Saturday, December 31, 2011

The End

Once again I failed with the picture taking. Not one picture. On the bright side, our family read our scriptures every day this year! Yes, we are quite proud. We will have to think of a fun reward.

Tonight we had Steve & Shannon and their kids, John & Cassie, and Sam & Matt. Mallory slept through all the festivities. I think her parents were quite happy about that. We spent the evening playing games (surprise!) and eating (surprise again!) I had a great time. I think the best moment of the night was when Sam talked to Erica and Maysen about reviewing youth books before they are published. Both Erica and Maysen beamed when they were asked. What a way to start the year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Video Games Live

Cabin trip is over. I am glad we were able to get good sledding at the beginning of the week. It is still slushy here!

My family spent some time cleaning the living room. They were cute cleaning the windows and vacuuming. They worked really hard. We were able to see Grandma for about five minutes. I was also able to see David Parry really quick. Seems like it has been years since I have seen him!

We were in quite a rush to get home. Mike and Stockton had tickets to see Video Games Live, Bonus Round. It was a concert with the Utah Symphony where they play video game music. There was also a choir and opera singers. Also laser lights and giant movie screens of video games. They loved it. Mike texted me at intermission and said: Best. Concert. Ever. Stockton is already asking about going to it again. Hopefully they come back next year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


My dad, Max, Bubs, Lincoln, Ella, Mike, Christen, Skye, Larkin and Blake all went home today. The bad thing is they went home, the good thing was Mike and I don't need to sleep on the couch tonight. (Although I would rather sleep on the couch and have them stay.) Today was really warm. Not a good thing. The snow melted and turned into slush. The bottom of the hill was about two inches of slush. No sledding was done today. We still had a great time. We stayed inside and played games. Stockton is a huge ping pong fan. Many games of Dominion were played. Matt added the stats of every Dominion game played at the cabin. Turns out I only won one. At least that was on my birthday.

Jorja had been wanting to play Trek to Zion the entire trip. I promised her I would play with her today. It was bedtime before I got a chance. I let the kids stay up late and Jorja, Maysen, John, Cassie and I all played. (John won by one point! I couldn't believe it!) Anyway, while we were playing Mike, Sam and Matt were cleaning. Sam did an amazing job cleaning out the fireplace. I have never seen one so clean before. Matt was quite the helper. Haha. It was funny.
Sam & Matt
Sam making the fireplace VERY clean.
We finished the cabin with a few more games of Dominion between Mike John, Matt and I. I love playing games with my brothers. LOVE IT. This has been one pretty great week!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Today was the best day! Lots and lots of sledding. Lots and lots of games. Lots and lots of family around. Mallory and Blake loved being around each other. Too bad Mina and Abby weren't there.

Maysen and Mike made a cool jump in front of the cabin. The best was when you went off it, you would land nice and soft. I was hoping walking up the hill would counteract my eating of sweets this week, but I don't think it was able to put a dent in it. Maybe if I would have played football with my brothers . . . Mike, Mike, Bubs, John, Matt & Sam played football for at least three hours! They were all exhausted when they finished. I watched for a little bit and was going to ask if I could join, then I saw Sam get tackled and hurt her leg pretty bad. I quickly decided against it. Sam stayed out there and played hard! When the snow was finally settled, Sam had a giant bruise on her knee and one of her fingers was completely swollen. John also really hurt his elbow. He couldn't bend it all the way, plus there was a bump that was in an odd place . . . . hope he is okay. They seemed to love playing though. It has been a long time since they were able to play together. Wish Brett could have joined in on the fun!

Below is an odd picture. I took it because these girls were walking in a line following Jorja around. It was so cute! Jorja was in heaven.
Mallory, Skye, Larkin, Jorja
Skye, Larkin, Jorja
Larkin & Jorja

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Today is My Birthday!

I used to hate having my birthday so close to Christmas. Now it is not so bad. Mike always has the day off, I always get to be with my family and I usually get to be at the cabin. Pretty awesome.

