Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Christmas Letter to You!

I am being so lazy and not sending out our letter this year.....I decided to put it on our blog instead so we can have a record of it in the years to come. 

Dear Family and Friends,

First and foremost, from our home to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We love to get letters from family and friends during the holiday season and get updated on their lives and truly never think that people are bragging or boasting about themselves. So, if you feel that way, we are sorry but only want to share the joys, highlights and wonderful things that mean so much to us, with you!

The last year we wrote an annual Christmas letter was in 2007. As you all know in 2008, we found out about our sweet baby girl Avery Ann, and we just couldn’t write, then in March when she was born, 2009 Christmas just didn’t feel the same for us. We celebrated as normal but something was just missing. We hung a stocking for our special angel, but we were still mourning her presence in our lives. So all in all……we have 3 years of reporting to do in this letter. Stop, don’t the throw it out just yet, we will keep it simple.

Not much new to report in the way of big changes in our lives overall. We are truly grateful for our health, family, friends, jobs and our faith! These simple things often go unnoticed and with the unsettled world right now, we know we are blessed with these things and truly depend on them each and everyday.

Steve is still at Zion’s Bank, not much has changed here, just grateful to have such a wonderful employer today. This fall, Steve and his Dad went out hunting for elk and were unsuccessful, so Steve said, “next year, I am taking a golfing trip instead with all the money and time it took to go hunting!.” Steve coached Colton and Kaden’s baseball team this year and loved it, I am hoping it will become an annual thing; he is so good with children.

Austin, oh my goodness, am I actually writing this?, is a junior in high school. In March he got his drivers’ license and a set of new wheels, new to him that is! He has been swimming and playing baseball for the high school team since his freshman year. This year in baseball, he had a great season with a three run homer one game, then the next game a grand slam home run. The swim team took 2nd in state, two years in a row; they are looking for first this year! Not sure where Austin has gotten his swimming abilities from since no one on my side of the family going back as far as I know, can swim at all. I can doggy paddle on a good day!

Colton is still Colton, only wiser and smarter! His personality is so much like Leah’s that it’s uncanny! They can be the best of friends one moment and at each others throats the next and never holding a grudge. Colton thinks he is one of Austin’s buddies; he wants to do everything that Austin does, not excluding, wearing cologne, listening to the same music, playing all the same sports, dressing like him and sometimes trying to say what he says! Colton has a natural competitive character trait, we hope that he will take this strong will and really put it into sports and school. He is now in 2nd grade and really has shown his strengths already, spelling and math! Whenever there is a reading assignment that is not his game.

Kaden- we are not sure of his age, since he turned four, we told him he couldn’t’ get bigger! He is six years old now and is in Kindergarten. He loves school, tries to make up homework, copies Colton’s and can’t stop reading chapter books! Well, at least there is one reader in the family. He is so precious and we mean that in everything he does. He wants to do the right thing and is very obedient. However, if he does get mad, you better put on some earplugs, cuz its gonna get ugly. The boys have been sharing a room for the last 3 years, and Kaden has since relocated back to his old room, since Colton always wakes him up in the morning. This kid likes to sleep and relax, just like his Daddy!

Lastly, but of course not least, Leah, Leah, Leah or should we say now…..Leah and Colton, just never shut down. Steve thinks that she needs meds to combat her never ending energy and enthusiasm for life, she just needs a vacation every month and all will be happy. The real estate world has surely changed, but, she is still dabbling in managing rentals. Her new professions are bargain shopping and exercising. The kids are in school most of the day, so she has some much needed down time to herself. Our Christmas this year is all paid for by her couponing/rebates and what she acquired at garage sales this year that she sold on for over 700% of what she paid for it!

This summer we spent a lot of time camping at Campinland’ and made some great memories with our friends and family. With 3 boys, its inevitable that we are ATVing, hiking, camping, outdoor kinda family. The boys got to ride a friend’s motorcycle this summer and that is all they talk about saving their money for. Kaden has learned to drive the ATV that we bought them, cuz it has gears, all by himself…he shifts, puts it in reverse, and begs to ride it every chance he gets. We let him drive us around all the time; he is so good at it. We wish for you and your family a happy holiday season and prosperous new year.

