Dec 30, 2019

Visiting Grandma

One thing we always like to do sometime during the Christmas season is take a trip to Sanpete County to visit my sweetie's mom. She is in her 80s now and it is difficult for her to get around. Often when we make the trip, we will help around the house and my sweetie will do home improvement projects for her, but this time we mostly just visited.

It was a quick trip since we didn't get out of church until 12:30, but my sweetie had made eggnog french toast for breakfast so we all grabbed some of the leftovers for lunch, packed in gifts and food for Grandma and sandwiches for dinner on  the way home and we were on the road shortly after 1:00.

Scout read us a book on the way down about JK Rowling, and I sewed patches on Baby Doll's scout vest. I am trying to get it ready for her to sell cookies in another week or so. She bridged from Brownies last year, so we had to remove all of her patches so they could be resewn on her green Junior vest. I could do them much faster on the sewing machine, but if I do them by hand, I can work on them anywhere and although it takes longer, it is still generally quicker to get done.

But I digress...

Grandma was waiting for us when we arrived and we had a good visit while she opened the gifts we brought her. She loved the new umbrella for her patio. Scout and Baby Doll were so excited to receive the little dolls she had crocheted for them!! They will be something they can treasure and keep to show their own daughters.

All too soon it was time for us to leave. My sweetie wanted to get through the canyon before dark since a storm was supposed to be coming in. We said our goodbyes and hit the road. Scout made us all sandwiches and we finished the last few chapters of the Book of Revelations and the New Testament. I'm so excited to start the Book of Mormon in our Come, Follow Me studies! It truly is my favorite book.

We got home about just before 6:00, unloaded the car, and got settled for the evening. It won't be many more days that we get to spend together before the holidays are over, but I'm sure glad we got to have this one.

Dec 29, 2019

Extended Family Christmas Party 2019

I was just looking back over my posts and I realized that I have missed so many things. I don't know if it was the craziness of the season, our trip to Canada, the car accident, or all of the above, but I haven't been updating you as regularly as I should have been. So maybe before the New Year begins, I can quickly get you caught up.

On the Sunday before Christmas, my sweetie and Curly were again playing the "mini-me" card. They sure like dressing up the same way!

Later that evening, we had the big extended family party at our home. It has gotten to be more than 50 people and rather crowded, but we like Sundays and that means we can't schedule it at the church. This year we kept the menu and the activity super easy. I bought frozen lasagnas and my sister offered to make all of the rolls. Everyone else brought salads and we made our traditional eggnog shakes for dessert.

Rather than decorate gingerbread houses or sugar cookies, we decided on a snowflake making contest with prizes. Drama Queen was in charge of the contest and the awards, so it was super low stress for me.

Awaiting judgement...
Santa made his annual visit and left all of the kids under 18 with pretty nice gifts. The older kids got slinkys and the little ones got books and dolls. My sweetie does such a great job as Santa although he is always a little devastated when our own grandchildren are afraid of him. A few days before the party, he even put on his Santa suit for Twizlet to show her, but as soon as he slipped on the beard, she burst into tears and hid behind her mama.

But overall, the nieces and nephews think he is awesome and they are always excited when he comes through the door and are good sports about sitting on his lap. This year we implemented the bench for Santa rather than the chair and I think it was a good change we might have to make happen every year.

A visit with Santa.
Things were over and cleaned up by about 8:00 pm and we spent the rest of the evening wrapping gifts and watching sappy Christmas movies. I think I have watched a couple dozen movies this year and most of them I have never seen before. It is amazing how many different ways people can fall in love on Christmas.

Dec 27, 2019

Christmas Day 2019

We lined up in our typical age order on the stairs. With Crafty in the Philippines and Dog Walker and Puppy Lover at her parents's house as well as Prima Donna missing, we were half as many as we had last year. It is a strange transition for us, watching the family shrink rather than grow.

Just waiting for Sport...

But I digress...

The kids were surprised to find that other than their stockings, there was only one gift from Santa under the tree. All the rest were the ones they had seen me wrapping upstairs over the past couple of weeks.

That said, there were plenty of gifts for everyone! Sport loved his mechanics toolbox and Scout was so excited to received a 3-piece luggage set (now she can stop bugging me about using mine...) Curly is going to a baseball camp tomorrow and he loved his "coach's" bucket of balls with the seat on top.

Baby Doll got a basketball and a Barbie car with the Barbie already in it. She got a smart watch that we can't figure out how to get to make a phone call, and she also got a tiny LOL doll that she has been dying to have.

Drama Queen got lots of clothes and shoes and Tupperware, all things that made her very happy.

