Thursday, December 31, 2009

Catching Up

Too many years pass between seeing old friends. We met up in Saint George for breakfast with Eric and Courtney Winters and family. It was so great to see them again and marvel at how kids have grown, how we are still so much the same and how many years ago it was when we were freshman at BYU. Such great times, and bonus, our kids all enjoy one another! Miss you guys!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The day after Christmas we took some much needed r&r and headed south to Saint George. We loved it, probably the most relaxing time we have had in years - no exaggeration! We just hung out and read books, played games, did puzzles, ahhhh, naps .... it was the life.
The boys most favorite part was taking a bath in Grandma and Grandpa's tub. They soaped themselves up and turned on the jets. Miraculously bubbles appeared, a lot of bubbles. They played in those until they were all pruny and shrivelled. The shrieks of laughter were contagious and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dear Santa ...

The boys carefully planned out their treats for Santa this year. They were quite concerned that they didn't know his very favorite cookies so they opted for putting out a smorgasbord of options. They also included this bell that Connor found when we took pictures with Santa. The boys were getting into a bit of a heated discussion on whether the Santa that they had their pictures with was the real Santa or a helper Santa. They just couldn't decide. So when Connor found the bell they devised a plan to find out the truth once and for all. They would leave the bell for Santa and if he took it, then it was obviously the real Santa.
Thank goodness I was privy to their plans. Santa did indeed retrieve his bell and was even kind enough to leave them a note thanking them for returning it to him. It turns out it was one of Rudolph's bells and he had been missing it. Thank heavens it was returned!

Connor was thoughtful in his letter and made sure to let Santa know that Uncle Garyn would be there so to please leave him a few gifts, and thank you for the gifts from last year. He was so concerned with being polite and pleasing Santa that he neglected to ask for anything!
Gage had his brothers help, oddly enough I think there are only a few of those items that Gage actually wanted, the others he was tipped of on by his brothers.

Tate painstakingly wrote several letters to Santa, each one growing larger than the last. In the end he left out all three letters for him to peruse. He even, as an after thought, included a thank you on the last letter. But my favorite line is "I was good this time." Compared to last time?

When he was pleased with his letter writing he conceded to helping his little brother with his list. Gage's list looks a whole lot like Tate, just covering all his bases I think. I love Christmas with kids, it is so much more magical and I just love to see their expressions and joy in giving and receiving. Merry Christmas kids!

Christmas Eve PJ's

Each year we get new pajamas for Christmas. It was probably my favorite tradition growing up, snuggling up in my new warm, fuzzy jammies and spending all of Christmas day comfy and cozy. So our kids enjoy this tradition as well. We got home from Temple Square and they went running in to the house to find their new jammies. McCall really didn't care for them or the pictures, she just wanted to go to bed. So off she went while the boys posed away for the camera, they are getting more difficult to photograph - sneaky little bugs.

Christmas Eve at Temple Square

We did our annual trip to Temple Square to see the lights this year. Brrrrrrrrrrr..... I was surprised at how cold it was, this was probably our fastest trip to and from the lights. On the plus side, because it was so cold there were not any people out begging, doesn't that sound like the Christmas Spirit? We were all too cold to really spend much time. But it was fun to get there, see all the lights, but my favorite part are all the nativities. Gorgeous! And it helps remind us of the true reason we celebrate this season. Next year we will bring hot chocolate.
After the lights we gathered at our house to eat crepes. Mmmm, Garyn stayed with us for Christmas and treated us to french crepes, complete with berries, whipping cream and all the fixins'. I could do that again!

The Christmas Spirit

I am so very grateful for this time of year when we celebrate the Saviors birth and His gift to us. He lived His life for us and gave His life for us, that we may all live again with him eternally. I can never thank Him for all that I have been given and blessed with all because He was unselfish and loved me enough to live and die for me. I know He lives, that He loves me and through Him all blessings come. May we all remember the reason for this season and take time to give thanks by reaching out to others, taking time to teach our children, family and friends of Jesus Christ and how He chose to live His life to lead, guide and direct ours.

The Christmas Spirit

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Family Christmas Pictures

Wow, why are kids so hard in pictures? I love doing family pictures, but inevitably at least one child is un-cooperative. In our case, we had four. Connor couldn't seem to keep his hands still and out of his sweater. Tate fell asleep on the way to do the shoot and when he woke up he was NOT happy at all. It took quite a while for him to warm up and actually smile. We won't tell you the threats that were made! Gage couldn't sit still for the life of him, if you can see all the pictures like a movie it would appear the child is dancing. McCall was cold and grumpy and didn't want to look at the camera or smile - but given the circumstances I was so pleased with how the pictures turned out. Emilie is the best!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gingerbread Mania

We had so much fun making gingerbread houses. This year each of the boys got to make their own, still undecided on whether this was a good idea or not ... but fun nonetheless. Tate was the most meticulous as always. Connor was interested in making patterns and eating. Gage just wanted to see how much candy and junk he could possibly fit on his before it collapsed. Wow, those things can hold a lot of sugar!

