Friday, December 28, 2007

Our family treasure

I will post more on Christmas later, but I wanted to share my favorite gift this year. We had a wonderful time during the Christmas holiday. The youth in our ward made a gift like this for the Bishop and then Jordan asked the lady in charge to help him make one for me for Christmas.

The plaque says, "Our Family Treasure." It then quotes the scripture from 1 Nephi 1:3. It says:

"And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge."

Jordan had everyone in the family write/inscribe their testimonies on the gold pages. (And there is an extra page for me to add my own testimony.) As I read them all--from Trevor to Jerel--I was extremely touched and grateful for my family. These truly are their own records, written in their own hand, of what they know that is "true." The gospel IS true; I love it! I love my family and am glad we are together forever. Having everyone's testimonies written down like this truly is a TREASURE!

Now that's a lot of "dough!"

I know this happened last month, but I am going to be catching up on some blogs now that I have more free time. Somehow I got roped into being in charge of the cookie dough fundraiser for the elementary school my kids go to. Okay, I KNOW how--I'm always up at the school volunteering AND I can't say "no!" It actually wasn't as bad as it sounds, but there was about 8-10 days of crazy time. And now that it's over, I can say that I helped the school in a big way and didn't spend months and months doing it like other school fundraising projects take (for example Campbell's soup labels, box tops, etc.). Here's a picture of me adding up all the money and checking all the orders (hundreds came in). And there's another picture of when the cookie dough was all delivered, and I spent all day dispersing to the classes. There was over 2300 tubs of cookie dough. Luckily, I had some great student council members, parent helpers and retired teachers to help. They were all amazing. Thanks Ann and Cindy. Mr. Underwood, the teacher who delegated this project to me, was also great to work with and gave me an awesome thank you gift at the end. All in all, I have to say, it was kind of fun adding things up. I know, I'm a math nerd. And much to Jerel's dismay, I would do it again. The school ended up selling over $27,000 worth of cookie dough so it was worth it. All I can say is "now that's a lot of dough!" Literally!

"Sew" happy

K, I'm very proud of myself and wanted to share. I needed to fix the cuffs and hem on a pair of Jerel's dress pants and do the same on a pair of Jordan's pants. I wasn't quite sure what to do, especially with a cuff on the pants. So I asked a friend of mine, Brenda, if she could do them for me--and I would pay her. (She's an extremely good seamstress.) Instead, she offered to teach me how to do it. I wasn't sure I wanted to learn, but now I am glad I did. What a good friend. She came and spent a ton of time today showing me what to do and then sat next to me as I did it. She never acted frustrated at my mistakes or the amount of time she spent. Thanks a million Brenda!! And by the way, I am "SEW" happy with myself for a job well done!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Chocolates anyone?

I know I've mentioned this before, but Chase is totally in the phase in life where he likes to play pranks. And as pranks are played on him, he has adopted the motto, "Turn about is fair play." As long as it's good clean fun, I'm okay with it.

A few weeks back, two of Chase's friends (that happen to be girls) came and dropped off some really nasty food on our doorstep. When I say "dropped off" I mean that they rang the doorbell and ran. Of course, they ran extremely slow in the middle of the road, and while wearing really noisy flip flops. So my theory is that they wanted to be caught :) I remember well those days.

It was a brownie or chocolate cake with ketchup, relish and all sorts of gross stuff added on top. It smelled disgusting. There was a little note attached that said, "Enjoy!" Chase's first words were, "They ruined a perfectly good brownie." Leave it to him and his stomach to think of the tragedy of the food being ruined first.

Jerel then gave Chase a great idea on how to get those girls back. He learned this trick from his own father, Grandpa Doug. Somehow I'm not surprised. So this is what he did. He got a box of wrapped chocolates for each girl. We carefully opened the wrapping paper and slid the box out. Chase and Jordan then filled the box with celery, carrots, apples, bell peppers, garlic, etc. He then put it all back together, and I sealed the wrapping paper up perfectly. (Yes, I took part in it too.) You could NOT even tell that it had been opened. Seriously, look how good that box looks.

He took the first box by to Sabrina and he said something to the effect of "I know that we've played a lot of pranks on each other, but I just wanted you to have a Merry Christmas and thanks for being a good friend." Her mom told me that at first she was very suspicious of the whole thing. But then her mom said, "Oh, he sounded so sincere. I think that's really nice." Sabrina seemed to believe her. But then she opened the box and exclaimed, "I knew it was a prank." I can't wait to see what's in store for us next. lol

All tied up!

Big news for Trevor--he tied his shoes for the first time today ALL BY HIMSELF! We've tried to teach him before, but he hasn't shown a real interest in learning and would get frustrated with the whole thing. Well, his Kindergarten teacher informed all the kids that after Christmas, she wouldn't be tying shoes anymore. (It's like a school policy or something. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but that's not the point of my story.) So now Trevor has been very focused about learning. Jordan and Chase have both been good big brothers and have taken time to work with him on this. Well, ta da, today he did it all by himself!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dan Fogelberg - Music Memories

Last Thursday night, I went whitetail deer hunting with my good friend Mason Davis. I did not have a tag for this hunt so I was merely along for company and the thrill of the hunt. We had a great time hiking the mountains around Wilcox, Arizona and saw approximately 30 deer (although 12 of them were mule deer). When we were headed home on Saturday evening, we got listening to some music and testing each other's music knowledge. It was fun to remember groups and artists from the past and we found it interesting the memories and emotions that certain songs bring back.

