Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nicolas' birthday

My baby is 9. He is getting all growed up. I remember how old Peter seemed at this age. In some ways Nicolas seems so much younger, but in other ways he is way older. Having older siblings grows you up faster. I told Nicolas that he could have a party and he wanted to go to Jump On It. He had to invite fewer friends to do something so expensive, so I told him to just invite 2 or 3. He did me one better. He only invited one. His idea of a great birthday? Playing with his friend, Cody, all day. That's it. So I had Marin bring a friend too and Erik came and it all made a party. Nicolas did his "missionary work" for the day too. He and Cody had cooked up a scheme to have Cody sleep over on a Saturday so that he could check out Nicolas' church. Cody found out that 3 hours of church might be a bit much! :-)

catching up

Once again, the month got away from me. We have had Nicolas' birthday, Markee's Christmas recital, Christmas and Marin's birthday and have I blogged any of it? Of course not. Here's the update . . .

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crafty projects

I'm not sure when it happened and how it started, but I got into a real knitting mood this year. And then the ambition hit. I decided to knit a hat, scarf and mitten set for each of my little close-by nieces. I got sidetracked by headwraps (wide headbands) for the older girls and by a pair of slippers for Marin (shh, don't tell), so it took me longer than expected and I still have 2 to do for Tim's girls, but I am so pleased with the finished products! I hope the girls like them, but if not, hopefully they will use them for their snowmen! Go, me!

Monday, December 6, 2010

And the tree is up!

Our Christmas tree tradition?

1. Head to the Happy Valley Tree lot the first Saturday in December.
2. Allow kids to run completely uncontrolled while Jared and I find a tree.
3. Have all the kids stop for at least long enough to say, "yeah, that's great".
4. Tie said tree on top of car and head home.
5. Put tree in tree stand and water. Leave it naked over the rest of the weekend.
6. Hold Family Home Evening on Monday evening with an abbreviated lesson and a long activity of decoating poor naked tree.
7. Allow kids to once again run completely uncontrolled while dad has a great time lighting the tree.
8. Take pictures of everyone having a great time completely disguising the pine tree as a snowman's paradise.

9. Voila, Christmas tree. Stand back and admire our wonderful work of art and sigh with relief that it didn't fall over during the decorating. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

"I Know That My Savior Loves Me"


At this time of year when we think about how blessed we are and give thanks for everything around us, how wonderful it is to be surrounded by family. I sat down to write in my journal last night and could only think about what a great family I have. I know I was a trial to my parents as I was growing up, but I think they have forgiven me! :-) I love the fact that I have 3 brothers that live just minutes away and the fact that our children all love each other and totally enjoy spending time together. I love that my parents live just a few hours away and take time to come up and spend time will us, even just sitting around reminiscing (and learning about things that we never told them when we were kids :-)). I love that my sister is still not TOO far away and we can see each other sometimes - but even more grateful for the technology that allows us to chat and share pictures to share in each others' lives. I love that my so-called "half" sister can come to visit once every 5 years or so but it seems like it was just yesterday because we are all so comfortable together. I am grateful for nephews getting married so we have more family! I love having reasons to get together and just enjoy each other's company, and I love getting together to enjoy each other's company with no reason whatsoever. I love nieces that love me and let me play with them. Thank you to all my family for loving me!

Hanging out at Jeff's around the supper table after eating a great meal.
Grandma made friends with Denika after a time.
Tea and Calista had just done their Primary program and so did Valerie. We did ours just a few weeks ago so all the kids got together and sang the song "I Know That My Savior Loves Me" for Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Laurie. Of course it brought tears to my eyes.
Piper entertaining Aunt Laurie
And Tamsyn and Tea entertaining everyone else with their gymnastics and break dancing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween success

Every year I come up with a costume for myself and either make Jared be my counterpart or fend for himself. Sorry, Jared. This year I did a bit of both - I was the Red Queen from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland so he had to be the Mad Hatter, but since the "licensed" costumes sucked we had to come up with our own and I left him to, once again, fend for himself. From now on, Jared is in charge of costumes, because OH . . . MY . . . GOSH . . . here is what he pulled off:

Now, I do take credit for the hat (I bought it) and the thread spool bandolier (I made it), but the rest is pure Jared. His kilt, socks he had me buy and the rest is Savers/DI. And the makeup - all done himself. Incredible. Johnny Depp, eat your hear out! We are thinking maybe Edward Scissorhands next year . . .Here is some more Halloween fun:

Markee and Brittany as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee respectively, met their match in the Walker boys' Tweedles
Marin and Riley R at the neighborhood Halloween gatheringWe had ball trick-or-treating with Piper - she was SO excited at every house
Jeff and Alison put on a lightsaber show for usIt's always more fun trick-or-treating with cousins

