Friday, December 19, 2008

They're Home!

Mom and Dad have returned from serving Humanitarian Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They served for 19 months in the DR Congo. We are so proud of them!The kids worked hard making a "Welcome Home" sign.
Who would get to be the first to hug them?????

Everyone got plenty of hugs!

Grandma's first look at her name-sake.

Nobody gives hugs like Grandpa!

We all love you!

Happy Birthday Eve

Eve had a really fun "Bake-Off Birthday". All of the girls decorated bakers hats and aprons and had fun pretending they were real chefs.

The girls showed off their culinary skills making homeade pizza, decorating cupcakes, and testing their noses as they tried to guess the spices in our spice game. (You could really tell which girl's helped their parents cook...they had no problem identifying the spice.)
Eve, we love you! You are the sunshine in our family. We're so proud of you for all you've learned this last year. You've learned to read, play the cello, do the dishes (you do them so well that I don't have to go back and do them again), you are always kind to everyone, quick to smile and quick to laugh. You are not afraid to stand up for what is right. You do not give up easily when something is hard. You are always looking for ways to do good. We love you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shopping Cart Adventures

I can't believe how fast Mari is growing up. She crawls everywhere. She climbs as many stairs as she can before I catch her. She's even starting to "cruise" around furniture. Yesterday she started clapping whenever something was funny. She also waves "hello" or "bye-bye". She seems too little to be doing all this. Maybe it's just ME wanting her to stay little.

Anyway, today I made a trip to Costco. Hyrum wanted to ride in the basket (he's much too big but I let him so Mari would have some company). You see, today was Mari's first ride in the cart without being in her car seat. At first she was nervous about being strapped in but saw Hyrum and was okay. Having access to tasting samples was also a bonus for her!

As I looked at them I realized how fast life is going. Both of my babies are growing too fast.

Enough rambling.....

As we were waiting in line to get Hyrum his churro, a woman and her 2 children were in front of us in line. One of her children was about Mari's age was strapped into the basket, and her other daughter about Hyrum's size was climbing on the side of the basket. Suddenly, everything seemed to go slow motion as the woman's cart started to tip over because of her daughter who was climbing on the side of the cart was pulling it over. Without thinking, I rushed over to the cart and caught it before the baby hit the ground. (We were all lucky that the baby was strapped in tight.) Those baskets are heavy and it had landed hard on my knee. I wasn't strong enough to put the basket upright again, but another shopper came to the rescue just as the unsuspecting mother turned around. This poor mother was so upset at what might've happened. She held her crying 3 year old and thanked us.

Everything happened so quickly that all I could do was smile. My heart was beating too fast. If that mother happens to read this blog, what I wanted to say is, "Don't worry. Stuff like that happens to all of us at some time or another. You simply can't be everywhere at once."

Maybe I'll move Mari back into her car seat for future shopping trips. Hyrum is also a monkey you know!

Eve's Renewable Income

For her birthday, Eve got a huge gumball machine. I thought, "Oh great! Her teeth will rot right out." So, I was pleasantly surprised (that very afternoon) to find her out on the curb selling gumballs. She had quite a crowd. By the time she came in she had made over $5!

We had just read Grandma's post about the sewing machines in the Congo and how the girls could use what they sewed to sell and get money to buy more fabric to sew to sell, to sew to sell....

Eve was excited that she had her own enterprise. She has her money packed away and a store picked out to buy.......MORE GUMBALLS!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Studio 5 Sarah Palin Look-Alike Episode

My Time on Studio 5

We just returned from the KSL Studios for a Sarah Palin Look-Alike Contest. I was one of five finalists. Wow! It was so much fun!

The Studio 5 Set was beautiful!

It was fun to have someone work on my hair to "Palinize" me!

Here we are! Please vote for me!

Thank You Ben for the moral support, Holly for tending,
and Grandma S for the nomination in the first place!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

Okay, so you spend so much time helping your kids with their costumes that there's no time left to think of your own. Late one night as I was finishing up Hyrum's space shuttle it hit me.....
It seems that on the days I wear my glasses and my hair pulled back people say, "Hey, it's Sarah Palin....I didn't know you were a tee-ball mom....or shopped at this store....or blah blah blah".
Perfect. The easiest costume ever.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Summer Memories (It was a Great Summer!)

