Where Dreams Come True (family update)

“Here we go again. Another boring family update.” But WAIT! This one has a few bits of exciting news! So before you click over to Facebook…sit down, grab a drink, read on, and enjoy.

Dream come true #1: That’s right! We just returned from the happiest place on earth where all of your dreams come true. (See photos below.) Derek presented a poster at a professional conference in Orlando, FL and thus had his hotel and travel expenses paid for. Since we found a 2 bedroom suite with a kitchen that fit in his travel budget, we all tagged along and drove to Orlando for the weekend together. We weren’t thrilled about the kids missing 2 days of school (especially since those days included standardized testing for the older kids), but since we could NEVER afford to go any other way we felt like this was an opportunity too good to pass up. Saturday we drove down, ate, and hit the hotel pool; Sunday we went to church and toured the temple grounds across the street; Monday we spent all day at Disneyworld (8:30am-11:00pm); Tuesday we drove back. Much to their dismay, the kids were back to the grind taking make-up tests at school on Wednesday morning. We had a great time and couldn’t have asked for better weather at Disney, though we did get caught in a few severe rainstorms while driving there and back. Some of our family favorites were Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Splash Mountain. (I detect a geographical theme here…) We’re so glad we went and have tons of fun memories to enjoy now.

1. Dream come true #2: After busting his cute behind here for over 4 years trying to get a grant with his name on it, he can finally check that one off his list! His 5-year transitional grant is officially going to be funded!!! I can’t really explain to you what a huge deal this is for him. This means his salary and research expenses are totally covered for the next 5 years—about 2 of which will be here, and 3 of which will be somewhere else. Not sure where yet.
2. We celebrated the exciting news by making a sign to hang in the dining room, making cookies for Derek, going out to dinner, and then to a double feature at the drive in…woot!!
3. Also to celebrate a very nice co-worker, Jian, took Derek out to lunch & drinks. But since Derek doesn’t drink, Jian said he’d drink one for him. =)
4. He spent a good part of the last Saturday pruning the massive amounts of overgrown monkey and pompous grass in our yard. The yard looks much neater now.

1. I have been rehearsing the stake choir for stake conference next month, and also attending our ward choir rehearsals as we prepare to sing on Easter.
2. I have enjoyed helping my mom put together a pamphlet for the parents’ group at the wheel chair home where my youngest brother lives.
3. I get to be a guest designer for a traditional paper manufacturer for the first time. So far I’ve only been on digi design teams so I’m really excited about it.
4. Dream come true #3: Anyone who knows Lexie knows that she is OBSESSED with babies. Her little dream came true when we told her (and the other kids) that we will be adding a new little brother or sister to our family around October 10th 2009!!!
5. I’m very excited, but trying to wrap my 35-year-old brain around this since by the time this baby is born it will have been 7 years since the last one. I’ve been very tired and nauseous 24/7, but I can always look back on my first pregnancy with the twins and remind myself it could be MUCH worse. I’m 12 weeks along now so hopefully I’ll be feeling better in the next month.

1. Using instructions from a book he borrowed from his school teacher, James made a weather station for Jeffrey which included a homemade thermometer and barometer. Pretty cool, and Jeffrey loved it.
2. He and Jeffrey are not happy about having two 7am rehearsals for their school choir each week from now until the end of the school year.

1. He has been so sweet and patient helping Lexie practice shooting baskets almost everyday after school. He was so excited when she made her first basket over Spring Break. It’s great to see him interact this way with her.
2. Much to our surprise, he was the second most excited child about the baby coming. He ran around the house screaming, “I’m going to be a big brother to another brother or sister…wow!!”

1. She sang her solo “When There Was Me and You” from High School Musical for her school talent show and did a great job. I just wish the mic had been in a better spot for lighting…you’ll see what I mean in the video below. (Sorry it’s so shaky!)
2. Unfortunately two of her friends on the bus were very catty to her a few weeks ago and announced they weren’t her friends anymore. (Why are girls so stupid??) Fortunately, she has a new friend in her class that she really likes.

1. After a few weeks of frustratingly unsuccessful daily basketball practice after school on the driveway, Derek lowered the rim and over Spring Break Lexie finally made her first basket. She’s repeated the feat many times since then.
2. Needless to say, Lexie is beside-herself-excited about this baby coming. She jumped up and down for about 15 minutes straight. Often she leans over to my belly and talks to it. Very cute.

Odd ‘n’ Ends
1. Derek and I attended a musical presentation/fireside put on by Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices choir. I can’t explain how amazing the whole experience was! Listening to the gorgeous gospel music and hearing the conversion stories and testimonies of Gladys, her husband, and brother-in-law (I think?) was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had. If they ever come to your area, I highly recommend going to see it!
2. The kids and I enjoyed spending a lovely Spring Break together. We went to the zoo, the science center, free movies and programs at the library, and played games and watched DVDs together. Lots of fun!

14 thoughts on “Where Dreams Come True (family update)

  1. Congratulation, congratulations! I am so excited for you guys and all your news, especially about a new little niece or nephew! How exciting and life changing! You guys are great parents! And congrats to Derek on his grant! That has been a long time in the making! We would love to see you this summer when everyone comes, but know it is probably not possible. Keep in touch!

  2. Congratulations! I remember you told me once that you thought there was another baby coming to join your family. How exciting!

    And it looks like you had tons of fun at DisneyWorld. Testing, shmesting. There’s always that. Memories of Disney will be forever.

  3. Yay Aly and family!!!!!!!!!!
    I am so excited for you!
    Think of all the great scrapping opportunities that will come from this delicious new baby 🙂

  4. CONGRATULATIONS! That is such great news! Don’t worry about the gap in age, I have almost seven years, and so far it has been wonderful! It sounds like all the hard work is paying off!

  5. There is WAY Too much to comment on! But I am SOOO excited for you guys! I can’t wait! And I’m so sad to hear about all these things and we are so far apart!!!! I wish our girls could grow up together!!!!!! I can’t wait to spend the week with you guys in June!!!!!!!!!! I hope you feel better soon!!!
    Love you guys!

  6. Hey, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog since your Christmas card came. Thanks so much for keeping in touch. That’s so great about all your good news! Congrats on the new little one! Ashley did great on her song. Here is our blog address in case you are interested. littlemissmuffetcastle@blogspot.com

  7. Congrats Aly on all your family wonderfulness. Tell Ashley that I enjoyed her performance for her talent show. Beautiful job!

  8. congratulations aly! this is the best news ever, i am really happy for you. and i understand the importance of derek’s grant, that’s wonderful! glad you had a great experience in FL!

  9. Oh mt goodness aly – Congratulations!!!! I can’t believe it! sorry it has taken me over a week to come to your blog and find out the news. WOW. How exciting. And congrats to your hubby about that grant. What an exciting post! P.S What exactly is he researching?
    PPS. I’m sure you know of the Cactus Cuties, when I see a pic of them I am always reminded of you – with all the choir business and the blonde haired kids etc.

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