What We Believe

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December To All!!

I love, love, love this time of the year. It is my favorite beyond compare. All of it...the world taking time to pause and reflect on the birth of our Savior, the trees, the lights, family and friends coming together...oh, I could go on and on.
My family and I just returned from our Thanksgiving travels yesterday so I am spread a little thin with getting unpacked and trying to put up our tree. I have a post a brewin' upstairs in my head. I'll make sure and post that a.s.a.p. so I can get on with the Christmas festivites...and update that blog background!!
Happy December to all and Merry Christmas!! I hope this month unfolds all that you hope it to be.


Monday, November 9, 2009

My Boos and Little Ghoul

Naturally, I'm slow on the uptake regarding my Halloween post...but then again I wouldn't want to break tradition and actually post on time, would I??
I had been trrrying to do Halloween crafts off and on during the month and was semi-successful. (i am in constant awe of the mommies that are crafty and all put-together with festive meals and crafts to fill the season...i only aspire to be like you) I was able to swing a few things, though and carving pumpkins was one of them. I have many a memory of carving pumpkins the Sunday afternoon before Halloween as a family and then eating the roasted pumpkin seeds. Good times, good times (well, at least for me...evidently the festive tradition left Liberty scarred) ;). I wanted to make sure that I continued the tradition with my family, so carving was a must.Here is a cute picture of Daddy and Cooper. We all contributed with the de-gunking and carving.My kids this year only got to go trick-or-treating on actual Halloween compared to the two to three times they normally do (tough, huh ;). We were out of town for the ward's Trunk-or-Treat and we have in the past also participated in the city's Halloween celebration when we lived in Stillwater. So, they were pretty excited the night of because of the lack of normal festivities. *disclaimer* I have always envisioned my children to have the "perfect" costume. It may or may not be handmade, but it would never, ever be the Wal-Mart type, polyester costumes that are plastic and flimsy. That being said (I hope I haven't offended anyone, because if there is anything motherhood has taught me is never, ever say "never") I obviously had something in mind for my kids and they generally had an entirely different one. *sigh* Greyson originally had chosen to be a pirate. "Great!", I thought. We have a fantastic costume already that complied to all of my "Halloween specifications". So, I wouldn't have to buy one and he would look oh-so-cute. Cooper had a bit harder time deciding on his costume, but finally decided that he wanted to be Anakin Skywalker. Now, it's quite ironic that Cooper wants to be Anakin because 1.) he really hasn't ever seen Star Wars 2.) the only real exposure he's had is on our Star Wars Lego Wii game and that hardly carries the story line and well, c'mon people, it's Legos and 3.) Cooper hates, hates, hates any type of villain or disgusting Halloween-y type character. I found it highly ironic that Anakin turns into Darth Vader one of the most notorious villains ever. I told Cooper who Anakin turns out to be and he flat out refused to believe me....c'est la vie. Oh well. He wouldn't be swayed. I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to make Anikan work and hadn't really figured it out until "the" garage sale happened. Phillip happened upon a garage sale on a Saturday morning with the boys (shocker, I know *insert eye roll * ;). And they just happened upon a Obi Wan Kenobi costume that looked amazingly like an Anikan Skywalker costume...complete with polyester and velcro. How could Phillip say no?? Well, he didn't AND he didn't say no to his other puppy-dog eyed son when he found a Batman costume complete with a plastic (albeit a thick plastic) cape, talking (you can imagine how thrilled I am with that) belt and a super-safe mask (insert sarcasm). Ahhh, the joy of motherhood when your picture-perfect idealism goes swimming down the drain. Oh well. I told myself to suck it up and said alright, it's their Halloween--not mine and if that's what makes them happy then deal with it, and I did.
We decided to take them around our neighborhood and it was great. The neighbors were kind and my kids made a haul. So much, in fact, that the next day the missionaries stopped by and we had them take a huge, bulging gallon ziplock bag home and we are still eating away on the loot.Here is Grey with his mask off...and with it on... Ironically, he had it off most of the night "because it made him all sweaty...even when it's not cold and when it is, too!"

