Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 19th

Go see Spanish Fork Festival of Lights . . .

*this didn't end up happening. Instead, I went to urgent care for my "laryngitis", the boys went to a soccer party, Nyah went to dance, and Cali was our chauffeur!

When I told the doctor about my symptoms (no voice, coughing up yuckies, etc . . .) he asked, "Do you like Lortab?"

"Not really. It makes me super loopy!" I responded.

"That's what it's supposed to do!" he said.

So, Merry Christmas to me! I'm going to wrap up some Lortab and stick it under the tree! It will be the happiest Christmas ever!

December 18th

Celebrate Grandpa Markie's Birthday!
First of all, check out my dad! He looks AMAZING! He's been watching his diet and is dropping weight left and right . . . so . . . for his b-day we decided to celebrate with his favorite -- HOMEMADE MAC & CHEESE, HARVARD BEETS, CORN, GREEN BEANS, ROLLS and . . .


We love you Grandpa Markie!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 17th

Today's Advent Activity: "Go to Utah Jazz Game!"

The Utah Jazz had a scrimmage that was open to the public (for free)! The team was divided into the blue team vs. the white team. It was fun watching the team members get introduced. Ian and Carson did their best to get on the video cam by dancing WILDLY! We shared a huge bucket of popcorn, a large Sprite, and an order of nachos during the 1st quarter. Then Carson leaned over and said, "I want to leave!" so we did!

On our way out of the arena, Carson started taking off his coat and complaining that his stomach hurt. The next thing I knew, he was throwing up all of the popcorn and nachos into the trashcan. That took great skill. His head was bigger than the hole in the trashcan. My mom and I tried to get the lid off, to get easier access, but no matter what we did, I couldn't get the lid off! Carson just stood there, with perfect aim, puking into the hole. I was laughing so hard from embarrassment that tears were streaming down my face!

We had dropped Cali and her friend off at the Gateway for a date. They had planned on a movie and then a walk to temple square. I called her to tell her plans had changed. We drove to the Gateway to pick them up. As we sat in the car, waiting for them to join us. Carson leaned out the car window and threw up everywhere!

But no. It didn't end there. As we waited in a long line of cars to get onto I-15 South, Carson leaned out the window and threw up 3 more times. Imagine what the cars behind us were thinking! I bet he'll be on YouTube!

On the way home, everyone tried to lean as far away from Carson as possible. Grandma Joannie had an extra red purse that Carson threw into 3 more times. Total throw ups so far: 8 times!

When we got home, Aaron was there. He had just arrived back from a weeklong trip to Hong Kong. Carson promptly ran inside and threw up in the toilet. Welcome home, Sweetie!

December 16th

Go to Ward Christmas Party!

*I feel bad that I didn't get more pictures! Mary and Joseph, Two Wisemen, and a Shepherd and Angel spoke to us about the night Christ was born. It was a very special evening.

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 15

Go to Ian's choir concert!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 14th

Deliver neighbor gifts, go to Cali's choir performance, deliver Ian's Eagle Project. Whew! Did I already say, "Aaron went out of town at the perfect time?!"

The table is bare! All the gifts have been delivered!

Ian delivered 17 Christmas buckets filled with "reading phones" for the kids at Sierra Bonita Elementary School.

Cali sang her heart out. It was beautiful!

December 13th

Put together neighbor gifts, teacher gifts, and gifts for co-workers. Aaron went out of town at the perfect time!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 12th

Go to Nyah's choir concert!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11th

Watch the movie "A Christmas Carol" and compare to last night's play.

Guess which one they liked better?!

December 10th

Go to see "A Christmas Carol" at SFHS. It was an awesome production! I only heard, "I'm bored" about twenty times from Carson at the very end. Other than that, the kids all enjoyed themselves! No pictures were taken!

Backtrack to the earlier part of the day . . .

We worked at R.C. Willey's hotdog stand again, this time to make money for Cali's choir trip. One man asked for 9 hotdogs without buns wrapped up in paper. I later saw him eating them on a bed of lettuce. No pictures were taken!

