Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just for laughs

Reed took this picture of Laynie, who had insisted that he put these goggles on her. I can't see this picture and not laugh out loud.

Mr. Snow

Snow, Snow go away come again another day. Like Christmas Eve for instance. It's not that I'm against you. In small doses or in places that can handle you- you are lovely. I love freshly fallen snow that hasn't been touched. I love snowmen and snowangels. I even love a good snowball fight. But we are going on day four of our hibernation due to your visit. It wouldn't be so bad if you had left your friends Mr. Freezing Rain and Mr. Bitterly Cold Wind at home. They make it next to impossible to even enjoy any of the fun things you bring. So I am left at home with two VERY bored, sometimes whining and often arguing, children. We're not sure we'll survive the next six days of your projected stay. Luckily, most of my Christmas shopping is done. Even if the roads were driveable I would never venture out with all three of my children in tow. I may be stir crazy but I'm not plain crazy. So I will try to enjoy the winter wonderland you have created for me. I will drink lots of hot cocoa, sit by my warm fire, listen to the wind howl as I read a good book, and forget the dishes in the sink and the two children who are telling me, once again, that they're bored.

Yours truly,
One of those mom's getting ready to pull her hair out because you've made it impossible to get anything done.

P.S. These views are soley those of the author. The two children pictured below have a very different opinion about you. Similar to the one I had a long, long time ago and I rejoiced whenever you came into town and cancelled school. How did I get so old?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I love christmas. Everything about it. It is definately my favorite holiday and it's not just because of the presents. I love friends and family gatherings, the yummy treats, the traditions. Here are a few of the reasons why I'm in love with Christmas.

I love Christmas traditions. Decorating gingerbread houses is a new one we have started in our family. The kids love it.

I love Christmas decorations. Don't get Reed started on the boxes, and boxes, and boxes he has to pull from the attic each year. This little snowy town has signifigance though because it was my Grandma Chugg's that she set up at her house were we spent almost all of my childhood Christmases.

I love Christmas trees. Nothing smells better than a Christmas tree. I love hunting for the perfect tree, cutting it down, and then spending hours decorating it. (I do NOT like putting the lights on. :))

I love Christmas advent calendars. I love the anticipation of Christmas and the excitement that comes with it. We currently have five in our house with another one in the works!

I love Christmas lights. With this one I must note the fact that Reed puts up all the lights. I think I might like them less if I actually had to put them up. And Reed HATES it but does it because he knows how happy it makes me and the kids. I love to drive around looking at everyone's lights.

I love Christmas music and movies. Reed makes me wait until the day after Thanksgiving but sometimes I sneak. I can't let a year go by without watching "White Christmas" and Reed makes us watch "Claymation Christmas". Don't be fooled by his bahumbug exterior. He loves Christmas almost as much as me.

I love Christmas nativities and what they represent. Obviously my favorite part about Christmas is how much we as a world and individuals focus on Jesus and try a little harder to be more like him. Really that is the only gift I can give Him and it seems like at Christmas my heart just overflows with love for those around me and for that miraculous baby who forever changed everything for all mankind.

My Christmas wish to you is that you find all the joy and happiness that comes from all the festivties at this time of year but even more that you find the love and peace that comes from He who came on that perfect night and lived that we may all recieve the greatest gifts of all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Jocy

Jocy turned five yesterday and we celebrated with a High School Musical party in her honor. She had a wonderful day and loved being the center of attention. There are so many things I LOVE about Jocy but here are the top five:

1. She is very generous- willingly shares with others.

2. She laughs easily and her happiness is contagious.

3. She is thoughtful and loves to look after her sister.

4. She is affectionate and loves to snuggle.

5. She is brave and tries her hardest to keep up with her older brother.

We love you Jocy and are so grateful you are part of our family!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

We had a great Halloween week. We decided to be a bug family - with Reed as the Bug catcher. I'm all about themes but I'm not sure I'll ever convince the rest of them to go along with it again. It took quite a bit of convincing with Nate and Reed wasn't too thrilled about dressing up. We'll keep our fingers crossed for next year!

Laynie our little LADYBUG

Jocy was a grasshopper, she loved the poofy bum.

Nate the spider

Friday, October 31, 2008

Funny thing

The other night at dinner, Jocy was asked to say the prayer. As she often says in her prayers she said "I love everyone in the world." (I think this saves her time rather than naming all the people she loves;))

When she was done Nate said, "You love everyone in the world?"
Jocy: "Yes, everyone."
Nate: "Even the bad people?"
Jocy: "No"
Nate: "Even Satan?"
Jocy: "No"
Nate: "I think I would have liked Satan if he had made right choices."

