Christmas Breakfast

We have a tradition every year where my dad makes Christmas breakfast for all of the family that wants to come out.  We all LOVE it, and I look forward to his omelets all year long.  There are omelets, pancakes, ham, sausage… so many good things that I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.  It’s my favorite family tradition ever.

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My brother Cody was helping out with all of the food, and so did mom and Joe.  I think mom said they fed almost 40 people!

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There have been years when the roads were too bad and not as many were able to come, but this year was a big turnout and it was good to catch up with my cousins and relatives that could come.

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This is my cousin Scott and his girlfriend Brittani.

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My cousin Casey

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My uncle Rick

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My mom was on video camera duty.

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My cousin Clint and aunt Deona

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My cousin Conner, aunt Danielle, and uncle Russ

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My dad’s mom, my grandma Bodean

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Two crazies wrestling around the living room.

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None of our family get-togethers would be complete without them whipping out a few strategy mind games to play.  I’d be excited if it was something like the Game of Things, Taboo, or maybe even Creationary, but they like intense, deep-thinking zombie stuff.  My brain doesn’t work that way, so instead I took a nap.  lol!

Christmas Morning

Christmas this year was amazing, and I feel completely spoiled.  Like, I don’t even have much of a wishlist anymore because it was that good.  I can’t get rid of a feeling of guilt that we were blessed with so much this year, especially after feeling humbled by a few experiences that showed us how other people in this area are spending their Christmas.  It really struck Joe and I hard to see just how blessed we really are, and I hope that we don’t ever take that for granted.  That feels so deep for me, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

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We had our own little Christmas at home in the morning… I finally let myself wake everyone up at 6 a.m. after a loooong night of waiting for it to be time.  :)  Then we went out to my parents house around 8:00.  It was so much fun to share the morning with them, and I’m happy that Cody’s family could be there too.  We just needed Shy’s family!

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I promised I wouldn’t post a picture of Sierra, but the big news is that she let me take a picture of her!  This is HUGE!!  We all got so many fun things, but this heated throw from my parents is at the top of my most loved list.  It’s SO wonderful to be cuddled up and warm in the evenings!

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It’s totally normal that my family keeps a Halloween skeleton out to decorate for Christmas, right?  Also, seeing the cat reminds me that I tried to take a little nap later in the day where Joe is seated, and just as I drifted off, that crazy cat used my head to jump off of as she made her way to the floor!  Scared the poop out of me!  Joe was watching the whole thing and couldn’t stop laughing about it.

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Dad was pretty proud that he picked out this sentimental throw all by himself to give to my mom.  He gets bonus points because she doesn’t have a blanket with the words actually ON the blanket itself. 🙂

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I’m so thankful that my family is so close by us!  We miss Shy and her family so much, but at least we got to Skype them and visit for a while through that.  Maybe we can all be together next year.  I hope!

December

I went to update my blog and realized that I don’t even have a folder for pictures in November.  I didn’t even take any pictures of our family during the whole month!  I feel like I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon, but maybe I can get back on track now.  I don’t even remember doing anything out of the ordinary in November, so we’ll skip ahead to December!

The month of December felt really jumbled together this year for some reason.  Joe was tied up with organizing the Giving Tree project at church, and between church meetings, our normal day-to-day schedule, and some sickness throughout the month, a lot of our annual traditions didn’t get done.  I feel really sad that we didn’t do our Polar Express night, or make gingerbread houses, or even go see Santa at his house in Idaho Falls.  (We did try to do that one, but the kids agreed that they didn’t want to stop the night we were there.  Stop growing up!)  I consoled myself that Reese had just visited with him at school and our ward party, and even though I don’t want to admit it, Easton feels too grown up for that now.