Love, Steve, Leah, Austin, Colton, and Kaden

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving weekend!

I am so cold, even in the house, I just want to snuggle with a blankie and my computer by the tree until April.  I soooooo get why animals hibernate now!  They have the right idea.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, just us in St. George.  It was cold there too, but not in the single digits, like Heber.  We are thankful we have a home, a job, each other and great things in our lives.  I said a gratitude prayer on Thanksgiving night and I think it was over 5 minutes long of just counting and thanking my Heavenly Father for all my blessings.  We did a similar thing around the table, we each shared individually what we were thankful for, then we each said one thing we were thankful for about every one of us.  It was very emotional, healthy and funny all at the same time.  Well Colton made it funny, when it was his turn to say what he was thankful for about Kaden, he said,"can't I say what I am not thankful for about him...cuz he is evil and mean" and we all cracked up, we told him we would come back to him...and each time..he just kept saying he is evil and mean.  He finally did say a nice thing after we threatened him with having to clean up all the Thanksgiving dishes.  Which took over an hour to clean...why is it that you cook for hours, clean up for hours, and only eat for 20 minutes?  What is wrong here, oh and I almost forgot, plan and shop for a few hours too! 

I cooked everything myself, first time for that and it was so yummy....Steve cooked the bird, as I refuse to touch that thing!  Kaden even was like, what is that Dad?, its gross, I am not eating that...well he did, as it was sooooo good.  Its amazing how a $6.00 turkey (which in reality I got paid $4.00 to buy it, but that is another paragraph) has provided us with 7 yes I said 7 meals.    Thanksgiving dinner, lunch the following day, dinner that night, I am making Wild Rice and turkey soup for me and another family out of the carcasss, 2 freezer meals with the left over meat.  Now that is stretching a dollar....

Speaking of dollars, I did the Black Friday gig, never again....what a waste of time, literally got my 4 items in 10 minutes, waited in line for yes.....2 hours......I am the most impatient person I know. If it wasn't for my phone and solitaire, it could have been a whole lot worse. I did it and can say I year I sleep and buy on Cyber Monday, the deals were awesome there too!

Which brings me to my other paragraph.  I have been so busy with all the rebates that are out right now, I can hardly organize them.  Tonight I had to get them all ready to be sent out and I have to date sent out $315 worth of them, with about $100 more to mail in.  That is actual dollars that will be sent to me in the mail.  Yippee....especially when they come floating in the mailbox after Christmas along with the Amex bill!  And then.....all the deals I got at Garage sales this summer, I saved them in a box and sold them on Ebay for a net of $320.00!  I think I should say Merry Christmas to me!  So I bought myself a few gifts just in case I didn't get them from Santa this year.  Hehe!  I love a surprise, NOT!   Its amazing what people spend on Christmas....I sold a game that I bought for $1.00 to someone on ebay for $102.00.  I can't believe someone would pay that for a 30 year old electronic game!  That was my claim to fame sale of the year!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Halloween Good times!

Really the pics would be enough but, Colton was a Ninja, he couldn't resist the sword purchasing opportunity at the store!  He sure is a consumer just like his mama!

Oh yes Steve was classic 80's stud!  He was wearing ladies size 17 stretch, skinny acid washed jeans...His brothers Loverboy "Get Lucky" Tour 1982 shirt!  He was so perfect with his mullet, he had some unseen confidence that night as he tried to breakdance on the dance floor...he leaned down to politely tell him that he forgot, he was never allowed to dance in public and he accidently kicked me in the lip!  He was grooving or so he thought he was! 

 This picture is so what we would have been like it we met 25 years ago!  I seriously was dressed the way I would have dressed back then...minus the blond wig of course!  Feather earrings and all!

Kaden was a computer geek/nerd, he played the part well too....He said in his classroom that the teacher told him he had the best costume....I couldn't agree more, you could just eat him up he was so precious.
Our wonderful neighbor, Sally, the boys consider her to be their other grandma!  Every day is trick or treating for them at her house....they get a piece of candy after school each day from her.  They love it. I hate it...sometimes we have to do a vacation from the vaction though.

