Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011!

This year, we have a pirate...

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And a puppy...
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We started a Halloween tradition of matching family costumes with Stone's first Halloween. It continued the 2nd Halloween, and then the next year, we were lame, and only dressed Stone up. I had been out of town with Stone, and work was absolutely crazy that month. Lame excuses. We picked the tradition back up last year, and then this year, after pondering our possibilities, I thought, "Do we really want the pressure of a family theme every year? There's going to come a year where the tradition breaks, and then my heart will break. Do we want that pressure??" And I decided no. I figured if we do a theme here and there, that would suffice. OR, maybe that's just my excuse of not being clever this year with a family theme.


We may have not had a theme, but we still went all out. We can thank Stone for that, because he LOVES costumes. He is a superhero or power ranger EVERY day. He thinks we have to dress up as something on our birthdays, since he does.

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I must say, after 4 days of costumes and festivities, I'm ready to welcome November.

This past Thursday, we hosted our playgroup's Halloween party. We made Frankenstein cups:


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And I made some ugly dead string cheese fingers (which surprise, surprise, didn't really get eaten):

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and a carrot hand in some dip with baby carrots.
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All the moms brought yummy treats, and we played games and chatted, and had a nice time.

Thursday was ALSO Cliff's birthday...which I will dedicate a post to that. :) I surprised him with BYU vs TCU football tickets, and our friends Chelsea & Dave watched our kids while we went to the game Friday evening (thanks again, Chels!!).

We had our church party...


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and tonight we took the kids Trick-or-Treating.

....and they were a hit at every home. Emerson tried to go INSIDE every home, especially if there was a dog (there's a reason she was a dog this year! She is obsessed!). She'd wave, and when the people weren't looking (while they were talking to Stone), she'd hurry and grab a few more pieces. Every home we went to, whoever opened the door and saw her, would call to the rest of their family to come see. We were so pleased with trick-or-treating this year. The last couple of years, hardly any porch lights were on. This year was a different story.

So if you endured this post, Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Love,

The Witch & Mr. T.

PS: I'm taking my kids' portraits tomorrow. So stay tuned.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I am blessed.

I am a blessed mommy. That realization never leaves, and sometimes it's enhanced. A girl that watches my kids at the gym recently told me I am blessed. It was nice to hear it from someone else, because I know my kids can be quite the handful. And sometimes I think only I, their mother, can handle (and embrace) their rowdy behavior or wild energy. Most of the time I love it, but sometimes, I don't know what to do (like when I find both kids with their heads in my toilet and then splashing around or when I run upstairs for 3 minutes and come down to a new bag of Ruffles opened up, being dipped in a new tub of chocolate fudge frosting, or when Stone helps Emerson get in my makeup and it gets all over my carpet...you get the idea). And quite often {at least once a day} I say outloud to myself, "Seriously? Did they really just do that?" And then...at the end of the day, as I lay down and close my eyes, I find myself laughing out loud {really, I do, and Cliff will ask what is so funny} and suddenly anything that may have driven me crazy earlier in the day, has quickly turned into a wonderful memory, or a Facebook status (that so many people find entertaining), and something I will always remember about my kids.

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Every time Emerson is in this adorable mis-matched outfit (see above), I get told that she belongs on the store shelf as a doll. She does, doesn't she? This sweet girl is talking like crazy. Her mouth is always open, and she's always babbling! Cliff and I are probably the only ones that can understand her many phrases. She has taken a different approach to speech development, compared to Stone. Stone had more singular words at this point, but she has more phrases. She copies our tones and inflections to typical phrases we say all day long, "Hold my hand", "What is that", "That's mine", "I'm hungry", "I don't want to", "I don't know", etc. They are kind of slurred together, but she has done her best to imitate what she hears us say. Each day her little phrases become a little more clear. She has many singular words as well: mommy, daddy, ball, mine, milk, water, nuh-uh (she has yet to say no! it's always nuh-uh), uh-oh, baby, hot, two, doggy, me, eye, nose, button, etc.

