Tuesday, December 7, 2010

6 Months Old

Today Baby Kate went in for her 6-month wellchild check-up. Besides a few tears from shots, everything went well.

One my my favorite things about going to the dr. with my new babies is to find out how they are growing. So, for the record:

Kate's weight is 18.6 ounces; 85th percentile.

Her height is at the 90th percentile.

So far, she's a very chubby but proportionate little thing.

Then I find out that her head is. . . .totally and completely OFF the charts. If the percentiles kept going, it would put her around the 140th percentile.

Wow! We've got a BIG noggined little girl.

I remember as a new and young mother, being a little bothered and offended when people would mention that our second baby, Mason, had a huge head, even though it was VERY true. Then there was Andersen, with yet another HUGE head.

I've since lost my sensitivity-and it's a good thing. John and I just have big headed children.

All the more to love, I guess. And lots more room for big brains too.

Sweet Kate!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Homemade Turkey Trot

Mesa holds a 10K Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving morning. Three years ago, I and a few inlaws wanted to run in the race but were opposed to paying the registration fee, didn't want to deal with the crowds and parking, and weren't sure what to do with our children while we ran the race.

So John and I decided to hold our own LeSueur Turkey Trot. The race started at our home and jogged through a few parks, around a nice lake, and back home through different neighborhoods. Double joggers, bikes, and scooters were all allowed. It turned out so fun, we decided to make it a Thanksgiving tradition.

This past Thanksgiving marked our third LeSueur Turkey Trot. We had close to 40 people race, including a special guest, Mr. Turkey (my super awesome brother Neil). If the turkey beat any of the runners, then they got "gobbled".

Good times, good company, good memories, and great exercise!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The month of November is and has always been my favorite month of the year.

As a child, it was the favorite because it is my birthday month. But now, turning one year older isn't such a big deal anymore. November is still my favorite though. I love the cooler evenings and mornings it brings with it (living in the heat of AZ, we're still in shorts and tee shirts on Halloween. . . ), the beautiful winter lawns, the orange trees finally showing their fruit, and sweatshirts.

I also like November because it's one of the few holidays that haven't lost it's true meaning through commercialism. Christmas is flooded with themes of Santa and gifts instead of the birth of Christ, Easter is filled with baskets and bunnies instead of thoughts of the Resurrection. But Thanksgiving is about being with families, remembering that first meal years ago, and just being thankful.

My favorite part of November though is that it tends to bring a general change in attitude, an excitement and anticipation for the holidays, and an overall love and appreciation for my family and friends. November has always brought me an increased sense of gratitude.

Here's a few quotes from Pres. Monson in last month's General Conference:

  • Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God's love.
  • A prayerful life is the key to possessing gratitude.
  • Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place.
  • Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don't get around to it. Some one has said that 'feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.'

The last quote has been on my mind since General Conference, and probably because I'm one of those who feel like I have a grateful heart--I 'intend' to say thank-you but don't get around to doing it. . . Especially to those who deserve it most, like my children and husband.

My goal for this next year of my life is to not only be grateful, but to EXPRESS my gratefulness. Because that's truly how to have an attitude of gratitude.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No More Size 4

After a few months of him begging to wear big-boy underwear, I finally felt "ready" to do the job. With two days and a bit of motivation, Buster is a big boy now! You might ask, what was the motivation?

We tried candy, soda pop, stickers, etc. . . But what did the trick was Woodie underwear. The funny thing is, he is determined to wear it backwards so he can see the picture. Who cares how it fits, right?

It's nice to be back to just one in diapers!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mason is The Man

Yesterday morning I came home from my run to find Mason in the kitchen with an apron on. He had pulled out the recipe book, had mixed up pancake batter, and was in the process of setting the table, getting out the syrup, and cooking the pancakes on the griddle.

Mason is one of our early birds in the morning, and he seems to enjoy being in the kitchen. What a great combination! I think I'll teach him to make scrambled eggs next, then french toast, and oatmeal. . . .

