Thursday, December 23, 2010


I just can't seem to keep up these days! I've been spending a lot of my blogging time doing online shopping and working on photo gifts but I hope to catch up again soon. Speaking of photo gifts, in that process I have misplaced my most recent memory card so I'll go back and write about those events when I find it. I think the main thing not yet posted was just Santa coming to preschool. The boys have been out of school since December 10th and we have been pretty busy in that time. We took advantage of the week they were out before the big kids were by going to Classic Skating and the Dino musuem. Classic was a blast! With coupon I spent $10 and then another $5 for tokens and the kids skated, climbed, jumped, and played games for over 3 hours. They would have stayed longer if we didn't have places to be--but were also totally exhausted. Any activity that can actually wear them out is worth the money to me! They were both red faced and sweating. They met some other kids playing there and made some good friends. Some older kids were there too and were so nice in helping them on the activities--it is nice to see some teens that aren't so self-centered or rude. These kids were really great and patient with these silly little random boys. They are not pro skaters yet, they couldn't even stay up for 10 seconds when we got there, but they really worked hard on getting better. Carter especially--it was neat to see the determination. They have always been so skilled in gross motor, I think it threw them a little to have something they couldn't master right away. We'll definitely be back, probably in the other week they are out but the big kids are back in school. The dino museum was really great--I was nervous going as the boys have not been the best listeners of late, but even with lil sis in the sling, she and the boys did great. We had a really good time playing, it wasn't at all busy, and I was actually sad we had to leave to make it to our gym appt. That night we went to Zoo Lights--when our zoo is open at night with lots of animated lights and such. You can't tell, but the boys are in the shot, lower right corner.

Davis with a soldier. It was SO cold that night. Thanks to my mom and dad (and Cyndel who came over) for watching the baby. It was just too chilly to take her out and it was nice to spend the time with our big boys.

It was a fun time. I decided it would be fun to make the 12 days of Christmas cookies from Parents magazine this year. But I haven't been able to keep up that pace, so we're doing the 12 cookies of Christmas break, I'm sure we'll have them done by the time the kids go back. The first was Boterkoek, a Dutch treat I made for my work party, but here's Davey with the second:

There's caramel between the ginger cookies, really a yummy cookie.

And here's #3, C man with powder sugar stenciled graham crackers (the recipes are easy so kids can help). Thanks to Hill for helping too. She is out on break and has been a HUGE help the past couple weeks. She should never go back to Ogden!

Triple chocolate with marshmallows, #4

Gingerbread houses and men, #5. I have made lots and lots of these the past couple years for the twin club, but with the boys in preschool 4 days/week we haven't been able to play as much. :( Luckily my cousin and her kiddos came over to make houses with us. I would have liked to have had one house per kid, but I gave up at midnight when this year's recipe just wasn't behaving. Oh well.

Good times, what kid doesn't love getting unrestrained access to multiple candies and plenty of frosting!

Claire E Berry turned 3 months this week, she is growing so quickly.

At 3 months she is starting to giggle and is getting really fun to play with. She sleeps and eats well and is just such a joy.

She is starting to hold and shake rattles and try to put everything in her mouth. She can also pull hair now. I dug around in the attic today and found a couple of the boys' favorite activity centers for this age and pulled them out for sis. She was thrilled, I love watching her experience something new. I also love watching her look at herself in the mirror. She just shifts her eyes and then smiles, and then smiles bigger when the baby in the mirror is smiling.

I've been having so much fun with bows and dresses of late. Daddy just adores this girl and she is crazy about him as well. The boys too, everyone just loves each person in our family so much. I love how Claire has just multiplied the love in our house, something I never would have predicted while I was pregnant. Guess the Lord knows what he is doing . . .why does that always surprise me??

Still can't tell which way her eye color is going to go . . .
We had a real good snow fall the other night (that was fun to drive home from work in at 5 am, especially because even after I brushed snow off for 10 minutes I still could barely see over the pile on the car hood). It has mostly all melted now (weird winter) but the boys and Daddy did have a good time yesterday building a snow family while I was out shopping.