She still loves animals, and she is still my cuddle bug. She is even funny, and doesn't know it! In the car, I said something sarcastic to Cliff, he had a come back, and in the back seat, Emerson said, "Ooooohhhh!!!!" right on cue.

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As for this joyful kid...sometimes I just don't know what to do with him. My mom always says, "oooh, you've got Jordan on your hands." My brother, Jordan, was her rowdy one. But finally yesterday, when she told me that again (after I told her he pulled my bedroom curtain rod out of the wall by swinging on the drapes, telling me he thought it was a swing. ....ummm, no, he did not really think that!), I said, "Mom, I think he has surpassed Jordan. Hands down." Jordan grew out of his rowdy stage by 3. Stone is still going strong, with no break in sight.

However, he then says the sweetest things like, "Mommy, I need to send Heavenly Father a text. I need your phone to call him." or "Mommy, you're the best. I just love you." He also says "I love you" ALL THE TIME. I think I've mentioned that on here. He'll say it in public, and people will say, "Oh my goodness! That is the cutest! I wish my kids said that."....and it makes the curtain rods being ripped from the drywall not seem so bad.

I mean, really....I have a Stone story for every.day.of.the.week. But we love him SO much. We have tried all angles of discipline, and have tried so hard to teach him obedience. We've taken a "positive reinforcement" approach this week, and he has seemed so much more cooperative. What can I say, he has a mind of his own, knows what he wants, and works until he gets it. He really is such a joyful kid, and definitely keeps me on my toes. He is also such a good big brother.

I really couldn't ask for better kids. They fill our home with happiness and love. I can't believe there are people that don't want this. "This" is awesome.

below: Stone on his harmonica.
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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mormons ARE Christians

My junior year in high school, a teacher stopped me as I was walking out of class, and asked me to stay back a few minutes. Little did I know he would interrogate my beliefs and religion. It didn't take long for people to learn I was a Mormon. I didn't drink. I didn't have sex. I didn't do drugs. He started by saying that I belonged to the "cool" crowd, so surely I did those things. He quickly made way to the most popular debate people seem to have regarding the Mormon religion {which seriously blows my mind} ....he said I belonged to a cult, and I was not a Christian.


Surprise, surprise that someone would try bashing my religion. And surprise, surprise that they'd start there. Perry's recent political move wasn't the first I had heard of these criticisms, and I know it will not be the last.

I responded with a question, "Do you know what church I belong to?"
He said, "Yes. The Mormon church."
I said, "Well, "Mormon" is a nickname we've been given. But I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Why would we have Jesus Christ in the title of our church if we are not Christian?"

That usually ends the debate. There's really no arguing it when people realize the actual title of our church. And if that doesn't end it, I'll take it one step further. Why would any non-Christian religion proclaim to be Christian? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I don't hear my Jewish friends claiming to be Christians. That's because they are not.  We are fortunate to live in a country where we can choose to worship how we please. We can choose our religion. If someone is ashamed of their religion, then they find another one. Religion can help us understand where someone comes from, but it's not a nationality, and it's not an ethnicity. It's a set of beliefs we cling to because we choose to. Perhaps someone is ashamed of their nationality or ethnicity, and they proclaim to be something they are not. But unlike that, we choose to set ourselves where we want to religiously.


I've had friends tell me their church leaders bash my religion during their church. That's always blown my mind. Come to our church, and we're not talking about other religions. We're talking about how the gospel has been restored to this Earth. We're talking about how Jesus is the Savior of the world. We're talking about how Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us, and it's a plan of happiness. We're talking about how we are all children of God. We're reading the scriptures. We're singing hymns. That's what we're doing.

I am a lot of things. I'm a college graduate. I'm a photographer. I'm a former ad woman. I'm a Zumba instructor. I'm a runner. I'm a musician. I'm a Texan. And the three roles that are the most important to me...I'm a wife. I'm a mother. I'm a Mormon. With that said, I'm a Christian. I believe that Jesus is the Christ. He is my Savior, he is my Redeemer.

For my friends out there that have questions, I'd love to answer them.