Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

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Our Family Photographer

Our Family Photographer
Marissa Gifford Photography

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


It is not hot no matter what the name is! It is frigid. We went on a 4-wheeler ride and I thought my ears would fall off. The kids have really had fun. They've done puzzles and read stories with Grandma, played with cousins, drove kid cars, played air-hockey and run wild. Roy's was able to get some shooting in.

Here are K's favorite new friends.
They are Aunt Tika's Alaskan Malamutes.
At first K was afraid of Allie and Schnook. It is really no wonder, they are both as tall as she is! She ran and being dogs they assumed she was playing. . . After a few more encounters, she warmed up though. She even climbed into the back of the truck to say good-bye to Allie and Schnook when they left today. They are beautiful dogs!
We're headed back to Delta for a few more days. Vacation is zooming right by!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Morning

D got his Lego City Airport. His faith in Santa is renewed for another year! A didn't even make it through her stocking before she was done. K bounced around and between she and D the actual opening was fairly quick. I love watching their faces as they anticipate and open presents. I love their excitement over watching others opening presents. The whole air is electric.
After all the gifts were opened, hugs given and breakfast ate, D went down to put together his Leogs. He was not seen again for most of the day.
This afternoon we headed out to Grandma Pyatt's house. She was having a family dinner with 3 of Roy's siblings and their families. I really like Roy's siblings. We talked, laughed and ate. We'll be here for a few days before heading home. It's so fun to see everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

This morning the kids played in the snow and built snowmen with Grandpa and Roy. They were so excited!

I love Christmas Eve. We have established some great traditions. Some from when Roy and I were kids and some from hearing what other people do.
This afternoon, the kids and I decorated some cards for Jesus. We did this last year. We make a card and write on it our gift for the Savior. It is something we will do to improve ourselves and/or help others. This year, I plan to put these cards somewhere for us to review them periodically. Then next Christmas we will hopefully have a year of improvement to show for our gift. I want to keep these in a fancy Christmas stocking or package. This is still evolving a bit.
After a nice Christmas eve dinner of ham and trimmings, D and K decorated cookies for Santa Claus.

A decorated a cookie too but we didn't give it to Santa.
We started the evening singing carols and hymns and opened the Christmas jammies to get ready for bed.

This moved into the acting portion of the evening. Starting in Helaman we read Samuel the Lamanite's prophecy about the birth of Jesus Christ. Uncle Rick was Samuel and the kids were the wicked Nephite's throwing 'stones' of wrapping paper that, despite the scriptural account, hit Samuel quite regularly. Then we changed into the New Testament. Grandpa was the narrator, Roy was Joseph, K was Mary, Uncle Justin was the donkey and a wise man, Grandma was the innkeeper, Uncle Rick and D were the shephards and wise men and A was a very large and mobile baby Jesus. I was the camera operator trying to get the chaos on film for future generations to enjoy. Despite the lack of professionalism, it was really amazing. K was a great Mary, trying to get everyone to look at her baby. A was sweet as a little baby/sheep/stone-thrower/chaos-spreader. D took his parts very seriously. It was great having other people around to fill in the gaps.
After the nativity, we read a Christmas story called A Christmas Dress for Ellen. I buy a new book each year. The kids were sweet and settled down so we took a ride to look at lights. A went to bed and the Uncles stayed home to be with her (plus there's not enough room for all of us to be in one vehicle!) K fell asleep on the ride. D made it through the ride and was super excited for Santa when we got home. He was tired enough he fell asleep quickly despite his excitement.
I really enjoyed the evening. It was great having family around. My dad shared some stories that I was able to record on the video. It was a really meaningful and special night.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


We were supposed to get up reeeeaaally early this morning to drive to Utah (think 2-3 a.m.). However, last night at 9:00 we said good-bye to our home teachers, looked around at the wired children bouncing off our walls, looked at each other and made a decision. Roy said, "Let's go." I said nothing -- just left a little dust outline of myself on the way to the van.
That's right folks, we drove all night. This is a much better experience in the van than it ever was in the '98 Chevy Cavalier. Trust me.
The kids snuggled down and slept while Roy and I lost ourselves in Harry Potter 7. Jim Dale is AMAZING. I'm thinking Harry Potter marathon next summer when we got to Wisconsin. It was great fun this morning when we called Grandma to tell her we stopped for breakfast....IN OGDEN! She was surprised. Well, she was surprised once someone finally told her where we were. All she could get from K was, "We're at a restaurant."
On the way south from Ogden A threw up. Then again. She was a smelly mess. It just wouldn't be a proper road trip without puke.
But we are here! Finally here! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve then Christmas! Yipee!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How could I have forgotten?

