Thursday, January 15, 2015

{December 2014}

The holidays are always filled with family fun and Christmas adventures. Hannah had an especially fun season. She had so much fun baking treats for our neighbors, eating sugary confections, making holiday crafts for kindergarten and seeing the wonders of the season.

Our family enjoyed our various traditions. We went to the Live Nativity at Opportunity Village, we visited Ethel M's cactus garden, we went to the Bellagio conservatory and watched the fountain show, and we ran into Santa four times! Paige was always very nervous to see Santa, but once she saw Hannah up there she plucked up enough courage to ask him for some sparkly boots. Hannah's request? Her very own scooter. Hannah also got to go to see The Nutcracker with Mommy, and she got a very special ornament to remember the occasion.

Hannah had her very first grown up girl late over. Alaina and Emma came over (and Camille came for Paige). The girls painted nails, had a dance party, ate pizza, and watched a movie. Hannah also earned her alphabet crown, which she was so happy for.

Aunt Aubrey came to visit, and we went to Nana's house for Christmas. The girls had so much fun. Santa found us, and he granted both Hannah and Paigey's wish for sparkly boots and scooters for each of them.

When we got back to Las Vegas we had an extra special treat in store. Nana and Papa had planned a trip to the Marriot Grand Chateau on the strip to celebrate the new year! We had sparkling cider, the girls wore new year crowns and we celebrated in style. Paige was so excited that she almost stayed up until midnight, but didn't quite make it and couldn't be woken up for the fireworks. She didn't mind too much. Hannah fell asleep around 8:00pm but was able to wake up and see the beautiful fireworks right out the window. It was spectacular.

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I don't always take the time to make myself a delicious lunch, but when I do I always forget about it and burn it.

Samuel Timothy is six months old today! I can't get enough of his smiles, giggles, and cuddles. 20 pounds of perfection. He can sit up, he loves to roll all over the floor, blow bubbles, talk, plank, and scoot around as fast as he can. He loves to laugh at his daddy and sisters, loves to chomp on anything. Can't believe it's already been half a year and I still can't believe he's ours!

It's a rainy day in Vegas so that calls for ice cream and science experiments.

Whenever my kids are asked to do even the simplest of tasks they break out into a chorus of "Hard-Knock Life" from
Annie. Is it though, Hannah?

RIP my Kindle. It has served me well for the past three years. I never thought I'd love e-readers so much, preferring the experience of a physical book (the feel, the weight, the texture, THE SMELL!!!) but it proved to be a wonder in itself, truthfully I'd read a novel off a napkin if it meant reading. Oh, the books I've discovered while in your company!
 — feeling nostalgic.

I've had a horrendous week, but after listening to a talk by Elder Holland that miraculously landed in my lap and the sweetest pep talk from my husband I think I can do this.

‪#‎TBT‬ Five years ago today I graduated from UNLV with a degree in Elementary Education. It was also the day I officially became a stay at home mom. I'm so grateful for my formal education, and for the opportunity I have to stay home with my children. Some people have said that it's a waste of time, money, and talent for a woman to receive a formal education only to be a mother. On the contrary, my education has enriched my life and contributed much to the woman and mother that I am. I was proud to know that my daughter was watching me walk across that stage to receive my diploma, even if she was only four months old.

Last night I received one of the most wonderful Christmas gifts ever. As some of you already know, every year I read A Christmas Carol. It's a tradition that so far has spanned two decades, since the first year my dad read it to me (very slowly) when I was around seven or eight years old.
When my grandmother passed away in August I found myself regretting the traditions I was too lazy to learn or pay too much attention to, like her baking and knitting, etc. I began thinking about the traditions that are important to me, and I asked my dad if he would record himself reading A Christmas Carol, so that I will always be able to have his voice in my head when I read it, just like when I was a child.
Last night he sent me the files. He recorded it over two days, and I'm sure if you've read to your children you know what a labor of love that must have been to record a whole book (three hours with voices). I cried last night when he sent me the files, and I look forward to listening to the whole thing this year as I did so many years ago, with my dad beside me.

