Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Ok, since our friends Amy and Nathan have moved away it has been quite awhile since we have been up to the holler. Well we finally did it tonight and what can I say..... a breath of fresh air. Although we miss Amy and Nathan, we had a blast as always being up there amongst some of our closest friends. We had a "chili bowl night." What was even better is that the kids could roam free and play. Taya is a few months older than Payton and she is a total girl, princess everything. She had so many fun things for the kids to play with. They had a blast! And Ashton roamed around while everyone took turns chasing after him. He kept going after the christmas tree of course! On our way home Austin and I were talking about how much fun we had, and Austin had mentioned that it was nights like this that make us so glad that we have chosen to stay where we are for now to be with such wonderful friends for a little bit longer. We Love our friends in the Holler.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Life is Good

Well after a year and a half of anticipation of moving somewhere for 3rd and 4th year.... it turns out... we are staying here for another year. Which we couldn't be more happy about! Austin will start his core rotations in June of 2009. The plan is to be here until December 2009. It is amazing the paths that we all take, the paths that we anticipate taking, and the paths that we could least expect taking. The Lord has his hands in all things, and I take great comfort in knowing that he knows what is best for my familiy. I am so thankful for the little reminders that he places in our path each and every day to help us know that He loves each and everyone one of us. He is watching out for us, and wants us to be happy. So happy we will be!!! No matter where it is, no matter how hard it may seem. Life is good! There is so much to be thankful for. We have learned so much this year and grown in ways that wouldn't have been possible given any other situation. We have met so many wonderful people while living here that have blessed our lives and touched us in ways they will never know. We have been so welcomed here and we are so excited to be able to stay a little bit longer. Everything happens for a reason! I love it!! I taught Relief Society this last week. The lesson applies so much for what is going on in our life right now. It was on Elder Wirthlin's talk given at Conference; "Come What may and love it." I felt like this talk applied to me personally for so many reasons, one being it felt very similar to the attitude my Dad had about life. Something that I am so thankful that he instilled in me. I know that by him engraining that in my head as a child had been a wonderful help to me in my life. No matter the situation, no matter the circumstances, make the best of what we have been given! My parents were wonderful examples to follow and I couldn't be more happy than to experience these things in my own life to allow us to learn and to grow. Payton's little friend Tre had a last minute birthday party today. Our family went to his home with the Sclater's and the Whitings to celebrate little Tre's birthday. It is always fun having birthday parties and being with friends. Thank you Sclaters for the invite. We love you!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tis the season for fun, fun, fun!!!

Ok. It has been awhile.... After Thanksgiving our family was plagued with sickness, and still is. But I had a busy week last week:) Reading!!! While up in Cleveland for Thanksgiving my Mom, sister and I went to "Twilight." Needless to say I fell asleep through the entire show. I had read the first book and thought it was great. I could never get into the 2nd book. So.... I dove in and loved it. Now I am almost done with the 3rd book, and ready to start the 4th probably tonight. Thats if I get time!!!! It is pretty hard and frustrating to read with 3 kids!!! Just a thought!!! Anyway, this last week I had an eye infection. It made my eye look pretty freaky. Due to the irritation in my eye I wore my glasses all week. Which my kids rarely see me in. Payton has recently learned how to play "Go Fish." When I sat down to play with her this week she was just staring at my eye and for the first time had recognized it didin't look right. She said "Mom, ummm...... what is that? (pointing to my eye) What is all that Jelloeeeee in your eye?" I lifted my eye up so she could see that my eye was all bright red. She stared for a minute and said "EEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWW Gross Jello." What a weirdo!!!! Austin has been studying like a mad man. He is off of school in a few days and has 4 tests over the next 5 days. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!! Stress city! Glad I am not the one in school. While the rest of us have been sick he has been like the Iron Man, (like always) and didn't get sick, as usual. Good thing though! Monday I woke up extremely sick throwing up all day!!! Austin had to go to school that morning but shortly returned home and insisted that I lay down and take a nap. He left and took ALL 3 KIDS for a drive. What a good husband, and dad. Even during a test week. Over the last week we have had a few fun things going on. We made a trip to the mall to see Santa Claus. Jaxon as you can tell below was pretty excited about it.
Payton was definately excited to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas and that despite being 4 years old, she has really tried to be a good girl. :) Ashton just wanted to pull on Santa's beard. Where is Jaxon?
Oh, of course, 2 years in a row...... won't have anything to do with Santa close up. But all year long that is all he talks about is Santa Claus.
We finally made a Gingerbread house. The kids had a blast, while Ashton laid down for a nap we got Payton and Jaxon up on the table to decorate with Mom.
They were so dang excited. It was fun to watch them!!! This will definately become a tradition now that they are old enough to appreciate it.
This was the final result. Definately not what the one on the outside of the box looks like... but, it is still cute. The kids are so proud of it.
A few years ago my sister in law Mindi introduced Dan the Elf to us. Dan the Elf visits her girls on a regular basis during the Christmas season. Well Dan the Elf has recently been visiting Payton and Jaxon too, he watches them and makes sure they are being good little kiddies. Payton often checks out the window to see if she can see him. We came home a couple times last week and found little gift for Payton and Jaxno infront of our door. He is encouraging them to continue to be a good girl and boy. It helps keep these "quick to forget" kids to remember that Santa doesn't visit naughty kids. Dan returns and reports all things to Santa.
What a great surprise!
So now tonight.... I am looking forward for a girls night out. Just me!!!! Yay! Enrichment. Our Christmas party! Once again my sweet husband during a test week is taking all 3 kids so I can fulfill my calling. What a guy! Love you Austin!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Letters to Santa

Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Today Payton and Jaxon wrote their letters to Santa Claus. They were pretty excited. Yesterday Payton even got to talk to "Dan the Elf." (Thanks Mindi) So I went to familyfun.com and found a printable postcard with Santa's address and everything. It was perfect. Jaxon drew lots of circles, and was very proud of himself, while Payton's translation was " I love you. Payton. L = Playdoh, E = Helmet, D = Makeup." Don't ask me, but that is what it said. She told me. So I have translated on the letter to Santa. She has been quite persistent with these items, she hasn't forgotten. So I guess we will have to wait and see what Santa brings her this year. Jaxon, well... I think he would be content with anything that is the same as his sister's. We are having fun here at our house, I need to get a bit more creative though with crafts and projects. That is what makes this time of year fun and magical I think. It is so much fun having little kids that are so excited about Christmas. It is so much better having kids around this time of the year. They are so fun. We are planning to go see Santa at the mall sometime in the next week, but we are trying to plan to go with some friends, and also do it when Dad can be there too. We have a tiny Nativity that plays music in our house. I pulled it down the other day and was trying to explain to Payton, and Jaxon (not that he got it) why we have Christmas. After I finished telling them Payton was wiggling and squirming around almost ready to burst..... she was so excited that this was Jesus Birthday, she wanted to sing him Happy Birthday and have a party for him with balloons and cake. :) It was cute. When I showed Jaxon baby Jesus he said "Sssshhhhh babeee assshhhhhhtyyyyy es sleepin." = Sssshhhh, baby Ashton is sleeping. And then he kissed the nativity. Sweet little kids.

Send Me to the "Milky Way" Cookies

These are my little taste testers. They all had to try out the cookies. I think it was a success, they all have smiles on their faces.
YUMMY, YUMMY!!! I got his recipe off of Picky Palate, we made these yesterday and they are wonderful. Really easy too. We made them for our friends the Sclaters who had a their baby a week ago. CONGRATS Sclaters!!! He is a cutie.
Send Me To The Milky Way Cookies 2 sticks softened butter ¾ Cup sugar ¾ Cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 ¾ Cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 35 mini milky way and 3 musketeer candy bars, coarsely chopped 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer cream the butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined, scraping edges with a spatula. In a separate large bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the chopped candy bars. 2. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until cooked to your preference. Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Well not that we did anything super special for Austin's birthday... we did all go out for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, which he had never been to and had been wanting to try. So unfortunately we are so tight on money right now he didn't get any gifts. But I guess all he needs to know is that I love him. He'll be set for life :) Who needs gifts when you've got L-O-V-E, baby.
After lunch though my Dad stayed in the car with all the kids while they watched "UNDERDOG" and we went to CRATE&BARREL. Austin and I got a gift certificate from there 6 years ago for our wedding. We had never used it because of various different stories but we walked in and asked if it was still valid and they said yes. YAY!!!! So....I got two huge rectangular platters. I am so excited about. I have lots of play dates and friends over where I would love to have something better to serve food on than just our little dinner plates. So I was excited. And not only that.... The total was supposed to come to $50 and only came to $38. They were on sale. WHAT LUCK!!!!

Our Thanksgiving Break!!


Well last Saturday we started of our Thanksgiving Holiday by making a trip to the Nashville Temple with our Ward for the first time. It took us about 4 1/2 hours to get there, and seeing as how we left at 6:15am that put us in Nashville around 10:45 -11. Upon arriving we fed the kids lunch and got our oil changed so we were ready to hit the road as soon as we were done in the temple. We got the kids settled and took them into the Stake Center about 10 ft from the Temple (SOOOOOOOOOO convenient) where there were a few youth from our ward waiting to watch the kids.

What a beautiful Temple.... how blessed we are to be as close as we are to one. Austin and I enjoyed ourselves at the temple. And actually that is the first time that we have gone together in over 2 years. This is an extremely small temple, something very different than he and I have ever experienced, but we came away being so happy for the experience that we had. It made us look back and see how often we took for granted having so many temples with in an hour of us in Utah. Well, the enjoyment quickly ended when we returned to the Stake Center to pick up our kids... Payton ended up throwing up all over herself and in the nursery. She was so embarrassed that she stayed in the bathroom for 40 minutes waiting for me to come and get her. She was sitting in her shirt and underwear. Thank goodness for Sierra Turner who was watching out for her, the poor girl cleaned all of Payton clothes and wiped up her entire mess. I don't know if I would have done that for someones child. So a BIG THANK YOU to Sierra, for helping my little girl. We debated quite a bit about going home, or still sticking to our original plan and heading up to Cleveland. Well we headed up. And Payton was vomiting the entire way up which was 8 hours. We were tired!