This is not my first time in the 18 month old camp. So how did I forget the movement and messes? The constant, never-tiring-until-dropping, unrelenting movement that results in frequent and hair-pulling messes.
This is what A did around my feet while I wrapped presents.
This is NOT what it looked like when I started. And there used to be a lamp in that corner.
This is what she was doing at the moment I had my camera.
That basket used to be in a drawer in my bathroom. A drawer I cleaned and organized YESTERDAY!!
Since I started this post, she has gotten into the potatoes, run around like a headless chicken, pulled dishes out of the bottom drawer, begged for milk and water and is currently playing with a toy shopping cart. HOW DOES SHE DO IT?!

Time marches on...

We're so glad when daddy comes home...

Talking to Grandma and Grandpa. Lots of talking.

The following pictures are from going to Lowe's and making a train engine. The kids love Lowe's Build and Grow workshops!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Too. Much. Sugar...

Yesterday I made toffee, fudge, cookies and cupcakes. Today I am languishing in a sugar induced slump. I need to be sanding and staining mangers for the YW. I need to clean up my house. I need to fold laundry (although not so much because I spent hours on Monday doing laundry). Yet I have done none of these things.

In happier news, here's a few pictures from the Festival of Nativities that we went to on Sunday.

This was K's favorite nativity. It is fun to take the kids and have traditions. I admit it would be nice to be able to browse the nativity displays rather than spend all the time in the kids room. As it was we only had a cursory walk through of the displays all the while sounding like a broken record. "Don't touch that. No touching. Please don't touch. That's not for touching. Put your hands in your pockets. Stop touching. Don't. No. Stop. Don't touch." So on and so forth. It was with a sigh of relief I took the kids in the kids room and said, "Now you can touch."

Here's D and A in the story telling booth. They are cheerfully not listening to the story. In fact, here's A's favorite part of the whole evening:

These were wooden beads forming a curtain to seperate the story telling tent. She just kept going back and forth pulling and feeling the beads. In the back, you can see D listening to the story for the approximatly 3.9 seconds he paid attention.

I can't believe I didn't get a picture of K's favorite part. There was a display with some 2-D sheep. She kept sitting on them like she was riding a horse. She likes sheep. There are some sheep that live in a field across the street from our church. She calls them the "sheepy-sheep" and is always updating us about their status whenever we drive by. "The sheepy-sheep are out!" "Where are the sheepy-sheep? I can't see them." "The sheepy-sheep are getting rained on." Etc.
And this picture is just for the sheer cuteness factor.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Last night while I was at Young Women's D called me. "Mom, I don't mean to bother you but I have some bad news. (Seriously, that is exactly what he said!) K knocked the tree down." !! Me, "Like the big tree in the front room?" Yes. Like the big tree in the front room.
Now before I go on, let me just say that Roy had a terrible night with the kids. I left him with a messy kitchen which he felt he needed to clean up. A had two stinky diapers -- Roy hates and tends to get overly dramatic about stinky diapers (think, "I'm going to throw-up. No really, I'm going to throw-up!"). And the culminating experience of the night was K knocking over the 7-8 ft. tree in the front room.
Another night, I would have left after D's phone call to get home and help but last night was craft night and I had put 3 of the 4 crafts together. I kind of needed to be there to help everyone know what went with what and such. So I chatted with D for a minute, reminded him to be GOOD! and HELPFUL! before hanging up and getting back to handing out craft supplies.
About an hour later, D called again. "Mom, I don't mean to bother you...." He proceeded to explain that Roy had cut off part of the tree and to not be surprised if the tree looks weird when I get home.
Apparently in a fit of "this tree is too big for this stand or it never would have fallen over" Roy trimmed what he felt was a reasonable amount off the bottom of the tree.

You be the judge.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Making Marshmallows!

These have been on my mind for a while but I haven't been brave enough to try them. It just seems like making your own marshmallows should be hard. Turns out it isn't! My friend Jenn from next door came over and we had a fun time making them together. She brought me a Christmas present....a new CANDY THERMOMETER and some really fun Christmas spatulas! I'm so excited. And it was very timely because we used the thermometer to make our marshmallows.
K was a big help. She tested each batch for quality control. As you can see, it was a sticky job but someone had to do it.

