Monday, December 27, 2010

Issue 135

Christmas 2010

Christmas Eve morning, we took the family out to breakfast and then hiking up Millcreek Canyon. We climbed up above the yucky inversion in the valley and enjoyed blue sky and and sunshine! That evening we enjoyed a lovely Christmas Eve dinner with Noreen's parents.
Christmas morning was a delight. Everyone received some fun gifts, but the best one of all was our new kitty. Steve and I picked him out at the shelter on the 23rd and successfully hid him in our bathroom for 2 days, until Christmas morning. The kids had been begging for months for a cat, but didn't really think we'd get one. That's what made the surprise so fun. Steve and I would sneak upstairs and play with him, and then make sure there weren't any cat hairs on us to give it away. Our kitty is a nine month old boy, who is very affectionate, mild mannered, and great with the kids. Boy did we luck out! We haven't been able to agree on a name yet, but we all agree that he's adorable!

After an enjoyable morning at home, we got to travel to both sets of Grandparents' homes and continue the Christmas Celebrating. We hope you all had a wonderful and memorable holiday too!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Issue 134

18 Years!

Steve and I snuck away early on Friday to celebrate our 18th Wedding Anniversary. 18 years! It's hard to believe the time has passed so quickly. We went window shopping downtown, to the movies and out for some German food for dinner. Steve got us a hotel reservation downtown, and I packed a snack basket of our favorite foods. After about the 10th call from home with some urgent question or concern (ie. I can't find the hair clips for my costume, Ellie won't brush her teeth, or I'm starving, can I get a snack (at 10:30.)) I realized we hadn't gotten far enough from home! Oh, well, it was fun to celebrate so many wonderful years together, even with interruptions.

Dancing Queen

Janey's clogging team performed to the fun song "The Devil went down to Georgia" at the holiday concert. It's one of the numbers that they will take to competition this spring. Grandparents came to see her, which made it extra special. Her Dad especially loves to see her dancing, and she can sometimes talk him into doing her kitchen chores while she clogs for him to his itunes.

A Christmas Wish

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas, from our Home to Yours!
Janey and Ellie watching Dad's German Nativity Pyramid spin.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Issue 133

It's Begining to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Christmas parties, Christmas concerts, Christmas dance recitals, Christmas movies, Christmas Devotionals, and making Christmas gifts were all highlights this week. I took the girls to see the Nutcracker, Steve L. did a great comedy routine at the Ward Christmas party and Dad and Whitney enjoyed singing the the Stake Choir for the devotional. What a fun time of year!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Issue 132

NaNoWriMo Queen

Whitney participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again this year. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Here she is typing word number 50,000 on the last day. Way to go Whitney! Can't wait to see you published!


Here's a picture of Whitney digging out our chickens after 14 inches of snow. We've had the greatest snow weather this year! Several storms and several inches of fun stuff!

Aunt Bree to the Rescue!

Whitney had a semi-formal dance at school and I had Steve's fancy work party on Friday. I picked her up from school and we went shopping in vain for cute outfits. We stopped by Aunt Bree's and when she found out our dilemma, she dressed us both and did Whitney's hair and makeup that night. We should have stopped there first!Nothing like a makeover to make you feel great! Thanks Bree!

Festival of Trees

We took the kids to see The Festival of Trees this year. Hundreds of trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses and crafts are donated and sold to benefit Primary Children's Hospital every year. The kids favorite tree was titled "A House Divided," decorated half BYU and half Utah!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Issue 131 Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving dinner this year was right out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Gormet and Gorgeous! In the morning Steve took the kids sledding and cross country skiing while Ellie (who had to stay indoors with bad asthma) and I made carmel apple pies and painted her nails. Then it was off to Grandmas for our amazing feast. That evening we took everyone to see Disney's "Tangled." So funny! A truly delightful day!

A "working" vacation

We spent an enjoyable Friday at Steve's sister Emily's, visiting, eating, playing games and just generally enjoying ourselves. Steve's sister Laura delivered baby number 6 that night. The next morning most of the adults and teenagers headed to Laura's to finish some home improvement projects they were in the middle of, to make a nice place to bring baby home. They spent the whole day painting their main floor (and each other.) The rest of us watched the 15 younger kids at my house while mother and baby tried to get some rest at the hospital. Throw-in an exciting BYU vs. Utah football game on the radio and you have yourself a memorable weekend.

"What I'm Most Thankful For"

Daniel - "Having the gospel in my life"

Ellie - "That I got a little fish"

Steve L. - "That we live in a free country with free speech were we can say what we want to say. And lots of bacon!"

Whitney - "That we live in America and it's so awesome!"

