Monday, February 28, 2011

Special Boys

Yesterday my oldest nephew turned 12 and we were lucky enough to attend his priesthood ordination. How did sweet little Ethan become so grown up? He was a 9-month old baby at my wedding and my favorite preschool buddy while living in Phoenix. And suddenly he is getting ready to graduate from elementary school and grow taller than me!

How I love that kid and the genuine way he has loved each of his younger cousins--even the newest little babies and toddlers. They all adore him and love spending time with him. As Joseph wrote in his card to Ethan "You are Bentley's hero and big brother all wrapped up in one." What a blessing for my little boy to see his beloved cousins making righteous choices.

While my sister and her husband had all the family gathered together yesterday, they planned to bless their new babe after the ordination--2 very special events right in a row and both such beautiful and tender blessings. I truly love my sister and her family so much. They have been nothing but a consistent influence for good in my life. I am grateful for all of them and that they share their love and friendship so fully with my little family and me.

(Olivia napped at home during the meeting with one of my darling Mia Maids who popped over to the house while we were gone. When Cares saw that Natausha was coming she decided she needed to stay home and play with her rather than go to more church. I was excited for Bentley to see Ethan's ordination and prepare for his own...which is waaaaay down the road, right? please?)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nothing Day

Today we needed a "nothing" day at home. And by "we" I mean Livs and me (but honestly it was mostly for me :) While Cares was at preschool yesterday we saw Dr. Johnson for Olivia's 2 year well-baby visit. My sweet girl cried almost the entire time and begged me to put her "dress on" and "go home." She officially hates the doctor's office. After one little shot we were out of there and off on many errands: Ross, Michael's, Inkley's, and Great Harvest in Draper, and the we stopped at the gas station to fill-up the car and grab a drive-through car wash before we picked Cares up from school.

It was a busy morning added to an always busy Wednesday afternoon and evening: teaching for 2 hours, home for a quick bite, and off to YW. It was a lot for one day and I am compensating by still wearing my PJs at 1:00 in the afternoon today (but Livs just went down for a nap and we dropped Cares off for a playdate so I am headed to the shower pronto).

Even though we deemed today a "nothing" day we still got a lot done:

--folded Cares' laundry and put it away
--did all of Livs' laundry (still needs folding)
--sorted through Cares' old 2T and 3T clothes and found a slew of darling sandals for Olivia to wear this spring and summer (not to mention so many cute outfits!)
--mended a pocket on Liv's jacket
--searched old photo albums for specific pics Joseph needs for some blog posts he has coming up (on the lebaron60 blog)
--played "sleeping then waking" in Caroline's bed with Livs for a good 15 minutes. That baby loves to close the shutters, snuggle up under Cares' covers and fake snore, declare "morning!" and then open the shutters and laugh before repeating the cycle. I love the chance to cuddle her tiny body while we lay down together--and I love hearing her mock snoring/sleeping sounds.

So really, quite a productive morning even for a nothing day.

Randomly including a pic from Livs' birthday morning--she was so much fun this year opening her gifts with excitement and cute exclamations:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Celebrating Livs

Singing to the February Birthday Girls at Nanny's last week

Livs cuddling her new pillow pet from Nanny and Grandpa

Cupcakes and carousel rides on Friday night

Cute 2 year old cousins

Friday, February 18, 2011

2 Years

February 18th, 2011

Beautiful little Olivia--

Happy Birthday my brand new 2 year old babe! How lucky I feel to be your mommy and to have you in our family. Each morning you are the first one awake and call out for Daddy to come get you--but sometimes I come instead and you greet me so sweetly in the pale morning light. When Bentley finds us upstairs you say "Hi Bean!" with a huge smile, and you do the same for Cares--welcoming everyone to the day with your darling little voice.

