Sunday, December 23, 2012

Taylor Elementary Christmas Concert

Eliza, Sarah  and Caleb all participated in the annual Taylor Elementary Christmas Concert.
It was a little bittersweet knowing that this would be the last Christmas Concert we would attend at this school.

The trio sang one song together in a special choir, then they each sang a song with their own class.

Can you spot them? they are on the top row.

Eliza's Class sang "Christmas Don't be Late"

Caleb's class sang "We three Kings".

                                                    Sarah's class sang "Jingle bell rock!"

Nibble, Nibble Little Mouse.....

Who's been nibbling at my house?!

                    Decorating a gingerbread house is one of our favorite Christmas traditions!!


This year, the kids Birthday was Extra special because it was on 12-12-12!!!
We figured out that if you add up the digits in the date it equaled 9! And that's how old they are!

Adam and I surprised them by picking them up from school and taking them out to lunch. Then, we took donuts to school for all their classmates.
After school we had a small family party and had A Dairy Queen Ice cream cake! YUMMY!!!
The kids all got remote controlled toys for their Birthday!
That night we went to our ward Christmas Party and the whole ward sang Happy Birthday to them!

Happy Birthday Eliza, Sarah and Caleb!

Stars were Gleaming

Every year I make new ornaments for my Christmas tree.
I do this for two reasons.
First, I am really particular about how I want my tree to look and It's hard for me two find ornaments that I love.
Second, I am a cheapskate, so making my own ornaments makes more economic sense to me.

This year I made tin stars for my tree.  It was so easy to make these and they ended up only costing .25 - .50 cents (depending on size) each to make. I found the tutorial on pintrest, but It had a lot of unnecessary steps so I'm posting my own tutorial for you.
I used these disposable tin trays from the Dollar store. There were two trays in each pack.

I traced a star onto the foil. Notice the tips of the star are not pointed.

I cut it out with kitchen sheers. It was surprisingly easy!

I cut 1/4" slits in each interior corner of the star.

Using a ruler, I folded down the edges of the star.

I punched a hole at the top of the star .

On the top of each star I used a pointy thing (I really don't know what it was it looked like a bead made from a bone. probably something from scouts....any way you could use a nail as long as it's not to sharp.) but I used it to press a strait line from the center of the star to each inside corner of the star. 

Then, I flipped the star over and did the same thing. this time going to the outside points of the star.

Once it looked like this, I just sort of pushed inward from the edges and played with it a little until it looked like.....

THIS!!!! Then, I spray painted the stars with some paint I already had and using some dark brown paint and a sponge brush I gave them a little distressed look. 

Viola!! I made big ones and small ones. I love how they look on my tree!
Oh. and I made the sweater ornaments with an old sweater that I picked up at a thrift shop for a dollar.
I just cut the sleeves into small sections and slid a cheap plastic ornament inside and used craft glue to glue the tops and bottoms together.

The Tree all decorated.

I just had to throw in a picture of the window /wreath project I did this year as well. I love how it turned out!

Singing Sarah

Sarah joined a community Children's Choir at the beginning of the school year. The Choir is Awesome. I can tell that her director has spent less time teaching them songs, and more time teaching them to sing. I love it! The choir has been invited to sing at a couple of Christmas Events in the community. One of the events was in a chapel so I didn't get any pictures. But her last performance was for the Snowflake town lighting so I was able to snap a few shots. The Choir sings beautifully and Sarah looks Beautiful while singing.

 We are so Proud of you Sarah!


We spent Thanks giving with the Quists this year. We drove down to the valley on Wednesday night and stayed with my parents. On Thursday we went over Paul and Beth's for our Feast. We enjoyed eating, visiting, playing games, making crafts, and eating some more.

Lydia taught the kids to make Cornucopias. Then they filled them with Treats!

The Cousins all enjoyed playing Thanksgiving Bingo! They also loved the Dancing game On the Wii. But they were moving so fast while playing it that all the pictures came out blurry!

The WHOLE GANG!! I love these people!

I spent Thursday night doing some black Friday shopping with Lydia. I was able to get ALL my Christmas shopping done!! YAY!!

Early Friday Morning, Adam left to go to Albuquerque with his parents to attend his Cousins wedding. the kids and I stayed with my parents and we went on a hike on Friday.

It was a beautiful day and the hike was awesome.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Cleaning Crew!

