I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

December 17, 2008

Inspired by my brilliant Mom, this year we are going to try and do small and simple things every day that bring the true spirit of Christmas into our home. Hopefully the little acts of service and kindness will be fun, contagious and ultimately keep our thoughts centered on Christ this Christmas season. Here are a few examples of what we’ve experienced so far…
Sharing the “Service Star”: One day Madelyn gathered all the laundry from the bedrooms and took it to the laundry room. Then she left the star there for me to see it was now my turn to share the service star. Another day, Madelyn made Mason’s bed, leaving the star on his pillow. Mason then made Jalen’s bed and left the star. Then together all three of them made Alan and my bed and left the star for us. They were so happy and excited to do something nice for each other. It’s amazing how such a small act of kindness brings so much happiness. It really is contagious!
Madelyn chose to share the special “I Love You” candy bar with her teacher, Mrs. Needham because she truly adores and loves her first grade teacher. We appreciate all the hard work and fabulous job Mrs. Needham does.
While driving around admiring the many beautiful Christmas Lights, we decided to take a special treat to a house in our neighborhood whose lights we thought were the best. After all finally agreeing on one, we all got out of the car to deliver the surprise and tell our neighbors how much we appreciate their hard work and enjoy the lights on their home. We did have a funny experience with this one. After knocking, a man came, opened the door and then left the door half open but went back upstairs. We thought maybe he was just going up to put on a shirt so we waited. But no one came back down. We waited a little longer and of course the kids were talking and asking what is he doing and what should we do with the popcorn. I knew that whoever had opened the door could hear us. Finally I decided we should just close the door and leave because obviously he wasn’t coming back down. Just as we were loading up in the car, the man opened the door. He apologized and was quite embarrassed because he had thought that we were his wife and kids coming home and that his wife had forgotten her keys so she was knocking on the door for him to let them in! So he simply opened the door for them, not realizing we weren’t his family! We explained to him what we were doing and he was so appreciative. More importantly, the kids were thrilled and thought this was so much fun.

December 16, 2008

Poor Jalen




Sunday night I sent Alan with the kids to finish delivering some Christmas presents. After only a few minutes, Madelyn and Mason came running home crying and upset, letting me know that Jalen got bit by our neighbors dog. I didn't get to0 excited, because the kids can be a little dramatic. Then Alan came walking in holding Jalen and very calmly said, "Yes, Jalen got bit and he's going to need a couple stitches." I still wasn't too alarmed until Jalen looked up at me and I saw two gaping holes from the bottom of his upper lip to his nose. It was more than just a little cut! He looked like he had a cleft lip and it barely missed going all the way through. That's when I panicked. I just couldn't believe this had happened. With very crapy health insurance and not knowing where we could even take Jalen and get somewhat coverage, I was upset. Not only was it Sunday, the fact that we were trying to do a good deed by taking a gift to our neighbors, but also we had just come home from tithing settlements! Sometimes don't you feel like despite trying to do everything right, things can still go very wrong? Four hours, 10 stitches later and a dose of humility, changed my perspective. After getting Jalen home and in bed, all night I thought of the many other things that could happen that would be so much worse. Jalen was going to be fine. At least it was a small dog and the cut wasn't any worse; at least we have good doctors and antibiotics that can fix the problem; it's a blessing the dog was immunized and our neighbors are so concerned about Jalen too. I guess I've learned that we are just never in the clear...life is going to continually throw challenges and all we can do is make the best of them. Most important is that Jalen really is just fine. And as for the dog, well Jalen thinks he needs soap in his mouth!

December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

I seem to always run behind in posting updates and events for our family, but late is better than never, right?! Here are some of our traditions and highlights from Thanksgiving.

One of Alan's favorite traditions is the pie at Thanksgiving dinner. His mom makes at least 30 or more pies. Not only is there enough for 3 or 4 pieces the night of Thanksgiving, but also, it is a tradition to eat pie for breakfast the day after. Grandma Joyce makes 3 or 4 of every kind: apple, pumpkin, banana cream, chocolate cream, lemon, pecan, mince meat, and cherry. Joyce is a great cook and always makes sure that no one goes hungry at her house!




Below are some pictures of where the pies are stored before the feast...yes even on top of her car!



Here is a table set up in the garage with pie only.




Here are some shells ready for filling when needed on top of a fridge.


Thanks Grandma Joyce for the fun tradition and of course, yummy yummy pie!


Here are all the cute grandkids at Thanksgiving dinner.






Another fun tradition is watching the light parade down main streen of Manti the night after Thanksgiving. We all bundle up and watch for the highlight: Santa Claus riding on a fire truck. Of course, it's the favorite for all the little ones.










