Thursday, December 24, 2009

More Pictures to Go With The Christmas Letter!

Playing at Island Park
Twin Falls Bridge

The tallest thermometer in the world...big moment for us all! (jk)

Beach fun

Disneyland...missing Cameron the whole time!

Cameron and his first Varsity basketball game!
Jason and Tiffany at Zions
Tiffany at a gymnastics meet
Andrea and her friend Payton

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Letter - 2009

What a year this has been! We have been busy, happy, and busy…and did I mention busy?! I will attempt to give a brief run down of the years activities.
Cameron is 15, a sophomore at Lone Peak High school, and currently 6’4’’, with hopes that he is still growing. He is serving as the Teacher’s quorum president, and has many good friends! Over the summer he went to a basketball camp at the high school and was chosen to play with a sophomore team at several camps. He even chose to stay home from the Disney vacation in June to attend a camp at USU. This fall he tried out for the school team and made the Varsity/JV team. What an accomplishment, especially at our school! He starts on the Sophomore team, plays off the bench for JV, and usually sits on the bench for Varsity, although he has been pulled in for one game so far. He is working hard and having a great experience! He got his drivers permit in November, and is a pretty good driver. He turns 16 in January, and is looking forward to going on his first date!! Cam is a wonderful big brother and example to the rest of the family! What would we do without him??!

Jason is 13 and in 8th grade. He is a great student and loves school. He plays the cello and was moved to intermediate orchestra half way through 7th grade. He began this year in advanced orchestra, and is doing a great job. Track starts in February, and he is looking forward to doing cross country. For his birthday he went to St. George with Nathan and Tiffany for Tiff’s gymnastic meet. After the competition they went to Zion’s National Park and had a great time hiking. He has also started growing – we are interested to see how tall he will get in the next few years! He has earned his Life in scouts, and looks forward to working on his Eagle. Jas is a great helper with his siblings, a great cookie maker, and just a sweet boy!!

Tiffany is 11 and in 6th grade. She is doing really well in her advanced placement class, and looks forward to Jr. High next year. She is still competing in gymnastics and did a great job this past season! She placed 5th in the State competition for her age group for level 5, and is now working on level 6 skills. She already mastered her front tuck, back tuck, back walkover on the beam, and her clear hip circle on bars. (They are all cool tricks, even if the names mean nothing to you) She is also dancing at BYU twice a week, and is beautiful to watch. Very busy, but always happy, kind, and fun to be with! (and sleepy)

Derek is 8 and in 2nd grade. His big news for this past year was being baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was a wonderful day, and we were so happy that he made the choice to be baptized. He played soccer in the fall and loved playing with his team. He has a great kick! He looks forward to the season starting again in the spring. Derek is a great reader and is enjoying school. His favorite thing to do is play with his friends and siblings. He still has an infectious laugh, and he makes us laugh all the time!

Andrea is 6 years old and loves 1st grade! She enjoys reading, drawing pictures, writing, and recess! She goes to her dance class with BYU children’s dance once a week and has beautiful leaps! It is wonderful to see her dance. She also has many fun friends in the neighborhood and has truly enjoyed being able to run to their homes and play! She has lost 5 teeth so far, including one right in front! Always happy and sweet, she truly is a little love bug!

Nathan is as busy as ever…or more! He continues to do great things working at LDS Family Services. We are grateful to have such a stable and good job in this day and age. He also started his own private counseling practice on the side which has been going well. Nate continues to serve as the Scout Master in the ward and spent many, many nights camping with the deacons in the ward. Jason loved having him there! Nathan also was able to attend MANY BYU men’s basketball games, women’s basketball games, football games, and even a few baseball games. He continues to love all things BYU, and just enjoyed the Vegas football bowl game. Life is even better when we win! It is great fun to go to Cameron’s game and cheer him on as well.

Deb continues to try to keep up with all the activities of the family, and makes an excellent bus driver for the kids! This year she added nursing school to the schedule, and has spent a lot of time studying and writing papers. In spite of the crazy pace of life, it is a great adventure and seems like the right thing to do! So far the favorite experience for clinicals has been in the Emergency Room. It’s exciting to be able to take care of people that need help! She is still serving in the primary and loves teaching the 8 year olds! She also loves cheering on the family in their many activities! We celebrated our 18th anniversary in November, and can’t imagine being happier than we are now!

