Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving etc....

We had a really great Thanksgiving break! It started off with Samantha's school Thanksgiving party. I thought it was an adorable idea--the kids watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and then for the snack-- they had what Snoopy made for their Friendship Feast-- Buttered Toast, Jelly Beans, Pretzels and Popcorn.

Below is Collin pestering his sister during the movie. (He was So excited to be with her)

The Feast

For Thanksgiving this year we were lucky enough to have some good friends come over-- The McClure's (we knew them in Kirksville) and the Child's (friends from here). To be honest, I was a little worried that we would be super crowded in our little house-- but it all seemed to work out just fine. The food was delicious, the kids had a great time and it was just fun visiting. Of course I didn't get a picture of the adults-- meant to--but nope.
Adult Table

Samantha helping with the kid table

Kids Table

All the kiddos

The day after-- we brought out the Christmas decorations. With going to Utah (Yay! 2 weeks from today-Thanks mom and dad for making it possible!) for most of the month we didn't get out our big tree-- we just got out the smaller ones-- let each kid decorate their own and I did one as well.

After we were finished, we brought out the air mattress and watched Home Alone 2 (the kids Loved it--- I don't think I have ever heard Collin laugh so hard)

(Owen teasing Collin---happens alot!)
The whole weekend was wonderful--just being together and relaxing--loved it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another dose of MAGIC

We were lucky enough to have a little more of that kind of mom and dad magic around our house a few weeks ago. Grandpa, Grandma and Russell came out to stay with us for the weekend. I feel awful for a couple of reasons-- first one being that the kids were sick-- fevers,coughs, buggy noses---all the good stuff. Second--because we didn't get to do much--we mainly just hung out at around the house and then showed them around--. And lastly because I am a horrible photographer. I meant to take pictures numerous times-- to document the different things that we got to do- like:
-Grandma and Russell picking up Samantha from school
-Russell, Samantha playing together and having a blast
-Putting the puzzles together (again and again)
-Mike and Grandpa fixing things around the house (boring pics-- but I think important, none the less!)
-Eating DELICIOUS ice cream at Jenni's
We LOVED having them here with us. We loved to have the chance to show them a little of the reasons why we have come to LOVE Columbus. We are so grateful for all that they did to help us. We love you guys!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Best Friend

A few days ago I overheard this conversation taking place in the back of the van:

Collin: "Samba, you're my best friend"
Samantha: "I know"
Me: Smiling (and maybe a few tears in my eyes)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween (week)

Here's a review of our Halloween Week:

Started the week off with carving pumpkins. The kids drew their design and Mike carved it..

Standing behind their pumpkins...

Decorated sugar cookies with the Elders.....

Had yummy donuts...

Cornbread with a pumpkin design

Trick or Treating...(not on Halloween here in Columbus-- it always takes place the last Thursday from 6-8pm- different- but good, I guess)

On Halloween favorite -Chili and scones ---YUM.

(side dinner Collin wanted to dress up again in his costume, while Collin is in costume- he is Superman-not Super Collin- not Collin but Superman. While we were eating, Mike said
"I like Superman, but I sure miss my Collin" Immediately, Collin was silent-- we look over- and with tears in his eyes and his little lip quivering-- he said"I don't want to be Superman anymore, I want to be Collin again" - such a tender hearted little dude.
Later that night, we gathered on our bed-- with delicious chocolate candy bars (from Grandpa and Grandma Taylor) and the traditional and always yummy Popcorn Factory box of surprises(Gra and Papa) we ate more junk and watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"

Good times and Good memories. I still don't really like Halloween-- but having kids makes it pretty great.

The good 'ol times...(almost)

A couple weeks ago we were lucky to have the Flanagans down from Michigan. Brian had a interview here- so Jena and the kids tagged along. My title of this post was exactly how it was -- and the reason it was "almost" was because we were missing a few key people---the Perry's. (Luckily we are all getting together over the Christmas break!!)
It was great because the kids played- Jena and I just talked-- it was super low key- but I couldn't have asked for anything better. I have said this before-- and it won't be the last time either- Jena and Tasha were EXACTLY what Heavenly Father knew I needed those first two (really,really) hard years of medical school. I love those girls- and I love their families. And I am so thankful for our association with them.

