Sunday, February 21, 2010

Two Long

This is Ben writing. I have felt the need to lay bare my soul to all the world - and since I don't have a blog of my own, I will do right here! I know, exciting, huh? But I really don't have a ton of time for soul baring, and nobody out there has time to read about it. (OK, if it was really exciting, I know you would make time. But guess what? It's not.)

Anyway, I thought I should come up with some great gimmick to hook readers. My first thought was, "Ben and Julia!" and I would cook all of the recipe's in one of Julia Child's cook books in one year and write about it. But I found out it has been done. So then I thought of "Ben and Chef BoyRDee!" Only this time I would open a different can of stuff every day for lunch and write about my increasing weight.

But I abandoned that as well and I have settled on, "Two Long." I will post a list of and/or review a list of whatever I feel like. But to save everybody time, my list will only be two items long. I figure it is way shorter than a top ten list. A top three list is currently taken by the Olympics with their whole 'gold, silver, bronze' thing. But a list two items long is still twice as long as a list of only one item.

For today's post, I shall list my top favorite prayers said by children in my family:

1. Elora (age 3), "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for......MEEEEEEEEE! Amen."
2 Annika (age 5), "...and please help me to stop sneaking into Nathaniel's room and stealing his Halloween candy..."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January 2010: New Year's

Daniel and Jodie drove down from Utah on New Year's weekend. We had so much fun with them and their kids while they were here.
This is Liesel and Emma Kate at one of our favorite hamburger places. These girls are such good friends.
The restaurant takes a picture of you with this giant hamburger if you can eat some ginormous hamburger. No, Nathaniel did not do it, but some other kid did while we were there and they had left the prop sitting out so we snapped a picture of Nate with it.

We took care of the kids while they were here so they could do some fun things downtown. Here's Annika with Sadie.

Here's what happens when Ben watches the kids. Can you believe these pictures?!

Did we scare you?! I know I was a little startled when I saw these. Ben took the kids to the top of a hill at a park near our house. He assures me that it's not as dangerous as it looks! He says the ground was actually only a few feet below the girls so they would only get a little hurt if they fell.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

December 2009: Christmas

On Christmas Eve, T.Jay (Ben's brother) was flying from Texas to Utah and had a layover in Las Vegas so we picked him up and went out to eat for Christmas Eve. Then we took him back to the airport and went downtown to the Billagio to see the amazing Christmas displays. There was a giant Christmas tree, giant polar bears made out of flowers, huge snowmen made out of flowers, a huge rocking horse, reindeer flying near the ceiling and so many other magical things. It was pretty amazing!

Outside of the Billagio we watched an amazing water display synchronized to Christmas music. While we waited for it to start I tried to distract the kids from looking at some inappropriate advertisements going on in the distance. Do I look worried?!

And then it was Christmas morning. Maybe not as spectacular as what we had seen the night before but still plenty of fun.

We got a family gift of Lego Rock Band for the Wii. It is so much fun and better for little kids than the regular Rock Band. You can also see two of Liesel's most favorite toys she got. I wish I had a better picture but you can see laying on the floor a little mermaid my sister Beth made and a doll Grandma Kit made. The girls each got one and they absolutely love them. And Aunt Shaunna sent the kids all pajamas to open on Christmas Eve. Liesel's wearing hers here. We are so spoiled!!!

The girls got these adorable dresses from Aunt Colette! They absolutely love them and would wear them every day if I let them!

The day after Christmas we headed up to Cedar City where we met Ben's parents and his brother T.Jay and his wife Crystal. We all stayed in a hotel, swam, and just enjoyed each other's company as much as you can while being crammed in little hotel rooms with little kids (mostly James)who don't want to sit still! The kids also had a chance to play in a little snow! Each of them had different reactions. Actually, they all liked it except for James!

And these following pictures are of Sunday night, back home, relaxing enjoying some of our Christmas presents and just enjoying a time of no stress!

December 2009: before Christmas

The girls have been taking ballet from one of our sweet friends in our ward. She comes to our house and teaches a couple little groups of girls in our big empty living room. We are in no hurry to get furniture for now because having ballet in our own home is just so convenenient! And Miss Crystal is the best, sweetest, dance teacher!
The three classes taking a bow at their dance recital which was held outdoors on a beautiful day. Nathaniel tripped on the way in and skinned his knee pretty bad so he and Ben missed the whole performance while they went to clean it up! I tried to video it while James climbed on me like a monkey so it didn't turn out too well! But the girls did a great job and were so cute!

My parents came up for a few days before Christmas to help us get ready for Christmas Day. They let Ben and I shop all day and late into the night, and helped us get our house in order, and helped the kids make us a cute Christmas book, and took them all on an outing to the park and to Bass Pro. We had so much fun while they were here! They were such an answer to my prayers! Christmas is such a wonderful time but can be a stressful time too, but they helped bring the spirit of Christmas into our home so that we could feel the joy of the season!

Ben had been gone out of town for work for the first two weeks in December! It was to hard but we survived. The day he got back Kit came to stay with the kids while Ben and I went to his Christmas work party. She spent a whole day helping me shop for an outfit to wear and then took care of the kids for us! Ben and I have such kind, generous parents! They always do so many things that help us with the challenges of raising five kids! I hope I remember to be as thoughtful and helpful to my kids when they are grown with their own families!

November 2009: Thanksgiving

We spent Thanksgiving in Arizona with my family and also got to see Jerry and Kit who were there for a big family reunion. Every three years all of Kit's mother's siblings and their families get together for a huge family reunion at Thanksgiving time. They are such a close knit family. There are seven siblings and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that all get together. At least everyone that can come is there and it is quite the crowd! It's pretty amazing. It makes me realize how big our gatherings could be for my siblings and I about 40 years from now. You can see in the last picture below that we are already a pretty big group (37 of us) when we get together. We also said goodbye to my baby brother Jared(below with Elora at my sister, Beth's house where we had Thanksgiving). He left at the beginning of December to serve a mission in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been there two months now and he's loving it!

We also managed to squeeze in a little time to visit some of our friends, the Ridgeways. Here's our kids with their kids and their two foster baby twins that were just tiny newborns when we moved