Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas to all...a few days late

Do you hear what I hear?  The quiet after Christmas sounds....content children!  It feels so good to have nothing to check off my to do list today.  I get to just enjoy having the kids home and a good movie with holiday left overs!  Woohoo!!  

Since my last post we have celebrated two birthdays, a surprise visitor and Christmas.  Haley had her 17th birthday on Dec. 18th. Wow, it is hard to believe that our little girl is almost grown and thinking about college.   We had a family dinner with some of the cousins but all of my siblings, spouses and my dad.  It was really fun and the food was great!  But most importantly we got a recent photo of the five siblings together for us but also to give to my mom.  My brother Dave (second from r) came from South Dakota as a surprise Christmas gift to my parents.  We had a really fun 52 hours together. 
I had my birthday a couple of days after Haley's.  Of course I am not 17, but non the less I had a great day.  I opened my presents with my kids present and giddy and much to my surprise, Shane and the kids got me my very own computer.  I have been a very good girl!  I no longer have to log off of their stuff to get to mine, or have my pictures on three different computers, or have to wait for them to finish up their stuff.  I feel as though I am a grown up now.  I love my new mac book!

Christmas eve we spent with Shane's aunt and uncle and cousins in Scottsdale and had a really nice night that included a visit from Santa, who had gifts for the kids.  We got this cute little photo opp with Santa and Bolt.  Then we came home and got ready for Santa to come to our house... Jake sprinkled reindeer food in the front yard for the sleigh pullers and then of course he left three cookies on Santa's plate.  Everything he did must have worked because every child was very happy with their Christmas!     
  We are incredibly blessed this Christmas to have our health, to know the real reason for the season, and to have our family here, together.   I am eternally grateful to my Father in Heaven and to my Savior, Jesus Christ, for the countless blessings in my life.

Talking about blessings, that brings to mind one of Jake's gifts..... an Ipod shuffle (thanks gpa Mannes).  Since he opened up this gift and had "His" music downloaded, which includes all of 7 songs.  We find him asleep with his music still playing.  Grandpa, I can't thank you enough!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tablecloth of thanks

The kids and I had a very nice Thanksgiving with our family and friends. In all there were 19 of us eating dinner. The meal was fantastic and so was the company.
Nine years ago when we had our first Thanksgiving in Az., two of my cousins and their spouses came to our home from out of state for Thanksgiving. We had so much fun with them and started our longest running tradition....we wanted all who had dinner with us to sign their name and mention something that they were grateful for that year. We used the same cloth every year until this year. I am not sure if it was by accident or coincidence that this year we needed a new tablecloth, due to the old one being full. Our new cloth has many of the same things that we were and are grateful for but family and Dad(Shane) were especially high on the list. It was sad not having Shane with us for the holiday but, I found myself thinking how blessed we are that we still have him with us. Even my mom was with us and signed the cloth as she has done before. We welcomed new friends to this tradition and the rest(including kids)remembered with laughter some of the signings of the past nine years. We spent most of the meal laughing.

Speaking of Shane, he was living one of his dreams by looking for the biggest set of elk antlers he could find in northeastern Az. He has patiently(somewhat)waited to be drawn for a super elk hunt and as luck would have it, he gets drawn this year. So we all encouraged him to go and bring us back an elk. But by looking at the picture to your left, nature is huge and I think the elk have a really big advantage! So after hunting for 3 days then a trip to D.C. for a 15 minute oral argument then 2 more days of hunting and very little sleep. I am sad to report that Shane's dream will continue, no elk was taken on this hunt.
So now I am starting to panic about this.....