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 Be ready for outdated posts galore!


The Small Stuff

i want to be better at documenting the little things - stuff you may be bored reading about but things we'll have fun looking back on. this is our family history after all.

things i loved today:

madison's hot pink leggings and black ruffled dress
grace's cow licks
a husband that takes both girls to church to save seats because i am running late {as always}
serving in young women's and having 16 incredible beehives
lessons that go better than planned
leftover pizza and caffeine free diet coke {i'm pretending it tastes as good as the real thing}
madison, who was SO excited to go to "two churches" today
stephanie and robert, being nursery leaders, inviting madison to go to their ward
nap time
robert's birthday because we had an awesome sunday dinner to celebrate {thank you laura and steph} 
cold stone ice cream cakes and trick candles
internet and email to make japan seem less than a million miles away
little grace, who folds her arms every time she hears the word prayer {at 15 months old}
talking to my sister long distance
reminiscing about the college days
little girls that love their toothpaste and their toothbrushes even more
family pictures - that while far from perfect and not exactly posed, capture the moment perfectly- eyes wide open, half closed, goofy smile and all.

happy sunday.


How Much Would You Pay

for all of this?

5 lbs of potatoes
6 packets taco seasoning
12 can of beans
8 bottles of gatorade
and 2 mangos

under 5 bucks!!
but don't let that fool you. 
i still went over my grocery budget this month.


Our Walk Tonight

in pictures

madison wore shorts and a t-shirt and it was chilly. 
she made us hang the coat we grabbed for her back inside before we left.
we encountered the neighbor's cat. grace was estatic.
madison climbed up the fence to see the first baby horse of the season 
and of course grace followed suit.
we saw some neighbors and madison walked the dog.
dan kept grace from playing in the muddy puddles - she has a one track mind.
then we walked to walmart and picked up a pizza and red box movie.
and olives. 
madison loves them and put extra on her part of the pizza.
now the girls are asleep and it's time for our movie.


The PJ Sweater



{her "i'm so exhausted, can i please go to bed?" look}

we have a reoccurring theme here.  grace is loving madison's pajama pants these days.  she pulls them out of the drawer, throws them over her shoulder, and parades around the house as if that's how they're supposed to be worn.  this happens several times a day so thankfully madison doesn't mind.


Feliz Navidad

**january is almost over and here i am finally posting about christmas. better late than never, i guess. we had fun with extended family on the ellsworth and lebaron sides and spent a lot of time with each of our immediate families in mesa and then in mexico. here is our christmas break in pictures - thirty-three pictures to be exact.  the more the merrier right?


a $20 red velvet cake from costco. delicious, but not worth the $20. we served this after having a huge mexican dinner {spanish rice, sour cream chicken enchiladas, spanish rice, refried beans, pork tamales and a festive holiday salad with jicama, pomegranate, oranges, beets, etc. funky but incredible!

dinner at g&g ellsworths

they are SO cute. 88 years old and still kicking. k, maybe not kicking, but still moving. slowly.

g&g imlay with our girls. mark told us it was his first christmas away from home {aka cedar city} ever. EVER. i was so appreciative of him being willing to come to az for the umpteenth time this year so our family could be together christmas eve and morning. thank you mark - we love you! {mom, show this to him.} :)

staring contest between madi and viv {second cousins}. they look so excited.

opening christmas pjs. i bought a pattern to make matching night gowns and had good intentions but that idea fell through the cracks. store bought it was! we didn't grow up with the tradition of new pjs on christmas eve but think it will be fun to do with our own little family.


my family {mom, mark and hannah} came to our house christmas morning and it was fun. madison's face cracks me up in this picture. she normally wouldn't smile that early, having just woken up but for hannah, and christmas, she made an exception.

old man style of button up pjs = possibly the cutest pjs ever. thank you laura!

all madison wanted for christmas was play-doh. i should have believed her and only spent that $15 and nothing else.


opening gifts - scott made us this framed ruler/measuring stick thing that we hang on the wall. it's cute and we can take it with us to hang in all our houses to always have the annual measurements of our kids and grand-kids where ever we live. i love it. dan and laura helped me surprise dan (my dan) with a lap top. he was excited and it was fun to give him something big, that i knew he wanted, but he wasn't expecting.

madison sporting her static trampoline hair, new dora cd player and of course her red shoes she wears every where and with everything. :)

the skinners got a ping pong table, a Wii and the equipment needed for their shuffle board so we spent the day playing games and more games. it was awesome. grace got to watch through the window while she ate her lunch.

we visited g&g lebaron that evening since we missed the big family gathering in the a.m. we love living so close to all our grandparents and are sad to miss that association once we move.

madison's favorite gift is definitely her hello kitty make up kit from gma lebaron. for awhile she took it everywhere, never left the house without doing her make up {spreading glitter all over her cheeks and eye brows}, and painted everyone's nails pink. including her gpa skinner's - while he was asleep! 


the last stop before the border is a town (consisting of two gas stations) called why. i have fond memories of this particular gas station as we've stopped there countless times on our way to rocky point. though the bathroom leaves much to be desired.
kamber and porter and her sister drove from tucson and met us in why, so we could caravan through mexico.


{i found this picture, from oct 2007, of madison on the same steps as the sun was setting, just to compare.  i forget how chunky she was - look at those wrists and thighs!}

this picture makes me happy.

madison sure loves her grandpa mark.
part of me is sad when i see this picture because it really makes me miss my dad. he and madison had a special relationship. {to see a picture of she and my dad on the same deck go here and scroll to the bottom.} but this picture makes me happy as well because i am glad my kids have both a grandma and grandpa they get to know on my side {even if they are imlays, not ellsworths - wink}. i can see how much mark loves my kids already and the feeling is  definitely mutual.

quality time with the grandparents.

this tortillaria makes the BEST corn tortillas ever.  when you walk into the warehouse there are several elderly women rolling the balls and putting them onto a machine where they get flattened and cooked and then bagged right there.  they are piping hot and  delicious and we eat them plain, especially the white corn ones.

and this is the local panaderia we go to. they have all kinds of mexican pastries and baked goods but their rolls are incredible and make the best sandwiches.  the bolios con queso are kind of sweet with cream cheese cooked into the center... yum.

did this picture make you take a second glance?
we looked at him for a bit before we realized it was just the visor.
pretty tricky.

we fed the seagulls and it was all fun and games until they started pooping all over the deck, swooping at us trying to get the food, and til i accidentally hit madison square in the face as i was trying to launch a gold fish as high as i could. i seriously knocked her flat, poor girl.

one of my favorites of gracie but it's blurry - bummer.

our favorite restaurant. good food, atmosphere, and mariachis.

the girls were mesmorized by the mariachi.

sunset + low tide = my favorite
running down the beach and scaring hundreds of birds = another favorite

i can't get enough of this place.

we had a busy, fun filled break with lots of family and enjoyed every minute of it.

Reading Time

we love it.

We're Ready

we pulled out the 72 hour kits my mom gave us several years ago and made a list of things we needed to finish them {radio, solar blankets, etc and restock food}. for FHE we headed to walmart.

the girls only lasted in the cart for so long before they were begging to run around the store like crazies. grace was squealing at the top of her lungs, running the opposite direction of us or the cart and i was worried madison was going to pee her pants from laughing so hard while chasing after her.

we let madison stay up late and she helped us divvy out all the goods. she didn't ask to eat any of the food while we worked that night but the next day asked for some of her 'back pack food'.

we just have a little bit left to do {hunt for a couple good back packs at DI, round up clothes for each of us and get extra toothbrushes for the girls} and our 72 hour kits will be complete.