Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy 26th birthday Kacey!

When I was just a little girl



I asked my mother, what will I be


Will I be pretty,


will I be rich

Here's what she said to me...


Que Sera, Sera,


Whatever will be, will be


The future's not ours, to see


Que Sera, Sera

What will be, will be.



When I was young, I fell in love


I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead


Will we have rainbows, day after day

Here's what my sweetheart said...


Que Sera, Sera,


Whatever will be, will be


The future's not ours, to see


Que Sera, Sera

What will be, will be.


Now I have children of my own


They ask their mother, what will I be


Will I be handsome,


will I be rich

I tell them tenderly...

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.




Who knew that this little girl of mine would turn out to be such an amazing person? Well, I sort of saw it coming from the beginning, but you never know - it could go either way. Lindsay Lohan's future was looking pretty bright there for a while!

Kacey is good at so many things. In fact, I don't think there is anything she can't do! She is such a great mom. I just love watching her with Rhode and Scarlet. Well, except when they are eating! Kacey is way too easygoing about messes. She did not get that from me. But her kids will probably end up being Nobel prize winners because they were allowed to fully enjoy and experience their food. Who knows what my kids could have accomplished if I wasn't so OCD?

Actually, I don't know how she could have turned out any better? So I guess it's okay to avoid feeding your kids anything that will end up in their hair!

Happy birthday, Kacey! Thanks for 26 great years. It has been and continues to be a joy to be your mother. I love you!

The Nutcracker!

This weekend, Today's Generation, put on its very first Nutcracker ballet. Naomi Talbot, our ballet teacher, was in charge. We started preparations last summer but most of the real work was done in the last two months. Naomi did a great job and the show turned out really good.

It was not a full scale Nutcracker. The show was only an hour long which was the perfect amount of ballet according to my husband! We also partnered with the Ballet Academy of Moses Lake. The owner of that studio, Lacey Schindler Stowers, also teaches one class at our studio. She brought several students and they did the snow scene. Caitlynn Lawson was the Snow Queen and it was beautiful.

I didn't get a picture of every group but I did get the scary little mice!


Kylie was a flower and Kendall was a Spanish chocolate.


The Waltz of the Flowers -
Kayci Johnson, Aja Clardy, Kenzie Baker and Kylie.


The beautiful flowers with the Snow Queen.
Look out, the ballerinas go Tyra!


The Spanish trio! Sees chocolates never looked this good!!
McKayla Earl, Nicole Heroux and Kendall.

The trio with Miranda Byington, a snow princess.

Cousins... or should I say primas?

What a great night! Thanks Naomi!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy 18th Birthday Kylie!

Today is Kylie's 18th birthday. Let's just say it hasn't been the best birthday. For a few weeks now she has been lamenting the fact that her birthday fell on a Sunday. Sunday's are great days but fairly limiting for birthday activities. And it didn't fall on just any Sunday but a fast Sunday - ouch! And to top it off, it was also our Young Women in Excellence program today. Again, all great activities and experiences - just probably not the activities one would choose to do to celebrate their 18th birthday. To top it all off, David took Kendall to San Francisco on a special father/daughter trip. Kylie already had hers a couple of years ago but she still wasn't too psyched that it was Kendall who got to have a fun trip on Kylie's birthday weekend. So she already had a bad foreboding about this birthday.

So we show up at church today to find the stake presidency seated on the stand. What the hec is going on? First ward testimonies are good but they're not that good! Shortly after sacrament was passed, President Baker stands up and starts to quote scripture. Something about doing things you don't want to do because the Lord tells you to... blah blah blah. I will go and do the things that the Lord hath commanded...blag blah blah. Kylie and I just looked at each other and went "Oh no." We knew what was coming...

They moved the 1st warders who live on the Peninsula into 3rd ward! There was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Well, on the inside anyway! We kind of knew this day was coming but we hoped it was a long way off. We love 1st ward. So Kylie's already not so great birthday takes a turn for the worse and she sobs all through sacrament. I think more than the friends she will leave behind, she is most sad about leaving her YW president, Ginger Merrell. That's the sign of a great YW leader!

Ryan Tolley is the new 1st ward bishop with Bill Palmer and Chuck Merrell as counselors. Don Tucker is now the bishop of 3rd ward with David O'Neill and Jim Nielsen as counselors. Luckily we get to make the change with lots of our good friends and neighbors but we will really miss the 1st ward family that we are leaving behind. Our hearts are heavy but we go willingly into the 3rd ward and look foward to making new friends there. One thing we know for sure, the church is true no matter what ward you attend and Jesus Christ is the head of the church no matter whether you attend in Moses Lake or Missoula or Mozambique.

Enough about that - back to Kylie! Even her birthday blog is being overshadowed by the day's events!!

Here are 18 things I love about Kylie...

1 - She sings like an angel. I love to listen to her.



2 - She does awesome impressions of people.

3 - She's good with makeup and hair. That comes in handy when you have 5 girls in the family.

4 - She loves Tinkerbell.

