How we live and love and what we have to say about it, from Mommy Mumblings to Daddy Discourses
Stan and I first met in BYU's weight room. We've been married since Dec. of 2000. 11 years later we're still madly in love and so happy to have each other. We've earned 4 degrees: 2 BS's, 1 MS and 1 PhD. We've lived in UT, VA, MS, and now CA. We love rock climbing, yoga, exercising, reading, writing, making each other laugh, and our 4 beautiful children.
Checking the mail and getting Christmas cards from our family and friends is one of our favorite things that we get to do each Christmas Season. We love to see how everyone has grown and what is new and good in so many lives. We also appreciate the fellowship in Christ as so many celebrate his birth.
We hang our cards on ribbons on the walls of our entryway each year. So we really like getting those cards early:)
If you're like me and looking around for the best deal for Christmas cards this year- check out Shutterfly. I really like their "easy to navigate" site. It's sinly to add, organize, and order from them. Would you like to get 50 free Christmas Cards from Shutterfly? I sure would, so I'm telling you all about them. I have used Shutterfly and found many great deals and high quality photos.
It is elegent and classy- AND it's a 5 by 7 folding card. I like how the card actualy says Merry Christmas and it's perfect for the family shot we like to put on our cards. Plus- you can write your Christmas letter inside the card and it will be printed and ready for you. No extra work!
Here's the link to the Christmas Cards:
And they don't just have cards but also photo books, calendars, mugs, and more!
I recently went to a Shutterfly Photo Book party and I was really impressed. The books are just gorgeous and much easier to put together than I had imagined. Look out Julia, you might just get your baby book!
follow this link to find out how you can get 50 free Christmas Cards HERE.
We had a big friend birthday party full of dangerous pirates, treasure hunts, and tired parents:)
in line to destroy that pirate pinata- we had bought 2 super big bags from Walmart, but could have used 2 more. Israel threatening Shel Silverstien, I mean the pinata (anybody read Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Last Straw?) Rescuing the drowning soldier from the water (something he'd wanted to do since seeing his cake the night before) my friend Wendy helped me make the cake with a pirate lego set Israel got for his birthday (she supplied the bricks for the border- we're new to legos in the Hall house)
We had our first friend birthday party for Eliza (turning 5) and Julia (turning 3) yesterday. Five little princesses were able to come over and join the fun. We all had a great time and Julia and Eliza couldn't have been happier.
All the princesses received a manicure, crown, necklace, bracelet, and ring so we could be fancy. Then we played Elefun (Julia's birthday present), ate lots of pink food, danced to princess music, and then played outside.
Showing off their princess hairstyles before the party.
Look at those wide open eyes and happy smile. I think she's enjoying her party:)
Pin the tiara on the princess. See Julia peeking out beneath the blindfold?
Eliza- even as a princess showing off her climbing skills. I always think she'd make a good "paper bag princess" (if you haven't read the book by Robert Munsch give it a try. It's one of my favorites)
taking on the pinata
Eliza looking dangerous. Blowing out the candles together.
Eliza with her special Cinderella doll.
Me by the cake. The windows kept falling off- I think the wafers didn't like being in the fridge. This picture is before we fixed them. We didn't get an after one. Silly us.
We're so glad we have our girls:) Now we just have to finish cleaning up the mess!
ps look what came in the mail: Israel modeling his Halloween costume- Thanks Aunt Sue! He LOVES it:)
Israel had a great first day in school. The only complaints were that he didn't get enough turns at hot potato and a run in at recess with The Giant. Seriously he looks like he should be in 4th grade. He made Israel give him the basketball at recess without even saying please. I asked Israel why he gave The Giant the ball and he said he didn't want to get punched. Smart kid.
He talked all about his 3 recesses and Mrs. C reading Amelia Bedelia's 1st Day of School and all the new classroom rules. It's looking like it will be a great school year.
Let's just hope that Israel can keep clear of The Giant. At least they're not in the same class
We did our 2nd road trip to Utah last weekend to celebrate Stan's graduation. We're all so thrilled to be done with school. His parents came out to celebrate with us and we all stayed at Dana and Jason's house. Just after he was officially hooded. Did you even know Stan's smile could get so big? That is one happy guy right there.
