Thursday, May 29, 2014


Dane's #1 Birthday!!  We celebrated by spending some time with some friends and had beans and rice and chocolate chip cookies (Dane's favorite meal).  He enjoyed some nice gifts and cards from family and friends.  (Hoyts, Stahelis, Ingolds, Atkins, Mackays, Martins, Christiensens)
Blue and Yellow seem to be his favorite colors. I kid you not, he usually always picks something yellow out of a selection, and he says the color blue when we show him blue things.  So we did blue and yellow balloons.
Here's a copy of the invite poem....

It's called....APRIL 4th 2014

April 4th (although we're celebrating on the 3rd) is coming up!
This year has flown by, can he already be drinking milk from a sippy cup??

He's walking around- there's much to explore,
with this kid around our house is never a bore!

His surprise copper hair goes just right with his sweet disposition,
as little brother, patience he's learned, and if he wants to play- how to be in the right position:)

So yep, let's have lunch, April 4th, 2014 means Dane's going to be ONE,
Come celebrate with us- as we anticipate his next year to be just as much fun!!

He has loved his new basketball hoop and ball!  Friends/strangers often comment on him being a natural football player/fullback.... I don't know if I could handle that.  Plus, look how natural he is with the basketball!  So I'll cheer on the dunks:)
 After church & lunch Braelynn & Dane were able to get their Easter baskets.  Braelynn was really hoping for a chocolate bunny and luckily that Easter Bunny brought her one:) We had been reading an Olivia Easter book a few weeks before Easter and Olivia and her brother got chocolate bunnies but they melted.  She never stopped thinking and talking about how she hoped for one, but she'd be careful so it wouldn't melt:)
Then we went on a Sunday walk to the LaVista Park.  The Easter Bunny had left a note saying there would be eggs to find at the park.  So Jadd went ahead and checked to see where they were hidden, then Braelynn & Dane were able to find them.  They were filled with coins and fruit snacks.
 Three and a half year old business tycoon, Braelynn, was quite successful with her first business venture.  She has been wanted to earn some money for activities to do when we go to Utah.  So, she decided to do this lemonade stand.  We enjoyed doing this one hot day as neighbors and others stopped by.
 Enjoying some spring time sidewalk chalk coloring:)

Braelynn, the big sister.

Then... last but not least, we had to start doing some special activities with the Hoyt's before their move to Nampa, ID in May.  We are so excited for them and the opportunities they have earned.  They have been such a blessing in our lives and have been such good family friends.  Stephanie has been so nice to have as a close friend and neighbor.  She is always looking for ways to serve and include others.  We also have gone through our 2nd pregnancies and having two children life adjustments together!  Braelynn & Emery have been the best of friends:) Braelynn will miss being able to do all our activities with her.  Also Braelynn and Emery would deliver drawings, colored pictures, or stickers to each other, or just saying hi, to each other frequently throughout the day.

Planting flowers

Bouncing at Hippo Hop with Cam and Davis
The Big Obstacle Course at Hippo Hop!
Krispy Kreme Field Trip
More Splash Pad Fun

Splash Pad Fun

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Making it Happen March

   This is titled "Making it Happen March," because I wanted to share how we "make it happen" moving across the country into a "foreign land" without knowing anyone here. This is especially for me, because I have never lived outside of Utah & Rexburg, Idaho.  Well, two things will summarize it all (even though they really go hand in hand).... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints & friends!!
   A few of our ward members/friends live here at the Marquis apartments and are going through the same thing we are.  So we all rely on each other, and it is so fun to get to know other families and support each other!  So anyway, here are a few things we do with some of our local friends.

-Stroller Running (Sad I don't have a pic of this yet.) Stephanie, Whitney, & I caravan our children in strollers around the neighborhood!  Best way to get out the door and go, and to distract the hardness of running, is enjoying the company of the others!

