I think I have adapted the phrase "Life is paved with good intentions" What is it with the "business" of the holiday season? This year in particualr, I have tried so hard to make this a fun and memorable Christmas season for my kids. Being away from family and from our usual traditions has been really hard. I have these grand and wonderful images in my head about making trains (a childhood favorite) reading christmas stories every night before bed, baking, building snowmen, shopping for eachother and so on.... but in reality its gone a little something like this... cleaning all day just to get ahead but really making it worse becasue kids are neglected and therefor crazy and destructive, driving back and forth with all 5 kids in tow down the canyon for shopping and still not getting everything and thus having to do it again and again, not getting home until way past bedtime and then having to carry sleeping kids into bed, being too warm inside to venture out into the freezing cold snow (not now..Thanks Mom for the Jacket and boots!!!) and then not being able to stick to carefully planned out days before Christmas because of stuff like this...

I went upstairs this morning to get the kids dressed and this is what I found-and it was all over the ceiling as well, and, as I found tonite, all over Noahs wall in his room. I was out late last night and Bill put the kids down and apparantly didnt bother to check on the kids when they were still awake and running around and Noah was screaming that he needed a magic eraser (we use a lot of those in our house). I couldnt yell because Tyson knew what he did was wrong. He pointed the wall out to me saying "Uh oh mom, look what me and Caleb did last night." But you better believe I put them to work.
I didnt have my glasses on, so I started to go over to take a closer look at the damage and I rammed my toe into the corner of the bed. I heard cracks and crunches and knew immediatlly it wasnt good. Im not sure if I broke it or not, but I definatly cannot walk. Today was baking day, so....what are you gonna do? I should just know by now that things dont EVER go as planned. I dont know why im always suprised. I attempted to start baking right at dinner time and ended up making a huge mess (but made a super yummy new recipie for dinner). By the time dinner was done, baths and jammies were done, laundry was done, shoveling the 10 feet of snow off the driveway and steps, I was way too tired to even attempt it. Maybe tomorow.
This season is supposed to be about family and about being together and I guess that as long as they are happy and healthy then things really arent so bad. I just need to remember these good moments instead of all the bad ones where im not getting anything done.
Besides, who could get mad at these angels???
The Jammie crew.
We have been getting so much snow lately. I was upstairs and I happend to glance out the window and saw this. This is our deck.
(Since I took this pic, it has snowed about 6 more inches)

Just some random pics.

Caleb thinks he is so funny when he hides in the fridge. He thinks no one can see him.

Tyson, Tyson, Tyson. What can I say about this boy. He is definatly taking on some of his older brother traits. He loves to build and create things. One day while him and Caleb were playing blocks, he called me in to check out his new "creation."

"Mom, Look!" "He's just like Jesus!"

(yes, that is the penguin from Surfs Up)

This is Noah in his first school concert. The 3rd and 4th graders put on a great "ALL" Holiday concert.

(Noah is on the top row in the tie)

Our sweet monkey turned 10 Months Old!!!

She is the funniest thing alive. This really has to be one of my favorite stages. She now has 6 teeth, she LOVES food, and she gets into everything and anything she can get her hands on. She is the best natured baby. She will wake up and stay in her crib for like an hour just playing and talking and singing. She loves to sing pat a cake and eensie weensie spider and she does all the motions. She has a set of lungs and can SCREAM. She thinks its so funny. She loves to copy the kids. When we are in the car, the kids say a word over and over and she will copy them-But, she still cant way Mama. She says daddy all the time. It really isnt fair. She loves to wave and blow kisses. She loves to dance and she trys to sing when she hears music. She is so alert and she will stare a hole in you if she doesnt know you. She has to study you and make sure your ok before she will let you in. I could go on and on about her, I just love her so much. I cant believe she is almost one. It goes by too fast.

