Tag Archives: Holidays

Deck the Halls, Be Merry and Bright, Joy to the World! Right?!

How do I begin. Here we are up in beautiful Garden Valley, ID for Christmas.  We’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while now and the 2 weeks previous to our departure I took every precaution to ensure the boys didn’t pick up all the bugs that were going around like wildfire.  After all is there anything worse than being sick on Christmas?!!!!

I was even going to keep Ben from Preschool the last week when they were doing all their fun Christmas activities. David sweetly suggested that might be too much and so we let him go.  Monday and Tuesday were great. We were set to leave on Friday.  Wednesday night we got a mass text from his teacher that her whole family came down with something including her so school on Thursday would be cancelled. Dun dun dun!!!!

Did I mention that earlier that week I had come down with something eerily similar to food poisoning? Ya. Never had that before and now even as I write this I know that it could have been so much worse. I didn’t even throw up I just got really close and then felt gross for the next 2 days. We still don’t know exactly what happened. I am convinced it was bad turkey that was just a day or two too old and David thinks it was a bug.

Thursday comes and we realize after some inspired promptings that we need to leave that day instead of Friday because of bad weather.  So off we went!

So glad we did that! For more reasons than just the weather. Friday morning Ben wakes up with a sweltering fever!!! He progressively gets worse and around 9 am throws up once. CRAP!!!!  Our Christmas vacation is officially ruined (or at least that’s what I have been trying to talk myself out of-attitude right?)

And in case you are wondering I am not angrily blaming David for talking me into letting him go to school. I realize I can’t shield my son from everything bad, not without him missing out on many a essential experiences.


We had decided on Thursday night when we got here that we would do Christmas on Saturday instead of Sunday because then instead of begrudgingly dragging the boys away from their new toys to go to church at 9:30 we could have the whole day to relax and take our time. Everything was going perfectly!!! Just as planned, or better!

Little did I know that taking our time is exactly what we would be doing.  Poor Ben woke up with a fever and still felt horrible on Christmas morning. He hadn’t thrown up again since the morning before and by Friday night was eating a little bit. But everything just wasn’t the way it supposed to be! Can I just say how hard it’s been dealing with the very thing I was trying so wholeheartedly to avoid! I can’t believe it happened! But that’s life.

There was my perfect little happy boy lying on the couch looking like death trying but not succeeding at opening his presents.  Break my heart right open.

But because of Ben’s illness, today had been something like I’ve never experienced before at Christmas. Stockings first….nap and snuggles. Breakfast and then more snuggles. Little bit of playing and then another nap followed by opening a few presents.  After that we tried to relax and watch a movie downstairs and Grandpa and Daddy plowed the driveway of 9 inches of fresh snow! Then some more present opening and then some lunch and another nap! After nap time we opened the last of our presents at about 2pm!

This is the way to do Christmas I’ll say! It was so fun dragging it out like that. It may not be for everybody but for us this year it worked and it was really nice.

After lunchtime we did give Ben some fever reducer because it just wasn’t going down and he woke up from his nap finally able to fully appreciate the cool things he’d received. His smiles and happy sounds were music to my ears.

The bad news was that William woke up from nap with a fever. CRAP AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

No throw up.  No headache. His spirits seems to be high still so maybe we will get lucky and get by with minimal suffering with William.

Oh how I hate sickness. It really gets me. Especially in my kids.

I will say that I was taught a good lesson here when I saw how David and his parents reacted to Ben’s sickness…his throwing up more specifically. If you know me you know that I have a mild phobia of vomit and it’s a bigger deal to me than the normal person. Ha! So here was Ben moments away from being sick just absolutely miserable in his daddies arms at the kitchen table…everybody talking. Here I am absolutely panicking inside wondering what the heck I was going to do and how we were going to get thru it.

The big moment happens and that’s that.  Talking continues as normal. Grandpa comes to the table with his breakfast, moves the bowl of vomit over a bit so he can sit down and enjoy his breakfast. What?! K, this is weird.

Grandma says, “Isn’t it wonderful what the body can do to take care of itself like that?”

I’m thinking, “Wonderful!!!?”

We clean up and take him downstairs to sleep.

I’m thinking, “What just happened?”

