Friday, October 31, 2008


What a day! We started off with Sydney's preschool party. It was loud, crazy, and lots of fun.
Sydney was so excited to have Mom and Jackson at school with her.

I'm not sure what this face means...

This is Sydney's friend Karsyn. Everyday when I drop Sydney off at school Karsyn meets her at the door with a little mature hug and they say things like "I like your shoes" while batting their eyes and acting all teenager'ish. They crack me up.

SUPER MAN! (Or if you say it like Jackson does it sounds more like pooper man...which happens to fit him well.)
Later on we went to the carnival at the law school.
When we got home I put all the loot in a pile on the floor. Believe it or not, we didn't trick-or-treat to ONE house this year. When I was a kid it would take hours of diligent mapped out trick-or-treating to get anywhere close to this much stuff. A HUGE thanks to everyone who thought of our kids on Halloween. Thanks Grandma Gifford for the Halloween cards, both mailed and emailed. Thank you Phyllis (the grocery store grandma) for the gift bags you gave Sydney and Jackson. Thank you Lyndsey, Amber, and Brittany for the awesome gifts you put together for the kids. It's exciting that our kids are at the age where they can remember holidays from the year doubt this will be a Halloween they remember. GOOD NIGHT...
... and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sydney's New Best Friend

Today in Preschool Sydney got to paint a pumpkin. Since she got home she's been taking it everywhere with her. She sat it on the chair next to her during lunch, she sat it on the ground beside her while she colored, she has not let the thing out of her sight. She's been talking to it too...asking it what color she should use next, what movie it wants to watch. It's rather funny.

Here she is "giving it a ride".

Like I said...she hasn't let it out of her sight...not even for a second. Not a day goes by that I don't laugh out loud about something the kids do. They crack me up.

Halloween Festivities

On Saturday we went to our branch Trunk-or-Treat activity. We had 17 kids there! 12 were members and 5 were nonmembers. Our primary has almost tripled since last year. I never thought I would think that 12 primary kids is a lot, but here it's a branch record.

Emilie and Jackson at the activity.

Our next party was at the library. I take the kids to a class there once a week and this week we had a costume party. Fun stuff.

Sydney was way into the book the librarian was reading the kids.

These boys are in Sydney's preschool class. They are triplets and although they don't look much alike, Sydney calls them all Alex. We'll be walking past them and she'll say "Hi Alex, hi Alex, hi Alex." as we pass each boy. I've told her several times that they are not all Alex...I guess she can't remember which one is Alex so she figures she'll just try the name on all of them. She's funny. The boy's Dad is one of McKay's professors at the law school. Oh, and the other two boys are Max and Ben.
Halloween is on Friday so I'll have more pictures to post then.

Our Handsome Fireman

First of all, some bad news, and some good. Bad news first; my camera stopped working so I had to dig up our ancient digital camera from 4 years ago that takes horrible pictures and is anything but user friendly. And right before Halloween too! Good news, McKay found us a new camera on ebay for cheap, and it's even better than the one that just broke. Hooray! It won't be here by Halloween, so we'll just have to deal with blurry flushed out pictures for the next week or so. Sorry.
Jackson came out of his room the other day in this lovely get-up. And to think we actually spent money on a costume this year! He's growing up so fast!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Play Group

We've started a play group this semester here in Grundy. We get together once a week with all our little kiddos. Four of us moms have husbands in law school, another mom's husband is a teacher at the law school, and the last mom's husband is a pharmacy student in a neighboring town. Six moms and eight kids ages 2 months-3's pretty fun. And, to add to the craziness two of the moms are pregnant! Here is a picture of part of our group.
Left to right : Marin, Jackson, Vanner, Madison, Emilie, and Sydney.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Night out on the town

Today was a pretty fun day. During our lasagna dinner Sydney managed to get some garlic toast crumbs in her sleeves. We usually have her get down and go wash in the bathroom. When Keresa told her to get down and wash she said, "Ok, but I need help." Keresa told her no, just go wash by yourself. Sydney gave her a very tender face, and on the verge of tears said, "But there's bread in my sleeves." It was very sad, but too funny to hold back and we both had to cover our faces so she wouldn't see us laughing. I finally had to get up and take some dishes into the kitchen so I could let the laugh out.

