Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Festival of Trees

I think we got a head start on advent activities this year by heading to the Festival of Trees this evening. I am usually hangin' with the YW on Wednesday nights but 2 of them were performing at the festival tonight—made sense to me to go support them and see them dance. I figured my kids would get bored after a few numbers and want to go look at more trees with Joseph while I stayed and watched more dancing. Oh no, my kids loved watching the dancers—the music was all very cheesy and Christmasy, the costumes bright and showy and the girls all dolled up—what's not to love, right? Plus, my cute YW are both cloggers and their pieces were really fun and upbeat.

 Loving the belly at 34 weeks (or at least that's what I tell myself as a daily mantra...)
After almost 30 minutes, I dragged my kids away and onto some fun activities before heading home. There was nail painting, fishing for treats, and ornament making.

And of course the sharing of lollipops between sisters.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweet Sleeper

Transitioning out of a daily nap is not easy:
I think she's just too cute when she's out like that. Luckily Livs thrives on a 15 minute snooze and wakes up happy and bright. I think we are quite alike in that way :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Decorating Weekend

All is decorated and ready for our beloved Christmas holiday! Each year I am more and more grateful for my darling little helpers. They get so excited over every new thing we pull out and then get right to work finding a home for each ornament or stocking or Nutcracker. We worked most of the day Friday once we were home from the cabin and got so much done. Cares happily (and carefully) set up our lovely pewter nativity set and Bentley helped carry tupperwares full of decor up from the storage room for me—hooray!

Sweet Livs helped a lot with the tree after reading each and every Christmas book (hair in her eyes and all :)

Yesterday Joseph worked on yard/garden/lawn furniture clean-up while I sewed Christmas PJ's for the kids. We also met up with Ruth Ann and Neil for dinner, and then made a family run to Target. Once the kids were snuggled up in bed, I hit the movie theater with my mom, big sis and 2 sisters-in-law to see the new Twilight movie. Afterwards we realized that low expectations are the key to a great movie! But just getting out for a bit and hanging with the girls was quite refreshing too.

Friday, November 25, 2011


We spent Thanksgiving at the cabin with my family this year and had an amazing day. Our feast was perfect in every way and the company was too. I managed to grab some pics here and there but not always on my own camera--oops! My mom and sis and I have the same camera so it makes sense that I grabbed the wrong
 Stacey, Livs and Mason watching Cars 2 before our big meal

The day was so mild yesterday, even up the canyon. We didn't pack "real" snow clothes for the kids knowing there wasn't much up at the cabin yet, but of course the big boys wanted to play with the snowball maker and get outside for a bit after our feast, so all the little kids wanted to join in on their fun.

Bentley, Ethan and Will stayed outside with Joseph long after the littler ones had gotten too wet or too cold or fallen on the slippery ice. They found some hammers and shovels and went to work removing the icy layer that had formed on the driveway. 2 hours later they came inside feeling so proud of their work and worn out from all the manual labor.
I have to say that I am so grateful for these boys in my Bentley's life. They are the closest thing he will ever have to big brothers and they love him and play with him so well. He is in boy heaven when we get to hang with Horsley cousins!

We all spent the night at the cabin last night eating pie and more pie, playing some very tricky Trivial Pursuit (for Joseph and me anyway—Japan no Tonga, Italy no Greece...) and messing around with Tye's new iPhone. We made the silly choice of introducing him to the Talking Carl app at like 11:00 pm last night. Let me just say that Carl is absolutely hilarious at that time of night—we were laughing so hard at all his responses that I thought I might go into labor and pee my pants all at the same time! Oh it was good fun—crazy hard to laugh that hard with like 1% of my ab strength left—but such fun...the tears were just streaming down my face. Good times :)

I am grateful for so many things in my life, one of them being this blog where I aim to regularly capture my most beloved people, memories and places. I do feel extremely grateful to have so very much, but truly feel most blessed because of my husband and gorgeous, snuggly children, my parents and siblings and their darling growing families, all of my amazing in-laws, and my faith, my Savior and the peace His Gospel brings to my life. These are my richest blessings and I will forever be indebted to the Lord for them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I have been a boring blogger of late. No new pictures to share, nothing too fancy going on to document, just life carrying on as always. I did see my OB today and guess who is getting a pelvic exam in 2 weeks? Lucky (?) me, but I do look forward to knowing if this baby is getting ready to arrive or wanting to stay put—I love knowing that kind of thing and whether I should really be getting ready or relaxing about it all for now.

The kids are off of school for the next 3 days which will be a nice change in routine and break from rushed mornings. I am always up by 7:45 am to make Bentley's lunch and send him out the door with Joseph by 8:00. I get all sorts of things done before 9:00 (today I peeled and chopped veggies to start with a crock pot beef roast) but after that I feel so sleepy again. That's when it's time for a "Dora nap" while the girls are enamored by a show. Needless to say we usually start the day quite slowly around here.

