Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sweet Baby

Our Sweet baby girl is here!
Actually, she has been here for almost a whole week.
It's hard to imagine life without this sweet girl.
There is so much to write about...but this will just have to be a quick update.
I was editing pictures from Hannah's first (of many, I'm sure) photo shoot and found this cutie.
I'm so in love. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

No Baby

Well, no baby so far.
Still waiting on this little one.
Of course, we have really been waiting for over four years now, so I am not too surprised that she is coming in her own sweet time instead of on my time table! :)
And technically my due date isn't until Monday, so she really isn't even late yet...but she's getting close!
I had a doctor's appointment yesterday.  Over the weekend I had a few good stretches of contractions, so we were hopeful that Dr. E would just keep me there...but no. Nothing had even changed since last week!  All those contractions for nothing! Now my next appointment isn't until two days after the due date. Blah...doesn't this girly know how badly we want to meet her?!
Maybe Thanksgiving is a good time to have a baby after all... :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween Family Style

Halloween sure seemed to come and go in a hurry this year.
I think it was midway through October by the time I had all the decorations out, and I may or may not have been found making my costume on the evening of October 30th. :)  My brain was certainly more focused elsewhere this year!
Thankfully our kiddos picked costumes that were not only things we had on hand or could easily obtain, but they also chose costumes that went together, so we were able to pull off a nice little family theme without too much effort. Yay!
Grace wanted to be a Pampa Harvester cheerleader, and since it is all the rage for little girls to wear mini Harvester cheerleader uniforms to the Friday night home games, that was an easy one to track down.
Joshua wanted to be a football player, and he already had a Cowboys uniform, so that one was a cinch, too.
Bryan and I decided that since the kids had picked coordinating costumes, we better go along with the theme as well.  Bryan has a friend that refs games, so he borrowed his uniform, and all I had to do was paint my shirt with a football for Hannah to "wear."  The kids thought that was especially awesome!

We had a chili supper and trunk-or-treat at the church, which was fun.  It is always good to see so many people from our ward come together for some good times!  Poor Grace wasn't feeling too hot, and I think walking around the parking lot was about all she could handle anyway, so it was perfect. :)
And now Thanksgiving will be here before we know it...time continues to fly!
I am especially excited for Thanksgiving this year, so fly away, Time, fly away! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

37 weeks

Yep, we are almost there!
This sweet baby's due date was three weeks from yesterday.  
It's crazy to think that after all this time we are just days away from meeting our baby girl.
We couldn't be more excited!!

It has been really sweet to see how excited Joshua and Grace are for baby Hannah's arrival.
They no longer want to give me hugs and kisses...just the baby. :) They love to hug and kiss my belly, and Grace can often be found rubbing her nose on my belly, trying to give "Miss Hanny" (as she sometimes calls the baby) nosies.
I love it.
I never thought Joshua and Grace would be this old when baby #3 joined us, but it has been really neat to have them old enough to know and understand what is happening. They are so excited, and already they are being really helpful. They are getting really good at noticing when I drop things and picking them up for me...which is much appreciated! :)

Bryan is also super excited...I think he is more anxious for my upcoming doctor's appointments than I am. :)
Because we are over an hour from the hospital and it is our third baby, our doctor has said that if I ever come to an appointment and he finds I am progressing quite a bit he would keep me there and break my water to induce labor, rather than risk me going back home and going into labor with such a long drive to the hospital. So we are going to each of the appointments with a hospital bag packed, just in case. We can always hope, right? :)
Bryan is such a great dad, and I am excited to see him with a little baby of ours in his arms again.

I am excited, and admittedly a bit nervous. I worry about being so far from the hospital, especially because I have never gone into labor on my own before. What if I don't realize what is happening until it is too late to get there in time?  Yikes!  I really don't want to have a baby on the side of highway 60! :)  And then there is the fact that it has been nearly six years since we had a newborn. I'm sure it will be an adjustment for us all. But in spite of the nerves, I am really, really anxious and excited to meet this little baby girl.  It seems like forever that we have been waiting for this day. I don't know if I can even imagine the joy we are going to feel over the next few weeks as Hannah joins our family!

