Friday, December 21, 2012

Welcome Baby Emerson

On November 16, 2012 we were able to add a new member to our family.
Emerson Solberg Smith
Solberg (said Sole-burg) is a norweigian family name on my (Breanne) side. My great grandmother's maiden name.

He weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was 19 inches long.  Everything went very smoothly with the delivery.  What a blessing.  I get an epidural so i wasn't really in any pain, just a little nauseous and uncomfortable. I  love the whole hospital experience.  Justin and I got to spend the whole weekend together with our beautiful new baby while my wonderful mother took care of the other crazies. ( thanks mom, you are the best)

The other 3 boys are loving him.  They are all very sweet and soft with him.  I'm sure after the novelty wears off they will rough him up.  It has been pretty crazy around our house.  I'm not sure if it is our normal craziness, or the new baby or the holidays, or maybe a combination of it all.  It has been hard for me to get out anywhere, which with Christmas shopping to do, is a bit stressful.   Then, the week after I had him, I was called to the Young Women Presidency. It's going to be ok.  I can do it all. :)  I have had so much help, everyone has been great.  All my my neighbors, friends and ward have brought me meals, and been so understanding.  Without my amazing husband and mother I don't know how I would function.  I am so blessed.  Jensen seems to be handling the change just great.  Drew, struggles with change quite a lot.  He is sweet with the baby, but has been back to having accidents in his pants and talking like a baby (those are basically his reactions with any significant change).  Breck is at the age of total craziness.  He is so rough with everybody (except the baby), it is best if he is not around anyone. He hits and tackles and jumps on and throws anything he can get his hands on, shoes, toys, his binkie.  We have a giant pile on top of our fridge of swords and guns and bats and sticks.  I look up there wondering why we even have this stuff in our house.  We are only asking for trouble.  Breck sure loves the baby though.  He always says , " I see baby eyes".  He wants to see the baby's eyes, even if that means trying to open them while he sleeps. He also rubs the baby's head saying, "hi, buddy Ism" (that is how he says Emerson). So cute.  In order for me to stay sane currently we have the movie "Despicable Me" playing over and over.  It is the only movie that Breck will actually sit and watch.  Not sure why, but I enjoy that one, so I don't mind too much. He says, " A watch a moonie", meaning " I want to watch a movie".  He is talking so well.  It has been really fun.
Here are our 4 baby boys. Can you tell who is who?
Jensen      Breck
     Drew        Emerson
It looks like we have one of our molds down pretty good.  I just pray Drew has the confidence to handle looking different than his brothers. 

 As you can see, Baby Emerson has a birthmark around his left nostril.  It is just a red mark and the Dr. says he think that it will go away.

We took a photo shoot on Thanksgiving Morning.  He was not even one week old.  So stinkin precious.  Today, he is 5 weeks old.  I can't believe it goes so fast.  Things are wonderful and I feel so blessed.  I love my house of boys......Complete Craziness.......but I do love it.:)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Beautiful October

Look at this beautiful family!!!!! 

 So Fun!! Doesn't grandpas face say it all?

Jon and Melissa and their darling family came this October and spent some time here.  We were able to have them stay at our house some of the time and we went to Gardner Village to visit the witches. The weather was beautiful as is was all of the month of October.  Love the warm sunshine.
Uncle Matt and Meredith took the boys to the zoo for the day.  The boys had a blast! Justin and I had plans to paint the new nursery but decided we had to take advantage of no kids and went to a movie first.  The only problem was that we just showed up at the theater and had to watch whatever what showing at noon.  We watched Hotel Transalvania...not the movie we would have picked but hey we love the movie theater and we jumped on the opportunity.

Happy Halloween!!!!!
 We carved pumpkins, Jensen wanted Jack Skellington, and Drew wanted Iron Man.

 We bobbed for apples at the Nickle family Halloween party and Papans (grandpa) gave them a dollar.
 Check out Justin's sweet graveyard in the background.  This year we added a spooky chandelier with flicker lights. 
We were hoping to have 3 ninjas for Halloween this year.  The 2 older boys wanted to be ninjas and I was going to make a costume for Breckers, but I ran out of time and energy to make one so I grabbed the fireman decoration off his wall and called it good.  We had to bribe him to wear it but man he is cute in anything.  The weather was incredible.  I think the warmest Halloween in years.  The boys had a blast and Justin took them out for like 3 hours.
 We have been training Breck to sleep in a toddler bed so we could use the crib for the new baby.  It was a struggle at first, and took a couple of weeks but he has finally figured it out and is doing really well.  However, it cut his naps in half.  He went from 3 hours to 1 1/2 hrs.  CRAP!!!!! Oh, well.
 So, I know this is dangerous but he cant really close the fridge all the way.  On that bottom shelf is his sippy's and juice and he just makes himself at home and sits down and closes the door.

