Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Caitlyn's Birthday Party

Caitlyn had her first all-friends birthday party. We invited over 20 6/7 year old girls - Yikes! It was an all-girl princess party. We did our nails and makeup. Then we took it outside for a photo shoot. It was a really fun time and Caitlyn was over the moon.
Thank you to Lacey, my mom, and Sarah for coming over to help me wrangle these girls!

*I have purposefully chosen pictures that you cant see any of the girls' faces.
"Pin the tiara on the princess"

Each girl decorated their own cupcake ...

and their own picture frame...

Then posed. Caitlyn definitely was the sassiest.
I highly misjudged how tall these girls are with my backdrop. Its so white trash but they really didnt care.
I got the cutest group shot of all of them - including Nathan - he was having so much fun. Earlier that morning Chad took Nathan to get blood drawn. It was a horrible expirience for him (and Chad for that matter). The only thing that made him happy was knowing that there was a birthday party to come home to. (Nathan LOVES a party). Originally Chad was going to take Nathan out to do something else, but after that we couldnt help but let him take part in the festivites. He might of even gotten some fingernail polish :)

When I looked at it later it reminded me of a Cabbage Patch Kids party I went to when I was about her age. It was at the Bradshaws. I have a picture of all of us girls on the couch holding our dolls and right in the middle is Mason with his gremlin. Hillarious. I'm going to try to find it and scan it in... so check back.

I cant believe her next birthday she'll be getting baptised! Crazy how time flies!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Right before Christmas we had a great photo shoot with my sister-in-law. She was visiting from Texas and we were so happy to have her capture our family! If you are interested... she comes into town periodically, shes very affordable, and would love to shoot your family.

So without further adiu - some of my favorites....
P.S. - anyone who can get this great of pictures of Nathan deserves a medal. Thanks Linsey! (There's a link to her photography blog at the top of the page)

Monday, December 28, 2009

I have been busy looking through all of our pictures of Christmas festivities over the past week and I came across this gem.
My Grandma and Grandpa Vance. Two of the sweetest people you could meet - and a little bit of a spitfire (in describing my Grandma). Glad I caught them for this photo at our annual "Grandma's Breakfast" where all the grand kids (well, now its great-grandkids) come together to act out the nativity.
Dont worry. Those pictures, and more are coming - but I just had to get this up!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Miracle

Nathan's car has been found. Quite the saga! Did I mention that after we had lost the car and pig at our photo shoot I sent Chad back the next morning (at 6 am!) to look for it! It was so crushing that it wasnt there, and that for the next few days, and several Ross stores later, the toy could not be located. I couldnt believe how unavailabe they became in stores! I had the strong feeling though that I would get one again. Either through finding the original or buying a new one.

Fast forward to Christmas night. After arriving at my inlaws Caitlyn came walking up with it out of their toy box. Apparently my sister-in-law did have it in her purse and left it there! It may seem like such a small thing to most people. I'm sure some of you are thinking that I have gotten myself too worked up over a small toy. Perhaps. BUT when Nathan goes looking for his car/truck combo (he loves to group them together) I'm glad that it will be there.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to this guy!

(we have way too many birthdays around Christmas!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

ROSS alert

Okay - if you go to a Ross anytime soon could you please look for a toy for me? We lost a very key part of this toy and up until recent I had seen it in a couple of Ross stores. With Christmas I am sure those got purchased, but I have to believe that it is somewhere! Anyway - this is what it looks like and it should be $20.

You dont have to buy it (but if you do I will pay you back immediately). Just put it on hold and tell me where to go.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Caitlyn's 7th

Caitlyn is 7 and shw couldn't be more excited. Here is our traditional birthday picture that we do each year. Follow the link below for past years. They are great. Happy birthday Caitlyn!

Click Here

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Alison in the morning

What we get to wake up to in the morning.... She is very talkative! This is may be boring to most, but since Chad is out of town I put it up for him.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Big appointment (first of three) for Nathan tomorrow.
I hope it goes well.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Word World - Oh No!

Chad and I went out on Saturday to do some Christmas shopping. We hit Target because they have the "Word World" line of toys.
Nathan specifically requests to go to Target just so he can see the Word World toys, but when we looked for them they were gone! Seriously, I paniced a bit inside. We calmly asked a store employee and he said that they discontinued carrying it. WHAT?!? Do they have any idea of the consequences?! I'm guessing not.
So, now I am on the hunt for the Word World line of toys. If any of you see them in a store let me know.
Yes, I know they can be purchased online, but they are twice as expensive and then you have to pay shipping. As much as he likes them, I'm not nice enough to pay that much.

