Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 2011

As we've gotten ready for Christmas, I feel like a little kid again.  I can hardly wait to see this special day through the eyes and experiences of a two year old.  He has been asking for a Buzz Lightyear toy for months.  I am dying to see his reaction when he receives the gift tomorrow.  (I hope he's as excited as I've pictured him to be in my head).  

Listening to Christmas music is always a favorite of mine.  W has fallen in love with the Frosty the Snowman song.  He about jumps out of his seat when we hear it on the radio, and his excitement turns to frustration when the song ends and a new one begins.  Today, we were all talking in the kitchen and Christmas music was on in the background.  Over all of the noise W shouts, "Listen!" and puts his finger to his mouth.  We all quieted and, sure enough, Frosty the Snowman was on.  He was thrilled.  

I have loved reading books about Christ's birth, and seeing W pick out "Murry" (Mary), Joseph and Baby Jesus.  He knows the shepherds and their "sheepies."  He knows the wisemen brought prizes.  W knows Jesus was born in the city of David ("Hey, that's my daddy!") and He grew to be a good man, Jesus Christ. 

My favorite moment this season was just a few days ago.  Like many, each year D and I identify a family who could use some extra help to meet their needs; families whose burdens could be lightened a bit.*  So we found this certain family and put some things together that would be special for the kids and needed by the parents.  One night, we all loaded into the car and drove to the family's apartment.  I left the bag of goods on the porch, knocked on the door, and ran to the car.  We zipped away just in time to go unnoticed.  I was nervous.  D was focused.  And W was just plain excited.  On the way home, we were trying to explain to W the details of the deed.  What it came down to was a simple way to show Winston what Christmas is; it's a time for us to remember Jesus Christ and share the love he has for us with others.  We celebrate Christ by doing what he would do.  It was a special night for all of us.
*I hesitantly share this strictly for journaling purposes.  

I am already looking forward to next Christmas and this one hasn't even happened yet!  

Christmas-ing 1

The big day is tomorrow.  Since W hasn't quite gotten the hang of the advent calendar or the Little Elf (named "Elf") just yet, we did special activities at random to get in the Christmas spirit.  
We got a Little People nativity set for the first day of December so W could learn all the traditional figures involved in the story of Christ's birth.  From there, we found lots of fun and special ways to spend time together in preparation to celebrate Baby Jesus' birthday.

{visiting Santa at the Toys-for-Tots party}

{wanna-be gingerbread house making}


{playing with toys of Christmas past}

{baking -- complete with mis-match socks (that are Mom's)}

Christmas-ing 2

Some more Christmas prep.

{lights at Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park}

{luminary prep for Christmas Eve}

{building forts while I strip beds and wash sheets}

{exhausting trips to the mall} 

{more baking -- cookies!}

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

EVR: Eight Months

Happy eight months, baby girl!

  • You are crawling at light speed.
  • You curl your legs under and roll up on your little toes to stand up.
  • No one makes you smile more than your brother.
  • Your hair is thick!
  • You have eight teeth:  four on top and four on bottom.
  • Your crooked smile is to die for.
  • You like to eat.  A lot.  
  • You've tried out the sippy cup.  It's just OK.
  • You love your cozy blankets and bunny when you go to bed.
  • You're wearing mostly 12-18 mo. clothing.
  • You are so tall!
  • You discovered that you love to smile.  We figured that out over Thanksgiving.
  • You are quite giggly, too, especially when we tickle your back and neck.
  • You're a hoot in the tub.  You become a giddy little girl who can't control her excitement.
  • You love fiercely.  You prefer to pull hair, bite faces and poke eyes to show your affection.
  • You snuggle with Daddy.  Not with Mommy.
  • You babble and say "Huh!  Huh!" like you know exactly what you're talking about.  
  • You're just such a good baby!
  • Sleepy time and naps are getting a little better.

I'm so lucky to be your mom.
Love you!


Dave and I hosted the inaugural neighborhood holiday party last night.  It was a hit.  Phew!  I'm glad the stress of it is gone.  
In true Waterfall fashion, I served up some hot wassail to our guests.  I'm not a big fan of it myself, but everyone else always seems to like it.  However, last night's was actually pretty good, if I say so myself.  I mean, it was really good.  
Here's the little-bit-of-this-and-that recipe.

2 bottles of apple cider (2x64 oz)
2 oranges, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
1/2 can orange concentrate
1/2 can lemonade concentrate
~2 cups water
6 cinnamon sticks
~1 T whole cloves

Combine all ingredients in stock pot.
Cook thoroughly until it's almost boiling.  
Turn down heat and simmer for several hours (4+ hrs).
Best served piping hot (in my opinion).


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tardy Thanksgiving

Lately, the idea of sitting at the computer for longer than 30 seconds is quite laughable. Almost instantly I'm a human jungle gym. Or I'm guilted into feeling neglectful because I turned my attention from Sir W. Oh the horror.  (sarcasm)  

Consequently, the expected daily thanksgiving didn't happen. However, I have not failed to find things to be thankful for along the way. I did make an effort to pointedly appreciate something every day.  Or maybe a few in one day to make up.

