Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We had a terrific Christmas this year! Each of us was incredibly spoiled and we feel especially blessed. My kids dubbed it the "Best Christmas Ever" which tells me I must learn a lesson about stressing and worrying too much before the day arrives. This year, Taylor had me especially discombobulated, since she had only asked for Roller Blades or an Open-hole Flute, which Santa was ready to deliver...but then about 5 days before Christmas, she tells me, with typical teenage melodramatic flair, that if she gets either of those things, it will "ruin her Christmas." Well, what was poor Santa to do?
Luckily, on Christmas morning, she showed no signs of pain and she said she didn't know how much she really wanted her flute until she got it. Shaylie loved all her gifts, especially the Cake Bakery and her Printies (stuffed animals that you print on your computer...kind of cool!). Scott almost didn't get his favorite gift--I didn't notice that he hadn't opened it until later in the day when he found an unwrapped gift on the chair and discovered it was for him. It was a Chelsea Road Kit...or in plain American...a Chelsea Away Jersey. He loves it and I'm glad, since it was quite an effort to get it for him. I went to Vegas and looked at about 4 different stores before finding the one that had it by accident. Crazy, huh? I was the most spoiled...my family really made me feel special this year. Scott got me a new laptop, or netbook, the entire 7 season series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a Deluxe Snuggie..all of which I love.
We were lucky to have Grandma Jesienouski here for Christmas again this year. She always makes our holiday so fun. Unfortunately, she got sick on Christmas Day and spent most of the weekend feeling pretty poorly. Then I caught the bug too, so we were pretty low-key for most of her visit. Even so, we are glad that she was able to come spend the holiday with us. We did get to go the the Southwest Symphony Strings concert at the Tabernacle and we drove around to look at lights before we were housebound.
Now we are looking forward to the New Year. We are having our annual New Years Eve Games and Goodies night. This has been a tradition in our family since I was a kid. We always enjoy celebrating with friends and family. I am mulling over my New Years' Resolutions right now. I had such success with last year's that I am taking it very seriously again for 2010.
As for the year past, we are very thankful to have so many good friends, neighbors, and loved ones to be a part of our lives. Thanks for bringing so much fun and excitement to our otherwise ordinary days. We look forward to having another year to grow even closer and to share in each others extraordinary adventures. Our love to you and best wishes for a Happy New Year!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Friend and Family Fun!

Shaylie's friend Jade came for a short visit and to exchange gifts. We sure miss Jade around here! The girls were so cute with their gifts. It turned out that they each bought matching gifts for the other. So now they both have a pair of matching frog toe socks and beaded watches. With their braces and blonde hair, they are practically twins.

My niece, Anje, celebrated her 12th birthday last week! Taylor and Shaylie both went to her Spa Night birthday party. They jacuzzied, primped, and stayed up all night watching videos. Happy Birthday, Loobie!

On Sunday, we celebrated my "little" brother Chad's birthday with a Sunday brunch at my house. You can see his cute girlfriend, Lynn, in the background of the picture. Her daughter Kaiah was here too! We are glad they were able to come celebrate with us! I love having my home filled with family! Happy Birthday, Chad!
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Piano Recital

We always look forward to Taylor's winter piano recital, but this year we almost missed it! For some reason, I had it down on my calendar as starting at 6:30, when it really started at 6:00. We arrived promptly at 6:15, thinking we had time to spare, only to find that Taylor had missed her place on the program. Luckily, she was able to sneak in at the end and she did a great job performing O, Holy Night! (Grrr! This is a sore spot for me, though. I've been trying to play that song for two years and she picked it up in about two months. It's not right.)
We love Melanie, her piano teacher! She had the kids wear winter gear rather than formal outfits this year and during the finale we all sang Let It Snow! As usual, it was so fun to see all the kids hard work pay off!
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Shaylie's Choir Concerts

We loved hearing Shaylie sing with her school choir this year. They performed at 3 different venues during the two weeks before Christmas--the Dickens Festival, her school assembly, and Dixie Nutrition, where a camera crew was there to cover the event and we saw Shaylie later that night on the KCSG news. She loved singing We Three Kings and Sleigh Ride. She goes to school early two days a week to practice. I'm glad she's been having a great time!
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Taylor's Winter Concert

Taylor's musical talent is a joy to our family! We love listening to her play! The band was very good and we enjoyed seeing Taylor shine. The music included some holiday favorites so it was a good beginning to the Holiday season. Grandma Strong, Anissa, and Anje also came to support Taylor! Way to go!
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Tis the Season!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my wonderful, beautiful and talented friends for helping me to celebrate the season! I had a great time at our party and I hope you all did too!  Of course, I was having too much fun to take any pictures so we'll just have to keep the memories in our hearts. :) I'm grateful to you all for your generosity and thoughtfulness. If you're feeling hungry later, come on back for round two...there was plenty of food left! Unless my family has eaten it all by then! At any rate, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and that you get all the happiness you deserve! Love to you all!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Family for Thanksgiving

We had a great family Thanksgiving this year! I was so pleased to be able to host Thanksgiving dinner at my home this year. All my brothers and sisters (with the exception of my youngest, Bryan and his wife, Dena) were able to make it. We definitely had a houseful, but there was plenty of food with all our favorites (Yay Kringla!), lots of games, laughing and children playing. It was a pleasure to have tiny ones in the house again. On Friday, my Dad and Pam even came down and joined us! It was great to get most of us together again. (I'll be posting family pics soon. I don't know how I missed pictures of my sister and Anje. I don't have a single one!)

In addition to the aforementioned fun, we made sure to fit in a couple of outings as well. We went to the Temple Lighting Ceremony. Well, we actually missed the ceremony, but we enjoyed the lights and the Nativity. We hit the Tuachan Saturday Market, where we enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and found some lovely crafts. And we managed to resist the temptation to go out shopping on Black Friday. I actually was tempted, and if I'd any money, I likely would have gone since this was the first year in many that I've been in a town with stores on that day. I wouldn't have gone at 5am, but I would have gone out and braved the masses.

All in all, it was a very memorable weekend. I hope we can make it a tradition. I love my family!
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