Monday, November 30, 2009

So here is an official poll.
Well, its not official, but I am very interested to know what other people think. It seems that these days everybody is on Facebook, twitter, bloggers, ect. ect.
Should I just put my Christmas picture/letter on our blog?
Is it loosing the nostalgia of Christmas?

I lean towards using snail mail; keeping the tradition alive! Its fun to get letters in the mail. Anything that isn't a bill is welcome at out house! I know, it costs more to mail the letter out - but come on you know its fun too.

Anyway, tell me what you think. Mayvbe I can be persudaded.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving

I am THANKFUL that I have a day every year that I can pull this picture out for. It has been a post of our for the past couple of years and it will continue to be a Thanksgiving tradition until it is topped in cuteness by another picture. I think it will be around for a while.

I am doing the Turkey Trot tomorrow morning. Seeing that I am a self-proclaimed "non-runner" this will be interesting. I set a goal and I am going to see myself through it. Its only two miles, but it might as well be ten in my eyes. Wish me luck. I plan to RUN the whole thing.

Does this sound pathetic to anyone else? Seriously, running two miles should not be hard, but for me it is - so back off. I'm thanful for humility.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Crafts

So I think I scared people away from our blog with my last post... hence the lack of comments. Thats okay. I thought I would lighten the mood by posting about a couple of crafts I've done lately:
I had this idea and meant to do it at the beginning of November, but time got away from me and we ended up doing it for Family Home Evening last night. If you want to do it you still have time too! Then, next year, it can be a tradition and just start it earlier.
A simple scrapbooked jar with extra papers. The activity is collecting things were thankful for. By having the jar out in a prominent location it will be easier to think of what we're thankful for. I think this is a better approach than just asking everyone at the dinner table on Thanksgiving. I hope this will give us some different ideas of what we are grateful for this season then just the standard answers.

A $.99 weath form from GoodWill and oranments from the dollar store. Add some hot glue, a bow and I have a new wreath for over my fire place. Its not perfect - which bothers me to no end, but it looks pretty good. The picture doesnt do it much justice. Some the blubs have glitter on them that really looks cute. You can ge these ornaments for about 12 for a dollar. (I didnt count how many were in the package). This wreath cost me a total of $11. Wreaths are expensive so I am pretty happy with that.
**sorry the picture quality isnt great. Our little Kodak is not being cooperative**

Thursday, November 19, 2009


My sister told me how a friend of hers described dealing with the difficulties of having a child with autism and I think its dead on.

Having a child with autism is like experiencing small deaths as the get older.
When they reach the age of school but they are assigned to a special education classroom: you grieve. When your child wont play with other kids around them: you grieve. When your child wont acknowledge a hello from a stranger or a common question like "how are you today?": you grieve.

Although there are happy times in between and their personalities bring so much light into your life, you grieve when you see that they are not reaching the full potential that is locked up inside. Its hard not to compare your child to others. You know you shouldn't but you do. Its hard not to notice the gap growing bigger. In my mind I imagine it as canyon. The gap may not be wide at the beginning of the Canyon; allowing you to just leap to the other side, but as you progress along the canyon the gap widens until it takes a helicopter to reach the other side.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have grieved. Its definitely not the first time, and it wont be the last.

My Nathan is no longer the cute little kid. Before I could explain that he has Autism, but 'look how cute he is'. Things he did were cute. The fact that he could spell any word put in front of him at 3, or he could quote lines from movies at the drop of a hat was cute.
Now, he is a big kid. He is just big with a problem. Those close to Nathan still think he's cute. Its so easy to love Nathan if you know his personality. He really is the sweetest kid, but he has a problem, and I'm afriad he has lost his cuteness to those outside our circle. Fits can no longer be blamed on the 'tantrums of a toddler'. I can barely contain him physically if he decides to throw one in public. I smile to let those around me now I can handle this; as he proceeds to kick me, the shopping cart or anything that is close by. In return, I am often met with looks of, 'cant you control your child - he's too big to be doing this'. Or others just choose to act like I am not there.

Its frustrating, but we press on. We're on a constant path to try to improve Nathan's standard of life. We are currently looking into different forms of treatment for Nathan - paths we have never gone down before. We never want to look back and think that there was more that we could have done.

These are random thoughts from a mothers who loves her son, but is looking for a way out of Autism. Logically, I know that this will follow him throughout his life. Emotionally, I want to see him thrive. Go on a mission. Get married. Have children. Have his own life.

I'm positive there will be more points of greif along Nathans path, but I hope for more points of rejoicing.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Why do I love decorating for Christmas so much. I am seriously chomping at the bit to get started. It didnt help matters that I had to pull out some of my Christmas stuff for our Relief Society meeting last night. I dont want to put it away! I just want put it all up and begin to enjoy the season!
I'm sure that some of you are laughing right now at the thought of putting up Christmas decor. I really think it helps me enjoy Thanksgiving more to have my tree up. Call it Christmas cheer but it helps me be more grateful.
Chad does not agree with my sentiment. He thinks it is entirely too early to put Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving.

