Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas, Part 1

We had such a wonderful, busy, and fun filled Christmas weekend! I am going to break this up into a couple of different posts because I will never find the time to sit down and write all about it in one blog. Our Holiday weekend started off Friday night at our annual South family Christmas party. We went to Jason and Tawnie's house and had pizza and read the story of Christ's birth in the scriptures. Then the kids got to open all of their gifts from each other and from their grandparents and aunts and uncles. This year, Grandma and Grandpa South got all three of the older girls a princess dress and then Jennifer bought them each a matching cape and Jeremy and Larkyn got them crowns. They were so beautiful! This was the first time that we had the whole family together since baby Tyler was born. Our family just keeps growing. Jacob and Mindy are expecting a little girl the first half of February so by next Christmas we will have lots of little ones running around. Sadie is so happy to not be the baby anymore.

The next morning we got up and drove to Vernal to visit the Merrell side of our family. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, mom had LOTS of fun stuff planned for us. Kylie and Sadie were so excited to get their snowsuits on and go play in the snow and go for rides with the boys on the 4-wheelers. The guys went out 4-wheeling while we waited for everyone to arrive and then we started work on our big Christmas present from my storage. Mom and Dad rented a canner and bought a ton of food for us to can. It was a lot of fun and went quick with that many of us working together. We got flour, powdered sugar, hot cocoa, rice,chocolate chips, dried apples, spaghetti, pasta, popcorn, beans, etc etc... It was a GREAT Christmas present (and hopefully the start of a great tradition too...hint hint, mom and dad).
Kylie was a big helper. Here she is filling a can with spaghetti. She also helped hand the cans to her daddy so that he could seal them.
Some of the finished product...
Sadie also helped out, by staying in the house and staying out of mischief. What a beautiful Christmas present she makes!
After we were done canning Vince, Meagan, Jason, Sasha, Chuck, Jared and I all went out for a night ride on the 4-wheelers. It was so much fun...and cold. Meagan and I both came back in for more clothes before we even sat down on the four-wheelers. Vanity went right out the window as we realized just how cold it was. Meagan looked especially cute when she decided to use an ear headband around her face to cover her nose. :) It was a beautiful clear night and there was so much snow to play in. We are so lucky that Mom and Dad built their house with such a fun "playground" in the backyard for us to play in. That night I went to the store w/some of the siblings to buy food for our "cook off" the next night. Jared called as I was finishing and asked me to pick him up something to eat. I made a discovery that night...Vernal exists in a black hole where there are no fast food places open at 10:30 at night on a Saturday night. The only place that I could find was Taco Bell...not one of my first choices (not even one of my first 20 choices!) but it was our only option at that point. I think that we would starve to death if we lived there. Or maybe I would become a better cook...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Is the Police still looking for me?

I love wearing my seat belt and feel naked without it, but my girls, unfortunately, do not share this love of mine. We have a constant battle every time that we get in the car and they will do anything that they can to get out of wearing it. They just don't comprehend why seat belts are so important (Kylie tells me she will just hold on tight if we get in an accident). I've resorted to telling them that the police will arrest them if they catch them without their seat belt on. In their minds this means that they will be taken to a dungeon like on their princess movies. Last Saturday night we were on our way home from a girls night out at the movies (Enchanted...cute movie that I would highly recommend to anyone with little girls. I actually enjoyed it enough that I was a little irritated that I was missing part of it while taking the girls on their bathroom breaks. Yes, breaks, as in more than one. Sadie likes to only do half her business at a time. Anyway...back from my tangent...) and of course they didn't put their seat belts on when we left Grandma's house. We drove for several minutes with them giggling and being silly and NOT putting them on as I asked repeatedly. Finally I got fed up with it and told them that I would have to call the police and tell them. I called Jared and when he answered I said..."Is this the police? There are two girls in my car that aren't wearing seat belts. We are driving by Target right now if you want to come and get them." There were real tears and screaming as I was making this phone call and they put their seat belts on SO FAST. It was great. I hadn't planned on keeping this little lie going, but it worked so well. Kylie asked me why I wanted them to go to the dungeon and miss Christmas. She told me that in the dungeon they don't give you any food or water. I was lucky it was dark because I was trying so hard not to laugh and give it away. When we got home Jared told Kylie he heard I had called the police on her. She asked if they had come to the house looking for her. Such childhood innocence. I never mentioned names or address, and yet she is just sure that they know everything about her. Three days later this was long forgotten and as I pick her up from dance class she starts walking around in the van...again. I yell at her to sit down and get her seat belt on and she drops to the floor so quick and asks very wide eyed "Is the police still looking for me?" I just don't want to tell her the truth, this lie is working too well for me! So for now, my 5 year old believes that she is a fugitive from the law. And she is much quicker at getting that seat belt on.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Random thoughts about my girls...