Carter and Davis Snow boys--they didn't make Claire because it seemed wrong to have her sitting on the ground in the snow.

Mommy and Daddy
Hillary even stayed with the kids that night while Lowell and I had dinner and did stocking shopping, she rocks. We spent most of today making neighbor treats and then went to the Dodenbier family Christmas party. There was a special visitor there (my awesome uncle Kevin)

The boys were over the moon about seeing Santa. He asked if they had been naughty and they were both quick to rat the other one out. Sissy was just fascinated by his beard. Carter followed him around the rest of the party making sure he was coming to our house tomorrow night. Cute and funny and Santa was very patient and tolerant of him. It was nice to have a quick visit with the fam and see a couple new babies before we had to leave early so I could get to work.
Tomorrow we'll deliver neighbor treats, go to see the lights at Temple Square, then Christmas dinner and gifts with Lowell's fam. Saturday we'll have gifts with our little fam and then my family. Busy couple of days, but I am so excited for it. I love giving everyone their gifts--definitely the highlight of my year. And for those wondering, due to shipping issues in Hong Kong, our Christmas card has been delayed. It is the same as the blog header however. I will get them out as soon as possible. In the meantime, I hope the Lord has watched over all of your families and blessed you with all you may need. That this Christmas day you'll feel of His love for us all as we reflect on His miraculous birth and life. I hope you are all safe and warm and surrounded by the love of your family. Merry Christmas!

4 Hands, 4 Feet, 4 Years of Fun at

Our yearly video this year. Yes it is long. I "narrowed" it down to 600 pictures (it started at double that). Hey, that's less than 1 pic/boy/day . . .What can I say--I have a horrible memory and this helps me hold on to what we have done and the boys LOVE to watch themselves and remember our fun times too. Watch if you're interested. Loves!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday on the Blog

The song we played in Claire's blessing video. Sob.

"What Heaven Sees in You" by Doug Walker

Sent to this earth
You were saved through the ages for this day and time
Child of great worth
Child of promise, daughter of the Divine
Pure and holy in a little, white dress
You were held in a circle and you were blessed
And the Father looked down
And the angels surrounded that place
They knew the truth, all that you could do
And you will, too, if you have eyes to see
What heaven sees in you

Dressed in white once more
Making promises to follow in God’s way
So much lies in store
For the little girl who enters at the gate
Pure and holy in a little, white dress
You were led into the water and you wereblessed
Repeat Chorus

Do you understand who you are
Part of the Father lives in you
If you continue on this path
Every promise God has given will come true

Heaven on earth
In the house of God, so much fills your heartand mind
Woman of great worth
Woman of promise, daughter of the Divine
Pure and holy in a long, white dress
You promise forever and you are blessed
And the Father looks down
And the angels surround that place
They know the truth, all that you can do
And you do, too, ‘cause you have eyes to see
What heaven sees in you
Will you have eyes to seeWhat heaven sees in you