Here's a few shots of our short time together

This one is actually from a few years ago- when Collin LOVED to hold and be by baby Molly- I had to put this in because....

Look at them now! Hilarious :)

All of them piled on our bed watching a movie

Playing games

These two got along SO well-- which is funny because is Kirksville they hardly played together- now they'd be the best of buds-

I actually stole this off of Jena's blog (sorry!) I just had to get a copy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 1

It's funny how just saying a date brings on so many emotions. As yesterday came and went, I thought a lot about my dad and I thought a lot about my family in general. I think back over the last 15 years and how our lives are different because of losing our dad so early. But there is something that I don't think a single one of us can deny- and that is- we are a closer family- we each have grown in ways that only that experience could teach us. My family is so important to me- I love each one of my brothers and sisters so much-- I consider them to be some of my closest friends. We all know what is going on in each others lives--I love talking to them on the phone--we laugh and have a blast when we're together-- we support each other-- we pray for each other. Sure we've had our rough patches-- but our love for each other remains the same.

I am grateful for our parents who raised us the way that they did. I am grateful for the love and support that I've always felt. I am grateful for a dad- who lived his life in the way that he did-- that even though he is no longer living--we each strive to pattern our own lives after his. I am grateful for a mom-- who didn't falter for a second after losing a husband with 6 young kids.-She picked up and carried on-- even when I know it was probably more than she could bare. She did an amazing job being the mother and the father. I am grateful for the way she helps to keep us all close- and for her CONSTANT love and sacrifice.
I am grateful for our eternal family-- I am grateful that one day hearing and seeing the date November 1 won't hurt so bad-- I am grateful to know I will see my dad again.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family Pictures

We did it. Getting family pictures is never easy on ANYONE. I stress over what everyone will wear, and whether everyone's shirts/sweaters are pulled down and hanging nicely (failed a little this time). Mike hates getting his picture taken PERIOD(but he cooperatedbeautifully). The kids-- well they just hate sitting still for that long. But we all survived. Now the trick is figuring out which one to hang up-- and which one's to give to Grandparents for Christmas. I included quite a few-- the good--the bad-- and the not so bad. You'll notice who(Collin) gave us the hardest time(little bugger)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Ever since Collin was little, he has LOVED rocks(we think he got it from his Grandpa Taylor). He picks them up wherever he goes.

From the first day of school, Samantha has been finding rocks on the playground that she thinks Collin will like. She sticks them in her pocket and brings them home. Every day when we pick her up, as we walk back to the car- Collin will ask "Hey Samba, do you have any rocks for me?" I just love how she is always thinking of her little brother.

I admit to finding the whole thing a little frustrating because I would find them all over the house, or even worse- in Owen's mouth, Mike had the cute idea to put them in a jar- and then when it gets full- we dump them and start over again.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Like so many wards, today we had our primary program. I always look forward to the program each year. Today I had goosebumps, and tears in my eyes almost the whole time. I just love the voices of the primary kids as they sing their hearts out to the beautiful primary songs. I love primary songs.
A year ago at this time as I was helping Samantha memorize her part, I said to myself "Man, I am SO glad that I am not in charge of the primary program" NEVER do that. This year I found myself 2 months before the program being called as the 2nd counselor in our primary presidency. The primary program had not been written yet--- so I had to quickly figure out how in the heck to write a script, assign the parts and organize the practices etc. in time for today. This was SO far out of my comfort zone- it 's not even funny. Luckily with a whole lot of prayers(and tears)-- and some great advice and tips from my mom it all came together.
I was so proud of the primary kids. Getting up in front of so many people is terrifying for me at age 31- I can only imagine how it was for them. We only had 2 kids who didn't want to say their parts-- not bad in my opinion.
Samantha did awesome--- no worries or hesitation- and she had her part down solid. I was so proud of her.
Now I guess I have a little time before I have to start thinking of next year?!?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010