Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Memories

Grandpa Jerry holding Tracen
Grandma Lannette loving on Tracen
Diesel putting himself in time-out
Dad and his two pugs
We had a wonderful Christmas beginning with the arrival of my dad and Mom Lannette. They got here about 1:30 on Wednesday afternoon. It was so special having them here. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner of homemade clam chowder, baguettes with cream cheese and tomatoes. Afterward, we took a nice long walk along the river talking politics, and various strategies to overthrow the government...ha! My parents have these two adorable little pugs called Diesel and Delilah. I think Diesel's a little strange however; likes to put himself in time-out on a regular basis. Quite funny really. Thursday, Mom and I did a little extra shopping before going over to Karen and Travis' for a wonderful steak dinner. Travis can cook! The kids opened a few presents before we played a little Catchphrase. After heading home, and before retiring we watched our traditional video, Mr. Krueger's Christmas with Jimmy Stewart. It gives you something to think about before going to bed. Jayden and I always watch that on Christmas eve (even though John never remembers that). John and I had a no-gift rule this year but it appears we both broke it...ha! John went a little overboard on me but I'm grateful. I needed some new clothes. Jayden received some fun things but was most grateful for one gift that he had to find. Beginning with a note in his Christmas stocking, he began his scripture chase to his final gift. Ultimately, he ended up pulling out an electric guitar hidden underneath our bed. He was so excited. He really didn't think we'd be able to get that for him. (Thank heavens for Craigslist). We had a marvelous dinner; ham, funeral potatoes, yams....and Martinelli's cider. Later, Karen's crew came to hang out and our son Jovi stopped in. We had a wonderful day. Most especially, it was the spirit that could be felt. Mom made the comment earlier that she felt so at peace with us. I'm so grateful to know that His spirit dwells in our home and in our hearts and that we've prepared to receive him.John got Funny Farm (one of his favorites)
Katrina got a beautiful hoodie!
Jayden on his scripture chaseFinding the prize...electric guitar
Grandpa & Grandma with all the kids
Karen and Shy opening the family gift

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Wishes

As usual, there seems to be too much of a lapse in between entries. Time sure isn't my friend when I'm in school but I love the learning, testing and rewards at the end. To bring our blog up-to-date, I'm attaching our family Christmas letter.

Merry Christmas dear family and friends,

Well, how’s that hope and change working out for you! Seriously, even with life’s trials and worries, we live in a marvelous time--the winding up scenes, so to speak. It’s a glorious time to be alive, isn't it? We're actually here to see history in the making, although it may not all be positive, we are still a part of it. Keep the eternal perspective!!!

My first quarter of the new school year is behind me, thankfully. Chemistry and business math—were challenging but successful. I’m looking forward to the next four classes--of biology. Starting the sciences will help me prepare for the nursing program. I’m excited, yet a little apprehensive. I’m still working on that confidence thing…ha!

It’s been another active year with John’s business. Jayden’s a much stronger person because of the time spent outdoors working along side his dad than inside on the video games. He’s a hard worker, dependable and has a great work ethic, and has paid for all of his expenses himself this year. It seems like the greatest gift we’ve given our son is that lesson. He’s pretty self-sufficient.

Jayden’s had an incredible year musically. In March, he was chosen out of hundreds of students around the state to attend the Washington Music Educators Association (Junior All State Band) and was able to perform under the leadership of a renowned director. Basically, this director borrowed our children for the day preparing them to perform that evening in a stunning concert in Spokane. It was an amazing accomplishment.He also went to Disneyland in May with his school band (he was their star trumpet player) and actually got to perform at the park. When he wasn’t performing, he and his classmates were able to tour the park and take in all the sights and rides. We were thrilled for him. He worked so hard to be able to earn that trip. He also spent a week in the mountains at Camp Grizzly for scouts. At fifteen, he’s ahead of his goal and working toward his Eagle Scout Award. And my final bragging moment is at the end of the school year; Jayden was chosen to be one of the top eight students out of his entire school as an Elite Student in academics and being an overall great kid. The teachers took him (& the other 7) to dinner at the Olive Garden and gave out their awards. He was caught totally unaware…actually stunned--a little humility remains. Ha…

Even though Jayden is a wonderful young man, he’s not above making mistakes. He had a serious knife injury this year that about put me over the edge. He has a pretty awesome knife collection that he had sprawled out on his bedroom floor. I asked him to go put them away but, as any normal teenage boy would do, he decided to play a little first--with a brand new knife. He ended up tripping over something on his floor and fell on his right knee—putting the knife in the back of his calf. He opened it up pretty good. Anyway, about 19 or so stitches later; he was on crutches and the recipient of all the ooh and aah’s of the local girls…ha! I seriously had to question my desire to be a nurse. Although I initially panicked (he’s my baby), Jayden was the one who maintained a calm demeanor. Go figure…guess scouting pays off.

The other kids are doing wonderful. We have new additions: Karen just gave birth to our newest grandson, Tracen (this makes 4 for her). Javis and Chaylia with their new baby girl, Liliana, Jonbrock and Sherry has a new boy, Brody, and Shasta’s due in April with her 4th. We have 13 beautiful grandchildren. Jovi returned home safely in September from his mission. Life has been so good to us; our children and grandchildren are healthy and safe. John’s health is doing well. We have a warm bed at night, food on the table and good friends. We have a love and desire to serve our Savior and fellowman. What more could we ask for?

My greatest lesson this year has been that each one of us is now in the process of becoming the kind of person we must live with throughout eternity. The things you desire from life, you must first give to life. I pray we can all give life our best and be a little kinder, a little more tender in our dealings with one another.

Mom blowing the dirt off
Father and son