Dec 30, 2009

Family Pictures....

Every year I say I am going to wait to take family pictures....just because for some reason I think I will amazingly lose 50 pounds.  But obviously, the kids keep getting older and I don't lose I gave in and had our friend Amy Griner take our pictures.  She did a great job!  Here is a little preview of some of our pictures.  Happy New Year!

Dec 19, 2009

Talent Alert!!!


We Jefferies (maiden name) have quite a talent. At least WE think it's a talent! :) We pick up things with our toes, we scrub floors with our feet, we pinch with our toes, we can pick something up and toss name it... I've even been known to write my name outside with sidewalk chalk with my toes. I remember as a little girl, that my mom would buy cards from a lady that painted pictures with her feet. I was determined to one day do that. Well, we shouldn't go so far as to say I can paint with my toes...and really, my name doesn't look pretty when write it outside with chalk, but still....we like to think that we are pretty cool being able to have feet that are kind of like....fingers? Ok, not like fingers, but I think you're getting the point!
So, this cute little nephew of mine, (Aaron) is pretty tricky with his little 10 month old toes. When he was at our house, he would stick them up under his high chair and now look...he's got them pulling down his car seat top. I bet we'll be famous someday! LOL just kidding.....
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Dec 16, 2009

Red Neck Christmas!


Okay...this is HILARIOUS! I HAD to post this! What's funny is that there are LOTS of hunters here in Arizona. That was one of the first things I noticed when I moved here! I wondered if we would "fit in" here! I've learned about waiting for your name to be drawn for a hunt... I had no idea. When Abbie was little and would go into Tawni's house, she would act scared and say, "that reindeer is staring at me!" Now, a couple of weeks ago, she came downstairs with a backpack on. It had a sleeping bag in it and she said, "mom, this is my backpack for when I go hunting!" I asked her what hunting was, just curious to see her answer. She said, "when you go and kill animals and hang them up on your wall!"
We'll still stick to our sports and stuff, but we have fun watching our friends and neighbors with all their equipment, 4wheelers, bows, guns, etc. Gotta love it....
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Winter Concert 2009

The kids really look forward to singing in their concerts in the winter and spring times. I can't believe they are getting so big. I was in 5th grade when I moved from Arizona to Utah and still remember how I felt. I can't believe that's Mason's age right now. They all did such a great job.
Of course Abbie was very animated through her concert. She loves to do all the hand signs...and of course would get a little bossy with her friends around her if they were "in her way" or not doing the right thing. She truly is a crack up! She's just very excited about life and likes to be "in charge!"
Eli is into wearing his sleeves up. Jackets or suits, doesn't matter, that seems to be his style. He did a great job at the concert too. There was a funny song about sneezing and their noses running and he just kept cracking up during the song. He's a joy to have in our family.
Mason got to play the drums for one of the songs. It's fun because they let different kids do solos or little groups during the songs. They really get exposed to many things at this school. I love it! Mason did a great job.
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Dec 13, 2009

Tamales for Christmas!!

Our neighbor RIta offered to come over and teach us to make tamales. What a nice neighbor, huh? Just one more reason to like living here....

The Husks...
The spicy meat inside. This is a pork roast...and then she added these pepper things and smashed them into the meat. Kinda spicey...just how they like it. ME? I'm a wimp...can't do it spicey so much. But it's still a good thing to learn...

The Masa...I think that's how they call it. It's the corn stuff. And she adds some of that spicey stuff into the masa too. My nose and eyes are starting to run just thinking about spicey.... am I spelling spicey right?
....Now they are ready to be steamed for 45 minutes.....
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Davey is a quick learner!
Rita is a good teacher!
Thank you Rita! We love you! I forgot to get a picture of us eating them...but they were delish! It was a crazy night...we were on our way to the kids' Christmas concert...something I'll blog about soon....:)
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Dec 10, 2009

Santa Came to our Park and Brought a LITTLE snow too!

