My Family

My Family

Monday, December 17, 2007

Saving Trees This Year

Our Christmas Newsletter

Our Family News & PicturesL to R: (on branch) Stephen, Samuel, Emily, Nathan, Thomas and Rebekah 
Pat (holding Isaac) and Kristine Stephen, Emily, Nathan, Thomas, Rebekah, Samuel and Isaac
This summer, Pat had the opportunity to go to Scout camp for a full week. He had a wonderful time with the boys. He came back with a face full of hair, and it has stayed put for the remainder of the year. He is continuing to work on his MBA, and is (slowly) making progress there. We have decided that to maintain some semblance of family life and church service that he will only take one class per semester. It's moving him forward, but not very quickly. He continues to spend time each week with the 5 oldest children as they make breakfast together. The children have vastly improved their cooking skills, and Pat has the added benefit of getting to spend one on one time with a different child each morning. He was able to attend his parent's (Edward and Eleanor John) 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Salt Lake City in July. The rest of us stayed here and finished preparations for our lucky #7's arrival...just 2 weeks after that date. Kristine signed up as a Stampin' Up demonstrator in late February of this year and was asked to help with the memory book for the 50th wedding anniversary. It was quite a stretch for her to work on a "scrapbook" as most of her paper crafting has been cardmaking. She is loving teaching others to make things with paper and enjoying the extra supplies she has acquired. She attended Women's Conference in May with some dear friends, Kristi Porter, Donna Roe and Dawn Peterson. On the way up to Provo, they stopped in Manti and were able to go through the temple there. It was a wonderful time to regroup spiritually, and for her to step away from being "mommy" for a few days.

Stephen, now 12, was ordained a deacon in our ward. It is a joy to see him take on the new responsibilities he has been given. He can pass the sacrament now and he does it willingly and likes it (his words). He continues to play both the piano and drums. This is his second year with the drums, and he is working on rolls and on improving his ability to play different kinds of drums. Emily is finishing up elementary school this year (5th grade). She is a fantastic helper in every sense, and enjoys organizing her room. It is always the cleanest room in the house. Her efforts to put things in order have been very helpful as Kristine has been working hard to get things purged and clean the house on a deeper level. Em lost her second front tooth this summer...(her other one fell out in 2nd grade)...and we're still waiting for it to come in. Nathan turned 8 this year and chose to be baptized. He was able to be baptized on 07-07-07 (I don't think he'll forget that date!). His cousin, Karina Lunt, was able to be here for the week before his baptism and was here when he got baptized. He has a very good sense of humor and loves to show his love for life and laughter in pictures (He's a ham!). He's in 2nd grade this year.Thomas is 7. He is in 1st grade this year and has vastly improved his reading skills in the last semester. He had a great foundation coming out of kindergarten, and it has been fun to see the pieces fall into place this year. He has the most difficult time being woken up in the morning, even knowing how fun it is to cook with Daddy. He usually gets carried into the front of the fire...and a free back scratch as well on his mornings with Pat. We continue to try to understand his low vision and work with the challenges it brings. He has a great attitude and is starting to understand that he doesn't see the same way other people do, but that he can do anything he sets his mind to. Bekah is our kindergarten cutie. She LOVES school and the sociality it brings to her life. She loves learning and it is fun to hear her make connections with letters, and rhyming words. She has been given the ability and desire to dance and sing (she gets it from her dad), and enjoys her weekly dance class. She makes every she is around happy!Samuel is enthusiastic about everything. It is really fun to see his personality develop and watch him grow. He's a typical 2 year old in that he lives life to the fullest and seems to never stop and slow down until he crashes on the floor somewhere (we have about 5 similar pictures to the one below in the pictures for this year). He wants to help and be included in doing chores and other things he sees his older siblings doing. (He loves to help with dishes and setting the table). He loves watching Little Einsteins and Blue's Clues. It's just fun to be around him. 
Lucky was born this summer (at the end of July). He surprised us all by being a boy...we were expecting a girl (even though the doctor had never given us a specific guess as to the baby's gender). He is rolling over now and absolutely enjoys his sibling's attention. His smile lights up any room he is in.He was blessed on the same day that Stephen was ordained to be a deacon.
(This picture below was to mimic the one that Pat drew to fill Lucky's frame on the picture wall until we got his actual picture taken and enlarged.)

We are grateful for our many blessings (health, home, and happiness being the foremost that jump into my mind). It is always a joy to hear about you and your families at this time of year.
We continue to see miracles worked by the Lord in our lives and pray that you see the same.
May you have a blessed Christmas season and beautiful New Year!
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Pat, Kris and crew

PS: If you need a hard copy of our family picture, let me know and I'd be happy to send you one. I always wonder what people do with our picture once the holiday season is over. I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one faced with the "What do I do with this picture (of my friends) now?" syndrome

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Hoopla:  Random bits of info.

1. Once I got a super killer deal on a larger TV on-line and I didn't know where I could hide it from my husband. I put it in the laundry room and put a blanket over it and draped the dirty clothes over and around it. He never came near it. Surprise!

2. Our first several Christmases married, I would wake up while it was still dark outside and try to wake my husband to go open gifts. He was not impressed or persuaded.

3. I like Christmas shopping in December with all the music and lights and even the crowds.

4. Some of my favorite gifts are the meats/cheese/crackers packages. YUM!

5. I'm a sucker for shiny wrapping papers and ribbons and bows.

6. I want to get a gorgeous nativity and do fun Christmas traditions with the kids. But nativity scenes are expensive and the beautiful ones are not kid friendly. I can't even keep the tree decorated...

7. We bought a new Christmas tree this year and some nice ornaments to go on it. (We have a smaller tree in the family room that the old ornaments can go on.) But Isaac and Sam have picked off all the decorations and mashed them so the tree is mostly naked now.

8. We've never had that problem before.

9. I knew one family who had that problem and so they put their tree up surrounded by a playpen. I really like that idea, but we don't own a playpen and I can't imagine buying one for that purpose.

10. I get tired of hearing the same old catch phrases again again. "Jesus is the reason for the season." "Don't forget the true meaning of Christmas." No one ever SAYS what the true meaning of Christmas is. Just don't forget it. Unless in a select context, I find these phrases offensive because it presumes that somehow during Christmas we lose sight of the Savior. But in our family we continue with scriptures and prayer and service and studying the gospel just like we do the other 11 months of the year. Just because Santa comes to visit and we have gifts and holiday traditions doesn't take diminish our daily focus on Christ.

11. My favorite Christmas story is "A Christmas Carol." I like all the movie versions of it, but have never actually read the book. Nor do I listen while my husband reads it to our kids each night in December.

12. My favorite Christmas Carol is "O Holy Night".  I like to sing along with all the different versions on the radio (even the ones in higher keys than I'm usually comfortable with).

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sunday, Sunday!

On any given Sunday, we try to find meaningful ways to spend the hours before our 1pm church.
Here's what was happening this past Sunday morning:

Pat and Bekah prepping vegetables for a most delectable dinner in the crockpot.
Stephen helped with that too! (Thanks so much guys...dinner was delicious!)
Emily reading one of our Christmas books. We put them away at the end of every Christmas season so they are new every year. Thomas...with another of the Christmas books. Sam, partially dressed and playing with Little People by the light of a little lighted Christmas tree. He played like this for about 45 minutes. Isaac swinging away in the swing Ray and Elena Baker gave us when we were visiting over Thanksgiving! He loves it!Nathan and I...just hanging out before the last hour before we leave. That's a self-portrait too...
Here's hoping your Sunday was a good one!