Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Christmas Memories

Holiday stories of 2008:

JEANA came home the other day from school, she had been counting down the days 'til they got to make a 'real' gingerbread man.  She was so excited to show me her work of art and tell us all about how the gingerbread men escaped their classroom, leaving only crumbs, while the children were at school.  They were finally able to track them down and bring them home.  She kept telling me how she thought at first it was fake, but soon realized it wasn't.  She kept saying, 'It was real mom, it really happened at school, it wasn't just pretend.  Mom, it was just like magic.'  I know she had fun with idea, so I decided not to reply one way or another.  She had fun and maybe it will be a memory she will cherish, I'm sure all too soon she will out grow the 'magical' stage.

ABIGAIL who was a little nervous going to bed on Christmas Eve for fear she wouldn't wake up early enough, asked her older sister several times to make sure to wake her up too.  Finally, we convinced her she would wake up early too, so she fell asleep.  The next morning she ran downstairs and then ran back upstairs, came into our room and yelled, "Mom, I went downstairs (after looking under the tree) and I was like, Holy Cow!"

JEANA "I wonder if Santa has 'aten' my cookies."  To her surprise, he even left a note to tell her how yummy they were...

ABIGAIL pointed to all the wrapped gifts and started naming them off.  'Oh, Jeana you can open that one, it is the diamond castle.'  Oh, the faith of little children and their requests.

JEANA after looking at her stocking with Abby replied, 'Wow, these are really good stockings!'

JEANA was super tired on New Year's Eve, but after an earlier discussion about the ball dropping on Time Square, she didn't want to miss it.  So, she came downstairs every few minutes to ask if it was time for the 'New Year's revolution' yet, so after a good laugh we corrected her with 'New Year's celebration.'  ( We had talked earlier about resolutions, so I think she got a little confused.)  

JEANA's New Year's Resolution is to run her first race.  Her school teacher asked them to come up with one and so we talked about setting goals etc... She then told me she wanted to run a race because she likes running.  There are several small races all year for little kids here in town and another friend of hers has been in a few and introduced her to the idea.

ABIGIAL's New Year's Resolution is to 'eat.'  Plain and simple.  Here I thought I was encouraged high minded goals and good interactive family discussion and that is what she gives me.  Well, I guess that is always a good one... especially if the food is tasty!

JEANA was asking about people who don't have food to eat and a home to live in and we were discussing how blessed we were.  Then, she turns to me and says, 'I wish I knew someone who didn't have anywhere to live."  And of course in my mind I am thinking, "ah, my sweet Jeana is going to say she wants to offer our home to someone who doesn't have one."   Instead I get a, "b/c then I would tell them to live under a tree.  That way they can be protected from things, but not rain b/c the rain can still get through the trees, right mom?" Wow... profound, but maybe not as generous as I was hoping!

ABIGAIL was asked by us what her favorite part of Christmas was and she replied cuddling with mom... even over the presents?  I really am loved!

Thanksgiving at our House

Most people who know me, know fall is my favorite season, the rain, the smell, the yummy (calorie loaded) food and of course family and good friends.  This Thanksgiving I heard of several families who have struggled with jobs and mortgages and other personal problems and it made me so grateful for what I have.  I often get caught whining about my husband's forever long program, but this fall, made me appreciate him and his efforts even more.  I am so blessed to have a beautiful home (most of which he had built, repaired or updated for our family), he is able to go to school and get an education (which is a pretty secure income in this economy.)  And though we don't make a lot of money, we have the gospel, cars that work, our kids go to great schools, we LOVE our neighborhood, and our extended families help us out in so many ways that I would say I am a very WEALTHY woman.  I am grateful that we plan a holiday every year to spend with family and reflect on the many blessings we receive.  

Jeana really wanted to help make food for thanksgiving so we decided to make an apple ie together.  She was such a good helper, instead of putting slits in the middle, we put a 'J' for Jeana the cook.

Nathan and Melinda joined us for a very yummy Thanksgiving feast on my new(er) dining table. (We are so grateful to still have some family close by!)  Jeana made some party favors and Melinda's potatoes were so good, Jeana and Abby requested the same ones for Christmas (though we didn't get them quite right!) However, my girls said the highlight of the meal was a chocolate raspberry pie (a recipe given to us by the Runyans.) Of course Melinda and I spent most of the day creating a plan of action for Black Friday shopping, we were a little disappointed with the deals, but managed to still spend money and get the items we were after.  ( if you look closely in the background you can see a Halloween bowl and a Christmas bowl in the picture too...guess I just can't make up my mind!)

