Monday, December 31, 2007

Teralyn's first piano recital



Teralyn had her first piano recital yesterday! Nicole Jensen (her piano teacher), Holly King, and Heather Connor all combined their students for a recital at the Connor's house. Well, it was great fun! All the kids did so well. I was really impressed. I have to say though that I think I was more nervous than Tera. She was so calm through the whole thing while I was just shaking in the chair. Yes, she did mess up on one of her songs, but she calmly started again and kept going.


So, on the way to the recital I remembered my camera, but by then it was too late! I was pretty upset, but luckily my good friend Jenni was there to save the day! Here are some pictures that she took for us....


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas



Christmas Eve day was actually really relaxing this year. We had everything ready, so we got to relax a little as a family. Then, that night we headed on over to our friends house, the Turpins, for a little fondue. We had cheese fondue for dinner and then chocolate for dessert. We loved it! We have done this a few years now because we are both family less during this time and every year we just have such a great time and eat so much! Our kids had a blast playing video games downstairs and so we had a great evening. We then acted out the Nativity (so sad that I forgot my camera!) and all the kids were so cute! We headed on home and our girls all climbed into bed with Tera (all on the top bunk) and excitedly went to sleep (at least I think they did).

Bri and I watched Elf and laughed all evening while we prepared. The next morning we woke up before our girls (around 5:30), made some breakfast, put it in the oven, and then I went back to sleep (: . Bri finally woke the girls (and their mom) around 7:00 and we had our annual candlelight breakfast before the Christmas rush. We had a great breakfast and then lined up youngest to oldest to go in to Christmas.

This year was one of my favorites so far. The girls didn't rush through things too much, but actually took time to wait for each other a little. They each get three presents from us and then a stocking from Santa. We asked them to wait for their sisters to open their gifts, so they would all do it at the same time, and they did a great job. It was a very fun morning.


These were the gifts the girls got this year:

Tera- American Girl Doll (I know, we splurged a little), world
globe, and Barbie head (you can do her hair).
Shaylee- Barbie laptop, karaoke machine (maybe they actually will have the guts to
sing in the talent show this year. Cross your fingers!), and remote control
dog.
Ashtyn- Littlest Pet Shop, Leapster, and a new baby stroller.
Raegan- blocks, more blocks, and turtle push toy


Every year Brian tries to surprise me with a gift. He is convinced that I am psychic or something because I always know my gifts! I actually really try not to know. One year I found the receipt lying in the floor. Well, this year he actually surprised me! he gave me Photoshop Elements from Adobe. It's a program that helps you fix your pictures. I am really excited about it, now I just need a new camera (: ....
But the best part about it was that I had no idea! I even suggested this to him a while ago, but when it came down to it, I had totally forgotten about the suggestion.

As for Bri, he pretty much knew that he was going to get roller blades. He loves them though! He went out on Christmas day and tried them out. He has never had in line skates before and he is determined to learn how to use them. I am quite proud of him because he got my girls to go out on their roller blades too. Maybe they will actually learn how to use them after all.

So, Christmas night we had the Jensen family and Bro. Sethi in our ward for Christmas dinner. We had ham, yummy potatoes (Nicole's), salad, rolls and then caramel holiday popcorn. We just talked and enjoyed Bro. Sethi's stories and then the kids did a little karaoke.






Yesterday, Bri still had time off (he got senior staff the other day at work and therefore has five extra days of vacation a year!!!!). So, we played games all day and then in the evening went ice skating. Ashtyn was begging to go all day, but when she actually got the skates on and realized what she was getting herself into, I think she changed her mind. After a few falls, she did go out again though! Tera and Shay stayed pretty close to then edge for the first hour, but by the second they were actually letting go of the side a little! Raegan and I enjoyed watching from the side and laughing at Brian skating from girl to girl. I think that was his crash course for ice skating. He did pretty darn good though...



























Teralyn lost her tooth on Christmas Eve!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Some of our Christmas traditions...

We love to go to the Symphony of Lights down by the hospital. Every year we pay the twenty bucks and let our kids get out of their seat belts and the have free rein in the car while we all enjoy the lights. Bri even lets them drive. Yes I know, crazy! But the kids love it and we really enjoy it too!

Gingerbread houses. I know this is pretty much everyone's family tradition, but we started doing this about four years ago and have pictures from every year. One year my bro. who was on his mission here got to do it with us. Way fun! Anyway, we finally finished this tradition this morning. So, we all had quite the sugar high right before church.

Christmas lights at the temple. I love this! Every year it is just the same, but the spirit is so strong and I love that my kids can also feel it. This year was really special to us. The live nativity scene was excellent and even brought tears to our eyes. I really wanted my little girls to understand the true meaning of Christmas and after watching it twice, Ashtyn was begging to go back. I love to take my girls to the temple and just feel the spirit that presides there.

Advent Calendar. Okay so, this is our first year doing this since I just made it this year, but I think it will stick because my kids loved it! We did a scripture advent calendar where every night we would turn over a star and read a scripture about the Saviour. It was a great way to keep the true meaning of Christmas and also a fun way to count down....

And this is one of my kids' favorite tradition. On Christmas Adam (the night before Christmas Eve) Brian sleeps with the girls in their room. He makes a bed for himself on the floor and usually they all end up right next to him. Yes, everyone is tired in the morning, but it is so worth it! My kids love this. Then on Christmas Eve night, the girls get to sleep in each other's beds. It usually ends up with us moving them in the night....


