Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scenes from a Sunday

Just chillin' on a beautiful day after church.

Tyce and Mary played a game together on the computer. Our neighbor Montana watched for a minute.

Harrison and Montana ate candy in Bryce's car!

Levi and Cam ran around outside--it was sad that Levi and Montana moved to North Dakota this week!

Katie and I--she'd rather be hunting rabbits.

Bryce and Harrison played a little baseball.

Bryce and I enjoyed the evening at the park.

Cameron robot-walked up the hill.

Later we put up part of the Christmas tree and then Tyce and I went to choir practice. It was so nice to have a relaxing day to enjoy being together!

Monday, November 28, 2011


We have a few traditions around the holiday and our favorite is the Thanksgiving Tree. Mary gathers branches and I cut out leaves. For Family Home Evening that week each of us write things we're grateful for, from the big (family, the earth) to the small (candy, flushing toilets). What surprised me most was how excited the big kids were to write--they even needed more leaves--and to share what they'd written.

The tree--isn't it pretty?

Every single one of us wrote that we were thankful for Katie!

Every FHE someone cries. There's something about Monday nights--I don't know what it is but we can't get all of us happy at the same time.

Not even ice cream and a sisterly hug could console Harrison.

At least he knows he's loved.

Cameron and Mary made hand print turkeys--thank goodness those two were pleasant!

Another thing I like to do is make this trail mix. I gave each of my Seminary students a bag before Thanksgiving. We also played an M&M game in Seminary where each kid grabbed a handful of candy--but the more they took they had to participate! Each color represented a different category; they had to name something they were thankful based on the color. Red--a person or group, Blue--skill or talent, Yellow--item or thing, Green--something in nature, Brown--something related to the gospel, or Orange--free choice. It was a great activity.

The front.

The back, with the symbolic meanings of each item.

For Thanksgiving day we were invited to the Osbornes' giant family dinner at the church. Michele and Shane have 6 kids (including Ceara), lots of grandkids, and Michele's 4 sisters and their families. 

Ceara and her mom, Michele. Love those gals!

 There was tons and tons of delicious food. Harrison enjoyed sampling it all. It was a feast and we are grateful for good friends who invited us to share with them!

Grabbing a carrot.

Judy and Al came from Utah to join us!

After dinner there was lots of basketball and volleyball.

 Every night Grandma Judy read a new book to the kids. This was a highlight of their days!

We also enjoyed playing PIT with spoons (!) and watching The Muppet Movie. Grandpa Al and Mary went rock hunting and found cool treasures.

We had a great weekend and and have so much to be thankful for. I hope I show my gratitude for my blessings because I know I have been given so very much.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Favorite Brother

Even if I had 10 of them I'm sure David would still be the best! I love when he comes to Las Vegas for a conference. Thank you, Brooklyn and the girls, for sharing him for an extra day!

On Saturday we went to Mission Hills park to play soccer. It was a gorgeous day.

Harrison showed David up the stairs.

And then Harrison entered . . . the TIME TUNNEL.

Mary and Bella insisted on playing barefoot!

David showed off his Pele-like skills he learned at his U of H soccer class. Nice!

Tyce really liked hanging out with his uncle.

Brother and sister--and friends!
We all loved spending time with him and are grateful he wanted to hang out with us! We love you, David!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Dog's Prayer

"Dear Lord, I thank thee for this lollipop . . . "

"I am grateful that I could unwrap it myself."

"I thank thee that it is delicious and pineapple-flavored . . . "

"and that no one is taking it away from me."

"Oh Lord, please bless that the kids will leave their Halloween candy out again. Amen."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dinner with the Embletons; YA at Tuacahn

We made the 2-hour drive to St. George to have an awesome night of family and friends! First we had dinner at Cracker Barrel with adorable newlyweds Alisha and Ben Embleton; you might remember we went to their wedding reception this summer. We had four people at each table--Tyce and Harrison were the lucky ones to sit with their cousins. Guess what's crazy: we also saw two different sets of friends there from home!

Bryce and Cameron puzzle over the cryptogram in the kids' coloring book.

At first Tyce wouldn't pose for the picture.

And then when he did, I cut off half his face. So sorry.