We've sure had a fun Saturday! We started off at Shark Reef where the kids got to see Santa (a little bonus for us, we didn't realize they did that). Then we went to the library and checked out some fun books. Next we came home and the boys took naps while the girls washed and wrapped two thousand (probably) potatoes for the Christmas party tonight. We also read books and played trouble. We're leaving for the ward party in about thirty minutes and then I'm going to snuggle close to Adam and munch on the Christmas cookies I've smuggled from the party and watch The Walking Dead. I love days with my family that mix outings and socializing with lounging and play.

Tonight for family home evening the girls made some goodies and delivered them to a few neighbors, then we watched videos on The Mormon Channel, including this one. I love this time of year to remind me to slow down and look up.
I love this line from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol spoken by Jacob Marley, "Why did I walk through crowds of fellow beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!"
Yesterday we had a fantastic lesson in church about the gifts we receive from Christ, and gifts that we can give to Christ. I know I'll be thinking a lot about how I personally want to show my Savior that I love Him.

1) One of my favorite things to watch is Paige wrapping her brother in her special lamb blanket. Anyone who has ever spent time with Paige knows how precious her blanket is to her, and this act of love is so sweet to witness. It is truly a sacrifice for Paige to give up her blanket for any amount of time.
2) I had my first parent teacher conference ever. Hannah is doing well in kindergarten and we are very proud of her. Before we went in, I told Hannah that we were going to find out how she's been doing in school in school work, and behavior. Right before we walked in Hannah blurted out, "Mom, one time I was writing really fast with my pencil and it flew out of my hand. It was an accident!" It sounded like a conference confession to me. Pretty funny. I asked her teacher about it and she said it happened a long time ago, so she must have been holding on to that for a while.

December 10, 2014 · 
One of our Christmas traditions is to buy an ornament that represents the year of each person in our family. For Hannah, we bought a Golden Gate Bridge ornament. For Sam, a 'Baby's first Christmas' ornament. For the life of me I can't think of anything for Paige! She loves art and she started preschool, she became a big sister. She loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates, she has a ginormous personality...I don't know what to get her. Any suggestions?

Paige: Mom, why do we have hands?
Me: ummm well...

My 33 year old husband riding a shopping cart in a suit through the Walmart parking lot to make his three year old laugh.

Me: ...Prince Hans of the Nether Isles.
Hannah: It's SOUTHERN Isles, Mom. Southern. Sssss. Like SSSSSeverus SSSSSnape.
I'm so proud right now.

Adam and I have been reading the Book of Mormon together. Adam mentioned to me the other day that one of the things he's learned this time around, is that it is never too late to turn to Christ. All we need to do is humble ourselves and take that first step. This video illustrates this perfectly. I'm so grateful for the Savior, and for all the times I've been forgiven and blessed. I'm especially grateful this Christmas season as I think about Him, and the gift he is to the world.

Happy anniversary to my parents! Thirty-two years ago our family was established. They've always been excellent examples of faith and love to their family. My marriage is strengthened because of their example of unity, cooperation, love, and devotion. My life has been eternally blessed because of that day, and everything since. Love you, Mom and Dad!

This morning I woke up being squished and kicked by this baby who is seeming less like a baby and more like a small man by the day. We giggled at each other for a few precious moments before I set about the mundane tasks that are waiting for me every morning. My girls were playing downstairs with Adam and when I was done with some chores I picked Sam up and we started downstairs to join them. I gave him a little squeeze and something warm oozed out of his diaper all over my hands, effectively rerouting my immediate plans.
With Adam's help, we cleaned up.
Next we had breakfast as a family. We read scriptures, said prayers, I did the girls's hair, Hannah fed Sam rice cereal with bananas, Paige had a meltdown because her socks felt weird in the boots she insisted on wearing around the house...we had a dance party.
Now I'm rocking Sam as he sleeps and wondering why I'm feeling like this ordinary day is the most wonderful day of my whole life.

