Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winter WoNdErlaNd!

Here are a few things we learned on our snowshoeing adventure at Tibblefork:
  • Don't wear gloves that are too small
  • Don't wear boots that are too small
  • Hot chocolate is the BEST when you are FREEZING!
  • Cookies to dip in the hot chocolate is even better!
  • White candies are Emily's "energy" pill
  • Your toes stop feeling cold when they go numb
  • Mom's new snow boots are nice and toasty warm :)
  • We LOVE snowshoeing!
  • We love REI outlet... yes, some gloves are on their way
When people say how beautiful winter is, they are talking about scenes like these!
The snow was perfect! It was so thick and fluffy, it looked like huge marshmallows everywhere! Braving the cold was worth every minute! Even Emily had a great time!

Merry Christmas 2009

The kids wanted to take the PERFECT picture for their annual photo with their cookies for Santa. They were all so precious how could I choose just one?
We will never worry about our safety when Thomas is around.
Dad was no match for this mighty warrior!
The first presents the kids wanted to open were the ones they had gotten from each other. It was neat to see what thoughtful gifts they gave.
Jac was super excited to get new track shoes. The size was a little off ;) but the color ROCKS!
Matt was excited to get an oil painting kit for "Dummies". He looks forward to getting some one on one lessons from Nicki, who is AMAZING!

We spent the day playing with Lego's, making things with clay, painting and watching "UP" together as a family. It was wonderful!

Grandma and Grandpa Heaps came by on one of their many stops to wish us a merry Christmas. We love having them over; even when Grandpa tells us all about how they kill chickens, deer, pheasants and, I'm not sure what else... he lost me after that ;) He loves to share his knowledge!
All of the girls were surprised with matching aprons! This doesn't mean we have to cook does it? :) Now that we look good, just wait to see what we cook up!

Christmas Eve with the Parish's

It is always fun when we get together with the Parish's. This time was no different!
Who knew there would be so many different ways to make a gingerbread house? We had a log cabin, the Salt Lake temple(bet you can't guess who made that one!) Another temple that turned into something else, and a tower of Babel (that's what Matt called it anyway). The best one had to be Davin's pile of graham crackers and CANDY!!!!! After all, this is the real reason for making gingerbread houses isn't it? To EAT!
We are very creative, don't you think?!
Amber treated us to her wonderful homemade tortillas and delicious chili sauce.
The kids had a great time creating and doing what cousins do best :)
The highlight of the evening was of course, the NATIVITY.
The kids did a great job (even Thomas who was the shepherd gone Spaniard?) hee hee.
Thanks Parish's for a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Temple Square

Thomas sang at the Assembly Hall and the visitor's center on Temple Square.

The Choir sounded Beautiful as always!
It was the perfect opportunity to walk around and see the lights
Even though it was very COLD we still enjoyed the breathtaking beauty of the Temple and all it's surroundings.
It was great to have our family join us with one of my favorite Christmas traditions.

I am 36!

My birthday just happened to be on the same day my Grandma's funeral was. Everyone was worried I didn't have a good birthday but how couldn't I when EVERYONE came to visit for my special day? :)

I didn't realized how old 36 was until a few people thought I was my mom at the funeral! It didn't take them long to see they had made a mistake and I am actually flattered because my mother is VERY beautiful; BUT, I am not quite ready to be a grandma yet :)

Monica and my Mom were determined to have a celebration so yesterday they made a cake (because everyone needs cake for it to be a real birthday). This was so sweet of them. I don't remember the last time I had a cake for my birthday :)

They knew I probably wouldn't want to actually eat the cake so they also got me a whole case of pomegranates! (They know me well!)
We had a few minutes after the funeral for Matt to surprise me by taking me to REI for some snow boots! He had already given me long johns (which I had BEGGED him for hee hee) So this was not expected. Especially the part when he told me he had already saved up the money for them! He knows how much I hate to spend money on myself. Especially at Christmas time when our money is going so many other places. I was so touched that he understood my feelings and sacrificed his lunch money to get me boots. Yes, I know, I have the greatest husband in the whole world!

It was a wonderful birthday because I have such great family and friends who made sure to make it that way.

THANKS everyone!