Keeping Busy

I have several things I've been wanting/needing/putting off doing. Yesterday was the day. Christmas decorations have been slow to come but I finally got around to bringing in the ladder and putting out my decorations. I had lots of trimmed branches from our tree so I used them to create a garland feel. Don't be deceived, it is just a bunch of branches up there but I think the effect is pretty nice.
I still had a bunch of branches left over when I was done so I thought, "Well, I'll just make a wreath. How hard can it be?" It turns out that if you want to make an odd mishapen mass of evergreen it isn't too hard. If you want to make an actual wreath on the other hand....
Finally, I've been meaning to try my hand at homemade laundry soap. I bought the ingredients but still needed to put them together. Since I ran out of laundry soap half way through the job I didn't have much choice. It looks a bit like lumpy lemonade. It smells really clean and fresh. I'll let you know how the washing goes.

Even though I didn't put up or decorate the trees yesterday, I am just now getting around to taking pictures and posting them. I need to get some pictures with the kids in front now!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

Saturday morning we had a yummy breakfast before heading off to Lowe's (the hardware store). They have a program called Lowe's Build and Grow. The kids and Roy discovered it by accident a couple of Saturdays ago when they went to return a thermostat and came home with two snowman picture frames the kids made. I knew about it and knew LB&G would be making trains in December. Of course we had to go! We built the caboose this week. D has spent hours, HOURS I TELL YOU, playing with that caboose. He may have even slept with it, nothing can be proved.

Saturday afternoon I made two more Christmas pillowcases. They are ridiculously easy! I LOVE IT! I also bought more material to make crayon rolls. I over figured on the fabric. So when I cut the pieces, I have enough to make at least 8 crayon rolls! I got one done after the pillowcases. During this fest of sewing, Roy and K were doing this:
They are watching THE civil war. You know the great battle between North and South; between Orange and Green; between Ducks and Beavers. If you pay attention you can figure out which team Roy is rooting for.
I said the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting this week. As soon as I started praying I heard a little voice calling, "Mommeee, mom, mommeeee, mom, mommeeee, mom" This tribute contined for the entire prayer. Luckily A's pitch is somewhere near the range of a dog whistle so many people probably didn't even hear her!

Sunday was a nice laid back day of finishing up a FHE packet I started months ago. I ran out of lamination and had to give the laminator I borrowed back before I got more. The poor, partially completed packets have been in my drawer for months. I finally got around to borrowing another laminator and finished them up. Good times.
K is frequently telling me, "'Kena is my friend." I'm so glad :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Long ramblings about nothing much

Today I went to D's school to help in the classroom. I really like being able to do that. This was only my second time but I totally want to go more. I helped with math groups (we were practicing tally marks :) and making 'warm fuzzies' to put on posters. Warm fuzzies is an exercise where the students write one nice thing about a class member on a little fuzzy cartoon guy. Then they attach these fuzzies to a poster for each class member. It is a good writing activity plus it makes them evaluate and determine something positive to say about another student. The most common thing written today? "His nis" For those of you who don't speak kindergarten-spanish/english dual learning-ese that is: "He's nice" Deep.

Last night was young women's night and I helped out with the Beehives (12-13 yos). We were making Christmas pillowcases as per a thing Tyce found online. Tyce and I picked out the fabric yesterday morning. It was . . . . interesting to watch the girls sew. The cases all turned out great but each was a unique creation. I had to explain technical sewing machine terms like: "the foot" or "bobbin" or "that knob over there on the side". Really, it was fun.
The Mia Maids (14-15 yos) babysat for FREE so parents could have a night out. One family took advantage of this. ONE FAMILY!! If I didn't have to be at mutual, I sooo would have sent my kids. Even if I dropped them off at the church and sat in my car reading a book for an hour, I WOULD HAVE DONE IT. There's no accounting for these things. The Laurels (16-18 yos) ate food prepared especially for them by the Priests (16-18 yo boys). The delicacies served were egg rolls and chocolate moouse. It is a combination that makes you tilt your head and say, "Huh." Go ahead. Apparently it was good although no one thought to bring some down to the beehives.

A has learned a very important new word/sound. It goes something like this, "Uh uhhh" usually accompanied by a little head shake. That's right she has learned how to actually say "no" in a way that doesn't involve throwing or crying. And she's not afraid to use it.
Me: "Ready for a nap?" A: "Uh uhhh"
Me: "Want to snuggle?" A: "Uh uhhhh"
Me: "Are you a sweetie?" A: "Uh uhhh"
And when she says it you almost can't tell it is supposed to be one word because she puts so much effort behind it. Inhale short "Uh", long pause for air to circulate body, exhale long "uhhhh". She is so sweet it makes my teeth hurt.

K/Wyatt/"AlftaPig" is still a walking super hero in her own esteem. Better than a squirrel.