Friday, December 30, 2011


We're on vacation!  Sort of...We're in North Texas visiting family for Christmas.  Shawn, Jonah, and I are sleeping at my cousins house but spending time at my Aunt's.  My camera is at my aunt's, so no new pictures yet.  

Some fun activities have been going on.  

A Lot of cookies have been consumed. 

Plenty of laughter is filling the house. 

The newest part of our family get-together is babies babies babies.  If we could get all the babies in the same the same time...without crying...I'd post pictures.  There's still more time.  It could happen. 

(Hi Auntie Norma!)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Morning

Thankfully my children value sleep.  Carter and Evan didn't wake up at the crack of dawn.  In fact, after I fed Jonah at 7:45 I decided Shawn should probably get up and start the pot of coffee.  By the time our pot was brewed Carter was up.  He was excited to see some unwrapped gifts under the tree.  

These little puppets were part of the unwrapped group of presents.  What fun they've been so far. 

Here was my little stack.  Carter and Evan each wrapped their own presents to me.  Evan added a little extra embellishment to the paper.  The box from Evan was the new Barnes and Noble Nook.  The gift from Shawn was some perfume I'd been wanting, and the gift from Carter was a pressure cooker.  

Twas The Night Before Christmas...

and all through the house, creatures were stirring leaving crumbs for a little mouse. 

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.  We said "farewell" to our Elf "until next year. Please come back."

With Uncle in his sweats and I in my jeans had just settled in to build a castle with blocks from Great Granny. 

While visions of mommy danced in his head.

Then all of a sudden Uncle Tyler collapsed when a 6 year old Evan jumped right on his back. 

Friday, December 23, 2011


Last saturday morning Carter and Evan had their second basketball game of the season.  Carter's league is made up of first and second grade boys.  Evan plays in the kindergarten league that's both boys and girls.  Evan had to adjust to the idea of playing with girls.

Carter's games are exciting.  They move up and down the court pretty quick with some control over the ball and they sometimes make baskets.  See everyone is moving so quick the picture is blurry. 

A lot of what goes on during Carter's games are four boys simultaneously yelling out the name of the one boy who has the ball.  So if Carter has the ball, the other four players are yelling, "CARTER CARTER CARTER". When the ball is passed to another player everyone starts to yell his name.  

When Evan Has Kids.

Evan:  Mom, when I have a kid and he's a boy I'm going to name him Knuckles. If I have another kid and it's a boy I'll name him Sonic.  Knuckles and Sonic.

Mom: What will you name your baby if it's a girl?

Evan: Um...I'll name her...uh...Mom, let's not talk about this.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

8 Years Ago Things Changed

8 years ago on December 16th my life really changed.  Actually it started changing on December 15th when I went into labor with Carter.  Here's Carter then.

I think Carter was about 7 months old here.  Maybe he's so loud now because I let him play with the drum kit as a baby. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Picture of a Picture of a Picture of a Picture (Did you get that?)

This is Jonah wearing the sailboat outfit that belonged to my younger brother Tyler when he was a baby.  Jonah is laying on the blanket that also belonged to Tyler as a baby. 

This is a picture of Jonah holding a picture of Evan, holding a picture of Carter, holding the original picture of Tyler, in the sailboat outfit on the blanket.  Each of the boys is about 2 months old in the picture.  Each of them fills the sailboat outfit out a little differently.  Evan filled it out the most.  

I must take after my Aunt Norma who admitted to her photography laziness in a particular blog post she wrote recently.  If I wasn't so lazy I'd scan in the original photo of Tyler and each photo taken after that for a line up so you could compare their looks.  I'm not going to do that.  I'd have to locate all the pictures (one of which is at my mom's house, in an album that might crumble if I try and unstick the clear barrier protecting the picture.)  I'd also have to scan them in, upload them to the blog, position's  a whole big thing.  

My excuse is I have a baby.  He's a newborn.  He cries a lot.  My time is limited.  That's also the reason I don't wash or brush my hair most days, wear stretchy pants, and have spit up on my shoulder.   So, for a closer look, click on the picture.  If I have any more boys (don't worry I'm not planning to) Tyler's picture will be microscopic. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

You're probably familiar with this new holiday trend, Elf on the Shelf.  Carter and Evan acquired one on Wednesday evening.  The cute little elf comes with a book that tells the story about how he works.  You have to name him, but as soon as you give him a name you are not allowed to touch him.  If you touch him once he's named he'll lose his magic.  His magic allows him to travel back to the North Pole each night with a report to Santa about how naughty or nice you've been during the day.  Each morning he returns to sit in a new spot in your house, looking, watching, waiting for you to make a wrong move do something nice.  