Over Thanksgiving weekend we took our kids down to the train display at the museum and of course we got to see Santa.  The museum always does a great job with creating a fun, learning environment for kids.  We got to see several train displays and the kids even got to ride on a small train together.

If you look closely at the writing on the picture, it reads, 'Idaho Springs.'  Even when we are far away from home there are still subtle reminders of it over the holidays!

We have recently adopted the tradition (I say tradition because David doesn't like the word) of watching the Polar Express and drinking hot Chocolate, and since it was on TV and Noakes were still here, we shared the tradition with them over Thanksgiving weekend.  This is also a cute thing that most schools do and the kids all seem to love it.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


My parents keep saying that time seems to speed up the older you get, and I have to agree.  I don't know what happened to November or December.  They have both been delightful months, but have gone way to fast. 
David's parents came out to visit at the beginning of the month and we had a good weekend with them.  The girls got the Barbie Christmas 'Carold' (as Abby calls it) and that seems to be all they talk about besides Barbie Diamond castle everything.
My parents then came out a few days later and we also had a good time.  They stayed here a few nights and then we headed to Nate and Melinda's house b/c my parents hadn't seen their new house yet.  We also had a good time there and it was fun time to visit b/c all the holiday stresses hadn't started yet, but it was close enough to feel like we had family for the holidays!
So, thanks to both sides for visiting!

         Melinda and I also managed to find time (around 2:00am) to make a few more bows.

                               Throwing... or at least attempting to throw rocks in the water.

                                                   Monkeying around on the jungle gym.

My parents got to celebrate their 33rd Anniversary with us!  Lucky them.  I think we had Pappa John's pizza and sprite that night! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


OKAY, OKAY ENOUGH NOW!  I know everyone thinks I've been slacking with my blog, but life has been crazy around here.  We have had a lot of fun, but a busy summer/fall with lots of trips, babysitting, helping my brother move, babysitting, several weddings, home projects, a primary program, ward/primary fall festival, babysitting, blackout assistance for friends, way more PTA assignments than imagined, soccer, ballet x two, gymnastics x two, 1st grade homework :), cute bows to make, a crazy busy husband, a street party to plan, more babysitting, costumes to make, family pictures, visitors, preschool assignments and volunteer work, way too much yard work, a garden, primary teacher inservice, neighbors homes to help paint/decorate, extra kids to pick up for carpool, and of course all the daily stuff in between.  Oh, and did I mention babysitting?  So, if you have been wondering why I have been MIA...there you go.  And David says I try to do too much...what does he know! ;) However, life is slowing down, Christmas shopping is almost over and I am feeling much more calm. is the update, if you really want to catch up, you'll have to scroll through a few pages.

Tribute to the Flamms

We are so sad that our dear friends the Flamms are moving back out west.  We are sure going to miss them!  But we are glad they have lots of Idaho ties too... so Jacob and Krista, don't think you can get rid of us that easily!  My girls are really going to miss little Kaylie.  She is such a doll with big eyes and adorable hair, which of course Mom gets all the credit for (the hair part I mean.)   I can usually bribe my girls into letting me fix their hair cute if I say, "Do you want Kaylie hair?"  

We wish your family the best of luck with Jacob's job, housing etc...  And sorry Justin, I guess you're back to having to endure the Simpsons! :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Aahhh the CaNdY!!!!

Jeana wanted to be Snow White this year and I thought it was a great opportunity to not have to buy or make costumes this year.  So, I tried to talk Abby into several other costumes, but she wouldn't budge.  I don't know what made her want to be a Bee, but she was determined.  So, because I was not willing to pay $70 to order one online, I caved and spent several nights on it.  I asked her why she wanted to be a Bee and she replied, "So I can sting people." Yeah, she has her Dad's personality! j/k  Anyhow, in the end she was quite tickled and we had two pretty cute trick-or-treaters!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

FALL...My favorite time of year...(minus the cold weather!)

My question is...what happened to fall this year?  Did anyone else feel like time has just flown by?  We have managed to squeeze in some fun activities like a pumpkin patch and a fun trip to a local farm that we go to every year.  It is one of our few yearly traditions.  My girls were pretty scared of all the ghosts and goblins in the pictures in case you couldn't tell! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jarom...thanks for coming to visit the family.  It was fun to have you out here and nice to hear what you've been up to.  Good luck with school etc...and I hope your new bling that you got for your Birthday will really attract all those pretty women you've been chasing, one flash of that, and you'll have it long as you don't wear the mask!