In all seriousness, I am thankful for many things.  Like...
  • people who help me wrastle two babes at church
  • waking up to W reading outside my door (as opposed to him running in screaming, "Miwk, mommy!  Miwk!")
  • W learning feelings, what it means to be sad, and feeling empathy for his screaming, teething sister
  • working together outside; E on a blanket, W using a stick-turned-blower, D cleaning gutters and I raking leaves
  • rolls that turn out perfectly, twice!
  • W giving me a hug and telling me he loves me after reading I Love You, Stinkyface
  • peppermint pretzels from Trader Joe's
  • spending time just with Lizzy
  • flowers
  • being part of a family who can and will pull it together for each other
  • sisters
  • a hard-working hubs who changes the oil in my car and cleans up dinner
  • mindless movies
  • DVR (and mindless TV)
  • church callings that teach me even when I don't want to be taught
  • good health
  • trust
  • watching Lizzy reach milestones at light speed
  • hearing D call Lizzy "baby doll"
  • my dad who returned home safely (from Afghanistan!  nbd, right?)
  • chaotic family pictures
  • Lizzy giving great-grandparents each a hug before leaving
  • good haircuts (sorry W, you never seem to get one)
  • a certain two-year-old's imagination and the conversations he can have with a mini Buzz and Woody
  • dual bathtimes
  • W's seemingly indestructible body and endless energy
  • cousins:  mine and my children's
  • happy babies who love each other
  • a fun week with MaMom

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Jack Richard Lane

My sweet grandpa Lane passed away last week.  We were fortunate to be able to find tickets to get us to Utah in time to be with family during the viewing and funeral, as well as Thanksgiving.  

The funeral was such a nice tribute to the gap-toothed man who healed many and sacrificed much for his family.  Grandpa always made me laugh -- whether he was checking the alignment of my hips or cursing at one of his many "damn dogs."  While giving adjustments, he was known to say, "Take a deep breath. Now blow it out your ears."  He was a dapper man, always dressing to the nines.  He always said what was on his mind, and was always so excited to see or hear from his grandchildren.  I am lucky to have a grandpa like him.  

His one request was to have someone sing the song, "On a Clear Day" at his funeral.  I had never heard the song before, but a trio of women from my street pulled together a beautiful, beautiful rendition of the song.  

On a clear day
Rise and look around you
And you'll see who you are.

On a clear day
How it will astound you
That the glow of your being
Outshines every star.

You'll feel part of every mountain, sea and shore
You can hear
From far and near
A word you've never, never heard before...

And on a clear day...
On a clear day...
You can see forever...
And ever
And ever
And ever more.

The song was the perfect way to show how sensitive, kind and thoughtful Grandpa was.

W is becoming more and more aware of feelings and emotions.  It was so sweet to see him react to and console me and others who were sad during this time.  It's amazing how much he can understand and how kindly he can empathize with and comfort.  

I am happy my grandpa is no longer struggling so hard to live, and instead enjoying the eternal progression of things in heaven with his deceased daughter Kathy and other loved ones who had passed away.  I know I will see him again some day, and I am thankful to have the knowledge of life continuing after we leave this earth.  

Love you, Grandpa.  

Above water

a couple of weeks ago I was playing phone tag with my sister.  it had been a particularly challenging day and the thought of staying in bed all day with the lights out and the door shut was all i could think to do.  quite honestly, this was the closest to feelings of depression i have ever felt.
when i finally got a hold of my sister to discuss something probably not entirely important, i couldn't keep feelings in.  our conversation turned into much less about the initial topic and more about talking me off the ledge.  my sweet, sweet sister.  thank you.  thank you for being there.
i was able to pull myself together enough to get off the phone and lie on the couch.  D got home with a bag of Trader Joe's peppermint pretzels and i ate my feelings for the rest of the night.
the following day, a mysterious, unmarked van showed up at my house.  i was hesitant to answer the door.  so glad i did.  beautiful sunflowers greeted me along with this friendly gentleman.  i about fell apart in the foyer.  he probably gets that a lot.
my same precious sister sent some literal sun my way with words that restored my destroyed self-confidence and depleted energy.
thank you, mag-lite.  you're the best.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


His imagination is really going these days.
He flew around the house all morning in his "Buzz rocket ship" and fireman boots.
Love this.

Friday, November 4, 2011

WF&P Rail Road

We visited the WF&P Rail Road a couple of weeks ago.  It's basically this mini train that works just like a regular steam engine train.  It runs on mini tracks, has mini cars, blows mini steam and toots its mini horn; perfect for a little boy.  We caught the train on a perfect Fall afternoon and rode through the woods and along the river through the beautiful, colorful leaves.

The train engineers are all volunteers.  It seems to be a sort of generational thing passed down from father to son.

The whole operation seemed a little backwoods-ish (no "keep your arms and legs inside the train," we were free to get on and off the train at any stop but we couldn't expect much notice as to when it would start up again), but it was fun, nonetheless.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2011

For the past 3+ weeks, W greeted people with a, "Hi!  I'm a fireman!" -- all spoken in an excited, boisterous (read:  loud!) voice.  His fireman dreams came true over the almost week of Halloween festivities.
We attended Papa and SheShe's ward trunk-or-treat, our ward trunk-or-treat, went to Dave's office, visited the real firemen at the fire station (post coming soon), plus did the actual trick-or-treating on Halloween.  As expected, W had no problem picking up the "Trick-or-treat, please!" routine, so he had no trouble acquiring more candy than I know what to do with.  We are on sugar overload just due to how much is in the house, let alone what's been consumed.
I have to admit, these two are the cutest fireman and pumpkin I've ever seen.

 {carving the "mama punk" and "baby punk" pumpkins with MaMom}
{baby punk}

{Mary Poppins and "baby punk" Lizzy}
 {W and his friend Alex}