Sunday, February 28, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

Famous artists


They love seeing their preschool artwork decorating the walls at the local library. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

At the skating rink

It was the school skate night at Pattison's roller rink... but a bit too late to take the whole fam out. 
So Brian and Brianna had a date night! 
They loved it. 
And she's getting pretty good at skating!

Checking out the view from Meredith's new back porch!

 We're all so excited about Meredith's big move to her new house! Dad helped her buy it. It's awesome. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Glad he's home!

Brian's been in Chicago 11 of the last 14 days. It's been rough. 
Time for re-bonding!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Play doh birdie in nest


Happy Presidents Day!

 Cute preschool crafts - especially those involving recycled TP rolls - are the best. 

The kids have been obsessed with Presidents lately. Talking about whose face is on which coin/bill, chopping down cherry trees, ruling the world....
I heard Brianna tell Bennett, "did you know that ALL the Presidents have been MEN? I'm going to change that! When I'm 18 I can run for President!!"

Stake Valentine Dance

We had such a fun time! This is our second year attending the steak family Valentine dance. I love that they put on a family dance event! My kids love it. They had a photo booth, games, contests, ice cream bar, great decorations, decent music, and some cheesy line dances. Everything you expect from a big Mormon dance :-)
Brings back some memories of my teenage years for sure. Bennett can really get down! That kid has no inhibitions. Brianna was thrilled that she won her round of the hula hoop contest! And Courtney took quite a bit of consoling to get over the loss of hers. We'll have to work on that for next year :-) I didn't even have Brian with me, he was still in Chicago. So myself and my four little Valentines got to have a lovely evening.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Big sista Cousins

We drove down to Endicott (pop. 300, no joke) Monday night for SIL Jenny's Presentation on "The 5 Love Languages." I'm glad we went! It was great to support her presentation, see her sister Tia and MomJenny, and learn/be reminded of how to use the Love Language Theory to improve relationships and how I show love to others. Brianna took the kid's version of the quiz and had a 3 way tie for top: Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch. Which doesn't surprise me - I know what my girl likes! She's not that into Gifts or Words of Affirmation... maybe she's been overloaded with those in her life already?! I want to have Brian take the quiz. I'm not sure what his LL is... I'd guess Gifts or QT. Mine - no surprise - is TOTALLY Acts of Service. And a zero on Quality Time and only a few points on Words of Aff and Gifts.
I love this picture. Probably because I can still remember playing with these two nieces when they were babies/toddlers/kids. Seeing them growing up reminds me that someday Brianna will hit the teenage years.... ah! Scary! But I hope she gets the good qualities and makes similar good choices that her big-sister-cousins have made!

Sibling time

I don't get to spend a lot of time with my brothers/sisters.... well, I guess that depends on who/what I'm comparing to.... but we had a lot of fun this weekend! I went running with Lindsay and Brady - this is us just a few feet away from 4 TIGERS. Nothing protecting us but a chain link fence. That's why I have this ridiculous look of fear. Then again, I always seem to have a ridiculous look on my face for pictures. So whatever. Anyways, I love running with other people, especially family. Perfect QT.

I got to go skiing with Lindsay TWICE - Saturday included Dad, Heath (the dude she's dating), Brady and Dad's friend Dale for a little while.  Brady and Heath are snowboarders and waaaay faster than the rest of us, so they kinda had to wait a bit. But I think everyone had fun. Conditions were pretty great - maybe even too warm. 
Monday was just Lindsay and I! I hired a babysitter and we went up all morning! It was perfect cuz we're the same speed. And have tons to talk about all the time. It was great. The scenery was incredible - bright clear skies, fast moving clouds, snow totally melted off trees! Early Spring?!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cousin Dancing Time

Brianna got to have her sweet cousin Lucy over for a little bit on Sunday and they had so much fun! They went sledding (despite there being no snow... the neighborhood kids just sled down the slippery hill at the park!) and they did lots of Just Dance videos. It's the greatest discovery on YouTube we've ever made.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Family Valentine Party

Red salsa, red veggies, pink drinks, red potatoes, red pasta, heart shaped pizza... Food LOVE! Plus secret Valentine mission, Valentine game, Valentine video jibjab presentations, and a special message on LOVE from Dad.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


