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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Trip to Houston!

Christmas afternoon, Joe and I packed up and headed to Houston... for what would probably be our last trip there for who knows how long... :(
We first went to Dad Robinson's new house. He had heated his pool... it was LOVELY and warm. Outside was very cold. All the little cousins were in heaven! The Davies even graced us with their presence! It was great to see mostly all of Joe's family.

The kids sleeping so soundly in the bunk house... I LOVE how cute and cuddly they are!
Nate has become quite the little fish! He loves to swim! He actually swims quite far by himself for a little 3 year old! Yay for swim lessons!
Joe and Nate on their inaugural ride down the slide

Joe had to work during the week, so when he was in Utah, I just chilled with the sister in laws... spent the night at the ranch, bounced between Jeff's house, the Ranch, and the Lake House.
I also took that opportunity to hang out with Kysha! It was so good to see her and her DARLING little girls. They (at 4 and 7) are already better than I could ever hope to be at stringed instruments. I just think they are amazing!
Kysha's adorable family!!
LOVE these girls!

Joe flew back to Houston Wed night for the New Years festivities.
All five brothers were around, so there were lots of "Boy" activities... go karts, motorcycles, basketball...
I just enjoyed relaxing and watching everyone else have fun. The kids enjoyed swimming, playing, eating donuts, go karts, 4wheeling at the ranch... the list goes on...
It was sad to think we might not make it back for a while.
The five brothers on five bikes.
Aaron and Joe are such buddies. They are two peas in a pod. He wants to be able to do all the things his daddy gets to do! I can't believe how fast he is growing up!

My little Nate waiting so patiently, looking so cute in his boots...
Just hangin out - watching the "kids" on their karting adventure.

Notice Joe by his lonesome. He was riding in the lead right there with Jeff and Sam... but somehow he got spun out in the grass...

Jeff explaining some crazy maneuvers to his captive audience.

Aaron's king of the world!!!
Kids all piling in the hot tub... maybe cause even though the pool might be at around 90 degrees... it doesnt keep you warm on a night around 30 degrees outside!

New Years Mom Robinson was there for the party... there was the essential settlers game, puzzle, and we had a kareoke sing a long at Jeff's house. Next day, we made our way back over to Dad Robinson's house for another swim...

But, then, we had to go home. Joe had to get back to his new job...

Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas!
Our Christmas loot this year looked SOOO big!!!
My mom - the cooking fairy... ;)
The kids were so excited about every gift they opened! Charity was thrilled with all her new crafts - she was even excited about the socks and underwear she opened. I love how my children are so easily pleased! My parents (of course) spoiled my kids with a million more gifts than they normally would have gotten... but who's complaining!?!???
We had a wonderful day playing with all the new toys! Later in the afternoon, we packed up and headed down to Houston to see Joe's family...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve!

We were finally settled in to Grandma Allen's house. We no longer own a home! I am 30 and living with my mother!
At least my piano has a lovely home. It is actually quite fun to have 2 LARGE pianos in 1 room! So many fun duets!!! We have been having a LOT of fun with music! Christmas is the BEST time to have 2 pianos! ;)
Anyways, Christmas Eve was AWESOME!It SNOWED... HERE IN TEXAS!!! We had a WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!!
Believe you me - the kids were so pumped about it!
Cherry & Scott and family came over for Christmas Eve dinner... well, they had to park in the neighborhood behind Grandma's house because the snow made it so hard to get up the hill to her neighborhood!!! We had a WONDERFUL meal - all seafood! Shrimp, salmon, halibut, crab legs... everything down to the salad was made with fish! Luckily Grandpa Allen and Scott are excellent chefs! IT WAS DELICIOUS! It was such a lovely evening!

Then, the kids put on a show/nativity, and then the Driscolls went home. Here are my kids putting on a second show(singing/dancing) before we let them open their traditional 1 present for Christmas Eve...
I must admit it is quite nice living with my parents. They are the greatest grandparents EVER! My mom is always doing fun things with the kids - crafts, reading, puzzles, music... not to mention the fact that my parents love to cook for us! Oh ya, the cleaning/laundry fairy resides here too!!! We are SO lucky!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Moving Sucks...

Last weekend, Joe helped move the big furniture down to the 2 front rooms - to make it easier to load the truck on Saturday. However, seeing as he is gone all week, that left me to bring everything else down to the "staging area" so it is ready to go Saturday morning. Aaron has been a great help - carrying down boxes and dressers... What a cute/sweet hard worker we have in our 8 year old! Anyways, this is 85% of all my belongings.

This is the staging area:
This is the left over bit. I HATE this part. All the kitchen cabinets are cleaned out and empty. All the upstairs rooms have been cleaned out, wiped down, vacuumed, carpet clean, bathrooms clean etc. But this is where all that leaves me. Everything has been shoveled into the kitchen. All the annoying miscellaneous items are looking for a box. I am tired. I am burnt out. Joe is coming home tonight and will see this:
Yuck. Moving sucks.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cowboy Christmas Party!

So, my "calling" is activities chair for the ward (on top of being in the organ rotation and choir pianist).
The Halloween party was cake - just have people show up in costumes in a parking lot with candy... No biggie that I was the only person on activities duty.

