A long, long time ago before Michael could walk and talk, he produced this adorable dancing video for us to admire. But this week, he has excelled above and beyond in his dancing skills. We have been laughing our heads off at this.


Dance parties and Shooting games

When I was a little Gillespie I would always play with my little neighbor friends, the Heisses. Now we're all grown up and some of us have children of our own. We were all in Utah over Christmas, and it was fun to have the new little generations playing together. First games, building guns out of legos. Even the girls got involved in this one.

Uncle Philip got a drumset last year for Christmas, and I had yet to even hear him play. He agreed to play for a bit. The kids came flocking in, and danced their little hearts out. So cute!



One of my very favorite things I did this holiday season was play volleyball a couple of times with family. There was so much laughter involved too, it was out of control. When it was time for lunch, I went to find Michael, and found him and his cousin (well technically second-cousin) playing their own volleyball game in the other room with a table as their net. 

Preschool Santa

I took Michael with me to drop off our preschool hold application, and little did I know I would walk into the end-of-year preschool program in front of parents. The teachers were so fabulous, and didn't give me a second to even feel embarrassed; they just invited us to sit down and watch, which we did. Then Santa made his appearance at the end. Michael was so excited, and looked forward to going up and telling him that he wanted "Go Diego Go" toys. He got a candy cane instead. 

That weekend, we attended the ward Christmas party and Santa made his appearance there as well. When Michael saw him he said, "I don't want to sit on his knee. That's a different Santa." He still went up and showed the Different Santa the craft he made, but refused to sit on his knee when Santa invited him.

The photographer pushed Michael once more to sit on Santa. Michael, firm in his thoughts, sat on the floor next to Santa. Eventually, he stood in front of Santa and smiled his big cheesy grin. That won over the crowd, and even Santa was laughing too much that he forgot to give Michael a candy cane (which believe me, I was grateful for)!


Book Recommendation

If you haven't read this, read it.
I have been flying through these chapters, and all the footnotes (which are just as insightful as the writing itself) and been loving every page. I especially loved the beginning chapters about Joseph Smith's mother and her family and their living circumstances. I look around at my beautiful apartment, and think "How lucky am I?" and then imagine squeezing 9 people in this living space. I am definitely grateful that Lucy Smith kept a journal and kept records of events happening around her as pertaining to her family, and especially Joseph's life. (But those who know me, know I'm very partial to journal writing).

Growing up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I have heard many stories of Joseph's life and highlights of glorious events that happened around him. Oftentimes these stories are repeated over and over again and with time some events have just kinda become that, a story, with no real fascination to me. And although many of these stories are also in this book, it is surrounded by context and characters that I never knew were present and these stories have become real to me. They are exciting to read.

I'm also grasping the personalities of people like Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer more wholly than I have ever before. Growing up, I just envisioned them as nice people who helped Joseph out. But now, they are remarkable to me. Real men who had to learn for themselves that the true Gospel was unfolding. Many had their own preparatory events unfold in their lives before even meeting Joseph Smith. Things happen for a reason. People enter our lives for a reason. And I believe it is just as true then as it is now.

Anyway, there's my book recommendation for the week.


Richard's Birthday

This post is very belated.
Richard requested a Guava cake for his birthday. I've never made this before, but was happy with the turnout. My gelatin on top was a little too runny, and I didn't really build a wall of frosting & coolwhip around the top so well so the guava gelatin kind of dripped off. But, you can't beat the taste!

I put 28 candles on there. Never again. I kept burning my fingers and only ended up lighting 26 of them. Next year, I'm purchasing number candles.

 We invited some friends over for cake and ice cream, and then two of those couples joined us in going to an improv show. It was funny and great company. We were lucky because we got the very LAST tickets. Phew!



I am the type of neighbor who loves to share. Usually, I bake a large batch of cookies or cupcakes, eat just enough, and then pawn them off. In my last apartment, they acted more like a bribe--Dear Neighbor, please like us, and please don't mind all the noise our little family of three creates. And, in other ways they were a thank you--like, Neighbor, thank you for putting up with all the noise our little family of three creates. 

I think it worked. Although, I should've delivered downstairs a few more times. 

Once again, I have to mention my all-time favorite post. When we first moved to Seattle, I felt very confined to my apartment. I had a newborn, no friends, and no idea what the city had to offer. So instead of getting out--I stayed in and baked, a lot. Within 6 weeks, I had baked over a dozen varieties of cookies. 

With our recent move, I thought I would go on another baking kick. Tis the holiday season, right? A couple of weeks ago, I did whip up some chocolate cupcakes and pomegranate icing, but I hated the cupcakes that I baked. So, I tried a different recipe. And I don't know what happened.... 
...I totally botched these cupcakes. After those many hours in the kitchen I was ready to throw in the towel to cupcakes. 

But then I remembered these cute cupcake liners and toppers that I bought at an after-Christmas sale. That motivated me once again. I chose a basic chocolate cake recipe with plain ol' delicious vanilla buttercream frosting. I topped them with crushed Andes Peppermint Crunch and they were just perfect!

They didn't even make it to the neighbor's home. Instead, they went to a "Christmas Party" which really turned into a "Adios Anderson Family" party that my dear Seattle friends put together. We have some of the bestest friends in the whole wide world. 


Talk About Talent!

I recently came across an autobiography that I wrote in 5th Grade. Our teacher provided us with sheets of paper that prompted questions that we answered. It is quite a hilarious read, and definitely the school project I won't be throwing away ever!

One page is about talents, and this is what it says:

Although I've only been around 10 years, I've managed to accomplish some pretty neat things! Here is a list of just some of the things I've done: swimming, basketball, piano, playing, reading, singing, violin, writing storys, playing with cat

I am especially talented at eating a lot
And the accomplishment that I am the most proud of is that when we were having a big dinner I was so hungry, and most of the food I didn't like so I ate 3 tacos, one serving of salad, and I drank 2 cups of water

When I accomplished this I felt very, very full

I'm also pretty sure I was the hottest thing walking the elementary halls that year.