Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Cookies

Us girls (and TT) were excited all season to make our annual batch of Christmas cookies. We headed to Gramma Lori and Papa's. I remember when my Mom and I were saying, "Next year Madison will be old enough to eat a Christmas Cookie." Then it was, "Next year she'll be old enough to help decorate." And now it is here, and decorate she did. We made a batch of sugar cookies and she sat at my parents counter for at least an hour and sprinkled those frosted cookies like it was her job... very serious about her task. She made sure each part of the cookie contained a sprinkle before moving on to the next. We went home with lots of beautiful and some yummy cookies :).

...and P.S... I have officially taught her all of my weird faces and she loves to use them to make people laugh. Often her brother. The other day I heard her telling Eliott, "El-t, look, I'm going to make a funny face, look." Then she'd make a face and make this funny laugh that is like the laugh of an adult who is 'sympathy laughing'... if that makes sense.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Picking Out The Perfect Tree!

When we were younger our family cut down a tree every year... a fun memory. Now that we have kids, we have cut down our own tree. This year was fun since Madison is so in tune to what is going on. She was very excited to cut down our tree since she had already decorated Gramma Lori and Papa Paul's tree. So we bundled up and headed out. We went over to a batch of trees that looked the right size for our house. The second tree we saw, Madison said, "My want this tree". We told her that we liked it too (except for the crooked trunk :)) but told her that we should look through all the trees before we make a final decision. So we looked through the rows of tree. After awhile we asked Madison which one she liked and she walked several yards back to the original tree she had picked out and told us again that this was her favorite. Matt lipped at me, "It has a crooked trunk", I said, "how can we not get it?". So we brought it home, crooked trunk and all. Matt actually did an incredible job of straightening it up!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Leaves, Turkey, and Pumpkin Pie

Leaves... As Dad headed back to Walmart for more lights, we decided to grab a rake. Very fun with a 2 1/2 year old :).

Turkey - Our Thanksgiving day craft... Madison asked if we were going to eat it.

Pumpkin Pie - Madison had made pumpkin pie at Jess's a couple of days before. I then realized I had never given that a try and decided to give it a shot. So, Madison and I stirred up all the ingredients, popped it in the oven, and then grabbed a piece for dessert before bedtime. Madison took one bit and asked for the 'other pumpkin pie'. I'm sure it was the recipe....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Elefun is.... SO FUN!

Elefun is a new game that the kids got from the wonderful Deines family. I guess it was a family fav of theirs when their kids were young. Let's just say that it has quickly become fun at our house. It is simply a little elephant head that has a long nose that blows little 'butterflies' out that the kids are then supposed to catch with their 'butterfly catchers'. Madison quickly learned that she catches more butterflies if she simlpy stands still with her catcher held high... as opposed to moving it around to follow them as they fall (whenever trying this method out, she was always a split second too late and often ended the round with nothing). Today Jordan and Eli joined the crew. Fun times with Elefun...

PS... Matt and I tried to take each other on once. I ended the round with a bloody lip and Matt has been banned ever since... Ele-no-fun.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Lights

Let's just say that Madison is in LOVE with Christmas lights. When we drive at night, the whole ride consists of, "MOMMY! LOOK! Out your window... MOMMY, my window!... MOMMY, T-Man's window". She says it as if she's never seen anything like it before. There is a house a block away that has lots of bright, blinking lights all over their house. It's quite guady if you ask me, but she asks to see it every time we drive, and we always do. She calls them the "orange" lights... even though only about 1/20th of them are orange.

Needless to say she consistently has asked Matt to put Christmas lights on "ow' house. Matt told her he would during Thansgiving break, and she would always respond with, "After naptime?". Thanksgiving break came and out the family went. Madison held the long string while Matt hooked them to the roof. After hanging out half of them up, he realized they weren't working. He headed off to Walmart for a new batch. He then put those up all around the house. We went inside, ate dinner, and came back out when it was dark. Madison, Eliott, and I stood on the front lawn while Matt went over to plug them in (it felt oddly like we were in the Christmas Vacation movie). Sure enough, the flickered on, I cheered and Madison looked at them with a straight face. Then plainly looked at me and said, "Mom, I want the orange lights."

