Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008



We awakened Christmas morning to find that yes indeed, Santa visited us and left everyone pretty much everything they wanted (excluding a new truck and computer for the kids). John gave me a MacBook and a gun!  It was so exciting!  After several hours of playing with all of our new toys, we headed over to my parents' house for a fantastic dinner.  We had over 26 people there, many of which were my sister-in-law's family from California. (Maria)  It was fun to have so many people there to celebrate a wonderful day.  There is nothing better than being with family.  We certainly missed my brother Shane and his family as they are in Missouri, but they were definitely in our thoughts.  





To cap off an awesome Christmas, John and I took a couple of the dogs on a walk.  We walked about 2 miles in a blizzard, but it was well worth it!  Anytime I get to hang out with the hubby is time well spent.  We feel so blessed this year with our wonderful children and family.  We have truly learned the importance of family as they have supported us and been there for us during good times and bad. Although we have had struggles, we have come to see our blessings because of them.  John's family in Manti are fantastic as well as is my family here and in Missouri.



Monday, December 22, 2008

My Brother's Art


As I was looking at my brother's blog, I was utterly amazed with the artistic ability he possesses. I feel cool that my family is so talented. Being the Christmas season and all, I thought I would include a Santa piece that he did. I hope he doesn't care! :-)

Priesthood Preview and Fun in the Snow!












LeGrande had his Priesthood preview this last Sunday. I can't believe my baby boy is going to be a deacon soon (okay...eleven months..but that IS soon). Brother Laing asked me to speak about how we can prepare the young men to receive the priesthood. Luckily I only had to speak for about 5 minutes, but I was grateful for the opportunity. I realized how many things I need to be doing as his parent to help him. LeGrande also was asked to say the opening prayer. All day long I could tell that he was stressing about it, but he did a great job. He is such a good boy. Grandma and Grandpa Wood came to the meeting and came over after for some Angel Chicken Pasta YUM! All in all, it was a very special day.

Today the first real snowstorm hit. It is STILL snowing. I feel guilty for saying this because I know several people who have been in car accidents because of it, but I LOVE IT! I think I love it because I know I can stay inside with my kids and bake cookies and just hang out and be cozy. The kids went outside for like 3 hours and played in the snow. LeGrande made a snow fort and then all three went to the front yard and made a snowman. Later on, I hear a cry from Emma as she looks out the front door and sees that her snowman she made is was lopsided. Quite the sight. Kind of defies the laws of gravity. It was just a fun day all in all and I loved hanging out with the kids for most of it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Meeting Brandon Mull


So Brandon Mull came to our school. He is the famous author who wrote the Fablehaven book series which has become really popular with middle school aged kids. My students love his books as do I. He signed books for the students and I asked if I could get my picture taken with him. I was so nervous asking, because he just.....has such great word choice!!! Cristy and Jen also joined in. He was very kind and patient with the students which I am sure might be difficult after doing a bazillion of these presentations. Anyway...just an exciting moment for me to meet him!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What to Remember About 2008


In May, I was able to go to SUU and graduate with my Master's degree in Education.  It was great to hang out with some of the best people (Heidi, Cass and my parents).  Unfortunately, John and the kids couldn't come.  The kids were doing their 4-H auction and John was working the Miss Ephraim pageant as MC.  I was grateful to have my parents there who are so supportive in everything that I do.  

I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment at having completed the program. 

Summer Leisure
During the summer of 2008, I decided that I really wanted some quality time with the kids. The previous two summers were devoted to taking classes for my master's degree. It was so nice to wake up in the morning and eat breakfast with them, and watch them during swimming lessons by the poolside taking in some sun. We did the summer movie thing each week at the Provo Towne Centre and were able to spend time with friends. It was nice to soak in the time with them, and just enjoy their fun personalities.




Bryce Canyon

In October our family went to Ruby's Inn in Bryce Canyon for a couple of days. We were there to hunt antelope, but enjoyed some leisure time watching movies in the hotel room and four wheeling in the hills. It was also my first opportunity to gut an antelope! We were only there for a couple of hours when we made the kill....well...John made the kill, but we were there to see it! It didn't have time to suffer as it went straight down. When John led us out to it, he showed us the proper technique in skinning it. I pulled out the entrails which didn't gross me out as much as I thought it would.

Disneyland

In October I went with the kids and my parents to Southern Cal during the fall break. Yes, we did the every so much fun minivan trip. The only ones who weren't there on my side of the family were John and Ashby (the nephew that I haven't meant yet). Although Disneyland is always so much fun, my more cherished moments came with just being with the kids at the beach and watching them play in the waves and in the sand. LeGrande became violently ill and was puking into the garbage cans at Sea World, but he still stuck it out. It also helped that we rented a wheelchair so he wouldn't have to walk around feeling sick. It was good to just be with the family and enjoy their personalities.

Bunnies





When one of my students last year brought their batch of baby bunnies to school for show-and-tell, I immediately fell in love! We ended up getting a couple of them and named them Buttercup and Peanut. The kids just doted on them! Our nightly ritual would consist of eating dinner and then immediately going outside to play with the bunnies and watch them frolic in the yard. (John will love the word frolic). Unfortunately we lost one during the summer. We think the heat must have gotten to him. A while later, we got Cinnamon from the Sanpete County Fair in Manti. It has been fun to see the kids take responsibility for their pets.
I loved going to girl's Camp up at Heber Valley! I can't believe I have been serving in the Stake Young Women's for a year now! We had such a ball working with the senior staff. Katie, John and I participated in a skit with the Stake President. It, for me, was a truly spiritual and growing experience and I loved being there with my daughter!


Running!

To lessen stress in my life, I have been running a couple of times a week. LeGrande and I ran in the 4th of July 5k and also the Run for your Turkey 4.2 miler on Thanksgiving day. I was so proud of him for sticking with it and finishing! I never would have done something like that when I was his age.


4-H Pigs

Katie and LeGrande took care of pigs this last year and sold them at the stock show in Spanish Fork. They had to clean the pig pens (no, not their rooms) and walk them around the yard. This experience also taught them quite a lot of responsibility. They also had to do some fundraising for the 4-H cause. John was the auctioneer at the 4-H dinner.

Football Season

John helped coach LeGrande's football team this year and Emma and Katie were involved with cheerleading. It seemed like the whole family was involved this year and it was FUN! I would stay during practice a lot of the time and help paint signs for the football players to run through at half time.

John's Banquets

John involved us in most of his banquets this year and it was fun to see him in action. I love watching and listening to him auction. I am very impressed with how he works so hard for what he believes in. Do I ever get sick of listening to him auction? NEVER!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Family is Everything












I am really upset as I just tried to delete one photo and accidentally deleted all of my posts! I will try to catch up as much as possible, but we will have to see.
I love this time of year as we prepare to celebrate Christmas and make goals and resolutions for the new year. I feel so incredibly blessed with wonderful family and the best of friends who have been so supportive of me and my family. I love you all dearly! Just a few pics that I have come to cherish.