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?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13th 366 challenge


Today I am so very thankful for naps.  No, I didn't get one, that would have been nice, but I am so thankful THIS little princess took one.  She's been grumpy with teeth and cold and other issues and some clinginess that this nap was a true blessing today!  (she slept for THREE hours!)  (yes, she sleeps through the night but her day naps were much shorter... and non-existent yesterday...)

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12th 366 challenge


I am so thankful for all the men and women who fight, or who have ever worked to keep our nation free.  Especially our Veterans.  Happy Veterans Day!  (observed!)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11th 366 challenge


Today I am thankful for Benjamin and what a great big brother he is, as well as just an all around great guy.  Yes, I love Liberty's face in this picture, too.

November 10th 366 challenge (and thankful post!)


Today I'm thankful for this big little boy I call Timothy.  We celebrate his 6th birthday today!  Here he is enjoying the all green cake he asked for. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9th 366 challenge


Today I am thankful for chocolate... and the husband that works for the chocolate company.  Hey, look, "Natural Source of Cocoa Flavanol Antioxidants".  So... it's sort of good for me.  Go Russell Stover!

(what? I don't have a chocolate tag yet?)

Liberty is 3 years old now!

Happy Birthday to Liberty!

Liberty joined our family late at night on a Wednesday after making Michael, Benjamin, Emilie and Tom stay home from Scouts, Young Men, and Activity Days.  (sound familiar?  Jules was born on a Wednesday, too... and Michael stayed home from Scouts to watch the younger kids while Em and Ben went to activities...) 

So, that was 3 years ago.  Now we have a bright, happy girl who is a joy to have around.  She loves to be a part of EVERYTHING.  She loves pink, purple, princess, ponies, the letter "L", cake, birthdays, dressing up, singing, dancing, and being a girl.  She loves Emilie and Juliana and sometimes her brothers. 

She loves the Elephants at the zoo but not the tunnels we go through on the train.  She is super brave most of the time, though, but likes being rescued. 

Her newest thing is helping with the dishes and she cries when they are done. 
She loves Nursery and we hope she loves Sunbeams just as much next January.

She has a large vocabulary but we can't always understand what she says as she still kind of mumbles like she has her pacifier in her mouth... which she still takes to bed. 

We love her hugs and snuggles and even her little demands at times.  Thank goodness Emilie prayed for a sister, right?

"Little People" Disney Princesses... two of her favorite things.

Benjamin is 14 now :)

I seem to be writing these late, lately.  Please forgive me... I have two busy birthday seasons... 5 in March-April (if you count Tom) and 3 in November.  Though why that has anything to do with my one October birthday boy I don't know...

Benjamin turned 14 during the General Conference/Stake Conference break from Church and so did not get ordained to a Teacher (in the Aaronic Priesthood, see here) until nearly the end of October, however, this is all done now and he's advanced and we have two Teachers for another few weeks.

We are very proud of Benjamin.  While he still likes to NOT do schoolwork, he is learning leaps and bounds in his 8th grade year, working on Latin as well as Spanish, Algebra 2, and all the other stuff we ask him to do.  He's advancing in Scouting, having earned his 1st class and now working on his Star.  He earned a lot of merit badges over the summer including swimming and others and has just been working super hard.

He's great with younger kids, especially babies and toddlers, and can always be counted on to help with them either in his own family or others.  Yes, he changes diapers.  

He reads like his parents, meaning, if a book isn't part of a series it's almost not worth picking up because that's just one or two nights of reading...   he loves Redwall, Harry Potter, anything by Rick Riordan (for teens- Percy Jackson, etc) and almost anything else.  I think he's starting Lord of the Rings as well as C.S. Lewis books now.

He's had quite a year between Scout Camp, the temple dedication (and Cultural Celebration) and school.  He's now been to his first stake dance.  He's teaching himself songs on the piano as our lessons are on hiatus at the moment but still doing well.

With the missionary announcement at General Conference he realized he only has 4 years to go until he can go on a mission for the church, but knows he has a long way to go.  He studies the scriptures and Preach My Gospel.  When he remembers :)  However, he DOES need to finish high school first, which he starts next fall.

Here are pictures of his birthday and the past year... enjoy this glimpse of our second son.  We love having him as part of our family!

This was breakfast time... I flew to Nevada for my grandmother's funeral right after this...

He had to blow out 7 candles twice... 

Powdered sugar blew across the table...

Happy Benjamin.
Birthday dinner, the night before.  Yes, 3 lasagnas.

 Looking sharp in a new suit.

At the zoo helping Liberty.

Feeding Juliana, who doesn't like to be fed by her mother.  At least not solids.
The Phantom of the Opera

At the Royals game.

Happy Birthday, Benjamin!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8th 366 challenge


Today I am thankful for a husband who, in addition to being my best friend, is also a great dad to his kids.  Here Tom is playing funny ring tones to cheer up Liberty who was VERY tired from another long day playing at the zoo.

November 7th 366 challenge


Tonight was "Young Women in Excellence" where Emilie had a display for some of the things she's been working on.  She also gave a talk on virtue.  I am so thankful for my beautiful daughter Emilie as well as the Young Women's program for her.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6th 366 challenge


Today I am thankful for the opportunity to vote.  Everyone makes a difference.  It was not always that way.  Now, men and women put their lives on the line to keep us free to vote as we believe.  Be grateful for them, and to them.