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The Skinners

Updated: 2017-09-20T04:52:14.072-07:00


Why, Hello There!


its been six months...six months!?!  
i hardly remember how to do this anymore and it looks like blogger up and changed everything on me. 

some of what you've missed: 
we spent Christmas in az/ut
dan and i celebrated our 8th anniversary
he turned 31
madison turned five 
dan spent a week in alabama 
(we might be moving there next year!)
and part of another in chicago
madison finished preschool
we attended the kansas city temple open house
i ran walked a half marathon
the girls started gymnastics
we joined a pool
they started swimming lessons
and i've become a shuttle service :)

as for jake... he's learned to sit up, crawl, stand, and almost walk. he had his first haircut, survived his introduction to peanut butter, and says mama and dada.  this week we turned his car seat facing forward. he's practically all grown up now.  

these last 6 months have raced by and it makes me nervous the next 12 will too.  i wish our time here in columbia could go on forever...

 **next up - most embarrassing moments

iPhone Snippets


if i stop blogging about the present to write about the past, i'll always be playing catch up.  so, here's a little something current.LOVE this picture!Christmas pjs from grandma skinner (thank you!)have i mentioned i trained for a 5K the last two months?yep, the jingle bell dash.  last saturday.  between a cough, the rain, and being wimp - i didn't run it.BUT, i ran four miles today, in the snow, and that's a record for me. my santa socks and elf skirt are put away for next year.  jake is madi's mini-me with darker coloring.sidenote:  we were decorating the tree and madi kept asking for more "hookers". i reminded her that ornaments hang on hooks, not hookers. then, in her prayer that night she said, "please bless my eye brows and eye lashes, all the stripes, the dresser, and all the hookers." :)learning to sit up is still on our To Do list but we're getting close...outing to twin lakes - boys.  so dang cute.Christmas skirts (made by grandma!) and madison saying cheese, or what? :)the mauling dan is greeted with when he gets home from work.we are well-  racing between responsibilities and perfecting the art of tag teamingloving the bits and pieces of time we spend together here and therelaughing at the hilarious and adorable children we havecounting our many blessingsand enjoying this Christmas season.[...]

Yard (March/April 2011)


last spring, we dan spent forever working in the backyard.  he raked bags and bags and bags of leaves, shoveled a pickup full of dirt into our grow boxes, tied up the pampas grass and cut it down with the chain saw, hauled debris away and planted strawberries with the girls.  i love seeing him tackle a project and our backyard had plenty.  he even planted dozens of flowers in our front planter right before jake was born so i wouldn't have to bend my super pregnant body in half to do it myself. 

what can i say - i'm a lucky girl!

ps- the pictures at the bottom? sweatpants, princess shoes, high waters, costume jewelry, and goldfish.  hilarious and adorably unstaged.  so glad i caught those moments of sisterly love.

St. Louis Trip (April 2011)


last spring we had an awesome 36 hour vacation as a family.  one last hurrah before jake joined our family.   i mentioned it here.we:attended the st. louis temple while some friends watched the girls at a nearby chapelexplored forest parktreated ourselves to Ted Drewes - twicestayed at a hotel overlooking the arch and mississippi riverand swam in the pool met up with friends from collegestayed up half the night watching william and kate's royal weddingdinner at zia's at the hill (best italian i've ever had)day at the city museum - the girls LOVED it.  at 35 weeks pregnant i was mostly an observer so dan got quite a workoutwe loved every minute that we spent together and can't wait to do it again!   the girls tried out their cute new swim suits from aunt lindsay.  we forgot a swim diaper :)just looking at these pictures make me claustrophobic.  they climbed in and out of these re-bar tunnels, stories above the ground. so, so pregnant.[...]

Piano (Feb 2011)


what do you get when you combine birthday money from your parents, in-laws, grandparents, and grandparents in-law?  
enough for a piano on craiglist!!  
do i play? 
but i love it.  
so do the girls. :)

Madi Turns 4 (Feb 2011)


madison's 4th birthday party:
preschool friends- hallie, jackson, brylee, cohen, lauren, and parker
pin the the gold coin in the pot under the rainbow
duck, duck, goose
spin the bottle (to choose who gives their present to the birthday girl next :)
and rainbow cake, same as the year before

Lindsay's Visit (Feb 2011)


we LOVE getting visitors!  lindsay came out and we did all our favorites - cosmo park, the carousel at the mall, the MKT trail, and bonkers.  it happened to be madison's birthday and she was a huge help with that too.  we miss you lindsay!

