Sunday, November 30, 2008


We spent Thanksgiving Day in Colfax with my Nanie and my mom, Emily (home from BYU for a surprise visit), Rachel, and lots of Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. Our party has gotten so large that we have to meet at a church building. We filled three tables with food, another with drinks, and a fifth with paper products.

After stuffing ourselves, Chad played basketball in the gym. (Yes, Chad). He is still feeling it four days later.

When the basketball game was complete, several of us went to a nearby park to take a walk and play on the playground. We had a blast! The weather couldn't have been more perfect. What a fun day!

The next morning I went out at 4:30am with my mom and Rachel to Black Friday shopping.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Cousin Alex!

Alex had a fun birthday party at the YMCA on Saturday. We played in the gym and got to go swimming! None of the swimming pics turned out, though.

It was a blast. Alex had a Cars birthday cake and really enjoyed licking the icing off of the car.

Here is my feeble attempt at getting a picture of the four cousins together. It really was a hopeless case. At one point Andrew and Alex just climbed under the table, declaring the photo shoot and the party officially over.

November Snow!

The boys woke up Friday morning to a dusting of snow. Of course we were outside bundled up in our layers of snow clothes by 7:15am. (In NC you have to move fast. It was gone before lunch).

Andrew was elated. He had a blast vainly trying to make snowballs and investigating the snow covered swing set and the trampoline. He even raked leaves in the snow. Andrew also really loved watching his shadows.

Ryan was also excited about the snow, but not about his mittens. He refused to wear them. So he scooped up snow with his bare hands, and cried. I put his mittens back on him, he cried as he tugged on them and waved his hands wildly in the air trying to fling the mittens back at me. Somehow he managed to get them off again. He played on the snowy swing, and cried. He jumped on the snowy trampoline, and cried. "Hands, hands, cold" he sobbed.

Finally I brought him inside. I couldn't let him get frost bit, right? That made him maddest of all. His reaction to coming inside was pitiful. But a cup of hot chocolate warmed his body and cooled his temper pretty quickly.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Andrew's First Sacrament Program

Andrew had his first Primary Program at church today. For me it was a dream come true. After being involved with the planning of the program for many years, it was so wonderful to have my own little guy up there to blow kisses at and smile at me.

But because of so many years of helping with the program I have come to have certain ..."expectations of what might happen." And we all look forward to the primary program because we hope those funny things will happen, we just hope it isn't our own kid. I began to wonder would Andrew actually speak and say the talk he made up himself? Would he sing the words to the duet he was asked to do the way we practiced, or make up his own nonsense words to the song, like he does everyday at home? Would he run down from the podium and come to me, would he need to go to the bathroom when it was his turn to speak and miss his turn? Or my biggest fear, would he sit and pick his nose (and GROSS), eat them the entire meeting? That actually happened my first year as primary president with a sunbeam and I watched his mother's mortified face the entire hour. Actually all of those things have happened in our ward, so I was more than a little nervous with my little performer up on stage where I, his control freak mommy, had no control of him.

I am pleased to report that all my worrying was useless. He did both of his parts really well and stayed on the stand the whole time. I couldn't have been prouder and wasn't embarrassed for even one moment, even when he stood up next to the chorister and helped lead the opening hymn. When it came time for his duet, the cute little boy he was supposed to sing with got a little shy I think, so Andrew ended up singing alone. He said his talk, too, word for word. In fact, all of the primary children did a wonderful job and I appreciated their sweet spirits and testimonies.

Here is a video of our practice from home for those who could not be there.

"I can go on a mission when I am 19, because Heavenly Father wants me to."
"Home is where there's father, with strength and wisdom true."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Backyard Camping and Mountain Hiking

We went camping with our boys this weekend. We decided for lots of different reasons (shingles, lack of vacation days, uncertainty of whether the boys would like camping, pregnancy, etc...) to camp in our own backyard. I set up the tent by myself before Chad got home from work. I am not sure who was more surprised, Chad or me.

