Friday, January 27, 2012

Snowman Party

Each year in January, we have a snowman party.  Dave's mom started the tradition several years ago, and although it evolves and changes each year, it is something we look forward to.  Although his family lives 3 hours away, we all choose a day and time and do this party "together".  This year, we have no snow.  So, we set the table with snow fleece blankets, snowman napkins and snow (angel food cake and white cotton candy and cool whip-to be eaten later). 
 I just had to include these next two pictures of Greyson.  As soon as he saw me with the camera taking pictures of our party, he started posing for me.  They were just so cute and so him. 

 Each year, we watch this (below) movie.  And this year, we added a spiritual twist, and shared a few scriptures that mention snow.  The spiritual part was a lot deeper than that, but after my last SUPER long post, I thought I'd keep this one brief. 

 Dave's mom sent up a fleece blanket for each of us to use while we watched the movie.  Greyson snuggled his the minute he saw it! 
 Watching the movie. 
And finally, we enjoyed our snow treats (all the previously mentioned items with some fruit soup on top).  Yum!  Always fun-and a nice break up of the routine.  Thanks Joan (Dave's mom) for putting it all together and inviting us to do it with you. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lessons from running

To those of you who are not runners, it may sound crazy when I say, "I LOVE running!"  Yes, I do often lay in my bed at night dreaming of my next day's run; and when I want a free minute to myself, I run.  So, the funny thing about running is that even as much as I love it, there are still days when I run and it feels like I've never run a day before in my life!  Why is that?  I can feel it from the first step I take, whether it will be a run like that, or a run where I could go on for hours and never tire.  Well, my last run was one of those "I feel like I've never run before" kind of runs.  I'd keep finding a landmark ahead and tell myself, "you can go that much further" and then when I'd get there, I'd find another marker to push myself to.  But I got to thinking as I pounded the pavement home-really, parenting is a lot like running.  Some days (few days around here) pass in a flash.  You look back on them and think, "Wow!  I'm starting to get this parenting thing down."  Then you get a day when you feel like a total failure and you wonder if you are ruining your children.  Often, you know it is going to be one of those days from the moment everyone wakes up.  The whining and tears begin even before the kids exit their beds.  On those days, you have to look ahead and say to yourself, "I can make it till 10am", and then "to lunch time."  Then when lunch passes, you say to yourself, "I can get to dinner" and finally, "I can make it to bedtime."  But somehow, we make it through.  I guess it's like that with everything.  Think about a tough pregnancy, when you literally thought you'd never make it to the delivery, and somehow, you take it one step at a time, until you arrive at your goal, holding that precious bundle in your arms.   Or those last weeks of the semester when you were in college.  Boy, I threatened to quit probably every day during those tough times.  But, magically, you get through one final at a time, and then, you arrive.  Maybe life is meant to be looked at from the smaller perspective.  When we try to conquer it all, it is too overwhelming, but when we break it down, we really can "eat the elephant one bite at a time." 
I'll admit that I often wake up feeling like I cannot handle the day ahead of me.  Sometimes, it is overbooked.  Other days, it is a blank slate, with nothing planned to fill our time.  Either way, tomorrow, I'm going to conquer it-one step at a time.  How about you?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Helpful Husbands

The other night, I went to change the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer.  Here is what I found when I got all of the clothes out of the machine . . .

Yes friends, that is a cell phone.  Mine in fact.  Dave was being so helpful that night and when he threw in the darks, I asked him to grab my pants off the bed and wash them too.  I totally forgot that I had not taken my phone out of my pocket.  Oops!  The things is, these days, we've learned to laugh about things like this.  Being upset does not change what has already happened, right?!  Plus, I buy cheap phones for myself.  On purpose. 

The next day, I took the phone apart.  Eight screws and a few clips-it's pretty cool to see what's inside.  I wiped it down and let it air dry overnight, and guess what-
It works!  And it's SOOO clean. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


This last week, Tyler turned 4.  It was a pretty special day and we sure enjoyed making is special and celebrating it with him.  Around here, we decorate for birthdays.  When I was talking to Tyler about it on Thursday night, Chad overheard and begged me to wait to decorate until he got home from school the next day.  This . . .

is the finished result.  Tyler stared at it all and said, "This is all for me." 

We started off Tyler's birthday with a Lowe's Build and Grow activity.  We sure love going to these, so it was extra special that there happened to be one on Tyler's birthday. 

Next, we headed to lunch. We have started a tradition that in our family, the birthday boy (or girl) gets to choose a restaurant and we all go to a birthday lunch. I had guide Tyler's choice a little this time because this month, we also celebrated my grandma's 90th birthday, and there was a family lunch planned for her and all the other January birthdays on Tyler's birthday. Since the restaurant had already been chosen, I basically spoon fed him that restaurant as an idea and sold him on it. 

