Friday, December 31, 2010

Save a the Last Dance for Me

Mikayla went to her first dance tonight. OMGosh.

She turned 14 in October, but just missed the dance by a week. Then there was no dance in November, and they moved December's dance to New Year's Eve.

Where did the time go?

Why am I asking that question so much lately?

Mikayla got ready for the dance at someone else's house, but was nice enough to stop by so I could take a couple of photos. Of course we totally embarrassed her...not on purpose mind you...just by being her parents.

I may not survive the teenage years...but for now, I will try and enjoy all these new experiences we are having.

I think she looks beautiful. I hope she has a wonderful time!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sweet Baby Boy

Jacob Troy Beatty
December 29, 2000

Where did the last ten years go?

It seems like just yesterday.
We miss him still.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merrry, Merry

It was a great day.


Spending time with the kids. Talking with our families.

We even got to skype with grandma's and grandpa's and aunts and uncles today.

Being so far away from family seemed a little less far when we actually got to seem them today ... even if it was only by webcam.

It was such a good Christmas. I think, in part, because we were done so early and got to focus on something other than the presents.

Although the presents were pretty fun.

But, I really enjoyed watching everyone enjoy themselves. It really was magical. And I know I say this more and more, but I really enjoyed seeing Christmas through Katie's eyes. I know we won't have many more of these "young" Christmas experiences, so I really am trying to savor them.

I also wanted to say how grateful I am for all of our family and friends who really bless our lives. This is such a good time of year to reach out and let you know how much we love you and miss you.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.

Here's a little peek at ours:

 eek. It's Cookie Monster. Oh wait. Just Becky!

Josh got a skateboard. We are preparing ourselves for the inevitable ER visit. Cross your fingers.

Joe really wanted roller blades.

Emma got the coveted rip stick. I was so glad that the kids wanted outdoor things this year...of course, it's snowing right now, so it may be a while before they actually get to use them!

And of course, our teenager didn't want any gifts at all except for the all important iTouch. We had a lot of fun pretending that she wasn't actually getting this for Christmas.

And sweet Katie just wanted a doll. She got Sleeping Beauty and we found these matching Katie and her doll could wear the same outfit.


Isn't it darling?

One of the cousins sent finger paint, so Troy was a good sport and painted with the girls.

What a sweet dad!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

No Fat Guys Allowed

Just waiting for Santa to come...but don't tell Katie.

She is FREAKED out. Santa came by the house today on a firetruck with sirens blasting.

She was not a fan.

She also no longer wants him to come back.

So, I'm not sure who is bringing the presents tonight, but it better not be a fat guy in a red suit.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lessons Learned

Last night's family home evening lesson was on service -- particularly on service in the home.

As a parent you are hyper aware that pretty much all you do all day long is serve others. And usually it is without the hope of a thank you or even any small amount of appreciation. isn't for the kudos or the amazing perks that you sign up to be a parent. : )

I know, that for me, it's because I love my children so much and I want nothing more than for them to be happy.

But...not only do I need to love them, they need to love each other. And therein lies the more difficult task.

So, as we talked about service in the home, and being kind and loving to each just wonder if it isn't all falling on deaf ears. Because really, aren't we all our worst selves at home, and our best selves other places?

In reality, I think the kids do a good job of getting along. Certainly a much better job than my brother and I did at that same age.

But, even without actual fighting, they can go through life without ever noticing each other, or really giving any thought to the love that they should share.

So, it was with great appreciation that I went into the girls room to find Becky helping Katie get dressed and being very patient as she tried to get her pants buttoned up. Or when Josh asked if he could put away some of his sister's clothing because we are doing a sibling secret santa this year. Or when the older children remind the younger children that we need to have a family prayer in the morning.

In the end, it turns out, they really do love each other -- they just don't show it very well.

There's another lesson in that, i'm sure.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Six Down...

Oh my. Sweet Becky is six years old. And she sure was excited about it.

