Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015 …

This last year was one full of change, and for some of us, adventure!
We are so blessed to have come out of it with each other, good health and good memories.
We have been lucky to be surrounded by great friends, old and new, and lots of family!

Tim - 15                                     Maggie - 21

  Maggie transferred from Southern Virginia University to 
Brigham Young University - Hawaii last January. Goodbye to ice, snow and perpetual Autumn/Winter and Hello to Sand, island life and a constant state of summertime!

She has said many times that the decision to move was the hardest and 
most rewarding move she has ever made. She definitely found herself at a crossroad and knew that she needed a major change - I'd say she got it!

I loved it when she recently said, "At SVU I was friends with Jesus - but not like I am now" She has grown so much - spiritually and in a million other ways. She has made lifelong friendships and has narrowed down a career path. She has been swimming with turtles in a great big ocean, jumped out of a plane and napped on the most beautiful beaches in the world!
Having such diversity in culture surrounding her daily, she has gotten much more of an 
education than just books and professors can provide.

I love that she is happy - but to be real, I will love it more when she is happy and closer to home!
A year and a half to go - I can do it - I can do it - I can do it!

Tim has been at home doing on-line school for most of the year - 
also through BYU, their high school independent study.
I can't even begin to explain how hard some days are and how fantastic it is at the same time! 
How many moms get the chance to spend so much time with their teenaged son? 
We certainly drive each other crazy, but we both agree that it is awesome!
It is for sure the best choice we could have made. 

Tim has had the opportunity to perform in a few musical theatre productions, earning a couple of lead roles (which makes it more fun!) and has been able to do a little studio recording work. He has learned a few domestic skills that I'm sure he doesn't appreciate - but its nice to have him do his own laundry and try some of the cooking every now and then! He learned that he is addicted to hummus, asparagus soup and fish (weird, right?)

He has had more time to focus on his spiritual side too. With more hours during the day, we have added religion to his class schedule. He takes a 6am seminary class - that is still the same as last year - but we have added a blockof spiritual study to his afternoons too (Hank Smith on CD is his favorite)
Making good moral choices is sometimes a struggle during the teen years, but he is steadily gaining a testimony of how choice making with his Heavenly Father in mind is way better than the alternative!
I guess my favorite part of him being home is that I have gotten to know Tim on a deeper level - and he has gotten to know himself too

Tim is talented and funny and smart and I just think he is super cool!

Tommy and I are trucking along as usual - with our lives still being dictated mostly by the kids. I wouldn't have it any other way. I mean, I guess in a few short years, when the kids are all grown up and have permanently left the house - then, I guess I will have it another way!

We are grateful for all of our blessings and do our best to make sure those blessings don't go unnoticed or unappreciated. We love our heavenly Father and we strive every day to live up to be the people He expects us to be. We believe that His plan is one of happiness, righteousness, love and forever families - funny, those are the things I want for my family too!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In Love

I've said it before - and I'm saying it again - I am so blessed that this bunch of mine is so in love. 
And frankly, we are all obsessed with that little kid! He is the best!

As it turns out - he is about to be a big brother!! We are crossing our fingers for a girl - but really, he is such a doll, that another boy like him would be cool too!

Tim, Stephanie, Ethan, Maggie and Matt
San Antonio Texas

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

Traditionally, the four of us stay at home and spend the holidays together - just us.
But this year, my mom asked us to come to her house. Actually, she always does, but this year we felt that we needed to go.
The kids were game, but still wanted their Christmas traditions to be met.
So, we bumped Christmas and Christmas Eve up a day!

Maggie and Tim taking turns reading about the birth of Christ.
I swear they aren't bored, just listening!

Next is Daddy reading them 'Twas the Night Before Christmas before bed on "Christmas Eve
(in their new Christmas JimJams of'course)

Waiting on the stairs 'Christmas Morning" for Daddy to say they can come see what Santa left for them!
This year, he just left one big gift for each of us - the rest of the gifts were left at Nana and Pa's house.
We were to hang stockings there too.

after opening one gift, we piled in the car and headed to San Antonio

Actual Christmas morning at Nana's.
Ethan was very happy!

I think the truck was a hit!

I haven't seen this tree (that I grew up with) in years!

Ethan showing his Papa the lights!

