Dec 27, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Well the big day finally came! We had a really nice Christmas this year. The kids slept in until 8:00 which was a great way to start the day. We looked at all the fun things from Santa (who thankfully didn't leave us any coal) and then my dad came & had a nice breakfast with us. Our day was so relaxed so we just took our time after that opening gifts from one another, playing with new toys, and just hanging out. I even stayed in my jammies all day! It was nice to be with just our own little family most of the day and enjoy time together. Mark's parents & sisters came over for a Turkey dinner that night & that was a nice new thing for us too instead of just snacking and eating treats all day! Here are some pics from our one complaint is that I didn't know our camera lens had a fingerprint on it (thanks Josh!) so some of these look a little blurry. Oh well!

Two sisters loving their new fairytopia barbies, bibbles, and polly pockets

Could Tinkerbell be any cuter?

I must admit I was glad I could fit into my new non-maternity jammies!

Josh, Raphael, & Batman!

A sweet little bride

Mark doing the stocking thing

Holly's new Ariel dress-up

The boys working on legos

We had a great time at all the family parties and various holiday events of the Season. I lost track of how many family parties we had but they were all a lot of fun and it was nice to see loved ones we don't get to talk to very often (& even those we do!) I'm grateful for our families who do a nice job of keeping the Spirit in our celebrations. We were also very grateful to be able to help a few different sub-for-Santa families and had a great experience teaching the principle of Christmas giving to our children.

We waited to do our gingerbread houses this year until daytime on Christmas Eve and it worked really well so we may make that a new used up lots of time & kept the kids busy and entertained while awaiting Papa Noel. I baked two real gingerbread houses so Mark and Josh did one and then the girls and I did one. I think they turned out pretty cute :-)

Eight Years Later...

So I've been so busy I never posted about our anniversary. Mark and I celebrated our 8th anniversary December's so fun to look back over those eight years and see how far we've come! It's hard to believe everything we've done, everywhere we've been, and how much we've grown (including 3.9 kids!) We feel so blessed to have such a wonderful marriage and to be living our dreams - a great job for Mark, a house, a family, Emily can stay home with the kids, lots of love and support from friends and family, and of course our testimonies and so many other blessings.
We actually celebrated our anniversary by going to the Kurt Bestor Christmas concert a few weeks ago and it was so great - as always - this is a fun tradition for us. Thanks for taking me Mark! Then on our actual anniversary we watched a video & had Martinellis & chocolate, just us without the kids...I know it doesn't seem exciting to some of you but we don't get to do that very often so for me it was very relaxing and snuggly and best of all I didn't have to put the kids to bed! Oh, and how can I forget waking up to a dozen beautiful roses and a very sweet card!!! Thanks for eight wonderful years Mark - I love you!

Dec 15, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

I was informed that it is okay to blog about your own birthday so here goes! It was yesterday and it was a fun day. Ella and I spent the morning shopping, I spent the afternoon wrapping Christmas presents, then later Mark and I had dinner at Thanksgiving Point and saw Enchanted. The kids were all really sweet to me all day - I'm glad they realized it was a good day to be nice to mommy. Mark did a great job on picking gifts this year - my favorites I have to mention are a really cute new coat and a gift certificate for a prenatal massage - WAHOO!

I so loved the movie Enchanted and can't wait to take my kids to see it. The cast was perfect, the songs were wonderful, and the story was great (just what we expect from Disney!)...I'd say it's for sure one to put on my purchase list. My only complaint is that after seeing it I had a dream last night that I had a cockroach crawling through my hair! (I've had personal experience with this from living in Vegas so I have reason to call this a nightmare!!!) It took me a while to fall back asleep after that one. Tonight we got to celebrate a little more by having dinner at my sister Janelle's...she pretty much re-created the birthday dinner I had when I was five and her fiance came to dinner - gotta love tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches! I also did a bit of shopping today and braved the dollar store for stocking stuffers and I have to say that's my least favorite part of Christmas shopping so I'm glad to have that done! I can't believe how soon Christmas will be here, but I still have one more big event before that - my anniversary is Tuesday so that will be my next blog!

Dec 3, 2007

Christmas-time Festivities

My how time flies! We are in the full rush of holiday festivities & having a great time...

A few things we've been up to lately: The girls and I had a fun time at the Festival of Trees - with my sister Janelle, her daughter Jessica, & Jessica's daughter Addie - it was a fun girls' outing and a great way to kick off the Christmas season. We especially loved the gingerbread village and of course all the beautiful trees. Ella loved seeing "snowman the frosty" and "Mary, Joseph, and Jesus." And of course we couldn't resist the yummy scones. It's been a fun tradition to go there every year.

We finally got our Christmas tree up and decorated too, along with our Christmas train. We've had fun building snowmen with these great last few storms, and love driving around to look at Christmas lights.

