Monday, December 7, 2009

a Hint of Winter

It's true, I may not be very artistic with my blogging, but I'm not going to let that stop me. I bought Maren a really nice digital SLR (that is short for "too expensive") camera about a year ago, so here I am posting a bunch of pictures taken with my cell phone camera. Makes sense, eh? I guess the problem is I am usually not at home on our desktop computer when I have a chance to blog. Someday you may get to experience the nice pictures our camera takes.
I am also braving new frontiers as I have decided to stretch my blogging skills and add a few bolded, highlighted, and enlarged words. It's something I've seen on my siblings' blogs. It's only an experiment for now, so we'll see what type of feedback I receive. Who knows? Maybe I will someday even do Italicized! The sky is the limit, or as a russian orthopedic surgeon recently told me, with heavy accent, "the sky is the ceiling, doctor."
The first picture is Lainie playing "Oh come all ye faithful" at the Pullins Christmas Party. It was part of the yearly "Progrum". It's a pretty big deal. She did a great job, especially since it took her about a week to learn it. Following that picture are a few pictures of the kids on a Horse-driven wagon ride through downtown Fenton. It was the annual "Jingle Fest", so we did that while Maren went to do some shopping. There was a Santa Claus in one of the tents they had set up, taking pictures with peoples animals and children. We were in a hurry to get the girls back for a date with Maren to go watch a Nutcracker ballet, so we couldn't stop, but I caught Lainie sizing him up. I have to say, his beard was looking as natural as a fur coat on a PETA ad, and he looked like he had just taken three ambiens; not exactly a jolly saint Nicholas, but definitely an OLD one.

Well, on the way home my (extremely intelligent and thoughtful) 6 year old said, "Dad, I know that Santa only comes on Christmas Eve when we are asleep, but that sometimes people dress up like him".

"oh? Why do you say that, Lainie?" I replied.

"Well, it's just something I've been thinking about everyday", she said.

I had to think fast, as we all often do, "I think it is really hard for Santa to be everywhere at once, so Santa has helper's who can tell him what you want for Christmas. But, sometimes the real Santa does come out and visit. Like, remember last year when we went to the mall and saw Santa, and he let you pull on his beard, and told you he loved you, and knew your names, and gave you hugs?"

"Yeah, I remember him."

"Well, that was the REAL Santa Claus."

I saw a HUMONGOUS smile from the rearview mirror as she said, "OH YEAH, he WAS the real Santa! Can we go and see him again??!"

Crisis averted. Thank you to all the Santas who make it easier for us to keep the magic alive.

This is my little buddy. I'm pretty grateful for him. We like to just hang out and do guy stuff while the girls are at ballets. Stuff like, watch "The Incredibles", build train tracks, and throw him through the air onto our soft bed.

Last Sunday, after arriving home from church, I fell asleep on our bed. I started out pretending to be asleep, playing with the girls, and it turned into the real thing. I rarely take Sunday naps, but this one must have been needed, and it felt really good. When I awoke, I found myself in a pile of stuffed animals and covered in the girls special blankets. They take good care of their dad and I just really love 'em. (photo courtesy of Maren :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

We were so "Thankful" to have some great friends as guests for our Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone contributed to the feast, including the missionaries who brought a pie (impressive). When we went to take pictures I didn't realize the camera was set to take multiple pictures, so we were surprised, and then we all let the creative juices (faces) flow. Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thought I'd blog some random pics. the first took place about a month ago. Brinley came to Maren and informed her that she had just but a bead in her ear. I was moonlighting, so they met me and I tried to play the hero. Unfortunately, it was deep in there, and I couldn't get it with my limited selection of tools on hand. We took her to the ER and one of our ENT friends got it out with a small suction device. She was so courageous through it all.

The next picture is Alaina's school picture this year. I have to say I have some beautiful little girls!

Isaac has begun to show interest in hats. This one I picked up for him in the airport after going to an orthopedic conference. Doesn't he look kinda like the Sundance kid??

The last picture is one I posted on Facebook. Brinley spent a whole evening making card after card for me. This one she was so proud of, and knew I would "love it". It had footballs on the front, and on the inside, a picture of me as a little boy, with "lots of wax in my ears". Apparently that's what little boys have.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween Pictures of our sweets!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More summer faces and feet...

Now that I am a chief resident I get more hours at our moonlighting gig. It's really nice to make the extra money, but it also takes more time from being with the family. Luckily, I married a sweet girl who is willing to grab the kids and come and visit me. These pictures are from a recent visit to see dad at the MRI center on a Saturday. We watch movies, eat and go for nature hikes on the property. Lainie can put together some of her "collections" of birds' eggs, pine cones, flowers and acorns. Brinley can try to eat little inedible berries and touch every plant while asking, "is this poison ivy, daddy?" And Isaac can chase bugs to his heart's content.

I took Alaina and Brinley golfing with me yesterday. They were so cute as they would cheer for me after every stroke (whether or not I was happy about my play). They love golf, because it means a gatorade and a bag of skittles, not to mention a ride in the golf cart. I found this picture (below) of Lainie's feet, plus several more random ones. I guess she had my phone out at some point. I didn't realize she knew how to take pictures with it. She's growing up too fast, just look at how long those legs are :).

