Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Birthday Cake!

Holley frosted and decorated my birthday cake all by herself this year! She even wrote my name on it by herself!! I had to show a picture!

Merry Christmas!

This year's Christmas Eve PJ'S!

Danny and Casserole taking a Christmas Morning Nap!The girls playing with the Dress-up Clothes that Holley got from grandma and Grandpa Larsen!
Brinley's done!
Here is our 2007 Newsletter . . .

Merry Christmas Family and Friends,
Another year has already past. I can’t believe how fast time flies, especially when I look at our sweet girls! They both had milestone birthdays this year! Brinley turning one in September, and Holley, turned 5 earlier this month. I am amazed at both of them when I look at how much they’ve grown. I think I still expect to see Holley as a little 3 year old, and Brinley as my newborn infant. On one hand my heart aches as I realize, how fast they are growing, sad that I can’t keep them small forever, and on the other hand, so much Joy and Pride as I see the new things they learn, and the sweet, loving people they are becoming.
Derek, as usual, has been very busy this year. He loves teaching seminary in Pima, and really enjoys the students he gets to teach (most of the time). He also still teaches first hour in Thatcher, and so sometimes has to prepare 2 different lessons for one day. He is also still serving as Elder’s Quorum President, and working on his Masters Degree. (Only one semester left!!!! HURRAY!!!) It’s a rare occasion when we are all home together on a weekday evening. It seems most nights he has a class, Elders Quorum responsibilities or one (or both) of us have meetings. He is such a fun Dad though, and loves playing with his girls when he is home! I love so much to see the love that they have for him, and the way they look at him. Brinley is especially in a major “Daddy’s Girl” stage. I think that he also enjoys the scream of “Daddy’s home!” and the rush of little feet running to meet him at the door after work. He is a very good husband and provider as well, and will always go without something he might want, in order to make sure that his three girls are happy and taken care of.
I am loving my career as Wife and Mommy! I feel very blessed to be able to stay at home with the girls. They truly are my world, and I love being able to spend so much time with them. I truly can’t even put into words what they mean to me. I tried to hold onto Brinley’s first year as long as I could and enjoy each new stage and sweet moment with both girls. (I do wish they could stay babies a little longer.) I spent most of 2007 serving as the Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment leader for the ward—a calling that I loved and enjoyed very much although it stretched me and I often did not feel I really even knew what I was doing. I was pleased as I watched myself become more organized, and more confident with the calling. By October I was beginning to feel pretty confident, and so of course, in November I received a new calling. I am now serving as the 1st Counselor in the Primary Presidency, with 3 remarkable sisters, and quickly realized that I will love this calling as well.
Holley has had quite a big year! In August Holley started preschool. She has loved it very much. Her teacher is Mrs. Norton, and her favorite friend in the class is a sweet girl named Kenzee. It has been so fun to see Holley learning new things, and growing socially. (It’s helped her quite a bit with her shy side) Mrs. Norton said she is very loving to the other kids and try’s to make sure everyone is included. We were even told that she will get a very sad look on her face when they announce it is someone’s birthday because she didn’t have a chance to bring them a present or make them a picture. The class memorizes a new poem every month, and it is so fun and cute to hear her recite them. She is also very excited to be playing Mary in the preschool Christmas Program next week. Most recently we celebrated her 5th birthday, and last week she had her first haircut. (Not counting the one time last year she trimmed a little herself.) We weren’t sure she’d ever want it cut, but recently she expressed her desire to do so. She had enough cut off to donate it to “Locks of love,” and it now sits just above her shoulders! It’s very cute, and she loves it. Most of all, I love the sister that she is to Brinley. Nothing in the world makes me happier then to see them play together, and the love they have for each other.
Brinley is such a fun and energetic little girl and brings so much Joy and Laughter into our home. It is funny to see how different her personality is from Holley’s. She isn’t shy at all and will approach almost anyone, reaching her arms out to be picked up. However, just as soon as she is up, she will then quickly want to be put back down to be on her way to play or visit someone else. She loves her big sister, and it is so fun to see the way she responds to her. Holley will often hear her wake from a nap before I do, and will climb into her crib and I soon hear both of them playing and giggling. No one in the world can make Brinley laugh quite like Holley can. Brinley takes after her aunt Tawnya, in that she has an intense love for SHOES. She will stand under the shelf that holds her shoes in the closet, and cry for someone to get them for her. She also LOVES the family cheer we do together after family prayers. She will grab our hands and pull them together in the circle so that we can cheer “Choose The Right” and then will pull our hands in so we can do it again, (and again, and again.) We are so amazed by this sweet child, and I often still can’t believe she is finally here. She was definitely worth the wait.
As a family in 2007 we were able to enjoy a few fun camping trips together. Our favorite of which was a camping trip in the White Mountains, where the climate seemed perfect. We also got to camp in the Uintahs with the Mayhues when we were up in Utah for our summer trip. Tara was grateful to be able to make it to Utah for her Grandpa Muirbrook’s funeral in May. It was sad to lose him, but we know he is back with his sweet wife where he’s longed to be for some time now. It also makes us happy to think of the love we had for him, and he for us, and the sweet little relationship that Holley was able to share with him. Finally, we are proud to announce, that we finally have started some landscaping projects. (I know, I know, after almost 3 years in this house, it’s long overdue.) We’ve worked on the front yard, putting in a small, patio area, and a large full circle driveway. (Plenty of parking should any family and friends decide to come visit.)
All in all it’s been a great year, and we feel very blessed, especially with amazing family and friends. We pray the best for you and yours, and wish you a very happy Holiday.
Love, Derek, Tara, Holley, and Brinley Larsen

My hair Cut!

I got my hair cut too!

Holley's First Hair Cut!!!!

Cutting a pony-tail to donate!

In the Chair!
After!!! So cute!! We think it suits her very well! She loves it too!
Carriage ride at Saffords "Christmas on Main Street."
Uhh, who's watching Brinley? The girls were outside while Derek was working on the pavers, and Brinley discovered a very fun mud puddle!

Holley's 5th Birthday Party!

I can't believe how fast our little Holley is growing up! She is FIVE years old!!! She's getting so big, and we love seeing all the new things she is learning and doing!

Holley and her Party Guests!
Holley and Her Flower Pinata!
Opening Presents!

Halloween Pictures!

I know this is late to post these, but I had to, they are just so cute! Here are our Halloween Cuties!
Fairy Princess Holley!

Minnie Mouse Brinley!
The girls the night before! We wrapped Holley's hair in Rags to get her cute little ringlets!