Sunday, May 22, 2016

The End

I've been keeping this blog since I got married back in 2007.  It started out kind of silly and turned into a great journal for our family.  I've decided, however, that it's time to give it up, since I hardly find the time to update it anymore and just get months and months behind.  So, ciao for now!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve

We decided to try the Plaza Lanes in Delta for New Years' Eve.  It was fun and terrible all at the same time.  How long has it been since I've thrown a bowling ball?!
Stanford likes to pretend he's in charge.  Who am I kidding?  He pretty much is.

After bowling, we went back to Oak City and did puzzles and watched movies until midnight.  Even the older kids stayed up pretty late.  It was pretty low-key.
This has been a good year.  We became a family of six, we adjusted to our new home, were moved into a new ward, made lots of new friends, Daniel's business opened their first site, we traveled to Utah several times, we learned about the increased expense and activity level (and stress!) of having multiple children, and we spent a lot of time together as a family (including lots of time at the beach).  In short, we were blessed beyond measure, as we always have been.  The Lord is good to us. Goodbye, 2015!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Staheli Festivities

We got to Oak City on Christmas evening and stayed until New Years.  It was a little slower pace with the Stahelis.  Not quite so many parties here.  My dad's barn surrounded by snow was magical.  I'm going to miss this place.  Even though I know my parents had planned to be in their new house months ago, I'm glad for the chance to be in Oak City for one more Christmas.
On the day after Christmas, Annie's and Jarom's families came for dinner and a little family party.  We missed seeing Tyrell's family, but they were in the process of moving back to Ridgecrest that week, and it was just too much to be traveling to Utah as well.  We played BINGO with fun little prizes.

Stanford was loving Benson's shoes as well as his Christmas presents.
The next day, we went to Leo's for lunch.  When in Delta!

I feel like I never noticed certain things about Oak City, like this perfectly old barn, before I started looking around with take-it-all-in-one-last-time eyes.

We headed down to Cedar City another day to see the progress on Mom and Dad's new house.  It's getting closer.  The sun was shining, so the kids played outside in the snow.  We also ate at a Chinese restaurant and then tried to go bowling.  It was too busy, so we just drove back to Oak City.  Quick trip.

Emersen made some awesome art.
We spent a lot of time just playing games and visiting.

Daniel and I had a double-date with Annie and Dan to see the new Star Wars movie.  It was pretty fun.
I made a quick visit over to Venice to see my Grandma Christensen.  My dad and I went by ourselves since we were the only UNsick people, and Grandma is extra vulnerable because of her cancer.  I was so glad I took the time to visit her.  Who knows when I will no longer have the chance.  I love this woman so much.
Stanford thought my dad's jeep was a "monster truck."  He was super excited to get a ride in it.

Bentley's favorite thing to do when in Oak City.

It was such a nice visit, and I was sad to leave Oak City knowing that FOR SURE this time was the last time I would be in the house I grew up in.  So many memories.  Cue the tears. Next time we visit, it will be in a different house.  At least it will be the same people I love.

Lyman Festivities

We took the kids out of school a day early and started the long drive to Utah.  This was our first drive with Brooklyn.  She did surprisingly well!  We didn't leave as early in the morning as last year, so the kids didn't do much sleeping for the entirety of the trip.  We stopped every few hours for food and gas.  We picked the perfect day, because, even though it was misty and cold, there was no snow the whole way, only some rain around Boise.  We arrived at the Lymans late that night.
The windmills looked like they were floating on the clouds.
Once we arrived in Utah, it was party after party, literally.  We watched the Utah vs. BYU football bowl game (Way to go, Utes!).  Marie and I got our fingernails done, she gave me a facial lactic peel (for her schooling), and did my eyelashes again.  We went from house to house and passed kids around.  Daniel had to do a little work on our Hawksbill house (good thing it all came up while we were in town!).  There was SO MUCH SNOW.  I realized how much I did NOT miss that.  I did some last-minute Christmas shopping and Hobby Lobby shopping (when in Utah!).  And our kids were all sick again/still.  The only thing we missed this year was the Temple Square lights.  We didn't want to drive downtown in the snow.

