Cameron's b.day Weekend

I've heard it said that Mountain Home is the "armpit of Idaho" {and not just by me!!}. So, it is even more amazing that this beauty is only less than an hour away from our house.

Cameron's birthday was last weekend and we spent it in a tiny town in the mountains called Featherville. We "borrowed" our friend's cabin and had a great weekend - the kids were bummed that it was just us (we've always gone up there with friends) but after a while Austin said, "Well, actually, I'm glad it's just the six of us. We're cool!"

We spent the first day getting our beds ready, playing in the snow, fixing the snowmobile, making Cameron's birthday dinner: his fave lasagna, and trifle instead of cake, snuggling with stories by the fireplace, playing a little rock band, watching a movie, singing Happy Birthday and watching Cameron open his presents.

We woke up to a TON of snow and it snowed all day. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL... We read a Christmas story by the fire, ate breakfast, and cleaned up. Then the boys all got a LONG ride on the snowmobile. I got a little work done on my 365 book while Ella napped.

This is the back yard of the Cabin. A kid's paradise - well Cameron's too, okay, I love it too!! Isaac can't go out by himself - I don't trust him by the river... but, in spite of it, I could still go up there all the time; it's just so peaceful.

Happy Birthday, Cameron. I hope it was a good one; filled with people you love, things you love, in a place you love....
(and P.S. If you're wondering why I have time to post this on CHRISTMAS EVE, well, I gotta say, I'm quite proud of my organizational skills {today at least}. I have this spare moment because my awesome husband helped me finish wrapping last night, the clothes are packed for our trip to Utah after present-opening tomorrow, the crab is ready to cook for tonight, Christmas is in the works, and there's no stress... it's a first and it feels SO good!)


comfort and joy

Today, as I was reading to Isaac before naps, the phrase "comfort and joy" came to mind. I love our afternoon tradition of snuggles and stories. It's our one on one time together each day and I cherish it. I hope he does too. I love these pictures too, because, awww it's Christmas. The Christmas quilt my Grandma made me years ago - it sits on our couch all Christmas season and we all snuggle under it. The Christmas story story Isaac is reading - he loves finding the baby Jesus. And the Christmas Angel bear that sings Away in a Manger - he listens to it at least once a day.


Santa BABY {an Ella update}

Ella doesn't like Santa. We saw him once on Friday and twice last night (the boys were ecstatic, by the way - she's the only hater!) By the third time Santa came toward her - even with a candy cane (and even with a different beard, and in a different place; she must have thought, why is this guy following me?!) - she burried her head in my shoulder and wouldn't even look at him. The poor girl was SCARED. After this second encounter with Santa she was wide-eyed and clinging to her daddy the rest of the night. {Sorry, Ella - when you read this, don't think we tortured you ... we rescued you as soon as I clicked the camera!}
and in other Ella news - she is ten months old (okay, she's really 12 days from being 11 months... I took the picture in November but, you know, sometimes it takes me a while to get them here.)
... and she crawls...

she took those first little "steps" on December 1. The boys and I were decorating the Christmas tree. She really wanted the ornaments. We all saw her and then said to eachother, "did you see that?!" "she crawled! did she crawl?" Of course we all started clapping and cheering. By the end of the night all six of us had a new favorite game for the day, called, "Get Ella to Crawl to Me".

Now she goes from one thing to another like a lightning flash. One minute playing with a toy and the next she's down the hall... or trapped under a bed or table.

her new-found freedom is keeping me B-U-S-Y
she's already started pestering her brothers - crawling to them any time they are on the floor and trying to get their toys from them - crawling around me while I'm cooking dinner and hanging onto my pants, crying to be picked up (she never cried like that before she learned to crawl; now instead of occupying herself with toys she comes looking for me) - she crawls over to Isaac and yanks his hair, everytime she possibly can - we had to put up a baby gate; she beelines for the stairs anytime we are upstairs - it's so funny when the kids are running around: Landon is always in the lead, then Austin and Isaac, running and laughing, then a little distance behind them this little girl comes slowly along, giggling too

she's working on her two top teeth... I have to admit, I'm going to be a bit sad to lose that sweet two-teeth grin...not so sad for the drooling to stop, though

she's also developing quite the personality lately; making faces, blowing kisses, waving bye-bye, clapping for herself, bobbing to music, growling, snorting, says ma-ma (we don't know if she means me or food - aren't the words mom and food interchangeable, anyway?!)
so, aside from Santa, this girl is one happy little chick who is growing up way, WAY, too fast.