Sunday is Calebs birthday and we are having a little birthday party/Christmas party with Bills brothers and their families-im looking foward to that. Im sure this wont be the last Christmas we are away from family, so Bill and I decided its time we start our own traditions. I would love to hear some of your traditions to give me some ideas.

I hope you all have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!


Just the Begining!!!

What a crazy time. I thought if I started early on the Christmas shopping then I could enjoy the season. Not so. It has been one thing after the next. I feel like I havent even had time to breathe. Living so far away from any good place to shop is a nightmare. I have to drive at least 30-40 minutes just to go to Target. I decided on Monday that I was going to take the night, all night if I had to, and get it all done. It would have been a great night had I not locked my dang keys in the car. I had to wait for Bill to get all the kids up, get them in their coats and load them in the car. By the time he got there, it was 45 minutes later and Costco, my next stop, was closed. When Bill got there, he called and said he was outside and asked where I parked the car. I told him where and as I walked outside, I realized the car was not there. I started freaking out. The people outside must have thought I was crazy. I look in Bills car and him and Noah were dying laughing. I didnt think I locked the keys in the car, I thought I lost them in the store. Bill had an experience a while back when he lost his keys somewhere, I cant remember where, but when he came outside to see if he locked them in the car, he saw 2 guys with his keys pushing the alarm thing to see which car they belonged to. I knew for sure thats what had happened..Someone found the keys, found the car, and stole it along with ALL our christmas presents. I could have killed Bill. Not funny. Anyway, I knew I had to go back to Costco the next day because I had already ordered my Christmas cards. So Last night we decided to go after Noahs Christmas program at his school. He finished at 7:10. Costco closes at 8:30. We zoomed down the canyon and got to Costco at 7:45. Bill fed the kids and I shopped. After spending way too much, as always, we literally stuffed every nook available in the car with food. It was so late when I got home the night before that I never unloaded the car, nor did we unload when we got home the previous Sat. night. So needless to say, the car was packed. I think If I packed it nice it would have not been a problem-we really didnt buy a whole lot of stuff, but I threw everything in because I just wanted to get in the warm car. Im not joking, its been so dang cold. When we got home last night at 9, it was 5 degrees and when Bill took the kids to school this morning, it was NEGATIVE 2. I thought I was in Utah, not freakin Alaska. Sorry for all the snow and cold posts, but its whats goin on in my life. My goal is by the end of this week, to be COMPLETLY done with Christmas and have them all wrapped so I can enjoy Bills birthday on Monday and the last week before Christmas with the kids

Noah and Lani both had Christmas programs with their classes. I dont think I have ever been to such a politcally correct "Christmas" concert. They sang a song from every possible Holiday you could think of, except Haunakka, they sang 3. Im guessing their music teacher is Jewish??? Have you ever heard of Los Posadas?? I have now. It was crazy. Bill and I were cracking up. Its sad that Christmas is totally taken away because you dont want to "offend" anyone. It just confirms to me what a liberal place I live in. Beautiful, but liberal.
I really do love this time of year. I have so many great memories. I have never been away from home on Christmas-this will be the first year and im having a real hard time with it. Im used to my familys Christmas eve and my Aunts Chicken pie, and seeing all my cousins that I really only see this one time a year and then running to Bills family Christmas eve for a fun white elephant gift exchange and the yummiest shredded beef burritos that his uncle John makes (soooo good). We then go home to have the kids find their christmas jammies and then we usually go to Bills house or my house for games and then home to wait for Santa. Its a long day and night, but so much fun. Christmas morning is just as crazy. We open our presents with our little family and then go to my parents for presents and then Bills moms house for presents and then back to my parents house for my dads famous omlets and then home to play with what we got and a nap and then back to Bills moms for games and more food. The day after Christmas usually consists of cards with my family, leftovers and shopping if there are any good sales. So many traditions and things that im used to and its going to be really hard to not have those things this year. My family is big and its hard to transport it all somewhere else, so I guess this is where our little family traditions begin. I hate change. Whoever said change is good was waaaaay off.