We had an adult Christmas dinner party at Brett and Carrie's new home.  It was so nice to just sit and eat and not have to worry about the kiddos. (Ours were at Ben and Libby's house with Crystal and Maddy babysitting.)  It was also fun to see Brett and Carrie's new, fabulous home.

Snow buddies.  Check out Emersen's pants.  Yeah, we don't buy snow clothes anymore...

This was an impromptu family gathering at Mark and Amy's house.  All the grandkids together again!
Going for a ride.
We had the family party at Mat and K'Lyn's house and did dinner, a children's nativity, games, talents, and gift exchange.  Brooklyn was Baby Jesus, being the youngest in the family.  She was very content.  Emersen was an angel, Bentley a shepherd, and Stanford a wiseman.  He was a little confused though; he wanted to be Ironman.  Almost the same thing.
Emersen sang "Somewhere in My Memory" for the family talent show.
I ended up wrapping a lot of presents on Christmas Eve.  I hate it when I have to do that!
Oreos at Aunt Marie's
"Take a picture of me, Mom!"
Bentley and Lauren had a very intense conversation about the solar system.  Carrie and I were cracking up listening to them and watching Bentley's facial expressions.
We spent the first week and last day of our vacation with the Lymans and then headed back home.  It was so cold the whole time we were in Utah, and we were ready to get back to some milder weather.  This was the first time I was ready to leave Utah and go back "home."  I guess Washington is actually feeling like home now.  But we sure had a great time while we were there!

Friday, December 25, 2015

It's Christmas!

What a wonderful time of year!
This year, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with Daniel's sister Marie's family.  She also had her in-laws and another brother-in-law and wife staying over.  Uncle Joseph spent the night too, and Daniel's parents came for everything except the sleeping part.  It was a full house and a great time.  Everything was so chaotic that I felt like we didn't do ANYTHING traditional, which bugged me a little, but we just had to go with the flow.  I also took THE WORST pictures of any Christmas ever.  Oh well.  At least I got some, I guess.

On Christmas Eve, the kids opened a box of goodies, which included pajamas, a new game, and some Hulk fists that Daniel couldn't resist.  The boys loved those.

Three of the four kids cooperated for a pj picture.
Santa came.  So many delights.  So many reminders of how blessed we are.

Joseph, Daniel, Brooklyn, and I all shared a room that night, but Brooklyn and I didn't sleep much.  She was still so sick and just fussed and coughed most of the night.  I tried to keep her as quiet as possible since there were so many other people trying to sleep.  Which meant that I hardly got any sleep.  I don't know how those boys can sleep through all that!  So we were both wasted for Christmas day.  
Emersen was up bright and early and just sitting on the sofa waiting for everyone else.
When all the kids were up, we gave them the go ahead and they dug in.  Stockings were first.

Stanford was also sick and not too chipper that morning.
Grandma Lyman took good care of little Brookie.
Emersen was very pleased with her presents, a horse for her doll, and a tablet of her own.  She couldn't believe she actually got a tablet.  And then she didn't put it down.
Bentley liked his remote-controlled monster truck, but when he opened a K'Nex set, he had the best reaction, "I got exactly what I wanted!"  Phew.
He couldn't wait to put it together.
Stanford slowly opened his presents and loved his Batman monster truck and superhero mashers.

And then he was done.
Brooklyn didn't care about anything.
The after-party trash stack
We spent the whole morning playing with toys, laying around, snacking, and visiting, just what Christmas Day should be like.
Marie's in-law family was having a lunch and party that afternoon, so we packed up and headed to Oak City.  My parents had been all by themselves that morning, so they were more than happy when we arrived.

As I sit here at the end of another wonderful Christmas Day, it's easy to forget about all the things I thought I needed to do and didn't and instead recognize that the greatest gifts I could ever have have already been given to me. Christmas came. It was a good one. We were together. Among the laughter and chaos, we were also able to take time to reflect on our Savior, for He is the gift.