But after a while I start thinking and I realize that what just happened around me with my son being sick is closer to the reaction that I SHOULD be having than the one that I tend to have. What I witnessed with my in-laws and husband is closer to a normal and healthy response.

Throwing up does not mean he or anyone else is going to die.

Yup. I’m serious. I have to remind my sub conscience of this.

I am scared. I am a mess. I am down in my room breaking down for a moment or two. In part because my baby is suffering and I want to make it stop and in part because I’m…well I’m weird and I think vomit is the worst thing that can happen to a person.

My husband thinks maybe I need therapy. Maybe he is right. I think he is.

This is Christmas.  This is Christmas.  THIS IS CHRISTMAS????!








But you know what? It really is OK.

Somehow we will get through it and the memories are made. The boys are at the table (the very one Ben threw up at) playing with their legos happily and merrily.

It is going to be alright. Christmas is not ruined.  We (I, more specifically) did get through it. No one died. Hahahaha it sounds so ridiculous!

Pictures of our very different than planned Christmas will be forthcoming.

The difficult part for me now will be letting Ben go back to school before April.  Er…. Ever.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Breathe.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Christmas Card 2016

Ok so we didn’t do a Christmas card this year. Ha! We have never done a Christmas card actually! I just thought this year instead of nothing I could at least do a yearly update here on my blog.

David, my hero and best friend


What a man, what a man! For approximately 29 months he has suffered with severe back and hip pain. This year has been pivotal in his progress. His faith and positivism among it all is shocking. The grouchiness that anyone would expect from someone who is 2 years sleep deprived and pain ridden has been nowhere to be found. He has been such an example to those around him, especially me.

Sitting has become significantly more comfortable but first POSSIBLE. He had been toying with idea of getting an MRI so he could have a better idea of what’s going on which may not be necessary if he continues to improve the way he has. He will tell you that each and every step he’s taken towards recovery has been a tender mercy from God and I agree.

Throughout all this he has managed to work tirelessly on a business that is wildly successful.  And on top of that has been able to foster ideas and continue his promising research up at school. As sitting still at a microscope has been literally impossible for him, finishing his PhD was pushed further back than we both expected but in the end turned out to be exactly what was needed for more reasons than I can list here. Tender Mercies.  And now he continues on with the finish line in sight.

For his own purposes in healing he created a protein powder that would help him gain maximum muscle growth. So yes you can guess it…it’s practically perfect. The best out there. 30 lbs of muscle growth to prove it! Naturally he wanted to share it with others so Nitor was born this year! Some hiccups with the partners to be soon resolved and it will move onward. He is eager to share it with the world as he knows it will help others like him and more!

He has been a Gospel Doctrine teacher most of this year but was recently called to the Young Men’s which he is enjoying.

Anna, Mom monster


I’m the mom. I do mom stuff. Housework…you know keep the hou…er…apartment running. Kids alive, that sort of stuff. It’s not glamorous or exciting but it’s my job and it’s pretty important. Maybe I do have to remind myself of that a million times a day but it’s true!

This year I got heavily into powerlifting (heavy meaning interest not the actual weight) and really fell in love with getting stronger. I saw my body do things I never dreamed of doing. I’m now coping with the loss of powerlifting at least how I knew it and trying to find the will again.

This year I also made the big change to remove social media from my life…specifically Facebook and Instagram. Those are the only two I was ever on anyway. I haven’t missed Facebook one bit…that is until yesterday when talking with my sweet Lucie Lu on the phone heard that she is now on Facebook and will be posting photos and things from her life. Gah! I don’t want to miss those! I haven’t really missed Instagram, mostly because…ahem…I still log on every once and a while and look. The desire to post however is completely gone. It has been a very positive change in my life and I wasn’t sure at the time what it would look like or how and if I could even do it! Now that it’s been almost 4 months I have some belief that I can reconnect again and see those photos of Lucie for instance and not get totally sucked in. I still want to do better at connecting with people in person…phone calls etc.

