Sunday, December 4, 2011

WI to UT

Hello! Yes, I have been a little MIA, but that's because my time is very full of my highest priorities: family-time, time with hubby, building my Mary Kay business, transitioning to our new home, and more family-time!

But here are a few pictures from our last few weeks in WI.
(and then some after we got back to UT)

We visited Riverside Park a few times while we lived in WI, and this last time we stopped and admired the International Gardens. Lovely!

Another awesome park we frequented was Lake Park, across the Mississippi in Winona, MN. All summer, the parks and rec dept had free rentals for canoes and kayaks. The first time we took the kids, they were excited... until they realized they had to go on the water! Screams, whining, and tears. But then the promise of ice cream got us out!! Everyone had such a fun time, and yes, we ended the night with ice cream cones.

Some of our good friends asked us to puppy-sit for them while they went to the Dells for the day. WE WERE IN HEAVEN!!! This cute puppy is a teddy-bear breed, and his name was Teddy. He was so snuggly, and all of the kids (and me and Dan) fell in love with him! It was hard to give him back.

Josh and Jack (and even Layla) made some VERY good friends. I have told so many people that the kids and I were truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful mom-kid playgroup. I made some great friends who defined unconditional support and caring, and they made our stay in WI a great experience.

And there was no way we were going to leave WI without going apple-picking!! I'm just sorry we didn't stay long enough to see all the different apples ripen so we could go again and again!

We were happy to have our recently-returned (from a mission) uncle Thomas come to visit us. Even though at his point we were in boxes, we still had a good time.

This was in the back of the orchard where no one was watching...

... and SO WAS THIS!!

I don't even know how many we ate just while trying to fill out little bag, but oh those apples were amazing!!

Layla was almost 2 when she had her first haircut. (just like Josh was)

Dang, this girl was calm!! Lucky me!

And the other member of our family that changed while we were in WI was our 4-Runner! After the odometer changed to 200,000 miles, it was time for a face-lift. It was perfect timing to park next to this blue one so we could get a really great before and after picture!!
Awesome job Dan!


Just what every girl needs: pink cars and jewelry!! Yep, I'm raising another MK consultant!

Seriously, this kid melts my heart!

This is a very rarely captured moment - all 3 kiddos smiling and looking at the camera at the same time!

"Happy Halloween!"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A while ago...

(I used to blog more... HA!)

... Josh played T-Ball!

Seriously, the most handsome kid ever!

A little last-minute coaching.

And a little more...

Swing batter, S-WING!!

... heading towards 1st.

Going Home!

(Josh is the only little guy with a purple cap)

And to include the other 2 kids in our house, I had to include this one of Jack. I love it because it looks as though all of those amazing trees are going to pop through the window and grab Jack!! That sounds morbid now that I typed it all out.

And this beautiful girl.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why I am proud to Be

a "Goates"

I know I am also a Montague, and that also makes me so proud. But I feel the need to highlight my siblings and their amazing spouses.
(and then my own kiddos, because I am not me without them!)

Ben, Amanda, and Owen Goates
(and baby #2 due in March)

Ben and Amanda moved to Ohio a few years ago, following the promptings they felt from the Lord: no job, no school prospects... Just faith that they were doing what was right. Since then, Ben started a job he enjoys, Owen joined their family, and Amanda has been able to use her amazing degree in speech pathology while being an AMAZING mommy!
Ben just graduated from Ohio State University with his MBA!!!
Talk about following the Lord's plan and being blessed.

Jason & Jacey Goates
(aka J&J, when I mention them in emails or texts!)

It is true that one spouse cannot follow a dream without TOTAL and complete support from the other. This is exactly what has been going on with these 2 in UT. Jacey (with her mom) just successfully opened THEIR OWN dance studio!! Jacey is a wonderful dancer and instructor and loves what she does. What better way to follow your heart than to just do it full time?!
J&J, our family loves you so much and we are so excited to come and see your new studio. We are so proud of your hard, hard, physically-draining work.

Jamie and Ryan (below) and Grace Turner
(baby #2 due in Feb)

So Jamie and I are 7 years apart. This was not so conducive for a close relationship when we were younger, but has made for a really special one now that we are "adults!" Jamie is considered our entire family's in-house photographer, so when she and hubby moved to NV our dinners and other activities were much less captured. She is very talented! Jamie is also a VERY patient woman, wife, and mother. She is a med-student's wife to a guy who gets crazy-high scores. Enough said!
Below is hubby, Ryan. He is not only an excellent student, but is admired for the high standards he holds himself to. At the same time as all of this greatness (!), he is the nicest guy ever, as well as the cutest dad!

