Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stone Christmas Traditions #1

Gingerbread Men and Women!!
We've been doing this for I don't know how long (got this idea from my big sis, Karen) and it has become one of the highlights of our holiday season. Each person gets their own super-size gingerbread person, lots of frosting and gobs of candies. Everyone is required to bring their own creativity and silly personality. Of course there's a good amount of snitching & eating, good-natured trash talking, and just plain craziness. Even mom and dad get into it! I tell you, it beats making gingerbread houses, which we have tried and didn't enjoy near as much.
We didn't have Danny and Loren with this us year, which was a real bummer. Danny always makes up silly songs and dumps tons of candy on his man. Loren follows in his brothers footsteps, but always adds an artistic flair.
Here are this years entries:

Jessica's goalie cookie.
Getting silly!
Rachels beatnik.
Amelia's dancer.
Jon's Missionary
Mary's thinking of her next move!
COMING SOON: More traditions!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Beautiful girls

Okay, I know that I have 6 children, 4 of whom are girls, but these girls are here and now and I love 'em to death. We had to do a practice run for an upcoming photo shoot, so we took Jess and Rachel out for their own personal photo shoot. Rachel has a hard time keeping her enormous eyes open and smiling in a sweet and feminine way, but we got some great ones anyways. Jess has come into her own and cool-y puts up with her younger sisters' antics.

Silly, amazing and never a dull moment!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Little Drummer Girl!

Rachel's debut on drums was last night at the 9th grade winter concert, her first time playing publicly.  She was nervous, but did fabulously!   I wanted to post a video of her playing, but my movie icon is strangely absent.  Here she is, however, getting ready.  After less than a years' lessons, she is doing SO well, that the band teacher has her play the hardest songs for their performances.  Way to go, my little drummer girl!!
P.S. Anyone know how to get my movie icon back????

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

Oh my goodness!  Thanksgiving Day was so gorgeous.  The day started out a little chilly, but with all that sunshine, it warmed up just fine!  This year, with just 5 of us, we decided to start some new traditions.  One of those is going to be the Toquerville Turkey Trot - a 1.7 or 3.7 mile trail race.  Jess and Rachel ran the long loop, while we walked the short loop with Mary.  This year was our first, and we had a blast!  And the scenery was worth getting up early for!

Pasture view from the trail

Rachel & Jessica trying to wake up!

Getting warmed up - sort of!

Mom and Mary are ready!  Well, mom is.

Dad's ready too.  Why the pout Jess?  Don't know what's going on with Rachel...?

Cool bridge with funny people on it.

Close up on the funny people!

We stopped to pet a horse!!

Jess and Rachel are long gone, while we pull or push Mary along.

We finished!  Yay!  And we picked up trash too!!

What a great way to start Thanksgiving Day!  Plus, it eased some of the guilt over the upcoming pie!!

November in SoUtah

This fall exceeded my expectations for a colorful season!  Whoever thought that you have to be back east or up north for the gorgeous autumn colors needed to visit southern Utah this year!
Ash creek near Toquerville.

Trees near our home exploded with color! 

November was especially pretty. 
Pretty busy too with plays, concerts and parades.  Here's a sampling:
 Jessica played in the pit for Brigadoon - here she is on "half-face make-up" night.

Dad and Rachel working on that lovely math homework!

Rachel on snare in the Veterans Day parade.

 Mary and Dan all bundled up for a brisk and chilly walk!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Early Morning Walks

Most mornings, we get out for a long walk through the fields of alfalfa that surround our neighborhood.  It's always refreshing to leave the noise of traffic behind and be alone with our thoughts and have an uninterrupted conversation.  It's a great time to reflect on life and all of our blessings - or just to think about everything we gotta do when we get back home.
Highlights of our week:

      This past week has been full as usual.  Danny left for southern California for a few days for some scheduled interviews for residency programs.  He is using our home as a 'sort-of' home base while interviewing in the western U.S.  It's been really great to have him around again.  We get him for one more week, then he heads back to Milwaukee.
        Mary has started going to Special Needs Mutual lately.  She really loves it - and getting out with her peers.   
She's also enjoyed Danny being home since he fixes her lunches!  

           Jessica has been really busy with pit practice for the play, "Brigadoon", which is being performed by her high school.  After several weeks of practice every day after school, the play opened this week for a one week show.  After tonight, she'll get her life back - until club soccer starts!

        Rachel started winter training for track this week.  She was so sore for the first few days, she looked like an old woman trying to hobble around.  On Friday, she ran a 3-mile race and took 3rd place!  Not bad after only 1 week of training!  We also had parent-teacher conferences, but we turned it into a 'Rachel & Mom' date by trying out the newest burger joint! 
You can check for updates on Amelia and Loren on their separate blogs
- listed on the blogs I follow. 

