Sunday, 29 December 2013


Oh, I do love weddings! The bride looked so beautiful, and the groom made his flight!  He had to be at the BYU bowl game the night before, so we were worried he would miss his flight, but he made it!  We didn't get to see him until the actual wedding.  He had us all crying in the temple.  There was so much love in the room.  It was a great experience.
Here we are waiting for them to come out of the temple.  Uncle Mike picked up Goofy and had him give Collette a kiss. I almost caught it on camera.  Too cute! Her bouquet was gorgeous.  Her mom made it and used antique jewelry for all the centers of the flowers.  I love that idea and hope my girls will let me do that for theirs someday!
Here is one of all Mike's brothers and sisters that were there:
We had a luncheon at a chapel afterwards, then were able to have a little downtime before the reception, which was held in a beautiful reception manor in Bountiful.  I forgot to be prepared and my battery died after just a couple pictures at the reception.  Luckily, PC's sister had her new iPad with her and sent me a bunch of pictures she took.  We all had fun dancing and eating the yummy food.

I love PC's photo bomb!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Salt Lake CIty

The day after Christmas, we drove to Utah.  We made it to my sister's house in 9 hours, with only 3 stops.  It wasn't a bad drive, of course, I let PC do all the driving.  Baby Girl did ok.  I ended up sitting beside her in the afternoon.  It was so nice and roomy in the Suburban though.  Plus, all the kids had their new electronics from Christmas, so it made it pretty quiet too.  I think we only watched two movies the whole day.  Brian and Mandy's family also stayed at my sister's house, so it was pretty full!  We made pizzas that night.  They were yummy!
The next day, Auntie K took Tink and two of her cousins to the temple to do baptisms for the dead at the Draper Temple.  It was Tink's first time.  It was so nice she could go with family and in the same temple her uncle would get married in the next day!
That afternoon, we took the Trax into Salt Lake City.  We went to the Church History museum so the kids could play.  I ran into an old friend from our ward in England there.  That was fun!  We were meeting up with a great friend and her kids at the food court in the mall, so we went over there and let the kids play for a while at the play park.  Then we all ate Chick-fil-A.
We met up with the rest of PC's family that was in at the visitor's center in Temple Square, so we could all walk around and see the lights.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  Well, when you get over 30 people together to walk through crowds of other people, it is really hard to stay all together.  Plus, our kids were freezing and cranky.

I can't believe I didn't get any pictures with my friend. It was really crazy and cold.  
We had to get the standard Trax photos on the way home.  The dark haired girl is a friend who also went up with my sister.  Yeah, I used to babysit her.  I must be getting old, but I sure don't feel like it!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

We had a lot of fun this Christmas.  We always let the kids open their stockings before breakfast, then they can go get dressed while we cook.  We just did monkey bread, scrambled eggs, and hot chocolate.  No stress there, so that was nice.  PC kept joking with the kids for the past couple of months that all they were getting for Christmas was underwear and socks.  They were still worried even on Christmas Eve that that was really going to happen.  The last thing Goofy asked before going to bed was, "Are we really only getting underwear and socks for Christmas?"  They all really did need new socks, so they all got socks in their stockings.  I absolutely love this picture of Baby Girl holding up her new socks!

We played a trick on Tink this year.  She has been wanting an iPad mini for a long time now.  We got a good deal on Black Friday, so we did get her one, but we had to have fun with it.  I wrapped my old iPad box up and put an eye pad inside it.  We have the whole thing videotaped and it is pretty awesome.  All the kids get so excited when they see the box, and Tink even tries to come and give me a hug before she opens the box.  We tell her to open it and she sees the eye pad and does her typical "tween" look at us--head titled, eyes up, and a little sigh.  I gave her her real gift and when she opened that one, she said, "Is this one real?"  It was still in the shrink wrap, so yes, it was real.  She has loved it!  That was her gift of love.  Her gift of fun was a bluetooth speaker and accessory kit for her new iPad, and her gift of learning was an iTunes gift card.  Bucko also got lucky this year with a Nintendo 3DSXL for his gift of love.  We gave him a 3DS game for his gift of fun and some books and a drum pad/sticks for his gift of learning.  Minnie got a fake American Girl doll (a gymnast one) for her gift of fun, a reading pillow for her bed for her gift of love, and a cookbook and kid knives for her gift of learning.  Goofy inherited Bucko's old DS, so we got him a case for it and a couple games for his gift of love.  He got a couple books for learning and a sit on bouncy ball for his gift of fun.  Baby Girl was easy.  She got some bath toys for love, an electronic nursery rhyme book for learning, and a farm animal toy for fun.  The kids exchanged gifts as well.  Tink made a sign for Bucko. Bucko gave a stuffed animal to Goofy.  Minnie made a babysitting bag for Tink.  Goofy got a Minnie Mouse doll for Baby Girl, and Baby Girl got Minnie a word search puzzle book and nail polish.
For lunch, we went over to Nana and Papa's.  We were able to Skype with Uncle Mike and soon-to-be Aunt Collette.  Then we came home and packed, so we could leave for Utah the next day.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve

We had some of PC's family over for taco salad on Christmas Eve.  Afterwards, we acted out the nativity.  It was lots of fun.  Baby Girl and Goofy were sheep, with PC and I as the shepherds.  Minnie was the angel.  Bucko, Tink, and Johnny were the Wise Men,  and PC's sister and family took the parts of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.  Papa narrated for us with Nana and Uncle Mark in the audience.  I made Mark the official photographer.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

PC's Birthday

We had to have PC open his presents in the morning, because we wanted him to use them that day.  His birthday was on a Sunday this year, and the kids got him engraved collar stays.  They say, "We love you" and "World's Best Dad" on them.  I got him two pairs of cuff links--Captain America and 007.  I think he really liked them all.
I made his favorite cookies 'n cream cake.  None of us were feeling the greatest though.  We all went to bed early.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Gingerbread Houses and Cousin Gifts

We always go to Nana and Papa's to make gingerbread houses.  Poor Tink woke up with a fever the day before.  She was feeling better and refused to miss it, but by the time we got to decorate the houses, she was asleep on the couch.  She felt awful the next day too, and finally felt better after that.  It was a yucky virus, but thankfully no one else in the family got it.  Baby Girl had a stomach bug, but it was different and no one else had that one either.
Here are all the houses lined up on Nana's table:
We also did a cousin gift exchange again this year for all the cousins who live in Colorado.  The kids just have so much fun doing this.  They had a great time.  Baby Girl opened her first gift ever. She got a cute stuffed dog.  Goofy is so into Spider-Man and he got a coloring thing and container both with Spider-Man on them.  I loved his cousin's expression as she waited for him to open his present from her! (She's in the bottom left corner of the collage below.)  Minnie got fingernail polish, which she loves!  Bucko got Pokemon cards--yes, he is still into Pokemon!  Tink got Reese's and bracelets.  They were all perfect for the kids.  It's so much fun to watch everyone open their gifts.  I'm so glad we do this!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Class Parties

The last day of school before winter break, all the kids had their class parties. I am the Home Room Parent for Bucko's class, so that always makes it fun.  His teacher had to leave unexpectedly for a funeral in his family earlier that week, so I felt like I was flying solo for that.  I was really bothered also when the kindergarten teachers decided to put on a play for the parents at the same time as the parties.  I got in there as quickly as I could, but I missed Goofy's part.  I had asked Nana to come and videotape it all for me, so I got to see it later on the video.  But I was still upset that I missed it in person.  He totally lit up when he finally saw me in the audience.  He kept looking around.  You could tell he was so nervous!!  (They did "The Night Before Christmas.")

We stopped in to see Minnie at her party.  I had Johnny with me to help.  I couldn't have even made it into the school without him. I had five pizzas, a baby in the stroller, a cooler, a box of treat bags and books, and the diaper bag.  Thank goodness Johnny could help.
We did a pizza party and book exchange for Bucko's class.  For the book exchange, we did it musical chairs style, where whoever gets out gets to go and pick a book.  It was the first time I have ever seen kids want to get out!  They all had so much fun though.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Random Things

