Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wii Are Friends

Caleb had Miles come over the other night. Can you guess what they did practically the entire time? They had a lot of fun and are such good friends.

Wii, Pizza and a Slushie - Everything a boy could ask for!
And while they were entertained, Scott and I had time to put all the Christmas decorations away. Here's proof that my house is messy more often than some people think.

Now we are ready to start the New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From Our Family To Yours -


May your life be filled with love, joy and peace this Christmas season and throughout the New Year!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Light Hero

If you are a Guitar Hero fan, like Lindsay and Caleb, you will LOVE this video:

The article that we found this video on is found HERE! I am sure the kids will be wanting us to decorate our house like this next year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! . . . Much Pleasure Thou Can'st Give Me.

There are many creative blogs that I enjoy looking at and a few are having a Christmas Tree Party. This is a great way to see some fabulous Christmas trees without leaving your chair. I decided I wanted to participate this year so I am posting a few pictures of the trees we have in our home.

Since we live in Oregon, we like to get a real tree! We do love the smell and beauty of the trees and it is a fun tradition to go as a family to find the perfect one.

(click to enlarge)

Our tree is decorated with white lights, a beaded cranberry garland, beeswax stars, yummy smelling gingerbread ornaments and country decor. Of course there are some personal ornaments that are part of our tree too. My husband has one in particular that I like to hide in the back. (It has to do with his favorite Christmas movie staring Clark W. Griswold. It is lucky to have a place on the tree to begin with!) And finally our the tree is topped with a BEAUTIFUL, TREASURED ANGEL that my mom made for our family.

(click to enlarge)

In the kitchen, we have a small tree decorated with bows, tags and a star. The tags say:

Family, Christ, Love, Joy & Peace

Here is a simple, small tree with fabric balls, berries and a star. This is placed in our family room.

Not pictured are the trees the kids have in their rooms. They love to have their own small tree with lights and decorations. Caleb, my 9 year old son, decorated his tree with a Nintendo theme: Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Wii remotes and so forth. My 11 year old daughter Lindsay, has various ornaments on her tree that she treasures.

And even though this is not a tree, our nativity reminds us what Christmas is really about.

We would like to wish everyone a
Happy and Joyous Christmas!


To find out more about sharing your Christmas decor, check out the following websites:

Hooked On Houses

The Inspired Room

Thrifty Decor Chick

Funky Junk Interiors

The Nesting Place

Southern Hospitality

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Day Of Fish, Mud, & "The Perfect Tree"

Today was a fun day. We first went to a kids Christmas party that Scott's company has every year. The kids were excited, not because Santa and Ronald McDonald were there, but they wanted to get 2 new pets. We would like to welcome to our family:

and Gary JR.
These beta fish were named after a character on the show Sponge Bob - go figure! His work does an amazing job with this party. The kids have fun and leave with a big bag of prizes and treats. (Caleb spent more than an hour winning what he says is a $10 Bakugan toy.)
This afternoon we finally went to get our Christmas tree. We wanted to go to a u-cut farm so we waited for a Saturday when nothing was going on. We have been so busy and with it getting dark so early, weekends were the only option. We rode the tractor out into the MUDDY field. (I have a lot of laundry to do now since everything is so dirty.) Anyway, Caleb actually found the "perfect tree" for us. Scott seconded the motion, Lindsay said she liked it, and I thought - well I guess I can find a big ornament to fill in that big hole.
Caleb wanted to try and cut it down. He let Scott cut it down after trying for about 20 seconds.

Zack came too. It was really cold outside so he was bundled up!

While we waited for the tractor to pick us up, we talked to the cows. The cow bit Lindsay's coat.

Decorating the tree sounds like a good Family Home evening activity for Monday night. But first Scott and I have to fight about who is putting on the lights this year. (We don't actually fight - we just both dread putting those darn lights on).
I guess it is now time to start working on sharing time for tomorrow. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"All I Want For Christmas Is For You To Work On Our Blog"

...Yes! Really!! Lindsay told me last night, on our way home from her band concert, that all she wants for Christmas is for me to update our blog. Actually her and Scott both have been asking non-stop for the past few months. Scott's reason for wanting me to blog again is so that we can move past Father's Day! It has been 5 months since my last post. Things were so hectic and busy this summer that there was no time to blog. And then when I finally had more time, it felt so overwhelming. I felt like there was too much to write about. So instead of picking up where I left off, I am just going to start with what is happening now. And since this is Lindsay's Christmas wish, I am going to start with her.

