Our Very Merry Christmas

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year! Each year, I make a comment like "this was the best Christmas ever..." But this one has definitely topped the cake! I really feel that it is because of the past few sermons Pastor Paul has preached. They were about "not missing Christmas"...getting so caught up in the hurry and worry and hustle and bustle of the season that we actually MISS why the season is so special in the first place! And that is the fact that our Savior was born!

Those sermons really spoke to me, because it is very easy for me to get caught up in everything - the shopping, the wrapping, the baking and the gatherings. But this year, each time I felt myself starting to get anxious and worried that I wouldn't get everything done, I stopped and thought about why we have Christmas, and reflecting on what was important always brought me back to reality. And, quite frankly, made me a lot more joyful!

Of course, something else made me very joyful, too... the fact that my sweet husband bought me a new wedding ring for Christmas! I couldn't stop crying :)

Coop's favorite present was his bike. He likes to sit on it and make motorcycle noises. AND - he asked us in a very stern tone, "Where is my helmet? I have to have a helmet when I ride my bike!" I guess we'll be buying him a helmet.

Hunter's favorite present was his PSP. We made him open it last, and everything he opened prior to that was like a huge let-down. We have lots of pictures of him holding things up with a disappointed look on his face, like this...check out the difference.
Woo Hoo!

Dave's favorite present was his snowmobiling backpack. He showed it to me in his magazine right before Christmas, and thankfully I managed to order it in time.
Of course we got a ton of other stuff, too...especially at my parents house, but that deserves a whole blog to itself, so look for that in a couple of days. For now, I am filled with peace and joy knowing this wonderful celebration signifies something much greater...a chance for all of us to have eternal life with our Savior!


Our Two Handsome Sons

I took these pics of the boys today after we got home from church. They looked so cute in their "fancy clothes", I just had to share them with you all!
I realize I haven't put up a new blog in a couple of weeks, but we have been extremely busy...as I'm sure all of you have been, too! I've been trying to bake some goodies to put in the freezer for various get-togethers we'll be attending. So far, I've made more peppermint bark and peanut butter balls, fudge, chocolate chip cookies, peanut blossom cookies and gingersnaps.

Last week, I was at Hunter's school three days in a row: Wednesday I helped for a few hours in the evening at his book fair. He went with me and we had tons of fun! Then Thursday we went to his Christmas concert. It was VERY cute! The 1st graders were, by far, the loudest singers. :) Friday, Coop and I went to Hunter's Christmas party...more fun!
We are all really looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas. I have a little more wrapping and a little more baking to do, but I'm determined to get it all done in the next couple of days. I hope you all have a blessed Christmas with your loved ones!


Fun-Filled Saturday!

I was invited to my sweet sister-in-law's house for her 1st annual baking day with her sisters and her mom. We each brought recipes and ingredients for a Christmas treat and we all kind-of chipped in. Actually, now that I think about it, I didn't really help anyone else...hmmmmm. Anyway - I didn't get pictures of all of the treats, but I can attest to the fact that they were all very delicious! We split them up so we all could have some! Thank you, Jamie, for always including me in your fun family stuff! I had a blast!
Peanut Butter balls

Homemade almond roca! YUMMY!
My contribution was the Marbled Peppermint Bark. It actually turned out pretty good. My family wished I'd made more!

THEN....Saturday night was the Lighted Parade in Sunnyside. My dad and his co-workers had spent a great deal of time decorating their small dump truck for the event so we wanted to get a good spot. We took our truck down to the high school parking lot and parked it there around 3:00 PM. Then we came home really fast, ate some dinner, grabbed our blankets and Mr. Heater and shot back to the school. We sat in the bed of the truck and enjoyed the parade and were very toasty warm! James, Jamie and Taylor also joined us, as well as Jamie's sisters and their kids! It was so much fun!

The top pics are of my dad's float. It looked awesome!!

