Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fuzzy Wuzzies

Michael gave each of his sisters a ball of fuzzy yarn for Christmas and Rachel had the idea to crochet all five balls together. She made sort of skinny, mini scarves for herself and each of her sisters.

Here they all when Rachel finally finished and, understandably, had sore hands.



Friday, December 29, 2006

Rachel's Birthday

Rachel turned 11 today. We had spaghetti and cherry pie (instead of cake) for lunch and Rachel opened her presents. This afternoon we went to the March Air Museum. It was nifty to see so many airplanes up close. They also had lots of photographs and memorabilia on display.

Michael was fascinated with Kelly as Lindberg.

Here is Rachel in front of a Boeing B-52D. It was the biggest plane they had at the museum.

We crawled underneath to look inside the cavities the bombs would have dropped from.

My favorite airplane was the Lockheed SR-71A which set a world record of flying 2,193 MPH.

Michael liked the old fire truck best.

I had to get pictures of all our princesses in front of the Cessna O-2B "Princess".

Happy Birthday Rachel!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The San Jacinto Mountains With Aunt Sara

The day after Christmas was our last day with Aunt Sara, so we wanted to do something fun. We decided on the going up into the mountains in hope for some time to play in the snow. There wasn't much snow, so the kids tried sledding on the dirt. They didn't get far and the activity didn't last long...

...but we had fun running around and climbing rocks.

Aunt Sara

Rachel

Summer

Stan had more fun than it looks like here, but this was the only picture of the whole family where nobody's eyes were closed. This was our one chance this year to wear winter coats, hats and scarves.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas!!!

Everyone's stockings were bumpy Christmas morning, including Aunt Sara's (Santa knows everything) and Michael's mostly finished one.

Michael got a plush piggy bank from his grandparents.

Kelly got a velcro doll from her cousin.

Gwen got a hand me down purse from her sister which she was thrilled with.

And, here is Michael's stocking, complete and in all its glory. Now you know how Aunt Sara spent Christmas day - finishing the stocking and reading the book she gave me for Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

We all worked together to assemble homemade tamales and I made flan for our Christmas Eve dinner. After dinner, we read Luke Chapter 2 and the kids put on a Nativity play for us. Kelly was the angel and did a great job telling everyone to, "Fear not!"

Gwen was the wise man bringing gold.

Heather was the shepherd.

Summer, Rachel and Michael were Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.

Getting Ready for Christmas

Some of the kids started running out of money after buying Christmas gifts for everyone on their lists, so I told them they could earn five cents for each of the oranges they picked off the tree and threw over the back fence. Some explanation - the land back there is ours as well; we weren't tormenting the neighbors (at least not more than usual). And, the oranges never fall off the tree by themselves. We had some of last year's oranges that were ripe in May still on the tree next to this year's which are just turning from green to orange, so it was good to get rid of the old ones while they were still easily distinguished from the new. Rachel made $5 and Heather and Gwen made $2 each.

Sara has been such a huge help while she's been here. One of the things she did was take Rachel to pick up her new glasses so I could work on other stuff at home.

Somehow Stan got a hold of the camera and took a picture of me making my treat plate list and checking it twice.

Michael saw him with it, hollered, "Take picture me!!" and gave his cheesiest smile. And, if you are thinking it looks familiar, yes, that is Michael's Halloween costume, which we let him wear every time it is clean. He loved it so much, we thought, "What the hey," and kept it out for him instead of packing it away.

Sara's big project while she was here was to make a stocking for Michael to match the one Grandma Blanche made for me oh so many years ago and the ones Grandma Buppie and Grandpa Dale made for Stan, Summer, Rachael, Heather, Gwen, and Kelly. The girls wanted to help, so here she is teaching them how to embroider.

Summer and Rachel did the embroidery around the antlers, helped sew on sequins, and sewed the harness onto the stocking.

Heather did the embroidery on the harness and sewed the sequins onto the bells.

They ALMOST finished in time for Santa to come, but the stocking did have to be safety pinned together for the big night.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Little India

I've been busy getting ready for Christmas, but I took the day off (except for writing on Christmas cards in a parking lot - story to come later). First, we all went to the dentist for Summer to get her tooth pulled (I plan the funnest things for school vacations, don't I?) and then we headed to Little India - four blocks of restaurants and shops that took us five hours to get our fill of.

The first place we went into was an aquarium store.

