Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gibbons Extreme Makeover - Family Edition - 2012

Dear Family and Friends:
We just completed a huge painting project inside our beautiful home.  It seemed symbolic for the year 2012 and describes, well, how our family has been changing this past year.  A quick look back over the year - let’s start with our youngest and perhaps most energetic part of the Gibbons home - Andrea :
Andrea (age 9) had a glorious year.  She’s clearly no longer our ‘baby.’  Several ‘baby’ teeth are gone, her long-time bunk bed has been replaced by her new bed and bedroom (she’s the first person visitors will meet if they come upstairs), and she has turned into quite the student.  Andrea’s makeover has allowed her to grow into an even more beautiful dancer and a confident young lady.  She’s beautiful inside and out!
Derek (age 11) is becoming quite the little man!  His defensive skills displayed with his soccer team have earned him the respect of many – nobody gets past Derek.  Derek has also busted out into his own new room, which includes BYU-blue paint, a huge photo of the BYU campus, and a few team posters.  Derek’s teachers consistently inform his parents of how great a student and how full of life Derek is, in class.  He’s a wonderful friend.  If you get Derek to start laughing…beware – he won’t stop until his lips are blue and he’s cried actual happy tears!
Tiffany (age 14) has gone through major ‘life reconstruction’ this past year.  She also gained her own room (including the obligatory blue and green paint) this year.  Tiffany fractured her back sometime during the summer, which meant this 3-Time State Floor Gymnastics Champ was forced to ‘hang it up.’  She responded by re-inventing herself.  She’s back dancing with her former BYU dance group and figured she still had time for more.  WHY NOT TRY DIVING?!  Her ability to spin and flip was an instant hit amongst her diving buddies.  She dives at BYU 3-5 days a week and dances 2 days….in the same building.  Somehow, she’s been able to maintain her stellar string of A’s at school.  Tiffany does ‘makeover’ like Chuck Norris does ‘tough.’  :-)
Jason (age 16) has turned into the social-magnet this past year!  Nothing says makeover like learning how to drive and starting to date.  Oh yeah, Jason also took over an extra basement room, as well.  He did some painting, some cleaning, and moved on down there.  He even keeps it ‘mostly’ clean…  Jason continues to master the cello, and has begun to perform with it.  He learned JUST TODAY that he has indeed reached the towering height of his father, to which he just smiled and said “Sweet.”  With all the additional time hanging out with friends, he’s been able to maintain his A’s as well.
Cameron (age 18) began his year deeply entrenched in High School Basketball.  He finished his third year on the Varsity Lone Peak H.S. basketball team in March with his second STATE CHAMPIONSHIP and a Top-20 national ranking.  Cameron was required to support the team by being a ‘role player’, which means he pounded on the starters, in practice, and humbly sat the bench for most of the games.  None of this was easy for him, but he learned the value of hard work.  He somehow came out of all of this with a deep love, still, for the game of basketball.  He finished high school in May and graduated – a happy day for all!  Cameron works at Hobby Lobby and helps others decorate their homes!  He has also spent time working for his Uncle Steve doing more….you guessed it….home reconstruction.
Nathan is finishing this year with full-time work at the Provo MTC.  Didn’t necessarily see that one coming!  After 16 years in 3 LDS Family Services offices, he was excited by this reassignment which has come his way.  He was thrilled to support and assist Deb as she began the huge undertaking of our HOME MAKEOVER.  Luckily, he could add help with the labor, because the process of picking paint colors was best done by his sweetheart!  :-)  Nathan spent the year cheering his kids on in their various activities and playing a little ball, himself.  He’s become a deadly outside shooter (that’s code for ‘the lazy old man doesn’t have it in him, anymore, to pound the boards, so he sets up on the 3-point line and buries them!’)  Nathan recently made another commitment for self-makeover as he is now refusing to yell at the refs!  Deb will be helping Nathan with that one.... but it’s going pretty well so far.
Deborah is the makeover QUEEN this year.  In addition to painting approximately 80% of the walls and ceiling of our beautiful home, Deb found time to work full-time and then PRN as an RN on the 7th Floor (Oncology) at UVRMC, transport kids ALL OVER THIS VALLEY day after day, teach children's dance at BYU, and still take care of herself and others by running, laughing, and loving!  Just recently, in fact, Deb’s hard work was rewarded by a new environment to work at, come 2013.  She’s long dreamed of being able to work at the American Fork Hospital, because of how close it is to our home.  Her dream has come true.  Not only does she get to make her own schedule (PRN), she will be working both in the ICU and the ER.  HOW FUN IS THAT?!  It’s a testament to hard work and dedication.  Her managers and patients love her.
We hope and pray for a wonderful new 2013.  We’re learning that life is full of both heartache and joy.  As Sister Hinckley once stated, “You can either laugh or cry, and I choose to laugh.  Crying gives me a headache.”  Oh so true.  We know that our Heavenly Father will makeover our lives better than we ever could….if we will let Him.  Our wish for you is joy and peace at this Christmas Season.  May the gift of the Atonement of our brother, Jesus Christ, work in each of our lives.  We love you!
The Gibbons – Nathan, Deborah, Cameron, Jason, Tiffany, Derek and Andrea

Monday, June 11, 2012

Other Random Alaska Moments

Beautiful sunset

Never too many delicious desserts!

Feeding a reindeer in Ketchikan

Final night balloon drop

Ice sculpting

What wonderful memories we will always have of being together with our family!


Victoria was beautiful!

Government offices

Totem Pole


Family time was Awesome!

Eating time was Fabulous!

Lobster night was divine!

Our waiters - Michael and Lucasz. We loved them both!!

Downtown Skagway


Beginning of our bike ride.

The night club was a great place to hang out during the day

3:30 AM. Took the picture, pulled the curtains and went back to sleep

Juneau - Tram and City

Tram ride

View from the top

We would have hiked on the trails...but the trails couldn't be found at this time  :-)

A recovering bald eagle

Wandering in the city

State Capitol building

Making friends everywhere

A back stairway - ran up to see where it went. Lots of apartments, with rain forest at the top.

Juneau - whale watching

Nate and I didn't actually go whale watching, but the rest of the family did. These are some of their awesome pictures!!