Family Pic 2017

Family Pic 2017

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The promised dance video

Well, I was hoping to put the video on here from their actual performance because all the dancers were there, (this video is missing Kory's girls) and there weren't any mess-ups.  BUT, none of those videos are clear enough, and the music is too quiet.  Soooo.... even though some of the formations don't work out with less girls, this one is pretty cute too:

l-r: Ellie, Maddie, Abby, Ainsley, Gracie and Isabelle

Monday, February 17, 2014

quite a week!

 This week was GREAT!!!  Reasons for it's greatness? 

1. Although Shawn had to leave on Sunday night, he got home one Tuesday night just in time for Mutual.  Then he was here for the rest of the week and doesn't even have to leave until tomorrow. It's sure been great to have him home!!

3. I had Pace cry himself to sleep two nights at the beginning of the week and ever since he has been sleeping until 4:30 in the morning!   I had it in my head that I wasn't supposed to let him cry himself to sleep until he was 8 mos. old, but one night my holding him wouldn't even make him happy.  Plus, he refused to sleep anywhere but in his carseat, so I decided to fix all of his sleeping problems in one night. He has been sitting up for a couple of weeks now and can entertain himself for fifteen minutes at a stretch while I get something done.  He has established a sleep pattern now and I can expect him to nap at certain times.  I love this stage! He will be six months old on the nineteenth.
Pace, 5 1/2 mos. old
2. The kids didn't have any school on Friday, and won't have any on Monday, either.  Two four- day weeks in a row!  For Valentine's Day (Friday) I got up and made heart-shaped pancakes covered with a raspberry sauce with whipped cream on top.  I had my niece Gracie here over night (Jodi's oldest) and at 10:00 all of my other nieces showed up to have the last dance practice for Suzette's wedding luncheon. When they finished that (after three hours!!!!)  I gave them all manicures to keep all the hype up about the wedding;)
Ainsley, Isabelle and Maddie dipping their hands in hot wax:



A finished product

My photographer failed to catch Ellie and Gracie and Kami in a picture:(
3. After my nieces all left-early afternoon- Shawn and I left on a Valentine's date. We drove up to Harriman State Park and went cross country skiing - we really love cross country skiing, and this place is so beautiful!  We only skied about four miles because we had to leave in time to get back and see Kami off on a Valentine's date that she had been asked on.  Her date brought a bouquet of roses that he presented her with when he picked her up.

4. A couple of times this week we drove to Shawn's parents in the evening to watch the Olympics.  I really, REALLY enjoy the Olympics! I only miss having TV when it's conference time and when it's the Olympics.  We kept the little boys out too late too many nights and Sunday I had to insist that they take a nice, long, nap. This made for a nice, quiet Sunday afternoon!! ( That should probably be under it's own bullet)

5.I had Parent Teacher Conferences which, thankfully, is something that can make for a great week around here:)  I'm grateful that my kids are such good students!

6. Lastly, but most exciting of all, is that Suzette got married on Saturday!!!!!  It was such a great day and an all day affair.  We didn't have to be to the temple wedding until 10:30, but I was working on having the kids all ready until then.  Shawn and I left them home until after the wedding and then had Kami drive everyone up to the temple for the pictures.

Kory and Suzette coming out of the temple:

We went straight from the temple to the luncheon.  They had a really great program afterwards, with some amazing songs by Kory's kids - one written by Phoebe to Suzette. Phoebe is 12 and the song had us all in tears it was so touching. Kory and Suzette also sang. The luncheon is also when Kami and all of the nieces performed the dance that they have been working on since January.  Suzette had requested for Kami to figure out some moves to a certain song and teach it to all the other girls. She wanted Kami to be in a wedding gown (symbolic of her:) and the nieces to be doing back-up dancing.  It was a big, often frustrating under-taking, (for the younger girls AND Kami) but Kami did a great job teaching and choreographing and everyone ended up doing such a fabulous job performing it that they all agreed that it was totally worth it!  Most important of all- Suzette LOVED it!!!

l-r: Phoebe, Gracie, Abby, Kami, Ainsley and Isabelle:

Marilyn sewed matching skirts for all of the nieces, many of whom aren't even in this dance (because they were too young or didn't live close enough to learn it)

l-r: Ellie, Maddie, Kami, Abby, Ainsley and Gracie:

I am going to try to get a video of this dance on here soon!

