Sunday, December 20, 2009


You wanted it you got it. Here is our own little Gretzky in the making!!! Everyone has been requesting more hockey stuff so this is as good as it gets! VIDEO FOOTAGE!!!

This is pretty funny too........

Most of Hunter's team prefers to skate forward...I think Hunter prefers to skate backwards. His coaches always ask us if we put him up to it and the answer is no. He does what he prefers! Looks like we got a defenseman on our hands! We thought you might appreciate that Doug!

Here is another one!

Our little slasher has come a long way from the days of slithering as an ice slug. We kept telling him he would get better and sure enough he has!!!

We love you Hunter Buddy!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

We LOVE Christmas!! What could be more wonderful than beautiful smells, colorful lights, and giving to others?
We found a beautiful fresh tree to add to our decor, and we even found a REAL tree stand (see December 2008 post) this year too. We also purchased our first star to go on top of the tree. It is a beautiful tree full of homemade ornaments and a few store bought ones. It reminds me of the tree that I grew up with. The boys enjoyed decorating, and still enjoy re-arranging some of the ornaments.
One of our annual traditions is making REAL Gingerbread houses. We of course grouped into teams.
Team Daddy and Chance and Team Hunter and Momma
we had a great time.
This team doesn't even have their house stuck together yet, and one of the participants has chocolate and goo around his mouth already.

Hunter was excellent at hanging the "lights" on our roof. He was very patient with it.

......still eating!!!

Hunter was getting frusturated because the other team kept saying how girly our house was since there was a girl on Hunter's team. They kept telling him that Barbie lived inside our house!! I had drawn a frosting heart above the door to put some red hots around, but before I could even get the red hots on, Hunter smeared it!

We did end up putting candy cane "cannons" and "lasers" on top of our roof. We also put a US Flag on the side of the house. We decided it was the "married" military housing. There were also cinnamon bears out front to keep an eye out for intruders.

Team Daddy and Chance put the marine symbol and a gun on the side of their house. Their house did turn out very MESSY...oops, I mean MANLY!!
And guess what???? Chance is still eating the candy off the house every chance he gets.

Last but not least we went straight to Santa Claus' house in North Pole and told him what we wanted for Christmas. He told the boys that he had been waiting for them, and that they were definitely on the good list. They were very happy about that!
Chance told Santa that he wanted a Shark and a Motorcycle.
Hunter told Santa that he wanted the Batcave.
Both boys got a candy cane and were very pleased with their visit to Santa.

One of our traditions when we go see Santa is that each of the boys get to choose an ornament to represent that year for them. Hunter chose an eskimo riding a polar bear, and Chance chose an Olde World style Santa ornament.

The best part of Christmas is the element of surprise and anticipation of these little boys. Hunter said to me, "Mom, everytime I sleep I just dream of those presents, and the day I get to open them." He also keeps asking me if he can just open one present, and then he'll say, "Just trickin' since he already knows the answer.

We have also had FHE about Christ and why we celebrate Christmas. They love to look and touch my nativity scene, and talk about what happened on the night Christ was born.

This is "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday at our house this year! We got to sleep in (just a little bit), and then we started our day by watching the Macy's Parade on TV. Before we knew it, it was time to start working on the "Feast".

Kelly did a great job peeling Yams AND potatoes. He peeled a ton of potatoes because he really LOVES mashed potatoes and I don't make them nearly enough for him.
Now Kelly has enough mashed potatoes to feed him until the middle of December!!!
This is George the Gratitude Turkey. During the month of November when we sit down to the table we think of things we are thankful for and then add the feather to George. So, he started out as a "naked" turkey and now he is in full bloom.
This is what we were grateful for this year:

Alaska, loving husband, cabin, Gee Gee's garden, Grandpa McGee, sweet treats, family, water, hats, food, planets, preschool, world, zombies, chickens, Gee Gee, wrestling, snow, truck, soup, washing machine, Aunt Valerie, electricity, memories, ice cream, Halloween, video games, Chance, Hunter, beds, Mickey Mouse, trees, cookies, teeth, toys, bugs, music, reliable vehicles, Batman, fish, Joker, broccoli, sweetheart wife, warm home, good friends, Ryan, string, airplanes, Grandpa Joe, showers, sharks, Our Countries flag, USA, outerspace, bacon, stars in the sky, milk jugs (milk duds), fun days with family, clowns, yummy smells, auto start, soda, books, days off, our bodies, hulk shirt, snacks, job, broncos, movies, toys, cereal, stuffed lion, our minds, dump trucks, cartoons, The Gospel, Thomas Train, Brandon, hugs, kisses, fingers, clothes, health, The World, Momma, Dad, Button (a guy Kelly works with), hockey, good landlord, health, football, Dodgers and NAPS!!!!!

