Saturday, January 31, 2009

Love Sweet Love


There is no special story attached to this picture. I just like it. And it is not even that great of a photo. It is a little out of focus, a little blurry and the color is not fully saturated. But I like it. I like Layton's scrunched up nose and Nathan kissing his hand. I like all the chubby fat rolls that you can see on Layton and I love that he is smiling so hard that it made his eyes close. I love that it reminds me how much I enjoy watching Nathan interact with the kids and seeing how much they love him. I love him too.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Beginning of the End

Look at my baby. He is standing up all by himself now. In just a few weeks we are sure that he will be taking his first steps. After that, it won't be long and he'll be running instead of walking. Then comes the talking, then he'll learn his colors, and how to count to ten. Before we know it he will be starting school and will learn how to read, add and subtract. Then he'll want to play soccer and basketball and baseball. Next he'll be getting baptized then start the scouting program. In a blink he'll be passing the sacrament in church and then getting a drivers license.

Got..... To...... Slow...... Down...... Starting...... To........ Hyperventilate.

Breath in -huuuhhhh - breath out - whoooooo.

Why, oh, why Layton do you have to grow up so fast? Can't you just be a baby for a little while longer?


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On a separate note: Nathan is taking the GMAT today from 8:00 to 12:00 to try to get into the Masters program. If you have a quiet moment, please say a little prayer for him. Because of having to work extra hours for the last few weeks and having so much to do for his calling at church, he barely even got to study at all. He could really use your thoughts and prayers with him this morning. Love you all.


***UPDATE*** Nathan just called me from the testing center. At the end of the test, he got an unofficial print out of his score. Based on that he PASSED!!!!!!! So keep your fingers crossed that the official score, which will be sent to him in three weeks, doesn't change. I am so excited!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not a very good tattle tale....

Nathan and I were in the living room watching TV, blissfully ignorant of what was going on in the kitchen. Dallin came running to us declaring in a sing-song tattle taling voice:

"Mandy's got the sprinkles."

Mandy's got the sprinkles? Oh, really? Little did he know that there was evidence all over his tattle taling mouth that he had gotten into the sprinkles too. We called Mandy into the living room to ask her what happened and she claimed, also in a sing-song tattle taling voice, while holding the sprinkles in question in her hand:

"Dallin opened the sprinkles."

So here is what I think really happened. Mandy got out the sprinkles. Dallin opened them. Dallin enjoyed some of the sprinkle-icious spoils. Dallin handed the bottle back to Mandy and went running into the living room, leaving Mandy 'holding the bag'. Ah, but Mommy and Daddy were not to be fooled by Dallin's subterfuge. So as punishment, I made him stand in front of me and let me take a picture of his lying little tattle taling face. I made them put the sprinkles back up that night, but since I really didn't mind them eating them, after they asked nicely the following day if they could have some, I let them eat sprinkles to their little hearts' content.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Big Sister Little Sister


Meet big sister and little sister. And no, I really don't have them labeled incorrectly. Don't let the differences in their size fool you. This is who they are by decree of Princess Mandy, commander in chief of all things dollish.




But who do we see playing with them? It's definitely not Mandy. Nathan "claims" that he started playing dolls with Layton in order to distract him away from playing with the shoes over by the door. But, I think we all know the truth. Deep down in his heart, Nathan really has a great love for Big Sister and Little Sister and he wanted his son Layton to learn to love them too.




I think Layton has begun to love them just as Nathan wanted. Don't you think every father would be proud to see their son giving kisses to little dolls?


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Presidential Prayers

Dallin watched the inauguration of President Obama at school last Tuesday. He was excited about it and came home cheering "Barack Obama! Barack Obama! Barack Obama!". It was so cute. And while I didn't vote for Obama, since he was elected I have tried to talk positively about him to Dallin. And truthfully, right now I really do have high hopes that Obama will try to be very moderate about his choices of direction for our country, in which case I hope to be able to support him in those choices. I certainly intend to pray that he will make the right decisions for the future of our great nation.