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We did manage to squeeze in a lot of good things when we were all together though.  We painted some fun pine cones to deliver secretly to a few neighbors, and the kids’ new favorite thing is dropping things off anonymously at people’s doorsteps, ringing the bell and running away.  I taught my kids to dingdong ditch, haha!  I helped out at the Christmas Tree Fantasy at the beginning of the month, and had fun in the kitchen with my friend Bonnie and a bunch of others on the night of the fancy High Tea dinner.  Our family still made it to to my parents house to decorate sugar cookies, and we went to visit the Christmas Tree Village at Wendy Hoge’s house.  Those things are on our absolute must-do list every year.

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The kids did tons of melty bead projects, along with lots of My Little Pony and Pokemon cards, Skylander’s, and Legos while they’ve been out for Christmas vacation.  Today is the last day of their vacation before heading back to school tomorrow, and they’re using the time by playing Wii Party.  It’s really been a great month, minus the sickness, and it looks like we’re ready for 2015 as soon as I get the Christmas decorations boxed up.  Maybe tomorrow. 🙂

Halloween 2014

We ended up going to several parties during the week of Halloween, and had a good time at all of them! The kids and I went to the ward carnival and dinner, but Joe had to work and couldn’t get off in time to come over.  The Taufu’i family were out of the town and asked us to run their Plinko booth (fun!) and then we had chilli and cornbread for dinner.  I felt a little lost without Joe being there, but it worked out okay.  I dressed up like a rag doll again this year, Easton was Captain America, and Reese was a Rio bird!

IMG_9546resizedI feel bad that I didn’t get any pictures of the kids together in their costumes this year, but ended up taking some at the Spook Parade at school so at least we have some of them.  The picture above is Reese with her friends Anna and Olivia.  CUTE!!

IMG_9322resizedEaston kept reassuring me that I didn’t need to come upstairs and help him get ready because he could do it himself.  When did this kid get so independent?!

IMG_9328resizedDid I mention that he doesn’t want me to go on his field trip with him??  I asked if he would be embarrassed and he said ‘maybe.’  Maybe, as in YES!!  I’m a little (lot)  crushed, but people keep telling me that this is the age when that happens.  I don’t like it.  Also, I feel extra bad because I know he doesn’t want me to come on the field trip but his teacher practically pleaded for me to come because no other parents in her class have signed up to go.  I don’t want to embarrass him… but I might end up doing it anyway.  Maybe I’ll just wear the curlers and ditch the bathrobe…? 😉

IMG_9583resizedMy friend Dara is teaching 1st grade this year and I passed her on my way out to take pictures of the parade.  She and her little boy are so cute!

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We also saw our neighbors the Malm’s while they were waiting to see their kids.

IMG_9576resizedAnd Suri was the cutest Dorothy, with her little flying monkey brother close by, haha!

IMG_9603resizedI really liked how they took the kids for a parade down the street instead of through the crowded halls like they usually do.  The weather was perfect!  The only bad part was that some of the kids had a hard time walking so far in their costumes, and I heard one little girl say that she got huge blisters on her poor Elsa-heeled feet!

IMG_9611resizedLater that evening we took the kids to the Trunk or Treat at the church parking lot, and then stopped by a few neighbor’s houses.  This was the first year that we stopped by the Pirate Ship just a few houses down from us, and we loved it!  I have pictures on the ipod and I’ll try to add them later.  We came home and watched the new “Sherman and Mr. Peabody” dvd that just came out and had homemade caramel popcorn.  Our friends the Opheiken’s stopped by for a few minutes, and so did Todd, Tammy, and Shayna.  We had a great Halloween!

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Daddy Daughter Date

Reesie and Joe went on their first Daddy Daughter Date a few weeks ago!  The choir at the high school was doing a fundraiser and this is what they chose to do to raise money.  Such a great idea!  I can remember going on a daddy daughter date with my dad and we had to dress up like hobos, haha!  We wore old plaid shirts and carried sticks with a knapsack tied to the end.  My mom even darkened our faces with makeup so we looked scruffy.  I think I can remember eating pork and beans with cut up hotdogs on blankets on the floor. I know that we had a picture from that night but it’s at my mom’s house somewhere.

