Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December... in a nutshell...

Well, I almost went through the whole month of December without posting anything so I thought I'd catch everyone up by going back and mentioning a few highlights of the last four weeks.

As I've mentioned in earlier posts our family had the amazing opportunity to participate in our stake's production of "Savior of the World." What an unforgettable experience! I had no idea there were so many wonderful, talented people in our stake. We had the chance to meet and get to know so many amazing people! We performed the show the first two weekends of this month. We had some incredible missionary experiences inviting non-members to the show. The whole process was such a testimony building experience for me. The Spirit was always there during rehearsals and performances and it was such a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season. Our family was blessed in so many ways through participating in the program.
The first weekend of performances my parents and 2 sisters came to see us in the show and do a little sight seeing. We had a great visit with them.

The second week of the month I spent most of my extra time in the kitchen. I participated in a cookie exchange with some friends where we all made 18 dozen cookies to share! (6 doz. of three different kinds of cookies!) I have never made that many cookies at one time! It was fun though and after the exchange I had 18 different kinds of cookies to show for it. My intention was to give most of them away but unfortunately I ate more than I gave away! =)

I was not as on-the-ball this year about getting my Christmas shopping done early, so I spent the third week of Dec. sprinting from store to store (with four kids) trying to finish holiday shopping!

We attended the annual "Beatty Bundt Cake Party." Joe and the other husbands had to make a bundt cake from scratch to be judged by the wives. I have to say I was impressed with Joe's baking skills! He even won the award for best tasting cake!

The girls had a great time over Christmas break. They had almost two weeks off of school! We had a fun time just "hangin' out."

It was a busy month, but we made some great memories and had a great holiday season.
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

We had an awesome Christmas this year.
After Becky's Party Joe made us a delicious Christmas Eve Prime-Rib dinner! YUM!
Next we read the Nativity Story. (Thanks to being in "Savior of the World" we had the best costumes ever!)
Then the kids got to open their pajamas and put together a yummy plate of cookies for Santa. And Finally.... off to bed!

Our cute little "Polar Bear" Shepherd

JJ was Mary this year

Becky was our beautiful Angel

Joe was" double-cast" as the Donkey and Joseph

Everyone in their new pajamas! (Please don't laugh at the picture. It was bed time and this was the best picture I could get!)

Christmas Morning was so fun! Everyone got what they asked Santa for.
(Dallin was more excited about the boxes and paper than anything else.)
We had a great time opening presents. Then we got dressed up in our new clothes and went to IHOP for breakfast. We came home, played with toys for a while then headed over to Padilla's for Christmas dinner.

Our front room after the " Christmas Tornado."

Much to his Dad's dismay Dallin totally ignored all the balls and trucks
he got for Christmas and instead spent the whole morning playing with a
light-up ring Emily got from JJ... oh well...

What a great day!
"Merry Christmas to all...and to all a good night!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Today is Becky's birthday! I can't believe it!
She's nine... going on 25:)
She really is such a blessing to our family. She is so good at taking care of her little brother and sisters. She is a stellar student, a talented little singer-dancer-piano player, and she LOVES doing all kinds of art projects.
She got to start her day by opening her present from Grammy Walker... A gift card to "Build-a-Bear." So we ventured out to Potomac Mills Mall and Becky got to make her very own bear. Then we came home, opened all of her other presents and ate cake!
It was a fun way to spend Christmas Eve morning.
We love her sooooo much.
She was definitely the BEST Christmas present ever!
Happy Birthday Rebecca Lynn!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love this time of year. I have so many "warm fuzzy" memories of Thanksgiving Holidays spent with lots of family around and lots of good food! I truly have been blessed all my life!
However, as I reflect back on this year I have to say I am overwhelmed at the number of blessings that have been poured out upon us. "My cup runneth over."

