Monday, December 29, 2008


We had a very fun Christmas Week. Once again we celebrated Christmas Adam on Dec 23 (since Adam came before Eve) with a few friends. The Neumillers and Gorbys came over for dinner and lots of dessert and then we played games and talked for a little while. On Christmas Eve we slowly started wrapping gifts and bringing them out under the tree. Seth loves paper and we were right in that he would want to go after them. So this way only one day of super guarding the tree. We ate our big Christmas meal that night, again with a few friends from church. We had ham, rolls, salad, mashed potatoes, baked mac & cheese and more of the desserts still left over (we made lots of food both days so we didn't have to cook at all on Christmas or the day after). 

 After the friends left, we then read the story of Christ's birth from Luke, with Steve as narrator and all the rest of us as actors. I think it took us longer to find all the costumes and get dressed than the actual account but it was still fun. Rhianna was Mary, Rand was Joseph, and Seth and I were shepherds. They were sad Grandpa wasn't here to be the donkey. 

 Then into Christmas pajamas and off to bed...  Christmas morning Rand and Seth both woke up right before 7 am and then we got Rhianna. We looked in our stockings and then ate breakfast - eggs and biscuits made by Steve. Then we took turns one by one opening presents. Seth was happy helping with the paper, then would play with a toy, then back to opening more. Rand and Rhianna were really kind. Rand was so excited to give this year - he picked out a purple fairy Barbie for Rhianna and was so excited for her to open it. Rand made a big point of taking Steve to the store and bought me a necklace and earrings. Rhianna had made us all service cards - things she would do for us - Dad (make his bed) Mom (Do the dishes all by herself) Rand (play guns with him) Seth (sing him a song). I already cashed my dishes coupon in and she did them happily and even tells me I can use it again. 

 Brian and Becky and Lukas had our name and went with a musical we had a whole band going for a while in our house. Seth is happy to have all kinds of things to bang together and make different noises with. I particularly seriously love it when Rhianna and Rand try to play the really sounds like music. Their Boivie grandparents made them all scarves and hats. 

They wore them out to draw with chalk but it started raining. Yes it was actually really chilly for a few days and got down past freezing 2 nights, but now we are back to lovely 60s in the day. And we just have had a fun few days playing with all the other toys - reading, coloring, building, pretending. Thank you to all our good family who sent us pictures or gifts. We are truly enjoying them. 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008

June 12, 2008 was our 10 year wedding anniversary. Ten years ago we had barely managed to make it from Utah and school to Colorado to get married. In fact, the car was stuck in Rawlins, WY with an engine damaged beyond the car’s worth to repair. But that day was beautiful. I was so happy being in the temple, being married to Steve for all of eternity. I enjoyed all the pictures and lunch and reception and everything about that day.

This year on our anniversary we went out to breakfast as a family, dropped Rand and Seth off at a friend’s house, and then took Rhianna to get her cast cut off and the pins removed from her arm. Besides a little drama and crying, still a good day.

Our first Christmas together ten years ago we were very poor undergrad students, both heading into the final semester of our senior years. We went down to visit Steve’s family, but had to return on Christmas Eve. Since we didn’t have much, I worked at a movie theater to give us a little money but also to give us free dates. And I was required to work on Christmas day. So we returned to Logan – where everything was closed and the only place we could get food was at the 7-11 – and then had our own little Christmas morning just the two of us.

This year for Christmas it will again be just our family. But we like it that way. We enjoyed the years of visiting both families around Christmas. But now we are happy to stay home and enjoy our own traditions and time together. And now there are five of us. We are so blessed to be a family and to have enjoyed these ten years together.

One of the things we love about doing our blog is that it allows our friends and family to follow along with our life throughout the year and not just at Christmas time. Along those lines we would encourage you to read a few accounts of some of our memorable events.