We love you, baby Hannah!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to School

Yesterday was the first day of school for these cute kids.  They were quite excited! 
Grace started kindergarten and is so excited to be in school! She has the same teacher Joshua had in kindergarten, Mrs. Ellis, which is who Grace was hoping to have and we were all thrilled that it worked out that way!
Joshua started 2nd grade (can it really be true!?) and he has Mrs. Campbell.  She seems like a really great teacher, but admittedly the most exciting part to Joshua is that his buddy Huston is in his class for three years running!

Here are a few first day pictures...how do they grow up so fast?!

I did pretty well dropping them off yesterday, and amazingly I didn't even cry.  
It was such a different experience than when I dropped Joshua off for his first day of kindergarten.  It was was so much easier knowing that Grace knew some of the people I was leaving her with.  We walked into the classroom and Mrs. Ellis says, "Grace!  There you are!  I've been waiting for you!" and goes on to tell us how excited she was to have Grace in her class. Huge difference.

I went and had lunch with each of them and they were both so excited about being back in school!  The school staff was getting quite a kick out of Grace.  She has been at the school with me so many times that she already knows a lot of the rules and how things work.  When I went to meet her for lunch the secretary told me I better hurry down to the cafeteria because Grace was waiting for me.  Apparently the teachers had taken them to lunch a few minutes early, so I wasn't there yet when she got to the cafeteria. Grace was insistent that she needed to sit at the special table for kids with visitors, but the cafeteria staff wouldn't let her because I wasn't there yet. She finally sat at the table with the other kindergartners, but kept telling everyone that her mom was coming and she had to sit at that table!  The school counselor said Grace had it all figured out and they might as well just move her to second grade, too. :)   We had lunch and she definitely talked more than she ate, which really isn't a surprise! I don't think I am ever going to lack for details of how her day went!

Lunch with Joshua was really sweet. He had been a bit nervous for the first day, but by lunch he was an old pro again.  Now he was just worried about me!  He kept asking me if I had cried yet, and what I was doing with my day by myself.  He asked how Grace was liking school and if she had made any friends yet. He asked if she was being good. :) What a sweet boy!  We are so lucky to have such a caring son, and these little sisters are so blessed to have such a caring big brother! 

I was so busy yesterday I hardly had time to realize my kiddos were gone.  
Then today hit...
Bryan took the kids to school and I am sitting in this silent house with nothing urgent to do all day...for 7 straight hours.  Really?  After nearly 8 years of not even being able to go to the bathroom alone, I am not sure what I am supposed to do with that many hours alone.  I did okay until about 10:00, and then I bawled! I miss my kids...a lot!!!  But at least I have cute little reminders of them around my house, like this:

Look how little! I love these two...even if they have to grow up. :)
At least I am only alone for a couple of months, then I will have a little baby to keep me company and keep me busy.
Of course that means the cycle of kids growing up too fast just starts over...Yikes!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Grandpa Larsen

My dad called me yesterday afternoon, from his cell phone.  
I knew something was up as soon as I saw it was Dad calling, especially from his cell phone. 
He started off like he always does:
"Hi Janelle, what's going on in Texas?"
"Nothing much, Dad. What is going on there?"
I'm thinking, come on Dad, I know something is up...
"Well...I just wanted to call and let you know your Grandpa Mel just passed away about an hour ago."

I knew it was coming, but it is still sad.  Even though he is 86 and has lived a wonderful life, it is still sad to see him go. My world felt sad today, knowing he isn't here anymore. How grateful I am for the knowledge that he is in a better place with people he loves who passed on before him.  And someday we will see him again. I will give him a big hug and he will say "Hi, Beautiful."  The thought makes me smile...and cry. :)

As I have been reflecting on the many memories I have of my grandpa, I have been feeling especially blessed   simply because I have so many memories with him!  How sad it would be to have him pass away and leave me feeling like I didn't know who he was.  Thankfully that is not at all the case!