As a family we enjoyed many adventures this year! We went ice skating and stayed in a hotel in SLC the night before Easter, watched the girls dance in the DeJong concert hall in May, went to Disneyland and the beach in June (missing Cameron the whole time), enjoyed time at the cabin in Island Park in July, had fun at Seven Peaks for Tiffany’s birthday in July, hiked and went through Timpanogos Cave in August, went to “Sliding Rock” in Alpine in September, chopped down our Christmas tree in the mountains in November, and went to Twin Falls, ID in December to attend cousin Packer’s baptism, to name a very few of our outings! We have loved being together as a family, supporting each other, laughing together, and growing together. In spite of all that we have going on, we are so grateful to pause and reflect on the reason for this beautiful season! Jesus Christ is the focus of our lives, and we are so grateful for his example! We know that families can be together forever, and rejoice in that knowledge every day! We are also grateful for the many dear friends and family that touch our lives in so many ways. We wish each of you a Merry Christmas, and hope you know of our love for you!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Love Notes

I plan to blog several times over this holiday. My 11 year old has often lamented my poor blogging consistency, so she will be posting occasionally. Should be entertaining! My latest addition comes from my 13 yr old. I worked late night clinical shift at the hospital during the semester and got home around 12:30 am. I usually made dinner before I left to make it easier for Nate. A few weeks ago I came home to a note on my pillow. There was a message from everyone, but I thought I would pass along the one from Jas.

"Hey mom, I loved dinner. It was the best dinner ever. If we had dinner like that every night, I wouldn't complain. The carrots in the dinner and the chicken in the dinner was good in dinner, but dinner wouldn't be dinner without the water that goes with the dinner. Love you (plus the dinner). - Jas"

It's good to go to sleep giggling!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Who needs food?

Last week I was feeling uninspired while trying to decide what to do about dinner. (Shocking, I know). My menu had been planned and posted on the fridge for weeks, but nothing looked good...or fast...or easy. I asked my little Andrea what she thought we should do about dinner. She stopped, thought for a moment, and then said, "Well, can we laugh?" Plan for the best part of family meal time. Food is optional!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm still trying to get the pictures up from this summer. Halloween is a good time to catch up on a vacation that happened in June! I'm sure that is true :-)

We took our children to Disneyland for the first time over the summer. Cameron wasn't able to join us, because he had a basketball camp in Logan that same week, so we promised him that before he leaves on his mission in three years, we will take him to the magical land. Yea! Another Disney trip in a few years!

We ran from opening to close, used fast pass and stood in very few long lines, swam in the evenings, and had fun from beginning to end. There wasn't a ride that we couldn't all go on...OK, maybe putting fruit snack packets in Andreas shoes to make her two inches taller so she could go on Indiana Jones was a bit over the top, especially since she screamed through the whole ride, but she still went :-)

Nobody got lost, nobody threw up, and everyone was happy. Family vacations are awesome!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Farewell dear camera -

It was actually my fault. We went to sliding rock in Alpine for FHE. The rock looks like it would really hurt to slide on, but it feels smooth, and drops you right into a FREEZING cold pool at the bottom. I was holding the camera and Andi's hand, walking in the water toward the pool, so I could get some great action shots of the sliders. My foot slid on a rock, and I tried to save both the camera and my daughter. Well, Andi got dunked, the camera went under, and my hand looked like the second picture here...the last picture my little camera ever took that didn't look as if it was
taken through the foggy mist. Sniff.
At least the activity was great fun, we all took a few slides down the awesome rock, then gasped for breath in the icy chill, and the night was a hit. All without further documentation.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I wonder..

There are things that I wonder about -
...Why do my hands still smell like the long term care facility where I was doing my clinical from 5:45 am- 2:00 pm? I have washed and washed, but the smell lingers. Is it in my nose hairs, as opposed to on my hands?
....Why did I crash so spectacularly when I went roller blading with my sister on my birthday - here's the bruise to prove the utter grace that I displayed. (It was on my hip and thigh) I just didn't turn fast enough, thought the grass would slow me down more than it did, and stopped myself with my hip and leg as I blasted into a picnic table.

