Thursday, May 28, 2015

Twin Fort builders

This is what kept them occupied while I was upstairs getting Charity down for her nap....

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Cruising down Papa & Nonny's driveway is exhilarating!

(and kindof freaks me out. They go FAST!
Then boom - hit the garage door, or skid themselves to a stop)

Visiting Sam's house (aka, Sacred Heart Hospital)

 They love crossing the Sky Bridge :) 

Garden time!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bennett's scripture study

Since we moved here, we've been pretty solid on daily family scripture study. For the first time ever, pretty much. 
We went in phases over the years of doing it, then not. But now we are on the ball and have been for over a year. It's not much - just a few verses each, each night...but it's better than nothing!
Brianna reads great, but the twins aren't quite there yet. So they repeat after us, or just sit and hold the scriptures in their lap.
Lately, Bennett has been asking for HIS turn to read....solo, no help.
And what comes out of his mouth is hilarious. I need to video it. Just a mashup of all the scripture phrases, plus whatever he makes up...."it came to pass that all the children said, hi Jesus, we love you. Please share some toys, " "And thus, Nephi and Noah went on a walk and saw lots of Lamanites on the ark."
It's fantastic. Love this boy.  Amen!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Babyshower winner!

Went to a babyshower for my friend Mariah today, & I won the contest for the best funny line on the diaper! 

Guess which one is mine 

(hint, it's the one referencing Brian's favorite subject, adult briefs)

Bananagrams in the evening with mom

Lounging outside on a perfect warm evening, playing our favorite letter game. 
It's a lovely life.

(unless mom is having an off day and NOT winning... then we have to play round after round after round until she does :)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Art with Brianna's class

I love volunteering in Brianna's classroom. I would do it so much more if I didn't have my 3 sidekicks. It makes Brianna so happy when I'm there. So I make it work once/month for art time. It's fun!

I took these pics partly for selfish reasons - the yearbook staff asked for photos, and I want to make sure Brianna gets her picture in the yearbook as much as possible because that would delight her :)

You're (not your) going to see another anniversary post

Brian gave me an Edible Arrangement as he walked in the door from his Seattle trip. 
It even had the number 10 carved out of pineapple! 
Very sweet. 
But what was not sweet with the fact that the employee spelled you're wrong. 
That kind of thing is ridiculously annoying to me. 
Adults should know how to spell your/you're. 
Especially when being paid to write a note on an expensive gift. 
Am I being too sensitive? 
I don't know. 
Grammar and spelling are muy importante. 
Fortunately, I was able to take out my frustrations on the court. 
I love playing tennis! 
We hired a babysitter and went and played on the MSHS courts all evening. 
It was awesome.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Ten year anniversary! ohmyword we're old. Wow.
To celebrate, I spent a little time (oh, only like 6 hours....)  putting together this video!

I've got a love/hate relationship going with Windows Movie Maker. So time consuming.

But a love/LOVE relationship going with Brian McKell!  :)

I really do sincerely feel so blessed to have him.
We've got a great life together...and this is just the beginning!

Monday, May 18, 2015


Brian texted me this picture when I asked him how the bedtime routine was going while I was gone at the hospital with Sam.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

More from Sammy's hospital....

She's flying! 

This transfer lift is pretty amazing!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Last stop in Utah

Before we left, we definitely had to do a visit to Grandpa McKell! He's in Spanish Fork. Same home for....I don't know...50 years?! Talk about stability and consistency and predictability! He fits the "millionaire next door" profile perfect: simple life, solid healthy habits... he's a pretty amazing guy! Almost 97 years young :) I love visiting him. He makes us feel so welcome and loved. I especially appreciate that he's not a food-pusher. Those types are so awkward.... it's like HERE HAVE SOME COOKIES...before even saying HELLO.      Anyways....Grandpa played the organ for us! What a highlight. He's just an adorable old man - I hope Brian inherits his good qualities.

And I know what you're wondering.... why isn't everyone else in this photo lucky enough to have a bright neon shirt with puff paint writing?!  So sad for them.  But... it WAS Mother's Day. So I earned the privilege. I will cherish my "World's Best Mom" handmade shirt forever :)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gift for MIL

This is what I made for Brian's mom for Mother's Day!

I was so excited to find the editing feature that allows me to color just one object in a photo and make everything else black&white. 
So I kept the bright red color on the apples and I just love how it turned out.

 It's one of the those gifts that I was so excited to GIVE!

Medline Man

Brian finished his annual National Sales Meeting in Chicago. He has a great time at these - lots of work, and lots of play. It wasn't fun having him gone for 5 days, but I'm glad he enjoys his job and the people he works with. 

