Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our First Family Christmas Bash

About a month after moving into our new home, we hosted our first ever Christmas Bash for Extended Family. Trying to get ready for it was STRESSFUL with all the unpacking, house organizing, Christmas decorating, cleaning, cooking, and bar chair assembling (Jim and whoever else he could grab started assembling bar chairs about an hour before the event) but it was totally worth all the effort. We enjoyed a fabulous potluck buffet of soup, bread, and salad topped off by homemade cupcakes and Elly's famous ice cream. I'm thankful Jim worked so hard to get those bar chairs assembled as they were all put to good use! We visited,

and opened crazy white elephant gifts.

Taylor got the best gift of all, a picture of Eldon and...a fox? Eldon opened a gift of sweet smelling soap.

Grandma loved the candles she got...and was very disappointed when someone took them away.:(

The kids' favorite gift was the M&M dispenser in spite of the fact that it was filled with stale M&Ms.

We played,

and laughed,

and visited some more!

What fantastic family fun! We're grateful that we get to live so close to family.

Monday, December 20, 2010

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

2010 has been a year filled with wonderful blessings for our family.

Jim and Janene had the opportunity to travel to New York, Florida and Utah several times to visit with family and spoil grandchildren. A new grandson and a new son-in-law were added to the family. The most amazing surprise of all, was our move to Utah to live closer to family!

Jim still works for the same high tech company, but with a new broader assignment. Janene is enjoying her roles as a devoted wife, doting grandmother, and dietetic consultant.

Our daughter, Elly, and her husband, Brian, had some amazing growing experiences this year. We are so happy for their family and for our chance to live closer to them.

Elly quit her part time job to do some freelance genealogy research, performed in a stake musical production and floated the Boise river for the first time.

Brian is still putting in a lot of hours as regional sales manager for a CO2 supply company. We appreciate his hard work and the fact that he spends as much time as possible with his family.

Nathan (11) composed his first piano piece and successfully guided his brother through the biggest corn maze ever!

Matthew (8) was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He won the Reflections contest for his photography entry which was inspired by the successful corn maze experience.

Maggie (5) started kindergarten and loves it! Once a very reserved child, she has blossomed to become every one's best friend in kindergarten.

Becca (2) always lights up the room when she flits in with her big happy grin!

Our daughter, Tori, and her husband, Ryan, bought a beautiful new home in Florida.

After a challenging pregnancy, Tori gave birth to Miles in September. She bounced right back after the delivery and was up and running in a week. She managed to pull together a successful birthday party with 30 guests after three weeks!

Ryan loves being a dentist, playing a little football and training for triathlons. We appreciate how much he enjoys spending time with his family.

Miles (3 mos.) has reached the smiley, cooing stage. We're excited to have him join the family. Our biggest complaint is that he and the rest of his family live so far away!

Owen (3) "doesn't like carrots and ice cream and stuff like that". He has recently started knocking on the neighbors doors asking for a Capri Sun to get his juice fix.

Our son, Jacob, just landed his dream job designing home accessories for this company. He moved into his first apartment which is located in a 19th century brownstone with a view of a lush couryard for a steal of a deal. Jacob continues to love his New York City life!

Sariah married James Brett and didn't even change her last name! They currently reside near BYU where they are attending school. Sariah will be graduating in April with a degree in Dietetics. Brett will finish his undergraduate work the following spring with plans to enter medical school. They love their life together!

Cami is thankful to be working fewer hours in the BYU bookstore so she can have more time for homework (in pursuit of her degree in English) and for Boone. We are thankful to be living near Cami and Sariah.

On top of all this, our minds and bodies are still working. As we age, this becomes more of a miracle :-). We love our new home. We miss our Idaho friends but have enjoyed meeting new Utah ones. We appreciate each and every moment spent with family. We're glad you're a part of our life! Thanks for all you do. We hope that 2011 brings you blessings untold!