Friday, December 26, 2008

A Yabba-Dabba-Doo Christmas!

When the kids would ask Rick what he wanted for Christmas he would tell them he wanted Cocoa Pebbles. So naturally, that's what the kids wanted to give him for Christmas. Stephanie knew he loved them as well and also thought it would be the perfect gift. So Rick ended up with enough Cocoa Pebbles to last for a week (the way he eats them). My Dad, who is older and wiser, asked for Amazon gift cards. Instead of 4 boxes of cereal, he got 4 gift cards for Amazon and used it to buy a cool camera bag and still had leftover money for whatever he wants. I'm curious to see if Rick asks for cereal again next year. Cause, around here, you get what you ask for. And everyone seemed very happy getting just want they wanted. Even Rick.

Christmas Highlights:
Singing at the rest home with my sisters and their families. It made us all happy to brighten their day, even if it was for a short time.

A fabulous dinner at the Andrus' for which I made an insane amount of rolls and pies. I tend to get a bit carried away. The food was all so delicious and the company was perfect. It made it really hard to leave, but we knew we needed to get home and to bed before Santa came!
Watching Jaxon and Emily play Mary and Joseph. They were very sweet.
The beautiful angel.

And the wise men with interesting head gear.

After our Christmas Nativity we frosted cookies, opened some games and played for a little and then sent the kids to bed. We all survived the long night, anxiously waiting to see what Santa would bring and what was waiting under the Christmas tree.

The rest of the day we sat around and enjoyed all of our new, fun things, watched the snow fall and ate as much as we could. Like pie, covered in whip cream. And cereal, of course.
And we ignored the messy house as long as possible.
I love the memories and magic of Christmas. What an awesome day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

LET IT SNOW!

Everything worked out. Stephanie made it home safely. We all screamed and jumped up and down when she called tonight, after being at the airport all day, to let us know she was sitting on the plane and they were closing the doors. She is our little Christmas Miracle and we are so grateful she can be with her family for Christmas. The forecast says snow all night and now that she is home, I'm fine if it does just that. A White Christmas in Oregon is rare so this will be quite the treat for us. The storm was bad enough Sunday night that even Rick was blessed to enjoy the word 'canceled'. No work for him! Instead he stayed home to play with us and to take a picture of the lady enveloped in snow. Pretty groovy!

I hope everyone is safe with their families and that you have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Canceled!

I wish I had counted all the times I said or heard the word 'canceled' in the past week. It all started last Sunday morning when we got at least 5 phone calls letting us know church had been canceled because of the snow. Being a Utahn, I always chuckle when things get canceled because of a dusting of snow. But I wasn't complaining! I can always use a break from church. And we had fun spending the day playing in the snow and eating lots of yummy food. Snow doesn't visit Oregon often so when it does we make the most of it.
Yummy snow! What is it about snow that makes it so fun to eat?
Holly spent most of her time indoors. I could only dress and undress her so many times. The other kids spent hours and hours outside. Especially Abbie. She loved every minute of it.

Our neighbor has a great sledding hill. Even Holly took a turn! I was having so much fun watching and recording her turn down the hill I didn't even notice I was standing right in the sledding path!

We had our fun day of snow and thought things would go back to normal. Snow doesn't normally last long around here. This week has not been normal. School was canceled the next day, and the next and ended up being canceled for the entire week. All church activities were canceled for the week as well. Get togethers were canceled and trips to the store were canceled. The roads don't get plowed and it continued to snow off and on during the week.

Today was the first day I felt like there was a good enough reason to cancel everything. We woke up to a beautiful covering of ice over everything. It snowed most of the day yesterday and then a layer of freezing sealed it all in. Here's a picture of the car covered in ice.

Abbie and I went on a walk and crunched through the layer of ice to check out our ice covered world. It is beautiful!

We had fun breaking off layers of ice from the snow. This was one of our biggest chunks of ice.
And indulge me with a few pictures of the trees covered in ice. Every little needle gets coated. I love it.


I understood when they decided to once again cancel church but wasn't as excited about it this time. I was sad to miss the Christmas Sunday. We did get together with friends to have our own "church" and were glad to sing the Christmas songs together and share Christmas stories. The saddest cancellation of the week is Stephanie's flight back home. She went to Utah for the weekend and is now stuck there for a few days. The airport has been shut down off and on because of all the freezing rain. We are all praying really hard that she makes it home soon. We miss her already!