He officially won the FitBit contest! Earned some cash and an Apple Watch...whatever that is.... Who wants to buy our new Apple Watch? :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Payson temple open house!

What a magnificent building! I'm so glad we got the opportunity to tour it.  When we got to the sealing rooms, I explained to Brianna that someday she could get married here.  Her eyes just bugged out and she had a look of pure bliss and wonder. It's truly an amazing blessing to be able to be sealed to your spouse and family for all eternity.  There IS life after death! I believe this with all my heart. And because of Jesus Christ, we get to look forward to eternity with those we love most.

I deserve an award for this...

Guess what's really fun:
A long flight on a tiny airplane with 4 small children by myself.
It's especially fun when one of those is a restless toddler.
Navigating through long terminals with all our heavy carry-ons....tracking down our rental car...500 potty trips...long security lines...the stares of shock at our parade...defending us against the infectious diseases that undoubtedly are trying to attack us via crowds of germy travelers...
Sign me up for THAT again anytime!
Seriously though, it went remarkably well, all things considered. We survived with no permanent damage. I'm reallyreally grateful I work out regularly or that trip would've killed me. I thanked Heavenly Father that night for blessing me with the strength I needed so badly for that marathon day of traveling!

A boy and his Grandpa

They're real cute together :)

Berrett stuff

Brian and his sister Ashley had fun spending the evening going through Grandpa Berrett's home and choosing items they'd like to take.

Brian came back with some *interesting* new apparel :)

Better early than never :)

Brian was quite delighted to be the center of attention for a few moments. In fact, I recall him saying, "Yes - this is how it SHOULD be. Celebrate my birthday ALL month!"

Future bffs :)

Boston & Brianna

But this isn't the first time we made them hold hands.... click HERE for that special event almost 7 years ago :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


It's so hard seeing my sister like this.
 Her health has been getting worse these past few months (years? Days?)
 Tonight we rushed to the ER to see her, thinking it might be goodbye...but the pressurized ventilator is keeping her alive.
 One lung collapsed, one infected.
 Dad and Scott Tolman gave her a Priesthood Blessing.
 There was such a calm spirit in the room during that.
 I hated to leave, but had to go relieve my dear friend Kara from watching my kids + Lily.
 She was an angel.
 Charity did NOT go easy on her....ugh.
 Love my baby, but the dependence on me and me only...Very inconvenient in emergencies!
 Praying for SammyJo.
 I just want her to be free of pain and discomfort....

Monday, May 4, 2015

Lily loves babies

Charity's lucky to have a great cousin who loves to tend to her needs..... for smoothies :)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pony present for napping Courtney

Brianna decided, upon finding her sister taking an afternoon nap, that she would place these two ponies right in front of her face so that when Courtney woke up she would get that lovely surprise. 
It was a very sweet sisterly gesture... Especially considering the rough night Courtney had that involved a 2am rush to the bathroom... trying to forget about that. 
Lots of laundry to do. It wasn't pretty.
 But ponies are! 
Yay for ponies.

Never too old for the bouncer....

I keep thinking I should get rid of this thing. 
Then she decides to play in it again and I just can't....

Until we meet again, Grandpa Berrett!

He lived a good long life of 90 years and passed away peacefully after some post-surgery complications to remove a brain tumor. Brian and I now each have one grandparent living. We're looking forward to visiting them, plus other extended family, soon! Grandpa Berrett was always sincerely kind and welcoming to me. He was never fake or judgmental. He was a seeker of truth, open-minded, and loyal. I can only imagine how joyous his reunion is on the other side with his family members, our Savior, and our Heavenly Father. We have a voicemail from him on Brian's phone left the day before his surgery, and it's hilarious. Grandpa was in a great mood, making jokes, and giving some grandfatherly advice. I'm grateful for his good example in our lives!

Angel sleeper...

She looked so angelic as I did my morning sneak-out from our room...
Had to snap a picture.

I just wanna squeeze and smooch her...
No, wait, no.
I don't.
That would wake her up.
 And I NEED her to keep SLEEPING!!!
 Cuz when she's UP.... I get nothing done.

So sleep on, angel face. Sleep on.

(ps - these Bubble Guppy jammies are Courtney's favorite and she gets so excited when Charity wears them)

Saturday, May 2, 2015


We randomly decided to stop at North40 on the way home. It's the former Big R, basically like a farm supply store.
And there were chicks!
So many!
So cute!

I almost want to start a farm and raise these cuties.

Wait, no. I can barely keep humans and flowers alive. I will not attempt more.

So - good thing we can visit the baby birds at the store!

Trampoline assembly day!

Courtney was just a little excited about this..... (like freaking out)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Seriously yummy crackers

Sweet Potato Triscuits.
 So good.
I know this, because I finished off half a box.