dear Santa…

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Merry Thanksgiving…

I promised myself I would take more pictures, and yet I ended up with only a few.  We were excited to spend Thanksgiving with family.  We tried to prep as much as possible the night before so we wouldn’t spend all day cooking. We were able to have a little fun… we went shooting! Also, did some relaxing, a little Black Friday shopping planning…

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Of course the best pictures are of Natalie doing a little ad shopping…

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She was just so serious studying the deals and found quite a few good ones!

Mom, Marissa, Dawn, and I went out Thursday night about 11pm, and then again Friday morning about 4:30. We got some great deals, missed out on a few, but had fun.  Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, along with breakfast, appetizers, desserts. I don’t think I ever stopped snacking!

We spent the last month of Family Home Evenings talking about gratitude and the kids enjoyed thinking of everything they are grateful for. In the end, Thanksgiving is all about family, freedom, and recognizing our blessings!


The Big 5!

Luke has the birthday routine down.

All day I heard, “the birthday boy gets to do whatever he wants!” 

Not quite buddy, but close.


He was excited to wake up to streamers in his doorway, balloons everywhere, and presents on the table. He couldn’t wait to open them. He knew there were a few more some where (I had them in my closet and he saw them), but we made him wait until later to open the others!  He requested chocolate chip muffins for breakfast with candles!

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(playing with his new Chuck Truck Track, awesome consignment sale find)

He also requested lunch with Daddy (at Sonic), a visit to the the park (it was such a nice day), and games at Chuck E Cheese (their favorite birthday destination, plus we get the email with free tokens for birthdays!).

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Natalie was happy to go along with all his birthday wishes. Plus we were headed to Grandpa and Grandma’s house to spend the night, so it ended al too perfectly.


The tired out Birthday Boy!

I just can’t believe we have a five year old. I guess I’m not quite so young anymore. We sent the evening watching baby videos of the kids. It’s crazy how much he has grown. No longer does he have those chubby toddler legs. His voice is still pretty sweet and high pitched, but he can be quite a stinker too.  He is very clever. He often has a plan to get what he wants and tries to spin things into his favor. He definitely has his sister wrapped around his finger about 80% of the time.

He can write most of his letters correctly although they take up most of the page. He hasn’t taken an interest in reading on his own yet, but he loves books and remembers most of what we read. Just today, we were drawing the planets. I drew Saturn and pointed out the rings. He told me, “but they’re not really rings.” “oh they’re not?” “no, its really dust.” (We read that months ago!)

He is really into Star Wars and loves to play Lego Star Wars with Daddy.  Its cute to hear him try and boss his Dad, when Darin is using all his patience not to be bugged by Luke changing guys over and over and often shooting him!

He is growing up all too fast. I am glad he is only at preschool three mornings a week, so I get to enjoy him a little longer.

party time!

Since Nat’s little friend party this year, Luke has been counting down the days until his birthday. However, it falls the day before Thanksgiving this year so I told him maybe he could have a party on the Saturday before. Score! Of course, it’s been a little tricky to distinguish between party and actual birthday. He had to have birthday pancakes Saturday morning and had told me the night before that he should be waking up to lots of balloons (I reminded him that he would get that on his actual big day)…


Although this kid is obsessed with Star Wars, but thanks to Netflix and discovering Power Rangers, that once again trumped all other interests… So Samurai Power Ranger Party it was…

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Power Up Food Bar… all kid friendly from mini hot dogs to cheese puffs!

Luke wanted to invite everyone he knew, but he got it down to 10 guests (a couple of sibling duos), in the end 7 were able to make it, but then we had a few extra siblings join so it was a house full! They had balloon swords, played Pin the Buckle on Megazord (the big good guy when Power Rangers join together), Pop the Putties (the bad guys), and made candy sushi (their take home treat). They ate, sang Happy Birthday, ran around the house, and beat each other wildly with swords!

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Happy Birthday Song

It’s hard to get pictures of four and five year olds, but sometimes you can rally a few together…

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Let’s just say Luke was in heaven. He loved having so many friends (and his cousins which he calls them friends too) to play with and celebrate him. He loved his presents too, thank you thank you all! The kid wants to invite friends over everyday, so this was the ultimate play date. He was very grateful.