Who doesn't love summer? I think we all hate to see it end. I am not ready to bunker down for the winter, especially now that my garden is finally producing. As I was looking through some photos of our summer I could still feel the warmth of the sun. If you're missing summer already perhaps they will warm you too!
Youth Conference

4th of July Parade
The Girls Dance and Danced
I love being at a parade with Ben because he is the LOUDEST one there. His most famous yelling is "Thanks for Coming" to all the floats from different cities. We all end up giggling and dodging all the candy they try to throw at him.
Back yard campouts with cousins and grandparents AND a Great Grandma (she honestly says that's the best sleep she gets all year.)
Swimming at the Cousin's Pool is Cool!
Brave Dives

Trips to the cabin. (There are never enough of these!)

Zoo Mania

A trip to the Zoo

We love Grandma Charlene!
Hyrum and buddies

Happy Birthday Hyrum!

Friday, October 3, 2008

My Super-Hero

Ben is my super-hero. Did you know that he "saves" me all the time?! My favorite time of day is when he comes home from work. All the kids are so excited to see him. They run to him and Hyrum jumps on him. He drops his bag and wrestles with him, releasing the pent-up energy that Hyrum (and maybe Ben) stores all day. He teases the girls, which makes them feel happy and know that all is right in the world. He folds laundry, vacuums the floor, does dishes, and checks our emails regularly (a task I often get behind in).

Just last week he said, "Tiffany, it seems like YOU need a day off." I really DID need a day off. I was beginning to go crazy in the brain. He used one of his vacation days so he could stay home and be "the Mom" while I could spend the day being Tiffany.

My day-off was great! I really appreciate that Ben recognizes that I need breaks too. He made me feel pretty special by using one of his vacation days just for me. Ben is a hard and efficient worker. He is cheerful and does his duty without complaining. He makes all of our lives better. My friend, my hero! I love you Ben!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hyrum and the Big Brown Boy

Hyrum loves to play at the park. As is typical of his personality, he loves to make friends. One day we were at the park and I watched him as he was following a large darker-skinned boy. When this boy realized that he was being followed he turned around to see Hyrum. Hyrum, delighted to have his attention said, "Hello big brown boy! Do you want to play with me?" The big brown boy smiled an enormous grin and away they went to play...

At first I was concerned that maybe I wasn't teaching my children appropriate things to say to those of different ethnicity, but then I realized that Hyrum hadn't said anything offensive so I just enjoyed his spunk.

We love the big brown boys in our family...Raul and both rock!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Lesson on Patriotism

What does it mean to be an American?
Today, in class, Emma was exposed to the news footage of 9/11. We had talked about this before but she had never actually seen the destruction. I decided that it was important for her, and the others, to visualize just how many lives were lost because of hate.

As we walked through the memory field we could hear bagpipes playing in the distance. My children were reverent as they sensed the magnitude of just how many lost their lives that awful day. The flags, representing each person that died, seemed to go on forever. As we reached the last row of flags we found ourselves a few yards away from a line of soldiers with rifles ready to discharge. My children flinched as the rifles were fired into the air. Immediately following the echo of the rifles, a lone bugle played "Taps". We stood in reverence.
Emma and Eve felt something new today. I believe they will never forget how important it is to love all people, have courage to do what's right, and take pride in your country. I love America. I'll never forget how I felt that fateful day. I know also, that our nation will only be free if we, as a nation, remember our God and keep his commandments.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Our Dear Grandmother

What we loved about Grandma Sanders:

Her silly Swedish song she sang to the babies as she bounced them on her knee.

Her cooking: Rolls (she's the queen of rolls), Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, Halloween popcorn balls, raspberry jam, pies, cabbage/ramen noodle salad, butterfinger ice cream.....everything she made was good!

Her work ethic. Grandma loved to work. Her house was spotless, even right to the end she tried to fold her sheets and mop her floor.

Her garden was beautiful. Her raspberries were delicious and plentiful. She maintained a large garden her entire life. Many gardens now have "offspring" of her raspberry bushes planted in them.

