Thursday, December 22, 2011

Two days to Christmas

Maggie had so much fun with Grandma and Uncle Jonathan... despite our plea to extend their stay they were under the heavy spell of Aunt Michelle.  It is true her house is pet friendly and the food is better... and Grandma and Jonathan will get there own room BUT... well, I guess I see why they left... rrrr!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

8 Days to Christmas

An amazing thing about Sara is her willingness to give, even at the cost of her own ambitions.  Our wedding announcement is the perfect example of that.  I had this crazy idea and instead of shooting it down, she let me wield the sword.  I know she would have rather had something simple and legible but she wanted me to have something I wanted, even at the cost of her own ideas. When I think of great gifts, this type of self sacrifice is the key ingredient.  That is to say, not all great gifts come wrapped up in a box.

Friday, December 16, 2011

9 Days to Christmas

Maggie and me came up with some great homemade gifts this year.  We ran around like crazy today trying to finish up Maggie's gift to Taya.  Maggie was so pleased with the results she asked if we could make one for her too.  Sara is also in for a real treat this year but we can't really talk about that.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 days to Christmas

I hope my little count down isn't making anyone nervous but I guess if you have time to read the blog then your done with the Christmas cards and presents...right?  The best part about living in Las Vegas is the steady stream of visitors we get.  We only wish we had more room to host people.  Although I think we have hosted over ten people in single night.  Hey, pioneer families lived in a single room so we feel like we are richest people on the face of the planet.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eleven Days to Christmas

All our homemade gifts are starting to arrive from amazon.  We got two packages today and one yesterday. We are still waiting for our Christmas cards to arrive from the printers.  Hopefully, they arrive before Christmas.  We still don't have a single present for the kids but we have time... right?  Well, I found this picture of Sara and Henry in the archives... and I thought why not just squeeze it into the post.  Christmas season is way too busy... I guess this picture serves to remind me what it is all about.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

twelve days to Christmas

Since Sara and I return from our honeymoon, we had to make uncomfortable changes and life plans have been altered... and the struggles have only increased.  There are days when life seems hard and nothing seems to be going according to plans.  But I think we are equally committed to the struggle... and that creates the greatest bond of trust... that I wouldn't trade for anything.

Back in October

Stairs are synonymous with dirt, tape, boxes and sticks.  I can't think of a kid that doesn't like them.  Maggie had fun with her cousins getting dirty with chalk art on the sidewalk.  They drew some real master pieces.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Feeling generous

I decided I am a picture hoarder.  I don't know if anyone realizes just how many photographs I have been meaning to get around too.  I have even more that I intend to nothing with.  I guess I finally decided I should start publishing in larger blocks.  So here is the rest of Thanksgiving in Vancouver.

Fall in Vancouver is beautiful

Monday, December 5, 2011

Running the stairs

Okay, I didn't run as many laps as the girls because I was setting my camera but I was sore for days afterwards.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Henry update

 Henry is eating solids.  For starters, rice cereal, spaghetti squash, carrots, banana and cheerios.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving in Vancouver

We always love to visit my sister and her family.  It is nice to have family close to Taya, who has lived in the northwest most of teenage life.  On the last day of our trip the clouds parted and we were able to get some pictures outside.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My boss has been hassling me about posting to the blog... rrrrr!!!
(images provided via skype conversations)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Never enough

Salmon for dinner again... yummy, we love it when the Grandparents visit... it is always a good excuse to break out the salmon.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Treasure trove

The kids were tireless on Halloween.  Maggie went trick-or-treating with her friends, Anna and Hannah.  Anna was so good with Maggie and led her around most of the night.  They loaded up with a treasure trove of candy.  We had to empty her pumpkin so that she could continue stuffing candy in it.  To her dismay we dumped it in the back of the stroller.  Like any mad pirate, she ran after her treasure and kept stealing the candy back.  We had to remind her several times it was all hers (at least that portion that wouldn't be pillaged by her parents).  Two hours later...they were still running like energizer bunnies.  They would have keep going but we ran out of houses in the neighborhood

Now I am thinking about starting my training for next years marathon.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Truck or Treat

Rrrr little pirate and doggy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Henry's first Sunday tie

We finally got Henry a collar shirt for all the ties Aunt Carly and Cinnamon gave him.  He is growing fast.  Currently, he can roll across the room and stand on his own while holding onto the coffee table.  He is a very curious and likes to people watch.  If a stranger makes eye contact, he is bound to give them one of his big smiles.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Donovan family vacation

We were feeling like Vegas when the Donovans came to visit us as part of their vacation destination.  It is true that we are fun and feed everyone yummy food.  We played Simon-says and I threw the adults with my first set of instructions, granted I had given the boys some prior training.  Who knew Simon-says could be so fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I have so many great memories of my brother, Clarke.  He was the big brother I aspired to be.  I used to try to squint like he did when surveying a room without his glasses.  He taught me it was not cool to run while walking across a busy road.  Whenever he gave me a ride to school he would make sure to drive his jeep up on the curb, like he was dropping off a rock star.  Clarke was a great big brother and he still is.  If I have mechanical problems or anything is broken, he is the first person I call.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Happy Birthday Carly Jane!