My sweetie and I made a deal before Christmas that our Canada trip would be our Christmas gifts to each other, so now we are busy planning our next trip.

Oh, and the Santa gift was for everyone! It was a Lego Amusement Park that also contained season passes for Lagoon. The kids were all so excited for them! Too bad it doesn't open until May...

After wrapping paper was gathered and the kids were busy watching movies, snacking, and playing games, and Grandpa was putting together his latest puzzle, I slipped upstairs for a long nap.

The kids came around about 4:00 and all of them brought offerings for our Christmas feast. The Beast even smoked a Prime Rib for us!! Dinner was fun and happy, pretty low key for our clan. Then Teach and Twiz climbed on an airplane with their babies and flew across the country to see his family. Bossy and Gamer left with Skittles and the older boys stayed for a sleepover. The Beast and his little family also headed for home.

Soon things were quiet and mostly peaceful. Just like that very first Christmas night.

Happy Christmas, everyone! May all your wishes come true.

Dec 25, 2019

Christmas Eve

Our Chritsmas Eve was pretty quiet and low key. I had the gifts mostly wrapped and ready to go. My sweetie worked much of the day and when we asked the kids if they wanted to go to Temple Square and see the lights or go to a movie, they all just voted to stay home and watch sappy Christmas movies and play games.

My sweetie always gets something fun and original from his little brother. This turned out to be a small camp stove, tiny griddles, and wood chips.
We read scriptures and opened jammies. Then my sweetie and I headed upstairs to finish the last few things. Crafty called us from the Philippines and we spent half an hour talking and sharing Christmas news.
Pic from last week.
The kids were up late, but this last couple of weeks was wearing on me and once my responsibilities were over, I crawled into bed and was asleep before my sweetie turned out the light. Usually I'm the last one up, so I think he was pretty surprised. So surprised that I wasn't awakened again until 8:30 am when the kids finally couldn't stand it any longer.

But I will share the rest of our Christmas Day later tonight.

Our baby Twizzler finished with his oxygen tanks this week; a real Christmas blessing.
We will see most of the kids and their families this afternoon for an early dinner before Teach and her little family fly off to New Jersey for Christmas with Twiz's family. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of love and laughter.

💕 Sandy

Dec 24, 2019

Christmas Adam

We always try to do something fun and family oriented on Christmas Adam (December 23rd)...Adam because Adam came before Eve...

This year my sweetie has been working like crazy, so he bowed out of our festivities, but the kids and Grandpa and I went to see the Christmas in Color light show that is here in South Jordan. It was a much different experience than the lights we see every year in Spanish Fork.

We let the kids hang out the windows and the sunroof just like everyone else was doing. The lights were beautiful and plentiful, but they were just lights. There were a few snowmen and a couple of "lightbulbs" that sang, but there were none of the intricate sculptures of people and animals and birds. I missed that.

Still, we had fun and the kids loved the fact that the cars were all moving in parallel lines and they saw some of their friends. It surprised me that they had concessions at the beginning of the path, so we bought kettle corn and cotton candy.

Scout took all of our pictures, so they seem a bit biased...

After the light show, we drove to the Village Inn for a late dinner. The food and the service were amazingly good for this time of year. I can't believe it is already Christmas Eve. The season has come and gone so quickly and we have so many things I still wanted to do.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Dec 22, 2019

2019 Year End Video and Dozen Party

Every year, Drama Queen plans and executes a "Dozen" Party that focuses on our immediate family. We have it at the church so we can spread out, present talents on the stage, and play basketball and dodgeball.

This year my sweetie presented everyone with a Tupperware Pop-a-Lot toy and then we played games and contests to see who could pop the longest or the farthest. We had Hawaiian haystacks for dinner and Sport made eggnog shakes for the whole family.

Several of us shared talents, but everybody showed up in our end of year movie. It's a little long, so you might want to grab a soda and some popcorn, but it sure brings back all the memories...
(oh, and drag it back to the beginning. Not sure why it is starting part way in.)

Dec 21, 2019

Christmas Performance 2019

It's hard to believe that I only have one dancer left at the studio. Baby Doll danced beautifully  in our Christmas Performance a week or so ago in jazz, ballet, hip hop, tap, and with her performing team. She is a beautiful, graceful dancer for a 9-year-old and she reminds me of a much younger Crafty.

I hope you enjoy some of these pics of our Christmas Performance 2019.

I know it's blurry, but her hair just looks so cool like that! This is her first year doing hip hop and she loves it.

She is right in the middle toward the back on this picture.

Love this pic. She is front and center, facing the camera.

