Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Katie!

So Happy Birthday Katie! I know it's a day late and I apologize but yesterday was so crazy I never even made it to the computer until about midnight and I just didn't have any energy left to blog. But I found this picture of us... at my fifth birthday party and I just had to post it. Who would have thought that 24 years later we would be sisters?! I couldn't have been any luckier than to have you not only as a friend but a sister. We love you and think the world of you. Hope your day was special.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

When it rains, it pours

I just realized how ironic the title is since it has been raining like CRAZY for the past two days. I have NEVER seen so much rain and that is saying alot since I have lived in Oregon for all but a handful of years during my life. Anyways, that wasn't even the point of my title. I was referring to the drought we have been experiencing on my blog lately. And now that I'm back, I'm back with a million entries in one day! But in my defense... Novemeber and December are INSANE in the Bell household. What with Jocy's birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, decorating, holiday traditions, baking, etc. Plus you throw in my Primary calling and all the things that go with reogranizing primary for the new year and the Christmas parties for the teachers and then for the kids. Well you get the picture. I'm sure it is the same at your house too but when life gets insanely busy for me and I can't keep juggling all the balls-- well somethings gotta give. So my blog took one for the team. Hopefully it won't have to happen again.... but you know how the holidays go. So if I don't make it back until the new year... Merry Christmas to you all!

let it snow

Just the thought of snow makes Nate excited! So when actual flakes came floating down he was thrilled. It didn't even bother him that it didn't stick- at least this time it didn't. He's still holding out for it to snow at least once this winter.

O Christmas Tree

I love getting Christmas Trees!!! Here we are at a lot picking out the perfect tree. This lot was amazing. I could have chosen any tree on the lot and it would have been beautiful! I've never seen so many perfect trees on one lot before. I remember as a child going with the Bird family and it taking FOREVER for our parents to pick a tree. While they searched we would play hide and seek or chase in the trees. It seems the tradition naturally has continued since my kids are now the ones playing chase with their cousins through the trees. Now I wonder if it really did take my parents forever to find a tree or if it was just us as kids, in our impatience of youth, that found more entertaining things to do. :) How the tables have turned.

I included this one of Reed showing off his muscles.:) He's nice to have around.


Just a few of the things I am thankful for....

Three great kids
Forever families, knowing that we are connected to each other for eternity
A husband who loves being a dad and is my very best friend
Extended families, who are always there and love you inspite of your imprefections
Being a member of this church at this time in the world's history
Having the freedom to choose
Modern conveniences that my grandmothers and even my mom sometimes didn't have : disposable diapers, washing machine, computers, cell phones, hot water.
Food enough to eat, a warm place to live and a bounty of other luxuries.

Birthday #4

Jocy has been waiting- it seems like it at least- to be four forever! She is the youngest of all her friends and cousins and so it has been a long time coming for her to be able to tell the world that she is four! She was so very excited and had a great day! (Nov. 18th)

Monday, November 12, 2007


So I've been tagged- I didn't know this existed but here it goes. Hopefully I got the idea right. Essentially I'm supposed to come up with 6 facts/habits (come on, SIX we'll have a tough time coming up with two) about me and than tag 6 of my friends. So here it goes:

- I love to travel and when I'm not traveling I dream about all the places I'm going to go when A) I have all the money I'd ever need to do it and B) my kids are old enough to leave or take with. I've a very LONG list of places I want to go. I've convinced Reed to take to me a few of those places in recent years. I think he secretly hoped that once he did it would shorten my top ten list to top seven or eight. I don't think he understood that all it was doing was bumping up new places to those spots. Too bad for him. :)

- I hate it when someone walks behind me up the stairs. It gives me the creeps. I need to be the one in the back. If I'm not, than I have to run up the stairs. This drives Reed crazy. He constantly asks me, "What is it you think I'm going to do to you?" And really, I don't know what it is that I'm afraid of. But I also run up the stairs whenever I'm the last one to bed and I've turned out the lights. Than it's someone "imaginary" chasing me. Yes, weird I know.

- I love to read. There is always a book on my shelf to be read and often I'm reading a couple books at the same time. If the budget won't allow purchasing a new one, I'll just reread one I have. There are books on my bookshelf that have been read at least a dozen times. I read books like others watch movies.

