Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Any time uncle Isaac is around you will be sure to see this image at some point. I watched him play the other day. He's quite good and I'm pretty sure he's better than me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


After harvest I got right to work with all the produce. I canned salsa and spaghetti sauce.
Dried tomatos, onions and tons of apples. Here's to a tasty year!

Monday, November 28, 2011


This years birthday was great. I knew it wasn't going to be big and fancy because I had my first holiday show a couple days later and it was really just bad timing. But it was still wonderful none the less. I actually had the boys off to the babysitters for a lot of the morning so I could get some work done which is really what I love to do. I don't need fancy parties or a big dinner. My ideal day would be to be in peace and quiet (no fighting) and creating. Maybe watch some good movies or something. I'm not picky.

Jason made sure it was a good one. He cleaned the house, took care of the boys and got me my 'cake'. This is what I ask for every year. Fruit. Not the apples and oranges but more 'expensive' ones that I don't keep around the house, especially when it's not in season. So I got a big bowl of grapes, mango, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, avocados and Greek yogurt.

I was nice and shared the grapes with the boys. They brought it to me and we ended up sitting down right there in the middle of the hall and munching on them. Yumm-o.Jason also had the perfect day planned for a month later when things were a little less crazy. He got the nicest room at the grand hotel. It was the fanciest hotel I've ever been to. Then we went to Cinatopia to watch the new Twilight movie in their fancy parlor room, which was amazing. We don't go out to movies a lot and never like this. I loved it. Then we did some shopping and I got my hair cut. It was perfect. I am so lucky to have such amazing boys around me who love me and spoil me.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sugar High

This year's Halloween was full of fun, parties and tons of candy. The boys loved every minute of it.
We had a big ward Halloween party and Trunk or Treat. In the building each room was filled with fun kids games and activities. They had a blast.
Dillan, Sienna, and Nancy came and they seemed to like it. I think at first the kids were overwhelmed because there were SOOOOOO many kids and people running around. It was a little crazy. But after a little bit they got comfortable with the insanity and were all smiles.
Then the boys went home and counted their loot.
Max very carefully stacked his goodies. Once they'd arranged it just so, we let them go crazy. They even shared with everyone else.
The next day, the real holloween day, we went to circle park and everyone in Bethany ward parked there cars around it and we all did another trunk or treat. Again, the boys loved it. Max was so cute saying 'trik, treat!' and 'tank ou'
That day Levi had decided he didn't want to be superman that time, and decided a king was a better fit for him for the day. So we dug through our costume box and here's what he came up with.
Someone did the in the back of their truck. I was mesmorized. But who doesn't love dry ice?
Licorice anyone?
For the most part my kids ran around the playground. One of the boys we know was a mummy and part of his costume came off leaving a big strip of fabric to play with. These two chased and chased each other. She was tough!

Kid Day

This year was our second annual Kids Halloween Party!!!! Fun again, as always. It was a divide and conquer sort of thing and I love doing it with these moms because I know they will do what they say they are going to do. Being on so many activities committees in my life there are always some people you get kind of nervous about that they might not do/bring something or even show up. So it's nice when you don't have to worry about it at all.

Levi was Superman, Max was one of three Spidermen, there were two pumpkins, and an alligator, dinosaur, a lizard and a lady bug. It is fun to see these guys run around in costume.
As always the trains were quite popular. A candy walk. They were so funny because you could tell they were still all learning the game. Max loves these things and spent quite a lot of time in it.
Isn't Brady awesome?
Food. Even better if Jackson's there. They both insisted on sitting next to him.
We'll see everyone next year!

Friday, November 25, 2011


A lot of people I know have been doing their 25 days of gratefulness and I thought I'd do it as I went along here. So be prepared. This is a long one.

Day 1 Today I'm grateful for carpooling and great friends who are always there to help. It's amazing and Levi loves it. It lets me relax and just have fun with Max before nap time and not have to stress about anything. Thank you Katey and all my other amazing carpooling buddies.

Day 2 I am grateful for my husband. Oh so grateful. He helped me set up for a show today and has always been so wonderful and supportive with my 'work' though it took him a little bit to make him believe I could actually make money doing it (it too me a while to believe that myself!). He has such great ideas and can turn my crazy rambling plans and turn them into not only a reality but usually something much better than I would have ever done myself. He's amazing and I'd be completely lost without him.

Day3 I am grateful for the roof over my head. Never in a million years did I think I would be living in my grandparents house and with my grandmother no less, but I am so grateful that we are here.

Day 4 I am so grateful for visiting teaching. Sometimes, ok, many times, it is hard to not only do it but to have people do it for me but I am always grateful that the time was made. Through the visiting teaching program I have met and made countless friends and sisters who I otherwise might not have naturally been drawn to. They teach me, inspire me, help me in times of need and I know, no matter what there are so many wonderful women who would, in an instant, drop everything they had to help me.