Really, what can I say to that???

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tossing Tradition

So we (well mostly I) decided to pass on carving pumpkins this year. If you don't remember, my experience last Halloween well- let's just say it was less than delightful. Me- three kids, four pumpkins, and one bowl of pumpkin seeds ALL over Jocy and the floor. So instead of carving this year- we decorated. The kids thought it was just as fun and actually they were able to be more involved then they are when we're carving and using a knife. At least until they get a little older, this tradition might be a keeper. :)

Nate: Bat
Jocy: Cat
Laynie: Spider

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mozart in the Making

After Sunday dinner, Grandma Bell was playing Primary songs for Jocy & Mikeyla. Laynie insisted (by quawking incessantly) that she sit on the piano bench with Grandma. It was so cute that she thought she was making all the pretty music coming out of the piano.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Crazy about Pumpkins

I saw these ADORABLE pumpkins on 30 handmade days blog- which is a blog that posts all these FABULOUS crafty ideas from a variety of places all over the internet. I fell head over heels in love with the pumpkins and searched all over for some velvet fabric to make some but couldn't find anything, anywhere. A lady at Joann's suggested this material and so I decided to try it out. And if I do say so myself, I think they turned out pretty darn cute. The best part was going around to grocery stores asking if I could have their broken off stems. I got some wierd looks at that request. :)
These are the next pumpkins on my to do list. I can hardly wait to start! Can you tell I'm a bit obsessed?!

P.S. Don't be too impressed-- they were SO VERY easy. Maybe the easiest craft I've ever done.

Lincoln City

We spent a couple days at Lincoln City this weekend. We went down with Reed's parents and Reed's grandparents. We had a wonderful time. I LOVE the beach. I LOVE the ocean. We had the best time together. While we were there we asked Grandma and Grandpa Bell how long they have been married- 63 years was what they told us! And here I was patting myself on the back for the 10 year milestone we reached this summer. What an accomplishment 63 years is and what an example they are to us of true and lasting love.

Lincoln City

Homemade Apple Cider

Reed's parents have an orchard and one of the fruits they have is apples. They invited us over last weekend to make fresh apple cider. The kids thought it was so much fun and the end result was divine. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to drink store bought apple juice again.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I despise bedtime.
Not my bedtime.
My kids' bedtime.

Since Reed has been working nights and has scouts on tuesday, it now leaves me to do bedtime on my own a minimum of 5 nights a week. If my kids went dutifully, and quickly, and happily to bed, I would not be in this situation. It also doesn't help that by the time bedtime hits I have mentally checked out of "mom" duty and am moving into "my" time. Jocy doesn't struggle with bed time as much. She is often out fairly quickly but Nate, oh how he struggles!

Sometimes for hours.
Which, in turn, means I struggle for hours.

Quite some time ago, Reed introduced me to Pandora. It is a website that allows you to select an artist and then it plays a variety of songs by a variety of artists that are similar in nature.

Loved it then.
ADORE it now.

Last Sunday, Reed selected "Mormon Tabernacle Choir" and had some great music playing in the background. Then three nights ago, I had it playing before bed and they wanted it left on so after they were in beds I let it play in the background.
Both were asleep within 20 minutes.
Again last night.
Again tonight.

I don't want to jinx anything...and I probably already have...but can I tell you how much peace and happiness has entered our home?

No more mean bedtime mommy.
No more whiny, get-out-of-bed-a-thousand-times, kids.

I don't know how long it will last, but for however long it does, I'm going to enjoy it. Besides, you can't help but feel happy when powerful music praises the ONE who brings all peace.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Jury Duty

I just spent the last couple of days at the Washington County courthouse on jury duty. I was actually selected as a juror which statistcally didn't seem that likely. It was a very interesting procedure. Often long and cumbersome but also very enlightening. The case delt with a 16 year old boy charged with 2 felony counts. It was daunting to realize the part I played and actually quite heartbreaking to realize that because of his rash decisions his life would be altered forever. A quick synopsis. He was playing a pick up game of basketball- it got out of hand as those things often do- a fight ensued. He was punched in the eye and left the court and walked 200-300 yards to a drinking fountain. On his way back he picked up a metal pipe used to stake a tree at the park. He proceed to go back over to where the other boys were and swung it and hit one of the boys on his forearm. The victim had is arm up above his head because he thought the defendant was trying to hit him in the head and he was trying to block it. Luckily it did not break his arm but left a welt and was pretty painful for several weeks. It was obvious that he committed the crime and it was not a case of self defense. The sad part though is that because of a new law in Oregon this young man is tried as an adult and will face a minimum of three years in prison. Although I agree he committed the crime, the punishment seemed harsh. It's a testament that making good choices is so important and the things you do today have the ability to alter your tomorrows.


