Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Newsletter 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS from our house to yours!!!
(click to enlarge)

Monday, December 29, 2014

*Monday Memos* (Christmas Edition)


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge - if print is too small, you need glasses! ☺)

dear busy week...
'Twas two days before Christmas and all were rushing about, 
No time for nice meals, as mom was very stressed out.
Taylor to the rescue with his culinary skills,
He made us all breakfast with all of the frills!
Biscuits and gravy...the scent made us drool!
And it got him on the "NICE" list, that boy is no fool!
I've obviously been in the rhyming mode for way too long thanks to the family newsletter....

dear sky coming home!  YAY! YAY! YAY!  Sky was able to come home this year for Christmas even though we weren't sure he would be able to!  Taylor had spent the night in Orem after a date the night before and so since he was passing by the airport anyway, he picked him up!  No photo at airport because I wasn't at the airport!  I was so glad to see him once he arrived home though!  Now, if only Bryce could have made it home this year.
Welcome home breakfast...  
This one was courtesy of Dave!  Nothing beats a man that can cook!

dear family newsletter poem, like I said above, it's obvious I have been a rhyming fool the past few days!  I put off doing the annual poem until the VERY last minute this year and I am not sure how I actually pulled it off, but I got it completely done in less than two days!  I spent last Saturday afternoon working on it and then finished it up on Sunday.  I then had to do the photo part, get it printed, signed, sealed and delivered and it miraculously happened BEFORE Christmas!
Did this in my car!
 My printer is broken  (yeah GREAT timing!) and so I had to go to the local print shop and have them professionally done.  It was more costly, but the quality was so much better.  Since I was doing this on Monday (the day before Christmas Eve), I wasn't sure how late the post office was open.  I called them and they said they closed at 3:30.  I panicked a bit because I didn't get them done until 3:15!  So I sat in my car at the print shop and folded and inserted the ones into envelopes I didn't have to write anything on and hurried to the post office and mailed them.  I noticed the pick up time said 5:30 pm and so I called again to see if I was given wrong info and apparently I had called the Corinne post office earlier instead of mine.  Whew!  That gave me enough time to finish them (in my car in the post office parking lot!) and get them mailed before the last pick up!  That was definitely a first! But I was just relieved I actually got them done!  It was a Christmas miracle!  I wrote about that last week, how since Dave got his new calling, things have been just working out so amazingly well this Christmas!  I know it is because we are being blessed!  I have never been able to write the poem in two days!  I had help! 

Here is the poem: (click to read)
Or go HERE for the larger version.

dear christmas eve shopping!  I swore no matter what I would NOT go into a store on Christmas Eve this year, but as luck would have it, I had to go grab something for Tyson's grave.  And I also came up with a great idea that had to do with photos and so I had to order them the one hour way through Walmart which meant I HAD to go into that crazy place as well!  As I was getting ready to go, Taylor informed me he wanted to go as well.  We hit Shopko and it was surprisingly not that bad!  Not much worse than the week before.  I found this five pound $40 CHOCOLATE HERSHEY BAR!  I didn't buy it knowing full well there is NO way in the world I could ever eat that much chocolate before it got old.  Huh?  Did I really just say that?  Shocking, I know, but it was HUGE!  I actually resisted this scrumptious piece of heaven and put it back on the shelf!  A Christmas miracle!  I didn't even ask for it for Christmas.  Nope...

We went to Walmart for the pictures and they couldn't find them!  Serious?  So much for their one hour photo guarantee.  It's not that they just couldn't find them, but they didn't even have them on record for being ordered.  I showed them my email they sent informing me the pictures were ready to be picked up, but to no avail.  This all meant I had to go back home and reorder them and then actually go BACK later and pick them up!  NOT SOMETHING I WANTED TO DO!  But I reordered them and Dave offered to go back and get them after he got off work.  I was more than grateful!  I had a HUGE list of things to get done and so that was a life saver!

