Thursday, December 13, 2007

Keeping it simple

From the time we had our first child we decided that we would try our very best not to spoil them. We'll leave that up to grandparents. So this year our oldest, Ethan, is really starting to understand what Christmas is all about. He knows presents are a big part of it, so I am constantly reminding him that the real meaning of Christmas is to celebrate Christ's birth and to serve others. Not that I don't remember what it's like to be little, waiting in eager anticipation for Christmas morning. I know it's exciting. But looking back it's not the presents I remember, it's the time I spent with my family and the special family traditions we had. So we have decided to keep it simple this Christmas and give just 3 presents to each of our children, we tell them that Jesus received three presents from the three wise men. Ethan thinks that great! I love the innocence that little one's have. I have friends that are doing this with their families as well. We hope to keep this tradition and start new traditions of service rather than opening tons of presents. My kids are little, so it's hard to take them to the to the food bank or homeless shelter just yet. Instead we're making treats to take to neighbors and friends. And we'll spend Christmas Eve carrying out a tradition that I had as a child, visiting people that have no family on Christmas Eve and maybe attending a church service. I know that may sound weird because we're LDS and our church doesn't have a Christmas service on Christmas Eve. Because I was raised Catholic, it just doesn't feel like Christmas without attending a beautiful Christmas mass or service. I know it will be next to impossible to find one in Provo, UT, so we'll probably venture to SLC. Ryan's family usually goes skiing on Christmas Eve. Because our kids are so little that's probably not going to be practical. And I just want to keep it simple this Christmas. Not only is it less stressful, it's economical too! Oh yeah, and we're not giving our kids super expensive gifts to make up for the small number (although Ethan and Lily are getting a Power Wheels Ford truck from Grandma and Grandpa, a very generous gift.)

I would love to know what others think about the simple gift giving. Would you do the same with your kids?

By the way, I'm listening to Delila on the radio and wonderful Christmas music as I'm writing this :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I "thunk" today

As a mother, I savor the quiet moments when I can sit down and make a phone call in peace, mark some items off my "to do" list, ponder a problem I might be having, or just plain enjoy the peace of the moment. Today was combination of all four. Both my little one's took a nap today at the same time. A rare moment (because Ethan rarely takes naps anymore), but one that I encouraged because I could tell he really needed it. After getting my house work done I decided to plan my lesson for Sunday. As I did this I came across this article from a 1987 General Conference talk entitled "Our Divine Constitution" by Ezra Taft Benson. Ok, I'm getting a little churchy here, but bare with me please. The entire talk is inspirational and I could fill this post with quotes from it, but instead I will quote just a little and give you the link so that you may read it yourself. I might add that Ezra Taft Benson was truly an amazing President, a very inspired man and a reminder that we must not forget those who have gone before us.

President Benson:

"For centuries our forefathers suffered and sacrificed that we might be the recipients of the blessings of freedom. If they were willing to sacrifice so much to establish us as a free people, should we not be willing to do the same to maintain that freedom for ourselves and for future generations?

Unfortunately, we as a nation have apostatized in various degrees from different Constitutional principles as proclaimed by the inspired founders. We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said: “Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction” (19 July 1840, as recorded by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; ms. in Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City)."
"“I established the Constitution of this land,” said the Lord, “by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80).""

This talk was given 20 years ago. Can you imagine what President Benson might have to say on this subject today given the current state of our nation? I can only imagine. I'm not a doom and gloom person, this is a wonderful time to be alive. We have many blessings. Let's not forget our greatest blessings; our agency and our freedom. The two are synonymous, we will always have our agency, but will we always have our freedom? Freedom is a god given right. But not everyone has it. This is a chosen nation, and I believe we are a chosen people. Let's do all we can to preserve all that was given to us. President Benson believed strongly about this, and as I researched I found endless examples of his love for this country and his warning to the Saints to do what they could to uphold the Constitution.

I think he would be extremely proud of this man:

Ron Paul: A New Hope 2.0

Ron Paul : Don't tread on me

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

family pics

Since I've been on my blogging vacation, I've had yet to share the talent of my friend Shannon. She is a wonderfully gifted photographer out of Seattle and took my family photos clear back in July! We had a fun day hanging out in Sundance with the kids. I recently got the CD so I thought I would post some of them. If you would like to see more of her amazing work, please visit her website: or her blog

Here are some of my favorites:

"let it snow, let it snow, let it snow"

It's funny, I've gone from Halloween to Frosty the snowman in one post. I'm back from by blogging vacation. I took a month off because I felt like I was spending too much time blogging and not enough time on more important things.