Madelyn loves having her fun cousins to do girlie things with.
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Alan was so excited to take Mason on a 4-wheeler ride and find some snow in the mountains. He really misses the outdoor activities that we don't get to do much living in Arizona. So any chance he gets while visiting Utah, he takes...even if that means subzero temperatures!



















November 25, 2008

Praiseworthy

I recently went to parent teacher conference for Madelyn. She absolutely loves school and is doing so well. Madelyn's teacher had nothing but good to say about her. One very nice compliment she gave was that Madelyn is so nice to everyone, always willing to help, share, or make others feel good. For example, one day a little boy dropped a can of pencils that spilled all over the floor. As the other children started to laugh and make fun of the boy, Madelyn quickly bent down to help him pick it up. Mrs. Needham went on to say that Madelyn is very well liked and respected by her classmates, and more importantly, she doesn't even realize it. She is always so humble and kind to everyone. I was so pleased to hear this. As a mom, I often wonder if the efforts I make to teach my children is really working. Sometimes what I see at home, makes me feel discouraged but after such a Praiseworthy compliment about Madelyn, I gained some hope. It reminds me of a saying that I heard not too long ago that goes something like this, "How your children act outside the home, is a reflection on what is happening inside the home." Hopefully there are lessons of respect, love, honesty, integrity, and happiness being learned in our home, despite the chaos and busyness of everyday life!

Almost Forgotten

I've just realized here it is December and I never shared some of our Halloween photos! Where has the time gone? We did have great Halloween...Madelyn was (take a guess)....Hannah Montana, Mason was spiderman, and Jalen was a fireman. About a month before Halloween, Madelyn and I checked online and in several stores for different ideas for a costume. I tried to encourage a cute witch, pirate, genie, clown, cowgirl or anything but Hannah Montana. Of course I didn't win. Madelyn is like many other girls everywhere...in love with Hannah Montana so it wasn't surprising that we saw many neighbors and friends all dressed up as a blonde, cute rock star! Mason wasn't set on any particular costume, he agreed and was excited to be Spiderman when I suggessted it (I already had a costume I bought last year on sale:) This fits his personality so well...easy going, easy to please and doesn't put up a fight or fuss over things. Thanks Mason! Jalen has been very interested in firemen and firetrucks ever since his birthday. For awhile, he kept saying he wanted to be a firetruck for Halloween. I didn't know how that was going to work, but after getting the cute fireman costume for his birthday from his friend, Hannah, he was so excited. The pictures just don't do this outfit justice. It is so dang cute. It even has red suspenders, his name on the jacket, and real reflecters on the pants and jacket sleeves (that's why some of the pictures of him don't turn out so well) Anyways, they all looked adorable and had a great weekend.



November 16, 2008

Visit from the tooth fairy

Madelyn FINALLY lost her first tooth! She has been waiting for this day for months as she has watched all her friends and classmates loose their teeth over the last year. She anxiously awaited that night to leave her tooth for the tooth fairy. At 2:00 a.m. she woke me up to show me that the tooth fairy had found her tooth and left money! Now's she's even more excited for the next one to fall out.



We LOVE Fall!

The change in seasons has taken a whole new meaning since moving and living in Arizonia. I used to love fall for the beautiful colors, the starting of a new school year, and for football season. I do have to admit that experiencing college football with Alan was such an exciting time of year and there really was a feeling in the air on those fall Saturday game days. I miss those times!


Now, the fall season is primarily so exciting because we can finally enjoy the outdoors again. I love the cool crisp mornings and the time we can spend outside with neighbors and friends. It's almost like the neighborhood comes back to life in the fall. The kids have especially loved the change in season and spending more time outside. In many ways we have become very spoiled to the nice weather for the majority of the year. I came across a note I had written down last May when it had rained for about 2-3 days and the boys couldn't play outside. Here's their comments:


The sky is very cloudy and Mason says: "Why is the sky that color? Why does it look like that? I've never seen it look like that."


As Jalen opens the blinds to see another rainy, wet day he says in a gruff deep voice, "It's wet outside again! That's not fair!" (and then stomps up the stairs)


Thank goodness we only see rainy wet days maybe 5-10 days out of the year!
Here's the boys with our neighbor Cooper enjoying riding bikes outside

Run Away

Recently, after I had left for work, Alan got a call from our friend and neighbor Jeff Lundt at 6:30 A.M. asking if we were missing anyone. To Alan's knowledge, all our kids were home, but his answer to the question was, "I don't know, am I missing somebody?"