dear christmas eve dinner...this tradition has changed over the years.  When we were first married we always went to Dave's parent's house for a huge dinner consisting of crab legs, shrimp, onion rings, and all the fixings.  When our own little family started to grow, we just got way too busy to always make it over there as did all of the rest of the siblings and they eventually stopped doing it, so we started having our own.  We now invite my parents over.   Happily, Dave has always done all of the cooking for it.  This is a good thing.  A very good thing since I have a real hard time even smelling, let alone preparing all that seafood.  It turns my stomach.  Bleh!  Thankfully he also cooks a prime rib since I am not a fan of seafood.  Most typical Christmas eve's I am still running around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to finish up all the last minute stuff.   But I manage somehow to get the table set and ready.  This year, it was pretty low key.
Missing one place setting for Bryce.  Very sad. =(
These guys were all very happy to see each other again.
How crazy is this?  We wore twinner sweaters!  And NO, it wasn't planned.  In fact, neither of us have even worn these for years and for some reason we both decided to tonight!  I love my Mommy!  She is so cute!
Love these peeps!
The feast!!!  Including the roast beast!
Waiting to dig in!  What happened to the no phone at the table rule?  Guess they thought Christmas Eve was an exception.
The after dinner chill out.  Sure do love these guys! Wish Bryce could have been home too.
The birthday party for Jesus.  We had pie this year instead of a cake because I actually completely forgot to get the cake!  I am slacking off!  I think it's because the boy's are getting older.  NOT because I am!  hah
As per tradition, we always do a  birthday cake for Jesus and then read the scripture “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:37–40.)   We then sing Happy Birthday and if you don't think that is worthy of a recording, then you just haven't experienced our amazing musical talent!  Let's just say that I used to cry when my Mom sang me lullabies!  And my boys did the same when I sang to them.  Enough said!  But it's always at least good for a laugh!  After that everyone writes down what their gift will be to Jesus this year.  They write it down on two separate pieces of paper and then I save one in a little box that I have saved all the past year's in and then we have always taken a visit to the nativity by the tabernacle and place the other papers inside Jesus' manger.  This year, my parents took it down for us because the boys are just not into doing those kind of things anymore.  I guess it was inevitable that they would grow up someday and balk at half of my traditions. 

But THIS ↓ tradition will never die!  
At least not as long as I can help it!  The matching jammies!  I have gotten a lot of grief over the years over this one because they first of all don't like to be all matchy-matchy and they don't like pajamas.  Soooo... I have gone to shirts and sweats that they can sleep in.  Some years I hit a home run and other years (like this one) I strike out.  I even told Skyler he could pick them out this year, but he didn't want to.  Oh well... at least I got a picture of them, even if Sky isn't wearing the pants.  I told Bryce to take one in the ones I sent him and send it to me, but he never did.
Don't they look so cute?  And handsome?
The traditional stair photo.  I have to bribe them with my life to get them to do this each year.

But we do have fun!

I had to add all these because of their expressions.
And for the first time in the history of my motherhood, we didn't put out cookies and milk for Santa!  No one thought of it!  Dang!  Elfis also didn't make a visit this year!  I really do NOT like how many things change as they grow up!  Seriously time for some grandkids!  The boys all headed downstairs to watch some long movie like Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit or something.  Dave and I actually got to bed about 1:30 a.m.!  It would have been earlier, but I lost a gift card and spent about an hour searching everywhere for it.  When we went to bed, the grass was still green.  But when we woke up...

dear christmas day!  I should say WHITE CHRISTMAS day!  Yes, it snowed during the night and we got a beautiful white Christmas!  I loved it!
So beautiful and peaceful.  It just made it feel so much more like Christmas to me!
And so it begins!
I grew up with all my presents unwrapped.  Dave had all of his wrapped.  But since I am the one that would be doing all of the wrapping for Santa, we go with my family's tradition.  I only wrap what isn't from Santa, which is maybe one or two things.  
Mr. Cat is wondering where his presents are.
Santa didn't forget him!  I think he got a little too "merry" on catnip!

McKay HAS to get at least one Grinch present!

McKay made this table for Dave and this cutting board for me!  I was so impressed with his woodworking skills!
He gave the bros his "traditional" used gifts.  Every year he wraps up something - usually from the playroom - that is already used.  It always gives us a good laugh.
Party time!

Bryce's stash.  I did end up wrapping all of these though since he won't get them until a good two weeks after Christmas when he returns from his job in Vegas.  We also sent him a sock full of goodies.

My cute parents with one of their gifts.

Christmas morning family photo
We took a million and these three were the only good ones.  I should have posted the "bad" ones because they were pretty entertaining.
A few candid ones...


Sky was done with pictures, but I got these two!