David actually got three parties this year for his birthday.  The first one was at Nate and Melinda's house b/c Jarom came out to visit and since he was also turning 30 and kind of gets a little short handed with his birthday being so close to Christmas, we threw David, Jarom and Nathan a surprise party.  Then, we also went to dinner with the Stevens and the Flamms and had an ice cream cake with them (mostly b/c David hates when I tell other people about his birthday...hee hee!) And then of course, the girls were excited to make a cake for him on his real birthday...all this to say, he should feel pretty loved despite the fact that he is now SOOOOO old!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My creative creatures!

So I must admit I think my children inherited some creativity from their DAD! j/k Anyhow, Jeana was molding playdough and made an adorable witch.  My brother, Nathan, also taught them how to make bubbles with soap and dry ice.  And there is this really fun website called (I think) that my kids have had a lot of fun with b/c there are two young girls that teach simple cooking/holiday classes online...if you have little kids, I HIGHLY recommend this website.  

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Neighborhood Party

This marked the forth annual street party for our neighborhood.  I have been the host for all four (is anyone surprised?) But it has grown in popularity every year. Last year we won an ice cream party from Dreyer's and this year I decided to host a chili cook-off.  I went around to a few local business and asked for prize donations and I was actually shocked by everyone's willingness.  So, we had a great turnout, perfect weather and neighbors already asking about next year!  It does take a little effort and planning, but I feel so much safer knowing my neighbors and knowing we all keep an eye out for each other!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I am how old?!

I hear a lot about having 'mommy brain,' but I don't think I fully appreciated the phrase until this year.  I think somewhere along the way I lost any short term capacity I once had.  And it only gets worse, I would say thank goodness for calendars and planners, but you still have to remember to check those too!  Anyhow, I often forget how I old I am now and for some reason 27, 28 and 29 all seem to run together and depending on who I am talking to and when determines my random answer, but I guess they're all close enough.

I did have a nice Birthday and got a wonderful present.  David and I had a dining room table with chairs that had long since seen their day.  So, he bought me a new dining room table.  He helped a friend with a research project and ended up getting a pretty pay check and my sweet husband was kind enough to use it on me! Thanks honey, I love it.  Do you want to see a picture?  Too bad, you'll just have to come visit!  

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Favorite Soda Pop

We went to Justin and Deanna Stevens' house for dinner on Sunday and they introduced me to a new favorite pop.  It is 'Sunkist Cherry Limeade.' It was the first time I had tried it and, wow, fabulous (I am not much a of a pop drinker so I have never looked for it in the store, but supposedly it is fairly new.)  Anyhow if you love a 'Shirley Temple,' you will love this!  Yum-o.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SCHOOL-My big 1st grader!

Okay, I know I am behind on the posting and haven't even added summer yet, but I just had to write today with mixed emotions.  I thought I would have a really hard time sending Jeana to kindergarten, but luckily it was only half day and she was SO excited to go I felt ready for it. However, today she started 1st grade and I thought I could cry...I have managed not to yet and since she has almost made it through the day I might survive. :) 
As I was packing her lunch (which is actually something I look forward to- now anyway) I started thinking about how somebody besides me will get to spend the majority of the day with my daughter and she is going to come home with new ideas and tastes based upon what her friends like.  I dread the day she stops liking her favorite foods because her friends say they are gross or a movie because she is too big now.  
Last night we put her hair in curlers and she woke up three times wanting mom to fix them, really I think she was excited and nervous and too unsure to sleep.  So, I convinced Dave to give her a Father's blessing for the new school year and I think it helped her feel a little better (and maybe mom too.)  So--that was a lot longer than intended, but I am excited for her and I am confindent that she will stay the same sweet, loving Jeana--- I can't wait to hear all about her first day--- I guess we all have to grow up sometime I just didn't realize how fast that sometime would come!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Good 'Ol Cali...

We were able to take a family trip this summer to California.  We got to meet up with all of Dave's family and the cousins had lots of fun together at Disneyland, swimming and dancing at Garth and Kelsey's reception.

We spent a day digging in the sand at the beach, it was a windy day, but all the kids had fun playing in the water in L.A..  We also had lunch at Stephanie's grandma and I must say she is an awfully cute grandma and a wonderful host.  It was so nice of her to let us all crash at her house for the afternoon with so many little kids.
I must admit the sweetest part of the trip was getting to be there for Garth and Kelsey on such a special day.  They really are an adorable couple.  And hey...there is nothing like meeting your sister-in-law for the first time when she is at the alter! :)  We just wish we lived a little closer to the clan.
We decided since we travelled half way across the U.S. we might as well hit some hot spots.  So we headed down to Seaworld after the wedding and my kids had a blast.  Abby was so excited to finally see "shampoo," but I think she has the name right now.  Jeana got a cute little polar bear cub as a souvenir, dressed it up and I don't think it has left her side since the trip. 
We of course ended the trip with 110 degree weather at the Wild Animal Kingdom and though it was fun, it was one of those ONLY once in a life time opportunities (by choice of course.) It was hot and to be completely honest, I didn't think it even compared to our local Zoo, but I must admit I am not a fan of either.  I try to be a good sport when it comes to animals, but in all honesty, I only put up with most animals to keep my kids excited about them.  Abby did get to feed a Giraffe not too long ago and thought that was a lot of fun. 
OKAY...So this picture deserved a page of it's own, but out of sheer laziness, it is getting combined with the rest of the trip.  We finally made it to an In-N-Out Burger and after all the ramp and rave, I must admit it far exceeded my expectations, however we were given many tips previously on what to order, thanks Jeremy!  Anyhow, it was good and needless to say, even my kids loved it, maybe it was the milkshake that sold them?!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Road trip 2008

