Sunday, December 20, 2009

The things they say

I was just sitting here by the computer with Ellie. We were singing some songs from the Polar Express. . . a favorite in this house.

After singing the same song 45 times, I said, "OK, I have to go fold some clothes. Will you come help me?"

Ellie said, " Oh, I can't fold clothes. I have a baby in my tummy. And I'm sooo sick."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!! I was laughing too hard and thought I should write this down for my own memory. :) I love the things my kids say. They are their mother's children for sure.

And as I was typing this, Noah wrapped a string around his wrist several times and said, "Mom, don't you think I look like a Lamanite with this on my wrist?"

I am laughing again at rethinking it. :) I guess he kind of did look the part.

I love my kids. They make me laugh so much.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You be the judge. . .

Of the UGLIEST SWEATER/VEST/FUR COAT.(Brian and July Savage#1)(Christi and Luke Harmer#2)(Jason and Jana Smythe#3)(Kristen and Abram Ellis#4)(Lisa and Shawn Quinn# 5)
(Dan and Janie Ward#6)
(Elizabeth and Ryan Elder#7)(Anne and Jeff Bednar #8)

Last night we had a party here for Christmas. We decided to have everyone wear their ugly sweaters and a prize was won for the worst of all. So, I want to hear what you think. (If you were at the party and know the winner. . . hush).

It was a great party with lots of delicious food and even better friends. I am really going to miss the friends we have made here in Ann Arbor. I warn people that if they are going to be my friend. . . you are committing to a life with me. And I'm not kidding.

We played some pretty super duper fun games. . . GESTURES and Two Truths and a Lie. That was a new one for me and I loved it. (I learned lots of new things about everyone. Many, many laughs!!!)

Thanks everyone that brought food to share and came to celebrate this season together. We had a great time with you and hope to make this party more of a tradition. . . wherever we are. Utah obviously. :)

I am going to use this as my "Christmas Story" for this week. I really do want to have an "Ugly Sweater" party every year as a tradition. It was so much fun.

As a side note. . . I made my first trip to The Salvation Army. Not as bad as I thought it would be, but rest assured I am taking the sweaters we bought straight back to the donation center. Unless there are any takers for them. Mine and Lisa's are from Sears if you want to go get yourself one. Buttons and bells on both. Who doesn't love a sweater that jingles.

Actually, I have to tell this little story.

Jackson saw Jason in his sweater last night and said, "Oh Dad, I love your new sweater. It looks so snuggly. Can I sleep in it this week?" (All while rubbing his hands all over it).

My boys love to sleep in Jason's t-shirts when we let them (aka no clean laundry), and Jason's sweater was right up Jack's alley. It was that fleecy/chenille fabric.

Okay, that's it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The first of many!

Ellie is a girly girl. In every way.Here is her first of many dance recitals. Don't mind that she is a few beats behind on some of the moves. Because at least she eventually does all the moves. :) Two year old girls, trying to stay together takes some divine intervention!!Take a peak. It's quick.

Ellie's recital

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's a GIRL!!!

For those of you that didn't know I am pregnant, I am. And for those of you that knew, but were wondering if it was a boy or girl . . .


I'm thrilled! I wanted another little girl so much and I am so happy that we are getting one. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my boys. In fact, they are much easier than the little girl I already have, but I wanted just one more to even it out a bit. Ellie needs it. :) As Jason said a few nights ago, "It's like she walks around thinking she's entitled just because." So true. That's one of the things I love about my Elle Belle. And who doesn't want a sister!!!?

So, yay!!! We are having another girl and everything looked great on the ultra sound.

When we got there, I was getting a sick feeling that I was going to have a boy. Then the tech told me it may look that way. Then I hated her.

Then, after she had me get up and go to the bathroom so she could get a better shot of the babies spine, the baby finally moved position and the tech had a VERY clear shot of the gender. Then I loved the tech again.

