Saturday, December 19, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving. I love family time. I love food!  Beat. Day. Ever.

We had a good start to the day by waking up to a few inches of powdery snow. Not good for snowmen or snowball fights, but awesome for getting pulled around.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

No fun like snow fun!

First snowman in Idaho.  The girls were ecstatic and made it all by themselves. They had to get creative, getting the big head on. No gloves, and fingers like claws. You go girls!  And Ethan LOVES the snow. It's going to be a fun winter.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Real men buy flowers...

For their daughters. I feel so blessed that Tom is such a great father to his daughters.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Quote of the Day

Brooke had to do a 2 minute wall-sit for PE.  Her teacher told the kids to "Go to your happy place".
me- "So, Brooke.  What's your happy place?"
Brooke- "Duh.  With LeBron James!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Easter traditions...

Everything feels a little different here.  Not bad.  Just different.  I struggled getting up the motivation to do our annual day-after-easter-easter egg hunt.  The "right" people just weren't going to be there.  I didn't know how to get excited about something I couldn't picture in my head.  But my children have missed out on quite a few family traditions since last August when Tom first left for Idaho.  For them, I had to do it.  So we invited Tom's sister and a bunch of Tom's cousins that live locally.  It felt nice to do it for family.  And to know that my girls were learning about their roots. 

But to break myself in, we first went to the city Easter egg hunt with our new friends, and next door neighbors, the Maxfields.  They have daughters the twin's and Sam's age. And the parents are pretty fun too... :)
Sam and Annabelle - they are going to be trouble in a few years...
 Weird thing to find in an egg at a kid's hunt, right?  It was the favorite thing she got... (Alix)
 Once he learned there was candy inside, Ethan was an excellent hunter!
 Nothing creepy about a life-sized, cross eyed Easter bunny...
 Easter dinner was wonderful.  We had Tom's grandma come and spend the day with us.  We watched General Conference and ate a great dinner.  I loved the strong Spirit that was there all day. :) 

The weather for our Easter egg hunt was sunny, but cold.  
 Our new yard is AWESOME for egg hunts!  So many great hiding places and tons of room.
 We always hide some "special" golden eggs that come with a "big" prize.  And we really hide those eggs.  This is Tom narrowing down the search zone for the last 2 golden eggs.
 Whole new batch of kids, but we got the annual picture! :)
Rabbit races - in the bunny ears the kids made while the dads were out hiding eggs...
 And as part of the inside activities I do a "Guess What's in the Egg" game.  I fill a bunch of plastic eggs with whatever I can find (literally whatever - cheerios, Nerds, screws, washers, cotton balls, rice, popcorn kernels...) and tape them shut.  The crew gets to shake them and guess what's inside.  I usually give them a list with a few extra items on it (just to throw them off...).  It's a great time filler and the grownups even like to get in on this one!
I'm so grateful I didn't let another tradition pass our family by.  These are the things that make us the family we are.  We are adjusting to our new life and it's nice to blend the old with the new.  And we love having all these cousins around!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

World Peace... Or at least peace in our home...

Maybe it was the move.  Maybe it was the grumpy mom.  Maybe it's just because they're all getting older, but no matter the why, we've had some serious contention going on in our home lately.  After a few family home evenings about it, with no results, I read a Conference talk by Richard G. Scott and was profoundly touched by this quote, "One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds."  Love abounds?  Is it possible that love was the answer?  So Sam and I did a FHE lesson on love.  And the "love jar" was born....  
Sam cut a bunch of little slips of paper and stuck them in a small jar with a fun pen and sparkly pencil (everything is better sparkly!).  When any of us would see another family member do something that showed love for someone else, we'd write it on one of the slips.  
It would then be folded and put in a larger jar.   

 Almost instantly the feeling in our home changed.  The girls were watching each other to catch them doing something good.  Not something annoying.  And they were trying to find ways to show their own love to their siblings.  It's magic, I tell you.  Magic.  And it helped their mother as well.  One of our daughters (who shall remain unnamed...) has had a harder time moving than the others and has shown her displeasure primarily at home.  I was afraid she wouldn't have any slips in the jar with her name on it, so I watched her with the sole purpose of catching her doing something kind.  I saw her differently, through eyes of love, instead of impatience.  And I saw things my husband does for us as the gestures of love that they really are.   
We read all the slips in the jar for our next family home evening.  You want to see your child glow?  Have their good deeds read, out loud, for the whole family to hear.  Again, it's magic. 
 Our first week we had 78 acts of love put in the jar.  From Alix helping Sam get untangled from her bike chain, to Brooke doing Sam's hair.  From Tom putting together the twin's new bikes late at night to Ethan "helping" me doing laundry.  From Erin playing Barbies with Sam (when she really didn't want to) to Sam snuggling Ethan in bed.  
 My favorite one was from Erin... "Mom smashing my samwich" (she likes her bologna and cheese nice and flat - weird, right? - so I roll it for her every morning before I put it in her lunch...)
The next week, we set a goal to get 100 slips.  We reached our goal.  Our home was happier.  To mix it up, the third week we had people write things they personally had done for someone else, in secret.  We were all looking for ways to bless each other's lives and show how much we loved each other.  I don't know how long it will stay interesting, but the spirit in our home is now one of love and peace.  Love really is the answer!