As you can tell from my last post...I feel like I have too much going on...but this morning I am determined to get a little caught up. Last weekend, our Neighborhood had Santa come and he even brought a little snow! It was kind of funny, because at first, since we don't get snow here in Mesa, everyone was just excited about the snow. Poor Santa was just sitting in the chair waiting for kids to come and talk to him. The kids didn't seem to mind that there were just 2 hills worth of snow dumped, they got as creative as they could and got out their tubes and such and tried to enjoy it while it lasted!
Here's Abbie with her friends Elyza and Kiersten making snowballs and sliding down the hill with a tube!
Go Mason! How fun to snowboard down a 3 foot hill! Hey, at least they are having fun, right?
Eli, Schuyler and Mason making a snowman after most of the kids had left the park. It sorta doesn't look like snow anymore, huh?
We LOVE this neighborhood. Couldn't ask for better friends and neighbors to live by! They have really become like family to us!
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Of course it wouldn't be complete without putting in a picture or two of my favorite baby in Arizona, Henry. He knows I love him and so he wanted to hang out with me for a while. HOw cute is that?
So, most kids LOVE to visit Santa and want to make sure they tell him what they want for Christmas. Abbie on the other hand has ALWAYS been afraid of him! She just starts to shake! We have NEVER gotten her to even get close to Santa. She will keep a good 4 or 5 feet away and just stare at him. For some reason, this year we were able to coax her into going and sitting on his lap. Her facial expressions let you know she's still not so sure about it, but she did it! Now, you can see he is really YOUNG. Maybe the younger ones aren't as scary? I'm just glad we actually got her to overcome another fear....

Such a fun day! Merry Christmas! I love this picture of my kids. I feel so grateful to be their mom!
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Dec 8, 2009

The Influence of a Righteous Woman!

It is so easy to feel a little overwhelmed during this Christmas Season. I find myself feeling like I am spread so thin and have so much I want to accomplish and BE....I find myself comparing my weaknesses to others strengths. With that said, I know those feelings come from Satan. He really doesn't want us to progress or help anyone around us. So, tonight I went to to look for some guidance and peace and found this quote by Elder Dieter F. Utchdorf.

"As you live up to this mission, in whatever life circumstance you find
yourself—as a wife, as a mother, as a single mother, as a divorced woman, as a widowed or a single woman—the Lord our God will open up responsibilities and blessings far beyond your ability to imagine.

May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity. Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest. Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will see miracles happen in your life and the lives of your loved ones. The virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, because you are a living witness of the fulness of the gospel (see D&C 45:28). Wherever you have been planted on this beautiful but often troubled earth of ours, you can be the one to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5).

My dear sisters, as you live your daily life with all its blessings and challenges, let me assure you that the Lord loves you. He knows you. He listens to your prayers, and He answers those prayers, wherever on this world you may be. He wants you to succeed in this life and in eternity."

Dec 5, 2009

One Pooped Pup!!!

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Oh my lovely do I love thee???? Let me count the ways!!!
I always have great intentions of staying awake past my working time. I don't know about you, but once I sit down to "relax" I'm good as GONE! I was told by a family friend today that "relaxing is an art"...and that some people just don't know how to schedule in some time to RELAX. I think that was something I needed to hear! Maybe it's just me....I dunno. Anyway, as you can see from this picture...all of the decorative pillows are still behind me. David and I were watching something...I don't remember and apparently I totally sacked out! David thought it was funny and took a picture of me. I'm going to work harder at planning my day so I can be a little more "fun" when it's time to relax. How about you? Good luck! Old habits die hard. I can always think of something that needs to be done. Is it the woman in me? Or what?

Dec 1, 2009

Bring on the Bustos Thanksgiving!

I was really excited when Autumn agreed to come down with her family to Mesa for Thanksgiving! My favorite time of the year is October through December. Those months always seem to go by so quickly and I always feel like I have too much to do and not enough time to do it. SO, having company come makes me stop and enjoy some of the season instead of rushing through so much!
There is a family in the ward that hosts a "Cheshire Chase" each Thanksgiving. I think it's their alternative to the "Turkey Trot" that takes place here in Mesa every THanksgiving. The Turkey Trot costs money to run, and the Cheshire Chase doesn't! So, guess which one we picked? Btw, Cheshire is the name of the street that runs along side the park where the race begins. Pretty clever name for a run huh? (Thanks Matt and Melody!) So, there is a Fun Run which is ONE MILE and there is a 5k...which is like 3 miles I think.... We picked the fun run just to stay all together as a family....I with much shame will admit I haven't been running for a while, so the mile sounded like plenty to me!
Uncle Gus just got home from Iraq in September. The kids all look up to him with his BIG muscles! So, when he started to stretch out, all the kids started to follow him and kept asking "what's next?" He was a good sport about it all. Abbie was naming some of the stretches. The only one that comes to mind is "the butterfly"...which is where you sit down and sit with the soles of your feet together...I guess that looks like "A butterfly!"