5 - She tells me about her day (unlike most of my other children!)



6 - She has a strong testimony and she's not afraid to show it.

7 - She is a good friend.

8 - She makes the best chocolate chip cookies.

9 - She is very artistic and an expert rhinestoner.

10 - She loves cats.



11 - She has never gotten a speeding ticket. (That's a family record.)

12 - She is an expert at Encore and knows the words to every song.

13 - She is a great example to her siblings.



14 - She gets all of her schoolwork done with little or no help from me (partly because she is so much smarter than me.)

15 - She is a good aunt. Scarlet loves her.

16 - She lights up the stage. I never get tired of watching her perform.



17 - She has every Barbie movie ever made and looks forward to the new ones coming out.

18 - She makes me laugh... a lot!

I love you, Kylie!

Happy Birthday!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009!

For Thanksgiving this year, we decided to head out and spend it somewhere far more exciting and exotic than Moses Lake so naturally we headed to... Boise! The reason is that Brad and Courtney are both attending BYU in Provo. Neither of them could get away any earlier than Wednesday and both wanted to be back by Saturday afternoon for the BYU vs. Utah game (which we won in overtime - sweet!) So we hated for them to have to spend what little time they had off driving. So we decided to meet them halfway so that we could have the most time with them.

We all stayed at one of the local.... wait for it... Marriotts, of course! Our rooms were so inexpensive (thanks again, Kristy) that we had 3 of them - boys' room, girls' room and parents' room. The only other time we had 3 rooms for our family was when we stayed in Primm, Nevada and got $22 rooms. You know you are living the good life when everyone gets to sleep in a bed! Traditionally, we like to fit our family of 9 into one room to make it more cost effective. Our kids think staying in hotels is camping because they always have to bring their sleeping bags!

Poor Kristy didn't even get to join us as we stayed in the lap of luxury (i.e. a bed) because she had to work. Kacey, Jon and the kids stayed in Vegas and hosted the Nielsen clan. It sounds like they had a great time.

So, we met up with Courtney and Brad late Wednesday afternoon. We did some shopping and saw some movies and played some games and ate! It was just fun to be with everyone. We went and visited Myca and saw her beautiful house and her handsome boys. David and Bryan got to watch the BYU game over there with Jared. It was fun to see them.

On Thanksgiving Day we were hoping to eat at The Cheesecake Factory (one of our favorites) but they were closed. We had done no research as to what would be open. We just figured we would have some decent options. It was starting to look like Thanksgiving at Mickey D's when we spotted a Tucano's that was open - yeah! Tucano's is patterned after Brazilian churrascarias where they bring all kinds of delicious meats around to your table and cut them right off the skewer. David went to Brazil on his mission so it brought back good memories. We had a lovely dinnner and enjoyed sharing our holiday with a room full of strangers!

We have actually had lots of non-traditional Thanksgivings over the years. When we owned our condo at Big White in BC, we normally headed up there for the holiday because it was a good time to get our condo opened up for the season. Sometimes we were able to ski and sometimes we just ate and hot tubbed. We often cooked a traditional Thanksgiving meal up there, though. In fact, we have spent many a Thanksgiving over the years in Canada which is ironic because it's not Thanksgiving in Canada!

I even talked the family into heading out shopping on the dreaded Black Friday. We have never done that before. I heard the mall was open at 5 a.m. and so I talked everyone into going in and checking it out. Actually, the real story is that David led a revolt against me and talked them all out of it but I decided that I wanted to go anyway. So Brad (being the good son that he is) offered to go with me and then one by one they all acquiesced out of guilt. So we all got to the mall at 5:30 and it was packed. I expected to see lots of women in clothes that they had slept in but inside the mall it looked like a regular busy day. There were entire families and groups of teenagers hanging out and lots of men. It was so weird to shop for 2 hours and have it be only 7:30 in the morning! We weren't even Christmas shopping, we were just shopping. David took Brad and Bryan to Walmart where he said the checkout lines were clear back to the electronics section. Crazy!

We had a great time just being with each other. I feel so blessed to have such a great family.

Somehow, these are the only pictures that I managed to take all weekend.

Courtney, Kylie and Kendall's dream is to be the Chipettes!





Our nephew, Michael, just got home from his mission in Mexico. He is Doug and Connie's youngest. He gave his homecoming talk the weekend before Thanksgiving and we were able to gather with some of the family at LuDeen's house for a little get together. I did better this time and actually remembered to take a picture. I am trying to be better about taking pictures of just the regular stuff and getting myself in there some times. I hate having my picture taken. (Apparently I am better looking in my mind because I feel like I look terrible in pictures, but that is a whole other blog post or maybe a therapy session or possibly an intervention!)

Anyway, here we are in all of our aging glory!

Front row - Tom, Connie, Gail, Michael, LuDeen, Brandon
Back row - Pat, Lori, Doug, me, David, Becky, Jeff



Cute cousins - Michael, Brandon and Angie!



