Sunday, December 28, 2008

Coming back to Real Life...Sigh...

Wow! We have had such a great holiday! Jeff's company shut down for two weeks, which means we get him full-time for two weeks, and it has been so nice. We have had so much fun doing family stuff...stuff that obviously did not include blogging. So, here is a whirlwind tour of our Chrismas. Enjoy.
This is on Christmas Eve. The girl hasn't even received a stocking full of sweets yet. She is so excited for Santa to come.

Here is what we ate on Christmas Eve. I would say the girls actually look forward to this more than opening presents. I love this tradition. On Christmas Eve, we eat our Shepherd's dinner on a blanket on the floor. We try to keep the food simple. This year we had roasted beef, homemade bread, grapes, home-canned grape juice and assorted cheese. We talk about the shephards, what they were doing before their angelic visitation, and then how they left to find the Savior. This year we also read a children's Christmas story by Helen Ward, "The Animals' Christmas Carol". A good friend read the story in church and I loved it and it's message that each of us has a gift we can give to the Savior, and for each of us it is different but equally important. Regan and Hadyn liked the story, but kept saying, "Why is Mom crying?". Curse my emotions! :)
Fast forward to Christmas morning. Santa brought the girls Barbie clothes, and several costumes to add to their dress up chest. Here is Daphne (Regan and Hadyn LOVE Scooby Doo, and especially love Daphne) and the Snow Princess.
Here is Hadyn with her favorite gift. Regan picked out a beautiful snow globe for her that plays Christmas music. She carries it around everywhere, and wound and wound it all Christmas morning. I don't know how fragile it is, it seems pretty sturdy...I'm sure we'll find out soon enough...

Then, here we are on Saturday. We got dumped on with snow. We played in the backyard, and went sledding with Uncle Matt's family. Good times. I'm glad we went then, since it has been raining today, and all we have now is a lot of slush.
Merry Christmas from the Luke Family. We hope you all had, and continue to have a great Christmas holiday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 Christmas Ornaments

Each year, since we were married (which in exactly two weeks will be 11 years) we make ornaments for our tree. One for each of us. Our tree is mostly homemade ornaments, either by us or by friends, and we love it. Anyway, my friend's friend start an awesome crafty blog, where I found the cutest, no-sew ornaments. For the full directions, you'll have to go to this site, which is also an awesome site for simple crafty projects.

Anyway, we each made our ornament last night for Family Home Evening. The girls loved it, and Jeff tolerated it :). I was able to let the girls be creative rather than continually correcting them to make them look "right". It was such a fun night, and I love how Regan and Hadyn's turned out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I So Don't Want that Electric Bill

It took me several hours, but I got our Christmas lights up on the house. I think it was worth the time... (be sure to scroll down to the bottom of my page and pause my music so you get the full effect)

Okay, so I didn't do it, but this is amazing. My mother-in-law emailed this to me today and I showed it to Regan and Hadyn. Then, we spent the rest of the afternoon looking at more on youtube. You should check the others out. It looks like this house, that may be in Pleasant Grove(?) has done several such things. It took me a week, and several of Jeff's and my father-in-laws man-hours to get my four strings of icicle lights up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

All I Want for Chrithmath...

