Monday, December 21, 2009

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

From our family to yours. Yes, Gracie does say "good tithings we bring" and I think Sander was trying to sound like one of the chipmunks, but lets be honest...with Sander you just never know. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Here we are. To those of you whose address we couldn't find, Merry Christmas. We are so thankful for the friendships we have made over the years. You are the people how have helped shape our lives and who we are. We hope you have a wonderful holiday.
I love my little dancer! Grace is girl through-and-through. Grace loves every second of twirling and leaping. Grace's teacher is a kind woman who teaches these classes as a service. I feel very grateful to her teacher for all she has taught Grace about dance, and also about being a good person who is willing to share her talents for the good of others.

Grace and her friend Cambree after their ballet recital. They thought their matching flowers were great! ( good thing Cambree's mom was on the ball and helped Gracie's mom look like she was on the ball) Yea, I was totally that mom who ran to the front of the room to get some in your face pictures during the dance. What has this world come to?

These are some of the girls from our neighborhood. Cambree, Grace, Kailena, Brooklynn, and Sierra.

Gracies fan club! Melissa, Evan, Addie, Sander, Malichi, Troy, Tera, and Addie ( not in the photo ... me ) . Troy and Evan served a mission together. Troy and his family were in town visiting. They were SUPER lucky to be here to see the recital. Tera was a good sport, it was her birthday. Happy Birthday Tera!

Nearing the end

This is us really early in the morning! Don't we all look super happy? We were just on our way to the airport. We were feeling a little sad, although Mom and Dad were probably feeling a little relieved. But before we left we had to have some special time with Grandma around the piano. I hope they always remember sitting with Grandma by the piano.
The kids also had the ultimate bubble bath. It was all going really well until Mom told me to turn on the jets in the tub. Addie was almost lost in the bubbles and refused to go back into the tub. I had to talk Grace and Sander into believing me when I said I wouldn't turn on the jets again.

And they finally decided that all the bubbles were really fun. Don't you worry that the bubbles overflowed all into the bathroom. Mom was covered with bubbles and so was I, but hey- great memories were made.

The kids loved having Evan all to themselves. He misses so much during the summer that they were trying to shove a summer of fun into one vacation. They love playing football and wrestling around with him. The "winter" weather in Oklahoma made it perfect for playing outside every afternoon. It was the best vacation. When I asked the kids what they loved the most, Gracie said she loved sitting by Grandma in the van while we drove around.

Thanksgiving in OK

Here they are! I love my parents and I have really missed having them close by, but I am grateful for their love of the gospel and their wonderful example to me.

Our little family. Happy Thanksgiving. The kids food was here, but they wondered around talking to Grandma and Grandpa and all the missionaries. Sander kept on asking the elders to play football with him, and Grace jumped right in with the sisters singing church songs.

Yummy- yummy!! And super sanitary. The kids were helping make the pie, and their favorite part was cleaning up the bowl. What great helpers.

Addie thought the pie was okay, but she was really ALL OVER the olives. I think she ate an entire can all by herself. What a girl. The kids giggled while filling their fingers with olives. Sometimes it is good to remember they joys of childhood.

I love this picture of Grace. Do you see the chocolate going all the way up her arm? That's my girl!


While we were in Oklahoma, we were able to help Mom serve a real down home Oklahoma lunch to the new missionaries. We had pulled pork, beans, fried okra ( or how ever you spell it), and finished off with Braums ice cream. Evan was over all the deep fried foods. It actually turned out to be pretty good. Grace, Sander and Addie were also BIG helps in the kitchen. They thought it was pretty cool that they could help serve the missionaries.
I loved watching the kids talk to the missionaries and learn more about what missions are all about.