Thursday, December 9, 2010


How could I not be thankful with these 3 cuties to play with everyday? That was Thanksgiving day just before we ate. But let me back up a little--so after Claire's blessing I went back to work. That week just half time and then full speed ahead after that. The first couple of days were rough for Lowell--little sister just wasn't interested in sleeping. The first day she cried and cried, both nights she was up until 1 am. I think it might have had something to do with drinking frozen breastmilk or that I had gotten into the habit of nursing her to sleep and Lowell just didn't have that option. Whatever the reason, she got better every night after that and does pretty well most nights now. It seems like neither Lowell or I ever gets enough sleep between our work and kiddo schedules but we're hanging in there. I function surprisingly well on little sleep (inherited the skill from my dad) and Lowell tries to catch enough cat naps to make do. It's funny how you always feel like you are busy and then you add a kid or 2 and you can't remember what you did with all your "free" time before. Claire is such a good baby, but she does require some time of course. One note from going back just because it still irks me. One day I was cleaning up after my second pumping--I had 20 or so oz ready for the next day and I was washing out the shields when I saw a little black spot on one of the membranes (small divider between shield and bottle). I lifted up the membrane and found a nasty dead fly! I was so disgusted. I had taken them right from the dishwasher on my way to work so it must have climbed in the night before on the counter and either died then or on its way through the dishwasher. It was just so gross and of course I had to dump all that milk--so that was sad. Still upsets me and it has been 3 weeks.
We still went out on my days off, it seems like we did Trafalga Lehi and Trafalga Orem that week. So, back to Thanksgiving. We had dinner at our house but since I was on call Lowell ended up making almost everything. And he did such a good job and it was so so yummy. But as is typical it seems every year, as soon as I had a couple of bites I was called in so I got to eat it in the car on the way back. Good wherever I ate it. Melinda apple-cider brined the turkey and we had Kneader's stuffing and lots of homemade pies. Mmmmm
The boys with sister again--I can hardly believe just how good they are with her. I love it. Now if I am busy I can ask them to go talk to her and they'll dance and sing and perform for her to get her to smile. I'd think all the over-bearing attention would be annoying--but not to a 2 month old. She eats it up. She gets smilier all the time--huge grins and little giggles now--I can't get enough of my little squishie. The book says the worst crying period is up until 12 weeks--she's 11.5 weeks now and hardly cries, we're so lucky!
Little Thanksgiving dress thanks to a neighbor of ours. I have since bought an embarrassing number of them--dresses are fun! :)
Turkey cookies that I got from the internet. Oh my goodness I thought these little guys were so cute--but also time consuming and a little annoying. The eyes drove me nuts because it was black gel icing on top of regular frosting so it was hard to get to set right.

The boys had fun though. Their job was to squish Mike and Ike's into feathers since we couldn't find any candy corn (note to self: Winco bulk bins). And of course they were happy to eat my mistakes as well.
The Sunday after we had Thanksgiving at my parent's house. It was also yummy if a little less grand (you can't beat Melinda and my MIL's pies, sorry). Lowell made more mashed potatoes even though he had made them 3 times in a week--what can I say, the boys makes good tators. He just uses potatoes, milk, butter, salt, and sour cream--but it tastes good.
I busted out a headband I forgot I had--the first I bought for sister (or got free with coupon anyway) and it made me laugh so much. It's a ridiculous fad, but cute anyway. It was a nice night with the fam.
That night the snow finally fell (a blizzard was predicted earlier in the week with stores closing down and people stocking up on food, etc--and in Orem where I was there wasn't any snow at all!) and the boys and I had fun playing in it a little. It wasn't packing snow so the snow man attempt failed but we had fun with snow angels and jumping on the snowy trampoline anyway.

Oh--I skipped my second favorite part of Thanksgiving (after the food!)--Black Friday sales. I plan for this weeks in advance, checking out the early leaked ads, comparing prices, making a plan of attack. Usually it is my mom and I--we head out early and make lots of stops. This year she flaked on me for work (boooo) but Hillary was game. Due to online sales and price matching, we only did WalMart this year, though we were there from 10 pm-6 am. Half the sale started at midnight and the other at 5 and we had to stay in line between the two to get the big sale item (a laptop for my sisters) so we just had an all nighter in the WalMart. Still seems different to shop there. So the item I wanted at midnight (Leapster 2s) had the crazy ladies guarding it so I ended up giving up on that and shopping other toys but ended up getting it online on Lowell's cell phone when it went on at 2 am or so with free shipping at the same price, so it was all good. Also got the gift for Lowell I was waiting for online and my brother got what he wanted too, so he went home to bed and I only had to wait in line for the 1 thing. We bought some snacks and just hung out, such a bizarre thing really. Caught a couple hours of sleep and then went out again. Sadly now all my money is spent and most all my shopping is done so it's a long month waiting to actually give the gifts now.
One of the great benefits to online shopping (and free shipping) is all the boxes. I got 8 in one day the next week (our mail man seriously hates me) and the boys thought that was grand. They played in them, popped the bubble wrap and then made cardboard sleds:
and raced down the stairs a few times. Good fun!
We caught the free for members day at the Lights at Thanksgiving Point and then went to see the reindeer.

