Sunday, December 30, 2012


We spent Christmas Eve with Grandma and Grandpa Selvage.
The hit gift of the evening was a wagonload of blocks that Tommy received. 
Ellie quickly ditched her new doll in favor of the blocks.
The kiddos had fun exploring Grandma and Grandpa's house. 
They were totally taken by a few magnets on a kitchen cabinet. 
It made us realize how simple Christmas gifts could have been.
Both also enjoyed trying on one of Grandpa's hats.

Santa visited our house, leaving a large basket full of
MegaBlocks and a smaller bin of more wooden blocks.
They looked so tidy under the tree, but they quickly spread
to cover our entire livingroom floor to a depth of two inches.
Here, Tommy has a bit of chocolate from his Papa's stocking.
My great idea for this year's Christmas card photo was to dress Tommy and Ellie as shepherds and take them to a life sized nativity scene at the church down the street. 
The weather didn't cooperate with our schedule, so my backup plan was to get their picture with their nativity at home.
Getting them to cooperate with my plan was just not happening...
the blocks were a distraction...
eventually I finally caught Ellie in a brief fly-by...
These pictures were taken a few days earlier in my first attempt.  I wasn't able to get both of them together, or even facing in the right direction, but I still liked these shots...
Here Mama, you take Jesus...
This girl isn't a shepherd... she's the littlest angel. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peace, Heavenly Peace

Today we celebrated Christmas with my family.
We traveled to Wilmington to Sandy's house.  She managed to remain hidden from the camera all day, so I will show her fireplace instead of her. My mom is there in the rocking chair.
Notice the detailed carving on the mantel. Sandy designed and carved it herself. It has leaves from the trees found on their property.
Sandy may have hidden, but her husband John went for the opposite effect.
My sister Melinda was there too, with three of her children.
 Ethan, who came on his way home from Alabama...
Phoebe (without John)...
and Emma.
Ellie and Tommy were in heaven today when their cousin Johnny let them play with the remote controls.  They carried them around for a few hours, I think.  I am not looking forward to finding out what the lingering effects of that fun will bring in our home, where those buttons are off limits. 

 Rachel came home from BYU-I...
and Megan was there with her boyfriend Cole... 
More cousin love, as Johnny demonstrates his phone for Ellie... 
We had our traditional white elephant gift exchange. 
Oddly, during the first round of gifts, nothing was stolen.  Ellie picked up a lovely wind-up pooping penguin toy in that round.  Kind of cute, plus it came with two giant chocolate bars.  On her second round, she chose to steal, horrifying me when she chose the lovely ceramic zebra which was a castoff from her cousin Wyatt that had landed in Grandma's gift pile.  She gave it a good number of kisses before we set it out of breaking range.  Tommy scored a Bunco game that has apparently done the rounds for several Christmases.  I think the senior center gift donation will score that one from us next year.  While I was out of the room, Tommy swiped my bag of homemade caramel corn and traded it to his Grandma for a cute toy. They actually got a good number of fun toys, and Rachel brought each of them a stuffed animal with a BYU-I shirt.
Tom and I got some lovely items as well.  Tom had better hide his chocolate covered pretzels (Sam's Club size) along with Ellie's giant bars so that I don't break my resolve on not eating chocolate.  Hard to believe, but I have been "dry" for 5 months now.  We'll see if I make it through the holidays.

As we traveled in the car today we listened to Christmas music.  On the way home, we were listening to Sally DeFord's music.  One of my favorite songs is "Peace, Peace, Peace", which I strongly encourage you to go listen to, and the third verse lyrics are:
Peace, heavenly peace
Rests on men at His birth
Peace beyond understanding
Gift of God to the earth
Peace shines in our hearts
Bright as the star that shines in the east
To guide us all as we seek
the Prince of Peace, peace, peace.
I cried as I heard these words tonight, thinking of the tragic losses yesterday in Connecticut, and prayed for this peace beyond understanding to come to those families who lost their loved ones.  I know it will not come soon, nor easily, but I pray that it will come.
The CD ended and I restarted it, and we were almost home when it came around to this song again.  During the refrain of "peace, peace, peace" I heard a sweet voice from behind me sing the word "peace".  Just once, and rather quietly, and I checked with Tom to confirm that he had heard Ellie sing it too, but as she did, my heart filled with that heavenly peace.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Party

Tonight was our church Christmas social.  Ellie wore a cute little off the shoulder number that her grandma got for her.  I think I put the sweater back on her shoulders at least a dozen times, so she must have taken it off at least thirteen.
One of Santa's elves caught Ellie and twirled her around and around until they were both dizzy.  I'm pretty sure that was how she got all wound up for her evening.  She stayed on the move most of the evening.
Except when I tied them into chairs to eat.  At dinner the kiddos wore their Christmas bibs from last year.  Tommy just barely squeezed into his.  I cannot believe how big they are now!

I guess I didn't feed them quite enough, because after I let them down, Tommy found a refill somewhere.  I'm not sure whether he stole it from the serving table or from someone's plate, but he nibbled on this roll for the rest of the night.  He had a piece of it in his hand still when I changed him into his pajamas at home.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


We've had a few visitors recently, and I've been kind of slow about posting.  Since the idea of the blog was to capture life's little details, here goes...

It is so nice to have Visiting Teachers that actually VISIT!  Who'd of thunk it?  It's been years since I've had regular contact (and even longer since I've been good about doing my own) but here is photo evidence that mine made it over again this month...
And Aunt Sandy made it up to see us again this week. 
I think Sandy must have been quoting the "Bubbles, Bubbles"
book, so Ellie was pointing to her nose.

And my son is providing access to the Tommy Tummy for tickling.

We made it out for a walk around the block.

Tommy shows off his new climbing skills.

The candy bucket from Halloween has become a favorite toy. 
Tommy loves to wear it on his head.
One day he thought it was great fun to play "Little Drummer Boy" and drum the bucket while he was wearing it.  As you can see, Ellie was happy to help him with that idea.
Here are a few pictures from a recent visit from Grandma and Grandpa Selvage...

And going even further back, Uncle Doug was here in mid-October.
I hope I'm all caught up now. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

16 Month Photos

We had these pictures taken on October 11th, the kiddos 16 month mark. 

Why is it that when you try hardest to make something happen, it just doesn't work.  As in naps.  I tried so hard that day to get Tommy and Ellie to take naps, and it just didn't happen.  Our appointment was at 3 p.m., so they were a bit tired and cranky when we got there.  Stephanie did a great job with what she had to work with. 

The challenge is always to get a picture of the two of them together, and this time was no exception.  Whether it was wearing short sleeves in forty degree weather, being out in the middle of nature, or the lack of sleep, Tommy largely just stood still and somber.  Ellie on the other hand was strangely energized, and it was hard to get her to stand still.  The pictures that did get captured were the result of repeatedly picking up Ellie and putting her down a few feet behind Tommy and then trying to step out of the frame while she was moving forward.  The photographer did a great job of snapping just as Ellie came even with Tommy.   See if you can tell in the photos below...

This one is my favorite

see those feet on the move?
and she's a little bit past him here... 
(this one wasn't supposed to be in our selection, but accidentely got included on the CD)

Here we are catching the end of a "peek-a-boo" on Tommy. 
Did you notice that his feet are still in exactly the same position?
And finally, to try to stop Eliana, we put her in a wagon. 

such a beautiful girl...
I am so blessed to be her mama...
She's on the move... she's supposed to be sitting on the block!
I think he looks like his Uncle Doug in this shot.
What a cutie.
Do eyes come any bluer than these?
One of our favorite shots was of them playing peek-a-boo.  We only got to pick 10 digital images in the package that we bought, and after much discussion and even a change in my order I decided to replace it with the second one here because it showed their faces.  I did get an 8x10 print of the other one for our wall though, so to see it you'll have to visit us at home.
I have to say I am very, very happy with the work that the photographer, Stephanie McFrederick, did.  If you are in the market for pictures for your family, check out some of her work here.