Friday, December 21, 2007

Can't help but smile at this face. . .

I just wanted to share a picture of one of Tanner's first smiles. Somehow I was lucky enough to have the camera right next to me. Such a cute smiles, but I am bias of course. I cannot believe that Christmas is just 4 days away. I still have a couple little things to do, but for the most part I am done with shopping and what not. My goal next year is to be done with all this nonsense by Thanksgiving so that I can just sit back an enjoy the Christmas season. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fashion Island with the Yee's

On Saturday night the Yee's invited us to go out to Fashion Island with them. It is a Christmas tradition they have started with their kids. Brett and I had never been there, so it was a fun new experience for us. The highlight of the night was the 115 foot Christmas tree. It is over 20,000 pounds and has over 17,000 lights and decorations on it. If you look closely at some of the pictures you can see just how big some of those ornaments are. The kids had fun looking at the tree, as well as running through one of those fountains that spit water up in the air. To start out the evening, Sarah and I needed to stay in the car to feed the babies, so Justin and Brett took the rest of the kids to look at the fish in the ponds. Of course, luck would have it that Bailey would fall in. Brett took of her wet shoes, socks and pants and rapped a blanket around her. Unfortunately, she wouldn't keep the blanket on and ended up most of the night bottomless. So many people were giving us dirty looks for allowing our daughter to run around without pants on in the 55 degree weather. I guess we could have turned around and gone home, but we didn't, and it didn't seem to really bug her, so hopefully she won't have any permanent scares from the experience. We had a fun evening and are grateful for the invitation from the Yee's. If any of you have a free night during this holiday season, I would highly recommend going out to Fashion Island. The pictures just don't do it justice.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rainy Days

The last couple of days have been cold, gloomy, rainy and beautiful. I love this kind of weather. I don't know if I would if it was like this all the time, but since we don't get it very often, it is awesome. It is perfect soup weather. It is the kind of weather that makes you want to make a fire in the fireplace and cuddle up in a blanket. The sad thing is that we don't have a wood burning fireplace in our house. We did in our house in Clearlake and we had fires almost every morning and night during the winter. But here we just have one of those gas fireplaces that you flip the switch and the fire comes on. Yes, it is nice and convenient to create a "mood", but it is miserable for putting out any kind of heat. Once Brett and I make our millions, we are going to build a house with lots of fireplaces! Ok, we probably won't ever make millions, but when we do finally sent down and have enough money to actually buy a home, I hope there will be a wood burning fireplace in it.

Christmas Decorations

We had fun decorating this year. It was hard with the new house knowing where to put everything. Our decorations are still a bunch of random things that we have collected over the few years of our marriage. Hopefully someday we will have enough to have things in every room of the house. As for now, it is just a couple things in the common areas. Having decorations up finally makes it feel like Christmas. It is so much fun to drive around and see all the Christmas lights and decorations around the neighborhoods, streets and shopping centers. Why can't it be like this all year round!?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beach with the Mavys

Our friends, the Mavy's, came into town the weekend before Thanksgiving. They came down to our house for a day before going to spend Thanksgiving with Ruth's sister. They have never been to Southern California, so with only one day to show them around (and a very limited budget) we decided that the beach was a must. We took them down to Laguna Beach to show them the tide pools and have a picnic. We didn't know that the city is doing a major remodel of all the picnic areas on the cliffs and many of the walkways down to the beach, but we were able to finally find a way down. It was a little bit of a walk to the rocks, and with nine kids under the age of 7, it was a bit of a challenge, but we did make it. We decided to climb around on the rocks before eating lunch, so we had set our bags down and made our way around the rocks to the tide pools. The kids had so much fun looking for little creatures. It was a beautiful day and the beach was quiet. Couldn't have asked for a more perfect day! On our way back after seeing the tide pools we saw seagulls circling around the area where we had set our bags. Needless to say, those seagulls were attacking our food. It ended up being fun though, because we fed the seagulls for a while and the kids loved it. Brett kept on throwing the food into the air above our heads. The kids thought this was so fun, but all I could think was that those stupid seagulls were going to poop on our heads. Luckily we did make it through without being pooped on and the kids had fun, so I think we were successful in showing them a major part of the "southern California attraction". After the beach we came home and "rested". We talked about going to the park, but the kids were having so much fun playing together here that we just let them play.
Jason got enthralled with our "Geo trax" and couldn't leave it alone. He played with it from the time that we got home until we left for dinner. He was trying to make the train touch all of the tracks without having to manually switch any of the switches (did that make sense?). Unfortunately he was unsuccessful. Debbie was nice enough to watch seven of the nine kids for us (we took the babies) so that we could go out for a quiet dinner. We went to Ruth's favorite restaurant "Olive Garden". It was sooo delicious. And we ended the night watching Evan Almighty (or at least everyone else watched it. I think that I fell to sleep before the opening credits). It was so nice to have them visit us and we can't wait for them to come again!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our Thanksgiving