(beware of cheezy picture below)

Elder Thomas Goates
(in Argentina for 10 more days)

There is nothing bad I have EVER been able to say, or even find about Tom. We all love him, miss him, pray for him, and talk about his return all the time!! Thomas is 10 years younger than me, but I have always looked up to him for his steadfastness in his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and his love for the scriptures. We will are excited, and feel spoiled to get to have him all to ourselves for a few days in Sep!!


This little girl of mine is a mini-me in so many ways! Her crazy love for mischief with her brothers drives us nuts, but defines who she is: fun, silly, smart, brave, cuddly, independent, adventurous, loyal. I am proud to be her mama.
Holy cow, she is just so dang cute!!


This sweet boy of mine has done so much growing this year. Think about it - he's been in WI for 1/4 of his entire life!! Jack has this sweetness about him that makes me fall in love with him every day. He is so content with who he is at such a young age, which I know comes from a deep maturity he has inherited from his dad. He can play with the group one minute, then be just as happy doing his own imagining the next.
I just love him.


Some days I can't believe the strength my oldest child has. He has already had to learn life lessons at 5 1/2 that I didn't face until I was a few years older. I am able to have very mature, specific teaching moments with Josh, and then he RETAINS every piece of information. He has high standards for himself, though I doubt he can put them in to words yet: keeps the Sabbath Day holy (by saying 'no' to Sunday bday parties), uses appropriate language (when peers do not), enjoys being able to put aside tithing when he earns money.
I am confident in sending him off to school because I know he knows what is right.

I am blessed to be not just surrounded, but RELATED to all of these amazing individuals.
(sibs and in-laws)

**I realize that there are some people missing: my parents & hubby.**
To them I say that I love you as well.
Mom and Dad - you taught me to want to excel, be true to myself, and to hold family close.
Dan - you are my other half, and there is just too much to say in one blog post.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Jack Turns 4!


Really, it's pretty rare I capture this huge Jack-smile! But who wouldn't be grinning surrounded by all these gifts, cake, and family.
(including Gramma and Grampa Goates - visiting from UT)

Jack said he wanted a "red cake." So we all enjoyed a red velvet b-day cake in his honor. What mature taste for a 4-year-old!

Checking out all angles...

... got... to... get... the... last... 2... candles...

Good job, buddy! I hope your wish comes true.

It was hard to capture all the gift-opening, since it went fast and Josh was trying to do it for Jack. (as usual)
Hmm, why would Jack be opening a new helmet...

For his NEW BIKE!!!!

What a fun birthday celebration with you, Jack!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fun on the Fourth

We began our 4th of July early with a breakfast at our ward. My kiddos were patient to wait for their pancakes, but after that was done, they were off!

I love that Josh is just in to "themes" as I am, so of course, we were all wearing the colors of the day!

BTW, this little girl of mine has charmed almost the entire ward! I have a new person each week tell me how much they would LOVE to babysit her! (brothers too, but she's doing all the PR work)

It's rare to get all 5 of us in the same shot!
(so rare, that Jack just had to cover his face just to be consistent!)

Red Rover!

Duck, Duck, Goose
(Josh is the only boy in his Primary class, and the girls LOVE him!)

But today, Josh got to chase Kate all over the field!

Then he was chased by another classmate, Callie!
(popular boy)

The Hmong-speaking Elders!!
Elder T, from Hawaii (and there is no way I can type his entire name), won the cherry pit spitting contest with a distance of 42.5 feet! The hats were for pure entertainment, so I had to capture it!

Jack had an 'I'm too cool for my bike" moment and refused to smile.

The decorating of the bikes were the highlight of our weekend! I figured I owed them all the frills since I rarely, if ever, decorate the inside of our house for holidays.

Then we were lucky enough to spend our evening with the Davis family. Josh and Jack hit it off with their daughter, Maddie, immediately after they moved to WI one month after us! And their other daughter Sydney can even say "Layla" so we know they are good buddies.

The Kid Table
Hot Dogs, watermelon, juice boxes, chips, cookies!
Totally All-American Kids

This was the last we saw of Jack! He was NOT a fan of the fireworks. And when I say fireworks, I mean the ones we usually refer to as the "illegal" ones! They are very legal, and very popular here in WI. Jack spent his evening inside with the toys... and the babies had gone to bed as well.

The Men
Both of these guys were a little gun-shy, since we are so used to worrying about the cops busting us!

Josh and Maddie

Then the crazy wired-kid stuff started...

We looked over after we heard Josh saying, "Jack, just lay down here so I can jump over you."
Jack dodged the bullet this time!

We had a really great time with this family!

Holidays are so much better when they are full of people, laughing, and fun!