Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Our Christmas this year started on Christmas Eve Eve. We all gathered that evening as a family and watched "The Nativity Story". It was a wonderful reminder of why we celebrate this time of year. Christopher followed the movie with a very wonderful lesson and poem he had written. It was so beautiful. It was a great start to a wonderful Christmas. I am sure glad we are able to understand the meaning behind Christmas. I am ever so grateful for the birth of my Savior.
Since Dennis had to work on Christmas morning we had to do things a little different this year. Dennis took the kids on an errand in the afternoon while Santa came a little early. When they got home the stockings were filled and they went on a hunt for their presents from Santa. After they found their gifts we all gathered around for the opening of the presents. Annabelle LOVED opening her presents!

Dennis liked his gifts too. His big gift from me was 12 new pairs of garments. He was thrilled. I'm not even joking....he was very excited.

Okay, so this is the best picture. I love it!!!! I locked Emily out of her room right after Thanksgiving. I told her that I was hiding all of the gifts in there and she was locked out until Christmas. I don't think Joseph enjoyed the extra company for a month, but it was necessary. I worked so hard remodeling her room. It was a frightful mess because she had too much stuff and she needed space to work. My first purchase was a beautiful desk from D.I. It is huge and sturdy and perfect for her to make her creations. The next step was a chair. I found a zebra one that I loved and the rest of the room fell into place. I found zebra bedding, a lamp, a rug, wall hangings, etc. It was all coming together nicely. It took me many hours of work to get it together, but every minute of effort is so worth it to see that face. I covered her eyes and when she opened them she looked around and just screamed and teared up in gratitude. My favorite Christmas memory maybe ever!!

She even woke up on Christmas morning and made her bed. That has never happened before. I love my sweet girl and love that she has a perfect room to live in.

Then there's Joseph. He thought his gift belonged to Christopher. He was so jealous before Christmas. He wanted a T.V. so badly. I shouldn't have done so much, but Joseph just works so hard and I couldn't resist making him so incredibly happy. I had him close his eyes and as you can see when he figured out the T.V. and blue ray player were his, he was VERY excited. He loves having three remotes.

Christopher didn't really ask for anything. Well, a car, but that is never going to happen. I decided he might like a T.V. too. He did, but getting Chris excited is not that easy. I think a car might have been the only thing that brought great expressions of surprise and amazement, but he is going to have to earn that one on his own.
After we opened our gifts, we put on our new jammies. Emily, my mom, and I all had matching ones. The boys all got personalized shirts with theirs. They turned out great. We then played games and eventually watched a movie together before bed. This head bands game is super fun to play all together and you get to look silly too.

The next morning, Christmas, we all slept in! Boy that is a huge difference than any other year. When I woke up I felt like I needed to go to the cemetery at once. I don't know why, but I just wanted to go. I made everyone go in their jammies. We brought Sarah a couple things and all of a sudden I started sobbing. The immediate comfort from my children in the form of hugs was wonderful. I hope Sarah knows how included she truly is in our family.

Joseph played with his new toy and we got ready for Dennis to get home and his kids to come over.
We had a great dinner of Honey Baked Ham. It was yummy. Then we opened our presents to and from Dennis' kids. Christopher received a temporary tattoo kit that his big step-sister gave him. He thought he looked pretty darn cool. Emily gave manicures to her big sisters and Christine, as you can see, a make over. We all played games together before they left. Emily went to bed and my two boys and I went to the movies. I love dates with my boys. We had a lot of fun and got to spend so much time together as a family. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


So, my baby boy turned 19 on December 10th. It was a a quiet celebration.
He was excited for his mission, but due to some medical issues and such he will not be going at this time. He may go later, but maybe not. This has been a source of much disappointment.

He is now working full time and trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. What a hard crossroads he is at. He has anxiety and depression issues which doesn't help during these hard transition times.

He has to make choices on his own. It is hard as a mother not to be able to fix everything and just point him down the right road. It's hard to let go. Chris is a great young man though and he has a strong testimony. He will do great whatever he decides. I am so proud to be his mother. I love him so much. This is what his friend, Lexin, got him for Christmas. A "Red Rider BB Gun". This is the Christmas card they came up with together. He has the greatest friends and all of them together give me great joy and a lot of laughs.