It was so fun for us to be able to go out to my parents house in Tucson, Arizona for Thanksgiving this year. We had so much fun hanging out with Doug and Liz, Tami and her kids, Jimmy and Christi, Adam, Debbie and of course all of the Tucson family (Mom, Dad, Becky, Liz and Michael). We did a lot of movie watching this trip, which is unusual for our family. I think in part it is because we have discovered the "Red Box". The Red Box is a movie rental thing that is located in the grocery stores. It has "new releases" for only a dollar a night. What a deal! I know they are here in So Cal, as well as Utah and Arizona, so check out your local grocery store to see if you can save money on movie rentals too. We also went out to a drive-in movie our last night there. I didn't know those things still existed. It was fun to sit in the back of our cars bundled in blankets (it was 45 degrees out when we were leaving the movie). It was so fun to just sit around and talk as well. I personally could not stop talking about when my parents and siblings will come home from the mission. Just 7 months left. So crazy how time flies! We are so anxious for them to be home and for our kids to know their "other" grandparents. We hope that everyone else had a great Thanksgiving break. Now on to Christmas, my favorite time of the year. We are working on our decorations tonight. I will post picture soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Lemonade Diet

Brett has been doing something called "The Lemonade Diet" for eight days now. He has been suffering from ulcers and has been wanting to cut some pounds, so he started this diet, which is supposed to help with both. Brett constantly reminds me that is it a "cleanse" not a weight loss diet, but all he talks about is the weight that he has lost. He is down 16 pounds already and still has a couple of days left. He is at an all time low for our marriage. He also is not having pain from the ulcers, which is huge because he took two different kinds of medications that didn't seem to help. He is getting a little sick of drinking lemonade. So I know what you are thinking, "I could drink lemonade for 10 days", but it isn't exactly lemonade. For each cup of water he puts two tablespoons fresh squeezed lemonade and lime juice, two tablespoons grade B maple syrup (not your sweet breakfast syrup), and a dash of cayenne pepper. It has been amazing for him and he loves how he feels on it. I was really skeptical about the whole thing, but even he if gains all the weight back, I am excited he did it just to get rid of the ulcers. Way to stick with it Brett, I am proud of you!

Brett's Version of a Tent

So Friday was a long day. So that night after Brett got home, I was ready to just veg in front of the TV. Of course the kids were still awake, so we let them pick a movie to watch. Spencer asked if we could have popcorn and make a tent. I said I thought that would be ok. The next thing I know Brett has brought in our camping tent (I was picturing a tent made out of blankets and chairs and what not) and is setting it up. The kids loved it and ended up sleeping in it that night. Luckily Brett and I were able to sleep in our own comfy bed, at least for most of the night. Natalie started crying sometime in the early morning, so Brett went downstairs and never came back.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tanner's Baby Blessing

We had the opportunity to bless Tanner in church yesterday. I am not a photographer by any means, but wanted to share some pictures of Tanner in his blessing outfit. I looked for an all white outfit and was not able to find one, so this outfit had to do. It was nice to able to have Doug and Liz and Sarah and Justin and their kids join us. Doug and Justin joined in for the blessing, along with Treg Julander, Matt Call, Clint Helton, and Bishop Loy. It was such a neat experience to see such a little baby taken into the arms of those priesthood holders. Brett did an incredible job and really felt the spirit of the Lord as he spoke. Some of the key points that I remember were that Tanner was blessed with the desire to serve. He was blessed to seek learning from the scriptures and by doing so would learn of the Savior and His teachings. He was also blessed with the ability to see the faith of his family and would thereby strenghten his own faith, especially in his Savior. It was an awesome blessing. Now it is up to Brett and me to teach him and lead him in the Gospel. Not the easiest task in the world we live in now, but we are up for the challenge knowing the anything is possible through the help of our Heavenly Father!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween 2007

This is a post of all our Halloween fun, from decorating pumpkin cookies to our ward truck or treat to the night of. Hope you all had a safe and happy halloween! We did and we have WAY to much candy to prove it. Hopefully I can control myself better than I have last night and today. All the options are just too tempting! The kids had so much fun dressing up in the their costumes. Spencer was a dinosaur, Natalie a dragon, Bailey a tiger, and Tanner a skunk. I have the habit of buying costumes on clearance and then save them for the following year. I need to get out and do that for next year. With the kids being so close in age their costumes just get handed down from one kid to the next. I don't think I will be able to keep it up much longer since Spencer is finally getting to the age where he might care what he gets to be.

