I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking the kids to scout camp. I want there to be a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.
~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Decorating the Tree

I really really love Christmas and one of my favorite traditions is decorating the tree. I don't have a big fancy tree with wonderful ornaments that all match. My tree is all the ornaments that my kids have made throughout the years. To me, no tree is more beautiful, because this tree represents my family, which means more to me than anything on earth. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Larsen Family Christmas Party

The first weekend of Dec we had our family Christmas party at my parents house. This has become such a fun tradition, because it's hard to get us all together anymore. The grandkids all dress up and act out the nativity. We have a CD of my Grandma Sitterud reading the Christmas story, and so that is a neat way for our kids to know about her even though she has passed away. This year Aubree was Mary, and it had to be authentic so she stuffed a pillow up her shirt so she could be "great with child" Kaden was Joseph. Tyson wanted to be a wiseman and wear a crown and Brennen wanted a stick so we made him a shepard. Of course Cambree was baby Jesus.
Here is the cast of the play. Brielle the angel really just wanted her mom. I also like Tyson the Wise Man picking his nose. Nice.

Joseph and Mary great with child.

My niece Brielle wouldn't wear her halo. This is my Grandpa Dee showing her how to wear it. It was just a precious moment.

My parents alway have the kids open the presents from them and the cousins also draw names so they get to open that present too. Also Santa's elf brings them a little present. After all the toys that were everywhere, Brennen and Brielle just wanted to stack paper cups.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Kaden's absolute favorite sport is Basketball, which is appropriate since he is 8 years old and almost 5 feet tall. This year he has had a really good year because his coordination is finally catching up to his body. He is awesome on defense and he even scored 2 baskets at his game the other night. (That is really good, because at this age, sometimes no one scores a basket the entire game.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kaden's Program

For third grade program, they do a cultural program. They learn all about a specific culture and then they perform a program at the end. It is a really neat thing. They did Polyensia again this year. Kaden's teacher did an Awesome job painting all the boys face for the Haka, or war dance. At the end, they are suposed to pull a scary face to intimidate the enemies, so that is what this pose is. I didn't get any pics of the actual program because we sat on the wrong side of the gym and couldn't get a good angle.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cambree 3 months

So I have tons of stuff to catch up on, so I will try and do it a little at a time. This is my baby at three months old. She is getting so big. She smiles so much and even laughs a little. She is the only baby I have had who will just smile spontaniously at this age. She is such a happy girl and a good girl, although she likes to be held rather than laid down. We love this little chubby bunny!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Invisible Mother

My grandma sent this to me in an email this week, and it really struck a chord to me. Sometimes I feel like my life is so mundane, and that no matter what I do no one will ever know. After all I'm just a mom. (By the way, I hate when people say that. Just the fact that I gave birth makes no justs about it.) But I know deep down that I am doing the most important work on Earth. So I hope maybe it will affect someone else like it did me. Enjoy!

Invisible Mother......

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ..... Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit..

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacr ifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cambree at 2 months

Since my baby will be three months next week, I figure I better post some 2 month pictures.

Oct 19, 2009 -- Cambree is 2 months

This is just a way cute picture after church one Sunday.

Cute baby smiles. She usually stops when I pull out the camera, but I was able to capture this one.

Cambree and me with my Grandpa Sitterud.

Cambree and me with Grandpa Dee and Grandma Retta (Larsen).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Fun

Halloween is such a great holiday! You can be whoever you want and people give you candy!

Aubree was Alex Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place. I think she just liked the fact she got a new outfit instead of a costume.

Kaden was Megatron from Transformers. Last year he was Optimus Prime. This year he wanted to be a bad guy.

Tyson gets into Halloween more than any of my other kids. He loves all the "Spooky stuff" that comes with Halloween. His favorite CD is Kids Bop Halloween and he listens to it all year. When we first started discussing costumes, he told me he didn't care what he was as long as it was something spooky. So he found this skeleton costume and that was it.

Brennen insisted he wanted to be Mickey Mouse. Well, we could not find a Mickey Mouse costume. We tried and tried to change his mind, but he would not budge. Thank goodness for my friend Melissa who sent this to him from Idaho. She was a lifesaver! He got so many comments on how cute he was.

