Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Taking a quick breather during class...

Today was a big day in my Thai Kickboxing class. I tested for my "Green/Brown" belt and so Steve came to video some of it. I thought it would be a good opportunity to show you what we do in our classes. Steve and I take this class three times a week together while the kids are in school. (Steve prefers his Jui Jitsu class over the Thai class so he takes Thai whenever he is not busy with the other one.) It's the best workout EVER! This is a belt class, meaning that you learn different forms and physical requirements before you can advance to the next belt. You start at white and they move down the line in this order.

  1. white belt
  2. yellow belt
  3. orange belt
  4. purple belt
  5. blue belt
  6. blue/green belt
  7. green belt
  8. green/brown belt
  9. brown belt
  10. 2nd degree brown belt
  11. black belt

From white to orange you have to earn 16 stripes on your belt, purple and above it is 24 stripes. You earn a stripe with each class you attend as long as you can do the physical requirements and learn the forms. As you can see I am really close to obtaining my black belt in Thai Kickboxing. With green/brown I have to be able to do 50 push-ups, know all 8 forms, jump rope for 8 minutes and do 100 sit-ups. It is a great workout and the instructors are excellent. I started a year ago in November so it's been just over a year that I have been taking the class. When I first started I remember I could barely do 15 push-ups. Now I can do 50. It's amazing how fast it happens. In some of these pictures you can see the different belts that I have had - not all are shown. I made a video of the class but unfortuanately the battery to our camera died so we only got through about half. The further the class went along the harder it got so you missed the best parts - ohwell. My sister-n-law Alana has taken the class with me and so she can vouch for the excellent workout that it provides.

This is a "round house kick" or "Thai kick"
Listening to some instruction before a drill.
Warming up before class

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Every Tuesday I go to the school to volunteer in Stevie's classroom. The teacher usually has me typing the books that the kids have most recently written. I enjoy going in to help and I know that Stevie really loves it too. As soon as I come in the room Stevie usually takes Ben right over to her table so that he can sit with her while she does her work. While I finish up the kids leave for recess and then come back in for lunch. The teacher allows Stevie to sit with me during her lunch period so that she can spend some time with me. After we eat lunch she usually takes Ben into the "Reading Igloo" where she likes to read to Ben. Sometimes the teacher doesn't have a lot for me to do so I end up visiting with Stevie instead. It has been a lot of fun interacting with her during her school day. I think Ben enjoys it just as much. I'm grateful that the teachers have always been so tolerant of me taking Ben to volunteer with me. Below you can see the different things that we did today. The first picture Stevie is showing Ben her newly published book "My New Puppy Max". I love the illustrations that she did. Stevie loves to kiss her brother. While eating lunch, she was showing me her "yummy" turkey roll-up. Lastly you can see Stevie and Ben in the "Reading Igloo". The two videos are of Stevie feeding Ben a red pepper and Stevie reading to Ben. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Happy Birthday to our Mom and Grandmother. We have been thinking of you on this special day. I wanted you to know that your son has sent you a birthday card (I know...don't be shocked) but our cranky mail lady has been holding our mail hostage until our mailbox is totally cleared from all the snow. The problem with that is the weather has been around 0 degrees and the snow has frozen. We chip away at it every day hoping she'll be kind and deliver it - but so far no luck. Anyway, I would have made you a German Chocolate Cake just for you but I don't think it would have delivered too well. We are sending you hugs and kisses your way. We love you!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Today was one of those relaxing days - thank goodness because Ben has not had a great week sleep wise. Three of the nights this week Benjamin has not slept and so it has taken a toll on me. My husband was good enough to let me have a nap this morning while he took care of some things. It was very refreshing. I love having a day once in awhile with nothing on the schedule. Steve had the day off and so we spent the day (after my nap of course) getting some things done around the house. This weekend Steve and Kaleb have a campout and so date night will be tonight. We are watching the latest "Pirate" movie with Johnny Depp and eating take out Chinese food. Should be fun. During the day today I took this picture of my boys and wanted to post it because I thought it was so cute. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


So today Kaleb arrived home from school and came running downstairs to find me. He was in a panic because he had a school project that was due tomorrow - WHAT? Talk about pressure. I had a brief talk with Kaleb about how nice it would have been if he could have filled me in on this sooner. Now...I was easy on him because with all his Dartmouth trips lately (including yesterday) he has missed a fair share of school. His teacher called about an hour after he arrived home and told me if we really needed to, we could have until Friday because of his excused absences. By this time we were already 75% done so we forged ahead. The basis of his project was to create a fort that represented the period during the revolutionary war. We actually had a lot of fun making it and were lucky to have all the items needed at home. Kaleb wanted his fort to represent France and so he painted some army men blue. The paint does not come off clothing so that is why he doesn't have a shirt on in one of the pictures. The end result was wonderful and Kaleb is so excited to share his fort with everyone tomorrow.