She loved tomato soup accompanied with carrots and celery. I was always impressed how such a simple meal could bring her so much pleasure.

She loved order.

Ben has mentioned many times how he loved to sleep over at Grandma's house. He would sometimes use it as a way to get out of doing his "Green Sheet" paper route. He would arrange the sleep over and thought he was so smart for getting out of work. He forgot that Grandma would get him up at around 6:00a.m., if not sooner, to go work in the garden. They would pick raspberries, peaches, corn, etc. They would come in for breakfast and go right back out and work some more. Ben loved that Grandma and Grandpa would kiss after every prayer. It was little weird to see but he now looks back at those small experiences with appreciation. He kisses me after every prayer because of this.

We loved her "Good Kids Can". It was always filled with fun sweets.

We loved to hear about her children's stories that she wrote and hoped to have published one day.

She lovingly made hand stitched quilts for every Grandchild and Great Grandchild. Everyone loves their "Grandma Blankets". Her quilts were so beautiful and her stitches so small that we persuaded her to let us enter one in the State Fair. She reluctantly (but not really) agreed. Grandma won the blue ribbon for her beautiful quilt. She didn't know she had won until we arrived at the fair and took her to the display. I will never forget how her eyes lit up and she said, "That's my quilt!" I remember how proud she was. She was almost dancing. We took pictures of many grandkids and great grandkids with the quilts she had made. What a treasure!

The sweetest memory I have of Grandma was a few hours before her passing. She seemed so helpless. My hearts desire was to comfort her in some way. I tried to soothe her soul by playing songs on my violin that reminded me of her..."I Feel My Savior's Love", "Give Said the Little Stream", "Come, Come Ye Saints"... I played until my arms ached. My sweet daughter, Emma, sat by me as I played. Tears ran down her cheeks as she watched her Great Grandma lie there as music filled the room. She helped choose the songs I would play. I think Grandma knew those songs were for her. I think she knows we love her.

Grandmother, we will miss you. Thank you for all you have taught us. You've had a life that was hard at times. You taught us how to weather it with grace. You taught us how to love the "outdoors work". Until we meet again...we all want a ride on Old Joe.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hyrum's Rameumptom

Our dear Hyrum loves to pray. He blesses everyone and everything. One night as he knelt to pray...

"Dear Heavenly Father, Thank Thee that I am so cute and awesome!.....In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

I hope he never forgets what a great kid he is. That's how it should be - for all of us!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pioneers According to Emma

Emma's teacher assigned them to write a page about something they knew. The following was Emma's report. The assignment provided an opportunity for us to clarify part of the pioneer trek with our dear daughter. Hope you enjoy! We love you Emma!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

La Bebe Doux

Grandma and Grandpa, serving a mission in the Congo, sent Mari some cute dresses made by some sweet African women. Mari is finally big enough to wear them. For church, we decided to give her an African hair-do to go with her African dress. It was a big hit!

Pretty little hair pretties!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Youth Conference

One of the greatest things about Ben's calling in the Bishopric is being able to participate with the youth. The Young Men and Women of today are fabulous. They are strong, courageous, and FUN! We recently returned from a Youth Conference for those ages 14-18. Ben was in charge of the whole thing (so Mari and I got to go too- Thank you Shirlene and Christie for watching the other kids!). Ben did a marvelous job. The Youth strengthened their friendships and grew spiritually.

One activity was a ropes coarse. (The youth learned leadership skills and overcoming fears.) The youth also participated in water activities, night games, a dance, and a testimony meeting. Our youth (we had about 35 attend) have such great personalities that, at the dance, youth from other wards were asking if they could join our group. Also, leaders from other wards asked our Young Men if they would ask their Young Women to dance (no one was dancing until our Young Men went on the dance floor and did their thing.) Our youth didn't worry about looking dumb, they just wanted to have fun. Others were attracted to this and soon everyone was having a great time.

My favorite thing about activites like this is getting to know the youth. Many of these youth babysit our kids. They are also examples for our kids.

Even though Ben was busier than I had ever seen him before, he still found time to be a husband and my best friend. Thank you Ben!