Happy 19th Birthday Christopher! I love you!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

I am way late posting this, but I have been so busy and so sick on and off. Thanksgiving weekend this year was WONDERFUL!!! My brother and his wife came up from California to visit us. The kids were so excited. They love their Uncle Josh so much. He played so many games with the kids. In order to insure optimum time with their aunt and uncle I made Thanksgiving just us. It was so nice to enjoy their company without the chaos of too many people. Dennis' family ate at another house. Dennis worked at the Temple in the morning, but ate with us and then visited his family.
Dennis carving the turkey. The food was so delicious if I do say so myself and my brother and sister-in-law brought very yummy desserts.
These next few pictures are out of order. I missed these early on during uploading and I refuse to start over. Christopher is in charge of the village every year. He gets great joy out of it. I will probably send it off with him when he moves out. I know it is special to him.

It snowed later in the weekend. The kids tried to make a snow fort and thoroughly enjoyed a snowball fight.
This is my little family on Thanksgiving. I just love them. After dinner we all went to see a movie. It was a great day.

My handsome brother.

The next morning my brother came back over and he helped us do our annual decorating. We went and picked out a tree. It was Joseph's year to pick and he did a great job. Emily and Joseph had just punched each other right before this picture was taken. Emily could smile, but Joseph was still mad. They each brought a friend.

When we got home, it was time to get to work. The boys worked on the lights. Anabelle helped out. Isn't she cute in her jacket??

Joseph did the lights on the tree this year. He did a great job. He is so hired.
We all had fun decorating our tree. I always give them a special ornament each year. Chris got a weightlifting one, Joseph a Lambeau Field one, Emily HAD to have the countdown to Christmas one from the commercial, and Sarah a cute ball that lights up with an "S" on it.

This is how it looks in the dark.
Christopher was so into decorating this year. He loves the Christmas Vacation movie (which I watched with him later that night) and wants to out do the neighbors. He had to get this Santa. It is 12 feet tall. I think neighborhood kids like it, but so does my Chris. Here he is giving him a hug. They finished the outside and it looks great. I love Thanksgiving weekend with my kids. It is the best.
I am so grateful my brother and his wife came up. It was the best Thanksgiving I have had in years. We did talk about things we are grateful for. It was a great experience sharing our blessings and remembering all that we have. We have lost much as a family, but we have also been given many great blessings. I am so grateful for my little house and all who dwell inside. It is our sanctuary from the world and it is our home where love lives and grows and makes life worth living.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Young Women In Excellence

I just LOVE working with the young women of my ward. I adore them. They are what has brought me joy and peace throughout my grieving process. We had our Young Woman In Excellence last week and it was AMAZING. Each girl got to speak on a way Christ has shown comfort in her life. The Spirit was so strong and beautiful. We made each one of them a blanket to remind them how Christ will comfort them. We picked out the material for each girl and tried to match them to their personality. Just shopping for the material was a great experience. We also did a table display with a section of your personal history and an item that represents you. I put out my scrapbook from Dennis and my honeymoon and a book about my Sarah. Oh we also had to put a picture of ourselves. I put a big one that I had used a program called picnik on it. I erased my wrinkles and used the "thinnerizer" to make myself look way better than I actually do. It was fun and I really was just being silly with that big picture. My display looked like something from a movie where the movie stars sit and get ready in their dressing rooms. Ha, I really don't think I look like a movie star. Just the set-up. I actually bought these flowers for a dear friend who just had a stroke. She moved to ICU and couldn't keep them so I used them to represent how much I love to bring flowers or something to someone to brighten up their day. I will need to bring my friend new ones now because she is out of ICU thank goodness. I hope she can make a good recovery. Strokes are so awful. It is heartbreaking. Below are two of my girls with their blankets. I am so grateful for this calling and for these amazing girls.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

Emily was a fairy this year. She told me that this wasn't a costume because anyone that knows her knows she is in fact a real fairy. In fact, she is the "Queen of the Fairies" and all things mystical. It really is amazing living with such an important daughter. For those of you that don't know her, she really does believe these things.
I was the room mother again this year. Doesn't anyone else ever want to do it? I am it every year for every child. Only one class this year, Yeah! Emily wanted me to make my witch's brew for her class. They were all pretty impressed with my brew.

Joseph had a hard time finding a costume this year. Jr. High is a whole new ballgame I guess. He was quite adorable as a little gangster.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture. His friend Spencer and him looked like they could be in a hilarious cop show.

Joseph with a couple of his other friends. He just had to try out the giant woopie cushion.

Then we have Christopher. I thought that he wasn't dressing up, but he went to a college party as Clark Kent. He used fake muscles under his shirt to make him look buff. Ha. He even had a briefcase.
His friends saved him from our ward party and he was gone.
I love watching all of the kids in their costumes. It was a great night!