Thursday, December 15, 2011


We were so surprised!!!! Last weekend Tim got on a plane and came home for the weekend!!! It was a surprise for sure and such a great treat! He got to join in with his Mom's side of the family for our annual Christmas gathering and also our ward Christmas party at church and we decorated our gingerbread house! It was a great weekend together that we didn't think we were going to get. The kids also LOVED it of course. They got a fort built again, play time, and more exciting, they got their new beds set up!!!!! We love daddy!!!!

Shyler already has been in a big bed for like 2 years, but we got her off the floor finally! These beds are going to be nice when we need to save some space because they will convert to a bunk bed!!!
Adam loves his new bed and was a little sneaky the first few nights, but has been great otherwise!!! I also love that I don't have to get him out of his crib in the mornings anymore, they are sleeping all night in their own beds and then come in and join me about 7/7:30ish where I drag out waking up as long as possible! It's been nice!
Shyler was telling Santa what she wants for Christmas at our ward party. She knew she would see Santa twice so she decided that she needed to tell him something different each time, the same two things she's been telling us though. She wants a Princess Rapunzel doll and princess cowgirl boots! She is getting the doll from her nana, but she has too many pairs of shoes right now, we are hoping she will be content with the other present Santa is planning on bringing. Also we are trying to downplay Santa a little I think and appreciate the people she has around her. We have also been telling the real Christmas story a lot and watching the new videos the church put out that are AMAZING, watch them here!!! I feel they are very accurate to the New Testament scriptures which tell about the angel appearing to Mary, His birth and everything in between.
This year I thought I would be super crafty and make my own gingerbread house. I had all of the ingredients and the store bought ones smell bad to me so we tried it.... Next year I need to be patient, wait to find a template, build it ahead of time then decorate with the kids. So many lessons to be learned each year!
Tim was great at the construction process, although we waited to put the roof on to ensure structural stability.
The kids were content to decorate their people, Adam especially enjoyed the eating part!

The previous weekend Shyler got a special treat. My sister took her to see the Nutcracker! Shyler loved it! She loved getting all dressed up, going with just her aunt, and watching the ballet. She loved the sugar plum fairies the most! Then they got me a nutcracker ornament to match the Clara I got from my first visit to The Nutcracker. Such a special treat for Shyler! Thank you Aunt Kelli!

The night before that we crashed the Christmas party with Tim's parents ward. Since Karen and Jeannette's in-laws are in that ward they went too. The four cousins that were there had a good time together and waited patiently for Santa. Of course you never get 4 little ones all looking and smiling at the same time...
It took Shyler about 2 seconds after Santa walked in to point out that it was Walter! Oops, coincidentally Santa has a helper that looks a lot like Walter. Even with the close resemblance Shyler has opted for standing next to Santa this year... note the above picture... which is getting better every year. Adam would not go anywhere near the guy.
With only 10 days left I am proud to say I am done shopping, almost done wrapping, and ready to celebrate Christmas with Tim!!! All we have left is our annual baking day which is scheduled for Sat. We hope all is well and you are enjoying this wonderful time of year as we celebrate Christ, His birth and the glorious gift our Father in Heaven gave to us! Merry Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We had such a great time together as a family for the whole week of Thanksgiving! We stayed together and did lots of fun stuff! We took the kids to Monkey Business to play and paint, we went to the park and ran, we shopped for our trashcan turkey and went to dinner with our friends the Haynie's. Then it was Turkey day!!!!

Tim was so excited to try out cooking a turkey in a trashcan! I left him in charge of getting to his parents with the kids and starting the turkey while I went to see Breaking Dawn with my mom and his mom. It was great but I can't wait for the next one! First he got the coals cooking then loaded the turkey and set up the "dutch oven" style trashcan. When it came out 2 hours later it was ready! Well, mostly ready, maybe it could have used another 15 minutes for the deeper stuff, but the breast meat was so unbelievably moist and delicious! He had also left the turkey in a brine overnight. After we got the good stuff we just put the rest into the oven.