Here's Cooper as Darth, ahem... Anakin, without his hood....and with.Annnnnddddd, this would be me dressing and taking a picture of my daughter w/o her costume on the correct way. That right folks, I put my daughter in her little witch's costume backwards. I'm an idiot. Oh well. I finally realized what I did about 3 houses into trick-or-treating and switched it around. Poor little girl. We weren't even sure we were going to take her because she was feeling so crummy... we finally realized it was probably with the Swine Flu. I guess we may have been giving away a little Swine Flu with our candy (oops!!).Here is the costume on the correct way. I couldn't get her to even humor me with a look at the camera. She had had it, but she thought she was well enough to eat candy {insert eye roll}.

My little boos and ghoul.

Here are the boys with their own custom carved pumpkins.

We hope you all had a Happy Halloween! We sure did and are anxiously looking forward to Thanksgiving day and Christmas season!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!!

While there are sooo many posts that I need to catch up on right now, I didn't want this one to fall through the cracks. With Ella's birthday being so close to Halloween I could see it happen. So, first things first.
My baby girl turned two. Can you believe it?!! In some ways I can...seeing that she has two cousins, that she adores, that have already turned the "big 2" so, she wasn't too far behind, but then again it's odd because I feel like she is still my baby in some ways. I can still remember wanting her in our family for so long and then being blessed to carry her for 9 months. We were all so excited to welcome Ella into our family. We ached for her. There was so much anticipation for Ella's birth...not only because she was our first girl, and all the fun things that come with that, but she was another blessing to join our family. She has been a joy and a learning experience for all of us since she was born. She is naturally a nurturer, a mother. She loves her babies and will dote on them. She also loves the fun and frills of being a girl. It is fun to have a daughter who gets excited over shoes and bows as much as I do. Ella also is an opinionated little one. She knows what she wants. I am learning Ella also has a "strength of spirit". Hopefully, she will be a pillar of strength for the right. That being said, she is quite shy and will hang back to be with Momma. I usually don't mind too much, as we have become quite good pals. :) Once someone has gained Ella's trust she is generally pretty loyal...it just takes her a while to warm up. :)
I can't imagine my existence with out my sweet Ella-Bell. She makes my heart sing and I thank my Heavenly Father every day for my sweet daughter. Happy birthday my beautiful little one.Here is Ella before she opens all of her presents.Hmmm, could this be what I think it is??
Ella is feeding her baby doll in her brand new sling (thank you Auntie Libby and Auntie Whitty!!) while properly adorned in her tiara. Hmmm, maybe she has something there... If I walked around in a crown while parenting maybe I would get the proper respect I deserve...;) Tiara (check), tu-tu (check), favorite toys (check), cell phone (check)...one satisfied little girl. The boys on Ella's birthday...they wanted some TLC, too. ;)We were also surprised with snow on Ella's birthday. Crazy weather, I tell 'ya, crazy!! Per birthday tradition we went out to eat on Ella's birthday. We went "high class" and went to Burger King. She did enjoy the play gym and yummo...the mac n' cheese!!
Poor little girl hasn't been feeling well...so, she hasn't exactly been in the mood to smile at the camera. Thus, the pictures have suffered a bit. *sigh* Oh well. :)

Phillip helping Ella blow out her candles, as she hasn't quiet mastered her extinguishing skills.

Yummo...chocolate cake (no shame in that bite, either! ;)!

Happy birthday sweet girl...and here's to many more!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

***Disclaimer*** Some major catch-up going on *** ;)
Life has just been truckin' by. I kept on meaning to post, but "life" has gotten in the way. So. I decided that enough was enough and I would get down to business and post.
Before the weather turned too cold Phillip wanted to take the boys camping. We realized it would be impossible to take the boys camping on Friday and get to their 9:00 am soccer games. So, we decided backyard camping would have to do. They loved it. Ella was especially in luuuv. The boys gathered pillows and sleeping bags and Ella just layed there, sucking on her much beloved binkie and looking into the sky. It was pretty darn cute. Ella did sleep inside with me, but the boys and Phillip slept in the tent...and they made it the whole night!!