The lights were not only bugging Madison, they were bugging my perfectionist husband, as they were quite dangling right. So.... off he went to Walmart to return these and get a new LED set. He rehung for a third time. After a bit of prepping with Madison... telling her how hard Daddy is working to put Christmas lights on our house and many people don't get any Christmas lights, when Matt turned these on, she told him that she liked them... and she does. She talks about them often and when five oclock rolls around and the light flip on, she definitely runs to the window to see.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turkey Bowl 2011!

Today was the 5th annual turkey bowl. What is the 'Turkey Bowl' you may ask... well, it's where a bunch of guys get together and draft teams and take their only shot at competitive 'flag' football for the year. They all leave tired and beat up but they all love it. Matt said several times... "I feel old". He's definitely sore but had a lot of fun. Matt even succeeded in being a part of the 'All Turkey Team'. And one last word.... "brrrrrrrrrr".

Friday, November 11, 2011

still life...

I usually manage to get a few good pictures of other people's little ones but when it comes to getting a good picture of mine... they are sometimes hard to come by. They are both incredibly tired of my camera and at least Madison tries to ignore it as much as she can. When looking through pictures that I had taken of them, all I could find was Madison looking while Eliott was eating dirt or Eliott smiling while Madison is scrunching up her nose at something in completely the other direction...

Anyways, I got stuck on this picture because I think I somehow managed to grab their complete personalities in one picture. If someone asked me what my kids were like I would show them this still moment in time... Eliott not having a care in the world, grabbing his feet with a big smile and Madison totally focused on something... trying to figure out what it is and how it works.

Both wonderfully, incredible, talented, love-able kids... totally different.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

yet another conversation with the Miss...

Madison - "Where's Daddy?"
Me - "Getting his hair cut."

"Getting a paper cut?"
"No, getting his hair cut."
"Does he get a sucker when he's done?"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Her first 'ask'...

This is the conversation that was taking place in this picture...

Ayden's first attempt to ask her out... hope he has thick skin and keeps trying.

"Madi... you want to go to the bouncy park?"
"No, Ayden, Later."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Faith like a child...

Initially wasn't sure if this should be a public post, but I don't want to forget it...

Madison is an incredibly sweet, sensitive, and thoughtful girl.... especially when it has something to do with someone who is sick or has an owie. If she hears of someone who is sick or was hurt, she asks about it for days. The other day Madison was with my parents and they were on a walk. My mom was telling my dad about the little boy that was hit by a school bus last week... such a sad story. Madison thought about it and asked my Mom about it, and my mom told her what happened, but didn't want to get into what it means to die, so she pretty much left it at 'the boy got an owie'. She asked her about it several more times and then has asked me about it several times a day ever since. She always says, "Mom, what happened to that little boy?" I always respond, "He was hit by a bus", and usually leaving it at that. She obviously doesn't quite understand it, and when Madison doesn't quite understand something, she can't let it go. We have literally had a discussion about this little boy 20 to 30 times. The other day she asked me again, but went a little farther. Here's our talk...

"Mom, what happened to that little boy?"
"He was hit by a school bus, sweetheart."
"Where is he?"
"He's probably with Jesus."
"Does he have bandaids on his legs?"
"No, sweatheart, his owies are all better now."
"Is he walking with Jesus?"
"Yes, I would bet they are walking together."
"Like in my book, Tallest of the Smalls."
"Yes, Madison."

Faith like a child.

Friday, November 4, 2011

One year ago today...

... I knew I was going to have our baby the following day. We had had an ultrasound earlier in the week and he was a hefty babe so (after a few tears in the office) she worked me in. There actually wasn't a spot open but she told me to come in if anything 'hurt' and they wouldn't let me go home. Eventually something opened up and I had an induction planned. Initially I didn't want the induction (knowing I wanted a natural birth), but he wasn't coming on his own. So I had the great idea to go out to eat as our last night as a family of three. It is the only time we have ever had to leave a restaurant early for our kid(s)... :). To make a long story short, we woke up early, headed to the hospital and had our little/big man at 1:00 the next day.

