Saturday, December 20, 2008

Random Christmas Thoughts

Well, it's the weekend before Christmas, only 5 days left, all the waiting is almost over. My Christmas cards are finally ready to mail--a little late, but ready, and if I could just figure out what to buy my DH, I think everything would be complete. The snow has arrived, fulfilling all the kids (and kids at heart) wishes of a white Christmas, making it truly fill like Christmas is here. I love the Christmas season, the music, lights, and the feeling. And my tree, it's awesome this year. It is not dropping any needles yet, so the tree might stay up a little longer this year.
Time keeps rushing by as we prepare for the BIG day, but now I am hoping time will slow down because I don't want it to end. Especially since I lose my leverage over the kids to be good or Santa won't bring them Christmas.
OH ya, I still haven't figured out gifts for my parents or Mike's, why does it have to be so difficult, and don't forget the people Mike works with, UGH!!! If I could get away with it, I would refuse to give and receive gifts all year long, it would make life so much easier on me.
TIME!! There isn't enough time. We still haven't made it to Temple Square this year. I plan to go when we are in the area, but there is never enough time or we end up having something else we have to rush to.
Candy & holiday baking just isn't happening this year. I really do need to do something for the neighbors, but I know I will eat it, so to avoid gaining the unwanted pounds, I just forget about it, sorry about that. I am already stressing about if I have the will-power to eat good on Christmas Eve and Day since the menu is all about yummy food, not healthy. Who wants to be good on Christmas anyway?
Christmas Gifts for myself! I hate being asked what I want for Christmas. I rarely know what I would want to ask for. I find many things while shopping that I would like to buy if I were shopping for myself, because they wouldn't seem stupid coming from myself, but my DH would never buy it for me, or would think it's a lame idea. So, he may think I don't like what he buys, but the truth is, I want it all, just can't buy it all or pinpoint what one or two items I would be happiest with--again, another moment I wish we didn't have to get gifts.
Unfinished Christmas decorations I have many. The ceramic houses for our village that have sat in a box waiting, probably since we had kids, the glass bulbs that I need to make to finish all the new grandkids my mom has now since---Edi was born. My tree is missing a couple of kids too. Or how about my tradition of making a family ornament with an updated picture of our family. I think I only have our 1st Christmas up there, but I have enough frames to go 15-20 years, I just need to put the pictures in them. That was my goal for this year, but I couldn't figure out how to hook up my new printer Mike gave me last year for Christmas, so another year passes.
Well, I guess that is my thoughts for today! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas--and I hope you leave plenty of room for the Savior in your lives today and forever!

Friday, December 12, 2008

'Tis the Season

It feels like I have been out of the loop for quite some time. I didn't think I used the internet that much to really miss it, but I did. Even simple things like checking events or keeping tabs on the bank. So, we finally got it back in the house so that I can keep up to speed on things and not mooch off of everyone's internet. So, to get you up to speed on our life, the girls are still involved with girl scouts and just recently they attended a dance clinic where they learned a dance from the dancers of the Utah Flash team. They will get to perform tonight at the game with all the girls who went. As parents we are really excited about this, especially since 9 refuses to dance ever since we had her in dance class when she was 4 and she hated the recital part and refuses to do any performances since (although she is now participating in primary programs too).
Thanksgiving was really nice this year. It is always nice to get together with family and catch up on life. I even managed to eat sensibile so I could lose my goal weight for the week. Unfortunately, I gained it back this week. It's really hard to stay focused with all the yummy food this time of year. Mom and I went out shopping on Black Friday, Mike tagged along too--I think he will stay home from now on, we wore him & 3 out pretty good.
Another one of our traditions is to go to Spring City to cut down our Christmas tree. It was such a nice day and since we didn't have snow yet, we were able to go higher in the canyon then ever. We hiked a mountain that was pretty bare, but with our kids and Alissa's we didn't want to be too picky and took the second tree we found. But, I have to say, this is my favorite tree. It is bigger than we usually pick and it is stronger so the weight of the ornaments are not a concern. We could even get the star to stay on top (instead of bending from the weight), if we could reach up and get the star on. (I am waiting for Mike to brave that ordeal).
The rest of the month is spent on Christmas stuff. Shopping, parties, more shopping, wrapping (not yet, of course), Christmas lights, and an endless list of Christmas shopping still to do.
Here is hoping you have a wonderful Christmas season! Don't forget, Jesus is the reason for the season!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Walk the Plank, Matey!!

