Sunday, December 28, 2008

The best of both worlds



The children's museum had a snow day. There's nothing like playing in the snow in 70 degree weather!

Father of the Bride house


I had heard from some ladies in our ward that the "Father of the Bride" house wasn't too far from here. So I took the boys for a little car ride to try and find it and voila...there it was! I'm a huge fan of the movies so this was really exciting for me.

Christmas

OK, so this has been done many times, but I can't resist...
Two sets of new Christmas pajamas: $28.00

Stocking stuffers: $10.00

The Screamin' Banshee Cars Toy: $33.00

Fisher Price animal circus train: $27.00

Eating Grandma Suzanne's warm, out of the oven cinnamon rolls dripping with gooey frosting: Priceless

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I got your back


Luke is 8 months old now. He and Cole were laying like this all on their own and I had to capture it!

Ella


My sister Emily had her 5th little baby on November 24th. Her name is Ella May. She is so beautiful and tiny. Cole and Luke and I stayed with her all last week to "help out". Hopefully we were helpful.
Cole had a wonderful time with them; going to the park, doing Christmas crafts, putting on the play "Hansel and Gretel", playing in their big backyard and jumping on their trampoline, and always having someone to play "brother and sister" with. The 3 year old, Olivia, was so funny while we were there. She was amost always holding onto Cole and saying things like, "I'm so in-love with you" and "I have a secret crush on you".
A few times I took the kids, minus the little babies, on some outings and it was quite an experience simply because of people's reactions to me. Having 4 or 5 little kids with you as you walk through a grocery store is seemingly quite a spectacle. I got looks of pity, sympathy, etc. and lots of "whoa, you've got your hands full" looks. It gave me a greater appreciation for what my sister must go through every day.
She is an amazing mom and by the time we left she was totally ready to go solo and probably looking forward to it!

Thanksgiving








We spent Thanksgiving with Clay's family this year. Steve and Breanne, Clark and Liesel, and Mark were all at his parent's house for the festivities. The food was wonderful and Breanne made the table look so festive with her sparkly pumpkins and candles, and turkey place cards for everyone!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Family Reunion 2008




We just got back from our family reunion in Utah. It was absolutely wonderful! All of Clay's brothers and their families were able to come for 4 fun-filled days in a huge, beautiful house.


There were some great activites planned for kids and for grown-ups: a girls night in, a baby shower for Breanne and Liesel, the Bruce Olympics, a scavenger hunt (that was so creative it must become a traditon), Mark's mission report, a film festival (each family was asked to make a short film for this), hikes, biking, a trip to the sand dunes, ping pong, fooseball, air hockey, tons of wii American Idol, and tons of swimming in the indoor, heated pool.


Everyone will agree that the best part of having this reunion was watching the kids play together. Cole LOVED playing with his cousins. We can't wait to see everyone again in 2 years.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Taking on something controversial

Prop 8
Whenever I've written posts like this in the past, I've always deleted them, but maybe I'll keep this one for a while.

For the past few months, church members throughout California have been knocking doors; making phone calls; putting up signs, door hangers and bumper stickers; and donating money all for the Yes on 8 campaign. I did the walks and made phone calls and voted “yes” this Tuesday. I voted “yes” because:

I do not want it to be legal for teachers to talk about same-sex relationships with their students. It makes my heart ache to consider the possibility of Cole's first grade teacher putting the idea in his head that he can marry a boy. Everyone has probably heard this story in the news:

First-graders in San Francisco took a field trip to City Hall to celebrate the marriage of their lesbian teacher on Friday, but opponents of same-sex marriage in the state say the field trip was an attempt to “indoctrinate” the students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The field trip was suggested by a parent at the Creative Arts Charter School, and the school said the trip, where students tossed rose petals on their teacher and her wife as they left City Hall, was academically relevant.
"It really is what we call a teachable moment," said Liz Jaroslow, the school’s interim director, according to the newspaper. She said same-sex marriage had historic significance. "I think I'm well within the parameters."


I'm not arguing that all schools would be going on lesbian wedding field trips if prop 8 didn't pass, but wouldn't we be heading in that direction? In Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, public schools have been affected tremendously: kindergartners have been given picture books about same-sex marriage, second graders read a story about a king and a king who fall in love and the book included a picture of the two kings kissing. When parents asked that they be told when same-sex marriage is going to be taught to their children, the school board answered that they have no obligation to notify parents and the children may not opt out. There is a long list of things going on in Massachusettes schools that I can't list here.

So the question arises of why I don't want Cole to be influenced in this way. Am I afraid that he will become gay, and if so what's wrong with that?

