Saturday, December 10, 2011 far

My cute girls helped me decorate a sparkly pink Christmas tree in their bedroom. Katie loves the lights and makes the cutest little contented sigh every time we plug the tree in.

Elli loves, loves, LOVES, her pink tree!

She had just figured out how to climb onto Elli's bed all by herself. You can see the pride all over her face. She is a sweetie!!

Elli had her first hair cut, and it turned out adorable!! I was nervous about it, but I love it!!! Now we will just have to see how much I love blow drying it all the time. That part I am still a bit nervous about, but she is soooo cute!!!

More December to come soon......


There is clearly some learning that needs to happen here. These photos were taken on Wayne's phone and I thought they'd show up big like all my others, so I have done something wrong somewhere.

Anyway, these photos are in Kanab Canyon. We were down there for a retreat with Wayne's work. We actually stayed at Zion's Ponderosa. The cabins were beautiful, and I really enjoy spending time with Wayne's fellow employees and their spouses. After the meetings ended there were several activities to choose from, but we had Katie with us so we just decided to drive and see the sights. I had never been to Kanab, so we headed that direction. It was a beautiful drive!

Okay, this was crazy and a little creepy. It seemed like something from a movie. As we continued up Kanab Canyon we came to a pet cemetery. Can you see all those stones? That is maybe a 1/4 of them, probably less. This thing went on and on. There were wind chimes all over the place and some of the graved even had engraved granite head stones. CRAZY!
This is at the coral sand dunes. Another place I'd never seen. It was cold and windy, but it was still beautiful, and there were still lots of people out riding on the dunes.
It snowed the morning we left, just a skiff, but it made for a nice drive home--pretty anyway. We stayed in a cabin similar to what you see in this photo.

This was taken at a ranch near the one we stayed at. The turkeys crossing the street with the sun in the background was a fun shot.

We drove back to Wayne's parents to pick up Bradley and met Wayne's brother, Alan, at a baptism of a niece. Alan and Crystal watched Elli for us. It's so nice to have family around that will help out with babysitting.

All the way back to Wayne's parents I listened to Christmas music. I told Wayne that I can't drive in the snow and not listen to Christmas music. It's good I did. I think that really the only snow we've had this holiday.

Our little Katie is now a very busy 1 year old. She only weighs 17 lbs., so we are waiting a bit longer to switch to a forward facing car seat. She is healthy and had a very happy disposition. You can't help but smile when she is around.

We had a combined party at my mom's with Clara who turned 4 and Aaron who turned 15. I made Katie's cake out of cupcakes. I think it is my new favorite way to do birthday cakes. As you can see it is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She wasn't sure what to do about the candle, so Elli was more than happy to help her blow it out.

She may have been confused about the candle, but had no problems devouring her cupcake. She began to wash her hair with frosting and was quite a mess when she was finished. I have to give her a quick bath before we could do presents.

She is such a blessing to our family! We love our little Katie!!!

This is my addition the the Thanksgiving decor this year. I loved it so much that I made some for Christmas too. I post photos of those later. I was so pleased with the way it turned out, and I would have to stop every time I walked by and smile.

This year we had Thanksgiving with my family. We also had my cousin Abbey and her family over with us. They are such great people, and we love it when they can join us. Dinner, as always was delicious and abundant, but not as abundant as the pie. (which is my favorite part of Thanksgiving) We had enough pie that we could have easily eaten a half of a pie each. We had everything from pecan to pumpkin chiffon, to my sour cream apple below. They were all amazing!

We spent the next 2 days with Wayne's family. We had another delicious Thanksgiving-ish meal. Everything but the turkey, we cooked a couple of beef roasts instead. Bradley was happy about it because he isn't a huge turkey fan. This time I made a blueberry pie, and it wasn't runny. In fact it tasted as good as it looked. I wish I would have taken a picture, but I forgot. I LOVE making pies!

