Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I figured I had better hurry up and post Christmas, as New Year's is now upon us....
The kids left this note for Santa
(you'll want to read it)
(we wouldn't want to offend Santa by suggesting he needs to eat "healthy" food and trim down a little!)
Abby did NOT go to sleep until 1:30am, which is about the time, Ethan woke up, and by 2am Elise and Samantha were up!! I gave up and went to sleep at 2. Then... at 4AM we were awakened by the noise of children milling around in the living room peeking in stockings!!

We sent them upstairs until we finally caved in around 5:15 and got out of bed to open presents.

Stylin' Elise in her new sweater, jewelry and boots

Samantha was a little bummed this year because she had asked us and extended family to send money to put in her flute fund this year instead of Christmas presents, so there were not many presents under the tree for her. Then when all the other presents were opened we found this one...
(I love Elise's comment in the video "I told you not to loose hope" :D)

Thanks to generous family we were able to get the flute she wanted (although she still has to payoff her part of the flute), and she can now practice and play her way to a college scholarship! :-D

The kids cooked up this idea Christmas Eve and told us it was our present...(yes, this is our shower stall draped in a table cloth and a sheet)

This is what we discovered when it was unveiled Christmas morning...

I thought it was sweet until I saw the SHARPIE sitting by my bathroom sink!! Why would they use permanent marker on my glass shower??? Samantha assured me they "tested it". Sure enough... it does come off... and so my children live to see another sun rise.
Speaking of sunrise... I went back to bed around sunrise at 7am until I got up to make breakfast around 8. Brad needed a nap later in the day too.
We had a wonderful Christmas and are so grateful to everyone who sent gifts and cards and made it such a wonderful day.
Thank you!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It wouldn't be Christmas without some sugar cookie making.
Or a good dump of snow.
(Star LOVES playing in the snow!)
Stringing popcorn and cranberries
Fun playing out in the snow on Christmas eve
(even though Samantha tried hard to act like she wasn't having any fun)

Even after supper the little ones couldn't get enough and went outside for another hour and a half!!

Could it get any better?
Well, maybe if your mom let you make a gingerbread house... so many of my blogging friends have pictures of their families making gingerbread houses etc. and my kids asked me a few times but... I kept avoiding it until the season was over. My poor kids. Perhaps next year I will be up for the challenge, frustration and mess.

Our Christmas Star

Ward Christmas party 2008
Here she is with a little back up from the others
(you may recognize a couple other kids on the far left- look for the one twisting back and forth- even without her dress on :D)

Ethan explaining to Santa what a Tech Deck is...

It was a lovely evening.

Frontier Yuletide Celebration

We went out to the High Desert Museum to meet Father Christmas, but Abby was scared to death and it was all we could do to even get her this close.
Ethan took a break from the Christmas celebrations to remove a bullet from a settlers chest
The snow looked so pretty sitting on the trees
Out at the settlers cabin the kids had fun stringing popcorn

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Picture Perfect Christmas

It's a picture perfect Christmas eve and day here in Bend.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Watch out MOTAB

This week the kids have had their school Christmas concerts, so I have chosen a few selections to share with you.

Ethan can't help but ham it up a little...

Elise takes her music more seriously

I thought this sounded pretty. I hadn't heard it before.

A, so Adorable

Watch out Ricky Martin. The boy in the back row is going to give you a run for your money!

It was nice that all the kids at some point actually sang a "Christmas" song

Tree Trimming

I just realized that I never showed you what became of our tree.
When we got home I couldn't believe how tall it was. It looked so puny next to those ponderosa pines!

We're pretty happy with our find. Cutting a tree from the forest looks nothing like one "cut down" from a tree farm or picked up from a tree lot.
It's not perfectly shaped, but perfect for us :D
I love just sitting in the living room by the glow of the Christmas tree lights. It's so peaceful.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Come Unto Christmas

Last weekend our Stake held their annual "Come Unto Christmas" which involved two evenings where they lay out many different creche displays with Christmas music performed by local choirs and musicians from both the church and community.
Brad and Samantha were part of the Stake choir that performed 3 times each evening. Unfortunately I only got one video as the camera died after this one, but you get the idea. They sounded really nice.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Briar Rose is in the house!!

