Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Letter

I'm doing the ultimate in lazy Chirstmas cards this year. I am blogging it. I figure those who care what happened to us this last year will bother to get on our blog, and those who don't, I won't have wasted a stamp on. Win-win.

Steve has been very busy this year. He put the finishing touches on my new mud room this last summer and I LOVE IT! I finally have the laundry/sewing/mud/storage area of my dreams. Then he started on the basement. Right now the entire back half of the basement has been demo-ed and cleaned out. We have chalked out the new walls to make two new bedrooms and a bathroom. Now to get the piping and electrical in place. Yea!!!

Stevie started first grade this year in the French immersion program. He learns half his subjects in English, then switches classes and learns the rest in French. I'm amazed at how he understands so much already. Speaking it is coming slowly, but that is not uncommon. They usually learn to understand first. He has also been busy losing teeth, playing the Wii and he recently started reading Harry Potter all by himself.

Riley has started Kindergarten so she is gone every day now for half a day. She is loving it. She has blossomed into a little social butterfly and is a teachers pet. Who knew. She finally has taken an interest in reading and has just exploded. At the start of Kindergarten she couldn't identify all her letters and now she reads everything in sight. I guess it was just a matter of wanting to do it. She has also lost a few teeth and has been traumetized by it. The funny thing was that when she went to get her Kindergarten shots, she just watched them without flinching or making a sound. It was nothing. But those darn loose teeth really weird her out.

Natalie is just as cute as ever. She has been relatively healthy, although we have learned that normal sick kids are a walk in the park and will never complain about it again. We have also started to mingle with the diabetic community this year. In September we did Step Out for a Cure as a family and raised money for the ADA. We also have started attending the many JDRF activities they have for each holiday. Natalie started preschool and she is loved by all, of course. She loves her teachers and enjoys playing with kids her age.

We also had a nice young couple move into the basement of the house behind us where our kids go play. One day Natalie came home saying the girld had given her a diabetes popsicle. Turns out she is also diabetic. It has been nice for Natalie to have a friend in the ward and neigborhood to relate to. She calls her her diabetes friend.

Emma is getting cuter every day. She is into everything and is talking up a storm. Whenever someone enters the room she says "Hello (enter appropriate name)". She can say everyone's name perfectly except for Stevie which comes out as "Weebie". She spends her days following around her siblings trying her best to play with them. She thinks she's people. Whenever any music with a beat is on, she starts dancing around like a bouncy ball. Look out So You Think You Can Dance!

I have had a very ordinary but busy year. Lots of driving kids to school, friends houses, and parties. It's a constant zoo here with friends and family always around. However, I'm sure the zoo is cleaner.
So we tried to get nice pictures of the kids for you and here's what we ended up with.

I don't like this!!!

Someone didn't get their nap today

Still tired

Not again!!! (note Riley's frustration)

A real Kodak moment

Close enough

Merry Christmas to all and may your New Year be better than the last.
The Niederhausers

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks

I just want bare my thanksimony to everyone in our lives right now. We have been challenged and blessed equally (well, almost equally) in the past few months and there have been numerous people that have helped us out.

Thank you to those of you who have prayed for our sanity. The fact that we haven't fallen to pieces is proof that those prayers have been answered. There has been laughter and hope in our home which is just what we needed. Thanks Jeanne!

Thank you to Liz and Steve who have been there to support us emotionally, to boost up our spirits and give us comfort and lots of laughs.
Thank you so much to my parents who were right there offering their assistance in any scenerio that might arise. We really appreciate all you do for us.

Thank you to our many friends who have offered their help with all the little everyday things that make our lives easier bit by bit.

Thank you to my Savior who is watching over us all and is aware of our concerns, needs, and knows how big they appear to us now. He is willing to shoulder our tiny burdens that seem so overwhelming to us and help us focus on the bigger picture. What a great time of year we have to celebrate His coming to this earth and putting the Plan of Salvation into motion.

And finally, thank you to Emilie for starting a wonderful tradition in our family this Thanksgiving of making gingerbread houses!!! I have to show the 3 that are still at my house (was anyone else going to take one home?). They all turned out so cute!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Art and Astronomy

A month or so ago, I had a woman approach me who had seen a landscape I had painted for my mother-in-law's preschool classroom. She asked if I would be willing to paint a mural for her.

