Friday, 30 December 2011

11 years and counting

Today marks our 11th anniversary.  I am so blessed.  We are still so much in love and have four wonderful children.  We took them to see the new Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked movie. They really enjoyed it.  Then Nana and Papa agreed to watch the kids and we went to see the new Mission Impossible movie, just the two of us. We have been getting over some pretty nasty colds and are still not feeling the greatest.  I'm sure the kids will be getting it soon, though so far it has only struck the adults. 

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

We all woke up around 7:00 this morning. We got dressed and had a yummy breakfast:  breakfast burritos and my Carmel bubble rolls. Yum!  Since all the children here were ours, it really didn't take very long to open presents.  (Good thing, too, as we had to leave at 10:30 for church.)  They all enjoyed their presents.  Tink got a camera for her gift of fun, the Hymns Made Easy for the gift of learning, and a warm animal print blanket for the gift of love.  Bucko asked for a globe for his gift of learning, and he got a spy remote control car complete with video and audio for his gift of fun, and binoculars for the gift of love.  Minnie got a play castle tent for the gift of fun, a princess art set for the gift of learning, and a huge ladybug pillow for the gift of love.  Goofy got Cars Trouble for the gift of learning, a lightsaber for the gift of love, and a remote control monster truck for the gift of fun.  The kids had exchanged names and bought each other a book. They were all great choices too, as they have all been read a lot.  PC and I did not buy each other presents because we had bought our new red couch and a new washer/dryer recently. We had promised not to buy any more presents and we stuck to it.
Church was really good. They had some beautiful music and the bishop shared a great message. He spoke about the gifts from the Wise Men to baby Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  He talked about what these are and how we can give these gifts to Jesus Christ now by sharing the gospel and our testimonies (gold), reading the scriptures (particularly the Book of Mormon) every day (frankincense burns continuously so we must read every day), and paying tithes and offerings (myrrh is the anointing oil).  It was all very inspiring. 

Friday, 23 December 2011

Gingerbread Houses

We had a lot of family come in tonight for one of all our favorite Christmas traditions: making gingerbread houses.  Each family had their own house to decorate (though Goofy helped his aunt and uncle with theirs and claimed it was his house!).  There was some wonderful creativity coming through.  Tootsie Roll firewood and campfires with Red Fish cooking over them.  Santa's legs sticking out through the chimney.  A sled with gummy bears.  Uncle M even made a man squashed under his house.  They were all fun! 
Afterwards, PC's neice was warming up to him and he was throwing her up in the air. Of course, Minnie and Goofy had to have turns as well. I was able to capture some of the thrill of it all.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

PC's Birthday!

There was still plenty of snow on the ground, so we took the kids out to the backyard. They all made their first snow angels! Then we played Fox and Geese for a while, but the cold wind and high elevation made it a short-lived game.  Our lungs are definitely still adjusting to the much higher elevation.

We celebrated PC's birthday by going out to this Mexican restaurant down the road called La Mission.  Such good food.  It was great to have him here to celebrate his birthday and to be with so much family as well. 
We then came back to the house for cake and ice cream.  I made the cookies 'n cream cake he loves and got him a fun shirt.  It was a great night. 
That night, a few of us created a blog for the family.  Uncle M kept asking for all the recipes we were making, so we came up with this idea and I think it is just great.  If you'd like to see it, click here.  The cake recipe is on there already!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Cookies and Sledding

PC's brother invited us over to their house to decorate cookies and go sled riding.  We got several inches of snow the night before, so it was perfect.  We all had a blast being with cousins and having fun.  You can tell by the looks on their faces that they were enjoying themselves!
Sledding was a blast, as it was really the first time for our kids.  Tink had gone in WV when she was really little, but that was it!  It never snowed in Texas, of course, and we didn't have sleds in England to go when it snowed there. So this was a great experience for them.  They all LOVED it!  They had built up a little ramp for jumps and the boys (and Tink) especially liked that.  I don't think Minnie even attempted going over the jump, but she loved sledding down the hill.  Thanks to PC's sister, we got some awesome pictures!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Colorado or Bust

