Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Concert

Trey had his first band concert this year. He is playing the Trumpet and surprisingly, picked it up rather quickly.

Funny story...Trey told me the concert started at 10 a.m. So I dropped the kids off at school and headed home to do a couple of things before I went back to the school. I planned to leave at 9:30 so I would get there in good time to get a good seat. Well my phone rang at 9:20 and it was the school secretary asking if i was coming to the concert. I told her "yes" and she told me that they were just waiting for me to come!! I was mortified! I jumped in the car and raced to the school feeling like the worst mother ev-er! I guess they had announced that they were going to start as soon as the last 'mom' arrived. So of course, when I come running in, all the parents know that it is ME who is the 'last one' to arrive. Oh well, Trey was getting a little worried that I wasn't coming, but in my defense, I was told the wrong time!

Look at his concentration!

Great job Trey, keep up the good work!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's Christmas!!

Christmas morning 2010 was just wonderful! The kids were all excited, of course! Santa did a great job this, if I do say so myself!

Treys highlight was his Madden 11 game for Wii; Emma was excited for her American Girl doll. All Leah kept asking for were Twinkle Toes. Do you all know what they are? They are shoes. Bright, sparkly shoes. Chase's big gift was a Thomas the Tank Engine Train set with the 'Shake, Shake Bridge'

Don and I love seeing the faces of our sweet children on Christmas morning! It definitely makes all the running around during the month of December worth it.
Trey opening his new shoes

Emma was so cute in her new jammies

Leah opening her Twinkle Toes (don't mind my dorky face!)

Chase got a lot of Wonder Pet toys
(they are so hard to find, but he loves them!)

We head down to Don's parents house on Christmas Day in the afternoon. The presents were a lot better this year. I don't like having all the cousins just ripping through their gifts and not seeing what people are getting. Mostly because then I don't know what my kids got and then I have no idea whose stuff is whose when we get ready to leave and I am trying to pack up the car! I know, silly, but it's due to my OCD. haha!

This is my niece, Hailey. Emma had her name this year and got her this awesome hat

This is my nephew, Hunter

And this is my nephew, Gavin. Isn't he cute??

We all had a wonderful Christmas! Don and I usually just fill each others stockings. This year Don got me the sweetest card. It was a Thomas Kincade card. When you pushed a button on the front, the windows on the house lit up. It was so beautiful. But what was more beautiful, was the message that Don left for me. He related the lights on the house to the way I light up his life and the light that I have given to him to be a better person. It was so sweet and probably one of the best presents he has ever given me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Carol

Trey is in the Accelerated Enrichment Program (AEP) at school. They put on the play, A Christmas Carol. Trey was Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge and managed to memorize all his parts. I think he has the acting bug now and is looking forward to trying out for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at our local playhouse in Cumberland this Spring.

Here are some pictures from his little school play:

The whole cast at the end of the play
The AEP Teacher is Mrs. Watson and she is just great!

At the end they had everyone take a turn to tell everyone their name and what part they played
Trey said his name and then "Ebenezer Scrooge" and then he let out a BIG "Bah Humbug!"

Trey and Aaron(his BF)
Aaron played Mr. Scrooges worker??I can't think of his name right now, darn-it.

Great Job Trey, and we look forward to seeing more of your acting abilities, your awesome!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Family Christmas Party

It was our year to host the Bishop Family Christmas Party! Don and I love to host dinner parties and we had a lot of fun planning this one.

Our Menu:
Prime Rib with homemade Au Jus sauce
Broccoli & cheese casserole
(Stephanie's yummy recipe)
Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes


Homemade rolls
White grape and ginger ale punch

We also had some appetizers for our family to munch on while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip
Chips & homemade dip
Cheese tray
Little Smokies w/ bbq sauce

Here are some pictures of the day:

Dave and Stephanie(Don's sister)

Mary-Kate & Jason (Don's brother)

Don and I

Hunter and Trey playing Madden 11
(Do you think they are close enough to the TV?)

My sweet Nephew Gavin!

I had a picture of Don's parents but it was too blurry and didn't look good. Sorry!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Washington DC Temple Lights!

We have wanted to take the kids to see the lights at the Temple for many years, but each year things would always come up and we would miss the lights. So this year, we decided to go the first weekend in December before things got too crazy!

I'm so glad we did, the kids loved it and the spirit that we felt was wonderful. We met our good friends Ray and Laurel at the Temple with their kids and Laurel brought hot chocolate and donuts for us to have afterwards. It was really cold and the hot chocolate was great!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


We traveled to my sister Jessica's in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. It is a 7 hour drive and on the way down it took us about 9 hours because the traffic was crazy!! But we made it there and it was a really great trip.

I was determined to get a family picture taken by my niece Katie for our Christmas card. She is a really talented photographer and it was a nice fall day at the park.
We stayed at the park and played for a little while too.

