Tuesday, February 17, 2015

tim and jill feb 2015

Hi Everyone!
I have enjoyed catching up on the families!  Thanks Deb for being the one that keeps us continually connected!  You are a super star sista by always making sure everyone is recognized for birthdays and anniversaries.  You make everyone feel so special!

We are well here in Sunny California! The weather here is quite wonderful.  It's only February and Tim took the kids swimming outside yesterday.  It was almost 75 degrees! Tim was in Napa last week for work and we are happy to have him back! I missed his amazing cooking and all his help with the kiddos.  I feel so lucky I have such a helpful husband! Tim is really liking his job.  He is very busy but seems to have it all under control.  😊

Our little ones are great!
Little Miss Ellie is doing well in 2nd grade. Ugh the friend thing is a little tough this year.  The challenge is her being a newby, she come in and befriended girls that have been friends since preschool.  She doesn't have that history with them.  She's had to deal with bullying this year and we've also had to talk about mature topics that I wouldn't expect until later grades.  I am shocked that girls her age have a liking for boys already... Thankfully Ellie isn't like that... She still plays with dolls and just innocent!  Kids are exposed to so much more though at a younger age.  Oh and many already have IPhones! What??? Yah that won't be happening either anytime soon.    She is reading very well and finds school pretty easy.  She's doing cartwheels now and is loving her dance and gymnastics classes.  Not sure if you all knew but she illustrated a few books awhile back that are published for kindle.  They are called Worrier to Warrior and FunZen A to Z... Check them out if you can! I'm so proud of her!

Mr. Liam is my little inventor.  Everyday he's coming up with new things to play or make.  He is very meticulous and tenacious.  He will make the coolest Lego structures and tdress up like a super hero or Ninja or whatever and make the coolest sound effects. Someday he wants to be a doctor or dentist and other days he want to be a police officer.  He is so sweet for a little boy and still likes to cuddle!   Little Carson wants to be just like him.  Liam is doing AMAZING in Pre-School.  His teacher adores him and encourages his creativity.  He's counting to high numbers, knows his letters and almost all his sounds.  He's taking gymnastics too and really enjoys it.  We signed him up for T Ball for the spring.  I've got to start working with him on catching and hitting the ball. Tim is so busy these days to work with him so I've got to figure out to teach him.

Little Baby Carson is 18 months now! He's quite the dare devil.  I can't take my eyes off him for one minute otherwise he'd either be on top of the table with a mouth full of cookies and milk, trying to clean toilets, or be climbing the bunk bed to see if he can get to the top and jump off!  I am always carrying him in the sling when we go out because he just wants to be free and explore!   He is the sweetest though and his hugs and kisses tell you so. He's learning many words and trying to communicate lots! I'm still nursing him and he still sleeps snuggled up next to me lol...I know you all are saying WHAAT??? Yes, he's nearly attached but that's ok...he's a happy baby thought! Tim will be happy to get his portion of the bed back soon I'm sure!
As for me, I'm doing well!  I've joined a Moms group here.  We have lots of playgroups:) where we host play dates or do activities together as well as do moms night outs. I really like it a lot! I've met some really nice moms and playmates for Liam and Carson.  I'm volunteering at Elle's school as PTA secretary and still working regularly at Liam's school. I'm also taking online classes for Real Estate. I'm hoping I'll be finished near summer.  I've been training for the Modesto Half Marathon which is at the end of March. I love that I'm running again!  I did my longest run last weekend which was 8 miles. I was so sore and was walking like Frankenstein the day after.
Tim and I just celebrated our 11th anniversary.  It's been the most enlightening years of my life and I'm sure for him too! Love will keep us together as the song says!  Life is good and we are happy.  We miss you all and feel free to come see us anytime! We have lots of room always for everyone! We love you...xo

The Mathews in California!

adam and becky feb 2015

Well we heard from the Texas side of the family and now we can head a bit more west to hear from the New Mexico group!

Adam has been working on several series in his work and they have been finding some success.  He just got placed into a fine art gallery with his high end work.  We are excited about this because it means that someone else is working on selling his art.  He is also preparing for several fine art shows for the year.  This means that we have been blowing a lot of glass.  In fact, we will be blowing this weekend.  I have really been enjoying this outlet.  On top of that he is the greatest dad!  He works hard with Elizabeth and she couldn't be more blessed than to have her dad around all the time.