We have had a GREAT soccer season. We only had one rainy day of soccer and let me tell you that is AMAZING for the northwest. Jocy and Nate both played this year. And I use the term, play loosely for Jocy. This is Nate's second year playing and he is, in my modest opinion, quite good. He usually scored a couple goals each game and is getting much better at being aware of his teammates and where they are on the field. Jocy on the other hand is a different story. I don't want to judge too early but I kinda think soccer's not her thing. She is totally capable and athletically coordinated- she was just bored. Her best friend was on her team and at first the coach would put them out on the field together. She learned quickly that that was not a good idea because Jocy and Madi could usually be found running down the field playing soccer WHILE HOLDING HANDS. Not an effective strategy. But they didn't care. At least they had fun right??

The first of many

Nate finally lost his first tooth. I say finally because he is already 6 1/2 and most of his friends (and even some younger) have already lost their first. What can I say? He got that from his mom. I was a teenager before I had lost all my baby teeth. Eventually the dentist just had to pull them because he feared I'd be 20 before they decided to come out on their own. Anyways, Nate was thrilled!!!! The tooth had been wiggly for quite a few days until Reed insisted on yanking it out. Nate was a bit squeamish about the ordeal but did yell too loudly. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What a difference a year makes

Jocy started preschool this week. She is going to the same place she went last year and was so excited to see her teachers again. When I took her the first day, she walked in the door and never even looked back. I had to stop and get her attention just to say goodbye. It was a little ironic since last year for approximately the entire month of September I would leave preschool with Jocelyn crying and pleading in the background to please not leave her. This year is the complete polar opposite. I'm not complaining, though. :) I'm delighted she loves it this year.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our little ladybug turns one!

I can't believe a year has gone by. Part of me feels like it was another lifetime- I can't imagine our family and I can't imagine my life without Elayna in it. The other part of me can't quite get my head around the fact that my BABY is a year?! Where did the time go by?!
Our life is filled with so much joy because of Laynie. She is our little miracle baby. We don't know why we were so blessed to have her join our family but we are so very thankful she did.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back To School

Nate was SO EXCITED for school to start. I'm not sure I can stress how excited he was. I am loving this stage. The excitment and thrill of learning and being at school. Believe me, he wasn't the only one excited. I have to be honest, the last couple of weeks at home have been crazy. Nate is bored and done with summer activities, Jocy and him were constantly teasing each other, and I was ready to be able to run to the store without it being a huge production.

Even so, I had to control the emotions when I said goodbye to him at his desk and whispered,"Remember who you are." The part about letting him go, letting him experience things without me there to buffer, letting him be exposed to situations and things that scare the daylights out of me! He's such a good boy though- I shouldn't worry. We love you Nate- you make us so proud.

Small Window of Opportunity

I love dressing Elayna and Jocelyn in the exact same outfit. I know it's cheesy and it's a huge blessing that I don't have twins because I so would have traumatized them by insisting they dress alike. (not all the time but come on, it's SOOOO cute). Unfortunately because of the age difference between Laynie and Jocy there is a very small window of opportunity for dressing the same. Most clothing lines have items the same from 6months until 5T. So for the last few months we have been enjoying this. Jocelyn is quickly leaving the 5T sizes so I fear my fun is coming to a quick end. So I couldn't resist getting these pjs for them. Hopefully it's not the last time I ever see them in a "twin" outfit.

For the record, Jocelyn LOVE LOVE LOVES dressing the same as Laynie and Laynie's too young to care what she is wearing. So I probably haven't traumatized them too badly right? At least over that. :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dancing Queen

Jocelyn also had her recital this week for ballet. She did a wonderful job and LOVED being with her bestest friend, Maddie. They both looked adorable!


