Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another Year has Come and Gone

I can't believe that 2008 is over- time is flying by so quickly. We love our life here, we love the stage our family is at, we love each other. I don't ever wake up and think, I have to get through today. I genuinely love this life I am blessed with- I want to savor it a little more, slow it down and soak in every second of it.

This year was a humbling year in a lot of ways. Tyler has felt humbled by school- the boards primarily but the whole experience to some degree. I often feel humbled in my role as a Mother. I measure myself by a standard I can not seem to live up to. The good thing about this year is that I feel like we came out of this year ahead. We are not financially ahead, Tyler is not the head of his class but our marriage and family is strong and we have tried to make the most of our experiences.

I have loved this year. Here are a few of the highlights-

-We visited Boston, Rhode Island, Connecticut and everything in between during spring break.
- Garret is all the way potty trained and has been for most of the year.
-We spent the summer with family (helped build a cabin, kayaked, Tyler hiked, went back to Rexburg where we first met, participated in the mini Olympics with Tyler's family...etc)
-Tyler passed the boards (took two rounds but he passed!).
-Spencer has started walking, talking and gets cuter everyday.
-We finished the Book of Mormon for the first time since Garret was born.
-We reached most of our goals for the year.
-Garret is finally old enough to throw up in a bowl (may not sound like a big thing but trust me it is)
-Had fun birthday's and holidays.
-Took advantage of the beautiful area we lived in (Letchworth, Akron falls, that one place where the concerts are....etc)
-Finally went to Toronto
-Tyler got his bike!

Some lessons from this year-

-If you say you are going to read the Book of Mormon during the year don't wait until October to start (although it was a unique experience reading it fast).
-When challenges come try to embrace it because someday hindsight explains it.
-If you shop ahead for Christmas and don't pay attention to what you are getting the pile gets rather large by Christmas.
-Kids say the darnedest things
-Having two kids is SO fun!
-Heavenly Father watches over all of our lives. We felt it so often in all aspects of our lives. Even when finances got tight something would always come up.
-Driving in the snow is not as bad as I thought.
-You have to be way more careful what you say and do around three year olds then one year olds.
-I learned a lot about my parents this year, I worked on putting some of their stories together. I gained an even deeper respect for the journey they have been on. I also have learned about them from being a parent myself. I hope that my kids will look up to me and feel the same gratitude for me someday that I feel for my parents.
-I did a lot of reading this year. Some of it was just for fun others to grow and I feel like it really sunk in that there are two ways to handle everything.
-I don't think I will ever get tired of my kids. Every kid I have ever been around there always comes a point (no matter how much I love them) that I am ready to give them back to their parents. I don't think that will ever happen with my own kids.
-Tyler is my best friend. I am sure I have written this other years...but it is so true and something I learn over and over. He is so good and kind and we never run out of things to talk about.
-If marriages are constantly worked on then when something hard comes along, your first instinct is to help them through it, not punish them.
-President Hinckley was right when he said we all need to learn to enjoy the journey!

Goals for next year-

-Do service once a week (I am debating whether to put this on my blog or not, I love the idea of having others join me, but I don't want to be the person that flaunts good deeds). I read a quote that said something along the lines of the worst mistake we can make is not doing a little because we can not do a lot. It hit me that sometimes I think "when I can go to Africa, or when I have money....I will do all of these great things" and I realized I want to become a charitable person not just do charity and I don't think I can become charitable if it is only something I do occasionally.
-Meet our stake goals (read the New Testament, attend temple, meet and serve our neighbors).
-Budget- We have lived on a budget our whole married lives but when we were out of town this summer we got relaxed about it and have not gotten back on it.
- Read to Spencer more.
- Have more one on one time with both of my kids
-Excercise more

I hope that 2009 is as great a year as 2008 was, I am excited to see what it holds for us.

New Years Eve 2009

It is 8:30 New Years Eve and it feels like it is over at our house. Garret has been sick for a few days and just picked up his medicine for pink eye today. That pretty limited our choices for New Years immensely. Since no one wants pink eye at there house and Garret is ultra grumpy so we didn't really want to take him anywhere anyway. We had planned to do a countdown with the kids at nine but moved it up to eight instead. We did have some fun though and who knows maybe Tyler and I will still make it to midnight.
We stuck with our tradition of making a new type of food for New Years Eve. We did Thai food this year and it turned out really well. They boys had fun helping (Tyler did most of the work).

Then they watched part of a cartoon, Spencer rarely gets to watch TV and when he does he has no little attention span for it. Here he is going in for the attack on Garret.Then we played some Ring Toss, did a count down and blew some whistles. Garret liked the countdown so much we did it three times. It was quite the party!

Bop Bops and Doots

Spencer calls Boots 'Doots'-And he loves doots. He wants to wear them all day long. Whenever I hear him say doots I get this bittersweet feeling inside. It sounds silly I know but here is why; Garret used to call flip flops 'bop bops'. It was so adorable. I loved it...and then suddenly he started saying flip flops. They change so fast! When I hear Spence say doots I love it. But since I know how fast they change I also am struck by the realization that my baby is growing up. I want them to slow down. They are so beautiful and fun and I know they always will be but I can't imagine what it will be like when I have no one running around saying "bop bops or doots".