It has finally happened! Regan lost her first tooth. She has been waiting to the very edge of her patience. She claims that she is the last first grader at her school to lose her tooth, which I doubt, but there aren't many left that haven't. The tooth has been loose for a few weeks, and she spent a lot of time wiggling it around trying to speed up the process. I have been dreading the moment that it would need to actually be manually pulled, having heard awful stories from friends, and family sit-coms, all without need. She came home from school last Wednesday with her tooth missing...literally. Once she stopped sobbing, I got the full story:
Said tooth was really wiggling around a lot at school, and starting to bother her so Regan just grabbed it and yanked it out. She was very proud. Her teacher gave her a special necklace that you only get if you lose your tooth at school, one that you can put your tooth in for safekeeping until you get home. Regan wore it, I'm sure, as a badge of honor through class and out to recess. When she came back from recess, the necklace was gone, as was (of course) the tooth, and, according to her, all hope of a visit from the tooth fairy. To make matters worse, I wasn't even picking her up from school that day, she was coming home with my friend. They searched the playground and checked at the office, but it was gone.
I eventually convinced her that the tooth fairy would KNOW that she had lost a tooth and visit anyway. We remembered a Charlie and Lola (I love that cartoon more than the girls do. I'm a sucker for a good British accent, even coming from a cartoon) where the same thing happened. Lola just had so sleep with a big smile on her face so the tooth fairy would see her missing tooth. Regan seemed relieved. Later, I went to mutual and Jeff put the girls in bed. When I came home, I went to check on the girls and say good night to anyone not yet asleep. I found Regan with tears running down her face. She said she couldn't fall asleep with her mouth open, but she didn't want the tooth fairy to not see her missing tooth. I finally got her to go to sleep, with her mouth closed, after promising to leave an explanatory note to the tooth fairy.
To make a long story short, the tooth fairy did come, and Regan was happy. The kind fairy even left a note telling Regan that this happens to a lot of kids, and that she has a specially trained dog that would find the tooth and bring it to her (the tooth fairy) if it didn't turn up. Crisis averted.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Four Tickets for the North Pole Please

Saturday night we travelled to the North Pole and back via the Thunder Mountain Railways in Horseshoe Bend. It was fun to watch the girls. I know Chrismas isn't really about Santa Clause and presents, but I will be the first to admit that while I absolutely love the beautiful, Christ-centered meaning of Christmas, I also have a soft spot for the Magic of Santa as far as my girls are concerned.
We didn't tell the girls anything about the surprise trip. They are smart girls, and it didn't take them long to figure out we were going on a train ride, but they didn't know where we were going, or who we might see along the way. As we walked the length of a couple cars looking for seats, we walked through the refreshment car. Regan commented, "It's just like being home except it's longer and has lots of junk food." I'm still trying to figure that one out. Anyway, we got settled into seats, and waited for the train to start moving. The girls were literally bouncing around. It was really fun to watch and imagine what life would be like with that much energy. Sigh...

It wasn't long after the train started moving than the big man himself strolled into our car. I wish I had a picture of the girls' faces. That's the magic I'm talking about. Santa asked everyone in our car who believed in Santa. Hands shot up from kids and adults alike. I was so busy watching the girls reaction, my hand was the last one up. Santa commented that I was running a little slow this year. There's nothing quite like getting insulted by Santa :). I have since forgiven him. Santa actually sat down and talked with us for a while, which was fun. During our trip, Hadyn, with all the sincerety and earnestness a 3-year old can muster up, asked Santa if he was real. He said yes, and both Regan and Hadyn KNOW that they sat by and talked to the real Santa. (As opposed to some of the "helpers" they've seen in the mall and on street corners).We arrived at the North Pole and were given milk and cookies. I looked around. There were a handful of building fronts propped up. You could easily see the poles holding them up. They were pretty, but they obviously weren't real buildings. My mind started racing to explain to Regan and Hadyn why they were like that, when they both just stared and Regan whispered, "I can't believe we're at the North Pole!" Again, I love the magic of Christmas.
Could she be any happier? I hope you can click on this and make it bigger, because she actually looks like she's counting off her list on her fingers. Smart girl. You get the real Santa, you don't want to forget anything!