-Cleaning/Getting whatever we need done Swap-Stephanie and I have expressed many times to each other how hard it is to keep up with the house sometimes and how we could use just a couple hours to get a little ahead of things so we can function with the kids again!  So every now and then we call each other up and swap the kids for awhile and wow, life is refreshed!

-Girl's Nights- Us girls have needed a few Girl's Nights where we enjoy some fondue, do crafts, and just have fun talking!

-Family PotLuck Meals- About once a month we've gotten together for this.  We bring our own meat, then a side to share, socialize... it's good:)

-Monday Yoga Night- Wow, I've never really done yoga much before, but our dear friend Anna is amazing at it! We get together at her place Monday nights (& sometimes Thursday nights too) for an hour of Vinassa(prob spelt that wrong) Yoga!  It is just the right balance between strength & flexibility building, which I love, and my body has needed!  I am usually trying to keep up with back/core exercises ever since I hurt it my Junior year of High School, and this does the trick.  I haven't had a sore  back at all since I've started doing Yoga- so I will probably not ever stop doing it!

-Visiting Cicero-  Cicero is our neighbors, Leslie & Greg Macfarlane's cat. We get to visit him a couple times during the week & sometimes when they go out of town.  One of the kids favorite outings of the week:)

-Date Night Co-op- . A few of us families were able to work out a babysitting co-op in which 2 couples would watch all the kids (3:-6:pm) and feed them dinner, while the other 2 got a date night!  It was splendid and fun for the kids and good for us to get dates in!  Jadd and I still like to pass the football and pepper on our dates most often:) (The pic below is when we were watching the kids- the boys playing.  The girls would not hold still for a pic- they are always off going to the North Pole, or Camping, or having Tea Parties)

Jadd's Serving on far side
-Men's Tennis-Jadd has enjoyed getting together to play tennis with one neighbor Greg Macfarlane, and also with this group of guys.  Team Pete (Pete Hoyt & Mr. Pete- one of our very nice neighbors) vs. Team "Ja" (Jason Staheli & Jadd).  The kids and I love watching them play!

Dane's Hero:)

Another favorite activity we do in our neighborhood is visiting the LaVista Park. We usually run there once a week and stop to play.  Also, we often walk there on Sundays as a family for a little bit.  Many who have visited have joined us at this park.)
Braelynn's Monkey Swing

Fearless Climber Dane
Last but not least, Atlanta has great Story Time programs.  There are sessions for different ages.  So we typically attend one for Dane on Monday mornings at Dunwoody & another for Braelynn on Tuesday mornings at Chamblee.  Dane and Braelynn love them.  During Dane's story time, Braelynn brings Maximas, her kitty, and does the songs with him.  During Braelynn's story time, Dane mostly runs around the back of the room sucking on his binkie.

Friday, March 14, 2014

February 2014

Well this seems like forever ago- I gotta get better at posting right at the end of the month:) Anyway, another month come and gone so fast!

I really love Valentine's Day!  Not sure why, guess because I just love my Valentine so much;), but we decided to host a little potluck luncheon with some friends in the ward. (The Mitchells, Stahleys, Hoyts, Wilsons, Atkins)  We enjoyed having them all over and played a game where each couple wrote down three things about their pre-marriage times, then we guessed who they were about.  Jadd and I's were 1) Our first kiss was Valentine's 2006 2) Jadd proposed on the top of a very strenuous of hike, Mendon Peak 3) We've played in The Newton Sand Volleyball tourny since dating every year (7) until last year.  Braelynn's were (cause she had 2 friends there) 1) She's three years old 2) She loves to jump in all sorts of ways 3)She has a grandma named Marsha 4)She is a great big sister! (#2 & #3 are the same as her friend Emery so they liked deciding between their clues).  Here are a couple pics.

