Dec 292011
 

Ten years ago we looked like this:

cropped00000336

Today Kyle celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary! We didn’t really do anything today but stay home and work on cleaning out the basement. But that is because we have some money saved up for the two of us to go away for a weekend and we knew we weren’t really going to do anything ON our anniversary. Of course we still don’t know WHEN we will go away for a weekend. But we’ll be sure to do that sometime soon.

In the past 10 years we have lived in 2 houses and 2 apartments, 4 different cities, and 2 different states. Kyle graduated from Fullerton community college with an AS.  We raised some bunnies, they were my babies before we started having babies. 🙂 Kyle has worked for 5 different companies, sometimes working more than 1 at a time. I haven’t worked in an office since the very beginning of our marriage although I am technically making some money babysitting right now so that brings my job total for the last 10 years to 2. I have been privileged to be a stay at home mom since before Ethan was born. We have bought a house. We have welcomed 6 children to our family.

We started out our marriage with a purple Kia Sephia and a minty green Ford Escort. Then we upgraded the Ford to a Dodge Grand Caravan before Jeremy was born. Then Kyle’s Kia was totaled and we bought a used Mercury Sable with the insurance money. However when the repairs required to make that car safe enough to be registered were just too expensive we decided to just buy a new car and that is when we got the purple Hyundai Elantra. Some time after that we upgraded the mini-van to a 12 passenger Chevy Express which we refer to as the Mega-Van. So we have been through 6 cars in the last 10 years.

Kyle is afraid to count the computers we’ve gone through in the last 10 years, but we are working on our 3rd digital camera and 2nd digital video camera. 😉

Over the last ten years we have accumulated and overcome quite a bit of debt (of course looking at the list of cars above that was a good portion of it). In addition to the car debt there was credit card debt and a mortgage and a second mortgage. We have paid everything off but the Mega-Van and the house (small second mortgage is gone so it’s just the main mortgage left).

We have come a long way in the last 10 years. Here’s to looking forward to another 10 and beyond! Love you hunny. 🙂

IMG_8853

 

Dec 282011
 

Jeremy has a really big mouth 😛

IMG_8842

My two boys:

IMG_8770

All lined up just like a ladder:

IMG_8759

Haha! Chloe’s face makes me laugh:

IMG_8606

This one does too:

IMG_8585

Here is my sweet Lydia:

IMG_8544

Tyra REALLY looks just like my sister Sandy!

IMG_8537

And my cute little blond haired blue eyed ball of fire:

IMG_8487

Why does my husband looks like he’s going to eat me?

IMG_8857

As always there are way more pictures in the photo gallery so be sure to check them out! 🙂

Dec 282011
 

Liesl came over for a visit and brought her big fancy camera. She had offered to take some family pictures for us while we were in California, but I hadn’t brought suitable clothes and there just wasn’t enough time for something like that. So when she came up for the Christmas break and brought her camera with her, she made some time to come out and take pictures for us. 🙂

So here’s what happens when you try to get 8 people (6 of them being 8 and younger) together for pictures:

IMG_8643

IMG_8646

IMG_8648

IMG_8649

IMG_8651

IMG_8654

Dinah was REALLY not cooperating. Notice how I’m trying to grab her face to turn her head around in this last one? I expected Lydia to not fully cooperate, and maybe Chloe. But REALLY, Dinah is old enough to understand how to sit still in my opinion.

Dec 252011
 

Christmas morning started WAY too early as usual. The first ones awake were the older two kids (of course). Then Jeremy and Dinah were next, and they ended up being so loud that Chloe and Lydia woke up. But then I was mean, I wouldn’t let them go out to the living room until I had come out and put breakfast in the oven.

We keep things simple for breakfast on Christmas morning, but not so simple as cereal. I like to buy frozen turnovers, and just pop them in the oven to bake while the kids are looking through their stockings. Then when breakfast is ready we just take a break to eat before cleaning up to open the presents that are under the tree.

CIMG5465

The girls got a play kitchen. That was the first place Chloe ran to when she came out to the living room this morning.