The Christmas party was another story. Luckily, they called a helper - heck, I WAS TRYING TO MOVE!!
The Romneys seriously were the AWESOMEST! Kimball was my assistant, and we kind of talked about a few ideas... We both wanted to keep it REALLY simple. Then he said - "hey, you have a lot of stuff going on - my wife and I will take care of it!" PHEW!!! OK!
He and his wife Angela (who is AWESOME) came up with the entire plan, handed out assignments to all the auxiliaries, and I seriously just sat back and watched it all come together! The Romneys and I went early to set up and "decorate", I brought a few awards, and of course I brought some chilli for the cookoff... but beyond that, it was really no sweat off my back.
It was a Cowboy Christmas party! To us, it meant no need to bring in tons of Christmas decorations - low key - chilli, simple tables (simple like red or green plastic table cloths with a boot or hat on top), country music and call it good! For everyone else, it meant dress up like a cowboy, go to the rooms we assigned out to the different auxilleries, and then join up in the gym for a sing-a-long and dinner. The Relief Society brought Santa, the Primary did reindeer games, the YM did letters to santa and the troops, and the YW did cookie decorating.
The kids had a BLAST!! Joe, was still out of town and missed it :(

Just give me my candy cane Santa! ;)
Um... I want....

The train the RS brought was a HIT with this guy... he would have been happy to watch that thing all night!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A night on the town

Joe's first week at his new job was training here in Dallas.

But now he is gone - hangin' out bachelor style in Utah.
I decided the kids and I needed a fun night out to celebrate - oops I mean commiserate ;).

We went to Coldstone and then to the Frisco Town Square Christmas lights. I think we will be driving through many more times this season. The lights were so fun! They are all synchronized to music and I must say it is pretty neat!

I need chocolate!! I ditched the kiddos earlier in the week for an 18 hr trip up to UT for the design center... so I just wanted to spoil the kids for a night... maybe ice cream was motivated a little from guilt.

I don't know why I can't seem to take a picture right!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What will soon be

We are lucky to be under contract to sell our house.
It also means we will soon be homeless.
We decided we would buy that one house we loved in Lehi... which means we get to pick everything out!... which means the house wont be completed until FOREVER AWAY!!!
I made a quick trip up to meet Joe at the design center (so we could choose the stuff for them to finish the house). Funny story - there was a blizzard there, and Lydia couldn't pick me up at the airport (she was snowed in). So, I called Maleah Atkin last minute and she did - THANKS MALEAH! She and I went to lunch really quick and then she dropped me off at the design center. Joe came a bit later (because he was working).
The design center was TORTURE! Well, it wasn't so bad, but after about 4 hours I felt like a child with ADHD. Here are our selections...

This is what will soon be kitchen, bath, floor, carpet, shower, railing,etc...
We were done at about 9pm, and quickly stopped at the store for some flashlights. Then, we went by the house.

Here is Joe in our future kitchen!

I am excited to find out how it will look. I am excited to have a nice new house! Hopefully it won't take too long!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

My disaster

This is the state of my desk. I am a disaster. My desk is a disaster. My house is a disaster.I am moving in a few weeks. From the time the offer came in, they gave us slightly more than 3 weeks to get out of the house and close on the sale. They want us out by the 21st! That means we have to move out by the 19th - the day after school gets out for Christmas!
Joe is gone during the week days... so it looks like I am going to be packing by myself.

I keep thinking I'll get around to project A or B. I keep thinking I'll have time to tie up loose ends... I'm starting to think my poor kids are not going to have a very good Christmas.

Christmas music... Things from the inspection report that I have to fix... giving over my PTA job onto someone else... packing... getting stuff ready to sell house... getting stuff ready to BUY new house...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Feed My Starving Children

Aaron's football team volunteered together at a charity event for Feed My Starving Children. It is a Christian based ministry where they fill and send nutrition packets (rice with protein and soy and veggie powder) to sustain life for children and adults suffering from severe malnutrition in impoverished countries.

These are the bags we labeled, filled and shipped...

The event started out with an instructional video. It showed people filling the bags and then packing the boxes and sending the boxes... then it showed people receiving the boxes and actually eating. It interviewed people and children who are lucky to get 1 meal a day... in places where the RICH are lucky to get 2 meals a day. It showed how some children suck on dirt and rocks to stave off their hunger. Aaron and Charity were deeply touched - I could see it in their faces, and in the things they said afterward. I (of course) was so touched, that I bawled through the video. It really was a special opportunity. Not many times do little kids kids actually get to go do service and see the fruits of their efforts.

We picked the labeling part of the assembly line and put all the labels on the bags.
This is essentially what our little process looked like (I stole all these pictures from their website).

Other people put the ingredients in, while yet other people filled the boxes and took them to the shipping area. We filled so many! We all had a great time! I want to go and do it again! I think our new Christmas tradition will be a service opportunity like this!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Decorating for Christmas!

Another year, another move during the Christmas Break... also means that it is another year we don't get to decorate our home for Christmas! :(
Luckily, we were going to be living with Grandma Allen by Christmas! I had the kids ditch school and we headed down to her house so the kids could get a chance to decorate (they were pretty busted up about not being able to last year).
It was a great day. The kids sure felt special! We ate junk food and listened to Christmas music and went through all of my mom's decorations and even hung some ornaments!
See kids - I at least tried to keep up with Christmas traditions even though for the 2nd year in a row our family situation has been a little skeewampus over the holidays.

Random action shot...
These are the retro place-mats we used even when I was a kid. I love Christmas memories!
Grandma Allen is the BEST!!! We love her so much and are THRILLED we get to stay with her until we move to UTAH!