Saturday, February 27, 2010


So sad we missed the pic of Isaac in his b-ball shorts, hiking boots, with his friends fur-lined coat taking Dad on in a snowball war. It was hilarious as Zoie and I watched warm from an upstairs window. From our bird's eye view, we saw Anna helping all the little girls while the big boys broke out in snowball war and the oblivious Clara bounced up and down like one little toddling snowball herself. Somehow in the midst of all the action a snowman - BIG ONE- was created, prelude to the 56 they built later on with uncle Calton! (Emily was also indoors and laying low today with what might be strep throat. oh boo. hope this doesn't mean a whole new round of sickness for the family! With the last 'bout, Mikela told her friends, "I won't be at school tomorrow, I'm gonna be sick" and sure enough she was home with the stomach flu right on schedule.) O, the other SUPER funny thing to watch from the window was Clara's sweet gazes and cuddling up to the little snowman (like she does to her cousin, Camden - only this one doesn't move so she could hug snowman as long as she wanted - she even put both her hands up on Snowman's cheeks and gazed lovingly into his face. So super funny to watch!- she is SO LOVING to babies AND snowmen! Happy Snow days to You - probably the last of them (except for our dear VT/NH friends! I saw buds on the little tree out our window today. We know you won't see those for another month or two yet. Hang in there!-as always!)

LOVE, C. and All

Friday, February 19, 2010

Great gift idea!

Isaac and his friend, Josh, had Emily and Anna coveting their other friend Olivia, as they prepared this darling hoodie for her birthday present. Way to go guys! Kristi saw Olivia wearing it at the mall the next day - we hope that means she likes it as much as we did :). Em and An remind Isaac their birthday's are a couple months coming up!

Pretty in Pink!


We NEVER thought we'd see Dad in PINK! Dr. "You break bone, me fix it!" went posh! Thanks to Mom C. for breaking him out of his comfort zone and into black - I'll have to get a picture of that up! (All the sweet old women in Mike's clinic kept telling him how good he looked!) Next Pres. Leggeiri gave Pres. Hoffman a pink tie for Christmas in support of the fight against cancer. Mike wore the handsome tie proudly never thinking for a moment it was just preparation for his big debut in pink. For the office gift swap Brandee fitted Mike right up with, of all things, a pink shirt! Lookin' good Dr. Hoffman. At least three year old Zoie thought Daddy looked good enough to match her pink princess night gown!

Truly we don't know how much wear the pink shirt will get, but thought we'd catch it on film while Mike was lookin' so good ;)!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ode to my Brothers!

First, Happy, HAPPIEST birthday to my brother, Clark!!!! We adore him. He's always making the children happy with his entertaining antics. Since I was a child he's brought laughter to our family. He's a genius! He's handsome and loving and kind and supportive. He's shared his talent with our family along with many others and blessed us exceedingly for it. THANK YOU, CLARK! And HAPPIEST YEAR!

Next, CONGRATULATIONS SPENCER!!!! Spencer was just accepted (with scholarship funds and all!) into the chaplain program at BYU. It's been a wonder to watch he and Steph act in patience and faith as they've continued and prepared for this path. Remember, Spenc and Steph: "All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare." You ARE doing something excellent. Great work.

Last of all, THANK YOU TO BOTH!!!! These men bring love to my heart and joy to our whole family! Clark and Becky just visited for the Christmas season and made it so MUCH RICHER!!! And Spencer and Stephanie just told us they ARE coming to be with us this spring! (Spence will spend the 6 weeks with us toiling 'by the sweat of his brow' to put in gardens for us while we EAT UP EVERY MINUTE OF FUN AND JOY we can with our precious nieces and beloved aunt and uncle!

I am SO BLESSED to have each of these, completely different from one another but BOTH: remarkable, wonderful, fantastic, loving, hard working, gifted, excellent brothers of mine!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lessons in Human Relations!

(...and horse ones too ;). Recently, Daddy took the girls for an afternoon at the barn. It's been cold, it's been muddy, we've rushed in and out of feeding times quickly with only a quick hello to the animals while we water, feed, and quick-clean-up for several weeks now. Naturally our young horse, Serendipity has grown a little "wild" because of our neglect in working with her. This Saturday morning Mike with his "let's get it done", in-charge attitude, was going to remind her who was boss- or at least get a halter on her. Mike tried several times to put the halter on, but she would toss up her head with a defiant "just try it" in her eyes, stomp her feet and turn her bottom-end on him (HOW RUDE! ...and unacceptable!). Mike thought there was no way we'd get a halter on her ever again. He went back to work watering animals and while he's busy, 11 year old Mikela steps up gently to Dip, pets her nose and talks to her softly, Mikela then holds out the halter and Dipity put her head down to make it easier for Kea to fasten the clip. "Voila", the halter was on. Mike couldn't believe his eyes. He was still shaking his head when he got home to tell me all about it. I could only smile. I had seen Mikela since Dipity's birth offer her solid, still, quiet, confident, gentle friendship. Mikela, much braver than I would like her to be, had worked with Dipity enough to gain her trust, perhaps even her love.

