Thursday, December 17, 2009

Angels

No matter how the day has gone, I always fall in love with them again when they look like this.





Sunday, November 29, 2009

Teenager

Can you just see her in about 12 years with the same expression, totally annoyed?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

To Balance out the last post...

Actually, I'm just trying to figure out how Windows Movie Maker works. I've got to make a slide show for the Young Women in Excellence program coming up in a couple of weeks, so I thought I would tinker with it using some of our photos. The song is by a group called Joshua Creek.



video

Monday, November 23, 2009

Are we in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks?

Seriously, is there any worse torture than family pictures?! And we only have two kids. I don't know how people with more do it!










Here we're even willing to bring out Bee if they'll just smile! Doesn't work.




Now we try to bribe them with popcorn balls that the photographer had in her car.





She still won't let go of the popcorn ball.


Okay.We're past the point of no return. Session over!

Thankfully, we did get a couple shots where at least they weren't crying, and no one was blinking! Look for our Christmas card coming soon.


(Will you email me your address if you don't think I have it? bradandsal[at]gmail[dot]com)









Tuesday, November 03, 2009

First Snow (a week or so ago)

It's snowing!
It's snowing!
The very first snow of the year!



It's the showiest, blowiest, snowiest snow--
The snow is finally here!




It's brisk and it's breezy;


It's frosty and freezy;




It's creamy and dreamy and clean.



It's drifty and sifty, and perfectly nifty;




It's the prettiest stuff that we've seen!


poem by Lori Peelen, 1998






Halloween

I had big plans for Halloween costumes, but I hurt my back, and Tyler got the flu, and those plans didn't come to fruition. That's okay, recycled costumes are still cute:

These are trunk-or-treat costumes

Tyler switched to Spiderman for Halloween night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Big 0-5

Our little Tyler isn't so little anymore. He recently celebrated his 5th birthday, and it was fun but a little tiring, too!


In the morning he got to open his presents from us, and he loved his new Pillow Pet. (It's a pillow. It's a pet. It's a PillowPet!) He had seen a commercial for them and wanted one so bad I couldn't say no. The rest of the day we kept hearing things like, "Mom, did you know that my PillowPet is machine washable?" and "Did you know that all it takes is one hug and you fall in love?" and "Dad, my PillowPet is the perfect travelling companion!" In any case, we need to make sure he doesn 't watch any more commercials. He's just like his Uncle Jared and remembers every word he sees.





For those of you who remember last year's Jesus Cake, I was able to get away with one a bit easier this year. He loved it because the road made a "5".




In the afternoon we had a "Cars" party at the park. It was great to have a bunch of his friends and also family there. We started with some relay races:





Next was "Pin the Wheel on Lightning McQueen":




We worked in some Playground time:




And some "Red Flag, Green Flag." (Notice Lauren's ahead on this one, cause she didn't stop when it was red flag.)




We're really proud of Tyler and the sweet boy he is. He is smart and clever, and really sweet to his sister (most of the time). He loves to make jokes and loves to be around people. He is the most honest person I've ever known, and his simple and strong faith is an example to us.

We love you, TyTy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Making of a Cowboy


I'm pretty tough stuff--I'll rope this bull in no time.


Umm...this isn't as easy as I thought it would be.


Ughhh...who needs a stupid bull anyway!!


Well, maybe I'll try one more time.


Good enough. Yee Haw!





Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tyler's birthday is this week, so he gets to bring a special treat to Preschool. (Gotta love the preschools in people's basements. No worrying about OSHA there!) Anyway, he wanted to make these Mummy Cupcakes. I go back and forth between thinking they're really cute and pretty lame. Oh well. They were easy and now they're done! Now on to his Cars cake for his party.




We also made a trek down to Provo last week to see a BYU volleyball game. Brad and I used to go all the time when we were kidless, penniless, and living in CougarTown. We're still pinching our pennies, so this was a fun cheap family night. Of course we had to tour campus and show Ty and Lauren (who could pretty much care less) where we had different classes and where we lived and where we graduated; where we did the Funky Chicken, and which buildings have the best lounges in the women's bathrooms. We lucked out and were right by the Carrillon Bell Tower at the top of the hour, and that woke our captive audience up! Something must have gotten through to Ty, though, cause he said he wanted to come back every day. Too bad it's over an hour drive, or I would love to, kid.

Lauren wasn't too sure about Cosmo being that close. She warmed up to him later, though.


You win some, you lose some.

Lauren got a package today from her Grandma Marcie with the cutest little Halloween outfit in it. She was so excited to put it on, and once she did, she strutted around the house like she was the Queen of Halloween.

Of course I tried to get a picture of her in her new outfit, but sitting and smiling were not on her agenda today. So I'm just going to embrace the bad photos.