Last night we attended her middle school band concert. She plays (my old) flute and is also in the bell choir. She is really loving them both. I had to practically beg her to take band to begin with. I told her I thought she would have fun, but before school even started, she was not sure. So last night I asked her if this was the right decision and she said "YES, I LOVE IT"!! Bell Choir is a group of about 12 kids that meet after school on Tuesday's. She is having so much fun being part of the group and I love they way they sound.

On Tuesday, I went with the Bell Choir (and choir) on a field trip. They visited a few local elementary schools and then they went to the capital building to perform. I am glad that I was able to go with them. It is such a good way to get to know the kids and the teacher better. Plus Lindsay wanted me to go. I was sad that I did not take my video camera but I did manage to take a small 1 minute video (from a distance) with my phone. You probably will not be able to see Lindsay playing the bells since I am far away but you can at least try to hear them (ok, well... the sound did not pick up that good either). She is 4th from the left I believe.

Anyway, I will try to be better at keeping things updated. What a busy time to start the blog up again with Christmas in 2 weeks, but I am doing it for my Sunshine! Love you Lindsay!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day Scott!!
We love and appreciate you so much!!
Father's Day this year was a bunch of changed plans. We WERE going to go camping and then we decided not to. We WERE going to go to the coast, and then decided not to. We WERE going to visit family, and then decided not to. So what did Scott decide to do on his Father's Day?? Take a nap!! It was such a GOOD IDEA that I took one too! We ended up having a nice, quiet, peaceful Father's Day and that is what Scott wanted. The kids made him a delicious breakfast in bed and super-sized cards! Scott, you are such a wonderful husband and father! WE LOVE YOU!
And a Happy Father's Day again, to our dads! We love and appreciate you too!

and kids!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How Many Of Me
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I came across this site and decided to see how many people in the U.S.A. share my first and last name. Really?!?! Only 6?!?! I thought there would be a few more but if you know our last name, then I guess it is not that common (or desirable. It is not like you have a choice in what your last name is, right?! :) After you receive your results, this site will let you know some more information about your first name and your last name and how common it is.
Here are the results for the name Natalie:
  • There are 150,280 people in the U.S. with the first name Natalie.
  • Statistically the 402nd most popular first name.
  • More than 99.9 percent of people with the first name Natalie are female.

And the results for our last name:

  • There are 11,930 people in the U.S. with our last name.
  • Statistically the 3154th most popular last name.
Since it was so much fun seeing how many share my name, I decided to try everyone in our family. Here are their results:
  • Scott: 33 - More common than I thought!
  • Lindsay: 4 - Less than me!
  • Caleb: 1 - Ha! That is weird. Do you think this is accurate?
  • Zeke: 1 or fewer! I had to plug in his name too just for fun!
Have fun seeing how popular your name is!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lindsay's Fifth Grade Graduation

Fifth grade graduation was on June 10th. I can't believe Lindsay is headed off to Middle School. She is excited - me, not so much - but I am not letting my emotions show. We had a fun girls night out the evening before trying to find something new to wear. They were asked to wear their Sunday best. I was surprised that we found something so fast AND at the first store that we went to. It is hard to find clothes for Lindsay that we both agree on. We must agree that it fits properly, is modest and affordable. I refuse to pay a lot for clothes that she will outgrow in a few months. So this is what we agreed upon:

A yellow, white and black blouse (Go Steelers!), a black skirt and yellow flip flops with yellow gems on them!

Lindsay the morning before school.

Lindsay receiving a certificate from her teacher, Mrs. Pensinger. She was a great teacher. I hope Caleb is in her class in 2 years.

