Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two Little Monkeys

The pictures in this post were taken earlier in the month on a Sunday after church. Emmy looked so cute! Brandon even asked me to take some pictures of her since she looked adorable. Emmy is turning into quite the poser when her picture is taken. There is no prompting from me on the shots of her by herself. Emmy knows how to work the camera.Ben needed to get in on the action too. I think he looks very handsome with his green Christmas tie. He is always so full of energy and has such a zest for life. Brandon and I are so lucky to have these two crazy monkeys in our life. They keep us busy, but our life would be boring without them.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

With Christmas time approaching and some wondering where the Tennessee Ts have disappeared to, we thought it would be fun to send out a letter and update you on our latest adventures.

This year has been an exciting one so far. Having three little ones who want to learn so many new things has left us struggling to keep that energy pointed in the right direction. It has been fun thinking of creative ways to spend time together as a family while not breaking the bank, which doesn’t take much being a poor student family. This year, we decided that camping in the backyard, building and playing on a “new” swing set that a family gave to us before moving, going on leaf hunts, carousel rides at the mall and visiting family and friends has made our year unforgettable. Oh, and by the way, this is the first time in five years we are diaper free!

Hyrum turned five years old and has become such a charming little boy. Every girl at church and school wants to marry him. This charm must come from his dad, of course. He loves to write his friends little notes with the new words he is learning to spell and if a note is going to a girl, it always says “I Love You” with a heart somewhere on the page. His reading has really improved and he is reading up to four letter words. Three days a week he attends preschool, which he never wants to miss. He is infatuated with his teacher and is always telling us “I just way love her”. He has done so well in school and we think he will transition into kindergarten well next year. Also, after convincing Hyrum that it wasn’t necessary to take turns with the other team as to who kicked the ball, he has played more aggressively this season in little league soccer. We also enrolled him in swimming lessons and are pretty sure he grew gills. He would rather be under water the whole lesson if it were possible. He is a joy to have in our family.

Ben and Emily turned three this year and had such a fun time at their Jungle birthday party. Their parents were a little crazy holding a party for nearly 20 children ages 2-5, but it sure was fun. Nearly every time Hyrum is dropped off at preschool, a crying session ensues because they don’t get to go. But this year they have loved attending a weekly preschool organized by other moms in the ward. They just can’t wait each week to go and be like their big brother.

Ben started his first season of little league soccer and has caught on quick. He scored the first goal of the season, GO Ben!!! He idolizes his older brother and tries so hard to keep up with him and the older kids on the team. He has also become proficient in his letters. He knows most of his letters, can match many of the lowercase with uppercase and loves to sit on the couch and “read” books. We are so proud of him.

Emily, well what can we say, she is all girl. A day doesn’t go by without her wanting her high heel shoes, lip gloss or a bow in her hair. She is our singer for sure and can she ever be sassy. There is no hiding her feelings with the countless faces she pulls. We venture to say that she has a facial expression for every emotion known to man, but this is why she is such a cutie. Her smile is infectious. She also loves to have her hair done in the morning by her mother. She loves attending the soccer games so she can cheer on “my boys”. Life would be boring without her.

Natalie, since her call as Relief Society Meeting Coordinator, has been busy. She has delighted in serving with the sisters in the ward and has learned much. Also this year, Natalie set up a book club with some friends in Memphis that she has really enjoyed.
Keeping up with her three crazy monkeys keeps her really busy.

Brandon has thoroughly enjoyed less book-work in exchange for working with patients in the schools optometric clinic. He has loved applying what he has learned over the past two years of sleepless study sessions and numerous tests. 3rd year in optometry school has given him a little more time to spend with his family but that will not last long. With his first Boards test coming up in March, life is about to get busy. Since school and church consumes most of his life, not much else can be said.

Recently we filled up our “old” blog and now have a new one. Check it out at

We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Each of you have enriched our lives in someway and feel that it has never been coincidence that our paths have crossed. If you get a chance, drop a line.

Brandon, Natalie, Hyrum, Emily and Ben

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Decorating the Tree

Before we left to go to Texas for Thanksgiving, we decided to decorate our house for Christmas. Once again the kids loved decorating the tree. They loved to look at each ornament as they put it on the tree. The kids tried their best to be very careful with our ornaments. It was fun to show the kids each of their special ornaments which they received through the years. Each year, each child receives a special ornament to represent the previous year in their life. My mom picked out some ornaments for the kids this year which we will see when we go to Utah. The kids loved every minute of decorating the tree. They did a great job decorating the tree. It was the perfect way to start off the Christmas season!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Trip to Texas-Part 2

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we went and looked at some fun things in Arlington, Texas and downtown Dallas. The day was absolutely beautiful. We couldn't have asked for a better day in late November.

Ever since Brandon heard of the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium being built he has wanted to go and see it. As a result, our first stop on Wednesday was to the Dallas Cowboys stadium. The big screen!
Unfortunately, there was a football game going to be played there the next day so we couldn't get too close. The new Cowboy Stadium is really close to the Ranger's stadium. The next picture is for you Sean! Brandon told me to take one for you!Next, we went to Pioneer Plaza in downtown Dallas. The kids had a great time climbing on the Longhorns and looking for fish in the water. The bronze statues of the animals were amazing. The detail on the statues was incredible. Emmy and Ben weren't quite thrilled when we would put them on top of the animals for a picture.
After a quick lunch, we stopped off at the Dallas temple. The Dallas temple is definitely unique and beautiful. Like any temple, there was a very special spirit about it.
To end the day, I went and saw New Moon with my grandma, Aunt Marsha and cousins. We had such a great time.

The day after Thanksgiving, we went to Aunt Marsha's house to spend some time with her, my cute cousins and grandma. It took awhile for my kids to warm-up, but overall they had such a great time and loved being spoiled.The kids enjoyed the walk that we went on on the Friday after Thanksgiving. They loved all the Christmas decorations that were starting to be put up.We had such a great time in Dallas. A big thanks to Ethel and Richard for letting us come and stay with them!