We started off the year with the addition of our little "man-cub."
Dallin (or "Tank" as Uncle Tony likes to call him) has wrapped us all around his chubby little finger!
Joe finished law school and successfully passed the bar.
We enjoyed several fun vacations this summer.
Joe started work at a great Law firm in D.C.
We started construction on our first home. (YAY!)
We have had the testimony building experience of being able to participate in our Stake production of "Savior of the World."
And some how we have found a way to balance church callings, work, school, piano teaching, home teaching, visiting teaching, rehearsals, joy school, homework, youth activities, dance lessons, family home evening, and all those other things that seem fill our time.
We've also had those moments of stress, disappointment, and doubt. But as I look back I see the growth our family experienced through those times. And I am so grateful for the opportunities we've had to lean on each other as a family, for the service that was so generously given to us by extended family and friends.
And most of all I am grateful for the chance to better my relationship with my Savior.

For Family home evening this week we played a game where we all sat on the floor in a circle and took turns rolling a ball to each other while naming things we were thankful for.
I won't name the entire list we made on Monday but I do want to name the most important ones: (In no particular order)
I am thankful for my sweet husband!!!
I am thankful for my four beautiful children.
I am thankful for My parents and for our extended family and friends.
I am thankful for the chance to try to do and be a little better each day.
I am thankful to live in this great country.
I am thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
And I am thankful for the knowledge that I am a daughter of God, that Jesus Christ is my brother and Savior.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blondes...Brunettes...Who has more fun?

When I was born I had black curly hair. But from the time I was a toddler until now I have been a blonde. I have always admired those with dark hair. You know... the Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Zeta-Jones type.
I have always wanted to see how I would look with dark hair but when it came down to coloring my hair I've never been adventurous enough to do more than add a few blonde highlights. Well, I decided to venture out side of my comfort zone and try being a brunette!



What do you think?

Friday, November 14, 2008

High School Tagged!

1.Did you Marry someone from High School?
Yes!! I fell in love with him when I was 15 and the rest is history!

2. Did you carpool to school?
My brother and I drove to school together, does that count?

3.What kind of car did you have?
A rusty- red Oldsmobile Firenza!

4.What kind of car do you have now?
Dodge Grand Caravan

5.It's Friday night...where are you? (then)
Probably a football or basketball game. I loved when we had dances after games. Those were fun.

6.It's Friday night...where are you? (now)
Taking Becky and JJ to ballet. Maybe an occasional trip to Target.

7.What do you do now?
Wife to an almost perfect husband, Mom to 4 great kids, Homemaker, piano teacher, Young Women leader, taxi, short-order cook, mediator, tutor.....I could go on, but you get the picture.

8.Were you a party animal?
I don't think so...Depends on who I was with and what we were doing. I was definitely a "follower." But none of my friends ever got too crazy.

9.Were you considered a flirt?
No way! Boys totally intimidated me. I was shy and awkward around anyone I thought was cute.

10. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
I was in the show choir "Encore." We were pretty good if I do say so my self.
I have lots of great memories tied to being in that choir.
We went on tour every spring and I had the chance to travel to San Antonio, Orlando, and San Diego.

11.Did you get suspended/expelled?
Not even close.

12. Can you still sing the fight song?
Word for word. (I still remember the dance too:)

13. Who was you favorite teacher?
Mrs. Harris. Not only a gifted music teacher but one of the most genuine people I've ever met.
She truly played a defining role in helping me become who I am today.

14. Where did you sit during lunch?
I usually went home for lunch. But if I stayed I'd usually 'hang' in the commons area.

15. What was your schools full name?
Lehi High School

16. What was your mascot?
The Pioneers! (Go purple and white!)

17. If you could go back and do it again, would you?
That's a tough one. I don't know. I do know that if I could go back I would do a lot of things differently.

18. What do you remember most about graduation?
Taking tons and tons of pictures!
And of course the all night party in the school gym.

19. Who did you go to prom with senior year?
Ammon Cox

20. Did you have fun at senior prom?
Sure!... It's always fun getting dressed up and go out but I'd have to say that prom my junior year was my favorite of the two.

21.Do you still talk to the person you went to prom with?

22. Are you planning on going to your 20 yr. reunion?
I would like to. I don't know if I'll ever be able to talk my husband into it though.