And in the meantime, I'll enjoy a few more zzzzzzz's. Mase-you're awesome!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Break--California Trip

I love when the kids are home and all to myself.

Because the baby was born right when the kids got out of school last year, I didn't get to enjoy the kids during the summer like I usually do because of having a newborn. So Fall Break was especially enjoyable for me. Being on a modified year-round schedule, we had 2.5 weeks off. And it was filled with fun! I'm not quite ready to send them back to school.

We started with a wonderful weekend of General Conference. Loved every minute of it! http://new.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2010/10?lang=eng It seems like the older I get, the more I enjoy and look forward to each Conference. I can't wait to get my hands on the printed version!

Monday we found ourselves on Hunnington Beach and had everything needed for the perfect California beach day--everything but the sun. It was cold, cloudy and rainy. But the kids still played with the waves and sand. We learned that although you can't control the weather, you CAN control your attitude. And we had tons of fun! That evening we had a bonfire on the beach with my roommate and her family and loved staying at the Watkins Hotel.

Tuesday was Disneyland. When the rain started coming down, we considered buying ponchos. But for our family to buy ponchos with the "Disneyland" logo on them, it would have cost over $50. So we all got soked except for baby Kate. John found a clean garbage bag on a janitorial cart. We ripped it in half and hung it over the stroller to keep Kate warm and dry. It worked wonders! I never thought I'd find myself nursing on the Finding Nemo ride. Awesome.

Wednesday we said goodbyes to the Watkins and drove to Sea World in San Diego. Super fun and perfect weather! Andersen especially loved chanting "Sham-Poo, Sham-Poo" (Shamu), then getting splashed.

Thursday we visited the San Diego Zoo. Fun for all ages. John thought their advertisement was well fitting: "Come visit the San Diego Zoo and let your wild ones meet ours." My favorites were the hippos and the panda bears. John couldn't get enough of the gorillas. And the kids loved it all.

Friday we were back in the heat at home. A few favorite memories:

  • teaching manners at a restaurant-with all 6.

  • listening to the five oldest giggle themselves to bed in our hotel room. We used the couch bed and two fold-out beds to create a massive bed that covered almost the entire room. Lots of steam rollers and jumping from one mattress to the next. They all got along so well and had so much fun together-it did my heart good.

  • getting numerous looks and comments on Kate's cheeks. They almost hang lower than her chin. After seeing the elephants and comparing thighs, Abby has started calling her "my little elephant". Well suited.

  • Andersen, telling us that he needed to use the restroom and throwing a fit when we told him to do his business in his diaper. It's time to potty-train. Anyone for hire?

  • going with EmmaClaire to get pictures with Disney princesses. "Mom, was she the REAL princess Belle, or was she just wearing a dress-up?" How do you answer that without crushing the dreams of a girly 4-year-old?
  • Visiting with one of my favorite girlfriends. She and I were roommates in college. With almost 14 years since then, we picked up where left off and didn't skip a beat. It was a joy to see her beautiful home, darling children, and what a wonderful mother and wife she is. Love her!
  • Eating peanut M&M's before and after every meal. . . don't need to go into detail there.

I'll post pictures soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Day Later. . .

For most people, this is gross, but for John's medically-minded siblings, it will look "very interesting."

Needless to say, John couldn't fit a dress shoe on this morning and called in a 'sick day'.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


A pot of boiling water spilled onto John's foot today. I don't think I've EVER heard him cry out in pain like I did today. The closest he got to swearing, though, was "CUSS!"
Talk about pain!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Perfect Summer Vacation. . .

. . . Equals great weather, a beautiful and relaxing environment, super yummy food, fun activities, and good company. We enjoyed a week at the cabin with my parents and siblings. Visiting, swimming, eating, reading, snuggling, horse riding, visiting, biking, hiking, more visiting, playing games, fishing, exercising, more visiting. . . Life couldn't get any better than that!