This year was the year I was going to have a home. Alas, we are still in ‘our dump’ as David likes to put it. I try not to take offense because I have put many a thought into making it as un-dumply as possible. It’s hard to do. Don’t get me wrong….I am grateful for a place to live, beds and cozy covers to sleep under, running clean hot water and I teach my kids everyday to express the same gratitude to God because hey we could be sleeping outside afterall!! But those pesky thoughts of another year passing by without a home to call our own at 30 and 36 years young can be hard. Gratitude is always the answer. I am so grateful for my life and my kids and my husband and the promising prospects ahead!

Lucie Lu, my angel girl


I miss this girl constantly. I’m sure that will never change as she has another wonderful family we have to share her with. This 12 year old gal started Young Womens this year and loves it. She is of but a small handful in her branch but she got to experience 2 girls camps this year…a branch and stake one.

She also got to spend some time with her cousin up at Grandma Sherwood’s forest retreat! She experienced her first airplane ride all by herself (Cousin Addie there of course too). Among other trips here, to California and others she was quite the traveler this year! I believe if you asked her she would say she needs a break for a while. 😉

Lucie has been around horses almost her entire life but it wasn’t until this year that she got her very own horse, Trigger! I think that solidified the horse crazy in her. I am reminded of my short time as a ‘cowgirl’ every time I see her light up when she talks about him; riding him, taking care of him, bonding with him.  Horses really are magical and wonderful creatures. Out on her 47,000 acre or something like that ranch she is literally free to roam and ride where she pleases…a horse lovers paradise. She is a hard worker and an eager learner.

She’s made a list of hobbies and interests she wants to explore while she is here with us…horseless. She’s on her way to being an accomplished baker. Ice skating, zumba and nail art also made the list. But this year she jumped head first (literally) into trying tumbling!  Boy was I proud of her! She is really going to enjoy it I can tell! I just wish I could do it with her!

She also made a wonderful friend which is always noteworthy and it seems as though they will be doing their best at keeping the lost art of letter writing alive! Pen pals are the best! Did I mention that I miss her!?

And to save the best for last! Just shy of 2 weeks ago she was gifted with yet another little brother! She is quite literally the best big sister! I keep telling her I hope our next one is a little sister for her and that I hope she’s just as wonderful as she is!

Benjamin Rabbit, my snuggle bunny


This has been a big year for our Benny boy.  He is almost 5!! *!!!!!!!!!* He of course started primary in January and likes it. His teachers always adore him. The big 4 in February with all his friends at the Jump Zone turned out very memorable and one we will have to live up to next year!

This year he also started preschool and LOVES IT!! Teacher Nikki is I’m pretty sure one of his favorite people. What a smartie pants he is…but what did I expect with who he has for a dad?!

This year he also learned how to swim with his floats on! What a rush of freedom! On the note of confidence boosting he also was willing to try out tumbling this year! He has learned how to do sommersaults and kartwheels and handstands against the wall! He says he really loves it now (wasn’t sure at first).

William, our baby, our little cutie pie


William turned 3 this year and is always looking forward to turning 4. This is when he has promised to give up his beloved blankie that is now just a 1/4 inch thread that is no longer white no matter how much bleach I use. He is quite the accomplished talker and frequently uses words such as ‘also’, ‘otherwise’ and ‘actually’ in the completely correct way. Hilarious. This year he learned how to ride his brothers strider bike, became efficient at building amazing block towers and creations out of legos! He’s managed to get more cute this year too which I didn’t think was possible. Along with the cuteness however came more of his sometimes difficult personality! Oh how they grow so fast!

Merry Christmas from the Sherwood Family!


David must have worked quite a while (at least the length of the drive to Twin Falls and back) on this Lego sign but it was well worth it because we are all so excited to have Lucie here for Thanksgiving.

She has been here for a week now and she will be here for a week more still. Yay! I can never express just how complete our family feels when she is here.

Its a terrible shame to say it but up until now this poor girl has not had a bed of her own at our house. How awful is that?! I can’t believe it but it seems we were blindsided with this teenage girl all the sudden and it became apparent that despite her rockstar attitude and resiliency she needed her own space…badly.

Unfortunately we are still here *ahem* stuck in this little 2 bedroom apartment so we had to make do with what we had. Bunk beds to the rescue! Now she has her own full size bed and after a quick shopping trip to pick out the perfect sheets and bedspread I think we got a little closer to helping her feel more at home here. That and a bigger dresser delete the ‘living out of a suitcase’ scenario. Oh how sorry I’ve been that she hasn’t had that until now.

