My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yellow Belt Promotion

Sam had his yellow belt promotion ceremony a few days ago.  He has been so incredibly excited for this!  It is his first new belt.

He, and his class, "Little Ninjas" had a test for about 25 minutes, and then they were presented with their belts.

Ben got to present him with his new belt.  Sam respectfully bowed to him, and Ben placed his new belt around his neck.  It was so cute..I mean, cool. And no, Ben doesn't just wear huge bright orange pants for fun.  He had just gotten back from skiing.

The best part of all, was that Sam got to punch a board in half on his way up to getting his certificate.  He smashed that thing with everything he had, and was so incredibly proud of himself when it burst in half.  I almost burst out laughing because of how proud he was.  It was awesome.
that would be my camera flash.  ;)

The Little Ninjas and their teachers

And so we move on to the next belt.  Go Sam go!  Hi Yah!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


One of my favorite traditions growing up was going to the Nutcracker with my mom, my grandma, and any other women in the family.  We would eat somewhere fancy, and then go to the Nutcracker.  I loved the magic of it all.  The excitement.  Dressing up and being with "the adults."  It was all so memorable for me.

This year, I decided to continue on the tradition, and also go to a "big" version of the Nutcracker in Salt Lake.

I took Mary to the one here in Heber last year, but I wanted to her experience a professional ballet this year.

I called my mom, my, sister, and my sister-in law, we got the tickets and set the date.  Mary and I have been anxiously waiting for weeks now.

The big day came, and Mary and I got all dressed up.  I could feel the excitement coming from Mary, and could remember feeling the same way at her age.  It was pretty special.

Ben came home, snapped a picture of us, and we were off. 

Mary choose the music, and I willingly sang to Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, in my loudest voice, along with Mary, as we made our way down the canyon.

We made a stop at the store in Park City to pick up a Christmas present, and then continued on our way.  During our stop, a random blizzard hit, and it was pretty crazy getting down the canyon.

We met up with my mom and sister at a random exit in the canyon (they got a little lost), and then we all navigated our way through Salt Lake.  It was nuts.  We got lost.  But it was all part of the adventure, and we just laughed our way through it. 

We ran out of time to eat dinner first, so we found this crazy ghetto place and grabbed some sandwiches to hold us over.  It was freaky, but it was warm, so we didn't complain.  Heber has been negative 18 this week.  Salt Lake wasn't much warmer that night.

We then made our way to the Capitol Theatre for the Nutcracker.  The city was so beautiful all lit up everywhere with people hustling about.  It was so fun to be in all of it, with the ladies I love.  Mary was soaking it all in.

We made our way to the Capitol Theatre, and stopped just long enough to get a picture and freeze our snot.

We met up with my sister-in law there, who had a story of her own adventure getting there (she was dropped off by a kind police officer) , and we made our way through the gorgeous, ornate building, and up, up, up, up to our seats.

The ballet was amazing!  Everything about it was just plain awesome! The scenery, the costumes, the dancers, it was definitely the best Nutcracker I have ever seen.

And who wouldn't love watching a ballet through these vintage babies!

It was fun to look down the row and see the generations of girls.  Mary always loves the chance to be with Aunt Kelsey.

After the ballet, we made our way over to the Cheesecake factory for 11:00pm.  I haven't been awake at that time for months.  Eating that late was crazy, but we were all starving, and not ready for the night to end.

Mary ordered a steak.  Yup, a steak at 11:00pm.  She cracks me up! She was falling asleep by the time our food got to us.  It was the best dinner I have ever eaten at midnight.

By the time we found our car in the parking garage and then found my sister-in-laws car, it was late.  Unfortunately, my sister -in -laws car battery had died.  We tried to jump it, but it was too far gone. 

Long story short, we got in to Heber at 3:00am.  It was a little nuts, but it was such a fun night! It wouldn't be us without an adventure.  It makes for great memories. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, and according to Mary, she wants to do it all again tomorrow.

We hung out with my mom and sister for a while the next day, and then they headed home.