Anyway, we had a quite a snow shower this weekend. It was absolutely beautiful. Saturday was the perfect day. We were snowed in, and it was lovely. We decorated the house for Christmas, sang Christmas carols, played in the snow, and ended the day with a perfect date. Ryan and I went to dinner and enjoyed and great movie; Walt Disney's "Enchanted". Way to go Disney, you've redeemed yourself with this one. Even Ryan enjoyed it. He was skeptical going in, in fact, I was too. We were laughing our tails off within 5 minutes and the laughter didn't stop until the credits rolled. And then we stayed for those too...anticipating a funny short at the end. That never happened, but it was nice to prolong the date a few more minutes. Anyway, I highly recommend it. A fun family flick and one that I will most definitely own. I should get money for these kind of endorsements. :)

I love the Christmas season. I hope you all are enjoying it, and singing along in your car with the local Christmas carol station just like me.

Here are some of our snowy day pics. Ryan and Ethan made the perfect Frosty the snowman.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Little Ghouls Trick-or-Treating

Another fun Halloween come and gone. We had a great time decorating the house, trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating (at the church), and watching Halloween classics like Charlie Brown's "It's The Great Pumpkin" and "Casper The Friendly Ghost". We hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween.

Our haunted house

Mini Dracula

My little Fairy Princess

The Tews down in Tewville liked Halloween a lot, but little Lily Lou Tew, she herself, oh no, she did not.

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 25, 2007

bad mommy day

Today was one of those days. You know, the one where you're like "Please remind me why I signed on for this?" Not that you need to remind me, I already know the reason. It is the highest calling. I know this.

So today, I picked Ethan up from school and he told me how good he was, his teacher even gave him a special gift for showing such great behavior. I was very pleased. I have seen him make tremendous improvements in the last few months. Anyone who knows Ethan is aware of how busy and precocious he can be. And his energy level is through the roof. He is also very obstinate. Which makes for a challenging child, and my patience is tested every day. When Ethan was two he ran away from me constantly. It didn't matter if we were in a mall, airport, restaurant, Walmart,or our house. I resorted to putting latches on the tops of my doors, just to keep him safe. In public places he would find the nearest exit and make his fearless getaway. Recently he's gotten a lot better, although I've found him outside our house on the sidewalks a few times. We live on a busy road, and I've practically beat the dangers of running in the road into him.

Anyway, he asked if I would take him to McDonald's playland for lunch because he was so good. I agreed and we went. I noticed he started misbehaving after about a half hour, so I told him it was time to go home. I through my tray away, and when I turned around I couldn't find him. I figured he climbed back up into the playset. I called for him, no answer. I quickly walked through McDonald's, no Ethan. I went back to the playset, and the crappy part was that it's so difficult to find your kids when their up in that thing. There were tons of kids up there, so I just called his name hoping he would come down. After about 5 minutes or so I started panicking. Another mother caught on to my anxiety and offered to help. We looked around McDonalds again, we went outside etc. I seriously was about to call the police. This McDonald's was right against State St. in Lindon, which is a monster of a road. Horrible scenarios were going through my mind, and I was loosing it. After what seemed an eternity (probably about 10 minutes...maybe less) a lady came in the playland and asked if anyone was missing a child. She said there was a little boy in the Smith's parking lot behind McDonald's playing with rocks in the middle of crazy lunch hour traffic. I was hysterical, and went running outside with Lilly in my arms(perfect little soul). There Ethan was, happy as a clam, with no clue of what danger he was in. I grabbed him and we went in to get our bags from McDonald's. I'm sorry, but I couldn't help myself. My emotions were through the roof. I was literally pulling him and yelling "You scared Mommy to death, you could have been killed!!". You could have heard a pin drop in that McDonald's. All eyes and ears were on US. I could have cared less. I was so hysterical, I WANTED to beat the crap out of him (of course I didn't). But I did publicly chastise him. And I spanked him hard on his bum before we got in the car. I wanted him to be embarrassed, and shamed. I was so angry I was shaking. Ethan is a smart kid, and a boy ahead of his age in many ways. They've put him in a class with 5 year olds at school because he talks like he's 20. So, it's hard for me to remember that he's still 3 3/4.