I am watching my nephew T.J tonight while my sister Sasha and her husband Jason are getting in some alone time at temple square and doing some last minute shopping. The girls just love him and are always excited to see him, especially since he lives in Vernal and they don't get to see him as much as they would like. They are playing with their very favorite toy, their castle. We had a really hard time getting Sadie to decide that nursery was a good thing so I decided to bribe her. I bought this castle (in the boys section...who knew there were cool toys there?! It's a whole other world of toys that we have not ever explored before!) and displayed it for a couple of weeks for her to look at and want. She was so excited for this castle and after 10 months of tears she went to class. I did have to tell a little fib about getting a drink, but it worked and I was able to sneak out of her class. The following week she went to class and promptly told me "don't get a drink", but I was able to convince her that I needed to check on Brynlie and Daddy and left after a couple of minutes. She is now loving nursery and yesterday hugged me good-bye in the chapel and tried to leave all by herself to go. I am so glad that we are done with that battle. I was released from the nursery at the beginning of the year, just before finding out I was pregnant and I think that Sadie really sensed that she was losing her place as a new baby was coming and she was losing her mommy as her teacher. But she is getting so big now!

I am so lucky to have my little Brynlie. She is such a sweet heart, and never cries unless there is a good reason (like in church yesterday, when she filled her diaper for the second time and mom wanted to wait until after the sacrament to change it). She is a very happy baby and loves to smile and talk with anyone that will hold her and listen to her. She has started rolling from her tummy to her back, and from her back she gets on her side, but gets stuck. It is so much fun to get to know her and see her personality emerging each day. I can't believe how big my baby is getting!
Sadie is my strong-willed child. She was the sweetest, most pleasant little baby from the moment she was born. In the hospital I would have to ask the nurse to wake her up and bring her to me so that she could eat. She was just so much more interested in sleeping. And she adored her big sister Kylie and anytime Kylie was in the room she would follow her with her eyes. She spent the first year of her life quietly studying the world around her, and then...BAM!!! She turned 1, learned how to walk, and released the inner fire that she had been hiding. She can be so sweet one moment, and in an instant she becomes a fireball. I think that she looks a lot like my mom. I will catch her with certain expressions on her face that make me think that my mom probably looked a lot like that when she was little. If you can look past the dirt on her face
in this picture you might be able to see what I'm talking about. Sadie loves to sing and dance and can't wait until she is old enough to start dance. It is torture for her when we go to Kylie's dance class and she has to wait outside in the lobby.

Kylie just amazes me with how big and smart she is getting. They are learning how to read in kindergarten and I am surprised everyday with the words that she knows or figures out. She loves meeting people and making friends and tells me everyday about what she and her friends did. I'll be sad when the day comes that she doesn't want her mom to know every little detail of her day. She is such a great helper around the house, always trying to surprise me by cleaning something or helping out with something. I don't know what I would do without her. I was able to go to the grocery store with her a couple of weeks ago and leave the two younger girls with their daddy. It was nice to have a mommy/daughter night alone and made me realize that I need to spend some more one on one time with her. It is scary, humbling, and fun all at the same time when I realize how much she tries to be just like me. She makes me so proud! Here she is wanting to wear her towel on her head, just like her mommy does.

I am lucky to have such beautiful little girls and couldn't imagine my life without them. (Although I could imagine a night without them if anyone is ever interested in babysitting!) It makes Christmas so much fun to see their excitement and watch them go crazy trying to get mom to let them open presents early.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our House

I've discovered that I have a habit of looking at people's pictures and instead of focusing on what they took a picture of, I look at the stuff around them to try and figure out what their house looks like. I really like to get online and look at pictures of homes that are for sale and try to figure out the layout of the homes. And it's even more fun if the home for sale is a neighbors, or someone that I know. I think that this addiction began about two and a half years ago, when we were in the process of selling our first house. At first, it felt very wierd to post pictures of my own home online for the whole world to see. But I quickly got over that when I realized everyone's homes are out there for the viewing! It is great fun, and a hobby that I highly recommend! The whole reason for this post was so that I could show this picture of our new french doors. While many of you have seen our home before, most probably haven't seen the doors. Jared and his friend Matt installed them the night before Thanksgiving (Matt does woodworking for a living and gave us a great deal on the doors!), and then finished the framing the following week. I am so happy to finally have these doors in. We've talked about getting them since we moved in over two years ago, and even tried last year (long doesn't exactly end with us having a great relationship with Lowe's home improvement store), but they were worth the wait. I work from home and it is nice to have a bit more privacy in the office (or the "workin room" as my girls call it). It will be even better when we get them stained and can remove the plastic from the glass.