A few months ago it hit me: ohmyword. I have a child turning 8. EIGHT! Baptism time! AHHHHH!
When we've attended other baptisms - especially of children vs adults - I've had fleeting thoughts of, "wow, it will be really awesome when we get to do this with OUR children."  But that just seemed so far off in the future. Because all my kids are just little babies, right?! They're never ACTUALLY going to grow up into big kids and do anything besides cuddle and play with me all day.
But apparently they really do grow up. Bummer.
Oh well - enjoy the journey, right?!
And we definitely enjoyed this big milestone day!!
For Christmas, we sent Brian's parents and Brianna's cousin Alli airplane tickets to come to the baptism weekend.  I know - not exactly the usual holiday gift. But what better to splurge on than family time and making great memories?!  
As it turns out, we probably wouldn't have had them there if we didn't do this, since Kent was in the hospital just days before. 
But he fought through the pain and made it on the plane! Brianna is so blessed to have wonderful Grandparents. And fantastic cousins!! Alli is a sweetheart. I'm so glad they are close and hopefully will continue to be throughout their lives. I had a cousin BFF growing up - Sara - and it was fun visiting each other and writing letters.
So baptism day - I thought I'd be an emotional mess. Just THINKING about Brianna being baptized by her father got me all choked up. 
But the anxiousness and to-do list of the day kept my mind focused and busy enough that I held it together and only cried a little during the opening song. Heck, I was so distracted that I didn't even freak out that much during the incident where we accidentally left Charity at Nonny and Papa's. Mother of the year award, right here!!  Oye.   
AND - I forgot to bring towels for her!  AND - my temple cookies were hideous! (albeit quite tasty and relatively healthy... that's what really matters, right?!

In the end... the only thing that REALLY matters is that Brianna has followed the example of our Savior Jesus Christ and chosen to be baptized into His church, by one who has Priesthood authority from our Heavenly Father to perform that ordinance. 
It's such a blessing and joy to have the knowledge of the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation.

I hope she will remember this day, and use the Gift of the Holy Ghost she received after baptism to guide her in every choice she makes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Brianna's 8th birthday party

The celebration was a success! It's fun throwing a huge birthday party. 
And a ton of work. 
And kinda expensive.
And slightly exhausting.
But so much fun!!
Venue:  Jump n' Bounce in the Valley. I had actually never heard of it before, but found it while searching online for "bouncey places in Spokane for birthdays." I immediately booked the last slot available - and this was 6 weeks in advance! - and I'm sure glad I did! It's so nice to have the party AWAY from my house.
I mean... it's not THAT much harder to have it at home. It's just nice to let the kids REALLY get their energy out and just go jumpy bouncy crazy for a hour or two. I feel like kids NEED that outlet.  Heck, adults probably do too, we just don't tap into that. Anyways, so - great location, tons of party guests (17 jumpers!! Our limit was 15, whoops! And this was with 5 friends not being able to come! Gotta narrow down that friend list next time....)   Though Brianna enjoyed one result of a big party: lots and lots of presents! 
Her little friends were so generous. I was especially impressed with the time and effort they put into the cute cards they made for her!
I put a lot of time and effort and $$ into the menu. Zoom in on the cake - it's a giant homemade cupcake! HUGE - almost basketball sized. That was fun to create - and super simple clean ingredients. And pizza on the side? Heck no. Fruit, veggies, crackers. The kids loved it all! 
I got in on the velcro jumping wall action - so fun! It was hilarious to see Brian sticking the kids way up high. They had the time of their lives.    All in all, big success. The bar is set high for future parties (smart job, me....?!)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Just because!

When you've been married almost 11 years, it's not often youre genuinley surprised by your husband's actions...but this one definitely caught me off guard! It's just a monday night. No special dates coming up, nothing to make restitution for...just a bouquet because he loves me! ❤ ❤ And a well thought out one....a dozen yellows cuz they're my fav, and 4 other colored to rep each child. So sweet. And fun for Brianna, as she took it upon herself to authoritatively declare which color represented which child ;) funny girl.
I'm glad my kids get to witness these moments of marital luv & kindness ...(hopefully it will be what they remember when they're older- not the moments they've overheard less than loving conversations...oye....)

Apparently it's time to play Go Fish 🐟 🐟 🐟


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Saturday, February 6, 2016

another fantastic day of skiing!

I could seriously do this all day long, everyday. 

Visibility was fantastic, temps were decent, company was MY PEOPLES.

And I continued my no-fall streak!! Yay for being too wimpy to push myself over my limit.  Although we DID go thru the trees a little one time. That was scary. I promptly exited. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Tecate Grill

Having guests in town is a great excuse to try out a new restaurant!
Didn't disappoint!
This place was bomb.
My citrusy salad was fantastic, and the kids leftovers I always end up eating were yum too (I made them order Mexican even though they would've asked for generic kid stuff... cuz it's just ridiculous to do that at a place like this).

----Charity's facial expression is so great here!!

It's just annoying to pay the tab and know I could buy a week of groceries with that !😝  Blah. I'm such a whiner. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

bday treats for school

  Following tradition, we were obligated to send treats to school with Brianna to celebrate her birth. 
But I wasn't about to do the usual store bought cheap cupcake crap. 
So these were a compromise. 
Sweet treat, but with some redeeming value. 
And a cute label, just for fun ☺