I love my cleaning crew! They are fast, effecient and best of all, they're Cheap!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Family Night Fun

We always enjoy our family night Activities. A couple weeks ago, we were playing Cranium (family edition) for our FHE activity.
We were playing Parents vs. Kids. It was Caleb's turn to draw for his team. Now, Caleb is a very bright, intelligent, and creative boy. But, if there is one thing he is not, it's an artist. Especially, when he is given just one minute to draw a pine cone and have his sisters guess what it is. Well, he started with the pine cone, but he figured they'd never guess it unless he drew a squirrel too, so he tried to draw a squirrel.  By the time the timer ran out, all of us, including Caleb were on the floor laughing so hard we couldn't breathe!
We were DYING! It took us a good 10 minutes to get ourselves under control! We'd think we were O.K. then, we'd glance at the drawing and start busting up again. We joked about submitting it to the Friend Magazine with "Caleb age 8" printed below. Caleb joked that he thought the card read "a squirrel after being hit by a nuclear bomb."  Even a half hour later, when it was time for family prayer, we were struggling to stifle our laughter over his drawing.
These are the moments I live for!!! I am so grateful that we follow the prophets counsel to hold regular Family Home Evening. I am grateful that Caleb has thick skin and is confident enough in himself to laugh at himself every once in a while.
He gave me permission to post the picture on the blog so it can be in our Family Year book. We keep the original displayed in the kitchen for those times when we need a little cheering up.
Thanks Caleb! You're Awesome!
Caleb G. Age 8

Halloween Happenings

We had a wonderful Halloween Holiday this year. Last year, there was a shortage of pumpkins for sale, so we ended up having to carve gourds. This year we planted our own pumpkins and ended up with more than enough to carve. The kids enjoy carving pumpkins, but they do not enjoy cleaning them out. EEW.....Sticky Icky

As you can see, the Jack-O-lanterns turned out great.
The kids all picked out and helped make their own costumes. Sarah was a snow princess, Caleb was Harry potter, and Eliza was Superman
Five Princesses
Two Harry Potters

And the one and only Super-man-girl!

We hosted our Annual chili cook-off and Trick-or-treat hayride. We ended up with over 80 guests from our ward and neighborhood. We had a blast and the kids got tons of yummy candy.

Soccer Star

Eliza just wrapped up her soccer season. Her team this year was the Black Mambas. It was her first year playing on a team without Sarah and Caleb playing by her side. Sarah and Caleb decided they wanted to be involved in other activities this year, so that just left Eliza on the soccer field.
So I'm totally going to brag right now, but I just have to say: Eliza is AMAZING!!! She is SO good at soccer! She was the fastest one on her team and can get the ball away from any opponent. She was the second highest scoring player on her co-ed team and she just keeps getting better and better.
I really wish our little community offered a club soccer program because she is so sad that the season is over, and that she has to wait until next fall to play again. Luckily, we have a nice big yard for her to kick the ball around in and practice for next year.

We love the expression on the face of  the boy from the opposing team just as Eliza kicked the ball away from him. That's our girl!

We are so proud of Eliza and her dedication to this sport that she loves!

First Day of School (a little late)

Our First day of school pictures were lost for a while, but now they're found! Yay!

The Trio started Third grade this year. It is their last year at Taylor Elementary, So they are "Big man on campus!"  Next year they will start fourth grade at Taylor Intermediate.


Eliza is in Mrs. Christensen's Class

Sarah is in Mrs. Hamling's class

Caleb is in Mr. Rodger's class

Having Third graders is awesome! They can get themselves ready for school all on their own. They even pack their own lunches (with supervision of course). They know that right when they home, after having a snack, It's time to do homework and they rarely need to be reminded. They are developing great study habits and they are learning to manage their time responsibly. Yep, they're growing up. it's a little sad for me, but it's also very exciting.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

It's a "Perfect" life

Sometimes, when I read the blogs of my family and friends, I think " Well, their life is pretty much prefect. Perfect jobs, perfect kids, perfect home, perfect vacations....That must be nice." But recently, after having these thoughts I had to ask myself "Is this what others think of MY life when they read my blog?
 Our Family blog gets printed into a book every year, a family "year book" if you will. I try to keep it fun, inspiring, and I only include the things I think we'll want to remember in years to come. But, maybe that's not fair to my children. They need to know that we have struggles. Because they are going to have struggles and they need to know that we get through them.
Earlier this week, I dug up a letter that Adam had written to his brother Richard when Richard was serving a mission. Thankfully, Richard saved the letter, and gave it back to Adam when he had gotten home. It was written in the fall of 2007. We had just moved to Taylor and were living in our fifth wheel trailer in  a detached garage while we were building our home. A few months prior, Adam fell from the roof while building that 16' tall garage. He broke his back and had spent almost a week in the hospital.  He was still in a back brace and recovering when he wrote the letter.
At the end of the letter Adam wrote:
 "It's quite the burden to be "handicapped", and to have bills to pay, a wife and kids to feed and cloth, no job, living in a dirty and cluttered barn, heading into winter, being in a new ward with no friends or family close by. With half a finished house, with no income, and no power, (We are using a 200 watt generator). But, even with all that, I am at peace.  I know that we are where we are supposed to be. I know the Lord knows and understands our situation. He loves us. Things will work out."