So, here's where the advice is needed. What would you have done? I took his lovies away when we got home, and he went straight to his room, all privileges gone for the rest of the day. I also feel bad because the talk given in Sacrament meeting last week was about controlling your temper as a parent, and I feel I lost mine today. But honestly people, I was enraged because he could have been killed. I would appreciate some good mommy advice right about now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fall fun!

I love the fall, and having fun little ones to share it with is a blast. In the last couple of weeks we've been to the Scarecrow festival and Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point. We've also been to the big red barn at Stoneridge Farms in Santaquin, UT for apples, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, and delicious apple donuts and cider.

Scarecrow Festival and Cornbelly's.
We had fun getting lost in the corn maze!

Hayride & Pumpkin Patch
My friend Amanda and her cute kids Courtney, Peyton, and Aubrey joined us. The kids ate it up...literally.

Monday, October 22, 2007


We've been back from Hawaii for more than a week now, it's about time I wrote a post about it. Hawaii was an absolute blast! It was everything I thought it would be...and more. We visited the island of O'ahu. We did all the typical touristy things the first couple of days. We visited Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, Hanauma Bay, Punch Bowl, and the Dole Plantation. The rest of the time we lounged around like true Hawaiians and enjoyed the beach, scuba diving, and surfing. We ate tons of food, and we actually got to sit down and enjoy every rare! I was dying to get in some reading time too. I managed to have so much time to read, I made it through all of Stephanie Meyers new vampire books. It was kind of strange to be childless for a week. I missed the little ones, but the time away was just what we needed. Just us, the island, and no responsibilities. How lovely...for one week of course.

Ryan's family joined us for the first leg of our trip. Ryan and I decided to extend our vacation a few days. It was well worth it. My mom was kind enough to watch Ethan and Lily (a week after knee surgery) for us while we were away. I think they gave my mom a run for her money, but I'm grateful she was up for it. They love spending time with Grandma.

This was our first night in Hawaii. We ate dinner on the beach and watched the beautiful sunset on Waikiki. It is so hard to get my husband to pose normal for a picture...honestly, are we in the second grade?
Pearl Harbor
Hanauma Bay
Ryan and Peter making fire with the Samoans at the Polynesian Cultural Center
Ryan and Peter surfing on the North Shore
Me on the North Shore...this beach was gorgeous.
Ryan up in a tree...boys will be boys. And monkeys will be monkeys .
Hiking to Waimea Falls

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday was our 5 year wedding anniversary. Ryan was so sweet and surprised me with a special delivery of beautiful roses. They are absolutely gorgeous and smell delightful. He then took me out to a wonderful dinner of Indian cuisine at The Bombay House. Our real celebration will come in couple of weeks when we leave for Hawaii!! Aloha! I can't wait.

I want to tell my husband how much I love him and appreciate him. He is such a good man and works so hard for his family. I'm proud of him and all his accomplishments, and I'm proud to be his wife. He is truly my best friend. I love hanging out with him.

5 years, two kids and a house (no pets). Not too shabby!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Tale of Bad Hair

I'm writing this post to give myself a little peace and some sanity (writing relieves stress for me). I went to the hair salon today to get a much needed haircut. I've been wanting highlights in my hair for a long time. Since I've had babies my hair has just been drab. So anyway, I told the girl that I'm going to Hawaii in a few weeks and that I wanted to lighten my hair just a touch for some natural looking highlights. I also told her that I've haven't had my hair highlighted for years due to a bad experience I had in college. The result: down right scary. I look like a skunk mated with some zebra wood (that's the only way I can describe it). The haircut is fabulous. But it's definitely overpowered by the scary animal which is now my hair. I called my hair girl to explain that I can't even leave my house I'm so embarrassed. I won't even get my mail. I'll wait for Ryan to get home for that. She's fixing it Thursday morning. I'm not sure if this can really be fixed without dying my entire head another color but I'll find out I guess. Needless to say I wont' be going anywhere tomorrow. Good day for house cleaning! I haven't decided if I want to attach a photo yet. I'm still grieving the loss of my natural color! It's seems so wonderful to me now, I wish I had it back. Lesson learned.

