"The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, December 31, 2010

Thoughts to End the Year...

Lessons, Resolutions, Other Stuff Like That...

I always thought I was a patient person... Sadly, I no longer believe this to be true! That's something I need to work on.

Even when my kids are driving me crazy, I can remember what it feels like when they are sick, seizing, struggling to breathe, or in the hospital. And I thank God that they are able to tear around the house (frustrating me!) without a care in the world.

It's okay that we can't go out and party on New Years Eve... there's always next year... or maybe in a few years... well... maybe in about 15 years...

It is an amazing feeling and responsibility to know that there are people in this life that depend on you for everything...

I am so excited for the future... to watch my kids grow into men... I just wish the "future" would take its time. Don't go so fast... I don't want to miss anything!

Family is key.

It's okay to look forward to your children's naptime. Sanity is very important for a mom.

God is love... and I am surrounded by it!

There has got to be a better way to wake up in the morning than to be jarred out of my slumber by two screaming kids who are fighting, running around, throwing anything they can get their hands on, and flipping the light on and off constantly. I am determined to find a better way...

A good husband is someone who loves you the most on the days when you haven't had the energy to change out of your sweats, put makeup on, or get dinner on the table. I'm glad I found a good one...

2010 introduced us to a series of new conerns. Our children's health... scary stuff... Hopefully 2011 can bring us some answers and solutions.

Fear is a hard one to overcome... my own personal struggle is ongoing...
I found this poem in my journal from two years ago. I can't remember where I found it first, but I'm glad I found it again...

His Unfailing Presence
Another year I enter
Its history unknown;
Oh, how my feet would tremble
To tread its paths alone!
But I have heard a whisper,
I know I shall be blest;
"My presence shall go with thee,
and I will give thee rest."
What will the new year bring me?
I may not, must not know;
Will it be love and rapture,
Or loneliness and woe?
Hush! Hush! I hear his whisper;
I surely shall be blest;
"My presence shall go with thee,
and I will give thee rest."

I wish everyone a very blessed New Year...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mama and Papa's House!

Just when the boys thought all the presents were opened we reminded them that we still had to go to Mama and Papa's house to celebrate Christmas! Conner and Ben love seeing Mikayla and Jennifer and they all had a great time together. (Especially Ben and Jen... those two are little partners in crime!)

We tried to get a picture of the four kids in front of the tree, but Mikayla was a little overwhelmed!

More and more and more presents...

Ben and Conner were both sitting with Mama so nicely, but I was a little too late to capture the moment!

And then our annual Christmas photos with Nick's family!

We had another wonderful Christmas celebration! We are so lucky to have such amazing families!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Guitar Playing 101...

Just in case you were wondering how to play a guitar...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa came!

Christmas morning came and the boys had to inspect the plate of cookies that we had left for Santa. Some of them were missing... Santa must have been hungry!

Just trying to get a nice shot of Benjamin, Conner, and Marley by the gifts that Santa brought. Two out of three kids cooperating isn't bad...

It is so hard to wait to open those bright red packages! We have to wait for everyone to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc... Ben and Conner passed the time by stacking all the presents up again and again and again...

Santa brought a train set! We were hoping that Santa would remember that Ben and Conner really wanted one. Ben, literally, jumped up and down after opening it. They were both thrilled!

After presents it was time to set up that train!

After some naps and a huge turkey dinner we got to spend more time together just playing games, laughing, and relaxing.

Time for bed Conner...

We had a great Christmas! My children's happy faces and their squeals of delight made Christmas morning all the more special.

Merry Christmas to all...

Gramps and Nana's House!

Every year we spend Christmas Eve at my parent's house with our family. We made it there (despite the constant snowfall that day) in time for church, and as is our custom, we took our annual Christmas Eve pictures when we got home. The highlight of our church service this year was watching my two boys get up and run down the aisle, out of the sanctuary, with Nana hurrying behind them! Yep... But after order was restored to our assigned pews, we enjoyed singing the carols and listening to the pastor remind us of what Christmas is really all about.