- (Are we only to number 4, this is killing me!) I love to eat but hate to cook. Kinda an quandary huh? I swear that all food tastes better when I didn't have to make it. I know my mom has years of cooking experience on me but seriuosly I can make something exactly the way she does and Reed will even agree that it tastes just as good but it never does to me. I cook because it's a necessity of life and I like good food but not because I'm passionate about it. I think that is why not having to cook the meal makes it particularly sweet to me.

- I'm irrational and I know it and what's worse is I don't have a problem with it. Here's an example. Reed and I were talking about saving money for retirment. An realistically I'm all for saving money for retirement but well here's how the conversation goes:

Reed: We need to increase our percentage of income that we put into our retirment fund.

Me: I know that we need to but I don't really want to.

Reed: Well if you want to do all the things you want to after I retire we need to be saving alot more now.

Me: Well there's two reasons I'm against it. First, is what if I die?

Reed: Ummm, okay. Well I'll still need money right?

Me: Yeah but you'll probably remarry some girl and than she'll spend all the money that I spent saving. That doesn't really seem fair. So I think I'd rather just have fun now and spend it.

Reed just rolls his eyes because he knows this train of thought barely warrants a comment. Instead he says: Ok what's the other reason.

Me: Well by the time you retire the second coming will have happened and everything will have been destroyed or we'll be living the law of consecration and it will all be different anyways.

Reed: Yea, I'm just going to increase the retirement percentage tomorrow at work.

Even reading this makes me laugh. Logically I know it's crazy but can't change that those thought actually cross my mind. Luckily reason usually wins out with me, usually. :)

- Last one guys, I know...I love Christmas and really who doesn't. But it's a bit insane at our house. I have tons of Christmas decorations which take up a significant amount of space in the attic. Reed has to remind me every year that we only have these decorations up for 6 weeks- we don't need that many. And I'm obsessive about doing as many traditions as soon as possible to get all of them in. Soon as Thanksgiving is over, like the next day literally, I make my family get the christmas tree. It's always up and decorated by Saturday night. I prefer the lights to be on the house that weekend also but sometimes that doesn't work with Reed's schedule. Last year I was frustrated that they weren't up when I wanted them to so I decided to do them myself. Reed came home to me on the top of the roof. He was not happy and forbid me from doing that again. Maybe that means this year they'll be up extra early? We'll see.

So there you go. And Katie, Juliana, Jessy, Jess, Carlie and Mahina-- Tag you're it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Nine Hours

So I have to brag a bit. Not that I have done anything at all to accomplish this but Elayna slept 9 hours without waking up. It was amazing! I've never had a baby voluntarily sleep that long and never at 2 months old. The only time I've ever gotten that amount of sleep is when I forced it by first letting them cry it out for several nights beforehand. I'm sure that this won't be the norm but to even have it happen once is miraculous!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

All Smiles

I was finally able to capture Elayna's cute little grin on camera. I've forgotten how stingy babies are at this age with their smiles- well the real ones at least. I was delighted to get these ones and proceeded to show everyone I could how cute they were! Laynie just continues to be the most content and happy little baby. All of us are totally captivated by her and think every little thing she does is amazing

Halloween Costumes

Aren't they adorable? I think so, although I admit I'm a bit biased. They had a great time trick or treating although we did get the mother load of candy this year. I thought it was an insane amount of candy and was complaining to Reed that it was just way too much. He said, "Are you kidding me? I got more than twice this much when I was a kid!" So I stopped to think about it and I did remember putting all my candy into a HUGE tupperware bowl and than my mom putting it on top of the fridge to ration out. I guess it's all perspective- as a kid I thought that that much candy was the best thing in the world but as an adult I'm pretty sure it's the worst! If I hear the question, "Can I have another treat?" again - - it will be too soon.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pumpkin Fiasco

happy day!!! The pictures are uploading again. Not sure how it got fixed but I was reading on the help bulletin board that others were having similar problems. Here are the pictures from the pumpkin carving post. From left to right the pumpkins belong to (even though they were all carved by yours truly :)) -- Elayna, Jocy, Nate, Reed & mine

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Ok this is getting really frustrating. For the life of me I can't add pictures. When I click on the picture icon while I'm making a post. I can browse for pictures and select but than the button below says capture. When I click on it the window closes and nothing happens. So any ideas on how to fix this would be helpful. For now we will be pictureless. . . and really what's the point of a blog without pictures?????

