Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween! It sure was a busy day for us! We woke up and started the day at Church- perfect way to start the week! After Church we got everything ready for trick-or-treating! I made a special dinner for our family- I wanted the kids to have good food in their tummies before they go nuts on sugar! Kurt had to work this morning, which made us sad that he had to miss Church, but made us happy he got to spend Halloween night with us! HOW FUN! After the trick-or-treating was over some friends came over to play! The kids all had fun building trains and pretending to trick-or-treat here in the house, and the adults enjoyed pumpkin pie and cocoa, mmmmm!

Kurt hollows out one of the pumpkins- this one will be filled with dinner!

Halloween Dinner: Dinner-in-a-pumpkin!

Kurt shows Carter what is inside the pumpkin! DINNER!

Carter waits to go trick or treating! Carter designed the sad pumpkin, lol

Harrison and Carter go trick-or-treating!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

All Hallow's Eve... eve.

Yes, it is the day before Halloween! The kids are SO excited that we cant keep them contained in the house! Today we drove to Grandma and Grandpa Smith's house for some fun! We went bowling, shopping, and stopped at the park! What a great time!!!!

Harrison patiently waits to bowl.

Carter is disappointed with his performance. Grandpa tries to give him a pep talk.

Harrison takes bowling VERY seriously.

Carter loves bowling =)

The gang watches Carter bowl his turn.

I was so thrilled to get ALL the monkeys in this picture! LOL! There was a LOT of action going on during this shot- I cant believe I got them all in the photo!

Harrison is soooo cute!

Carter asked me to take a picture of him going down the slide!

I don't like booster seats... the above is a GREAT example of why! That said... this is a super cute photo! However... next time we go out, I think we will just have to take the extra time to put in the 5-point harness seats.


Harrison snuggles up to Carter. Too cute!

Brian and me

Christopher, Sean, and Carter- crazy little guys!

Sean, Carter, and Harrison are waiting to go trick or treating!

Brian tells the kids they need to follow me (which is why he is pointing! lol)- as you can see the kids are way more interested in the candy he has in the trunk!

Today was such a fun day! There was no school, so last night we drive to Grandma and Grandpa Smith's house and went swimming in the hot springs! In the morning, Sean, Carter, and Harrison were joined by their friend Christopher and got ready for a spoooooky night of trunk or treating! We started the evening at Chili's, went to the Ward's trunk-or-treat, and then finished the night by watching Casper and Hocus Pocus! How fun!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin!

Sean is ready for a hayride!

Sean finds his pumpkin!

Carter loves hayrides!

Carter's Iowan background shows- he feels at home in the corn maze =)

OH NO! Carter and I are lost in the maze!!!

Carter loves to ride on the school bus!

Mom loves to ride school buses too!!!!!

After the trip to the pumpkin patch, the field trip moved to a local park. Over 110 kindergartners played on the playground! Carter and Sean joined the group that was rolling down a nearby hill.

Well, the Great Pumpkin didn't make a stop for us today, but we sure looked for him! Today Sean and Carter got to go to the local pumpkin patch. What a fun school field trip! I was fortunate to be able to chaperone the trip, Brian watched Harrison! It was so neat to see the boys interact with their classes- they grow up so fast! Sean picked the biggest pumpkin he could carry, and Carter- as usual- chose a pumpkin that was partially green. What good times and great memories!


This week has been CRAZY! All the kids talk about is Halloween! We talk about pumpkins, bats, and trick or treating. We read special books all about Halloween spooks (thank you for those, Grandma Lyle!). We repeatedly "try on" costumes! Of course... the boys are going to be Buzz and Woody from Toy Story- such fun!!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday, Monday...

Today was a super fun day! With all the stress that was brewing around the house we took a moment to stop, dance, make cookies (no gluten, of course), and enjoy one another. Carter and Sean were at school so it was a nice moment to share with Harrison- he sure liked the attention!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!!


Carter reads about one of his favorite things: volcanos!

Carter and Mommy play Thomas Trains at Barnes and Noble!

Harrison tells Kurt some of the things on his Christmas List!

Today was Kurt and my 6th anniversary! We are so happy for this! Things between us have never been better and we are so grateful that we worked through our roughest points!!!!! I was so lucky to have found Kurt. We really were made for one another. No one else can make me laugh like he can, cheer me like he can, and lift my spirits like he can. He is so amazing! I am SO lucky!!!!!!! (And he is SOOOOO handsome!!!!!! Did I mention that???)
Kurt and I have very similar priorities in life. Our faith, family, and home are all very important to us. Our faith has become increasingly important, and has been something that saw us through the worst of times. Our family is the most important thing on Earth. Our home is our sanctuary.
When Kurt and I first started dating we talked a lot. We talked about our thoughts on politics, religion, children, housekeeping, foods, even brand names. We talked about everything. I am so thankful for this, because it set us up for a good foundation of communication. More than communication, it helped us clear up a lot of the fog that many couples around us were in. We saw firsthand some of our closest friends have huge relationship problems over things like: number of children, religion, roles, and finances. What was so strange for us was that the couples confessed that they didn't honestly and openly discuss these things before marriage. Many of them, it seemed, were just excited to be "in love" and ready to play house- some of them even admitted to avoiding topics that may cause problems or lying to keep their partner interested! Kurt and I are thankful for our early talks, because it was then that we got our cards on the table and were open. Sure, things may have changed over the years, but because we talk often we still know where each of us stands. Kurt knew from the 2nd week of our courtship that I wanted the option to stay home if I had children. I knew from a few months in that religion was something Kurt felt was necessary. We both wanted kids, and both of us wanted more than 1. Our very first date we agreed that the stupidest reason for ending a marriage was because "I don't love you anymore," which helped us get through the time that we reallllly didn't feel very loving toward one another- we both had felt it was a dumb reason to destroy a family.

