now I save my shopping for the evenings, and limit my traveling to the park or playgroups close to home. This fall I decided to go back to work as a Registered Nurse to keep up my license and skills. I work for a Staffing Agency, which means I have no set schedule and they call me to fill in for local hospitals that are short-staffed. The job is perfect because I only work about 3-4 times a month at nights when kids are sleeping. It has been a nice change of pace for me and I also enjoy the learning and experiences that I am getting. I also have a good time putting the latest pictures on Ethington.com, though I don’t get to it as frequently as I’d like. Scott is enjoying his job and increased responsibilities at work, even though it means he occasionally has to bring work home. This year he will be the project manager for an international records management project, and will likely travel to Riyadh, Bangkok, and Singapore. Good thing ExxonMobil has a nice life insurance policy! He also decided to finally get a hobby. Since we moved to Texas, we haven’t done any mountain biking, camping, skiing, or hiking. Mostly because there aren’t any mountains, but also because we don’t enjoy sleeping in tents with babies. A couple of Scott’s friends convinced him to sign up for the MS150, a 180 mile bike ride from Houston to Austin next April. So the new hobby is road biking. As for the rest of the family Samantha is approaching her 5th birthday in February, and has been talking about it since August. It is fun to watch her get excited about things. She attends our little co-op preschool twice a week where we are focusing on learning and writing the alphabet. She loves to learn, but thinks she knows everything already! She is also entering the age where she wants to start exploring her talents. This summer she was in a singing group with 3 other girls, and then this last fall she enjoyed taking a ballet class. She was talking about trying gymnastics next, but after the thrill of this last week’s dance recital, she has decided to do more ballet and try gymnastics when she is “older.” Jacob, almost 3 years old, continues to be the Curious George of the family. If the house is quiet I have learned to go find Jacob and see what he is into. He has also entered that quotable age, where kids say the funniest things. I try hard not to laugh when he misplaces a word, and sometimes I don’t want to correct him because it is so cute. For instance a few weeks ago he was trying to voice his frustration but kept saying he was “so nervous.” Joshua and Matthew are now a month past their first birthday. They have passed through all of the baby stages and have advanced to walking. We have been blessed with healthy boys who suffered no lasting effects from their illnesses when they were newborns. They are getting quite good at walking around, and are even attempting to communicate. Joshua babbles “mama” and “dada” all day, and Matthew has started to say “ha” and “bah” for hi and bye. | This past September we tested the babies and found out they are identical. They have similar temperaments but there is definitely a difference in their personalities and preferences. Joshua sucks his thumb, eats anything placed in front of him, plays with balls, pretends to draw, and likes to place his head on the floor to look at his world upside down. Matthew on the other hand prefers a pacifier, is a mama’s boy, likes playing in toilet bowls, sticking out his tongue and has the funniest forced laugh I have ever heard. So far they are very obedient, but from past experience with Jacob we are pretty sure it won’t last, so we are looking forward to a very interesting and chaotic year.
151: A Season of Love and Laughter