Thursday, December 22, 2011

We love Texas...

...because of days like today. Evelyn has been vocally disgruntled at the fact that it is highly unlikely we will have a white Christmas (although we did a couple of years ago, but I think it is extremely rare). Well, I pointed out to her that while we won't have a white Christmas, we did have a day shortly before Christmas with wonderful weather. The kids and I were able to have a picnic lunch in the backyard, and in the afternoon we spent an hour or more playing at the park. It was a lot of fun. And while there are wonderful things about playing in the snow, for today I'll take Texas winter weather over true "wintry" weather.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I did it!

Last night I finished sewing a bathrobe for David!! When he modeled it for the kids, who were excited to see it, Evelyn said, "There's no way you made that, Mom." I'll take that as a great compliment. :)

The saga of the bathrobe started in October 2010, when David went on a business trip to Colorado and stayed in a really nice hotel. They had nice bathrobes, which he enjoyed using, so I thought his own robe would be the perfect thing to get for his birthday in November. Well, on our limited gift budget, I couldn't find a decent robe, so I got the brilliant idea that I could sew one, and it would end up being a combination birthday/Christmas present. My sewing skills are still at a beginner level, although I am excited to be learning! Well, I got a pattern and then bought the material with my mom while we were visiting them in Utah last Christmas. The plan was to make it while we were there, so that Mom could help me with it. Well, as you can imagine, we could never find much time to work on it, so Mom just talked me through the pattern, which I found was not enough for my abilities once I was on my own back home. I got stuck at one point, and with the craziness of buying a house and moving (or at least they're my excuses) I gave up temporarily and stopped working on it for a long time. Then a couple of months ago I mustered up some courage and "hired" a friend who teaches sewing lessons to help me figure it out, and we made really good progress. Well, to complete the story, I finished the robe last night! I was so excited, and David was looking forward to wearing it for the first time. He likes it, which is mostly what matters, and I feel a great sense of accomplishment now that I've finished it. Now onto the pajama pants I'm trying to make for all of the family members for Christmas...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Being a mother of young children is demanding, hard work. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my title of Mom or position of stay-at-home-mom for anything, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a difficult, challenging job. When I find myself getting bogged down by the mundane (and seemingly endless) tasks of fixing meals, cleaning rooms, doing laundry, changing diapers, refereeing sibling squabbles/fights, and so on, I often turn to a few trusted and well-listened-to talks from various leaders in the Church. Some of my favorites are:

"Because she is a mother" (Elder Holland, April 1997)
"Daughters of God" (Elder Ballard, April 2008)
"To the mothers in Zion" (President Benson, February 1987)
"Mothers who know" (Sister Beck, October 2007)
"The joy of womanhood" (Sister Nadauld, October 2000)

For any other young mothers out there, I hope these talks can help you if and when you feel bogged down by the challenges of raising children and making a home.

So while it is hard, it is oh, so worth it. Just looking at these faces, how could I feel otherwise?

Thursday, September 29, 2011


So, here's a quick rundown (with lots of pictures) of some highlights from the past couple of months.

Evelyn started Kindergarten! She is really enjoying it, and comes running out of the school with a big grin on her face most afternoons when the boys and I pick her up. We walk to and from school, so we are all really glad that the days of 105 degree afternoons are over, for this season at least.
Edison turned 3! He likes pointing out things that he can do because he is 3, like being strong.
Grant has 4 teeth! I love his toothy grins. He loves chasing after his brother and sister and being included in whatever they are doing (or getting into whatever they are doing).
And he turned 1! We had a joint birthday celebration a couple of months ago with his two cousins that are really close in age to him, so his actual birthday was pretty low key. But he did enjoy opening presents, and his older siblings let him play with the toys a little bit, in between using the toys themselves. :)
Evelyn lost her first tooth! She was quite excited and was eager to put the tooth under her pillow to find out what the tooth fairy might leave.
David successfully took out all of the shrubs in the front yard! This one was the most difficult.
This is a little out of order, but here are a few pictures from Edison's birthday. David made him a soccer goal, my parents got him a basketball hoop, and David's parents gave him a soccer ball (green! his favorite color!), so it was quite a sports-filled afternoon. David also took the day off of work and took Edison to the zoo in the morning. They had fun together, although they were disappointed that the elephant and giraffe areas were closed.

