Sunday, September 27, 2009

January 2009: Durango Colorado

We caught a flight to Durango Colorado on New Year's Day for a little snow skiing / snowboarding at Purgatory.  Life is wonderful when you have amazing friends!  Nolan and I met Scott Allen with his twins, Matthew & Lindsey, when we went to work at The Sunflower House in Peru.  They quickly became wonderful friends and we discovered that they are also VERY generous! They live in New Mexico and own a condo across the street from Purgatory in Colorado and guess who they let visit . . .

Nobody complained about doing dishes here . . . even Keaton!

India waited for opportunities to go upstairs . . .

Nolan's specialty . . . eating!

Landon was always ready for family time . . . a movie!

The snow was falling and it was beautiful!  India played out in the snow for hours and decided to make her very own snow palace!  We all wanted to help however, Thomas proved to be the expert.  All dad's should know how to build palaces for their princesses!

The guys discovered that there were other ways to entertain themselves and us . . .

1.  Build a snow fort.

2.  Build a mini snowman.

3.  Look innocent after throwing snowballs at others.

4.  Juggle.

5.  Sled downhill - sometimes using sleds and occasionally . . . NOT!

And then, there was fun together time . . .

The boys had a wonderful time snowboarding while Thomas & India skied.  I skied some and even took lessons but bad news:  I'm still not a pro!  (I didn't expect anyone to be surprised.)

The snow was falling heavily during the first few skiing days.  The ski pictures resembled television static and the days were overcast, however we were having a fabulous time and the boys are excellent snowboarders while India & Thomas impressed me with their skiing abilities.  This wasn't our first trip but they are excellent occasional snow birds.

The last day was beautiful, complete with a blue sky and I was wanting to try snowshoeing!  I have the best family in the world and they all agreed to go with me!

We got our shoes and off we went . . .

I wasn't a professional at hiking up the mountain either!  We actually all slid down a few times!

Nolan made it look easy!  He blazed a trail and eventually, with his help, we all made it up to the top and had a magnificent view!

What a great way to start the year!

(P.S.  Thomas tied the camera to a tree, set the timer and ran to join the family!  He made it and we have a great family picture to capture our top-of-the-mountain memory!)

Girl in a Whirl!

I'm all on my own and attempting to post on my blog! Is this working or could I be wasting my time??? I've been searching for at least 5 minutes to locate the right button that will allow me to post new things and now that I think I'm on the right page . . . I may never figure out how to get back again! However, I'm hoping to make a girl in a whirl attempt at summarizing our life. For posterity's sake, I'm going to rewind to January 2009 and make a whirl wind review of the ultimate year!

Nolan has been safely deposited at the Provo MTC in the new and improved "kicked to the curb" fashion! We have anticipated this moment for the last 19 years and it came much faster than we could have imagined. I am so thankful the Lord inspired me to educate my children at home because I realize I have few regrets or thoughts of missed conversations I wish I'd had. What haven't we done?!?!
1. Adopt a million pets . . . check!
2. Dissect creatures for biology . . . check!
3. Attempt to adopt children . . . check!
4. Become expert practical jokers . . . check! . . . . . . .

We also foresaw this moment when our family dynamics would be changed for . . . well, forever. I hear a 21 year old return missionary is a very different character than the 19 year old I last saw. As we contemplated how our lives would change, we made a plan to create as many fun memories as was humanly possible this last year! I think we were very successful!!

I will now attempt to post this entry, figure out how to add pictures and blog 2009!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life!

Welcome to our world! I'm feeling BRAVE - or insane - and am excited about our blog. My incredible sister Cari is responsible (for good or bad, better or worse) and we have now officially ARRIVED. We have a blog site! How do all of you people do this?? I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed but for now, we will hold on with both hands and enjoy the ride. Cari is wonderful and I appreciate her help (truth be told - doing the WHOLE thing) and is absolutely in the running to be the favorite sister!!!! Meanwhile, I am in the learning process. . .

Thomas is THE most wonderful man in the whole world and we look forward to celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this September. 20 years is equivalent to FOREVER in most minds and the fact that he has survived me proves my point!!! Everyone who knows him, loves him and he is the reason for my very, happy life. Life has been full of ups and downs and happily the "ups" have continued to come and we will try to chronicle many of them here in the future. We are the parents of the fab four mentioned below and they are responsible for a lot of fun in our lives.

Nolan is 18 and already attending college. Crazy how little boys become men when we blink. I can't imagine a better eldest son. He is handsome, intelligent, kind and has an incredible desire to do what is right. Nolan never meets a stranger and no one has ever loved me more than he does. He has made it easier to raise the rest of our fabulous children. Always thoughtful, he has often made me breakfast and calls before he comes home. He is obedience personified and his siblings are following in his footsteps. He has a great sense of humor and is always inventing things. I could use a dose of his creativity!

Keaton is 15 and full of life. He has a magnetic personality and is tons of fun to be around. I would love to have his quick wit and sense of humor for just one day. He loves to tackle the unique and can juggle, walk on his hands, ride a unicycle, and solve the 3x3, 4x4 & 5x5 Rubix's cubes amoung other astounding circus type feats. He is handsome and intelligent like his brother (they all are!) and has had just about every pet imaginable. I have learned about everything from owls, squirrels, and snakes to the recovery process of an Achilles Tendon repair while raising Keaton and I've loved every minute.

Landon is 13 and all boy - and I'm so glad. He is obviously handsome and intelligent and loves practical jokes, all things funny, and playing rough. He has never ruined a good picture by being serious and is very laid back. He eats left-overs cold, doesn't worry about his clothes, and is a loyal friend to all. He loves to wrestle anyone and everyone regardless of age or size and is the toughest kid I've seen. He is fun to be with and so selfless. He is persistent and has worked to overcome anything that gets in his way. I have learned to be more fun while raising him and am proud of myself for surviving his first few years because he lived large!

India will be 10 on Friday! (March 20 - all of my kids will be in the double digits!!!) She's quite the beautiful princess and the sweetest little girl I've ever known. Its wonderful to have a girlfriend in the house and she is so full of life. I have learned to be more compassionate and loving through her example. She is so friendly and loves everyone and everything. Due to her cheerfulness and compassion, she also loves to take care of everyone and everything. It is fun to see her making jewelry or other crafts and sharing them with others. The love of her life is her little 3 lb. 11 oz. Pomeranian, Raja, and life is good for both girl and dog.

Obviously, life is not perfect, however, it is a wonderful life! We are excited to attempt this endeavor and ask you to wish us lots of luck!