Therefore, I was shocked and saddened to hear that Dan Fogelberg passed away on Sunday after a three-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 56. He won no Grammys and left a modest musical legacy. However, I find that I have been thinking about him and his music quite a bit this week.

My roommate in college my freshman year was a big Fogelberg fan and I quickly latched on to his dulcet songs including "Leader of the Band," which was a poignant tribute to his father, and "Same Old Lang Syne," a bittersweet Christmas Eve narrative. His music was clean and was infused with a tenderness that is often frowned upon. While Dan Fogelberg will certainly be missed, I'm glad he shared his talents with us and that I will always have his music and the past memories they conjure.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pay it Forward

Yeah, I won the "Pay it Forward" on my mother-in-law's blog, and I just want to say thank you, Rinez, for the cozy flannel blanket! K, so now for the rest of you, this is how it works. You make a comment on my blog by January 7th, and I will put your name in a drawing. The three people that I draw out get something nice from me! If you win, be prepared to pay it forward!! Sooo fun! I'm excited...

Talk about creepy!

Okay, not a Christmas story, but a hilarious one. Chase and his friends love to play pranks on everyone. Well, the other night Ethan and Kohl, Chase's friends, decided to come over and get Chase. Instead of knocking, Ethan stood outside my living room window with his face up against the glass and stared all creepy like through the blinds. I was walking down the stairs and totally screamed. I registered in my head that it was Ethan, but you should have been there--you would have screamed too. Everyone got a good laugh. Well, I decided I needed to take a picture of him doing it to put on the blog. I called them over to reenact the crime. I KNEW they were coming back over to restage it, and when I walked into the living room--with my camera--I screamed AGAIN!! That really cracked everyone up all over again. I'm such a dork--and scare so easy.

I Love to See the Temple

I 'm posting some pictures of when we went with the aunts, uncles and cousins here in Arizona to see the lights at the temple. The kids just had a great time with each other. I was practicing with different settings on my camera to try and catch the best shots. Some are better than others. But the best one is of the temple that night. I have to admit, I was surprised at how amazing the picture turned out. Just check out how cool the reflection of the temple is in the water. The lights were sooo bright and beautiful at the temple! The pictures don't do them justice.

We all went to Village Inn for food afterwards. My kids are so funny. Most of them wanted a milkshake AND hot chocolate. Does anyone else see the oddity of this combination? I'm thinking, "Why isn't anyone ordering pie?"
Although the company was great, the service was not the best. The waiter didn't bring us half of our food, and the manager was just darn weird as he told us stories of his Grandma that got married at age 14 and had like 20+ kids. My sister-in-law, Janel, and I just looked at each other and laughed. He told us that seeing us all together as a big family reminded him of his own family stories. Janel said to me, "I think maybe some stories should just be kept in the family." But I think we all still had a great time!
I couldn't help but post some pictures of Chase and Jordan getting along so nicely and playing a game on the "Kids Corner" placemat. Aahhh! And then apparently Chase needed to read the menu to his younger cousins and to the delight of Mikah and Owen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Miler of the month

At the kids' junior high, they run the mile every week in their PE classes. The kids that post the fastest time for the month get a t-shirt honoring their achievement. Well, Chase had the fastest time of all 8th grade boys for the month of December. He ran the mile in 5 minutes and 59 seconds. Every month, I have to admit, I was way more intense about him winning the "Mile of the Month" t-shirt than he was. (This is because I knew he was capable of doing this and didn't want him to give up.) Chase said that he was thinking about slowing down during the last time he was running the mile, but then he thought "Mom is way into me winning." He then said that was enough motivation to keep on running!! Thanks Chase, and WAY TO GO!!

I love Christmas!!

Okay, I've been crazy, busy lately. But now that my schedule is finally dying down a little bit, I can start updating my blog again on a regular basis! I love to decorate, make neighbor/friend gifts, send out cards, buy the perfect present, see Christmas lights, etc. I just love ALL of it!! I just LOVE thinking of the perfect gift for someone and then can't wait til Christmas for them to open it. It's the best.

I have to admit, I have gotten really into my tree the last couple years. I try to follow the snowflake theme all done in red and white and with stripes. (sounds complicated, but it's not) I even started wrapping all the presents in wrapping paper that matches the theme. It makes me happy, so I do it. The rest of the family loves me, so they humor me. Here are some pictures of our tree and decorations in our house. Notice that in one of the close-ups of the tree that there is a BYU football ornament. That's because, well, we love BYU. Also, it's because we have a tradition that whenever there is a big event in our family, we get an ornament to remember it by. We have ornaments that help us remember new babies being born, baptisms, vacations, new houses, awesome BYU football games where we beat the U of U in the last few seconds of the game, etc. I love to collect snowmen and santas. I guess I love nativities too--I have 7 so far. Okay, I love Christmas!

One of my favorite decorations was made and painted by Jerel's Grandma, Joan Fewkes. It is the Santa kneeling in front of the baby Jesus. She passed away this year, and so it makes it even more special. Every time I look of it, I feel of her love for our family.

I've also added pictures of Jerel putting lights on the house outside. Every time he tried, it started to rain a TON. I was so afraid he would slip on the tile roof and fall. I must have told him a million times, "Be careful. Don't fall." He finally replied, "It's not like I'm planning on falling." lol