Friday, December 29, 2017

Can't even haaaandle all the presents from Nonny!

Bennett loves the aquarium...?


This is dedication. Oooor insanity.

Driving thru a blizzard to visit Sammy and the Temple!  
Usually takes 30 min or less to get there. Took a full 45. 
Had a few "Jesus take the wheel" moments... but made it through safely!
Totally worth it. I love going to the temple. And I love visiting with Sammy. Hung out with her for half an hour and didn't wanna leave, but needed to drive home before it got too dark and even scarier to drive!

Christiansen Cousins!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Visiting Great Grandma Smith

  Brian sent this to me and it made my heart so happy!! I want to go visit her too, sometime soon. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Gift for Grandma Smith

Having Brian drop off a little photo book of our family Thanksgiving party plus the 2018 family calendar to Grandma on his way through Bountiful! She'll love it.  I miss her.  

Adorable Charity

"I wanna bring all my stuffies on the drive to youtube!"
Sorry baby,  just choose one stuffy to bring to... Utah... πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜†πŸ˜…

That's my man!

I asked him to get a makeshift pergola cover up,  and he did it! 

Now we've got 2 of them!

BacaBaca needed a friend.  Guinea piggies are herd animals.
  So I put an ad on Craigslist and got a response the day before Christmas Eve!
We arranged for the surprise on Christmas Day.
The kids were in heaven!
Her name is Chrissy. 


This girl knows how to listen to her body!
No school,  stuck inside all day... She needed to get her energy out! So she asked if she could use the treadmill! Funny girl.  I was pretty surprised at her request.  But of course said yes! She was so cute on it,  and actually has pretty good natural running form and good endurance! 


I've been looking forward to posting these for months!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Monday, December 25, 2017

The best present I could give Brian his year

No more mortgage!
It's done! 
We now own our house.  All of it.  
Brian was completely overwhelmed.  He knew we were close to paying it off,  but thought we were still a year or two away.  He doesn't pay close attention to our finances,  that's my job. 
So I got it done... and framed the final statement! 
Not joking.  Ever.  No child birth or movie ever elicited tears.  But I got a solid one or two and a sniff from this one :) This has been his dream for years.  Dudes like to feel financially successful and this was his personal definition of it.  πŸ€£πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‹

Friday, December 22, 2017

The joy of giving

It's so awesome to see my kids get crazy excited about what gifts they're getting each other.  Brianna was doing her squealing-jump-up-and-down dance when she found the perfect gifts - LOL Dolls for Charity,  Shopkins for Courtney,  etc.  I'm so proud of her for earning all the money to buy things herself and buying it herself.  She worked hard and saved!
Courtney and Bennett got a little help from me πŸ˜‰ They had a bit of money they'd saved,  but not enough at all,  so I made them a deal that if they spent a set amount of time working hard at doing chores and cleaning up at home, I'd let them pick presents they really thought their siblings would love and I paid for them. Pretty good deal,  eh? It's hard cuz I want to teach them the value of money,  earning it all,  what things actually cost....but I also want them to experience the joy of gift giving.  It's so fun to buy or make a present you know the other person will just love.  

No school? Hit the pool!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Santa Claus comes to our town!

I love living in a neighborhood where they do things like this πŸ’š❤️πŸ’š❤️πŸ’šπŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ€ΆπŸ»

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017 Christmas Card(s)

I got very indecisive and ended up spending way too much time making this happen. The red one is what we finally ended up printing our 200 (!!!) copies of!

Because I'm funny

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: chelsea mckell
Date: Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 9:56 PM
Subject: Our Christmas card
To: Meredith Smith
Cc: Debbie Smith , DAD Steve Smith, Lindsay Smith, Steve Smith, David Smith, B, Megan Smith, Bobby Whitney

Hey Mere, so I just drafted up our Christmas Card.
Let me know if you'd like any edits before I go print a few hundred of these to mail out to all our relatives. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Bedtime, daddy style

I came home from our youth activity at church around 830, grateful to walk in the doors and find everything dark and quiet.  Yay,  Brian actually got them all to sleep at a decent hour. 
But then I couldn't find Brian.  
Checked our room,  his office,  the basement....
Then finally found him asleep in Charity and Brianna's room.  No doubt he laid down with them to tell them stories...and successfully read everyone to sleep including himself.  😊😏😴😴😴😴

Mailing out Christmas cards!

I employ these kiddos to get our cards stamped and addressed.
Literally employ.... they get ten cents per card completed well.  They're very money-motivated this month for obvious reasons.  
With tons of cards to mail,  there's some decent earning potential here ☺
Plus I like that the addressing is done in kids handwriting.  I think that's adorable.  
And of course,  they're learning how to properly do mailings.  I bet there are teenagers who don't know how to do it.  
I got 200 cards printed - the most we've ever done,  since Brian's company will reimburse up to $50 for Christmas cards and I found a Groupon for 200 5x7 good quality cards from Staples for $45. Same-day pickup.  Boom.  
So... It's one of those years where everyone and their dog is getting a card from the BC McKell clan :)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Santa piggy

#LighttheWorld Day 3

Their encouragement today was to keep the Sabbath day Holy by reading the Friend magazine together :-)

Best apology & explanation note ever

Bennett's teacher told him he needed to write a note to his mom explaining his poor choice today.    

Going bananas

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Breakfast in style

I can get them to eat large quantities of a super nutritious smoothie as long as it's in a fun cup 😁😎

Friday, December 1, 2017

#LighttheWorld Day 1

We're excited to start this December initiative to focus on Jesus Christ more. 
We took today's suggestion very seriously and picked out LOTS of toys to donate πŸ˜‰ Feels good to clean out the playroom! 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A well loved guinea piggy 🐷

"homemade"(?) Cards from Chelsea

I'm not sure people understand how much work goes into making these cards.  It takes a lot of effort to look this creatively cheap!  First I gotta save old cards like for forever.  Wedding cards,  birthday,  baby showers,  etc.  Then I gotta chop off where others have written on them.  Then rewrite the words on the cards so it somewhat makes sense. Then find an envelope ✉ that's only semi-used,  so the post office doesn't reject it. Then put stickers alllll over. 

Thanksgiving morning 5K fun run

So much fun!!
I registered 18 of us to do Dan's Turkey Trot.  Expensive but worth it! This is our second year.  We'll have to make it an annual thing! Lucked out with perfect weather. πŸ‚πŸπŸ‚πŸ
I didn't race it - I just went with Courtney. She needed piggy back rests every few minutes :) Brianna too :) Bennett and Charity stayed back.  
Maybe next year I will train and try to win it or maybe I'll just keep being happy with staying with my kids the whole time :-)

Nativity setup

We have about 6 nativity scene decorations,  but this one is the most fragile so it gets a special safe spot.  
Loving the Christmas decorating!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Christmas begins!

Last night we put away everything Thanksgiving πŸ¦ƒ  and took out everything Christmas! πŸŽ„
We only got about half done putting everything up so it looks like  a Christmas explosion πŸ’₯ in our front rooms.  
It was so sweet seeing the kids excitement.  There was lots of "hey,  remember this! I remember it!" exclamations.   I'm so grateful & excited we have established some traditions they recognize and love.  Good healthy family traditions are so important.  
Looking forward to another day of setting it all up! 

Young but capable!