Sunday, January 8, 2012

Blessing Day

Today was a beautiful day for Luke's Blessing. We were so happy to have some of our family drive down to join us. Mark gave Luke a beautiful blessing with Don, Dave, and the bishopric standing in the circle.
I couldn't help but think of all of our children today and their journeys to our family. I remembered that there were many times that we wondered if we would be blessed with more than one child. And thought of the years that we tried to be content with just two. After our third child was born, I finally felt at peace and the constant longing for a larger family had ended, though in my heart I still wanted more. What a welcome surprise Luke was!! What a joy Luke is!! We feel so blessed today for our beautiful family, for the abundance of love and happiness our children bring to our lives and the feeling of completeness that came with our Little Luke.

Look at our little man. So cute!

Tough guy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

That's All She Wrote

My blogging spree has ended for this evening. Currently my blogging pattern seems to be silence for several weeks, followed by brief catch up posts, and then more silence. Tonight I just intended to post a Happy New Year shout out, but kind of got on a roll. Unfortunately my enthusiasm fizzled out before I had a chance to blog about Christmas. I'll just say that it was wonderful and that we'll be playing hooky from school and work on Tuesday to renew our Disneyland passes. Thanks Santa. And speaking of Santa, we caught him in the act of filling our stockings. We tried to pry Emma and Matthew out of bed to sneak a peak, but they were sooo sleepy that they couldn't really wake up and don't remember a thing. At least we have it on video!

But mostly this Christmas season I have enjoyed spending time with this guy. Mark got to take time off this past week and we have spent time just being together--and not being rushed. I've loved sleeping in, doing puzzles, being the self proclaimed "dancing queen" of Just Dance II, shopping and watching the Food Network. Nothing special, we didn't really go anywhere or do anything. But we have been together, and together has been a great place to be.

Christmas Festivites

Christmas Eve. It's got to be the best night of the year, wouldn't you agree? This year Dave and Jess hosted the family for our annual get together. We had terrific food, a fun gift exchange, and of course, the Nativity. Monica was in charge which meant out-of-this-world costumes and sets. SO fun. Three of my kids can be seen in this picture. Matthew as a shepherd, Abbie as a wiseman and Emma as Mary. Danny and Emma as Mary and Joseph.

Abbie and the three amigos as the four "wise guys".

One of the adult tables. Ever since my mission we have celebrated with English Christmas Crackers. You've gotta love the paper crowns and corney jokes.

Mark and some of the cousins enjoying some appetizers.

Mark gave Luke a taste of his candy cane. Guess who is on my naughty list


Mark had to travel to Tucson over the Christmas break, so since we didn't want him to be away during all of the fun we had planned, we decided to cancel our plans at home and go along with him instead. The JW Starr Pass Resort had a lot of fun activities going on during the weekend we were there. Everything from sledding to a "santa's workshop", to horse riding, an elf "tuck in bed" service, and much more. Mix that with a little hot tubbing and the kid's favorite breakfast buffet, it was a great, quick trip.
We did, however, have a frightening car accident while in Tucson. On our way back to the hotel after church we hydroplaned while driving on the freeway. It had been raining quite a bit that morning and the roads were slick. We were in the fast lane when we lost control and started spinning across the lanes of traffic. At least one time we got within inches to hitting another vehicle, but luckily we just continued to spin until we slammed into the guard rail on the other side of the road, stopping on the shoulder. The moment we started to lose control, I felt so shocked. I couldn't believe this was happening to my family and as we spun, I felt like we were on a roulette table and I wondered which of my family was going to get hurt. I felt so grateful when we finally stopped. Though stunned, everyone was OK. The car was even drivable. We were hauling a steel cargo carrier on our hitch which took most of the impact of the crash. It was smashed, but had protected the body of our SUV very well. The baby slept through the accident, Matthew wanted to do it again. The girls were shocked and grateful and both felt protected by our Heavenly Father. Mark and I were shaky, and couldn't stop reliving the situation over and over again. When we finally got back to our hotel room, we knelt in prayer to thank Heavenly Father for watching over our family that afternoon. I felt so much gratitude for His protection and also so much love for my family, knowing that in a matter of seconds life could have dramatically changed for us.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! To celebrate the end of another great year we headed to the beach for a quick bocci ball tournament before getting dinner and going home for an early night. Yessss, we are party animals! Does this little green man even need an explanation?? Luke's first trip to the beach. Burrr.