Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Morning

Holidays are definitely a billion times better when you have kids! I have had a real hard time getting the Christmas spirit this year, but every time I saw Liv light up over Santa I got a little bit of the magic! She was so excited for Santa's arrival, and she made sure that he knew that she wanted the Talking Dora Kitchen... I think we saw five Santas this year to deliver the special request! So Christmas Eve was full of excitement as the magical hour arrived. Ironically enough, it was Gary that had a hard time going to sleep that night, and of course Liv wouldn't sleep until he did so it ended up a late night. I was real excited for them, so I didn't get much sleep. And when the kids slept in, it was torture for the mom! Anyways, we got them up & Liv was all alight with excitement! Once we got the rest of the Young household up and going we got the first present unwrapped & then all craziness broke loose! We spent the holiday with Todd's family so there was 11 people unwrapping gifts all at once... Crazy! It ended up a good Christmas. Liv got a lot of "My Littlest Petshop" toys, as wells as some "My Little Ponies", a nice dress up chest, and of course the Dora Kitchen! Gary boy made out nicely with all sorts of Mickey toys and Tonka cars (the soft squishy kind), and the guitar which he rarely parts even to go to bed! The kids were so happy &, therefore, so was the mom and dad!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Friday, December 21, 2007

For Kate

I still love this pattern. I finished this blanket a couple weeks ago and gave it to my dear friends, Sheena's, precious baby girl, Kate! Sheena is a whole lot braver than me, she has two girls that are each about a month younger than mine... now another one! She is a real good friend and a cute mom and I am grateful I was able to give her one of my favorite blankets!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Preschool Christmas Party

Last week Liv performed for us at her Little Learner's Preschool Christmas Program! She was the star! I was so impressed! Liv usually shies up around new people so I thought for sure she'd just want to curl into me and not move. But I was so wrong! She was usually the only one standing up and doing the hand movements up high and wide for all to see. I could tell that she didn't know the words too well but she went right along with whatever the teacher was doing! Watching her perform and see her understanding filled me with joy & made it all worth it! Good Job Liv!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Montgomery Party

The Montgomery Christmas Party is one of my all time favorite Christmas traditions! First Grandma cooks us a real yummy ham, which we all enjoy while telling embarrassing stories about each other! After several memorable tales told and belly's full the kids get into costume for the retelling of the nativity. The story of the first Christmas, the reason why we are all joined together, why there is even this holiday! Grandma's story telling as evolved from just Uncle Lynn reading the bible version to involve the Americas in the Book of Mormon and reader's insights to what the feelings were at the time. After the nativity we do some caroling. This year I was lucky enough to play the violin with Linda, she's amazing! I know, surprise surprise, I play the violin... a little! We laughed a lot as I stumbled through, but Linda made us sound perfect, so everyone loved the performance! Soon Santa would arrive! This picture I spotlighted is my favorite... it's Liv's first reaction to seeing Santa come down the stairs and join the party. Absolutely priceless! All the grandkids get their turn to tell Santa what they'd like for Christmas, and to report on our naught/nice status! Santa gives us each a little gift, it's very nice of him! Then the family does gift exchange based on names drawn at Thanksgiving. We play with our new toys and games while ending the night with ice cream. It is so much fun & always unfortunate for it to end! Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Montgomery for the fabulous party and favorite tradition!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Snow Fun

The kids were so excited for the new snow that dumped on Utah last week. So Todd and I bundled them up and headed into the cold. They both were very cautious and stepped lightly on the white fluffiness. Liv was okay, but didn't dive right in, while Gary hated the stuff. One touch did him in. Of course I had to snap this shot before I could let his daddy take him inside. After another downfall the kids gathered their excitement again so we could go out and build a snowman (Liv has been so excited about them & draws them all the time. It's so cute that she knows it takes three circles and sticks for arms). Well, I built the snowman while Liv dictated by counting the snowballs! It turned out real cute, Liv was so excited! She actually became very fond of the snow and finally laid back and made me a whole bunch of snow angels. So when Gary was screaming to go in, Liv was screaming to stay out... that was quite a scene! But I'm so glad that the snow was such a hit because it is a perk of living in Utah!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


