Washington DC

This semester has been one of the hardest semesters for John and for me! We are so glad that it's over and I'm crossing my fingers that next semester won't be quite as demanding! John definitely had more work than he had time to do. We were so excited to have him home this week and it has been so much fun. We decided that it was time to take a trip to the temple which is kind of a big trip for us! We are lucky enough to have only a 4 hour drive there but that's a long time for two little girls! Isabella did great on her first car trip! She slept most of the time and loved eating yummy snacks when she was awake!

Hailey mostly watched movies on her DVD player! She thought that it was so fun to just be able to watch movies and she was loving our time together as a family. She was great!
Yeah! We finally arrived! John was so sweet to stay with the girls while I was able to attend the temple. By the time that I was done, the girls were too so John will go next time! Washington DC is always colder than Virginia Beach so we bundled the kids up nice and warm.

They sure do love their daddy!
Isabella can hardly move with all of her layers on!
By the time that I got out it was just getting dark and all of the beautiful Christmas lights had just turned on. It was so fun to experience all of the beauty and the sweet spirit that is present at the temple. Really, there's not better place on earth. I feel so blessed to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm so thankful for my Savior and for the love that he has for me, for John, and for our girls. I could really feel the happiness that came from Isabella and Hailey as they were able to go to the visitors center and experience some of the special things that are set up there. John said that Hailey was one of the Sister Missionaries little helpers as she begged to push all of the buttons in the Visitor's Center. We were at the temple for less than 3 hours because of hungry babies but those three hours were worth all the time in the world!
We decided that 8 hours of driving in one day was too much for the babes so we found a nice little hotel for us all to bunker down in! Hailey just thought that this was the best vacation ever!! Who needs Disney Land when you've got the temple and a cheap hotel?
I am so thankful for my husband and for all of this hard work and dedication to me and our children. Everything that he does is all geared towards taking care of us and I love him so much. He is definitely Hailey and Isabella's hero (Hailey thinks so because he has a sword like Hercules) but he is my hero as well!

I am madly in love with my little girls and couldn't ask for anything better. The challenges of being a mom and a wife seem to disappear when you think about the plan of our Savior and the importance of our job here on earth. I'm thankful that my Heavenly Father has trusted me with their sweet spirits and pray that I might do all that I can to teach them and raise them to be selfless, loving, righteous, and dedicated to the gospel. That is what will truly make them beautiful!


Ward Christmas Party

We had so much fun at our Christmas Party (for our church) last night~ it was decorated so beautiful and the food was so yummy! The kids decorated their own gingerbread cookies and there was a wonderful program filled with laughter and joy and also reverence for our Savior's birth! My primary kids sang...although you couldn't hear them so well because the gymnasium sucked up all their sound! Of course Santa came to the event...and he was a hit! This is Hailey watching Santa come into the room...she was falling asleep just a second before!
Hailey had been telling me all day that Santa was going to bring her lipstick at the party and I had to continually remind her that he probably wouldn't have a gift for her at the party! Before Santa could even ask her what she wanted she told him her list...lipstick!

We quickly added Izzie to Santa's lap as we were really curious as to what she would do. She was so cute...she looked at him and slowly her lips curled upward into the biggest grin ever! My camera is not quick enough to catch that shot but I got one of her telling the crowd how much she liked Jolly Old St. Nick!

Our family enjoying dinner! Except for Izzie, as she was being loved by members of our ward...as usual!

We are enjoying every last minute that we have to spend with my mom before my parents big move across the country! She has been such an amazing part of our lives for the past 2 1/2 years here. OHHHHH what will we do without her??? I can't even bare the thought yet!


Hailey's ABC book

I have the best sister-in-laws in the world! I treasure them so much and have learned so much from all of them. One of my sister-in-laws Jen (John's brother, James's wife) is an amazing women who I am so lucky to have been able to grow close with. She makes these adorable ABC books for her kids and I was so excited to do this project his summer. Here are just a few pages.

For the past two years I have been selling jewelry and baby accessories which has been very fulfilling and very fun. It has taken a lot of my extra/spare time and I have really missed scrapbooking and all the happiness that it brings into my life. One of my goals for the next year is to catch up on Hailey's book (the last page I have is of her at 1 and 1/2)and start Isabella's! I have still found time to be a part of a cardswap and I have really enjoyed that!

Dear Santa

This is my little angel/sheep at her preschool Christmas party. She kept going back and forth on what she wanted to be...she's beautiful either way.

My friend Andrea had her three year old dictate a letter to Santa and I thought it would be fun to see what Hailey would say. Here's what I got! I write down exactly what she said with my added parenthesis for translation purposes!

Dear Santa Clause,
"I would like little lipstick. I would like ummm....a new Dee Dee (that's Hailey's blanket) because my Dee Dee is all ruined because of bubble gum. I like a magic pony (have you guys seen the one at Wal-mart that is so life-like? She of course would want that!) and please may I have a new ballet scarf (I have no idea what this is?)...ummm that's a lot! And please may I have jewlvry like my mom and a plant please. Hey Santa, was I a good girl? (She paused for a minute and then continued), Mom...did Santa say I was not a good girl? (as if Santa could hear her!) I do make funny faces to my sister."

On December 5th, St. Nick comes to our house and fills our shoes with lots of candy and a few presents. I had planned on Hailey's Christmas list to be in her shoe for St. Nick to take but that didn't happen. But he did come and left some fun things for us.
This is Hailey realizing that her shoes were full to the brim!

There's nothing better than candy for breakfast right? I spent the rest of the day divvying out her treats. She was given a new paint set with painting book (her favorite thing to do) and a new sweater.
Isabella received this adorable zip up hoodie that is leopard print! LOVE IT! Check out her face...you know she's thinking..."ummmm-MOM?"

Isabella's Babies

Since Isabella was 6 months old, she has had a thing for babies. Not just a normal love of dolls, but an obsession with them. She is so sweet and loving with them...it's so fun to watch. She has a few babies whose eye lids open and close and she can be entertained for quite some time with it! At Thanksgiving she was so excited to play with my cousins daughter Hana but she kept going for her eyes!! Yikes!
She has recently been trying to figure out how to crawl while holding onto the baby. She has finally figured it out...at least for a few feet and then she'll either give up on her destination or abandon the baby. John and I both swear that she said "baby" when she was nine months old. For about a week she would make these fun sounds that sounded just like baby and of course her doll was either in tote while saying it or very close by...however; she hasn't said it in a while so chances are...she's not talking at 9 months (but John insists that she does daddy!) I wouldn't be surprised as they are best buddies and she does spurt out mamamama quite often.
Izzie seems to be a lot like Daddy when it comes to getting her picture taken! I can't tell you how many pictures I have of her with this exact same face. John and her both...see the flash of the camera and interpret it to mean...close your eyes now! This is a picture taken from the proud Hailey who has recently fallen in love with my camera. She begs to take pictures of her toys...thank goodness for digital cameras.
She has such a sweet disposition and has a smile for everyone. We will find her just keeping herself busy in her room with toys that Hailey has left on the floor. She has been so fun to have in addition to our busy Hailey and the combination of the two personalities evened out our family.
It's the funniest thing...when you put her on her back, she doesn't roll over! She can...she's done it before...but she just forgets??? Hailey was the exact same way. Hailey didn't roll over until she was over one years old!!! One night while laying down with Isabella I drifted off while she was still awake next to me. I woke up to her pulling herself up and in a sitting position! I couldn't believe that she can go from her back to sitting up (that's a lot of muscle control for a little baby) but not from her back to her tummy. One of these days she'll figure it out!