Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Flashback to last Christmas with Elyse:

--The season started off on December 4th with our Ward Christmas Party. Santa Clause came to visit all the children and was extra excited to see Bishop. For those of you who do not know the Bishop is my father who at the time had Elyse in his hands as everyone was singing “Here comes Santa Clause…”. Santa came running in to give Bishop a hug and gave Elyse such a fright! She jumped out of “gandpa’s” (as Elyse would say it) arms and ran
across the table to mommy.

As you can see below the year before turned out so well (mostly because
was still pretty young).

So I was determined to get her picture again this year and she was not very
happy. As you can see:
A-the picture turned out blurry
B- you don’t really see her face because she was too busy burying it into
my shoulder and clinging on for dear life!
However if you notice, she was willing to reach out to take the candy cane from Santa.

--Our next Christmas adventure was decorating the tree. That same night we also went to Wray’s to check out the decked out trucks. Now if you take notice Elyse is waving at the camera with a jolly spirit while in daddy’s arms and the next she is screaming and would not let go of him!
We continued to walk around the parking lot. As we decided to leave
we walked by a truck that had a few dogs and distracted her enough to get a few more pictures. As Ben and I pulled out in wonder of what just
happened I turned to look at the tree they light each year and saw low and behold Santa Clause sitting beneath it!

We felt so bad about her horrible experience that we let her stay up past
bed time. We figured it better she relax some than go to bed frightened.
As you can see during that time she managed to cuddle and watch
basketball with daddy, try on mommy’s hat with her gloves and eat a ho ho.

--A few evenings later we went to the drive thru nativity scene and what a great memory to have! We also tried Journey to Bethlehem, we were absolutely FREEZING afterwards but the three of us really enjoyed it. It was amazing! We decided to keep it a tradition and took Addalyn to it this year as well.

--OK I have to add these pictures because I think they are adorable and were taken around this time. As I was sleeping in one morning, Elyse and daddy were playing around and thought it would be funny to take a picture with her as a doll up on the shelf.

--Christmas Eve consisted of putting out pumpkin pie and a letter for Santa.
--Christmas morning was better than I could have imagined. I love how confused she looks as we are at the table to see what Santa left.

At our house Santa hides your stocking after he has filled it. Elyse liked to
be clean and have things cleaned, she liked to have everything in its place
and would put things where they belonged. As I set her on the ground to
tell her of Santa hiding the stocking and the need to find it, she had already
noticed something out of place. She was pulling the stocking out from
underneath the entry table as dad was trying to get the camera ready to
take a picture…good thing he had not set it down yet or we would have
missed it! Elyse was unsure about where it belonged at first but then her
face lit up with excitement as she realized it was full of goodies.

Yes, I know what you are thinking. “What? Movies?” and “She is smiling
while holding them?” Elyse did not like television, obviously she had no
idea what they were, and to answer the first question we were desperately
trying to get her to cuddle under a blanket with us while watching a movie.
Alright so maybe that was a little more my vision than Ben‘s. She was
always good about sitting on the couch with me as we watched one of the
princess movies we got for her. However, it was nothing like I had
envisioned, there was a bowl of popcorn in between us and as soon as it
was gone so was she.
Next we gave her one of the best presents ever. She got her kitchen set (we
stayed up the night before trying to put it together)! I am so happy that I
videoed instead of just taking pictures. Some may say the video is too long
but it is one of my favorites. Ben tried several times to get her to say “hi” in
this but she was video shy (realize the video and not camera shy..big
deference to her). Ah what I would give to have had her say “hi” in this video.
But just the pure look of happiness on her face is enough. I love how she
points and looks at me like “do you see it too mom?”. When she is on the
phone if you listen close she does say "OH" and "done". I have just spent
about 2 hours trying different ways to upload the video and just discovered
they only take videos that are 100 MB max and the video is 238MB ugh! So I
will upload it to facebook for those of you that would like to view it.

--Here are some pictures of Christmas at my side of the families house:

--And for some reason I cannot find any pictures of her at Ben’s families house so the year before will have to do:

Monday, December 5, 2011


Saturday night we got the Christmas tree and for now it sits in the corner undecorated. I was hesitant of how it would feel to decorate the house this Christmas, but I know Elyse would want us to trim the tree and deck our halls with boughs of holly.

Her first Christmas we decided to skip the tree, but last year we got our first and she LOVED it. We tucked her in bed shortly after getting it in the house, and Ben and I adorned the tree with lights, most of the ornaments, and an angel. When she awoke the next morning we turned on the Christmas tree lights before going to get her. As she came out she could not believe her eyes, it was absolutely captivating to her. She stood there pointing to the angel we had bought together. “WOW!!!” was the first thing to come out of her mouth as she then ran to the tree. Our angel moves its wings and changes many different colors. She was so very careful with putting up the rest of the ornaments and making sure not to bump any others. Who knew Christmas trees could be so MAGICAL and leave such WONDERFUL memories!?!

We are so pleased to have that memory with Elyse, that it just seemed impossible to not put up a Christmas tree this year. As Ben and I were outside shaking it out, putting on the tree stand, dragging it in, and attempting to straighten it out it was hard not to feel Elyse’s presence there with us. It was as though she was jumping about and running all around us, you could just feel her excitement exploding throughout the room. I do not know if it was the fact that we were going ahead and decorating this year or if it was that she just LOVES Christmas trees. Maybe it was a little bit of both. If we were able to feel her that much with just putting the tree in the house, we can’t wait to see how much of her we feel when we decorate the tree tonight for FHE!