What's next? Christmas?

Halloween is always a lot of fun for our family. Is there such a thing as TOO MUCH CANDY???? I don't think so. Stephen & Kris always plan a fun family party at their house. Mom makes the carmel apples, I bring the cookies to decorate, then we enjoy yummy cheese soup in bread bowl, but the biggest highlight is the pumpkin carving. Unfortunately, we missed the big Buhler party, but here are the costumes for our family. 9 got all wrapped up into being a Mummy, 7 was thirsty for blood (attention) & cute 3 finally agreed to wear the Pirate costume after weeks of refusing. No amount of bribery was working until some older boys were picking on him. I told him, if he was a pirate, he could've beat up those boys with his sword. Well, that did it. He was out of the caterpillar costume in 30 seconds and ready 2 be a pirate.
Now to clarify, I did explain to 3 that he really can't go out and hit the boys, but he was still quite happy to be a pirate and he didn't see those boys again that night...later that night he wanted to go in the monster house. He was really excited to go in until he realized he didn't have his sword with him. Poor, brave, boy. He ended up walking through with his hands covering his eyes.
Oh & don't miss the picture of our own Jack-O-lantern Daddy. We didn't have pumpkins to light up yet. I missed getting a picture of DH as MR.Clean, he even found a barcode to finish the outfit.

Friday, October 31, 2008

8 Things...Tag

8 Things... Tag
8 TV shows I like to watch
(OK, my disclaimer is: I don't watch much tv. When I do, It is because DH begs me to watch with him, so my favorites r the ones he watches)
1. Deal or No Deal (I wouldn't ever win, I am to chicken, but it would b fun)
2. Reba (I bought the DVD's since I can't get enough of her)
3. Heros
4. Pushing Daisies
5. Eli Stone
6. Spongebob (JJ's favorite)
7. Curious George (I love that monkey, and JJ)
8. hum, of Mike's other recordings I probably like Numb3rs next but I haven't watched that Crusoe show yet (but it is recorded waiting until I get around to watching it)

8 Things that happened yesterday
1. Got kids off for school
2. went 2 Wally world 4 last minute Halloween supplies
3. Took Felicia home after sleeping at our house 2 nights
4. saw my new baby neice Savanna Rose (Stephen's baby)
5. Bought chicken nuggets at McD's for JJ at 6pm for his lunch--what a terrible mom
6. Went 2 Halloween Town at Elementary school
7. Went to last House of Order meeting, AWESOME seminar!!
8. stayed up til midnight sewing a Mummy costume, which didn't really fit 9 this morning

8 Favorite places to eat
This is hard, since I started dieting, I can't eat out anywhere ;-( and we havent been to many places besides McD's
1. Tempanyki
2. Cafe Rio
3. Parkers Drive in (best Hamburgers)
4. Olive Garden
5. Maddox in Brigham City (worth the drive)
6. did I mention Cafe Rio?
7. Anywhere I don't cook
8. Cracker Barrel

8 Things I am looking forward to
1. Halloween
2. losing my goal weight
3. Mike's next paycheck
4. Christmas
5. mission reunion in July
6. getting organized
7. making carmel apples with mom this weekend (it's a fruit 4 my diet, right?)
8. scrapbooking again

8 Things on my wish list
1. I wish I could lose weight faster
2. I wish I could figure something cute 2 do with my hair
3. I wish I had more patience with kids, self, spouse, others
4. I wish that we could buy a house closer 2 Civilization
5. I wish that I had more time
6. I wish Lori lived closer
7. I wish I knew how 2 decorate my house
8. I wish I was out of debt!!!