Now I have two days to enjoy my little four year old before he does turn five…  can’t believe it.

Wait, I missed a month?

Oh yeah, October has flown by and I haven’t posted a thing! I better play catch up and get it all in one post…

Our garden yielded two perfectly sized pumpkins for two perfectly silly kids. We decided to paint them at the beginning of the month so they could decorate our porch. Here are their masterpieces…

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A scary face and a ghost pumpkin!

Of course, Natalie couldn’t leave her pumpkn alone the next day and dropped it on the floor for reasons I never figured out and it busted. So we cut it up and baked it and pureed it to make a pumpkin pie later. And then there was one.

October also brought on PRESCHOOL!! Yay! I cannot express the excitement of these two. Luke would know how everything works since he has been there before and Natalie finally gets to go (she cried qutie a bit when Luke would go without her).

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They were happy to head right in and loved all the attention they were getting. They attend a preschool “lab” at the high school three days a week, for three hours. So there are half a dozen high school students helping with everything and teaching little lessons and two teachers for the dozen kids in the class. Needless to say, they get a lot of one on one time!

The second day Natalie was a little shy going in, I had to walk her in and help her hang everything up before she would venture around, but that shyness has worn off and she goes in confidently now. They love to bring home their creations and tell me who the leader was and what they had for snack. They have two friends in the class so they really feel “at home.”

I’ve been enjoying the time to myself, getting Natalie’s baby book finished, visiting teaching without kids, grocery shopping without kids (my cashier at Kroger was totally surprised!), etc. Soon enough I’ll have that baby with me though and that will change things up. For the next couple of months, I’ll try to catch up on other projects!


Along came Canadian Thanksgiving, and the kids were happy to celebrate. Our tradition is to go out to eat. Often because I forget until that day and because I don’t want to cook a turkey for just us.  Maybe one of these days I’ll plan to invite friends and family over and go all out.  That would blow Darin’s mind. Don’t hold your breath.

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Sometimes we get a little silly. Daddy’s clothes are the most fun to dress up in, but my shoes are quite a hit too.

And my lipstick…


October was a beautiful month of fabulous weather, and the changing colors. We tried to spend lots of time outside.

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We even went camping the first weekend at Stone Door, but our trip got cut short with a rainstorm in the early morning, so we tore camp down as quick as we could at six am and headed home to make our “camp” breakfast. We then snoozed a bit before conference started!

Since I’ve been called into Young Women’s the kids have attended quite a few activities and love the youth. One night when it was our turn to help clean the church, Natalie kept asking if the “young womens” were coming and couldn’t understand why we would be there without them!

We also had a ward activity that we couldn’t get a babysitter for so I flew solo since I was helping with the games. Darin told me NOT to do a good job, so they wouldn’t ask me again (I helped once before). I don’t know if I accomplished that or not.

We’ve had lots of play dates, got to spend a Saturday at Dustin’s Kings Cup Soccer Tournament, and plenty of family dinners, but we never went to the pumpkin patch. What, you say? I know, I know. I’m disappointed in myself too.

However, we left the kids with Grandpa and Grandma and headed on a fun trip to Atlanta. We found a cheap decent hotel, enjoyed a fabulous morning at IKEA (Can you just see me grinning when I say that? I just love that place!), then enjoyed the BYU vs Georgia Tech game. We killed them and it was their homecoming game, heehee.


And along came HALLOWEEN! There is lots to do here Mac-Minnville… After preschool, we headed to Trick or Treat on Main Street with our friends. Then there was the Ward Trunk or Treat that evening followed by the Trail of Treats at the Civic Center and then trick out treating around our neighborhood!

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I let the kids pick what they wanted to be. Nat was set on being a giraffe and then my mom and I found a costumer at a consignment shop for six bucks, SOLD!  Luke wanted to be the red power ranger, so he got the homemade version since at the store was a bit more than I wanted to spend.  He was happy though. And we adhered to the no masks policy and went with face paint. Our neighborhood doesn’t get hit by too many kids (houses too far apart), so the kids raked it in being one of the few!  All in all, they got almost eight pounds of candy EACH! They were happy. They get one or two treats a day, so it should last them a good while, depending on what Mom and Dad eat!

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We dressed up too! Happy October!