Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Sister Karry

On December 30, 197_ my Sister Karry Lee was born. She has been my true best Friend every since. She is witty, beautiful, smart and extrmely sassy, my kind of women!
I Love you so much & Hope you have a Happy Birthday!


I forgot to mention how much my entire family loves her.... This past week she flew up to visit and watch how my entire family is chasing her in the swimming pool....we all love Karry!


video

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fabulous!

We had a Fabulous Christmas Eve & Christmas Day



I've decided the thing I love most about Christmas Eve is all of the year to year traditions we do. For example, the gingerbread houses. My kids believe that the houses are a gift to the elves that visit all year - a snack - according to Sissy that they eat throughout the year. The fun part is that they are actually starting to look like houses, in years past our houses have turned out pretty grim...

The elves also bring the Christmas Pajamas for the year. I can look at any Christmas picture, look at the pajamas the kids are wearing and can tell you everything about that year!

It's one of my favorite traditions.....

We also usually have a really formal Christmas Eve dinner, but this year all I did was fix 4 different soups, it was still great, but we always have dinner by candle light. (And yes, my kids still spend most of the dinner fighting over who gets to blow the candles out!)

Every year they anxiously await hearing Santa's Bells - (The signal that Santa is close, and ready to land, but can't because the kids are still awake) This year in particular they were glued to the window. Tate especially was checking every few minutes waiting to hear the bells. Trust me, this in the only night of the year the kids don't argue about going to sleep!

We hurry and made some Cookies for Santa, but hopefully he was full...are cookies...not so hot!

Wes read the traditional Christmas Bedtime story, Twas the Night before Christmas.

And soon......they were all sound asleep - in my bed, unfortunately.

One picture before all the excitement begins, although this year it was pretty rough getting them to cooperate with the shot, think I had to take 4 before I could get them to look at me instead of the presents!


Taylor got her Make Up, (Which has been nothing but a nightmare) and all of her Saddle Club Girls.

Tate finally got the horses he has been waiting for. (For weeks, every time we go to Fleet Farm, a big ranch store, he has left in tears over these tiny little horses) It's seriously was all he needed to make him happy.

Tye got his signed Peyton Manning helmet, and yes, I Know, Santa was a little extreme this year!

But the funny thing was, Tate was obsessed with an electric pencil sharpener that Santa brought. He & Taylor seriously spent hours, I mean hours sharpening every pencil in the house. All day long zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, my sister would day, What is that noise? I would say, "Don't worry, it's just the pencil sharpener." I swear it was smoking by the end of the day.Tye spent hours playing Checkers with Grandpa, until after about 13 games and he finally won! He does not give up, and as soon as he won, trust me, the whole house knew!


Christmas afternoon includes a messy house and everyone relaxing!

But my favorite moment of the day I don't have a picture of. It was late in the afternoon and I was exhausted. I laid down in my bed for a few minutes and Tye came in and laid down by me. (This is a rare occasion in and of its self, Tye is not a Snuggler.) He said "Mom, Christmas was fabulous, Thank you Mom." I literally almost fell off the bed. I just held him, forgot about how tired I was and started thinking about how much this day was worth it. I truly love Christmas!

(PS. I am taking applications for anyone interested in helping me take all this Christmas down....it's definitely the worst part of the season!)


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Getting Ready

Getting Ready for Christmas at our house is quite fun...but a lot of work!

Putting up the Outside lights.......check!


A train ride to the UP of Michigan with Santa Claus........check!





The kids decorating their tree downstairs.....check!



The boys fighting on who get to hang the star.....check!

Decorating the tree upstairs - Mom's Tree as it is known.....check!

(This is actually a beautiful 22 foot tree, that looks absolutely pathetic in this picture)


Twenty Three nativity sets up.......Check!
(Yes it is the only thing in this world that I collect, nativities. I LOVE them!

All the little nick nacky Christmas (crap) as Wes calls it up and displayed....check!
But see that Santa & Rudolph on the end, it will be disappearing after this Christmas, I have heard Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer played sooooooo many times that it it magically finding it's way to the trash!


The Department 56 Collection set up.....check!
(This is actually Wes's thing, he gets all the houses out, arranges them and it's his Christmas Tradition, we collect a house a year, and I have to admit, it's actually enjoyable, now that our kids have learned "Don't Touch" - well for the most part.)


The stockings were hung.....check!


Only one sledding accident to date......check!
(Wes was pulling the kids on the sleds and she biffed it! I keep telling Wes that she isn't as tough as the boys and slow down as he wips through turns, but he's going to make her tough!)


