Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What do you remember about Christmas growing up?

When I think back on my past Christmas experiences growing up I often wonder what Kade will remember about his.

Mine were:
1) Dad telling us EVERY YEAR, 'I hope you kids aren't too disappointed'- really dad? He still says this. This year was classic. He retires TOMORROW (yeah) so he went all out! He is taking my mom to Hawaii for a whole week in Feb. I wrapped a grass skirt and the tickets in a box. When he handed the gift to her he said (you guessed it), 'I hope you aren't too disappointed'. We laughed and made fun of him the rest of the day! Classic, silly dad- oh how we love you.

2) I couldn't ever figure out why mom and dad were constantly going out the trailer (our camping trailer) in November and December until I got older (Duh, that is where the gifts were hidden).

3) Christmas morning was MAGICAL, the family room was packed with gifts. We each had a designated spot on the couch with our stocking and clothes.

4) I remember getting a real Cabbage Patch doll (not the homemade one) and as I was walking down the hallway my dad said, 'one of these years your mom is going to have to talk to you about babies'. REALLY DAD, SICK!

5) One year I got to go with my parents and pick out a BOOM BOX. I was so excited. It was huge, it covered most of my dresser top, the speakers on the sides were detachable. It was awesome and grossly huge and I loved it. It had two tape players so I could record from one tape to the next and I could even record straight from the radio station. I was so cool.

6) Another year I desperately wanted a ten speed bike. I could hardly stand the wait. When what to my eyes did appear on Christmas morning... NO BIKE. That was until we were all finished unwrapping and my parents told me to go look out the back door. There it was my shiny new ten speed! I was so excited until it sunk in that it was BROWN. Who buys their precious princess a brown bike?

7) Santa wrapped EVERYTHING, as he should. Seriously, he has a million and twelve elves. Wrap it all I say.

8) Every year we would begrudgingly load into the family car and drive all over town looking at lights. This was before the light festivals where you pull up, pay your five bucks, and drive around the park. We drove ALL OVER town. Mom loved it, we hated it. But, silly us... we go see the lights every year (at the park).

9) Every year we opened one gift (mom picked it) and every year it was new jammies.

10) Every year we each got our own bag of Oreo cookies.

11) I never remember a Christmas that wasn't amazing, magical, special, cherished.

THANKS MOM, DAD, and SANTA!

Here is what I invision Kade remembering:
1) He always got what he asked for except that year he was ten (this year) and he asked for a 22 and didn't get one.

2) He had a designated spot on the couch for his stocking.

3) Every year he got a Naked and Jones drink and a box of chocolate orange sticks.

4) He never woke up early, Mom would wake him up and he would beg for just 5 more minutes (he is so his dad).

5) He not only put out milk and cookies for Santa but, carrot sticks for the reindeer.

6) Every year he got one gift on Christmas Eve and it was jammies.

7) He didn't have a fireplace so he would have to place 'special-huge-magical' keys on the front door step for Santa.

8) Every year on Christmas morning after opening gifts from Santa we would load into the car and go to G'pa and G'ma Smith's for breakfast and more gifts with the whole family.

9) Santa wrapped EVERYTHING, as he should. Seriously, he has a million and twelve elves. Wrap it all!

10) Christmas is magical!

Our family hopes your family has fun cherished memories like ours does.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas

you would think i would have my blogging act together:

i only work 20-24 hours a week and clean. plus, i still have not figured out how to use my 'new' (yes, the one i got last year) camera, lost more weight than i have, finished 'gutting' my basement, and completed my dining room set project. but NO!

instead i have been: carting kade around town, helping at the school, volunteering in the
community, trying new recipes, making great fun finds (if i can get my camera figured out i will post pics), catching up on all of the movies i haven't seen, eating bon bons, watching days of our lives, napping, brushing up on my triple axel, refining the 6 languages i speak fluently, and preparing for the 2010 canadian olympics (watch for me).

we have had a very enjoyable 2009, some of our highlights were:

