Archive for the 'holidays' Category

Pumpkin Guts

The kids were my super pumpkin gutters for Nora’s mini photo-shoot last week! We aren’t big on pumpkin carving…in fact, I don’t think we’ve actually carved a pumpkin since Maddie was in Preschool 5 years ago!

However, they knew the drill with the seeds and were determined to save every one for me to roast. I made them pumpkin flavored, but since I can’t eat parm right now (Nora’s diet), I’ll have to take their word for it that they were edible! Clara was asking for more the next day!






Tonight was crazy! I had a photoshoot (in the MUD!) until 5:30 and then raced home to do makeup and hair for a whole row of dolls before our 6:00 Trunk or Treat at church. Mike managed to get everyone dressed before I got home, but whew! It was a whirlwind!

Also, big shout out to Michael who is stuck in the area due to Hurricane Patricia’s rains and sat with our bucket of candy so that we could do the rounds with the kids! Uncles are the best and this uncle tortured the kids’ friends by pulling tricks on them with the candy bucket. 









Weekend Update

We just said goodbye to Minta,  Michael, and their girls after a very fun weekend together! It was so cute seeing Sarah jump into the pack of kids around here and they ADORED her. Also, Cash was practically glued to Michael’s leg! 😍 👈 that was literally his face.

We had a slow Friday. Minta and I needed a few groceries and so we took the four littlest girls with us. Clara and Sarah drove the car attached to the grocery cart together- they were happy as clams together! Minta and I both wore the babies-  which was also super cute!  we were showstoppers and all of the grandmothers at the store stopped to ask us about our wraps :-) or coo over the babies.


In the afternoon Minta and I did a barre 3 class that kicked both of our butts! It was fun to work out with a buddy for a change… And even more fun to hear minta’s labor techniques in place as she tried to breath through the work out pains!! The Michaels were so sweet to watch all of the kids so we could do that!
On Saturday morning we celebrated Clara’s  birthday by visiting the botanical gardens in downtown Dallas. They were hosting a fall harvest festival AND a monarch migration that day. The grounds are incredibly gorgeous! It’s similar in concept to the Bellevue botanical gardens but a lot less naturally landscaped and wooded. However they have the addition of a children’s garden that is HUGE!!  We scheduled three hours for the activity and spent three hours in the children’s exhibit alone (and barely skimmed the surface). The arboretum  uses the waters of White rock Lake to do a science portion – the kids shot water at different targets, making them spin, to learn about energy. We could hardly pull them away! Really, the whole garden was used as a science museum.
All of the kids were able to participate in tagging a monarch butterfly so that it can be tracked and it’s migration down to Mexico. Some held it, others placed the tag, others use their finger heat to seal the tag, and still others (cash) were taught how to determine its gender for tracking purposes ! They all had their faces painted :-)
 (yep, she is LICKING hummas from the container)
Afterwords my mom and Rick took us out for Mexican food… it was a very long day and the kids were exhausted by the time we got home!  However we only gave them an hour and a half break before pulling everybody out of bed to go swimming and have a picnic at our community pool. It was freeeezing and very short lived, but I think they still had fun!
When we were finished, we went home for ice cream cake and presents with Clara! She is the most loving , expressive,  and grateful  little girl! She kept saying “it for me? Oh! Thank you so much!” And. “I luf it!!”
Afterwords, we got the kids ready for bed and took Mia out with us for a night on the town. We hit up an adult arcade :-) and I’m happy to say that I beat Minta in basketball, almost to beat Mike in basketball, and scored more points than him (3 against myself!!!!) in air hockey! I think it’s safe to say that the hancock competitive nature is contagious :-) because i’m inordinately happy about that! It was a blast to have adult time with just Minta and Michael, and crack up over an insane amount of really bad jokes! The best kind!

(No pictures)

On Sunday morning I woke up to cash and Sarah making paper churches, and Lily making a 3-D paper church! Cash was trying his hardest to be patient while teaching Sarah  how to draw squares for the windows :-) I love his face in this picture… You can see his “I don’t know about that” look. She may have had her patience equally tested!

We did our best to feast on General conference while helping seven kids! I think  it took us three hours to get through the first hour and a half of conference… We broke for lunch and never made it back! My kids are looking forward to finishing that session for family home evening tonight.
On Sunday evening my brothers, sister, and stepmother came over for dinner. We celebrated Clara’s birthday one last time! The kids stayed up past their bedtime jumping on the trampoline in the dark and enjoying their last little bit of time with Sarah.
In between all of that busyness we had some special quiet moments as well. Introducing Nora and Mia. Snuggling up for cash to read to Sarah. Tons of jokes… Lots of Michael making fun of me… And plenty of yummy food (Read: I felt like I was cooking the entire day on Sunday)!
Ps. Please ignore any typos. I dictated this as a letter to my missionary in-laws while on a 2 1/4 mile walk this morning. It took me 45 minutes because I kept stopping to correct a typo. One of which was  “It was a blast to have adult time with just me and Michael…” Uh, yeah. It didn’t understand minta’s name!!!! AWKWARD!

