Thursday, December 4, 2008

Autumn 2008 Family Picture Slideshow

It's been long enough now that we can laugh at this experience and thought you would get a kick out of it or relate to when you've tried taking your own family pictures (with a DARLING 2 year old!). We told Caroline she could have a donut once we finished. . .
Pictures are presented in the order they were taken.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Enjoying the journey with Caroline

My sweet companion Caroline!

Caroline is a great shopper and for some reason, I often end up having elder gentle people stop their shopping and start conversations with me, especially at Sam's Club. It's been a pleasure to lend a listening ear. In fact the other day one man came up and was admiring Caroline as she slept in the shopping cart (she sleeps anywhere). This man shared with me how much he enjoys his great grand daughters. It was sweet, how he described that one 4 year old great grand daughter would come visit and give him a hug and he'd give her about 30 minutes and she'd finally let go. He described his happiness because of them being in his life. He informed me how his mother lived to be 103 years old and proceeded to tell me of all his siblings ages and their good health. He is 83 and doing fine. After a lovely conversation of how precious children are and what a source of joy they can be, he wished me to "have a good life". Just the same as you would bid someone to "have a good day". It took me off guard as he mentioned it again as he was moving on to find his wife in the clothing department. His admonishment pierced my heart in a surprising way. It was a gentle genuine wish compared to the usual farewell. So I have been considering this strangers kindness to "have a good life". It's funny how it happened to be a answer to a recent prayer I had in my heart to be more grateful for what I have and to "enjoy my journey" in all it's stages. Caroline is one of my greatest joys in my journey!

Here Caroline forgoes the paper yet again, with markers all over her body, it's even up and down her legs under her pants. She's hiding the markers behind her back!

Sugar and spice that what she's made of!

As I get to spend all day and every day with Caroline I do feel privileged as though I'm hosting an angel in our home.

How can you deny it when she prays, "Thank you for Daddy, thank you for my pink purse, thank you for Daddy, thank you for my grapes and Daddy, and thank you for the cabinets and my cat, (we don't have one!) and thank you for Daddy, Jesus name amen."

I'm trying daily to enjoy her while I can as I've been told over and over they grow up in a blink of an eye. I'm believing it as I watch my other little sweeties grow up. This old man's farewell bid was heaven sent, answering my prayer in a funny way there in Sam's Club! It made me curious of what kind of women would this nice man be married to and how happy, old and lovely she must look. I wanted to find her and congratulate her. I never could track his companion or the older man again and it made me wonder... where he came from. Call me silly or new back in America and I shouldn't talk to strangers, but, you know I don't get like this with everything. I am soaking up my family more and trying to make sure I "have a good life!". Since that day I've become more prepared for more conversations with older people. I look forward to my shopping trips a little more thinking, we'll get to help someone else enjoy their sometimes lonely journey.

One neighbor said that if she were in our family she'd wish to be the little girl, because she'd get out of doing all the work on that house. It's true! Caroline is our cheerleader. "Good job Daddy, your using your muscles!" "Thank you for our pretty kitchen Mommy"
I'm so excited that my sister Geneva just had her first and only daughter, after 4 boys!Thank heaven for little girls!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The many faces (and moods) of our little lady, Alivia

11yr. old Alivia says "cheese!" This is during our transition at Aunt Tammy's. Grandma Riddle threw a "Happy Unbirthday Party" with all the family-
She's a pro at making things with clay! Alivia's little fingers are incredible with the smallest details. I mention to her that she could sell her work but, she likes to keep it and sometimes remake things.

Our first real day in MN, was Alivia's 12th Birthday. We asked her what she'd like to eat, of course it was, "sushi!" We found a place, but we won't go back, yummy enough but, overpriced. Oh... if only for "Sushi go Round"!

There's nothing fabulous about moving on your birthday! But she takes things in stride.

Our funny girl! She keeps us well rounded! We surprised her with a trip to the Mall of America on her birthday- the same day we took possession of our house. She had limitless rides for 3 hours on the fun roller coasters!

Her latest thing to say is, "remember! that life rox!"

Alivia's first pie! It's apple and she gave away to the family that hosted us before we got into our home. We were all very proud! I see many more happy days ahead baking together! I think it's very therapeutic! Yum-mo!