We all agreed to keep this tradition alive.  It is a good one.

I am so thankful that my little girl could experience the same things that I did at her age, and the same joy and excitement of the Nutcracker.  And it is always good to bond and draw closer to family.

Monday, December 2, 2013

thankful for thanksgiving

Thanksgiving break came at a wonderful time for our family this year.

We have been really busy, in a good way, but we were all ready to just, well, to just be.

Due to being far from home for several Thanksgiving's, we came up with our own traditions, and it has actually become one of my favorite holidays because of it.  I can see it in my children as well, and that brings me joy.

We do Thanksgiving with relatives every other year, but on the off year, we just do it with our own family, and we really have a great time.

This year, we really lived it up.  My heart was full, and it has been the past month, as the spirit of the holidays has crept into my heart.  It has more than ever this year.  There are moments, when I feel like my heart could burst as I become overwhelmed with all of my blessings, the joy of the season, and the holiness of it all.

I have been made extremely aware, and extra sensitive to all I am blessed with, and that in turn, has truly made this one of the best holiday seasons for me so far. 

I don't know why this is the case, but it is, and I feel like I need to recognize it and enjoy it.  Enjoy the excitement, the magic, the wonder, the decorations, the music, the light in my Children's eyes, everything. This holiday season just seems so wonderful this year.

OK, back to the original post.

On Thanksgiving Day, Ben and the kids went rock climbing in the morning, and I started working on the food.

Ben helped stuff the turkey and get it ready.  We had the kids watch this year, because I could tell they were curious, and it will go down as one of the most hilarious Thanksgiving memories I have.  William was so grossed out, and just flabbergasted with the whole thing.  I got it all on video.

The kids, for some reason, loved the fact that we pulled out the China, and therefore, decided to act like very sophisticated servers. 
photo bombed by William picking his nose in the background. 

It was hilarious, but I worked my servers, and they did great!

We enjoyed the dinner, and read all of the leaves on our Thankful Tree we've been working on this month as we ate.  It was a precious moment.  Oh, and Luke actually ate!  I have to record that for sure.  Luke ate mashed potatoes, and a lot of them.  It was awesome!

We watched movies, went on a walk, and hung out the rest of the day.

Friday, Ben took Mary and Sam snow skiing, and I cleaned the house, and then shopped.  I had the babies with me, but they behaved really well, and it was really fun!  I absolutely love holiday shopping, and I had some great finds.  We had a good time getting William's hair cut, going to the animal store, buying presents for friends and family, me getting new running shoes (not so pleasant trying on shoes with 2 babies in tow), and singing carols in the car.  William is a great singer.

We met up with Ben and the older kids in Park City at the ski hill, where they were completely frozen, but so happy from "the best ski day yet." 

I am glad Ben initiates skiing with the kids.  It is a special thing for all of them. We hit up a few more stores, got dinner, and then headed back to Heber to get our Christmas tree.  The events of the tree are in the previous post.

Saturday, Ben took the kids to the park, and I went to the gym.  I almost died, due to "feasting" on too many pies the previous days, but it felt great.  Then, I shopped, by myself!  It was bliss.  I found an amazing sell and got some new outfits.  I rarely clothes shop, so this was so fun for me, and I REALLY needed some new clothes. 

When I got home, we hung out, Ben went to the gym, and then we all went swimming at the Kamas pool.  The kids did great, even Luke!  William figured out how to float in a lifejacket, and thought it was amazing.  Mary and Sam did the diving boards and slides, and I soaked in the hot tub ever second I could slip away.

After swimming, we got the kids all settled, and Ben and I went on a date.  I love going on dates with Ben, and the excitement of dates has not faded over time.

Sunday, we finally fixed our tree, and then had some friends over for pie and treats.  I wasn't too excited about hosting, after a big past few days, but I am so glad we did.  It was really fun! 

And now, here we are.  Back to school, sports, schedules, work, church activities and duties, and life.

And we are all refreshed and ready to jump in.

