Wednesday, November 30, 2011

student of the month

we were excited to find out that Anna was chosen as Student of the Month in her class for November.  our family attended the flag ceremony where she received her award.

of Anna, Mrs. Metz wrote, "Anna is an exceptional student.  she shines as a kind and responsible example to her peers.  she is respectful to others and tries her very best every day.  i simply love being Anna's teacher!"
it makes my heart smile to know Anna is so well behaved when she is at school.  she is setting such a great example to her younger sisters and brother!  well done Anna!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

one night in Paris!

last year, the Laurels decided to implement another "travel program" for Personal Progress.  we did this before when we counted our value experiences and projects as "sky miles" an earned a trip to Hawaii.  this years destination: Paris!

i was released in Ausust, but still got to go to Paris with the girls!

what a beautiful and fun evening!  i sure miss all my fun Tuesday nights with the Young Women
au revoir et a bientot!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

so long, Farewell!

in case you didn't know, i belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  yes, I am a Mormon.  you may have seen Mormon Missionaries in your neighborhood.  well, if you live in/around Paris, France, you may see my brother Collier very soon!  Collier has been called to serve for two years in the Paris, France Mission.  as per tradition, our family gathered together to attend church together and hear Collier speak to the congregation before he leaves.  it's always fun to get together, but especially to commemorate such a milestone, for Collier and for our family.  he is the baby, and the third son to serve a mission in our family!

my parents, now veterans of sending a child to a foreign land for two years, let us know that it only gets harder to say goodbye! 

 i love these faces!  they are going to miss their uncle Collier! 

 so, already Collier will not meet 1 new niece (due January 3rd). he asked how many others he may be expected to miss, here's my wish list: 3 total. (1 each, me, Ash, Holly....?)

in the meantime, Collier, I am so happy and excited for the experiences you will have over the course of your mission.   you will have the wonderful opportunity of sharing the Lord's great plan of happiness with many people.  I am happy to say that the road ahead of you will be full of new challenges.  yes, these will help you learn and grow, and that is a wonderful thing!  you are the best baby brother a girl could have, and i can't wait to see the man you will become!  i love you and appreciate the example you are to me and my family!
au revoir et bon courage.  je t'aime,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

on thanksgiving day, we had a quaint family gathering of about 50 people for dinner.  as usual, my mom set up a beautiful evening and delicious food. 
 big cousins ate and played right-center-left,
 little cousins huddled around the tv watching cartoons,
 and had a craft night making turkeys.  this was Anna's idea, and it was a hit.  even the boys liked sticking googly eyes on their hand tracings!

i am so grateful for my huge, wonderful family! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

park day!

so, we went to the park with cousins and friends, and i thought it was so cute when all the kids put their shoes back on!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

and why did we go to CA early???

there's really only one reason.  one man

(okay, plus 4 more)...
that's right, i went to Reflections.  and it was awesome.  the tickets sold out in 45 seconds, but i got 2!  okay, they were not together.  this was not Jason's favorite idea for a night out, but he manned up and took me on MY favorite idea of a night out.  and it was AMAZING!  20 years of waiting and i finally heard subway song live!!!!

Jason's assessment was awesome, "i liked the rocking songs, but not the wailing songs."  it's a good thing i like both!  oh man, i could cure-on about this all night.  now back to your regular programming.

Monday, November 21, 2011


we came to California a day early, which meant...Disneyland!!!  Barrett's family was headed there, and we got to tag along.  the place was packed!  as a kid growing up near disneyland, we avoided any hint of crowded-ness.  but now, as a tourist, i was of the "we got to get our money's worth!" mindset.  the men and Tashy took the kids on Star Tours, while Autumn and I took the baby boys (and one baby girl in-utero) on Buzz Lightyear.  i was a little worried Colin would freak out, his sisters were not that into the loud sounds and blinking lights just last year, but he LOVED it.  this picture makes me laugh, because I look totally into it, while Autumn looks like a woman who is 7 months pregnant and chasing a 15 month old around Disneyland.  (a totally accurate depiction of our day)
 i've noticed that since Colin, I have been a lot less likely to photograph our family outings.  here's why: (he's always attached to me, and has very grabby hands)
 the rest of the gang!
 i love this picture!  i love the way my kids are best friends with their cousins. 

 it was a blast taking the boy to Dland for the first time.  truth be told, Disneyland is really for me.  the kids aren't even a degree as into it as i am.  they would have been fine at the park, but this was my Christmas present for sure!  i love introducing my kids to MY happiest place on earth!

 the babies went home with Grandma and Grandpa after lunch, and then around 9 Jason and Autumn took home the 4 little girls.  this left myself, Anna, Barrett, Henry and Ash at Disneyland for the duration!  it was so fun!  back in the day, when i was about 12 or so, we remodeled our house and my parents got the 4 kids passes to Disneyland.  that summer they dropped us off everyday while work was being done.  we got to know the place so well that the workers used to let me do the Jungle Cruise tour myself.  being back with Ash and Barrett made me feel like a kid again.  and racing Anna and Henry around to all the rides was so fun!  Barrett forgot himself for a moment and mentioned that the Matterhorn had a Yeti, so Anna and I hit the Tea Cups alone.  but we got to see the coolest light show at Small World while we waited. 

 Tashy let each kid choose a candy at the end of the night.  Anna chose an enormous lollipop and i told her she was going to fall asleep in the car and i would get stuck to her hair.  (just like when i was a kid)  low and behold:
 and one last shot from the day.  Avery and I back on Buzz:
i really improved my score that time!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

vacation, all i ever wanted!

we spent Thanksgiving week in California!!!!!  yes and entire week.  we started the week off right snuggling our cousins and Grandpa! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

yeehaw! stake rodeo!

every year our stake has a rodeo.  yep, a real old fashioned rodeo. this year everything was on foot to avoid injury.  except these cute little pony rides.

we love the stake rodeo!  good food, good friends, and fun times! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

it's the morning after Halloween, and i see that my little angel did in fact do her homework and put herself to bed.  she just forgot to change out of her Jessie costume.  i'm for sure winning that mother of the year this time!