Olds Family Christmas Party

January 19, 2017 on 9:19 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

We hosted the Olds Family Christmas Party again this year.  We were short a few people, but we managed to have a good time anyway!

Cousin Andrew had a new game to show the boys and asked if we had an extra laptop.  Oh, we have extra laptops …

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Food was a lovely assortment of finger foods that everyone brought and it was all yummy!  A party calls for games so we did play a drawing and guessing game that ended in a lot of laughter!

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We draw names to decide who we will give a present to at the party.  It is always fun to see what people choose and give.  Tommy had baby Jocelyn and picked out this hat with hair for her.  Adorable!

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Four of the boys got lego sets from those who couldn’t be at the party, so we had to do a customary thank you picture!  Billy didn’t feel left out – he got a hunk of aluminum and some money from Uncle Tony and he was happy as could be!

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My mom knitted everyone a hat this year.  Soft and cute and fun … they required a selfie!

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Everybody liked their hats …

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and why wouldn’t they??

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These are the people in my family …

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and they are pretty cool!

Christmas Recital 2016

January 18, 2017 on 3:14 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Billy, Rusty, and Tommy had their Christmas Piano Recital a couple of weeks before Christmas.

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I loved hearing the boys play Christmas songs.  I’m always impressed with what Rusty and Tommy have learned just since the beginning of September!

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Trying to keep Bobby quiet isn’t always the easiest.  But we do try!

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HERE is a 6 minute clip of each of their songs and a fun version of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” that all the students performed.

Early December

January 15, 2017 on 2:50 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

December is always a busy month.  I try not to over schedule myself or the boys, but it can be a challenge.  I counted and I hosted at least 8 events/parties in December!  I went to several other parties, too!  I think I’m partied out!

Every once in a while I did slow down and enjoy the scenery.  Like Bobby playing with toy food while wearing his Angry Birds hat.  He munch munched and shared his creations with me.

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Our first Christmas party was our ward Christmas dinner.  There was a contest for festive attire, so I made us glow!

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The boys just got holiday headgear …

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The program was a fun retelling of “The Night Before Christmas” with each organization adding a part.  The Elders Quorum played Christmas songs on the bells and the Primary kids sang a couple of songs, for instance.

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Santa and Mrs. Claus were the ones telling the story, so we snuck up for a picture when it was all through.  I don’t like standing in line for Santa, but this was perfect and Bobby’s face is priceless!

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Our family won the “Most Festive Family” award of the night!  Sigh.  We are cute.

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I have a whole collection of Christmas Little People Toys slash decorations.  Bobby couldn’t get enough of them when I pulled them out!  He also latched onto this little Christmas stuffed dog and needed to know where “Christmas Dog” was all December long!

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The Nerf gun wars are heated at our friend’s home – goggles required!  Except he was only playing against himself, so…

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We spent an evening at the Buck’s home.  We ate goodies and visited while we waited for the tractor Santa parade.  The kids even braved the cold to play night games.  The Nativity was home base.  Rusty loved the baby Jesus, but Billy just liked hanging out, leaning on a wise man.

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The Tractor Santa Parade is one of my favorite things.  Santa comes on a tractor pulling a trailer with carolers and the Grinch in a cage.

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They stop and give out candy and take pictures.  It is just delightful and fun and I hope they never stop!!

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I enjoy decorating the Christmas tree, but it is fun watching the boys add the finishing touches.

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Christmas tree, lights, stockings, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol … it’s beginning to look like Christmas!

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We put a train around the little tree and Bobby loved it!

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PTA took orders for “Straight Outta Hooper” shirts and hoodies and the order came in the second week of December.  I had over 500 shirts to sort and distribute.

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These boxes almost got decorated for Christmas since they spent too much time at my house waiting for people to pick up their shirts!

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The weatherman from KSL came to talk to the 4th graders and their picture made it onto the evening news.  Billy was very, very excited about it!  He was telling us about it at dinner when he suddenly stopped and said, “Wait!  What time is it?” Billy is on the second from bottom row, off center to the left in a red shirt.

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For Christmas gifts to our neighbors, we took out pomegranates, straight from California.  To make it more fun, Kevin and the boys carol as they drop them off.  I drove the get-away car with all the packages.  People seem to really enjoy it and the boys are getting better at their caroling skills.  Someday they could be professionals!

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CA for Thanksgiving

January 14, 2017 on 2:36 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

We once again headed to California for the Thanksgiving weekend.  We left as soon as the boys got home from school.  And we, again, ran into lots of traffic.  Bobby had been so excited and helping me pack that he fell asleep long before we even made it onto the freeway.

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After slow going in traffic for so long, we stopped at an IHop for dinner.  Can’t go wrong with the IHop!

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We had reservations at a hotel in Cedar City and ended up getting there in pretty good time, considering the earlier traffic.  The next morning we were on our way nice and early and thought we were making good time … until more traffic.  Ah, the joy of driving on a big holiday weekend!  But we did make it to Grandpa and Grandma’s house and the boys were happy to see family and to be out of the suburban!