Answer: I don't want Cole to see, touch, hear, think, muse or chance upon anything that could negatively impact him. I guard him so carefully from worldly influences that I can't imagine sending him to school where he would be taught the very things I'm trying to protect him from. He and all the kids in his class would be taught that marrying someone of the same sex is another option to consider when choosing a mate. I do not want Cole to be presented with this option. Why? Why would it be so horrible to be part of a same-sex marriage?

Answer: Heavenly Father has a plan for Cole and a very important part of that plan is for him to marry one of His daughters and know the joy of having children with her and raising a family in righteousness and doing amazing things as a family now and forever.

Something very important to note is that neither I nor the church have any negative feelings of any kind toward homosexuals. We are taught to love them and we do not think we are better than them and we know that God love's them exactly the same as any of His children. Voting “Yes” does not take away any civil rights from same-sex couples. They are entitled to every right that married couples have. The only difference is their union cannot be called a “marriage”.

I can understand the case against prop. 8. But for us its not a civil rights issue because they already have the same rights. The marriage issue is just about how we classify same-sex unions, not about what homosexuals can and cannot do. We understand that not everybody shares our beliefs, but we believe that Jesus Christ really is the Savior and that he really did have prophets who explained that homosexual behavior is self-destructive.

Where was I going with all this? I'm not sure, but I feel kind of dizzy now.

I have to share a quote though, that my dad e-mailed to me. It is so prophetic. It was said by Elder Neil A. Maxwell in a talk he gave at BYU in 1979:


"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had ‘never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.' This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.... Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself."

Thanks to all you out there who helped awaken a slumbering 52% majority.

7 Months



Luke is now 7 months old. There have been a few minor developments with him. For example, I can now sit him in the front of the shopping cart instead of putting his infant seat on the cart. My favorite thing is that when he's sitting on the floor and starts crying, as I reach down to pick him up, he reaches up to me. He has also discovered the joy of baby swings. Cole was the one with the idea to ride in the same swing together.

Halloween


I love Halloween! This year we drove down to my parent's house where my sisters Emily and Amanda were with their families. We started off the festivities with a few rounds of Halloween Bingo. (Cole's Aunt Liesel had sent him a package with Bingo and a matching game and other goodies-Thanks Liesel!)


Cole and I were very excited about turning my sister Katie's room into a (small) haunted house for the cousins to go through. Cole played the part of Casper, and Clay really put it over the top with his performance as Dracula:)


Here's our little baby animals whose trick-or-treating experience never made it out the front door.


I love going door-to-door with Cole. He's the dark, mysterious figure on the right. And he love's having cousins who live close enough to go trick-or-treating with. He got a lot of candy and he's been so good at just having a few pieces each day. And I've been really good at not stealing any of it!

Barks and Books


Our library does a little reading activity each month called "Barks and Books", where kids sign up to read to "Maddie", a big golden retriever. We picked a short story for Cole to read, 8 sentences in all, without any "tricks" in any of the words.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Little Pumpkins



We went to the pumpkin patch in our little town this week. It was a short little trip but the boys had fun, I hope. We were able to find a good looking pumpkin for Cole and a baby sized one for Luke.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mission Completed

video

Ok, so this video clip is very short and very low quality, and you can hear my annoying giggling...but I think it's still fun to watch.

Mark, Clay's youngest brother, just came home from his mission in Idaho this week. I had never been a part of any missionary homecoming before so I just had to take the boys down to the airport to see Mark. Clay's parents were there too, of course, and so were Steve and Breanne and Blake. I was so glad that Cole got to have this experience. He loved it and even got to hold the big "welcome home" sign that aunt Breanne made. Clay couldn't be there because he had a class that night, so he came down a few days later with his brother, Bruce, to join in the celebrations.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

To Crawl or Not to Crawl



The twin cousins are now officially 6 months old. However, I've been considering Luke a 6 month old for a few weeks now, because for some reason my mind likes to jump forward like that.

He's doing pretty good at sitting on his own, and I'm crossing my fingers that this baby will be a crawler. We haven't had that kind of baby before. We keep putting him in the crawling position on his hands and knees and he's progressed to being able to support himself in this position for a minute or so, which is a lot more than Cole ever did. I guess the problem with Cole was that I never put him down. If I put him down, he immediately cried, so I opted for the constant holding. It all worked out though, he eventually learned how to crawl when he was 18 months old from our playing cats and dogs on the floor.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Goose"bumps

I'm going to put the picture for this post a ways down so that you only have to see it if you choose to scroll down.






People have commented that Cole's name for his spider, Goose, is an interesting choice. But I have recently found that this name is rather fitting because Goose can easily give people goosebumps. Last Sunday for example...