....How did I get such creative and fun children and husband, when I myself am so creatively impaired, and nothing if not all vanilla ice cream and cheese-only topped pizza?
....Why I started a blog ... :-)
These are great things to ponder on.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Remember the Summer...

In June we took 4 of our 5 kids to Disneyland. We told the family years ago that we would go to the magical land when the youngest was at least five years old. Consequently, little Andrea was highly disappointed when she had her fifth birthday, and she didn't get a Disney trip to celebrate! A year later, we finally made the trip! Yea!!

We spent the first night in Mesquite, Nevada. Any hotel with a swimming pool is vacation worthy. We went to church the next morning, and were asked several times, with hope in the eyes, if we were new in the area. I guess large families are a precious commodity in that ward.

We continued our drive toward the magical kingdom, but stopped to enjoy the history and fascination of the tallest thermometer in the world. It was a special time for us all...brought a tear to the eye, really.

Playing on the beach with the family was great fun. The kids played, ran, danced, napped, and had a great time! It wasn't the warmest day, but we also had a big portion of the beach to ourselves! We spoke often about how much we all missed Cameron, who wasn't with us because he was playing basketball at a camp at Utah State University. We made a promise to him that we would take him to California and Disneyland before he goes on his mission in three years...It's a good promise to make, because it means we have another magical vacation coming up before the oldest is out of the house.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Farewell dear gallbladder...

To my gallbladder -

You have been a great companion throughout the years. You spewed bile when I enjoyed food with fat in it. And I have greatly enjoyed delicious, fatty food! What we had together was good. And yet, in spite of my appreciation, you have begun to cause me great pain. You turned on me, and made me cry. For this reason, we need to break up. Nothing you can say or spew will change my mind. The doctor will unceremoniously suck you out of my body, never to be seen or heard from again. Good riddence.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do you want an ego boost??...

I was running with Cameron a few weeks ago while we were on vacation. We ran just over 4 miles, and the altitude was 8900 feet. I was running pretty steady at a 10 min. mile. Cam informed me that we were going pretty slow. I told him that I have run with some people that run even slower than me. He said, "Mom, I don't think it's possible to run slower than this!"

Jason was in the car with me when I saw a neighbor. I stopped, we chatted for a few minutes, and then continued driving to the cello lesson we were heading for. Jas said, "Mom, you are really social. You talk for a long time!" I just laughed, and told him that I enjoy catching up with friends. He said, "I like to talk to my friends too, but it doesn't take as long....I use shorter sentences." What a helpful piece of information.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How Time Flies!

Apparently, I am not a real blogger. Real bloggers do not ignore their blog for months on end, even if the computer gets a virus, and seems to forevermore hate all things google and blog like. Of course, the long period of time between my last post and this one makes it easy to have something to write about - except for the little brain problem I have...something I affectionately call mother brain. It forgets things. Be that as it may, here are some pictures of my girls from the concert they performed in at BYU. The show was in the DeJong Concert Hall. Tiffany's picture was used on the board outside of the ticket window as part of the advertisement for the concert. They both did a beautiful job, and had a great time.
There were some funny things that happened, but I have forgotten them. Perhaps my blogging habits will improve...but we won't hold out too much hope. Pathophysiology is my current hobby.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Easter Sunday was a treat from beginning to end. We had planned to attend Music and the Spoken Word as a family, but forgot that the age limit is 8 years old. Nathan took the younger two over to the visitor center, and I went in with Cameron, Jason, and Tiffany. We had seats near the front, and enjoyed the whole program. After the program we spent some time walking around Temple Square. I think we usually take the family there when the whole world gathers to see the Christmas lights, so it was fun to be there when it was not extra busy, and it wasn't freezing! We went back to the hotel, checked out, and stopped by the This is the Place monument. I am ashamed to say that I have never been there before - how does that happen? I grew up in Utah, for goodness sakes!! We spent the rest of the day with our friends in Park City. They had organized a big Easter egg hunt in the back yard - they even went to the effort to shop vac up the majority of the deer and elk poop pellets that sprinkled the yard. We wouldn't want them to be mistaken for chocolate Easter eggs, now would we? We did chuckle a bit, because the oldest son had been out "helping" hide the eggs (He is at least 30). He opened several eggs and ate the candy, then filled them with gravel and put them back. My Andrea opened three such eggs, and was a bit more cautious about just opening the egg and dumping the contents into her bucket after the first gravel filled one! :-) We enjoyed good (great) food, wonderful friendship, and a beautiful day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring into new focus?