Easter Egg Hunt with Cousins

Ok, so it was rainy and we held our egg hunt indoors. My pictures turned out too dark, but I do have some pretty happy ones of the kids attacking each other with castcarones (Mexican eggs filled with confetti). They LOVED this! Madilynn is allergic to eggs so she was my second shooter. I should really check out what she got! untitled-46












Easter Pictures

We sure know how to pick cold, windy days for family photos! It was like pulling teeth to convince Cash and Lily to not bolt for the car when we stepped into this field this morning! However, they pushed through and were troopers (especially Lily who has NO meat on her little bones! She’s very easily chilled)

Other than the craziness, it was the most perfect of Saturdays! We had a wonderful and FUN time together listening to LDS General Conference this morning…which was really a first for us! Not a first for listening, but a first in successfully listening! We used the Conference Cash method (dollar store toys and candies in Easter Eggs) and had buckets of goodies they could buy if they told us one thing they learned after each talk. Cash had some wiggles. Clara needed help with her sticker books. But Lily and Madilynn actually took notes and reported on some pretty profound ideas they discovered! I was very impressed! We didn’t punish lack of listening, which I think was hugely important for four year old Cash who cannot be coerced into ANYTHING. He did really want those new toys though, so he played along for several talks.

We also didn’t expect them to last through two 2-hour sessions each day, so they were off the hook after the morning session. Which they looooved because their Aunt, Uncles, and Theresa stopped by with an Easter Basket. We spent hours playing cards, t-ball and showing them new toys and after discovering waterguns in their basket it was an all out water fight in the backyard! These kids are so spoiled by their adoring aunts and uncles on both sides!

My chiropractor was shocked at the swelling in my feet at yesterday’s appointment and has told me to lay off and stay elevated. Also, my hips were 2 inches off! Yikes! Pregnancy after 30 is kicking my rear! Mike has been wonderful at reminding me to take it easy and after seeing my swelling this evening decided I needed a night off from dinner and dishes- so we went for pizza! We came home to peep jousting for dessert.

My heart is definitely full, and tomorrow is so full of possibility (and pretty exceptional plans!)!













Enjoy this Animated GIF to see just what a handful our crazy boy can be! I swear, I took 3-6 pictures of each of the girls and then there was this…He sure keeps us on our toes!


Easter Egg Decorating with Friends

We had a blast with a gathering of friends this afternoon! Several families came over for a wonderful night of decorating Easter Eggs and dinner. All in all we had 19 kids and I was blown away by what a wonderful group the were! Not a speck of drama could be found and they even disappeared outside while us adults enjoyed our cake and conversation! We’re so blessed to have found such fantastic friends here in Texas!

(Note: Keys to making an egg decorating party on this scale a success were using plastic eggs with markers, crayons, and chalk(found at wal-mart), instead of dying real eggs. Much less mess! Also, having stickers for the youngest artists. It was also wonderful that they had an ice breaker activity before dinner so that by the time the kids were finished eating they were ready to jump in and play with little reservations! Doesn’t hurt to start with wonderful, kind-hearted kids!)














Love those happy boys in the background!











American Girl




As you can tell, between our five families, we are very girl heavy! (photo by Janelle)

IMG_4007Love this girl, who spent half the afternoon in a baseball cap and backpack (photo by Janelle)



Portrait of a Christmas Day

  • Santa gifts and reading their letters when they woke. I love how the girls are looking forward to hearing what Santa has to say about their year!
  • Cinnamon rolls with MiMi and PaPa while we did a mini devotional about giving a gift to the Savior
  • Presents for all…and for hours
  • Lots of play with said presents!
  • Dinner at Great Uncle Mike and Holly’s with my mom’s side of the family.

And then we packed up and headed to Houston the next day! Crazy people!

Favorite Gifts in 2014

Maddie: Anything crafty (and it pretty much all was) but her favorite may be her DohVinci set…or the Marble run that Cash got!

Lily: Lego Friends…or maybe Clara’s Gymnic Hop

Cash: Skylanders Trap Team or switch and go dino

Clara: Her mooshka girls doll


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