still happy.

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Sorry for such. a. long. pause. I am happy to report that we are happy. Nate was recognized for some wonderful compositions in February. I signed a short-term design contract for a health organization. We registered Phin for preschool. Eli is wearing super-cool underwear like his big brother. Adele is mastering the fine art of scooting and eating solid food. And we bought chickens.

Here are some pics to show you that we truly are alive.


adele 2011.

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Our family grew from 4 to 5 this year. Adele has been an angel baby. Her presence has improved the dynamic of our home. She makes all of us more cuddly, sweet, and patient. She helps us to just be better. I am so grateful that God sent her to us.

  • June:
    • I was born at 11:23 am on June 13, 2011
    • I am tolerating my brothers very well. They like to sing really loud and push all of the buttons on my bassinet.
    • I slept through Papa’s voice lesson. I’ve got to get used to LOTS of music around this house.
    • First Library Trip: 9 days old
    • First Jazz Concert: 10 days old
    • First Air Show: 12 days old
    • First Temple Trip: 17 days old
  • July:
    • Trips to Greeley and Fort Collins
    • I tooted and Phin said, “She did a snort-toot!”
    • First mosquito bite…
    • My family calls me “Dell,” “Delly,” and “Delly Belly.”
  • August:
    • I was blessed at church today.
    • First Water Park- Pirate’s Cove on my Aunt Kim’s birthday
  • September:
    • First football game: Brush High School vs. Fort Morgan High School
    • First ‘beach’ trip: Jackson Reservoir
    • I have gurgly conversations with my Mama.
    • We went on a picnic at the Dinosaur Park.
  • October:
    • Sometimes I am so happy that I squeal and wiggle all of my limbs. Life is so good.
    • 1st Parade: The Fort Morgan High School Homecoming Parade
    • I have Croup.
    • Started rice and vegetables. I like peas carrots and squash.
  • November:
    • I can roll from my belly to my back and back to belly!
    • I like to chew on my toes.
    • I can growl!
    • I met my great-grandmother, Grandma Donna in Utah. (More 1sts: The Ideal Dairy, Goblin Valley,  swimming, and bowling!)
  • December:
    • I giggle when Mama giggles, and then she giggles at my giggles.
    • Phin said, “Good Morning sugary girl!”
    • New foods: avacado, sweet potatoes, peaches, strawberries, lentils, yogurt.
    • I heard Handel’s Messiah on a date with Mama. Papa sang the Bass solos.
    • 1st Christmas.

eli 2011.

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My favorite part about these calendars is that half of the things (okay, more than half) I had completely forgotten about. I am SO happy that I took a few seconds to jot down these little gems. I LOVE my kiddos. Here are the highlights from Eli’s momentous 2011:

  • January:
    • My words: “Bah Bah” for Bye, “Dat” for What’s that?, “Mama,” “Papa,” “Nana” for Banana, “Ta Da!” When I do something fabulous, and “Bah” for Ball
    • I have 4 teeth!
    • I learned to spray water, milk, and juice out of my mouth (marketable skill)
    • I clapped for the State of the Union Address
  • February:
    • When Mama says “Hug,” I go over and hug Phin.
    • I can help Mama put wet clothes into the dryer.
    • New words: “Eyes,” “ice,” “Hi”
    • Favorite foods: blackberries, frozen peas, oranges, and rice.
  • March:
    • I have officially given up pacifiers.
    • I put a tortilla on my head and said, “HAT!”
    • I say “Ni Nie” for Phinny
    • I can match pitch when we sing songs. Some of my favorites are Happy Family and Hickory Dickory Dock.
  • April:
    • I put random things in Mama’s shirt, pull them out, and say “TA DA!”
    • New Words: Apple, Tur-tle, Moo, Baa, Woof Woof, Meeow, Brush, Sky, Clock, Moon, Book, Me, Bubble, Neck, beep, baby, owl, poop, yes, no, bath.
    • I have croup.
    • I laugh in my sleep!
    • When I see a steeple, ANY steeple, I call out “ba-ble!” (temple!)
  • May:
    • Favorite book: Goodnight Moon
    • I fold my arms for prayers.
    • First day in Nursery at church.
    • I can identify several letters, like “X,” “N,” “S,” and “O”
  • June:
    • I met Adele! I call her “Dell”
    • Favorite Book: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear?
    • I like to play with the buttons on Mama’s breast pump.  (Only the coolest toys at our house.)
    • When we drove away from the Temple, I said “Bye, Bye Oh-Nye!” (Moroni)
  • July:
    • When Papa leaves the house I say, “Papa Work”
    • I can count to 6.
    • I pointed to the grill and said, “Mama, cook meat!”
  • August:
    • I run on my tippy toes.
    • I call the metronome the “Tick Tock”
    • Favorite Songs: 5 Little Monkeys, Book of Mormon Stories, and You are my Sunshine
    • I can identify blue, yellow, pink and red!
  • September:
    • I wave at everyone who drives down our street.
    • More sleep talking: “Elmo, Again! Elmo, Again!”  another night: “My Hat! My Hat!”
    • LOVED playing ring-around-the-rosie in the water at Jackson Reservoir.
    • I accidentally ate some jalapenos out of the garden and ran to Mama with tears streaming “Too Hot!”
  • October:
    • Addicted to the Raffi song “Baby Beluga”
    • When I give Mama a kiss, I give one to Delly, too.
    • When Mama was washing my hands after breakfast, I requested “wash belly button!”
    • New favorite book: Gladys Goes out to Lunch
    • Croup, again.
  • November:
    • I use my hand to eat yogurt, like a bear eating honey.
    • I bit my tongue and asked Mama for a band-aid for it.
    • I turned two years old.
    • I threw up four times on our road trip to Utah.
  • December:
    • I asked to hear the story of Captain Moroni at breakfast.
    • I went to the Middle School concert and ran away from Mama when she wasn’t looking, and snuck into the elevator.  I made it to the second floor.
    • I ate most of the carrots we set out for Santa’s reindeer.
    • My brother had a splinter, so I went to the bathroom and got him a band-aid




phin 2011.

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Here are some of the most notable, funny, or clever entries from Phin’s 2011 Calendar:

  • January:
    • When talking about the Lehi’s dream (one of Phin’s favorite Book of Mormon stories): “Is the Tree of Life shiny? Is it bright and shiny? Is it beautiful?”
    • I didn’t want Mama to play the piano anymore, so I removed both of her hands and said, “I turned it off.”
    • “I don’t want Eli to poop over there.”
    • I put a book in Mama’s shirt and said, “you’d better save this for later.”
  • February:
    • After Mama called me a rockstar I firmly said, “I’m NOT a rockstar. I’m Phinny!”
    • Mama: “Phin, do you want to wear underwear?”      Phin: “Yeah, I don’t.”
    • I smelled Mama’s hair and she said, “What does my hair smell like?”     Phin: “It smells like you didn’t poop!”
    • Papa: “Pirates don’t wear diapers.” Phin: “Yes they DO!”
    • Talking to Aunt Emily about temples: “Angel Moroni plays his trumpet. It’s gold. Gold is my favorite color.”
  • March:
    • To Mama, “You’re not a girl. You’re a Mama!”
    • About Eli, “You’re the cutest punk!”
    • Mama says to the boys, “Are you good brothers?”    Phin: “No, we’re good robots!”
    • I like to tell Junebug (fetal Adele) stories, especially “Jack & the Beanstalk”
    • “Dr. Seuss is a girl. She is so beautiful.”
  • April:
    • I have croup…
    • I was tooting during snack time today. “It isn’t Phinny, it’s a tow truck.”
    • I know the difference between a hopper car and a freight car. (It helps to live directly next to train tracks.)
    • Eli was in the tub alone and I said, “Can I get in? Eli is lonely.”
  • May:
    • I turned 3!
    • “I built this plane so we could go to Africa.”
    • My babysitter called me Phin. I corrected her and said, “Call me Angel Phin.”
    • When my diaper was full of poop, I called Mama over and said, “I have a poop surprise for you!”
    • To Papa, “I’m growing up big like you. And you are going to melt and be small like me.”
  • June:
    • In the garden, “The mud painted my feet black!”
    • In the story of Samuel the Lamanite, “The arrows didn’t hurt Samuel the Lamanite because Jesus protects his monster.”
    • I met Adele! (“I have nipples! I can make Mama Milk, too!”)
    • Phin: “Do you know what Junie (Adele)  is dreaming about?”    Mama: “What?”     Phin: “She is dreaming about dragon faces! GRRRRRRR!”
  • July:
    • Papa went out to the back yard to see what me and my brother were doing… Phin: “We just played the hitting game and the biting game.”
    • Talking to Mama… “Would you please sing a song to your daughter?”
    • I gave myself a haircut.
    • “Can I sing a song about families?” (then proceeds to sing “Families can be Together Forever“)
    • I can get myself dressed!
  • August:
    • “I put on my roller skates and I got a sword and I fought a bad guy and a dragon!”
    • I wrote my first “H” and can spell my name.
    • While in the garden, “Chives are my favorite breakfast!”
    • Phin: “I heard a toot!”     Mama: “Whose was it?”      Phin: “It was mine!”
    • My imaginary horses that live in the yard (it all started with Max from Tangled): Max, Thax, Dax, and Horse-o
  • September:
    • I used a twisty straw as a saxophone and gave mama a concert. The kitchen table was my stage.
    • I can do the monkey bars at the park by myself!
    • “Mama?! Is Adele the cutest most beautiful girl in the world?”
    • I call the freezer the “Ice Cream Fridge.” (That’s all I really need it for anyway 🙂 )
    • Papa: “How was nursery today?”     Phin: “I told the big girls to stop touching me and I told the little girls to stop touching me.”
    • “When you say ‘no,’ you really mean ‘yes.'”
    • Papa: “Who has a bigger nose? Me or Mama?”     Phin: “You both have HUGE noses!”
    • Eli was crying…   Phin says: “Eli, did you get attacked by a tiger and a monster and a bear?”      Eli: “Yeah.”
  • October:
    • While worm hunting: “When we find a hungry worm in the morning – should we feed him worm food?”
    • I invented “Basketball Lacrosse” with my Uncle Chris
    • When learning about Moses and the burning bush: “Woah! And the bush was on fire? That’s pretty crazy!”
    • While singing “Row, Row, Row your Boat,” I changed the words to, “…merrily, merrily, merrily, don’t forget your dreams.”
  • November:
    • Mama: “Phin, What do you like about Papa?”     Phin: “I like sea horses, horses I can ride, and cows.” (Don’t we all love that about Nate?)
    • “My stomach is trying to make me hungry.”
    • I brought a lot of sand in the house and when Mama asked me why I said, “sand helps the house smell better!”
    • I went on a road trip with my family to Utah!
    • “Mama! You broke my life. Help me fix it!”
    • To Mama’s really old Avon lady, “Hey dude! My sister came out of my Mom’s uterus!”
  • December:
    • I told Mama that I wanted bacon in my hot chocolate. (Nate’s son for sure)
    • When Mama asked me where I put Jesus from our Nativity: “I put baby Jesus in a special bed, called the closet.”
    • I call pomegranate seeds “Tumbleweed Seeds.”
    • I sang a song about ‘turtles in space’ for Grammy Great while playing the Ukulele
    • While potty training: “Pooping is tricky…”
    • Using the toilet! Wearing Underwear!
  • Some Favorite Books this year: The Pout Pout Fish, Amelia Bedilia, Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp, Where’s Walrus?, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type, Curious George.


Silent Night

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Nate posts here, too?  Not really, but I wanted to post a quick note to all our family readers:  listen to my musical Christmas card – a recording of Silent Night.  Click here to listen and download the free mp3 if you like it.

Nathan Howe Music


leave it.

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Here are all of the “leaves” from our gratitude tree. Contributors include family, friends, piano students, extended family, and neighbors. I am typing the entries as the boys hand them to me off the tree. I thought about saving them in a baggie and then unearthing them a year later in storage. But then the “blog fairy” whispered that I could just make a GREAT post to share. Here’s to a wonderful tradition:

  • Phin is grateful for “ooooo-ooooo Bananas!”
  • Mama is grateful for how Eli says, “EEEEEE-ow” for “Meow”
  • Experience and Progression
  • Libraries
  • The Book of Mormon
  • Hearing Eli Pray
  • The Hallelujah Chorus
  • I am Grateful for Phin and Eli – Taylor
  • Phin “Leaves!”
  • Eli: “Trash Truck!”
  • Family that shares
  • Croutons
  • Adele’s Smile
  • Eli: “Cookies!”
  • Phin says, “I’m grateful for strawberries on my cake. That makes me happy.”
  • Eli: “Tubby Time”
  • Adele is grateful for kisses from her brothers.
  • Papa is thankful for the end of the musical!
  • Warm Socks
  • Hearing Phin Laugh
  • I am very thankful for celebrating Eli’s birthday today and for all my precious great-grand kids. -Grandma S
  • “Unicorns!” Says Phin
  • Family, Friends, the Gospel
  • Phin: “I’m grateful for Heavenly Father & this food!”
  • Blueberries
  • Eli says, “aw-wer-ries!” (strawberries)
  • I am grateful for my artistic ability
  • I am thankful for the world
  • I am thankful for my shelter
  • Adele: “Midnight Feedings”
  • Alli: “I am grateful for adventurous eaters!”
  • Wonderful Grandchildren
  • “I am thankful for music.” -Lillian
  • I am grateful for Abinadi and his teachings
  • Great-Grands -Poppa Great
  • Eli: “For Apples!
  • I am grateful for a kind, loving family that feeds me and does other things
  • I am grateful for truth and direction in my life & for eternal families
  • When Eli sings “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” he says, “won-a won-a what you are.” SO CUTE!
  • Thankful for my family, cats, toys, friends, flowers, and trees
  • Phin: “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”
  • Wonderful Grandchildren
  • I’m thankful for Jesus and Church
  • Working Car
  • Nate: “Weekends!”
  • Eli: “Colors! Pink, White, Purple, Black.”
  • Our Family -Grammy Jo
  • Health & Strength & Food & Shelter & Lots of Hugs
  • Peanut butter Apple Dip
  • Phin: “Sparkling Snow”
  • The Internet (amen!)
  • Alli: “Getting one-on-one time with Adele at night when the boys are asleep”
  • I am thankful for my church, family, and friends – Morgan
  • I am grateful for God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ
  • Loving Family
  • Glasses & Contacts
  • Fresh Garden Tomatoes
  • I am grateful for a wonderful family and great friends. -Chris
  • Listening to Phin tell stories
  • Nate: “I am grateful for a hot wife.”
  • Eli: “Sprinkles” (the dust specks you can see floating in light coming through a window)
  • Nate: Wrestling with Phin and inventing a new game called “Ghost Fight”
  • I’m grateful for the love of my wife & family- all the grands and great-grands.
  • I’m thankful for my family, food, clothes, and friends. -Emma

“Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.

We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. President Thomas S Monson

Life is good.


a little hint.

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Here is one of my favorite pics from Autumn so far:

Our neighbors are REALLY good at staying on top of their yard. It was mowed weekly, fertilized on a schedule, etc. Our lawn was usually green. Enough said. Anyway, a few weeks ago we had a gentle reminder from our neighbors that it was time to rake. I laughed outloud when I took this picture.

We surprised Nate by raking the leaves while he was at work. It was a perfect afternoon with LOTS of giggling, running, and diving. I love having toddlers. We finished the day with making a Gratitude Tree. Every morning at breakfast I ask the boys, “What are you grateful for? What makes you happy?” Some of the entries so far:

Phin: “I’m grateful for Unicorns!”

Eli: “Straw-re-ries”

Alli: “Midnight Feedings with Adele”

Here’s to a wonderful season! What are you grateful for?


our private bridge.

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I recently dumped the pictures from my phone and thought I’d share a few of my favorites-Starring my favorite little people!

Here are the boys riding their tricycles on the ‘famous’ Rainbow Bridge. It is one of my favorite spots in Fort Morgan because it is NEVER crowded. When I say “never” I mean, I have never been on it at the same time as anyone else, ever. It feels like our own private spot with a nice view of the Platte River. It’s not a tropical paradise… but it is the best view in Fort Morgan. It hasn’t been used for actual traffic since the 80s so I can attempt some kind of exercise while the boys frolic.


Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall! We will have some great Fall shots in the next post.


all smiles.

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Adele Stats:

  • Age: 4 months
  • Length: 24″
  • Weight: 11 lbs 3 oz
  •  Favorite activities: listening to my brothers sing to me, tummy time, holding mama’s fingers, jewelry, and hair.
  • Favorite tickle spots: Armpits & neck

truly great.

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We love staying at Grammy and Poppa Great’s home in Greeley. Their home just feels so good and it’s because of the AMAZING people who live there. They are incredibly talented at making people feel welcome and good about themselves. Here are a few photos from our last visit of the kids with Poppa Great:



Grammy was so busy cooking for us that she didn’t make it in our candid shots… watch out Grammy, we’ll get you next time!