Elizabeth (EJ) has really grown up. Last night we had a conversation throughout dinner that was so thoughtful and full of vocabulary words I was surprised she used.  She even recognizes and corrects her grammar.  Adam and EJ are headed to Florida in April for several weeks and so EJ is back in swim school to make sure she is ready for the ocean.  She is a very good swimmer already.  She also loves school and pretends to read books to herself (and her stuffed animal friends) to go to sleep at night.

Becky is trying to juggle so many tasks at school that it sometimes feels that I can't get anything done.  I am teaching several classes this semester and trying new approaches to my teaching.  On top of that, I just got great news that a grant I wrote was accepted which will cover all of my time and work until I graduate.  I think that is pretty awesome!  I am really planning my graduation for May 2016.  It seems so close and I have so much to do, but it is still within reach.  On top of all of that, I have to find a job.....so that is just some of the things on my mind.

Other things on my mind are my family.  I feel like I haven't seen many of you in so long, but I still feel so much love for all of you.  I think of you often and hope that you are happy and healthy!

ben and tamme feb 2015

I am sitting at the doctors after I just drank some nasty juice. Doing the glucose test and I just found out that I get a shot too. Every time I have a baby - when am I not- there is some new test or procedure. Last time it was HIV testing.  Since I have time to kill I thought I'd give an update on my crew.

Ben: Has been busy busy busy. On top of work and church, he is coaching both Kael and Gali's basketball teams. He really enjoys coaching the boys and the girls give him a run for his money with all their giggles and twirls.

Kloey has started the braces process.  After 4-5 months of trying to create space she will get braces. This is new to both Ben and I, but Kloey is cool as a cucumber about it. She is sad she can not eat Carmel or salt water taffy for the next 2 or so yrs. She amazing me at how much she just rolls with things.

KAEL is a rock star on the basketball court. He is a natural and it is so fun to watch him. I will confess it's fun to hear the other teams parents telling their kids to get #3!  I just sit and smile, thinking that's my kid.

Gali is doing good with basketball. It's fun to watch her not give up and be aggressive on the court. Her last game she shoot a girl a dirty look after they fought for the ball. Her reading has clicked and she is becoming a little reader.

Sadee is so sweet. Everyday at least once she gives my belly a kiss and prays for me to have fun with my baby. She is always suggesting names for this one. The other night I came home after she was in bed and I gave her a kiss. She told me to tell the baby that she loves her.

Kole is one crazy little boy. He loves swords, guns, balls and candy.  He loves to dance and growl.  He makes me laugh as he shoots bad guys and runs around. He is potty trained and it only took a few days. He was the fastest so far.  I am loving the break from diapers for the next few months.

Me: I am pregnant. Things are good so far and this little one has a mean left hook and round house kick. She also is still nameless. If you have any suggestions please share.  I am feeling really good and all the pains that I normally have are few and far between. I keep waiting for things to go south, but I really am feeling great.

Deb, I am not sure how to help Zoey with her biting and stuff, I am sure she will grow out of it at some point. :) Ben had suggested to be very consistent with that. Even to the point where other actions go unnoticed. Not sure if that will help.  Good luck.

We hope y'all are happy.

Love- the Texas Mathews

deb and nick feb 2015

Don't forget to respond, when/if you have time!!!

First, Happy Birthday, Biggest Brother!!! Hopefully you received your card from us! 

2nd: I spaced your anniversary, Tim and Jill! Bah! I will have a card in the mail soon. HAPPY 11th!! 11 years with you, Jill! You'd think we were sisters or something!!

3rd: But maybe it should have been first because her birthday was first, Happy Birthday, Becky!! I was LATE on your card. Which is normal for me now. I am sorry I didn't get that out on time. I had it, I truly just hate going to the post office with at LEAST three kids, packages, long lines, etc. Plan on this being a routine with me anymore until my kids are a bit older. So sorry. But you were thought of by, I'm sure, ALL of us!!

I should speak with exclamation points more often!! I actually know a woman who strives to use them at every sentence!! And if you ever met her, you'd know why!! She's a hoot!!

Anyway, US!

Nick: Nick spent an EXCITING time in Oklahoma for the month of January. Normally we try to get him to go visit all the cool things about the area, but he was just so busy! Now he's in West Virginia. He actually gets to work with a few people that he really likes there so this should be a great trip for him. He has had to get four new computers in the last 20 months. The newest is a MAC, which I'm so jealous of! This is a guy who never wanted one and I always did. Tricks of the trade, I understand.