I love this girl so much. She is a cowgirl thru and thru. I thought when I was her age that I was horse crazy but she puts me to shame. She lives on a dream cow ranch with miles and miles to roam and besides her school work to do in the morning she’s a free spirit.

Here she is a little more restricted. No horse. No ranch. No roaming. But we are doing our best to help her find things she might like to do here in the ‘city’. Friends, swimming and tumbling at the local sports academy are a start. But she’s a trooper for sure.

I try to imagine what it would be like in her shoes. I imagine I would be pretty homesick for the home that I was at most often yet feeling the urge and obligation to see and spend time with my other family that I loved and knew loved me. Oh the emotions!!! And I can’t say enough how amazing she is considering everything.

I feel so blessed to have her in my life. She is our life. I can’t imagine it without her. This year I am thankful for Lucie Lu and my entire family.


Worst nightmare come true


Do you see the grip I have on that coat?

Thursday afternoon I was filled with a desire to have an adventure with my husband.

We don’t have a lot of alone quality time because of his busy schedule and many demands and when we do spend time together it’s usually doing the same kinds of things.

I’m a big advocate that experiences of husband and wives are what keep the flame burning. You learn new things, see different sides of a person you live with and just have opportunities to fall in love over and over again.

So when I suggested an adventure to my hubby he was on board but now was the hard part of figuring out what we would do.

I suggested rock climbing or a haunted house…cuz hey tiz the season right?

He enthusiasticly replied with haunted house!

So the plans were made, I did the research for possibly the best one in town that was still tasteful and where they don’t touch you but one that was still scary and we dropped the boys off at my parents and took off.

I should mention however that we almost didn’t go because between the time we planned and the time we actually got ready to go my mood had changed and I wasnt feeling it as much.

This is when my darling husband informed me that he had never experienced a haunted house and this would be his first time…ever! He wasn’t pressuring me but it was enough to swing me back over to the excited mood and looking forward to our adventure.

So off we went. To the 10th west scare house.

We tried to get my brother and his wife to come cuz the more the merrier right? Or the more the safer? Right?

Anyway on the phone with him he asked if it was the one he was thinking of out by a certain area and I said ya. He said, “You know there is a big clown our front right?’

Oh crap. No I didn’t know that. And no this isn’t why we almost didn’t go. But it should have been.

I should have known.

But nope, I was going to be brave and have an adventure with my husband.

And an adventure it was.

I guess I was a little less worried after we experienced the inside portion of the house which didn’t contain any clowns at all. It was very frightening and I lost my voice from screaming so much but it was a fun kind of scary, not clown scary.

So I thought, “ok, maybe it’s fine and there’s just the one big clown out front as their first and only scare tactic and maybe just maybe they have one clown moving around and scaring everyone. I can handle that. I enjoyed the inside, I assumed as much for the outside.

I was so so very gravely wrong.

The entire outside portion of the house was themed and centered around clowns . There wasn’t a turn or stretch of this thing that wasn’t about clowns or where one jumped out at you. And followed you. And did their creepy clown thing.

I hate clowns.

And they could smell the fear on me and that fed into their creepiness even more and they really didn’t leave me alone. And I bet they all told each other and had little creepy communications with eachother, hey that girl right there is super scared of us….

Oh man. And then there is my husband who can’t stop laughing at me the whole time but when he could control himself he did a pretty good job at protecting me.

Somehow I survived and it ended. I did pee my pants just a little. For the record.

Was it an adventure? Yup!!! Did my husband and I grow closer together? Absolutely! So I guess in the end it was worth it.

But for future reference I will assume to stay away from haunted houses if there is a big clown out front. Duh.



Sometimes we do this kind of thing for dinner. It’s usually David’s idea and I play along with a bit of doubt in my mind…will the kids really go along with this and like it? Am I ‘allowed’ to do something so easy for dinner without the homemaker police knocking down my door? When I put this down on the table ( along with some bread) the boys were ecstatic that this was dinner! William even said, ‘mom thank you for not mixing it together.’ Meaning he is in this phase of not liking his food mixed up so he doesn’t like most everything I make now.