The crazy thing is, until I had read this letter, I had sort of forgotten about that time in our lives. I had forgotten about having to go outside in freezing weather to pull start a generator so I could heat up yet another microwave dinner. I forgot about driving the kids to the Show Low swimming pool twice a week so we could take nice long warm showers in the locker room.  I forgot about how lonely I felt and how the only company we had was the mice that decided to move in because our place was just a little warmer than the world outside. I forgot about how Adam couldn't lift anything more than 10lbs so, while building our home, all the heavy lifting was left  up to me.
I'm glad I read that letter, because I don't want to completely forget that time in our lives. We need to remember the struggles because it helps us remember and recognize that trials and sacrifices bring blessings.
Things are great now! Not perfect, by any means. But we have been so blessed.
We have been blessed with the opportunity to deliver auto parts to greasy garages in surrounding communities because, until the economy improves, Adam just hasn't had enough tractor work to make ends meet.  I have been blessed with an old beater truck that I don't mind putting a lot of miles on to deliver the parts with. I am blessed because even though I have to deliver big heavy tires that get my clothes black, I am able to be home when my children are.
We are blessed with three healthy children, but I still cry sometimes when I see new babies, because I want to have more children but can't. We have been blessed to be able to graduate from "parenting 101" because we have a child who insists on signing us up for "parenting 505"!
We are blessed with a nice big kitchen sink to wash dishes in because our dishwasher is breaking and I don't know if we'll want to spend the money it takes to fix or replace it.
We are blessed to have employment but Between the delivery routes, tractor work,  and Adam's calling, sometimes we only see Adam for an hour a day. And sometimes this makes him grumpy. A lot of times it makes me grumpy.
We are blessed with a big yard where All of the 35 pine trees I planted died or got run over by the lawn mower, and We are obviously blessed with enough food because I'm almost at the heaviest weight I have ever been.

How's that for keeping it real? Not quite the perfect life right? But that's O.K. Because it's as close to perfect as we're gonna get, and we're happy with that.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rendezvous at the Lake

This past weekend we went on a last-minute camping trip with the Anderson's. We met them at Roosevelt lake.  They brought the boat and we brought the camper and a tent.
We arrived Friday evening and made a campfire and cooked foil dinners.
After a not-so-great nights sleep (there were some loud campers nearby), we got up early ate breakfast and then we played! We all had a blast swimming, tubing, knee boarding, and cliff jumping.

Greaden caught  a fish! He's a Survivor!!!
Just kidding guys. It was already dead.

Braunsen and Caleb on the Tube.

Sarah and Greaden on the tube.

Eliza and Jewellana on the tube.

Sarah and Macey

Caleb drove the boat!

Don't push me!!! I'm thinking!

Gaelen jumps!
Ruth Jumps!!
Greaden, Braunsen, Caleb and Sarah. ''If you go, I'll go!"
Greaden Jumps!

Caleb Jumps!!! and Gaelen Jumps again!
Sarah Jumps!
Braunsen Jumps!!!
Eliza Drives!

Caleb Loved the Knee board.

Sarah loved knee boarding too!

 I attempted to wake board but I was a bit rusty and only managed to to stay up for a minute. Adam would have loved to go wake boarding but his back was somewhat sore from his accident and we thought it would be wise not to risk injuring it further but, we still had so much fun watching the kids play. Sarah and Caleb both did great on the knee board and Sarah even stood up on it for a few seconds before she wiped out!
The lake was so beautiful. It was clear and clean and the water temperature was just right and there was hardly any traffic on the lake.
The best part trip was spending time with the Anderson's. The trio had a great time with their cousins and Adam and I always enjoy visiting with Heather and Gaelen.
It was a great way for us to officially end a fun summer.
Bring on Fall! We're ready!