Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas in Kansas City

The Sloan Fam
First time sledding...ever...and a BIG wipe out! Oops!
Zach's willing to try it again! ...Lily...not so much!
What a wonderful season. White Christmas and all. It is so nice to be "home" with our families!

Monday, December 17, 2007

We Make It Look SOOO Easy!

Looking at our Christmas card, you might think otherwise. So I'd like to let you in on a little "behind the scenes", or... "the REAL us". To be honest, I love these pics as much as I love the final product! (Thanks AMY!) Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A House, A Home

One thing I will never forget is the last day I was there. Everything was gone...packed up and on its way to Oregon (courtesy of Dave). I had come back to do some touch up cleaning...and sort of...just hang last time. I sat there and stared at all the things that were SO familiar to me. Paint colors, lighting fixtures, doorknobs, wood finishes...all "my touch"...and I was proud. But the emptiness reminded me of something else, what I was really sad to leave, afraid to loose, were the memories made in our home. It's kind of like the walls served as a trigger to remember...and if I wasn't there...would I forget?

I scribbled like mad into a notebook, all the beautiful things I could remember. Like how we brought Zach home from the hospital all bundled up in his car seat. We set him on the couch and sat across from him and just stared. The memory is SO vivid...we were parents! I wrote and wrote, and while I recorded, do you know where my kids were!? Each was lying on the floor of their room with a blankie and nothing else. Their rooms were barren like the rest of the house, and I laid them down not believing they would actually fall asleep....on the floor! But I guess they were comforted by the recognition of their 4 little walls. Their domain, their spot in the world, and it was cozy and safe. They didn't need beds or pictures on the wall. This shelter - our home - was enough.

Oh, I am a dweeb, I know. Its just that getting ready to move again...has got me thinking, reminiscing about it all. Dave got back from Houston today with lots of pictures and details...and I am excited to start the process. I just hope that I will feel the same way about another home!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I seriously have the COOLEST siblings EVER!! Anna's basketball intramural team just won the championships! WOW! This picture was on the school's website! WAY TO GO GIRLIES! And the last picture is just to show...that when she is not in a "kick your butt and take a charge like a pro" (you should SEE her take a charge!)...she is pretty dang cute! Anna is probably laughing that I already know about this...what can I say...good news travels fast! LOVE YA!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

First Snow

"LOOK Lily!" ...pointing to the snow
Kiddos had just climbed out of their beds, we grabbed them (still in pjs) and bundled them up to see the first snow flakes of the stickage!
He's a natural
She's too cute
"Seriously...the camera...AGAIN?"


We've been friends since she moved to Kansas City in 7th grade. Our degrees are in education. We got married one month apart. We bought our first homes at the same time. We each keep shoe boxes of every letter we wrote to each other in 8th and 9th grade. We're both nature. We know ALL the boyfriends and crushes (and good and bad dates) that led to our husbands. Girls camp, family vacations, high school dances, youth conferences, freshman algebra, temple sealings, we did those things together. We have common history. But for me, what makes her friendship so spectacular is that she makes me better. She inspires me with her world travels, creative teaching, loving marriage and sincere desire to help others. Margaret surprised me with her visit. While David was out of town she came to play for a week. We shopped and ate yummy desserts and talked until all hours of the night...just like old times. She left today and despite the lack of sleep, I feel awesome, rejuvenated, peaceful. I have new goals because of getting to the temple more often, and doing the BOM challenge again. Margaret is the best kind of friend there is...constant and forever...friend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Little Christmas Lesson

After hearing about Herod, Zach was really concerned for Jesus safety! We had to reassure him that everything turned out ok! hehe!
Lily just loved having her OWN box of crayons!

There is a memory from teaching 4th graders that I think about often, especially around this time of year. I was standing at the door waiting for students to line up for recess and I overheard two kids talking. Allyn was explaining that she was excited to be a shepherd this year in her church's Christmas pagent. Eddie had NO IDEA what she meant. She asked a few more questions like,
" know, a play about the story of Jesus."
(blank stare from Eddie)
" DO know who Jesus is right?"
(yes he did...he was "like God or something")
"kind know the story about Mary and Joseph and Bethlehem?"
Well, Allyn couldn't believe it! So she told Eddie to come and sit with her at recess and she would tell him, "THE WHOLE THING". I watched them closely that day. They sat in the corner where two brick walls of the school came together and Allyn diligently told Eddie everything she knew about the story of Christ's birth. It warmed my heart, but was also such a good reminder that truly, not everyone (especially children) know much more about Christmas than Santa, decorations and presents!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Grateful Hearts

We were so lucky to have a Thanksgiving visitor! Kevin flew out for the week! Just having him here was so nice. He was another wrestling buddy for Zach, and great entertainment for Lily! We didn't do anything too special, just lots of food, good conversation and catching up! He had only two requests: spinach salad and sweet potato casserole! I was happy to oblige! I love my family, and having them around is just not something I take for granted anymore! I know how Zach felt as he cried for 5 minutes after dropping Kevin off at the airport, family bonds are strong, and it's hard to watch them leave when you've had so much fun!
We shared Thanksgiving dinner with the Hansen and Dixon families. What a GREAT meal! I was so impressed with all the food. The turkey wasn't so intimidating after all! I know that I will use some of the new recipes from Amy and Alissa at future Thanksgiving Dinners. This is what I love about food. Food carries memories. I make dishes that I learned from family, or old friends, and I think about them, about things they've taught me, and about life in general. We all carry little pieces of each other.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tis the Season

I had so much fun making this Advent Calendar with Amy. This came from Martha and was improved upon (much, I think) by aliedwards.typepad (all instructions can be found on her blog). We spent almost all last week gathering supplies and creating, during nap times. In fact about halfway through the week I asked myself why I didn't do this kind of thing I thought back to last November. Oh yeah, I had a two month old, 11 piano girls who were getting ready for the Christmas recital, and a sizable (read: ofttimes overwhelming) church calling! :) This got me thinking about the "seasons" of our lives. I feel grateful for the place I am at, as well as the places I have been. I plan to fill the calendar with goodies as well as "holiday experiences". How much fun will it be on December 9th to open a box and make a snowflake with my kiddos?