Grandpa was cheerful, hardworking, patriotic, and a very loving husband, father, and grandfather.  I always loved when he would tell Grandma how beautiful she looked.  She would roll her eyes and "Oh...Mel!" him, but you couldn't miss the sweetness in the exchange.  He would always thank us for coming to visit, and especially for bringing the kids by, because he knew how happy it made Grandma.

I loved to listen to his stories about growing up in Hyrum, UT and about his time in the Air Force.  It seemed like he could remember everything!  Dates, names, places, it seemed that he knew it all. Until he started to forget some things...it was kind of hard for me when I realized he couldn't remember where I lived or why we lived here.  But he was still Grandpa, sweet, and still throwing out that occasional joke.

I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with him alone in June when I was home visiting.  He had just been released from the nursing home/rehabilitation center after 3 or 4 months of recovering from hip surgery. Although, while he was there, he had pneumonia and broke his pelvis, so he didn't come home in very good shape.  He wasn't able to walk on his own, so he couldn't be left alone.  I went to sit with him while my mom took Grandma to a graveside service.  It had been an especially hard afternoon: he had fallen while Grandma was trying to get him to the bathroom.  Grandma was sad and frustrated; I could tell she put her whole heart into caring for him, and it was really hard on her.  She was crying as she left with my mom and Grandpa noticed.  He turned to me and sadly said "This is really hard on Mom, and I don't know why." My heart hurt to see him wanting to take care of her like he had in the past, to fix what was hurting her, but not having the memory to realize that it was his health problems that were making her so sad.  He loved her so much!

We sat and talked about things in the news for a bit, and then we just sat in comfortable silence. I liked being there, just me and him for a few minutes.  I was so grateful to have that time with him and to witness the caring and love between Grandma and Grandpa.  I couldn't help but think that this was true love. 

As we have seen his health decline over the last several months, I have been secretly hoping that when he passed away it would be at a time when I could go for the funeral.  My doctor has already told me that I can't travel anymore starting in a month or so, and I was worried that he would pass away at a time when I wouldn't be able to go and be there with my family.  We already had a trip to Utah planned for this week, one last hurrah before school starts and then the baby comes.  We get to Utah later this week and the funeral will be while we are there.  I am so grateful that I will get to be there to celebrate his wonderful life, and to be there for Grandma.

We love you, Grandpa!  We will certainly miss you, but we will see you again!  Until then...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We're awful excited around here...

because we are having a LITTLE SISTER!!

We had our ultrasound two weeks ago and all is well!  
The baby looked great, although she was a bit stubborn for pictures. :)
We are so grateful to find a healthy, growing baby. Heavenly Father has truly blessed us!
Even the doctor gave his stamp of approval...he said we are like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.  That is good to hear after how we started out!
And since 3/4 of our family thought this baby was a boy, we were a bit surprised when the ultrasound tech said Grace was the only one that guessed right! Nice job Grace! The tech even pointed out that usually the moms guess correctly...but not this time.  Haha! I don't mind being wrong.
Bryan was the most surprised because he was the most convinced it was a boy, but he quickly overcame the shock and is quite thrilled at having another little girl around.
He has all the little girl outfits we bought hanging in his closet and he gets so excited every time he sees them...it's really quite cute.
The first question he asked me after we left the office was if I was ready for more drama. :)
Yeah, we are so ready for it!!
Is it November yet?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Still in search of the Fourth

The Fourth of July is an interesting holiday around here.

I'll admit,
this year it was a bit of a mopey holiday.
It is funny to me that of all the holidays, 
the Fourth of July is one of the hardest to be away from the 
family traditions I grew up with.
I probably just need an attitude adjustment. :)
I'll work on that.

We did enjoy a ward flag raising, bike parade and breakfast in the morning, which was  a lot of fun.
The Primary Presidency was in charge of the activity, and thanks to the help of our pancake chefs it went quite well. We had a really good turn out and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, so that was great.  I always enjoy the opportunity to visit with people since Sunday's get crazy in Primary and I don't often get to visit with people at church. We are lucky to have so many good people in our ward here.

The kids always love getting their bikes or scooters 
all fancied up for the bike parade. 
I think they...umm, I...did a good job this year.  :)

Then the afternoon hit and we ran into a bit of a lag.  
We were missing the Hyrum parade, Uncle Corey's hot dogs, and of course, all the family!

