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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Conner & Jodie's Baby Shower


So I have three siblings- one brother and two sisters :) Needless to say, Conner was a lone ranger growing up! And now he and his wife are having their first baby BOY!! I was SO thrilled when we found out they were having a boy. First, because, well, Boys Rule ;) and second because our family name through my parents will be carried on :) While we were all home during Thanksgiving weekend, we threw a simple family baby shower for them- with the men included!



The simple gift table. I love making diapers cakes- it's been awhile and it was fun! I did this one more simply based on THIS tutorial. I also made a diaper satchel for them and some fun burp clothes. I got the cutest wipes case from a friend in our ward at a craft fair recently and gave that to them too :) 


We played a quick baby animal matching game using THIS cute sheet. But everyone's favorite part of the whole thing I think was filling out and reading these "Wishes for Baby" cards that I printed HERE. We all got to put our advice in the prompts on these cute little sheets above. It included things like "I hope you ignore_________, "I hope you respect_______," "I hope you aren't afraid ________."


Conner and Jodie took turns reading them out loud.
This ended up being both funny and tender too.
My funny brother-in-law that went on his mission to Japan wrote,
"I hope you learn Japanese," and "I hope you don't forget your name!"
If I ever have a hand in future baby showers, I'll be using these again for sure! :)
Afterwards I tied them all together between some card stock
so they have a little booklet of all our advice :)


I couldn't help but snag a picture of my Grandpa and Grandma Waddoups-
wish they would've been looking, but I'll take it- they look happy :)


My mom made these adorable blankets! The colorful one is all out of minky- Conner was thinking he might need to keep it for himself it was so soft! 

We are all looking forwards to welcoming a new little one into our family!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Celebrating Thanksgiving


This year we spent Thanksgiving with my family. All of my siblings were there- the first we've all been together at home in awhile! It was a GREAT day and weekend :) The boys made these fun handprint turkeys the day before to give to Grandma and Grandpa. I try to make a handprint craft with them for every holiday and then keep them as keepsakes.


Our Thanksgiving morning was full of that general feeling of goodness- my brother and youngest sister (and Dad) playing their guitars, all of us girls in the kitchen working, the kids playing and keeping busy. This year my sister-in-law brought a tradition from her family to share:



This fun pineapple turkey! The kids loved helping her stick in the gumdrops. I've gotta make one of these turkey heads so we can pick this us for ourselves through the future!



I always love getting to be around my little nieces- I even got to do little Brylee's hair! We all got a kick out of Quincy helping to fill celery sticks with cheese :)


They enjoyed these little M&M turkeys while they waited for all the food to be ready too :) I got this template from here


All sat down to lunch/ dinner :) I just love a long table with all the leaves in it! My littlest niece napped while we ate, which Lundyn and Josh said made for the most peaceful meal they've had in a long time!



Afterwards, the men shot guns and the kids played some more :) Cooper and Quincy figured out they could turn this large rock in my parent's yard into an archaeological site. They have the coolest Grandpa ever- he gave them safety glasses and hammers so they could have at it! They got a ton of mileage out of this little venture all weekend long :) The chips they got off of the rock were sparkly- they thought they were "diamonds." :)






Every holiday  season, my Mom and sisters usually get together to make candies. This year, we just included it as part of Thanksgiving weekend so that my brother, who lives in Utah, could get in on the fun too :) I love this pic of my Mom with Quincy and Cooper :)


The rest of the weekend was fun and relaxing, too- we even hiked up to cut down a Christmas tree just up the road! It's been a couple of years since we've gotten to go cut a tree down, so this was a treat!



Our trees smelled sooo good! I was under-prepared for this venture, so here I am wearing Stephen's  puffy camo coat! 


The next day, we did this cute Christmas advent craft together- didn't they turn out fun?! We also did a fun little baby shower for Conner and Jodie, who are having their first baby in February! I'll post about that in my next post :)


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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Given that it's 2012, here's 12 blessings I'm grateful for today and everyday:


1) I'm thankful for my husband's job. For the security and peace it brings. For the fact that he has a job in today's world. Also, for the work he has and does outside of his normal job that makes it so our life is what it is.

2) I'm thankful for my husband. Really, he is the keystone to my well-being and it is because of him that I am so abundantly blessed. By some miracle, Stephen truly seemed to fall head over heels when we first met and, believe it or not, that powerful emotion is still alive and well. I'm so grateful for his devotion and complimentary nature. I'm grateful for his desire and ability to provide, for his friendship and our awesome standard of communication. Stephen is rare. I know that, regardless of anything else, for me life would be miserable if our marriage was unhappy or insecure. And I'm so grateful to truly believe that, no matter what, we love each other enough.

