Dec 31, 2021

Guest Blog: Christmas 2021 by Beauty and the Beast

I'm really loving this new tradition of all the grownup kids writing Christmas posts for me. The Beast is a man of few words (unless you are talking about restaurants or Gamestop stock). He and Beauty usually share their conversations with me (so I never know for sure who is talking), but this I know: Dec 30th was their 7th Anniversary and we have the boys for a fun and exciting sleepover!

Now for their super cute Christmas pics.
Happy New Year!!

Dec 30, 2021

Guest Blog: Christmas Letter 2021 by Bossy

Season’s Greetings!

Our family started off 2021 with the arrival of  Queso in February.  Queso is 10 months going on 2 years.  He loves to sing along with Frozen 2 and blow on your belly.  He has been standing freely for months and does this wonderful bear style run crawl on his hands and feet.  We expect him to start walking running any day.  He likes to jump and play catch and is starting to babble. 
Skittles has had a year of growth.  He started speech therapy in May and now has a huge vocabulary.  He still loves trains and dinosaurs and can identify several different species.  He loves preschool and seeing his church friends.  He played baseball in the Spring and soccer this fall and winter.  Halfway through soccer he told me he would rather be playing baseball (me too, little buddy).  
Much of Burrito's and Taco's activities cross over, they are doing Youth City Council, Teen Health Advisory Board and Boy Scouts.  They really enjoy scouts, in addition to weekly activities and monthly camping trips, this year they have weeklong at Camp Loll, hiked overnight in Yellowstone back country and participated in Bike the Bear (50 miles around Bear Lake).  They also both started their first jobs this year.  Burrito continues in the dual immersion program as school and will take his Spanish AP test in May.  He is on the PTSA committee and sings in two advanced choir programs at his middle school.  
Taco is in the Cupcake Club and Smash Brothers Club at Bingham.  He has a schedule full of STEM classes. He is in a leadership positions with Youth City Council, Teen Health Advisory Board and his Priest Quorum. We love hearing how he looks after Burrito in their joint activities. 
Bean Dip moved back in this summer and started working graveyards at Bullfrog Spas.  He recently purchased his first car and is working towards getting an apartment with friends.  We don’t see if often him as he sleeps during the day and we truly appreciate when he sacrifices sleep to participate in family parties.
Fajita is living in Maryland.  She works several jobs but her favorite is working the weekend reptile shows with her reptile rescue group.  She had adopted several snakes, turtles and lizards and recently started breeding them. 
This fall, Gamer accepted the Head Custodian position at Black Ridge Elementary.  It was quite the transition at first going from a high school to an elementary, but he loves the student artwork that decorates his walls and interacting with the younger kids.  He still gets to interact with the high school student sweepers that clean the classroom after school.  
Bossy continues to work at the bank.  She stepped into a permanent work from home position last year and loves being at home with the babies.  She wishes Queso would allow her to crochet or even work with both hands.  Her weight loss journey continues, and she is down 100 lbs from her high weight in 2019.  
The year ended in surprise and mourning with the early arrival of Oliver Dallas at 15 weeks 5 days.  His perfect body was laid to rest next to Calder in the South Jordan Cemetery. We have felt your prayers and love over the last few weeks and know that Calder is taking care of little Ollie in Heaven.

Dec 28, 2021

Guest Blog: Christmas 2021 by Princess

We’ve been sick a lot this year. Leading up to Christmas, we had “the big germ.” Of course, we couldn’t all manage to get it at once, so it was just quarantine after quarantine after quarantine. 
As Christmas was getting closer, I was starting to feel pretty gloomy. Tadpole missed every single day of preschool in December. He didn’t get to do any Christmas crafts or sing any Christmas songs with his friends. We weren’t able to go to church and worship. We couldn’t  exchange gifts or… you get the idea. 
Now believe me, I did my best to get us in the holiday spirit. We did crafts and baked cookies. We tried different Christmas traditions from around the world and The Frog played a lot of Christmas music on the piano for us, but it just wasn’t the same. We were missing the people. 
Finally, just a few days before Christmas, we were done with our isolation. When Tadpole got his negative test he ran up to The Frog and said, “Dad! I’m alright! Grandma is going to miss me for zero days now!”
It’s not gifts that make it feel like Christmas. It’s not the tree, the music, or even the lights. It’s being together. It’s loving each other, and of course it’s remembering Jesus Christ. I’m so grateful to be surrounded by those I love and to know I’m not alone. 
I’m grateful that a couple of thousands of years ago a little baby was born. Mary and Joseph must have felt pretty alone out in that stable, but suddenly there were shepherds there, reminding them that even at the hardest of times, God is aware of us. 
I hope you had a Merry Christmas. May your new year bring health and happiness and family. 

