Friday, December 26, 2008

A Merry Little Christmas

Yesterday was Christmas.

It was wonderful.

We ate food, laughed, cried, hugged, snuggled, traveled, chimed, opened presents, entertained, played, watched, and, mostly, enjoyed the beautiful reason for the season.

Now we're tired. But that's not going to stop us from heading to Arizona for a little Christmas break vacation. Wish us luck on our journey and look for a blog post with pictures (yay!) next week!

We hope Christmas was as wonderful for you as it was for us!

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

This is what Christmas looks like at our humble home. Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sick Day!

No, not me. My computer. It has a virus.

Is it better that my computer's sick instead of me? I'm not sure about that one. It makes me sick to my stomach to see what this virus has done to my precious computer. And it makes it hard to function in life without my computer's help.

What would YOU rather? Being sick yourself? or your computer being sick?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turkey Day Pix

Thanksgiving was fantastic this year. We had such fun chatting, playing, laughing, relaxing, and just being together with Mimi and Papa at their home. Laren and Mimi were the chief cooks, with Papa and I acting as sidekicks.

Doesn't that turkey look divine?We were happy to be able to host a couple from China who are attending BYU. They were a joy to visit with and handled the kids' noise without any problems at all. We're hoping they'll join us again on Christmas Day!At some point during the meal, Christian became a caveman......but the kids all acted like civilized human beings when it was time to perform in the talent portion of the evening. Hope all your Thanksgiving celebrations were enjoyable as well!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Holidays...

...Happy Holiday Shopping!

I so look forward to Thanksgiving for the yummy food and great quality time spent with my family. But, I have to admit, as soon as that newspaper comes on Thanksgiving, I am at the kitchen table poring over the ads and outlining my shopping strategy for the next morning, early! This year it's even easier...Walmart's Black Friday ads are now online.

Click HERE to see the ads for Orem, which is where I'll be! It looks like they are having some screaming deals this year! And, here's a little secret, if you see a fantastic deal in another store's ad that you know you can find at Walmart, you can price-match it! Simply take the store's ad in and match exactly the item that you want. Worked for me last year! And it will save you time driving all over town.

(The only catch is that they won't price-match anything that isn't during the shopping times of the store to match with. Does that make sense? For example, if I wanted to price-match a doll that's on sale at Target for $10, but Target doesn't open until 6 am, I can't buy it at Walmart until 6 am.)

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Loved It!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cache Rocks!

We love Cache County!

It is where we:
moved when Abbie was 8 months old
bought and finished our beautiful "sun" home
had our second baby, Christian
finished Laren's bachelor's degree
were hired by CES
lived in a hotel
sent Abbie to preschool

It's also the place that Abbie chose to do her "County Fair" report. Researching that fabulous county, we learned much that we didn't know and now we consider ourselves professional Cache County lovers!Here she is explaining different places of interest to fellow students. She had all the right answers!We sure hope we get an A on this project!Don't get us wrong...we love Utah County as well, but there will always be a little piece of our hearts "cached" in Cache County!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

62 is gorgeous!

My fabulous mom had her 62nd birthday on Friday. We celebrated by a Skype call to Thailand, a delicious family-friendly dinner at IHOP......and then a chocolatey chocolate-topped chocolate cake back at the house. My birthday present to my mom (wait...maybe that should be LAREN'S present to my mom which benefited me and Abbie as well) was a pedicure! We had such fun visiting together while our feet were pampered in a hot, bubbling waterbath! I adore spending time with my mom. She truly is a fantastic mother, grandmother, and friend.I LOVE YOU, MOM!And my kids kinda like you, too!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Me & My Girls

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Yes, it's a little late, but such is my life. Here are some pix of the kids in their Halloween costumes. We had such a great time at the city's Trunk or Treat and then later Mimi and Papa joined us trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.The weather was fantastic, the kids got TONS of treats, and we watched "E.T." afterwards! What a great night!

Friday, November 7, 2008



Wednesday, November 5, 2008



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cloud Nine

That's where I've set up camp since hearing that not one, but BOTH of my amazing, wonderful, and fabulous sisters are going to be coming home to Utah! And not just to visit...they're coming for good!!!

(Pause to jump up and down and do the Happy Dance!)

I adore my sisters!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dancing with the Stars

I saw this on my friend's blog and just had to share it!

Friday, September 26, 2008


I needed to get them off my camera, so I thought I'd share these videos with you of our little Amelia and some of her budding dance talents.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Overheard at my house a LOT lately is the following interaction, over and over again:

BJ: "Mia, I'll say "ding-ding" and you say "bum-bum", okay?
Mia: "Day." ("Okay" in 18-month-old)
BJ: "Ding-ding!"
Mia: "Bum-bum!"
Both giggle and then it starts again.

Now tell me...why is it so funny and cute when a young, young child says anything to do with potty humor? It's definitely not funny OR cute when said by any of my big kids, but when Mia says it - I admit - it makes me smile.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Nap?

Amelia has given up her morning nap within the last month or so. Still, each day she struggles to be happy and stay awake until after lunchtime when her afternoon nap rolls around. Yesterday she seemed a little tired and cranky, so I thought I'd try the morning nap, just in case.

It was nice! I was able to do "school" with BJ and his friend, Haven. I taught all about the letter "P". I even made Peanut butter Play-doh and Printed Pictures for them to color. All without any baby in my arms. I was worried that she wouldn't sleep for her regular afternoon nap, so I woke her up a little before 11 am and we played and played.