In other news Olivia is mostly done with afternoon naps. It's not that she won't take them, but that when she does, her bedtime gets thrown way off. I cannot get her to sleep before 9:00 pm and then I feel like my evening is cut so short. I like my kids in bed early. So, many days of the week we are now skipping out on naps and hanging out together. Olivia is the sweetest of companions when the 2 of us are alone together—we have lovely outings to the mall, Costco, the grocery store, the dr's office and the school. I suddenly feel like I have a lot of freedom when we can head out during the afternoon—and often times a moody toddler come 5:00 pm too :) But I love it when Livs goes to sleep easily and sleeps for 12 straight hours at night. It makes me think that the change is worth it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Night Swimming

This is an activity we have to schedule more regularly these days. My kids come home from school literally bouncing off the walls. I have sent them out for bike rides, and playing on the slide in the backyard, and even make them walk a portion of the way home from school after carpool pick-up, but they are still crazy!
Love our local pool and that swimming can get millions of wiggles out in less than an hour. And then Joseph and I help the kiddos shower, wash their hair and get all dressed for bed before heading home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful Turkeys

These are becoming one of my favorite family home evenings for November. My children love to color and all sat around the table for a good 30 minutes working away on their turkeys. I loved just sitting with them and helping Cares spell, watching Livs work so intently, and listening to Bentley brainstorm unique ideas for his feathers. He came up with cousins, the temple, colors, waterfalls and planets (and then refused to make anything but this overdone face for pics):
Cares wrote the names of each of our family members on her feathers and Olivia chose family, gray kitty, nursery, cousins and prayers.

Joseph whipped up a little art of his own (not to mention he drew the turkey outline in the first place):
The "Linus" illustration of Livs kills me—I love it. My hubby is so fun to have around :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Girls' Room

The girls are now sharing a room. Livs got so excited to sleep in a big girl bed last night so we went ahead and made the swap. My little ladies may have stayed awake for almost an hour past bedtime giggling and chatting, but I think the excitement of it all made them extra giddy...but we shall see, no?

the finished closet thanks to IKEA, Target and The Home Depot.
Now the girls' clothes are split between the closet and big white dresser in the top pic. And we even have a few leftover drawers for linens and out of season clothing.

Now the nursery needs some organization. And then a fresh, new baby.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today deserves a post simply for the date! I have always been a fan of numeric order in everyday life—my favorite time on the clock is 12:34. How I wish I could have had a baby today—but it just wasn't in the stars for me to get pregnant any sooner than I did so I will happily take my little winter baby instead.

1) I just ordered 2 of the 3 year-end books I make for my kids. Digital photo books are truly the only way to go these days. And my kids love them so it's definitely worth the effort.

2) We took the kids to the rec center for a swim last night but our fun was short-lived. After about 40 mins they shut it down due to poop in the pool. Boo (and gross).

3) The girls' closet is in full reorganization mode. We started working on it last Saturday and if we can get Joseph to install the new, lower hanging bar tomorrow, it will be complete.

4) I bought Dreft at Target yesterday so I can start washing up baby clothes and getting them organized in Olivia's now empty dresser. Love projects like that!

5) I am teaching the YW about preparing for change on Sunday and how to handle it, for good or bad, when it inevitably comes. I think this comes with age and growing up but I used to dread change. Now, I feel like I need it in my life, as complicated and hard as it can be, so that I can grow and stretch in new ways and change into the person I am supposed to become.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Leaf Peeps

Olivia's Leaf Girl
 Bentley's colorful Leaf Man
 Caroline's Leaf Lady

 Yes, we were over at my parents' house this evening. My doctor's appointment was just before 4:00 pm today—now that I see him every 2 weeks it's getting so hard to schedule more convenient appointment times...Anyway, my sweet mom met me at the hospital, loaded the kids into her car and took them to her house. The kids informed her that we were making Leaf Men for FHE tonight so she happily stopped along the way home and helped them gather up beautiful "supplies" for our night. This may be the last week of the year to squeeze this kind of project in so we were glad to make it work (and to have grandma's help and creativity!)

Sunday, November 6, 2011


 First snow of the season
and these 3 enjoyed it all morning yesterday.

 My baby girl had a ball out there learning to build mountains and make snow angels and eat freshly fallen snow bites. She is getting to be such a fun playmate (and not so much a baby at all anymore).

 Care enjoying a blissful moment

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Few Things

 Baked 125 cookies for Young Women in excellence on Wednesday night
 Parent teacher conferences=no school today and lots of fun playtime and creativity
(also means Joseph and I got to hear a lot of great things about our kiddos from their teachers during conferences, and that certainly makes us happy parents)

We hit IKEA this evening and look who we found? Yes, cozy sharks, but also cousin Tillie there with her family. Sadly, the kids' playplace was too full for the little ones to get in...I swear we have horrible luck with our timing on that but we will keep trying. Joseph opted for pushing these guys around on the flat, furniture carts in the deserted warehouse aisles at full speed and they were laughing and squealing like crazy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Weeks

30 Weeks
love this little graphic from similac

At the beginning of this pregnancy I felt like these last weeks were an eternity away. And yet, the days kept passing, one by one, family vacations came and went, big events kept occurring and suddenly, I find myself in my 3rd trimester. Blessedly, in my 3rd trimester I might add. While I am in no way prepared for an actual baby in my house just yet, I am feeling really pregnant and really ready for this long, long process to come to an end.

This is the first pregnancy where I haven't signed up for regular emails about baby's growth and health while inside of me. So if I am feeling curious, I check-out baby websites to see where things are. It's funny to me how focused I was on any and all information I could get while pregnant with Bentley and now, I think I am just too involved and too immersed in actually being a mom and taking care of my family to even think about how the new fingernails or brain folds are forming in my womb. But it is all still quite miraculous. I find myself catching my breath when I truly think about all I am doing for this tiny one each day.

I just sang Whenever I Hear the Song of a Bird to Livs before her nap today. She was snuggled up on my shoulder and I was playing with her hair (as I always do) as I sang to her. My heart felt so happy singing about the Lord's creations while beholding His most beautiful creation of all. I am honored and so grateful to be a part of His plan as a mother. And I wonder how many more weeks will pass before I meet my newest creation...