(Speaking of making your pictures be able to be bigger if they are clicked on, can someone explain the magic of that to me? I thought I had it figured out, but, I obviously do not. I would appreciate anyone who can let me in on that secret...)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Come, Come Ye Saints

This is a special day for our family. On this day, 152 years ago, the surviving members of the Edward Martin Handcart Company reached the Salt Lake Valley. The company left Iowa City, Iowa with 575 saints, on July 28. 145 of these pioneers perished enroute, due to the freezing cold and starvation. Among the survivors were my great-great-great grandparents, Joseph and Mary Moss and their six children, ranging in age from 21 to 8. Also, in the same company, and also surviving was Jeff's great-great-great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Haydock and her daughter, also Jeff's grandmother, Mary Haydock (later Luke). You can read a good, yet heartwrenching account of the crossing here. I'm sitting here at the computer crying as I read the journal entries.

We had a really nice dinner after church today and talked about our pioneer family from the Martin Handcart Company. Reading the account of the unbelievable sacrifices that were made, especially after eating such a filling meal, was heartbreaking. I know I speak for all of us herewhen I say that we are so grateful for that sacrifice. Words cannot express, nor our tears convey our feelings. Today, we often speak of sacrificing for what we know is right. 152 years ago, so many saints made the ultimate sacrifice. For their examples of bravery and obedience, we say, Thank you.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

For the first time in our nearly 11 years of marriage, we have our tree up on the day after Thanksgiving. Having a six and three year old talking about it for the past week may have helped light a fire under us... We love our tree and we love decorating it. I think it looks great. We spent some time today "Christmasifying" the blog and our house. Much of the music selection, especially the Miley Cyrus song, is courtesy of Regan and Hadyn. Here is wishing your families a very merry Christmas season!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

So Blessed

This is one of my favorite holidays. I love having family and friends gathered together. I love the smells of the food. I love the baking and cooking. I love eating the food and visiting. I love having my husband home for an extra-long weekend. What a great day! Our family is so blessed and we have so many things to be thankful for, we thought we'd start the day off with listing some of our greatest blessings.

We are thankful for such a great family. We love each other and we love spending time together, which is good, since we plan on being together forever, something for which we are so very grateful.

We are so grateful that we live in Boise. We miss (daily) our friends in Arizona, but being here, with so much family, and so many activities that we love is amazing.

I am grateful for the friends I have, both herE and scattered about the country. All the support I need is always just a phone call away.

We are grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the direction it gives us and those we love. I don't know how we would go on sometimes without it.

Okay, so the girls want their chance to say what they are thankful for as well.

Regan is thankful to be sisters with Hadyn.

She is also grateful for her family and her cousins, because her cousins are fun to play with, Thanksgiving, because it's fun to be with the family, and Christmas, because "it's my favorite. On the day before Christmas, we dress up like shepherds and eat like the shepherds, by our Christmas tree."

Hadyn: "I'm thankful for food. I'm thankful for Mom. I'm thankful for Regan. I'm thankful for Dad, and myself. I'm thankful for dinner."


Monday, November 24, 2008

When In Doubt, Pinkie Out

Regan and Hadyn prepared a tea party for the three of us for lunch today. How cute is this? They made sandwiches and drinks all by themselves, set out blankets, dishes, even a vase (mason jar) of flowers (silk). It was a lot of fun. We decided we are going to make it a weekly event for after school snacks. A few things to note as you look at the picture:
1. Notice the teacups. They are from their kitchen play set, and hold, maybe 2 Tablespoons of lemonade.
2. Notice how vibrant the lemonade is. That is a smaller than average pitcher we bought in Malaysia, it holds just over a quart of liquid. The girls insisted on doing everything themselves, including mixing the lemonade. It's Crystal Light and is supposed to be mixed with two quarts of water. That was some very lemony lemonade. My cheeks still ache.
It was the best lunch date I've had in a long time. They were so proud of themselves, and I was proud of them too. I am the luckiest mom! Great kids, great husband, great life.
P.S.: Here's a little trivia question...Where does my post title come from. If you lived in my house, you'd know...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Callings

Jeff and I have both received new callings. Jeff was called to be the Assistant Executive Secretary, and if you know Jeff, you know how much he likes to make phone calls...if you don't know Jeff, trust me, he's not a phone guy. He doesn't make phone calls, he doesn't answer our phone when it rings, he won't even order a pizza. This call will be great for him :). Actually, he was called last week, and after one week, he has foundthat he is actually liking it. Today he was officially released as a Sunday School teacher to the 14 year olds.

