Hallie is 11 years old…

We call her our favorite daughter. She is quick to remind us she’s our only daughter.

Hallie is the child that made me a mother and she’s also the child that made me question that decision! She went from being the most difficult baby, to the most loving and patient older sister to her four brothers. We tell them daily just how lucky they are to have a sister who is as good to them as she is.

It’s hard to believe she’s 11. 11 going on 18!



















A couple things about Hallie:

When she sees one of her brother’s in need, she is quick to jump up to help them. If there is a crying baby, she picks them up. If Cannon needs help with his shoes, she puts them on. She is a huge helper and she does it without being asked.

She’s got a sense of humor and the older she gets, the better her timing gets.

She’s not a tomboy, but she’s not super girly either. She likes to have her nails painted and a necklace on, but she doesn’t fuss about clothes and she always jumps in with backyard football, obstacles courses or diving competitions.

She saves money. When you ask her what she’s saving for she can’t give you anything specific. Just saving because she likes to see a high number in her account.

She used to be a big reader when she was little and she’s kind of grown out of that interest, but she loves reading books to her brothers.

Her favorite restaurant is Panda Express. She loves the chow mein and orange chicken.

She loves traditions. I’m loving this because I’m turning more and more over to her to do for our traditions and she loves it. Win-Win.

She’s now to the age that she chooses shopping with me over staying at home and watching a movie. I love my shopping buddy. And no matter what errands we’re running, she wants one of the stops to be Target.

I love this girl with every fiber of my being and the older she gets, the more I enjoy her. And she couldn’t be more excited to be 11!


Halloween Scavenger Hunt

I work with 10 and 11 year old girls in our church – creating activities for them a couple times of month after school. Hallie is in the group so basically I get an excuse to spend time with her and her friends. This week we were playing Halloween games. A fan favorite in our house is always Halloween Bingo; a set I picked up a couple years back from Target for Hallie’s Halloween Carnival Birthday party.

The girls enjoyed it. It never gets old putting candy corn on the spaces or yelling out bingo and claiming your prize.

Halloween Bingo

After bingo, we went out on bikes for a Halloween scavenger hunt. I drove the neighborhood earlier in the day and made a note of the many decorations neighbors had put up. The girls then had to write the house number of where they found the decoration and they could only use a house number once. Originally, the girls were going to be on teams, but they decided it would be more fun to work as a group.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

We drove up and down the neighborhood streets. Each time they found one, they’d squeal in excitement. They got most of them after one pass through. But there were a few they had to circle back to and even then, there was one decoration they rode by four times before realizing it – a bale of hay. I even explained at the beginning that bales of hay come in all sizes – but of course, the girls were looking for the large bales they’re used to sitting on, instead of the smaller ones used on porches as decor.

Scavenger hunts are pretty easy to organize and I was pleasantly surprised by how engaged they all were in finding everything. Its an activity we could duplicate with Christmas decorations. We finished the afternoon with caramel apples because nothing screams fall more than caramel apples!

Sports theme birthday party

I like to plan parties based on my kid’s current interests. We could not have a party for Hunter and not have it revolve around sports. He is all about any sport that has a ball. We created a sports theme birthday party to include all the sports he loves.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

For the decor I focused on black and green with some leather sports ball texture. I picked up some fake grass from Home Depot and cut it to be a table runner as well as cut some into triangles for a banner.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

I hung three different garlands behind the table. A fake grass triangle banner, a black and white fabric rag banner and a paper banner made using textured paper.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

I purchased Lofthouse sugar cookies and inserted a topper made using the same textured paper as the banner with a polygon punch. We also served chips, popcorn, green grapes, green mint M&MS and the powdered donut cake.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Markers for our punt, pass, kick game, so we could see where everyone’s ball landed.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

The invite for the party. I planned on crafting them out of textured paper and making them grand and then I realized, boys don’t care. I sent a text to the mothers with this graphic instead. Just as effective and saved me a lot of time!

Sports theme birthday party invite

For party favors, we filled Gatorade bottles with candy and tied a football whistle to them. Target supposedly carries these – but all the Targets I contacted hadn’t ever seen these in their store. Local sporting goods store would have them as well as Amazon.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

The boys played and played hard. They played soccer. They ran conditioning drills. They played football. They competed in a punt, pass, kick competition. They played 500. They left tired, sweaty and full of sugar. It’s great to be 8!

Briggs 33 weeks…

After we introduced Briggs to Zion national park over fall break – we drove north and spent the rest of the week with family. Utah is beautiful in the fall. Arizona has some great qualities but “Beautiful fall” is not on the list. Last year we enjoyed Colorado’s fall beauty and this year we enjoyed Utah’s beauty. Yellow, orange and red trees, with leaf piles abounding. Cooler weather with long sleeve shirts. It was just what we needed for the week.

Briggs saw his cousins and extended cousins (for the first time) at the reunion. He wore socks and shoes and sweatshirts and spent time in the grass.

Briggs 33 weeks

He’s army crawling everywhere which means his clothes are dirty (which just goes to show how dirty our wood floors are) and his little toes have skin rubbed off from pushing off with his big toe.

He’s moved into stranger danger mode and tends to cry when anyone else is holding him, which is unfortunate because there always seems to be someone wanting to hold him.

He still doesn’t like car rides. Our car ride to and from Utah was made even longer with an unhappy baby in the car. Steve volunteered to drive the whole time with his noise canceling headphones, while I sat in the back trying to keep him happy. I’m hoping by next summer car rides are more manageable!

Cannon the 3-year-old…

This guy turned three over the weekend. He went from this:

Cannon is three

To this:

Cannon is three Cannon is three

We celebrated this weekend with the birthday bucket, watching football, opening presents and movie night.

Cannon is three Cannon is three Cannon is three Cannon is three Cannon is three

Here’s a couple things about Cannon.

He loves books. When I told him it was his birthday and he would get presents, he said he didn’t want presents he wanted books.

He is notorious for taking two hours to eat breakfast. He gets his first bowl of cereal (always without milk). Eats a little. Leaves the table. Comes back to the table to eat more. And if you remove the bowl from the table he freaks out. He likes to spend his breakfast grazing.

He’s recently learned how to put his own shoes on and I’m not sure if he’s more excited or if I am.

He loves the movie Zootopia and Home.

He’s afraid of dogs, no matter the size.

He loves shutting doors, weird, I know. He wants to be the one to shut the garage door. The car door. The refrigerator door. The front door. He wants to be the one that shuts it.

He is a happy kid and smiles with his eyes. With that being said, he’s angry when he wakes up from naps and when his siblings tease him relentlessly!

Happy Birthday Cannon!

Weekly photo project for baby's first year

And just a little reminder of where this kid started out – he was the most interesting baby in the world! As you can see his weekly photos were much more time consuming than Briggs’!




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