One year Carly gave a special birthday post to everyone in the family when it was their birthday. I loved it! Stanford came up with the idea recently to do the same thing and it just so happens that Carly's birthday is the first to fall in line.

I can't say enough good things about my sister Carly. What I love most about her is her cheerful disposition. Ever since I can remember Carly has looked at the bright side of things. Even during hard times she focuses on the good and does not complain. What a remarkable gift she gives to herself, her family, and friends by choosing to be cheerful!

Carly is also quite the creative girl. I am in love with all her creations and love to get a handmade gift from her. I treasure them all. She definitly got my mother's gene when it comes to sewing and creativity. I know the hours she spends thinking about & researching what she wants to make for someone and the hours she spends creating it. My sister is truly talented!

Carly also has a deep love for the gospel, and for her role as a mother, wife, sister, friend. You inspire me to be a better person Carly! We sure do love you around here and hope you have an awesome birthday!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Maggie sleeps anywhere

Have you ever been force to sleep in an airport terminal?  Somehow I don't think it would be a problem for Maggie.  Lately, she has been falling asleep in the most awkward places, especially on a Sundays when nap time is pushed back several hours.  Last week she crawled up on the baby changing table and fell asleep.  The other day, in the middle of lunch she curled up on her chair and fell asleep.  When I tried to coax her to her bed she insisted that she needed to finish her lunch, so I replied that I would put her lunch in the refrigerator for later, but she insisted on eating.  Only after a few minutes I returned to find her asleep on her bed and her plate in the refrigerator.

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's the journey not the destination

We try to get out to the park in the morning.  Lately, it has been in the cool 70s with the recent rain.  I put Henry in the bike trailer and Maggie rides up front with me.  The Pittman Wash next to our house is adjacent to several parks that we like to visit, so it is a convenient setup.  Along our ride to the park, Maggie wanted to go down a look at the rocks in the wash.  Obviously, this was a nice detour from our usual routine.  Maggie had so much fun that we spent our morning playing in the mud and didn't even make it to the park.  Henry, who was wrapped up in a blanket, quietly slipped into a long morning nap.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Double the pleasure

The great benefit about living in between family is you get two visits instead of one.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ten points to know if you're a baby whisper

You owe the little sanity you have left to a fifteen dollar exercise ball.

You can't remember how the baby's diapers got changed.

You sing yourself to sleep with a  lullaby.

You wake up in the night when your baby cries, only 50% of the time.

Your bounce in place even when your not holding a baby.

You think staying at home with the kids is harder than going to work.

You know the nipple flow rate of your baby's bottle.

You believe you are bilingual because you understand your baby's cry.

You can hear your baby crying even when she is not.

You could carry at ten pound bag all day and not even notice it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finding general conference

Las Vegas has large community of Mormons, which is not surprising since it was first settled by Mormon pioneers in the mid-eighteen hundreds.  Mormons account for about 12 percent of the population in Southern Nevada.  Due to the significant number of members living here, LDS general conference can be heard on local radio and television stations.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) broadcast general conference twice a year to members around the world.  It is a chance for anyone to hear the words of living prophet of the Lord.  I have been tuning into all TEN HOURS of the broadcast for years.  General Conference has become increasingly more important to me but every April and October, I find myself searching the internet trying to find the best place to tune into general conference. This always seems to be a fruitless endeavor since many of the keys words are common search terms.  I typically end up frustratingly thumbing through the stations until I find it.

Of course, the easiest place to find the broadcast is on the Church's official website but the online streaming video can be choppy due to the overwhelming demand.  The following are some great resources I found for watching the conference:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints official website.
BYU Broadcasting and TV for online streaming.
Bonneville Communication, for local listing of radio, TV and cable stations.

Friday, September 30, 2011


The label they didn't put on your BABY!