I'm curious to see what the coming week brings. Luckily, there isn't much left to be canceled. We are hoping Rick finally gets to stay home-no cancellation yet with that. What a relief that no one can call up and say that Christmas is canceled! Our Christmas chain is quickly diminishing and we are ready for it to come. Luckily, we visited Santa and got our tree before the snows came. This picture of the kids with Santa is classic. We only tortured Holly long enough to get a picture. Then we let the other kids enjoy their moment with Santa.
We found the perfect tree, took a group photo

and cut it down. Cutting down our own Christmas tree is one of my favorite things about Christmas in Oregon. After we cut down the tree we drank hot chocolate and came home to decorate the tree. Now that we are ready, we just need to get Stephanie home and then LET IT SNOW!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dancing Snowflakes

Does it get any cuter than this?!
Emily has been in a dance class and they had their dance recital this past week. I grinned from ear to ear the whole time. So adorable.
I included lots of video for Grandma to enjoy. She must get her dancing skills from her because she didn't get them from me! I will, however, take credit for the cute, curly hair.
Emily is in the middle, doing her extra pretty kneel and pose.




Monday, December 1, 2008

Priceless Moments

Food, Fun and Family=Happiness

No wonder I love Thanksgiving so much! How could you not? Look at all this yummy food.
And nicely set table.
Great people.
Cute kids.
Mirm-you let us take the picture, that means I have permission to post it. I love it!!! Cousins!
We'll miss you John, Miriam, Aaron, Megan, Josh and Zach. Can't wait for next time!
And this video will forever remind of us the soundtrack for the weekend.

Running Races

I really enjoy running races. There's just something about being with a group of runners and giving it your all. In the past I have run marathons (only 2 of those), half-marathons, 15K's and 10K's. I recently ran my very first 5K. It was a race for Darfur. Of course, I was happy to pay the money for that and had an excuse to run a race as well. I got to run with an awesome group of friends.
And best of all, Brittany and I both got first place in our age division. How cool is that!? The race wasn't huge but I'll take what I can get. We both ran under 8 min. miles which was a first for me. It's fun to get better at something with age instead of the other way around.
Unfortunately I don't have a picture of me after my other almost 5K I recently ran. It was even more fun. Robin organized our very own Turkey Trot. There were about a dozen of us that ran. Made it easy to get first again! I look forward to running it again next year. Thanks for the fun, Robin. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Jumping off a Bridge

During those awful months when Rick was studying for and taking his CPA exams, I received a few "I'm jumping off a bridge" threats. In fact, I still have one saved on the answering machine, just for good old times. I know when someone jokes about suicide, your supposed to take them pretty serious. I just couldn't. Usually it just made me chuckle and I'd try to have an extra yummy dessert that night. Now that I've experienced jumping off a bridge myself, I'm even less worried than I was before. I had no idea it would be so hard.
My decision to jump off this bridge, connecting Zambia to Zimbabwe, had nothing to do with depression. In fact, I was happily touring around a very beautiful part of Africa, Victoria Falls. This is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It's amazing!
I had just been on a safari and seen all sorts of beautiful animals.
And best of all, I was days away from being home with my family again. Things were good. So why jump off a bridge? Peer pressure, of course. And the fact that I like to say I've done things. Makes me feel cool. I wanted to be able to say I had bungee jumped. That's all it took and $100 later I was looking over the bridge of one of the highest bungee jumps in the world. And that's when fear set in.
For the next 30 minutes I sat in agony as I tried to talk myself into jumping off a bridge. I was absolutely sick to my stomach, thought I might throw up, and my hands and feet were sweaty. I couldn't talk to anyone and I'm sure my face was sickly white. I tried desperately to talk myself out of it but peer pressure was stronger than my inner voice telling me not to jump off a bridge. Plus, I had already paid my money. Getting my moneys worth was more important than the safety of my life. What is wrong with me?!

As they strapped up my feet, I looked down through the grate to the river below and just about lost it. It didn't really help that the funny Zambia men who were helping me out promised I could shoot them if I died. Not much of a promise there. But everyone was looking, there was no way out by this point and so, against all reason, I jumped off a bridge. Every time I watch the video my stomach drops and I almost scream.

I ended up loving the jump and best of all, for the rest of my life, I can say I bungee jumped!
The remainder of the day was spent loving monkeys, until I got bit, and then being terrified of them.

And sitting on a veranda watching one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. I look forward to going back someday (in the very distant future) and next time I won't even have to jump of a bridge.