I am adding a new one since my TV ones were not so fun
8 favorite movies
1. Curious George (best music)
2. Ella Enchanted
3. Meet the Robinsons
4. Harry Potter 1 - ....
5. undercover Blues
6. Another Stakeout
7. Ever After
8. Calamity Jane, Mating Game, Pillow Talk, Parent Trap (old movies r best)

8 people I tag
1. Lori
2. Mom
3. Stephen
4. Carrie
5. Stacy
6. Karen
7. Mike
8. Shauna H

Thursday, October 16, 2008

St George, here we come






Ok, so I wasn't very good at taking a bunch of pictures this time...I guess there isn't much excitement when our idea of a vacation this time was to rest & relax--the kids only swam a little, but they watched a lot of tv too.
We did get out a little. We came down since my dad was playing horseshoes at Senior Horseshoe Tournament and, of course, took Gold in both the singles and Doubles in his class. We visited Snow canyon and played in the Sand and hiked the Petrified Sandunes

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunflowers & Autumn leaves

All in a week

As usual, things have stayed busy. Does it ever stop? This week it all started with Mike's Grandma celebrating her 90th birthday. They held an open house for her on Saturday, so we were able to visit with the family and Mike and I were able to take the time to remind the kids and ourselves how blessed we are to have her in our lives still. Also for her birthday, we started taking Grandma to the circus (with Alissa's family too) since Grandpa K always took her and the grandkids to the circus, so we are trying to carry that tradition. This year Mike and Courtney had the clowns announce her birthday for everyone to hear. She sure was tickled to hear that.
It has been my tradition every fall to take pictures of the kids with sunflowers. It was a tradition that started when Edi was born and I have always made a point to do it every year since then. I know once school starts, I really need to start thinking of where this years pictures will be taken, before they are all gone. I tried to take pictures on the road heading out to Eagle Mountain this year, but when we stopped, they didn't look as good, so the sunflowers that I ended up liking most, ended up being in our own driveway, imagine that.
This week ended with a fun over nighter up AF canyon to celebrate my mom's birthday. It was the perfect weekend weather. The kids woke up early and found a deer running through the camp area, so we ended up going for an early hike and found two deer instead. It was fun and refreshing to go hiking with them. It's amazing how invigorating a morning hike is. And all those colors, it's AWESOME!!! Stephen joined us that evening for tinfoil dinners and dutch oven birthday cake.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

My, how time FLIES, when you are having FUN!!!




Well, besides our big family trip back East, we did have a few other fun events going on this summer. We had Mike's graduation, a work party at Bear Lake June 26th, Edi went to go to camp with the Girl Scout group for 2 nights--talk about a huge step for mom to accept. We also went to at least 3 concerts to see Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband (that is a new summer tradition we started 3 years ago, if you haven't seen them perform, you are missing out, but you can check out their website and listen to a few of their songs at http://www.shupe.net
Dream Big and Superman are just a couple of my favorites.
We did the usual parades and fireworks and even got to go to see the Osmond's sing with the Tabernacle Choir, and Mike's niece Loren even got married. But the biggest highlight for me was August 7th, when I officially became a full-time mom again. There are days that we stuggle, mostly financially, or that I feel trapped at home doomed to repeat grade school homework, but I am so grateful that I am able to stay home with my kids and take care of them. I am getting used to it and enjoying each moment.
My kids keep growing up. Edi is 9 going on 25, I call her my mini-me, she wants to be like me and minds me almost perfectly, which is so nice, but she has learned to be stressed like her mom, so mom is going to work hard at learning to have fun, relaxing and enjoying life so we can all stay young at heart. Edi has been taking piano lessons for almost 3 years now. She really enjoys it and is doing good. She loves to read and writes her own stories all the time, she takes good care of her brother and that really helps me out.
Abi is 7 but act like she is 30 and the boss. She has a style all her own and beats to her own drum. She doesn't do anything she doesn't want, which has really been a struggle for almost everyone and ready to fight even Grandma B . I keep praying to be patient with her, but I seem so far from it. So, no worries about the end of the world, I am not ready to be translated. Abi is doing good in school, loves being a girl scout, especially selling cookies. She has really picked up on the reading and can answer math problems just a little faster then Edi. Abi is the typical second child when it comes to learning. She wants to be right where Edi is, so that will be good for her and good to help push Edi, if she ever slacks. Both girls were upset they couldn't play on soccer teams this year. They really enjoyed that last year and were looking forward to it again. I will have to be better next year, but with a busy summer, you can probably understand why I would even dare forget such an important item.
JJ really completes our family. He has this whole family wrapped around his finger. Amazing as it seems, Abi gets along with JJ--probably better than anyone in the family, when she wants to. He is at that age where you just can't tell him no since he is so cute when he asks with his big please & adorable smile. He really misses his sisters while they are at school, but seems to find something to fill the void. He starts by looking for friends to play with, toys, but if all else fails, he could survive with Spongebob Squarepants.
I am a little prejudice, but I think I have the best family in the world, hands down!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Washington, DC & New York City