Monday, January 21, 2008


For our Family Home Evening Activity tonight, Kaleb chose indoor football. It was the funniest game ever. Steve was his own team against the kids. I had to video it for posterity sake. I hope you enjoy a little peak into our night home together. For those who are not familiar with what Family Home Evening is a designated night where the whole family is home and spends the evening together. We always have a lesson (taught by Stevie), songs (me), opening and closing prayer (by invitation), treats (Kayla), spotlight (Steve - he did the worm form of breakdancing - it was hilarious), testimony (Steve) and activity (Kaleb). It's a great way to grow closer to one another. Tonights lesson was on service. Stevie had everyone pick a name out of the bag and you had to keep your name secret. For the next week we are supposed to do secret service for that family member. Since I know none of you will tell, I'll reveal to you who I picked - Stevie. I always love when my children get involved in service. It is a great way to forget about yourself and focus on others.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Cute Kayla digging out her fort, I love the little flakes on her nose

One of the best parts of being a 2nd counselor in the Young Women's presidency at my church is working with my own daughter Kayla. She is such a joy and so fun to be with. Last night we had planned to go ice skating for our activity but the local outdoor town rink was not ready for skaters so we had to go to plan B. In leiu of skating we decided that we would stay at the church and have fun building a snowman together and then afterward we would have hot chocolate. We arrived at the church around 6:30pm and went out in the snow about 10 minutes later. As soon as we got outside my daughter quickly informed me that the snow was not moldable. Of all nights!! We had just had that new snow fall the day before but it happened to be the light, fluffy stuff. Plan C...we decided to just play in the snow. Because the parking lot had been plowed, it made for a good spot to make a snow fort. The girls jumped all over that idea. A couple of times they enlisted my help to make the hole bigger. It was a fun night and we were really happy to drink our hot chocolate after being out in the really cold weather for an hour.
Sister Orton helping with the snow fort.
Kayla and Brittany staking out a good spot for a snow fort
Laura making her own snow cave

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I'm proud of my little girl tonight. I told her this morning that I would take her to get a hair cut because she was over due. During our conversation she asked me how much length was needed to donate to locks of love. I told her 10 inches and she wanted to know if she had enough. I told her she would have to ask the hairdresser. She was really torn because it had taken her awhile to grow her hair out and she was liking her hair long. I told her it was completly her decision to make and that she could think about it. I really didn't think she was going to go for it but she surprised me by saying yes while sitting in the chair. Her hairdresser was really good about explaining exactly how much hair she would cut off and where her new hair line would be. You could tell she was really nervous but I stayed totally out of it. I really wanted her to make the decision. I think what helped her finally decide is knowing what her hair would be used for and where it would go. When the hairdresser cut off the last part of her ponytail, her face went red and my heart sank a little bit because I thought she was going to cry. I think because all the hairdressers were giving her lots of attention she was able to pull out of it (it was only for just a second) and then she was all smiles after that. It was a great experience for both of us and I think she came away looking as cute as ever. Great job Stevie!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008


Happy snow day everyone!! Another day stuck at home....darn. Here are some pictures of the snow towards the beginning of the storm. If I remember I'll take more towards the end and post them. I still love all the snow that we have been getting. I did have a weak moment last week when we had a lot of melting due to the warm weather and ended up with some water damage. But after today I decided that I can't help but love snow. I liken it to the atonement because when we repent we are made clean again, just like when it snows - everything becomes clean and white. Before my kids were awake I snuck into their rooms and took pictures of them sleeping in. It is nice to enjoy that luxury every once in a while. We will spend the day shoveling, playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate and playing games. Time to go make the waffles... (Below I added a video of the falling snow)

This video is of Kaleb shoveling during the storm

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Here are the most recent pictures of Ben. I took these pictures because Ben was having a really good day and I wanted to document how good he looked. I love these kind of days because he is very alert and his eyes are so big and beautiful. One of the qualities I most appreciate about Ben are his eyes. They are like a window to his spirit. Most people who meet Ben comment on them. I am grateful that he was blessed with such amazing eyes. Below you can see how tall he is getting. Ben is hovering around the 40lb. mark but that doesn't stop him from continuing to stretch out. Must be those tall Hutchins' genes. I'm still able to lift and carry him but can't do it for long periods of time like I used to. With Ben's disablility, he has some pretty good contractures - meaning he is very stiff - so that makes it harder to carry him. Thankfully I have my big and buff husband who helps with a lot of the lifting, though I keep whispering to Ben that he will never be too big or heavy for me to snuggle or carry.