It was early in the morning when I walked into Cole's room, glanced at Goose's cage and screamed. I wasn't sure what I had just seen and I wasn't ready to take a second look. However, Clay came running in and together we confirmed that Goose had shed his skin. I had read about tarantulas doing this but I didn't expect it to look like this...





Yikes!








Exploring

Last weekend Clay had his intensive class all day Friday and Saturday. So on Saturday we went with him to school so we could walk around the campus.




Cole really enjoyed watching the band practice.


Afterwards we visited a nearby science museum.


It has fun "discovery rooms" for kids to play in and it's free admission. Here Cole is working on some construction. We stayed for hours and still didn't see everything. I guess we'll have to take more trips there.


We explored our own town a little more too. We went to the farmers market this week which was a new experience. Cole loved the roasted corn on the cob.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Halloween Sneak Peak



We just got Halloween costumes for the boys. Cole has already worn his several times and of course has formally introduced both costumes to the old ones.

Strawberries


While I was busy with Luke, Cole asked if he could have some strawberries. I told him to have as many as he wanted. Later when I walked in the kitchen, I saw the tops of 21 strawberries!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On Marriage

On Saturday, Clay watched the boys so I could help with the Prop. 8 campaign. Prop. 8 would be an ammendment to the California constitution that would state that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. So the church has asked members to knock doors in our neighborhoods to find out if voters know what prop 8 is and how they would vote. I paired up with another lady in our ward and we knocked doors for four hours. I couldn't help thinking of Mark on his mission. I was surprised that no one was mean or rude to us. There were a lot of people not home, or people who hid when they saw us coming. But of those who answered their doors, it seemed like a little more than half were in favor of the proposition. However, we were in a very conservative town.

On a lighter, sillier note, I am very much in favor of marriage between humans and vampires. I have just finished reading Twilight, the first book of four by Stephanie Meyer (a BYU grad). The book is about Edward, an immortal teenage vampire, and Isabella, a human. Edward almost goes mad with his desire to drink Isabella's blood, but is soon overcome with a new thirst, a new need--to be with her, to be near her, to protect her. They fall agonizingly in-love, all the while knowing that Edward may lose control at any moment and kill her. It's a great book. I highly recommend it!

Spoiled

Cole and Luke and I went on a little trip last week to visit our SoCal family. It's so wonderful to be close enough to family to make it least monthly visits.


I always thought it would be fun to try to turn one of Cole's shows into a game. So at his cousins we played "Blue's Clues". It was easy to make and they loved searching for paw print clues and drawing them in their "handy dandy notebook".


We loved spending time with Clay's parents. Grandpa Gary was so nice to take Cole swimming while Luke and I relaxed in the cool breeze on the patio.


Grandma Suzanne knows exactly what Cole will want when he comes over...waffles! This time they made some together.


We visited my dad's mom, Grandma Dorothey too. It was nice to visit with her and get to see the Christmas stockings she's working on for the new babies in the family.


At my Grandma Lyla and Grandpa Tommy's house (my mom's parents)Cole had a fun surprise waiting for him...chocolate cupcakes that were ready for him to frost and sprinkle.

And of coarse it was wonderful staying with my parents during our little get-away. My mom and dad took Cole on dates out to eat and took him and my sister's girls to a waterpark. He had so much fun. We were all thoroughly spoiled but we missed our Clay very much and we are glad to be home again.

Back to School


Clay started school a couple weeks ago and its going well. Before he started classes he had to pass a statistics exam that he spent every spare moment during the summer studying for. We were so happy to find out that he passed! Here he is on his first day of school.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Zoo News


As soon as we moved here we got our membership to the zoo. We love it, eventhough its been so HOT outside.


Sometimes the best parts of the zoo don't involve animals. Cole love's this train.


I love looking at the chimps. Cole got a very up-close look today.


This one's for Uncle Steve. What do you call a camel with two humps? A Bactrian!


My favorite part is the Adventure Theater where kids act out the story, "Giraffe's Can't Dance". Cole has played the part of the Zebra, the Rhino, and today was the monkey. Here they are taking a bow.

P.S. This has nothing to do with the Zoo, but Luke has his two front bottom teeth coming in!

Bon Voyage

Clay's brother Thayne and his wife Sara moved this last Monday. So the Sunday before, all the So Cal Larson's went to Sara's mom's house to say goodbye.


Luke with Grandma.


Sage is so sweet! She loved feeding Luke his bottle.


I am so thrilled that I got a picture of Luke and Calla holding hands.


Cole and Sage ready for some food!


We'll miss you guys!