December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

 We have so much to be grateful for this year. Christian has literally found his dream job (aside from being a river guide, of course). His new job as an administrator of a skilled nursing facility has brought us to the heart of Texas. We're feeling right at home now in Bell County (yes, that's the real name of the county). We're in the process of building a home down the street from Belton Lake.
This year has been one of changes for me as well. I am in Young Womens at church, serving in the PTA, and just recently got certified to teach a weightlifting class at a local gym. All this, in addition to building a home makes me a very busy lady. I'm making lot of great friends here and loving central Texas!
Oliver started Kindergarten in August and is liking it so far, other than that the "it takes too long to go home." He is so smart and so social. He has already made so many friends and is quickly learning to read. He loves his teacher and is still asking lots and lots of questions. Oliver loves to share and is so protective of his little sisters. He's a little light in our home.
Amelia is always the life of the party- whether she's at home, at school, or at a friend's house. She loves to sing and dance and does them without any inhibition. She's our future "American Idol" (not that that's something to strive for). She is happy about 99.99% of the time and brings so much joy in to our home.
Eloise made a late arrival (literally) this last January. She is the sweetest, smiliest baby. While she was pretty mellow for the first 11 months of her life, she's discovered her untapped energy and is now turning in to a squirmy little crawler, climber, and screamer. She reminds us constantly of how precious and special it is to have a little baby, a gift from God, in our home.
 We are most grateful this year for the Savior and His gospel, and the hope and peace it brings us. We are constantly amazed at the mercy He shows and the blessings that just keep coming. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope this season brings you "glad tidings of great joy."

Love to you all,
Christian, Rebecca, Oliver, Amelia, and Eloise Bell

September 11, 2012

Our Audience

A while ago my Father-in-law, Greg, was talking to Christian and said something to the effect of, "Christ should be your audience. When you behave as if Christ is your only audience, your life will become better." (This is second-hand from what Christian told me so it went something like that.) Anyway, this really struck me, and I have been thinking about it a lot since then. So, yesterday I was on facebook and I kept seeing this talk come up- a devotional by Jeffrey R. Holland. At first, I kind of waved it off, but then I saw it again and again so I decided to listen to it. It just really helped me to better understand how we can make Christ our audience, especially in our world today. When you have a minute, I would encourage you to take the time to listen. It's worth it.

It can be found HERE.

CES Devotionals

September 10, 2012

Adventures in August Part II

August was SOOO busy- just the way I like it.:) After the Crofts' visit, we started making preparations for school, which began with us putting money down on a property and getting Oliver enrolled in that school. Oliver also celebrated his 6th birthday and a few days later, started Kindergarten.

 Eloise is finally sitting up!!! And, at only 7 months! :)

 Her eyes get bigger by the day.

 We went to some ward friend's house for dinner and the kids played the whole time in their beautiful back yard. This is also where Amelia goes to preschool.

 Oliver loves to lie down and let the baby have her way with his face.

 And this is our lot! I know it doesn't look like much, but we love it. It's 3/4 acre, about 3/4 mile from Belton Lake and has a community pool and lots of trees (all things on our "list.")

 We met our friends at McDonald's a few weeks ago to play and escape the 100+ degree heat.

 Who needs a photography studio with these kinds of props around??

 Happy Birthday to my sweet, angelic, little Oliver. He turned 6 and was so excited for his big day. We had a yummy breakfast and then went to a small waterpark, followed by Chick-fil-A. Oliver, who's so easy to please, loved every minute of his day. Oliver has turned in to the sweetest, most tender-hearted boy. He's always taking care of Amelia and loves to share and include her. He's also so obedient and quick to obey.  He's also about the smartest little 6 year old I know. He absolutely loves to learn and asks such intelligent, thoughtful questions and then remembers everything we tell him! I can't believe how much he's grown up in the past year.

 I know what you're thinking: that is one good-looking hyena cake! I know, I know. Christian thought it was an armadillo, Amelia thought it was a cow, but Oliver- who had requested a hyena cake- knew right away what it was. 

 We invited the neighbor kids to come and eat cake and ice cream with us, but we spent the rest of the day celebrating with just our little family.

 And now, Oliver's first day of Kindergarten! It was really hard for me to say goodbye to him. He's my little boy after all, and it's hard to let go of that. But, he's really loved it so far and his teacher is fabulous.

 Walking in to school, green breakfast smoothie in hand:).

 Oliver and his teacher at their classroom.

 Oliver's little locker.

