Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Decorating

I know, I , it's early. We'll be gone for Thanksgiving and so used a rare free Saturday to decorate for Christmas. It's so nice to have a kid old enough to be such a help! I didn't have to untangle any Christmas lights this year. Ellie managed to only break one ornament and we had fun getting into the Christmas spirit. The bottom picture is of Ellie saying "Ho,Ho,Ho" like Santa.

I'm so glad when Daddy comes home...

She loves when Daddy comes home...for about 5 minutes, then she's attached to mom again for hours. I'm sure that will change someday, so I try to treasure it.

Planting Pumpkins

Planting Pumpkins....Max wanted some pumpkins to grow next year in our front yard. It's a fake pumpkin, but hey, you never know.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Grandparents' Visits

It's amazing the positive affects grandparents have in our children's lives. We are sooooo grateful for what wonderful examples they are and for the endless love they give our children. They will surely be better contributors to society and their own families because of it. Max had a tough time deciding if he wanted to grow up and have grandpa or dad's occupation....he finally decided on dad's. It is a heavenly moment to see the kids interacting with our parents and sharing their precious thoughts and desires with them. It is so comforting to know as a mother that your children feel loved unconditionally and see the confidence that gives them. Thank you grandpas and grandmas!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Recent Stroud Fam Pics


Pics of The Shannons

The House

Here's a pic of our new house. We feel very blessed to have been led here. Shane likes his job and we love the weather, the southern hospitality (which doesn't include crazy drivers) and being close to his sister Brittany and her family. We're also ecstatic to be a day's drive from his brother Jaymeson and my parents.

Here's the backyard - we've got our work cut out for us, but Shane's got a big treehouse, birdhouse, bridge and garden planned.

Our house has an unfinished basement which we're not ready to finish yet, but Shane managed to build himself a custom media room with his bare hands and a How-To book. He rocks.

Here we go!

Here we go... we're officially bloggers now too. It's about time. Let's start with a few recent pics. Keep in mind.. not one picture will my kids' teeth be brushed or will their hair be done or will they have on that cute Gymboree outfit I just bought them because although once in a while we try to pay attention to appearance we rarely actually do....there's my disclaimer.


This is our Maxwell. He's six years old and as unique as they come. He knows how to melt our hearts or push our buttons and not much in between. Here's him with his last front tooth hanging by a thread. It drove his dentist uncle crazy, but we didn't make him yank it out. We've since learned how to coincidentally sever the nerve while flossing his teeth (yeah, we do that every once in a while).

Max loves to ride his bike, play soccer and baseball, roller blade, smash bugs and kick red ant piles to see them chase after Mommy. He has a flair for being blunt and chewing with his mouth open. He also has a flair for making hilarious faces and being irreverent in Primary Programs. We love it - he reminds me every day to relax and have fun! Usually on the day I've completely lost it, officially beyond repair have had it, I order him to bed and come downstairs to find a hidden I Love You card he made me earlier that day (before I had won Bad Mother of the Day Award).

Here's a pic from his birthday party. The crazy blonde kid in the back was his partner in crime during the Primary Program this year.

He's in first grade and thank heaven for an answered prayer - he has the best teacher in the world! I promised myself I'd use less superlatives, but so far to us, he's the best. He's made learning so fun for Max. He comes home with funny stories and cool things Mr. Straughan said or did all the time - thank heaven for teachers who care and realize the importance of what they do. I hate how hard they push kids in school now - he's doing things I did in third grade, but as long as it stays pretty fun, hopefully he'll survive with sanity in tact.

He is a great big brother. He waited a long time for a sibling and he seems to appreciate her very much. He loves to greet her in the morning with schmoozy baby talk. Boy, I'm glad we cut his hair after seeing this last picture. I got busy for a couple of ....months.


Here's our Isabelle Marie (Ellie). Well, we really call her Ellie Belly which ended up being a prophetic foreshadowing thing because her belly button is her security blanket. Instead of sucking her thumb for comfort, she plays with her belly button.

She is a pretty sensitive maternal little girly girl who can still hold her own in a wrestling or biting match. We hope that will continue and help in her efforts to stave off the boys.

She's a sassy little thing too.

She loved her first Halloween and totally got the concept of obtaining as much candy as possible. She cracks us up - we happen to think she's really smart. We're incredibly biased, but you can go ahead and think that she's brilliant too.

Right now we call her Destructo. Need I explain? She is into everything! She has learned how to throw a great tantrum, but she does know how to say "sorry" which helps. She said her first sentence the other week... "I wanna watch that." Her two favorite things are playing outside and watching movies. We try to do more of the first, but it's sure nice when I have to get stuff done to put in Einstein or Happy Feet.

Her claim to fame....dancing and singing. I swear, I'm not forcing it on her, but she loves to dance, tumble and sing. We have fun "get your groove on" afternoons.

But most of all, she is a sweet sweet girl. She gives kisses and "love you"s freely and she is a great gift from Heavenly Father that we feel unworthy of. She's taught us more than we've taught her in her 18 months on earth.