Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My 100th Post

I am so glad that my friend Keli started her blog.  If I hadn't seen hers I don't know that I would have ever started doing this.  I love that I am able to give my family and friends that are far away a sneak peak into our daily lives.  I hope that those of you who read it enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it.
2008 has been a wild ride.  We are so glad to be back living in Tucson.  Marshall is working for himself and even though the economy is not in the greatest shape we are doing just fine.  We are so thankful each and every day for the blessings that God has provided in our lives.  We have two beautiful, happy, healthy children that have taught us what it means to love unconditionally.  I am married to one of the greatest men in the world, he is so good to me and I can't imagine my life without him.  We are surrounded by friends and family who are always there for us.  I look at my life and I just cannot believe how lucky I am.
I love you all so much and I pray that each and every one of you has a happy, healthy, and blessed New Year.  

Emma counts!

Every night when we bath the kids we always count how many cups of water it takes to rinse out the shampoo.  Emma has started to count with us.  Here is a video of her saying her numbers with us.    **I am thinking she is going to be talking in full sentences by two!** 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

First time in the snow

We decided to make the drive up Mt. Lemmon today to let the kids play in the snow.  Everyone else in Tucson had the same idea but luckily we got up there before it got too crowded.  Tyler and Emma had a blast.  He loved making and throwing snowballs and probably would have stayed up there all day if we would have let him. (Check out the video..the end is the best part!)
Here are a few pictures from our morning.

She fell down a lot but had Dad right there to pick her back up!

We forgot how good Tyler's aim is...check out Marshall getting a snowball  in the face!

Leave it to Marshall to teach his boy how to make yellow snow!!!
It sure is nice living in a place where you can drive an hour to play in the snow but then turn around and get back home to warmer weather and enjoy it from afar.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


It was rainy and cold yesterday which meant that we got snow in the mountains!  The paper said this morning that there was snow at 3000 ft.  I took these two pictures yesterday evening from our backyard.  

This is how I like my white that we can enjoy from afar!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

We let all of our family know that our house would be up and moving by six a.m. so they needed to be ready if they wanted to see the magic!  Katie had one camera, Randy had my flip video, Carl had my camcorder, and mom had her camera, so every second of the morning was documented!=)  Tyler woke up first and we made him stay in his room until we heard Emma wake.  After we got her diaper changed and read the thank you note that Santa had left we headed in to the living room to see the presents.  
I think the kids were a bit shocked at everyone being in the room and staring at them because as you can see from this video they looked a bit stunned as they entered the room and saw what Santa brought.
Tyler's Santa gift was the jeep and Emma got the kitchen that I always wanted!=)
Everyone was beyond generous to the kids and they got so many wonderful gifts.  Katie got Emma a bunch of dress up clothes so that she can be Cinderella.  She loves all of the dresses and has been wearing her high heels and jewelry around the house today.  Marie got her a doll that came with a stroller, cradle, diaper bag, and baby carrier.  She has been such a good little mommy to her babies today.
Marie got Tyler the scooter that he has been wanting.  Mom and Carl got him a really neat tool bench that he has been busy at work at all day.  We are going to buy him a bike with the money that Grammy and Grandpa and Grandma Brown sent.  I haven't decided yet what we are going to use the money on for Emma but I am leaning toward a doll house...she would love this!
We had a wonderful time opening gifts and Tyler really enjoyed ripping open all the packages. Emma would get so involved in the toy that was in front of her that she would not be that interested in opening anything new so I opened most of hers.
(The Hess truck and table topper were from my Aunt Mary Lea....she made the table topper and Emma just fell in love with the pretty princess pics.)
Carl made us a wonderful breakfast and we just sat around playing with toys and watching movies for most of the afternoon. 

A customer of Marshall's had sent us a Honey Baked Ham so we had that for our dinner along with mashed potatoes like my grandmother used to make and oyster stuffing.  We also had a birthday cake to celebrate the birthday of Jesus.  