This is her performing team. She is the second one over from the left. Hopefully they won't have to drag around the suitcases anymore.

Dec 19, 2019

We're OK, We're OK...

I have to admit that I have been avoiding writing a post because I wasn't sure if I could really share how I am feeling with you all. It's been a rough week.

On Monday we had a lake effect snowstorm which means that here in South Jordan and in some of the other cities closest to the Great Salt Lake, we received about 6 inches of snow in an early morning storm. It made the commute pretty bad, but only for a few miles. By the time I got to my doctor's appointment on 39th south, it was only a skiff.

Coming back home a couple of hours later, it was easy to see that the storm had left little effect on most of the Wasatch Front, but somehow, I missed that part of things. I had Teach and Twiz's babies in the back seat of my Lexus, all clicked up tightly, of course, and I was driving.

I'm still not exactly sure what happened, but seconds after I turned onto my very own street, suddenly I was sliding head-on into one of the sturdy trees on the park strip near the first house.

I have never had a collision like that before when I was driving. I felt so helpless and so terrified all at the same time. All I could think about were those sweet babies in the back and my charge to keep them safe.

At the surreal moment of impact, so many things happened at once. The airbag burst from the steering wheel and something was burning. The sound was deafening as the windshield shattered, the front end crumpled, and both babies began screaming. I heard my own voice repeating over and over, "We're ok, we're ok, we're ok..." I'm not sure if I was trying to comfort my little ones or maybe just convince myself it was true.

I pulled out my cell phone and called my sweetie, a little frantic, and begged him to come home. Then I quickly called Gamer, knowing he would be able to get to us quickly. My head was still reeling as I tried to force open my door. Thankfully, it wasn't stuck. Just then, a young man I had never seen before was right there.

"Are you ok? I heard a huge crashing sound and I came running." I knew I had to get my babies out and safely home. "Can you help me get my babies home?" My ears were still ringing. "I only live a few houses down the street."

He helped me out of my car and I asked him to get Twizzler out with his oxygen tank while I made my way to Twizlet who was still screaming at the top of her lungs. I lifted her out and hugged her tightly. I know I was whispering in her ear and "we're ok" seemed like the right thing to say. I tried to pull open the front passenger door so I could get my purse and the insulated bag with Teach's breast milk for the baby. It wouldn't budge. I was trying to focus. I could feel my torso burning where the seatbelt had bit into my chest and neck. I could see that Twizlet had a scrape on her forehead and I knew in that moment that we all just needed to get home.

We started walking and within minutes, the babies were safely inside even though both were still screaming and hysterical. My new young friend stayed with me until Gamer arrived to take care of the car and the tow truck. A neighbor who recognized my car stopped to check on us and another called on the phone.

Everything was just a blur, but I automatically found binkys for the babies and calmed and soothed until we were all feeling a little better. Shortly after that my sweetie came through the door and he helped take care of everything else.

A few hours later, Teach arrived home and we drove out to the Urgent Care. They x-rayed my neck and my hand where it had been smashed by the airbag, but thankfully, nothing was broken.

Now a couple of days later we have already received payment for the total loss of my car. My sweetie found another one for me and it has been purchased and quickly equipped with some amazing snow tires. I forced myself to drive today. I was surprised how difficult it was to get back behind the wheel. Twizlet's scrape and bruising on her forehead has now dropped below her eyes making her appear to have 2 black eyes.

My chest burns and I still can't sleep. My legs throb and I find new bruises every day.

At least my neck is starting to heal.
Some day things will feel normal again, but for now, we're ok, we're ok, and the world just keeps on spinning.

Dec 16, 2019

Christmas Letter 2019

December 2019
It has been another crazy year full of ups and downs. Thankfully, we are all still together and mostly healthy.

Bossy and Gamer are living the dream, raising their kids here in South Jordan. I’m hoping the kids will update you on their own families, so I will try to keep these short. Boss is working at the bank as a Lender and Gamer really likes his job as a custodian at the high school. He tries to maximize their income by driving for Door Dash, or one of the other services like Lyft. Taco and Burrito are both in middle school and Skittles is a happy active toddler. Cat Woman has a new job for UPS and she is currently living with Bossy and Gamer. DCFS thought it best that her kids be adopted to other families, so for now she is just moving forward by herself as best she can. Bean Dip is working at The Pie full time and learning to drive.

Beauty and The Beast just sold their home in and bought a new one which is much closer to the bank where they both work. They have two cute little guys, Little Warrior is almost 2 ½ and Little Squire will be a year in March.  They are both happy and healthy and they love playing with their dogs, Molly and Franco. It is easy to spot their new place because they are the only house with a gigantic leg lamp in the window.

