Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Decorating for Christmas

We had a GREAT Thanksgiving this year. We were invited to spend the day with two great families . We started the day off eating the main meal at the Brown's home. The food was delicious and the kids had a lot of fun playing. Another family in our ward was able to be there with us and they have a little boy who is Landon's age named Matthew. Landon and Matthew go to the same preschool so they have become good friends. It was so fun watching Landon and Matthew play together (and to watch Tori follow them around everywhere). I loved spending Thanksgiving with the Browns and we had a wonderful time.
After we ate at the Browns we headed over to the Millers, another family in our ward, for pie. Every Thanksgiving the Millers cook a pie for every adult who is at their home for Thanksgiving. On Wednesday I wet over to their house to help them make pies and we made 17 pies! They turned out delicious! It was great spending time with the Miller's and their guests.
The Browns and the Millers taught me a valuable lesson this year. Despite having plenty of family nearby to fill their homes these two families remembered the members of our ward who are far away from their own extended families and invited us to join theirs for the day. They made us feel completely welcome and wanted. I hope that in the future when we have plenty of family near by to fill our home for the holidays that we remember to include those who may not be so close to their family in our holiday plans. This ward has really taught me a lot about service and what it means to be a ward family. I am really going to miss everyone here when the time comes for us to move.
Here are some Thanksgiving pictures:
This morning I braved the Black Friday sales. I got some good deals but it was CRAZY! I witnessed a fight outside of Target and I learned that Walmart is never a good idea on Black Friday no matter how good the deals seem.
After I got home from shopping I took a nap. Once I woke up Landon really wanted to put up the Christmas tree. So we got out the Christmas decorations and went to work. I don't have a ton of decorations but we have no room in our tiny house for anything but our nativity set and our Christmas tree. I look forward to the day when we have a house big enough for some decent decorations, but I digress. Landon and Tori had so much fun putting up the decorations and I love seeing how excited Landon is for Christmas this year!
In this picture Landon is playing with an AWESOME Nativity Set that Fisher Price makes that my Mom bought for the kids this year. I highly recommend it for all of you with young children.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What I am Thankful for...

I have so much to be thankful for. As I sit and reflect on my blessings my heart is full. Here are some of the things I am especially thankful for this year:
-Ella smiles. Ella has been the smiliest of all my babies. Her smile lights up a room and it is hard not to be happy when she is smiling at me. I just love this little girl and I am so happy that she was able to join our family.
- A Latter-day Prophet. Recently my heart has been full of love and gratitude for our dear prophet Thomas S. Monson. I feel that in our world of uncertainty and confusion our prophet stands for truth and light. I feel peace when I hear him speak and I feel that I can face what ever problems life throws at me.
- My younger brother Matt. Matt is my oldest younger brother. I remember when I was a child I thought he was pretty much the most annoying thing ever. I don't know when exactly it happened but somewhere along the way Matt became one of my very best friends. I love Jared and the kids but sometimes I need to talk to other adults. Without fail every Sunday since he got home from his mission in May Matt gives me a call and just talks to me for a few hours. I know that as a college co-ed this is a bit of a sacrifice for him. I love talking to him and I don't think he realizes how much our Sunday conversations mean to me.
-Landon hugs. Every time I pick Landon up from preschool he runs to me proclaims "Mommy" and gives me the best hugs . It seriously melts my heart. I know that one day he will grow out of this so right now I am really enjoying these sweet little moments with my boy.
- Little girl hair. Tori's hair isn't super long, but it is long enough that I can do some cute things to it. I didn't get much hair until after I was 2 so it has been so fun being able to try our cute hairstyles on Tori.
- The kindness of strangers. This August I flew to Vegas all by myself with the little girls. Anyone who has flown a lone with small children knows that it is not fun and it is no small feat. I was absolutely dreading dragging the girls and all of our stuff from the plane to baggage claim. I had Ella in a sling, Tori in the stroller, my backpack on my back, my purse in one arm and Tori's carseat in the other ( I am sure I looked ridiculous). As I started to bound up the gate a young women and her mother stopped to help me. They carried Tori's carseat all the way to baggage claim and then let me use their phone to get a hold of my ride from the airport. This may seem like such a small thing but to me on that day that young women and her mom were my heroes. I could list so many more incidents like this that have happened in my life and I am so grateful for them because they really help me to remember all the good in the world.
- A cute Husband. Jared is such a patient rational husband and sometimes I don't make things easy for him. He rarely complains and is always willing to help me with whatever I ask of him. I love the father that he is and he really is a great husband. I really lucked out with him
- Family. Jared and I really have such great families. It often makes me sad that we live so far away from everyone but it is so great when they come to visit or we are able to go visit them. This year I am also thankful for family that extends beyond bloodlines. We have so many great friends out here that have invited us into their hearts and their homes. When I think about their love for me and my family it makes me a little emotional.
-Toy cars and trucks. Seriously these things provide many hours of good time fun for a certain three year old boy who lives at our house. My favorite is when he makes the cars talk to each other using different voices (he has his regular Landon voice, the monster voice, and the high pitched girly voice).
-Healthy, happy, beautiful children. I think all to often I take these things for granted. I have been given such sweet kids and a lot of times I focus on the negative, like how much they whine , or how messy they can be, or how they tend to cling to me and get in my way when I am trying to cook dinner. Just when I start to feel really sorry for myself I come across a little bit of perspective and I realize that I really am very blessed.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Curls! Curls! Curls!