It was a wonderful day spent with our loved ones.  We really missed all of you who could not be with us, but I hope that watching these videos and seeing these pictures will make you feel like you were right here with us!  We love you all and are so grateful for all that you do for us and our children.  Thank you for helping to make our holiday season such a special one.  I wish each you a very Merry Christmas and a truly blessed New Year.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday, Tyler had school and he didn't want to miss it even if it meant not spending the day with Nana and Aunt Katie.  He was very excited because they had a birthday party for Jesus and a gift exchange.  He was thrilled with all the Spider man "stuff" that he got in the exchange.
While he was at school us girls went to do some last minute shopping.  We didn't go too many places so it really wasn't that awful to be out and about with the masses.  That evening we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant here in Tucson, El Mezon del Cobre.  The kids did really well and we all had a delicious dinner.
Wednesday we got up and went to the YMCA to burn off some of those calories from the night before.  After we were done we got a few groceries for Christmas dinner and then headed home. Mom and Carl went to spend the afternoon at his grand daughter's house at the military base on the other side of town.  Katie and Randy went to finish their shopping while the kids napped and I got a chance to make sure I had everything ready for the next day.  
After dinner that night we decorated some cookies for Santa and got out a few carrots for his reindeer.

Before we got ready for bed we let the kids open one gift each.  I decided last year that I would get them new pj's every year so they would look extra cute in the Christmas morning pictures. Last year Tyler was thrilled with his gift.  This year I think he was expecting something a bit more exciting than pajamas.  Click here to see his is priceless!  

Marshall and I told each other no gifts this year but my sweet husband gave me a pretty wonderful gift that night...a new Cannon Rebel camera.  I was shocked.  Now I just need to take some photography classes so I can get really good at it and maybe I can start a little side business!=)

After baths, reading The Night Before Christmas,  and getting our kids nestled all snug in their beds, six very busy elves went to work putting together Santa's gifts.  We got everything done and were in bed by a decent hour.  


We geared up for house guests today.  Mom, Carl, Katie and Randy all came in to help us celebrate Christmas.  I had been telling Tyler all day that as soon as they got here that we would have Aunt Katie help us make a gingerbread house.  They didn't get here until dinner time so we quickly ate and then started on our little project.  I always have these grand dreams that our house will come out like those awesome ones that we see on the box, in magazines, and on TV.  Yet somehow I always end up just shocked at how little creative talent I have!=) We did have a few laughs as we tried to create our little masterpiece!

Mom made Tyler a little Christmas tree a few years ago that has little construction ornaments on it.  This year she made a tree for Emma.  She put the Disney princesses on it with red was beautiful and Emma LOVED it!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Meeting Santa again

On Friday we went to this great little place called The Village Bake House with Marie and Evan.  They were having an open house with cookies, face painting, and a visit from Santa.  The kids got to decorate their own cookies.  Both of my children went a little overboard on the icing and sprinkles....but they sure had fun.

The Santa that was there was very nice but he had a mini conference with EVERY child so it took forever to get the chance to see him.  We got in line three different times and then we would go back outside and just wait until the crowd died down and tried again.  They had you fill out this piece of paper with your child's name, things he/she does around the house to help, things he/she needs to improve on, and things he/she can do for others.  
Tyler helped me with his...

Name: Tyler
Things I do around the house to help:  Feed the dog and pick up my toys
Things I need to improve on: Being a good listener (I picked this one) and coloring (he pick that one!=)
Things I can do to help others: We can use our money to buy presents for kids who don't have any.  He said this without any prompting...we shopped for two kids whose names we got from a gift tree so I guess it made an impression.

Name: Emma
Things I do around the house to help:  Pick up my toys.
Things I need to improve on:  going potty on the potty (hey I figured if Santa told her to do it maybe she would!!!
Things I can do for other:  Give lots of love.