Friday, January 11, 2008


This picture is from July when we were out visiting family in Utah. I wanted to post this picture earlier but didn't because I hadn't sent out my Christmas cards yet and this is the picture we used. of yesterday afternoon, I finally was able to mail our cards. (whew!) What a stressful event that is. How many people are with me? Don't get me wrong, I love receiving Christmas cards because for the most part it is the only time you hear from certain people. It's a chance to catch up on each others lives. I also love seeing the pictures that are sent. But...if you don't send them out every year, chances are you will be nixed from somebody's list. I admit it, I have done that to others in the past. Some are added, others are subtracted. It's this pressure of staying on the list. The other reason that we do cards (and I'm sure everyone has their different reasons) is because it is our gift to others. We don't do gifts for most people. I am really trying to get away from the whole material part of Christmas. I would rather have the gift of time. So...because I cannot spend time with everyone on my list, I take the time to write about our past year and send a picture so that they can see how we are all growing and changing. There...with that said, please keep your Christmas cards coming. And for goodness sake, please keep me on your list!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Happy Birthday Mom!!!
I love you!

Monday, January 7, 2008


Kaleb achieved great success last month by earning his "Arrow of Light" award from the scouting program. He is now able to move on to the boy scouting program setting his sight on Eagle! It was a fun night as he earned many Weblos pins and patches. He was one of four boys to receive their "Arrow of Light". I owe a lot of thanks to his Weblos leaders - Mike and Donna. They were wonderful with Kaleb and we couldn't have done it without them.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Because I didn't start this blog until almost Christmas time, I didn't get to write about our experience on the "Polar Express". The first week into December, I got a phone call from Make-A-Wish asking us if we would like to receive tickets to the Polar Express. For those of you who haven't read the book or seen the movie, this will probably be a little confusing for you, for those who'll understand what kind of adventure this was. How could we turn away tickets to ride on the actual Polar Express? Because they were offering 7 tickets and we only have 6 in our family, we invited one of our close friends Kathy to go with us. We drove about an hour north to catch the Polar Express. Thanks to Make-A-Wish we had "exclusive seating" tickets. (the best seats on the train) Dressed in our pajamas, we were the first ones on the train and were seated in a roomy car. They served us hot chocolate and a chocolate with a nougat center. After about 30 minutes of waiting we were headed off to the north pole. We traveled for a bit and visited with the different workers on the train including the engineer who stopped to have his picture taken with us. (see below) Finally we made it to the North Pole, it was a long journey. The elves met us and guided us to Santa's workshop. Once inside we got to meet all the elves that work so hard every year to make all the toys for the children. Because Ben was from Make-A-Wish, he even got his own "ELF" escort. Her name was "Jingles". A man came out dressed in pajamas and read us the "Polar Express" story. When he was finished, Santa came out to meet all of the children. (my batteries from the camera had run out by now) He stayed for about 10 minutes or so before he had to say goodbye and then we were escorted back to the train for our long journey home. ( was only about 15 minutes) We so enjoyed our experience and want to thank all the great people at Make-A-Wish for thinking of us and giving us this special memory. We love you guys!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I love snow! I love lots and lots of snow. We returned home from our weekend with family to another snow storm. It was great. For those who haven't heard, NH broke their snow record for the month of December. Monday's storm broke the 100 year old record. To start the new year off with a bang, we got another storm that produced another foot or so. If you love snow, this is the place to be. I think we have over three feet total right now. I hope you enjoy these pictures!

This is our trampoline

Our GMC Safari was almost buried.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


This is only half the crew that went out the door
at midnight. Notice all the barefeet...

Happy New Year to everyone. Last night we spent the evening at my sister Jenny's house along with Aaron's family, my family (minus Steve and Ben) and Zach and Alana. We spent the night playing pool, dance dance revolution and a bunch of other fun activities. But...the reason I chose to blog about this particular event is because of the tradition that my sister Jenny started about 16 years ago or so. Before midnight hits, we each choose something that we want to have happen in the new year whether it is to improve upon something or maybe you hope will happen, and then you choose an item to represent that wish. When you decide upon the item (some choose scriptures in hopes that they will be more dutiful in their scripture study, some carry money in hopes that maybe their financial situation will improve, etc.) then off come the shoes and socks and we stand by the door as the countdown to the new year begins. Once midnight strikes we all head out the door carrying our items and run around the house barefoot in the snow. It's crazy, I know...but it is a fun tradition and everyone looks forward to it each year. Because the snow was crunchy and hard and around 8 inches deep, some of us did not make it all the way around the house. (just for your info, you only have to run outside and back in again for it to count.) Zach, Roger jr. and Adam were the only ones that made it around the entire house - and mind you it is not a small house. Congrats to them and to the rest of you...Happy New Year!!!