3) I'm thankful for my boys! For Cooper, Ryder, Taron and Keaton. I'm so grateful to be a Mom! I'm grateful beyond expression that they are my life's work, that there is no other job that pulls me away. They point out clearer than I'd like sometimes how inadequate I am, but, still and always, I'd rather it be them than anyone or anything else. I am blessed by their smiles and talents and interests, by who they are. They give me purpose and that's what life's all about, eh? :)

4) I'm thankful for our vehicles that get us from point A to point B. Really, that's about all they do and in no grand fashion for sure. But, that is really all I need. I know that their lives are short lived and the need to bite the bullet and figure out other options is growing greater all the time. But, in the meantime, I'm really glad to be able to get where I need to go.

5) I'm thankful for my parents. They are generous and selfless- they are "goodly parents." My childhood was as good as it could have possibly been and my parents still, and forever will, make life better for me. Their spirit and strength lifts me up and makes me think that my life can actually be all that I want it to be, that I am more capable than I realize. My own home is very much home, but they will always be "home" in my heart too. :)

6) I'm thankful for our home, for a place to live and be truly comfortable. It is nothing fancy for sure. But, ah, how I love the feeling of walking in our back door when we've been gone most of the day. I am a homebody for sure and love just being home. Home is stretch pants and a ponytail, letting the boys wear shirts with stains on them and not combing their hair for the day. It's each person's own spot on the couch, it's the little piles of clutter that I can find what I need within. I'm so grateful for this place that means comfort and security.

7) I'm thankful for my creativity. If I wasn't the creative/ crafty type, there would no doubt be something else I'd be into. But, for me, the hobby that brings me joy is creating. I'm grateful for my sewing machine that is simple, but understandable. For my stash of patterned paper scraps, my disarray of fabrics on the shelf, the jar of notions from googly eyes to baker's twine. I'm grateful to have a hobby that fits me. :)

8) I'm thankful for modern medicine. I don't often mention it, but I have Type One Diabetes and have had for 25 years. It's surely a blessing and a curse, but the reason I can even say that is thanks to modern medicine, to the insulins and glucose testing gear that keep me alive. I've referred to insulin as "life elixir" before and it really, truly is. Stephen also takes medication for high blood pressure and I'm grateful for such a thing that can make it so we're not always living in fear. Same goes for the flavored liquids that I have the ability to give my kids when they truly need... I'm just all around grateful for modern medicine.

9) I'm thankful for open space. Thinking about things that really make me happy, wide open space is very much one of them. I'm so grateful for our rural-ish lifestyle, for the mountains and desert, and even the beach, that are within touching distance. I love Idaho life! 

10) I'm thankful for technology. I get in a panic in a hurry when I can't get in touch with my husband and I realize that it wasn't all that long ago that  that was actually the norm- goodbye in the morning, hello again at night. I'm grateful for cell phones and email and texting that keep me connected to the people that matter. I'm grateful for computers and satellite TV and wi-fi. The information age is a blessing :)

11) I'm thankful for faith. My testimony has waxed and waned over time, but it's always been strong enough to be, well, strong, I guess. I'm grateful to be part of our Church and know that it is where true happiness lies. I know my Heavenly Father is aware and forever at the helm. I'm an anxious enough person as it is, and without the anchor of the Gospel I know I'd be a real wreck!

12) I'm thankful for sleep. I've said many times that if I ever find a lamp with a genie inside, my first wish will be that I no longer require sleep. And for real, it would. Think of all I could accomplish! But... as for now, that's not the case and, as such, I'm grateful for the rejuvenating power of sleep. It makes everything better really. I so much appreciate that there is something that can so naturally and readily improve my outlook and emotions- our bodies are phenomenal! :)

And there we have it!
I can think of lots of more simple things to mention too-
the list could be endless, which in itself it a blessing to be thankful for.

Hope the holiday is treating you as well as you deserve!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November Fun

Stephen has been hijacking my camera a fair bit lately
and then keeping it sequestered in his pickup,
so I've got quite a few pics from this past while
that I guess I'll cram into one post now that I have it back!
I also seem to forget about the pictures on my phone and they pile up too...


We've actually got to spend more time out at my Mom and Dad's this last while, which I love!
I love these shots of the boys with Grandpa. It happened to be really warm while we were there, which made for a great day outside surrounded by the mountains :)



Awhile back, Cooper found a cool Smithsonian rock digging set while he was with me at Michaels. It was $15 and he was just devastated when I wouldn't buy it for him. I told him he could wait for Christmas or save up to buy it himself. Being the super patient kid he is, from that moment, he was on a mission to earn the rest of what he would need to have $15. He recently had enough and could hardly contain himself as we went and got the rock set... at 50% off thanks to Mom's coupon ;) He had fun breaking up the big chunk to find these small little gems inside... And in my opinion, it's a darn good thing we got it for 50% off or I'd have been irritated with what they charge for kid's stuff like this! He didn't express any disappointment at all though, which I was glad for after all his work!


One of the last nice days outside in short sleeves...




We recently tried the "growing bar of soap" thing that was burning up Pinterest, found at Our Best Bites. I thought the boys would love it, so we gave it a try- Ivory soap, into the microwave for 2 minutes and... tada! magic! The thing is though, I was certainly more impressed than they were... Cooper thought it smelled so bad he couldn't even handle it and Ryder thought it felt weird...


Ah, well... win some and lose some I guess!






It's been a little bit since we've had snow, but when we last did, the boys were out in it- they love playing in the snow! I love these pics of each of them :) I usually get my coat and boots on and go out to play with them, but on this day, I needed to be inside and was trying to take pics of them through the back door as I could. They wouldn't stand for it and kept throwing snowballs at the door to try and scare me :) Ka-Pow!



Speaking of snow... this is I believe Coop's fourth letter to Santa already this year. None of them have been actually mailed yet, but they've been written none the less :) I love kids sounded-out writing! It totally warms my heart :) His reads: "Dear Santa I want a frog and some arrowheads and a knife and a spear and awesome ??? and a guy that looks like a lizard." His list changes each time he writes a letter, so who knows... In typing this back, I'm wonderin' if I should be worried about his desire for weapons! This letter was the first and only time he's mentioned them though- must've been on his mind at the time :) And anyone want to decipher was a "toosnax" is?? Snacks of some kind I think??


He's actually been doing a lot of this lately. In this one above, he was making a list of all the people in our family- both on Stephen's side and mine. If you're related, can you spot your name up there? :) He was pretty proud... 

 

My sister-in-law recently gave me these fun glow-in-the-dark tattoos. They were a total novelty for the boys since I've never bought them before. It made for a nice little testimony moment on top of the fun too :) Ryder chose a rhino and a skateboard and Coop had a snake and a guitar. They really did glow when you charged them with a flashlight, which the boys loved :)


And as a parting shot- I love this picture...



Monday, November 12, 2012

"What Do You Say?"



I realize Veteran's Day is all but over, but it has meant something more to me today so I wanted to share my thoughts anyway...

This last weekend, my sister and I spent some time at my Grandma's house. We got to talking off and on about my Grandpa, who passed away quite some time ago. Grandma Laura was specifically recalling memories of when they first met and of when he was overseas serving in the Army, back in 1950- 51.

She told a great story of how both her and another girl that wanted to date him were at the train station to see him off when he left. My Grandpa paid no attention to that other gal, but only to my Grandma. When he had boarded the train, she explained that he leaned out of the window and gave her one last kiss! I couldn't help but think of how that is just the perfect Americana image- and my own Grandparents lived it!

Cyndel and I googled it later to try and think of what it might have actually looked like- maybe something like this:


I also got a kick out of this version:


Cute, eh? :)

She said my Great-Grandpa, her future Father-in-Law, was so thrilled that Grandpa had chosen her over that other gal that he even said right out loud at the time, "Hooray! The brunette won out!" :)


We sat at Grandma's table and devoured the letters my Grandpa wrote her while he was away.
Not just a few here and there. No, he wrote her every. single. day.

She had them beautifully numbered and ordered, with several in a larger envelope, a few notes about the ones inside written on it. We read the very first one. And then the one that informed he was coming home at the very end. In the beginning they read "Dear Laura," and by the end they said "Hello Sweetheart," instead. :) We couldn't help but search for the one where he asked her to marry him.

Grandma had already told us that they were married in February after he got home in January and that he had asked her to marry him in a letter! She obliged us by reading it out loud to us- wow, can she still read his handwriting without any trouble! I noticed that frequently in his letters he'd ask her, "What do you say?" in reference to their future. Grandma said he didn't like to dance, but knew that she did. And in one letter he suggested they take some dance lessons when he got home- "What do you say?" He mentioned that he wanted them to spend all their time together- "What do you say?" 


It was just the neatest experience I've had in awhile to get a sense of the more intimate details of who my Grandparents were as young adults. We laughed over some of the things he said and truly felt him.

My heart just aches at the thought of the way things were back then- that he would write her each day for two years, and that she would be faithful back at home as well. That he would spend his free time as a soldier in the communication tent writing rather than going off with the other soldiers to party. That the cause he was serving for was worthwhile and necessary. Even that my Grandma saved and so well organized each of his letters- what a treasure!

So today I was thinking of my Grandpa Huffaker, of the special Veteran in my own family history.
Of how I am so grateful and awed by what an awesome man he was...
I sure hope we get in to those letters again someday :)

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