Our Thanksgiving break was wonderful.  It was not perfect.  There are always moments, tantrums, disagreements, frustrations, and stress.  But honestly, it was extremely refreshing, and so wonderful to just be with my family having fun and bonding closer.  The good times definitely outweighed the struggles.

I love this season.  I love my family.  I love that for whatever reason it is, I have been blessed this year to feel it all on a deeper level, and enjoy it so much.  I feel that I need to savor it, and that is exactly what I am doing.

oh christamas tree

Well, we finally got all of our lights up outside.  It was quite the ordeal, but wow, does it look so pretty!  I grin every time I pull into our driveway at night.  Hooray for lights!

Just in case the light saga wasn't enough, lets move on to the Christmas tree.

It all started out fine and dandy.  We found a gorgeous tree!  I was so excited to get a tree without worrying about the height.  The taller the better this year.

We pulled up to the store, and there she was.  In all of her pine smelling, ever-green, perfectly trimmed majesty.  I could swear angels were singing when I saw her there. 

Ben, like the pro that he is now in Christmas tree tying on the car techniques, had the tree up on the car in no time, we all commented on his superman like strength (especially the boys) as he picked up the tree over his head and placed it on the car, and we were off.  Christmas music blaring, excited kids wiggling, and one happy momma with her perfect tree.

We got the tree home, drug her through the door and across the floor where Ben placed her in the stand.  We leaned her a little to the right, a drop to the left, scooted her up a bit, turned her around and around, and then she was all set.  Ben screwed in the stand, and we all stood back to admire....our crooked tree!

Yes, the tree was leaning like there was no tomorrow.  This picture was actually one of the better times. So, Ben unscrewed the stand, we scooted her to the right, a pinch to the left, a hair to the right, turned her a bit, and screwed her back in.  Then, we all stepped back to admire....our crooked tree!  Seriously!

Once again, we unscrewed, turned, leaned and checked from every angle.  Finally, we got her all snug in and standing up straight!

Time to decorate!

I pulled out the lights, turned on the music, gathered the kids, and prepared for tree decorating bliss.  Everyone smiling, happily placing the ornaments, reflecting on each one, and gently placing them on the tree.  


First of all, we were too short on lights.  The ones we did have, only had half of the strand working.  So, the kids and I wound the lights around and around the tree, shoving chunks of not working lights deep into the tree, trying to hide them.  We got sap on our fingers, pine needles in our eyes, and knots in the lights.  Oh, it was so joyous.  Did I mention that Luke was crying and the cat was freaking out.  Bliss.

Finally, we got the lights on.  They looked horrible, and the star didn't fit, but I figured we would just hide it all with the ornaments.

I summoned up my last bit of Christmas spirit, smiled, gathered the kids again, and pulled out the ornaments. 

William ended up bawling and refusing to hang anything.  Luke was tired.  Mary and Sam were ok, but soon began fighting over where to hang everything.  We finally got the tree decorated.

We stepped back to look at our gorgeous, pine smelling, perfectly trimmed, beautifully decorated tree.  I barely gave a sigh of relief and happiness, when,


The entire tree fell the ground, and then rolled a bit, which only broke more ornaments and our spirits.  Ornaments broke, lights fell off, water went everywhere, and I let out one of those half crying half hysterical laughs that really scare people. 

Mary and Sam didn't move a muscle, but I did see a one tiny tear silently roll down Mary's cheek, and my heart almost split in half.  Ben informed us all that we were done for the night.  No one argued.

I sulked my way through our bedtime routine with the kids, sadly bid our fallen tree goodnight, and went to bed.

It took a few days to get over it, buy new lights, a new star, pick up the tree and the fallen decorations, and get the drive to start over.

This time, however, it all came to pass.  Lights worked, music was playing, ALL of the kids were happy and helping, and the tree was straight.

Now, as I sit here alone, in the quiet dark room, lit by the glow of the tree lights, as has been my favorite Christmas thing to do since I was a small child, I feel all excited and happy and peaceful, as I stare at our beautiful tree.  I think I love doing this so much, because in the quiet peace, and the magical glow of the lights, the true spirit of Christmas has a moment to fill my heart, and I feel close to the Christ child on that blessed holy night.

She is a hodge-podge tree, full of character, stories, 5 gold ornaments hung in a clump by William (in several spots), the nutcrackers sword fighting each other, hung by Sam, Mary's ornaments hung with her amazing artistic flare, and a few broken ornaments, hanging by their last thread, thanks to Luke.

It is the perfect tree to me.

Monday, November 25, 2013

oh, for the love of christmas lights

Let's begin, shall we.

Rewind back to Saturday.  The day.  The day I greatly anticipate, and Ben silently grudges, but willingly goes along with anyway, because he is awesome like that, and he does like the finished product.  The day we hang the Christmas lights. (insert shudder or choose).

We were actually going to hang the lights the week before, but a storm blew in.  It only heightened my anticipation for this day.

I eagerly drug the bins up from the basement, and spent the next 25 minutes untangling the gigantic ball of lights that endured 2 moves this year.   Oh joy. 

I got them all untangled, and literally, as I was cheering out loud for myself as I hooked the last strand in (my Christmas Vacation moment) ...POP!  Out go the lights, forever.  I think we all groaned.  I know I did.

That should have been my sign.  But me, and my type A, never leave a job unfinished, where there is a will there is a way, mind on the mission personality, only saw it as a small glitch in the glorious vision of our new home, with its insane maze of pitched roofing, glowing with Christmas lights for all of our 3 neighbors, and ourselves to see.  Oh yeah.  Well, there are all of those people who turn into our cul-de-sac trying to find their way out of our neighborhood, or flip a U turn.  They can enjoy the lights too.

Honestly, if we were the only house on the planet, I will still hang the lights.  Yup, that's me.  Little Christmas Spirit, all sorts of annoyingly bursting with Christmas cheer and energy.  I am THAT person.  The one that all of the Facebook/social Thanksgiving comes before Christmas, and heaven forbid you celebrate them the same season!  Gasp!  scrooges are boo hooing about.  Live and let live people!  Much bigger issues out there people, much bigger.

Back to the lights.

So, off I went to the store to buy new lights for the new house.  Sugar plumbs dancing in my head. I was actually kind of glad at this point.  I liked the new lights I bought better anyway.

Now, all we needed was a ladder.  So, I called a neighbor.  She said her husband was out hanging their lights, and would be done soon.

We waited 4 hours.  The ladder sat outside their house, right where I could see it, with no one on it.  I literally paced, fumed, pouted, and did nothing short of self destruct.  Daylight was fading, time was wasting, my one day with Ben's help was going fast.  My mission was failing.  I had a job undone. And there I sat, staring at the ladder.  ARGH! 

So, I called another neighbor.  She said her neighbor was borrowing it to hang his lights, and would bring it over when he was done.  I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Nothing.  Nadda.  Zip. That neighbor just finished using the ladder, today.  uh huh.

I finally decided that I was either going to explode, or I should do something useful while I had Ben home to help with the grocery shop, alone.  So, I went to the store. 

Right when I got there, another neighbor called.  She had a ladder! And the angels rejoiced.

I did nothing short of run through the store, finished shopping (the good ol Walmart checker whining all about how she hates Christmas, and me just giving her a blank stare of astonishment) and drove straight to her house.  We shoved the ladder in the car, on top of the groceries and all.  Hey, we still ate the Doritos.  All one million crumbs of them.

I flew home and burst in the house with the good news.  No one seemed nearly as thrilled as I was.  Whatever.

And we finally began!  We hung what we could without the ladder first.  I had to crawl through an upstairs window and pull myself up on to the tops of our smaller roof lines.  I am not afraid of heights, but people, this was some seriously steep pitch, and I was scared right out of my Christmas flippin mind!  I had a duty though, and a small window of opportunity, and I REALLY wanted to get the lights up, so I clipped the clippies, and hung the lights.  I did what I could do, and then it was time for the ladder, oh, and did I mention that it was now dark, and the freeze your snot kind of cold.  That was fun.

Well, joy of joys, the ladder was too short.  Mission over.  Job left undone.  Time ran out.  Sunlight left.  I was deflated and frustrated, but had not one ounce of giving up in me.

I hopped on facebook, where there is a group set up for the people in our neighborhood.  I sent out a plea for a really tall ladder. 

Then, I climbed back out on the roof, in the dark, just to see if I could muster enough courage to get up on the VERY tall and extremely steep garage roof, and just do it without a ladder.  I tried, and I almost slipped.  It wasn't going to happen. 

While I was up there though, a neighbor came home and saw me up there.  I told him we needed a taller ladder, and he said he had one!  And he brought it over, in the snot freezing cold and dark!  Oh the joy!

I ran in and got Ben.  He wasn't too thrilled that I hadn't just given up on the whole thing yet. We left Mary in charge of the babies, and we set the ladder up.  Actually, we spent more time calming down crying babies and setting Mary up for success, than it took to get the ladder up.

And once we got it was too short.  And just to make sure I wasn't frustrated enough, the ladder extension slid down and crushed my thumb, badly.  I just started using my thumb again today.  I assure you I was not singing carols when that happened.  I wasn't making any noise actually.  The pain took my voice right out of me.  I was just making all sorts of weird noises and running in circles.  Ben broke the ladder down and returned it while I continued to run in circles and flap my hand around.  Fun night for us.  I got to look at half of our house lit up for the next 2 nights.

The next day was Sunday.  I needed a ladder, and here was the chance to have a lot of people with ladders in one place.  Church. Sweet!  Only, due to trying to wrangle 4 kids in a bench for 75 minutes, and then the next two hours wrangling 11 six year olds, I completely forgot.  Go me.

I did come home to four Facebook responses though, all neighbors who had extra tall ladders!  Yes!

One neighbor brought her ladder over this morning.  Right when Ben got home from work, we set up the "extra long" ladder.  I was so thrilled to finally be moving forward again.  I had waited all day for this.

Up went the ladder, down went my sprits.  The ladder was just as "tall" as the others.  BOO!!!

Ben was done by now.  I guess I can't blame him.  He stuck this out for a while.  I, however was not.  I called the next person on my facebook list.

I drove to her house, and looked at her "extra tall" ladder.  It was also the same size.  Rock on.

By now, it was dark again.

I had had enough.  And I had a plan.  I would climb to the very top of the very, very, high garage roof, where it slants down both sides.  I would sit on that peak, and clip as many lights down both sides as I could reach.  Then, I would throw the rest down to Ben, who would pull them tight, and clip them down there.  I would just pray that the middle wouldn't sag, and that I wouldn't slip.

So, I grabbed some lights, and wriggled out the window, and made my way up on to the freakishly high roof and slid and slunked along the top and clipped away. 

This took 3 tries, because of crying kids.  I would start clipping, and they would start crying.  So, I would slide and scoot and slunk down and back in the house, settle them down, then climb back out.  They would cry, so I would come back, and so on and so forth.  It was awesome on the nerves.  So, so awesome.

Once I finally got the very top clipped in about a foot in each direction, it was time for the ladder.  Ben came out, and we set the ladder up.  Then we had to go in, to help crying kids.  Then, we came back out, I climbed up and started clipping lights, while Ben held the ladder.  Did I mention that he is a really good sport.

Kids crying again.  Back down the ladder, back in to the house.

Back out again, change the ladder length, move the ladder, climb up the ladder, start clipping.

Kids crying and time to take Mary to cheer.

And so, this is how the night went.  Ben grumbling under his breath, but still doing it, for me.  I so married up.  Me, determined as ever, and so excited that my plan was working, but oh, so frustrated with crying babies and constant interruption to my plan of Christmas bliss!

Finally, I had about 2 feet of strand left, and just as we began to move the ladder, Bam, Luke is crying.

Ben went in to help Luke, and I went to pick up Mary.

