Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

We had a wonderful Christmas this year! We were able to spend time with most of our family members and are still enjoying visits from some of our out of town relatives.

Sophia wasn't quite sure what to do with the gifts, but she had fun playing with the paper and ribbons!

The kids got their jams on Christmas Eve. Cozy!

This year Santa didn't bring much that our kids asked for (Olivia wanted a motor scooter (?!), an iPhone, and a whole long list of other out of reach things) and Coleman wanted Legos, Musopoly (a music version of Monopoly that is out of print), and a motor scooter (?!). Instead, Santa was tech savvy and brought our family a new printer that printed out (magically) a fun letter from Santa while we were looking at gifts. It said that he was going to send us to Disneyland in a few months! Hooray for Santa saving the day!

Of course we gave them some other fun things... these skirts are the cutest ever and were made by my friend Tina (who also happens to be my sister-in-law Laura's mom). You can check out  more of her talents and beautiful creations at her website Coleman only had to open a few things of clothes (his and Ryan's worst nightmare for gifts at Christmas!).

One of my favorite things about the holidays is hearing from and seeing photos of friends and family members. We love our cards! Thank you!

This year I got to add another stocking to the mix! I had good foresight a few years ago when I made the stockings for the four of us and got enough materials to make a few more. Which one of these is not like the other? Despite several times picking re-sewing I couldn't get it to look like the others. It's a shorter stocking with an abnormally long foot. Sorry Soph! It held goodness just the same though :).

All in all it was a wonderful holiday! Hope yours was great too!

**Does Santa always bring things on your (or your kids') lists?
**Any suggestions to fix the stocking, or should I just admit defeat and start over?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We spent Thanksgiving this year in San Diego! We got to stay with our dear friends on the way down and back, but for some reason didn't get any great photos with them. Thank you Reis and Simon families!

On our first day there we helped my sister Heather move into a great studio apartment. I was so glad that we could help out, it seems like when we live far away we don't get to do the things that family should do. We had a great time too :).

Near Ocean Beach there is a hamburger joint that we love. It's called "Hodad's" and there is usually a line just to get in... they have amazing milkshakes and fries and burgers and onion rings. We didn't want to miss it and after working up our appetites loading and unloading boxes we were ready for some eats.

Jaxton, Olivia, and Sophia sitting at the surfboard table waiting for our food to come...

...and Olivia is enjoying a french fry with her shake. The atmosphere there is LOUD (heavy metal playing in the background) and crazy.... but fun.

It was chilly (but way better than the snowy cold at home!). How cool is the Hodad's van?

Coleman LOVED jumping in the sand dunes.

On Thanksgiving morning we honored our tradition of eating pie for breakfast. Our choices: pecan, banana cream, and chocolate cream.

We spent some time that afternoon at the beach in Coronado. It was beautiful! I was so glad that my sister Lindsey and her family were there (she is on the left with Jaxton) and that we could visit with my daddy-O and Heather (on the right). I loved being with them!

The sunset was amazing!

We had a delicious dinner with so much good food. Sophia even got  a place at the table. She loved the yams and apples (thanks Lindsey!) and mashed potatoes.

Cute cousins... Jonah, Coleman, Jaxton, Liv, and Sophia.

 This was my favorite picture of Liv and Soph after dinner while we were all doing dishes. They were some tired girls!

On Friday we went to Balboa Park and explored. These tree roots were so interesting.

Sophia and Jaxton were great stroller buddies.

Our kids wanted to find the tiled animals to climb on.

Sweet Liv

Sophia is such a happy baby. I love that.

Coleman was in heaven climbing and having fun. Love that smile.

We went to Costco (can't seem to go on a trip without stopping at least once!) and got gelato. Gelato! Who knew Costco has gelato? I guess only this Costco has gelato. It was delicious, but it was pretty chilly outside.

Our last stop was at La Jolla. We got there in time for another beautiful sunset.

Chad and Lindsey and their cute boys at La Jolla.

My dad got some gingerbread house kits for the kids to do. They had a great time!

We had a great visit and were glad to get home safely. We missed a decent sized snowstorm by leaving a day earlier than we had planned to.