Aaron left for Hong Kong earlier that morning. My dad was left to man the grilling of the hotdogs. He needed supervision! The first batch looked like black charcoal sticks. No pictures were taken!

December 9th

Mom and Dad go to work Christmas Party! Kids stay home and watch a movie!
Everyone was happy!
We look a little bit punch drunk in this photo, but all we had was lemonade!

Friday, December 9, 2011

December 8th

First of all . . . I am tired. The advent calendar is making me tired! Let me give you an example of just how tired I feel. This morning for breakfast, Nyah asked me to toast her a bagel. I responded, "Do you want me to put cream cheese or water on that for you?" Nyah just stared at me. Butter . . . water, same thing, right?!

Last night we all went to the District Office for the PTA Reflection Awards Ceremony. Carson won his age division for Film. The theme for Reflections this year was . . . What Diversity Means to Me. Carson made a cute movie with erasers and blocks called "Diver-city". It is about 3 different groups living very different lives. I tried to film it during the awards ceremony, but I'm not sure how great the sound will be. Perhaps too annoying to watch. Give it a try if you are interested.

Carson got a little certificate and a bag of chocolates as his award. He LOVED the chocolates! Totally worth the effort of entering!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7th

Ian decided to make reading phonics phones for his Eagle Project. He worked really hard at R.C. Willey's hotdog stand to make the money to buy the materials. His next task was to organize "Pack Night" and teach the Cub Scouts how to make reading phones as a service for the children at Sierra Bonita Elementary School. Teachers use the phones so that kids can do independent reading, whisper the words into their phone, and hear their pronunciation to see if it is correct.
Ian got to plan some fun Christmas skits for the packs to present to their parents.
He got to teach the boys to make the phones.

Supervise the phone making.

Feed them treats afterwards.
Go visit Santa Claus!

Ian's last steps are writing up his project and delivering the phones to Sierra Bonita Elementary.
Thanks so much to Brother and Sister Anderson for the Eagle Project idea and for helping Ian every step of the way! Thank you!!

December 6th

Go to Ian's Christmas Band Concert!

I have no idea how any junior high band teacher can possibly stay sane! The amount of noise at the pre-band show almost drove me to the loony bin! To my surprise, this HUGE group of 1st year band students sounded terrific once they started playing.

Ian came home from school today with a great surprise: he is the Student of the Month! I am so proud of him! He's been working so hard this year. His response to the award: "I know. It's pretty cool, cuz I'm not popular at all." Junior High is tough!

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5th

"Gracious George the Gingerbread Man" Family Night! (The boys ARE wearing their p.j. bottoms! Just in case you were wondering!)

For the advent + Family Home Evening, I read the kids a story about Gracious George the Gingerbread Man. Gracious George goes around secretly serving others all day long. I brought out our own "Gracious George Gingerbread Man" to serve at our house. Every time Gracious George shows up having served someone, that person passes another service and "George" along. I'm hoping it will get the kids thinking about serving each other during this Holiday season.

We also had some Snappy George cookies as a treat. Everyone (even Ian) loved them! Here's the recipe in case you are interested:

Snappy George's

3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1-1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
2 c. flour
1 tsp. cloves

Cream shortening with 1 cup of sugar. Add egg and molasses. Beat well. Mix in all the remaining ingredients except for the 1/3 cup of sugar. Shape dough in small balls or cut out as gingerbread men. Roll the balls in the sugar and put on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Makes 24-36 cookies.

December 4th

Advent Day #4
Deliver Sub 4 Santa gifts and watch Christmas Devotional.
(Grandma Joannie stayed and watched the Christmas Devotional with us. Take a guess at who she was excited to see give a talk?! The music was beautiful!)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December 3rd

Advent Day #3
Boys go on a Boys' Day Out with Grandpa Markie!
(they went to Trafalga and The Golden Corral!)

Girls go on a Girls' Day Out with Grandma Joannie!
(they saw "The Help", went out to dinner, and went shopping!)

I sooo wish I was a kid! Grandparents are the best!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 2nd

Advent #2: Go see Salem Pond Christmas Lights!
We popped popcorn, made hot chocolate, got lots of blankets, opened the window in the back of the car, and drove around Salem Pond listening to Christmas music. Some snowflakes even started to fall. Fun times were had by all.

