a summary of our christmastime activities

We took the boys to a neighborhood nearby that always goes all out with lights and decorations. There is one house that has a table set up for kids to write letters to Santa, and a special mailbox to drop them in. Since we didn't make it over to Macy's this year, this is where the boys mailed their letters to Santa.
It's always fun looking at the lights, but I personally get a little freaked out by all the mannequins in the yards. See below:

Most of these neighborhoods (or tracts as they are called here) were built in the 60s or 70s...so when you see a house that has been remodeled like this one, it just seems out of place. Very nice remodel though!
On Christmas Eve we went over to Brad's brother Ken's house...on our way there, we drove by some houses to see some of the lights and we found the GRISWALD'S house!!!!!!

The kids had fun playing the Wii...

We read the Christmas story from Luke, and then decorated cookies to eat and to give to Santa

Then we went home, and the boys opened their new Christmas pajamas...here they are just before being tucked in...
We were shocked that they didn't wake up until about 6:30! I thought we'd be up around 5 for sure! Here they are, anxiously awaiting the discovery of the loot Santa left for them!
Joshy's dreams came true when he saw that we got a Wii! He think's it's HIS, not OURS. :)

I don't think Drew stood still for more than 2 seconds, he was all over the place! I'm bummed that I didn't get more pictures of him...but here is one of him admiring his transforming Rocket (from Little Einsteins)...

Jakob's dreams came true when he saw that Santa FINALLY brought him the night vision goggles that he's been wanting for the past couple of years...
They REALLY work too!
more spy gear!
fun games, foam rockets, and dinosaur books...fun fun!
Santa decided to continue a fun tradition and got us tickets to the Monster Truck Rally again this year...it is in January...we can't wait!
We had a very relaxing Christmas Day...I actually stayed in my pajamas all day! I loved it! The boys (ALL of them...ahem, BRAD!) had fun playing the Wii and I enjoyed reading and finishing a book I was reading.

We have loved getting all of your Christmas letters and cards and pictures...and please know that we didn't forget you this year...we are sending a New Year's letter...look for it soon!

On another note...today is our 8th anniversary! Time has flown by...and it has been wonderful. Who would have guessed that I'd meet my husband online, and marry him in a 3 month time span??? Crazy I know, but it was just meant to be. Now, 3 kids and 8 years later, we are still in love and as happy as ever! I love you babe!


I feel Christmas differently as a mother...

"Kissing The Face Of God" by Morgan Weistling

I have loved this painting for years...I don't have one of my own (yet!) but I still love to look at it, even if it's just a tiny copy online. Here's a bit about this painting, by the artist:

"This painting was first inspired by a song that I heard one day. Sometimes, hearing one phrase is all it takes, and then a flood of inspiration follows. The phrase “kissing the face of God” immediately struck me with this powerful image of Mary and the Baby Jesus. It is an image that we have seen depicted many times, but never simply as a mother and her child with real tenderness. I started to contemplate the awesome privilege that Mary was given, being able to hold God in her arms, but also keeping in mind that He was still her baby. This cute little child whom she bore was also God in the flesh. And yet, she cuddled and kissed Him, just as all mothers do with their babies. This thought propelled me right into this painting which I wanted to be a very human representation of divinity. My prayer is that the viewer will be struck, as I am, with the amazing way that God chose to send His Son into this world — in pure humility."

Humility for the mother AND the child. Mother hood is definitely a humbling experience...but the most special experience I know. Knowing how it feels to have carry a baby inside my belly, to give birth, to be overwhelmed by love for such a tiny being and just plain being amazed at the miracle of life, I feel like I can somewhat relate to Mary...as a mother. To cherish those little moments of wonder while gazing into the face of your little one and nuzzling their cheek...those are precious moments of time that are so fleeting. Because we all know all too well how fast it goes by, and that little one grows into a child.

Since I became a mother, every Christmas has meant something a little bit different to me. As my boys grow older, I imagine what it was like for Mary, knowing that her little boy was the Son of God. Talk about humbling! But I know, that in essence, we are all sons and daughters of God...and knowing that helps me have a bit more love and compassion for my own children.

I hope that we may all embrace the Christmas Spirit this season, and do as He commanded, and "love one another."

Merry Christmas!

xoxo, Shari


Thank you 104.3!