 (Jadd's on the floor -bottom right-talking with his hands, as usual:), 
 Dane's a standing, balancing, reaching, grabbing kind of smiley guys these months:)

 (Sorry, haven't taken the time to learn how to flip the pics the correct way:( )

On Valentines Day we were SNOWED IN, AGAIN!!  (First my birthday, then Valentines- crazy!)  We decorated cookies at the Hoyts house & played out in the snow.  Our friends even made a cardboard sled the kids enjoyed getting pulled in:)

Something about my kids sleeping is so sweet:) I had to snap these pics this month of them as well.

...and some baby eating pics (knawing on a carrot-he still just has two little teeth on bottom so he doesn't get too much off the carrot)

 And we've been making more bean recipes lately as well.  Dane loves black beans!  So Jadd had to take a messy face pic afterwards.

 So pretty much most ALL of my friends here had a baby boy last year!!  Every month or so someone had another.  So Dane has a lot of friends:) Here is Mr. Cam/Thomas Hoyt, Mr. Davis Stahley, Mr. Grant Christensian, and Mr. Dane Shelton (the oldest).  They are started to interact a little.  Dane mostly wants to hug/tackle them all like his stuffed animals/baby doll.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


 This January has been a cold and sick month to be honest!!  The cold part, not a problem for us Westerners, the sick part... blah!  I guess it's how families work, one gets a sickness and it rotates around to everyone.  If you're lucky you don't get it!  And, if there is a baby in the house, mommy and daddy don't sleep much!  We've all been passing around, I guess it's been 4 cold/flu germs since Thanksgiving to be honest and Jadd has managed to only get 1/4!  That's even with our Flu shots!  I guess we would have gotten a 5th one if we didn't get our shots, right?? Anyway, enough of that- really enough of that!  By the end of January we had been seeing signs of all of us getting better!

But despite the sicknesses and  sleeplessness, these kids can bring out sweet simple joys!  Braelynn has been full of Tea Parties all month.  She's been carrying her tea party set she got last summer between the TV stand to the Kitchen table, making and delivering her soup, strawberry juice, or cookies for us or her special kitties, Maximas, Cicero, & Juar.  (She loves filling up her tea pot from the bathroom faucet by her self to do this.)

Also, Braelynn loves JUMPING!  She is either jumping from her slide, off the couch, practicing her leaps, etc.  Well, she's been wanting to jump rope since she's been walking.  She chose a jump rope one time with her money and has wanted to practice (frustrated) off and on, but this last month she got her jump rope out again, and got it!  It was so fun seeing her proud face as she worked on this and got it:)

This month has been full of dreams at night with Braelynn.  There were a couple nights she came to talk to us about them because she was scared.  Some mornings she has many entertaining things to say from her dreams as well.  By now, honestly, it's hard to know which ones are true, and which stories she has enjoyed coming up with, but they've been from playing at her cousins houses in Utah (which are most often) to riding on hippos, going up a snowy mountain, and the tragic getting caught by the Snow Monster (from Frozen).  Well, we've fixed her scary dream problem.  Each night when she says her prayers, we pray for good dreams.  She will NOT forget to do this each night.  One night we did forget to say her prayers, and she came out ten mins later and said, "mom, we forgot to say my prayers!" very matter-of-factly.

(Our next problem to fix is her pushing her chair over to the kitchen cupboards, to hunt down cookies and Dark Chocolate Hersheys to eat while I'm showering!!  She always has a chocolate face when I get out of the shower!)

Dane, the poor guy, has been the most sick :(  But he manages to get faster and faster with his crawling.  He is walking along furniture and even threatening to walk!  He lets go of things he pulls himself up from, or stands from a kneeling position.  He takes one step and does a jump after and catches himself with his hands.  He is working on walking and jumping at the same time I guess:)

Dane is a strong little guy!!  His shirts fit him just fine, but the sleeves are always slid up around his forearms.  We can't keep them down!  He loves to bounce from his knees and catch himself with his hands. He also loves to reach up high, and lift things up high above his head.  He is always clapping with excitement as well!