What do you think?
I am also itching for a good Christmas craft. I've searched online, found a couple of okay things but nothing that I have wanted to race to Michaels to make. GIVE ME SOME IDEAS. I really just need to go to Laree's house and I'll be inspired. Her house is awesome for every holiday. I cant wait to get to a point that my house is decked out for all the main holidays - but all for under $100 :). I dont like spending alot on crafts but I love having them all around for the holidays.
So - I guess I'll wait. but for how long? I guess we'll just have to see, but right now the Polar Express is being viewed in the family room :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blessed day

Alison was blessed last Sunday - November 1st, 2009. She was awake for the whole thing and angelic, really. It was a beautiful blessing that some of my brothers, Chad's dad, and my step dad were able to participate in. Thank you to all of our friends and family that were able to attend. It was a great day.
She was given a beautiful blessing.
Just a couple of blessings mentioned were for her to be a peacemaker, to be a friend to her sister and especially her brother, and to listen to the Spirit as she goes through life.
My mom made Alison's dress. I couldnt love it more! I just wish she could wear it more than just the once - but you do want to keep it special. Some of the special detailing on the dress you cant even see. The slip underneath competes in beauty with the dress itself. It has hand-stitched scalloped edging around the neckline and arm holes. The reason my mom did that was to replicate the edging that my grandma did for my mom's baby blessing dress. She also found leftover buttons (because my grandma keeps everything) from when my grandma made my moms dress. She used the button for the back of the slip. How extraordinaringly special. So a big thank you, thank you, thank you to my mom for all the hours of work that went into the dress. I appreciate it so much and I know one day Alison will too.

Caitlyn was so helpful. She wanted to help Alison get ready for her big day. These cute shoes were a gift from Sarah.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

weird, I know

I am turning to the blogging world for a little help.
I am on the activities committe for our ward and this year we will be doing a Breakfast With Santa for our holiday party.
There's only one problem.
We dont have a Santa.
Does anyone out there know of a someone who plays Santa for parties?
Or - do you have a Santa suit we could borrow?

Any information or recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

busy busy busy

Caitlyn has been busy busy busy with new accomplishments this week and its only Tuesday! Today was a monumental day for her. She has been growing her hair for a while so she could donate it.
We set up her appointment and when she got in the car after school she told me that she wanted a bob, and that she told everyone at school that she was donating her hair today.



I think she looks absolutely adorable, and oh so sassy. Her hair now matches her personality thats for sure!

She has also learned to ride her bike without training wheels. Well, I dont know if you can call it learning. Chad took her to the park to teach her and I was planning on following a few minutes later with the other kids and the camera. Before I could get them loaded up Chad called to tell me that she had already gotten it. He pushed her off and away she went.
I couldnt believe it but I rushed over there to get some shots before the moment was gone.
It was such a confident booster to her. She is so proud of herself.

We had to celebrate by going to Subway for dinner. She couldnt stop talking about it all night, and then got up early in the morning to get ready so she would have time to practice before school. She's really growing up!

Halloween in photos

Alison had two costumes this year (thanks to Kasey!)

My knight in shining armor, my princess, and my dragon

A little creepy, right? Caitlyn had a blast at her friend's birthday/halloween party. Without the teeth it is actually a beautiful butterfly

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween connection

Ten bucks to the person that can guess our costumes and their relevance. Alright, I wont give you ten bucks but you will be praised as a person that is caught up on their current events.

Their awesome,right? I know.

We wore them to a halloween party over the weekend (it was awesome, Twilleys!), but we're pretty sure that only a couple of people got it.
I knew I should have pushed harder to have Chad spraypaint his hair black.(hint, hint)

We're going to try them again this weekend at our Trunk or Treat. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

They must look alike

because nobody got it right. (Sarah did - but she just didnt post the comment)
Its actually:

Its funny that most people thought the first picture was Nathan. All of them do look a lot alike. Alison looks different everyday!
On another note...
I fit into a "new" pair of jeans today. It's small feats like this that make a day better.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Name that child

Thought it would be fun to play a little game. I have come to the realization that my children look a lot a like. Can you tell them apart? I purposely chose photos with no clothes to up the difficutly level :)



Friday, October 16, 2009

cooler temps and family fun

We wanted to do something fun for the afternoon, so we headed north to Payson for a little R and R. While we were there we took advantage of the nice scenery and took some family photos. Enjoy... and you might see one of the family shots in or Christmas card this year :)

These two pictures of Alison are classic. She loves to stretch like this. Its one of my favorite poses.