These are pictures from our massive "2 feet of snow" storm that hit us this past week. So beautiful when it was falling. This first picture was taken at 2 in the morning when I couldnt sleep. It was not fun the next morning shoveling our driveway while all our neighbors had their snowblowers. The kids of course love it.



Snow Days

Snow, snow and more snow. This last weekend it poured snow-I think we got about 8 inches or so and we are expecting snow the rest of the week. The kids love it and are outside as much as they can. Its so hard for me to get used to all the many layers of clothes on all the kids. Its weird not being able to let them run outside with no shoes on. My favorite part is when I just mop the floor and they trek in snow and mud all over the place. Have I mentioned how much I love it here???


Homework Blues

I dont remember having half as much homework a night as Noah does. He always has like 4 different papers and subjects a night. It is hard for him to focus on anything when his brothers and sisters are playing and having fun and he is stuck doing boring homework. I think tonight he hit his breaking point. He was crying and saying what a bad day it was because he had soooo much homework and it was going to take forever. On top of his homework, he has an essay that is due tomorow for a contest to win free snowboard lessons. He really wants to get these lessons but he didnt want to do the essay. I had to break out the big speech on this one about how nothing worth having is easy and if we really want something we have to work at it and blah blah.. you get the picture. He finally calmed down and went to work. About 10 minutes later he came down for a final inspection and this is what he had written-grammer and all
Im Noah Lomu and I really want to snowboard. I came from Mesa, AZ were it never ever snows and its my first winter in UT. I cant pay becaus PC (park city) has poeple loaded compared to AZ poeple. So pleas please let me snow board.
I was laughing so hard and it made him cry. I think I hurt his feelings, but I could not hold it in. He is so honest and literal about everything-he doesnt sugar coat it. I just had to journal this story. It was just what I needed to finish out the rest of the nights homework with him. We did the essay (Bill actually helped him finish) , put finishing touches on his book report, did a practice spelling test, did his 2 sided math sheet, and finished it off with a comprehension sheet that has to be done with a parent (2 sided) and now its past 10 and he has to read for 20 minutes. Its crazy. Poor Lani-I forget that she also has homework (reading) and that is starting to not get done. I dont know what Im gonna do when she starts having more homework and then Tyson starts school. AHHHH. I was so busy with Noah and Bill wasnt here, when it was bed time for the boys, I told them to get in bed and I will come tuck them in after I finished what I was helping Noah with at that time. Of course, I forgot and I noticed about an hour later that it was completly quiet upstairs. I went to check on them and both boys were in their beds and fast asleep with their blankets over their heads. They have been into "scaring" me when I walk into their room. I think they were waiting to scare me and they both crashed. I should of taken a picture. Its things like this that remind me how lucky I am to be blessed with such sweet kids. The whole day of craziness and yelling and nagging and crying and fighting are erased and I am filled with such joy and love for my kids. Its funny how that happens right when you need reminding the most.



Today was Averys Dr appointment for her head and everything is A-OK . I dont know the exact medical term that was used, but in simple terms, the soft spot on the top of her head closed too soon and its causing a ridge to grow upward. If you feel the top of her head in this one spot, there is a large bump. I never noticed it before, but because of it, her forhead protrudes slightly. Luckily, her case is mild and doesnt require surgery. She will go back when she turns one to make sure all is growing properly. I am so happy that she will not need the helmet. YEA!!!! I have not liked one pediatrician that I have ever had-im being dead serious, not one. I cant say enough good things about the one I have here. She is attentive and thourough and is really interested in the kids well being. The Dr. I saw this morning said the thing that Avery has is rarly caught this early. What a blessing to know that if Averys case was more severe, she would have caught it early enough. If I have to say one good thing about Utah, I guess it would be that I FINALLY have a great Pediatrician!!!! Yea Dr....BOO Snow!!