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Reese was so excited to get ready, and she even let me curl her hair!  She knew exactly which dress she wanted to wear, and then spent some extra time picking out her jewelry.  She chose some of my Lemon Sugar and Coconut body spray, and we put a little pink shimmer makeup on her eyes and lips.  Joe hurried home from work to get ready, and then he sneaked around to the front door and knocked so Reese could open the door and get her flowers.  My heart was melting at how happy and smiley she was!

IMG_9353resizedIMG_9367resizedIMG_9357resizedIMG_9359resizedThey were gone for 2 hours and came home pretty exhausted from their big night.  It was held on the stage at the BPAC (Blackfoot Performing Arts Center) and Joe said there were tons of people there.  They played Pin the Lips on the Frog, made a crown, did a balloon pop, and had treats.  They had waited in line for about an hour to get Reese’s face painted with a dolphin on her cheek, and she was sad when we had to wash it off when they got home!

IMG_9368resizedI’m so happy that they were able to have a fun night together, and Easton and I got to watch a new movie on Netflix that he hadn’t seen before.  We also had Doritos and some mini candy bars…so it was a pretty good night for all of us!

Bike stuff

Easton was taking a picture for us and Reesie decided to photo bomb it for us, haha!  It’s one of my very favorites.

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I remember that on this day I was wasting time on the computer when I looked out the window and saw my family… having a good time together.  Sometimes moments seem to just slow down, and all of the things you’re missing out on are pointed out to you.

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This was one of the days that I realized what I was missing out on and decided to go outside and soak up some family time.

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Easton was hitting pieces of bark across the road into the field whenever the road was clear of cars.  I tried a couple of times but wasn’t so great at it! 🙂

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Joe had to come over and show us how to do a home run hit.  Then he hopped on Easton’s bike to take Reese for what she calls a “circus ride”.

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It was a pretty great evening, and I’m glad I didn’t miss out on it.

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As long as we’re talking about bikes and things (lol) I should add this last picture of Joe taking the kids on a bike ride a few weeks ago.  They were coming back home and I hurried out to get a picture of them.

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They had gone down to ride around at the church when there was an “incident”.  I guess Easton had been timing Joe to see how fast he could go around the church, when Joe got a little too close to the curb and rolled off of it.  He threw his bike out of the way so it wouldn’t get damaged, but Joe’s whole side was really scraped up and he was dripping blood everywhere when he got home!  Joe was okay (just incredibly sore for a few days!), but Easton had been so worried about him.  It was a good lesson in telling the kids to be careful on their bikes though, haha!

First day of school

My kidlets started back to school 2 weeks ago, and I think they’re both pretty excited to be back.  Easton is in 5th grade (big man on campus now!) and Reese is in 2nd.

 

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Reese wanted to hop on the bus on the first day, but Easton asked me to take them to school.  (I think he just asked me because he knew I wanted to be there with them!)  I ended up taking them both, but Easton took off on his own while I was helping Reese get situated.  She didn’t need me, but as a mom it made me feel better to pretend like she wanted me there.  Her teacher had white “magic” play-doh in bags that turned colors as they squished it.  Fun!

IMG_8616resizedI went to Easton’s classroom, and I think he was checking to see if there was room in his desk to crawl in and hide from me.  I probably shouldn’t have embarrassed him by going in to take a picture, but I just can’t help myself!

IMG_8622resizedThey got out early for the first two days of school.  Last year they were only on the bus for about 10 minutes before it dropped them off.  I wanted to get a picture of them getting off the bus, so Joe and I went outside in the 85 degree weather and waited…

IMG_8630resizedand waited….

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IMG_8632resizedfor about 45 minutes.  Joe had given up and gone inside long before I did.  We watched four buses go past our house, and then one of them finally stopped down the road.

IMG_8633resizedWouldn’t you know that a garbage truck pulled up just in time to block my shot of the kids getting off the bus on their first day!!  lol

IMG_8637resizedThey had a great first day! 🙂

Back to School pictures

I’m finally taking the time to sit down and get caught up on my blog a little bit.  I was talking to the kids a few weeks ago about doing some back to school pictures, and Easton asked, “why don’t we just do them right now?”  So we did.