Sure, why not.

I haven't figured out how to splice my pictures yet to make one giant one, so go on this journey with me, if you will.

Obama side.
Center (although the color is really strange in this picture for some reason).

Limbaugh side.

Castle close up (do you like me dragon?)

Little Mermaid cameo


More fairies
Princess with unicorns

In case you couldn't tell, this is for a little girls play room.

If you were wondering about the horizontal line through the middle, she wanted it painted on paper (the big stuff on rolls) but that was too tall for the laminator so I had to put a fold down the middle so she can cut it, laminate it, and reattach it.

The whole thing is about 3' x 6' and was a blast to do. Those of you who are overly trained in art, please do not comment on my multiple light sources, I already know about those mistakes. I'm just happy at how my first painting came out.

On a completely different note, did anyone else see the meteor last night?

Steve woke me up just after midnight asking if I had seen the bright flash of light outside. Unfortunately I had gone to sleep only minutes earlier. He was so confused by what could have done it. He said it was so bright that it looked like midday outside for a second or two. I was too tired to wonder much about it right then, but this morning it was all over the news. I guess an oven sized meteor entered the atmosphere and put on quite the show.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eve of All Hallows

Twas the eve of all hallows and the air was a humming,
for most little children knew what was forthcoming.

From early that morning when mom woke us up,
the hot, healthy breakfast said something was up

Instead of nice jeans and clean shirt (what a bother),
mom clothed us as fairies and young Harry Potter.

But it didn't end there, when we got to the school,
this dressing up strangely was apparently the rule

They marched us here and marched us there,
with every silly parent there just to stare.

When back in the classroom there arose such a murmur,
a hushed story of candy, it had to be rumor.

I sprang from my seat to get first in line,
and wouldn't you know it, the sugar was mine!

When school got out later, we still wanted more,
so we went to the place of my grandmother's store.

And there it continued, this carb counting nightmare,
with stores shoveling out chocolate to each mini frightmare.

By then the kids were getting sick of the walk,
and it was only mid afternoon, not yet 4 o'clock.

So back to the house, to hold back the herd,
of little mouths eating their weight in blue nerds.

No, we did not realize it was all just beginning,
that hoards of more candy was there for the winning.

All we had to do to complete this huge task,
was walk a few blocks (was that too much to ask?)

Now those of you who know my family too well,
will know that his walk would be a hard sell.

Half a block into this torturous assignment
was whining and complaining, without any enjoyment.

No matter the cost of the cold, windy night,
we plowed on to get our deserv-ed delights.

Snickers and Kit Kats, suckers and gum,
Starbursts and Gummy Bears, never more FUN!!

Now it is over and I'm glad it's through.
Good night to you all, I'm gonna go SPEW!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Party On

We survived another birthday party with 12 boys and Ellie running loose around the house. Here's just a few memorable moments.

Stevie and Ellie racing to eat donuts.

Present vultures.

Hallelujah! The cake survived until the family party.

Cute kid with cute cake. Wait for it...

Wait for it...


Friday, October 23, 2009


So I had a friend call me up a week or two ago and she wanted a Yoda cake for her son's birthday but didn't know how to go about it. If she'd contacted me a bit earlier than 2 days before the event, I would have tried to come up with a way to do 3D. As it turned out, we only had time to do this one, but I thought it turned out really fun. I did make her do most of the frosting and she even drew Yoda (she's an artist so I didn't dare draw anything for her) but I helped walk her through it and it was a success!

This one I have been planning a bit longer. I thought for sure it was within my realm of possibility but wasn't sure how it would go until it was finished. I had so much fun playing with the fondant that I'm sure it will be my new favorite medium. Now to see if it can stand until Sunday night.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What The Hell

Do you ever get the feeling that someone has taken you and all those you care about and thrown you into a giant toilet ... and then flushed it?

At first you think, this isn't so bad, it's just like a big swirling swimming pool that's a bit stinky. It's only a little wet and kinda dizzying. Then after a while it gets a bit rougher and the jostling becomes much more severe. Now your soaking and getting quite uncomfortable. Before you know it, you and everyone you care for, are swirling uncontrollably towards a putrid black hole that has no way out and leads to a vast dark abyss of nothingness.