You may or may or may not have noticed that this book has been removed from my "book of the month" list and no review has been written. The thing is that I decided to quit reading Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer. Now I know that this is not going to go over well with several of my friends for they love this series, but to each his own... I loved Twilight, thought it was a great romantic novel. Then I was incredibly disappointed with the second book, New Moon (click here for those book reviews). But I decided to give the third book, Eclipse, a try to see if it could save the series' grace. A third of the way through I had to put it down to read some required reading, but was completely unable to pick the book up. As soon as I heard that extremely whiny voice of Bella's again it was like nails on a chalkboard, I can't stand it. The fact is I wouldn't enjoy my teen kids reading this book, if I had them, the fact that Meyer justifies dieing for your first love is beyond me. I know, I know, you'll all say that it's just a book, well it's not... people, especially teens, are very impressionable. I was in love during high school, thought he was the only one, but as the years went by it turned out that even though we loved each other we weren't right for each other... yet here we are promoting infatuation as a love worth dieing over. Anyways, it's just rubbed me completely wrong, so I'm done with it.

Click here to review my friend, Book Nut's, oppinion of Eclipse.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

"First Snow"
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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday Spotlight

My husband, my sweetheart, the dad of my beautiful kids, Todd - This past week my sweet husband had his 28th birthday. We've had a couple of wonderful celebrations, plus one more to come. He deserves such celebrations, he's supported the several other parties that I've thrown without complaint. Mostly, though, I want to make sure him and all of you know how much this man means to me. He works his tail off to build beautiful houses for others and "bring home the bacon" for our little family. We've had some rough patches, but we always end up on top with a chuckle on our lips. He is incredibly goofy, and sometimes totally lacking in seriousness at appropriate times... but that's okay. I love how fun loving and carefree he always is, and watching him play with the kids is an exceptional moment. I love when he says to the kids "you are my favorite toys!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Goose Girl

I loved, loved, LOVED the Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. It's a retelling of the Grimm Brothers Goose Girl, which I hadn't heard before, of a princess, Ani, who's betrothed to the neighboring kingdom's prince. On the way to her new home to be her lady in waiting, Selia, and a handful of the guards betray the Ani so Selia may take the princesses place. Luckily Ani was able to escape the mutiny and was able to go the the king of Bayern (where she was to marry the prince) and ask for a job there as the goose girl, taking care of the king's geese. Ani is not only a princess or even a normal girl, but she also has the gift of animal speaking which makes her succeed with the animals. Through these turn of events she learns even more compassion and strength in all things. Soon it would be time for her to gather her friends and tell the truth to the king... which is where I'll stop. One of the things that thrilled me most about this book was the turns. I would get to where I'd see everything fall into place for her success & then BAM something would through a kink in the plan. It was a fun, light, exciting, and dramatic story & I absolutely loved it!!
I also loved Shannon Hale's Princess Academy and look forward to reading her other books such as Enna Burning, River Secrets, and The Book of a Thousand Days!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Spotlight

Childhood Innocence - Kids are so precious! I love when they do a little something that reminds me how innocent and fresh from heaven they are. Liv is learning how to say her own prayers without help, so she started out right and went down her list of thanks... "thanks for daddy, thanks for mommy, thanks for Gary, thanks for Olivia, thanks for our toys, thanks for our books..." then there was a long pause with a quick finish "THE END!" Todd and I gave each other a great big smile as we stifled our laughs and then told her what a great job she did... we'll continue to teach her the correct finishing, but for that night it was incredibly precious!