Everyone at the convocation- Amanda, Dad, Mom, Me, Stan, Mom Hall, Dad Hall, Dana in the back.
showing his hood
Israel, the future graduate:)
My good friend Liz graduated with Stan. She earned her master's degree and just moved this weekend to Claremont for her PhD- we're practically neighbors:) only 2 hours apart!
Dana was so sweet. While watching the kids for the general commencement she not only took care of 5 children, she also made these cute posters, decorated the room with balloons and streamers, and made Cafe Rio Chicken- yummo! Eliza modeling her and Julia's new pop guns and awesome hiking boots. Don't you love the wool socks Stan got them?
Israel hanging out with Grandpa
Look at these kids sleeping. This is how we found them one morning. Julia's legs inbetween Israe's and Eliza's legs around Julia's neck.
I discovered most all of my pictures are of the kids with their cousins, but then that's what we went to Utah for in the first place. It had absolutely nothing to do with escaping the heat of 29 Palms in the summer. Well almost nothing to do with that, or that fact that Stan was gone to Boy Scout Camp:)
Visiting with Dana and her twins Arlo & Josiah (13 mo. in July)
Julia holding our newest member of the family. Jane's son Logan Cash (2 mo. in July)
Israel with Hannah and Hailey. They have such a good time together (esp. playing Wii)
Playing at Bear Lake with the Robbin's cousins (Kienan is getting buried)
Julia again holding a baby- this is Mariam, one of Michele's twins. Julia is such a little Mama:)
This is Elizabeth and Mariam on the quilt I made for their nursery. Mom did a great job on the machine quilting for me.
With the Robbin's cousins again. Israel and Sarah were good buddies.
Eliza riding in the back of the Dad's truck next to Bryce. I just love this picture, I'm not quite sure why.
Julia at Laketown's park.
Mom and Dad modeling the bocce ball game I brought up and we all had a blast playing.
Israel with good buddy Aidan who now lives in Florida. We were so happy to be visiting so we could hang out together. Aidan's mom Katie is one of my super good friends and we're writing pals as well. I sure miss being in the same building with the Purdies. Who'd have thought we'd end up on opposite sides of the US?
Mom and Dad with my kiddos on their front steps
See the arch above them? they had just finished rocking it that morning. The house is coming together really well. I only did a tiny bit of grouting, but I'm glad to have been able to help out a bit.
Here are a few more pictures of our trip. Thanks Grandma and Granddaddy for such a wonderful trip. We relaxed, we played, and we ate good food:)
Shooting Granddaddy's SKS. I actually learned how to disassemble and put it together all by myself. It was fun to work with-even if the gun is too heavy for me to hold steady:)
Picking blueberries is always a highlight. We love the picking/eating off the bush time and all the future food- the pies, cakes, breakfast food, and fruit salads we make with it. Yeah for blueberries!
Stan's good friend and best man at our wedding John Curle came down to Cole's Knob and the boys did an 8 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. John has a 10 year goal of hiking the entire thing.
The kiddos on the trampoline. The kids got on so well with Addie this time. It was fun to watch them together. Israel especially appreciated that she'd play the car arcade game in the basement with him. We're looking forward to Travis's family's visit to CA sometime in the near future.
Visiting Aunt Jean's house. She gave us the banjo she'd found at a yard sale a few weeks before. We had a nice visit and Israel was mesmerized by all the collections (thankfully the girls were asleep in the car or we might have had a few disasters)
Sunday afternoon we played a lot of music. Travis taught Stan and I to play on our new banjo- We can play Cripple Creek, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, and Boil Them Cabbage Down. And this is a big one for me- Travis's teaching method totally works for me. I have all 3 songs memorized and memorization has always been a bear to me. Thanks Travis!
Stan getting Corban Stanley to sleep. We both enjoyed all the baby time we were able to take. Corban is 7 months old and really a good little guy.
Highlights not pictured:
-Going to the Floyd County Branch for church. It was so good to see the branch we've heard so much about and bonus- we even got to hear Grandma give a talk.
-Watching Toy Story 3 in 3D. The adults liked it at least as much as the kids. We recommend it.
-Spending the night at Travis and Renee's playing games and the girls having a big slumber party.
-Travis setting off an impressive SC style firework display on July 3rd. We watched the show laying down on the trampoline. It was perfect.