Our Savior's love, shines like the sun with perfect light. As from above, it breaks through clouds of strife.

Dec 24, 2009

the Nutcracker

A Mommy/Clara date...
We braved the snow a couple of Saturdays ago and went to a performance of The Nutcracker.

We were invited by Clara's friend, Hannah, and her Mom. Before the ballet, we got to meet all of the characters. This is Clara meeting "the other Clara." All during the ballet she kept telling me, "The other Clara is twirling, the other Clara is sad, the other Clara is sleeping, the other Clara..."

The performers signed little autograph cards for the kids. Clara had no idea what this meant, but she saw everyone else doing it and joined right in. When the curtain came up at the start of the show, she was VERY excited to tell me that all of those princesses had signed her card! So excited, in fact, that she was shouting. Her little friend told her to "BE QUIET, CLARA."
Then they watched with mouths wide open for the entire performance. Except for the moments when they couldn't contain themselves and stood in front of their chairs to dance like ballerinas. Very fun.

Dec 5, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion

Here is information about Nicolle's upcoming choral Christmas concert. You can see it for FREE this Monday night, 7:30pm at First Presbyterian Church in High Point.

We are also performing on the following dates/times. (There is a fee for these concerts).

Out of the Orient Crystal Skies

Bel Canto Holiday Smiles

Where & When
Christ United Methodist Church
410 N Holden Rd, Greensboro
Friday, December 11, 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 12, 8:00 PM
Monday, December 14, 7:30 PM
Tickets are available online at www.belcantocompany.com, by telephone at 336-333-2220 or at the door 1 hour prior to each performance.
Single Tickets:
Adults: $20, Seniors (65+): $18, Students: $5

Group rates available.
Call 336-333-2220 for more information.
Hope to see you there!


How long can I claim the following?
"I have a new baby, that is why..."
-my house is messy
-my jeans are too tight
-I am always late
-etc., etc.

Sarah-Jane is 4 months old. Am I outside the window?

The poor, sweet child is oblivious to all of the things being blamed on her! (Although she does look a little annoyed in this photo. Maybe she is on to me!?!)


Happy belated Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving... a holiday about cooking, eating, and getting together with family.

On Tuesday night, we went to VA to visit with Greg's parents and two of his siblings and their families... 2 siblings doesn't sound like much, right? But when you add their families of 5 + 4 kids it makes for quite a party. We didn't get many photos, but here is one of Sarah-Jane meeting her Grandpa Sherwood.

On Thursday we celebrated with my (Nicolle's) family.

After dinner we had our "traditional" Thanksgiving talent show.
Luke danced like Michael Jackson, Joel played the spoons, Evan the piano, Greg showed off some Yoga poses, Clara danced to her favorite Halloween song and then "helped" Anna and Chloe with a puppet show.

Last but not least, my Mom did a cheer, and my dad showed off his consistent after- Thanksgiving- dinner- nap habit... despite all of the noise around him. Impressive!

Nov 18, 2009

Blowing Rock

Greg had some vacation days to use up before the end of the year, so last week we used one of them for a family day trip to Blowing Rock, NC. We were about a week late for the best leaf color, but we still saw some beautiful views.

Normally I like to go on a good sweaty hike to "earn" my views. But with little ones in tow, this commercialized view -the Blowing Rock- is a great option.

We had a fun day going to the park, walking around their cute downtown, and eating treats.

First Haircut

Clara had her first real haircut (other than trimming her bangs) this week. It was time to get rid of her stringy, uneven (but cute) curls. We had to document the occasion with photos.


I almost cried when I saw all of these curls on the floor.

But I do love the end result...

Nov 3, 2009


We had a little party at our house. Clara asked everyone who walked in the door "What do you look like?" (What is your costume).

It was too dark to get a good video, but I want to always remember how adorable these kids looked running up the street in their costumes, holding their pumpkins/treat bags, unable to contain their excitement about trick-or-treating.

This week, whenever somone asked Clara what she would be for Halloween she would say. "I'm gonna be like Annie, and Daddy's gonna be Daddy Warbucks, and Mommy's gonna be Miss Hanna again" (Miss Hannigan). I love how she almost gets the definition of new words right.

Here is some of the food and decor. The "bones and blood" won the spookiest food contest.

Family portraits

Clara also had a party at preschool. I made these place settings and we all made special food and treats.

Lunch was last on the schedule, but Clara kept running to the table and trying to start lunch, because she was so excited about the special meal. However, when it was finally time and we laid out all of the food (jack-o-lantern pizza, witch's broom pretzels, witch's fingers cheese sticks, and apple monsters), she said, "Mommy I can't eat Halloween, it is too scary." How ironic that we spent all this extra time making it, then had to disassemble it to make it look like the normal food so she would eat it. Ha, ha.
And last, but not least. Here are Annie and Daddy Warbucks performing a special song. (Greg and Clara have been singing this song, but we didn't plan any of these actions or dancing. Uh-oh, this girl is a performer!)

Oct 29, 2009

The Buyer

For those of you who wonder why Greg is the way he is... we can blame at least a little of it on his profession. Here is a short, entertaining video about "a day in the life of a buyer."

Oct 26, 2009

Halloween Preview

Photos from our church Fall Festival...

Annie, Miss Hannigan, Daddy Warbucks, and a little orphan baby.
Clara and Shaelyn enjoying the treats they collected.

Pumpkin Patch/Frazzeled Mama

We visited a pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago with lots of friends. It was very fun (though not nearly as cool as the pumpkin patch my sister went to in Nebraska... Wow!)

We read pumpkin stories, sang Halloween songs...

Went on a hayride through the forest, and then Clara picked out a pumpkin of her very own.