We have been home for 2 days now and I finally have some time to blog. The laundry is all washed(but not put away) and all the junk from the car is put away. When you go on a trip for that long, its like packing your entire house and then moving back in when you come home. Hard work, but soooo worth it to see family. (I spoke too soon, the baby just woke up. Be back later)
What a week. We left after the kids got out of school on Friday and rolled in about 2 am. Thank goodness for TV screens and new movie releases.
On Sat. we met the Lomu family at the park for a picnic. They had a Neds sub and tons of good food. YUM!! The kids played and had so much fun being able to play outside again. I broke out the shorts and flip flops for this trip. It was so good to see all the family again.
Ana and Sophie.
Drew and Avery werent quite sure about each other, but by the end of the picnic, they were buds!!!

Grandma got a new puppy (Harry Potter Lomu) and Lani would not leave the poor thing alone. Her and Leila followed him everywhere. I bet he was glad when we left.

This girl is the cutest thing. She never will smile at me and she is just now starting to even acknowledge my existence. I was so camera happy at the park and I got some really cute shots of Sophie in action. She is just too cute not to take pictures of.

Sophie Moody

I attempted a photo shoot with Caleb and Tyson. I was trying some new things out with my camera with different lighting and settings. This one of Caleb is my favorite.
These two were wrestling and I snapped this one. So cute.

Now, this kid I could take pictures of all day. He is the most photogenic kid I have ever seen. Those big eyes and huge dimples are too hard to resist. I think I took about 50 pictures of him. This one is my all time favorite.
Drew Taylor

On Sunday, 8:00 church and loungin the rest of the day. I actually cooked dinner and made cinnamon rolls for the whole family. Im not much of a cook, but it turned out pretty good. I used my sister-in-laws homemade lasagna recipie-so good!!! In our house, Sunday = PJ's. After church the kids race to get into their jammies-its the best.

Lani and Mady.

Monday night we went to Bills counsin, Tusi's, daughters 1st birthday party. In the Tongan culture, the 1st birthday is a HUGE event. Tusi had Moki's cater the party. This is one of my favorite places EVER to eat. If you have never been there-you MUST go. Its on the corner of Val Vista and Southern-in the Safeway shopping center. We couldnt stop eating, it was so good.

Bill and the birthday girl, Melenani Lutui.
(she was real happy about her birthday!!)

Bills cousins wife, Crystal is a chef at the Ritz Carlton. You know there will always be good food when Crystal is involved. Her and her sister made this amazing cake. I just had to take a picture of it.
The customary pig. Yuck. This is one custom I will never get used to (or eat)
Bills cousin Tusi. This guy is HUGE and Avery wasnt quite sure what to think of him. It was such a fun night. We always have a good time with this side of the family. Thanks Tusi and Pua!!

On Tuesday night, My parents took us all to Chuck E Cheese. Places like this are the best. You give you kids some tokens and you dont see them the rest of the night. This place was particularly nice because they stamp your hand and your kids cant get out unless they are with the stamped parent. Its nice knowing that if I lose track of one of my kids they arent going to be kidnapped or lost of anything. We also ran into some fellow bloggers. That was a nice surprise.

Tom and my Dad got in some Bball

Noah was the ticket KING. After he got his prizes he said "that was a rip off, I could of gotten this at the dollar store."
We couldnt find Caleb and Britney happend to glance down to find this.
I guess when your tired, your tired. This kid can fall asleep ANYWHERE.

On Wed. night be went bowling with Bills family. I havent been bowling in years. It was so fun and the kids had a blast. I only have pictures of our kids because Bills family are all camera phobes. I tried, but once the camera went up, they all scatter. They told me if I put any pictures of them on my blog they would kill me.

Tyson thought he was so good because he knocked the pins down everytime. I should have played with bumpers too!!!!

This was Ana;s first time bowling. She did pretty good and had really good form.
Lani wanted to be like the grown ups and not use bumpers or the ball roller thingy. She tired it once and didnt like it so much.