We arrived in Cleveland, Ohio at 1:00am Sunday morning.

This is my sister Amie's cute house in Cleveland. This is where all of the happenings were. Thank you to her and her husband Travis for letting us stay there. We always love going up there and spending time with them.
Monday of course... what was the first thing we did? We went shopping. Austin went to the city library to catch up on school, my dad stayed home with Cameron and Jaxon, Travis was on call the 30 hours previously so he was sleeping upstairs, Jenny and Camille were at school and so it was my Mom, Amie, Payton, Ashton and myself. Payton has hit a growth spurt. We were desperate for clothes for her. So the purpose in shopping was to shop for Payton. My sweet Mom and Dad bought Payton a whole bunch of new winter clothes and some boots and shoes. During the shopping trip my sister and I found these cute hats.... my Mom has always loved having us wear hats, so she insisted that we bought them. So a big, big THANK YOU to my mom and dad for helping us with Payton.
The profile pictures are supposed to be a measurement of whose nose is bigger.
So this is the fine work of my Father. All of these pictures are taken by my Dad.
Weather up in Cleveland was freezing, and we got quite a bit of snow. So the majority of the time we spent inside, but we tried to do activities for the kids so they didn't go stir crazy. Tuesday we headed off to a place called Playground World. Upon arriving we found that the schedule had changed that day and it wasn't open. So down the street we went to have lunch and let the kids play in BURGER KING.
While watching all the kids, Ashton sat back and enjoyed the show.
They had a blast running and play. (Cameron)
And of course..... Payton got hurt.
This poor little girl.... she gets hurt all the time.
She tended to get the brunt of many jokes this week, mocking how "unlucky" Austin and I say she is....but truly she is just a disaster for accidents. She is accident prone. It is always happening to her. So this incident was one of many she had this week.
She got better and continued playing.
Jaxon enjoyed lunch.
Payton taking a rest.
After walking outside.... this is what we found. Lots of snow!!! So Austin started throwing snow at my Mom, and Sister.
What an ordeal!
Wednesday we attempted Playground world again. This time was successful and the kid were let out into a huge warehouse where all of this playground equipment is. It is actually a store, but they open it to the public twice a week for one free hour of play time. We have gone there almost every time we have visited Cleveland, and my kids absolutely love it.
Jaxon was quite courageous sliding down the slide was the only conservative thing he did.
And I am a proud Mommy.... Payton has learned over this summer how to go across the monkey bars by herself. She was so proud of herself. It was fun to see confidence and excitement from the accomplishment of making it across successfully all by herself.
Poor little Ash, was a bystander. He watched the entire time, but stayed content.
My Dad got quite the kick out of this set of pictures!
They jumped on the trampoline,
played basketball on the trampoline,
while mom and grandma supervised.
We then made our way over to McDonalds to let the kids play again on the playground there and these were a few pictures taken during lunch time.
This is Toby, he is my sisters dog. He is still a little puppy... not quite potty trained.... has accidents.... if you are seeing where I am going.... well it happened while Amie and Travis were gone.... and guessed who cleaned one of the droppings up..... AUSTIN. Dry heaved so loud, and later explained to me that he has faked almost every dry heave he has done except that one. He was pretty grossed out. However my sister was quite pleased, she was trying to think of some form of retaliated against him for him throwing a snowball at her. It was perfect. She loved it.
This is Thanksgiving Day, it ended up being a beautiful day, but was still quite chili outside. So that morning everyone decided to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty. While most everyone went
four of us stayed behind. Jaxon was taking a nap, my mom broke her toe the night before she came to Cleveland, so she wouldn't be able to walk, and I stayed home with Ashton because I woke up Thanksgiving morning vomiting. So I wasn't feeling too hot.
So while they were all gone on this walk, my Mom and I watched a movie.
Take note of the fence behind Payton...
and the huge waterfall they are all looking at...
and the ice that is on the ground..Yes....Austin explained it to me when he got back "Payton almost died." Apparently Payton was walking or running down the path when she slipped an fell and slid right under the fence. Luckily she grabbed onto the poll and held on while screaming. As my sister screamed Austin looked over and started running after her, well in his mad dash to catch Payton from falling over the side, he slipped an fell on Payton. Bad things just happen to Payton.
We spent Thanksgiving Dinner at Travis's brothers home. Ryan and Heather Smith. I unfortunately was sick, and did not eat much. But I guess it saved me from over eating (which I do every year). But what I did eat was wonderful. We played a few games after dinner and then got home and put the kids to bed, and actually I ended up falling asleep with the kids at 8:30 pm. Earliest I have gone to bed in years. The following pictures are of our family at the Thanksgiving Dinner.
We had a fabulous week. Thanks again to my sister for letting us stay there and join them for the Holiday. It was great as always to see my Mom and Dad, and was even better for the kids to see their cousins. We are very thankful for all of our blessings, and that we had the opportunity to spend this time with family, Thank you MOM and DAD. I love you so much and appreciate everything that you do for me and my family.