I finally got the rest of our trip loaded so everyone can see how much fun we had. I hope the girls will remember most of the trip, I can't expect all of it. We saw and did way too much, but when we don't get to go back east much, you have to do your best to get as much in as possible.

When we were in Washington, DC, we stayed with Mike's aunt. It was nice to visit with them and I really enjoyed having the guided tours around the area so we could see as much stuff as we could in one day. Thanks Aunt D and Uncle A and even Dustin, you guys made our time there very educational and we appreciate everything you did for us and my parents.

We didn't even touch most of New York City. Mike and I would love to go back and see more and go to a show. Mike was really looking forward to seeing Little Mermaid on Broadway, but we didn't get tickets. Sorry, Babe. With the high security everywhere back there, we were only able to go to the Statue of Liberty (which took about 6 hours total), then later that night, we went up the Empire States Bldg (which took about 4 hours). We even got to experience the subway, which was a little frustrating since we didn't know where we were going and got on the train going the wrong way. It wasn't as easy as it was when I came with Brenda 13 years ago. I was just happy I didn't have to do any of the driving in the city. That was scarey, even with a navigator to tell us where to go. It's crazy there, but worth seeing it, but I would recommend no children, my nerves can't take too much stress in one area at a time.

Well, that is about everything, but I forgot to include my most favorite video that was taken at Hershey Park, so I am going to include that since I still love to watch it and laugh at everyone. They said it was the best ride in the park. I am wishing I would have gone on it now.

video

Washington, DC and New York City

Pictures while in Hershey, PA

1st week of Trip

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 9, 2008

It's been a long time since we have been able to have a good long vacation. Mike has been attending Stephen's Henagers college for the past 3 1/2 years and finally graduated June 19, 2008 so when Mom and Dad mentioned they would be going to Hershey, PA for the world horseshoe tournament, we decided to join them. We didn't decide to join them just for the free chocolate tour, but to get to go back East where both Mike and I served our missions. Mike served in the Pennsylvania Harrisburg Mission June 1993-1995 and I served in the New York Rochester Mission July 1994-November 1995. We knew if we ever went back East together, we would need at least 4 weeks to see everything we would want to show each other, so we had the challenge to see the highlights in the next two weeks.
It started with the red-eye flight to Buffalo, NY, arriving around 9am ready to conquer all our dreams. Our first stop was to visit Liz Vito and her daughters Diane and Ashley. Liz was one of the many people I was able to share the gospel with while serving in Lockport, NY. It was exciting to see them after all these years (and to know they still remember me), we had a good visit walking down memory lane.

Niagra Falls

Our next stop was to the ever famous Niagra Falls!! It doesn't matter how many times you see it, it is still amazing to see and this time I got to see it on the Maid of the Mist. That name was a bit of an understatement since we got more then a mist amount--now I see why the ticket price includes the ponchos. Funny enough, the ponchos didn't work that good. We all still come out soaked from the boat ride. The wind was blowing so much that it felt like a good 'ole fashion, cloud burst. I remember getting caught in a few of those while I was tracking, but I wasn't prepared with a poncho back then. How silly of me. video
The video clip I attached shows the water as it falls. I can not believe that anyone is crazy enough to ever want to set a record by risking their lives to drop off that big fall, especially if you see all the rocks below (which were hard to see this
time because of all the "mist"!!