Rand's collision into our bookcase


Uncle Scott came to visit


Rhianna and Rand's first tithing

Rhianna and Rand's dance class


Seth at six months old


Steve's teaching award

Rhianna breaks her arm


Family birthdays, anniversary, and Rhianna's cast coming off


Rhianna loses a tooth

Our mini vacation




Rand's surgery

Rand's 4th Birthday


Aunt Maria's visit

Seth turns one


Steve's mini-family reunion

And just for fun, here are a few statistics of what has happened during our 10 years of marriage:

3 cars owned (Kia Sephia, Honda Civic, and Honda Odyssey)

10 different apartments or houses lived in

4 cities lived in (Logan, Provo, Austin, Tucson)

4 university degrees (B.S. for Stephanie and Steve, Master's and PhD for Steve)

3 kids (Rhianna, Rand, and Seth)

4 trips out of the country (Mexico, Canada twice, and Singapore)

1 class reunion attended (Canada), 1 skipped to go to NY

We hope you all have a Merry Christmas. We love you all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Family Song

One of the things that I love to do is sing. So if you visit our house you will often hear me singing. I also often make up new words to the music of existing songs. These new words are usually about my kids. Today at breakfast I made up a song that Rhianna liked so much she wanted me to post. Here it is.

Rhianna My Little Girl (sung to the music of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)
Rhianna my little girl
Had such pretty yellow hair
And if you ever saw it
You would probably stop and stare
All of the other children
Loved to play with her at school
They never teased Rhianna
Because she was way too cool
Then one foggy school day
Ms. Nelson came to say
Rhianna with your brain so bright
Solve this math problem tonight
Then all the children loved her
And they shouted out with glee
Rhianna my little girl
She will never get a B!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rand's Art Class

Once again I did an art class with Rand through parks and rec (Rhianna and Rand also had separate dance classes this time too...we'll see what classes we take next year.). This one was focusing more on masks and puppets. Rand loves Ms Lilly and I love that she is so creative and kind and flexible. She is so welcoming to having Seth and just laughed as he would wander around, mainly trying to grab as many markers as possible. And I love Rand's art. It was always so fun for me to go to class, hear what the project was, and then see what Rand's take on it would be. I tried to get pictures of several of the projects so here are a few samples:   

This became an alien turtle mask - notice all the eyes and antennas.   



This was a robot puppet of some kind whose name was all the letters and numbers he stuck on... You can see the K08R and there were more on the front.

This pumpkin became an alien bat pumpkin. 

Probably my favorite - the skeleton was an spider pirate skeleton with hat, sword, 8 arms, lots of glitter glue, and brads to keep it moving. 

 Finally, a pirate hat. He loves those eyes so of course there are a ton. Plus an eye patch, treasure chest, pirate flag and feathers to finish it off.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rand's Future Wife

Today in church Rand went to say hi to his primary teacher and to see her new baby. When he came back he said: "She just kept smiling at me. I guess that means I am going to have to get married with her."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What happened to November???

We haven't posted in a long while. It felt like Halloween lasted for several weeks. I love candy and even I got sick of it. Luckily Steve has several college students that are happy to take our leftovers so we could get all the mounds of candy out of our house.

On November 1 Steve's parents came to visit for about 2 weeks. It was their first time seeing Seth and a great time to be around him. I think they really liked how he would "mmmmm" after every bite of food. They came to eat school lunch with Rhianna and had time to play at parks. Rhianna got some girl time with Grandma and Rand really loved Grandpa and hearing stories he would tell.

Near the end of their visit, all of Steve's brothers and his sister came into Tucson for the weekend. So we had a little mini-reunion. Most of the time was spent just talking and laughing. We did go out to a park on Saturday for pictures and a picnic and fun. Greg had to leave Sunday night, but on Monday while Carol watched the kids (thank you) all the rest of us went up to the Monday Night Football game (Arizona Cardinals vs. SF 49ers). It was our first pro football game and very fun, active game with lots of action and points.