Dec 27, 2021

Guest Blog: Christmas 2021 by Teach

Merry Christmas from our family in New Jersey! It has been a bittersweet season for me. There is something so inexplicably special in progressing forward in your life and knowing that your family is growing more into the people we are to be, but in the same breath, it can be painful when you miss the things that used to surround you. 

We had a fun filled Christmas Eve party that Drama Queen and Twiz planned. Drama Queen planned an amazing escape room that led to small nativity pieces - reminding us of our Savior. We also had a hot chocolate bar and a mug exchange. There were so many fun activities: Pictionary, finish the lyrics, A Christmas Story Kahoot, and more. 

Christmas Day was busy - we opened a pile of presents. Twizzler got all of the monster trucks, he loves anything with wheels! Twizlet got a mix of a lot of things, but I was most excited for her new Barbies. 

We had family parties on both sides - we are so grateful for technology that brings us close together even when we are apart. ♥️ 

Then this morning, I went to church. I went by myself, Twizzler had a mild seizure and Twiz watched him sleep while Twizlet was feeling exhausted, plus I wanted some time to worship without any disruption. 

It was rejuvenating to sing the songs and remember our Savior and His great glory. I know that it by His grace we can be strengthened to do His work. Glory to God. Peace on Earth. Goodwill to Men. Merry Christmas!! 

Dec 26, 2021

Christmas 2021

We had a wonderful day today.
Baby Doll got her first phone. Christmas miracles really do happen!!

Grandpa got a new chair for his puzzle table.

Elder Sport spent a couple of hours with us  via Facebook Messenger.
We shared our dozen party using Messenger too.
We even got a little time with Sister Crafty.

Beauty and The Beast dropped by for dinner, gifts, and games.Dog Walker and Puppy Lover came by early, but I don't seem to have a pic of them.

It was beautiful, happy day. Just ask Santa.
Merry Christmas!!

Dec 25, 2021

Christmas Eve

We spent the day delivering gifts and hanging out with family. Bossy and Gamer brought their family over in the evening and we made gingerbread houses and watched a Christmas movie. 

I made a charcuterie board for my sweetie. It, including the board, was his main gift.
I hope you had a happy and joyful day. 
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!

Dec 24, 2021

Christmas Adam 2021

We have a long-standing tradition of celebrating with family the day before Christmas Eve; affectionately called Christmas Adam. By best count, we started 18 years ago. Thank goodness for the blog, it helps me remember things that could be lost forever.

We had 6 of us adventuring together today, me, my sweetie, the three youngest, and Grandpa. It's strange to have so few of us living in the house now. That is exactly half the number of kids I had here for Christmas last year.

But I digress...

This is about Christmas Adam. We began our day delivering friend and neighbor gifts. My sweetie was working, so we didn't all leave together until about 3:00.  Our first stop was the Museum of Art on the BYU campus in Provo. They didn't have many pieces on display, but they had one in particular I wanted the kids to see.

In today's secular world, it is a struggle to bring Christ into Christmas.

After wandering the museum, we made our way through the gift shop and chose a few things. All of their nativities were 50% off, so we got nesting ones for each of the kids and one with more pieces for the whole family. Then we all piled into the car for the 5-minute ride to our next stop.

We had talked about bowling, but when we entered Fat Cats, it was busier than we expected and most of the lanes were filled. That's when I glanced over and noticed that none of the 6 pool tables were being used. We split up and suddenly I was chalking my cue in a game against Grandpa. 

I knew he had played in the Army, but it had been a long time and I was hopeful he didn't remember how to play 8 Ball. 

I was wrong. 

He trounced me the first 2 games and I finally beat him in the third. It was SO much fun! Then when my sweetie went to pay, they handed his card right back and refused to charge us with a simple "Merry Christmas" in return. Thanks, Fat Cats!!

Back in the car, we were off on the 20-minute drive to the Spanish Fork Italian Place. We were just getting our food when Bossy's family came through the door.

They made the drive down to see the Festival of Lights and we all ended up at the same place for dinner. 

We ate quickly and said our goodbyes before making another 20-minute drive to Genola. It is a small town west of Santaquin, but none of us had ever been there. L'il Bro of Utah's Adventure Family told us that Riley's Orchard was the best place to visit for a reasonable price, so we made the trip.

Even though it was cold and rainy, the wagon ride was fun and inspirational.

But the best part was the hot apple-cider donuts!

We bought more donuts and a couple of other things from the gift shop before we loaded up again. 

We only made a few more stops to doorbell-ditch gifts on our way back home. It was another amazing Christmas Adam.