Notice the empty beer bottle in Steve's back pocket....he thought that was a cute addition to his costume.....we went to another party before ours and got it!  I don't think Steve has tasted beer even!  Man that was some makeup job!  Blue grey eyeshadow better never come back in style or I am boycotting...just like the skinny jeans, I hate them still.
Crazy hair day at school!  Colton said almost won!  I think it was way cool!

Notice the tattoo, the hat and the skinny jeans....I would say this should be a costume in itself???? 

I found this picture on another camera and had to add to the post....he is so funny with the arygle socks and computer bag!  Pocket protector and all!

Gotta love the walkman attached to my belt baby....couldn't find any cassettes though to play in it....Colton asked me, "Mom what is a cassette?"  I am getting old I think!
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Preference.....I prefer my son not to keep growing up!

But I know that is NOT an option. I realize that our job is to teach them and prepare them for their next adventures, but why does it go by so fast? He was just 4 telling me that he doesn't like my attitude....Now, I don't like his! Hmmmmmmmm
He is gorgeous, there is no question in my mind about that! I am glad he doesn't know it as much as I do cuz, the amount of girls now is plenty!
This Preference dance was girl ask boy and I think there was a couple girls that wanted to ask Austin, but as I say, the early bird gets the worm! Becca was the lucky girl! They went shopping and to Coldstone Ice Cream then out to Mexican food and then to the Mobsters Ball!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homecoming Week!

  It was a fun filled week for sure but, to end the festivities was a formal dance.  Austin asked one of Steve's high school friends daughter, Maddie to go with him.  He put pennies all over her room and made a poster that said, "It only makes cents that you go to Homecoming with me" and spelled out his name in pennies.  It was such a neat way to ask her.  I never was asked that way, it was in the middle of accounting class, when we shouldn't be talking that I was asked to go to a dance.

If I might say so myself, they are a very good looking couple!  I can't believe my little boy is turning into man right before my eyes! 

I am NOT his date...but always will be his favorite, I hope!

I don't know why, but this picture is precious to me!  Its pure and innocent and their smiles are so genuine!

Of course, they had to do an all weekend long date...Saturday they went to the zoo for a scavenger hunt. was a great week, lots of activities and fun times. 

The football game was so much fun...the little ones got to form a tunnel for the football team and they thought they were the stars of the night! 
Colton thinks he is a football player, he wears this outfit almost daily....I have to wash it at night.  Take notice of the black under the eyes...that too is a daily application. 

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

All alone, now our fun filled summer has passed!

The house is silent, except for the ticking of the clock!  Not so sure I like this.  My sweet Kaden went to school today. Colton went last Wednesday and Austin last Friday, so grateful I still have 2 Guinea pigs and Meow Meow here, although Meow Meow can't be counted on lately.  I love being alone but not really.  I have so much I could do, but don't want to.  I think I will eat the rest of the brownies I made that should do it!  Then of course I will feel guilty and have to go run it off, then I am exhausted, kids come home and I want them to be gone again.   Oh the cycles.....what to do what to do! 

Summer is not over yet, I will NOT let it leave until the first day of Autumn, my next favorite season.  But there is a chill in the air and that means that after my fall comes that awful season which in my opinion should be cancelled.  I am already starting to get (Meow Meow just showed up, she must be feeling guilty too!) a bit anxious about the white crap.  I am not going to talk about it!  Change the subject.
Campinland was frequente often this year, we had lots of great fun weekends with friends, boating, hiking, swimming, relaxing and of course on the motorcycles and ATVs. 
Colton went the real salon to get his hair done and thought this contraption looked rather cool, so we encouraged him to give it a try for blackmail purposes later in life.
Riding home from baseball each week!
The Eccles Dinosaur Park made our list this summer.  We went with Kiki and the boys had a great time.
Kaden thought he had talent, he stuck two raisenetts up his nostrils...I laughed so hard stuff came out of mine. 
Yup, just what it looks like....shhhhhhhhhhh he has no idea I documented this.  It was too precious, he didn't even have on his shoes...we were at Bridal Veil Falls and nature called!  No bathrooms close by so we headed for the woods.
Summer with my boys this year was awesome....we ran and ran and ran and camped and had the best time.  This is truly to document for myself since I am an uncommitted journal writer. 