The night after the inauguration, Dallin decided to pray for him too. I was taking care of Layton so I didn't get to hear all of the prayer, but Nathan shared some of it with me. Dallin prayed,

"We thank thee (he starts every, and I mean EVERY, sentence in his prayers this way) that we can bless the Prophet and missionaries and the people that voted for Barack Obama. We thank thee that Barack Obama can be our President."

Mandy of course loves to copy everything that Dallin says, so in her prayer she said,

"Bless Rock Bama the president."

After hearing that all I could think of was what if "The Rock" really was president. That would be awesome. Dwayne Johnson, well, ROCKS!

After praying for the president, Dallin prayed that they would have good dreams that night. I think Mandy got a little mixed up when she tried to copy Dallin because her prayer request came out this way:

"Please bless that we can have BAD dreams and not GOOD dreams."

I think Heavenly Father probably knew what she meant :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Grateful for Service to God and Country

Our friend Jeff has decided to enter the armed forces and serve our country. This was a really big decision for him and his family and was based on a number of reason. One being that he wants to serve his country and fellowmen. He is such a humble, good, honest, sweet man. He considers it an honor to serve his country, but truthfully we should consider ourselves honored to have him and so many others laying their lives on the line for us and all the freedoms that we enjoy. Another reason he chose to join the army is to be able to support his family. In these rather shaky economic times, he felt that the military would be a good choice for him because it is an extremely stable source of income and benefits for his wife and three little girls. I really admire him for his choice. I know it has got to be so hard knowing that he will be away from his wife and daughters for months during training and for who knows how long if he happens to get stationed in a hot zone like Iraq or Afghanistan. But I think knowing that his family was sealed for all time and eternity in the temple must be a huge source of comfort for him and his wife. They know that while they may have to spend months and months apart now, they will be together forever as a family.

In order to send him off with all of our love and support, several families in our ward got together Monday night for family home evening. In total, we had 13 adults and 19 children in attendance. To say that it was loud and rather chaotic would be a gross understatement. But somehow when it came time for the lesson, Sister Howle was able to obtain and hold the attention of all those children and was able to help them feel the great spirit and love of service to those around us. After sharing some inspiring stories of service, Erin asked us all to list things that we can do to serve our family, friends, church, community, and country. Dallin told us that he could serve his country by praying for it. And really that might just be one of the best things that we can do for the leaders of our country and all the men and women that serve. He also said that to serve his friends he could help them build sandcastles. It is the coldest it has been in a long time and he is thinking about building sandcastles???? Gotta love him.

We will really miss Jeff, but at least we get to keep his wife and girls here with us for a little while longer while he is in training. It was such a great evening. For our next get together I think we decided that we are going to have a make your own sushi night. Ilene made some sushi with shrimp and smoked salmon that was fantastic and she has promised to teach us all how to make it. So Ilene, Kelly, and Erin, when are we going to have this yummy sushi night?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mama's got a new toy

And I couldn't be happier with it. Because my sweet baby Layton was born last year and cost us an arm and a leg (more than $2500) to be born, we are getting a pretty nice tax refund this year. And rather than being the smart, responsible adults that we should be and putting the money straight into savings, we decided (or rather Nathan let me after I begged and begged and begged) to feed my need for photos and buy a digital SLR camera. I have absolutely no clue how to use it yet, other than to turn it on and put it on full auto. But just on auto, the camera takes amazing pictures. All of these photos were taken inside, in poor lighting conditions and yet they came out great. Seriously, you can see right up Layton's nostrils. It is awesome. The level of detail is amazing, which I know will not be quite as apparent to you because I compressed the files to make them more "web" friendly, but still, wouldn't you just kill to have those eyelashes sported by both Layton and Dallin. Why is it that boys always seem to have such luxurious eyelashes???



I am so excited to learn how to use my new camera. It has 25 (yes, I counted) different buttons/dials on it that are just a little intimidating. But eventually I am going to learn how to use them all properly. So be watching for that day when I post some phenomenal photo that just makes you say "wow, that's beautiful", because that will be the day that I finally learn how to use the camera to its full potential. Or it might just be the day that while in the auto setting, a fluke happens and I end up with an eye stopping photo. Who knows. I'm hoping for the first option, but truthfully the second seems much more likely.