What can I say about this girl?

She is pure sunshine. Happiness and joy wherever she goes.

She's smart. She's funny. And such a good little girl.

I'm so glad she's mine.

Happy 6th Birthday baby girl.

Last Time Around

Holidays make me sentimental. And as Katie grows...pretty much everything she does feels the same...the last time I will have this experience as a mom.

Katie participated in the preschool Christmas Program. Now, odds are, she will do another one next year, but this year she was a bell...just like Becky was when she was in the program. And next year she will be something else...and just one more Christmas until she starts kindergarten.

Where is the time going?

Katie did great today. No crying and she even sang!

 Afterward we made gingerbread houses.


And, can I just say...I did not realize that I had a second OCD child on my hands...until Katie felt the need to line everything up, by shape and color...and then also made sure that all the "m"s on the m&m's were showing. eek.

She also made sure to lick each piece of candy before putting in onto her house. Smart girl.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let It Snow. Let It Snow. Let It Snow.

We had our first snow today. It wasn't much -- just enough to mess everything up.

Gotta love Virginia.

But, the kids thought it was great nonetheless.

It takes just about as long to get them ready as they want to stay outside.

And of course..this soon as I got her complete dressed and was ready to send her out the door...she says, "Mom. I gotta poop." Ack.

 And...sweet Becky got a new haircut. Isn't she adorable? 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

8th Grade - Who Knew?

I had the chance to go on the 8th grade field trip.

I have to say it was the best field trip I have been on this year (and believe me...I have been on all of them -- some of them twice. lol!)

We went to Montpelier, the home of James Madison, then to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, and made a short visit to the University of Virginia.

It was lovely. I have to say I just love seeing history come alive and these were particularly inspiring sites.

It was impressive how much both Madison and Jefferson loved to read. There were extremely well educated and well versed in a number of topics. 

Thomas Jefferson's home was fascinating. He was quite inventive and interested in everything from farming to science to architecture. The additions to his home after returning from France were wonderful, including sky lights, hidden stairwells and alcove beds.

U VA was a lovely campus. We were only able to spend about a half hour there...everything else had run I definitely want to go back and explore.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Musings

I really enjoyed church today.

My class was super good. I love these children so much and I feel so lucky to be their teacher.

We learned about Jonah and the Whale. It was so awesome to see the scriptures comes alive and feel so real.

LOVE that!

The best part of the lesson had to be when one of the girls asked, "How did Jonah get out of the whale?:

Haha. It's gross. That's what makes it so cool.

(And really, that wasn't actually the best part of the lesson, just the funniest.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

O, The Irony

After my gratitude filled post yesterday on how good it is to have trials and how much opposition helps us appreciate all the sweetness in life almost did me in today.

Isn't it strange how the biggest trials make us rise to the occasion, but the smallest part of our everyday existence can make it all come crashing down?

Not that anything really bad happened today.

Not that there was anything more than the usual laundry, dishes, sibling bickering or three year old whininess.

Not that I had any good reason for being a grouch today.

I just was.

But even just writing it down helped.

And I don't think it hurt at all that the little ones are all in bed now.

Ah. Motherhood. Gotta love it. : )

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Opposition

I have been thinking about trials.

We all have them.

Some of them are big. And some of them are small.

And for each of us, a trial means something different.

Today, I am thinking about my trials. And compared to many, mine are actually pretty small.

But, no matter how big them seem, I know that I am not alone.

And I know that as long as I continue to have trials, I will continue to make progress in improving who I am.

And the more I improve, the more I become the person I always wanted to be.

So today...I am grateful for the opposition in all things.

I am grateful that I broke my ankle because it reminds me how lucky I am to walk.

I am grateful for illness because it reminds me how lucky we are to be healthy.

I am grateful for chipped dishes and possessions little hands have broken because they help me remember that the things that matter most are not things.