Friday, September 7, 2007

bubbles, bubbles, bubbles

My kids LOVE bubbles. I took them out to the yard yesterday evening and we had some bubble fun. It was a wonderfully cool evening, and the kids loved the bubbles. I'm kind of sad the summer is coming to an end. But I welcome the change of seasons, I really love autumn.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Hope for America

Well, last nights Republican Presidential debate on Fox News convinced me. I went in with an open mind ready to listen to what all the Republican candidates had to say. I guess nothing has changed. Just the same old (I'll dance around the issues and hopefully the American people are stupid enough to believe the jargon that's coming out of my mouth) rhetoric that we usually hear in each presidential election. But alas, I was wrong. Someone did stand up and speak with conviction and honesty, and without fear of rejection. And what he said was exactly what I was hoping, praying for. I love this country, and I want the best for my children, grandchildren etc. Not to my surprise the American people agreed. When Fox News polled America after the debate Ron Paul won by a landslide. There was nobody near him. He had 33% of the vote and the next candidate (Huckabee I believe) had 15% and so on down. If you want to know more about Ron Paul and his platform that preserves our liberties and our constitution please visit I know he may not be as handsome Romney, but Ron Paul knows what he's talking about. And is record in the Congress and other positions he's held speak for themselves. I've said my peace, now I'll let you decide. I encourage everyone to do their homework and think hard when they press that button next November.

Please visit for a great clip.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Girl time

It's nice to have good girlfriends to hang out with. This weekend my friend Tiffany and I ditched our families and had a fun girls day up in Midway, UT. Midway is this little sleepy town tucked between Park City and Heber. They are famous for their Swiss heritage and host a wonderful event called Swiss Days every year at this time. We stayed at the Homestead and soaked up the wonderful mountain air and time away from kids. We made the most of it. Indulging in great Swiss food, messages, pedicures, and a great chick flick. I love this town. I will definitely be back again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Congrats Ryan!

We're excited to announce that Ryan has a new job! It happened so fast we're all still trying to take it in. He got a call from a recruiter yesterday, interviewed this morning, and got the offer 2 hours later!! He will be a Technical Business Analyst for ACS in Sandy, UT. It will be a great opportunity for him.

I know this picture has nothing to do with Ryan getting his new job, but I took it last Sunday and thought it was cute. Ethan and Lilly LOVE their Daddy.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

down time

Because of Ryan's busy work schedule (2 full time jobs) we don't get as much family time as we would like. However, we took advantage of his day off this week and had a fun family time hiking to the Timpanogos caves. It was more strenuous than we had anticipated, given that we couldn't take our stroller up the mountain as we had planned. All we had was a Baby Bjorn in the car, so Ryan strapped Lilly to his chest (I had her on the way back down) and away we hiked. It was a long 3 1/2 miles to say the least. Ethan was whining about being tired five minutes into the hike, but after a brief pep talk he got it in gear. Once we made it to the top the kids were loving the caves. They had a blast we explored all three caves. The way back down was a piece of cake. Lilly fell asleep in the Bjorn and passed out as soon as he got in his car seat. The hike was about 31/2 miles round trip. That's a lot of miles when you're climbing a mountain with kids in tow. Both Ryan's and my neck and shoulders were pretty sore the next day from the bjorn. That aside, we had a really nice time. It was a gorgeous day and the mountain and views of the valley were spectacular.

Sorry for the annoying hyperlink in the paragraph above, I can't figure out how to get rid of it or how it even got there in the first place. I right clicked it but no options to "remove hyperlink". Plus, I have the flu right now so I'm not very patient and I'm just publishing as is. Sorry to all you nit picky people out there.

Ethan and I in front of the "heart" of the cave.
We wore Lilly out.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The road most travelled

For at least a year now many of my friends have commented on the fact that I don't blog. I informed them that I did have blog capability on our family website (, but nobody seemed to check it out. Probably because I didn't update that much. That seems to be Ryan's domain, since troubleshooting it was a little cumbersome, and I'm not as technologically savvy as he is. So I decided to go the easy route and join Blogger. Just a side note, my friend Eric from Miami started Blogger and currently works for Google and runs the program...GO ERIC!! I know Ryan will be so ashamed that I joined the masses and took the easy road. But whatever, he's not home with two crazy kids all day. Sometimes the easy road is what I need!! Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for...(drum roll)...The Tew family blog!!

These pictures are from a month ago or so at our local fair. There was a carnival, parade and fireworks to top it off. The kids had a blast.

Ethan break dancing for the parade watchers.

Daddy's girl