The Blizzard (Feb 2011)


we survived and even enjoyed our first and only blizzard last winter.  we stocked up on food and water, bought a camping stove in case the power went out, and weathered the storm at home.  after it snowed 18 inches or so, Dan's clinic was canceled and we enjoyed time as a family for a couple days.  dan spent hours and hours shoveling our driveway and helped the neighbors afterwards as well.  it was an adventure![...]

Firsts (Feb 2011)


first snowball to the face.first walk in the snow with boots and pants.first snow angel.first time the homemade sleds!and first snowman![...]

Alive and Well


October 2011remember us?  its been a little while - two months!!  excuses and updates are being saved for later (moles, mice, flooding, birthdays, a baby...).  we've been busy.  for now, enjoy our picture perfect fall afternoon a couple weeks ago.  78 degreesme and the kiddos5 minutes from home the MKT trailtwin lakes skipping rocks and bright fall leavesa spur of the moment decision turned into hours of fun.  one of my favorite days as a mom so far.[...]

Can't Get Enough


this kid is addicting.  
cheeks. chub. eyes. smile. and laugh.
i just snuggle and smooch him all day long.
if having kids gets this much more fun every time... 
we might end up with a lot. :)

Girl's Got Spunk


this girl only has one volume and that's loud.
she bounces on two feet like a kangaroo, everywhere she goes.
she knows exactly how to push her sister's buttons and does it often and well.
she'd give anything to go to be a big girl and go to school.
she's feisty, stubborn, full of energy
and pays attention to jake in 7 second intervals.

long enough for a quick hug, kiss, and picture.
works out perfectly.

{jake at 6 weeks or so}

If You Let the Camera Out of Your Sight...


..... you'll later find several pictures similar to this.

or maybe even a cute one like this.

but, if you're lucky, dozens and dozens and dozens will look like this. :)

happy friday! (oops, thursday!)

Three Years and Good Traditions


mark and chris in a field near tremonton, utah - august 22 i talked to my mom sunday night to see what their plans were for the 22nd.  my mom and mark were going to be driving to yellowstone with hannah and chris, one final hurrah for the summer, so they planned to release balloons somewhere along the way - in memory of dallin, val (mark's wife), and my dad.  dan and i agreed it would be the perfect way to include our girls in the day and keep it light and fun for them.  the girls picked out balloons, colored pictures and wrote "letters".  dan and i wrote letters as well.  i peeked at his before rolling it up and was quite touched at the depth and sincerity.  i think i sometimes forget that even though it wasn't his immediate family members that died, he still loves them and misses them like i do.   it was a great reminder - one of the best parts of the day for me.we drove to our favorite park, cosmo, braving the midday heat and humidity.  we found a good spot, snapped a few pictures, counted to three, and let the balloons "float to heaven".  madison asked me earlier in the day if they'd write us back.  that's when your smile holds back the tears.  we told the girls it was a special day to remember their grandpa and uncle since they are in heaven and can't be here.  i'm grateful for the conversations this experience has allowed us to have with the girls.  they know dallin and my dad are not alive but we haven't ever needed to talk about the crash or the airplane or things like that.  we just talk openly about heaven and living with Heavenly Father and Jesus and that we can still be a family, together forever after we die.  they believe it, accept it, and know its true.  i'm grateful for the simple faith of children. we had the missionaries over for dinner which is always a treat.  we really enjoy these particular elders and it felt like a good addition to the day.  did you know we stood up and sang "Called To Serve Him" as the closing song at the funeral?  a beautiful, hard thing that seemed to end the program perfectly.for dessert we had strawberry milkshakes - my dad's favorite.  between the balloon release, missionaries and milkshakes, i think we've founded some pretty good traditions for the day. strawberry milkshake mustache - making grandpa proud    i'm grateful.  really, really grateful.  for a wonderful family and loving, righteous husband.  for the gospel and the answers it provides and the peace that it gives me.  for a plan that enables us to be eternal families and be with those we love forever.  for the examples of hannah, chris, kamber, mark, and my mom.  and for a life, that despite loss and heartache, is still full and makes me happy.Dad and Dallin - I love and miss you.  [...]