Drama Queen is living in her remodeled home and acting as landlord for Teach and Twiz.  She is still working customer service for Netflix, but only for a little longer since her site will be eliminated the end of the year. She hates job hunting, but she currently has one offer in hand and she is waiting to hear from another interview she had this week. I’ve no doubt everything will work out just fine.

Teach and Twiz live in Drama Queen’s basement with their two little ones, Twizlet and Twizzler. Twizlet is nearly 3 and extremely opinionated and capable. Twizzler was born in October and he has experienced some health issues, including a little trouble with his heart. This required a procedure and full-time oxygen for about a month. We are reaching the end of that month and we are all hoping that our days of dragging around the oxygen tank are limited. Teach is still teaching 4th grade in the Granite School District and Twiz recently quit Target and began a new job at the bank as a lender.

Dog Walker and Puppy Lover moved to North Salt Lake to live with her parents at the beginning of the year. She is currently working at the DI and Nate is still hauling freight for WalMart. We are so excited to announce that he just finished his BS degree at UVU in University Studies with an Emphasis in Education. He is hoping to work as a teacher’s assistant in a special needs classroom and he finally wrote a children’s novel that is nearly 100 pages long for his senior project. It’s time to look for a real publisher!

Princess and The Frog bought a home very close to The Frog’s parents and they love it there! They have 2 boys, Tadpole, who will be 2 in January, and Polliwog who will celebrate his first birthday in March. The Frog is slowly finishing up his degree in Computer Science from BYU while working as a web page designer. Princess has become a successful crafting presence on social media. Known as CraftinKiy, she writes a blog called kiyscraftroom and posts her things regularly on Instagram.

Prima Donna or Zephyr as she prefers to be called now is doing what she loves, working in and around a theatre. She is currently a founding member of a Clown Collective and she has received accolades for her character, “Gwumpy Baby.” She lives with friends in a little house near Sugarhouse and works at a non-profit called the Creative Octopus. 

Crafty is also doing what she loves; she just arrived in the Philippines last week for her 18-month calling to serve in Naga as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is learning Tagalog although she tells us that many people there actually speak English. She is excited to have this opportunity. Seems like old news now, but she also graduated from Bingham and SLCC in the spring and she earned her Girl Scout Gold Award. She is excited to be able to attend BYU after her mission and she will be studying dietetics and nutrition.

is a junior at Bingham. He is president of the Cupcake Club and an Executive on South Jordan’s Youth City Council. He is a member of NHS and he is on track to finish his AS degree when he graduates from high school. Sport is currently working as a referee in the Jr Jazz basketball program and during baseball, he rakes in the big bucks working as an umpire. He is playing on a Jr. Jazz team with all of his friends just for fun and he recently finished his Eagle Scout although from what I hear about the paperwork, it will be several months before we can celebrate with an official Court of Honor.

Scout is an 8th grader at So Jordan Middle. She currently plays club volleyball for GSL and she has a killer jump serve. She is the president our of Girl Scout troop and a member of the Girl Advisory Board, helping plan activities for the younger girls scouts. She plays the Bass Clarinet in the concert band.  She just received her YW Recognition Award for personal progress and she has several entries moving on to the Regional Competition for Reflections. She loves to read, craft, cook, and play on her phone.

Curly is a 6th grader at Jordan Ridge Elementary and a member of Safety Patrol. Sadly, he finished his final dance recital in the spring so he could dedicate all of his extra time to other sports like baseball, football, and basketball. He is currently playing Jr. Jazz, but baseball season is already starting up as well. Curly plays the tenor sax in both bands at Jordan Ridge and he just earned his 1st Class in scouting. We are planning to sign him up with a different troop so he can complete his Eagle like his brothers.B

Baby Doll is in 3rd grade this year and she loves her teacher. She is playing Jr Jazz as well, but mostly she is dancing. The takes hip hop, jazz, ballet, and tap. She is also on a performing team and a production team. She just finished her role as a cat in Sleeping Beauty. Baby Doll loves crafts, Girl Scout meetings, Activity Days, and anything that lets her hang out with her friends.

My sweetie and I are very busy as usual… he at work and on projects, and me chasing around kids and grandkids. We got a little time away in November when just the two of us took a trip to Canada for 9 days. Toronto was so busy and cold, but the view of Niagara Falls from that side was so amazing!!