         Dan and I were lucky enough to land 2 free tickets to "The Five Browns"!  What a treat THAT was!  They were simply ASTOUNDING!  All I could say for hours afterwards was, "WOW!".  
If you don't know who they are or what they are about, check them out at

Life has been good to us.  Walks in the fields helps us reconnect after going our separate ways each day.  Talks about what's going on with the kids, with one another, or just having one of those great philosophical "discussions" keeps us in touch with each other.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween for the Middle-aged

We have morphed this year - into parents of non-trick-or-treaters! Gone are the days of searching through our dress-up boxes in the basement for the right costume for a finicky five year old. Gone are the days of applying the sticky make-up for a dead soccer player. Gone are the days of rushing to the school with two and a half dozen orange frosted cupcakes for a class party which follows the traditional costume parade through the school halls.
Now, we have girls running off to teen-age costume parties, or helping with the neighborhood spook alley. The dress up boxes are still in the basement, but now I have a group of 12 teen couples - on a date - rummaging through them looking for the perfect silly or scary costume to wear on that date. And, luckily, Dan will always be a kid and heart - so we still have him!

He still sneaks into the Halloween candy days before the festivities begin, trying to look innocent as his cheeks bulge and bits of chocolate cling to his lower lip. On Halloween night he greets each and every trick-or-treater that rings our doorbell, asking, "Trick-or-treat??",  "...and what are you?", or, "OOHHH, you are SCARY!!, and, "I know you! You live down the street!". The trick-or-treaters love him and he loves all the little goblins who come begging for treats and candy. He jumps up each time the bell rings so that he is the first to answer the door (even though I made it to enjoy a few of the tiny goblins and their squeaky "twick-o-tweets").
I had imagined our first Halloween alone to be a quiet one, sipping hot cocoa while reading a good book, side by side in a darkened room with little halloween candles lending their ambiance. That, I now know, wouldn't have been any fun. It was a great Halloween just enjoying Dan enjoy the holiday! Maybe next year, we'll be the ones rummaging through the dress-up boxes!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's Fall - My favorite time of year!!

I love fall! It's so nice to have the cooler weather and the colors of leaves changing!! We have taken a few trips up to Kolob terrace to catch some of the fall colors. Here are some pics that Rachel and I took.

Looking out over Kolob terrace to the Great White Throne of Zion.

Fall leaves on Cedar Mountain!

We just finished soccer season with both Rachel and Jessica. They both played for the high school teams and had a great year. Rachel played right mid wing for JV and Jessica was keeper for varsity. Varsity took the Region 9 Champion title which was really exciting for all of us.

Jessica - our goalie- waiting for some action.

Rachel fighting for the ball.

I was able to travel and visit my daughter Amelia and her husband Jon in Houston, TX this month. We had a great time! We went to a play, ate at PF Changs, and I got to watch them in their clogging class. The weather was beautiful there and the gators all stayed in the water away from my toes!!

Me and Meli waiting for the play to start - The Importance of Being Ernest.

Lettuce wraps at PF Chang's in Houston - YUMMY!

Also this month, Danny and his friend Emily came to visit us. It was great meeting Emily - we really like her and hope she comes back soon. Danny always livens up our household and he will be with us off and on for a few weeks more. That will be a treat!

Jessica and Emily at Pioneer Park in St. George!

Emily and Daniel III. Cute couple!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where has the time gone?

Here it is the middle of March and I haven't done a thing with this. It's been a busy 3-4 months! Our daughter, Amelia got engaged to a terrific guy back in October, and we got busy planning a wedding for the 27 of December! What a whirlwind! Did we have Christmas in there?? I'm not sure! It was really wonderful to have all the kids home though. (Well, except for our Fijian missionary, Loren). To top off our fall season, Jessica turned 16 in October and therein started driving and dating! Woohoo!
January was spent recuperating from all the wedding craziness, except that Rachel was signed up for basketball and Jessica was involved in the upcoming Miss Washington City pageant! That was WAY out of her comfort zone, but she wanted to do it! Rachel is an awesome basketball player too!
In February, Rachel bought herself a drum set and the walls and floors started rockin to the beat!! She also started riding lessons once a week, which she loves. She not only gets to ride, she gets to learn how to take care of a horse and clean up after them!!
Now it's March! Mary turned 25 last weekend and Rachel turns 14 this month. The Pageant was held last weekend too, and Jessica was great! She totally nailed her saxophone solo and was stunning!