Me and my dad on top of GreensPeak. He has always been, and continues to be a wonderful father, friend, and counselor.
EmmaClaire loved finding different wild flowers around the cabin. Because of lots of rain and snow this past Spring and Winter, the mountains were green and beautiful. And lots of wild flowers for EmmaClaire. She was in heaven!

Abby and her cousin are inseperable. They get along so well, and I'm glad they have each other!

Family picture (without the baby) on a hike.

Mountain biking on the country roads and trails. Super fun!

Uncle Sam and Uncle Spencer are pretty fun!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More pics from the cabin

Andersen loved swinging on the swings and playing with cousins.

Abby, getting ready for a trail ride.

Andersen, snuggling with Grandma and listening to a story at bedtime.

Hiking with baby Kate.

Happy Birthday Taylor!

He turned 11 today. John and I shared the story of his enterance into this world with the kids this morning. His life is proof to me that miracles happen and that the Lord is in total control. Taylor is our "miracle baby." I love being his mom.

At school today, Taylor's teacher video taped him being sung to. Check out the link:


**Make sure the volume is up.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

She's a growing girl!

Kate is growing each day. At her 8-week dr. apointment, she weighed in at 12.5 lbs and measured around the 85th percentile. She is smiling more, starting to coo, and sleeping for longer periods through the night--which means I'm getting a little more shut-eye too. As long as I stay away from anything DAIRY, she's a pretty sweet and happy baby.

Love the rubber-band wrists!

Smiling with Grandma

EmmaClaire asks almost daily to fix baby sister's hair. She came into the family room the other day with hairspray, a brush, comb, spray bottle, and lots of hair acceries. Kate was a good sport, and EmmaClaire was in girly heaven.
Kate received a beautiful baby blessing by her father this past Sunday. Here's a few pictures of Kate in her baby blessing dress, which her Grandma bought for her in the Domican Republic.

Kate was named after her grandma, Kathleen. I hope baby Kate grows up to model after her Grandma-so kind, cheerful, musically talented, generous, consecrated, thoughtful, creative, and everything that is good.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Few Funnies

Andersen came into the office with his lightsaber. John was at the computer. With lots of drama, he pulled out the lightsaber and wacked John on the back. No response. So he did it again, this time with more enthusiasm and more drama. No response. John kept typing, deep in thought.

After a few more tries, each time getting more dramatic, Andersen said, "Dad, say OUCH!"

So John imitated Andersen's tone and yelled, "OUCH".

Andersen said, "No, not now. Yell 'ouch' when I hit you on the back"

John said, "OK". So Andersen pulled out his lightsaber again and wacked him on the back. John immediately yelled, "ouch".

Andersen said, "yea dad. You did it! You're awesome."

Then he walked away, satisfied with the response. John and I both cracked up!
I was sitting down on the couch nursing the baby and saw EmmaClaire climbing up on the counter with a pair of scissors in her hand. "What are you doing?" I asked.

EmmaClaire- I'm doing Hop Scotch

Me-What did you say? No, what are you doing up there?

EmmaClaire-I'm doing Hop Scotch

Me-No really. Why are you sitting on the counter with scissors?

EmmaClaire, this time yelling-HOP SCOTCH

Me-can you put the scissors down and "hop scotch" down from the counter?

EmmaClaire-No, I need the scissors to do hop scotch

So after finishing nursing the baby, I got up and went over to see what she was really doing. She picked up a Box Top that she had cut out of a cereal box and said, "see Mom, I'm doing hop scotch." Oh, of course! Hop scotch, box tops-it's all the same.

I love 4-year-olds!

A Night to Remember

Last night was pretty comical:

11 PM-I finally got the baby to sleep and hit the sack shortly thereafter.

12:30 AM-Andersen starts crying from his crib. He's freezing with no covers, he has snot all over his face, and wants a drink. I get him a drink, wipe his nose, cover him up, and go back to sleep.

1:13 AM-Abby comes into our bed in tears and tells me she can't sleep because of scary dreams. I calm the nerves, wipe away the tears, give hugs and a drink, and tuck her back into bed.