At around 12:30, I laid her down for her nap, knowing that she might not be too happy about it. She fussed for a while, so I gave up and pulled her out of bed. She didn't really seem like she wanted to play, so I changed her diaper on the floor and then turned on a short movie for her to watch. She didn't move from her spot after the diaper change. I kept checking on her to see her enthralled in the movie, but pretty soon, I heard her snoring. This is what I found...If you know my kids, you know that this type of relaxation NEVER happens in front of a movie! I repeat, NEVER! That's why I had to snap a picture of it...who knows when it will ever happen again?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Super Week (Part 3...the end!)

I couldn't write about our super week last week without posting pictures of Abbie's 9th birthday! Her birthday was Sunday, the 17th, so we spread out the celebration for 3 days...lucky girl! Friday evening we went out to see "Kit Kittridge: An American Girl". What an adorable movie! We all enjoyed it, even the boys. Saturday we got to go out to dinner with Mimi and Papa, THEN Abbie got to pick out her own Build-a-Bear friend.After that fun, we went to the Grandview 6th Ward Alumni Party, where we swam and slid until they kicked us out. (No pictures because we were having too much fun!) Sunday morning I made Abbie and the rest of the fam a yummy breakfast, we all went to church (where she got to be a "reverence monitor" in sacrament meeting), then came home to play! One of the presents she received for her birthday was a digital camera, so we dusted off our old one that works perfectly well and gave it to her with a new camera bag, new batteries, and a battery charger. She was in heaven!And here is her birthday cake, made lovingly by her daddy. (It took her a while to figure out that the "dirt" was just Oreo crumbs.)Overall, it was a fun few days spent celebrating the life of our sweetheart, Abigail! Love you, Abs!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Super Week (Part 2)

Last Thursday night was GNO! It's always so much fun to get together with my PHS friends (Go Bulldogs!) and talk and eat and talk and laugh and talk and eat some more! This month was special because ALL of us were there, so we had to take some pictures...
I don't know what I'd do without my GNO girls!!! They're Gr-r-reat!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Superly Super Week!

Our week has been chock-full of fun! And since I remembered to take my camera around with me, I thought I'd share some pix of this week's events, starting with today and going backwards. Here we go:

I think this might be one of the best pictures ever taken of our sweet Mia. It captures her beautiful smile and...wait a minute...what's that I see in her eyes? Could it be a little bit of mischief?Oh, now I remember what she was doing during that shot...That's right, folks. Mia just couldn't resist getting into the bathtub with her big bro, BJ...fully dressed! She likes to keep me on my toes!

Earlier today, my parents joined us for a few fun-filled hours of blanching, dicing, chopping, filling and boiling.We ended up bottling 17 quarts of peaches and 33 pints of homemade salsa. And the best part is that ALL of the ingredients were from our own backyard! Yay!

Last night my great friend, Heather, and I went to a couple Education Week classes at BYU. It was so fun for two SAHM's who needed some inspiration and a little "alone" time. I can't wait to go again next year!
Okay, the rest of the week is to be continued...stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to Routine (aka "School")

I can't tell you how happy I am that school is back in session. Not because the summer was boring or awful in any way -- or because my kids are driving me crazy -- or even because I have two less kids in the house now...I am just so thrilled to get back into our "school routine", where we know what is expected and we DO IT!Our summer was awesome. We got to do lots of fun things and we made some great memories! But I am now ready for school and, good news, so are my kids! They are so excited to see their friends again, make some new friends, and get to know their new teachers. It will be a very fun year for all! I have to admit, though, that I'm really going to miss them. Christian will be gone all day this year and it's going to seem a little empty at our lunch table without him there!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

9 years old!

Today is Abbie's 9th birthday! Can you believe it...9!?!?! It seems like she just turned 8 four weeks ago! She has always been "my big girl", but now she's truly a big girl. It makes me physically sick to think that in just 9 more years she'll be off to college! And (as my parents kindly pointed out last night at dinner) 9 years after that and she may have 4 kids of her own! Yikes! Okay...that's the last time I'm going to think about that today!Maren Abigail Hawkins ("Abbie") is one of the best people in this world, truly! She is always concerned about other people's feelings and does her best to make everyone around her happy. She is a very loyal person and extremely loving. She loves her iPod, her books, and having quiet time without any brothers, but mostly just loves having fun with her family! We sure love having her around! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ABBIE!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Banjo Boy

For you unfortunate people who may not have seen this awesome video by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband, here ya go! You'll love it!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hallelujah! I'm ready!

I'm set! I've got my new computer, new HUGE monitor, new printer, new speakers, new keyboard, and a new mouse!I'm telling you, it has been extremely frustrating not to have internet access this past week, but now I'm up and running! My only problem amidst all this excitement and celebration is that ALL of my pictures are stuck on my old computer. Give me some time to try to recover them. Until then, rest well knowing that I will be staring into a big 22" monitor until my eyes pop out of my head! Hip, hip, hooray!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Gone, But Not Forgotten!

We've had such a great summer and really want to tell you all about it, but our computer is DEAD! Literally -- it won't even TRY to work! So...we're in the process of getting a new computer!!! Yay! Just be patient with me...I will be making an appearance soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just for kicks!

What do you remember about me?

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, or if you just met me, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Really, don't consider yourself "tagged". I don't like to "tag" people. But, this was on my friend's blog and it was a lot of fun posting my memory of her, so I thought I'd see what people can dig up on me. Play along only if you want to.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Hero!

My grandpa, Wayne W. Ottley.
He was asked to ride in the 4th of July parade as a World War II veteran.

This man is definitely a living hero!