Saturday, December 31, 2011


Our Christmas Eve was great, although not what people would consider a "normal" great Christmas eve. We spend the day switching our old trailer into our new trailer and cleaning it all out. Then we worked on more projects around the house. It was laid back and production which was perfect. The boys were so excited for Santa to come (even Caleb got into it.) The boys and I had made a carrot wreath for the reindeer that we set out that night. It was super easy to make. I gave the boys my bundt pan, a bag of carrots, and water and let them put it all together. They dumped a layer of carrots in the pan, added water until it covered the carrots, and then put it in the freezer. To get it out of the pan was a little more tricky. I had to place a hot towel on the bottom of pan twice to kind of get the ice to melt until it fell out. I'm sure if you left it out for 20 minutes or so it would come right out. It was perfect because not only were feeding them we were given them a drink too!

And cookies of course!

Poor Beckham didn't stand a chance of waiting up for Santa!

John and I cuddled and watched The Nativity which was the perfect way to go into Christmas. Everyone was happy to see that Santa did in fact come. It was kind of questionable considering the naughty behavior the holidays seem to bring! Much to Moms disappointment he brought the boys a fish fish. Because....well Christmas Eve was productive... and Santa forgot... and Walmart was closed at 10:30 Christmas eve ;)

The boys had to wait in our bed until Mom got the cinnamon rolls in and the camera ready. They were dying to come out!

I think their favorite part of the day was seeing the little bits of leftover carrots from the reindeer.

I like having Christmas on a Sunday. It just feels more reverent.

We had a lovely Christmas dinner with our friends the Jensen's and the Morgan's. Collette even brought Coconut Cream pie to my delight and Bobbi pulled through with apple pie and vanilla ice cream to Johns pleasure.

The day was relaxed, fun, and most of all very merry! Just as Christmas should be!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I thought with this being a break week from Over the Big Moon I would have so much time to catch up here on this blog...wrong! My mind has been bombarded with thoughts about my goals for this upcoming year. I am a goal setter but last year at this time I didn't make any. I didn't want to put pressure on myself because so much was still unknown at that point with my Mom. I was living in CA indefinitely and not really sure how I was going to handle her passing. It was a really good thought, but in reality I have felt little lost without my normal goals.

Maybe it was best though...maybe it gave me the time I needed to grieve so I could get to where I'm at.  I feel anxious and prepared to move forward. I have been ready to tackle my life and get things in order. But in order to do that it meant I had to tackle Christmas! I knew it was going to be a bear of a project - and it has been! Our house was completely torn apart and full of boxes for 2 days!

When all the boxes were removed though I found the most amazing house was a blank slate! A very dirty blank slate, but nonetheless it was empty! What an opportunity to really scrub my house clean and then redecorate and update things. We have lived here for 4 years and a lot of things just need to be freshened up.

So that's where I'm at. I'm scrubbing the tops of cupboards and filling holes in walls. Next I will be breaking out the touch up paint and scouring DI for new treasures to add to our decor.

I know I will never really be done grieving but I do feel like I have hit a milestone. I'm ready to move on from the pain. I feel guilty in some ways saying that because I don't want it so seem like I'm moving on from my Mom - I'm not - I'm just moving forward. Moving forward with a new outlook and a renewed sense of esteem in myself for having done the best I could, and having cared for her in a way I am proud of.

I wasn't perfect by any means. No one can be when  faced with such an emotional trial. But I can honestly say I did everything in my power to make my Mom comfortable and happy for those last months of her life. I gave her the respect she deserved and treated her with dignity. I got to sacrifice for her the same way she had always sacrificed for me. I gave her care all of my heart - just as she always cared for me. Her last gift to me was the self esteem created through her care. Its hard to describe but I have a confidence in myself that I have never had before.

I will love my Mom forever. She will always be a part of me and who I am because she is the one who created me, loved me, and sacrificed so much of what she wanted to give me what I needed. She taught me to work and instilled in me the belief that I can do anything. I don't think there is any more important lesson she could have taught me. The courage and confidence to try new things with the ability to work hard at them to succeed.

I really didn't mean for this post to be more than a little blurb about cleaning but the thoughts have just poured out of me as I have sat here typing. It feels good to define all of the swirling chaotic thoughts in my head.

I am really excited for 2012. I think its going to be a great year for our family. We have learned so much from 2011 and now are ready to move into the next chapter of our life!

PS. Can I just add how happy I am that the next chapter does not include diapers and diaper bags! WHA-WHOO!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Memory

WIth Johns family this year we made a memory album with everyone submitting a different memory or what Christmas means to them. I wanted to share ours.


I remember going to pick up many Christmas trees from Christmas tree lots growing up as a kid. I remember picking up one very special tree one year. We went for a hike into the woods, dug up the tree, and left a hole the size of a VW bug. We brought the tree home, roots and all. I don't know how Mom and Dad hid the roots beneath the tree, but we had more than presents beneath the tree that year.