It's Hard To Put Into Words


April 23, 2010

it's 2 am, utah time, and i can't sleep.
my dad's suitcase from his mission in paraguay. i can't get it out of my head.  i saw it sitting calmly on a shelf in the storage room of my parent's house tonight as i was looking for something. it triggered thoughts and memories. then again, just being in cedar does that.
we have a full house tonight - mom and mark upstairs, with jacob and natalli {my cousin and his wife} in the guest room. hannah, dan, and the girls and i are taking up the three bedrooms downstairs.  chris's bedroom is set up, ready for him to come home next month.{i know, next month. crazy.} dallin's room looks as it did in high school- his grandees hat still pinned to the bulletin.  you would never guess that kamber and porter lived in these two rooms for almost a year.


April 25, 2010

i sang to madison tonight while tucking her into bed, just as she requested.
"i love to see the temple", "i am a child of God", and "families can be together forever".
perfect for the occasion.
we've been in cedar this weekend and tomorrow we'll make the big trek home.
its been hard.


January 16, 2011

december was a hard month - i was stressed and sick and tired and sad.  i think it first started to creep in during thanksgiving weekend.  i remember waking up that friday morning and saying to my mom, "i just feel kind of ornery today.  i don't know why." it felt like being a moody teenager again. after several weeks i started to realize the why.  i alluded to it here but couldn't ever find a way to put into words exactly what i was feeling.  plus, december is saved for holiday cheer and i was like the grinch trying to disguise myself as an elf.

i miss my dad and brother.  i always will, i know that.  but sometimes the swirling strength of those emotions is overwhelming.  unfortunately it impacted me too much this holiday season.

today is august 21, 2011.  tomorrow marks three years since my dad and brother passed away.  three whole years.  can you believe it? i can't.

i've found it's harder to open up about it now.  not them - i love to talk about dallin and my dad.  but about my feelings and thoughts and how much i still miss them.  its almost as if three years later, i'm surprised at how raw it still feels and that i should keep it to myself.  so i mostly do. 

when i do try and write down what i'm thinking, like i did in the months following the crash, it usually results in unfinished posts, like above.  they get saved away, never to be finished.  but that's ok because there is a time and a place for everything.

i'm ready for tomorrow to come and go.  dan has the day off, madison has her first day of real preschool, grace and i will get some quality bonding time, the missionaries are coming over for dinner, jake fits in there somewhere, and on top of that we have some fun things planned to help make the day special. 

because we have some pretty special people to remember.   



august 2011 - kamber's house

i love, love, love living in columbia but one of just the few hard things is being so far from porter. 
the girls miss their cousin! 
(plus, now there's easton and soon-to-be emerson.)
these three ran, played, fought, shared, and rode the carousel together while we were in AZ.  
it was so fun to see them interact and have fun.  
can't wait till Christmas to get them together again! 

and we did happen to get a normal picture of them all looking happy. 
maybe not smiling and looking at the camera, but close enough. :)

One Happy Mister


when this little guy smiles it pushes up his chubby little cheeks and his whole face lights up.  
i swoon.  seriously.

at almost three months he's in the 70% for height and weight so he's a hefty little dude.
i like 'em that way. 

we are crazy about him.



we are busy. work, callings, and little ones. so, so busy.  several weeks ago, before we left on our wonderful vacation to the west and to our families, i was ready to vent. to the blog or whoever would listen.  i felt maxed out and i know dan did as well. 

thankfully, i caught my breath, found a reserve of energy and pushed on. 

then, just days before leaving town, we were asked to meet with a counselor in the stake presidency. we were anxious.

when i heard him say to dan, "we'd like to call you as 2nd counselor in the new bishopric.", all i felt was peace.  i looked at dan and thought of all his many responsibilities, all the things he's trying to balance, and all the things he'd like to do but doesn't have time for.  yet i knew he would say yes and start serving.

we weren't in town for the announcement or the changes but now we're back and the busyness has started right where it left off.  

the day before his new calling was extended, while he was still serving as elder's quorum president, dan found out at the last minute that a family needed help moving and it was super early in the morning.  i tried my darndest to tell him he shouldn't feel obligated but he went anyway.  i was wrong and i'll admit it.  today a letter came in the mail, from the family he helped move that morning.  

"Dear Brother Skinner,
        We cannot express to you how grateful we are to you for helping us move.  Especially knowing how busy you are between family, work, and your hectic calling, we are deeply humbled by the time you sacrificed to lighten our moving burden!  Thanks again."

i feel so humbled by this whole experience - the family's gratitude, the lesson i learned, and by dan's willingness to serve in any way that's asked of him.  i know that the next two years will be even busier than i could have ever imagined.  but they will be wonderful too.  our family will grow stronger and be blessed because of his service. 

i am grateful for an incredible husband who works and loves and serves with everything that he has.  i love you dan!    