Carter and Evan named him Chris (short for Christmas) then placed him on the entertainment center.  Last night, after they went to bed, Chris moved all on his own to the ledge above the windows in our living room.  

At 6:30 in the morning Shawn is getting Carter and Evan up for school and I'm usually going back to sleep after feeding this guy.

I asked Shawn later that morning what the kids said about Elf on the Shelf? He informed me they wouldn't shut up about him.  They just went on and on about what happened to him.  I was confused..."What do you mean, what happened to him? I moved him to the ledge above the windows in the living room.  Didn't they see him?"

Shawn informed me that no, they did not see him.  Apparently they thought he disappeared. And after some screaming and yelling Carter admitted that he did in fact touch Chris.  

Evan flipped out! With as much rage as a 6 year old can have Evan screamed,  "CARTER YOU TOUCHED HIM?  YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TOUCH HIM.  HE'S GONE FOREVER AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?" 

Carter knew he had to do something.  He starts pleading with Shawn to Google how they can get Elf on the Shelf back.   It's 6:30 in the morning and Shawn has no clue what's going on.  He's never even heard of Elf on the Shelf.  He has no idea what either of the boys are so worked up over.  (All along I remind you Chris is sitting on the ledge in the living room.)

According to the marketing scheme television show about Elf on the Shelf my mother showed the boys at her house, once he's touched he has to go to a special elf hospital and recover where hopefully he'll regain his magic.  While your elf is in the hospital you can write a letter of apology asking him to please come back and how sorry you are for touching him.  Under the watchful eye of Evan, Carter wrote his letter of apology tonight.   

 Chris, our little Elf on the Shelf is still on the window ledge waiting to be pointed out by Shawn in the morning.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just How Sad Would I Be?

Today while driving around Carter kept asking me if I would be sad if he died.  Would I be able to go on living?  Would I still be able to do favors for people?  This conversation went on and on until I turned the radio up and drowned him out.  Later, while driving around again, he asked if I would be sad if he fell and busted his head open.  I reassured him that I would and he continued to ask questions looking to find out just how sad I'd be.  I finally broke up his questions asking, "Carter, why do you keep asking me if I'd be sad if you died, or if you cracked your head open, or other things of that nature? YES, I'll be sad OK!  The answer will always be YES so STOP ASKING ME THOSE QUESTIONS!"

Carter's response was, "I just wanted to make sure."

He just wanted to make sure I'd be so sad that my life would be difficult to continue living.  I guess he's worried I wouldn't be sad...?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Look who's 2 months old...

Make sure you click on the picture to enlarge it and get a better view of this growing guy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Brotherly Photo Shoot

Now that I've sent out my Christmas cards,  (Hopefully you've all received them by now) I thought I'd share a few more of the pictures from my mini photo shoot on Thanksgiving morning.  The two older boys were so excited to take pictures with Jonah.  They're really sweet with him!

We're kind of ready for Carter to grow into his teeth.

This is the one from the Christmas Card.  When I look at it I see a lot of eyeballs. 

Jonah was in such a good mood that morning.  He usually is every morning actually.

Evan thought this was just about the funniest thing he's ever done.  He would be proud that I'm sharing it in a public forum. 

Evan just might be the best brother!  As Shawn says, "You want Carter to be your lawyer and Evan your Doctor."  He's a natural caregiver. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  The leftovers have been eaten or made into something delicious like turkey pot pie.  I had grand intentions of posting all the things I'm most thankful for this year, like a healthy baby boy named Jonah, funny and smart kids like Carter and Evan, a loving and supportive husband like Shawn, but I just never got around to doing it.   (My list of things to be thankful for could go on and on by the way.  I'm a very blessed person.)  I even have a sticky note on my computer desktop with ideas for posts, one of which being what our menu is for the week.  That's how life has been lately though...we haven't even eaten regular meals.

Even though our lives have been busy and hectic and a whirlwind, Carter and Evan still say the funniest things.  So I'll leave you with this little conversation Carter had with my parents after seeing a commercial for an Active Adult Living Community on television.