We are VERY fortunate despite the sad things that have happened in our extended families this year. We are very aware and grateful for the blessings we DO have.

While dinner was being prepared, the boys did a "color by number" cornicopia picture,

and took turns playing games with Dad.

Handsome little Chance


Dinner was very delicious and all turned out well. It is tricky however, to get the timing down so that everything hot at the same time. Maybe next year I will get to be thankful for a double oven!

While we were eating we noticed that Chance grew a bit of a goatee. Apparently when he was wiping his face, the napkin stuck to the marshmallow goo on his chin.

We got a pretty good laugh out of that!

Little goatee guy

My "LUV"

After dinner I was ready for a nap, and Kelly was ready for football, and the boys were chomping at the bit to watch the "Thundercats" DVD that came from Netflix.

Everyone got to do exactly what they was NICE!

After football, movie, and nap, it was time for pie. We had chocolate velvet pie, and pumpkin. The were both very delicious. Hunter chose to eat his pie with his hands like pizza.


At the end of the day Kelly was most grateful that his Broncos won!!!!

It was a lovely holiday for our family, a time to reflect and enjoy eachother's company.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Memories & Dreams

Do you remember growing up when the toy catalogs started coming in the mail, and it was getting close to Christmas? There was a certain magic and excitement in the air, and the dreaming began.
We received our Toys R Us catalog in the mail on Wednesday, and I think it has been read, studied, searched, and flipped at least 100 times so far. Hunter, even last night spent over 1 1/2 hours looking through it again. It has also become a good learning book as we learn about 10's and 100's and practice identifying numbers and their placements.
Hunter decided that he REALLY wants the Batcave listed for 34.99. He even cut the ad out of the magazine and has it stashed in a "secret location". He will ask Santa for it when we go to the North Pole in December. He is really excited!
It has been fun to watch the boys and see them turn the pages of these magazines over, and over. The other day I received the American Girl magazine. Can I tell you how many times I pored over this catalog from the ages of 9-15!?!?!?! I dreamed of having the dolls, the clothes, the accesories, but it was soooo expensive, I knew that I wouldn't ever get one.
It was so fun to DREAM!
This is the doll that I wanted (below) her name is Samantha. One year for Christmas I got her book collection, I am sure my Mom would have loved to have given me the doll, but on a single gals income it would have caused a financial struggle. I still have the Samantha book series and hope one day to pass them on to a daughter or a grand daughter and hopefully she will love them as much as I did.

So, as I flipped through this catalog, it was fun to think of the memories of all the times I used to look through this catalog in the "old days". Now you can buy the American Girl that looks like you, I found the one that looks like me, that was fun!
While I was sad to never get the Samantha, I got something better, I got the chance to dream.
While some of you might think I still am looking at the catalog everyday, I really only looked at it twice and then gave it to one of our friends little girls. I told her they were expensive, but it is a fun magazine to look at :)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"I've Told You Three Times!!"

For preschool today, we were lucky enough to get to go on a field trip to the firestation.
Here are two of the cutest firefighters I know.

This is Firefighter Andy. He gave us the tour, and reminded us how strong a fireman has to be. He also taught us to call out for help if we are ever in a fire and to stay down low to the ground.

This is Chance inside one of the big fire engines

Hunter and his good friend Brandon loved pretending to be firemen.

You always hear little boys say that they want to be firemen when they grow up. However, this is the conversation that went on in our family....

Mom: "Hunter, do you want to be a fireman when you grow up?"

Hunter: "NO! I've told you three times...

(with a look on his face like, "don't you ever listen?")

Hunter continued: ......I want to be a Dodger and NOTHING else!!!"

So there you have it folks, Hunter will be a Dodger and not a fireman.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


October started off with a bang, or a punch I guess. Kelly thought it would be fun for the boys to box him and eachother. It was pretty funny- but a little rough.
Look at this little "Tough Stuff"
Hunter puts up a pretty good combination
and gives his Dad a run for his money $$

Our neighbors REALLY love Halloween. In fact, they love it so much that they were married on October 31st, 20 years ago. Anyhow, they go all out in their Halloween decor both inside and outside the house. They also have some fun costumes on hand, including this horse that fills up with air when you put it on. Hunter thought is was pretty cool.

I really love to have a few store bought, but mostly homemade crafty decorations for the holiday. I bought these little pie pumpkins for the boys to draw spooky pictures on, and then we displayed them on our bookshelf along with a big Jack 'O Lantern basket. It looked nice.
Hunter really got creative and made his own skeleton on his pumpkin without me even suggesting the idea or how to draw it. This is what he came up with. I thought it was pretty good for a 4 year old.

Chancey's is a mixture of Momma's help and his own creativity. He knew exactly what he was drawing even if we didn't. He was pretty pleased with his pumpkin and would often be found toting it around all month.

It ended up that we were sick for about a week and a half before Halloween. It was really awful and hit all 4 of us. It just so happened that Kelly was quarantined from work for 7 days, so it was nice to have him home to help me with sick boys around the clock. He also let me have a couple of 3 hour badly needed naps.
Since we were sick we missed 2 of our planned Halloween festivities. So, we made due at home! We had our annual dinner in a pumpkin early for something to do. Along with the fact that Kelly had to work Halloween night, so we wanted him to be around to do something Halloweenish.
(Come to find out Kelly doesn't like our traditional "dinner in a pumpkin" guess I need to come up with a new traditional Halloween dinner...any ideas??)

Hunter looks enthusiastically sick.

Daddy pretended to be "meat guy" which is Chancey's word for a Zombie.

We got double use out of our decorative pumpkins. They were really yummy and still decorated for the occasion. Kelly was thankful for the extra carcinogens that were baked into the pumpkin dinner.

Ghosts and Goblins pretending to be excited for "dinner in a pumpkin"!

The next night after this picture was taken was the ward party. We thought we would actually make the party until about 5:00 pm when Hunter said, "I feel HOT!" Sure enough, he was 102.4. Sheesh!!!
So we stayed home, carved our pumpkins, and trick or treated our bedroom doors.
The boys walked back and forth between bedrooms knocking and saying "trick or treat" and they made out like bandits. Who needs trunk or treat anyway???
Not all bad came from being home sick. Chance is now officially DAY and NIGHT potty trained. How nice!!! Let me just say to how much easier it is to potty train when you don't have a newborn baby, and when your husband is home to help. Anyway, he did it! I have TWO big boys now. Yippee!!!

This is Chance enjoying a fresh out of the box giant chocolate bunny, yes from Easter that no one ever ate, for doing his first GIANT POOP!!! He was pretty excited and proud of himself :)

By the time Halloween actually rolled around we were all well except for the occasional sniffle. So, we went to hockey practice in the morning, came home and napped, got up and ate "Dunch", got dressed in our costumes and headed out the door. Chancey was spiderman and had a cute spiderman hat to wear, but didn't want to put it on until later. I barely got his costume on because it was a full body suit where he has no access to his belly button. He likes to be able to rub and play with his "outty" button.
Hunter was the most excellent Batman and Chance was the most angry Spiderman.

I decided I didn't care to go trick or treat door to door in 16 degree weather, so I opted for the indoor mall trick or treating. First we went to see Kelly at work, and his co worker loaded us up with some goodies, then we went to the mall and got treats from about 12 different stores. It was really fun because you could actually still see the kids costumes because you didn't have to put snow gear on them. It was perfect since I was taking them myself.

Finally,we went to a "Cool and Not Scary" Halloween party at our friends house. There were games, LOTS of candy, food, and dancing. They boys had so much fun with all their super hero friends, playing and dancing and talking. I had fun being warm and having other adults to hang out with!

