Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where has the time gone?

As we begin December I find myself, as usual, behind on everything and wondering where all my time is going?
Madeline turned 9 years old in November. We had a fun birthday lunch celebration and she had a great day. Favorite gifts include: a CTR ring from Grandparents, a mini Rebecca doll from Grandparents, and her bitty baby dolls got a visit to the hospital and came back just like new! Madeline is a wonderful girl who is in such a growth spurt it's frustrating for me to try to keep her in clothes that fit! Shoes, pants, dresses that all fit 2 months ago and still have A LOT of wear left in them are TOO SMALL! WHAT? I know Savanna and Emma will get some wear out of them but it will be years before that happens. Oh well. Madeline's greatest challenge continues to be controlling her anger and staying at a good even pace. We sure love her.

Clark is now one year old. We had a little party for Clark as well that was great fun. He loves to eat and went right at the cake and was extremely messy just like a one year old should be! He is adorable and we are all smitten with him. He is ridiculously attached to his mother which can sometimes make her crazy but hey, we have been through a lot together so I understand. I think.

Thanksgiving was fun, packed with family and many activities including dinner, christmas tree cutting, games, a movie and football. My mom put on this wonderful dinner for 30 people or something like that. It was all delicious! My dad set up the go-go gadget table which extended out into two rooms, it was great!

We all had fun hunting for the perfect trees this year and the kids loved being in the mountains.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday and I have really tried to keep it with me. Yet I find that one day I have this huge list of things I am thankful for and the next all of those things are masked by the screaming children and the realities of my daily life. Sad to admit, but true indeed. This sunday listening to the First Presidency Christmas devotional I found myself being described and realized that too often I have life all coordinated and working and don't always stop to feel it. Good reminders.
After Thanksgiving we were on to the School broadway music show and piano recital. We made it through all of that in flying colors and now await the return of any temperature above zero. Seriously. I feel like I am in Rexburg ID again in the dead of winter and it's NOT very fun! This makes the carpool pickup line at the school take over an hour. There are no words for how that makes me feel. yea.
On the bright side, Apple Computers has heard my plea for help with a constantly crashing computer and will be shipping me a replacement soon. So all my photos of above mentioned performances will have to wait the arrival of the new computer. I hope I can smoothly get all info off my backup hard drive and find any other photos I may have lost in recent crashes and get them all restored to the new computer. Whew! I just know I will love it when all this is over.
Stay warm, snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy December!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Emily + Photography = LOVE (still, yes, always!)

I LOVE this cute Emma face!!!!

We have coached and watched our fair share of soccer games (Christian is a little superstar!)

I finally got the computer working again (don't ask!!!) enough to upload my 4GB camera card from the past few months. I have millions of other things I should be doing but I love looking through these photos and it has brought me to say 2 things:
1. I LOVE photographs! I am so thankful that we have the ability to capture these moments. I love love love love love it!
2. We are a fun family! We have done a lot of fun things together these past few months. I am thankful for these activities and hope my children have fond memories and that they bring us together as a family. For family night we worked on our family mission statement and came up with something simple that we can all remember:

We are Children Of God. We are a Loving Family. We are happy as we Choose the Right.

We picked 48 bags of veggies and canned, dehydrated and
blanched and froze all of them!

OH and if you come to visit us you simply MUST go to the Cheyenne
Mountain Zoo and feed the giraffe's. Its an awesome experience. We love the entire zoo so much we bought a membership. I'm a big fan!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween, Snow storms and confessions

It is amazing that the kids were able to go trick or treating since the four days previous to
 Halloween it was snowing like crazy and we had school cancelled three days in a row!

  Saturday morning it was really sunny and everyone around the neighborhood made a huge effort to get the sidewalks clear so the kids could have their fun!   It was great and challenging to have the kids home for snow days.  There was entirely too much fighting going on.  Now I know why when we asked my Dad what he wanted for holiday and birthday gifts he would always say
 "Love and Harmony".  We hated hearing that answer, and yet it is so true!  We did clean up the basement and the garage and the kids were great about helping but we also did our fair share of laying around in pajamas, sledding, watching movies ( Kurt and I watched Miss Potter and I LOVED it) and drinking hot cocoa.  
Our Pumpkins looked great after we carved them, yet did not fare well in the snow storm so by Halloween night we had a few "Flat Stanley" pumpkins!  Thats what 2 feet of snow will do I guess!
So in case you cannot see from the photos the costumes this year are as follows:
Madeline - Belle winter princess
Savanna - Reniassance Princess
Christian - member of SWAT team
Emma - Snow White (The MOST amazing costume you have ever seen, sewed by her sweet Great Aunt Sue)
Clark - turtle