Janey - "Having the teachings of the gospel and the Book of Mormon"
Dad - "The Gospel of Jesus Christ, my family, health, books, birds, the outdoors and a good job."
Mom - "A warm home, amazing children who teach me so much and a hubby who loves me!"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Issue 130

Tonight, Blogger seems to hate me. I have been trying for an hour to load pictures and write posts on the kid's fishing trip with their dad last week, Janey's liberty girls variety show where she acting the part of the famous WWII pilot Jackie Cochran, and the 14 inches of snow we woke up to this morning. Maybe blogger will like me better in the morning. Maybe I'll like it better in the morning! We are usually good friends, but tonight I surrender and I'm going to bed!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Issue 129

Happy Birthday to Me!

Who knew turning 38 could be so great! I was truly spoiled this weekend by my family and friends. Friday kicked off with an awesome breakfast at Kneaders with my mom and sister. Then is was off to the Day Spa for a full day of pampering and much needed relaxing while Steve took the kids fishing. He had won an award at work and let me cash it in for spa certificates. After having my hair done, a facial, massage and pedicure, Steve picked me up for a wonderful dinner downtown at PF Chang's.
The next morning we attended the World Wide Training together, which may not sound like so much birthday fun, but the training was amazing and sitting next to my hubby on the church bench without a child squeezing between us or climbing over us is so rare that it was a treat.
Then it was time to celebrate with the kids, who all had thoughtful cards or handmade gifts. Steve had hoarded bits of cash from work lunches and gas for who knows how long to buy me an Ikea bookshelf for a night stand and some great running gear. He hates to keep secrets, so it was especially hard for him to wait for my official birthday to give me the surprise. I was truly blown away by his thoughtfulness AND his ability to keep it to himself.
We took the kids that afternoon to the matinee showing of Mega-Mind to celebrate some more (I told you I was spoiled.) It was so truly funny, and we had a great time gorging ourselves on popcorn.
Then Steve and I headed out for birthday date number two! We got to eat out with 3 of my dearest friends from high school (and all the years since.) Visiting with Denise, Alesha and Tricia and their awesome hubbies and cute babies was the best birthday treat. I don't think I've had so much fun since they all came to my surprise 17th birthday party 21 years (21 YEARS!?!?) ago. (I just wish our out of state friends could have joined us too!)
You'd think that would be enough celebrating for a decade, but it wasn't over yet! My mom through a gourmet birthday bash for Sunday dinner tonight, and my parents gave me a gift card for the bookshelves I want for the family room. My siblings all came and gave me thoughtful and beautiful gifts. With such an awesome inauguration, I know this is going to be a stellar year. Thanks everyone! I love you!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Purple Belt

Daniel recently passed the test to receive his purple belt in karate. The test is quite rigorous, which is why he looks beat. He has since been invited to join the teen/adult classes instead of the children's classes and he loving the greater challenge.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Issue 127

Halloween Fun

The kids all came up with their own costumes this year. Whitney was a witch, Steve L. a ceiling "fan" (his shirt reads Ceilings are #1 and Go Ceilings!), a Karate Master, a hula dancer (you can't see much of Janey's adorable handmade costume, that she spent a month on, in this picture. She couldn't wear most of it in the rain.) Ellie had her heart set on being a ghost with a sheet over her head. I couldn't talk her out of it, so I sacrificed a bed sheet and she was pleased as punch!

I unexpectedly accompanied Steve to Atlanta this week to get some much needed research time on a pressing issue. I don't have any pictures, as I stayed in the hotel and ordered room service while buried in my books the whole time. It was a timely and much needed break from the norm and although I came away with more questions and "to-do's", I also came away with the hope, peace and confidence I was seeking. My amazingly awesome and generous mother stayed with the kids on short notice and even heroically took the kids to the Ward Halloween party (where people thought she was my sister, I might add!) They also spent a day with Aunt Becca, who threw a Halloween Party of her own. Thanks mom and Bec!

Unlike my famous sister and her family who go all out for Halloween (if you know her, you know what I mean!) Halloween is a minor holiday around here. It may have something to do with the fact that I don't sew, can't stand the cheep discount store costumes and I'm too cheep to buy the cool looking ones. More likely it's the fact that I regret every piece of candy that enters one of my children's mouths, or maybe it's the regret that I'm allergic to candy and can't take "taxes" from my children's bags anymore. Regardless, we managed to have some "day of" fun.

We got all our Saturday chores done and tramped off to Wal-Mart for Pumpkins. Only they were out of Pumpkins. How can Wal-Mart run out of Pumpkins?! We finished our shopping and errands and finally tracked down some pumpkins at the local corn maze. By now it was 4:30 on the big day. In record time we carved them up, ate our traditional Halloween spaghetti dinner (traditional because it's quick and easy I think) and made our costumes. By 6:00 the younger kids were trapping in the rain in search of treats, and the older kids were off to a Halloween Party by 7:00. We finished the night watching the classic old movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Issue 126

My Baby is 6?!?