 And, after all that picture taking, Amelia wanted a few of her own with her new princess backpack.

Adventures in August Part I

 One of the reasons I was excited to move to Texas was that I would be living a short 3 hours away from my twin sister, Rachel, in Dallas. We've been able to get our families together a few times already and it has been so much fun for us and for our kids. They came to visit us here at the beginning of August and Brian's Dad was generous enough to loan us his boat for the day so we could enjoy beautiful Belton Lake.
Preparing for a big day on the lake with a hearty breakfast. Amelia, Lauren, Oliver, Kate, and Taylor.

Even mom's like to have a little fun! Oliver, Amelia, me, and Kate.

 Kate was an old pro out there and wasn't scared in the least. Here she is with Oliver, Amelia, and Taylor.
 We spent most of the day parked in coves where we swam and cliff jumped. It was SO, SO, SO much fun. I'm dying to go out again.

This was Eloise's inaugural trip to the pool. She loved kicking around and then got tired and practically fell asleep in her floatie.

End of July

 Amelia was so tired one day that she nestled in the couch next to me and fell fast asleep.

 Downtown Belton- after dinner we listened to a live band for as long as we could stand the heat and then posed for a pic in this wagon. Belton has such a cute little town right on a river.

 Amelia loving on Little Eloise

 We went to this reptile "show" at Christian's facility. This kid had all sorts of icky little creatures there and this was his final exhibit: an albino python. You had to pick my jaw up off the ground when he pulled this thing out.

 I don't know how this happened but it did.

 Amelia "laying out" with Momma at the pool. (It was 7 PM.)

Eloise doing a little self-feeding.

July was warm, warm, and hot. We spent a LOT of time at the pool and splash pads with friends. We got visits from my parents and the Sedgwicks, which we loved. Now on to August!

July 14, 2012

Catch Up

 The kids made this "trampoline" for Eloise today. They were so proud of themselves.

 While in Dallas last weekend for Kate's baptism, we went on morning walks with my Mom almost every morning. We found this GIANT frog on our last morning walk. I have never seen a frog even half this big in my life. It was so gross and it didn't help that it was also dead.

 Lauren and Amelia having fun while Rachel pushes them around in the car.

 Eloise spending some time with Cousin Tessa at church while in Dallas for the baptism.

 Fourth of July Parade in Belton. We had heard from some of the locals that it was a nationally rated parade so we were expecting big things. It was very small-town and there wasn't even any candy! It made me miss the Kaysville 4th Parade BIG time.

 My parents spent a few days with us before going up to Dallas for the baptism. We visited the darling little town of Salado and my Dad stopped in this cute little antique shop.

 Just going out on the town.

 My sweet, little, sleeping angel baby.

 Work it girlfriend!

 This is actually from when we were still in UT but I thought it was too cute to pass up.

 This is also an oldie, but again, a goodie.

 Eloise got to join Christian and I as we celebrated our 7 year anniversary. She was the perfect 3rd wheel.
 We ate at the yummiest restaurant- La Duni in Fairview, TX. Rachel watched Oliver and Amelia so we could enjoy a night out on the town to celebrate 7 years:).

 I am so proud of this amazing deal I got on hotwire: $58 for a 4 star hotel!!! It was such a nice hotel and we even got upgraded when we told them it was our anniversary. It was on the 20th floor with incredible views which Christian is taking in here.

 Amelia and Oliver have definitely made the most of our apartment pool. We go swimming just about everyday and they love it. Amelia "remembered" how to swim a few weeks ago and she is our little fish in the water- a real natural.

 Oliver is also an expert swimmer.  He has gotten so good and loves it.

 Getting ready to head to the pool, taking care not to forget the cowboy boots.

 We went to Lake Belton for a dinner picnic a couple weeks ago. It was so beautiful and the kids have been begging to go back ever since.

 Cow Appreciation Day! 

I thought Chick-fil-A would be jam-packed, but we were some of the only customers there for Cow Appreciation Day.

   In no particular order (because I can't figure out blogger right now and I'm too lazy) here's a little catch-up. We've had a really fun and very busy month or so here in TX. We've made 2 trips up to Dallas- the first for our anniversary and the second for Kate's baptism. My parents came to town to visit over the 4th. We've been swimming a ton and made some great friends here already. We still really like it here and the heat and humidity haven't been as bad as we thought they might be come July. Oliver and Amelia just finished swim lessons and did so good. Eloise is still the sweetest, most content baby around. I think that's it for now, but hopefully my posts will get a little more regular from here on out:).