Baby Girl loves to clap! She says, "Yay!" while she does it.  When we watch AFV, she always claps when everyone else does on the tv.  It's so cute!  She also says, "Uh-uh" for "uh-oh" when she drops something.  That is one of her favorite games at the moment too. She drops something and wants you to pick it up so she can drop it again.
Here is Tink's light fixture she got for her birthday all put together.  They put it together downstairs and then took it up to her room to install.
It will get super foggy here and then freeze.  We have woken up to several "winter wonderland" mornings.  I love how it clings to everything!  Even every needle on our pine trees.  So cool to me.
New baby cousin!  She is so cute and tiny, but already has more hair than Baby Girl!
Tink learned to crochet these scarves at Young Women's one night.  She taught Minnie and they love making them!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Ward Parties

I am working as the Relief Society Activities Chairperson at church right now.  I basically plan and execute our activities every other month for the women in our ward.  For December, we do a nice Christmas dinner and a white elephant gift exchange.  We invite all the young women too.  Because of my classes, I wasn't sure if I should go to class or stay and help.  In the end, I had a lot of committee members who just could not make it that night, so felt like I really should be there.  I really wanted to go to be able to enjoy it and it was Tink's first time going, so I wanted to be there with her too.  We set up in the morning, and I think it turned out really nice.  We strung white light across the ceiling and had different ladies decorate the individual tables.  We had snowflakes all over and little Christmas trees stuck around the room.  We did a short spiritual program where we read The Three Trees and had some special music.  It all turned out really well. We had two young women play Silent Night on their violins, then a mother/daughter sang Master, the Tempest is Raging while another daughter accompanied on the french horn.  We finished by all singing "Joy to the World." It was really nice.  The gift exchange was fun too.  Tink ended up with some really cute snowflake earrings.  I got a movie and popcorn.  Usually I end up with awful gifts, but this year we did really well!

Two days later, we had our ward Christmas party. It was a breakfast with Santa.  They had crafts for the kids to do as well.  Goofy's friend and his family came.  Minnie's friend and her dad and sister also came.  We all had a good time.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

December is here!

With my parents on a mission, everyone in my family has been trying to e-mail once a week or so to update all on what is going on.  Below is what I wrote for this week:
 Hi everyone,
I hope you are all staying warm!  It has been SO cold here.  For four days, the highest the thermometer on the Suburban read was 1 degree!  AAhh!  It usually hung around -2.  PC even ran in the mornings when it was even colder.  With the wind chill, it was about -25.  He is training for an ultra marathon in May, so he is running a lot and hates the treadmill.  
The kids had school cancelled on Thursday and a two-hour delay on Friday.  Minnie was home Friday as well, because she threw up Thursday night.  We have all felt a bit queasy and have had some major headaches, but not a bad sickness I guess.
PC's niece had her 1 year old birthday party this weekend.  That was fun and we took the kids to see Santa at Big R (a cowboy type store) afterwards.  Tink missed all that because she was taking the Red Cross babysitting and CPR training.  We were glad she was finally able to do that though! 
I took Baby Girl to an oral surgeon last week for the mucocele in her mouth.  He said he would cut it out, but the anesthesiologist wouldn't put her to sleep until she is one, so we will have to go back in three months.  I might still try to just pop that thing with a needle.  
We got a crack in the windshield of the Suburban driving home from Thanksgiving at PC's brother's house.  I went and had that filled before the cold weather hit so it wouldn't spread.  It is amazing how well they can fix those things. I can't even see it anymore.
We had stake conference this weekend. It was all about missionary work, Mom and Dad.  And they quoted your favorite book a lot.  They told us to pray for our missionaries by name and their investigators, and to pray for missionary experiences.  Our stake president asked us to invite someone to church before Christmas.  The kids all took some invitations to our Christmas party on Saturday and are inviting their friends.  No escaping this missionary stuff now, is there?  
Hope you are all doing well.  Two weeks left in my semester and then Christmas break!  Yeah!  Of course I start right back up in January, but it is all for the best.  I really am enjoying the classes.

 When PC ran outside in the cold, his eyelashes froze.  It was crazy cool! I tried to get a picture, but it had started to melt already.  Still looked cool though.  