Alivia is growing up so beautifully! Tomorrow night she'll present a "Value" for the first time in a Young Women's Excellence night. It'll be a surprise to us what she finally decided to do. We know that she is a young women doing excellent.We love her so much!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"It'll all work out"

I'm still trying to figure out how to navigate this blog thing. I am not computer savvy like some of you. (I wish! I suppose practice makes perfect) I've tried uploading even one image and it kicks off in the middle of the uploading. I've been reading up and trying different things. We even had the cable guy come and check things out. Our last option is to see if our router is tripping us up. ~ Technical difficulties....Sorry no pics for right now.

Until it all works out I've been tiling the girls bathroom. My first tile job! and what's better is it looks just fine! Good thing, since I have at least 4 more projects to do in this house. ugh. The kitchen back splash, boys bathroom, laundry room, and our master bathroom~ the whole thing. I'm trying to take before and afters pics.
Tomorrow's project is to finish the stain and polyurethane on the vent grills for the hardwood floors. The trick is just getting the committed flooring guys to actually come and do the install. This has been the very source of utter frustration I haven't felt before. I haven't been sure if Greg was being played the fool but, after months of delay the guys are putting a little effort into the job. (Yes we're getting a bargain price for apparently amazing workmanship, I figure we're low priority) Greg is trying to give the men every benefit of the doubt. Yesh! The problem is compacted by the fact that all our furniture has been outside in the garage, except the very basics. It feels like we're camping STILL! Walking around on sub flooring. If you can feel my pain let me know! Otherwise I may sound ungrateful and I apologize. We very much look forward to the day that we can invite someone over to our home. That would improve our transition in being new here. My new mantra has become what President Hinckley always said, "oh, it'll all work out"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our children do grow up nicely!

I am excited and happy for Taylor! I have to share a few wonderful things. Yesterday he looked out the window to the back yard and said "Oh, I need to get out there and rake my yard". Dad then advised him to wait a little bit longer as the leaves were still falling as it would be better to do the job in only a few phases instead of several. Well, I'm just excited that Taylor has learned to work willingly. He started with a back yard full of weeds up to the knees (we found 3 sprigs of real grass!) and since have thoroughly taken it through a true transformation with the rest of the families help. Pulling the weeds and removing the sticks etc. then grading it after dad tilled then, seeding, fertilizing and watering. The whole process was so rewarding when the grass actually grew! The work Taylor put into it and the ownership is sweet. I often would find him out there pulling weeds or otherwise working all on his own accord.

Taylor gets to be "safety patrol" at school his favorite part is helping the kindergartners. He takes his job very seriously and takes careful attention to keep his privilege. Too Cute!
All of his responsibility is part of showing he's ready for that dream dog he's always wanted... maybe in the next house. (I deprive the children of having a pet so far because of travel and cleanliness of people is our first goal. However, I think it may make a veterinarian out of one of our children!)

Here is his goofy demonstration of what a safety patrol does.

I think he is finally allowing himself to believe how smart he truly is. He made top grade in the two 5th grade classes on a Greece project and was pretty excited about it. He said, "I can't wait to go to school tomorrow and see how many merits I can get!" WHAT?!? ..... sweet music to my ears and joy to my soul! ~ Taryn

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall 2008

We decided to start a blog! We should've, could've, would've while we lived in Okinawa! Maybe I'll reminience with a few pics from there. Since I'm NOT a scrapbooker, but have a ton of pictures, wonderful life experiences and we are an incredible family, I had to do something to share it. I figured I could keep you family and friends, up to date and later get this blog published into my easy made scrapbook! ;-) Smart mom!~ Taryn

Here are some pics of the children for Halloween. Caroline (age 2 1/2) has two: one from a party the weekend before and the Korean outfit for trick-or-treating.

Jonathan (age 7), or Jonathstien, counted 149 pieces of candy from his loot! Taylor (10), was happy just to go have fun.

We went to a apple orchid/pumpkin patch and went on a hayride the week or so before. It was a delicious autumn day. My little pumpkin heads!

Here I am thanks to Caroline, she likes taking pictures. This is me while fixing up her "new" room. More pictures of the our big house makeover are sure to come. ~Taryn