1) kade turned double digits- the big 10
2) matt re-certified as a Pharm Tech.
3) jesicca found a job that she loves
4) we did a lot of camping and 4 wheeling throughout utah this year (we love this great state)
5) yellowstone was a hit
6) bear lake was an even bigger hit
7) matt didn't bag the big one on the hunts (sad for matt, biggest hit for jesicca)

kade's not sure he is excited about christmas. what to do... however, i have noticed that as the days draw nearer kade is asking more questions like:

1) how many more days?
2) what do you think you are getting?
3) i bought you something and if you tell me what you have for me i will tell you what i have for you.
4) are you sure i can't ask santa for a 22? i know you and dad aren't getting me one because you think kids my age aren't old enough or responsible enough (breath... he isn't getting a 22)
5) how many days do i have off for christmas break?
6) holy schmoly - there are more believe me!

during kade's christmas break we are hoping to: do some sledding, see all of the great box office hits, stay in our jammies all day, play with our new toys, put all of our christmas decor away for another year (sad- i am certain clark griswald won't be around for the clean up), relax, and play-play-play!

merry christmas! we love you all so very much and hope you have a fantabulous christmas with your loved ones.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

O.K. so I still can't firgure out how to down load the pictures from our new camera so I have refused to blog about our daily lives. What fun is that without pics? We are still in the world, we are still living in the same (fabulous) house, driving the same (awesome) vehicles, still busy-busy-busy!

Kade made an Excellerated Baseball (GO RENEGADES) team and we lived at the ball park the end of Spring first of Summer. He practiced 4-5 hours a week and had double headers every Saturday. I loved it! There is nothing better in the Spring than: the feel of a cool breeze, the smell of freshly cut grass, the sight of red dirt stained baseball pants, the taste of sunflower seeds (only David Early for me). I love watching Kade get amped for every game, hit the ball, steal bases, laugh with newly made friends, cherish his uniform, admire his coaches, get excited when his dad comes home so that they can head over to the ball fields to hit balls (even though he has 2-3 practices a week). He is the ALL AMERICAN KID! His new nickname is WHEELS, the kids is so fast. His position is CENTER FIELD because he can make it to left or right before the ball, he can steal any base any time.



Kade ran in the school Hershey Track race and placed 1st in the 50m and 100m. The new HS track coach wanted him on the city track team but the practices and meets were the same time and days as baseball so we graciously declined. Kade was very disappointed. Hershey Track District Invitational, that's correct, he was invited to the regional track meet at Provo HS. He took 3rd in the 50m and 6th in the 100m. We were so proud of him! He was an alternate for State but we were in Yellowstone so we were not able to attend. Can you say WHEELS?

We vacationed in Yellowstone seeing: bald eagles and young, a cinnamon grizzly, a black bear, elk-elk-elk, bison-bison-bison (young calfs trying to cautiously walk across the street was hilarious and darling), geysers, gorgeous thick pines, wolves, cranes, geese, water falls, crAzY foriegners (they I am certain thought the same about us), old faithful, amish (yes amish. Kade is obsessed with Weird Al's song Amish Paradise... so when we arrived at Old Faithful and Matt saw an elderly Amish couple he just couldn't wait to point them out to Kade. Even funnier-Kade didn't know what Amish people looked like so the joke was on Matt), lions-tigers and bears oh my. We rode an 8 seater bike. It was hilarious and the adults were sore the next morning packing all of the kids on the bike. We were a sight. I became a professional photographer at the 'YELLOWSTONE' sign just before entering the park. We stopped to get our own picture and while waiting for the rest of our group to join I ended up taking group photos of every vehicle that stopped to do the same. Matt laughed his head off.



We have lived in the mountains this summer; camping in our new trailer, fishing, hiking, riding hundreds of miles on the 4 wheelers, eating yummy treats, staying up all night playing card games and watching movies, and laughing our heads off- yes off.