You are growing so fast and learning so much. You follow Bentley and Cares in all they do: getting your own bowl for cereal or oatmeal like they do each morning, choosing out your own clothes whenever one of them gets dressed for the day, and coloring if they are coloring, organizing sea animals if they are, and playing dress-ups when you see Cares doing so (the Fifi costume from Halloween and the Cinderella dress being your favorites right now). You learn new words each day, fold your arms and squish up your face to help close your eyes for each prayer, sing many songs you make up on your own, and play independently with dollies and princesses when both the kids are at school.

Your bright blue eyes just seem to get bigger and more beautiful every day and your white-blonde stripe is hanging in there among your light soft curls. You are a silly girl who loves to laugh and it's easy to make you do so with tickles or playing tag or pulling funny faces (a trick Beans has mastered :)
You have been such an easy and happy baby who is still quite attached to her mom and dad--which is actually pretty sweet. I love the days when you wake from your nap still feeling a little dazed and you just want to lay on my shoulder and cuddle for several minutes. It feels amazing and I love to sit still and drink up the feeling of holding your small toddler body.

Thank you for bringing so much joy to our home these past 2 years. I love you sweet girl--


February 18th, 2009

February 18th, 2010

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Desert

Our last family trip to Phoenix was back in 2005 and I can't seem to find any photos from that trip. Where have they disappeared to? I did dig up some beauties from 2004 and this post is filled with oldies...which I love.

Desert Botanical Gardens, March 2004

Our desert baby (hidden in my belly in the picture above) has been begging us to take him back to his birthplace. All too easily I conceded and now we are planning a road trip down to Phoenix in March. Who doesn't love it there in March? Orange blossoms, sunshine, warm air and green, green grass await us.

Joseph and I are thrilled to be heading back to a place we know and love. When first dreaming up plans of what to do, they all focused on food--breakfast at La Grande Orange (and some pizza at some point too), lunch at SAKS, ribs from Houston's and delicious refried beans from Tia Rosa's. Yummy.

my darling nephews at Tia's in 2004

But we are vacationing with all our kiddos and we need some great kid entertainment too. Funny how we lived in Phoenix for 3 years and only had baby Bentley at the end of our time there--we don't know what's great to do there with kids! So far we are planning on the Botanical Gardens, a trip to the ASU campus, an outing to the Mesa temple and a Sunday afternoon with my brother and his family out in Gilbert. Any other suggestions? Maybe the art museum downtown? Train park? Zoo?

Graduation with fellow grad students at Gammage Auditorium

Mesa Temple

More from the Botanical Gardens when newly engaged John and Krista came to visit

While we kick it in the desert we are staying at a fantastic resort with a killer pool so we hope to be swimming for a few hours every day and then eating out at old favorites.

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak

I'd love to head to Fashion Square but I don't think I'll be lugging my kids around Crate & Barrel and Nordstrom (the shoe dept. there is pretty amazing.) Maybe I'll have to spend some alone time shopping and then Joseph can spend some alone time golfing. Sounds like the perfect trade.

Outside our old townhouse in Arcadia when Heid was in town. We literally lived across the street from La Grande Orange and if Bentley hadn't been born when it was already blazing hot outside we would have taken many walks to the bakery. Loved those days on Campbell Ave.--mainly because these 2 boys (and my big sis) lived 3 doors away:

I love how many pics I took of my "children" before Beans came along. They are too cute though. Wish I'd taken more!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

To celebrate this year:

1) We had a "heart-attack" FHE last week and made a valentine for each member of our family to hang around the kitchen.

my hubby likes to make the kids and me laugh with his every year!

2) Joseph (with some help from Beans) created Bentley's valentine box which, you'll never guess, ended up as a shark! It was a true labor of love...meaning Joseph loves that kind of thing and gets totally absorbed by it. Artist that he is...

3) Cares and I made sugar cookies today which we delivered to primary teachers, visiting teaching sisters and babysitters tonight (you can see them in the top pic cooling before we frosted them.)

4) We gave the kids a little valentine's prize once Joseph was home from work.

