Monday, November 30, 2009


Hallie goes to Preschool one day a week which rotates to different friends homes, including our own. This is her/our highlight of the week. SHE LOVES IT. Not only does she get to spend time with friends, but she gets to work on her letters which she is more than passionate about. When she gets home from school she spends the next hour or two doing her "homework" which consists of her writing all of her letters and name on paper, and then cutting it up into the smallest possible pieces. Real nice.

What I love is her conversations with Hunter about her school and how much fun she had. She always concludes with, "Hunter when you're a big boy you can go to school too, but you're a baby now." Never fails. 

I love that she loves school. Reminds me of myself when I was little.

I love that she practices her name on every possible piece of paper she can find.

I love that she's enthralled with learning how to read, and she's doing quite well with it.

I love that she loves to learn. Hopefully that quality will last past Kindergarten.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


We shared a wonderful Thanksgiving with Steve's brother and his family, and it is an all day celebration. Large breakfast feast at our house, football/Christmas decorating, and then a relocating of the party to Bob's house where we share and amazing Thanksgiving feast. 

In the middle of the meal we go around the table and share what we are grateful for. This is intended to be a very heartfelt discussion, however with two small children that becomes more difficult. We were on the fourth person, Rob, when Hallie and Hunter (both sitting on Steve's lap) start to get a little rowdy. Hunter picks up a butter knife off the table and starts waving it around and we let him because it kept him quiet. Unfortunately he then starts hitting Hallie with it (nothing dangerous) and in the middle of Rob's sincere gratitude, Hallie screams out, "Stop knifing me Hunter. Hunter is knifing me." She knows how to kill the moment...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Aunt Kiki...

A few months back I invited my sister (who Hallie affectionately refers to as Aunt Kiki) to come live with us while she was on her "summer" semester from BYU-Idaho. She didn't really entertain the idea, until I offered it again just weeks before she was done with her semester. It just so happened that there was a job opening up at the Kohls headquarters where Steve works and within just a week she had finished school, packed up and drove across the country, interviewed and got the job. It all happened so fast, it was great. The only draw back of the whole situation was the fact that we don't have an extra bedroom. So when I offered originally I told her she would be living in our storage room:
It's a big space.
Carpet on the cement floor.
Queen mattress on the floor.
Closet space. Large dresser.
A bathroom.
What's even better is the fact that it's in the area with our food storage, washer and dryer as well as a fridge.

And even with that dim explanation as to where she would live she was still willing. She's a good sport. That, and the job pays well. So she's been living with us for the past three months.

And she reminds me on a daily basis I have yet to blog her arrival.

So here it is.
In all it's glory.

She's here for another 5 weeks before she makes the drive back with my dad to school. It was been great having her here. I didn't realize all the benefits this would entail.

Before she started working a lot at her second job (gap) Steve and I could go grocery shopping together in the evening. It was fabulous.

When Hunter has a bad night or is sick, we leave him home from church with Kaytlin. (Her church doesn't start until 3!)

There is someone else in the house Hallie can talk to, so Steve and I can talk to eachother for a little bit.

She helps entertain the kids. They adore her and it's going to be a rude awakening when she goes back to Idaho.

She arrived just a few weeks before we went to Peru so she was a great transition to our moms, even though she works a lot, she was a big help.

She became my new shopping buddy. She's always up for a trip to the mall in the evenings.

It's been so fun and we're sad to see her time start to wind down. She's already talking about next "summer". We'll see if she's not married by then...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nauvoo 2009...

Once upon a time...what seems like forever ago...we lived in Rexburg, ID. While in Rexburg we made some really great friends, who we truly cherish. One of those couples (Sam and Gina) happens to be some of our very best friends. I worked with Sam at the school newspaper and after we graduated, Steve and Gina worked together at the school newspaper. Funny how things work out sometimes! It's been years since we've lived down the street from them, but our friendship is still just as strong.

So we were thrilled when Sam graduated from grad school and joined us in the Midwest. Although we're still a lengthy drive from them we both agreed Nauvoo would be a great meeting ground. So we rented a townhome and spent a great weekend with friends. We stayed up late, got up early and spent hours talking and watching our kids become friends. It was awesome. Get ready for picture overload!

Hunter at Carthage Jail.

Hallie and Max has so much fun jumping off this ledge together. It was all fun and games until Hallie jumped and Max decided to stay on the ledge...the problem was they were holding hands...there were tears.