Tonight, before I put him into bed, he was sitting on my lap. A year ago he was wrapped up and (barely) fit inside my belly. Tonight, his long curly hair was touching my chin and his legs were extended past my knees. What a crazy wonderful year.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I have great memories of dressing up for Halloween when I was growing up. I think for five years in a row I was Pippi Longstockings... another year I was an "M&M" with another 'emily'. Although I'm not a big fan of all the creepy stuff that goes along with Halloween I definitely think it's simply a 'fun' holiday. THe festivities started yesterday as the kids dressed up and we went to Papa Paul's and Gramma Lori's. We 'trick-or-treated' and then hung out for the night eating yummy food and playing. The highlight of the night was definitely opening up an early Eliott bday present - Racin' Roadie.... a hilarious toy for a one year old boy who loves to climb and bounce. He even 'bucked' him off a few times. Today we started the evening at the Hansen house. Madison goes here in the mornings a couple days a week and we both love it there. It was fun that we all got to stick around this time enjoying yummy treats and cute kids. AFter we left, Madison kept saying, "Mom, more Jess's house." Then we headed out to the Yoder house for our first trick-or-treating. Madison is definitely a kid who needs to know what's going to happen before it happens and she usually processes it for days before. I told Matt to tell her what to do and the conversation went something like this. "Madison, we are going to walk around to people's houses, and when they answer the door say 'trick-or-treat' and they will give you candy. You can't do this every day, just on halloween". It was pretty funny the first time she went up to a house. We went with our bible study kids which consists of 7 or so little people. Most of the rest of the kids rushed up to the door while Madison stuck in the back. She watched as the lady put candy in everyone's pumpkins. You could tell she was pretty confused and was trying to figure out what to make of the situation. She needed about ten minutes to process the situation but the lady threw a piece of candy in her pumpkin and the rest of the kids headed back to their parents. She stood there, still not quite sure of the situation and not quite ready to turn around. It didn't take her long to catch on and she went up to several houses... but each time you could tell she was a bit confused by the whole process. Her personality continues to come out as she grows... an incredibly sweet girl who totally processes (in her own "Madi-time" each situation she is in. A fun couple of days for the Hofferts :).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eliott is 11 months

11 1/2 months and you are definitely one amazing little boy. You crack us up daily. Lately you have been into putting things on your head and seeing if they balance. For examply, when you were sitting at dinner, after you had finished eating, you decided to entertain yourself with your bib. You would stretch up and put it on top of your bib, slowly let go, and see if it balanced on your head. Then you would look around to see if anyone was going to laugh with you. You do this with other random object around the house. The other day you were trying to get a toy pot to balance on your head and you somehow got it to stick out the back of your shirt. You thought this was hilarious... as did I. The other thing you love is you 'toot and scoot'. This toy is a riding toy that goes in every direction. You got on that thing for the first time and figured out how to make yourself go. Now you can get on and off of it and scoot all around the house. You love to climb up and on anything. You climb up onto the lego table chairs and grab onto the back of the chair and just shake it... sometimes tipping yourself over. Oh, the many things you have done to keep yourself entertained... you are just discovering the world every day!

You still love to eat... pretty much anything. I was telling Madison yesterday that we were having mushroom, swiss, avocado sandwiches. She proceeded to tell me that she did not like avocado or mushrooms and didn't want them on her sandwich... but then told me that you did like them and that you would want them. She has even picked up on the fact that you will try anything. You are not a walker yet. You have been a bit more interested in walking around furniture and behind push toys, but still haven't decided to try out walking quite yet. You are quite the stander and let me tell you, you have an incredibly speedy crawl. The other day you were playing on the floor with your two binkies in front of you. Madison was in a bit of a 'two-year-old' mood and decided to come over (for no reason at all) and chuck your binkies across the room. Her and I were going around about how she needed to find them and give them back to you. Meanwhile, you had seemed to forget about it and had left the room. Madison was not returning them to you and we had the conversation of whether or not she would appreciate you taking her 'mimi's' from her. Just then, you came speed crawling into the room with her mimi in your mouth. I burst out laughing... its seemed as if you new exactly what you were doing.

You are working your way into a single nap and pretty much did that on your own very easily. You still do a great job at night (in your crib in Mom and Dad's room) and you are starting to wean onto whole milk. Once again, you don't seem to mind what it is you are eating or drinking, as long as it fills your tummy.

Overall you are our precious blue-eyed, sandy brown, curly haired boy. You whole family adores you!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another good talk with Madison...

Madison has always been a terrible milk drinker... ever since I weaned her from breast milk when she was a year. I have had several talks with her about how milk is good for her and helps her to grow up big and strong.

Tonight at the dinner table it was just her and I and Eliott. We didn't have very much milk so I poured her a cup of milk and I had a glass of water. The conversation went as follows.

Madison - "Mom, can I have water?"
Mom - "Madison, you need milk because it helps make you strong."
Madison - "Does water make you little?"

I laughed and then she says, "Mom, what you laughin at?"

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Today... Eliott signed his first sign.

I haven't been great at teaching Eliott signs like I was with Madison, but I haven't quit. I loved it when Madison could tell me what she wanted using her hands instead of her cry. Whenver I have tried to teach Eliott something, like signing, he just sits there and giggles at me as if he's saying, 'good job, mom, that's neat you can do that' :), but has no interest in repeating me. Tonight, I was holding Eliott and he didn't have his shirt on so he was patting his belly. He also wanted apples from dinner and was going 'ah, ah, ah'. I showed him 'please' and he did it a couple more times. It was incredibly cute for me, so even if it's a one time thing it was worth the post!

Conversations with Madison

I had an interesting conversation with Madison tonight. Let me set it up... It was about 8:15 and I had already put Eliott in bed. Matt was hunting so it was just Madison and I in a quiet house sitting at the kitchen table frosting and eating a sugar cookie. When it was time to eat them, she asked if she could have some of mine. I told her that if she was going to have a bite of mine, she had to give me a bit of hers. We had this same conversation last night, where she wasn't quite so sure about this, but tonight it was a yes. So, I took a little bite out of her cookie and then handed her mine. She took it and took a bit and then proceeded to shove the rest of the cookie in her mouth. It was as if she couldn't help it. When she realized that I no longer had a cookie sitting in front of me, she took a tiny little slobbery bite from her mouth and handed it to me. I took it and ate it. She asked me "What happened, Mom?". I told her that she ate my cookie and now I didn't have a cookie left. I was really interested in how she was going to handle this because I could totally tell she felt bad about what just happened. She asked me the same question and I told her the same response about ten times (no exaggeration). Finally she told me, "Mom, you can have have more later." This comes out of Madison's mouth as "Mom, ooo can have mowe yater". I told her that there wasn't any more. Keep in mind she has about 4/5 of her cookie left on the table. She sat for a long time just staring and thinking. We had borrowed the cookie cutters from Ayden's house, which prompted her next idea. "Mom, you can have more at Ayden's house". I told her that Ayden didn't have any at his house. She sat for awhile longer, then looked at me in the sweetest little voice and said, "Mom, you can have mine"... which came out sounding like, "Mom, ooo can have mime". I was over-joyed at her thoughtfulness to give up her cookie. Then she proceeded to pick off the tiniest crumb and hand it to me. I asked her if that was all I get. So she picked off two tiny crumbs and handed them to me. I took them and said thank you. She sat there awhile longer and said, "Mom, you can have a big bite of my cookie"... sounding like, "Mom, ooo can have a bib bite of my tootie". She handed me the cookie and I took a 'big' bite. She has such a sweet heart. Then she told me that I could get more at the store tomorrow... :).

Book Tower

Madison still continues to be totally into books. She will sometimes just flip through the pages and other times really look hard at one. The other day I watched her (unknowingly to her) look at an alphabet book. She was going through the letters, naming each letter (getting about a third of them correct) and then naming the object or animal next to it. I hear, "S... zebra, Y... hmmmm (it was a yak), m... monkey)." She will also just sit there by herself counting things in the books. She does much better reading to herself (in my opinion :)), but still LOVES for us to read to her. I can barely get through a page, though, since she asks question after question about each page... questions she usually already knows the answers to. For example, in reading through a Pooh book, "Mom, Piglet sad? Piglet crying? Mom, what Tigger doing? Mom, where's Pooh? ..."