Boys in the Hood...errr, tent

My three cuties

Since the boys have been in school Ella and I have a had a little bit more time to do things just the two of us. Every Wednesday my ward has playgroup. On one such Wednesday we all went to the free (!) zoo. Ohhh, does Ella love the animals. She loves saying what noise they make. She especially loves the bears, lions and tigers because they growl. I must say it is a bit comical to hear such a girly-girl making such a "growly" noise and getting such a kick out of it.

Ella in front of the lions
I did want to clear up one little thing, though. Just in case you were under any pretense that it is all roses and puppy dog tails with just me and Ella around, I wanted to set the record straight. *disclaimer* I love my daughter verrrry much and am grateful for her everyday. But, that said she is a little girly terror. She gets into my makeup, cleaners and "cleans" everything she shouldn't, loves my nail polishes (thankfully, she hasn't done irreparable damage with this one) and she simply can't get enough of lotion. I only mention this because I found this particular mess ironic beyond belief. She had gotten into some lotion that I have and she loves to squirt it everywhere and slather it on her body. It is quite the mess. As I was cleaning up the mess I noticed that the label on the lotion states it is for "Stress Relief". Ha!! I don't think they had this in mind when they were creating it. Hmmm, now that I think about it, maybe the scent filtrated through my senses and I found this ironic instead of maddening. Maybe they do have something there...When I moved to Amarillo I was afraid that my beloved annual tradition of going to a pumpkin patch and picking out pumpkins had been a thing of the past. I was thrilled to learn that Amarillo has a couple (!) pumpkin patches and I was ecstatic to learn that they were oh-so much more than that! The school that my boys attend takes the kindergartners and the next week the 2nd graders to the pumpkin patch. They not only get to pick out their very own pumpkin but there are rides, hay towers and so much more. Phillip was able to go with Greyson and his class last Friday and I'll be going with Cooper this Friday. Phillip did a stellar job of taking pictures; I won't bore you to death with all of them, though. ;)Greyson showing off his much loved pumpkin (or punkin as Greyson calls it). He was pretty upset that he couldn't carry off a ginormous one (and so was Phillip as he carried it around all afternoon for Grey). So, we promised him that we would go to another pumpkin patch and let him pick out a huge one for home...he held up on his end. The one he chose last weekend was huge!Grey wearing his "Kindergarten Rocks" t-shirt. He loves it as it is not only blue (his 2nd favorite color next to orange (Go Pokes!), it is "comfy" clothes and it says "kindergarten rocks"! What kid wouldn't love it??

I also hear that Grey is a corn shuckin' fool. He let me know that he was "the second winner". I'll make sure and call him into the kitchen to help when we're having corn for dinner. ;)

Greyson and his good friend, Brian

This past weekend we were so excited to have MiMi and Grandad come down from Stillwater. My mom asked us forever ago if they could come down for the boys' Primary Program and we were thrilled to have them. The boys did such a great job and it always makes my heart skip a beat to see them sing. For the occasion (and because I would've been sending Cooper in church shorts and sandals) we got Cooper a suit. He looked so handsome. I need to get a couple of pictures of him in it. We also thought that it was a good idea because his baptism is right around the corner. Crazy, huh!! For fun on Saturday we went to the other pumpkin patch that the boys don't go to for school. It was so much fun!! It was great having the boys have a grand time playing in the dirt hill that has a slide inside (!) of it. A dream of many a boy, I think. Play in the corn sandbox, run around in the bay bail tunnel, climb the hay bail tower and so much more while I chatted with my mom and dad. We snacked on carmel and kettle corn, traveled the large corn maze, rode on the tractor ride and picked my pumpkins to decorate my home. I think that I had as much fun as my boys did. It was also a treat to have my parents here while Phillip was set apart as a counselor in the bishopric. Needless to say, I have really felt my parents absence as I have been a single mother this week. I'm thinking it might slow down a bit as the new bishopric gets their feet under them. Thanks Mom and Dad!! I love you so much and am so grateful for the sacrifice it was to come and support us!!

Cooper showing us his maze punch card. We went to every single stop...all 12!! Cooper was quite determined to get to all of them as you get to enter a drawing for a handheld ipod thingie if you got them all punched.

Mom taking Ella for a cow ride. She loved it!!

Cooper and Greyson on the top of the haybail tower. It was really quite high. There was bluegrass folk music playing and Cooper had no qualms tap dancing and doing a jig on top. It was hilarious.

Well, that about wraps it up for now. Thanks for sticking with me this far, guys. Really, you're a trooper. :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Taylie's Story

I had planned on posting about my kiddos and some of the fun they've had the last couple weeks. I still plan on doing it...just not right now. Given the struggle I have been going through this week, I felt this post was needed. I hope that this helps this sweet girl and her family. I can't even imagine the pain and heartache they are suffering and if this post helps in some way then I'm happy to do it. Thank you, Kylene for getting the ball rolling. Check out Taylie's story here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Soccer and some Singin'

Not too much has been going on here. We are just adjusting to life in general. But, I did want to share a couple of fun things that my boys have been involved in.
In Amarillo most of the soccer teams have either practice and/or games on Sunday. I was told by a friend at church that there is a team called Upward Soccer where they practice and have games on days other than Sunday. We were thrilled to get the boys into soccer here and onto teams that had the same standards as we have and teach good principles. My boys, for the most part, really enjoy soccer and we have told them that everyone has an important place on the team. Let's just say we don't necessarily have a couple of David Beckham's on our hands. ;)We have found though, that Cooper uses his size (it's a 1st and 2nd grade team and he is a 2nd grader. Not to mention he is taller than his team mates) to get into the pack. Then he "muscles" the ball out, and Greyson is pretty quick. He defends the ball and does a pretty good job of stealing the ball and turning it around towards their goal. They do try hard and I am really proud of them and enjoy watching them play.

Cooper waiting and watching Greyson's team before he plays.

Cooper "muscling" his way into the pack.

Going after that ball!

Greyson during his game while he sits out to let all team mates play. The sun was really bright...the smile and the contorted face explains that real well.

Greyson getting in there and playing.

Greyson and his team. He's the boy on the far right (our right).

Another fun thing that has been going on is the boys' elementary school dedication. I actually went to it this morning, so these pictures are "hot off the press today". :) When we moved here we had no idea that the boys would get to go to a brand-spankin' new school. Through a bit of "tweaking" they were able to attend and they are really enjoying it. I am amazed how "smart" the school is. They have Smart Boards and other highly electronic things. I think back (and I'm not that old) and remember the actual blackboard and chalk that I used. I am quite pleased how technical the school is, they really seemed to be interested in giving the best education my boys can get. Today at Hillside Elementary School's dedication we were able to hear from Amarillo's mayor, the state representative, the Canyon School District President and other highly visible people of Texas. I thought it was pretty neat they made priority in their schedules for the dedication. I must say, above all the pomp and circumstance I enjoyed the picture slide show with music (I don't know what it is about music and pictures, but it always makes me want to cry) and the kids' song. I know they had been practicing the song for quite awhile, because Cooper and Grey have been singing it at home. It was really beautiful and it made my heart swell so big to see my boys sing their hearts out. I thought that it would pop right out of my chest.Here is Cooper singing his little heart out.Greyson while he was waiting for their part to sing.

Here's Cooper singing and doing the arm motions to go with the song.

It has been fun watching and supporting my boys in their activities. It helps me remember what good boys they are and how I am blessed to be their mother.