Monday, November 30, 2009

november '09.

Our November seemed to have come and gone

faster than a Thanksgiving dinner!

Here's what we we've been up to:

After two years of a nasty court battle, we finally saw

our first check after winning our civil suit against our

water softener company (all those contemplating

signing with Aspen Water, beware!).

Now if we could just get them to come pick up their equipment
and give us our final check, this will all be behind us at last!

Wyatt had a hot date to his preschool's Thanksgiving Feast.

It's so fun having grandparents close by!

As you can see, the class is mostly boys.

The students put on a little program.

Wyatt's part was "I see a green bud on a spring tree".

We love his teacher, Miss Amy!

In other November happenings, Carson discovered the joy of dressing up in women's clothing! Doesn't he make a beautiful princess? (To defend his manhood, however, I must admit he was pretty ticked about me taking this picture. He liked the idea of it, even smiled for it, but then once he saw it played back to him, I think he realized how ridiculous he looked and was upset I'd taken advantage of the moment. I don't care, though. Someday I'll need good blackmail material and this is GOLDEN!)


We had our favorite girlfriend, Maryn, over to make

Pilgrim Hat Cookies for a Thanksgiving craft.

Thanks to Grandma K. for hooking us up with the recipe!


Breaking News!

In a surprise move made by our #1 Utah Fan,

Wyatt officially decided binkies were (finally) for babies

and threw all of them away. Needles to say,
this. was. major.

I surprised Brett and the kids with a "staycation" in Sandy. We played at the Living Planet Aquarium, which was totally awesome. Brett even pet a sting ray (the rest of us were too chicken). Then we ate at Lonestar and enjoyed a fabulous hotel room at the Country Inn & Suites where we watched a movie together. I would highly recommend this place. It was beautiful, the staff was friendly and accomodating, they had complementary warm cookies, and a pretty good breakfast buffet, too. It was nice to get away and have some time together as a family, and like Brett said on the way home, "It's great to get the perks of a vacation without the long drive!"

Of course our grand finale to November was our Thanksgiving dinner at John & Dixie's. As usual, their meal was incredibly delicious! Mom had decorated so nicely with a beautiful table setting and fun surprises for the kids. They had just gotten this foosball table, which the kids went nuts over. It was also wonderful to have that time with Grandma Bauerle as well. This is her first holiday season without Grandpa, and we feel very mindful of that. We hope the promises of the season will bring her more comfort than loneliness and that she knows how much she means to us.
Now December is upon us and we are already

enjoying the joyful feelings and gathering that accompany it!


(P.S. Useless November trivia my husband will appreciate:

On November 30th,
Scotland celebrates St. Andrews Day.

There you go, honey: a reason to close banks and post offices

in humble homage to your beloved club-and-ball sport.)

Hope Sig1

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'stones of help'

My favorite hymn, which ironically is not in the current LDS hymnbook (WHY????), is "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing". I can rarely hear it without my emotions surfacing or spilling over. This Thanksgiving Eve, my thoughts have been on the second verse, which sings,
"Here I raise my Ebenezer;
hither by Thy help I'm come"
Do you know what an "ebenezer" is? According to the King James Version Bible Dictionary, it is referred to as a "Stone of Help". More background describes a stone set up by Samuel as a token of gratitude for deliverance from the Philistines (1 Sam. 7:10-12). In an article by Dr. Gregory S. Neal, we are enlightened that we have in our lives our own "Stones of Help", our own EBENEZERS, our own reminders of God's presence and hand in our lives.
On this day of gratitude, I'm thankful to recognize the ebenezers in my life, some of which are:
  • my trials, which have strengthened me and given me experiences which were undoubtedly for my own good and growth
  • my support structure, which is built by loyal, forgiving family members and selfless friends
  • the scriptures, which offer wisdom and personal revelation
  • prayer - having the opportunity to have a two-way conversation with my Heavenly Father is quite possibly the greatest tool we have been blessed with for our mortal experience
  • my temple covenants - the comfort that comes from knowing Heavenly Father and I have made promises with each other, and if I can just be faithful on my end, Heavenly Father is bound by those covenants to follow through with those promised blessings. Why should I ever need more motivation than that?
I am terribly imperfect and flawed. I am "prone to wander", as the song humbly admits. But as I "raise my ebenezer", as I utilize the help God has granted me in my life, it is my hope "that Christ may seal [me] His" (Mosiah 5:15), and that is truly cause for giving thanks.

What are YOUR ebenezers?
Hope Sig1

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"and a little child shall lead them..."


- Wyatt, age 5

Hope Sig1

Monday, November 23, 2009

more than siblings.

i get a little misty-eyed when i watch my children play together. there will come a day when the petty little arguments they have once in a while now will become more frequent and they will find more fault with one another. if they can just survive those teenage years, it's my hope they'll look back on pictures like these and remember how much they love one another, and they'll realize they are each others' best friends.
Hope Sig1

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

these movies make my "nice" list...

