Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with the Old, in with the New

I'm posting twice today because it's the last day of the year. I'm planning on making a book from the blog this year, so I figured I better sum it up.

Every year we put our family's new year goals and predictions in my journal. I told my grandma this when we bought our yearly journal together. She said, "Isn't that a bunch of fooey!" Ha ha- you have to know my grandma. She doesn't like the word "goals"- same with my mom. I think it's the whole formality of making goals and the pressure to make your life structured and not to deviate from it. But whether you call it a goal or not, we all have things we want to accomplish (my mom and grandma included!). I like to write them down- it helps motivate me a little more- even though I rarely make the goals completely (I'm a slacker:).

These are our goals/predictions from 2009 and the progress we made:

Tavish works only 1 job- nope, still working 2 jobs...hmm...maybe someday
Sara reads books- Yep- yay Sara!
Mac will learn to walk- yep, took 14 months
There will be 1 marrige in the family (hopefully 2)- There were 3! Tavish's brother, my brother, and my sister- Yay!
Tavish thinks there will be another big terrist attack in the US (isn't that positive thinking?) Holly says no there won't- Holly is right as usual.
We get a swing set- Yep!

Sleep through the night- Yes! Yay! Thanks Mac! (most of the time)
Be nice to Andrew- Yep- most of the time
Clean room at least 2 times a week- Yep- most weeks
Not grab Mac so much- Uhh... no
Read books- Yep
Don't fight with Sara or kids at school- Pretty good
Read harder books- Yep
Write in journal once a week- Nope
Don't leave things laying around the house- I wish
Read D&C (changed to New Testament then B of M in spanish)- Nope, did a little of each- doh!
Make Weight Watcher goal- ha ha, when do I ever make my weight goal? (I did lose 12 pounds though- better than nothing)
Go to temple once a month- Almost
Visit Teach every month- Not quite
Get basement organized- Yes!
Live off Vantage pay check and save 5%- Uhh... nope
Read scriptures every day- Hmm... I don't think so, but he did better than me.
Play sports with the kids- Once in a while
Get Duty to God stuff sorted out- Changed callings to ward clerk, so no longer aplicable

I love starting a new year. I feel like it's a time to start fresh, reflect on the past year, repent of things we didn't do so hot on, and try again- giving us hope for a better year!
Putting it simply by Joseph B. Worthlin: "May we set righteous goals and work to achieve them, do what is right, and reach out with love to those around us..."
Happy New Year!

Christmas in Saint George

This week I am grateful that I was able to spend Christmas with my family (mom, dad, brothers, sisters). We went to St. George for Christmas to be with them. It's been 4 years since I've been with my family on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I always love staying home for Christmas with our own little family and spending time with the in-laws... but every year I have a little homesickness for my mom, dad, and siblings. I kind of envy those people that get to visit both their families and the in laws on Christmas day. Ok- I know I'm a baby- at least they don't live out of state or out of country right?

Anyway, it was great. I loved being there with everybody (we were sad Mary and Ryan weren't able to come though). We took the kids to the park... played tennis (I love St. George in the winter)... watched our family Christmas movies... played games... ate way, way, too much... stayed up chatting... And got spoiled with too many presents (especially the kids- that's what happens when they are the only grandkids). Another bonus for us is that everyone helps out with the kids :)

It was nice not to feel homesick this Christmas, despite the pain of packing everything, the drive...all of that. I love my family and am grateful for them. I'm also grateful for a sweet husband who was willing to be with my family this year.

Feeding the Ducks- Christmas Eve (Look how handsome Tavish is here :)

Santa found us in St. George. I love the monkey PJs.

Presents from uncles and aunts, grandmas and Grandpas, Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters

Too many presents... Where are we going to put all of this?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Spirit of Christmas

Some of our attempts to keep the Christmas spirit...

1. A few weeks ago we decided to go see a the local Christmas Creche. There were all kinds of Nativity scenes from here and around the world set up in a church. Most of the rooms had several nativity sets set up in them. There were 100s- big, small, old, new... It was very cool. It was nice to have do something simple (and free) to help us remember the reason for the season. I loved it, and the kids did too.
On the way home, Tavish said, "They didn't have a Lego nativity; we should make one out of Legos." So that's what we did. Can you guess who made what?
2. Last night we went to see the lights at Temple Square. We haven't been since we've been married. How sad is that living in Utah and never taking our kids to Temple Square during Christmas time? I'm so glad we went. There is such a peaceful feeling at Temple Square- especially at Christmas. It was beautiful. There was quite a bit of fog that surrounded the temple.
It brought back memories of my mission and being in the Madrid MTC in December. We lived on the temple grounds, several floors up. I loved to study out on the couches that looked out on the temple. When it was foggy, the top half of the temple stood out from the clouds. I felt like I was living in Heaven. (Madrid temple pic above)