Me: Woosh. Life is busy. We were up to our eyeballs in running noses and crazy breathing. Much better now, I'm hoping. We went to the zoo yesterday because the weather was: 75!! I was sweating in my shorts! Beautiful day. I've had one rehearsal with my choirs and I can already tell how much of a blast I'm going to have. 

Claire: Her reading has turned a corner in the last week. I'm so proud of her! She has always been a wiz at math, but now that her reading is catching up a bit there is little to stop this one. Her teacher has asked her to join a tutoring group (hasn't started yet and may not start now) and has been concerned but I'm hoping we pulled through. 

Bruiser: Can mostly spell his name!! And almost write it! Hooray! He told me he needs a new Luke Skywalker. He loves school and keeps asking to stay longer. Not sure what he'll say when he experiences all day kindergarten!

Zoey: Turned 2 last week! Her words are taking off! She loves Elsa (I had no idea 2 year olds would care!! It's the song that does it. This girl loves to sing) and received a few outfits from her grandparents/great grandmother that certainly filled Disney's pocket. However, she resorts to biting, scratching, etc even more quickly. I've tried...almost everything...Holding her arms down, ignoring it (even tried ignoring it while she's doing it to me), time outs, yelling (out of frustration, not because it was a tactic), she has even received a squirt of water (after a LOT of thought and tons of peoples' suggestions) etc. Any suggestions?? I'm dying a bit.

Thomas: started rice cereal and LOVES it. Ever since starting, at about 4pm daily, he is prone to MAJOR blow outs and has been moved though diaper sizings and I've thrown away several outfits due to the viscosity and velocity. All the while, smiling. 

I love my family!!

How's yours?


bill and rosi december 2014

Hello Dear (Deer) Family

Sorry I have been so late adding my chapter to this family letter.  The holidays keep even the old folks busy.  I was laying in bed this morning and thought "today is the day" I will write to you.  So I got up and made my way to the computer.

Deb, thanks so much for wanting us to stay in touch.  It is so easy to let relationships slide.  I know that we all love each other!!

Dad and I are doing fine.  

DAD:  designed a Christmas Card with pictures of all of us
          completed over 4,000 indexing names since October (extractions)
          clears the dishwasher
          workouts continue 3-4 days a week.  He has now added lifting weights to his routine
          keeps Grandma in tow (that's me)
          keeps up to date on the news

ME:    writing short letters, folding, addressing and sending Christmas cards 
          buying and wrapping presents
          teaching a few students
          puttering around the house  (I even cleaned four garbage cans last Monday..yea for me!!.)
          decorating the house for the holidays
          R.S. activities 
          completing my book, DVD, CD

I love Christmas.  I have been out shopping and running errands the past two days and it is fun to have an excuse to go into beautifully decorated stores.   We even went to a floral shop last night.  Poinsettias every where.  (Not my favorite flower, but still a red splash of Christmas.) 

 My favorite things about Christmas are the lights, the music and family. 

Lights: My Dad, as a member of the Lion's Club in Paradise, would help hang a string of soft blue lights across the street corners each holiday season.  The hazy glow of those lights mixed with the white snow was idyllic.  I have loved blue Christmas lights since that time. I remember walking home from a friend's house at dark...  the blue glow resonating with me and the cold freezing my face.

Music:   I recently came to understand the reason I love the old Christmas tunes. It is because the music takes me mentally and emotionally back to my youth in Paradise.  Daddy had an old record player and a few Christmas records.  Every Christmas I would listen to Burl Ives sing "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" or Bing Crosby sing "I'll Be Home for Christmas" or "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas". Music was such a big part of the holidays for me.  Now when I hear those songs the old emotions come flooding back...  memories from 60 years ago. 

Family:   As a girl I was lucky.  My Dad was a successful farmer and we had wonderful Christmases.  Christmas, 1957, was different.  My Mom had died in May and we were clearly missing the heart of our home.  I still wanted Santa to visit, but he left few things that year:  a Lone Ranger board game and a blue bathrobe.  My  memory is not very good, but the disappointment I felt that year resonated for a long time. I loved my Daddy and he and I worked through the loneliness.

Our gifts to you this year come from the heart and we are hopeful that they will be something that will endure.