23.Do you still talk to people from school?
Not too many. I haven't been very good at keeping in touch with people.
Blogging has helped me make a few connections though.

Ok, I tag anyone who reads my blog that went to good ol' Lehi High. (that hasn't done this yet.)

Friday, October 31, 2008


We had a great Halloween today!
Yesterday Joe's sister and niece flew in to spend Halloween with us.
We went trick-or-treating with Padilla's in their neighborhood and got a TON of candy!
All and all we had a great time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday(s)!

It is Joe and Julianne's birthday today. Julianne turned 7 and Joe is 29!! (I know, my husband is sooo old!:) We have a pretty big weekend planned. First, the little kids and I get to take cupcakes into J.J.'s classroom this afternoon. Then this evening is our Ward "Trunk-or-Treat." J.J. was not about to miss the opportunity to dress up and get a TON of candy so we pushed she and her dad's party to Sat. instead.
Sat. morning is "Savior of the World" rehearsal. (For those of you who may not know...our family is participating in our stake production "Savior of the World" this December.) Then we are meeting up with our realtor to walk through some homes in the area. (Yes, we are officially house hunting!) Then straight to Chuck E Cheese for Julianne and Joe' s birthday celebration! And home to eat cake and open presents! Whew!
Happy Happy Birthday to two of my favorite people in the world!

Friday, October 17, 2008

9 months old!

My baby boy is quickly growing up. Dallin is 9 mo. old today.
He is now 20lbs. 5oz. and 29 1/2 in. long which puts him in the 90% for height and 80% for weight.
He has been crawling for a while and just in the last few weeks has started pulling himself up and cruising around the furniture. He has seven teeth but I think he's going cut his eighth tooth in a day or so. He says "ma ma ma" when he wants me. And he's started saying "da da" but I'm not sure if he is referring to Joe or not. He loves playing with Emmy. They are quickly becoming best friends. He loves his other sisters too. He gets so excited when they come home from school.
He is definitly ALL BOY. He has big hands and feet and a deep gruff voice (except when he cries.)
Sometimes people refer to his big hands as "piano playing hands." I think his dad prefers "basketball hands." I say why not both!?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

HE PASSED!!!!!!!

Hail! The conquering hero!
Yes, it's true! Joe found out today that he passed the Virginia bar exam! We are both thrilled! (However, I am not surprised.)
For Joe this relief has been a long time coming. After he graduated he really didn't feel like he was done with school because he just went straight into studying for the bar, and even after taking the test he didn't feel like he could relax until he got the results.
Well, the "fat lady" has officially sung! Law School is over!
Way to go Sweetie!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

When things are a little too quiet...Part II

Ok, so Emily and Dallin are quickly becoming "partners in crime". Today I left them alone in the front room together for just a few minutes. BIG MISTAKE! While I was gone Emily got into the pantry and opened several bags of fudge stripe cookies and dumped them all over the floor. Dallin crawled over and tried to eat them. Well...anyone who has a baby knows that when a baby tries to eat anything it just becomes a sticky mess. So to make a long story short...I'll just let you see the pictures.

Who knew someone so cute could make such a big mess?

Cute even when covered in chocolate.
Yes, that is chocolate ground into my carpet.

Emily has discovered how to use scissors and loves to sneak into the pantry and cut open bags of crackers, cookies, pasta, you name it she's made a mess with it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

They say that growing up is hard to do...

It has been a big weekend here at our house for Emily and Dallin.

For some reason I have never had children who are willing to sleep through the night during their first year. Dallin has not been any different. Meaning-- even though Dallin is almost 9 mo. old, as of a few days ago he was still waking up 3-4 times a night. Well this weekend I was bound to change this crazy night time schedule. So we moved Dallin out of our room and into a full sized crib. And began the process of teaching him to sleep through the night. Our game plan was: evey time Dallin woke up Joe would go in and (without picking him up) rub Dallin's back and sooth him back to sleep. (I was afraid if I went in it would just make things worse.) Joe was Awsome! (Although I had to laugh every time he would say some thing like, "I'm so tired today." I wanted to say, "Try getting up 4 times a night for 9 months!:) Anyway, so far so good. Dallin only woke up once last night and when Joe went in to check on him Dallin went right back to sleep. I hope getting a full nights sleep will help us all be a little happier! Way to go Dallin!

