Monday, February 25, 2013


There really is no greater love, no greater joy, than the love and happiness that your family brings you. So it really shouldn't be that hard to get a decent picture of all these bundles of love, smiling, looking in the same direction at the same time. But it is. However, this year we did pretty good.
The Creme of the Crop right here! Its a good looking bunch! However, seeing this picture makes me realize how outnumbered Todd and I really are

 My two Beauties! 
And Mommies handsome boys! Oh, I just melt over these two. And it still kills me just how different they are. But really, I sort of love it!
 We're still looking pretty good together. And somehow managing to stay sane! (or at least appear as though we are....either one quite an accomplishment!)



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Does it get more wonderful?

Meet Elvis. I am sure you will be seeing much more of Elvis in the years to come. In recent years, Santa has launched a new effort to keep track of kids and their behavior in order to determine their naughty or nice status. He sends an elf to live with the family and keep an eye on the children, monitoring their behavior. Every night he flies home to the north pole, reports his findings for the day and then returns to his home and either hides or does something cute or tricky for the kids to see the next day. You can't touch the elf, otherwise he will loose his magic and be unable to fly home to Santa. Each family names their Elf. Elvis got his name by each of us submitting a name request. Conner pulled out the winning name and Elvis it was. Sadly Elvis goes home with Santa on Christmas Eve. But he will be back again come Christmas time. We look forward to his return!
 Fishing for Swedish fish. He certainly knows our family well! We LOVE swedish fish!
 Decorated the chandelier with snowflakes.
 Tree decorating was fun as always. We took our family trip to home depot to pick out our tree. We opened 3 or so, but took home the first one, which seemed to be the best. But when we put it in the tree stand at home we ran into a number of problems. The tree sat at an angle, which made securing it properly quite a challenge, seeing that it wanted to lean and tip over. After a number of attempts Daddy eventually went to the store for a new tree stand and made a vow to never purchase a tree from home depot again :) I told him we are just making memories! And once the kids had all the ornaments up you would never notice its crooked nature anyway!
 Our darling quartet!
 It was the Con's year to put up the star! Way to go Conner!

 Elvis, Ariel and Spider-Man playing an intense game of go fish. It was looking like Ariel was going to be the victor!
 In the midst of all our crazy Christmas plans we decided to potty train Conner as well. Why not complicate things even more, right? But Conner was a stud! We had 3 rough days that were pretty hot and cold. But then on day 4 he woke up and I swear, it just clicked! He had it! Not a single accident all day, and the rest of the days following were the same. Yes, there have been occasional accidents here and there. But he is solid as can be. We are even pull up free during naps and and night time. And mommy is appreciating being back to only 1 in diapers!
 Kellen's painting of a christmas tree and presents. Many presents! And a good painting if I say so myself! He has a good artistic touch.
 Awww...Santa Baby
 Grammy and Conner at the ward Christmas party. 
 Elvis got a bit silly here and there...toilet papering the tree. The kids loved this one. Silly Elf!
 Our annual baking day. The kids were great helpers this year. This is seriously one of my favorite days during the holiday season. I hope it is something we never stop doing!

This is something new we did this year that I am hoping becomes a tradition. The last weekend before Christmas day we let the kiddos sleep under the lit tree. They were so excited to do this and it was just such a sweet little thing. Conner didn't participate this year...just a bit too young still. But the older too loved it. It's good to have traditions. 

Things Not to Forget

My precious little Conner. He may keep me on my toes. He may make me nervous to turn my back on him for more than a few minutes. He may give me more gray hairs than all my other kids combined, constantly worrying about the crazy things he tries to do and his mischievous little spirit. But he also makes me laugh and smile more times than I can count on any given day. 

Today he had been running around the house in his shirt and undies. Pants had been set aside because he was nursing a bandaged scratch on his knee and he thinks when he has a band aid on he can't walk. Keeping the pants off tends to make things a little better.

Anyway, I can tell he needs to go potty so I pretend to race him to go potty so he will actually go. He runs into the bathroom and drops his drawers and out falls 2 plastic screws, a plastic nail, a toy screw driver and a toy measuring tape.


