Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Temple Lights

We kicked December off with a heavy dose of the Christmas Spirit at the Mesa Temple, and it seemed even sweeter than usual (hot chocolate and homemade cookies may have helped)! Who couldn't love the Temple Lights?! This year we went with our good buddies, the Levanders. My talented friend Darah knitted these high-fashion snow caps for our adorable girls, who modeled them so well...

...and all our rowdy boys just ran circles around us and through the crowds. We had such a great time.

Look at this perfect little puffball....

Thanksgiving 2010


My husband's dad died of cancer on November 20th of this year. He fought hard and gave us a few extra years of memories that the doctors didn't expect. His funeral was the day before Thanksgiving, and though it may seem like bad timing, it was a blessing that his death was coupled with a holiday that reminds us what we are grateful for.

My father-in-law was a family man. He loved his wife so fiercely - she was his first love and his last. He was a hands-on dad and a Mr. fix-it. He was a firm believer, a church-goer and a good neighbor. He was also a doting grandpa. When Scott first brought me home to meet him, he thanked me for answering his prayers for his son. I'm very grateful for him - grateful that my husband learned from him and is so much like him already.

I'm very grateful that God created families, and I do believe it is God's design. It was His idea, not ours, that a man and a woman should unite in marriage and raise children together. It's our best chance for happiness in this life, and the safest way back home to heaven. I'm grateful this Thanksgiving, like I was when my own dad died, that I know there is a God and He has a plan. I know He sent me here to navigate this world for a reason, and it wasn't so that I could fall in love with all these people and then be seperated from them at death. He means for my family to live together forever, and because he sent His Son, we can and we will. He even gave us pumpkin pie and whip cream to give us comfort while we wait ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We Didn't Mean to Get a Dog...

An unexpected surprise landed at our house a couple months ago, and since then our family hasn't been the same (Do you sense some sugar-coating?)! Frankly, it's not good dog timing for our family, and personally, I never intended to add any animals to the mix, but I did agree to take care of her when she was offered to us, and now I feel bound to a dog by my altruistic word. I was not naive going into this, and it has been as difficult as I imagined it would be. Indeed, she soils the carpet, whines, yips, growls, bites, chews and costs. But we have swallowed her into our hearts and so far we've fought the reflex to cough her back up. And yes, when I say "so far" that is what I mean! It must be true that you love who you serve, even when it comes to dogs. And as someone with a general aversion to animals, I'll admit that she is teaching me a kind of love I've never had before. And so, with some hesitation, I introduce....Tilly (the Chihuahua puppy)!

This is a picture of my kids with Kimber's. They were over one day and I thought they looked funny (and numerous) all lined up watching TV...


Thursday, November 4, 2010

My First Painting

So, it's no Michaelangelo, but it's the only thing I've ever painted, and it wasn't a complete disaster, and Scott did such a good job building the frame, and I just thought that before this thing disapears into the recesses of my attic, someone should get some credit for it...

...It's a bean bag toss we made for our ward Halloween party, by the way...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

This is my sister Lisa and her husband Mark. They are the champions of Halloween and most other holidays because of their fearless festiveness (which has rubbed off on the rest of our gigantic family, and now we all get a little crazy when that full moon comes out - wait til you see my mother in a teletubby costume). This year's Halloween party was a reunion of sorts because Mark and Lisa have been out of state for the last two holiday seasons. Since they just moved home a few weeks ago, Halloween is back in full effect! It's so nice to have them home.

Tale of a Tooth

The tooth fairy is back, and for Colby her visit was terrible and wonderful. Though he watched his older brother go through the process (coveted his loot and everything), when his teeth started to get loose he was adament that he did NOT want them to fall out. The mere idea just creeped him out completely. No attempts at bribery or tales of fairies would sway him. He wouldn't wiggle them, wouldn't let us touch them, and wouldn't change his mind. At first I was willing to be patient and let nature run its course, but if you've ever had a little kid just starting to lose teeth, you know that at some point the grotesque dangling becomes unbearable and you have to take matters into your own hands. I forced him to sit down and hold still and addressed the matter with some dental floss and a square knot. Colby was most displeased. He sobbed in anguish as if his arm were broken. Then he called his dad and tattled on me. Long after the ordeal was over, he decided that if there was no way to put the tooth back in, he might as well get some money for it. By the time we had it packaged up to put under his pillow, he was smiling again. He lost another tooth the very next day and the process went much smoother the second time. Above is Colby's kindergarten picture. I love it for a couple of reasons. First, his two front teeth are loose and you can see them beginning to jut out in a deformed way. I also love it because he asked to go to the bathroom before they took his picture so that he could fix his hair, and that hairdo will now go down in our family history books! What a cool kid.

Dance Class

All the fantasies I entertained of having a daughter have so far played out to the fullest, and with added gusto, thanks to the living, breathing cartoon character that is my daughter. In fact, as we speak, she is clomping around the house in plastic heels and several layers of glittery pink dresses. She addresses me as Erika and refuses to answer to anything but Analise (both names you would recognize if you had a library of Barbie movies as we do). And just a moment ago when I told her I was going to bring the baby upstairs to bed, she brought me my pretend horse for transportation. What could I do but ride it? I'm so grateful to her for being exactly what I imagined she would be. Unlike most things in life, I expected this. I pictured us dressing up and twirling around and singing Disney songs, princess style, at the top of our lungs. I don't NEED her to gush and ooze girliness, but she just happens to, and it's SO fun. She just started a little ballet class at the rec center a couple weeks ago. Here are some pictures of that, as well as a stop we made at the park after class one day.