Friday, December 30, 2011

Favorites of 2011

So it's the end of the year and I like to reflect on what has happened...I always enjoy reading lists that others post of THE Top 10 Movies, and such even if I don't agree with THEIR lists I like thinking through what were my favorites...So here I go:

Favorite new find: Pinterest, I could do a post of all I have learned from that!
Favorite new song: Junk of the Heart by the Kooks, sounds weird but it is super fun and makes me smile (check it out free on Grooveshark)
Favorite new food: Naan, Indian Bread, our Walmart sells it--who knew?
Favorite movie I saw this year: Soul Surfer (why don't I own it?), and the last HP, the end of my favorite book series
Favorite book: Sun and Moon Snow and Ice by Jessica Day George
Favorite new author: Kristyn Crow, who writes picture books and we met
Favorite adventure: going to NYC with Julie and Taran's choir
Favorite new activity: watching June
Favorite new quote (from Pinterest): I may not be perfect but parts of me are AWESOME!
Favorite milestone: 20 years married to Tim, he's amazing
Favorite pastime with family: using our Pass of All Passes: 7 Peaks & Trafalga
Favorite weird thing: Taran's roommate's Body Rollz YouTube Video

What I am looking forward to next year:
1. more sleep, not sure how I am going to do that
2. more exercise
3. more organization
4. less overeating
5. less clutter
6. Taran's mission call
7. Gwen starting Kindergarten
8. Going to Girls Camp, it's been decades
9. Going to Youth Conference, it's also been decades
10. Last but not least: going to Brian Regan with Tim in January!!! My favorite present from Christmas!

Farewell 2011, you've taught me a lot! Happy New Year everyone! May 2012 be your best!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Catching Up on the Holidays...

We've been busy! As I am sure you have to so you probably didn't notice that I haven't blogged the last 2 weeks! As the year winds down I want to be up to date as much as possible! I usually find time on Sundays but we had a family thing and Christmas these last 2 Sundays!

The kids went to school the 12th-16th. Gwen and I took Taran a Finals Survival Kit that morning before we watched my dad. Later Gwen had a little pre-Irish dance demo for grandparents and parents. Granny and Daddy came and she actually danced! She is going back in January. That night for family night we went to Walmart and shopped for a child in need. Timo also bought a toy for a thing his teacher was doing at the high school. It was a fun activity, we wish we could do it for all the kids on the tree! Tuesday Luke and his family were sick so I drove them. I was going Visiting Teaching that morning so my mom picked Gwen up for me. We actually took our ladies out for breakfast at Kneader's it was a yummy time! Then I went and got Gwen. I did not make it to the temple since I had no one to watch Gwen--my mom had something later. Gwen had made a graham cracker house you can sort of see it in the collage. It fell on our way home from my mom's so it's not in top form! That night was Timo's Choir Concert. He had down played it but it turned out great! Wednesday Gwen had the craft for her preschool Christmas party so they made glitter cookie cutter ornaments--she had to teach it so we went with easy! I made creamy fudge and cracker candy for the Young Men and Young Womens combined activity that night. Well, also Micah had a scout party and had to bring a treat to it as well. Izak had a scout thing that night too. The activity was a presentation by a couple in our ward who are a doctor and nurse and do Humanitarian work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was so neat to hear how the church is helping babies through neo-natal resuscitation training! They have had many amazing experiences! They are young so they will be doing it for a long time! Thursday I drove for the preschool field trip to the mall to see Santa. I was Gwen's first time so I paid for her photo. Somehow I missed putting it in the collage. She enjoyed it! Tim works near the mall so he joined us for lunch since the kids in our car all ended up going home the teacher or parents after it was 'over'. We had Luke who we had all day since it was our day. We had fun but they weren't up for shopping so we left after lunch. Thursday afternoon a lady in our ward whoes husband sins in the MoTab offered Tim tickets for that night's MoTab Christmas concert so he and Izak went. They had a great time. Friday was the last day of school of 2011! I helped with Izak's class party. Gwen came with and it was fun--we made graham cracker houses and did some other activities. We split them into 2 groups so it was a little easier to do it all and then switched. June came over just after we ate lunch. That way I could be there when the kids got home and she could do what she needed to. That night was the Christmas Dance. Timo and his friends went to a pizza place for dinner, had a white elephant exchange and played games until the dance. They had a lot of fun and then "Buster" the Chevy Lumina he drives died! Luckily he was able to run home and grab the big van and drive his date home. We were at Emily's play at the jr high A Christmas Carol as a radio show in the 40s. They did a great job. Apparently they wrote the play themselves--of course it was mostly Dickens' words! We tried out the new Arctic Circle on the way home--I got a peppermint shake it was amazing! Saturday I went to the temple, I just woke up and went. Tim and Timo towed the buster back to our house. The transmission went out in it. It's a 20 yr old car so time for something newer! It was Holly's birthday so my mom picked up Emily and Gwen to go with my mom to lunch with her--her request. We met up with them later at Charl and Katie's for ice cream cake and presents. It was fun. The kids didn't want to go since there were some college bowl games on that we do not get on our tv. Owell...Timo got asked to Preference somewhere in there--notice the hand in the butter...she buttered him up to pop (popcorn later) the question if he would go! Messy! Saturday night I went and got Taran from BYU. He had moved to his new place but needed a ride back here. We filled the car. His new digs are sweet! Sunday we had planned to have the kids play some of the Christmas songs they had learned on the piano for the grandparents. We usually have it at our house but my dad isn't leaving home much these days so we had it there and we picked up Tim's parents since they prefer to not drive in the dark. It was a fun evening we potlucked dinner and then the kids performed. Taran actually played carols on his guitar and we all sang along. Timo played See The Light from Tangled. Gwen played Twinkle, Twinkle...It was fun. After we got home that night Tim, Taran, Timo and Emily figured out how to do a He is Born, it's an A Capella Christmas song. I would post it here but it seems my videos never work here. They were getting ready for the Pew extended family FHE.
Monday there was no school but I still went out to my mom's since she needed to get some shopping done. I brought Gwen with. I visited with my dad. Then I was looking at a present for Izak long story short I needed to go to SLC to get it so my parents drove me up. We dropped Gwen off on our way up. I helped my mom look for presents at the store there and we stopped at a couple more on our way back. I had to quickly get the mashed potatoes made I was suppose to bring to the Pew FHE. It was a fun time. We ate, some performed, Tim's dad read Luke 2 and then we made painted sugar cookies. Those took the longest but it was fun to be together. The guys watched the first Jazz game that night while we made the cookies. That night Tim was sick with some kind of flu thing. He stayed home from work the next day. I went to the temple. I also did some shopping later. We were suppose to go to SLC to Temple Square to see the lights and go out to dinner. Timo ended up going with friends. The kids were disappointed but handled it well. Wednesday Tim was well enough to go to work. I worked on the neighbor gifts. That night we picked up Teresa and met Charl, Katie and kids to go through the lights at Thanksgiving Point. It was fun. A new feature this year was a frozen fountain--it's in the collage. Afterward Teresa had all of us over for Hot Chocolate. Some watched Elf, I chatted with Katie and Charl they were telling me about Katie's talk. Thursday was Emily's white elephant party with her friends. Taran helped me deliver the neighbor gifts so they were out of the way. The kids got most of their friend stuff delivered too. Emily and her friend Emily made creamy fudge and chocolate fudge which both turned out yummy. They made a big mess but did a good job! I also made a few other things for the party. They had a lot of fun. Taran went to the BYU Basketball game with a friend. Timo made himself scarce as well--they didn't want to be there around the jr high kids! Like they weren't there once! The party decided to play fugitive in the FREEZING cold. Actually it has been a very mild winter so far. Emily begged Tim into it. I finished a book I was reading. Friday Tim had off of work so he ran around shopping. I needed to go but waited for him which was a mistake and I forgot my phone. That night in honor of Joseph Smith's birthday we had a progressive dinner and a some detail from his life at each house. It made it different and interesting but also long. We ended with a white elephant exchange. I love this tradition. Joseph has taught us more about our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father than most post Jesus followers. So that is why we celebrate him. Not worship.
Christmas Eve was mostly getting things ready for Sunday and Christmas. I spent most of my day making a book for my dad. I had him go through old black and white from South Africa, and I wrote down the info on the back of the photos in pencil. Then I mounted them on paper and typed up the info and put it on. It took me a long time! We had our simple dinner on the floor in the family room by candlelight--cheese, crackers, juice, nuts, dried fruit and grapes. Then we watched the reading of Luke 2 by Michael York and watched the last song Angels from the Realm of Glory by David Archuleta and the MoTab. It was a nice simple evening. My parents came and Teresa. My mom wasn't sure if they would make it but they did. We were done by 7 PM and they went home. We unwrapped our pjs. The little kids bathed and went to bed. Teresa, and Emily watched While You Were Sleeping--Tim and I watched a bit. Taran and Timo delivered stuff to their friends. Timo's friend put the wings on his car that he had made for it for Timo's birthday! See the collage. Taran taught himself a few more carols on the guitar. Tim helped me with my dad's book and did most of the Santa stuff. If I hadn't waited to do my dad's present we would have been in bed early for once! Maybe next year! Sunday the kids got us up at 6:40 AM. I think it was 7 before we actually got everyone else up to open presents. By 8 AM we were done! Everyone seemed to enjoy what they got. Timo wasn't feeling well and went back to bed. The rest of us ate our favorite cereal--I bought everyone their own box of cereal. This is a realt treat since most of the cereal I buy is high fiber. After that I rested/slept read my scriptures and the kids played with their gifts. Tim and the 3 oldest had choir at 10:30 AM. So we got Timo up to shower which he did and he felt well enough to go. Sacrament Meeting was mostly music. They had an older couple share their testimony which where very sweet and simple. The bishop closed with his remarks which were also good. We came home after briefly visiting with a few neighbors on our way! We wrote our gifts to Jesus for the coming year and out them in a box that we keep with our decorations. We changed and packed up our stuff and left the Pews. We had lunch there, we brought some stuff to share but she had ham and fruit salad and stuff. It was yummy and we were first so we enjoyed spending some one on one time with them. Just as we finished the Espinozas arrived. They ate then we did the gifts since we weren't sure when Amy and family would come and the kids were anxious. After playing with gifts I think our sleepiness set in and we sat around and watched WALL-E. It is so cute. Taran, Timo and Tim had never seen it so we stayed to the end. By then Amy and family were there but we needed to leave for my mom's. So we had a brief visit and left. We had dinner there. It was yummy too. Then we opened presents because Keith and Amber needed to head over to her family. So our visit with them was brief as well. We enjoyed the gifts and especially giving the gifts. It was a nice night but we were tired. Anders wanted to sleepover so we let him and Holly. After we got home we watched the First Christmas a Liken the Scripture video that we enjoy. Then we went to bed. I crashed! That's it for now. So grateful to spend time with family and the blessing of the Christmas season for the love we feel from God and his son Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