Although this tradition hasn't happened yet, this is definitely my favorite, so I have to tell. Every Christmas morning, Brian and I wake up before the girls and make them a yummy breakfast. We go all out, muffins, fruit cocktail, sausage, quiche, hot chocolate etc. We put up a blanket so they can't see the Christmas room and then we all have a candlelight breakfast before the Christmas rush. When everyone is sufficiently excited, we get in line youngest to oldest and go in.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Raegan crawls!!! Oh, and an accident...

Okay, two things happened this last Wednesday that I just have to write about. One was that Raegan finally crawled! We were so excited. She has been scooting around on her tummy for quite some time now and just the day before, we were wondering if she was ever going to use her knees, but on Wednesday she did! Ashty and I got a cute video of her first little crawls....

That was the good news. The bad news was that that night Teralyn and I had gone to piano lessons and while we were driving home, we came to a roundabout off of Stephen's Road and a pickup truck didn't stop as he was coming into the roundabout and hit us on the back passenger side door. The window shattered all over the back seat and the door was smashed in, but Tera and I were just fine. The driver of the pickup truck said he didn't see us (I'm assuming he thought we were going to turn and not stay in the roundabout). He was actually really apologetic and we were just grateful that Tera wasn't on the other side of the car. So, here are some pictures of our car and our serran wrap that we taped to the window....

It's kind of funny that just the other day I was telling Bri how sad I felt for people who get in wrecks right before Christmas. Yes, it's such a pain to have to get a rental, to find a good body shop, to take off work to get the rental car and take the other car to the shop, to coordinate with the insurance, etc. etc., but just tonight we were saying how grateful we are that it wasn't our fault and that we have never been in a life threatening accident. What more could we ask for right? Especially considering the way my husband drives. At least now I have a good story. (:


video

Monday, December 10, 2007

Work Christmas Party



Every first Saturday in December Brian's work at the Applied Physics Laboratory has a family Christmas party. Every year we are sooo excited to go! This year they had Dora the Explorer and Boots walking around, they had all you can eat ice cream bars, a yummy lunch and dessert, Santa Claus, face painting, magic show and a one man circus show. Our kids love it and we do too.

This year was a little crazy. There were so many people there, it was almost hard to walk around. Ashtyn even got lost once in all the people and by the time we found her so was crying. Thankfully we got there early though, so we saw the shows and then sat on Santa's lap when the second shows started.



So, my girls have always been a little scared of Santa. I always just expect it. We stand in line the whole time and I make sure they know that they are going to be sitting on his lap and they seem fine about it, until we get there. Then they usually freak out a little. Well, this year was better. It was only Ashtyn that freaked out, so Tera and Shay just sat on his lap.

It's kind of funny that Ashtyn wasn't scared of the gigantic Dora and Boots though and the older girls were. So, we got a picture of the older girls with santa and Ashtyn with Dora and Boots. I couldn't get Ashtyn alone with Dora, so we have a cute little girl who was a little camera shy in the picture with her. (:


All tied up... our Christmas tree that is.



It's kind of a catch up week again. But, I am trying not to do a huge blog all in one day so I will do some over a few days instead.

Every first Family Home Evening in December we go out to get our tree. We have gone to Home Depot every year, and this year we had thoughts of going to cut our own tree down, but as soon as we saw how cold it was, those thoughts were quickly washed away. So, we all headed down to Home Depot on the coldest night of the year so far. Well, because of the great weather, we were just about the only ones there! It made it great for picking out a great tree. After about forty five minutes of looking and turning down (oh, and making a potty trip in the middle), we finally decided on the fattest tree that we could find. We saw our friends from Columbia 2nd ward, the Laws, and they had come and gone before us. Oh well, we felt good about our fat little tree.


A couple nights later we decorated our tree and it looks just like a family's tree with four little kids who live there. We enjoy all the ornaments in one spot in the front. It really gives it character. Well, I guess the tree didn't enjoy it too much though because at 2:30 in the morning we hear a huge crash. Yes, the tree had fallen. I guess it was a little top heavy. Brian decided to tie it up. Yes, our tree is now tied to our wall. At least it won't fall again right?

After five years, and it's over.....

Last Sunday I was released from the primary presidency after being in for five years!! And yes, I have loved every minute of it. Although I sometimes missed getting to know the sisters in the ward, I made some wonderful friends in the primary and loved being with and teaching those cute kids. When I first got in, I thought I would never get used to the two to three hour presidency meetings that we had every Wednesday, but after a while I learned to love them and they became almost my favorite part of my week (: . I have to say though that I definitely have mixed feelings about being released. On the one hand, I am really excited to get enriched in Sunday school and relief society (I know, that sounds weird, but it has been almost nine years since I have been in!). But on the other hand, I will miss the my friends who I have worked so closely with for so long and feeling the sweet simple spirit that you get in primary.

So, about three days before I was released and before the calling was even open, I had a feeling that I was going to be called as the compassionate service leader. I haven't ever envied that calling and was actually shocked when Jeri said how much she loved it, so I quickly pushed the thought out of my mind and tried to ignore it. Well, it kept coming back and then when Jeri got called as 1st counselor in the primary presidency, I leaned over to Brian and said, "I know what my calling is going to be." The next Sunday morning I was called...

Okay, now that I think about it, I think that the Lord knew that I needed a little time to think it over in my head before I was called. I know it won't be easy, but already I have a better attitude than I think I would have if I wasn't a little prepared. I have a wonderful mentor who came before me and I'm actually a little excited for my new calling. Who knew huh?

So, to my fellow ward sisters, If your husband's haven't already blocked our number from the amount of calls Brian makes, then you just better do it now.... (: