Sunday, December 12, 2010

First Hair Cut

Benson was born with this amazing Hair. It was kind of a combination of gold, and this beautiful brown color. We couldn't tell if he would go light like Carter, or dark like Layla. His hair grew and grew, and I didn't want to cut it, because I loved it so much. After weeks a Craig commenting on Benson's old man comb over I finally gave it, and gave grandma a call.
Grandma Hall has given all our kids their first haircut, so we wanted to keep with tradition. I got a couple of before and after photos for you to enjoy. In Benson's defense, he isn't really making that funny face ALL The TIME, but he does it almost every time he sees the light on my camera...and we like to laugh about it. Love you Benson.
Thank you Grandma Hall for being wonderful, and taking good care of us. We love you lots.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Little Dancer

Layla started dance lessons this year with 3 of her sweet little friends. They had their Christmas show last weekend, and they were super cute. If I can figure out how to post it I will. Let me just say, Layla was hilarious! I love this little angel so much, and love to watch her grow.

Oh Christmas Tree

The other night we planned to decorate our Christmas tree, but making ginger breat houses took way longer than planned. So, plan B, we could do it the next night.
The next night Craigs old boss surprised us that he wanted to take us out for dinner, so we went to plan C...the next night.
That night Craig had to go to mutual, so we thought we could do it when he got home. We had a string of visitors after he got home, one of which was our Stake President (We got a new Bishopric on Sunday, so Craig was released as the first Counselor...for 5 minutes, before they put him back in with the new Bishop). By the time we were ready to do the tree it was pretty late, but we knew it wouldn't happen any other night that week, so we pressed forward.
It was fun to hear Craig tell the kids about all of his old ornaments, and to watch the kids try to find the perfect branch for each one. I love so many things about Christmas, and decorating the tree is at the top of my list.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

ginger bread houses, mobile homes, and out houses

Grandpa and Grandma Hall came over the other night, and we made gingerbread houses...the easy kind, with grahm crackers in stead of gingerbread. We kind of paired off into 3 teams, the Grandparents team, the girl team, and the boy team. When we were done we ended up with an out house from the grandparent team, a mobile home from the girl team, and a cute little house whith a car from the boy team...who would have thought.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A thanksgiving song..kind of

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving...I know I did. This year was my families turn to have us for Thanksgiving, and all four sisters were able to make it, but neither of the brothers. I was nervous a little, because we haven't ever prepared a thanksgiving dinner without my Mom to head it up, but I think she would be proud of us. We pulled it together, and it was beautiful. The children, the mayflower replicas made out of paper placed on the tables as centerpieces, the hand made name plates at each table setting, the hand cut napkin rings with turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indians on them, the sparkling lights filling the room from the disco ball slowly spinning on the ceiling, and last but not least...the food. Oh the food. We ate like kings and queens...and princess of course (Layla was there you know).

The only thing that could have made it better would have been to have the rest of my family there. I knew before hand that a couple families wouldn't be able to come, so I recorded this little jig for them. My brother in law had his projector set up for the kids to watch movies in one room, so we played this on it after our feast.

It is kind of a scary thing to write a song, and share it with others, because it can be such a personal thing. In this case, it definitely is. I wrote "rely on my dreams" about my Mom after she passed away, and I didn't think I would ever share it with people, but I built up the nerve to record it for my family. I thought it would be a nice tribute to Mom, and help us all keep her in our thoughts on this day to be grateful. We do have so much to be grateful for in this year of trials. It has been a tough one for all of us, but I can see that we have been so incredibly blessed through our trials, and are coming out of them with deeper understanding, strength, gratitude, respect, and love.

After hearing the song, one of my sisters has been convincing me to share it. I have to say, I had a cold and was starting to lose my voice when I sang it's not the best, but I hope the message can still touch your heart. Maybe remind you of someone you have loved, and are separated from for now.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

life happens

Wow, things just keep moving right along, and when I say "things" I really mean life.

here is a fast catch up moment on what has happened since our fun weekend:

*Foot surgery.
Somehow we didn't take any pictures...probably for the best. On September 9 I had surgery on both of my feet. Bunionectomies on both sides + neuromaectomy (I obviously don't know the correct terminology here, my spell checker is going mad) on my left foot = me in a wheelchair for 2 weeks. It really wasn't all that bad though, because I got to stay with Judy for the first was like an extended slumber party (that I was really drugged up for, providing the entertainment for everyone else). She was amazing! BIG thank you to you Judy, we for real couldn't have made it through those first couple of weeks without you.

*Laylas first Day of Preschool.
I love her face in the picture of her holding her backpack. She was saying "this is willly heavy"
We are doing a preschool group with some friends from the ward. These two little girls also go to dance with Layla, and they both say they are going to merry Carter.

*Carters first Day of Kindergarten.
He was super excited to go to "real school" as he calls it, but he got a little nervous when we got there. We stood next to his classroom door waiting for his class to come in from outside, and he whispered in my ear "Mom, I'm a little scared". I told him that his job that day was to make one new friend, and tell me about them when he came home. After school when I picked him up he said "Mom, you said to make one new friend, but I made two. Isn't that great?" I am proud of him for sticking it out, and going outside his comfort zone.

"What is that in Laylas hair, and all over her face?" you may be asking yourself. Well, that's what we call home grown organic eggs. They say it's good for your pores, and really makes your hair sparkle...OK, maybe not. Layla decided to she was going to be helpful by checking for eggs, and picking the ripe tomatoes for me while I fed Benson. She filled her shirt with tomatoes, and carefully carried a new egg in the house. When she got to the kitchen the tomatoes spilt out of her shirt, and squashed on the floor. She tried to reach down to clean them up, and used her other hand to steady herself by holding onto the table above her head. That would have worked great, but she forgot she was holding an egg in that hand. So the egg broke over her head, and dripped down her cheek.
I failed to mention this was my first day home alone after my double foot surgery, so I was still in the wheel chair. I was in the front room feeding Benson, and heard Layla scream like she had just lost a limb, so I jumped up and got to her as fast as I could (killing myself in the process), to find this picture.