2:27 AM-Andersen comes to our bed (he must have climbed out of his crib) saying there were spiders and snakes in his bed, and he doesn't like the scary dreams. I carry him back to bed, turn on the light to show that the snakes and spiders have all gone home, give him a drink, and tuck him back in.

3:16-Baby wakes up to be fed, diaper changed, burped, and put back to bed. Takes about 45 minutes.

4:32 AM-Mason comes into my room and says he's been having scary dreams and can't sleep. By this time, I'm ready to laugh out loud. I give him a hug, tell him to say a prayer and climb back into bed.

5:18 AM-Andersen comes back into our room, scared again of the dream about the snake and spider. I tell him to wake up dad. So John puts him in bed with us, which means I don't sleep at all. But I try.

5:57 AM-Baby wakes up again to get fed. This time she gets the hick-ups that don't go away. The sun is up, and the kids are getting up for school, and my day is starting.

I'm starting to think something is in the water that causes scary dreams, or was it the stir fry we had for dinner last night?

Someday, when I'm sleeping a good 8 hours each night I'll look back on this night with fondness. Or was it a scary dream I was having that lasted the entire night?

John worked from home this morning until after lunch so I could sleep. He's awesome!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Yesterday was kind of a crazy day. I found myself doing the following, all at the same time:

helping a child practice the piano who didn't want anything to do with the piano, nursing a newborn, changing a toddler's diaper on the floor right next to the piano, helping a 5th grader do his first school project and calming his "stress" nerves, dealing with a 4-year-old who was having a meltdown on the kitchen floor, stirring the soup for dinner on the stove, and monitoring the cookies in the oven.

This all happened within about 2 minutes, and the rest of the afternoon was pretty much one thing after another: a new bottle of ranch dressing spilled all over the floor as Andersen tried to drink it, a glass bowl broke, another glass jar broke, nail polish spilled on the new wood table, which lead to more meltdowns from the 4-year-old, throw-up from the baby, screaming and chasing around the kitchen island that lead to children slipping on the water that was leaking out of the freezer door, another dislocated elbow from the toddler, a blow-out diaper from the baby.

All living on about 5 hours of sleep for the past new nights. Which means my patience is limited, to say the least.

And I thought college was busy.

Why do we women put ourselves through that craziness?

I found myself thinking of yesterday early this morning at 4 AM while tending to the new baby. Now it seems totally humorous! What a crazy day, and I'm glad these types of days are not all that often.

For me, the only reason that keeps me going as a mother is LOVE. Love for my children, love for my Heavenly Father who has trusted me with his children, love for my husband who has helped bring these children, and feelings of love from my Heavenly Father which provides me confidence in my abilities-as limited as they are. He will somehow make up the difference.

Here's a great quote from President Hinckley, a past prophet of my church (see http://www.mormon.org/). "You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out. It will not be the money you have made. It will not be the cars you have owned. It will not be the large house in which you live. The searing question that will cross your mind again and again will be, How well have my children done?"

So I keep going, always waking up each day with a renewed desire to do my best at this mothering thing, to love these children the way I know I should, and to lead them in truth. Hopefully some day, as I sit in my rocking chair with gray hair, I'll look back with fondness on these busy mothering years.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ice Cream, Ice Cream--We all Scream for. . .

Oh wait--I can't have any!

After a few weeks of dealing with a very fussy and uncomfortable baby, we found out that baby Kate has a milk allergy.

Which means--no dairy products for the mama cow. No ice cream, butter, cheese, yoguart, milk, sour cream, cream cheese, and anything else that might taste good. (That might not sound too tough, but think of all the foods that have these ingredients: pizza, pasta with white sauce or cheese, muffins, cookies, a lot of breads, pancakes. . . just to name a few).

But within a few days of changing my diet, I noticed a more content and comfortable baby. So I guess my sacrifice is paying off. Although last weekend at a family party, passing up the homemade ice cream was REALLY TOUGH! Talk about will power. I guess, maybe this excess baby weight will fall off sooner than later. . .

