Monday, December 22, 2008

Just some photos...

Nothing major to say, just posting some pictures for all the family to see--easier
than emailing to a million different people. ~Merry Christmas~

*Jason and his best friend Garrett being shephards in the Nativity story...

Guitar playing "Joseph" serenades a hiding Mary-a little ad libbing never hurt right?

Jason proud of his gingerbread train...

Santa and Jas at the Ward Christmas Party

Jason and one of his best friends-Collin-playing under a table at the party...

Ryan with 2 chicken nuggets in his mouth and one in each hand-gotta love this kid!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Lately I've been amazed at how easily my emotions are affected by outside elements. Anything from the weather, books, people and especially music have big influences on how I feel. I'm becoming more attuned to how those things affect me and try to use them for the positive! So when I looked outside a few days ago and saw huge white, soft, fluffy flakes drifting past my window, I took a deep breath and knew it was going to be a good day. I grabbed Jason and pulled him up next to me, sitting on my cedar chest under my bedroom window. And he sat for a half hour watching the flakes build momentum in the sky. He would point at each one like every flake was new to him. At one point he turned, excitement burning in his bright blue eyes and said "mom, it's so bootiful". I couldn't have agreed more!

I bundled up the kiddies-not even bothering to think about all the effort of coats, hats, gloves etc just to potentially turn around and take them off 15 minutes later. I didn't think about the runny noses or whining about being wet and cold. I jumped right into the moment knowing that this was probably a once in a life time memory for my boys living in Las Vegas. They got to play in the snow! Ryan tasted everything and I tried not to cringe as he picked up snow off the grass, stuffing it in his mouth. Once or twice I caught him shaking his head rigidly, shuddering as the snow touched his new front teeth. Jason was thoroughly engrossed in how the snow stuck together as he squished it between his gloved hands. We made a snowman-who lasted about as long as Ryan let him, after pulling the grape eyeballs and carrot nose off and eating those as well.

I found myself sad when they were ready to go inside, because little did they know how fragile that afternoon was. It couldn't be duplicated and wasn't likely to be repeated as long as we are living here. They would wake up tomorrow and the enchantment would all be gone and I knew how disheartened Jason would be. So I'll dream of a white Christmas in Idaho and hope that we have more afternoons just like that one! And I keep reminding myself, don't worry about the hassle, the work, the burden or cost of spur of the moment ideas. Be that mom who lets her kids run barefoot or play in the stream (or the sandbox in my case-which reminds me of a large litter box so I make the kids stay away from it!) because the memories are worth far more than the hassle.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Fiddler on the Roof"...

TRADITION....TRADITION! I feel like Tevye grasping at what few familiar family traditions I have left in my ever changing life. It's like you get married and the tide comes in, washing away most of your own footprints you managed to leave in the sand over the last 20 years, unless the prints were deep enough that the waves can never completely cause them to disappear--just reshape them a little--forcing them to fit better into the new mold that is married life. We continue to implement our favorite familial past times as our children grow older, finding ourselves full of nostalgia and wishful thinking this time of year. Oh to be a child again!

Back to Tevye--one of my favorite traditions has been for our family to head to Salt Lake City each Christmas and spend a weekend attending some Christmas concert (which has recently evolved to include college basketball games at the Delta Center), eating out at a favorite restaurant-usually the Lion House-and wrapping it up with a magical walk to see all the lights on Temple Square. It is always accompanied by evenings as a family sipping hot chocolate--to which I am totally & irrevocably addicted--and eating Mrs. Cavanaugh's Mindy Mints. (can't remember when those came into play but I can't remember a SLC Christmas weekend without them--little melt-in-your-mouth morsels of creamy mint chocolaty goodness, I'm drooling again already!) Ever since my brothers and sisters started college & serving missions, our Christmas weekend has not quite been the same. Someone is always missing and I subtly tear up a little looking around the dinner table or sitting around chatting at 2am, when I realize one of them is not there. I can't wait for the time when this busy part of life is over and we can all be back together again. This year we had two extras join us, my brother David's girlfriend Summer and my sister Lisa's boyfriend Spencer. It was refreshing to watch them interact, holding hands, opening doors for each other, not wanting to be apart for even a second. It made Scott and I a little more sensitive to how we treated each other--but we also wanted to shout "just give it 10 years and then we'll so who's more in love!" ha ha.

Nevertheless, to write the obvious, I love my family--enough to want to have 6 houses right next door to each other and one big fence around all of them. I want our kids to play in the yard together and eat meals together (actually, the others can fix the meals--I'll do dessert!) and not miss one more second of growing up without each other. That's what my heaven looks like, 6 houses, one big fence, lots of kids and Mindy Mints.

Dinner at the Lion House

Ryan--sick the whole weekend--poor boy!

Go Cougars!

Dave & Summer

Lisa & Spencer

Temple Square!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gobble Gobble

Turkey Day was pretty basic around here this year--as basic as TIDWELL'S do Thanksgiving! Thursday we got together with a couple other families in our ward who have younger kids and had dinner with them. I made sugar rolls, pies and green been casserole. The feast was fantastic--so great in fact that when we all went to go home that afternoon, instead of splitting up the leftovers and heading our separate ways for the weekend, we were all invited back on Friday for "left-over" Thanksgiving dinner. The kids loved it and so did Scott--getting a four day weekend and time to play with his friends too was a real treat. We did lots of lounging, decorating for Christmas, Scott took Jason to see a movie Saturday night, and on Sunday we cooked our own turkey and had a feast all over again! I know, I know, you think I'm crazy but when you do joint dinner with friends, you don't have left overs of your own and turkey sandwiches for a week after Thanksgiving are almost important as the actual meal. So now I have a 17lb cooked turkey in my fridge and am trying to figure out what to do with it. Next step, Christmas!


Pies pies and more pies

Jason & Dad

Scott and his boys playing Halo (an old college fav!)