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


So the annual pumpkin carving went swimmingly. The kids and I carved them last friday- unfortunately because of Reed's busy school schedule and work we just couldn't find a time that he could be there so he missed out. Anyways we- and I use the term we in it's loosest form- cut the pumkins, dug out the guts and then the kids told me what they wanted the face to look like. It's hilarious to me that both Nate and Jocy insisted on having their own pumpkin and kindly chose one out for Elayna. They wanted Reed and me to pick one out also but we insisted we were fine. Jocy ended up bringing home pumpkin #4 from preschool and so Reed and I agreed to share it. Realistically, I realized the more pumpkins there were -- the more pumpkins I would be carving. So five hours and four pumpkins later, this was the result. They do look like pretty good pumpkins but I'm not sure I can survive that much carving every year. Maybe next year there will be a "girls" pumpkin and a "boys" pumpkin. I know I threaten that now but this time next year the blog will read the same ol' story again. I'm a sucker for tradition. Ok this next picture almost made the whole experience worth it. I had to take a break while carving pumpkins to feed Elayna. I had already gutted all the pumpkins and carved Nate's. I had sat down on the couch to feed Laynie and was looking at Jocy who was standing on one of the chairs next to the table and was wiping a pumpkin with a wash cloth. All of a sudden- almost in slow motion- I saw her lose her footing on the chair. She tried to balance herself by grabbing the HUGE tupperware bowl full of pumpkin guts. I think you know where I am going with this. She proceeded to fall onto the floor but not without bringing the entire bowl of pumpkin guts down on top of her head. I just burst out laughing. It was the funniest thing I have seen in a long long time. She of course was crying her head off. I knew she wasn't hurt- just freaked out that all that "slimy goop" was all over her. I really really really wanted to go run and get my camera to take a picture but I didn't have the heart to traumatize her any more than she already was. So you'll have to settle for the pile on the floor that I dug her out from underneath. :)

Monday, October 22, 2007


So I need to admit something. I think I'm addicted to blogging. Yes, I know it doesn't seem possible. It's true I just started blogging and it wouldn't seem like there hasn't been enough time, not too mention the fact that my site hardly shows the effort or the mass amounts of posts to indicate an addiction but it's true. It's midnight here in Oregon and I am completely aware that I have a newborn sleeping who will be awake ... well who knows when... but instead of taking advantage of this opportunity to sleep I am reading blogs and writing blogs and trying for the life of me to figure out how you all did cool things to your blog site that I can't get mine to do. Anyways, I just discovered based on this very scientific and clinically reliable quiz that I am only 42% addicted to blogging.

I'm not entirely sure what that means or what sort of treatment I get now but at least I'm aware of the problem- that's the first step right?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back to School

So it's official- Reed has gone back to school. We've been tossing the idea around for a year or so. And in a whirlwind of activity we settled on one, applied, got accepted and started in about a month. Well the researching and all took a bit longer but it seems like everything was decided really quickly.
Anyways, two years from now Reed will have his MBA from Babson University- they are located in Massachutes but have a fast track program in Portland. Reed will attend classes every 4-6 weeks on Friday and Saturday. The rest of class will be done online in chat rooms etc. How new age is that? Anyway, it will be intense for the next two years as he continues to work full time and go to school and fulfill his scout calling and you know... do family stuff. A shout out to all my friends who have done the "support husbands through school stuff". There should be some sort of degree or certificate for you when your husbands finish school! Or at least a plaque that has your name on it. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Nate started his first organized sports team last month- SOCCER. Here I am a soccer mom, with a minivan. Not sure how I got here but somehow I've arrived. And to tell you the truth, it's kinda fun. Actually really fun. Watching Nate play soccer and LOVE it is really fun. He's just so determined and does really well. The first game we went to he scored probably 8 goals. I'm not exaggerating or bragging- just stating the facts here. :) Anyways, he is just enthusiastic about participating. There is just one problem with that enthusiasm- we're working on not stealing the ball-- from our own teammates. :)