I like to be organized, but for some reason on this day I just didn't have it together! It was one of the first cold days, here, so I packed all sorts of warm clothing, plus a picnic lunch, camera, diapers, burp cloths, and all of the other things I thought we might need. All of that packing made me late, and once I got there I couldn't find what I needed in the piles and piles of stuff I packed. Here we are- a frazzeled Mama with two cute girls.

Oct 8, 2009

Clara's Funny Book and Clara's Favorites

Every morning, Clara asks to wear "a pretty dress like Cinderella." Some days I tell her she has to wear play clothes, but even on those days, by the afternoon she has found a dress and has put it on over whatever she is wearing. Her favorite is this blue dress, because -don't you know- Cinderella's dress is blue.

Clara's favorite ride at the carnival we went to a couple of weeks ago was the bumper cars. Recently I noticed a bump on her palm and told Greg about it. He asked to see the bump on her hand. A little while later she said, "Mommy, I have a bumper car on my hand."

We went to a festival that had one of those big air-filled slides. Clara loved riding it and had to wait in line each time. Greg was trying to teach her to move with the line, so when she would get distracted and the line would move in front of her and leave a big gap, her turned her around by turning her hips forwards. A few minutes later, he saw her putting her hands on the hips of the big girls in front of her (age 7 or 8... strangers, I might add) and trying to turn them towards the front.

The song "I Love to See the Temple" has a line- "I'll prepare myself while I am young." Clara sings "I'll prepare myself while num num num" (the pitch and rhythm are perfect, which makes this sound even more funny).

I want to sit by you + let's sit together = "Mommy let's sit bygether"
While camping last weekend, we tried to get Clara to have a nap/quiet time in the tent. Our tent has this funny little door on the back (a doggy door, perhaps?). Clara was a little too quiet and we knew she was up to something... escaping.Greg tried to cheer Clara up the other day by handing her a toy (that she already owned) and saying, "Here, Clara, I have a present for you." Her very matter-of-fact response, "Daddy this is not a present." That's right Clara, you tell him.

Clara labels every living thing as a Mommy (when it is a female adult) , a Daddy (male adult), or a Clara (when it is a child). We pointed out a baby deer to her, and she said, "It's a Clara deer."

Clara's Favorite Things:
-Climbing trees
-Drawing - she especially loves to draw people. Here is her chalkboard , where she has drawn/erased/drawn again/earased again hundreds of people. She told me, "Mommy these are all my friends!"Notice that the friends are holding hands. She loves for all of her drawings/toys/everything to hold hands. She even rearranged our halloween skeletons so that they would be holding hands.

-"Art projects," including "pointing" (painting), rubber stamps, and anything with markers.
-Clifford has replaced Super Why as her TV show of choice.
Favorite Phrases:
-"I just wanna... for a widdel (little) bit" (usually when I ask her to do something she doesn't want to do). "Mommy I don't wanna wash my hands, I just wanna cowa (color) for a widdel bit."
-"Yaaa!" Used almost anytime anyone askes her a ... she sounds quite German.
Favorite Book: Goodnight Gorilla
Favorite treats: yogurt, string cheese, pizza
Favorite song to sing: I Will (If you don't walk as most people do... from the Primary songbook)

Oct 5, 2009

Good Night to My Red Ranger

There are times that you have to say goodbye. Last week was one of those times.

After 4 years, 30K miles, a new starter, new clutch, a bunch of antifreeze and water, I got rid of my truck.

My truck was a good truck. To whomever purchases it: despite your best efforts, and even if you are going down a hill, 70 mph is the max.

Sep 27, 2009

Sarah-Jane's Special Day

Today Sarah-Jane received a name and a blessing at our church service. This is a blessing from our Heavenly Father (through her father, who holds the Priesthood) for the start of her life on earth.

We love her and we know our Heavenly Father loves her, too. We are so thrilled to have her in our family.

What a sweet thing she is! (8 weeks old).

Sep 17, 2009

Clara Monet

Clara has been discovering her drawing skills, lately. I wanted to preserve and share some of her masterpieces...

"Mommy this is peoples"

Last night after her bath, she found her Daddy's notebook and a pen and wrote her name, with no help or prompting from me. I was very impressed... (I love the upside-down A's).
"Mommy, this is a monster. I be scary."

Also, here she is on the first day of preschool.She is enjoying it. I miss her old one, but she seems completely happy with the new school and her new teacher, "Miss Cwumbie" (Mrs. Columbi.) Last Saturday, we went to the fair with some friends. Greg and Clara rode on all of the kiddie rides... I am not sure who had more fun, -Greg or Clara-...what do you think?

Here she is with her best little girlfriend, Shaelyn. They had a blast!


Clara LOVES Sarah-Jane, but she doesn't understand how to be gentle. She constantly wants to love on her and play with her, and I am going crazy trying to keep Sarah-Jane safe. How do I teach Clara how to be gentle with the baby?... It doesn't feel right to punish her, when she isn't being rough on purpose- she just has no idea how strong she is. It also doesn't feel right to not let her near the baby. Any ideas/advice? Thanks!

Sep 6, 2009

The Best Things About a Newborn

Top 10 things we love about newborns...

10 - Cute White Onesies

9 - Little Hands, Big Grips

8 - Newborn Rooting Kisses

7 - Milk Mustaches

6 - Chicken Legs

5 - The Newborn Smell: Sniff your Monitor, if you don't smell anything, keep trying.

4 - Snuggling

3 - Sisters
(First time to church-8/30/09)

2 - Sleeping 20 Hours a day
(This is during one of the 4 awake hours)- Just kidding, she is actually a very calm baby

1- Soft Hair

(Clara likes to draw pictures for Sarah-Jane and deliver them to her lap... "hew Sher-Jame, I made dis fow you"... very sweet).