Ellie wanted to ice skate for her birthday, so we took off for the rink after dinner. We took turns escorting her around the ice and towards the end she could manage all by herself. Grandma came to watch, which made Ellie so excited to wave and pose for pictures. Happy Birthday Ellie!

Tibble Fork and BYU

Daniel, Dad and Grandpa headed up to Tibble Fork for an overnight fishing trip. Not being hunters, they didn't realize that Saturday was the first day of the hunt. They woke to gun shots instead of bird calls. The fish weren't biting, but Grandma sent donuts as big as Daniel, so nobody cared.

Steve had tickets to the BYU game, so he and Daniel went straight from camping to the stadium. It was a great game to be at, since BYU actually won!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Issue 125

Cookies and Doughnut Falls

Blogger is refusing to load the rest of our photos of our hike this weekend to doughnut falls. I'm going to cry "uncle" and post them next week.

Lake Blanch by Steve L.

Blanch. The kind of hike scouts have nightmares about. 7 miles one-way. 2700 foot elivation in 7 miles. 89 degree angle all the way. Rocks all over the place. And absolutly no exaguration on my part. Ask anyone who has hiked it!
Well, thank goodness it was only a day hike and not an overnighter. That means only a day pack and not a 40 pound hike pack.
The scenary and weather were nice though, and I escaped with only a bruise a blister and a slamming headache, so overall it went well.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Issue 124

One Amazing Lady

Grandma B's health has taken a worse. She recently had surgery for a broken back, but other health concerns are taking their toll. We were able to visit her today as a family, and she is mentally sharp as ever. She says that when she can't sleep, she doesn't count sheep - she counts great grandchildren! She lays in bed and names them all (almost 90 and counting!) She was so interested in everything the kids are doing. She wanted to know about Steve's Eagle Project, Whitney's social dance class, Daniel's Karate and Janey showed her some clogging moves. We found out that Grandma used to take tap dancing lessons.

The day Steve and I met for the first time in his singles' ward, we ended up sitting next to each other at a fireside that night. Then went over to Grandma B's with a group of ward members with my cousin who was living with Grandma at the time. Grandma loves to tell us how we only had eyes for each other, and that she wasn't a bit surprised when we came by 6 weeks later to tell her she was engaged.

We also had the great privilege to tour around New Zealand with her when we went on vacation in 2004. She told us tonight that we had great courage to take our family to live there for a year and she was so proud of us. We told her that she was the one who had great courage first and we were only following in her footsteps.

We love you Grandma!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Issue 123

A King Twice Crowned

Steve L. took the challenge again this year to watch, read or listen to 17 Shakespeare plays in one week! He especially enjoyed it this year since he could understand what they were saying this time around. He was crowned with 3 others who finished the challenge. (They actually have all semester to complete the assignment, but they enjoy the competition.) He has been exposed to more Shakespeare in the last year than most people will study in a life time. The awesome thing is how much they love it!

Birthday Boy

25 Friends + 44 cupcakes + gorgeous weather + flowing candy + silly hats + crazy games = 1 fantastic birthday party!

Steve L. with Super Bacon. He also received (among many other gifts) a jester hat, a turkey hat, and an actual package of bacon. Hmmm . . . I think your friends know you well Steve!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Issue 122

Eagle Project Report

Well, my eagle project is done! The troops in Qatar have limited supplies, and are feeling pretty uncomfortable. So for my project I gathered supplies to ship to them. I spent hours putting fliers on doors, and then more hours collecting the supplies. We had a great turn-out. It filled our whole front room! Then we had to have a breakfast to raise enough money to ship it. That went well to, although there was a bit of a problem, on where to have it. Thanks for all who helped! We had grandparents coming and helping, as well as other scouts. We raised a total of $400. Just enough to ship! Of course we had to pack everything, and then fill out a sheet explaining what was in it and how much it cost! That's not too easy with 31 boxes! Well we finally got it shipped, (that took a while,) and now I just have to turn in my packet! Yay!
Note by mom: We are super proud of how hard Steve worked on his Eagle Project. He spent so many hours making flyers and signs, marketing, speaking to Store managers for donations, shopping, leading the scouts, collecting items for the drive, running his breakfast/car wash fundraiser, packing 31 care packages and shipping them to the troops. Way to go Steve!

The Big 14!

Thinking hard about his birthday wish! Happy Birthday Steve.

Steve was ordained a teacher today, and doubled the teacher's quorum. His friend Eric is glad to finally have some company on Sunday! A huge thanks to Grandparents that helped make this day special. We are so proud of you Steve!

You and Me @ Camp Cloud Rim

Janey and I finally got to go on our Mother/Daughter Girl Scout camp out! I say finally, because Janey has been counting down for about 6 months for this event. The weather was perfect, the scenery gorgeous, and the company delightful. My favorite part was having 24 hours of one-on-one with my spunky Janey.

Janey says:
"My favorite parts were going canoeing, tie dying bandannas and covering Journals. It was really fun!"

We both can't wait for next year!