We all had a great time that night, and were thankful for our family and friends who joined in the fun!


Our Christmas Tree

Last Tuesday evening, we went across town to get our Christmas tree. The little man there always remembers us, and we look forward to getting our tree from him every year. He had a huge selection, as always, but a lot of them were way too tall and would never have fit in our living room! But Dave soon found one that we all agreed on, and I must say - it is perfect!
Hunter took these pics of me and Dave - he loves using my camera!

Coop hung all his ornaments in the same spot :)

And Hunter hung most of his in a spot really close to Coop's :)

And Mommy waited 'til they went to bed and moved some into different spots - no one noticed :)


Thanksgiving Weekend

I've been meaning to update my blog with all of the Thanksgiving photos, but it's been like a whirlwind around here the last few days, so FINALLY...The Thanksgiving Blog!

The drive there wasn't too bad because we split it up. We stayed in Boise Tuesday night - got to our hotel about 10:00 PMtheir time. The room was nice, but the guy upstairs had his TV on really loudly until about 3:00 AM! The boys slept really good, but Dave & I were very sleepy the next morning! I thought back to my previous post about being crabby after no sleep...and I must say, I did pretty good! Thank goodness :)

We got to Ash's the next day about 3:00. We met some of her friends at work and scoped out the new store. It was so quiet - not anything like the Costco's around here, that's for sure! And they had self-checkout!
Ash's apartment is very spacious and there was plenty of room for all of us - and our junk! It is amazing how much stuff we took - food, games, 3 suitcases of clothes, sleeping bags, air mattresses, pillows, and of course we had to bring the RockBand and the PS3!

It was so nice to just get up and hang out, not to have to go somewhere or get ready to go at lightning speed. We just took our time each morning and relaxed. Except for Friday, when I went with Mom and Dad to the local mall pretty early in the morning. I got a few good deals, but I wasn't in that shopping mode yet, I guess. (I'd better get there pretty soon, though, hadn't I ? ) We ate at a lot of fun places, including Chili's, Texas Roadhouse and Johnny Carino's! Plus, the Thanksgiving feast was delicious, of course! Mom did all the cooking, but Ash and I tried to help with the little stuff.

The boys were SOOOOOO good! I was pleasantly surprised by how well-behaved they were. They each had their moments, but for the most part, everyone got along famously. :) If they weren't playing the Playstation, they were coloring. And if they weren't coloring, they were begging someone to play Sorry or Sequence or Apples to Apples with them. Those boys LOVE to play games!

All in all it was a wonderful trip. We're very fortunate to be able to take trips like this throughout the year. They are always fun and prove to be good for our little family. Tune in later for another post about decorating for Christmas - we're getting there, but it has been a two-day ordeal! Love to you all!


A Joyful (for the most part) Sunday

There was a day last week that I had a hard time getting through. Frankly, I felt a little depressed! We were all tired because Coop and Hunter had colds and weren't sleeping very well at night. And it may sound childish of me to say this, but if I don't get good sleep, I am pretty crabby the whole next day...(shocking, I know).

But Sunday, God blessed me with a nearly perfect day! I woke up happy, made breakfast for my family, and then we all went to church. The boys were very well-behaved and even decorated some really cool tiles while at children's church. There was a time when Cooper cried every time we drove into the church parking lot because he hated going to the nursery. But now that he's old enough to go to video club, he's a totally different kid! Praise the Lord that all of my family members enjoy going to church now!

We were having a wonderfully fun and relaxing afternoon together (Dave even made cookies) ...until...I ran to Safeway to get a few things and came out to find that the door of our brand new truck had been keyed! :( Yup - a big, deep X had been scratched in the driver's side door. I felt like I was going to throw up. I came home and showed Dave and he was very upset, but thankfully didn't blame me or make me feel bad. I think he knew I felt bad enough. He knew it wasn't my fault, but it's hard not to blame the person driving, you know?!