So I got the second tree decorated as you can see in the collage! Other than no real snow yet it feels like we are getting into the holidays. Emily had her Choir Christmas concert and I always enjoy those! Unfortunately I forgot my camera but I am getting ahead of myself.

Last Monday I didn't go to my mom's. I stayed home with Gwen got stuff done around here. My mom knew I was tired after a long busy weekend so I was grateful to not drive in that condition. Gwen has another weird freak out at dance so we both left crying. It was very frustrating. She has promised me she will dance tomorrow which is a special day for any parents or grandparents who want to go. Tim is coming and I think my mom so she better! She really is good I know I keep saying that but she and Zoe have really impressed me with how well they follow directions and execute the skills. She dances around the house so I know she loves it. When I asked her why she was freaking out she said, "Satan. It's him." I wanted to laugh but I was too mad! We were suppose to have a special FHE with our nephew Sam who was coming from Texas to go into the Missionary Training Center. He missed his plane and then his connecting flight in Arizona was over booked so he was bumped to another flight. So by the time we were able to get him it was about 11 PM. So we had a simple FHE of a Muppet Christmas Carol which we love. Some of the kids helped me decorate while we watched. Tim had gone to go get Sam with his mom and they were just on the freeway when they got the word that he got bumped so he turned around and took her home and then came home. I took a nap before we left so I might be some help to Tim! It was fun to see Sam. He is such a cute kid and handled the challenges of the day well. We couldn't find his luggage at first but got that figured out that it had arrived on that first flight out of Arizona! By the time we dropped him off and got home it was close to 1 AM. Tim's highlight besides seeing Sam was seeing NBA Jazz player Mehmmot Okur (not sure how to spell it) who is from Turkey arrive before Sam. Tim said, "Hey." And he said, "Hello!" He couldn't wait to tell Timo! Timo ditched FHE to ask a girl to the Christmas Dance (which is this week) and he helped his friends do it too--I thought he's be home in time but they took FOREVER to figure out what to do!

