Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Basketball started before Soccer officially ended, so we haven't had a game free Saturday in the last six months, but it's been a blast to watch these three on the court.  I read this article in the midst of our basketball filled weekends and couldn't agree more.  I do love to watch my kids play mostly because it's fun to see them enjoy physical activity and team camaraderie.  

This was Liam's first year of basketball.  I was reluctant to sign him up because he didn't love running too much in soccer but he was speedy on the basketball court, kind of skip galloping from one key to the other.  Some of our good friends were his coaches which made the experience great.

This was Eli's second year playing.  He had the same coaches as last year and really developed during the season.  He also tried out for the 5th/6th grade boys team at school.  At first he didn't make the team and was crushed.  It was a really difficult life lesson.  And while I know it's character building to learn that you don't always make the team and that there's always people who are better than you, it broke my heart to see him completely break down after learning the news.  In the end a couple of kids who made the team didn't make grades (that's a whole other rant), and so Eli narrowly secured a spot.  It was a fun season all in all for him.

Sariah played for a second year also.  She was one of the very few girls in the league but you wouldn't know it by her skill level.  She had a blast and lives to play sports.  I'm always harping on her to put down the ball and do her homework, or piano, or chores, or not to bounce it in the house.  I may or may not have threatened to put a butcher knife through the basketballs if she didn't get her jobs at home done in a more timely fashion.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ruby Milestones

First bites of rice cereal...

...not such a fan.

Loving the crown though!

Packing up the cradle.  I cried a little.  

Trying out the big girl crib.

She rolled over for the first time when I went in the next room to set up a race track for the boys.  She was pretty impressed with herself.

Little Miss Sunshine.  Don't mind the photo bomb.

First cheerios...not too sure about them either.

The yams are just...


The ribbon is tasty though!  A crafter at heart!

Day Trips

The last few days of Christmas Break we took a couple day trips.  First we went to San Francisco to visit Mimmie and Tompa.  We played in Golden Gate park in the afternoon enjoyed the sunny California weather in the dead of winter, then ate dinner and visited with Ben's grandparents in the evening.  It was a fun day.

The second trip was to Columbia Town, which is an old mining town.  I've heard great reviews about it so we made the long drive one afternoon but were left disappointed.  We were going for free family fun  that day and unfortunately everything fun, like mining for gold, cost money.  We did walk around the little shops a bit but all in all, it was mostly a long day in the car.  One more thing checked off the bucket list I guess.  

A Few Family Pictures

2013 has been wonderful to us.  So many blessings.  So much joy.  I know I talk a lot about the chaos of our lives, and things are really really hard some of the time, but I wouldn't change a thing.  I can't wait to see what the coming year will bring.

Sunday Choir

For quite a while now Ben's been serving as the Choir Director for our ward.  We meet on Sunday afternoons at our house and although it makes for a long day, it's really fun to have a house full of singers every week.  The music is lovely, and the Spirit strong, but my favorite part is that it's allowed us to welcome our friends into our house on a more frequent basis.  It has also helped me not to stress about the house too much when company is coming over.  Most everyone that comes has or has had little kids and knows what it's like.  This day we were getting ready for the Christmas Sacrament Meeting program and Norm snapped some pictures.  

This is what the kids do while we're singing!


Christmas Eve we went celebrated with my family at Grandmom's house.  This year my mom prepared the best prime rib dinner.  It was such a treat and eating a real meal together rather than just snacking helped to keep the spirt of the day focused on family and being together rather than on the the materialistic side of things.

Grandmom and Ammon

Ruby and me

Ammon thought Grandad's Santa that pulls down his pants was really funny.

Seth liked the life size dancing Santa.

These two are always playing on electronics!

Selfie with the firstborn

Grandmom and Sean

My Dad, Mom, and Ben, on dinner duty.

Liam, sporting shorts.  He's surely a CA boy.

Grandmom, Me and Ruby

Auntie and her new beau, Bob

Dad opening the photo mug we got him.

Ammon climbing on his gift from Papaw.

We came home a little earlier than usual on Christmas Eve so that we could get the kids to bed at a decent hour.  We also read the story of Christ's birth in the scriptures and acted out the Nativity as a family.  It was pretty hysterical!  Here's Mary atop donkey Daddy with Joseph leading the way.

In the Stable

The shepard

The angel

The wise man.

Hot chocolate in mini Santa cups before bed.

Daddy, checking out the loot Santa left.  

Christmas morning

Checking out gifts from Santa.

Santa must know that Ammon can't stay away from the kitchen sink!

Seth got My Little Ponies and a castle and was, I think, the happiest little boy ever!

Liam got a Hot Wheels track.

Sariah got a rip stick.

Eli got a unicycle.

Meilani got a bike.

and Ruby got...

a stacking toy.  She looks so thrilled!

This is the second year that we did a sibling gift swap.  It is by far my favorite part of Christmas.  The kids work hard around the house the weeks leading up to Christmas earning money so they can buy their sibling a gift.  They are so excited to shop for their brother or sister and to find the perfect thing.  The look on the givers face when we're opening gifts is so sweet and the recipient is so gracious and filled with love towards the giver.  This year the kids were so excited that they begged us to unwrap the sibling gifts first.  The Santa gifts were kind of in the way so we didn't do that, but it warmed my heart to see them care so much for one another.  Meilani bought a tent for Ammon.

Eli bought duct tape for Sariah.

Liam bought a nano bug maze for Eli.

Sariah bought a watch for Meilani.

Seth bought Spiderman for Liam.

Ammon bought a Jake and the Neverland Pirate toy for Seth.  Really Seth picked that one out for himself and cried the whole time we shopped because he wanted it so bad.  He was glad Ammon agreed to get it for him!