Saturday, December 31, 2011


I think one of the biggest surprises I've faced as a parent deals with the cyclical nature of each child's behavior and challenges. Some days you can think, "We are doing great. We are on top of things, being polite and loving." And then there are the days when you think, "There has to be something new that I need to try."
Lately Cooper is lazily swimming in one of the most beautiful EASY fazes. He can be a bundle of energy and curiosity (remember the toilet post?), and he is a big kid. Sometimes he doesn't know his own strength and his head is truly a rock. Watch out when you're tickling him, he might break your nose. He is so sweet to his sisters and they in turn follow him around all day.
Steven sent this picture to me that he took this summer. It was one of those moments when you realize that sooner rather then later, these kids are going to be making their own choices and striving to fulfill their own dreams. It makes me want to work that much harder to show them that anything is possible and that including the Spirit in your life allows us all to live the lives we were meant to live.
Happy New Year, let us all strive to achieve our dreams this year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The flu

We have all had it this week. I had forgotten how awful it is. The only upside is that the babies are so lovey.
This little girl literally went from bubbly back to sleepy, snuggly baby. Love her.
Huge kudos to Steven who went through it first and has kept us all going, laundry and all. Way to go babe.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Harses Harses Harses

We love harses around here. We have pictures of them, childhood and adulthood memories of them, and sincere wishes to pass our love of them to our children. We decided that this was the year. When I was in the eighth grade, some very beloved family friends gave us a filly for Christmas. When she was little she truly looked like a calf and we all had a few laughs at her expense. Now she is an amazing horse, both for children and adults. My younger sister and I spent some considerable time getting her to be the horse that she is, and we are so proud of the reliable mare that she has become.
A few years ago we decided to stop boarding her here in Coeur d'Alene because she wasn't getting enough attention and exercise due to our pregnant/busy conditions throughout the family. But since children are getting older and husbands hopefully a bit less allergic, Santa brought Cooper the horse back for Christmas.
Christmas we told the children that Santa had brought them a surprise and we went to our new boarding location in Hayden Lake. It's open and big and beautiful, plus it has numerous other horses for riding and education. We couldn't have been happier, and neither could the kids.

I love this shot because it truly shows how much each person in this family loves these darn kids. 3 photographers, a baby holder, a horse leader, and two side walkers. Can't get much more surrounded then this!
Well, as you can see, Blythe didn't enjoy her turn all that much. I think it was mostly because I had to rip her out of her Aunt Ginny's arms to put her on the horse, and she had to stare at Aunt Liz the whole time she was there. She loves those two Aunties a bit too much, so it truly was salt in an open wound.
This was Abby's turn. When we pulled into the ranch we saw Grandpa Davis first. He was wearing all red and Abby said, "What a surprise, Grandpa is Santa!"

I was so pleased that Abby had such wonderful reaction, she has been talking about horses forever, and I was so glad to see that she loved them in person.
Is something special happening here? Cooper rode as if he had been doing it every single day and that we were all making a big old fuss for nothing. I couldn't have been more pleased.
And Blythe recovered. (Only because I told her Ginny and Liz were coming over for pizza)
Here's to Harses!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Smiles in Front, Smiles in Back

Our Christmas was so stinkin' fun this year.
We had so many fun blessings and surprises, and I felt like this picture summed everything up.
Smiles in the front, and even more smiles behind the scenes.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


The other night we headed over to Liberty Lake for some Daines family caroling. It was such a fun time, but by far the best part was watching my kids with their Aunts and Uncles. They are getting past their reservations and I love it. When Cooper saw this picture of he and Tyler together he said,"Mom, it's me and, and, and, and Uncle Tiger! Followed by a very small, "Rawr".
Yay for family!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Grandparents Christmas

This year my mom and dad took some precious time out of their busy schedules to invite each family over for hot chocolate, cookies, and some adorable Christmas reading time. I was so absorbed in the cuteness of the whole thing, I only took these pictures. The kids are wearing the glasses that mom was wearing when she greeted us.
Merry Christmas Grandma and Grandpa!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Baby Cousins

I present...the frustration of trying to capture a quick picture of adorable, chubby baby cousins with your iPhone. Thought that counts?

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Cooper apparently spent his naptime reducing the number of gifts Santa will be bringing him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Toilet Miracle

So, a few days ago while I was putting away laundry upstairs (this piece of information is important because it proves my theory that laundry sucks and doing it only causes problems..)
I was putting away laundry and Sammy came upstairs to tell me that Cooper had gotten him all wet, and through some intense questioning I learned that Cooper's older cousin Sammy had taught him and his younger cousin Annie to flush things down the toilet. To make matters even more inappropriate they had been flushing our Little People Nativity down the toilet.
So, the plumber was called and he patiently took our toilet off and manage to pry all of these guys out of the toilet. (That's 9 toys total that got stuck and didn't get in the main line. Miracle.) While he was pulling them out Abby cried out, "There's Christmas in our toilet!" Which is a true testament that there is good in every event, and also that you can find the spirit of Christmas anywhere.
Huge thanks to Scott for rushing right over and teaching the kids such a huge lesson.
Hurray for other people with kids who have done this before!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We had a truly amazing Thanksgiving this year. We headed out to Hayden Lake in the beginning of November to hang out there for a while. We were so lucky to be settled and toasty before we got hit with a big snowstorm. It was so beautiful to watch the snow fall over the lake and onto the water. Family who came out to hang out with me that day weren't quite so lucky when trying to get out of the steep driveway, but it was amazing anyway!
After a few weeks, the Davis family came out for Thanksgiving. It was such a throwback to be able to all hangout before the holiday and then to be back together super early for breakfast in jammies. We had so much fun the night before staying up and having treats while Kami cooked for hours. Early the next morning we watched the parade and had breakfast while the younger kids played horse and cowboy. It was almost a little too ideal, but the occasional injury took care of that.
Throughout the day people came and went to other family dinners. We headed to the Daines family dinner which was amazing. There were a few hiccups along the way, including Cooper spilling orange soda twice, once on his Grandma Daines. And I can't forget to mention that Abby fell out of her chair and hit her head on the ground, really hard. We kept her with us for quite a while after that one In the end the food was all cooked, people were happy, and it was maybe the most perfect Thanksgiving I've ever participated in. The only problem was that our Javier's decided to go to Hawaii right in the the middle of the whole thing! We missed them a great deal but we concede that James's family should get a holiday or two! We missed them.
I asked Kaci to take pictures in the morning, and then forgot about my still camera the rest of the day. So, we have morning/breakfast pictures...enjoy!

The only picture we have of Blythe the whole day, so typical of her right now. 100 miles an hour everywhere.

Mason read scriptures for us that morning, and was hands down the best helper we had all day. Kids, food, chores...he's your man!

The night before I taught the tweens a cup rhythm game that we used to play at girls camp. It kept them entertained and made a ton of noise, much to the chagrin of their parents and my own. But come on, I remember being told to be quiet all the time, that's when you know you are having fun!

What the.

Our little Liz was such a trooper and a huge helper, pregnant and all.

What an amazing Thanksgiving. It was so fun to all be together.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


We love our little Abby. She is our little parrot and such a sweet piece of our family. It dawned on me the other day that Blythe is about the age that Abby was when she got her first pair of glasses. I couldn't believe how little she was, she seemed so much older. We took Ab to the eye doctor last week and they told us that her eyes are improving. It was such great news and we were so happy for her to progress. But even though her future without glasses is very far away, I found myself wondering what her little face would look like without her super cute specs. She's adorable either way, but I sure do love seeing her little glasses and cheeks.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Baby Blythe's Parachute Dress

Every girl in our family has had their pictures taken in this dress at age 1, from my mom down to Baby Blythe. The dress is made from a World War 2 parachute, and it's getting so fragile. We are so lucky to have such a fun family tradition and also to have our favorite photographer willing to snap a few pics of our kids. (Thanks again Randi!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Linder

For years and years my wonderful mother has used her expertise to strengthen other people's companies, making them extremely successful. Finally she is branching out on her own and allowing people to see how extremely talented she is. I was so proud to go watch her speak at the Spokane Convention Center. We brought along a few of the quiet grandkids to see...

Abby really was thrilled, but this part of the day happened to be during nap time....way to go Mom!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'm Back Part 2

(Favorite moment of the night, Cooper stood in front of my Dad's truck and used the force to turn the lights on and off. So cute!)

I'm back!