The 3rd picture you can see the crazy people who are trying to walk up to get a closer look at the falls....well, not to be out done, we experienced that one too. There again the wind and water soaked us and made it very difficult to see anything. As we laughed and joked about not being able to see anything, someone walked by us and told us to look through the plastic of the ponchos and then we would be able to see. We could see better, but everything looked a little blue, so we just hurried back down, out of the water.

Palmyra, NY



The next two days, of our trip, were spent in the Palmyra area. We visited the Joseph Smith Farm, Sacred Grove, Palmyra Temple, Peter Whitmer Farm in Fayette, the Grandin Bldg where the first Book of Mormon was published, then spent Friday night watching the Hill Camorah Pageant.
Everything has changed so much, that I felt like I was going there for the first time. Inside the Joseph Smith visitor center they had an awesome statue of the first vision, all in white. It took up a majority of the room and was breath-taking when you saw it. Most of the farm had new buildings, even the Smith house I used to know changed from when I was there.
The Sacred Grove was peaceful. We spent most of the time trying to figure out which trees were thought to be the original 6 when Joseph prayed there. Even the new trails in the grove made it hard for me to remember where I once prayed or swatted misquitos or the tree I sat by for a picture. You would think trees wouldn't change much, but when they make new trails, and tell you to stay on those trails, it's hard to walk down memory lane.
We did search to find the perfect leaf to put in our Book of Mormon when we get back home. That was one thing Mike really wanted everyone to have, since I already had one in my book. I love to open my book an see the leaf there that I got from the Sacred Grove. It helps me remember the First Vision and my mission and I hope that my kids will always remember this trip and know that I know that God and Jesus did visit Joseph and that he restored the true church on the earth. Our family has been so blessed with knowing the true gospel. Every visitor center we went to, they wanted referrals. It's amazing the names that would come to my mind of who I should share my testimony with or just to give a name. Each time a different one would come to me. There are people waiting to hear the gospel, and sometime they just need a friend to help nudge them towards the truth. It may not happen quickly, but maybe with time, prayer, and love, the gospel will spread to everyone.
The pageant of course was the biggest highlight!! I expected to see families I used to know, but either they weren't there or it's been so long, that I didn't recognize anyone--at least from my mission. I say that because we ran into relatives and people from home, which I thought was funny. It's amazing that miles away from home, you still can find people you know at church sites. If we didn't have to leave that night to the condo we reserved in Pennsylvania, Mike would have liked to stay and watch pageant again the next night. It was as good as I remember, I can't tell you all the changes since I can't remember every detail and what it was like, but I think all the water they had this year was new. One thing that doesn't change, and that's the spirit there.
We talked to a girl that was converted a year ago because of the pageant. I am not surprised. I don't know how anyone could see it and not feel the strong spirit there and know it is true. We actually felt the same about the Manti pageant too--it must tell you something about the church, humm!

Monday, July 7, 2008

July 13-17

Of course, no Eastern trip would be complete without a stop to Harmony, PA to see the site where the Priesthood was restored. Mike & I are standing where the first baptisms took place after the Aaronic Priesthood was restored.
This picture was taken to duplicate Mike's picture he had taken while he served his mission here. It's one of very few pictures I have found from Mike's mission. We spent Sunday driving to Tunkhannock, PA to attend church at the branch the Mike spent 9 months of his mission at.
It's amazing to think so much time has passed since we both served our missions (14 years), so it was no surprise when we returned to see some people, that they too had passed on. Pop Lane (father of the Lane family) was not at church. Mike found out that he passed away, and because of his absence, his family no longer attended church anymore. This was a little sad and not the expected visit we hoped for.

HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE
FACTORY










My sister Lori and her family (I guess just kids) were able to make the visit up to Hershey, PA to stay with us for the week we were there. It was a fun reunion to get to see everyone and spend time together again after 3 1/2 years. We were able to tour the chocolate factory and get an upclose sniff of all that chocolate--I don't care who you are, you can't not like chocolate when you are here. It smells so good and the chocolate tastes more mouth-watering. And they love to hand out free samples, so you better go hungry for chocolate.

Of course we got to go swimming to cool off from the heat and humidity.








Jayden and Jessie were cute buds. Jessie kept saying things like, "Hey, he looks like me" or "He could be my brother". I guess the red hair helped him feel at home