After the luncheon there were lots and lots of pictures, followed by the reception.  I have never seen such a steady stream of people!  

Kami and Caden and Ellie wanted some more excitement at the reception - I guess- so they decided that it would be great fun to decorated the bride and groom's car.  They snuck away to Walmart, along with their cousin Ellie, and got some supplies. Their Uncle Evan liked the plan as well, so he also went to Walmart and got some supplies:) What a fun uncle!

They're artistic - you've got to give them that!! They just love their Aunt and new Uncle so, SO much!!;)

They decorated both cars because they weren't sure which one they would be taking on their honeymoon:)

What a wonderful, exciting, EXHAUSTING day.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Friend parties and dances

Kami and Joseph Dummar:

Max Moore and Annie Stoddard:

Taylor Christensen and Elisa:

Domitu Haws and Cardston Stanford:

They went to all the girls houses and did some sort of an activity.  I love having friends come here, it is always so much fun to have them around!  I made some hors'devours for them - fruit, pretzels and peanut butter balls to dip in chocolate fondue. 

Kami before she left to go pick up Joseph for the dance:
It sounds like Joseph was pretty fancy -schmancy too, but I will have to wait for the dance pictures to see that.

After Kami and her friends left for more of their "day-date", Caden left for a school dance.
This is mentionable news:  Caden bought a ticket for his school dance without any encouragement from anyone around here. His dance was catered and semi-formal and he had a lot of fun.  Basically his school dances are church dances:)... and I guess that's why we have one church dance a year in these parts.

Just before Caden left for his dance, Maddie's friends showed up for a late-night:

That's a pretty blurry picture of Maddie, so I took the next picture of her, that was blurry of her friends, cropped them out and included it:)

Friday, February 7, 2014


1. I am so glad that God's plan involves families.  I would know nothing without my family that I grew up with! I have realized that 18 years is not nearly long enough to learn all that I needed to know.  I'm still struggling with temporal things like how to keep white things white in the laundry.  Why didn't I pay more attention to how to do that?!

2. I used to think that when I brought a baby home from the hospital I needed to give special attention to the child just older than the baby, the idea being that if I could make them feel extra special, the transition of having a new sibling would be much easier.  I have finally realized that it's not that child that you need to watch and give extra attention to, but the child just up from the used-to-be-youngest.  (Boy, that was clear! Nolan, in this case.) The second-up-from-the-baby seems to sense that a baby is going to arrive before they even get there, and begins to regress and have behavioral issues.  They get lost in the shuffle for awhile, and, while they used to get lots of attention, they somehow don't get as much from anybody for awhile, as they develop their new niche in the family. I think the whole family subconsciously begins treating them like they are older and more independent and they (also subconsciously) begin trying to hold onto their younger ways and strive to get attention whether it's positive or negative. Funny that I can look back and see that in each child that has had that position in the family, yet it never clicked until this time around. I wish I could back-track about nine months and do an experiment of extra love and attention to see if it helps.  But then, too, it's probably a healthy part of growing up? Hard for parents to watch, though... So for now, forward we go, doing better every day!

3. I don't pay attention/notice all of the blessings that I receive. From time to time, I really become conscious of this little/HUGE fact. I am convinced that all of us are receiving blessings all of the time that we don't even realize we are receiving. Here is my most recent example: One night, shortly after going to bed, Pace woke up, and upon going to feed him a bottle we realized that we had left the formula at Shawn's parents house.  We hunkered down for a loooong miserable night with a hungry, screaming baby, as there would be no stores open until 6 a.m. We were really praying that he would just sleep all night.  Well, he didn't.  He still woke up just as often, but I would pick him up and hold him and he would go right back to sleep - faster than if I had had a bottle to give him.  First thing in the morning, Shawn ran to the store. Pace woke up and was as happy as could be for another half an hour!

.....I had things figured out - I told the kids that Pace DID NOT need fed during the night anymore...HOORAY!!

The next night when he woke up, I tried to hold him to get him to go back to sleep.  He fussed and screamed for half an hour and WOULD NOT go to sleep without a bottle.

...I had things figured out - I told the kids that my prayers had been answered after all- just in a different way than I had prayed for.  Pace still woke up, but it was not the loooong, miserable night I had been dreading.

