Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Monday, January 28, 2013

Miss you Grandma!

Last week marked the anniversary of when my Grandma Stoddard was taken home to Heavenly Father.
Her absence leaves a hole in my heart.
As I learn more about her, I realize how many of the same struggles in life we share/ed.
And how many talents as well.
This photo was taken at my Temple Sealing when Emma was a baby.
We found it in a box at Jes' Mom's house of all places! LOL
I absolutely adore it!
So sweet of Grandpa and Grandma...
and I love that it looks like she is looking right at me
 and smiling at my efforts as I raise my family!
It is hung on my fridge so I can see her everyday...
I know she is one of my guardian angels...
I have felt her often.
LOVE YOU GRANDMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Rest of President's Day Weekend...

Saturday night Amy & I put together two of the
Pumpkin French Toast Bake
& the
Sausage Breakfast Casserole
recipes I had made for Christmas morning...
it was PERFECT for our Sunday morning.
No work.
Just a good hearty breakfast!
 Church was a 1pm.
We were delighted to find when we got there that it was the mission farewell of Brock Larson, one of the young men in our ward that the Sorensen's knew when they lived here.
It was a wonderful meeting!
Amy also got to be there with us as Cody was set apart as the new
Deacon's Quorum President
(finally a month later LOL)
We came home from church and prepared to enjoy the day together!
Amy made her Mom-in-Law Jo's famous French Bread recipe
to go with a huge lasagna and 2 huge salads.
She also attempted to copy the bread from the Italian restaurant the night before...
she is GOOD! It was pretty darn close!
While Jes worked on some math homework, and the Mom's made dinner, the others worked on one of the puzzles that Cam got for his birthday 
(Someday we will so adore this cute photo of Eva peeking over the height of the counter top in great anticipation!) 
After dinner it was time to play games!
Normally when we get together there are so many things that need to get done that we rarely get to just sit and play! This was CHOICE! :) 
Everyone played! 
Thanks for the new game for Christmas Katie & Greg!
The T-shirt Game
(similar to Apples to Apples)
was a hit! 
Ema's turn... 
Cody helping Caleb 
Hmmm... which one is best.... 
Caleb and Sam moved on to Dominoes (their way LOL) after the big game. 
These three snuck off to my room to play Disney "DVD Pictionary" 
Lookin' good guys! 
Eva found a puzzle just her size 
The *ahem* "older set" gathered to play "Greed"
(a.k.a. Farkle) 
We didn't do very good Daddy! 
Hmmm... which to keep... which to keep... 
Go Henry! 
Jestin has no luck at all when it comes to dice games...
No Las Vegas for him! LOL 
He gave up on a second round and went to play with Eva (his bud) 
Austin wandered off to a puzzle too...
I think he was determined to see it finished! LOL 
They are so sweet together! 
Little Eva has always liked to play with Jestin when she comes.
Austin got some help... and... 
It was a toughie!
But everyone took a turn helping to build it.
The next morning, Austin & Amy took over cooking duty and treated us to Buttermilk Pancakes and sausage. I attempted to make some buttermilk syrup to go with it...
yeah... it did not turn out.
(Pictures/recipe to follow)
President's Day morning, Jestin had to work.
The kids played and played.
Amy & I ran off to do their traditional huge shopping trip to take home to Ely with them.
I could not stop getting all teary eyed. I didn't realize how much I missed just hanging out with *my* friend (without kids and hubbies). That sounds terrible, but really! It felt good to giggle and chat uninterrupted as girls while we shopped. FUN!
We were sad to see them load up and go home...
what a wonderfully fulfilling weekend we had!
to our dear friends!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Saturday - Playing with our Friends

Good morning Pretty Girls!
Eva and Sophie enjoying some warmth from the heater together 
Eve loved Caleb's remote control spider
After breakfast, Amy & Austin ran to the Temple, and Jes to a side job,
so the while I made some cookies to go with hot cocoa later, the kids hunkered down and watched "Sky High" and played some games together on the Wii. 

Eliza played with some cards and Eva, Emmalee and I colored some pictures too 

These two are so happy to be together!
Bestest Buds! 
When the Sorensen's returned from the Temple, we chowed down on some hot homemade chicken soup and corn bread and got all bundled up!
Despite the yucky inversion & a balmy 16 degrees
 we are going
(Huh Henry??) 
Cutie Pie Lou 
While in Provo they had picked up their nephew, Evan, who is attending BYU to join us for the fun!
He and Eva had a blast! 
This is a birthday weekend this little mite won't forget anytime soon! 
One of the Dad's watching over the starting line... 
Ready! Set Go!
(wait Eve's - in the background - where's your sled??)
(She liked sliding down the hill on her tummy) 
My cute teenagers 
The Mom's with the Most 
Jestin and Austin 
Sam was so cute!
He didn't ride the sled down... he pulled it behind him as he ran down the hill!
Eve's on her tum-tum again! 
Ok! It's time for the Mommies to try this thing out! 
And we're off! 
Wicked fun!!
And a little teary eyed, Amy reminded me that last time we went sledding together (years ago) I could only go once, and it was WAY too much for my heart to do and I was knocked flat for a couple of weeks from one sled run!
We teared up about how blessed I have been, how much stronger I am, and how life is such a gift!
(I went down that hill and hiked back up it 2 more times after that... just because I could!)

Dad's turn!
Austin took the long one, Jes took the disk...
Who's gonna get to the bottom first?? 
Cam jumped into the line to join them... 
And Cam and Jes bashed into each other  half way down...
they both began to spin...
Austin was behind... but soon was catching up...
they were spinning and laughing...
And well...
They had so much fun...
No one remembers who won!
Cam helping Eve's back up the hill  
YUM! Snow! 
We were frozen, but had a great time!
We even shattered a brand new sledding disk! LOL
It was a perfect time!
Caleb says:
One last run...
Then home for cookies and hot cocoa!!
The Mom's and the Dad's went on a dinner date later that evening,
Sorensen's took us to a yummy italian resutrant in Provo.
While we were gone, the kids watched another movie and Caleb and Sam built a big blanket fort in the livingroom (wish I had thought to get pictures!) and the two of them "camped" in it that evening! It was a blast of a day!