We didn't stay too long though because sister was getting too cold. It has been quite mild this week, but that day was frigid.
Then Saturday this week was cram packed with activities. I went to pick up my Bountiful Basket first (love it!) then we headed to my cousin's little boy's baptism. It was neat for the boys to attend one (for some reason they thought you died when you got baptized??) and they were enthralled to watch them in the font. Davis still says he's a little scared (doesn't like the idea of being held under water) but said if that's what Jesus wants him to do, he'll do it. It was nice to visit with family and celebrate L's special day.
Next we headed up to the Dutch store to see Sinter Klaas and Black Pete. It was so busy as usual so we didn't stay long, but at least we held up our tradition:
Hillary, Cyndel, and Robbie all joined us there so that was cool. The boys are still scared of Black Peter--the face make up freaks them out but they accepted his candy none the less.
Next we headed to the zoo which I forgot closes at 4 in the winter and we got there 10 minutes too late. The boys were not happy and I was bummed since Robbie came up too. Screwed that up--oops!
Lastly we went to the couples UVMOM Christmas party and had a nice time visiting, playing games, and eating lots of desserts. Made me a little sick really all the rich treats, but it was worth it.
The next morning was Dutch Christmas, and as it turned out, Sinter Klaas did visit our house:

The boys were so excited of course and loved their new, conveniently indoor activity gifts. I enjoyed getting Eclipse as well and I think Lowell likes his large Lego plate. Claire hasn't tried out her little piano yet, but I think she'll like it before Dutch Christmas rolls around again.
Dutch chocolate letters are a great addition to the holiday--yum.
Man, that kids a charmer--what a perfect little face (and such a stinker on the inside :p)
So, the drama for this week was appliances going out. The bottom oven's burner went out (luckily we have the upper oven still working since the part is on back order and we're still waiting for it. Lowell can fix it once we get it thank goodness.). The fridge was less lucky--we thought it was a minor issue when it froze up and the ice was melting and everything in the freezer thawed, even the repair man said so on his way to come look. But no, the lines had a leak, freon had been lost and now it would all have to be replaced to the tune of $700. With the age of the fridge he recommended replacement so we got to do some shopping. Thankfully I found an outstanding deal on the last of a discontinued model (60+% off!) so this little baby got delivered today:
It sucks when appliances go out and the hassle and the new unexpected expense--but it is kind of fun to have something new anyway. And it is SO big, 29 cu and so spacious--I can tell you my kids fit comfortably in the freezer drawer--but not too comfy as their mom was yelling at them and they went to time out after. They had already been told once and I do not want them breaking that drawer! Anywho, the fridge is only as fun as its packaging for them:
Styrofoam, spaghetti castle--good times. Yea--I am up to date. Woohoo! Tomorrow there will be a special visitor at preschool and then we have our ward Christmas party. More fun to come. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Slowly but surely getting caught up, both with posting on my blog and reading all of yours. It amazes me how quickly little ones change, everyone's kids look so much more grown up in just the 2 months I was out. Anywho, life continues to go well. Plugging along and getting very excited for Christmas. Here's what we did right around when Claire turned 2 months old:
Just my cute boys looking handsome before church. Davis looks chubby in the face in this picture, but not so much in real life. Silly, naughty little men--but handsome all the same.
Claire is 2 months old! It went so fast and she is getting so big. She is such a good baby, hardly ever fusses and has smiles and coos she gives out regularly. We just adore her.
At her 2 month appt she was 11 lbs 7 oz and 23.5 inches long. 50th percentile in weight and 80th in height. So very different from her brothers. Lowell put her in a 3-6 month sleeper the other day and I was shocked when it fit. No! Stop growing you silly little lady.
The other weekend we tended my darling nieces while their parents went to see Harry Potter (we'll be going one of these days) and had fun playing with them. I got a chocolate Halloween kit on clearance which Davis had finally earned enough stickers to make, so we thought that we be a fun project. Here's Davis and H with their teeth,