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We do enjoy our weekend with just Grandpa Brent, Grandma Jeanne, Aunt Wendi, and Aunt Sheri.

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The boys had written a play that they performed and we played “Heads Up” on the phones and we ate good food.

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Kevin carved that turkey like a pro!

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Friday.  Friday is our Beach Friday.  This year we went to the beach at Corona del Mar and I loved it!

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It isn’t a huge beach and while there were people there, there wasn’t a big crowd.

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I loved watching the boys love the ocean!

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Ricky was daring and went out farther than I liked, but he’s a good swimmer and was just fine (I did make Kevin go in after him a couple times, just to be safe).

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Tommy got some beach ball time in …

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that boy moves and moves and rarely stops!

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Rusty probably likes the water least, but he loves the sand and digging and finding shells!

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When Billy decided to bury himself in the sand, Bobby was right there to help him.

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Where did Billy go?

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One of my favorite parts of this beach is that a short walk down the shore there are tide pools to explore.  Ricky and the boys decided to make their own tide pool.

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They built up the walls and even supplied it with seaweed!

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The seagulls were brave and approached us several times.  I even had to shoo one off the blanket as I was sitting on it!  Bobby found great pleasure in chasing them and calling them “seagull chickens!”

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The tide pools were awesome this year!  We were there at a super low tide time and found lots of crabs and little fish and anemone type things.  The most exciting was this black octopus.  He was hard to photograph, but you can see his head just off center to the left.  He may have made me squeal every time he reached a big old tentacle out of the water!  He wasn’t just little, his head was bigger than a dinner plate!

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We crawled over rocks and looked in pools …

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And climbed over more rocks and looked in more pools …

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And stopped to watch things crawl and scurry …

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There was a cave to crawl through that would be totally under water during high tide (that hole behind Rusty)

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It was a fabulous time for exploring!

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Beach Friday is always a good day! (look at that view behind us!)

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And Beach Friday is even better because Aunt Wendi comes with us!

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I do love Beach Friday!!

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When I was Tommy’s age, my teacher asked what our favorite part of Thanksgiving was.  She shared my response with me years and years later because she’d never forgotten.  I told her my favorite part of Thanksgiving was “getting to sleep in as late as you want!”

Sleeping in as late as you want isn’t so easy with this crowd …
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We went over to Aunt Sheri’s new house and played games and hung some pictures on the wall for her.

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It is a really cute house!

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We watched some old home videos that I had digitalized a few years ago and we actually found Kevin in the swim meet one.  I hadn’t been able to do that on my own.  It was a lot of fun watching him swim the 500, even if he was wearing a speedo (they always make me cringe).

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And before we knew it, the weekend was over and it was time to head back home.

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Good-byes are always hard.

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We got an early start on Sunday and made excellent time!

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Traffic heading to Utah was pretty light, the weather good, and the boys perfect travelers!

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Our goal was to get past Beaver before it got dark.  We did it and thought we were going to have smooth sailing the rest of the way home.  We were even on target to be home before 8 pm, which never happens!

Then we hit Holden.

Google Maps told us there was a major slow down on the freeway and that by taking the frontage road, we could save over an hour.  We’ve taken that road more than once, so we trusted the app and got off the freeway.

It was correct.  The freeway was very backed up, the snow was starting to stick some, and we were pretty much alone on the frontage road.  It was a good call.  As we got close to where we normally get on the freeway, we could tell there were still taillights for miles and the app encouraged us to continue on the frontage road.  We had never taken that section, but there were other cars getting off the freeway to take it, so we decided to try.  That was probably NOT the best decision we made that night.

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For over an hour, we sat, not moving, on that frontage road.  We could see that the freeway wasn’t really moving either and that the south bound lanes of the freeway were closed.  The road was slick and people were not being smart.  And we were just stopped.

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Some people got out of their cars and walked up the line of stopped vehicles.  At other times we saw cars turn around and go back to the freeway or into Holden.  We just wanted to get to Scipio, the next biggish town.  The word finally came back that we were stuck because the semis ahead of us couldn’t go anywhere and the frontage road was for 4×4 vehicles only.  We had 4 wheel drive, so we passed the semis and went on.  The instruction should have been “4x4s with chains and a death wish only.”

It was slick.  It was snowy.  It was dark.  It was steep.  It was dangerous.  There were cars tipped over in the ditches with their wheels in the air!  We were in constant danger of going off the road and the stress of it got to Kevin.  He felt the pressure of getting us through the ordeal safely and his body acted adversely.  He had a panic attack that I had to talk him through because we were in no way able to pull over and take a deep breath or change drivers.  Once we got through that most dangerous part, we pulled over and he walked around outside and was fine, but it was freaky.  The boys were oblivious.  They had just gotten permission to play video games before we got onto this frontage road, so they were happily playing and just knew that their parents weren’t really happy about the driving conditions right then.