Matt works with a wonderful Pharmacist who has a gorgeous garden and asked if we could come pick raspberries- could we??? Oh YES! I have been twice now and made 4 batches of jam. They are beautiful- red, ripe, sweet, lushous, beautiful, mouthwatering yummy.

I have been busy getting all arrangements needed finalized for our cities Children's Parade - which I happily/excitedly accepted to chair again this year. I can hardly wait! We are NOT doing it around our little knoll at the pond. We are actually having a PARADE- cheerleaders from our new HS, football players from our new HS, the cities youth council, a fire-truck, an ambulance, police, BACA motorcycles, kids-kids-kids. I am so excited. If you want to support us, know what city I am talking about... then come. We have the best city days EVER! Our fireworks ROCK, they are better than Stadium of Fire hands down.

We are currently packing, baking, cleaning (I NEVER leave without my home in order for vaca), shopping for our next trip... BEAR LAKE here we come. We go every year, with the exception of 1 year for the past 12 years. How can you not go, how can you not love the beaches, the HOT blistering sun, the freezing cold water, the yummy hamburger joints that sell their famous raspberry shakes. We are hoping to find the caves and do some exploring.
This is where we stay every year... Ideal Beach!
This is the view coming out of the canyon heading to Bear Lake... why we love it so!
We are also ramping up to play co-ed softball. I am so excited to break in my new cleats that my boys gave me for mothers day (only wish they were pink) and my new softball mit. Go Blue-Sox!

Monday, June 15, 2009

what can i give...

i was watching a recording of oprah (used to love her, now i can take her or leave her) a couple of weeks ago that has stayed on my mind and in my heart ever since. it was about people giving back during this crAzY economic crisis we find ourselves in. she had a little one that collects new toys for children who are victims of house fires, a little one that collects new socks for the homeless, a couple that retired-bought a hotel-and have now turned it into a shelter for people down on their luck, a man that is a mechanic who now fixes up what we might call 'clunckers' and sells them for the repair parts to individuals with no car who are looking for work- single mothers- etc, a dr. and his wife in arkansas that open a free clinic twice a week for their community whose population is 2,000 and half are uninsured, a woman that helps people get their homes back when they are in jeoporady of loosing them, and a little one that has an official lemonade stand and donates the proceeds to cancer in her cousins name.

i cried my eyes out watching this episode and feeling the spirit so strongly that i need to help MY neighbors, those in MY community, those in MY country. there is so much to be done, so much that can be given.

often i wonder what i, a small town girl in a small town community can do to give back... i still wonder. i used to think- i don't have time- i don't have extra money- i don't know what i can do other than donate to the scouting food drive every fall- surely there must be something! i am here to admit... i am still looking.

i am on my wards enrichment committee and a couple of months ago we had a training/planning meeting. during which i recommended that we do a swap (now called the shop -n- swap) where families go through their homes pulling clothing, housewares, home decor, tools, etc. and swap with others. my moms stake did this years ago and it was amazing. we are hosting our 1st annual shop -n- swap in august. but what else can i do?

last week one of my dearest childhood friends, lana told me that her family is doing a weekly summer service project in the community- why didn't i think of this? she is my hero.

it is ridiculous to think that i can't do something when oprah had even little ones on. they are my example, they are my light, they feed my soul with growth that i as a grown woman need so desperately.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

calling all cars...

In the few short years we have lived in our small town we have had the police at our door step '5' times. crAzY, we are law abiding citizens and we think every encounter is commical:




1~Kade riding his motorbike around the block

2~parking our trailer on the road, it was sold and we were waiting for the new owner to pick it up

3~riding our 4 wheelers through the neighborhood, funning thing it was us but the neighbor that made the complaint told police that it was our little next door neighbors that were 6 and 4.

