December 31, 2014

The Big Move!

I kind of fell off the face of the blogosphere after posting about our trip to Escalante. There is a reason for that. Let me summarize these last two months for y'all...
Near the end of October Brent got accepted to PA school! When he interviewed in beautiful Western Tennessee last August, Brent just loved it!  Since school starts the first week of January, we had two months to pack up our family and move across the country! Needless to say, I have been very busy! We have been on top of the world as we feel SOOOO grateful for this opportunity. It really has been SUCH an answer to our prayers. Something we've been working so hard for, for so long.
I didn't take a ton of pictures of our kids during the last two months but we have some fun ones to share... 
So starting clear back in October....

We went up to Buckland Flats (above the "B" in Bountiful Canyon) and Heidi and John were nice enough to come along and help us take our own family pictures.
This one is my favorite...

 And this one is my second favorite. Sanna just kills me in it.  I laugh every time I see her face.

Griz was taking a bath and next thing we know we've got a fully clothed baby in the bathtub too!

Our crazy Sanna girl.

Griz wanted to draw his costume (Spiderman) and holy cow it looks amazing!!!! He's never drawn spiderman before and he just did it amazingly well!

Halloween day finally came and about an hour before we were to go trick or treating, Griz changed his mind again and he also decided he wanted to be Harry Potter.  So we had two Harry Potters but only one pair of glasses. So they took turns with the glasses while we trick or treated...

And Sanna was a cute little bumble bee.  Those are the shoes I bought for our family pictures but she wouldn't keep them on so they weren't in any of the pictures. They worked really good for trick or treating with these tights on!

November was a pretty busy month but it was for a really good reason... Heidi and John got married!!! It was a BEAUTIFUL November day! We took the pictures this time and it worked out fairly well!
 Sanna wasn't the happiest of campers.... pretty much the whole day.  In her defense she felt really sick.

Heidi and John look great together and they make such a great pair.  We're so happy for them and so glad to have John joining the family!
 Sanna was feeling even worse by the reception and it was a whirlwind getting everything ready before it started but everyone looks good and Brent's photography was Amazing!!! He knocked their reception out of the ballpark with his photos. 

 These kiddos didn't make it into very many pictures. They were either too busy playing or hanging out in the extra room watching a movie. I love their cute golden bow ties.

 Sanna's purple dress was so pretty... and then she threw up on it a little bit.  Luckily it only got on her cuz I didn't have anything extra to wear like she did!
 Is it just me, or does this photographer seem to have a thing for me? ;)

Cleaning up  a photo shoot and Sanna was showing off her physical fitness skills...

 Like most toddlers, Sanna wasn't too thrilled about meeting Santa.

Brent captured these beautiful pictures of our crazy/messy kids out in our yard... the last pictures we will ever take of our kids in that yard...
 (it was unseasonably warm outside this December by the way)

On December 13th we spent the whole day packing up our entire apartment (thank you all of you who helped). On December 14th (a Sunday) we went to church and said our goodbyes and visited as many people as we could that day (sorry if we missed you, we didn't get to say goodbye to everyone we wanted to).  On December 15th at 7:00 am we picked up the truck and filled it up (thank you all of you who helped again!!!).  And at 2:00 pm we pulled away from our home that we've had for almost 8 years. Brent's mom took this picture of us driving away down the hill (we were side by side because we were asking each other a question).
We drove all day. That evening was a scare because the road got icy just before Laramie, Wyoming but thankfully we were able to stop in Laramie.  The next morning as we drove past Cheyenne, we saw twenty semi trucks overturned so we were glad we stopped were we did. 
We then set out again the next morning and drove ALL day until we got to Mound City Missouri.  
We got an early start the next morning and arrived to our new home in Tennesse at about 4:45 pm. We were pleased with the temperature as we unloaded the truck.  Thankfully, some teenage boys asked if we needed any help.  We got it mostly unloaded and our beds set up in time to go to bed.  What a tiring day!
We were SO tired the next day that there is no way we could have been driving that day as well.  I'm so grateful we were able to take the fastest route instead of having to go the southern route which is 7 hours longer. With the exception of Monday night, the weather was perfect along the entire route. 

 The boys begged us to set up the christmas tree the first day we were here. So with a mess of boxes surrounding us we set up the tree!

Sunday was the first really sunny day that we had here and the first day we found the eifel tower replica they have.

One week after arriving was...
Christmas morning.  It took a lot of work but Brent was able to get all of these lego sets put together while they were asleep.  He lost a lot of sleep but the kids were so surprised and loved them!

Christmas day was just so beautiful...

But the most beautiful part of it was being together on our new adventure!