We are so grateful to have been able to spend the with holiday with as many family members as we did, including my mom, Tim's parents and Uncle's and Aunt, and 2 of his sisters and their families. We are so lucky to have everyone so close by and to be so close to each other. We truly are blessed not only with our family, but with our health, job, safety, a roof over our head, and the Gospel in our lives. We couldn't have asked for a better life! And we are also so thankful for friends and people in our life that have been such wonderful influences to us, and to the people that have been there to help us, especially these past few months!

After a great dinner we started our annual craziness of plotting out black friday! We were so torn this year. Why did stores have to open on Thanksgiving??? They are ruining the spirit of Thanksgiving. Instead, they have people leaving their families to go shopping! I really tried to oppose going out when they opened at 9 and 10 but I caved... :-( we had a good time getting the stuff we wanted, but we were not a fan of the long lines to get into the stores and the different group of people out shopping to get a good deal. I prefer the people who are also crazy enough to wake up at 4 and shop. We also missed our usual post shopping meal, it is another highlight, but when you finish shopping at 2am there isn't much open nor are you in the mood to hang out when you are so tired. Next year I think we will try harder to stick with our normal early morning shopping and still get the deals.

After sleeping in a little, Christmas swept through our house! We got out all of our decorations and even put up our new LED lights on the house and ornaments on our new tree! Tim went out at 5 to get some door busters at Home Depot! Then the night was competed with watching Elf!

Our last day together was Sat. We went to the Temple with family and enjoyed some time together. One the way home we went looking for a new entertainment center for when Tim gets home. We found some we liked but we took the kids back out later to check out another store... Then we completely went from looking to buying that and detachable bunk beds for the kids and a mattress for Adam! Yep we are moving him into a big boy bed! Well, around Christmas time we are. Then we opened the entertainment center box... wow what a way to finish the night. First the corner was dented, the cupboards were not closing well, and then the back was falling apart!!! Super annoying! So off Tim went to take it back! I guess we will get to go shopping again.
After a crazy, intense, and exciting Broncos game we went to the airport and now wait for Christmas to come!!! Only 3 more weeks! Time to enjoy the season!!!

Tim has been filling his time with as much things as he can. This weekend he is going to a nativity his church out there is putting on. A few weeks ago he went to the football hall of fame! He was in heaven! Here is the actual shoe and ball Jason Elam used to kick his record setting field goal.

Fight Fight Go Rams!!! and our leaves!

November was a fun month! After Halloween we only had three weeks to fill before Tim was home again. We spent some time enjoying the pretty mild fall and played outside and ran and went to the park a lot.
We raked leaves and then played in the leaf pile! Funny how we had a huge pile in the backyard, but we don't have any trees in our own yard! One weekend we got to spend in Fort Collins. We got tickets to the CSU game from our Aunt Mary and the kids and I had a Fort Collins filled weekend! First we went to the farm.
The kids loved it! I think I'll have to bring them back in the spring to see the new babies!

Then we went to the game. The kids did not take a nap so Adam fell asleep for most of the first quarter, Shyler was just being silly.

It was fun, minus the intense wind! A women sitting in front of us was so nice and invited us to go with her and her nephews onto the field at the end of half time! All of the kids in the junior ram club were invited to give the players high five as they came back out for the second half. I thought it was so cool, maybe the kids did too.
But then we left because it was just too windy and cold for me to bare. Then I lost Adam's shoe!!! He is in love with his crocs and wouldn't wear his warm boot, and running back to the car we lost one! So I loaded the kids up and poor Shyler was so upset for him, it was pretty cute. So after looking around the car I decided the only other option would be to drive as far as I could retracing our steps.... and then by some miracle we found it!!! This is the second time we miraculously found the missing croc! Then we picked one of my favorite places to eat dinner, Cafe Mexicali! I love that place, so does everyone else now apparently because it was packed!

On the 17th we got to celebrate Uncle Mel's 70th birthday! We met at one of his favorite restaurants and surprised him! It was a fun night that was finished with a win from the Broncos! Perfect for Mel! Happy Birthday!

I didn't get to watch most of the game though because I had to leave. It was the season ending tournament. The week before however we played in a few games called positional rounds and we won! So for the tournament we went in ranked and had a bye. We won our first game, and after a very very very intense and long game we lost to the other team in 3 games. I was so sad to finish the season losing, especially when I wasn't happy with how I played, but I have to remember the season as a whole. We had lots of fun, I met new people, and I got to do something that I love and something for myself! I hope I'm able to get on another team soon! I don't know why it took me this long to play!

