Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We celebrated Christmas this year at Mandy and Ty's house with Randy, Holly and their family. I absolutely LOVE being with family on Christmas! Especially when we live so spread out, it makes the season a little extra special just being together, even if it's just a few days. What did we do?

We played games

Daylen and Ivan could be found "playing" the Wii

Can't get together with all those kids without a little Wrestling

Christmas Eve included some singing of Christmas Carols, talking about the symbols of Christmas, then opening 1 gift, bet you can't guess what that was...

and reading a Christmas story in new PJs

I had to take a before and after shot of the Christmas tree...

because I have never seen so many presents under 1 tree before!

Christmas morning...the kids looking oh so excited!

What does Kate do first thing in the morning? Why eat candy of course!

We had a wonderful Christmas, hope you all did too!

Sledding Adventures

We had some fun sledding adventures at the sand dunes outside of Rexburg, Idaho. We spent Christmas with Mandy, Tyrel and their family, and Randy, Holly and their family and had a blast with everyone. Christmas Eve afternoon was spent playing in the snow. Randy and his family found a steep dune to "jump" off and sled down. Daylen had fun climbing up and sliding down on his bum. He's overall a pretty cautious kid, but when it come to sledding this kid has no fear it seems. He LOVES is while Kate, my crazy daredevil, is quite the opposite when it comes to sledding and snow. I got some nice footage, but unfortunately I have not been able to upload it successfully. I'll keep trying and post it later if I can.

Daddy and Daylen

Taylor, Randy, and Holly pulling Cayden and Jordyn

Mandy, Ivan, and Derek

Daylen and Kate tuckered out and being carried by an even more tuckered out daddy back to the van.

Brooks and I kept each other nice and warm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Sad

We ended up taking a quick and unexpected trip to Washington over Thanksgiving to attend my Grandpa Gilbert's funeral. Traveling on snowy roads is never fun, but it was well worth it. I am just glad we decided to stay an extra day and come back Monday instead of Sunday. The rest of my Utah family had horrible driving experiences between snowy roads, backtracking, and having to take the LONG way around due to road closures. We, on the other hand, had decent and open roads.
I love getting together with family, and I can't help but wonder if this was the last time so many of us will be together in one place at the same time. With both grandma and grandpa gone now, and so many of us, it's impossible to make schedules work. It was fun seeing as many people there as I did. The funeral was pretty special, I loved hearing evidence of grandpa's love for his family and the gospel over and over. It is true. He loved his family and was a proud father of 10 kids. A family that has now grown to 46 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren. Pretty amazing posterity.

The 10 kids

Spouses included

Some of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Although it may not have been the funnest reason to get together, it was great to spend a few days with my family nonetheless. Daylen and Kate loving their time with their cousins.

Brooks and Austin got to know each other a little better. Rachel came back to Utah with us for a couple of days before flying back to Texas.

If you're going to lay on the floor while grandkids are around grandpa, you better expect to get jumped and crawled on.

Austin is going to be the leader of this little pack I think.

Since Kate's little brother doesn't have any hair to comb she had to take advantage of Benson's little bit.

Of course whenever we go to Washington we get to take some time to visit with Brad's grandma, our last living grandparent now between the 2 of us. The kids always have fun playing with her toy selection and entertaining us all.

I love this sweet picture I got as we were saying our goodbyes. I just wish we could visit more often!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grandpa Gilbert

This picture is the last picture we will ever take with my Grandpa Gilbert. It was taken at his 92nd birthday party earlier this year. He was my last living grandparent and now he has passed on to join grandma and all his loved ones who have passed on before him. His passing is a mixture of sorrow and joy for me. I will miss him dearly, but I can't help but be happy for him and my grandma. It has been years since they have been able to interact with each other in a meaningful way, my grandma had Alzheimers for years. But now I can imagine them catching up and grandma introducing grandpa to all her new friends she's made these past 20 months. These thoughts make me happy. They have lived their mortals lives and are now on to bigger and better things.

Around the house...

The other night I was feeding Brooks while Daylen and Kate took a bath. Kate got herself out of the bath, grabbed her towel, turned on the fire, and took a seat.

This last weekend Daylen wanted to make a tent and go camping in the family room. Brad was a good sport and camped out with them, the kids slept great, Brad didn't.

