Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

Arizona for almost 7 years! She was about 6 months old when we moved down here! That is the longest we have been in any one state!

Having a big family, I really try to make my kids feel special on their Birthday. It's not about spending a lot of money, but just giving them extra attention and really focusing on them that day. They don't have to do chores, they get to choose their birthday dinner and cake. We try to do special things and let them know we love them. The kids are great too because all day long they are nicer and really try to make the day special for their sibling. Little Lauren sang "Happy Birthday" to Alyssa many times throughout the day!

For Alyssa, I wanted to do something fun-- just the two of us! So we went to Cold Stone Creamery and I took her to see Princess and the Frog. The other girls were so jealous! And although I don't encourage jealousy-- it did make Alyssa feel extra special, knowing that they really wanted to go too.

Alyssa got chocolate ice cream with sprinkles.

While we ate our ice cream, we watched the fountain at the mall. Sometimes they do a fountain show to music. It's fun to watch.

Here we are together. It's like pulling teeth to get Alyssa to look at the camera!
We had a great time at the movie.

For dinner, Alyssa wanted Ramen Noodles. So we made a chicken soup out of it.

Alyssa wanted a store bought cake, which was fine with me because after having 4 birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years, within 2 months-- I needed a break!
The only thing Alyssa cared about on her cake was that it had roses on it! I found this one for a great price and it was so pretty and yummy! The frosting was whip cream-- not the super sweet kind that gives me the shivers.
Instead of regular balloons- we got the big punching balloons for everyone.

I didn't realize they would start using them against each other!

Hanna found some interesting uses for them too!

Alyssa with her stash!

Dad was making Alyssa laugh! I love to hear her laugh-- it lights up the room.

She got a pretty pony playhouse from Grandma & Grandpa Smith (plus some cash- yeah)

All she asked for was a snowglobe! This one has Snow White in the middle with the 7 dwarfs around the bottom. She really liked it.

Grandma & Grandpa Wheeler gave her a Webkinz. She loved it and couldn't wait to get on the computer! She was in a silly mood when we took this picture.

We got candy necklaces for everyone to wear.

Blowing out the candles!
Fun Facts:

Alyssa is very easy going and content. She just goes with the flow. I tried to figure out her favorites, but she just likes everything-- here is what I could get.

Favorite Color: Purple (that was a definite)

Favorite Food: Ice Cream

Favorite Song: She likes whatever, but she really wanted Eternal Flame from the Bangles on her playlist

Favorite Movie: She watches whatever, but really enjoys animated movies

Favorite Book: She has just started getting into books. She doesn't have a favorite, but will stay up after bedtime with a pile of books.

Favorite Activity: Playing- Alyssa is so playful. She loves to tease and play with others. She's a great friend and gets along with others so well, no matter what their age. She is also a peacemaker.

Favorite Thing About School: PE- she's really good at sports

Nicknames: Sunshine girl, Poopy lou, Lyssa lou

Other Facts: Alyssa is a very special girl. I call her my sunshine girl because she is so happy. Her laugh lights up my world and I love when I get hugs from her. Like I said, she's a peacemaker and a great friend. She gets along with even the difficult personalities. She still sleeps with her purple blanket I made when she was born and when she cries, it breaks my heart.
We love Alyssa!
She truly makes our family brighter-- I don't know what we would do without her!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Glimpse into Kamary's mind.

This is just an example of Kamary's (9 yrs. old) train of thought. She is a very bright and creative girl. She thinks "outside" the box, which sometimes gets her in trouble at school (when she doesn't want to do her work), but it's really a gift.

Background: Hanna lost a black folder with a bunch of art she had done. This loss devistated her and she prayed to find it, but didn't. She was very discouraged and felt that maybe God didn't hear her prayers. I encouraged her to keep praying and that sometimes the answers are not when we want them or even what we want them to be. That was about 2 months ago.

Kamary and some girls in her class are getting together and making crafts & lemonade to sell for charity to help the people in Haiti. She was getting into a drawer full of notebooks to write down all the things she needs and there, sitting in the drawer-- Hanna's black notebook!!

Hanna was sooooo excited to have her notebook back. And we talked about how God did answer her prayers, but tried her faith first.

I was talking to Kamary, telling her that she had helped God answer Hanna's prayer and she said- "So that's why God let the bad things happen in Haiti!"


"God let the earthquake come to Haiti, which made Kaitlyn M. and the girls in my class want to do a charity, and then they invited me and then I decided to join them, which made me look into my drawer and find Hanna's notebook and answer her prayer!"

Wow- that's quite a chain of events. Then she continued "So now I get it! That's why bad things happen. There might be cracks in the road and hard things, but it leads to a good road. So it's better to go down the road than not try at all."

What an amazing train of thought!

Both Kamary and Hanna wrote about their experiences in their journals tonight!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


After Christmas we went up to Utah to visit family.

Jason's sister Lynette and her family just moved to Utah from Georgia. We are very excited that now it only takes 1 day travel to visit instead of 4!!

Lynette's 2 oldest girls, Cathryn & Rachel with a lap full of kiddos!

Rachel & Brynlie. This is Brynlie's relaxing stance- she does it all the time!

Lynette & Brynlie

Brynlie is such a tease. She hold out her arm toward you as if she's going to be nice and then scratches. She likes the reaction. Here, Lynette is catching her "in the act".

For New Years Eve, we played games and had some rounds of arm wrestling.

Rachel & Cathryn watched the kids while the adults went out for dinner! It was so fun to be together!

Kohler and his cousin Curtis had so much fun together. They didn't fight at all and just played all day long! Both boys enjoyed doing "boy things", since they both only have sisters!!

Kamary and her cousin Marianne had a great time too~ connected at the hip!

While we were up in Logan, we took Hanna and Alyssa ice skating at Merlin Olsen Park. When I was a kid, I would always go ice skating there. It was strange but fun to take my kids there. I felt a little old. I love ice skating though and we haven't been in so long!

Trying to stay up.

Getting the hang of it.

Dad & Alyssa.

Fun times!

I'm doing it!

Hanna had a great time!

Alyssa fell a lot!

After skating we went back and took all the kids sledding!

Lauren going down the hill.

Woo Hoo!

I even went down the hill!

At the top of the hill.

Dad and Brynlie ready to go down the hill.
My kids love to dress up! My dad decided to get out some of the costumes and international clothing that they had. The kids had a fashion show and had a great time "dressing up".

Alyssa wore this outfit all day!

African Princess

Silly Kids!

My mom collects piano music boxes. Much to Jason's dismay, the kids loved this one and kept playing it over and over!

My parents have a balcony and Kamary got the idea to tie a basket to some rope and create a delivery service.

Brynlie getting a surprise.

It was FREEZING in Utah!

Whenever we go up to Logan, Kamary likes to stay in the upstairs guest room.

Playing Checkers with Grandma.

Thanks to Mom & Dad Smith we were able to take two days to travel home and went by Arches National Park.

Here we are at Balanced Rock. It surprised me how cold it was there. I had thought being a desert that it would be warmer.

This is the Delicate Arch viewpoint.

There was a beautiful sunset.

Double arch.

I had just read a book called "The Undaunted" about the Mormon Hole-in-the-rock pioneers. We stopped in Bluff, where they had finally settled. It was fun to see some of the countryside that I had read about.

We traveled through the reservation and stopped in Monument Valley.

We finally got home and the kids were excited to see all their Christmas presents waiting to play with. It was good to be home, but we really enjoyed seeing family.