Day 5 I'm grateful for my madre. She works SOOOOO hard. Puts in 14 hour days at work at times, sometimes more, finds time to come be with my grandma several times a week, is with her all weekend long, takes care of her medicine, finances, and does all her shopping. I am pretty positive she is the best daughter ever. She has always sacrificed so much for people. Growing up it was us. As I think back I realize how little I comprehended how much of a sacrifice she made. But she was always there to take us to our dr.'s appointment, which were many. My sister and I had braces that needed to be adjusted at least once a month sometimes twice and thinking back that must have been HUGE for her to do. She worked across town, our HS was miles away but she always took time off to do it even though she had a very demanding job, had 5 kids and was going to school full time. She was always at every single play, choir concert, or any other event we did, and even paid full price each time. Yeah, she's amazing. Oh, and she's never said no to babysit either. Yeah, we're that lucky.

Day 6: I'm grateful for my knowledge of the gospel. I know it's true and no matter what happens I know that will always be a constant in my life. On days like today when my kids are crazy during sacrament (Max screamed out the loudest dinosaur roar you've ever heard when the bishop was speaking. Talk about embarrassing.) or while Levi was being the wiggliest little sunbeam during program practice and overall church was a bunch of craziness, I had to remember dispute it all, it is true. I have gotten astonished looks when I've mentioned church goes for 3 hours or the fact that we give 10% of all our income or spend hours and hours on a serving in a calling for free. I'm sure they think to some small extent that I'm insane. But I know it's true and it's not hard when you know it's true.

Day 7: I am so thankful for mail. Weird to say but I really am. Often times as I see mail trucks going around doing their business I think about how absolutely amazing it is that we have a system that can get mail from one side of the country to the other in a matter of days, and if needed hours. Logistically speaking it is incredible what they do every day. And while I might whine and complain that such and such didn't arrive in time I fail to remember that even 50 years ago I would be waiting weeks and a hundred it would be months before reaching a given destination. What a marvelous time we live in.

Day 8: I am grateful for good friends. Tonight I got to go to two girls nights and hang out with some of my favorite people, people who I love and who I know love me. It's great to know that while you are leading your life and it might seem like your the only one struggling with whatever it is your dealing with, that there are people around you who are doing the same thing and together you can somehow make the burden seem a little bit lighter. I am so grateful for people who I could say pretty much anything to and it wouldn't phase them at all. They wouldn't judge or think less of me for saying it. Girls nights are definitely the cheapest form of therapy.

Day 9: I am grateful for my office. For my place to be away from everything (kind of) and create. It is where I compose myself from all the insanity that is constantly flying at me. I am not joking when I say I might go insane without it.

Day 10: I am grateful for my pregnancies. I know, if anyone knows me they know I hate being pregnant. I'm pretty much a big, uncomfortable meanie for a year. But today I talked to someone who has gone through a number of miscarriages and I can't imagine how hard it must have been. It would not be something that is easily forgotten. And for that I am grateful for my health and being able to 'easily' bare children.

Day 11: I am grateful for modern medicine. The boys and I went to McDonalds for dinner to give dad a break and Max got his fingers smashed in the bathroom door. It was awful, blood everywhere. I panicked and it was just a very emotional night. We ended up in urgent care and the next day getting an x-ray (nothing too serious, thankfully). But I am grateful we have doctors, medicine and so many things to keep us strong and healthy.

Day 12: Today I am grateful for children. Not just my own but for other children as well. Childhood is something you only get to do once and it goes by so fast. I love to do fun stuff for the kids around me and hope to bring smiles on their faces. After being a mother I can really see why we must 'be as little children' if we want to enter into heaven. They are such amazing examples to me!

Day 13: I am grateful for my primary calling. Today we had the primary program and they all did such a wonderful job. I can't believe I get to work with them and serve them. For 8 years I did activities, activities, activities and I am so lucky to get to be around these sweet children.

Day 14: I am grateful for work. I've pretty much worked since I was 16 and the only 'break' I had was during my mission and a couple months after Levi was born. I have always been blessed to be able to work when I've needed it. I am grateful for my little store and how much I have been able to do because of it. I never really though I'd make real money at it, but I have always been abundantly blessed with income when I've needed it.

Day 15: I am grateful for this blog. It is a TON, TON, TON of work on top of everything else that I do. Some days I just want to quit it all because it is just one more thing I have to do in my already busy life. Then I go look at pictures from a year or two and am grateful I took the time. These next 20 years or so are going to be crazy busy raising children, but one day they will be gone and out of the house and I know I will be eternally grateful for the time I took taking pictures and writing their stories.

Day 16: I am grateful for the temple. No we didn't go today. We've been trying to find a time to go with our temple swap family but we've got some tricky schedules, especially with the holidays approaching. The last time we went I loved it and realized how much I truly missed it, not because of any huge epiphanies I had while I was there but merely because of the peace inside. It literally felt like I left all my stress, worries, and anxieties (which are a lot) right at the door and all I felt inside was peace and calm. I can't wait to go back.