My neighbor is an awesome photographer and took a few newborn pics of Kate. Click on the link to the right to view her first photo shoot. You'll need to enter our email address. (If you don't know it, mention it in a comment and I'll send it to you).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pictures of Baby Kate

Snug as a bug in a rug.
The kids made these flowers and brought them to the hospital when Kate was born.

I thought this was sweet. Usually, John brings me flowers when a new baby comes, but this time he delivered them to his new daughter, Kate.

Just minutes after birth. She's already the apple of his eye.

A Few More Pics of Kate

This picture doesn't quite get the double chin, but it picks up her full upper lip and big cheeks.
These two girls are IN LOVE!!! I never have to worry about Kate not getting enough attention, and there's always someone to hold her when I'm busy doing other things.

Check out this hair! So far, she wins the record in the LeSueur family for the most locks.

Abby is a great helper with Kate. She's learned how to change diapers, wrap them up the right way, and burp her. And the nice thing is, she BEGS for it too--even the diaper part. Love it!

I think the hospital couches need to be a little bigger and longer. We're all kind of cramped. . . how are we going to all fit when #7 comes along? :) John's already dreaming. . .

Monday, June 7, 2010

She's Here!!!

Kathleen (a.k.a. "Baby Kate") joined our family this past week. The labor and delivery was longer than our average, but uneventful just the same. (Details upon request.)
7 lbs, 13 ounces and 20 inches long, she came with big cheeks (more like jowls), a perfectly shaped head, full lips, a full head of dark hair, and a sweet temperament. We're all in love with this new wonder. More pictures to follow.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eight Days and Counting. . .

I saw my Doctor this morning and had an ultrasound done to measure the size of the baby. With Taylor at almost 6 lbs (at 34 weeks gestation), Mason close to 9 lbs., and Andersen almost 10 lbs a week early, my dr. thought it might be a good idea to take the baby a little early. But this one's a girl, and my girls have both been in the mid 7 lbs. range.

The ultrasound showed that with 2.5 weeks to go, this little girl was already measuring 8 lbs. and 3 ounces. Plenty big already! So my dr. scheduled me for an induction (been induced every time; this one will be no different) next Thursday morning.

I didn't want it on Wednesday because that's the last day of school for my kids, and he didn't want it on Friday or any time after that because he's the head cook at girls camp. Talk about convenience!

So unless something crazy happens before then, we'll celebrate a new birthday and add to our numbers on Thursday. We're all looking forward to it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spring Piano Recital

My three oldest children performed yesterday at their piano recital.

Taylor played "Canon in D" by Pachelbel. Mason played Strauss's "Also Sprach Zathustra", and Abigail played "Aire on the G String" by Bach. All versions were simplified, of course.
Their piano teacher sent all the students home with a CD of all the origional classics that were played in simplified form by the students. My kids have listened to that CD over and over since. I'm glad they enjoy classical music like I do.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's been 12 Years

John and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this past week. Looking back, it was probably the least "celebrated" anniversary we've had yet, but still a great day in my eyes. He woke up before the birds, showered and got into a suit and tie, then took the young men and young women on a 3 hour trip to the Gila Valley Temple Open House and was gone most of the day.

I got up with him, packed him lunch, then whispered "happy anniversary". His response was, "Oh yea, it's today". Then he was gone.

With the house still quiet and kids still asleep, I climbed back into bed and the tears started falling. Not tears of frustration or sadness, but happy tears, tears of gratitude and complete peace. Gratitude for what a wonderful man he is and has always been to me, gratitude that he loves his family and he loves the Lord. And peace in the reality of our eternal relationship. Not just "till death do you part", but he's mine forever. And I know he shares the same feelings for me.

I couldn't be happier!