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Seven Year Plan

Kevin (blue tie) and roommates

My brother served a mission in Milan, Italy. When he got back this August, we all started in, asking him about girls, and baseball, college degree ideas and when he thought he would get married! (HA! no pressure) He told us about his "seven year plan" which to sum it all up, meant he WASN'T getting married for AT LEAST 7 years. Ok...fine. But then today I got these pics from a "date" he and his roomies had the other night. Basically they decked out their apartment (even an Italian flag made of balloons on the ceiling) and made an AMAZING dinner. They all dressed up and the girls did the same. He told me that he cooked a 5 course meal (dessert: homemade tiramisu). This from a guy whose favorite restaurant BEFORE the mission was The Golden Corral (no kidding). Seriously, I am DYING (who stole my brother, and who is this new guy that is into nice food, nice clothing and DATING?) And honestly, on the table I am seeing tomatoes topped with tasty hunks of mozzarella, prosciutto, Perrier water, nice oils and artfully stacked bread. WHAT? I LOVE IT! But I have to tell you Kevin, (roommates included)... you keep this up and you will NOT last 7 years at on that!
2 emails and 2 phone calls (from family) reminding me I haven't posted pics of the babes in "a while!" Here they are, discovering pine cones! I miss my family, I am glad they miss me too! (or at least my kiddos)

Monday, November 12, 2007

a weekend project...

before... and after

I have ALWAYS adored these chairs. We received them from some very generous family friends when we were newlyweds (what fortune!). I call them my library chairs because that is what they remind me of. Each one is slightly different. They are old, squeaky, SOLID, and wonderful! They also have never really 'matched', but other house projects were always in line ahead of these guys. Not so anymore! Lots of sanding involved, but it was well worth the effort! Although I miss working on our house, it has been fun to look around this apartment and see what we can fix up! The list grows daily!

Friday, November 9, 2007

"Flowers" from my LOVE

Zach found the dandelions along the sidewalk and gave them to me, "Look mom, these flowers are for you! Put them in your hair!" I did, and off he ran to find some more. But all he came back with was this orange construction flag. He INSISTED I take it. All tokens of his affection! I put his "flowers" by our kitchen sink and when I see them I just chuckle to think of the primary song about gathering blossoms for mother, and how we might have to change the words...just a bit.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sea Monsters

We went to the OMSI for a sweet IMAX movie this weekend called Sea Monsters. The logic went something like this: "Zach loves dinosaurs (LOVES THEM) so he will probably REALLY like dinosaurs that lived in the water... huge ones...on the biggest movie screen he's ever seen! LETS GO!" Well, he was totally stoked until the lights dimmed and the first shots appeared on the screen (not even dinosaurs yet, just the opening yada yada about turning off cell phones)...and he SCREAMED!! ...and he told us he wanted to go home. Dave and I just looked at each other with this helpless, unspoken realization: "WHAT WERE WE THINKING!" (and, "crap, we paid 20 bucks!") Sure enough the rest of the movie was full of prehistoric-ginormous-ugly creatures with big teeth, but we pulled out the secret weapon: skittles. He was fine for the rest of the movie! I think he even enjoyed it! I would totally recommend IMAX for a fun family outing...but next time we are going to see Antarctica...the one about penguins and fuzzy polar bears!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


The weather has been gorgeous this week! Sunny and 60's. Lots of walks, picnics and parks. I am just the tag-a-long because Zach no longer wants to ride, but insists on pulling his sister everywhere. Also, only they share the thrill of dropping leaves into a stream, I seem to have lost that drive. Having a sibling is a wonderful thing!

On a side note, in a room full of my colleagues I was once asked by this sweet college student (innocent enough) what in the world I was going to do all day staying home and not teaching. Taken back by her question, I can remember quickly scanning my 23 year old brain for important sounding things I would accomplish once I was "home". Shame crept up my neck and face as I said something about how much time running errands and actually caring for the baby would take...but now, 2 kids later I am more certain, more centered and grateful for this opportunity. I guess I would just tell her, "Well... today, we spent 1 whole hour standing on a little bridge!"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Batman and The Bee

Zach has been looking forward to halloween for WEEKS! In a prayer last week he thanked Heavenly Father for "letting me be batman for halloween, and letting Lily be a bee!" Also, a few days ago he woke up from a nap and walked into my room, he whispered to me "Mom, I am so excited for Halloween!" He has also been pumping up his sister by saying in a very serious tone, "Lily, (long pause for dramatics) bees are so, so, so, so, cute!"

So Friday was the church Halloween party, I took these photos before we left. Please notice batman's expression in every picture...he would NOT smile. Once he was in costume he was all business. The boy who NEVER looks at the camera was boring his eyes right through it! There was no lack of what he calls "fight man poses"! And Lily...sweet, sweet Lily, true to prediction was so, so, so, cute!