Our oldest kids are the same age, as are our younger ones. It's great.

It just so happen that while we were there, there was a traveling exhibit featuring the work of Angela Johnson. If you're not familiar with her, get familiar, she is phenomenal. I've had the opportunity to be her graphic designer over the past couple years so it was so fun to see her sculptures in an exhibit. I also had the opportunity to go to her home last April while we were in Arizona...but that is a post by itself!

Hallie was exhausted by the end of this trip. She was more than worn out!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This is so long past due its quite embarrassing. I have had the hardest time keeping up with all the photos and all the events lately, but I want these included in my year end book.

Before we went to Peru, Steve's parents came out for a visit. His dad went home, my mom came out, both of our moms watched the kids while we toured Peru, and my mom stayed a couple days after we got home. The kids were more than happy/spoiled. And they were loving life. Yet reality has to set in at some point...when my mom left. It was then that the kids realized how much cooler staying with your grandparents is! We love having visitors here.

Hallie loves when her grandmas visit. She reads every book on the shelf 3 or 4 times, she plays games (guess who) multiple times and never tires, she plays ball (swinging until her arms tire), she shows them how fast she can ride around our circle, she stays up later, eats more treats, and the thing she requires most...she gets plenty of attention.

Hunter just loved having four loving arms to hold him at the drop of a hat and comfort his every need. Clearly far from his reality...

It's after visits like this that we wish we could live closer to our parents. Knowing that isn't a possibility right now we enjoy every opportunity we get to see them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Funny Comment...

I was cleaning the kitchen this afternoon when Hallie came in with a notebook and pen. 

Hallie: Mom look at my big B
Kara: (looking)
Hallie: Mom look at my big B
Kara: (looking) Yep
Hallie: Mom look at my big B
Hallie: Mom look at my big B
Hallie: Mom look at my big B
Kara: Honey- I see all of them. You are so good at writing your B's, but you don't need to have me look at it every time you write another one.
Hallie: (contemplating) Mom, look at the one I didn't tell you to look at.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall has fallen...

(Our Street)

Last week I was driving and couldn't help but notice the beautiful and vibrant foliage that surrounded me. There was a slight breeze, and as I was sitting at a stop light this bright yellow leaf started to sway back and forth as it fell to the ground right in front of me. There were no visible trees by the intersection, so I'm not sure where it came from but I loved it. I loved the "light as a feather" motion it took and as it made its descent. I love fall. And as I watched this leaf, I had an uneasy feeling, knowing that one by one those leaves were dropping. And before long the streets would be covered. And don't you know I drove to church this morning and saw very few leaves on the trees. Too few. Can't they stay on their permanently? I makes me sad to see the dried up brown leaves covering the flower beds. A flower bed that once carried so much color, trees once full with life and color. Now brown and dead.

So color...I say goodbye. Please visit me again soon. Really soon. Please don't wait until April to make your appearance. March would be nice. February would be even better. I'll miss you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Seussical Party...

Seeing as though Hunter survived a year without Hallie killing him or severely hurting him...we thought it was cause for a celebration. So that we did!

We had a Seuss themed party - he begged me for a transformer party, but I convinced him that Transformers would be out of style before long, whereas Seuss is classic, it's here to stay. (The joy of having a one year old is you can spin it anyway you'd like!) 

We had his closest friends and playmates (i.e. Hallie's friends, and our friends) for a beautiful afternoon outside. 

As we were cleaning up after everyone left I stated that Hunter would remember this party as his favorite for years to come...Steve laughs and tells me, "we all know the party wasn't really for him." It's true I confess. I saw summer quickly slipping from my grasp and the only thing that was going to make me feel better about it was to have one last lawn party before the chairs get stored in the garage, the trampoline gets taken down, and we say goodbye to our beautiful green grass. It was more of a goodbye summer party with a little birthday action thrown in. I hope Hunter understands!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween...

Knowing we were coming to the end of beautiful weather we did a shoot of the costumes the week before Halloween. Hallie loved her costume and wore it multiple times (aside from the one party she wanted to wear a hot dog). She didn't like the hat so much because it hurt her ears, but she was a good sport. Hunter on the other hand...we caught him on a bad afternoon because he was not happy about the situation at all. He didn't like the fur in his face and he kept his old man pouty face on the majority of the time. But they make for cute pictures as well!

I'll post pictures from our actual Halloween day (46 degrees with winter coats) later...

This is Hunter's "I'm so done being a monkey" face!
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