Shortly after that my parents came over to visit for a bit. They had bought the boys some Rock Band/guitar shirts. They were a big hit! Hunter says he's going to wear his every time we play Rock Band, haha! Them being here helped us forget what had happened to the truck, so that was nice. Then Dave and I made enchiladas - yum! I love it when he helps me make dinner, and I think he enjoys it, too. We told the boys (who sometimes don't like to try new things at dinner), that if they ate their enchiladas we would ALL get in the hot tub. Now that is motivation, people! Soon we were all relaxing in the warm hot tub in the chilly night air, and it was so fun!
God has blessed me with a family that loves me. Me! The mommy/wife that was so crabby last week they probably all wanted me to leave and never come back! I LIVE for days like Sunday, where we get to spend time together and everyone is happy and healthy! My prayer is that this week, as we travel a long way to visit Ash for Thanksgiving (and things could likely get tense at times) I will be able to show God's love to my husband and children in every way possible. They deserve kind, patient words and actions from me, regardless of whether I've had enough sleep! We'll see though, won't we? Haha! Have a very enjoyable Thanksgiving, everyone! We love you all!


Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Not because I get to stuff my face with all kinds of wonderful food and dessert (even though that's fun too), but because we all get to reflect on what we're thankful for - together! And that brings a happiness over me that I can't explain. Don't get me wrong, I don't wait until turkey day to be thankful...oh no, I thank God EVERY DAY for the blessings in my life! I'm sure all of you do, too!

Anyway, I'm especially excited for Thanksgiving this year because we're going to be traveling to Ash's house in Pocatello! But since I don't have any pictures or fun stories to share - yet - I want to share some pictures from past Thanksgiving gatherings...
This is our first Thanksgiving at our house! 2005. Coop was 3 months old :) We had my family and Dave's family over. My mom helped me cook, so I can't take all the credit - but it was good food and good fun!
This is one of my favorite pictures of me and Hunter! He looks so little :(
This is Taylor, Hunter and Rykker on Thanksgiving Day 2006 at Dave's mom's. We had to break the boys apart from wrestling for this picture...that's all they do when they're together! As usual, the food was DELICIOUS!
I'm sad I don't have any pictures of all of us sitting down at the table; I guess we're always so hungry that no one thinks to get up and snap a picture! But as the holiday approaches, I pray you're all happy and healthy and THANKFUL for what God's given you. We sure are!


Hunter's First Trip to Husky Stadium!


Our friends, Ty & Mandy, couldn't use their season-tickets for this past Saturday. They kindly thought of us and gave them to Dave & Hunter. And even though the Dawgs aren't doing so great this year, Dave & Hunter were excited to go...especially since it would be Hunter's first time at Husky Stadium!

We got up early and headed for Seattle Saturday morning - Coop and I stayed at some friends' house and Dave & Hunter bundled up and headed to the game. It looked as though the Huskies might pull out a win...until the dreaded second half :( But on the bright side, they managed to stay pretty warm and dry, and they were pleased with the location of the seats - a lot of the action happened right in front of them!

I am so happy Dave & Hunter got to spend the day together. It is always good when Hunter gets to spend some quality time with his Daddy...without his little brother around! The guys have both said several times that they had a really great time, and I'm sure it will be an experience they'll never forget!


Halloween Fun and a New Desk!

Friday was lots of fun. We were a little worried when we woke up to rain, but by the time Hunter got out of school, sunny skies had chased those rain clouds away! We waited for Daddy to get home from work (he did good and got home EARLY), then got on our costumes and headed to Grandma's house.

Aren't they the cutest little Black Spiderman and Dash (from The Incredibles) you've ever seen?

Then we went to Nana & Papa's house, and Uncle Tony & Aunt Marci's house.