Monday, 2 December 2013


For Thanksgiving, we went up to Brian and Mandy's house.  We had a great time.  Joe and family were really sick, but were still able to make it for dinner.  Baby Girl and her cousin had a blast playing together.  We just had to guard the stairs pretty well.  (Baby Girl almost gave Mandy a heart attack the next morning when she was reaching for a brush on the first step down.  We got to her and she didn't fall down though.)  We set up all the food upstairs in the kitchen, then had all the tables set up in the basement.  It worked out really well.  We had lots of yummy food.  After dinner, we ladies worked on some crafts.  We made a sign post for our front porch and two signs to go on it.  We also did a cute nativity ornament out of clothespins.  We all enjoy doing crafts and it is even nicer when it's with family.  The older girls entertained us from their room with singing and other silliness.

Thursday, 28 November 2013


Halloween was a little different this year.  It fell on a Thursday night, so I had class that night.  We were invited over to dinner at Carrie and Jeff's with Dan's family as well.  We ate and then when I had to leave for class, they all headed out to trick-or-treat.  They all had a good time.

We had our ward trunk-or-treat the night before.  This year we were all super heroes.  PC and I just wore t-shirts to tie it all together.
Baby Girl was Hulk, Goofy was Spider-Man, Minnie was Super Girl, Bucko was Captain America, and Tink was Bat Girl.  I made a tutu for Tink's Bat Girl costume. She already had the t-shirt.  We already had Goofy's costume as well.  Minnie's I had made a few years ago for Tink, so we were able to reuse that one too.  
We also went to a Halloween party the weekend before.  The kids had fun decorating cookies and playing with friends.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Song for a fifth child

Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby, loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.)

Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby. Babies don't keep.

I have always loved this poem.
I haven't discussed my schooling much here yet,so thought I would take the opportunity. In September, I began the Pathways Program through BYU-Idaho.  The first year is Academic Start. This semester I am taking the first half of the Book of Mormon and Life Skills. The first year is geared to prepare you for the rest of the program.  It has been really busy trying to juggle family and school and other responsibilities.  I have been learning so much though and can feel the Lord's help through it all. Baby Girl has made it a lot more difficult lately to get schoolwork done. For the past month, she has been teething and/or sick. She is also going through the stage of separation anxiety. She now refuses to sleep in her crib. If I get her to sleep, she will sleep maybe five minutes in her crib, then wake up and scream. She will not go back to sleep and just stands there screaming in sheer terror. So naps now consist of sleeping in my arms.  She does sleep through the night mostly, but only in our bed. I moved her crib mattress into our room and she will now sometimes sleep for maybe an hour on that.  I guess I forgot how every baby is different. This one sure loves being near Mom and Dad!  She is so stinking precious, though!  We seriously can't get enough of her, which is good since she apparently can't get enough of us either.
So every week we have a Gathering night where we discuss the things we are learning that week in class. A student leads the discussion and it is really nice. PC watches the kids, and I really enjoy the break. Last week, we were learning about work. I was scheduled to be the lead student for the discussion. However, we had ice and snow, so they decided to cancel. I had been working so hard to get everything planned, I was really pretty bummed that it was cancelled.  As I was preparing, and thinking about my work with my family, I thought of this poem, "Song for a Fifth Child."  Now I knew the poem, but had never heard the title of it before. It was perfect. Even more perfect, when I read about the author, Ruth Hulburt Hamilton.  I was surprised the title was "Song for a Fifth Child." I had always referred to it as the "Babies don't keep" poem.  As I read about Ruth Hulburt Hamilton, I was truly amazed at how similar her story was to mine.  She had four children, ages 11, 9, 7, and 5 when she had her fifth child.  These were exactly the ages of our children!  I read how it was so different for her having a baby with older children.  Having a five year gap, you sure forget a lot!  She loved how they all would run to the baby when they came home and they all loved the baby so much.  With older kids, it's hard to get everything done and still take care of and enjoy a baby.  I know this all too well. I needed to read this poem again and am so grateful for the things I've been able to learn and/or relearn with my classes.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Tink's Celebrations

On Tink's birthday, we were driving home from our holiday in Granby.  We stopped in Denver at Ikea to get her present.  She has been wanting one of their super cool light fixtures for her room.  We stopped in Castle Rock at the outlets for a little shopping as well. We ate lunch there and headed home, only to get stopped due to a car accident.  It took much longer to get home than it should have.  I quickly made her cupcakes (which ended up burning on the bottom--I was so disappointed!) and we celebrated with some family over.  The kids loved playing with all the balloons.  The balloons were Goofy's present to her.  He insisted on having green balloons and made sure we got them and blew them all up for her.  They had a blast.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Family Pictures

 PCs sister took our family pictures a couple weeks ago.  We were so pleased with how well they turned out.  Here are a few.  They were all so good, I could post a ton more, but these will do.