So now off I go to start pressing buttons and turning dials and hoping for that perfect photo!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pre-Mortal Candy Prohibitions

Sometimes Dallin and I have the best conversations. I just love the way his little mind works. On Sunday afternoon, while I was sitting at the computer, Dallin comes up to me and we have this completely random conversation:

Dallin: Before we came to earth, did Jesus tell us that we can't eat candy?

Me: No, he told us that we need to eat things that are good for our bodies.

Dallin: But candy is not good for us.

Me: Yes, but if we eat lots of good for us things, then its ok if we have a little candy as a treat now and then.

Dallin: OK, but dogs eat candy before they eat their dinner.

Me: No, they eat their food first.

Dallin: But they eat dog biscuits as a treat and sometimes they have them before dinner.

Me: Its ok, the dogs can eat the biscuits because they are good for them.

Dallin: Ok.

Then he walked away and was perfectly happy. After he left my side, I spent some time thinking about our conversation and got a fit of giggles so bad that I had to go take a nap.

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Later that same day....

Dallin: Sometimes when I spin around and get dizzy, I get the best ideas.

Me: What is your idea?

Dallin: It's a secret.

Dizzy ideas???? Maybe it's a good thing it's a secret. I probably don't want to know.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kids Laugh

at the darndest things......

video

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Won!!!!!

I actually won something! I can't believe it. I never win ANYTHING. But Saturday was my lucky day! I entered a drawing at ThePioneerWomen.com and I won this beautiful knife! I am so excited to try it out! So what is the ThePioneerWomen.com you ask? Just one of the best blogs EVER. The women who writes it is a city girl turned cow girl / mother / photographer / home-schooler / ranch hand / chef. She is absolutely hilarious and every post keeps me in stitches. And in between laughs, she gives out some great recipes, displays some amazing photographs (like the one below), and gives stuff away almost constantly.

It is probably my favorite non-family/friend blog. I still can't believe I won! The odds were totally against it. I mean, she gave away 10 knives, but over 13,000 people entered to win. That put my odds at less than 0.075 %. Crazy.

Some of my other beloved non-family/friend blogs are Bakerella, Picky Palate, and Dozen Flours. I just realized that all the blogs I really like to visit are food blogs. I have issues I tell you. What can I say, I love food. And I love new recipes. It's a sickness. One that I hope I never get well from.

Any-who, how about all of you? Do you have any favorite blogs that I should know about and need to start following?

And with the love of Pioneer Women deeply in my heart,

Good-bye Forever
(not really, probably just until tomorrow)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Portraits

I took Mandy and Layton in for their 3 year old / 9 month old portraits. For the most part, I think they turned out pretty good. Layton got tired of it very quickly though, so I think we got more shots of Mandy than of him, but I think we got of couple of him that pretty much showed his personality. Rather than sit and pose for a picture, he was much more interested in crawling all around the studio. Which explains why a couple of the shots are of him on the move.














Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fair is the Sunshine


















I love it when things just fall into place to create a perfect moment in time. For a couple of hours last Saturday, that is what we had. The temperature outside was in the high sixties and the sun was shining bright in the sky. I love that feeling of the air around you having just a little nip to it and then feeling the amazing warmth of the sun on my face, on my back, on my hands. Conditions like that just breed contentment. Add to that three children that are not crying, but are instead laughing and having fun. Then add a little walk in the woods to remind you of the beauty of God's artistry that is always around us. Add a few ducks that gracefully swim by and then waddle right up to you. All those things combined are the makings of a perfect hour spent together as a family.


















Those perfects hours don't happen as often as they should. They are so often interrupted by kids arguing, crying babies, demands of church and work, phone calls, and many other moment destroying things. But perhaps because those perfect moments are so infrequent, it just makes me enjoy and savor and love them more. Oh how I wish I could have another hour just like that right at this moment. Those perfect hours are such stress relievers. They help take just little bit of the weight of the world right off your shoulders. Sadly though the affect of it last for only so long and I have to be brought back to the reality of runny noses, poopy diapers, teething, homework (which requires as much of my time as it does of Dallin's ????), church callings, stormwater permits, budgets, and so on. But at least for that short little time - life was bliss!