Sunday, January 31, 2016

Small Happenings

My brother Kendall, ten years my junior, just moved back to town and is renting our basement room while he looks for a house.  We hope he never finds one, because it's too much fun having him here!

Our photo shoot (like most of our conversations) was bombarded by two little boys, hungry for some avuncular attention.

Here is Isaiah with baby Mia.  We all love her so much!

You gotta love St. George.  Yesterday the high was 61 degrees, so we planted a winter garden along the back wall.  The older kids helped early in the day so they could go hang out with friends, but Paul is my little Farmer Boy and he stuck with me to the end.  This is a project I've been wanting to do for years.  I screwed a trelise against the block wall, buried a soaker hose, put it on a timer, replaced the nasty red clay with squishy loam and ferilizer, and planted sugar snap peas, arugula, spinach, lettuce, and swiss chard.  Then I covered it all with some dead leaves to keep with warm in the even of a few more frosts.  It was such a nice day working outside.  I found myself thinking, "I should spend an hour or two out here every day!"  That thinking usually lasts about twenty-four hours, so I'm over it.  

Happy trails, my boys, it's time for bed!

The dress up box offered too many tempting options.  So Naomi ended up as 
Super Russian Clown Native Pirate 
(with beads.)

Also, I've been called to serve in the Relief Society Presidency as the second counselor.  It has been hard to leave Primary; leading the music there was my favorite calling, ever.  But I do know this is where the Lord wants me right now, and that offers me a lot of comfort and hope.  The gospel of Jesus Christ gives me joy every day and I want to do everything I can to share that joy.  God is good!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Naomi is 10!

My kids and I have a deal.  I can either spend money on a big birthday gift for them, or on a big birthday party with their friends.  This year Naomi chose to have a friend party in addition to the humble family party we usually combine with that of her cousin, Eden.

Eden and Naomi are the best of friends, and my favorite part of their party was seeing the cute gifts they had made for each other and insisted on giving first.

Naomi's friend birthday party was so much fun and she had a great time.  This girl is loved by many!

And no wonder, really.  In the words of her friend Abby's mom, "Naomi is pretty much perfect, isn't she?"  She has a tender heart and a great desire to bless the lives of others with her good cheer and her love.  She is obedient, conscientious, hard working and talented.  Her smile lights up the room and my life.  I am so grateful she is my girl!


Friends, I've been slacking, so much.  I'm sorry for not writing.  Part of it was the holiday craziness.  Part of it was laziness.  And part of it was a dearth of deep thoughts.  

I can't promise any deep thoughts for you today.  But here are pictures of what I do when I'm slacking.

 TJ and I took the kids north (NORTH!) for Thanksgiving to be with his brothers and their families.  We had such a great time--the kids because of the snow, the grownups in spite of the snow.  
 Cherie and Michelle: SILs who bring out my happy vein.  Love you girls so much!
 Eliza and Naomi in hysterics over leaving their cousin Sarah behind when it was time to go home.
 ...and literally being dragged from the house.  
A few days later, we launched into Christmas by picking out our tree together...
 and Eliza made these awesome snowflakes...
and we all drove to see "The Christmas House" about a hundred times this season... 
 and we attended Eliza's Christmas concert...
 and I shmoozed my cute nephew Palmer as much as possible...
 and this is totally unrelated to Christmas, but the boys love their lizards, Limpy and Kevin...
 and this is also unrelated but we went to a great Star Wars party at the library...
 put together by my awesome friend Alisha...
 and then Palmer came down for another visit and I loved on him some more...
 and I made this cute ornament for Mia, who went into surgery just days before Christmas...
 and my siblings and I went to see Star Wars together because the force is strong in our family...
and I loved on Mia sooooo much when she came back from Primary Childrens' well and whole and completely perfect.

There is a story there with Mia that perhaps I'll tell sometime soon.  Or maybe I'll have her mother share it, because it's beautiful.  Let's say for now that our family will never forget Christmas 2015.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Eliza is 12!

My dear Eliza was born on Christmas day 12 years ago.  And one year later, when we realized halfway through Christmas Day that we had forgotten to celebrate her birthday, we decided to move her birthday to June.  Ever since then, she's a had half-birthday parties and she hasn't had to deal with her loved ones experiencing Christmas amnesia on her birthday.

Still, this year was special, so I sprang for an actual birthday present on top of her Christmas presents, and I took her and a couple of her besties to see Star Wars.  I kind of felt like Mom of the Year.

Turning 12 has been Eliza's light at the end of the tunnel for at least six months now.  Sitting on the back row of Primary grew increasingly lonely as one after another of her friends turned 12 and left to attend Young Women.  For the last five months she was literally the only person in her class.  She was also excited for her 12th birthday because it meant choosing one item of makeup to wear and finally getting her ears pierced with her cousin Abby.  

Still, amid all the Christmas/birthday madness we didn't think of the coolest thing about turning 12 until a few weeks into January.  TJ, Ezra and I went with her for her first temple trip to do baptisms last Saturday.  It was wonderful to be there for that. 

On Sunday Eliza and I sat down to work on Personal Progress together, and had this wonderful discussion on faith.  I am so grateful that she gets to build her testimony as she attends Young Women.  She is the Beehive secretary and I know all her wonderful organizational skills will come in handy.  She is also looking forward to finally babysitting for other families in the neighborhood, something she's technically been qualified for since she was about seven.

I would say that it's hard to believe my little girl is already 12, but she really seems to have changed very little.  She has always been independent, smart, thoughtful, nurturing, talented and funny.  I am so grateful to be her mom!