Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26th 366 challenge

IMG_9222 by atvtnv
IMG_9222, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Could I be any cuter?

says her shirt.

December 25th 366 challenge

IMG_9208 by atvtnv
IMG_9208, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

One of my favorites from Christmas. This is the gift Michael gave to Benjamin (family gift exchange)... a poster sized map of Middle Earth. In color. Complete with labels, the poem, and many other really cool details. I need to take a closeup sometime. I love my kids.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

IMG_9150 by atvtnv
IMG_9150, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.
Merry Christmas!

December 24th 366 challenge

IMG_9146 by atvtnv
IMG_9146, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

One of these things is not like the others...

My mother in law gives us a bear every year!  Yes, starting with the first year we were married (which also was Michael's first Christmas... )  So we have 17 bears, plus an extra for one of the years Tom worked for Walmart and we got one from there.  Jules just fit in perfectly... 

December 23rd 366 challenge

IMG_9142 by atvtnv
IMG_9142, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Mom's birthday cake! CAKE!!!! Don't know what it is but I WANT SOME! :)

(we celebrated a little late, due to other things we were doing like going to the temple and shopping...)

December 22nd 366 challenge

IMG_9133 by atvtnv
IMG_9133, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Samuel and Juliana playing. She has so much fun with everyone!

December 21st 366 challenge

IMG_9127 by atvtnv
IMG_9127, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Benjamin's Hobbit Hole... plus the gate at the top of our hill in the backyard, which leads to a VERY large park... that we get extra snow from for our forts, snowmen, and Hobbit-Holes.

December 20th 366 challenge

IMG_9124 by atvtnv
IMG_9124, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Liberty, upon wanting to come inside, was SO upset that she couldn't bring her NO-man in with her.

December 19th 366 challenge

IMG_9104 by atvtnv
IMG_9104, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Made lots of cookies with the kids today. Good times! Gingerbread men (and bears, wreathes, stockings, etc...)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18th 366 challenge

IMG_9084 by atvtnv
IMG_9084, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

This keeps the baby out of the tree... but she DOES knock over the castle...

December 17th 366 challenge

IMG_9077 by atvtnv
IMG_9077, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Sisters! Liberty came up to me and said MOM! Me and Julie-nana is MATCHING! So we took a picture.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 16th 366 challenge

IMG_9073 by atvtnv
IMG_9073, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Our three year old Liberty! I can't believe she will be leaving Nursery (18 mos to 3 year old class) and moving on to Sunbeams in Primary in just 3 weeks! (Sunbeams are the 3 year old class in our children's classes at church). She is growing so fast!

December 15th 366 challenge

IMG_9062 by atvtnv
IMG_9062, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Liberty got to meet Santa at the Ward Christmas party (after the Primary Nativity where Christopher was a cow... and I had three rowdy shepherds, too...) She liked being able to meet him, but wasn't all about presents... she just wanted to give him a hug.

December 14th 366 challenge

IMG_9060 by atvtnv
IMG_9060, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

This is the Nativity by the Kansas City Missouri temple. I love it. I love the simplicity, that Mary is holding baby Jesus, and that Joseph has his arm around Mary.

December 13th 366 challenge

IMG_9055 by atvtnv
IMG_9055, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Juliana made it to the stairs crawling, so Samuel climbed over the baby gate so he could talk to her through the gate...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12th 366 challenge

IMG_9049 by atvtnv
IMG_9049, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

And, today we sold our car. Our little miracle car that made it from Texas to Missouri, to Illinois and back a few times as well, when all we bought it for was for the 2 mile commute (on flat terrain) to work and back in Amarillo, TX...

Well, it pays for some of the plumbing fun we've had this month!

December 11th 366 challenge

IMG_9035 by atvtnv
IMG_9035, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

This is my favorite Nativity. I love my Nativity sets.

So, the Lord of the Rings doesn't fit but it's still pretty... ?

December 10th 366 challenge

IMG_9019 by atvtnv
IMG_9019, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Liberty was telling her babies to be nice to each other. She loves these two babies right now...

December 9th 366 challenge

IMG_9018 by atvtnv
IMG_9018, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

What on EARTH did you DO to my Cheerios?

December 8th 366 challenge

IMG_9014 by atvtnv
IMG_9014, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Samuel with some fun gifts... he got a big one and a little one to give away. (the big one is ONE POUND of Reese's... two BIG cups!)

December 7th 366 challenge

IMG_9013 by atvtnv
IMG_9013, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Nathanael's creation with Magnetix... I think it's supposed to look like that :)

December 6th 366 challenge

IMG_9008 by atvtnv
IMG_9008, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

My eldest with my youngest... Love this picture.

December 3rd 366 challenge

IMG_8994 by atvtnv
IMG_8994, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Baby girl with her first Christmas tree!

December 2nd 366 challenge

IMG_8976 by atvtnv
IMG_8976, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.
Kids in the back of a van... being silly after church!

December 1st 366 challenge

IMG_8975 by atvtnv
IMG_8975, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.
We have a Christmas tree up!

December 5th 366 challenge

IMG_9004 by atvtnv
IMG_9004, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.
Samuel made a tie out of Magnetix...

December 4th 366 challenge

IMG_8998 by atvtnv
IMG_8998, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Juliana crawled over to her high chair tray (that hadn't been placed back on her high chair) and proceeded to finish her Cheerios (or generic oat circle cereal, lol) Genius baby.

Friday, November 30, 2012

November 30th 366 challenge

IMG_8958 by atvtnv
IMG_8958, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Today I'm thankful for Christmas and traditions that makes this a special time of year, at least for us. Here's one tradition to start us off... Kisses and Hugs from Grandma V for every day til Christmas! (for each of her grandkids!) She's been doing this since Nathanael was tiny, I remember hanging these on the fireplace in Coolville, Ohio. It's a great countdown until Christmas, and they know Grandma loves them!