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Break Pics

Spencer kept pulling on his diaper so I said "Spencer do you need to go potty" Garret got all excited and insisted we get the potty seat for him. Then he sat by him and told him stories. I gave Spencer a treat for sitting on the potty. Right after he ran in the bathroom, tried to take his pants off and kept saying "treat, treat". We are not potty training but it was pretty cute!

Date Night (we are dorks)- It is a good thing we went when we did because Garret got sick right after and has been sick since.

The face Spencer makes when we tell him to make a funny face

We don't have to prompt Garret to get a funny face

They love playing dress up- this is a pirate face.

Garret LOVES his tent. He has been "practicing" hiking. Then he camps. It is pretty cute. He thinks he is big enough to go on a "man hike".

Friday, December 26, 2008

The mail came today....

...and he passed!!!

For those of you that don't know. Tyler did not pass the boards the first time. He worked really hard this semester and passed them on round two. I am so proud of him. I am proud of him for passing and most importantly for the way he failed. I know that sounds awful and don't get me wrong it would have been awesome if he had passed the first time- but he took a bad situation and made the most out of it. He had moments of discouragement, but he never wished others had failed, he never got angry, he tried to see the good in the situation and he accepted that whatever happened if he worked his hardest was meant to be!

He got his scores while I was out. He was waiting in the driveway when I got home (I wish I could have captured his excitement), he was practically hyperventilating with excitement. It was the best news! Way to go Tyler (Biochem is finally officially over)!!!


The boys got a fish bowl yesterday- so today we picked out a fish. At first we tried to influence there decision but ultimately we decided to let them pick. They picked a kind of dirty looking Betta named Otto that they "love".


Tyler and I were so excited for Christmas morning. Tyler woke up before me but we were both up before the boys. We sang Christmas songs to wake them up. Little Spence was still pretty tired.

Everyone had fun opening presents. The boys loved all of their gifts. Garret even thanked Santa Claus in his prayers. They would open a present start playing with it and have to be coaxed into opening another one. Then they would play with the new toy. It was fine with us though because it made it last longer. We actually took a break to eat our orange roll breakfast (I did it in a bunt pan this year).

Everyone got a little spoiled this year. I try to only give my kids things on special occasions. So when I find a good deal at the store or a garage sale I just put it away. I went down and looked before Christmas and realized I had found a lot of good deals this year!!!

Later in the day we took the kids to a movie. We went to Bolt. It was fun going together but not as relaxing an experience as it is when it's just Tyler and I.Then we delivered some boxes to the homeless shelter. Garret was so cute. On the way home he said "we gotta sing, because I have been given much". It was a wonderful, wonderful day!!! I am so thankful for the family I have. We never get tired of being together and everything is always more fun when we are together. I so very very grateful for Jesus Christ. We love the silly traditions that go with Christmas but the greatest part of it all is that Jesus was born and lived.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ugly Sweater Party- Year 2

Today we our ugly sweater Christmas party. We gathered up as many Buffalo friends as we could (lots of our friends went out of town) ate yummy food and worked on Christmas boxes together. This year we also painted cars for kids at the homeless shelter. I love this part of our party. We are all together, working hard and enjoying one another while accomplishing something great. We put together a lot of boxes this year! Garret is getting old enough that he really enjoyed helping. It was such a fun afternoon.The MoellersThe Ricks

The Cundicks

The Mayberrys

The Ashworths

Tonight we read Christmas stories and The Christmas Story, opened our matching pajamas and shirts (Spencer's said Bubs, Garret's said Buddy, Mine says Trouble- thanks Tyler and his said Love Machine). Garret was so cute he set out cookies and milk and hurried off to bed. Tyler jingled a bell and we could hear him giggle. We opened the door a few minutes later and they were both fast asleep. I love those boys! I can't wait until tomorrow morning.

We are so excited

We are so excited for Christmas. Here are a couple more fun things we have done while we waited for Christmas-
-Our countdown calender- The boys love putting the magnet on the fridge
-Played, Played, Played

-Had fun getting packages in the mail. Every time the doorbell rang we would all run to see who or what it was. Some of the packages even had things to play with early.
-Played in the snow
-Last minute shopped (Tyler and Garret...they said it was a mad house)
-Visited our friends Rick and Cindy. We all love them. They even got the boys an early Christmas present. Spencer was scared of it but has gotten braver. Cindy sent Garret home with some cookies and on the way out he said "I gonna call you and tell you when these cookies are all gone so I can come get some more." Crazy kid!!!
-Begged and pleaded with my Mom to let us open stuff early. Garret loved calling her and saying "Please Grandma, I love you so much, can I open my present today...I think I know what it is".
I can't believe today is Christmas Eve. I am not sure who has been more excited for it to arrive, Tyler and I or the boys! It is such a great time of the year.