I’m stuck in a rut, I guess, doing all the same things I usually do. I have my girl scout troop and I am still in charge of women’s sports in my stake. Somehow, I managed to become the head coach of both Curly and Baby Doll’s Jr Jazz basketball teams. We have been working on decluttering, but it is such a struggle to part with things we spent our hard-earned money on. I am still dabbling in Tupperware and I just finished my third and final boutique of the Christmas season. I am also starting on my 9th year of writing my blog at

My sweetie is teaching Sunday School and he totally remade our kitchen this year. He restained all of the cabinets and put in countertops, appliances, and paint. I love having that new feeling in the kitchen and in our lives as we begin the new year.      
Wishing you good health, happiness, and love this Christmas season.

Love from the Christensens

Dec 14, 2019

Christmas Concerts 2019

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is the music. My favorite is singing it, but next to that, I love hearing it, especially when played or sung by my children and grandchildren. Sadly, I haven't been able to get to any concerts for the grandchildren, but I did manage to make it to Scout's band concert last night.

Scout has recently switched to playing the Bass Clarinet in the concert band at her middle school. She loves the richer and deeper sound of the bass. On Thursday we made it to her Christmas concert, but barely. It was also my sweetie's work party, so we ended up speeding across the valley so we could hear her play. Fortunately, her band was second on the program, or we might have missed it this time.

Last week we were able to attend Curly and Baby Doll's concert at the elementary school. Curly is playing the tenor sax this year in both the beginning and advanced bands and Baby Doll is playing the clarinet. It is her first year and so far she has really enjoyed being part of something that nearly everyone of our children have done.

Sport will have our final concert of the year next Wednesday, but I will fill you in one that one later. Just for the record, Taco had his band concert on Thursday night at the same time as Scout's and Burrito had his tonight. I heard they both did excellent jobs, especially Burrito with is bells solo. Burrito decided to take a break from band this year and he is actually singing in the choir. Hopefully Bossy will have a minute to dump a couple of pics and comments in here from their performances as well.

Dec 12, 2019

Young Womanhood Recognition Award for Scout

My poor Dog Walker... I didn't mean to make him feel bad. It's just that by now we are usually showing off his lights and I was trying to explain why we weren't. He did get his final turned in today and you will be happy to know that he has put quite a few lights up for us to enjoy today.

We began the meeting with the some of the girls playing in a quintet.
I'm sorry I have been so busy that I have hardly had time to update, but I promise I will try to get caught up. One thing I didn't want to slide by was Scout's Young Womanhood Recognition Award. It is an award given out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for service and good works as well as personal progress in many different areas including Faith and Knowledge. Most girls have from the time they turn 12 until they graduate from high school, but because our church is changing the program, Scout only had until the end of this year and if you remember, she is 14.

She has worked hard on earning this all summer and her last of 7 projects was to piece and tie a baby quilt. She had her final interview last Sunday and today she was finally awarded her medallion. I'm sad to see this program go mostly because it is something I worked on as a girl until I was nearly an adult as well. I actually have 2 medallions, one from my youth and one that I earned with Crafty a couple of years ago.

Behind her hand is the quilt she made.
Quick update on Crafty... she left the MTC and arrived in the Philippines over the weekend. We will get to hear from her tomorrow since Thursdays will be her new preparation days.

But I digress...

This is a post about Scout. Awesome job, Scout!
We love you and we are so proud of you.

😍 Mom and Dad💕

Dec 10, 2019

Christmas Lights

Ever since Dog Walker was in double digits, he has been the one to decorate our home for the holidays. He loves making an amazing light display for the neighbors and people will often drive slowly down our street just to see his magic.

These lights run all the way around our kitchen... I'm guessing about 80 feet of lights, garland, and candy canes.

But you all know that this year the Dog Walker has been concentrating so hard on finishing up his BS degree that he only had a couple of hours while we were in Canada to put up a few lonely strands of lights on the outside of the house. Fortunately, the kids have all picked up their efforts on the inside of the house and things are looking pretty festive here.

It takes the entire rail to get all 12 stockings up for the kids. The kids know that they will always be here with us.
So I thought I would share a few of our inside lights with you just so you know that we still love Christmas and the light of Christ burns brightly on the inside even if it is difficult to see sometimes on the outside.

I made this advent calendar back when Bossy and The Beast were both still in diapers.
Sport and Drama Queen put up the Snow Villages and my sweetie took care of the trains. Fortunately, this is a prelit tree and all we had to do was pull down the bag and plug it in. It took us about 2 weeks to finally get all the ornaments on it...

What kind of kid doesn't want to decorate a Christmas tree???

Only mine, apparently.
Things are very busy here and we are loving the season just like we always do. It just doesn't show up as much on the outside this year. Happy Christmas, everyone!