and Carter with his eye. We also tried to do fuse beads but they kept getting tipped over so poor H left unhappy and the kitchen was covered in beads. Oh well, good times. A storm was blowing in so we hopped outside to fly a kite as well.
It wasn't the best conditions but we did get it up for a little while before we all froze. This is Carter flying Mickey. That week we also went to Trafalga while the weather held and had fun on the race track and laser tagging. It really has been the best pass, we have spent a lot of time at both Trafalgas and the boys just love it. They are getting better at mini golf too. :)
Just some shots of my little sweetie
Smiley girl
She does the furrowed eye brow thing a lot. She scratched her cheek a mean one--it still has a mark :(. I hope it doesn't scar.
Chunky cheeks, munch them right up!
So on to her blessing day, November 7, 2010. She was just about 8 weeks old and it was right before I had to go back to work. We sent out a few invites and had a wonderful turn out of family. My mom worked hard on the blessing gown which was made from my wedding gown. I won't ever fit in it again and my sisters will want their own, plus it wasn't that expensive to begin with. I still couldn't cut it up myself though, I had my mom do it. We kept the bodice intact which I may shadowbox with my bouquet. I love how the dress turned out and love the little headband we altered as well.
I did all the beading to match my dress though the lace and ribbons were new additions. We'll use the rest of the fabric to make her a baptism dress in 8 or so years.
This was the night after she was blessed. Pics were hard to get earlier but I love her little face.
An attempt at a family pic after the blessing, Carter wasn't having it, it was too cold for the baby and well, it just didn't work out. The blanket was knitted by my mom and sister.
These were the brethren who participated in her blessing. I think of them kind of like godfathers for Mormons--men who will be there to support Claire in her membership in the church as she grows. They are all Claire's grandpas, uncles, or great-uncles (one great-great in there too).
Most of the crew, so wonderful of everyone to come and support our little miss. I know it is a stress and a hassle to get together some times but I am so grateful to have a big, loving, wonderful family. My Dad comes from a family of 7 kids and my mom 6, so I have a lot of aunts and uncles and 40+ first cousins. Plus a number of great-aunts and uncles we are close with and then their kids and also my cousin's have kids now as well. We are growing into an even bigger family and I love that my kids have so many relatives they know love and care about them. We are truly blessed. The blessing itself was beautiful, Lowell and I were fasting that morning hoping he would be inspired with the right things to say. For posterity's sake, I'll record what I remember of the blessing--he blessed her to be healthy body and mind, that she would make a conscious choice to be baptized when she is 8 and marry in the temple. He spoke of how she has been a softening influence on our family and how we are grateful she is with us and also that her sweet spirit will continue throughout her life. Finally he said that she would be a good influence on her brothers and help them grow up to be good men. I loved that part--I already think it is coming to pass as well. Following the blessing we had a lunch with several soups and yummy desserts and we all got to visit. We had a video of Claire that Robbie cranked out for us the night before even though he had just flown in from Australia. It was to the song, "What heaven sees in you" which just about makes me cry every time. I'll have to post the words on here some time, I love it. It talks about 3 dresses, blessing, baptism, and wedding and I found it especially poignant since my wedding gown would be the base for the other 2. It really was a wonderful day.
Earlier in the week we stole Daddy away for a visit to the zoo. Here's Claire watching a giraffe, she was so interested in him.
And the usual pic of the boys on the carousel. It was a good visit--we always love it when Daddy comes.

Okay that takes us up to Thanksgiving which was just last week so we're close. I better hurry though as there are so many Christmas activities upcoming to post about. Dutch Christmas is this weekend, plus a baptism and the UVMOM couple party. It's all fun though, I think I love this time of year as much as the kids do. I hope you are all enjoying it as well. Loves!