We spent the entire day sledding, of course. It was awesome, of course. Mike and the kids gave me a cool silicone baking mold to make gingerbread houses. You can use it for gingerbread, shortbread and chocolate. Mike made me a chocolate cabin for my birthday! How cool is that? Absolutely perfect! Cassie also got a cake for me, vanilla with chocolate frosting . . . . yummy.
Birthday Cabin
Dad & Max
Mallory, John & Jorja
Mallory, John & Lincoln
Stephanie & Preston
Cassie & Mallory, Stephanie & Preston
Stephanie & Preston
The best present I received was Mike (Millburn) and his family were able to make it to the cabin tonight! Yay! Poor Larkin & Blake with their allergies. I'm glad I don't have those, and I'm glad I don't have to be a mom of a child with allergies. That would be rough!
Stockton, Preston, Skye, Larkin
With Jorja & Ella
Mallory meeting Blake for the first time. (with Christen)
Preston, Jorja, Steph, Stockton, Maysen
With Mike
Today was a perfect, perfect day! (We missed you so much Brett & Rachel!)

Monday, December 26, 2011


We got to see the babies today! Cassie, Sam and I made a quick stop at Tammi's house. We heard the twins would be there for one more day. Ollie was awake when we arrived, Drew woke up after a bit. They are so cute! I got to hold Ollie for awhile. They are only four months (I think) and they can already roll over! Crazy. They look like newborns, but can do things newborns can't . . . like holding up their heads. They were great . . . and Jessie looks super skinny by the way. Doesn't seem quite fair.

This afternoon we went to the cabin! I love it here! We didn't have snow machines to help us up the hill, but this super nice guy named Pat helped us up. He had this amazing looking 4-wheeler. I want one of those! Don't think that will happen, but it would be cool.

The rest of the day was spent sledding and playing games. I did manage to cut my thumb when I was slicing tomatoes. Boo! At least the taco haystacks were delicious!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Last night Mike and Maysen helped me sneak over a stocking for Mallory. I wasn't positive this would get done in time. I finished it yesterday! This was the first time I actually sewed the back on. Usually I give it to my cousin Debie and she does it for me. (She has helped me on many, many stockings. I am so grateful!) I really wanted to learn how to do it myself this time. Anyway, I was pretty excited about it. The funny thing is I have been working on stockings for Lincoln and Ella for years now. I did get them finished, but I didn't get the back sewed on. Ange was really great about it. When I told her I really wanted to surprise John & Cassie with a stocking for Mallory, she said that it was okay to make Mallory's first. Hopefully I will have stockings for all of Bubs' kids by next Christmas. One can always dream.
Mallory's stocking
This afternoon we went up to see Grandma & Grandpa Parry. I wish I had my camera out when we got there. All of my kids were hugging grandma like crazy. It was great. Although later that day Preston charged grandma and grandpa out of nowhere. That was kind of scary. Sorry about that.
Mallory & John
Mallory & Cassie
Grandma, Mallory & Cassie
Mallory looked so stinkin' cute in these zebra jammies. Santa left her a zebra in her stocking. Who knew Santa was that coordinated?
My kids have all loved playing tic-tac-toe with grandma. I'm not sure what Preston was playing here. He added dice and levels. It was all very strange. Grandma just let him jabber away. It was adorable.
Grandma & Preston

Saturday, December 24, 2011

When I'm Bigger You Can Buy Me a Saw

Merry Christmas! We are declaring this Christmas a success. Santa brought all the kids sleds. Preston had a tool box by his sled. He loved it. He carried his tool box around today helping Mike. It was so cute. My favorite was when he told Mike, "When I'm bigger you can buy me a saw." Haha. That made me laugh. I love that boy!
Mike had been working a long time on Jorja's present. He made a giant frog tank to hang on her wall. She loves it! It is now on her wall, but I didn't get a picture of that.
Jorja & Preston
Mike, Jorja, Preston
Maysen, Jorja, Mike
They can fill the pond with water from a funnel at the top.
Jorja & Cricket
Preston & Patch
Stockton got a basketball hoop. He was pretty excited about it. We played Horse and Tornado. I was terrible, so I didn't get much of a workout. Mike and Stockton were breathing hard. Looks like this is going to be a lot of fun.
Looks like we didn't get any pictures of Maysen, but she got an art desk that is now in her room. Also, Santa brought Maysen and me Wicked tickets! I'm so excited! Santa also brought Jorja and me Lion King tickets! We will need to go to New Mexico to see it, but luckily there are some people we really want to see in New Mexico! That won't be until October though. Jorja was pretty excited she will get to see the play since last time she sat through the entire thing in complete pain and wasn't even able to open her eyes. Hopefully this time she won't cut her eye hours before the show begins! Silly Porge.

Santa also brought Matt Cornucopia. After opening presents, Matt went up to visit Sam. He called me a few hours later. Someone else had given him Cornucopia. Luckily he was able to trade it for Prosperity. Dominion at the cabin is going to be great!

This evening we went to my dad's house for dinner. We talked to Brett, Rachel & Marie on Skype. It is their Christmas too! I can't wait to go visit them. Hopefully Matt & Sam will set a wedding date so we can get on with our planning! While we were talking, Mike went to the airport to pick up Mallory! I finally got to hold her. She is so cute and tiny! This is going to be a fun few weeks. Oh, John and Cassie came too.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve!

Our kids have rarely had Christmas on the actual day. Actually only twice. The first one was when Grandma Honey died. That came quickly and we couldn't plan ahead, so we ended up celebrating Christmas in Utah. The second time was last year. We had Christmas up at the cabin. It's funny because the kids were so excited to move to Utah, but their major concern was, "Does this mean we will only have one Christmas?" They absolutely loved celebrating it early. Mike loves it too. So, this year we decided to surprise them and celebrate one day early. We didn't tell them until right before they went to bed. Maysen was so happy! They all were, but Maysen had a gigantic smile. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Merry Christmas everyone!
Preston, Stockton, Jorja, Maysen

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Stockton now has new shoes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This is the Place

We had a family party up at the This is the Place park-thing. Mike's dad had rented out one of the buildings. We had a huge dinner. I ate a lot . . I had to make up for my kids not eating anything. After dinner we wandered around the little village. They had crafts for the kids, a puppet show, a live nativity, train rides and Santa. They had more, but that is what I remembered off the top of my head. I went a little ahead of Mike for the live nativity. I stepped in there and immediately sent a text to Mike telling him to stay away! He didn't get my text and felt the effects as soon as he walked in. We were out of there fast! I couldn't believe how calm baby Jesus was. He was so still it was hard to tell that they were real people. Although, Sherry & Nathan and their families went later. That was not the case for them. The baby was screaming! I guess we got it at the perfect time.

I got a few pictures of the boys with Santa on my cell phone. Once again I forgot my camera. One day I will learn how to get the pictures off my cell phone . . . but that day is not today. The boys wanted to take the train back to our house-thing. The girls and I decided to walk. We got there at least 20 minutes before the boys. The boys had a great time and were happy they waited, so it was a win-win.

It was really cold tonight. The snow was beautiful as we walked along the village, but I didn't realized both of the girls wore crocs. They were cold. Stockton had holes in the bottom of his shoes, so he was cold too. It is hard to take the Georgia out of the kids I guess. I'll need to be more vigilant. I remembered to bring gloves for everyone, although Maysen was the only one who would wear them.

Scoop and Cori gave each of the kids a gift bag. Inside was an art set, journals and socks. Sherry immediately started playing a song that said, "Nothing says Christmas like socks." It was funny. We had a great time tonight, and we are really thankful for our warm house!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Matt, Bryan Leatherwood and I played racquetball this morning. I was terrible, but they let me play anyway. We played at the apartment complex where Mike & Christen lived when they were first married. They have been gone from there for about 7 years, but we still keep using their court. The box where you put your keys in it was broken, so we had to leave our wallets on the bench outside. Matt said he was going to complain and not come here anymore. Haha! I thought that was so funny.