We headed over to Dave's parent's house in the afternoon and I took a lot of photos but my computer won't read my memory card and so these are the only ones I have right now to post from that part of the day.  
These were taken from Dave's cell phone.  I will add the others later when I get my computer fixed.  THAT is the reason this post is posting so late!  I kept waiting for it to get fixed and decided I can't wait forever, so I will post now and just add them later.
Okay here they are!
 Twinner cousins!  ↓
 These cousins have so much fun together!
Playing PIG

Dave and Isaac - I want one of these chairs! ↓
 Fun times!

Some of the CUTE cousins!
 We had a very merry Christmas but we sure were missing Bryce.  I would say Tyson too, but that goes without saying.  Mackenzie came home with us to spend the night, but I forgot to take any pictures!  I was pretty exhausted and that goes for my brain as well, and so no surprise.  I felt like I had a Christmas hangover the next morning!
Tyson's grave.  Merry WHITE Christmas Tyson!

dear ice skating, this is a tradition that has been happening for many years with all the cousins on Dave's side of the family.  This year we didn't have as many, but it was still fun.  Dave always has to work and so he never usually makes it, but my boys were all there (except Bryce).  It's always good when Sky comes because he can help the little ones with their ice skating skills since he is a natural. 

With the sista's.  Look how talented we are!

Taylor took a call while he was skating.  Now that takes talent!  I would have broken my neck!

I tried to grab him and McKay for a photo.  I finally got Taylor after nearly ripping his jacket off.
Got McKay now too!

Last year we were able to skate on the other rink and so this year we went over to check it out and about two minutes after we got on the ice we were kicked off.  They said a hockey team was coming to practice.  Oh my, that was so much fun skating on that fresh non bumpy ice!  I wish all ice was that smooth.  It made it so much more fun!

Getting ready for the Olympics!

We tried to get a good picture of us, but as you can see that was pretty difficult.  Michael's photo bomb was our best.
What goes up must come down!

Taking a break while the Zamboni was resurfacing the ice.

This one was my favorite photo of the day even if it is blurry! ↓

The after shot minus a couple peeps.

After skating, we headed to Corner Bakery.  We didn't eat much because we were going to dinner with my brother's family for dinner in about two hours. Gotta love Grace's photo bomb.
A fun time was had by all!

dear christmas dinner with my fam...this is a new tradition this year. We never get to see my brother and his family on Christmas because of all the logistics and so we decided that we would go to dinner and exchange gifts a couple days after Christmas each year from now on.  So after ice skating we headed to Bountiful and met everyone.  Dave rode down with my parents.  We went to the Mandarin this year and it was SO yummy!
The food there is the best in the state as far as Chinese food goes!
We then exchanged gifts. 
Not sure how it can get any crazier than this because both gave each other the same thing!  Movie gift cards!  Guess great minds think alike!  At least you know the other people will like your gift if they gave you the same thing!  hah
Outside with the gorgeous background!  Me and Jerry are holding up our gift cards!
With everyone this time!

With my ADORABLE nieces Madi and Paigely!

We were wearing twinner boots - well kind of!

dear sunday after christmas...I attended three sacrament meetings today.  Taylor had to speak in two other wards besides ours about his mission and so I went to those and then to ours as well.  He spoke with his buddy Josh in one of them.  They left on their missions the same day.  Josh just got home two weeks after Taylor.  It was so fun to hear him talk about Brazil and I even heard a couple stories I hadn't heard before.  He did a great job.  He still speaks with his accent!  A girl I sat by in one of the wards actually commented on it.  Then it was really ODD because Dave was actually home right after church!  That hasn't happened for almost 12 years since he was put in the Bishopric and then as Bishop.  I could get used to it!   But, starting in two weeks he will have ward conferences which means I won't be seeing much of him.  It was nice though even though he leaves at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and we don't see him until we get to sacrament and then he's sitting on the stand.  
These boys of mine really do like each other.  That makes me so happy.  It's been so fun having Sky home.  He heads back in about a week.  This is also one of Taylor's last Sunday's at home because he heads to USU in about a week as well.  I am not liking thinking about that! 


I somehow survived another Christmas!

And without being admitted to the looney bin.

Now if I would just get started on next year's Christmas NOW, it wouldn't be so overwhelming!  

He is one of my favorite Christmas decorations! 
For good reason!


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