Sunday, November 2, 2014


Atlas Max Wells Muhlestein

Carrier of Greatness

Atlas was born about midway through the month and I am now posting it up.  He has been a great baby and has already shown much difference in personality from his siblings.  Lexi loves to bring him toys and Nicholas is proud to announce that he now has a brother, something Lexi has had that he didn't.

Atlas isn't a family name, but it is one that we liked.  His name Max is after Maren's grandfather who recently passed away.  Our interpretation is that Atlas means "carrier" and Max means highest, greatest, greatness etc. (as in "maximum") and so together and as a name means "carrier of greatness".  We hope that he able to live up to his name, but if he turns out to look like this rendition of an ancient mythological Atlas, that would be pretty fancy too.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Saint Nicholas and the dragon.

Nicholas has a fascination with weapons and is always wanting to battle.  Here he is fighting his dragon.

Admittedly, pairing him with a dragon was inspired by one of my all time favorite statues, Saint George (who fought the dragon) by Donatello.  Seeing the statue in real life was one of those jaw drop moments for me and I still want to go stare at it again some day.  (I recognize using the Saint title does make it kind of sound like Santa Claus meets Malefecent.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Nicholas enjoys being outside occasionally, but Lexi thrives on the outdoors.  She tries to live as much of her life in the backyard as she is able to manage.  We decided that she needed a slide and after stalking KSL for a while and seeing how quickly the affordable playground equipment goes we decided to just build our own.  This is phase one.  I am considering adding another level/section or changing some of the bracing on it, but so far it has been fun for the kids and Lexi is able to get up and down by herself.  My design philosophy was to keep it simple, so I other than the 4x4s I used the exact same length of 2x4 exclusively (a standard 92" stud cut in half.)  The diagonal bar is a spare 2x4 I had in the garage.  So far it is stable and I plan to stake it to the ground to make it a little less likely to tip.

Nicholas says: I really like my slide.  Lexi can climb up the slide with me.  My favorite part is the slide.  We like that it has a bucket so you can lift stuff up.

Lexi says: I am excited to be a big sister. (We are expecting our third child in October.)

I like that I caught Nicholas in mid air.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools

I fed the kids chocolate pudding with crushed up Oreos on top and a gummy worm.  This is their reaction.  Both the kids eventually ended up loving the gummy worms, but neither of them ate the "dirt." 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Little Highlights from the Week

I have been really good about documenting our life in a couple of Shutterfly books, but I have been bad about keeping up with the blog.  Here are a few highlights from this week.  

Sometimes I try to be an awesome Mom. Sometimes this backfires.  Nicholas and I made pancakes Monday morning while Lexi slept in a little.  I made the pancakes look like bunnies and Easter eggs.  Lexi was excited until she realized that the bunny needed to be cut up.  It was devastating news delivered too early in the morning.  She couldn't handle the idea.

On Thursday, we had a great time at Discovery Gateway.  The kids loved the little scientist class on wind.  The teacher let them throw glitter, leaves, streamers, etc. into the fan to see what would happen.  They even got kites at the end of the class.  After Discovery Gateway, we stopped at Costco for lunch and some shopping.  Lexi refused to have her hot dog cut up and managed to eat half of it this way.  

My little inventor.  He made this creation out of the components of ladder ball.

We had a great trip to the zoo Saturday morning with my parents.  The kids were more excited for the slide and the little boat at the zoo than the animals.  Then we went to a McDonald's that had a play place.  My kids stayed there for three hours playing.  After this crazy day of fun, Lexi came home and put her pillow and blanket on the couch.  She then proceeded to put herself down for a nap.  WOW!

The best news of all is that for the next 4 weeks Joseph is on an easy rotation!!  He is excited to spend some time with the family and actually got to go to church with us today.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Goblin Valley

I had a couple of slower weeks recently which gave us evenings and weekends together as a family.  We decided to take advantage of a free Saturday and drove about 4 hours to Goblin Valley State Park.  It is a very cool place which is a great area for small kids.  The "goblins" are cool rock formations which the kids can climb on and are lots of fun.  It is actually a really small area but when you get down inside the valley, it feels like it goes on forever.  We were worried it was going to be freezing, but the weather was in the forties and clear and was just about perfect.  We all got nice and dirty (especially Lexi) and had a great time.  Making the trip much better was my brother Jordan, his wife Crystal, and their three children who caravaned with us down there.  We had fun putting cousins together in different cars, listening to the Frozen soundtrack, and catching up on how life has been for them.  It also made for lots of fun cousins pictures.

Lexi was in heaven (until she got tired, then she was done)

I also had fun making photospheres of the area.  Here is a link to one (if it works):

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ten of My Favorite Memories from this December

1.  Nicholas told jokes for his talent at the Wells Christmas Eve Party.  He did a great job wearing his Santa hat and his slinky eyes.  We had practiced two jokes, but he choose to go with his own material.  His jokes went something like this: "What do you get when you cross a girl, a shoe, a clock, and a piano?....A clockgoshoe!!!"

2.  The kids loved dressing up like wise men during the Wells family nativity.  Lexi especially loved all the sparkly things she got to wear.  For the Muhlestein nativity they were very uncooperative but cute sheep.

3.  We went to Frozen on Christmas Eve morning as a family.  It was fabulous!  The kids loved it, but Nicholas thought the Ice Monster was too scary.

4.  Lexi got 4 pairs of shoes for Christmas and loved them all.  Nicholas also got a pair of boots.  True Texas children!

5.  We made lots of Christmas cookies.  Nicholas loved the dough much better than the cookies.  We dropped them off at neighbors and took lots to the Christmas Eve Party.  Nicholas called himself the "Cookie Dough Monster" and told me, "I just can't help it!  I'm so attracted to the dough."

6.  Jack, our Christmas elf, came and visited for the month of December.  He stayed out of reach most of the month, but did get touched by Lexi one time and had to get magic sent from the North Pole.  Nicholas really wanted her to get coal as punishment.  In this picture, Nicholas is saying goodbye to Jack.

7.  I was in charge of the decorations for the ward party.  It was a lot of work and worry.  I ended up wrapping every small box in our house and using them as centerpieces.  The kids had fun unwrapping them later.  Nicholas went up on stage with the Primary children to sing and ended up playing in the curtains.  Got to love him anyway.

8.  We ate Pat's BBQ for Christmas Eve dinner at the Muhlesteins.

9.  I got a lot of emergency supplies, food storage, and laminating pouches for Christmas.  Joseph got a ladder and a circular saw.  Lexi got princess things, Minnie Mouse things, shoes, and a doll.  Nicholas got a headlight, bike, flashlight, boots, new iPad games, and angry bird stuff.

10.  Joseph is currently working the night shift so he made it to most Christmas events, but kept falling asleep.  He is the best.  We postponed our family Christmas until the evening because Joseph wouldn't make it home in time to open the gifts.  Nicholas was okay with that because we promised him all the iPad time he wanted on Christmas morning and new games to keep him busy.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 Christmas Card

We love you all and wish you a