4~I locked my keys (and the spare) in my car and needed help, only in a small town will the Cheif of Police come to your home to assist in opening your car

5~last but not least and certainly the best story:

In May I was helping my dad paint his new office while Kade was in school. One morning I sent Kade off to school, put on my painting clothes and my favorite Red Sox hat and heading off to Provo. Fast forward to 3:20 PM, I pulled in the garage, came in the house, saw that Kade beat me home, yelled "hello", sat down at the island and proceeded to go through our mail. About 10 minutes goes by and the next thing I hear was my front door slamming shut. I yelled 'hello' again and got no response. Then I starting thinking perhaps it wasn't shut tight and the wind blew it but, no wind. Then I thought maybe Kade and a friend came running in, as I was getting up to go check it out the phone rang. It was Matt asking if I knew where Kade was (I am thinking weird), I told him that I didn't and that I was just going to look for him. He starts to tell me that Kade is at the next door neighbors because he got scared. During our conversation I am walking out the garage and see a histerical Kade, my neighbor and her kids and wouldn't you know it, a police officer.

Here is Kade's side of the story: he came home from school, got a snack and went into my bedroom to watch a cartoon. He hears the barstool slide out, but doesn't know I am home. He sneaks out and peeks into the kitchen to see who it is. All he can see is a blue hat and khaki pants. He tip-toes back into my bedroom to call his dad. Matt tells him to get out of the house and go straight to the neighbors. Kade sneaks to the front door, slowly opens it, and while he is tearing out of the house he slams the door shut. He runs to the neighbors bawling his eyes out. She calls the police and within two minutes they are at her doorstep questioning Kade and getting ready to come to my house when I walk out.

The office and neighbor both tell me that Kade discribed me to a "T", saying that I was in my 20's (thank you little man), khaki pants, blue hat, sitting at the island eating. hee hee The officer got down on one knee trying to console Kade and telling him that he did exactly as he should have and that he was proud of Kade for getting out of the house.

Kade asked why I was wearing a hat, 'because mom you never wear hats'.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Up


On the last day of school I took Kade to see Up. The commercials made it look hilarious, with that darling little old man and chubby sweet little boy. However, after getting loaded up with treats, finding seats, snuggling in, lights out for the theater and me. That's right I fell asleep. It had nothing to do with the movie. I was exhausted. Staying up late and waking up early are not for me. I will resume my old routine and hopefully not miss anymore movies.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day

This year Kade and I went to the local green house and I gave him free rein to choose seeds for our garden. He loved it, and surprised me with some of his choices: spinach, corn, celery, radishes, peas, cucumbers and pumpkins.





Wednesday came and after school we played in the dirt planting all of them while Matt tilled the garden. Once our seeds sprout we will transplant them to the garden. Happy harvesting.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The rest of SPRING BREAK...

Well, we woke up to rain and it quickly turned to...

it looked like Christmas, Matt didn't find it cute or funny when I started singing "Let it Snow". We always have dreams of warm, sunny weather for spring break but not this year, we had snow! I find it beautiful but spring break- are you kidding me? What happened to warm breezes, light shadows, budding blossoms, and sunburns?


The Nickelcade was a blast and we ended up not going shopping. The kids won a bazillion tickets and cashed them in for candy, braclets, bouncy balls, the works. After playing games all afternoon we hit the local Wendy's for a late lunch. Matt and the kids thought is was hilarious getting into a food fight. Thank heavens we were sitting in the back and none of the workers caught them. YES, I made them pick it all up before leaving.

Thursday I took the girls to get their hair done. Sadie opted for long, golden curls and Elise chose to get her hair cut. They are darling! Elise loves her new hair cut and and talked her mom into getting her an outrageous flat iron! While the girls were getting pampered I got a pedicure and it was relaxing. Katie was darling and a blast to visit with. She did an amazing job, aaaah.

Friday I worked at the shop, cleaning walls and touching up more paint. Kade and Nicholas played around the shop and then left with Jerid. They played in the 'pond' in Jerid's back yard, played with the ducks, chickens and dogs. Kade had a blast! Thanks Jerid!