As we continued on to Scipio, past the cars in ditches, we had a sedan approach us.  It was just sliding and not really in control.  We stopped him and told him to turn around, that he’d never make it.  Thankfully, he took our advice and followed us back out.  It took us more than 2 hours to go the 15 miles from Holden to Scipio.  A lot of prayers went out during that time.  We only had patchy cell service, but we had friends back home and family in California praying for us and we definitely felt those prayers.

I’d stayed strong for Kevin while we were driving along that horrible road, but once we reached the city streets in Scipio, I couldn’t hold back the tears.  My eyes just leaked and leaked!   I was just so thankful we’d made it through safely!!

The rest of the drive home was smooth and easy.  Just those 2+ hours of rottenness.  But what good is a vacation without a great story to tell!

We got home to snow just starting to fall but by the time we got up the next morning, we were facing a winter wonderland …

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It was a far, far cry from Beach Friday!

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And that was our Thanksgiving in California!



 

November-ing

January 13, 2017 on 2:08 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

The biggest problem with having to do a major catch up on this blog is that the details go missing.  My poor mom-brain just can’t remember all the little funny things they do and say or sometimes exactly WHY I took a picture.  I feel bad about losing those moments.  Oh, well, here we go with November …

West Point City put up a military memorial at their big park and I attended the dedication with my mom.

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There were speakers and music and a minute of silence at 11 o’clock.  It was Veteran’s Day.

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The speakers included Senator Orrin Hatch and a member of the House of Representatives (I can’t remember who it was now, I think Rob Bishop).

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It is a nice sized memorial with walls for each branch of the military, flags, a statue, benches …

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My parent’s names are also on the donor wall …

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Dad’s name is on the Navy wall. I’m very proud of my dad’s service!

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We took our friends the Bucks out for dinner to celebrate Brian getting a new job after having been laid off a few weeks.  We were brave and tried the sushi plate.  I can’t really say I enjoyed it.

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Another friend, Shelly, had a few months where her life was just turned upside down and twisted sideways.  I took her to the “When Life Gets Hard” conference where we got to laugh and feel good as we listened to Hank Smith, John Bytheway, and Meg Johnson share humorous and inspirational messages.

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Before the weather turned bad, Kevin worked on our new rabbit hutch.  He’s been super patient with me since I had a design in my head and a picture online and he’s had to create it!

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Bobby thinks he’s helpful.

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Rusty actually is helpful and quite enjoys helping his dad with this project.

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Mid-November was our church’s Primary children’s program.  I just LOVE seeing my boys on the stand saying their parts and singing the songs.  I really like hearing them sing the songs!

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Billy is the most easy to pick out on this recordings I snuck.  I just hit record on my phone and taped the audio of the songs.  I couldn’t resist.  The tears that flow from happiness, laughter, and the spirit … I had to capture these moments!  We get lots of comments after the program about what a good group of boys we have … and how enthusiastically Billy sings!  You can hear 7 minutes of it HERE.

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The Primary children colored the front of the program.

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I don’t think we were supposed to end up with all three that our boys colored!

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I love the stage of life we are in right now.  The boys are all fun and we can do so much.  I miss the baby-ness a little, but at least Bobby still sits on our lap for stories.  He was particularly captivated by my telling of the Grinch this November.  It was new and amazing to him and I loved every minute of it!

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I sold the desk that we’ve had in Ricky’s room.  It was old when I bought it for $10 three years ago and I never did any repairs or painted it and it just got older.  I listed it for $20 and sold it right off!  But that doesn’t stop people.  This woman pulled out all the manipulation tricks except “and her parents are military overseas.”  Sorry, lady!  The desk is sold and gone.  I had dealt with a couple of other manipulative women that week and this was just the cherry on top!

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Council PTA Reflections awards were given out mid-November.  These three were very excited to see if they would advance to the next level…

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It turned out that only Tommy is moving on!  The other two took it well and were happy for their little brother.

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Kevin and I took Ricky to see “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”  It was a good movie and we had a really good time.

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We really don’t go out to movies much, so it is a big treat when we do!

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We ended our fun with dinner at Warrens.  Love these two!

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Kevin is the Elder’s Quorum President in our ward and they had an Elder’s Pinewood Derby.  This was for the men and it cracked me up to see them getting into it so much!  Kevin didn’t have time to make a new car, so he raced Ricky’s car (far left).  It did pretty good against all these men designed ones!

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Sometimes when you sing, you need to hold fake squash in your ears.  I think it makes you sing better.  Or at least Bobby thought so!

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Thanksgiving was coming and we were enjoying ourselves!

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The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Billy got his braces off!  It was only his first phases of braces – he will have to have them again in a couple of years, but his teeth already look so nice!  He loved having nothing metal or foreign in his mouth for a whole week before he had to start wearing a retainer!

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There you go!

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