Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31st Picture-A-Day

IMG_2553 by atvtnv
IMG_2553, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Happy New Year! Here is our spread for the night... it's what's for dinner, folks.


2013 is nearly gone. 2014 is nearly here!

It has been a good year.

In January, Michael baptized Samuel and Tom confirmed him.  This is so awesome on so many levels.  First, that Samuel was ready to be a member of the Church and make the choice to follow our Savior Jesus Christ in every way, including into the waters of baptism.  Second, that Michael was a worthy Priesthood holder, that is, holding the same authority that the apostles received from Christ, to baptize his younger brother.  Third, that my husband was able to perform the ordinance of giving the gift of the Holy Ghost to Samuel, through that same Priesthood power.  I think over the rest of the year I may have slightly forgotten how wonderfully it started.

We also took a trip to Nauvoo (and Carthage) this year.  It was over Easter weekend and we also got to see our Illinois family.  It was neat to fully immerse ourselves in our Church history, as well as a good look at life in the early 1800s in our country.  Testimonies of the Prophet Joseph Smith were strengthened, and we also just had a LOT of fun.  It was also good seeing family and enjoying time with them, especially considering what happened in Washington, Illinois about 7 months later.

We traveled to Utah as well this year, and got to see much of our western US family.  We spent a week in Payson, Provo, Salt Lake City, hiking, visiting BYU (and getting shirts for EVERYONE!), visiting friends, and playing with cousins.  We were offered U of U shirts by a nice old guy.  We saw Norman Rockwell's paintings of Scouts over the years.  We made a lot of memories and got to see a LOT of temples, as well as a lot of Kansas driving there and back.  Wait, no, it was dark through Kansas.  We sat through a lot of traffic in Colorado instead.

We saw Michael get his first job this year.  He worked as a caricature artist at Worlds of Fun.  It was neat seeing him earn money for his mission and college, as well as grow more independent and use his talents to make other people happy.  Sometimes it was awkward working with two different work schedules but it works!

Three children learned to read this year.  Even though they'd made a good start, Timothy and Christopher both had HUGE breakthroughs early in the year and Liberty had some major learning jumps late in the year.  It's neat being able to read the scriptures together and only help with the hard words.

We got a bearded dragon this year.  He belongs to Benjamin, but we all claim him.  His name is Martin and he has doubled in size since October when we picked him up from Petco.  It's fun to see him eat and grow and learn about all of us.

Tom is Program Director for Cub Scout Day Camp.  This means he is in charge of all the activities done at Day Camp for 700+ boys from ages 7 to 10.  It takes over our lives for a short time in June and slightly before, but he preps starting in October.  It's exciting but exhausting.

We found out this year that we are expecting our 4th baby girl.  We knew when we started our family that we'd have mostly boys... we didn't expect to have more than one girl, honestly.  Liberty was exciting... Juliana was shocking... I guess we don't have a word for this coming baby!  Her name will most likely be Virginia.

As a family we started watching the Doctor Who current series, mostly the modern series but we also watch the classics.  The kids have really enjoyed all the different Doctors and shows.

We have 4 Scouts (Cubs and Boys) and they all are doing well.  Samuel is a Wolf, Nathanael is a Webelos and working on Arrow of Light, Benjamin is now a Star, Michael is a Life and working on his Eagle required Merit Badges and thinking of a project..

Homeschooling is going well.  We have Michael graduating in the spring, Benjamin just started high school and seminary as a 9th grader.  Emilie is somewhere in 7th or 8th grade.  Right now it's all transition and none of us have decided where she is going to be next year.  Nathanael is in 5th grade and Samuel is in 4th.  All three of them did well in the Geography Bee last month.  Timothy is in 1st grade and Christopher is in Kindergarten.  Liberty is doing preschool and Jules is working on talking.

Emilie is learning a lot and has recently started making all our bread, knitting a lot of new things, and baking something new each week.

2014 is going to be a great year too, so we can look forward or backward and really enjoy the view.

Happy New Year everyone!

December 30th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2549 by atvtnv
IMG_2549, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Michael's present from Santa, besides Legos, was a bookshelf. Finally put it together last night. Looks good!

December 29th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2546 by atvtnv
IMG_2546, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Samuel reading to Juliana. She knew some of the words and was helping.

December 28th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2547 by atvtnv
IMG_2547, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Tom and I went to the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug tonight. We weren't able to go for my birthday due to ice and snow, but we made it a date for our anniversary instead.