Yesterday Kate entertained Brooks by reading him her books she got at the library. It was pretty darn cute.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Caribbean Cruise!

Brad and I just got back from the most incredible, relaxing vacation a mom could ask for. A Western Caribbean Cruise! Thankfully we were on a Princess cruiseline and not Carnival or we could have been stranded in the middle of the ocean for 21 hours with no power! We found out the end of September that we were invited to attend the 2010 Executive Summit for Namifiers on a cruise November 6-13. Not much time to plan, but thankfully we have wonderfully supportive friends and family. My sister, Lori, watched the kids the first weekend, she then took them to my fabulous friend, Annica, who kept them until Wednesday when Grandma Goodwin was able to come and stay until we got back late Saturday night. I could not have enjoyed this cruise as much as I did without them. Having peace of mind about my kids let me enjoy the here and now without worrying.
There were 2 formal nights, these pictures were taken the first night.

Our first stop was the Cayman Islands. Here is a "little" friend we met who had wondered quite far from the beach.

I have never seen a crab this big!

Another friend we saw.

Behind us here is our home away from home for the week. Isn't the water beautiful?

This was the best beach we went to, the sand was soft, the water clear and blue and warm!

We met Cary Long on the beach that first day. He was the comedian for the first half of the week on our ship, and basically got our own private show on the beach that day. Super nice, funny guy, he's worked with Robin Williams and Jerry Seinfeld, and is really good friends with Brian Regan. Whenever we saw him the rest of the week he would always come and talk to our group.

Our second stop was Roatan, Honduras where we experienced the zipline throught the jungle. So cool! We were zipping from treetop to treetop through the jungle, the scenery was amazing and the ziplines so fun! There were a total of 11 ziplines the longest being 900 ft long. Loved it!

We just had harnesses that they clipped and unclipped from each line. Our friends Tyler and Heather did it with us.

The beach at Roatan was alright, the water was warm so it was fun to swim in it.

The third stop was Cozumel, Mexico. This was the most touristy place we went. The downside was that you had to take a cab to any of the beaches and most you had to pay to even get on the beach. There were 2 free ones, however, so we picked one of these called, "Paradise Beach." I wouldn't have called it "Paradise" but we did get to do something here I've been wanting to try for a long time...

It was so fun and I'm glad I can finally say I've done it. The water was MUCH more beautiful from 350 ft above than it was right along the beach. Out farther where the reefs and sandbars were the water was a beautiful turquois with cool designs.

Isn't it purty?

The beach from up high. They had floaty toys in the water you play on, but you had to pay for it. You had to pay for everything here which was kinda lame in my book.

The best part was actually once we were done, they killed the boat and asked if we wanted to jump in and swim. Uh ya! Doesn't it look like we are in a swimming pool? The water out there was AMAZING. It was so fun to just ourselves...out in the ocean.

Leaving the beach we saw a couple of Makah birds. So pretty!

Just a pretty garden.

Throughout the ship on formal nights, and actually all throughout the week, they have professional photographers taking your pictures that you can buy later. Well, we actually decided to get one of our pictures cause we liked it and we realized we don't have any professional pictures of just the 2 of us. So here it is. My hair looked better from the side than from the front that night.
Here are the girls minus Becky, she had left to put little Andrea to bed.
Me, Heather, Nichole, Jenny

and the guys...
Bryan, Chris, Tyler, Brad (minus Nick)

Our final stop was Princess Cayes, Bahamas. It's basically a private beach for Princess cruise lines. It was so nice not having to pay just to sit in a beach chair, they had a barbaque buffet line for lunch, and it was a beautiful day. Chris and Nichole had gotten snorkel gear for the day and when they were done they shared it with the rest of us. So I tried snorkeling and Brad really actually did it. It was my first time and every time I went under water I started hyperventilating. I tried to make myself relax and remain calm but after 5 or 6 tries I gave us. But Brad saw lots of cool "Dori" fish and more.

Enjoying the last of the sun and hot weather before returning to cold, Utah. It was really quite strange laying out on the beach, soaking up the rays and thinking, "hmm...what should we do for Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks?"

We really did have a fabulous time. It was fun, relaxing, entertaining, I don't think I ever felt hungry, you could eat 24 hours a day if you wanted. It was fun to get to know our work friends better, and to see a part of the world I had never seen before. I totally would recommend a cruise!