Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December House

I am quiet in my soul.
Peaceful and Grateful.
This was a very good season.
Three little Christmas Houses remind me of the cold and blustery day in November that my Mama, Ashley and I (with little Poppy) ventured out to Nell Hill's in search of Holiday goodness.
Candles burned all month long.
Evergreen, pumpkin spice, and peppermint crush were the scents of this season.
New stockings!
Before we ever had children I purchased the bow and flower stockings at an after Christmas sale.
Each and every year I would lament the fact that I didn't make new stockings to accommodate our growing family.
This summer, unbeknownst to me, David dug the two stockings out of our tub of Holiday decor, and took them to a very talented lady who created two new matching stockings for my boys!
How very very thoughtful.
You bet I cried when David presented them to me this October.
New Books!
My favorite Christmas gift.
Admittedly, they never get a lot of action the morning of.
There are other shiny new things.
But books are friends that last longer than all the other toys and goodies.
Last night at 10:30pm, Roman snuck into my room with his new book.
We read about Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne by the light of my lamp.
He loves that Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne.
I am looking forward to the new year, but sort of want to hang on to the last bits of loveliness this December has been.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

so well loved

A sister makes life infinitely more interesting.
Toys thoughtfully displayed around each blanket, carrier, swing and chair.
A song in the morning,
and a parade of ponies in the afternoon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I've thought about hiring a professional...but then I wouldn't have access to pictures like this:

Oh Friends.
See that little Tasmanian Devil front and center?
This might be the roughest Christmas picture yet.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fantastic Indeed

After Thanksgiving, we headed down south to watch Kyle play basketball.
(Tis the season!! YAY Basketball!! YAY Kyle!!)
We totally stopped by Fantastic Caverns.
"America's Only Drive Thru Cave!"
I love the picture they take when you enter.
Roman is covering his head with his hood, he was a little nervous the whole time,
and my brother Kevin's face is awesome.
Leave it to him.

Monday, December 5, 2011

...only those labors where the sacrifice is greater than the reward.

We had just come from a soccer game.
I had 2 shopping carts and 4 kids.
David showed up about 10 minutes in and saved me from shopping alone.
(But not before he hid in the produce to take these pictures ha!)
The kids were actually well behaved on this trip, but I suppose we were still a sight to see.
Twice that night, we received less than encouraging remarks from strangers.
Dude...why are strangers so hostile?
One lady told us we should stop having kids :)
Um. Noted. Thanks.
I was feeling a bit discouraged...maybe embarrassed.
I guess I care what strangers think, dang it.
The resolution to this internal conflict came just a few days later.
I listened to President Monson's retelling of The Mansion during the Christmas Devotional.
(if you want to hear the story click here, it begins at minute 5:20)
Why is this message so easy to forget?
I don't know. But how blessed I feel for the reminder.
I say to myself,
"Will you be paid twice?"

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Girls

Thanksgiving is such a perfect holiday.
All about gratitude and food, what's not to love?
My mom took these shots yesterday.
I treasure them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

On a gray, winter-like morning...

I am cleaning up from the festivities of yesterday.
Poppy was blessed in church.
Sweet little Poppy cried through the entire thing, making her daddy quite nervous.
David gave a beautiful blessing as always.
I love all baby blessings,
but there is something especially tender about listening to a father bless his tiny girl.
We had a luncheon at our home after our meetings.
I received a new journal this weekend and knew pretty quickly what I wanted to use it for.
I love planning special occasions for my family,
usually jotting down long lists and ideas or sketches on paper.
I am hoping that it might be fun in years to come to flip back through this journal
and see the shopping list for a child's fourth birthday, or baptism, or graduation party.
Poppy's blessing is the inaugural entry in that little book.
I shared my thoughts about her blessing at the end.
But I suppose that I am also hoping somewhere down the road,
my family will read a bit deeper into the lists for
grainy Dijon and Gruyere,
and understand that those careful notes and planning are just evidence of
one way I attempted to show my love for them.
I hope they remember that we celebrated their important milestones,
that we celebrated them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Shatto Milk

Pretty skies and no school on Friday.
We headed to the dairy farm.
I think everyone would agree that the best part was standing around sampling milk.
Root-beer, Strawberry, Banana, Orange and of course Chocolate.
We also tasted their traditional eggnog and the pumpkin spice flavor.
yum and yum.
(8 varieties of cheese and delicious sweet butter!...amazing)
It was a delightful tour,
the kind that makes you feel really good about supporting a farm like Shatto.
The drive out was beautiful,
and I began to ramble on about how I could really live in the country.
I pictured a big garden, fruit trees and wide open spaces.
Every little town out there has three things...
a Dollar General, a Casey's Gas Station and a Sonic/Pizza Hut/Subway (insert one).
But these days with technology, it wouldn't feel so isolating.
I mean, Amazon sells everything correct? UPS delivers everywhere, right?
Then David pulled out his phone and said..."There is no internet connection."
Ummmm. I might have to think on it a little more. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011!


Happy Halloween!
The Super Heroes
A Princess
And the Sweetest Little Strawberry

The Little Strawberry has a secret...SHE SMILES!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin time

It happens each time.
Once the new baby is born, your older baby seems so grown up. So big.
Roman is unassuming and pretty chill with his new responsibilities.
But what my eye kept seeing was how little my boy still is.
Sucking his thumb in a great big pumpkin patch.
My sweet Robino-robotto-robaby.

Ya win some, lose some

(Zach bottom row...middle)
(photo by - washed out scan by me :)

I love Zach's football picture this year!
He struck the perfect balance between tough guy and cutie pie.
This season was rough going at times.
Poppy was born right in the middle of football mania,
and promptness to practices and games was not our forte.
Six people dressed and fed and out the door by 7:30 am did not happen easily (ever).
I especially felt the parental-failure-guilt on his homecoming day.
We were late and missed the parade float down to the field.
We pulled in to the parking lot, Zach jumped out,
Dave scribbled some "Go Sharks" type message on our car windows
while I tried as fast as I could to pen a poster (baby strapped to me)
for hanging on the celebratory fence.
Unfortuanately my shark looked more like an oven mitt,
and the "bite" out of the corner didn't really translate the way I thought it would.
And then.
I walked over to the fence and saw the aaaamazing creations parents had crafted.
Embarassment ensued.
Signs in the shape of helmets-made from wood-
vinyl banners, pictures from childhood...streamers, balloons, and on and on.
I had even forgotten to bring something to hang up the sign with,
so we tucked it (tried to hide it?) along the bottom of the fence.
After the game Zach wanted to find his sign.
He was totally pumped to find it, wanted his photo taken with it.
Then he came home and taped it to his bed.
Shucks. Made me teary.
Somehow he saw past the homeliness of it all and appreciated our efforts.
Bless that boy.
The only thing he asked me was, "Mom, why did you put stairs in the corner of my poster?"

Friday, October 21, 2011

One of my favorite fall rituals...updating the photo wall


Love my babies.
Can hardly believe how quickly they grow!
Also, I have FOUR frames in my hallway.
So much to be grateful for.
In case you want to look back (like I do)

And in hopes to prove to my children that, yes indeed, they thought my jokes were funny at one point in their lives...
(except for one...she's a tough sell!)