Friday, December 25, 2015


During this holiday season, I have done a lot of reflecting and pondering. Starting with Thanksgiving, I decided I would like to have a more gratitude attitude.  I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I love the idea of being grateful and not asking for anything.  I have been thinking for this month how grateful I am for my family.

I love this picture that was taken as we were preparing for our family photos last summer. We are not perfect, but we are perfectly happy to be together. I'm so glad that my kids are good friends and like to be together. 
 I am so thankful for each member of this family.  Blake is my rock, he is such a hard worker and wonderful provider. He is an amazing dad and grandpa. 
I appreciate the thoughtfulness and generosity that Cindy and Ken exhibit all the time.  I'm so thankful that Brian, Celia, Maden, Annie and Clark are living so close. Brian did such a good job getting through Anesthesia school, and I'm thankful for Celia's support during the long school journey. 
I'm grateful for the all help Randy is to Blake, he's always just a phone call away, and Courtney is so willing to let him come help.  I'm so thankful they trust me to tend Ryder.
I have really appreciated Jared's electrical talents this year, and his willingness to help us. I'm also thankful for Nikelle's dedication to family.  
I can't even express how grateful I am to be called Grandma by Maden, Annie, Molly, Ryder and Clark.  I remember when Maden was born 6 years ago, I was surprised by the love I felt for him. That love is just as strong today, and I couldn't imagine loving other grandchildren as much, but as each were born, I found I love them all just the same. I didn't think my heart could hold so much love! They are all so unique and special. There is nothing I would rather do that spend time with them.

I love this picture depicting Mary holding her sweet baby, Jesus.  When I found it among my Christmas decorations, I almost cried.  I guess with these three babies being born into our family this year, this picture has special meaning to me.  As I reflected on the feelings I had as I held each of them for the first time, and could feel of their sweet pure innocence, I couldn't help but think that Mary could feel the same thing from her son. I so appreciate her willingness to bring him into the world.
I am so grateful that He was willing to come to earth as my Savior.  I am so thankful for His atonement and sacrifice in my behalf. I love Him, and I'm trying to be more like Him. 

Jared and Nikelle gave us this beautiful picture of Jesus holding this precious baby. I love it! I know that He loves us all, and wants us to be happy and to follow Him. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Dec. 12 & 19, 2015

There is snow in Island Park!  Randy and Jared went up on the 12th.  The trails had not been groomed yet, so it was pretty rough, but there was a lot of powder to play in.  It's been a few years since there was this much snow! Randy wears the green helmet, Jared wears the yellow one.

Blake and Jared went back up on the 19th, there was even more snow. They were the first ones on the freshly groomed trails, so they were nice and smooth.  

This is at the Big Springs bridge. The picture of Jared on the left was on the 12th, and the one of Blake on the right was on the 19th.  There's about a foot more snow. 

Gingerbread Houses and Jared's 25!

December 12, 2015
We had a gingerbread house making party! We had kits, so it was pretty easy.

The finished products! They all turned out so cute. Annie isn't really mad, she was just trying hard to make a cute smile.  I kind of cheated, I made a candy train.

Jared turned 25 on the 11th, so we combined our gingerbread party with a birthday party! It's hard to believe my baby is 25, and that he has a baby!  Maden and Annie love to pile on Jared.

There was a rousing,but chilly game of flag football.

Can't get together without some pictures of the babies.  They all had their turn in the saucer, sometimes just looking on from the outside, sometimes Brian tried to put two in at the same time. It's so fun to watch them starting to interact with each other.  I hope they can be good friends.

Molly crawls really good now, she crawled over to Ryder and tried to steal his binkie. Then she stood up to the chair to see Ryder while he was sitting on Randy's lap.  So, Randy picked her up and got her with his beard, she didn't like it so much.

Randy got his turn at holding 2, then 3 babies.  It's quite a lapful!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Maden's 6!

December 5, 2015

I don't know where the time has gone, or how it's even possible, but Maden had his 6th birthday!  I love this little boy with all my heart! We met at Leo's Place for pizza and the arcade.  Ryder and Molly were having a great time in the high chairs. Grandma Beth is trying to convince Clark to take his bottle. Everyone had fun in the arcade, Nikelle won 100 tickets in the Deal or No Deal game!

After Leo's, Maden got to open his presents. He was truly spoiled! He even got tired of opening presents and wanted to start playing with them.  He looks so grown up in these pictures!  He is such a smart, happy, loving little boy.  He keeps us all entertained with his knowledge and zest for life.  

Christmas Stockings

With the addition of the the 3 babies, I had to make three new stockings and holders. I was so excited to put them on my new mantle.  I love how they turned out!

