Wednesday, December 31, 2008

~The Forgotten Carols~

*Last Tuesday night we went to the musical "The Forgotten Carols" by Michael McLean. I have been going for over 10 years now & we try and make it a tradition. It is always just a few days before Christmas here in the valley & it allows me to take a deep breath during the crazy week and slow down. The play really puts it all into perspective...Life, The Christmas Season. I love it! I know every word to every song and love the message it gives. Each year it has a deeper & more personal meaning. It's great for any person of any religion, but especially has meaning to those of Christian faith. The play tells a story of the "relatively unknown characters" of Christ's birth & puts a song to each of them. For instance the Innkeeper that turned away Mary & Joseph, the shepherds who saw the angel, the 3 Kings etc. Michael McLean gives them a voice through song and so it is appropriately called "The Forgotten Carols." If you have never gone put it on your to-do-list for next year! You'll thank me!

*Here is a link to hear a blip of each song from the Musical. 

We were extra thrilled because Highland High School, Gilbert native, (neighbor of Tim's growing up), Jordan Bluth sang many of the songs! He now tours with them across the country and has an amazing, moving voice.

(Two nights before I was able to hear him sing in The Messiah as well which was especially amazing!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

*Christmas Sunday*

*Kids before church on Christmas Sunday.*
(Boys were in their same Christmas ties as last year & Kaylea wore her same dress. 
Still cute as ever I think...& I didn't even have to buy a thing.:)

Baptism, Blessing & Birthday

The weekend before Christmas was eventful as we celebrated
cousin *Macey's Baptism* (8)
her sister Miley's Baby Blessing (6 wks.)
& brother Tate's Birthday (2)

*We were able to spend time with them during these celebrations!


The SURPRISE story: 
~My sister Steph who lives with her hubby Marcus & 2 little boys in Idaho, decided she wanted to surprise my parents for Christmas this year. Their first pit stop was staying with my grandparents in Provo. Grandma kinda spilled the beans earlier in the week so Mom figured Steph & fam were coming down that night (Thursday). So Mom called me asking if I knew when they were coming. "Coming...Mom they're not coming why would you think that?" (She had already set up the play-pen & guest room.) We went on for a couple minutes as I tried convincing here they simply were just in Provo for some things & heading back to Idaho the next day. Yes I LIED to my Mother! And then told Steph she must LIE too. Minutes later Stephanie called saying..."the deed is done." We felt very much secret agent-like! 

~Fast forward to Friday evening (the 19th). After correlating this plan for weeks, and a long drive with stops from Provo to Vegas to Gilbert, Steph texted me saying they were almost here! I secretly ran outside (of my parents house) with my video camera in hand. Baby Carson (10 months), who we only as a family have seen once, was sitting in a Santa bag with his big brother Ethan (2) at the front door of my parents house. I helped position them and then rung the doorbell. My heart beat fast as we anticipated the fam opening the door. There was much excitement as the door opened & there were smiles, laughs & teary eyes. Luckily our parents and all siblings just happened to be home. We relished the moment!

Spence & cousin Ethan 
after eating chocolate!

Monday, December 22, 2008

*Electric Trains

~I love the fact that there are so many "grandmas & grandpas" in our ward here! There is a sweet older couple that invited the kids to come and play with their electric trains. In fact they practically invite any children they come in contact with to come over to their garage & play with the trains. Just like a real Mr. & Mrs. Clause! 
So the other night we went over & had a ball! The kids loved controlling the trains, making the smoke come out & go fast and slow through the imaginary village.
(Mr. & Mrs. Clause~a.k.a.Bro. & Sis. Stokes)
~Spencer, Kaylea & Daylan were able to interact with their mentally handicapped son who at first really startled Dude, but then they ended up playing ball together. He really took a liking to Spencer & gave him a sweet hug when we left. It was a great experience for all of us. 

*Happy Birthday Tommy

Wow check out that hair!
Happy Birthday to my little brother Tommy! So I'd like to say ditto to last years tribute to him. Click here to enjoy some embarrassing words about my little bro! We love him so much and I feel I get to see him grow up all over again as I watch my 2 boys do or say things he would do as a kid.
*We hope him the best best in all of his current life choices. He deserves the greatest and I hope he knows how special he is to so many people. He will be a great husband and Dad someday!

(~And I'm relieved to announce that I think I've done a Birthday post for everyone in both of our families and will now retire this tradition. Whew! That was a lot of work but I am going to love putting them all into a book for us to keep forever.~)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

*Gingerbread House*

Is there anything better than making 
a *Gingerbread House* with your Grandma?
The pieces of gingerbread actually broke in the box before the kids could open it but they magically put it back together & pulled it off beautifully! 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

*Never a boring minute...

"Hey Mom like my 
playdough glasses?"

The things this kid 
comes up with....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bye Chloe the Fish!

Ok yes this is kinda morbid but I had to tell the story. Little Miss Kaylea had a very hard time the other night when she saw Chloe on the bottom of the tank. She insisted we wait a day to flush her down the toilet "just in case she was sleeping."We think Sparky (the boy fish) bit part of her tail off! Oops! We realized the fish had been acting strange a couple days before she died. Daylan simply walked up to the tank and said "yup she's dead mom cuz she's not moving." But with Kaylea you'd have thought the world was over. Everything was better the next day when Dad took her to the Pet Store to get 4 new little fish. (I'm excited because 3 of them stay busy cleaning the rocks & tank.)