Carter: Gran, why don't you live in a retirement home.  You're retired aren't you?
Gran: Well Carter we don't need help yet...
Carter looks at Gran with a very skeptical look.
Gramps: We do live in a retirement home...we're both old and retired and this is our home.
Carter looks convinced.

The funny realization I had after this conversation is that the older I get the younger older people seem, but to Carter my parents seem really old, old enough to need assisted living.

Carter needs to remember though that his "Old" Gramps does silly things like this still.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What's For Dinner

I read this blog every week. I'm a natural meal planner and organizer so when I found this blog I fell in love. Plus, I've won two of her giveaways. It's always fun to win something. Now that I'm adjusting to life with a newborn and two other children I'm back in the kitchen. It makes me feel one step closer to my "old self". So, here's what I'm cooking this week.

Monday: HEB Deli Turkey cranberry salad wraps on whole wheat tortillas. ( I love the Mission brand whole grain tortillas ) with a tomato and feta cheese salad.

Tuesday: Pancetta Leek Pasta & Salad

Wednesday: Broiled Salmon Teriyaki , Cilantro brown rice (maybe I'll post the recipe some time), and steamed green beans.

Thursday: We attend small group at church for a little Bible studyin' and eatin'. We eat every time we're at church it seems.

Friday: Shawn is playing piano for an event located downtown. Carter is going with a friend to Chuckie Cheese to celebrate going up a reading level for their AR program. Evan and I will probably eat some left over soup from the freezer.

Saturday: Hopefully I'll get Shawn to take me out...or all of us out. Or maybe we'll just eat Pizza. The kids have been wanting to watch Captain America in our home theater/garage and eat pizza.

Sunday: ...I can't plan this far in advance...

**Post edit** The pancetta leek pasta was delish. We had zero leftovers. Good thing I wasn't planning on eating it for lunch the next day.

Jonah's 1st Photo Shoot

Sunday, in between crying, pooping, eating, more crying, and a little sleeping my mom and I tried doing a photo shoot with Jonah. He's 4 weeks old, so I feel like these can hardly be called newborn photos, but getting to things of this nature are difficult for me. I wasn't too pleased with most of our pictures, but after editing them to the best of my ability I'm a little happier. Maybe within the next few days I can stage a few more photos and hopefully get something to frame soon. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Sick House

Our house has been the sick house for a few days now. Sunday afternoon Carter started throwing up and within an hour Evan was throwing up too. Jonah and I escaped to my mom and dad's to avoid the plague. When stuff like this happens Shawn immediately goes into pandemic mode. He wears a surgical mask, rubber gloves, and enters a room with two cans of Lysol as his weapon of choice. A neighbor across the street kept giving me updates on how many times Shawn was going outside to wash out trashcans. Poor thing!

I came home at one point, leaving Jonah behind with my parents, to find Carter walking through the house naked looking for more toilet paper. The back view of his sick little body was NOT CUTE! He had made a huge mess in his bed and was worried he would get in trouble. I put on my surgical mask and gloves and stripped the bed. Yuck. I do not do these things well. The whole time I gagged and prayed I wasn't going to get sick.

When I came home Monday night Shawn had come down with a cold and was pitiful in bed. Thankfully there is a twin bed in Jonah's nursery that I've been using the past few nights. Just to be safe I'll probably sleep there again and continue to disinfect light switches, door knobs, sinks, and countertops for a while longer. It's hard to tell if they're still sick or not because both boys are running around like crazy maniacs fact, Carter and Evan are wrestling in the back yard as I type. Thankfully they still have their shirts on.

I don't have a picture of the sick ones for this post. It was too gruesome to share. I do however have the sweetest picture of Carter from a few years back when he was sick. He was chosen to represent his class for a school wide coronation and ended up getting sick sick sick the day of the show. It was too late to get a backup so he had to follow through with his duty. He was so sweet and mild mannered that day. Sometimes I wish he was always just a little sick.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Relay For Life 2011

This past weekend was Relay For Life. I have a strong connection to this event not only because it's fun and raises a lot of money for the American Cancer Society, but because both sides of my family have been touched by cancer. I also have been the Event's co-chair in my community two years in a row. This year, with the birth of Jonah, I had to take a step back when it came time for the actual event. It was hard to let go of the control I like to maintain. (I like control.) The American Cancer Society staff and my other co-chair did a great job picking up the slack that I left when I had Jonah. In my opinion though the event wouldn't have gone as well without my mom and her role on the Relay For Life Committee. I felt like she was a lot of the glue that held the event together and she was a tremendous help! Thanks mom for all your hard work!