So we finally get our turn and Santa starts his little conference.  As he is going over Tyler's he says, "Wow it looks like you are a good helper for your mom."  Tyler said "Yes"  Then he says, "Are you a good listener or do you need to get better at that?"  Tyler looked at him and said, "Are those toys in that basket?"  That's my boy...such a good listener!=)

Emma was very excited to see Santa.  When we got up there she turned around and yelled, "Santa!"  She wasn't so sure about sitting on his lap though so I started to crouch down with her and let Marie take our picture.  Santa said, "Oh, mom can sit on my lap, I like when the mom's sit!"  I guess playing Santa has its perks!=)

Our cute kiddos!

PJ Day

Thursday was pajama day at Tyler's school.  They read The Night Before Christmas to the kids and had a pajama party.  He insists on only wearing footed pajamas here at the house so we had to go buy him a new pair that he could wear there.  

Tyler's class saying grace before the end of the day snack.

Ms. Sheri and Tyler (oh, and Jonah...he was still tired from nap!=)

Tyler and Kayleigh, aka his wife, and some other little girl who ran into the picture!=)

Tuesday is the last day of school before break.  They are having a birthday party for Jesus and a gift exchange, Tyler can hardly wait!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Sorry it has been awhile since my last post but there hasn't been too much excitement around here.  
Both of the kids are doing really well.  Emma just blows me away with her vocabulary.  She not only knows where all of her body parts are but she names them too!=)  Both she and Tyler have been doing a lot of pretend play together so come Christmas time the two of them are going to be in heaven with the arrival of Emma's deluxe kitchen.  She is still over the top obsessed with all things girly.  She always has a bow in her hair, a necklace around her neck, and some princess memorabilia in her hand.  
Every once in awhile my arms get lonely for a baby but then I think, "Good God, are you nuts!!!!!  Do you really want to go through all of that again?"  and I snap right out of it.    Babies are sweet and cuddly and wonderful but they require 100% of your time and attention.  It is really nice finally having toddlers who can be left alone for a few minutes while I grab a quick shower.

Last weekend we went to the Oro Valley Christmas Parade.  It was kind of a sad parade but the kids really seemed to enjoy themselves.  We found a spot that was not at all crowded so the kids were able to wander around while we waited for it to begin.  They had a hard time staying still and both seemed to want to be in it more than they wanted to watch it!

They finally spotted the beginning after a long wait.

Here he is taking pictures with the toy camera that he got there.
After church and naps on Sunday we drove up to Chandler to visit our friends and tenants Alan and Gretchen.  Grethen just had a beautiful little boy named Carson.  The kids were excited because the swing set is still in the yard and so is their sandbox--we never moved it down here because of our scorpion problem.  Our little daredevil, Emma just bailed off down the slide without a care in the world.  There was one stressful moment to the day and that was when Berkley, aka Marley, grabbed Emma's Cinderella and ran off with it in his mouth.  Everyone started yelling at once so the poor dog thought it was play time.  We did manage to get "Ra" back but he got banned to the crate for the remainder of the visit.
It has been pretty chilly the last few days and we have even had some rain.  It is nice to be able to dress in the few cold weather clothes that we have.

Marshall also enjoys it because both of the kids will cuddle up with him on the chair or couch for a little football viewing.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Mom's work is never done!

You may have seen this before but it made me smile this morning and I thought that I would pass it along to my fellow moms out there!  
Have a great day and know that you are an amazing mom!=)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our first Santa sighting

Santa was at story time today.  They announced that he would be coming a few weeks ago so I made sure it was on the calendar so that we would not miss it.    Emma has learned to say Santa and Ho Ho Ho and we have been reading lots of Christmas stories so the kids were both very excited.
As you can imagine every child under the age of five in Oro Valley that was not at daycare was in attendance.  I felt so sorry for the poor Santa because it was crowded and hot.  He kept saying, "I forgot how warm it is here in Arizona at Christmas time:" as he was sweating his ass off in his costume!
Both of the kids were big eyed as he entered the room but neither of them really wanted to get too close.  He was a good Santa and sang songs and read to the kids.