McCall was already in bed for the night so I attempted to make hers, I had special pink candies and everything. In my mind it was going to be the cutest gingerbread house ever, and it was - but only in my mind. Ryan assembled it for me as I helped the boys out with theirs. Then I started decorating - cinnamon toast crunch shingles for the roof, pink m&m walkway, wreaths in the windows, icing icicles, such a beauty. In the middle of my decorating Gage paused from stuffing his face with candy and belted out, "Mom, your gingerbread house looks like a disaster!" For the life of me I could not understand what he was talking about, I thought it was looking good!

At that point it was time for the kids to get to bed. We tucked them in and did our nightly routine and Ryan and I headed back out to the kitchen to clean up the mess.

Lo and behold my gingerbread house had split in two and really was a disaster. Not sure how that happened, perhaps the superior engineering by Ryan?

Santa Claus is coming ...

Well, actually he already made it! The boys were so excited to get to see Santa and let him know what they are hoping for under the tree this year. McCall was not so very excited! She threw a fit and cried the whole time, so not a lot of pictures of her this year :)
Connor was VERY observant trying to find out if this was the real Santa or just a helper. In the end he just couldn't decide! He noticed this Santa did not need a pillow to stuff his suit, he DID have blue eyes, but the beard was fake ... hmmmm... his little mind was just a working. He watched very carefully when Santa left to see how he left, but Santa eluded him and left without a trace - which led to him finally deciding that it must be the real Santa and that his sleigh must have been up on the roof the whole time and he snuck away on it.
I love the believers!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


As you can see, I am updating my blog - I hope! I am so not savvy at this kind of thing and Ryan thinks he is too busy to do it - seriously! So ... if I am missing a link to your blog and you would like one on here please let me know and I would be so happy to add it. I know I am missing some now and I know that I was behind in adding people as it was, so let me know! Thanks so much!

The "throws" of motherhood

A friend of mine recently said in passing, "you are in the throws of motherhood." As I wrestled four kids out the door at church on Sunday. Little did she know how literal that was.
As I have been thinking about that statement a lot of things have come to mind, most of them experienced within the last two weeks.
  • children "throwing" up
  • cleaning "throw" up
  • "throwing" snowballs
  • "throwing" in the towel each night at bedtime
  • "throwing" out garbage from countless school projects being brought home (as a side note, elementary schools must be the biggest money maker for loggers)
  • "throwing" dirty clothes in the hamper, then in the washer, then the dryer
  • "throwing" dinner together (pancakes tonight)
  • "throwing" tantrums and trying to deal with them and discipline them
  • "throwing" arms around each other each day to welcome the day and say goodnight
  • "throwing" clothes on and breakfast in so we can get out the door on time
  • "throwing" kids in the car and seat belts on
  • "throwing" birthday parties (okay I am slacker at this one, but we did just celebrate McCall's first birthday)

So, if the "throws" of motherhood is more of this, bring it on, I love it. I have been finding motherhood to be the most wonderful full time job ever, and I am not just saying that. I really love the stage of life we are in, I love having all day with the kids and seeing them learning and growing and still willing to snuggle, give hugs and kisses and tell me they love me. I love being in the "throws of motherhood." Thank you for that blessing and gift.

Friday, December 4, 2009

McCall at One!

Wow, a year old. A whole year of fun bows and bracelets, dolly's and dresses. A year of snuggling and consoling. A year of memories and moments never to have again. A wonderful, beautiful, grateful year.
McCall has been such a fun addition to our family. We have thoroughly enjoyed having her in our home and a part of our family. The boys can't get enough of her. They have come a long way from when they found out they were getting a sister - their first comments included:

  • Connor, "well, I'm not going to touch her!"

  • Tate, "sick, I hate Barbies, I am NEVER going to play Barbies."
  • Gage, "I love pink!"

But they have all played dolls with her, they have each taken turns picking out outfits for her, including bows, bracelets, tights, shoes, matching blankets, and they love it. They all fought over who would wear the pink tie in family pictures so they could match their sister. They wake up first thing in the morning to play with her in her crib, they have been known to change diapers without being asked - not always that helpful in the end, but they want to anything they can for her. Each of them willingly gives up anything they are playing with or eating for her when she screams for it. She has them wrapped around her tiny little fingers.

McCall is a very particular little girl. She has always preferred mom or men. But the last several months her very favorite has been grandpa. He dotes on her and gives her more attention than anyone and she eats it right up, of course she can melt his heart with her quick smile and huge dimple.

She loves to play with her "baby" and swords all at the same time. She can be perfectly content playing with her stacking cups and see one of her brothers with Legos or a car and scream until she gets it. Only to drop it and go back to her cups.

She is a great sleeper and napper, for which I am very grateful. She loves to have a schedule and stick to it. She tolerates being wrestled with and bounced around by her brothers. Her least favorite thing is being told NO, something that will have to be said more and more I am afraid. She is joy and we just love the little stinker.


How did this happen? How did my baby girl already turn 1? Where did the last year go? This is not possible is it? What a great year it has been, so grateful to have her in our hearts and in our arms.

White House

Connor informed me that he would like to one day live in the White House. I thought, wow, good luck with that. He wanted to know how he could do that so I told him that he would either have to be the president of the United States, marry the President of the United States or get his father elected to the office of the president.
He thought on that awhile and asked me, "Mom, do you think people would vote for dad to be president?"
My reply, "nope, he is too nice a guy and has way to high of values."
He thought longer, "well, I really want to be a scientist and inventor when I grow up. But, if I am not smart enough to do that I guess I will be President instead."
Don't worry America, our future is in good hands!

Thanksgiving 2009

I really love Thanksgiving. It is probably my favorite holiday - well, almost because I really, really like Christmas too. But back to Thanksgiving - there are so many things I really love about Thanksgiving. I love that Ryan gets to take TWO days off work and be with us. I love that we take the opportunity to remember the things that we are thankful for and all the blessings that we have.

But my favorite part of this Thanksgiving was my boys. They took some time to make lists of what they were most grateful for this past year.

Connor was especially thoughtful in his thoughts. He was grateful for Jesus Christ, his mom and dad, his home, the temples and that his mom and dad were married there so that the family can be together forever, and his brothers and sister. He never ceases to amaze me. That boy is so very loving and kind and thoughtful. We have been reading Christmas stories each night before bed and without fail he has gotten teary eyed and been touched by the kind things people do for one another. I love that about him and I love that he is such a big part of our family.

Tate was grateful for McCall, primary and our home. Maybe he was grateful for more things, but I don't think he could write them! Tate is also a kind little boy and shows it each day with his sister. He plays with her all day and dotes on her, giving her everything she could possibly want/need. She is so very spoiled by him and her other brothers as well.

We aren't sure Gage got the idea of the activity - he was probably just grateful to be able to stay up late and have candy.

But I have much to be grateful for in my life. The first being our Savior, Jesus Christ. I can't imagine what my life would be like without the Savior. It's just not possible. I also have the most wonderful husband, not sure how I scored that, must have done something right in the previous life or really tricked him, but I'm so glad I did. Of course, our children. They are amazing and I love them so very much. Some days they drive me crazy - but it's a short drive, but mostly I just am in awe at the things that they can accomplish and do, at their sensitive spirits, at the kindness and thoughtfulness they exhibit. The truth is, I have so much to learn from them and I am so grateful to be a mother - their mother. Our family brings me so much joy and gladness.

I am also very grateful for my family - my mom and dad, siblings, in-laws, nephews and nieces. We are a big crazy group, but I love them all and I love that we get to add more all the time. What an amazing life we have. Heavenly Father truly loves us, knows us and wants us to be happy. Trials come and go, we all get them, but everything we have denotes the existence of a Divine, Supreme Being who loves us and delights to bless us. I am very grateful for that knowledge, to know that I am a daughter of God, that He loves me, and He wants me to be happy. I am truly blessed, we all are. Thank you for the gift of life and everlasting happiness.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

BYU vs. Utah - Rivalry Week

We had the time of our lives this past week - it helps that BYU squeaked out the win against the (stinky) Utes. We are die had BYU fans and always have been. Our boys LOVE BYU and everything about it. Gage is recent convert to the team and is probably our most outspoken child about how much the Utes stink and how awesome BYU is, thanks to aunt Jana.
But this past week we had a little fun with out Ute fan neighbors, thanks for being such great sports and letting our kids believe that they were so sneaky!
We started out Monday by dropping off treats to the Gustafsons (aka bishop) and Kassings (aka Gage's girlfriends). The boys had so much fun picking out blue treats from the store to drop on their porches and doorbell ditch them. They hid behind the porches or on the side of the house and thought they were extremely sneaky.
Each day was a repeat of the last, new treat, but same old trick. Until Saturday when the boys geared up in all blue and BYU. The tied blue ribbons and taped up "Y's" all over the porches and garages. They were thrilled to be involved in so much fun and sneakiness!
Even more fun for them were the treats and tricks that they got back. They checked our porch and doorstep about 20 times a day, so excited to see what they got. My personal favorite was a can of air freshener with a note that read, "you're going to need this because BYU stinks!". The boys were appalled that anyone would think such a thing and were very quick to cross out BYU and replace it with "the Utes".
Seriously, a very fun week. Oh, and did I mention that BYU won? Not sure if I passed that on yet or not, but BYU did in fact win that game. In overtime BYU won. BYU won, final score 26-23. BYU beat the Utes in a very close game, but in the end BYU won, and the Utes lost. I love it when BYU wins. I really do love BYU.