Edison is pretending to be a baby bird in this giant nest.
And finally, Edison is doing a gymnastics class at a city rec center! He is our little "monkey man," so it is little surprise that he is taking to gymnastics quite well. I love watching him do the balance beam, somersaults, trampoline, bar, and other jumping and tumbling. His favorite is swinging on the bar like a little monkey. :)

This one is him doing a donkey kick.
Well, that sums up the highlights. We are also taking advantage of the respite from the heat by spending a lot of our time outside these days. Hopefully I'll have pictures in the not-too-distant future that will show progress on our yard and overall curb appeal out front.

Friday, July 15, 2011

New house!

After a year and a half of living with David's parents (thank you!!!) so we could save money, 6 months of that time spent actively househunting, we found, bought, and moved into our very own first home last month! The house we found really fits our needs: it has 3 bedrooms, 2 living areas (1 of which we've turned into a playroom), a big backyard, good schools, in the same church ward, and we're only about a half mile from David's parents' house, so the kids still get good Grandma and Grandpa time. There is a lot of work that we have done and much more that we want to do to get everything the way we want it, but that's true with most houses. So, without further ado, here are some pictures of our house! (I apologize to those of you who may not be that interested in all of these pictures. They're mainly meant for family members who don't live nearby and can't see our house.)

The house isn't much to look at from the front, especially with all of these overgrown bushes and trees. David has been working really hard to get them out (they're holly, which are technically trees, so they're no good for right up against the house), so I will have to do some good before and after pictures once we put in our own landscaping. The dead bushes are from the foundation repair company, who actually did us a favor by ripping out a few of the bushes to do their work. It's a little funny, though, that they stuck them back in dead.
Enjoying popsicles after hard work in the front yard
No more bushes on the west side! The playroom is so bright now. :)
This is the playroom, which is immediately to your right when you walk in the front door. The kids are loving having a room to play in, and we are loving that their toys aren't in their room. We also like the "reading nook" with the blue chair next to the bookcase.

Playroom looking into the front entryway

Here's the kitchen, and the door straight ahead goes into the playroom

Here's the living room, looking into the eating area in the kitchen.
And another view of the living room. The hallway to the left leads to the bedrooms, and the curtains to the right are covering the sliding door to the backyard.

Hallway to bedrooms. Going counterclockwise from the bottom right, the doors lead to the bathroom, furnace closet, master bedroom, Grant's room, and Evelyn's and Edison's room.
The week we moved the kids helped us make signs for each of the bedroom doors
Evelyn's and Edison's room, including the much-loved bunk bed.

Well, this is it for now! Stay tuned for more to come!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Soosy.

Yes, I spelled that right. Soosy (or Soozy--Evelyn says you can spell it either way) is Evelyn's stuffed dog that has been her favorite stuffed animal for most of the past year and a half. Well, Evelyn decided that Saturday was Soosy's birthday, and while pronouncing the day to be a stuffed animal's birthday is not an uncommon occurrence, this time we actually threw a party for Soosy. It started with Evelyn wanting to bake a pretend cake, which she has done a few times just mixing flour, sugar, water, salt and maybe a little bit of cinnamon together to experiment and have fun. But I had a coupon for a free cake mix, so we went all out for Soosy and made her a devil's food chocolate cake with pink frosting and chocolate sprinkles. Evelyn and I had a lot of fun making and decorating the cake together.

Then she wrapped a "present," we blew up a few balloons, and the party was off and running. Evelyn and Edison had so much fun with those balloons. And of course we all enjoyed the cake. So thanks for having a birthday, Soosy. It was fun.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Dallas Zoo!