We finished out the month of November with our "Thankful Wall" and some family togetherness.

Below is our list of things we are thankful for... Some of them are so random and we aren't sure who wrote them (it was Coleman :) ). They aren't in any particular order:

  • prophets
  • fun trips
  • Christmas
  • Dad's hard work
  • teeth
  • grandparents
  • rules
  • muffins
  • my mom
  • American
  • Spanish
  • candy
  • China (it's cool to say)
  • air
  • school
  • good health
  • Mikayla
  • food
  • our family
  • Chance
  • Ryan
  • forgiveness
  • a great family
  • leaves
  • service
  • Coleman
  • church
  • Sophia's laugh and smile
  • my dad
  • electricity
  • talents
  • books
  • Olivia
  • warm jams
  • pudding pie
  • Sophia
  • watching my kids serve each other
  • Mom and Dad the great cooks
  • TV
  • video games
  • piano
  • Thanksgiving
  • presents
  • nursing
  • birthdays
  • God
  • Jesus
  • Best Mom Ever
  • Best Dad Ever
  • Best Sisters Ever
  • Money
  • the world
  • the gospel
  • everything
  • great-grandparents
  • repentance
Happy (late) Thanksgiving! It is my goal to feel and express gratitude more throughout the year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nine Months

Sophia is nine months old!

She is crawling and scooting and pulling herself up. True to form, she didn't want to stay still for her photo op with the cutest ball ever. She is always on the move...

She's very helpful with projects of all kinds.

She loves to eat and has a new tooth! Her top left tooth came in first, which seems strange to me, I thought the bottom teeth always came in first?

From certain angles resembles "Sloth" from the movie "Goonies" just a little bit.... a very cute version, of course!

She doesn't love to get bundled up, but she sure is cute when she does.

We love Sophia so much!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas 2010 Piano Recital

Last week Olivia and Coleman played in their Christmas piano Recital.

We were so happy that Grandma Harper was in town so she could come!

Olivia played "Little Drummer Boy"...

...and the "Russian Dance" from the Nutcracker.

Her teacher is wonderful! We love that all of her other students are our friends so that we can hear their progression too.

Coleman played "Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam"...

and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" with Ryan.

Coleman has just been taking for about two months from our wonderful friend Sister Brantley. All of her other students are our friends too (benefits of having your piano teachers in your ward!).

We love that our kiddos love to play the piano!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Festival of Trees 2010--I'll Think of You

We've been working hard on a tree for Mikayla for the Festival of Trees. It turned out so great thanks to help from Laura, her mom, her sisters, sisters-in-law, and her cousin! If you are in the Salt Lake area and can go, do it! It's at the South Towne Expo Center (9400 South State) in Sandy and runs until 10 pm tonight and tomorrow.

Laura chose the theme "I'll Think of You" which was based on the sweet poem she wrote for Mikayla. The poem talks about all of the things that remind Laura of Mikayla (to read it go here) and includes all things girly. The tree and all of it's surroundings are bright and fun and remind us all of sweet Mikayla.

Here are a few pictures of all the goodness...

Laura did such a great job organizing it all! I was so glad to be a part of this project.  Hope you can go and see it and support Primary Children's Medical Center!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eight Months

It's hard to believe this little happy princess is eight months old! She loves to eat (most of the foods that we eat) and is delighted with her brother and sister. She squeals when they are around and loves to giggle when she is tickled. She is crawling and scooting and trying to pull herself up. She makes all sorts of good noises that sound like "mama" and she makes me so grateful that she is a part of our family.

Oh, she loves to read, too.

Vinyl Gifts and More

When we were in Idaho for our Cole Family Reunion my sister Lauren's mother-in-law Diane offered to cut some vinyl for us. She and her daughter began a business (Vinyl Gifts and More) and was kind enough to share her talents. It's only taken me FOUR MONTHS to get them hung (Thanks Ryan!).

I always have a hard time deciding what I want to put on my walls, but I loved this quote when my Granddad gave it in Conference and a few of my cousins had it done in vinyl so I decided to go with it. Who said I had to be original? I love the way it turned out. It is in the family room, above the doorway to the door to the garage and basement stairs.