Tuesday I woke up not feeling well like I might throw up or have the other. Later I figured out it was the MUSCINEX I had taken before bed on an empty stomach. I went back to bed after the kids left for school and slept until the phone rang. I felt a bit better but not 100%. I just drank some milk to see how that went. We went to lunch with Sam, Tim's parents, and his sisters Amy and Shellie. It was fun to spend time with them and see him but I had left my camera in the car but I thought I had left it in the van at Tim's work so I didn't even try. Amy took pictures so hopefully she'll post them soon. Tim and I went to the mall after to get a protective shield put on his mom's Ipod as her Birthday present. It is amazing protection and it has a lifetime warranty. We also looked at some Christmas present ideas--we were considering a speed bag for the boys to punch instead of each other. We consider it for their birthdays. Having 3 boys close in age has multiplied our teasing and torturing. I went and picked up Gwen after dropping Tim off and picking up the van. I still felt weird but not as bad as the morning. I took it easy because we had the last night of the Madrigal Feast and I had to help in the kitchen. I did some serious praying because I didn't want to go if I had a bug. I felt like I would fine and it was going to fine. I got there and got things going because the lady in charge was a little late because she had taken a cat nap that went too long--bless her heart they had had 250 people come the night before!!! So I was glad that I was there because none of the other adults knew what to do. Emily watched the little kids--they had pizza. Izak made sure Zane went to scouts and they all went to piano. When I got done I just got in line with some of my friends whose kids were in it with Timo--again I forgot my camera! One of my friends took a photo of Timo and the 'gang' but I guess I forgot to get it off of facebook. We got awesome seats and Timo was one of our servers. My mom came with us. It was amazing, I just love this event and hope to go every year! It was the first time I went with Tim!

Wednesday my visiting teachers came. They are really great about coming and brought me yummy treats and a fleece blanket. It was fun to visit with them! After they left Gwen and I went Christmas shopping. She got Micah's present. We got a bit done which was good before we had to get home for the kids. Micah had scouts that afternoon. That night was Emily's choir concert and my mom joined us. Dad hasn't been doing as well lately. He is pretty miserable. But he lets my mom get out to stuff like this if he is okay enough. It is hard on my mom but she also needs a break from worrying about him. Timo didn't come because he had Iron Chef at scouts. He claims to have won--he did bring home a prize so I guess he must have:)

Thursday I had Luke and then his little sister Sophie came over later. She is just the funnest thing! She is almost 2 and delightful. I planned on hanging with them downstairs but we did do some stuff upstairs. I got some YW stuff done on the computer. Tim took Taran for his EKG at the hospital and his blood test. He is A+. So once we hear back we'll know if he needs more tests or just get regular check ups. My sister-in-law who is also a redhead said that it is common for redheads to have a heart murmur! She had one too. She was tested and it wasn't worth worrying about. Hopefully this is his case so we can be done and get those missionary papers turned in on time! Emily went with her YW class to SLC to Temple Square to see the lights and they went to dinner at the Lionhouse Pantry--soup and salad. They ended at one of the leader's grandmother's condo that overlooks the temple! Emily said that the view was amazing. They wrote letters to their future selves! Cool. Timo and Tim went to Jr Jazz practice that night.