When I was 13 years old, my Grandma Dunn (the only grandparent I ever knew) gave me a Christmas present which I still treasure.  It was a book of her poetry.  It's hardbound cover is powder blue and the title is "Life Begins at Sixty-Five".  Through her poetry she tells about the people, places and things that meant a lot to her.  I knew my Grandma when she was older and had health issues. She had also lost my mother (cancer), a son (WWII) and another son to alcoholism.  Her husband had died years earlier.  She had had a hard life and did not have much to be happy about.  But through her poetry I see her wit, her faith and her strength.  I love her and her example.

Have a wonderful holiday, family.  Please remember that you are loved and valued.  You are 80 percent of our lives.  If our prayers have strength, then you are well and happy.


Dad and Mom

ben and tamme december 2014

So if you want a really good story you need to have been at chick-fil-a with us when Kole was dragging Zoey like "a mustached lion dragging a gazelle though the Serengeti". 

If you missed the reference you need to watch Scott Sterling--the man, the myth, the legend. http://youtu.be/8F9jXYOH2c0

deb and nick december 2014

I've heard of so many families who do a monthly letter. I laugh because one of them is the "Geller Yeller". Too bad there isn't a good one for Mathews. But I'm not a witty person, so maybe someone else could think of a funny one.

I'm just checking in with y'all. I have been thinking about sending out something since Thanksgiving, but keep getting sidetracked. I hope you all (y'all...I always wanted an accent) had a good one. I heard that Tim's family had a great visit with Mom and Dad. I hear Luke's back is AWFUL and he and his family coupled that with a horrible virus over Thanksgiving so I doubt they had a wonderful, restful vacation. But on the bright side, maybe they are the ones who lost the most weight. that was my attempt at being witty. What do you think?

So, here's us:

We spent Thanksgiving with Ben and Tamme and Tawnee (who I'm sure you all have met at some point). Tawnee hosted us and we had a great time letting the kiddos play. My favorite food of the night was the salad that Ben and Tamme brought. I found out (after 3 helpings) that it is a mix from Costco. I'd buy a membership just for that salad! But apparently they have it at Sams now too. Phew! I love Costco, but it was 50 min drive in Colorado. Haven't tried here yet. Nick liked the salad too. Claire ate...almost nothing. Rolls. Zoey and Bruiser liked the sweet potatoes. 

Nick: He took the week off after Thanksgiving. He was sick so we didn't do much. We did go to see the Zoo lights and the Houston Space Center. VERY awesome. He is back to work now and was supposed to be able to hang around in the Houston area for the month of December, but he's gone. He just left Fairbanks, TX and is headed to Corpus Christi, which is a huge site. He loves eating out all the time. Poor kid has to come home to my cooking. 

Me: I actually have some neat news for me. I just got a job teaching a children's choir for two hours a week. I'm actually very very excited. The lady just called me up (I didn't apply or anything) and asked me. I start in January. I need help with a resume for the website. Bec and Momma, you might need to edit for me...Please?

Claire: Funny story for C. We have been discussing the moon and it's cycle. The other night, we were looking at it. 
Claire: Mom! the moon is FULL!
Mom: Hmmm...You think so? I think it's still missing just a tiny sliver. What do you think?
Claire: Yeah, I can see that too. It still needs a little wax. 

Made me laugh. She is so stinking smart. I don't expect her to have moments like that anymore. Usually that is something Bruiser says. She stays up with her classes. She is quite a little math wiz. Must be Dad shining thru here. She's very impatient with herself and for her first time ever, she's throwing some temper tantrums. Urgh.

Matthew AKA Bruiser: This kiddo has been so helpful. I have needed him so much. I am grateful for all he does to help his momma. He chooses clothes for himself, Zoey and Thomas almost everday. He remembers socks, diapers, etc. He even helps Zoey get up on beds (so she can smother, ahem, kiss Thomas. That was my attempt at humor again.) 

Zoey: She is still hard, but she makes me smile. She LOVES to sing. If she's throwing a tantrum, we can sometimes distract her with a song. She now helps put her diaper in the trash. She also is pretty good at going to time out and will occasionally scream, notice that she did a bad action and put herself in time out. I'll turn a corner and find her sitting against a wall with her arms folded. 

Thomas: Nick has decided that all our kiddos need an assortment of nicknames. Animals: Claire Bear, Matthew is Chunky Monkey, Zoey the Zebra, and Thomas the Tiger. And now his kick is nicknames that begin with a B: Bear, Bruiser, Zo Bo and Tom Bomb. 

Oooh! My letter was a lot longer than I thought! Phew! 

Well, we miss you! We love you! Let us know how you are, if you have some time.