Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas

Christmas 2009 was great--full of family and friends and memories. Sadly, my 18-55 mm lens was broken until after Christmas, and so I do not have many pictures. Mom took lots, but they are not downloaded yet. So Christmas is as follows this year:

Mom missed her Santa Claus picture last year because the line was way too long. However, she was determined to have one taken this year, no matter what. So the little guys suffered through more than an hour of waiting in line all for 3 minutes of picture taking.


I wrapped almost none of these presents this year (typically, I wrap almost EVERY single present, except a few that mom and dad want me to be "surprised" for. Last year I wrapped almost all of my own presents, but I knew what every single one was!). But regardless, the presents were wrapped and under the tree for the next morning! Just a small amount is shown in the picture, because the only lens I had at the moment was my big zoom lens, so I couldn't get the whole tree.


Every year, the little kids get really excited about Christmas Eve and reindeer food. It is sprinkled on the driveway so that the reindeer can be guided to our house.


Cute or Scary? Suzanne received a ringlet curler for Christmas this year, and we tried it out while in Va Beach at our Aunt's house. My verdict, cute!


A week before Christmas my Grandpa came to my house. While he was here, I was cooking cookies and using a spatula. He insisted that what I was using was called a turner. So for Christmas he ended up getting me a "slotted turner" as proof that he was right and I was wrong. So the next day, my aunt and I went to Target and the Dollar Tree, and found a "slotted spatula". I wrapped it up for him, and gave it to him for Christmas. Right now it's a tie. I need to find another slotted spatula.


What the pictures do not show is the crazy amount of i-Pod Touches that now belong to my family. Dad, Mom, Suzanne, and Gray are now all owners of them, and are complete junkies! Also, Ryan (the 3 year old) got a Nintendo DS for Christmas. So did Bryce.

Christmas 2009, come and gone. 2010 is now right around the corner.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas

Every Christmas, we all get excited as we know Christmas presents and traditions are around the corner. Especially in the world we live in today, it is so easy to remember the presents and parties and great foods and fun traditions that come with Christmas, and it is also extremely easy to forget why we really are celebrating Christmas. Typically, the world thinks of these things around Christmas:


Rather than this:
We celebrate Christmas in order to remember the birth of our Savior and all he did for us in his mortal ministry. In Luke 2, we read the story of the birth of the Savior, such a commonly read story. It tells of Christ's birth and what He plans to do. He grows in wisdom and holds the grace of God with Him. The last verse reads: "52: And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."

I am so grateful for this time of year, and for the opportunity that we have to celebrate our Savior and all He did for us. I am thankful for His perfect example and for the atonement, in which He suffered for me that I may try and become like Him.

This Christmas was wonderful. We gathered with our families and enjoyed opening and giving great gifts, eating delicious food, enjoyed the company of loved ones, and remembered our Savior.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Karaoke

video
Nobody in our family was exactly blessed with great singing genes. However, when we do sing, we try our best. Gray and Jacob sure did deliver.

Thanksgiving Photos... Just a Little Late

Thanksgiving came and went so fast and now it is Christmas!! I was able to post on Thanksgiving, but didn't have time to follow through with pictures. Now that it is break and all, I finally found the time. So enjoy. Refer to previous post for the stories that go along with all of the photos!


Family
Aunt Tara, Uncle Dave, Jonah

Brothers and Cousins

Sleeping Ryan

Best Friends


Thanksgiving Dinner
Little guys eating in the kitchen

Buffet table of food... not even all of it!

Rachel and Mom cooking!


Black Friday!


Every year we end Black Friday shopping with Breakfast at Ryan's. However, this year, they decided to end breakfast early and start switching over to lunch too soon--bad idea. As we, and 3 other groups, walked in (expecting some sausage, bacon, french toast, eggs, etc), we were rudely greeted and told that there was no more breakfast. As we were leaving, the manager came. We ended up eating at Bob Evan's. The above letter was a complaint written (jokingly) by my sister Rachel. We all got a laugh!

Traditional Breakfast... almost. This year it wasn't at Ryan's.

Grandma's total purchases!

FaBriC!!


Outside of Kohl's!

The line in Wal-Mart to wait for Game Stuff--us, we wanted DS's.

All the ads from the paper 2009

Each year Black Friday starts at Micheal's on Thanksgiving evening.

Hunting the ads with pens in our hands, ready to write down great deals!


Black Friday was very successful this year! After waiting hours in multiple lines, we obtained everything we were hunting for. I made out with tons of fabric, which I loved. We went to Wal-Mart, Kohls, Game Stop, Five Below, Dicks, Lowes, JoAnns, Target, and Micheal's. Another year down. Who's ready for next year?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

There are so many reasons to love Thanksgiving! Obviously there is the delicious food, and of course the Black Friday shopping, and the chance to reflect on the past year and everything that I have to be thankful for in my life.