So besides getting the house cleaned and such we were ready for Tim to come home and to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Happy Halloween and Daddy Time!!!

The day Tim was scheduled to come in we received our first snow storm of the season. Six inches and none of it stuck to the driveway or sidewalks!!! The perfect storm! Well, except for the wet heavy snow that broke our poor peach tree. We hope it will survive! The kids had fun out in the snow. Well, Shyler loved it, Adam couldn't get over getting stuck in the snow and getting his gloves covered in snow. Luckily Tim got in later that night with only an hour delay and we had a fun weekend with him!

Tim came home to take a big test for work. So with him he brought lots of big heavy books and the kids loved his fort he made. He is way better at it than I was!

We had fun picking out designs and carving our pumpkins grown in our own backyard!!!

Saturday we also got family pictures taken by our good friend Katelyn Roberts. I love them!!!! There are many more that I love!

We went to the trunk or treat at Tim's parent's church and met two of his sisters there too.
The little ones had fun playing some of the games, but mostly just dancing!

Four little kids do not pose together very well

Shyler and Grandma were both brides!

Tim only stayed until Sunday night, but we loved every minute we had with him and we are super glad it is only a 3 week gap between trips this time!

Halloween is now the favorite holiday for both of the kids. They are little sugar babies and Adam caught on quickly to the trunk or treating and was a pro on Halloween. Shyler was quick to ring the doorbell at each house, but luckily they remembered their manners each time and said thank you!
Adam was a little Bronco and Shyler was a "Bride Marry Girl"!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Look what we grew!!!
We have been enjoying tons of zucchini and tomatoes all summer, but I just pulled out our carrots... This was our first attempt, and they are a little short, but they look pretty good!
Our 4 pumpkins! We are so excited to have so much, I really can garden... a little
This week we went to a real farm, Miller Farms, with some of Shyler's preschool buddies. We had a great time picking corn, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, and another little pumpkin to add to our collection! We had a picnic lunch, played a little then tried to figure out what we could do with all of our stuff!
Adam had fun picking too! He wasn't too sure about some onion skin that fell off into the tractor
Luckily Tim's dad loves cabbage pockets so he got a ginormous head of cabbage and some onions to start him out.

This week was my week to teach preschool. There are 5 total girls, but this past Thurs one of them was gone. I love doing the Mother Goose Time curriculum. This month is Ocean Commotion, and I got to teach about whales, sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and octopuses! They have so many great games and learning opportunities and so many cute easy crafts! The girls are loving the time together and Shyler loves to learn and play with her friends! They especially enjoy the added half hour at the end when they get to have free play. Of course I didn't take a picture of the super cool crafts they make, but dressed up and dancing and having a tea party.

Shyler has been loving the space between the chair and the couch and she keeps putting a blanket up and making a fort, so this weekend we tried to make a huge fort! She loved it and now always wants one. We'll have to keep it up so we can make it awesome, this one was just the work of an amateur.

Last week I also was able to go to the Denver Temple. It was closed for 2 months and it was weird how much more I wanted to be able to go knowing I couldn't. It was good to be back! I also have been loving the our stakes volleyball night on Fridays and someone invited me to play in their city league! So last week I had 2 games on Thursday night. We won and my super competitive side comes out, it reminds me of the good ol' days of high school volleyball!
Maybe I'll become a more regular blogger... haha!

Saturday, October 08, 2011


Brace yourself we had a fun time out in Ohio, but we also did a lot and took a lot of pictures! I narrowed down the pictures, but I still was quite wordy. If you are friends with me on Facebook, you probably already saw these pics and about 60 more, but here is a nice detailed account of our fun times!

First we had a fun adventure on a super full plane as we flew to Detriot with Grandma and Grandpa. It wasn't too bad of a flight in the end. Shyler was great and Adam was good most of the time, but did decide after a while sitting still was not on his agenda.

Thursday we got ready for our road trip! We picked Tim up at work, had a picnic lunch at a park next to Lake Erie and then we were off!

Our first stop was in Kirtland, Ohio. For those not familiar with Kirtland, it is the place where Joseph Smith and the church moved after they left New York. This is where the first temple was built and many revelations occurred. There of course are many other wonderful events that took place here. The Kirtland temple is actually owned by the Community of Christ Church, which branched away for the LDS church a long time ago. We arrived at 4 and much to our dismay we had missed the 3:30 tour of the temple and the 4:30 tour was booked with a tour bus. So we were only able to walk around the outside. They had beautiful flowers on the grounds and it was still neat to see it.

After the temple, we were able to walk down the street to where the people lived at the time in the 1830's. There is a store which is also important to church history called the NK Whitney Store. Also in here there were many revelations and Joseph Smith came here first when he arrived in town. Newell K Whitney was very helpful in the building up of the church in Kirtland. The store is 85% of its original structure so that was cool to really feel the spirit and imagine life back then going to the "store". We got to explore all of the rooms including the upstairs where Jospeh held the school of the prophets, which was pretty much a class he taught on gospel principles. By then the kids were done and hungry so that was most of what we saw. We found the nearest place to eat which ended up being Wendy's. A quick dinner then we got ready for a bigger chunk of driving to Rochester, NY.

We got in close to 11 and we all crashed!! The next day was a new day and a new adventure. We drove about 30 min east to Palmyra, NY. This is where Joseph Smith grew up. We went to the site of the recreated log home he was living in when he read James 1:5. He felt inspired pray to the Lord about which church he should join since there was a lot of commotion about different churches at the time. He went into the grove of trees by his house and got on his knees and prayed. This is where he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This special place is know known as the Sacred Grove. We got to walk through the grove and the log home and the other home they lived in while he was growing up see some of the places where different events happened. There are many stories about people trying to steal the golden plates and we saw some of the places he was able to hide them. After the grove the kids were ready for lunch so we headed to town. Thanks to our trusty GPS we discovered a yummy pizza place that made cheesy bread just right for our picky kids who don't eat pizza. Then we were able to go to the Grandin Print Shop where the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon was published. We got to see the process and how much work it used to take to make books. Shyler even got to practice creasing the pages and get them ready to be bound.

On our way back out of town we stopped at the Palmyra Temple. It is beautiful, and as you are at the Smith family farm you can see the temple through the trees and as you are at the temple you can see across into the sacred grove. Our guide told us that this temple is the only one with clear glass, and it is on the window looking into the grove, they call it the Hinckley window after our previous prophet. All other temples just have stained glass all around. Our last stop was the Hill Cumorah. This is the place where the last prophet from the days of the Book of Mormon finished writing on the plates and buried them. It is here where Joseph Smith retrieved the plates to translate them.

After our fun morning adventure we headed back to Rochester and were lucky enough to meet up with Tim's Great-Uncle Don and his wife Mary Lou. They are super nice and we had fun getting to know them a little better. They took us to Cheesecake Factory where we of course ate a lot of yummy food and then indulged on some yummy cheesecake! After dinner they took us along the Erie canal and the kids got to feed ducks. It was a little bit of a history review as I remember hearing about the Erie canal and singing a song about it when I was younger, but never thought I would see it. It really is just like a river running through town, but there is just an amazing amount of history behind it. We saw no barges, but we did see a crew team parcticing, which still a first for us and the ducks loved the yummy treats!

On the road again... We made our way a little north of Rochester to an apple farm! It was a fun family farm that was at prime time for apple picking! We got to pick a variety of apples; cortland, empire, and macoun then we also picked fall raspberries. The kids enjoyed the picking and the play area. We also bought honeycrisp and sweetango from the market. We loved having freshly picked apples for the rest of our trip! They weren't super happy with us bringing them into Canada, but the border patrol lady just said make sure we brought them all back!

So after the farm we headed for Niagara Falls! We got there and the kids were ready to get out and we were excited to see the beauty of one of God's creations. It was beautiful! We convinced Grandpa that the boat ride would be fun and we experienced the falls up close on the Maid of the Mist boat ride. It was wet and we all looked like smurfs, but it was worth it. We only wish we would have spent more time walking around on the Canadian side, just driving by it was beautiful. We enjoyed getting grilled by the canadian border patrol, and like I said earlier we had to promise to bring back our apples...

We made it Toronto after that for a late dinner, then another night in a hotel. We did however wake up to a beautiful fall day and spent the morning going to church and walking around the Toronto Temple. It is beautiful and so peaceful. We had a picnic lunch with some of our apples and snacks then headed back for an actual nap time at the hotel! We headed down town for dinner to The Spaghetti Factory, I know real original, but it was still delicious. After we had paid $20 bucks for parking we decided that we would do the CN tower that night. It was a tall tower and stepping off the elevator, it was crazy to think we were standing on a little tower 1,100 feet off the ground.

Monday we drove back to Toledo. When we got up in the morning Tim was so thoughtful and decided to go get doughnuts from Tim Hortons. Apparently they are like Starbucks out in the northeast and they are everywhere!!! They call their little doughnut holes Tim Bits... so fun! We packed up and decided that we didn't really know what we were doing, except driving to Toledo with no GPS, just our map I bought at Niagara Falls to guide us. Luckily I was an expert navigator with an even better driver and we never got lost :-) we did decide to take a detour when we saw a sign for a maple farm. We saw them bottling maple syrup and got some fresh yummy treats. We also stopped in London, Ontario for lunch for another round of Wendy's. Driving out of town we saw what looked like a riot! Grandpa and I were curious, while Tim and Grandma were more like let's get out of here! Turns out it was just some high school kids protesting the police over a pepper spray incident.

Almost there... we decided to take the northern route back into America through a town called Sarnia, instead of through Windsor. I don't know what the difference would have been, but we waited in line on the bridge for an hour to cross the border!!! But it was nice to be that much closer to "home". We got back close to dinner time and for the famous Tony Packo's. They have their specialty hot dog that you just have to try... well that is what everyone told Tim. So I tried it. Tim and I both agree we are not fans. It is a delicious hot dog, more like a sausage on a bun which is also good, but then it is topped with mustard, onions, a special sauce (it seemed like beanless chili), and then cheese... I would have been better with the chicken chili that I also got as part of my meal, now that was good! They have buns signed by so many famous people on display all around the restaurant, including the current and previous 3 presidents!

I'm pretty sure no one is still reading about our trip, but we really did a lot of fun stuff in 5 short days, I don't want to forget anything! So after dinner we checked G and G into their hotel room. Well, Tim had enough points so they just upgraded them for free. They got a king size bed with a ginormous hot tub in room!!! With a little nudging, Shyler decided that the hot tub would be way cooler to swim in than the hotel pool and so she finally got to go swimming and we got to stay in the comfort of the room and not worry about it being too deep!

G and G's last day... They decided to visit the Sauder Village just west of Toledo. It is founded by the maker of Sauder furniture and it is a whole village set up in pioneer times with actors in each little shop or cabin dressed to the part. It was fun and cool to see them still making toys or baskets like they used to and Shyler got to see a real spinning wheel at work!!! They also had a children's area which the kids loved! They got to milk a cow and play in the kitchen and even iron, that was much more interesting to the kids than the rest of the place, but it was still really cool. Then we headed up to Detriot to drop them off. On the way back home we got... Wendy's for dinner, yes, the 3rd time in 6 days! We are so original I know... but our kids like their chicken nuggets, and they have a fruit you can get, or a yogurt if you are in Canada, and the toy was a little sports themed toy which was also cool! I think we ended up with a football , volleyball and 3 soccer balls!

Family time! So we had a few more days with just the 4 of us. Tim worked during the day, but Wed. Shyler got to go on a date with him to the movies! She saw Lion King in 3-D! I got a date with Tim on Friday and a delicious dinner at the Japanese steakhouse. We were so grateful to his co-worker that offered to babysit! Lindsey was a lifesaver! On our last day we met another coworker at another apple farm and went to the apple butter festival. Besides having the wind chill making it feel like 40 degrees, it was fun to pick apples again and enjoy the festivities. The kids loved the pony ride they got, Adam went back for another one after we took him off!

So then we were done :-( Tim dropped us off at the airport and I went through security with my 2 kids, a stroller, 2 backpacks, and a giant bag of apples! We survived and I was glad I had my sister to help on the other end. The kids were great on the flight and we had a whole row to ourselves. Adam even took a nap this time! We miss Tim, but glad how quickly the time is going and how soon it will be when we see him again! That also means that this experience is getting closer to being over! We can't wait!!!