 We came back the morning after Christmas and headed to Gilmer for Gran and Papa's house.
I guess I was lazy this year and didn't take many photos - the above are from Maggies phone - so I just got one pic with the cousins who were there
Lindsey, Kyndal, Maggie, Railey, Dylan & Tim

The best gift of the year went to Tim!
After the presents were all unwrapped and breakfast was finished - Maggie asked everyone to come watch a video she had made of her last month or so at school. It was her way of giving Tim his gift!
Click the link to watch:

He will be on the island with her for his 16th birthday - just the two of them! As his mom, and with him being my last baby - I will admit that I don't love him being away for his special day, but what great memories my kids will be making together! 

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Tim LOVES to play the piano and sing - so we booked a couple of days of studio time. 
He learned so much and we can't wait to do it again!
He made a small, 4 song CD. He laid down the piano tracks first, then came back in with vocals. 
Who knew that it took so much focus and time? (not to mention $$)

Listening to his work, post production

he discovered that this may be his favorite place to be!

I wish that I could figure out how to load a song or two here - I can't post on youtube because he did covers this time - copyright laws and all…
I will work on that. In the meantime - I will listen to those four songs on repeat as I blog… work… clean my house… drive in the car, etc… 
I just LOVE listening to him!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New Digs

Tims bedroom has been the same for years. It was definitely time for a change. 
The deal was that we would fund the remodel, but he had to pick everything out and do the work.
He did a great job! 

this before is a poor representation, as his quilt, which tied the room together is missing, and so is his headboard, but you get the idea.
no more blue! he opted for greys, blacks , browns and cream. 
Looks good, right?! Maybe I ought to let him work on the rest of the house!
The heavy cork table top is my favorite!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

November wrap up

The end of November has FINALLY come - which means December is here - which means Maggie will be home in just over 2 weeks!!!! 

We spent Thanksgiving with Tommy's parents in East Texas, but I neglected to take any photos - but I do have a few lame cell phone pics from the last weeks of November that I can share!

First - we had the best surprise visit from Austin! 
(He grew up in our ward - Tommy was his youth leader when he was a teenager - he was a staple in our home back then)
I got a phone call from Mat Richards - 
Mat - Hey where are you? I'm at your house trying to drop off "cookies"
Me - I'm headed to the grocery store - just leave them on the porch.
Mat - No! These are very special "cookies"
Me - I will be home in an hour, just leave them.
Mat - No! These are extremely perishable "cookies"
Mat - Totally exasperated sigh, hang up.
The next thing I know, I am being stalked at Kroger by these two guys! I was so excited to see Austin - we haven't seen him in several years! Best "cookies" ever!

Sadly, he got food poisoning from a local restaurant and spent one of his days with us being very sick.

Early Thanksgiving morning with Tommy

Maggie spent the holiday with a total stranger and his family.
(the guy in black next to her, on the floor)
His mom was nice enough to invite some of the students who didn't have the luxury of traveling home to have dinner with her family at their vacation home. 
At first Maggie did not want to go - but her roommates did, so she went ahead and had a wonderful time! Thanks to Spencer and his mom for taking in my holiday orphan!

maggie in front (pink socks)
the row behind her sitting on the couch, her roommates 

Kenzie, Maggie, Brooke, Ali, Charlotte & Paige

Maggie in a game tee

Tim and I had lunch at Fish City - he developed a serious relationship with the Asparagus Soup!
Everyone must try this soup - I mean, really - he is a 15 year old, typical teenage, fast food addicted
guy - and he LOVED it!

Maggie and JJ on a post-Thanksgiving waterfall hike!

Maggie at a game - she is on the E

Long Lost Friend!
BYUH played BYU and Brooke is on the team - Maggie was so happy to see her even for just a few minutes!
Living so far away from home, she doesn't get to see many friendly faces from home!
and last - a quick video - I still can't believe Maggie become a cheerleader - 
(side note - in talking to Maggie's friend, Jamie the other day, he said "I know her better than most and I would have NEVER guessed she would become a cheerleader!" I KNOW, RIGHT?!)
But here is a little bit of proof!
She is in the center (kind of in front of the computer on the table)
Note how cute she is in that cheer outfit! I LOVE that she has tried something 
new and so out of her box!
I also love how the announcer says ALOOO-HA!