Oh, and I also included some of the noteworthy pics of me this summer. That's a 6.5 mm screw if anyone is wondering. I'm still taking it slow, wearing my cast boot most of the time (especially while standing all day in surgery). It looks like it is healing well, so (fingers crossed) hopefully I'm about done babying that stinking foot.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's crazy how fast summer is flying by.  It seems like yesterday that we were at the lake making smores with friends, when in actuality it was about 2 months ago.  We have been enjoying ourselves with travels to visit family in Idaho and Utah, picking blueberries/raspberries at spicer orchard, going to outdoor concerts, celebrating birthdays, playing in the sand, wading in the pool, fishing, riding boats and....oh, we LOVE summer!  Lainie just celebrated her 6th birthday, Brinley her 4th, and Isaac....well, we are celebrating because he just turned 18 months.  Hello nursery!!!  We wish we could hold time still just a little, so that summer would last just a little longer, and our kids would stay little a little longer.  -M  

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Smores+wet, muddy lake+campfire+my family = joy

Thought I'd add a post after a long drought here. Guess it's been busy around here. These pictures were taken during an evening picnic to a small lake that sits hidden down a hill behind our church. You have to drive across the ball field, down a steep hill, and through hoards of easily offended canadian geese to arrive at a nice little grassy area with access to the lake. We were alone until a small group showed up in their canoe and caught some amazingly large delicious bass. One was 27 inches long--the biggest bass I've seen caught in person. Isaac and I actually hooked into a lunker ourselves. It was one of the biggest perch I've seen--probably in the 7 inch range. (Maren took pictures but you couldn't really see the fish...due to its size and all) That got Isaac going, though, he just wanted me to keep casting so he could turn the reel handle. It was fun to cruise the lake with him. Maren took out the girls but I got busy building a campfire with my little bud and forgot to take pictures. (I did get a mental picture, and they were really cute) The pictures below were taken with Maren's new camera. I'm not sure why the girls are attempting to inflate the frisbee with our kayak pump. I also don't know if they were successful. I haven't seen that frisbee since, so maybe they overinflated it and it popped. Isaac loved sitting in the camping chairs, and watching the fire (until it blew smoke in his eyes). We cooked hot dogs and smores over the fire. I am really not sure why they don't tell parents from the start to never consider smores over a campfire. Isaac's hair ended up eating more than his mouth. I love the QUALITY hours like these. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Some of you might know that I lived in Michigan before we came her for rotations in 2004.  My dad did his residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit around 1978 through 1982 (I think).  I, of course, came along with he and my mom then two of my siblings were born there.  When my mom came out to visit a few weeks ago she took us to the Detroit Zoo where she would take us as kids.  It was fun to have her tell me what used to be there and what was different.  This is a display showing significant events at the zoo when we lived there.  What a fun little walk down memory lane...although I didn't remember too much of it, it was fun to hear about things I did as a kid and to share that with my kids.

We love the Detroit Zoo!!!

 This goose really wanted to have a bite of the kids snacks.  
He got so close and followed us around for a little bit.  The girls kept 
calling it their buddy. 

We had so much fun with my mom here.  It was a difficult month in Dan's program.  He was home VERY little those two weeks, so it was a blessing to have such wonderful company.  We shopped, relaxed, sang together (mom and I sang a duet in sacrament meeting), baked, felted, crocheted, danced, talked, went to the childrens museum and giggled alot.  
Thanks for coming to visit Mom.  Thanks for sending her, Dad.  
When family comes the time flies by too quickly!!!

Just to add a quick note to Maren's post, she and her mom sang like angels together. It was so beautiful. They sang "Lead Kindly Light", one of my favorites stemming from mission experiences. Oh, and one woman in our ward asked Alaina if she was excited to hear her "aunt" sing with her mommy. Lainie said "huh?" She repeated, "are you happy that your mommy's sister is here visiting you." 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Carolina on my mind

We were so fortunate to be able to make the short (10 hrs) drive down to North Carolina for Easter weekend. The girls were great cheerleaders (w/ coaching from Uncle Craig below) for Grandma Hiatt as she recovers from a partial hip replacement for a hip fracture. We were so impressed and grateful that she was doing so well with her therapy and showing resolve and energy in recovering. It worked out so perfect because Grandma Higbee (my mom) was there at the same time to stay with and coach Grandma in her recovery. We loved seeing them both!!

Uncle Kenny and Aunt Kathleen were kind enough to allow us to stay with them on short notice and were excellent hosts. We got a kick out of watching our girls play with the toys left over from 6 boys. Hey, I would play w/ barbie dolls, too, if they always drove in an orange camoflauged Hum-Vee decked out with multiple turret guns and missiles. The girls and Isaac loved their huge american bulldog, Cowboy. Despite what they said, I swear he is not a purebreed, there is a little horse in there somewhere.

We also were able to eat barbeque and hush puppies with Gma Higbee. We left Isaac napping at Gma Hiatt's house w/ Aunt Kathleen. When we returned we found Isaac walking across the room w/ a football in his hand and Craig and his family cheering him on. Apparently we need to leave him with family more often.

Below are also pics of the rabbit cake that Uncle Craig and family brought, an Easter egg hunt, playing with cousin Anna, and enjoying time with those we love but don't see often enough. We are grateful for all who fit us into their schedules w/ very little notice. We love you all!