Dane also listens for the dishwasher to open so he can instantly dart over to it and unload all the   utensils! (I forgot how to rotate this pic)

Well, as many of you know, we enjoyed some snow this month!  It snowed in Georgia!  It seemed like such an adventure, because you really have to stock up on groceries before, then the city shuts down for a few days during the storm, and starts back up after it's melted away!!  They just don't do much plowing or salting because it does not happen too often.  So Jadd would study at home these days, and we'd go out in the snow and enjoy all our meal times with Dad!!

One of these snow days was my birthday though!  I loved that for my birthday.  I also enjoyed many family and friend birthday wishes!  THANKS- they all mean so much to me.  What I wanted most was to just spend time with my little family here- we did this and Braelynn made me some popcorn too!  She knows I love this.  She also did a dance for my birthday gift as well- it was so precious:)  We had talked about gifts you don't buy around Christmas time and I think she remembered this for my birthday.

Also, Jadd and I were asked to speak about Blessings of Keeping our Covenants one Sunday this month.  It was just a blessing to study up on this topic and prepare to talk about it.  Especially as we want the blessing of our children being protected!

I also got to teach a kickboxing class with the Young Women in our ward. It was really fun.  I love teaching exercise classes!!  Anway, I've been working on my own kickboxing routines lately, so it was fun to do some with others.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Remembering Christmas

We're home and unpacked!! (I wish- all our stuff is still flung around our whole house still because we decided to switch our bedrooms for convenience since we had a lot to put away and so it's an even more fun disaster... anyway).  The kids have been enjoying their new Christmas presents and we've been settling down this week.  "That was the best Christmas ever", says Braelynn sincerely at least once a day during and since our trip back West to see family for the Holiday!  It was just right!

Grandma Dawson hands down special treasures she has had and Braelynn got this house over the break.  We have a Christmas Village we've been collecting and it fits right in. When we were putting it with the rest of the village we noticed it looks a lot like Grandma & Grandpa Andersons' home:)  They had a special "Magical Room" (as Braelynn would call it) in their house.  It was the guest room that my parents made so festive for Christmas by adding Christmas quilts to all five beds, all the stuffed animals waiting on the couch, and a glowing Christmas Tree!  The village house is a special way to remember our 2013 Christmas!

Our whole December was centered around the anticipation of spending the special Christmas Holiday with our family in Utah and Idaho.  We've been here in Atlanta, Georgia now for a year and three months and have missed seeing our family as often as we used to!  I have been surprised to find Braelynn remembers a lot. From playing in Gma & Gpa Shelton's basement to finding the kitty at Gma & Gpa Anderson's house:)  Going on stroller rides around BYU campus, seeing the cheerleaders practice their tricks, and stopping in the Chemistry Labs to say hi to Dad sometimes!  And this would obviously be Dane's first trip!

We did an advent calendar centered around doing a few Christmas activities here, then preparing for our trip.

We loved decorating the tree, making cookies, & just playing games together:)  Braelynn made a bracelet to give to all of her friends here.

Braelynn & Jadd did a special Field Trip while the Bus System wasn't too full during the Holiday Break.  Braelynn has always wanted to ride the bus with dad to go to work. Well Dad made her day and she got to ride with him.  Dane and I drove behind the bus and met them at Jadd's work bus stop.  She loved "sitting in her own seat & stopping at all the stops to pick up more people":)

Oh yes, there was even a little SNOW one morning!!

Then we were on our way!

We arrived to a Winter Wonderland!  It was beautiful (and slippery roads- which is the main thing I do not miss about snowy winters)!  Jake and Shelley were so nice to pick us up and let us crash at their place the first day!  Braelynn had soo much fun playing with Ava, Jackson, & Ethan in the snow. They made a snowman, rolled in the snow, and liked getting pulled in the sled.

The next couple mornings Braelynn & Jadd went out to play in the snow some more!  Braelynn seemed to like climbing up hills in the snow, eating the "clean snow", and making snow angels.  The snow ended up being pretty powdery so not too much snowman making.

We were able to meet up with Logan, Jackson, & Carter and Grandma Rae's house for some sledding behind her house!  Dane made it out in his snow clothes as well and seemed to enjoy the new environment:)They made a great sledding hill for the kids, which (honestly, to my surprise) Braelynn went down too- even by herself:)  She loved going down with her cousins as well.  The adults took turns pulling the kids back up the hill too:)  It was great to see many people at Gma Rae's Christmas Social afterwards, and Gpa Shelton's after that:)

Attending the Newton Wards is always great on Sundays.  We always feel the Spirit so strongly there and just love the community.  It is fun seeing people as they grow and change and talking with old friends.

Dane loved having so many people to play with and be with.  I was worried he might feel nervous with everyone, but he loved it!

Braelynn got to go on a little Grandma Shelton lunch date.  Braelynn was glowing when she got to get ready to go do this with her:) They went to get Chicken Nuggets!!

Braelynn loved practicing wrapping presents:)  She did this at home as well before our trip.  The gifts were so special because there was nothing inside of them, but her big smile:) but she would just fold wrapping paper, then "tie bows", which she likes to just roll them up in her hands.  She was doing the bows with tape, that was a little tricky, so that's when Grandma Shelton decided to get her some Christmas bows:)  She carried these (all the red ones) around in a container and organized them continuously and LOVED them:)

Braelynn and Dane enjoyed seeing what Santa brought to them on Christmas Morning!  Braelynn got her train set and a family of caterpillars she wanted, and Dane got a smaller train set as well.  They were fun to set up and play with.  We had so much fun sharing our Christmas morning with Grandma and Grandpa Shelton, Tania, & Melissa:)

We enjoyed our Anderson Family Christmas Party on Christmas afternoon.  Braelynn and the cousins played up in the guest room, leaving trails of wrapping paper and goldfish crackers wherever they went:)  We enjoyed great food and being all together.

My Mom, Heather, & I went did a little shopping for an afternoon.  It was fun talking and browsing together:)

My friends were able to get together at Kristen Lee's house.  It was a good majority of us, and was fun to see each other with their spouses and kids.  I hadn't talked with Tiera for awhile, it was fun talking about motherhood with her:)  We left Braelynn and Dane home because we never sacrifice their sleep schedules!, and they were sleeping 6:pm- 6:am despite the time change their as well:)

We had the Shelton Family Christmas Party and the only way we could get Braelynn to leave one Grandma & Grandpa's house with her cousins, was for her to look forward to see the other cousins!  She and Dane loved spending time with the Shelton cousins.  They liked playing on their new IPad.  Braelynn and Logan could not be split:)

We did a little special activity in honor of Scott's retirement, that Jadd and his siblings put together and all the grandkids participated:) It was so sweet.  He has done so much and made a big difference in many peoples' lives, I'm sure, with his effective teaching. I've thoroughly enjoyed the couple of times I was able to attend his classes.

One of my favorite things to do is to play games!  One night, but Bonnie, her friend, Mom & Dad, Jadd & I, played games. Jadd & I tend to get quite competitive, even in harmless games!- we try not to let it get too out of hand:), but playing a game always brings out a lot of laughs and bonding with everyone:)

Heather and Lavon blessed their baby, Lily, while we were there as well.  It was special and she they are such a cute family.

My mom's annual New Year's Social was the same Sunday as well.  It was great seeing many of the Salt Lake relatives we have.

Flying was both exciting and exhausting!  But it was all a great adventure and can't wait to do it again:)

The days/nights we didn't have events planned we really enjoyed just talking and being together with either mine or Jadd's family.  Reminiscing and catching up on life is enjoyable:)  

There is nothing better than just spending time with our family that we love so much (and Jadd & I got to catch up on a little sleep)!

Well there you go, my first Blog Post!  It was quite long, I'm sure the longest one that will happen, but it was kind of a big month, December 2013 was:)  But just wanting to keep updated a little bit more with our family as we live so far away!

Thank you Family for a great Memory:)