I rushed home, all ready to get that last strand up, I came into the house, and found Luke AND Ben, sound asleep.

What the!?!!?

I kind of, sort of, loudly walked around our room, hoping against all hope that Ben would just wake up, spring out of Ben, dance outside, sing carols, and happily set the ladder up one last time for me. 

He didn't move a muscle, and I didn't have the heart to wake him up so he could trudge out into the freezing dark again, in order to shorten or lengthen a ladder again, stand there holding the ladder again, and be subject to his wife and her Christmasy ways at 9:00 pm on a Monday evening.  So, I let him sleep.

I, however, marched outside and there sat 2 feet of dangling lights next to a gorgeous house of beautifully placed lights. 

Talk about falling in front of the finish line!

In some last ditch desperation, I attempted to move the ladder myself.  It wobbled to and fro, over my head, and I ran back and forth trying to balance it out. I ended up dropping all 25 feet of that metal mass onto the driveway at 9:00 at night.  The echo was amazing, and yes, the neighbors came out, yet again, to see if the crazy light lady was still alive.  I smiled and waved and yelled Merry Christmas.  They went back inside.  Ben snoozed away.  Amazing!

So, I got Mary. Maybe she could help in some way.  We got the ladder up just high enough to almost break off the garage lights.  That was fun.  I thanked Mary, and sent her back inside to get ready for bed.

  I finally gave the ladder one last solute, and a kick, and marched back inside. 

And here I sit.  Our house all aglow in Christmas glory, with 2 feet of lights hanging from the roof, staring at me, challenging me, and absolutely no way for me to fix it.

Ever heard the term, hanging candy in front of a baby.  Yup.

And so, the saga continues on.

Moral of the story:

Buy a flipping ladder.  A VERY tall ladder, which means taller than 25 feet. 

Merry Christmas.  Good night.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

marshmallow world

On Saturday, we woke up to Marshmallow world! 

We got about 5 inches of snow this weekend.

I love the first few snow falls.  The magic it brings, and the beauty.

I almost pulled out the Christmas decorations, but our fall/Thanksgiving d├ęcor is really pretty, so just let myself listen to a couple Christmas songs instead.  That will hold me over for one more week.

I had to document William, because on this day, he wore more clothes than he ever has in his life.

He still doesn't have socks or underwear on, but the fact that he is wearing pants, and a coat, well, let's just say, I was speechless!

Luke had his first taste of snow, and love it.

Sam, of course, ran out and started making jumps for his sled.  His friend, Georgia, came along for the ride.
Mary outgrew her coat and boots, so she hung out inside this time.  I am still just getting used to the fact that not only is she growing, but she will be 9 in a month!  Oh, and she told me that we can box up her dolls, and she doesn't want any for Christmas. 
 When I asked her what we should do with all of her dolls (if our next baby is a I'm not pregnant at the moment), she said, "Just save them for the grand kids." 
 I swallowed my gum and choked when she said it, but she was right, it makes sense.  Geesh.
 Sad day in mommy land.
However, when I did ask her what she wanted for Christmas, she said, "I already have everything I want and need.  Just surprise me I guess."
My heart turned to butter.
We have also discovered, that bundling Luke up and taking him for walks out in the winter wonderland, induces sleep.  We like sleep.  We just bring Luke and the stroller inside when the walk is done.

Happy winter everyone!

Monday, November 11, 2013

it hurts so good

For the last 4 months going to the gym has been on hold.  The nausea and fatigue from the pregnancies, and the exhaustion and pain of miscarrying both of those babies, hasn't helped either.

For the past 3 weeks I have been back to the gym, and feeling so much better! 

The past 4 months have left me feeling old, broken, sick, and frumpy.  I lost weight with the miscarriages, because I lost my appetite right along with it, but I still felt weak and un-fit.

I know that in order for me to snap back to my active, energized self and be healthy and ready for another pregnancy, when the time is right and my body is ready, I need to focus on my health and my body for a while.