May cause sleep deprivation.  Will be the cause of intense emotions. Letting your baby cry will not reduce side effects.  If baby cries, remain calm.  If you find yourself overly frustrated, place baby in a safe place and return with a plan to remain calm.  Remember many plans and strategies will fail.  Breath deeply, do not over-think baby needs. Remember there are four basic cries: 1) My diaper is exploding! 2) Can get some milk with my oreos? 3) My eyes are bloodshot for a reason!!! 4) Look at me I'm an opera singer :-o

All cries, dietary needs and sleeping patterns are subject to change.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More Henry...

Technically I lied about Henry's happy disposition because now that he can roll over, he gets frustrated more because once on his stomach he wants to move around.  I use to me able to put him on the floor for a good hour, now it is only a matter of minutes before he starts crying in frustration.  Still he does smile a lot and he is a very ticklish boy with a contagious laugh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


We always like it when Grandma visits because we know there will be candy in house for days to come... And now that she doesn't eat candy, there is even more to go around:)  Plus, she always brings other unexpected and extraordinary gifts, like Henry's blanket hanging on the wall in the background.  This visit we also got a bread cutter, not shown and something I never knew existed.  The pink the blanket on the bed is also Grandma's handy work.  I should take a picture of the stitching so that you can get a sense of how emaculated and amazing these blankets are.

PS. Thanks Paige for letting us be a beneficiary... we all know you are the motivation behind Mom's trip:)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Henry smiles

Henry likes to smile.  While testing out his vocal cords, he gets some high pitches that I am sure only dogs can hear.  He also enjoys laying on his stomach, which Maggie always detested. He is a happy boy as long as he is fed and gets enough sleep.  Both of our children hate the car seat and pretty much scream the entire time they are in the car. This pretty much makes me want to never go anywhere.  But I am beginning to think it might be the car seat... I really thought kids were suppose to like car rides???  Speaking of things Henry dislikes, he won't let me hold him while sitting at the computer... this is my excuse for not posting more often.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Henry rolled over for the first time this week and Maggie made it through the night without wetting her pull-up.  I know it is crazy but these are major landmarks.  We like to bike to the park every morning, which is difficult because Henry is sleepy in the morning.  We try to get out by 8am, before the temperatures are too high.  This week it was about 95 degrees in the morning. I thought it felt wonderful but several mothers showed up with their children and quickly left after only a few minutes, exclaiming it was too hot.  I guess I have acclimatized to the weather because nothing above 90 degrees ever felt good to me before.  Maggie doesn't seem to be phased by the heat, although I think Henry, who sweats up a storm, would rather stay inside all day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Off to college

Uncle Chad, Aunt Paige and Grandma stopped on there way to BYU. We spent a few hours at the pool. Paige was vicious in the pool while she tirelessly worked on her synchronized swimming routines. Maggie increasingly braves the water on her own, this time with a pool noodle between the stairs and Chad.  Afterward, Grandma was a good sport and helped me rally the troops to take pictures of everyone disheveled and hungry.  Apparently, I didn't get the memo that we were playing the part in the picture above:)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Destined friends

Maggie loves little Henry.  Sometimes we battle to keep her away from him.  She can be gentle and dangerous in her playful adoration, ranging from tender kisses to piling things atop of him.  Sara is better at letting Maggie hold Henry, while I spend most my time telling her to stay away from him.

Henry likes to sleep in the morning and late afternoon, while Maggie likes to sleep at noon.  It is rare when I get them both to nap at the same time.  Despite the lack of free time, I noticed my motivation to send out resumes has dramatically increased. This is my excuse for the not blogging.  I definitely think Sara could juggle the world of two children better than me.  Sure there at great moments but I am looking forward to the day when I can pass the baton and admire Mother's who stay at home with their children from a distance:) 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pioneer Day

This is the first year we have been able to celebrate pioneer day here at home with the family.  Maggie got to walk in the parade behind the bagpipes.  It was the best part of the parade.  Later we got hosed down by the fire department.  This has to be the best free event in Henderson.  They go way out.  We had so much fun.  I can't believe just three stakes organize this event.  It was incredible.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Grandma, Tasha and the boys camped out on the floor this week during their visit.  I actually took some amazing pictures on our trip to Redrock but as fate would have it... I shot them without a memory card in my camera.  Okay, they probably weren't amazing but we will never know will we?  It was a fun visit, we spent most of our days baking in the sun at the pool.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ice cream prayer

Like clockwork Maggie has been getting up at 5 AM every morning.  She is an effective alarm clock... gone are the days of laying in bed half-asleep, instead we stumbling out of the room with Maggie in tow, hoping Henry will continue sleeping despite the ruckus.