As for Emily--Since Dallin took over her crib we moved her into a "big girl" bed and while we were at it we took away her "wow-wow".
For those of you who don't know what a wow-wow is let me explain. When Emily was first learning to talk, if she couldn't pronounce a certain word she would just make up a word that she could say. So the name for pacifier became "wow-wow". The name stuck and now at our house all pacifiers are called "wow-wow's".
I've been meaning to take her pacifier away for a while and there always seemed like an excuse to put it off. Anyway she's two now and well, it's time.
She has actually done pretty well too. She asks for it a few times a day. Especially when she is sad. But she is trying hard to be a big girl now and I have to say I am very proud of her.

Emily and Dallin on Emily's new "big girl bed".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

When things are a little too quiet

So today while I was folding laundry I had that unsettling thought..."Things are a little too quiet.......Where are Emily and Dallin?" I found them in my bathroom. Emily had opened the brand new tube of neosporin I had just bought and smeared it all over herself, Dallin, the counter, cupboards, and rug. (Who new a little tube of medicine could do so much damage?) Well it's just slimy enough that it was not an easy mess to clean up.
Oh well. Just another day in the life of a stay at home mom.
If I'd had the presence of mind I would have taken a picture. They did look pretty funny all gooped up and shiny.

Monday, September 15, 2008


This is one of those posts that is little reminiscent and probably more for posterity than anything but feel free to read if you feel inclined.

So... I've been thinking lately, (never a good thing:) and I kind of feel like we are at one of those places in life where we are closing a chapter and beginning a new one.
As of August we have lived here three years. Time flies! A lot has changed since August of 2005.
Back then we only had two little kids, Joe had just Graduated from BYU and was about to start law school at Georgetown and after moving 2000 miles away from home we were terrified.
However, we quickly fell in love with Virginia and the place we now consider "home." The ward welcomed us with open arms and we made fast friends. We have been blessed in countless ways. Our family has doubled in size!, We've made life long friendships with friends and family here in Manassas, and because we are surrounded by so much of our countries history we have developed a new appreciation for what it means to be an American, we have grown together as a family and as I look back and recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives our testimonies have grown as well.

This week Joe started his job as a first year associate at a law firm in D.C. And as we close the chapter of being "struggling students" and start the chapter of being "grown-ups" :) I am looking forward to this next stage of our lives and the challenges and learning experiences ahead.
Look out world here we come!:)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of School!

Today was the first day of school a Cougar Elementary! Rebecca started 3rd grade and Julianne started 1st grade. I can't believe how fast they are growing up.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lots of Pictures!!

After Joe finished taking the bar exam we left town for the month of August. Yes, you read it right...the whole month of August! He didn't have school and he doesn't start his Job until Sept. 15th so we took vacation after vacation after vacation. It was awesome! But lots of vacations means lots of pictures!

So we started out the month at Smith Mountain Lake in Southern VA. We spent the week on a house boat water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing, para-sailing, and just plain hangin' out in one of the most beautiful places in VA (in my opinion.) The water was warm, the weather was perfect, it was awesome! Emily got sick the last few days which put a little bit of a damper on things for a while but that's what happens when you have kids right?

Dallin chillin' in the sun

Emily and Daddy relaxing

Sidney Garver and JJ were inseparable the whole week

Rachel Garver, Becky, and Emily Padilla takin' a spin on the jet ski

Two days after we got home from the lake we flew out west for 2 weeks. The day after we arrived in SLC we drove up to Cascade lake in Idaho for the Nattress Family Reunion, and more water skiing, wake boarding, tubing, etc. Julianne and Becky were sick for the first part of the trip. (thanks to their little sister:) But it was so beautiful and we had such a great time catching up with everyone it was hard not to have fun. (Even if Idaho mountain water is A LOT colder than Virginia lake water!) We were able to be there for My Mom' s graduation from BYU! Yeah Mom!! Then we drove to Midway, UT to attend the Sorensen reunion (My Mom's side of the family.) This was a lot of fun for me since I've missed the last three years due to living soooo far away. I got to catch up with a lot of my cousins and aunts and uncles.