So, this summer, Nathan and Melinda convinced me to take a 34? hour road trip with them from our house to grandma and grandpa's house.  We got to see their new house, play DS and try to keep each other awake.  We crossed many state borders (and missed a few signs.) We had a really good time though and all the kids did great.  However, since the trip my kids now ask anytime we drive somewhere if it is a long trip like going to grandma's house or a short trip!

On our trip we visited Great Grandma and Grandpa Huckstep, who were on a volunteer mission for a camp not too far from my parent's cabin.  I would still like to claim that my grandparents are the cutest ever!  The last couple of times we have gone home, they have been gone, so it was fun to see them, have grandma fix some yummy homemade ice cream, have grandpa take the kids for a ride and of course get a new toy from Grandpa's 'toy shop.'  We played at a lake, went waterskiing and even met Corinne's boyfriend, Alex.  We also got to be there for Chris and Kristal's baby blessing and my girls had a lot of fun meeting their newest cousin, Rylee.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Modeling fun...

We found a good place to take pictures so the girls were having fun 'striking a pose.'

I dyed my hair a few weeks ago.  I was going to go a dark brown, but I made the mistake of taking Abby to the store with me.  She found a deep red and loved it and told me to try it.  I didn't really care, just wanted a change so I made the mistake of listening to my four year old. When Jeana saw my hair, she said, "Mom, you look just like Ariel! Well, not just like Ariel, but your hair looks like Ariel."  (I guess it was the lack of shells and a fin that gave it away.) 

My cute little gardeners

David surprised me this year by putting in a couple of garden boxes.  We have talked about having a garden but when we bought our house, we purchased it from an elderly couple who couldn't maintain the yard anymore and it was out of control.  Three years later, we are still struggling to get it to a manageable state, so we said we weren't going to plant a garden until the yard was in order, but my hubby knew I have been excited about one, so last Monday for FHE we planted one and my girls were really cute helpers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Corinne Visiting too

We have an international market here in town with lots of fun things.  Everyone wanted to take a "royal seat" with Aunt Corinne.  The doors are deceiving b/c behind the fake outhouses are actually really nice bathrooms.  

My little fruit heads posing at a 4 acre international market with crazy amounts of fun imported food.  Including my girls' fruit.

Graduation Day for Nate

      Well, it is official, the first "Dr." in the family.  Glad we could all be there to celebrate.
Give me an "O" for OSU...

Grandpa and Grandma in Town

Grandpa helped Jeana and Daddy helped Abby build boats at Home Depot for their kid classes the store holds monthly.

A Day on the Golf Course

The girls had a blast playing miniature golf with their cousins and Grandma too.  The Adults were taking too long trying to show me up (since I am practically a golfing pro, in fact I think in the end I still had the highest score :)), so Grandma took the kids ahead.
Jeana, who ovbiously gets all of her skills from her mom, has been mini golfing twice and both times has had a hole in one and done well on the other holes also (though in the pictures they were all sharing the green) ...HIGH SCHOOL golf we come!
After a long day of golfing, it feels nice to crash... wherever.

Summer Splash


we have already done a lot of swimming and hit lots of splash parks as well, even with our cousins.  Aahh... my silly girls.

               Abby's last day of school: dressed for warm weather with a good chance of rain.
Jeana's school had an end-of-year picnic at a little amusement park nearby.  And I experienced the first taste of Abby being left in the dust.  Jeana and Abby are pretty much best friends and do almost everything together, but Jeana ran into a friend at the park, and Abby was left to ride by herself.  I think this was a slight taste of the future for me and it made me kinda sad.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Okay... so for all of you out there bugging me to update my blog and post pictures, better check out all three/four pages of older posting.  I posted from January until now and am officially giving everyone the opportunity to feel updated on my life so you can appreciate my efforts to blog, b/c I still can't decide if it's my thing.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dance Recitals