Sunday, July 5, 2015

Christmas in July

When the 4th of July is over, it means Christmas is right around the corner.  Just to get you in the mood I thought I would finally do a Christmas recap from last year.  I am festive like that.

My favorite part of the Nativity was the star...that's Lauren in the yellow jumpsuit. It makes me smile whenever I look at this picture! 

Isabelle played Mary, Luke was Joseph, and of course Benson played Baby Jesus. 

Holden's Wiseman costume was pretty snazzy and as you can see we had some very reverent shepherds. 

13 year old boys...what can I say?

Happy Angels...

The firstborn grandchild holding the last born. 

We got a special visit from Jeris, a friend that is like family. 

Three is a magical age at Christmas.   

The Grand Marshals of all the Holiday Festivities. I think by the time this night rolls around they are pretty tired.  We try to make them think it is worth it by giving them nice little gifts like these.  

I am forever taking pictures at family gatherings, Ryan caught me in action. 

I was getting snapshots of this chaos. 

After another memorable Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's house we came home to open one gift under the tree and get to bed. 

James loves snuggling with mom AND taking selfies.  This was pretty much a Christmas Dream Come True for him.  (not!) 

Annie is not big on dolls, but she is big on the nightgown that comes with a matching one for your doll was a win for both of us.   (I love seeing her edited about playing with dolls!)

Grandma is so nice to let us tornado through her house the night before Christmas, that way we can leave things peaceful and tidy for one short moment before the chaos begins at our homes the next morning.  Looking back at these Christmas pictures really makes me miss our maroon and peach walls....not.  I have to admit they are nice and cozy.  We have not done much to change the house since we moved in, but we did finally paint the area pictured here, and I can't believe what a change it made! 

Can we always have the breakfast table set like this the night before?  

I was so excited for Christmas Morning that I had to peek and see if Santa had come when I heard something that night...sure enough, he had! 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I actually like to blog

I actually like to blog even though this past year it has gone by the wayside.  Do I feel like by not editing pictures and writing about them I have so much more time?  No.  If you stop doing one thing, you just fill that time with other things.  I don't remember what all those things even are.  Many of them are probably very good.  The thing I like about blogging is that I do remember when I click on a blog post what I was doing that month.  I tend to forget all the menial tasks and taking time to record  is my memory catcher.  Without stopping to make a record the days fly by and all of the sudden I have a kid that will be 17 this year and how did that happen?  So, here it is almost July...but I am making some Summer Goals.

1.  Take an hour to organize pictures and/or record memories 5x week.  
The hard thing about this is when do I do that?  My days get so busy and I just don't have time.  There are usually never  those ideal  summer afternoon moments you dream of to do such things.  No more "nap/quiet times" with so many age groups.  Nights are just as busy and everyone needs tucking in and I am tired. (Teenagers don't ever go to bed, did you know that?)   I am already committing to exercise in the morning, so when should I do this task?  If I don't make a time it won't happen, right?  I think I will just have to pencil it in day by day the night before depending on what is going on the next day.

2.  Exercise 5x week
This one is also something I like to do, it is not as hard for me because it has become more of a habit.  I usually only hit 4x max, despite my best intentions, and even with Marathon training.  I do Zumba a couple of times and run a few times.  I have starting walking with our Church ladies Monday mornings. As much as I fight it...I have finally surrendered to the Universe... mornings definitely work best! It's either mornings or 5 days just won't happen.   Don't get me wrong, I do love an evening run too...but with kids you just can't depend on it happening so it often gets trumped by other things.  Best to do it BEFORE the chaos of the day hits.  Plus, exercise is my sanity drug.  So I might as well get that boost first thing in the morning when possible.  Let's not fool anyone, I am not a natural early bird...but I am shooting for waking at 630-7ish and heading right out.  I often wake up but get distracted and decide house work is more pressing...I WILL NOT be distracted.

3.  Scriptures
Normally, I listen to a Conference talk every day on my iphone before I allow myself to  read or listen to anything else.  I love this.  I learn something new every time. If I get distracted and the next day I can't remember what I listened to the day before, I re-listen to that talk.  I have already gone through all the April 2015 Sessions.  I decided this summer to focus on the Standard Works.  I am trying to listen to the Book of Mormon as I do my regular tasks or as I am getting ready for the day.  I naturally enjoy Conference more...but I will let you know how my Book of Mormon "listening" goes.  I have never "read" it this way.  I also am committing to Scriptures with the Family Daily.  I am NOT consistent with this one.