We loved the movie, even with the slight changes they made from the book. While they irked a bit, not enough to ruin a good movie experience.

December 27th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2513 by atvtnv
IMG_2513, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Juliana likes bows in her hair.


This was the end result of her bringing Emilie or me every bow she could find... does she really even have enough hair?

December 26th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2512 by atvtnv
IMG_2512, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Baby girl presents! She is loved, too. Tom is thrilled by the baby BYU shirt. Now we're ALL covered, even in February when she arrives. Or January. Not December, though. I think.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 25th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2420 by atvtnv
IMG_2420, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

December 24th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2414 by atvtnv
IMG_2414, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Static hair! Another dry winter day... even with all the snow.

December 23rd Picture-A-Day

IMG_2396 by atvtnv
IMG_2396, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Someone missed her nap...

December 22nd Picture-A-Day

IMG_2394 by atvtnv
IMG_2394, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Snow and ice! We mostly stayed in, other than Tom and the oldest boys going to church to help out. I had to stay home either way due to spotty baby girl.

December 21st Picture-A-Day

IMG_2390 by atvtnv
IMG_2390, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

My favorite birthday gift... Tom made homemade dips for me. We ended up staying in due to weather (ice and snow) instead of going out for my birthday. Next best thing... date night in with Tom.

December 20th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2366 by atvtnv
IMG_2366, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Liberty's first dentist appointment. She did great!

December 19th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2363 by atvtnv
IMG_2363, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Still spotty from chicken pox but she is getting better!

December 18th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2353 by atvtnv
IMG_2353, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Christmas ornaments this year... Homemade. We'll have 13 surrounding our Christmas tree, just like the 50th anniversary special for Dr. Who... so baby girl gets one too, even though she's not here yet.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 17th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2349 by atvtnv
IMG_2349, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Finally done sending out gifts to family far away! We love wrapping presents and had fun with new ways to wrap this year. I don't remember what Liberty was worried about...

December 16th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2321 by atvtnv
IMG_2321, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Well, it's confirmed. Baby girl has chicken pox. She caught it from Liberty getting her first vaccination for varicella on December 11th. (the vaccine is the live virus, so Liberty was contagious for a short amount of time.) She is doing great, other than looking awful. She is a happy camper. The fun part was letting everyone at church know (we thought the one spot she had was a bite...). Yikes!

This is our first child with chicken pox, so other than our own experiences with the disease as a child, this was new! We just had to quarantine her, keep her comfy and watch everyone else for spots or signs of illness. You learn something all the time!

December 15th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2326 by atvtnv
IMG_2326, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

One of my other favorite Nativities. Probably because it was hard to find! I love Snoopy, and I love nativities. This is perfect.

December 14th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2311 by atvtnv
IMG_2311, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Footprints in the... snow?

No, not a lot of snow and ice, but cold!

You can probably guess who put these footprints on the back porch.

December 13th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2309 by atvtnv
IMG_2309, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.


Christopher's first dentist visit.

He is rocking it.

And he did great! No cavities, they did x-rays, cleaning, the whole shebang and he did it all.

December 12th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2306 by atvtnv
IMG_2306, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.


We caught a wild... Samuel...

in the fireplace?

December 11th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2300 by atvtnv
IMG_2300, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.


Juliana getting to pet the dragon, who she affectionately calls "ACK!"

She IS learning new words, but this what she says when she sees Martin.

December 10th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2296 by atvtnv
IMG_2296, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

This is Emilie's snail. He lives in our fish tank. This is a weird phenomenon as he sticks out a long siphon to breathe air (he also has gills. Benjamin caught it with the camera, as he has the zoo in his room.

December 9th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2281 by atvtnv
IMG_2281, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.


Benjamin has Martin on his shirt... this is a learning process for his dragon, too, making sure he's comfortable riding around and also getting used to seeing everyone.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 8th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2265 by atvtnv
IMG_2265, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Second snow of the year... more like an inch... still dry and powdery. Roads a bit slicker... still not sticking to the grass!

December 7th Picture-A-Day

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

Juliana all ready for family prayer. She's learned how to kneel this week. She already knew how to fold her arms. Big girl!

December 6th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2263 by atvtnv
IMG_2263, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

First experience with Santa... she was absolutely fine until she got close. She really wanted the Skittles he was handing out.

December 5th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2231 by atvtnv
IMG_2231, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

First snow of the year... dry powdery dusting of the roads and such. Nothing to measure, really.

