Wednesday, December 17, 2008


We thought that we should hurry and take a picture of the first snow we've seen in Henderson. Here Gabby is catching snow flakes on her tongue.

Little did we know that there was much more snow to come...

Luckily for the girls, Tim's flight got cancelled and he came home and they built a snowman. I doubt that we'll ever build a snowman like this in Vegas again.

Keep this one for your scrapbooks, you may not see images of the Las Vegas area like this again.

School got cancelled tomorrow for the first time since 1979. This apple won't be going to any teacher.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tim got "circled."

Claire climbed up on Tim's lap the other day and said, "Dad, I'm going to circle you." Tim said, "Ok," and waited to see what that meant. Claire moved closer and carefully placed her arms in a circle and then gently pressed her cheek next to his as she placed her circle over his head.

The Big Question: Dad, is Santa Claus real?

As many of you know, Tim's father is famous for his "Anti-Claus" lecture that he gives to his college students every year. It's something we've thought a lot about and eventually decided that while we wouldn't go out of our way to make sure our kids didn't believe in the old fat guy, we would be honest with them when they started questioning. So this year, when Gabby came to Tim with the loaded question, "Dad, is Santa Claus real?" Tim was poised and ready to have the big talk. So he began, "Well, Gabby, what do you want me to tell you?" What he wasn't prepared for was her answer. She looked at him with wide eyes and all the hope in the world and said, "Yes." That's all, Dad. I just want you to tell me yes.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Decorating of the Trees

Here's the girls posing with our family tree. Yes, they're wearing shorts.

Gotta get one with Cal in there.

Last year I bought the girls an artificial tree at the after-Christmas sales. They got to decorate this one for the family room completely by themselves. As Gabby explained, "Mom, you can't help. We get to decide how to do it and you can't change it or fix it." Yes, Ma'am.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finding the perfect tree - or at least a good one.

Beautiful, isn't it?
Whenever you struggle with your faith, go to the mountains.
You will find God there.

We stopped by Cedar City on our way home from Thanksgiving for our annual tree-cutting tradition. We discovered last year that you can get a pass to cut a tree in the Dixie National Forest for only $10! What a great deal if you're in the area!

Ah, fun in the snow.

Our little desert dwellers thought this was heaven. At least for the first little while, they were all smiles...then the snow started getting in the boots...I didn't take pictures of the tears and the "Mommy, I want to go back to the car!"

But Dad quickly found a great tree and the girls put down their
hot chocolate long enough to pose for one last picture.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lights at Temple Square

I convinced Tim that we needed to take the kids to see the lights at Temple Square to kick off the Christmas season. And they were beautiful. But remind me in the future not to go the first weekend that they put up the lights. If it is possible to feel clostrophobic outdoors, then we did. At the end of the evening Gabby asked if we could go see the Cristus statue. Being the ever-patient parents that we are, we said, "Um, look! See? You can see it from the window. We'll come back another time."

Uncle Preston took a break from his studies to come with us.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Don't tempt them like that, Grams, lying there so peaceful and content...

Dogpile! Ah, feel the love...crushing you.

Now as you browse through the next few action shots I took of everyone waiting for the Thanksgiving meal to be ready, you'll probably understand why kids are skinny and adults are usually fighting to stay in or regain their youthful weight.
Torturing the cat...
Running around...

and around...

Pausing only long enough to spot the cat...

Sitting and chatting...

Waiting for the food...

And waiting...

And waiting...

Where's the turkey?

And finally a few more photos of the little guys...
Come on, Abel, smile for us! I have photo after photo of shots looking similar to this.

Twenty-five photos later, Calvin takes matters into his own hands. "Listen here, Abel, they're gonna sit here flashing that shiny thing at us until you cooperate. Would you just smile for them so we can get this out of the way and get back to slobbering on our toys?"

There we go! Too bad you can't see any of the cute clothes they wear. What is it with boys and slobber and spit up? I can't keep Cal dry, something's always coming out of his mouth.

Another "Great" Visit

I do wish I were closer. Here we are with my namesake - Grandma Loraine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Harses, Harses, Harses...

Auntie Mandee took us to her sister's house to visit the horses. The girls got to brush them and feed them. Next time, maybe we'll attempt a ride.

Claire brushing Penny.

Gabs brushing Penny

Auntie hiding from the camera while the girls brush Buckaroo the pony.

Thanksgiving Pre-Holiday Fun

The girls always love being around their cousins. I remember even as a teenager arriving to my own grandparents' home, giving them a kiss, walking to the phone, and dialing my cousins to come pick me up.

The Greats working on their "House of Bread" nativities. Poor Great Grampa has his arm in a sling and can't do his regular work, so he even sat and helped out. I love going to my mother-in-law's house during the holiday season. I always get a huge leg up on holiday gifts for friends. I'm always amazed at the things she comes up with.

Don't let Gramps see you tumbling on that couch, kiddo!

Practicing for the Thanksgiving feast.

Gabby and Grams - two peas in a pod.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Day at the Firestation

So was driving with Gabby the other day and we drove past the firestation. She looks out the window and says, "Mom, someday can we go knock on their door and ask them if we can come in and see their house?" I told her that sounds like fun and I'll see what I can do, but I don't know if we'd be able to do that. The very next day I get an email from a friend asking if we wanted to help bring an early Thanksgiving dinner to the a local firestation and then let the kids tour the firestation. How timely! Here are some pictures of our fun day...

Out front waiting for the firemen to get back. And waiting, and waiting, and waiting... They finally arrived after we'd been there for over an hour. We got inside and started the tour and a call came through. Half of them, including our tour guide, ran to put on their gear and drove away. Fortunately the captain and some others stayed behind and finished the tour for us. All in a day's work, kids.

Here's Claire spraying the firehose.

Gabby was too shy to spray the hose, not because she was afraid of the hose, but because she didn't want to stand that close to the fireman. So this is her step to bravery - putting her hand in a trickle of water. "Quick, Mom, take a picture!" Well, it's a step, I guess.