I've decided it's better to go picture-less than not blogging at all.
So picture in your mind's eye.
This vacation started out slowly since I was not feeling well. So the first few days were really low key.
Tuesday December 23rd - Glenn turned out kitchen into a candy factory. We delivered divinity and caramels to the neighbors and then the boys went to Cherry Creek Elementary to play basketball with another family of boys. They had a blast and Porter, who once said he didn't like basketball, started begging to go again and again. We watched movies and hung out as a family.
Wednesday December 24th - Christian and I went to Salt Lake for an outing. Then we went to Spanish Fork to pick up the grand prize present of the year - a dog named Bella. We took her to the neighbor's house who actually had bought one of her puppies just a week before and we left her there until my kids went to bed. While we were out doing this, Glenn had the younger boys and they went to the church to play basketball and then had lunch at Jimmy John's. Then they watched a Christmas Story. For dinner we had ham, cheesy potatoes, homemade rolls, Finnish Christmas Bread (A new holiday tradition for us from Glenn's brother's mission.), brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. We read and acted out the nativity from the bible. And then had homemade apple cider and went around the table offering toasts.
We put all the kids to bed in our room and Christian and I went to pick up the dog. He took her for a short walk and then we took her and her crate down to his room where they slept for the night.
Thursday December 25th - Christmas Morning
We situated the dog in front of the Christmas tree as everyone came in. They weren't as blown away by a real live dog sitting there as I had imagined in my mind - slightly anti climatic. I don't think they believed it for a while, but then they hardly left her alone for a second and we had to start a new rule that you can't call her away from a brother if he is already playing with her. The cat stayed in the bedroom area of our upstairs. The day was filled with cheese ball made with goat cheese and cream cheese. (Goat cheese is my favorite cheese.) Playing with toys and watching movies. It snowed all day long.
Friday December 26th - We played Porter's new game Tsuro a few times. It has enough chance element in it that Stafford was able to win as much as anyone and they are short games. Glenn pulled the boys behind the sled on the fields below our house. The dog followed right behind the sleds. Close enough that at one point, Porter was petting her with one hand and holding on with the other. In celebration of our Danish ancestors, Glenn has been making aebleskivers - spherical pancakes topped with powder sugar or whip cream or whatever. Glenn and I also went to Magelby's on a date and then went home to watch "Pursuit of Happiness".
Saturday December 27th - Four wheeler sled ride. Doggie leash training. And the Lord of the Rings Marathon begins with the first movie.
Sunday December 28th - Normal Sunday with family night.
Monday December 29th - I took one of my young women to my yoga class. Another 4 wheeler ride with the boys. This time I joined them. It was funny watching them bop around back there. My favorite part is that they created memories together and they have lots of inside jokes that they laugh about when referring to different things that happened. We also watched home videos that Glenn had made for me into DVDs.
Tuesday December 30th - Christian and Glenn went to the Mount Timpanogos Temple to do baptisms. Porter went sledding with a friend on the mountain behind our house. We went to the theater to watch "Night at the Museum III" and then Porter and I spent the rest of the day shopping.
Wednesday December 31st - We went bowling at BYU. We watched another Lord of the Rings. For dinner Glenn made my most favorite homemade meal - Swedish Meatballs. This was the first year that we have not been all together for New Year's Eve. Christian went to his first church dance. He was nervous, but excited and had a great time. His friend invited him over to hang out before the dance. When he got there, his friend's sister, who is a year younger than the boys, was having a party with her friends. The mom had a great idea and the hang out turned into dance lessons. Christian acted like it was incredibly painful, but we all got a huge laugh about it. Including the fact that the dad was walking around with his new handgun on his hip. If I didn't know them better, I'd be concerned, but I grew up around rednecks. That's what they do. Glenn and I debated if we should wait up for Christian. We were both so tired that we decided he could wake us up and we'd talk then. Well, it turns out that he walks quieter than we thought and we were in a deeper sleep than we thought we'd be and when I thought I heard someone softly say my name, I opened up my eyes to he a huge person standing right by my bed. I screamed and Glenn popped up faster then Christian could jump back from his unexpected greeting. A great way for Christian to end the night.
Thursday January 1st - I didn't write what we did in my journal so the day is gone completely from my memory.
Friday January 2nd - I went grocery shopping and got some errands done. Glenn took the boys ice skating and then to waffle love. While we were gone, the dog somehow unlocked the bottom lock of the crate and squeezed out. I don't know how she did it, but she was sure proud when I got home. That caused us to have to get online for some dog training and figuring out how to keep her comfortable while we are away. I don't know how anyone owned a dog before the internet. Anytime we have question, we hit the
Saturday January 3rd - Glenn came with me to my yoga class. Then I took the boys and we met cousin Ella and her mom Sara at the Children's Museum in Salt Lake City. I ran in some old friends from Colorado, the Adams. It was so great to talk to them again and I was reminded how much I enjoyed their company and laughing with them. They are the type of friends that even though we haven't seen each other for years, we seemed to pick up right where we left off. Then to lunch and then we headed to Seven Peaks Fun Center for bowling, mini golf and laser tag. We had dinner at our house, chicken, salad and chips. Then Ella and Christian made Rocky Road brownies and watched "The Giver". Stafford and Glenn went on an outing and Porter, Warrick, Sara and I played games - Tsuro and The Game of Things. The Game of Things ended up being great fun. Bella was having a hard time that night and Christian got the camping gear out to sleep with her in the mudroom.
Sunday January 4th - Church. The bishop told ward council that a young women's dad contacted Bishop and told him what a great support I had been to his daughter and he was grateful that I was there for her when she needed it. Her parents are going through a divorce right now. She thanked me for being there for her and making a difference as well. She calls me mom and I was really grateful that I was at the right place at the right time. (I'm also thankful for a church that focuses on service because it not only helps other people in their lives, but it brings meaning and color to our own lives.) We started our puzzle - one that represents something we did this year. Sara and Ella left today. We had family night and then watched "When the Game Stands Tall".
Monday January 5th - School begins again!