December 28, 2014

Kind and Loving Savior (2014 oil on canvas 16x20)

Now that things are a little more settled down after moving about 1500 miles from Utah to Tennessee I can finally sit down and take a minute to write a little about my painting of our kind and loving Savior. I started painting the Savior when I was suffering from some post partum depression. It became a wonderful blessing in my life to paint again. I wasn't painting it so I could sell it. I just wanted to paint it for myself. 

As I finished it, a few people had expressed interest in a print so I posted it on Facebook and was very surprised by the response I received. I had no idea that more than just a handful of people would even like it let alone want to buy a print. Because my painting has become more widespread in its reach than I anticipated I thought I should share why I painted this image. There are some bible videos put out in the last few years by the LDS church that are great. They have some awesome still images of the Savior from the scenes as well. One in particular I felt captured the love in his eyes but as an artist and a photographer I felt there was something to be gained by painting it. So using the picture of the actor from the Bible Videos as my reference and with permission from the image copyright department of the church I painted this portrait. 
Now that I'm gone from Utah (where most of my friends live) my mom is distributing the prints for me from her home. So yes, prints are still available for purchase if you're interested. It can also be shipped if you don't live in Utah or Tennessee. If you want to purchase it through Etsy, click here.

I hope that by having this painting in people's homes it will remind them of his love and remind us why he came to save us all.

October 24, 2014

Peek-a-boo and Spooky Slot Canyons

Beautiful Fall Weather + Time off of work = Camping time!!!! We had trouble deciding where to go but finally settled on Escalante's awesome slot canyons, Peek-a-boo and Spooky. We were so excited to finally get back to these slot canyons after almost 5 years! This time with our awesome rock climbin boys!  It was not as easy as we remembered/anticipated. But with my amazing husband with super human strength he got us all through it!
Enjoy the many beautiful views of the slot canyons that we did our best to capture while hiking through them with three small children...

And these are the last pics you see of Griz because he kept getting ahead of us and scaring his poor parents half to death.

 At one point Brent had to lower all the kids down to me over a 12 foot ledge.  It was pretty comical/scary/painful when Brent lowered Chico (the 6 year old) down to me. He was kinda freaking out and he somehow managed to wrap his legs and arms around my head like a drowning person except of course we weren't in water and I thought I was going to break in half from his weight all concentrated right there in that one spot while I was on tiptoe trying not to fall over in a rocky cavern!  Sanna was the last one to be lowered down in her pack and she didn't get hurt, there was no problems with it but that's when she lost it and wouldn't stop crying for the next half hour until we were done.  She didn't like the enclosed space, AT ALL and she was probably confused what in the heck we were doing here in the first place!!!  Well, even though she didn't like it, the rest of us sure did!

Can you see Sanna squished in there by my legs in the pic below?

Once we were out of the slot canyons the boys were "rock climbing" aka scurrying up steep rock ledges as high as they could go.

We met some really nice people and were chatting with them outside of the canyon. Firstly apologizing for Sanna's crying throughout nearly the whole second canyon.  We all helped each other take pictures with our own camera's and now we have a fun family picture of us on vacation! I'm so grateful!

Back at camp:
(First day)
We like dispersed camping so it was really fun to be in the desert.  We sent the boys out to gather cow pies so we could have a fire that night.  They were so funny about gathering them, they had no problems with it. They knew it was dried poop but that didn't seem to bother them at all.

Day 2 (after our hikes at the slot canyons)

Day 3 at camp...
I had been up with Sanna quite a bit throughout the night and she was not going back to bed around 6:00 in the morning so I asked Brent if he could take a turn with her.  He was my total hero and took her out of the tent so I could get some sleep.  While he was out there with her he saw the beautiful sunrise and took some gorgeous pictures...

I finally joined them a little later and took a pic of my handsome hero hubby holding our handful.

Yeah, Chico, shake that booty.

Sanna finds ways to entertain herself and she climbed into the car and started drawing.  It's so weird that she already draws, I didn't know 14 month olds could even hold a pencil like that.

Chico was a huge helper in packing up to leave. He's getting so grown up.

On the drive home we saw a beautiful looking hike right off the side of the highway outside of Bryce Canyon.  It's part of the park but it's in a part that's free. It was the perfect length for us that day with beautiful scenery along the way and a waterfall at the end.

We're all smiling at the camera!

LOVE these pictures.  I might just have to frame them.

After I took this pic of Chico, he took one of me:

I was praising about Chico's awesome picture taking skills so of course Griz wanted a turn and he took these next two (and a whole bunch of others that are of the ground and this and that)

Gotta love our Grizzly Bear

I never knew how beautiful Southern Utah was in the fall.  I loved every minute of this trip!