Friday, November 23, 2007


I hope you all had a very very good Thanksgiving holiday! Ours was a whole lot of fun. It was the first time we ever went to two dinners and that was real tough, I don't know how people do that every year. First we went to Linda's Thanksgiving. Linda is my dad's sweet girlfriend, and we wanted to meet each other (her kids and my dad's kids). After that we went to my grandma & grandpa Montgomery's house for another great dinner. I love being with those people... my family is awesome!! They all get tired of me by the end of the night, though, since a couple years ago I decided to start a new tradition: I scrap out pages leaving matted areas for pictures and lots of room for everyone to write what they're thankful for... and I make sure everyone does. In the end everyone really does enjoy reading what they wrote years later! Then we play lots of games. My young cousins, Roger and Robbie are so cute with my kids, they love to play with them which makes my visit all that much easier! It was especially fun to be taken a ride in Grandpa Monty's motorcycle side car with the kids, they thought it was the coolest! It was a fantastic day!

So, what am I grateful for?? I'll tell ya... I'm grateful for a hard working husband that loves our kids so much, and is a huge goofball. I'm grateful for my beautiful daughter that is growing up healthy and strong. She's got beautiful blue eyes just like my mom. Right now she's developing her independence which can be a challenge for the mom, but is a good thing for her to learn. Gary is at the best age. He's expressing his personality more, can talk just enough to let me know what he wants, but can't talk back yet. His laugh cheers my heart always, and his smile is priceless. I've got a wonderful dad that has recently met someone that makes him happy, and he deserves that. Both of my brothers are incredibly intelligent. Nate has a girlfriend and is about to graduate which means he'll be entering the "real world". Aaron keeps himself busy with a lot of extracurricular activities at the school & reminds me a lot of myself back in the day. I am extremely grateful for my mother who was also my best friend, she's the best! I also am grateful for my wonderful friends especially the four girls I grew up with, Laura, Sheena, and Wendy. We began our friendship as children and are still great friends to this day! And, most of all, I am grateful to have the knowledge of the true gospel. Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enlightens my life and brings me joy that I have never been able to find anywhere else! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Liv's Thanksgiving

At Liv's preschool today they celebrated the first Thanksgiving dinner. I love the innocence of children. On Liv's "Grateful Turkey" they colored she wrote (or, rather, had the teacher write) "I'm grateful for my pretty necklace!" So precious! It'll be more fun an the actual Thanksgiving day now that she'll understand more what it's all about instead of just another family get together for dinner!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Seven Things

It's about time I did this... I was tagged by Crocheted Bookmark awhile ago, so it's about time I get to it! I'm supposed to write whatever seven things about myself that I see fit to share, I'll try to make them new:
1. Gary's laugh is my favorite sound EVER... no competition!
2. I learned to crochet by doing short rows of double crochets to make little blankets for my Barbie dolls.
3. I wore glasses for the first time the very last day of first grade, I was actually really excited for the new addition to my face... what a nerd!
4. I have to have chocolate everyday to de-stress!
5. I swore I'd never do online journals ever, yet here I am... never say never ;)
6. I actually had a really hard time adjusting to being a full-time Mom, still am...
7. One of my scariest moments was a phone call I got from Todd when we were dating... he told me he had shot himself with a nail from his nail gun and was on the way to the hospital. But, get this, the nail hit his eye sideways in it's rotation instead of point-side into the eye. So everything healed up fine and he still has 20/20 vision... so jealous since my vision is about 800/20... HA!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Great and Terrible Beauty

I really enjoyed the story of The Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray! It was a story that, if the opportunity would've been possible, I could cuddle up on the couch and read it through. It was a very easy read, the story flowed very nicely. The one thing I didn't like was the Gemma, the main character's, lack of responsibility for learning her purpose of her gift. She was told over and over that there was a great evil and she was to destroy it, but she never made a real effort to learn about it and how to defeat it. So when the time came that she faced the evil it was very anti-climatic. As I said, though, I really enjoyed the story. It is your classical late 1800 girl's boarding school experience with all the pressures entangled in a young woman's role at that time with an occult twist!

