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!