Saturday was ball, ball, ball! Kade had two ball games, which equalled about five hours at the ball park. He walked every time he was up to bat. Poor kid, he was wanting to 'kill' the ball every time he got up. Our next two months of Saturdays will be spent at the park. I can't wait, baseball is one of the best sports. Go RENEGADES!
IF I COULD GET MY PICTURES TO DOWNLOAD I WOULD BE SO HAPPY!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SPRING BREAK day #1

The boys were getting ready for their annual Robbers Roost trip but due to typical Utah weather this is what we have been enjoying off and on for days.

What is Robbers Roost?

It was a popular hideout for outlaws such as: Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and many others. It is in Southeastern Utah. Butch Cassidy considered it the perfect hideout because the law had a very difficult time getting through. My boys go every year for the 16+ mile hike, repeling, purifying fresh water, sleeping on the hard dry earth under the stars, 4 wheeling and just being boys.

Since the weather is not 'spring break' weather (yet it is typical Utah weather) they have decided to postpone the trip for a couple of weeks. I must say since kade has been fighting some bug for several days I am relieved to know that he can have this time to get 100% before journeying the outlaw trail.

With all of that said, Matt is taking the boys to...



And I am taking the girls SHOPPING!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action

We have seen the following movies...


not as funny as we thought it could be, slow moving, great 'fargo' accents, loved the fudee-dudee old man with the attitude. Our star rating: **




I love me some Clive Owen and think Julia Roberts is great... this movie was not note worthy. Slow, kept back tracking, story line was horrible. Our star rating: **



Great the for whole family! We sat in front of a G'ma and she laughed harder and louder than anyone else in the theater. Our star rating: *****

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Count down to Party!!!

Just days away... 4 to be exact. Don't know what I am talking about? It is our Recessionista Party (see below). I hope you can all make it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Recessionista Party!

My dear friend, Colett had a Recessionista Party, I scoured my home as instructed and then was not able to go. I was sad and sick about it because I have heard from several ladies that it was a night to not miss. With that said (hope you don't mind Colett, plus I copied your fabulous invite. I am not as creative as you and find copying much easier. Please don't turn me into the Dean for plagerism) I am having one..

You are invited to a Recessionista Party!

Don’t know what that is… are you feeling down because of Mr. Recession? Has he taken a toll on your pocketbook? Are you dreaming of going on a shopping spree but don't have the cash?
Saturday, March 28 from 9 am – 12 noon

Who's invited: You are...and anyone else who would love a cheap treasures shopping spree of sorts. This is not exclusive, the more the better!
What stuff: you know you have a closet full of clothes, handbags, shoes, jewelry that you are tired of wearing and looking at. Time to clean out your closets and make a little $$$$.
*children's/baby clothes, shoes, toys, books, furniture
*home items, decor or otherwise (If you have furniture that you want to sell but it's too big to bring over, just bring a photo)
Please bring gently used items priced (garage sale prices) and with your initials.
Are you feeling like not coming because you don't have anything to bring? Knock it off, just come to shop. I am telling you now, three weeks in advance, so that you can have time to scour your home and closets and gather up your items. I will remind you about it in another two weeks!
REMEMBER, One woman's trash is another woman's treasure!
If you have ?’s comment on my blog.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I hate... I love...

Lately I have had a lot of time to ponder, reflect, and just be me. I have come to find that I have a lot of hates and loves in my life.