Cambree was our little ghost, although not too many people saw her. It was too cold to uncover her. She slept through it all anyway.

All my little spooks!

Carving Pumpkins

The Monday before Halloween, we carve our pumpkins. It is one of our favorite family traditions. We let the kids draw their own designs and it is fun to see what they come up with. We may not win any awards, but the memories we make are priceless.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cambree's Blessing

Here are some pictures of Cambree's blessing. It was such a special day, and we are so grateful for all the family who came to be with us that day. We are so happy to have this new little angel in our family. We love her so much!
Cambree in her dress. She actually wore the same dress that Aubree wore 9 1/2 years ago. I can't believe time flies.

Here are all my beautiful children. I like Brennen reading a book. He really could care less about all that was going on.

Mom and Dad with their special angel girl!

The Larsen family

The Guymon Family

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jeff and Bobbie's Wedding

So I can hardly believe that my baby brother is married, but he married the neatest girl, who is so good for him! We had a great weekend in St George celebrating their special day with them. They were sealed in the St George Temple, and the sealer actually used to be our Stake President in Orangeville, President Arnold, so that was pretty special. They had their reception at the old Social Hall, which was really cute! My mom made all the outfits for the grandkids, so they could match.
This picture is actually at the Orangeville open house. All my kids with the bride and groom!

At the social hall in St George, there was this little stream outside, so of course all the kids flocked to it, since we were all dressed up. It made for some pretty cute pictures and no one fell in, which was good.

Grandma holding Cambree. She is just too cute!

This is our father daughter dance. My dad has 4 daughters, so it was a group dance. I have the greatest family in the whole world, and we have so much fun together!

Aubree and Macie (my niece) holding up the groom. Good thing, cuz those groomsmen might drop him!

Me and my (big) little brother.

We are so happy for Jeff and Bobbie, and always glad to welcome a new sister!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Kaden and Tyson both played soccer this year. They both had a good time and learned a lot. Kaden especially came a long way this year. He had a great coach and their team went undefeated! Tyson had a great coach too -- his Dad. His league doesn't keep score, but he had a great year and even made a couple of goals! Great job boys! We are proud of you!
Kaden gets the greatest looks on his face while he is concetrating!

He was great as goalie and defender this year!

Tyson doing the throw in with coach dad looking on!

Go get em Tyson!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What We Learn From Our Kids

This was on the back of one of Kaden's Math assignments. I'm so glad my kids remind me of what is important.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cambree is 1 Month

So my baby is now one month old, so here are some new pics so you can see how much she has grown!

This pic is actually a few weeks ago when Grandpa and Grandma Guymon stopped by for a visit on their way home from Logan.

She is already getting so big. We are going to have her blessing on Oct 11.

We Miss You Dave!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mother of the Year

So this week I don't get to be the mother of the year. Wednesday night we were at Tyson's soccer game. Bruce is the coach, which leaves me responsible for 4 of the 5 kids. Well, Brennen decided he wants to run over the hill. Not a big deal, I'll go grab him. The problem is, Aubree and Kaden were off playing somewhere, so I can't leave the baby all alone. So I grabbed Cambree and took off after him. I caught up to him and grabbed him by the hand, and as I did that he sat down, because he didn't want ot go with me. Well he started screaming. He sat on my lap for the rest of the game and would scream whenever his arm moved. So after the game Bruce took the rest of the kids and I home and took Brennen up to the night clinic. After a to hour wait, they finally got in to see the doctor and found that his elbow was dislocated. Yeah, I dislocated his elbow. The doctor popped it back into place, and he has been fine ever since, but I felt horrible! I cried the whole night because I felt like the worst mother ever. I know it was an accident, but it sucks to see your baby in pain and know that you caused that pain. Luckily, kids are very forgiving and after giving him a bowl of Cocoa Puffs for dinner that night, he loves me again.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cambree at 2 weeks

I took Cambree for her 2 week check up today. She now weighs 8 ibs 9 oz and has also grown a half an inch. She is starting to fill out. She is healthy healthy healthy. She is such a good baby, hardly ever cries unless she's hungry and sleeps really well. Here are some more pictures, because I can't get enough of her!