Friday Gwen woke up with a cold. No fever but she looked tired to I asked Anna if she could bring June here so Gwen could lay around here. Anna was great with the idea. We loads of fun with her but I didn't let Gwen touch her face. I tried to get her to wash her hands if she touched her nose. June took a couple of naps and I was able to move laundry and make banana bread. She really is a delightful baby! Anna and I were visiting when the boys got home from school and they were loving her! It is such a blessing to have family close by to help and support each other and enjoy each other! Tim and Izak went down to register Izak for indoor soccer with his team--they carpooled with another dad and his son which was nice! Then we had the kids do their chores. Once they finished they watched Elf. Emily and her friends had been gone and came back so they babysat. We hope anyway! We took Tim's mom's Ipod to her. We had a nice visit and she had something we got for Tim's dad and I had something I bought for Gwen so we swapped. Gwen really wants this FurReal Puppy Cookie. I got it on Amazon that day with some cashback from Discover and then on our way home we stopped at Walmart and found it there for almost $20 less! So I tried to cancel when I got home but it isn't looking too promising! The one I bought was the same price as the one at our neighborhood Walmart. I think that Walmart sells for a lot less than ours! Timo had gone to the first home basketball game and they won--of course, they are ranked 24th NATIONALLY by ESPN. Crazy!

Saturday we had to be up early because we had our ward Christmas Party breakfast and Nativity Program. I was helping with the costumes. Tim and Timo sang. Emily was a shepherd. It was really nice and the teenagers were great 'actors'. The Primary kids sang a couple of songs at the beginning as well which was entertaining. Tim and I went shopping again--normal stuff and some Christmas. When we got home there was a riproaring football game going on in the backyard. Then they played Quittich and then spoons and UNO. Tim put together some gingerbread houses we bought from a kit while got some apple toffee dip ready and white elephant gifts to go to my cousin's new house. They bought an older home in Provo above the temple built in the 60s. It is in a cul-de-sac. They are in the middle of remodeling it. It's pretty cool. Taran joined us later--he has finals coming so he has been mostly studying the last 2 days. He is able to to get into his new apartment so he has been going there since it is quieter. He got a sweet ceramic chicken from Izak who thought it was sweet! Everyone laughed when Izak said that! Everyone was pretty entertained by the game--Zane was dreading it but came home with a stuffed turtle which he LOVES! We took Taran home after--he dropped off the chicken and we bought milk at the Creamery. Then we took to him to the new dorms. When we got home Timo was there--he had gone to DI with some of his friends and to Dominoes. He was helping his friend who was going to ask one of his friends to Preference. So Tim ironed while I folded and we watched part of a The Christmas Story--strange movie. We were all so tired we didn't finish it before we went to bed.

Tim had 6 AM meetings and I had one at 8 AM at the church, BYC. Izak was babysitting when I got home luckily it was alright. Tim, Emily and Timo had choir practice. Church was great--what I heard of it. I had a hard time not falling asleep. I wrote our missionaries this afternoon besides getting dinner ready. Tonight was our Stake Choirside. So I went with Timo, Emily, Tim and I and Izak was at home babysitting the rest. I felt like they had had enough sitting for a day! Our choir was great and there were a few others that were really good too. The others were still pleasant. I just love all the Christmas music. We sang in between while other choirs changed places. It's just too bad people don't make time to support their ward choir. We had a huge choir in California--I haven't seen a ward in Utah with a choir as big yet. Our ward has come close when more youth came. Timo is the only young man who comes. Izak will join in the spring.

Last week of school for 2011! Crazy! Taran starts finals tomorrow! Then moves this weekend. I have 2 class parties this week to help with and visiting teaching as well. It's all good! A few more gifts to get...I hope you have a great week! Enjoy it!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The end of November and beginning of December...

So can I tell you HOW relieved I am this week is over? Lots of good stuff but it was a lot and I am glad to begin my holiday celebrations wholeheartedly! Monday Tim stayed home from work because he was ill. I went to my parents and dad wasn't up to much. I did some little things here and there for my mom but she didn't leave. Gwen had dance later that day and went--yeah! Then after Izak went to scouts and Gwen and I ran errands. Emily had the last night of the Night in Bethlehem. She signed up to help again next year! For Family Home Evening we watched the short movie Madagascar Pequins holiday adventure and then Joy to the World about Jesus DVD. We had peppermint ice cream with chocolate syrup. I had tried to make these brownie waffles I found on Pinterest . According to the info the waffler needs a setting possibility of low which ours has just one setting. So we had a huge brownie mess which I cleaned up and made the rest of the batter in a pan.

