Sunday, November 22, 2015

Joe's Place and Halloween

A little change this year, besides our newest addition to the family, was a local pumpkin farm called "Joe's Place". Normally we go to Bi-Zi Farms and spend the whole day enjoying all that they have to offer. It's really amazing, but when you have to stop to nurse and can't predict a newborn, local wins. Joe's Place is just a few minutes walking distance from Reina's elementary school. Luckily, the weather was warm for our family day.
 The hayride included free apples on your jaunt around the farm.
 We picked up a super cute gourd for only .75 cents!
We had to capture our three children! It's still so unusual to say "three". We love them so much and love how they treat each other. I almost always see Reina and Baelor get along, and they adore Rowen.
An old-fashioned outhouse
That's one good-looking dad
Everyone was taking pictures in front of the pumpkins but I fell in love with all of these apple crates! They were a great backdrop for our family's picture. A family from church happened to be there to snap a photo!

Every year we do a family theme for Halloween. It helps keep both Paul and myself young by dressing up with our kids and it's always fun to see what we come up with. This year since we had just a little 2-month-old slug, we decided to pull off a theme around Rowen, and this is what we came up with!
Halloween this year was super wet! Due to the weather, people were handing out handfuls of candy, so we didn't have to go very long before their buckets were full. Score! Rowen even joined us all wrapped up and warm. We went to Mummi and Papa Will's trunk-or-treat at their church building the weekend before, then our ward had it a couple days before Halloween. We even tried trick-or-treating at the mall on Halloween day. That was a zoo! We didn't stay very long.
Playing with daddy's childhood legos
The first grade classes went on a field trip to Joe's Place, just a few days after we went and I was able to chaperone with Rowen. We walked from the school in the misty rain to the pumpkin farm. There were just three kids in my group: Reina, her best (class) friend Lily, and Hayden. 
Reina is in Mrs. Evans' class. At parent-teacher conference, I ended up talking with her for easily 45 minutes! She really enjoys having Reina in her class. Kelli says that Reina is a model student who is one that she can rely on for important stuff like answering the phone. She also told me how well-developed Reina writes in her stories. They are always full of detail and she prefers to write during free time. We are pleased to see her doing so well. Every morning when I walk the kids to school, the music teacher is out patrolling. He pulled me aside and said how wonderful it is to have Reina in her class because she has such great rhythm and also has the drive to do well.

What can I say about Baelor- ayayayy! This boy drives us crazy sometimes! One minute he'll lock the door in our bedroom and poop his pants; or throw a fit if there is not the perfect amount of milk in his cereal. Yet he has the sweetest composition and will say the funniest things. A recent funny story. At Mummi's they were decorating gingerbread cookies for Halloween. Baelor proceeded to stuff the whole cookie in his mouth (a common act) and then spit it out on his plate. Assistant Sherie set it aside and then later when he asked for his cookie she gave him the pile of cookie. He looked at it with disgust and said "Dat's not a cookie, dat's poop!"

Happy Halloween until next year!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rowen's Baby Blessing

 Our newest little member of the family recently had his baby blessing at exactly six weeks old on October 11, 2015. Whenever you have a baby, people wonder how you decided on the baby's name. Honestly, I liked the name Owen, but wanted it a little more unique as Owen is still a somewhat common name. We added the "R" and decided it sounded stalwart and strong, necessary since Rowen has a brother name Baelor, another regal name.
Väinö is his great-grandfather's name, my mother's dad. We pass on Finnish middle names to all of our children since both Paul and myself have Finnish heritage. Pappa's (Väinö) 100th birthday was just three days before Rowen was born.

Those present at his baby blessing were Mommy and Daddy, Reina, Baelor, Mummi and Papa Will, Karter, Uncle Richard and Aunt Sanni and their family, Grandma and Grandpa Guinn, Aunt Sharon and Aunt Louise, Uncle Steve and Aunt Katie. Participating in the circle were: Daddy, Grandpa Guinn, Papa Will, Uncle Richard, and Bishop Sears

Our dear Heavenly Father, with the authority of the Holy Melchezidek Priesthood which we hold we take this baby in our hands and give him a name and a blessing. The name by which he’ll be known is Rowen Väinö Guinn. Rowen, at this time we bless you with strength in your body, spirit and mind. We bless you that you will be an example to those around you. We bless you that you will have a spirit of love to bless your siblings and that you will be an example of love to your parents; an example of the Savior’s love. We bless you that you will have a healthy body; that you will be able to fight off illnesses and diseases. We bless you that as you start your mortal life that you will find the good and correct path, the path of righteousness. We bless you that you will find the good examples around you. We bless you that you will be a good example of the Gospel; that those you meet will want to know more because of your example. We leave these blessings, and any others that Heavenly Father knows you are in need of in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
 At six weeks he started to show some really happy grins when someone pleased him...especially mommy! He likes being held over the shoulder and swatted on his bottom. He is starting to recognize different shapes and find the animals on his bouncer entertaining. He also is beginning to discover his hands and the joy of gnawing on them. Most nights are snuggled up against mommy, but occasionally he'll take a few hours in his own room. Like his other siblings, he enjoys the swing and the pacifier- thank goodness!

As parents we see resemblance of both Reina and Baelor. Early on he was very similar to Baelor, but as he is growing we both see more and more of Reina coming through. Really, he blends the very drastic looks of Reina and Baelor. So, thank you Rowen for completing our family's "look".
His big brother Baelor loves him already. He is very gentle with Rowen and loves to snuggle up to him. He will be so excited to teach Rowen all the great things that big brothers do. Yes, even getting into the chocolate chips like this picture shows. (While I was busy doing this photo shoot, Baelor got into the bag of chocolate chips.) I just had to capture the evidence all stuck in his teeth!