We trick-or-treated in that neighborhood, where it was well-lit and the street wasn't packed with cars and people. The weather was great! The boys were bundled up underneath their costumes, but Dave & I just had to wear our sweatshirts - it wasn't freezing cold like it's been the last few years! We came home, warmed up with bowls of Taco Soup, and dug through the candy. All in all it was a very enjoyable evening :)

Saturday, Dave put together our new desk! He worked on it for almost 5 hours, but it was worth it because it is absolutely beautiful. The boys said they'd help - and they did - for about 30 minutes, but they soon lost interest.

Coop started making a tower with some of the pieces, and when I tried to take a picture of it (you can kinda see it in the background), he got right in front of the camera - what a nut.

Then he sat down on a box and had some toast.

I tried to make myself look busy, thinking maybe Dave would not solicit my help, but it didn't work. We only got annoyed with each other once during the ordeal, so I guess it wasn't that bad :) We really needed a new desk...our old one was just way too small for someone who owns a business. There is soooo much paperwork! Hopefully with more space I'll be able to help keep him a bit more organized.

I have a lot more ideas and inspiration now to get my home spruced up - paint, artwork, etc. It's about time - we've lived here for almost five years now! Happy November, everyone!


7 Random/Weird Facts About Me

Katy "tagged" me and wants me to share 7 random or weird facts about myself...
WARNING: I am a very boring person.
1. I cannot roll my tongue or do the Star-Trek sign. (It's a shocker, I know).
2. I married my high-school sweetheart. I have loved him since I was about 16 years old (almost half my life)! I was 19 and he was 21 and we went to Disneyland for our honeymoon.
3. I am the oldest of three daughters, but we all consider ourselves to be tomboys :) We wouldn't have it any other way.
4. I lettered in Varsity volleyball, basketball and softball in high school, and was the secretary for the FFA. My favorite class was woodshop and I never took home-ec. Perhaps that is why I am lousy in the kitchen but I can build a mean bookcase.
5. I am on the verge of having a panic-attack each and every time I go to the dentist - even if it's for a cleaning. I have to take Hunter in today for two fillings and I just may ask for some of the nitrous.
6. I am terrified of cats. Katy used to have a cat named Daisy that freakin' freaked me out! Thank goodness Mike gave it away without talking to Katy first. Ha!
7. I can't drive a stick-shift. My dad tried to teach me, and so did Dave. I simply don't like people telling me how to do things; I got embarrassed if I messed up and I usually would start crying.
I'm actually supposed to "tag" 7 more people, but I can only think of a few gals that read my blog that might actually do this, so I'm tagging:
Hope you all enjoyed reading this jaw-dropping information. Tune in this weekend for Halloween pictures!


Whirlwind Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving is usually a big deal at our house. Everyone has a pumpkin, everyone carves one...until this year. Dave got home from work later than usual and the boys and I had already eaten dinner. The boys had already had a bath, in fact! As soon as Dave walked through the door, Hunter & Coop were all over him, "Can we carve pumpkins? You said we could carve pumpkins!"

I had just gotten done working out and was tired, sweaty, and in need of a shower, but Dave wearily looked up and smiled, "Yup! We're carvin' pumpkins tonight!"

Awww, what a great Daddy! So he wolfed down his dinner and the carving began. I didn't have enough newspaper, so I unrolled an old roll of wrapping paper and laid it out across the table. But Coop only wanted to draw on his pumpkin, not do anything else to it. He ran away screaming when Dave wanted him to help take the guts out. He found the tube from the wrapping paper and played with it the whole time - never came back over to the table. So Daddy did Coop's pumpkin.

Hunter drew an awesome face on his pumpkin. We cut the top off and Hunter got some guts out, but had to go wash his hands about every other minute (that look on his face says it all), so I finally took over.
I look so gross in this pic, but Coop looks so hilarious I just had to put it in...
Daddy and Mommy were then too tired to do our own pumpkins, so we quickly went outside, lit them up, took a couple of pictures and that was it. It seemed like a whirlwind and since not everyone participated, it wasn't even that much fun. But we did it. Maybe next year will be better! :)