Thanksgiving day was full of food, family, and at my house, white trash video games. I have never even heard of this Guitar Hero game before, but apparantly its huge. After about 1 song I wanted to jump through the window. I like all types of music, but the 80's hard rock does not fall in that category.
Curtis thought he was pretty good.

My mom watched Finn while Trent and Jackie went to the ASU game. He couldnt stand the music either.

My parents surprised the kids with a bounce house and some new bikes and scooters. They didnt leave the outside the entire day and night. This is all the kids minus the 2 babys and Madison who wasnt there that night.

We were lucky enough to get to go to both familys Thanksgiving dinners. I think I ate a weeks worth of food in one day. Then the guys all dogged their familys for the game. (my ticket fell through or I would have dogged too!!!!)

On Friday,I am usually up at 4 ready to battle it out for whatever great deal comes my way, but this year I was really dissapointed at the sales. Not too interesting. SO, I slept in until 7 and went with my sister, Stacy to a couple places. There were no crowds at all-I was surprised.
Later that afternoon, my family got together to have a "Family Prepardness" meeting. These are always good to remind us to stay on top of our year supply and 72 hour kits.
Then it was time for round 3 or 4 (I lost count)
Trent and Jackie (she is going to love me for posting this)

The kids played and played and crashed so early, which was a good thing because my parents bought the Wii for Christmas and broke it out early for the adults to play. That game system is seriously the coolest thing. I played ping pong with Stacy and I was totally sore the next morning. This might be on my christmas list!!! ha ha

All the grandkids. It was pure craziness trying to take a decent picture. I guess I shouldnt have waited until the end of the night when they were all dirty and hair a mess.
Such a fun time with both familys. I cant wait to come back at christmas time. The kids really miss their cousins and Grandparents. Thanks for a fun week Malones and Lomus!!!!

Sadly on Saturday it was time for the long journey home.
NOTE TO SELF: Dont wait until the day you are leaving to take family pictures and when you are leaving in 2 hours and havent even packed yet. Because if you do, you might wake up to...
A cranky husband who just learned his schedule was being thrown off because I wanted to take pictures


A sick baby who wont smile or look at the camera. I seriously only got 2 pictures of her looking at the camera and one of her smiling.
She looks so bad in this picture with those huge dark bags. She doesnt do well sleeping in the port a crib.

We had to bribe the kids to smile and be good for the camera. The thing was, we only had one sucker and it caused a lot of fights.

The kids were kinda all in their own worlds most the time. (except Lani who was posing it up for the camera the whole time)

Lani loves animals more than anything. She found this cat wandering the Temple grounds and picked it right up. Sorry Lani, but sadly we will NEVER have a cat.

This was the ONLY picture of Avery smiling and it happend to be in a picture that no one else was looking at the camera. I just thought this was the cutest picture of her and I had to blow it up.

Whew, that was the longest post ever.
Luckily, I was ahead of the game this year and I decorated before we left on our trip. It was nice to come home to a Christmas house. Last night we did Santa letters for family night and today it is snowing so Tyson thinks its Christmas. Im excited for this Christmas season to try and start some new traditions and teach my kids the true meaning of Christmas. We are on the fence about where to have Christmas. Its hard to lug all our stuff to AZ for Christmas and then lug it all back. Do we go for Christmas or leave the day after and stay for New Years? That is the million dollar question.
We already have a scrooge story for this season. Sunday morning when Tyson woke up, he didnt see Bill in bed so he went to the garage and opened the garage door to see if Bills car was here. He didnt shut the garage door when he was done. Someone broke into our garage and took Bills power drill, the boys big remote control hummer, Bills paint gun (but not the tank) and worst of all, they took Bills shot gun. I have no idea how they even saw that. Bill had it hidden on top of the garage shelves out of the kids sight and reach. Weird random things. Its scary knowing someone has his gun. Is this something we need to report?? Im not sure. So, we are all bummed out about that. Not a nice thing to happen during the season.
Anyway-thats all folks!!!!
Merry Christmas.