Breck is being so funny right now.  He is particular about what he wears.  He is a 2 1/2 year old do you have an opinion????? He refuses to wear his jacket or coat.  Grammy even bribed him with a treat, so he put it on.....went to the snack bar and got his treat and then took it off. What a stinker! He doesn't like me to put long sleeves and pants on him.  He is having a hard adjustment to the colder weather, I guess, just like his mom.  For a time there he would wear his swimming suit and swim shirt. Now, he only wears gym shorts and a few different t-shirts.  Then, it is a fight to put pajamas on, so sometimes he just sleeps in it too.  This outfit is going on like 3 days in a row.  I know, so gross, whatever!  Also, he loves to wear Drew's cleats.  Mostly cause he knows what they are for and he goes outside and kicks the ball around.

He is talking so much right now and it is super fun.  I am going to try and describe some of the things he says that are our favorites.
"No minute": Just a minute
"Walk knee": Watch me
"Nenen": Jensen
"Hone": Home
"Wheuw (like the firetruck sound)": Fire (like the Kindle Fire, he loves to play angry birds on)
"New knack": Fruit Snack
For awhile there he was calling us all "idiot", which really, my kids don't say too often so I'm not sure where he got that.  At first it was hard not to laugh, then it did get offensive :).  Now he has basically dropped that and just tells me all day long "A mean" ("you're mean"). No matter what I am doing, sometimes I am being mean, sometimes I am trying to get his jammies on so he doesn't freeze at night, and sometimes I am trying to help him.
All day long he likes to ask me where everyone is....."Where's daddy?", I repeat it and he says, "work", then he asks where Jensen and Drew are and I repeat it and he says, "school". Then he asks where mommy is and I repeat it and he says, "Hone". Then he asks where Breck is and I repeat it and he says, "Hone".

Drew lost his two bottom teeth, one right after the other.  So fun! He was so excited he brought his tooth to show his cousins and then lost it.  Luckily, the toothfairy still knows he lost it and brought him some money.  Drew is so funny, he makes us laugh all the time.  He went grocery shopping with grammy and papans and they split up to make it go faster, but then He and papans, couldn't find grammy so he told papans, "Maybe we should split up?" Papans reassured him that it would be ok and they would find her.  Then he suggested they say a prayer. Such a good kid!
 2 weeks until I deliver...look at the belly not the face.  I am starting to swell and look just awesome.  I almost didn't even want pictures but we have to document!!!!!!

 This is the type of picture I am preferring right now, but then again, now we have swollen ankles. So beautiful!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012


Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 (Labor Day Weekend)-
     Saturday evening, I was putting off going to the grocery store and it really started to downpour rain.  It only lasted about 1/2 hr but it rained hard and then was followed by this crazy hail storm.  Look at the size of these things.  We were all at the window watching the storm.  Drew even ran out to gather some hail and got pelted in the head, like a rock.

 Our neighbors backyard
 After the storm calmed down I decided to head out to the store.  I headed down the street, out our neighborhood, as I always do, and Redwood Road was blocked off completely by police cars and barriers. I wondered if there was a bad accident. I figured I would try the back way out of the neighborhood and when I got close the entire area was blocked off and people were everywhere.  So I parked and walked to the end of the street where all the commotion was and there was a quick river of water rushing down the street.  I called Justin and told him that I could not get out of the neighborhood and to drive over and see this flood.  It was pretty dark by that time, so our pictures did not turn out. I wish you could have seen it.  The road was seriously a swift river.  The ambulance trying to get up to see if help was needed to the houses above was getting washed down.  All anybody could do was just watch and wait for it to end.  I called my good friend that lives up that way and asked if she and her house were OK.  She was at the store and didn't know anything and was unable to get into the neighborhood or her house until morning.  (luckily, her house was OK).
We watched the news and waited for neighborhood emergency communicators to tell us what was going on and what to do next.  People were up sandbagging until about 3 am. We were told that church was cancelled and instead to meet with any tools (shovel, gloves, wheelbarrows, 4 wheelers, etc) you have at 9 am.
Just over that burm is a retention area that quickly filled with water and mud and overflowed covering the park and streaming down the road.  It took out all the houses above it and few below and flooded over the roads and golf course.