Katie started walking at my mom's on Thanksgiving day, and almost had it mastered by the time we left Marysvale. It's quite the change from how things were with Elli. Now she is really getting into EVERYthing! Elli also started walking around Thanksgiving, but the difference there was that Elli was 2 years and 2 months old. Because she was so much older I could reason with her better and there was no need to child proof my house. Not so with our adventurous Katie.

We were able to go on our annual tree cutting excursion and found the best trees. My sister Kim is going to be thrilled with the one we found her. We've been cutting trees for us and Kim for 12 years now, and I think that these 2 trees are the best ones ever!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Now that Katie is a little older I'm finding more time to be crafty again. For Halloween this year I found a fun idea for a necklace that I changed into a garland for my mantle. I took Elmer's glue and made the outline of a bunch of little ghosts on parchment paper. The ghosts were all about 3 1/2 to 4 inches tall. After drying for about 5 minutes, I filled in the whole thing with glue. I let them dry for a couple of days. Then I peeled them off the parchment and drew on 2 little eyes with a sharpie. I used a tiny hole punch in the top and stung them on jute. I think it looks darling if I do say so myself.

Bradley had his birthday this month. It's hard to believe that he is really 11 years old. He is officially taller than me now. I am 5' 2", and I think Bradley is almost 5' 3". I knew it would happen, but I didn't really expect it to happen before he became a teenager.

He earned his Webelo, his Arrow of Light, his World Conservation badge, and a handful of the Webelo requirements badges. You can see the stack in his hands, and Sister Christiansen wasn't done handing them out yet. He did most of them on his own too. What a good kid!!

Bradley showing off his Indian paint (tube frosting) after his Arrow of Light ceremony.

Bradley had his pumpkin patch in the backyard again this year. Every pumpkin you see in the photo was grown by him. What you can't see is that there are 20 + more lining the sidewalk. It was a great crop, and there were several large ones perfect for carving. Bradley and I each carved 3 pumpkins this year.

For Halloween the girls were both little strawberries, and Bradley was a Barbhurst protection squad soldier guy. What is that you ask? Well, you can ask him if you want the real explanation, all I know is it is something he and his cousins made up in Marysvale.


We had our family photo shoot this month. Jody did a great job, as always! I love how they turned out, especially the kids!

Can you see why she can sweet talk her dad so well? He is such a pushover for those eyes.

This is the best picture Bradley has had for a long time. He has been stuck in the "I can't remember how to smile" phase for way too long. But this one worked, what a handsome boy he is growing up to be.

Our silly little Katie loves her tongue. She sticks it out all the time, but especially when she is happy. What a doll!

Thanks again Jody, they turned out great!

I made a huge batch of salsa this month. I actually don't care for bottled salsa myself, but I think it is so pretty in the pot. Bradley is the one who eats it like crazy, it is his favorite after school snack.

I ended up watching the Relief Society General Meeting on the Internet that evening because I hadn't quite finished processing the salsa in time. I was sad about that, but happy to put a couple dozen bottles of salsa on the shelf.


This was our busiest month of the summer by far. It started with Wayne taking Bradley on the boy scout trip to the High Unitahs. They had such a great time, and Bradley even went on the long, hard hike. I'm very proud of him!

As soon as Bradley came home from his trip to the Unitahs, he jumped in the car with Grandma and Grandpa who were up for a wedding and went down to Marysvale with them for a few days. We went down and picked him up, and the next day as soon as church was over left for Island Park

My family had planned a trip to Yellowstone this year, and we were staying in a nice cabin in Island Park. We spent the first day in Yellowstone, the next day everyone except me went river rafting in Island Park. We spent the next day in Yellowstone again, and the last day we took our time driving home by way of Teton, Jackson, and stopping in Bear Lake lake for raspberry shakes. It was a wonderful trip. We saw a lot of elk, 2 bears (one black and one grizzly), antelope, a bald eagle, and of course hundreds of buffalo. This was Wayne's first trip to Yellowstone, kind of. He went with his family when he was 2, so he doesn't remember anything from that trip. He loved it, as did Bradley. Elli did for the most part, and they were all really good in the car! We would take turns with having one cousin ride in the car with us which made all the driving more bearable for the kids.