Monday, December 19, 2011


We had the Christmas Pageant today. I was upset with myself for not bringing our camera. All of my kids participated, which was nice. Preston didn't want to, but at the last second he crawled in among the sheep. He was wearing a dog hat, so we called that good. Jorja was an angel, Stockton was a shepherd . . . with tape on his eyebrows for some weird reason. Maysen was a sheep/donkey/angel/king. I think she was that last year as well. Erica was Mary and Conner was Joseph. Erica rode in on Taylor who was a donkey. He was pretty funny. It was really sweet and we had a good time.

Matt came today! He got here a little before midnight. I think he is pretty excited to see Sam tomorrow. It will be so much fun to have him here this week!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stockton's Heaven

This morning we went to my dad's ward to hear him speak about his trip to Israel. We just snuck in and out so we could finish up at our ward. It was the last Sunday the kids will have with their teachers. Stockton has had Mike as a teacher and has loved it. I wonder if they will move Mike up with the boys . . . Stockton would love that.

Speaking of Stockton, he was in heaven today. Eating brownies while laying in front of a fire. Besides the fact that he is out of school for two weeks. Life doesn't get any better.
We got a neighbor gift from a family on our street. They gave us a roll of wrapping paper with tape. Haha! It was great! Talk about a practical gift. We loved it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Max's House

When I woke up this morning, I noticed one of our gingerbread houses hadn't been touched. It took me a bit to figure out what happened. Stockton didn't want to decorate a house. He had already done one this year, and for him one is enough. I sent home Sherry with a house for Connor to decorate. I thought this was Stockton's because Tage had brought a friend. Come to realize, I should have sent home two houses with Lisa. One for Taylor and one for Aimee. Anyway, we had one extra house this morning. I called up my dad and asked if he would like to bring Max up to decorate. They came this afternoon. Preston and Jorja also added to their houses while Max was here.
Max's house
I spent the rest of the day cleaning up and working on a Christmas surprise that I am really excited about. I don't know if I will be able to pull it off. I can see me making the deadline, but I can also see me falling short. I will be so disappointed if I can't do it! It would be sad to put so much effort into something and not be able to get it done on time. We'll see what this next week will bring! I love Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gingerbread Festival . . . Again

I forgot to take pictures during our gingerbread land festival. I grabbed the camera and snatched a few at the end. Brandon's was awesome. He had a great yard with pathways and snowball fights. Michael had Santa's sleigh up on the roof. Tage had this cool metallic looking roof. I bought two bottles of spray (red & silver) that you can put on cupcakes. Preston loved it. That is what he spent most of his time doing. Xander loved it too, but turned his gingerbread marshmallows into a carnage scene outside his house. Sherry would say, "Let's do some happy things now." Xander is six. It was pretty funny and not what I was expecting the red spray to be used for. Why don't I think ahead?

Lisa arrived first and was a huge help getting the last minute details done. When I saw her scrubbing our sink I said, "You are just like your mom." Totally what Sharen would have done. It is a compliment, I wish I was more like them. Steve & Shannon brought pizza. That was a great help because I don't think I could have put one more thing on my 'to do' list. Jacob got sick while they were here and had to leave early. That must be depressing. Not only to get sick, but to be sick when there is a ton of free candy up for grabs. Hope he feels better soon.
Michael & Millie (Tage's friend)
Derek & Melissa
Tage's house
After decorating we were able to watch The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It turned out to be a perfect day. As we were leaving Miah said to me, "Can we do this every year?" How sweet. Hopefully we can. Maybe by next year I will forget how much work it is to put it together. Or maybe I'll remember and start my baking earlier. Either way I am glad we were able to do this and I am glad the preparation is done!