Note: Before I could even post this one of the fish (the non-cleaning) Mickey Mouse fish -named Chloe the 2nd was swimming along innocently when she also had her tail bit into! So that eventually killed her too! That darn Sparky! If you could give fish spankings he'd definitely be in for it!

*Kids' Picnic

~The other day Kaylea insisted on making and packing a lunch for the kids. "I want to have a pic-a-nic" -she said. She made sandwiches, packed marshmallows, chips and water bottles. She put it all in a container, grabbed a blanket and told the boys to follow her. What a good little Mom she'll be.:) 

Little Sara's 1st Dance

Isn't she adorable?
Sara's friend Kung He asked her to Winter Formal. He is Korean which would make Danny proud.
I remember this moment was always awkward before dances. Kung He said he had been poked before by a previous date. Uh... no pressure Sara!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Talking with Santa

So in our house we think this could have been in fact the real Santa because he's in 2 of our pictures from other Christmas'. He sure caught the kids off guard. Once they looked in his eyes and he began talking to them, their little hearts started pounding. Daylan really took this moment seriously!
Santa repeated what they wanted twice out loud as if to really remember! 
What a guy!
When Santa asked Kaylea what she wanted, she got so nervous that she actually forgot what she wanted! Her big brother helped her out by reminding her. (notice the nervous arm by the face.)
Aw... still so sweet at 8!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Socks & Stockings...

-Tim was standing on a chair on top of the kids mattress (-VERY dangerous!!) as he put a strand of Christmas lights in their window. The kids were steadying the chair as I walked by the room saying Tim you are GOING to fall!  Then Kaylea looked up and said so sweetly..."Dad if you die can I have your stocking?"

Another funny moment this week:

-Daylan was on the toilet and as he's bent over (I'm wiping him) he says looking at my socks..."Ooh Mom, I love your comfy socks. When I'm a Mom I'm gonna have comfy socks too!"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

*An accomplishment!

*I hate to boast but I must I must! I cooked dinner twice in a row! So what you say -I do that every night! But you must know that last night was I think only the 5th dinner I've cooked for my poor family all month! I've suffered from "evening sickness" right along with morning sickness but this was much harder. Any time I'd smell "dinner smells" as I cooked, I'd get nauseous and have to lay down. So we had many fast food dinners & frozen pizzas these last 4 weeks. Even if I felt okay all through the day, still at night I'd just gag opening my pantry or fridge...just looking at food. If someone else cooked it for me I could eat it (mostly) but I could not stand there and make it.

*I only threw up throughout one of the weeks so I can't really complain. My body is getting back into the swing of things now. Usually I weigh more at this stage of pregnancy (15 weeks) but since I've been so sick I still only weigh what I did in college. The doctor said baby is measuring right on schedule though so all is well!

*I remember in all my pregnancies being all done with nausea by 16 weeks so I think things will only get better from here. Tonight I might even make dinner -3 nights in a row!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

*Dear Santa.....

Dear Santa,
For Christmas I want the Big Basketball toy from the store. 
I've been a good boy!:)
Love, Daylan
Dear Santa!
I wud love to have a Bigger Bike with lots of coLors and I wood love to have 
a Doll and a Deck of pokemon cards.
love, Kaylea
Dear Santa,
I've been a good boy this year. For Christmas I would like a Pokemon book, a marble game, a Nintendo ds, Pokemon Ranger Shadows of Almia, 
 & Ben 10 Alien Force Alien Creator.
P.S. You have a good suit. 
Love, Spencer

*Kids say the darndest things...

So this is kinda gross but I had to document it for journaling purposes.

The other night I was laying by the kids as they were going to bed & I asked the question:
"So what do you guys want to learn about
tomorrow for school?"

Kaylea said (in a serious voice): "I want to know why dogs lick their privates."

Spencer said: "I want to know why women are so complicated." (he must've heard this from a t.v. show)

Daylan said: "I wanna learn bout cows, horses, tigers and lions...otay mom?"

Wow is all I have to say. Can you see my children's personalities in their answers? ...sigh...

Monday, December 8, 2008

*Christmas Devotional*

*I LOVED the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional last night! Listening to the choir & hearing Elder Uchtdorf, Elder Eyring & President Monson as each reminded us with their stories of the true meaning of Christmas. They stated that this year many of us will be forced to simplify because of financial situations. Elder Uchtdorf said "I promise you this will be a blessing in disguise!" 

*To this I can already testify, being that I'm practically done with my Christmas shopping (a 1st!) & will get to actually enjoy the rest of the season & now focus on what my family can do to serve others.-what we really should be focusing on! The best gift we can give our Savior for His birthday!

*My favorite part of the night was singing Silent Night and watching as the camera panned over to our Dear Prophet & his counselors as they sang along. Goosebumps & tears!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

*Finding & Settin' Up the Tree*

With ALL our Christmas bins, decorations, tree & ornaments in far away storage, we looked for the most inexpensive way to still have a wonderful *Christmas Tree* at our house. The one necessity I desired of Christmas this year was a tree to bring that Christmas spirit & magic into our home!
(in my singing voice) -"Do you see what I see?"
(Tim had seen advertised that you could buy a 7 foot tree at Home Depot
 for $25 so we were all over that.) 
Mom this is the one!
Load it up Daddy!
bringing it in the house
We found ribbon & ornaments for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.
gotta love how the kids decorate!
My favorite moment when Daylan put the STAR on top. He was SO proud!
The final product. Bringing the Christmas spirit into our home!