Then, we wandered around trying to decide where to eat lunch. A buffet sounded fun, but the ones we could afford looked icky and the Health Dept. thought so as well. We ended up ordering three meals, plus extra naan, rice and two lassis - rose and mango - to share. We asked them to make it mild, but we were still grateful for the lassis to cool our mouths.

We walked and shopped, buying beads and bangles until we made it to a shopping center that had stone elephants at the entrance to the parking lot. We were there to get dessert at a place that served saffron and mango ice cream, among other flavors.


This is why Michael wasn't in the elephant picture, but he woke up in time to share my ice cream.

So, if you've made it this far, you maybe are wondering about the Christmas card story. Here it is. Well, OK, let me preface it with the lame excuse of being perpetually exhausted combined with being pregnant and the baby living off what few brains cells I possess. We got to Little India @ 10:30 and most of the places we wanted to go didn't open until 11, so I told everyone to sit tight in the car while I wrote in Christmas cards. I had most of them done, when Gwen asked me why I was writing 2007 in the top corner of each of them. Good question!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sara's Here!

Yay! Aunt Sara's here. We've all been waiting impatiently, and the time finally arrived (much like Christmas will, despite Michael's doubts and like this baby will despite MY doubts). She got here early Saturday morning and watched the kids while Stan and I went to the temple. Despite being jetlagged, she took the kids to the park. Gwen wrote a narrative paragraph for English about it -

My Aunt Sara took my sisters, my brother and me to the park. Aunt Sara pushed me in the baby swing. I went down the slide head first with Michael. When we got there, it was really sunny, but after a while it started raining. I felt sad because we had to leave the park.

Speaking of rain, I think Sara brought a bit of Pennsylvania weather with her. We were using the air conditioning in the car on Friday and this week it finally feels like winter is here and Christmas is coming.

Sunday afternoon we went to see Richard and Lorna. We had a wonderful time visiting with them, as always. I was so busy enjoying Lorna's conversation, I didn't get any pictures of her, but here are some from our visit.

Richard got a bearded dragon for Christmas from his boss and the kids enjoyed holding it.

Hopefully, Richard also enjoyed holding them because Michael decided he was his new favorite person.

And...Gwen and Heather decided he made a good horse. Any way you look at it, he was a trooper.

Monday, Sara, the six kids and I ran errands. First we went to Rachel's optometrist appointment. Then we returned 50 library books and checked 35 new ones. Lastly we went to Costco. It was SO much easier to do with another adult to help herd. The amazing thing was that we fit all those books, eight people, 50 pounds of flour and all our other Costco food in the car. Here is a picture of the backseat before we dug Kelly and Heather out.

After we unloaded the car, I went to bring the laundry in and decided maybe I should give up on hanging the jeans and just put them in dryer on windy days.

Today, we are just doing stuff at home, so breakfast was laid back. We all read at the table. You would think with all the books we got yesterday, there would be enough to go around, but I guess not.

P.S. Giggles the hamster wants to be like Samson the parrot, but just isn't quite as patient, so it took three hands and too many picture to count for him to wish you all Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Handel's Messiah


Last night, Heather, Rachel, Summer and I want to our stake's Annual Messiah Sing-In. As we were leaving, the bishop motioned for Heather to come over and he gave her the flowers that were dressing up the podium. He instructed her that they were for her and her sisters, but not for Michael or Stan. I told her I hoped she always remembered where her first dozen roses came from. They made it home a bit worse for wear after the ride home in the car, but they are still pretty.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hiking in St. George

It has been a while since I've sat down to blog and I've missed my creative outlet. I looked at all the pictures I've taken in the interim and there were only a handful (so that's two creative outlets I've been neglecting). Here are the best ones.

We went to St. George to visit family over Thanksgiving and one of the things we love to do whenever we are there is to hike with the cousins. This time, we went to a place in town called The Narrows. It has lots of unearthly (at least to this East Coast raised girl) red rock formations for the kids to explore. Rumor has it that the local boys take their prospective fianc├ęs there to see if they can squeeze through one long crevice in the rock. If they can't, they are supposedly not marriage material. I wisely decided to sit it out this year, as I am as unmarriageable as they get and I would have gotten stuck fast by the belly. Michael had fun picking up and throwing rocks while he kept me company.

Here are the kids, ours and some of their cousins, working up an appetite in preparation for the turkey and pie the next day.

Here is Stan, just as he showed up on a hill overhead. Isn't that blue sky beautiful? I would love to be able to live in St. George from November to April. Maybe when I grow up I can be a snowbird...