I remember breaking a lot of things as a kid simply because we used to play so much inside of every house that we lived in. I remember being very sad for breaking each object but one sticks out in my mind a lot more so than the others. I can't remember whose it was but it was someone's baby's first Christmas ornament which hung from our Christmas tree that year. I remember being very sad because all of the baby's first Christmas ornaments that we had for each of our siblings were so sentimental to mom. I remembered all of this as I pulled mine from its box this year to set up for Christmas 2011. To whomever whose ornament I broke that year, it didn't go down very easy. Let me know whose is missing and I'll make a new one.

It's no secret that Christmastime was a huge part of my childhood. Anytime I see anything Christmas my heart swells with anticipation and I am enveloped about with a sense of home. While I love the decorations, lights, and music my favorite part of Christmas is giving gifts.

My parents did a lot of things to encourage us to love giving. I have very vivid memories of going to Thrifty's and walking up and down the aisles looking for the perfect gift for each member of my family. I'm sure many of the gifts I got my parents were little trinkets that they didn't need or necessarily want. But I was so excited to watch them open something I had thought so much about and tried so hard to find that perfect something for them.

We also baked a lot of cookies to give away during Christmas time. I mean A LOT of cookies! I remember being about 5 or 6 and pulling the wagon around the neighborhood with my brothers to all of our neighbors delivering plates of my Mom's special Chocolate Chip cookies. When we were old enough my Mom put us in charge of making the cookie dough. Each of us would take a day to make a huge double batch in our big orange Tupperware bowl. No mixers! It was all elbow grease and I hated trying to stir in that last cup of flour!

We probably baked 10-12 double batches each year to go deliver to our neighbors and Ward members. I can still remember some of the goodies that we got each year from our neighbors. Martha Kelly always made us a Rum Cake and the Peterson's at the top of Shamrock gave us the green, white, and red layered Jell-O.

Probably one of my favorite Christmas memories was the year we did the 12 days of Christmas for one of the families in our Ward that were in real need. I loved going shopping with my Mom for toys and clothes for each of the kids. We would drive over each night accompanied with anticipation and butterflies in our stomach, hoping that we would once again get away without being seen. I think on Christmas Eve we delivered all of the makings for a Christmas dinner.

I will never forget how good I felt that Christmas. I enjoyed opening my own presents but not near as much as I enjoyed giving presents to that family in need. None of the 5 of us ever told anyone what we had done and it has remained a secret all of these years

I want to instill that same love of giving in our boys that my parents taught us. I love being the Mom now and planning gifts that will surprise and delight all at the same time. There is something about giving that brings a happiness that cannot be replicated anywhere else.

The Spirit of giving is truly the magic of Christmas. As I think about what it must have meant for our Heavenly Father to give us his son, knowing that eventually he would have to suffer for our sins and sacrificed his life to save overwhelms me. But in the true spirit of giving the sacrifice of giving brought forth more joy and  happiness as now our Heavenly Father can have all of his children return to him.

It truly is better to give than receive.
That is what makes Christmas so special!




Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our new home away from home

We were the proud owner of two beautiful snowmobiles for 4 whole days. Off they went and yesterday we spend the whole afternoon scouring Vegas looking for the perfect trailer...and we found it!

It cranks up!

When open it has a King size bed on one side and a double on the other.

Plus another double when the table is down.

 The double bed

 Both beds have a nice privacy curtain.

This bench offers nice storage and can be a single bed too!

Our stove, sink, and fridge. The fridge is cooled with propane which is really nice. I also really like that the cooking stove and sink are both normal height instead of having to bend over all the time.

I also love that door is all one piece and that the door when its all folded up turns into a really big step. It also has a nice little table for cooking with an outside stove. We didn't set it up but it has a full awning with screen and rug.

We can not wait for spring!!!

Christmas Card 2011

This has been a tremendous year of growth for family. Last year we left off with Lisa, Davis, and Beckham living in California taking care of Lisa's Mom, who had been diagnosed with ALS. Lisa was able to be with her when she peacefully passed on February 1st. It was obviously a very difficult time but there was also a very special spirit that came with her passing. It lifted us up and strengthened us more than we could have ever imagined. We will never be able to adequately describe how much we learned and grew from this experience, but we are forever changed for the better. We miss our Grandma Silly like crazy but we feel so blessed for the life she lived, the example she set, and the memories we cherish.

On Valentine's day we all drove back to Utah and started piecing our life back together after living apart for almost 3 months. It was nice to be back in our own home and be all together again!

Caleb is now 8 and anxious to be baptized next month. He is in 2nd grade and excelling in school, especially in math. He loves to read and is flying through books faster than Mom can stock them. He improved so much this last year in soccer and is really starting to play smart and work hard at it. The competitive spirit is definitely kicking in. Caleb is so fun loving and keeps everyone around him laughing and happy.

