Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa Clause

We had a big surprise at the church Christmas party this past weekend.  Santa came to greet the children. Last year the boys weren't too welcoming to jolly old St Nick but this year they were ready with their lists. They told Santa that they wanted a zippy scooter and a bicycle. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Family Night at the Merrells

We taught the boys about the nativity tonight. Apparently the camel gets a seat right next to the baby Jesus.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tyler Turns Two

Tyler had a great birthday party at Grandma Shirley's house. He is the big number 2. Yay!

Here are a few highlights.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I love October. Though the weather didn't feel very fall-esque here in Santa Monica (it was actually the hottest of any month this year) we still had a lot of fun. We started the month off by going to one of our favorite places (because it reminds us of grandpa's farm, of course), Underwood Family Farms in Moorepark.

And then to another fun farm/pumpkin patch in Idaho with our cousins. This place had mini-doughnuts. With this crew we burned through 60 doughnuts in about 3 minutes. :)

Pumpkin carving at home on Halloween night. Our jack-o-lanterns turned out pretty cute thanks to Brian's mad carving skills.

The boys dressed up for the ward Trunk or Treat. They chose their own costumes this year, which I thought was pretty cute. Johnny wanted to be a witch at first but when I told him that witches are girls he decided that a ghost was the next best thing. So here they are. A ghost, a serious-looking military man and a wee little fireman. I went as a pregnant lady because that's what I am. About 22 weeks by now and happily expecting another boy. 

Hope you had a great month too!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Idaho Summer

We spent a month in Idaho this summer. It was heaven. It consisted of lots and lots of rides on the 4-wheeler and grandpa's tractor, lots of playing with cousins, watching shows with grandma, driving around town on 2-lane highways, swimming, swinging, drinking chocolate milk and being generally spoiled rotten every single day. Brian joined us for the first few days, then had to head back to work in L.A.

We celebrated the 4th of July like we do almost every year, in Melba, Idaho population 513.

Every day looked something like this - 

We took a little side trip to Rexburg to visit Doug and Mark at BYU Idaho. It was crazy to see how the campus has changed since I was a student at "Ricks College" over 13 years ago. AND it was so fun to spend time with my little brothers and see them in their element up at school. They are good boys, I tell you.

One of my favorite new additions to campus is a beautiful garden full of perfect make-out spots. I mean study areas. Same thing right?

This is where I played quite a few basketball games. Being in the Hart brought back so many, many memories. I wanted so badly to run into an old team-mate, trainer, coach or someone with whom I could reminisce... someone who could relate to all that I went through during this time of life and how awesome/hard it was.

I was disappointed to find that the old Ricks mascot "Thor" was no longer in the upper foyer of the Hart. But the Viking Athletics mosaic was still there. I hope they never take that down.

The quad - actually I'm not sure that's what its really called now but we are standing in front of the newly remodeled Student Center.

On the drive home with their newly acquired doodle pads. These things are great. A big thank you to my mom for driving us all over Southern Idaho.

Beth is the best aunt. She took the boys on countless rides and played with them so much. We love, love, love this girl.

We did a lot of swimming/slip-n-sliding during those very hot 100+ degree days. Little Ty especially loves to get wet but Johnny started to really love it by the end of the month too.

Biggest ever slip-n-slide! My brother cut this for the kids from the plastic they use to cover the corn silage. Ah, the benefits of living on a farm :)

View from the slip-n-slide -

Spectator Johnny -

Another day, another slip-n-slide.

And finally the time came to say good bye to Mark. My dad is his stake president so he was set apart at our home. All 5 of my brothers!

With Sherm, Dad & Grandpa too - 

All 8 kids -

Mark & Brooklyn, the oldest grandchild.

Mark and his sisters -

Marky and Dougie - still known as the "little boys" but no longer so little.

Dan's family -

Jeff's family -

Juliette's family - 

My family, minus Brian -

Mark and the grandkids. This shot is always impossible to get. Better luck next time.

Mike, Beth, Doug & Mark -

Mom & Dad -

Elder Beus!!

I still remember the evening before I left on my mission. The sky looked just like this. I was walking with my dad across the lane that connects our home with grandma and grandpa's. I remember thinking how much I would miss that sky and wondering what the sky over Uruguay would look like. I also remember thinking how much I love my family. Growing up in this place, with my wonderful parents, and all those wonderful siblings and with my dear grandparents just across the lane - it was all a girl could ask for. As sad as I was to leave it, I knew I was blessed beyond measure and was ready to go and serve. I know Marky feels the same way. I'm sure the skies over Oklahoma are beautiful too.

On our last evening there, my dad and I took the boys on one last ride around the farm. I took a few pictures of the farm while we drove. Now that we are home, the boys ask to look at these pictures all the time.