2009 Year In Review

Looking back, these posts best capture and represent the past year (click on each month for a link to the post):


Wishing you all a Happy New Year!


A Sunbeam! A Sunbeam!

Lexi has reached a major milestone in her churchy life. She has officially graduated from Nursery and will be moving into Primary (with all of the big kids!!!). Her nursery leaders had a cute graduation ceremony, complete with a graduation cap shaped cake, for the three kids who will be the next Sunbeams class.

  At home, we talked about her new class. She has been very excited to finally be with her friends (some of her preschool friends are already in Primary since their birthdays fall before January).

   Doesn't she look so excited!?!

 Full cooperation, as always.

There we go. By the end of things, she was happy again. She's looking forward to her first Sunday as a Sunbeam this week. We hope she loves her class and her new teacher.

Yay Lexi!

Name That Movie

We have 4 people in our family. Can anyone tell me why my kitchen looks like this after every. single. meal?


Christmas 2009

Christmas Eve we talked about the birth of Jesus and asked Lexi to tell us the story. This is her take: "Jesus was bored; he was a baby. It's his birthday. He's gonna grow up bigger, bigger bigger! And we know he came because there was a star and the three wise mens came and gave him presents. His mom is Mary and his dad is Jopepsh." After that, Lexi set out cookies and chocolate milk for Santa and promptly went to bed so that he would be able to make his stop at our house.

The kids slept in until 7:30 which was much appreciated by us parents who had a late night. As she walked down the hall this morning, Lexi asked us if Santa had come. When she turned the corner and saw the stockings, she ran over to check to see if the milk and cookies were gone. And they were! After going through the stockings, Lexi handed out the presents. She could actually read the tags and put the presents in the right piles. Addie loved opening her gifts and actually played with the toys she got, rather than the boxes and bows. Lexi opened two presents and then declared, "I'm opening one more and then I'm done." She proceeded to do just that and then started playing with a toy we have owned for years that she's ignored for most of that time. Figures. Lexi ate nothing but pez and ring pops until lunch time.


After we got some real food in Lexi, she decided to give her new toys a go. She got a digital camera and by the end of the day had taken 250 pictures.

And since one can always tell how Christmas has been by the aftermath:

we're counting this one as a success.

We wrapped up our day with dinner at a friend's place. We enjoyed a great Christmas this year. We loved seeing Lexi embrace the story of our Savior and look forward to watching our other kids develop the same enthusiasm for the traditions associated with this special time of year. We wish you a peaceful and joyful Holiday season, too.

Merry Christmas!


Givin' 'Em Something to Talk About

While we're not quite ready to landscape the front yard, we keep making small improvements as we go. Usually, this creates quite the stir in the neighborhood. You see, a few months before we moved in, the weeds were as tall as the house, there was an eternally burning pile of trash in the front yard (yes, the previous owners put their trash in a pile, in the front yard - no less -, and lit it on fire), and the starved goats could be found dead in the backyard. The entire neighborhood has been watching our attempt at turning this place around and is eagerly awaiting the finished product. Our next door neighbor says she waiting until we're finished to have her house re-appraised. Even the mail lady makes regular comments about how nice the place is starting to look.
Here are the before pics:

We rented a tractor and ordered 30 tons of rock to be delivered over Thanksgiving weekend.

Allen and his helpers prepped the driveway and side yard.

Bring on the trucks...


It was at this point, we realized our order of 30 tons was not gonna cut it. So, we asked for 30 more.

And that was barely enough. But, the money tree died before we could place another order. It is what it is.

Lexi didn't want to miss a minute, but was pretty tired by the end of the day. So, she decided to take a little break on the tractor.

While we were at it, we decided to tear out some of the walkway, rip and then grade the front yard.

At this point, Lexi finally threw in the towel (we're on day 3 of this project, by the way) and went inside for a nap. Allen was riding around out front, or so I thought. I was in our room and I hear this screaming whisper, "Traci! Traci! I think I broke the water main." Turns out, the previous owners did another genius repair and replaced part of the main water line (which is always made of copper pipe) with PVC. All Allen did was drive over the dumb pipe and it burst. We ran out to the water main to shut off the valve and it has some special lock that can only be turned with a special tool. We do not have the special tool. Thankfully, within Allen's arsenal we found something that worked and got it turned off (this was after calling the emergency number and then calling them back to let them know we had shut it off so not only do we have a leaking water main, but we feel like idiots). Two things went through our minds: 1) It's 4 o'clock on Friday of Thanksgiving weekend. We have a busted water main. That means no water to the house. This also means our chances of getting all of the parts we need before the stores close are looking pretty slim. 2) Saturday morning at 8 a.m. we have Christmas pictures in Albuquerque! And no water! Which means no baths! And no showers! AAAAAAHHHH!!!!

A broken water main is no small project. I looked at Allen and said, "How long will it take to fix this?" He said, "I think I have all of the parts in the garage!" I jumped on the tractor to keep working while Allen fixed that pipe in under 20 minutes. How grateful was I that 1) Allen can fix a water main without thinking twice and 2) we had all of the parts on hand? Super-duper grateful 'cause those Christmas pictures turned out dang cute.

After all of the drama, here is what we're looking at now:

White Christmas

Snowball fight!

Is it evil to laugh when your kid falls down?

Allen taught Lexi to throw snowballs at the car. Thanks, guys.

When it comes to snow, a little goes a long way and we got just enough to have some fun.


Three of a Kind

It's official: we're having another girl. At 20 weeks, she weighs in at 1 lb. 1 oz and is totally perfect. She's due April 28th, 2010.

Some people have asked us if we're happy or sad about having another girl. After slapping them across the face politely smiling, I lovingly explain that we know that exactly who is supposed to be in our family will be and we'll take them however they come. What they don't know, as they try to feign interest in our family planning, is our rocky reproductive history. This is the first time we've ever had a viable pregnancy without a miscarriage preceding it. After 6 pregnancies, we have our little routine that has proven to be successful and helped us get our two girls here. We find out at 3 weeks gestation that I'm preggers, I go on drugs, we have ultrasounds every two weeks until about weeks 9 or 10, we are especially careful about how much work I do and exactly what type of work I do and we utter prayers at every opportunity. So far, this plan has worked out. Oh, and the timing has obviously been right. If there's one thing we learned from our journey in trying to get these little spirits to Earth is that we are so not in charge and part of a much bigger plan.

We welcome the opportunity to bring another daughter of our Heavenly Father into our home. Allen has embraced being a father of girls and looks forward to teaching them to weld, fix cars, love science and math, go hiking and backpacking, and do all the fun things that will help them to become the well-rounded people they can be. Most of all, though, we look forward to watching our little curly haired babies grow into beautiful women who love the gospel, serve others, bring joy into the lives of those they know and have fond memories of the family they grew up with. We can't wait to meet this newest member of our family in April. (And don't be sayin' it could be May 'cause it's not. It's going to be April. And not one day later.)

See you in April baby girl!

About Me

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.