Bryan and I did a little research and came up with some games to play, which was fun and kept us entertained for a while.  We played a History of America card game that we have, then tried a few new games. The kids were a little uncertain of Bryan's "Freckle Frenzy" game :). I should have posted pictures of that one, Bryan and I looked pretty stylin' with all the paper freckles stuck to our faces!  
Then we did some water balloon pinatas, which the kids loved.

That evening we went to the fireworks.  It was nice to have a firework show since last year it was canceled due to the drought.  We ran into a couple from our ward at the park, and the kids had a great time playing until the show started.  
They love watching the fireworks through the sunroof or the Sequoia.
Cute, aren't they?!

And there you have it.
We went to bed planning what to do next year to make our Fourth of July less sad. :)
I think we have some good ideas...
next year is going to be awesome!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Hello there.
I've been working on this post for weeks, and it is taking me forever to get it right.
That is mostly due to the fact that every time I think about what I want to say I just sit here and bawl. :) But...this is just too exciting to put off any longer, so I'll grab my tissues and let the waterworks begin!

We are having a baby!!! 

Can you believe it?! It still seems like a dream to me most of the time. It is funny how you can want something for three and a half years, and yet when it finally happens it still seems so unreal!

We are very humbled by and grateful for the miracles we have seen in our lives over the last three years, and particularly over the last three months.  We know these miracles are largely due to the faith and prayers of many family and friends on our behalf...thank you, thank you, thank you!

When we first discovered I was pregnant, I laughed hysterically for a few moments, then I just started to cry.     What a great blessing; we were very much in awe of this miracle.

All the blood tests and doctors visits started right away.  Because of the infertility treatments we had been doing, they wanted to test my progesterone levels immediately to make sure they were sufficiently high and that I would be able to carry the baby. The first test was a little low, but not too worrisome.  We decided to test it again a few days later, just to make sure, and it had dropped quite a bit. They put me on some progesterone supplements and tested a few days later to make sure they were working and bringing my levels up. Unfortunately my levels had dropped again, in spite of the supplements.  They upped the dose, but at this point my nurse practitioner, Stephanie, kindly warned me that usually when this happens, when the body doesn't react to the supplements, it is because the pregnancy is non-viable.  Needless to say, I was crushed.

Thankfully those devastated feelings didn't last long.  I was reminded of what we had learned the last three years: the Lord knows us, He loves us, and He has a plan specifically for us and our family.  I didn't know what that plan was at this point, but I knew it was best and that we would be blessed with the strength to live this plan, no matter what it was.  At this point I wasn't convinced my baby was going to live, but I knew that I would be okay...we could handle this.

The next blood tests revealed that my levels had gone up a little bit, but not nearly enough, so they upped my progesterone dose to the highest they could give me.  The interesting thing, though, was that my blood pregnancy numbers (HCG, I think?) were high enough for a normal pregnancy.  Dr. E ordered a sonogram to check the viability of the baby and to see what was going on.  I was a bit of a wreck as I began the hour drive to the doctors office. I had no idea what we would find. Thankfully during that hour I was again reminded that we were not alone, and because of that, we could handle this!

Bryan met me at the doctor's office and thankfully they got us right in.  The sonogram technicians at our office are so wonderful. I have met them several times, but never under the normal happy circumstances of being pregnant, and I am so grateful for their cheerful, comforting ways!  Our technician got right to business and we quickly found a baby with a heartbeat, already wiggling away in there.  I was amazed.  Our baby didn't even have full arms or legs yet, but we could see it's heart, and it's brain, all developing just like normal. She said that this baby didn't seem one bit bothered by my low progesterone levels, and everything looked great! We were so relieved, and so grateful.

I didn't hear anything else from the doctor after that.  I had an appointment in a couple of weeks, and while I was a bit nervous that we hadn't heard anything official from the doctor after the sonogram, I assumed that no new was good news. I felt very pregnant and plenty sick, so I felt like all was well.  We even told the kids and our families our exciting news, and told the kids they could come to the appointment to hear the baby's heart beat...or "heart beep" as Grace calls it. :) They were SO excited!