We decided to buy a family pass to the zoo this year, which is looking to be a lot of fun! We've been twice this month (well, in May), and it is so nice to be able to go for just the morning (especially as we get into the hot summer) and not feel like we have to cram everything into one exhausting day. The kids' favorite areas seem to be the big African animals (elephants, giraffes, etc.) and the fun children's area on the other side of the zoo. We forgot to take pictures of the children's area, but there's a fun wading stream with rocks and other things to climb on that Evelyn and Edison love. When we went a few weeks ago we caught most of a cool bird show, complete with birds who would swoop down and pick up dollar bills if you held them out and a bird that sang "Old MacDonald."

Here are a few pictures from our zoo adventures.

Riding the train there and back is half the fun for Evelyn and Edison (or at least for the first few minutes of the 50-minute ride).
Carousel! (It's quite sneaky that they put it right by the main entrance to the zoo, so we see it every time we walk in....)
For $5, you can feed the giraffes. We haven't coughed up the money yet, but it's fun to watch other people do it so you can see the giraffes' long black tongues.
Evelyn and Edison both love the elephants.

Grant mostly likes eating snacks and chilling in the stroller (except when it's naptime).

I literally had to carry Edison away from this group of elephant statues, which were a lot more interesting to him than the real elephants.
You can't quite see them, but there are African penguins in and around that water. Did you know there are penguins that live in warm weather? I didn't, until I first went to the zoo.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April adventures

It's hard to believe that April is about over. We are ready for the rain and storms to be through, but not quite ready for the heat. But, I guess that all comes with living in Texas. We've taken quite a few pictures over the past month, so I'll just let them tell you about what we've been up to.

We took a trip to the local LDS bookstore and let the kids each pick out a picture of a temple to hang up in their room. Edison was determined to find a green temple (his favorite color), but he settled for a picture of the San Antonio temple, while Evelyn was excited to find a pretty picture of the Mount Timpanogos temple, which is where David and I were married. On our way home we stopped by the Dallas temple.

Where's Moroni?
Grant, who is now 7 months (!), is such a good, happy baby. He loves watching his brother and sister, putting anything and everything into his mouth, and is generally just a happy, content little boy. Sometimes he will laugh hysterically at the simplest things, like when Edison walked toward him the other day. He's very wiggly and rolls a lot (not all over the place yet, but it's not too far off). Here's our happy boy!

For those of you who take little kids to the grocery store, here's a tip I once saw a young mom do: she made a "balloon" out of a produce bag for her toddler. What a great idea! The kids like entertaining themselves with it, and the other day it got a whole lot of laughs from Grant as he watched Edison throw it up in the air and catch it. So we often do it when we're at the grocery store. Well, with all of the windy, windy days we've had, we decided to turn them into "kites." Evelyn and Edison had a lot of fun running around outside with them.

A month or so ago David and I had a fun date night where we went up to one of the city parks and used a public grill to cook some dinner and just enjoy being outside. Well, since then David has done a similar thing with Evelyn for a Daddy-daughter date and then with Edison for a Father-son outing. No pictures were taken with Evelyn, but here's our happy camper Edison.

When Evelyn and I went to pick up David and Edison after their "campout," we noticed a group of people beginning to set up a hot air balloon in the big field. I can't remember ever being so close to a hot air balloon. It was really neat to see the whole process, and the kids (especially Evelyn) were quite intrigued and excited.

Easter! We joined Katie (sister-in-law) and her kids the day before Easter at her ward's Easter party. Evelyn was super excited about the egg hunt, and she uncharacteristically ran out on her own as soon as her age group was announced. Edison had no interest in the egg hunt but was happily and busily eating a little bag of candy he had won from a game. I finally convinced him to go outside with me after all of the other kids had gone out. We had a harder time finding eggs, since all of the easy ones were gone, but Edison didn't care.

And here are a few pictures with the kids in their new Sunday Easter outfits. (Thank you Mom and Dad!)

And last, but not least, this past Wednesday was 31 cent scoop night at Baskin Robbins. And, well, you can guess how excited the kids were to go out for ice cream.

What we hadn't expected, though, were a fire truck, a fire ambulance, and the fire fighters who were there because the proceeds of the night were going to benefit some sort of fire fighter foundation. It was a pretty exciting night. :)

So that, in a nutshell (or at least a lot of pictures), sums up our April. Now on to May!