My niece Katie



Dinner was awesome! I have said it before, but she is a wonderful cook. So I was surprised that she bought Bob Evans mashed potatoes and didn't make her own. They were great, I don't think I will ever make homemade mashed potatoes again.
The kids table

This is what happens after you eat Turkey (haha)

The spread! (Trey looks a little worried)

We also went to see the movie 'Tangled' when we were there. If you haven't seen this one, go see it!!

The drive home was much nicer than the drive there. Thanks for having us Otto Family!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Halloween pumpkin carving and Trick-O-Treating

So here is the mandatory pumpkin carving and trick or treating post. We always have the missionaries from our church over for dinner and then to carve pumpkins. It's always interesting to see how competitive the missionaries get when carving a pumpkin.

Elder Davis is making plans for their pumpkin and Elder Hill is carving it.

I don't think Don or I were really into the carving thing this year, we decided to make homemade pizza for dinner and it was alot more work then we had anticipated, so we let the kids just do their own thing, with supervision of course.(man that was a long sentence!) So what we got was the simple triangle eyes and nose with a jagged mouth, but the kids loved doing it themselves.

Emma is always so goofy

I just realized that I didn't get a picture of Treys finished pumpkin!! Oh well, this one is pretty good.

So on to Halloween.

To relay the same sentiments my sister Sarah had, "This was the week that never ended!" We had 3 Halloween parties, the school party and parade, the Cumberland parade that Emma and Trey were in for football. They had a float in the parade for the Cumberland Raiders. Trunk or Treat Friday night and then trick or treating in our neighborhood on Saturday night. So we had several days of getting dressed up. Here are the pics of the kids:

Emma as a 50's/poodle skirt girl

Leah as a flapper

Chase was a gorilla

So Trey came up with his own costume this year and he said he was a vampire/goth guy?? Not so sure, but he looked scary.

So I do love comments, so maybe tell me what your kids dressed up as. Also, do you dress up? I have never really gotten into that, but I think next year I will. I think my kids would really love it.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Football!

Sorry guys about the lack of blogging, but I was gently nudged by a friend that I needed to blog more. I know I do, but the last thing I want to do at the end of day is have to think and be creative. So anyway, I am going to play catch up and try to fill you all in our happenings.

So football season ended and we finally have our evenings back!! We all had a great time and we look forward to next year. The head coach asked Don to be the new Head Coach for next year. His son is moving on to middle school and will no longer be on the pee wee league. I'm pretty sure he is beyond thrilled for the opportunity.

Trey has fallen in love with Football and I am really sick of it. It's cute, but he constantly asks me if I think he can play football in the NFL. Of course, I tell him yes, but on the other hand, should I burst his bubble and let him know the reality of it all?? He loves to play Madden 11 on his PS3 and will alternate between that and then running outside to play football by himself. He has notebooks filled with football plays. It's pretty cute, but if anyone knows Trey he gets stuck on one thing and can't seem to focus on anything else.

Here are some pictures of Trey playing football. He is #83

Emma also has enjoyed Cheering and it was fun being her coach. Sometimes the drama of the little girls got on my nerves, but I enjoyed spending time with her.

Here is some pictures of her in a stunt:

And finally some pictures of the season:

Coach Don

Trey with his best friend Aaron

Emma and her friend Payton

This is before the last game, so Trey had a 'sad' face

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stop wanting, needing, hoping for things...

Do any of you blog surf?? Sure you do, we all do it, but I find myself engrossed for hours reading other peoples' blogs.

One of the side effects of looking at blogs, I think, is that you start to feel this little, almost indescribable touch of wanting, having, doing that you didn't possess before.

Before I knew this whole other blogging world existed I was happy with my boring little simple self. That little touch of whatver it is...possibility...didn't nag at my soul. Sure, there was Martha Stewart, and Better Homes and Gardens, but those were just generic collections of paper with no name, no face, no reality. It was easy to say, "WHO really does that? or That only happens in a studio with good lighting and tons of creative design personnel."

But blogging you know...that's a whole different story.

Here's what I'm talking about:

I never had an overwhelming urge to can. My mom used to can and it brings back so many wonderful memories. A couple years ago I thought canning went the way of girdles and never gave it a second thought. And now I see all these really awesome blogging women canning food in these shiny beautiful jars, stacked in rows on beautiful pantry shelves, and it looks like such old-fashioned loveliness that I WANT TO DO IT TOO! (And I want a beautiful pantry shelf!) But do I really? It just feels like a huge undertaking...buying the jars and equipment...and would my kids really eat the stuff that I'd can? One more project. Still that little nagging at my heart. Maybe one day.

AND I want some really beautiful canvas prints of my children and our family in my house. How come I don't have those? EVERYONE has those except me! I used to be happy with my Walmart printed snapshot pictures framed in cheapy frames, but you've all upped the anty, haven't you? I WANT SOME.