Last night I decided to put Tori's hair in rollers for the first time.
When I took the rollers out this morning Tori's hair was super curly so I decided to put in pigtails for church. Later this evening after I took the pigtails out the curls had calmed down a bit and I think it made a cute hair style.

Front View:
Back view:
I love all the fun things that I can try on Tori's hair now. I can't wait for it to get even longer!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mommy Guilt

To state the obvious becoming a mom has changed me in ways I never imagined. Before I had kids I didn't have clue what it felt like to love someone the way a parent loves a child. It is still hard for me to comprehend that anyone else has ever felt the kind of intense love that I feel for my children. That being said being a mom also comes with a lot of self doubt and guilt. I often feel that I am not the kind of mom I should be. Often my patience is short, I second guess the choices I make regarding my kids, and I feel I fall short in teaching my kids all the vital things they need to know. Because of this I have a lot of mommy guilt. One big source of my mommy guilt comes from the very close age gap between Tori and Ella. Landon gets a lot of attention because he has the best communication skills and he can tell us directly what he wants. Ella gets a lot of attention because she is the baby and she needs to be fed and changed often. A lot of times that means that Tori gets the short end of the stick. Sometimes my heart just breaks for my middle child. I worry that I robbed her of her time as the "baby" by having Ella when she was just 13 months old.
But then I see scenes like this

Tori and Ella were playing together and they were just making each other laugh and laugh. When I witness these sweet moments my mommy guilt goes away and I realize that maybe Tori hasn't gotten the short end of the stick after all and that what I have given her is a really great gift.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh Snow!

Winter is here. It snowed last night, and this morning, and I think that it is probably snowing as I type this. It makes me sad that we have to bid farewell the beautiful Fall we had. It isn't so much that I don't like the snow...well actually that is exactly what it is, I really just don't like snow. I hate the extra time it takes to get people ready just to leave the house, I hate having to scrape the ice and snow from our car, I hate driving in the snow, really I could go on and on. However, it is pretty and the kids do seem to like playing in it so I guess it isn't all bad (just mostly bad).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

5 months old

It seems as though the first few months of a babies life they don't learn or do a whole lot. The routine is eat, sleep, cry, repeat. Then overnight they start learning and doing new things at a rapid rate. It seems as though Ella is now in this stage. In the last month she has mastered the art of rolling over (she can move all over the place), started to "play with toys (by play I mean she grabs them and sticks them in her mouth) and she has started to sit up on her own(for very short periods of time)! When I look at her now I hardly see the newborn that was lying in my arms only 5 short months ago. It has been so fun to watch her grow and start to develop into her own little person!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Gospel According to Landon

We have been working on learning the first Article of Faith as part of our Family Home Evenings the last couple of weeks. I was super surprised when today when he said he would recite the Article of Faith by himself. Here is the First Article of Faith according to Landon:

"We believe in God, Tori's a ladybug, and his son Jesus Christ, and Landon's a ghost"

Thursday, November 06, 2008

This makes me Smile...

Right now it is warmer here, in Elkhart Indiana, then it is in Las Vegas. The predicted high for today is 72 degrees!! I'm LOVING the fall weather here this year. Stay away snow!!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tree Climbing

The other day Landon wanted to climb the tree in our yard. Jared, being the fun Dad that he is, decided to oblige.
Landon was so excited to be up in the tree
After Jared came down off the tree Landon kept falling on the ground and rolling around trying to imitate the action of Jared jumping out of the tree. It was pretty funny, I should of got a video but I didn't think about that until it was too late. Here is a picture.Random stuff:

I didn't want to leave Ella out so here is a cute picture of her from Sunday

Also here are some more pictures of some hair clips I made

And on one final note, vote!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


We had a lot of fun trick-or-treating last night. Jared and Ella stayed home to hand out candy and Landon, Tori, and I headed over to my friend Lesley's house to trick-or-treat with her kids. I think that Landon really enjoyed trick-or-treating but after awhile he got tired of walking and wanted to ride in the stroller. Overall I think it was great success for his first "real" trick-or-treating experience. Now for the pictures:
Here is the ladybug
The ButterflyThe dragon with his preschool teacher
Cora, Jody, and Landon getting ready to go
Tori and Marcus
Action shotThere was a scary ghost skeleton thing at this house
Crossing the street
Just more pictures of Landon