We went to that first appointment, all four of us.  I got kind of a weird look from the nurses as we all walked in, which I thought was strange.  It was a bad day at the office, really busy and a delivery that hadn't gone well I guess, and we had to wait forever.  Finally Dr. E came in to do the exam and to listen for the heartbeat.  He pulled the curtain around where the kids were sitting and asked if I wanted them in the room for this.  I told him that they just wanted to hear the baby's heartbeat and then they could go out in the hall. He looked at me for a minute then he said "I don't think we are going to find a heartbeat." What?! I looked at Bryan like 'what is this guy talking about?!'  If they were still worried about problems, why hadn't they told us? I was really confused so I just laid down and told him to do whatever he needed to do.  He started to listen for the heartbeat, but with a stethoscope, so no one else could hear anything. It took a few minutes, but suddenly he handed me the stethoscope and told me to listen.  There was that miraculous little heartbeat, humming away just like normal.  After everyone got to hear it, Dr. E said I must be living a charmed life because situations like ours do not usually turn out like this.  I was too much in shock to say anything, but later, when it all sank in, I wished I could have that moment again.  I would share with him the belief I have in a loving Father in Heaven who is truly a god of miracles!  It was such a strange feeling to realize that all these medical professionals thought I was coming in to find devastating news, but we knew, through the impressions we had received through the spirit, that they would find that heartbeat in there. How grateful I am for the comforting personal revelation we can receive from our Father in Heaven.

And now I am almost halfway through this pregnancy.  I am very anxious for the sonogram we have scheduled next month, to see the baby again and to make sure that all is well.  I am even more anxious for November when we will meet this little miracle face to face. What a day that will be!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Awesome Mom

The kiddos were just out in the sandbox, so I was going to take a quick minute and post these pictures.  
The title of my original post was "Mean Mom". :) 
You know, it's one of those days where I won't let them play video games and watch TV all day...what a mean mom!
There has been much moping and moaning and out right fit throwing going on, mostly just on the part of the kids, and it is barely lunch time. :)
Off to a good start.
I told them I had to blow dry my hair, and since they both still don't like the sound of the blow dryer it was a surefire way to get a few minutes alone. Tricky.
I did really dry my hair, but then I thought I would sneak in a quick blog post for this neglected blog.
 Just as I was about to start my post the kids came back in and Joshua read the title.
"You can't call it that!! You aren't a mean mom! You should call it Awesome Mom!"
I love how a few minutes in the sandbox can change their tune so quickly!

I sure love these kids...even when we have days of moping and moaning and mean mom-ing.
After all, 
I am an awesome mom! :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Random thoughts

I couldn't decide what I wanted to post here on the old blog today, so this is a post made up of my random thoughts. :) Enjoy!

Numero Uno:
I have discovered {for the millionth time, I think} that I don't handle life well when my kids are sick. I get pretty stressed out, which leads to orneriness (on my part...the kids are actually quite sweet and polite when they are sick). So anyway, Joshua was throwing up for about 24 hours straight, and I was a bit of a basket case. He didn't have a fever or any other symptoms, but he was throwing up a lot and his stomach ache seemed to be getting worse. He had done nothing but lay on the couch (or in bed) and moan a lot. I was almost certain I would be taking him to the doctor today to see if he had an appendicitis. Even this morning he was still in a lot of pain so I called and made him an appointment for this afternoon. About an hour after I called the doctor, he all the sudden gets up and starts walking around, then we wants to sit up and color, then he wants to eat lunch, and pretty soon he's telling me that I better call and cancel his doctor's appointment because he feels just like normal. I have no idea what happened, but today I am really grateful for his sudden return to health. Maybe it was just time for his body to be better, maybe he had flushed out what ever was bothering him...I don't know what happened, but I am certainly counting it as a small miracle in my book!

Numero Dos:
We have been having some really nice days around here....as long as you don't mind crazy wind, of course. :) The temperatures have been in the 70's a lot, so we are trying to take advantage of that. Last week we drew this awesome racetrack on the driveway, and the kids played out there for hours, racing their cars around.