Thanksgiving 2015

November 26-28, 2015

Thursday, Nov. 26
It snowed and blew a lot in the night and on Thanksgiving morning, so Blake was glad he had put the blade on the four wheeler. Blake, and I and my parents (known as Grandma Beth and Grandpa Chin Chopper) went up to Brian and Celia's for Thanksgiving dinner.  We had a great meal! (I didn't get any pictures of the eating) Then, we played some games, listened to some stories from Blake and Grandpa Chin Chopper because Maden requested them.  He would scoot from one to the other on the couch and snuggle in for each story.

Friday, Nov. 27
Friday morning, Randy, Blake and I met Brian's family at Pizza Pie Cafe for their Black Friday Breakfast Buffet, then we went over to Grandma Great Purcell's house to help put up her Christmas tree. Annie and Celia were singing some songs (that Annie knew all the words to) and dancing. Clark was happy just to hang out on the floor. When we got home, Blake and Randy cleaned the snow from Randy's driveway. Then later, Courtney & Ryder got home from Utah, and Jared, Nikelle and Molly got here after their trip to New Hampshire! 

Saturday, Nov. 28
We had our family Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday when all the boys and their families could be here. (Once again, no pictures of the eating.) Before dinner, Brian and his kids went to help Grandma Beth put her Christmas tree up, then after dinner everyone helped put mine up.  Such good helpers, I love looking at my tree and remembering the little hands that put the ornaments at their level.

Before dinner, some of the guys went outside to shoot some skeet, because Nikelle wanted to try out her new gun. It was pretty cold.

Jared somehow ended up with all the babies on his lap. I don't think Ryder was too thrilled about it.  Then, I had to share these cute pictures of Clark and Molly.  I think Ryder must have been napping when I took these.

Blake brought Molly down to help Maden and Annie play a little pool.  She loved it, Maden and Annie not so much at first, but then they made up a new game and it was fun for everyone.  Maden and Annie love to try out the new toys I have bought for the babies. 
It was a good Thanksgiving weekend.  I am so grateful that I get to spend so much time with my family.

Tending Maden, Annie and Clark

November 14, 2015

Blake and I got to watch Maden, Annie and Clark for a day while their parents went to Utah.  We played with "the babies", played pool, played games, did some crafts and puzzles.  It was a fun day!

I got some cute pictures of Mr. Clarkie.

Ryder came to visit, he and Clark were doing great on the floor studying each other, and just laying there, each in their own world, then Clark decided he'd rather have Ryder's toy, so we had to separate them a bit.

Is it Basketball or Comedy?

Oct. 27 - Dec 7, 2015

Maden has been playing on a little basketball league for kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders. Brian has been coaching this little team.  We have made it up for a few of the games, it's pretty entertaining.  

Maden has the defense stance down really well, sometimes he would stay in the stance even on offense.  He actually made a basket in a game, of course it was a game I was not attending!

Grandma Beth and Grandpa Chin Chopper made it to the last game. They (and the rest of us) laughed a lot.  This game, Maden had the art of boxing out down pat!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The babies are getting big!

These 3 little ones are growing so fast! It is so fun to watch them grow and learn new things. Ryder is so tall that he grew out of his car seat, and Molly is so close to crawling, and Clark is a just a happy smiley little guy. 

Annie's 3!

October 30, 2015
It's hard to believe that it's been 3 years since this little beauty joined our family.  She is such a little spitfire, so full of life and fun.  She doesn't miss anything that is going on around her, and points out many things that I don't notice.  Love you Annie girl.

We had a party for her on the evening of her birthday.  She loved being the center of attention. She was so kind to let Maden help blow out the candles.  She was thrilled with all her gifts, taking time to play with each one before opening the next.

Elk Jerky

October 30, 2015
Brian was lucky enough to get a bull elk this year (with a little help from his brothers!). We made some of it into jerky.  Brian came down to cut the meat up. He brought the cutest little birthday girl, and she was a huge help! There was a lot of meat, it made a ton of jerky!

Boo at the Zoo

October 28, 2015

Blake and I took Maden and Annie to Tautphaus Park to Boo at the Zoo. They were the cutest Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too! There were a lot of people there, but we still saw some animals too.  There were a lot of trick or treat stations, some crafts and games.  It was a pretty nice warm evening for this fun activity.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Princess Tea Party

October 17, 2015

Nikelle invited Maden and Annie and I to go to a Princess Tea Party with her and Molly in Rupert.  

Maden was the star of the show in his Prince Charming costume. Annie looked absolutely darling in her Princess dress. (Funny thing, her sparkly shoes that fit her on Sunday did not fit on Saturday!) Molly was the cutest little Cinderella in the dress her Grandma Bair made for her.

On the way up the stairs to the party, they got to meet all the princesses and get their autographs.  Pocahontis (Nikelle's good friend) loved little Molly Cinderella. They were all such good sports about getting their pictures taken over and over.