Recently, we overcame Esther's terribly terrible mornings! Grouchy, grumpy, fighting, yelling, crying, stamping, running away and refusing to clothe had left all of us aghast while we were late many mornings just trying to get Est out of the house. Yes, 7:30 am is early to be out for a little kindergarten kid; and mornings have never been Esther's forte, but this really was amazing to all of us and horrible as well. What to do. I must admit in my deep need for a break and some replenishment one night after the kids went to bed I hoped for something helpful and new to see or read. I turned to BYUTV and tuned into the half hour on parenting that happened to be on. I really listened - and LEARNED!!! The spokesman was talking about how to bring walls down with teens, to keep communication open and the parent/child relationship alive and well. I was pleased with the topic, for I suddenly have 3 (soon 4) teens on my hands and could use all the help I could get, right? This man named four keys:

1) LOVE THEM!!! nothing brings down walls faster; say it and let them feel it from you.
2) Trust them; trust is a gift you give, not something they earn. You have to give a little to let the bridge be built from you to them.
3)set limits because you love them and want to keep them safe and happy - state expectations and follow through on them; recognize the children when they do follow through (with a curfew, or acted responsibly in calling you, or did what you asked).
4) Praise them - praise is like air for the soul, the man said (wish I could give credit but I only caught "Brad" as his name, I believe).
I liked his list. I thought it was true. So I recommitted to doing those things. I decided to start with the first; showing more love. I would experiment with my hardest case (NOT a teenager, just a tiny kindergartner trying to wake up for school); I would try literally melting Esther with love, and see how it went in the mornings.

Boy, was I surprised. It worked, the very first morning. That must be a fluke, she must have just woken up in a good mood (after all, I'm a fairly loving mother fairly all the time, right?) The second morning, I tried the same approach, going in to wake her up with only LOVE, and wow! Esther responded happily and cooperatively. It was WONDERFUL!! In fact, by the third morning it already felt like habit. She hopped up faster and happier than the day before. I could not believe it myself, I was SO EMBARRASSED! (And, as usual, reminded that most of our children's issues really begin somewhere with us. I hate that.) I had not even realized how I had just jumped in every morning with "Hurry!- time to get dressed! Wake up! - here's your clothes! C'mon, Gotta go!" etc.. I hadn't realized how little Esther had felt LOVED -at least in the morning! (OK, mornings have never been my thing either but I didn't think I was THAT BAD!)

So I learned, or remembered, as most of us do from time to time, that really the key to relationships ... from horses to teens to toddlers and poor kindergartners that have to wake up too early and get right out the door to school is LOVE.

I'm so glad my husband is good at remembering that and from the beginning of our marriage has LOVED me! It feels SOOOO GOOD! I want to LOVE my children too.

I'm recommitted.



P.S. If anyone has suggestions of how to let a child feel more loved (especially in difficult situations like busy schedule, or demanding day or even sad time), please let me know under comments. THX!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Child's Play!

It has been such a COZY winter this month with my little ones playing all around: everything from American Girl Dolls (almost daily as in the last pic) to Snake Shows featuring the "lava" snake and twin snakes, etc (this show, as seen in the first pic, is at least 1/2 hr. long; all the snakes are specially designed from fancy beads Grandma gave them for Christmas).

I have loved it and hope you take a minute of joy in it too ;).

Last of the New Year's Fun for you!!

When Mom and Dad and Clark and Becky headed back to Michigan, we just couldn't end the party yet. We decided to carry on with ice skating and one more splurge dinner at Applebee's before Kari and kids headed down the road.
Here's a few pics of the end of New Year's fun for you!

Christmas Parties!

I'm putting away the last of Christmas now, and had to catch the last of a few Christmas memories as well (some we made after Christmas!).

Three EXTRA ENJOYABLE parties for us this year:

- The highcouncil coming to our home. Such a wonderful blessing for us to mingle with these wonderful people.

- The bishops party held at the Leggeiri's home. We pray and hope and pray for this fantastic force daily as they carry such a heavy load, give so much personal sacrifice and make such a great difference for good in this world.

- And last, but not least, Mike's office staff came and partied here (see pics). It meant so much to enjoy these faithful friends in our home, after all they've done to make the office a success and all they do daily to be a great support to Mike!

Thanks and Love to ALL!