I hate...
Mr. Recession
I don't have a job
we don't have insurance, and I still have to send my sweet family out into the world
money is tight
summer isn't coming quick enough
we don't have a boat
people say they are good, but then do nasty mean things
basketball is over
missed Colett's fab party
my skin
my bottom teeth aren't as straight as I would like them to be
Matt dumped Melissa in front of America, he had no business proposing if he wasn't completely sure of his thoughts and heart
I can't figure out why my computer won't allow me to download pictures (I know it is me)
little ones are suseptible to illnesses that shouldn't be able to touch them (cancer)
Kade is growing up so fast
adoption didn't work out for us
school lunch is so sick and I have to worry about home lunches every morning
jobs are posted even when the hiring has been decided
church is from 1-4
my dad is having a difficult time with his health
my younger brother isn't sure of who he is or where he belongs
my basement is a dungeon
I didn't finish college
I second guess myself at every turn
my skin is losing its elasticity
my back yard is narrow
my younger brother is still (2 years now) trying to sell one of his homes
I don't swim well, pretty much CAN'T
my hip hop class ended

I love...
the gospel and the peace that it brings me
my fabulous husband who tolerates and loves me
my terrific son who makes the world shine
my parents who had the courage and strength to raise me
my brothers for adoring and protecting me
my sister who I wish I was closer to
my home, the city we live in, the neighbors we have
Kade's school
Matt's job
our freedom
that we have good health
we are able to work and provide for our family
we are able to give to others
the great outdoors; camping, boating, hiking, riding, fishing, etc.
yard work, still need Matt to teach me how to start the 'weed wacker'
clean windows (were are the Trotter boys)
friends who (even though I am not the best at this) still make an effort to stay in touch with me
music, even though I can't read music, play an instrument, or carry a tune
wake up to birds chirping
Matt and Kade's laughter and sense of humor
Amazing Race, August Rush, Little Women
Immaculee Ilibagiza for her strength to overcome and inspire
DVR
my car
shopping (even though Mr. Recession and a lack of employment have put a strain on this)
cooking, baking and eating
making and turning things into treasures for my home
making jewelry with fabulous friends
reading
taking Kade to guitar
glitter toes
California, cruises, Seattle
hip hop as a work out (for moms only, it ROCKS)
blogging and blog stalking
grocery shopping (still need Ashlee to teach me her tricks to the trade)
spending time with my nieces and nephews
Matt and I have two days during the week together
This list could go on and on and on and on. I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

PAY IT FORWARD

A fun pay it forward activity, who doesn't like free gifts, especially during Mr. Recession?

Here's how it works-
the first 5 people to leave a comment on this post will receive, at some point during the year, a handmade or homemade gift from me. What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise!

The catch is that you must participate as well-before you leave your comment here, write up a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going. Then come back, let me know you're going to play, and sit back and anticipate the arrival of your gift!

Remember that only the first 5 comments will receive a gift from me, so be quick! This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2. It'll be done this year
3. You will have no clue what it is going to be.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

farewell old friend

after over 19 years at nu skin, they have decided that they no longer need my services, i was told that they are 're-organizing'. it hurt, it was scary, it was nerve wracking, it was heart breaking, it was shocking.
i have never been called to hr, and jan. 14th was dooms day. on my way i called matt scared to pieces. he told me to just breath and call him when i was finished.
my boss wouldn't look at me or talk to me, that hurt. hr was very kind and explained what i needed to know. she kept asking if i had any questions... i couldn't breath and the whole time felt like i was going to puke. i just needed to get out of there.
that night brought on an onset of emotions:
1- fear
2- peace
3- fear
4- comfort
5- fear
i had my first interview for another job the next morning at 10am. i had made plans to take my final paperwork into hr before going to my interview. matt and i said a prayer before heading out the door and i had this strong sense that i should go to the interview first. i had no expectations, i thought i would be told that 'it was nice to meet with you, but we really don't have anything at this time'. well, surprise!!! after meeting with the owner i was asked... 'can you start Monday?'.
it was nice to know that Heavenly Father did not leave my side. going back to nu skin to hand in my final paperwork was not hard at all, it wasn't sad, i had a calming feeling. don't get me wrong... i miss my job! i loved what i did, i loved my vendors, i loved the routine, i loved the system i worked with, and most importantly i loved most of the people i worked with.
so farewell old friend, you were wonderful to my family and me, you are wonderful to the community and i was honored to have worked with you.