*Benson growing too fast
He just likes to hang out with us, and chill. He is pretty much the most amazing baby ever, he is so good. We are all totally and completely in love with him, and I never really put him down except when I have to share him with Craig and the kids.

*Layla started dance..which is a pretty dang big deal if you know her at all.
I took this picture of her after her first lesson, and I said "Layla, can I take your picture?" she said "OK, wait", posed herself like this, and said "OK, go ahead". She is such a crack up, and keeps us laughing every day.

*Harvesting the garden.
Our garden has been incredible this year, but I didn't really take any pictures of our reaping we got from the sowing. Just these pictures of the big sunflower Carter grew. He would go out to water it every day, and check on it's progress.

he is just so cute, I had to slip another shot of him in here

We have been busy with lots of other stuff too, but i don't have pictures, so that will have to do.

Halloween is just around the corner, so I'll get those pictures posted next week. Hope you all have a great Halloween, and dress your kids in super cute little costumes.

Love, Susan

Thursday, October 14, 2010

one jam packed crazy fun memory making weekend

WARNING: extremely long entry, may cause drowsiness and/or dizziness.

We made our annual trip to -------- a few weeks ago. It was Crazy fun like always. The reason for the secrecy is per request of the owner. We were talking to her while we were there, and she was saying the they are already booked for 2011, and filling up fast for 2012. They NEVER thought it would become as popular as it has, and they are thankful for the fun they can give, but they don't so much want any more people to find out they exist, or call them. Lucky for us, we already know, and they can't get rid of us now, Waaahaaaahaaa.

This was the first reunion my family has had since our Mom passed away, we haven't all (everyone but Paul and Janelle) been together since the funeral, so we missed Mom deeply. We kicked the weekend off at the best kept secret in Idaho, playing on the 700 foot slip-n-slide, 500 foot zip line, playground, mud football pit, waterfalls, and such greatness as that. Here are a few images of the fun we much better in person.

The next day everyone (but me) ran in the "running the gap" marathon. Some actually did the marathon...OK, only one person actually ran the full marathon, but hey it sounds cool huh. My Brother Matt is CrAZy and amazing. He only trained for 4 weeks for the marathon, and we are talking he went from not running AT ALL to running 26 miles in 4 weeks....CRAZY! I look up to him a ton, for lots of other reasons too.
The rest of the family ran everything from the half marathon to the 1.5k for the kids.

That night some of us went to a wedding reception at Maridales (previously mentioned), and it was absolutely magical! Whimsical if you will. I mean really, It was incredible. So happy we had the chance to see it in it's prime.

The next day Craig gave Benson a name and a blessing...the name was Benson G. Hall. The G stands for "G". you know, like "whats up G?".
OK, so it actually stands for his grandpas. Their names both start with G, and we wanted to honer them both, so we just went with G. That's what I like to call "playen it safe".

After the blessing luncheon my side of the family all went out to my Moms grave (first time), and that was an emotional visit for us all. We had a bunch of flowers (that's a whole nether cool story where the flowers came from), so each of us (grown ups and grandchildren) gave a flower to Grandma Anna, and one to My Dad, and told our favorite memory or story with that grandparent. After that anyone that wanted a chance to say something about "Grandma Leslie" (my mom) got to have the floor...or grass. It was a very special afternoon, and we all felt very close to Leslie our Mom, Grandma, Daughter, and Wife.

The next and final day of the reunion was pretty dang cool. You see, we had it all planned, and it was cool. Here is what we did for the reunion.

Theme- Climb
song- "Go climb that mountain" by Mercy River
Book- "The Travelers Gift" by Andy Andrews

We talked about what it means to climb. Literally and in our lives. After that we listened to the theme song, it's about having willing feet, and taking one step at a time. after that Judy passed out shirts for every one that she made. They said "Climb, Romriell 2010" and had a picture of a person climbing, they were a great touch. Prior to the reunion we all read the book on our own, and the book has 7 decisions of a successful person. Each of us (6 kids) and my Dad choose a decision, and planned an activity to go along with our decision. We talked to the kids about the topic, and hoped they learned something from it...if not, at least they had fun.

Judy did "I will persist without exception" (#7) and we went on a hike...or a climb, if you will. She had jogged the trail a few days before and taken pictures of landmarks along the way. She passed out the pictures to the kids and numbered them, so the kids knew "I have number 1, so my land mark will be first" or whatever. the kid with #1 lead the group up the trail, and when we got to his land mark he stopped, and read a cool quote by someone famous about climbing. It was really cool.

the other activities I can remember were

1."The buck stops here" Matt, making and flying paper air planes in the holt arena. (I don't remember exactly how he tied that in, but it fit really well)

2. "I will seek wisdom" Annabeth, she did a treasure hunt.

3. "I am a person of action" Me, we played freeze dance.

4. "I have a decided Heart" Joanne, and I'm drawing a blank on her activity. (sorry)

5. "Today I will choose to be Happy" Dad, gave us a great talk about how being happy is a choice we make. Even when bad things happen, we can be happy if we choose it.

6. "I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit" nobody had this week...but it is a really good one too:)

I felt like I had been at EFY, The weekend was uplifting, fun, and tiring. What more can I say, I loved it.