I enjoyed sitting by Mary.

Mary took this picture of her dad!

We stayed at the Crystal Inn. After dinner we got ready to see the Young Ambassadors perform at the outdoor theater, Tuacahn.

It was cold but the group was amazing, as hoped and expected. They did their show "Harmony: the Music of Life" which is uplifting and touching. Tyce learned several of the numbers when he went to YASE this summer.

Bryce got us perfect seats--three were on the 2nd row! Tyce couldn't stop himself from dancing in his seat.

Afterward the cast members mingled with the audience. Tyce was thrilled to see many of his mentors from camp this summer!

I was impressed that everybody remembered Tyce's name. This guy wasn't even his counselor and he knew exactly who Tyce was.

Tyce wanted to make sure he got meet to "the only black guy" on the stage. He was more than willing to chat with Tyce. Conlon did impressive backflips and HE was Harrison's favorite part of the whole show.

Cameron passed the time by chewing (and admiring) his 12-piece wad of gum.

This was Tyce's counselor, Brad. He seemed like a great guy and looked genuinely pleased to talk with Tyce after the performance.

This pretty lady is Jessica.

One of the best parts of the night was getting together with fellow YASE-goers, Conor and Aubree!

Tyce proclaimed to the world (via facebook) that this was officially the best night of his life, except for the YASE concert. I guess he has his dad to thank for arranging such a great experience, hm?

And it was a very enjoyable night for the rest of us as well. The next day Tyce and I went back home so Tyce could go to the stake dance that night; the rest of the family (even the dog!) went to Grandma Judy's and Grandpa Al's house until Sunday night.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Half of 42 is . . .

A manageable Seminary class size. Thank you to the Powers That Be who let our class split--last week was the hardest week EVER. I got through probably 10 minutes of material in the 35 minutes I have to teach mostly because I had to wait, over and over, for different groups to stop talking. I'd been scheduling parents to come to class, to sit in the back and help with crowd control but I didn't do it on the 3-day week--and boy, did I pay for that. I came home those days feeling pretty bad.

Today they were great. I am sorry to lose half of the freshmen because I really, really do like them. But they'll be fine with their new teachers and I can do better by my 21 kids. Man, if I were Michelle Duggar I'd be taking all those kids home with me. That's quite a thought.

Tomorrow I'm teaching Exodus 20, about the 10 Commandments. So excited to teach them the visual I learned in Primary many moons ago as a child.

The visual.

We played Bingo again today. This time, instead of using dried black beans as markers (my biggest failure to date--the kids ended up throwing the beans when I wasn't looking and I even found out some boys took them to school and threw them there), I used Smarties. Then they just ate their markers after the game.

Okay, I'm ready for tomorrow and The Sing-Off is on. Like 5-part harmony, I'm gonna split.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We Love Harrison

In Family Home Evening we sometimes watch youth videos on They are interesting and short--two must-have qualities at our house. Harrison likes them all but is fascinated with the one called "The Sting of the Scorpion", which is about the speaker when he was a 7-year-old boy. He has watched that one at least dozen times.

That night Bryce said, "Harrison, you really like those videos, don't you?"

He said, "Yeah, I do. But you know what, Dad? It's not the videos I like--it's the Spirit."

How awesome is that that a 1st grader feels and recognizes those tender feelings? Harrison was a great example to me that night. I challenged my Seminary class to become as a little child--as MY little child--and to be receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Love Language

In the Marriage and Family Relations Sunday School class on Sunday, the McDonalds handed out an assessment. It was to determine which of the five "love languages" we use to express and interpret love.

Of the countless ways we can show love to one another, five key categories, or five love languages, proved to be universal and comprehensive—everyone has a love language, and we all identify primarily with one of the five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

Bryce was home with a sick child. I took the quiz and then came home to tell him about it. However, we got interrupted and so I told him he'd have to guess what my love language was.

Anyway, today he sent me a text that said, "You are superwoman and I love you". I called him later and said, "Thanks for that text! I suppose I should tell you that you have figured out my love language, which is Words of Affirmation. Good job."

Bryce said, "What? Sorry, I wasn't listening."

And then he laughed and laughed. Oh boy, he thinks he's funny.