Tuesday Tim stayed home again...he had a fever so I wouldn't let him go to work. I went to the temple first thing and made it back for my YW meeting at 10 AM. Then Emily called during the meeting so I went and got her out of school after my YW Presidency Meeting. After lunch she went to bed. She seemed to feel a lot better when she woke up! That night was Pack Meeting and it was Zane's first since he JUST turned 8. He was very excited and he was in the skit which was really cute. They branded him a CUB. I videoed that part. Micah's group had treats so I made some chocolate cookie bars. I ran to Old Navy that night and got socks for each of young women for next year's birthday gift--60 of them! But it was buy one ($2.50) get one 75% off.

Wednesday I drove Gwen and Luke to preschool. And then I tried to get my house back together. It was in complete disarray with all the running around. Gwen and I went shopping for some Christmas things after we dropped Luke off. That night was a Court of Honor with an Eagle Court of Honor afterward. Timo was busy with the Madrigal Feaste at the high school.
Izak got his Tenderfoot and 2nd Class awards as well as some Merit Badges, five, I think. They did a slideshow of the 11 year old scouts and it was so neat it made me emotional at the end when they thanked me and said that they would miss me. Then they gave a candle and some treats as a thank you which made me cry. It was weird to be there but not a leader but I am beginning to feel more comfortable in Young Womens.

Thursday a guy came by to appraise our house we are refinancing to a lower rate, we never thought we'd do it again but we should end up on the same schedule we were on only paying less monthly nice! It was stressful for me because I have not been doing well on keeping up with stuff but it was okay when he came except for the teenagers' rooms and my craft room. Owell, I live here right? I picked up Gwen and Luke and worked on a candy advent. I used to make them all the time but the kids would forget to cut off a candy each day so I stopped. Gwen has been bugging me about WHEN is Christmas so I thought now is the time to reinstate it! So far so good! Gwen and I wrapped presents for Hans and Griffin so we could mail them Friday. That afternoon I went to high school to help do dinner prep for the Madrigal Feaste that night. Timo worked there after I left. There were so many students we didn't have a ton to do. I got my Young Women handouts finished that night. I wanted everything done before Saturday.

Friday Gwen and I went to Anna's and watched June. It was fun. Emily wasn't feeling well but went to school because she had a test. I had told her I would come get her after watching June. She ended up feeling better and telling me she didn't need to come home. So Gwen and I ran errands--got stuff for Zane's baptism on Saturday. Emily and a friend who magically showed up after school went to Grandma Pew's to help set her Christmas Village. Nate took them and Maddie since I had to take Zane to a party that was out of the neighborhood. Gwen and I mailed the package after we dropped Zane off. I started making dinner when we got back and cookies. I made 3 batches of cookies. One I realized too late I had only put half as much sugar! Oops! I was getting ready for the baptism on Saturday. I finished at about 10 PM.

Saturday I went early to get my eyebrows waxed and made it home with plenty of time to get ready for the baptism. I wanted it to be fast prep after so I had it all on the counter ready to go but covered it and hot chocolate in the crock pots. Since it was not during a meal this was the plan. It was a nice baptism service. Tim and Emily sang his favorite song I Have Faith, it sounded nice even though they both barely had voices because of their colds earlier in the week. Micah gave a talk on Baptism. Timo baptized Zane and Tim confirmed him and Taran got to help him as well. What a neat experience! Almost all the extended family members came which was really nice and some of Zane's friends were able to come as well. After the celebrating was over Tim took the 3 boys and Gwen to his parents' to watch the BYU vs Hawaii football game. BYU won so it was fun for them! Meanwhile I did a little Christmas shopping then watched While You Were Sleeping while doing my Christmas cards. I started falling asleep so I went to bed so I still need to finish that! I still need to decorate our tree downstairs but it will happen now that the biggest stressors are over!

Today was testimony meeting and Tim, Timo and I bore our testimonies. I taught YW and got a lot of positive feedback. Even Emily said that I did well! I had such an overwhelming strong impression to do the things I did I really hope it helped inspire them! Now we need to eat before the Christmas devotional tonight! I leave you with recent photos of Taran and his crazy roommates! Happy Holidays and remember it's not about the presents but HIS presence. Clever, I saw it somewhere!