The other day, Eliott had gone to bed, and she was keeping herself very quiet and busy in the living room. When I had finished washing dishes I went in to check on her. She was flipping through a book, then putting it into a pile. When i had arrived, she had quite the impressive pile! She was quite proud of it when I snapped a picture :).

Friday, October 14, 2011

daily conversation with our sweet little two year old

Matt - "Goodnight baby girl."
Madison - "Daddy, I'm not a baby, I'm a BIG GIRL." (phonetically, it would sound... Daddy, I not a baby, I a bid dirl)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hoffert/Perez Family Annual Dutch Oven Cook-off!

Well, I have been married into the Hoffert/Perez family for almost six years, but have never been able to get to one of their annual Dutch oven cook-offs... most years it has been b/c we have been gone, but a few others we were planning on going. One time we were planning on going, we watched the weather the whole day and just as we were getting ready to leave, the radar showed a red line right through Pine Lake. The other time it was sleeting. I tell you this only because this family is hard core... rain or shine they go. Anyway, this year it was an AWESOME day and we were committed to going.... and we had soooo much fun. When we got there around four, the dutch ovens were already on the fire cooking away. The countdown began around 4:30 and by 5:00 the meals were pulled off and the competition was to begin....

Everything was incredibly yummy... the beef stew was made by Sue (Matt's Mom) - who is the reining champ, Matt's Aunt Karen made the BBQ pork, his Grandma made the tamales (I guess when you are a Mexican family, you make tamales in the dutch oven :)... a first for me), and his Uncle Tony and Angie made the amazing Pasta dish that tasted like it was from Olive Garden. After we all pigged out, including rolls and Apple Crisp also made by Karen, we voted for our favorite. The drum-roll sounded as Mallori (my future sis-in-law) and Matt's Dad counted the ballets. It was a TIE! The tamales and the Pasta went head to head on a tie-breaker, only to come up dead even again. Tony gave the title to his Mom, and Sue handed the trophy (reluctantly) to Phyllis.

After dinner we headed to the park with the kids to play and take a few family pics. A VERY fun afternoon with Matt's family.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

10 months... and still growing!

Your tenth month is through and I can't believe it. You are such a little boy these days. As others have said, and I agree, we didn't realize how 'big' you are until you started to stand up. It's like you unravel as you push up onto your feet, then slowly up to a standing position with your arms straight out in front of you for balance. You look up with a hug smile, hang out for awhile, then slowly sit back down. You haven't even thought about stepping yet, you're just content hanging out. Like your sis, you have decided to get very good at the standing thing before you try to walk. You are definitely a do-it-yourself kind of guy, climbing and getting in to everything. I often look over to find you crawling up, over, and under many things. I have been amazed at how you just do things to do them... not really with any other goal in mind. For example, last night you were trying to crawl up onto the diaper box... your only goal was to get all fours up off the floor. You weren't trying to reach anything or get anywhere, just see if you could do it. You have had fun working on stairs as well. Since we don't have any in our house, anytime you find some (Grammas and papa's, or outside our house), they keep you busy for a long time. You know what 'turn around' means but you have only mastered it with one step. The other day, you turned around for the first step off the deck, then turned around and did a face dive off the second one right into the dirt. You usually just roll over and pop right back up from these falls, unless it was a tough one (then you cry for a moment, then move on). You smile and laugh ALL the time. Your sister is still best at making you laugh... you love watching her do pretty much anything. You have been so fun to watch grow and it is truly amazing how much you have grown, changed, and learned over the last year. You do a great job of sleeping now (sigh from mom :), and dad), and still take two naps each day (but may be getting closer to one). These days you will just play in your crib... sometimes for 20 minutes or so, then just clonk out. I'm proud of you for that! You love pretty much anything physical, but some of your favorites are playing on the bed (you will 'stand up' on your knees, get this huge smile, and then just belly flop onto the bed), swinging, playing in the dirt, and being tickled. You also love to eat... still. You have no interest in sitting still to eat from mom and you are starting to ween yourself. You still have those beautiful big blue eyes and wonderfully crazy curly 'sandy' blonde hair. Pretty much to sum it all up, you are the best and we are totally in love with you little man!!!

Bible Study Kiddos

What a fun crew! We will have to get another one soon with sweet little Danica!