A legacy to remember

Grandma Pink's funeral was full of PINK, laughter, tears, tender memories and LOVE! All 5 children, 33 grandchildren and 42 great grandchildren were there but 3! There were some I haven't seen for at least 15 years! We all came to show how grateful we are for Grandma and the legacy she left for us to follow.
The talks given were beautiful. They reflected the person my Grandma was. She LOVED the GOSPEL and her FAMILY. They were her #1 priority. She wasn't afraid to share her testimony with ANYONE! A few years back she even made her Iranian surgeon promise to visit Temple Square before coming to see her again. (I am sure he one breaks a promise to Grandma!)
We laughed as Uncle Randy recalled the pink house, with a pink fence, pink carpet, pink dishes, pink cups, pink bathroom, pink get the idea ;)
We were not surprised when Aunt Lanae told how when Grandpa was diagnosed with diabetes and wasn't able to fast for his responsibilities in his church calling; Grandma decided she could fast for him "It's the least I can do".
When Wade spoke he knew what Grandma would want him to say. "I LOVE GOD, I LOVE THIS CHURCH, and I KNOW IT IS TRUE!"
As I sat listening to people talk about Grandma, I thought what an honor it would be to have people say these things about me. No one questioned what she believed. She was a witness of Christ every single day of her life. In doing so she has influenced and inspired more people then she could every imagine!
On Saturday, we had a viewing in Blackfoot Idaho where she would be buried. It was so fun to meet Grandmas cousin and best friend, Loa. Loa told us about the time when she and Grandma were teenagers and hitchhiked to Salt Lake City! "Oh, we got in a lot of trouble!" Loa laughed and laughed.
We also met Grandpa's sister Bernice. He had 10 siblings. I don't think I have every met any of them. It was such a treat to hear how wonderful Grandpa was.
It was a harder than I thought to say goodbye to Grandma as they closed the casket. I miss her smile, laughter and sweet voice. I miss her phone calls asking how our family was doing and I miss seeing the excitement on her face when she would memories about her life.
I don't think I can ever wear or see pink again without thinking of my sweet Grandma.
How often do you get the opportunity to have your dad give you a personal tour of the place he grew up in? This was priceless!
My Dad showed us the farm in Aberdeen he grew up on. We got to see the shed that Grandpa built and all the fields where my Dad slaved away each day :) We were able to see the house they built (with pink brick of course)
We met Grandpa's brother Jessie and went to the house Grandma lived in when we were kids. I remember loving to come and visit. Especially when my cousins were there. We loved riding horses and playing in the hay!
The yellow house belonged to our Great Great Great Grandpa.
We finished the road trip by going to one of my Dad's favorite places in Pocatello. Costco of course! My Dad can find a Costco ANYWHERE!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Concert at the Tabernacle

One of the best things about Christmas is that we get to hear Thomas sing with the Lehi Children's Choir.
Thomas loves to sing and it shows! He really loves helping others feel the spirit through music.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chritmas Carol

Make a wish spoiled us with tickets to the Hale Center Theater to see the Christmas Carol
Thomas doesn't like the scary ghost parts. Emily was so sweet and told him "Don't worry Thomas, I will tell you when it is all over." I LOVE moments like these!

You are looking at 3 of the most amazing kids EVER!!

Presents vs. Gifts

On Saturday as my friends and I were running on the treadmills, a sweet man asked us this question; "What is the difference between a gift and a present?"

"Gifts are from the HEART, they take TIME and LOVE. Presents are the things we give when we don't have time to give gifts!"

He encouraged us to give GIFTS this year. I loved what he said but I had no idea what a profound impact those words would have on me later that day.

We went to visit my Grandma Pink in a rest home. She has been sick for so long. We thought she was going to die years ago but has held on. It has been so hard to watch because the woman that was so active, raising a wonderful family, living on a farm, being a nurse, burying her husband (33 years ago) being a great grandma and great grandma, choosing to give everything she had to the Lord by serving 6 missions; was now unable to go a day without horrible pain.
Grandma had fallen the day before and the side of her face was bandaged up and very bruised and swollen. We weren't sure if she wanted the kids to see her like that so Matt and I entered the room and the first thing she asked was "Where are the kids?"

When Matt went out to get the kids she told me she was going to die. She told me how scared she was because she didn't want to be alone when it happened. I told her Grandpa would be waiting for her and it was going to be so wonderful. She told me she wasn't afraid of that part. She was afraid of being alone when it happened. I told her that the Lord new her prayer and her biggest wish. I was sure it would be granted.

When the kids came in they each hugged her frail and tiny body. She was so weak. Emily read her "If you give a pig a party" which just happened to be one of Grandmas favorites. She asked Emily if it was OK if she closed her eyes. Emily said that was fine but she still made sure that Grandma got to see all the pictures :)

She asked Thomas to sing his solo that he did a few years back. He has become famous for his ability to sing "When the moon hits your eye like a big piece of pie.... that's Amore' "

Matt suggested we sing "Silent night" she called Thomas over to the bed to join the rest of us and held his hand as we all gathered around her bed and sang. I could barely get the words out. The spirit was SO STRONG. Grandma looked like an angel. We finished with "I am a Child of God" while Matt gave her a light message on her tender shoulders. (she LOVED his messages!)

She then asked Matt to say a word of prayer. We all took hands and he prayed that my grandma would have added strength to be able to endure the pain. He prayed for her comfort and peace. It was beautiful.

As we were getting ready to leave, Grandma apologized for not having any gifts for us this year. This is when the difference between gifts and presents became very real!

I told Grandma what the man had told me earlier that morning. I told her that she gives us GIFTS every single day of the year. She has always showered us with so much love and sincere concern. She has been an example in so many ways, including these last few years on how to keep going and enduring the hardest of trials with so much patience and faith.

She still wanted to give us something so she gave us a Christmas tin. It is just a little tin with nothing inside because we made her keep the yummy chocolates for herself. I will cherish this tin because it is the last gift my Grandma gave to us before leaving this life.