The snow white dress is such a beautiful and beloved addition to Emma's wardrobe already, she insists on wearing it almost daily for any activity - she "needed" to have her costume on to color in her coloring book!  
   Emma is completely adorable, and quite a silly, honestly hazardous girl to have around! 
The other day I was making dinner and she just got up and walked out the front door - I went after her and asked her where she was going (because I have learned that if I do not follow her she ends up two houses down happy as can be playing in their yard.  all by herself.)  She said "well, I just need some fresh air."  
Emma, you are two.  Silly.  Silly.  Ok, three in February, but seriously, fresh air?
 Another funny statement: driving the kids to school and she looks over and sees snow on the windshield of a car parked in the parking lot 
"Mom, I want to go over there and lick my tongue on that car to eat the snow."
She has a great vocabulary, I am sure that comes with having older siblings, and she expresses herself very clearly, it cracks me up!  
Clark has become completely mobile and is enjoying himself all over the house.

I know the lighting is funny in this photo, but I love natural light.  And pulling out every tissue in a box is a thrill every child should enjoy at least once, right?

Well here is it 8 days into November already and its moving too quickly for me.  I love this time of year, love it right on through New Years Day.  And this year I want to savor and enjoy each day and do wonderful things with my children and have great meals and decorate my house and visit friends and..... so many pretty pictures in my mind which will never come to pass.  And who ever said it's the thought that counts?  NOT TRUE!  Two new traditions for us this year, a Gratitude Poster and the Thanksgiving Penny Project, thanks to my sister and her brilliant ideas you can see it at her blog
If I knew how to make that link into a word it would just say 'here' but since I have no idea how to do that there you have it.  
The gratitude poster is simply a poster board up in the house for us all to write things we are thankful for and blessings we enjoy every day.  So the plan is that the entire poster is completely covered with expressions of thanks by turkey day!  This year many of my siblings are coming to stay at my parent's house for the holiday so we get to see them!  Very exciting.  We get to meet two new cousins, Lexi and Brinley.  Huge blessings right there! 

ok, well, not that anyone really wants to hear it but maybe it will make me feel better if I do get it out, a few confessions: 

a few weeks ago, I paid someone to come help me clean my house (gasp!)  I know.  I am still in shock myself.  All I can say is that is by far the nicest thing I have done for myself in years.  The best $70 I have spent in a LONG TIME.  I know, that is still a lot of money, but there is no way I could have recovered this place without help.  It was wonderful, I was scurrying around putting things away, throwing things out ( you can only do this successfully while the kids are at school and when the garbage collector is coming immediately)  doing laundry, straightening toys, putting away clothing that kids have grown out of, and so on.  While I was frantically doing all of that work, two very sweet women were scrubbing the house from top to bottom - windows, blinds, baseboards, banisters, all of those things I never get to.  It felt truly luxurious to me.  I hope I can do that a few times a year to help me start fresh.  And since they left I have noticed all of us making greater efforts to keep things looking more tidy, which is super! 

I think I may sincerely be addicted to
I have found the greatest bargains on overstocks for my kids to be geared up and warm in the snow and soft pajamas, nightgowns, shoes, you name it.  I'm hooked!  I LOVE great quality products at fabulous prices.   But for now I NEED to stop looking there.  OK.  that feels better.

I have learned that you should ALWAYS have your children in for an allergy check BEFORE you take said children to pick out a kitten for a birthday gift.  Let me assure you, waiting until you are about to bring the kitten home and THEN having Savanna have a huge allergy attack, waiting a few days to get into an allergist, only to find out that she has the highest allergy possible to all furry creatures, is the worst possible way to do it.  why do I do these things to myself?  well the real confession is that I am secretly THRILLED that I am now justified in never having a pet.  Isn't that terrible?  The kids are crushed, and inside I'm doing back flips of joy! 

ok. .  I'm sure that is enough.  But so much happens every day and if I don't write it down here, where?  like the primary program in church today - SO sweet, I am so proud of Madeline, Savanna and Christian for having their parts memorized and learning all of those new songs with such sweet words.  It made me weep.  Especially "and when I am a mom or dad, so glad, I'll help my family remember  God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be.  This is how he shares his love, for the family is of God."  
if you have not heard this song, you must.