So Elayna and I went up to Spokane for a couple of days to see my college friend Jessy and her sweet little boy Will. We had a fabulous time and Laynie and Will were fast friends. How could they not be when their moms are? It's amazing that even though they are six months apart in age they are the same size. Actually I would hazard to guess that Will is bigger. That would be my genes that have destined my children to a life of shortness. :)

When I got back from Spokane, as soon as Reed and the kids picked me up, Jocelyn said, "Can I see a picture of your friend Jessy?" I took a couple dozen pictures while I was there but not a SINGLE one with Jessy. What's up with that? Instead I just had to show her Jessy's blog.

I'm in love with the beach

During Reed's break from school, we spent three beautiful days at Lincoln City enjoying this wonderful beach house with a gorgeous ocean front view. It was the perfect trip. Our good friends, the Parsons, joined us which made it all the more fun. We had the best time: great seafood from Mo's, perfect weather, fabulous outlet shopping, fun friends. What more could we ask for?

Lincoln City

Look what Laynie can do!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The number 10

10 years

120 months

520 weeks

3,652 days

87,648 hours

5,258,880 minutes

315,532,800 seconds

an unfathomable number of sweet moments spent with you

I can't really wrap my mind around the concept that we have been married for this long. Only "OLD" people have been married for ten years. I just don't feel old. Honestly, in many ways, it feels like it was just yesterday. And yet logically, I get that we have three kids, college degrees, a house, and alot of experiences behind us but I often feel like it's not possible for time to have passed us by as quickly as it has.

The first time I met Reed, I was 14 and he was a senior in high school. He was picking up his sister, Katie, from a Christmas party at my house. He came in with a friend and actually hung out for a bit. He was hilarious and of course I was smitten-as really only a 14 year old can be. I remember thinking a bit enviously how some lucky girl would get to marry him and how fun their lives would be, how they would always have laughter filling their home. At that moment, I never really imagined that girl would be me. I was right, though. Our lives have definately been filled with laughter and I am thankful every day that I ended up being the lucky girl who married Reed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Breaking Dawn

So I finished the last book in the Twilight series last Saturday- approximately 24 hours after I started it. I've been meaning to post my two cents worth:

Things I didn't like:

1. Honestly, is this really geared at young adults(ie mostly teenage girls)? It's very sexual. I mean, I get that they are married, but still... I felt like even I must be blushing a couple times. There is no way I'd want my teenager reading this.

2. This book was fairly predictable for me. All of the twists I saw coming ahead of time.

Things I did like:

1. Obviously, the story is captivating. Like I said, I read it cover to cover in 24 hours. I am amazed at Stephenie Meyer's imagination and thoroughness (maybe at moments a bit too thorough :)). But she is definately talented and rich because of it.

2. I like happy endings. I like books (especially series) that tie up nicely at the end. That probably says quite a bit about my literary tastes but I can't handle all the crying that comes with people dying or love unrequited. Breaking Dawn- ends all warm and fuzzy. Gotta love that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


This week has been filled with so many fun reunions! First off, my good friend and his wife and adorable daughter were in town and surprised us with a visit on Sunday evening. It was so fun! Robert's family and my family grew up together, our families even built houses next door to each other. I can't count the number of memories that I have that involve the Bird family. It was so fun to have him and his family over- his wife Jeana is so great. I think we've only been together three or four times since they got married but I always feel like we've been friends forever too. It was great to see them and we're keeping our fingers crossed that they make their way back to Oregon.

Then on Monday night we reunited with the Gold's, the Haroldsen's, and the Oyama's. We had them over for a BBQ. Funny thing about this group is I always start to say "Reed's friends from growing up" because Ben, Dan, Joe, Andy and Kyle were all in the same ward together. But if I stop to think about it... Dan married my friend Melanie. We lived on the same street when we were younger and were great friends. She moved in elementary school but we reconnected in high school and college. And then Emily, Ben's wife, is one of my good friends from college. Actually Reed and I were with them on their first date. So really these girls are as much my good friends as the boys are Reed's good friends. It was so fun to spend the evening with them.

The last reunion- well this one hasn't happened yet- but I bought my ticket to go visit my friend Jessy in Spokane at the end of this month. I met Jessy 10 years ago during my freshmen year at BYU. We've been good friends ever since and I can't wait to see her!

Anyways, I am all about reunions! I can't even count all the fabulous people I have been touched by over the years. I just wish we all lived in the same neighborhood together! Since that's hardly realistic I will just have to be content with reunions. I really wish every week was filled with these kind of moments.

Sunday, August 3, 2008