Jake's Arrival


 this guy is getting chunkier by the minute so it's about time i write about the day he was born while he's still "little".a bit of background - my pregnancy with jake was pretty much by the book until about 37 weeks.  i was standing up and saw/felt my belly move every which way and i thought maybe he flipped.  after being checked the next day at my dr appointment and having a quick ultrasound, it was confirmed that he was breech when previous weeks he'd been head down.  this led to a couple days of worry, questions, answers, a second opinion, and various options and risks.  we decided the right thing for us would be to do an external version since we wanted very much to avoid a c-section if at all possible.  we convinced my dr to do it earlier (38 and 3) than his 39 week standard, thinking a smaller baby is easier to flip. everything was scheduled for may 25th.  an external version followed with an immediate induction or c-section. i was stressed and nervous, knowing we'd go into the hospital to have a baby but not how he'd get here.  i felt much more calm after a priesthood blessing and knew everything would be ok, however it happened.  we lined up our babysitters, scheduled visits/help from family, cleaned the house and waited for the day to come.  after a nearly sleepless night we got up bright and early, dropped the girls off, and headed to the hospital.7:30 am - we checked into the hospital8:00 am - quick ultrasound to see if the baby flipped back by himself. no luck.8:30 am - i was given an epidural (it took forever and i was poked so many times. ouch!!) because the version can be quite painful and they want the mother prepped in case there is a need for an emergency c-section.9:00 am - i was given terbutaline as a muscle relaxant for my uterus to reduce the resistance as the dr tried to manipulate the baby.9:15 am - the dr came and externally felt around to find the baby's position, located his head way up at the top, and asked if he was about the same size as my other babies.  i was looking at dan and in the middle of answering when it felt like the air was knocked out of me.  he began to manipulate the baby, pushing and prodding, and before i really knew what was happening, the baby was flipped back into a head down position.  it took less than 30 seconds and everyone in the room was really excited.  i couldn't believe it happened so quickly.  he had two nurses hold the baby in place while they double checked his position via ultrasound.  everything looked good so the dr broke my water right then to start my labor going.  he said i was 4cm but the baby was still high (i was 1 cm the week before so this was a surprise).  at this point i was afraid to get my hopes up, thinking at any moment the baby would flip back around and we'd be back to square one.  i held super still and kept my hands close in case i needed to suddenly hold him in place. :)9:45 am - i was given pitocin to push me into active labor.**during the next four hours: the pitocin kept getting upped and i was really comfortable and hardly feeling anything but the baby's heart rate had some questionable decelerations.  again, in the back of my mind i kept wondering if a c-section was how this whole thing was going to end.  he ended up being fine and we waited and waited for progress to finally be made.2:00 pm - this is when things got interesting.  i was checked and finally at 6cm.  then i noticed it was getting pretty stormy outside.  (on the way to[...]

Newborn No Longer


{boots were a must for madison during the cicada invasion we had.  she wouldn't step outside without them. }
 jake is one month old (yesterday) and starting to get chunky.  
time isn't just flying by anymore, its zooming straight past me.  
i had high hopes for this post but if i try and type more than a few sentences, i fall asleep.
i. am. beyond. exhausted.
other than that, things are great.
so here you have it - a snapshot of our life with little old jake.
one month old and along for the ride.

Father's Day 2011


{june 2009}
today consisted of:
bran muffins, bacon, and oj 
illustrations of our family by madison and grace
a questionnaire about dad
(sample question- what does dad do when he's not with you?  madison's answer - "wishes he could be with me".  so funny!)
a new shuffle
and a new polo - purple w/ stripes, girls' pick
church and meetings
dad's choice for dinner - stroganoff
and skyping with family

dan barely had two minutes to himself today, which is pretty typical around here.  hopefully amid the busy-ness he felt extra appreciated. 

i found these two pictures today.  probably my favorite ones of dan ever.  they capture him perfectly.

i'm grateful for his example, for the way he leads our family, and how he tenderly loves the girls (and jake).  he is an incredible husband and father and i'm so glad he's ours forever.

Happy Father's Day Dan!  We love you!

