Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Favorites: Phrase of the Week

It snowed yesterday.  Sigh.  I can't say I was quite ready for that. The kids were super excited though! After preschool William was telling me that he wanted to play out in the snow.  He said, "And Mom, I want to wear my...(searching for the word) snow waders!" Of course, he was referring to his snow pants, I just found it hilarious that the thing that readily came to mind was [fishing] waders.  I still chuckle when I think about it.  When I texted Chris he responded "That's my boy!"

So anyway, I put their snow waders on them and let them run around in the snow to their hearts content. Now lets hope it all melts and decides to go back to being Autumn for at least a little longer.

In other news, this little cutie pants is four months old today.  Crazy how this four months has flown by but the four months before I had him seemed to last a year.  We all just love him to death! Isaac sometimes quite literally.  William was making Elijah belly laugh tonight.  I was bummed my video camera was not handy because it was quite funny.  Hopefully I'll be able to catch it next time.  
I didn't take him out in the snow, but in digging through the winter clothes bin I found some cute hats we had to try.

Friday, October 12, 2012


My dear Grandpa Hall passed away early yesterday morning.  All through my busy day I was filled with the sweetest memories of him.  Nothing too specific really, mostly impressions and images and smells. And mostly from when I was young.

-The feel of his soft skin when he would give me a hug

-Teaching me to swim in his pool in California

-How he called me sweetheart

-Listening to opera music

-Sitting in his recliner

-Making me some toast

Things like that. 

Last night I had Chris help me put together this video.  My Grandpa had a beautiful voice.  I really wish I would have been able to hear him sing in his prime, but even though this is from when he was in his late sixties and his voice has aged some, he still sounds incredible. And it's exactly how I remember him sounding which makes it even better. As far as we know this is the only recording there is of him singing so it is priceless.

Grandpa was a gentleman to his core. He really was the kindest and best of men.  He was always interested in what we were doing, and I could always tell that he had been thinking about me and my family a lot even when we hadn't seen him in a long time.

 I like to think that some of my love for classical music comes from him. 

Although I will miss him a lot, it's comforting to me to know that families are eternal, and that Grandpa Hall is surely looking out for us from the spirit world, just as he always did in this life. 

We love you so much Grandpa. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Favorites: Los Hijitos

Today I just wanted to write down some things I'm loving about each of my boys right now. And though I mean this to be more of an individual type thing, I have to include that right now, and in fact all day today William and Isaac have been playing and playing and playing together.  With minimal fighting.  And with much creativity and imagination.  They've built lego structures, hunted monsters in the dark with guns built out of snap cubes, written letters to the "code messenger" and probably a bunch of stuff I don't even know about.  I LOVE days when they play like this.  Are they still in their pajamas?  Yes.  Have they made some big messes? Yes. But that's okay, because I told them we could have a movie night tonight if they clean it all up, which means they probably will. Now if only Elijah would nap for more than 15 minutes at a time I could get some serious stuff done!

Anyway...on to the individual stuff. 

This picture was taken on the first day of "preschool" for William.  We are doing a preschool co-op with some friends and William loves it.

There is a lot of stuff about William that I am loving right now, but one of my very favorite things is that we have been reading the "Little House" books together, and he loves it.  We have already read Little House in the Big Woods and are most of the way through Little House on the Prairie and have checked out Farmer Boy from the library for when we finish it.  He wants me to read it to him all the time, and I absolutely love it that he can get into the story and empathize with the characters and follow the story line even with gaps of time in between.  He has always been a snuggler, and it's fun for me to get to snuggle up with him and read a book that I enjoy as well.  Toward the beginning of Little House on the Prairie they lose their dog Jack down a river and think he is dead, and William was SO concerned about it.  You could tell that he was feeling so bad for them and was so worried about them being alright without their dog.  I'll admit that I got a little choked up watching his face as I read. 

One other thing that I am really enjoying with William is his thirst for knowledge of all sorts.  He is interested in EVERYTHING and wants to know the whys and the hows and the wherefores, and the history behind it and what it means for the future etc. etc. etc.  Although this can get a little hard to live with sometimes for the most part I really like how interested he is in everything. 

Taken at Tim and Irene's reception. The bib was an attempt to keep his nice clothes clean.  It failed miserably.

  Isaac has been little destructo-boy lately, so at first it was a little hard for me to think of something for him (is that okay for a parent to admit?), but after thinking for about 30 seconds all the things that I love about Isaac came flooding to me.  With Isaac my favorite things are kind of hard to put into words because they have more to do with how he squints his eye and cocks his head and talks in his musical little voice than some specific thing he is actually doing. Isaac makes hilarious faces all the time.  He has a different face for everything he is saying, whether it's something serious, emphatic, silly, sad etc. And not only does he make funny faces, but he combines them with some awesome voices. It makes me laugh every single day. I just can't manage to stay frustrated with Isaac for very long because he is just so stinking cute. We were driving in the car the other day and he was in the middle of the backseat right where I could see him in the rear view mirror and it almost took my breath away because I saw again what an incredibly beautiful child he is.  I could hardly stop looking at him to watch the road!