I think some famous author described hell in a similar fashion. I prefer the toilet analogy, it's apt.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Baby Mozart

The best part is how she stops to turn the pages.
These pictures reminded me of one of my favorite movie quotes. 10 points to the person who can identify it (see side quote).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baby Elephant Walk

Today was the big day! The Step Out for Diabetes Walk. We were able to raise $320 for diabetes research. Thanks again to all of you who donated on Natty's behalf. A special thank you to Morgan Reynolds and Sallee Matthews who put together the video that touched so many people.

We meant to do the walk as a family but Steve had to referee a lacrosse tournament, so it was me and the kids, grandma and grandpa, and Sara Jane. The course was 2 miles from This is the Place to the Hogle Zoo. Stevie was a trooper. He walked the entire way with no complaint. Riley was in the stroller most of the time with many complaints. Natalie was everywhere keeping people happy. And even Emma insisted on walking a good part of the way.

We are already looking forward to next year. We are going to do the JDRF (Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation) walk next time. Those of you who wanted to participate this year but were unable, I'll keep you posted so we can get started earlier and do more fundraising.

The walk ended at the Zoo and all walkers had free admission. Yea! The zoo has a lot of new additions, not the least of which is a baby elephant. Aaaaawww. It was adorable! It was so cute walking around like one of the big guys, only in miniture. This was the best picture I could get. Just look at the cute legs!

They also had a new baby pachyderm, giraffe, and tiger cubs (no picture, sorry).

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Birthday and Hallelujah!

This has been a crazy couple of weeks. We had 3 kids start school and two birthdays. I'm exhausted.

Stevie started school first 2 weeks ago. He is in first grade and is in a French dual emmersion program. So half his day he learns in English and then he switches to a teacher who is only allowed to speak in French. It's so bizarre but he doesn't seem to mind. Some of the kids in his class are really frustrated and come home from school crying, but Stevie doens't seem to care. He's a real easy going kid. When you ask how he likes it he just says "I don't understand a freakin' word she says!" So supposedly by Christmas they should start speaking small phrases themselves. We'll see.

Then Riley started kindergarten the next Monday. This was very exciting for everyone. She has been looking forward to this all summer. I dropped her off in front of the school and she lined up with everyone else and waved goodbye. No tears. No trauma. She was so prepared to have her own class to go to and meet new friends. Riley has really come a long way from hiding in the closet the first time we took her to preschool. She's such a big girl now! We love you Riley!!!

Then there's Natalie. Thursday of the same week, Natalie started preschool. This was the hardest for us. Not only am I handing over my little Natalie 3 afternoons a week, but I am trusting them to handle her diabetes. This was nerve racking. Especially when the first day she came in from recess and tested in the 50's. It's going to be an adjustment but we'll get used to it. I take great comfort in the fact that grandma is right there to test her and give shots as needed. Thanks Liz!

So If you add that all up, it equals 3 afternoons a week with just Emma (the champion napper) at home. 3 hours of peace. Quiet. Nap. Sewing. Exercise. What ever I can think of. Your ideas are most welcome. I'm sure I'll run out soon.

Then we had birthdays. Steve got what he's been asking for since the day we got married...a truck. It's old and crappy but it may as well have been gold plated for all he cared. We can now pull up to home depot with pride, purpose, and pleasure.

Natalie's birthday was just after Steve's and only 100 times bigger. We had a fun bbq with family and friends and opened a billion presents. We now officially have enough toys in the house to open a daycare. A special thanks to grammy for the cute night gown. I think Riley was more excited than Natalie to have someone to match her.

I also made her birthday cake of course. I have again strayed from "tradition" and made a more traditioanl looking cake. I'm trying to practice my fondant skills in preparation for an R2-D2 cake Stevie wants for his birthday. Stay tuned for that headache. Natalie said she wanted a cake with doggies, kitties, froggies, and duckies, so here's my interpretation of that.

By the way, Thanks to those of you who contributed to the Step Out for Daiabetes. There are only 3 weeks left so if you are still thinking about it, we have a long way to go to reach our goal of a cure for Natalie. Please see my last posting for details about helping out there.

GO BYU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They just beat Oklahoma, ranked #3, 14-13!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's all folks!!

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