All is good.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Jason had a work conference in Chicago so we decided to make a trip of it and all go for a few days. We went back and forth as to whether or not it would really be worth it with all the kids and cold weather, but I am so glad we went. We had a great time, the Residence Inn was fantastic (they upgraded our room to a 2 bedroom since our real room wasn't ready when we got there and with 4 kids in a 1 room hotel . . .not fun come bed time). The weather was actually not too bad and we had tons to do and see!!The kids were great about walking so much and getting out. The only one that gave us any sort of trouble was the darling little 2 year old that is seriously giving me a run for it! That girl is determined!!

Just some highlights of the trip.

-the American Girl Doll store. Ellie was in HEAVEN!!! Those bitty babies were right up her alley. She couldn't get enough of it. I think Santa was taking notes and possibly will be bringing something special from that store.
-Portillos. Awesome hot dogs, fries and shakes. It was a
recommendation, and how wise it was. The dogs had everything on them and they were delicious.
-Giordano's Pizzeria. At least that's the name I remember. I could be way off. Worth the long walk in the freezing cold.-playing in the hotel. Just seeing my kids love being in a hotel makes it so fun. They seriously love going to hotels. I do too.
-Cheesecake each night for dessert in the hotel. Jason made quick runs after the kids were in bed and we stayed up and devoured our goods.
-A carriage ride through the city. The kids wanted to do it
so bad, but totally not worth the money. We went on a tour of the same street we had walked 5 times already. But the kids all loved it. And we sang Christmas songs for most of the ride. It made for a great memory.
-Chicago popcorn. Cheese and caramel mixed. We were told that is the most famous, and rightfully so. Yum.
-Winter Wonderland Fest at the Navy Pier. It was totally decked out inside with TONS of rides and activities for the kids. It really was a winder wonderland, snowflakes in the air and all.

The drive home went fast and the kids were all wonderful. I barely ever knew Carson was around. He is one heck of a good baby boy!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Memory #1

I should for sure stop reading Amberly's blog. She keeps inspiring me to do new things. :)

This month I am going to record a Christmas memory from my past, or tradition, or anything I want that has to do with Christmas. So here it goes.

One of my BEST Christmas memories was the only Christmas I got to spend as a full time missionary in Argentina. I was serving in my second area, Bariloche. And it was gorgeous!! It will always hold a very special place in my heart. The people there, the scenery, and the amazing work I was able to do while there.

That Christmas was the first time I got to talk to my family while on my mission and it was wonderful. And although it was a big highlight of my day, it was by no means the best part of my day. (Maybe at the time I thought it was, but looking back, I learned so much more that day about what Christmas really means.)

My companion and I asked to use the phone of the Troncoso family and we were able to spend some of the day with them, in their tiny home, watching their small children gleam with excitement at the sight of a single toy for all of them to share. Their home was one of the smallest I have ever seen. And all dirt floors. The bathroom was an outhouse and the family all slept in one room, with one bed. There were 5 of them.

But they still gave so much to everyone around them. I can remember MANY days where we would be out tracting and they would see us and spend the few cents they had on a bit of juice for us. Or invite us to eat with them. And it was no different the day of Christmas. They gave us the best food they could and helped make the Christmas of 2 North American girls as memorable and special as possible. Whatever it was, I know it was always a sacrifice for them and I learned that Christmas truly isn't about "getting" but always about "giving".

That day we sang songs, played with the kids, and my companion and I shared a Christmas message with them that touched each of us. And reminded all of us why Christmas is such a special day.

Experiencing Christmas with their 3 small children, as they shared one single present made me so sad at first. But now I see how wonderful that really is. Those kids didn't care. They were just happy to get something. I don't know if I have ever been that selfless. I'm pretty sure I haven't.

Nothing new to any of us, but how easily I forget when someone asks me what I want. I seem to have an endless list going on in my mind. But I am grateful to know in my heart that getting things isn't what will make us happy. It's simple. Living the gospel will. And I'm thankful to have learned that day after day as a missionary, in so many different ways.