We took a fun drive up to Zermatt resort in Midway for an evening of swimming with Grandma & Grandpa Bishop - it's always a treat to get to swim in the middle of winter. I love swimming when I'm pregnant and for a few blissful minutes I felt weightless...ahhhhhh.

We had a fun time at Provo's Christmas Parade (in the falling snow) with Marian and her girls and the kids cashed in on candy there too. Santa rode on the firetruck at the end - the real Santa!

We enjoyed the Stum family Christmas party...yummy food and a cute nativity play by the kids. Josh was the narrator and did a great job reading his part!

We finally took our kids to see the lights on Temple Square - a first for all of them. We bundled up good and managed to stay warm. They loved it and thought it was pretty magical - the nativity, the floating lights on the water & the all the amazing red lights on the Cedar of Lebanon. They also had fun throwing snowballs into the fountain at the conference center.

I haven't been very diligent (at all) about taking pictures at any of these thanks Stephanie for these ones of my kids at the lights & my early b-day cake at our family dinner. Yes I know I look ready to pop!

I've also started getting ready for Ammon - washing, sorting, & organizing all the baby clothes & goods. I've had fun doing some shopping for him & I'm getting more and more excited to meet him. Last dr's visit went well & now I'm down to two-week appointments - hooray, the end is in sight!

Nov 25, 2007

A fun holiday weekend

We had a great Thanksgiving! This year we were with Mark's family & had a full day of eating, playing, movie watching, more eating, and more playing. My sister-in-law had her grandpa do a little pow-wow for the kids which was a big hit. I was in charge of pies so spent a good amount of time in the kitchen making pumpkin, apple, lemon meringue, and Irish mint chocolate cream pies. Whew! Mark did a little shopping on Black Friday, and we got out our Christmas decorations yesterday. I loved Ella's comment when I asked her what Santa Clause says and she replied, "YO HO YO HO a pirate's life for me!" Sweet! Of course the weekend was topped off with a great win by BYU yesterday - go Cougs!

Nov 21, 2007

A Beautiful Song

I started learning a ballet to this song last year and I can't get over how powerful it is...these two have amazing talent & every time I hear this song it sweeps me away. Love it!

Nov 16, 2007


We are proud of our little artist - Josh had a great time participating in his school's Reflections contest this year. The theme was "I can make a difference..." and he chose to paint a picture of the ocean since he wants to be a scuba diver & study the ocean some day. He used watercolors and amazed us with his patience and precision. Way to go Josh!

Nov 13, 2007

30 and counting, green drinks, & delivery date contest!!!

Well it's a good feeling to be in my 30's...not my age (yikes!) but weeks pregnant. It seems like I'm really on the downhill now. So the baby is about 15.7 inches long now, and he weighs almost 3 pounds. Ella tells me every day, in a very matter-of-fact tone, "Baby Ammon's not coming out yet...he's coming out after Christmas." Let's just hope I don't have to respond to that for too long once the holidays are over! I have done nothing to get ready for this baby...let's hope that can wait until after Christmas too! As anxious as I am to be done being pregnant, I must admit that I love my routine right now and I'm not so prepared for a newborn to shake it up. I'm spoiled with a two-hour break each afternoon as the girls nap and Josh is at school. It will be a rude awakening!

I did find out I have low iron which I've never had to worry about before so I'm trying a healthy approach to getting more in my diet. Even though I would love to eat steak every night, I'm experimenting with the wonderful world of green drinks. I actually like them - and my kids will drink them too! Amazing! If you want to try it, simply puree a banana, a little frozen fruit, about a cup of water, and a few handfuls of fresh spinach.
I also thought it would be fun to have a little contest to see who can guess the delivery date for the baby...just leave a comment here and the closest guess will win a prize (tbd). I'm due Jan. 22. FYI, Josh was born 11 days early (induced); Holly was born 6 days early (not induced); Ella was born 2 days early (not induced).

Nov 5, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

OK this is new to me, but since I'm trying to be a "fluent" blogger I'll give it a shot. I'm supposed to list six random things about me and then "tag" six other people to do the same, so here goes (in no particular order):

1. I really love that I get to be a stay-at-home mom. I've had lots of dreams during this pregnancy about going back to work at Nu Skin and I always wake up really stressed. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm so not a corporate girl anymore! I love my kiddos and I'm glad I get to raise them myself!

2. I'm "chef"ually frustrated right now because normally I just love to cook but with this baby nothing ever sounds good...ugh! Well actually chocolate sounds good, but that can't be a staple now can it?

3. I'm loving this season of "Dancing With the Stars." Normally I don't even watch TV (unless I watch Matlock while I'm folding clothes) but since I can't do my ballet class these days I guess I'm living vicariously - probaby through Marie Osmand :-)

4. Speaking of ballet I'm counting down the days until I can go back to class. I tried to do my "New York City Ballet Workout" dvd last week, and was made painfully aware of everything I CAN'T do with a big belly. I definitely encourage any of you to try something new - no matter your age or ability - I was 29 when I started ballet and I LOVE it! It's so great to have something for ME - good physically & emotionally - so go for it!

5. I'm really glad I know how to play the piano. It's a great "release" for me at the end of the day to be able to sit down and play something beautiful. Thanks Mom and Dad for passing on your piano to me - it's a treasure!

6. I sure do love my husband! I count my blessings every day for ending up with such a great guy - he is truly the best!

People I Tag:
Katie, Stacy, Stephanie, Kim, Lisa, Jamie

Nov 2, 2007

Goodbye, Great Pumpkin

Well last night it was time to say goodbye to our giant pumpkin. We couldn't believe how thick the walls were - six inches! Mark, ever ambitious, spent the evening chopping, baking, boiling, pureeing, and freezing chunk...after chunk...after chunk of this monster. We are definitely set for the year's supply of pumpkin! Today I will roast the seeds - yum! Ella was happy to hop right inside! Too bad this one couldn't turn into a magic carriage...
For Holly it was more like a throne :-)

Nov 1, 2007

Halloween Activities Etc.

Monday night we met up at Grandma's then went on a really fun haunted train ride - just spooky enough for the kids and made Em squeal once or twice too :-) Then Tuesday night was our ward party with a carnival & "trick-or-trunk." With those two activities plus our pumpkin party over the weekend; school parties & parades, etc., we were all Halloweened and costumed out by Wednesday! So on Halloween night instead of trick-or-treating (we sure don't need more candy) we went to a movie!

at the train ride

Josh was a classic vampire this year - he sure looked spooky! I even left in the camera's red-eye to add to the effect.

Holly ripped her ballerina costume putting it on, so we resorted to the dress-up box and decided last minute to be Alice (in Wonderland). Luckily she was just as happy with that! Then on Tuesday she was an angel. Good thing our dress-up box has a nice variety!

Ella was the ever-popular princess Monday night and a ballerina Tuesday night - and cute as ever as both!

I must admit that Halloween is not my favorite holiday - but I remember how much fun it was as a kid and try to make it special for my kids as well. I just try to focus on family, friends, and fun traditions and less on the scary, yucky, & sugar-filled side of it all. Now, on to more meaningful holidays!! I love Thanksgiving and Christmas and have to admit I was excited when they started playing Christmas music on the radio today...of course anyone who knows me is not surprised by that :-) I'm looking forward to the hustle and bustle of the season especially this year because it will make the rest of this pregnancy fly by (I hope!)

Oct 29, 2007


We celebrated last night with a pumpkin mousse pie (at Mark's request) - this is the recipe I posted then I put it in a gingersnap crust - Yum! With some presents - a new headlamp and a greenhouse kit for getting an early start on gardening (Mark's new hobby & passion). Happy Birthday! It was fun to have Grandpa over to celebrate with us and to read a bedtime story

Pumpkin Carving Party

We had our annual Pumpkin Carving Party on Saturday with some neighborhood friends - we were lucky to have great weather - it turned out to be lots of fun!Everyone carved a pumpkin of course...We had a Mummy pinata... What's a pinata without the mad scramble for candy?
BOO! A competitive game of "Pass the Pumpkin"...
The kids were supposed to make the same face as their pumpkin!Or if that's too hard just eat candy!
We also had pumpkin bowling, ghost bingo, and I even braved making homemade donuts which turned out to be a lot of fun. Everyone brought yummy stuff...we had a nice array of spooky eats. This is a really fun tradition we look forward to every year!

Oct 25, 2007


CONGRATULATIONS to Mark who passed his Statistics final today and as a result is done with the course! Independent study is not for the faint of heart - especially when it's such a tricky subject! Time to celebrate - way to go honey!

Dance Class

Holly finished up her little community ed dance class today with a cute performance for the moms. I don't know which is more fun...the dancing or the dressing up?

As you can see she was a good head taller than the other girls in her class. Where did the tall genes come from? I guess from my mom and Mark's mom. She learned a dance to the song "I don't care if I never go to bed" which I danced to when I was that age!

It is hard to get Ella to wear regular clothes these days - she lives in her little leotard and skirt (and usually ballet shoes too). She is excited for when she turns three and can do her own dance class. Until then, the living room "ballroom" will have to do!

Oct 22, 2007

Gardner Village

Like many of you we made our annual trip to Gardner Village Saturday evening to see the witches and have fun looking around. This time it was just the girls on a special date with mom and dad...we knew Josh would have more fun playing with his cousin (which, of course, meant that we would have more fun too!). We managed to get one picture outside before it started pouring rain on us!
We happened to be there on "Witches Night Out" so we saw tons of ladies dressed up (I mean really decked out) as all kinds of witches. It was really fun and made it all the more festive.
Luckily we found shelter from the storm in a nice, cozy bakery. They had just the thing to warm us up - yummy grilled cheese and hot cocoa!

Despite the rain it was a fun little outing and we even found a great deal on a new dining table & chairs - one we can actually all fit around. Hooray!