One of our local radio stations, 104.3, has a contest where you submit a playlist of 5 songs for their "5 at 5" portion of the show. Well, Brad's playlist was chosen as the winner the other day...and not only did they play his songs (which he swears he doesn't remember picking at least 2 of them) but they talked to him on the readio (which the kids thought was VERY cool!) AND they gave him a prize of 4 tickets to Walking With Dinosaurs...something that we've been wanting to take the boys to for quite a while now! We watched the "Making Of..." on the Discovery Channel last year, and ever since then we've wanted to go...but the tickets are quite pricey, so we decided against it. The show isn't until Sept. 2010, but that is something fun to look forward to! If you haven't heard of it, check out this little 1 minute video:


these are days to remember...

...and they go a little something like this:

Credit for the artwork goes to none other than Joshy. :)
Except for the orange scribble under the picture -- that was Drew.
Big brother needs to set a better example for little brother.
We're working on it.
As you can see, Drew has also learned how fun it is to jump on the bed. :)

Joshy lost his first tooth yesterday morning...yes, he's only 4, but hey, the kid got his
first tooth at 4 months old...so that sucker was ready to fall out!

The Three Stooges, I mean, My 3 Little Angels. ;)

Visiting Santa at the mall...he was kind of in a grumpy mood...what's up with that????

Riding the christmas train is always a treat...they had the whole train to themselves!

I found Joshy and Drew sitting in this container behind the chair the other day...
It reminded me of this picture of Jakob and Joshy:

Joshy was a shepherd in the nativity at our ward's christmas activity - SO cute!
the cast of the nativity -- don't they look darling??

I didn't catch a picture of it, but when the 3 wisemen came up on the platform, Joshy
was giving them "thumbs up" -- it was hilarious!

the theme was "A California Christmas" -- and Jakob had about a 5 minute conversation
with Santa. Everyone else waiting in line didn't really appreciate that...oh well!

Here's Drew with Santa...didn't quite know what it was all about, except that he
knew he wanted a goodie bag, so he kept asking for candy. I don't have a pic
of Joshy with Santa because he was one of the first kids in line and I didn't
even realize he'd already seen Santa by the time I got in line with Brad and Drew. Oh well!

I planned a little lunch out with the girls to celebrate my friend Tori's upcoming
baby boy...it was nice to visit with everyone and eat out at one of my favorite places!
(The Corner Bakery)

Not only does Drew enjoy jumping on beds, but he also enjoys dancing on tables...Joshy
jumped up to join him for the picture...SILLY BOYS!

And last but not least, just for kicks...We went to a wedding reception a few
weeks ago, and this was one of the streets on the way there...
so of course the twilight fan in me just had to snap a photo of it! :)

I can't believe Christmas is next week!!!!!! This year has flown by!


procrastinator? who, me????? no way!

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in February, I posted THIS.

So...Tiffany, Kristie, Melissa, Kristen and Jessie...even though #3 says "It will be done this year..." it doesn't specify that it will be DELIVERED this year....

ha ha!

I have a few ideas brewing...but haven't put anything into action YET.

Maybe, just M A Y B E, you'll get an extra goodie for Christmas this year from lil ole me.

Just wanted you to know I haven't forgotten about it...




p.s. Kristen and Jessie -- I need your addresses! please email me: sharibeth78 AT hotmail DOT com -- thanks!

p.p.s. THANKS to Megan for her cute homemade gift to me...pics coming soon!


We'll miss you love sac!

This was the final time I sat on this love sac with the boys...because we just sold it on craigslist! We were sad to see it go, but it just wasn't working in our new (smaller) place!! AND now we actually have a spot to put up our christmas tree! (pics of that to follow...we are setting it up and decorating it tonight for FHE!)

I think the thing I am most thankful for is no more jumping from the train table to the love sac! It's just one less thing for the boys to possibly hurt themselves on... Maybe someday if we ever have a basement or a big bonus room, we'll get a bunch of them and it will be fun to hang out and watch movies!


I am thankful for...

People who inspire me to be better. Namely, Laurel Christensen. I only knew her briefly a long time ago...when I was living in Salt Lake. She was my sister's friend...and our paths only crossed a few times...and I'm sure she just knew me as "Sonya's little sister" as did a lot of my sister's friends. I bumped into her at Time Out For Women 3 years ago, and wasn't sure she even remembered me, but when I said "hi" she DID remember me! Well...I recently discovered her blog...and am so thankful for it! She is amazing with words and truly has a gift for speaking. I always feel uplifted after I read her blog. Please take a few minutes to browse her blog...you won't be sorry. Her latest post is about the atrocious act that Adam Lambert (former American Idol contestant) performed the other night on the AMAs. Check it out HERE. She says what I was thinking much better than I could...it's worth reading.