Anyway, that's how it kind of felt at temple square last night. Of course, it would have been better if it wasn't so crowded, but what can we expect going on the family night before Christmas?
Overall- I'm grateful for my Savior and this time we have to celebrate his birth. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Terrible Twos

This past week has been busy with cooking, shopping, cleaning, birthday... all of that good stuff before Christmas. I have a little toddler that seems to be undoing what I do. I've even heard the other kids say, "Mac! I just picked that up!" Ha Ha...the story of my life. I call it the "terrible twos" even though he's only one and a half. I've decided to appreciate my little toddler and his messes, instead of getting frustrated (Ok- doesn't always work, but I do try really hard). I've tried to take pictures of him to remember how dang cute he is.

So- how do I see the hand of the Lord in my life? He's blessed me with an energetic, healthy, entertaining little child with a cute personality. I just love little Mac!
Here he is helping out in the kitchen.

Throwing a fit when I got him all bundled up to go out into the snow.

Mac loves to DUMP things... toys, cereal boxes out of the garbage can with lots of crumbs (don't have a pic of that), pretzles... just before this he took a bag of popcorn out of the garbage and dumped the leftover kernels...

He also likes to throw things in the toilet and playing in it... haven't got a picture of that either- I'm always in too big of a hurry to get him out and washed up.

Mac loves UNdecorating the tree and playing with the presents. We decided to put the gate around it and had to fix it just right because he was finding ways to get through it. (Sara checks the presents under the tree EVERY day)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

5 years old

Last week was our Sweet Sara's birthday. I can't believe she's 5 already. Here are 5 things I love about Sara:
1. Sara cares about others.
2. Sara is easy going.
3. Sara is helpful.
4. Sara tries to do what's right.
5. Sara loves people, (especially her family), and we love her!
Here is what Sara says are her 5 favorite things that happened this year:
1. Going to the jumping place
2. Going to the ocean
3. Going to the park
4. Having family nights
5. Going Fishing
We went to Jumpin Jacks for her birthday. It was fun!

What a good Dad spending time with the kids (even though it made me nervous- that was a big slide!)

I think Mac was most interested in the drinking fountain.

The Birthday Girl

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let it Snow...

Today I'm thankful for great neigbors! We've had two days of snow... 12 inches the first day (we measured) and about 6 inches the second (we didn't measure). Yesterday our neighbor came over and snow-blowed our driveway and a way for Tav to get out of our road. (We are the only house on our little road, so it doesn't get plowed until all the storms are over). After being sore from shoveling the day before, I was SO grateful for our good neigbors (Tavish was too!). We've been lucky- I love ALL of my neighbors!

Thanks neighbor. You are my blessing of the day!

You can see the snow better on this picture from our deck.
All bundled up to go out and shovel

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Modern Mecicine and Technology

How I have recognized the hand of the Lord in my life this week: I am grateful that God has blessed and inspired man to create modern medicine and technology.
This week we were able to get the swine flu vaccine. Yea! I can't tell you how many times I have tried to get that for us... I'm sure you don't want to hear all of the details. I'ts been something I've worried about. I've heard too many bad stories from the flu. So, on Monday I decided to go to Provo to get a reservation ticket for the vaccine. I was dreading waiting in line with Mac to get the ticket, then wait in line again to get the shot the next day. We were also going to get the van registered (nothing like putting it off until the last day:) Anyway, I went online to check if the Health Department were giving tickets that day, and lo and behold- they started giving tickets online! Yay! I got the tickets online, registered the van online, and we got the shot the next day. What a blessing! I'm so grateflu for modern medicine and technology!

I've also been lucky to do a lot of Christmas shopping online with good deals and free shipping. Yesterday I decided I needed to actually go out and get some stuff, so I took the 3 kids shopping. After all the crowds, traffic, my fighting and screaming children (Mac literaly screamed about the whole time in Shopko), I was ready to scream myself. The kids were driving me crazy. To top it off, I wasn't able to find what I wanted, we came home to a bomb of a house, and our brand new Christmas lights didn't work (that we were planning on putting up). I was ready to run away. Luckily, Tavish came home and could see the distress on my face, and said, "I brought a movie home; you need to relax." He was right- he's such a good husband.

