Friday, December 26, 2008


Caleb got a cool remote control spider from Santa. Anna and Alex are actually kind of scared of it. It moves like a spider.

The kids had a lot of fun opening presents. They were excited to give the presents they had picked out also.

Alex loved his new car toy. We've been pushing him in it all over the house since it is too snowy outside.

Caleb dressed up as a shepherd at the Challis family Christmas party nativity

Anna and Rachel dressed up as angels for the nativity for the Challis Party.
It seems like we celebrated Christmas for several days. On Tuesday, we had a Christmas dinner with all of my family. Everyone came, so there was over 30 people. We exchanged gifts and had a good time together. We watched the family movie I made with all of our family pictures. I enjoy hanging out with my sisters.
For lunch on Christmas Eve, we went to the Challis family Christmas party. This is always a big hit with the kids. They get to act out the Nativity and hit some Piniatas. On Christmas Eve, we ate dinner with my family again. This was just a little family gathering. Only those who live right in the area came, for a yummy ham dinner. We didn't do any program or anything this time. After leaving my parents house, we went down to the Rowleys for a family home evening/hymn singing. I actually didn't sing much because I was chasing Alex all over the house, and for some reason I had hiccups off and on the whole day. I just don't sound good singing and hiccuping at the same time.
We woke up on Christmas and had a fun time opening presents with the kids. Alex got crabby since he was hungry, so we brought the highchair in the living room so he could snack while we opened presents. The best thing that Dan bought me was PaintShop Photo. It is like PhotoShop. Its gonna take me a while to figure out how to use everything. I was glad he bought it for me--I'm too cheap to buy such expensive software. After spending a while at home, we dug out of the snow and went back to the Rowley's for a gift exchange and lunch. We had a good time. I have a hard time keeping Alex out of trouble when we go to other people's houses though. We didn't exchange our present yet, since we have George and Lorianne, and they won't be here until Sunday.
Then we went home and had a long nap. I love long naps, but I rarely get one. Actually, the older kids watched our new Wall-E movie while the rest of us napped.
After we got the kids to bed, Dan and I watched Batman Dark Knight. I bought it for us for Christmas (Dan and I, not the kids). Neither of us had ever seen it. I wished that I had just rented it. I didn't really like it. It was too dark and scary. There's no way I'm gonna let the kids watch this one. Maybe we'll give it to someone who might like it.
We had a great Christmas. It is nice now to have the rest of the week to take life slowly and just hang around the house.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Caleb can be such a cute, funny little boy sometimes. Last night we were practicing his spelling words for his spelling test. When I do spelling with Rachel, she writes hers down. When I do spelling with Caleb, he spells everything back outloud without writing anything down. Caleb decided to spell all of his spelling words backwards when he spelled them back to me. I thought it was funny. Amazingly, he spelled everything correctly, backwards.
When I tucked Caleb in and listened to his prayer last night, he said such a cute little prayer. In his prayer, he was thankful that our van has cupholders. I had to bite my tongue not to laugh during his prayer. How in the world did he think up that one? I guess I need to be more thankful for the little things like cupholders.
Lately, Caleb and Anna have become best friends. Up until now, there never really played together. Now, they love to sleep in each other's rooms too. All of our kids have their own rooms. Caleb has a bunkbed in his room. You would think that Caleb and Anna would be content to sleep on separate bunks. But no. They both sleep in Caleb's bed. I am glad that they are such great pals. I hope it stays that way.
My nickname for Caleb is Caleby (Caleb-ee). When all of my kids were babies, I made up songs for them. It is their "I love you" song. When I sang Caleb's song, I needed an extra syllable so his name became Caleby. Caleb can be such a difficult child sometimes. But I really love my sweet little boy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmases Past

Rachel's first Christmas
Christmas 2005 (Above) Christmas 2002 (Below)

Last night as I was laying in bed, I was thinking about all of the Christmases since Dan and I have been married. Bear with me while I list them.

Our first Christmas
We lived in the apartment behind Mom and Dad's house. We were both in school, and we had only been married a few weeks. The only Christmas decoration we owned was a wedding present that was a Christmas snow globe. We bought a real tree. Then we went to Kmart and got a few of the last decorations they had left and decorated our tree. On Christmas Eve we lit a candle and drank sparkling cider while we admired our first Christmas tree. We had a hard time picking gifts for each other since we didn't know each other as well as we do now. I was working as a Math tutor, and Dan worked the 2-10pm shift at Modus Media.

Our Second Christmas
We still lived in the apartment. This year we used a hand-me-down fake tree. I was 5 months pregnant with Rachel. At the time, I worked at 1-800Contacts, and Dan was trying to make it as a Realtor.