From early November on, the television begins broadcasting what seems to be hundreds of holiday programs and specials (ever heard of the Family Channel's "Countdown-to-Christmas"?). With such a merriment of shows from which to choose, I wanted to post our family's favorite ones to watch:



I so enjoy watching this curled up with my children on the couch. I think Tim Allen is hysterical in this role ("I shave in the morning and by noon, I look like this!)". I also love this film's conception of the North Pole, the elves, and it's explanation of Santa's ability to visit all the children of the world in one night. Let's not forget the secret to squeezing down those chimneys! Admit it....when you were a kid that was one of the big Christmas mysteries you'd always wondered about...


I have always loved this movie about a family at the turn-of-the century who finds out they have to move from their beloved St. Louis to New York. Even as a little girl, I could have watched it over and over. It's hard to pinpoint what it is exactly that draws me to it. Perhaps it's my love of Judy Garland. Her version of my favorite Christmas carol, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is, after all, the one I prefer above all others. It rings of hope and of a brighter future. Maybe it's Margaret O'Brien, who is a perfect "Tootie". It could be the way this close-knit family is so loyal and driven for one another. If you haven't seen this, you've got to put it on your Christmas list!

Favorite Movie Quotes:

Esther Smith: Oh, Tootie, don't cry. Don't cry, it's all right. You can build other snow people in New York.
'Tootie' Smith:
No, you can't! You can't do any of the things that I can do in St. Louis!
Esther Smith: No, no, Tootie, you're wrong. New York is a wonderful town. Everybody dreams about going there, but we're luckier than lots of families because we're really going. Wait till you see the nice new home we're going to have, and the loads and loads of new friends we're going to make. But the main thing is, Tootie, that we're all going to be together, just like we've always been. That's what really counts. We could be happy anywhere as long as we're together.

- - - - -
Warren Sheffield: [on the telephone with Rose] Wait, Rose! We still have... 36 more seconds!

Rose Smith: [who is upset with Warren & wants to make him jealous] I have an engagement. I think I can hear Joe's voice, now.
Grandpa: [lifts the tablecloth and looks under the table] Good evening, Joe!


Who doesn't love this movie??? There are so many great & funny parts, but in addition to the boy slipping on his bike (so wish I could have found a clip of that!), my all-time favorite "Sleeping" moment is the conversation(s) taking place simultaneously at the Callahan dinner table ("These mash potatoes are so creamy." "John Wayne was tall." "Cesar Romaro was not Spanish."). The chaos and noise of the scene reminds me of another family I love (Merry Christmas, Kremins!). Enjoy watching--zip ahead to 4:37 on the red bar to get straight to the funny stuff!


This is such a beautiful addition to the Christmas classics! I love the soundtrack and the story - in a way it reminds me that "faith precedes the miracle". Here's my all-time favorite part: Hot Chocolate!


My dad, who hates to watch Chevy Chase act, even enjoyed this movie. It's funny, it's real, and yet it has that "warm fuzzy feeling" at the end. My favorite part? It's a toss-up between Cousin Eddie ("Merry Christmas! Sh*tter was full..."--I know that's crass and inappropriate, but you have to admit, that part is hilarious!) and the cat getting electrocuted when it chews through the tree lights. Or, there's the part where Clark unfastens the Christmas tree, which then engulfs the room with branches and tree sap. What about when Clark goes sledding at about 2 Billion MPH? Don't forget about Clark getting stuck in the attic and donning vintage women's furs, hats, and wraps to keep warm while he waits to be rescued. Within the first five minutes you are busting a gut when Clark gets their car stuck underneath a movie semi.


I still remember seeing this in the theaters and hearing my dad and my brother, Mark, laughing straight from the gut! Why it is that we as a society enjoy seeing a person in the movies get pummeled and physically injured is beyond me, but it is pretty dang funny! (Also, on a different note, this movie soundtrack is GORGEOUS. There are some peppy, upbeat songs that make you wanna shake your Christmas boo-tay, but what I really love on it are the instrumental score pieces or the boys choir songs.)


Who doesn't remember these airing each December during their childhood? Now I get to share them with my own kids and it. is. awesome. I love watching these "misfits"!

A CHRISTMAS STORY, starring none other than Ralphie Parker

This is the holiday movie of my childhood. This is what I recall so often when I think about my experiences at Christmas-time. I think about sitting with my parents, laughing out loud, sometimes to the point of tears, as Ralphie Parker so desperately obsesses with the Red Ryder BB gun, as he sulks with the humiliation of wearing a Christmas gift that is ridiculous, and as he deals with the daily threat of the school bully with yellow eyes. We watched this all-American family...the mother protecting the turkey dinner she's been cooking all day; the father taking pride in winning an "award", even though it is outrageously stupid and ugly; a furnace that prompts vulgarity; Randy, the younger brother who "can't put [his] arms down"; and even the horde of the neighbors dogs. Ralphie is about the same age my father would have been at the same time in American history. I am so excited to see this story played out live, on-stage at Pioneer Theatre on December 7th. We've invited my parents to come, which is so fitting. There's no one else I'd rather watch this with than them! This movie has too many good parts to choose just one, but the one on my mind at the moment is when Ma and The Old Man sit and look at the tree, listening to the radio softly play Christmas Carols in the rainbow glow of the lights. I also love that moment when Ralphie wakes up Christmas morning and almost reverently looks outside at the snow covering each little branch of the tree. The 2nd Video clip below wraps up very nicely why I love this movie.