Today I was released as a Beehive Advisor, a calling I love, but called as the Young Women 1st Counselor, so I get to stay in the Young Womens' program and, I'll get my girls back in, at most, two years, so I'm happy. The Mia Maid girls that I get to work with now are great, and I am really excited. There are 20 of them (gulp) but with the three awesome advisors and I, we should have a lot of fun. Wish both Jeff and I luck in our latest endeavors!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Deep Thoughts from a Six-Year Old - Surviving Sisterhood

Regan has been on track break for a couple weeks now, and, although Hadyn and I are loving spending our days with her, there has been a noticeable increase in the little spats and yelling matches between the girls. They are still trying to adjust to sharing things, giving each other space, the usual problems that two girls that are two and a half years apart in age go through. The other day when I found myself with some one-on-one time with Regan, I talked to her about how, although little sisters may seem annoying at times, that all Hadyn is really trying to do is be exactly like Regan. So I asked her to try to be the kind of sister that she would want Hadyn to grow up to be. Regan smiled and really understood. I walked away, patting myself on the back. Since that talk, I have been blessed with some priceless gems of wisdom and understanding from Regan.

"Mom, I'm only yelling at Hadyn because she yelled at me. You told us to treat each other the way we would want to be treated. So, I'm yelling at Hadyn because that must be how she wants to be treated." Stated with a big innocent eyes. She really thought she was doing the right thing. You can't argue with the logic. Who new the Golden Rule could be turned around that way?

Regan had just come to me after laughing and giggling with her little sister. With an out-of-breath, very excited voice, she told me, "Mom, being nice isn't so bad!"

My work here is done.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Go Steelheads!

We were given some tickets to last night's Idaho Steelhead's hockey game, so we thought we'd introduce the girls to the world of skating, hockey pucks and gratuitous fist fights. Actually, I forgot how much I love watching hockey. Many may not know that Jeff's and my first official date was to a hockey game in Spokane. Ahhh, it really warms the heart, doesn't it.
Anyway, this was our first hockey game in...possibly a decade, and our first time in Qwest Arena. We were surprised by how small it was. It was awesome. There weren't any bad seats, and ours were better than most. The girls really seemed to love it. Regan even cheered enough to have a t-shirt tossed to her between 1st and 2nd periods. Strangely enough, they didn't get the same satisfaction as their parents the first time gloves were thrown off, shirts were bravely pulled over the opponents head and fists started flying. I will admit that that is one of my favorite parts. The first time it happened Regan and Hadyn just sort of stared and then asked a serious of very logical questions (rudely interrupting my cheering to let the fight continue) such as "Why is our guy trying to pull the other guy's shirt off?" and "Why are they acting like little kids?" Don't worry, by the end of the game they were cheering right along with the rest the aggressively repressed crowd. That's my girls.
Here are a few shots of them enjoying the evening. Sorry about the picture of Regan. She was sitting right next to me, so it is blurry. As I said, they really did enjoy the game, and really got into cheering for the Steelheads. The only two sad points of the night:
1. We lost, but we put up a good fight. Watch out next time Fresno Falcons!
2. We never got on the big screen. Regan really wanted, not so much...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Strike a Pose