Fall Break, part 2

The second week of fall break was spent mostly at the dentist and doctor's offices for check-ups.  No one had any cavities and everyone is growing and healthy.  Tink even got her braces on this week!  We went in for an evaluation and they said they could go ahead and put them on right then if we wanted.  We hadn't planned on spending all morning there, though, so the other kids were pretty antsy.  We had fun, especially when Goofy took Baby Girl's binky clip and clipped it to the crotch of his pants!  He stood with his legs spread open and swung it back and forth until I ran and snatched it off.  He thought it was hilarious.  I was so embarrassed!

Here is the run down of everyone's heights this time.  Tink: 5'2.8", Bucko: 4'5.8", Minnie: 3'10", and Goofy:  3'8.5".  Everyone grew at least two inches this year.  Tink grew the most, with a 3" gain.  They sure are growing fast.
We were "booed" one night.  The kids loved it!  They did later figure out who it was that booed us when we were at their house and we used the same plates. Good times.
 Baby Girl has to be held to sleep lately.  She's been cutting teeth, so has been super fussy.  I caught a sweet pic of her with Daddy one night.  Love those two.
 The last day of Fall Break, I took the kids to Skate City. I had promised them we would, so we finally made it there.  We had some friends meet us there too, so that was fun.  Then we stopped for ice cream afterwards.  I love school breaks!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Fall Break in the Rockies

I really do love that the school district we live in has a two-week fall break.  It is so nice to have a break after the first quarter!  We were lucky enough to spend the first week of fall break up in the Winter Park area of Colorado.  When we booked our week at the resort, we received a week free, so we booked another room for PC's parents and brother.  It was pretty cold up there but really pretty.  We did a lot of hiking and relaxing in the hot tub.
One of our first hikes was to go up to this little gazebo we could see on the top of the hill.  It was straight up, but not very long.  PC and the kids ran up it.  Baby Girl was trying to go to sleep so I stayed with her in the car.  She would have nothing of it, so I put her in the pack and we went up.  She fell asleep as we walked down. She slept a lot in that pack on these hikes.
 This was the other side of the hill that housed the gazebo.  We got Papa out there with us that day. We did not go too far. Baby Girl had just woken up from a nap and I ended up on a rock to nurse her. She was ok after that, but the kids were tired.
 One of our favorite hikes was up to Adam's Falls.  This is part of the Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was an easy hike, but so very peaceful and beautiful!
 We saw a deer on that hike and a couple squirrels. This squirrel kept going right in front of us.  He wasn't afraid at all.  Goofy and Bucko thought it was the coolest thing and kept telling me to take more pictures of him!

Another day, we hiked the first part of the Devils Thumb trail.  We didn't make it to the top, as it got very steep after the first mile and a half.  And the trail was covered in snow!  It was so beautiful and we saw several mule deer on the drive up to the trail.  We had read that it was a good spot for moose, so we were really hoping to see some.  They must have all been hunkering down out of the cold, because there were none in sight.  The first mile follows this little creek.  It was all really beautiful.
 This was the day before we left.  We hiked up another hill we could see from our resort.  We loved how the sun shone of the fallen aspen leaves and made the road golden.  It was beautiful.
One evening, Nana and Papa treated us all to bowling.  It was a fun little place and we all had a blast.  We loved the atmosphere and the low, leather couches to sit on while you waited your turn.  Fun times!

We did get snow a couple days.  I love the picture of Minnie trying to catch the snow.  We spent a lot of time in our little condo relaxing, coloring pictures, and playing games.  Nana and I split up the dinner schedule so we only had to cook every other day.  We would eat at the condo of whoever had cooked.  It worked out really well.  Baby Girl really took off on her crawling abilities this week as well.  She loved mastering that little step! Tink turned 12 the day we left, so we baked cookies the night before to celebrate and had her "blow out" the battery operated candles we had brought along.  It was a nice holiday, but always nice to come home too.