Yellowstone Falls

Sitting on the stairs at Yellowstone falls. We had Isaac (in red) and Noah (in white) with us that day.

Old Faithful

I really wanted to make it up to Mammoth. It was fascinating! I'm so glad we decided to head out that way. The scenery after that in the Lamar Valley was lovely, and that's where we saw the grizzly just being lazy on the side of the road in the grass.

This was taken at the cabin just before we left. I'm glad we went, however, I think I will stay closer to West Yellowstone next time.

We got home from Yellowstone late on Thursday, and Friday was Father's and Son's, so Wayne and Bradley were gone again. We had Sunday to breath a little and then school started on Monday morning.

Elli's birthday was also the first day of school. Since Marnie's family was still here from Oregon we decided to go up to mom's for a party. Wayne took this sweet shot of Elli walking over the the sand box.

We thought we'd better take advantage of having all the family together and take a cousin photo. Even little Franklin who had been born 8 weeks early was there. It was his debut. Katie was so funny, she kept trying to stick her toe in Ian's ear.

Bottom row from left to right: Taylor, Clara, Paige, Noah, Ian, Elise holding Katie, and Elli
Standing: Josh holding Franklin, Kristen, Ben, Isaac, and Aaron and Bradley in the back

Elli wanted to purple crocodile cake, and I think it turned out cute. I love this picture because Ian is so excited about her blowing out her candles. What you can't see is that she didn't blow them out at all. Clara was sitting next to me, facing Elli and she is the one that blew them out. She just couldn't resist. It's hard to believe that Elli is 4 years old. Our sweet little miracle girl!


The weather finally improved enough to do swim lessons. Actually Bradley braved the cooler June and did a session then, his second & final session was in July. He does love to swim, and if he really wanted to be he could be a strong competitor. That's just not how he is though. He just likes to do things for fun, and that's okay

We signed Elli up for her first round of lessons. I had her in a pre-school group and it didn't go very well, so we switched over to a mom and me class.She still didn't love doing the things that she needs to do in order to pass off a class, like putting your face in the water, dunking your head, etc.... I'm not sure what to do next summer. She is going to want another mom and me class, but she will be too big.

We had a great 4th of July weekend. On the Fourth we drove down to Delta for the parade and had a barbecue with Wayne's Aunt who still lives there. Wayne's dad grew up in Delta, so it's kind of the family reunion for his side of the family. It was a cooler day, overcast, but not very rainy. After the barbecue all of Wayne's siblings who had were there and his parents all decided to head over to the sand dunes just off the side of the road in Holden. It was the best idea! It had sprinkled just a little right before we got there, and was still overcast, so it wasn't too hat and the sand wasn't blowing everywhere in the wind. The kids had such a great time!!

Elli and Megan were inseparable, they had so much fun!

Bradley and the Bringhurst boys were all over the place, jumping and diving down the dunes. If we could be guaranteed this kind of weather I think we would all make the dunes a tradition!

For my side of the family we all decided to go over to Grandpa's house to watch the Riverton parade. Grandpa's house is right on the parade route, and it has been a gathering place for my family to watch the parade for at least my whole life, but I would guess longer than that. I haven't been to the parade in several years. Since Grandpa's house is up for sell, we decided that we needed to have at least one last family party for the parade. We had dinner while we watched. It was fun to be with so many of my cousins again. I wish more could have come. Bradley, Elli and Katie are sitting on Grandpa's porch for this picture.

For pioneer day we were in Marysvale again. We had a weenie roast down at the pond and roasted marshmallows. Bradley was in heaven, of course, and Elli had a terrific time with Brennan. They have become the cutest little buddies.

Katie got the most attention. This is a shot with Grandpa. What a sweet girl!