My Aunt Helen was there for the...oh, I don't know how many years in a row... She entered Jonah in the costume contest where he placed second.

These guys didn't make it in time for the costume contest because they were eating a hamburger in the food court. In my opinion they would have won for most outgoing. Evan is the Ninja on the left, Carter is the phantom on the right, and Carter's friend is the phantom in the middle.

My mom, my Aunt, and I Relay for their dad, my grandfather, Albert Smith who died of colon cancer over 20 years ago. Luminary bags were given in his honor by all of his daughters and my grandmother.

I also Relay for all the Cancer Survivors who walk the track. Some are surviving for 6 weeks and some are surviving for over 20 years. It's a touching sight to see them all together walking their victory lap.

I love Relay For Life! It's a fun event...even Jonah thought so. But, by about 8:30 we were ready to go home and snuggle together in our big comfy chair.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

First Day of School

Here's a little rewind back to August.

Let me tell you, school couldn't have started early enough for me this year. I was SO happy when they finally went back to school (even though I had a few tearful moments thinking of Evan starting kinder.) OK, it wasn't just a few moments, it was like the whole entire day. I was 7 months pregnant and hormonal. And, he was my baby.

Evan is in Mrs. Hahne's class. She's the same teacher that had Carter two years ago. I actually heard from some of the staff at the primary school that she was excited to have another Cheek boy. I'm not going to lie, she might be a little crazy. Cheek boys are a lot of work. Evan strategically picked out what he was going to wear the night before. He wanted everyone to think he was a "soccer ball player". He's never played an organized soccer game in his life. Anyway...he also decided to style his hair all on his own too. Can you see the bald spot right in front? I guess he thought his hair was getting a little long on top.

Carter is good at the first day of school by this point. He's a second grader, he's in a new school and loves feeling like a big kid. His hair is his strength, power, and pride. I even jumped into the room mom pool this year. We'll see how that goes as the year goes on. So far, I've only had to write a letter asking for money.

(Taking pictures on the first day must be painful.)
They've both survived the first six weeks of school. Carter made all A's and Evan's teacher said he is such a thoughtful and giving kid. Both boys had perfect attendance and don't complain about getting up in the mornings. Evan doesn't like buying his lunch. He says "the food is horrible and they don't even have spinach on the sandwiches."

Monday, October 24, 2011


With a little encouragement from an auntie of mine I've decided to come back and try my hand at sharing again via this blog. We've always got something going on around our house. Sometimes it will be worth sharing and sometimes it may be so shameful that we'll keep it all to ourselves until we're ready to admit it ever happened. (Like the time Carter pooped on the floor and a curious Evan picked it up with his bare hands. Uggh, I shudder at the memory.) Our newest member of the family, Jonah Cheek, was born October 13 at 5:26am.

He was by far the hardest pregnancy, labor, and delivery I've experienced. I want to say it will be the last. I'm like 99.9% sure. The .1% is me not wanting to be that person that says in a snooty voice, "Oh, I'll never have another child...this is it for us." Then find out a year from now that I'm pregnant. Let me assure you though, we do not have plans to add on to this family right now. The house is full. No vacancy at the Inn.

Jonah doesn't have much of a personality yet, unless you count eating, sleeping, and pooping. He does stare off into space occasionally. That's pretty cool, since seeing his eyes are a new thing. The most entertaining thing about Jonah is the things that Carter and Evan say about him, or rather, their observations about babies and how they come to be in this world. This is mostly what you'll see on this blog. Updates on what's going on at the Cheek household and the goofy things Carter and Evan say.

For now, I'll leave you with the first thing Evan wanted to know when he showed up at the hospital to meet his new brother Jonah for the first time.

Evan: So mom, did he come out of your butt or your mouth?
(Carter, sitting next to him horrified at the thought of either option being a possibility, get's up and walks away)
Me: Trying to move past this conversation I say, "It was near the butt".
(Evan is distracted by Jonah, and starts playing with his feet.)
Evan: Wait, (quizzical look) did you say near the butt....

Here's our first family photo. When I asked someone to take it I remember saying, "can you get a picture of the four of us". I had to correct myself when I realized we are no longer a family of four, we're a family of five. Five times the love and five times the fun and maybe sometimes it will be five times the tears. But, if I get and am able to give five times the hugs and kisses it will make up easily for the tears.