We had a fun little "tea party" with some good food.  All the princesses came in and sang a song to the audience.  The princess Anna from Frozen even sang to Maden.  It was a great day!

My Birthday, Babysitting and More Swinging

October 15, 2015

On the day before my birthday, we got a new car and fireplace insert! We decided to trade in the Escape for and Explorer. The new fireplace looks so sleek and clean, I love it!

On Sunday, Oct. 18th, the kids had a dinner for me at Jared and Nikelle's house. It was very good food! They all gave me these amazing canvases! I absolutely love them! But, not as much as I love those 5 little ones!


I'm babysitting Ryder 2 1/2 days each week, which is so fun. I think he likes coming to our house. One week I had the opportunity to watch all three babies at separate times. I can't think of a better way to spend my time!

Here are just a few pictures from our babysitting adventures. Aren't they just the cutest little humans ever?


The tree swing continues to be a huge hit.  Annie especially loves it. Courtney and Nikelle got in on the action too.

Ryder and Molly have tried out the swing in the back and have liked it really well.  We haven't given Clark a chance yet, but he sure enjoyed watching Maden and Annie on the tree swing.  Nikelle got another chance to have a swinging good time too.

Corn Maze and Conference

Sept. 23, 2015

I went to the Wild Adventure Corn Maze with Brian's family.  We just did the small maze, and this is the only picture I have of it! They had a great time on the little barrel train.

The jousting bouncy thing was really fun too.  It was perfect weather!

General Conference
October 3 & 4, 2015

Jared, Nikelle and Molly came and spent the night on Saturday, so that gave us some really fun Molly time! She is getting so big!

Brian and Celia came down in the afternoon on Sunday. We watched a movie after conference was over. It was a fun weekend, conference was so good!

Blake's Birthday

Sept. 21, 2015

Blake turned the big 60 this year! We had a birthday dinner for him on Sunday, Sept 20th because it's easier to get everyone together on Sunday.  It's so fun to have these grandkids around for these occasions! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jensen's Grove, Babies, Swing, Kindergarten, Parade & Fair, Fishing

Jensen's Grove
Aug. 11, 2015

It was a hot day, so we visited the lake at Jensen's Grove. Maden and Annie love the beach and the sand. I had bought some sand toys but they played more with the ice cream buckets than the real sand toys.

Maden had a great time rolling down the hill several times.

Aug 26 - 29, 2015

I love tending these babies! I get to tend Ryder 2 days every week. I took these pictures of him on Aug. 26th.  I got to tend Clark while his parents and siblings went 4
wheeling on Aug. 28th. Then I got to watch Molly on Aug. 29th while her mom sold some things at a garage sale.  It's so fun to see their little personalities and watch them learn new things.

It's so fun to get these babies together. They are going to get sick of having their pictures taken!

Things are changing when the babies are together, they used to just lay near each other in their own little worlds, sometimes they would hold hands or look at each other. But, Molly doesn't just lay there any more! We don't know how Ryder's hand got in Molly's mouth! Funny babies.

New Tree Swing
Aug. 28, 2015

Brian and Celia bought a new swing for the big tree out in our front yard.  It was not easy to get the rope up on the branch, but they finally made it.  Brian tried it out first and it looks like he was having a great time!  Maden and Annie took turns too, Maden was a little worried at first but got used to it pretty soon. 

Maden goes to Kindergarten
Aug. 31, 2015

I got to go see Maden go to Kindergarten for the first time.  He goes to the afternoon session, so we had some time before to do some tricks outside.  Annie is so funny to copy everything Maden does and says.

We tried to get some pictures, first of all we had the "cheese" smiles, then it was just silly fully opened mouth smiles.  He was sure excited to get going to school.

We loaded the kids up in the stroller to walk to the school.  Maden was such a good big brother to hold Clark so tenderly.

Here we are at the school. Maden's all lined up ready to go into the school.  It was a little funny that Annie didn't quite understand that Maden was going to stay at the school and she had to leave him there.  We have enjoyed hearing the fun alphabet songs Maden has learned in school.  

Eastern Idaho State Fair & Parade
Sept. 5, 2015

Even though it was cold and windy, we went to the parade.  The kids had a great time gathering all the candy that was thrown at them.  They would dance in the street because they thought they would get more candy. We ended up with a grocery bag 3/4 full!

After the parade, we made our way over to the fair.  It was still cold and windy, but we had fun walking around and eating.  Maden and Celia went on the Ferris Wheel, then Annie and Maden and I went on the Merry-go-round. Then Maden and Annie drove these cars. Annie loved "driving" and talked about it for days after.

Sept. 12, 2015

We went to "Terry's Fishing Pond" again. While Annie was fishing, Maden was singing his alphabet songs for us. It was a fun day.