I am grateful for loss and grief because it reminds me to hold those who are still here a little closer.

I am grateful for my Savior, because in dying, He brings me life.

I am especially grateful for my family and my friends because you make the ride worth taking.

Lest you think there is anything wrong -- there isn't. Just feeling grateful for all I have today, and all the lessons and I learned in getting to this point.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Santa came early.

And I could just kiss him.

If you have had dinner at the Beatty house hold, odds are you ate on white dishes.

I know. I'm obsessed.

But really...white dishes are easy to match. You never have to worry about buying sets of dishes...cause they just all go together.

I can buy platters, pitches, cake stands, etc. And when they are worries.

Of course, with all the white dishes...I have had to stash them in the basement, under the island, and in the garage. They have longed for a home...and I have longed for them to have that home!

But ... I just could not bring myself to pay the outrageous amount of money a china cabinet would cost.

So I have looked, and wished, and looked some more, and really just resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen.

And then I paid a little visit to this lovely shop ...and I found it. It was a tiny fraction of anything I have ever seen and it was just perfect. Not too big. Not too small. Room enough for my dishes and room enough to grow.

 And I am so excited. And don't my dishes look happy too ?

Thanks Santa.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fear Itself

Are you afraid of anything?

My list of fears is long and varied.

I have tried hard to overcome many of my fears...but there are many left to conqure.

So now I have a new fear to add -- the stick shift.

Troy got a new car -- which we are all very happy about.

But, unfortunately for me, it's, yes you guessed it, a stick shift.

Getting into that car was beyond nerve wracking.

Driving around town was an exercise in paranoia.

Would I stall out? Oh my word, of course I did.

Would I ruin the engine? Gosh, I hope not.

Would smoke come from under the car as I mangled whatever was under the hood? Um...a little, I think.

So, after running just one of my errands...I drove myself home and decided not the drive the car anymore.

That is until I had to drive to Barnes & Noble night with Josh and Becky.


I think heaven was on my side as I drove there and back -- not too many red light, not too many hills, even a good parking space without anyone around.

Of course, all the cars passing me by on the road, and the need to go nice and slow might have made everyone else crazy -- but it got me home.

And as I parked the car -- a few times over -- I vowed never to do that again.

Troy says I need to face my fears. But, I think that this is one fear that can stay on the list.

Maybe tomorrow I can work on spiders.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Trimming the Tree

We've had the tree up for a while...but we finally were all home at the same time to get the ornaments on the tree.


We've got the presents wrapped, and under the tree. Of course it's driving the kids crazy...the presents are numbered and the kids don't get to find out what their number is until Christmas morning.


And I've got my cards addressed and ready to go...just need stamps. A lot of stamps.

I am so excited to be done with this part of Christmas.

I hope that we will be able to focus on enjoying the season, serving others and remembering the Savior.

Are you doing anything special to enjoy the season? How do you get your kids to focus on something other than the presents under the tree?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Musings

Today was a good day.

Troy was very sick and could not attend church with us, but everything else about this day was good.

It was so wonderful to go to church and be uplifted and edified by those around me.

I heard things I needed to hear and feel very blessed.

One of the comments made at church today was the awareness of where our blessings come from and how that in and of itself is a blessing. (Thanks Stephany!)

This is so true for me lately.

I have felt the hand of God in my life and I know that He is with me. Even in my trials. In all my hard days, and in all my good ones too.

It's amazing how much easier everything is to deal with when you know that you are not alone.

I am not alone.

You are not alone.

How much more would we appreciate what we have when we are acutely aware of where the blessings are coming from?

How much more would we appreciate even our trials when we are aware that our Father in Heaven knows us and has crafted each experience for our good?

I am especially glad that I am feeling this way during this crazy busy season.

It's so easy to get caught up in the commercialism of this Christmas season, but right now...I am feeling very aware that this season exists to celebrate the birth of my Savior.

For that I am ever grateful.
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