Monday, December 21, 2009

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

From our family to yours. Yes, Gracie does say "good tithings we bring" and I think Sander was trying to sound like one of the chipmunks, but lets be honest...with Sander you just never know. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Here we are. To those of you whose address we couldn't find, Merry Christmas. We are so thankful for the friendships we have made over the years. You are the people how have helped shape our lives and who we are. We hope you have a wonderful holiday.
I love my little dancer! Grace is girl through-and-through. Grace loves every second of twirling and leaping. Grace's teacher is a kind woman who teaches these classes as a service. I feel very grateful to her teacher for all she has taught Grace about dance, and also about being a good person who is willing to share her talents for the good of others.

Grace and her friend Cambree after their ballet recital. They thought their matching flowers were great! ( good thing Cambree's mom was on the ball and helped Gracie's mom look like she was on the ball) Yea, I was totally that mom who ran to the front of the room to get some in your face pictures during the dance. What has this world come to?

These are some of the girls from our neighborhood. Cambree, Grace, Kailena, Brooklynn, and Sierra.

Gracies fan club! Melissa, Evan, Addie, Sander, Malichi, Troy, Tera, and Addie ( not in the photo ... me ) . Troy and Evan served a mission together. Troy and his family were in town visiting. They were SUPER lucky to be here to see the recital. Tera was a good sport, it was her birthday. Happy Birthday Tera!

Nearing the end

This is us really early in the morning! Don't we all look super happy? We were just on our way to the airport. We were feeling a little sad, although Mom and Dad were probably feeling a little relieved. But before we left we had to have some special time with Grandma around the piano. I hope they always remember sitting with Grandma by the piano.
The kids also had the ultimate bubble bath. It was all going really well until Mom told me to turn on the jets in the tub. Addie was almost lost in the bubbles and refused to go back into the tub. I had to talk Grace and Sander into believing me when I said I wouldn't turn on the jets again.

And they finally decided that all the bubbles were really fun. Don't you worry that the bubbles overflowed all into the bathroom. Mom was covered with bubbles and so was I, but hey- great memories were made.

The kids loved having Evan all to themselves. He misses so much during the summer that they were trying to shove a summer of fun into one vacation. They love playing football and wrestling around with him. The "winter" weather in Oklahoma made it perfect for playing outside every afternoon. It was the best vacation. When I asked the kids what they loved the most, Gracie said she loved sitting by Grandma in the van while we drove around.

Thanksgiving in OK

Here they are! I love my parents and I have really missed having them close by, but I am grateful for their love of the gospel and their wonderful example to me.

Our little family. Happy Thanksgiving. The kids food was here, but they wondered around talking to Grandma and Grandpa and all the missionaries. Sander kept on asking the elders to play football with him, and Grace jumped right in with the sisters singing church songs.

Yummy- yummy!! And super sanitary. The kids were helping make the pie, and their favorite part was cleaning up the bowl. What great helpers.

Addie thought the pie was okay, but she was really ALL OVER the olives. I think she ate an entire can all by herself. What a girl. The kids giggled while filling their fingers with olives. Sometimes it is good to remember they joys of childhood.

I love this picture of Grace. Do you see the chocolate going all the way up her arm? That's my girl!


While we were in Oklahoma, we were able to help Mom serve a real down home Oklahoma lunch to the new missionaries. We had pulled pork, beans, fried okra ( or how ever you spell it), and finished off with Braums ice cream. Evan was over all the deep fried foods. It actually turned out to be pretty good. Grace, Sander and Addie were also BIG helps in the kitchen. They thought it was pretty cool that they could help serve the missionaries.
I loved watching the kids talk to the missionaries and learn more about what missions are all about.

There's no place like Braums. (Although I would say it is similar to Reed's Dairy products). The kids LOVED the ice cream. I have to admit, I didn't think it was so bad myself. We had to eat the ice cream a couple of different times while we were in Oklahoma. The kids thought it was cool that they could eat all the ice cream they wanted! Grandpa had to make up for lost time with them. :)

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Oklahoma

We went to Oklahoma for our family vacation this year. It was exciting to be able to spend so much time with Evan after his LONG summer of working on roads. It worked out well that we could see Mom and Dad on their mission. I haven't seen them since I had Addie, and Evan has never been out there. We chose one activity a day while we were here. Evan had never been to an IMAX movie, so we went to the Museum of Science. We spent hours there!! The kids loved it ( that would include Evan and Dad ). The Segway booth was by far the biggest hit. The good thing about going to Oklahoma when we did was everyone was in school, so there weren't really any crowds, which is how is had to be for Evan to be happy. With no lines, everyone was able to ride on the Segway thing a couple or more times.
The kids loved all the different activities they could do. They had an entire section for kids 6 and under. There were a bunch of hands-on things they could do. I remember standing in our mirrors when I was little girl and spending so much time looking at all the images of me.

Evan, of course, had to have some time at Pro Bass, or is it Bass Pro? Anyway, this was outside of the store. The kids found they love climbing on all the statues. Evan let the kids play at the "shooting range," and they were able to try out all the toy guns they could find. Gracie, ever the girl, latched on to a pink cowgirl hat and a pink gun. She was as happy as could be. Sander couldn't decide between Davy Crockett or a cowboy, but there was always a gun in hand. Addie just sat in the cart and made eyes at anyone who would look at her. She is such a flirt!

Get your kicks on Route 66! The kids liked looking for all the things that reminded them of the movie Cars. At the end of the museum, they show a film on how the interstate came in making everyone abandon 66, and Gracie started to cry. "It is just so sad." she said. Evan was studying how they built the road and was feeling thankful they have better equipment now than they did then. They also showed pictures of the dust bowl. Gracie had a hard time wrapping her head around that one. The rest of the trip she asked about the sand blizzard and tornadoes.

Talk about the perfect visit to the zoo! It was almost like we had the entire place to ourselves. The animals were all really active. The kids LOVED it. The gorillas were one of the favorites. They were wrestling around and each kid picked a gorilla that was like one of our family members. At one point, Gracie laid down next to the window and a gorilla came to see what she was doing. It was really neat. After that, we were passing the lions cage. Sander ran up to the window and was waving his hand in front of the lion, and the lion started to growl at him. Sander thought it was great ( me not so much ) then it jumped at Sander! Evan was telling Sander to keep it up, and I was, of course, telling him to back off!! Sander does not have enough fear in him.

Here It Is

Okay, here is a picture of what my house looks like on the outside. Ummm, sorry it isn't a super good picture, but at least you get an idea of what it looks like. Of course, now everything is covered with snow, so you wouldn't notice the lack of a yard. Next summer we are excited to start putting the outside of our house together!