Wednesday, July 31, 2013

First snow...

The Lights at Temple Square

We made our annual trek to SLC to see the lights at Temple Square.
 Took a stroll through the fabulous City Creek...

 Watched some fountains...
 Ate chocolate pretzels...
 Jake was REALLY hungry...
 Then meandered across the street to see the spectacular lights.

 We met Brett from Kid History.  Seriously, there are few celebs my kids would be more stoked to see. And there he was in the the Visitor's Center at Temple Square.  A righteous dude.  And SOOOO nice.

Beautiful night with my sweet little family.  Temple Square never disappoints.  No wonder there are always a thousand million people there clogging the walkways, even on a frigid night...

9th Ward Christmas Party

We love our ward, and we love our ward Christmas party. Every year. The ham, the funeral potatoes, the good company, the program, and Santa. Love it all. Here are a few pictures of the fun.

I could NOT believe my eyes when my shy Harper got up and walked over with all the primary kids to hear the Christmas story Katie Chapman read.  So adorable.  

Am I a bad mom for laughing at Harper's Santa-induced hysterics?  Probably.
There is no way to tell you how lucky we are to know Rex Thompson.  Our WWII Iwo Jima veteran friend, neighbor, home teacher.  He loves to tell us jokes about "sons of bishops" and other semi-innapropriate, always hilarious stories.

If you can't feel the love leaping out of this photo, then I don't know what to tell you except your heart may be made of stone.  Or you just don't know Rex Thompson.  Either way: sad for you.

Saying goodbye to best friends = lame.

Jake, Logan, Madeline & Sammy!  Cutest little bunch.

Jake's best pal, Logan Barnett, moved away in the middle of their 1st grade year.  (I'm writing this almost 8 months later, and I can say we're still very sad.)  They had such a connection, beginning in Kindergarten, and it just stinks that friends can't be together forever.  Boooooo.  Not only was Jake sad to lose a friend, but I was sad to lose one too.  Logan's Mom, Brandy is one of my most favorite people.  Love her.  We had a quick going-away party at our house shortly before they moved, with a group of little school friends and their mommy-friends as well.  I don't know who had a better time- the kids or the moms? Anyway.  Thank goodness for friends.
Me, Harper (hiding), Lexi, Brandy, Logan, Tawnya Gibson & Amy Kleiner.

Saying goodbye to Brandy.  We have our sunglasses on to hide our tears.  Nice one, Bennett the photobomber.

B-Boy Bennett

 Bennett took Hip Hop dance again this year from Laurel Osai at Dance Illusion.  I have to brag about him a little here.  He is a seriously good dancer.  Not kidding.  We all came out to watch him perform at their Winter Showcase.  I know I'm biased, but he was the best dancer.  So proud of him for daring to perform in front of so many people! 

Book Night!

This is pathetic; I don't have any photos of our traditional book night, but a couple of the kids just before we headed for home on a cold winter's night. I love all these kids, and I LOVE this tradition. Thank you, mom and dad, for being geniuses.

Day after Thanksgiving = Christmas tree hunt.

So we got our permit at the hardware store in Preston and then drove waaaayyyyy up Cub River to find SNOW! We hiked all over, and finally gave up. Drove a short ways down the road and found a pretty awesome tree right on the side of the road! YES! Owen chopped it down, and we brought it home, where it lived as a very Charlie Browner. But whatever. It was just another excellent adventure.

Why is this photo weird?  Hmmm. Weird.

LandCruiser, you are the best car in the world.  We love you.

Our own little Thanksgiving...

I can't believe this day finally came; I am definitely a grown up now that I have prepared an ENTIRE Thanksgiving dinner.  With my parents gone, all the siblings went to their in-laws to celebrate. We knew we would be traveling to Washington for Christmas, so we were on our own for Thanksgiving.  I have to say- it was WONDERFUL.  Don't get me wrong.  I definitely love being with family on Thanksgiving, and, well, sharing the workload.  But this was such a special and sweet day!  And delicious, I might add.  I am so thankful for the little munchkins who shared our feast that day.

Family Photos for our annual Christmas cards.

As always, I procrastinated this project. We ended up running out to the back yard with a tripod and our 8-year-old neighbor as photographer.  I'm thinking Jade's got a career in this biz.

And I snapped this one before church one day just to document the extreme handsomeness of my boyz.

Baby Shower for Cami!

We had a great time throwing a baby shower for Cami's sweet baby girl. It was SO much fun, and it was very clear that people are so happy for Cami. With my parents gone, people really stepped up and made it super special for her. The love was so strong. Oh, how excited we all were for Cami!  We all knew what a good mama she would be.
Jessie and Clara.
People starting to gather...
Lots of sitting around visiting- just the way we like it in this family.
Ali, Robyn and Brooklyn.
Laura, Lilly, Elizabeth and Meagan!
Roxina and Tanya.
You don't even know how much I love these ladies: Margie, Codi Anne, Carissa, Coley, and Carolyn.
Kerry, Liz and Isabelle.
Nikki and Robyn.  Can you tell they're sisters?
Such great friends and family!  There's cousin Jenny in there.  Why don't I have a closer picture of her? She's my girl.
Clara assists with the opening of the gifts.
I absolutely covet Jaime's lovely house with all kinds of room for entertaining!
Gorgeous blanket handmade by... somebody.
Harper and Ali.
Jaime, Anne and Eden.
Tanya, Brianna and Brylee.
And then the boys crashed the party...
Right here.  This is the reason I feel sad for Harper's lack of sisters.  May my boys marry amazing girls so she can have amazing sisters-in-law like KATE! 
Don't be afraid of my weird red-eye-reduction fail.  
Also, I made those decorations, and they were dang cute.