Day 17: Today I am extremely grateful for my Max. He is such a sweet heart and I can't resist that little voice of his and how he is learning new things each day. One of my favorite things in the world to hear is his giggles. It melts my heart. I can't imagine our family without that little guy.

Day 18: I am grateful for the opportunity to serve. It is such a great feeling to do something nice for someone, even if it's something small. And I am always grateful when people have allowed me to do things for them. It makes me happy.

Day 19: I am so grateful for my Levi. We spent pretty much the whole day together, just the two of us. We were mostly doing errands for me, stopping at a bazaar then going to the gemfaire on the max. He was such great company. I just love that kid. He asks about 10 questions a minute and is so curious about life. He has an amazing imagination and love of life. It is never a dull moment with him around. Today would have been extremely boring without him.

Day 20: I'm grateful for tithing. I know, it might sound odd. But I love it. Today was tithing settlement and it felt so good to say we were full tithe payers. Tithing is pretty much the only commandment I can comply with completely and it feels good knowing that despite my lack of faith, charity and patience I do pay my tithing perfectly. What a blessing.

Day 21: I am grateful for Family Home Evening. We have gotten better and better at the whole thing and now have Levi getting into the act. He always reminds us what day it is and what we are all doing. When he chooses activities it usually involves playing cars, trains or a game and if we let him decide for treat he like to pick the ice cream shop. I look forward to many a fun family home evening with those boys.

Day 22: I am grateful for good teachers. Today was Levi's preschool's harvest feast and I am got to see him interact in his school environment. His teachers are wonderful and you can tell how much they love these children and the work they do.

Day 23: I am eternally grateful for my husband. Today, when he got home I was pretty down. Tired, not feeling great and sick of my kids fighting. So he put me to bed, took the boys and made waffles for them for dinner and when I woke several hours later the boys were playing downstairs and the whole house was clean and everything set out for thanksgiving dinner. He's amazing and I am so lucky to have him for my eternal companion.

Day 24: I am grateful for modern technology. I love it, though it can be a source of distractions at times. I was able to do most of our Christmas shopping online and get a number of ideas for some handmade ones I'll be doing. What did people do without it? I've used it for so many great things. Like preparing lessons or music time. It's an amazing resource.

Monday, November 21, 2011


This year we never really ended up carving pumpkins, it just didn't happen. But we did get to decorate some over at our cousins house. It mostly involved them putting stickers on pumpkins. But they loved it. I love how kids can be so easily entertained sometimes.
Sienna and Nancy with the princess pumpkin.
Levi worked VERY intently on his. He definitely worked on it the longest, even stayed while the other kids ate cupcakes. Now that is a true artist. Dillan, also very engrossed. Man that kid's adorable.
And Mr. Max with his 'M' pumpkin. He was very proud of it. Then dad started putting stickers on his face to which he started laughing hysterically which of course made everyone else laugh hysterically. And then there were mini cupcakes. The end.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Plumper Pumpkins

Pre-School is amazing. Partly because of all the fun field trips they get to go on. For this one we all got to go to a pumpkin patch, called "Plumper Pumpkin Patch". It was our first time going but probably one of my favorites so far.

See how excited they are? We'd been talking about it for weeks.
Our friend Everett showing what to do with a pumpkin. This is teacher Krista and the Plumper Pumpkin lady teaching all about the different kinds of pumpkins and gourds. Very informative.
They were quite attentive. NOTE: they kept their hoods on pretty much the entire time, insisting it was going to rain, which in Oregon is a pretty safe bet. After that began all the fun slides and other kids activities. There were at least 5 big slides. So awesome. Here's some funny moments I caught.

Levi's pal Isaac who he carpools with. Another kid in his class. Don't worry, no one was hurt, they just laughed it off. What tough pre-schoolers. Max and Abe mostly just played on the stairs, a little too scared to go down. At least at first. Max thoroughly enjoyed being around all the 'big kids' he followed them around and copied whatever they were doing. It was very sweet. Levi, Isaac and Kade showing me their muscles. Max likes to play tough, but this calf kind of scared him. When he saw everyone else going and petting it he was in. They had these hand pumps you could pump water out of down a pipe and it would float a duck. Unfortunately it wasn't really work despite all the arm work Max and Everett put in. They were at it a while, convinced they would get water no matter what. I was helping Levi with something and lost sight of Max for a second. Talk about a scary 30 seconds!!! But he was just at the top of the stairs with all the other kids. Sweet Kade Haroldsen was so nice and kept trying to convince Max it was ok to go down the slide. Didn't work, going up and down the stairs were enough for him. Hayride!!!!And we HAD to check out the tractors.
Maze #1.Another slide, they're such boys.
Maze #2
Levi with Teacher Kim. It was very cute to see them interact. He ran up to her and grabbed her hand to tell her something extremely important. He sure loves his teacher.

Yummy snacks.

Maze #3. They were very frustrated with this one so we cut our way through and picked out our pumpkins. On our way out Levi insisted we get smaller, baby pumpkins so the bigger ones would have side kicks.