Thanksgiving Day: Every year we have Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family. My grandma, Aunt and Uncle and their family all come over to our house from Tennessee. Grandma and Mom usually begin all of the prepping for dinner. The smells of turkey, ham, and potatoes begin around 10 am! We usually eat between 3 and 4, and man my family can seriously EAT. You should see the plates. Turkey, ham, sweet potatoes (with mandarin oranges and mini marshmallows), mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, rolls, fruit salad, corn, peas, and stuffing! DeLiCioUs!! Usually, Grandma and mom clean the kitchen, too, which is a major bonus!

Black Friday: Do not joke about Black Friday. In my house, it is serious business. Thanksgiving day, the first thing we do is run to WaWa and retrieve 5 newspapers with all of the local ads--for my 2 sisters, my mom, my aunt, and myself. This particular morning, mom woke up early and went to go get the papers. She brought them home, and we looked through them and started picking out all the ads. However, 4 out of the 5 were missing almost half of the ads, so my aunt and I ran back up to WaWa and exchanged them. We counted the number of ads in the store to make sure we had them all! We come home and look through them all, writing down what is most important to get and begin planning our early shopping trip on Friday. In the wee hours of the morning, we wake up and head out to all the stores! Now, we are not Crazy-we don't arrive at the first store until about 4:45 or 5. We usually go to Target, Wal-Mart, Kohls, Five Below, and anywhere else we need to. So much fun, and only girls. After the fun shopping, Grandma treats everyone to breakfast/lunch at Ryan's buffet.

Thankful: This year I am so thankful, and I have so many blessings. I have a loving family and loving parents. I am thankful for the high education I am able to receive, and how it will bless me in the future. For so many powerful leaders and adults that help guide us youth. For the gospel and the temples we have. For my health and my brains. For opportunities to earn money so I have what I need. For always having enough provided to me. For awesome parents who love me despite my mistakes. For others' examples. For service. For everything.

D&C 78:19-And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more

Psalms 100: 1-5- Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Copy Cat

My new goal is to write on this blog at least once a week. It is very hard to keep up with, but I'm going to try (again). Today I am just stealing an idea from another blog, because I thought it was way cute, and a good way to fill in the gaps since I last posted.

Current Books: The school year is now back up and in full swing, a quarter of the way done. Therefore, I really don't have much time to be reading for pleasure. I wish I could, but there is no time. Right now the focus is on English books.

Current Songs: I like music, but I'm not a huge avid fan of it. Lately, the newest additions to my playlist are the soundtrack from "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog", Fireflies (which is a completely random song, and makes no sense to me at all, but I still like it), and Paparazzi. Nothing big, just a few.

Current Drink: It is fall. Therefore, it is getting colder. And soon it will be winter. Thus, hot chocolate is the drink for me. I love it, and I can drink it all year round. Mmm... thank you Sister Joy Phelps, who makes hot chocolate for us on those freezing cold seminary mornings. Yum.

Current Food: There are these super delicious drop cookies that I love called spiders. You just melt butterscotch and semi-sweet chocolate chips together, and then mix in chow mien noodles... delicious. They taste so good. I love them. Oh, I also love Brach's Cinnamon Hard Candies. Simply Delicious.

Current Favorite Show(s): The Biggest Loser. Duh. I love Tracey, even though she is crazy and I was so sad when she went home. I don't really like Liz. Daniel was annoying me when he wasn't loosing any weight, but he just lost 11 pounds! And I don't really like Amanda. I hope Ruddee wins. He is a beast. Also, I was the happiest person because Cake Boss and The Little Couple just came back on! Season 2! I love Cake Boss, and I wish I could make awesome cakes that light up and move like he does, but lets face it--that would NEVER happen.

Biggest Current Wish: Right now I really am wishing for two things. One, I want to redo my room, but I do not have the time. Two, I wish high school was over, and I wish I was in the college of my dreams on a full ride scholarship.

Current Triumphs: AP Music Theory. For someone who has basically no musical talent/training, except for the few years of forced piano as a youngster, music theory is not the easiest class. Especially when it comes to interval ear training, sight singing, inversions, etc. But, I have a 100% average in that class, I am proud to say. Go me.

Current Bane of My Existence: Procrastination. Without any shadow of a doubt, it is procrastination. I am the worst procrastinator anyone could probably ever meet in their entire life. But hey, I work really really well under lots of pressure. I think I get that quality from my pops.

Current Outfit: Bright neon orange guy's gym shorts and a white and blue EFY 2009 t-shirt. Yep, I've got great fashion sense. Super cute.

Current Blessings: My family and my education. Not having a boyfriend I consider a huge, wonderful blessing. I am so sorry to those high school girls who feel they need to have a boyfriend or else their whole entire world and social status is ruined.