It would be super if we could all get together as parents and decide on a sensible but reasonable/enjoyable Santa offering, as well as a low, fixed price for teeth from the tooth fairy and budget friendly Easter baskets, etc.

The girls are doing their laundry in their room and they are (of course) singing "It's a hard-knock life for us..." so I come in and join in singing, "Don't it feel like my kids are always whining...don't it seem like there's never any gratitude. All they ever want to do is pick a fight." Without missing a beat Paige sings, "Don't it seem like our mommy's always angry, don't it feel like our mommy's always mad..."
I freaking love that kid.

The Nutcracker was amazing! Hannah was enchanted and engaged the whole time, except for one tiny part when she asked "why isn't this dance ending?" She loved the Smith center, and said it reminded her of the Ogden temple. I thought of my aunt Kathy, who took me to The Nutcracker when I was in kindergarten. I bought Hannah an ornament so she would remember our special date forever. I still have the ornament my aunt Kathy bought me when I saw it for the first time.

I saw Jon Heder at a gas station on the way home from Christmas vacation...I thought it was him, but I wasn't quite sure so I stalked his Instagram looking to see if he had a blond son named Phil, sure enough, his Instagram was full of pictures of him and the kid. Now there is a celebrity sighting worth facebooking about.

In anticipation of the new year I'm decluttering. I allow the girls a "junk drawer" where they store little toys, papers, and treasures they collect randomly. I secretly went in and cleaned out their drawers (because I'm a control freak). Though I got rid of a good portion, i didn't have the heart to get rid of all their treasures. It was fun going through the items...interestingly shaped rocks, coins, stickers, temporary tattoos, pictures they'd drawn, pictures of our family or the Packards (haha!), green cards and blue cards, paper air planes, pine cones, seeds, plastic jewelry they'd picked up at birthday parties, notes and cards from loved ones, pixie dust from Rosalie Mastaler... It was a little treasure trove of goodies, a map of their brains. I love my daughters!

up to Idaho. She loves her music class, My Little Pony, Hello Kitty, and Sofia the First. She also loves learning to read and play on the computer.
Paige started preschool, she has the biggest, sweetest, strongest personality ever. She loves to sing and hates to clean or lift her dainty little princess fingers. She is my girly girl, and lives all things fashion/accessories/beauty. She also loves all the things Hannah loves and wants to be just like her, and desperately wishes she was the oldest. Paigey also loves books, and her best friend is Camille.
Samuel joined our family this year on June 2nd weighing in at 8lbs 10oz. He was worth the wait. He's gone from an adorable, cuddly newborn to a crawling, giggling, happy baby boy. It's incredible to watch his personality develop. He's everyone's favorite son and brother, grandson and least for now.
Adam has enjoyed work. He's been given more and more responsibility, and he loves his position as the technology specialist. It allows for a lot of wonderful opportunities. Adam also had knee surgery this year, which was an adventure. He's the handsomest guy I know, and I'm lucky to have him.
I'm still here too. Happy to be a wife and a mom. Happy to be a homemaker. I'm enjoying what little time I get to read and write, and I'm enjoying this time of life when the days are long and the years are short. My grandma passed away this year, and my best friend moved away. I became a mom of three, our wards changed, and I went through FIVE different callings (camp assistant, RS instructor, RS councilor, visiting teaching coordinator, and now I'm a youth Sunday school teacher). It's been a year if change and growth, elation and heartbreak.

The best part about going to a 10:15 am movie is being able to dance in the aisles during the musical numbers and credits. The girls and I loved Annie!

It's pretty awkward when your three year old shouts "I SEE THE NEW ANNIE!!" At every black person that walks by.

Turney family resolutions: 
Adam Turney: Save money for a new house
Melissa Marsden Turney: Come to terms with the fact that I am turning...
Hannah: learn to make and eat interesting cookies.
Paige: Become a teenager and ride a roller coaster.
Sam: Grunt.

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