Upon his return that late afternoon, we celebrated our family's 12th birthday with a party. Our party started at the bowling alley with pizza for dinner. Then we returned to our house, sang "happy birthday to Us", and told each other why we loved our family. John and I expressed a few memories of our wedding day-the birth day of our family, and of the eternal significance of our relationship.

Then we opened presents. Can't celebrate a birthday without presents! Each of the kids opened up a bottle of snow cone syrup, then they all helped open a new snow cone machine. Perfect with the hot summer months upon us. Of course the kids were excited, and we had to try it out. Instead of cake and ice cream, we had snow cones for our birthday treat.

It made for a wonderful day. These past 12 years have brought lots of growth (almost 6 children), fun times, and of course challenges along the way. But I wouldn't trade them for the world!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Abigail!!!

Birthdays are fun, especially when the party planning starts months ahead of time. The excitement and anticipation grows as the birthday chain gets shorter and shorter each day.

Abby had a hard time going to sleep the night before her birthday, the excitement was killing her! She wrote out a cute list of things she expected on her special day--party with friends, family party in the morning, German pancakes for breakfast, lunch with dad at school, ice cream sandwiches for school class treats, no jobs for a whole day. . . the list went on and on.

So, naturally John and I felt the pressure to live up to her expectations and make her day the best ever.

I think we succeeded. At the end of the day as we were getting ready for bed, she mentioned that "this was the best day ever".

John and I enjoyed lunch with her at school. After school she spent a lot of time riding her new bike (and loved the freedom of having NO jobs or homework after school-what a life!). Then that evening three friends came over for a small party. They made their own pizzas, played a few games, decorated personalized mugs, and had strawberry cupcakes. It made for a fun and easy party.

I'll never forget the first impressions I had of Abby when she was born. Her birth was by far the easiest and shortest of all our children. As I held her in my arms for the first time, I felt like we knew each other well and had been best friends somewhere else, before this life.

As she has grown up, I have always enjoyed her company. When she was three years old, I remember feeling like she was one of my good friends, not just a child that I mothered. She was John's "sweet girl" from day one and holds a dear spot in his heart. We couldn't imagine our lives without her!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another Award

Taylor won another contest, this time with a drawing. The City of Chandler held a contest for all elementary students to draw a poster displaying some kind of conservation for Earth Day. The winning posters will be displayed throughout the city on garbage and recycle trucks, posters in grocery stores, city calendars, etc. . .

The number of students who entered the contest were 1003. There were 19 winners. Taylor was recognized at a City Council meeting this past week for his work.

This was his entry. "Keep Clutter out of the Gutter"

Taylor is standing next to his school teacher, Mrs. Powers, and Chandler Mayor, Boyd Dunn.

Sharing is Caring

Andersen and cousin Ashley can both hold their own and occasionally get into fights. But much more frequently, they get into mischief together. By their mothers, they are termed, "Partners in Crime".

But most of the time, they are great friends and love playing together.

Andersen, sharing a chocolate covered marshmellow with his cousin.

Ashley takes a bite, then shares some more with Andersen.

Now, lots of affection. Kissing cousins!

His New Love

I never thought anything would take the place of balls in Andersen's life. But books have become his new love.

He regularly has a backpack on full of books.

Any time anyone sits on our couch, he brings a book and snuggles up next to them, ready for a story.

And he also does another funny thing with books-he regularly (like three times a day) lines up the books with corners touching. Sometimes it's a straight line, other times it's in the form of the letter 'T' or 'L'. One day the books lined up from the front door to the back door, all corners touching perfectly.
Gotta love that mess!

The Toothless Grin

We just wish it was Christmas time so she could sing, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. . .".

General Conference

John and I enjoyed a few days in Salt Lake City for General Conference, which happens ever six months. We loved listening and learning from the leaders of our church and especially enjoyed spending some time with my parents and a few siblings. Taylor and Mason are old enough and mature enough, so we took them along with us. The long drive to Utah provided a convenient opportunity for us to have intimate and fun conversations with our boys without the distractions of the younger ones. It was a very rewarding trip!