Do we expect the world to agree with us? NO WAY! We don't vaccinate, our familial roles are old fashioned, we are Republicans, we dressed up when we attended the last Star Wars movie, we don't watch TV shows, we taught our 18 month old babies to read with flash cards, we have full conversations with our cat, we love World of Warcraft, we regularly can be seen dancing together when there is no music around... we are unique! We are The Lyles!!!!

Kurt and I don't play house. Rather than go on a date today, we followed through on promises we made to our little 5 year old. Rather than buy new cars we are paying student loans. Rather than play computer games we watched a Veggie Tales movie with our kids and talked about how it is not nice to hit. Rather than plop the kids in front of our (totally awesome) TV, we encourage them to build trains and Lego cities- and freely offer them our help. Rather than watch ANY TV sitcoms, we spend extra time with the kids each night- brushing teeth, taking vitamins, washing hands and faces, finishing homework, reading each child a book of his choice, followed by family scripture study, talks about the kids' days, prayers, and affection.

Our children did not ask to come into this world, we brought them here, and we will not allow them to suffer because we are having bad days or have other interests. Do we have hobbies? Absolutely. However, our focus is on bettering ourselves and our homes. Have we had moments of selfishness? OF COURSE!!!! We are human!!!! However, our commitment to our children is so strong that these moments are short, and often occur when the kids are sleeping anyway. Do we take time for ourselves- yes! For example, I usually need a break after the boys go to bed, so I "clock out" and play some kind of little flash game for a half hour, just to unwind before I pick up the house. I also enjoy bubble baths and reading- all things that help me recharge so that I can be a more patient and loving person. These are not things that take away from my family, they are things that sharpen my saw.

I want my boys to grow up to become good men. I want them to learn from their father. I want them to see that families can be happy things, not things to be avoided or complained about. I want the kids to see, through our actions, that we love them and value them. I want our kids to see that everyone needs to help around the house, everyone needs to speak kind words, and everyone is important. I want our kids to know that they need to value their own wives and children, and that nothing shows this more than time. I want them to see their own children as blessings, and not burdens. I want them to respect themselves and their families. I want them to know unconditional love, so that they can offer that to their own children. I want them to get to know their children as individuals, and not accessories. These are things I want for my boys.

I am so thankful for my husband. I am so thankful for my children. I am so thankful for The Church. I am so thankful for my life!!!!!!!!!!! I really do have a wonderful life, and I know that my kids are benefiting from the work Kurt and I do. David O. McKay said it best, "No success can compensate for failure in the home." I am so thankful for my husband and for our agreement that our family comes first- and during the times when we couldn't stand each other, we still put the kids first, and it helped us remember what was really important.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Grandpa and Grandma Smith took Kurt, Brian, Harrison, and me to breakfast. I had some herbal tea and Harrison LOVED the teapot! He was sure it belonged to Aladdin.

While the grown-ups chatted, Harrison played under the table with his Buzz Lightyear toy.

Daddy had to work, and Brian went to Carson, so Harrison and I played Mario on Wii!

The boys do their chores before they can play.

Carter loves climbing up high!

Monkeys =)

Harrison carefully climbs down.

Both the boys loved this little hill!
Harrison has awesome hair after bathtime, lol!

Carter's hair is CRAZY!

Harrison enjoys Friday nights because the kids get to watch a movie in their room!

We guess Carter partied too hard... lol!

It seems like so often we get swept away with our schedules. Activities, volunteer work, kids, house work, jobs- it all piles up until the day is over! Our hardest day as a family unit, by far, is Friday. By the time Friday arrives, little Carter is SO ready for a day off that he begs to go home. He pretends to be sick, he pretends to loose his shoes, he pretends his feet are magically glued to the ground and he is unable to leave the house. Carter's attitude makes everyone edgy and frustrated, which isn't the best way to begin a day.

We write of this challenge to explain rewards. Every day our boys are learning so many new things about life. When Carter is at his limit (every single Friday...) we can understand. We are sympathetic to his frustrations, we are crazy before our days off too! However, we have been working really hard to show Carter that when he is a good boy, gets to school, behaves himself and minds his manners, that rewards come. The greatest blessings often follow trials- and for Carter, this is every Friday.

I am so thankful for Carter. I am so thankful for his little personality. I am thankful for his gentile nature.

On a side note, Kurt and I are celebrating the payment of a large debt! It has been SO hard to have so much more money and not spend it all- but Kurt set me a budget and has been holding me to it- and it has worked!!!! For me, having money is much harder than not having money- there are so many more fun things we could be doing (Disneyland! Children's Place sales! Tahoe ski passes!), and just put our debts off for another day. I am so grateful that Kurt has helped us cut back so much- I am shocked that we got this paid so quickly! Living on a budget is hard... but it is SO rewarding!!! I am thankful for Kurt being such a great example for our kids and me to follow- paying off debts is very important, and avoiding unnecessary debt is vital! Thank you, Kurt!