*** I did dress up, there just were no pictures taken. I decided to keep with the superhero theme that the boys had chosen, and I found some wacky colorful patterned clothes to wear. I put my hair in pigtails with a giant bow on top, and I put lots of blush and freckles on. Hunter asked me what I was and I said, "I'm supermom!!!" He said, "There's no such thing!!" He is probably right, but I can always try :)

Monday, October 12, 2009


IT'S HERE!!!! It is now time for hockey. Neither Kelly or I have even played and we barely skate ourselves. But, we put Hunter on the ice in full gear......

and boy did he look good!
(He has a helmet, it just isn't on yet)

Unfortunately, skating didn't come so easily as did his good looks. He is the middle kid on the ground that looks like he is TRYING to get up.
A lot of the kids looked like seals or beached whales most of the time. It was pretty funny!

Chance wished he could be out there playing too, but he was a good sport and played in the stands. He sure was happy to be there!

They gave the kids buckets to hold on to and skate. Hunter mostly went around in circles.
There were definitely tears shed, but that happens. We reminded him that we had told him it wouldn't be easy, but it would be great once he got it. We came home and practiced walking in his skates in the living room for an hour. Hopefully this coming Wednesday he will feel a little more confident about the whole thing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In Honor of A Man I Love and Admire

This is My Baby Blessing Picture
April 1979

To those who did not know, I lost my beloved, sweet Grandpa West (my Mom's father) this last month. He will be greatly missed by me and others too. I wrote a letter in March to him because I knew his time was coming to a close here on earth and I wanted to share with him how special he was to me.

Dear Grandpa- March 6, 2009

You are a wonderful man. My life has been richly blessed because I was able to have a Grandfather of such noble stature and character. You are wise, intelligent, patient, thoughtful, kind, sweet, fun loving, giving, humble, self-sacrificing, selfless, and funny. What more could a girl ask for from a Grandfather and Father figure? I am so glad we mostly lived close to you growing up, so that you could be part of our lives. I have been thinking of all the fun memories that we have shared over the years, and what I have learned from you. Really, there are too many memories to write down, but I will always treasure them in my heart.

Some of my favorite things that I remember about you was that you always made me feel special. You always called me TJ or Tammy Jo, and I loved that you had special names for me. I also loved getting out of the bathtub and having you rub your big thumb on my arm and telling me that I was "squeaky clean". You also always gave me big hugs and rubbed your whisker face on my cheek, it was great!

One of the memories that sticks out to me the most happened one fall. You, me and my Mom got into your red and white car and went out by the old barn to the pumpkin patch. I don't remember the specifics, but it seems like we went out to get a pumpkin just for me. I looked, and looked while you stood patiently waiting. Finally I found the perfect pumpkin! We opened the hatch of your car and loaded the pumpkin in. Apparently I must have been standing in the way of the exhaust pipe and something blew out at my leg. I know it had rock in it and it was really hot and burned my leg a little bit. You picked me up and loaded me into the car and we went into the yellow bathroom and you and mom cleaned up my leg. Now, I'm not sure why that memory pops out so easily, but I think it is sweet.

Grandpa, you were always so kind to look after my mom. I am sure she had a special place in your heart, especially being your firstborn and a daughter. I know you were always trying to make her life easier. One thing you did for her, among many, is to pick me up for zero hour classes my freshman year. I believe I had to be at the school by 6:50 am. So, that means that you had to be to my house by 6:20, which means you probably had to get up around 5:40 or so. But, because you are you, you gave your time, sacrificed your sleep, and used your money for fuel. I appreciated the rides every morning, and I know Mom did too. I loved spending that time with you. I don't remember talking a lot on the rides to the school because I was still waking up at that hour. I do know that when we did talk you would ask me about school, and my home life, and took time to get to know me. I treasure those rides.

You are a great joke teller. I remember going to your house and you sharing joke after joke. Now, the jokes were good...I remember laughing, but better than that is the memory of you laughing. Your whole body moving up and down, your big smile and squinty eyes. Your laugh was contagious! Even if the joke wasn't so funny, when you started laughing, everyone else did too. I could always look forward to a good joke from Grandpa.

Along with your joke telling abilities, you were also a great story teller. I will always remember the story of little Grandma and the mountain lion. I don't know how many times I heard it, but I knew I couldn't get enough of it. All of the geneology stories, you told with such emotion. Sometimes it was with excitement, but a lot of time it was with tears of love or sadness. The love you have for the people you have linked together is tremendous. I hope someday that I will grasp onto the geneology bug the way you did. You are a tremendous example to all of us of what we should be doing in that way. I remember living with you and every Friday night, off you went to the geneology library, and that was even after a long days work at your office. But you would go without complaint!

Of course I can't leave out the memories of "Farmer Grandpa" there were always tractor rides, corn picking, corn husking, corn selling, and weed pulling. You were always so good to teach us work along with the fun we were having. Grandpa you are one of the hardest workers I know. Always working on some project. You never kept "idle hands" you were always busy with something...except when you were napping!

Grandpa, I think what I love about you the VERY most is how much you loved Grandma. I loved her very much too, but you and I both know that she wasn't the easiest woman to live with! From the outside looking in, it looked like you tried and tried to please her, but she was a tough one. She has no idea how lucky she was in the husband department. You were a WONDERFUL husband. I don't think a girl could ask for more. I loved that you would kiss Gram EVERY evening when you would get home from work, I thought it was so sweet. I think of that often.
Bouquets from you were always a favorite. Whether it be for a holiday, a birthday, or just to please the eye, you were quite the florist, and still are. I loved coming to your house and seeing your beautiful flowers outside, but also inside. After Gram stopped going out, you were always so good to bring TONS of flowers in so she could experience their beauty too. When I think of Grandpa, and flowers I will always think of your sweet peas growing along side the driveway on Locust Grove. They were always so lovely!

Last but not least I just want to share with you, that people LOVE Nathan Dennis West. You are such a hero to so many of us. Whether it be patients of yours, church going friends, neighbors, acquaintances or family, everyone loves you. I am always happy to say that I am Nathan West's grand-daughter. It is a label I can wear with pride.

You keep saying you are "winding down" and that may be the case. It is hard to think of life without you, but I know death is part of life and the eternal scheme of things. At least I know you are going someplace where there are plenty of people who will be so happy you are there. I can just imagine the lines of people who will be waiting to hug you because you did their geneology and got their names to the temple. You will be rewarded for your excellent work!
Grandpa, you will always hold a special place in my heart. You are MY HERO, and I am glad you were my Grandpa. I love you forever.

Dr. Nathan D. West 1925-2009 Dr. Nathan D. West, 83, of Meridian, passed away at his daughter's home in Verdi, Nev., on Sept. 10, 2009, after battling bone cancer. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 at the Cloverdale Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, located at 190 South Locust Grove, Meridian. The viewing will be held on Friday, Sept. 18, 2009 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Cloverdale Funeral Home, and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to service time at the Cloverdale Ward. Burial will follow at Cloverdale Memorial Park with a reception to follow back at the Cloverdale Ward. Nathan was born Sept. 18, 1925 in Roy, Harding County, New Mexico, to Charles P. West and Lila R. Sales. On Jan. 1, 1950 he married Connie Mitchell in Weiser, Idaho. They were later sealed in the Logan Utah Temple. Nathan graduated from Southern California College of Optometry in 1953 and moved with his wife to the Treasure Valley where he practiced for the next 40 years. He participated in the community as a PTA president and was active in Toastmasters. His passion was his family and his farm where he taught his children the value of hard work. He loved working on family history and served in his church for 13 years in the family history center. Nathan is survived by his children; Claude West of Middleton; Valerie (Greg) Monette of Verdi, Nev.; Robert (Jennifer) West of Boise; Jonathan (Marissa) West of Boise, Rebecca "Becky" (Dave) Niblett of Meridian; 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters; Vera (Bill) Rose of Nampa; Lois (Curly) Myers of Star; and Gloria (Steve) Butts of Newnan, Ga. Nathan was preceded in death by his parents Charles P. and Lila West; his "Dear Sweet Wife" Connie Mitchell West; his brother Luther Claude West; a daughter Natalie West Briner; two infant children and one infant granddaughter.