Without further ado, Miss Bootiful:
















Saturday, October 03, 2009


The Saturday morning conference session started out like most other conferences sessions do: with the kids running around, interrupting, demanding this and that, while Brad and I kept shushing, entertaining, and sending kids to their room.


And then Elder Bednar spoke about love within families. So we all snuggled up together and hugged while listening to his talk. It felt good.

Then the choir sang not just a Primary Song, but a favorite that is often a Lullaby: My Heavenly Father Loves Me. We all sang along. I felt the Spirit. So following the admonition we had received earlier to identify the Spirit, I told Ty how I was feeling the Spirit during that song, and how I know that Heavenly Father loves him.


The Spirit truly was present because during Pres. Uchdorf's talk, Ty was all ears. No squirming, no hyperactivity, no demands. He was really listening. Listening to an Apostle testify about the attributes of God and His love for us.


That's when Ty, very quietly, told us, "I feel the Spirit saying that He loves me."


That was a great moment. Because out of all the important truths and skills I need to teach our children--from how to read to how to rebound, I believe the two most important are


1. To know that God loves them and has a plan for their future, and

2. To learn how to recognize and follow the promptings of the Spirit.


I was blessed to have parents that taught me early on how to listen to the Spirit, and to know that I was a Child of God. That knowledge has affected everything in my life. It has lifted me in hard times, given me peace and comfort, and helped me help others. If a person truly knows that God loves them and if they really know how to interpret and follow the Spirit, there is no problem that they can't get through.

So maybe I don't need to be so hard on myself the next time I get frustrated with my kids, or when my laundry doesn't get folded, or I put myself in a self-induced timeout. Like Elder Bednar said, it's consistency that matters.


And that one moment today let me know that we're on the right track.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Means...

Waking up to the first snow on the mountains. I love, love, love this weather! Give me clouds and temps in the 40's & 50's any day of the week!



Inside fun, like playing Explorers to Antarctica. (Don't ask me why wearing his sister's hat is necessary for his expedition. :)


First day of long sleeves and long pants. Isn't she cute?


Figuring out this potty thing. Ty did a little regressing in this area when his sister came to our family, so here's hoping a Big Boy Bunk Bed is motivation. (One star for each day that he does these things. This pic was taken a few days ago--he's got a lot of stars now!)



Our Second Annual nightly Pumpkin light-up. Seriously, so fun. Mod-podge tissue paper onto glass vases (bought at DI for 50 cents each), use black paper for faces, and light up nightly for the month of October. We always sings songs, and take turns blowing our vases out. It's way cleaner than real pumpkins, and they last a lot longer, too.





Sunday, September 20, 2009

The last few months of our lives have been interesting. We've added a beautiful little girl to our family, wrecked a car, lost a job, found a new better job, found renters for our house, said goodbye to our dear friends/family in San Antonio, moved across the country, lived in a hotel for two weeks, contracted the Swine flu, found a cute house to live in that has a yard that needs some TLC, started preschool and the new job, and worst of all, watched BYU lose grossly to Florida State.

Now that I've got a moment to breathe, I find myself a little homesick for S.A. I really like being back in Utah, and I think I'll grow to love our new little small town, but right now I miss the feeling of belonging that I had in good ole Texas. Kinda funny since I've spent many more years in Utah than Texas. But there was something special about our little corner of San Antonio--and we left so quickly without a lot of choice in the matter--I just need to say goodbye to:



Our little neighborhood "Mormon Village"



Playgroup on Tuesday mornings, where there was always a good--sometimes controversial--conversation to be had.



99 cent Only store on Delivery Day.



My little Primary kids, whom I grew to love so much. You've never heard better singers! I wish I could be there for your primary program.





The San Antonio Temple, where I was a real regular there for awhile. I wouldn't have made it through without the peace and inspiration gained there.


The Riverwalk and the Alamo--we had a real routine down when visitors came.


ABCD Pediatrics--Tyler actually loved going to the Dr's. And we went there quite regularly for awhile when they were figuring out his asthma.


H-E-B--I was frustrated that this was the only grocery store in town, but they did have fun combo Loco's, and Tyler will forever cherish his H-E-Buddy blanket that we got from the H-E-Buddy bucks.


Our gorgeous back yard and patio that was so peaceful. Our myrtle trees, weeping willow tree, and lemon tree will be missed.


The Windcrest Ward choir. Best ward choir ever.


Angel Food Ministries--they don't have it in Utah. Seriously, if you're not in Utah, look it up. What a great program!


Blue Bell Ice Cream. There were so many flavors that I had to try still!


Texas pride. It's contagious.


Most of all, our dear friends and family there. We miss you tons!



Now, if you'll please excuse me, we're off to do something that I used to dream of while in Texas: take a Sunday drive in the Canyons. (There's definitely some positives to Utah living!)
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