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Markee's first "couples" dance

If we hadn't been in Disneyland during Westlake's homecoming week, Markee would have gone to the homecoming dance with Bryce H, but, alas, California called. So she missed out on that dance but made up for it by asking Colby F to the Sadie's dance on the 23rd. Because it was close to Halloween they did a costume theme so Markee and Colby went as Star Trek characters. It's nice when our costumes can be used more than once and I'm so glad that Colby was willing to really be Spock. Unfortunately, we were all at Jeff's doing Jeff, Tim and Erik's birthday celebration as a family so I just had to drop Markee off at home to get ready for the dance and I didn't get to see her off. I did get her to take one picture though. She had a lot of fun, I think it's safe to say by the grin on her face. :-)


Laurie and I were roommates again, just as we were at the Los Angeles convention last year and the kickoff meeting in Anaheim in January. I'm so glad because we are great friends as well as co-workers. It was a good convention although nowhere near as crazy busy as usual - nice for us! We had a great "pod", with fun people working around us, and I realized how much I enjoy working with my fellow employees. I had been having a terrible attitude toward work because I am so sick and tired of the micro-managing of my "team lead", so this convention time was a nice reprieve and opportunity to alter my attitude. Laurie and I had some of our buddies come to our room on Friday night to play card games and we got a little rowdy and out of control. Hotel security was called. Oops! Saturday night, before we checked out of the hotel we went to the final event of convention - a Styx concert. Yes, I went to a Styx concert. It was fun, but, man, are they old!
Here's our hotel room, it was no Disney Hotel, but it was a very nice room - sophisticated. Here is our "pod". Laurie and I got to work side by side once again. And we had "Scout" to guide us and entertain us with his juggling. :-)

Here are the convention buddies - Scout, Allison, Amanda and me. Laurie wasn't in it because she was the photographer.
We got just a little loud and crazy, trying to play Rage. Probably had something to do with that fun Jen B!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Catching up

I have made a promise to myself to get caught up in everything that has slid this fall. This blog is one of those things. Now that life is a little calmer until the holidays I will get caught up. September is done - October tomorrow . . .

Ahhh, ocean, how I have missed you!

So one of the days in California (September 24th) we decided to take a break from the rides and go to the beach. With Jared growing up in San Diego and me in Connecticut, the ocean was always a big part of our lives. These many years in Utah have caused a hole in our hearts that can only be filled with sand, salt air, seagulls and surf. Unfortunately our kids don't have the appreciation that we do for the ocean and beach, but we will take any opportunity to instill it. The weather turned really warm the day we went to Aliso Beach - mid to upper 70s and sunny. It was perfect. We arrived at high tide and stayed until the tide went all the way out and started its way back. Yes, it was long day and we all got sunburnt - but it was WELL worth it! The kids played in the water, built sand structures and generally had a great beach day. We saw sea lions and pelicans frolicking just off shore, and, of course, the seagulls everywhere. The reason that we drove all the way down to Aliso Beach instead of going to one of the closer beaches in Los Angeles was because Robert Deacon told us it had the best tide pools. He was right. The tide pools were the highlight of the day - giant star fish, crabs, mussels, sea anemones, sea urchins, etc. Incredible! Here, again, is just a smattering of pictures of our great day at the beach.

Disneyland delight

Okay, here I go. Disneyland, September 20th through the 25th, was the best vacation we have ever taken. The weather was perfect, it was the perfect time of year (meaning not too busy at the park, but still nice weather), the Matterhorn was finally open and the beach was divine - but more about that in another post. The kids were all old enough to go on all the rides and did, for the most part did, and we had a 5 day pass so we were in no hurry and relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. It was perfect. Here is a smattering of pictures indicative our our week in the Happiest Place on Earth.

You can't go to Disneyland without going on this mind-numbing ride, no matter how hard you try. Halfway through, you really wish it were a smaller world. :-)

Here's Markee being my California girl.
And Marin in front of my favorite place. I really wish I could decorate like this for Halloween!

No, it's not CHiPs, it's just Peter pretending to be Japanese incognito. And Jared, so happy to be in ToonTown.
Looks like this is probably one of the MANY times we were on the Indiana Jones ride, Marin's favorite.
Erik LOVED California Screamin', otherwise known as Screamin' Over California.
Yes, Nicolas got wet - a lot. He even had to go back to the hotel to change in the middle of one of the days because there was no way that he would ever dry. He loved the wet rides - Grizzly River Run and Splash Mountain. Yes! I finally have one that loves Splash Mountain as much as me!
The best thing about Disneyland in the fall? The villans are out. Unfortunately, they "don't allow Maleficent out during the day because she will scare the little kids." But at least Markee and I got to chat with the evil Queen from Snow White (loved her!), Captain Hook and Cruella di Ville.