The kids finished the night off strong handing out candy at our house. They may have enjoyed this part of the night more than any other!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

He's changing already

Tanner right after his bath.
Crazy how much they grow in a year and a half (the spacing between Bailey and Tanner).
Kicking back and relaxing (of course, what else does he do!).

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Random Pictures

This post is just a bunch on random pictures from the last couple weeks. Hope you enjoy!
This is from Debbie's birthday dinner. It wasn't much of a celebration, but we tried under the circumstances! Dinner consisted of steak, twice baked potatoes, salad and green peas. Dessert was provide by Liz, a wonderful Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake. So yummy! Just a couple more months and Debbie heads out to Brussels, Belgium, Netherlands Mission. Good luck Debs!
Taylor (Sarah's daughter) found a pen lying around our house. It was one of those smelly pens and I guess she couldn't resist seeing if it tasted as good as it smells.
Grandma watched the kids for us while we went to Tanner's first doctors appointment. We came home to them doing crafts. We wouldn't expect less for her. She loves doing things with the kids. She really should have been a preschool teacher!
Grandpa bought some pumpkins to carve with the kids. They were so excited to be able to put their pumpkin outside for everyone to see. Hopefully it will last until Halloween, but we aren't holding our breathe for that.
There is an ice cream truck that comes around our neighborhood everyday around 4:30. I have told the kids no time and time again, saying maybe another day. I finally gave in. Spencer picked out a Spiderman Bar. Natalie wanted a Dora Bar. Poor Bailey ended up with an Otter Pop from our freezer. I wasn't about to spend money on her when she really didn't care as long as she had something.
Bailey has been all about the big hugs lately. She will just run up to us randomly throughout the day and throw her arms around our necks and literally squeeze as hard as she can. We are loving it and hope that it doesn't end.
And finally a picture of our Bailey. This girl is crazy. We found her asleep on the dresser when we went to check on her for the night. Luckily the window was closed. We will have to remember to keep it closed from now on. Can you imagine her rolling over in her sleep and falling out the second story window? On second thought, maybe we should move the dresser!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We've finally decided

So, I never thought that I would leave the hospital without giving my child a name, but that is what happened this time. Luckily with Kaiser they will give you two days after you go home to call them back with a name, or we may have well ended with with the name "Boy Bruschke" on the birth certificate. We have always struggled to name our children, but this time it was especially hard with the whole "family dilema" that we had with the name we felt was right (see our post from Sept. 20 if you don't know what I am talking about). We woke up monday morning needing to pick a name by 11:00. We kind of avoided talking about it until we got in the car to go to a 10:15 doctors appointment. Only 45 minutes to go until our little one was going to be "Boy Bruschke". I pulled out my cell phone to make the call and told Brett that we were going to name him "Benson Douglas Bruschke". He stopped me and told me it wasn't right to do and so we both sat in silence until just before arriving to the doctors trying to brainstorm another name. Our time was running short. Brett threw out a name (one that he had turned me down on in the past) and asked me if I thought it fit our little boy. We both decided that it would work, so with just minutes to spare we called up the hospital to let them know that our sons name would be. . .
. . .Tanner Douglas Bruschke.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Newest Bruschke

We just wanted to announce the arrival of the newest little Bruschke. He came into the world last night, Friday, October 12 at 8:00 pm. He weighed in at 6 lbs. 15 ounces and is 19 1/4 inches long. We are still trying to decide on a name. Mom and baby are doing great! Rachel is a trooper and she says that if she continues to feel the way she is feeling right now, then we will go home tonight.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tomorrow's the day!

Well everyone, it has come down to the end and unless something happens in the next 12 hours I will be induced tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. The only thing that could hold me back was if there were not enough beds for me in the morning (i.e. they were too busy for me). So pending the call I have to make in the morning, we should be adding another member to our family sometime tomorrow (so help me if it takes longer than that). The only down side to being induced is that I will be delivering in Anaheim instead of Irvine. We have Kaiser Insurance and they contract patients out to Irvine, but in order to be induced I have to go up to the Kaiser Hospital in Anaheim (they are working to finish a new Kaiser Hospital in Irvine due to be completely in spring 2008, so just missed that by a few months). Brett's not too excited about the drive there and back throughout my stay, but what can you do. . .so anyway, just wanted to let you all know.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happy Halloween

So apparently there is an annual Halloween decorating contest that takes place on our street. People started putting up decorations two weeks ago and Spencer has been bugging us ever since to put up our decorations. So Saturday between sessions of conference we put up our meager decorations. We let Spencer be in charge of deciding what went where. When we had finished he was very please with his work and told us that people will say "Whoa, the Bruschke's house look so cool!" Though we're not sure we'll get that response from visitors, we thought you all might like to see what we've been up to. - Note: Still no baby Boots yet!