Monday, January 31, 2011

It’s just one of those days…

where you just need to have a good laugh!
Mandy age 14 months, Dallin age 3 1/2

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ahoy Matey!

A couple of weeks ago,  the kids were invited to their friend Zack’s birthday party.  It was super cute.  Complete with a hunt to find pieces of the treasure map,


scallywags to fight,


a dead man who wasn’t really dead,


a fight between two ships of pirates,


capture by a sea monster,


and of course a fantastic treasure!


They dove right into to grab their booty.


I think they make some awfully cute pirates!


Thanks Zack for such a fun birthday party!

Thursday, January 27, 2011



That must be one VERY interesting game!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I want to ride…


I think Layton looks pretty good on a Barbie bike :)


How cute is it though that Mandy wants to teach him how to ride a bike.  When she wants to be, she is a super sweet older sister.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meeting Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Last weekend, our Stake Conference was especially blessed to have an Apostle there to teach us and quite frankly entertain us.  Elder Oaks is a lot of fun and has a wonderful sense of humor.  On Saturday morning, the Mission Office asked me to come up and take a few pictures of Elder Oaks with each of the 6 zones of missionaries.  It was a super quick photo session.  I would snap a group picture,


And then he would jump right up and move over to the side and shake each of the Elders’ and Sisters’ hands.


Meanwhile another zone would be filling into the picture spot and when he was done shaking hands with one group, he would quickly come back over to jump into the next group picture. 


I talked with several of the Senior missionaries while we were waiting for Elder Oaks to arrive.  Sister Shirley (the white haired lady standing just to the left behind Elder Oaks) told me a little about her family.  She has 9 children, 6 boys and 3 girls, and of those all of the boys and one of the girls went on missions.  I think she might be my hero.  Seriously, I want to grow up to be just like her and serve a couple mission too.


The photo shoot went super fast!  But even though the whole thing went very quickly, I was so impressed with how Elder Oaks very careful read each missionary's nametag and very thoughtfully thanked them by name for their service.


Of course the highlight of my time there was getting to introduce Dallin to well Dallin.  Elder Oaks told us that every single Dallin that he meets (and I am sure he meets a lot) he always gives them a great big hug.  And that is just what he did to Dallin.  He picked Dallin right up and bear hugged him.  I bet Elder Oaks is an awesome grandpa!  He knows just how to make kids happy!


After all the pictures were finished, Elder Oaks even took a moment to shake my hand and speak to me.  I only spoke to him for a minute or so, but in that time he shared with me who he was named after.  Dallin is the surname of an American sculptor, Cyrus Edwin Dallin.  And while he was not a member of the church and most Americans know him as the sculptor of some rather famous statues of Paul Revere and Native Americans, he is well known in Mormon circles as the sculptor of the Angel Moroni on the Salt Lake City Temple.  Thus, the reason  Elder Oaks’ parents chose that name.


This weekend was so very special and uplifting in so many ways.  I took a lot of notes from both of the sessions and maybe I’ll try to organize them and post a few of the things that stood out to me another day.  I think the greatest thing that I took away from this experience is a renewed testimony of Jesus Christ and of His organization of a Church patterned after the original church, with living Prophets and Apostles.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Don’t Break Your Bow

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I admit, we as parents have not exactly been the best at reading scriptures daily with our children.  We would do pretty good for a while with the Scripture readers for kids, then we would forget about it.  Then we would start up again.  You get the picture.  But after hearing this talk in the last general conference, we decided to follow the example that she gave and just have each person read 1 verse from the scriptures each day.  Mandy and Layton obviously can’t read yet, so they simply repeat the verse phrase by phrase as either Nathan or I read it.  At this rate, of only 5 verses a day, it will likely take us 3 years to read the Book of Mormon.  But no matter because we have found that doing it this way allows everyone to be involved and they absolutely love it.  And because they love it, we have finally found a scripture reading program that we have been able to maintain consistently.  I’m sure as the kids get older, we’ll have everyone read more than just one verse, but for now this is working perfectly.

It is funny though what they pick up on.  A couple of weeks ago, we read about Nephi breaking his bow and how they then didn’t have a way to get food.  I guess that really left an impression on Layton (maybe because he loves his food) because now, every night (and I mean EVERY single night) he prays that “we will not break our bow”.  Nathan and I laugh about it every night, but at least we know he is paying attention!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yay Dallin!

Dallin received the Principal’s award this last nine weeks.
The Principal’s award is given to one student in each classroom who is not only doing well academically, but is also a good helper in the classroom, kind to those around him – just an all around good kid. 
We are super proud of him!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


It is so funny to see obsessions repeated in younger siblings.  From about the age of 3 until around age 5/6, Dallin was completely obsessed with everything Cars (the movie).  His clothing.  His pjs.  His toys.  Everything reflected cars.  We watched the movie endlessly.

Now I am getting to experience the obsession all over again in Layton.IMG_41271

Only this time, we have added Mater the Greater and all of Mater’s Tall Tales to the mix (seriously hilarious, by the way).  And I am sure when the second Cars movie comes out, we’ll be adding even more characters to his collection.


He really just can’t get enough of them.  It is literally like living with a 3 year old Dallin all over again.


Luckily this time though, Layton has a Mandy and a Dallin to play cars with him, so I don’t have to do it all the time!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


New Year’s Eve, Nathan put on quite the fireworks show for us.  It was awesome.  But honestly though, I think we probably should have spent less money on the big fireworks and more money on sparklers as those are what the kids loved the most.  They had a wonderful time with them!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dallin and his Mini-Me

They look even more alike now that they have new identical hair cuts!

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Driver’s Ed

Mandy:  “Mommy, how old do I have to be to drive?”

Me:  “16”

Mandy:  “Well, I’m going to learn how to drive when I’m 18.”

I think I’m going to try to hold her to that.


Friday, January 14, 2011

One big happy family


I am so grateful to be part of such a wonderful family.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Serenade


It is every girls dream to serenaded by a handsome man, right?  Yesterday while we were walking through the grocery store down the cookie/cracker isle, we passed a lady stocking the shelves.  I scan the shelves looking for the kids’ favorite goldfish crackers and I hear the lady chuckling behind me.  I turn to see that Layton had walked up to her and was serenading her with “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”.  I’m pretty sure it made her day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fall Leaves

Or perhaps I should say winter leaves?  Most everywhere else in the country people get to enjoy all the leaves turning colors and falling off the trees in October and November.  But when you live in Florida, the best time to enjoy big piles of leaves is in December!  And boy did they enjoy them!


Even Mater enjoyed his time in the leaves.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Bikes

As seen previously, all three kids got a new bike for Christmas.  Dallin is of course a long time biker with major skills and we knew he wouldn’t have any problem at all leaving us all in the dust on his new bike.


For Mandy though, this was her very first bike.  She is not exactly the most coordinated child in the world so we were a little worried about how well she would do with it.  Our fears were entirely unfounded.


She is an absolute pro!  We have a feeling that it won’t be long and we’ll be able to take those training wheels off no problem!


And then we have Layton.  He loved his new tricycle too.  And we loved that we could push and steer it from behind.


We have discovered though, that he prefers to do the pushing himself.  He actually spends more time pushing it than he does riding it!  Oh well, at least he is having a great time with it!