WHY didn't I cloth diaper my kids? I want another baby just so I can cloth diaper him (her)? You all make it seem easy and the fabrics are so darn cute and it's so much better for their cute little bottoms. There's elastic thingys now, and velcro, where before it was just pieces of fabric and huge pins. NO FAIR! I missed my opportunity!

See, I can go on and on and on.

It can get more serious.

Look how much she loves and adores her husband! My husband BUGS me sometimes, especially when he forgets to put his clothes in the hamper every single time and also when he asks me where basic easy things are like pencils and screwdrivers, or when he sneezes so loud it makes me jump! I must be some sort of awful grouchy wife who can't love properly.

Look how much faith she has! I wish I could claim that for my own wallowing doubting heart. How much easier my life would be if I could just accept and get on with it, instead of this constant reading, wondering, debating.

Look how much work she puts into her children's education! I send my kids on some big yellow bus to learn and can hardly make it through 3 months of summer before I'm counting the days till a break. What aren't they learning that I don't know about? Why don't I have the patience...what's wrong with me?

And on and on and on and on.

I think everyone feels this way too, and it hits at some of those weak moments of your life when the doubt of being "good enough" creeps in.

But there is a whole other side to the story, where that little touch of wanting, having, doing actually makes you challenge yourself to your full potential, gives you some pretty darn good ideas that benefit you and your family, and also gives you a little reminder to do all the things you've ever wanted to do.

When I read someone like Stephanie Nielson and see the love and appreciation and closeness she has had with her husband for a decade, she motivates me to see the good...the long hours he spends at work to provide for us, the taking over of the bedtime ritual, the energy for fun, and remembering that us two are the reason all these kids happened in the first place, and overlook that darn bath mat. She brings out the positive, overlooks all that little crap. A good reminder.

When I see another mother excel at a hobby, maybe it's photography or sewing or cooking, I can challenge myself to find a hobby I love. I can remind myself that I deserve a little fun in life too. It doesn't ALL have to be folding laundry and sweeping the kitchen floor. It makes me over correct myself and find balance...knowing that I deserve to master something of my own too, and most of all that my children are watching and learning from me. Watching how I constantly learn and challenge myself, and practice to reach my potential.

If I can look at all this information I've let into my brain in the past couple years objectively, and not in a threatening, envious or "I'm not good enough way", comparing sort of way, I feel SO happy I've had the chance to grow. Comparing yourself, your life, your abilities, your talents, to someone else will never get you anywhere I don't think. As much as we are told to reach out, to look outside ourselves, sometimes I think looking inward is the answer too. Sometimes I've found that looking OUT, instead of paying attention to your own spirit, doesn't lead to anything but icky feelings. When I concentrate on me and my family and hold that in my upmost thoughts, what makes us grow, what makes us "good", I can filter all the outside stuff (SO much information we recieve today!) in a healthy way and use it or discard it. And sometimes if I'm in one of those moods, where I can't filter, it's better to pull back a little from all these sights, sounds and ideas, regroup, gain that sort of grounded, inner-core strength of knowing who I am and what I want for me and my marriage and my family.

As I've gotten older too, I've found that one thing is sure. NO family is perfect. NO mother is perfect. Everyone has their struggles. NO ONE is exempt from any or all and the sooner you know that the sooner you'll find a less bitter taste in that mouth of yours, I think. We all have days, months and years when we skate by on a clean, sweet breeze. And we all have days, months and years where we hit a brick wall and pray for salvation in any form. Sometimes those brick walls look like colicky babies, struggling children, annoyed spouses, and dirty filthy kitchen floors with no hope in sight, and sometimes a breezy day looks like some lined up peach preserves. Both are reminders to make the most of our potential by becoming the best of whoever we are each meant to be, to discover what we each consider important and meaningful, to learn and teach, to take from each other and give back, and to celebrate the journey of life along the way.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Chase!

Chase is now 4 years old! My how the years have flown by! I can't believe my baby is 4! It almost makes me want another baby, almost!

He had 2 birthday parties this year and it really confused him. The first was shared with his cousin Sofia who also turns 4 in August. So we did their birthday party half way between each others birthdays. So at his birthday party, he wasn't actually 4 yet, that is what confused him. They decided that they wanted a Toy Story party.

Don't you just love the cake!!

I kept trying to get a good picture of Chase and Sofia together and this was the best one.

His next party was actually on his birthday. He wanted to invite some of his friends from preschool and the YMCA. He had Mathias, Lydia and Lakin over and we just did a backyard party. The weather is getting so nice here and the humidity is leaving us, yay!

Chase and Mathias

Chase and Laykin

Miss Lydia enjoying her cupcake

Blowing out the candles

Happy Birthday Buddy! We love you!