The most recent picture I have of Elijah, taken on William's birthday at the Cutler's house.  Babies change so much that he already seems so different than pictures taken just a few weeks ago!

One of my favorite things about Elijah right now is that he definitely knows me and loves me!  He always seems to have a big grin for me when I pick him up, or will turn toward me when someone else is holding him and he hears my voice.  The other day he even reached out his arms like he wanted me to take him!  I am loving having a baby right now.  Sometimes it's stressful, and it's hard to have another mamma's boy, but at the same time I absolutely love having cuddle time and baby grins and giggles.  I also love that Elijah is usually ready to go to bed when the other boys go down between 8:00 and 9:00 and that in general he sleeps really well at night.  It definitely helps my sanity level!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Isaac turns 3

Isaac turned three years old at the end of August.  How did that even happen? I swear he was a tiny baby just yesterday!

We were originally planning to go canoeing for his birthday, but it turned out to be a pretty windy day which didn't make canoeing sound all that exciting to Mom and Dad.  So we presented Isaac with some other options and he chose to go to the zoo.  Luckily he was just as excited about that as about canoeing.

Connecting with one of their own kind :)
The lion out basking in the sun

The zoo got a new tiger!  It was pacing back and forth at the front of the enclosure.  Pretty cool to watch.

Chris scared the kids by pretending this was a real tiger that was out of its cage.  It was pretty funny.

Brushing one of the goats.  Isaac was fine with it as long as he was approaching the back of a goat, but if the goat turned and started approaching him he would run for his life!

Baby Eli and Mommy hanging out together as usual

That evening we had family come over for cake, ice cream and presents.

Gearing up to blow out those candles

Super excited about his flashlight from Grandma and Grandpa Cutler.  You can never go wrong giving a kid a flashlight!
Sporting his new backpack.  He and William play school all the time now. It's very cute!

This kid loves opening presents!  William picked out the recorder to give him and I was regretting consenting to it within about 2 minutes. 

After looking at this picture we decided that Elijah is a mini Grandpa Cutler.  Elijah looks just like him!
William, Jain and Trey watching the present opening.
Justin and Cassara came with their baby Anniston who is just 3 weeks younger than Elijah.

Elijah hanging out with Uncle Ben who is one of his favorite people.

Chris made sure everyone was served.  I never seem to have good pictures of Chris because he is usually the one behind the camera, so I have to include any that I have!
Tim and Irene came down from Rexburg for the festivities as well!

Other people not pictured were Grandma Hall, Grandma Cutler, Katherine, Chad and Mary.  We are so glad to have so much of our families close and miss those who are far away.  It sure will be hard when we (eventually) move somewhere where we don't have family close by. 

Happy Birthday Isaac Mannie! We love you so much!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Elijah's Blessing Day

We are so blessed to have this little sweetheart in our family!
 We blessed Elijah on August 5th.  It was the day after my brother Tim's reception so we were glad to have family in town for that who stayed for the blessing as well.

The blessing was wonderful.  I was struck again with how incredibly special it is for these new little people to be surrounded by men that love them and all hold the Priesthood.  Elijah had both his grandfathers, several of his uncles and of course his father, that stood in the circle along with the members of our Bishopric. All of these men love him and want the best for him in this life.

As people bore their testimonies I was thinking about the connectedness of that circle.  All the men are connected physically by the touch of their hands to each other and to my son, and connected spiritually through the Priesthood to each other and to God.  The symbolism and significance of that connection struck me very forcibly and I thought how appropriate it is that our baby's name is Elijah.

One of the things that I like about the name Elijah is that it is an every day reminder to me of the fact that my family has been sealed together in the temple.  When I think of the prophet Elijah I think of the sealing power that he restored to Joseph Smith.  I am so grateful that I know that if we live worthily our family is sealed together both in this life and through eternity.  Having little Elijah is a daily reminder to me that I want those promised blessings.

We are already at the point where we can't imagine life without this little guy in it.  We love him so much!

A picture of Father and son.  I'm so grateful that my kids have such a wonderful Dad!
The older boys were so exhausted from the whole reception the day before and then being up and ready for 9:00 church that there was no way I was going to try to get them to take a picture with us, so we just got one of Mom and Dad with baby Eli.

Lyndon and Bonnie with Elijah after the blessing. We love these people so much! It's like having extra grandparents that live close.  I think they have been present for every big event in my life which means so much to me.
Chris's parents were so so so kind to offer to host the luncheon after church.  I seriously don't know what I would have done if they hadn't.  There would have been no time or place to prepare food for everyone.  The food was delicious and beautiful (like everything his parents do) and it was fun to still have the tables set up from the reception so we could eat outside.  We just put canopies up to give a little shade from the heat.

We loved having so much family and so many friends to celebrate Eliah's blessing day!