***I'm determined to catch up on cataloging our family's events this year. Be ready for outdated posts galore!


Date with the G's

we double dated with my grandparents a few weeks back. i doubt we'll be as much fun when we're 87!

an italian dinner at the former RigaTony's (their antipasto salad is incredible!), was followed by a few intense hands of canasta. we tease grandma that her "strategy" is to pretend she doesn't know how to play and then she beats us all. (she has dementia and just forgets she knows the rules... it makes the game interesting ;)) and watch out for grandpa when he's losing... talk about competitive!

lastly, we ended the night with huge servings of frozen yogurt from our local Golden Spoon. good food and good company. a great night overall.

even better when you come home to not only sleeping kids, but this:
books lined by height.
madison's toys sorted and organized!

***QUESTION: what is the going rate for babysitters these days? for just a toddler and then toddler and infant together? what about awake vs. sleeping? i usually get beehives, 12-13 yr olds.


Uh-oh, Spaghetti-O

O do i love them! for some reason i think spaghetti o's are delish! i had them for lunch the past two days and can't get enough. weird i know. i bought a bunch of cans last year when they were on sale for super cheap - perfect for madison, and great for food storage, right? well she won't touch the things and it came time to rotate the cans. thats where i came in .... and now we're down to the last couple cans so they better go on sale again soon!


6 Months- Hard to Believe

{an oldie but a goodie}

a lot of laughing and quite a few tears is what yesterday entailed for me, at a get-together in my grandparent's house. there could not have been a more perfect place for me to be on the 6 month mark of the crash, than gathered with my dad's siblings (4 of the 5) and parents. it felt good to be an Ellsworth and enjoy all the memories and stories that were told of my dad and his family. so special.

and plans were made to plant two almond trees in the backyard, within view from my grandma's kitchen window. one for my dad. one for dallin. a bench from rocky point will sit between them.

it has been a couple of tough weeks. really tough. for a lot of different reasons. i didn't expect to still have some of these feelings, and not this strongly.

but i am grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows me. who knows my needs before even i do. i continually have tender mercies happening to lighten this load and ease the pain. just last week i was preparing my relief society lesson on celestial marriage and came upon this quote:

"[Heavenly Father's great] plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

i have a testimony of the sealing power of the Priesthood. i know that when we are married in the temple, with the right authority, we are sealed as families; and if we live worthily, we can be reunited with our Father in Heaven and be together forever as families. i look forward to that day.


Ya - Ya

that means pacifier at our house ('ya' as in ya-rd). thats what my dad called them, ever since chris was little, and we think it's a fun way to remember him. it makes me smile every time madison says it and believe me, she says it a lot!

just in case you haven't noticed in our pictures, madison's pacifier is never too far away. i am a total fan of the things. but she had one in her mouth almost the entire time we were in california and instead of a power struggle, we just let her have it. well, she turns 2 next week and i'm starting to wean her off them. now madison only has a pacifier when she gets in bed to go to sleep.

how has she handled it?

she loves going to bed! she has always been great at going to sleep but man she gets so excited! yesterday i got her down from the table after lunch and she said, "bed.... ya-ya.." and ran to her room, pulled off her socks and shoes and climbed in bed.... without any prompting from me.

if this continues, she can have her ya-ya all the way through high school ... i won't care one bit!

Twenty - Eight


dan and his side kick

yesterday was dan's birthday. (technical difficulties are continuing, thus, no new pictures!) we celebrated it a day early, so his family could all be with us. i made dan's favorite meal and candy bar cake for dessert. we sang and he opened presents.

on his REAL birthday, feb 19th, dan got a carne asada burrito from filobertos, his favorite little local taco place (i don't dare eat there), and frozen yogurt. pretty low key, but fun to just spend together as a family.

words can't even begin to describe how i feel about dan and how grateful i am that he is my eternal companion. the girls and i are so blessed to have him in our lives.

Happy Birthday Dan, I love you!!!


Father and Daughter

my in-laws came over and gave this figurine to me this morning - for my dad's birthday. the tag says, 'celebrating the bond of love between fathers and daughters'. i love it. and once again i am reminded how wonderful they are and how much they do for me. thank you dan and laura.

The Perfect Gift

{due to serious technical difficulties at the skinner household, there will not be pictures with posts for some time - other than random internet uploads}

our family of four piled into the car and headed to an undisclosed location to 'pick something out' for my valentines present from dan. not surprisingly, home depot was fairly abandoned since it was valentines night. once we pulled up i had an idea of what dan had in store. i have been wanting a ficus tree for a couple years; i love them and our last one died in tucson.

i was wrong. he thought of something even better.

a gardenia.

i already have two outside my front door, in humongous pots, and they are beautiful. if you haven't smelled a gardenia you are missing out! the problem with mine is that when i came back to az after being in utah for 6 weeks last august/september they were practically dead. i have slowly nursed them back to health and they look wonderful - except for no buds and no blossoms.

my dad's favorite flower was the gardenia. we always had them growing up and they were also on his casket.

today is his birthday.

i wanted my gardenias to have flowers blooming today, so badly - in honor of my dad. my sweet husband must have heard me say that and remembered.

outside my front door, right now, on my dad's birthday, i have a beautiful, blooming gardenia.

the perfect valentines gift.

it is also my father-in-law's birthday today and i am so grateful for his influence in my life, as a father figure, especially now, as a grandpa to my kids, and for raising the amazing man that is my husband. i feel lucky to have such great men in my life.


100th Post {cRaZy}

this family is Disneyland bound!!

we'll see you later this week -

and 100 posts!!
who'd have thought i'd become a blogger?


She Loves Her...

isn't it obvious?



an update on us:

grace is 3 months old! where has the time gone? i couldn't ask for a better baby - she sleeps thru the night, eats great and is always happy. we're trying to make the transition from the bassinet in our room the crib in madison's room. any pointers?

madison turns 2 this month and keeps us busy and laughing. she has so much personality and such a strong will. her favorite word is still baby, with 'bett' (her uncle) coming is as a close second, and 'ish' for goldfish crackers as third. she adores grace more than ever and continues to amaze me at how tender and careful she is with her. thank goodness!!

dan is working hard. he just finished his radiology rotation and has a couple weeks off before he starts neurology. in the meantime, he is working on research and case reports and heads to LA next week to take a test. dan finished all his interviewing for internships (internal medicine) and residencies (dermatology) a couple weeks ago and now we wait till march to find out if and where we match. derm is a super competitive specialty and every year there are way more applicants than there are spots available. this year the number of applicants is especially high. we have our fingers crossed!

i am just keeping busy like normal, trying to find the perfect balance between everything i need to do and everything i want to do. i haven't found it yet. so again, any pointers? dan and i joined a gym (part of our new years resolution to get healthy) and i enjoy going late at night with my sister-in-law after the girls are in bed and things at home are taken care of. i have a looong way to go, but it's been fun. thanks lindsay!

here are some recent pics. we are loving our AZ winter and take advantage of it everday. dan pointed out that we need to take more of grace because we have tons of madison. sorry grace!