New Moon Party!!!!!

The long wait for the release of New Moon was finally over last night! Kristie, Melanie, Megan and I had so much fun planning and putting on this party! I love all the fun little details...it was awesome! We were sad that a lof of our friends couldn't make it because of the stake leadership training that night...but I know they were with us in spirit! Most of them met up with us at the theater...some went to the big newport though...anyway... We had so much fun waiting in line for the movie and the movie definitely did not disappoint! ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!!!!! (I wish they'd remake Twilight!) We even got interviewed by an aspiring broadcast journalist about our homemade t-shirts...if she ever sends the link to the youtube video, I'll post it!

I never thought I'd say this (because I LOVED Edward in the books)...but through this whole process of planning the party and rediscovering New Moon, I realized that I LOVE JACOB! There were a few times in the movie that I seriously started to cry -- teary eyes -- and my heart was just aching for Jacob!!!!!!! But...ultimately I am happy he didn't end up with Bella -- he deserves so much better! Ha, ha!

I never got a picture of my t-shirt...but here is what was on the back...I found it somewhere online and was laughing so hard I knew had to use it for my shirt!!!!!

The front of my shirt said, "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?"

Now, for pictures of the party!!!!
Our yummy spread!!!!!!! I'm so proud of how all the food turned out! It was fun!

Kristie's famous home-made oreos!!! DELISH!

Jacob wolf cookies

sparkly Edward cookies

ICE cold apple water (Edward) - with bloody rim!
(We also had Red Hots Cider - Jacob - but it's not pictured)

Vampire Bites Cupcakes... so cool!

Dog Bone Bread Sticks in our cute doggy treat cannister!

garlic dog bones
quotes and decorations..

Melanie had this christmas ornament out...we thought it was very appropriate!

more quotes

Thanks to Barbara for helping with the banner! It turned out SO cute!
and we replaced all of Melanie's family pictures with Twilight Saga pictures -- even one of Stephenie Meyer!

a close-up of our "ruffled tulip" pens

a happy Bella and Edward -- don't come across pics of them smiling very often...
and the movie soundtrack, prize for the trivia game

quotes from edward and jacob -- and pics of both of them kissing bella
+ our super cool book marks - edward and jacob!

werewolf kibble goodie bags -- chocolate peanut butter chex mix with miniature dog bone sugar cookies! I thought they turned out SO cute! (and tasty!)

a close-up of the tag that i designed and the cute little dog bone cookies (1.25 inches!)

The party planners! (L-R, Me, Kristie, Megan and Melanie - our gracious hostess!) I helped design Kristie's and Megan's t-shirts...Kristie's says "Edward Prefers Brunettes" and Megan's says, "I run with the wolves" -- Melanie's neighbor did hers, and it has a kind of stick figure lamb jumping off a cliff and says "Stupid Lamb" -- So cool!

our fun sign-post...Melanie actually found out the exact mileage from Fountain Valley to those locations...we thought it was pretty cool!

our first guests arrive... Erica is putting on the final touches... They had the coolest glitter spray and looked so sparkly!!!!

Barbara shows off her cute t-shirt -- it says "Team Jacob, Real Men Don't Sparkle" :)

Cheyenne and Kelsey taking our New Moon Trivia Quiz...

Chelsea looking so cute, enjoying herself

Hannah -- our Trivia Winner!!!! GO HANNAH! She won by 1/2 a point!

Our t-shirt contest finalists: Maddison and Barbara -- Maddie won! Her prize was the New Moon Movie poster...which I think she already had...oh well!

Some of us waiting in line at the movie...(L-R: back, Tracy, Edie, Me, Kim, Julie, Kristie, Melanie, Jessica. front, Julie and Melissa.)

We actually had about 17 people in our group...it was awesome! And we scored on good seats because Kim's cousin got in line at like 11am - so when Kim and Edie showed up they got in line with Kim's cousin - like 14 people back! Then when they got in the theater, they saved us seats...it didn't make other people very happy, but it all worked out in the end!!! So, even though I was ticked off at first that they didn't stand in line with us...(I just wanted them with us b/c they are so fun!)...it was really nice to have that advantage and to have them save us seats. Thanks for all the fun times ladies! Can't wait for Eclipse next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!