Current Excitement: Tomorrow is Friday. There is a temple trip on Saturday morning. Next Saturday is the youth dance. And soon Thanksgiving will be here, which also mean BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING. I'm saving my money :)

Current Goals and Desires: So many. Right now I want to make it through high school, keeping my class rank in the top 5. Right now I am number four, and hopefully by the end of this year it will increase. Who knows. Be accepted into the college of my dreams (which I am not really sure of right now) and study what I am most passionate about, most likely the medical field. I'd like to go on an LDS mission. Someplace foreign would be super I think, but anywhere is good. I want to be able to take great pictures. I want to eventually have a caring and loving husband and many, many wonderful kids. But not soon... don't worry. Education first.

Current Favorite Online Thing: Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. It's on HULU.COM. Go check it out. It's basically awesome.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Excuse... busy?

In the past few weeks, it has been both busy and unimaginably boring. About two weeks ago the family went to Virginia Beach to go camping. That was pretty fun, but I missed my fourth year of Girl's Camp... oh well. Family is more important. Basically, it was just a few days filled of the Atlantic Ocean, LOTS of sand, bugs, dirty feet, and our lovely neighbors who played Mexican Music the whole time... it made me want to SaLsA!! Oh, and we also had navy jets flying over our heads all the time and there was this crazy girl we decided to take with us (one of Suzanne's friends) for some odd reason...


Poker at Camp


Family Picture on the Beach


Kayla's feet... gRoSs!

After the beach, I came home and I went to EFY, a chruch thing at Southern Virginia University that I go to each year. It is filled with fun, uplifting, and spiritual experiences, and everyone loves it! This year was awesome, except for their crazy rules to prevent the Swine Flu from attacking! We stay at SVU for a week, and go to classes, dances, eat delicious gormet food (haha... not), eat pizza, play games, compete in cheers, sing, testimonies, talent shows... pretty much the best week of the summer. I had two great roomates, and an amazing Company! Can't wait til next year 8< ).

Destiny, my roomate


Stacy and Shannon... aMaZiNg counselors!


Company... NOT EASILY PROVOKED!


Cameron and me


Nicole and Me

So basically, this post proves that I was just too busy to update my blog these past few weeks. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :) But, now that life is basically boring again, I should have more time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

25 Mile Bike Ride

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a bike ride from Georgetown into Maryland as part of my 4th Year Adventure Activity for Girl's Camp. Typically, I've always heard of the fourth years doing a big hike, tenting overnight, cooking their own food, etc, so when I first heard that the fourth years were just taking a bike ride, I thought it was so lame, and that it would be really stupid, and just another one of those quick and easy activities that are so often planned.

However, when I decided to go, despite my initial impressions of the idea, I actually had a gReAt time! It was about 25 miles total, which was easier than I thought it would be. We completed the ride in two parts, each about 12-13 miles. First, we bike to the Washington D.C. Temple Visitor's Center, where we watched the "Joseph Smith: Restoration" movie, which was aMaZiNg, and such a testimony strengthener! We completed the last 12 miles, ending up at a park in Maryland, where we ate dinner! It was so much fun, and so worthwhile--even better than a hike! I had so much fun biking with Sarah, Kendra, and Lauren, my White Oak friends, since I was the ONLY Fredericksburg girl (and with no leader)... shocker...


Accomplished feet :)


FINISHED!!




Back sweat... gRoSs


Lauren and her bike

Monday, June 15, 2009

Family of Freaks

This summer one of my goals is actually to write on my blog, maybe actually continue writing and not have these huge, month long gaps in between posts. Who knows, it could happen.

This past weekend we had my mom's Mother (my grandma) in town visiting, as well as my dad's sister and her family. Having the big family that we do, it can get REALLY chaotic. For our extended family, it becomes very overwhelming. I suppose it is just the ten people, the noise, the yelling, the mess--basically everything our family of ten live with and do on a daily basis. On top of that, our family acts differently than most. Having kids that range from age 17 to 3, the little ones often obtain a wide, teenage vocabulary and learn to do things such as play gameboys at one year old. Many people are taken back at our family, even my Grandma.

I suppose you could say we are an eccentric family--a family of freaks, my mom would say. It's probably not what many people would deem as "acceptable behavior", but we go around our house calling each other freaks, stupid, crazy, retarded, gay, cool, dumb, smart, gorgeous--pretty much anything. However, it is always playful, and everyone knows it. On top of that, we are all nerds. All of us kids have been raised to put school as our top priority, and so we are very intelligent. Plus, our father is the biggest computer/video game nerd, and so we play lots of those. This is partly why our family shocks our relatives, who get in trouble for merely saying the word "stupid" and who love having spick-and-span homes. However, we're a family, a unique one, but we wouldn't trade it for the world.