A picture of Lindsay and Sierra. Lindsay received some beautiful yellow flowers from Granny at graduation - Thank you!!

from left to right
Great Grandma Stout, Grandma Vicki and Grandpa Ken (Scott's parents) came to watch Lindsay at graduation. Thanks for coming!!
** An interesting fact: Grandpa Ken attended this same elementary school ?? years ago **

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Eventful Month of May

This past month has been so busy. I can't believe that I have not had time to blog. Since I could not pick one event, or so I would not have to create 9 individual posts, I am going to make 1 looooooong post with lots of pictures about things we have been doing. Hopefully you won't be too bored:

Caleb: front row third from right
Lindsay: back row fifth from left
Both Lindsay and Caleb joined choir at the beginning of the year. This program is for students in 3rd - 5th grade. Practice was held after school on Tuesday and Thursdays. After the first week, Caleb regretted signing up but he signed a contract that he would participate all year. So it was a constant struggle with him not wanting to go. He knew he had to but he was not happy about it. Lindsay has been in choir for the past 3 years so she was ready to be done around December. This picture is from one of their last field trips. Our school participated in the Oregon Children Choir festival with students from all over Oregon. "It was a long and boring day", if you ask Caleb.

Father/Son Campout
I spy Caleb, Reece, . . that is all I recognize.
Scott and Caleb went on the annual church Father/Son campout, without camping out. They decided to go and not spend the night because early the next morning was the District Pinewood Derby. They stayed for the evening and returned home around midnight. Another father thought that was such a good idea that he and his son left early too. Nothing like sleeping in your own bed at night. One of the highlights for the boys is catching salamanders. Another highlight is the campfire, of course. The camera cord was in the last picture but there were only a few pictures to choose from.

District Pinewood Derby

Caleb's orange Beaver car with flames. Yes, it is the same color as last year and since we still have some paint left, it will probably be the color for next years car too!!

Getting ready to race -

Caleb, on the right, during the race - .

Caleb and his good friend Trevor from school.
District Pinewood Derby is sooooooo long! We were there for hours and Caleb raced for about 5 minutes. Now I know why someone pays their son not to go ;) I won't name who, but it is a brilliant idea!!

Mother's Day
Lindsay made me breakfast in bed. Yummy homemade waffles!

I had a wonderful Mother's Day. I was spoiled. I received my gift a few days before which I was surprised to receive. On Sunday morning, thankfully the Bishopric meeting was cancelled at church so Scott was able to be home. I was treated to breakfast in bed along with a couple treats. I love the box of cereal they gave me. Look at it closely. It is called Honey Sunshine. I have always called Lindsay, Sunshine and Caleb is my Honey! And have you tried those natural fruit leathers??? So good!!

Caleb's Field Trip to the
Wings of Wonder
Butterflies everywhere!

Caleb's third grade class went to the Wings of Wonder, a butterfly exhibit. There were butterflies everywhere. You had to be careful where you stepped because they would land in front of you or on you!!

Here is Caleb and Logan at the Wings of Wonder.

Meet the Author
"A Day In The Woods" written & illustrated by, Lindsay

One of the assignments in Lindsay's class was to write a hardcover book. The students spent a lot of time with this project and they all turned out very professional. There was a Meet the Author party. Parents were invited and the students would read parts of their stories. They all have such creative imaginations.

Basketball Party
Basketball season is over. Caleb had a fun time this season. He was on a team with all of his friends and he had the same coaches from past seasons. They are getting better and better each season. The team and parents went out for pizza and an award ceremony. As you can see, the boys had a fun night!
I promise I am almost done, just a couple more events . . .
Lindsay's 5th Grade Field Trip
Lindsay's class went on a walking field trip to a few places. First stop was a senior center and the kids took their books they made and read them to the residents. Our next stop was to a museum in our town where they are making a carousel. I (yes, I go on practically every field trip) was so impressed with the work that was being done. Everything is hand carved and painted by volunteers. There are many different animals being created, each with its own unique story. There are about 5 more years until this project is completed. It was so much fun to be there and see the work in progress.

The carousel's platform.
and last, but not least. . .
The Iris Gardens

This is a day of my very own. A field trip with MY friends, a day without kids :) Today, Julene, Kris, Sarah and I went to the temple, out to lunch, shopping at Dessert Book and then to the Iris Gardens. What a fun day. Here are some pictures that Kris took with her cell phone. The flowers were gorgeous and very fragrant. I had such a fun day and I appreciate such good friends.
Julene, Kris, myself & Sarah

The gardens were beautiful

Hopefully you were not too bored. If so, sorry - this is also my way of journaling what is going on in our life. School is winding down, just a week and a half left with plenty of fun activities for the kids. We are all anxious for summer break and having a lot of fun!

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