Love you Con!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

There is nothing more peaceful and beautiful than watching a baby sleep.
In my attempt to get back in shape (which let me tell you, having baby #4 right when you are coming up on 30...yeah, that is when it starts getting tricky to get the baby weight off!), Con, Carys and I have been enjoying some walks around lake murray. We then stop and feed the ducks. But this is no relaxed "tear up the bread and throw it to the ducks while watching them waddle cutely and eat the bread happily" kind of experience. These ducks are HUGE, Loud and Aggressive. I have found that the trick is to keep Conner in the stroller for 2 reasons: #1 - the ducks can't reach him as well and are not able to rip the bread right out of his hands if he is up that high. #2 - if these little devils get too close and too crazy I can just run them over a bit with the stroller and they back least for a few moments. 
A year or so ago Makenna and Pa went on a hike up Cowels Mtn. and she very proudly made it all the way to the top her very first time trying it. Well, since then Kellen has been wondering when he would get to give it a try himself. I kept thinking he should at least be 4 before thinking he would possibly be able to do the whole thing. Well, one Friday when Todd had off before Christmas, he and Kellen went on a little Father/Son outing to hike Cowels. I thought he would get far, but had no expectations of him making it the whole way. It's a long hike and he is still so young. But sure enough, Kellen and Daddy gave me a call....from the top of the mountain! He did it! Daddy let him set the pace and he led them all the way to the top. Very, Very proud of our boy and what a tough kid and hard worker he is. He was very pleased with he should be.
A very sweet, special moment for these two!
Little Miss Carys really started being interested in watching her toys and laying under her kick gym right around 2 months old. She is such a content, easy going baby. And she would happily lie there, just starting as her toys slowly spun. Such a cute little one....but she is getting bigger!
This is what happens when you are #3
That is right folks! Diaper free is the way to be! A mommy couldn't ask for a better Christmas gift! I have felt for awhile that Conner was ready to potty train. But the couple of times I tried it before it was just some half hearted attempt, letting him set the pace, using pull ups against my better judgement. (Thats why a woman in her 3rd trimester has no business potty training). But when Christmas break started and I had a good excuse to stay home a lot and really give it my all then we went for it. We ran out of pull ups and I told Conner that they were gone. We were done. It was either pee on the potty or get used to wet undies and pants. Day 1,2 and 3 were a bit rough. But then day 4 he woke up and I tell ya, something just clicked. No accidents at all. And the next days continued just like that. Sure, there are the occasional accidents here and there. But by now he is so good that he is not even wearing his pull ups to bed or anything. He is doing great. Is it pathetic when having only 1 in diapers feels like a relief? :)
You can always count on Kellen to see the Christmas side of everything. Here he is being Santa and using Carys' tub as his slay while he pretends to fly around the world delivering presents to good little boys and girls. Don't worry...we were all on the good list this year!
Con....following in big brothers footsteps.

Conner loves his sister. With a passion. But sometimes he forgets to wipe his mouth before kissing. Thus, a chocolate smeared kiss for his little sis. She is a trooper!

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Little Princess

On December 2nd our sweet little Carys had her baby blessing at church. Grammy made her the most gorgeous, elegant little blessing gown. It was the most gorgeous dress I have seen. And it made her look like such a little princess. Pa blessed her and gave her a very sweet blessing. She is a very loved and lucky little girl, and I know that she will bring so much love and joy into our family, as well as the lives of all those she comes in contact with. 

 The family at Carys' blessing.
 Papa, Pa and Uncle Kip

 Mommy, Auntie Rah Rah and my sweet little girl. This was also the last day I got to see my sister before she moved up to Utah. So it was a bit of an emotional day to say the least. 
 Carys and Evia, who were born on the same day, were also blessed on the same day. Janae had the great idea of getting some pictures of the girls together. Here are a couple of my favorites. One very awake little girl, one peacefully sleeping little girl. Both of them little princesses. Love it. 

I am so grateful to our heavenly father for blessing my life with this sweet little girl. She has such a tender and peaceful little spirit within her. I already feel like she has changed me and made me a better person and brought so much love into my life. I feel honored to be her mother. To be trusted by our heavenly father to take care of his daughter. To raise her and love her and raise her with a love and a knowledge of her savior. I am humbled to be called her mother. I know that the job and responsibility that we have as parents is not one to be taken lightly. I hope and pray that I can be and give her everything that she deserves and everything she needs. I hope she always knows how much I love our Father in Heaven. I hope that I can always be a good example to her. I hope that she sees in me that the two things in this world that bring me real happiness, peace and joy are my family and the gospel. They are two things I could never live without. 
We love you Carys.