First day of School

I know school started over a month ago but I didn't want the website to be all about Elayna. :) Starting school was a big thing for both Nate and Jocy. Nate started kindergarten this year at Brookwood Elementary. His teacher is Mrs. Peterson and he absolutely LOVES going to school. It is so cute. He gets so very excited and loves everything about it- especially homework. He loves to do his homework and is constantly asking when he gets to do it. I hope this enthusiasm for homework lasts!
Jocy is a little unsure of how much she likes preschool. She seems to like it now, but that is after we spent the last month crying incessently everytime she was left. It was heartbreaking to see how much she didn't want to leave. Then I would pick her up afterwards and I would ask her how her day was and she would say "PERFECT!" One day I asked her why did she cry so much when she always liked it after I left. She said, "Mom, I just want to cry a little bit when you leave." Arrrgggghh! Anyways, she seems to like it now and that's enough for me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

3 weeks

Here are pics of Laynie at three weeks old. She is so alert in these pictures. I put them on to prove to Reed's parents that she is awake sometimes. They've seen her half a dozen times since she has been born and they've yet to see her eyes.
She is a good sleeper though. I can't believe it sometimes- like last night she slept 5 1/2 hours between feedings. I just couldn't believe it. I mentioned to Reed tonight that we should have had a great sleeper like her first- he said that it was better this way. She would have spoiled us and made it hard to deal with difficult sleepers afterwards. At least this way we are just pleasantly surprised and delighted with her.


Reed was able to bless Elayna on the 16th of September. She was only a week old but we wanted my parents to be here for it. So Reed, my dad, his dad, Jim, and then our friends Jeff Ellis and Travis Roth, along with our Bishop Wade Ellis helped to bless Elayna. It was a beautiful blessing and I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy that we have this sweet little girl in our home. I also felt such great love for Reed and his ability to bless the lives of our children. I feel so lucky that we are in this together and that he keeps himself worthy so he can do these things for our family.

Elayna Faith

On September 7th a beautiful baby girl joined our family- EARLY! We had a planned c-section scheduled for the next morning but our little baby just couldn't wait. At about 8 am on the 7th I felt a sensation like I was wetting my pants. It wasn't a significant amount of water though so I was a bit confused. I had heard from others that there is no way to confuse you water breaking. That there is alot of water. One person said they filled up a small pan when their's broke. Mine was NOTHING like this so I just shrugged it off. It happened again about fifteen minutes later so I called my doctors office and they told me to go to the ER just to be sure. When I got there the nurse confirmed that my water had broken and I proceeded to cry. I am sure I am the only 39 week pregnant woman crying because she did NOT want to be in labor. I had a million things to do that day and it was also the ONLY day that week that my doctor was not in the office and therefore wouldn't be able to perform the surgery. Even though this was my 3rd c-section it still makes me a little nervous to go under the knife. Not too mention the fact that I had been talking up for months now, how cool it was going to be to have my baby on 09-08-07. I'm sorry but 09-07-07 just doesn't seem as cool. :( Reed assured me that that was the least important reason to be upset.
Anyways, so ready or not, on the day I wanted it or not, with the doctor I wanted or not- this baby was coming. Unfortunately for me, the hospital only has 4 operating rooms and all 4 were be used at the time for emergency c-sections and surgeries. This meant I had to wait for a room to open up. Which wasn't necessarily a bad idea to me until my water broke completely. (Before it had just a small leak). I then spent the next hour having intense contractions at 2-3 minutes apart. I was not a happy lady. This was supposed to be the perk of c-sections: planned and no pain, at least leading up to the birth. Anyways, finally we were underway and in the operating room. About a half hour later they pulled our baby out and let Reed announce to me and everyone in the room that it was a girl! We were so surprised- Reed insisted it was a boy all throughout the pregnancy. She was beautiful and had so much hair! We could hardly believe it! It took awhile for us to come up with a name for her but we finally settled on Elayna Faith. She is such a sweet baby and we are so glad she finally joined our family.


I can't believe I am venturing out into the world of "bloggers". Honestly, I've always thought it was just too "new age" for me- like texting. I'm very anti-texting. Not really sure how that came about but its possible I could start a club. Anyways after viewing so many of my friends blogs, I've been inspired to try it out. So here it goes.....