Dallin Randall is quite a cook and has this smoker. He cooked our turkey for us this year. Isn't is a beauty? It looks professionally cooked! It's funny how much less stress I felt by just not having to cook the turkey! I cooked lots of other stuff!

Here are the starters to a great feast. We had a few neighbors over playing most of the morning. I thought I'd bring out the munchies to get everyone's appetite going!
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Mark and Liz Peterson came over for dessert in the evening. I"m so glad we have Mark and Liz in our lives! We moved here to Arizona without any family. They are our family here in ARizona! We have had so many fun memories together with them! They brought their fire pit and we had a "bond fire"...I know the real words are bonfire, but that's what we named ours. Maybe cuz we like to bond while watching the fire. :) It was so nice to just sit and visit and learn more about each other. Gus had so many funny stories to tell us about being a Marine in Iraq! Mercy, I don't think I could've handled any of that stuff! I'm just really glad that they came. I feel like I know Gus so much better and I'm really glad he's part of our family. I"m glad he's my brother. :)

Well, as you can see, I have a special place in my heart for Aaron Bustos. That little charmer is something else! I tell myself not to get too attached cuz he's not staying long, but somehow, that little cutie just warms my heart! He is the most gentle good natured, gorgeous little boy ever! I truly love him like my own!!! He was funny. He didn't want to take naps cuz he was too curious about what was going on around him! His poor little eyes were so red and blood shot! Finally, I just snuggled with him and put him to sleep and for the rest of the trip, I just kind of spoiled him! I couldn't help myself! Autumn sure is good at getting me without makeup! I held him so much more when I was dressed and ready for the day, apparently she thought it would be more fun to take pictures of us when we all first got up! She's just trying to humble me or something!

Gus was very excited about learning to play the drums. I guess he tried to learn in Iraq or something and didn't make much progress. Abbie went out there and helped him and he really caught on! Of course the master of the Drums, David got him going with some pretty cool beats. Gus practiced so much and started making up his own beats and really seemed to enjoy playing the drums. In fact, I was worried that he was bored out in the garage and wondered if we should go and do something. Autumn said he was perfectly content playing the drums! We have to tease him that he kept the neighbors from taking their naps because he was on the drums so much! He'll just have to come back for lesson number 2 to learn the next level of playing drums. He has the basics down for sure!
The kids had so much fun just hanging out. We had such nice weather during the week! Mesa really is the place to be at in the wintertime. Yes, it's hotter than Heck in the summer, but it is a lovely place to be in the winter! The kids rode bikes, scooters, rip sticks, 4 wheelers, and played basketball. It was cute because Lucas was having so much fun that he told his mom he wanted to stay for "29 more days!" The cute thing about that is they were only going to stay until Friday morning and then were going to go to Legoland. Lucky for us, they were having so much fun, they decided to stay until Saturday and headed back to Utah. We wish they could stay a week, but an extra day was good too!
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Autumn and I woke up Friday morning, and then decided to go fight the crowds on the dreaded Black Friday. We got to the stores, and found everything we wanted gone...and the lines wrapped around the stores, and NO parking came back home. To our surprise, David had some of the Christmas stuff up. The kids were so excited that they got the ladder out and started to decorate the tree themselves. It is really cute, because all the decorations are on one quarter of the tree. Each bough has 4 or 5 ornaments on them! They were doing a great job taking turns going up and down the ladder to hang their decoration on the tree. Oh to be a kid again. Everything is so simple and fun. I told the kids this year they wouldn't be getting much, and so they looked on the dollar tree ad for what they wanted. How cute is that? I told them they could venture out to the Target or Walmart ads, but to keep it to 3 things a piece. They were totally fine about that.
As you can tell, I think anything and everything about Aaron is cute. This trip, something I noticed was how much he did things with his feet! How cute is that big toe hanging on the the end of the highchair? Or crossing his chubby little feet underneath?
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David was overcome by Aaron's spell too! What a little love bug! Can't get enough of him. David was kissing him so much that Aaron just fell asleep. Then, David didn't want to put him down, so he sat down on the rocking chair by the Christmas tree and took a little nap with him! That was the morning the Bustos left. We were trying to get every drop of time out of their visit! When they finally pulled out to leave, I looked into the car and saw Aaron's little brown eyes and I started to cry! What a blubbering aunt I was! I must have hormones raging or something! I don't usually go so gaga over a baby! Aut, you have a keeper! I love you so much and I'm glad we're sisters...and I'm glad you and your family came to spend Thanksgiving with us! It will be one our family will never forget!