My two adorable little men... I may get made fun of sometimes for being so particular about the clothes my guys wear, but seriously... how can I be expected not to dress these two up when they look soooo cute in their suits?! (Please disregard Ben's fit that he is having... when he wasn't crying he looked pretty darn sharp!)

Merry Christmas!

We were finally reminded that if we wanted Santa to come, we had to go to bed. So we all went to bed eagerly anticipating what Christmas morning would bring...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just waitin'

On Christmas Eve morning, we just hung out with all the new toys and waited for Daddy to get home from work so we could drive to Gramps and Nana's... We stayed in our pajamas so we wouldn't get our church clothes messy! We kept watching the snow (pronounced "no" at our house... it can be a bit confusing!) and Ben kept reminding me that it was still snowing throughout the morning!!! They were getting pretty excited at the thought of Santa visiting Nana's house and bringing them presents tonight!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our Christmas!

For the last several years we have celebrated our own Christmas on December 23. The guys were more than excited to finally be able to open some of those presents under our tree.

We stuck a few little things in their stockings at home this year.

This year was very different in that Conner and Ben completely understand what presents are now and they will do anything to find out what is inside of those packages. They tore into their own presents and then helped Nick and I open ours as well! I loved seeing them so excited!

We saved the two biggest presents for last...

A guitar! Conner is our little music man and we knew he would enjoy having a "big boy" guitar!

And a new drumset! We knew that both boys would enjoy having something new to bang on! Some friends told us that we were crazy for getting them such loud toys (and maybe we are) but when you have two kids the same age, you don't care how loud they are... you just care that they are occupied!!!

Ben discovered that the headset actually works as a microphone!

Conner's turn...

Another great Christmas celebration with my guys... I am so very blessed to call the three of you my family!

Christmas Card

This was the winning photo for our Christmas card this year. It only took 18 shots to get it right...

New Phones!

On Tuesday night Nick and I were at USCellular for over two hours trying to get new phones! Even though it took forever (Thanks again Peggy for watching the guys!) we finally emerged with brand new... and slightly confusing... phones! The best part is that since we got new phones, that meant that Ben and Conner got new ones too. They have greatly enjoyed playing with their new phones... Conner especially! He has been waiting so long to get his hands on our (old) phones!

Polar Express Party!

The boys had a "Polar Express Party" at school on Tuesday and I stayed to help out. (It was also a pajama day so the boys got to wear their Christmas jammies!) I enjoyed getting to spend the morning with my kids at school. Conner was a bit confused because I was still there... he kept looking at me and eventually did tell me "Bye Mommy, Go Bye." When Ben realized that I was there to stay, he stuck to my hip and cried when I tried to leave his side...

Here the kids are getting ready to board the train so they are getting their tickets stamped! I missed Conner coming in, but I got Ben!

Conner plays with the train...

Conner spent most of his morning playing with toys at different centers.

Ben made a marshmallow snowman with me!

Ben explores the big train...

The boys got their noses painted too so when we got home I got pictures of them both. Conner loved his antlers and red nose...

Ben kept saying he wanted a red nose, but everytime they would try to give him one he would scream and yell so he ended up with one red dot on his nose!

It was a great party! All of the kids had lots of fun and I really enjoyed watching how my guys act in school!

Ben... in a skirt...

Ben brought home a bunch of pictures from school the other day and this was just too cute not to share... playing dress-up is a hit at school!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Present Transfer...

I have been stashing all of our wrapped presents in our spare bedroom. Last night we decided it was time to put them all under the Christmas tree! Conner and Ben were more than excited and here they are waiting to help Daddy bring them down the stairs!

"The Stash"

Now, of course, the tricky part is getting the boys to leave the presents alone until Christmas!

Ben was not a happy guy when we informed him for the fifteenth time that we were not opening presents right now!

Ben makes sure that Conner doesn't get to touch the presents either!

We will see if our presents survive the next few days! The boys have surprised me by NOT pulling the tree over so maybe our presents will be okay!