We are up to 3 pets in our home now...and Steve said he never wanted any!  How do you tell a kid he can't have any pets, that is wrong in my opinion, pets teach kids responsibility, nurturing, love, well those are the good things...there are many downsides but I am going to focus on the positive as I always do anyway.  Each day we had a quiet time about 4pm so they could read, relax, play videos games in their bed, something so I could really have a break.  It turns out that the pigs (Chocolate and Fauxhawk) both needed some quiet time too!  Steve and I could NOT believe that they fell asleep in their arms, but these animals are really great for kids and Kaden packs Chocolate around like its his baby!  He even talks to it like he is the Dad.  That boy is going to make a great father someday, just like the one he has.
The Heber Rodeo was so much fun this year.  This was the first year that I took the boys and they were in heaven.  As you can see they dressed up like what they thought to be cowboys. 
The weather was perfect, the boys had made their own front row seating. 
My adorable sweet niece, Cassidy, came with us, we had front row seats! 
Boy this blog post is a long one!  Maybe I should have made a few posts instead.  Well your near the end now, for our weekly date night, we each take turns planning the date, this week Steve borrowed his friends Jeep and we had a blast jeeping up the mountains were we live.  It was so much fun, but even more beautiful.  I do love Heber in the summer, spring and fall..but winter it sucks!  I am such an outdoor girl, that when I have to be confined inside, it makes me bitter.  I know, I have to be patient, it will happen and I will have my sunshine home. 

My boys are in school and I have lots of time on my hands now, but I truly miss them being here.  Until next summer, for more fun adventure, thanks for the memories.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Boys

I am behind on the blogging as usual.....but our summer has been jammed packed with so much fun there has been no time to document it! Baseball season was busy this year with all the boys playing and on the same nights....and with Steve coaching the little ones and wanting to be at Austin's games it was a juggling act for sure. We managed and it was fun. Although sometimes it was painful to watch the little ones not mine of course but the other kids play or attempt to play baseball, I have good memories.
Steve was such a great coach, he truly has a way with children, much more patience than I could have had...I am too competitive and they frustrate me with their carefree pick the clovers in the grass out fielding!

I am just wondering what Kaden was thinking.....
"should I look up at the ball or keep my eyes on the bag?, what did Dad say again?, Mom, I am thirsty, when are we getting treats? Oh here comes the ball I think!"  

He sure has a hard act to follow with his older brothers and he wanted to take on that challenge with his hitting.  He pounded that plate at least 3 times and cleared off all the dirt prior to any swinging action.
Colton and another neighborhood boy were on the same team, they both have high school age brothers who play baseball and it showed, these little boys played ball very differently than the other kids.  They were in the car on the first game night and I could hear them chatting in the back, Riley, "do you like the Red Soxs? Colton, "No they are WEAK, I like the Yankees"....WEAK, that is not a word in the vocab of a normal 7 year old!  All the boys were dressed to the nines with their gear, from batting gloves to sliding shorts.....if Colton could keep the cup in his pants, he would have worn that too!  Until next year.....I will miss baseball season.  

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

All work and no play?

My little boys are sure workers, just like their Momma! Our friends, Danny and Toni, own The Stew Pot in Heber and the boys think that they
should be able to work there since we are friends with the owners. They showed up with their aprons on and ready to of course, eat before they worked.
We needed a screen door put on the garage man door since we live next to a farm and lots of flies.....Colton basically installed the whole door with instruction from me. Seriously he has talent in this department.
Kaden's talents lie in the lawn care business, he wants to edge, spray weeds, mow and cut the bushes whether they need it or not.....Oh and no matter whose yard it is either. He starts the equipment himself, reads the instructions on the machine and gets them going, even when I can't.  The other day he weedwacked our neighbors back yard area, well maybe 1/4 of it, then knocks on their door asking for his money.....Some business strategy he has going on there. 
Occasionally we let them wash the car...well attempt the car, themselves get most of the washing ! Lots of yelling going on too...."he is spraying me" meanwhile, one whole entire bottle of car wash is used up and my driveway has turned into a slippin slide.
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