Here he is with his cupcake.  I'm pretty sure he thought we were all there just for him, and he didn't even know that we also sang to 4 other people.  It worked out perfectly. 
This is my grandma Jones, my dad's mom, and my only living grandparent.
  It is pretty special to get to celebrate her 90th. 

After lunch, we headed home to finish the cake and get ready for Tyler's party.  We don't do big "parties" around here, but usually, whatever family is available comes over for cake and ice cream and a few gifts.  But, we DO do cakes around here!  I started the tradition on Chad's first birthday (although I didn't know it would become a tradition) when I made him a giraffe cake.  It was followed by several train cakes, a Lightning McQueen cake, Radiator Springs cake, Mater and the Ghostlight cake, Chick Hicks cake (ya, we had a Cars theme going for a while there) and this year, Tyler wanted an Angry Birds cake.  I get pretty excited about these cakes until about the time to put them together.  They are day long ordeals, but this year, Dave really helped to put it all together and it was nice to not be 100% in charge.  We made the birds (cake balls) on Friday night and Dave assembled the rest on Saturday.  Here are a few pictures of the process and finished product.  

This really became Dave's masterpiece and he actually had to leave the room when I cut it because he was so sad.  Tyler LOVED it, and in every picture of him with his cake, he is staring at it.  He was pretty excited! 

We did a few gifts with grandma and grandpa and cousins  

blew out some candles . . . and called it a night. 

On my children's birthdays each year, I love to look back at their baby books and reminisce about their births and the short little lives so far.  It really feels like just yesterday that this little guy joined our family. 

Tyler is so much fun!  He is such a silly little boy and he always says the funniest things.  He has the most amazing blue eyes and he still loves to be held and cuddled.  I'm so glad the Lord entrusted me with this handsome little man to love and raise.  Happy Birthday Tyler! 

Friday, January 6, 2012


Every year, I struggle with what to do with the gingerbread houses once the holiday has passed.  No one seems to eat them, but it is hard to just throw away all that hard work.  When I was in college years ago, my roommates and I lit them on fire and burned them down (way cool to watch the candy canes melt!-but I suggest burning it outside, as the flames got really big, and according to Dave, almost caught our apartment on fire). 

This year, my boys made that decision really easy for me, as one afternoon, they took to destroying them all on their own. 

They seemed pretty happy about it and so I let them have at it.  Greyson ran around trying to devour whatever candy fell on the ground, and when they were done, they threw the remains in the garbage. 

 No worrying about what to do with them this year.  Maybe this demolition will have to become a new tradition!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Years!

I love New Year's time.  For a lot of reasons really; I love our traditions of being together on New Year's Eve to ring in the new year; I love the fresh new start of a new year; I love reflecting on the past year and the growth we've made and considering where we'd like to be in another 12 months. 

On New Year's Eve, my family gets together to go bowling.  We've done it now for a handful of years, but last year, we changed where we go and we sure love it.  They hold a family party from 6-8pm, with bowling, food (hot dogs, chips and soda) ringing in the new year at 8pm, complete with party favors.  I'm kicking myself that I only got 2 pictures the entire night, but we sure had a good time.  My brother and sis-in-law came in from Idaho Falls to join us and there were 15 bowlers, with 5 more attendees who just watched.  My dad even bowled with his boot on his foot (he had surgery on his foot a while back and has only been able to walk with a hospital boot on for a week) which was quite a sight to see. 
All three boys watching the ball travel down the lane.

Chad and Tyler ringing in the new year (at 8pm) with my dad. 
After bowling, we head each year over to my brother and sis-in law's house.  Everyone brings treats and there is always so much food to enjoy.  We watched a movie on their big screen, worked on a puzzle, played a few games and even a little Kinect.  I was shocked that my boys did so well.  In years past, I've left early to get boys in bed, but even Greyson made it till midnight, although he was fading.  Tyler fell asleep in my lap at around 11:30, and Chad cried when we left, saying he hadn't been able to play long enough (6 1/2 hours!!!). 

On Monday, our little family met and reviewed our goals from last year.  It was exciting to see that we had met virtually all of them, even those that we didn't know how we would achieve them when we set them.  Then, we set some new goals as a family for 2012, as well as personal goals.  Chad set a goal to run a 5K (that was his own idea) and Tyler set a goal to learn to ride his bike without training wheels.  We hang our goal sheets on the fridge the whole year, and we go back to them several times in a family discussion to see how we are doing.  Chad is also good at reading them aloud to us during breakfast and reminding us what we still need to do to accomplish them. 

So here's to 2012-whatever it may bring!  Hope you all had a good celebration as well. 

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