I tried to get them to sit on his lap but Emma freaked out so I didn't push her.  Tyler said he would talk to him but that he was not going to sit on his lap.  He visited with him for a minute then as we walked away he looked at me with big panicky eyes and said, "Mommy, I forgot to tell Santa what I wanted for Christmas!!!"  I told him that it was ok and that we could just write him a letter and tell him.  I tried explaining that it was so busy there that Santa might forgot or might not be able to hear him so a letter would work great.  Tyler wasn't buying it and started to get worked up so we went back over and managed to sneak a quick visit in while a mom was fixing her daughter's hair for their photo op. He told him his wish and all was right with the world.  

I really am not sure that I am going to take them to the mall and do pictures this year.  If they wouldn't sit with him at the library I REALLY doubt they will do it there..and besides the Santa at the mall charges $25 for a stinking picture!

Tyler is funny!

Tyler has developed quite the sense of humor lately.  I have noticed that he really enjoys making people laugh.  He often says things that he doesn't realize are funny at first, but as soon as we laugh he grins his little "oh, I meant you to laugh at that grin".  It always amazes me what his little mind is thinking.
Here are a few of his funny moments of the past week or so.....
--Emma was acting silly one afternoon and I called her a silly goose.  She did something else cute and Tyler looked at me and said, "Mom, Emma sure is a piece of work!" 
--He and I were face to face and we were giggling about something when he looked at me and said, "Mommy, why are your eyes cracked?"  (He meant the crow's feet!)
--He did something that was naughty the other day and when I asked him if he thought Elvis (the elf) would be happy about it.  He said no, but then looked at me and said, "Mom, if Elvis isn't happy with me then why is he still smiling?"
--One of Emma's favorite words is poop.  As soon as we go outside she makes it her mission to find all the wiener dog poop in the yard.  I try to clean it all up, but on occasion I miss a piece or two.  Yesterday after I had already cleaned it up Emma spotted a piece and was yelling, "poop poop!"  I told her to leave it alone and go play...I went back to reading my magazine.  The next thing I hear is Tyler quietly saying, "Hey Emma, poop is really yummy."  You never saw my fat butt move so fast!!!
--Marshall was playing with Tyler and then Tyler came over by me.  Marshall wanted Tyler to come back over by him so he said his name.  Tyler turned around and said, "What do you want old man?"  (That one could be my fault!=)

Tyler is a crack up and I am entertained by him each and every day!

Family Pictures

I got all my Christmas cards done and mailed so I thought that I would finally post the family pictures that we had taken.
I know that I am biased beyond all belief, but I sure do think those are some cute kids!=)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Welcome back Elvis

Just like the commercial says, "having children changes everything".  My first Christmas as a parent I decided that I was going to start some traditions that we would do every year and that hopefully my kids would cherish and continue on with them when they had their own familes. Some of the things that we do are....the kids get to open a present on Christmas Eve...this present is ALWAYS going to be new pj's so the pictures look good in the morning!=), Santa brings ONE gift (after all, he can't carry too much in that sleigh (the rest are from mom, dad, and family), Santa leaves a bell from his sleigh along with a thank you note for the milk and cookies, we are going to have birthday cake for Jesus, and Elvis hangs out at our house for the month leading up to Christmas!!!  Yes, you read that correctly, I said Elvis hangs out here at my house!=)
Elvis is the name that we gave our Elf on the Shelf.  My sister, Marie, gave him to us last year. The Elf on the Shelf is a book that she got that basically tells the story of this elf that comes to your house and watches over the kids.  He flies to the North Pole each night to report to Santa about the kid's behavior.  The next morning he is sitting somewhere different so the kids KNOW that he left and returned!  He sure helped to keep Tyler in check last year!=)

We got the tree up today.  I decided not to spend my holiday season yelling at the kids so I didn't hang up all my good ornaments and went easy on the decorations.  I let the kids help decorate the tree that went out front and they were good watchers when Marshall put up the tree.  Tyler did help me with some of my family ornaments before he went to bed but I finished the rest after the kids were asleep.