Simplicity was very warmly welcomed. A veggie Dip night is on the docket probably once a week now. Some cottage cheese or protein shake on the side and we have got ourselves a healthy balanced EASY meal! Yay!

On the other end of the spectrum yesterday I made a deep dish apple and cream cheese pie for for our ward fall festival.

img_20161028_175336I spent several hours trying to get the crust just right but it paid off! It turned out so flaky and tender and delicious! I actually didn’t get a piece of it because it was gone by the time I got up there but I tasted some leftover crumbs.

For the boys it was all about the cool costumes and the candy. They were in heaven.


Apparently batman has the force too.

Incase you weren’t sure Ben is Kylo Ren from star wars. No he hasn’t seen it. All he did was walk thru the costume store and choose the one he thought was the coolest.

Love them.

Happy fall ya’ll.



Christmas this year was awesome.  We had Lucie for about a week and a half (not nearly long enough) and loved every second of it.  Forts were built!

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Cookies for Santa were made


Stockings were hung by the piano with care

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And Christmas jammies were given

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Christmas morning was a blast.

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And the impromptu visit to the Elk ranch was too…but also very cold.

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Jump zone!

Many other things were had this season but not documented by my camera.  But I think there’s probably enough pictures already.  Fun times!

Thanksgiving Indeed!

This year we had 2 wonderful Thanksgivings!  Actually I think we had two Thanksgivings last year too!  Lucky us!  We spent Thursday afternoon at David’s professors house with his family and a couple of other graduate students from China.  It was lovely.  Friday we went south and spent the afternoon with my Uncle Joe and his family, little brother and his beautiful wife and my Grandma and Grandpa.  So fun!  I took some pictures, wish I would have got more and wish I would have gotten any from Thursday!

I am so grateful to be surrounded by such amazing people, family and friends and acquaintances.  My relationships with those around me make the happiest. (Especially when I get to snuggle a brand new baby! So beautiful!) I can’t wait to be able to see and do more with everyone.

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In other news, we got our Christmas tree and it is pathetically too big for out little apartment.  I think David tried his best to tell me at the store that it was too big but I was adamant.  He was right.  We had to chop a foot or more off and it’s still massive.  I feel like a girl that bought 7 in heels and can’t walk right in them….but they’re oh so beautiful!  hehe

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We are definitely excited for Christmas in this house.  William has no idea obviously but Ben definitely does!  And the best part is it came just in time because since we’ve been having a hard time with completing potty training (been having #2 accidents for about 5 months) we decided to pull out all the stops and threatening Santa’s absence at our house this year if he didn’t poop in the potty did the trick!! Yay! Call us horrible.  But if you’ve been through it maybe you’d understand how desperate you get.  It’s AMAZING the difference not having to clean out poop from underwear everyday it makes in my mood!!!

Yay Christmas!!!  Yay Santa Claus!


William is no longer 0

My baby is 1 today.  We celebrated on Saturday with lots of cake and food and family and friends.  William is such a good baby…er, kid.  He is independent and adventurous and happy and mellow.  And he doesn’t have a sweet tooth apparently.  I made him a healthy carrot cake with flax and whole wheat and sucanat sugar and carrots of course and he wasn’t too interested.  It was sweet too though!  Especially the cream cheese frosting!  But he was content just playing in it.  So fun.

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I realized after I put the festive fourth of July headband on that it was kind of femme.  Oh well.   He is such a pretty little boy.   Excuse the millions of pictures.  IMG_1012 IMG_1013 IMG_1014 IMG_1019 IMG_1020 IMG_1021 IMG_1025 IMG_1026 IMG_1030 IMG_1031 IMG_1032

Such a cutie pie.  After he’d had his fill of cake he went over to the sandbox and got a nice layer of sand over his frosting covered body.  Sweeeeet.


It was a fun day and I can’t believe my baby is 1.  It’s so exciting and so scary at the same time.  I love my family and I am so excited for this next year and what’s to come!  I love the fourth of July.  I love this land that we live in.  I pray with all my heart that it will be preserved.  I’m grateful for those who have sacrificed and fought for our freedom so that we can enjoy backyard partied like this one.

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Let Freedom Ring