Numero Tres:

I just wanted to post a couple of my recent projects. My time on the design team at My Scraps and More is drawing to a close...by my choice. I have discovered over the last few months that while I do enjoy my hobby very much, it is not really high on my list of things that I want to spend my time doing everyday. Kind of a "good, better, best" choice. It is a good thing to use my talents, and I enjoy it, but I just really feel that, for me, it is not the best use of my time or talents. There are too many other priorities, so this added responsibility was just taking up space on a plate that is already pretty full. So at the end of the month I will be done, and honestly, I feel quite "free" at the thought. Considering how I always wanted to try being on a design team, it's kind of funny, huh? :)

Yep, I think that is all the randomness for today...off to make dinner!
Have a good one!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another {belated} birthday post :)

So it appears I am a little slow when it comes to blogging this year. :)

Since I heard there were people out there wondering if Grace even had a birthday (because they hadn't seen any pictures yet) I thought I better post a few. :)

Grace did have a birthday, and it was quite a fun one at that!
As she put it, she had a real birthday (on her actual birthday, which was a Sunday) and a fake birthday (a party with friends the Saturday before her birthday). Yeah, she's cute...and I love the way her mind works!

Anyway, we celebrated her actual birthday with a nice Sunday at home as a family. She opened presents, we had cupcakes and ice cream, and ate pretty much only Grace approved foods, which means we ate breakfast foods all day. :) It was a really nice day. I just love how excited kids get about birthdays, even when they are so simple. Grace was just thrilled to be turning five, and she was super happy with simple celebrations. I love that!

Here are some pictures of her big day:

On Saturday, the day before her birthday, we had a little party with friends. It was a lot of fun, not because I planned some huge, fantastic party, but because Grace was just SO excited! It was her first party with friends and she had been planning for months. She knew who she wanted to invite, what theme she wanted, and what she wanted to do at the party. Pretty much it was the same as Joshua's, just with a Fancy Nancy theme instead of a football theme. I love how she likes to do everything just like him, except with a girly flair, of course! :)

So we played Pin the Bow on Fancy Nancy and butterfly cake walk, took fancy pictures, and made necklaces. It was so fun...a fabulous fancy time was had by all!

We sure are glad to have this cute, spunky girl in our family! Sometimes I tell people I wish I could keep her small forever, but I really wouldn't want to. I love seeing her grow and learn new things. I love the joy that she has for life and the laughter she brings into our lives! We love you Grace!

PS-can I brag for a minute? I drew the Fancy Nancy poster! I have to brag because I really doubted that it would actually end up looking like FN, but it did! Bryan was sitting on the couch while I was working on it at the table, and he was really good to put up with all my excited exclamations about how it was actually turning out!! Okay, I'm done now. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012


No, that wasn't a typo.
It is a new word I made up today. :)
I think it is the perfect description of some moments.

Like moments when you see your grandpa for the first time after he has been through several rounds of chemotherapy and three weeks in the hospital.
Joyful because he is still there to go see, and because he looks better than you expected, but sad because it is still so evident how hard the road has been.

Like moments when you have a great phone conversation with your mom (or dad, or mother-in-law, or grandma...). Joyful because you are left feeling so happy and grateful she is your mom, but sad because you couldn't have the conversation in person.

Like moments when your baby is just about to turn five. Joyful because she is SOO excited for the parties and presents and you love celebrating the wonderful little person that she is becoming. Sad because...hello! She's FIVE?!?
How on earth did that happen!?

Yeah, I think joyfulsad is a pretty valid word.
Let's add it to the dictionary, shall we? :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Better Late than Never, right?

My poor Joshua.
He has been so blessed as to have a birthday that comes right before Christmas. He really doesn't mind at all, which is good.
Unfortunately he has also been so blessed as to have a mom that goes a bit crazy trying to do it all at Christmas time. Thus the birthday post more than a month late...so sorry Little Man! :)

We did have a very fun time celebrating Joshua's birthday last month. He was so easy to please when it came to party plans; he was pleased as punch with the simplest of things. It's one of those things I just absolutely love about him!