Thanksgiving 2011

I did not get a single picture of the family around the dinner table at Thanksgiving this year. So sad! I did get a picture of the food though!

We skipped the traditional ham and turkey this year. Aaron smoked tri tip and chicken instead. It was FABULOUS!! We also had homemade mashed potatoes (secret ingredient: buttermilk), asparagus, homemade rolls, Ruth's Chris Sweet Potatoes, stuffed mushrooms (This recipe will not be kept! They were terrible!), and pumpkin pie and apple harvest bars for dessert! Mom also made me gluten-free homemade puddings (vanilla and chocolate) topped with pomegranate seeds, roasted almonds, and homemade whipping cream. Yummy!
We snapped this picture of our little family before the Thanksgiving meal so we could remember what we looked like before eating 10,000+ calories!

We played Catch Phrase with the family later that evening. Sooo many laughs! I love it that Aaron is so competitive, even when he is playing with a 2nd grader.

R.C. Willey

Our family worked at the R.C. Willey hotdog stand over Thanksgiving Break to make money for Ian's Eagle Project.
The ALWAYS-FABULOUS HIRST FAMILY donated 4 hours of their day to cooking and serving HUNDREDS of hotdogs with us.
THANK YOU, HIRSTS!! THANK YOU, R.C. WILLEY!! P.S. None of us will ever eat a hotdog again! At least, not for a couple of weeks.

Festival of Trees

Nyah danced at Festival of Trees with Steps Dance Studio. She has the best smile on stage. I love watching her dance!

Sadie's 2011

Sadie's Dance: Girls' Choice! Girls Pay! Girls buy shirts for selves and dates. Girls pay for dinner. Girls pay for pre-dance activity. Girls better have jobs!

Cali decided to ask Sam to Sadie's. She got candles to stick all over his yard and made a cute sign: "You'd make my wish come true if you went to Sadie's with me!"

A couple of hours later, some KoolAid Jammers showed up on our doorstep. It was the response. "I think it'd be 'Kool' to go to Sadie's with you!"

Utah is a very "special" place. Utah has very "special" traditions! I don't think there is another place on earth where girls/guys don't just call each other on the phone (or text) to say, "Hey, do you want to go to the dance with me?!" Why does everything have to be soooo CREATIVE here?!

Since we DO live in Utah, and must fit in with the CREATIVITY, so as not to be shunned by others . . . Cali asked creatively, got answered creatively, bought sweatshirts, spray painted them creatively, paid for Pre-Dance Bowling, paid for dinner at Wingers (not so creative), and paid for the dance. I heard something about the couples getting "married" at the dance. That's creative too. I have nooo idea what that whole marriage thing was about. I didn't ask.

Homecoming Dance 2011

One night in October there was a knock at the door. Aaron answered it, but there was no one there. However, there WAS a can of Planter's Peanuts on the ground with a note that said, "I'd go NUTS if you went to Homecoming with me!" Cali had just gotten asked to her first dance!

Cali doesn't like "normal" dresses. She likes "vintage" looking things, so we searched and searched until she found a dress that fit her fancy. She bought the dress. I bought the shoes. Love them!

Cali's date, Cody, got her a beautiful corsage and wore a great red vest to match her dress. They went to dinner at the new Magleby's in Springville, then headed to the dance. After the dance they went to a friend's house to watch a movie. I was tired just watching her get ready for the dance! Oh, to be young . . .

December 1st

1st day of December! Advent calendar begins. A little bit stressful coming up with an activity for the family to do everyday, but oh, so worth it!

Carson picked out the paper in the pocket with the #1 on it. "Bake and decorate sugar cookies and take them to the ladies at the Beehive Home." The cookies were a lot of work. The kids put the first batch on the pan too close together so we had a cookie pancake. The next batch was undercooked. The batch after that was dark brown on the bottom.

In the end, I frosted the cookies alone. The kids retired to bed before the project was finished! Being dedicated to this December advent calendar may be tougher than I thought!