Lauren gave me this initial vinyl... I finally painted a piece of wood and hung it on a cute piece of wrought iron. It's in our front room.  I love the way it turned out!

I love President Hinckley's "Be's" and thought this would be great in the kids' room--I put it above the door.

**If you need any vinyl cut they have a great website with a lot of ideas and will also do custom vinyl.  Visit their site here.  Thanks Diane and Lauren!

**Do you have vinyl on your walls?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ensemble Festival

Olivia's piano teacher arranged for her to play in an Ensemble Festival with two other students (who happen to be Liv's close friends). They scored high enough to be invited to play at an Honor's Recital.

Here is "Romp a la Mozart":

and "Three's A Crowd":

Olivia worked really hard on her part and had a great time playing these pieces. Way to go Liv!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy birthday Chancy Pants


Happy birthday, little man! Today you would have turned eight years old. Even though you have been gone for five years we still miss you so much. I wonder what your personality would be like now... no doubt you would be inquisitive and happy and make everyone smile. I wonder what subjects you would like in school and what sports you might like to play. I wonder what music you would like to listen to and if the "Sound of Music" would still be your favorite show. I wonder if you would still love Spiderman and would still like to ride on the back of your mama's chair as she rolls down the street. We talk about you all the time and feel blessed to have had you in our family.  We love you!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We miss you Mikkie!

Sweet Mikayla,

Today would have been your second birthday! We miss you so much. We think of you every day and are so grateful that you are a part of our family. Your mom and aunts and grandma (and other family members) are working hard on a tree for you for the Festival of Trees.  We know that your memory will live on and we hope that other children can benefit from our work.  Something that your parents did at PCMC still amazes me... they donated your heart valves so that other children would have a chance at life.  I am grateful that they were generous enough to share a piece of you with people in need. They are incredible people and inspire us all with their strength and faith.  I love this picture of you from the Jammy Walk at Bear Lake this year... it shows how much you loved life and your little piggies are too cute. We miss you and love you Mikkie, you made our lives better.



Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

We started out our Halloween celebrations a few weeks ago with our yearly pumpkin carving with Ryan's family at Tim's and Laura's house. The kids wore their costumes too! This year our kids were bugs--Liv was a bee, Coleman was a spider, and Sophia was a beautiful butterfly.  Ryan and I were exterminators :).

Laura did so much work preparing so many yummy treats... be sure to click on the collages so you can see the details of the creative way she presented all of her delicious, festive foods.   (Laura took all these pictures and created the great collages!)

 We had a great time with everyone!

Olivia and Coleman spent an fun evening with my brother David and his wife Katty and they carved another pumpkin... Liv did Tinkerbell and Coleman made a three-eyed alien.  The apple? That's mine :).

On Friday Ryan's company invited family members to come in and trick-or-treat at different desks. They had this fun spooky house backdrop for a photo booth and Ryan took photos.

Ryan designed and printed a great new costume (I guess he thought the exterminator costumes were a little lame?)... He was his own Facebook page! He was good enough to put an ad for Harper Extermination on the right side of his page :). He won first prize for the best costume at work.
 Saturday morning Olivia's soccer team had a Halloween scrimmage...

...It was so funny to see the kids playing in their costumes. They had a great time.

Saturday night Ryan took the Coleman and Olivia trick-or-treating--even though it was raining hard and was freezing cold!  He's such a trooper. The saddest part of it all was that he didn't get to wear his great costume because it would have gotten ruined.

Coleman, the scary spider...

...who has been leaving plastic spiders all over the house all weekend trying to scare me. It usually works too, I hate spiders!
Olivia, the sweet honey bee.

Our Sophia butterfly.

I was still an exterminator and even put plastic spiders in my hair. Soph and I stayed home and passed out treats to the few that braved the rain. We had lots of candy and mini card games left over! (I threatened Ryan that I was going to hand out string cheese instead of candy, but he would have none of that...  I just read a friend's facebook status and she said her neighbor's got creative and passed out things like fruit leather, water bottles, notebooks, pencils, etc. I'm going to mull that over for next year...)

**What were you and yours for Halloween?
**Do you think kids would dig a different "treat" or is it all about the candy?