We loved the pictures Mandie took of Regan and Hadyn a few weeks ago so much, that we set up another sitting for her to do our family pictures. Once again, she did such an amazing job! I love that we are having a hard time deciding which pictures to print, they are all too good. Would it be weird to just wallpaper a room or two of our house with her photos...of us? Anyway, here is just a fraction of the amazing shots she got. Enjoy! (You can click on the pictures to make them bigger).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Just a quick look at Regan and Hadyn on Halloween. They had a great time and made a serious haul on treats. Hadyn has been wanting to be a skeleton since she was scared by one last Halloween. She explained that if she was in the scary costume it wouldn't be scary. Very logical. I doubt she was the scariest skeleton that night, with that big smile on her face all night, but she was definately the cutest! Regan loved being a good witch, emphasis on the good. She is our super-sensitive child, and was brought to tears when some suggested she was a wicked witch. So sweet...
Jeff took us into HP for some early trick-or-treating in the afternoon. They filled their buckets there, and then filled them again walking around one of the subdivisions in our ward. Needless to say, they have been a sugar high for a few days. I'd be stricter with rationing it if they weren't nice enough to share the chocolate with Jeff and I. Hmmm, it's almost midnight and I'm blogging, maybe they aren't the only one's on a sugar high...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We're the Keenest...

My cousin, Teri, recently posted her photos from Yearbook Yourself, and I loved them. So, if you ever wondered what Jeff and I might have looked like in our past lives, here you go:


1960 (I actually look alot like my mom when she was in high school, but I never knew it)
1990, Yes, I could actually do this to my hair back in the day.
1988 - Actually Jeff's High School graduation year, and, lose the goatee and you have what he looked like. So funny. Sweet feathering.
1960 - He looks like a high school science teacher.
Man, we would have been good looking throughout all ages. As if there were any question...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Red Ribbon Week

This past week at Regan's school, and all over the rest of the country, was Red Ribbon Week. For those not "in the know", it is the kick-off the school's anti-drug campaign. Speaking of drugs, I must have been on some, since I agreed to co-chair the festivities... Last year I volunteered on this committee, and somehow that turned into one thing, which turned into another, which turned into the PTA president handing me a thick red binder, the phone number of another, probably equally confused PTA mom who was my co-chair, and wishing me good luck. Sigh...I really do have issues with saying "no", but that is for another blog entry, or more likely, therapy.
Anywho, the week has come to an end, and I think we did a pretty good job. The teachers, parents and kids all seemed to find the week fun and educational. I admit, that my co-chair and I focused on the fun, letting the school counselor and teachers lead the charge on the educational side. I love Regan's school, and so far, I love all the teachers she has had as well as any I've had the pleasure of dealing with through various committees and volunteering gigs, and they really did an awesome job this past week talking to the kids about making the smart decisions about drugs, etc. We had conversations with Regan and Hadyn here and there about good drugs and bad drugs and how good drugs can become bad drugs, and so on. I felt that for a first grader, she had a healthy dose of information for her teacher to build on.
So, Tuesday, as we were preparing for a postponed Family Home Evening, Regan announced that she wanted to teach a short lesson about drugs. Cool. It is always awesome when you realize that what you are trying to teach to your kids is actually sinking in, even a little. She had learned some from us and some from school, and she was ready to teach the rest of us. I love it.
She comes in with some throat spray and some of my prescribed cough medicine from last winter. She talks about how we shouldn't do things like sniff glue or paint or any medicine. Then she talks about prescriptions and how you should never share presicribed meds. I was beaming. She really got this whole anti-drug thing. Nice. I was just checking the "Have the Drug Talk with Daughter" item off my to do list when she says, "Using someone else's prescriptions is really bad. You might get the other person's germs and get sick."
Okay, so she doesn't have it completely figured out, but she still did awesome. Besides, who wants to get someone's germs that was needing cough medicine? Not me, and definately not Regan. Good girl Reg's. She drew us all a picture so we would have a visual reference of the forbidden drugs. I thought I'd share...

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Pictures of the Girls

We had a real photographer, Mandie Anderson, take Regan and Hadyn's pictures yesterday. I had seen some of her work and loved it so we asked her to set up a sitting for the girls down by the Boise River. That was just yesterday, and the pictures are already done. I don't have everything yet, but here are a few from the teaser she posted on her photography blog. You can check out more of them at

Isn't she a great photographer?! Don't the girls look amazing?!