Instead of just running, which I love, I have done all sorts of things, and it is really fun!

I normally do a machine that's kind of like the elliptical, for an hour, and then do abs.  This is a crazy calorie burner, and it works my whole body.

The last little while though, I have joined a FHITT class.  It is a cardio circuit training, and it is nuts!  I do it on Monday, and my whole body is sore until Thursday or Friday.  The class is awesome and has weights, cardio, abs, and everything else you can imagine.

I also started running a little.  I don't plan on getting full speed (no pun intended ha!) into running, because it is too hard to stop once I get going.  I do want to try to be pregnant again sometime in the near future, and I am not one of the lucky ones who can run during pregnancy.  The nausea almost kills me and when that is over, my belly is too big to run comfortable.  I do love it though, and it feels SO good to run!

I just run a mile and half and then go do something else.  Just enough to get the endorphins flowing. :)

I have so many races I want to run, and new goals I want to achieve with running, but it is not the time for that.  My focus is not on getting into marathon shape.  There will be a time for that.

Right now, I just want to feel good, tone up, get in all around good shape, and be as healthy and fit as I can be.  After 3 weeks, I am already seeing results and feeling stronger.  It is empowering.

And feels good!

Friday, November 8, 2013

gee, keei, double number punch, and so much more

Sam started Karate last week.

In order to begin going to class, he had to earn his white belt first.

He earned it in 2 lessons!  His Sense (or however you type that) said that Sam is really good for his age and has some natural talent. 

I wasn't sure how my soft hearted, sweet little Sammy boy would handle Karate, but he sure has been begging, so we finally signed him up.

I had nothing to worry about.  I was shocked to see that Sam was just completely absorbed in it, and was a very fast learner.

I was SO impressed with everything about it as I sat through is private lessons.

The mental toughness, the respect, the obedience, the skill level, the positive attitude, the fun of it all.  It was extremely impressed.

The best part of it all, and the thing that sold us on it though, was Sam.

His eyes just lit up with every new thing was learning.  He took the "talks" about the rules and behavior seriously, and was bursting with excitement when he learned some new skills and passed them off to earn his white belt and entrance into the class.

I thought he was going to explode with excitement when he got his uniform "gee" and white belt (which can never touch the ground or be washed).  He was trying to be serious, but I could see his little tongue inside his cheek, which is the face he does when he is trying so hard not to smile.
Apparently, Karate is serious business when you are standing at attention.

Karate has a language of its own, and we are all slowly learning it.  Sam thinks everything about it is so cool and amazing.

He is always asking when his next class is, and when we are finally on our way, the whole 10 minutes to get there, he is asking how much further.

I am so glad my Sammy Boy has found something that he loves, something that makes him excited, and something that helps him feel so good about himself.

Karate Rocks!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

pouty couch

This was supposed to be "my room."  You know, the room in the house that your mom claims as untouchable. 

It's usually in the front of the house, right by the door, commonly known, in Utah, as the visiting teaching room.

There was a room like that in my house growing up.  It was a beautiful room, with beautiful things in it, but I never really understood it.  Why would mom have a nice room, with nice couches, that we rarely got to sit on, and nice things we were forbidden to touch.

 Now I get it.

A woman  just wants one room in the house that might stay nice, stain free, and put together for more than an hour.  A room of peace, beauty, and favorite things.

Well, I have THAT room in my house.  I put all of my cute fancy homemade pillows in there.  My favorite red couch in there.  My favorite table that I painted is there. The piano is in there.

The room is still in the making, and needs some color or wallpaper, but it is still the room where I prefer the kids stay out of, unless they are practicing piano.

Unfortunately, my plans were not to be so.  At least, in Williams world.

My favorite red couch, is now known as "the pouty couch."

For some reason known only to a 3 year old in the thick of distress and heightened emotions, the red couch has become the spot to unleash the slobbering, snotting, screaming, thrashing, release of these emotions.  These usually occur when there is ketchup, chocolate, or some other non cleanable substance on the said subjects hands and face. It is not just a spot, it is THE spot.