Friday, January 2, 2009

3...2...1! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Resolution #1: spend more time with family & friends
Resolution #2: slow down
Resolution #3: work on building food storage, first aid kit, financial reserve

Like every New Years we commit to being better people. Hopefully, this year with only 3 resolutions I can get there!

We had a great time bringing in the new year with family & friends (resolution #1 check). Every year we are thankful to my brothers family for graciously hosting a party! The house was full of great people that I would like to be more like, food that was aboundant, kids that were full of energy and excitement that they were getting to have a late night, and laughter-laughter-laughter! We played new games, ran out of time for the foos-ball/air hockey tournament and rang in the New Year with a pinata and fireworks!





Christmas Day

Like every Christmas we had to wake Kade up. He is a definitely his dad, stay up all night and sleep in all day. We needed to be at Grandpa & Grandma Smiths at 8AM, so finally at 7AM I made Kade get up. Did Santa come? YES, he did. We were so very blessed this year. Kade got: a DS/Case/4 games, Ford truck/trailer/boat/barn/animals, wooden log box with a secret compartment, digital camera, Yankees jersey, Broncos sweatshirt, COWBOY: boots, hat, belt & buckle, the list can go on and on. Matt got: a fire safe, battery charger, tools/tool bags/tool chest, HD flat screen tv, and more. I got: silverware, sheets, movies, connect 4, jewelry, digital frame, wii fit, and more. It was so much fun!

Grandma & Grandpa with some of the grandkids. Jerid and dad laughing histerically! Say cheese! Giddy Up, this drives Matt crAzY and I think it is great! What did he expect when we moved out to the sticks.

Christmas night we had my dad and Matt's brother over for dinner, gifts and Christmas Vacation.

The day after Christmas we spent the entire day with Matt's brothers and sisters. It was great seeing everyone. We don't get together as often as we should. We ate, played games, sled in Marc's back yard, opened gifts, and shared stories of Matt's dad.

There is nothing better than time with family!

Christmas Eve

Every year we celebrate Christmas Eve as a family. We have yummy food (this year it was home-made soups), crafts, a surprise from Santa and the nativity!

Karlee is getting 'big' and she insisted on applying the icing by herself. Jill was so patient and look how great the girl did!

Halle is a 'people pleaser' and had fun letting Grandma help her. Hers was definitely the most detailed and she had a great time giggling with Grandma.

Cael, is the 'I do it' kid. He was a blast to watch and wanted to eat it all. Cortney had to be quick at applying candy to the house or it would have been bare.

Kade was a creative genuious when he wanted to turn the malt balls into a snowman. Of course I had to hold the wibble wobble thing until the royal icing set up.

Next it was cookies for Santa. Karlee spent so much time getting the icing just so, we were laughing our heads off. She would get quite a bit then while spreading it she would push a little to hard and ended up shaving the cookies.

We felt bad that Jerid's family was not able to participate in the crafts but, they were there for Santa's annual suprise...PJ's.

I forgot what?

This year I was responsible for Kade's Christmas Class Party. We had several fun things to do and like me, at the last minute (literally) I added another craft for the kids to do. On my way to the school from work I stopped at our local grocery store, Macey's, to pick up the needed items for CANDY TRAINS. I made a mad dash home to load all 30+ gingerbread houses (that we made the night before) into my car and get to the school. Ah, take a deep breath... you made it! The kids were so excited and they were all ready for the party. They had made reindeer hats and they we incredible. While we (the other moms and I) were setting up, the kids settled down for a great Christmas story. WHAT THE _ _ _ _, are you kidding me? I didn't have all of the items I purchased for the trains. I called Macey's, they found the items and had someone drive them clear out to me! Who does that? My store, that's who!

The kids decorated the gingerbread houses, they all turned out GREAT! And, we had a super fun timed game where they were put into teams, given Christmas tree decorations and had to decorate one member from their team as a tree. It was hilarious and it is a great party pleasers for youngsters. I was so frazzled that I didn't get pictures of the trains, which the kids loved!