There's no place like Braums. (Although I would say it is similar to Reed's Dairy products). The kids LOVED the ice cream. I have to admit, I didn't think it was so bad myself. We had to eat the ice cream a couple of different times while we were in Oklahoma. The kids thought it was cool that they could eat all the ice cream they wanted! Grandpa had to make up for lost time with them. :)

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Oklahoma

We went to Oklahoma for our family vacation this year. It was exciting to be able to spend so much time with Evan after his LONG summer of working on roads. It worked out well that we could see Mom and Dad on their mission. I haven't seen them since I had Addie, and Evan has never been out there. We chose one activity a day while we were here. Evan had never been to an IMAX movie, so we went to the Museum of Science. We spent hours there!! The kids loved it ( that would include Evan and Dad ). The Segway booth was by far the biggest hit. The good thing about going to Oklahoma when we did was everyone was in school, so there weren't really any crowds, which is how is had to be for Evan to be happy. With no lines, everyone was able to ride on the Segway thing a couple or more times.
The kids loved all the different activities they could do. They had an entire section for kids 6 and under. There were a bunch of hands-on things they could do. I remember standing in our mirrors when I was little girl and spending so much time looking at all the images of me.

Evan, of course, had to have some time at Pro Bass, or is it Bass Pro? Anyway, this was outside of the store. The kids found they love climbing on all the statues. Evan let the kids play at the "shooting range," and they were able to try out all the toy guns they could find. Gracie, ever the girl, latched on to a pink cowgirl hat and a pink gun. She was as happy as could be. Sander couldn't decide between Davy Crockett or a cowboy, but there was always a gun in hand. Addie just sat in the cart and made eyes at anyone who would look at her. She is such a flirt!

Get your kicks on Route 66! The kids liked looking for all the things that reminded them of the movie Cars. At the end of the museum, they show a film on how the interstate came in making everyone abandon 66, and Gracie started to cry. "It is just so sad." she said. Evan was studying how they built the road and was feeling thankful they have better equipment now than they did then. They also showed pictures of the dust bowl. Gracie had a hard time wrapping her head around that one. The rest of the trip she asked about the sand blizzard and tornadoes.

Talk about the perfect visit to the zoo! It was almost like we had the entire place to ourselves. The animals were all really active. The kids LOVED it. The gorillas were one of the favorites. They were wrestling around and each kid picked a gorilla that was like one of our family members. At one point, Gracie laid down next to the window and a gorilla came to see what she was doing. It was really neat. After that, we were passing the lions cage. Sander ran up to the window and was waving his hand in front of the lion, and the lion started to growl at him. Sander thought it was great ( me not so much ) then it jumped at Sander! Evan was telling Sander to keep it up, and I was, of course, telling him to back off!! Sander does not have enough fear in him.

Here It Is

Okay, here is a picture of what my house looks like on the outside. Ummm, sorry it isn't a super good picture, but at least you get an idea of what it looks like. Of course, now everything is covered with snow, so you wouldn't notice the lack of a yard. Next summer we are excited to start putting the outside of our house together!

Friday, October 9, 2009

And we are in!!

It finally happened!! Thanks to some amazing friends, the house was packed up and moved in no time at all ( did I mention they helped out during a rain storm?? You guys are the best ). We are in OUR own home! I am still getting things put together, which I think will be the case for the next six months, but I love it. I also can't put on pictures because I don't know where the cable is to download, hope to find that one soon. Thanks everyone who helped!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Number Four

Hey, I know that I am way over due for updating, but things have been a little crazy. I did want to say.... we found out we are going to be having a little girl. Yep, we are going on number four! I am due on January 21. I am really excited to pull out all the cute little girly things. Sander was really wanting a boy, but says he can be okay with it as long as we choose Hanna for her name. We will see what the final vote is.

We are REALLY pushing to close on our house this week and move in this weekend. I WILL put on pictures one of these days. ( don't you worry mom )

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Birthday

Okay, here is the most updated picture I have of the house, but it is farther along than this. We will be moved in with in the next month. A huge thanks to everyone who has helped us with the house. There is no way we could have done this on our own. We are so thankful for good family and friends. We love you so much!

I know I am fizzing out on blogging ( it has been a while ) so here is a very brief overview of the birthday. We played in the water for Gracie's "party" -if you can call it that- and then headed out to a T-ball game. After the game we went to dinner, which ended with me and the kids sitting in the car since they forgot their manners while eating out. It was after nine before I finished "the cake." That is what I get for trying to be creative. (sigh) The idea was cute- flip flops for the summer birthday. Anyway, sweet Gracie I love you. We are so glad you are part of our family. Happy fifth birthday!

Just something cute

I loved these pictures. Like I was saying, Sander adores his dad. Where ever Evan is, Sander isn't too far behind.