This is the pouty couch the way I prefer it.  Same with the table.

This is the pouty couch in action.

Sorry, I deleted this picture.  But I am sure you can imagine a pouting 3 year old.

 This is the aftermath.
This is actually not bad. The other week, the pictures were also off the walls, and you can't see the snot and Cheetos stains all over.

And this is about 2 minutes later.

Of all the rooms in the house, seriously!

  Oh well.  Maybe next time I get upset, I should test out the pouty couch, it is kind of soft.

well, crap.

This is where I found Luke trapped this afternoon.

Such a lovely place don't you think.  Especially with the nasty spilled brown goo all over.  Yummy.

Oh, and you see that book.

That would be Sam's overdue school library book that we have SCOURED the house for 3 weeks looking for.

We finally paid for the book, $11.00....this morning.

Good times, good times.

Monday, November 4, 2013

ketchup anyone?

This is William.

William is hilarious.

William likes to laugh really hard with is tongue out.

William LOVES ketchup.

William will eat plain ketchup if we let him.

William likes to squeeze lots of ketchup on his plate.

William likes to scrape it off with his fingers and lick them.

Then, William will lick the rest off his plate.

Silly, cute William.

Friday, November 1, 2013

party time

I think Halloween gets bigger and bigger every year.  I am not a Halloween scrooge, and I enjoy the holiday, but this year it seemed like it just kept on going.

Between school parties, carnivals, friend parties, adult parties, church parties and the actual holiday, we have been celebrating for over a week now!

It started with Ben's 32nd Birthday.  It was on Sunday, so it was a little more low key, but it was a good day.  The kids made him cute cards and gifts, we made him his favorite dinner and cake, and he opened his gift from me.... tickets to the Lady Antebellum concert here in Salt Lake in a few weeks!!!  Yup, we are going together and making a date out of it!  It is going to be awesome! 
We love Ben and were happy to celebrate him.

After celebrating Ben's birthday, we had 5 parties the following week.  We all had to dress up for a few of them. And of course, I made my famous eyeballs.  We have another Post-Halloween party tonight, where we will dress up again, and I am going to make homemade oreo spiders...oh yeah.

William couldn't choose what to be, so he was a pirate sometimes, and a ghost at others.


Beautiful Cleopatra

the cutest spider in the world


Pirate Sam!

Punk Rocker

The parties and celebrations were all fun, but my favorite part of Halloween, is still Halloween.  This year was even more special because grandma JoJo came to visit and was able to trick or treat with the kiddos.
I love lighting up the carved pumpkins on the porch, lighting the fall scented candle, turning on the spider web lights, watching a Halloween movie, wearing my pumpkin earrings, watching the kids trick or treat, and of course, partaking of lots of sugary goodness.  Halloween is awesome! 
The kids had a great time, and we all decided that we live in an awesome neighborhood for trick or treating.
Ready to go trick or treating!

I bought 400 pieces of candy, gave each kid that came to the door 1 piece, and ended up running out!  Yup, our neighborhood is bursting at the seams with children, and we love it!
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 25, 2013

pumpkin carving

On Monday we had our pumpkin carving FHE.

Mary and Sam drew the faces, and Ben helped them carve the pumpkin.  They thought it was awesome. 
vampire pumpkin

another vampire pumpkin, with the letter "S" carved in the back, for Sam.

Mary, of course, loved the gooey insides of the pumpkin.  Sam touched it once, and asked for a spoon to clean out the rest.  William wasn't too fond of it either.  Silly kids!

William just wanted to draw a face.  We had no idea he could actually draw a face.  It shocked us all, and he was so proud of his "monster pumpkin."

I was surprised that the kids wanted me to bake the seeds.  I didn't think they liked them, so I hadn't planned on it.

I baked them, and the kids ate them by the hand full while watching a Halloween movie. Believe it or not, they were gone before I could even get a picture of them!  They were really yummy.

Now the pumpkins are happily spookifying our porch for the next week or so.

I love Halloween!