So what I learned: I'm going to take advantage of our modern technology and conveniences and do as much shopping online as possible... and only go out when I need to- by MYSELF! (Is that possible?) That should help me not be such a grinch this Christmas season.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Family Traditions

Yesterday our family spoke in church; the topic was gratitude. Since I preached over the pulpit that we should all be grateful, I figured I better practice what I preach and post what I have been grateful for lately. The talks went well, despite my severe nervousness (why do I do that to my self?) and that Tavish announced my blog to the whole ward. The kids did a good job and even sang a song :) I sure love them.

This week I am grateful for family and family traditions.

When I was a teenager my family started making gingerbread houses. My mom had a friend who was the gingerbread house queen. She made beautiful, elaborate, gingerbread villages. She taught my mom how to make them (although we never were near as talented and elaborate as she was), and we made them as a family during those teenage years. As we all grew up and left the house the tradition kind of died out. The past few years, though, I've tried to keep up this tradidtion and share it with the inlaws.

We like to do them early so we can have them for the month. I have to admit that I was pretty stressed last week getting everything ready. I had to bake gingerbread houses, bake some things for Thanksgiving (luckily it wasn't at my house), make frosting, organize candy, set up extra tables and chairs, worry about keeping everyone happy, and the most stressful thing of all: get my house clean. I know- that's sad that it is such a chore for me to get a house clean, but for me it's a major accomplishment. If any of you have a secret to keeping your house clean, please share it with me.

As I was preparing for the gingerbread house day, the thought crossed my mind, "Maybe we should quit this tradition; it's too much work..." Luckily I have some very good inlaws who helped make frosting, picked up dinner for us all, and helped clean everything up after. It turned out to be lots of fun and good family time. The kids had fun together too. Later that night I thought, "That was worth it."

I think activities like this and other good family traditions strengthen the family. Something that I have learned, and am still learning, is that something of worth takes work and sacrifice. A good strong family doesn't just happen on its own. So, I'm going to try to remember that when I'm whining about this whole motherhood thing being too hard. I know it will be worth it.

This year I took pictures to document our Gingerbread House process. It probably won't be too interesting to you all- oh well ;)

1. Make the dough (this year I skimped a little too much on the flour- made the housed a little soft) I'm grateful for my Bosch!

2. Roll the dough and cut the pattern before baking. (I looked all over for one of these rollers and finally found it from Pampered Chef.

3. Cut and remove the pieces. You have to do this while it's warm or it gets hard and breaks. ( I feel like I'm doing a cooking show)

4. Make royal icing, put the house together with the frosting (attatch to a base too), decorate how you want. Sorry- didn't get pictures of all of that.
Decorating tips (I probably shouldn't give decorating tips): frost the roof with a butter knife and decora side at a time. Covering the edges with frosting (with a decorating tip) makes it look better.
The finished product
Chris's playhouse
Grandpa with his Grahm Cracker house

Chelsy's family made some really cute houses out of cardboard

Decorating a store bought gingerbread house
I don't have a finished picture of this; it was really cute.

Sara's house

Andrew's house

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Girl Time

As I ponder the day... I think how grateful I am to be blessed with a daughter. Don't get me wrong- I love my boys. They are full of life and keep my life interesting. I think mothers have a special relationship with their boys. But..... my one-on-one time with Sara during the day is very refreshing. I like the girl time Sara and I spend together. Of course, our girl time isn't usually painting our nails, doing our hair... all of that (even though we do that occasionally), it's other things girls enjoy.

One thing she likes to do is school with me (something that I always liked as a kid and still do- I think I'm a little nutso when it comes to that). She likes to play these file folder games that I made a long time ago. I have a bunch more that I've been meaning to put together, but you know... that's something I just never get to. So today, I said to Sara, "Do you want to help me make file folder games?" She was very excited (How many boys would be excited over that?). So, we cut, colored, glued, ate lunch, then came back and cut, colored, and glued some more. She's a very determined little person- it was her idea to do it again after lunch. Now we have 4 1/2 games ready to laminate (we ran out of glue).

We also went to the music store to buy a piano book for her. She's been bothering me to teach her for a long time. We'll try it and see how it goes. It was just nice spending the day with someone who had the same interests as me, even if there is a 27 year age gap.

I'm glad I have my little girl. I hope we can be friends forever.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Well, the past few days I've felt this heaviness in me. I don't mean physically, like my weight (although I do feel that too). I mean just kind of sad. My aunt passed away a few days ago, and I just seem to keep thinking about it. I feel bad for my cousins that lost their mom, and her sweet husband. Life really isn't fair, but what can we do about that?