Jeff's response, "Yes, I have Jalen here all dressed with his cowboy boots and jacket ready to play with Braydon. The only problem is that Braydon is fast asleep (still snoring according to Jalen as Jeff let Jalen peek in to see him).


Yes, we have a runaway on our hands! I don't know which is more surprising, that Jalen could make it around the block and find Braydon's house all on his own, or that Alan had no idea that Jalen had gone out the front door and was gone that long without realizing it. We're definately keeping a tighter reign on him to avoid those run aways situations in the future!
Here is Jalen with one of his best buddies, Braydon Lundt

October 3, 2008

Lights, Sirens, & Action!



Jalen woke up to find presents on the table, and the kitchen decorated with balloons and streamers. He was so excited! It was finally his birthday! He was anxiously awaiting the day that he could tell people he was "three now, not 2 and a half anymore!"





Jalen was thrilled to discover a new green tractor with a bucket (his request like Grandpa's at the farm), and construction equipment from Nanna.






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Jalen got the best card from Grandma Cox. He liked it as much as any of his presents.

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What handsome boys!
Jalen is very interested in big trucks now, including fire engines. For the last couple of weeks, he has stated he wants to be a fire truck for Halloween. So for his birthday party, we took a tour of the fire station in our neighborhood. The kids all had a great time.




Here are the kids all inside the cab of the firetruck. They were excited to see the many gadgets and experience somewhat of a "ride" in the truck.






The firemen were so good with the kids. They talked about fire safety, fun facts about their job, and showed them their entire fire-fighting gear. The kids were very much entertained!







Cameron Lloyd took quite a liking to the fireman. She walked right over and sat down on his lap!






One of the best parts were the handouts...the kids all got firehats, stickers and activity coloring books.





Here's all the kids: Brecken, Ryder, Mason, Kade, Cody, Brayden, Ethan, Jalen, Cooper and Cameron.




We contined the party...of course we couldn't leave out presents, cake and ice cream!























Jalen was SOO excited about his cake. The night before his party, he kept sneaking out of bed to come and watch me decorate it. He said he just wanted to watch, but what he Really wanted, was to snitch the candy and lick the frosting. I didn't have the heart to be stern and keep him in bed because afterall, he was the birthday boy!





A very proud boy with his Fire Truck birthday cake!



















I had so much fun spending your special day with you! Your excitment of the party, presents, and simple happiness you find from spending time with your friends and family is so rewarding for me. Our family adores and loves you. We are so grateful you are in our family! Happy 3rd Birthday Jalen. I love you!

xoxoxo

Mom


October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Jalen!

We were so excited to welcome Jalen into the world, especially because his dad was able to be apart of it! Because Alan was living in Arizona and the kids and I were still in Utah, the fear of the baby coming without Alan was always on my mind. So we were so grateful Jalen came when he did. It was a Friday night, during the biggest high school football game of the season…Manti Templars vs Gunnison Bulldogs. There is a history of rivalry between these two schools and because Alan was a Templar and I was a Bulldog, the competitiveness continues! The nurses at the Gunnison hospital made sure that Jalen's first beanie was a royal blue, instilling Bulldog spirit from the very beginning!

I can’t believe Jalen is 3 years old! Time has gone by way too fast and at the same time, so much has changed….we lived with my parents in Utah while Alan lived in Arizona; Madelyn was only 3 years old; Mason still had a bottle; I was finishing up my last semester of nursing school; and Jalen was only 3 months old when we moved to Surprise. It seems crazy how much life has changed in such a short time!

Jalen is such a joy in our family. He has always been so easy going, full of personality, and very entertaining. He loves tools, trucks, tractors, his cowboy boots and gun. Here's a quick look at the past 3 years with Jalen apart of our lives....



Very proud mommy and daddy








Very excited big sister and brother








Jalen was a beautiful baby, dark hair and round face. He was a good baby, until bedtime...that was another story. He didn't like to sleep at night. I got up every night, multiple times for the first year of his life!












Daddy enjoying some precious time







I miss his long curls!




Jalen and his cousin Katelyn are only two months apart






Jalen absolutely loves dogs...I tried to talk Alan into giving one for his birthday this year, but we disagree on one thing. He only wants a BIG dog, I would prefer a little one, especially because we have a tiny yard and it would end up inside. Maybe next year!

















Enjoying the snow and trying to get around in it...kinda hard when there's so many layers









Jalen loves his Nanna!








Just couldn't wait another minute








Jalen and one of his best buddies, Brayden













Jalen found the goodies
















Jalen celebrating his 2nd birthday











Jalen LOVES tools, especially the real deal!





Funny boy




Happy Birthay Jalen! We love you!!