Neighbor gifts, friends gifts, visiting teaching and teacher gifts.....check, check check!


Lots & Lots & Lots of snow.......Check!
(We actually received the 5th largest winter storm in Wisconsin History....lucky us!)


Christmas Cards mailed, family pictures taken, baking...not done, sleep = none, packages mailed, shopping done, and kids counting down the seconds!
However, the ultimate thing that we have done this season is spend a few days at the Osthoff resort last weekend in Lake Elton Wisconsin. It was divine - (Look at the slide show below.) I can not possible put into words how nice it was to cozy up to the fireplace and watch ABC Family Christmas movies, drink lots and lots of Hot chocolate, leave my lap top at home, pack the swimsuits, no wrapping or lists to worry about, only to enjoy the luxury linens, and love the fact that someone else had to come in and make the beds everyday. I could not have asked for a more beautiful setting, Mr & Mrs. Claus were so attentive to my children that I almost wanted to kiss the both of them. It was so nice to stop, escape from the busyness of life and just enjoy the Season. The lights, music, decor & food were unbelievable, this will seriously be on my Chirstmas list every year.....Merry Christmas to Me!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Very Nontraditional

We had a very nontraditional Thanksgiving....we went on Vacation to Wisconsin Dells - our families favorite new spot! The resort was called Chula Vista - and it was Fabulous.

Trust me these kids were in Heaven!

The Resort is huge with everything you can imagine to do. You never have to leave the resort, you just pick up the phone call the shuttle and say, I'd like to go bowling and zip there you go, or we'd like to have some lunch and zip they pick you up. Golfing, shopping and zip your on your way. I can't tell you how nice it was to not remind my kids 6 times to put on seat belts! We stayed in a building on the golf course.



The best part was they had this amazing indoor waterpark that we indulged in for hours everyday. The slides of course were our favorite part. You have to look closely to the circle hole in the middle, it's called the toilet bowl and it was so much fun. I literally felt like I was 14 again, but my body soon reminded me I'm well into my 30's every time I had to climb the 4 flights of stairs carrying a two man tube to reach the top.
Here is an inside shot, but it's hard to really see.



Wes's Sister Kylie joined us for the trip and Taylor was happy to have a new best friend.

Wes even had a great time, but I seriously can't imagine how many stairs he climbed taking Tate & Taylor to the 13 different slides! (With a bad sprained ankle to top it off)


My boys love the arcade and begged everyday to go. They swear every time, there going to hit the jackpot, they just need one more token..... They never do!


Cashing in the tokens is a long dreadful process once they realize they only have enough tickets for junk!

At Night they had different shows you could go to, and we picked the magic show. It was a little ify at the beginning, the magician had a perma smile and I kept giggling & thinking to myself, is this guy serious? But he did have some pretty neat tricks. The kids loved it, so that's all the matters.

Your going to laugh but my absolute favorite part was the fact that we had our on spa right outside our back door. Wes & I could just relax in the condo and the kids spent hours playing games in the hot tub!



I'm learning to be better about being away from home on the holidays, but places like this make it easy to forget I'm homesick! We still tried to remind our kids about Thanksgiving and why we celebrate it, but Tate said if we can come here for next Thanksgiving it "might" make it on his list for one of his favorite holidays! I don't think my spill on the importance of being thankful for what we have was even heard!
Very Nontraditional.....But Very Fun!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Beautiful Nauvoo

There are countless moments when the complexities of life wear me down. The moments of my inadequacy as a mother, wife, person in general seem to come more often and the trials of life seem to surface. Then you visit Nauvoo....

Enter the homes they left behind....
And walk in the streets where they walked...
The reverence is overwhelming,

The stories of hardship, faith and endurance bring you to a different understanding, and you are humbled.
When you cross the river they crossed,
You imagine life, their life and witness the simpleness of it all.You learn about a Prophet, his life, his legacy, and you love him so much more.
You stand in the room where he spent his last moments of this life...
And testify to your sweet sons of his divinity.
You pray, that your sons will love each other the way they did.
You treasure the fact that your family is forever.
Then before you go home, you realize how blessed you are to be a mother of them...

A Sister to her,
And to have the blessings of an Eternal Family.

And when those moments of inadequacy come, I remember, I remember them,
and hope to have more faith,


and remember the spirit that I felt, the witness that I received, the realization of sacrifices made, all for the Gospel that I love.
Beautiful Nauvoo....

Beautiful Nauvoo.