Yesterday our relief society president gave a lesson about "What Matters Most". I think it was just for me. When someone you know dies it seems to bring us back to that question doesn't it? What matters most? Who knows when our time, or the time of others around us, is up here on earth. I've been thinking about what matters most and am trying to spend my time on what matters most. I know, it's only been a day since that lesson, but hey- one day spent on what matters most is better than no days right? Here's a video clip about what president Monson has to say about what matters most:

from Finding Joy in the Journey

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Wedding

This past weekend I've seen the hand of the Lord in my life and my family's life.

1- We were healthy to attend the wedding: The last couple of weeks there has been lots of sickness going on around us at church, school, work... So, I have been praying and hoping that we could be healthy for my sister's wedding in St. George. I was thinking we had made it when Sara woke up with a fever and a headache on Thursday morning (the day we were leaving). Great!! Just our luck. Of course I began to worry about the Swine Flu that is all around us. Well, it turned out to be not much really. I don't know what she had, but the fever went away by Friday night, and she was fine. I was so relieved and grateful. I know my mom had really prayed for her, and I really think our prayers were answered. We were all able to enjoy the day, and Sara was able to go trick-or-treating with grandpa on Saturday. (She was worried about missing Halloween being sick)

2- Mary got Married: Over the years I've seen Mary date, and not date... nothing working out... over and over again. Then she met Ryan, and everything just worked out. He is such a kind and caring person. He treats Mary so good and has made her happy. I love to see them both so happy! What a blessing.

The wedding was just perfect. I think there is nothing better than being in the temple with the whole family. It was great!

My dad really seemed to want to go trick-or-treating with the kids. He missed his school Halloween party day this year because of the wedding. He loves that day- he always dresses up and goes class to class to read scary stories. I guess going out with the kids helped make up for it. He makes a pretty good gorilla- don't you think?
This is the only picture I got with my dad standing up in the background. I thought Tavish's tail was pretty cute too.

Monday, October 19, 2009

7 Years...

So, I haven't posted in a while, because I haven't taken or uploaded pictures lately. I guess I don't need a picture to post something- right? Maybe I'll post one later. Anyway, last weekend was our anniversary. We've been married 7 years. So, of course, I need to post about one of my greatest blessings- Tavish, my hubby, and our weekend together.

He took me to an authentic Spanish restaurant in Salt Lake. We had to try it out to see if it really tasted like food from Spain (that's where I went on my mission, if you were wondering). It was pretty authentic, at least what we had, but was way overpriced. That's ok- it was so nice of Tavish to think of that and take me there. I shouldn't be a tight wad on my anniversary. Oh- and, my mother in law took the kids for the night. Ahh- it was so quiet at our house, and we could sleep in as long as we wanted :). It's the first time we've been away from Mac for a night. I heard that Andrew got Grandma up in the night, and she went and slept by him. Sometime later, Sara got up and got in bed with Grandpa. Then Andrew was up before 6:00 AM. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, but it sure was nice for us!

The next morning we decided to go to the temple. I was amazed how un-crowded it was, until I realized that we had just missed the session, and the next one was in spanish. Tavish said he wanted to go to it, and of course I wanted to try a session in spanish! I loved it! I don't know if it was because I was surrounded by sweet hispanic ladies, that I paid extra close attention, that I got extra insight from the language, or that I was just recharged from being without the kids for a night, but it was one of the best sessions I've been to.

Tavish was so sweet to me and pretty much planned what I wanted to do. He's always considerate of me and unselfish. He also gave me a hot mama apron and a necklace.

I love my Tavish and am so glad that I made a good choice marrying him!
Muwah (that's a kiss)- I love you Tavy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bridal Shower

My extended family has a tradition on conference weekend. Everyone gets together for dinner before the priesthood session of conference. Then the men all leave for conference, and the girls play games. Well, this time we had it at my house and had a bridal shower for my sister while the men were at priesthood. There were 40 people. So, as you can imagine, I was a little stressed. Just getting my house clean is a major project. Luckly I had many people help us prepare for the day.

I think one of the most common ways that God blesses us is through other people, so here is a big thanks to everyone that helped me out. Thanks mom and sisters for lots of food, dad for mowing our lawn, Chelsy for hanging up my pictures (everyone knows I'm no decorator), Dad-in-law for the tables, Tav for all his work and patience, Lanelle for the game, everyone else with food assignments, and my sweet Sara who cleaned all day with me; I'm glad I have a little girl.

My sister-in-law gave me these ducky pics for our bathroom and hung them. I thought they were the cutest!

Lovely toilet paper wedding gowns!