Looking at dad thinking, "Is mom done yet? Can I go play with my kitchen set?!?"

We stayed up late that night trying to decorate most of the tree to surprise Elyse in the morning.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Halloween

With Halloween quickly arriving I have been spending A LOT of this month reminiscing on memories from last Halloween (and imagining what future ones will feel and be like). Before I jump ahead to last Halloween lets go back to Elyse’s first Halloween in 2009.

I had read through a parenting magazine and found a few cute homemade costumes, making me decide to try it out. Since Elyse had bonded so well with Muchacho (for those of you who do not know…my parents cat) I thought “How cute would it be for her to dress up like him and get some pictures of the two of them!?!?”. I have to admit I kind of skipped out on the whole “homemade costume” idea and bought a black dress, tights, and long sleeve shirt. The only homemade thing about her costume were the ears. We ended up spending most of that night in Ellensburg watching Aunt Lexus at a big swim meet. We drove home and in the driveway of our first house we got her all dressed up. We had just enough time to stop by and see all family members before we had to head home to get Elyse to bed.

Now last Halloween I decided not to kid myself with the homemade costume and instead find a cute ladybug outfit for her. Why ladybug you might ask. Not sure why, but for some reason I had it in my head that that is what she was going to be because she would just look so darn cute. And I have to say I was right! Once again that year on Halloween was a crazy time…we had just moved that week from one place to another and Ben and I were leaving at two in the morning to head to Seattle to catch a plane for Cancun, Mexico. We decided to have both our families together so we could spend more time with Elyse rather than in the car running from one place to another before we had to say goodbye for five days. We had a blast eating pizza, cake, and playing games.

Here she is so excited to be wearing her costume as we are headed to trunk or treat! When we tried it on a few days before hand to make sure it fit she loved it so much she did not want to take it off. Now for those of you who really knew Elyse would be surprised to see her wearing the antennas. For some reason I could not get her to wear a headband or bow for longer than .2 seconds but yet she enjoyed wearing the antennas and did not bother with them. Down below are two videos of Elyse from that night. Some of you may ask...did she have a little to much sugar? The answer is no. Lets be honest, first off she is her fathers child ;) secondly, she loved to make others laugh and she found that this did the trick so she repeated it over and over again just to hear the laughter and make everyone happy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A trip to the zoo

Going along with the subject of animals in the prior post, we went to the Seattle zoo last October. We headed up to Seattle in the morning and decided to make some breakfast for her to eat on the way up, in hopes of it entertaining her for at least part of the ride. It was not too long before she was done and came to the conclusion that dumping the rest out of the bowl and being silly was the better option. So although eating breakfast only occupied her for no more than 15 minutes on the other hand the bowl was able to keep her interest for a bit longer. Elyse loved to be silly and make others laugh, so the truth of it I think was that it was more for the entertainment of me rather than herself.

Of course sure enough it rained ALL weekend long…no surprise! But we made the most out of it and had a blast going to the zoo and to cousin Madison’s soccer game. One picture I missed getting and wish I would have thought to take was when we were looking through the glass, the water came up to about our waist and across the creek was a bear. Elyse was so excited to see the bear that close up, it was the kind of thing that can only be explained by picture…dang it.

Here are quite a few of the pictures…I think they are more fun than the reading part of this blog anyway!

Elyse and Daddy looking at the hippopotamus’

Elyse watching her cousin Madison feed the birds


Mommy and Elyse with the lions

Aunt Wendy, cousin Madison, and Elyse seeing the elephant


Grant and
Elyse at Madison's soccer game

Friday, August 19, 2011

Elyse definitely got her love for animals from her Daddy!

Elyse LOVED animals. It always made me a little nervous when Elyse would spot a dog and want to go pet it. I had to try to teach her that we could wave and say “hi dog” but we could not pet every dog. While we lived in the town homes by the church, but for a brief month, we had a neighbor with a dog. This dog was full grown and stood taller than Elyse, but she still loved it when we first moved in and took the wagon just around the pavement there. We spotted them just getting back from a walk, she was so excited when they came over and she got to pet and say “hi” to the dog, but I think it made her a little nervous when the dog licked her hand! My favorite is when she would spot a dog and look at me with such joy and excitement in her eyes, and exclaimed "dog dog!" She would always call dogs/puppies "dog dog".

Her love for animals did not stop there. She loved the little kittens at Permann’s house, not to mention one of her favorite friends was muchacho the cat. She would constantly call out for him, “kitty, kitty” and it did not take long for us to find him. The friendship went both ways. He loved her just as much and would continually come to her even though he knew she would most likely pull his tail or sit on him. However I must say as she got older she got a lot better, but once in awhile she would not see where she was going and step on his tail. One time we went to visit grandma and grandpa Turner and as we were walking up to the door we saw muchacho playing
with a mouse. He was throwing it in the air with his paws and jumping all around. Elyse did not realize exactly what was going on but she noticed he was having lots of fun. She shouted in excitement for her friend, “GO, GO, GO, GO….”.

I cannot get the sound to work right on this site, but the video is still fun to watch!

We went to the fair in October 2010 with Elyse and stopped by the barns to see all the animals. She enjoyed seeing and petting some of the horses. Of course, me not being to fond of animals and their messes, I was constantly wiping her hands with baby wipes then smothering them with hand sanitizer.