Having fun with cousins!

Ice cream is Delicious!

My Mom and some of her grankids at graduation!

Our second week in Utah was spent with Joe's family. We have lived in Virginia for three years now which means our kids have forgotten a lot of the cool things that are in Utah. So we took them around and showed them some of our favorite places we used to go when we lived there. We went to SLC and took a tour of the conference center, visited temple square, had lunch on top of the Joseph Smith Memorial building, and walked through The Church History Museum. Then we visited BYU campus and bought everyone t-shirts at the book store. And finally ended the week at Lagoon! Whew!!! Needless to say it was a busy two weeks but we had a lot of fun.

Playin' in Grammy's backyard with Sami

Ridin' rides with cousin Sami, uncle Jon, and aunt Amy at Lagoon

Then three days after coming home to Virginia we packed our car and headed down to Outer Banks, North Carolina. We stayed in a motel in Cape Hatteras just 30 yards from the Ocean. The beach was amazing! The girls had a great time chasing the waves and building sand castles. (Emily liked wrecking the sand castles more than building them:) And Dallin liked eating the sand every time we weren't looking. It was so relaxing. Just what we needed after such a busy summer.

Emily, Kendall Jones, Garrett Jones, and JJ playin' in the sand

Well that's it for now. However, before I sign off we need to say thank you to: The Padilla's and the rest of the SML gang, My parents, Joe's parents, and the Jones' for making all of our trips possible.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We had a great time with all of you!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Hair Cuts

The girls got their hair cut the other day. They've gotten into this blogging thing and wanted me to put a picture of them up on our blog.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The "Great and Terrible Day" is Here!

The last few months have been a little high stress at our house as Joe has been preparing for the bar. The last two weeks have been particularly brutal. After he finished his bar prep class he set up a desk in our room and has followed a strict schedule that has gone something like:

Wake up - study until lunch
Eat lunch
Study until dinner
Eat dinner
Study until bed

We haven't seen much of him except for a glimpse here and there through the crack of the door he's locked himself behind.

However, it's all going to be over this week!
Joe left for Roanoke, VA this morning to take the Virginia Bar Exam! He takes the test tomorrow and Wed. He won't know the results until mid-October. But I'm positive he'll hit it out of the park. He has worked so hard all through Law School and in preparation for this test. I am amazed at the discipline and dedication he has shone through this whole process.
For those of you who read this in the next few days make sure you keep Joe in your prayers.

I am so proud of you Sweetie! Good Luck!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

6 months Old

Dallin is 6 mo. old today! I can't believe it! Time flies.
Johnson and Johnson used to have a commercial where there was a mom giving her baby boy a bath in the sink and the narration went something like..."Who would have thought that someone short, chubby and bald would be the love of my life?" That is exactly the way I feel about this little man. Next to his dad I can't think of a boy I love more and I don't know anyone more handsome. (Maybe that's because he looks just like his dad:)
So I took him in for his 6 mo. check up and he's 95% for height and 75% for weight. He now weighs in at 18lbs. 14oz!
He sits up all by himself. And loves to reach out and grab toys, his sister's hair, and my dinner plate whenever he can. He rolls over from back to tummy and tummy to back and even has started scooting around on his tummy a little bit. He likes splashing in the tub and he loves to lay on his back and suck on his toes. He's discovered how to make all kinds of cool noises with his voice, and all though he has a very deep voice like his dad, he has figured out how to squeal really loudly when he feel like he's being ignored.
But of course my new favorite thing he does is now he reaches out for me whenever I walk into the room. And with that cute little dimpled smile it's just too hard to resist. Not to mention he gives the best kisses ever!