I just thought these where some fun pictures of the kids. Wow- it is going to be exciting when Gracie gets a little older. Make-up, boys, hanging out with the girls. (sigh) Time sure goes fast.

Evan almost 30

I love this guy! Okay, so he did have a birthday last month, we all know I am a little bit behind, but I just wanted to show my sweet guy. For his birthday, they had a father and sons camp out, came home really early for Gracie's first T-ball game, and then slept for the rest of the day to make up for the lost sleep from the camp out. It was worth it right Ev?

The kids just love their dad. Sander is almost not even fun to deal with, because if Evan isn't around it is the end of the world and all happiness. He just doesn't understand why Evan has to go to work every day. HMMM...

We sure love you honey! Thank you for all you do for me and the kids. (oh, Happy Father's Day while we are at it! :) )

T-Ball Queen

Go Braves!! We signed Gracie up to play t-ball. Well, I just love watching these little ones learn to play. (at least learning in Gracie's case...some of these kids are really good) Baseball is the game to play in this town.

They have a sports parade for all the teams. Notice the amazing poster?? Yeah, that would be my super artistic over achiever neighbor, but hey she sure makes the kids look great. Nice work Susan!!.
I have to laugh. Gracie gets excited about her games, but no where near as excited as Sander. Notice him "joining" the team any chance he can get? He will wake up and start asking if Gracie has a game or not. Then he will tell Grace they need to go practice. This boy loves to play.

Grace in action. She has gotten to the point where she doesn't use a T any more. I think because Coach Phil thought it would be cool to have a team who didn't need the T. Fun times for all. Go Team!!

Food Storage Ideas

Sorry Janine, I thought I put this one a month ago, but I guess I forgot to publish it. Anyway, my ward has a blog site that has an emergency preparedness section. You can find it at There are ideas to build up your food storage each month for about $5-10. There is also a three month food list and dinner ideas! I love that they gave us a menu to work off of, so you aren't left with a bunch of food you don't know what to do with.

A couple other meal ideas are

taco soup:
crushed or diced tomatoes ( whatever consistency you like )
kidney beans ( we love the S&W brand of beans called Santa Fe mix they have beans and corn and such but the sauce is the best!! We buy as much as we can when it is on sale. )
taco seasoning- I don't put tons on- do it to your own taste.
IF you are making it now, put on chips, cheese, sour know the drill. But we buy a case of all of these to have in storage.

You can also buy the big cans of spaghetti sauce for pretty cheap (around $1) so I thought we might get a case just to have in storage and then stock up on noodles. If we were in an emergency, this would be a meal that would feel like you had eaten.

another meals we try to buy in cases is tomato pasta-

we like rainbow pasta
1-2 cans of tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
cook your pasta, put in the sauce and tomatoes, and dice up some cheese and it will melt into the pasta.

In an emergency we probably wouldn't have the cheese but the pasta would still be good.

Of course I would say buy chocolate chips and store a bunch, because lets admit it: we could deal with anything as long as we could eat chocolate!! :)

We also have a bunch of oats, and stuff to make granola. Yum yum.
I hope some of these ideas work for you. I will keep looking for recipes made mostly from canned foods. Good luck!

Oh, another thing I like about the web site is, they give ideas on how to prepare your house like how to turn off your gas line and stuff like that. We have a FHE once a month and make sure we go through the list of things to know.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Books, books, and more books

I don't know about you, but I LOVE to read. I just love opening a new book and looking into "peoples" lives and reading their story. Anyway, I have been reading some books that I have really enjoyed, and I thought it would be fun to share some of the greaties with you in case anyone is looking for a new read. Here goes-

The Thief
The Queen of Attolia - Megan Whalen Turner
The King of Attolia

Hunger Games - Susan Collins ( I could be so wrong on that name )

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You - Ally Carter
Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy
( Okay, they might sound a little silly and little girlish, but I am a sucker for a cute love story, and it is all about a girls spy school-what could be greater than that? )

Dairy Queen - Catherine Gildbert Murdock

Hope some of you have some reading fun!

Monday, April 20, 2009

our house

Okay, I know that I am not very good at being consistent with my blog, so I thought that I should at least write to show that I am thinking of blogging...
There have been so many fun things that we have been doing, and I have some fun pictures to go along with them-so hopefully I will be able to get my act together and let you see some of the good times.
We have been putting a lot of time into our new house. Yeah!! I can't believe I get to write those words. Our house!! We decided to take the big plunge and we are getting a house. It isn't being built yet, so there isn't anything to show for all the hours we have spent pouring over house plans. But they should start on it next week. Hopefully I will be able to put pictures on of the progress.
It was actually harder for me to commit to than I thought it would be. It is such a big responsability, but I am excited to create our own place. So here we go...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The accident on video

I was talking with a girl in my ward today, and she told me she saw the video of our car accident. When she was telling me how bad it looked, we thought it would be interesting to see what really happened. After watching it, we realized-again-how blessed we were to all come out okay. It is the video labeled: inversion fog causes I-15 accidents

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Uncle Lane

Well, Lane did a lot of things right over the weekend. First of all, he brought his Wii (is there one or two i's- I am such a loser). Anyway, he and Evan played and played and played. Poor Evan, stuck with the mean wife who won't buy him the fun toys.

Then he brought the four-wheeler for the kids, yes Evan is included in that, to ride on. Sander thinks Uncle Lane's 4-wheeler is about the greatest thing in the world! He cries every time he has to get off it. Luckily our neighbors didn't call the cops for disturbing the peace while Evan cruised around.

But greatest of all was bringing Melanie. The kids couldn't stay away from her. We could always tell where she was, because the kids were always right behind her. She also made a fun shopping partner for me (which made up for the boys going shooting all morning)! I am sure it wasn't the most romantic Valentine's Day for her, but we loved having her with us. I am sure she felt a LOT of LOVE ( probably more than she wanted ) from the kids. It was great to have you guys. Come again soon!

Valentine Spoils

Sander has entered the world of super hero's. He is always talking about saving the world, or at least Gracie, from the bad guys. I thought this cape would be a fun, manly dress up ( pretty much his dad couldn't get mad about it ). Happy V-Day Super Sander!

My friend has the cutest web site called make it and love it. On it, she had the cutest tutu. My friend mentioned how this would be a fun valentine's gift, I couldn't resist. I had to make one for Gracie... and Addie!

I could just watch little Addie in her tutu all day. When we put it on her, she giggles and then does one of her 5 minute twirls ( it takes her about 5 minutes to turn around once ). This is one of the greatest things about being a mother of girls!!

Uncle Lane came to stay with us for the weekend. He made a stop at Cabela's on the way here and found these cute, cute stuffed animals for the kids. We have been looking every where for an elk for Sander. The kids love them. Gracie named her buffalo Buffy! I was pretty impressed with her naming ability. Sander thought his elk should also be called Buffy, but Evan intervened and they finally settled on Bucky. Addie calls her deer - Da, like she calls everything. Way to go Uncle Lane.

Showing off their Valentines Day attire. The girls danced while Super Sander flew around them. What a fun day!

One Day Older

Gracie's great ambition is to be a princess. This picture was taken after the school put on a princess party. She was just about the happiest girl in the world.
Well, Gracie reached a big stepping stone. She lost her first tooth. She bit into something a few weeks ago and said her tooth was going to fall out. Well, she kept on pulling on it until it was hanging on a thread. She came into the bedroom in the morning and said, "Mom, I think I am ready for you to tie a string to my tooth and pull it out." Well, when we tried it, she about had a cow. After much struggling, we finally told her it could fall out on its own. A few minutes later she told me she needed some water since her throat felt weird. After her third drink, I finally looked into her mouth and saw her tooth had fallen out and she could taste the blood. Well, she got really excited about the tooth fairy. Holy Cow, after she put her tooth under the pillow she had to have come into our bedroom at 5:00 am talking about a mile a minute telling us the tooth fairy had come, and she hadn't even known she had come ( had we known she had come), and she was ready to have some more teeth fall out. Pretty much, none of us got any more sleep that morning. She was REALLY excited.

Gracie loves to do hair. It about drives me crazy to have her do it, but every now and then I decide I could try to be a nice mom. Well, there are about 7 different ponytails in my hair. Gracie said I looked " just beautiful." I am lucky to have such a great hair stylist.