For another opinion feel free to check out my friend's review at Book Nut!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Congratulations Laura & Quinton

What a day! I am so so so very excited to post these wedding pictures because I took them for one of my very best and the very longest friend I have ever had! I may or may not have told you all this, but there was four of us girls in the nieghborhood that grew up as close friends. Sheena got married first, I followed a few months after, Wendy joined the married club next while Laura headed onto an LDS mission to Australia. When she returned she'd soon announce her engagement to her boyfriend, Quinton Taylor. Now this is a great story of persistence since Quinton has had special feelings for Laura since they met way back in high school, but Laura wasn't as interested in him. Yet we'd arrive home from one event or another and would discover him hanging out with her family... it's a great strategy, I could see the potential. But it wouldn't be until years after graduation that Laura would realize that she too was in love with him. The day she told me I was so shocked, but so excited that this magnificent friend of mine had found something so special. They still followed through on their missions (he went to France) because it was that important to them, and I think that is so wonderful, and now we've come full circle in the story. I was grateful to be asked to be the photographer for their wedding since I would give them the best price (it was my wedding gift to them)!! They are so cute and I am so incredibly happy for them! I wanted to spotlight them and the pictures I took, but it was definitely a chore to find only a few to post... but here they are, my favorite five!

p.s. Today is also my Blogiversary!! Yay for one year of posts!! Click here to go back to the very beginning!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Gone Fishing

Check out Gary's new favorite game, he thinks this Gone Fishing game is the absolute coolest!! I love how excited and happy he gets over the simple fish opening and closing their mouths. I am so grateful for this, though, because it's become my "secret weapon"... see whenever Gary gets throwing a fit or sad I just pull out the game & it's automatic smiles, SO AWESOME!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

What a Halloween!!

I love Halloween, it is my favorite... this year was just as exciting as ever! We kicked it off with Liv's first at school party... she was super excited to wear her princess costume to class to show to her friends. I loved watching her interact with her classmates and teacher. She especially loved the singing and dancing time, and I finally got to learn what songs she's always trying to sing!! Gary thought it was the coolest place ever, so many toys... he was in heaven. I'm so excited for him to be old enough to go there too!

On the 26th (the anniversary of my mom's passing) we got together to carve pumpkins. I love this tradition... Todd and I take the kids to my dad's place and then we carve pumpkins which one will end up next to my mom's headstone. Dad already lights candles up there so I think it's a sweet twist on the idea, "tis the season!" Liv still wanted no part of it, though, she's such a girly-girl! Gary liked the idea of carving it but not the gooey stuff, but I have a feeling he'll get all into it next year... he is such a boy!

The next day, Saturday the 27th, we went to Boo at the Zoo. This is our second year going there, the first was rainy and only as enjoyable as we made it. This year there was beautiful blue skies, and a lot of fun. We learned that it is easiest to go in the back & hit those booths first, or a couple times, instead of the front entrance where everyone just jumps in lines that are way too long for the short attention span of young children. Still, I think it is so fun to be able to go to see the animals at the zoo as well as seeing everyone dressed up, and getting some sweets at the same time. The kids, including my husband's, favorite part was watching the black bear eat the pumpkin... they laughed and laughed at that "silly bear!"

And, of course, the big trick-or-treat night!! All month Liv kept asking "Is it Halloween yet?" when I was finally able to say "yes!" then she asked all day "Is it time to go trick-or-treating?" So, I was ready to send her out when the sun finally set! Of course the daddy took them while I answered the door, but I hear it was a lot of fun until Gary got tired and was then carried the rest of the time which wore out the daddy. Still we went over to my dad's neighborhood spook alley that my brother's have participated in for the last several years. They do a pretty darn good job for not being professionals! So Todd and I went through that for a bit of a scare. We let the kids trick-or-treat at a couple of friends' houses there, then called it a night! What a night it was!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Young Reunion

This past weekend I loaded up my kids and "little" brother Aaron and headed to Zion National Park where we'd be having our annual Young Reunion. Yes, these are my in-laws so you may ask "Where was you husband?" Well, he was stuck at home with work. He has too many houses finishing right now so it'd be very stressful for him to head south instead of work another weekend. Luckily for me I've known this family my whole life so they're as much mine as they are his! Anyways, it was a BLAST! The Stansfields went all out to keep up continually busy, entertained, and fed! I was so grateful Aaron came with me because I know it would've been so stressful instead of such a vacation... Thanks Bear!