{june 2009}

Officially Outnumbered


{grandma skinner reading library books with grace and jake}

its been almost three weeks of sweet comments, congratulatory emails, meals brought to our home, thoughtful gifts, and visits from family.  we feel lucky, blessed, and grateful.  not in that order.  the last of our help, dan's mom, left today.  we're on our own and officially outnumbered.

i. am. nervous.

being the mom (and dad) to three little kids is hard work and exhausting.  this evening, dan had his hands full as he bathed the girls and got them ready for bed while they asked for mom every step of the way.  they knew i wasn't available (jake decided he was starving and couldn't wait another minute).  i'm sure we'll have plenty moments of chaos in the future. 

but the small things keep us laughing about this crazy new phase of life for us.

like poor jake peeing all over his own little face before i realized what was happening.
grace bursting into tears as her grandma left today, saying "but she didn't say goodbye to sadie!" (our dog)
or madison asking me, "when your stomach gets smaller, will you still have milk in your two things forever?" :)
and just barely i pulled grace out of madi's bed because they're best friends and wanted to cuddle and sleep together.

i'll take this sleep-deprived, chaotic new chapter of life.  i think it's going to turn out pretty good.

Twelve Days Old


this little boy has stolen all of our hearts.
he gets held, squished and cuddled all day long and none of us seem to get enough of him.

i have lots of pictures and there's so much to write about - tornado sirens and warnings during labor, the art of "tucking it down", the comments from m and g about nursing and changing a boy's diaper, and how this little guy keeps reminding me of my dad and brother.

but for now i am going to be content with one picture. the simple goal of keeping us all dressed and fed is enough to keep me plenty busy.  plus i need plenty of time to snuggle with my sweet girls, husband, and little newborn. 

if only life had a pause button.

Our Baby Boy


meet jacob daniel skinner
born may 25th at 3:45 pm
7 lbs and 19 in

yesterday was quite eventful but we'll save that story for another time.  

for now...
madison is in heaven and "can't believe he is ours forever and ever!"
grace has interest in 30 sec intervals and really wants to help me nurse him.
dan can't help but walk around with a proud look on his face and its adorable when he says, "hey buddy"
and i think little jake has the cutest nose that i've ever seen.

we're all in love with this new little boy over here and
can't wait to head home in the morning - all five of us!



{i have a lot to be thankful for!}we are busy.  i am tired.  and the girls are as cute as ever.  that about sums things up.  but for the sake of posterity, a blog book, and family and friends that still occasionally check in on us, i'll elaborate a little more.-we finished stocking up on water and feel better prepared having a solid two week supply for the four of us.   our three month supply of food is almost replenished (from moving last summer) and i just need to get organized with specific meals and rotating lists.  a huge thank you to dan's parents for contributing to our emergency preparedness supplies for christmas - we're finally putting it to good use!-we got a new hot water heater for christmas, from my mom and mark, and finally listed our old one on craigslist and got rid of it. yay!-we've spent hours and hours doing yard work in the back including raking up 26 huge garbage bags worth of leaves.  next fall we'll stay more on top of things and have much less to do in the spring!  we bought, put together, and filled raised garden beds with top soil and hope to have everything planted by this weekend.  i also have 90+ little vincas and marigolds to plant in various places around the yard.  being 38 weeks pregnant is hindering my excitement to bend over that many times. :) -dan is still serving as the executive secretary while adjusting to the demands of being elders quorum president.  we're all hoping that sooner rather than later he'll be down to just one calling. -madison finished her first year of preschool and loved every minute of it.  this spring she was evaluated by an early childhood educator and qualified to be a peer mentor for title 1 preschool next school year.  she scored 97% and 95% for her behavior/skills and will help kids with special needs.  i am so excited for her and think she will do awesome!-on mother's day, madison sang with all the primary kids up on the stand. for her first time.  i don't think she even noticed there was a chorister because she looked at us the whole time, grinning, in between singing all the words.-grace wants to do everything madison does.  she can't wait to be in primary and preschool.  last week she was invited to stay at school with madison and all the big kids and i don't know if i've ever seen her so happy (except for maybe here). -grace is loving the nice weather and i often find her outside, barefoot in the grass with sadie.  we quickly learned that our side gates needed locks after she ventured into the front yard and let sadie out a few times.  she is our mischief maker and adventurer!  she comes inside sweaty, with rosy cheeks, telling me all about the things she saw and did and has quite a talent for finding lady bugs.-we have really enjoyed spring with all the flowers and blossoms.  we were pleasantly when daffodils popped up in our back yard and tulips in the front.  our hibiscuses are getting bigger everyday and will hopefully bloom soon.  this last week i bought gerber daisies, and a dahlia to plant in pots and planters along with the vincas and marigolds.-dan enjoys watching the show "shark tank" and recently saw a new product he was interested in called the citi kitty.  he purchased it and it should get here any day now.  i told him i get to tease about it as much as i want and then[...]