Here are two pictures of our living room. Meagan and I spent a very LONG week painting and redecorating this room while the guys were in Mexico. Some day I may get brave enough to show pictures of how it looked before we painted it. The last color I painted it was a very wrong color of green... It lasted 7 months, only because I had to wait for Jared to go out of town. (It's easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission, although the green was ugly enough that he had even hinted that I could repaint it). For those of you that are like me and are now trying to figure out the layout of the house, the second picture was taken from the doorway with the french doors.
This is the other room that Meagan and I painted last May. While the boys were busy swimming in the ocean, we were busy painting a blue "ocean" on my kitchen walls. You know how I mentioned a second ago that it's easier to beg forgiveness? Well, I'll let you know when he finally forgives me for this color.

Now I'd like to invite all of you out there with blogs to post pictures of your homes so that I can be nosey. This includes all three of my sisters that are married because I haven't been to any of their homes yet. (Yes I know, bad sister.) Sasha, I'll see yours at Christmas time.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I'm really irritated that my last post didn't have any pictures, so I'm adding a few just for fun. This one is from this morning. Kylie got out of the bath, laid down in front of the Christmas tree with the space heater, and fell asleep using a present as a pillow. It wasn't even a soft present either, it was a box.
These jammies used to be Sadies, when she was three MONTHS old. She has had her eye on them ever since I pulled them out of storage for Brynlie. The other night I got them out to put on Brynlie and then they disappeared, only to reappear a few minutes later. For the record, they aren't supposed to be shorts, or even capri's. Those are pants!

Our Busy Weekend

Our weekend started off with shopping in the middle of a snowstorm for pants for Jared for our family pictures the next morning. The roads were awful and it took us more than twice as long as it should have to get to JCPenney. That's what we get for putting if off...or I should say that's what Jared gets for putting it off. I was willing to go any other night this week. By the time we finished shopping it was 10:00 and we decided to stop at Chile's and feed the kids (and Jared... I've recently realized that hunger and ornery go hand in hand for him. Throw some restless kids and Utah drivers in a snowstorm in to the mix and he needs to be fed NOW!!). It was almost 11:00 at night when I get a text message from my sister-in-law Tawnie that she and Jason were on the way to the hospital to have a baby, two weeks early. Leave it to Tawnie to have the baby in the middle of the snowstorm. My beautiful little nephew Tyler Jacob, was born a little after 1:00 that morning, weighing in at a whole whopping 7 lbs, 7 oz's. Her last two babies weighed almost 9 and almost 10 lbs so this one is tiny for her. I would love to have pictures to show you, but some idiot forgot to bring the camera to the hospital (that would be me).

We had family pictures Saturday, and thanks to my sweet little Sadie, we only got three of the girls together, and one of them has Kylie and Brynlie looking cute and Sadie giving her best scowl. She decided that she was done and no amount of coaxing was going to change her mind. She is such a stubborn child! The bright side to this was that there were less pictures for me to choose from, since I always take way to long to decide, and then end up buying way to many. I wasn't really happy with the pictures of the girls, but the family pictures turned out great so I won't complain. Brynlie's pictures also turned out cute, extra chins and all! I'm really excited to get them all back.

Saturday night Glenn Beck was in town and Jared's birthday present from me was tickets to see him. For those of you who don't know who Glenn Beck is, he is a political radio and talk show host and he is LDS. Jared loves to listen to him on the radio and watches his show every night. I know some of you out there are checking to make sure you are on the right blog because the Jared that you know would not be interested this kind of show, and would not listen to talk radio all day. But this is the right blog, and we are talking about the same Jared. I am a shocked as you are. He took his brother Jeremy with him and they had such a great time. Jared said it was just amazing and that he had most of the audience in tears, both from laughter and hearing his stories of struggling to make it to where he is today. He said that there was an incredible spirit there and that Glenn spoke of the church quite a bit and also bore his testimony. Jared really wants to go again next year, and wants me to come with him. He also said he's sure that both of our parents would love it and would like them to come too. So heads up!