Here is a closeup... each Kiss and Hug is wrapped in plastic wrap and tied together with yarn.  She tried lots of different ideas over the years and this seems to work the best!  We cut off one a day and enjoy, and then put the bows on the tree every year!


November 29th 366 challenge

IMG_8931 by atvtnv
IMG_8931, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Today I'm thankful for Christopher! Cheerful, big brown eyes, smiling, friendly... very talkative. Even when he's grumpy he's adorable. He always has something to say...

November 28th 366 challenge

IMG_8960 by atvtnv
IMG_8960, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Today I'm thankful for Nathanael. He always makes me think... he's at a fun age where he is non-stop fun and adventure, all Cub Scout and sometimes gross, but always my boy. Here he is reading, one of his favorite activities. Love having him around!

November 27th 366 challenge

IMG_8937 by atvtnv
IMG_8937, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Michael making pizza (his favorite) for dinner on HIS 16th birthday. He wants to know how to cook his favorite foods... it just reminds me how much he's growing up and how soon he will be leaving... *sniff* I mean, you know, mission and college, and all that.  We're thankful for him!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 26th 366 challenge

IMG_8883 by atvtnv
IMG_8883, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.


It's snowing! Here are Samuel and Nathanael watching the flurries and hoping some will stick... they didn't. I love snow.

Even after 20 years of 'real' winters, this Southern California girl will never get tired of snow.

November 25th 366 challenge

IMG_8882 by atvtnv
IMG_8882, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Today I'm thankful for the beauty all around us! Including classic cars like this one we parked next to when we returned to the church for choir practice... I like how you can see the reflection of both the temple and our van in this car's shine...

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 24th 366 challenge

IMG_8879 by atvtnv
IMG_8879, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Today I am thankful for smiles! This was a welcome smile, as Jules hadn't been feeling well but had a great day today!

November 23rd 366 challenge

IMG_8874 by atvtnv
IMG_8874, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

I found a Samuel in the haystack! Today I am thankful for my first little Texan! I love my shy, brown eyed 7 year old boy.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 22nd 366 challenge

IMG_8869 by atvtnv
IMG_8869, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Here are 9 of the people I am the very most thankful for. I know as the years go by we won't be able to spend this much time together, and that is as it should be, but right now I'm thankful that we can!

November 21st 366 challenge

IMG_8856 by atvtnv
IMG_8856, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.


Today I'm thankful for pies, and traditions, and family. It is wonderful to have enough.

November 20th 366 challenge

IMG_8823 by atvtnv
IMG_8823, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Michael helping with dinner... today I'm thankful that my kids love to help, and are learning how to cook. They eat enough, they need to know how!! :)

November 19th 366 challenge

IMG_8819 by atvtnv
IMG_8819, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.
Today I'm thankful for family, especially grandparents. Here's Juliana playing with M&M's from Grandpa. She doesn't get to have what's inside yet but she is enjoying the package!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The end?

I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I've filled my allotment of picture storage... so until I figure it out, I'm thinking what to do...

I want all our 'stuff'' together on one site, not several different websites across the internet.  I'm fine with keeping Facebook and a blog separate, but more than one blog?  Not particularly.

So, time out while I think.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 18th 366 challenge


She's getting so big.  We moved Juliana from the bassinet of our pack n play to the 'big' bed part.  She's starting to pull up to things and get from sitting to her squirming across the floor to see what's under the couch position.  Here comes trouble!

Soon she may go to sleep earlier each evening so we can put her in the crib in the "girls'" room.  Though first we have to get Liberty out of the crib.  And into the bunk bed, which is still downstairs.  Step by step.  So for now, she's still in our room.  But not too much longer...

Today I am thankful for a healthy baby girl who is growing!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 17th 366 challenge


Today I am thankful for Juliana.  She came right after two difficult miscarriages (is there any other kind?) but also my first two miscarriages, ever.  So many thought we were 'done' having kids and shocked that we'd even get pregnant again.  Some thought we had enough kids and maybe those miscarriages were signs that we should stop.  Some just think we're crazy anyway so whatever we do is fine.  I am so glad we have a Juliana.  Will we have more?  I don't know.  Ask the one in charge and He might answer you :)  probably not, though, because it's between us and Him.  Do I appreciate my kids more after having miscarriages?  No.  I already appreciated each and every one of them, even if we didn't have a hard time getting them here, they were (and are) still hoped for, wanted, loved, appreciated, and cared for.  See here.  This blog post was written right after I found out I was pregnant with my first miscarriage, but before I knew I was miscarrying.  I hadn't told anyone other than a close friend and 2 close family members that I was even expecting. That baby would be a year old by now.  I was so upset by something someone had said about our family and so frustrated that my children didn't have names to some because they were part of a large family that I just had to write something.  So I did.

Isn't she precious?

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 16th 366 challenge


I am thankful today for our homeschool group.  Today these three hooligans participated in the National Geography Bee, school (homeschool group) level.  All three were in the top 10 and went on to the final round, Emilie was in the Championship round and got 2nd place.  Yay for Geography!

November 15th 366 challenge


Today I am thankful for artistic talent.  My son Michael posted a lot of his new artwork on his facebook group, and we received this caricature from my friend Cece Holt!   I love it.  To see more of her studio, click here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14th 366 challenge


Don't fall! Today I am thankful for TIME with my kids. Tonight it's time with the youngest 5 as Tom and the older 4 are at Young Women's, Scouts, and Cub Scouts (church).
 And yes, she's wearing Winnie the Pooh Skater pajama top with a pink leopard print pajama bottom.  Why do you ask?