Davis is our thoughtful and witty 5 year old. Mom decided after our turbulent year she wanted one more year with Davis at home and so we held him back from starting Kindergarten. He is so smart and has such great concentration! He loves riding his bike and is quite the artist. He is so kind and generous and makes friends wherever he goes!

Beckham is our wild and crazy (almost) 3 year old and keeps both of us on the run - ALL of the time! He tries so hard to be big like his brothers and hates getting left behind. He is also our biggest cuddler and loves to have our full attention. He charms the crowd wherever he goes with his cute little voice and smile! He is now potty trained, so our household is happily diaper free! YEA!

We will be celebrating our 10th year of marriage this summer. We can't seem to figure out who the old people with grey hair showing through are in the mirror each morning! John will have been with Sunroc for 5 years this Spring. He spends most of his time Estimating but thankfully Civil Construction has picked up enough for him to get back out into the field and do some Project Management.

Lisa is busy as can be helping out in school, running the household, and trying to keep up with 3 very busy boys! She is still doing a little photography and graphic design on the side. She and a friend started a Mommy Blog a few months ago called Over the Big Moon. They are having fun writing about family life, traditions, and home decor while making a little money on the side. You can check it out at

We love that this time of year turns our focus back to that which is most important and helps remind us how blessed we are. Losing someone so close to us truly made us appreciate the sacrifice our Savior made for us more than ever before. We are so grateful that death is just a temporary separation and that because of the Savior we will all be reunited again. Our family chose "Peaceful" as our family theme for the year and we have been able to
find that peace through our Savior.

We hope that our little letter finds you feeling jolly this Christmas season! So many of you supported and strengthened us in our time of need this year, and we will forever be grateful that we have such
wonderful friends and family!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eagle Hills Lights

I always refer to how out of control my parents neighborhood is each year. Someone made a video of some of the houses. It shows a lot of the good houses, but leaves out some of the best. Maybe I'm just jaded he didn't include their house, which is way better than some of the ones in here. But I don't think so because every night last year Davis, Beckham, and I drove around looking and he left out some of the very best in the neighborhood.

This at least gives you a taste for what it looks like:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Carol of the boys

The boys pretty much made this up on their own and have been singing it as we deliver our neighbor gifts.

A Bobcat!

Caleb turned 8 and officially became a cub scout! He has been so excited for Scouts!

He turned 8 on Sunday and earned his Bobcat on Thursday night at his first pack meeting! I am so proud of him! I got my first pin too!

His den leader Crystal is so cute and she had the boys in the pack paint Caleb and Braxtons faces to welcome them both in.

Caleb dug it!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cutest version of Ring-a-round the Rosie - EVER!

Beckham has the cutest little voice and John was able to get him to sing Ring-a-round the Rosie for him!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

An EXTRA-ordinary day!

What a day! We got up this morning and decided to head into town. John had qualified to be in a drawing for 2 Ski Doo Grand Touring 550 snow mobiles and you had to be present to win so he wanted to be there. Why not, I had a lot to do in town.

They dropped me off to donate plasma so unfortunately I was not there when....


We are still in shock!
Thank you Santa!

Baptism Pictures

We went down to the Temple last week to take some pictures of Caleb on his 8th birthday. Its surreal to see him growing up so fast. He is changing into a young man. He is a little more serious and a little less naive. Its amazing to watch but comes with just a tinge of sadness as I see the carefree days of childhood disappear a little bit at a time. He is such an amazing person. He is so good and kind and has this incredibly independent spirit that is trying to stretch and grow free. 

Its an honor to be his Mom and I am so proud of him!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

8 is great...I think.

I cant believe my little boy is 8 years old!

I think about how 8 years ago when I became a mother, in so many ways I became so insecure. Being a mother is hard and it really holds a mirror up to you and shows you all of your faults and imperfections. But now as I see Caleb growing up its taking those insecurities away. 

He is a great kid!

He had a great birthday! For dinner he requested Broccoli Cheese Soup with artichokes and then cinnamon rolls instead of cake. It was a surprising meal but a yummy one!

Hope all your wishes come true sweet boy!
We love you!

Under the Mistletoe

As I was unpacking my Moms decorations this year, I found the mistletoe ball that had hung in our home since I was a little girl. It brought back so many good memories! Being that it was made in the early 80's, I decided to give it a little makeover to update it.

The little red apples really seemed to date it. I pulled them out and added berries and some pine sprigs in their place. I also switched the plaid ribbon for some gold burlap ribbon. Just for fun (and for the memories) I added two apples back in on the top!

With my little elf helper we made a sign to display the ball on!

You can bet when I took this picture I was attacked with kisses!

I love it! It is always nice to take something sentimental and update it so that you love it all over again! Davis stands under the mistletoe all of the time and then I hear in his little singsong voice, "Mom look where I'm standing!"

Mistletoe is so much fun!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Davis' letter to Santa with Translation

100 Lego's
Pokémon cuddly
Angry Bird- "splitty"
Remote Control Car
Snowman cuddly

Pokémon Cuddly


 Don't worry Santa...Davis brought his list :)