I have since been more aware that I receive many blessings like that every day, and I know that all of you do, too.  What an ingrate I often am not to be more observant of them! I think I need to start giving prayers of thanks, more often, for all the blessings I receive that I haven't even noticed...just to cover the bases.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

First bites

I have never introduced baby food so early, or had a baby enjoy it so much!! Pace has been interested in what we are eating for some time, so we finally introduced him to some rice cereal.  I could scarcely keep it coming fast enough!:

This was Sunday.  I made him some little onesies with ties on them - this one isn't showing up very well, as it is all wrinkled in the picture, but you can get an idea of how dapper he looked at church:)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Some things I am excited about

1. Sometime during the summer, Caden started playing around and learned to make homemade yogurt.  I think his motivation was to always have some on hand to make frozen yogurts with, which he did in abundance.  He also made lots and lots of homemade ice cream! Yum!!

Heat to 185ºF (85ºC) in a double boiler.

Since then, we have been making our own yogurt, which, like anything else that is homemade, is 100% more tasty than the store yogurt.  As you probably know, to make yogurt, you have to buy some plain yogurt that has live cultures in it.  Not very many brands have live cultures anymore, sadly, because that is what is so healthy about yogurt in the first place! In fact, store yogurt looks to me like some of the best junk food you can buy, with up to 40 grams of sugar in a 6-8 oz. cup, in some brands.  If you want a sugary dessert, that is great. But if you want yogurt to be healthier, with "good bacteria to benefit your digestion, improve immunity and lessen food allergies", you may want to try making homemade yogurt! This doesn't require any fancy equipment.  We mix it up, pour it into glass jars and leave it in the oven with an oven light on all night long.  That's it!

Ready to go.

At first, we were making yogurt with a starter from the store, but before long, we found that even some of the store yogurts that claim to have live bacteria in them really don't.  That is when we discovered this:

Sweet Yogurt Starter Culture
yogurt starter culture
These come five to a pack, and you just store them in your freezer. Then they last and last because you only have to open up a new one if you don't keep up on making yogurt before your current batch runs out, because you can keep using your yogurt as a starter.

We still get a goat supply magazine from when we had goats that has all sorts of supplies in it. If you are interested, you can find it on-line at: Best yogurt ever!  We like it for breakfast with homemade granola, or with fresh or frozen fruit and some honey drizzled in....and of course in frozen yogurts!! We are also using their sour cream and cottage cheese starters, and I can't wait to experiment with making even more of their things (or at least watching Caden experiment with them). So much fun!  We just use our powdered milk from our food storage and it works out great. I love things like this that make us more self-sufficient.

2. My new glass bread pans!

I bake four loaves of bread 2-3 times per week - we LOVE our homemade bread around here!!  Around Christmas time, my loaf pans got looking really rusty and disgusting, so I stopped baking for awhile.  (Which, btw, did you know that metal loaf pans get rusty if you stack them while they are still hot?  My friend Sheila was here one day when I dumped some loaves out and immediately stacked my pans, and filled me in. I wish I would have learned that one sooner...) Caden got me some new pans for Christmas but they were too big, and upon looking around, everything is made super big now days. I started looking specifically for glass pans because those are supposed to be healthier anyway.  I finally found some, and I know it may seem so silly that I am so excited about them, but I am!  I love being able to watch with the little kids how the bread is rising - (it doesn't take much to entertain us around here:)

3. The Great Courses

If you love to learn, you have GOT to check out this site:  What this site has, is lectures on just about every topic imaginable, given by some of the best college professors in the country.
We were able to get in on a huge sale, (that unfortunately ended on January 30th - but I'll bet they have some regular sales) and bought some great courses.  You can purchase DVD or audio for most courses, so you can even learn while you are driving around.  I opted to order all DVD because there are many days that I can't accomplish anything more than hold Pace, and I figure that this way I will feel like I am still getting something done and will be learning something interesting. I can't wait to hear every lecture - they are great!! I think I will definitely be buying some more of these every year.

Dad in front of a  mammoth tree on Oyster Island
4. I notice that my parents get on my blog, clear from Vanuatu!! They also leave mine and look at all of my siblings that have a blog.  (Come on family!! Keep up-dating - they like to see all the happenings and pictures!:)
Mom with her fan that she takes everywhere because it's so hot and humid in paradise
A resort close by the place they live