Then the next day I started feeling crummy. I thought it was just lack of sleep at first since we didn't get home from the game until 2 am and I still had to be mom and get up at 6 with Seth. It was probably the combo of late night, freezing because of the A/C at the game, and all my kids having been sick for the previous 2 weeks....but I was miserable. Rich and Carol went back on Wed and I just laid around as much as possible. My good friend Corine took the boys during the day and then took Rhianna after school while the boys napped so I actually got good rest and got better fairly quickly.

Then we had a yummy Thanksgiving the next week. We had the Laws over (a family we know from church) and so the kids had fun playing and we liked talking and getting to know them better. Our kids favorite is the cranberry sauce my mom created. We actually eventually made 3 huge batches this year, one we gave away but we just love eating the stuff. And everything else was good too.

And that was November. Our computer totally died right before Thanksgiving and so just earlier this week we got our new computer and got it all set up. We are really enjoying this Christmas season. We quickly got all the shopping done and so now we are just singing songs, watching movies, and relaxing leading up to Christmas. We set up our tree a week ago. Rhianna and Rand worked so well together this year and it was fun watching Seth get so excited and just work to put things on and pull them off. I realized we only had our small tree with the other kids so I have no memories like this with them.

Steve is done with classes and has even finished grading his final projects. Rhianna just has 4 days of school left and we are happy and feeling the joy of the season.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Primary Program

Our ward had our primary program last Sunday. As usual, it was very sweet to see all of the children do their parts and hear them sing the songs. This was Rand's first program and it was really fun to watch him. We have church at 1pm and Rand is often fairly tired at that point in the day. When he gets tired, his ability to control his impulses goes down just a bit. His class were among the first to do their parts and he did fine remembering it, but he practically yelled it into the microphone. What was really funny was that during the first few songs he couldn't just stand there and sing. He was really moving around and waving his arms, and doing lots of funny hand motions. Then about halfway through the program they were supposed to stand up and sing a song, but he just stayed sitting down. He put his head on his teacher's shoulder and fell asleep. He then slept through the rest of the program.

I also want to note that Rhianna did great. She was assigned a scripture to read and she got up to the pulpit and read it perfectly. She is such a great reader.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Picky Eater

Tonight we were in the car heading to our ward Halloween party. We were discussing the fact that Seth had really enjoyed his dinner, and that he will eat almost anything. As we were talking we mentioned that both Rhianna and Rand had been that way as babies but then they became more picky eaters. Rand then piped up from his seat and said: "Yeah, I am a really picky eater. I love to pick my nose!" Once the laughter started and he knew he had an audience he kept going talking about how much he loved picking his nose and how much he loved eating his boogers. We are so proud.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Seth!

 Today is Seth's 1st Birthday. We had a very nice day and just enjoy having this little boy in our family. This afternoon we had Amelia, Grace, Bob, and Corine come over for the traditional First Birthday Cake. After opening a few presents, we went out on the back porch with Seth just in a diaper and he got his very own cake to do with as he pleased. 

 At first he just dipped his fingers in a little and licked them off. It seemed like he would look around at us amazed that we weren't stopping him. But then he started digging in more. He actually ate quite a bit of cake because he would take a handful and then really try to eat it all, lick his fingers, pick up pieces that dropped. He got messy but not super messy - just wanted to eat it. Steve eventually got him a drink and so he would take turns eating and drinking. At the end he was pulling up huge chunks and trying to eat them. Eventually we stopped him because we just figured that was enough cake for one little boy. 