It was raining so hard we decided to go out for a drive and watch the rain. While we were out Jackson decided to practice some words. So he was going back and forth with 'awesome' and 'dude.'
"Awesome. Dude. Awesome. Dude. Dude. Awesome. Aw-- Aws--Aw-- App..? Applebees? Applebees. APPLEbees. "

Our rainy drive took us to Dairy Queen. We have never eaten in, just gone to the drive through. We thought we would shake things up a bit and try it out inside.

Inside Dairy Queen we enjoyed very loud Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw songs. The people all around spoke loudly and laughed a lot. It sounded like we were inside some wild west saloon or something. Then a group of coal miners in their late 40s all sat down. They were pretty calm. But then we heard a knock at the door (who knocks at Dairy Queen?). A guy threw the door open and shouted (imagine the voice of Tow Mater on Cars) "Well Heeee-LOOOOw all!! Hay-owz eh-vrrr-bah-dee doo-inn tuh-naya-tt!?" And he looked all around. Now the coal miners all seemed to raise their Blizzards in a toast to Clyde, and everyone saw just how loud and full of energy this group could be once their ring leader joined them. We overheard lots of, "tlr vrrmn eeelrhall mrrln grrdil leekn Obama." I think they were talking that they liked him, but I could really only make out that one word.

Just another fun evening in Grundy!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Frosty mornings

MXRice, you would not be proud. I have had to start idling the car in the mornings to warm up before I leave. It is frosty (more like icy) these days in Virginia. If I don't go out and warm it up for at least 45 minutes (kidding!) I am just too cold driving with my shorts and T-shirt. :)
OK you caught me, the pic is last year, but it shows the outfit I most like to wear this time of year. Just have to keep my gloves on so my hands don't get cold.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Want to use my laptop?

Last night Sydney came to me with two puzzles with all the pieces taken and asked me if I wanted to use her laptop. She set the boards on my lap with one laying (like the keyboard) and the other standing up (like the screen). So, I pretended to type on it. She told me I should write an email to Grandma. So, I talked out loud as I typed the email. "Dear Grandma, Sydney loves to talk to you on the phone. We can't wait until you come to visit us in Grundy, etc., etc., Love, Mommy" Next it was Sydney's turn. She decided to Email Jackson. "Dear Jackson, I don't like it when you come in the bathroom while I'm going pee pee. Sometimes you forget to use your inside voice. I like to play with legos, etc., etc., Love, Sydney" We took turns back and forth emailing people. I told her it was time to do one more email and then go to bed. She decided to email Jesus. "Dear Jesus, I love you so much. Sometimes when I have a scary dream I say a prayer to help me go back to sleep. I like to go to Primary. Love, Sydney."
Isn't it amazing how kids have the desire to talk to and know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? Out of all the friends she could have "emailed", she chose our Savior. I think we can all learn a lesson from that.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Project Poodle

With Halloween just around the corner Sydney and I spent the afternoon working on her costume. She helped me lay the material to measure and cut it and then sat by me while I sewed on it. I don't know if she's ever seen me use the sewing machine before....probably because I rarely sew, and when I do it's during the kids' naps. Anyways, she was very interested and we had lots of fun. Here are some pictures of our project.

Of course the Minnie Mouse shirt won't be a part of the costume ;-)

Jackson's coloring

long night

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Balloon fun

sunny day

Friday, October 17, 2008

After posting some pictures on Facebook of me as a baby I had several people comment on how much they could see Jackson in me. So, just for kicks I put together this picture of all four of us when we were one year old. On top it's me and Jackson, and on bottom it's Sydney and McKay. what do you think?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A new beginning.

So, thanks to tons of help from McKay we have compiled all our past blogging updates into this blog. Thanks to Linda, Angie, Andrea, and everyone else who has wonderful blogs where I got good ideas for mine. I'm hoping this blog will be easier to maintain and keep everyone updated on our lives while we're so far from home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weight loss tips:

This is really helping us to slim up!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bull Dozer Cake

On Tuesday McKay and I made a cake for one of our missionary's birthdays. I guess he used to drive a bull dozer for work before his mission and he requested this cake. It was pretty fun to put together.

From Sart....
... finish.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A morning at Poplar Gap

This weekend we took the kids up to Poplar Gap. They love running around and playing together. The weather is cooling down and we love being outside. Here are a few pictures.

McKay, my 3rd child.

Here's a video slideshow too!