Just as an example for you that happened this weekend: Ryan, the three year old, was taught to say, "you're gorgeous darling, gorgeous". Suzanne got home from school on the last day and when she walked in the house, Ryan told her she was "just gorgeous, darling". My grandma was in the room, and she asked Ryan if she was gorgeous, too, and he told her no, only Suzanne. What happened next seemed very dramatic to most of us, but I guess it comes back to the fact that we are a weird family. My grandma got up from the table in tears, because a three year old said she wasn't gorgeous. He doesn't even know what the word means. Later I asked him what it meant, and he said "very stupid", so in actuality, it was a compliment.

I love my family <3.







Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Break


I love spring, and it is my FAVORITE season! Even better, we get Spring Break, which went by way too fast this year, as it does every year! This year we did many fun things throughout the week. It was just way unfortunate and disappointing to have to return to school yesterday! Here are the highlights!


The Beach!

We all skipped school on Good Friday in order to get a headstart on our vacation. We drove to my Grandma's house, and everyone decided to go out to lunch. After lunch, the plan was to go to the movies, but knowing that it would be one of only a few nice days, we wanted to go to the beach. Usually, we go to the military beach with our cousins, and so it was the first time any of us had gone to the actual beach and boardwalk. So much fun! Everyone loved the sand and the sun!



Hula-Hoopin'
One of the funnest parts of Grandma's house this time was the hula hoops! My little cousin enjoyed challenging, and beating, all of us in hula-hoop contests. However, I was a close second.

Ryan couldn't get the hula hoop to spin around his body, and so I helped him! We actually lasted for a long time!


Eggs
It is tradition every Easter that we have a huMoNgOuS Easter egg hunt! This year lots of money was in the eggs, as well as the candy, all scattered around in the back yard. The novelty has worn off for me, but for the little kids, they loved it! However, I love dying Easter eggs and making them look unique. I ended up doing a really cute egg that was hot pink with perfectly white polka-dots!



Easter Morning
It's always fun to see the cute Easter baskets scattered in the living room and riping them open to see what the Easter Bunny left you this year. However, each Easter, everyone in my family remembers the year when we woke up and there were NO baskets, just one simple chocolate bunny. We were very upset at first, thinking the easter bunny forgot us. But then, when we ate the chocolate, we discovered a puzzle. In the end we found our baskets, but we realized that Easter really is about Jesus Christ.



Food
When we get together for family gatherings, it seems like all we do is eat, and eat, and EAT. There is always so much good, home-cooked food that is, sometimes unfortunately, irrisistable.
Easter dinner consisted of the following: chocolate pie, rolls, potato salad, some asian thing (Grandma's friend brought it over, and she is from Korea), green bean cassorole, ham, olives, and deviled eggs. And that was just one meal.



Rachel's Room
Over spring break, Rachel was supposed to stay at my Grandma's house all week, and so I decided to be VERY NICE and redo her room for her. It is something that she has wanted for a while, and knowing mom wouldn't let her do it, I decided to surprise her and redo her room while she was gone. I sneakily had Rachel "help" me pick out the colors and bedspread for her room. Unfortunately, after FIVE DAYS of spending my spring break in that room, she came home EARLY and didn't like it at all. Ungrateful child...

Taking down wallpaper is NOT fun.

I love this picture! This was a collection of all the tape I used.

Speckled hand after only the primer, and paint covered feet.

The final color of the wall.


Brace Face
Suzanne was so lucky to get braces this spring break. She was exciting before, but afterwards she was more annoyed. Any kind of painful mouth work is, in my opinion, the ultimate weightloss plan. She couldn't eat hard foods for five days. Oh, and I'm sure she loved the pictures we took in the orthodontist's office!

The Sunday before she got her braces.

The glowing mouth!

What she looks like today! Except, her mouth isn't as puffy!


Richmond Zoo
Friday, as Spring Break was coming to a close, we decided to take advantage of the beatiful sunny weather and go to the zoo. It is small and nice, and has some very cute, interesting, and completely exotic animals.

The giraffes come right up to you!

I love zebras!

This orange tiger paced back and fourth right in this spot because he wanted to attack the bears in the next cage. FREAKY.

They let their peacocks roam free. SO cool.

If you look closely, there is blood on his mouth. The other alligator actually had a rodent in his mouth and was eating it.

Camels: Gross and Stinky, but still Cute



Fire and S'mores
On Saturday night, we decided on a whim to use our fire pit and make smores as a family. The boys loved it, and they even brought out their old Peeps from Easter and "killed" them... yeah, some people might think it is not good for little boys to be doing, but we just laughed. Don't worry, they really are good kids.



So now we're back at school, and now we're counting down the days until summer vacation. Only about 35 after this week!