On Sunday, after we went to see our new nephew, we backtracked a bit so that we could ride Trax to Temple Square to see the lights. We promised the girls a train ride to see the lights and they were so excited. Again, this is where I'd like to post pictures of our trip, but there is that problem with the idiot that forgot the camera. The girls had fun, but we had problems with them not wanting to walk. We have a double stroller and three the math. Of course the ONLY logical options was to have mom carry Brynlie so the other two could ride. Brynlie was a sweetheart until the end when she started to get cranky. She was cold and tired and there was too much noise and lights for her to fall asleep. Overall, it was a great night. I love Christmas time, and going to temple square reminds me of being a kid and going with my parents. They always try so hard to make the holidays special for us kids, and this year is no different. My mom has spent so much time planning for Christmas weekend, I'll have to dedicate a whole blog to that one later.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sleeping Angels

My poor little Brynlie!! She will have to learn very quickly to defend her sleeping space. This is how I found them Sunday morning when I got out of the shower. But I can't really blame Sadie too much...

...since she has also had the privilege of sleeping with a big sister.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We Have a Thumbsucker!!

This week marks an important milestone in our little Brynlie's life... she has finally found her thumb! I was starting to think that she wasn't going to be a thumb sucker because both of her sisters had started earlier than this. I should have known that my babies just can't resist their thumbs! I seriously think I must make babies with flavored thumbs because they enjoy them so much. I am so happy that she finally found it! I know that that last statement must sound weird, especially to those that know we just spent over $300 in October for an appliance in Kylie's mouth to make her STOP sucking her thumb. But I really do love that my babies suck their thumbs. It is so nice that they can sooth themselves and I don't have to worry about carrying a Binky. The thumb is always there, even in the middle of the night. Brynlie started sleeping through the night a few weeks ago and this week she has increased the time from about 6 hours to 7-9. I'm sure that it has something to do with her new found thumb. As you can see in the pictures, Brynlie prefers her left thumb, unlike her sisters who both like their right thumbs. When Kylie sucked her thumb she would use her other hand to play with her ear, or if someone was holding her, she would play with their ear. Sadie would take the tail to her beloved stuffed animal "Ratty" and rub it underneath her nose as she sucked her thumb. I wonder if Brynlie will pick up an extra habit to go along with the thumb sucking. I really hope it isn't another stuffed animal like Sadie because that thing has cause me hours of needless driving to go find where she has left it, including the doctors office, the church nursery, Target, Babies-R-Us, Wal-Mart, friends and neighbor's houses, etc.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I Got Elfed

I'm not sure if this will work or not, but here's hoping. Copy and past the link below to see our family get Elfed.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Little Bit of Background...

My husband Jared and I met 9 years ago. He was a mechanic who spent all of his free time on his motorcycle (a Honda Valkyrie). I was living in Orem, working as a manager at Chuck-E-Cheese. His plans for the future were to move out of Utah and spend his days riding across the country on his bike. My plans were to get married, settle down, and have a family. Guess who won? :) Don't get me wrong, I loved riding on the bike, and that first year together was probably the best year of my life. In fact, if I could choose one year to live over again, it would be 1999. But I also love being a wife and mother. After much convincing, Jared asked me to marry him. We were married May 6th, 2000, and now have three beautiful little girls. Kylie was born July 2002, Sadie in February 2005, and Brynlie was just born in September. Soon after we were married we bought a home in West Valley. Four and a half years and two kids later, we were ready to move. After a failed attempt to move back to my home town of Vernal, we accepted the fact that the Lord had other plans for us and bought a home in West Jordan. We love our home, our neighbors, and our ward.

Family is very important to both of us and we have been lucky to both come from such great families. My family has 6 kids:5 girls and a boy. Jared's family also has 6 kids: 5 boys and a girl. We are pretty much surrounded by family. Jared's brother Jason lives 8 houses down from us with his wife and kids, and he has another brother, Jeremy, that lives just a few blocks away with his wife. Jared's youngest brother Justin also lives with Jeremy. My brother Vince, and his wife Meagan, lived with us for the first half of this year as they finished his schooling, and now still only live 10 minutes away. I will always be grateful for the time they spent with us, because I found such a great friend in Meagan. I hope my brother realizes how lucky he is. We have a lot more family, including three new brothers-in-law this summer alone, but that will have to wait for another day.

Jared is still a mechanic, but has tried out MANY jobs/shops along the way. He recently started a new job at an automotive shop and really enjoys it and his boss. Hopefully he has found a job and employer that makes him happy and will be there for years to come. I started working for Mountain America Credit Union a few months after Jared and I met and I am still there, 8 1/2 years later. The past 5 years I have been working from home and know that I am so blessed to be able to do that.