 This is the retention pond. Filled to the top with mud, water and debris, and yes that is a car in the background.  It was pushed through the neighborhood into the pond.
 Many of the houses up there were severely flooded. The muddy water completely filled some basements, 6-8 ft high. One said they could feel their floor shaking almost as if it was going to explode.
 A basketball hoop carried to the pond.  ( I keep calling it a pond as if the water is supposed to be there, but it really is a park, no water at all).  You can see the pathway the water took, plowing fences over.
A better look at the car that was parked on the side of the road and carried, just floating on the top.
 You get an idea of the pathway of this disaster.  That is the retention park in the background.  Filled to the brim.  Then you see the lake.
 So powerful that is just destroyed these rod iron fences. 
 It carried boulders down the mountain.  If you look closely up against the sandbags are boulders.
 All these houses were right in the pathway and received severe damage.
 You can see the debris and how it just ripped the side of the house off.  I heard that it shifted this house off its foundation.
 Look at the damage!  You can see how high the water reached.  Scary!!!
 Then it crossed the street and flooded the golf course. The Lake is in the far background but all the other water is not supposed to be there.
 This is where it crossed the road and why they had shut it down.  Couldn't get to the store....too bad!:)
More golf course pics. Again, all the water and mud are from the mudslide/flood.

Sunday morning was a sight to see.  Again, like with the fire, we felt like we were in the movies.  Unreal! I cried throughout the day.  Seeing disaster and chaos and sadness and devastation.  Then, seeing service and love and hard work by the thousands.  It was the Sabbath day, and although nobody was dressed up and sitting in church, the spirit was very present and it was touching to be apart of.
 That pile that looks like gravel and rocks is that hail I showed pictures of earlier.  It was carried out of one basement in particular by the wheelbarrow full.
 Mud and debris everywhere.
 I don't know how everything was organized so well and so quickly.  Here was a food and water station.  They had water and sack lunches available for all the volunteers.
 Look at the shovels full of water and mud.
 We didn't believe that pile of "gravel" was really hail so Justin went and grabbed a handful.  Amazing!

There were bobcats and diggers and four wheelers and shovels and buckets and people and people and people everywhere.  Dump trucks were full to the top with this muddy water and I have no idea where they were taking it.
 This is my good friend taking sack lunches to a group.  Everyone was covered in mud to their waist. Crazy!
 Look at all these people.  The news reported that there were 5000 people. Apparently, the other wards in Saratoga Springs only held Sacrament meeting and then they released them to come and help with the flood.
  In the background you can see the bucket brigade.  There were lines out of every house passing buckets and buckets out of basements and into the road. In between these two homes they eventually made this like ditch and just had shovels moving it all along.
 It was so touching to see herds and herds of people continue to come and serve.  The first day there was a station set up at the church right by the homes where you would check in and they would assign you where to go. It is bringing tears to my eyes even now.  It was so amazing.  Then to clear some of the congestion and cars out they met at the stake center on the following days and truck loads of people would drive past my house up to the flood area.

Justin spent all day there on Sunday and then has been there multiple times since doing whatever he could to help.  I am so grateful for his service and willingness to serve.  Such an amazing man!
My sweet and thoughtful Jensen wrote a note on Sunday morning to the bishop all on his own when he heard we didn't have church and that Justin was going to help clean up.  It says, "From Jensen to the Bishop. I am sorry that you have to clean up. I am sorry that we don't have to go to church. You love church." He folded it up and we dropped it off on Sunday afternoon.  On Monday evening, I ran into a group of ladies,one being the bishop's wife and one being the young women's president. The bishops wife thanked me for the sweet note Jensen sent and said that just made the bishops day.  Then the YW Pres. jumped in and said,"that note was from Jensen?  Today we had a regional meeting and we were all discussing how to keep up morale, and help people feel better and hopeful, when we have had such trials. The bishop read Jensen's note to the group and said just as he was feeling run down and hopeless, he got this little miracle in the form of a note that brought him peace and encouragement and motivation to carry on."  It brought tears to my eyes.
The following Sunday we held church and made it fast Sunday since the 2nd was supposed to be fast Sunday. Our ward is enormous and we had 2 baby blessings so the actual passing of the sacrament took about 30 min. Then it was time for testimonies.  Almost all whose homes received severe damage and the services of volunteers immediately walked to the stand.  The meeting was so spiritual.  They all talked about how the spirit has been so present.  How they have shed many tears this week, not because of this trial but the outpouring of service.  How this event has been surrounded by miracles, for example the enormous hail that is rare to see, that chased everyone inside for shelter, protecting anyone from getting hurt by rushing boulders or swept away by swift waters. How the Lord has made their work load light and how the bucket fulls of mud didn't seem that heavy. How this must have been what the city of Enoch was like a bit, serving each other, giving of all they had; time, talents, tools, food, labor.All of us have experienced this horrible event and yet everyone has a different story and insight.  It was a beautiful meeting.  We completely missed the 2nd block of church. It has been a neat experience to be apart of.