 I am so glad he is my boy. After having Rhianna and Rand, I always sort of felt like I wanted a third child. But it actually took us a while of thinking about it and praying about it before we thought we should try to have another baby. Then it took us 9 months to get pregnant, a hard 9 months for me since the other two happened so quickly and I wanted this baby so much. And Seth has just been the perfect baby for us. He has a happy, fun, calm personality. He could just go along with the flow of going other places with bigger brothers and sisters. He was cuddly and cute and I think helped me enjoy all my kids more. And now that he is one, he is just developing into a fun little boy. He started taking his first steps the weekend of Rand's birthday in September - so now he is quite good at walking. He laughs at Rhianna's dancing and opera singing and so is a good brother for her. His first word is Dino (okay he actually only says "DI" but he really knows what it means...all the other sounds are mainly just sounds still). So he is getting better at playing dinos, blocks, balls, etc with Rand and can also take a bit of the rough housing. Just this week I was working with Rand on dribbling the basketball and Seth just stands there and waves his arms up and down like crazy like he is bouncing the ball. We have been switching him to drinking whole milk and he is pretty much eating what we eat broken in little pieces. He has blonde hair that is still not too thick, a great smile and laugh, and his little toes are starting to show the wear of walking everywhere - dirt and broken nails. And I just love him! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Go Red Sox! Go Pats! Boo Yankees!

The day after Rand's birthday my sister Maria and her two kids, Andrew and Emmy, came to visit us. They were out in Utah for Dave's sister's wedding and so then took the time after to come down to visit us. They got to stay for 10 days and we had such a nice time together.

I think Rhianna's favorite was either getting girl time with Maria (playing Polly Pockets, painting fingernails, going to the library and out for ice cream) or having us come visit her for school lunch. It actually worked out well that she had a few early out days for Parent-Teacher Conferences so we also got to go to some museums and parks all together.

Rand and Andrew did really well together. They both love cars and trains and chasing each other around and playing Mouse Trap and Zingo. Of course Rand had one major break down in the library and there were arguments over toys and time outs to follow. But the great thing is that then they are right back to playing. We got to go to a few extra parks while Rhianna was in school and they always did great together, on the playgrounds, throwing things in the water, riding the little train.

And it was fun to see the 2 closest cousins together. Seth is just about 3 1/2 months older than Emmy. He actually was really gentle with her and though he stared at her great hair, didn't try to pull it that often. He was much more interested in her pacifier. He always would pull it out and either try to get it back in her mouth or try to stick it in his. Seth has been walking all around the furniture and walls for a while but is now taking steps and walking on his own. Usually still it is just 3 or 4 steps but his max is probably up to 15 or so by now. He is getting better and better and Emmy was trying to stand too after watching him.

I loved watching all the kids together, watching my kids with Maria, and of course evenings when we just had time to talk. Maria has great energy about her - even with waking up with Emmy (who we think was working on 4 teeth coming in...) she would then go out on bug and lizard hunts with Rand and Andrew. And it was seriously hot outside! And she cooked us some good brownies and enchiladas. She found time to read a book and help plan her kitchen remodel from far away. She is just a great mom for Emmy and Andrew with their little personalities. It was a great visit. Thanks Dave for all the Boston shirts and hats (and of course the Harvard one for Steve). We are so glad we had all the time to spend together.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rand's 4th Birthday!!

We had a nice day on Rand's birthday. We had to wake up really early to leave for a church temple trip up to Phoenix. But the drive was nice, Seth slept, Rhianna and Rand watched movies and Steve and I got to talk. The kids had a great time playing in a nearby church while Steve and I went to the temple. In fact their legs and feet were totally dirty and black from playing around on the gym floors but they really had fun. The ward provided a lunch for all of us and then we headed back to Tucson.  We hid Rand's presents around the house and he and Rhianna did a treasure hunt to find them (he really liked that Rhianna got a treasure hunt on her birthday). They then just played with toys until dinner. 

Rand decided he wanted egg sandwiches and bacon for dinner and a T-Rex cake. It was a yummy dinner and the cake was really fun. It was from a silicone mold we bought which was not quite so easy to get some of the parts out of the mold. But after frosting it and letting the kids add decorations it turned out great and made Rand (and Rhianna) really happy and excited and proud. 

We just had a nice day together as a family celebrating Rand. He is so bouncy and funny and brave...he likes singing and dancing and writing and playing and pretending and so much more. We are glad he is part of our family.