Thursday night was Samantha's acting debut!
She did such a great job. I can't imagine ever getting up in front of all those people and remembering my lines, etc. A lot of hard work went into the play. They have been practicing for 2 hours after school 3 times/week since the end of September. The play was an adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. Samantha did a great job playing Briar Rose.
Bravo Samantha!!!

Briar Rose getting her groove on

She is awakened by her prince

Here is Samantha's posse who came out to support her at her performance.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jazzy Christmas

Tuesday we had the pleasure of going to the middle schoool Christmas concert.

The evening started with a few selections from the band.

Samantha, as always did a great job and made us proud.

We then got to hear some jazzed up Christmas music. Samantha is really making a lot of great progress on her trombone!

This is Kaylee, Samantha's best friend. She did an great job on the Sax, with some great back up by our own Sam

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Twilight Before Christmas

Ok, this was too funny not to post.
Thanks to Christie for hooking me up with this one.
If you've seen/read Twilight you have to watch!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Linus Project

A couple weeks before Thanksgiving I found these fleece blankets on sale at Albertson's for $3. "What a great project for 10 days off school" I thought. To help beat the "I'm bored I think I'll go fight with my sibling" urges.

It proved to be a good project for them and kept them busy without much complaining.
Even Abby cut her own fleece, although I had to tie it

Now they each have their own distinct blanket. No more pulling their bedspreads off the bed and leaving them in the bonus room, and no denying the blanket is theirs, or fighting for a blanket (one can dream can't they?)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The hunt

The pack sets out together led by the alpha male "Big John" to find their prey
The females in the pride stick together while the males search alone
A-ha! The perfect specimen is spotted!!
The male tells one of his young to stand guard to be sure no others in the pack steal his prey.
The young one stands sentinel, and does not leave until the male tells her she may
The kill
Young ones help the male carry the kill back to where they will take it home to enjoy The pack celebrates the capture of 4 trees. It has been a fruitful day.
After the hunt the pack returns home to eat. Then for some yet undermined reason the alpha male causes the young to start frothing at the mouth, which the young seem to find delightful :D

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Rum pa pa pone... on my trombone (?)

Saturday was the Bend Christmas parade. This year was MUCH warmer than last year. This year we sat in 60 degree sunshine to watch the parade!! Hooray!

There were elves

and llamas (of course)
Who's Christmas parade doesn't have llama's in it??
pink Cadillac's pulling giant ducks
This one had an actual working train on a track that circled the float!

I took this pic for my dad 'cause I think this is the car he used to have B.C. (before children)

There were quite a few church floats focusing on Christmas too
Best of all however was the HDMS Jazz Band/Chorus Float!!!
Check out Samantha (in blue) playing the trombone

(again, if you double click on the video it takes you to the Youtube site where you can click under the image to watch the video in "high def", so you can see better)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Terrebonne Letterboxing

It was so nice on Saturday that we HAD to get out of the house. I didn't want to do the "same ol' same ol'" so I went online to find a letterbox. Letterboxing is always an adventure and always takes you to cool places. I chose a group of boxes in Terrebonne to go check out.

This place was REALLY off the beaten path and we would have never found Arch Canyon otherwise.
Here we are stamping in at our first find.

The next box was at the base of these cool rocks We also found some cool caves along the way

The view of the canyon was awesome too!
Ethan and Abby's favorite activity however was collecting shotgun shells! See how proud she is of her bounty? She called them her "babies"
Here's Ethan with the collection making his best "red neck" face.
Both and
are great resources for finding a letterbox near you and a fun adventure.
For any readers in Calgary, go check out our letterbox in Fish Creek park. The directions are here.