The semester has drawn to a close. Physiology is done, nutrition is complete, and I have one final test to finish off human development. Two A's and one B. 10 more credits under my belt...or on my transcript, I suppose...and the prerequisites for nursing programs are done. Two programs have been applied to, and the wait is in full swing. And I find myself curiously floundering. I have let the bathrooms be dirtier than normal, have trimmed down the menu plan to meals that can be prepared in five minutes or less, and the wood floor has been spot mopped for a month. But I have the oddest sense of needing something to do! I threw my heart and energy into successfully getting through these classes, and I'm having a hard time pulling myself into the new - old - current phase of house cleaning and projects. My sister informed me that I had this same problem when I was released from a responsible and time consuming church calling several years ago. Is this a basic flaw in my character?

I have concluded that I have adjustment problems. I dive in head first to opportunities (just not into cold swimming pools), and coming back out is painful. On the other hand, once the transformation has occurred, my appreciation for the past experience increases, and I'm thrilled to have moved past it. The constant is my cute little family (can my 6'4'' tall fifteen year old be called "little"?) that takes up my first love and attention. There is always more than enough to do with them and for them. They make me laugh, and sometime make me grind my teeth. Over spring break we spent lots of uninterrupted time together, and it was wonderful. (More to come on that...I haven't downloaded the pictures yet) I may feel the pain of change, but the joy and work of the experience is worth it!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Where do they come up with these things?

Derek played in his soccer game on Saturday. It was freezing cold, little snow flakes were blowing around, and I didn't bring a hat for his little ears. When he was out, he would come sit on my lap, and I would try to warm up his ears and hands. He turned to me and said, "Mother, I love you so much!". I said, "I love you too, buddy!". He said "Oh man, I was trying to make this romantic, and you ruined it!"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sick child...

This little one is typically a happy, energetic, sweet little thing. She is not perfect (lest you get the wrong impression), but she is delightful! So having her sick is just the saddest thing. She has been dragging for a few weeks - maybe fighting this sickness off? Who knows! On Thursday she fell asleep at 5:00 pm. I couldn't let her just sleep because her brother was singing in his first grade program and we all went. She just drooped against me through the whole thing. That night she came in to my room around midnight, saying that her stomach hurt...and then she started to throw up. I caught it in my hands, (I am supermom, and it was a small amount. Completely contained) and we hustled into the bathroom. After getting her cleaned up and giving her the barf bowl, she wanted to stay with me. I let her climb into my bed and proceeded to watch the clock slowly make its way toward morning. I don't sleep well when people are touching me! Finally, at 5 am I asked her if I could carry her back to her bed, and she said it would be ok. Then I taught an uninspired aerobics class at 6 am. She has been throwing up two or three times a day since then, and I finally took her to the doctor today because she couldn't sit up, wasn't going to the bathroom, and didn't want to drink anything. The after hours clinic sent us to the ER, and they put an IV in to get her hydrated again. I would have a picture of it, but, funny enough, I didn't think to take my camera with me. So, she is back home with a cool bandage on the hand from her IV, and we hope she will get better now.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Be aware of the dangers of adventure...

My sister Julie came to Utah to have a fun outing with her husband. They got set up with a helicopter that would drop them over a ski run. They put on suits that remind me of flying squirrels, that allow a person to glide when falling, and land on the powdered mountain side. Julie jumped out of the 'copter, practically flew to the mountain, and began skiing. Unfortunately, she fell and broke her leg in three different places. At least that is the story she told people for the first week, just to see what kind of reaction would result. People believed it, at least a little bit.

THE REAL STORY - Julie and McKay went skiing at Wolf Mountain. They were having a great time until, half way through the day, Julie fell, and her bindings didn't release. She broke her leg in three places, and she had to get a plate and six screws in her fibula. Which story sounds more interesting? :-) The pictures are good, regardless.

More cool leg pictures