Saturday, February 25, 2012


As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. And too quickly, my parents' visit ended. We drove them to the airport this morning and said our goodbyes. I will see them in 2 weeks when I fly to Wyoming for my brother's wedding so it was a little easier to give hugs and kisses without tears. But for Spencer and the kids, we have no clue when they will see them again. On the drive back home, Ayden and Ellie shared with each other all the things their Nana and Papa did for them and the fun we had. It made me smile that the things they were most excited about were the small things. Ellie loves fruit loops and my father bought a big box for her. He told her "from one fruit loop to another" and she thinks that is so hilarious. Ayden loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and my dad bought him one yesterday. I think he's 1/2 way through it. I am so grateful for my parents and my mommy heart is full listening to my children talk about how they know their grandparents love them.
Mom, Dad we had a wonderful time with you and will miss you til we meet again.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today my parents and Danielle left for Mobile, AL. None of them have ever visited the Gulf Coast so they took a mini vacation to see some sights. I think they were going to visit the Bragg Mitchell Mansion and also a few Civil War sights. The kids already miss them and have been asking when they are coming back. I keep reminding them that Nana, Papa and Aunt Dani will be back tomorrow afternoon, but that seems like forever to them. They forgot to take my camera so I won't have any pictures. But I am sure they are having fun!

Sloss Furnaces

Sloss Furnaces produced iron for nearly 90 years, which gave rise to the city of Birmingham, AL. Now recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Sloss Furnaces with its web of pipes and tall smokestacks offers us a glimpse into the great industrial past of the South and our nation.
We went to visit Sloss Furnaces Tuesday. It was very interesting to see and think back to when it was fully functioning. When it started back in 1880s it employed close to 2000 men, but by the time it closed in 1970s it had only about 200 employees. 
train that carried materials from one end of the yard to the other
train tunnel
Ellie didn't like it
 The tunnel was where the train brought materials to smaller cars that were loaded and then sent to the top of the furnace. It was kind of creepy and also loud because of water and cars that passed by overhead. Ellie hated the noise and I'm really surprised she went down there with us. 
looking at huge wheels that helped power the blowers
don't remember what this is, but they look cute!
 Editor's note: Spencer is with us today. However, Ayden was in school. Thus, he is not in any of the pictures


My dad is a big stock car racing fan and he was very excited that we live so close to Talladega. Saturday morning we took a tour of the racetrack and museum. My dad was a like a little kid in a candy shop!
just a small section of the stadium, its huge
Of course we had to visit Victory Lane. It's not as big as it appears on TV; it's actually quite small. The kids had a blast running around pretending to be Lightning McQueen.
 Next, we went to the museum. It looked like a bunch of cars to me: some old, some new, just a bunch of cars. But to my dad it was fun.
The boys liked "driving" this car, but I couldn't get my dad to take a ride! Ellie was really good through the museum, but by the third building she was bored. Finally, we made it back to the gift shop for my dad to get a souvenir.
 We really tried to get him to go with this one, but he passed on it. We even found a beautifully bedazzled purple hat, but once again he passed!  My dad had really wanted to do the driving school they offer at the racetrack, but he wasn't able to get into a class. But we were still able to find a car for him to drive at Talladega.....
I don't think it was as awesome as the real thing, but we all thought it was funny!
editor's note: Spencer had to work and was unable to attend this event. Thus, he does not appear in any of the photos

Friday, February 17, 2012


My parents are coming to visit! We are so excited to see them. It's been a year since we last saw them, even longer for Spencer. When we lived in Utah (even though we were only 11 hours away), we only saw them once maybe twice a year. So when we moved to Alabama, we knew we would see them even less. But my parents surprised us in November with news that they were coming in February for a week. We've been slowly counting down the days and finally the day has come! My parents get in tonight and we are looking forward to a week with them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


My sister was going through her text inbox on her phone and found some funny ones I had sent her about Ellie. They make me laugh even now!

Jan 24, 2011: 
Ellie and Spencer are waiting at Tunex and 
Spencer: Your mom will kill me for taking you out in public with your hair a  mess.
Ellie: No....I don't even think she has a gun.

June 7 2011: Randomly during lunch Ellie said to me "Mom, I've been waiting for a year to be a mom."

Jun 18, 2011: Ellie is drawing a picture of Spencer and says "I don't know how to draw humans so I draw Mr. Potatoe Heads. Maybe someday I'll learn"

Tate has been adding words to his vocabulary so fast these past few weeks. It's so fun to see his language skills come together. Some of our favorites are:
Goss....gross (which almost everything he doesn't want to do is gross)
Noot Nats.....fruit snacks
MEAN....(this one he uses when he wants to tattle on what the siblings did or wouldn't let him do)
other words sound a lot alike:
Juice and Shoes (if you're not in the right situation, it's hard to tell which one he is saying)
There a few phrases that would just be too hard to try and figure out how to type phonetically how he says them:
"why did you do that?" (this is a question he asks his older siblings a lot)
"like that" (he will say this for just about everything he wants to re-tell you: if he fell, bonked his head, threw a car, injustices from siblings, etc)

Ayden is getting so grown up and sometimes it's hard to remember that he's still 7. But just the other night I was reminded of how young and innocent he still is. He was talking about his dream of being a football player. "Mom, when I get older I want to play in the NFL. But I better play college football first, probably at BYU. After that I can be drafted."
And just the other night we had a good laugh as he was writing out Valentine's cards to his class mates. For each one, he wrote a little note to them like: you're a good friend, you are a fast runner, you're funny. Then I noticed on one girl's he had written "you're weird". Spencer and I tried (unsuccessfully) to hide the giggles and we told him that he probably shouldn't write that on her card. And he goes "well she is." We explained that it may not make her feel good and he should think of something else to write. So he came up with "you're crazy!" Hopefully, he'll gain a little more tact as he grows up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

blowing kisses
Our first Alabama Valentine's Day has been pretty great. We made decorations for the house (the chain on the mantel and hearts) and gave each child a special note of how much we love them and for dinner we enjoyed pink waffles!  I am so thankful for all the wonderful Valentines in my life. 
We wish all y'all a Happy Valentine's Day!