5) Joseph brought home beautiful red and white flowers for me and we ate a Papa Murphy's heart-shaped pizza for dinner. Pretty good day around here!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Livs Reading

*We've been playing around with Joseph's new iPhone app, 8MM.
It gives videos an old school feel and has various tints and settings. Fun.

*And yes, my voice is still trying to find its way back (after 3 weeks!)
Can I ever just get better?

*We basically had to ban the big kids from Livs room to film a mere 45 seconds without them in the shot somehow. They love the spotlight and were very upset they couldn't touch or snuggle or help Livs in any way while we filmed. Our sweet little 3rd child needs her own moments to shine (her daddy and I are very particular about it since we are both 3rd in our families...)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kid Quotes


--My mom found Bentley's new Oceans book we accidentally left in St George back in November. I told him that Grandma Bobbi had found his book and would bring it back to us. He was thrilled and in his glee declared "Mom, I bet Grandma has been reading some of the pages since she found it huh?"


--Playing brides with Livs in the upstairs toy room: "Livs, you need to marry a boy that tickles kids and has a soft beard. And you need to marry a boy that is kind, ok?"

--To Ashley, our babysitter on Friday night when she asked Cares if she needed a back tickle to fall asleep: "That's not really my privilege Ashley. I have the privilege of songs and laying by and my door open just a little."


--I asked her if she wanted to come run an errand with me the other day and she ran over to me and said "be so fun!"

We need to post some videos of her reading her picture books and telling us what each thing is. I love how most farm animals are "cows" except horses which are "neigh." Any and all princesses are also known as "White." Can you guess which one is her favorite?

January 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Felt Quiet Book

A few months ago my LeBaron sisters-in-law and I decided to make some felt quiet books together. It's taken me a while to actually get to work but I finally got things rolling this weekend. With 6 of us working on the book together we will all make 6 copies of our pages and then trade them around. Mary, Jess and I had a work day together for just a few hours on Friday and seeing their cute ideas has made me so excited for the finished product.

We used this blog and this one (among others) for tutorials and ideas--so helpful to have the internet for these kind of projects!

I am making "ark" pages and "mom's purse" pages. Want to see how they are coming along?

all the pieces for the ark page

had to document my very first sewn in zipper!
(even though you can't see it that well in the pic)

Finished page.
The finger puppets are from IKEA
and I ended up hot gluing the windows to the ark
because I am not great at sewing a small circle.

Some of the purses (above and below)

Finished page (except the felt wasn't sewn to the muslin yet :)
Cares was kind enough to "help" with the pink coin purse on Friday and decorate it just so with yellow accents.

I hope to post final pics when I have everyone's pages collected together (such as Mary's cute Potato Head page, Jess's vegetable garden and Maggie's mailbox and letters). I am such a nice mom to make this! (I do enjoy it though--never knew I would but I do.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Date Night

The hubby and I just got home from a lovely night out. We went to Fashion Place mall to make some exchanges and ended up with a cute new tie for Bentley and a dozen chocolate covered strawberries from V Chocolates. Then we met up with my parents at Flemings for a delicious birthday dinner celebrating my Dad's 63 years. Seriously, my parents don't seem that old to me. I mean my dad spent the day skiing with my nephew and after dinner he and my mom were headed to the temple to fulfill a cleaning assignment--they're active and involved and do so much for us. They are such good people. And fun company on date night (they think all the silly stories about our kids are just as entertaining and endearing as we do!)

Happy Birthday Dad!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fresh Flop

Love this baby's hair fresh from the bath (and her fascination with reading).
She's just days away from turning did she grow so fast?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

60 years

Today my amazing mother-in-law turns 60. To celebrate all that is wonderful about her we've started a blog in her honor ("we" meaning all her children and their spouses.) Each day for exactly the next 60 days she'll find a new post all about her.

And then it will be my father-in-law's turn as he turns 60 a few months after his lovely wife. It's a brilliant plan (good work thinking it up Johnny) and should be a lot of fun. If you'd care to join us over there for the next 120 days, check it out at

Happy 60th Ruth Ann!