27 December 2010

SNOW!!!

It almost never snows here in the valley but up in the mountains just outside of Vegas there is lots of SNOW!!! We had a GREAT afternoon playing with the kids. (Neither of the girls knew what Rob was about to do. So funny!)







26 December 2010

2010 In A Nutshell (Kinda)

I know "in a nutshell" means brief but this is as condensed as I can get it. This year has been HUGE for our family and it seems like I have barely found the time or energy to blog about any of it so here's the quick-ish rundown of 2010.

Before Corey left for his mission, he was able to squeeze in a quick snowboarding trip with friends.


Dropping him off at the MTC was the hardest right thing we've ever done!


There are some great photos of Corey and Rob but I still can't look at them without bawling like a baby so I didn't post them.




In the hotel room just before we left to drop him off, we all snuck notes midway into his journal for Corey, er, Elder Harris, to find later.


Right after Corey left I finally went to the doctor to figure out once and for all why I was in so much pain. I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in May. It's been a rough year being on prednisone but it's also been a full year. I've learned a lot, grown a lot (hmmmm, I meant that emotionally and spiritually but I guess that would apply physically as well, lol), and recognized that my blessings FAR outweigh my burdens!

Tyler graduated high school with honors. And after 5 1/2 months of searching he was finally able to get a job. I think he really loves the independence that comes with working. He's currently in the process of submitting his mission papers. (Just waiting for a physical...)



This summer we had Stake Girls Camp. Since I am a counselor in our Stake Young Womens program I got to volunteer Rob to come up to Deerhaven, UT and help out.


I think he was having too much fun...here he is with friends in tu-tu's!!!


Ryan suddenly grew up...and up...and up. He's within an inch of catching Corey (who is about 6' 3.5"). This is Ryan's senior year of high school.


Rob and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by going to see The Phantom of the Opera! It was amazing!


Riley started middle school and also turned 12 and advanced from the Primary to the Young Women's group at church. (Confidence is not an issue for her. She just proofed this and said since I had included her a couple of times, this post was perfect! Ha ha ha!)


To celebrate Gabby's 8th birthday, we went to one of her favorite places, The Adventuredome!




We talked her into going on a few big roller coasters, she wasn't very happy about it though.



Great shot of Riley on the merry-go-round.


Gabby was baptized on my mom's 60th birthday, that's just the way it turned out, so we got to have a joint celebration. Gabby fasted for the first time the day after her baptism. Before church she said, "When the sacrament bread comes around I'm taking TWO pieces!" Ha, I had to tell her it wasn't a buffet, but that was soooo cute! She also got up and bore her testimony. (Every first Sunday of the month in our church we go without breakfast and lunch, called fasting, and donate the money we would have spent for people in need.)


I know, my mom looks AMAZING for 60! Didn't my sister do a fabulous job on the cake?!


Rob turned the big 4-0 a couple of days later.


And all of his boys are taller than him so for his birthday he jumped at the chance when his mom offered to get him some BOOTS! (AKA man-heels.) HA HA HA HA! Plus, I'm pretty sure he is pushing down on Ryan's and Tyler's shoulders here. ;)


Riley had her first band concert and plays the saxophone just like her big brother Corey.


Ryan, Riley and Tyler participated in our stake's Youth Choir. It was a BEAUTIFUL Christmas performance! And Riley, who has always really really hated singing and who we forced to participate, really enjoyed herself and even said she wishes the youth choir was all year long and not just at Christmastime. Wow.


Corey is TALL. So tall that when he lays out on the couch, even though we have a ginormous sectional, there is rarely room for anyone else. Guess we were feeling nostalgic Christmas morning, the kids put his cardboard cut-out across the couch.


We all agree, missionary phone calls are really THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER!!!


(Playing "Just Dance 2" with cardboard Corey.)


That's our BIG year in a BIG nutshell. Hope yours has been just as wonderful!

10 December 2010

Is It Just Me?...

Is it just me or does anyone else dislike those questionnaires that teachers send home before Parent Conferences? I really don't know how to answer the questions. Does her teacher want the truth???

For example: My child is most interested in ______________________.

Well, MOST interested??? I know I should write something like, "My child is most interested in quantum physics" or, "the Pythagorean theorem", but really my child is MOST interested in socializing, drawing butterflies and princesses and talking about whether or not her frenemies are popular that day and which boy swiped her fruit snacks from her lunch. Because REALLY if my second grader had her way, attending school would NOT be on her To Do list.

How about this one: My child does well in _____________________.

Ummmm, daydreaming? Wrong answer, uh, okay...color coordinating her outfits. No? Oooohhh, school related, okay I can do this...(let me find her report card...oh lookie there, 100% in geography)...My child does well in geography! Ta-da! Actually she does really well in going to the school nurse. Is that a subject? Not only is she super accident prone, she is also a mini hypochondriac. I started threatening surgery everytime she says her head or her tummy hurts, all 20 times a day. It's working...but still I think the school nurse and her are BFF's.

Here's my very favorite question: I would like to discuss ________________.

Everything.

I would like to discuss everything. I want answers. Like WHY does what worked for my other four kids NOT. WORK. AT. ALL. for this child? How do I get her to sit. still. for. one. minute. and pay attention?!

Oh, who are we kidding here? I'd like to cross out all the questions and write something like:

My child is the sweetest, most thoughtful, most loving, most adorable, huggiest,
kindest AIRHEAD I have ever known. She's energetic and loud. She's creative and
hilarious. She is struggling with most of her schoolwork, and even though she's
meeting (most) standards, it's all uphill for her (and me). She can focus, she
just refuses to. She's more concerned about how everyone is feeling than about
how much stuff needs to be accomplished. I love her infinitely. I support her. I
understand her. And I'll push her harder. But even though she's a slow bloomer,
I'm confident she'll catch up one day.

Well, I've been staring at this questionnarie for half an hour and only have one question answered. I wonder where she gets her lack of focus from???

09 December 2010

Move Over Vogue Models

About a month ago Riley had her first ever Young Women in Excellence night. She was asked to learn about a woman from the scriptures and then do a Personal Progress value experience that related and then the girls were going to be able to dress up like that woman and have their pictures taken by my amazing friend Sara Cecil. Riley chose Sariah from the Book of Mormon. All the girls (who finished their projects) had their photos blown up huge and displayed around the room. It was really lovely!



Sara was kind enough to email me Riley's photo.



Then I had fun playing with some editing features and making it look old, (yada yada).



My sister, Holly, is taking a photography class and needed some subjects for a natural light project and so she asked if Riley and Gabby would be her models. Man, do Rob and I make gorgeous kids or what?! (The photographer did pretty great too don't cha think?!)