We had a blast eating outside playing hide-and-go-seek with glow sticks, and jumping on the trampoline in the dark. We read stories and sang songs with our flashlights in the tent, then tucked in our two littlest campers who gladly crawled into the tent and giggled together for about an hour before falling asleep. It was so much fun! It was hard to capture pictures of our fun in the dark.

The best part was having our whole house at our disposal. I went inside and popped popcorn and made hot chocolate for a snack, since we can't have open fires inside the city limits. And I was able to use a real bathroom. (Andrew thought it was really cool that he didn't have to come inside to use the bathroom).

In the morning we got dressed and drove up to Hanging Rock for some hiking. (Our backyard did have some limitations). The boys had a great time running up and down the trails, climbing rocks, and playing in the waterfall. The scenery was beautiful.

When we returned home and took down the tent, Andrew was in a word....devastated. He fell upon the ground with real tears streaming down his cheeks. "Mommy, why does Daddy have to take down our tent? I don't want him to. I want to sleep in the tent forever. " In his prayers last night he asked Heavenly Father to let him sleep outside in a tent. I would say from his reaction, our first camp-out was a success and now we are ready to take the "show on the road" and camp somewhere a little further from home next time.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We usually try and have a family themed costume, but with pregnancy, shingles, and European vacations, I decided to let go and make Halloween a little simpler this year. I made one costume, bought one costume, and the grown-ups at our house didn't dress up at all. I think the kids had a great time, but I surprisingly did kinda miss dressing up.

Since late this summer Andrew has insisted that he was going to be a rocket for Halloween. His inspiration came from a spaceship movie we borrowed from the library. I could not convince him that an astronaut would be cool, those costumes are easy to find. Nope only a rocket would do. So I started looking for a pattern in August and could find none. They don't exist. So my sewing teacher and I kinda made our own, and Andrew and I were happy with the results. (Thank you Shellie Brewer)!

The plan was for Ryan to be a space alien, but after a search for a cute costume pattern failed, I decided that he would be his favorite animal, a dog. It was an easy one to purchase, so I didn't make his. He loved his costume and kept hugging himself, signing dog, barking, panting, and trying out his new words, "Trick or Treat." I think he was much happier as a puppy than he would have been as an alien.

We trick or treated at Nanie's house on Thursday. She gave each boy big pumpkins filled with candy and toys.

We visited Daddy at work on Halloween and the sweet ladies there shared their candy.

We went trick or treating in our neighborhood last night and came home and ate a pumpkin cheesecake. It was the first cheesecake I can ever remember making. This pic was taken right before we started around the neighborhood. I loved this picture of the boys. Ryan looking precious, Andrew making silly faces and looking like he is going to wretch.

Cousins Halloween Playdate

We went to see two of our cousins on Halloween and played together outside in the leaves.

Evin was a darling ladybug.

Alex was dressed up as superman. He is puffing out his chest to look big and strong like a super hero. Too cute and too funny not to share!

This video is for Grandma Mary. (And anyone else who would enjoy seeing the pure joy that comes from fall frolicking).


We usually go to the farmer's market and pick out pumpkins together, the weekend before Halloween. This year we were out of the country, so we headed to Harris Teeter to pick two out instead. Andrew and Ryan painted one together.

This is one of those times when I silenced the vain control freak voice inside my head and let them loose. Andrew wanted to paint one half red and one half purple. (Yuck)!

They worked really hard and covered every inch of the pumpkin with paint. It ended up looking like a face with hair, so I had him paint a face on the front with colors that he chose. (lovely) The kids that came trick or treating loved it!

The next night we carved a pumpkin together. I asked Andrew what he thought was inside, before we opened it. "Candy and presents," he guessed. He was more surprised then disappointed by the gooey seeds and slime inside. He helped scoop them out for a minute and then was off to other things. Ryan on the other hand was fascinated. He stood next to me and "helped" me scoop out the entire pumpkin.

When I say help, I mean that each time I scooped a spoonful of pumpkin guts out into the bowl, Ryan used his spoon the scoop some more back into the pumpkin where they "belonged" in his opinion. It was quite cute and he concentrated really hard on his work.

Then Daddy worked hours and carved this awesome space ship. Go Daddy!