Our Third Christmas
Rachel was 7 months old. She was the highlight of our Christmas. We lived at our Condo in Midvale. We were really poor at the time, and couldn't buy too many gifts for Christmas. We were really happy though.
Our Fourth Christmas
We still lived at our Condo in Midvale. We were both still attending UVSC. Dan worked all day and went to school at night. I was pregnant with Caleb at the time. We didn't have a lot of money for presents, and Dan got a speeding ticket for speeding in school zone. We were hoping to buy a DVD player, and we scraped up enough money for that. I bought Rachel presents at Savers. I felt like puking since I was pregnant.

Our Fifth Christmas
We had just moved to our first West Jordan house. We bought the house thinking that our condo would sale soon. But it didn't. We were making two mortgage payments at the time. On top of that, Dan's truck broke down, the furnace broke, and the tv broke. This Christmas things seemed so hard. We managed to get a few presents for each other, and Leslie bought our kids presents. We were so happy to be in a house. Let me tell you that I hate living close to people. Our neighbor at our condo complained about our TV being too loud. I never complained to her that I could hear her singing in the shower. At this Christmas, Dan was in grad school, and I was still working on my Bachelor's degree.

Our Sixth Christmas
Can you believe the double mortgages almost dragged out for a year? We had several renters fall through, and a sale that took 3 months to go through. Right before Christmas, we finally got rid of our Condo. That was the thing I was happiest about. I was also happy because Dan finished his Master's degree right before Christmas. Somebody did a sub-for-santa for us this year. We didn't ask for it. Somebody in our ward who knew that we were making double mortgage payments arranged it. It brings a whole new meaning to humility when you see what others have done for you. I felt so humbled.

Our Seventh Christmas
I finished my Bachelor's degree right before Christmas. That was a huge relief. It was our first Christmas that we weren't poor. Now, I am not saying we were rich. But if you look at our other Christmases, we were rich. Caleb was 2 and Rachel was 4. We had a lot of fun. We got a new hand-me-down tree since I rat made its nest in our other tree that we had in a box in our shed.

Our Eigth Christmas
This Christmas we had 3 children. Anna, Rachel, and Caleb. We were all so delighted to have a baby in our family again. I don't remember much else, except we were happy.

Our Ninth Christmas
Anna was 1, Caleb was 4, and Rachel was 6. This was our last Christmas at our old house. We put up our tree in the entry way this year. Anna got a ride-on toy that played music. Rachel made up a little dance that went with the song. It was cute. Recently I asked Rachel to do the dance and she didn't even know what I was talking about. We got a trampoline this year. Dan and I put it up on the 26th. (Can you believe he wouldn't put it up on Christmas Eve?) We were so cold by the time we were done.

Our Tenth Christmas
This was our first Christmas in a new West Jordan house. We were so thankful to be in a much bigger house. It was also Alex's first Christmas. It seems kind of strange, but I think Alex was the highlight of our Christmas.

As I look back through the years, I can see that it really is the people that made Christmas great. It is family that is important. I am so thankful for everyone. I am thankful for those that helped us during our poor years. Most of all, I am thankful for Jesus Christ. It is only in and through him that we can be saved. I am thankful that we can celebrate his birth.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Keeping up with Alex

These are pictures that Rachel took with her digital camera. Sometimes when I look at her I can't believe she is getting so grown up. She is often my "right-hand-man". She took these pictures and then she took Alex off the table. Unless the chairs are all knocked over (which we do when we are sick of getting Alex off the table), he is always on the table. I would just keep the chairs knocked over all of the time, but I hate the way it looks in my kitchen.

I thought Anna gave me a run for my money. I think Alex is going to beat her out for the busiest toddler award.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Getting Rid of Stuff

When Dan and I were first married, we were really poor. At that time, I picked up the habit of not getting rid of things. Well, as our family grew, and our house was still the same size, I started to get rid of some stuff.
I'm proud to say that now I get rid of stuff all the time. I have an ongoing garbage bag of stuff to donate.
Tonight was a bit of a sentimental closet cleanout. I dumped all of my maternity clothes and baby clothes in bags to give to people and donate. We've decided that we have our hands completely full with 4 children. There's no reason to keep those clothes anymore. They are just taking up closet space. In a way, it seems kind of sad. It's the end of this chapter in our lives. We will never stare in wonder at our own newborn again. We will never sit in excitement and watch the ultrasounds. But then again, it will sure be nice to be done with diapers as soon as Alex is potty-trained. No more sleepless nights. In a few mores years we'll be able to take all of the kids to movies. Before we had Anna and Alex, we had started taking Rachel and Caleb to movies at the theater. It will be nice to leave the diaper bag behind.