This year he wanted a football birthday party, and he had 5 boys that he wanted to invite (plus Grace, she was the only girl allowed!). It was so fun!
The boys really just wanted to go outside and play football, but since I had gone to the trouble of making party games, I made them play my games first. :) We played 'pin the football in the goal post' and a football version of a cake walk, using different football jerseys instead of numbers. The boys also got to make their own jerseys, which was a lot of fun! Then we opened presents and sent them outside to play a little football, after which we had cake and ice cream...which nobody wanted to eat, because they just wanted to play more football. BOYS!

Here are a few pictures of Joshua on his special day:

He had to make sure he was dressed appropriately for the occasion! :)
The party guests:
And the birthday boy about to open his presents:
We are so grateful to have Joshua in our family! I love celebrating his birthday and being reminded of what a special boy Heavenly Father has blessed us with! I'm so glad he is ours!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lucky Winner!! (oh, and a new layout)

Happy Monday to you!

I don't know about you, but Mondays are always CRAZY around here! We have story time at the library, and then we run to the grocery store and do any other errands we need...today that included a stop at the school, the paint store, CVS and Braums for milk. Poor Grace wasn't so thrilled by the time we got home!

Anyway...on to why you are really here! :) With the help of random.org I have picked a winner of my set of handmade cards and that is Tracy! Congrats Tracy!! I will have them in the mail as soon as I get your address. Thanks to all those who participated in our blog hop!

Also, My Scraps & More is having an awesome sale right now, you really won't want to miss it! Tammi is offering 65% off your order, plus $6.95 shipping...fabulous, right?! Just use code IRS65 and shop to your hearts (or wallets) content! :)

And here is my favorite layout as of late...love the bright colors I used and the pictures of my kiddos I love even more!

Thanks for stopping by...have a great day!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Jolly Holiday

Well, I know Christmas has come and gone (it does that quicker every year, don't you think?!), but I had to post some pictures and thoughts about our Christmas this year. If I had to use three words to describe our Christmas, I would use surprise, family, and joy. Here's why:

SURPRISE: This year we surprised the kids by taking them to Utah for Christmas to see their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins!! It was the BEST! They had no idea until we drove through Amarillo and kept going. We were about 10 minutes west of Amarillo when I started to wonder if they were even going to notice. After all, we had all the presents in the back, the Sequoia was packed to the top and they hadn't thought much about it, so it wouldn't have surprised me if we had made it to New Mexico before they began to wonder where we were! But Grace was finally observant enough to say "wait...where are we going?" We asked where they thought we were going and the first guess was Lubbock, but then they figured it out. "UTAH!!" Oh, the look on their faces...Joshua's draw dropped wide open! It was such a great moment!

But wait, it gets better! We also surprised our parents and siblings...they had no idea we were coming either! It was so fun to just show up on the doorstep...and thankfully we have parents that like us enough they didn't mind a few unannounced visitors! It was so fun to go around all afternoon, showing up unexpectedly at all the different houses...causing a bit of a scene at Maceys where my sister and her husband were working. Definitely a Christmas I will never forget!!

FAMILY: It was so great to spend the holiday surrounded by so many family members. I thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas at home last year, but this year was equally as wonderful being surrounded by many, many family members! This year I just felt like we need to take these opportunities when we have them, and I am so glad we did. Here are a few pictures of our fun family moments:
Christmas eve pajamas:
Cousin Huxley and his sweet guitar:
My cute family:
Henke cousins:
Skyping with Sister Henke:
Great Grandpa Henke looking at our gift:
"Helping" Great Grandma and Grandpa Larsen open their stockings:

Playing football with the Guymon boys:

Guymon grandchildren acting out the nativity:

Our crazy angel...loving her halo!:

JOY: I think this Christmas I came to understand the word joy more fully. I learned that joy is a happiness that is deeper than happy. Joy abides even in hard times because joy comes from the Savior Jesus Christ, from His atonement for each of us. I am so grateful for my Savior and for the wonderful season of true joy that we experienced as we tried to remember Him and his life, His teachings, and His ultimate love for us!! He truly brings "joy to the world!"

Best Christmas EVER!