December 4th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2230 by atvtnv
IMG_2230, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Something is wrong with this picture. This is my favorite Nativity :) Just thought the addition (substitution?) was humorous.

December 3rd Picture-A-Day

IMG_2215 by atvtnv
IMG_2215, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Last warm day of the year (it was in the 60s) before a really cold snap. We decided to get all the leaves gathered up (that our neighbors' trees share with us...we have no trees.) and bagged. The kids did most of it!

December 2nd Picture-A-Day

IMG_2209 by atvtnv
IMG_2209, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Our tree is up! Just needs tinsel... and this year's ornaments. We're working on that.

December 1st Picture-A-Day

IMG_2198 by atvtnv
IMG_2198, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Liberty wrote on the fridge today... "Liberty is 4. Mom 38."

I'm proud of her writing... but I wonder when she did this, lol.

November 30th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2195 by atvtnv
IMG_2195, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Can you find the Bearded Dragon?

November 29th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2192 by atvtnv
IMG_2192, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Today the missionaries were encouraging us to share the Book of Mormon.

This book is true. It is the best book I've ever read, as far as books to encourage, uplift, bless, teach, and learn about things that are truly important and eternal. It stands alongside the Bible to testify of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and was sent by God to bless us, because He loves us. I encourage anyone to read it. You will be better because of it. I love you all!

November 28th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2187 by atvtnv
IMG_2187, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Here are ten of the best people I know... and I am thankful for all of them! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

November 27th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2160 by atvtnv
IMG_2160, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Happy 17th birthday to our Michael! He is a great addition to our family (the first!) and I can't believe he only has one more year before he *could* go on a mission, college, both... wow!

November 26th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2128 by atvtnv
IMG_2128, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Martin in his cave, surrounded by the evidence that he is growing well (and shedding again!)

November 25th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2122 by atvtnv
IMG_2122, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

And the amazing Martin. He's getting really big really fast! It's been fun to watch him grow.

November 24th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2112 by atvtnv
IMG_2112, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

New hairdo for church! Jules' curly hair is now long enough for a tiny little pigtail.

November 23rd Picture-A-Day

IMG_2100 by atvtnv
IMG_2100, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Michael is being surprisingly intent on the camera-holder... very very attentive. Hello, Michael.

November 22nd Picture-A-Day

IMG_2080 by atvtnv
IMG_2080, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Emilie and Jules... sisters... though Juliana is trying to figure out what Em is doing.

November 21st Picture-A-Day

IMG_2078 by atvtnv
IMG_2078, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

It's great what you can do when you are a big girl (19 months old), including putting your sister's pajama bottoms on your head!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

November 20th Picture-A-Day



Christopher is "Red Man". He was so excited to be so themed that we HAD to take a picture.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2023 by atvtnv
IMG_2023, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

The kids at the new penguin exhibit at the zoo. It was so nice today, and, even though I am 29 week pregnant with child #11, I still was able to ramble around the zoo with my children. It was a good day!

November 18th Picture-A-Day

IMG_2001 by atvtnv
IMG_2001, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Geography Bee! These three have worked so hard to get ready. One finished in the lowest 5, one at 7th and one at 5th, out of 20 students. They did GREAT and we are proud of all three!

November 17th Picture-A-Day

IMG_1999 by atvtnv
IMG_1999, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Not sure...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 16th Picture-A-Day

IMG_1996 by atvtnv
IMG_1996, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Emilie knitting... loom knitting, but improving all the time. Eventually she'll want to expand her skills, but she can do so much with those looms! She saved babysitting money to buy some different looms so she could make a larger variety of items.

November 15th Picture-A-Day

IMG_1994 - Copy by atvtnv
IMG_1994 - Copy, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Benjamin's taken over the camera a lot this week to get pictures of his bearded dragon Martin. It's amazing how much this little guy has grown. This is after his second shedding... and he's nearly 3 inches longer than when we got him a month ago!

November 14th Picture-A-Day

IMG_1990 by atvtnv
IMG_1990, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Going for 50's look here... he had to dress up as some other period of time for his meeting tonight, even though plans changed later.

Fun :)

November 13th Picture-A-Day

IMG_1983 by atvtnv
IMG_1983, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Liberty and Christopher, footy pajama buddies. Blackmail picture for 10 years from now. They do get along most of the time... but when they don't, it's not fun.

November 12th Picture-A-Day

IMG_1980 by atvtnv
IMG_1980, a photo by atvtnv on Flickr.

Happy Jules! So glad to have a smile. And a zebra? She's starting to feel better :)