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IMG_8189resizedI took a few of Reesie too…. crazy hair and all.

 

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IMG_8239_editedresizedI have more pictures from their first day of school that started on Tuesday, so I’ll try to add those soon too.

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IMG_8204resizedBoth of them were really excited for school to start!

 

Scavenger Hunt at the Temple

We stopped by the visitor center at the Idaho Falls temple a few weeks ago, and the kids were really excited to hear that they could do a scavenger hunt while we were there.  It was a fun activity that let them wander through the temple grounds and find things on their list.  They had a great time!

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IMG_8267The flowers were so beautiful!

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IMG_8275resizedJoe was trying to get a picture of a ladybug🙂

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High Adventure Hike (written by Joe!)

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Day 1
Rain rain rain. We woke up to soggy conditions. We all gathered at the
church house to meet up and leave at 6:30 am then made our way to the
hilltop Sinclair near Ririe to pickup cameron. On our way we came to
foggy cloudy mountains. At the trailhead we divided the food and then
made our way to the start of the trail.

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On our way the trail was muddy
and all the brush that you had to walk through was wet from the rains
the night before which made our pants wet from the waist down as we
trudged though the mud. After a long two hours we made it to camp
which rewarded us with soggy ground and wet firewood. All was not bad
though because that hike was suppose to take roughly four hours.

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We
then got some wet wood burning enough to make a hot dog lunch that was
suprisingly good. There we met our camphost who was kind enough to
continually look after us who we dubbed Alec. Alec was a chipmunk who
could entertain and amaze us just like the real Alec back home. Soon
after having our bellies full we played on a rock hill, which between
the eight of us, we manage to toss half the hillside down to the
bottom of the pit despite our long journey. Amazing what full stomachs
can do.

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We then setup our tents and did various things to pass the
time, I proceeded to make a bow and arrow from some string that was
left there by other campers which was about the same time a large doe
wandered into camp. Its to bad my makeshift bow couldnt shoot more
than twenty feet because if it did we could of had deer steaks for
dinner. At that time I made a mental weapons check. I recall our
camp having at least three pocket knives one regular hatchet one
throwing hatchet three mutli tools two bayonets a machete and one bow
and arrow, hehe nice. Around five we decided it would be best to
gather more wood and filter some water for dinner. At this time
heading to the water a big rainstorm came through that soaked
everything, we were soaked, soaked. Not to be discouraged we
gathered our pieces of wet fire wood and made a second run for water.
For dinner we had some mountain house chili mac and some teriyaki
chicken. Neither were that good but a hot meal after the rainstorm was
amazing. We then got our dishes clean and went for another water run.
At the lake we saw a deer, moose and some ducks lounging in our
drinking water of all places. Everything was so wet that a piece of
paper thrown in the fire coals took more that a minute to finally
start to burn. We ended our night around a dimming campfire enjoying
stories from encampment and other various things like who makes the
best truck and such, they’ll never listen.

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Day 2
Everyone slept well and i amazingly got more that nine hours myself.
Soon tents slowly were shuffling about as you could tell some of the
boys were cold but more so hungary Another wet wood fire was made to
warm us up and the boys started in on breakfast. I tell you what,
that is a another long two hours to get that done. Ken set us up good
with eggs hashbrowns and sausage. After cleaning up breakfast more and
more hikers would come through on there way to the lakes. We then
packed lightly for a day hike to the upper lake that for me was a
killer for some reason. On our way we were again rewarded by seeing a
BIG bull moose hanging out in the stream, amazing.

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At that lake we
stopped for lunch and then the boys went for a swim. Somehow Alec met
us at the lake too. We enjoyed some granola bars and chips to keep us
alive. I pretended my food was delicious number 18 from the Sandwich
tree in idaho falls, Yum. What a great day out by the lake but, as I
write at 3:05 pm omninous clouds are moving in, wonderful.
As the sound of thunder could be heard coming from the other side of
the mountain we hurriedly grabbed our packs as fast as one young
leader one old leader and six teenage boys could. The silver lining to
the this thunder storm was that we actually enjoyed the light
sprinkles and mountain breeze that kept us cool and any bugs away.
Ken was kind enough to show me what berries I could eat and the ones I
shouldn’t eat, thank you very much. As we made our way back to
camp Ken and I picked up some firewood along the trail that was dry
and to add it to our growing stockpile. Always remember that wet wood
doesn’t burn very well.

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I’m not for certain how long we were gone but when we made it back to
camp we must of past through some sort of alternate dimension bacause
our small camp now had tripled in population. We had scout troops,
fathers with there sons, even a family with toddler and two giant
dogs. There were even camps setup on the outskirts of the campsite.
One family decided to camp a few hundred yards away on the side of the
mountain. We had people coming through on horses and some hauling
logs, when I say hauling logs I mean four men carrying two logs
straight through camp. One gentlemen walked his mountain bike though,
HOW DID HE GET HIS BIKE UP THERE ANYWAY! All that we were missing is
some sort of covered wagon. Our small camp was now thriving, bummer.
The nice thing about having our camp set up is that we didn’t have to
scramble to get things in order before the daylight was gone. All we
needed was some water for dinner and a match for the fire. In fact we
had the time to talk about math of all things. We had all looked at
this particular tree and wondered wether or not that if it fell would
it or would it not land on Kens sleeping bag. Soon the boys were
talking about trigonometry, right angles, sine and cosines and there
own favorite ways to figure them out. Who were these boys.

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This night we dined on dehydrated spagetti with questionable meat sauce
and rice with stuff that is suppose to be chicken. Tasty after a long
day and Not bad for two small stoves and river water. Again for
another night we gathered around the campfire and reminisced about
school days, our favorite places to be and Kens mission experiences.
Another great night of laughs and fellowship. With all the camps
around we kept it to a dull Roar till about ten when each of us
dropped off one by one to find our beds for the night.

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Day 3
Morning came early for me when I awoke to a animal thundering past my
tent. As I buried my face on my arms thoughts of a moose stepping on
me ran through my head. Luckily, it was only the great Dane our new
neighbors had brought the night before. Lucky for him my trusty bow
was not in arms reach. Once again the chill of the morning was able
to get most of us out of bed to make our way to the fire that slowly
crackled. As water came to a slow boil for our oatmeal we slowly came
together to exchange pleasentries and witty banter. After we ate our
first breakfast we eagerly awaited our second one that would consist
of pancakes, syrup, sausage, candy, fruit rollups, and granola bars.
How did the bears not find us? After sitting on a log long enough for
some of my body to go numb everyone finally got enough pancakes and I
caught a break from flapjack duty. Then one young man who shall
remain nameless showed signs of life and joined us. This young man
slept through all the other camps leave, kids crying and having his
tent dropped on him. At least he didn’t get Kens wake up call that
consists of a bucket of cold river water.

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While we were breaking camp the trail to the lakes seemed to get more
and more traffic with day hikers. Soon we started filling our
backpacks with our gear. Before we left another doe wandered through
camp just as my bow was securily packed away. Next time Bambi. On our
way down we had to dodge the many hikers and horses coming up that
were on the trail at the same time. I had to wonder what the other
people thought when I was coming down the trail all scuffy with my
camo hat and back all hunched from my pack carrying a bag full of
garbage, good thing I didn’t have the machette too. On the way out I
took the time to actually enjoy the scenery and snapped some pictures
while taking in the cool mountain air, awesome.

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Loading up in the cars we shared some more ribbing to each other and made our way out to the square ice cream store for our cold treat. We all took Cameron home to rigby and wished him well before we made our way for home.
I learn alot of things on this trip. First, Ibuprofen works just as
good in the mountains, second, everyone needs to go off the grid
every once in awhile and lastly, these young men are capable of far
more then we ever give them credit for, they are caring, hardworking
and every bit the Scout Law.

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