My dad called at 1:08 am this morning. I knew what it was. Even though Grandma has been sick for a very long time, this last visit was different. We were telling her goodbye.

I am so grateful we had this opportunity to spend this priceless time with her. It will serve as a reminder of who my grandma was. She LOVED the gospel with all her heart. She shared her testimony whenever she could. She shared it not only through words but more importantly through the way she lived!

We are all wearing pink (her favorite color) in honor of her today (Jacqueline's idea of course!) We are also hoping to get everyone to wear pink at the funeral :)

I seriously feel so much gratitude and JOY for my grandma because she is finally FREE! She is with Grandpa, her mother, her brother and others who have passed on before. She is probably dancing all around because she doesn't have any more pain.

I am so grateful for the knowledge we have that we WILL see her again and that she truly is in a better place. She has finished her earthly test and has now begun the next stage. This is part of the plan. Gods great and glorious plan!

Goodbye for now my sweet Grandma, until we meet again!

Thank you for everything!

I love you.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Snowy Sunday!

After Church, we came home to about 6 inches of heavy, wet snow. Jac and Thomas jumped at the opportunity to serve and spent the next 3 hours shoveling neighbors driveways for them! I have amazing kids don't I?
Emily enjoyed making this darling snowman for everyone to enjoy as they drive past :)
Once again, Matt got out of shoveling... how DOES he do it??? hee hee

Matt's Ankle

Here are some BEAUTIFUL pictures of Matt's poor ankle. I guess he deserves to be pampered a little, what do you think?

OUCH!!! is all I can say. We are praying that he will recover quick and be back running at full speed in no time!! I just might have a chance to beat him in our race next month :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Heaps Christmas PaRtY!!!

Steve and Sherry were in charge this year and they decided to have a Heaps BREAKFAST!!! Thanks to Dave and Marianne, we all have belgium waffle makers so we were in WAFFLE HEAVEN :) Strawberries, bananas, whipped cream and JaAnn's "Magic Syrup" was the perfect touch!

I know you will be VERY SURPRISED to hear that the Heaps are a "little" competitive. It is rare when everyone goes home without some kind of injury. This time was no exception; Dave hurt his shoulder and Matt sprained his ankle! His ankle looked like it had a baseball on top of it!

Luckily, since the Heaps have had LOTS of experience. They knew exactly what to do! Ice, Ibuprofen, not too much! ;), a nice comfy couch to rest and be waited on, compression socks and a brace to keep the swelling down.

I am happy to report that Matt is healing quickly and I am not going to let him use his injury to be an "excuse" for next months 1/2 marathon when I smoke him! We can all dream right?!
The highlight of the day was making and filling 40 stockings to send to Elder B.T. and Elder A.J. to give out on their missions.

Emily came up to me after seeing all the fun things going in the stockings and said, "Mom, I am not used to this giving thing!"

"It is hard, but I PROMISE, giving is 100 times better than receiving."

It was so great to see her and the rest of the kids so excited to help even though it might have been hard not to get some too!

They were able to experience the JOY that comes from making sacrifices of their own gifts to give to others.

Thanks for a wonderful party Steve and Sherry!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Our Thanksgiving adventures!

We were SO excited to visit the Buhrleys for Thanksgiving this year. Jolyn had our room all ready with a note on the headboard from the kids and a note in the closet JUST FOR US!! We felt very special :)
The kids had so much fun together! We had to remind ourselves that we had kids. They really know how to keep themselves entertained! We tried to be "good" parents and put them to bed, but with cousins who needs sleep?
Thanksgiving morning started with our annual Turkey Trot which was nice and "toasty!"
The Buhrley's kitchen is PERFECT for preparing a big feast together. The funnest part was making everyone's favorite foods. Matt and Lou were quite the sweet potato chefs!
I'm not sure what Jolyn made but she sure looked cute in her apron :)

Justin was so proud of his loose tooth until I told him I wanted to take a picture of him when it was crooked (almost out). For some reason this scared him to death! I swear, I didn't even touch his tooth!!! Your aunt Jill is innocent!
Gracie will do ANYTHING for her big bro!
The kids found many ways to keep themselves entertained!
It was so nice of the Buhrleys to let us bring Leo. He was loved by everyone :) He moped around the house for 3 days and even got into our van waiting for us to take him back!
Black Friday was SO FUN! Well, the preparing anyway :) We just don't know how to REALLY shop I guess. For some odd reason, standing in line for hours and hours before the store opens and then running to beat the crowd to that "great" deal, just doesn't sound very fun.

Fun is jumping in the air and making waay cool faces in the van (we were trying to take pictures like Josy but I think we need a little more practice!)

Atleast we were able to see the CRAZY long line at Toys R Us which helped us come to our senses and head back home for a wonderful night sleep!
Jolyn spoiled us and got us these great festive shirts...We look great don't we?
Bowling was a wonderful adventure!
I must say, the Buhrleys and Heaps were AMAZING!
We spent the last day shopping, making gingerbread houses, and getting every last minute of playing time in possible!

Thank you Buhrleys for a wonderful weekend full of great fun and great memories!

Thanks Jac for putting all the collages together! They look great :)