Friday, December 20, 2013

Gingerbread Houses

Last week when a huge snowstorm dumped on us, Chad ran to the store and got all of the things to make gingerbread houses.  While we didn't go all out and make our own gingerbread (maybe someday), we did take a step up from last year's canned frosting and made actual icing.  This was a huge improvement and our houses actually stood longer than an hour after we were done.

The anticipation:

Another title for this post could be "The tale of two spouses."  While Chad meticulously carved out each piece of his house and added details like a dog house and Santa: 

I sat back, watched him, and ate a lot of our stash.  Eventually he took pity on me and constructed me this train, since the "train" I made was looking like a sad box.

Of course, things got a little slap happy as the sugar rush kicked in and bed time came closer: 

For days after, Caden has asked me, "Why didn't you decorate and put more details on your train?"  The true answer: a lot of the good stuff was mostly gone by decorating time...

There really is something so magical about a house made of candy, especially when you're 2.  First thing the next morning, he was checking out his creation from the night before. 

Bryce has also become an expert on finding "loose candies" that have to be eaten since they've fallen off.  "It was broken!" he claims every time I catch him with a mouth full of gum drops.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


I am so in love with these two boys.

Caden has this quote hanging in his room:

 I'd say a BIG brother is especially better than a superhero, especially one 
who takes care of you when you're sick...

Puts your boots on:

Feeds you your dinner so you can also have dessert:

Wipes your nose after you've thrown a fit:

Scratches your back at nap time so you can go to sleep.

While it can sometimes be exhausting to have fights over toys or whose turn it is to say prayers, having 2 boys is so much fun.  It makes me laugh when they put each other in time out or sneak a treat or toy to the one that I put in time out. Telling them to go clean up the toys together is a guaranteed half hour of quiet time for me because a majority of the time, they just play instead of getting anything done. Sometimes they gang up on me like a few weeks ago when I was getting after them for not getting shoes on when I asked.  Bryce said to Caden, "Let's say NO! to mom." (Luckily Caden is the much smarter sibling who did what I asked.)

 Having a sibling teaches both our boys so many lessons Chad and I can't teach them: sharing, taking care of one another, compromise, and, of course, the best wrestling moves.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Thanksgiving Surprise

When Chad and I went to my 20 week ultra-sound, we asked the technician to just write down the gender and seal it in an envelope.  She claimed she couldn't tell, so the doctor came in to check and said she was "fairly confident" about what it was.  She wrote it down, sealed it up, and we were on our way.

While we didn't find out with the first two what we were having until they were born, I wanted to try finding out this time.  My main motivation was my boys.  I wanted us to be all together as a family and have it be a fun thing to remember finding out together, especially for Caden who was absolutely certain it was a girl this time.  I made a girl blanket at the beginning of my pregnancy and kept telling him, "If you're wrong...your baby brother is going to have to have this flower blanket on his bed!"

I talked with Caden about different things we could do: balloons, a cake, a wrapped present...his complaint with all of those is that someone (the baker, whoever wrapped the present) would find out before him and he wanted to be the first to know.  So we went with it and on Thanksgiving morning, he opened the envelop and read us the results.

We don't know what it is...

Opening the envelop...


Caden's attempt at getting a picture of Chad and I.

It was really fun to find out as a family that we're having a baby sister!  We have watched the video of Caden opening it over and over.  After it was all done I accused Chad of peaking and he did the same to me because neither of us were that surprised.  I was so much sicker this time around. Also, as Chad pointed out, when the technician didn't dare tell us, it was a give away since one gender is harder to recognize than the other.  

Though I have to say, the doctor's words of being only "fairly certain" it's a girl still cross my mind...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hard work

One of the features our new house came with is dirt.  Alot of dirt.  And while Chad has visions of beautiful landscapes, summer BBQs, a fruit orchard and tall red maple trees, I sometimes just see a lot of work.  But Chad reminds me every time I mention this that we want to teach our boys hard work, that work can be fun, and is really good for us.   After I watched Chad and Caden spend nearly 4 hours outside planting trees, I'm beginning to believe him.

Round two...Front yard.

 On this day Bryce came out to "help" which always ups the entertainment on a project.

Bryce taking cover when the wind picked up.  I love that little tuft of hair poking out.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rise and Shout

One thing we were really excited about moving back to Utah was for BYU sports.  Chad and I both grew up attending games.  It was always such a big deal in my family when it was "your" game and you got to go with my dad to a football or basketball game.  I clearly remember driving to one football game with my dad while he patiently explained what an "option" play meant.  Not that I'm any expert on football, but the basic knowledge I do have is from my dad explaining every call or play to me at these games.  Chad and I were excited to make these same memories with our boys.

BYU vs Middle Tennessee

 One of the biggest traditions for my family was going to the BYU Homecoming parade.  We used to wake up so early to get to the parade so we could have our favorite spot.  I remember I was always happy when the sun would finally come up and warm me.  Now, my dad wakes up so early to get to the parade to save our favorite spot and the rest of us roll in about 5 minutes before it starts.

 Caden in ready stance to get the candy.  He knows how to cheer then run really fast when they throw it to him.
 Every single grand child was there!

Lunch after the parade.  That is all the kids eating and my dad in the background...he's happy to pay for our lunch, but apparently prefers to eat in peace.

Boise vs BYU with our some of our favorite California friends, the Browns....and the guy who photo-bombed us.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Hope you have a spooky Halloween!


Monday, October 28, 2013


Chad had a 4 day weekend and we had gone back and forth on what to do.  Finally, we decided--we were going camping.  I packed our bags, bought the food, got the wood ready, and we were set.  But at 6:00 the night before, there were promises of solid rainy days and flash floods where we were headed.  

Change of plans!
Our friends, the Browns, offered us their house in Rancho since they would be gone for the weekend, so we traded our rain jackets for flip flops and swimsuits and left at 4:00 the next morning for Disneyland to use our annual passes one more time.  

It took Caden a while to get things cleared up, "So we're going camping at Disneyland?...We're going camping after Disneyland?...Oh, I see, no camping."  We snacked on graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars in the car and headed out.

We drove straight to the park and were able to spend the majority of Thursday and all day Friday there.  

 Although I was pregnant for the trip, I did sneak on a few of my favorites (Splash Mountain and Cars). I couldn't help it!  It was just too tempting with Chad and Caden having all the big-ride fun.

I have so many pictures just like this one of the boys at the end of a long Disneyland day:  Caden out cold in the stroller while Bryce munches chips or cleans up the candy stash.  It kind of says something about each of their personalities.

On Saturday we hung out in Rancho and visited our old neighbors, the Douglas'.  I took a quick solo trip to LA to load up at the fabric district, then we visited some of our favorite places--the mall, Redhill Park and Costco for pizza dinner.  

I expected the trip to feel surreal since we don't live there anymore. Chad and I kept asking each other, "Does this feel weird?"  but it never did--I don't think we've been away long enough.  It just felt like us spending a weekend in Rancho like we did for 4 years. 

I was really sad on Friday night when we left Disneyland, knowing we can't just go anytime we want now.  As we drove up the 57 and across the 10 that night around midnight, we couldn't help but take the long way to the Browns and drive past our old house.  I did get emotional seeing it but not going in and carrying our sleeping boys up to tuck them in their beds there like we have so many times before.  Life in California was so, so good to us.  We grew in many ways as a family and learned many lessons, and yet sometimes it just felt like a 4 year vacation to me.  I think a bit of me will always be homesick for our life in Rancho Cucamonga.