Sunday, January 20, 2013

The beginning of our California Vacation.

We are having a great week. The 18th was my birthday, and we headed out to California!



It's not every day that you can leave zero degree weather and find yourself taking off the boots and coats, and instead wearing t-shirts and sandals. It is great to feel the sun on your face, and I have always loved it when its warm outside even after the sun has set! Yesterday we swam as a family and it was great to swim outside and have a good time outdoors without freezing to death. I can see why people retire here.

Today we spent a few hours at the beach. The weather is very nice, sunny and its around 70 degrees. It is probably too cold for normal people to swim, but not for me....yes when it comes to the Ocean I'll swim, even in January! I'm not talking about getting in half way, I was literally swimming, diving into the waves today. At first, it took my breath away, but after a while my skin was numb to the cold water and it became very nice and refreshing. I love the Ocean, I feel like I have some connection to it. It must be my childhood, when my family lived here I was very young, but I have great memories playing in the Ocean and on the beach. I can remember swimming and playing in the water, and laying in the hot sand. The Ocean reminds me of happy, carefree times, when life was simple. 




I was surprised, Gregory and George are tough, and they also love to swim, so they swam in the Ocean with me. They are fish. They love water like I do. It took a lot of courage to not only swim as large waves splashed in their faces, but also the fact that the water is ice cold would scare most children away. But not my sons, they were fearless and loved it.

Stan loved the beach too and really enjoyed getting his feet wet, gathering sea shells, and we gathered a lot of really cool ones, we saw Dolphin not too far from where we were swimming, and we had a picnic lunch prepared. It was great family fun!

So far our California vacation is absolutely perfect and it has just started. We are going to Disneyland as well, I thought we'd go three days, maybe four....but Stan totally surprised me and purchased 5 day tickets to Disneyland, so we headed there tomorrow! It should be great fun. We'll see if the boys continue to be fearless... Stan is taking Gregory on the tower of terror. I hope he survives!!!! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas 2012

I cannot believe it's January! My sister Maggie is headed for the MTC on Wednesday and will be going to the Chile Viña del Mar Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am so happy for her, and I know she will find joy in serving the Lord. I loved my mission, and it will always be a wonderful experience in my life.

Many of my family members have served, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, my husband Stan served in Uruguay, my father served in Germany, I served in Paris France, Lyndon Chile, Sam Estonia, Maggie leaves for Chile in two days....and Edward is going in March to Cambodia. What a great thing missions have been for our family!

Hannah, Maggie, and Me in our parents home in Orem, Sunday afternoon after Maggie's Farewell Talk in Church a week after Christmas.

Some of Maggie's friends supporting her desire to serve.


Okay, back to 

Christmas

Christmas Eve

Stan, Gregory, George, and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning together in Tooele. It was wonderful to be together as a family. The boys were so excited. We went to dinner so that I would not be stuck making food and then cleaning it up. It was great! We had a Christmas Eve program. We talked about Jesus Christ and the importance of His birth. I know our Savior lives and loves us. We also watched a video found on LDS.org on the birth of our Savior accompanied by the testimonies of the first presidency. It was a nice evening and surprisingly the boys listened well and participated. It was perfect.

Christmas Eve, just after Santa finished giving his gifts for this year.


The boys helped me decorate the tree this year. We had a blast making bows and decorating and redecorating the Christmas tree. Our Christmas balls bounce, so there was no worries if they fell off the tree because they never, ever broke! Great for my aged boys!


Christmas Morning

The best way to tell you about how Christmas morning went it to show you. It was simply magical!




The boys LOVED opening their Christmas presents this year. They wanted to do everything together.

Stan was so cute with his boys. He played Santa and distributed out the gifts to the boys.


Here we are, all the gifts are opened, and Christmas morning was a success. Stan and I were so pleased with how everything went. The boys are so precious and adorable. I love my family so much!!!!




After a wonderful Christmas morning, the magic continued as we went to Orem to visit both Stan's parents and mine. It was so much fun to have Christmas three times in one day!

The boys were eager to keep opening presents. They are so lucky to have great grandparents!

This art set has been a blast. The boys have all sorts of fun art projects completed and on display around our home. Think what young kids could do with crayons, markers, stamps, stickers, colored pencils, paints etc.



We thought we should give Dad tools this year since we have borrowed so many and have no idea where they are!


Stan LOVES his light weight backpacking sleeping bag! He's into backpacking without breaking your back! His goal is to go on backpacking trips with a backpack that weighs less than 15lbs. He has a light-weight backpack (a birthday present), and now he has his new sleeping bag, and a bivy sack that works as a tent... kind of. Plus all sorts of other light-weight camping stuff.

Gregory couldn't be happier with his new Disney CARS bicycle. He rides it all the time despite the freezing cold temperatures and snow everywhere. It's really fun to see him ride all over. It's not so much fun when he falls in the snow or slips on ice, but Spring is around the corner....at least I keep telling myself that it is, and when it comes we will spend a lot of time outdoors riding bikes!

George was so happy to receive his truck, he wouldn't look up for a photo. He eventually learned how to get it started :) He really likes it when Gregory ties the jump rope to his truck and gives him a ride around the block.

Here we are, the Nelson's: Mom, Dad, Gregory, Stan, George, Me, and Cousin Nate.            

 




 After having Christmas with the Nelson's and eating a delicious Christmas lunch, we headed over to my parents home and were able to have Christmas again for the third time. After that we ate Christmas dinner together. We gave my parents a big popcorn machine, the popcorn pops in the center of a large glass container and it is great for big groups and parties. I was excited that not only were my parents happy about the gift, but Ethan's look and response was priceless! He was absolutely thrilled that we didn't get the parents something boring.

This year Lyndon, Christine, and their adorable daughter Cosette were able to come to Utah for a visit a few days after Christmas this year. We had not seen them for an entire year, so it was great that we were able to spend some time together.
This photos is adorable. These three little cousins are such great buddies already. I know that Gregory and George were so excited to have their cousin come visit their home in Tooele.






Lyndon and Gregory with George, Christine, and Cosette in the background.

Edward and Hannah... LOVE THEM!

When we go to my parents, usually Stan finds a quiet corner and Skypes his brother Scott.

Love these two people... Mom and Dad

Sam, what's not to love? with Edward and George and some others in the background :)




Lyndon and George


Lyndon and me. I did not realize how much I missed Lyndon until he came out this year. It was great to see him! I'm so happy that he's doing so well in New York City.

Well, here we are. This group won't be together again for at least two years. Lyndon, Christine, Mom, Ethan, Dad, Hannah, Gregory, Stan, George, Me, Sam, Maggie, Edward.  


 

Well I hope everyone had a 

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!