How are the wedding plans coming, you ask? Well the wedding is December 30th in Salt Lake and the reception is January 2nd in Moses Lake at our home. I decided even though it is after Christmas we are still going with Christmas decorations. Tacky? I don't care. I thought I would decorate how I normally do but make it more silver and gold than red and green. My plan (in August) was to have my decorations all up by Thanksgiving so that we could enjoy our holidays and not have to stress about wedding decorations. It would already be done! Good idea, right?

Then I decided it would be nice if we could afford to get some redecorating done that I have been planning for years but haven't had the time/money/wherewithall to get it done. So enter my niece, Nena, who is creative and amazing and who shared my vision of the way the entry way should be. She agreed to tackle the job and we set a goal to have it done by Thanksgiving which meant that I would not be able to decorate until after Thanksgving but that's okay, right?

Well... (I bet you know where this is going!) here is what my house looks like right now. Here is the entrance that is normally filled with trees and twinkly lights and a Rudolph who holds a plate of treats for arriving guests...



And here is my fabulous updated entry way that should be ushering in the holidays as it steels itself for the procession of wedding guests that will soon be coming...





It's not Nena's fault - it's just the way it goes. I am confident that it will be fabulous when it's all done. I just hope it's done before the guests arrive.

What's that you said? At least my husband got the outside lights up nice and early like I asked? Nope. Not a single light is strung yet. I started encouraging him to do it the end of October when it was still kind of warm. Then I continued to prompt him every weekend in November before the snow fell. It hasn't snowed yet but the temperatures are supposed to get into the single digits I just heard. Oh well, the best laid plans...

Life is good. I can't complain. I am thankful. It may be a potluck reception!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How lucky am I?

Last weekend I headed to Utah to watch Courtney compete in the Dansport competition, tend to more wedding details with Kristy and visit with Brad. As an added bonus, Kacey came for the weekend with Scarlet and Rhode. It was a wonderful weekend!

Watching Courtney perform was so much fun! Even though Courtney has been dancing for many years, she only started ballroom a year and a half ago when she came to BYU. She just loves it and it seems to love her! Even though I know a lot about dance, ballroom is a whole other world that I know very little about. This was my first ballroom competition and I was mesmerized by all of the beautiful costumes and rhinestones. The pictures don't do them justice. Courtney competed in Standard, Smooth, Latin and Paso Doble. She has quickly moved up the ranks and is currently competing in some pretty high levels. She made it to the quarter finals and semi finals in each of her dances so she was very happy with that. (I'm still trying to understand the whole process!) Right now she has two different partners - Tim for Latin and Paso Doble and Jake for Standard and Smooth. She and Tim won 3rd place for Paso Doble. Yeah! I just enjoyed every second of watching her dance. I am sure that I was beaming with pride!!

Here is her Standard costume:



This is her Latin costume:


Courtney & Tim - 3rd place in Paso Doble. (This was a class competition which means they compete against everyone in the Latin class they are taking. They are not allowed to wear costumes in class competitions.)



Brad, Kacey and Rhode cheering her on:



Courtney's cheering section:





Scarlet was entertained with Grandma's scarf (but not for long!):



She loved watching her Aunt Courtney:



See for yourself how amazing she is! Here are a few video clips.

Courtney - Paso Doble:

video

Waltz & Quick Step:

video

Foxtrot:

video

Samba:

video

Rumba:


video

While I was there, Kristy and I were able to attend to a few more wedding details. So far every time that Kristy has come to Utah to visit Trevor, I have been there too. I feel a little like the Asian grandma who has been assigned to chaperone the couple! Trevor is probably a little worried that everywhere Kristy goes, her mother follows. Lucky for him, though, I have 5 daugthers so I don't have too much time to hover even if I wanted to!


Kristy's former roommates threw her a shower and it was very nice. In attendance were previous roommates, mission companions and relatives. Poor Kari who organized and planned the whole thing came down with the flu that day. Luckily Randi took charge and simply followed Kari's directions. It was so sweet of all of them!


Kristy had to chew a huge piece of bubble gum for every answer she got wrong. There was quite a wad in her cheek!





Kristy with Liberty and Jen Day. Twister anyone?




She received lots of nice gifts. Some were more suitable for viewing than others so I will spare her!



Kristy is fortunate to have such good friends!



Jamie Peterson (now married), Kacey and Rhode:





It was so much fun to enjoy all of these different activities with my kids. I am so blessed!

Brad and mom (Hey, I actually got in a picture!)




I am so glad Kacey made the drive to be there. I love spending time with her and I love seeing my grandbabies. Kacey is such a good mom. Her kids don't even know how lucky they are but someday they will!





Courtney, Brad and Kristy:




Scarlet calls Rhode "Rhode man" and it sounds like she's calling him Roman. It's very cute and so is he!

The only down side to the weekend was that I came down with a cold. Courtney, Kristy and Brad all had cold syptoms as well. No one seemed to have the Swine Flu so we can't really complain. For that reason, we didn't go and try to see the new babies (Cali's Fiona and Ashley's Henry.) Other than that, it was a wonderful weekend and I loved every second of it. I truly am blessed!