Last night Sara and Maggie made ice cream. It was well past her bedtime before we realized the ice cream wouldn't be ready until morning, so it was off to bed with promises of ice cream tomorrow.  This morning, the first thing off her tongue was an excited, "Ice cream!"  I set out a big bowl of ice cream for breakfast and reminded her to say a prayer.  She sat up and rambled off her first prayer of independence with a clear... Amen.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Canadian Bears: Day 4

I spent ten days backpacking through the back-country of Banff and Jasper with my good friend, Jared, and the only bear we saw was a speck on the horizon.  Today we woke up early with fairy dust in the air; our destination: the Columbia Icefield.  We stopped to see Peyto Lake which was well worth the short hike.  Afterward we spotted our first black bear.  Tonya was screaming and we were all frantic trying to find our cameras.  He was walking along the road and walked within a few feet of the car, needless to say we were fumbling around.  Soon a large crowd gathered to watch him.  The bear was only feet away and fortunately for the cows (crowds) it was busy eating dandelions.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Banff National Park, Canada: Day 3

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park

We met a traveler from Scotland that told us that if we wanted to find bears we had to "stop looking for them and just look for the cows", which later we identified as "crowds".  We were determined to find a bear and despite our futile effort not to look, our minds became more focused on finding one.  Today we toured the lakes, popular tourist destinations but we took the back roads between lake sites in search of wildlife.  The last sketch of road along our journey, Grandma suggested we say a prayer.  I know it sounds ridiculous but I believe in a loving God who takes interest in our trite concerns.  Almost instantly we spotted the cows or crowds that is.  Foraging in woods were two grizzly bears.  We were able to watch them from a safe distance as they overturned rocks and logs while feeding on grass.  It was a beautiful site.  After awhile we all piled into the car and I mentioned that now all we needed to see was a wolf or badger.  Incredibly a half mile down the road an elusive wolf softly trotted across the road and into the brush.  That was incredible too.  We offered a prayer of gratitude, the importance of which I learned from my Grandpa Golden.  I think we all fell asleep with smiles on our faces that night.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yoho & Banff National Park, Canada: Day 2

After a small detour to visit Thai On The Fly (five stars) in the outskirts of Salmon [sal-muhn] Arm, we arrived in Revelstoke to our small overprice room at the Swiss Chalet Motel (two star).  It was so small that it became comical.  We had to climb over each other to move around.  Sunday morning, we drove to church in Golden.  We pulled in right in time, only to discover that we had neglected the time zone change, which made us an hour late.  The LDS Church in Golden is small, only five members. The branch President was very nice and allowed us to partake of the sacrament.  Taylor bore a fine testimony and that was church in nutshell. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Into Canada: Day 1

The first day of our road trip we crossed over a bridge and off Whidbey Island and headed north into Canada.  Even the air seemed cleaner in Canada, yet we didn't hear a single "aye" or "cheers", that didn't happen until day two.  After a few hours into Canada we stopped in the little town of Hope to see the Othello Tunnels, where we learn about Canada's effort to thwart the aggressive Americans from monopolizing the railroad  across the Northern Continent. The tunnels are now a walking trail but back in-the-day trains past through them transporting goods and people into British Columbia.  Passenger trains would run through the gorge at night to avoid overlooking the twist and turns of deep gorge of the Othello Tunnels.

While we were off exploring the tunnels our car was ticketed.  I guess in Canada they ticket for good behavior because it was only a notice to let us know that our stuff was stashed away and locked up properly.  We received excellent marks in protecting our car from theft, which as unfortunately has become a problem in the area.  Anyway, it was my first ticket for good behavior!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Taya's Graduation

Taya graduated with honors from Coupeville High. It was my first visit to the island since she moved there. Whidbey Island is beautiful especially the town of Coupeville. The graduating class was small. It was really cool to see the attention given to each student. Before the ceremony they projected two images of each student, one childhood photo and one senior picture. They also paired each student with there best friend, so Taya got walk the procession with her best friend, Tess.  How many graduating classes can do that? Anyway, I am really proud of her and I am glad we made it... speaking of which... we walked in only seconds before the ceremony started, we almost felt like dignitaries because it seemed like the town had been waited for us. Jenny had save us seats on the front row, so we quickly walked to the front with all eyes upon us and took our seats and then ceremonies started. It was surreal.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Maggie and Payton

I really dislike taking pictures in full sunlight.  I only do it when I am forced.  Michelle asked, so I pulled out my camera shot two-hundred pictures in-full-sunlight. I thought these images captured our hour in heat of the day.