Here's a fun youtube video of a couple who took a road trip to seek out all the "Christmas Story" stuff. Pretty fun! Wouldn't it be awesome to go to Cleveland and tour that house??? Dad, c'mon, let's go!!!!!!!!!

So what's your favorite holiday shows? What puts you in the Christmas mood?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

(I've already got two front teeth, thank you very much...)

Pardon the blatant post. I know we've been taught since we were small that it's bad manners to say, "I want this" or "I want that", but for the benefit (and at the request) of a certain someone (love ya, babe) I am posting my Christmas Wishlist.

All I want for Christmas is any of the following:

A giftcard to the Quilt Shop at

Gardner Village so I can buy this:

Right now our new KING-size bed has our

old QUEEN-size comforter on it.

It covers the top, but none of the sides.

It's very white-trashe.

(That's "trash-ay" for those of you who don't speak French.)

I've had a black and red room for so long,

I think I'm ready for a change.

I liked how this aqua blue bedding went so well

with the black bed at the quilt shop.

I thought it was soft and very peaceful. Tranquil. Calm.

And look! Target has beautiful aqua-colored

accessories on CLEARANCE!!!

It's a sign.
Not only that but I just got a mailer today
with a $50 coupon @ the Quilt Shop!!!


A subscription to the Davis County Clipper Newspaper.

Twice I've had a kid photographed and published

but would never have known about it were it not for

dear, wonderful friends who took the time to

cut out the article and photos for me!

I know this is an odd addition to a wish-list, but it's

one of those things I just about get ready to sign up for

but then feel kind of guilty about it,

like I really shouldn't spend the money.
Stupid, I know.

But this is my wishlist after all...who says

Santa has limitations???


At one time Costco had the neatest, biggest lazy susan trays.

You know how you see stuff there,

convince yourself you don't need it,

then when you go back after realizing you never

should have gone home without it,

they're gone???
I'd love to have one of these for when we have taco nights,

Hawaiian Haystack nights,

or our weekly Dessert nights.

(OK, maybe we don't have weekly "Dessert Nights",

but don't you think we should???)


I want a steamer. A portable, absorbant steamer.

I saw an infomercial the other night

(last week when I was sick and couldn't sleep for

all the coughing) for a Shark Steamer.

Does anyone know if they are as FANTASTIC as the infomercial

made them out to be?

I gotta admit, I was one number away from dialing and ordering.


King-Size Sheets.

We have one set, which really is just fine,

since I can easily strip the bed, wash the sheets,

and put them back on all in one day.

But it's always nice to have an extra set.

I just wish I could find a nice set

that included regular-size pillowcases.

A reliable, sharp set of steak knives.
We've bought two sets and been given one.

None of them have ever really lived up to what

we'd hoped GOOD steak knives to be.


Oh, and finally, "WORLD PEACE".

(Somehow saying that takes a bit of the greedy edge off my list...)

Hope Sig1

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Boooooo-wahahaha! Halloween 2009

Mack, Wyatt, Jace, Mason, & Carson
Another year of ghouls and boos dressing up!
Our Halloween festivities included another fabulous
Foxboro 4th Ward Fall Festival (where all 3 of our goblins
tried their hand (or should I say mouth) at the
donut-eating contest and I drank more than my fair share
of the freshly-pressed apple juice), pumpkin-carving & a delicious
dinner at the Grandparents Taft,
and trick-or-treating until we had enough candy to
last us until the next candy-splurge of Easter!

Halle and her best friend & fellow vampiress, Lauren

Hope Sig1

Monday, November 2, 2009

What is it about me that makes people assume I'm always stressed out? I am so not tense right now and yet I have people patronizing me and making comments about how stressed I am. It's like, I appreciate their concern, but at the same time, quit petting me on the face with your "Everything's gonna be alright" mantra. I know it's going to be good--I'm honestly not worried. I know I'm sounding totally witchy right now--I hate that I sound that way. I guess I am just upset because this happens often and I have really tried to figure out what it is about me that I need to change so people don't get this idea. Do I come across as a generally unpleasant and uptight person? Do I need to smile more? Do people assume just because I want to talk details about something it means I'm freaked out about it? Just because I want to make sure all our bases are covered, and things are well-thought out, that means I'm a stress-case? I know I like to plan, more than most people do, but that doesn't mean I'm going to boil over with anxiety.

Hope Sig1
"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson