Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Made That Up Myself

My apologies to anyone who wanted a detailed summary of our lives since we moved; I hope life will slow down by the New Year, but by then we'll have more recent reports to make. That is, if Christmas doesn't kill me. I like these Texas folks, but their Christmas is almost too busy! I kind of miss being so far away from people that they didn't bother to be too festive (or obligate us to be the same)...perhaps I'm a grinch, but I found myself complaining of all the NOISE tonight. Don't worry my head did not a'splode. Meanwhile, here's a glimpse of our day:
Isaac & Noah Soccer

Special Delivery/Swinging Legs

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'll be the first to admit it: I'm sentimental. Very sentimental. On Monday Jared and I will have been married for SEVEN YEARS and I can't believe what I've gotten away with since then. Sure, there's the fact that he's awesome and that he puts up with ME...but today I discovered something else: I have kept stuff for way too long. The sentimental stuff.

I don't know what to do with it. It's like I'm throwing away memories if I get rid of it; but keeping it isn't doing anyone any good. Much of it I've kept since I was a child, thinking I'd give it to my little girl, if I ever had one. Now that I have one, I realize that I probably won't give it to her (she probably wouldn't want it anyway). Good old Amberie, a former roommate, told me once to take a picture and let it go. So that's what I did. I just want my parents and sisters to know how much each music box, jewelry box, statuette and figurine meant to me. Their love was the reason I've kept everything for so long, but I took a picture and I'm letting go.

Now, what to do with the wedding dress?

(Sheesh, how silly is this post?)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Visit from Grandma Toni

Still catching up, my mom came out to visit the day after Jared left for COT. The last time she came was just in May, but this visit was very timely and helpful.

Of course we took her to picnic at the swimming hole.

We even visited the local buffalo farm at Morris Meadows.

The only really big thing we planned to do was go to Washington D.C. on the day of the Restoring Honor rally. We knew it would be challenging. It was.
It wasn't as packed where we were right by the Lincoln Memorial...we found out soon that this was because there were no speakers facing us. We didn't dare try to navigate the throng with the stroller, though, so there we stayed and strained (our ears).

Ellie, of course, exceeded all expectations.

But this was not an uncommon sight.

They were grateful for every opportunity to act like monkeys.

It was more of a sacrifice than anything, but it was really cool to be there and to see so many different people all together, caring about our country. Not a lot of kids; we were hailed by many as "brave." I think we were.

On the bus ride home, Ellie fell asleep in my arms, a rare moment. Poor girl. We were all so hot and thirsty and tired...and then there was rush hour in DC.

This was a "before" shot. We were so excited to be going! You don't really want to know what we all looked like afterward. Oh, those poor people at Pizza Hut on the way home....

Anyway, there's a look at Mom's visit. We were so happy she could come and help and play with us!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Catch Up: The Beach

The first exciting thing we did while Jared was gone waaaay back in July was go to Assateague Island and finally see the Atlantic Ocean. The boys had never been to the beach. It was so nice to be invited by good friends (whom we miss very much now) and just have a ball.

Crazy little thing called sand

Not tired.

Noah was way more into the sand than the water on the "fun" side of the island. That was where the crazy waves were. I even got a chance to forget the kids on shore and be a kid again myself there. I forgot how much I love swimming in the ocean!

Isaac enjoyed both sand and water.

On the "calm" side of the island, this poor sea turtle was about to lose a fin...and from Noah's face, you'd think he was losing one, too. I obviously had a good time, though.

Warm ups

Ellie and her new friend spent their time in the tent (genius)!

Isaac is one of "those" kids when pictures are being taken...he's totally distracting to those around him. But we do love these girls! Little angels, I tell you.

Between the two of us moms, we had 6 kids, two of which were newborns! It was so nice to have Lauren come with us to help. She's a cool young woman and a hilarious traveling companion.

On the day we arrived home, they are a bit more sunkissed than we'd planned. I didn't know sunscreen could be so tricky with little 'uns.

That evening, Brian (and Camille) came up and visited one last time. They are always so much fun (and so helpful...Noah was determined to disappear under the pew during church the next morning)!

The swimming hole was our closest "beach" and we had countless picnics there.

This was supposed to be a picture...

Where are we?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Half a Decade

Happy Birthday to Isaac! We love this kid. He's thoughtful, grateful, hilarious, brave, smart and...sick today. Still, he went to school yesterday, and reported on how special it made him feel every time his birthday was mentioned. He came home with a crown, but without much of a voice.

In the morning he opened his presents, each of which he was extremely thankful for. This may have been his favorite:

"Just like Dad's!"

Noah had a good time with the presents while Isaac was at school yesterday. Check out all that camo!

He became progressively sicker throughout the day. I didn't get a picture at dinner--he was lying in the booth half the time anyway. Despite it all, he told me that this was "the best birthday ever!" We look forward to a soldier party for him on Saturday after the Air Show. Hopefully he feels better by then. We love you, Little I.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Lois Lane...



Lex Luthor...

...and of course, Cat Woman!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Last Hike

Well, we're here! And San Antonio is hot, even in October. While we get organized, here's a quick look back on the day the movers finished with us. We were left alone with an empty house and looking forward to seeing Jared that night. We had some time, so we decided to go on one last hike to the lake. We're still a little nostalgic about having lived there.

Looking for bad guys....

Ellie ended up falling asleep because the boys dawdled so long.

Isaac insisted we keep this turtle (we didn't).

Soon, soon, impatient ones. I will get to the visitors, the goodbyes, the road trip and the Texas first impressions.

Monday, August 30, 2010

That Little Sucker

It was late. We had been up since five and out in the sun all day among thousands of others at the capital. Isaac had had a run-in with poison ivy. Noah had had a violent and loud meltdown at Pizza Hut on the way home. They were both tired and very dirty. A bath and a shower were desperately needed. Noah was shrieking nonstop; Isaac tried to stay in the car, jumping out of his seat to the floor and falling back asleep. Nothing short of a miracle could help me bathe these two without losing my mind. And that miracle the form...of..."Washy."

"That little sucker just saved your life!"

It stopped the tears. It talked and sang to each of them. First, Noah in the tub upstairs and then Isaac in the shower downstairs.

What Isaac had to say:
"Mom, do you know what Washy did? He made me want to take my shower. I don't know how that works. It's a mystery. He must be a magic frog!"

Thank you, Washy (and thank you, Mimi)!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

One Crazy Camping Trip

In July we went to the pageant in Palmyra. It was a quick, fun, challenging, fulfilling trip. We set up camp and headed to the show. I didn't bring the camera, but the pageant was awesome. After seeing the Manti Pageant, I wasn't expecting anything too great, but it was very impressive. Isaac kept saying, "this is so cool!" whenever he recognized a story. Noah said things like, "Did Jesus drink his cup all gone?" Ellie watched almost the whole thing, skipping her evening nap altogether. You know those effects are special!

I hadn't been camping in a decade, so it was interesting to go again. With kids. I decided I like hotels and was glad we'd only be there one night....

I can't believe we thought we could all fit in this itty-bitty tent! It was rather crowded, to say the least.

Mud River rose considerably during the night from all the previous day's rain, so we had to watch the kiddos closely as we packed up to go.

Watch out for the 'skeeters! Wet wood, muddy table, but grateful for yummy yogurt.

Isaac had a good time.

Of course the sticks were their favorite part.

Little Lady was a very good sport. She slept through the night very peacefully, unlike some of us.

Packing up after a dirty, mostly-sleepless night. We went for the Church History sites the following day.

Up we go.

Some unfriendly-looking types on the footpath

There's a smile!

It's a pretty little hike to the top.

Noah gets some inspiration...

He feels the Spirit!

A view from the top of the Hill Cumorah. You can see the fantastical stage. The green area is the audience's seating.

Going down again....

There were tears on this trip, believe it or not.

The coolest thing about the Smith Family Farm tour? These are the original bricks under which Joseph hid the plates at one point.

Path to the Sacred Grove

Walking through these woods together was the closest thing we could possibly have to being in the temple with our little family. It was very cool, very undeniable, almost tangible.

Taking a rest after a long walk. There are a lot of paths to take there!

Isaac's excited to be in front of the Grandin building, where his parents were engaged by interesting tours while being simultaneously mortified by their children. Wise, old missionary couples had tootsie rolls and that helped for about 2 minutes at a time. Then Noah interrupted a testimony with "ribbit-ribbit, hop! hop!"

The boys were getting restless of sightseeing by now.

Isaac at the Peter Whitmer Farm

Noah has to do it, too.

Then we drove home; I had a renewed appreciation for that place (home), let me tell you!