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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pre-Christmas Fun!

I hate to admit that I had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. It's usually my favorite time of the year and I go all out with decorations and other stuff. I think it was a combination of a lot of things, but I decided it came down to being in school. I couldn't focus on much besides school and final tests and projects. As soon as I got that out of the way, I was ready. Good thing my kids didn't have a hard time catching the spirit! That helped a lot. They basically drug the tree out of storage themselves and begged me to help put it up, which we did shortly after Thanksgiving. The boys are so fun at this time of year!


My parents always do the 12 Days of Christmas for their grand kids each year. This year they are doing a music theme and started it all off by taking the whole family to a performance of the Forgotten Carols, by Micheal McLean, which is always good! Each of their gifts are centered around the gift of music this year, which I love. A couple years ago they gave each family a little elf (a little creepy, but "magical" all at the same time.) Well, this elf comes with some "magic" dust. If the kids sprinkle this dust on Bernard (that's what we named our elf), before they go to bed, then Bernard wakes up in the night and does something mischevious in the night. Here are a couple of things our elf has done so far this year. He toilet papered the front room and then hung onto the light fixture with his hand. This was fun for the kids to clean up.

Last night he made a fishing pole out of a pencil and a paper clip and tried to
fish out of our fish tank.

My favorite thing "Bernard" has done: Write on the boys' faces during the night. They must not have even stirred. I think it must have been hard for "Bernard" to keep from laughing in the process and not waking the boys up. Chad was not real happy about it when he woke up, so there are no pictures of the artwork on Chad. He jumped right in the shower and refused to pose for a photo. But here's Kace's artwork. Naughty little elf!


We knew Bernard was guilty when we found him with the markers in his hand!


Other things he's been known to do: turn the milk green, toilet paper the Christmas tree, hang the kids' underwear in the shower, he even snuck in our suitcase to Hawaii when we went there for Christmas a couple years ago! Silly little elf! While this is sometimes hard for a parent to keep up with, the boys absolutely love it. The last thing they do before they go to bed is sprinkle the magic dust and the first thing they do in the morning is search the house for Bernard. It will be part of their Christmas memories forever!
My parents are awesome at creating fun family memories!

Early Season Snowboarding!

The kids all bought new snowboards with their spud harvest earnings this year. When Mataia decided not to try out for the basketball team at school (which consumes the whole winter), we decided to buy a season pass to Grand Targhee Ski Resort. We went the day after Thanksgiving on Opening Day and have gone a couple other times. We have already had a great time and the kids keep getting better and better on their boards. I decided you can't teach this old dog new tricks, so I'm sticking with my skis.

Jeff is helping Kace down the hill on his board. We put him in a lesson for part of the day every time we go and he is getting good. The first day, it took him about an hour to get down from the short ski lift. Now he goes up and down in a hurry. If the other kids aren't careful, he's going to be better than all of them by the end of the season!
It's fun to watch him improve so fast and he loves it!

My little snow bunnies!

When the big kids want to go up the big lifts, Kace and I get some bonding time on the smaller lift. As long as we can get off the lift without taking each other out, we do good! I love this little guy. (Oh, and the smack talk continues on the ski hill - ALL DAY. He's getting good and if you don't believe me, just ask him!)

I'm Thankful for Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving was really nice. We went to my parents' house for dinner with my family. Mom cooked a Prime Rib and all the food was delicious, as usual! We had a relaxing afternoon playing games and hanging out. Then mom had reserved some bowling lanes for us and the Dayton side of the family. We had a good time getting to visit with the relatives. It's always a good time with the Dayton side of the family.
Brett and Mindy at the bowling alley.
Yes, we even got Dad and Braxton to come bowling.
This is my Aunt Jerrice, Aunt Tammie and my Mom.

Morgan and Mataia love our cousins, Janessa and Natasha!
Mr. Smack talk, Kace. I'm not sure he even knows he didn't win. What a kid!

After bowling, we went back to Mom and Dad's for sandwiches and more fun. Somehow we got into a leg wrestling competition. Now, I know Weston would tell this story a little different, but here's the proof that I'm the Champ. (Coy missed out on this and is already talking about challenging me at Christmas. I better get doing some squats or something!)

video

Time Out for Women and Girls!

The girls and I went to Salt Lake City for a weekend with my mom to a retreat called "Time Out For Women and Girls." We had such a good time! We ate good food, shopped a little and most fun of all, learned a lot and felt the influence of the Holy Ghost at the retreat. We all had a great time. The girls had classes that were on their level and learned things that pertained to what teenage girls are going through today. They learned a lot. Of course, they have learned from their dad how to get what you want, and so they got front row seats both days. And they got to meet all of the presenters. They met Hilary Weeks (she was on the top of the Christian Billboard charts with her latest CD), Jericho Road (another amazing band), Carmen Rasmussen (former American Idol contestant), Brad Wilcox and Sheri Dew (CEO of Deseret Book.) The messages were great!
This is the girls getting some fresh air on the balcony at our hotel. I love it that they love each other and get along so well (most of the time.)

My sister-in-law, Emilee, was there with her daughter and some other family. We hooked up with them for dinner and sat by them during the sessions. This is all of us! Fun times!

This is the girls meeting and getting autographs with the band, Jericho Road.

Hilary Weeks was so gracious and talked individually with the girls and signed a CD and a piano music book of hers. Her latest CD is amazing! This song video below is off of her latest album. If you want an inspiring story, check out the website www.nieniedialogues.com
This is a blog that the burn victim, Stephanie Nielson, on this video does. She was in a plane wreck and was badly burned over 80% of her body. She has fought to get her life back and her story is amazing! We got to hear from her at Time Out for Women also. She is inspiring! Watch this video and then go visit the website above to be inspired! Life is Good!




Halloween Fun!

Carving pumpkins is something we take serious around here, (thanks to Jeff.) We always have fun and try to be creative. This year we all went to my sister, Mindy's house to carve pumpkins with the family. We had a great time and came up with some fun ones!

It's nice that Chad is big enough to do his own now. From the clean out to the carving, he's on his own! This wolf was the final result of Chad's hard work. Jeff worked hard on this BYU Cougar. I have to admit, it was pretty impressive! Go, Cougs!
Is he cute, or what?

This was a picture of all the kids and their final products. It was a fun night! We are lucky to live close to so many cousins and be able to get together often.



Spud Harvest - A Family Affair!

The annual Spud Harvest has been a part of my family my entire life. It is part of life on the farm. We grew up riding in the truck until we were old enough to pick off the digger or in the pit and then moved up to driving truck. (The boys moved up to driving the diggers.) It really taught us how to work and be responsible. I'm grateful we live close enough that my kids can experience this, too. When I was a kid, I started driving truck when I was 12. It's hard to believe that now. It was hard for me to watch Mataia drive truck for her first time this year and she is 15! She and my mom traded off driving the same truck. This worked out well so that Mataia could still make it to her volleyball games and practices and mom had some time to help feed the crew and stay caught up at home. She did pretty good and she loved it.

Morgan picked in the pit with her cousin, Peytan and our friend, Emily Chelson (and others.) I think they had more fun than should be allowed on a work crew. My cousin Cade was around the farm making sure everything ran smoothly and she got to know Cade really well. They have some ongoing inside jokes that still continue everytime they see each other. He's a fun guy and it was fun for her to get to know him a little better.


Chad worked as often as he could. He was a trooper! He wanted to be the first one there and the last one to leave. He is a hard worker for such a young kid. They worked 10-15 hour days many days and he loved it! He's a very frugal kid and I think he could see his paycheck rise with each passing hour. That's the joy of being the owner's grandkids! You can work even when you're not really old enough. Kace wanted to work more than we let him. He mostly rode in the truck with Taia or my mom and picked in the pit when they unloaded. He loved it, too.

I love Spud Harvest!

Fall Birthdays

Chad and Morgan both have fall birthdays. I can't believe how fast they are growing up! Chad is 10 years old now. I still remember holding him on the couch as a newborn, just a few days old and watching the horrific events of 9/11/2001. I had a heavy heart as I worried about the wicked world I had just brought another child into. I worried about the future my kids would face. While the world is still a crazy place, we try each day to keep those influences out of our lives as much as possible. Chad is a strong boy with a desire to do what is right. He is definitely all boy, but he has a very soft heart. He is always very concerned about me, as his mom, and that just melts my heart. He watches out for me and loves me. I'm a lucky mom!

Morgan turned 13 in October! Wow! Another teenage girl in our house. I've heard all these horror stories about how rotten teenagers are, and my memories of how rotten I was are still fresh in my mind. (I'm sure my parents would verify this!) I know it's still early in the game, but we are enjoying the teenage years with our girls. While they have their "moments" they are just a lot of fun! Morgan is nice enough to share her talent for cooking with us and others. It's nice to have someone else to share the cooking with. She likes to make cakes for others on their birthdays, so we had our good friend, Alexis Codling make this cake for her. She loved it!