We made it to Colorado, safe and sound.  Well, mostly sound, anyway.  The kids were pretty stir crazy after being in the cars for 3 days straight, and we discovered that Goofy can really get on your nerves after asking "What can I do?" for hours and hours.  The movers came Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  On Tuesday, PC went on a field trip with Tink's class to Nanjamoy Creek, so Goofy and I held down the fort while they packed that first day.  Everything was packed up by Wednesday afternoon and then Thursday was the loading.  On Thursday, all the movers were Hispanic, so PC loved being able to talk to all of them in Spanish. I think he misses that.  After everything was out, we tried to get everything cleaned and packed.  The carpet cleaners came that night and cleaned the carpets.  We all slept in the two bedrooms with hardwood floors upstairs on air mattresses. 
On Friday, we woke and set off.  We made it out of D.C. ok. I was trying to wear my contacts, but was having a lot of problems with them, so eventually had to take them out.  I drove the van, and PC drove his car. We split the kids, two and two, which did make it easier.  We made it to Dayton, OH that first night. We stayed in a Holiday Inn and swam in their pool.  The second day we drove all the way to the other side of Kansas City, KS and stayed in another Holiday Inn.  We had to keep stopping for gas in the van, because we had the cartop carrier and the whole inside loaded down with stuff.  But driving it was fine.  One of my main thoughts while driving was how thankful I was that I had gone ahead and had the surgery on my arm done.  If I hadn't, there would have been NO way I could have driven that far.  The last day was the easiest drive, as we had no big cities to go through and it was just a straight drive through Kansas.  A bit boring, but I'm ok with boring when it comes to driving for several hours straight.  We beat Paul's family home from church.  The kids were so excited to see Nana, Papa, Uncle M and Uncle J.  It was a relief to be done with all that driving.  And I missed not riding with PC the whole way. He joked that I always just read while he drives, but I missed his presence in the car if nothing else. But we are glad to be here and so thankful that his family is letting us stay with them.  

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Temple Lights

Last Friday we met up with Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie K, my brother and his family, and my best friend at the D.C. temple. We saw a handbell choir and walked around the grounds enjoying the lights.  Here is one of my favorite pictures.
We had a good time with everyone, but it was sad to say goodbye. Who knows when we'll get to see everyone again.  But we did convince my brother to stay with us that night. My parents and sister stayed as well.  We took my brother to Chipotle for his first time ever. I think they all enjoyed eating those huge burritos. Then we played a late night game of Balderdash.  Good times. I am going to miss them.


I am so far behind! But life has been a bit crazy.  I guess it always is, so right now as my house is in boxes, I decided I better update it!
We went to my parents for Thanksgiving week.  PC went hunting with all the "boys"--my dad, uncle, brothers, and brother-in-law.  PC was the only one to get a deer the first day, but several of them had success the second day.  It was PC's first deer. I think he had a good time. He was using my grandfather's old 30-30 with no scope. But yeah, he's that good.  I was proud of him anyway.  I don't think he liked gutting it, though. Definitely a new experience for him.  This is the only picture that we got. He took it with his phone. It's a four-point buck.
Baseball with the kids
We celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday this year actually.  Two of my brothers wouldn't have been able to make it if we did it on Thursday. We all brought the sides and Mom took care of the turkey. Plenty of food. I made my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, which everyone LOVED.  Not that I blame them!  ;)  We played some baseball with the kids in the morning and after dinner we played the annual family football game. Lots of fun! I haven't been home for Thanksgiving for many years, and I miss playing in that game. Best of all was just being with family. Who knows when we will all be together again for this wonderful holiday.
The whole crew
Football with the "big kids"
 Thursday, we took the kids to see the new Muppet movie.  Grandma, Grandpa, and Auntie K went with us. That night, the town lit up the Christmas lights at the park. They gave out free hot chocolate and donuts. The lights were gorgeous, and though it was really cold, we had a good time and were glad we went.