CIMG5462

Grandpa got the boys a train table that came with a huge set of train tracks and some other accessories. So now they have a nice table to build train tracks on, and they can use it to build their legos and to play with their cars and other things. It also has a nice large drawer underneath to store all the train stuff in.

CIMG5467

Here is Lydia in her Christmas jammies, and she has her toothbrush from Santa. 🙂

In the afternoon we had to stop the festivities and go to church, but we only had sacrament meeting today so it was ok. We didn’t open presents until after church, and even then we had a pile left over for whenever Debby and Jeff decided to come over. They came over at dinner time. We had teriyaki chicken with rice, and some spiced peaches for dinner. Generally we make a big feast on Christmas eve, and eat leftovers Christmas day. But because we went to Karen’s for dinner last night, we didn’t have any leftovers to eat today. Then after we were all done eating we moved into the living room to finish opening presents.

I feel like we did a good job of not going overboard this year. Kyle and I did not buy any of our kids toys this year. In fact when Tyra’s girl scout troop was doing a toy drive we took our kids to the store and let them each pick out a toy to put in the box. Ya, it wasn’t cheap, but we really wanted them to be a part of giving instead of always thinking of the things they could get. They basically got the kitchen and the train table, and that was it for toys. We did get books and movies for the family, and we bought each of the kids a brand new pillow (the other ones were getting pretty lumpy and weird with being washed from time to time, and it was just time to replace them). I feel really good about how simple we kept it this year. Last year I had the list of everything that I wanted to get them, something they wanted, something they were in need of, something to wear and something to read and I had all the shopping and wrapping done before November was over. This year I wasn’t so organized. I didn’t WANT to get them toys, they already have so many. There are a whole bunch in the basement that I still need to sort through and thin out. I’m happy that they got the kitchen and the train table. Those are things that they can use with other things we already have. And they are nice and big and perfect for the kids to SHARE (something they still need to work on…) So even though I wasn’t ready a full month in advance this year, I’m happy with the way things turned out. And hopefully, the fact that we didn’t focus on getting them a bunch of stuff they want will help them disassociate Christmas as a time for wanting and getting. 🙂

Dec 252011
 

A few months ago, I made the decision that I need to either start sewing, or get rid of the sewing machine that I have sitting in my basement. I decided to pick a project and see if the sewing machine that I have even works. I thought that maybe I would make the girls some nightgowns for Christmas, so several months ago I found and bought a pattern. Then a couple months ago I bought some material. While we were in California for the Thanksgiving holiday I had my mom help me get one started so I could see how to put them together and all that. In fact, mom and I pulled an all nighter trying to get the first nightgown mostly finished just so she could walk me through the whole process.

I came home feeling confident that I can do this. Then I pulled out MY machine and plugged it in and tried to get it threaded and going. I couldn’t get it to work. As Christmas drew nearer I started stressing out and really wanted to finish these nightgowns, but only had the first one almost done. A week before Christmas I expressed my frustration on facebook and a friend of mine offered to help. So she came over and showed me how to get my machine threaded, and yay it worked. Apparently I had just put the bobbin in backwards and missed one loop for threading the thread on top. I got all the fabric cut out and put the pieces together. Later in the week my friend came back again to show me how to attach the yokes of the nightgowns to the dress parts. And then I got all those put together. The only real problem I ran into with the machine is that EVERY stitch is microscopic and it wouldn’t gather for me, so I had to do all the gathering of the trim and dresses by hand. I decided to slip Lydia’s gown on her to make sure it fit, but her head wouldn’t go through AT ALL. So I made another yoke for her, and decided to test it before sewing it to the dress, that one was too small too! So I had to make yet another one. This time it worked.

Christmas Eve, I was almost done. I finished up the last of the nightgowns, and all I had left was buttons and button holes. I went to my friends house to have her show me how to do button holes and it seemed simple enough, but for some reason wasn’t working when we tried to do it to the nightgowns. So she called another friend and sent me over there, and her machine had the same problem, and she suspects that it’s just because the interfacing is slipping and therefore the thread was getting caught and the machine got stuck. I bought the most darling, blue flower shaped buttons to put on them so hopefully I will figure out how to get them on, but in the meantime here is a picture of the finished (minus the buttons) nightgowns. 🙂

DSCF1065