Monday, December 15, 2014

Children & Elves

The unseasonably warm weather in Utah has left me feeling a bit grinchy this holiday season.  Where is the snow?  Where is the chill in the air?

One not so cold day, my friend and I took our kids to see the busy elves at Gardner's Village.

I admit that it was a glorious afternoon.  The kids did not complain about cold toes or runny noses.

Christmas music echoed through the village.

Everyone was in good spirits.

These two pet the horse.  Moms listened to the cowboy's sales pitch to visit animal country.  For the record, we didn't!

We were  shocked and pleasantly surprised to see Grandpa Wally's name on the nice list.  It's not very often that you run into that name anywhere.  

Then there was the mistletoe.  Eric refused to stand anywhere near it!

Who wouldn't want to kiss this little guy, regardless of mistletoe?

Sydney and Suze tried to mail themselves to the North Pole.

The elves were cute, but hands down, the kids were cuter!  Don't you want to mush on this face?  Can you believe I am a great aunt?  What's up with that?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tree of Life

The kids and I visited Draper Park and beheld the spectacular "Tree of Life".  The name was coined by Draper residents, noting the similarity between this tree and the one mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

Not a great picture, but can you see the gorgeous Draper Temple in the background?  Don't let their coats fool you, I didn't even have a jacket that night.  We are having crazy weather in Utah! 

Sydney took the opportunity to roll down the hills, over and over again.

I'm pretty BAH HUMBUG about the lack of cold weather and snow this year, but I will admit the weather was glorious that night for this type of activity.

When you go, make sure you visit Akagi Lane.  It is a thirty second drive from the park and the light show from one particular house is incredible

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dancing Princess

 For the record, I am completely biased.  Having said that, isn't she the most beautiful, sparkly, little princess?

Sydney had her winter dance recital.  It is so much fun to watch her on stage.

Sydney has the cutest friends.  "L" came just to see Sydney and "A" dance.

Aunt Charity came after a long day of working and shopping to support Sydney.

Flowers for the dancing divas.

A princess and her protective king.

I love my sassy monkey.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Give Thanks

 Did you take the time this year to remember your blessings?
Sydney is grateful for "foob"/food.
Suze is grateful for Bridgit Mendler.
Someone really likes cheese.
I can relate to silence; rare and welcome in my life.

The holidays can be especially difficult when you are missing some special people.  Julie made sure their presences were still a part of our Thanksgiving.

Our family picture silhouetted the wall.  Mom, Dad and Susan are still with us.

I am grateful for small, cute, goofy faces.

So many people go without, I am grateful for food.

I am grateful for smiles and laughter.

I am grateful for kids with healthy bodies, who can dance to Clint's disco ball.

I am grateful for competitive games of Phase 10.  How I love that game.  Maybe one day I will make it through an entire game.

I am grateful for cute sisters.  They love me even when they "hate" me.

I am grateful for a variety of pies.  They remind me of Mom and her mad baking skills at Thanksgiving.  She was gifted in the kitchen and made sure every person had a pie to his/her preference:  pumpkin, chocolate, lemon meringue, banana, cherry, mince meat, coconut.

Mostly, I am thankful that Julie hosted Thanksgiving at her house so I didn't have to do it.  HA! HA! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pre-Thanksgiving Feast

If you are blessed to have two Thanksgiving celebrations, you are blessed enough.  This was certainly our situation this year.  Grandma wasn't able to have everyone over for turkey day; it was their off year.  Instead of taking it easy, grandma and grandpa made a splendid feast on a different day.

Hannah and Suze felt so grown up sitting by the fire and talking with Aunt Shiloh.

Lincoln logs were pulled out of boxes.  They giggled; they played.

Grandma entertained the smallest ones.

Silly faces were made when the camera appeared.

Shiloh showed off her prunes.

These guys lounged, hoping to make room for scrumptious pie.

I managed to get one family group shot.  Dang!  I need to get better with that.

There was plenty of food, but mostly this night was about talk, laughter...and family.  

Oh!  and grandpa was there somewhere, I promise.  Sorry, next time!