Sunday, November 29, 2009


Will discovered that his pants had pockets. Boy was he impressed with this seemingly minor detail! Then Grandma showed him that you can keep money in your pockets. Wow! He couldn't stop saying, "Money! Money! Pockets!" Yesterday morning he woke up at 5 am and I put him in bed between John and me hoping he would fall asleep. He just kept chattering away, until I said, "Will, I'll give you a dollar if you go back to sleep." He said, "Dollar? Money? Okaaaaay!" It's great to have a way to bribe him. Thanks Grandma!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Our family shared a perfect Thanksgiving weekend with John's parents and our nephew, Lawrence. The Thanksgiving feast was great, and it was wonderful to reflect together on how much we have to be grateful for, especially for the time to be together. John reads to us from the Bible
Prayers of gratitude Saturday we got ready for the start of Advent on Sunday by decorating our tree. Lawrence helped John get the star on the top.
The boys enjoyed hot chocolate by the fire and watched the snow fall outside. This morning we awoke to a peaceful white world--until the boys ran outside for a snowball fight! It was a perfect weekend and a beautiful start to Advent.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stuffing Day!

In case anyone may have forgotten from last year, Stuffing Making Day is my FAVORITE day of the year! When I was little all the women got together on the night before Thanksgiving and made my godmother's Portuguese stuffing. I remember those days full of cooking, laughing and togetherness and my heart is full. Last year was the first year that I had no female family members to make stuffing with, so I enlisted the help of my men. It was so successful that we did it again this year and they were tons of help! The big news is that for the first time we did not make Aunt Betty's Portuguese Stuffing, instead we made this recipe http://http//
and boy is it delicious! I feel like I am betraying my godmother, but I 'm going to have to say, it's the best stuffing ever! Can't wait to eat it on Turkey Day! Sam chops the rosemary
Jake chops the onions and celery
Will has his first sip of sparkling cider...yum!

Two little turkeys browning the onions

What a goofy boy!
John made Sam laugh so hard he blew his sparkling cider out his nose!

This is where we post our blessings as we think of them throughout November.
It is good to be reminded of how abundant they are.
Bedtime stories read by big brother. What could be sweeter?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jake's Big Day

Last Saturday we went to the American Heritage Festival in Phoenix to celebrate Jake's birthday. He counted down the days to this event and it did not disappoint. They had re-enactors from the Revolutionary War through Vietnam and they held battles from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. There were also interactive exhibits from many different historical periods. Jake was in his element! Needless to say, we left the festival with the necessary paperwork for Jake to become a re-enactor. The problem is what era...last week he only cared about the Civil War...this weekend he is focused on WWII again!

Will loved the canons...he didn't even want the ear protection!

Jake and President Lincoln

Mr. Lincoln gave will a copy of his portrait...on a penny. We didn't have the heart to tell the President that it's not okay for babies to have pennies.
Jake questions this Revolutionary War soldier about his flintlock rifle.

This family was too cute. The little girl playing with her corn husk doll was darling!

This little Confederate Soldier melted my heart.

And girls in sun bonnets...texting the old fashioned way.
I'm dying with all these cute kids. I guess it will be fun to see my boys in these little get ups as well!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Our Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Here is the video clip of the Arizona Highways TV show we were on. I'll just say it now, I look awful! Ugh! We had been hiking, so I have no makeup, my hair is awful--and of course I end up on TV! But John and the kids look cute and Lockett Meadow is gorgeous!
Unfortunately, they cut the scene I told you about earlier where Sam was waving his bayonett. I can't imagine why! So if you have an extra three minutes check it out:


Last weekend our friends Connie and Julia visited from Virginia. Connie founded and heads up Angioma Alliance. Connie's daughter, Julia, has had four brain surgeries, just like Sam. They have only had three opportunities to visit with eachother, but Sam and Julia definitely have a connection. It's good that they have a friend who can understand, even if they choose not to talk about their illness and just play pretend or video games. Just like kids should!

Jake is 12!!

Jake turned twelve November 7th. He is changing so much--where has our funny baby gone? He is growing into a funny, caring and smart young man. We can't wait to see what comes next with Jake, he always keeps us on our toes! He requested a Civil War cake two days before his birthday. This was the best I could do on short notice!
He was off to play with his friends and wouldn't even hold still so I could get a picture in front of this beautiful sunset. Kids...don't they know what's important?


Here are Jake and Sam before we went to Downtown Flagstaff for the Halloween Party. As you can see Jake wore his WWII uniform and Sam was the Phantom of the Opera. Will decided he was not going to wear his costume. He had fun just watching everyone else!