4.  Pray out loud, on my knees.  
I have a friend that is so great at saying prayers.  She doesn't rattle the same old things her Heavenly Father.  She is so specific it always amazes me. One small example was just yesterday.  Sophie was having dental surgery and I was texting my friend while I was waiting for Sophie in the waiting room. (Okay, it is Marla, she won't mind me saying so.) Marla didn't know Sophie was having surgery so immediately told me she would pray for her.   I received a text a few minutes later....
       "I prayed that the Dr would know where exactly to look for the teeth they need to extract and that they would be able to do it with minimal damage to Sophie's mouth so her recovery time would be minimal and that you would be inspired to know when to give her pain meds so she wouldn't be in pain." 
       Ok, WHO DOES THAT???  I would have just said, "Please bless so-and-so that all will go well...."  She is ALWAYS very specific with her prayers and she has an amazing connection straight to heaven.  I didn't even think to pray for what she thought of praying for.  After the surgery was over, I went in and Sophie did SO well. The doctor then told me during the surgery he was afraid they were going to have to cut her gum up above her front teeth and pull the gums back to get Sophie's extra tooth out....but "luckily", he ended up being able to get the tooth out without doing all that cutting...and with "minimal damage to her mouth so her recovery time would be minimal".   It was a direct answer to Marla's prayer!  It was no surprise to me that her prayer had been answered.  I can't tell you how many times she has prayed for something very specific, and the Lord hears her and that specific thing is granted.

I am going to be more like Marla...get on my knees, and pray out loud for the things I specifically need. Cause let's be honest, I need some stuff.

So that's it.  Those are my goals.  I would like to add ones in the mothering/wife area.  But, I figure if I am sane and doing well...I will be better in those areas too.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Halloween in March

Well, since it is March now...I thought I better hurry and get blogging about Halloween!  Seeing the leaves and grass from these pictures makes me wish Spring would come.  I don't think I ever mind Winter, until I see pictures and see how pretty it is the other six months of the year!

Halloween at the Elementary School is always so fun.  Pierson and Olive came to join Avery in her first parade at the school.  

We are pretty lucky to have cousins at school with is Isabelle.

Gunnar and Luke

I am Michael's Room Mom this year, but we were able to pop in Annie's class and say hi.  

Olive was pretty sad when she realized she would have to go home after the parade and not stay for the parties.  Who can turn that sad face down?  We talked her mom into letting her stay for the festivities for a little while longer. 

She snapped right out of it. I love Sophie's expression under that hat.  

Michael's teacher is Ms. Anderson and she is AWESOME.  All the 5th grade teachers were characters from the Wizard of Oz.  

The kids did relays, played games, and made
 caramel apples.  Michael's booty got in the way sometimes, but he had fun with it.

Sophie and Pierson taking it all in...

Even Benson came to school! 

After School it is off to trick-or-treat at Grandma's House. She feeds us dinner too.  
Pretty good treat. 

Grandma and all the Grandkids except for the Arizona Crew.  :(  

 Grandma and Baby Benson

It seems every year there is a "hit" character or costume.  This year it was Elsa from Frozen.  In our family alone we had three.  They were pretty cute I must say! 

I guess we really had FOUR, because even our cousin Amelia in Arizona was an Elsa too!  

Annie decided early on that she wanted to be a Cow Girl.  She had exactly what she wanted in her mind and pretty much got her costume together.  Luckily, Sophie went along with the plan. 

Cutest Cowgirls I know! 

Our crew...Luke (Army Guy), Michael (Old Lady) Gunnar (Gandalf) Joshua (Teen Dad Since he is holding Benson.) James (Nerd), Sophie and Annie (Cowgirls)
We did pretty well considering we had been in our new house ONE DAY.  The entire house was in complete disarray and chaos. I had no idea where the real costume bin was even at.  

Luke wore Grandpa's real Army Jacket and Boots. 

This little Cat Lady had some serious junk in the trunk. 

Gunnar is Gandalf.  I love this picture. 

Joshua is really growing up.  He didn't dress up this year, so when he posed for me holding Benson, I told him that could be his costume...Teen Dad.  (That would be a true Halloween Nightmare!)

Abigail and her friends were "Three Blind Mice".  

Loved Emmaline's Costume too!  When I was about this age I was obsessed with Poodle Skirts and would have loved to wear this outfit!

Cutest Pippi Longstocking!  (I think Benson was the hit Halloween Accessory)  

James was a last minute nerd...

Soaking up every minute of her new favorite holiday. 

Carly somehow had a baby in October and also managed to hand make the two Elsa costumes.  Way to go, Mama! 

Luke and Gunnar have been trick-or-treating together since first grade.  They always manage to bring home LOTS of loot! 

My Soldier Boy. 

From Grandma's we headed to the Church for the Trunk-or-Treat.  The fastest Candy Dash you will ever see. 

I love to see neighborhood and ward friends all dressed up.  This little guy was one of my favorites.  I think of him like this now whenever I see him! 

More great visiting teaching partner and daughter pulled this look off a little TOO well!  They were awesome. 

I LOVED this Maleficent Costume, and I love the girl wearing it. 

I had a pretty awesome costume too...

 And the last picture of the night...the kids literally asleep in the car.  They were exhausted not only from a day of parties and a night of running the streets in search of the most loot..but a crazy week of moving.  It was another great Halloween to add to the books!