Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas was GREAT!

I love Christmas. I love having my kids home and spending a lot of time with them baking, playing games, and hanging out. We had a great Christmas Eve together and enjoyed a great meal that everyone helped with. Christmas morning contained a funny surprise for the kids, and Christmas afternoon was enjoyed with our good friends, the Hickmans. Christmas with teenagers is just as fun as it was with little kids -- only different. One of the best parts is that the living room isn't left a disaster area for two days and is cleaned up within just a couple of hours! I LOVE that part! Another good part is that they all help make the dinner -- I mean really help. I can hand them the recipe and it's as good as done! I LOVE that part, too!
This is our Christmas Eve dinner. We strayed from our traditional fondue dinner a little, having only cheese fondue and dessert fondue, but we took a vote, and a complete fondue dinner won over the prime rib roast for next year. Funny story about Rick's pumpkin pies: He labored hard to make two beautiful pumpkin pies for Christmas day dessert. After the pies were done baking, he put them outside to cool. Unfortunately, he put them on top of a pile of snow on top of the barbeque, so the hot pies slid off and upside down onto another pile of snow on the ground. They weren't salvageable. Now we call them his "cow pies".This was the barrier we created in the hall to keep the kids in their bedrooms until we were ready to get up. The barrier is about 6 feet thick, full of about 200 balloons. Rick and I were up until 2:30 a.m. blowing up balloons and creating this barrier. The sign on the alien says, "STOP. Santa asked me to help him keep you in bed until your parents get up. You can beep them at 7:30 a.m. or later. (Someone take a picture of me.) Go back -- Danger!" Aaron woke up in the middle of the night and tried to slide under the barrier, but we heard him and stopped him. We told him we were sleeping on the other side -- but we really didn't. It was fun watching the kids burst through the barrier in the morning. Ira and Rick on Christmas Day singing karaoke to "Material Girl". They were a riot!
Leslie and Theresa singing karaoke to "What I Like About You". It was a total hoot. Thanks for making our Christmas afternoon memorable!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Let it snow...

These guys are all playing in the snow while...
...these guys are working in the snow. I have to say I'm very proud of Rick, Aaron, and Kendall. Three times they shoveled our neighbors' driveways and the driveways of two single ladies in our ward. These pictures are from our own driveway, though.

Some gifts...

Some gifts are so special that you just can't wait until Christmas morning to open...This is what happens when your kids have too much time on their hands.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hawks Basketball

The Desert Hills 8th grade "Gold" basketball team had a very short (and sadly, losing) season. They only had four games (the fifth game was canceled) so had little opportunity to show improvement or to redeem themselves. The bright side was that Chase had a great season, and as usual, was very aggressive, playing his heart out. He always managed making steals, even when the situation looked bleak. (What else matters, right?) Taking pictures from the bleachers in a dark gym 30-40 feet away never produces great pictures, but these were the best I could produce. I'm proud of Chase for doing his best!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Leslie!

There are so many reasons I am thankful for you, Leslie! Thanks for being such a great friend! You are one FEISTY woman! [wink, wink] I always have a great time with you and am thankful for you and for the memories! Remember: Well behaved women don't make history! Come back safely from Ohio so we can have some real birthday fun!

Preparing for an old-time photo in Leavenworth (aka trying to get our photos for free)

Hamming it up in BVI (aka trying to flag down a ship full of men -- not really)

1/2 way on the Trail of the Hiawatha -- what muscles! (aka trying to charm the guys into towing us back up the 15 mile hill)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Christmas Philosophy...

"Save Santa a trip and just be NAUGHTY!"