Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Maybrie

Our Maybrie Rae turned four on Sunday, January 6th! It was a special day for her. We started the day rushing out the door to make it to church on time, at our new time of 9am. Then Maybrie started sunbeams and was sung "Happy Birthday" on her first day in primary. She got a cute pink "I am a Child of God" bracelet and was so excited to tell us all about her new teacher and sing the songs they are learning. 

At home she wanted to change into her Cinderella dress-up immediately, and was ready for me to make her cake! Brian pulled his parents up on Skype so Maybrie opened her present from them... a velvet dress and outfit she loves. She was anxious to open her gift from us, so we decided to go ahead and let her so she could play with it... we gave her a cabbage patch doll. That afternoon I made a yellow cake with pink and purple frosting, just like she requested. She loved putting the sprinkles on and insisted on decorating it with the Snow White figure that was on her cake last year. I had no problem recycling the cake topper!

For dinner we had macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets... a favorite for many preschoolers, I'm sure. Afterwards our friends the Woolf's stopped by with cookies in a cute bag/purse for Maybrie. They joined us for cake since we were just about to light the candles. Maybrie loves them and was thrilled to have them there too. A little while later Maybrie's friend Matthew and his mom stopped by with cookies. Matthew was wearing his awesome Superman pajamas with cape, and he raced into the room singing "Happy Birthday" while I ran around and around! It was hilarious and Maybrie totally blushed. It was a priceless moment. Her birthday was definitely special and she was just plain excited about everything all day! Glad you had a great day my sweet girl!

I love how Maybrie isn't wearing her pants here because she was too excited to put them back on after she went potty. Thomas and Maybrie are probably laughing at Landon, while Jaxson is posing perfectly for me! haha
Silly, cute kids

We had a "Winter Wonderland" birthday party on Saturday, January 12th once everyone was back in town. Maybrie had a long list of friends she wanted to invite, and since it included basically everyone, we decided to just go ahead and invite them all. I guess everyone was excited to see each other again after the Christmas break, because we had a great turn out... 34 people in our little home! There were kids, parents, food, and balloons everywhere... and we loved it! We were so happy so many friends could come celebrate with us. I always wanted to do a fun, big party... and this definitely qualified. I am glad Maybrie enjoyed it, I just hope she doesn't expect one every year, cause it won't be happening! haha :) I had a blast decorating and gathering coordinating goodies. After Christmas is the perfect time for a snow themed party... everything is super cheap on clearance!
Snowflakes hanging from the ceiling and on the windows. The birthday banner was the only thing that didn't match, but it's our family tradition so it stayed up all week.
Wrapping paper backdrop and blue and white treats
Light lunch of snowflake crackers, meat, cheese, fruit and veggies
The sugar cookies and cupcakes turned out so cute, I love them. Thank you Maddie for helping me frost them!
A great pinterest idea I stole, pictures of Maybrie at different ages
I made cookies 'n' cream popcorn bags (so yummy and easy if you've never had it) and had lots of blue and white candy to put in snowflake bags... hardly anyone took any, so we have a lot of sugar at our house still. Dangerous! 

 Maybrie chose to wear her Cinderella dress again and she did her own hair. When did she get so big and independent?!
The lovely ladies (minus Brittany and Tiffany who had to leave early)
Even though I said not to bring gifts, most people did. It was a little embarrassing how much she got. It was way more than she got for Christmas... she definitely got spoiled, and loved every second of it! Now she has plenty of baby dolls and princess stuff to go around.
The gift that stole the show was the huge cardboard coloring castle from the Navarro's. The kids were so excited about it we ended up opening it up and letting them color at the party up in Maybrie's room. She and her friends love it... I'm sure it will get lots of good use.

Thank you to all of our dear friends here who made Maybrie's birthday so memorable. We love our baby girl and can't believe it's already been 4 years since she joined our family. We are so blessed to have her in our home. We love you Maybrie!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy New Year

Thomas and I flew home from Utah on New Year's Eve. After a nap, we woke up ready to ring in the new year. We celebrated with the kids at 7pm... haha! They didn't know the difference. I pulled out pots and pans for them to bang and they had a blast!

After the kids fell asleep we did our handy dandy cell phone monitor and went to our friend's, the Wilson's house for an adult party. It was so fun to see friends that had been gone for Christmas. We had yummy food... a chocolate fondue fountain, fruit, chips/dip, etc. We played the game Quelf, which was a blast! We had some great laughs. At midnight we watched the ball drop on TV and toasted sparkling cider. It was a fabulous way to kick off the new year!
Ashley and Dawn
Becca and Landon
Ryan putting make up on Landon
Dawn and Dan with their elbows on the game board and a shoe stuck in their left hand.
Ryan with a paper stuck to his head and his permanently pointing finger.
Ashley in true comic form!
If you ever get a chance to play this game, DO. It is hilarious!
We forgot to snap a picture of ourselves till we were home headed to bed.

On New Year's Day we had the Woolf's and Pena's over for dinner. We had yummy pulled pork sandwiches. The rootbeer sauce we discovered in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook is a new favorite of ours. We enjoyed good food and good company. We were so happy to spend a little time with the Pena's new little girl, Camilla. The kids love babies.
Sweet baby Camilla... love her big eyes and long dark hair
Holding Camilla

Vandro Pena
Say Cheese!
Thomas thought she was the best doll ever!
I found Thomas just chillin' with the bag of m&m's watching football later that night. It cracked me up!

We had fun ringing in the New Year of 2013! We are hoping this is a good year for us, just like the last one was. I'm looking forward to setting goals and getting to work!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tribute to Damond Farar

On Friday, December 28th, as I was about to head out the door to my sister's wedding, I received a text message from a friend saying that she saw on facebook that our friend Damond passed away. I immediately dropped on the couch and frantically pulled up and scanned the news feed on facebook. When I saw the news posted by my friend Adriana about her dear husband Damond suddenly passing away that morning I broke down into uncontrollable sobs. I have never been struck so hard by someone's passing. It was an emotional night for me, hard to wrap my head around such a tragedy, aching for my friend and her sweet boys, and wishing to be held and comforted by my own husband (I was in Utah, and he was at home in Indiana). The past week has been one of quiet reflection, discussion, and grieving with many who feel a connection to this wonderful man and his family.

I have no doubt that families are forever and that we will see our lost loved ones again. I know that the atonement is real, that our Savior Jesus Christ truly did live and die for each one of us. What I have been most impressed with, more than the knowledge of life after death, is that the atonement is meant for us here and now. The Lord suffered all of our pains so that He could comfort and bring peace to our hearts when hard times come. I know the Lord loves me and all of us and that He will help strengthen and comfort us. I know that through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ we can all be healed... today, tomorrow, and eternally. I pray that He will be with all those who are grieving the loss of Damond, especially his dear wife Adriana, and their sons Thomas, Alex, and Jacob.
We were asked to share any thoughts and stories about Damond and send them to compiled for his sons, so that they will know the great man their father was. This is what I would like those sweet boys to know about him:

Dear Thomas, Alex, and Jacob,

Your father Damond was the best of the best. He was a true disciple of Christ whose light touched everyone he came in contact with. He had a zest and enthusiasm for life that was contagious. I never saw him without a smile on his face. I remember the first time we met was after church on our first Sunday in Indy. Our dryer was being stored at your house and your dad said he would bring it by the next morning. I asked if he wanted my husband Brian to help, and he smiled and said, "No. That ok. It's not that far!" I stared at him in shock... and now that I know him, I know he really would have moved a dryer a few blocks by himself if we needed him to. (P.S. I did make Brian help!)

Your dad was a kid magnet! Every kid in our ward loved him, including my kids Maybrie and Thomas. I have never seen anyone calm tears and make kids smile and laugh as quickly as your dad could. Even though your dad wasn't asked to (he was serving as Young Men's president), he would come into the nursery every Sunday to check and see that they had enough help. He would walk around the room calling the kids by name, giving high fives and hugs. Many times he would stay to calm a child, wrestle a runaway, or teach a lesson on the fly. He was always active at ward activities and helping anyway he could.

Your father lived and played hard. He wasn't mediocre, he gave everything his all. He worked hard at school, at home and at church. He loved to play with you boys. I can imagine him outside with you playing basketball, helping you climb the chain link fence around the court, riding bikes, or wrestling with you. He was great with people and made everyone feel important and worth his time. He had a way of making you feel like you had known him forever. He was a family man through and through. He loved you and your mother very much.

I see so much of your dad in each of you. You all have his good looks! But most of all you have his goodness. You each carry his same energy and enthusiasm for life. You make friends easily because you are good and kind. I know that your dad is very proud of you and wants only the best for you. Be strong for him and take care of your sweet mother, the way that he would if he were here. Be happy and serve the Lord. Doing that would be the best way you could honor your father. Damond Farar was an incredible person and I feel honored to have known him.

All our love,
Summer Naylor (and family)

If you would like to help Adriana and her sweet boys a donation account has been set up at Chase Bank in the name of "The Damond Thomas Farar Memorial Trust" with the account number 3025135756.

You can read his obituary here at this link.
Farar family, we are keeping you in our prayers. We love you!

Here is another way we can all help the Farar family!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Trip to Utah

I had the opportunity to fly to Utah to see my brother who returned from his 2 year LDS mission to Mexico this month. I took Thomas with me since he could ride for free on my lap. Also, I really wanted Spencer to meet him since he was born while he was gone. We flew out the morning of Thursday, Dec. 27th. It would have been a direct flight, but they offered a $400 travel voucher for taking a later flight, so I took it. I decided 5 hours in an airport with Thomas was worth it. So, Thomas and I flew to Memphis, TN, hung out there for almost 5 hours and then flew to Salt Lake City. We arrived at 4pm. Thomas was such a great traveling companion. He loved the airport, seeing all of the different people, shops, moving walkways, etc. He was very happy all day, especially considering he was up early to catch our original flight, and was traveling so long. 
 Indianapolis International Airport- bright and early
He loved watching the planes out the big windows.
 Ready for take off... Thomas loved the safety manual in the seat pocket for some reason :)

Playing in the Memphis airport

 Thomas finally crashed and had about an hour nap before we took off in Memphis.
 He thought helping push our suitcase was the funnest thing... and he got a lot of attention from others walking by too. It was pretty darn cute! I don't think I could have a cuter helper!

I got to spend a lot of time visiting with my brother and parents that first night. My sister and her family arrived from Washington state that night too. I feel especially close to them because we lived by them the past two years. It is always crazy to see how much the kids have grown since we saw them last. We were excited to get Thomas and his cousin Ren (2 years) together again now that they are both walking and can play together. They had so much fun! All of my family ate Thomas up! He has learned to walk since they last saw him and has kind of transitioned from baby to toddler while we've been in Indiana. 

On Friday I got to play with my nieces and nephews, go shopping with my nieces Helen and Rachel, eat In' N' Out for lunch, and attend my sister Keri's wedding to David Berry. On Saturday we went to a matinee of Les Miserables which I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought it was incredibly well done. Sunday was my brother Spencer's homecoming talk at church. He did such a great job and the spirit so strong. It was obvious that he loved his mission and served faithfully. I am SO proud of him! We had a luncheon at my parents' home after, where we got to visit with some of my extended family that came. It is always so fun to catch up with family. I had a wonderful visit. Thomas was a little fussy at times, mostly because he was still on Eastern time and his schedule got turned upside down. He still brought plenty of giggles, singing and dancing to entertain as well. We flew home early Monday morning and were able to make it home in time to celebrate New Year's with Brian and Maybrie. I am glad that Brian and Maybrie had some fun bonding time at home while we were gone too. I think it was very good for Maybrie to get so much one-on-one attention from daddy.

P.S. I didn't take very many pictures. It went by too fast. I finally snagged one shot with Spence at about midnight the night before I left! :)
 Cousins- Ren and Thomas

 My niece Penelope got my camera and I found many pictures like this! haha
 Thomas and Ren watching movies... kids and their electronics today! They both had to hold their own!
 Dancing. The girls danced in a circle around Thomas and Ren. They loved it!
 Anna and Thomas
 Reading with Grandma 
(Thomas absolutely LOVES his new animal book they gave him for Christmas.)

 Thomas and Ren watching Rio on Aunt Hillary's lap
 My second cousin Trevor was one of the few who was lucky enough to hold Thomas... he wouldn't go to everyone :(
 Thomas LOVES Uncle Spencer! So glad they finally got to play together. :)

 Justin and Jessica
 Noelle, Jane, Tim, Grace (Thomas)
 Rachel and Helen
Me and Spencer
Welcome Home Spence! I am so glad I got to come see you (and the rest of the family). Good luck going back to school at BYU-I next week. Love you!